The Meaning, If Any, Of the Cast of ‘Glee’ Surpassing the Beatles on the Number of Singles They’ve Gotten on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart

Oct 7, 2010  •  Post A Comment

What is the significance of the news, reported earlier today, that the cast of "Glee" has now surpassed the Beatles with the numbers of singles they’ve has listed on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart?

The analysis of Kyle Anderson at the MTV Newsroom is, basically, that it’s an apple to oranges comparison: He writes "First, the science of chart-tracking has changed profoundly since the days when the Beatles were churning out product. Today, it’s extremely easy to come up with hard data about digital downloads and radio and Internet airplay, the pieces of criteria that all go into the Billboard Hot 100 rankings. But prior to digital tracking (and even before the invention of SoundScan, the system that tracks album and single sales), the numbers on the Hot 100 were based on an inexact science at best (and total blind guessing at worst). The songs from "Glee" benefit because their download and streaming numbers are accurately tracked. If that kind of science was around in ’67, it’s likely that every single song the Beatles ever put out would have charted somewhere in the Hot 100. That’s just how gigantic they were."

Furthermore, Anderson adds, "Obviously, the "Glee" cast has the benefit of the songs themselves as well. All of the tracks that are scoring chart appearances have already been hits, so it’s not surprising that their revival of said hits would resonate. And they’ve got the benefit of decades worth of pop history at their disposal, which allows them to shift from ’70s AM rock hits to modern day pop twist-ups without much fuss."

His conclusion is that while the Beatles and Elvis Presley (who has the most hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 and whose record "Glee" will almost certainly also pass) are the real deal, ‘Glee," which Anderson likes, "is merely a good way to kill some time on a Tuesday night."


  1. This was a good analysis. One thing I would add is that the Beatles aand Elvis didn’t have have a weekly prime-time network television show as an advertising and promotion vehicle.

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