Saturday, June 24, 2017

Songoftheday 6/24/17 - It's hard to tell you how I feel without hurting you, so try to think about yourself the way that I see you...

"Hippychick" - Soho
from the album Goddess (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #14 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the British alternative-dance act Soho, who came together in the late 1980s with songwriter/musician Tim Brinkhurst (aka Timothy London) and sisters Jacqui and Pauline Cuff. In 1988, their debut single "Piece Of You", a slice of techno/HI-NRG that was a minor hit in the UK at #80. A year later, the trio re-emerged with their sophomore effort, Goddess, which featured a single that would sport one of the most left-field of samples. "Hippychick", written by Brinkhurst, had as its foundation the instrumental break from the classic "How Soon Is Now?" emo-rock titans the Smiths. That original was that band's best-known song, with a trippy beat that enraptured the youth of Britain and America in 1985, with lyrics about a politically active girl telling her cop boyfriend that she's more that a peace-sign-giving stoner...


"Hippychick" added a trip-hop beat to the mix, and lyrics actually eschewing the notion that the girls are such "hippies"...


"Hippychick" became Soho's first and only top-40 pop hit in America in November of 1990. The single also climbed to #11 on Bilboard's Modern Rock radio chart, while the remixes on the 12"/CD single helped the record up to #2 for two weeks on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the record was a top-40 hit in New Zealand (#7) and Australia (#21); in their native Britain, it was a minor hit at first at #67, but in 1991 after its American success, "Hippycheck" re-entered the UK charts and ended up spending a couple weeks at #8.

The trio's next single in America from Goddess, the tribal funk of "Freaky", got to #32 on the Billboard dance chart, while overseas, the more mod rock "Love Generation" peaked at #85 in Britain. In 1991, they appeared on a spaced-out cover of the disco nugget "Born To Be Alive!" by DJ/dance artist Adamski, which climbed to #51. They would go on to record a handful more albums, but nothing since had taken ahold of the mainstream.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Friday, June 23, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for June 23, 2017...

Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Ed Sheeran holds tight at #1 for a third week, while British modern rockers Bastille (pictured above) storm into the top 5. Former big hits from Blondie, Blake Shelton, and Calum Scott drop off my chart, while songs from Shawn Mendes, Midland, and Harry Styles make some of the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Happy Pride, NYC...

This Week               Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. Believer - Imagine Dragons (2)
3. Symphony - Clean Bandit f/Zara Larsson (3)
4. Feel It Still - Portugal, The Man (6)
5. Blame - Bastille (7)
6. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars (4)
7. Stay - Zedd & Alessia Cara (12)
8. Despacito - Luis Fonsi f/Daddy Yankee (16)
9. Hurricane - Luke Combs (5)
10. Heavy - Linkin Park f/Kiiara (11)
11. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (9)
12. Love Is Mystical - Cold War Kids (8)
13. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (13)
14. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (14)
15. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (10)
16. How Not To - Dan + Shay (18)
17. Attention - Charlie Puth (22)
18. In Case You Didn't Know - Brett Young (19)
19. Redbone - Childish Gambino (23)
20. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (20)
21. Cold - Maroon 5 f/Future (17)
22. It Ain't Me - Kygo & Selena Gomez (26)
23. Black - Dierks Bentley (15)
24. Craving You - Thomas Rhett f/Maren Morris (30)
25. Issues - Julia Michaels (25)
26. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (21)
27. The Fighter - Keith Urban f/Carrie Underwood (27)
28. Shine On Me - Dan Auerbach (29)
29. The Cure - Lady Gaga (33)
30. You Look Good - Lady Antebellum (37)
31. There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back - Shawn Mendes (51)
32. Good News - Ocean Park Standoff (32)
33. Sign Of The Times - Harry Styles (43)
34. Skin - Rag N' Bone Man (34)
35. Angela - The Lumineers (39)
36. If I Told You - Darius Rucker (36)
37. I Love You - Axwell & Ingrosso f/Kid Ink (28)
38. Kissing Strangers - DNCE f/Nicki Minaj (38)
39. Cold Cold Cold - Cage The Elephant (24)
40. HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar (44)
41. Rockabye - Clean Bandit f/Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (31)
42. Anthem Of House - Rosabel f/Terri B! (42)
43. You're Not Alone - Scotty Boy & Lizzie Curious (47)
44. Back 2 Love - Dave Aude' & JVMIE (48)
45. High - Sir Sly (50)
46. Yours If You Want It - Rascal Flatts (52)
47. Hard Times - Paramore (57)
48. U + Me (Love Lesson) - Mary J. Blige (49)
49. Chained To The Rhythm - Katy Perry f/Skip Marley (41)
50. Reverend - Kings Of Leon (54)
51. Don't Take The Money - Bleachers (61)
52. Malibu - Miley Cyrus (62)
53. Set Yourself Free - Dirty Disco f/Celeda (53)
54. Be The One - Dua Lipa (58)
55. No Roots - Alice Merton (56)
56. Drinkin' Problem - Midland (71)
57. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (46)
58. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (60)
59. Cold Little Heart - Michael Kiwanuka (63)
60. Let You Down - Seether (64)
61. Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara (35)
62. Falling - Alesso (40)
63. Lady - Austin Mahone f/Pitbull (69)
64. Every Time I Hear That Song - Blake Shelton (68)
65. Undress - Anjali (73)
66. Slow Hands - Niall Horan (76)
67. Flatliner - Cole Swindell (77)
68. Come To Me - Sean Finn & Chris Willis (72)
69. Somebody Else Will - Justin Moore (79)
70. Find Me - Sigma f/Birdy (45)
71. My Girl - Dylan Scott (75)
72. 5000 Miles - Johnny Gill f/Jaheim (74)
73. Now Or Never - Halsey (81)
74. Baby I'm Broken - The Record Company (78)
75. Black Rose - Volbeat (80)
76. No Such Thing As A Broken Heart - Old Dominion (DEBUT)
77. Turn It Down For What - StoneBridge f/Seri (87)
78. The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness - The National (82)
79. In Cold Blood - alt-J (83)
80. Hometown Girl - Josh Turner (70)
81. The Cool - Zia (85)
82. Runnin' Out - After 7 (85)
83. No More Sad Songs - Little Mix f/Machine Gun Kelly (93)
84. Options - Pitbull f/Stephen Marley (89)
85. Paris - The Chainsmokers (55)
86. Drink Up - Train (88)
87. Run - Foo Fighters (DEBUT)
88. OK - Robin Schulz f/James Blunt (DEBUT)
89. Song #3 - Stone Sour (DEBUT)
90. Slide - Calvin Harris f/Frank Ocean & Migos (91)
91. Dig Down - Muse (DEBUT)
92. Any Ol' Barstool - Jason Aldean (92)
93. Somebody Else - The 1975 (97)
94. Chocolat - Lartiste f/Awa Imani (94)
95. Strip That Down - Liam Payne f/Quavo (95)
96. J-Boy - Phoenix (DEBUT)
97. Galway Girl - Ed Sheeran (RE-ENTRY)
98. Liar Liar 2017 - Captain SKA (DEBUT)
99. Ghosting - Joe Bermudez f/Meg'n (DEBUT)
100. Heart Away From You - DJ Pebbles (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. And here they are on video, after the break...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 6/23/17 - They met on the dancefloor in the old high school gym, he fell like a rock she kinda liked him...

"So Close" - Daryl Hall and John Oates
from the album Change Of Season (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the biggest pop duo of the 1980's, Daryl Hall and John Oates, who had dominated the decade with twenty-one top-40 hits in those ten years. Among them were three from their first album with new record label Arista in 1988, "Downtown Life", "Missed Opportunities", and the #3 single "Everything Your Heart Desires". Two years later, the pair released their second record with the imprint, Change Of Season, which marked an evolution from their pop-soul sound to a more rock/adult affair. The first single from the project was produced by Jon Bon Jovi, who added music (along with guitarist Danny Kortchmar) to a song from Hall and George Green called "So Close".  It ended up being their last big hurrah on mainstream pop radio...


"So Close" became Hall and Oates' most recent top-40 pop hit in December of 1990. The song also climbed to #6 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the single was one of their biggest in Canada, peaking at #4, and was a minor hit in the UK at #69.

Their next single, "Don't Hold Back Your Love", became their first regular release since the 1970's to miss the top-40, coming one notch from the mark at #41, though it peaked at #4 on the Adult Contemporary list (and #10 in Canada). A third release from the album,  a cover of Mel & Tim's "Starting All Over Again", reached the top-10 Adult Contemporary at #10, while another track, "Everywhere I Look", got to #74 in the UK.

After the death of writing partner Janna Allen, and another solo album from Daryl, they wouldn't re-emerge with another duo album until 1997's Marigold Sky. The lead single "Promise Ain't Enough" got to #6 on the AC chart and stuck around for over seven months there. They took another five years for their Do It For Love record, but were rewarded with four singles that made the AC list, including the #1 title track. They followed shortly after with a covers collection, Our Kind Of Soul, that saw their most recent pop Hot 100 appearance, a version of the Spinners' "I'll Be Around" that popped in at #97 (and #6 AC). They most recently topped the easy-listening list in 2006 for two weeks with a reading of "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" from a holiday album. Daryl became a pioneer of music expression on the internet with his web series Live At Daryl's House, which saw him invite a myriad of different artists veteran and newbies to collaborate with him and his band which remains a must-see to this day. Daryl and John also occasionally collaborate, and are currently on tour with fellow 80s holdbacks Tears For Fears.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Aussie Sweep: June 22, 2017...

Let's take another trip Down Under to check out the songs and albums from local artists reaching the charts in Australia this week...

On the Australian Artists Singles chart, Dean Lewis holds on at #1 with "Waves"...

Pop singer Starley, who had an international hit with "Call On Me", returns to her homeland's chart at #6 with "Touch Me"...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 6/22/17 - The chills that you spill up my back keep me filled with satisfaction when we're done, satisfaction of what's to come...

"Groove Is In The Heart" - Deee-Lite
from the album World Clique (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the alternative dance trio Deee-Lite, who came together in the late 1980's when married couple Pittburgh-raised American singer/DJ Lady Miss Kier and Russian-born DJ Dmitri, who performed together at first, took on Japanese DJ/producer Towa Tei in New York. The eclectic trio released their debut album, World Clique in 1990, with the first single being what would become a club classic, "Groove Is In The Heart". The funky retro-style booty-shaker was based on a foundation of a sample from jazz legend Herbie Hancock's "Bring Down The Birds", a less-than-two-minute track from a soundtrack to an obscure film...


Incorporating that with elements from Vernon Burch's "Get Up", along with other samples, the song sounded old and new at the same time, and clubgoers went nuts for the welcome change of pace from the frenetic beats of house music and laid-back chill of the Soul II Soul sound. The video featured Kier, Dmitri, and Towa in flower-power-style couture designed by Kier. Bootsy Collins, who played with James Brown and George Clinton, appears on the record and in the video, along with Brown player Maceo Parker and rapper Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, all ending up arguably the best pop single of 1990...


"Groove Is In The Heart" became Deee-lite's first and only top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in November of 1990. The single also climbed to #28 on Billboard's R&B chart as well. Remixes of the song from the 12"/CD single helped it spend three weeks at #1 on their Dance Club Play list as a double-sided hit with "What Is Love?". Internationally, the single topped the chart in Australia, peaked at #2 in the UK (again with "What Is Love?") and New Zealand, and reached the top-10 in Ireland (#8), Finland (#9), and the Netherlands (#10).

The trio's next single, the house music jam "Power Of Love", also topped the dance chart in America, but stopped just short of the pop top-40 at #47, but did get to #25 in the UK. A third release, "E.S.P.", went to #7 on Billboard's dance chart, but then "Good Beat" returned Deee-Lite back to the top of that list. The World Clique album remains a must-have set for anybody interested in dance music in the 1990s.

In 1992, Kier, Dmitri, and Tei released their sophomore album, Infinity Within, which had more meatier lyrical content over the beats, with tracks like "Vote, Baby, Vote", and the safe-sex PSA "Rubber Lover". First single "Runaway" topped the dance chart, but nothing from the set got any attention on pop radio. While they broke up during the recording of their third effort, Dewdrops In The Garden, the resulting record scored a pair of #1 dance hits with "Bring Me Your Love" and "Call Me" in 1994-5. Since the act's dissolution, each of the members has gone on to prolific DJ'ng careers, but there's no sign of them ever coming back together as yet.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

German Sweep: June 21, 2017...

Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, as Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee remain on top for an eighth week...

1. "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee (1)
2. "OK" - Robin Schulz featuring James Blunt (2)
3. "2U" - David Guetta featuring Justin Bieber (DEBUT)
4. "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (5)
5. "There's Nothin' Holding Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (6)
6. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (3)
7. "I'm The One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, & Lil' Wayne (7)
8. "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (DEBUT)
9. "Mama" - Jonas Blue featuring William Singe (DEBUT)
10. "Louis Louis" - Kay One (9)

Justin Bieber again has two appearances in the top ten as his featured role on DJ Khaled's "I'm The One" is joined at #3 with his collaboration with French dance music king David Guetta's "2U"...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 6/21/17 - Well I see him on the TV preachin' 'bout the promised lands, he tells me to believe in Jesus and steals the money from my hand...

"Something To Believe In" - Poison
from the album Flesh & Blood (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from the glam-metal band Poison, whose third album Flesh & Blood had already scored a top-10 pop hit with "Unskinny Bop" in the fall of 1990. Their second single from the set was a power-ballad in the style that made their "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" their biggest hit. Written by lead singer Bret Michaels and the band and produced by Bruce Fairbairn, the anthemic chorus was concocted for lighters to come out during their concerts, but with lyrics containing a rail against shyster preachers as well as a subtle story of forgotten soldiers and their fight with mental illness...


"Something To Believe In" became Poison's sixth (and so far last) top ten pop hit in the U.S. in December of 1990. The single also climbed to #5 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, matching their best showing with "Unskinny Bop". Internationally, the single peaked at #3 in Canada, and got to the top-40 in the UK (#35) and New Zealand (#38).

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

French Sweep: June 20, 2017...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles sales chart, as we finally have a new winner at #1...

1. "La Vie Est Belle" - Indochine (DEBUT)
2. "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee (1)
3. "2U" - David Guetta featuring Justin Bieber (DEBUT)
4. "Je Joue De La Musique" - Calogero (RE-ENTRY)
5. "Chained To The Rhythm" - Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley (3)
6. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (2)
7. "Attention" - Charlie Puth (5)
8. "Chocolat" - Lartiste featuring Awa Imani (4)
9. "Bon Appetit" - Katy Perry featuring Migos (10)
10. "Something Just Like This" - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (7)

Veteran new wave band Indochine, from Paris, return big-time in the #1 spot with their new track "La Vie Est Belle" ("Life Is Beautiful"). It's their second to reach the top in their native country; they did the trick back in 2002 with "J'ai Demandé à la Lune" ("I Asked The Moon")...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 6/20/17 - This is a song about those bad days start out happy and end up sad days, talkin' about that Murphy's law chill if it can go wrong yes it will...

"Ooops Up" - Snap!
from the album World Power (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #35 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's song of the day comes from the German-based dance act Snap!, who had a huge international hit with the club jam "The Power" that ended up climbing to #2 on the American pop chart in the summer of 1990. Their follow-up single, "Ooops Up", used the Gap Band's funk classic "I Don't Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance (Oops)" as a foundation. That record, released in 1980, hit the top ten on the American R&B (#4) and British pop singles (#6) charts...


Snap's update, which featured singer Penny Ford now as an official member (she was a singer in the Gap Band's outfit back in the day), brought the beat back to the club with a rap written by Turbo B (Durron Butler) over a house music beat provided by the act's leaders/producers Michael Münzing
and Luca Anzilotti...


"Ooops Up" became Snap!'s second top-40 pop hit in October of 1990. The single climbed to #18 on Billboard's R&B chart and #3 on their Rap Singles list. The remixes on the 12" record helped the track up to #4 on the Dance Club Play chart in America. Internationally, the song reached the top ten in their native Germany (#2), the Netherlands (#2), Austria (#2), Sweden (#2), Switzerland (#2), Norway (#2), Australia (#4), Belgium (#4), the UK (#5), Italy (#6), Ireland (#6), Spain (#6), and New Zealand (#8).

A third single from the World Power record, "Cult Of Snap", didn't reach America, but was a big European hit, reaching the top ten in the Netherlands (#2), Germany (#3), and the UK (#8) among others. But the fourth release, "Mary Had A Little Boy", did make the States, where it climbed to #4 on the Dance Club Play chart at #56 on the R&B list.  While the group was preparing their next album, Ford left to return to her solo career, hitting the top 40 on the R&B chart with "Daydreaming" in 1993, while also recording with Soul II Soul.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Monday, June 19, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 6/19/17 - Sydney Youngblood's "I'd Rather Go Blind"...

"I'd Rather Go Blind" - Sydney Youngblood
from the album Feeling Free (UK-1989) & Sydney Youngblood (US-1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" comes from pop/soul singer Sydney Youngblood, who got his first success in Europe in the late 1980's. A cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" was a minor hit in the UK in 1988 (it would later reach the top-40 in France), but his next release, "If I Only Could", which sampled the club classic "Break 4 Love", proved to be a massive single, topping the chart in Belgium and reaching the top ten in Britain, France, and Germany. That was followed by "Sit And Wait" (which cribbed from Gwen Guthrie's "Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent", which got to the runner-up spot in Germany, Austria, Sweden, and Belgium. Sydney finally got attention in his American homeland with his fourth single, a cover of the song "I'd Rather Go Blind". First recorded by blues-soul icon Etta James, it was the flip-side of her top-40 hit "Tell Mama" from 1968, but ended up being one of her most revered recordings. She wrote the song with writer Ellington Jordan...


Sydney took the song in a completely different direction, adding a trip-hop beat like the one Milli Vanilli and Soul II Soul got famous for...


Youngblood's version of "I'd Rather Go Blind", peaked just under the top 40 on both the pop (#46) and R&B (#42) charts in Billboard magazine in October of 1990. Internationally, while the track reached the top-40 in Germany (#23) and Belgium (#34), it similarly stalled at #44 in the UK. In America, a re-release of "Ain't No Sunshine" got to #51 on the R&B list.

A year later, Sydney released a second album, Passion, Grace, and Serious Bass... which went unnoticed in the U.S. but was a moderate success in Europe, hitting the top-40 with single "Hooked On You" on much of the continent. In 1993, "Anything" from his third release Just The Way It Is got to #48 in the UK. The following year, his album The Hat Won't Fit only got Eurodance-styled track "So Good So Right (All I Can Do)" to #91 in Germany. He most recently popped back on the German chart at #89 with a remix of "If Only I Could" with Tom Pulse. Sydney came back with a new album, Black Magic, in 2014.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 6/19/17 - It's the same game played in so many ways, everyone is the victim too...

"Lies" - En Vogue
from the album Born To Sing (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #38 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's song of the day comes from the soul vocal group En Vogue, whose first single "Hold On" proved to be one of the biggest R&B hits of the year and landed at #2 on the pop chart as well. Their follow-up would be another mid-tempo jam with lyrics that went into an opposite direction. "Lies", written by the quartet with producers Thomas McElroy and Denzil Foster, confronts a cheating lover with a bit of sass. A rap bridge was given by Debbie T (who I never heard from again)...


"Lies" became En Vogue's second top-40 pop hit, slipping in for a week in October of 1990. The song did much better on urban radio, giving the group their second straight #1 single. On Billboard's Dance Club Play chart, the remixed version of the track made it to #18. Internationally, the record just missed the top 40 in the Netherlands (#42) and the UK (#44), and peaked at #72 in Canada.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Songoftheday 6/18/17 - This rhyme this time Is one of a kind, blowing yo mind like only the Candyman can...

"Knockin' Boots" - Candyman
from the album Ain't No Shame In My Game (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from rapper Candyman, who hails from Los Angeles. After working behind Tone Loc of "Wild Thing/Funky Cold Medina" fame, Candell Manson released his major-label debut album Ain't No Shame In My Game in 1990. The first single, "Knockin' Boots", uses the instrumental track from Betty Wright's "Tonight's The Night" as the base, with an interpolation of the chorus of "Ooh Boy" from Rose Royce as the bridge between verses. Tone provided the intro to the single and video...


 "Knockin' Boots" became Candyman's sole top-40 pop hit, reaching the top ten in November of 1990. The single also climbed to #5 on Billboard's R&B chart. Internationally, the record topped the singles chart in the Netherlands, and got to #9 in neighboring Belgium. Candell's second single, "Melt In Your Mouth", which sampled the Spinners' "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love", reached #69 on the pop chart and #46 R&B. A third release, "Nightgown", slipped in at #91 on the pop Hot 100. In the summer of 1991, he released a second album, Playtime is Over, but he hasn't been on the R&B or pop chart since.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)