Saturday, July 9, 2011

Record for Top 10 Hits Out of the Gate

It may seem easy to the casual listener, but anyone who's ever picked up an instrument or tried to write the music for a song knows it isn't.  The odds of writing a song and ever hearing it on the radio are probably very near about 500,000 to 1.  So when a new artist not only can get radio to play their song but reaches the Top 10, it's a very big deal.  Even after one song, that certainly doesn't guarantee future success.

The following artists have followed up their intial Top 10 hits with many more.  Who do you think holds the Rock Era record for the most consecutive Top 10 songs to begin a career?  How many can you guess?  I will tell you that the record is 13, although that artist had been in a group prior to going solo.  Further, I will say that the majority of artists to achieve six Top 10's or more to open their career have been solo artists.

The Record:  13 Top 10's in a row:

Lionel Richie, who left the Commodores in 1981 and enjoyed an even-bigger career as a solo artist. 

1981--#1 "Endless Love" (with Diana Ross)
1982--#1 "Truly"
1983--#4 "You Are"
           #5 "My Love"
           #1 "All Night Long"
           #7 "Running with the Night"
1984--#1 "Hello"
           #3 "Stuck on You"
           #8 "Penny Lover"
1985--#1 "Say You, Say Me"
1986--#2 "Dancing on the Ceiling"
           #9 "Love Will Conquer All"
           #7 "Ballerina Girl"

There are three runner-ups.  The first to reach eleven straight Top 10 songs to begin his career was a member of the duo Wham, which scored eight hits from 1983-1986.  He released his first solo single, "A Different Corner", in 1986, did a duet with Aretha Franklin in 1987, and released his monumental Faith album in 1987.

1986--"#7 "A Different Corner"
1987--#1 "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" with Aretha Franklin
          #2 "I Want Your Sex"
          #1 "Faith"
1988--#1 "Father Figure"
          #1 "One More Try"
          #1 "Monkey"
          #5 "Kissing a Fool"
1989--#5 "Heaven Help Me" (with Deon Estus)
1990--#1 "Praying for Time"
          #8 "Freedom"

Michael's next single, "Waiting For That Day", stalled at #27, ending his streak at eleven.

This runner-up scored 11 straight Top 10 songs to begin her career.  Here is Mariah Carey's amazing chart record beginning in 1990:

1990:  #1 "Vision of Love"
          #1 "Love Takes Time"
1991:  #1 "Someday"
          #1 "I Don't Wanna' Cry"
          #1 "Emotions"
          #2 "Can't Let Go"
1992: #5 "Make It Happen"
         #1 "I'll Be There" (live)
1993:  #1 "Dreamlover"
          #1 "Hero"
1994:  "Without You"

Lady Gaga also opened with 11 straight Top 10 singles. 
2008--#1 "Just Dance"
           #1 "Poker Face"
2009--#5 "LoveGame"
           #6 "Paparazzi"
           #2 "Bad Romance"
2010--#3 "Telephone"
           #5 "Alejandro"
2011--#1 "Born This Way"
           #10 "Judas"
           #3 "The Edge of Glory"
           #6 "You and I"

New Kids on the Block rolled out nine consecutive Top 10 songs to begin their career:

1988--#10 "Please Don't Go Girl"
1989-- #3 "You Got It (The Right Stuff)"
           #1 "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)"
           #1 "Hangin' Tough"
           #8 "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind)"
           #2 "Cover Girl"
1990-- #7 "This One's for the Children"
           #1 "Step By Step"
           #7 "Tonight"

By the way, Bruno Mars does not have an active streak of eight straight Top 10's, as some organizations claim.  His streak stopped at three after "Marry You" only reached #85.

There are eight artists who stormed out of the gate with seven consecutive Top 10's.  Four of these are by groups--all but two have done it since 1980.  How many can you name?

Gary Lewis & the Playboys, who of course set the record at the time. 

1965--#1  "This Diamond Ring"
          #2  "Count Me In"
          #2  "Save Your Heart for Me"
          #4  "Everybody Loves a Clown"
          #3  "She's Just My Style"
1966--#9  "Sure Gonna' Miss Her"
          #8  "Green Grass"

The next artist to generate seven consecutive Top 10 hits with their first seven releases started their streak the same year but it took them a bit longer. 

         The Lovin' Spoonful:

1965--#9   "Do You Believe In Magic"
          #10 "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice"
1965--#2   "Daydream"
          #2   "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?"
          #1   "Summer in the City"
          #10 "Rain on the Roof"
          #8   "Nashville Cats"

Gary Lewis & the Playboys and Lovin' Spoonful held that record from 1966 to 1982.

Air Supply came out of Australia and caught the world by storm in 1980.  They also hit the Top 10 with their first seven releases to tie the Rock Era record in 1982.   

1980--#3  "Lost in Love"
          #2  "All Out of Love"
          #5  "Every Woman in the World"
1981--#1  "The One That You Love"
          #5  "Here I Am"
 1982--#5  "Sweet Dreams"
           #5  "Even the Nights Are Better"

After Lionel Richie not only matched the record with seven straight but demolished it with his first 13 reaching the Top 10, another solo star also bolted out of the gate just a few years later with seven consecutive Top 10's.  Who is he?

Richard Marx:

1987--#3  "Don't Mean Nothing"
          #3  "Should've Known Better"
1988--#2  "Endless Summer Nights"
          #1  "Hold On to the Nights"
1989--#1  "Satisfied"
          #1  "Right Here Waiting"
          #4  "Angelia"

The next artist to reach the Top 10 with their first seven singles also started at the same time as Richard Marx and achieved the feat at about the same time (Marx did it in October of 1989, this group did it in December.)


1987--#5   "Come Go with Me"
          #5   "Point of No Return"
          #7   "Let Me Be the One"
1988--#1   "Seasons Change"
1989--#8   "What You Don't Know"
          #10 "When I Looked at Him"
          #9   "Tell Me Why"

Taylor Dayne tied Gary Lewis & the Playboys, the Lovin' Spoonful, Air Supply, Expose and Richard Marx with seven straight.

1987--#7  "Tell It to My Heart"
1988--#7  "Prove Your Love"
          #3  "I'll Always Love You"
1989--#2  "Don't Rush Me"
          #5  "With Every Beat of My Heart"
1990--#1  "Love Will Lead You Back"
          #4  "I'll Be Your Shelter"

The odd thing about Dayne is that after exploding out of the gate with seven Top 10's in a row, she never had a Top 10 song after that.

The next artist to be so lucky to begin their career was a singer from the 90's. 

Monica reached the Top 10 with her first seven single releases.

1995--#2 "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of 'Dem Days)"
          #7 "Before You Walk Out of My Life"
1996--#9 "Ain't Nobody"
1997--#4 "For You I Will"
1998--#1 "The Boy Is Mine" (with Brandy)
          #1 "The First Night"
1999--#1 "Angel of Mine"

Ke$ha also reached seven straight Top 10's
2009--#1 "Tik Tok"
2010--#7 "Blah Blah Blah" (with 3Oh!3)
          #4 "Your Love Is My Drug"
          #8 "Take Off"
          #1 "We R (sic) Who We R (Sic)"
2011--#7 "Blow"
2012--#2 "Die Young

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