Chart Beat

Fred discusses Madonna, Tim McGraw, Steve Winwood and more!

SWEET VICTORY: Madonna completes her first quarter-century on The Billboard 200 with "Hard Candy" (Warner Bros.), her seventh No. 1 album since she made her debut on this survey the week of Sept. 3, 1983 (giving her an album chart span of 24 years, eight months and two weeks).

Before "Hard Candy" licked the competition, Madonna was in a three-way tie with Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson for second place among all solo female artists for having the most No. 1 albums. Now, Carey and Jackson are in third place with six No. 1 albums each, Madonna is in second place with seven and Barbra Streisand remains in front with eight.

Madonna first topped The Billboard 200 the week of Feb. 9, 1985, when "Like a Virgin" moved into the penthouse. Here is a list of her seven No. 1 albums:

"Like a Virgin," three weeks (1985)
"True Blue," five weeks (1986)
"Like a Prayer," six weeks (1989)
"Music," one week (2000)
"American Life," one week (2003)
"Confessions on a Dance Floor," one week (2005)
"Hard Candy," one week to date (2008)

TIM: Over on Top Country Albums, Tim McGraw collects his 10th No. 1 album - out of his 11 titles that have registered on this chart. Except for "Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors," which peaked at No. 2 in December 2002, every McGraw album to appear on this tally has spent time in pole position.

Here is a summary of McGraw's 10 chart-toppers:

"Not a Moment Too Soon," 29 weeks (1994)
"All I Want," three weeks (1995)
"Everywhere," 11 weeks (1997)
"A Place in the Sun," two weeks (1999)
"Greatest Hits," nine weeks (2000)
"Set This Circus Down," six weeks (2001)
"Live Like You Were Dying," three weeks (2004)
"Greatest Hits Vol. 2: Reflected," one week (2006)
"Let It Go," three weeks (2007)
"Greatest Hits: Limited Edition," one week to date (2008)

With the debut of his latest chart-topping set, McGraw's album chart span expands to 14 years, one month and one week.

STEVE: Steve Winwood is just one of a number of chart veterans who have new albums debuting on The Billboard 200 this week. "Nine Lives" (Wincraft/Columbia) bows at No. 12, making it the highest-debuting title of Winwood's career, and his highest-charting album in 20 years.

Winwood's last album to reach the top 20 was "Roll With It," which ruled for one week in August 1988. Winwood was last on the album chart in 2003, when "About Time" went to No. 126.

As a solo artist, Winwood made his album chart debut the week of June 21, 1976 with "Go." That gives him an album chart span of 36 years, 11 months and three weeks. But Winwood spent time on the album chart as a member of Traffic and before that, the Spencer Davis Group. That latter act made its debut the week of March 25, 1967, with the LP "Gimme Some Lovin'." That gives Winwood a career album chart span of 41 years, one month and three weeks.

CARLY: Another chart veteran who has a new album debuting on The Billboard 200 is Carly Simon. "This Kind of Love" (Hear/Concord) opens at No. 15, the same opening mark for her last album, "Into White," in January 2007.

Simon made her album chart debut the week of April 24, 1971, with her eponymous debut release. Thanks to "This Kind of Love," her album chart span stretches to 37 years and three weeks.

SO SO DEF: Along with chart vets Steve Winwood and Carly Simon, long-time favorite rock band Def Leppard sees chart action this week, with a No. 5 debut for "Songs from the Sparkle Lounge" (Bludgeon Riffola). It's the highest debuting and charting set for the group since "Adrenalize" opened and peaked at No. 1 the week of April 18, 1992.

Def Leppard has been appearing on this survey since the week of May 3, 1980, when "On Through the Night" served as an introduction.

The success of "Sparkle" extends Def Leppard's chart span to 28 years and two weeks.

JESSE: Three-and-a-half years after making his Hot 100 debut, Jesse McCartney has his first top 10 hit as an artist. "Leavin'" (Hollywood) does the trick, as it advances 14-10 in only its second week on the chart.
Young McCartney made his first appearance on the Hot 100 the week of Dec. 11, 2004, with "Beautiful Soul," which peaked at No. 16 and was his highest-charting song until the arrival of "Leavin'."

The follow-up, "She's No You," stalled at No. 91 in 2005. A year later, "Right Where You Want Me" reached a modest No. 33.

McCartney has two songs in the top 10, although the other one provides him with a songwriting credit. Along with Ryan Tedder, he penned Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" (SyCo/J), which is in its fourth frame at No. 1.