Help us LMFAO, you’re our only hope

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Twenty-three summers ago, a song by a rising pop act reached the summit of the Hot 100 before being steamrolled by one of the biggest recording artists of the decades achieving an unrivaled chart feat. The song was “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson, and the steamrolling superstar was Michael Jackson whose “Dirty Diana” became the fifth No. 1 from his Bad album. A handful of albums have pulled off four chart toppers, but for more than two decades, Bad has been the sole album with a quintet of No. 1s. That could all change next week, however.

This summer, the foolish beat is “Party Rock Anthem” by rising pop act LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock. Katy Perry takes the role of pop juggernaut. Singles from her Teenage Dream album have been unstoppable in their march to No. 1. Last summer, she began her assault with “California Gurls [sic]” featuring Snoop Dogg followed by “Teenage Dream,” “Firework” and “E.T.” featuring Kanye West.

Perry finds herself one spot away from tying Jackson’s record. Teenage Dream‘s fifth single, “Lasy Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” sits at No. 2 for a second week, but “Party Rock Anthem” refuses to budge. Despite being No. 1 for over a month, “Party Rock Anthem” had its best week of radio airplay yet, growing 2% for an audience of 146 million. It also remains the top downloaded song in the country, shifting 202,000 downloads. That puts it above “Friday,” which only sold 151,000 downloads and is quickly running out of steam at iTunes. Perry’s hit is still strong at radio, however, and could overtake “Party” soon.

“Party” won’t give up No. 1 without a fight though, and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” continues to build momentum, moving 4-3 and becoming the highest charting solo rap song by a female since Missy Elliot’s “Work It” which reached No. 2 in 2002. Sensing the window of opportunity closing, Capitol Records has decided to not leave the fate of their California gurl [sic] up to DJs. Monday, a remix featuring Missy Elliott will simultaneously be sent to radio and available for downloads in a desperate attempt to push “Friday” over the edge and tie Perry with the King of Pop. There’s a good chance they’ll do it.

This April, Def Jam tried the same trick. Rihanna’s “S&M” had stalled and didn’t have a prayer of passing up Perry’s aforementioned “E.T.” Capitol Records slapped a Kanye West rap on “E.T.” hoping to appeal to a larger audience, and it worked, becoming one of the biggest hits of Perry’s career. Def Jam snagged Britney Spears for a remix of “S&M,” and the next week, the added sales of the Fenty/Spears team were good enough to leapfrog Perry/West for a week. Spears followed suit when Jive added elements from the Ke$ha demo and a Nicki Minaj rap to “Till the World Ends.” The song reached its peak position of No. 3 the following week.

Releasing a remix featuring another artist is a smart move to quickly boost sales. The record label immediately adds a whole other artist’s fanbase to the promotional push, and then the initial artist’s fans who already bought the album months ago have a new way to contribute. I doubt even the most ardent Perry fans would be willing to drop change re-downloading the album version of “Friday,” but now, scores of them can spend $1.29 for a version of the song they don’t own.

Personally, I hope LMFAO swap out Lauren Bennett and GoonRock for Britney Spears and Kanye West respectively. I always thought the song would have been better with them, and both are veteran go-to contributors. Interscope, are you listening?

Unfortunately, Missy Elliott will likely be enough for Perry to take the crown next week. But does that make Perry the heir to Jackson’s throne? Definitely not. And with two of Teenage Dream‘s five singles being remixes not available on the album, I hope a few Jackson fans will petition Billboard to put an asterisks by Perry’s record.

Here’s what’s happening on the rest of the Hot 100:

  • As I stated earlier, Nick Minaj’s “Super Bass” moves to No. 3 and becomes the highest charting solo female rap single since Missy Elliott’s “Work It” in 2002. Any chance this is the highest charting “bonus track” in chart history? I’m guessing yes.
  • Britney Spears’ “I Wanna Go” moves 11-9, becoming her third top ten hit from Femme Fatale. That sets a personal best for Spears who has only managed two top ten hits from a single album. “…Baby One More Time” was a No. 1 hit followed by the No. 10 peaking “(You Drive Me) Crazy” from her debut album in 1999 while 2008′s Circus spun of the No.  1 “Womanizer” and the No. 3 “Circus.”
  • Jay-Z and Kanye West, now known collectively as The Throne, shoot 47-12 with “Otis” featuring Otis Redding thanks to high downloads.
  • Beyonce finally bests her former Destiny’s Child bandmate. Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation” featuring Lil Wayne sits at its peak position of No. 17 while Beyonce’s recent singles have floundered, but B’s “Best Thing I Never Had” shuffled 19-16 this week.
  • Following the announcement that Drake’s “Marvin’s Room” will be on his sophomore album, the song leaps to No. 21. “Marvin’s Room” was initially not intended for the album, but following a strong Internet buzz and covers by several artists, Drake realized his song was quite good and he should give the people what they want.

Here’s this week’s top ten:

  1. “Party Rock Anthem” – LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock (5th consecutive week)
  2. “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” – Katy Perry (airplay gainer)
  3. “Super Bass” – Nicki Minaj
  4. “Give Me Everything” – Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
  5. “How to Love” – Lil Wayne
  6. “Rolling in the Deep” – Adele
  7. “Lighters” – Bad Meets Evil featuring Bruno Mars
  8. “Tonight Tonight” – Hot Chelle Rae
  9. “I Wanna Go” – Britney Spears
  10. “The Edge of Glory” – Lady Gaga

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