Monday, September 01, 2014

Robbed Hit of the week 9/1/14 - Barbra Streisand's "Somewhere"...

Barbra Streisand's "Somewhere"
from the album The Broadway Album (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #43

This week's "robbed hit" comes from one of the most revered voices of the 20th century, Barbra Streisand, who found herself "left in the dark" on pop radio in the mid-80s, as older adult-contemporary vocalists (mind you, she was just in her early 40s then) were being shunned on mainstream top-40 in favor of new wave, R&B, and rock music. In 1983, she popped into the top-40 for a couple of week's with "The Way He Makes Me Feel" from her movie Yentl, but an attempt to update her sound using songwriter/producer Jim Steinman, who had jumpstarted waning fortunes for Air Supply and Bonnie Tyler, still kept her below the top-40 with "Left In The Dark". Instead of evolving further, Barbra went back to her roots, following the footsteps of Linda Ronstadt, who had been wildly successful eschewing the current trends with her Nelson Riddle opus What's New. Streisand came first from the stage, and it was a natural fit to record a straightforward collection of classic showtunes that would allow her to show both her versatility and her still powerful range. The Broadway Album, released in 1985, put together a dozen showstoppers from eleven shows, doubling up on the New York epic West Side Story. The record's closer, "Somewhere", taken from that musical, was released as a single, and besides it's success on easy-listening radio, even found an audience with the MTV and radio crowd, excited for such an "event" record. And surprisingly, the classic had only hit the top-40 once, in a version from pop/soul singer Len Barry in 1966...

Man, that ending still gives me goosebumps.

While The Broadway Album became one of Barbra's biggest-selling albums, going to #1 for three weeks, "Somewhere" as a single stopped just short of the top-40 at #43 in January of 1986. On adult-contemporary radio, where her career was still in high gear, she ascended to #5. Over in England, where the album peaked at #3, "Somewhere" poked into the singles chart at #88.

But with a project like this, chart positions didn't matter. Barbra has sold over four million copies of The Broadway Album, and reestablished her musical direction on her own terms. She even recorded a follow-up in 1993 titled Back To Broadway, which also topped the album chart, and in 2003 released The Movie Album, establishing a brand many a more "mature" artist would follow (looking at you, Rod...)

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Album Sweep: September 6, 2014 - Part Two...

Part two of this week's "album sweep" is up, sampling the records making their way on to Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums sales chart. You can check out part one by clicking here, and as before I've included highlighted links to buy anything here, as well as some of the artists' other important work...

Speed-metal band Dragonforce, from London, fly in at #62 with their sixth studio album Maximum Overload. Back in 2008 they made it to #18 with Ultra Beatdown...

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Songoftheday 9/1/14 - Spare a little candle save some light for me, figures up ahead movin' in the trees...

Heart "These Dreams"
from the album Heart (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the day comes from the retooled lineup of the arena rock band Heart, whose self-titled "comeback" album of 1985 had already scored back-to-back top-10 pop hits in America with "What About Love" and "Never". For the third release from the project the group did something they haven't before, having guitarist Nancy Wilson sing lead instead of sister Ann on the ballad "These Dreams". Written by Elton John's lyricist Bernie Taupin along with Martin Page (who had just topped the pop charts with Starship's recording of his "We Built This City"), the ballad was a big softening of their sound from their 70s days....

Twenty years after the release of their first hit single, "These Dreams" became Heart's first pop #1 hit in March of 1986. The record also crossed over to the Mainstream Rock (#2) and the Adult Contemporary radio charts in Billboard magazine, the latter giving them their first and only #1 hit. Internationally, while the song went to #6 in Canada, and #3 in France, at first the ballad floundered in Britain, landing at #62 on the singles chart on its initial release. However in 1988 the record was re-issued as a "double-A-side" with "Never", and climbed to #8 in the UK then.

"These Dreams" solidified Heart's stature as the big America pop/rock band of the mid-80's with this record, all the more important being led by two women. But after that, their hard-rocking days are well over for at least a while.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Brit Sweep: August 31, 2014...

Hey gang, I'm ready to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in the United Kingdom this week....

The biggest song in Britain this week comes from French indie-folk duo Lilly Wood and the Prick, whose song "Prayer In C" received a dance remix from German DJ Robin Schulz, and after going to #1 in both Germany and France, finally makes it on top here...

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Album Sweep: September 6, 2014 - Part One...

I'm ready to start up the first half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums sales chart. As always, I've included highlighted links to buy any of the new sets, as well as some of the artists' other major work. Support the talent!

The top-selling album in America this week is the first #1 album from rapper Wiz Khalifa, who sells about 90,000 copies of his third major-label solo studio album Blacc Hollywood.The other two made it to #2...

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Songoftheday 8/31/14 - Some people hunger for fame and fortune, all their lives saddest fools, in paradise...

Thompson Twins - "King For A Day"
from the album Here's To Future Days (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day is by the British new-wave trio Thompson Twins, whose 1985 album Here's To Future Days had already scored them their second top-10 single with "Lay Your Hands On Me". For its follow-up the band released the bouncy "King For A Day", which was remixed for the American market adding more guitars to the track. It was their most joyful moment on the radio in their career...

Thompson Twins - King For A Day by jpdc11

"King For A Day" became the third and final top-10 pop single in America for the "Twins" in March of 1986, while also climbing to #13 on the Adult Contemporary (or "easy-listening") radio chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single was a top-ten success in Sweden and New Zealand, but in England, where it was the third release after "Don't Mess With Doctor Dream" in a shorter synth-heavy version, stopped at #22.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Story of the Day 8-30-14: What is it with St. Louis?

But seriously, while many fans of football player Michael Sam, including myself, were disappointed over the "cut" of the defensive end from the St. Louis Rams, the reaction of his fans, and the supportive words from Rams coach Jeff Fisher, and beyond all the class displayed by the man who still may be the first openly gay NFL player on the field (but if so possibly with another team), showed that there is a bright future for Sam. This happens all the times with hundreds of players in the league, and while there's no doubt that Michael's backstory is as much an asset as a possible risk to other teams, I'm certain that the support that Sam has gotten has shown to NFL owners and coaches (seriously, fuck Dungy already) that besides Sam's proven skill (hey, he did great in preseason, just that the Rams were defense-heavy as it was), he's a draw for fans, and money does talk. Now how about it, Chicago? Make my day.

Dance Sweep: September 6, 2014...

I'm ready to wrap up today's five-part "chart sweeps" tracking the songs making the Billboard singles charts with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Hot Dance Club Play chart, Demi Lovato scores her third consecutive #1 hit from her Demi album with "Really Don't Care". It follows "Neon Lights" and "Heart Attack"...

The highest debut of the week comes from British modern rock act Bastille with "Bad Blood". They went to #1 with "Pompeii" in February. They're at the most Coldplay on this track...

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Country Sweep: September 6, 2014...

Part four of today's "chart sweeps" checks out the latest country songs on Billboard magazine's radio chart....

The #1 song for a second week on the Country Airplay chart is Dierks Bentley's "Drunk On A Plane"...

Blake Shelton rockets in at #18 with the first single from his upcoming album Bringing Back The Sunshine, "Neon Light". Can he extend his streak of twelve #1 singles on this chart? Probably inevitable. He's got the full promo action of The Voice behind him, and by now is really the "old guard" of current country radio (scary, eh?). Sure,the song itself is a crowdsource piece of fluff, and he wouldn't be caught dead in a cowboy hat anymore, but at least it's no "Boys 'Round Here". I just wish Miranda would have more of an influence on him than the other way around.

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Soul Sweep: September 6, 2014...

We're at the "hump" of today's "chart sweeps", with the latest songs to make some of Billboard magazine's weekly singles charts, and this time I'm serving up the newest R&B songs on the radio...

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, singer Jeremih scores his second #1 single with "Don't Tell 'Em" featuring YG. Back in 2009 he went to #1 with his first lead-artist hit "Birthday Sex". It's odd there still is no official video for this one yet!

Tennessee rapper Snootie Wild has the big debut at #42 with "Made Me" featuring K Camp. Meh. Posturing. And can we have a moratorium on children's piano noises?

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Rock Sweep: September 6, 2014...

Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up, sampling the songs making the various radio charts in Billboard magazine, and this time it's the newest on rock stations around the country...

On the aggregate Rock Airplay chart, Vance Joy spends his third week at #1 with "Riptide"...

The top debut of the week, at #32, belongs to Canadian bro-rockers Nickelback, who must be another of the seven signs of the apocalypse, releasing yet another single at this uneasy time in history. But while I can readily admit that I've been defiantly fond of many a tune from the boys, this slice of cheese falls like a group-tested anthem of faux anarchy, handily vague enough for those libertarian fucktards fighting against "the system" yet still taking full advantage of said "system". And even when this is trying so hard to be "edgy", it feels so tagged to white-man anger which can be easily tied to our current president (who is kind of "different", don't ya know?). Now Chad and the gang can get the job done even with poster-inspired "message" songs like "When We Stand Together", but this is about as anti-establishment as the Young Republicans. It's just what "establishment" they can't stand. Lord. This makes Avril look like Patti Smith.(Since the combined Rock Airplay chart started in 2009, they've hit the top-10 twice with "Burn It To The Ground" reaching #7)

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Pop Sweep: September 6, 2014...

It's time to kick off the first of today's five-part "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making the various charts in Billboard magazine this week. As usual, I'll start on the pop side of things, then later in the day move on to rock, R&B, country, and dance music. And away we go....

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of radio airplay, sales, and internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), there's a new "sheriff" in town, and it's Taylor Swift, who lands her second #1 hit on the list with the first single from her upcoming pure-pop album 1989, "Shake It Off". She last led in 2012 with the initial release from her last album Red, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", which created a maelstrom of controversy over Billboard topping its first "combined airplay" country chart with the decidedly non-country single. I guess they've learned their lesson as the song is absent of that chart, even though it did garner enough airplay to reach the Country Airplay list (I'll cover that later on today). Although it keeps newcomer Meghan Trainor's incredibly infectious "All About That Bass" from the top, it thankfully also prevents Nicki Minaj's poor remake of "Baby Got Back", "Anaconda", from #1 as well, as it jumps from #39 to #2 from the release of the soft-porn video. And without the tarnish of being labelled "country", the song is cute, a little self-serving considering, but cute (though it seems a little late to the party from Trainor's similar empowerment theme, which comes off more universal that personal)....

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Post 4000! So that's where my time's went....

Wow. I've been busy. 4000 posts in the eight years and change that's I've been at my little corner of the interwebs, with a total of over 150,000 pageviews from anywhere and everywhere in the world, I'm thankful to have this little outlet to share my passions, be it music, news, or any random thing that's on my mind. I have never done ads on this, but have only benefited from the joy in writing it. Thanks for keeping up with my musings, and I hope I've kept you slightly entertained and maybe slipped something new into your brain. Onwards and upwards!

(Mind, if you're using an RSS reader like Feedspot and see ads, they aren't from my site and I'm not profiting. If you want to see the real deal, please follow me on da Blogger at Thanks!)


Songoftheday 8/30/14 - Got someone else to keep you warm, you've been seen in cozy places...

Freddie Jackson - "He'll Never Love You (Like I Do)"
from the album Rock Me Tonight (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day comes from soul singer Freddie Jackson, whose debut album Rock Me Tonight had scored two big top-20 pop hits in 1985 with "You Are My Lady" and the title track. For the third single from the album Freddie revved up the tempo for the sassy "He'll Never Love You (Like I Do)", which has him channeling his inner Vandross at 100%...

"He'll Never Love You" became Jackson's third top-40 pop hit in February of 1986. On the R&B chart, the single was his third to make the top-10 stopping at #8, and it even crossed over to the adult contemporary list in Billboard at #28. Over in England the song popped onto the singles charts at #81.

Up tomorrow: The oddly-named trio seeks to be coronated.

Friday, August 29, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for August 29, 2014...

Hey gang, it's Friday at last, and time to run down my top 100 tunes from last week. Sam Smith holds on to #1 for a tenth week, while OneRepublic (pictured above) jumps up two spots in the top-ten. Songs from Milky Chance, Vance Joy, and Clean Bandit make the biggest leaps on the chart (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while a former big hit from Justin Timberlake drops out. Happy Labor Day weekend, Americans!

This Week                 Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (1)
2. Rude - Magic! (3)
3. A Sky Full Of Stars - Coldplay (4)
4. Problem - Ariana Grande f/Iggy Azalea (2)
5. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (7)
6. Love Runs Out - OneRepublic (8)
7. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (6)
8. Latch - Disclosure f/Sam Smith (12)
9. Chandelier - Sia (14)
10. Take Me To Church - Hozier (10)
11. Come With Me Now - KONGOS (11)
12. Maps - Maroon 5 (16)
13. Summer - Calvin Harris (9)
14. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers (5)
15. Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake (15)
16. Hideaway - Kiesza (19)
17. Fever - The Black Keys (13)
18. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (17)
19. Do It Again - Royksopp & Robyn (23)
20. We Are Tonight - Billy Currington (21)
21. Aftermath - Dave Aude f/Andy Bell (20)
22. Fancy - Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (18)
23. Drunk On A Plane - Dierks Bentley (30)
24. I Don't Dance - Lee Brice (28)
25. I Was Gonna Cancel - Kylie Minogue (25)
26. Bartender - Lady Antebellum (36)
27. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (45)
28. Riptide - Vance Joy (46)
29. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (47)
30. Who I Am With You - Chris Young (26)
31. Waves - Mr. Probz (37)
32. Yeah - Joe Nichols (33)
33. Pretty Hurts - Beyonce (41)
34. Ghost - Ella Henderson (38)
35. Derezzed - Daft Punk f/Negin (35)
36. Sing - Ed Sheeran (22)
37. Classic - MKTO (39)
38. River Bank - Brad Paisley (42)
39. Me And My Broken Heart - Rixton (24)
40. Really Don't Care - Demi Lovato f/Cher Lloyd (48)
41. Happy - Pharrell Williams (31)
42. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor (58)
43. Cool Kids - Echosmith (53)
44. Words As Weapons - Seether (44)
45. Knock You Out - Bingo Players (40)
46. I'm Not Coming Down - Martha Wash (34)
47. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High? - Arctic Monkeys (27)
48. Song About A Girl - Eric Paslay (49)
49. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (29)
50. Meanwhile Back At Mama's - Tim McGraw f/Faith Hill (50)
51. West Coast - Lana Del Rey (56)
52. Angel In Blue Jeans - Train (52)
53. Roller Coaster - Luke Bryan (57)
54. Prayer In C - Lilly Wood & The Prick (54)
55. Never Say Never - Basement Jaxx (62)
56. Secrets - Mary Lambert (64)
57. Wasted - Tiesto f/Matthew Koma (32)
58. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (43)
59. Hope You Get Lonely Tonight - Cole Swindell (63)
60. U Get Me High - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (60)
61. Don't - Ed Sheeran (68)
62. First Love - Jennifer Lopez (77)
63. Play It Again - Luke Bryan (51)
64. Where It's At (Yep Yep) - Dustin Lynch (66)
65. Believer - American Authors (65)
66. 1000hp - Godsmack (70)
67. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan & Jason Derulo (67)
68. Good Kisser - Usher (71)
69. All Of Me - John Legend (59)
70. Back To The Shack - Weezer (80)
71. Back Home - Andy Grammer (75)
72. Small Town Throwdown - Brantley Gilbert f/Justin Moore & Thomas Rhett (74)
73. Bye Felicia - Joe Gauthreaux f/Mitch Amtrak (79)
74. My Sweet Summer - Dirty Heads (76)
75. Superheroes - The Script (87)
76. Baby Baby 2014 - Amy Grant f/Dave Aude (90)
77. Somethin' Bad - Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood (91)
78. One Minute More - Capital Cities (78)
79. American Kids - Kenny Chesney (81)
80. Be Okay - Oh Honey (82)
81. Gimme Something Good - Ryan Adams (85)
82. Later On - Swon Brothers (92)
83. Boom Clap - Charli XCX (83)
84. Dirt - Florida Georgia Line (84)
85. Ballast - Nothing More (86)
86. Do You - Spoon (96)
87. Lovers On The Sun - David Guetta f/Sam Martin (DEBUT)
88. Ready Set Roll - Chase Rice (84)
89. It's You - Kem (97)
90. Battleships - Daughtry (93)
91. Break Free - Ariana Grande f/Zedd (DEBUT)
92. Try - Colbie Caillat (DEBUT)
93. Last Call - Bello Boys f/Kat Deluna (DEBUT)
94. Five Hours - Deorro (DEBUT)
95. Crazy Stupid Love - Cheryl Cole f/Tinie Tempah (95)
96. Burnin' It Down - Jason Aldean (DEBUT)
97. Cardiac Arrest - Bad Suns (DEBUT)
98. When The Beat Drops Out - Marlon Roudette (98)
99. Budapest - George Ezra (RE-ENTRY)
100. Battle Cry - Scarlett Rabe (DEBUT)

There are eight songs making their debut on my chart this week (highlighted in blue),  and if you click on any of them you'll connect to the artist's official website for more info, tour dates, and more. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 8/29/14 - Here we are the two of us together, taking this crazy chance to be all alone...

Atlantic Starr - "Secret Lovers"
from the album As The Band Turns (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day is by the rhythm and blues band Atlantic Starr, who were one of the many "Starr/Star" groups having success in the early 80s on the radio. In 1982, they crossed over to the pop charts with their post-disco top-40 hit "Circles", but while they scored a couple more hits on soul stations, they had trouble following up that success on mainstream Top-40. In 1986, the third single from their sixth album, As The Band Turns, was released, and it was a ballad much more in tune with easy-listening radio than R&B. "Secret Lovers", written by bandmates and brothers David and Wayne Lewis, made cheating a much more romantic affair than most songs on the topic...

"Secret Lovers" hit big, becoming the group's first top-10 pop hit in March of 1986. The single also topped the Adult Contemporary radio chart in Billboard, and climbed to #4 on their R&B/Black Singles chart. Internationally, the record made #10 over in England, whilegoing all the way to #1 in Canada. They would continue to have success with similar ballads through the rest of the decade...

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

8 of the 80s: 8/28/14 (1983)

It's throwback Thursday 80s time, and this week I'm back to 1983, the year the Philadelphia Arena on Market Street was burnt and destroyed by arson.

Walter Egan - "Fool Moon Fire"
from the album Wild Exhibitions (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46
Songwriter: Walter Egan

The rock singer-songwriter also spent the 80's appearing on various game shows...

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7 of the 70s: 8/28/14 (1973)

It's back to the 70s after a two week break, and this week I'm serving up seven more nuggets from 1973, the year an amusement park in the Isle Of Man off of England caught fire from kids smoking, killing 50 people....

Jim Croce - "Time In A Bottle"
from the album You Don't Mess Around With Jim (1972)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriter: Jim Croce

Another of those songs that immediately put a tear in my eye, no doubt helped by the tragic end to the singer's life in a plane crash.

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Songoftheday 8/28/14 - I could go on counting for hours the things that I like, please don't move baby stay right here stay right inside...

Ready For The World - "Digital Display"
from the album Ready For The World (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day is by Ready For The World, an R&B band out of the 'motor' city of Flint, Michigan, that took their Prince-ish funk of "Oh Sheila" to the top of the pop and soul chart in America. Their next single, "Digital Display", was written by their keyboardist, Greg Potts...

"Digital Display" became the group's second top-40 pop hit in February of 1986. The record also climbed up to #3 on Billboard's Dance Club Play list, and #4 on the R&B chart, their fourth consecutive top-10 hit there.

Up tomorrow: Another New York R&B act "cheats" for a big hit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aussie Sweep: August 27, 2014...

It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in Australia this week, as Meghan Trainor spends a third week on top with "All About That Bass"...

There are only two new songs in the top-50 this week. The first rockets in at #5, and it's the new one from Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off". This becomes her eighth top-10 single; she's topped the list here back in 2008 with "Love Story" (she went to #1 here before she did in America, coincidentally)...

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6 of the 60s: 8/27/14 (1963)

6 of the 60s is back after a two-week vacation, with a half-dozen more nuggets from 1963, the year of the Great Train Robbery in England, memorialized on film in Phil Collins' Buster in the late 80s....

Lesley Gore - "It's My Party"
from the album I'll Cry If I Want To (1963)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: John Gluck, Wally Gold, Herb Weiner

One of legendary producer Quincy Jones' first big pop successes, "It's My Party" almost came out as a Wall Of Sound production for Phil Spector's Crystals. In 2006, Gore would come out of the closet as a lesbian in an interview.

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Songoftheday 8/27/14 - Take the children and yourself and hide out in the cellar, by now the fighting will be close at hand...

Mike + The Mechanics - "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)"
from the album Mike + The Mechanics (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day comes from a side-project for progressive rock trio Genesis' guitarist Mike Rutherford, Mike + The Mechanics. Like drummer Phil Collins, Rutherford released a couple of solo albums in the early 80s, but besides a top-40 rock radio hit with "Maxine" in 1982, there wasn't much interest in his non-Genesis work. In the mid-80s Mike, along with producer Christopher Neil and songwriter Brian Robertson, started a project called Mike & The Mechanics, with a band formed with journeyman singers Paul Young (not the "Everytime You Go Away" one) and Paul Carrack, who went from a stint with Squeeze to a top-40 hit of his own with "I Need You" in 1982. The first single released from the act was used in the movie On Dangerous Ground, renamed for American audiences as Choke Canyon (a porn movie name if I ever heard one). With Carrack on lead vocals for "Silent Running", the sci-fi lyrics of this track didn't really fit the movie (in fact they were inspired by a Bruce Dern film of the same name), though the paranoiac musical theme did the job in its own way...

"Silent Running" became the first top-10 pop hit for the group in March of 1986. The single also went all the way to #1 on Billboard magazine's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, while the record went top-10 in both Canada and Germany, in Rutherford/Carrack's native Britain the single stopped at #21.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

German Sweep: August 26, 2014...

It's time to cross the border to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in Germany this week, as David Guetta holds at #1 for a second week with "Lovers On The Sun"...

The top debut of the week comes from Ariana Grande, who pops in at #27 with "Break Free". It follows "Problem", which "peaked" at #19 last week...

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French Sweep: August 26, 2014...

I'm ready to head across the Atlantic to check out the songs making the official singles chart in France this week, as Lilly Wood & The Prick rack up a sixth week at #1 with the Robin Schulz remix of "Prayer In C"...

The top debut of the week comes from Algerian/French rapper Lacrim, who almost makes the top-10 by a notch with "Pronto". It does become his highest rank though at #11 out of his five French top-40 hits this year...

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Songoftheday 8/26/14 - Go now don't look back we've drawn the line...

Starship - "Sara"
from the album Knee Deep In The Hoopla (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by the band Starship, who were the mutated result from years of member defection from 60s acid-rock giants Jefferson Airplane. Revamped a la Chicago as a pop/adult-contemporary hitmaking machine, with only Grace Slick hanging on from its original incarnation, Starship had already landed a #1 pop hit in America with my least favorite hit record of all time, "We Built This City". The pasteurized cheese of that earworm would make anything else sound like Mozart, so it's no surprise I wasn't turned off too much by its successor, the mid-tempo ballad "Sara". Written by husband-and-wife team of Peter and Ina Wolf (no, the former wasn't the J. Geils Band guy, but rather a producer who did most of the keyboard work with the group's album), "Sara" was a straight-forward made-for-the-workplace-radio track that barely featured any Slick at all. No matter, at least Mickey Thomas was more restrained in his performance, though he was able to turn in an overblown performance in the high-concept video featuring Rebecca DeMornay as a seemingly drugged-up groupie wife compared to Thomas' own mom in the video. Weird...

"Sara" became Starship's second #1 pop hit in a row in the U.S. They also crossed over to the Adult Contemporary (also #1) and Mainstream Rock (#12) radio charts in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single also topped the singles chart in Canada, and went top-20 in Germany and Ireland, but relatively tanked in Britain, stalling at #66 in that country.

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