Saturday, October 21, 2017

Songoftheday 10/21/17 - Don't call it a comeback I've been here for years, I'm rocking my peers puttin' suckers in fear...

"Mama Said Knock You Out" - LL Cool J
from the album Mama Said Knock You Out (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #17 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from rapper LL Cool J, whose fourth album Mama Said Knock You Out had landed him his first top ten pop hit with the smooth as syrup "Around The Way Girl" in the spring of 1991. The title track from the album was released as the follow-up, and "Mama Said Knock You Out" was the highlight of the record, with an angry LL putting down all who come to dis him - and to this day obliterates every single one of those braggadocio "battle tracks" that's come after. And the music video, which places the rapper in the boxing ring, has become iconic, with a cute cameo from his own grandmother at the end...

"Mama Said Knock You Out" became LL's fifth top-40 pop hit in June of 1991. The record climbed to #12 on Billboard's R&B chart, while it what his fourth record to top their Rap Singles list (along with this album's "Around The Way" and "The Boomin' System"). The remixes on the 12" vinyl/CD single helped it peak at #7 on their Dance Club Play tally. Internationally, the track reached #37 in Australia, but just missed the top-40 in the UK at #41. At the 1992 Grammy Awards, LL Cool J won the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.

A fifth single from the album, "6 Minutes Of Pleasure", got to #26 on the R&B chart, and slipped on the pop Hot 100 in America at #95.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for October 20, 2017...

Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Pink's "What About Us" reigns for a fourth week, while Kelly Clarkson (pictured above) climbs into the top ten. Former big hits from Weezer, Zedd/Alessia Cara, Arcade Fire, and Andy Grammer drop off my list, while songs from Demi Lovato, Maroon 5/SZA, and J. Balvin/Willy William/Beyonce make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red).

This Week         Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. What About Us - Pink (1)
2. Thunder - Imagine Dragons (4)
3. Feel It Still - Portugal, The Man (2)
4. Too Good At Goodbyes - Sam Smith (6)
5. The Man - The Killers (3)
6. Attention - Charlie Puth (5)
7. Love So Soft - Kelly Clarkson (11)
8. Slow Hands - Niall Horan (9)
9. There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back - Shawn Mendes (7)
10. 1-800-273-8255 - Logic f/Alessia Cara & Khalid (16)
11. They Don't Know - Jason Aldean (13)
12. Praying - Kesha (14)
13. All The Pretty Girls - Kenny Chesney (17)
14. Believer - Imagine Dragons (12)
15. Heartache On The Dancefloor - Jon Pardi (10)
16. Strip That Down - Liam Payne f/Quavo (8)
17. New Rules - Dua Lipa (21)
18. My Mind Is For Sale - Jack Johnson (28)
19. Lay It On Me - Vance Joy (19)
20. Despacito - Luis Fonsi f/Daddy Yankee (20)
21. Up All Night - Beck (31)
22. No Such Thing As A Broken Heart - Old Dominion (18)
23. More Than You Know - Axwell & Ingrosso (23)
24. Small Town Boy - Dustin Lynch (24)
25. Before I Do - Sevyn Streeter (26)
26. Suit & Jacket - Judah & The Lion (34)
27. Wild Thoughts - DJ Khaled f/Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (15)
28. What Ifs - Kane Brown f/Lauren Alaina (36)
29. Don't Matter Now - George Ezra (33)
30. OK - Robin Schulz f/James Blunt (25)
31. Feels - Calvin Harris f/Pharrell, Katy Perry & Big Sean (27)
32. Let The World Be Ours Tonight - Deborah Cox (22)
33. Perfect - Ed Sheeran (48)
34. What Lovers Do - Maroon 5 f/SZA (54)
35. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars (35)
36. Fool - Fitz & The Tantrums (38)
37. Sun Comes Up - Rudimental f/James Arthur (39)
38. Testify! - Hifi Sean f/Crystal Waters (42)
39. Creatures Of The Night - Hardwell & Austin Mahone (43)
40. Unforgettable - Thomas Rhett (46)
41. Redbone - Childish Gambino (41)
42. Your Song - Rita Ora (32)
43. Every Little Thing - Carly Pearce (47)
44. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (40)
45. Long Time - Blondie (45)
46. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (44)
47. More Girls Like You - Kip Moore (51)
48. Rain - The Script (52)
49. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (49)
50. Sorry Not Sorry - Demi Lovato (74)
51. Highway Tune - Greta Van Fleet (55)
52. Mi Gente - J. Balvin & Willy William f/Beyonce (70)
53. I Could Use A Love Song - Maren Morris (59)
54. The Way You Used To Do - Queens Of The Stone Age (56)
55. Do I Make You Wanna - Billy Currington (53)
56. No Promises - Cheat Codes f/Demi Lovato (62)
57. Tired - Alan Walker f/Gavin James (61)
58. It Ain't My Fault - Brothers Osborne (58)
59. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (57)
60. Remember I Told You - Nick Jonas f/Anne-Marie & Mike Posner (60)
61. Little One - Highly Suspect (65)
62. Walkin' On The Sun 2017 - Smash Mouth (66)
63. Good Times - All Time Low (63)
64. Craving You - Thomas Rhett f/Maren Morris (50)
65. You're The Best Thing About Me - U2 (75)
66. Miles - Phillip Phillips (69)
67. When It Rains It Pours - Luke Combs (72)
68. Desperado - Rihanna (68)
69. Fix A Drink - Chris Janson (73)
70. Uh Oh - Jaki Nelson (78)
71. Light It Up - Luke Bryan (81)
72. Broken Glass - Rachel Platten (76)
73. Ask Me How I Know - Garth Brooks (77)
74. Whole Wide World - Cage The Elephant (84)
75. The Violence - Rise Against (64)
76. Crybaby - Paloma Faith (88)
77. Unforgettable - French Montana f/Swae Lee (67)
78. Two High - Moon Taxi (82)
79. Walk On Water - Thirty Seconds To Mars (83)
80. In Case You Didn't Know - Brett Young (80)
81. Reggaeton Lento - CNCO & Little Mix (86)
82. Location - Khalid (92)
83. First Time - Kygo & Ellie Goulding (98)
84. Giants - LIGHTS (94)
85. The Gold - Manchester Orchestra (97)
86. Sweat - All-American Rejects (96)
87. Havana - Camila Cabello f/Young Thug (100)
88. More Than Friends - James Hype f/Kelli-Leigh (90)
89. No Roots - Alice Merton (93)
90. American Dreams - Papa Roach (91)
91. Sunny Days - Armin van Buuren f/Josh Cumbee (DEBUT)
92. Dusk Till Dawn - Zayn & Sia (RE-ENTRY)
93. Lover My Love - Tim Myers (DEBUT)
94. Lonely Together - Avicii f/Rita Ora (DEBUT)
95. When We - Tank (99)
96. Greatest Love Story - LANCO (DEBUT)
97. Heartline - Craig David (DEBUT)
98. Go To War - Nothing More (DEBUT)
99. All On My Mind - Anderson East (DEBUT) 
100. Cola - CamelPhat & Elderbrook (DEBUT)

There are eight 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. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 10/20/17 - You're the whisper of a summer breeze, you're the kiss that puts my soul at ease...

"Rush Rush" - Paula Abdul
from the album Spellbound (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (five weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's song of the day comes from singer/dancer Paula Abdul, whose debut album Forever Your Girl had gifted her with five hugely successful singles with the top-3 "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" and four #1 pop hits in "Opposites Attract", "Cold Hearted", "Straight Up", and the title track "Forever Your Girl". However, her reputation was tainted a bit as backup singer Yvette Marine sued Abdul and her record company claiming her "guide vocals", which Abdul sung over, were amplified so much on the album that she basically sang co-lead on many of the tracks. Even though the suit was resolved in Abdul's favor, the perception of her as a manufactured commodity had legs, so she tried extra hard to overcome the stigma with her second album Spellbound. Produced by Peter Lord and Vernon Jeffrey-Smith, who were members of the alt-soul band the Family Stand, the album strayed from the strict club-oriented dance-pop fare of the late 1980's, and included help from Prince and Don Was on two of the tracks. The first single, "Rush Rush", was a lush love ballad written by Lord, and for MTV, who had help her become the star she was by airing her videos, a cinematic music video that remade parts of the James Dean film Rebel Without A Cause with Keanu Reeves as the Dean character brought Paula the biggest hit of her career...

"Rush Rush" became Paula's fifth #1 pop hit in the U.S. in June of 1991. The song also spent five weeks at #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and crossed over to peak at #20 on their R&B list. Internationally, the ballad claimed four weeks at the top of the Canadian singles chart, and reached the top ten in Australia (#2), the UK (#6), Sweden (#7), New Zealand (#7), the Netherlands (#9), and Norway (#9).

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Songoftheday 10/19/17 (#2000) - I like my job and I don't mind the work, but eleven out of twelve is bound to hurt...

"Couple Days Off" - Huey Lewis & The News
from the album Hard At Play (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Ed. Note: This is my 2000th "song of the day" installment since I started this feature in 2012,  which has really become the basis for my little corner of the internet. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to check it out, and I'll keep on going as long as I can.

Today's song of the day comes from the pop/rock band Huey Lewis & The News, who after two massive albums in the mid-80s, Sports and Fore!, had diversified their material for their fifth record Small World, and while it generated the top ten hit "Perfect World" and a top-40 single in the title track, it sold a lot less than the two previous that scored five top-40 hits apiece. The group left their longtime label Chrysalis, and after a two-year break re-emerged under EMI with a back-to-basics pub-rock album, Hard At Play. The first single, "Couple Days Off", was written by Lewis with band guitarist Chris Hayes and Charles Palmer. The record was a workingman's sing-a-long that tried to recapture to frantic energy of their earlier classic "Workin' For A Livin'"...

While "Couple Days Off" returned the News to the pop chart, it was their first lead single since 1982 to miss the top ten, doing so by just a notch in June of 1991. The song, dominated by loud guitars (for them), didn't reach Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, but did really well on rock radio, climbed to #3 for a week on their Mainstream Rock radio list. Internationally, the record reached the top-40 in the Netherlands (#17), New Zealand (#24), Australia (#40), and Germany (#40).

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Songoftheday 10/18/17 - Did you know that your feelings show you thought your love was locked up inside, but when your senses start to overload love is something you should never hide...

"Power Of Love/Love Power" - Luther Vandross
from the album Power Of Love (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day is from Luther Vandross, who had landed the first top ten pop hit of his career in the spring of 1990 with the ballad "Here And Now" from his first greatest hits record. A year later, with his profile high on mainstream radio, he released his seventh studio album Power Of Love. The first single from the set was a medley combining an original song, "Power Of Love", written by Luther with producer Marcus Miller, and "Love Power", an old soul single from the Sandpebbles, which reached #22 on the pop chart in 1968. The midtempo resulting track fit in quite nicely with the adult soft-pop of the turn of the decade, while the light new jack swing percussion allowed it to be played next to Color Me Badd and Bell Biv Devoe...

"Power Of Love/Love Power" became Luther's second top ten pop hit in June of 1991. The single was his sixth solo release to reach #1 on Billboard's R&B chart, spending two weeks there, while also spending three weeks at #3 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. Internationally, the record peaked at #8 in Canada, but just missed the top-40 in the UK (#46) and New Zealand (#45). The single ended up winning two Grammy Awards, for Best Male Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song (shared with Miller and Vann).

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Songoftheday 10/17/17 - You burden me with your questions you'd have me tell no lies, you're always asking what it's all about now listen to my replies...

"Unbelievable" - EMF
from the album Schubert Dip (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's song of the day comes from the British alternative rock band EMF, who came together in the western county of Gloucestershire bordering Wales in the late 1980's. Fronted by lead singer James Atkin, the group, whose initialed name suggested the term "Ecstasy Mother Fuckers!" (though publicly they insisted it was "Epsom Mad Funkers"), was one of the first prototypes of what would evolve into "Britpop" later in the decade. They released their first album Schubert Dip in 1991, with the catchy lead single "Unbelievable". Written by Atkin with bandmates Derran Brownson, Mark Decloedt, Ian Dench, and Zac Foley, was most memorable for the samples in it, including one from comedian Andrew Dice Clay and the "What the Fuck" uncensored but barely discernable...

"Unbelievable" climbed all the way to the top of the American pop Hot 100 list in July of 1991. The single also made it to #3 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart for two weeks. The remixes on the 12" vinyl/CD single helped the song reach #9 on their Dance Club Play list as well. Internationally, the record reached the top ten in their native Britain (#3) as well as Switzerland (#3), Canada (#4), Belgium (#4), Ireland (#5), the Netherlands (#6), Australia (#8), Norway (#8), Germany (#9), and Sweden (#9).

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 10/16/17 - INXS' "Bitter Tears"...

"Bitter Tears" - INXS
from the album X (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the Australian modern rock band INXS, whose seventh album X, commemorating their tenth year in the business, had scored them a pair of top ten pop hits in America with "Suicide Blonde" and "Disappear". (A third single released in the UK, "By My Side", just missed out on the top-40 there.) The third release in the States was the uptempo "Bitter Tears". Written by lead singer Michael Hutchence with the band's Andrew Farris, the song was a big hit on rock radio...

While "Bitter Tears" reached the top ten on both the Mainstream (#4) and Modern (#6) Rock radio charts in Billboard magazine, the track stopped just short of the pop top-40 in May of 1991. Internationally, the single reached the top-40 in Canada (#13), Britain (#30), the Netherlands (#34),  and Australia (#36).

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Songoftheday 10/16/17 - They've been told not to perhaps they are perplexed, When you see them holding hands they're making future plans to engage in the activity...

"People Are Still Having Sex" - LaTour
from the album LaTour (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #35 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day comes from DJ/producer William LaTour, who under his surname released his first album in 1991. The first single from the record, "People Are Still Having Sex", was a cheeky deep-house novelty with spoken-word verses about the state of romantic relations in the age of AIDS (including the questionable line "this AIDS thing's not working" which was changed in the radio version). Despite the comedic nature of the lyrics, the record was the most true to its house music roots of any of its contemporaries...

"People Are Still Having Sex" became LaTour's sole top-40 pop hit in May of 1991. The remixes on the 12"/cassette/CD single helped the track top Billboard's Dance Club Play chart for two weeks. Internationally, the record reached the top-40 in the UK (#15), Australia (#17), and New Zealand (#30). His follow-up single, "Cold", climbed to #25 on the Dance Club Play chart, while a third release, "Blue", was featured in the movie Basic Instinct and made it to #43 on that chart. In 1993, LaTour released a second album, Home On The Range, and three songs from the set reached the dance chart, with "Hypnomania" getting as high as #20. "E", the third single from the set, was his most recent charting song at #46. Since then he's been a radio DJ in different markets.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Songoftheday 10/15/17 - Blind needs won't set you free, can't you see that time is slipping away, but I got to say...

"How Much Is Enough" - The Fixx
from the album Ink (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #35 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from the British new wave band the Fixx, who we last seen with their top-20 pop hit from the summer of 1986, "Secret Separation". Two years later, after switching labels to RCA, the band released the album Calm Animals, but while the lead single "Driven Out", which sounded more R.E.M. than the Fixx, topped Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, it stalled down at #55 on the American pop Hot 100. They returned to MCA and their new wave sound with their sixth studio album Ink. The first release from the set, "How Much Is Enough", written by lead singer Cy Curnin with bandmates Jamie West-Oram, Rupert Greenall, Dan Brown, and Adam Woods had an INXS-esque groove to it....

"How Much Is Enough" became the Fixx's sixth and so far last top-40 pop hit in May of 1991. The song also climbed to #10 on Billboard's Modern Rock and #11 on their Mainstream Rock radio charts. It also peaked at #27 in Canada. A second single from the album, "No One Has To Cry", missed the pop and rock charts altogether.

The band, minus Brown, released another album, Elemental, in 1998, followed by 1011 Woodland, a collection of remakes of their previous songs, a year later. In 2003, they returned with Want That Life, but none of these made a big impression. Their most recent album, Beautiful Friction, came out in 2012, and while Brown returned and the album got good reviews, it missed the chart.

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