Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Songoftheday 11/21/17 - Look into my eyes you will see what you mean to me...

"(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" - Bryan Adams
from the albums Waking Up The Neighbors and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (Original Soundtrack) (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (seven weeks)

Today's song of the day comes from Canadian rock star Bryan Adams, who had followed up his massive album Reckless with the more introspective Into The Fire, which also scored him a trio of hit singles in 1987 with "Victim Of Love", "Heart's On Fire", and the top ten "Heat Of The Night". In 1990, he made an appearance on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart with a live cover of Pink Floyd's "Young Lust" which went to #7. It took a long four years for Adams to record his next record with producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, who had transformed the sound and careers of hard rock bands like AC/DC and Def Leppard. The first result of those sessions came in the summer of 1991, when Adams' contribution to the soundtrack to the Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You", written by Adams and Lange along with Michael Kamen, who composed and produced the rest of the Robin Hood score, was a love song that seemed to be handed down from another time, as if it had always existed but wasn't tired, with Adams' husky yet restrained voice selling the future wedding reception staple like nobody's business. It ended up becoming the biggest hit of the year, and the longest stay at the top of the American top-40 since the Police's "Every Breath I Take" in 1983...

"(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" spent seven weeks at #1 on the American pop chart in July, August, and September of 1991. The song also logged in eight weeks atop Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list, and peaked at #10 on their Mainstream Rock tally. Internationally, the single set the record for longest stay at #1 in the UK with 16 weeks, while also reaching the top in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It won a Grammy for Best Song from a Film or Television show, and was nominated for Record of the Year, losing out to Natalie and Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable". It also lost out on the Oscar in 1992 to Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson's "Beauty & The Beast".

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 11/20/17 - Titiyo's "My Body Says Yes"...

"My Body Says Yes" - Titiyo
from the album Titiyo (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #42

This week's "robbed hit" comes from Swedish pop singer Titiyo, the half-sister of Neneh Cherry, who had scored two big hits in America in 1989 with "Buffalo Stance" and "Kisses On The Wind".  Her first album was released in 1990, and the single "Man In The Moon" became her first hit in her homeland, reaching #6 on the Swedish pop chart. That was followed by "After The Rain", which made it to #13 there and was her first minor hit in the UK at #60. The lush dance track "Flowers" also hit the British chart at #71. But it was a different song from Titiyo, "My Body Says Yes", that gave the singer her biggest American success. Written by producers Magnus Frykberg and Dan Wahlgren, the energetic club track seemed like a sure shot for dance-oriented radio...

"My Body Says Yes" came within two notches of reaching Billboard's Top 40 in America in July of 1991. Two years later, Titiyo released her sophomore effort This Is Titiyo, and while the U.S. pretty much ignored the record, she returned to the charts in Sweden with "Never Let Me Go", a recycled Aretha Franklin album track, at #25. Another song from the set, "Tell Me (I'm Not Dreaming)", was her highest-charting British hit at #45.

In 1996, Titiyo hooked up with Stakka Bo for "We Vie", which landed her back in the top ten in Sweden at #10. Her own third album Come Along didn't arrive until 2001, but the title track gave the singer her biggest domestic hit at #3, while also reaching the top-40 all over Europe. In 2008, she guested on "Longing For Lullabies", a single from local dance act Kleerup for their self-titled album (which also had their hit with Robyn, "With Every Heartbeat"), and also got to #7. Her most recent success in her native country came in 2013 with "Själen av en vän" ("The Soul Of A Friend") which peaked at #20.

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Songoftheday 11/20/17 - Summer's gone winter's in your eyes, I can feel the thunder storms inside...

"See The Lights" - Simple Minds
from the album Real Life (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's song of the day comes from the Scottish new wave band Simple Minds, whose 1985 album Once Upon A Time, which followed their breakthrough in America with the Breakfast Club soundtrack #1 hit "Don't You (Forget About Me)", had scored them an additional three top-40 pop hits with "Alive & Kicking", "Sanctify Yourself", and "All The Things She Said". With their big sound and emotional and pensive lyrics, it seemed like they were on track to being the Scottish equivalent to Irish friends U2; in fact, with their next album Street Fighting Years, they did what Bono and the Edge didn't, and that was to tackle political issues head on. In fact, while U2's Rattle And Hum seemed like a step back for them lyrically in 1989, lead singer Jim Kerr, guitarist Charlie Burchill, keyboard player Mick Macneil, and drummer Mel Gaynor gave mighty weight to the songs in Street Fighting Years. In the UK they were rewarded with the biggest single of their career with the Ballad Of The Streets EP that topped the British singles charts (it had album cuts "Belfast Child", "Mandela Day", and a remake of Peter Gabriel's "Biko"). But in the U.S., while three songs reached the top 20 on the modern rock radio chart ("Mandela Day", "This Is Your Land", and "Take A Step Back"), none of them touched the pop Hot 100 in America at all.

The group, now officially a trio with studio musicians filling in after the departure of MacNeil, came back in 1991 with their ninth album Real Life. Produced by Stephen Lipson (Pet Shop Boys, Annie Lennox), the album's lyrics were more toned down, and the production back to the late 80s arena rock standard. The first single from the record, "Let There Be Love", was a decent international hit, reaching #6 in the UK and hit the top of the singles chart in Italy. The second release, "See The Lights", was the track that brought American success back. Written by Kerr and Burchill, it would be their final top-40 hit in the States, with a reserved, mature sound more akin to Winwood and Sting than Bono and the Edge...

"See The Lights" became Simple Minds' fifth and final top-40 pop hit in June of 1991. The song did much better on rock radio, topping Billboard's Modern Rock list for two weeks and climbing to #10 on their Mainstream Rock tally. Internationally, the song reached the top-40 in Canada (#10), Ireland (#16), the UK (#20), Italy (#24), and Sweden (#27).

Their follow-up single, "Stand By Love", got to #4 on the Modern Rock chart and #42 Mainstream Rock, but missed the pop Hot 100 altogether (it did reach #13 in Britain). The title track "Real Life" nabbed them a fourth top-40 hit in the UK from the album at #34.

Gaynor left Simple Minds a duo of Kerr and Burchill with supporting musicians after their greatest hits set in 1992, which scored another top-10 hit in the UK with a re-release of their 1981 single "Love Song".  After a break, the pair along with producers and studio help recorded Good News From The Next World. The lead single, "She's A River", landed them back into the top ten in the UK (#6), Canada (#3), and Italy (#2), but while the song made it to #6 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart, it stopped short right under the halfway mark on the pop chart at #52 in the U.S. A second single, "And The Band Played On", was their most recent American success, slipping on to the modern rock tally at #40 in 1995. Their next record, Neapolis, contains their most recent British top-40 hit with "Glitterball" (#18, 1998).

In the new century, Gaynor ended up returning to Simple Minds, and they have been releasing studio and live work periodically ever since. In 2005, they nearly made the top-40 in the UK when "Home" from their Black and White 050505 record stopped short at #41. The bands most recent studio album is their Acoustic collection of their previous songs remade, which got to #16 in the UK in 2016.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Songoftheday 11/19/17 - We got enough stars to light the sky at night enough sun to make the whole world bright, we got more than enough...

"Love and Understanding" - Cher
from the album Love Hurts (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #17 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from Cher, who we last saw with a track from her movie Mermaids, a remake of "The Shoop Shoop Song", which reached the American top-40 in the winter of 1991. Later that year, she released her third studio album with Geffen Records, Love Hurts. The first single from the record, "Love And Understanding", was an uptempo adult-rock song about the lack of peace and harmony in the world. Written by song doctor Diane Warren, it features a prominent string section over Cher's dramatic vocals...

"Love and Understanding" climbed into the American pop top 20 in August of 1991. The single spent one week at #3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the track did even better, reaching the top ten in Austria (#6), Ireland (#7), the Netherlands (#9), Belgium (#9), and the UK (#10), the latter in which her Love Hurts album spent six weeks at #1 on the British albums sales chart.

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Songoftheday 11/18/17 - It's me the brand new intelligent black woman Y-O-Y-O, which is Yo-Yo but I'm not to be played like I was made by Mattel...

"You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo" - Yo-Yo featuring Ice Cube
from the album Make Way For The Motherlode (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #36 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from rapper Yolanda Whitaker, aka Yo-Yo, who grew up in the Compton section of the Los Angeles metro area. Another hip-hop artist from the same town, Ice Cube from N.W.A., helped Yo-Yo land a deal and featured her on his interpolation of James Brown's "It's A Man's World" on his debut solo album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted in 1990. A year later, Ice Cube helped produce Yo-Yo's own first record Make Way For The Motherlode. He also co-wrote with Yo-Yo the first single from the set, "You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo", which he made a rap cameo on. It not only turned out to be her breakout hit, but Cube's first solo chart hit as well...

"You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo" became Yo-Yo's sole top-40 pop hit in July of 1991. The single also climbed to #11 on Billboard's R&B chart. Her second single, "Ain't Nobody Better", which was based on the Rufus and Chaka Khan classic, climbed to #30 on the R&B chart, but missed on the pop Hot 100 altogether.

A year later, Yo-Yo's sophomore effort Black Pearl arrived, and it spun off two minor R&B hits, including "Home Girl Don't Play Dat" which peaked at #53. She returned in 1993 with You Better Ask Somebody, which had another collaboration with Ice Cube, "The Bonnie & Clyde Theme", that climbed to #37 on the R&B chart and popped on to the Hot 100 at #72. The next year, she was featured on reggae-rap artist Patra's hit single "Romantic Call", which went to #35 on the R&B chart, made the Dance Club Play list at #21, and was her most recent Hot 100 pop appearance at #55. Yo-Yo's latest chart hit came in 1997 when she guested on soul trio Levert's "True Dat" (R&B #52). She's since appeared in movies and TV shows, and is married to the mayor of the Detroit suburb of Highland Park.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for November 17, 2017...

Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Pink lands on top for her eighth consecutive week, while Beck (pictured above) rolls into the top ten. Former big hits from Luis Fonsi, Rudimental/James Arthur, and Axwell & Ingrosso drop off my list, while songs from Marshmello/Khalid, Foo Fighters, and Charlie Puth make some of the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Happy Turkey Day next week!

This Week          Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. What About Us - Pink (1)
2. Too Good At Goodbyes - Sam Smith (2)
3. 1-800-273-8255 - Logic f/Alessia Cara & Khalid (3)
4. Thunder - Imagine Dragons (4)
5. Love So Soft - Kelly Clarkson (5)
6. Feel It Still - Portugal, The Man (6)
7. Praying - Kesha (7)
8. New Rules - Dua Lipa (9)
9. Up All Night - Beck (11)
10. Perfect - Ed Sheeran (12)
11. Sorry Not Sorry - Demi Lovato (16)
12. The Man - The Killers (8)
13. Lay It On Me - Vance Joy (17)
14. What Lovers Do - Maroon 5 f/SZA (14)
15. Unforgettable - Thomas Rhett (19)
16. You're The Best Thing About Me - U2 (21)
17. Slow Hands - Niall Horan (13)
18. Mi Gente - J. Balvin & Willy William f/Beyonce (22)
19. Every Little Thing - Carly Pearce (23)
20. Attention - Charlie Puth (15)
21. Havana - Camila Cabello f/Young Thug (31)
22. My Mind Is For Sale - Jack Johnson (10)
23. There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back - Shawn Mendes (20)
24. Believer - Imagine Dragons (18)
25. Before I Do - Sevyn Streeter (25)
26. Location - Khalid (36)
27. Walk On Water - 30 Seconds To Mars (35)
28. When It Rains It Pours - Luke Combs (30)
29. No Promises - Cheat Codes f/Demi Lovato (33)
30. How Long - Charlie Puth (45)
31. All The Pretty Girls - Kenny Chesney (26)
32. What Ifs - Kane Brown f/Lauren Alaina (28)
33. Light It Up - Luke Bryan (39)
34. Good Times - All Time Low (40)
35. Don't Matter Now - George Ezra (27)
36. Strip That Down - Liam Payne f/Quavo (32)
37. More Girls Like You - Kip Moore (37)
38. Miles - Phillip Phillips (38)
39. Waving Through A Window - Ben Platt & Cast Of Dear Evan Hansen (49)
40. I Could Use A Love Song - Maren Morris (44)
41. The Sky Is A Neighborhood - Foo Fighters (58)
42. Suit & Jacket - Judah & The Lion (24)
43. They Don't Know - Jason Aldean (29)
44. Whole Wide World - Cage The Elephant (48)
45. Fool - Fitz & The Tantrums (34)
46. Broken Glass - Rachel Platten (52)
47. Fix A Drink - Chris Janson (51)
48. Ask Me How I Know - Garth Brooks (56)
49. Silence - Marshmello f/Khalid (69)
50. Small Town Boy - Dustin Lynch (42)
51. Giants - LIGHTS (61)
52. Two High - Moon Taxi (59)
53. Cola - CamelPhat & Elderbrook (64)
54. Redbone - Childish Gambino (50)
55. First Time - Kygo & Ellie Goulding (55)
56. Dusk Till Dawn - Zayn & Sia (60)
57. Rx (Medicate) - Theory Of A Deadman (72)
58. Lonely Together - Avicii f/Rita Ora (62)
59. The Gold - Manchester Orchestra (71)
60. Reggaeton Lento - CNCO & Little Mix (70)
61. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (57)
62. Greatest Love Story - LANCO (66)
63. All On My Mind - Anderson East (73)
64. Round Here Buzz - Eric Church (74)
65. Lover My Love - Tim Myers (65)
66. Walkin' On The Sun 2017 - Smash Mouth (54)
67. California Sun - Fenix & Lisa Williams (77)
68. Disco Tits - Tove Lo (DEBUT)
69. Bad At Love - Halsey (79)
70. Do I Make You Wanna - Billy Currington (68)
71. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (67)
72. Versace On The Floor - Bruno Mars (87)
73. No Roots - Alice Merton (RE-ENTRY)
74. Lights Down Low - MAX f/gnash (80)
75. Don't Take The Money - Bleachers (75)
76. Like I Loved You - Brett Young (91)
77. Losing Sleep - Chris Young (DEBUT)
78. Testify! - Hifi Sean & Crystal Waters (46)
79. When We - Tank (93)
80. Go To War - Nothing More (85)
81. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (76)
82. Feels - Calvin Harris f/Pharrell, Katy Perry, & Big Sean (78)
83. The Violence - Rise Against (83)
84. Rich Love - OneRepublic f/Seeb (84)
85. I'll Name The Dogs - Blake Shelton (90)
86. Desperado - Rihanna (82)
87. Easy - Demetria McKinney (89)
88. Boom - Emily Perry (98)
89. Angela - The Lumineers (97)
90. In Case You Didn't Know - Brett Young (88)
91. Smooth - Florida Georgia Line (96)
92. Heartline - Craig David (92)
93. Exhale - Angelica Joni (95)
94. Stand By Your Girl - Dan Auerbach (94)
95. Dangerous Love - Katerina Villegas (DEBUT)
96. Katchi - Ofenbach & Nick Waterhouse (100)
97. Love Falls - HellYeah (DEBUT)
98. Summer Forever - Kwanza Jones (DEBUT)
99. American Dreams - Papa Roach (99)
100. Finders Keepers - Mabel f/Kojo Funds (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 11/17/17 - I follow the Moskva down to Gorky Park...

"Wind Of Change" - Scorpions
from the album Crazy World (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's song of the day comes from the German heavy metal band Scorpions, who had made a splash in American pop radio in the spring of 1984 with their fist-raising anthem "Rock You Like A Hurricane". After a live album reached the top-20 on the chart in America, the group released their Savage Amusement album in 1988. While it turned out to be their highest-charting album in the U.S., peaking at #5, pop radio stayed mostly away, with lead single "Rhythm Of Love" stalling down at #75 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, although on Mainstream Rock radio it climbed to a respectable #6. Again, the Scorpions embarked on a world wide tour, including Russia, which at that time was a rarity for European bands.

In 1990 the band released their eleventh studio album Crazy World, leaving behind longtime producer Dieter Dierks and enlisting power-producer Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Starship). The first single from the record, "Tease Me Please Me", was co-written by Bryan Adams' collaborator Jim Vallance, and reached #8 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio tally, followed by "Don't Believe Her", also a Vallance co-write, which made it to #13 on that chart. Neither of them made a dent on the pop chart in America, though (the latter was a minor hit in the UK at #77). However, that changed with the third release, "Wind Of Change". Written by lead singer Klaus Meine, the reflective ballad was inspired by the grand and swift changes happening in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe as the communist regimes were collapsing. It especially carried weight in their German home, as the Berlin Wall coming down would lead to the reunification of their country...

"Wind Of Change" became the Scorpions' biggest hit in America, reaching the top ten on the pop chart in August of 1991. The single also spent three weeks at #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio tally, and even slipped onto their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list for three weeks, topping out at #43. Internationally, the record was a massive success, topping the charts in France, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany, where it spent eleven weeks at #1. The song also reached the top ten in the UK (#2), Belgium (#2), Ireland (#2), Australia (#7), and Canada (#10).

The Scorpions' next single, "Send Me An Angel",  made it to #8 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart, but just barely missed the pop top-40 at #44. A fifth release from Crazy World, "Hit Between The Eyes", which also appeared in the movie Freejack, reached #24 on that rock radio list. Francis Buchholz, who had been the band's bassist since their second album in 1973, left after the tour behind the album, leaving Meine and guitarist Rudolf Schenker the only remaining long-time members from their seventies heyday in Europe.

In 1993, the band released Face The Heat, and while three of its tracks got into the top 20 on the Mainstream Rock chart, including "Alien Nation" which peaked at #10 and reaching #18 in Germany, none made it to the American pop Hot 100. Three years later, Pure Instinct arrived, and "Wild Child" reached #19 on the rock radio list in the States, while the power-ballad "You & I" became their most recent top-40 hit in their home of Germany at #22. They attempted a sound rework in 1999 when their dance-rock experiment Eye II Eye was released, which had their last Mainstream Rock radio chart hit, "Mysterious" (#26). It was their first studio set since their American breakthrough record Lovedrive in 1979 to miss the albums chart altogether. After the sour reception to the album, they returned in 2000 with a collection of their older songs (including "Wind Of Change") performing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on Moment Of Glory. From it the title track got to #67 in Germany. They've sporadically released new music, with 2010's Sting Of The Tail climbing into the top-40 on the albums chart in the U.S., with single "Raised On Rock" hitting #8 on Billboard's Heritage Rock genre radio chart. Their most recent studio record, Return To Forever, came in at #2 on the German albums sales chart and #65 in the U.S. list. They still tour, with both Meine and Schenker at 69 years old.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Songoftheday 11/16/17 - I've felt this before now I feel it again, no matter how hard I try this feeling won't end...

"Life Goes On" - Poison
from the album Flesh + Blood (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak; #35 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's song of the day comes from the glam metal band Poison, whose third album Flesh + Blood had scored them a pair of top ten pop hits with "Unskinny Bop" and "Something To Believe In", along with track "Ride The Wind" which also reached the top-40. The fourth single released from the album was the midtempo life lesson "Life Goes On". Written by the band (lead singer Bret Michaels, guitarist CC Deville, bass player Bobby Dall, and drummer Ricky Rockett), it would become their last to reach the pop top-40...

"Life Goes On" climbed into the pop top-40 in June of 1991. Surprisingly, the song missed the rock airplay chart altogether. A fifth release from the record, the title track "Flesh & Blood (Sacrifice)", didn't reach the charts in the U.S. but was a minor hit in the Netherlands at #88. A live album, Swallow This Live, followed, with new track "So Tell Me Why" hitting the British top-40 at #25.

Deville was kicked out of the band by the end of 1991 from excessive drug use, with Richie Kotzen taking his place for the band's next studio effort Native Tongue in 1993. While their look and sound had evolved from the make-up-laden start to a more country-rock vagabond chic, grunge music like Nirvana and Pearl Jam had dominated radio by then, and lead single "Stand" stopped short on the pop Hot 100 at the halfway mark of #50 and peaked at #15 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock tally (it did climb to a respectable #25 on the British singles chart). A second single, "Until You Suffer Some (Fire & Ice)", also reached the UK top-40 at #32. Kotzen was also fired during the subsequent tour, with Blues Saraceno, who played on new tracks on their greatest hits set in 1996.

Deville returned to the band in 1999, and since then they have been touring frequently on the metal oldies circuit, one of the most consistently successful bands in concert. Meanwhile, Michaels carved a niche for himself, appearing in various "reality" TV shows like three seasons of his own "Rock Of Love" dating competition and the Celebrity Apprentice, which he won (and his flavored ice tea from the show was a popular seller in stores). Their most recent studio album together, Poison'd, came out in 2007, with the band performing cover songs like Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback". Michaels has had the biggest solo success apart from the group, with his 2010 album Custom Built making it to #14 on the albums chart two months after his winning stint on Celebrity Apprentice aired.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Songoftheday 11/15/17 - In a time where the sun descends alone I ran a long long way from home, to find a heart that's made of stone...

"Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)" - Roxette
from the album Joyride (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the Swedish pop duo Roxette, whose album Joyride had already scored Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson their fourth #1 hit in America with the title track. Their second release from the record, "Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)", was written by Gessle and sung by Fredrikssen, with that combination of high romantic drama and catchy toe-tapping melody that marked another band from that country, ABBA...

"Fading Like A Flower" became Roxette's seventh top-40 pop hit in the U.S., and their last to reach the top ten. The song also climbed to #5 on Billboard magazine's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the single reached the top ten in Canada (#2), Switzerland (#3), Ireland (#4), Norway (#4), Finland (#4), Germany (#5), Belgium (#5), Austria (#6), Australia (#7), the Netherlands (#7), and their native Sweden (#5). It also got to #12 in both Italy and the UK.

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