Chart-based stories on All-4-One, Michael Bolton, and "middle" songs by Jimmy Eat World, A1, and Diswalla.
ALL'S WELL: It's been almost three years since the vocal quartet All-4-One has appeared on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. The group returns to the tally this week with "Beautiful As You" (AMC), which debuts at No. 29. All-4-One last charted AC with "I Will Be Right Here," which peaked at No. 24 in 1999.
Should "Beautiful As You" make it to the Hot 100, All-4-One will have ended an even longer drought. The foursome last appeared on this survey in 1996 with the No. 30 hit "Someday," from the soundtrack to Walt Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
GOING THE DISTANCE: Another artist who charted with a Disney song ("Go the Distance" from "Hercules") has his first top-10 hit on the AC chart in quite a spell. Newly signed to the Jive label, Michael Bolton moves 10-9 with his first single for the imprint, "Only a Woman Like You." Bolton's last top-10 AC hit was "The Best of Love," which peaked at No. 5 and ended its 13-week visit to the top-10 the week of Feb. 13, 1998.
"Only Like You" is Bolton's first AC chart entry since his remake of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" stopped at No. 28 in early 2000. Bolton had the bigger AC version of "Sexual Healing," as Gaye's original peaked at No. 34 in 1982.
MIDDLE UNEARTHED: What is it about the "middle" that is suddenly attracting so much attention? Jimmy Eat World has its biggest hit to date with "The Middle" (DreamWorks), which bullets 34-26 on the Hot 100 and maintains its grip on pole position on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart for the third week. The British/Norwegian boy band A1 has just released its European hit "Caught in the Middle" (Columbia) in the U.S., and Dishwalla, the outfit that once counted blue cars, returns this week with a new single, "Somewhere in the Middle" (Immergent).
It seems to me that it's time for someone to remake Stealers Wheel's No. 6 song from 1973, "Stuck in the Middle With You" (a U.K. hit last year when covered by former Eternal singer Louise).