Justin Bieber’s new single “Recovery,” the fourth offering from his “Music Mondays” series, took an early bite of No.1’s and Top Five spots on iTunes amid big name releases between Sunday, Oct. 27 and Monday, Oct. 28.
The 19-year-old went head to head against One Direction’s “Story Of My Life,” Lady Gaga’s “Venus,” and from midnight, Oct. 28, Eminem’s “The Monster feat. Rihanna.”
One Direction quickly grabbed the top spot on iTunes US, UK, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand Australia (it’s now No. 2), Holland and Mexico, among others. Its rapid ascent was due in large part to the free download (Instant Grat) promotion behind it, which automatically sent the band’s single to anyone who pre-ordered their upcoming Midnight Memories album.
Despite One Direction’s overall iTunes dominance, Bieber’s “Recovery” and Lady Gaga’s “Venus” achieved No.1 and Top Five positions in a wide spread of markets upon release. Eminem’s “The Monster” is now shifting those rankings as it impacts charts.
At press time, One Direction is holding at No. 1 on iTunes US followed by Eminem, Gaga, Lorde, and Bieber.
In overview: So far, Bieber’s “Music Mondays” series have showcased consistently solid output, the singer’s expressive, controlled vocals, unshowy production, personalized lyrics theming love, loss, longing, erotica, apology and hope, while effectively demonstrating an evolving, mature musicality.
“Recovery” follows the release of “Hold Tight,” “All That Matters” (which landed at No. 24 on Billboard Hot 100 chart), and “Heartbreaker” (which peaked at No. 13 on the same chart). It has garnered a clutch of positive reviews, without usual disclaimers about “shame-listening” to a former child star.
Remaining firmly planted in the R&B milieu, “Recovery” samples British artist Craig David’s 2000 hit “Fill Me In,” and finds the Canadian reflecting on an intimate relationship — likely with ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez.
“First I’ll acknowledge, your trust has been broken now,” he sings, before musing on the possibility of a happy ending. “A successful recovery, I pray for us at night / Blessed me with a second chance, never thought I’d see your face again /Learned a lot through trial and error, ‘Tryna make it right.”
Describing it as “one of the most important songs to me I’ve ever written,” in a tweet posted before the single’s midnight premiere, Bieber later explained the context of “Recovery” as,
“… An acknowledgement that in life you can’t just fall down and not get over things… that feeling you get when you start to move on and make things better for yourself because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is here. JB.”
“Music Mondays” will see a total of 10 Journals singles released over 10 weeks as a lead-up to the Christmas Day opening of the Jon M. Chu-directed movie-documentary Believe 3D. The feature is intended to continue the story from 2011’s mega-grossing Never Say Never and address Bieber’s dramatic 2013.
Note: iTunes rankings are in flux but IQ endeavors to report the most recent readings.