Fred and his readers discuss KT Tunstall, Beyonce, Swedes and more!

TAKING THEIR SWEET TIME

Hey Fred,

I was glad to see KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See" on your list of favorite songs of the year -- it made my top 10 also. I was even MORE glad to see her great single finally reach the top 40 [of the Hot 100] this week, after 23 weeks on the chart.

Tunstall isn't the only one taking her time to reach new chart peaks. John Mayer's "Waiting for the World to Change" waited 26 weeks to peak at No. 15, and My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade" is welcomed to the top 10 after 17 weeks (following the All-American Rejects' 15 week journey to the top 10).

Any ideas on why songs are peaking so long after release? I thought it might be the holiday season residue as people cash in their gift cards and radio returns to non-seasonal music. What do you think?

Love your column as always,

Vince Ripol
San Diego, CA


Dear Vince,

I'm surprised that it took so long for "Suddenly I See" to find its way into the top 30, but grateful. It looks like the follow-up to "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" might be KT Tunstall's biggest hit of her two chart entries.

The reasons you cited for songs peaking so long after release are valid and there is another. Radio stations often review the hits of the calendar year during the last week of December, which is why songs like Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" rebounded. That can keep other songs, which are receiving less airplay, from moving up the chart. Once the year-end recaps are over, a shake-up usually takes place and some songs that were suppressed can take big leaps.




SWEDE TALKIN' GUY

Fred,

Your list of your favorite songs of the year is always interesting to read.

This year I notice that you didn't include any Swedish artists in the top 10. Must be the first time in several years!

What was your favorite Swedish song in 2006?

Mine was probably "Marble House" by the Knife.

Regards,

Toivo Lepp


Dear Toivo,

It wasn't deliberate and I was as surprised as you when I compiled my list and found it to be Swede-free for the first time in many years. That made me wonder if I didn't hear as much Swedish music this year as I usually do -- and I do think that's part of the reason (even though I was in Stockholm in May and came home with a copious amount of CDs).

Choosing from the Swedish songs I did hear this year, my favorite would be "Temple of Love" by Bodies Without Organs.



THE WAY TO THE TOP

Dear Fred,

Now that the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack has gone to No. 1 on The Billboard 200, this gives Beyonce the distinction of simultaneously being in pole position on the album chart and the Hot 100, without her No. 1 single being on the No. 1 album.

Best regards,

Bruce V. Bracken


Dear Bruce,

Technically, "Dreamgirls" is a multi-artist album, just as "The Bodyguard" soundtrack was by various artists and not just Whitney Houston.

That aside, this is a rare feat but not a unique one. For example, the No. 1 song on the Hot 100 the week of Aug. 19, 1967, was "All You Need Is Love" by the Beatles. The No. 1 album that week was "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by the Beatles. That LP didn't contain "All You Need Is Love" (or any single at all).

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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