GAIN OF 74: In Super Bowl XLIV Sunday (Feb. 7), the New Orleans Saints effectively sealed victory when Tracy Porter returned a Peyton Manning interception 74 yards for a touchdown, capping the game's scoring at 31-17.
On this week's Billboard 200, the band that rocked the Super Bowl's halftime show, the Who, similarly roars 74 spots (156-82) with its "Greatest Hits" collection.
In further links, the Who first charted on the Billboard 200 in 1967. That same year, both the Saints franchise and the Super Bowl made their debuts.
And, the term "Who Dat Nation" is used to describe the Saints now-ecstatic fandom, as evidenced on R&B/Hip Hop Songs, where K. Gates' team anthem "Black & Gold (Who Dat!!)" debuts at No. 95.
Spurred by the largest audience in television history, the Who enjoys its highest rank on the Billboard 200 since "Endless Wire" reached No. 7 in 2006 (the same year that Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees signed with the Saints and U2 and Green Day charted on the Billboard Hot 100 with "The Saints Are Coming").
Such coincidences. Who knew?
A-OK: Continuing to reap the benefits of its first victory at the Grammy Awards (Jan. 31), Lady Antebellum spends a second week atop the Billboard 200 with "Need You Now."
On the Hot 100, the set's title track rises to a new peak in its 26th week, climbing 8-3 as the chart's Greatest Gainer/Digital. It had reached a previous highpoint of No. 5 in November.
The song's jump this week marks the first appearance for a country group in the Hot 100's top three since Lonestar's former No. 1 "Amazed" tallied its last frame in the top three on the chart dated March 25, 2000. When "Amazed" rose 18-3 on the March 4, 2000, Hot 100, Billboard director of charts Silvio Pietroluongo noted in that week's issue that no country group had entered the top five since "the Oak Ridge Boys sang about a girl named 'Elvira' in the summer of 1981."
At exactly six months, "Need You Now" makes the fifth-longest rise to the top three in the Hot 100's 51-year history and longest since 3 Doors Down's "Kryptonite" edged 4-3 on Nov. 11, 2000, in its 32nd week. (Los Del Rio holds the record with a 33-week rise for "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" in 1995-96).
"Need You Now" concurrently makes its first appearance in the top 10 of Radio Songs/Hot 100 Airplay, surging 14-10.
SIMON SAYS: After having charted 19 titles on the Billboard 200 since 1997, renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli draws his first Hot 100 ink, as "Bridge Over Troubled Water," a duet with Mary J. Blige, bows at No. 75.
The two superstars performed the song at the Grammy Awards.
The classic ballad appears on the Hot 100 for a fourth time after three versions graced the list in the '70s:
Peak Pos., Year, Artist
No. 1 (six weeks), 1970, Simon & Garfunkel
No. 6, 1971, Aretha Franklin
No. 41, 1979, Linda Clifford
No. 75 (to date), Mary J. Blige & Andrea Bocelli
With this week's debut, Paul Simon shows on the Hot 100 as a writer for the first time since "The Obvious Child" completed a five-week chart run on Jan. 12, 1991, after reaching No. 92. (One more instance of gridiron-related happenstance: "The Obvious Child" appeared on Simon's album entitled ... "The Rhythm of the Saints").
"Bridge Over Troubled Water" marks Blige's second duet among her 39 career Hot 100 entries. Prior to her Simon cover, Blige's previous equally-billed charted collaboration also involved rock royalty. An update of U2's No. 10 1992 hit "One," with the band, spent a week at No. 86 in June 2006.
A LIL BIT ROCK AND ROLL: Lil Wayne earns the Hot Shot Debut on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, as "Rebirth" arrives at No. 1. The rapper's rock-tinged set starts on the Billboard 200 at No. 2.
The album is Lil Wayne's sixth leader on the former chart:
Year, Title, Weeks at No. 1
1999, "Tha Block Is Hot," two
2002, "500 Degreez," one
2005, "Tha Carter II," one
2006, "Like Father, Like Son" (Birdman & Lil Wayne), one
2008, "Tha Carter III," seven
2010, "Rebirth," one (to date)
ONE TO 60: Notable artists make news at both ends of Country Songs this week.
Josh Turner scores his third No. 1, as "Why Don't We Just Dance" darts 4-1. Turner previously reached the pinnacle in 2006 with "Your Man" and "Would You Go With Me." His new leader introduces his fourth album, "Haywire," set to debut on Country Albums next week.
At No. 60, Laura Bell Bundy debuts with her maiden chart single, "Giddy On Up." The Kentucky-born singer/actress is best known for starring in the original Broadway productions of "Hairspray," as Amber, in 2002, and "Legally Blonde - the Musical," in the lead role of Elle Woods, in 2007.
"Giddy On Up" previews Bundy's forthcoming first Mercury Nashville album, "Achin' and Shakin'."
CHART BEAT BITS: (Ooh, a chance to use the "that's a lot of Peas in (i)Pods" pun again ...) The Black Eyed Peas extend their lead as the group with the most No. 1s on Digital Songs, as "Imma Be" becomes the quartet's fifth leader on the list. Only Rihanna, with six, has scored more toppers since the chart began contributing to the Hot 100 five years ago this month ...
After her astonishing acrobatics at the Grammy Awards, Pink performs a similar highwire act on the Hot 100, as the aptly titled song she sang above the Staples Center floor, "Glitter in the Air," storms in at No. 18. The track is the fifth charted entry from Pink's album "Funhouse," the highest haul of any of her five studio sets ...
Neil Sedaka makes his third visit to the Billboard 200 since 2007 after not appearing on the list since 1980, as "The Music of My Life" debuts at No. 97. The singer/songwriter reached No. 22 in May 2007 with "The Definitive Collection" and No. 197 last May with "Waking Up Is Hard to Do." With this week's entrance, Sedaka extends his span on the chart to 47 years, one month and two weeks, dating to the arrival of "Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits" on the Jan. 5, 1963, survey ...
Aided by exposure in TV commercials for the Lincoln MKZ, Shiny Toy Guns' cover of "Major Tom" debuts on the Hot 100 at No. 98. The song returns to the chart after almost exactly 26 years: Peter Schilling's original wrapped a 22-week run on the Hot 100 dated Feb. 18, 1984, after reaching No. 14. Schilling had last appeared on the list as a writer when his other Hot 100 entry, the No. 61-peaking "The Different Story (World of Lust and Crime)," completed a 10-week chart life on May 27, 1989 ...
Another act that was no stranger to Billboard charts in 1989 ends an almost two-decade No. 1 drought on Top Music Video Sales (viewable at billboard.biz). The reunited New Kids on the Block debut atop the list with the DVD "Coming Home," which features recent live performances and the previously-unreleased title cut. The collection is the evergreen Boston boy band's fourth No. 1 on the tally. "Hangin' Tough" ruled for 10 weeks beginning in 1989, and "Hangin' Tough Live" (six weeks) and "Step By Step" (eight weeks) reigned in 1990.