The Hit That Wouldn’t Leave

Here’s the kind of music trivia we love. This week, Jason Mraz will set a Hot 100 record when “I’m Yours” spends its 70th week on the chart. Yep: 70 weeks, as in one year and 18 weeks. It debuted in May of last year and peaked at Number 6 last September. Eleven months later, it’s still on the chart. It’s been in the Top 40 for the last 58 weeks in a row. It was at Number 23 last week, up from 35, although it will fall to Number 29 on the new chart.

“I’m Yours” has been Number One on four different subsidiary charts published by Billboard: Mainstream Top 40/Pop Songs, Adult Contemporary, Adult Top 40, and Triple A. It’s also charted on the Latin Pop and Smooth Jazz charts, and debuts this week on the Rhythmic chart. (What, no classical chart action?) It’s the Number 3 digital single of all time, having sold 4.4 million downloads since its release. (Billboard began counting downloads in 2003.)

“I’m Yours” breaks the longevity previously record held by LeAnn Rimes, whose 1997 single “How Do I Live” spent 69 weeks in the Hot 100. Eleven singles have spent at least 56 weeks on the Hot 100. The oldest is “The Macarena” by Los Del Rio, from 1996. For quite a while, this longevity mark was held by Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love,” which lasted 43 weeks in 1982, breaking the standard previously set by Paul Davis and “I Go Crazy,” which did 40 weeks in the Hot 100 in 1977 and 1978. I expect it was probably broken by somebody between “Tainted Love” and “The Macarena,” perhaps after Billboard changed its chart methodology to incorporate Soundscan statistics in 1991, but I haven’t got time to do the research today.

The Black-Eyed Peas are also setting a chart record this week. “I Gotta Feeling” will spend its eighth straight week at Number One, after knocking the Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow” from the chart after a 12-week run at the top earlier this summer. That’s 20 straight weeks for one artist at the top, breaking the old record set by Usher in 2004 with “Yeah!” and “Burn.”

Going back in the day, Elvis and the Beatles both spent significant time at the top with consecutive records. Elvis did it for 16 weeks in 1956 with the double-A sided “Hound Dog”/Don’t Be Cruel,” followed by “Love Me Tender.” The Beatles did it for 14 weeks in 1964 with three singles: “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.” In 1994, Boyz II Men spent 20 weeks at the top with two singles, “I’ll Make Love to You” and “On Bended Knee,” but the latter song’s six weeks at the top were nonconsecutive, so it doesn’t count.

In case you’ve never heard “I’m Yours,” here it is.

A song that’s going to hang around for as long as “I’m Yours”—or “How Do I Live,” or “I Go Crazy”—can be neither too inventive nor too derivative. “I’m Yours” skates that line perfectly, and as of this week we’ve got the data to prove it.

To hear “I Gotta Feeling,” go here. To my ears, they buried the hook: the “Monday Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday” bit around the four-minute mark is a lot catchier than the endless repetition of “tonight’s gonna be a good night” and the heard-it-a-million-times chant about having money and spending it that goes before. In other words: “I Gotta Feeling” is derivative, not inventive—and thus not likely to threaten Jason Mraz’s chart landmark even as it sets one of its own.

At Popdose: Another edition of One Day in Your Life, which went up yesterday. I’m not sure any of the readers over there care about it, but you might.

3 thoughts on “The Hit That Wouldn’t Leave

  1. Re: Songs between “Tainted Love” and “How Do I Live,” I think some folks count the two-chart run of the Four Seasons’ “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” although to me the fact that the song is remixed with a different instrumental track ought to make it two different songs. If I remember right, the song spent 27 weeks on the chart each time, for a total of 54 weeks.

  2. Records like this should have an asterisk since the top 40 marketplace (and the number of singles released) is so much smaller than it was in the pre-CD and pre-Download era…

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