This week, the cast of “Glee” surpasses the Beatles for the most songs on Billboard Hot 100 by a non-solo act. Let”s let that take a minute to sink in. “Glee,” which is a TV show with fictional characters, has just topped the Fab Four, the most exalted act in pop music history.
The “Glee” cast debuts six new songs on Billboard”s Hot 100 that comes out Thursday (the chart date is 10/16, for chart watchers) giving the cast a total of 75 entries on the Hot 100. That tops the Beatles” 71. Not only does “Glee” move ahead (and will continue to move ahead decisively), it only took “Glee” about 16 months or so what it took the Beatles 32 years to accomplish.
Of course, “Glee”s” format is structured so that multiple songs are available on iTunes immediately following an episode and the digital sales are what drive the songs up the chart, so it”s a little like comparing tennis players who played with wood rackets to ones who play with graphite. The mechanisms to deliver and purchase music have changed drastically as to make such comparisons not really valid. That”s not to take anything away from the phenomenon of “Glee,” of course.
“Glee” owes a big shout out to Britney Spears because five of the six songs that bow on this week”s chart–and enable “Glee” to topple the Beatles– are Spears” remakes, following the Britney-themed Sept. 28 episode. The other charting tune? a cover of Paramore”s “The Only Exception.”
Still ahead of “Glee” are Elvis Presley, the all-time leader with 108 charted tunes, and James Brown with 91.