Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.
DÉJÀ VU (SORT OF)
I have been a longtime subscriber to Billboard magazine and this is my first time writing to your column.
Last week (on the chart dated Sept. 4), Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" and B.o.B's "Magic" advanced into the Billboard Hot 100's top 10, joining tracks in that region entitled "I Like It" (Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull) and "California Gurls" (Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg). I realized that these four song titles (including "California Gurls," despite the latter word's alternate spelling) have poulated the top 10 before by different artists: Billy Joel (No. 3, 1978); Pilot (No. 5, 1975) and Olivia Newton-John (No. 1, 1980); Dino (No. 7, 1989); and, the Beach Boys (No. 3, 1965) - and, in 1985, David Lee Roth (No. 3) - respectively.
I am curious to know whether this is a record. How often in the Hot 100's history have songs with the same title - and not remakes - reappeared as top 10 hits for another artist, all at the same time.
Should my question appear in your column, I will renew my subscription!
Thanks for the e-mail.
Unfortunately, researching such a statistic would require perusing every Hot 100 since the chart's premiere in 1958 (or at least from a bit later, after a significant library of top 10s had accumulated). That type of research is simply beyond the time constraints of the Billboard charts department.
If you renew your subscription to the magazine, however, you will continue to have full access to billboard.com's sister site, billboard.biz, which puts historical charts (and other past magazine features) at your fingertips. You could then, if time allows, enjoy seeking the answer yourself! And, now that your question is in Ask Billboard, it looks like you will renew. If you research, please let us know the answer, however long it may take. (Meanwhile, I'll be in the Billboard sales manager's office, asking about potential commission on subscriptions renewed via "Ask Billboard" ...)
I can, however, add that the four titles you cite are not the only ones back on the Hot 100. Four other songs, that are not remakes, currently in the top 40 had previously appeared on the chart.
Prior to "Misery" by Maroon 5 (19-17 this week), the title had reached No. 44 for the Dynamics in 1963 and No. 20 for Soul Asylum in 1995.
Four recordings entitled "Your Love" predated Nicki Minaj's hit (22-23): by Graham Central Station (No. 38, 1975), Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (No. 15, 1977), the Outfield (No. 6, 1986) and Keith Sweat (No. 71, 1991).
"There Goes My Baby," before Usher's single (33-40), graced the Hot 100, courtesy of the Drifters (No. 2, 1959), Donna Summer (No. 21, 1984, a cover of the Drifters' song), Trisha Yearwood (No. 93, 1998) and Charlie Wilson (No. 98, 2009).
And, eight songs entitled "Smile" charted prior to Uncle Kracker's track featuring Kid Rock (35-38), four of which covered the well-loved theme from the 1936 Charlie Chaplin film "Modern Times": by Tony Bennett (No. 73, 1959), Timi Yuro (No. 42, 1961), Ferrante & Teicher (No. 94, 1962) and Betty Everett & Jerry Butler (No. 42, 1965). Other "Smile"s that have brightened the Hot 100 belong to Scarface, featuring 2Pac & Johnny P (No. 12, 1975), Vitamin C, featuring Lady Saw (No. 18, 1999), Lonestar (No. 39, 2000) and Lily Allen (No. 49, 2007).