Chart Watch Extra: Boy Band Video

Paul Grein
Chart Watch (NEW)

One Direction's Up All Night: The Live Tour sold 76,000 copies in its first week, enabling it to enter the Top Music Videos chart at #1. In the past four years, only one other DVD has sold this many copies in any one week. That's Adele's Live At The Royal Albert Hall, which topped 80K in each of its first four weeks of release in December.

Up All Night even outsold Michael Jackson's videos in the wake of his death in June 2009. Jackson's top-seller in those weeks, Live In Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour, sold 74K in the week ending July 12.

The One Direction video sold more copies than this week's #1 album, John Mayer's Born And Raised (65K). As I pointed out in my regular Chart Watch: Albums blog, this marks the first time that the week's #1 video has outsold the week's #1 album.

After just one week's sales, Up All Night: The Live Tour is already the #3 music video for the year-to-date. It trails Adele's DVD (426K so far this year) and Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera At The Royal Albert Hall (77K).

One Direction is also represented in the top 10 on the year-to-date lists for both albums and songs. The boy band is one of only two acts (the other of course being Adele) to be listed in the top 10 for the year-to-date on all three of these charts. (Nicki Minaj and Gotye are both listed in the top 10 for both albums and songs, but not music videos.)

One Direction's Up All Night album has sold 739K copies, which puts it at #4 for the year-to-date. The group's buoyant single "What Makes You Beautiful" has sold 2,460,000 copies, which puts it at #7 for the year-to-date.  "What Makes You Beautiful" combines the bouncy tempo of bubblegum and the melodic warmth of adult contemporary, which gives it broad appeal.

One Direction joins a long line of boy bands to reach #1 on Billboard's Top Music Videos chart since the chart was introduced in March 1985 (as Top Music Videocassettes). The video format is perfect for boy bands. Their fans can see them as well as hear them, all the better to nurse a serious pop crush.

Three boy bands—New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC—loom above all others with four #1 videos each.

New Kids topped the video chart with Hangin' Tough (20 weeks on top in 1989-1990), Hangin' Tough Live (12 weeks in 1990), Step By Step (16 weeks in 1990-1991) and Coming Home (one week in 2010, by which time the boys were men and were selling nostalgia, not teen ardor). Hangin' Tough Live replaced Hangin' Tough at #1 in February 1990. Between those two videos, the group held the #1 spot for 28 consecutive weeks.

Backstreet Boys reached #1 with All Access (15 weeks on top in 1998), A Night Out With The Backstreet Boys (one week in 1998), Homecoming--Live In Orlando (20 weeks in 1999) and Around The World (one week in 2001).

*NSYNC topped the video chart with 'N The Mix With *NSYNC (18 weeks on top in 1998-1999), Live At Madison Square Garden (seven weeks in 2000), Making The Tour (two weeks in 2001) and Popodyssey—Live (seven weeks in 2002).

All three of these groups were also hit song powerhouses. New Kids amassed nine top 10 hits on the Hot 100, including the #1s "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," "Hangin' Tough" and "Step By Step." Backstreet Boys had eight top 10 hits, but, surprisingly, no #1s. The group's highest-charting hit was the #2 "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)." *NSYNC had seven top 10 hits including the #1 "It's Gonna Be Me." The latter group's star member, Justin Timberlake, has amassed 12 top 10 hits on his own.

98 Degrees topped the video chart with Heat It Up--The Video (one week in 1999). The group had four top 10 hits on the Hot 100, including Mariah Carey's #1 "Thank God I Found You," on which it was featured. Its biggest hits on its own were "Because Of You" and "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)." Nick Lachey had a top 10 hit on his own in 2006 with "What's Left Of Me."

Wham! was the first boy band to top the video chart (if a duo can be said to be a boy band). The poppy pair topped the video chart with Wham! The Video (10 weeks at #1 in 1985) and Wham! In China—Foreign Skies (two weeks in 1986). The duo had six top 10 hits on the Hot 100, including the #1 smashes "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Careless Whisper" and "Everything She Wants." George Michael has amassed an additional 15 top 10 hits.

The term "boy band" hadn't been coined in 1964 when the Beatles created more excitement than any pop group before or since. It can be debated whether the Fab Four of 1964-1965 qualifies as a boy band. The group probably always had too much musical range and ambition to be thought of strictly in those terms. On the other hand, the group created unmatched hysteria among teen and pre-teen girls, which has always been a prerequisite for boy bands. The group has had four #1 music videos: The Compleat Beatles (two weeks on top in 1996), The Beatles Anthology (four weeks in 1996 and two weeks in 2003), The First U.S. Visit (two weeks in 2004) and The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows (three weeks in 2010). The group had amassed 15 top 10 hits on the Hot 100 by the end of 1965.

Hanson, a trio of brothers from Oklahoma, had two #1 videos: Tulsa, Tokyo & The Middle Of Nowhere (12 weeks on top in 1997-1998) and Road To Albertane (one week in 1998). Hanson wasn't exactly a boy band either, though they too had their share of young female fans. Hanson had two top 10 hits on the Hot 100, including the #1 smash "MMMBop."

Duran Duran topped the video chart with Astronaut (one week on top in 2004, a good 20 years after their boy band heyday.) Duran Duran had a string of hit songs and videos in the 1980s (including "Rio" and "Hungry Like The Wolf") which had overeager publicists trying to suggest that this was the 1980s version of Beatlemania. The group had 11 top 10 hits on the Hot 100, nine of them in the 1980s.