In a week where it seems the global financial crisis is inescapable, America decides that a buck is a nice price to spend on music, and the Top 40 of Billboard‘s Hot 100 sees a wave of new best-selling singles—including two in the Top 10 and a massive leap by a new No. 1 smash.
With that 79-place jump (which, ahem…I called last week), T.I. accomplishes two major chart feats. New No. 1 “Live Your Life” featuring Rihanna sets the record for the biggest leap to the top in history—which would be unremarkable, given the frequency with which this record has been broken recently, if not for the fact that T.I. is beating himself, having reset the mark just six weeks ago.
More impressively, by ousting his own “Whatever You Like,” T.I. joins a very elite club: acts that succeeded themselves at No. 1. During the Hot 100’s entire 50-year history, there have only been eight, and if you ignore featuring-artist credits, the number is six.
Besides these chart feats, T.I.’s hit also sets a record for the biggest debut sales week for a digital single. But we might want to get used to that happening. Already, iTunes is reporting a wave of new best-sellers as the music industry’s last blockbuster holiday hits full swing.
In a sleepy week for Billboard‘s Hot 100, Atlanta rap king T.I. maintains his grip on the No. 1 spot, his fifth nonconsecutive week there, with “Whatever You Like.”
The “jump ball” I expected to break within the Top Three turned out to be a dead ball, as the three hits hold their positions. T.I. actually outsold both Pink and Kanye West at buck-a-song retailers, blunting those two challengers’ previous digital-sales advantages and padding his already huge lead at radio. West, in particular, will probably muddle along for a while now, as his sales two weeks later have fallen off, and his airplay is emerging, steadily but slowly.
Besides, T.I. appears be settling into a long run atop the chart, and within a week or two it might be with a different song. His newest hit, previewed three weeks ago with Rihanna at the MTV Video Music Awards, leads a parade of fall contenders that will likely explode on next week’s chart. So in effect, this week feels like the calm before the pre-holiday storm.
TITLE: “Gotta Be Somebody”
WEB DEBUT: Sept. 29, 2008
With all the endless chatter surrounding the record industry’s slow-motion apocalypse–downloading, business models, livestock, etc.–it’s refreshing to read someone who makes a salient point. Tim Whitwell, writing in Word, puts aside tiresome ethics-of-illegal-downloading arguments and simply considers the concrete financial future of rock stars in this new era, and what they might soon have in common with the upper-middle class.
Inescapable Canadian nu-heshers Nickelback have signed a long-rumored 360 deal with Live Nation, which gives the concert-promotion behemoth the rights to produce and profit from the band’s tours, recordings, merchandise, and other ventures. (The deal is for three albums, according to Reuters, and worth somewhere between $50 million and $70 million.) While there were rumors that the company was going to hold off on signing many more 360 deals, president and CEO Michael Rapino told Variety that his company will sign “up to six” artists in the inaugural year of Live Nation Artists; Nickelback is fourth, behind Madonna, Jay-Z, and Shakira. Last week, when the Shakira deal was signed, a major label executive told the New York Post that Live Nation was trying to “establish itself in a big way in each genre no matter what the loss leader is going to be on it,” and the company now has pop, hip-hop, Latin music, and rock all covered. So what’s next?
Fox 411 columnist and amateur American Idol conspiracy theorist Roger Friedman has a new maligned music-industry heavy that he wants to prop up: The megapromoter Live Nation, whose feelings apparently got hurt by yesterday’s New York Post item on Madonna’s somewhat-soft ticket sales. In his latest column, he accuses one “Warner M. Group” of planting stories to make Madge–and, by extension, Live Nation, which signed her to an expensive deal last autumn–look bad! But while he’s defending his friends, he goes way beyond the bounds of his usually slippery relationship with reality.
The No. 1 single on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart for the year 2002 was Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me.” Of all the aggressively boring and boringly aggressive bands that visited their scourge upon us in the first half of this decade (Staind, Puddle of Mudd, Creed, etc.), Nickelback was perhaps the most palatable, but nonetheless still an abomination. Their proliferation in commercial radio was total, oppressive, and totally oppressive. It seemed that year that every single station on the dial, no matter what the format–Top 40, alternative, AC, Tejano, smooth jazz–was playing “How You Remind Me,” and to my mind this had two consequences: 1) We finally had proof that the Canadian mafia did exist, was very powerful, and worked to achieve exceptionally nefarious goals; and 2) Chad Kroeger’s maudlin frowny-face presence made this country a lot more grumbly and downtrodden that year. Six years later, I’d like to put forth my theory for making 2002 vastly more enjoyable. It involves the help of one man: Ben Kweller.
Which is why you should check out the bankruptcy-protected label’s list of unsecured creditors, just to make sure that you aren’t on it. More »
Self-fellating Nickelback horrorshow Chad Kroeger has reportedly been found guilty of a 2007 DUI in his native Canada. More »
Everyone knows Nickelback sucks dicks. But did you know lead sensitivo-mook Chad Kroeger used to be able to suck his own dick? And would do it for little more than a case of warm Miller Lites? Hey, I’m cool with it as long as someone else doesn’t have to touch that thing. More »