Chart Beat

Fred discusses "High School Musical 2," "Hannah Montana," the Eagles and more!

BACK TO 'SCHOOL': This week's album chart is all about "HSM2" and "HM2." "HSM2" is, of course, the soundtrack to the Disney Channel TV movie "High School Musical 2," the CD that enters The Billboard 200 at No. 1. "HM2" is the second soundtrack album to the Disney Channel TV series "Hannah Montana." That CD rebounds to No. 2, giving the Walt Disney imprint the top two slots on the chart for the first time in history.

Now that "High School Musical" is an established franchise with record-setting TV ratings, the "High School Musical 2" soundtrack is off to a much faster start than its predecessor. The original "High School Musical" soundtrack debuted at No. 148 on The Billboard 200 dated Jan. 28, 2006, and arrived in the penthouse six weeks later.

The follow-up movie was seen by 17.2 million viewers, making it the highest-rated basic cable broadcast in history. So it's no surprise that the album is No. 1 out of the box, and that the CD also debuts at No. 1 on Top Soundtracks, Top Kid Audio and Top Digital Albums. "High School Musical 2" is the first TV movie soundtrack in history to debut at No. 1 on The Billboard 200.

"High School Musical 2" also impacts The Billboard Hot 100, where the initial single "What Time Is It" rebounds 35-33 while six other tracks from the album make their debuts. The highest new entry among the "HSM2" songs is "You Are the Music in Me" by Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens at No. 38.

This spate of debuts is reminiscent of the multiple new entries from the movie's first soundtrack on the Hot 100 for the week ending Feb. 11, 2006. "Breaking Free" by Efron, Hudgens and Andrew Seeley set a record for the biggest jump in Hot 100 history to that date, by rocketing 86-4, while "Get'cha Head in the Game" by Seeley made the biggest move from the anchor slot, zooming 100-23. Seven other songs from "High School Musical" entered the chart that week.

The "HSM" songs also performed well on the Hot Digital Songs chart dated Feb. 11, 2006, with two tracks already on the chart while seven more made debuts, for a total of nine. "HSM2" breaks that record on this week's Hot Digital Songs survey. "What time Is It" rebounds 46-24 while eight songs from the new soundtrack enter the chart, led by "You Are the Music in Me" at No. 9.

The anticipation of "High School Musical 2" and reruns of "High School Musical" on the Disney Channel drives the first soundtrack back up The Billboard 200, 28-16. It's the highest rank for "High School Musical" in a year. The album was No. 14 on the chart dated Aug. 26, 2006.

THE 'LONG' RUN: The Eagles are back, though their new single "How Long" (ERC/Lost Highway) hasn't appeared on the Hot 100 yet. The first sighting is on Hot Country Songs, where "How Long" debuts at No. 44, making it the highest-ranked Eagles song on this chart in 30 years.

"How Long" is the fifth Eagles tune to appear on Hot Country Songs. The first, "Lyin' Eyes," peaked at No. 8 in 1975 and remains the group's biggest country hit. In 1977, "New Kid in Town" rose to No. 43. Four years later, "Seven Bridges Road" drove to No. 55. In 1994, "The Girl from Yesterday" stopped at No. 58.

HEAT FOR 'CHEATS': Only 21 songs in the history of the Hot 100 have had a longer chart run than Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" (Arista), which slides 24-28 in its 51st chart week. It's the longest run for a charted title since "How to Save a Life" by the Fray completed its run at 58 weeks.

The 20 songs that have lasted longer than 51 weeks are:

69 weeks: "How Do I Live," LeAnn Rimes (1997)
65 weeks: "You Were Meant for Me" / "Foolish Games," Jewel (1997)
62 weeks: "You and Me," Lifehouse (2005) 60 weeks: "Macarena" (Bayside Boys Mix), Los Del Rio (1996)
58 weeks: "Smooth," Santana featuring Rob Thomas (1999)
58 weeks: "How to Save a Life," The Fray (2006)
56 weeks: "I Don't Want to Wait," Paula Cole (1998)
56 weeks: "The Way You Love Me," Faith Hill (2001)
55 weeks; "Missing," Everything But the Girl (1996)
55 weeks: "Barely Breathing," Duncan Sheik (1997)
55 weeks: "Amazed," Lonestar (2000)
54 weeks: "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)," Four Seasons (1976, 1994)
54 weeks: "Unwell," Matchbox Twenty (2003)
54 weeks: "Hanging by a Moment," Lifehouse (2001)
54 weeks: "Higher," Creed (2000)
53 weeks: "Too Close," Next (1998)
53 weeks: "Breathe," Faith Hill (2000)
53 weeks: "Kryptonite," 3 Doors Down (2000)
53 weeks: "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)," Train (2001)
52 weeks: "Truly Madly Deeply," Savage Garden (1998)
52 weeks: "How's It Going to Be," Third Eye Blind (1998)

Tied at the 51-week mark with "Before He Cheats" are "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down (2003) and "What Hurts the Most" by Rascal Flatts (2006). Since it is still in the top 30 of the Hot 100, "Before He Cheats" stands a good chance to join the top 10 of the longevity list.

MORE OF 'MORE': Speaking of longevity, Kenny Chesney's "Never Wanted Nothing More" (BNA) becomes the longest-running No. 1 hit of 2007 on the Hot Country Songs chart, as it remains in pole position for a fifth week. That surpasses the four-week reign of Rodney Atkins' "Watching You" in January-February.

"Never Wanted Nothing More" is the longest-running No. 1 by a solo male artist since Keith Urban ruled for six weeks in the fall of 2005 with "Better Life."

'GHETTO' CHILD: It was just three weeks ago when the father-daughter team of Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus shared berths in the top 20 of The Billboard 200. Now, another, similar team charts on the Pop 100, though they occupy the same position.

Elvis and Lisa Marie Presley bow at No. 83 with "In the Ghetto" (LMP), a duet version of Elvis' No. 3 hit from 1969. The charity single is available from iTunes for a limited time.

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