Chart-based stories on the Who, Nelly, Celine Dion, and Barney/Marlene Duval.
HERE'S A WHO: Veteran British rockers the Who have their highest-charting album on The Billboard 200 in almost 20 years. "The Ultimate Collection" (UTV/MCA) enters the chart at No. 31, the group's best showing since "It's Hard" solidified at No. 8 in the last quarter of 1982. It's the first album by the Who to chart since "BBC Sessions" went to No. 101 in March 2000.
This new collection of Who hits stretches the band's album chart span to 35 years, one month, and one week, dating back to the debut of "Happy Jack" the week of May 20, 1967. The group's highest-charting album is the 1978 release "Who Are You," which spent two weeks at No. 2.
'HOT,' FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME: The change of seasons also brings a change at the top of The Billboard Hot 100, where "Hot in Herre" (Fo' Reel/Universal) by Nelly unseats Ashanti's "Foolish" after that Murder. Inc/Def Jam single's 10-week reign. With the calendar year half over, "Hot in Herre" is the first song to advance to No. 1 in 2002 that isn't by Ja Rule and/or Ashanti, or produced by Irv Gotti.
"Hot" is only the fourth new No. 1 of 2002. Here's a recap of the year's chart-toppers to date:
"Always on Time," Ja Rule featuring Ashanti (2 weeks)
"Ain't It Funny," Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule (6 weeks)
"Foolish," Ashanti (10 weeks)
"Hot in Herre," Nelly (1 week to date)
THE LONGEST 'DAY': Only four songs have been No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart longer than Celine Dion's "A New Day Has Come" (Epic), and one of them is by the artist herself. The first radio hit from Dion's album of the same name, "A New Day Has Come" is on top of the AC tally for a 14th week.
Here is the quartet of hits that have been No. 1 longer than 14 weeks:
"You'll Be in My Heart," Phil Collins (19 weeks) 1999
"Because You Loved Me," Celine Dion (19 weeks) 1996
"I Knew I Loved You," Savage Garden (17 weeks) 1999
"Breathe," Faith Hill (17 weeks) 2000
In 1996, Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart" also had a 14-week run. If "A New Day Has Come" is still in pole position next week, it will be in fifth place by itself.
"A New Day Has Come" is the longest-running AC No. 1 since Hill's "Breathe" in 2000. "A New Day Has Come" is the fourth Dion title to rule the AC chart for 10 weeks or more. That's more than any other artist. Aside from "Because You Loved Me," the others songs to have double-digit reigns are "I'm Your Angel" with R. Kelly, which was No. 1 for 12 weeks in 1998-99; and "My Heart Will Go On," which had a titanic 10-week run in 1997.
ENFANTILE: Elia Habib, who often provides "Chart Beat" with news of the French charts, points out something unusual about the new No. 1 single in France. "Un Enfant de Toi" (Avrep/EMI) by Marlene & Phil Barney is the first chart-topper in France to be an updated version of a former top-10 hit by the same artist.
That would be Barney, who had a No. 3 hit with "Un Enfant de Toi" in 1987. Marlene Duval was a contestant in the second season of "Loft Story," a "Big Brother"-type series, where she was always singing Barney's "Un Enfant de Toi." After she was voted out of the loft a few weeks ago, Barney invited her to record the song with him as a duet.