Chart Beat

Neil Diamond's '12 Songs' ranks among his best, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox and Cyndi Lauper return and Chris Brown ascends to No. 1.

ON THE CHART WITH DIAMOND: Neil Diamond's "12 Songs" (Columbia) is instantly tied for fourth place among the Brooklyn native's most successful chart albums. The new release debuts at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, making it the highest-debuting set of his career.

The only Neil Diamond albums to chart higher than "12 Songs" are "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" (No. 2 in 1973), "The Jazz Singer" (No. 3 in 1981) and "Serenade" (No. 3 in 1974). "12 Songs" is tied with "Beautiful Noise" (No. 4 in 1976) and "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (No. 4 in 1979).

"12 Songs" is Diamond's 45th chart album, in a career that stretches back 39 years and one month, to the debut of "The Feel of Neil Diamond" the week of Oct. 29, 1966. Of those 45 albums, 14 have reached the top 10. "12 Songs" is the highest-charting since "The Jazz Singer," which debuted on the Billboard album chart 25 years ago this week.

KATE, ANNIE AND CYNDI: Three acts that made their debuts on The Billboard 200 in a 13-month period between November 1982 and December 1983 all have new albums entering the chart this week.

Kate Bush is the senior chart veteran of the trio. She made her U.S. album chart debut with her fourth LP, "The Dreaming," the week of Nov. 13, 1982. Her first three albums -- "The Kick Inside," "Lionheart" and "Never for Ever" -- had already charted in the United Kingdom. Her highest-charting set in the United States remains "The Red Shoes," which opened at No. 28 the week of Nov. 20, 1993. Her first release in 12 years, "Aerial" (Columbia), bows at No. 48, making it the third highest-charting album of her career. "Hounds of Love" went to No. 30 in 1985.

Six months after Bush made her U.S. debut, another U.K. act found its way to our shores. Eurythmics made its first appearance on The Billboard 200 the week of May 28, 1983 with "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)." This week, "Ultimate Collection" (Arista) is new at No. 116. It is the 11th Eurythmics album to chart, and the first this century. The last album by David A. Stewart and Annie Lennox to appear on The Billboard 200 was "Peace," No. 25 in November 1999.

Completing the triumvirate is Cyndi Lauper, whose first chart album was "She's So Unusual." That LP debuted the week of Dec. 24, 1983. Lauper's latest, "The Body Acoustic" (Daylight/Epic), begins its chart life at No. 112.

TAKE 'IT!' ALL THE WAY: Chris Brown collects his first No. 1 hit on The Billboard Hot 100, as "Run It! (Jive) moves up one notch after spending four weeks at No. 2. Brown is the second solo male artist to top this chart in 2005, following Mario, who had a nine-week reign with "Let Me Love You."

Brown is the first artist to have a No. 1 hit with a debut single in 2005. Carrie Underwood did have a No. 1 song with "Inside Your Heaven," but she had already appeared on the Hot 100 as one of the American Idol Season Four Finalists. That means Brown is the first artist to reach pole position with a first chart single since Ciara went all the way with "Goodies" in September 2004.

"Run It!" is the 10th single on the Jive imprint to top the Hot 100, and the first since Joe's "Stutter" in February 2001. Nine of those 10 Jive No. 1s have been by male artists, though one was a duet with a female singer. The only solo female to have a No. 1 on Jive is Britney Spears. The No. 1 Jive men are Billy Ocean, Hi-Five, R. Kelly, 'N Sync, Joe and Chris Brown. Kelly has his own solo No. 1, as well as one with Celine Dion.

As speculated last week, "Run It!" becomes the seventh No. 1 song of 2005. This is the latest in a calendar year that the seventh No. 1 has arrived. Before "Run It!" the latest a seventh No. 1 had arrived was the week of Nov. 9. It happened in 1996 with "No Diggity" by BLACKstreet featuring Dr. Dre and again in 2002 with Eminem's "Lose Yourself."

WHEN THEY SAY IT, THEY MEAN IT: Not every song with "Number 1" in the title goes to No. 1, but British duo Goldfrapp doesn't have that problem. "Number 1" (Mute) is No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Singles Sales chart for a second week.