Thursday, April 17, 2014

8 of the 80s: 4/17/14 (1988)...

Hey gang, we're going to 1988 in this week's 80's throwback, the year that Arizona governor Evan Meacham was impeached and thrown out of office for obstruction of justice and misuse of government funds, though in a later trial he was acquitted of all criminal charges.

Kool Moe Dee - "Wild Wild West"
from the album How Ya Like Me Now (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #62
Songwriter: Mohandas DeWese (Kool Moe Dee)

In the East Coast urban-centric world of early rap this video for the single was a trailblazer taking things to the country, though this "west" could easily by Long Beach...

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7 of the 70s: 4/17/14 (1978)...

Throwback Thursday 70's style is here, and I've got seven more nuggets from 1978, the year that Woody Allen's Annie Hall won "Best Picture" at the 50th Academy Awards.

Randy Newman - "Short People"
from the album Little Criminals (1977)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2
Songwriter: Randy Newman

What started out as a Colbert-esque parody of prejudice, the song became a novelty smash by people mostly oblivious to the message.

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Songoftheday 4/17/14 - It's obvious you hate me though I've done nothing wrong, I've never even met you so what could I have done?...

Depeche Mode - "People Are People"
from the album Some Great Reward (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day comes from the British new wave group Depeche Mode, who started out in the beginning of the 1980's after schoolmates from Essex and friends Vince Clarke, Andrew Fletcher, and Martin Gore recruited singer David Gahan. After hooking up with electronic music pioneer Daniel Miller, who was starting Mute Records, they released their first single "Dreaming Of Me" in 1981, which was a minor hit at #57 on the UK singles chart, and would eventually make the American dance club chart in Billboard magazine as well. Their next 7", the frenetic "New Life", did greatly better, almost reaching the top-10 in Britain at #11. While they released their first album Speak & Spell, their third effort, "Just Can't Get Enough", finally cracked the top-10 at #8, though at the cost of lead songwriter Vince Clarke, who left the Mode just as they were getting their legs, first to form Yaz with Alison Moyet, then with Andy Bell for Erasure.

The seemingly shy Gore took over most of the songwriting duties from then on in, and their second album, A Broken Frame, showed a real musical progression to more expansive soundscapes, even though first single "See You", which went to #6 in the UK, was based on the simplistic keyboard melodies that dominates the first album, though with an ominous minor key to start. By the time their third album came around, the band, with added keyboardist Alan Wilder, were even more developed in their lyrics as well as organic in their factory-style production sound, and the high point of the album, "Everything Counts", matched their peak at #6 in the UK while making the top-20 of the American dance chart for the first time.

In 1984 the band recorded what would be there true breakthrough outside of England, their fourth studio set Some Great Reward. The first single from the project, "People Are People", was an atypical straightforward mantra on human existence that was able to cut through the din of American pop radio at the time...

"People Are People" became Depeche Mode's first American pop hit, reaching the top-20 on the Hot 100 in August of 1985, while surprisingly only making it to #44 on the dance club play chart, since it was a major floor-filler back in the day. Internationally, the single topped the singles chart in Germany, as they went top-ten in places like Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. In their native England, the single reached #4, which shockingly (again) is the highest they would ever be on the British singles chart (they would tie that mark two more times way later on).

Although it would take another five years for the quartet to return to the US top-40, their popularity in the States far surpassed their chart fortunes. In that time they would be huge, filling stadiums and winning converts like myself to their catalog of music.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Aussie Sweep: April 16, 2014...

It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making the official sales chart in Australia this week, and family act Sheppard leap from #18 to #1 with "Geronimo"...

The top entry of the week at #19 belongs to Kosovo-born British singer Rita Ora with "I Will Never Let You Down", the first single from her upcoming second album O. Her first two singles "How We Do (Party)" and "R.I.P." both made the top 10 in this country...

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6 of the 60s: 4/16/14 (1968)...

It's humpday 60s madness, and this week I travel back to 1968, the year 2001: A Space Odyssey premiered in Washington...

Richard Harris - "MacArthur Park"
from the album A Tramp Shining (1968)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2
Songwriter: Jim Webb

No wonder the gay community rallied around Donna Summer's disco-fied treatment of this break-up song from the man who wrote for the likes of Glen Campbell - you don't get more overdramatic than this 7 minute whirlpool of emotion that turns to despair that nobody really knows what's going on. But Richard Harris - who I'm sure William Shatner thought himself to be but wasn't, "got" it.

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Songoftheday 4/16/14 - In 1965 Vietnam seemed like just another foreign war but it wasn't, it was different in many ways as so were those that did the fighting...

Paul Hardcastle - "19"
from the album Hardcastle (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak:  #15 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day is from British jazz-dance musician Paul Hardcastle, who released his first album in England in 1984, and just missed the top-40 there with the electronic bleeps of  the medley of "You're The One For Me/Daybreak/AM" (the first being a remake of the D-Train club classic). The following year, his composition "Rainforest" met the same peak, #41, while becoming a top-5 soul/#2 dance/minor pop hit in America. That record incorporated drum machine patterns widely in use in freestyle Latin pop music at that time, and he would do it again for his next single release, "19". But instead of an instrumental of a rehashed club vocal, Paul used samples of a war documentary along with voice clips of TV narrator Peter Thomas (Nova). Somehow the combo of breakdance beats and news-style footage caught on around the world like hotcakes, with a hook based on the theory that the average age of the American fighters in the Vietnam War were 19...

"19" became a huge success around the world, staying at #1 for five weeks in England, and then crossing over to America where it made the pop top 20 in July of 1985. The single also topped the American dance club play chart, as well as peaking at #8 on Billboard magazine's R&B chart. Internationally, the record topped the charts in most of Europe, like Germany, Italy, Sweden, Ireland, and Norway, and went to #15 in France. It would be Hardcastle's only time in the US pop top-40.

In 1986, Paul would climb the dance and R&B charts in the US once more with "Don't Waste My Time", which also made the top-10 on the British singles chart. He would have a few more hits in the UK, including a song patterned like "19" called "Forty Years" in 1988 (#53). Most recently, his work has drifted back to a more pure jazz medium, and has topped the Jazz Songs chart in Billboard a few times, the most recently with "No Stress" in 2013...

Looking back, "19" stands out amongst the power players and one-hit-wonders of the 80s with its totally different sound and fearless use of a tricky subject for a pop song to become something "real" teenagers could relate to in history.

The biggest product of Hardcastle's success isn't as direct. Paul's manager, Simon Fuller, used his profit from the single to fund and name his new music/media company 19 Entertainment, which would eventually be the home to the likes of American Idol.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

German Sweep: April 15, 2014...

It's time to cross the border into Germany to check out the songs making their way on to the official chart this week, as British dance act Clean Bandit move to #1 with "Rather Be"...

The top entry of the week at #6 is from hip-hop/R&B singer Jan Delay from Hamburg with "St. Pauli", my "German Pick of the Week"...

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French Sweep: April 15, 2014...

Bonjour, mes amis, it's time yet again to cross the Atlantic to check out the songs reaching the top 100 of the official sales chart in France, as Pharrell Williams spends an eighteenth non-consecutive week at #1 with "Happy"...

The top debut of the week doesn't appear until #54, and it's from Dutch DJ Deorro with "Five Hours", his second chart hit and highest position yet...

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Songoftheday 4/15/14 - I can't have no objection to the world outside, I don't have no complaints against life's one way ride....

Graham Parker & The Shot - "Wake Up (Next to You)"
from the album Steady Nerves (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #39 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's Song of the Day is from the British singer/songwriter Graham Parker, who started his musical career way back at the first "British Invasion" of the early 60s, but it wasn't until the mid-70s when he got to release his first proper album with band the Rumour, Howlin' Wind. Predating both punk and new wave, Graham was a quite the trailblazer in his appearance and style, and by 1977, he scored his first top-40 hit in the UK with "Hold Back The Night". The remake of the retro-soul song from the Trammps also became a minor hit in America, peaking at #58. Two years later, his album Squeezing Out Sparks was released, and the critically acclaimed record was his first to make the top-40 on the US Albums chart, and even now places in Rolling Stone's list of the top 500 albums of the rock era.

In 1985, with a new band called "The Shot", Parker released Steady Nerves, and the first single from the set, "Wake Up (Next To You)", became his biggest hit in the States...

"Wake Up (Next To You)" became Parker's first and only top-40 pop hit in the US in June of 1985, while climbing to #19 on the Mainstream Rock and #26 on the Adult Contemporary radio charts in Billboard.

Four years later, Graham went to #23 on the Mainstream Rock list with "Get Started Start A Fire", while reaching #27 on the newly-created Modern Rock radio chart with "Don't Let It Break You Down", both from his Mona Lisa's Sister album. In 1989, his single "Big Man On Paper" landed him at #18 on the Modern Rock chart, his so-far latest appearance, though he continues to record and tour.

Up tomorrow: A dance song about Vietnam. Party on.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Robbed hit of the week 4/14/14 - The Commodores' "Animal Instinct"...

The Commodores - "Animal Instinct"
from the album Nightshift (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #43

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the R&B group Commodores, who bounced back after the departure of lead singer and major creative force Lionel Richie with a tribute to passed soul stars "Nightshift" that brought them back to the top 10 on the pop chart with their biggest hit in over five years. They followed that single up with a more middle-of-the-road lite-funk song of "Animal Instinct", written by British artist Martin Page ("We Built This City", "These Dreams") and sung again by Walter Orange...

"Animal Instinct" just missed the pop top-40 in June of 1985, while only being a moderate hit at #22 on the R&B chart. Its biggest success was in the dance clubs, where it became their second consecutive top-10 dance hit at #9. Across the pond the single stalled down at #74.

Their next single, the ultra-smooth "Janet", probably would've been a better follow-up to "Nightshift", and it did manage to go to #8 on the adult-contemporary chart.  The following year, they released United, and the first single "Goin' To The Bank" took them almost back to the top of the soul chart at #2, while being their most recent pop hit in both America and the UK. Also from the album, "Take It From Me" landed them in the top-40 on the R&B chart, while "United In Love" went to #22 on the adult-contemporary radio list. The last time they saw the chart was in 1988 with "Solitaire" which topped out at #51 on the R&B chart...

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Album Sweep: April 19, 2014 - Part Two...

I'm ready to roll out the second half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on the Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine this week. You can check out part one by clicking here, and as before I've included highlighted links to buy the new ones as well as some of the artists' other work.

Landing at #41 is the cover album Punk Goes 90s Vol. 2, which collects versions of hit songs from the decade by the likes of Mayday Parade, Yellowcard, Falling in Reverse, and more. The first volume went to #186 in 2006...

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Songoftheday 4/14/14 - Back at the mirror your good friend, talk to the mirror to play out your game...

Robert Plant - "Little By Little"
from the album Shaken 'N' Stirred (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #36 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's Song of the Day is from rock singer Robert Plant, whose second solo album after the dissolution of the classic hard rock band Led Zeppelin, The Principle Of Moments, had scored him two top-40 pop hits with "Big Log" and "In The Mood". Two years later Plant released his third solo set Shaken 'N' Stirred, which honed down the songs to even shorter rock radio-friendly lengths. The first single from the record, "Little By Little", was written by the artist with Jezz Woodroffe, who played keyboards on the album...

"Little By Little" become Plant's third top-40 pop hit in July of 1985, while going all the way to #1 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard magazine.

Up tomorrow: Arising beside a Londoner.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brit Sweep: April 13, 2014...

The weekend's coming to a close, and it's time to check out the songs making their debut on the just-released official sales chart in Britain this week....

The top-selling single of the week is also the highest debut, and it's from the drum and bass duo Sigma, with "Nobody To Love". This is the Leeds pair's first to even make the top-40. It interpolates the Kanye West song "Bound 2", which went to #55 in the UK last year...

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Album Sweep: April 19, 2014 - Part One...

Hey gang, I'm ready to kick in gear the first half of this week's "album sweep", where I sample the records making their first appearance on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums sales charts, which electronically and accurately monitored most of the record sales in America. As usual, I've included highlighted links to buy anything you see as well as some of the artists' other big albums....

The top-selling record for the ninth non-consecutive week is the soundtrack to Frozen, which sold close to 150,000 copies...

Coming in at #2 and almost grabbing the top spot short of about 6000 copies is Australian "boy-band" 5 Seconds Of Summer with their She Looks So Perfect EP. They've been opening for A-list teen idols One Direction on tour...

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Songoftheday 4/13/14 - You know there's something you need right here and now, to fill the space inside of yourself with money love or power...

Daryl Hall & John Oates - "Possession Obsession"
from the album Big Bam Boom (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #30 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day is from the Philadelphia "blue-eyed" soul duo Hall & Oates, whose dance-inflected Big Bam Boom album had already spun off three top-40 hits with the #1 "Out Of Touch", "Method Of Modern Love", and "Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid". For the fourth single John Oates took over the lead vocals for "Possession Obsession", the album's closing track. It's a welcome turn for John, since Daryl handles most of the leads - the last single featuring Oates was their "How Does It Feel To Be Back" in 1980, and his biggest as a co-lead was their classic "She's Gone" in 1976. The new song even had John front and center in the video...

"Possession Obsession" became the fourth top-40 pop hit from Big Bam Boom in July of 1985, while climbing all the way to #8 on the adult contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart in Billboard magazine. The record also crossed over to R&B, where it peaked at #69, and the club remix made it to #20 on the dance chart.

I can't say enough how great of an album BBB was, and how underrated Oates was to the H2O musical equation. Andrew Ridgeley he's not (though comparisons to Kix Brooks are welcome).

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dance Sweep: April 19, 2014...

I'm at the final stretch of today's "chart sweeps" of the songs making the Billboard charts, and I'll wrap things up with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Russo-German DJ and producer Zedd scores his fourth consecutive #1 hit with "Find You" featuring Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant...

DJ/producer Tensnake (real name Marco Niemirski), from Germany, claims the top debut at #45 with "Love Sublime" featuring Chic guitar icon Nile Rogers and vocalist Fiora...

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Country Sweep: April 19, 2014...

Part four of this week's "chart sweeps" has the newest country hits on Billboard's airplay chart...

On the Country Airplay list, Blake Shelton spends a second week at #1 with "Doin' What She Likes"...

Propelling in at #29 is Brad Paisley with his latest "event song", "River Bank". Will he ever run out of puns?

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Soul Sweep: April 19, 2014...

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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Pharrell Williams is at #1 for a fourth week with "Happy"...

Rapper 50 Cent owns the highest debut of the week at #31 with "Smoke" featuring singer/songwriter Trey Songz. It's the fourth preview single from his upcoming Animal Ambition album...

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Rock Sweep: April 19, 2014...

Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up sampling the songs making their way on to the charts in Billboard magazine. This time at bat I've got the latest rock songs on the radio...

On the main Rock Airplay chart, the Arctic Monkeys spend an eighth week at #1 with "Do I Wanna Know?"...

The top debut of the week at #43 is from the Canadian hard rock band Three Days Grace, with their first single with new lead singer Matt Walsh, with "Painkiller". They had back-to-back #1s with "Break" and "The Good Life" with former vocalist Adam Gontier...

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Pop Sweep: April 19, 2014...

Hey gang, it's time to kick off the first of today's five "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making their way onto the singles charts in Billboard magazine. As usual I'll start off on the "pop" side of things, then later in the day move on to rock, R&B, country, and dance music...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies from radio airplay, sales, and internet streaming, Pharrell Williams holds on to the top spot for a seventh week with "Happy"...

The highest debut of the week is from the Australian "boy-band" 5 Seconds Of Summer with their first American hit "She Looks So Perfect". This has gotten off to a big start around the world, and as their EP debuts in the top-10 this week in America, this is just getting its start on radio. They just might be the ones who replace the group they are opening for, One Direction, in the new litter of tweens' hearts...

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Songoftheday 4/12/14 - If you want to keep something precious you got to lock it up and throw away the key, if you want to hold onto your possession don't even think about me...

Sting - "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free"
from the album The Dream Of The Blue Turtles (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day comes from the former singer and bassist of the pioneering alternative rock trio the Police Gordon Sumner, aka Sting. The band's 1983 album Synchronicity proved to be their biggest yet, with four top-40 hits including what would become their biggest hit ever, the #1 "Every Breath You Take". However, tensions among the three during the recording and touring for the album split them apart, and Sting embarked on a solo career in no due time. Although he had enjoyed a top-20 solo hit in his native England back in 1982 with "Spread A Little Happiness" from the soundtrack of the movie Brimstone & Treacle, it wasn't until after the Police folded that he would go ahead and record a true debut album, which was released in 1985. With a backup of highly-regarded jazz session musicians, Sting's The Dream Of The Blue Turtles was experimental yet very accessible to mainstream ears, and the first single, "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free", even went through the trouble of plucking an inspirational poster slogan to make the medicine go down easier. The video, directed by former 10cc'ers Godley & Creme, used the green screen paste on to full effect...

"If You Love Somebody..." became Stings first top-40 pop hit in America in August of 1985, while topping the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard for three weeks. The record even crossed over to R&B radio, topping out at #17 on that genre list as well. Internationally, the single was only a moderate success, reaching the lower half of the top-40 in France, Holland, and Sting's native England.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for April 11, 2014...

Hey gang, Friday's here, and time to run down my top 100 tunes from the week before...this time out Pharrell Williams enjoys a fifth week at #1, while Aloe Blacc (pictured above) moves into the top-10. Songs by Scotty Boy, Phillip Phillips, and Phantogram make the biggest jumps on the list (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits by John Newman, Cole Swindell, and Passenger drop out of the chart. Don't get the potatoes, they're a filler!

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Happy - Pharrell Williams (1)
2. All of Me - John Legend (2)
3. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (3)
4. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (4)
5. Into The Blue - Kylie Minogue (7)
6. Hey Brother - Avicii (6)
7. Team - Lorde (5)
8. Pompeii - Bastille (8)
9. It's About Time - Young The Giant (10)
10. The Man - Aloe Blacc (12)
11. Story Of My Life - One Direction (9)
12. Red Lights - Tiesto (18)
13. The Best Day Of My Life - American Authors (11)
14. Dark Horse - Katy Perry f/Juicy J (15)
15. Come A Little Closer - Cage The Elephant (13)
16. Coming Of Age - Foster The People (21)
17. Chocolate - The 1975 (17)
18. Sleeping With A Friend - Neon Trees (23)
19. She Keeps Me Warm - Mary Lambert (19)
20. Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About - Thompson Square (20)
21. Burn - Ellie Goulding (16)
22. The Walker - Fitz & The Tantrums (26)
23. Drink To That All Night - Jerrod Niemann (28)
24. Say Something - A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera (14)
25. Timber - Pitbull f/Kesha (25)
26. Counting Stars - OneRepublic (24)
27. Goodnight Kiss - Randy Houser (31)
28. I Hold On - Dierks Bentley (30)
29. Holding On For Life - Broken Bells (29)
30. Human - Christina Perri (34)
31. Fall In Love - Phantogram (45)
32. Doin' What She Likes - Blake Shelton (36)
33. Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz (43)
34. Let It Go - Idina Manzel (46)
35. Compass - Lady Antebellum (27)
36. Money On My Mind - Sam Smith (48)
37. Hands Up In The Air - Audio Playground (32)
38. Young Girls - Bruno Mars (42)
39. With You - Kimberly Davis (39)
40. Take Me Away - Rokelle f/Dave Aude (40)
41. When She Says Baby - Jason Aldean (37)
42. Stay The Night - Zedd f/Hayley Williams (38)
43. Somebody Loves You - Betty Who (33)
44. Tonight You're Perfect - New Politics (50)
45. For The Rest Of My Life - Robin Thicke (41)
46. I Choose You - Sara Bareilles (53)
47. Heaven Knows - The Pretty Reckless (54)
48. Invisible - U2 (51)
49. Helluva Life - Frankie Ballard (49)
50. Come With Me Now - Kongos (64)
51. Rewind - Rascal Flatts (56)
52. What If I Was Nothing - All That Remains (52)
53. On Top Of The World - Imagine Dragons (57)
54. Demons - Imagine Dragons (44)
55. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (67)
56. #SELFIE - The Chainsmokers (66)
57. Can't Remember To Forget You - Shakira f/Rihanna (65)
58. Blow - Beyonce (58)
59. 19 You + Me - Dan + Shay (59)
60. Games - Claire (60)
61. Hurt You - Toni Braxton & Babyface (47)
62. Drunk In Love - Beyonce f/Jay Z (62)
63. Bottoms Up - Brantley Gilbert (75)
64. Blue Moon - Beck (74)
65. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (69)
66. Beat Of The Music - Brett Eldredge (68)
67. Celebrate - Empire Of The Sun (71)
68. Time After Time 2014 - Cyndi Lauper (72)
69. Give Me Back My Hometown - Eric Church (73)
70. See You Tonight - Scotty McCreery (70)
71. Raging Fire - Phillip Phillips (91)
72. Find You - Zedd f/Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant (77)
73. Get Me Some Of That - Thomas Rhett (81)
74. My Love - Route 94 f/Jess Glynne (79)
75. The Monster - Eminem f/Rihanna (61)
76. The Dragon Flies - VENSUN f/David Vendetta & Sylvia Tosun (80)
77. Shiny Disco Balls - Scotty Boy f/Sue Cho (99)
78. Dare You - Hardwell f/Matthew Koma (82)
79. Kinks Shirt - Matt Nathanson (83)
80. Cop Car - Keith Urban (84)
81. Waves - Mr. Probz (85)
82. Automatic - Miranda Lambert (89)
83. Bad Blood - Bastille (DEBUT)
84. Southern Sun - Boy & Bear (88)
85. Riptide - Vance Joy (86)
86. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan (90)
87. Magic - Coldplay (DEBUT)
88. Supernova - Ray Lamontagne (98)
89. Revolution -R3Hab & NERVO f/Ummet Ozcan (96)
90. I Got U - Duke Dumont f/Jax Jones (DEBUT)
91. Not A Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake (DEBUT)
92. Tsunami (Jump) - DVBBS & Borgeous f/Tinie Tempah (92)
93. Wasting My Young Years - London Grammar (93)
94. Take Me Home - Cash Cash f/Bebe Rexha (94)
95. Derniere Danse - Indila (95)
96. Drink A Beer - Luke Bryan (76)
97. March - George Tandy Jr. (97)
98. Take Out The Gunman - Chevelle (DEBUT)
99. Mind Blown - Noelia (DEBUT)
100. If I Could Change My Mind - Haim (DEBUT)

There are seven 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 4/11/14 - I've had a lot of big dreams I've made a lot of bad moves, I know you could walk away but you never do...

Air Supply - "Just As I Am"
from the album Air Supply (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #19 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is by the Australian soft-rock group Air Supply, who dominated the early 80s, placing seven consecutive singles into the top-5 on the American pop chart between 1980 and 1982. In 1983 they collaborated with Meat Loaf producer/songwriter Jim Steinman and had another massive hit with "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All". After a break from the charts for two years, they came back in 1985 with their self-titled eighth album (and fourth major one in the States), and while the musical landscape had changed wildly since then, they tried to "toughen" up their sound not by straying away from ballads but by creating a tsunami of sound behind the treacly core. It was co-written by Dick Wagner, who also help pen Alice Cooper's "power-ballad" "Only Women Bleed"...

"Just As I Am" became Air Supply's so-far final top-40 hit in July of 1985, while climbing all the way to #3 on the adult contemporary (or "easy-listening") radio chart in Billboard.

The following year the band released Hearts In Motion, but with pop music straying ever farther from adult-pop, the single from the set "Lonely Is The Night" peaked only at #76 (and #12 AC). Though they would continue touring, they wouldn't be seen again on the charts again until 2010 when their Mumbo Jumbo album spun off a couple of minor AC hits, with "Dance With Me" heading to #28.

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