The cast of “Glee” broke one of The Beatles’ longest-standing records in the history of the Billboard music charts. The singing and dancing misfits passed the Liverpool lads’ old mark for “most appearances among non-solo acts.” After releasing five Britney Spears covers and their rendition of Paramore’s “The Only Exception” on October 7, the glee club will have seventy-five entries on the Billboard “Hot 100,” eclipsing the fab four’s old mark of seventy-one.
On the Hot 100 list dated October 16, the cast’s remake of Britney’s “Toxic” will rank as the hottest selling debut, claiming sixteenth place on the chart and boasting 109,000 downloads during its first week on the music sites. In Billboard’s survey of digital music, “Toxic” will jump onto the list at #9. Together, the six new pieces have sold more than 405,000 downloads. Sales slightly exceeded forecasters’ predictions but surprised no one in the wake of the show’s record-shattering Britney Spears-themed episode, which aired September 28 and owned the night in every demographic in the Nielsen ratings.
According to the Associated Press, “Elvis Presley still leads overall with 108 songs to chart on the Hot 100. He’s followed by James Brown with 91, then ‘Glee’. The Beatles are sixth, behind Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. Elton John, Lil Wayne, Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z round out the Top 10.”
Although no one doubts the Gleesters’ talent and universal appeal, pop pundits credit not only “Glee” cast’s powerful performance of the pop princess’s greatest hits but also the permanent appeal of Britney Spears’s music. No matter how the paparazzi and press have harassed and harangued the beleaguered Spears, she has continued to sell millions of records and sell-out her concerts. Tweeters saw living proof of Britney’s persistent appeal, driving Twitter traffic off the top of the meter when she sent her best wishes to “Glee” during the west coast broadcast of their tribute episode. Experts also credit technology with “Glee’s” quick rise to chart dominance: The internet can bring songs to market at the speed of light; vinyl presses turned out records at glacial speed by comparison.