Help me settle a bet! A friend of mine insists that Billy Ocean had exactly three #1 hits—and that all of them had exactly eight words in the title. I say that can’t possibly be right: “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going” obviously has nine words in the title!
Indeed it does—which is perhaps the reason that song fell short of the #1 slot, hitting #2 in 1985. Strange it may seem, your friend wins the bet. Billy Ocean, the likeable singer of pop songs lightly inflected with reggae, has hit the top of the charts exactly three times, and each time, the complete song title had exactly eight words in it. Let the Freemasons ponder these twenty-four words of mystical power: “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run),” “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry),” “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.”
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)