THEM AND HIM: Difficult to believe, but true: after a chart career that spans 36 years and 11 months, Belfast-born Van Morrison earns the second highest-charting album of his lifetime. “Down the Road” (Exile/Universal) opens on The Billboard 200 at No. 25. The only Morrison set to achieve a higher ranking is “Saint Dominic’s Preview,” a 1972 release that went to No. 15. Until this week, Morrison’s second highest-charting album was the classic “Tupelo Honey,” which reached No. 27 in 1971.
Morrison first charted as the lead singer of Northern Ireland band Them. An eponymously-titled debut LP peaked at No. 54 in 1965, with the follow-up, “Them Again,” only managing to reach No. 138. The two albums were combined to form a 1972 double-LP that went to No. 154 in 1972.
Morrison’s solo career kicked off with “Blowin’ Your Mind!” on the independent Bang label in 1967. That debut effort stopped at No. 182. In 1970, Morrison signed to Warner Bros. and made his label debut with “Moondance,” which gave him a best-to-date peak of No. 29. Morrison’s most recent chart appearance was “You Win Again,” recorded with Jerry Lee Lewis’ sister, Linda Gail Lewis. That Pointblank album only went as high as No. 161 when it was issued in 2000. Its predecessor, “Back on Top,” peaked at No. 28 in 1999.
DON’T HANG UP: Chart maven Vince Ripol of San Diego, calls attention to the debut of Tweet’s second entry on Billboard’s Hot 100. The follow-up to “Oops (Oh My)” is “Call Me” (The Gold Mind/Elektra) and it debuts at No. 67. Ripol followed the party line and did some research to discover that this is the ninth song with the title “Call Me” to chart on the Hot 100. The previous calls were by Blondie, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, Chris Montez, Skyy, Le Click, Go West, Dennis DeYoung, and Too Short & Lil’ Kim.
Ripol reminds that although it didn’t appear on the Hot 100, Phil Perry’s “Call Me” was a No. 1 song on the R&B singles chart.
Thanks to Ripol for phoning this one in.
SWISS MISS: A new record has been set on the singles chart in Switzerland, according to Swiss chart expert Jochen Tierbach. Colombian singer Shakira has the longest-running No. 1 single in Swiss chart history, according to Tierbach. Her English-language debut, “Whenever, Wherever,” is on top for the 17th week. That beats the 16-week reign of Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” in 1991.
Shakira’s achievement sends Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” into third place, with a 15-week visit to pole position.
More details of this chart feat can be found in Tierbach’s latest chart column at http://www.singleeurope.com/ch-rhythm/index.html.