A toast to ghosts.
In the last day, it was announced that Adam Lambert‘s first single from his Warner Bros. debut, The Original High, is a song titled “Ghost Town”. It will be released on April 21. This comes at the same time that Madonna‘s current release, title stylized as “Ghosttown”, is charting at both AC and Hot AC radio outlets thanks to an iHeartMedia campaign that bares a similar feel to the one U2‘s “Every Breaking Wave” utilized from late last year to early this year. Needless to stay, the stan reaction has been mixed thus far, but I think we’ll all survive and both singles can co-exist together… right? Now, can they rank together?
(By the way, ghost towns are nothing new when it comes to the top 40; just ask “Ghost Town” by Cheap Trick, which hit #33 in late 1988. Yes, I know it’s not remembered well and I would be the one to cite that. Ghost Town DJ’s, anyone?)
So, with this case in mind, I figured we could take a look at some classic examples that put two singles with the same title, but a different composition, in the top 40 of the Hot 100 at the same time. It’s pretty rare, but the few times it’s happened are pretty interesting to any chart buff. Here are some of the notable ones:
*** Dates listed next to each title indicate the first week of the songs appearing together in the top 40
“Crazy Love” (April 7, 1979)
Poco (#33) (Peak: #17) (Listen)
The Allman Brothers Band (#39) (Peak: #29) (Listen)
The first documented case of this occurrence goes back nearly 36 years to when these two bands appeared with their hit songs in the top 40 for just one frame. At the time, it was a pretty remarkable chart achievement given the turnover rate and heavier competition during those disco days. Both acts would score their final hits in the next decade, the former after nearly a decade away from the top 40.
“Don’t Be Cruel” (August 20, 1988)
Cheap Trick (#37) (Peak: #4) (Listen)
Bobby Brown (#38) (Peak: #8) (Listen)
Here’s what may be the most unusual case of the ones presented here. Both “Cruel” cuts debuted in the top 40 during the same week and next to each other! For two weeks in October, they both resided in the top ten, including a week when the former fell to #9, while the latter jumped to #8 (October 22, 1988). Of course, the band covered an Elvis Presley tune, while Brown’s hit was an original song.
“Hold On” (May 12, 1990)
Wilson Phillips (#6) (Peak: #1) (Listen)
En Vogue (#32) (Peak: #2) (Listen)
Much like the previous 1988 example, these two female groups both crossed paths in the top ten later that summer and spent a week back-to-back for the chart date of June 30, 1990 (the former down to #5, while the latter climbed to #6.) Both California acts were on the Hot 100 with their debut singles and the trio and quartet, respectively, would have a number of other songs in the top five nationally.
“Beautiful” (March 1, 2003)
Christina Aguilera (#8) (Peak: #2) (Listen)
Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell and Uncle Charlie Wilson (#37) (Peak: #6) (Listen)
It was during the first weeks of 2003 that the pop chanteuse shined with her strong multi-format ballad, a song that would turn into one of the biggest singles of her career. However, when the big Dogg comes barking into town, people will be tuning in. So, both appeared in the top 40 together through mid-May. On CHR radio, Aguilera’s hit spent four weeks at #1, while the trio just broke into the top 30.
Besides the chart collisions listed above, several other CHR radio only chart events happened, including two “Runaway” songs in October 1995 by Janet Jackson (#2) (Listen) and The Corrs (#37) (Listen) as well as two “Stop” songs in June 1998 from Meredith Brooks (#36) (Listen) and the Spice Girls (#38) (Listen). (These stats are based on the Radio & Records survey.)
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