NME Poll Winners' Concert (26 April 1964, Empire Pool, Wembley, London)
It Was 50 Years Ago Today
΄΄On the chart dated April 4, 1964, the Fab Four monopolized the top five on the Billboard Hot 100, marking the only time one act has ever to locked up the region
"Just about everyone is tired of the Beatles."
So read the first line of a story on page 1 of the Billboard magazine dated April 4, 1964, exactly 50 years ago today. That was the week that the Beatles made history as the only act ever to simultaneously occupy the Billboard Hot 100 chart's entire top five positions.
So ... why was Billboard printing such seeming blasphemy?
"Disk jockeys are tired of playing the hit group," the story continued. (Cleverly headlined "Chart Crawls With Beatles," the item was written by Jack Maher and Tom Noonan, the latter of whom launched the Hot 100 in 1958.) "The writers of trade and consumer publication articles are tired of writing about them and the manufacturers of product other than the Beatles are tired of hearing about them."
Billboard, of course, noted one key exception.
"Everyone's tired of the Beatles -- except the listening and buying public."
With a 27-1 second-week blast to the top for "Can't Buy Me Love," the Fab Four locked up the Hot 100's entire top five: No. 1, "Can't Buy Me Love" / No. 2, "Twist And Shout" / No. 3, "She Loves You" / No. 4, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" / No. 5, "Please Please Me"
Beginning a five-week reign, "Can't Buy Me Love" marked the Beatles' third No. 1, directly following "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and second leader "She Loves You." No other act has linked three consecutive No. 1s in the Hot 100's 55-year history.
The 26-position jump to the summit for "Can't Buy Me Love" additionally stood as a record for the greatest jump to No. 1 for nearly 38 years, until Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" rocketed 52-1 in 2002. (Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" currently holds the mark, courtesy of a 97-1 vault in February 2009).
With 20 career leaders, the Beatles lead all acts for the most No. 1s in the Hot 100's archives.
Slightly more than two months prior to their top five stranglehold, the Fab Four had made their landmark debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show," kicking off American Beatlemania. Billboard recapped the shift in music and pop culture forever more that the group's stateside invasion spurred in the magazine's Jan. 11 cover story.΄΄
΄΄There were also two Beatles tribute records on the list: "We Love You Beatles" by The Carefrees at No. 42, and "A Letter To The Beatles" by The Four Preps at No. 85.
The following week two more Beatles singles entered the chart: "There's A Place" (at No. 74) and "Love Me Do" (No. 81).΄΄