As Fall Out Boy’s “Save Rock and Roll” debuts atop the Billboard 200 and Top Rock Albums, the band also sends five songs onto Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart, on which the set’s lead single, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up),” jumps 4-2.
“When we were planning (on) coming back, I envisioned reviews like, [sarcastically] ‘They came back to save rock and roll!,’ the band’s Pete Wentz says about the album’s tongue-in-cheek title.
“Like, we’ll just say this before you can say it.”
Among the group’s new entries on Hot Rock Songs is the album’s title cut, featuring Elton John, the chart’s top debut at No. 28. “(John) actually sings the words ‘rock and roll’ in the lyrics and it blew my mind,” Wentz says. “He sings it like somebody who experienced rock and roll in the ’70s.
“Just for him to engage with a band like us was really fulfilling.”
In addition to John’s cameo, also notable about the album’s title track is that it contains an interpolation of Fall Out Boy’s own song “Chicago Is So Two Years Ago.” The latter track was first released on the band’s debut album “Take This to Your Grave” in 2003.
By concocting a new song from its own catalog, Fall Out Boy continues a tradition of acts who’ve reached Billboard charts with compositions that draw from their own pasts, an assortment that includes some of the rock era’s top artists.
The Beatles close their 1967 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “All You Need Is Love” by singing “she loves you, yeah … yeah … yeah …,” recreating the catchy chorus of their 1964 leader “She Loves You.”
And, if not quite word-for-word reenactments, George Harrison reached the top 40 with two tributes to the band’s legacy: “All Those Years Ago,” which rose to No. 2 in 1981, and “When We Was Fab,” a No. 23 hit in 1988.
Madonna took “Causing a Commotion” to No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 1987. “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game, so get into the groove,” she sings, playfully resurrecting the title of her 1985 club classic “Into the Groove.” (“Commotion” also provided a measure of redemption for “Groove,” which reached No. 19 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs but, because it was released as the B-side of the 12-inch single “Angel,” was ineligible to appear on the Hot 100, per rules of the time.)
New Kids on the Block likewise mined its own catalog and scored a hit. In 1990, the group released what essentially amounted to a greatest-hits song (after one breakout album) in “Tonight,” which rose to No. 7 on the Hot 100. “Remember when we said, girl, please don’t go, and how I’d be loving you forever?” the song opens. “Taught you ’bout hangin’ tough, as long as you got the right stuff, didn’t we, girl?” they continue, referencing their Hot 100 top 10s “Please Don’t Go Girl” (No. 10, 1988), “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever),” “Hangin’ Tough” (both No. 1s, 1989) and “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” (No. 3, 1989).
As surprising as it may sound, artists can get into legal trouble when remaking their own works. In 1985, John Fogerty’s “The Old Man Down the Road” hit No. 10 on the Hot 100 (with perhaps the better remembered flipside “Centerfield” reaching No. 44). Saul Zaentz, owner of Fantasy Records, claimed that “Man” shared the chorus to “Run Through the Jungle,” a track that Fogerty had previously recorded while with Creedence Clearwater Revival. (Fogerty had relinquished copy and publishing rights of the band’s catalog to the label in exchange for a release from contractual obligations.)
Zaentz sued Fogerty, but the singer ultimately prevailed when he proved that the two songs were separate compositions.
Fogerty’s strategy? He brought his guitar to the witness stand and played excerpts from both songs, successfully arguing that songwriters often possess distinctive styles that can make different compositions sound similar.
SWIFT SALES: Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album “Red” celebrates its half-year anniversary on the Billboard 200, as it tallies its 26th week on the survey (No. 33).
So far, the album has moved 3.61 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, making it Swift’s fastest-selling studio set six months after release. It narrowly trumps her last effort, 2010’s “Speak Now,” which shifted 3.36 million over its first six months.
Here’s a look at the sales of Swift’s proper studio albums over their first six months of release. The totals reflect a flawless upward trajectory in sales with each successive set:
3,612,000, “Red” (2012)
3,361,000, “Speak Now” (2010)
3,189,000, “Fearless” (2008)
624,000, “Taylor Swift” (2006)
Swift’s career U.S. album sales stand at 22 million (befitting the title of her current pop single, “22”).
‘MOON’ SHINES: Another album celebrates a major milestone on the Billboard 200, as Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” racks a record-extending 832nd week on the ranking.
As Chart Beat reader Mac Scott of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, notes, the total translates to exactly 16 non-consecutive years that “Moon” has spent on the chart.
From 1973 to 1988, the album logged 773 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200. The total expanded in December 2009 once catalog titles were reintroduced to the chart’s weekly tabulation.
“Moon” celebrates another key mark: Of its 832 weeks on the Billboard 200, one was spent at No. 1. The date of the Billboard issue in which it reigned? April 28, 1973 … or exactly 40 years ago today.
Additional reporting by Alex Vitoulis and Keith Caulfield