Fred Bronson reports on the latest chart feats of the Eagles, Clay Aiken, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Rodney Crowell, Marques Houston and Van Morrison.
FLY LIKE THE EAGLES: Extending their chart span to 31 years, four months and two weeks, the Eagles soar onto The Billboard 200 at No. 3 with "The Very Best Of" (Warner Strategic Marketing). This is the highest the group has flown on the chart in almost 10 years, since "Hell Freezes Over" spent two weeks at No. 1 at the end of 1994.
This new best-of collection is the second Eagles album to chart in this millennium. "Selected Works: 1972-1999" stopped at No. 109 in December 2000.
The latest Eagles CD is the group's 12th charted album. An eponymously-titled LP marked the Eagles' debut in June 1972.
WHAT '?MEASURE' MEANT: A narrow sales lead over Rod Stewart's "As Time Goes By'|The Great American Songbook Vol. II" (J) keeps Clay Aiken's "Measure of a Man" at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 for a second week.
That makes Aiken the first solo male artist to have a debut album remain No. 1 for two weeks or more since Nelly's "Country Grammar" had a five-week reign in the summer of 2000.
HER 51 CENT's WORTH: "Baby Boy" (Columbia) by Beyoncé featuring Sean Paul is No. 1 for the sixth week on Billboard's Hot 100. Beyoncé has already spent eight weeks on top of the chart with her first No. 1 away from Destiny's Child, "Crazy in Love." That gives her a total of 14 weeks in pole position during this calendar year, making her the artist with the most weeks spent at No. 1 in 2003. Falling to second place is 50 Cent, who was No. 1 for 13 weeks with "In Da Club" (nine weeks) and "21 Questions" (four weeks).
The last artist to spend more than 14 weeks at No. 1 in a calendar year is Nelly, who topped the Hot 100 in 2002 with "Hot in Herre" (seven weeks) and "Dilemma" (10 weeks).
TOP TWO: Jay-Z picks up "Hot Shot Debut" honors on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, thanks to the No. 30 opening of "Change Clothes" (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam). "Clothes" is the chart's second highest new entry of 2003. Jay-Z also has the highest new entry of the year, as he was featured on Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love," which opened at No. 26.
FEEL THE 'EARTHBOUND' MOVE: Rodney Crowell's chart span on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart grows to 25 years and two months, thanks to the debut of "Earthbound" (DMZ/Epic) at No. 60. From the album "Fate's Right Hand," it's the first Crowell song to appear on the chart in this century. Crowell's last title to chart was "I Walk the Line Revisited," recorded with his former father-in-law Johnny Cash, which peaked at No. 61 in 2001.
"Earthbound" is tied with "Let the Picture Paint Itself" from 1994 as Crowell's highest-charting songs since "What Kind of Love" peaked at No. 11 in 1992.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE NO PROBLEM: Going out on his own has proven to be a good idea for Marques Houston, formerly of the band Immature, which became IMx when the members grew up. Houston makes his solo debut on The Billboard 200 at No. 18 with "MH" (T.U.G./Elektra).
Immature had three chart albums and IMx had one. Of those four, the highest-ranked was "We Got It," which reached No. 76 in 1996.
MOVING VAN: Ireland's Van Morrison makes his label debut on Blue Note with "What's Wrong With This Picture?," which bows at No. 32 on The Billboard 200. It's his 36th chart album in a career that stretches back 38 years, three months and two weeks. Morrison first appeared on the Billboard album chart in July 1965 with an LP titled "Them," named after his Belfast-based rock group.
His first solo album to chart was "Blowin' Your Mind!", which reached No. 182 in 1967. Morrison's highest-charted album to date is the 1972 release "St. Dominic's Preview," which peaked at No. 15. Prior to his Blue Note debut, his last album on the chart was "Down the Road" (No. 25, June 2002).