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Bruce Springsteen debuts at No. 8 on it Billboard 200 chart this week with Only the strong survive, scoring his 22nd top 10 album. He has reached the top 10 in each of the past six decades, from the 1970s to the 2020s. How rare is that feat and are there any other notable chart achievements of his that we can celebrate this week?
Springsteen is one of only three artists with newly charted top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 in each of the past six decades, joining James Taylor as the former’s Letter to you launched at his No. 2 best in 2020. Paul McCartney made the elite club a trio (including his work with Wings) in 2021.
The three Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Billboard 200 top 10 overall by decade:
Paul McCartney: ’70s: 10 / ’80s: two / ’90s: one / ’00s: four / ’10s: three / ’20s: one (21 total)
Bruce Springsteen: ’70s: two / ’80s: five / ’90s: three / ’00s: six / ’10s: four / ’20s: two (22 total)
James Taylor: ’70s: six / ’80s: one / ’90s: one / ’00s: two / ’10s: two / ’20s: one (13 total)
According to the breakouts above, Springsteen, with the debut of the appropriate title Only the strong survivebecoming the only number to achieve multiple top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s and 20s.
Notably, Barbra Streisand, if she can score a pair of top 10s in her 20s, would surpass Springsteen’s streak (and potentially McCartney and Taylor’s, if they can each add a top 10 this decade) of multiple Billboard 200 top 10s in each of six decades, as she tallied more than one in each decade from the 60s to the 10s, most recently reaching the region in 2016. Here are Streisand’s decade-by-decade totals—with the co-superstar who boasts the most top 10s among solo artists (34, second overall only to the Rolling Stones’ 37) with at least four top 10s in each of these decades: ’60s: nine/’ 70s: seven / 80s: six / 90s: four / 00s: four / 10s: four.
Meanwhile, Springsteen’s latest chart-topping feat—with Only the strong survive also new at No. 1 on Top Rock & Alternative Albums – accompanies it from another legend: Elton JohnWHO kroner Adult Pop Airplay with “Hold Me Closer” with Britney Spears. Similar to Springsteen’s new Billboard 200 honor, the song itself spans decades as it recreates the hook of John’s 1972 classic “Tiny Dancer” and the verses from his 1992 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit “The One”. John also raised his career Billboard Boxscore standings to one almost record level, thanks to his three shows Nov. 17, 19 and 20 at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium.
Springsteen and John have long been associated with each other Billboard‘s studies, although not combined for any hits, date to Springsteen’s first song. On the Hot 100 dated September 20, 1975, Springsteen made his first appearance at No. 68 with “Born to Run”. A notch lower, John dropped his own enduring single: “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.”
Springsteen scored his first Hot 100 top 10, “Hungry Heart,” in December 1980, after John reached the level that June with “Little Jeannie.” They also each had top 10s in the same year in 1984-86, 1988 and 1994.
(As for their most-streamed songs in the U.S. to date, according to Luminate, John’s 1972 “Rocket Man” has drawn 738 million official on-demand streams and Springsteen’s 1984 “Dancing in the Dark,” 318.6 million.)
“He’s probably one of the nicest people in rock and roll I’ve ever met in my life,” John said by Springsteen in 1980 on the Australian TV show Countdown, helping to introduce a performance of the latter’s “The River.” “One of the nicest and most genuine people. Right now in America he’s the biggest cheese going and good luck to him because someone who’s nice deserves it.”