For an act that’s sorry for party rocking, it continues to do a lot of it.
‘THE VOICE’ IS HEARD: Six songs performed on the May 7 live-performance season finale of NBC’s music reality competition “The Voice” debut in the top 50 of the Digital Songs chart.
The splash is less, however, than that made by last year’s finalists after the first season of the series wrapped.
While Jermaine Paul was crowned the show’s second-season champion (May 8), two titles by third-place finisher Tony Lucca nab the highest Digital Songs entries among this year’s final four contestants. Lucca’s version of Jay-Z‘s “99 Problems” leads with a No. 16 bow (80,000 downloads sold, according to SoundScan), followed by a No. 22 start for a cover of the Beatles‘ “Yesterday,” with Lucca’s “Voice” coach, Adam Levine (68,000).
Paul, meanwhile, arrives at No. 32 with a take on R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” (55,000).
Fourth-place finalist Chris Mann charts two titles on the survey, a version of “The Prayer” (made famous by the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion and Josh Groban, the latter of to whom Mann has been compared vocally), with his coach, Christina Aguilera (No. 34, 54,000) and “You Raise Me Up” (also best-known from Groban’s version) (No. 46, 40,000). Runner-up Juliet Simms dents the chart at No. 44 with a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s concert favorite “Free Bird” (40,000).
Following last year’s season finale, the top two contestants logged loftier launches on Digital Songs.
Inaugural “Voice” victor Javier Colon roared in at No. 6 with “Stitch by Stitch” (145,000; July 16, 2011) and No. 24 with Michael Jackson cover “Man in the Mirror,” with Levine (75,000). 2011 runner-up Dia Frampton started at No. 7 that week with “Inventing Shadows” (137,000) and No. 33 with a version of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” with Blake Shelton (62,000).
‘DANCE’ CHART: “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez (at least for now), meanwhile, notches her record-tying ninth consecutive No. 1, and 12th overall, on Dance/Club Play Songs, as “Dance Again,” featuring Pitbull, rises 3-1. Just two weeks ago, Katy Perry tallied her ninth leader in a row with “Part of Me.”
Among non-active streaks, Beyonce (2009-11) and Kristine W (1994-2005) also linked nine straight Dance/Club Play Songs No. 1s.
EAGLE FLIES SOLO: Glenn Frey debuts on the Billboard 200 for the first time since 1988, when “Soul Searchin’ ” reached No. 36, as his new jazz-influenced pop standards album “After Hours” (his first studio set since “Strange Weather” in 1992, which fell short of the Billboard 200) bows at No. 116.
Not that the Eagles co-founder’s voice has been absent from the chart over the past 23 years. The Eagles topped the tally with “Hell Freezes Over” in 1994 and “Long Road Out of Eden” in 2007.
“I have two n’s in my name because my mother loved Glenn Miller,” Frey says. “The radio was on all the time at my house. We heard all of the songs. The songs on this album, some of them are from the time when my parents were growing up and others are from the time I was growing up. Obviously, this music is special, and it means a lot to them.
“One of the real motivating factors in getting this record finished was I wanted to give it to my parents while they were still alive. Both my mom and dad are alive and well out in Palm Springs and it’s very satisfying to be able to give them this record and say, ‘Here, look what I did with this music you love’.”
TAKIN’ IT TO BROADWAY: Another veteran male rocker steps outside his comfort zone, as Twisted Sister frontman, and recent contestant on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” Dee Snider enters Heatseekers Albums at No. 33 with “Dee Does Broadway.” The set features such amped-up covers of well-known songs from musicals as “Big Spender” (with Cyndi Lauper), “Music of the Night” and “Luck Be a Lady Tonight” (with “Apprentice” co-star, and top-two finalist this season, Clay Aiken).
How did Snider go from screeching “We’re Not Gonna Take It” to crooning “Mack the Knife”? In 2010, he began an 11-week turn in the cast of the hit Broadway musical “Rock of Ages.” “After my run on Broadway, I came to really appreciate the idea of being in a cast, of sharing the spotlight on some songs (gasp!),” Snider jokes in the artwork of the new album, which cleverly resembles a black-yellow-and-white Broadway Playbill.
“There are many who think doing an album of rocked-out show tunes is pure insanity on my part,” he says. “Apparently they haven’t seen any photos of me from the ’70s and ’80s … Could I have been in a more theatrical band?
“Ever since I was a kid, I’d heard the real power inherent in a lot of songs from musicals and this record gives me the chance to show it.”