SUPER-STREIS-ED: This week’s Billboard is 200 bursting with all kinds of records. Literally and figuratively. Dating to the chart’s March 24, 1956, launch as a weekly survey, not until this week had eight titles debuted in the top 10. The entire chart’s sum of 43 new entries ranks second only to the 45 arrivals on the Oct. 13, 2007, list.
A look at the elite eight:
No. 1, Barbra Streisand, “Love Is the Answer”
As previously reported, Streisand becomes the only act to collect No. 1 albums in each of the past five decades. Chart Beat reader Larry Cohen of Trumbull, Connecticut notes that by entering the Billboard 200 at the top, Streisand extends the chart record for longest span of No. 1s among women. Starting with “People” on the chart dated October 31, 1964, Streisand’s span of No. 1s now stands at 44 years, 11 months and two weeks (this week’s Billboard charts are dated Oct. 17). Among all artists, Elvis Presley owns the widest wingspan among No. 1s: 46 years, five months and one week (May 5, 1956 through Oct. 12, 2002).
No. 2, Paramore, “Brand New Eyes”
The band’s third album is its first top 10. It’s also the highest-charting set by a female-fronted rock band (not including acts such as Arcade Fire or Skillet, in which both genders share vocals) since Evanescence’s “The Open Door” arrived at No. 1 three years ago this week. Paramore’s performance on MTV’s revived “Unplugged” franchise is viewable here.
No. 3, Mariah Carey, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel”
The set concurrently bounds to No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It bowed last week at No. 79 following street date violations. Since R&B/Hip-Hop Albums began employing Nielsen SoundScan data in 1992, only Mary J. Blige, with seven, has more top 10s.
No. 5, Alice in Chains, “Black Gives Way to Blue”
The band revisits the top 10 after a 13-year absence with its first effort featuring vocalist William DuVall. It notched its first top 10 album, “Dirt,” exactly 17 years ago this week.
No. 7, Madonna, “Celebration”
As of last week, the three female artists with the most top 10 albums in the Billboard 200’s history were Barbra Streisand, Madonna and Mariah Carey, respectively. Oddly enough, each artist adds to her sum this week. The totals now stand at 30 top 10s for Streisand, 18 for Madonna and 15 for Carey.
No. 8, Miranda Lambert, “Revolution”
With a No. 1 start on Country Albums, Lambert becomes one of only three artists in the Nielsen SoundScan era to bow atop the tally with their first three chart entries. The previous three-peaters were also solo women: LeAnn Rimes (1996-97) and Gretchen Wilson (2004-07).
DOUBLE VISION: With so many debuts, highlights on the Billboard 200 aren’t confined solely to the top 10.
Foreigner scores its highest-charting album since 1988, when “Inside Information” reached No. 15, as “Can’t Slow Down” bows at No. 29. The Walmart exclusive is the band’s first studio album featuring vocalist Kelly Hansen.
Foreigner also returns to Adult Contemporary after a 14-year break, as “When It Comes to Love” debuts at No. 28. The group last charted at the format with the No. 8-peaking “Until the End of Time.”
The band that had not impacted the chart since 1995 now finds two of its titles scaling the list: Mariah Carey’s cover of “I Want to Know What Love Is” rises 19-15 in its third week. The original version of the ballad ranks as Foreigner’s second-biggest Adult Contemporary hit, having reached No. 3 in 1985. “I Don’t Want to Live Without You” topped the chart dated May 14, 1988.
SWEET HOME: Fellow veteran acts also make triumphant returns.
Lynyrd Skynyrd visits the Billboard 200 for the first time since 2003, as “Gods & Guns” opens at No. 18. The set is the band’s highest-charting studio effort since “Street Survivors” strode to No. 5 in 1977.
The first holiday album of the season decorates the Billboard 200. Michael McDonald‘s “This Christmas” arrives at No. 95. It also opens on the Holiday Albums chart at No. 1.
Singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson notches his highest-charting solo album on the Billboard 200 since 1978’s “Easter Island,” which peaked at No. 86. “Closer to the Bone” starts at No. 167.
JAY: As reported yesterday, one of the Billboard Hot 100’s most extraordinary runs comes to a close this week, as Jay Sean‘s “Down” unseats the Black Eyed Peas‘ “I Gotta Feeling” after 14 weeks at No. 1. Having led for 12 weeks directly prior with “Boom Boom Pow,” the Peas end their unprecedented streak of consecutive weeks on top at 26. (The group’s “Meet Me Halfway” does soften the blow, however, charging 47-32).
“Down” is the first Hot 100 No. 1 for Sean and the second for featured artist Lil Wayne, who first led for five weeks last year with “Lollipop.”
Sean is the first male artist to take a debut chart entry to the Hot 100 summit since Flo Rida reigned with “Low,” the top song of last year. He is the 10th lead male (and second Sean) to reign in his first chart appearance this decade:
2003, Clay Aiken, “This Is the Night” (2 weeks at No. 1)
2005, Chris Brown, “Run It!” (5 weeks at No. 1)
2006, James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful” (1 week at No. 1)
2006, Ne-Yo, “So Sick” (2 weeks at No. 1)
2006, Daniel Powter, “Bad Day” (5 weeks at No. 1)
2007, Mims, “This Is Why I’m Hot” (2 weeks at No. 1)
2007, Sean Kingston, “Beautiful Girls” (4 weeks at No. 1)
2007, Soulja Boy Tell’em, “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” (7 weeks at No. 1)
2008, Flo Rida, “Low” (10 weeks at No. 1)
2009, Jay Sean, “Down” (1 week to date at No. 1)
“Down” is the eighth song to advance to No. 1 in 2009. That’s the lowest number of titles to reach the summit in a year since 2005, when eight cuts ascended to the top during the entire year. The last No. 1 that year, Mariah Carey’s “Don’t Forget About Us,” climbed to the pinnacle on the chart dated Dec. 31, 2005.
JASON: The Black Eyed Peas established their record run at No. 1 on the Hot 100 dated Aug. 29, when their then-20th straight week on top passed the previous record-holder, Usher’s 19-week streak in 2004. The same week that the Peas rewrote Hot 100 history, so did Jason Mraz‘s “I’m Yours.” This week, his title, like the Peas’ reign, also wraps its unmatched longevity mark.
“I’m Yours” departs the Hot 100 after 76 weeks, the longest stay in the chart’s history. The song debuted May 3, 2008, marking a coincidental link to Lil Wayne: the week that “I’m Yours” debuted, Lil Wayne notched his first No. 1, “Lollipop.” The week that “I’m Yours” drops off the chart, Lil Wayne collects his second leader, “Down.”
CHART BEAT BITS: Four songs from the cast of Fox’s “Glee” populate the Hot 100, led by the troupe’s 85-28 vault with its cover of Queen‘s No. 13-peaking 1977 classic “Somebody to Love” (besting the legendary group’s own remake with George Michael, which reached No. 30 in 1993). The ensemble also scores the Hot Shot Debut at No. 51 with its update of Heart‘s 1987 No. 1 “Alone.” Another artist with ties to Fox arrives at No. 89: reigning “American Idol” champion Kris Allen enters with “Live Like We’re Dying,” the first single from his debut album, due Nov. 17 …
Usher previews his next album with lead single “Papers,” which enters R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 60. The song bows with only two days of tracked airplay and is likely to make a substantial leap next week. Last week, Chris Brown‘s “I Can Transform Ya” debuted at No. 92 after one day of airplay. This week, it blasts to No. 26, marking the chart’s loftiest lift in three years …
Since the Smooth Jazz Songs chart debuted four years ago this week, only three women have led the list, and this week, Jessy J becomes the first to rule twice. The Los Angeles-based saxophonist/singer rises 2-1 with “Tropical Rain,” the first song by a female artist to dominate since her own “Tequila Moon” led for seven weeks last year. Mindi Abair and Candy Dulfer, both in 2007, are the only other women to have commanded the chart …
Foo Fighters soar to their 13th top five on Alternative Songs, as “Wheels” zooms 18-5. The act enters a tie with Linkin Park for third-most top fives in the chart’s history. Only Green Day (17) and U2 (16) have more …
A band whose roots date back even earlier in modern rock history than Foo Fighters draws its first Billboard chart ink in 12 years. Liverpool’s Echo and the Bunnymen debut at No. 39 on Hot Singles Sales (viewable at billboard.biz) with “Think I Need It Too.” The act last charted with “I Want to Be There (When You Come),” a No. 26 hit on Alternative Songs in 1997. The Ian McCulloch-led band releases its 11th studio album, “The Fountain,” featuring a collaboration with Coldplay‘s Chris Martin, Tuesday (Oct. 13).