Chart Beat Chat: 'Apologize,' Mary Mary, Double-Disc Albums

Fred and his readers discuss "Apologize," Mary Mary, double-disc sets and more!


Good morning Fred!

I was just checking the Adult Contemporary chart and I find it hard to believe that "Apologize" by Timbaland featuring OneRepublic was transferred to the AC recurrents chart despite having enough spins to be ranked No. 9. I once thought that songs weren't considered recurrents until they dropped below No. 15. Is there an exception for songs that are on the AC for 40, 50 weeks or longer?

John Maverick
Burt County, Neb.

Dear John,

Different Billboard charts have different recurrent rules about when a song is removed from a main chart and placed on a recurrent chart. So to get a definitive answer to your question, I turned to someone I trust -- Gary Trust, manager of the Adult Contemporary tally.

Here's what Gary had to say:

"The Adult Contemporary radio format holds onto current hits longer than many other radio formats. Thus, the Adult Contemporary chart has a three-tiered recurrent rule which helps move older songs to recurrent status at a reasonable pace, so that the chart remains as current-based as possible, as our radio charts are intended. Descending songs on this list are removed after 20 weeks if below No. 15; after 26 weeks if below No. 10; or after 52 weeks if below No. 5. So, Timbaland's "Apologize" falls under the third part of the definition, having completed a 52-week chart run and ranking below the top five."


Dear Fred,

This week, Mary Mary becomes one of the few gospel artists to hit the summit of the Hot Dance Club Play charts. The duo accomplishes this feat with its infectious new single, "Get Up." If I am not mistaken, the last gospel artist to reach the top 10 was CeCe Winans on March 18, 2006 with the No. 8 chart entry, "Let Everything That Has Breath." Wonderful crossover indeed!

Kind Regards,
Robert Nongrum
Calgary, Alberta

Dear Robert,
I think the most impressive thing about this chart feat is that you are able to name the last gospel artist to have a top 10 hit on the club play chart!



My question is about the recent release of Celine Dion's ultimate collection CD. It is a two-CD set. When numbers are tabulated for charting does that count as one CD or two?

Also, she released two versions on the same day. Are both CDs counted together since they both have the same bar code?


Vincent DeTiberiis

Dear Vincent,

When Nielsen SoundScan counts sales of albums, one album sold is one album sold, no matter how many CDs make up the album. So if someone buys a copy of the double-CD version of Celine Dion's new "My Love: Essential Collection," it does count as one album sold, not two.

This question comes up a lot because the RIAA, the industry trade organization that issues gold and platinum certifications, counts a different way. They count a double-CD as two albums sold for certification purposes. But that has nothing to do with how the Billboard charts are compiled.

The single and double versions of the Celine Dion album have different bar codes; they would have to unless they were selling for the same price, as the bar code includes information on the price of the item being sold. But that isn't how we determine if an album is merged or not. The two editions of the Celine Dion album are being merged, according to chart policy.

You might notice in this week's Chart Beat I refer to two different editions of a new Hank Williams collection of unreleased material, issued by the Time Life label. There is a triple-CD box set as well as a single CD. The triple-CD box debuts on Top Country Albums at No. 42 and the single CD at No. 49. This is also according to chart policy. That policy allows single and double albums of the same title to be merged, but not sets of three CDs or more. That's why the Celine Dion albums are merged but the Hank Williams sets are not.