Fred Bronson reports on chart activities relating to Bruce Springsteen, Walter Murphy, Jo Dee Messina and Mariah Carey.
'DEVILS' AND THE DETAILS: There was no reason to assume that the new Bruce Springsteen album was going to debut at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, and yet that's exactly what happened. "Devils & Dust" (Columbia) has become only the second chart-topping title from the Boss in the last decade.
The only other Springsteen album to lead the album list in the last 10 years was "The Rising," No. 1 for two weeks in August 2002.
"Devils & Dust" is the seventh No. 1 album of Springsteen's career. Here is a list of all seven:
"The River," 1980 (four weeks)
"Born in the U.S.A.," 1984 (seven weeks)
"Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live/1975-85," 1986 (seven weeks)
"Tunnel of Love," 1987 (one week)
"Greatest Hits," 1995 (two weeks)
"The Rising," 2002 (two weeks)
"Devils & Dust," 2005 (one week, to date)
"Devils & Dust" is the 20th Springsteen album to appear on The Billboard 200.
ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN AND TELL 'FAMILY GUY' THE NEWS: After a gap of 27 years, nine months and two weeks, composer Walter Murphy returns to The Billboard 200. The Manhattan-born musician charted in 1976 with an album titled after his No. 1 single on the Hot 100, "A Fifth of Beethoven." That LP peaked at No. 15 and was followed in July 1977 by "Rhapsody in Blue," which reached No. 175.
Murphy is back on the Billboard album chart with "Family Guy: Live in Las Vegas" (Fox/Geffen), featuring music from the animated TV series performed, as the title indicates, live in Las Vegas. The CD debuts at No. 105.
Murphy hasn't been sitting around the house eating bon-bons all this time. The former Madison Avenue jingle writer and arranger for Doc Severinsen and "The Tonight Show" orchestra has been busy scoring films (including "The Night They Took Miss Beautiful," "The Lady Forgets" and "Crow's Nest"), along with work on various TV series (including "The Commish," Profit" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer").
'DAMN' YANKEE: The country star from Massachusetts, Jo Dee Messina, has the best chart week of her life, as her single achieves pole position on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart and her new album debuts on The Billboard 200 at No. 7, her career highest position on that tally.
"My Give a Damn's Busted" (Curb) surges 5-1 on the Hot Country Songs list to become Messina's first chart-topper in three years and the sixth of her career. Messina's six country No. 1s are:
"Bye Bye," 1998 (two weeks)
"I'm Alright," 1998 (three weeks)
"Stand Beside Me," 1999 (three weeks)
"That's the Way," 2000 (four weeks)
"Bring on the Rain," 2002 (one week) Jo Dee Messina with Tim McGraw
"My Give a Damn's Busted," 2005 (one week, to date)
"Delicious Surprise," the parent album of the "Damn" single, enters The Billboard 200 at No. 7. Messina's highest position on this chart until now was the No. 14 debut and peak of her "Greatest Hits" CD in 2003.
On the Top Country Albums chart, "Delicious" bows at No. 1, giving Messina her third chart-topping set. "Burn" spent one week at the head of the class in 2000 and "Greatest Hits" had one week on top in 2003. One more week on top would make "Delicious" Messina's most successful chart entry on the Top Country Albums roundup.
'AMARILLO' AGAIN: There's no change at the top of the U.K. singles chart, where the reissue of Tony Christie's "(Is This the Way to) Amarillo" continues to reign for a seventh week. That breaks a tie with Connie Francis' "Stupid Cupid" to make "Amarillo" the most successful Neil Sedaka composition in U.K. history.
"Amarillo" is now in a five-way tie as the longest-running No. 1 single since the summer of 1994, when Wet Wet Wet's remake of the Troggs' "Love Is All Around" was in pole position for 15 weeks. "Amarillo" is tied with these other seven-week No. 1s:
"Think Twice," Celine Dion, 1995
"Unchained Melody" / "(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover," Robson & Jerome, 1995
"Wannabe," Spice Girls, 1996
"Believe," Cher, 1998
'TOGETHER' ALONE: Mariah Carey's latest, "We Belong Together" (Island), advances into the top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. It's the first non-collaborative top 10 for Carey on both charts in six years.
The last time Carey was in the top 10 with a song that didn't feature another artist was in 1999. "I Still Believe" peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100 and No. 3 on the R&B list.