Chart Beat

Fred discusses Maroon 5, Ne-Yo, Neil Sedaka and more!

THE 'WONDER' YEAR: Maroon 5 will never forget 2007, the year the group achieved its first No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100. Nor will the members of the band ever forget how they achieved their first chart-topper: by breaking the record for the biggest leap to No. 1 in the history of this survey.

Three weeks ago, "Makes Me Wonder" (A&M/Octone) entered the Hot 100 at No. 84, making it the lowest debuting single of the group's five chart entries. So there is some irony in the 64-1 move the song makes this week, besting the 52-1 leap of Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" in October 2002. The week that "Makes Me Wonder" entered the Hot 100 is also the week that Timbaland jumped 42-1 with "Give It to Me" (Mosley/Blackground). At the time, it was the second highest debut in the history of this chart, but it now ranks in third place.

Maroon 5 made its first appearance on the Hot 100 the week of Aug. 23, 2003, with "Harder to Breathe," which ultimately peaked at No. 18 in November. The follow-up, "This Love," reached No. 5 in April 2004. Next, "She Will Be Loved" also went to No. 5 in September 2004. Then "Sunday Morning" stalled at No. 31 the week of Feb. 26, 2005.

Doing the math, this is Maroon 5's third single to appear in the top 10. It is their first Hot 100 hit since the Octone label partnered with A&M instead of J Records.

'STAND' NEWS: Maroon 5's 64-1 move isn't the only new action in the top 10 of the Hot 100. Not only does Ne-Yo's "Because of You" (Def Jam) zoom 39-5, but there are also two debuts in the top 10 for the first time since the week of June 28, 2003, when Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard entered at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

Coincidentally, this week's two top 10 debuts are also by "American Idol" contestants. Fourth season winner Carrie Underwood was headed for the top 10 with "Before He Cheats" (Arista), but that single dips 11-14. Meanwhile, she debuts at No. 6 with her version of the Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You," the song she performed on the "Idol Gives Back" special episode of "American Idol." Underwood has the highest-charting version of this song in the United States, as the original by the Pretenders peaked at No. 16 in 1994.

This is Underwood's second top 10 hit on the Hot 100. Her finale song on the TV series, "Inside Your Heaven," debuted and peaked at No. 1 in July 2005.

The other Hot 100 debut inside the top 10 is the latest Kelly Clarkson single, "Never Again" (RCA), new at No. 8. It is her seventh top 10 hit, out of nine chart entries. It is by far her highest-debuting song, outdistancing the No. 60 debuts of "A Moment Like This" in 2002 and "Breakaway" in 2004.

Underwood and Clarkson have the third and fifth-highest debuts of 2007. Here are the five songs that have debuted inside the top 10 of the Hot 100 this calendar year:

No. 2: "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," Fall Out Boy
No. 5: "Girlfriend," Avril Lavigne
No. 6: "I'll Stand By You," Carrie Underwood
No. 7: "What I've Done," Linkin Park
No. 8: "Never Again," Kelly Clarkson

SEDAKA'S BACK AND SO IS DONNY: Just in time to celebrate his 50th year in show business, Neil Sedaka returns to The Billboard 200 by debuting at No. 22 with "The Definitive Collection" (Razor & Tie). In its first week on the chart, this new CD is already the second-highest charting album in Sedaka's career.

The Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter made his Billboard album debut the week of Jan. 5, 1963, with his first greatest hits collection. That gives him an album chart span of 44 years, four months and one week. His highest-charting album is "The Hungry Years," which peaked at No. 16 in 1975. He hasn't been on the chart since 1980, when "In the Pocket" went to No. 135.

Joining Neil Sedaka in the top 30 of The Billboard 200 is another veteran artist making a return via a high new entry. It's only been two years since Donny Osmond was last on the chart with "What I Meant to Say," which peaked at No. 137. This week, he opens at No. 27 with "Love Songs of the '70s" (Decca). It is Donny's highest-charting album since "Alone Together" peaked at No. 26 in 1973.

One song appears on both albums: Osmond covers Sedaka's "Laughter in the Rain."

BECK'S BACK: While Neil Sedaka and Donny Osmond triumph on the album tally, another veteran musician returns

to the Hot 100, where he has the third chart entry of his career under his own name. These three singles have been spaced two decades apart, charting in the '60s, the '80s and the '00s.

The artist is Jeff Beck, who is featured on Kelly Clarkson's "Up to the Mountain" (RCA), the song she performed on the "American Idol" charity special. The Clarkson/Beck track enters the Hot 100 at No. 56. Beck's two earlier chart entries were "Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)," a Donovan single that featured the Jeff Beck Group and which peaked at No. 36 in 1969, and "People Get Ready," a remake of the Impressions hit that Beck recorded with Rod Stewart, a No. 48 hit in 1985.

Beck started his chart career when he replaced Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds. That British group made its first appearance on the Hot 100 exactly 42 years ago this week with "For Your Love."

LONG 'LIFE': The song with the most seniority on the Hot 100 is still the Fray's "How to Save a Life," which dips 37-39 in its 55th chart week. In the history of the Hot 100, only 12 songs have charted for 55 weeks or more.

Here is a list of the longevity champs, with the years the songs peaked:

69 weeks: "How Do I Live," LeAnn Rimes (1997)
65 weeks: "Foolish Games" / "You Were Meant for Me," Jewel (1997)
62 weeks: "You and Me," Lifehouse (2006)
60 weeks: "Macarena" (Bayside Boys Mix), Los Del Rio (1996)
58 weeks: "Smooth," Santana featuring Rob Thomas (1999)
57 weeks: "Higher," Creed (2000)
56 weeks: "I Don't Want to Wait," Paula Cole (1998)
56 weeks: "The Way You Love Me," Faith Hill (2001)
55 weeks: "Barely Breathing," Duncan Sheik (1997)
55 weeks: "Missing," Everything But the Girl (1996)
55 weeks: "Amazed," Lonestar (2000)
55 weeks: "How to Save a Life," The Fray (2006)

BROWN GO-GOES: If you live in Washington, D.C., you know that Chuck Brown is considered godfather of the go-go scene. If you follow the Billboard charts, you might remember that Brown had a No. 1 song on the R&B chart in 1979 with “Bustin’ Loose.” The 72-year-old musician returns to the charts this week and sets a new record, with his highest-charting title on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

The new CD, “We’re About the Business,” enters The Billboard 200 at No. 37. Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose” LP peaked at No. 31 in 1979. His other charting set was “Your Game…Live at the 9:30 Club, Washington D.C.,” which peaked at No. 193 in 2001.

On the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Brown’s latest blasts onto the No. 2 spot. That’s his best performance ever, beating the No. 5 peak of “Bustin’ Loose” and the No. 56 peak of “Your Game.”

12 x 60: Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Patti Smith has her highest charting album in 11 years with “Twelve,” which debuts on The Billboard 200 at No. 60. It’s her best ranking since 1996, when “Gone Again” reached No. 55, and her first album to chart since 2004, when “Trampin’” went to No. 123.

Smith first charted in 1976 with “Horses,” which ultimately peaked at No. 47. The highest-ranked album of her career is “Wave,” which sailed to No. 18 in 1979.