WHY ISN’T ‘CHRISTMAS’ PRESENT?
I noticed that “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey is the No. 1 song on the digital download chart. My question pertains to the Hot 100. I always thought that the Hot 100 is a reflection of the combination of what radio is playing and what the public is buying.
I realize that the Mariah Carey song is more than 10 years old but, if the public is buying this song, more so than any others, shouldn’t that be reflected on the Hot 100?
Canoga Park, Calif.
The Billboard Hot 100 is designed to chart the most popular current hits in America, and that’s why a song that’s 11 years old, like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” is ineligible to appear on the survey. If older songs were allowed to chart, the Hot 100 could become clogged with non-current hits, leaving less room for new songs to enter the chart.
Exceptions are made for old hits that become current again. That’s why “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen was allowed to return to the Hot 100 when it was included on the soundtrack of “Wayne’s World” and reissued as a commercial single, and why the Four Seasons’ “December 1963 (Oh What a Night)” encored on the Hot 100 when Curb Records issued a remix and promoted it as a current single.
Something I’ve said many times in this space is that the Billboard charts are meant to be useful tools for the record industry. What I haven’t said as often, but is still true, is that the policies aren’t set in a vacuum. Record companies and radio stations are aware of chart rules and their input is considered. If it served the industry to have older titles included on the Hot 100, they probably would be there.
The success of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” as a paid digital download is reflected on Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs chart, but you won’t find this song or older holiday hits like Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” on the Hot 100.
On The Billboard Hot 100, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men have the longest run at No. 1 with “One Sweet Day” (16 weeks) and Usher has the longest run at No. 1 by an artist (19 weeks; 12 with “Yeah!” followed by seven with “Burn”). On the Hot 100 Airplay chart, the Goo Goo Dolls have the longest run at No. 1 with “Iris” (18 weeks).
I would like to know which artist has the longest run at No. 1 as an artist on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. I know Mariah had 16 weeks at No. 1 with “We Belong Together” and then replaced herself with “Shake It Off,” but I don’t remember how many weeks she was No. 1 with that single. Was it enough to give Mariah the longest run at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart?
Also, what is the difference between the Hot Digital Songs and Hot Digital Tracks charts?
Best wishes this holiday for you and everyone who reads your column.
After Mariah Carey led Hot 100 Airplay for 16 weeks with “We Belong Together,” she had another three weeks on top with “Shake It Off.” But those 19 weeks as leader of the pack wasn’t enough to break the 23-week record set by Usher in 2004. He was No. 1 consecutively with “Yeah!” (12 weeks), “Burn” (eight weeks) and “Confessions Part II” (three weeks).
On Hot Digital Songs, all versions of a song are counted together. On Hot Digital Tracks, different versions of the same song, such as an original track vs. a clean edit, are charted separately.
I’m going to ask a huge favor. Mariah Carey is about to tie Elvis Presley [for second place among artists with the most No. 1 hits], and that feat is going to cause a huge buzz. I think you should be ready for that; please, can you explain why Elvis has 17 No. 1 singles, not 18 (although we know that is due to a double-sided single) and why he has 79 weeks at No. 1, not 80. Mariah will have her 76th week at No. 1.
Thanks for your patience. This might be the first e-mail you’ll receive about this matter, but I hope you can clear this up for us readers!
You anticipated this week’s chart action. As you know by now, Mariah Carey’s “Don’t Forget About Us” has indeed moved into pole position on the Hot 100, giving her 17 No. 1 hits.
After the storm of letters I received two weeks ago when “Hung Up” became Madonna’s 36th top 10 hit, tying Elvis Presley’s record, I thought it would be a good idea to explain why the Billboard count differs from the count found in Joel Whitburn’s books. Check this week’s “Chart Beat.