Adele's "21" becomes just the 20th album in the Billboard 200's five-decade-plus history to reign for at least 16 weeks
CHART INK: Van Halen's reunion single with longtime (but longtime gone) lead singer David Lee Roth, "Tattoo," soars onto an array of Billboard charts after its first week of availability.
The song previews the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band's Feb. 7 album "A Different Kind of Truth," its first with Roth since "1984." The latter set, which has sold 10 million albums, according to the RIAA, debuted on the Billboard 200 the week of Jan. 28, 1984. Coincidentally, this week's charts are dated Jan. 28, 2012.
"Tattoo" begins at No. 67 on the Hot 100, where it's the group's 23rd entry and first since 1995. (Doubly coincidental, Van Halen first appeared on the chart in the Jan. 28, 1978, issue). "Tattoo" launches at No. 1 on Hard Rock Digital Songs with 34,000 downloads sold, according to SoundScan, and No. 16 on Rock Songs with 4.6 million first-week audience impressions on 78 stations, according to Nielsen BDS.
The buzz of Van Halen's return renews interest in the group's sole Hot 100 leader, its 1984 (and "1984") hit "Jump," which re-enters Hard Rock Digital Songs at No. 11 (7,000 downloads, up 97%).
QUEEN'S BOW: The legendary Queen of Soul debuts her first song on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in four years, as Aretha Franklin's "How Long I've Been Waiting" debuts at No. 93.
How long has Franklin been charting on the survey? The track extends her chart span to 51 years and three months, dating to her introduction the week of Oct. 24, 1960, with the No. 10-peaking "Today I Sing the Blues."
The newly-engaged Franklin has sent 20 titles to No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, a sum that ties her with Stevie Wonder for the top total in the chart's archives. She first reigned with "I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)" for seven weeks in 1967 and most recently led with "Freeway of Love" (two weeks, 1985).
Franklin's Otis Redding-penned signature song "Respect" represents her longest penthouse residence (eight weeks, 1968).
VOICES CARRY: R&B radio also welcomes back one the '90s' most notable vocal groups.
After a 14-year hiatus from the Adult R&B airplay chart, SWV - Sisters With Voices - returns with "Co-Sign" at No. 36. The song previews the reunited trio's upcoming as-yet-untitled first album for the eOne label.
SWV - Coko (Cheryl Gamble), Lelee (Leanne Lyons) and Taj (Tamara Johnson-George) - logged nine titles on Adult R&B, including the No. 5 hits "Right Here (Human Nature)" and "Anything," in 1993-98.
During the group's lull, Johnson-George apparently missed the sense of competition that jockeying for weekly chart positions elicits. In 2009, she challenged herself to outwit, outplay and outlast her tribe mates on CBS' "Survivor: Tocantins."
In what could hardly be called a "weak" performance, she finished fourth.