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Weekly Chart Notes: Adele, Foster the People, Richard Marx
ADELE'S ADULT ADULATION: "There are two sounds right now: Adele ... and everyone else."
That's how an industry colleague says that his two teenage children recently described what they're hearing on the car radio of late when driving with dad.
Billboard's charts reinforce the astuteness of that observation.
As Adele's "Someone Like You" logs a third week atop the Billboard Hot 100, the ballad ascends 2-1 on the Adult Pop Songs radio airplay chart. With her previous single "Rolling in the Deep" at No. 1 on Adult Contemporary for a 17th week, Adele is just the second artist to top the adult airplay tallies simultaneously with different titles.
On the Sept. 18 and 25, 2010, Adult Pop Songs charts, fellow Columbia Records act Train reigned with "If It's Love." The song's command coincided with the group's 22-week stay atop Adult Contemporary with prior single "Hey, Soul Sister."
How have Train and Adele earned their double dominations?
Both "Sister" and "Rolling" topped Adult Pop Songs before crossing to adult contemporary radio, as Columbia promoted the songs to adult pop stations before servicing them to AC. Why? The former format more quickly accepts new music, while the latter is more selective about its current music choices, as it's more reliant on a library stretching decades deeper.
Once "Sister" and "Rolling" had become established adult pop hits, the songs crossed to AC radio and scaled the Adult Contemporary chart. Columbia kept Train and Adele's momentum going by releasing follow-ups that led Adult Pop Songs while their predecessor singles had yet to abdicate the AC throne.
Columbia's strategy has helped each act methodically swell its fanbase a song, and radio format, at a time.
"We are extremely proud of Adele and Train's achievements at adult radio," says Columbia senior VP promotion/adult formats Pete Cosenza.
"We have always believed in the power of the adult audience and the long-term relationship that it has with our artists," Cosenza says. Dating to the Adult Contemporary chart's 1961 inception, iconic adult Columbia acts include Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor.
"Our team constantly builds and maintains relationships with adult programmers, which helps keep our artists on top."
CHARTED 'BEAT': Foster the People scores its second Alternative Songs top 10, as "Helena Beat" jumps 12-10.
With its former five-week No. 1 "Pumped Up Kicks" at No. 5, the group joins the Black Keys earlier this year ("Tighten Up," "Howlin' for You") and Phoenix last year ("1901," "Lisztomania") as the only acts to place their first two chart entries in the Alternative Songs top 10 simultaneously since Puddle of Mudd ("Control," "Blurry") in 2002.
"Kicks" concurrently spends a sixth week at No. 3 on the Hot 100.
Aiding the band's profile, Foster the People played "Kicks" and "Houdini," both from the act's debut album "Torches," on "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend (Oct. 8).
A musical guest of the episode's musical guest on the latter song? Kenny G.
The cameo marked Kenny G's latest collaboration with an act currently enjoying pop radio success. He appears in the video for Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," which led the Hot 100 for two weeks this summer. (Despite Kenny G's role in the clip, "SNL" saxophonist Lenny Pickett plays the instrument on "Friday").
Lady Gaga likewise helped bring saxyback to pop airwaves this year, recruiting saxophonist Clarence Clemons for her No. 3 Hot 100 hit "The Edge of Glory." The song was scaling the chart's top 10 when the legendary E Street Band member passed away June 18 at 69.
STILL RESPECTED: Erasure celebrates more than 25 years of charting on Dance/Club Play Songs, as "When I Start (to Break It All Down)" bows at No. 44. The duo - Andy Bell and Vince Clarke - first arrived with the No. 8-peaking "Who Needs Love Like That"/"Heavenly Action" on the Feb. 15, 1986, chart.
"Start" introduces Erasure's 14th studio album "Tomorrow's World," released Tuesday (Oct. 11).
STILL FINE: Another venerable duo, Indigo Girls - Amy Ray and Emily Saliers - likewise demonstrate its staying power, as "Beauty Queen Sister" enters the Billboard 200 at No. 36.
Dating to their No. 22-peaking self-titled album in 1989, Indigo Girls are the only duo with top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 in the '80s, '90s, '00s and '10s.
Speaking of acts with longevity over the past four decades ...
THE BOYS OF 'SUMMER': To paraphrase one of his hits, Richard Marx keeps coming back to No. 1.
Marx, who penned all three of his Hot 100 No. 1s - 1988's "Hold On to the Nights" and 1989's "Satisfied" and "Right Here Waiting" - collects his third leader as a songwriter on Country Songs, as Keith Urban's "Long Hot Summer," which the pair co-authored, ascends 3-1.
Marx previously co-wrote Urban's six-week Country Songs No. 1 "Better Life," which began a six-week reign six years ago this week, and, prior to Marx's breakthrough as an artist, Kenny Rogers' 1985 topper "Crazy."
With the coronation of "Summer," Marx has written No. 1s on Billboard song charts in each of the last four decades.
Here is a look at Marx's 14 compositions to rule Billboard song rankings:
"What About Me" (Kenny Rogers with Kim Carnes and James Ingram), Adult Contemporary, 1984
"Crazy" (Kenny Rogers), Country Songs, 1985
"Don't Mean Nothing," Mainstream Rock, 1987
"Hold On to the Nights," Hot 100, 1988
"Satisfied," Hot 100, 1989
"Right Here Waiting," Hot 100, Adult Contemporary, 1989
"Keep Coming Back," Adult Contemporary, 1991
"Hazard," Adult Contemporary, 1992
"Now and Forever," Adult Contemporary, 1994
"This I Promise You" ('N Sync), Adult Contemporary, 2000
"To Where You Are" (Josh Groban), Adult Contemporary, 2002
"Dance With My Father" (Luther Vandross), Adult R&B, 2003
"Better Life" (Keith Urban), Country Songs, 2005
"Long Hot Summer" (Keith Urban), Country Songs, 2011
"I've never been more grateful in my life, period. That I'm a songwriter first and foremost is what has sustained me," says Marx, who returned to the Adult Contemporary chart this year as an artist for the first time since 2005 with the No. 16-peaking "When You Loved Me."
"If I'd just been a singer or just a musician, my career would probably have been over a long time ago. But, as a songwriter, I am able to deliver what everybody needs.
"We can talk about downloading or about record companies being too big for their britches, but if people stop writing songs, none of that matters."