Chart Beat

Fred discusses Natasha Bedingfield, Bob Dylan, "Pet Sounds" and more!

'UNWRITTEN' IN THE STARS: After a consecutive run of 18 weeks for "Bad Day" (Warner Bros.), Daniel Powter abdicates his Adult Contemporary chart throne to a new leader: Natasha Bedingfield, who claims her first AC No. 1 with "Unwritten" (Epic).

It's been a six-month journey for "Unwritten," Bedingfield's first song to appear on the AC tally. The single debuted the week of March 18 and first made the top five the week of May 27. "Unwritten" slipped to No. 6 but then returned to the top five the week of June 17 and has been there ever since, spending the last eight weeks in the runner-up spot before claiming pole position.

"Unwritten" is the fourth new No. 1 of 2006, and the first by a female artist. Before "Bad Day," the other two songs that advanced to No. 1 in 2006 were "You and Me" by Lighthouse and "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt.

Bedingfield is the first female artist to lead the AC list since Kimberley Locke had a four-week reign with "Up on the Housetop." That holiday song moved into the penthouse the week of Dec. 17, 2005.

Bedingfield is the first British female to dominate the AC chart since Dido spent four non-consecutive weeks on top with "Thank You" between June and September of 2001.

Powter is not the only Daniel who figures into this chart feat. Natasha's brother, Daniel Bedingfield, also had one AC chart entry. "If You're Not the One" peaked at No. 3 the week of June 14, 2003.

'MODERN' ROCKS: The times are "Modern," but they are apparently not a-changin' since Bob Dylan is still able to have a No. 1 album on The Billboard 200. "Modern Times" (Columbia) is the first album by the legendary artist to debut in first place, and is the fourth No. 1 title of his long career.

Before "Modern Times," Dylan was last in pole position with "Desire" in 1976. His other chart-topping LPs were "Planet Waves" in 1974 and "Blood on the Tracks" in 1975.

"Modern Times" makes its entrance just in time to celebrate the anniversary of Dylan's first appearance on the Billboard album chart. "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" debuted the week of Sept. 7, 1963, giving him a chart span of 43 years and one week.

'PET' ROCKS: Speaking of anniversaries, "Star Trek" and "The Monkees" aren't the only pop culture icons celebrating 40 years. The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" was first released 40 years ago and an anniversary edition brings that album into the top 10 of the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart for the first time. The CD re-enters the chart at No. 8 after an earlier edition spent one week at No. 47 in 2001.

The original "Pet Sounds" peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard album chart in 1966. A 1972 reissue reached No. 50 and a 1990 CD with three bonus tracks surfed to No. 162.

BOW FOR 'BRIDGES': The movie opened on Sept. 8, but the soundtrack to Toby Keith's "Broken Bridges" (Show Dog) didn't need to wait for the theatrical premiere to hit the Billboard charts. The CD debuts at No. 4 on the Top Country Albums chart, making it the highest new entry for a soundtrack since the tally has been compiled with sales data furnished by Nielsen SoundScan.

With the film playing in theaters, the soundtrack should have a clear path to No. 1. That would make "Broken Bridges" the seventh soundtrack to top this chart in its 42-year history.

The longest-running No. 1 country soundtrack by miles is "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" with a 35-week reign. "Hope Floats" is in second place, with nine weeks in the lead. "Urban Cowboy" and "Coyote Ugly" are tied for third place, with eight weeks on top. "Honeysuckle Rose," which featured Willie Nelson, led the list for six weeks in 1980. Finally, "Pure Country" had a lone week on top in 1992.

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