Fred Bronson reports on chart activities relating to Mariah Carey, Secret Garden, "American Idol"/Queen and 50 Cent and B5.
EMANCIPATED: For the first time in seven-and-a-half years, Mariah Carey is sitting in pole position on The Billboard 200. "The Emancipation of Mimi" is her first album to reach No. 1 since "Butterfly" debuted at the summit the week of Oct. 4, 1997.
"Mimi" marks the first time a solo female has had a No. 1 album on the Island imprint. Actually, this is the first No. 1 album on Island for any solo act, or any woman. The only other act on the Island roster to top the Billboard album chart until now is U2. The Irish rockers had five consecutive No. 1 albums on Island, beginning with "The Joshua Tree," which went to the top 18 years ago this week.
"Mimi" is Carey's fifth No. 1 album on The Billboard 200. Her self-titled debut spent 11 weeks on top in 1991. Two years later, her "Music Box" CD had an eight-week reign. In 1995, "Daydream" ruled for six weeks. Adding in the one week "Butterfly" spent at No. 1, and this is Carey's 27th week on top of the album chart.
"Mimi" also debuts at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, where it is Carey's first chart-topper in almost 10 years. "Daydream" spent one lone week on top in October 1995. Carey's only other No. 1 R&B album was "Music Box," with two weeks at the head of the list in 1993.
It's also a good chart week for Carey on the Billboard Hot 100, where the first hit from "Mimi," "It's Like That," rebounds 36-27 and the follow-up, "We Belong Together," rockets 61-30.
SECRET LOVED: A decade after its formation, the Irish/Norwegian duo Secret Garden has its first No. 1 album on the Top New Age Albums chart. "Earthsongs" (Decca) is the seventh Secret Garden album to chart, and its ascendancy comes almost 10 years to the moment that Secret Garden won the Eurovision Song Contest with the virtually-instrumental "Nocturne."
Rolf Lovland, a keyboardist/composer from Norway, and Fionnuala Sherry, a violinist from Ireland, took to the stage at The Point in Dublin on May 13, 1995, to perform "Nocturne." The song had 24 words, the fewest of any Eurovision entry since the contest began in 1956. When all the points were added up, Secret Garden was the winner, giving Norway its second victory (after "Let It Swing" by Bobbysocks in 1985).
One year later to the week, Secret Garden made its debut on Top New Age Albums with "Songs from a Secret Garden," which included "Nocturne." Here is a summary of Secret Garden's chart history on the new age chart, with peak positions:
"Songs from a Secret Garden," No. 5 (1996)
"White Stones," No. 7 (1997)
"Dawn of a New Century," No. 4 (1999)
"Dreamcatcher," No. 4 (2001)
"Once in a Red Moon," No. 2 (2002)
"The Best of Secret Garden: 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection," No. 8 (2004)
"Earthsongs," No. 1 (2005)
CONSTANTINE'S BO RHAP: Bruce Gowers, the director of the original "Bohemian Rhapsody" video for Queen, once had the personalized license plate "Bo Rhap." Ironically, it wasn't Bo (Bice) who sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the fourth season of "American Idol," but Constantine Maroulis, who some consider to be Bo's main rival, as both men have been branded rockers.
Maroulis' performance has had an impact on a Billboard chart, as Queen's track has re-entered Hot Digital Songs at No. 45. It's the second time this year that an "American Idol" performance has resulted in an original recording showing up on Hot Digital Songs. After Carrie Underwood performed "Alone" on the Billboard No. 1 Hits show on March 22, Heart's original entered the digital chart at No. 51 the week ending April 9.
NINE + NINE: "Candy Shop" (Shady/Aftermath) by 50 Cent featuring Olivia is No. 1 for the ninth week on the Hot 100. The song it succeeded, "Let Me Love You" by Mario, also had a nine-week run. That means the only two songs to spend time at No. 1 in 2005 both had nine-week reigns. That makes this year only the third in Hot 100 history to have more than one song spend exactly nine weeks on top.
In 1981, Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" had a non-consecutive nine-week reign. That same year, "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie also dominated for nine weeks.
In 2003, 50 Cent's first chart-topper, "In Da Club," went nine rounds in the spring. In the autumn, "Baby Boy" by Beyonce featuring Sean Paul garnered top ink for nine weeks. Before the year ended, "Hey Ya!" by OutKast began a nine-week run in pole position.
While "Candy Shop" could retain its grip on No. 1 for a 10th week, another song has momentum in its favor. A 10-3 move for Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" (Interscope) is a good sign that the lead singer for No Doubt will have her first No. 1 hit next week.
B5 TROOPS ONTO CHART: Next week will mark the 15th anniversary of the debut on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs of "All I Do Is Think of You" by Troop. The song made it to No. 1 the week of June 30, 1990.
This week, a remake titled "All I Do" (Bad Boy) is a new entry for the five brothers known as B5. It's an appropriate song for the quintet, as "All I Do Is Think of You" was originally recorded by five brothers. You can find it on the "Moving Violation" album by the Jackson 5, and on the flip side of the Jackson 5's 1975 single, "Forever Came Today." The Jacksons' "All I Do Is Think of You" peaked at No. 50 on the R&B chart ("Forever Came Today" went to No. 6).
The return of "All I Do" puts songwriters Brian Holland and Michael Lovesmith back on the chart. Lovesmith and his older brothers Danny and Louis were signed to the Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland-owned Music Merchant label as the Smith Connection. The trio recorded "All I Do" but never released it.
The debut of the B5 song expands Brian Holland's chart span as a songwriter to 43 years, seven months and three weeks, counting back to the debut of the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" in September 1961.