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Soundcheck's occasional, incredulous look back at songs that were chart hits. 

Recently in That Was A Hit?!?

That Was A Hit?!?: Warren G, 'Regulate'

Monday, July 21, 2014

In our occasional series That Was A Hit?!? pop chart analyst and contributor to NPR Music and Slate Chris Molanphy returns to our studio to tell the story of 1994's summer smash "Regulate" by Warren G and Nate Dogg.

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That Was A Hit?!?: Extra Helpings Of 'Sukiyaki'

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kyu Sakamoto's 1963 hit "Sukiyaki” left its mark on rapper Slick Rick, Mad Men and countless cover versions.

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That Wasn't A Hit?!?: The Isley Brothers, 'Shout!'

Friday, June 13, 2014

In this edition of "That Was A Hit?!?" we look back at a hit...that wasn't.  Although we may now think of The Isley Brothers' "Shout!" as a classic, it was never formally considered a hit. Writer Chris Molanphy tells John Schaefer why.

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That Was A Hit?!?: Will To Power, 'Baby, I Love Your Way / Freebird Medley'

Friday, June 06, 2014

In our occasional series That Was A Hit!?!, we look at songs that snuck onto the pop charts and achieved improbable success. This week, Paul Ford -- contributor to online magazine The Morning News and writer of his own blog F-Train -- dug out this gem "Baby, I Love Your Way / Freebird Medley" by Will To Power.

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That Was A Hit?!?: The Tornados, 'Telstar'

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Charts analyst Chris Molanphy shares the story of an unusual instrumental hit from 1962, The Tornados' "Telstar," as part of Soundcheck's series That Was A Hit?!?

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That Was A Hit?!?: Enigma, 'Sadeness'

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Enigma's 1990 release stayed on the Billboard charts for five years and sparked a revival of Gregorian chants. Chris Molanphy charts the unexpected — and long-lasting — popularity of the song as part of Soundcheck's series That Was A Hit?!?

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That Was a Hit?!?: Blue Swede, 'Hooked On A Feeling'

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

While "Hooked On A Feeling" is a great song, the five-year journey to reach a No. 1 on the charts is so improbable, it's amazing it ever happened. Chris Molanphy explains the long-winding evolution of the Blue Swede hit.

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That Was A Hit?!?: Candyman, 'Knockin' Boots'

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The latest installment in our That Was A Hit!?! series about improbable chart hits looks at Candyman's 1990 song "Knockin' Boots."

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That Was A Hit?!?: 'Kung Fu Fighting'

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Carl Douglas' 1974 song "Kung Fu Fighting" was such an unlikely smash that Soundcheck features it in the intro theme for our occasional series "That Was A Hit?!?" But the song itself has gone unexplored...until now.

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That Was A Hit?!?: Disastrous Love Songs Edition

Thursday, February 13, 2014

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, it’s important to pay tribute to the less successful entries in the love-song genre. Mario Correa -- writer and Entertainment Weekly Radio host -- offered up these three “disastrous love songs” for Soundcheck's occasional series That Was a Hit!?!.

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That Was A Hit?!?: 'Der Kommissar'

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our series That Was A Hit?!? is all about unlikely songs that have made it to the top of the charts. Today's installment looks at three versions of the surprise hit "Der Kommissar" that battled it out for chart supremacy.

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That Was A Hit?!?: 'Disco Duck'

Monday, December 09, 2013

In this installment of Soundcheck's series That Was A Hit?!?: how a song featuring a singing, disco-dancing duck reached the top of the charts in 1976.

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That Was A Hit?!?: Murray Head, 'One Night In Bangkok'

Monday, December 02, 2013

In this installment of Soundcheck's series That Was A Hit?!?, Mario Correa explains how "One Night in Bangkok," a song from a musical about chess, became a chart-topping pop hit.

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That Was a Hit!?!: Herb Alpert, 'This Guy's In Love With You' And 'Rise'

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our series That Was a Hit?!? is all about improbable chart success -- generally, of a single song that unexpectedly rose to the top. Today, music writer Chris Molanphy joins us to talk about trumpeter Herb Alpert, whose entire career full of surprises.

The incredibly successful musician and record label founder ruled the 1960's with five No. 1 albums -- second only to The Beatles. By the end of the '70s, Alpert had scored two No. 1 hits on the Billboard Top 20: "This Guy's In Love With You" (with the Tijuana Brass) and "Rise." 

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That Wasn't a Hit?!?: Fleetwood Mac, 'Landslide'

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Every so often, we turn our series “THAT Was A Hit?!?” on its head with Soundcheck frequent guest Chris Molanphy, calling it instead, “That WASN’T A Hit?!?” We look back at songs that, although we may now think of them as hits, actually weren't hits at all. Today, we look at Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide."

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That Was a Hit?!?: DNA Featuring Suzanne Vega, 'Tom's Diner'

Monday, June 03, 2013

"I wanted to talk about an improbable hit, but not a terrible hit." That's what music writer and chart columnist Chris Molanphy had to say about choosing "Tom's Diner" -- DNA's remix of the a cappella Suzanne Vega song -- for our That Was a Hit?!? series.

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That Was A Hit?!? : Grab Bag Edition

Friday, May 03, 2013

Writer Paul Ford brings in a variety pack for our series about surprising pop hits. 

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That WASN'T A Hit?!?: Squeeze, 'Tempted'

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Every so often, our series, “That Was A Hit?!?,” catalogues songs that — however unlikely — charted in the Top 40. Chris Molanphy, who previously profiled Prince’s “Batdance” in our series, suggested that we turn the series on its head, calling it, “That WASN’T A Hit?!?”

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That Was a Hit?!?: Prince, 'Batdance'

Monday, March 18, 2013

Can you name all five of Prince's hits that have hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100?

Go ahead, try.

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That Was a Hit?!?: Ray Stevens, 'The Streak'

Monday, March 04, 2013

The latest installment in our That Was A Hit?!? series about improbable hits looks back (with our hands covering our eyes) at Ray Stevens' 1974 chart-topper, "The Streak." 

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