Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Billboard charts, Smashing Pumpkins and Mary J. Blige.

POP VS. HOT

Hello,

I've noticed a lot of changes and new things happening with Billboard magazine and Billboard.com. There's a new chart that was launched about a couple of months ago called the Pop 100. Ever since I discovered it, I have always wondered what makes it different from the Hot 100 chart. If you can explain to me what distinguishes the Pop 100 and the Hot 100 charts, I truly appreciate it.

Thanks a lot,

Omar-Karim Strong

Hello Omar-Karim,

When Billboard bowed the new Pop 100 chart earlier this year, this is how it was described in the magazine: "Like The Billboard Hot 100, the new Pop 100 chart rates songs by mingling audience impressions calculated by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems with the sales of digital tracks and physical singles. But the Pop 100's radio panel will be confined to mainstream top 40 stations."

Essentially, the big difference is that the Pop 100's radio information is only coming from mainstream top 40 stations, whereas on the Billboard Hot 100, its radio reach is to every format -- Christian, Latin, modern rock, adult contemporary, dance and so on. Both the Pop 100 and Hot 100 also include digital download sales.

This week's No. 1 on both the Hot 100 and the Pop 100 is Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl." The song had a radio audience reach of nearly 62 million for the week ending April 26, and it sold 58,000 in digital downloads for the week ending April 24.



THE GREAT PUMPKINS

Hi Keith,

I have been a huge fan of the Smashing Pumpkins since the album "Adore." Although they had been huge it failed to live up to expectations. Billy Corgan's second project, Zwan, didn't really seem to catch on as well. Now Corgan is about to release his first proper solo album and I was wondering if you could tell me how many units all of the Smashing Pumpkins' albums have sold.

Thanks,

Marcus Keatinge

Hi Marcus,

Billy Corgan's solo album, "TheFutureEmbrace," will be released June 21 on Warner Bros. Records. The first single and video, "Walking Shade," will hit radio soon.

The Smashing Pumpkins have charted eight albums on The Billboard 200, including the No. 1 "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness." Five of the band's albums reached the top 10.

Here is a rundown of the Pumpkins' albums and their sales according to Nielsen SoundScan:

"Gish," 1991, 1.1 million
"Siamese Dream," 1993, 4.6 million
"Pisces Iscariot," 1994, 1.3 million
"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness," 1995, 4.7 million
"The Aeroplane Flies High," 1996, 307,000
"Adore," 1998, 1.1 million
"Machina/The Machines of God," 2000, 582,000
"{Rotten Apples} Greatest Hits," 2001, 729,000



MARY MARY

Keith,

I'm pretty sure I saw an item in Billboard last year about a hits collection for Mary J. Blige to come out for the holidays. I still haven't seen anything on any lists of upcoming releases. I didn't see anything on her Web site or Geffen's. Can you shed any light?

Roberta Glaser

Hi Roberta,

I searched the Billboard.biz archives for any mention of Mary J. Blige and a possible hits compilation, and I came up empty handed. However, back in December, Billboard.com reported that she was prepping to return to the studio to work on an album due in the summer of 2005.

A release date for a forthcoming Geffen set is still unknown at this point, but it should surface by the end of the year.