SURGE FOR 'ELECTRIC': Paul McCartney was in New York last week, so it was a good opportunity for him to do some promotion for his new album with producer Youth, "Electric Arguments" (ATO), released under the moniker the Fireman.
On Jan. 14, McCartney appeared live on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show, then sat down for a 30-minute interview with the author of Chart Beat, then raced off to appear on "The View." Most likely it was the first and third interviews that helped send the album back up The Billboard 200, from 166-91. This is the album's second-highest ranking in its eight-week chart life; the set debuted at No. 67 the week of Dec. 13, 2008.
The rebound comes 45 years to the week after McCartney had his first No. 1 on a Billboard chart. On the Hot 100 dated Feb. 1, 1964, the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" advanced 3-1 in its third week on the survey.
One can't help but wonder if the 1964 McCartney ever imagined that the 2009 McCartney would still be doing his job, recording albums, doing interviews to promote them and charging up the Billboard charts.
SWIFT'S SEVEN: Taylor Swift continues to make chart news, as her "Fearless" album still occupies the penthouse of The Billboard 200. It's the seventh week of Swift's reign, giving her the longest run at No. 1 for a solo female artist since Alanis Morissette ruled for 12 weeks in 1995 with "Jagged Little Pill."
Swift is likely to hang on to first place for an eighth week but, even if she slips next week, "Fearless" goes down in history as one of the longest-running No. 1 albums by a solo female artist.
Eleven albums by solo women have held sway for seven weeks or more:
15 weeks: "Tapestry," Carole King (1971)
14 weeks: "Whitney Houston," Whitney Houston (1986)
13 weeks: "Judy at Carnegie Hall," Judy Garland (1961)
12 weeks: "Jagged Little Pill," Alanis Morissette (1995)
11 weeks: "Whitney," Whitney Houston (1987)
11 weeks: "Mariah Carey," Mariah Carey (1991) 10 weeks: "The Singing Nun," The Singing Nun (1963) 10 weeks: "Forever Your Girl," Paula Abdul (1989)
9 weeks: "Pearl," Janis Joplin (1971)
8 weeks: "Music Box," Mariah Carey (1993)
7 weeks: "Fearless," Taylor Swift (2008)
If "Fearless" is still No. 1 next week, the album will tie Carey's "Music Box" for 10th place among solo female releases with the most weeks at No. 1.
It should be noted that in 1992-93, "The Bodyguard" soundtrack spent 20 weeks at No. 1, but the billing for the multi-artist set was "Soundtrack," not Whitney Houston.
COOK'S 15: Even though the eighth season has begun, the winner of the seventh season of "American Idol" is still No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with his season finale song, "The Time of My Life" (19/RCA). David Cook's reign extends to a 15th week, making "Time" one of the longest-running chart-toppers by a solo male artist in AC history.
Six songs by solo males have spent 15 weeks or more at the summit:
19 weeks: "You'll Be in My Heart," Phil Collins (1999)
19 weeks: "Bad Day," Daniel Powter (2006)
18 weeks: "Lonely No More," Rob Thomas (2005)
16 weeks: "Waiting on the World to Change," John Mayer (2007)
15 weeks: "Hero," Enrique Iglesias (2001)
15 weeks: "The Time of My Life," David Cook (2008)
REBA'S 56: Until this week, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton were tied for having the most top 10 hits for a female artist in the 65-year history of Hot Country Songs.
Parton scored her 55th top 10 single the week of Jan. 14, 2006, when "When I Get Where I'm Going" by Brad Paisley featuring Dolly Parton marched 11-8 (the song eventually reached the top spot).
McEntire's earned her 55th top 10 hit the week of Aug. 4, 2007, when "Because of You," credited as "Reba McEntire duet with Kelly Clarkson," jumped 12-10, eventually reaching No. 2.
The Reba/Dolly tie is broken this week, thanks to a 13-9 move for "Cowgirls Don't Cry" by Brooks and Dunn featuring Reba McEntire. The song is McEntire's 56th top 10 hit, and the 41st for Brooks & Dunn. That breaks another tie -- just counting since the charts were first compiled using Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems airplay information, Brooks & Dunn have more top 10 hits than any other duo or group. Until this week, Brooks & Dunn were tied with Alabama with 40 each.
SUMMER'S PLACE: A 3-1 leap on Hot Dance Club Play for "Fame (The Game)" (Burgundy) gives Donna Summer her 13th No. 1 hit on this chart.
"Fame" is the third consecutive chart-topper from Summer's "Crayons" album, following "I'm a Fire" in April 2008 and "Stamp Your Feet" in July 2008.
This hat trick of No. 1 dance hits is Summer's longest streak of chart-topping titles since she had four consecutive No. 1s in 1977-78, ending with the pairing of "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls" from May to July 1979.
JACKSON'S 25: Also scoring his third consecutive No. 1 and also having his longest streak of chart-toppers in years is Alan Jackson. His "Country Boy" (Arista) climbs 5-1 on Hot Country Songs, giving Jackson his 25th No. 1.
Jackson's last two singles also headed the survey: "Small Town Southern Man" ruled in March 2008 and "Good Time" followed suit in August 2008.
This is Jackson's longest streak of No. 1 songs since 1995-96, when "I Don't Even Know Your Name," "Tall, Tall Trees" and "I'll Try" all landed in first place.