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.
It doesn't happen a whole lot where initially a song charts as a solo hit, then is remade as a duet featuring the original artist from the solo version. If I may break down a couple of examples:
In 1996, "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying" originally was a No. 94 Billboard Hot 100 hit for Sting. A year later it was updated as a No. 2 Hot Country Songs and No. 84 Hot 100 hit for Toby Keith featuring Sting. In 2005, "Because of You" reached No. 7 on the Hot 100 for Kelly Clarkson. In 2007, it became a No. 2 Country and No. 50 Hot 100 hit for Reba McEntire featuring Clarkson.
It's a little bit different this time around with the remake of "I Told You So" by Carrie Underwood featuring Randy Travis, which rises 11-9 on Hot Country Songs. It becomes of the rare country hits to initially chart in solo form - a No. 1 for Travis in 1988 - then as a duet, and on the same genre chart, at that. I'm not certain if the Country chart has experienced that before.
One last note: If "I Told You So" can top Country, it would grant Carrie Underwood not only a fifth No. 1 from her album "Carnival Ride," making the set just the third album in the past 20 years to spawn five No. 1s, but it would also mark Randy Travis' 17th No. 1, his first since 2003's "Three Wooden Crosses," and just his second after 1994. It's also likely to be the first song to top the Country chart as an original and as a remake in quite some time.
Burt County, Nebraska
Thanks for the research. You can check out this week's Chart Beat for more details on "I Told You So," but let's discuss your insights here.
While Sting and Clarkson teamed with country acts for remakes, it's been more common on recent decades for country acts to add fellow country artists, not pop, when remaking their own songs.
One of those titles just went to No. 1 on Hot Country Songs: Kenny Chesney's "Down the Road," featuring Mac McAnally. The former artist wrote the song and originally took it to No. 70 at Country in 1990.
As noted in Chart Beat, after reaching No. 1 at Country with two versions of "I Will Always Love You" in 1974 and 1982, respectively, Dolly Parton recorded a third version with Vince Gill. It peaked at No. 15 in 1995.
A couple mid-charting remakes featuring country legends come to mind: George Jones paired with Alan Jackson for the No. 56 hit "A Good Year for the Roses" in 1994. Jones' solo original reached No. 2 in 1970. In 1998, Rodney Crowell climbed to No. 61 with "I Walk the Line Revisited," with Johnny Cash. Cash's classic original "I Walk the Line" topped the chart in 1956.
Considering pop/country tandems, although not a remake, per se, in 2006, added vocals from Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles helped send Bon Jovi's "Who Says You Can't Go Home" to the Country chart's summit. The original album version solely by Bon Jovi continued to get airplay at pop/adult radio, where the song rose to No. 5 at Adult Top 40, No. 8 at Adult Contemporary and No. 30 at Mainstream Top 40.
The idea of pop acts sharing a mic with country artists is so intriguing that CMT's "Crossroads" is based upon the premise. The show's collaborations, including Babyface and Trisha Yearwood, .38 Special and Trace Adkins and Def Leppard and Taylor Swift (their cover of the band's ballad "When Love & Hate Collide" was a highlight on their November episode), all illustrate that a good song is a good song, regardless of format classification.
Per the other chart statistics you note, if "I Told You So" reaches No. 1, Underwood's "Carnival Ride" would indeed become just the third album to produce five No. 1 songs in the last 20 years. It would join Brad Paisley's appropriately titled "5th Gear" last year and Crowell's "Diamonds & Dirt" in 1989.
"I Told You So" would be the first No. 1 Country cover of a previous No. 1 since Alan Jackson updated Don Williams' 1979 leader "It Must Be Love" in 2000 and the first by the same artist since Parton's 1982 revival of "I Will Always Love You."
I noticed that the re-release of Pearl Jam's "Ten" leads the Top Hard Rock Albums chart this week. However, it's nowhere to be seen on the Modern Rock/Alternative or Rock album charts. How did this happen? Also No. 5 on Top Comprehensive Albums, shouldn't it have debuted on the other two rock charts?
It's also great to see that Shinedown is enjoying a successful pop crossover with "Second Chance." As a big fan of the active rock format, it doesn't seem like many true rock songs cross over to mainstream top 40/pop anymore. In my opinion, there are a lot of great rock songs being neglected by pop radio these days. What is your opinion on this?
Brian C. Cole
To answer your first question, I called upon Anthony Colombo, Billboard's rock charts manager. Here's what he said:
"Pearl Jam's "Ten" is considered by Billboard a catalog title. Top Hard Rock Albums, being somewhat of a niche chart, includes catalog titles, but most of Billboard’s other album charts, including Top Modern Rock/Alternative, Top Rock Albums and the Billboard 200 do not. Top Comprehensive Albums, as its name implies, is another chart like Top Hard Rock albums that includes catalog titles alongside current ones."
The reissue of "Ten," featuring six previously-unreleased songs, this week sold 60,000 copies. That sum ups its total to 9,662,000 sold since its original 1991 release. It’s the most the collection has sold in a frame since the original edition moved 102,000 copies in the bustling Christmas week of 1993. "Ten" spent 250 weeks on the Billboard 200 from 1992 to 1996, the fifth-longest chart run of any title in the Nielsen BDS era. It peaked at No. 2 in 1992.
As for Shinedown, "Second Chance" is certainly connecting at pop radio, rising 25-21 this week on the Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart with the format's fifth-best gain in plays.
The pop chart is dominated by pop/rhythm sounds, but its reporters generally make room for at least some rock on their playlists. When "Gives You Hell" last month ascended to the apex of the Mainstream Top 40 tally, the All-American Rejects joined an intimate group of nine pop/rock bands to rule the list in the last five years. The groups have accounted for just 10 of the format's 68 No. 1s in that span:
Artist, Song, Year
The All-American Rejects, "Gives You Hell," 2009
OneRepublic, "Apologize" (Timbaland featuring OneRepublic), 2008
Gym Class Heroes, "Cupid's Chokehold/Breakfast in America," 2007
Daughtry, "It's Not Over," 2007
Hinder, "Lips of an Angel," 2006
Nickelback, "Far Away," 2006
Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," 2005
Maroon 5, "She Will Be Loved," 2004
Hoobastank, "The Reason," 2004
Maroon 5, "This Love," 2004
In addition to Shinedown, Saving Abel ranks at No. 32 on Mainstream Top 40 this week with "18 Days," while another sign that rock lives at top 40 shows at No. 38. To quote from Chart Beat this week:
"Modern Rock mainstay the Offspring crosses over its first Mainstream Top 40 radio chart hit in 10 years, as "Kristy, Are You Doing OK?" debuts at No. 38. The band last appeared on the pop airplay list with "Why Don't You Get a Job?" in 1999. In between, the group notched 12 Modern Rock chart entries, including a pair of No. 1s."
YOU DON'T KNOW?
There was a song in 1988 called "You Don't Know." I don't remember the artist, but the chorus went something like, "You don't know the way I feel this time ..."
Have you any idea about the artist or the lyrics?
Jose David Villalobos
I do recognize the lyrics, mostly because the song is so catchy that I still fondly remember it 21 years later. It's "You Don't Know" by Scarlett & Black.
The act was a male/female duo that hailed from England and consisted of Robin Hild and Sue West. "You Don't Know" was its only Billboard Hot 100 entry, peaking at No. 20 in April 1988. It appeared on the twosome's self-titled set, likewise its lone charting album. The collection reached No. 107 on the Billboard 200 a week after the song peaked on the Hot 100.
For those who don't remember the song, or do and want to reminisce, enjoy the video here.