Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Songoftheday 2/9/16 - If I had to paint a picture to show the world how true love can really be...

"The Colour Of Love" - Billy Ocean
from the album Tear Down These Walls (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #17 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day is from Trinidadian pop/soul/dance singer Billy Ocean, who had just scored his third #1 hit in America with "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car". His next stateside single would be the album's big ballad, "The Colour Of Love". Written by Ocean with producers Barry Eastmond and Wayne Braithwaite along with Jolyon Skinner, the by-the-numbers love song almost brings the melody to "We Are The World" to mind...

"The Colour Of Love" became Billy's tenth top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1988. The single also climbed to #10 on Billboard's R&B chart, while spending a week at #2 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. Internationally, the song climbed to #12 in Canada, and was a minor hit in the UK at #65, where it was the third single after the top-40 "Calypso Crazy".

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Monday, February 08, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 2/8/16 - Depeche Mode's "Behind The Wheel/Route 66"...

"Route 66/Behind The Wheel" - Depeche Mode
from the album Music For The Masses (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #61

This week's "robbed hit" comes from British new wave band Depeche Mode, who had broke through in America in 1984 with their tolerance anthem "People Are People" from their Some Great Reward album. However, even though they were cultivating a rapidly growing fanbase in the States, their retrospective Catching Up With Depeche Mode and studio album Black Celebration (my personal favorite album of his) didn't grab mainstream radio the same. In 1987 the band put out their sixth album Music For The Masses, a "big-sounding" record that was possibly meant to be their Joshua Tree-like success in America. But even though the response was relatively more moderate, their fans were concentrated and rabid enough to fill stadiums in America to this point. The first single, "Strangelove", stopped at #76 (it would return to the chart later at #50), while the follow-up, the road-trip classic "Never Let Me Down Again", made it to #63. The third single from the set was "Behind The Wheel", another track about automotive control written by Martin Gore...

To garner interest in the single, the band released as the "B-Side" a non-album cover of the swing tune "Route 66", named for the famed American road. It originally was recorded by Nat King Cole, who took the song to #11 on the pop chart in 1946...

 For their own version, Depeche Mode threw a dance beat and included an interpolated section of "Behind The Wheel"...

On the American single, the two were "mashed up" in a remix from Ivan Ivan that got the biggest radio play on Stateside stations...

The "Route 66/Behind The Wheel" single climbed to #61 in May of 1988, while going all the way to #3 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the single stopped at #21 in their native Britain, #6 in Germany and Switzerland, #10 in Sweden, and #21 in France.

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Songoftheday 2/8/16 - We started out as friends but the thought of you just caves me in, the symptoms are so deep it is much too late to turn away...

"Sign Your Name" - Terence Trent D'Arby
from the album Introducing The Hardline According To Terence Trent D'Arby (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from R&B singer Terence Trent D'Arby, who after getting a head start in Britain, crossed back to his country of birth with the 'tone poem' "Wishing Well", which went to #1 on the American pop chart. He followed that up with a more traditional lite-jazz soul song in the matter of Sade and Anita Baker channeled through James Brown, "Sign Your Name". Written by Terence, the moody song sweeps along in a bossa-nova-style rhythm as his pleas for love don't seem to get noticed...

Terence Trent D'Arby - Sign Your Name by Jazzi801

"Sign Your Name" became D'Arby's second American top-ten pop hit in August of 1988. The single also peaked at #2 on Billboard's R&B chart, while it stopped at #13 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. The extended version went to #23 on the Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, "Sign Your Name" topped the chart in Ireland, reached the runner-up spot in the UK and the Netherlands, and got into the top ten in Canada (#5), Austria (#7), Spain (#4), Sweden (#4), and Switzerland (#8).

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Sunday, February 07, 2016

Songoftheday 2/7/16 - It was me, my brother, my mom, oh, my pop, and my little sister all hopped in the car we headed downtown to the Gallery Mall...

"Parents Just Don't Understand" - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
from the album He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day comes from the hip-hop/comic duo DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jeff Townes) and the Fresh Prince (Will Smith), who along with beatboxer/DJ Ready Rock C (Clarence Holmes) all came from Philadelphia, and after being signed by Jive Records released their debut album Rock The House in 1987. The single "Girls Ain't Nothin' But Trouble", which sampled the theme to the TV show I Dream Of Jeanie, popped on to the American R&B chart at #81 in 1986, while making it to #21 on the British singles chart. Although the quirky sample made it seem like a washed down version of rap, the misogynistic and borderline violent lyrics were nothin' like the Will Smith of later on. The second single "The Magnificent Jazzy Jeff", a flurry of pop samples, followed, going to #61. Both tracks had Will's delivery a little more harsh, like LL Cool J of the same era, while Holmes was noticably absent from the promotion of the act.

The group traveled to England to record their sophomore album, He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper. Not only did the title isolate Holmes more, but their sound veered more to the family-friendly variety. Proof is the first single, "Parents Just Don't Understand", written and produced by the trio, which caught the ears of all the suburban kids...

"Parents Just Don't Understead" became their first big pop hit, reaching the top ten on the Hot 100 in July of 1988. The single also climbed to #10 on Billboard's R&B chart as well. Internationally, the record made the top-40 in New Zealand (#13) and Canada (#28). It would notoriously go on to win the first Grammy Award for rap performance.

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Saturday, February 06, 2016

Dance Sweep: February 13, 2016...

I'm up to the last of today's "music sweeps", checking out the songs making their debut on the charts in Billboard magazine, and I'll wrap things up with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio. (Since I missed this last week I'll double up on it this time out)

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, last week's #1, "Magnets" from Disclosure and Lorde gives way to the cover of the Mamas and Papas classic "California Dreamin'" by Freischwimmer...

Australian singer Claire Rasa from Sydney follows up her debut single "All I Wanted" which went to #28 last October, with "Take Me Back", which moves from #47 to #39 in its second week...

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Country Sweep: February 13, 2016...

Part four of this week's 'music sweeps' has the latest hits on country radio as monitored by Billboard magazine...

On their Country Airplay chart, Luke Bryan scores his fourteenth #1 hit (and seventh in a row) with "Home Alone Tonight" with Little Big Town member Karen Fairchild...

Thomas Rhett follows up his six-week chart-topper "Die A Happy Man" with the highest entry of the week, "T-Shirt", my "Country Pick of the Week"...

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Soul Sweep: February 13, 2016...

We're at the "hump" of today's 'music sweeps', sampling the songs making their appearance on the various charts in Billboard magazine, and this time I'm serving up the latest hits on R&B radio...

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Tory Lanez spends a second week at #1 with "Say It"...

Debuting all the way up at #15 is Rihanna's new single, "Work", which is not available to stream anywhere but Tidal. So there you go. Good luck with that...

Rapper Kevin Gates rings in at #38 with "2 Phones"...

American Idol third-season winner Fantasia returns at #45 with "No Time For It"...

Fabolous hooks up with fellow rap star Nicki Minaj along with Trey Songz at #50 for "Doin It Well"...

Meanwhile, on the older-skewing Adult R&B radio panel, Tyrese in on top for a 15th non-consecutive week with "Shame"...

Neo-soul singer Anthony Hamilton returns at #23 with "Amen"...

Erykah Badu chimes in at #27 with "Phone Down", from her "mixtape" But You Caint Use My Phone. She hasn't put out a regular studio set in five years, though...

Jazz/hip hop collective the Internet dial in at #30 with "Girl" featuring Haitian-born Canadian DJ/producer KAYTRANANDA. It's my "Soul Pick of the Week"...

Lastly, on the Rhythmic format, whose station include more dance/pop music in their playlists, The Weeknd ascends to #1 with "In The Night". All four singles from his Beauty Behind The Madness album Have reached the top of this chart, as well as his collaboration with Ariana Grande, "Love Me Harder".

The aforementioned Rihanna track "Work" jumps in at #24. (Personally, I think it's a weaker track than even "Bitch Better Have My Money"...)

Mike Posner drops in at #31 with "I Took A Pill In Ibiza". Back in 2010 he climbed to #8 with "Cooler Than Me"...

DJ Luke Nasty is in at #34 with "Might Be"...

As Selena Gomez's "Same Old Love" remains in the top ten here, her new single "Hands To Myself" arrives at #37...

DJ Snake and Bipolar Sunshine round things out at #39 with "Middle"...

I'll be back with the latest on country radio...

Rock Sweep: February 13, 2016...

Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up, checking out the songs reaching the charts in Billboard magazine, and this time I'm rolling out the latest on rock radio...

On their main Rock Airplay chart, the Cold War Kids return to #1 for a tenth non-consecutive week with "First"...

Danish rock band Lukas Graham, named for its lead singer, jumps in at #42 with "7 Years", which just may be the first breakout hit of the year...

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Pop Sweep: February 13, 2016...

It's time to roll out the first of this week's "music sweeps", checking out the songs making their way on to the various singles charts in Billboard magazine. As usual I'll start off on the pop side of things, then move on later to the latest in rock, R&B, country, and dance music...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of radio airplay from all formats, sales (like from iTunes and Amazon MP3), and internet streaming (like YouTube and Spotify), Justin Bieber replaces himself at #1 with "Love Yourself"...

Rihanna rockets into the top 10 in her first week with "Work". Sadly, as a "Tidal" streaming exclusive there's no video/audio clip around (boo!). This faux exclusivity kills careers, and she isn't by any means invincible (check the results of her "American Oxygen" and to a lesser extent "Bitch Better Have My Money")...

With the success of Fetty Wap mainstreaming the illicit hard drug industry yet again, rapper Wiz Khalifa is back at #56 with "Bake Sale" featuring Travi$ Scott...

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Songoftheday 2/6/16 - Don't draw the line honey I ain't through with you, the harder the better...

"Black And Blue" - Van Halen
from the album OU812 (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #34 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's song of the day comes from the hard rock band Van Halen, who survived the departure of original lead singer David Lee Roth by hiring on the Red Rocker himself, Sammy Hagar. With a change of sound veering more towards the synth than the guitar as the focus as was predicted by their massive "Jump" back in 1984, the "Van Hagar" lineup's first record together 5150 landed them a top-3 pop hit with "Why Can't This Be Love" along with top-40 followups "Dreams" and "Love Walks In". In 1988, the group returned with their eighth studio album OU812, and instead of leading with a pop radio-friendly track like WCTBL, the harder-edge "Black And Blue" was released as the first single, most likely to get rock radio on board early, especially with the guitar this time leading the way into a proposal to a potentially hurty romp in the bedroom...

While "Black and Blue" ended up topping Billboard's Album Rock radio chart for three weeks, it only slipped into the pop top 40 for a pair of weeks in June of 1988. In Canada, it peaked just under the top-40 at #42. It was quickly overshadowed by the more mainstream-friendly "When It's Love", which took over rather quickly (it'll be here on the bloggie in short time). But this was one of the first big examples of a "hype track" for the fans being released as a first single, which would later on be a standard...

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Friday, February 05, 2016

Brit Sweep: February 5, 2016...

Let's cross the Atlantic to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in the UK this week, as a new record takes over...

..and the new chart-topper is the first single from former One Direction member Zayn Malik, whose "Pillowtalk" takes the crown with over 100,000 copies sold in its first week...

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twostepcub's music chart for February 5, 2016...

Friday is here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Adele (pictured above) is on top for a ninth week, while she also leaps into the top ten. Songs from Carrie Underwood, Mumford & Sons, and Nathan Sykes makes the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Cam, Dan + Shay, and Nick Jonas drop out. Please Clap!

This Week           Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Hello - Adele (1)
2. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (2)
3. Stay A Little Longer - Brothers Osborne (4)
4. Adventure Of A Lifetime - Coldplay (3)
5. Break Up In A Small Town - Sam Hunt (7)
6. Here - Alessia Cara (5)
7. When We Were Young - Adele (11)
8. On My Mind - Ellie Goulding (6)
9. Stand By You - Rachel Platten (10)
10. Mess Around - Cage The Elephant (14)
11. Ex's & Oh's - Elle King (9)
12. Hotline Bling - Drake (8)
13. The Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy (15)
14. Home Alone Tonight - Luke Bryan f/Karen Fairchild (18)
15. First - Cold War Kids (17)
16. Confident - Demi Lovato (12)
17. Gonna Know We Were Here - Jason Aldean (13)
18. Shame - Tyrese (22)
19. Stitches - Shawn Mendes (23)
20. Like I'm Gonna Lose You - Meghan Trainor f/John Legend (25)
21. Top Of The World - Tim McGraw (16)
22. Smooth Sailin' - Leon Bridges (32)
23. Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift (19)
24. Die A Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (24)
25. Let It Go - James Bay (29)
26. S.O.B. - Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (21)
27. Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah) - Andy Grammer (28)
28. Irresistible - Fall Out Boy f/Demi Lovato (34)
29. I Love This Life - LoCash (33)
30. Higher Place - Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike f/Ne-Yo (30)
31. The Light - Disturbed (27)
32. One Call Away - Charlie Puth (36)
33. Shout It Out Loud - Robin S. & DJ Escape (35)
34. Roses - The Chainsmokers f/ROZES (40)
35. I'm Comin' Over - Chris Young (31)
36. Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne (26)
37. I Got The Boy - Jana Kramer (41)
38. Magnets - Disclosure f/Lorde (43)
39. You Don't Own Me - Grace f/G-Eazy (49)
40. Nightlight - Silversun Pickups (47)
41. Dibs - Kelsea Ballerini (46)
42. Sax - Fleur East (38)
43. Renegades - X Ambassadors (39)
44. Can't Sleep Love  Pentatonix (44)
45. Catch & Release (Deepend Remix) - Matt Simons (57)
46. When Love Hurts - JoJo (53)
47. The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive - Death Cab For Cutie (37)
48. Believe - Chaos f/CeCe Peniston (48)
49. Love Myself - Hailee Steinfeld (51)
50. Return To The Moon - EL VY (50)
51. Beautiful Drug - The Zac Brown Band (63)
52. Another Lonely Night - Adam Lambert (62)
53. Backroad Song - Granger Smith (58)
54. Til It Happens To You - Lady Gaga (54)
55. In The Night - The Weeknd (65)
56. Run On Love - Lucas Nord f/Tove Lo (42)
57. We Went - Randy Houser (61)
58. Same Old Love - Selena Gomez (60)
59. Automatic - ZHU vs AlunaGeorge (45)
60. Wash It All Away - Five Finger Death Punch (66)
61. Break On Me - Keith Urban (71)
62. Stolen Car - Mylene Farmer & Sting (76)
63. Over and Over Again - Nathan Sykes (78)
64. Never Leave - DVBBS (64)
65. Ditmas - Mumford & Sons (85)
66. Gonna - Blake Shelton (56)
67. Alone No More - Philip George & Anton Powers (77)
68. Heartbeat - Carrie Underwood (96)
69. Perfect - One Direction (79)
70. Mr. Misunderstood - Eric Church (80)
71. Lay It All On Me - Rudimental f/Ed Sheeran (67)
72. DYSLM - B. Howard f/BK Brasco (72)
73. Hold On Forever - Rob Thomas (73)
74. Used To Love You - Gwen Stefani (74)
75. No Sleeep - Janet Jackson (70)
76. Be Right There - Diplo & Sleepy Tom (86)
77. Trip Switch - Nothing But Thieves (87)
78. Sweet Lovin' - Sigala f/Bryn Christopher (83)
79. Out Of The Woods - Taylor Swift (89)
80. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (DEBUT)
81. Carry On - Coeur de Pirate (59)
82. State Of My Head - Shinedown (82)
83. Earned It - The Weeknd (81)
84. Under The Influence - Elle King (DEBUT)
85. Lover Come Back - City and the Colour (95)
86. California Dreamin' - Freischwimmer (94)
87. Smoke Filled Room - Mako (91)
88. Don't Be So Hard On Yourself - Jess Glynne (84)
89. I Like The Sound Of That - Rascal Flatts (DEBUT)
90. Country Nation - Brad Paisley (90)
91. Pretty Pimpin' - Kurt Vile (DEBUT)
92. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (DEBUT)
93. Hide Away - Daya (DEBUT)
94. The Girl Is Mine - 99 Souls f/Destiny's Child & Brandy (98)
95. Don't Worry - Madcon f/Ray Dalton (97)
96. History - One Direction (DEBUT)
97. L'Amour Toujours - Dzeko & Torres f/Delaney Jane (RE-ENTRY)
98. Confession - Florida Georgia Line (DEBUT)
99. Fall 4 U - Natalia Yura (99)
100. Age Of Innocence - Elephante f/Trouze & Damon Sharpe (DEBUT)

There are nine songs making their debut on my chart this week (highlighted in blue), and if you click on any of them, you'll connect to their official website. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 2/5/16 - The way that you love is good as money, I swear by stars above sweet as honey...

"Roll With It" - Steve Winwood
from the album Roll With It (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (four weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from British rock musician Steve Winwood, who had followed up his huge pop breakthrough album Back In The Highlife with a compilation, Chronicles, which sent a remixed version of his older minor pop hit "Valerie" into the top ten in the winter of 1987. The following year, Winwood issued his fifth solo album Roll With It. With a more organic and soulful feel in the production as opposed to the synth-dominated sheen of his last few records, the title track was issued as the first single. Sounding like a Disney-fied version of New Orleans rollin' soul like Dr. John and the Meters, the single would end up the biggest hit of 1988. Written by Winwood and Will Jennings, the Motown songwriting trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland were eventually given credit to avoid a lawsuit over the track's similarities to the Jr. Walker single "I'm A Roadrunner"...

"Roll With It" spent a month atop the American pop chart in July and August of 1988. The single also hit the summit of Billboard's Mainstream Rock list for four weeks, while topping the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart for two weeks as well. The single even reached #30 on the R&B chart (his only hit there), while the extended version reached #21 on the Dance Club Play chart (his biggest hit on this countdown). Internationally, the song climbed to #1 in Canada, #8 in Australia, #11 in New Zealand, #26 in the Netherlands, and #13 in his native Britain. The following year, the song was nominated for the Record of the Year and Pop Male Vocal Performance Grammy Awards (losing both criminally to Bobby McFerrin's earworm "Don't Worry, Be Happy").

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Aussie Sweep: February 4, 2016...

It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in Australia, as Jonas Blue's trop-house remake of Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" climbs to #1...

The two highest entries on the chart are top-5 pop hits in the U.S.; first at #27 is "My House" from Flo Rida. He's been to #1 four times in this country, most recently with "Whistle" in 2012...

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Songoftheday 2/4/16 - I run a comb through my hair and step out in the street, and the city's the color of flame in the mid-summer heat...

"Make Me Lose Control" - Eric Carmen
from the album The Best Of Eric Carmen (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from pop singer/songwriter Eric Carmen, who had a major resurgence in the late 80s thanks to the movie Dirty Dancing. His contribution to the soundtrack, "Hungry Eyes",  went all the way to #4 on the American top-40 in the winter of 1988. Capitalizing on that success, Eric's label Arista issued his first solo retrospective, which included a new song, "Make Me Lose Control". Written by Carmen with soundtrack guru Dean Pitchford, the mainstream pop nugget had that dash of nostaglia that permeated the Dirty Dancing/Big Chill side of the decade...

"Make Me Lose Control" became Eric's fourth (and last) top-10 pop hit in August of 1988, his second-best showing after his #2 hit "All By Myself" in 1976. The single was his second #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, after "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" in '76, and stayed there for three weeks. Internationally, the single went top ten in Canada (#2) and Australia (#6), and #18 in New Zealand, while missing the top 75 countdown in the UK.

Later that year Eric submitted a track to the 1988 Olympic tie-in record, "Reason To Try", which made a dent in the pop chart at #87. Eric also joined lesser Mandrell Louise for the theme to the sitcom Growing Pains, "As Long As We Got Each Other", which was a minor hit on the country chart at #51. He's drawn back from the spotlight since, though his music still reaps in the money, like when Celine Dion covered his "All By Myself" for a top-10 hit in 1997.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

German Sweep: February 3, 2016...

Here's the top ten hits in Germany, according to their official singles chart, as EFF holds at #1 with "Stimme"...

1. "Stimme" - EFF (1)
2. "Stitches" - Shawn Mendes (2)
3. "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber (6)
4. "Light It Up (Remix)" - Major Lazer featuring Nyla & Fuse ODG (4)
5. "Catch & Release (Deepend Remix)" - Matt Simons (3)
6. "7 Years" - Lukas Graham (10)
7. "Hello" - Adele (5)
8. "Show Me Love" - Robin Schulz & J.U.D.G.E. (8)
9. "Sorry" - Justin Bieber (9)
10. "Geiles Leben" - Glasperlenspiel (7)

 There are no new entries in the top ten this week; further down the chart at #23 is dance act Steroact from the city of Chemnitz with "Die Immer Lacht" ("The Always Laughing") featuring Kerstin Ott...

Songoftheday 2/3/16 - I'd wash the sand off the shore give you the world if it was mine, blow you right to my door feels fine...

"Paradise" - Sade
from the album Stronger Than Pride (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from the Nigerian-born soul songstress and her band Sade, who was the biggest "quiet storm" artist of the 80s, with two massive-selling albums already behind her. Her last, Promise, had netted her a top-5 pop hit in the U.S. with "The Sweetest Taboo", along with the silky top-20 follow-up "Never As Good As The First Time". Not changing a thing for the third disc, her first single from the set was the breezy "Paradise". Written and produced by Sade and her bandmates Paul Denman, Andrew Hale, and Stewart Matthewman, the song was the most joyous of her radio singles...

"Paradise" became Sade's fourth top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1988. The single was her only one so far to reach the top of Billboard's R&B chart, while it stopped up at #3 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. The 12" single went to #21 on the Dance Club Play chart in that mag as well. Internationally, the song went to #29 in the band's home of the UK, and also made the top-40 in France (#38) and the Netherlands (#33). It also was a minor hit in Australia (#86)

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