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Burt Bacharach’s Biggest Billboard Hot 100 Hits

todayFebruary 9, 2023

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Burt Bacharach was a titan on Billboard’s charts and in the music industry at large. The iconic singer/songwriter/producer/composer, who died Wednesday (Feb. 8) at his home in Los Angeles at age 94, charted on Billboard in some capacity in the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, and then, largely via samples and covers, in the ‘90s, ’00s and ‘10s.

The Grammy and Academy Award winner wrote or co-wrote seven No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in his lifetime, and they reigned in four distinct decades. Here’s a rundown, listed chronologically:

Artist Billing, Title (Peak Date)
Herb Alpert, “This Guy’s in Love With You” (No. 1 for four weeks, beginning June 22, 1968)
B.J. Thomas, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” (four, beginning June 3, 1970)
Carpenters, “(They Long To Be) Close to You” (four, beginning July 25, 1970)
Christopher Cross, “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” (three, beginning Oct. 17, 1981)
Dionne & Friends (Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder), “That’s What Friends Are For” (four, beginning Jan. 18, 1986)
Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald, “On My Own” (three, beginning June 14, 1986)
Twista feat. Kanye West & Jamie Foxx, “Slow Jamz” (one, Feb. 21, 2004)

“Slow Jamz” contains a sample of Luther Vandross’ 1981 hit “A House Is Not a Home,” which Bacharach penned with frequent collaborator Hal David.

While the majority of Bacharach’s chart entries are as a songwriter or producer, he also tallied hits as a billed recording artist (all sung by chorus vocalists). His songs “Saturday Sunshine” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” popularized further by Dionne Warwick and Tom Jones, both peaked at No. 93 on the Hot 100, in 1963 and 1969, respectively.

On the Adult Contemporary survey, Bacharach charted four songs as a billed recording act (also all sung by chorus vocalists): “Reach Out for Me” (No. 38 peak, 1967), “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” (No. 18, 1969), “All Kinds of People” (No. 18, 1971) and “Something Big” (No. 50, 1974).

Bacharach also charted eight sets on the Billboard 200, the highest-charting (No. 18) being his self-titled album in 1971.

Bacharach continued to impact Billboard charts over the last few years: In 2018, he scored his final songwriting entry on the Hot 100, via Meek Mill’s “What’s Free,” featuring Rick Ross and Jay-Z (No. 20 peak). The song samples Richard Evans’ 1972 hit “Close To You,” a cover of the Carpenters’ former No. 1. In October, Richard Marx’s LP Songwriter, which includes the track “Always” that he co-wrote with Bacharach, hit the Top Album Sales tally. “The experience of sitting in a room and writing a song with Burt is something I consider one of the greatest thrills of my life,” Marx mused.

Below is a recap of Bacharach’s most successful songs on the Hot 100 as a songwriter.

Burt Bacharach’s Biggest Billboard Hot 100 hits as a songwriter ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Hot 100 from the chart’s Aug. 4, 1958, inception through the chart dated Feb. 11, 2023. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, certain eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods. Additional research via Fred Bronson’s Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits reference book.

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todayFebruary 9, 2023

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