Skip to main content

Its 2022 | Lets View Past Music Charts For Wedding Playlists

02 January 2022

Happy New Year! You know being a professional wedding DJ who finds himself immersed in the music, I never find myself making those silly New Years resolutions. I am already in good physical shape and don't overeat. :) Instead of making those promises that most people tend to stop doing within weeks, I find myself looking at the music charts. As the calendar turns over to another new year, I like to take a look back at where we were in terms of music and to see just how radical our tastes have changed over the years. Having gotten my start as a professional wedding DJ on the radio first, I knew firsthand about the importance of music charts, spins per week etc.  As we get cranked up into another engagement season, you are invited to take a look back at what we were listening to at various points in time.  Feel free to use this information as you put together the all-important playlist for the most important day of your life. Enjoy this mini time warp and a different perspective, and be sure to look for more helpful links on how to plan the music for your wedding day.

In case you are wondering, my sources for music chart information tend to be Billboard, as well as one of the most experienced researchers of music, Joel Whitburn. During the downtime and lockdown of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, I bought the book you see down below and started reading it, and at the time of the publication of this blog post, I am still reading it. It might be one of the most detailed books about music research I've ever read. I might not need another book as Joel Whitburn's attention to detail when putting together this book is unmatched.  For more information on how to get in touch with Joel Whitburn, click over to this link.  

Biggest Pop Singles

It is my hope that this little musical journey you are about to embark on might help you get started on getting together your wedding playlist.  Should you need any further help on putting together the perfect playlist, feel free to click over to this link, which describes how to plan the perfect wedding playlist.  Now, let's get started on this musical perspective and a bit of a flashback just to see where we've been in past years as it pertains to popular music. The screenshots you'll see on this post come from the Billboard chart archives.

One Year Ago
Back on January 1, 2021, Mariah Carey would be at the top of the charts with her iconic song "All I Want For Christmas Is You".  Released right before the holiday season in 1994, the song has become one of the biggest of her career and consistently has entered the Hot 100 in recent years.  The song has also received well over 1 billion streams on Spotify. Looking for some wedding playlist inspiration? You are invited to head over to my Spotify where you'll find over 140 playlists. Just head over to Spotify, then csearch for DJ Mike Bills.  For more information about my Spotify profile, click over to this link. Top Wedding DJ Mike Bills Is On Spotify

5 Years Ago
1-1-2017 | Starboy | The Weeknd & Daft Punk
When I look back to where I was 5 years ago, I think about the excitement that was being generated as we edged toward the very first Charleston Wedding Week.  The event would be kicking off  on January 23 for the first time. As an advertiser in Charleston's official wedding magazine (Charleston Wedding Magazine), I volunteered to DJ a bridal show at the Gibbes Museum Of Art that would feature 5 of the finest luxury bridal boutiques in the area. As a matter of fact, if memory serves me correctly, I believe "Starboy" was on one of the playlists of one of the bridal boutiques.
Starboy Weeknd January 2017

10 Years Ago
1-1-2012 | Sexy And I Know It | LMFAO
It's hard to believe that we are 10 years past the #1 success of LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It". If I look back to 2011, you couldn't go to a wedding or even turn on the radio for that matter without hearing LMFAO.  And now 10 years later, I've placed LMFAO into the recurrent category as some of their songs were strong enough to be played in wedding years after their success in 2011 and 2012.  For more of the best modern "recurrent" songs currently being played at a lot of my weddings <-----Click HERE
LMFAO January 2012

15 Years Ago
1-1-2007 | "Irreplaceable" | Beyonce
Break-up songs are probably not the best choice for your wedding playlist, but there are plenty of other Beyonce songs that tend to be thrown on playlists these days. From the overplayed "Single Ladies" for bouquet toss to "Crazy In Love" and "Diva", there are plenty of Beyonce songs to choose from. While less than 50% of modern brides and grooms appear to move forward with the bouquet toss, if you are interested in having a DJ do it, be sure to click that link.
Beyonce January 2007

20 Years Ago
1-1-2002 | "How You Remind Me" | Nickelback
Yikes. How about we just move on and forget about what was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 back on January 1, 2002?  As I was putting together the content for this post, I was reminded by how boring the music scene was in early 2002. To be honest with you, being a non-traditional wedding DJ as I am, most of my clients would not be caught placing any Nickelback on their wedding playlist. For more insight on putting together a Do Not Playlist, be sure to catch this episode of The Mike Bills Podcast
Nickelback January 2002

25 Years Ago
1-1-1997 | "Unbreak My Heart" | Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton would burst onto the scene back in 1993 with her first single Another Sad Love Song. By the time that the end of 1996 would arrive, she'd be on top of the charts with a more "Hopeful" song.  Unfortunately she appears to be pleading with the man who has left her to come back and "unbreak" her heart. Not exactly a song for the wedding playlist, but if you are really into Toni Braxton, you might consider "You're Makin Me High", which was all over the Billboard charts during the spring and summer of 1996.
Toni Braxton 1997

30 Years Ago
1-1-1992  | "Black Or White" | Michael Jackson
Ah yes! We go back now into very familiar territory because at this time I was in the middle of my senior year in high school.  I've ranted and raved about the music of the early 90s in more ways than one.  I'll let you be the judge but check out The Best Songs From 1991 For Your Wedding Playlist <---Click HERE 
It was early in 1992 that a changing of the guard would happen at the top of the Hot 100. By the second week of 1992, Nirvana would knock Michael Jackson out of the top spot with "Smells Like Teen Spirit".   For more of The Top Songs From 1992 for your wedding playlist <----Click HERE
Michael Jackson BW 1992

35 Years Ago
1-1-1987 | "Walk Like An Egyptian" | The Bangles
When you add some of the best songs from the 80s to your wedding playlist, you and your guests will certainly be "walking like an Egyptian".  At the beginning of 1987, we were all walking a little funny because you could not go anywhere without hearing this signature song from The Bangles.  If you are interested in seeing what other Great Songs From 1987 would be perfect for your wedding playlist, <----Click HERE
Walk Like An Egyptian Jan 1987

40 Years Ago
1-1-1982 | "Physical" | Olivia Newton-John
How appropo for the beginning of the year to have the #1 song be about getting in shape? Something tells me that Olivia Newton-John was not referring to "working out" on a gym floor, but instead in the bedroom ;) If you take a look at the music video for this song, it went along very nicely with the fitness craze of the early 80s. 
Physical ONJ 1982

45 Years Ago
1-1-1977 | "Tonight's The Night" | Rod Stewart
By today's standards, this song would be tame, but in 1977, a lot of the things you hear in this song were a little taboo and risque.  Rod The Bod Stewart definitely was pushing the envelope upon the release of this song. I'll let you be the judge if you think it should be added into your wedding playlist. For more of the Best Groovy Soft Rock Songs Of The 70s <---Click HERE
Tonights The Night 1977

50 Years Ago
1-1-1972 | "Brand New Key" | Melanie
Folk music was very popular in the early 70s. Also known as The Roller Skate Song (check out the chorus), Melanie would score a #1 song beginning at the end of 1971, moving into the very beginning of 1972.
Brand New Key January 1972

55 Years Ago
1-1-1967 | "I'm A Believer" | The Monkees
You might remember Smashmouth covered this song in 2001 for the Shrek 2 Soundtrack. Originally written by the great Neil Diamond, the Monkees would record and release the song in late 1966, reaching the top of the charts at the start of 1967. 
Im A Believer Monkees Jan 1967

60 Years Ago
1-1-1962 | "The Twist" | Chubby Checker
And we wrap up this musical perspective with a song from the 60s that is still in rotation at a lot of my weddings.  It's a song that people still have a tendency to respond to. The song created a "twist" craze in the latter part of 1961 and early 1962 at places like the Peppermint Lounge in New York City.  For more of the Best Songs From The 60s For Your Wedding Playlist <---Click HERE
The Twist Chubby Checker 1962

Ready To Talk To Top Wedding DJ Mike Bills About Your Wedding?
Hope you enjoyed this little musical perspective as I looked back at various points in time over the past 60 years just to see where music was. I am such a music nerd that I always find myself thumbing through Joel Whitburn's book on a weekly basis. Thank you for making it all the way to the end of this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  If you just got engaged over the holidays and have just chosen your wedding date and are in the hunt to secure your wedding DJ, I would love to speak with you.  I am a very passionate non-traditional wedding DJ who has forged an impeccable reputation over the years for providing my clients with an amazing mix of music for their most special day.  Find out more a hiring a non-traditional wedding DJ by clicking the link down below.  If you'd like to set up a time to talk about hiring me to DJ your wedding, click the link up above.

What Exactly Is A Non-Traditional Wedding DJ?