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The Top Pop Songs of All Time...
( 1955 - present )

1-100 -- 101-500 -- 501-1000 -- 1001-1500 -- 1501-2000 -- 2001-2500 - 2501+

How The Top Pop Songs of All Time began:'s official pop songs chart, The ARC Weekly Top 40, began in 1980. The chart has adapted over the years to include video exposure and digital popularity, along with the on-going analysis of radio airplay and sales.

Years of data collection and respect for the ever-changing music scene resulted in the creation of Rock On The Net in June, 1997. The ARC Weekly Top 40 continued and still continues to be the main source of Rock On The Net's chart references for songs released since 1980.

Over the years, Rock On The Net has received numerous requests for chart information pre-dating 1980 and because our chart didn't exist yet, we would often refer the requests to the chart history of Billboard magazine (most notably the books of Joel Whitburn).

The ARC Weekly Top 40 is based on a statistic methodology that was created in 1980, and continues today which results in a final point total based on a songs chart run (including weeks prior to entering the Top 40). This point system has allowed us to tally year-end charts of the top pop songs of the year, and by decade. The point system (and resulting data base of songs) ranks every song that has hit The ARC Weekly Top 40 and hundreds that have just missed the Top 40.

Now, we've decided to take over 30 years of The ARC Weekly Top 40 data and combine it with songs that have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 1955. We applied the same methodology and statistics we use for The ARC Weekly Top 40 to the songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart previous to 1980. The Billboard Hot 100 chart came into existence on August 4, 1958, and chart information for years prior to the Hot 100 was obtained from the Billboard 'Top 100 Sides' chart and 'Best Sellers in Stores' chart. The breakdown is as follows:

  • January 1, 1955 to June 18, 1955: Billboard Best Sellers In Stores Top 30

  • June 25, 1955 to November 5, 1955: Billboard Best Sellers In Stores Top 25

  • November 12, 1955 to July 28, 1958: Billboard Top 100

  • August 4, 1958 to December 29, 1979: Billboard Hot 100

  • January 5, 1980 to present: The ARC Weekly Top 40

The result is what we feel is a comprehensive look at the biggest charting pop songs of all time - The Top Pop Songs of All Time.

We've gone over the charting history of pop songs for the past 50 years to make sure we are as accurate as possible before we released the list. Many songs have charted twice (or more) and we wanted to make sure that combined data was finalized before posting the list.

As The Top Pop Songs of All Time continues to grow we noticed several factors that will likely lead to questions - so we'll try to answer them ahead of time:

  • The listing is based on the song's popularity at the time of its chart run and release year. In other words, even though a song may still be very popular today, the chart listing results reflect how it charted during its initial release.

  • There have been trends over the years when songs stayed in the Top 40 longer than other years. You will notice that there are many years that aren't represented on the listing or appear lower down the chart. Songs charting during these years made quick rises to their peak positions, and quick declines.

  • Speaking of longevity - there are songs that had many weeks at #1 but are lower than songs that didn't hit the top spot - again this is due to stronger chart presence over time and gaining more points with each week.

  • There are also many instances of songs that have more weeks at #1 and more weeks on the chart, but are still lower than songs with less impressive chart peaks and weeks on chart. This may be due to point totals gained prior to hitting the Top 40 and/or more impressive points gained during certain weeks than others.

  • Our point system for The ARC Weekly Top 40 isn't solely based on the chart position of a song for each week it charts. Songs also receive points for their popularity for that week which also impacts final totals - just because a song hits #1 doesn't mean the points for that week is larger than a song that is at #2 or #3 another week.

Yes, it's confusing - but 30 years of chart creation has resulted in a charting methodology we feel is very effective and accurate. We have also received hundreds of positive comments about The ARC Weekly Top 40 and the year-end top charts.

The Top Pop Songs of All Time will be an expanding and fluid listing. This means that we will continue to add to the listing as time goes on and add current songs as their chart run ends.

We hope you enjoy The Top Pop Songs of All Time as much as we do.

So.... on with The Top Pop Songs of All Time....

......................   first 100 >>>>

The ARC Weekly Top 40 Archive
Top Pop Singles Artists By Year
Top 100 Pop Songs of the 1950s
Top 100 Pop Songs of the 1960s
Top 100 Pop Songs of the 1970s
Top 100 Pop Songs of the 1980s
Top 100 Pop Songs of the 1990s
Top 100 Pop Songs of the 2000s
Top 100 Pop Songs of the 2010s


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