An analysis of why slow songs ruled top 40 in the late '80s but don't, for the most part, now. Plus, Hall & Oates' top 10 hits and Tom Wopat, 'Luke Duke' himself, stops by
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HALL (& OATES) OF FAME
Wasn't Lady Gaga superb in her sketches on "Saturday Night Live"?! She has to be one of the best musicians to have hosted the show in current times. I loved her relaxed, comic version of "Applause," with her gorgeous backing dancers, not to mention all the brilliance of her "Gypsy" performance.
Regarding my last "Ask Billboard" email about artists with top 10 hits that peaked at each top-tier position of the Hot 100, a group that Drake has now joined, I'll add a mention another act that's come close to peaking at each top 10 spot. Did I say "close"? How 'bout "So Close"? … If Daryl Hall and John Oates had peaked at No. 10 instead of No. 11 with "So Close" in 1990, they would've preceded Madonna in becoming the third artist in that category, as they've peaked at ranks 1-9.
A consolation is that Hall and Oates did indeed score a No. 10 hit, um, on the Hot 100's Bubbling Under chart in 1980, and with an appropriate title: "Who Said the World Was Fair."
It's all about being Radio (and chart) Gaga,
First, I agree, I thought that Gaga was great on "SNL" two weekends ago (and "Gypsy" sounds like a future "ARTPOP" single to me). She poked fun at herself in the hilarious covers sketch (I can't hear "Cups" by Anna Kendrick anymore without thinking of Kenan Thompson's Rick Ross version …) with her is-it-a-Madonna-cover-or-not "Born This Way"; showed off a Marisa Tomei impersonation that would fool Vinny and woo George Costanza; and owned her character with depth and nuance as wistful future Gaga. (And, I think I'm kind of crushing on her nerdy Apple Store employee …)
Overall, she seemed to bring a special energy to the show, no doubt informed by her appearance being the fulfillment of a longtime dream by a determined New York City girl. Free feedback if Lorne Michaels or any other TV exec is reading this: I would watch "The Lady Gaga Show," whatever shape that would take, as you consider future projects.
As for Hall and Oates, owners of 16 Hot 100 top 10s, including six No. 1s, I always loved "So Close," which was bit more guitar-driven than many of their earlier hits. One of the reasons? Jon Bon Jovi sports a co-writing credit on it. In addition to its No. 11 peak, they also peaked at No. 12 with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." The Righteous Brothers remake reached the rank exactly 33 years ago today (Nov. 29, 1980).
Meanwhile, Billboard reports today that Hall and Oates are planning to record new music together. "Never say never," Oates says. "Daryl and I are actually thinking about doing a single. We don't really see a need to do an album."
The duo is also, finally, up for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"This puts the cherry on top," Oates says.