Thursday, February 28, 2013

8 of the 80s: 2/28/13 (1988)...

Welcome back to this week's flashback to the 80s, and now I'm back to 1988, the year Celine Dion wins the Eurovision song contest representing Switzerland as a "ringer"...

Olivia Newton-John - "The Rumour"
from the album The Rumour (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #62

This Elton John/Bernie Taupin song was Olivia's first lead single from an album to miss the top-40 since the early 70s. I still keep a place in my heart for this though, and thought she looked her damn best then.

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7 of the 70s: 2/28/13 (1978)...

Hey gang, I'm back with seven more nuggets from the 70s, and this week I'm back to 1978, the year Albino Lucini became Pope John Paul I for only 33 days.

Player - "Baby Come Back"
from the album Player (1977)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1

The California band who delved into "space soft rock" mined pure Hall & Oates territory with this chart-topper.

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February 28th candletime...

Today, February 28th, marks the 36th birthday of country star Jason Aldean...

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Songoftheday 2/28/13 - Well she looked a peach in the dress she made when she was still her mama's little girl...

Elton John - "Kiss The Bride"
from the album Too Low For Zero (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day is by singer/pianist Reginald Dwight, aka Elton John, who stormed back on the charts in 1983 with his 17th studio album Too Low For Zero and it's triumphant first American single "I'm Still Standing". The second release rocked even harder (for him), with his classic 70s band mostly back on board with Davey Johnstone on guitars for the riff-heavy "Kiss The Bride"...

While "Kiss The Bride wasn't one of his biggest hits, it did respectfully, reaching the top-20 in Britain and top-40 in the States, Canada, and Australia, and was a concert fave at the time. Of course a year later, Elton would "kiss" his own bride, German music engineer Renate' Blauel, who he married for four years become he totally came out of the closet.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Aussie Sweep: February 27, 2013...

And now I've got the newest songs reaching the top-100 of the official sales chart in Australia this week.This is a big week, as we're waiting for what will be the 1000th #1 single in this country....and the winner is...


Yes, the viral video sensation the "Harlem Shake" caused enough people to buy the song to make it the top-selling single of the week....

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6 of the 60s: 2/26/13 (1968)...

Hey gang, I'm back with another half-dozen nuggets from the 60s, and this week I'm back to 1968, the year Mattel starts making Hot Wheels cars...

Paul Mauriat - "Love Is Blue"
from the album Blooming Hits (1967)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1

While "flower power" was in full effect in 1968, the "alright" kids' parents were still buying easy-listening fodder like this by the truckload. The only Frenchman to top the American chart, Mauriat would have the last "big" true orchestral hit.

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February 27th candletime...

Today, February 27th, marks the 32nd birthday of vocalist Josh Groban...

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Songoftheday 2/27/13 - We were having such a good time baby oh yes we were, then you went & spoiled the whole thing baby in front of everyone...

Jeffrey Osborne - "Don't You Get So Mad"
from the album Stay With Me Tonight (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day is by lite-funk singer Jeffrey Osborne, who after leaving the group L.T.D., released his successful solo debut album in 1982, and score two top-40 pop hits with the smooth "I Really Don't Need No Light" and the classic ballad "On The Wings Of Love". Osborne follow that up the next year with another new album, and the first single released from the set was "Don't You Get So Mad", another uptempo song written by Osborne with Don Freeman and Michael Sembello, who was at the same time having his biggest success with his own hit "Maniac". It was produced by George Duke, who gave the album a nice jazzy feel to the soul...

"Don't You Get So Mad" matched the success of his "I Really Don't..." on the R&B chart, reaching #3, and peaking the highest he's been so far solo on the pop chart at #25. It was also a minor hit in the UK, reaching #54 that year.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kraut Sweep: February 26, 2013...

I'm back to check out the latest songs making the top-100 sales chart in Germany this week, as and Britney "bitch" spend a sixth week on top with "Scream & Shout".

The top debut of the week in right now the biggest Austrian music star, DJ Otzi, with his latest, "Wie Ein Komet" ("Like A Comet"). Born Gerhard Friedle, he has topped the charts in this country three times, with his first "Anton aus Tirol"  in 1999...

German eurodance hitmakers Cascada return at #36 with "Glorious". This marks their eleventh time in the top-40, and three of those have made the top-10 (including the US smashes "Everytime We Touch" and "Evacuate The Dancefloor"). This song will be this country's "entry" into the Eurovision song contest this year in Sweden...

The third song coming in at the top-40 level, at #39, is American violinist and YouTube star Lindsey Stirling, who also gained exposure on America's Got Talent. Her first hit is "Crystallize", and this clip has close to 50 million views on the YouTube...

Rock group Cat Ballou, named for the 1965 western featuring Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, and Nat King Cole, debuts at #47 with "Et Jitt Kein Wood"...

Berlin-based rapper Fler (real name Patrick Losensky) lands at #68 with "Barack Osama" (yes, you read that right). Fler has had seven German top-40 hits, with "NDW 2005" reaching the top-10...

Cologne band Brings arrive at #73 with "Funkemarieche", which as far as I can tell is a German version of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi"...

Right under that at #74 is Labrassbanda with "Neckert" ("Naked")...

Bruno Mars follows up his #7 German hit "Locked Up At Heaven" with "When I Was Your Man", which comes in at #82...

Trinidadian rapper Theophilus London, who lives in Brooklyn now, moves in at #97 with "Wine And Chocolates", thanks to a dance remix getting traction here...

The final debut of the week in this country is American pop band Maroon 5 with their top-10 US hit "Daylight"...

That's it for tonight...I'll be back tomorrow with another song of the day, candletime, 6 of the 60s, and my Aussie Sweep for the week. Good night!

French Sweep: February 26, 2013...

It's time to travel over to Europe this afternoon to check out the new songs making the top-100 official sales chart in France this week, as "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis cash in a fourth week at #1...

The top entry on the chart at #15 this week is the second promo single for Justin Timberlake's upcoming 20/20 Experience album, "Mirrors". It follows "Suit & Tie", which came in at #8 five weeks ago and now sits at #45...

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February 26th candletime...

Today, February 26th, marks the 60th birthday of singer Michael Bolton...

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Songoftheday 2/26/13 - This is the end, you've made your choice and now my chance is over...

Frank Stallone - "Far From Over"
from the album Staying Alive (Original Soundtrack) (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is by Sylvester's little brother Frank Stallone, who grew up in Northeast Philly before embarking on a singing career. His big break came with a bit of Sly's help as he was producing and writing the sequel to the iconic disco film Saturday Night Fever. The movie, Stayin' Alive, tracked Danny Manero's life trying to make it as a Broadway dancer, to mostly (unintended) hilarious results. The Bee Gees, who put together the first films' soundtrack, were commissioned to record music for this one as well, though instead of dominating the whole album, they only had half the soundtrack, with the other half split between three different artists (Cynthia Rhodes of Dirty Dancing and Animotion fame would be another one), and Frank was given three cuts on the side. One of them, "Far From Over", was released as the second single after the Bee Gees' top-40 hit "The Woman In You", and became by far the biggest hit of the set...

"Far From Over" became a top-10 hit in the US, and wound up being nominated for both a Golden Globe and a Grammy (as part of the soundtrack). He also appeared in the movie as the boyfriend of Manero's ex (played by Cynthia). However, after a minor hit a year later with "Darlin", Stallone faded from pop radio, though he has continued to have a career as a standards singer in the mold of Sinatra and later Buble'.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Robbed hit of the week 2/25/13 - ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man"...

ZZ Top - "Sharp Dressed Man"
from the album Eliminator (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #56

This week's "robbed hit" is from the Texan blues-rock trio ZZ Top, who came back roaring in 1983 with their electrified eighth studio album Eliminator, which already scored them their third top-40 single with "Gimme All Your Lovin'". After a radio-only release of album track "Got Me Under Pressure", the band released arguably the best song of the set, "Sharp Dressed Man". With a polished up pop production that still rocked the house, the song brought back the "ZZ Girls" for the video...

ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man by ZZTop-Official

"Sharp Dressed Man" went all the way to #2 on the rock radio chart, but stalled down at #56 on the pop singles chart.It did manage to make the top-40 in Britain, their second to do so after "Gimme..."

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February 25th candletime...

Today, February 25th, marks the 54th birthday of Mike Peters of the Alarm...

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Songoftheday 2/25/13 - I ain't goin' to school it's much to early for me...

Stray Cats - "(She's) Sexy + 17"
from the album Rant N Rave With The Stray Cats (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day is by the retro rockabilly kings Stray Cats, who after conquering the British Isles, crossed back over to the States with their debut album Built For Speed and a pair of big top-10 hits with "Rock This Town" and "Stray Cat Strut". By the time those hits were done on the charts the trio were ready to release their next album, Rant N Rave, and the first single culled from the set, "(She's) Sexy + 17", written by lead singer/guitarist Brian Setzer and produced by retro rock fave Dave Edmunds, doesn't stray far from the formula that made their last album a hit..

"Sexy + 17" became their third and final top-10 single in the US, and also made it to the runner-up spot on the mainstream rock radio chart, while peaking at #29 in the UK (their last top-40 hit there).

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Brit Sweep: February 24, 2013...

Hey gang, it's time to close out the weekend with the latest songs making the grade over in Great Britain this week according to their official sales charts...

The top-selling single in the UK this week is the vocal group One Direction with this year's official "Red Nose Day" song for the Comic Relief charity. It's a "mash-up" cover of two influential pop-punk songs of the late 70s (way before these chaps were born), "One Way Or Another" by Blondie and the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks". The result, titled "One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks)" becomes the quintet's third #1 British hit, and sold over 100,000 copies in its first week. The original of the Undertones' track went to #31 in 1978, while Blondie's song never was released before in the UK, and you'll be seeing it later down the post...

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Album Sweep: March 2, 2013...

Hey gang, it's time for this week's "album sweep", sampling the new records spending their first week on the Top 200 albums chart in Billboard magazine, and because of the tracking week being post-Grammy week, there are so few big releases that only ten new albums made the whole chart, so I'll take care of it in one foul swoop. Like always I've included links to buy anything you see at Amazon, but if you can, stop by a record store - they'll love you for it!

The top-selling album of the week is the Grammy winner for Album of the Year, Mumford & Sons' Babel, which sells more than a 185 thousand this week (well below what Adele did last year, though...)...

The top debut of the week, down at #13, is the fourth full-length album from Welsh heavy-metal band Bullet For My Valentine, Temper Temper. It follows two consecutive top-5 albums, with their last, Fever, reaching #3 in 2010...(NSFW)

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February 24th candletime...

Today, February 24th, marks the 55th birthday of country singer (and former crush) Sammy Kershaw...

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Songoftheday 2/24/13 - Once upon a time there was light in my life, now there's only love in the dark...

Bonnie Tyler - "Total Eclipse Of The Heart"
from the album Faster Than The Speed Of Night (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (four weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 18

Today's Song of the Day is the companion to yesterday's SOTD by Air Supply, "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All", which songwriter Jim Steinman originally submitted to his protege' Meat Loaf but scuttled over money quarrels. The other song Jim wrote was "Total Eclipse Of The Heart", and like the Air Supply song, used E Street Band's Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg and guitarist Rick Derringer.

The singer chosen for the song is raspy-voiced Welsh woman Bonnie Tyler, who released her first album in 1977, and the first single "Lost In France" became her first top-10 hit in the UK, as well as going to #3 in Germany. After surgery for nodules and the raspiness set in, her second set broke her to American shores, where "It's A Heartache" hit the top of the charts all over the world, including the top-10 of both the pop and country charts in the US. However, after that, she faded pretty much out of sight, save a top-3 hit in France in 1979 with "My Guns Are Loaded".

So Steinman's production of Tyler's fifth set, Faster Than The Speed Of Night came out of nowhere to a huge positive reaction, and "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" becoming her biggest success...

The single reached #1 in America, the UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and South Africa, and in fact, in the US it spent three of its four weeks at #1 with "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" in the #2 spot, an utter coup for Steinman as a songwriter.The song also reached the top-10 on the adult contemporary chart, and #23 on the rock radio format list.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dance Sweep: March 2, 2013...

Well I'm up to the last chapter in today's "chart sweeps" of the newest songs making it on to the singles charts in Billboard magazine, and this time out it's the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio.

On the DJ-polled Hot Dance Club Play chart, Australian singer Vassy scores her first #1 hit with "We Are Young"...

There are two new entries with Latin rapper Pitbull on them, and the top debut is his guest role on Arianna's "Sexy People (The Fiat Song)" at #40...

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Country Sweep: March 2, 2013...

It's time for the fourth part of today's 'chart sweeps' of the latest songs debuting on the Billboard singles charts, and this time I've got the newest on country radio...

On the Hot Country Airplay chart, The Band Perry dig a second week at #1 with "Better Dig Two"...

The high entry on the list this week at #56 is country hunk Randy Houser with the follow-up to his #1 hit "How Country Feels", "Runnin' Outta Moonlight"...

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Soul Sweep: March 2, 2013...

Hey gang, thanks for sticking with me today...I'm up to the third installment of today's five-part "chart sweeps" sampling the songs making their debut on the singles charts in Billboard magazine, and this time out it's the newest on R&B radio.

On the aggregate R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart, Rihanna moves to #1 with "Pour It Up", her first since "Take A Bow" in 2008 (no, "Diamonds" ain't ever gonna count here...)

The top debut of the week is by rapper Future, who already is in the top-10 with "Neva End". He's back at #39 with "Karate Chop", which features either Casino on the original or Lil' Wayne on the remix. It's from his upcoming Future Hendrix album...(NSFW)...

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Rock Sweep: March 2, 2013...

I'm back to party two of this week's "chart sweeps", sampling the songs debuting on Billboard magazine's various singles charts.

On the all-inclusive Rock Airplay chart, Muse hangs on for an eleventh non-consecutive week with "Madness"....

The top debut at #40 is the first single from L.A. indie-pop band Fitz & The Tantrums upcoming sophomore effort, More Than Just A Dream. "Out of My League" includes the album title in the lyrics. They had gone to #33 in 2011 with the stellar "Moneygrabber"...

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Pop Sweep: March 2, 2013...

....and here we are.

I admit I was seriously debating stopping my weekly "chart sweeps", due to my disgust at the stunts pulled over at Billboard magazine this week, but the music won out (for now), so here goes, part one of this week's recap of the new songs debuting, starting with the pop charts...

As of this week, Billboard started to tally up YouTube views as part of the formula to calculate the Hot 100, which to me is a great idea in theory, because while it provides little revenue, it does provide a playing experience to compare to the other "streaming" services. However, taking this theory to the extreme of allowing any fractionalized clip (that's "authorized") to contribute towards the chart.

So that's why Baauer's meme-inducing "Harlem Shake" is the #1 song per Billboard.

I've already ranted my piece about it, especially the logic in allowing 30 second clips to actually affect a song's performance, but they've made their bed. And what's stupidly sad it I get the meme. I actually bought the record. I think its entertaining. I was expecting the single to place on the chart this week from sales, which gauging from sales-heavy singles like those from The Voice and Glee, appear in the top-40, but this rigging the system to get press smacks of everything the magazine was against. And even on a record that while free (and still free in places), uses unauthorized samples and lyrics that translate to "with the terrorists". So Congrats, guys, you fulfilled your reality-show dream.

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February 23rd candletime...

Today, February 23rd, marks the 58h birthday of new-wave artist Howard Jones...

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Songoftheday 2/23/13 - I know just how to whisper and I know just how to cry, I know just where to find the answers and I know just how to lie...

Air Supply - "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All
from the album Greatest Hits (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 17

Today's Song of the Day is by the band led by the Seigfried and Roy of Soft Rock, Air Supply, who by 1983 were still successful though not quite as big as their start, when they racked up seven straight top-5 hits. Their third worldwide album Now And Forever did give them their seventh, "Even The Nights Are Better", but the two following singles "Young Love" and "Two Less Lonely People In The World" both crested at #38. It seemed that the mainstream music tastes were drifting away a bit from adult contemporary as the second "British Invasion" of new wave groups like Culture Club and Duran Duran swept in. To stay current, they would have to "toughen up" their act a little. So in walks Meat Loaf's muse.

Jim Steinman was responsible for the grandiose songwriting that singer Meat Loaf a household name (no pun intended) in the late 70s, with his classic Bat Out Of Hell album all written by Jim. However, by the singer's third solo album, disputes over money between the two and his record company caused Steinman to pull two songs he originally offered to the Loaf, "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" and "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All". Now free to offer to other singers, Steinman not only let Air Supply record the song, but produced it as well, scuttling the group's normal backing players for Max Weinberg and Roy Bittan from Springsteen's band and Rick Derringer providing the guitar solo. The result sounded an awful lot like a Meat Loaf record with a much much higher voice on it, and it would for a moment return Air Supply back to the heights of the charts...

"Making Love..." became one of their biggest hits, peaking at #2 and spending more than six months on the pop chart, as well as achieving the same rank on the Adult Contemporary list. Surprisingly, the song missed the top-40 in both England and their native Australia.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Harlem Shake Up.

I almost didn't do this.

Since the 1940s, Billboard magazine has been the stalwart of documenting the biggest musical hits of our time, from the age of swing to the birth of rock and roll to the British Invasion to the rise of the singer/songwriter to the days of disco get my drift. All during that time, they have adapted to the various ways that music was purchased, from Victrola records to vinyl 45s to cassettes to CDs to mp3s, as well as how it's broadcast, from polling jukebox operators to getting playlists from radio stations to electronically monitoring them to get an exact play count. Of course, there were a few missteps (like when they scuttled the R&B chart for a little over a year), and at times it took them a bit to become current (especially the lag time to include iTunes into the charts), but all and all they did the best they could with minimal subjectivity and cautious editorship. Where there shenanigans? Hell, yeah. The whole "payola" scandal of the 50s shocked the public, where record labels would pay stations and disc jockeys to play their records (remember, these are public airwaves, and there were laws for that). Billboard actually did a good job with investigating the problem, and after a few shakedowns (including Dick Clark ratting out everyone else to save his own skin, truely earning his name), the practice was taken care of, though it would rear its head again in the 2000s with the "independent promoter" scams. Likewise, with record stores providing sales tallies, naturally any kind of personal bias could pollute the data collected.

The best thing that ever happened in their history was when in 1991 they shifted from manually getting lists from radio and stores to Neilsen which kept tabs on really what was being played on the radio, while SoundScan used the music products' barcode to accurately nail down what was really being paid for. It was quite a shock when that happened, as songs that were high up on the Hot 100 suddenly plummeted to outside the top-40, and acts like Michael Bolton and Paula Abdul were replaced by the top-selling rock (like Nirvana) and R&B (like Boyz II Men) acts of the time. As time went on, and both and tracking of stores and radio went more or less completely digital, the accuracy of the charts was a marvel to behold, and both a true document of music at the time as well as a compass for where it was going. Still, even though Billboard didn't exactly excel as reporting as an investigative tool anymore (more of the articles that weren't throwing out cold numbers were merely promo pieces), editor Timothy White upheld the integrity of the Billboard name during all the transitions, including deep explanations on any changes they'd make in the charts, which were carefully laid out.

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twostepcub's music chart for February 22, 2013...

Hey gang, it's finally Friday, and time for my top-100 tunes for the week. This week Calvin Harris and Florence Welch take over the top spot with "Sweet Nothing", while Kelly Clarkson (whom I duly believe over Clive Davis - and pictured above) lurks right below the top-10.  Songs by Tori Amos, Vicci Martinez, and Churchill make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits by Ed Sheeran, fun, Justin Moore, and The Script drop out. Swedish meatballs!!!!!

This Week           Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
1. Sweet Nothing - Calvin Harris f/Florence Welch (2)
2. Thrift Shop - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/Wanz (6)
3. Try - Pink (1)
4. Locked Out Of Heaven - Bruno Mars (4)
5. Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia (3)
6. Better Dig Two - The Band Perry (7)
7. Little Black Submarines - Black Keys (5)
8. Madness - Muse (8)
9. Ho Hey - The Lumineers (9)
10. Troublemaker - Olly Murs f/Flo Rida (10)
11. Catch My Breath - Kelly Clarkson (11)
12. Tornado - Little Big Town (20)
13. Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys (14)
14. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons (22)
15. Southern Comfort Zone - Brad Paisley (15)
16. Daylight - Maroon 5 (21)
17. Adorn - Miguel (13)
18. Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain) - Gary Allan (19)
19. Mountain Sound - Of Monsters And Men (23)
20. I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons (18)
21. Carry On - fun (25)
22. Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men (16)
23. Stubborn Love - The Lumineers (27)
24. Two Black Cadillacs - Carrie Underwood (32)
25. How Country Feels - Randy Houser (17)
26. Overjoyed - Matchbox Twenty (30)
27. Trojans - Atlas Genius (35)
28. Home - Phillip Phillips (24)
29. Clarity - Zedd (37)
30. It's Time - Imagine Dragons (28)
31. Lover Of The Light - Mumford & Sons (45)
32. Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself) - Ne-Yo (26)
33. Skyfall - Adele (29)
34. The Lucky Ones - Kerli (42)
35. I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift (36)
36. Wanted - Hunter Hayes (40)
37. Diamonds - Rihanna (33)
38. Goodbye In Her Eyes - The Zac Brown Band (34)
39. Don't Stop The Party - Pitbull f/TJR (39)
40. Somebody's Heartbreak - Hunter Hayes (46)
41. Change - Churchill (56)
42. Flavor - Tori Amos (72)
43. Take A Walk - Passion Pit (43)
44. Begin Again - Taylor Swift (44)
45. Leaving - Pet Shop Boys (47)
46. We Are Young - Vassy (51)
47. Tip It On Back - Dierks Bentley (48)
48. The Only Way I Know - Jason Aldean f/Luke Bryan & Eric Church (49)
49. Between The Raindrops - Lifehouse f/Natasha Bedingfield (53)
50. I Found You - The Wanted (50)
51. Lessons In Love (All Day, All Night) - Neon Trees f/Kaskade (55)
52. You & I - Avant f/Keke Wyatt (54)
53. Mermaid - Train (57)
54. Merry Go 'Round - Kacey Musgraves (64)
55. Crying On A Suitcase - Casey James (61)
56. Beauty And A Beat - Justin Bieber f/Nicki Minaj (62)
57. Every Day - Eric Prydz (58)
58. My Love Is All I Have - Charlie Wilson (68)
59. Beam Me Up (Kill-Mode) - Cazzette (59)
60. Impossible - James Arthur (60)
61. Clown - Emeli Sande (73)
62. One Of Those Nights - Tim McGraw (66)
63. Sorry - Ciara (69)
64. Beneath Your Beautiful - Labrinth f/Emeli Sande (38)
65. Gold 2012 - Spandau Ballet (65)
66. Hero - Family Of The Year (70)
67. Va Va Voom - Nicki Minaj (71)
68. Days Turn Into Nights - Delerium (78)
69. Come Along - Vicci Martinez f/Cee-Lo Green (87)
70. Get Up (Rattle) - Bingo Players f/Far East Movement (75)
71. Gangnam Style - PSY (41)
72. Stay - Rihanna f/Mikky Ekko (77)
73. Big Banana - Havana Brown f/R3hab (63)
74. Heaven Nor Hell - Volbeat (74)
75. Next To Me - Emeli Sande (RE-ENTRY)
76. I Drive Your Truck - Lee Brice (81)
77. Because We Can - Bon Jovi (89)
78. Sure Be Cool If You Did - Blake Shelton (80)
79. If I Didn't Have You - Thompson Square (93)
80. When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars (DEBUT)
81. Suit & Tie - Justin Timberlake f/Jay-Z (85)
82. The Pit -Silversun Pickups (86)
83. Let There Be Cowgirls - Chris Cagle (88)
84. Stand Up - All That Remains (94)
85. Tears Of Joy - Faith Evans (95)
86. Carry On - Avenged Sevenfold (96)
87. One And Only - Cherry Cherry Boom Boom (97)
88. Rum & Raybans - Sean Kingston f/Cher Lloyd (100)
89. Learn To Love Again - Lawson (91)
90. Alone Together - Daley f/Marsha Ambrosius (90)
91. Die Young - Ke$ha (87)
92. Scream & Shout - f/Britney Spears (92)
93. Put The Gun Down - ZZ Ward (DEBUT)
94. I Could Be The One - Avicii vs. Nicki Romero (DEBUT)
95. Alive - Krewella (RE-ENTRY)
96. I Love It - Icona Pop f/Charli XCX (DEBUT)
97. Just A Fool - Christina Aguilera f/Blake Shelton (DEBUT)
98. Supercharged - Kwanza Jones (DEBUT)
99. Drinking From The Bottle - Calvin Harris f/Tinie Tempah (99)
100. Up & Up - Haddaway f/Mad Stuntman (DEBUT)

There are seven new song of my list this week (highlighted in blue), and here they are, after the jump (I've included links to their official website as well if you click on their names in the chart)....

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February 22nd candletime...

Today, February 22nd, marks the 39th birthday of singer James Blunt (in 1974, though)...

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Songoftheday 2/22/13 - I could hardly believe it when I heard the news today, I had to come & get it straight from you...

Laura Branigan - "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You"
from the album Branigan 2 (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day is by the late great pop vocalist Laura Branigan, who started off 1983 pretty well, with a huge hit with "Gloria" from the debut album, followed by a second top-10 hit with "Solitaire" from her second set, Branigan 2. Her followup to that latter hit from the album was the first writing success for soon-to-be-everywhere Michael Bolton, who co-wrote the ballad "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" with Doug James. The song first appeared on TV sung by Lisa Hartman on Knots Landing two years before Laura's version...

Laura's version utilized her impressive vocal range in the best way, as well as her emotional take which makes hers the definitive version...

Branigan's take on the song missed the top-10 on the pop chart, but reign on the adult-contemporary list for three weeks.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

8 of the 80s: 2/21/13 (1987)...

Welcome back to another flashback to the 80s, and this time I'm back to 1987, the year Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And this week - all eight are lead singers from bigger bands that struck out on their on in the year.

Ann Wilson - "The Best Man in The World"
from the album The Golden Child (Music from the Motion Picture) (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #61

I have the 7-inch vinyl single for this song, and rank it among Heart's best from the 80s.

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7 of the 70s: 2/21/13 (1977)...

Hey gang, I'm back with another seven nuggets from the 70s, and this week i return to 1977, the year A.J. Foyt becomes the first racer to win the Indianapolis 500 four times...

Meco - "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band"
from the album Star Wars and other Galactic Funk (1977)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1

Yes, my father owned the 8-track of this album. So I can't get the theme out of my head without hearing this version..

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February 21st candletime...

Today, February 21st, marks Mary-Chapin Carpenter's 55th birthday...

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Songoftheday 2/21/13 - On and on we'd laugh like kids at all the silly things we did...

Naked Eyes - "Promises Promises"
from the album Naked Eyes (US)/Burning Bridges (UK) (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day was the second hit for British synthpop duo Naked Eyes, who had a quirky top-10 success with their version of the Bacharach & David classic "Always Something There To Remind Me" in the early summer of 1983.

Their followup is one that I was much more fanatical about at the time, the "busy" production and synth flourishes that grace "Promises Promises"...

"Promises Promises" came frustratingly close to the top-10, spending a week at #11, while also reaching the top-20 on the adult-contemporary chart and top-40 on the dance list.

Up tomorrow: Instructions for loneliness, please?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Aussie Sweep: February 20, 2013...

It's time for this week's trip Down Under to check out the latest songs making their way on to the official singles sales chart in Australia, as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis end an eleven-week stay at #1 while Pink and fun's Nate Ruess leap to the top in their second week with "Just Give Me A Reason".

The highest debut of the week is Taylor Swift, with the seventh song from her Red album to make the top-100, "22", which arrives at #45...

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6 of the 60s: 2/20/13 (1967)...

Hey's time to roll out another half-dozen nuggets from the 60s, and this time I'm back to 1967, the year John F Kennedy's body is moved to the Arlington National Cemetary..

Lulu - "To Sir With Love"
from the album To Sir With Love (1967)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1

This song still brings me to tears, I don't know why. Considering it was from a 60s juvenile delinquent reform school movie, it seems so detached from the modern world, and yet the world could still used a little more Mr. Thackerays around. One of the most heartwrenching non-romantic "love" songs ever.

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February 20th candletime...

Today, February 20th, marks the 25th birthday of singer/actress/punching bag Rihanna...

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Songoftheday 2/20/13 - Don't tell me you ain't noticed I'm always around, I've seen you looking you always know just where I'll be found...

Charlie - "It's Inevitable"
from the album Charlie (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #38 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's Song of the Day is one of my all-time favorite songs of the 80s, but one of the most obscure of the top-40 hits of the decade. The British power-pop rock band Charlie came together under singer/guitarist Terry Thomas in the early 70s, though they didn't release their debut album until 1976. It took until their second album that they had their first success, with the minor US hit "Turning To You" a year later. After a couple more albums and a couple more smaller pop hits like "She Loves To Be In Love" and "Killer Cut", problems with their record labels in America and the UK and band defections threatened to kill the group entirely. However, after recruiting new lead singer Terry Slesser and recording a extra-tight set of rock songs, Charlie released their self-titled seventh album in 1983, and had their biggest hit with the infectious hooks of "It's Inevitable"...

"It's Inevitable" became Charlie's sole #1 hit in the fall of 1983, while reaching #13 on the rock radio chart as well. It would also be their last appearance on any of the singles charts, and disbanded after one more album. The group reunited in 2009 for a new set, Kitchens Of Distinction.

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