News on Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Alient Ant Farm
FLYING SOLO: For the second consecutive week, Alicia Keys is No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 with her debut hit, "Fallin'" (J). Keys is the sole writer and producer of the song. The last No. 1 hit to have only one writer and one producer credited was "Bent," which hit the top for matchbox twenty in July 2000. Rob Thomas wrote "Bent," which was produced by Matt Serletic.
The last No. 1 hit to have just one writer and one producer who was also the artist was "I'm Your Angel," the R. Kelly & Celine Dion duet that was written and produced by Kelly. "I'm Your Angel" had a six-week reign that began the week of Dec. 5, 1998. The last No. 1 hit written and produced by one solo female was "Doo Wop (That Thing)" by Lauryn Hill. Written and produced by Hill, "Doo Wop" was No. 1 the week of Nov. 14, 1998.
ODDS ARE SEVEN-TO-ONE: Chart Beat reader David Dana-Bashian of Garden Grove, Calif., writes that Alicia Keys was among rare company when she bulleted 7-1 on The Billboard Hot 100 last week with "Fallin'." In his E-mail, Dana-Bashian listed the other artists who have made the same 7-1 move in the rock era:
The Platters, "Twilight Time," April 1958 (Best Sellers in Stores chart)
Sheb Wooley, "The Purple People Eater," June 1958 (Best Sellers and Top 100)
Frankie Avalon, "Venus," March 1959
The Browns, "The Three Bells," August 1959
The Supremes, "You Keep Me Hangin' On," November 1966
Bobbie Gentry, "Ode to Billie Joe," August 1967
Paul Mauriat, "Love Is Blue," February 1968
Chuck Berry, "My Ding-a-Ling," October 1972
Mary MacGregor, "Torn Between Two Lovers," February 1977
TLC, "Waterfalls," July 1995
'CRIMINAL' RECORD: There have been plenty of artists who have covered Jackson 5 songs, or sampled them. Mariah Carey's "I'll Be There," Graham Parker's "I Want You Back," and Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Goodbye" are three direct remakes that come to mind immediately. "I Want You Back" was sampled in Lil' Romeo's recent debut hit, "My Baby," and is also sampled in the new Jay-Z song, "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)."
It's much rarer to find artists who have remade Michael Jackson's solo recordings. That might be because the King of Pop records such definitive versions. However, there are a few examples. In 1980, Johnny Duncan and Janie Fricke changed the gender of "She's Out of My Life" and had a No. 17 country hit with "He's Out of My Life," just three months after Jackson's original debuted on the Hot 100. Femme trio SWV took Jackson's No. 7 hit from 1983, "Human Nature," and incorporated it into "Right Here." The resulting merger entered the Hot 100 exactly 10 years to the week after the original debuted and bested Jackson's single, peaking at No. 2. On the R&B chart, the SWV single spent seven weeks at No. 1, again topping the original, which only managed to reach No. 27.
This week, another rare cover of a solo Jacko song enters the Hot 100. Alien Ant Farm's version of "Smooth Criminal" (New Noize/DreamWorks), which is the new No. 1 title on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, enters the Hot 100 at No. 73.