Ask Billboard: Oh, Canada! ... On the Billboard 200

Ask Billboard: Oh, Canada! ... On the Billboard 200

Four Canadian acts are in the top six. Plus, more potentially 'uncoverable' cover songs.

Ask Billboard is updated every week. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, 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.


OH, CANADA! ... ON THE BILLBOARD 200

Hi Gary,

This week's U.S.-based Billboard 200 albums chart features four Canadian acts in the top six:

No. 1,


Ask Billboard is updated every week. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, 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.


UNCOVERING POTENTIALLY UNCOVERABLE SONGS

Gary,

In response to the topic "Uncovering Potentially Uncoverable Songs" the past two weeks in "Ask Billboard," I had to e-mail that I was recently reliving my late '90s obsession with


Ask Billboard is updated every week. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, 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.


UNCOVERING POTENTIALLY UNCOVERABLE SONGS

Hi Gary,

One song that's probably "uncoverable" is Prince's 1989 No. 1 "Batdance." That song was so unique to the time it was released, with its movie soundbites, that I doubt it would make sense as a remake.

(I'd be curious, though, what Prince could do with the newer "Dark Knight" and "Dark Knight Rises" films).

Happy holidays,

Chris Feldman
Dubuque, Iowa



Hi Gary,

I thought of a few more songs which contain dated lyrics ... and both reference ABC soap operas.

The Jets' No. 6 Hot 100 hit from 1988, "Rocket 2 U," includes the lyric, "You're so upset because you can't watch 'All My Children'." The series' last episode aired in September.

And, Janet Jackson's first top 10, "What Have You Done for Me Lately," which reached No. 4 in 1986, features the line, "soap opera says you've got 'One Life to Live'." Although it isn't quite outdated yet, it will be come January when ABC pulls the plug on the show.

(Both soaps were slated to continue in an online venture which would have rendered these songs ever-relevant, but, alas, it was announced that such extensions are not going to happen).

Thanks,

Donovan Dechambre
Spring, Texas



Dear Gary,

What an interesting topic the past two weeks in "Ask Billboard."

Here are some more examples of potentially uncoverable Hot 100 hits.

"Russians," Sting (No. 16, 1985). "In Europe and America, there's a growing feeling of hysteria. Conditioned to respond to all the threats. In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets ... Mr. Krushchev said will bury you. Mr. Reagan says we will protect you ..." (The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991; Krushchev and Reagan have since passed; and, most importantly, the Cold War is over).

"Sun City," Artists United Against Apartheid (No. 38, 1985). "Relocation to phony homelands. Separation of families I can't understand. 23 million can't vote. Because they're black ... I wanna say I, I, I, ain't gonna play Sun City ..." (Apartheid ended in South Africa in the '90s).

Using the Internet or a cell phone will now more easily resolve any distance barriers:

"Missing You," John Waite (No. 1, 1984). "And there's a message that I'm sending out, like a telegraph to your soul ..."

"Because I Love You (The Postman Song)," Stevie B (No. 1, 1990). "I got your letter from the postman just the other day. So I decided to write you this song ..."

"Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair)," Sheena Easton (No. 9, 1983). "I wanna tell you what's been goin' on. Operator, give me Trans-Atlantic ..."

And, what about how we play music:

"Pump Up the Volume," M/A/R/R/S (No. 13, 1988). "Put the needle of the record ... when the drumbeats go like this ..." (Or, a compact disc, digital download or other forms of newer media).

And the list goes on and on ...

Thanks Gary and take care,

Mackenzie (Mac) Scott,
Fajardo, Puerto Rico