The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 March 2005

By the numbers

Michele's been looking for songs with numbers in their titles.

Two years ago I put together a CD-R, a foreshortened version (with some songs shuffled) of an earlier mix tape. The track list follows:

  • One (Three Dog Night)
  • Two Divided by Love (The Grass Roots)
  • Knock Three Times (Dawn)
  • Let the Four Winds Blow (Fats Domino)
  • Five O'Clock World (The Vogues)
  • Six Man Band (The Association)
  • Seven Little Girls Sitting in the Back Seat (Paul Evans and the Curls)
  • Eight Days a Week (The Beatles)
  • Love Potion No. 9 (The Searchers)
  • Ten Commandments of Love (Harvey and the Moonglows)
  • Twelve Thirty (The Mamas and the Papas)
  • Only Sixteen (Sam Cooke)
  • At Seventeen (Janis Ian)
  • Eighteen with a Bullet (Pete Wingfield)
  • 19th Nervous Breakdown (The Rolling Stones)
  • Twenty Flight Rock (Eddie Cochran)
  • Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa (Gene Pitney)
  • 25 or 6 to 4 (Chicago)
  • 26 Miles (The Four Preps)
  • Forty Days (Ronnie Hawkins)
  • Sixty Minute Man (Billy Ward and the Dominoes)
  • When I'm Sixty-Four (The Beatles)
  • Questions 67 and 68 (Chicago)
  • Rocket 88 (Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats)
  • 96 Tears (? and the Mysterians)
  • 98.6 (Keith)
  • A Hundred Pounds of Clay (Gene McDaniels)

Incidentally, "Forty Days" is the same song as Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days." The tape version substituted Boyd Bennett's "Seventeen" and Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen," the Clovers' version of "Love Potion No. 9," and added Nena's "99 Luftballons" and the Drifters' "Three Thirty Three."

Playing time: 79:30. Not available on Wendex Records (111077-2).

By the Numbers

Posted at 9:31 AM to Screaming Memes , Tongue and Groove

TrackBack: 9:50 PM, 12 September 2005
» By the Numbers from
This was a revision of an old mix tape. CD-Rs don’t hold as much as C-90s, so four tracks were cut at the extremes; if you’re curious, they were “Saved by Zero” (the Fixx), “99 Luftballons” (Nena), “Three Thir......[read more]

No, no, no, Charles! For the number 25, you should have chosen Edwin Starr!

Posted by: David at 9:59 AM on 19 March 2005

I did, in fact, consider that; however, the tipping point came when I asked myself, "Do I really want 'Twenty-Five Miles' to be followed by '26 Miles'?" I decided I didn't.

Actually, there are plenty of reasonable options for some of these numbers, plus a few that were left off by dint of being instrumentals that would give no clue to the listener: "7-11" (the Gone All-Stars), "20-75" and "30-60-90" (Willie Mitchell). I could, I suppose, have worked in "C30, C60, C90, Go" by Bow Wow Wow, or even "2-4-6-8 Motorway" by the Tom Robinson Band, but those seemed a little too 80s. Then again, I might have made an exception for Paul Hardcastle's "19," had I not already had a song in that slot. Ditto for Stray Cats' "(She's) Sexy + 17."

Posted by: CGHill at 10:27 AM on 19 March 2005

Another alternate - The Kentucky Headhunters - "(She's) 16 and Single"

For a number you missed, there's "76 Trombones".

Posted by: triticale at 10:41 AM on 19 March 2005

I know you probably know all these, Chaz, but I like listing things too much not to contribute ...

"I'm One," The Who
"One After 909," The Beatles
"Seven Day Weekend," Gary "U.S."Bonds
"Rainy Day Women Number 12 and 35," Bob Dylan
"Thirteen Women," Bill Haley and the Comets
"Sweet Little Sixteen," Chuck Berry
"Hey Nineteen," Steely Dan
"5:15," The Who

Posted by: Chase at 10:47 AM on 19 March 2005

Nothing wrong with that. I never claimed that my particular list was in any way definitive, or that it set the standard for such things. And I have no doubt that someone out there has the ability to put together an 80-minute program that duplicates nothing in mine yet is at least as good, maybe quite a bit better.

Besides, if I ever put out a By the Numbers 2, you guys will have done the dirty work for me. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 11:00 AM on 19 March 2005

Hey, you missed the best one! (Well, that's arguable, but...)

'39, by Queen.

Posted by: Jennifer at 1:19 PM on 19 March 2005

I love a bunch of your choices!

Posted by: Jay at 2:14 PM on 19 March 2005

Eight Miles High by The Byrds is another good one.

Posted by: unimpressed at 3:09 PM on 19 March 2005

One is the Lonliest Number-?
Four Sticks--Led Zeppelin
Highway 61 Revisited--Bob Dylan
(I would walk) 500 Miles--The Proclaimers
1985--Bowling for Soup
three fifths of a mile in 10 seconds--Jefferson Airplane

Posted by: aldahlia at 3:51 PM on 19 March 2005

3000 Miles, The Pretenders

1-2 Crush on You, 48 Hours, Four Horsemen, Capital Radio One, Capital Radio Two, One Emotion, all by The Clash

Two of Us, The Beatles

Posted by: Craig Ceely at 12:22 AM on 20 March 2005