Not long ago, I talked about how it might be pretty great to be responsible for writing just one song that catches on. This is why.
It’s pretty fascinating to get a look at how much songs like American Pie (£180,000) or Every Breath You Take (£440,000) still earn each year. Yeah, I dout it would be too hard to live a pretty nice life on numbers like that.
Speaking of nice lives, I’m not sure how the sax player from Baker Street is doing, but if he’s living well it’s no thanks to Baker Street, at least not directly. Even though the song still rakes in around £80,000 a year for Gerry Rafferty and now his estate because he wrote it, that guy made either nothing or next to it depending on who you ask for playing what is arguably its best known part. Get yourself some writing credits, kids.
According to the article, here are the top 10 all-time best earning songs. Amazingly, with the exception of Every Breath You Take, the few I mentioned up there didn’t even make the list. Even Every Breath You Take only made number 8.
1. Hill Sisters – Happy Birthday (1893) – £30.5million
2. Irving Berlin – White Christmas (1940) – £22million
3. Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Specter – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (1964) – £19.5million
4. John Lennon and Paul McCartney – Yesterday (1965) – £18million
5. Alex North & Hy Zaret – Unchained Melody (1955) – £17million
6. Ben E King, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller – Stand By Me (1961) – £16.5million
7. Haven Gillespie & Fred J Coots – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1934) – £15million
8. Sting – Every Breath You Take (1983) – £12.5million
9. Roy Orbison & Bill Deeds – Oh Pretty Woman (1964) – £12million
10. Mel Tormé – Christmas Song (1944) – £11.6million
If anyone needs me, I’ll be over here trying to figure out how not to suck at poetry.