Friday, December 16, 2011

Push - Matchbox 20

Matchbox 20
(R. Thomas, M. Serletic) Atlantic / Lava AT0021CD


Chart Entry: 21st September, 1997
Highest Position: #8
Accreditation: Platinum
Points: 102,907
From the album
"Yourself Or Someone Like You".


Back when the Matchbox guys were "20" rather than "Twenty", success took its time for the Florida outfit, having to wait a year after the release of Yourself Or Someone Like You to finally see some chart action. Their first release, "Long Day" was a credible success on US radio, opening the door for the follow-up, "Push" which officially saw the arrival of one of the most successful bands of the last couple of decades. If "Long Day" suggested Matchbox 20's wait for success, then "Push" did exactly that, up the charts.

Pop ruled the charts in 1997, as groups such as Spice Girls, Aqua and Backstreet Boys coloured the charts in a way that hadn't been seen since the 80's. Not that they didn't provide some of the finest moments in pop history, but there was definitely a hole in the market for some gutsy mainstream rock, and Matchbox 20 had just the album waiting in the wings. "Push" still had to play second fiddle to pop in the Australian singles charts, not able to rise above #8 on the ARIA charts, but with almost half of its 36 week chart run within the Top 20, there was enough long-lasting success to put it amongst some of the biggest singles of all time.

The tables turned in 1998. On the ARIA End Of Year Albums chart, the Spice Girls provided us with the ninth biggest album of the year with Spiceworld. Backstreet Boys took out fourth spot for Backstreet's Back while Aqua's Aquarium surprised everyone by ending the year as the second biggest selling album of 1998. At the top? Matchbox 20's Yourself Or Someone Like You, accredited 9xPlatinum in Australia, and selling over 10 million copies worldwide to be awarded the rare Diamond Award.

With all this success coming Matchbox 20's way, there had to be some catch, and the controversies came their way via some feminist groups who slammed "Push" for its seemingly sexist lyrics suggesting violence towards women. Matchbox 20 frontman, Rob Thomas, explained that the song was more than its chorus, and further understanding in the verses revealed the violence was emotional rather than physical, inflicted on the male figure in the song rather than the female. And Rob would know, he wrote the song about his own failed relationship, losing most of his clothes in the break-up when they were "donated" to charity by his future ex-girlfriend.

Matchbox 20 never repeated the success of Yourself Or Someone Like You, but with all their albums managing at least a triple Platinum accreditation in Australia, they haven't exactly failed either. For a good while it seemed "Push" would be as good as it got for the band on the singles charts, but 2007's "How Far We've Come" from the greatest hits package, Exile On Mainstream, broke the spell, climbing one place higher in the charts, and is still to come in this list.


Chart Entry: (36 weeks)
(ARIA Top 100)

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