Weekly Chart Notes: Far*East Movement, Lil Wayne, Suzanne Vega
With numerous laudable achievements on an array of Billboard charts this week, keeping track of the most notable feats requires a bit of organization.
Chart Beat presents, then, an easy A-to-Z guide of the week in Billboard surveys.
(Permission is sought for artistic license regarding letters such as Q, X and Z that, while valuable in Scrabble, prove pesky in this method of arrangement).
A: Lady Antebellum
The trio not only leads off this recap, but it also bows at No. 1 on Holiday Albums with "A Merry Little Christmas." The EP, which includes a cover of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" (see two letters below ...), is available exclusively via Target.
B: the Beatles
... and the Rolling Stones. "Ladies & Gentlemen the Rolling Stones" roars 32-1 on Top Video Music Sales, as "The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles" holds at No. 2. The iconic bands had not occupied the top two spots simultaneously on a Billboard chart since Feb. 10, 1968. That week, the Fab Four's "Magical Mystery Tour" soundtrack and the Stones' "Their Satanic Majesties Request" completed six frames at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, on the Billboard 200.
C: Mariah Carey
The singer builds anticipation for "Merry Christmas II You," due Nov. 2, with first single "Oh Santa!," which debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's new Holiday Digital Songs chart (one position above her original version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You"). The follow-up album to 1994's "Merry Christmas" includes a duet with Carey's mother, Patricia.
D: Darius Rucker
Bowing at No. 1 on Country Albums (and No. 2 on the Billboard 200), Rucker's "Charleston SC 1966" follows his format debut, "Learn to Live," which reigned in 2008. The Hootie & the Blowfish frontman is the first male artist to top Country Albums with his first two chart entries since Tim McGraw in 1994-95.
E: Easton Corbin
Like Rucker on Country Albums, Corbin goes two-for-his-first-two on Country Songs, as "Roll With It" bumps 2-1. The song follows his debut hit, "A Little More Country Than That," which ruled in April. Corbin and Rucker, who sent his first two Country Songs entrants to No. 1 in 2008-09, are the first rookie males to top the chart on their first two tries since Clay Walker in 1993-94.
F: "Taylor Swift," Taylor Swift
Ahead of next week's arrival of Swift's third studio album, "Speak Now," the singer's introductory set completes four uninterrupted years - 208 weeks - on the Billboard 200. "Taylor Swift" is the first album to log such longevity since Metallica's eponymous album wrapped 281 straight weeks Jan. 11, 1997. (The following week, catalog rules began dictating the removal of titles after two years if below No. 100; "Taylor Swift" is the first album to take advantage of the chart's Dec. 5, 2009, switch to again include sets regardless of total weeks).
G: "Like a G6," Far*East Movement
As previously reported, Far*East Movement is the first multimember act to crown the Billboard Hot 100 since D4L in 2006, as "Like a G6" lifts 2-1. Former Interscope Records interns Kev Nish and Prohgress, half of Far*East Movement, have clearly graduated from their toils in the label's publicity department. "One thing we learned was that you have to build your own movement," Nish recently told Billboard. "So, we stopped interning and hit the streets of L.A., performing in every club we could."
H: "He Wants It All," forever Jones
The act's first charted track becomes its first No. 1 on Gospel Songs. The seven-member vocal group is comprised of parents Dewitt and Kim Jones (married 31 years) and their five children.
I: Indigo Girls
Charting on Billboard rankings since 1989, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers arrive with their first seasonal collection. "Holly Happy Days" bows on Holiday Albums at No. 5 and Folk Albums at No. 12.
J: Elton John
Until this week, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" had reached the Hot 100 twice, both as duets featuring John. The 1976 original with Kiki Dee reigned for four weeks and a kitschy 1994 version with RuPaul peaked at No. 92. The "Glee" cast (specifically, Finn and Rachel) debuts this week with its cover at No. 50. With six debuts, the troupe ups its count to 88 Hot 100 hits, edging yet closer to all-time leader Elvis Presley (108 entries) and runner-up James Brown (91).
K: Dave Koz
"Hello Tomorrow" debuts at No. 1 on Top Contemporary Jazz Albums, marking the sax star's 11th consecutive top 10 on the tally (his entire chart history) and his first effort for Concord Records after an almost 20-year run with Capitol.
L: Lil Wayne
As Billboard 200 chart manager Keith Caulfield points out, the 16-1 vault of the rapper's second Billboard 200 topper, "I Am Not a Human Being," is the chart's largest leap to the top since Radiohead's "In Rainbows" zipped 156-1 in January 2008.
M: "Voce Existe Em Mim," Josh Groban (since J and G were taken ...)
While "Hidden Away" advances 23-22 on Adult Contemporary, a second preview cut from "Illuminations" debuts atop Classical Digital Songs. Groban's follow-up album to 2007's five-week Billboard 200 No. 1 "Noel" arrives Nov. 15.
N: Nicki Minaj
The female rapper enjoys her first Hot 100 top 10 among 13 chart visits, as Trey Songz' "Bottoms Up," on which she guests, pushes 13-10. Insightful Chart Beat reader Pablo Nelson of Berkeley, Calif., toasts the coincidental placement of P!nk's "Raise Your Glass," the Hot 100's dual airplay and digital gainer, adjacent at No. 11.
O: the Orb featuring David Gilmour
The English electronic duo's 10th album consists of two tracks each more than 20 minutes long and featuring Pink Floyd's Gilmour on guitar and vocals. The set enters the Billboard 200 at No. 73, the Orb's highest career rank. At No. 197, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" logs a record-extending 771st week on the tally.
The rapper/singer nets his highest debut on Latin Songs, as "Bon, Bon" launches at No. 14. The track, which samples Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup's "We No Speak Americano" (25-21 on Latin Songs and 48-36 on the Hot 100), scores the highest starting position on Latin Songs since Intocable's "Tu Adios No Mata" opened at No. 10 in May 2008.
Q: "What's My Name?," Rihanna featuring Drake (? = question mark ...)
The pair's first collaboration arrives as the Hot Shot Debut on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 67. The song marks Drake's 19th title to appear on the chart in 2010, pushing him past Gucci Mane (18) for most entries this year among all acts.
Rihanna additionally shines on Hot Dance Airplay, where "Only Girl (In the World)" rises 2-1 to become her eighth No. 1, lifting her past Madonna for most leaders in the chart's seven-year history. (The list launched on the Material Girl's 45th birthday: Aug. 16, 2003).
S: Percy Sledge
The singer beloved for the 1966 Hot 100 No. 1 "When a Man Loves a Woman" graces a Billboard chart for the first time since 1975, as his self-titled retrospective debuts at No. 97 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. At No. 81, a similarly budget-priced eponymous hits package arrives from the Platters, who draw Billboard chart ink after a 17-year absence.
T: Mel Tillis
Having released his first comedy album, "You Ain't Gonna Believe This ...," at age 78, Tillis makes his first appearance on Country Albums (No. 75) since 1984, when "New Patches" reached No. 34. Tillis' new set rises 12-4 on Comedy Albums, marking his first Billboard top 10 also since 1984, when the title cut from "New Patches" rose to No. 10 on Country Songs.
U: Kylie Minogue (who's from Australia ... down under ...)
The diva darts to her fifth No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs, as "Get Outta My Way" jumps 3-1. "All the Lovers," the first single from "Aphrodite," reigned in August. Minogue, who first appeared on Dance/Club Play Songs and the Hot 100 in 1988, notched her three previous leaders on the former chart in 2002-04.
V: Suzanne Vega
Vega scores her first top 10 on a Billboard tally since 2001 (when "Widow's Walk" reached No. 6 on Triple A) and expands her career chart span to 25 years, as "Close Up Vol 2, People & Places" debuts on Folk Albums at No. 10. The singer/songwriter's self-titled debut album reached No. 91 on the Billboard 200 in 1985.
W: Wilson Phillips
Like Vega, the vocal trio that conquered the Hot 100 with three No. 1s - "Hold On," "Release Me" and "You're in Love" - in the early '90s registers its first top 10 after a lengthy wait. "Christmas in Harmony" opens on Holiday Albums at No. 9, granting the group its first top 10 since its second album, "Shadows and Light," debuted and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in 1992.
X: "The New Dance Mix USA," Louie DeVito
The New York City DJ collects his record-extending 15th top 10 on Dance/Electronic Albums, as his latest batch of remixes begins at No. 7. The album boasts primarily dance fare (Lady Gaga, Ke$ha), as well as a club-ready reinvention of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister." (Plus, a new take on "Happiness" by ... Alexis Jordan ...)
Y: "If I Die Young," the Band Perry
The sibling trio of Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry debuts at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 with its self-titled first full-length album, while its introspective ballad becomes its first top 10 on Country Songs (11-10). "Whatever time you're given, it will be just enough," Kimberly, the song's writer, told Billboard. "It's been really cool to see how different fans of the song make it meet them wherever they are - whether they just lost a loved one or are in the mood to think about priorities."
Z: "Age of Adz," Sufjan Stevens
Stevens celebrates his first Billboard 200 top 10, entering the chart at No. 7 (and Folk Albums at No. 1). Stevens logged his previous best Billboard 200 placement with his EP "All Delighted People," which reached No. 27 last month. (Stevens' new set ranks one spot higher on the Billboard 200 than "The Foundation" by ... Zac Brown Band).