Fred Bronson reports on the latest chart feats of Bob Seger, Beyoncé, Clay Aiken, Sarah McLachlan, Toby Keith, "The Matrix," and Kylie & Dannii Minogue.
RIGHT MOVES: It's been eight years and 11 days since a Bob Seger album debuted on The Billboard 200. The Detroit rocker is back with "Greatest Hits 2" (Capitol), which enters the chart at No. 23. It's Seger's highest ranking since his first "Greatest Hits" landed at No. 8 in November 1994.
"Greatest Hits 2" is the first Seger album to chart since "It's a Mystery" stopped at No. 27 in November 1995.
Seger's latest release is his 16th album to chart on The Billboard 200. He made his debut in 1969 with "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," credited to the Bob Seger System. That first set peaked at No. 62.
SWEET 16: The "Baby Boy" won't budge. The song by Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul remains No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 for an eighth consecutive week. That equals the reign of Beyoncé's first No. 1 hit earlier this year. Add together the eight weeks at No. 1 for "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy" and you get a total of 16 weeks in pole position.
That's just one week shy of the 17 weeks Destiny's Child has spent at No. 1. Beyoncé's group has had four chart-toppers:
"Bills, Bills, Bills" (1 week, 1999)
"Say My Name" (3 weeks, 2000)
"Independent Women Part I" (11 weeks, 2000)
"Bootylicious" (2 weeks, 2001)
That gives Beyoncé a career total of 33 weeks on top of the Hot 100.
SENSING A PATTERN: If following the chart life of Clay Aiken's "Measure of a Man" on The Billboard 200 has created a sense of déjô vu, there's a good reason. The album debuted at No. 1, remained there for two weeks, then slipped to No. 3 and then fell to No. 8.
Last June, Aiken's single "This Is the Night" debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100, remained there for two weeks, then slipped to No. 3 and then fell to No. 8.
The pattern is already broken for Aiken's second single, which enters the Hot 100 this week at No. 57. "Invisible" (RCA) is charting solely on airplay, unlike "This Is the Night" which received most of its strength from commercial single sales.
"Invisible" will be released as a commercial single on Dec. 9, backed with the non-album track "Solitaire." Aiken performed that Neil Sedaka song during the second season competition on "American Idol."
SARAH, PLAINLY TALL: Sarah McLachlan's new album, "Afterglow" (Arista), is the highest-charting title of her career, tied with her 1997 release, "Surfacing."
"Afterglow" enters at No. 2. It's McLachlan's first chart appearance this century. Her most recent entry was "Mirrorball," which peaked at No. 3 in July 1999.
'SHOCK' TO THE SYSTEM: Toby Keith has his second No. 1 album on The Billboard 200. "Shock'n Y'all" (DreamWorks) debuts in pole position, just as "Unleashed" did the week of Aug. 10, 2002. "Unleashed" spent one week on top, so if "Shock" earns a second week at No. 1, it will be Keith's most successful chart title.
Over on Billboard's Top Country Albums tally, "Shock" is Keith's third No. 1. "Pull My Chain" had a one-week reign in September 2001 and "Unleashed" spent a magnificent seven weeks on top in the summer of 2002.
TRI-MATRIX: The third soundtrack from a "Matrix" movie enters The Billboard 200 at No. 69. "Matrix Revolutions" (Warner Sunset/Maverick) has the lowest debut of the three, as "The Matrix" opened at No. 18 the week of April 17, 1999, peaking two weeks later at No. 7.
"The Matrix Reloaded: The Album" entered at No. 8 the week of May 24, 2003, and peaked at No. 5 the following week. "Reloaded" was on the chart as recently as three weeks ago.
SISTER ACT: It's a case of dual Minogues on Billboard's dance charts this week. Older sister Kylie Minogue moves 15-13 on the Hot Dance Radio Airplay tally with her new European single, "Slow" (Capitol). Soon to be released in the U.S., "Slow" debuts at No. 1 on the pop singles charts in the U.K. and the singer's native Australia.
Meanwhile, younger sister Dannii Minogue debuts at No. 14 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart with "I Begin To Wonder" (Ultra).