Thursday, July 28, 2016

Aussie Sweep: July 29, 2016...

Let's head Down Under to check out the songs making their way on to the local artists charts in Australia this week. On the singles list, the Veronicas hold at #1 with "In My Blood" (on the main chart, Katy Perry's "Rise" ascends to the top)...

Aussie "boy-band" 5 Seconds Of Summer take their theme to the new Ghostbusters reboot film, "Girls Talk Boys", to #4...

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Songoftheday 7/29/16 - I can't sleep at night I toss and turn listenin' for the telephone, but when I get your call I'm all choked up can't believe you called my home...

"Every Little Step" - Bobby Brown
from the album Don't Be Cruel (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from singer Bobby Brown, whose sophomore album Don't Be Cruel had already spun off three top-ten pop hits with the title track, "Roni", and the #1 "My Prerogative". The fourth single from the album was arguably my favorite of the record, "Every Little Step". Written by the superstar production team of Babyface and L.A. Reid, the mid-tempo new jack swing nugget sported a video that had, erm, that outfit...

"Every Little Step" became the fourth top-ten pop hit from Don't Be Cruel in June of 1989. The song also landed Bobby his fourth #1 solo R&B hit. The extended remix climbed to #17 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the track reached the top ten in New Zealand (#5), the UK (#6), Australia (#8), and Ireland (#10).

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

German Sweep: July 27, 2016...

Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official music singles chart, as French singer Imany remains on top for a third week...

1. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (1)
2. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (2)
3. "Please Tell Rosie" - Alle Farben featuring YOUNOTUS (4)
4. "Can't Stop The Feeling!" - Justin Timberlake (6)
5. "Ain't Your Mama" - Jennifer Lopez (7)
6. "Don't Let Me Down" - The Chainsmokers featuring Daya (8)
7. "One Dance" - Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla (5)
8. "This One's For You" - David Guetta featuring Zara Larsson (3)
9. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia featuring Sean Paul (9)
10. "No Money" - Galantis (DEBUT)

Swedish electrohouse duo Galantis score their first top ten hit in Germany (and their first top-40, for that matter) with their single "No Money" at #10...

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Songoftheday 7/27/16 - Have mercy on my eyes lady whatcha wearin now? you know it's a crim the way you look in clothes...

"Birthday Suit" - Johnny Kemp
from the album Sing (Original Soundtrack) (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #36 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from Bahamian-born pop/soul singer Johnny Kemp, who landed a top-ten hit with his weekend jam "Just Got Paid" in the summer of 1988. Two more singles from his second album, "Dancin' With Myself" and "One Thing Led To Another", also reached the R&B top-40, but missed the pop list altogether. His next move was a contribution to the soundtrack to the movie Sing in the spring of the next year. Written by Footloose scribe Dean Pitchford, who also penned the music to this song-and-dance film, it didn't grab a hold of that current generation's imagination like Footloose did, but the collection of music did draw some big names of that time in adult pop music like Terri Nunn of Berlin, Paul Carrack of Mike & The Mechanics, Mickey Thomas of Starship, Bill Champlin of Chicago, Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon, and even Patti LaBelle makes an appearance. The single released from the set was Kemp's "Birthday Suit", written by Pitchford with Rhett Lawrence. A bouncy and half-sleazy/half-squeaky jaunt about taking your clothes off, it gave Johnny his last pop hurrah...

"Birthday Suit" became Kemp's second and final top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in April of 1989. The song also climbed to #21 on Billboard's R&B chart, while the extended remix made it to #25 on their Dance Club Play list. Meanwhile, as opposed to Footloose's multiplatinum success, the soundtrack to Sing spent one solitary week on the albums sales chart at #196.

Johnny wouldn't release any more major-label releases, but did occasionally tour with other "oldies" 80s acts like Keith Sweat, but sadly he died in a freak fall accident in Jamaica in 2015.

Up tomorrow:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

French Sweep: July 26, 2016...

Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Justin Timberlake climbs back to #1 for a fifth nonconsecutive week...

1. "Can't Stop The Feeling!" - Justin Timberlake (2)
2. "Encore Un Soir" - Celine Dion (3)
3. "Rise" - Katy Perry (DEBUT)
4. "Paris C'est Loin" - Damso (DEBUT)
5. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (4)
6. "This One's For You" - David Guetta featuring Zara Larsson (1)
7. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia (5)
8. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (8)
9. "This Is What You Came For" - Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna (6)
10. "Duele El Corazon" - Enrique Iglesias (9)

Katy Perry returns to the chart at #3 with a song dedicated to the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio, "Rise"...

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Songoftheday 7/26/16 - It must have been cold there in my shadow, to never have sunlight on your face...

"Wind Beneath My Wings" - Bette Midler
from the album Beaches (Original Soundtrack) (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from multi-faceted entertainer Bette Midler, who grew up in Hawaii under parents from New Jersey, before heading back east after leaving college to start a career. Besides a few on-and-off Broadway shows, Bette started singing in the notorious/legendary (depending on how you look at it) Continental Baths, a gay gathering place (to put it lightly), where she accumulated a devoted gay fanbase that carries on to this day. With the man who accompanied her at the baths, pianist Barry Manilow, she released her debut album, The Divine Miss M, in 1972. The first single, a lush remake of the Beach Boys' "Do You Want To Dance", climbed to #17 on the American pop chart, and #8 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio list. Another cover, this take a campy redo of the Andrews Sisters' "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", went to #1 on the adult contemporary chart and #8 on the pop list. From the exposure from that album, Midler earned the Best New Artist Grammy the following year. Midler continued to have success through the 70s, albeit a bit more moderate, until her starring turn in The Rose returned her to the top ten with the title track (#3), and that song also topped the adult contemporary chart. She was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the movie, and it started a series of starring roles through the 80s that established her more as an actress than a singer. But in 1989, with another film of hers, Beaches, she landed the biggest hit of her career so far. Playing another singer, this time from a child to an adult, and her friendship with a woman who ends up struggling with a terminal disease, Bette drew accolades again, but what stood out was the highlight song of the soundtrack. It was a remake of a song originally recorded by easy-listening performer Roger Whittaker in 1982. "Wind Beneath My Wings", written by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar, was a run-of-the-mill love song in the hands of Whittaker...

The first American performer to have success with the song was Lou Rawls, to took his version to #10 on the Adult Contemporary list, and pierced the pop chart at #65 in 1983...

Bette's stately reading of the song gave the piece the reverence it deserved, and duly became Bette's big moment...

"Wind Beneath My Wings" became Bette's first and so far sole #1 pop hit in June of 1989. The song surprisingly didn't do the same on the easy-listening chart, stopped at #2 on Billboard's AC radio list. Internationally, the track went to #1 in Australia, #3 in Canada, #4 in New Zealand, and #5 in the UK. It was also grab both the Record and Song of the Year Grammy Awards in 1990.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 7/25/16 - Carly Simon's "Let The River Run"...

"Let The River Run" - Carly Simon
from the album Working Girl (Original Soundtrack) (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #49

This week's "robbed hit" comes from pop singer/songwriter Carly Simon, who had a resurgence in her career in the mid-80s thanks to her Coming Around Again album, which sold over a million copies. Four singles from that record reached the top ten on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, and the title track also crossed over into the pop top-40 in the winter of 1987. A subsequent live album also went platinum later in the year. Her next studio work would be five contributions to the soundtrack of the Harrison Ford/Meg Ryan/Sigourney Weaver rom-com Working Girl. One of the tracks, the anthemic theme of "Let The River Run", was released as a single for radio as well. Written and co-produced by Carly, it showed her at her best vocal form, as the empowerment ode was a perfect match for the film's premise of female upward mobility...

While "Let The River Run" climbed to #11 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, the single stopped just at the halfway mark on the American pop chart in April of 1989. Internationally, the song also was a minor hit in the UK (#79) and Australia (#91). But it did make up for it in sweeping the Oscar, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award for best song from a movie, something only achieved later by Bruce Springsteen for his "Streets Of Philadelphia" song.
So far "Let The River Run" is her final lead-artist single on the Hot 100, though she did return as a listed "featured artist" on Janet Jackson's "Son of A Gun" single, which interpolates Simon's #1 "You're So Vain".

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Songoftheday 7/25/16 - Zappin' it to ya the pressure's everywhere, goin' right through ya the fever's in the air...

"Electric Youth" - Debbie Gibson
from the album Electric Youth (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from teen singer/songwriter/producer Debbie Gibson, who had landed her second #1 pop hit with the lead single from her second album, "Lost In Your Eyes", in the spring of 1989. The follow-up release would be the set's title track, "Electric Youth". A squeaky-clean and  bouncy teen-pop nugget written by Gibson and produced by Fred Zarr, it was maybe a little too nice to continue her streak of top ten hits...

"Electric Youth" frustratingly stopped right short of the top ten on the American pop chart at #11 for three weeks in May of 1989, and dropped quick out of the top-40 after two months. However, the club remix of the song became her biggest dance hit at #3. Internationally, the song made the top-20 in Ireland (#13), the UK (#14), Canada (#15), and Germany (#18).

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Brit Sweep: July 24, 2016...

Hey gang, let's travel across the Atlantic yet again to check out the songs and albums making their way on to the British charts this week...

On the official singles chart in the UK, Drake remains steady at #1 for a fifteenth consecutive week with "One Dance"...

After a seemingly long break, pop queen Katy Perry returns at #25 with a song dedicated to the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, "Rise"...

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Songoftheday 7/24/16 - So you heard that I'm a rebel with a heart made of stone, I got a restless spirit that nobody can own...

"Soldier Of Love" - Donny Osmond
from the album Donny Osmond (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from Donny Osmond, who started out with his brothers in a family pop act that emulated the Jackson Five, The Osmonds. With a song rejected by the Motown kings, "One Bad Apple", they reached #1 on their first trip on the pop chart in 1970. Even as they continued to score more hit singles, their record company, MGM, wasted no time in rolling out Donny as a separate and concurrent solo act, with his first single by himself, "Sweet And Innocent", reaching #7 less than a year later. He followed that with a cover of Steve Lawrence's easy-listening nugget "Go Away Little Girl", which became his second total and sole solo #1 pop single. He had three more top-ten pop hits with his brothers, and three more on his own, in the early 70s. As disco and funk became more prominent, and Donny's angelic voice deepened, he ventured into TV with his sister Marie, and their first top ten together, "I'm Leaving It Up To You", came the same year as his last with the Osmonds. The pair hosted a variety show on television from 1976 to 1978, and he occasionally had some radio success, such as the disco-fied "C'mon Marianne" (#38, 1976). They even starred in a movie, Goin' Coconuts, which also let him hit the top-40 with the sublime dancefloor cheese of "On The Shelf" (#38). But hitching their wagon to disco, they suffered the consequences when the genre kicked the can in popularity in the early 80s.

Fast forward ten years, with Donny attempting a pop "comeback" after years on the stage (most notably as the star in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). He recorded a new album with producers Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, who had helmed many R&B artists in the mid-80s, and would become hitmakers themselves under the moniker Rythm Syndicate ("P.A.S.S.I.O.N."). Donny had a minor hit in the UK, "If It's Love That You Want" (a clone of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel"), which hit #70 on the British singles chart. The follow-up track was one that got noticed by a radio DJ, who sneakily got the record airplay without divulging the artist, causing speculation on who could be singing. George Michael? A departed New Kid? No, it was Donny, who eventually landed his first hit in a decade with "Soldier Of Love"...

"Soldier Of Love" almost made it all the way to the top, peaking at the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in June of 1989. The song also climbed to #20 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the record went to #29 in the UK.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Songoftheday 7/23/16 - He wasn't looking for a pretty face, she wasn't searching for the latest style...

"Everlasting Love" - Howard Jones
from the album Cross That Line (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from the British synthpop wizard Howard Jones, who was still enjoying a productive decade in the 80s, landing his sixth top-40 pop hit in the U.S. with "You Know I Love You...Don't You?" in the winter of 1986. A second single from his One to One album, "All I Want", was also a minor pop hit at #76 in America, and his sole top-40 hit from the set in the UK at #35. It would take another two and a half years for Howard's next studio album, Cross That Line, to arrive. It would end up being his last so far to reach the American albums sales chart. The first single, "Everlasting Love", brought back the bubbly midtempo production that made "Life In A Day" so charming...

"Everlasting Love" became Howard's fifth song to make the top-20 on the American pop chart in June of 1989. The single would also climb to #19 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, but its biggest success was at the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") format, where the tune topped the list for two weeks. Internationally, the track didn't do as well in his native UK, where it stalled down at #62, and in Australia at #91, but in Canada, it turned out to be his biggest hit at #3.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

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

Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Sia finally jumps to #1, while the Chainsmokers and Daya (pictured above) hold in the top-5. Former big hits from Empire of the Sun, Old Dominion, Tony Moran/Jason Walker, and Johnny Gill/New Edition drop off my list, while songs from Charlie Puth/Selena Gomez, Sam Hunt, and the Head and the Heart make some of the biggest moves (jumps of 10+ places highlighted in red). Lord, save our soul from the Creamsicle...

This Week               Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Cheap Thrills - Sia f/Sean Paul (3)
2. Can't Stop The Feeling! - Justin Timberlake (1)
3. Send My Love (To Your New Lover) - Adele (4)
4. Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers (2)
5. Don't Let Me Down - The Chainsmokers f/Daya (5)
6. Bored To Death - blink-182 (8)
7. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (7)
8. Ophelia - The Lumineers (6)
9. Wherever I Go - OneRepublic (10)
10. Lost Boy - Ruth B. (11)
11. Ride - twenty-one pilots (8)
12. Ain't No Man - The Avett Brothers (12)
13. One Dance - Drake f/Wizkid & Kyla (23)
14. Spirits - The Strumbellas (14)
15. Kill The Lights - Alex Newell, Jess Glynne, DJ Cassidy & Nile Rodgers (15)
16. I Need Never Get Old - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (20)
17. Faded - Alan Walker (19)
18. T-Shirt - Thomas Rhett (16)
19. Noise - Kenny Chesney (21)
20. H.O.L.Y. - Florida Georgia Line (25)
21. 7 Years - Lukas Graham (13)
22. Fire - Barns Courtney (22)
23. HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums (27)
24. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (24)
25. This Is What You Came For - Calvin Harris f/Rihanna (30)
26. Keep You In Mind - Guordan Banks (18)
27. I Took A Pill In Ibiza - Mike Posner (17)
28. Record Year - Eric Church (32)
29. Hymn For The Weekend - Coldplay (33)
30. Just Like Fire - Pink (31)
31. Brand New - Ben Rector (29)
32. Church Bells - Carrie Underwood (34)
33. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (37)
34. Wasted Time - Keith Urban (36)
35. Hell No - Ingrid Michaelson (39)
36. Fix - Chris Lane (40)
37. I Wanna Know - Alesso f/Nico & Vinz (41)
38. The Devil's Bleeding Crown - Volbeat (28)
39. One Night In Heaven - Toy Armada & DJ Grind f/Inaya Day
40. Better Place - Rachel Platten (44)
41. Pillowtalk - Zayn (26)
42. This Girl - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (47)
43. Lake By The Ocean - Maxwell (45)
44. Head Over Boots - Jon Pardi (52)
45. Never Forget You - Zara Larsson & MNEK (35)
46. Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw (42)
47. All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart (61)
48. All Four Walls - Gorgon City f/Vaults (48)
49. We Don't Talk Anymore - Charlie Puth f/Selena Gomez (64)
50. Under These Lights - Xenia Ghali (50)
51. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (38)
52. The Glittering Gutter - Billie Ray Martin (62)
53. Work From Home - Fifth Harmony f/Ty Dolla $ign (53)
54. Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande (60)
55. Night's On Fire - David Nail (63)
56. Think Of You - Chris Young f/Cassadee Pope (56)
57. Lights Come On - Jason Aldean (59)
58. My House - Flo Rida (58)
59. Livin' For Your Love (Your Love) - Rosabel f/Jeanie Tracy (71)
60. Me Too - Meghan Trainor (65)
61. Make You Miss Me - Sam Hunt (76)
62. Casual Party - Band of Horses (66)
63. Off The Ground - The Record Company (51)
64. Amen - Anthony Hamilton (68)
65. So Alive - Goo Goo Dolls (69)
66. Wow - Beck (70)
67. T.U.T.P. (Turn Up The Party) - Dirty Freqs f/Vassy (67)
68. Can't Wait - Jill Scott (78)
69. Came Here To Forget - Blake Shelton (57)
70. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (74)
71. Only - tyDi f/Olivia Somerlyn (82)
72. Asking For It - Shinedown (80)
73. Take It From Me - KONGOS (73)
74. Close - Nick Jonas f/Tove Lo (84)
75. Never Be Like You - Flume f/Kai (85)
76. Somewhere On A Beach - Dierks Bentley (72)
77. Huntin', Fishin' & Lovin' Every Day - Luke Bryan (77)
78. Cry - Sigma f/Take That (79)
79. Kiss It Better - Rihanna (93)
80. Wild Things - Alessia Cara (94)
81. River - Bishop Briggs (86)
82. Don't Mind - Kent Jones (89)
83. From The Ground Up - Dan + Shay (87)
84. Needed Me - Rihanna (88)
85. Light It Up - Major Lazer f/Nyla & Fuse ODG (75)
86. American Country Love Song - Jake Owen (90)
87. Good Grief - Bastille (DEBUT)
88. Don't Be So Shy - Imany (98)
89. This Is For My Girls - Kelly Clarkson & Various Artists (91)
90. Bring Back The Summer - Rain Man f/OLY (100)
91. Peter Pan - Kelsea Ballerini (DEBUT)
92. This One's For You - David Guetta f/Zara Larsson (92)
93. Tears - Clean Bandit f/Louisa Johnson (97)
94. You Look Like I Need A Drink - Justin Moore (DEBUT)
95. The Sound - The 1975 (DEBUT)
96. Give Me Your Love - Sigala f/John Newman & Nile Rodgers (DEBUT)
97. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes (DEBUT)
98. Without You - The Rua (DEBUT)
99. Too Good - Drake f/Rihanna (RE-ENTRY)
100. How Many Fucks - Erika Jayne (DEBUT)

There are eight songs making their debut on the chart this week (highlighted in blue), and if you click on any of them you'll connect to that artist's official website. And after the break, all the newbies on video...

Songoftheday 7/22/16 - And where do we go from here? Which is the way that's clear?

"Rock On" - Michael Damian
from the albums Where Do We Go From Here and Dream A Little Dream (Original Soundtrack) (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from actor/singer Michael Damian, whose success had actually started in the latter profession, scoring a minor pop hit in 1981 with a cover of Eric Carmen's "She Did It" (#69) when he was 19 years old. Getting noticed promoting the single, he was hired to play a cabaret singer on the soap opera The Young and The Restless as Danny Romalotti. And like Rick Springfield, Jack Wagner, and Gloria Loring, Michael used his exposure to land a song on a soundtrack featuring two of the hottest teen actors of the time, Corey Feldman and Corey Haim, Dream A Little Dream. It was a cover of a song that went to the top-5 of the American pop chart back in 1974, "Rock On". The original artist, David Essex, was also an actor, and never had a top-40 pop hit in the US after this psychedelic pop nugget that he wrote...

Michael's version took out the spookiness of the Essex original to leave the stomping easy-to-follow rock anthem...

Damian's version of "Rock On" went all the way to #1 on the pop chart in the U.S. in June of 1989.

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