Tuesday, June 30, 2015

French Sweep: June 30, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Feder remains at #1 for a second week with "Goodbye"...

1. "Goodbye" - Feder featuring Lyse (1)
2. "Homeless" - Marina Kaye (5)
3. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Mix)" - OMI (2)
4. "Lean On" - Major Lazer & DJ Snake featuring MO (3)
5. "Ain't Nobody (Loves Me Better)" - Felix Jaehn featuring Jasmine Thompson (7)
6. "Est-ce Que Tu M'aimes" - Maitre Gims (4)
7. "Reality" - Lost Frequencies (DEBUT)
8. "Jour 1" - Louane (9)
9. "Hey Mama" - David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj and Afrojack (6)
10. "Want To Want Me" - Jason Derulo (8)

Belgium DJ Lost Frequencies (aka Felix De Laet) lands his second top ten hit after "Are You With Me" as "Reality" enters at #7. It features vocals from Dutch singer/songwriter Janieck Devy...


Songoftheday 6/30/15 - I love you most when we share a place, those special good times together...


"I'd Still Say Yes" - Klymaxx
from the album Klymaxx (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's SOTD comes from the all-female R&B band Klymaxx, whose self-titled fifth album had already scored a top-20 pop hit in the U.S. with "Man Sized Love" from the comedy movie Running Scared. After a second single "Sexy" climbed to #18 on the R&B chart and missed the Hot 100, the girls released another ballad in the mode of their biggest hit, "I Miss You". "I'd Still Say Yes", written by bandmember Joyce "Fenderella" Irby with producer Babyface and Gregory Scelsa, was a perfect anniversary song that couples ate up. Howard Hewett from Shalamar provided the backup "duet" vocals...


"I'd Still Say Yes" reached the top-20 on the American pop chart in July of 1987. The single made the top-10 on both of Billboard's R&B (#7) and Adult Contemporary (#8) charts as well. In Canada, the song climbed to the halfway point (#50) on their singles chart.

The record would be their last time on the Hot 100. Irby and singer Bernadette Cooper both left, with the trio of remaining members releasing The Maxx Is Back in 1990, placing "Good Love" at #4 on the R&B list. "Private Party" came after at #62, marking the end (so far) of Klymaxx on the chart. The quintet reunited a couple of times, notably for VH1's Bands Reunited in 2003.

Up tomorrow: The rules of feeling good from the queen of control.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Robbed hit of the Week 6/29/15 - Nona Hendryx's "Why Should I Cry?"...


"Why Should I Cry?" - Nona Hendryx
from the album Female Trouble (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #58

This week's "robbed hit" comes from R&B/dance singer Nona Hendryx, a Trenton, New Jersey native who got her start in the 60's "girl-group" the Bluebelles with Sarah Dash, future Supreme Cindy Birdsong, and an aspiring star from Philadelphia, Patti LaBelle. After Birdsong left, the trio started the 70s under the moniker LaBelle, and evolved into the most progressive female soul act of the decade. Hitting #1 with the Bayou-funk of "Lady Marmalade" in 1975, their Nightbirds album reached the top-10, sold over a million copies, and remains on Rolling Stone's list of the top 500 albums in rock and roll. Nona wrote most of their non-cover music ("Marmalade" was an import), and her music and lyrics were way forward reflecting their space-age diva image. However, with Patti wanting a more traditional soul career, the trio finally came to a head and split up in 1976. A year later, Hendryx released her first solo album, and although the track "Winning" would be later a big hit for Santana (although she didn't write it), it didn't get much notice. In 1983 she re-emerged with her sophomore effort Nona, and catchy single "Keep It Confidential" made the top-30 on the R&B and dance charts and nicked the Hot 100 at #91. She had a few more R&B and minor club hits, but it wasn't until 1987 when she was back on pop radio. This time with the star-packed Female Trouble album, the first single, "Why Should I Cry?", written by Hendryx with remixing king Jellybean Johnson and singer Lisa Keith ("Diamonds"), was her most accessible solo track yet, sounding plucked from the Control sessions at Flyte Tyme...


While "Why Should I Cry?" climbed all the way to #5 on Billboard's R&B chart, and #6 on their Dance list, the single stalled at #58 on the pop chart in America. It also was a minor hit in the UK at #60. She hasn't been on the charts since, although she did reunite briefly with Labelle and Dash for a Labelle album in 2008.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Brit Sweep: June 29, 2015...


I'm back from PrideNYC, so it's time to catch up with my weekly rundown of the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in Britain that was released yesterday...

The UK has a new #1 after four weeks as Jason Derulo is deposed to #3 by London "grime" rapper Tinie Tempah tops the list with "Not Letting Go". It marks Tempah's sixth time at #1, and his third as a lead artist (after "Pass Out" and "Written In The Stars"). Jess Glynne sings as a featured performer, making it her third time on top with three different acts as well as her own "Hold My Hand". This teaming of two of my faves is my "Brit Pick of the Week"...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 6/29/15 - At night when you turn off all the lights there is no place you can hide...


"Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" - Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
from the album Let It Loose (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's SOTD comes from the Cuban-American band Miami Sound Machine, whose second English-language album Primitive Love had broke them big in the U.S. with three top-10 pop hits with the club hit "Conga", the retro-pop of "Bad Boy", and the adult contemporary ballad "Words Get In The Way". With a diverse range proving they were more than an ethnic novelty, the group released their next album Let It Loose with high expectations. Now with lead singer Gloria Estefan getting her name on the label, and only Kiki Garcia remaining from the original band, the Machine's first single, "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" (written by Garcia with Estefan), recaptured the Latin vibe they sold "Conga" with....


"Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" became the Machine's fourth top-10 pop hit in August of 1987. The song also sneaked on to the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart at #31, and the extended mix became her first top-5 club hit in Billboard magazine. Internationally, while the single went top-40 in the Netherlands and Canada, it took until the beginning of 1989 for it finally to hit big in the UK, reaching #16. And the video gave Gloria a more mature and sexual image to "compete" with the likes of Madonna.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Songoftheday 6/28/15 - He doesn't love you the way that I love you, 'cause if he did he wouldn't go and break your heart....


"Kiss Him Goodbye" - The Nylons
from the album Happy Together (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's SOTD comes from the Nylons, an acappella quartet who came together in the late 70s in Toronto, Canada. With moderate success with jazz and kids music audiences, it wasn't until 1987 that they got their big break in America, covering a song that went to #1 in 1969. "Kiss Him Goodbye". Released under the act Steam, songwriters Paul Leka, Gary Decarlo, and Dale Frashuer were the true "one-hit-wonders" of the year with a song originally meant as a toss-off B-side....


Fast forward to the early 80s, when the song was still in peoples minds, especially after Bananarama's 1983 cover of the song made the top-5 on the British chart and #17 on the American dance chart (it came one notch away from making the US Hot 100)...


But it was The Nylons that brought the song back to the charts with their doo-wop revival....


The Nylons' cover of "Kiss Him Goodbye" reached the American top-20 in August of 1987, while scaling to #10 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart. They would follow it up with another cover from the late sixties, "Happy Together", that went to #75 pop and #16 Adult Contemporary. They wouldn't return to the American pop chart since, but continue to perform as an act, though sadly three of the four members that recorded "Kiss Him Goodbye" have since died, with tenor Marc Connors succumbing to AIDS in 1992, and lead singer Paul Cooper and Denis Simpson passing away in the 2010's, leaving only Claude Morrison who still tours with a new lineup.

Up tomorrow: Cuban-American collective warn that percussion is coming.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dance Sweep: July 4, 2015...


I'm ready to wrap this week's 'chart sweeps' up, checking out the songs making their way on to the charts in Billboard magazine, and I'll end with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

First, on the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Ricky Martin moves to #1 with "Mr. Put It Down" featuring Pitbull. It's his first to top the chart...

Madonna has the highest new entry of the week at #26 as she aims for her third #1 club hit from her Rebel Heart album with "Bitch, I'm Madonna" with Nicki Minaj. Her last topper, "Ghosttown" is down at #43...(you can check the original video on my "pop sweep"...)


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Country Sweep: July 4, 2015...


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

On their Country Airplay chart, Kelsea Ballerini becomes the first solo woman to get her official debut radio single to #1 since Carrie Underwood as "Love Me Like You Mean It" moves to the top...

The fourth single from Miranda Lambert's Platinum album, "Smokin' and Drinkin'" with Little Big Town, floods in at #55, and nabs my "Country Pick of the Week". The first, "Automatic", peaked at #3...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Soul Sweep: July 4, 2015...


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

On their main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, The Weeknd is at #1 for an eleventh week with "Earned It"...

Dropping in at #48 is former New Edition singer Johnny Gill with "Game Changer". The track is also at #13 on their Adult R&B chart. Gill had a trio of solo #1 R&B hits on his self-title album in 1990 including the top-3 pop hit "Rub You The Right Way"...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Rock Sweep: July 4, 2015...


Round two of today's "chart sweeps" is up with the latest hits on rock radio as monitored by Billboard magazine...

On their main Rock Airplay chart, New York alt-rockers X Ambassadors land their first #1 hit with "Renegades"...

Rocketing in at #8 is the brand new single from Album of the Year Grammy-winning artist Beck with "Dreams", my "Rock Pick of the Week". He last was on here with "Blue Moon" at #25...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Pop Sweep: July 4, 2015...


I'm ready to kick off the first of today's "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making their debut on the various music charts in Billboard magazine. As usual, I'll start off on the pop side of things, then later in the day move on to the newest in rock, R&B, country, and dance music. And away we goooooo....

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), radio airplay from all formats, and sales (like iTunes and AmazonMP3), Wiz Khalifa spends a tenth week on top with "See You Again"...

The top new entry of the week at #73 is the first single from American Idol season-eight runner-up Adam Lambert's third album, "Ghost Town". Adam went to #10 back in 2009 with "Whataya Want From Me". The song is up at #23 on the Adult Top-40 radio list...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 6/27/15 - Friday night and I need a fight, my motorcycle and a switchblade knife...


"Girls, Girls, Girls" - Mötley Crüe
from the album Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's SOTD comes from the L.A. glam-metal band Mötley Crüe, who went from being cult rock faves to pop metalheads in 1985 with their top-20 cover of the 70s classic "Smokin' In The Boys Room". Two years later, the boys released their fourth studio album, Girls, Girls, Girls. At the peak of their "hedonistic" period, where drugs, alcohol, and philandering were just as prominent as rock music in their lives, the album swirled around themes of decadence, with the title track rattling off strip clubs like their own Fodor's guide...


"Girls, Girls, Girls" became the Crue's second top-20 pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1987, while peaking at #20 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the single became their first top-40 hit in the UK at #26, and topped out at #20 in Canada. Most importantly, it proved they can ride a song that wasn't a novelty cover to the top of the charts.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Friday, June 26, 2015

twostepcub's music chart for June 26, 2015...


Friday is here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Andy Grammer reigns for a sixth week at #1, while British prog-rockers Muse (pictured above) move into the top-5. Former big hits from the Foo Fighters, AWOLnation, Alabama Shakes, Tyler Farr, Kelly Clarkson, Kem, Sam Smith, Milky Chance, and Keith Urban/Eric Church drop off my list, while songs from Kelly Clarkson (!), twenty one pilots, and Ryan Cabrera make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Happy Pride, New York City!

This Week                 Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Honey, I'm Good. - Andy Grammer (1)
2. Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon (3)
3. Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Mix) - OMI (5)
4. Believe - Mumford & Sons (2)
5. Dead Inside - Muse (6)
6. Earned It - The Weeknd (4)
7. Hold Back The River - James Bay (7)
8. Crystals - Of Monsters And Men (12)
9. Want To Want Me - Jason Derulo (13)
10. Dear Future Husband - Meghan Trainor (10)
11. Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding (9)
12. Talking Body - Tove Lo (8)
13. Renegades - X Ambassadors (19)
14. Fight Song - Rachel Platten (14)
15. Style - Taylor Swift (11)
16. Smoke - A Thousand Horses (16)
17. Black Sun - Death Cab For Cutie (15)
18. Mess Is Mine - Vance Joy (18)
19. Wild Child - Kenny Chesney f/Grace Potter (23)
20. Take Your Time - Sam Hunt (20)
21. Baby Be My Love Song - Easton Corbin (21)
22. Little Toy Guns - Carrie Underwood (25)
23. Sugar - Maroon 5 (17)
24. Cool - Alesso f/Roy English (24)
25. Girl Crush - Little Big Town (30)
26. Lean On - Major Lazer & DJ Snake f/MO (31)
27. I'll Be There - Chic f/Nile Rodgers (32)
28. Photograph - Ed Sheeran (43)
29. Bad Blood - Taylor Swift (41)
30. Insomnia - Audien f/Parson James (38)
31. Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne (29)
32. Chains - Nick Jonas (28)
33. The Giver (Reprise) - Duke Dumont (33)
34. Every Moment - Jodeci (34)
35. On My Way - Axwell & Ingrosso (35)
36. Bright - Echosmith (36)
37. If You Say It Again - Rozalla (47)
38. Mr. Put It Down - Ricky Martin f/Pitbull (48)
39. This Summer's Gonna Hurt... - Maroon 5 (49)
40. Tonight Looks Good On You - Jason Aldean (55)
41. Uptown Funk! - Mark Ronson f/Bruno Mars (37)
42. You Know You Like It - DJ Snake & AlunaGeorge (57)
43. Invincible - Kelly Clarkson (77)
44. Sacred - Erasure (40)
45. Ghosttown - Madonna (45)
46. Sangria - Blake Shelton (58)
47. Blame It On Me - George Ezra (62)
48. Don't Look Down - Martin Garrix f/Usher (52)
49. Sippin' On Fire - Florida Georgia Line (54)
50. Sedona - Houndmouth (50)
51. House On Fire - Ryan Cabrera (71)
52. Don't It - Billy Currington (39)
53. Tear In My Heart - twenty one pilots (73)
54. Failure - Breaking Benjamin (60)
55. Homegrown - The Zac Brown Band (51)
56. Budapest - George Ezra (56)
57. Love Me Like You Mean It - Kelsea Ballerini (69)
58. Diamond Rings and Old Barstools - Tim McGraw f/Catherine Dunn (59)
59. Ghost Town - Adam Lambert (63)
60. Lift - Dirty Disco f/Debby Holiday (44)
61. Hey Mama - David Guetta f/Nicki Minaj & Afrojack (75)
62. Savages - Five Knives (80)
63. Somebody - Natalie La Rose f/Jeremih (68)
64. Young & Crazy - Frankie Ballard (78)
65. Rise Above The Game - Angel Moraes f/Neysa Malone (65)
66. See You Again - Wiz Khalifa f/Charlie Puth (70)
67. Crushin' It - Brad Paisley (67)
68. Ain't Nobody (Loves Me Better) - Felix Jaehn f/Jasmine Thompson (72)
69. Circles - Dave Aude f/Cierra Sample (87)
70. Love You Like That - Canaan Smith (74)
71. Bills - Lunchmoney Lewis (61)
72. Fool For Love - Lord Huron (76)
73. Let It Burn - Jazmine Sullivan (83)
74. Uma Thurman - Fall Out Boy (84)
75. Set Me Free - Rob Clivilles f/Kimberly Davis (79)
76. Heavy Is The Heart - The Zac Brown Band f/Chris Cornell (64)
77. Like I Can - Sam Smith (RE-ENTRY)
78. Cecilia & The Satellite - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (93)
79. Haute Mess - NERVO (DEBUT)
80. My Type - Saint Motel (RE-ENTRY)
81. Ex's and Oh's - Elle King (DEBUT)
82. Loving You Easy - The Zac Brown Band (DEBUT)
83. Brother - NEEDTOBREATHE f/Gavin DeGraw (91)
84. When I Come Home - Goldhouse (88)
85. Trust You - Rob Thomas (DEBUT)
86. One Last Time - Ariana Grande (82)
87. Kiss You In The Morning - Michael Ray (98)
88. One Hell Of An Amen - Brantley Gilbert (92)
89. Homeless - Marina Kaye (89)
90. Shame - Tyrese (DEBUT)
91. This Feeling - L'Tric (DEBUT)
92. Where Are U Now? - Skrillex & Diplo f/Justin Bieber (96)
93. Whistle (While You Work It) - Katy Tiz (100)
94. King - Years & Years (95)
95. Kick The Dust Up - Luke Bryan (DEBUT)
96. Things Happen - Dawes (DEBUT)
97. Angel - Theory Of A Deadman (RE-ENTRY)
98. Big Decisions - My Morning Jacket (RE-ENTRY)
99. Another You - Armin van Buuren f/Mr. Probz (DEBUT)
100. Wie Schon Du Bist - Sarah Connor (DEBUT)

Besides the four songs re-entering the chart, there are ten newbies making their debut this week (highlighted in blue), and if you click on any of them, you'll connect to the artists' official website for tour info, bios, music, and more. And here they are on video, after the break...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 6/26/15 - Something in the moonlight catches my eye, the shadow of a lover goes dancing by...


"Heart and Soul" - T'Pau
from the album Bridge Of Spies (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's SOTD comes from the British new wave band T'Pau, who came together in the western English county of Shropshire in the mid-80s. Naming themselved after a Vulcan character on Star Trek, they released their debut single "Heart And Soul" to little notice in the UK. However, American radio took notice, especially after the song was featured in a jeans commercial. Written by lead singer Carol Decker and guitarist Ron Rogers, the mid-tempo song floated on its keyboard riff...


"Heart and Soul" became T'Pau's sole American pop hit, reaching the top-5 on the Hot 100 in August of 1987. The extended version also made it to #13 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, besides reaching #4 in the UK after its American success, the song topped the singles list in Canada, and reached the top-10 in Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

While the band didn't score again in America, another single from their debut, "China In Your Hand", did even better internationally than "Heart And Soul", topping the chart in the UK and five other European countries. They scored a third British top-10 from the set with "Valentine". With two more albums T'Pau had a few more top-40 UK hits, with "Whenever You Need Me" reaching #16 in 1991. The band broke up shortly after that, with Decker briefly reforming a new T'Pau in 1998. In 2013, Decker and Rogers reunited and continue to tour as T'Pau.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Aussie Sweep: June 25, 2015...


It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in Australia this week, as local hero Conrad Sewell climbs to #1 with "Start Again"...

Canadian alt-soul artist the Weeknd claims the top debut at #27 with "Can't Feel My Face". It's the second single from his upcoming Chapter III album, following "The Hills", which came in at #47 in this country..


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 6/25/15 - Babe we're gonna ride far outta this town driving into the setting sun, to be there with you dancing to the sound of our hearts beating as one...


"Soul City" - Partland Brothers
from the album Electric Honey (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #27 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's SOTD is by the Canadian duo the Partland Brothers,  led by siblings G.P. and Chris, who grew up in rural Ontario before heading to Toronto to persue a music career. They released their debut single, "Soul City", in Canada in 1986, where it reached the top-40 at #25, before doing the same in the U.S. a year later...


"Soul City" became the Partland Brothers' sole American hit in June of 1987. The pair would have a couple more top 40 singles in Canada in the 90s, with "Honest Man" reaching #24 in 1990 and "Lift Me Up" peaking at #37 three years later. They still perform, recruiting brother Robin on drums...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

German Sweep: June 24, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany, according to their official music chart, as Felix Jaehn's "Ain't Nobody (Loves Me Better)" spends a seventh week on top...

1. "Ain't Nobody (Loves Me Better)" - Felix Jaehn featuring Jasmine Thompson (1)
2. "Stole The Show" - Kygo featuring Parson James (3)
3. "Wie Schon Du Bist" - Sarah Connor (2)
4. "Want To Want Me" - Jason Derulo (5)
5. "Supergirl" - Anna Naklab featuring Alle Farben and Younotus (DEBUT)
6. "Lean On" - Major Lazer & DJ Snake featuring MO (4)
7. "Unter Meiner Haut" - Gestört aber GeiL & Koby Funk featuring Wincent Weiss (8)
8. "Are You With Me" - Lost Frequencies (6)
9. "Headlights" - Robin Schulz featuring Ilsey (7)
10. "Hey Mama" - David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj & Afrojack (9)

German singer Anna Naklab leaps into the top ten at #5 with "Supergirl" featuring DJ/producer Alle Farben and Berlin neo-house act Younotus. She previously sang on Parra For Cuva's cover of "Wicked Games" that made the top-10 in the UK but stalled out at #89 in her home country...


Songoftheday 6/24/15 - I've gone through changes I've gone through pain, but there's not enough reason for me to go insane...


"Rock The Night" - Europe
from the album The Final Countdown (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #30 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's SOTD is by the Swedish glam metal band Europe, whose 1986 single "The Final Countdown", the title track to their third album, broke big in America and landed them a top-10 pop hit. The follow-up single, "Rock The Night", was less anthemic and more typical metal that originally was released on the soundtrack to the Swedish film On The Loose. Written by lead singer Joey Tempest, the video had them carousing in a Hard Rock Cafe'...


"Rock The Night" became Europe's second American top-40 pop hit in June of 1987, while climbing to #22 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the song did much better, reaching the top-10 in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, and their native Sweden, while topping off at #12 in the UK.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)