Tag Archives: The Sound Of Silence

Enjoy The “Silence”: An Active Look At Rock Crossovers

Disturbed, but determined.

Disturbed, but determined.

It’s one of those surprising sales stories of 2016. How could a metal band doing a Simon & Garfunkel cover sell 370,000 copies of their single with minuscule pop airplay? Well, it’s happening to Disturbed, the group from Chicago that’s had many hits on the Active Rock listing since 2000. Given their dark imagery and loud sound, it’s no surprise that the act performs well there, but stays well away from any format where it would be played next to the likes of… oh, you know, Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift. Well, it appears that may be changing, as their record label, Reprise, is beginning to test the waters at CHR/Pop (and Hot AC) radio with a very reactive record.

“The Sound Of Silence” is already in rotation at stations in Baltimore, New Orleans and San Francisco across the two panels, with a number of other markets likely to add the record soon enough. Considering it’s a few weeks away from achieving 500,000 in sales, not to mention its 20+ million Spotify streams and 30+ million video views, this one looks like a monster… literally. Interestingly, this comes at a time when a #1 at Active Rock radio (“Sound” has been atop that chart for five weeks) hasn’t charted in the CHR top 50 since the fall of 2012. The Pretty Reckless narrowly missed the chart in 2014 with “Heaven Knows”, but “Sound” is the more popular sound when it comes to pure statistics, and has a better shot at hitting the top 50 than “Heaven” did.

With the dry spell of Active Rock crossovers now versus the more accepting crossover runs of 10-15 years ago, let’s have a look at a list of the chart-topping Active hits that also grabbed some CHR ground from 2000 until the current day:

All data prior to the summer of 2006 is from Radio & Records, with Mediabase 24/7 used to the current day. Peaks marked with an * represent those with the addition of two frozen charts around the holidays. This freeze was discontinued in 2006.

2000
Creed – “Higher” (#1 for 17* weeks – Active, 1999-2000) (#3 – CHR, 2000)
3 Doors Down – “Kryptonite” (#1 for 10 weeks – Active, 2000) (#1 for five weeks – CHR, 2000)
Creed – “With Arms Wide Open” (#1 for two weeks – Active, 2000) (#1 for five weeks – CHR, 2000)
Papa Roach – “Last Resort” (#1 for eight weeks – Active, 2000) (#40 – CHR, 2000)
3 Doors Down – “Loser” (#1 for eight weeks – Active, 2000) (#39 – CHR, 2000)

2000 became a great breakout year at CHR radio for both 3 Doors Down and Creed, who would go onto several successful eras at the format. “Kryptonite” and “With Arms Wide Open” became back-to-back #1’s that fall, holding atop the list for ten big weeks.

2001
Staind – “It’s Been Awhile” (#1 for 11 weeks – Active, 2001) (#4 – CHR, 2001)
Nickelback – “How You Remind Me” (#1 for 11 weeks – Active, 2001) (#1 for ten* weeks – CHR, 2001-2)

Two more newcomers with massive Active Rock chart-toppers made crossover runs in 2001, with both becoming signature hits for Staind and Nickelback. “How You Remind Me” outlasted “It’s Been Awhile” after they fell off the survey, but both did very well.

2002
Linkin Park – “In The End” (#1 for seven* weeks – Active, 2001-2) (#1 for six weeks – CHR, 2002)
Puddle Of Mudd – “Blurry” (#1 for eight weeks – Active, 2002) (#4 – CHR, 2002)
Nickelback – “Too Bad” (#1 for one week – Active, 2002) (#25 – CHR, 2002)

Another two new groups broke through in 2002: two-hit wonder Puddle Of Mudd (“She Hates Me” hit #7 on CHR that year) and Linkin Park, with their combination of rap and rock proving likable for a mainstream audience. “In The End” is still their top hit.

2003
3 Doors Down – “When I’m Gone” (#1 for one week – Active, 2003) (#1 for one week – CHR, 2003)
Linkin Park – “Somewhere I Belong” (#1 for eight weeks – Active, 2003) (#47 – CHR, 2003)
Trapt – “Headstrong” (#1 for one week – Active, 2003) (#5 – CHR, 2003)
Audioslave – “Like A Stone” (#1 for one week – Active, 2003) (#29 – CHR, 2003)
Staind – “So Far Away” (#1 for four weeks – Active, 2003) (#18 – CHR, 2004)

By the end of 2003, 16 #1 songs on the Active Rock chart placed in the top 50 on the CHR/Pop chart, 15 of them making the top 40 and ten making the top ten. Audioslave and Trapt were fresh on the chart this year, while Active mainstays continued to do well.

2004
Linkin Park – “Numb” (#1 for ten* weeks – Active, 2003-4) (#5 – CHR, 2004)
Crossfade – “Cold” (#1 for two weeks – Active, 2004) (#22 – CHR, 2005)

After the success of “Numb”, an Urban-driven revival at many pop stations lead some harder rock material to be shunned, but that didn’t stop some songs from crossing over. “Cold” experienced two pushes at CHR, spending months on the list until August 2005.

2005
Green Day – “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#1 for nine weeks – Active, 2005) (#1 for four weeks – CHR, 2005)
Staind – “Right Here” (#1 for two weeks – Active, 2005) (#9 – CHR, 2006)
Nickelback – “Photograph” (#1 for two weeks – Active, 2005) (#3 – CHR, 2005)

The rise of digital downloads helped some acts regain their footing at pop radio. Green Day‘s huge American Idiot album was the talk of the town, and singles from Nickelback (one of five top tens from All The Right Reasons) and Staind had stellar longevity.

2006
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Dani California” (#1 for three weeks – Active, 2006) (#24 – CHR, 2006)
Stone Sour – “Through Glass” (#1 for six weeks – Active, 2006) (#23 – CHR, 2006-7)

2006 was another down year for Active Rock songs, even with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and their comeback. It dominated the rock world, but they were just “too old” for some pop stations to play. Stone Sour had their biggest crossover track during 2006.

2007
Three Days Grace – “Pain” (#1 for nine weeks – Active, 2006-7) (#47 – CHR, 2007)
Linkin Park – “What I’ve Done” (#1 for eight weeks – Active, 2007) (#18 – CHR, 2007)
Finger Eleven – “Paralyzer” (#1 for two weeks – Active, 2007) (#5 – CHR, 2007)
Three Days Grace – “Never Too Late” (#1 for six weeks – Active, 2007) (#14 – CHR, 2008)

After charting with “One Thing” in 2004, Finger Eleven struck the pop top ten with another big record. It hit 30 weeks in the top 50 in early 2008. Three Days Grace went top 40 for the first time since 2004, with “Never” being their final CHR single to date.

2008
3 Doors Down – “It’s Not My Time” (#1 for two weeks – Active, 2008) (#10 – CHR, 2008)
Theory Of A Deadman – “Bad Girlfriend” (#1 for four weeks – Active, 2008) (#46 – CHR, 2009)

After multiple top ten hits, including the aforementioned “Kryptonite” and “When I’m Gone”, 3 Doors Down had one last trip to the region in July. “It’s Not My Time” spent one week at #10. Theory Of A Deadman also made their crossover debut that year.

2009
Shinedown – “Second Chance” (#1 for eight weeks – Active, 2009) (#4 – CHR, 2009)
Linkin Park – “New Divide” (#1 for eight week – Active, 2009) (#27 – CHR, 2009)

The Florida group Shinedown had a career song beginning in late 2008 (and early 2009 at pop) with that big ballad, one of a few token rock hits to make their way to the pop airwaves towards the latter part of the decade. The band had a total of three CHR hits.

2012
Linkin Park – “Burn It Down” (#1 for two weeks – Active, 2012) (#23 – CHR, 2012)

Far from their glory days, but still making radio hits, Linkin Park landed the two most recent Active Rock chart-toppers to find a home on the CHR/Pop chart. Question is, will Disturbed claim the next one and put 2016 on the map for crossovers? Stay tuned.

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GRAMMY Flashback: The Year Without A Best New Artist

They got the "Boot".

Two of the acts that got the “Boot”.

Welcome to GRAMMY Week! This week, from Monday to Friday, you’ll be treated to some special GRAMMY related topics, from the past to the present, all leading up to the music’s biggest night on Sunday at 8PM eastern on CBS. Let’s dive into today’s post…

As you’re probably aware, Best New Artist is one of the big four categories presented on the night, first given out in 1959 to Bobby Darin. The award’s been presented to some performers that have gone on to illustrious careers: The Beatles, The Carpenters, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5 and more. The award also cursed more than a few acts it was given to: Bobbie GentryThe Starland Vocal Band, Rickie Lee Jones, Marc Cohn, Arrested Development, and others. Oh, let’s not forget Milli Vanilli, whose win was taken away after it was revealed that the two men weren’t singing their own records. Oops. Yet, what happens when the Award isn’t awarded to anyone at all even when there was plenty of new talent out there? Then, you get the 1967 GRAMMY Awards.

For some reason that’s still unclear to this day, no Best New Artist was appointed at the 1967 ceremony, which reflected the music of 1966. I figure I could highlight some of the acts that released their first big singles during that year and would’ve been eligible for the Award. Then, you can decide who should have been the big winner. I have my pick(s). The 1966 GRAMMY Awards had seven nominees for Best New Artist; I’ll limit my category to five, as is the standard today. And, the nominees are…

NANCY SINATRA
The daughter of the iconic Frank Sinatra had a big year in 1966. After a failed single in “So Long, Babe”, Sinatra went to the top of the Hot 100 with “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'”, which became her signature song. Written by Lee Hazlewood, it spent one week at #1. It also led Sinatra to three other top-40 singles during the year, including “Sugar Town” (#5) and “How Does That Grab You, Darlin’?” (#7). Her father won Best Album for A Man And His Music and Record Of The Year for “Strangers In The Night” at the 1967 GRAMMY Awards… who’s to say she couldn’t have followed him?

PERCY SLEDGE
The R&B singer from Alabama crooned his way to the #1 spot on the Hot 100 in May 1966 with “When A Man Loves A Woman”. It spent two weeks at the top. He managed two other top-20 hits during the year, both of which hit the top ten on the R&B chart. He wouldn’t have been the strongest choice to win, but with a big debut single, he could have swayed some of the voters to go his way. (He ultimately wouldn’t hit the top ten on the Hot 100 again, though he came close with the #11 “Take Time To Know Her” in 1968.)

SIMON & GARFUNKEL
This duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel spent years under an assortment of names trying to hit the big time, but it wasn’t until 1965 that a song from their album released the year prior, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., began receiving airplay at a few markets. Officially released in the fall, “The Sound Of Silence” spent two weeks at #1 in January 1966. The band went onto release four other top-40 hits during 1966, including the #3 “I Am A Rock” and “Homeward Bound” (#5). The duo garnered several GRAMMY Awards for later hits like 1968’s “Mrs. Robinson” and 1970’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Was it to make up for the lack of a Best New Artist win? They certainly would’ve been a huge act in the hunt for it had there been a category that year.

THE ASSOCIATION
Another of the big vocal groups out of California, they first the Hot 100 in 1966 with “Along Comes Mary” (#7) with a lead vocal by Jim Yester. However, it was a song sung and written by vocalist Terry Kirkman that took the band to #1 for three weeks in September: “Cherish”. Both releases can be found on And Then… Along Comes The Association, which made the top 5 on the Billboard 200 album chart. If the voters on the panel wanted a more traditional-sounding act to win the Award, the baroque pop flavor of their material may have worked out for them.

THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS
In terms of success in 1966, this group had the biggest and most consistent pack of singles during the year. The quintet out of New York City took the charts by storm, first with a #4 hit, the classic “Calfornia Dreamin'”. That record was followed by three other consecutive top-5 singles: “Monday, Monday” (#1 for three weeks), “I Saw Her Again” (#5) and “Words Of Love” (#5). Up to that point, a mixed group of men and woman had never won the Award. Could the band have achieved that feat before The Carpenters took it at the 1971 ceremony? Might have happened “for all we know”.

Other acts to make their debut that year that might have been nominated:
Neil Diamond: his first big top ten, “Cherry Cherry”, may have come too late in the year to get him a nomination. Plus, he’s only received two nominations total and both have been for movie soundtracks.
The Rascals: had a big #1 in “Good Lovin'”, but their other 1966 singles weren’t big successes. They continued to make the top 40 until 1969.

So, who do you think would’ve won it all? I’d say Nancy Sinatra and Simon & Garfunkel had the best chance of getting it, the former based on name and the latter based on how the Academy lavished them with Awards at future ceremonies. How about you? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel. Stay tuned for more GRAMMY posts as the week continues!

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