Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 11/6/2014

Welcome back for another analysis of the Billboard Hot 100! Here’s all you need to know about the chart released today.

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN

  1. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
  2. All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor
  3. Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo
  4. Animals by Maroon 5
  5. Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
  6. Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora
  7. Don’t Tell ‘Em by Jeremih f/YG
  8. Hot Boy by Bobby Shmurda
  9. Don’t by Ed Sheeran
  10. Take Me To Church by Hozier

After eight consecutive weeks at #2, “Shake It Off” returns to #1 for a third week. Now I know what you’re thinking, it’s because 1989 had a huge first week, right? Actually no. In fact, “Shake It Off”‘s digital sales actually decreased by a large percentage this week. This is thanks to iTunes’ “Complete My Album” feature, which in essence treats buying the album as a negative sale of “Shake It Off” if you already owned it. As such, its return to #1 is even more impressive, since its gains were made mostly in the airplay realm of Hot 100 point tabulation. Another fun fact: “Shake It Off”‘s eight weeks in between weeks at #1 is the third-longest gap of all time. Chubby Checker led with “The Twist” in the summer of 1960 and again in January of 1962, and last year, Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” had a nine-week stretch in between weeks atop the chart.

Other than that, it was a pretty quiet week in the Top 10. No brand-new entries reached the uppermost region, although “Don’t” moved 11-9 to reach a new peak in its second Top 10 stint.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

66+ Spots: Thriller by Michael Jackson (re-enters at #35)

30 Spots: Beg For It by Iggy Azalea f/MØ (92-62)

23 Spots: Lips Are Movin by Meghan Trainor (93-70)

15 Spots: Tuesday by I LOVE MAKONNEN f/Drake (35-20)

13 Spots: Love Me Harder by Ariana Grande & The Weeknd (37-24)

13 Spots: No Type by Rae Sremmurd (38-25)

  1. Ever since Billboard revised its re-entry rules, we see old songs pop up from time to time whenever there’s a viral video or a relevant holiday. Michael Jackson’s classic returns with a good week of Halloween sales.
  2. As I thought, Iggy Azalea’s newest single is catching on fast and could be in the Top 40 within the next two weeks.
  3. Even though “All About That Bass” isn’t #1 anymore, her newest single is quickly rushing up the chart to try and match it.
  4. It seems like “Tuesday” has been on this list for every single one of its six weeks on the Hot 100, although it’s safe to say that this will be its final time with this distinction.
  5. As Ariana Grande spends a 26th consecutive week in the Top 10 (Problem, Break Free, and now Bang Bang), “Love Me Harder” hopes to crack the Top 10 in time to keep the streak alive.
  6. Astonishingly, “No Type” has already surpassed the peak of “No Flex Zone” in just six weeks on the chart. Somehow I feel that “No Flex Zone” will still be their defining track.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift (#18)

AND

“Style” (#60)

“Wildest Dreams” (#76)

“Bad Blood” (#80)

  • What a week for Taylor Swift. Her 1.2 million copies sold of 1989 this week are far and away the highest single-week total of any album this year. In fact, it would take the last 8 week-leading totals in album sales to match that astronomical figure. With such a huge debut, many songs are bound to make it to the Hot 100, and we saw this same trend with Red. Naturally, the newest single (“Blank Space”) makes the highest debut, with the other standout tracks sprinkling in at lower ranks. I predict that “Blank Space” will hang around quite nicely and easily make a run at the Top 10, similar to what “I Knew You Were Trouble” did. As for the other songs, they will probably be either one-and-dones or quick falloffs, but the potential for them to re-enter upon being actually released as singles is very likely (“Begin Again” and “Red” did this too).

“I Bet My Life” by Imagine Dragons (#53)

  • Although its hits lasted well into 2014, Night Visions was released in 2012, so Imagine Dragons are due for a new album. That album doesn’t have a name or release date yet, but the lead single makes a lofty debut this week. In typical Imagine Dragons fashion, “I Bet My Life” has a somewhat muted verse swelling into a singalong chorus. It sounds a lot like “On Top Of The World” to me, and that single didn’t fare too well on the Hot 100. Obviously, Imagine Dragons have the chart pedigree to turn any of their songs into a hit, but I have a feeling that “I Bet My Life” will be descending faster than it gains popularity.

“Only” by Nicki Minaj f/Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown (#54)

  • “Anaconda” is fading fast, so it makes sense that she would release a new single to keep her starpower high. “Only” certainly recruits the right people, as Lil Wayne, Drake, and Chris Brown each have well over 20 Top 40 singles to their credit. The song itself isn’t that memorable, but with the sheer amount of celebrity present on the track, I have a hunch that it will stick around for a while. It probably won’t peak above #30, but it could easily hang on for the traditional 20-week stay.

“I Won’t Let You Down” by OK Go (#71)

  • If Billboard’s rule regarding YouTube streams existed before 2013, OK Go would have had a lot more success on the chart. As it stands, their new umbrella-themed music video garnered a lot of buzz on the internet over the last week, and “I Won’t Let You Down” sees a nice debut as a result. As the viral nature of the video begins to fade, so too will its chart chances. This could easily be a one-and-done situation, especially since OK Go has never really been able to make a song stick on the Hot 100.

“Ghost” by Ella Henderson (#75)

  • A 2012 X Factor contestant in Britain, 18-year-old Ella Henderson’s debut single went straight to #1 in the UK over the summer, and we’ve seen that this achievement is a good formula for success here in the States. Her sound is very refreshing, as it shows dance-pop sensibilities while still relying heavily on instrumentation and arrangement. For such a young singer, she has an excellent control over her style, which is somewhat of a cross between Katy Perry and Adele. “Ghost” continues to sell well on iTunes, so I see no reason why a run at the Top 40 or even higher shouldn’t be able to happen.

“Til It’s Gone” by Kenny Chesney (#100)

  • As “American Kids” spends its final week on the Hot 100, Chesney is just in time with the followup single. Like “Kids,” “Til It’s Gone” follows the tried-and-true Chesney formula without succumbing to the “bro country” temptations which have started to befall  Keith Urban and Tim McGraw. There’s no sign of synthesizers or drum machines here, and this adherence to the style which made him famous is a key reason why Chesney’s music sounds so timeless. “Til It’s Gone” would fit right in on his albums from a decade earlier, so its future could be similar to his big hits from that same time period. It probably won’t get as high as “American Kids” did, but it shouldn’t have any trouble making it to the Top 50.

One of the Taylor Swift debuts this week is bound to hold on and become a hit, so that’s an easy and unsurprising prediction for me. As for the other six debuts, many of them have one-and-done potential. With that in mind, I’m going to trust my friends across the pond and take a flyer that “Ghost” will have a good amount of success in the coming weeks and give us another great hit from the UK.

#1 SONGS ON THE GENRE CHARTS

  • POP: Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo (#3 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: Leave The Night On by Sam Hunt (#30 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Take Me To Church by Hozier (#10 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Stolen Dance by Milky Chance (#51 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (#6 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (#6 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Rather Be by Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (#15 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Bailando by Enrique Iglesias (#40 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. Only one song is left that has spent each calendar week of 2014 on the Hot 100. Can you name it? I won’t give you any hints, but I will let you know when it eventually falls off the chart.

That’s all for this week! I’ll be back on Thursday with a look at the next edition of the Hot 100. More predictions and analysis coming at you in a week!

Until then,

Ryan

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