Tag Archives: Radio & Records

RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 23, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a weekly report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: all the highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. Yesterday was Record Store Day, and I certainly got a lot of great singles from artists like Deee-Lite, Madonna and Prince. Hey, it’s always best to have more wax in your hands than in your ears, even with a Q-Tip in my RSD collection. So, listen up as we rewind the week, then hit play and slay through the latest stats from the pop radio survey:

CAN’T GET IT OUT OF MY ED: …and here we are again, folks. For the tenth week in a row, Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape Of You” stays at that top spot on the CHR/Top 40 chart. It’s the third ten-week #1 so far this decade, and the only one that isn’t a collaboration. (In 2008, Leona Lewis‘s “Bleeding Love” was the last double-digit leader by a sole performer, also spending ten weeks at the top.) The song in second place for the fourth week, Bruno Mars‘s “That’s What I Like”, should finally get its first frame at #1 next week. Will I be rejoicing? No tea, no shade, but that’s an affirmative. Sheeran’s “Castle On The Hill” makes a notable jump from 30-22 on the list, while also rising 22-18 at the Hot AC format. At this rate, I’d expect that “Castle” will likely be in the top ten by the end of May, due to a number of summer single premieres (you know they’re all coming!) over the next few weeks.

“Shape” is still in the top five on at least four radio formats this week (beyond the aforementioned charts, AC and Rhythmic), while it also maintains a top 20 placing on, believe it or not, the Spanish chart. How’s it doing so well there? Well, thanks to a remix featuring reggae duo Zion & Lennox, the mass appeal hit continues to be, well, even more mass appeal. Will it ever stop? Ay, Dios mío…

EVEN “STRANGERS” NEED A “CURE”: Two of the most talked about tracks on the pop radio chart this week really know how to make an entrance, shooting straight into the top 40. The higher of the twosome is “Kissing Strangers” by DNCE, bowing in at #36 on the chart. It’s the group’s fifth top 40 hit since 2015, while featured artist Nicki Minaj scores her 34th top 40 entry at the format since 2010. Needless to say, neither act is a stranger to the top 40, though DNCE is a stranger when it comes to #1 songs, as “Cake By The Ocean” (#2, 4/10-17/16 MB) could only nibble at the pop pastry supreme at the top of the bakery… erm, could only knock on the door to the top of the chart, but were turned away by a pair of performers who only cared about themselves.

Lady Gaga‘s surprise single “The Cure” enters one spot below “Kissing”, rushing into the top 40 at #37. This means that the Joanne era is likely over after two radio singles, but we’ll always remember that pink hat in our hearts, though probably not in our closets. At 18 top 40 singles since 2008, including seven chart-toppers, the Lady continues to get her fill of pop success. Her next project? A new spin on the classic film A Star Is Born. No, I’m not expecting her to take on “Evergreen” anytime soon; let’s save that in 1977, please.

WHO’S YOUR DADDY?: Fathering a new top 50 song this week is a collaboration featuring 40-year-old rapper Daddy Yankee, a bilingual performer from Puerto Rico who last appeared on the chart with “Rompe” (#19, 5/19-26/06 R&R) off his Barrio Fino En Directo album. This week, he and fellow Puerto Rican Luis Fonsi take a Spanglish mix of their international hit “Despacito” into the top 50 at #47. Of course, Canadian singer Justin Bieber is also on that version, singing in both English and Spanish. By the way, for all of you chart buffs out there, the first bilingual rapper to ever reach the pop chart was Cuba-born Mellow Man Ace, who charted with “Mentirosa” (#34, 7/6/90 R&R) in his only top 40 appearance.

Though “Despacito” is the first chart entry to use that word in its title, it’s not the first to use it in the lyrics of a top 40 song. In fact, it was just a few months ago that “Bailar” (#35, 11/13/16 MB) by DJ Deorro and featured artist Elvis Crespo opened on that word. A remix featuring Pitbull aided its performance at the pop format, because I’m sure he had zero other hits to ruin at that time. I mean, who else could have done it? Gerardo?

SHAWN’S GOT YOUR “BACK”: After “Mercy” peaked at #6 six weeks ago, 18-year-old singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes gets off to a good start with his latest single, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”. It enters at #49 on this week’s CHR chart, ranking after a little over three days of airplay. Now, in anticipation of this song dropping a few days ago, yours truly dipped into the archives of pop perfection and through the undervalued “holding back” category, stopping at huge songs like “Holding Back The Years” (#3, 6/27/86 R&R) by Simply Red, “I Can’t Hold Back” (#10, 11/30/84 R&R) by Survivor and “I Won’t Hold You Back” (#4, 4/22-5/6/83 R&R) by Toto. So, if you weren’t holding back something in the 80’s, I’m not sure what you were doing. Hey, where’d my Jane Fonda tapes go?

Mendes first entered the top 50 in November 2014 with “Something Big”, which peaked at #44 by the second week of January. It was the follow-up to “Life Of The Party”, which couldn’t break the top 50 in either of its two radio runs, along with a reissue of “Big”, with a slightly altered mix, in the spring of 2015. Of course, with four consecutive top ten releases since those days, it’s safe to say that he’s doing alright for himself now and not looking “back”. Can he make it five? I sure hope so.

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RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 16, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a weekly report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: all the highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. Now, in my pursuit of cool deals, I will be roaming the shelves of CVS and Duane Reade for half-off peanut butter eggs and such tomorrow. You know how tired I am of matzah… However, just because the candy is half-off, doesn’t mean I’ll be giving you half the commentary this week. Oh no, every day is a holiday when a chart geek has that insatiable thirst to learn more. (Also, I can go on about “Insatiable” by Darren Hayes, but I’ll save it for another post.) Let’s hop with the hits on this week’s report:

BETTER OFF ED: If you said, “Oh no, it’s him again,” then you’re just as disappointed as I am that there’s no new #1 song. Yes, for a ninth week, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran leads this week’s CHR/Top 40 chart. Last week, I thought that Bruno Mars‘s “That’s What I Like” would be able to close the gap, but I guess it’ll have to wait for Sheeran’s song to (hopefully, please) tumble next week. A new impact date for the follow-up single, “Castle On The Hill”, is now established for this Tuesday, but it isn’t exactly needed; that hit is up 36-30 in its second week in the top 40. It also recently spent four weeks at #2 on my chart, while “Galway Girl” is about a month into its run.

Five other songs are bulleted in this week’s top ten, but they’re too far away to start pegging which ones have a chance at the #1 spot a few weeks from now. However, I should point out that all of them are collaborations (four of the five are properly credited), and that trend is likely to continue. If Sheeran starts popping up on radio releases by Calvin Harris, Kygo, The Chainsmokers and Zedd at the same time, I’ll have to get the claws out. You know, at least use DJ Sammy or Robert Miles… where did they go?

“NEVER” A GOOD “SIGN”: The two hottest songs at the format this week belong to that pair of artists whose names start with an H and end with a y. Did you say Haddaway and Hipsway? You’re right, “What Is Love” and “The Honeythief” are still my jams; you know me too well. Oh, I’m sorry, I mean, no, those two performers with the current happening hits are Halsey and Harry Styles. It shouldn’t be a surprise, considering how well they’ve performed at sales and streaming platforms so far. Styles’s first solo entry has a nice climb from 29-19 in its second week on the chart. He recently played that and an album cut, “Ever Since New York”, on Saturday Night Live, and I’m sure millions of girls around the world swooned. (Did I swoon as well? I’ll never tell.) A self-titled album is out on May 12, which will likely debut at the top of the charts globally.

Halsey’s “Now Or Never” lifts from 38-26 in its second week, making it the biggest mover within the top 40. Her fourth chart entry is one spot away from tying her biggest main-credited hit to date, “New Americana”, which reached #25 during the last week of 2015. It will definitely surpass that next week, as it charges quickly toward the top ten. Will it be a Song Of The Summer contender? I’ll have a few picks of my own in a post coming very soon, so watch out for it!

THE CHEAT IS ON: You know, I was a good kid and didn’t use any cheat codes on my old Nintendo 64 games, but maybe I was too young to start researching what they actually were. Luckily, I do use the new Cheat Codes single called “No Promises”, which enters at #46 on this week’s CHR chart. The song features Demi Lovato, who’s looking to score her 11th top 40 hit since “Skyscraper”, her #34 entry (9/25/11 MB) from the Unbroken album. The label behind this single, 300 Entertainment, has yet to go higher than #19 at the format, a peak they reached on two occasions in 2015 with singles by rapper Fetty Wap.

Both the dance trio and Lovato are coming off radio singles that reached the top 50, but failed to break the top 40. For the former, it was the streaming hit “Sex” (#48, 7/10/16 MB), which sampled “Let’s Talk About Sex” (#28, 11/18/91 R&R) by Salt-N-Pepa. “Body Say” (#43, 8/21/16 MB) by the latter artist also started out strong at streaming services, where it was available before a digital single was able to be purchased, but it ultimately didn’t translate at the format.

HOME MALONE: I don’t know if we’ll be seeing Post Malone and Macaulay Culkin together anytime soon, but Malone is back on the CHR chart, overcoming those burglars who wanted to steal his spot in the top 50. “Congratulations”, featuring Quavo, makes its debut at #50 this week, as it also advances 13-10 on the Rhythmic airplay chart. Of course, he’s best known for the viral single “White Iverson”, which peaked at #28 here in January of last year. The 21-year-old released an album called Stoney in December, which was certified Platinum late last month, thanks to strong streaming results.

For those of you wondering, and there are probably very few of you out there, this is not a hot Vesta remake; that “Congratulations” was a top five Urban hit during the summer of 1989, before making a minor pop crossover that fall. Sadly, she passed away in 2011. I think it’s too early to tell whether the latest “Congratulations” will surpass the earlier one, but all that radio growth and consumption action seems to indicate that there’s certainly some life left in it for the spring and summer.

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RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 9, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a weekly report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: all the highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. So, call me Addie The Caddie, as we tee up a few tunes and putt down the usual pop course. That being said, let’s avoid those crowds at Mar-A-Lago. It sure is something when an owner has more holes in his stories than at his courses. Golf clubs, dance clubs… gotta cover them all here. So, let’s get shady with some musical ladies (mostly gentlemen this week, really) in the latest report:

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: Please, radio gods, can we please find another song to overplay? You know, one other than “Shape Of You”? Ed Sheeran‘s international hit is at #1 for an eighth week on the CHR/Top 40 chart, and someone (me) is really feeling the burn. At least it doesn’t set another record this week, but it also isn’t dropping like a rock yet. So, you know, let’s change that! Thank you. New single “Castle On The Hill” becomes Sheeran’s 13th top 40 entry on the pop chart, and second hit from ÷, as it climbs 43-36. “Galway Girl” and “Perfect” are two of the cuts that continue to perform well internationally. I’ll keep you updated if either song breaks at the format before an established impact date. For now, I think there’s plenty of him on the air.

Just below Sheeran, Bruno Mars holds at #2 for the second week with “That’s What I Like”, which looks set to hit #1 next week (or, at least I hope it’s able to seven days from now.) The last time an act recording for the Atlantic label (main roster or imprint) replaced another one at the top was about a year ago, when Flo Rida‘s “My House” knocked “Stressed Out” by twenty out pilots out on the March 13 chart. The duo returned to #1 later in the year with “Ride” (8/28/16 MB).

WHO’LL STOP THE CHAIN: Well, no one, at least for now. Duo The Chainsmokers continues to dominate on the pop survey this week, with two top ten songs from next week’s expected #1 album, Memories…Do Not Open. “Paris” is up 5-3, moving closer to a third #1 on the format for the guys, while “Something Just Like This” (with Coldplay) is up from 13-9. You probably caught them on Saturday Night Live last night, where they performed the former (featuring uncredited vocalist Emily Warren) and “Break Up Every Night”, a new cut from the album. Though “Something” is making the larger gains at this point, don’t be surprised if “Paris” stays in a holding pattern (while still gaining some) over the next few weeks.

Since their chart debut in 2001 with “Yellow” (#20, 4/27/01 R&R), Coldplay has scored with twelve top 40 songs on the CHR chart… but this is their first top ten hit. Yes, the four guys have never reached the top ten at the format until now. Previously, “Viva La Vida” (#11, 9/7/08 MB) and “A Sky Full Of Stars” (#12, 10/12/14 MB) came the closest to the region. Feel free to endlessly drag all of those lazy programmers at the format for allowing The Chainsmokers to be the reason Coldplay has one top ten song in 16 years. Honestly, kids, what are you doing?

DIRECTIONS AND CONNECTIONS: Harry Styles and ZAYN have gone in several directions musically, but the two singers in question, both bandmates in One Direction, are headed in an upward direction this week on the CHR chart. The latter singer’s new hit, “Still Got Time” (featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR), leaps from 34-26 in its third week on the chart, while the former singer grabs his first solo top 40 hit at #29 with “Sign Of The Times”. It’s the highest debut on the listing. Meanwhile, ZAYN’s former #2 single, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (with Taylor Swift), slips from 3-5. “Sign” initially debuted in a version that ran 5:40, and had that held as the single version, it could’ve had the longest radio edit run time of a top 40 hit since Queen‘s reissue of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1992. That #3 hit (5/1/92 R&R) from Wayne’s World clocked in at 5:55. (A 4:07 edit has since been serviced to several formats.) Just a couple of months ago, ZAYN appeared on the chart at the same time as two other One Direction members, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan.

Of course, One Direction is not the first boyband to launch two of its members into the top 40 at the same time. In 2003, JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake of *NSYNC appeared on the pop chart simultaneously, the former with “Blowin’ Me Up (With Her Love)” (#13, 2/21/03 R&R) and the latter with “Cry Me A River” (#3, 1/24-2/14/03 R&R) and “Rock Your Body” (#1, 5/9-6/6/03 R&R). In 1999, two members of New Kids On The Block, Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight, landed in the top 40 together. McIntyre’s “Stay The Same” (#16, 4/9/99 R&R) and “I Love You Came Too Late” (#28, 8/6/99 R&R) charted, as Knight’s “Give It To You” (#14, 5/21-6/11/99 R&R) was headed up and down the CHR survey. (The latter singer’s “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man” (#31, 9/24/99 R&R) could’ve appeared with “Late” in the top 40, but it was late… by a week.)

DOES A “BODY” GOOD: 49-year-old David Guetta has six top ten pop hits to his credit, and he’s looking for his seventh with an interesting collaboration that features Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, both of whom have appeared on prior Guetta tunes. “Light My Body Up”, which actually sounds pretty painful, lights up the survey at #50 this week. “Body” was one of the top ten Most Added hits at the format last week, and it could be there again this Tuesday, so stay tuned! Minaj is currently featured on another top 40 song at the moment, “Swalla” by Jason Derulo, which rises from 29-27.

It’s hard to believe that Guetta has been charting for nearly a decade now, first hitting in the spring of 2008 with “Love Is Gone”. The single (#41, 5/11/08 MB) featured vocalist Chris Willis, who also appeared on the DJ/producer’s “Gettin’ Over You” (#19, 7/18/10 MB) before disappearing from the pop chart. I do hope that he, and his body, are okay. (Don’t try lighting up anything at home, you’ll regret it quickly.)

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RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (April 2, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a weekly report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: all the highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. April Fools’ Day may be done now, but this roadblock in the top 20 on the CHR chart is no joke. Get it together, kids. Meanwhile, it’s time for me to turn onto that golden Top 40 thruway, a lovely drive through pop pastimes and into the bops and bullets of now:

NEVER GONNA LEAVE THIS ED: If you think the beginning of my weekly report is starting to sound like a broken record, well, it is. No, really, Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape Of You” is at #1 for the seventh week on the CHR/Top 40 chart, and it breaks another record. Once again, it accumulates the largest number of spins for a song in a given week: 19,724, besting the total of 19,603 it received three weeks ago. For our viewers at home, this means that the average spin-per-station total for it is just over 108 plays, or just over 15 per day, or your local Top 40 outlet spinning it once every 93 minutes. In short, it’s a monster. Second single “Castle On The Hill” takes a small move upward from 45-43, while “Galway Girl” is losing ground at the few stations that were leading on it. I guess the only thing we’ll be kissing is the radio brand, not the Blarney Stone, at least for now.

However, there is now another competitor looking to take on Mr. Sheeran for that top spot, one who just so happens to share a label with him. Bruno Mars advances from 5-2 this week with “That’s What I Like”, the second single off his 24K Magic album. Sheeran’s hit is too far away for Mars’s single to dethrone it next week, but I expect that it’ll happen later on in the month. Sadly, I’m afraid that we’re unable to ship the English singer/songwriter to Mars at this point, but after his era is over, that might sound like a great idea.

DOING WHAT’S “BEST”: The new hit from Machine Gun Kelly and Hailee Steinfeld has been the second Most Added song at the format for two weeks in a row, and before you start with the whole “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” spiel, it seems like the panel is falling for it, while the two performers are climbing on up. “At My Best” soars from 42-30, giving Kelly his second top 40 hit, while Steinfeld has her fourth. Of course, as much as you readers appreciate me at my best when it comes to chart analysis, you’ll find me at my worst at 4:35 on some idle Sunday, yelling at my browser to refresh with the published update for the umpteenth time. (Yes, I need help. Just kidding. No, maybe I do.)

In Radio & Records history, four songs with “best” in either their main or subtitles hit the best spot on the pop chart, with two sitting at the top for four weeks: “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” (9/25-10/16/81) from Christopher Cross, and “Save The Best For Last” (3/20-4/10/92) by Vanessa Williams. It’s never happened in the Mediabase era, so we’ll see if Kelly and Steinfeld climb towards that goal in the coming weeks.

THREE’S COMPANY: No Chrissy, Jack and Janet here, but I’m sure Aubrey, Dua and Rory would make for an interesting show as well. Much like the upper rungs of the chart, the lower part is also slower this week. However, Drake leads a pack of three debuts on the survey, jumping in at #39 with “Passionfruit”. Counting main-credited, featured and group (I’m looking at you, Young Money‘s “BedRock”) appearances, the Canadian performer has 22 top 40 hits thus far, which also sounds like the number of incarnations that Degrassi‘s gone through over the decades. Of course, his first hit at the format, “Best I Ever Had”, reached a #9 peak in August 2009. “Passionfruit” is the second charting song from More Life; the first, “Fake Love”, not to be confused with “fake news”, drops to #35.

In the top 50, there are two additional new entries this week: “Human” (#45) by Rag’N’Bone Man and “Be The One” (#48) by Dua Lipa. Both are recent hits from Europe, with “Human” dominating the top of the charts in countries like Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, just to name a few. Lipa’s song, a recent top ten single in the United Kingdom, was one of three tracks (two featured appearances) to chart in the top 15 at the same time, a pretty impressive feat for a relative newcomer. How high will they go later this year? Stay tuned, and grab the popcorn already. The suspense is killing me…

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Eye For An “I”: Personal Pop In The Top 40

Healthy hit music.

Healthy hit music.

One of the records looking to break the top 40 on the pop radio chart in the next week or so is “Me, Myself & I”, a song off rapper G-Eazy‘s When It’s Dark Out albumIt features Bebe Rexha. The lead performer, born Gerald Gillum, has never charted at the format before, while Rexha has a few featured credits (and one main credit) to her name on pop radio. It’s also a top seller, now a top ten hit on iTunes. For someone that’s been releasing mixtapes since 2007, it’s been a long time coming, and I’m sure he’s very excited at what’s happening across the multiple formats that his single is gaining airplay on.

When it hits the region, the latest “Me, Myself & I” will be the fourth such single with that title to reach the top 40 since 1999, and though there are more common song titles out there, it’s pretty rare for a four-word title like this one to rank as often as it has. As it is Thursday, a day of throwbacks galore, we thought we’d throw it back to check out the remaining three songs the collaboration will be joining in that small club. Let’s see if you remember them all…

**All statistics are taken from the CHR/Pop chart archives of Radio & Records magazine.

Vitamin C, “Me, Myself And I” (1999/2000) (#31, Dec. 17)
Colleen Fitzpatrick, now a music executive at Nickelodeon, enjoyed a couple of good years on the pop radio survey, with this song becoming the second of three to hit the listing from her self-titled debut era. It peaked during the last reporting week of 1999, but it did spend three weeks in the top 40 in January 2000. The cut contains an interpolation of Santana‘s “No One To Depend On”.

Jive Jones, “Me, Myself & I” (2001) (#40, Sep. 14)
The Miami-born act began his music career as a co-writer and producer before recording his own material. This was his only song to chart in the U.S., and it just missed the top ten in The Netherlands. The printed chart of September 14 represented the week of data prior to the 9/11 attacks, and after the tragic events of that day, Jones’s song (along with many other songs) never recovered.

Beyoncé, “Me, Myself And I” (2003/2004) (#18, Feb. 6 + Feb. 20)
After two back-to-back #1 singles in 2003 with “Crazy In Love” and “Baby Boy”, Knowles couldn’t quite reach the same heights on the pop radio chart with this slower song. However, it was still a big Urban radio hit, where it reached the top three. Dangerously In Love, its parent album, recently crossed five million albums sold in the U.S. alone, remaining her top solo release in the States.

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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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All Covered Up: The Potential Return Of The Top 40 Remake

Will they

Will they “Own” a piece of the pop chart?

In the next few weeks, and perhaps months, you might be hearing these two songs on your local pop radio station. They are “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)” by DJ/producer Felix Jaehn and singer Jasmine Thompson, and “You Don’t Own Me” by singer Grace and rapper G-Eazy. The former release was a top ten hit in over a dozen European countries, while the latter hit was a big chart success in Australia and New Zealand. It just so happens that both of these solid singles are also remakes: the original “Ain’t Nobody” went to #20 on R&R’s radio chart in late 1983 for Rufus and Chaka Khan, while Lesley Gore‘s “You Don’t Own Me” nearly reached the top of the Hot 100, spending three weeks at #2 in February 1964. (Blame The Beatles and their hands…)

Having two covers go to radio at the same, especially two recognizable hits of different eras (and a third actually chart earlier this year) has become a rarity, with most artists and bands using samples of songs rather than covering them in full. Given the success of these two tracks in other countries, not only does that help in breaking the songs over here, but it may also help reestablish the cover song as not just something for a live audience or a one-off specialty show, but as an option for a promotional vehicle during the life of an album. There was one cover in the top ten this week in 2005, and there were two dance covers (plus a pop version of a country hit) this week in 1995. It’s certainly something to think about as a technique that’s worked in the past, but shouldn’t stay a concept of the past given the potential visibility to soak up (appearances, syncs, etc.)

With all that said, here’s a look back at how receptive (and not-so-receptive) the pop radio chart has been to remakes of prior hits in the 2000’s, with the biggest cover of each year featured, along with its original charted version. It is anyone’s guess as to where these latest two will land, but we’ll see how they do. (For more covers that landed outside the top 40, check out the new PGTC list on Spotify.)

NOTE: This list only includes cover songs of prior chart singles and not all covers period. All peaks are from the R&R CHR/Pop charts, except for those marked with a *, indicating a Hot 100 peak. Do we really care to remember that “We Are The World 25 For Haiti” still exists?

2000
“American Pie” by Madonna (#15, March)
Cover of: “American Pie” by Don McLean (#1 for four weeks*, January – February 1972)

2001
“Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink (#1 for nine weeks, May – July)
Cover of: “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle (#3, March 1975)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Emotion” (#8, November) by Destiny’s Child (originally charted by: Samantha Sang)
“I’m A Believer” (#17, August) by Smash Mouth (originally charted by: The Monkees*)
“Smooth Criminal” (#13, October) by Alien Ant Farm (originally charted by: Michael Jackson)
“What’s Going On” (#25, October) by All-Star Tribute (originally charted by: Marvin Gaye*)

2002
“Heaven” by DJ Sammy, Yanou and Do (#4, August / #34, December in a separate chart run for the Candlelight Mix)
Cover of: “Heaven” by Bryan Adams (#1 for one week, June 1985)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Papa Don’t Preach” (#25, July) by Kelly Osbourne (originally charted by: Madonna)

2003
“It’s My Life” by No Doubt (#5, December – January 2004)
Cover of: “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk (#31, May 1985)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Big Yellow Taxi” (#30, May) by Counting Crows featuring Vanessa Carlton (originally charted by: The Neighborhood*)
“Drift Away” (#10, July-August) by Uncle Kracker featuring Dobie Gray (originally charted by: Dobie Gray*)
“I Drove All Night” (#27, March) by Celine Dion (originally charted by: Cyndi Lauper)
“Landslide” (#12, February-March) by Dixie Chicks (originally charted by: Fleetwood Mac*)
“The Boys Of Summer” (#10, September) by The Ataris (originally charted by: Don Henley)

2004
“Take My Breath Away” by Jessica Simpson (#8, May)
Cover of: “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin (#2, August 1986)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Angels” (#23, July) by Jessica Simpson (originally charted by: Robbie Williams)
“Behind Blue Eyes” (#25, March) by Limp Bizkit (originally charted by: The Who)
“My Prerogative” (#22, October) by Britney Spears (originally charted by: Bobby Brown)
“Our Lips Are Sealed” (#39, July) by Hilary and Haylie Duff (originally charted by: The Go-Go’s)
“The First Cut Is The Deepest” (#11, March) by Sheryl Crow (originally charted by: Keith Hampshire*)

2005
“Listen To Your Heart” by D.H.T. (#1 for one week, September)
Cover of: “Listen To Your Heart” by Roxette (#1, October 1989)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Axel F” (#36, August) by Crazy Frog (originally charted by: Harold Faltermeyer)
“More Than Words” (#15, October) by Frankie J (originally charted by: Extreme)
“These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” (#30, July) by Jessica Simpson (originally charted by: Nancy Sinatra)

2007
“She’s Like The Wind” by Lumidee featuring Tony Sunshine (#18, March)
Cover of: “She’s Like The Wind” by Patrick Swayze featuring Wendy Fraser (#2, February 1988)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Time After Time” (#28, August) by Quietdrive (originally charted by: Cyndi Lauper)

2008
“What Hurts The Most” by Cascada (#30, March)
Cover of: “What Hurts The Most” by Rascal Flatts (#24, September 2006)

2009
“Beggin'” by Madcon (#32, May)
Cover of: “Beggin'” by The 4 Seasons (#16*, April 1967)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Careless Whisper” (#40, July) by Seether (originally charted by: Wham! / George Michael)

2015 (so far)
“What I Like About You” by 5 Seconds Of Summer (#29, January)
Cover of: “What I Like About You” by The Romantics (#49*, March 1980)

What’s your favorite cover or covers listed above? Let me know! Follow the blog by using the button below or find PGTC on your social media service of choice by clicking on the “Get Social!” tab above.

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