Pop Singles Going Steady: July 2014
Something fairly amazing happened to the pop charts in late July. They started to move around again after weeks of summer stasis. Australian pop sensation Iggy Azalea hadn't budged from the top slot of Billboard's Hot 100 in seven long weeks, and it seemed as if nothing would ever dislodge her insistent Charli XCX-aided "Fancy" from the nation's consciousness. And then a gang of Canadian reggae-popsters named MAGIC! did just that, by rudely (ouch, sorry) knocking "Fancy" down a peg to No. 2 while scrambling to the top of the Hot 100 with their island-baked complaint of a love interest's grumpy dad.
Meanwhile, an even bigger upset was taking place over in Billboard's 200 album charts, where long-running parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic beat all expectations when his 14th album bypassed Jason Mraz to claim the No. 1 slot. Not only was it Weird Al's first No. 1 album, but, as the number-crunchers noted, Mandatory Fun became the first comedy album to reach the top slot since 1963 (that would be Allan Sherman's My Son, the Nut).
Still, there's more to July's pop charts than upsets. Familiar names like Pharrell Williams and Jason Derulo introduced new singles, while UK soul singer Sam Smith rose once again on the strength of his debut album. And there were plenty of delightful surprises springing out of all corners, from Meghan Trainor's finger-snapping "All About That Bass" to the gospel fervor of "Say Yes" featuring Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé. And we couldn't conclude this playlist without one fond last look back at Iggy's song of the summer. We have a feeling she's not going anywhere soon.