Pet Shop Boys

With Macklemore & Ryan Lewis becoming the first duo to top the Hot 100 on its first two attempts, how did other twosomes start their chart careers? Readers check in on that and more.

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20

WHAT DID OTHER, OTHER DUOS DO?

@gthot20 why no mention of the Pet Shop Boys and Erasure?

Pierre Oitmann @Audioist

@gthot20 the sublime Eurythmics?

Stephen Scott @stephenaxlscott

Hi Pierre and Stephen,

Three great duos that gave us some of the best music of the '80s and beyond.

Pet Shop Boys started with the Hot 100 No. 1 "West End Girls," which was on top on this date 27 years ago (!) "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" then reached No. 10 and they tallied three more top 10s through 1988. While they haven't hit the Hot 100 since 1991, they've remained one of the top acts on Dance/Club Play Songs. With 10 No. 1s on the latter list (through 2009), Pet Shop Boys have scored the most leaders among duos in the chart's nearly 37-year history.

Erasure similarly sampled pop success (three top 20 Hot 100 hits in 1988-94), while shining even brighter on Dance/Club Play Songs, where the pair has collected 17 top 10s (through last year), including two No. 1s.

Eurythmics, meanwhile, burst in with 1983's Hot 100 No. 1 "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" before follow-up "Love Is a Stranger" peaked at No. 23. They added two more top 10s, while Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox both subsequently hit the top 40 separately.

Two more notable duos: per Billboard.com-menter JR35, the Righteous Brothers topped the Hot 100 twice, with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' " (1965) and "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" (1966), although the songs were their third and 12th, of their 23 chart entries, respectively. They're likely known best to later generations for "Unchained Melody," which, while hitting No. 4 in 1965, returned to reach No. 13 (as a newly recorded version rose to No. 19) in 1990 when it was famously featured in the blockbuster "Ghost."

And, Tears for Fears. Having researched all the duos to top the Hot 100 at least twice to make sure that Macklemore & Lewis were the first twosome to reign on their first two tries, I was unpleasantly surprised to hear them on CBS-FM while driving home this weekend, unpleasantly only because I feared (ha!) that I'd missed them. After a very long few more minutes behind the wheel, I raced to my Whitburn book, relieved to confirm that while they broke through with the No. 1s "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Shout" in 1985, they'd first made inroads with "Changes," which reached No. 73 in 1983.

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