Song: “Bent” by Matchbox Twenty
Reached #1: July 22, 2000 (their first, 1 week)
Matchbox Twenty were among the first beneficiaries of a major change in Billboard’s Hot 100 rules in 1998. Until 1998, a song couldn’t hit the Hot 100 unless it was specifically released as a single – but with the slow (but obviously pending) growth of digital downloads, it was possible for a song to become a hit solely on single-track purchases off an album. So Billboard finally gave in, and two of the four hit tracks from Matchbox Twenty’s debut album hit the charts.
Then Rob Thomas went off to write a track for Carlos Santana’s all-star Supernatural album. He did the demo of the song as well… which led to Santana deciding to use Thomas as the singer on the track as well. You may have heard of it.. a little thing called “Smooth”.
Off of the three Grammy awards and worldwide acclaim of scoring that large of a hit, it’s no surprise that the next single that featured Thomas would hit #1. That was “Bent”, off Mad Season. The video for the song had a little fun with Thomas’ new notoriety, as the rest of the band beat up on Thomas…
While they haven’t quite gotten the intense hate that Nickelback have, Matchbox Twenty fits in that same pop-rock niche… I think the fact that Matchbox Twenty have taken some time off, where Nickelback has never gone away, may account for the difference… that and that Rob Thomas doesn’t seem to be quite the polarizing figure that Chad Kroeger is…
Matchbox Twenty are in the process of returning from their second hiatus, with a new album called North due out this fall.
Tomorrow, a late-‘80s crooner…
Other songs that reached #1 on July 22:
1989 – “Toy Soldiers” by Martika (her first, 2 weeks)