Chart Beat

Fred discusses chart action on Mariah Carey, Radiohead, R.E.M. and more!

MARIAH AND ELVIS REDUX: Mariah Carey didn't break an Elvis Presley record this week, but she did tie one.

Just seven days after surpassing Presley's total of No. 1 pop singles in the rock era, Carey equals the King's number of weeks in pole position. A second week in the penthouse for "Touch My Body" (Island) gives Carey an aggregate total of 79 weeks spent on top. Presley spent his 79th week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 dated Nov. 1, 1969, when "Suspicious Minds" held sway for seven days.

While some sources report that Presley has occupied the No. 1 spot for 80 weeks, the official Billboard tally is 79. The discrepancy arises when counting more than one chart in the days before the Hot 100, when Billboard published multiple singles charts each week. "All Shook Up" was No. 1 for eight weeks on Best Sellers in Stores, considered the official singles chart in those pre-Hot 100 days. On the chart titled "Most Played in Juke Boxes," "All Shook Up" had a nine-week reign, and that's why other sources cite the 80-week figure.

If "Touch My Body" is still in first place next week, I'll be reporting that Carey has broken another Presley record as she collects her 80th week at No. 1. Carey will be busy that day guest-starring on "American Idol," but should she break Presley's record, hopefully there will be a moment in the production schedule to celebrate.

Here are Carey's 18 No. 1 songs, and how long each one held on to the lead position:

"Vision of Love," four weeks (1990)
"Love Takes Time," three weeks (1990)
"Someday," two weeks (1991)
"I Don't Wanna Cry," two weeks (1991)
"Emotions," three weeks (1991)
"I'll Be There," two weeks (1992)
"Dreamlover," eight weeks (1993)
"Hero," four weeks (1993)
"Fantasy," eight weeks (1995)
"One Sweet Day," 16 weeks (1995) [Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men]
"Always Be My Baby," two weeks (1996)
"Honey," three weeks (1997)
"My All," one week (1998)
"Heartbreaker," two weeks (1999) [Mariah Carey featuring Jay-Z]
"Thank God I Found You," one week (2000) [Mariah Carey featuring Joe & 98 Degrees]
"We Belong Together," 14 weeks (2005)
"Don't Forget About Us," two weeks (2006)
"Touch My Body," two weeks to date (2008)

And here are Presley's 17 chart-toppers and how long each one spent at No. 1:

"Heartbreak Hotel," eight weeks (1956)
"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," one week (1956)
"Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog," 11 weeks (1956)
"Love Me Tender," five weeks (1956)
"Too Much," three weeks (1957)
"All Shook Up," eight weeks (1957)
"(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear," seven weeks (1957)
"Jailhouse Rock" / "Treat Me Nice," seven weeks (1957)
"Don't" / "I Beg of You," five weeks (1958)
"Hard Headed Woman," two weeks (1958)
"A Big Hunk O'Love," two weeks (1959)
"Stuck on You," four weeks (1960)
"It's Now or Never," five weeks (1960)
"Are You Lonesome To-night?," six weeks (1960)
"Surrender," two weeks (1961)
"Good Luck Charm," two weeks (1962)
"Suspicious Minds," one week (1969)

VAN ARRIVES: He's been charting on The Billboard 200 for just over 40 years, with 40 different albums to his credit. He has been on the Billboard album chart for a total of 787 weeks, but only one of those weeks has been spent in the top 10: this week.

If you had asked me last week which Van Morrison album had reached the highest position on The Billboard 200, I would have answered, "Saint Dominic's Preview," which went to No. 15 in 1972. But we have a new champion, as "Keep It Simple" (Exile/Polydor) enters the chart at No. 10. That also makes it Morrison's highest-debuting set, besting the No. 25 openings of "Down the Road" in 2002 and "Magic Time" in 2005.

The first solo Morrison album to chart was "Blowin' Your Mind!" That LP bowed the week of Oct. 7, 1967, which gives Morrison an album chart span of 40 years, six months and two weeks. But before recording on his own, Morrison was a member of the Belfast-based rock group Them ("Gloria," "Here Comes the Night"). Them first appeared on the album chart the week of July 24, 1965, with an eponymous release. That gives Morrison a career album chart span of 42 years, seven months and four weeks.

SUPERNUDE: Two rock groups return to The Billboard Hot 100 after lengthy absences. The Hot Shot Debut is Radiohead's "Nude" (TBD), a new entry at No. 37. That is the highest debuting title of the band's three chart entries, easily surpassing the No. 83 bow of "High and Dry" in March 1996 and the No. 92 opening of "Creep" in June 1993.

"Creep" ultimately peaked at No. 34, and remains the group's biggest hit to date. If "Nude" can climb just four rungs, it will wrest the title away from "Creep."

Debuting further down the current Hot 100 at No. 85, "Supernatural Superserious" (Warner Bros.) brings R.E.M. back to the chart for the first time in seven years. The group was last on this tally in 2001, when "Imitation of Life" peaked at No. 83.

"Supernatural Superserious" hails from the new R.E.M. CD, "Accelerate," which enters The Billboard 200 at No. 2. That means "Accelerate" is tied with the 1996 release "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" as the highest-charting R.E.M. albums since "Monster" reigned for two weeks in October 1994.

TRIO OF IDOLS: While two rock groups debut on the Hot 100, three Idols who have shined on the country charts also have their latest singles enter the survey. The highest opening of the three is "We Weren't Crazy" (Lyric Street) by Josh Gracin. This is Gracin's fourth chart entry (aside from a group number billed to American Idol Finalists) in four years and his first since late 2005. His biggest Hot 100 hit to date is "Nothin' to Lose," No. 39 in March 2005.

New at No. 86 is "Last Name" (Arista), the 10th chart single for Carrie Underwood, not counting her American Idol Finalists song. Using peak position as criterion, Underwood's biggest Hot 100 hit to date is her first, "Inside Your Heaven," which occupied the top slot for one week in July 2005. But "Inside Your Heaven" was only on the chart for 12 weeks; her No. 8 hit, "Before He Cheats," had a 64-week run.

The third Idol with a new entry this week is Kellie Pickler. "Things That Never Cross a Man's Mind" (BNA) opens at No. 96, making it the highest new entry of Pickler's three chart songs. "Red High Heels" walked onto the Hot 100 at No. 99 in November 2006 and peaked three months later at No. 64. "I Wonder" opened at No. 100 in June 2007 and went as high as No. 75, two months later.

HOT STUFF: Donna Summer's label debut on Burgundy, "I'm a Fire," is her first No. 1 of the 21st century on Hot Dance Club Play. Summer's last chart-topper was "Love Is the Healer," which reigned for one week in November 1999.

DOUBLE DEBUT: For the first time in the 25 years that he has been charting on The Billboard 200, George Michael has two albums debut in the same week. "Twentyfive" (Aegean/Epic) is new at No. 23 (just missing No. 25 by two places) and a 3-CD version, exclusive to Best Buy, begins its chart life at No. 125 (at least there's a "25" in there somewhere).

"Twentyfive" is the first George Michael album to chart since "Patience" peaked at No. 12 in June 2004. Michael's first solo album to chart was "Faith," which showed up on The Billboard 200 on the chart dated Nov. 21, 1987, giving Michael a solo album chart span of 20 years and five months (giving us another "25," or to be exact, a "20-5").

Before "Faith," Michael was half of Wham! and had three charted albums, starting with "Fantastic." That recording debuted the week of Aug. 20, 1983, giving Michael a career album chart span of 24 years and seven months, just five months shy of another "25."

'X' IS IV: Kylie Minogue's new "X" (Astralwerks/Capitol) debuts on The Billboard 200 at No. 139. It's the fourth album by the Aussie-born singer to chart in the United States and the third this century.

Minogue's American chart fortunes began with the debut of "Kylie" the week of Sept. 10, 1988. Fueled by the singles "I Should Be So Lucky" and "The Loco-Motion," that initial release peaked at No. 53.

Minogue didn't return to the Billboard album chart until March 2002, when "Fever" debuted and peaked at No. 3, powered by the success of the single "Can't Get You Out of My Head." In February 2004, Minogue debuted and peaked at No. 42 with "Body Language."

PAIR OF ELEVENS: Those of us who lived through the first wave of Beatlemania and the British Invasion of 1964 remember well the first appearance of the Rolling Stones on the Billboard album chart. "England's Newest Hit Makers" debuted the week of June 27, 1964 and went on to peak at No. 11.

No Rolling Stones album has peaked at No. 11 since, but that may no longer be so. The veteran rockers return to the album chart this week with "Martin Scorsese: Shine a Light" (Rolling Stones/Polydor). That soundtrack enters at No. 11, so if it rises no higher, it will be only the second album in the Stones' 43-year, nine-month and three-week chart history to peak one rung shy of the top 10.

"Shine a Light" is the 47th Rolling Stones album to chart and the first to be issued under the Rolling Stones self-titled imprint since "Flashpoint" in 1991. If "Light" does move up just one spot, it will be the 37th top 10 album for the group, but the Stones don't need to add to their total to break any records. They already have more top 10 albums than any other artist with 36.

STRAIT UP: Like the Rolling Stones, George Strait doesn't have to worry about losing his lead over other artists when it comes to a specific chart feat. Strait already has had more No. 1 titles on Top Country Albums than any other artist but his lead widens, as he scores his 22nd chart-topper with "Troubadour" (MCA). It's his first country No. 1 since "It Just Comes Natural" topped the survey in October 2006.

"Troubadour" also debuts at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, where it is Strait's fourth album to go all the way, following "Carrying Your Love With Me" (1997), "50 Number Ones" (2004) and "Somewhere Down in Texas" (2005).