Manchester Attack

Chart Beat

Fred discusses chart action from Kanye West, AC/DC, "Mamma Mia!" and more!

'LOVE' IS IN THE TIER: Only 10 songs have entered The Billboard Hot 100 in the top three this millennium; the 10th song to begin its chart life in this elite tier is Kanye West's "Love Lockdown," which is tied for the second highest debut of 2008 with David Cook's "The Time of My Life" and surpassed only by the No. 2 bow of David Archuleta's "Crush."

The only non-Idol artists to have top three debuts this century are Fall Out Boy and West. The former's "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" entered at No. 2 the week of Feb. 3, 2007.

"Love Lockdown" is the highest debuting single of West's five-year chart span. It breaks his previous record, set just last week when "Swagga Like Us" by Jay-Z featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne opened at No. 5.

Of West's 24 chart entries, "Love Lockdown" is only the sixth title to be a solo recording without any featured or co-billed artists (or West appearing in a featured role).

West's first chart entry, "Through the Wire" in November 2003, was a solo effort. The other four to only feature West as the credited artist are: "Jesus Walks" in 2004, "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" in 2005, "Can't Tell Me Nothing" in 2007 and "Stronger," also in 2007.

If "Love Lockdown" can climb two places, it will be West's fourth No. 1 on the Hot 100. His first three chart-toppers were:

"Slow Jamz," one week (2004) [Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx]
"Gold Digger," 10 weeks (2005) [Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx]
"Stronger," one week (2007)

'TRAIN' ON BOTH TRACKS: AC/DC is currently charting on Mainstream Rock Tracks, where "Rock n Roll Train" is No. 3. "Train" is the group's 29th entry on this tally and its first since "Safe in New York City" peaked at No. 21 in May 2001. "Train" is AC/DC's highest-charting song since "Stiff Upper Lip" spent four weeks at No. 1 in March-April 2000. "Lip" was the Australian group's third No. 1 on this survey, following "Big Gun" in 1993 and "Hard as a Rock" in 1995.

AC/DC made its Mainstream Rock Tracks debut the week of March 28, 1981 with "Hells Bells" and "Back in Black." That gives the group a Mainstream chart span of 27 years, six months and one week.

AC/DC's chart span on Modern Rock Tracks is considerably shorter, by 27 years and six months. The band makes its first appearance on this tally this week, as "Train" starts at No. 38.

Should "Train" arrive on the Hot 100, it would be the first AC/DC song to appear on this chart in 15 years.

Meanwhile, the classic "Back in Black" album is No. 1 on the Top Pop Catalog chart for the second consecutive week and the third week overall. The album's first week at No. 1 was on the chart dated Feb. 11, 2006. "Back in Black" moved over to the catalog chart the week of March 8, 2003 after a 131-week run on The Billboard 200. With 714 weeks on the Catalog chart, "Back in Black" has now charted a total of 845 weeks.

WILL THE WINNER TAKE IT ALL?: "Mamma Mia!" (Decca) is No. 1 on Top Soundtracks for the 10th consecutive week, the longest uninterrupted run of 2008 and the second-longest reign of the calendar year, after the 11-week run for "Juno" (which topped the chart for seven weeks between January-March and returned for four more weeks in May-June).

Since this chart was introduced in 2001, only six film soundtracks have remained in the penthouse longer than "Mamma Mia!"

Here is a summary of the film soundtracks that have held pole position for 10 weeks or more:

34 weeks: "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2001)
21 weeks: "Ray" (2004)
12 weeks: "Chicago" (2003)
12 weeks: "Dreamgirls" (2007)
11 weeks: "8 Mile" (2002)
11 weeks: "Juno" (2008)
10 weeks: "Bad Boys II" (2003)
10 weeks: "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" (2005)
10 weeks: "Mamma Mia!" (2008)

Four television soundtracks have led the list for 10 weeks or more:

26 weeks: "High School Musical" (2006)
21 weeks: "Hannah Montana" (2006)
17 weeks: "High School Musical 2" (2007)
11 weeks: "Hannah Montana 2" (2007)

DAWNING OF THE AGE OF THE DARIUS: You could argue that this is the best chart week ever for former Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer and rhythm guitarist Darius Rucker, who tops the Hot Country Songs chart as well as Top Country Albums.

Rucker's "Don't Think I Don't Think About It" (Capitol) reaches the pinnacle of the singles tally in its 23rd chart week. At the same time, his first solo set for the Capitol label, "Learn to Live," enters Top Country Albums at No. 1. This is the second week in a row that an artist has crossed over from the pop field to top the country survey; Rucker succeeds Jessica Simpson at No. 1.

Rucker is the fourth pop crossover artist to achieve pole position on Top Country Albums in the last 12 months. The Eagles captured first place in November 2007 and Jewel spent one week in the penthouse in June with "Perfectly Clear."

SWIFTLY MOVING UP: While we're on the topic of country and crossing over, a 16-5 leap for "Love Story" (Big Machine) gives Taylor Swift the highest-charting song of her career on the Hot 100. "Love Story" has reached the loftiest position for a solo female artist with a top 20 country hit since Faith Hill's "Breathe" went to No. 2 in 2000.

It's true, Carrie Underwood had a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 with "Inside Your Heaven," but that "American Idol" finale song was not a top 20 country hit. Her country chart-topping song "Before He Cheats" peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100.

'Love Story" is Swift's second turn in the top 10 of the Hot 100. At the end of August, her "Change" peaked at No. 10.

CLINTON AFTER 12 YEARS: No, it's not a prediction that Hillary Clinton will run in 2020. It's all about the return of George Clinton to Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums after an absence of a dozen years.

"George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love" (Shanachie) debuts at No. 34. It's the first Clinton album to chart since "Greatest Funkin' Hits" peaked at No. 46 in November 1996, and the highest-charting Clinton title since "T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M." went to No. 27 in June 1996.

Clinton's run of solo chart albums began with "Computer Games" in December 1982, giving him a chart span of 25 years, nine months and three weeks. But you'd have to go further back in time to include his work with Parliament. That ensemble first charted in August 1974 with "Up for the Down Stroke," giving Clinton a chart span of 34 years, one month and two weeks.

But that still wouldn't paint a complete picture. Before he founded Parliament, Clinton assembled Funkadelic, and that group first charted in March 1970 with an eponymous LP, giving Clinton a career R&B album chart span of 38 years, six months and one week.

'FAR' IS AWAY: The Offspring got off to a great start on Modern Rock Tracks with its very first chart entry; "Come Out and Play" reigned for two weeks in July 1994.

A decade passed before the Offspring collected its second No. 1. In February 2004, "Hit That" spent one week on top.

Now, another four years have gone by and the Offspring is back at No. 1 with "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" (Columbia). It's the band's 22nd chart entry and it only needs two more weeks at No. 1 to become the biggest Offspring hit to date.