Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Songoftheday 9/26/16 - You gotta believe there is something inside of me, you might say "How could you so fast"...

"In My Eyes" - Stevie B
from the album In My Eyes (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #37 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's song of the day comes from singer/songwriter/producer Stevie B, who had landed his first top-40 pop hit with "I Wanna Be The One". Stevie released the title track to his In My Eyes album as the follow-up. Written and produced by the artist, the sparsely but smartly-produced freestyle gem continued his streak...

"In My Eyes" became Stevie B's second top-40 pop hit in July of 1989. The 12" single also climbed to #21 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the single was a minor hit in Canada at #58.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 9/26/16 - 10,000 Maniacs' "Trouble Me"...

"Trouble Me" - 10,000 Maniacs
from the album Blind Man's Zoo (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #44

This week's 'robbed hit' comes from the alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs, who came together in upstate New York in the early 80's with various names and lineups before settling with lead singer Natalie Merchant and the current moniker. Releasing an independent-label debut in 1983, they attracted critical and DJ attention, and after being signed by Elektra Records, put out The Wishing Chair two years later, with underground buzz and college radio starting to play their music (I, myself bought that record back in my school days). With that bit of momentum, though with the departure of original guitarist John Lombardo, the band was set up with legendary producer Peter Asher (James Taylor and the label's own Linda Ronstadt) for their third studio set In My Tribe. An amazing collection of folk-rock songs and storytelling, a cover of the Cat Stevens classic "Peace Train" got MTV playing the band (though it eventually was pulled from later pressings of the album after the whole Salman Rushdie affair). The follow-up, "Like The Weather", landed them on pop radio, and had their first minor pop hit at #68, while making the top-40 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart at #37. But the album's centerpiece, the anti-child abuse screed "What's The Matter Here?", sent them to #9 on the burgeoning Modern Rock format (and #80 pop).

Continuing with Asher at the helm, the Maniacs recorded their next album, Blind Man's Zoo, which came out in the spring of 1989. The lead single, "Trouble Me", was a breezy soft-rock nugget that borrowed from Fleetwood Mac as much as Joan Baez, with Merchant, who wrote the song with keyboardist Dennis Drew, getting a bit more personal...

While "Trouble Me" gave the band a ton more exposure on radio, reaching the top ten on both the Modern Rock (#3 for four weeks) and Adult Contemporary (#7) charts in Billboard magazine, it stalled just under the pop top-40 in August of 1989. The record also went to #20 on their Mainsteam Rock radio list as well. Internationally, the single was their first top-40 hit in Canada at #31, and was a minor hit in the UK at #77.

Follow-up single "Eat For Two" missed the Hot 100, but did go to #12 on the Modern Rock (Alternative) radio chart, and slipped in at #93 in Britain.

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Songoftheday 9/26/16 - Susie sits all alone she waits by the telephone, Joey's out having fun waits to call when she's not at home...

"Cover Of Love" - Michael Damian
from the album Where Do We Go From Here (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #31 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day is by actor/singer Michael Damian, who parlayed his success on the soap opera The Young and the Restless to get an "in" with the music industry, and with a cover of the trippy David Essex pop hit "Rock On", reached #1 on the American pop chart. For the follow-up Damian released the uptempo pure-pop sugar of "Cover Of Love", written by the singer with Janine Best, Troy Johnson, and Larry Weir...

"Cover Of Love" became Damian's second top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in August of 1989.

Up tomorrow: Freestyle king is in sight.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Songoftheday 9/25/16 - Yellow is the color of sunrays...

"Keep On Movin'" - Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler
from the album Club Classics Vol. One (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from Soul II Soul, an R&B collective put together by producer Jazzie B (aka London's own Trevor Romeo) in the late 80's, with a variety of musicians and singers like Caron Wheeler, who dominated the group's debut album Club Classics, Vol. One in 1989. The first two singles from the set, "Fairplay" and "Feel Free", were released prior to the album and were minor hits in the UK, stopping in the 60s on the chart. But the third single, "Keep On Movin'", introduced dancefloors around the world to a different, mid-tempo beat that was such a refreshing break from the frenetic pace of HI-NRG and the loud thump of house music to bring clubgoers to a different sort of high. Soon, the "Soul II Soul" sound would have just as much of a presence in dance music as those other two subgenres...

"Keep On Movin'" became the group's first American hit, stopping just short of the top ten in September of 1989. The song went all the way to #1 on Billboard's R&B chart for two weeks, while it also crossed over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list at #37. The 12" remix topped their Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the record peaked at #5 in their native Britain, reached the top-10 in the Netherlands (#9) and Ireland (#10), and hit the top-20 in Germany (#13), Canada (#15), New Zealand (#14), Austria (#18), Switzerland (#18), and Belgium (#20). It would help them become nominated for best new artist at the Grammys in 1990, infamously won by Milli Vanilli.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Songoftheday 9/24/16 - What you're doing with a clown like me, is surely one of life's little mysteries...

"Angel Eyes" - The Jeff Healey Band
from the album See The Light (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the Jeff Healey Band, whose namesake leader was born in Toronto, Canada, and adopted by a family before he lost his vision to a rare form of cancer, where he had to lose his eyes completely (he has prostheses in place since). He started in music very very young, playing the guitar as a child, and playing with others before forming his own group with drummer Tom Stephen and bassist Joe Rockman. They released their debut album, See The Light, in 1988, and the first single, the blues-rock nugget "Confidence Man", reached #11 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart (it also slipped in at #76 in England, to this day his best showing). With the video highlighting his guitar-down style of playing, it got him noticed on MTV.  For the follow-up, the rowdy title track made it to #33 on the rock list. But for the third radio offering, the band released the ballad "Angel Eyes". Written by folk-rock veteran John Hiatt along with Fred Koller, the tender love song plucked many a girl's heartstring...

"Angel Eyes" became Jeff's first and only top-40 U.S. pop hit, reaching the top-5 in September of 1989. The song also climbed to #7 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, while peaking at #24 on their Mainstream Rock list. Internationally, the song was his first hit in his home of Canada, landing at #16, and was a minor hit in the UK at #86.

Later that year, Jeff and the band appeared in the Patrick Swayze-starring movie Road House as the local bar band, and from it their cover of the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" made it to #29 on the Rock chart. They released their second album Hell To Pay in 1990, and while pop radio left him behind, the album still reached the top-40, and four songs climbed into the rock top-40 with "I Think I Love You Too Much" peaking at #5 (as well as the same rank on the Canadian pop list). A remake of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with George Harrison singing backup landed at #7 on the US Rock chart, as "How Long Can A Man Be Strong" (another ballad like "Angel Eyes") ascended to #8 on the Canadian pop chart. 1992 saw the trio's next set, Feel This, and although the lead track "Cruel Little Number" was their highest-charting rock hit at #2, the album sold considerably less, stalling in the lower quarter of the sales chart. A subsequent set, Cover to Cover (of all cover songs, natch), landed the group their last top-40 rock hit with a version of Stealers Wheel's "Stuck In The Middle With You". After the turn of the millennium, Jeff concentrated more on jazz music, as a musician but more prominently as an archivist/collector and DJ. Sadly, Jeff passed away from lung cancer in 2008.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Brit Sweep: September 23, 2016...

Let's cross the Atlantic yet again to check out the singles and albums making the charts in the UK this week...

On the official British singles chart, American duo the Chainsmokers claim their fourth week at #1 with "Closer"...

Scottish DJ/producer Calvin Harris follows up his #2 hit "This Is What You Came For" with an entry in the top-5 at #5 with "My Way"...

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twostepcub's music chart for September 23, 2016...

Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Sia enjoys her eleventh week at the top, while country singer Justin Moore (pictured above) leaps into the top 10. Songs from Alicia Keys, Luke Bryan, and Kenny Chesney/Pink make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Chris Lane, Beck, Meghan Trainor, Eric Church, and Anthony Hamilton fall off the list. Happy Autumn!!!!

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Cheap Thrills - Sia f/Sean Paul (1)
2. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (3)
3. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (5)
4. Send My Love (To Your New Lover) - Adele (4)
5. All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart (7)
6. This Is What You Came For - Calvin Harris f/Rihanna (6)
7. You Look Like I Need A Drink - Justin Moore (17)
8. Can't Stop The Feeling! - Justin Timberlake (8)
9. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (13)
10. We Don't Talk Anymore - Charlie Puth f/Selena Gomez (14)
11. HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums (16)
12. Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers (12)
13. Hell No - Ingrid Michaelson (9)
14. Hymn For The Weekend - Coldplay (10)
15. Make You Miss Me - Sam Hunt (15)
16. H.O.L.Y. - Florida Georgia Line (2)
17. One Dance - Drake f/Wizkid & Kyla (11)
18. The Sound - The 1975 (22)
19. Casual Party - Band Of Horses (24)
20. River - Bishop Briggs (25)
21. Different For Girls - Dierks Bentley f/Elle King (28)
22. Peter Pan - Kelsea Ballerini (26)
23. Bored To Death - blink-182 (18)
24. Ride - twenty-one pilots (20)
25. This Girl - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (27)
26. Don't Let Me Down - The Chainsmokers f/Daya (21)
27. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (31)
28. Into You - Ariana Grande (33)
29. Like I Would - Zayn (29)
30. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (23)
31. Closer - The Chainsmokers f/Halsey (37)
32. Out There - Kristine W. (34)
33. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes (35)
34. Lake By The Ocean - Maxwell (30)
35. Bang Bang - Green Day (50)
36. Tears - Clean Bandit f/Louisa Johnson (46)
37. Good Grief - Bastille (43)
38. Dancing On My Own - Calum Scott (42)
39. Rise - Katy Perry (49)
40. You Don't Know Love - Olly Murs (40)
41. 11 Blocks - Wrabel (48)
42. Bring Back The Summer - Rain Man f/OLY (32)
43. Duele El Corazon - Enrique Iglesias f/Wisin (53)
44. Mama Said - Lukas Graham (54)
45. Sunrise - Joe Bermudez f/Louise Carver (45)
46. Ophelia - The Lumineers (36)
47. Just Like Fire - Pink (41)
48. Don't Be So Shy - Imany (52)
49. Cold Water - Major Lazer f/Justin Bieber & MO (61)
50. From The Ground Up - Dan + Shay (44)
51. Boss - Disclosure (63)
52. Setting The World On Fire - Kenny Chesney f/Pink (69)
53. In Common - Alicia Keys (79)
54. Pieces - Rob Thomas (56)
55. Needed Me - Rihanna (55)
56. No Money - Galantis (58)
57. Sweet Dreams - JX Riders f/Skylar Stecker (59)
58. Crush - Yuna f/Usher (68)
59. It Don't Hurt Like It Used To - Billy Currington (73)
60. American Country Love Song - Jake Owen (60)
61. Castaway - The Zac Brown Band (71)
62. Tell Me We're OK - DJ Hardwerk f/Akon (62)
63. Permission - RO James (67)
64. Holiday - DJ Antoine f/Akon (64)
65. Controlla - Drake (65)
66. Sit Still, Look Pretty - Daya (66)
67. I Met A Girl - William Michael Morgan (80)
68. Thinking About You - Axwell & Ingrosso (78)
69. Fresh Eyes - Andy Grammer (85)
70. She's Got A Way With Words - Blake Shelton (74)
71. Move - Luke Bryan (96)
72. Weekend - Mr. Mig & Gino Caporale f/Angela Devine (82)
73. Perfect Strangers - Jonas Blue f/JP Cooper (75)
74. She Sets The City On Fire - Gavin DeGraw (84)
75. I Know Somebody - LoCash (87)
76. Wasted Time - Keith Urban (72)
77. Up&Up - Coldplay (77)
78. Middle Of A Memory - Cole Swindell (88)
79. Rock On - Tucker Beathard (83)
80. Hold Back The River - James Bay (81)
81. Lights Come On - Jason Aldean (76)
82. White Flag - Josepg (86)
83. What The World Needs Now Is Love - Broadway For Orlando (DEBUT)
84. Hardwired - Metallica (100)
85. Take Me Down - The Pretty Reckless (89)
86. Alone - Marshmello (98)
87. Tired Of Talking - Leon (91)
88. Sunshine - Eric Benet (92)
89. Slip Away - Sanjoy (93)
90. Let Me Love You - DJ Snake f/Justin Bieber (90)
91. Cleopatra - The Lumineers (DEBUT)
92. You Don't Get Me High Anymore - Phantogram (DEBUT)
93. Sunshine - TIEKS f/Dan Harkna (97)
94. Bonfire - Felix Jaehn f/Alma (94)
95. Sleep Without You - Brett Young (DEBUT)
96. Kids - OneRepublic (DEBUT)
97. Won't Stop Running - A Great Big World (DEBUT)
98. In The Name Of Love - Martin Garrix f/Bebe Rexha (DEBUT)
99. All About Tonight - Fourever1 (DEBUT)
100. A Little More Summertime - Jason Aldean (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 that artist's official website for more info, tour dates, and such. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 9/23/16 - Listen up everybody if you want to take a chance, just get on the floor and do the New Kids' dance...

"Hangin' Tough" - New Kids On The Block
from the album Hangin' Tough (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the Boston "boy-band" New Kids On The Block, whose second album Hangin' Tough had already sent three increasingly successful singles into the American pop charts with "Please Don't Go Girl", "You Got It (The Right Stuff)", and the #1 hit "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)". For the fourth release they put out the title track, written and produced by their svengali Maurice Starr. Heavy on percussion and attitude as light on lyrics, the thumping sing-a-long still made the girls (and some closeted boys) swoon...

"Hangin' Tough" became the quintet's second #1 pop hit in the U.S. in September of 1989. Internationally, the song also went to #1 in the UK (also their second #1 after "You Got It") and Ireland, top ten in Canada (#7), Australia (#8), Norway (#5), and New Zealand (#7), and #29 in Germany.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Aussie Sweep: September 22, 2016...

It's time to head Down Under to check out the local artists reaching the singles and albums charts in Australia this week...

On the country's official local artists singles chart, Sia takes over at #1 with "The Greatest"...

Australian Idol's first winner back in 2003, and who represented the country for the first time in Eurovision two years ago, returns at #10 with "Candle"...

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Songoftheday 9/22/16 - Mirror mirror on the wall tell me mirror what is wrong? Can it be my De La clothes or is it just my De La song?

"Me Myself And I" - De La Soul
from the album 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #34 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from the rap trio De La Soul, who came together in Long Island, New York in the mid-80s, with the distance from the city center may have affected their alternative style of hip-hop. Rappers Posdnous and Trugoy along with DJ Maseo were helped along by DJ/producer Prince Paul of the seminal rap group Stetsasonic, and recorded their debut album 3 Foot High and Rising in 1989. With a patchwork of esoteric samples and trippy lyrics about peace and observing the minutae of the world around them, they set themselves apart from the dancefloor-heavy direction the genre had headed. The first single though, "Me, Myself And I", didn't shy away from the club, but promoted themselves without having to seem "hard" (and a bit of chunkiness without being comic was a welcome change). And with the music video, which had the guys heading to "remedial rap" class led by a LL Cool J clone, it set them as outsiders in their own world, but a party I'd rather be at...

"Me Myself and I" became De La Soul's first top-40 pop hit in July of 1989. The track went all the way to #1 on Billboard's R&B chart for a week, while the 12" extended version also spent seven days atop their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the song went to #1 in the Netherlands, and made the top-10 in Belgium, and the top-40 in the UK (#22), Germany (#16), Switzerland (#22), and Austria (#21).

They would follow this hit up with "Say No Go", which generously samples the Hall & Oates #1 hit "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)". But despite the novel use of this type of sample, which Puff Daddy would base a career on, the single missed the pop chart altogether, while making it to #32 on the R&B list (it did reach #3 on the dance chart). But overseas, it was a different story, as each successive single would climb higher on the British chart, with "Say No Go" going to #18, non-American single "Eye Know" peaking at #14, and "the Magic Number" breaking the UK top ten at #7 (the flip-side, "Buddy", went to #18 on the American R&B chart).

In 1991, the trio put out their sophomore effort, De La Soul Is Dead, and trying to break free of the "hippie-dude" image thrust upon them, and while the American pop radio scene took a pass, England fell in love, sending the album into the top ten, and single "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)" landing at #10 as well on the singles chart. Two years later, on their Buhloone Mindstate release, the Soul went to #76 on the pop list and #30 on the R&B chart in America with "Breakadawn", while landing at #39 in the UK. They followed this jazz-tinged release with Stakes Is High, with the title track climbing to #53 on the R&B chart, and "The Bizness" (with a young up and coming rapper named Common) just missing the Hot 100 by a notch.

De La Soul started the new millennium with the first of what was supposed to be a trilogy under the title Art Official Intelligence. The first disc, Mosaic Thump, scored the trio their first top ten album in America (#9) and sent two songs into the British top-40, with "Ooooh" (#29) and "All Good" with Chaka Khan (#33). But while they never made it to disc three (label issues), they ended up returning to pop radio in 2005 as a featured artist on Gorillaz "Feel Good Inc.", which made it to #14 in the US, #2 in the UK, and #1 on the American Dance chart. Most recently they released the excellent crowd-funded And the Anonymous Nobody, which became their second-highest ranking album at #12 earlier this year.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

German Sweep: September 21, 2016...

Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as French producer DJ Snake lands his first #1 hit, featuring Canadian hot mess Justin Bieber with his first as well...

1. "Let Me Love You" - DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber (2)
2. "Closer" - The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey (5)
3. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (1)
4. "Cold Water" - Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber & MØ (4)
5. "Bonfire" - Felix Jaehn featuring Alma (3)
6. "Human" - Rag N' Bones (10)
7. "Ohne Mein Team" - Bonez MC & RAF Camora featuring Maxwell (DEBUT)
8. "The Ocean" - Mike Perry featuring Shy Martin (6)
9. "The Sound Of Silence" - Disturbed (7)
10. "Palmen aus Plastik" - Bonez MC & RAF Camora (DEBUT)

Rapper MC Bonez from Hamburg, and producer RAF Camora from the Swiss border town of Vevey, have the highest-selling album in the country, and from it five songs are in the top-40, with three of them debuts. Rocketing in at #7 with "Ohne Mein Team" ("Without My Team")...

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Songoftheday 9/21/16 - Sometimes it's hard to make things clear, or know when to face the truth and I know that the moment is here....

"Don't Wanna Lose You" - Gloria Estefan
from the album Cuts Both Ways (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from Cuban-American pop/dance singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan, whose third English-only album with the Miami Sound Machine, Let It Loose, had granted her four top-10 pop hits with "1-2-3", "Can't Stay Away From You", "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You", and the #1 single "Anything For You". In 1989, with the upcoming release of Cuts Both Ways, Gloria took over as the sole billing on the cover, with the Miami Sound Machine relegated to a credit (and even then, only husband Emilio remained from the original incarnation). Continuing her success with ballads, the first release from the record was "Don't Wanna Lose You", written by Gloria and produced by Emilio with later-stage MSM musicians Clay Ostwald and Jorge Casas. With a soft-set video featuring just Gloria singing while a band of artistic dancers go at it in the desert, it was definitely a lock for the soccer-mom crowd...

"Don't Wanna Lose You" became Gloria's second #1 pop hit in September of 1989. The song also climbed to #2 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, while the Spanish-language version, "Si Voy A Perderte", topped the Latin Singles chart for five weeks. Internationally, the record reached the top ten in the UK (#6), Ireland (#5), Belgium (#4), Canada (#3), and the Netherlands (#5). It would also earn her a nomination for a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal performance in 1990, which Bonnie Raitt ended up winning.

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