Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa connect to Hot 100 history through 'Payphone.'
As the pop/rock band and rapper roar onto the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 3, the song ties with two others for the highest-charting hit with the word "phone" in its title.
In 2009, Soulja Boy Tell 'Em's "Kiss Me Thru the Phone," featuring Sammie, reached No. 3. A year later, Lady Gaga's "Telephone," featuring Beyonce, likewise climbed to No. 3. Trivia: the Lady Gaga/Beyonce "Telephone" connection came about after the superstar pair met at the 2009 Billboard Women in Music Event, at which Beyonce was named Billboard Woman of the Year and Lady Gaga, Rising Star. ("The whole world is waiting to see what (Lady Gaga's) next outrageous but brilliant move or style will be," Billboard editorial director Bill Werde correctly predicted at the time.)
Here is a look at the top-peaking songs with the word "phone" in their titles in the Hot 100's 53-year history. Quite logically, the top three songs sporting the word "phone" each feature two voices:
Peak Position, Title, Artist, Year
No. 3, "Payphone," Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, 2012
No. 3, "Telephone," Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce, 2010
No. 3, "Kiss Me Thru the Phone," Soulja Boy Tell 'Em featuring Sammie, 2009
No. 7, "Telephone Line," Electric Light Orchestra, 1977
No. 9, "Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair)," Sheena Easton, 1983
No. 12, "Mr. Telephone Man," New Edition, 1985
No. 17, "Telephone Man," Meri Wilson, 1977
No. 23, "Telephone," "Glee" cast, 2010
No. 28, "I Wish the Phone Would Ring," Expose, 1992
No. 35, "Obscene Phone Caller," Rockwell, 1984
No. 35, "Kissin' on the Phone," Paul Anka, 1961
(In 1996, Primitive Radio Gods hit No. 10 on Radio Songs with "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand" but, because the song was not released as a commercial single, it was not eligible to chart on the Hot 100 at the time.)
Other songs about phone calls have sprinted to the top of the Hot 100 but, more commonly, without the word "phone" specifically in their titles. In 1980, Blondie spent six weeks at No. 1 with "Call Me." (Two years earlier, the band had released its uncharted classic, "Hanging on the Telephone.") In 1985, Stevie Wonder racked three weeks at No. 1 with "I Just Called to Say I Love You" and, in 1989, Milli Vanilli led for a week with "Baby, Don't Forget My Number."
The most famous musical phone number reached No. 4 in 1982: Tommy Tutone's "867-5309/Jenny."
Two years later, the American Comedy Network dialed up a parody of Neil Sedaka's "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do." As the Bell System (AT&T) split into separate companies after more than a century of providing phone service to much of North America, "Breaking Up Is Hard on You" climbed to No. 70 on the Hot 100.
"Remember when you'd make a call, and you'd get through, no sweat at all?," the group sings. "Now, we wait the whole night through, 'cause breaking up is hard on you.
"They say that breaking up is good to do, but then they send six bills to you. Reach out and touch some other fool. Yes, breaking up is hard on you."
'SOMEBODY' GETTING MORE WELL-'KNOW'N: Further evidence of the reach of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," featuring Kimbra? As it tops the Hot 100 for a second week, it debuts on Adult Contemporary at No. 28 and the Rhythmic airplay chart at No. 34. It leads Alternative Songs for an eighth week and the adult alternative Triple A tally for an 11th frame.
"Somebody" continues its ascents on Pop Songs (14-11), Adult Pop Songs (7-6) and Dance/Club Play Songs (7-4). On the Billboard 200, parent album "Making Mirrors" spends its second week at its No. 7 peak to date.
Universal Republic EVP/promotion and artist development Joel Klaiman says that the song's unique hook and production has helped pave its crossover to so many formats.
"Radio wanted to know more about Gotye from the first listen and/or video view. We made it a mandate to our staff to explain that Gotye is so much more than just this song," Klaiman says. Follow-up single "Eyes Wide Open," meanwhile, debuts on the Hot 100 at No. 96.
"Gotye is a true multi-instrumentalist/performer with an album full of great songs."
GOING WITHOUT THE FLO: If Flo Rida is a pessimist, he might fret that his songs can be hits without him. If he's an optimist, he'll simply marvel at the scope of his most recent smashes.
This week, a permutation of his current hit "Wild Ones," featuring Sia, reaches the top of Dance/Club Play Songs. The Sunshine State rapper doesn't appear on the song, however. A reworked version of the original track (which bullets at No. 6 on the Hot 100), dubbed "Wild One Two," jumps 2-1 and is credited to Jack Back featuring David Guetta, Nicky Romero and Sia. The remix retains Sia's chorus from Flo Rida's version but drops his rapped verses.
"Wild Ones" is the second Flo Rida hit this year available in a similar version without him. As his "Good Feeling" rose to No. 3 on the Hot 100, Avicii's "Levels," which "Feeling" samples, surged to No. 60 (after topping Dance/Club Play Songs in December).
While Church's ode to the rocker reaches the top tier, the real-life Boss has yet to inhabit the region as an artist or writer. Mel McDaniel did, however, climb to No. 12 on Country Songs in 1986 with the Springsteen-penned "Stand on It." (Springsteen had released his own version of the song in 1985 as the B-side to his Hot 100 top 10 "Glory Days".)
Springsteen has appeared as an artist on Country Songs, but only as part of USA for Africa's "We Are the World," which peaked at No. 76 in 1985.
AS 'GOOD' AS EVER: Wilson Phillips debuts on Adult Contemporary at No. 25 with an a capella version of "Good Vibrations," the first single from the trio's Beach Boys/Mamas & the Papas covers album, "Dedicated," which entered the Billboard 200 at No. 29 two weeks ago.
While the Beach Boys' original version of the 1966 classic, and Hot 100 No. 1, never appeared on Adult Contemporary (in a time when the more mellow sounds of such acts as Ray Conniff, Roger Miller and Frank Sinatra ruled the chart), "Vibrations" did reach No. 20 as part of "The Beach Boys' Medley" in 1981. The mash-up also includes portions of "Help Me, Rhonda," "I Get Around," "Shut Down," "Surfin' Safari," "Barbara Ann," "Surfin' USA" and "Fun, Fun, Fun" (the latter of which Wilson Phillips also covers on its new tribute set).
The Beach Boys, meanwhile, could soon score their first AC chart appearance since 1996. The band has just released the title cut from its 29th studio album, "That's Why God Made the Radio," due June 5. The set, the Beach Boys' first album of all-original songs in more than two decades, celebrates the iconic group's 50th anniversary.
"Radio was my whole education," Brian Wilson says of the new song and album's inspiration. "Chuck Berry, Rosemary Clooney, the Four Freshmen, Phil Spector, Little Richard ...
"To hear 'That's Why God Made the Radio' on the radio would be a thrill beyond belief."