Greetings from Malaysia!
As a follower of Madonna, I've noticed that she owns two No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 that begin with the words "Like A" in their titles. "Like a Virgin" reigned in 1984 and "Like a Prayer," in 1989.
Now, another "Like (a)"-titled song has topped the Hot 100: Far*East Movement's "Like a G6." My question is, how many songs have hit the Hot 100 whose titles start with the words "Like A"?
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
"Like a G6" is the 21st single that begins with "Like A" to appear on the Hot 100 and the first No. 1 since "Like a Prayer."
Here is a look at the most successful such entries:
Peak Position, Title, Artist, Year(s)
No. 1 (six weeks), "Like a Virgin," Madonna, 1984-85
No. 1 (three weeks), "Like a Prayer," Madonna, 1989
No. 1 (one week to-date), "Like a G6," Far*East Movement, 2010
No. 2, "Like a Rolling Stone," Bob Dylan, 1965
No. 12, "Like a Rock," Bob Seger, 1986
No. 19, "Like a Boy," Ciara, 2007
No. 24, "Like an Old Time Movie," Scott McKenzie, 1967
No. 27, "Like a Baby," Len Barry, 1966
No. 27, "Like a Prayer," "Glee" cast, 2010
No. 31, "Like a Stone," Audioslave, 2003
No. 36, "Like a Sad Song," John Denver, 1976
No. 40, "Like a Sunday in Salem (the Amos & Andy Song)," Gene Cotton, 1978
One additional notable title just missed the top 40: "Weird Al" Yankovic's Madonna parody "Like a Surgeon," which flatlined at No. 47 in 1985.
JUMP THEN FALL
Last week, Taylor Swift debuted at No. 8 on the Hot 100 with the title track from her upcoming album "Speak Now."
This week, she again debuts in the top 10, at No. 6, with "Back to December." Is Swift the first artist to have top 10 debuts in consecutive weeks?
Also, after its No. 8 entry last week, "Speak Now" slips all the way down to No. 45 this week. Other songs have fallen from the top 10 completely out of the top 40 ("Landslide" by the Dixie Chicks, and "New Soul" by Yael Naim, among others). But, is "Speak Now" the first song to debut in the top 10 and then fall out of the top 40 the following week?
Long Island, New York
The top 10 arrival of "Back to December," the latest preview cut from "Speak Now," does indeed make Taylor Swift the first artist ever to score top 10 debuts on the Hot 100 in back-to-back weeks.
The new set's title song, however, is the not the first track to soar onto the Hot 100 in the top 10 and then rank below the top 40 the following week.
Here is a recap of the chart's three falls to below the top 40 after top 10 launches. (Apologies to Swift for presenting a list on which she places back-to-back with her ex, Joe Jonas).
Position Drop, Title, Artist, Year
66 (8-74), "Tonight," Jonas Brothers, 2008
37 (8-45), "Speak Now," Taylor Swift, 2010
31 (10-41), "Jump Then Fall," Taylor Swift, 2010
It's important to note, though, that these plummets are not dubious, as all three tracks were released to fuel anticipation for upcoming albums and intended as retail focus tracks for only a one-week period; "Mine," the first radio single and video from "Speak Now," has spent its first 11 weeks on the Hot 100 perched within the top 15.
Swift could add to the list above if "Back to December" plunges from the top 40 next week after its No. 6 start this week. "Mean" (the final audio glimpse of "Speak Now" prior to its release), due on the Hot 100 next week, could follow a similar chart arc.
Still, Swift boasts the most top 10 debuts in the Hot 100's 52-year-history and is just days away from adding to her already astounding career resume.
Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.
I happened to take a tumble the other night (while stretching out my groin to a degree worthy of a yogi master).
I let out a yelp, a few octaves higher than my Man Union membership card would vouch for. Upon hitting the ground with full impact, and in the throes of gut-retching agonizing pain, it caused me to ponder, "Hey, just what are the best songs sung ... in falsetto?"
Thus, my personal Top 10 Most Memorable Songs Sung in Falsetto.
10. "Black Dog," Led Zeppelin
For most male singers, submitting to, shall we say, surgical modification, would possibly be necessary in order to hit these notes.
9. "Adore," Prince
8. "After the Gold Rush," Neil Young
Cosmic-hippie meets socially-relevant folk.
7. "Reasons," Earth, Wind & Fire
A truly beautiful vocal
6. "Holding Back the Years," Simply Red
(Perhaps even a step beyond falsetto)
5. "Betcha By Golly, Wow," the Stylistics (featuring Russell Thompkins, Jr.)
Perfect pitch and harmony
4. "Crusin'," Smokey Robinson
3. "La - La - Means I Love You," the Delfonics
(Another '70s gem)
2. "Distance Lover," Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye's magical voice. 'Nuff said?
And my No. 1 pick ...
"Hey There Lonely Girl," by R&B singer Eddie Holman
Prosecutor (confrontational): "Mr. Holman, tell this court, is it true or not that you are, in fact, the alleged lonely girl about whom you are singing?"
All joking aside, these songs are so great, as well as complex in their artistry and delivery.
Phillip "Ghelove" Ghee
A fun list, one deserving of, well, high marks!
'70s R&B and pop features many such male vocals, as do other Prince songs, such as 1986's "Kiss," numerous Bee Gees smashes and boy band hits from the '80s though today. New Kids on the Block's "Please Don't Go Girl" and "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)" come to my mind, along with 'N Sync's "This I Promise You."
Going back in pop music history, "Stay," Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs' 1960 Hot 100 No. 1, stands out. ("I still sing 'Stay' in (its) original key, and I can sing tenor, baritone, and bass better now," Williams said recently. "I still don't have a good falsetto. I have been blessed with a good voice, though").
Such vocal acrobatics are not confined solely to pop and R&B, however. Freddy Curci of Sheriff is widely credited with one of the longest-held notes in the rock era at the close of the group's 1989 Hot 100 No. 1 "When I'm With You."
And, one of the most enduring classic rock songs contains iconic high-octave vocals:
It will be interesting to see if any male contestants dare such vocals seeking praise from new judge Steven Tyler on the upcoming season of "American Idol" (i.e., dudes sounding like ladies, as Ellen DeGeneres, had she returned, might've quipped).