The “Gold” Standard: Slow Runs Up The Pop Radio Survey

The waiting is the hardest part.

The waiting is the hardest part.

The first studio album from 16-year-old Bea Miller was released nearly a month ago and debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200, Not An Apology. The set has given us two singles thus far on the CHR radio airwaves. First came “Young Blood”, which took a run up to #38 in December before falling off after the holidays. Now, “Fire N Gold” is burning on pop playlists and providing an interesting piece of chart trivia that may flicker for a while.

Miller’s song debuted in the top 50 on the pop survey dated June 14, 2015, and thus far, her chart log looks like this:
4648474849484946464244-45-44-45 (14 weeks as of September 13, 2015)

Despite some instances of falling a position or two week-to-week, Miller’s single has managed to gain in spins every week… except for this week (though it’s just a minor loss.) However, it’s the number of weeks that it’s been on the list, a dozen so far, that stands out, as “Fire” has been between #42 and #49 for all of them. It’s a pretty unusual situation; most labels would give up on a release if it wasn’t showing a lot of progress for some time. However, it’s also indicative of the status of radio today and the small amount of locally-programmed outlets that can help a single along. Remember, there was a time before the plays-per-week era began that some top ten hits couldn’t last twelve weeks in the top 40 period, and the ownership situation was much different back then.

As far as “Fire N Gold” is concerned, I’m not sure that it will make the top 40. Hollywood Records has its faults (as any label does) and with the Labor Day holiday coming up, new music slots may be few and far between. I guess we’ll see. In the meantime, here is where the song may be headed, a Longevity Hall Of Fame of sorts of the longest runs for songs that peaked outside of the top 40:

(Week counts marked with an asterisk represent chart runs that were non-consecutive. Statistics prior to August 2006 are from the CHR/Top 40 chart as published in Radio & Records, while data after that time is from Mediabase 24/7.)

“808”, Blaque (#46 – 18 weeks* – 1999-2000)
This one has a huge total thanks to two runs, one part of it occurring during in its initial release in 1999, and then most of it taking place in the summer and fall of 2000 as a reissue after “I Do” was pulled. Oddly enough, its first week in the top 50 was in October 1999 and its last week on was in October 2000. What a wild ride!

“Back That Thang Up”, Juvenile featuring Mannie Fresh and Lil Wayne (#45 – 17 weeks, 1999-2000)
“Crawling Back To You”, Daughtry (#44 – 17 weeks, 2011-2012)
It’s pretty impressive that these two songs were able to spend 17 weeks in a row in the chart, with each of them crossing two years before completing their respective streaks. “Back” was huge on Rhythmic and Urban radio, while “Crawling” spent a few weeks in the top ten at Hot AC radio. Neither record was the act’s biggest hit.

“Work Hard, Play Hard”, Wiz Khalifa (#41 – 16 weeks*, 2012)
Khalifa may have just hit #1 on the pop radio listing for a few weeks with “See You Again”, but in 2012, this single from the album O.N.I.F.C. struggled to find a place at the format. Then again, the rapper wasn’t as well-known here three years ago. However, the single did zoom into the top ten at both Rhythmic and Urban radio.

“Sex On Fire”, Kings Of Leon (#42 – 15 weeks, 2009-2010)
Perhaps we can blame this one stalling on the title, right? I think it’s fairly evident that some markets weren’t interested in adding this single, especially in more conservative places. Though “Use Somebody” spent a week at the top of the pop radio survey, “Sex” was tossed around for weeks until its run concluded in March 2010.

“Fire N Gold”, Bea Miller (#42, 14+ weeks, 2015)
“Bad”, The Cab (#44 – 14 weeks, 2011-2012)
Partnered with promotion man Steven Zap and his newly created Z-Entertainment label, the band from Las Vegas placed three of the singles from their Symphony Soldier album onto the pop radio survey, each taking their time to climb a bit. Zap now manages Daya, who is just below the top 40 at CHR with her hit “Hide Away”.

“All Or Nothing”, Theory Of A Deadman (#41 – 12 weeks, 2010)
“Everything”, Stereo Fuse (#43 – 12 weeks, 2002-2003)
“Got Your Money”, Ol’ Dirty Bastard featuring Kelis (#42 – 12 weeks*, 2000)
“La La”, The Cab (#43 – 12 weeks, 2012)
“Walk It Out”, DJ Unk (#47 – 12 weeks*, 2006-2007)
A number of songs are tied at 12 weeks, most of which were consecutive runs. DJ Unk and Stereo Fuse never charted again, and in the case of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, it was his only main-credited single to reach the chart. Theory Of A Deadman remains a staple on the Active Rock chart, though “All” is still their last pop crossover to date.

By the way, if you’re wondering if any chart single has recovered from sliding around the 41-50 section for that long before its run in the top 40, take a listen to “Keep Me Crazy” by Chris Wallace. Two summers ago, it began a period of twelve weeks below the top 40 before eventually peaking at #32. The independent label that it was released on, ThinkSay Records, has not charted a song since then. You may also remember that Nickelback‘s “Rockstar” went top 50 through some unsolicited airplay in late 2006 and early 2007. It spent twelve weeks on, peaking at #42, and then re-entered during its official single release, eventually rising to #6.

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