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According to Wikipedia, The Dark Side of the Moon “topped the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart for one week and remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988” – that’s 15 years on the charts. Is it the longest?

What records have spent the longest time on the Billboard singles and album charts? Were they on the charts consecutively or more than once? I would also be interested if there are any notable long runs on the major genre charts.

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Wikipedia's page on the Billboard 200 has a list of albums that spent the most weeks (not necessarily consecutively) on the chart:

Most weeks on the chart

Note that totals are for the main albums chart only, catalog chart totals are not factored in.

  • (892 weeks) The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
  • (490 weeks) Johnny's Greatest Hits – Johnny Mathis
  • (480 weeks) My Fair Lady – Original Cast Recording
  • (331 weeks) Highlights from the Phantom of the Opera – Original Cast Recording
  • (319 weeks) Metallica – Metallica
  • (318 weeks) Journey's Greatest Hits – Journey
  • (312 weeks) Tapestry – Carole King
  • (305 weeks) Oklahoma! – Soundtrack
  • (295 weeks) Heavenly – Johnny Mathis
  • (290 weeks) Legend – Bob Marley and the Wailers
  • (282 weeks) MCMXC a.D. – Enigma
  • (278 weeks) Nevermind – Nirvana

Similarly for the Billboard HOT 100 Wikipedia lists songs by longest total time in the HOT 100:

Most total weeks on the Hot 100

The year displayed is the year the songs ended their respective chart runs.

  • (87 weeks) Imagine Dragons — "Radioactive" (2014)
  • (79 weeks) Awolnation — "Sail" (2014)
  • (76 weeks) Jason Mraz — "I'm Yours" (2009)
  • (69 weeks) LeAnn Rimes — "How Do I Live" (1998)
  • (68 weeks) LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock — "Party Rock Anthem" (2012), OneRepublic — "Counting Stars" (2014)
  • (65 weeks) Jewel — "Foolish Games" / "You Were Meant for Me" (1998), Adele — "Rolling in the Deep" (2012)
  • (64 weeks) Carrie Underwood — "Before He Cheats" (2007)
  • (62 weeks) Lifehouse — "You and Me" (2006), The Lumineers — "Ho Hey" (2013)

Finally there's also a Wikipedia list for the most weeks in the UK singles charts.

Note on the HOT 100 list: the rules for the Billboard HOT 100 changed in 1998, possibly causing songs/singles released before that to have a lower chance of appearing in this list:

As many Hot 100 chart policies have been modified over the years, one rule always remained constant: songs were not eligible to enter the Hot 100 unless they were available to purchase as a single. However, on December 5, 1998 the Hot 100 changed from being a "singles" chart to a "songs" chart. During the 1990s, a growing trend in the music industry was to promote songs to radio without ever releasing them as singles. It was claimed by major record labels that singles were cannibalizing album sales, so they were slowly phased out. During this period, accusations began to fly of chart manipulation as labels would hold off on releasing a single until airplay was at its absolute peak, thus prompting a top ten or, in some cases, a number one debut. In many cases, a label would delete a single from its catalog after only one week, thus allowing the song to enter the Hot 100, make a high debut and then slowly decline in position as the one-time production of the retail single sold out.

  • The longest lived songs all seem relatively recent -- I wonder why? Some change in the charts, or in the way people buy music? Meanwhile, many of the longest lived albums are much older. – Chris Sunami Mar 5 '15 at 3:32
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    @ChrisSunami see my update - some rules of the HOT1000 were changed in 1998. Further the way music is marketed may have changed in the last 30yrs - possibly online distribution makes it easier and more likely to purchase a single song rather than the whole album, even after the album release.. – greyshade Mar 5 '15 at 8:40

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