Thursday, January 31, 2013

8 of the 80s: 1/31/13...


Welcome back to this weeks trip back to the 80s, and this time out I'm back to 1984, the year the Apple Macintosh went on sale to the public.

Art of Noise - "Beat Box"
from the album Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise (1984)

Billboard peak: #101


Before American pop radio knew what to do with this British electronica pioneer group, R&B stations took over and took this song into the top-10 on the "Black" chart.

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7 of the 70s: 1/31/13...


Hey gang, thanks for stopping by, I'm back for another trip to the seventies, and this week its back to 1974, the year ABBA won the Eurovision song contest with their track "Waterloo".

Dionne Warwicke & The Spinners - "Then Came You"
from the album Then Came You (Dionne) & New And Improved (Spinners) (1974)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1


During the brief moment that Dionne added an "e" to her surname on advice of her numerologist (foreboding her Psychic Friends future), she scored a #1 hit with the most epic of collaborations with the Detroit vocal group that sounded more Motown than Motown.

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January 31st candletime...


Today, January 31st, marks the 92nd birthday of grande dame of stage and screen, Carol Channing...


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Songoftheday 1/31/13 - Jump down the shelters to get away the boys are cockin' up their guns, tell us general, is it party time, if it is can we all come?...


Men At Work - "It's A Mistake"
from the album Cargo (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day is by Australian rock group Men At Work, who by the summer of 1983 were the new darlings of the American pop scene, with a hugely successful debut album with two #1 singles, "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under". After winning a Grammy for Best New artist, the guys released their sophomore record Cargo, and went to #3 with one of my favorite songs of the 80s, "Overkill".

The that song's followup they released the Cold War snark "It's A Mistake", written by singer Colin Hay from the viewpoint of a armyman waiting to find out if they're going to war.


"It's A Mistake" became the band's fourth and most recent top-10 hit, while also reaching the top-10 on the adult-contemporary format and top-30 on rock radio. It was moderately less successful in the rest of the world, reaching the top-20 in Germany and Ireland, and top-40 in Britain and their home country.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aussie Sweep: January 30, 2013...


G'day gang, it's time for this week's recap of the new songs making their way on to the official singles chart in Australia this week, as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' pro-equality ally anthem "Same Love" stays on top for a second week (woohoo!)...

The top entry this week at #5 is by alt-rock group Birds Of Tokyo from the western city of Perth. "Lanterns" is their first top-10 hit - they came close in 2010 with "Plans" which went to #11. Grade: B


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6 of the 60s: 1/30/13...


Hey gang, I'm back with another half-dozen nuggets from the 60's, and this week I'm back to 1964, the year Hello Dolly! debuts in New York City.

The Beatles - "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
from the album Meet The Beatles! (1964)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1


This generation didn't realize that the biggest band ever in rock music actually was floundering in America until this little ditty came around with a little help from a TV show. The shot heard round the world, as it were.


January 30th candletime...






Today, January 30th, marks the 54th birthday of singer/dancer/awesomeness Jody Watley...


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Songoftheday 1/30/13 - I'll be more together stretched by fewer thoughts that leave me, chasing after my dreams disown me loaded with danger...


The Fixx - "Saved By Zero"
from the album Reach The Beach (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day was the first big hit from British new-wave rock group the Fixx, who came together in London at the end of the 70s under the name the Portrait before changing to the Fix then adding an X. The group, with lead vocals by Cy Curnin, released their debut album, Shuttered Room in 1982, which was an underground classic of the genre, and produced two minor (but long-lasting) hits in "Stand Or Fall" and "Red Skies". Even though bassist Alfie Agius left during the recording of their sophomore album Reach The Beach, he appeared prominently on the first single from the set, "Saved By Zero". Credited to the band, the song is based on the Buddhist tenet of giving up everything for inner joy, something the band had been preaching at the time.


The single became the Fixx's first top-40 hit in the US, reaching #20, and also #9 on the rock radio format chart, but strangely missed the chart altogether in Britain. It was also a minor hit in Australia and Canada.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kraut Sweep: January 29, 2013...


It's time now to cross from France to Germany to check out the latest songs making their official Top-100 singles chart, as will.i.am and Britney Spears spend a second week on top with "Scream & Shout"...

The top debut this week is by Ellie Goulding, who finally arrives on the German chart at #26 with her single "Lights", a former #2 in America. Grade: A-


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French Sweep: January 29, 2013...


It's time to head across the ocean to check out the latest music making its way on to the official singles chart in France this week, as will.i.am and Britney Spears' "Scream & Shout" climb to the #1 spot, making his first solo #1 and Brit's third after "Baby One More Time" and "Womanizer".

The top debut at #8 is the return of Britney's ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, whose biggest hit as a lead artist so far was 2007's "What Comes Around Goes Around" which went to #5 (he also went to #2 as a featured artist on Madonna's "4 Minutes"). The latest, "Suit & Tie", features rapper Jay-Z. Grade: C


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January 29th candletime...


Today, January 29th, marks the 31st birthday of Adam Lambert...


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Songoftheday 1/29/13 - Oh baby I'm aware of where ya go each time you leave my door...


The Hollies - "Stop! In The Name Of Love"
from the album What Goes Around... (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #29 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day was the return of the veteran British Invasion rock group the Hollies, who came together under singers Allan Clarke and Graham Nash, who originally performed as a duo before recruiting members and properly becoming the Hollies in 1962. They released their first single, a cover of the Coasters' "Ain't That Just Like Me", which made the top-40 in England the following year. Two 45s later, their version of Otis Williams' "Stay", reached #8 on the British charts. The follow-up, another cover (natch) of Doris Troy's "Just One Look", went up to #2 in the UK and became their first minor US hit as it scraped the chart at #98 in 1964.

In 1965 they scored their first British #1 single with a song that wasn't a cover, "I'm Alive", before finally reaching the top-40 in the States with "Look Through Any Window" right after. The following year the group got their big break in America as the rainy-day "Bus Stop" went to #5. They managed a couple more top-10 hits in the States, but were more successful by far in England, where they totaled 15 hits in that country's top ten (one of those, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", went on to go to #1 in 1988 on re-release in the UK).

In the 70s, when most of the British Invasion pop bands died out like dinosaurs,  the Hollies evolved into a rock outfit as both Nash and Clarke left the group, though their record company revived a Clarke-sung track that became their biggest American success, "Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress" (which sounded down-right Creedence-ish), in 1972. Two years later, after Clarke rejoined the band, they released their most recent top-10 US single, "The Air That I Breathe", at the height of the soft-rock era.

After 1975, the band had been absent from the US charts until eight years later, when the original members reunited for their What Goes Around... album, and in true cyclical form, released another cover record, this time the Supremes' "Stop In The Name Of Love", which they co-opted for their recent streak of anti-war efforts, highlighted by the B-reel video clip....


The single reached the top-40 on the pop chart in the States, as well as going to #8 on the adult-contemporary (soft-rock) chart, and their last chart appearance so far in the US. Surprisingly for such a high-profile veteran band, the album nor the single are available even digitally, and the rare CD is overexpensive.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Robbed Hit of the Week 1/28/13 - Patti Austin & James Ingram's "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?"...


Patti Austin & James Ingram - "How Do You Keep The Music Playing"
from the album It's Your Night (James Ingram - 1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #45

This week's "robbed hit" is the second big duet recorded by jazz/soul singer Patti Austin with R&B session man James Ingram. Ingram got his big break on Quincy Jones' The Dude album, and appearing on two top-20 singles from the set like "One Hundred Ways". James and Patti first paired up for the single "Baby, Come To Me", which thanks to its inclusion on the show General Hospital, went to #1 in its second chart run.

The couple were reunited for the theme to the Burt Reynolds/Goldie Hawn flick Best Friends, a comedy about a married couple whose relationship turns sour, but must stay together for their working partnership. The song to tie this in was "How Do You Keep The Music Playing", written by master lyricists Alan & Marilyn Bergman, with music by Michael Legrand.


While the single was a big hit on the R&B and adult-contemporary charts, reaching #6 and #5 respectively, the track missed the top-40 on the pop list. However, the song went on to be nominated for an Oscar, one of three Bergman compositions to get the nod that year (they all lost to "Up Where We Belong").

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Album Sweep: February 2, 2013...


Hey folks, I'm back again with the second part of this week's "album sweep" of the latest records debuting on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart. You can check out part 1 by clicking here, and as before I've included links to buy anything you see.

Making their debut at #74 is by far my favorite release of the week. It's by Brooklyn-based acoustical folk trio the Lone Bellow with their self-titled first album. They are definitely a group you need to know if you're into classic country-style harmonies and down-to-earth songwriting, and something you'll never hear on country radio.



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January 28th candletime...


Today, January 28th, marks the 28th birthday of singer/rapper and hottie J. Cole...


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Songoftheday 1/28/13 - Just a Steeltown girl on a saturday night lookin' for the fight of her life, in the real-time world no one sees her at all they all say she's crazy...


Michael Sembello - "Maniac"
from the albums Flashdance (Original Soundtrack) and Bossa Nova Hotel (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's Song of the Day was the second huge smash from the movie Flashdance from 1983. The title theme, Irene Cara's "Flashdance...What A Feeling", went to #1 in May of that year. The following single from the set was by Philadelphia native and singer/songwriter Michael Sembello's "Maniac", a track used in the 80's movie standard "training sequence" where Jennifer Beals got all sweaty and stuff. Michael used to play with Stevie Wonder, and was on many of his 70's classic albums...



"Maniac" topped the pop chart in the US in September of 1983, while going to #6 on Billboard's dance chart. It even reached the top-40 on the rock radio chart (at the time, that format was more dance-friendly), as well as the adult-contemporary (soft-rock) list. However, in the UK, and song stalled under the top-40 at #44. Weird.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Brit Sweep: January 27, 2013...


Hey gang, the weekend's coming to a close, so it's time to check out the new songs making their way on to the official singles chart in the UK this week.

The top-selling song this week is the first top-40 single (and natch 1st chart-topper) for Dutch DJ duo Bingo Players with "Get Up (Rattle)". They previously made it to #44 with their Brenda Russell-cribbing "Cry (Just A Little)", which was in itself sampled by Flo Rida for his top-10 single "I Cry". The new track takes one of their previous raves, "Rattle", and adds rap from the Asian-American group Far East Movement and a video featuring the most bad-ass fowl you'll ever see. Grade: B-


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Album Sweep: February 2, 2013 - Part One...


It's time to kick off the first part of this week's "album sweep" where I sample the new records debuting on the Top 200 Albums chart in Billboard magazine. As always, I've included links to buy anything you see if available.

The top-selling album in America this week is the first full-length "official" release by A$AP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers), Long.Live.A$AP, which sold over a hundred thousand copies last week...(NSFW)



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January 27th candletime...



Today, January 27th, marks the 42nd birthday of crunk rapper Lil' Jon...


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Songoftheday 1/27/13 - You won't forget my eyes, ooh deep inside you realize...


Quarterflash - "Take Me To Heart"
from the album Take Another Picture (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #14 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day is by Portland, Oregon rock group Quarterflash, who had a big year in 1982 with their debut album, which gave them a top-10 single "Harden My Heart" and top-20 followup "Find Another Fool". The following year, they released their sophomore effort Take Another Picture, and the first single released was "Take Me To Heart", with Rindy Ross' saxophone right in the start...


The single reached the top-20 in the summer of 1983, and was the group's last top-40 hit. It also climbed to #6 on the rock radio chart, and was their biggest adult-contemporary hit, peaking at #28. They released one more record before disbanding (Marv and Rindy Ross' hired a band to recently tour under the name).

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dance Sweep: February 2, 2013...


Welcome back to the last part of today's "chart sweeps" where I sample the new songs making their way on to the weekly singles charts in Billboard magazine, and I'll close today out with the newest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio.

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Kelly Clarkson ascends to #1 with "Catch My Breath"...

 The top entry at #44 is Cuban-American singer Mayra Veronica with "Ay Mama Mia". She's had two top-10 hit in the clubs, with "Freak Like Me" reaching #3 in 2011..Grade: B-


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Country Sweep: February 2, 2013...


Hey gang, thanks for coming back, I'm up to the fourth installment in today's "chart sweeps" of the latest music making their way on to the weekly music charts in Billboard magazine, and now I'm up to the latest on country radio.

On the Hot Country Airplay chart, Randy Houser scores his first #1 hit with "How Country Feels"...

The top debut is the sixth single from country rocker Eric Church's #1 album Chief, "Keep On" at #55, as the fifth, "Like Jesus Does" moves up to #43. I like the new one a lot better. Grade: B


The title track to Jason Aldean's latest set, "Night Train", makes the airplay chart at #58. Grade: B-


 The last debut is the third track from their third studio album to make the list. At #59, "Jump Right In" is a fun respite from the cold weather. Grade: B+


That's it for this part....I'll wrap things up later tonight with the latest dance songs on the radio and in the clubs. Twang on!



Soul Sweep: February 2, 2013...


It's time for part three of today's "chart sweeps" of the latest songs making their way on to the weekly music charts in Billboard magazine. This time off it's the newest at R&B radio...

On the R&B/HipHop Airplay chart, Miguel commands a 20th week at #1 with "Adorn".

The top new entry is by singer Sevyn Streeter, who formerly was part of the girl-group RichGirl, with her first solo hit at #44, "I Like It". Grade: C-


Singer/songwriter Trey Songz is at #47 with "Fumble". He has two #1 hits here to his name, "I Invented Sex" and "Can't Be Friends"...Grade: C-


British songstress Marsha Ambrosius arrives at #49 with "Cold War". In 2010 she took the sublime "Far Away" to #3..Grade: A-


Meanwhile, over on the Adult R&B format list, Miguel also is on top for a twelfth week with "Adorn", and there are no new entries...

I'll be back in 90 with the newest country songs on the radio. Groove on!




Rock Sweep: February 2, 2013...


It's time for part two of today's "chart sweeps" of the latest songs making it on to the weekly music charts at Billboard magazine, and this time it's the latest on rock radio.

On the aggregate Rock Airplay chart, Muse's "Madness" holds on to #1 for a seventh non-consecutive week.

The top debut this week at #46 is newcomers the Neighbourhood with "Sweater Weather". Grade: C+


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Pop Sweep: February 2, 2013...


Hey folks, It's time to kick off today's five-part "chart sweeps" of the newest songs making their way on to the weekly music charts in Billboard magazine. I'll start with the latest on the pop side....

On the all-inclusive Billboard Hot 100, which includes airplay, sales, and internet streaming data, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Wanz climb to the #1 position with "Thrift Shop", their first chart-topper...

The top entry on the big chart this week is by Lil' Wayne, who rockets in at #63 with the first single from his upcoming I Am Not A Human Being II album, "(Bitches) Love Me" featuring Drake and Future. As the lead artist, Weezy has placed seven singles in the Hot 100 top-10, with "Lollipop" going to #1 in 2008. I had already given my opinion on this trash a couple weeks ago. Toss-off. Grade: F (NSFW)


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January 26th candletime...


Today, January 26th, marks the 54th birthday of quiet storm queen Anita Baker...


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Songoftheday 1/26/13 - She's so young at heart she likes the pleasure of his company, she cuts the inside groove with her silver spoon...


Loverboy - "Hot Girls In Love"
from the album Keep It Up (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day is by the Canadian leather-clad rock group Loverboy, who scored two top-40 hits in 1982 with the power-ballad "When It's Over" and the workingman's Friday anthem "Working For The Weekend". The following year, they released their third album, Keep It Up, and to roll it out they released the lead-off track "Hot Girls In Love", written by their guitarist Paul Dean with producer Bruce Fairbairn, as the first single...


The song became their biggest hit up to that time, just missing the pop Top-10, while reaching #2 on the US rock radio chart and #9 in their home country.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Twostepcub's music chart for January 25, 2013...


Hey gang, it's time for my top-100 tunes for the week...this week Bruno Mars spends a third week at #1, while Brad Paisley (pictured above) spends his fourth at #15. Songs by Of Monsters And Men, Carrie Underwood, and fun make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits by Eric Church, Pink, Andy Grammer, and Taylor Swift drop off. I've got heat back!

This Week                Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Locked Out Of Heaven - Bruno Mars (1)
2. Try - Pink (2)
3. Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia f/John Martin (3)
4. Sweet Nothing - Calvin Harris f/Florence Welch (6)
5. Adorn - Miguel (5)
6. Madness - Muse (4)
7. Ho Hey - The Lumineers (7)
8. Little Black Submarines - Black Keys (8)
9. Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself) - Ne-Yo (9)
10. The A Team - Ed Sheeran (13)
11. Home - Phillip Phillips (11)
12. Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men (12)
13. I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons (10)
14. Some Nights - fun (14)
15. Southern Comfort Zone - Brad Paisley (15)
16. Troublemaker - Olly Murs f/Flo Rida (21)
17. Better Dig Two - The Band Perry (24)
18. Skyfall - Adele (16)
19. Catch My Breath - Kelly Clarkson (23)
20. Goodbye In Her Eyes - The Zac Brown Band (20)
21. Diamonds - Rihanna (17)
22. One More Night - Maroon 5 (18)
23. Take A Walk - Passion Pit (19)
24. It's Time - Imagine Dragons (22)
25. How Country Feels - Randy Houser (29)
26 Til My Last Day - Justin Moore (26)
27. Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys (31)
28. Thrift Shop - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/Wanz (38)
29. Chalk Outline - Three Days Grace (25)
30. Beneath Your Beautiful - Labrinth (30)
31. I Cry - Flo Rida (35)
32. Anything Could Happen - Ellie Goulding (36)
33. Gangnam Style - PSY (27)
34. Finally Found You - Enrique Iglesias f/Sammy Adams (34)
35. Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain) - Gary Allan (39)
36. Feel Again - OneRepublic (28)
37. Tornado - Little Big Town (45)
38. Overjoyed - Matchbox Twenty (42)
39. Daylight - Maroon 5 (47)
40. Been Away Too Long - Soundgarden (46)
41. Candy - Robbie Williams (37)
42. Stubborn Love - The Lumineers (48)
43. Too Close - Alex Clare (41)
44. Lately - Anita Baker (44)
45. Cruise - Florida Georgia Line (43)
46. Die Young - Ke$ha (32)
47. Superlove - Avicii vs. Lenny Kravitz (51)
48. I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift (54)
49. Trojans - Atlas Genius (53)
50. Thinkin Bout You - Frank Ocean (50)
51. Wanted - Hunter Hayes (58)
52. Begin Again - Taylor Swift (56)
53. Mountain Sound - Of Monsters And Men (67)
54. Something For The Weekend - Dave Aude f/Luciana (40)
55. The Only Way I Know - Jason Aldean f/Luke Bryan & Eric Church (57)
56. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons (61)
57. El Cerrito Place - Kenny Chesney (49)
58. Two Black Cadillacs - Carrie Underwood (72)
59. Every Day - Eric Prydz (64)
60. Picking Up The Pieces - Paloma Faith (60)
61. Tip It On Back - Dierks Bentley (66)
62. Beer Money - Kip Moore (52)
63. Beam Me Up (Kill-Mode) - Cazzette (63)
64. Between The Raindrops - Lifehouse f/Natasha Bedingfield (68)
65. Somebody's Heartbreak - Hunter Hayes (69)
66. Big Banana - Havana Brown f/R3hab (71)
67. Carry On - fun (79)
68. I Found You - The Wanted (78)
69. Don't Stop The Party - Pitbull f/TJR (73)
70. Gold - Neon Hitch f/Tyga (70)
71. Beauty And A Beat - Justin Bieber f/Nicki Minaj (75)
72. Only Love - Ben Howard (74)
73. Lessons In Love (All Day, All Night) - Neon Trees f/Kaskade (77)
74. Hall Of Fame - The Script f/will.i.am (59)
75. Dancing In My Head - Eric Turner vs. Avicii (76)
76. The Lucky Ones - Kerli (88)
77. You & I - Avant f/Keke Wyatt (81)
78. Merry Go Round - Kacey Musgraves (86)
79. Impossible - James Arthur (83)
80. Soldier - Gavin DeGraw (80)
81. Crying On A Suitcase - Casey James (85)
82. One Of Those Nights - Tim McGraw (84)
83. Mermaid - Train (89)
84. Gold 2012 - Spandau Ballet (94)
85. We Are Young - Vassy (DEBUT)
86. My Love Is All I Have - Charlie Wilson (90)
87. Change - Churchill (87)
88. She's So Mean - Matchbox Twenty (82)
89. Come Along - Vicci Martinez f/Cee-Lo Green (DEBUT)
90. Stars - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (RE-ENTRY)
91. 93 Million Miles - Jason Mraz (RE-ENTRY)
92. Let There Be Cowgirls - Chris Cagle (97)
93. Enemies - Shinedown (93)
94. The Pit - Silversun Pickups (96)
95. Stay - Rihanna f/Mikky Ekko (RE-ENTRY)
96. Scream & Shout - will.i.am f/Britney Spears (98)
97. Beer With Jesus - Thomas Rhett (RE-ENTRY)
98. I Ain't Your Mama - Maggie Rose (DEBUT)
99. Read All About It, Part 3 - Emeli Sande (RE-ENTRY)
100. One Day/Reckoning Song - Asaf Avidan & The Mojos (RE-ENTRY)

 There are just three new songs on this weeks list (with a lot of re-entries, debuts highlighted in blue), and here they are, with a little about the artist beyond the break...


January 25th candletime...






Today, January 25th, marks the 32nd birthday of singer/songwriter Alicia Keys...


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Songoftheday 1/25/13 - It seems a little time is needed decisions to be made, the good advice of friends unheeded, the best of plans mislaid...






The Human League - "(Keep Feelin') Fascination"
from the EP Fascination (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by the pioneering British electro-pop group the Human League, who had one of the first "new wave" smashes and kicked off the second British invasion with their #1 single "Don't You Want Me" in the summer of 1982. They were nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy (Men at Work won), but they didn't manage to have any more hits in America from their Dare album. While they were getting their next full-length album together, they released a six-song EP of material called Fascination in 1983, and the title track became their second top-10 hit in the States.


"Fascination" topped the US dance chart, while making the top-10 in both the US and Britain.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

8 of the 80s: 1/24/13...


I'm back to close out today with 8 more nuggets from 1983, the year the final episode of M*A*S*H aired and became the most-watched episode on television.

The Gap Band - "Party Train"
from the album Gap Band V: Jammin' (1983)
Billboard peak: #101


Why this jam did not follow the Oklahoma brothers' "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" success is mindboggling, though maybe putting old people in a boxing ring made no sense.

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7 of the 70s: 1/24/13...


Hey gang, I'm back with 7 more nuggets from the 70s, and this week I'm back to 1973, the year the first handheld cellular phone call was made in New York City.

Ringo Starr - "Photograph"
from the album Ringo (1973)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1


The "fun" Beatle was the third to score a #1 hit with a little help from George Harrison who co-wrote the song.

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January 24th candletime...


Today, January 24th, marks the 72nd birthday of singer/songwriter Neil Diamond....


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Songoftheday 1/24/13 - Drivin' home this evening I coulda sworn we had it all worked out...


Bryan Adams - "Cuts Like A Knife"
from the album Cuts Like A Knife (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #15 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day is by Canadian rock singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, who scored his first big American hit in the spring of 1983 with "Straight From The Heart". He followed that ballad with the sing-along rock of "Cuts Like A Knife", the title track from his third album written by Adams and his longtime collaborator Jim Vallance...


The single reached the top-20 on the pop chart, and was even bigger than "Straight..." on rock radio, peaking at #6. It also make the top-20 in his home country, and was a minor hit in Australia.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Aussie Sweep: January 23, 2013...


Hey gang, it's time now to check out the songs making it on to the official Australian music charts this week. In a rare event, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" get deposed from the #1 spot by.....themselves, with their pro-marriage equality song "Same Love". This gives me unending joy, especially since it proves that the tide of intolerance in that country is at death's door...

The top debut this week is by British boyband One Direction with their single "Kiss You" at #15, complete with totally homoerotic video that takes the five guys through a myriad of 60's movie mockups. So far they have had four top-10 singles, with "Live While We're Young" going to #2.  Grade: B


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6 of the 60s: 1/23/13...


Hey gang, it's time for another half-dozen nuggets from the 60s, and this week I'm back to 1963, the year Alcatraz closes its doors.

Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs - "Sugar Shack"
from the album Sugar Shack (1963)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1


The New Mexican group started out as an instrumental outfit, but on the addition of Texan Gilmer scored the biggest song of the year with this predecessor of the bubblegum genre...

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January 23rd candletime...


Today, January 23rd, marks the 80th birthday of stage and screen legend Chita Rivera...


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Songoftheday 1/23/13 - Hey little sister what have you done? Hey little sister who's the only one?...

Billy Idol - "White Wedding"
from the album Billy Idol (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #36 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's Song of the Day is by proto-pop-punker Billy Idol, who racked up his first US top-40 hit in the fall of 1982 with "Hot In The City". The growling rock of "White Wedding" was released as a following at the end of the year, but stalled below the Hot 100. However, after lingering interest and MTV airplay of the video, the song returned to the charts, and climbed in to the US top-40, and became Billy's "signature song"...


"White Wedding" also reached the top-10 on the American rock radio and dance club charts, and a couple years later, finally reached #6 on the UK singles chart. The single also made the top-10 in Australia and New Zealand.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kraut Sweep: January 22, 2013...


Welcome back to this week's recap of the new songs making their first appearance on the top-100 singles chart in Germany this week, as will.i.am and Britney Spears' "Scream & Shout" claims the #1 spot. It's his first solo chart-topper, and Britney's third...

The top debut this week is by British boyband Blue, who have placed five previous song into the top-10 in this country, with their version of "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" with Elton John making it to #4 in 2002. They return with their sixth at #7 with "Hurt Lovers". It's the theme to the German movie Schlussmacher ("Circuit Maker"), about a business set up to break couples up...Grade B+


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French Sweep: January 22, 2013...


Hey gang, it's time to check out the newest songs making their way on to the weekly music chart in France, according to their official singles charts. PSY hangs on for a sixth non-consecutive week at #1 with "Gangnam Style"...

The top entry this week at #9 is David Bowie's new nostalgic single "Where Are We Now?". It's his first foray into the top-10 in this country. Grade: A-


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January 22nd candletime...


Today, January 22nd, marks vocal powerhouse Steve Perry's 64th birthday...


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Songoftheday 1/22/13 - I was dreamin' when I wrote this forgive me if it goes astray, but when I woke up this mornin' coulda sworn it was judgment day...


Prince - "1999"
from the album 1999 (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10 (in 1983), 1 (in 1999)

Today's Song of the Day is by Minneapolis music legend Prince, who had scored his first top-10 pop hit in the spring of 1983 with "Little Red Corvette". That song was the second single released from his fifth studio album, 1999. The first was the title track, which came out in the fall of 1982 and peaked just under the top-40 at #44, while at the time going to #1 on the Billboard Dance chart. After the success of "Corvette", the single was re-released to radio, and zoomed back up both the pop and R&B charts...


The renewed song went to the top-20 on the pop chart, and also peaked at #4 on the R&B format chart.It also reached #2 in the UK and Australia, and top-10 in Canada and New Zealand. In 1999, renewed airplay and sales of the singles made it return back to the top-40 in America, and still no matter the year, it remains a New Years Eve playlist staple.

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