Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks
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Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks is a ranking in Billboard magazine of the most-played songs on mainstream rock radio stations, a category that includes stations that play primarily rock music. Modern rock (i.e., "alternative") tracks are counted in the Alternative Songs chart.
This chart began with the March 21, 1981, issue of Billboard. It was originally titled Top Tracks and accompanied by a Rock Albums chart, which was discontinued in 1984 (a new chart with the same name was introduced in 2009). Before this, Billboard did not compile a chart specifically for rock songs. The closest thing to it was an Album Radio Action page which named the top albums (but not songs) receiving airplay on album-oriented rock stations. The Top Tracks chart originally listed 60 songs. The first number-one song was "I Can't Stand It" by Eric Clapton. The chart changed its name to Top Rock Tracks in September 1984, then Album Rock Tracks in April 1986.
In order to give more recognition to modern rock radio stations, Billboard began a separate Modern Rock Tracks chart, beginning with the September 10, 1988, issue. Within two months of the first Modern Rock Tracks chart, the song "Desire" by U2 became the first song to reach number one on both rock tracks charts.
In 1996, Album Rock Tracks changed its name to Mainstream Rock Tracks. This occurred soon after Billboard established the Adult Top 40 chart. Like Hot Modern Rock Tracks, Adult Top 40 also had some songs in common with Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. Ironically, Adult Top 40 has often featured artists who were once prominent on the Rock Tracks charts, but were now considered too "soft" for rock radio.
Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks was published in the print edition of Billboard for the last time in its July 26, 2003, issue. The chart is still compiled, but it is only available through the magazine's website. The chart could be accessed free until June 2009, when it became subscriber-only. At that time, a new chart named Rock Songs was introduced that combined the data from Mainstream Rock with that from Alternative and Triple A.
In recent years, there has been more crossover between the Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts. For six and a half years, following "Jaded" by Aerosmith in 2001, every number one song on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart also appeared on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, with a total number of 26 of them topping both rock tracks charts. This string was finally broken by Ozzy Osbourne's "I Don't Wanna Stop" in July 2007.
Long-running No. 1s 
Shown below are some songs which have spent ten or more weeks in the number-one spot. Most of these songs are from recent years, in part because the top spot experiences much less turnover since the advent of Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems in 1991.
- "So Far Away" by Staind (2003)
- "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day (2005)
- "Fake It" by Seether (2007-08)
- "Inside the Fire" by Disturbed (2008)
- "Start Me Up" by The Rolling Stones (1981)
- "How You Remind Me" by Nickelback (2001)
- "Figured You Out" by Nickelback (2004)
- "Pain" by Three Days Grace (2006-07)
- "Chalk Outline" by Three Days Grace (2012)
- "Mysterious Ways" by U2 (1991-92)
- "Like a Stone" by Audioslave (2003)
- "Save Me" by Shinedown (2005-06)
- "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers (2006)
- "Face to the Floor" by Chevelle (2011-12)
- "Bully" by Shinedown (2012)
- "Remedy" by The Black Crowes (1992)
- "Turn the Page" by Metallica (1999)
- "Fall to Pieces" by Velvet Revolver (2004)
- "Break" by Three Days Grace (2009-10)
- "Lightning Crashes" by Live (1995)
- "The Down Town" by Days of the New (1998)
- "Scar Tissue" by Red Hot Chili Peppers (1999)
- "Blurry" by Puddle of Mudd (2002)
- "Second Chance" by Shinedown (2008-09)
- "Country Song" by Seether (2011)
Achievements and records 
- Van Halen holds the record for the most tracks to hit number one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with thirteen. John Mellencamp holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number one on the chart, with seven.
- Only twice have two consecutive number-one songs been by the same artist. In 1992, the Black Crowes hit number one with "Remedy", followed by "Sting Me". In 1994, the Stone Temple Pilots' "Vasoline" hit number one and was replaced by "Interstate Love Song".
- Shinedown is the only band in history to have all of its singles place in the top 5 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, doing so with its first 17 singles. They also hold the record for most consecutive years with a number one single with five (2008-2012).
- The oldest song to reach number one is Volbeat's "Still Counting"; the track appears on Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood, which was released on September 1, 2008. It hit number one on the week of July 21, 2012 with a record of 3 years and 11 months.
- Alice in Chains holds the record for longest duration between number one songs. No Excuses topped the chart dated April 8, 1994; they would not reach number one again until the chart dated October 3, 2009 with Check My Brain, a period of 15 years, 5 months and 25 days.
- The oldest artist to reach number one is Ozzy Osbourne. "Let Me Hear You Scream" reached number one on July 3, 2010, when Osbourne was 61 years, 7 months old.