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Let’s open the latest mailbag.
The 10’s Spots
“Heat Waves” by Glass Animals has joined a small list of hits that have occupied every position in the Billboard Hot 100‘s top 10.
Here’s a rundown of the songs that have toured each spot from No. 1 to No. 10.
Title, Artist, Year(s)
“Truly Madly Deeply,” Savage Garden, 1998
“Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’),” T-Pain, 2007
“Down,” Jay Sean, 2009-10
“Whatcha Say,” Jason Derulo, 2009-10
“Love Yourself,” Justin Bieber, 2016
“Sicko Mode,” Travis Scott, 2018-19
“Without Me,” Halsey, 2019
“Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse),” Post Malone & Swae Lee, 2019
“Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish, 2019
“Circles,” Post Malone, 2019-20
“Blinding Lights,” The Weeknd, 2020-21
“Heat Waves,” Glass Animals, 2021-22
From its first week in the top 10, at No. 10 on the chart dated Nov. 13, 2021, through May, “Heat Waves” ranked at every spot in the bracket except No. 6. It completed its sweep on the June 4 chart and places at No. 6 again on the latest, June 18-dated chart.
And, yes, this mailbag was timed to post (almost) after sundown on the 15th … a late night in the middle of June.
Meanwhile, over its 73-week Hot 100 run – the sixth-longest in the chart’s history – “Heat Waves” has so far ranked at 42 positions, including No. 1 (for five weeks) and No. 100. Its full recap: Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25, 27, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 39, 41, 42, 44, 50, 56, 57, 61, 64, 65, 69, 86, 91 and 100.
All those numbers help illustrate the song’s reach. Just under 1% of all Hot 100 entries – around 30,000 total since the chart began in August 1958 – have spent 42 or more weeks on the survey, so to even log that much time on the tally is an impressive feat. To rank at 42 distinct positions further highlights the uncommon longevity that “Heat Waves” has achieved.
As for more chart history for “Heat Waves,” no song previously ranked in the Hot 100’s top 10 as late as its 73rd week. It passed The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” the record-holder with 90 total weeks on the chart (and the last song prior to “Heat Waves” to place at each top 10 position); “Lights” last ranked in the top 10, at No. 9, in its 70th week in April 2021.
Notably, most of the songs listed above have logged their Hot 100 runs in recent years, as the record for the most weeks spent in the top 10 has been rewritten, reflecting select hits’ rare streaming and radio strength. “Blinding Lights” currently holds the mark, with 57 top 10 weeks, followed by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber’s “Stay” (44) and Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” (41).
Celebrating Joel Whitburn
Sorry to learn about Joel Whitburn’s passing. I’ve had a copy of his The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits for years. A legend.
You’re far from alone among fans paying tribute to the world’s foremost chart historian.
A sampling of those who replied to Billboard‘s story announcing the news Tuesday on Twitter, along with many others:
“I use two of his chart eBooks almost every day. He is truly a legend and will be so missed!”
@RonRaymondJr (WMPG radio Portland, Maine)
“Joel Whitburn, whom I only met through his books, gave me delight. A LOT of delight. Thank you Joel Whitburn”
@FletcherKeyes (veteran radio air talent/programmer/consultant)
“I have many of his books. They’re my musical bibles.”
“An icon in music history.”
It was so gratifying to have had the opportunity to record the podcast above, with fellow Billboard charts dept. member Alex Vitoulis, in 2016. As it quickly becomes clear from listening, Joel Whitburn was as nice in person as he was unmatched in his field, and it was a thrill to meet him (and his daughter Kim) after, like so many others, discovering and eagerly buying his Record Research chart reference books not long after becoming an avid music and charts fan.
A personal favorite book, even if it’s not one of Billboard charts [!], is Joel Whitburn Presents Radio & Records Top Pop Hits 1973-2009. [Billboard did at least partner with longtime competitor R&R for three years in the 2000s …] The book spotlights every song to have hit R&R‘s pop radio chart in those 36 years, including several notable No. 1s that stopped at No. 2 on the multi-metric Hot 100, such as, to name 10: John Lennon’s “Woman,” Foreigner’s “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” Journey’s “Open Arms,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark,” Madonna’s “Material Girl,” Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” Mariah Carey’s “Can’t Let Go,” Donna Lewis’ “I Love You Always Forever,” Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” and Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.”
That information alone reinforces how easy – and fun for chart fans – it is to get lost in Joel Whitburn’s volumes of works, and will continue to be.
Having formed Record Research in 1970, “That’s 52 years that he got to live his dream,” the company’s Paul Haney said in a touching tribute now posted on Record Research’s website. “Joel never lost his passion, his enjoyment for what he did.
“It hit me especially hard that he passed on a Tuesday, because Tuesday is the day we get the brand new charts from Billboard,” Haney added. “I can just hear Joel, in his trademark gravelly voice, saying, ‘Paul, can you believe all these Post Malone songs that came on this week … there’s like 20 of ’em!’
“Many people, myself included, refer to them as the Whitburn books,” Haney said, noting that Record Research will continue, publishing new product, per Whitburn’s wishes (and that “Joel always said, ‘Without the customers, our company would not exist’ “).
“His legacy will continue on.”