Monday, January 16, 2017

Songoftheday 1/16/17 - Call me a joker call me a fool, right at this moment I'm totally cool...

"I Go To Extremes" - Billy Joel
from the album Storm Front (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from Billy Joel, whose Storm Front album returned him to #1 on the American pop chart with the listicle song "We Didn't Start The Fire" in the winter of 1989. (In Europe, the track "Leningrad" was released as the second single, and reached the top-20 in Germany, Belgium,  and the Netherlands.) In the States, the next release would be the uptempo angst anthem, "I Go To Extremes". But among the guitar and drum muscle, there's an emotion in the lyrics possibly about bipolarism that takes one back to his Nylon Curtain album, where paranoia and romantic detachment reigned...


"I Go To Extremes" became the second top-10 pop hit from Storm Front in March of 1990. The song also climbed to #10 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, while it crossed over to #4 on their Adult Contemporary list. Internationally, the single made it to #3 in Canada, and reached the top 40 in Ireland (#29) and Germany (#36). It was only a minor hit in the UK at #70.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Brit Sweep: January 15, 2017...


It's time to cross the Atlantic once again to check out the notable songs and albums making their debut on the charts in the UK this week...

On the official singles chart in Britain there's a new #1 finally, as Clean Bandit's "Rockabye" drops to #4, and ginger darling Ed Sheeran arrives with not one, but two new songs that claims the top spots. First at #1 is "Shape Of You", becoming his third chart-topper in his home country after "Sing" and "Thinking Out Loud"...


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Songoftheday 1/15/17 - Cryin' doesn't ease the pain, when the fire is gone when the weak break the strong...

"Nothin' To Hide" - Poco
from the album Legacy (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #39 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's song of the day comes from the country/soft-rock band Poco, which included musical veterans like Randy Meisner from the Eagles, as well as Jim Messina and Richie Furay from Buffalo Springfield, along with drummer George Grantham and singer Rusty Young.  original lineup reunited in 1989 under the help of pop star Richard Marx for their Legacy album. That disc scored them their third top-20 pop hit with "Call It Love". Marx co-wrote the follow-up single, "Nothin' To Hide", with Bruce Gaitsch, was a waltz that had all the touches of a love ballad that would dominate country music in the upcoming decade. Meisner took the lead vocals on this single...


"Nothin' To Hide" became Poco's fourth and so far most recent top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in January of 1990. The song also climbed to #10 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. It did a bit better in Canada, reaching #25 on their pop chart (and #8 on their AC list).

A third single from Legacy, "The Nature Of Love" (sung by Meisner), went to #30 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart, while later that year "What Do People Know" from the album peaked at #24 on the Adult Contemporary chart. After touring with Marx, the band eventually went their separate ways mostly, with Young continuing under the Poco moniker with some former members and new ones for a while, with their most recent studio album All Fired Up in 2013.

Up tomorrow: Piano man doesn't take it easy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Songoftheday 1/14/17 - Boy Mercury shootin' through every degree, ooo girl dancin' down those dirty and dusty trails...

"Roam" - The B-52's
from the album Cosmic Thing (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day is from the new wave band the B-52's, who had grown from a quirky college act from Athens, Georgia, to mainstream pop stars with the perfect distillation of their sound on the top three pop hit "Love Shack" in the fall of 1989. That track was produced by Don Was; their next release would be helmed by disco god turned go-to producer Nile Rodgers (Madonna's "Like A Virgin", David Bowie's "Let's Dance"). "Roam" was written by the group with lyrics from Robert Waldrop, and the resulting "roadtrip"-style anthem sounded as mainstream as they were ever going to become. With Fred Schneider's carnival barking in the background and Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson harmonizing joyfully but straightforwardly, the record would become radio's safest bet with them (not to diminish how good the song is, like R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People")...


"Roam" became the band's second (and so far, most recent) top 10 pop hit in the U.S. in March of 1990. The song also climbed to #6 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, while the 12" remix made it to #10 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the single was a top ten success in New Zealand (#2), Canada (#4), and Ireland (#9), and reached #11 in Australia and #17 in the UK. It also slipped on to the top-40 in Germany, their first success there, at #40.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for January 13, 2017...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. "24K Magic" from Bruno Mars holds at #1 for an eighth week, while British bearish blues singer Rag N' Bone Man (pictured above) leaps into the top 5. Songs from the Weeknd/Daft Punk, Offaiah, and Lukas Graham make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Billy Currington, NERVO, and Daya drop off the chart. Is it a bad sign that the first month of this year has a Friday the 13th?

This Week         Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. 24K Magic - Bruno Mars (1)
2. Waste A Moment - Kings Of Leon (2)
3. Starboy - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (3)
4. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 f/Kendrick Lamar (4)
5. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (9)
6. Water Under The Bridge - Adele (14)
7. I Can't Stop Thinking About You - Sting (7)
8. Wanna Be That Song - Brett Eldredge (8)
9. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (6)
10. Song For Another Time - Old Dominion (5)
11. The Greatest - Sia f/Kendrick Lamar (15)
12. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes (10)
13. Dirty Laundry - Carrie Underwood (17)
14. Love Me Now - John Legend (18)
15. Thick Of It - Mary J. Blige (16)
16. Side To Side - Ariana Grande f/Nicki Minaj (20)
17. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (11)
18. Rockabye - Clean Bandit f/Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (22)
19. Star Of The Show - Thomas Rhett (21)
20. Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara (24)
21. Closer - The Chainsmokers f/Halsey (13)
22. Fresh Eyes - Andy Grammer (12)
23. HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums (19)
24. How I'll Always Be - Tim McGraw (28)
25. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (29)
26. So I Can Have You Back - Joe (34)
27. Blue Ain't Your Color - Keith Urban (32)
28. She's Out Of Your Mind - blink-182 (38)
29. Let Me Love You - DJ Snake f/Justin Bieber (33)
30. Say Yes - Tony Moran f/Jason Walker (30)
31. All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart (27)
32. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (36)
33. Sleep Without You - Brett Young (25)
34. Say It To Me - Pet Shop Boys (26)
35. Setting The World On Fire - Kenny Chesney (31)
36. 80s Mercedes - Maren Morris (40)
37. Good Grief - Bastille (37)
38. My Name Is Human - Highly Suspect (46)
39. Middle Of A Memory - Cole Swindell (39)
40. Older - Lodato & Joseph Duveen (44)
41. Starving - Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f/Zedd (45)
42. In The Name Of Love - Martin Garrix f/Bebe Rexha (42)
43. I Hate U, I Love U - gnash f/Olivia O'Brien (43)
44. Button Pusha - Ralphi Rosario & Aneeta Beat (50)
45. Shout Out To My Ex - Little Mix (35)
46. Blow Your Mind (MWAH) - Dua Lipa (51)
47. High and Low - Empire of the Sun (47)
48. A Guy With A Girl - Blake Shelton (53)
49. If The Boots Fit - Granger Smith (49)
50. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (48)
51. Seein' Red - Dustin Lynch (56)
52. Go Robot - Red Hot Chili Peppers (52)
53. Still Breathing - Green Day (57)
54. Better Man - Little Big Man (58)
55. Cheap Thrills - Sia f/Sean Paul (41)
56. Love On The Brain - Rihanna (60)
57. Kill A Word - Eric Church f/Rhiannon Giddens (61)
58. Sober Saturday Night - Chris Young f/Vince Gill (63)
59. Mercy - Shawn Mendes (66)
60. Love On The Weekend - John Mayer (68)
61. You're Not There - Lukas Graham (75)
62. I Feel It Coming - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (87)
63. Million Reasons - Lady Gaga (73)
64. Permission - Ro James (62)
65. Icarus - R3Hab (65)
66. May We All - Florida Georgia Line f/Tim McGraw (64)
67. 1990X - Maxwell (77)
68. Play That Song - Train (70)
69. Hell In Paradise 2016 - Yoko Ono (79)
70. This Town - Niall Horan (74)
71. Trouble - Offaiah (91)
72. Square Hammer - Ghost (76)
73. Rhythm & Blues - The Head and the Heart (80)
74. Blood In The Cut - k. flay (82)
75. Shine - Mondo Cozmo (85)
76. Alarm - Anne-Marie (81)
77. To Not Love You - DJ Pebbles (78)
78. Today - Brad Paisley (88)
79. Superlove - Tinashe (69)
80. When You Love Someone - James TW (92)
81. Lost On You - LP (83)
82. I Don't Wanna Live Forever - Zayn & Taylor Swift (94)
83. In A Drawer - Band Of Horses (93)
84. Ophelia - The Lumineers (84)
85. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (90)
86. A Little More Summertime - Jason Aldean (72)
87. Recovery - Kristii (DEBUT)
88. Body Moves - DNCE (DEBUT)
89. Think A Little Less - Michael Ray (99)
90. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (DEBUT)
91. Black Beatles - Rae Sremmurd f/Gucci Mane (DEBUT)
92. Atlas, Rise! - Metallica (DEBUT)
93. Bad Things - Machine Gun Kelly f/Camila Camacho (DEBUT)
94. Packed Powder - Blind Pilot (DEBUT)
95. Chore - Mark Forster (95)
96. In My Head - Party Favor f/Georgia Ku (DEBUT)
97. Anywhere - Dillon Francis f/Will Heard (RE-ENTRY)
98. Just Hold On - Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson (100)
99. Symmetry Of Two Hearts - Bright Light Bright Light f/Elton John (DEBUT)
100. Touch - Little Mix (DEBUT)

There are ten 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 1/13/17 - As I was walkin' by saw you standin' there with a smile, lookin' shy you caught my eye thought you'd want to hang for a while...

"Escapade" - Janet Jackson
from the album Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from Janet Jackson, whose album Rhythm Nation 1814 had spun off a #1 pop hit with "Miss You Much" along with the title track which stopped at #2. Both of those singles had videos that interlocked, shot in black and white and gave the impression of the entire set being a king of "concept album", which 1814 really wasn't, but inspired to be and gave a mood of one (the interludes, the scattered militant tone of some of the tracks). The third single from Rhythm Nation was the "party song" of the disc, "Escapade". Written by Janet with her producers Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis (aka Flyte Tyme), it's anchored by it's monolithic power-chords (with Prince-like tones), as she playfully sings about getting away for the weekend. It's since been an essential "road-trip" playlist/mixtape addition. As for the music video, she threw out the black and white and brought the bright colors for a party that's somewhere part circus and part skid row, although using many of the same dancers (and menacing soldiers) as "Miss" and "Rhythm" gave it subliminally a bit of continuity...


"Escapade" became Janet's third #1 pop hit in the U.S. in March of 1990. The single also spend a week on top of the R&B chart in Billboard, while the 12" remix single remained at #1 for three weeks on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the track topped the Canadian singles chart for a week, and reached the top-20 in the Netherlands (#17), Ireland (#13), Germany (#17), the UK (#17), and New Zealand (#15). It also got to #23 in France and #25 in Australia.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Songoftheday 1/12/17 - Now I say I trust you but I want you to know, I'm not a sucker chill out-your nose is growing Pinocchio...

"No More Lies" - Michel'le
from the album Michel'le (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from R&B singer Michel'le, who had released her self-titled debut album in 1989. At the time she was romantically involved with N.W.A. rapper Dr. Dre, and her album was on Eazy-E's Ruthless Records, a departure from their gangsta rap lineup. The first single from the record was the sassy "I caught ya" bounce of "No More Lies". Written by the singer with Dre and producer Laylaw (Larry Goodman), the novelty of the song was in her speaking voice, a childlike chirp that contrasted with her booming singing tone. Including rap-style flourishes between her and Dre made the record stand out more than most, and the production from Dre with DJ Yella recalled their earlier Heavy Wreckin' Cru work...


"No More Lies" became Michel'le's first big hit, and her sole top-ten pop single in the U.S. in March of 1990. The single also climbed to #2 on Billboard's R&B chart, sticking there for two weeks. The 12" remix single made it to #7 on their Dance Club Play list as well. Internationally, the record was a top-40 hit in New Zealand (#27), and a minor hit in the UK (#78).

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

German Sweep: January 11, 2017...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as Clean Bandit spends a third non-consecutive week at #1...

1. "Rockabye" - Clean Bandit featuring Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (1)
2. "Chöre" - Mark Forster (3)
3. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (2)
4. "Alone" - Alan Walker (8)
5. "Starboy" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (6)
6. "Shed A Light" - Robin Schulz & David Guetta featuring Cheat Codes (DEBUT)
7. "Bad Ideas" - Alle Farben (DEBUT)
8. "Would I Lie To You?" - David Guetta & Cedric Gervais featuring Chris Willis (RE-ENTRY)
9. "Ohne Mein Team" - Bonez MC & RAF Camora featuring Maxwell (RE-ENTRY)
10. "Say You Won't Let Go" - James Arthur (10)

German DJ/producer Robin Schulz teams up with Frenchman David Guetta (who also sits at #8 as well) and American duo Cheat Codes for "Shed A Light", which shines in at #6...


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Songoftheday 1/11/17 - Girl sometimes it seems to me that I don't say the things I should, to you I act like I'm no good...

"Price Of Love" - Bad English
from the album Bad English (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from the hard rock "supergroup" Bad English, who had members of Journey and the Babys on board. With lead singer John Waite, the band's eponymous debut disc spun off first a big rock radio hit with "Forget Me Not" before hitting #1 on the American pop chart with "When I See You Smile" in the fall of 1989. Their third single from the disc would be another "power-ballad" like "When...". "The Price Of Love", written by Waite with member Jonathan Cain (of Journey), followed that chart-topper's template...


"The Price Of Love" became Bad English's second (and last) top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in March of 1990. The song also climbed to #30 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, while it made it to #38 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list. Internationally, the song almost reached the top-40 in Australia, stopping at #44, while it popped on to the British chart for a couple weeks at #80.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

French Sweep: January 10, 2017...


I'm back for the first time this year with the top ten hits in France this week, according to that country's official singles chart, as Canadian soulster the Weeknd claims his second #1 hit (and French electro-dance duo Daft Punk their fourth)...

1. "I Feel It Coming" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (3)
2. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (2)
3. "Lost On You" - LP (1)
4. "Rockabye" - Clean Bandit featuring Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (9)
5. "Je M'en Vais" - Vianney (6)
6. "24K Magic" - Bruno Mars (4)
7. "Tuesday" - Burak Yeter featuring Danelle Sandoval (DEBUT)
8. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (RE-ENTRY)
9. "Heathens" - twenty-one pilots (10)
10. "I Feel So Bad" - KUNGS featuring Ephemerals (RE-ENTRY)

Turkish-born DJ/producer Burak Yeter jumps into the top ten at #7 with his reinterpretation of the ILOVEMAKONNEN R&B song "Tuesday" featuring singer Danelle Sandoval...


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Songoftheday 1/10/17 - Come in my world and baby you'll see, paradise is waiting for just you and me...

"I Want You" - Shana
from the album I Want You (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's song of the day comes from dance-pop singer Shana Petrone, who released her debut (and so far only) full length album (as just "Shana") at the close of 1989. The title track, "I Want You", written by Steve Gordon, was a Latin freestyle club jam that was sparse on lyrical meat but heavy of entrancing synthesizers. Dance music stations like Hot-97 and WKTU in New York ate it up...


"I Want You" scaled up and down the charts, eventually slipping into the American pop top-40 for a week in January of 1990. The record spent almost six months on the chart (23 weeks), which explains why it may be more familiar than its peak position eludes to.

A second single from I Want You, "You Can't Get Away", was a minor pop hit at #82.  The next time America heard Shana, she re-adopted her surname and changed her style to country music (she's from suburban Illinois, so no stretch). She had three charting country singles, with "This Time" almost making the top-40 at #45 in 1999.

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