Bon Jovi's 'House' Finds a Home in AC Chart's Top 10
"This House Is Not for Sale" becomes the band's first AC top 10 in five years -- a rare AC hit driven almost exclusively by the format.
Bon Jovi returns to the top 10 of Billboard's radio airplay-based Adult Contemporary chart for the first time in more than five years, as "This House Is Not for Sale" lifts 11-10 (on the list dated Nov. 5).
The song is the band's fifth AC top 10, dating to its first, the No. 4-peaking "Always" in 1995. The group had last reached the region when "What Do You Got?" rose to No. 8 in May 2011.
The crunchy, pop-rock "House" is the lead single from Bon Jovi's album of the same name, due Friday, Nov. 4.
"Bon Jovi remains one of the most iconic bands in the world, and the AC format has fully embraced this record," says Manny Simon, who has overseen promotion of the song as senior vp of adult formats for Republic Records. "'This House Is Not for Sale' is classic, current and stays true to the integrity of the band."
"When I heard the song, we jumped on it," says Brian Demay, WRRM (Warm 98.5) Cincinnati, program director; the station is among leaders in plays for the song at the format with more than 180 to date, according to Nielsen Music. Demay concurs with Simon about its appeal: "That classic Bon Jovi sound, catchy melody and a core artist that AC can own. It was a no-brainer."
Per Demay's last point, AC, which touts familiarity as one of its main draws, preferring to let pop and adult pop radio break almost all of its biggest hits, has been almost solely responsible for the airplay success of "House," as the only other radio-based chart on which it has appeared is Adult Pop Songs, where it pushes 39-37, hitting a new high.
How rare is it for a song (excluding holiday titles) to hit the AC top 10 but not the Adult Pop Songs top 30 (along with Pop Songs, to cover all the pop and adult airplay charts)? "House" is the first to do so in more than five years, since Michael Buble's "Hold On" climbed to No. 9 on AC in June 2011 but missed both Adult Pop Songs and Pop Songs entirely.
In the five years since, certain AC top 10s logged modest pop and adult pop play, including Idina Menzel's Frozen smash "Let It Go" (No. 9, AC; No. 20, Adult Pop Songs) and Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake's virtual duet "Love Never Felt So Good" (No. 7, AC; No. 23, Adult Pop Songs, as well as No. 29, Pop Songs), both in 2014.
Similarly, a smattering of songs have neared the AC top 10 relatively recently with the format serving as their main radio home, including Don Henley's "Take a Picture of This" (No. 14, 2015) and Elton John's "Looking Up" and "A Good Heart" (like Bon Jovi's "House," both also Republic releases; Nos. 12 and 17, respectively, earlier this year).
"The AC-only song can only count on, say, [a high of] 22 plays a week in a market, vs. a multi-format song that's getting nearly 300 between pop, adult pop and/or rock or R&B radio," Sean Ross, Edison Research vp, music and programming, says about AC's lifeblood of sticking largely to established hits. "Even [the relatively niche] adult alternative [format] can give more support to a singer-songwriter ballad that might be texturally appropriate for AC."
With AC having built up "House" almost on its own, sums up Ross, "the hardest thing for any one format to do is to create a hit without lateral support."