A fortnight or so ago, Universal sent out a press release to both mark ten years since the release of Kanye’s Graduation album, and to point out the staggering success of the ‘Stronger’ single from that record, which — they claimed — has stuck around in the ARIA Top 500 for ten straight years, the longest current run on the chart.
I did a little research into this mythical Top 500 to see what other singles had maintained impressive runs on the chart. Second to ‘Stronger’ which has, as of this week, notched up 522 consecutive weeks in the Top 500 (currently sitting at #169) is ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol, which has spent 514 weeks, while Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ has sat in the Top 500 for 512 weeks.
The 20 longest chart runs showcase the strength of catalogue music and steady commercial radio play, with classic rock tracks (or those settling into the classic rock format) making up the bulk of the list: the likes of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi (currently sitting at #383 after 488 weeks), ‘Viva La Vida’ and ‘The Scientist’ by Coldplay (at 478 and 458 weeks, respectively), Sex On Fire (473), ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ (455 weeks), ‘Enter Sandman’ (439), and ‘Drops Of Jupiter’ (429). Seems the soundtrack to your Dad’s BBQ mirrors the majority of the ARIA chart mainstays.
Then there are the recent(ish) pop singles which, like ‘Stronger’, simply entered the charts and never left. ‘Low’ by Flo Rida and T-Pain has spent 497 weeks in the chart, with ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz entering a mere two weeks later. ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift has spent 448 weeks in the chart, while Miley’s ‘Party In The U.S.A.’ has spent 411.
Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ has been in the Top 500 for 453 weeks, which quick maths would suggest stems from his death in 2009. However the track re-entered the 500 prior to his death, in January 2009, two months before Jackson had even announced his return concerts. I wonder what propelled the song into the charts some eight years and eight months ago? If you can work it out, email me please.
Check out the twenty longest current run in the ARIA top 500, below.
522 weeks: Stronger – Kanye West (DEF/UMA)
514 weeks: Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol (PDR/UMA)
512 weeks: Sweet Child O’Mine – Guns N’ Roses (GEF/UMA)
497 weeks: Low – Flo Rida Feat. T-Pain (ATL/WAR)
495 weeks: I’m Yours – Jason Mraz (ATL/WAR)
488 weeks: Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi (UMA)
478 weeks: Viva La Vida – Coldplay (EMI)
473 weeks: Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon (RCA/SME)
458 weeks: The Scientist – Coldplay (CAP/EMI)
455 weeks: Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (GEF/UMA)
455 weeks: Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap (LIB/UMA)
453 weeks: Billie Jean – Michael Jackson (SME)
451 weeks: Halo – Beyonce (COL/SME)
448 weeks: Love Story – Taylor Swift (BIG/UMA)
439 weeks: Enter Sandman – Metallica (MER/UMA)
431 weeks: I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas (INR/UMA)
429 weeks: Drops Of Jupiter – Train (COL/SME)
416 weeks: Yeah! – Usher (SME)
411 weeks: Party In The U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus (HWR/UMA)
406 weeks: The Nosebleed Section – Hilltop Hoods (GE/UMA)