These posts are about the songs that can accurately claim to crossed the key line of chart success, becoming Top 40 hits on Billboard, but just barely. Every song featured in this series peaked at number 40.

Brad Paisley absolutely owned the country charts in the aughts. After nabbing his first country #1 (and Billboard Top 40 hit) in 1999, with “He Didn’t Have to Be,” Paisley had an even more prodigious stretch in the following decade, including ten straight chart-toppers at one point, which was then a record. (Shameless country huckster bested that feat just this year.) Maybe even more impressively, considering those singles that had to settle for runner-up status, Paisley had seventeen straight songs that charted in one of the top two positions from 2005 to 2011. As per usual, topping the country chart meant only modest success of the Billboard Hot 100. Of the record setting ten, seven made it into the proper Top 40, but only one of those charted higher than #30. And two of them stalled out at #40. The first of those two was “Ticks,” the lead single from his 2007 album, 5th Gear. Any thoughts that the ticks refers to the profundity of passing time can be put aside. It’s instead culled from a barroom pick-up line used in the song: “I’d like to check you for ticks.”

The next single from the album, “Online,” finished its Billboard Hot 100 rise at a similarly feeble #39. For the third single, it was back to #40 as the peak. “Letter to Me” was inspired by his wife’s contribution to a book entitled What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self. Paisley, understandably enough, thought the concept sounded like the ideal foundation for a country song.

Previously…
“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure.
“I’m in Love” by Evelyn King
“Buy Me a Rose” by Kenny Rogers
“Who’s Your Baby” by The Archies
“Me and Bobby McGee” by Jerry Lee Lewis
“Angel in Blue” by J. Geils Band
“Crazy Downtown” by Allan Sherman
“I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Rhythm of Love” by Yes
“Naturally Stoned” by the Avant-Garde
“Come See” by Major Lance
“Your Old Standby” by Mary Wells
“See the Lights” by Simple Minds
“Watch Out For Lucy” by Eric Clapton
“The Alvin Twist” by Alvin and the Chipmunks
“Love Me Tender” by Percy Sledge
“Jennifer Eccles” by the Hollies
“Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Olympics
“The Bounce” by the Olympics
“Your One and Only Love” by Jackie Wilson
“Tell Her She’s Lovely” by El Chicano
“The Last Time I Made Love” by Joyce Kennedy and Jeffrey Osborne
“Limbo Rock” by The Champs
“Crazy Eyes For You” by Bobby Hamilton
“Who Do You Think You’re Foolin'” by Donna Summer
“Violet Hill” and “Lost+” by Coldplay
“Freight Train” by the Chas. McDevitt Skiffle Group
“Sweet William” by Little Millie Small
“Live My Life” by Boy George
“Lessons Learned” by Tracy Lawrence
“So Close” by Diana Ross
“Six Feet Deep” by the Geto Boys
“You Thrill Me” by Exile
“What Now” by Gene Chandler
“Put It in a Magazine” by Sonny Charles
“Got a Love for You” by Jomanda
“Stone Cold” by Rainbow
“People in Love” by 10cc
“Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)” by the Four Tops
“Thinkin’ Problem” by David Ball
“You Got Yours and I’ll Get Mine” and “Trying to Make a Fool of Me” by the Delfonics
“The Riddle (You and I)” by Five for Fighting
“I Can’t Wait” by Sleepy Brown
“Nature Boy” by Bobby Darin
“Give It to Me Baby” and “Cold Blooded” by Rick James
“Who’s Sorry Now?” by Marie Osmond
“A Love So Fine” by the Chiffons
“Funky Y-2-C” by the Puppies
“Brand New Girlfriend” by Steve Holy
“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” by Bonnie Pointer
“Mr. Loverman” by Shabba Ranks
“I’ve Never Found a Girl” by Eddie Floyd
“Plastic Man” and “Happy People” by the Temptations
“Okay” by Nivea
“Go On” by George Strait
“Back When My Hair Was Short” by Gunhill Road
“Birthday Party” by the Pixies Three
“Livin’ in the Life” by the Isley Brothers
“Kissing You” by Keith Washington
“The End of Our Road” by Marvin Gaye

14 thoughts on “Top 40 Smash Taps: “Ticks” and “Letter to Me”

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