Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cee U Next Tuesday of the Week: Blind Injustice...

This week's Cee U Next Tuesday winner, for female excellence in the male-dominated field of douchebaggery, is Carole Aichele (pictured above for her "happy school librarian" pic), Pennsylvania's Secretary of the Commonwealth (their hoity-toity way of just saying "Secretary of State"). As such she's also responsible for enforcing the recently-passed Voter ID law in the state, which requires specific state-issued photo IDs to be able to vote. This has created a maelstorm of controversy, since figures touting the amount of people who would be disenfranchised by the law seem to be fudged, and the effect of voter fraud greatly exaggerated. And of course a Republican promoter of the law was caught saying that this law would win Pennsylvania for the party. The department of Justice has been looking into this and holding hearings.

Now you can argue either way on the validity of suppression claims, as well as the threat of fraud (which the state has yet to prove at all, and even dropped that claim). The reason Aichele is an incompetent nutball is that when she's on the stand testifying in a state case against the bill...

[Aichele] said she wasn’t sure about the details of the law, but stood by her unsupported claim that 99 percent of voters had valid identification.
“I don’t know what the law says,” Aichele said under questioning, according to CBS.


This isn't fifth grade, Aichele.  You are fucking paid to handle this, and if you're so damn sure about your position, saying "I don't know what the law says" is reason you should be thrown the fuck out.

So Carole Aichele (and by the way, you have way too many fucking "e"s in your name), you win this week's Cee U Next Tuesday Award, in the form of having to watch Total Recall 50 times back to back.

Kraut Sweep: July 31, 2012....

Good afternoon, folks, it's time to take a look at the new music selling over in Germany according to their official sales charts. This week Lykke Li's "I Follow Rivers" stays on top for a third week.

The highest new entry this week is by Nigerian singer D'Banj, who saw his "Oliver Twist" go top-10 in the UK, and now it debuts at #66 in Germany....

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French Sweep: July 31st, 2012...

Hey guys, it's time to sample the new music selling over in France this week, according to their official sales charts. Things are pretty static this week, as Carly Rae Jepsen spends a fourth week at the top with "Call Me Maybe", while only three songs make their debut in the top-100...

...And the top debut belongs to Jepsen as well, as her collaboration with Owl City, "Good Time", enters at #77...

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July 31st candletime...

Today, July 31st, marks Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim)'s 49th birthday...

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Songoftheday 7/31/12 - Encino's like so bitchin'! There's like the Galleria...

Frank & Moon Unit Zappa - "Valley Girl"
from the album Ship Arriving To Late To Save A Drowning Witch (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #32 (two weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 3

Today's Song of the Day is the scathing ode to SoCal life by experimental rock god Frank Zappa with his daughter Moon Unit.  Baltimore-born Zappa released his first album, Freak Out, with backing band the Mothers Of Invention, in 1966, with songs like "Who Are The Brain Police" quite different from anything out at the time. Two years later, his third studio album We're Only In It For The Money became his first top-40 album, while still straddling art and comedy with tracks like "Who Needs The Peace Corps".

1974 was Zappa's commercial breakthrough in America, as his Apostrophe (') album was a top-10 seller, and the single "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" was his first minor pop hit. After dissolving the "Mothers" in 1979, Zappa's Sheik Yerbouti album contained "Dancin' Fool", his first single to reach the top-half of the pop chart in the US, as well as "Bobby Brown", which was a huge hit single across Europe.

But it was 1982 that sent a fluke track of Zappa's onto the radio and into the top-40. Zappa planned a song that lampooned the vapid girls infesting the malls and schools of the San Fernando Valley, and recruited his daughter Moon Unit to mimic the girls she lives around at the time. With the chugging guitar, grunted chorus, and Moon Unit's hilarious squeaky ad-libs, the song more effectively powered the fad than decimated it. Gag me with a spoon!

And this is why I love Solid Gold.

"Valley Girl" not only hit the pop top-40, but even made #12 on the rock radio chart, and went on to inspire a movie of the same name which graced the world with Nicolas Cage. It would be Zappa's last bang as a mainstream artist - he would be more prevalent after that for his jam albums (Joe Garage series) and his testifying before Congress regarding the music stickering movement in the name of free speech. Sadly, Zappa passed in 1993 at the age of 52 from prostrate cancer, but his legacy in the world of art-rock/experimental rock is monumental. Moon Unit is 44 now, and besides acting and periodic stints as a VJ on MTV and VH1, she's been writing books and articles.

...and since the Solid Gold clip was just too damn short, here's the full song mimed by none other than Project Runway's fabu Jack Mackenroth. Totally!

God I love this. Lord God King BuFu!

Up tomorrow: The haircut band of 1982.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Album Sweep: August 4, 2012 - Part Two...

Hey folks, it's time for part two of this week's "Album Sweep", sampling the latest records making their debut on Billboard magazine's Top 200 chart. You can check out part one here.

Coming in at #76 is reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, who's work on the soundtrack The Harder They Come in 1972 remains a keystone of the genre. He also scored himself a top-20 hit with a song from another movie, Cool Running's "I Can See Clearly Now" on 1993. His latest album was produced by Tim Armstrong, of the punk band Rancid, and it's Rebirth...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Robbed Hit of the Week 7/30/12 - Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock"...

Afrika Bambaataa & The SoulSonic Force - "Planet Rock"
from the album Planet Rock - The Album (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #48

This week's 'robbed hit of the week' is by one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJs, Afrika Bambaataa. Afrika began spinning at burgeoning clubs and parties in the late 70s/early 80s, and is said to have coined the use of the term hip-hop.

In 1982, he put out a 12" single for "Planet Rock", a spaced out jam that incorporated melody and beats from two songs of German electronic group Kraftwerk, "Trans-Europe Express" and "Numbers". It transcended the confines up R&B music, electronic music, and rock to a funky-ass stew....

The song not only propelled Bambaataa's name from the underground to the mainstream, but also that of remixer and producer Arthur Baker.

"Planet Rock" astonishingly missed the top-40 on the pop chart (pop radio wasn't ready for rap music yet), but the record was a #4 single on the R&B chart and #3 on the dance club chart. It also went gold, selling over a million copies over time.

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July 30th candletime...

Today, July 30th, marks Paul Anka's 71st birthday...

(click below to see the rest of the post)

Songoftheday 7/30/12 - I can live without love if I wanted to in this lonely room...

Paul Davis - "Love Or Let Me Be Lonely"
from the album Cool Night (1981)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (two weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 2

Today's Song of the Day is by soft-rock/country singer and songwriter Paul Davis. Davis followed up his top-10 hit "'65 Love Affair" with a remake of a hit from 1970 by the R&B group the Friends of Distinction. It would be the third top-40 hit from his Cool Night album, his last with Arista records and last pretty much as a pop artist.

The song grazed the top-40 for a couple weeks, but made it as high as #11 on the adult-contemporary chart, and was my favorite track from his album.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Brit Sweep: July 29, 2012...

Hey folks, sorry so late, just got back from the Balloon Fest, but ready to tackle the new songs on this weeks Official Singles sales chart in the UK. This week Florence + The Machine spend a third week (deservedly) at the #1 position with "Spectrum (Say My Name)"...

The highest debut this week belongs to Conor Maynard, who I would describe as England's answer to Justin Beiber. The nineteen-year-old from Brighton's first single, "Can't Say No", made it to the #2 spot, and his followup, "Vegas Girl", comes on this week at #4...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Album Sweep: August 4, 2012 part one...

Hey guys, thanks again for dropping by! It's time for part one of this week's "album sweep", where I sample the debuting sets on the Top 200 Albums chart in Billboard magazine this week.

Debuting in the #1 spot is New York rapper Nas, with his fifth charttopping set (and third consective #1) with Life Is Good. But while all his CDs have sold truckloads, he has only managed three top-40 pop hits, the biggest being 2003's "I Can". So far none of the tracks from Life Is Good have made Billboard's Hot 100 yet, though "Daughters" has lingered in the lower half of the R&B chart...

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July 29th candletime...

Today, July 29th, marks one of country music's best voices, Martina McBride's 46th birthday. My favorite McBride songs...

1) Whatever You Say
2) Independence Day
3) Safe In The Arms Of Love
4) My Baby Loves Me
5) It's My Time
6) Wrong Again
7) A Broken Wing
8) The Time Has Come
9) I Love You
10) Valentine

(Click to see the rest of the post)

Songoftheday 7/29/12 - I know you must be somebody's else dream, please don't go cause it really doesn't matter to me...

Randy Meisner - "Never Been In Love"
from the album Randy Meisner (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #28 (three weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day is by former member of the Eagles and Poco, Randy Meisner. He had joined the post-Buffalo Springfield group Poco in the late 60s, but didn't even survive there to see the release of their first album.

In 1971, Meisner was a one of the founders of the Eagles, along with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Bernie Leadon. He was a part of the group for five albums from their debut to Hotel California, and sang lead on the top-10 hit "Take It To The Limit" (one of my all-time favorite songs of theirs). Leaving after the Hotel California album, Randy started recording solo, releasing his first self-titled solo album in 1978. Two years later, he scored his first top-40 hit with "Deep Inside My Heart", with had Kim Carnes on background vocals. A year later, his "Hearts On Fire" made the pop and rock top-20. (Both of these are from his sophomore LP, One More Song.)

Meisner released his third album in 1982 titled just under his name (like his first). The rock group Heart backed him up on the band and vocals on the record. The first single from it was "Never Been In Love"...

This would be Randy's last solo hit on the chart, but he would reunite with Poco in 1989 for their Legacy album, singing lead on their top-40 hit "Nothin' To Hide" (written by Richard Marx).

Up tomorrow: Mississippi singer goes crazy on a Friends of Distinction hit.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dance Sweep: August 4, 2012...

Hey everyone, it's time for today's final "Chart Sweep" of the Billboard magazine weekly charts. This time out is the latest on the Dance Club Play, Mixshow/Airplay, and Global Dance Songs lists.

On the Club chart, Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" takes over the top spot.

The top debut is by France's favorite diva, Madonna, with the third charting single from her MDNA album. She's had an astonishing 42 #1 hits on the club list, from 1983's "Holiday" to this year's "Girl Gone Wild". Coming in at #39 is "Turn Up The Radio"...

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Country Sweep: August 4, 2012...

Hey folks, thanks again for droppin' by, it's time for the fourth part of this week's five-part "chart sweeps" of the weekly music charts in Billboard magazine. This time out we'll take a look at the new music on the Country Songs chart.

The new #1 country song this week is Dierks Bentley's "5-1-5-0"...

The highest entry on the country radio list, like the Hot 100, is the new one from Jason Aldean, who has had seven previous #1 hits, from 2005's "Why" to last year's "Fly Over States".  His latest, from the upcoming as-yet unnamed album, is "Take a Little Ride" all the way up at #19...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Soul Sweep: August 4, 2012...

Hey guys, it's time for part three of this week's "chart sweeps" of the music charts in Billboard magazine. This time out we'll sample the new tracks on this week's R&B/Hip-Hop and Adult R&B lists.

On the main R&B/HipHop chart, Kanye West's "Mercy" hangs on for another week at #1.

The highest debutis from rapper Rick Ross, who's CD God Forgives, I Don't drops next Tuesday. The third charting single from it, "3 Kings", comes in at #60...Ross has had six top-10 R&B hits, including the #2 "Aston Martin Music" in 2010...on his new one he gets an assist from fellow powerhouses Dr. Dre and Jay-Z...(NSFW)

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Rock Sweep: August 4, 2012...

Hey guys, time for part two of this weeks "chart sweeps" of the latest songs on Billboard magazine's weekly music charts. This time out we'll sample the latest to hit rock radio.

On the main Rock Songs list, Green Day pull a coup and come in all the way at #1 with "Oh Love". The song is on their upcoming album Uno!, which is the first of three albums (of course Dos! and Tre'!) that will be released between September 2012 and January 2013. The track also comes onto the Modern Rock/Alternative radio list at #7, and the Triple-A list at #16, the highest debut on each. The trio has had eight #1 Modern Rock singles in their 18 years, including "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams", which made it all the way to #2 on the pop chart...

 (Click below to see the rest of the post)

Pop Sweep: August 4, 2012...

Hey folks, it's time for the first part of this weeks "chart sweeps", where I bring you the latest songs making the weekly music sales and radio charts in Billboard magazine. This time out I'll take a look at the new debuts on the all-genre Hot 100 and the Adult Pop charts.

On the Hot 100, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" is on top for a seventh week, while no new songs make it into the top ten.

The highest debut, though, comes in all the way up at #12, thanks to it being the second biggest digital seller this week. It's A-list country singer Jason Aldean, who's had one top-10 on the big chart so far in his career, "Dirt Road Anthem" (thanks to a pop-styled remix featuring rapper Ludacris), as well as another top-20 hit, "Big Green Tractor". Now I've got a little issue with this song, because after penning a sponsorship contract with Coors Beer, he rerecorded the song switching out brands from Shiner Bock to "Rocky Tops", and contacting radio to play the new version. I mean really, please maybe be a little more subtle in your shilling? I know half of country music is one big "redneck" advertisement with keywords and talking points substituting for creativity, but c'mon!

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July 28th candletime...

Today, July 28th, marks singer/songwriter Jonathan Edwards' 76th birthday...

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Songoftheday 7/28/12 - We've been here too long tryin' to get along, pretending that you're oh so shy...

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)"
from the album Bad Reputation (1980)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (three weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day is by Joan Jett, who by the summer of 1982 was coming off two big hits in "I Love Rock N Roll" and "Crimson & Clover". But instead of following them up with another cut from the I Love Rock N Roll album, her next single was pulled from her debuts solo album after leaving the Runaways, now renamed Bad Reputation.

It's a cover of a 1973 song by British glam rocker Gary Glitter called "Do You Wanna Touch Me". That song reached #2 in Glitter's home country, though wasn't a hit here in the States.

Joan Jett took the song and made it rougher and sexier, and ended up with her third single to make the US top-20.

Her version also made the top-40 on rock radio, and even made the top-10 pop singles chart in Canada.

 (Click below to see the rest of the post)

Friday, July 27, 2012

twostepcub's music chart for July 27, 2012...

Hey folks, it's Friday, and that mean's it's time for my top-100 tunes of the week. This week Carly Rae Jepsen spends a seventh week at the top, while country hunk Dierks Bentley (pictured above) moves up in the top-10. Songs by the Zac Brown Band, fun, and Train make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits by Soundgarden, Swedish House Mafia, and Katy Perry drop out. Link-o-Rama is still in effect, so you can click on any of the artists' names to be connected to their official website. Up, up and away!

This Week               Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen (1)
2. Payphone - Maroon 5 f/Wiz Khalifa (2)
3. Burn It Down - Linkin Park (3)
4. Tongue Tied - Grouplove (4)
5. Where Have You Been - Rihanna (6)
6. Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men (7)
7. Brokenhearted - Karmin (5)
8. 5-1-5-0 - Dierks Bentley (10)
9. Everybody Talks - Neon Trees (9)
10. Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye f/Kimbra (8)
11. Beers Ago - Toby Keith (13)
12. Wide Awake - Katy Perry (16)
13. Gold On The Ceiling - Black Keys (11)
14. Timebomb - Kylie Minogue (24)
15. We Are Young - fun f/Jonelle Monae (12)
16. The Night Out - Martin Solveig (18)
17. Let's Go - Calvin Harris f/Ne-Yo (22)
18. What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction (14)
19. Climax - Usher (15)
20. Even If It Breaks Your Heart - The Eli Young Band (20)
21. Titanium - David Guetta f/Sia (21)
22. I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz (17)
23. I Don't Like You - Eva Simons (27)
24. Postcard From Paris - The Band Perry (26)
25. I Heart You - Toni Braxton (25)
26. Come Over - Kenny Chesney (29)
27. Days Go By - The Offspring (31)
28. It's Time - Imagine Dragons (34)
29. Drunk On You - Luke Bryan (19)
30. Lights - Ellie Goulding (42)
31. Ho Hey - The Lumineers (36)
32. Dance Again - Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull (32)
33. Starships - Nicki Minaj (23)
34. Glad You Came - The Wanted (30)
35. Give Your Heart A Break - Demi Lovato (37)
36. Wild Ones - Flo Rida f/Sia (28)
37. Touch Me - Katharine McPhee (41)
38. Chasing The Sun - The Wanted (43)
39. For You - Keith Urban (39)
40. You Don't Know Her Like I Do - Brantley Gilbert (40)
41. The A Team - Ed Sheeran (45)
42. She's So Mean - Matchbox Twenty (46)
43. Drive By - Train (33)
44. Scream - Usher (49)
45. Sweeter - Gavin DeGraw (47)
46. Time Is Love - Josh Turner (38)
47. How We Do (Party) - Rita Ora (61)
48. Dark Side - Kelly Clarkson (58)
49. The Wind - The Zac Brown Band (73)
50. Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings) - Silversun Pickups (51)
51. Some Nights - fun (71)
52. 50 Ways To Say Goodbye - Train (68)
53. (Kissed You) Good Night - Gloriana (54)
54. Calling (Lose My Mind) - Sebastian Ingrosso + Alesso f/Ryan Tedder (44)
55. Boyfriend - Justin Bieber (55)
56. Free - Graffiti6 (50)
57. White Knuckle Ride - Jamiroquai (57)
58. Guardian - Alanis Morissette (59)
59. Angel Eyes - Love And Theft (67)
60. Princess Of China - Coldplay f/Rihanna (62)
61. Hats Off To The Bull - Chevelle (64)
62. Only The Horses - Scissor Sisters (DEBUT)
63. Can't Stop Me - Afrojack f/Shermanology (65)
64. Over - Blake Shelton (69)
65. Silhouettes - Avicii f/Salif Al Fakir (70)
66. Whistle - Flo Rida (76)
67. Rumour Has It - Adele (52)
68. Menergy - Ralphi Rosario f/Shawn Christopher (56)
69. Back In Time - Pitbull (74)
70. Why Ya Wanna - Jana Kramer (72)
71. Tonight (Best I Ever Had) - John Legend f/Ludacris (81)
72. Black Heart - Stooshe (84)
73. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) - Pink (DEBUT)
74. Miracle - Norka (89)
75. Call My Name - Cheryl Cole (77)
76. Glass - Thompson Square (82)
77. Wanted - Hunter Hayes (87)
78. Good Girl - Carrie Underwood (53)
79. Tage Die Wiese - Die Toten Hosen (83)
80. Euphoria - Loreen (80)
81. Cowboys & Angels - Dustin Lynch (85)
82. Best Song Everrr - Wallpaper (DEBUT)
83. Something To Do With My Hands - Thomas Rhett (95)
84. Tacata - Tacabro (88)
85. Blessed - Jill Scott (86)
86. Too Close - Alex Clare (RE-ENTRY)
87. Pray For Me - Anthony Hamilton (91)
88. Anna Sun - Walk The Moon (DEBUT)
89. Beat Of My Drum - Gabry Ponte f/Sophia Del Carmen & Pitbull (93)
90. Springsteen - Eric Church (79)
91. Put Your Graffiti On Me - Kat Graham (96)
92. Thank You - Estelle (92)
93. Don't Wake Me Up - Chris Brown (98)
94. Home - Philip Phillips (RE-ENTRY)
95. Pontoon - Little Big Town (DEBUT)
96. Uh Oh - Junior Doctor (DEBUT)
97. This Is Love - will.i.am f/Eva Simons (99)
98. That's Why I Pray - Big & Rich (100)
99. Mercy - Kanye West f/Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz (RE-ENTRY)
100. Et Alors! - Shy'm (DEBUT)

There's a lucky seven songs making their debut on my chart this week (highlighted in green), and here they are, along with a little about the artist, with links to their earlier hits on video in orange.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

July 27th candletime...

Today, July 27th, marks singer Maureen McGovern's 63rd birthday...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Songoftheday 7/27/12 - I've been looking at people, & how they change with the times...

Michael Martin Murphey - "What's Forever For"
from the album Michael Martin Murphey (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #19 (five weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day is by the current king of Cowboy Country, Michael Martin Murphey. Murphey started out as a folk singer, in a group with future Monkee Michael Nesmith. By the end of the decade, he found himself writing songs for both pop artists like the Monkees as well as country singers like Bobbie Gentry and Kenny Rogers, the latter of whom would record an album of all covers of Murphey songs, The Ballad Of Calico with the First Edition in 1972.

That same year, Murphey released his first album, Geromino's Cadillac, which was an 'outlaw country' classic and gave the singer his first top-40 hit on the pop chart with the Native-American supporting title track. Three years later, on his fourth album Blue Sky - Night Thunder, he had his biggest pop hit ever with the epic "Wildfire". That song was a #3 pop hit, and topped the adult-contemporary (soft-rock) chart in 1975.

As disco ruled the late 70's, Murphey's music started getting more play on country stations than pop, but in 1982, when country artists like Kenny Rogers and Ronnie Milsap were welcomed on mainstream radio, Michael released his self-titled 1982 album, which was his first on the Liberty Records label (coincidently Rogers' same label). The first single released from the album was the ballad "What's Forever For", a maudlin little number about a romance...

The song topped the country charts, and made the top-5 on the soft-rock chart. The album also was a top-20 seller on the country-exclusive list, and #69 on the main albums chart. "What's Forever For" would also be Murphey's last pop top-40, though he would be a consistent hitmaker on the country chart through the 80's, with a dozen top-10 hits and one charttopper with "A Long Line of Love" in 1987.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

8 of the 80's: 7/26/12...

Hey everyone, thanks again for stopping by. It's time for a trip back to the 80s, and this week we'll land in 1981.

Joey Scarbury - "Theme from 'Greatest American Hero' (Believe It Or Not)"
from the album America's Greatest Hero (1981)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2

A theme from a show that actually aired for three seasons (not sure what meds Gibb and McCoo were on at this time), adorable lil' cub Scarbury nabbed himself a huge hit.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

7 of the 70's: 7/26/12...

Hey guys, it's time for this week's "7 of the 70s", bringing you seven golden nuggets from the sunshine decade. This time out we'll hitch a ride to 1970....

Dawn - "Candida"
from the album Candida (1970)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3

The 'original' Tony Orlando & Dawn couldn't use his name, and didn't as yet have Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson, but rather studio singers including the song's writer, Toni Wine. But it was miles ahead of the kitsch the act would become as well.

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July 26th candletime....

Today, July 26th, marks Mick Jagger's 69th (!) birthday. My favorite Stones tracks...

1) Sympathy For The Devil
2) You Can't Always Get What You Want
3) Paint It Black
4) Under My Thumb
5) Start Me Up
6) Beast Of Burden
7) Angie
8) Miss You
9) Love In Vain
10) Play With Fire

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Songoftheday 7/26/12 - Don't rush me just this once I want to make this moment last..

Santana - "Hold On"
from the album Shango (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #15 (two weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is by the Latin fusion rock band Santana, who are led by the iconic guitarist Carlos Santana in the late 60s. They released their debut self-titled album in '69, after playing at Woodstock, and it gave them their first charting single with their first 7",  the instrumental "Jingo" (#56), and their first top-10 with their second, "Evil Ways". Santana's sophomore LP, Abraxas, scored the group their biggest hit of the 70s, "Black Magic Woman" in 1970, and was a #1 album in its own right. In fact, the group had six top-10 records in the 70s, but pop radio was rather cool to them, with only six top-40 singles in that time. They were much more a live jam and album rock radio act than hitmaker at that point.

A sign of Santana's transition into more mainstream music came in 1981, with the album Zebop! and the top-20 single "Winning", signalling a edited, more hook-laden musical style. Shango continued the trend, with the radio-friendly "Hold On" released as the first single, featuring lead singer Alex Ligertwood (who also sang "Winning")...

 "Hold On" not only made the top-20 on pop and rock radio, it made the top-40 of the adult contemporary (soft rock) chart.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Aussie Sweep: July 25, 2012...

Hey guys, it's time to check out the new music hitting the official charts in Australia. This week Americans fun have their second #1 hit here with "Some Nights".

This week's highest debut belongs to England's Florence + The Machine, whose #1 UK single "Spectrum (Say My Name)" arrives at #30..

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6 of the 60's: 7/25/12...

Hey folks, it's time for another dive down the memory hole for six songs from the 60s, and this week I'm heading all the way back to 1960 itself, with some forgotten and notsoforgotten nuggets.

Brenda Lee - "I Want To Be Wanted"
from the album This is....Brenda (1960)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1

This is my "feel bad for myself" song in my twenties, and still remains so.I've got the Ben & Jerry's out as we speak.

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July 25th candletime...

Today, July 25th, marks Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore's 54th birthday...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Songoftheday 7/25/12 - Everytime I see your smile, hear your hello...

Michael McDonald - "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)"
from the album If That's What It Takes (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (three weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by Michael McDonald, who got his start as a studio musician and vocalist in Steely Dan's recordings. At the same time, he joined the Doobie Brothers, where he sang on many of their best-known songs, including "Talkin' It To The Streets" and "What A Fool Believes". McDonald won the Grammy for Song of the Year for writing the latter track.

But as the 80s dawned, the Doobies disintegrated, going in different directions, and McDonald recording his debut album If That's What It Takes. The first single from the album was "I Keep Forgettin'", and it sounded not far from his work with the Doobies, with added keyboards and omitted guitars, as well as sister Maureen singing backup....

The song not only was a top-5 pop hit, it made the top-10 of the adult-contemporary (soft-rock) chart as well.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kraut Sweep: July 24, 2012...

Hey folks, it's time for a sampling of the songs making their entrance on the Official Music Singles Charts in Germany this week. This week Swedish singer Lykke Li spends a second week on top with "I Follow Rivers"...

Like last week, German rapper Cro (pictured above) places multiple songs in the top-100, as his album Raop comes in at #1 on that country's album charts. The highest of his three entries is "Einmal Um Die Welt" ("Around The World") at #35..

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French Sweep: July 24, 2012...

Hey guys, thanks for stopping by, it's time for a sampling of the new music hitting the official charts in France this week.This week Carly Rae Jepsen's worldwide domination continues as "Call Me Maybe" hangs on top for another week.

The top debut this week belongs to Algerian rai music artist Khaled, who comes in all the way up at #30 with a dance track produced by RedOne, "C'est La Vie" ("That's Life")...

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July 24th candletime...

Today, July 24th, marks singer/actress/awesomeness Kristen Chenoweth's 44th birthday...

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Songoftheday 7/24/12 - We've been goin' out for a while now, baby...

Ray Parker Jr - "Let Me Go"
from the album The Other Woman (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #38 (two weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 3

Today's Song of the Day is by funkster Ray Parker Jr., who was coming off the big success of his first solo single, "The Other Woman", which was a top-5 hit on both the pop as well as the R&B charts. Parker followed it up with "Let Me Go", a more caring ballad about a scorned lover I suppose form the other side of the story...

While "Let Me Go" wasn't as big on pop radio, the song was big on R&B stations, scoring Parker another top-3 hit from the LP.

Up Tomorrow: a Doobie Brother has amnesia....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Robbed Hit of the Week 7/23/12 - Missing Person's "Words"...

Missing Persons - "Words"
from the album Spring Session M (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #42

This week's "robbed hit" is by the California new wave outfit Missing Persons. The band started up as guitarist Warren Cuccurullo met husband & wife Terry and Dale Bozzio as studio musicians backing Frank Zappa in the start of the 80s. They released their debut full-length album in 1982, and the first single from it was the delightfully quirky "Words"...

 While the album was pretty big, making the top-20 on the LP chart and going Gold, the song  just missed out of the top-40, and barely grazed the rock radio list at #60. That's so odd, since the song was played non-stop on WPST when I was growing up. To add salt to the wound, the followup single would also miss out on the top-40 (it will definitely  be coming up later on as another "robbed hit"). Since then the Bozzios split, and Cuccurillo would go to join the fractured Duran Duran for awhile.

Still, Spring Session M remains an awesome album and worth pulling out for a little 80s flashback party moment...

Album Sweep: July 28, 2012 Part Two....

Hey guys, it's time for the second part of this week's "Album Sweep" of the newest records hitting Billboard magazine's Top 200 sales chart.

Debuting at #31 is the second album by British act Marina & The Diamonds. Electra Heart was a #1 record in her native country, and deservedly so...

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July 23rd candletime...

Today, July 23rd, marks Depeche Mode's Martin Gore's 51st birthday. My favorite Depeche tunes...

1) A Question of Lust
2) Strangelove
3) Somebody
4) Love In Itself
5) Never Let Me Down Again
6) Nothing
7) Halo
8) Enjoy The Silence
9) Everything Counts
10) Leave In Silence

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Songoftheday 7/23/12 - Like the sun I rise and shine, with last night on my mind...

Jermaine Jackson (Featuring Devo) - "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy"
from the album Let Me Tickle Your Fancy (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (two weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day is by Jackson brother Jermaine, and his foray into New Wave. Jermaine started the 80s with a bang, courtesy of a top-10 pop hit, "Let's Get Serious", from the top-10 LP of the same name. However, two rush-released followups, Jermaine and I Like Your Style, which failed to even place a top-40 pop hit (though collectively they scored three top-40 R&B hits).

So, for the next album in 1982, Berry Gordy got new-wave it-band Devo (of "Whip It" fame) to back Jackson up on "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy", an electronic jam that made the US top-20...

ahh, Fred Travalena.

"Let Me Tickle Your Fancy" not only scored a needed pop hit for Jackson, but he returned to the top-5 of the R&B chart with the song, as well as making the dance club chart (#24). However, Jackson would leave Motown and Gordy after this record, and return in 1984 with a self-titled album that gave him even bigger hits.

Up Tomorrow: the guy with "the other woman" seeks release.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Brit Sweep: July 22, 2012...

Hey folks, thanks for dropping by, it's Sunday night, so that means time to check out the new singles making the chart in the United Kingdom this week. This week Florence + The Machine's "Spectrum (Say My Name)" holds onto the top for a second week.

There's no top-10 entries this week, as the highest debut is at #11. It belongs to Misha B. (B for Bryan), a singer/songwriter from Manchester. She was a contestant on Britain's X Factor, where she was the middle of a big brouhaha over accusations of her bullying other contestants. All aside, she scores her first hit with "Home Run"...

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