Chart-based stories on Elvis Presley, Nelly, SheDaisy, and more.
LONG LIVE THE KING: It's an event so rare, that it has only happened twice in the rock era. It happened for the first time the week of Nov. 27, 1982, and now it has happened again during this current chart week, July 13, 2002.
That event is the debut of new releases by Elvis Presley on Billboard's Hot 100, The Billboard 200, and Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. Back in 1982, a single and album both titled "The Elvis Medley" pulled off this hat trick. This week, the Elvis vs. JXL single "A Little Less Conversation" (RCA) enters the Hot 100 at No. 50, fueled by a No. 1 debut on the Hot 100 Singles Sales tally. At the same time, the four disc box set "Elvis: Today, Tomorrow & Forever" (RCA) enters The Billboard 200 at No. 180 and the Top Country Albums chart at No. 21.
"Today" is the second Presley title to appear on The Billboard 200 in 2002; "Elvis: The Very Best of Love" opened and peaked at No. 174 in March. This is the first year since 1987 that Presley has had two debuts in a calendar year. With the impending release of a collection of No. 1 hits later this year, Presley should have at least three debuting albums in 2002, matching his total in 1984.
This is the sixth time in the rock era that Presley has new entries on the Billboard pop singles and albums charts. It happened previously the weeks of April 21, 1958; March 23, 1959; Nov. 13, 1965; Nov. 29, 1969; and Nov. 27, 1982.
On the Hot 100, "A Little Less Conversation" is the first Presley song to chart since 1982's "The Elvis Medley." This new single gives Presley the longest chart span of any artist within the rock era. It has been 46 years, four months, and 10 days since "Heartbreak Hotel" debuted the week of March 3, 1956.
While "A Little Less Conversation" is charting mostly on sales points, RCA plans to promote the single to radio, and is going for airplay ads the week of July 8. Should the Elvis vs. JXL song garner enough radio airplay, it could make a serious climb up the Hot 100. "A Little Less Conversation" is already the highest-ranked Presley song since "Guitar Man" strummed its way to No. 28 in 1981. Presley was last in the top-20 in 1977 when "Way Down," the single that was on the chart when he died on Aug. 16, reached No. 18. Presley was last in the top-10 in 1972, when "Burning Love" was hot enough to peak at No. 2.
SLOWDOWN: The turnover rate of No. 1 songs on The Billboard Hot 100 is slowing down. Although we're into the second week of the second half of the calendar year, only four songs have advanced to pole position in 2002. That matches the pace of 1996, when four songs had moved to No. 1 by the week ending July 13.
Nelly continues at No. 1 with "Hot in Herre" (Fo' Reel/Universal) for the third week. The only other songs to move to the top this year are "Always on Time" by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti, "Ain't It Funny" by Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule, and "Foolish" by Ashanti.
By this week in 2000 and 2001, eight singles had advanced to No. 1. In 1999, there were seven new No. 1 hits by the second week in July. In 1998, nine songs had moved to the top spot by this corresponding week.
HERRE'S NELLY: While Nelly continues to lead the Hot 100 with "Hot in Herre," he is also No. 1 on The Billboard 200, where sophomore set "Nellyville" is his first album to enter in pole position. His debut effort, "Country Grammar," debuted at No. 3 exactly two years ago, on the chart for the week ending July 15, 2000. "Grammar" spent five weeks at No. 1.
'SKY' HIGH: Country femme trio SheDaisy collects the highest-debuting and highest-charting album of its career, as "Knock on the Sky" (Hollywood) enters the Top Country Albums chart at No. 3. In August 1999, the sisters made their first appearance on the chart with "The Whole Shebang," which debuted at No. 14 and peaked at No. 6. In December 2000, "Brand New Year" opened at No. 64 and went to No. 10. "The Whole Shebang - All Mixed Up" entered and peaked at No. 30 in October 2001.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Did you send a card? This week marks the 10th anniversary of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales chart, introduced in the issue dated July 15, 1992. The first song to top the chart was Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back." Since then, 29 songs have been No. 1 for six weeks or more. The longest-running No. 1 singles on the Sales chart are:
"Bump N' Grind," R. Kelly (13 weeks, 1994)
"Nobody's Supposed To Be Here," Deborah Cox (13 weeks, 1998)
"Can't Nobody Hold Me Down," Puff Daddy (featuring Mase) (12 weeks, 1997)
"End of the Road," Boyz II Men (11 weeks, 1992)
"I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston (11 weeks, 1992)
"Gangsta Lean," DRS (10 weeks, 1993)
"Creep," TLC (10 weeks, 1994)
"One More Chance/Stay With Me," The Notorious B.I.G. (9 weeks, 1995)
"Funkdafied," Da Brat (8 weeks, 1994)
"I'll Make Love to You," Boyz II Men (8 weeks, 1994)
"I'll Be Missing You," Puff Daddy & Faith Evans featuring 112 (8 weeks, 1997)
"My Body," LSG (8 weeks, 1997)
"Hot Boyz," Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott featuring Nas, Eve & Q-Tip (8 weeks, 1999)
"Bag Lady," Erykah Badu (8 weeks, 2000)
In the chart's 10-year existence, 22 songs have entered at No. 1. The most recent to do so was "I Don't Really Know" (Heavenly Tunes) by Brandy Moss-Scott. That is only the second song on an independent label to debut in pole position; the other was "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on the Relativity imprint.