Monday, August 10, 2020

Songoftheday 8/10/20 - The function's on around midnight, what time is it are you inside?

  "Let's Get Down" / "Thinking of You" - Tony! Toni! TonĂ©!
from the album House Of Music (1996)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #22 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8
Today's song(s) of the day come from the R&B trio Tony! Toni! TonĂ©!, whose third album Sons Of Soul was the most popular of their career, selling over two million copies and spinning off three top-40 pop/top-10 R&B hits with "If I Had No Loot", "Anniversary", and "(Lay Your Head On My) Pillow". The group - Raphael Saadiq, D'Wayne Wiggins, and Tim Christian Riley - took a two year break, where they wrote and produced for other artist, and Raphael had a solo hit of his own in the spring of 1995 with "Ask of You" from the movie Higher Learning. A year later, the three men reunited for their fourth and what would be their final studio album House Of Music. The lead track promoted to radio was "Let's Get Down", a midtempo funky jam that in the radio mix featured rapper DJ Quik. 

 "Let's Get Down" made the pop airplay top-40, climbing to #30, and all the way to #4 on the R&B Airplay tally, but since at the time the song wasn't available as a commercial "single", it was kept off of both lists at its biggest weeks. However, the trio followed up with the blues-rock "Thinking Of You", which included "Let's Get Down" on the single, and with Billboard magazine's rules at the time combining airplay and sales of both songs, the two-fer finally made it on to the big chart, and subsequently into the top-40...

"Thinking Of You" pushed the "double-A" single into the top-40 in June of 1997. The combined songs rose to #5 on Billboard's R&B chart as well. Internationally, "Let's Get Down" went to #8 in New Zealand and #33 in the UK, and "Thinking Of You" rose to #36 in New Zealand. The House Of Music album reached #32 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (and #10 on the R&B specific albums list), and sold over a million copies. A third radio release from the record, "Boys and Girls", wasn't released commercially, and only made it to #52 on Billboard's R&B Airplay chart. 

Saadiq left the group shortly after to continue as a solo artist, with a brief stint in another act he created, Lucy Pearl, with En Vogue member Ali Shaheed Muhammed from A Tribe Called Quest. Wiggins and Riley replaced him with Amar Khalil for shows, but they haven't released any new music on their own. However, they appeared on Alicia Keys' single "Diary" in 2004, ending up with a #8 pop/#2 R&B hit and a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Duo/Group Performance, losing out to Alicia's other collab with Usher, "My Boo". 

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Sunday, August 09, 2020

Disco Dessert 8/9/20 - "Ten Percent" from Double Exposure...

  "Ten Percent" was a big club hit for the Philadelphia-based vocal group Double Exposure. Appearing on their debut album Ten Percent, the song was produced by Norman Harris of the band MFSB, and written by T.G. Conway and Allan Felder. It was notable for being touted as the first 12" vinyl single that was sold in stores widely. On Record World's Disco File Top-20 chart, the single spent six weeks at #2 in 1976, while getting to #54 on Billboard magazine's pop Hot 100 list. 

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Songoftheday 8/9/20 - Now when I come to y'all hood y'all watch my back, and when ya come to Inglewood I'm a front you a sack...


"Nothin' But The Cavi Hit" - Mack 10 & Tha Dogg Pound
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #38 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5
Today's song of the day comes from rapper Mack 10, who was a big name on the West Coast hip-hop scene, releasing his debut solo album in 1995, which spun off the single "Foe Life" featuring N.W.A. star Ice Cube, which just missed the R&B top-40 at #42.  But the album did even better, reaching #2 on Billboard magazine's R&B Albums sales list and #33 on the all-genre Billboard 200. A year later, the rapper would join forces with Ice Cube and fellow West Coaster WC to form the Westside Connection "supergroup", which scored a top-40 pop hit in the fall of 1996 with "Bow Down". A couple months later, Mack 10 would land his second top-40 hit with the help of Tha Dogg Pound, associates of Snoop Dogg that almost made the rank on their own at the start of the year with "Let's Play House" (#45). The result, "Nothin' But The Cavi Hit", was a hard-hitting gangsta rap track recorded for the documentary on the genre, Rhyme & Reason. Released as the featured single from the set (with an up-and-coming Master P on the "B-side"), the single became his first lead artist solo success...

"Nothin' But The Cavi Hit" reached the top-40 in February of 1997, the first and only top-40 pop hit for the latter group. The song climbed to #24 on Billboard's R&B chart, while peaking at #3 on their Rap Singles list. The Rhyme & Reason soundtrack sold quite well too, topping the R&B Albums chart for a week while getting to #16 on the main Billboard 200 sales tally. 

Up tomorrow: Soul group requests funkiness.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Disco Dessert 8/8/20 - "Last Dance" from Donna Summer...

 "Last Dance" was a massive club and radio hit for the "Queen of Disco", the late Donna Summer. Appearing on the soundtrack to the movie Thank God It's Friday, which she starred in, the song was written by Paul Jabara and produced by Giorgio Moroder with Bob Esty. On Billboard magazine's National Disco Action Top-40 chart, the soundtrack was listed as one entry, with Donna's "Last Dance", Pattie Brooks' "After Dark", Love And Kisses' "Thank God It's Friday", and "Take It To The Zoo" from Sunshine marked as key cuts. The album spent six weeks at #1 there in 1978, while "Last Dance" would go on to win both an Oscar for Best Original song and a Grammy for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.

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Songoftheday 8/8/20 - It's not worth anything more than this at all, I live as I choose or I will not live at all...

"When You're Gone" / "Free To Decide" - The Cranberries
from the album To The Faithful Departed (1996)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #22 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song(s) of the day come from the Irish alternative rock band the Cranberries, whose third album To The Faithful Departed had scored a top-40 radio hit in the spring of 1996 with "Salvation". For the follow-up they offered the mid-tempo "Free To Decide", written by lead singer Delores O'Riordan and produced by the band with Bruce Fairbairn. 

The song was a decent international hit, peaking at #2 in Canada, while reaching the top-40 in Iceland (#5), the Czech Republic (#9), New Zealand (#19), Poland (#22), Ireland (#28), the UK (#33), and Sweden (#40). In America, the song went to #8 on Billboard magazine's Alternative Rock radio chart, and #23 on their Adult Top-40 format list. However the single stopped at #48, below the top-40 on the official Hot 100 pop chart. But then radio stations started to play the "B-side", "When You're Gone". A swirling rock waltz with doo-wop retro influences, the track soon overpowered the lead on the radio and with Billboard's rules counting airplay for both songs, it finally brought them back into the pop top-40 in America...

"When You're Gone", listed with "Free To Decide", made the top-40 in February of 1997. "When You're Gone" also rose to #17 on Billboard's Adult Top-40 format chart. Internationally, that song climbed into the top-40 in Norway (#4), Poland (#4), Belgium (#6F), Iceland (#8), Canada (#15), Ireland (#21), New Zealand (#23), France (#26), Sweden (#31), and Australia (#40). 
The band was touring behind the album when O'Riordan hurt her knee, sidelining the band and shelving the planned fourth single "Hollywood". The Cranberries returned in 1999 with their fourth studio set Bury The Hatchet. Lead single "Promises" rose to #12 on Billboard's Alternative Rock radio chart, but didn't make a dent on the pop Hot 100 at all. The song did much better overseas, topping the singles chart in Spain, and reaching the top ten in Italy, Iceland, Greece, Canada, and Belgium, while peaking at #19 in their native Ireland and #13 in the UK, where the album became their fourth top ten success. 

Switching from Island to MCA Records, the group put out their fifth disc Wake Up And Smell The Coffee in 2001. Featured single "Analyse" climbed onto the Adult Top-40 radio chart in the U.S. at #26, while reaching the top ten in Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Poland. But with the album missing the top-40 in America, and the weak promotion from the record company, the band first parted ways with MCA, then after a greatest hits set in 2002, put themselves on ice for nearly seven years. O'Riordan released two solo albums, with the first, Are You Listening?, doing quite well, reaching the top-40 in Ireland and the UK and #77 in the U.S.. First single "Ordinary Day" made it to #28 on Billboard's Adult Album Alternative (Triple A) radio format chart. 

In 2009, the Cranberries got back together and recorded their sixth studio album Roses, which arrived in 2012. From it the song "Tomorrow" made the Triple-A radio chart in America at #30. It took five years (and a lawsuit in between) to come back with an acoustic/orchestral reworking of their prior work, Something Else. But as the band was trying to tour and record a new record, Delores died suddenly from a tragic accident (which involved drinking, but still) at the start of 2018. The band pieces together their final set In The End, which came out a year later. Single "All Over Now" almost made the top ten on the Billboard Triple-A chart at #11. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2020, but lost out to Cage The Elephant for Social Cues

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Friday, August 07, 2020

Disco Dessert 8/7/20 - "Was That All It Was" from Jean Carne...

"Was That All It Was" was a club hit for singer Jean Carne. Appearing on her album When I Find You Love, the song was produced by Jerry Butler and John Usry, who both co-wrote the song with Linda Conlon. On Billboard magazine's Disco Top-100 chart, the When I Find You Love album was listed as one entry, with "Was That All It Was", "What's On Your Mind", and "Give It Up" listed as key cuts. The record peaked there at #22 in 1980, spending a hefty 30 weeks on the chart. 

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twostepcub's music chart for August 7, 2020...

  Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 "hit" tunes from the previous week. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande stake their claim to #1, while Sam Hunt (pictured above) climbs a notch in the top ten. Songs from Sia, the Pretty Reckless, and Michael Franti make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Billie Eilish and Billie Joe Armstrong drop off my list. Dog days and hurricanes...
This Week            Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Rain On Me - Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande (2)
2. Break My Heart - Dua Lipa (1)
3. Lost In Yesterday - Tame Impala (3)
4. Bang! - AJR (4)
5. Roses (Imanbek Remix) - SAINt JHN (5)
6. Level Of Concern - twenty-one pilots (6)
7. Hard To Forget - Sam Hunt (8)
8. Honeybee - The Head and the Heart (12)
9. Blinding Lights - The Weeknd (9)
10. Bluebird - Miranda Lambert (11)
11. Watermelon Sugar - Harry Styles (16)
12. Breaking Me - Topic & A7S (14)
13. I Hope - Gabby Barrett f/Charlie Puth (17)
14. Daisies - Katy Perry (7)
15. Death Bed - Powfu f/beabadoobee (15)
16. Say So - Doja Cat f/Nicki Minaj (10)
17. Don't Start Now - Dua Lipa (13)
18. Adore You - Harry Styles (18)
19. A Little Bit Off - Five Finger Death Punch (19)
20. Sunday Best - Surfaces (24)
21. Chasin' You - Morgan Wallen (21)
22. Die From A Broken Heart - Maddie & Tae (34)
23. Why We Drink - Justin Moore (33)
24. Lie To Me - Kem (28)
25. Lay Your Head On Me - Major Lazer f/Mark Mumford (20)
26. Be Kind - Marshmello & Halsey (30)
27. Does To Me - Luke Combs f/Eric Church (23)
28. Circles - Post Malone (26)
29. Lose Somebody - Kygo & OneRepublic (39)
30. Before You Go - Lewis Capaldi (35)
31. One Margarita - Luke Bryan (31)
32. Hell N Back - Bakar (22)
33. God Whispered Your Name - Keith Urban (37)
34. Secrets - Regard & Raye (42)
35. I Dare You - Kelly Clarkson (25)
36. Don't Let Me Down - Milky Chance & Jack Johnson (36)
37. Caution - The Killers (32)
38. This City - Sam Fischer (38)
39. X - Jonas Brothers f/Karol G (29)
40. Fire - Black Pumas (41)
41. Here And Now - Kenny Chesney (27)
42. Hallucinogenics - Matt Maeson (47)
43. Savage - Megan Thee Stallion f/Beyonce (43)
44. The Other Girl - Kelsea Ballerini f/Halsey (48)
45. Hero - Weezer (49)
46. 6 Months - John K (46)
47. Strong Enough - Ray Lamontagne (53)
48. Rolling - Michael Kiwanuka (52)
49. If The World Was Ending - JP Saxe f/Julia Michaels (44)
50. Playing Games - Summer Walker f/Bryson Tiller (50)
51. Death By Rock and Roll - The Pretty Reckless (66)
52. After A Few - Travis Denning (40)
53. Done - Chris Janson (57)
54. One Big Country Song - LOCASH (54)
55. Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat) - Jawsh 685 & Jason Derulo (65)
56. ily - surf mesa f/Emilee (60)
57. Antisocialist - Asking Alexandria (61)
58. How Will I Rest In Peace If I'm Buried By a Highway - KennyHoopla (68)
59. Don't Waste My Time - Usher f/Ella Mai (45)
60. Do It - Toni Braxton (64)
61. Bad Decisions - The Strokes (56)
62. Nobody But You - Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani (58)
63. Honey In The Summer - Public (63)
64. Oh My God - Alec Benjamin (70)
65. Sober - Bad Wolves (55)
66. I Got You - Michael Franti & Spearhead (81)
67. Be A Light - Thomas Rhett f/Reba McEntire, Hilary Scott, Chris Tomlin, & Keith Urban (67)
68. Wait For You - Tom Walker (73)
69. Living In A Ghost Town - The Rolling Stones (59)
70. Together - Sia (86)
71. The Bones - Maren Morris (71)
72. Memories - Maroon 5 (72)
73. Cool Again - Kane Brown (83)
74. One Night Standards - Ashley McBryde (74)
75. Head & Heart - Joel Corry & MNEK (DEBUT)
76. Beer Can't Fix - Thomas Rhett f/Jon Pardi (62)
78. Dinner Guest - AJ Tracey (78)
79. I Called Mama - Tim McGraw (89)
80. Fearless - Goo Goo Dolls (84)
81. Ride It - Regard (77)
82. Rockstar - DaBaby f/Roddy Ricch (82)
83. Dancing In The Moonlight - Jubel f/NEIMY (91)
84. I'll Wait - Kygo & Sasha Sloan (94)
85. Retrograde - Pearl Jam (85)
86. Take Care Of You - Ella Henderson (96)
87. When The World Stops Turning - Chris Malinchak (87)
88. Stupid Love - Lady Gaga (76)
89. Crazy Kind Of Love - Tamar Braxton (93)
91. RITMO (Bad Boys For Life) - Black Eyed Peas f/J. Balvin (79)
92. Strangers - Mt. Joy (92)
94. Surrender - Natalie Taylor (98)
95. Higher Ground - Martin Garrix f/John Martin (RE-ENTRY)
96. Atlas Falls - Shinedown (RE-ENTRY)
99. West Ten - AJ Tracey (99)
100. Cono - Jason Derulo X Purl X Jhorrmountain (100)

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 website for more info on them. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 8/7/20 - Party people in the house lets go It's your boy "Jay Ski" a'ight so, pass that thing and watch me flex behind my back you know what's next...

"Space Jam" - Quad City DJ's
from the album Space Jam (Original Soundtrack) (1996)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #37 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1
Today's song of the day comes from the "Miami bass" act Quad City DJ's, who landed a huge top-3 pop hit in the summer of 1996 with their line dance anthem "C'mon Ride It (The Train)".  Later that year, the group featuring rapper Johnny "Jay-Ski" McGowan and singer Lana LaFleur along with producer Nathaniel "CC Lemonhead" Orange recorded the title theme to the half-animated basketball movie starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny, Space Jam. Released as the third single from the record after two top ten successes with R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" and Seal's cover of Steve Miller's "Fly Like An Eagle", it seemed like this was the "Foorloose"-like film of the year spinning off hits...

"Space Jam" became the third top 40 pop hit from Space Jam, and the second one for the Quad City DJ's, in January of 1997. The song also climbed to #49 on Billboard magazine's R&B chart, and #11 on their Rap Singles list. Internationally, the single went to #24 in New Zealand, and was a minor hit in the UK at #57.

Later in 1997, the group released another single from their debut album, "Summer Jam". The song spent a month on the R&B chart, peaking at #95, while "bubbling under" the pop Hot 100 at #105.  

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Thursday, August 06, 2020

DIsco Dessert 8/6/20 - "Mischief" from French Kiss...

"Mischief" was a club favorite from New York act French Kiss, featuring Muffi Durham, Yvette Johnson, and Lamar Stevens, put together by producer Simon Soussan, who wrote and produced the song. Appearing on their debut album Panic! in 1979, the song didn't make any of the charts in Billboard (the title track went to #23 though), but the song was an underground favorite of DJs and clubgoers..

and for a bonus, here's their chart hit "Panic!"...

Songoftheday 8/6/20 - I would die for you I would die for you, I've been dying just to feel you by my side to know that you're mine ...

"#1 Crush" - Garbage
Billboard Hot 100 peak: ineligible to chart
Billboard Hot 100 Airplay peak: #29 (one week)
Weeks in the Airplay Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from the modern rock band Garbage, who landed a top-40 pop hit in America with the fourth single from their self-titled album, "Stupid Girl" in the late summer/early fall of 1996. Later that year, the group recorded a song for the soundtrack to the film treatment of Shakespeare's classic Romeo & Juliet done by director/writer Baz Luhrmann.starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the ill-fated titular couple. Graced with a kaleidoscope of musical styles more hip to younger audiences, the album was kicked off by Garbage's "#1 Crush". Written by the band, it was originally recorded but relegated to being a "B-side" on a couple of their singles and kept from the album for its ambiguously dark and possibly self-harming themes. However, those are the themes that Romeo & Juliet is made of, and once the soundtrack came out, it quickly overshadowed their current single from their debut "Milk". Even though their label wouldn't let it be released as a commercial single (they were loaned out to Capitol for it), it got a ton of radio love for the new remix done by Nellee Hooper that sampled Madonna's "Bedtime Story"...

Since the new version of "#1 Crush" wasn't released to record stores commercially, it was not able to place on Billboard magazine's official Hot 100 pop chart. However, the song was popular enough at mainstream stations to spend over two months on the airplay component of the chart in January of 1997. Meanwhile, the track spent a month (4 weeks) at #1 on Billboard's Alternative Rock format chart. Internationally, the single went to #2 in Iceland, and #20 in Canada. The Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, which also featured "Lovefool" from the Cardigans, rose to #2 on the Billboard 200 sales chart.

Later that year in the spring of 1997, Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Steve Marker and Duke Erikson released their sophomore album, Garbage 2.0. Lead single "Push It" became their second top ten hit in the UK at #9, while in America it stalled down at #52. However, the song got to #5 at Alternative Rock radio in the U.S., one of four rock radio hits from the album. It was their first and so far only #1 album in the UK (it went to #13 in America), and at the 1999 Grammy Awards, Garbage 2.0 was nominated for both Best Rock Album and the coveted Album Of The Year (losing the former to Sheryl Crow and the latter to Lauryn Hill's solo debut). Third single "Special" was the biggest hit from the set, scoring their biggest Adult Top-40 radio hit at #16, just missing the Alternative Rock format chart top ten at #11, and landing also at #52 on the Pop Hot 100. The following year's Grammys saw Garbage get two more nominations for "Special", for Best Rock Song (which went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Best Rock Duo/Group Performance (which Santana and Everlast stole that year). Three of the singles from 2.0 became dance hits, with "When I Grow Up" doing their best on that list at #4.  Also in 1999, Garbage became one of the very few bands to record a theme songs for a James Bond movie, this time for "The World Is Not Enough". While it didn't make an impression on American shores, the song was a decent hit internationally, going to #1 in Iceland and just missing the top ten in England at #11.

Fighting to change labels after the collapse of Almo Records, the band signed with Interscope, and recorded their third disc Beautiful Garbage. However its scheduled release around September 11 was driven to chaos with the tragedy that dominated everyone's life and news, and lead single "Androgyny" stiffed here on American radio. It did better internationally, with the album spinning off four top-40 hits in the UK, including "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)", which is their first and only top ten hit in Australia so far. After almost splitting up, the group re-emerged in 2003 with their fourth disc, Bleed Like Me. First single "Why Do You Love Me" put them back into the top ten on both the British singles chart at #7 and the Alternative Rock chart at #8, while skirting the pop Hot 100 at #94 (their most recent appearance). Second single "Bleed Like Me" landed a top ten Dance Club Play showing at #6. But even though the record was their first top ten effort and highest ranking set at #4, interpersonal tension in the band caused them to cut their tour short and put Garbage on ice in 2005, though they briefly got back in 2007 for new songs for a greatest hits collection, with "Tell Me Where It Hurts" making the UK chart at #50 (their most recent showing there).

Garbage made a proper return in 2012, reuniting for a fifth album, Not Your Kind Of People. Lead track "Blood For Poppies" hit #17 on Billboard's Alternative Rock chart. Still with their original lineup, the band's most recent album, Strange Little Birds, was released in 2016, reaching #14 in the U.S. and #17 in the UK. "Empty", the single from the record, went to #39 on Billboard's Alternative Rock list.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Disco Dessert 8/5/20 - "Walking On Music" from the Peter Jacques Band...

"Walking On Music" was a club hit for the studio act Peter Jacques Band, started by Italian producers Jacques Petrus and Mauro Malavasi, the same guys who formed Change (originally with Luther Vandross). Appearing on their debut album Fire Night Dance, the song was written by Malavasi with Alan Taylor. On Billboard magazine's National Disco Action Top-40 chart, the Fire Night Dance album was listed as a single entry, with "all cuts" (there were only four) given as "key cuts". The record peaked at #6 in 1979.

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Songoftheday 8/5/20 - Something in me just won't give me a chance, I think it's that I feel more confused by the deal love has shown me...

"I Go Blind" - Hootie & The Blowfish
Billboard Hot 100 peak: ineligible to chart
Billboard Hot 100 Airplay peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Airplay Top-40: 30

Today's song of the day comes from the pop/rock band from South Carolina, Hootie & The Blowfish, whose second album Fairweather Johnson went to #1 but was a relative disappointment on the charts, landing two top-40 pop singles that missed the top ten tier with "Old Man & Me" and "Tucker's Town". But during the promotion of that record, radio stations started to play a track that originally was a B-side to their first hit "Hold My Mind" back in 1994 and used for the soundtrack of the wildly popular TV sitcom Friends. "I Go Blind" was a cover of an obscure indie-rock nugget from Canadian band 54-40. Written by that group's Phil Comparelli, Brad Merritt, Darryl Neudorf, and Neil Osbourne, the mid-tempo song didn't even make the charts in that country, with the album just coming in at #91 there in 1986, but it was a college radio favorite, and Hootie's version eventually found so much favor that it ended up overshadowing anything on that second disc, and almost as popular as the Friends theme song "I'll Be There For You" from the Rembrandts, also a big radio hit...

Since Hootie's "I Go Blind" wasn't released as a proper single (although you could say that they could have let "Hold My Hand"/"I Go Blind" re-enter the chart), the song wasn't able to place on Billboard magazine's official Hot 100 pop chart. However the song got so much radio love that it spent almost eight months on the airplay component of the tally, cresting in the top 20 in December of 1996. The song spent an entire year on Billboard's Adult Top-40 format chart, spending a week at #3, while getting to #22 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. Internationally, the single got to #13 in Canada.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Disco Dessert 8/4/20 - "You Fooled Me" from Grey and Hanks...

"You Fooled Me" was a disco radio hit for the Chicago-based duo of Grey and Hanks. Appearing on their debut album You Fooled Me, the song was written and produced by Zane Grey and Len Ron Hanks. The song did not make Billboard magazine's weekly disco chart, but climbed to #19 on their R&B chart in 1978, and was a favorite of clubgoers and DJs.

Songoftheday 8/4/20 - Well it's the M - I - crooked letter ain't no one better, and when I'm on the microphone you best to wear your sweater...

"ATLiens" / "Wheelz of Steel" - Outkast
from the album ATLiens (1996)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #35 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from the hip-hop duo Outkast, whose sophomore album ATLiens had already scored their second top 40 pop hit with "Elevators (Me & You)" in the summer of 1996. The second single from the record would be the title cut "ATLiens". Written and produced by the pair (Andre 3000 and Big Boi), the song name checks a whole bunch of records and culture references in a stream of consciousness over a spaced out beat that was revolutionary at that time...

"Atliens" became the second top-40 pop hit from the album in January of 1997. The song also climbed to #23 on Billboard magazine's R&B chart, with the "B-side" single track "Wheelz Of Steel" getting enough urban radio airplay to be listed for most of the chart run. Internationally, the single was a minor hit in Germany at #93. The third single from the record, "Jazzy Belle" got to #25 on the R&B chart, while making it halfway up the pop Hot 100 at #52.

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