Ask Billboard

Keith answers readers' questions on Deborah Harry, Spice Girls and Mariah Carey.


I read on a message board that "Necessary Evil," Deborah Harry's new album, didn't chart on The Billboard 200. Is that accurate? I figured she would have a built-in fan base from Blondie and from her exposure this summer on the True Colors Tour.


Matthew Moyers

Hello Matthew,

Sad to say, you are correct. Deborah Harry's "Necessary Evil" didn't chart on The Billboard 200. Though, it did debut at No. 37 on our Top Independent Albums chart. The album sold about 3,000 in its first week and 1,000 in its second week.

To compare, Blondie's last studio album, 2004's "The Curse of Blondie," spent one week on The Billboard 200 at No. 160, shifting 9,000 in its debut week.


Hi Keith!

OK, so it's all things Spice Girls right now. (I just got my tickets for the Prudential Center in New Jersey. Third row!) Anyway, I was wondering if their "Greatest Hits" album is going to be eligible to chart on The Billboard 200?

From what I understand, they're only releasing the album in Victoria's Secret stores and iTunes. I know that when there are restrictions on how an album is released, it's not allowed to chart.

Also, has an official track list for the album been released? I've been wondering if they're doing anything special with the singles released without Geri Halliwell or if they're just keeping the originals.


Kevin Markowski

Hi Kevin,

On Nov. 13, Spice Girls' "Greatest Hits" will be released exclusively through digital retailers and Victoria's Secret. It will be widely available on Jan. 15, 2008 through all normal sellers of music.

Because of the album's exclusive availability, it will chart on Top Comprehensive Albums and Top Digital Albums. That said, if the retailers choose not to report their sales of the album to SoundScan, then it will not chart at all.

Once the album becomes widely available next year, then it will be able to chart on all of the appropriate Billboard charts.

As far as I'm aware, the songs included on the album will be the familiar hit versions.

Here is the tracklist for "Greatest Hits," along with the chart peaks of the singles on The Billboard Hot 100 and the Official U.K. Singles Chart, respectively.

"Wannabe" (No. 1 Hot 100, No. 1 U.K.)
"Say You'll Be There" (No. 3, No. 1)
"2 Become 1" (No. 4, No. 1)
"Mama" (unreleased in the U.S., in the U.K. it was a double A-sided No. 1 single with "Who Do You Think You Are")
"Who Do You Think You Are" (see above)
"Move Over" (non-single album track from "Spiceworld")
"Spice Up Your Life" (No. 18, No. 1)
"Too Much" (No. 9, No. 1)
"Stop" (No. 16, No. 2)
"Viva Forever" (unreleased in the U.S., No. 1 in the U.K.)
"Let Love Lead the Way" (didn't chart in the U.S., in the U.K. it was a double-A sided No. 1 single with "Holler")
"Holler" (see above)
"Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)" (new song)
"Voodoo" (new song) "Goodbye" (No. 11, No. 1)


Hello Keith,

With Mariah Carey not releasing a new album until 2008, is this the first year in her nearly 18 year career she would not have had at least one single chart on The Billboard Hot 100? I think she has always had a song on The Billboard Hot 100 chart each year since 1990 with the exception of this year.


Jeff Savage
Salisbury, Md.

Hi Jeff,

As it stands, you are right. Unless Mariah Carey releases something before the end of the year, this will be the first year since her debut that she hasn't placed a single on The Billboard Hot 100.

But who knows, she may release something right before the close of the year, so we'll see how the rest of 2007 shakes out.

If she doesn't chart this year, don't fret. She's about to be joined by Madonna in the "darn, I missed 2007" club.

Madonna has had a single somewhere on The Billboard Hot 100 every year since 1983 debut with "Holiday," except in 2007. Her last single to chart on The Billboard Hot 100, "Sorry," spent its last week on the chart on April 16, 2006.

Eagle-eye chart watchers are now wondering "Wait, how did Madonna have a single on the Hot 100 in 1988 and 2004, when she released no singles?"

Well, here's the answer: 1987's "Causing a Commotion" spent its last week on the Hot 100 on Jan. 9, 1988 and 2003's "Me Against the Music" spent its last week on the Hot 100 on Jan. 17, 2004.

Oh, that tricky Hot 100 chart!


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