Weekly Chart Notes: Baauer's 'Harlem' Begins To 'Shake' Up Radio
After the song logged more than a quarter-billion U.S. streams the past three weeks, radio is joining in on the viral craze.
Is radio getting ready to dance to the "Harlem Shake" at last?
Airplay still accounts for less than 1% of the song's overall Billboard Hot 100 chart points, but, like all the people who join in for the second half of all those videos, programmers are beginning to get it on Baauer's viral sensation that leads the list for a third week.
This week, "Shake" increases by 33% to 7.9 million in all-format audience, according to Nielsen BDS. It would need, however, approximately twice as much listenership to reach the 75-position Radio Songs survey.
How long has it been since a Hot 100 No. 1 hadn't appeared on Radio Songs? Taylor Hicks' "Do I Make You Proud" was the last such hit," having launched atop the July 1, 2006, chart following his "American Idol" coronation that year. Just like with "Shake" this week, "Proud" that frame ruled the Hot 100 with less than 1% of its chart points owed to radio. (The difference, of course, is that the breakdown of "Shake" is currently 85% streaming/14% sales. "Proud" reigned with a 99% sales domination, 83% of which was due to physical single sales.)
Still, radio is beginning to become a more significant part of the equation for "Shake." The track debuts this week on Pop Songs at No. 38 and Rhythmic at No. 40. That major label Warner Bros. is now promoting the song (after its release in independent label Mad Decent almost a year ago) should also enhance its chances at the medium.
Following the song's viral explosion, including 254 million streams in the U.S. over the three weeks in which "Shake" has topped the Hot 100, programmers are now taking cues from their listeners. "We didn't know what label was responsible and didn't care. We only knew that our audience wanted this," says Alex Tear, Clear Channel Miami VP/programming. "It's a fun visual and a part of pop culture. We want to deliver on audience expectations of our being a part of pop culture fiber. No genius here."
"We try to reflect what's happening and when something like 'Harlem Shake' happens, you can't ignore it," echoes Chris Patyk, program director of CBS Radio pop station KEGY (Energy 103.7) San Diego. Patyk, among other PDs, wonders, however, about the track's long-term viability. "It feels like a novelty song with a short lifespan. Right now is the time to play it. But, the clock is ticking down fast."
Notably, the song's streaming sum plummeted by 45%, although to a still-colossal 53 million streams, over the past week.
R Dub, Local Media of America-owned rhythmic XHTZ (Jammin' Z90.3) San Diego director of programming, likewise questions if interest in "Shake" is destined to dim following its rapid-fire social media rise. But, for now, "It's a no-brainer to play it. Listener reaction has been strong and immediate. As a format and station that lives in the now, we're cool if a song's staying power is two weeks or two years.
"We'll roll with it as long as we need to."
'UNORTHODOX' TRIP TO No. 1: As reported by Billboard 200 chart manager Keith Caulfield, Bruno Mars claims his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, as "Unorthodox Jukebox" jumps 2-1 in its 12th week. The set reigns fueled largely by Amazon MP3 sale-pricing, as on Feb. 26, the digital retailer offered a host of albums for just $1.99, including "Jukebox."
With the set ascending to No. 1 after a three-month climb, Mars claims the unusual distinction of the slowest rise to the top of the Billboard 200 since 2005. The week of March 5 that year, Ray Charles' "Genius Loves Company" reached No. 1 in its 25th week on the tally following its win for album of the year at the Grammy Awards.
Caulfield notes how rare it is rare that an album moves to No. 1, as opposed to debuting there. "Jukebox" is just the sixth title to climb to the Billboard 200 summit since the start of 2010. (Earlier this year, the "Les Miserables" soundtrack rose to No. 1 in its third week.) Dating back to when the chart first employed Nielsen SoundScan data the week of May 25, 1991, 568 albums have reached No. 1. Of that sum, only 75 didn't debut at the coveted rank. And, of those 75, just 19 took more than 10 weeks to get to the top, a club that "Jukebox" now joins.
The SoundScan-era record for the longest march to No. 1 belongs to the soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Are Thou?," which topped the chart in its 63rd week in 2002.
'HAPPY' TO SING THE BLUES: Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward debuts "Spirits of the Western Sky," his first studio album since 1996, at No. 36 on the Top Rock Albums chart. It enters the Billboard 200 at No. 142, marking his first solo appearance on the survey since 1980. (The Moody Blues' most recent studio set, "Strange Times," peaked at No. 93 in 1999.)
Included on Hayward's new collection are two versions of "Out There Somewhere," re-workings of the Moody Blues last Hot 100 hit, "I Know You're Out There Somewhere," which reached No. 30 in 1988 (from the band's No. 38-peaking Billboard 200 album that year, "Sur La Mer").
How did Hayward come to reinvent one of the group's classics? "Carl Ryden and Peo Haggstrom told me they were working on a club mix of the original and sent me a rough cut," Hayward says. "They asked if I could record some parts and I said I'd love to.
"Later, I found that I was playing their club version every night after I finished recording in the studio, just because it made me happy. So, when I compiled the album, I couldn't leave it out. Producer Raul Rincon heard their version and loved it, too, and then produced his version, which I put on my album, as well."
Overall, the new collection is "very, very kind of Moodys-influenced," Hayward told Billboard in December. "You'll definitely be able to tell, 'Oh, that's the guy from the Moodys,' which is usually what people say when they hear me.
"It's stuff I've had for quite a few years and it's gathered momentum over the last couple of years. It's been a real joy to do."
A-HA MOMENT: Speaking of '80s makeovers, Pitbull's "Feel This Moment," featuring Christina Aguilera, zooms 28-18 on the Hot 100. With the advance, the members of Norwegian pop trio a-ha claim their second-highest rank as writers, as the song samples their 1985 No. 1 "Take on Me."
The band (which split in 2011) had previously notched a second-best rank with 1986's No. 20-peaking "The Sun Always Shines on T.V."
NEW 'DAY': "It's a Beautiful Day," the first single from Michael Buble's April 23 album "To Be Loved," bows on the Hot 100 at No. 94 and launches as his record-extending ninth No. 1 on Jazz Digital Songs. Since the latter chart's origin three years ago, only Norah Jones has also logged multiple No. 1s (two).
BIG 'TROUBLE': As it holds at No. 4 on the Hot 100, Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble." becomes her first No. 1 on Adult Pop Songs, rising 3-1. She'd previously peaked as high as No. 2 on the genre airplay chart with "You Belong With Me" in 2009.
"Trouble" tallies a fourth week at No. 1 on Radio Songs and a seventh frame atop Pop Songs.
BILLBOARD CHARTS: Bruno Mars wasn't the only beneficiary of Amazon MP3's one-day $1.99 sale (Feb. 26). Billboard was, too! (Along with chart historian Joel Whitburn of Record Research).
"Joel Whitburn Presents: Billboard #1s: The '70s" roars onto the Billboard 200 at No. 11 following the discounting, marking Billboard's (and Whitburn's) highest perch in the chart's 57-year history. It's also the first Billboard-branded set to crown the Catalog Albums chart.
The 2006 album is additionally the oldest title to debut at such a high rank on the Billboard 200 since the list began allowing catalog titles to chart in December 2009.