With its return to the top, the song has now led for 15 weeks, tying for the second-longest command in the chart’s 21-year history. It and Coldplay‘s “Clocks” trail only U2‘s “Beautiful Day,” which paced Adult Alternative Songs for 16 weeks beginning on the chart dated Sept. 23, 2000.
Here is an updated look at the longest-leading Adult Alternative Songs No. 1s, dating to the chart’s Jan. 20, 1996, inception.
Most Weeks at No. 1 on Adult Alternative Songs
16, “Beautiful Day,” U2, reached No. 1 in 2000
15, “Waste a Moment,” Kings of Leon, 2016
15, “Clocks,” Coldplay, 2003
14, “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele, 2011
14, “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” Train, 2001
14, “Bent,” Matchbox Twenty, 2000
14, “3AM,” Matchbox Twenty, 1997
14, “One Headlight,” The Wallflowers, 1996
Notably, both “Beautiful Day” and “Clocks” were larger radio hits overall, reaching Nos. 19 and 29, respectively, on the all-genre Radio Songs chart. Both also soared to No. 4 on Adult Pop Songs and crossed to the Pop Songs chart (hitting Nos. 19 and 21, respectively). Comparatively, “Moment” has been exclusively a rock format hit, confined (at least so far) among Billboard airplay charts to Adult Alternative Songs, Alternative Songs, Mainstream Rock Songs and the genre-encompassing Rock Airplay.
Still, Emily McIntosh, program director of adult alternative KGSR Austin, Texas, which played “Moment” 44 times in the most recent tracking week, sees a connection between the song and U2 and Coldplay’s lengthy leaders. “I don’t think it’s any coincidence that certainly ‘Beautiful Day,’ and perhaps ‘Clocks,’ as well, give you permission to just be human; taking time to embrace the beauty in right here, right now. In that simple way, they’re all timeless songs, yet of the moment,” she says.
Adds McIntosh, “‘Waste a Moment’ resonates immediately and absolutely. Collectively, we all feel the growing tension of overwhelming amounts of information, and misinformation, and the ever-shortening attention span. This record gives you permission, for three minutes, to abandon the notion that you’re just another rat in the race. It’s anthemic: the windows-down, cares-on-the-breeze rock song our format can readily embrace.”
“Moment” is Kings of Leon’s third Adult Alternative Songs No. 1, following “Use Somebody” (two weeks on top in 2009) and “Notion” (seven, 2010-11). “Moment” previously led Rock Airplay for five weeks beginning Dec. 10.
SON VOLT’S ‘BACK’: While Kings of Leon lead, Son Volt reaches Adult Alternative Songs for the first time in nearly a decade, as “Back Against the Wall” debuts at No. 28. The alt-country band last appeared on the chart with “The Picture,” which peaked at No. 30 in June 2007. Son Volt has now scored three entries on the tally, all in different decades; “Drown” peaked at No. 15 in April 1996.
Meanwhile, “Radio Kids” becomes Strand of Oaks‘ first song to make a Billboard airplay chart, starting at No. 30 on Adult Alternative Songs. The act is a project helmed by Timothy Showalter and the single is from his fifth album, Hard Love, due Feb. 17.