Billboard is reporting that “Ordinary Man” is an ironic song title for Elton John, given that the new track grants him a record on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart.
Ozzy Osbourne’s ballad, featuring John, bows at #34 on the airplay tally dated February 29, marking the first time that John has appeared on the survey in over 27 years. The last time he made the tally? September 1992, when “Runaway Train” featuring Eric Clapton rolled to #10.
John sets the record for the longest break between Mainstream Rock Songs appearances in the chart’s 39-year history, passing Queen guitarist Brian May, who waited just under 26 years between his solo track “Driven By You” (#9, 1993) and his featured appearance on Five Finger Death Punch’s “Blue On Black”, alongside Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Brantley Gilbert (#1 for five weeks beginning in June 2019).
Longest Gaps Between Mainstream Rock Songs Entries:
27 years, five months, Elton John (1992-2020)
25 years, 11 months, three weeks, Brian May (1993-2019)
23 years, four months, three weeks, Charlie Daniels (1987-2011)
22 years, 11 months, three weeks, Alice Cooper (1991-2014)
21 years, nine months, two weeks, David Gilmour (1984-2006)
John tallied five top 20 hits on Mainstream Rock Songs from the chart’s 1981 inception through 1992, with “Runaway Train” marking his lone top No. 10. During that span, he posted 17 top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and 19 on Adult Contemporary.
Osbourne, meanwhile, is charting three songs simultaneously on Mainstream Rock Songs. Alongside “Ordinary Man”, “Under The Graveyard” descends 5-7 after spending six weeks at #1 in December and January and follow-up “Straight To Hell” dips 16-18. He notched another recent hit: Post Malone’s “Take What You Want”, on which Osbourne and Travis Scott are featured, rose to #26 in January.
“Ordinary Man” is the title track from Osbourne’s 12th solo studio album, which was released February 21 and is expected to bow in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 dated March 7.