Saturday, May 27, 2017

Songoftheday 5/27/17 - You won't belong to me I let you down, I walk around 'n' see your night skyline...

"Everybody Everybody" - Black Box
from the album Dreamland (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the Italian dance act Black Box, which came about in the late 1980's. Daniele Davoli, Mirko Limoni, and Valerio Simplici had recorded music together under various monikers, including Starlight, which reached the top ten in the UK in the summer of 1989 with the house music of "Numero Uno", and then again in the fall of that year as Mixmasters with "Grand Piano", which climbed to the same peak of #9. Both of the records were infectious fugues of scattered samples, with the latter incorporating Loleatta Holloway's "Love Sensation" in it (before Marky Mark would get a hold of it). At the same time of "Starlight", the trio released another track that borrowed (well, stole) from "Love Sensation". "Ride On Time", named for the misheard lyrics in the Holloway club classic, strung the sample from her voice like an instrument throughout the piano-house jam, and while becoming a huge worldwide hit, spending six weeks at #1 on the British singles chart and reaching the top ten in over 11 countries, it barely got noticed in America, where it only snuck up to #39 on our Dance Club Play list. And just like German producer Frank Farian with Milli Vanilli (and many Eurodance acts that didn't get enough exposure to care), they hired on model Katrin Quinol to visually "front" the "band" and lipsynch for her life for the music video. Holloway and songwriter Dan Hartman ended up suing, and while a settlement came out of it, there wasn't a big outcry, most likely since it was at the time deemed a one-off novelty act. (Also, another version was recorded belatedly using future M People singer Heather Small on vocals.)

Capitalizing on the massive international success of "Ride On Time", the trio, under the Black Box moniker, set out to record a proper album which included mostly original music and lyrics, instead of the soup of samples on their previous records. They recruited big-voiced singer Martha Wash of the Weather Girls (of "It's Raining Men" fame) to provide the vocals on the entire set, with the understanding that it was meant for club consumption. But just like her stint with Clivilles and Cole's Seduction and C&C Music Factory, the Italians again used Quinol to lipsynch in the music videos as well as TV appearances. Their next single, "Everybody Everybody", was a classic slice of Italo-house driven by synth-bass and keys (alone with Arsenio Hall's "Owww") that not only set the clubs on fire, but with promotion from big-league label RCA got mainstream radio jamming as well. Although how anybody believed a voice so strong like Wash's could come out of Quinol is beyond me...

"Everybody Everybody" climbed all the way to the top ten on the American pop chart in October of 1990. The single also spent a week at #2 on Billboard's R&B chart, while the remixes on the 12" single sent it to #1 for three weeks on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the song surprisingly was their first and only Italian top ten hit at #7, and also reached the top ten in Ireland (#6), and the top-40 in France (#11), New Zealand (#11), the UK (#16), Switzerland (#21), Canada (#28), the Netherlands (#29), Australia (#35), and Belgium (#39), and just missed the mark in Germany (#41).

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Friday, May 26, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for May 26, 2017...

Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Bruno Mars rolls into his fifth week at #1, as the Chainsmokers and Coldplay (pictured above) reach the top five together. Former big hits from the Weeknd/Daft Punk, Spoon, Lauren Alaina, and the Head and the Heart drop off my list, while songs from Rag N' Bone Man, Mary J. Blige, and Rosabel/Terri B! make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). The mortal world lost a great soul this week. Treat all you love like it's their last....

This Week              Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars (1)
2. Love Is Mystical - Cold War Kids (2)
3. Believer - Imagine Dragons (3)
4. Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran (5)
5. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (6)
6. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (4)
7. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (7)
8. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (10)
9. Hurricane - Luke Combs (12)
10. Symphony - Clean Bandit f/Zara Larsson (14)
11. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (9)
12. Feel It Still - Portugal, The Man (16)
13. Yeah Boy - Kelsea Ballerini (13)
14. Mercy - Shawn Mendes (8)
15. Rockabye - Clean Bandit f/Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (11)
16. Cold - Maroon 5 f/Future (24)
17. Blame - Bastille (27)
18. Bar At The End Of The World - Kenny Chesney (18)
19. Heavy - Linkin Park (23)
20. Chained To The Rhythm - Katy Perry f/Skip Marley (15)
21. Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara (17)
22. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (32)
23. Love On The Brain - Rihanna (19)
24. Stay - Zedd & Alessia Cara (34)
25. Black - Dierks Bentley (29)
26. How Not To - Dan + Shay (31)
27. Find Me - Sigma f/Birdy (28)
28. Green Light - Lorde (20)
29. Issues - Julia Michaels (33)
30. It Ain't Me - Kygo & Selena Gomez (35)
31. In Case You Didn't Know - Brett Young (38)
32. Water Under The Bridge - Adele (22)
33. Million Reasons - Lady Gaga (21)
34. The Fighter - Keith Urban f/Carrie Underwood (44)
35. Paris - The Chainsmokers (25)
36. Cold Cold Cold - Cage The Elephant (48)
37. High Ticket Attractions - The New Pornographers (37)
38. Despacito - Luis Fonsi f/Daddy Yankee (52)
39. Hey Baby - Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike f/Deb's Daughter (30)
40. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (36)
41. Fun - Blondie (51)
42. I Love You - Axwell & Ingrosso (56)
43. Shine On Me - Dan Auerbach (57)
44. Skin - Rag N' Bone Man (64)
45. Falling - Alesso (47)
46. Still Breathing - Green Day (39)
47. Hometown Girl - Josh Turner (43)
48. The Weekend - Brantley Gilbert (50)
49. Stay In The Dark - The Band Perry (49)
50. Redbone - Childish Gambino (60)
51. Good News - Ocean Park Standoff (53)
52. Any Ol' Barstool - Jason Aldean (46)
53. Galway Girl - Ed Sheeran (59)
54. Places - Xenia Ghali f/Raquel Castro (54)
55. U + Me (Love Lesson) - Mary J. Blige (70)
56. Fast - Luke Bryan (41)
57. Alone - Alan Walker (58)
58. Help - Papa Roach (62)
59. 24K Magic - Bruno Mars (55)
60. Down - Marian Hill (40)
61. If I Told You - Darius Rucker (71)
62. Sweet Disaster - DREAMERS (76)
63. You Look Good - Lady Antebellum (77)
64. HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar (68)
65. Set Yourself Free - Dirty Disco f/Celeda (79)
66. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (66)
67. I'm Blessed - Charlie Wilson f/T.I. (67)
68. Living Out Loud - Brooke Candy f/Sia (74)
69. Higher Love - Lisa Williams (73)
70. Attention - Charlie Puth (DEBUT)
71. I Don't Wanna Live Forever - Zayn & Taylor Swift (61)
72. Angela - The Lumineers (82)
73. A Guy With A Girl - Blake Shelton (69)
74. Scared To Be Lonely - Martin Garrix f/Dua Lipa (86)
75. Monster - Starset (80)
76. Craving - Thomas Rhett f/Maren Morris (DEBUT)
77. Kissing Strangers - DNCE f/Nicki Minaj (87)
78. Anthem Of House - Rosabel f/Terri B! (93)
79. Sign Of The Times - Harry Styles (83)
80. Yours If You Want It - Rascal Flatts (84)
81. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (81)
82. Back 2 Love - Dave Audé f/JVMIE (DEBUT)
83. You're Not Alone - Scotty Boy & Lizzie Curious (DEBUT)
84. Let You Down - Seether (88)
85. No Roots - Alice Merton (DEBUT)
86. Every Time I Hear That Song - Blake Shelton (96)
87. The Cure - Lady Gaga (DEBUT)
88. My Girl - Dylan Scott (92)
89. Location - Khalid (90)
90. By Your Side - Jonas Blue f/RAYE (91)
91. High - Sir Sly (DEBUT)
92. Be The One - Dua Lipa (RE-ENTRY)
93. Lady - Austin Mahone f/Pitbull (97)
94. Solo Dance - Martin Jensen (94)
95. Reverend - Kings Of Leon (99)
96. There's Nothing Holding Me Back - Shawn Mendes (DEBUT)
97. No More Sad Songs - Little Mix f/Machine Gun Kelly (98)
98. 5000 Miles - Johnny Gill f/Jaheim (100)
99. Lost Love - Lisa Cole (DEBUT)
100. You Don't Know Me - Jax Jones f/RAYE (RE-ENTRY)

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

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Songoftheday 5/26/17 - I want the best I won't settle for less, since Cupid shot my heart I'm stressed...

"Romeo" - Dino
from the album Swingin' (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: # (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from dance-pop singer Dino, whose debut album 24/7 had proven to be a "grower" in the record shops, eventually sending five singles onto the pop charts, with two of them, "Sunshine" and the #7 "I Like It", reaching the top 40. In 1990, the Las Vegas-based artist released his second album, Swingin'. The first single, "Romeo", bridged the gap between the dance-pop of the late 1980's (like Debbie Gibson) with the new jack swing that was in full gear by the beginning of the new decade. Written and produced by Dino, it became his highest-charting single...

"Romeo" became Dino's second top ten pop hit in October of 1990. The single also crossed over to Billboard's R&B chart at #69, while the remixes on the 12" single made it to #35 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the song reached the top-40 with our neighbors to the north Canada at #32.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Aussie Sweep: May 25, 2017...

It's time to head 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 spends yet another week at #1 with "Waves"...

Australia competed for the third time at last week's Eurovision Song Contest, and this year it was former X Factor Australia winner Isaiah Firebrace, who came in ninth in the finals with "It Don't Come Easy", which enters the chart here at #6...

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Songoftheday 5/25/17 - You had something to hide should have hidden it shouldn't you, now you're not satisfied with what you're being put through...

"Policy Of Truth" - Depeche Mode
from the album Violator (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #15 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the British new wave band Depeche Mode, whose landmark album Violator had rewarded them with two top-40 pop hits in the U.S. with "Personal Jesus" and the top ten "Enjoy The Silence". The third single released from the record would be the mid-tempo "Policy Of Truth", written by Martin Gore and produced by the band with Flood (Mark Ellis). Despite the title, the lyrics actually advocate keeping secrets in...

"Policy Of Truth" became Depeche Mode's third top-40 pop hit from Violator in October of 1990. The song also climbed all the way to #1 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart for one week, while the remixes on the 12" single made it to #2 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the record reached the top ten in Italy (#5), Germany (#7), and Spain (#7), and the top 20 in Finland (#11), Ireland (#11), Switzerland (#12), Sweden (#20), and their native UK (#16).

The fourth single from Violator, the album-opener "World In My Eyes", peaked just under the halfway mark on the American pop chart at #52, while making it to #6 on the dance chart and #17 on the modern rock radio list.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

German Sweep: May 24, 2017...

Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" in on top for a fourth week...

1. "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee (1)
2. "No Roots" - Alice Merton (2)
3. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (3)
4. "Tuesday" - Burak Yeter featuring Danelle Sandoval (4)
5. "I'm The One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Lil' Wayne, Chance The Rapper, and Quavo (5)
6. "Swalla" - Jason Derulo featuring Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign (6)
7. "Galway Girl" - Ed Sheeran (7)
8. "Something Just Like This" - The Chainsmokers featuring Coldplay (8)
9. "There's Nothing Holding Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (DEBUT)
10. "Symphony" - Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson (RE-ENTRY)

Canadian pop singer Shawn Mendes is back at #9 with "There's Nothing Holding Me Back". It's his third top ten hit; his debut, "Stitches", climbed to #2...

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Songoftheday 5/24/17 - I've no excuse, I just want you to use me take me and abuse me, I got no taboos I'll make a trade with you do anything you want me to...

"Dirty Cash (Money Talks)" - Adventures Of Stevie V 
from the album Adventures Of Stevie V (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from English dance music producer Steven Vincent, who recorded his first album under the moniker Adventures of Stevie V in 1990, featuring songwriter and musician Mick Walsh and singer Melody Washington. Their debut single came out in Britain the year before; "Dirty Cash (Money Talks)", written by Vincent and Walsh, was a house music banger that featured a thumping groove which based the bouncy bassline, as Washington sang bluesfully about the pitfalls of being addicted to cash...

"Dirty Cash" became the group's first and only top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in September of 1990. The single also climbed to #75 on Billboard's R&B chart, while the remixes on the 12" single topped the Dance Club Play chart for two weeks. Internationally the song went to #2 in their native UK, while hitting the #1 spot in the Netherlands, and reaching the top ten in Belgium (#3) and Ireland (#10), and the top 20 in Austria (#13), Switzerland (#16), Australia (#18), and Germany (#20).

While the song was catching up in the U.S., in the UK and Europe the act's second single, would be "Body Language", which made the top-40 in the Netherlands (#14), Ireland (#23), the UK (#29), and New Zealand (#40). Next up came "Jealousy", was a big club hit in America, spending two weeks at #2 on the Dance Club Play Chart, while slipping on to the pop Hot 100 at #94, and it was a minor hit in Britain at #58. Finally, the song "That's The Way It Is" from the debut album climbed to #29 on the Dance chart. These four track anchor one of the strongest house music albums of the new decade. Two years later, though, their sophomore effort Satisfy Me went unnoticed. Vincent went on to teach, while Walsh wrote another dancefloor classic, Clubland's "Set Me Free", which spent two weeks at #2 on the Club Play chart in 1992.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

French Sweep: May 23, 2017...

Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (with a little help from Justin Bieber, I suppose) top the list for a fourth week...

1. "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee (1)
2. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (2)
3. "Chocolat" - Lartiste featuring Awa Imani (3)
4. "Amar Pelos Dois" - Salvador Sobral (DEBUT)
5. "Requiem" - Alma (DEBUT)
6. "It Ain't Me" - Kygo & Selena Gomez (7)
7. "Skin" - Rag N' Bone Man (8)
8. "I Feel It Coming" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (4)
9. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (6)
10. "Chained To The Rhythm" - Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley (RE-ENTRY)

At last week's Eurovision finals, Salvador Sobral ended up winning the contest with a song that quite reminded me of French music legend Serge Gainsbourg. That entry, "Amar Pelos Dois" ("Love For Both of Us"), enters the chart in this country at #4. Last year's winner, "1944" from Ukranian singer Jamala, peaked at #49 in France...

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Songoftheday 5/23/17 - Last night I had the time of my life it's true, for last night I made love for the very first time with you...

"Can't Stop" - After 7
from the album After 7 (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from the R&B trio After 7, who had landed a top 10 pop hit with their third single from their debut album, "Ready Or Not". The follow-up to that lush mid-tempo love song would be the perky dance-pop of "Can't Stop". Written by producers L.A. Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds (the latter the brother of the group's Melvin and Kevon), the track became their biggest pop success...

"Can't Stop" became After 7's second top-10 pop hit in October of 1990. The single also topped Billboard's R&B chart (like "Ready Or Not"), while it crossed over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart at #23. The remixed version of the song climbed to #25 on their Dance Club Play list as well. Internationally, the record was a big hit in New Zealand, peaking at #9, while it was a minor chart hit in the UK (#54) and Australia (#80). A fifth single from the album, the new jack swing jam "My Only Woman", missed the pop chart but made the top-40 on the R&B list.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 5/22/17 - Gloria Estefan's "Cuts Both Ways"...

"Cuts Both Ways" - Gloria Estefan
from the album Cuts Both Ways (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #44

This week's "robbed hit" comes from Gloria Estefan, whose first album billed as a solo artist (apart from the Miami Sound Machine), Cuts Both Ways, had landed her three top-40 hits with "Here We Are", "Get On Your Feet", and the #1 pop hit "Don't Wanna Lose You". A fourth single, "Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)", made the top ten on the Latin Songs chart while almost reaching the top-40 in the spring of 1990. The fifth single released from the set brought out another ballad from the album, the title track written by Gloria and produced by her husband Emilio along with MSM members Clay Ostwald and Jorge Casas. It has her going through a bad breakup, in an adult but thoroughly emotional way, and is one of her best and most nuanced ballad performances...

While "Cuts Both Ways" sailed all the way to #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart, the song stalled right under the top-40 on the pop Hot 100 in August of 1990. It's understandable, being the fifth single from a hit album, the sales didn't quite match the radio play. The track did reach the top-40 internationally in Canada (#38), Australia (#38), and Ireland (#22), while in New Zealand, the song got as high as #10.

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Brit Sweep: May 21, 2017...

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

On the official singles chart in Britain, Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee spend a second week on top with "Despacito" featuring Justin Bieber...

Miley Cyrus is back with the highest debut of the week at #11 with "Malibu". It previews her upcoming sixth album...

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Songoftheday 5/22/17 - We need to lay in each other's arms there's nowhere else to go, it's all so easy and I want you to know...

"Heart Of Stone" - Taylor Dayne
from the album Can't Fight Fate (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from dance-pop singer Taylor Dayne, whose sophomore effort Can't Fight Fate had already spun off three big hits with "With Every Beat Of My Heart", "I'll Be Your Shelter", and the #1 ballad "Love Will Lead You Back". The fourth and final single released from the album was the mid-tempo soft-pop offering "Heart Of Stone". Written by Elliott Wolff along with Carolyn Bowden and Gregg Tripp, the song furthered her distance from the dancefloor hits from her first album...

"Heart Of Stone" became the fourth top-40 pop hit from Can't Fight Fate in September of 1990. The single did better on easy listening radio, reaching #8 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. Internationally, the record climbed to #4 in Canada, and just missed the top-40 in Australia at #42.

Up tomorrow: Soulful trio won't quit.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Songoftheday 5/21/17 - All my friends call me a fool, they say "let the woman take care of you"...

"Oh Girl" - Paul Young
from the album Other Voices (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from British pop/soul singer Paul Young, who had made it big time in America in the summer of 1985 with his cover of Daryl Hall & John Oates' "Everytime You Go Away" that went to #1 on the pop chart, along with a respectably successful follow-up in the cover of Ann Peebles' "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down". The following year, Young released Between Two Fires, a criminally underrated album that featured more of his own original work, and while it was modestly successful in his native UK, scoring a top-40 hit with "Wonderland" (#24), in the States the song "Some People" stalled way down at #65. So in 1990, for his next record Other Voices, only three of the songs were written by Young, and the first two singles were covers. "Softly Whispering I Love You", originally a top ten hit in 1971 for the Congregation, climbed to #21 in the UK. But it was a version of a soul classic that brought Paul back to American pop radio. "Oh Girl", written and performed by the lead singer of the Chi-Lites, Eugene Record, was a huge success, reaching #1 on both the pop and R&B charts in the U.S. in 1972...

Paul kept it pretty faithful to the original, including the harmonica intro...

Paul's cover of "Oh Girl" became his second and so far last top ten pop hit in the U.S. in October of 1990. Along with MC Hammer's "Have You Seen Her", it was the second Chi-Lites cover to reach the top ten in America that fall. The single also spent three weeks at #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the single reached the top-40 in Ireland (#20) and the UK (#25). Two more singles were released from the Other Voices album and were minor British hits: "Heaven Can Wait" (#71), and another cover, this time of "Calling You" from the film Baghdad Cafe' (one of my personal favorites) (#57), but neither touched the American charts. But in a few years, Paul would return to American radio and the top-40 courtesy of another movie.

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