Mariah Carey, Madonna, British acts, artists named "Brown" and tequila songs are among the topics Fred discusses with readers.
ONE SWEET YEAR
I was not the least bit surprised when Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" was awarded Hot 100 Song of the Year at the 2005 Billboard Music Awards. However, I was surprised when a friend told me that it was Mariah's first Hot 100 Song of the Year.
Is this true? If so, which song beat out Mariah in 1996 when she ruled the charts (Hot 100 - 16 weeks, Hot 100 Singles Sales - 11 weeks, and Hot 100 Airplay - 13 weeks) with "One Sweet Day"?
I look forward to your column every week and have been a fan for over 10 years.
Thanks for letting me know that you enjoy "Chart Beat." I hope you will enjoy it for years to come.
Details of Mariah Carey's first No. 1 song of the year on a Hot 100 recap will appear in my "Year in Charts" analysis that will appear in the Dec. 24 issue of Billboard, as well as being posted online.
"One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men had a chart run that was split between the 1995 and 1996 chart years. Since the annual recaps list the biggest hits from a specific 52-week period, "One Sweet Day" suffered as many year-end songs do by not having enough sales and airplay in either 52-week recap to rank No. 1.
The No. 1 Hot 100 single of 1996 was "Macarena" (Bayside Boys Mix) by Los Del Rio. "One Sweet Day" was No. 2.
For my book "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits," I compiled lists of the top 100 for every year from 1956 on. I wasn't hampered by annual publishing deadlines and so gave full credit for every song's run in the year that it peaked. As a result, my top 100 of 1995 has "One Sweet Day" as the No. 1 song of the year.
IS RADIO 'HUNG UP' ON MADONNA?
I look forward to reading your column every week and now I have a question I hope you can answer. With Madonna's latest CD selling well and "Hung Up" being a popular paid download, radio still seems reluctant to fully embrace the song.
I notice it is already losing spins after only seven weeks on the chart. Do you think the failure of the "American Life" singles hurt her image with radio? Before that she was easily scoring top 10 radio hits on a regular basis.
I am surprised that Madonna's "Hung Up" isn't receiving more radio airplay when it's such a hit with the music-buying and downloading public. Even given my bias to favor the song given its sampling of ABBA's "Gimmne! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)," and even given radio's reaction to "American Life," I'm surprised, because the song is an obvious and genuine hit.
You're correct that radio spins are declining. In its seventh week on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart, "Hung Up" improves its chart position, advancing 19-17, but decreases in spins (2,977 this week compared to 3,101 last week and 3,148 the week before that).
I don't know if "Hung Up" can reverse its fortunes with radio. We may have to wait and see how the follow-up fares. I haven't heard any official word of what the second single will be, but I vote for "Sorry," an outstanding track.
THE BRITS IN THE '90s
[You gave] a good answer to the question about the "no-go" U.S. zone for British pop stars with respect to the 1980s, but what about remembering the impact of Britons during the 1990s as well?
Stars like Elton John, George Michael, Sting, Queen, Annie Lennox and many others had U.S. hits in the '90s, and new groups like the Spice Girls, Right Said Fred, the Verve, etc., also impacted our domestic music scene. In fact, the Spice Girls' "girl power" movement set quite a number of trends in the American pop music scene!
By mentioning the U.K. acts that had success in the '90s, I wasn't implying that Brits didn't do well in that decade, but thanks for reminding us of the acts responsible for hits like "Wannabe," "I'm Too Sexy" and "Bitter Sweet Symphony."
I focused on the '80s because if the mid'-'60s was the "golden age" of the British Invasion, the mid-'80s was the "silver age."
IT'S NOT IN THE RAINBOW, BUT...
There have been numerous singers with the last name of Brown to chart. However, Chris Brown is only the second such soloist to top the Hot 100, as he is No. 1 with "Run It." The only other "Brown" to do so was Bobby Brown, who was No. 1 in 1989 with "My Prerogative" and in 1990 with "She Ain't Worth It," a duet with Glenn Medeiros. There was also a group called the Browns who topped the chart in 1959 with "The Three Bells."
We should acknowledge the most successful Brown on the Hot 100: James Brown. He has had 99 chart entries without ever going to No. 1. His highest position on the chart is No. 3.
Then there are two of my favorite female Browns, Maxine and Polly. Maxine's "Oh No Not My Baby" and Pollly's "Up in a Puff of Smoke" are two songs I happen to love.
You mention the Browns, a trio made up of siblings Jim Ed Brown, Maxine Brown (not the same Maxine Brown who recorded "Oh No Not My Baby") and Bonnie Brown.
WHEEL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW?
In your latest "Chart Beat" column you refer to all the charts compiled by the Billboard Information Group. Could you please let me have a list of these and advise me where they are all published?
In the meantime your readers may wish to note that while Carrie Underwood is inviting "Jesus" to "Take the Wheel" in the top 10 [of the Hot Country Songs chart], SHeDAISY says it is "Taking the Wheel" at No. 38 this week. At the moment Jesus leads by 30 places, but who will have the bigger hit in the long run? No doubt all will be revealed in due course.
The list of charts published by the Billboard information Group is too long to print here, but I can tell you that there are several places where you can find them: Billboard magazine, the "charts" section of this Web site, Billboard.biz (a subscription site for professionals) and our sister publication, Billboard Radio Monitor.
Some charts appear in more than one place, and other charts are exclusive to one of those locales.
As for your Hot Country Songs observation, I can only say there was a toss-up as to which headline to use above your letter. Coming in a close second was: WHERE THERE'S A WHEEL, THERE'S A WAY.
Joe Nichols scores his second No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart this week with "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off." It is the first song with the word "tequila" in its title to top the country list since 1991, when John Anderson's "Straight Tequila Night" went to the top.
Meanwhile, over on The Billboard Hot 100, where Nichols is listed at No. 33, his song is the first "tequila" song to crack this list since 1973-1974 when the Eagles reached No. 64 with "Tequila Sunrise."
The last "tequila" song to top the Hot 100? You guessed it: "Tequila" by the Champs in 1958.
Thanks, John. Your letter is this week's last call.