The song can have one instrument or one voice, but NOT both (in other words, either a solo instrumental, or a solo acapella voice), and must be performable without multi-tracking. I imagine the classical charts contain such recordings, like piano performances, but what the US Billboard Hot 100?

  • 1
    But I'd be surprised if there weren't in fact multiple No. 1 hits that used only voice and either piano or guitar. Then again, what do I know of pop music... – leftaroundabout Sep 12 '18 at 20:13

My candidate would be "Mercedes Benz" from Janis Joplin. Problem with the billboard is that it was the B side of the "Cry Baby" single (placed #42) and the last recorded track (she died few days later) on the LP "Pearl" (placed #1) so it's hard to give it a rating of its own. It's been one of the more iconic performances and a lot of other singers made cover versions, though.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy