Chart Beat

The Isley Brothers, after 44 years, impact the chart yet again this week, along news on Neil Young, Paul Simon, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rihanna.

THIS OLD CHART OF MINE: The latest album from the Isley Brothers, "Baby Makin' Music" (Def Soul Classics/Def Jam), is also chart-making music. The CD debuts at No. 5 on The Billboard 200, immediately qualifying as the act's fifth most successful album of all time in a chart career dating back 43 1/2 years.

The Isleys have had two No. 1 albums, "The Heat Is On" in 1975 and "Body Kiss" in 2003. "Eternal" peaked at No. 3 in 2001 and "Showdown" went to No. 4 in 1978.

On the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, "Baby Makin' Music" is born at No. 1. It is the Isleys' 10th album to achieve pole position. That puts the act in a three-way tie with Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder for second place on the list of artists with the most No. 1 R&B albums. Who sits alone in first place? The Temptations, with 17 chart-toppers.

FIVE OR LESS: Rihanna is still the leader of the pack on the Billboard Hot 100, where "SOS" (SRP/Def Jam) holds firm for the third consecutive week. "SOS" is the 10th consecutive No. 1 single to have a reign of five weeks or less.

There hasn't been such a long streak since 2000, when no song remained No. 1 longer than five weeks between June 17 and Nov. 11. To find a longer streak of No. 1 songs that were on top for five weeks or less, you'd have to go back to 1999. Between Jan. 16 and Oct. 9, there were 13 chart-toppers in a row that held the top position for five weeks or less.

If "SOS" is still No. 1 in two weeks, it will join "Check On It" by Beyonce featuring Slim Thug and "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter as the longest-running No. 1 songs of 2006.

THERE GOES CHARTIN' SIMON: He's still making hits after all these
years. Paul Simon's latest album, "Surprise" (Warner Bros.), debuts on The
Billboard 200 at No. 14. That makes "Surprise" the highest-charting album by Simon in 15 1/2 years, since "Rhythm of the Saints" marched to No. 4 in November 1990.

Simon now has a solo chart span of 34 years, three months and two weeks, dating back to the Feb. 12, 1972 debut of his self-titled album. Including his work as half of Simon and Garfunkel, Simon has an album chart span of 40 years, four months and one week, counting back to the Jan. 22, 1966 debut of "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM."

YOUNG AT HEART: Paul Simon isn't the only veteran act in the Warner Bros. family to return to The Billboard 200 this week. Debuting one rung lower is an artist from sister label Reprise. Neil Young's "Living With War" is a new entry at No. 15. It is Young's third top 20 album this century, following "Are You Passionate?" (No. 10 in 2002) and "Prairie Wind" (No. 11 in 2005).

Just counting albums released under his own name, Young's album chart span expands to 34 years, 11 months and one week, harking back to the debut of "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" the week of June 21, 1969. Including all of his work, Young's full album chart span stretches to 39 years and two months, going back to the debut of Buffalo Springfield's self-titled first LP the week of March 26, 1967.

HOT STUFF: After 18 1/2 years of charting on The Billboard 200,
Red Hot Chili Peppers finally have their first No. 1 album. "Stadium Arcadium" (Warner Bros.) enters in pole position, eclipsing the No. 2 peak of "By the
Way" in July 2002.

The group has also had two albums reach No. 3: "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" in 1992 and "Californication" in 1999.

WELCOME BACK: After a 14-year absence, Bananarama is back on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart. An import version of "Look on the Floor" is new at No. 44. The British femme duo hasn't appeared on this tally since 1992, when they scored with "Tripping on Your Love."


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