Why Is Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” No. 1?

Before we talk about the shimmying pop tsunami that overtook Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart this week—let’s call it Hurricane Taylor—it might help to ponder, briefly, another perky superstorm that first made landfall on the charts four decades ago. So here’s a quick quiz about a certain ’70s–’80s megastar: 1. What was Olivia Newton-John’s first [...] Read more

Senior Moments: Why More Albums by Middle-Aged Artists Like Tom Petty and “Weird Al” Are Hitting No. 1

The news last week that veteran band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers scored its first No. 1 album—yes, ever—prompted a number of reactions, ranging from “Petty’s still got it…classic rock rules!” to “Man, it’s way too easy to top the charts these days.” Both reactions are understandable, but the truth lies somewhere in between. Supporting [...] Read more