An Amy Winehouse Hit (No, Not That One) Gets A Second Chart Life

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Chris “dennisobell” Molanphy, our resident chart guru, looks at the upward, downward, and lack of movement on this week’s Billboard charts:

One of the top debuts on this week’s Billboard‘s Hot 100 might look a little old: Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good,” which 11 months ago marked her first appearance on any U.S. chart, reenters at No. 77, instantly surpassing its original peak.

Winehouse’s return is, of course, sparked by her appearance at last week’s Grammy Awards, where she pummeled her way through a nerve-wracking twofer of “No Good” and “Rehab.” The winner of the Record and Song of the Year trophies, “Rehab” would seem to be the likeliest post-Grammy chart beneficiary. But the quirks of Billboard chart rules make the Ghostface-backed “No Good” look like the winning jam.

That’s because Billboard hates to let big recurrent hits clog up the chart after they’ve had their turn.

Both songs are big sellers for the week. On the iTunes-heavy Digital Songs chart, “Rehab” actually returned to the Top 10, increasing in sales by nearly 250%, with 72,000 downloads (its cumulative digital sales have now topped a million). Weekly sales for “You Know I’m No Good” are, at 28,000, a fraction of “Rehab’s” (although, on a percentage basis, it’s up even more strongly than “Rehab” — a threefold boost from the previous week).

So why is “No Good” on the Hot 100 and “Rehab” isn’t? Because “No Good,” with only 13 previously charted weeks, is eligible to return, and “Rehab,” a 30-week smash, isn’t. Billboard generally removes songs that are older than 20 weeks and fall below the top half of the chart.

According to Billboard, in the wake of the Grammys, Universal Republic is trying all over again to make “No Good” a hit–in the parlance of the industry, “actively re-promoting” it to radio. So what happens if “No Good” is below No. 50 and still rising when it reaches its 20th chart week? Billboard will almost definitely let it stay on the chart. The magazine’s rules aren’t hard and fast, but in general, it will look kindly on any song making a second run at program directors, and, importantly from Billboard‘s perspective, it wasn’t a big hit the first time.

Mind you, this could be the last time we talk about “You Know I’m No Good” in this space, as its sales are already down more than a week out from the Grammys, and there’s not much chance “No Good” will suddenly catch radio PDs’ ears after failing the first time. But we wish Winehouse, and her Universal promotional lackeys, the best of luck.

Here’s a quick rundown of the rest of this week’s charts:

• We’ve been waiting for nearly a month now for either Chris Brown’s “With You” or Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” to finally terminate Flo Rida’s tenure atop the Hot 100. But not only does it not happen again this week, there’s now another contender: “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles moves up one slot and into the Top Five, and its sales keep growing while its airplay is starting to explode. If we compare Bareilles with Colbie Caillat, her peer in the Pleasant Midtempo White Girls Class of 2007, Bareilles appears to have the stronger shot at a No. 1 hit than Caillat did with the deathless “Bubbly”; “Love Song” is catching fire at the right time and has chart momentum, while “Bubbly” gained radio and sales support so gradually, it never got the big push it needed to go all the way.

• You wouldn’t know it from its holding pattern at No. 4, but Alicia Keys’ “No One” got a Winehouse-like sales boost from the Grammys, spiking 47% for the week (77,000 copies; cumulative sales for the song are now nearly 2.2 million). Next week, when Keys’ sales settle back down, her hit might finally start receding from the top tier.

• At last, there’s a new Modern Rock No. 1–yay!! And it’s by… the same dudes who were No. 1 two months ago, before Seether took over–sigh–Foo Fighters, with “Long Road to Ruin.” At this point, maybe we should start predicting what song will keep the top spot warm between Foo Fighters songs on that chart…

• That kinda-hilarious Rodney Atkins gun-cleaning song I mentioned in last week’s column finally tops the Country chart. Billboard columnist Fred Bronson notes that this makes Atkins the rare country act to pull four No. 1 hits from a single album; the last act to do so was Tim McGraw in 2000.

• I mentioned Winehouse’s chart reappearance, but she didn’t have the highest debut of the week. That would be the return of “Mimi”–Mariah to her non-friends. Lady Carey’s Ratner-supported new single “Touch My Body” is new at No. 57, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on it–to us chart geeks, Carey is known as The Spoiler in the all-time record books. With 17 career No. 1’s, she’s tied with Elvis Presley in second place among all chart-topping artists, and if “Touch” goes all the way, she’ll have that title to herself. After that, it’s just two more bell-ringers before she (gulp!) ties the Beatles, with 20 No. 1’s.

Top 10s Last week’s position and total weeks charted in parentheses:

Hot 100 1. Flo Rida feat. T-Pain, “Low” (LW No. 1, 17 weeks) 2. Chris Brown, “With You” (LW No. 2, 12 weeks) 3. Rihanna, “Don’t Stop the Music” (LW No. 3, 13 weeks) 4. Alicia Keys, “No One” (LW No. 4, 24 weeks) 5. Sara Bareilles, “Love Song” (LW No. 6, 16 weeks) 6. Timbaland feat. OneRepublic, “Apologize” (LW No. 5, 29 weeks) 7. Snoop Dogg, “Sensual Seduction” (LW No. 8, 12 weeks) 8. Sean Kingston, “Take You There” (LW No. 9, 16 weeks) 9. Buckcherry, “Sorry” (LW No. 10, 11 weeks) 10. Webbie, Lil’ Phat & Lil’ Boosie, “Independent” (LW No. 13, 13 weeks)

Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 1. Keyshia Cole, “I Remember” (LW No. 1, 16 weeks) 2. Alicia Keys, “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” (LW No. 2, 17 weeks) 3. J. Holiday, “Suffocate” (LW No. 3, 20 weeks) 4. Mary J. Blige, “Just Fine” (LW No. 4, 21 weeks) 5. Mario, “Cryin’ Out for Me” (LW No. 6, 25 weeks) 6. The-Dream, “Falsetto” (LW No. 10, 11 weeks) 7. Chris Brown, “With You” (LW No. 8, 12 weeks) 8. Snoop Dogg, “Sensual Seduction” (LW No. 5, 15 weeks) 9. Flo Rida feat. T-Pain, “Low” (LW No. 9, 22 weeks) 10. Webbie, Lil’ Phat & Lil’ Boosie, “Independent” (LW No. 7, 18 weeks)

Hot Country Songs 1. Rodney Atkins, “Cleaning This Gun (Come on in Boy)” (LW No. 3, 22 weeks) 2. Gary Allan, “Watching Airplanes” (LW No. 4, 31 weeks) 3. Brad Paisley, “Letter to Me” (LW No. 1, 19 weeks) 4. Kenny Chesney with George Strait, “Shiftwork” (LW No. 6, 18 weeks) 5. Alan Jackson, “Small Town Southern Man” (LW No. 7, 15 weeks) 6. Billy Ray Cyrus with Miley Cyrus, “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” (LW No. 5, 30 weeks) 7. Carrie Underwood, “All-American Girl” (LW No. 8, 12 weeks) 8. Rascal Flatts, “Winner at a Losing Game” (LW No. 2, 19 weeks) 9. Chuck Wicks, “Stealing Cinderella” (LW No. 9, 26 weeks) 10. Craig Morgan, “International Harvester” (LW No. 10, 23 weeks)

Hot Modern Rock Tracks 1. Foo Fighters, “Long Road to Ruin” (LW No. 2, 17 weeks) 2. Seether, “Fake It” (LW No. 1, 25 weeks) 3. Linkin Park, “Shadow of the Day” (LW No. 3, 20 weeks) 4. Paramore, “crushcrushcrush” (LW No. 4, 14 weeks) 5. Foo Fighters, “The Pretender” (LW No. 5, 29 weeks) 6. Avenged Sevenfold, “Almost Easy” (LW No. 7, 20 weeks) 7. Rise Against, “The Good Left Undone” (LW No. 6, 34 weeks) 8. Radiohead, “Bodysnatchers” (LW No. 8, 17 weeks) 9. The Bravery, “Believe” (LW No. 10, 20 weeks) 10. Puddle of Mudd, “Psycho” (LW No. 13, 16 weeks)