Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what’s on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.
This week, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper vault to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Shallow,” after the song’s big night at the Oscars, while its parent album, the A Star Is Born soundtrack, returns to the top of the Billboard 200.
As Gaga leads both lists simultaneously for the first time, we wonder: Is this her best chart week ever? Does it best prior feats, such as the coronation of her debut hit “Just Dance,” or her No. 1 run in 2011 with “Born This Way”? Given her numerous chart accomplishments, trying to decide her ultimate honor is a good problem to have.
We also welcome singer-songwriter Sam DeRosa, co-writer of lovelytheband’s “Broken” (with Christian Medice and the band’s Mitchy Collins), as the song last week rewrote the record for the most weeks spent on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs chart. DeRosa also teaches songwriting to 12-to-14-year-olds in Berklee College of Music’s Day Sessions program and says of songcraft, with a chuckle, “I had to write crap. I had a teacher at Berklee who told me, ‘Crap is the best fertilizer, so write crap.’ It’s stuck with me.
“So, when I meet these kids, I say, ‘I’m Sam and I want you guys to write crap,’ and they all look at me, like, ‘She said crap!’ I say, ‘Who knows what happens on a farm? How do they grow crops?’ And someone raises their hand and goes, ‘The cow … poops?’ And I go, ‘Yeah! Because it fertilizes something amazing that’s going to grow.’ So, don’t be afraid to write bad songs. You’ve got to be able to write bad stuff because that’s how you get the good.”
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