HARD HOBBIT TO BREAK: The song “Into the West” by Annie Lennox hasn’t broken on Billboard’s Hot 100 yet, but neither have any of the other four songs nominated for a Golden Globe for best original song, so in terms of single chart success, there is an even playing field.
“Into the West” appears on the soundtrack to “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (Reprise/WMG Soundtracks), which reaches a new peak position of No. 74 in its third chart week. Lennox wrote “Into the West” with Fran Walsh and the composer of the film’s score, Howard Shore.
Elton John’s “The Heart of Every Girl” (Epic), which he wrote with Bernie Taupin, has been getting some early Adult Contemporary airplay, but has not debuted on the AC chart yet, or the Hot 100. The song is heard over the closing credits of the new Julia Roberts film, “Mona Lisa Smile,” set at Wellesley College in Massachussets in 1953.
Sting, who won a Golden Globe two years ago for writing “Until…” from “Kate and Leopold,” is nominated for penning “You Will Be My Ain True Love,” performed by Alison Krauss over the end credits of the Nicole Kidman/Jude Law Civil War drama, “Cold Mountain.” The song has not appeared on any Billboard chart yet.
There hasn’t been any chart action yet for the other two nominated songs, Pearl Jam’s “Man of the Hour” from director Tim Burton’s “Big Fish” and Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer’s “Time Enough for Tears” from “In America.”
‘FAILS’ SUCCEEDS: Madonna collects her seventh consecutive No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Singles Sales chart as “Nothing Fails” (Maverick/Warner Bros.) claims the top spot. That means every Madonna single released in this millennium has achieved pole position, starting with “Music” in September 2000 and continuing with “Don’t Tell Me,” “What It Feels Like for a Girl,” “Die Another Day,” “American Life” and “Hollywood.”
That may make it sound like it’s always been easy for Madonna to dominate the dance singles sales chart, but that’s not true. Prior to “Music,” she only had a solitary No. 1 hit out of eight releases.
Madonna is also No. 2 on the dance singles sales chart with “Me Against the Music,” in which she plays a supporting role to Britney Spears. It’s the first time one artist has occupied the top two slots on this chart since 1997, when Puff Daddy was No. 1, 2 and 3.
On Hot 100 Singles Sales, “Nothing Fails” debuts at No. 1, but in a depressed singles market sold too few singles to earn a place on the Hot 100 yet.
ANOTHER J: Ruben Studdard is the fourth artist on the J label to debut at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 in 2003. Luther Vandross was first with “Dance With My Father.” That album was immediately followed by Monica’s “After the Storm.” Last week, Alicia Keys was a new entry at No. 1 with “The Diary of Alicia Keys” and this week Studdard succeeds her with his debut CD, “Soulful.”
Studdard is also the third “American Idol” finalist to debut at No. 1 on this chart in 2003, following Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken.
LET’S HOPE IT’S A GOOD ONE: Speaking of “Idols” at No. 1, the top-12 finalists of the second season of “Pop Idol” in the U.K. are expected to enter the British singles chart in lead position next week with a remake of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”
If that happens, it will be the song’s first turn at the top. Lennon’s original peaked at No. 2 when it was released in 1972.