THE ENTIRE RHYTHM NATION HEARD FROM
Last week Dean Smedley wondered what was the last album prior to Usher’s “Confessions” to generate five top 10 hits. Your reply correctly noted the six top 10 hits from Janet Jackson’s “janet.” You also added, “Before ‘janet.,’ you’d have to go back to 1988-89 to find another artist who was able to release an album that yielded five or more top 10 hits. George Michael had six consecutive top 10 hits from ‘Faith’ between July 1987-December 1988. Michael Jackson had six non-consecutive top 10 hits from ‘Bad’ between August 1987-January 1989.”
But if you’re going that far back you’ve overlooked some other key artists and achievements. Prior to “janet.,” Janet Jackson also spawned seven top 10 hits from “Rhythm Nation” during 1989-1991. During this window of time Paula Abdul also scored five top 10 hits from “Forever Your Girl.”
And we should also note the five top 10 hits from Bon Jovi’s “New Jersey” album (charting between 1988-1990), Whitney Houston’s “Whitney” (1987-88), Madonna’s “True Blue” and Janet Jackson’s “Control” (both 1986-87). There is also of course the seven top ten hits from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (1982-84) and Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” (1984-86).
Indeed, this is a very select group, comprising only nine artists and twelve occasions.
Hats off to Usher for being the most recent artist to pull off this impressive chart milestone. It’s a testament to the depth and excitement which distinguishes his album. I do have to admit, however, that I was disappointed you failed to mention Paula’s achievement now that so many chart fans are back on board the “Idol” train.
As always, thanks for adding some fun to each Friday.
I heard from more than a dozen “Chart Beat” readers that I should have included Janet Jackson’s run of hits from “Rhythm Nation.” As originally printed in Billboard, I was actually referring to the last male artists to achieve five or more top 10 hits from an album, to compare Usher’s chart feat to other solo male artists. The word “male” was missing from the online text for a couple of hours, but added quickly in a Friday afternoon revision.
My reply wasn’t meant to include every single run of five or more top 10 hits, but I do thank you for summarizing them, and thanks to all the readers who wrote in about this.
THE IRISH-AUSTRALIAN CONNECTION
I read your comments about Westlife in “Chart Beat Chat,” and I want to know whether you have heard a song from a [former] member of Westlife, Brian McFadden. He recently recorded a duet titled “Almost Here” with a young female singer from my country named Delta Goodrem. Do you think it will be a hit in the United States?
Brian McFadden (known as Bryan McFadden when he was a member of Westlife) released his first solo album, “Irish Son,” in November 2004 (but there has been no U.S. release). We played the No. 1 single “Real to Me” on “The Billboard Radio Countdown,” and when his duet with Australia’s Delta Goodrem debuted on the U.K. singles chart, we played that track as well.
“Almost Here” is on McFadden’s CD and is also featured on Goodrem’s second album, “Mistaken Identity” (also released in the United Kingdom in November 2004).
Since neither McFadden nor Goodrem have a track record in the United States yet, it’s hard to predict their duet will be a hit here. The quality of the song aside, a U.S. label would have to make at least one of them a priority before I could predict hit status for their collaboration.
I was wondering about the “Across the Universe” single that debuted [at No. 22] on [last week’s Billboard Hot 100] chart. Am I correct that none of the individual artists will get this song added to their Hot 100 tallies?
On the one hand, I can understand how an entity of performers shouldn’t get individual credit on their chart histories. The American Idol Finalists — who hit with “God Bless the U.S.A.” — make sense as a group that shouldn’t single out, say, Clay Aiken.
On the other hand, it seems unfair to deny Stevie Wonder credit for another top 40 hit simply because there are so many artists on the track. When Christina Aguilera, Lil” Kim, Mya and Pink teamed up for “Lady Marmalade,” they all got a credit. Would they have been denied that notice if there had been 10 women singing the song?
I don’t know if I’m misunderstanding why the “Various Artists” label was used, but I would appreciate your feedback.
There’s a big difference between “Across the Universe” and “Lady Marmalade.” On the latter, the credit on the recording was: Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink. Since all four artists were name-checked in the official credit, they all received credit. Billboard didn’t make the choice to list their names on the record; that was a decision made by legal and business affairs departments of the issuing record label. If there had been 10 women singing “Lady Marmalade” and they were all listed in the credits, you would have seen all 10 names listed on the chart.
The official credit for “Across the Universe” is Various Artists. That’s not a Billboard decision. We simply credit the song on the charts the way it is listed by the entity that releases the song.
My guess is there were simply too many artists on this recording to make it practical to list them all by name, as there were on “We Are the World,” the charity single credited to USA for Africa.
THE BIG BANG
Greetings from Greece. In response to your reply to Andreas Komodromos in last week’s column: the group Bang you mention that charted in 1990 with “Holding My Heart” is actually the Greek duo that took part in Eurovision in 1987 with “Stop.” Thanos Kaliris and IIRC Basilis Dertilis were the members of the group.
They have also charted in the United Kingdom with a different song (“You’re the One”, No. 74 in 1989). For some reason they were reported as British. “The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles” also lists them as a U.K. duo. They must be one of the select few Greek artists/groups that have charted both on the Hot 100 and the U.K. top 75.
Thanks for mentioning Greek artists; I hope you don’t get flooded with e-mails from Greece.
You were the only one to write so far, but I do appreciate your clearing up the mystery of Bang.
Last week’s “Chart Beat Chat” referred to the Greek artist Anna Vissi, who is on Billboard’s dance charts with “Call Me.” That single is featured on “The Billboard Radio Countdown” for the week ending March 12. The show will be posted at www.billboardradio.com on March 7.