Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Aussie Sweep: October 31, 2012...

G'day gang, right now it's time for this week's recap of the newest songs making their way on to the shores in Australia, according to their official music sales chart. This week PSY dominates the #1 spot for a fifth week with "Gangnam Style"...

The top debut this week at #40 is be the first American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, with the single from her upcoming greatest hits set, "Catch My Breath". Kelly has had one song, "Mr. Know It All", go to #1 in this country..

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6 of the 60s: 10/31/12...

Hey gang, it's time for another trip back to the 60s, and this week it's another dive into 1964, the year that Vee-Jay records released Introducing the Beatles, beating Capitol by ten days...

Peter & Gordon - "A World Without Love"
from the album A World Without Love (1964)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1

British duo take a McCartney toss-off and make it a proto-hipster anthem.

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October 31st candletime...

Today, October 31st, marks rapper/reality carpenter Vanilla Ice's 45th birthday...

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Songoftheday 10/31/12 - I'm tired of playing on the team, it seems I don't get time out anymore...

Daryl Hall & John Oates - "One On One"
from the album H2O (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (three weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day is by Philly blue-eyed soul legends Hall & Oates, whose eleventh studio album, H2O, already scored them their biggest pop hit to date with "Maneater", which spent four weeks at #1. For their followup they released the ballad "One On One", written by Hall and produced by the duo, with a no-frills love song that references a game of basketball, and harkening back to the slow jam R&B songs of the late 70s...

"One On One" hit the top-10 for the duo on the pop, R&B, and adult-contemporary (soft-rock) chart, though it was only a minor hit in England. It remains one of the longest-lasting hits, though, aging better than some of their more pop-oriented work.

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Kraut Sweep: October 30, 2012...

Hey gang, I'm temporarily back online, so while I have the chance I'll post the German music recap for this week.

PSY claims yet another country as "Gangnam Style" takes over at #1 for its first week...

The highest debut at #19 is Scottish DJ/producer Calvin Harris, with "Sweet Nothing" featuring Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine. It's Harris' biggest hit yet as a lead artist, though he has a #1 featured credit on Rihanna's "We Found Love"...

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

French Sweep: October 30, 2012...

I've got the latest songs on tap making their debut this week accord to the French official music charts. This week Korean phenomenon PSY conquers yet another country as "Gangnam Style" moves up to #1 for its first week.

The top debut this week is by singer/dancer M. Pokora and singer Tal, with their collaboration "Envole Moi" ("Fly Me") at #14. Pokora, who I would compare to a French Ricky Martin in his vocals and presence, topped the charts in this country with "Dangerous" in 2008, while Tal was in the top-5 earlier this year with the fun "Le Sens De La Vie" ("The Meaning Of Life"). The two of them are a great pair together...

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Songoftheday 10/30/12 - Feelin' that it's gone can change your mind, If we can't go on to survive the tide love divides...

Journey - "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"
from the album Frontiers (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (six weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 16

Today's Song of the Day is by San Franciscan arena-rock group Journey, whose seventh studio album Escape made them A-listers, scoring them three top-10 hits, including their classic "Open Arms", which claimed the runner-up position on the pop chart for six weeks in 1982. The fourth single from the record, "Still They Ride", also made the top-20, and the album went on to sell over nine million copies.

So obviously, anticipation for their next album would be pretty high, and the band's first single from Frontiers, "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)", didn't disappoint. With a futuristic synth riff kicking things off all Tron-like, the song soars and rocks like a house music anthem for mulletheads. Of course, the music video is the completely opposite of that, with the band seemingly too broke for instruments until halfway through the clip and squatting on some wharf...

This is like a class on everything not to wear in the 80s.

Besides making the pop top-10, the song topped the rock radio chart, and went to the top-3 in Canada and France. It remains one of my favorite Journey songs, and is a testament to its force that it did so well right in the start of the new-wave boom.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Robbed Hit of the Week 10/29/12 - The Who's "Eminence Front"...

The Who - "Eminence Front"
from the album It's Hard (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #68

This week's "robbed hit" is by the rock heroes of London, the Who, who closed out 1982 with a new album, It's Hard, and a mediocre top-40 hit "Athena" to kick it off. The band followed that up with a song that really should have been chosen as the first single, "Eminence Front". Powered by a monster keyboard riff and Pete Townshend's Clapton-esque growling vocals, the song was a much better representation of where the band has come, and loose enough not to feel forced. Perhaps it was in their contract that a Daltrey track had to lead the album, but damn.

While the song sputtered out at #68 on the pop chart, it was their second consecutive top-5 hit on the rock radio format list, and ended up being their last appearance on the pop chart (well, so far). The third single from the album, the title track, reached the top-40 on the rock chart.

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Album Sweep: November 3, 2012 - Part Two...

Hey gang, it's time for the second part of this week's "Album Sweep", where I sample the latest records making the Top 200 Albums chart in Billboard magazine. You can check out the first part by clicking here, and as before I've included links to buy anything on Amazon mp3 if available, or please go to your local independent record store. You will feel good!

Californian EDM artist Bassnectar debuts at #79 with the six-song EP Freestyle. He's had one top-40 album, Vava Voom in April of this year...

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October 29th candletime...

Today, October 29th, marks R&B singer/stage actress Melba Moore's 67th birthday...

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Songoftheday 10/29/12 - And then instead of reaching conclusions I see you reaching for something else...

Saga - "On The Loose"
from the album Worlds Apart (1981)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #26 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day is by the Canadian hard rock band Saga, who are led by Welsh singer Michael Sadler and guitarist Jim Crichton. Formed in the Toronto suburbs, Saga released their self-titled first album in 1978, and with their sophomore record a year later, they scored their first minor hit in Canada with "It's Time".

The bands big breakthrough came with their fourth album, Worlds Apart, which gave them their first Canadian top-40 hit, "Wind Him Up". The followup to that single, "On The Loose" became the band's big song in America...

"On The Loose", an infectious heap of power-pop goodness, became the band's only top-40 hit, and was huge on rock radio, peaking at #3 on that format's chart. The album was a top-40 success here as well.

The band continues to record, and even scored another minor pop hit with "The Flyer" and rock single with "What Do I Know". They've shuffled members, but tour continuously. They even just released a new album, 20/20, with Sadler returning to the band.

Up tomorrow:  "Bay City" rockers go to the Frontiers.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Brit Sweep: October 28, 2012...

Hey gang, as the East Coast battens down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, it's time for this week's recap of the new songs making it on to the Official Music Chart in the United Kingdom.

This week singer/songwriter Labrinth nabs his first #1 record as the sixth (!) single from his debut album, "Behind Your Beautiful", featuring Emeli Sande', leaps from #85 to #1. It's also Emeli's second charttopper, both in a featured role - Professor Green's "Read All About It" did the trick last year.

X Factor boyband finalists that are not One Direction, JLS, have the top debut this week at #6 with "Hottest Girl In The World". They came in second to Alexandra Burke during their stint on the show, and since then ten of their eleven singles have reached the top-10, and five have reached the top, the last time being "She Makes Me Wanna" from last year (they also have three more #1s as featured artists in charity singles)...

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Album Sweep: November 3, 2012 - Part One...

Hey gang, it's time to kick off this week's two-part "album sweep" where I sample the new records making their debut on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart this week. I've included as always links to buy anything you like on Amazon mp3 if available...

The top-selling album this week is the first #1 album for country singer Jason Aldean, with his fifth full-length album Night Train. It sold over 400 thousand copies last week, the second largest first-week sales sum after Mumford & Sons' Babel.

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October 28th candletime...

Today, October 28th, marks country singer/guitarist Brad Paisley's 40th birthday...

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Songoftheday 10/28/12 - Your heart belonged to only me, but that was many tears ago, now your love is just a memory...

Linda Ronstadt - "I Knew You When"
from the album Get Closer (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #37 (one week)
Weeks in the top-40: 3

Today's Song of the Day is by the rock goddess of the 70s, Linda Ronstadt. She closed out 1982 with a new album, and the title track "Get Closer" made the top-40. For the follow up single she recorded a cover of a song written by country-rock singer Joe South in the 60s called "I Knew You When". The retro-doowop tune was a top-20 hit for single Billy Joe Royal in 1965....

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dance Sweep: November 3, 2012...

We're up to the fifth and final "chart sweep" of the newest songs making their way onto this week's music charts at Billboard magazine, and this time it's the latest dance songs in the clubs and on the radio.

On the DJ-polled Hot Dance Club Play chart, Rita Ora scores her second #1 US club hit with "R.I.P." featuring rapper Tinie Tempah...

The top debut on this chart is the new single by Enrique Iglesias, with "Finally Found You" featuring rapper Sammy Adams at #34.He has topped the dance charts ten times, the last time with "I Like How It Feels" early this year...

Pop/rock outfit Matchbox Twenty are in at #42 with the club mixes of their top-40 hit "She's So Mean". They've already been to the #8 with "How Far We've Come" in 2008...

Newcomer Kelly Divan debuts at #47 with her first hit, "Invincible"..

  Kelly Divan Invincible (Kelly's Original Radio Edit Quicky) by kellydivan

Another new act, Bex, arrives at #48 with her festive "Life Of The Party"...

...and rounding it out at #49 is French dance music legend Cerrone, with "Good Times" featuring vocalist Adjana. His classic "Supernature" went to #1 in 1977, and hit the top-20 again in 1996 and #5 in 2006...

Meanwhile, over on the radio-monitored Dance Airplay chart, Justin Bieber takes over the #1 spot with "As Long As You Love Me",  his first chart topper here.

 David Guetta and Sia has the top debut at #20 with "She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)". They took "Titanium" to #1 earlier this year...

The aforementioned "Finally Found You" by Enrique Iglesias is in at #22. He took "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" to #2 last year...

The third entry on the airplay list is Swedish DJ duo Cazzette with "Beam Me Up (Kill-Mode)" at #23...

Lastly, over on the Global Dance Tracks chart, the Swedish House Mafia return to #1 for a second non-consecutive week with "Don't You Worry Child"...

It's an invasion of Swedes, as Otto Knows is the top debut here as well at #22 with "Million Voices". He is a protege of SHM's Sebastian Ingrosso...

Coming in at #24 is Calvin Harris and Florence Welch's "Sweet Nothing". The Scottish DJ/producer has placed five songs in the top-10 here, and still is in there with "We'll Be Coming Back", while Florence is in the top-10 as well with "Spectrum (Say My Name)"...

The aforementioned "As Long As You Love Me" by the Biebs jumps in at #33... It's his first as a lead artist, he went to #28 with the Far East Movement on "Live My Life"...

Swedish DJ/EDM artist Alesso went to the top-10 last month on Sebastian Ingrosso's "Calling (Lose My Mind)", and he's back as a lead on "Years" at #35...

The inescapable Pitbull returns at #36 with "Don't Stop The Party" featuring TJR...

....and lastly, American singer Eric Turner, who now calls Sweden his home (natch), comes in at #39 with "Dancing In My Head" with Avicii, who of course ruled this chart with "Levels" last year...

On that eerie note....that wraps up today's "Chart Sweeps"...I appreciate you stopping by, and you an check out my own top-100 tunes by clicking here. Have a great weekend, and an awesome Halloween!

Country Sweep: November 3, 2012...

Welcome back, and now we're up to the fourth part of today's "chart sweeps" where I take a look at the new songs making their way onto the weekly music charts at Billboard magazine. This time it's the latest on country radio (no, not the corrupted "country songs" chart)...

Carrie Underwood is at #1 for a second week on the Country Airplay chart with "Blown Away"..

The big winner this week is Jason Aldean, who not only has the #1 album in the land this week, but also has the top debut at #47 with "The Only Way I Know" featuring Luke Bryan and Eric Church. Between the three of them they claim 14 #1 country hits (8 for Aldean, 4 for Bryan, and 2 for Church)...

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Soul Sweep: November 3, 2012...

Hey gang, I'm up to part three of this week's five-part "chart sweeps" of the newest songs making their way on to the weekly music charts in Billboard magazine. This time out it's the latest at R&B radio.

On the R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Miguel's "Adorn" claims a seventh week at #1 (including its time on the now-defiled "Songs" list)...

The top debut this week is by rapper/reality show subject T.I., with "Ball" at 39. He's been to #1 twice before as a lead artist ("What You Know" in 2006 and "Whatever You Like" in 2008) and once in a featured credit ("Shoulder Lean" with Young Dro in 2006)...(NSFW)

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Rock Sweep: November 3, 2012...

Welcome back, it's time for the second installment of today's "chart sweeps" of the newest songs making the weekly music charts in Billboard magazine. Right now it's the latest on rock radio....

On the composite "Rock Airplay" chart, "I Will Wait" by Mumford & Sons stays on top for a fourth week.

The top debut this week is by Chicago hard rockers Chevelle, who made it to #2 on this chart with "Jars" in 2009. Their latest, "Same Old Trip" (the third single from Hats Off To The Bull), is at #43 here (it's already in the top-30 on Mainstream Rock radio). It's an Occupy-friendly rage into the ills of America today...

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Pop Sweep: November 3, 2012...

It's time to kick off today's five-part "chart sweeps" where I take a look at the new songs making their debut on the weekly music charts at Billboard magazine. This time out it's the pop side of the world...

On the all-genre inclusive Hot 100, Maroon 5 spent an incredible (for them) sixth week at #1 with "One More Night"...

The top debut this week at #13 is the last "preview" track from Taylor Swift's Red album to make the chart.Four of the five songs that have made the chart have been the highest debut, but "State Of Grace" is the first to miss the top-10, even though it's the second-biggest seller last week, shifting over 200 thousand copies. What's hilarious is that Billboard chose not to include this as a "country" song in their wacked new composite "Country Songs" chart, even though its no different from "Red", and a mile more "country"-tinged than the #1 "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (I can even two-step to this). Maybe all the critique has settled in? I respect the editors position and appreciate them trying to explain this whole shift, but you really can't compare this to other singles chart changes since this is the first time they are broadly actively deciding what genre a particular song is in.  And while "State Of Grace" pulls greatly from current modern rock tones (of course why couldn't it be included in the "rock" songs chart), it proves the fallibility of their choice. And as much as I really am a fan of Taylor's music (if notsomuch her live performance), I think this promo tour is generating a lot of mainstream backlash that will ebb this tide.

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October 27th candletime...

Today, October 27th, marks Duran Duran's Simon LeBon's 54th birthday...

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Songoftheday 10/27/12 - She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene...

Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean"
from the album Thriller (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (seven weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 17

Today's Song of the Day is the game-changing hit from former child prodigy singer cum pop/R&B superstar Michael Jackson. At the end of 1982, Michael released Thriller, with a rather bland and sing-song track "The Girl is Mine" with Paul McCartney in tow as the first single. The song did really well even still due to their A-list status without a video, and the album was doing OK in the top-10. Then came "Billie Jean".

A dark, sparse shuffling track about a rabid fan who claimed that Jackson was the father of one of her twins (um, what?) and sent him a gun to commit suicide together, Michael took that plus the experiences he saw of his brothers on the road and the hordes of groupies following them. And while the true facts would absolve Michael of the paternity, the song's lyrics twist around in a way that makes you not so sure. And at this time, his newly adult presence and sexual posturing wasn't a joke that it had become later down the road. The video was just as iconic as the song, not only upping the production values ante (though still primitive by today's standards), but breaking the color barrier at MTV to playing black artists' music videos.

"Billie Jean" raced to #1 in just seven weeks on the pop chart, and only three on the R&B list. It also made the top-10 of the Adult-Contemporary (soft-rock) chart, and went to either #1 or #2 in almost every country around the world (it topped the charts in the UK). It remains his finest achievement in pop music, and one of the biggest moments of music of the 80s. It also started the album on its record-breaking stint at #1.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

twostepcub's music chart for October 26, 2012...

Hey gang, it's time again for my top-100 tunes for the week. This week Pink stays on top for a second week, while Muse (pictured above) make it into the top-10. Former hits by Ellie Goulding, Calvin Harris & Ne-Yo, Usher, and Rita Ora drop out of my chart, while songs by Three Days Grace, Taryn Manning, and Rita Ora (again) make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red).

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) - Pink (1)
2. Some Nights - fun (2)
3. Ho Hey - The Lumineers (3)
4. I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons (8)
5. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift (5)
6. Too Close - Alex Clare (4)
7. 50 Ways To Say Goodbye - Train (7)
8. Madness - Muse (11)
9. Good Time - Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen (9)
10. One More Night - Maroon 5 (12)
11. She's So Mean - Matchbox Twenty (6)
12. Gangnam Style - PSY (20)
13. Spectrum - Zedd f/Matthew Koma (14)
14. Lately - Anita Baker (18)
15. Blown Away - Carrie Underwood (19)
16. Let's Have A Kiki - Scissor Sisters (10)
17. Everybody Talks - Neon Trees (15)
18. Oh Love - Green Day (16)
19. Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself) - Ne-Yo (27)
20. Spectrum (Say My Name) - Florence + The Machine (13)
21. Hard To Love - Lee Brice (28)
22. Hello - Karmin (26)
23. Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men (23)
24. Whistle - Flo Rida (24)
25. Fastest Girl In Town - Miranda Lambert (29)
26. The A Team - Ed Sheeran (22)
27. Mercy - Dave Matthews Band (17)
28. Wide Awake - Katy Perry (21)
29. Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia f/John Martin (39)
30. Pound The Alarm - Nicki Minaj (30)
31. Hall Of Fame - The Script f/ (38)
32. Home - Philip Phillips (36)
33. Skyfall - Adele (DEBUT)
34. It's Time - Imagine Dragons (34)
35. Burn It Down - Linkin Park (35)
36. Payphone - Maroon 5 f/Wiz Khalifa (31)
37. Adorn - Miguel (47)
38. Miss Me - Andy Grammer (42)
39. Take A Little Ride - Jason Aldean (41)
40. When It Feels This Good - Richard Vission vs. Luciana (40)
41. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen (33)
42. Loving You Is Fun - Easton Corbin (44)
43. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye - Luke Bryan (50)
44. Feel Again - OneRepublic (52)
45. Chalk Outline - Three Days Grace (65)
46. Wanted - Hunter Hayes (32)
47. Little Black Submarines - The Black Keys (59)
48. Tonight (Best You Ever Had) - John Legend f/Ludacris (48)
49. Why Ya Wanna - Jana Kramer (49)
50. Come Wake Me Up - Rascal Flatts (54)
51. She Wolf (Falling To Pieces) - David Guetta f/Sia (61)
52. The One That Got Away - Jake Owen (56)
53. Pray For Me - Anthony Hamilton (55)
54. Triumphant (Get 'Em) - Mariah Carey (64)
55. Reboot The Mission - The Wallflowers (67)
56. Die Young - Ke$ha (DEBUT)
57. Creepin' - Eric Church (57)
58. Diamonds - Rihanna (DEBUT)
59. Locked Out Of Heaven - Bruno Mars (DEBUT)
60. Cowboys And Angels - Dustin Lynch (60)
61. Everything That I Got - Kristine W. f/Bimbo Jones (DEBUT)
62. This Is Love - f/Eva Simons (62)
63. I Follow Rivers - Lykke Li (63)
64. R.I.P. - Rita Ora f/Tinie Tempah (78)
65. Truck Yeah - Tim McGraw (66)
66. Shinin' On Me - Jerrod Niemann (71)
67. One Day/Reckoning Song - Asaf Avidan & The Mojos (69)
68. My Oh My - Tristan Prettyman (72)
69. Get It Started - Pitbull f/Shakira (70)
70. Til My Last Day - Justin Moore (75)
71. Cruise - Florida Georgia Line (81)
72. Dark Side - Kelly Clarkson (58)
73. Send Me Your Love - Taryn Manning f/Sultan & Ned Shepard (88)
74. Stay Awhile - Ryan Star (74)
75. Anna Sun - Walk The Moon (80)
76. Take A Walk - Passion Pit (86)
77. My Everything - Noelia (87)
78. Kiss You Inside Out - Hedley (82)
79. Winner - Pet Shop Boys (85)
80. Did It For The Girl - Greg Bates (84)
81. As Long As You Love Me - Justin Bieber f/Big Sean (91)
82. Titanium - David Guetta f/Sia (68)
83. Kill Your Heroes - AWOLnation (83)
84. El Cerrito Place - Kenny Chesney (92)
85. Live While We're Young - One Direction (DEBUT)
86. Lost In The Echo - Linkin Park (DEBUT)
87. Move In The Right Direction - The Gossip (DEBUT)
88. Live and Die - The Avett Brothers (93)
89. Down The Road - C2C (89)
90. Pursuit Of Happiness - Kid Cudi f/MGMT & Ratatat (90)
91. Beer Money - Kip Moore (95)
92. What Could Have Been Love - Aerosmith (94)
93. Candy - Robbie Williams (97)
94. Don't Mind - Mary J. Blige (DEBUT)
95. Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding (DEBUT)
96. I Like Girls Who Drink Beer - Toby Keith (98)
97. Stardust - Lena (DEBUT)
98. The Night Out - Martin Solveig (RE-ENTRY)
99. Hella Bad - NiRe AllDai (DEBUT)
100. Lila Wolken - Marteria, Yasha, & Miss Platnum (100)

 There are a dozen new entries on my chart this week (highlighted in blue), and mini-Link-O-Rama is in effect where you can click on those artists' names and be taken to their official website for more info. In the meantime, here they are, along with a little about the artist and their video after the jump...

(click below to see the rest of the post)

October 26th candletime...

Today, October 26th, marks the 45th birthday of Australian country singer Keith Urban..

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Songoftheday 10/26/12 - I know it's late I know you're weary, I know your plans don't include me...

Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton - "We've Got Tonight"
from the album We've Got Tonight (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (three weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day is by the superstar pairing of country-pop singer Kenny Rogers and Scottish-born ingenue Sheena Easton. Rogers was just coming off of his feature film Six Pack, and a companion (non-soundtrack) album that had his top-40 hit from the movie, "Love Will Turn You Around". Sheena started off 1982 with a couple of top-40 hits like the beautiful "When He Shines", but her followup album, Money, Madness, and Music, was a relative disappointment, even with such amazing performances like "I Wouldn't Beg For Water".

In 1983, Rogers released We've Got Tonight, his final album on Liberty Records. The first single, the title track, was a remake of the Bob Seger hit from 1978 that made it to #13 on the pop singles chart.

What Rogers and Sheena did was move the song to a more adult-pop place, with both their "epic" voices in full gear, with the help of David Foster producing...

"We've Got Tonight" became Kenny's eleventh #1 country single, as well as making it to the runner-up spot on the adult-contemporary (soft-rock) chart, and top-10 on the pop chart. They also made the top-5 in Canada, and even reached the top-40 in England.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

8 of the 80s: 10/25/12...

Hey gang, it's time to take another trip back to the 80s, and this week I've got eight more nuggets from 1983, the year of the first flight of the space shuttle Challenger.

The Fixx - "Red Skies"
from the album Shuttered Room (1982)
Billboard peak: #101

Before "One Thing Leads To Another", this was the key to the bands eerie new-wave aurora, where futuristic battleground were a pastiche for the genre.

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7 of the 70s: 10/25/12...

Welcome back, I've got another seven nuggets from the 70s, and this time out it's a flashback to 1973, the year Elvis' concert in Hawaii was telecast by satellite live around the world....

The O'Jays - "Love Train"
from the album Back Stabbers (1972)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1

The happiest peace-nik song that ever was. It's so good and so resonant it should have won a Nobel Prize, not a Grammy.

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October 25th candletime...

Today, October 25th, marks Katy Perry's 28th birthday...

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Songoftheday 10/25/12 - I found a picture of you, what hijacked my world that night...

The Pretenders - "Back On The Chain Gang"
from the album Learning To Crawl (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (three weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day marked the resurrection of the Pretenders, the classic pop-punk outfit started by expatriate music writer Chrissie Hynde from Ohio, bassist Pete Farndon, guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, and drummer Martin Chambers. Their self-titled debut album, still critically acclaimed to this day, gave them their first minor hit in the US & the UK with a cover of the Kinks' "Stop Your Sobbing". Their second followup single, "Brass In Pocket (I'm Special)", went to #1 in Britain and made the pop top-20 in America in 1979.

The group's next album in 1980, Pretenders II, placed "Message Of Love" in the top-5 of the nascent US rock radio chart, but it wasn't quite as successful promotionally as their first. Meanwhile, Fardon and Honeyman-Scott's drug abuse went out of control, causing Farndon to be booted from the band in 1982, and Honeyman-Scott overdosing two days later.

Farndon himself would be dead as well from an overdose in April of 1983, just as Chrissie was starting to come back with a "new" Pretenders with Chambers along with studio help to made the single "Back On The Chain Gang", a jangly pop-rock confection written by Hynde that was sweet but still gritty. The track was produced by Chris Thomas, who helped Hynde throughout her career.

"Back On The Chain Gang" became their biggest hit as yet, making the top-5 on the US pop and rock charts, though a little more modestly in England, where it peaked at #17. But the song brought a level of success and exposure that the Pretenders would be able to parlay into a more successful continuation of their career (after the release of the single, Chrissie recruited Robbie McIntosh and Malcolm Foster to the band). The resulting album, Learning To Crawl, made the top-5 on the US album charts, their biggest ever.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Aussie Sweep: October 24, 2012...

Hey gang, it's time to take a look at the new songs selling in Australia this week, according to their official charts. This week K-Pop king PSY commands a fourth week at #1 with "Gangnam Style".

The top debut this week belongs to Scottish DJ/producer Calvin Harris, who leaps in at #2 with "Sweet Nothing", featuring Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine. Calvin went to #1 earlier this year supporting Rihanna on "We Found Love", while this is Florence's biggest hit in this country so far - her previous best is "Never Let Me Go", which went to #3 earlier this year...

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6 of the 60s: 10/24/12...

Hey gang, it's time for another half-dozen nuggets from the 1960s, and this week it's six from 1963, the year Da Vinci's Mona Lisa was shown in the United States for the first time in Washington, DC...As usual I've included links to buy the music on Amazon on MP3 or CD where available...

The Jaynetts - "Sally Go Round The Roses"
from the album Sally Go Round The Roses (1963)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2

The creepiest girl-group record apart from "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)", the Jaynetts warn a girl from going to the city and catching her cheating boyfriend, but the echoing vocals and clinky piano always felt like there was a worse fate waiting as well.

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October 24th candletime...

Today, October 24th, marks the 65th birthday of one of my first childhood boycrushes, Kevin Kline...(and here I get two crushes in one...)

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Songoftheday 10/24/12 - I'm all worn down from my 9-to-5 it's heavy on me...

Sonny Charles - "Put It In A Magazine"
from the album The Sun Still Shines (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (two weeks)

Weeks in the top-40: 2

Today's Song of the Day is by Sonny Charles, an R&B singer from Indiana that lead the soul group the Checkmates in the 60's and 70's, and scored a top-20 hit on the pop chart with "Black Pearl", a Phil Spector-produced nugget in 1969.

In 1982, Charles (his actual last name is Hemphill) released his debut solo album, The Sun Still Shines. The first single, the easy-soul track "Put It In A Magazine", went to #2 on the R&B chart, and crossed over to the pop top-40 for a couple of weeks...

The album made it to the top-20 on the R&B albums chart, and the lower half of the big chart. Charles would have one more minor soul hit "Always On My Mind". More recently he's been touring with the Steve Miller Band, but his one big pop hit is criminally absent from being available on iTunes or on CD.

Up Tomorrow: Chrissie returns to the grind.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kraut Sweep: October 23, 2012...

Thanks gang for coming back, it's time for my recap of the new music making the chart in Germany this week. There are three debuts in their top-5 this time out...

The top-selling song in Germany this week is the James Bond theme "Skyfall" by Adele. It's her second #1 record here, "Rolling In The Deep" topped the chart in 2011...

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French Sweep: October 23, 2012...

Hey gang, it's time now to check out the latest songs selling in France, according to their official music charts. This week Rihanna stays at #1 for a third week with "Diamonds"...

The highest debut this week is by French singer/songwriter Emmanuel Moire, with a song from his 2009 album L'Equilibre titled "Sois Tranquille" ("Be Quiet"). It's a song about his twin brother, who passed away after a car ran him over. He also came out of the closet that same year. His song barrels on to the chart at #21, because of his involvement on the French version of Dancing With The Stars, where he danced to this song as a personal story. Moire has had four previous top-10 hits in this country, with "Je Fais De Toi Mon Essentiel" ("I'll Do for You My Needed One")...

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October 23rd candletime...

Today, October 23rd, marks country icon Dwight Yoakam's 55th birthday....

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Songoftheday 10/23/12 - It's 2am and the fear is gone, I'm sitting here waiting the gun's still warm...

Golden Earring - "Twilight Zone"
from the album Cut (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (two weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day is the Dutch rock group Golden Earring, started by teens George Kooymans and Renis Gerritsen. In 1965, their first hit single, "Please Go", made the Top-10 in the Netherlands. After recruiting singer Barry Hay, the band topped their country's pop chart with "Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong" in 1968. Two years later, after adding drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk, and now completing the foursome now still going, they expanded their scope with their second #1 Dutch hit "Back Home", which made the top-20 in both Germany and Switzerland.

By then their sound had gone from a Beatles-esque primitive rock sound to a hard group wail, and by 1973, that paid off with their American breakthrough hit, "Radar Love", which made the top-20 on the US charts while being their third chart-topping single in their homeland, and also becoming their first big hit in England, peaking at #7.

While their success on pop radio didn't linger, they still remained huge in Holland, racking up 22 top-10 hits there up to the 80s. In 1982 the band released their album Cut, and the first single, "Twilight Zone", written by Kooymans, topped the American rock radio chart and became their first US top-10 pop hit...

The song helped Cut become their second top-10 album, but besides a couple more minor American singles, their American success waned, though they've continued to have top-10 hits in the Netherlands as late as 2005.

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