Top 40 Smash Taps: “The Riddle (You and I)”

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.

A guy born Vladimir John Ondrasik III is probably making the right choice in adopting a stage name before going into showbiz. Rather than adopt a straightforward name, Ondrasik opted for a moniker that called to mind a band, taking inspiration from his favorite sport, hockey. Under the name Five for Fighting, Ondrasik came out with his debut album, Message for Albert, in 1997. He later made a trip to the Billboard Top 40 with “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” the lead single from his sophomore album, America Town. He made two other trips to that portion of the Hot 100 chart, first with “100 Years,” in 2004. The song that qualifies for this feature was the first single from his 2006 album, Two Lights. “The Riddle (You and I)” sounds as wimpy, whiny and dull as everything else I’ve heard from Five for Fighting, so I’m probably not the right person to speculate on why this wasn’t as successful as his other Top 40 hits. It also represented his last trip to the Top 40, at least to date. I don’t care what Ondrasik calls himself, this music is about as distant from a hockey fight as any collection of notes can get.

“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
“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

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