The Bent*Spun 21 turns 10: A celebration of chart highlights (and nadirs)
September 2019 is a big month for the Bent*Spun, Bent*Spud’s chart of the songs that rocked the hebdomad. 10 years ago, after a couple of “duct tape” versions that launched and fizzled, we formalized the chart into the regularly updated labor of love weekly event that it is now.
The first chart was published on September 13, 2009, led fittingly by Madonna’s “Celebration.” We have meticulously ranked the top songs of the week every week since then, save for two weeks in late 2010, when the chart was temporarily suspended due to a combination of “extreme chill” and force majeure.
In 2015, the chart expanded from 20 to 21 positions, earning its current moniker.
Over the years, the chart has become not just a banal listing of the most popular songs of the week, but rather a snapshot of feelings and memories, as well as a steady finger on the pulse of what’s hip and happening in music.
In celebration of its 10th year anniversary, let’s have a look at some of the chart’s highlights as well as the less than stellar achievements that are worth noting.
All-time chart champ (based on points earned and weeks spent on chart): “Express Yourself” by Madonna
The timeless empowerment anthem and second single from the Queen of Pop’s fourth studio album has spent 69 weeks on the chart, with four of those nonconsecutively at No. 1.
The most number of weeks at No. 1 (20): “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People
The civic-minded Los Angeles band captured lightning in a bottle when it released the eternally catchy (though thematically explosive) song from their debut album “Torches.” The song debuted on top the week of May 22, 2011 and stayed there for a staggering 5 months.
The most number of weeks at No. 2 (5): (tie) “My My My!” by Troye Sivan and “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence
Last year, Troye Sivan spent 5 weeks in the runner-up slot with “My My My!” which ended up being the Top Song of 2018. This year, Dutch sensation Duncan Laurence also rang up 5 weeks at No. 2 with his Eurovision-winning song “Arcade.”
The most number of weeks spent on the chart without ever hitting No. 1 (54): “Bad Girl” by Madonna
Spending 54 weeks on the chart, Madonna’s dirgy ballad from Erotica stalled at No. 2 for 4 weeks (nonconsecutively).
The most number of weeks on the chart without ever breaking into the Top 10 (22): “17” by Robokid feat. Manila Killa & AOBeats
Ethan Budnick rose as high as No. 11 (June 16, 2019) with this smooth track from RK1.
The least number of weeks spent on the chart by a No. 1 song (1): (tie) “You Could Be Mine” by Guns N’ Roses and “Faith” by George Michael
George Michael’s “Faith” (No. 1, November 4, 2012) and Guns N’ Roses’ “You Could Be Mine” (No. 1, March 7, 2010) share the dubious honor of debuting at No. 1 and then falling completely off the chart the week after.
The most number of weeks spent at the lowest chart peak position (4 weeks at No. 20): “Invisible Touch” by Genesis”
In December 2010, Genesis debuted and peaked in the then anchor position (No. 20) for 4 weeks with “Invisible Touch.”
Number of songs that have peaked at No. 1: 251
Over the last decade since the official launch of the chart, 251 songs have scaled the summit of the Bent*Spun.
Number of songs that have charted: 1940
Almost two thousand songs have graced the countdown since its launch.
Number of songs that have debuted and spent but a single week on the chart: 541
Since September 13, 2009, a total of 541 tracks have debuted on the countdown, only to disappear the following week.