THE MONKEY TIME: Jack Johnson’s fourth chart entry on The Billboard 200 is his first to reach pole position. Entering the chart at No. 1 is “Curious George: Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the Film” (Brushfire). Johnson made his album tally debut exactly four years ago this week with “Brushfire Fairytales,” which worked its way up to No. 34.
Starting with his sophomore release “On and On,” each of his subsequent albums have charted in adjacent positions, in order. “On and On” peaked at No. 3 in May 2003 and “In Between Dreams” sailed to No. 2 in March 2005.
“Curious George” is the first soundtrack to top the chart since “Bad Boys II” in August 2003. The gap of two-and-a-half years between “Bad Boys II” and “Curious George” is the longest break between chart-topping soundtracks since the three years and eight months that elapsed between “Armageddon” in July 1998 and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” in March 2002.
“Curious George” is the first soundtrack to an animated film to top The Billboard 200 since “Pocahontas” reigned for one week in July 1995.
STILL IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT: Carrie Underwood continues to generate chart news on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, as her single “Jesus, Take the Wheel” (Arista) rules for the sixth consecutive week. That ties Faith Hill’s “Breathe” as the longest-running No. 1 by a solo female artist since Connie Smith’s “Once a Day” had an eight-week run at No. 1 in 1964-65.
If Underwood is No. 1 again next week, she will have the second longest-running No. 1 by a solo female in this chart’s history. In two more weeks she would tie Smith, and if she can manage three more weeks, she will have the record all to herself.
Since Billboard started using airplay data supplied by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems in January 1990, “Jesus, Take the Wheel” is the longest-running No. 1 single from a debut album. There’s a four-way tie for second place between “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus in 1992, “Austin” by Blake Shelton in 2001, “Good Morning Beautiful” by Steve Holy in 2002 and “Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson in 2004. All had five week runs at the summit.
AS ‘STUPID’ DOES: Pink has the highest-debuting single of 2006 on the Billboard Hot 100, as “Stupid Girls” (Laface) crashes onto the chart at No. 24. That beats the No. 28 bow of “Start of Something New” (Walt Disney) by Zac Efron, Andrew Seeley & Vanessa Anne Hudgens just two weeks ago.
In its first week, “Stupid Girls” is already Pink’s highest chart entry since she went to No. 20 with “Family Portrait” in January 2003. This new single marks Pink’s first appearance on the chart since “Trouble” stopped at No. 68 in October 2003. That’s the longest break between Pink chart entries since she debuted on the chart in March 2000 with “There You Go.” That debut single entered the chart at No. 25 and was Pink’s highest new entry until this week.
TAINT NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING: A sample of the song “Tainted Love” in Rihanna’s debuting “SOS” (SRP/Def Jam) returns songwriter Ed Cobb to the Billboard Hot 100.
The earliest Cobb hit I could find on the Hot 100 is Brenda Holloway’s “Every Little Bit Hurts,” which debuted the week of May 2, 1964. Cobb could soon have two credits on the Hot 100, as a single of Alicia Keys’ version of “Every Little Bit Hurts” has gone to radio.
MONOPOLY: You may not recognize the names Juan Luis Morera and Llandel Veguilla, but they have set a record on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. The native-born Puerto Ricans are better known as reggaeton duo Wisin and Yandel and they hold four slots in the chart’s top 10 this week.
That’s the highest amount of songs in the top 10 by one act in this chart’s history. The previous record was set in April 1995 when three titles by Selena were in the top 10 in the wake of her murder. Wisin and Yandell matched the record of three a few weeks ago.
For the week ending Feb. 25, Wisin and Yandel hold at No. 5 with “Rakata” (Mas Flow) and at No. 6 with “Llame Pa’ Verte” (Machete). “Noche de Sexo,” credited to Wisin and Yandel featuring Aventura, soars 19-8 in its second chart week, while “Mayor Que Yo” by Baby Ranks, Daddy Yankee, Tonny Tun Tun, Wisin, Yandel and Hector falls 7-10.
HE MAKES US FEEL LIKE DANCING: Last week, Barry Manilow scored the second No. 1 album of his career, 29 years after his first chart-topping set. That feat is repeated this week on the U.K. singles chart, where Leo Sayer has the second No. 1 single of his career, 29 years after his first.
Sayer scored his first U.K. No. 1 single the week of Feb. 19, 1977 with “When I Need You,” which was his second U.S. chart-topper, following “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.”
In September 1977, Sayer went to No. 22 on the U.K. singles chart with “Thunder in My Heart.” Recast as “Thunder in My Heart Again” by Meck featuring Leo Sayer and released on the Apollo/Free 2 Air imprint, the song enters the current chart at No. 1.