Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS
I was wondering if you could help me win a bet I have with my brother. I say that Fleetwood Mac has had more hits than the band Chicago and has, thus, been more successful.
Which one of us gets to brag?
Thanks so much!
I notice you ask me to help you "win a bet." You don't request that I help "settle a bet." Careful, you wouldn't want your brother to be suspicious that you influenced the judge's decision ...
Since you didn't qualify "hits," or which charts to use, let's look at this from a couple of angles.
In terms of overall hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100, Chicago has collected 46, Fleetwood Mac 25. Their top 40 totals stand at 34 for Chicago and 18 for the Mac. Chicago has notched 20 top 10s, Fleetwood Mac nine. Chicago also has more No. 1s, three to one. So, as for hit singles, Chicago wins.
Now let's check each group's album sales since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991 (realizing, of course, that the acts released much of their highest-charting product in the '70s and '80s). Since the dawn of the SoundScan era, Chicago has totaled 11.9 million in album sales. Fleetwood Mac has sold 16.6 million. So, going by album sales according to Nielsen SoundScan, Fleetwood Mac wins.
A possible tie-breaker? Fleetwood Mac was enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Despite its immense success, Chicago, surprisingly, has yet to be elected.
When it comes to your bet, I'll diplomatically stand back and let you and your brother interpret the information as you see fit. Fleetwood Mac's most recent Hot 100 entry was, after all, entitled "Peacekeeper."
A couple questions for you regarding two chart items this week.
First, it should come as no surprise to fans of the recent "Scrubs" finale that the beautiful Peter Gabriel song "The Book of Love," played in the May 6 episode, has propelled the five-year-old soundtrack "Shall We Dance," featuring the song, back to the top 10 of the Top Soundtracks chart. To your knowledge, has a song that old or older brought back any other albums, soundtrack or otherwise, to a Billboard chart after such a lengthy absence?
My second question is about the item in this week's Chart Beat noting that Daughtry's self-titled album has rebounded to No. 50 from No. 177 in its 129th week on the Billboard 200. That's great and all, but since it had ranked below No. 100 after more than 78 weeks, per the chart's recurrent rule, shouldn't it now be on the Top Pop Catalog chart instead? That's where we find Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' "Raising Sand" album, and that set is younger than Daughtry's. What's the deal?
As always, keep up the great work in keeping us in tune (pun intended) with the Billboard charts every week!
Ron Raymond, Jr.
Count me among those "Scrubs" fans. I thought the use of the Peter Gabriel song was just another example of how well the series consistently used touching ballads to great effect. On a related musical note, frequent guest star Colin Hay even showed up for one final cameo in the episode.
Gabriel's track does, indeed, spur a No. 10 re-entry on Top Soundtracks for "Shall We Dance," with sales of 2,000, a 1,423% increase over last week. The set first charted on Oct. 30, 2004, at its peak of No 6. It racked 28 weeks, last appearing Oct. 15, 2005, until this week. It has sold 310,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Older songs do sometimes cause older albums to return to our charts, and, often, TV is the catalyst. Not surprisingly, "American Idol" provides perhaps the best recent example. In March 2008, finalist Jason Castro performed the Leonard Cohen composition "Hallelujah." His cover caused the late Jeff Buckley's version, recorded more than a decade earlier, to enter Hot Digital Songs at No. 1 (178,000 downloads sold) in the March 22, 2008, Billboard. Buckley's album "Grace" likewise entered Top Pop Catalog at No. 10 that week. It had last charted on the Billboard 200 dated July 1, 1995.
Ask Billboard readers are, of course, welcome to contribute any other titles you can recall that propelled similar resurgences.
Regarding your second question, you astutely note that albums leave the Billboard 200 after 78 weeks (a year-and-a-half) if below No. 100. An exception we invoke, however, is if a song is still being promoted to radio. In Daughtry's case, "What About Now" is currently a top five single at Adult Contemporary, so the song's parent album, "Daughtry," has been allowed to remain on the Billboard 200.
I'm a first-timer on "Ask Billboard," but I decided to e-mail you after I noticed a couple interesting items on the Billboard Hot 100 this week.
First, Brad Paisley, who looks to be in great shape to collect his 10th consecutive No. 1 on Hot Country Songs, ties a career-best-peak on the Hot 100 with "Then." By climbing 31-28, the song matches 2005's "Alcohol" as his highest-charting Hot 100 hit.
Secondly, "Goodbye" by Kristinia DeBarge jumps 42-30. It becomes the fourth time the title has charted in the Hot 100's top 40, and by the way it's moving up in just its third week on the big chart, it could become the first top 10 "Goodbye." Currently that distinction belongs to the Spice Girls, whose "Goodbye" reached No. 11 in December 1998.
Thanks for writing and providing an impressive first entry. You win the Ask Billboard Hot Shot Debut this week.
DeBarge's career-opening hit is off to a great start on the Hot 100. It's also the Greatest Gainer on the Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart, where it bounds 34-25. No other artist has earned that weekly honor with an introductory title this year.
To complete your list, the other two top 40 "Goodbye" songs were by Mary Hopkins in 1969 (No. 13) and Night Ranger in 1986 (No. 17).
After posting the latest Chart Beat, I also noticed an interesting occurrence on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Pleasure P's biggest hit to date dips one spot from its peak last week to No. 3 this week. If it doesn't rebound and reach No. 1, "Boyfriend #2" will have peaked at, fittingly, No. 2.
Rank that up there with Amerie reaching No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs with "1 Thing" in 2005. (But not hits by Brownstone in 1997 and Mad'house in 1987. The former's "5 Miles to Empty" rose to No. 6. The latter's "6" peaked at No. 5).