BORN TO LEAD, NOT FOLLOW: Bon Jovi collects its fourth No. 1 and 10th top 10 on the Billboard 200, as "The Circle" rolls in at the summit. The set also starts atop Rock Albums and Digital Albums.
With its last Billboard 200 entry, "Lost Highway," also having bowed at No. 1, Bon Jovi enjoys its first back-to-back leaders since its seminal "Slippery When Wet" and "New Jersey" albums in 1986 and 1988.
Dating to Oct. 4, 1986, when Bon Jovi first appeared in the chart's top tier, the band is now tied with U2 for second-most top 10s among rock groups. Dave Matthews Band leads the category with 11 top 10s in that span. Trailing Bon Jovi and U2 are Korn, Pearl Jam and R.E.M. (nine top 10s each), Metallica (eight) and Aerosmith, the Beatles, Green Day, Guns N'Roses, Motley Crue and Van Halen (seven apiece).
Here is a look at all of Bon Jovi's top 10s on the Billboard 200:
1986, No. 1 (eight weeks), "Slippery When Wet"
1988, No. 1 (four weeks), "New Jersey"
1992, No. 5, "Keep the Faith"
1994, No. 8, "Cross Road"
1995, No. 9, "These Days"
2000, No. 9, "Crush"
2002, No. 2, "Bounce"
2005, No. 2, "Have a Nice Day"
2007, No. 1 (one week), "Lost Highway"
2009, No. 1 (one week to date), "The Circle"
"Thank you FANS for giving us the NUMBER ONE album in the U.S.," the band Tweeted. "We have the greatest fans."
'EMPIRE STATE' BUILDING COMPLETED: Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind" (2-1) becomes the first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 to reference New York in its title. The fourth leader for each artist, and the first as a lead artist for Jay-Z, heads up a long list of entries that have taken Big Apple-sized bites out of the chart.
Until this week, "Empire State of Mind" had been tied with Aretha Franklin's "Spanish Harlem" for biggest "I Love NY"-styled jingle. The others that wanted to be a part of it (the top 10, that is):
No. 1, "Empire State of Mind," Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, 2009
No. 2, "Spanish Harlem," Aretha Franklin, 1971
No. 5, "Harlem Shuffle," the Rolling Stones, 1986
No. 7, "Boogaloo Down Broadway," the Fantastic Johnny C, 1967
No. 7, "Nights on Broadway," Bee Gees, 1975
No. 7, "On Broadway," George Benson, 1978
No. 7, "Boy From New York City," the Manhattan Transfer, 1981
No. 8, "The Boy From New York City," the Ad Libs, 1965
No. 8, "Funky Broadway," Wilson Pickett, 1967
No. 9, "On Broadway," the Drifters, 1963
No. 9, "Gotham City," R. Kelly, 1997
No. 10, "Manhattan Spiritual," Reg Owen & His Orchestra, 1959
Other top 10 titles have evoked New York imagery, if not specifically in their titles, such as Christopher Cross' "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" and Suzanne Vega's aural illustration of "Tom's Diner" (as remixed by DNA), the real-life Tom's Restaurant at 112th and Broadway also made famous as Monk's coffee shop in "Seinfeld."
Chart Beat reader Pablo Nelson of Berkeley, Calif., notes that 39 years after peaking at No. 3, the Moments' "Love on a Two-Way Street" reaches the Hot 100's summit as a sample in "Empire State of Mind." Stacy Lattisaw carried a cover of the Moments' original to No. 26 in 1981.
Nelson also points out that the survey has now hosted a No. 1 by an artist who feels "like such an insomniac" (Owl City, "Fireflies") followed by a chart-topping anthem for the city that never sleeps.
BEYONCE'S BEST AT RHYTHMIC: While Jay-Z crowns the Billboard Hot 100, his wife commands the Rhythmic radio airplay chart. Beyonce posts her seventh No. 1 on the tally (viewable at billboard.biz), as "Sweet Dreams" ascends 2-1.
With the song's coronation, Beyonce ties 50 Cent, Nelly, T-Pain and Usher for most Rhythmic No. 1s this decade. She also matches Mariah Carey for most leaders among women since the survey launched in 1992.
"Sweet Dreams" is Beyonce's first Rhythmic topper since "Irreplaceable" led for seven weeks in 2006-07 and the first from "I Am ... Sasha Fierce," which has yielded five previous chart entries. Of those, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" rose the highest, reaching No. 2 in January.
ANTE UP: As Lady Antebellum caps Country Songs with "Need You Now," the song vaults 22-5 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Greatest Gainer/Digital honors following the trio's two victories at last week's (Nov. 11) Country Music Association Awards.
Lady Antebellum is the first country group to reach the Hot 100's top 10 since Dixie Chicks peaked at No. 4 with "Not Ready to Make Nice" in March 2007. The latter trio also rose to the top 10 with "Long Time Gone" and "Landslide," both No. 7 hits in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
The only other country groups this decade to occupy the top 10 on the Hot 100 have been Rascal Flatts, with "What Hurts the Most" (No. 6) and "Life Is a Highway" (No. 7) in 2006, and Lonestar, whose "Amazed" reigned for two weeks in March 2000.
SUMNER TIME: Led by one of the alternative format's founding fathers, Bernard Sumner, Bad Lieutenant enters Heetseekers Albums at No. 29 with its first release, "Never Cry Another Tear."
Sumner has charted 11 albums on the Billboard 200 as a member of renowned modern rock/dance groups Joy Division, New Order and Electronic. He charted highest with New Order's "Republic," which reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200 in 1993 and contained the band's highest-peaking Billboard Hot 100 hit, "Regret" (No. 28).
"Never Cry Another Tear" also features Joy Division and New Order drummer Stephen Morris on several tracks.
"There is some continuity to the music I've made in the past," says Sumner. "But this is very different, because different people are playing on (the album). This is just how I now want to make music.
"It feels right to me, and I hope at least a few other people feel the same."
CHART BEAT BITS: Two new female artists shine on the Billboard Hot 100. Ke$ha becomes the second woman this year, following Lady Gaga, to send her debut chart entry into the top 10, as "Tik Tok" chimes 14-10. At No. 88, San Diego-based Anya Marina bows with her organic cover of T.I.'s 2008 Hot 100 No. 1 "Whatever You Like." Marina's version was featured on the Nov. 10 episode of CW-TV's "Gossip Girl" ...
Flyleaf's sophomore album "Memento Mori" opens on Alternative Albums and Christian Albums at No. 1 and the Billboard 200 at No. 8. The band's self-titled debut peaked at No. 57 during a 133-week stay on the Billboard 200 ...
Britney Spears' "The Singles Collection" enters the Billboard 200 at No. 22. Her first best-of compilation, "Greatest Hits: My Prerogative," began at No. 4 in 2004, while her only other non-studio album, "B in the Mix: the Remixes," peaked at No. 134 in 2005 ...
Artie Lange's "Jack and Coke," the debut album from the stand-up comedian and member of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius XM satellite radio, bows atop Comedy Albums and Heatseekers Albums. The set isn't the first chart-topper among the program's ranks: the soundtrack to the box office smash "Howard Stern's Private Parts" reigned on the Billboard 200 in 1997 ...
The compilation "Letters to Santa: A Holiday Musical Celebration" arrives on Jazz Albums at No. 3 and Holiday Albums at No. 11. The collection, which is being sold exclusively at 9,800 U.S Post Offices and on the Postal Service's web site through January, boasts seasonal cheer from an all-star roster including Nat King Cole, Dave Koz and Vanessa Williams, as well as a previously-unreleased song from the Muppets. (Even the two cranky critics in the Muppet Theater's balcony would surely approve of this heartwarming album).