Tuesday, December 31, 2013

French Sweep: December 31, 2013...






It's time to cross over to check out the songs making the official sales chart in France this week, as Pharrell Williams spends a third non-consecutive week at #1 with "Happy"...

With a slow post-holiday release schedule, the highest entry of the week doesn't come until #31. It's Dutch DJ Martin Garrix's follow-up to his #2 hit "Animals", "Wizard"...


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twostepcubchart's Best of 2013: Part Ten - #10 to #1 and the whole she-bang...


The last day of 2013 is upon us, and it's time to wrap things up with the top-ten of my recap of the biggest songs on my personal chart this year. You can check out the other nine parts by clicking here...

#10 - Justin Timberlake - "Mirrors"
from the album The 20/20 Experience (2013)
twostepcubchart peak: #1 (two weeks)
weeks on the chart: 31


I was underwhelmed by Timberlake's pair of albums (it could've been at least a tighter single set trimming the filler), but it at least was worth the price of admission solely for this throwback to his boyband days for an eight minute pop song that doesn't sound like excess.

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Songoftheday 12/31/13 - I don't wanna take it anymore, I'll just stay here locked behind the door...


The Pointer Sisters - "The Neutron Dance"
from the album Break Out (1983) and Beverly Hills Cop (Original Soundtrack) (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's final song of 2013 belongs to the pop/soul sibling trio the Pointer Sisters, whose prophetically-titled album Break Out had already produced three top-10 singles with "Automatic", "Jump (For My Love)", and a re-release/mix of their 1982 single "I'm So Excited" (included in the newer prints of the album). For their fifth single (the first, "I Need You", peaked under the top-40) released from the set was used in the Eddie Murphy blockbuster film Beverly Hills Cop. "The Neutron Dance", with verses about everyday pains with a chorus that hints that the "nuclear" button could be pushed at any time, was nonsensical and topical at the same time...


Pointer Sisters - Neutron Dance by jpdc11

"The Neutron Dance" became the Pointers' seventh and so far latest top-10 single in February of 1985. It also was a hit on the dancefloor, ascending to #4 on the club chart, and tackled R&B radio at #13 and adult-contemporary (or "easy-listening") at #23. Internationally it was a more modest hit, making it to #31 in the UK and #18 in Germany, but it did manage to top the singles chart in Canada...

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Robbed Hit of the Week 12/30/13 - Roger Hodgson's "Had A Dream (Sleeping With The Enemy)"...


Roger Hodgson - "Had A Dream (Sleeping With The Enemy)"
from the album In The Eye Of The Storm (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #48

Today's Song of the Day is by British singer/songwriter Roger Hodgson, who left the lite-prog-rock band Supertramp in 1983 after their famous last words album, which scored two top-40 hits with "It's Raining Again" and "My Kind Of Lady". He released his first solo album the next year, and the first single from the album, "Had A Dream (Sleeping With The Enemy)", featured a sweaty and almost naked Roger running through space and time....


"Had A Dream" was a big rock radio hit, reaching #5 on the Billboard mainstream rock tracks chart, but stalled outside the pop top-40 at #48. He would go on to have a couple more rock hits, the latest being "You Make Me Love You" in 1987. Since then he's been touring, performing Supertramp and his solo work, and appeared on Canadian Idol as a mentor.


twostepcubchart's Best of 2013: Part Nine - #20-#11...






Hey gang, it's only a day away from New Year's Eve, and we're down to the next-to-last installment of my recap of the biggest songs on my personal chart from 2013. You can check out what I've counted down so far by clicking here...

#20 - Phillip Phillips - "Gone Gone Gone"
from the album The World From The Side Of The Moon (2012)
twostepcubchart peak: #9 (one week)
weeks on the chart: 29


The winner of the eleventh season of American Idol has been one of its most successful on his own terms, with a totally un-Idol sound (sorry, DeWyze). His "winner's" song made me list last year at #54 (and came close this year as well), but the follow-up did even better, as it reached both triple-A and adult-top-40 radio and clung there.

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Songoftheday 12/30/13 - I need a love that grows I don't want it unless I know....


Steve Perry - "Foolish Heart"
from the album Street Talk (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day is by the moonlighting lead singer of the arena rock band Journey, Steve Perry. His first solo album Street Talk had already spun off three top-40 pop hits with "Oh Sherrie", "She's Mine", and "Strung Out". The fourth single from the project was the ethereal ballad "Foolish Heart", written by the artist with Randy Goodrum, and produced by Perry. The video, a single take with just himself and a microphone, showed off the show well in its simplicity...


"Foolish Heart" did better than his last two singles, climbing to the top-20 on the American pop chart in February of 1985, while going all the way to #2 on the adult-contemporary radio format, his biggest hit there. After this, Steve would return to Journey, and not release another solo album for another ten years.

Lyrics-wise, this is one of my favorite songs of the 80s.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Brit Sweep: December 29, 2013...


Hey gang, Sunday is upon us, and it's the time I usually do my weekly recap if the official sales chart in the UK. This week is really slow release-wise (since it's Christmas week) so there is only one debuting song on the chart as Pharrell's "Happy" climbs to #1...

The sole entry down at #93 is another track from Beyonce's self-titled album, "Pretty Hurts"...


Album Sweep: January 4, 2014...






I'm ready for this week's "album sweep", sampling the records arriving on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums chart this week, as Beyonce reigns for a second week at #1 with her self-titled album. I've included highlighted links to buy anything when possible...

With Christmas approaching during the tracking period, understandably most of the big releases have already come out, and the top debut this week shows up down at #22. It's the third full-length album from rapper B.o.B, Underground Luxury. His first, B.o.B Presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray, went to #1 in 2010..


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Songoftheday 12/29/13 - I feel so unsure as i take your hand and lead you to the dancefloor...


Wham! featuring George Michael - "Careless Whisper"
from the album Make It Big (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 17

Today's Song of the Day is from the English pop duo Wham!, who on their second album Make It Big fulfilled their prophetic title with the #1 hit "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" in 1984. For it's follow-up George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley released the ballad "Careless Whisper", credited to the pair, and way different of a sound than their previous pop ditties....


"Careless Whisper" became Wham!'s second #1 hit in America in February of 1985, while also topping the adult-contemporary chart and even making it to #8 on the R&B chart (then called the "Black Singles" chart in Billboard). Internationally, the song was huge, reaching the top of the singles chart in England, Ireland, Italy, Australia, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and top-ten just about everywhere else. It tied with Klymaxx's "I Miss You" for most amount of weeks in the top-40 in 1985, and ended up Billboard's top pop single of 1985 in the U.S.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dance Sweep: January 4, 2014...


It's time to close up shop with the latest dance jams to make the Billboard charts this week...

On the DJ-polled Hot Dance Club Play chart, Katy Perry racks up another #1 hit with "Unconditionally", which makes an even dozen consecutive chart-toppers...

The top entry of the week up at #35 is Ariana Grande with "Right There" featuring rapper Big Sean.


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Country Sweep: January 4, 2014...


I'm up to the fourth installment of today's "chart sweeps" of the songs making the charts in Billboard magazine, and now I've got the latest country songs on the radio...

On the Country Airplay chart, crossover country stars Florida Georgia Line score their fourth consecutive #1 hit out of four tries with "Stay"...

The top entry at #41 is rebel country rocker Brantley Gilbert with "Bottoms Up", the first single from his upcoming album Just As I Am. He's topped the chart twice so far with "Country Must Be Countrywide" and "You Know Know Her Like I Do"...


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Soul Sweep: January 4, 2014...


We're at the "hump" of today's "chart sweeps" sampling the songs making the radio charts in Billboard magazine, and this time I'm serving the latest R&B tracks on the radio...

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Drake hangs tight for an eleventh week on top with "Hold On, We're Going Home"...

Ascending to #46 is neo-soul singer Kem with a song from his expanded version of his holiday album What Christmas Means, "Jesus" featuring Patti LaBelle and Ron Isley...


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Rock Sweep: January 4, 2014...


Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up, with the latest rock songs on the radio charts from Billboard magazine.

On the main Rock Airplay chart, Cage The Elephant hold on to #1 for a seventh week with "Come A Little Closer"...

The high debut of the week at #46 is the second single from modern rock group Fitz and the Tantrum's second album, "The Walker". It follows "Out Of My League", which made it to #1 and still is on the chart at #7...


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Pop Sweep: January 4, 2014...


I'm ready to kick off today's "chart sweeps" sampling the songs making the various singles charts in Billboard magazine, and as always I'll start with the pop side of things...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, Eminem and Rihanna spend a third week at #1 with "The Monster"...

The top entry on the chart this week belongs to Beyonce', who comes in at #12 with a track from her self-titled "surprise" album, "Drunk In Love", featuring husband Jay-Z. It's one of three songs from the previously exclusive to iTunes set to rack enough sales/airplay/streaming points individually to make the chart...


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Songoftheday 12/28/13 - I'm not a woman I'm not a man, I am something that you'll never understand...


Prince and the Revolution - "I Would Die 4 U"
from the album Purple Rain (Original Soundtrack) (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is Prince's fourth single from his landmark album Purple Rain. After reaching the top of the pop charts with both "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy", and then making it to the runner-up spot with the title track, Prince released the love jam "I Would Die 4 U" to radio. With percussionist Sheila E. and her band on backup, the song was one of his concert staples...


"I Would Die 4 U" went to the top-10 on the American pop chart in February of 1985, while just missing it at #11 on the R&B format. It also was a minor dance hit at #50. Internationally, the single went to #7 in Holland, and #12 in Canada, but stalled in the lower half of the British chart at #58.

Up tomorrow: He says he's never gonna dance again. He lied.

Friday, December 27, 2013

twostepcub's music chart for December 27, 2013...


Hey gang, the weekend is upon us, and time to run through my top-100 songs from last week. Bastille spend a third week on top, while Russo-German producer Zedd with Hayley Williams (pictured above) jump into the top-10. Former big hits by Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean drop off my chart, while songs by Colbie Caillat, The Wanted, and Lily Allen make the biggest leaps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). This is the last week of my "chart year"...I've been counting down the 100 biggest hits of 2013 on my weekly list - you can catch up by clicking here...

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Pompeii - Bastille (1)
2. The Best Day Of My Life - American Authors (3)
3. Let Her Go - Passenger (2)
4. Come A Little Closer - Cage The Elephant (6)
5. Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus (5)
6. Royals - Lorde (4)
7. Wake Me Up! - Avicii (7)
8. Stay The Night - Zedd f/Hayley Williams (12)
9. Demons - Imagine Dragons (9)
10. Sirens - Pearl Jam (10)
11. Out Of My League - Fitz & The Tantrums (11)
12. Counting Stars - OneRepublic (8)
13. Animals - Martin Garrix (13)
14. Waiting For Superman - Daughtry (16)
15. Sunny and 75 - Joe Nichols (15)
16. Hurt You - Toni Braxton & Babyface (18)
17. Burn - Ellie Goulding (19)
18. Hold On, We're Going Home - Drake f/Majid Jordan (14)
19. Say Something - A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera (31)
20. Sweater Weather - The Neighbourhood (25)
21. Applause - Lady Gaga (17)
22. Carolina - Parmalee (26)
23. Youth - Foxes (23)
24. Don't Let Me Be Lonely - The Band Perry (24)
25. Drunk Last Night - The Eli Young Band (29)
26. Brave - Sara Bareilles (21)
27. We Were Us - Keith Urban & Miranda Lambert (27)
28. Radio - Darius Rucker (28)
29. Unconditionally - Katy Perry (33)
30. Thinking About You - Calvin Harris f/Ayah Marar (34)
31. All Night - Icona Pop (37)
32. Roar - Katy Perry (20)
33. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (41)
34. Red - Taylor Swift (35)
35. Lights Out - Jessica Sutta (36)
36. What Now - Rihanna (22)
37. Shake - The Head and the Heart (39)
38. Come With Me - Ricky Martin (38)
39. Sweet Annie - The Zac Brown Band (43)
40. Who You Love - John Mayer f/Katy Perry (42)
41. Team - Lorde (49)
42. Friday Night - Eric Paslay (47)
43. Let Me Go - Avril Lavigne f/Chad Kroeger (45)
44. Electricity and Drums (Bad Boy) - Aude f/Akon & Luciana (30)
45. Timber - Pitbull f/Ke$ha (55)
46. Whatever She's Got - David Nail (51)
47. Stay - Florida Georgia Line (52)
48. Story Of My Life - One Direction (56)
49. Love Don't Die - The Fray (54)
50. Feva - Ranny f/Deepa Soul (50)
51. Without Me - Fantasia f/Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott (61)
52. Somewhere Only We Know - Lily Allen (70)
53. Take Me Home - Cash Cash (53)
54. Let Me Go - Gary Barlow (59)
55. Love Me Again - John Newman (63)
56. Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke f/T.I. & Pharrell Williams (32)
57. Lie To Me - Cole Plante f/Myon 54 & Shane (73)
58. MacArthur Park 2013 - Donna Summer (76)
59. Mine Would Be You - Blake Shelton (44)
60. A Light That Never Comes - Linkin Park vs. Steve Aoki (66)
61. Hold On - Colbie Caillat (98)
62. DNA - Empire Of The Sun (62)
63. Hey Brother - Avicii (77)
64. My Kind Of Love - Emeli Sande (40)
65. Wasting All These Tears - Cassadee Pope (69)
66. Jubel - Klingande (71)
67. Come To Me - Goo Goo Dolls (67)
68. Safe and Sound - Capital Cities (58)
69. Make A Move - Gavin DeGraw (74)
70. It Goes Like This - Thomas Rhett (57)
71. Booyah - Showtek f/We Are Loud & Sonny Wilson (84)
72. Miss Jackson - Panic! At The Disco f/Lolo (72)
73. Another Is Waiting - The Avett Brothers (75)
74. Slow Down - Selena Gomez (79)
75. Indestructible - Veronica Jensen (80)
76. We Own The Night - The Wanted (98)
77. Of The Night - Bastille (83)
78. Chillin' It - Cole Swindell (78)
79. Crystals - Dank f/jACQ (89)
80. The Monster - Eminem f/Rihanna (85)
81. 365 Days - ZZ Ward (81)
82. Work Bitch - Britney Spears (82)
83. Marry Me - Jason Derulo (87)
84. Battle Born - Five Finger Death Punch (86)
85. Under Control - Calvin Harris & Alesso f/Hurts (95)
86. So Close To Me - Kristine W. (DEBUT)
87. For The Rest Of My Life - Robin Thicke (93)
88. Beg Borrow Steal - Ayah Marar (88)
89. Up All Night - Jon Pardi (DEBUT)
90. Tired - Stone Sour (92)
91. Everybody's Got Somebody But Me - Hunter Hayes f/Jason Mraz (DEBUT)
92. Southern Girl - Tim McGraw (64)
93. Fire We Make - Alicia Keys & Maxwell (91)
94. Hand On Heart - Olly Murs (96)
95. Drink A Beer - Luke Bryan (99)
96. Happy - Pharrell Williams (DEBUT)
97. Compass - Lady Antebellum (DEBUT)
98. Human - Christina Perri (DEBUT)
99. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (DEBUT)
100. Deal With The Devil - Pop Evil (DEBUT)

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

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twostepcubchart's Best of 2013: Part Eight - #30-#21...






We're getting closer to the top of my 2013 recap of the biggest songs to make my personal chart. You can check out the rest of the recap so far by clicking here...

#30 - Maroon 5 - "Love Somebody"
from the album Overexposed (2012)
twostepcubchart peak: #9 (two weeks)
weeks on the chart: 25


People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" and his bandmates doused themselves in paint for their fourth straight top-ten hit on my chart from their fourth album. No one complained.


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Songoftheday 12/27/13 - Make me feel like paradise give me what I'm missing, send me to the highest heights take me up and away...


Stevie Wonder - "Lovelight In Flight"
from the album The Woman In Red (Original Soundtrack) (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #17 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is by R&B legend Stevie Wonder, who was commissioned for the soundtrack to the Gene Wilder flick The Woman In Red in 1984. The first single from the album was Stevie's biggest hit to date, "I Just Called To Say I Love You". As much as that record was treacly sweet, the followup was much better, fusing funk and electrodance into a busily-arranged soul nugget "Lovelight In Flight"....


"Lovelight" reached the top-20 on the American pop chart in February of 1985, while going top-ten on both the R&B (#4) and adult-contemporary (#10) radio formats. Across the pond in England, where "I Just Called..." was the second-biggest selling single in that country (behind "Do They Know It's Christmas?"), this single stalled right under the top-40 at #44. It remains one of my favorite Wonder singles, certainly one of his best of the 80s.

Up tomorrow: The Purple One's reaaaaally devoted.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Aussie Sweep: December 26, 2013...






Hey gang, a day late (from the holiday), but time to head Down Under to check out the songs reaching the official sales chart in Australia this week, as John Legend spends a third week at #1 with "All Of Me"...

The top debut of the week doesn't show up until #45, and it's from the star of the American musical comedy Glee. "Cannonball" is the first solo hit for Lea Michele...


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Kraut Sweep: December 26, 2013...






I'm back with the latest songs to make the official sales chart in Germany this week, as Parisian DJs Faul & Wad Ad score their first #1 hit anywhere with "Changes"...

The top entry of the week is one of two from German electro-rap artist Marteria from the Baltic city of Rostock. His "Kids (2 Finger an Den Kopf)" ("Kids (Two Fingers To The Head)") arrives at #7.


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twostepcubchart's Best of 2013: Part Seven: #40-#31...


Hey gang, I'm up to the top-40 of my year-end recap of the songs that made my weekly personal charts in 2013. You can check out the sixty songs I've gone through so far by clicking here....

#40 - Walk Off The Earth - "Red Hands"
from the album R.E.V.O. (2013)
twostepcubchart peak: #6 (one week)
weeks on the chart: 22


Canadian indie-rock band gets huge following from doing a five-guy-one-guitar version of the biggest song of last year, "Somebody That I Used To Know". Same indie-rock band makes amazing debut album with single that had awesome video. American acceptance ensues.

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Songoftheday 12/26/13 - Doctor, doctor you gotta help me yeah you gotta make it right for me, it seems this other man's name has been following me around...


Rick Springfield - "Bruce"
from the album Beautiful Feelings (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #27 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day is by Australian singer/songwriter/actor Rick Springfield, whose 1984 was busy promoting his movie Hard To Hold, and continuing his successful stint on the ABC television soap opera General Hospital. From the film's soundtrack he scored three top-40 pop hits with "Love Somebody", "Don't Walk Away", and "Bop Til You Drop". In the meantime, Mercury Records (not his label at the time, he was on RCA) acquired the masters for tracks he recorded at the Sound City recording studio in the late 70s, and remixed the vocals with a band the label put together without any input from Rick. Under the title of Beautiful Feelings, the "new" Springfield record was put out at the end of 1984, and as a single the company released a song Rick originally had on the Australian version of Working Class Dog, "Bruce". Playing off his name's similarity to the New Jersey rocker (who also is way bigger now in 1984), "Bruce" capitalized on the break between Rick's albums to put out this as "new" Springfield material, way against Rick's wishes...


"Bruce" made it to the Top-40 in January of 1985, and the album made it to #78 as well. Rick of course disavows the recording, and it's never been on any of his greatest hits album. However, more recently, the originally mixed Sound City recordings have been re-released with the recordings he did in the late 70s with the original band, which is notable in Rick's inclusion in the recent Sound City documentary.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

twostepcub's Jinglemix for 2013....


I'm taking the day off from regular posting, but instead I'll bring in some holiday cheer with the two dozen songs that made my annual Jinglemix for 2013...

1. Ray Parker Jr. - "Christmas Time Is Here"


Yes, I started with a deep track from an early-80's soul/pop star. Cause that's how I roll.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

French Sweep: December 24, 2013...






It's time to cross the Atlantic yet again to check out the songs reaching the official sales chart in France, as Pharrell Williams climbs back to #1 for a second week with "Happy"...

The highest debut of the week at #29 is the first from the New York post-electronic group the Black Soft, and "C B Robo" can thank Diesel for using the song in their ads for its new-found popularity...


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twostepcubchart's Best of 2013: Part Six - #50-#41...






We're crossing the halfway point of my rundown of the 100 biggest songs on my personal chart in 2013. You can check out the previous recaps by clicking here...

#50 - The Band Perry - "DONE."
from the album Pioneer (2013)
twostepcubchart peak: #4 (three weeks)
weeks on the chart: 18


The first of the Band Perry's two songs on my recap is an awesome kiss-off from the trio to her about to be dumped lover. Kimberly definitely showed a different and feisty side with this record, and it a great counterpoint to the song coming up soon.

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Songoftheday 12/24/13 - And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy, throw your arms around the world at Christmastime...


Band Aid - "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
from the single (1984)
also appearing on the compilation Now That's What I Call Christmas (2001)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day was a milestone for the way that the music business would lend a hand to charitable causes. After a British news investigation on the plight of starving people in the war and drought-ravaged country of Ethiopia was aired, Irish singer Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats and Scotsman Midge Ure of Ultravox put together an all-star lineup of mostly British recording artists (plus Americans Kool & The Gang and Jody Watley) on the fly to record a song they quickly had written for a single to benefit the African nation's hungry, under the moniker "Band Aid".  With 24 hours of free recording time donated to tape "Do They Know It's Christmas?", Geldof and Ure (the latter producing the song) with Paul Young, Simon LeBon of Duran Duran, Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet, Sting of the Police, Boy George of Culture Club, and Bono from U2 (providing the song's most heartfelt moment, before his own band became superstars), among others, laid down the verses, so Ure could pick the best lines from each singer.

With a media blitz for the project, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was released four days after the tracks were recorded in November of 1984. With all the monies going to charity (after a fight with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher over taxes initially taken on the record, one of the many shitty things she'll be remembered for), the single became the fastest selling record in British history. The video was taken from the recording sessions for the track (of course hiding the cocaine and booze needed by the artists...)


"Do They Know It's Christmas" entered the British charts at #1, selling over a million copies in its first week. It stayed on top for a total of five weeks. In American where the Billboard Hot 100 was compiled from both radio airplay and sales, even though the song sold well over the competition, it only managed to make it to the top-20.

But Band Aid's impact went way beyond a Christmas novelty single. With proof that people will give money towards a musical benefit release, other charity records and events followed, including USA For Africa's "We Are The World", the crowd-involvement stunt "Hands Across America", and most of all Live Aid, where two concerts from Philadelphia and London were televised around the world to raise money like a telethon. And every benefit record since can trace its roots to this simple and immediate call to arms to fight against hunger during the world's most "giving" time of year.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Robbed Hit of the Week 12/23/13 - Billy Idol's "Catch My Fall"...


Billy Idol - "Catch My Fall"
from the album Rebel Yell (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #50

This week's "robbed hit" is by punk rocker turned pop star Billy Idol, whose 1983 album Rebel Yell's first single, the title track, was a 'robbed hit' on my blog back in July. However, his follow-up single, the part ballad part throwdown "Eyes Without A Face", became his first top-10 pop hit in the US in 1984. The third release, "Flesh For Fantasy", also made it in the top-40.

For his fourth single from Rebel Yell, Idol went with the more mellow "Catch My Fall" (written by Idol with guitarist Steve Stevens), which sported a video that played off of his debonair vocals on the record to give the exact opposite image...


"Catch My Fall" went to the halfway mark on the pop chart in America in December of 1984, while scaling to #24 on the rock radio format. Internationally, the single made it just outside the top-10 at #11 in Germany, while not reaching the chart in Idol's native England until 1988, where it stalled at #63.  It's a shame, the record was a good mark of his versatility as a singer, as one of the few punk artists who could credibly carry a mainstream rock song.


twostepcubchart's Best of 2013: Part Five - #60-#51...






We're up to the fifth installment of my recap of the biggest songs on my weekly personal chart this year....you can also check out part one, two, three, and four if you haven't yet...

#60 - Luke Bryan - "That's My Kind Of Night"
from the album Crash My Party (2013)
twostepcubchart peak: #2 (two weeks)
weeks on the chart: 16


The second of Luke's two songs on my countdown, this one was pretty polarizing, with his references to T-Pain and reliance on cliche, but hey, I don't listen to country radio (or any radio) anymore anyway, so I didn't have to be inundated with the testosterone tsunami that format was getting. Hell, this is a fun track that makes a great two-step dance. So there. He does need to work on the nasality, he's full-on young Jim Nabors here.

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Songoftheday 12/23/13 - In my life there's been heartache and pain I don't know if I can face it again, can't stop now I've traveled so far to change this lonely life...


Foreigner - "I Want To Know What Love Is"
from the album Agent Provocateur (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's Song of the Day is by the British/American arena rock band Foreigner, who I last covered with their 1982 top-40 hit "Break It Up", the fourth single from their 4 album. After a tour behind the album and a greatest hits set that year, the band was out of sight for two years before releasing their fifth album Agent Provocateur at the tail end of 1984. The first single released from the set was the power-ballad "I Want To Know What Love Is", one of the two tracks on the album solely credited to guitarist Mick Jones. Its building crescendo was aided by the help of producer Alex Sadkin (Thompson Twins, Duran Duran), who may have been the one to nab TT member Tom Bailey, as well as background vocals from the New Jersey Mass Choir and Broadway star Jennifer Holliday. In the end the record seemed more a hymn than a pop song...



"I Want To Know What Love Is" reached the top of the singles chart in both America and Britain in February of 1985, while also making the summit on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart as well. The ballad also went to #3 on the adult-contemporary (easy-listening) format, and even crossed over to R&B stations, making it to #40 on the R&B chart.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Brit Sweep: December 22, 2013...


Hey gang, it's time to head across the pond to the UK to check out the new songs making the official sales chart this week. This week is the coveted "Christmas Week" chart, where there always is a race to see who'd be #1. In the past couple of years, there's been campaigns to bring back old songs to the top mostly to piss off Simon Cowell and keep his X Factor winner from going to the top. It's worked before, when Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name" topped the list, while a more appropriate entry from the Military Wives also kept the X Factor out of the top spot (for at least a week). This year, although campaigns on Facebook for AC/DC's "Highway To Hell" and Altern-8's "Activ-8 (Come With Me)" to reach the top, in the end they were no match for 35-year-old prison guard Sam Bailey from Leicester, who took the tenth X Factor crown with her cover of Demi Lovato's "Skyscraper". The record is a benefit for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Demi's original made it to #7 last year, and reenters the chart at #37 this week..



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Album Sweep: December 28, 2013...


I'm ready with my weekly "album sweep" sampling the records making their first appearance on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums chart. As always, I've included links to buy anything if possible, but please, give an independent record store some Christmas cheer...(since there's only 14 debut, I'll keep it in one post this week)...

The top-selling album of the week by far is the "stealth" release by R&B singer Beyonce of her self-titled fifth studio album, selling over six hundred thousand copies exclusively on iTunes. All five of her albums have topped the album chart, the last being 4 in 2011. Amazon started offering it digitally on Friday, but many retailers, including Target, refuse to sell it in protest of the deal with iTunes...



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Songoftheday 12/22/13 - I don't know what you've got but it plays with my emotions I want you so much...


Billy Ocean - "Loverboy"
from the album Suddenly (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day is by Trinidadian singer Billy Ocean, who got his big break in America in 1984 with his #1 single "Caribbean Queen". He followed up that "Billie Jean" clone with a single I loved much better at the time, "Loverboy". The electrofunk pop tune was written by the singer with producers Mutt Lange and Keith Diamond, and sported a video that cribbed from the cantina scene from Star Wars...


"Loverboy" became Billy's second top-10 hit in America in February of 1985, while also topping the dance club play chart as well as going to #20 on the R&B chart in Billboard. Internationally, the single made it to #6 in Canada, #7 in Australia and New Zealand, and top-20 in Germany and Britain.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dance Sweep: December 28, 2013...






I'm ready to bring to the last of today's "chart sweeps" of the songs making the charts in Billboard magazine, and I'll wrap things up with the latest dance songs in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Hot Dance Club Play chart, the late great Donna Summer returns to #1 with the re-work of her "MacArthur Park"...

Lady Gaga owns the highest debut of the week at #40 with "Do What U Want" with R. Kelly...


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Country Sweep: December 28, 2013...


The fourth installment of today's "chart sweeps" sampling the songs making their way on to Billboard magazine's radio charts is here, with the latest country tracks on the airwaves...

On the Hot Country Airplay chart, the Eli Young Band grab their third #1 hit with "Drunk Last Night"...

The top entry at #48 is newcomer Charlie Worsham with "Want Me Too". It follows "Could It Be", which made it to #13 earlier this year...


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Soul Sweep: December 28, 2013...


We're up to the "hump" of today's "chart sweeps" sampling the songs reaching the charts in Billboard magazine this week, and this time I'm serving the latest R&B songs on the radio.

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Drake makes it ten weeks at #1 with "Hold On, We're Going Home" with Majid Jordan...

As Beyonce' stealth-released her latest self-titled album, a track from the set, "Drunk In Love" with husband Jay-Z, is the top debut this week at #48, and my "Soul Pick of the Week". It's her fifth collab with Jay to make the R&B chart - they topped the list for "Crazy In Love" and "Deja Vu"...


One rung under that at #49 is rapper Sage The Gemini with "Gas Pedal" featuring IamSu! The single had already reached the top-40 on the pop chart...


Meanwhile, on the older-skewing Adult R&B radio panel, Toni Braxton & Babyface spend a third week on top with "Hurt You", and there on no songs debuting on the chart....

I'll return in 90 with the latest country songs on the radio... Groove on!





Rock Sweep: December 28, 2013...


Round two of today's "chart sweeps" is up, sampling the songs making the charts in Billboard magazine, and now I'm up to the latest rock songs on the radio.

On the main Rock Airplay chart, Cage the Elephant spends a sixth week on top with "Come A Little Closer"...

The highest of the two entries at #46 is the fourth single from Las Vegas modern rock band Imagine Dragons' debut album Night Visions, "On Top Of The World"...


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Pop Sweep: December 28, 2013...


Hey gang, it's time to kick off the first of today's "chart sweeps" sampling the songs making the various weekly music charts in Billboard magazine, and as always I'll begin with the pop side of things...

On the "big chart", Billboard's Hot 100, which combines sales, radio airplay, and internet streaming, Eminem and Rihanna spend a second week at #1 with "The Monster"...

The top debut is the tenth and final "Music Mondays" single from Justin Bieber, as "Confident" with Chance the Rapper enters at #41 (yes, right under the top-40). The first three of the ten did reach the top-40, with "Heartbreaker" going to #13...


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Songoftheday 12/21/13 - when the moon hung soft and low catchin' stardust in the light, you held me closer and closer there was magic in the night...


John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band - "Tender Years"
from the album Eddie and the Cruisers (Original Soundtrack) (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #31 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's song of the day is by the Rhode Island bar band John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, who were commissioned to provide the music for the film Eddie and the Cruisers. When the underperforming movie was shown on cable TV, it became a cult classic, with renewed interest in the soundtrack scored them a top-ten pop single with "On The Dark Side". Building on that success, they re-released the follow-up single, "Tender Years", which originally made it to #78 in 1984 on its first release. With a sound perfectly aping Bruce Springsteen's early work (complete with sax solo), and Bruce with his "Born in the USA" success garnering interest, it was a natch for radio...


"Tender Years" made it to the top-40 on the American pop chart in its second run in January of 1985, while reaching #10 on the rock radio list as well.

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