Monday, December 09, 2019

Robbed hit of the week 12/9/19 - Fun Factory's "I Wanna B With U"...

"I Wanna B With U" - Fun Factory
from the album Fun-tastic (1995)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the Eurodance act Fun Factory, who came together in Germany from members all over the world. With Balca Tözün from Turkey, Italian Toni Cottura, Stephan Browarczyk from Germany, and American Rodney Hardison, the group released their first successful single "Groove Me" at the end of 1992, which slipped on to the Finnish singles chart at #17. But as they were just about ready to release the single that would break them,  Balca was replaced by a French model Marie-Anett Mey, but only in visual form (Balca would continue to sing on all the recording until their breakup, Black Box-style (due to her contract binding her). That next record, "Close To You", became a top-20 hit in Germany at #19, while just missing the American pop Top-40 at #46, and getting to #22 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart the following year. By that time, the group had scored two more international hits, with "Take Your Chance" getting one notch higher in Germany at #18, while landing their first top-40 hits in Sweden (#35) and Switzerland (#37), while "Pain" reached the top ten in Finland at #8, while reaching the top-40 in Germany (#24), Austria (#25), and Sweden (#25).

So by the summer of 1995 the band's first American hit was waning on radio, who needed fresh material. So the next release would be the single "I Wanna B With U". Written by members Cottura and Hardison. This is prime Eurodance with even a breakthough in America...

While "I Wanna B With U" climbed within the top ten on Billboard magazine's Dance Club Play chart at #10, the single stalled right under the top-40 on the American pop chart in 1995. Internationally, the single did much better internationally, going to #11 in Germany, #12 in Finland, and #18 in Austria. Their next single, "Celebration", became the act's first hit in Spain at #10 and France at #19, while in Germany it stopped at #12. In America, as their third single, it was paired with their earlier hit "Take Your Chance" and went to #88 here. Internationally, the group released a cover of the Manfred Mann hit from the 1960's, "Do Wah Diddy" which became their biggest worldwide success, going to #6 in Germany, #4 in Spain, and #11 in Austria.  Americans got the single "Don't Go Away" instead, which spent a month on the Hot 100, peaking at #93, while in Spain it was a third top ten hit at #6, and in Germany it got to #37 and #31 in Austria. A final single from the Fun-tastic album, the ballad "I Love You", managed to rise to #40 in Austria. The act split up in 1997, but Mey, Cottura, and Browarcyzk reunited (with Balca again singing behind the scenes) and with new member Anthony Freeman recorded a new album Back To The Factory in 2016, and continue to tour.

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Songoftheday 12/9/19 - Who the fuck want to die for their culture, stalk the dead body like a vulture...

"How High" - Redman and Method Man
from the album The Show (Original Soundtrack) (1995)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from two of the most revered rappers in the underground hip-hop community, Redman and from the Wu-Tang Clan, Method Man. Redman, born Reginald Noble in Newark, New Jersey, had been discovered and mentored by Erick Sermon of the group EPMD, who he initially toured with. Redman released his debut album Whut?!? The Album in 1992, and the lead single "Blow Your Mind" went to #1 on the Rap Singles chart in Billboard magazine, and almost reached the R&B top-40 at #42. A second song from the set, "Time 4 Sum Aksion", also went to the top of the Rap Singles chart, while stopping at #63 on the R&B list. Two years later, Redman returned with his sophomore effort, Dare Iz A Darkside. Although that disc became his first to reach the top-40 on the albums sales chart at #13, and single "Can't Wait" broke the Hot 100 pop chart list at #94. Meanwhile, Redman's buddy Method Man was just coming off of his biggest success with his collaboration with Mary J. Blige with the Grammy-winning "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By", which went to #2 on the pop chart in 1995.  That was from his album Tical which reached the the top of the R&B albums chart and #4 on the main sales chart. The pair recorded together and put together a song for the upcoming documentary movie The Show, with interviews of many of the key players like Russell Simmons, Run DMC, Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, and more.  The History lesson in record form had many different styles and attitudes with artists like Onyx, Rappin' 4-tay, and Mary J. Blige. Lead single "Live!" from Onyx only made it to #81 on the R&B chart in Billboard, but the pairing of Redman and Method Man on "How High" on a sample of the disco classic "Fly, Robin Fly" by the Silver Convention proved irresistible...

"How High" became Redman's first and Method Man's second top-40 pop hit in September of 1995. The song also went to #10 on Billboard's R&B chart, and #2 on their Rap Singles list.

Redman returned in 1996 with his next album, Muddy Waters, which again topped the R&B albums sales chart and gone on the main list to #12. From it the single "Whateva Man", featuring Erick Sermon, almost returned the rapper to the top-40, peaking out at #42. Meanwhile, Method Man's contribution to the Batman Forever soundtrack, "The Riddler", was released as a single and climbed to #41 on the R&B chart and #56 on the pop Hot 100. The pair continued to consistently collaborate, and released three albums together starting with 1999's Blackout!. In 2002, they appeared in the movie How High as well as record a soundtrack that included "Part II", a sequel to "How High" which coasted on a sample of Toni Braxton, and the single went to #28 R&B, #5 Rap Singles, and #72 pop Hot 100. As for Redman, he's released five solo studio albums since with two (2000's Doc's The Name 2000 and 2001's Malpractice) topping the R&B sales chart. He's also guested on many hit singles, including the #1 R&B/#3 pop "How Deep Is Your Love" from Dru Hill. His most recent hit on the pop Hot 100 was "Let's Get Dirty (I Can't Get In Da Club)" which popped in at #97 in 2001, while his latest R&B chart appearance is 2007's "Put It Down", which spent a week at #92. His most recent album, Mudface, came in 2009 and went to #147.

As for Method Man, he's had five solo albums apart from the Wu-Tang Clan, with 1998's Tical 2000: Judgement Day and 2004's Tical 0; The Prequel both going to #1 on the R&B albums chart. His most recent R&B singles chart appearance came in 2006 with "Say" featuring Lauryn Hill, which climbed to #66. His last album, Meth Lab Season 2, came out last year but didn't sell enough to chart.

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Sunday, December 08, 2019

Disco Dessert 12/8/19 - "She's So Divine" from The Limit...

"She's So Divine" was a club hit for the Dutch duo The Limit. Released as a one-off single in 1982, the song was written by members Bernard Oattes and Rob Van Schaik. On Billboard magazine's Dance/Disco Top-80 chart, the track rose to #17. Oattes and Van Schaik would later have success as songwriters, writing and remixing Five Star's "Love Take Over", a top ten R&B hit in America.

Songoftheday 12/8/19 - Another day has gone I'm still all alone, how could this be you're not here with me...

"You Are Not Alone" - Michael Jackson
from the album HIStory: Past, Present, Future, Book 1 (1995)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from Michael Jackson, who had landed a top five pop hit with a duet with his superstar sister Janet on "Scream" in the summer of 1995. However the single didn't last too long on the charts, probably hindered by the growing legal problems Michael was beginning to face as kids were coming out and "#MeToo"-ing the singer from their days as children staying at the Neverland ranch. He also didn't help things with the rushed marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, which truly did come out of nowhere. The second single from his half-compilation/half-new material album HIStory, "You Are Not Alone" was rushed out to replace "Scream", which I'm sure was originally intended to be a double-sided smash with B-side "Childhood" from Free Willy 2 even more earturning considering the circumstances. The new song they rushed out with was "You Are Not Alone", an inspirational ballad written by, wait for it, R. freaking Kelly, of course before all of his legal woes. Kelly, who produced the track with Jackson, offered up a simple and non-threatening gift of support to those who needed it, and Jackson sold it with a sincerity that fills shopping malls. The music video, though, focused on Michael and Lisa Marie, with shots of Jackson walking alone through a gauntlet of paparazzi, which made this whole affair, well, just weird. And in his state of undress, with his face and body obviously toyed with, distracted from the song which was quite simple in its beauty...

"You Are Not Alone" made its debut in the #1 spot on the American pop Hot 100 chart in September of 1995, spending just a week at the top and 20 weeks on the whole chart (admitted better than "Scream" did).  The song spent a month (four weeks) at #1 on Billboard magazine's R&B chart, while making it to #7 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. The dance remixes of the ballad done by the likes of Frankie Knuckles and Masters At Work helped it rise to #3 on the Dance Club Play tally. Internationally, the single topped the charts in the UK, France, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, New Zealand, Poland, and Romania. It also made the top-40 in Italy (#3),  Germany (#4), the Netherlands (#6), Australia (#7), Iceland (#8), Norway (#9), Finland (#10), and Canada (#11). After Jackson's death in 2009, the song returned to the charts in many countries, including the UK (#35), while in the US is went to #13 on the digital sales list. At the Grammy Awards the song was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal, which Seal won for "Kiss From  A Rose", while the HIStory album was up for Album of the Year, losing it to Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill...

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Saturday, December 07, 2019

Disco Dessert 12/7/19 - "I'll Take You There" from the Staple Singers...

"I'll Take You There" was a big radio hit by the Staples Singers that was played a lot in the pre-disco nightclubs back in 1972. Appearing on their second album Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, the song was written and produced by Al Bell. Although it came years too early to appear on any disco charts in Billboard magazine, the single spent a month at #1 on their R&B chart, as well as a week on top of the pop 100, but it was a big favorite in the discotheques in the years preceding the disco movement.

Songoftheday 12/7/19 - Well I've walked these streets a virtual stage it seemed to me, makeup on their faces actors took their places next to me...

"Carnival" - Natalie Merchant
from the album Tigerlily (1995)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 26

Today's song of the day comes from singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant, who had been the lead singer for the alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs from their start in 1981 until 1993, when the band had released their MTV Unplugged album and just when they landed their first top-40 pop hit with their cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Because The Night" in the beginning of 1994. The following year, Natalie released her first solo album Tigerlily, with the lead single being the self-penned and self-produced "Carnival". The music video was filmed in New York City, which was the inspiration for the "Carnival" reference...

"Carnival" bested "Because The Night" by a notch to become Natalie's first and so far only top ten pop hit in America in October of 1995. The song climbed to #8 on Billboard magazine's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and went to #12 on their Alternative Rock format list. Internationally, the single reached the top-40 in Canada (#17), Australia (#24), and Iceland (#28).

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Friday, December 06, 2019

Disco Dessert 12/6/19 - "And The Beat Goes On" by the Whispers...

"And The Beat Goes On" was a club hit for the soul vocal group the Whispers. Appearing on their self-titled album from 1979, the song was released as the second single, and ended up topping the R&B chart in Billboard magazine for five weeks. Written by Leon Sylvers with Stephen Shockley and William Shelby, the song charted with the entire Whispers album as one entry, with "And The Beat Goes On", "Can You Do The Boogie", and "Out The Box" listed as the key club cuts. As such, the album spent two weeks at #1 on the Disco Top-100 chart in Billboard in 1980. On a personal note, this is one of my favorite pop singles of all time, and by far one of the best disco tracks ever made. I beg you to just listen to the lyrics and not just the groove, where the group counsels a pessimistic guy or gal ex-lover about how love can appear again if you are patient enough. It's kept me through a lot of bad times, and hope the message will someday ring true.

Do you ever wonder
That to win, somebody's got to lose
I might as well get over the blues
Just like fishing in the ocean
There'll always be someone new
You did me wrong 'cause I've been through stormy weather...

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twostepcub's music chart for December 6, 2019...

Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 "hit" tunes from the past week. Lewis Capaldi spends an eight non-consecutive week at #1, while Maren Morris (pictured above) leaps into the top five. Former big hits from Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran/Justin Bieber, Pink/Cash Cash, Cole Swindell, and Mark Ronson/Camila Cabello drop off my list, while songs from Endor, White Reaper, and Post Malone make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Unintended vacations...

This Week         Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Someone You Loved - Lewis Capaldi (1)
2. Good As Hell - Lizzo (4)
3. Only Human - Jonas Brothers (3)
4. The Bones - Maren Morris f/Hozier (8)
5. The Hype - twenty-one pilots (7)
6. Father Of All... - Green Day (2)
7. Even Though I'm Leaving - Luke Combs (11)
8. Truth Hurts - Lizzo (5)
9. Liar - Camila Cabello (9)
10. Memories - Maroon 5 (10)
11. Senorita - Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello (6)
12. Every Little Thing - Russell Dickerson (12)
13. Life In The City - The Lumineers (23)
14. Lover - Taylor Swift (18)
15. Peach Fuzz - CAAMP (16)
16. We Were - Keith Urban (26)
17. Orphans - Coldplay (27)
18. Circles - Post Malone (34)
19. Dance Monkey - Tones and I (29)
20. What Happens In A Small Town - Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell (20)
21. Doin' Time - Lana Del Rey (17)
22. Good Vibes - Chris Janson (22)
23. How Do You Sleep? - Sam Smith (13)
24. Higher Love - Kygo & Whitney Houston (24)
25. Remember You Young - Thomas Rhett (35)
26. You Need To Calm Down - Taylor Swift (21)
27. Beautiful People - Ed Sheeran f/Khalid (19)
28. Good Things Fall Apart - Illenium & Jon Bellion (28)
29. Social Cues - Cage The Elephant (14)
30. 3 Nights - Dominic Fike (30)
31. One Man Band - Old Dominion (36)
32. Heartache Medication - Jon Pardi (42)
33. Stay High - Brittany Howard (15)
34. Sucker - Jonas Brothers (31)
35. Go - Black Keys (25)
36. Nice To Meet Ya - Niall Horan (51)
37. The End Of The Game - Weezer (52)
38. United In Dance - Crystal Waters f/R-Naldo (39)
39. What If I Never Get Over You - Lady Antebellum (49)
40. Tip Of My Tongue - Kenny Chesney (41)
41. Home - Lodato (53)
42. Can't Help Me Now - Rob Thomas (32)
43. I Don't Know About You - Chris Lane (38)
44. No Letting Go - Dirty Werk (45)
45. OMG - Gryffin f/Carly Rae Griffin (50)
46. Complainer - Cold War Kids (46)
47. The Power - Duke Dumont & Zak Abel (47)
48. Talk - Khalid (44)
49. On A Roll - Ashley O (40)
50. Panini - Lil Nas X (54)
51. If We Never Met - JOHN.k (61)
52. Running Up That Hill - Meg Myers (62)
53. 16 - Highly Suspect (57)
54. Steady Love - India.Arie (58)
55. There For You - Gorgon City & MK (55)
56. Might Be Right - White Reaper (73)
57. Hold You Down - X Ambassadors (59)
58. Outnumbered - Dermot Kennedy (68)
59. South Of The Border - Ed Sheeran f/Camila Cabello & Cardi B (69)

60. Trampoline - SHAED (60)
61. Pump It Up - Endor (83)
62. Love Again - Brandy & Daniel Caesar (74)
63. Takeaway - The Chainsmokers & Illenium f/Stella Lennon (63)
64. Crave - Madonna f/Swae Lee (64)
65. Wish You Pain - Andy Grammer (65)
66. Miracle Pill - Goo Goo Dolls (56)
67. Graveyard - Halsey (71)
68. 10,000 Hours - Dan + Shay f/Justin Bieber (72)
69. Lose You To Love Me - Selena Gomez (79)
70. Salvation - House Gospel Choir and Adelphi Music Factory (70)
71. The Jester - Badflower (81)
72. Someone I Used To Know - The Zac Brown Band (87)
73. Living - Dierks Bentley (66)
74. Ridin' Roads - Dustin Lynch (78)
75. Come Around - Papa Roach (80)
76. Prayed For You - Matt Stell (76)
77. Ride It - Regard (77)
78. Trouble - VASSY (DEBUT)
79. Roots - Valerie Broussard & Galantis (93)
80. Sing Along - Sturgill Simpson (82)
81. One Thing Right - Marshmello & Kane Brown (90)
82. Show Me Love - Alicia Keys & Miguel (86)
83. God Is A Dancer - Tiesto & Mabel (DEBUT)
84. Uneventful Days - Beck (96)
85. Something About You - Elderbrook & Rudimental (89)
86. All The Good Girls Go To Hell - Billie Eilish (DEBUT)
87. Don't Start Now - Dua Lipa (97)
88. Don't Fall For It - Grapefruit Sound Lab f/Amuka (88)
89. Lose Control - Meduza & Becky Hill & Goodboys (DEBUT)
90. Dissolve - Absofacto (94)
91. Kinfolks - Sam Hunt (95)
92. The Last Time - The Script (92)
93. It All Comes Out In The Wash - Miranda Lambert (99)
94. Back Foot - Dinosaur Pile-Up (DEBUT)
95. We Back - Jason Aldean (DEBUT)
96. I Don't Think You're Ready - Tank (100)
97. We Got That Cool - Yves V f/Afrojack & Icona Pop (DEBUT)
98. Turn Me On - Riton & Oliver Heldens f/Vula (98)
99. Bruises - Lewis Capaldi (DEBUT)
100. Better Half Of Me - Tom Walker (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 12/6/19 - Look around your world pretty baby is it everything you hoped it'd be...

"Roll To Me" - Del Amitri
from the album Twisted (1995)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 26

Today's song of the day comes from the Scottish rock band Del Amitri, who had landed their second top-40 pop hit in the fall of 1992 with "Always The Last To Know". Three years later, the group returned with their fourth album Twisted. The first single from the set, "Here and Now", climbed to #21 on the British singles chart, followed by "Driving With The Brakes On", which made it to #18. It wasn't until the third release from the record that American radio took attention. "Roll To Me", an uptempo jangle pop nugget written by lead singer Justin Currie and produced by Al Clay, gave the foursome their biggest success in the States...

"Roll To Me" put Del Amitri into the pop top ten for the first and only time in November of 1995. The song also rose to #4 on Billboard magazine's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart, and hung around long enough to show on their Adult Top-40 format list at #8 the following year. Internationally, the single peaked at #5 in Canada, and peaked in the top-40 in the UK (#22), and intraEurope at #40 in Iceland. A fourth single from Twisted, "Tell Her This", got to #32 on the American rock chart.

In 1997, Del Amitri returned with Some Other Sucker's Parade, which would score the band's fourth consecutive UK top ten albums out of five tries. Main single "Not Where It's At" climbed to #21 in the UK,  but was ignored in the states. A hits set Hatful Of Rain followed, which contained their World Cup hit "Don't Come Home Too Soon", one of their biggest hits at home at #15. The band's most recent album, Can You Do Me Good?, came in 2002, along with their most recent British hit "Just Before You Leave" (UK #37). Although they continue to tour, they haven't released any new material since.

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Thursday, December 05, 2019

Disco Dessert 12/5/19 - "Turn On To Love" from Jumbo...

"Turn On To Love" was a club hit for the German studio group Jumbo. Appearing on their debut album Sexy Lady, the song was written by members Charles Orieux and Ingo Cramer. On Billboard magazine's National Disco Action Top-40 chart, it climbed to #31 in 1977.

Songoftheday 12/5/19 - Our love is like water pinned down and abused for being strange, our love is no other than me alone...

"All Over You" - Live
from the album Throwing Copper (1994)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: ineligible to chart
Billboard Hot 100 Airplay peak: #33 (one week)
Weeks in the Hot 100 Airplay Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day comes from the alternative hard rock band Live, whose second album Throwing Copper had landed a single that topped the rock radio chart in "Selling The Drama", then followed by two more songs that made the top-40 on the pop airplay chart in Billboard magazine, "I Alone" and "Lightning Crashes". The fourth offering to radio would be the uptempo aggressive rock of "All Over You". Written by the band, who produced the track with the Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison, the song didn't sport a video but nevertheless had enough support to stay on the pop airplay chart for almost half a year (25 weeks)...

Since "All Over You" wasn't released as a commercial single, it was unable to place on Billboard's official pop Hot 100 chart, but did make it into the top-40 of the airplay component of that list in August of 1995. The song spent a week at #2 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart, and peaked at #4 on the Alternative Rock format list. Internationally, the single reached the top-40 in New Zealand (#12) and Canada (#18), while just missing the mark in the UK (#48). A fifth song from the album, "White, Discussion", was promoted to radio, getting to #12 on the Mainstream Rock chart, #15 at Alternative Rock, and on the Hot 100 Airplay list, slipped on at #71.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Disco Dessert 12/4/19 - "Join The Dance" from the USA-European Connection...

"Join The Dance" was a club hit for the studio group USA-European Connection. Put together by producer and musician Boris Midney, the act included the track on their second album USA-European Connection. The entire album charted as one entry on Billboard's Disco Top 100 chart, where it climbed to #43 in 1979.

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Songoftheday 12/4/19 - My friend drove off the other day and now he's gone and all they say, is you gotta live 'cause life goes on...

"J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)" - Green Day
from the album Angus (Original Soundtrack) (1995)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: ineligible to chart
Billboard Hot 100 Airplay peak: #22 (one week)
Weeks in the Hot 100 Airplay Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the pop-punk trio Green Day, whose major label debut Dookie had scored them a trio of pop airplay top-40 hits with "Longview", "Basket Case", and "When She Comes Around", as well as a Grammy win for Best Rock Album and three more nominations for Best Rock Duo/Group Performance, Best Hard Rock Performance, and Best New Artist. One more track from the album, "She", came one notch from making it four songs in the airplay top-40. In the space between the success of Dookie and their nest album, the band donated one of the songs unused for Dookie for the coming of age movie Angus starring Kathy Bates and Rita Moreno. "J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)" was named for a friend of the band that was tragically killed from injuries in a car accident in 1992...

Since "J.A.R." wasn't released as a commercial single, it wasn't able to place on Billboard magazine's pop Hot 100 chart, but it had enough mainstream airplay to make it into the top-40 for over two months in August of 1995. The song entered the Alternative Rock radio chart at #1, and also climbed to #17 on their Mainstream Rock format list. Internationally, the record rose to #63 in Canada.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

DIsco Dessert 12/3/19 - "Doctor Love" from First Choice...

"Doctor Love" was a club hit for the female vocal trio First Choice. Appearing on their album Delusions, the song climbed to #8 on the National Disco Action Top-40 in Billboard magazine in 1977. The song would return to the charts two more times, once in 1984 and again in 1999.

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Songoftheday 12/3/19 - I'm the type of guy who takes time to just kick back, I turn around my baseball cap I have a 40 sitting on my lap...

"Somethin' 4 Da Honeyz" - Montell Jordan
from the album This Is How We Do It (1995)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day comes from R&B singer Montell Jordan, who landed one of the biggest hits of the year with his debut single "This Is How We Do It", which topped the pop chart in America in the spring of 1995. His follow-up single would be midtempo smooth swagger of "Somethin' 4 Da Honeyz". With a definitely switch in tempo, the single allowed Montell's voice to shine on this female dedication, even if the lyrical content is a little lacking...

"Somethin' 4 Da Honeyz" became Jordan's second top-40 pop hit in August of 1995, most likely from the momentum of "This Is How We Do It", as the single sped up and dropped off the chart pretty quickly. The song also climbed to #18 on Billboard's R&B chart. Internationally, the single hit the top 10 in New Zealand at #8, and made the top 20 in the UK (#15) and Australia (#19). A third release from Montell's debut album, the ballad "Daddy's Home", was a minor R&B hit at #74, while "bubbling under" the pop Hot 100 at #125.

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