Chart-based stories on Savage Garden, Mary J. Blige, and "Star Academy."
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW: Until this week, the longest chart run for a song in the history of Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart was 123 weeks, a record held by "Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden. Records are made to be broken, and the current chart includes a song in its 124th chart week. That would be another Savage Garden hit - "I Knew I Loved You," winner and new champion.
The Australian duo is no longer together, and lead vocalist Darren Hayes is also on the AC chart with his solo debut single, "Insatiable" (Columbia), which moves 20-18.
DRAMATIC DROP: At first glance, it appears that Mary J. Blige's album "No More Drama" (MCA) has taken one of the biggest plunges in the history of The Billboard 200, dropping 10-134. At the same time, a new version of the album enters the chart at No. 20. This may be perplexing to those "Chart Beat" readers who are aware that last week, combined sales of both albums moved "No More Drama" from 28-10. What's the explanation?
Last week, sales for both versions were combined because, according to information from Blige's label, the new version consisted of the original album plus some extra tracks. That turned out not to be true. The 2002 edition of "No More Drama" drops some tracks from the original release to make room for new tracks. That makes this latest "Drama" a different album from the original, and so they have been separated on the chart.
The original release, which is being deleted, still sold enough copies to rank at No. 134, while the new edition debuts at No. 20. Had they still been allowed to chart together, "No More Drama" would have been No. 12 this week.
Consumers who want to purchase the new "Drama" may be unaware that tracks have been deleted. At deadline, some online retailers were still listing the new version as having 21 tracks, including all of the original songs plus the added cuts.
MERCI POUR 'LA MUSIQUE': Reality television shows have had an impact on charts all over the globe, and now a French TV series called "Star Academy" has made chart history, according to French chart columnist Elia Habib.
Described as a cross between "Big Brother" and "Making the Band," "Star Academy" has yielded an album of cover versions by artists collectively known by the same name as the series. Last year, Star Academy debuted at No. 1 on the French singles chart with "La Musique" (Island/Universal), a remake of a song originally by the Sandpipers.
This week, "La Musique" gives way to the second Star Academy single, "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" (Mercury), a cover of the ABBA song. As Habib notes, this is the first time in the history of the French charts that an act has succeeded itself in pole position. Star Academy is also the first act to have its first two singles debut at No. 1.
And, if that wasn't enough, Star Academy is just the third act in the history of the French singles chart to have No. 1 hits in French and English. The other two are David Hallyday and Celine Dion.