Fred discusses chart action from "Mamma Mia!", the Jonas Brothers, Rihanna and more!
BETTER THAN THE BEST WEEK EVER: Two weeks ago I suggested in Chart Beat Chat that 34 years after they made their Billboard chart debut, songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus were having their best chart week ever. While that was true at the time, no one would dispute that THIS week is the new best chart week ever for the founders of ABBA.
That's because Andersson/Ulvaeus songs are No. 1 everywhere you look. On The Billboard 200, the "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack (Decca) captures the top spot in its fifth chart week. On Top Pop Catalog, "ABBA Gold" is No. 1 for a third week. On Top Cast Albums, the "Mamma Mia!" original cast recording is No. 1 for a third week.
The "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack is also No. 1 on Top Soundtracks, Top Internet Albums and Top Digital Albums. This chart activity makes the ABBA revival of 1992 (when Erasure recorded the "Abba-esque" EP and "ABBA Gold" was first released) look like small change compared to what's happening in 2008.
And if all that U.S. chart activity isn't enough, "ABBA Gold" holds at No. 1 on the U.K. album survey, where it also led the list in 1992 and 1999, making it the album with the longest span at No. 1 in U.K. chart history.
Taking a closer look at The Billboard 200, "Mamma Mia!" is the second soundtrack to spend time at No. 1 in 2008, following a one-week reign for "Juno" in February. Before "Mamma Mia!" and "Juno," only seven motion picture soundtracks have held the top spot in the last 10 years. Working backward in time, they are:
"Dreamgirls," two weeks (2007)
"Bad Boys II," four weeks (2003)
"8 Mile," four weeks (2002)
"O Brother, Where Art Thou?" two weeks (2002)
"Armageddon," two weeks (1998)
"City of Angels," three weeks (1998)
"Titanic," 16 weeks (1998)
THE IRONY OF IT ALL: The Jonas Brothers collect their sixth Hot 100 debut of 2008 with "A Little Bit Longer" (Hollywood). While Lil Wayne already has 11 debuts this calendar year, only three of them are credited solely to Lil Wayne. Since all six Jonas Brothers songs are credited solely to the trio, the group is on track to have the most A-side debuts in a calendar year (without any featured or co-credits) since Herman's Hermits had seven songs enter the chart in 1965. The Beatles had 10 debuts that year, but four of them were B-sides (which charted separately back then) and one was an EP.
"A Little Bit Longer" is a new entry at No. 11, robbing the Jonas Brothers of becoming the first act in Hot 100 history to have three top 10 debuts in a calendar year (although it's only August, giving the three siblings ample time to achieve this feat).
The two Jonas Brothers' singles that opened in the top 10 this year are "Burnin' Up" (debuted at No. 5 the week of July 12) and "Tonight" (debuted at No. 8 the week of Aug. 16). "Burnin' Up" rebounds 11-9 this week, which ironically helped prevent "A Little Bit Longer" from starting its chart life in the top 10.
FOURSOME: Rihanna may have started her career with a No. 2 hit ("Pon de Replay" in 2005), but she's made up for it since. This week she earns her fourth chart-topper on the Hot 100, as her 12th chart entry, "Disturbia" (SRP/Def Jam), takes a 3-1 hike. That puts Rihanna into a three-way tie with Mariah Carey and Beyonce as the female artist with the most No. 1 songs on this tally since January 2000.
"Disturbia" is the follow-up to "Take a Bow," which occupied the penthouse in May. This is the first time that Rihanna has had back-to-back No. 1 hits, although she did have another chart entry between "Take a Bow" and "Disturbia," when she was listed as a featured artist on Maroon 5's "If I Never See Your Face Again." That title is the only one of Rihanna's 12 chart entries in which she is not the lead artist.
Rihanna's other two songs to reach the apex were "SOS" in May 2006 and "Umbrella," which featured Jay-Z, in June 2007.
Since "Pon de Replay" entered the Hot 100 the week of June 11, 2005, Rihanna's chart span now stands at three years, two months and two weeks.
VOTE YES ON 'NO': Taylor Swift's chart span on Hot Country Songs is a little shorter than Rihanna's run on the Hot 100, but the 18-year-old from Reading, Penn. picks up her second chart-topper, as "Should've Said No" (Big Machine) ascends 5-1.
Swift made her debut with "Tim McGraw" the week of July 1, 2006, giving her a chart span of two years, one month and three weeks. That first single peaked at No. 6 and the follow-up, "Teardrops on My Guitar," strummed its way to No. 2. Swift's third entry, "Our Song," spent six weeks in pole position, starting Dec. 22, 2007.
Taylor then had five Christmas-themed songs appear on the chart, followed by "Picture to Burn" (No. 3 in May) and now, "Should've Said No."
VIVA COLDPLAY: "Viva la Vida" (Capitol) is the first of Coldplay's 10 chart entries on the Adult Top 40 list to reach the summit but it is also the first single on the Capitol label to top this tally.
Coldplay's first entry was "Yellow," No. 11 in May 2001. Until this week, the band's best showing at Adult Top 40 was "Speed of Sound," No. 3 in July 2005. Here is a summary of Coldplay's 10 charted titles, in order of peak position:
"Viva la Vida," No. 1 (2008)
"Speed of Sound," No. 3 (2005)
"Clocks," No. 4 (2003)
"Talk," No. 10 (2006)
"Yellow," No. 11 (2001)
"In My Place," No. 22 (2002)
"Trouble," No. 23 (2001)
"Fix You," No. 24 (2005)
"The Scientist," No. 34 (2003)
"Moses," No. 38 (2003)
And here is a summary of songs released on Capitol that have earned a berth in the top 10 of the Adult Top 40 tally:
No. 1: "Viva la Vida," Coldplay (2008)
No. 3: "Wonderful," Everclear (2000)
No. 3: "Speed of Sound," Coldplay (2005)
No. 4: "Sex and Candy," Marcy Playground (1998)
No. 4: "Clocks," Coldplay (2003)
No. 6: "You'll Think of Me," Keith Urban (2005)
No. 7: "Why Can't I?" Liz Phair (2003)
No. 10: "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)," Baz Luhrmann (1999)
No. 10: "Talk," Coldplay (2006)
FIRST FIRST LADY: Even if the "Evita" soundtrack had topped The Billboard 200, Carla Bruni would still be the first spouse of a nation's President to have a No. 1 record on a Billboard chart.
Bruni, who married French President Nicolas Sarkozy in February, advances 4-1 on Top World Music with her album "Comme Si de Rien N'etait" (Teorema/Naïve). The Italian-born singer has been recording since 2002, after a successful career as a model, but this is her first album to chart since her marriage to President Sarkozy.
INFREQUENT VISITOR: It's worth the wait, but you really have to be patient for a new Randy Newman album. The Billboard Century Award winner has his first charted title on The Billboard 200 in nine years, and only his third entry in the last 20 years.
"Harps and Angels" (Nonesuch) bows at No. 30, making it the second highest-charting title of Newman's career. Only "Little Criminals" reached a higher peak, sailing to No. 9 in 1978.
The New Orleans-born songwriter first appeared on the Billboard album chart in October 1971 with "Randy Newman/Live," which stopped at No. 191. The following year, "Sail Away" floated to No. 163. In 1974, "Good Old Boys" peaked at No. 36. "Little Criminals," fuelled by the hit single "Short People," then made its meteoric rise to No. 9.
"Harps and Angels" is Newman's first album to chart since "Bad Love" stalled at No. 194 in 1999. "Harps" is only the ninth charted set for Newman, whose chart span is now expanded to 36 years, 10 months and three weeks.