Tag Archives: Number One Records

Number One Records: Look What You Made Me Do

Hey everybody, remember this column? It’s understandable if you don’t. It’s been 16 weeks since we had a new number one record in America.

Who would have guessed that “Despacito” would spend the entire summer at the top of the chart? After all, 16 weeks ties the all-time record for the most weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. And before that, we had four new number one records in four weeks, which was the first time that had happened since 1990.

It was starting to look like “Despacito” might never be unseated. But then, all of a sudden, new T-Swizz!

Video: Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do”

Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do

From Reputation, due November 10 on Big Machine.

People have lots to say whenever Taylor Swift does anything. There are a couple of obvious reasons for this. First of all, she is a provocative artist who does interesting things. Additionally, haters are compelled to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Either way, she is a ridiculously successful artist who guarantees eyeballs and everybody wants a piece of that action. So it goes.

In some ways it doesn’t even matter what the music sounds like. There are plenty of trappings to focus on when it comes Taylor Swift™ (and pop music in general). But how’s it sound?

Pretty cool actually. A sparse 808 beat with spooky piano and strings. It builds up to some drama-drama in the pre-chorus, and then the chorus switches gears with a stripped down interpolation of Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy.” Who knows why, but it must have been worth it to give away 12.5% of the songwriting credit (but none of the publishing) to a couple washed up one-hit wonders. She moves in mysterious ways.

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Number One Records: Despacito

Okay now this is getting ridiculous. My dumb new column is starting to turn Glorious Noise into a Top 40 blog. This was never supposed to happen. In fact, this is the first time since 1990 that we’ve had four new number one records in four weeks.

Audio: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee – “Despacito” (Remix) ft. Justin Bieber

Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee – Despacito (Audio) ft. Justin Bieber

In some ways I find it hard to believe that these are really the most popular songs in the country right now. But I guess that just shows how out of touch with the mainstream I am. Billboard reports “Despacito” has received 54.3 million U.S. streams and 104,000 downloads in the week ending May 11, and had a radio audience of 57 million in the week ending May 14. So that’s a lot, right?

I dig the Spanish guitar. But Bieber’s autotuned vocals are annoyingly whiny as ever. The original version without Biebs is way better. The rest of America apparently doesn’t agree since the remix accounts for 73% of the song’s sales. Oh well.

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Number One Records: I’m the One

Video: DJ Khaled – “I’m the One” ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne

DJ Khaled – I'm the One ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne

Okay I’ll admit when I started this “Number One Records” series I didn’t expect to be writing a new update every damn week. I mean, looking over the past couple years of number ones, there were only about a dozen per year. But this is the third week in a row with a brand new song at the top of the chart.

Whatever. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

I’ve never heard of DJ Khaled, but I like the idea that he wants to “celebrate life, success, and our blessings.” That’s a positive message, right? Khaled’s blessings apparently include half-naked ladies on horseback, product placement deals with Beats earbuds, and a roster of pals that include Justin Bieber and one of the guys from Migos. #blessed

No surprise, Chance’s verse is the best thing this song has going for it. Hip hop is weird in 2017. How can anybody take themselves seriously if they’re hanging out with Biebs? Maybe he’s a swell fellow. But I don’t know, man. I mean, honestly. Look at that hair.

Billboard points out that “I’m the One” is only the 28th song to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It was released April 28 and received 53.9 million U.S. streams and 171,000 downloads sold in the week ending May 4. On the radio it chalked up “35 million in all-format airplay audience in the week ending May 7.” And it’s the 1,064th No. 1 in the history of the Hot 100.

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Number One Records: Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like

Video: Bruno Mars – “That’s What I Like”

Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like [Official Video]

We’ve got a new #1 song, America. Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.” only stayed at the top spot for a single week. He’s all good though because DAMN. is still the number one album for the second week in a row.

Bruno Mars reached the top of the Hot 100 with “That’s What I Like” for chart date May 13. It’s his seventh #1. And it’s a pretty good song. You have to be a bit of a dick if you aren’t at least partially charmed by Bruno Mars.

“That’s What I Like” might not be as hook-laden as last year’s “24K Magic” and it’s not even close to as irresistible as his 2014 collaboration with Mark Ronson, “Uptown Funk.” But honestly, what is?

Billboard points out that this is “the 1,063rd No. 1 in the Hot 100’s history” dating back to August 4, 1958 when the magazine fully integrated the best-selling and most-played pop singles. The chart now also includes downloads and streams.

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Cool Still Rules: Kendrick Kicks Ed in the Teeth to Take No. 1

Video: Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”

Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.

Ladies and gentlemen of the United States, I am pleased to announce we have a new number one record. After sitting at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for 12 of the year’s 18 weeks, that doughy English dweeb Ed Sheeran is finally knocked out. And who better to do the deed than righteous rapper Kendrick Lamar?

Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” is only the fifth number one record of 2017. Back in February I was telling Johnny Loftus about how I’m never exposed to the Top 40 anymore unless I make a conscious effort to seek it out. And when I do, I’m often surprised by how freaky and interesting popular music has gotten. Many big hits are more “experimental” sounding than a lot of stuff being released on our beloved indie labels. We thought we should at least cover the singles that reached the top of the chart, or as Johnny called it: “the most main of mainstreams.” But then dopey old Sheeran just stayed at No. 1, week after week after week. And come on. “Shape of You” is nothing to write home about. It’s so flaccid and predictable it makes John Mayer’s “Your Body Is A Wonderland” sound substantial. So good riddance. Finally.

And “HUMBLE.” is a jam! A sparse one-finger piano riff drives the beat and Lamar’s rhyming is effortless as always. It’s great that an artist as cool as Kendrick Lamar can reach number one on the pop singles chart. Lots of grumpy old dudes dismiss current music entirely, myself included. That’s a mistake. There’s always good new stuff being released and sometimes the most popular song is also the best song. “Sit down, lil bitch. Be humble.” That’s solid advice that we should all be listening to these days. Reminds me of the great Rookie essay by Charles Aaron where he shares some tips for how not to be a jerk; it boils down to: Fall back…listen…question. That’s an important lesson that can take a lifetime to master. I’m still working on it.

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