Sunday, June 30, 2013

Brit Sweep: June 30, 2013...


Hey blogettes, I'm back from Pride in NYC and ready to check out the songs making the Official Sales Chart in Britain just released this afternoon.

After weeks of copycat versions of Icona Pop's "I Love It" reaching the charts here, the real thing gets into UK stores and debuts up at #1 (another phony version by the New Music Masters comes in at #61).....


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Album Sweep: July 6, 2013 - Part One...






It's time to kick off this week's "album sweep" of the new records making their way on to the Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine. As usual, I've included links to buy anything if possible, but if you can, please stop by an independent record store and show some love...

The top-selling album of the week is by new father Kanye West, whose sixth solo studio album Yeezus sold over three hundred thousand copies. It's his sixth #1 album (including his collaboration set with Jay-Z). His only one to miss was his debut The College Dropout (which still topped out at #2)...



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Songoftheday 6/30/13 - I have a picture pinned to my wall, an image of you and of me and we're laughing we're loving it all...


Thompson Twins - "Hold Me Now"
from the album Into The Gap (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day is by the British new-wave trio Thompson Twins, who had their big break in 1983 with their first top-40 hit "Lies". After securing a sweet spot opening for the Police on their tour in the States, the group recorded their fourth album Into The Gap. The first single was a big change in sound from their earlier dance-pop fare. "Hold Me Now" sounded expansive with a slower rhythm punctuated by vaguely African percussive sounds. Written by the group and produced by Alex Sadkin with singer Tom Bailey, the record would be their big moment....


"Hold Me Now" became the trio's first top-10 hit on the pop chart in America, and their third to top the dance chart in this country. Internationally, the single went top-10 in England, Canada, Australia, and Germany. And most of all, it put the band at least in the B-list of the horde of new-wave bands at the time (just behind A-listers like Culture Club and Duran Duran).

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dance Sweep: July 6, 2013...






Welcome back to the last of today's "chart sweeps" checking out the new songs making the charts in Billboard magazine, and I'll close things out with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio.

On the DJ-polled Hot Dance Club Play chart, former Disney queen Demi Lovato moves to #1 with "Heart Attack"...

The top debut belongs to singer Plumb, a Christian music artist who has had a lot of success in the clubs, reaching the top-5 three times, and going to #1 with "Hang On". She's back at #40 with "Need You Now (How Many Times)"...


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Country Sweep: July 6, 2013...


It's time for the fourth installment of today's "chart sweeps" of the new music making the radio charts in Billboard magazine, and now I'm up to the latest on country radio.

On the Hot Country Airplay chart, Jake Owen claims his fourth consecutive #1 hit with "Anywhere With You"...

The top entry at #52 is American Idol season one champ Kelly Clarkson with her new non-album single, "Tie It Up". It's her fourth to reach the country chart so far...it's my "Country Pick of the Week"...


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Soul Sweep: July 6, 2013...


Hey gang, I'm up to the 'hump' of this week's "chart sweeps" sampling the new records making the weekly charts in Billboard magazine. This time out I'm up to the latest on R&B radio...

On the main R&B/HipHop Airplay chart, J. Cole takes over the top spot with "Power Trip". It's his first #1 hit here...He also has reason to celebrate since his "Crooked Smile" featuring TLC is the top debut at #39. It's TLC's first time on the chart since 2004's "Come Get Some" from their greatest hits set...this new one is my "Soul Pick of the Week" ...(NSFW)


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Rock Sweep: July 6, 2013...



Round two of today's "chart sweeps" of the latest songs reaching the radio charts at Billboard magazine is upon us, and now I've got the newest on rock radio...

On the composite Hot Rock Airplay chart, Imagine Dragons seem unstoppable as they reign for a 17th week with "Radioactive"...

The top entry at #44 is French modern rock band Phoenix with their top-20 alternative hit "Trying To Be Cool"...


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Pop Sweep: July 6, 2013...


Hey folks, it's time to kick off today's five-part "chart sweeps" sampling the songs reaching the radio singles charts in Billboard magazine this week. As always, I'll start off with the pop charts, then throughout the day move on to rock, R&B, country, and dance.

On the "big" chart Billboard's Hot 100, Robin Thicke along with T.I. and Pharrell party at #1 for a third week with "Blurred Lines"...

The top entry of the week belongs to pop/rock outfit OneRepublic, who race in at #32 with the third single (and second top-40 hit) from their third studio album Native, "Counting Stars". In all, the Denver-based group has reached the top-40 a lucky seven times now, including a #2 with their first single "Apologize" with Timbaland...


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Songoftheday 6/29/13 - Don’t crack up bend your brain, see both sides throw off your mental chains...


Howard Jones - "New Song"
from the album Human's Lib (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #27 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day was the first hit for singer and keyboardist Howard Jones, who grew up in Wales,England, and Canada, before resettling in England, where he began performing with mime Jed Hoile. Signed in 1983, Jones released his debut album Human's Lib, and for the first single, he kept his mime companion in tow for the video for the intricate synth melodies of "New Song". I was always fascinated by the overlapping riffs in the instrumental break of the song...


"New Song" became his first American top-40 pop hit in March of 1984, while the record was the first of a half-dozen top-10 singles in Britain. It also made the top-20 in Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

twostepcub's music chart for June 28, 2013...






Hey gang....it's the end of the week, and time to post my top 100 tunes from the last week. There's a new #1 as Daft Punk climb to the top, while Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell Williams (pictured above) jump into the top-10. Songs by Bex, Maroon 5, and the Mowgli's make the biggest moves (jumps of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits by Tegan & Sara, the Lumineers, and Alexis Jordan drop out. Happy Pride weekend everyone!

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Get Lucky - Daft Punk f/Pharrell Williams (2)
2. Can't Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/Ray Dalton (1)
3. Mirrors - Justin Timberlake (3)
4. Safe And Sound - Capital Cities (6)
5. I Love It - Icona Pop f/Charli XCX (7)
6. Lego House - Ed Sheeran (4)
7. Next To Me - Emeli Sande (5)
8. Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke f/T.I. & Pharrell Williams (12)
9. DONE. - The Band Perry (13)
10. Brave - Sara Bareilles (14)
11. Panic Station - Muse (11)
12. Just Give Me A Reason - Pink f/Nate Ruess (8)
13. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons (9)
14. Gone, Gone, Gone - Phillip Phillips (10)
15. Stompa - Serena Ryder (15)
16. My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark - Fall Out Boy (20)
17. I Need Your Love - Calvin Harris f/Ellie Goulding (17)
18. Demons - Imagine Dragons (19)
19. Red Hands - Walk Off The Earth (23)
20. Love And War - Tamar Braxton (18)
21. Mountain Sound - Of Monsters And Men (21)
22. Sweater Weather - The Neighbourhood (26)
23. People Like Us - Kelly Clarkson (36)
24. Play Hard - David Guetta f/Ne-Yo & Akon (32)
25. Carry On - fun. (25)
26. Troublemaker - Olly Murs f/Flo Rida (16)
27. Stay - Rihanna f/Mikky Ekko (27)
28. Up In The Air - 30 Minutes To Mars (28)
29. When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars (24)
30. Treasure - Bruno Mars (41)
31. Hold On - NERVO (38)
32. Heart Attack - Demi Lovato (34)
33. More Than Miles - Brantley Gilbert (35)
34. Let There Be Love - Christina Aguilera (30)
35. Highway Don't Care - Tim McGraw f/Taylor Swift & Keith Urban (37)
36. Alive - Krewella (22)
37. Clarity - Zedd f/Foxes (33)
38. Daylight - Maroon 5 (31)
39. Get Up (Rattle) - Bingo Players f/Far East Movement (39)
40. Wagon Wheel - Darius Rucker (29)
41. Anywhere With You - Jake Owen (46)
42. Glowing - Nikki Williams (40)
43. Beat This Summer - Brad Paisley (47)
44. Heartbeat - Tony Moran f/Deborah Cooper (56)
45. Crash My Party - Luke Bryan (49)
46. Out Of My League - Fitz & The Tantrums (58)
47. Love Somebody - Maroon 5 (62)
48. San Francisco - The Mowgli's (63)
49. Get Your Shine On - Florida Georgia Line (48)
50. This Is Our Love - Sophi (50)
51. Jump Right In - The Zac Brown Band (59)
52. Cruise - Florida Georgia Line f/Nelly (60)
53. 22 - Taylor Swift (53)
54. Carried Away - Passion Pit (44)
55. Like Jesus Does - Eric Church (55)
56. Let Her Go - Passenger (61)
57. Lolita - Leah LaBelle (57)
58. What You Are - Bex (88)
59. Downtown - Lady Antebellum (54)
60. Mama's Broken Heart - Miranda Lambert (42)
61. Hero - Family Of The Year (43)
62. Hey Pretty Girl - Kip Moore (66)
63. Feel This Moment - Pitbull f/Christina Aguilera (45)
64. I Can't Wait - Namy & Barbara Tucker (64)
65. Here's To Never Growing Up - Avril Lavigne (67)
66. I Want Crazy - Hunter Hayes (76)
67. See You Again - Carrie Underwood (77)
68. Fire We Make - Alicia Keys & Maxwell (78)
69. Should've Gone To Bed - Plain White T's (73)
70. Harlem - New Politics (74)
71. Come & Get It - Selena Gomez (85)
72. The Best Of Me - Anthony Hamilton (72)
73. Adorn - Miguel (71)
74. I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like) - Michael Franti & Spearhead (84)
75. Rebel Beat - Goo Goo Dolls (75)
76. Dear Darlin' - Olly Murs (86)
77. Our Song - Matchbox Twenty (79)
78. Hangman's Bodycount - Volbeat (82)
79. This Is What It Feels Like - Armin van Buuren f/Trevor Guthrie (83)
80. I'll Follow You - Shinedown (81)
81. All Over The Road - Easton Corbin (89)
82. Cups (When I'm Gone) - Anna Kendrick (87)
83. Surrender - Bouvier & Barona f/Abigail (DEBUT)
84. This Is My Goodbye - Antoine Clamaran (DEBUT)
85. Runnin' Outta Moonlight - Randy Houser (DEBUT)
86. Recovery - Frank Turner (92)
87. Breezeblocks - Alt-J (94)
88. Boys 'Round Here - Blake Shelton & Friends (90)
89. Bruises - Train f/Ashley Monroe (DEBUT)
90. Lose To Win - Fantasia (91)
91. It's A Beautiful Day - Michael Buble (96)
92. Stone - Alice In Chains (100)
93. Apollo - Hardwell f/Amba Shepherd (93)
94. La La La - Naughty Boy f/Sam Smith (98)
95. Don't Ya - Brett Eldredge (DEBUT)
96. Little Bit Of Everything - Keith Urban (DEBUT)
97. The Way - Ariana Grande f/Mac Miller (DEBUT)
98. Mission Bells - Matt Nathanson (DEBUT)
99. Bella - Maitre Gims (DEBUT)
100. Walks Like Rihanna - The Wanted (DEBUT)

There are ten new singles on my chart this week (highlighted in blue),  and if you click on any of them you will click over to their offiical website. And here they are after the break...

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Songoftheday 6/28/13 - Afternoon in the homeroom, they're about to let you go, and the locker slams on the plans you had tonight...


Daryl Hall & John Oates - "Adult Education"
from the album Rock N' Soul Part 1 (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day is by the 80's biggest pop duo, Hall & Oates, who put out their first "greatest hits" set in the fall of 1983. After the first single "Say It Isn't So" reached the #2 spot on the American pop chart, the duo released the other new track from the album, "Adult Education". Written by Hall & Oates with Sara Allen (namesake of "Sara Smile"), the song dealt with peer pressure and image control in high school, while the video went a different way, with crazy only-on-MTV images but at least a barechested (well in a jacket) Oates...


"Adult Education" spent a month in the top-10 on the pop chart, while reaching the top-30 on both the dance club and rock radio charts in April of 1984. It even made the R&B chart, maxing out at #50.  It was big in England, peaking at #2 on their singles charts - one of their four songs to do so (they never had a #1 hit in the UK).

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

8 of the 80s: 6/27/13 (1981)...


Hey gang - it's time for another throwback to the 80's, and now I've got eight more nuggets from 1981, the year the Centers for Disease Control reported that five men in Los Angeles have a rare form of pneumonia (later to be diagnosed as AIDS)...

Kool & The Gang - "Celebration"
from the album Celebrate! (1980)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Robert Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown, Robert Mickens, Claydes Smith, James JT Taylor, Dennis Thomas, Earl Toon, Eumir Deodato


In this week's bittersweet Supreme Court victories with DOMA and Prop 8 mixed with the decimation of the Voting Rights Act, we gotta take what we can get.

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7 of the 70s: 6/27/13 (1971)...


Hey gang, it's time for another throwback to the 70s, and this time I'm back to 1971, the year the US ended its trade embargo with China. In honor of a true hero, Texas state senator Wendy Davis, here's some songs about women (and a stray man)...

Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose - "Treat Her Like A Lady"
from the album Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose (1972)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3
Songwriter: Eddie Cornelius


This family act teaches the gospel on how to act. Like anyone needs lessons.

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Songoftheday 6/27/13 - I heard you're asking how I'm feeling I guess I'll play it day by day...


.38 Special - "Back Where You Belong"
from the album Tour De Force (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day is by the Southern rock group .38 Special, who began 1984 with a successful sixth studio album which already spun off a top-20 pop hit with "If I'd Been The One".  For their followup they released the equally infectious "Back Where You Belong". Written by Gary O'Connor, the song is chock full of harmonies and power-chords and a comical music video to boot...


"Back Where You Belong" became the band's second top-20 pop hit from the album in March of 1984, though surprisingly didn't make the rock radio list.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Aussie Sweep: June 26, 2013....


Hey gang - it's time to go Down Under to check out the new songs reaching the charts in Australia this week, as Robin Thicke checks in to the top spot for a seventh week with "Blurred Lines"...

The Australian version of The Voice ended on June 17th, and while the final bunch of performances are coming up, the big winners (of course) are the coaches, as two of the Voice mentors debut inside the top-10, boosted by their performances on the finals. First up at #3 is Ricky Martin, with his new single "Come With Me". It's his first top-10 hit since 2001's "Nobody Wants To Be Lonely"; he's topped the charts here with "Maria" in 1995 and "La Copa De la Vida (The Cup Of Life)" in 1998...


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6 of the 60s: 6/26/13 (1961)...


Hey gang, it's hump day, and time to shuffle out another half-dozen nuggets from the 60s. This week I'm back to 1961, the year John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev meet at the Vienna summit.

Chris Kenner - "I Like It Like That"
from the album Land Of 1000 Dances (1966)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2
Songwriters: Chris Kenner, Allen Toussaint


New Orleans soul man had a hit with this record eventually covered by the Dave Clark Five, but didn't have a regular album release before his untimely death in 1968.

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Songoftheday 6/26/13 - And it's underneath the moonlight passing some, still your heart beats in the moonlight Like a drum...


Manfred Mann's Earth Band - "Runner"
from the album Somewhere In Afrika (US) (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #22 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day is by Manfred Mann's Earth Band, the British progressive rock group evolved from the 60's British Invasion band named for its leader Manfred Mann. Manfred (his original surname is Lubowitz), a keyboardist born and raised in South Africa, moved to England at the beginning of the 60s. Putting together a group with singer Paul Jones and drummer Mike Hugg, Manfred Mann (the band) got their first break in England with the single "5-4-3-2-1" (the theme to an ITV pop music show Ready Steady Go!) which went to #5 in 1964. Their second EP in the UK, Groovin' With Manfred Mann, came later that year, and with a little "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" they became a worldwide sensation, reaching #1 in the UK, Canada and America.

Manfred Mann went on to have eleven more top-10 hits in Britain, including another two that went to #1 - "Pretty Flamingo" and "Mighty Quinn", the latter written by Bob Dylan and signalling how far their sound has evolved. The band finally disbanded in 1969, with Manfred assembling a new group meant to be more roots-rock based (hence the "Earth Band"). With a progressive edge, the group released their self-titled debut album in 1972, including a minor US hit from the year prior, a cover of Randy Newman's  "Living Without You".

With new lead singer Chris Thompson, the band recorded a couple of covers from then-rising star Bruce Springsteen, and their version of his "Blinded By The Light" became a #1 pop single in the US and Canada (and #6 in England) in 1977. They followed with another Bruce cover, "Spirits In The Night", which went top-40.

While the band's radio success was meager for quite a while, but in 1982 the band recorded a record with Africans playing native instruments. The result, Somewhere In Afrika (inspired by Mann's denial of admittance by the South African government), was a critical success. After that release in Europe, the band recorded a one-off single that would be used for the broadcasts of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. That song, "Runner", was written by Canadian musician Ian Thomas (Santana's "Hold On") and produced by the band. It was a tight, fine piece of accessible mainstream rock that brought the band back to American radio...


"Runner" reached the top-40 on the American and Canadian pop chart in March of 1984, while it would be a huge hit on rock radio, staying at #3 for three weeks.  It would be attached to the American version of the band's Somewhere In Afrika album, and would be their final chart appearance, with their latest album 2006 arriving in 2004. They did manage one more rock hit in the followup US only track "Rebel", which reached #15 on that format.

Up tomorrow: Southern rock heroes return fittingly.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kraut Sweep: June 25. 2013...






Welcome back to this week's recap of the new songs making the official sales chart in Germany this week, as Robin Thicke holds on to the top spot for a second week with "Blurred Lines"...

Not a lot of big records coming out this week, and the top debut is found way down at #56. Australian electronic-pop duo Empire Of The Sun come in with "Alive". It's surprising since this country was their biggest success as "We Are The People" went to #1 in 2008...


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French Sweep: June 25, 2013...


Hey gang, it's time again to cross the ocean to check out the new songs making the official sales charts in France this week, as Robin Thicke holds on to #1 for a second week with "Blurred Lines"...

It's a slow week on the charts here, as the highest debut is down at #53. It's actress/singer Cecile Cassel, who performs under the name HollySiz, with "Come Back To Me". It's her first to make the top-100...


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Songoftheday 6/25/13 - Let me be the one you come running to, I'll never be untrue...


Tina Turner - "Let's Stay Together"
from the album Private Dancer (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #26 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day is by the wigged and legged wonder of the world, Tina Turner, who was famously born in Nutbush, Tennessee in 1939. After moving to St. Louis, she hooked up romantically and professionally with Ike Turner, and a productive but tumultuous partnership. Their first single, "A Fool In Love", became a top-40 pop/#2 R&B hit in 1960. They went on to place five more songs in the top-40, with their frenetic reading of "Proud Mary"  reaching #4 in 1971. However, Ike's abuse of cocaine and his wife destroyed the act, leaving Tina to divorce him in 1976. The break cost her, as she was held responsible for concert dates and taxes missed.

Tina's solo turn actually started while she was still married to Ike, and her first solo album was a collection of country songs that didn't produce any radio hits. Her sophomore effort, Acid Queen in 1975, contained a collaboration with Ike that made the pop & R&B charts, "Baby Get It On", while the followup, a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love", was her first solo ink in Billboard, making the R&B chart.

Even though her albums weren't selling as much nor being played on the radio, Turner's reputation as a stellar live act was growing. With benefactors like Ray Davies, Rod Stewart, and the Rolling Stones, who Tina toured with in 1982, her exposure was catching the eye of the A-list musical world. After David Bowie got her signed to Capitol. Her first project paired her with Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of the Human League spinoff group Heaven 17, as they produced her cover of an Al Green classic.

"Let's Stay Together" was the title track to Green's fourth studio album in 1972, and became his first #1 (and top-10) pop hit that same year.


Tina's version was just as soulful but counted on updated new-wave-friendly production from the Heaven 17 boys and a barebones video that still has the focus on her and needs no more...


Her cover became Turner's first solo top-40 pop hit in March of 1984. It also went up to #3 on the R&B chart, and topped the dance club play list in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single went top-10 in the UK, France, Spain, Holland, and New Zealand. More importantly, it kickstarted her career, and only became the beginning of the string of hits from her classic Private Dancer set. And as cheesy as the video is, her cover is one of the classiest such recordings of the 80s.

Up tomorrow: The L.A. Olympics get rockin' courtesy of a veteran Brit Invasion band  Outrageous.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Robbed Hit of the Week 6/24/13: Patti LaBelle's "If Only You Knew"...


Patti LaBelle - "If Only You Knew"
from the album I'm In Love Again (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" is by the R&B vocal legend Patti Labelle, a Philadelphia native that started out as frontwoman for a group the Bluebelles. Their big break in 1962 was "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman", which made the top-20 on the pop and R&B chart. Patti, whose real surname is Holt, changed her recording last name to LaBelle, and together they had a couple more top-40 hits as Patti LaBelle and her Blue Belles.

After shortening their name to LaBelle and changing their musical style from girl-group to a rock/soul hybrid, the trio (Labelle along with Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash) put out a few well-reviewed but insufficiently selling album before a little song about a whore brought them to the top of the charts in 1974. "Lady Marmalade", with its seductive French-language hook, and eventually would land in the Grammy Hall of Fame. After a lack of followup pop success, Patti left the group, and released her self-titled debut solo album in 1977. From the set the first single "Joy To Have Your Love" (co-written by Ray Parker Jr.) became her first solo top-40 R&B hit, while another track from the set, "Dan Swit Me", reached the dance club chart top-40. On her third release, It's Alright With Me, Patti went top-10 on the "Disco" chart with "Music Is My Way Of Life".

The 80's found Patti having some minor R&B hits, including a top-20 collaboration with Grover Washington Jr. on "The Best Is Yet To Come" in 1982. The following year, she put out her sixth solo album I'm In Love Again. The first single released from the effort, the ballad "If Only You Knew", was written and produced by Philly soul producing powerhouse Kenneth Gamble along with Cynthia Biggs and Dexter Wensel, and finally got LaBelle back on pop radio...


While "If Only You Knew" went to #1 on the R&B charts, it stopped just under the top-40 in the new-wave and rock-inundated pop chart. The album did go on to sell over a half million copies, and paved the way for her upcoming pop success later in the eighties.

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Album Sweep: June 29, 2013 - Part Two...


Hey gang, it's time for round two of this week's "Album Sweep" sampling the records spending their first week on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums chart. You can check out part one by clicking here, and as before I've included links to buy anything you like if possible.

As the first part started of heavy with Black Sabbath, so does part two, as "melodic death metal" outfit Children Of Bodom come in at #54 with Halo Of Blood. They are one of the biggest rock acts in their native Finland, where they have topped the album chart four times; in America, they have one top-40 record so far with 2008's Blooddrunk...(NSFW)


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Songoftheday 6/24/13 - We got the message I heard it on the airwaves, the politicians are now DJs...


Re-Flex - "The Politics Of Dancing"
from the album The Politics Of Dancing (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #24 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's Song of the Day is by the British new-wave band Re-Flex, who came together in the beginning of the 80's under singer (John) Baxter and keyboardist Paul Fishman. After a few backing lineup changes, including two members leaving who would eventually join Level 42, the group released their debut album The Politics Of Dancing in 1983. The title track, written by Fishman and produced by Roxy Music studio whiz John Punter, became the band's first and biggest hit...


"The Politics Of Dancing" reached the top-40 in America in March of 1984 as well as their native Britain, and was a huge success in Canada, reaching their top-10 at #9. While the song spent just five weeks on the US top-40, is was on the Hot 100 for over five months. It also went up to #8 on the Dance Club chart in Billboard and #19 on the rock radio chart.

It would be the band's last time in the top-40. A follow-up single, "Hurt", was a minor hit in the US, while a couple more singles scraped the top-100 in Britain ("Couldn't Stand A Day" and "Praying To The Beat"). They attempted to release a second album, with a leadoff single featuring Sting ("How Much Longer") that didn't get play anywhere but Germany, the group went on hiatus from recording, though you can still get the excellent debut album and other work from their own website (where I bought the CD from them directly)...

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Brit Sweep: June 23, 2013...






Hey gang, I'm back from the big city and under the "super moon" I'm ready to take a trip across the Atlantic to check out the new songs making the top-100 singles chart in the United Kingdom this week, as Robin Thicke commands a fourth week on top with "Blurred Lines"...

The top entry at #2 is American R&B singer Jason Derulo with "The Other Side". He's done really well in this country, as this is his sixth top-10 hit. He went to #1 in 2009 with "In My Head" and again two years later with "Don't Wanna Go Home"...


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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Album Sweep: June 29, 2013 - Part One....


Hey gang, it's time to kick off the first half of this week's "album sweep" of the records spending their first week on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums chart. As always, I've included links to buy anything if possible, but if you can, stop by an independent record store.

The top-selling record of the week belongs to a seminal heavy metal group that waited over 42 years to get their first #1 album. Before now, Black Sabbath's previous high was 1971's Master Of Reality, which went to #8. The trio of Tommy Iommi, Geezer Butler, and singer/clown Ozzy Osbourne have not been on a studio album together since Never Say Die in 1978. The new set titled 13 (even though it's the 19th studio set under the BS name) sold over 150 thousand copies in its first week...



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Songoftheday 6/23/13 - Look what you're doin' to me I'm utterly at your whim all of my defenses down...


The Pointer Sisters - "Automatic"
from the album Break Out (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the top-40: 14

Today's song of the day is by the soul siblings the Pointer Sisters, who released their tenth studio album Break Out at the end of 1983. The first single released from the set, the midtempo seductive R&B of "I Need You", failed to reach the top-40 (though it was a big R&B/dance hit). Their follow-up single was much more upbeat, and spotlighted sister Ruth's low-end vocals on "Automatic". Written by Mark Goldenberg and Brock Walsh, "Automatic"'s almost Chic-like guitar riffs and bubbly synth work typified Richard Perry's pop/soul production...

Pointer Sister - Automatic (original clip) HD by papafonk ..

."Automatic" returned the trio to the top of the pop charts, becoming their fourth top-10 pop in the US in April of 1984. It also claimed the runner-up spot on both the dance and R&B charts, while scraping the adult-contemporary chart at #36. Internationally, the single went top-10 in Britain (at #2, their biggest hit), Belgium, Holland, and Ireland, where it topped the charts. It also served to "jump start" the Sisters' career, and be the first of four top-10 hits from the Break Out album...

The song would also reward the Pointer Sisters with a Grammy Award for Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices in 1985...

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Dance Sweep: June 29, 2013...





It's time to wrap up today's five-part "chart sweeps" of the latest songs to make the Billboard magazine singles charts, and now I'm up to the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ polled Hot Dance Club Play chart, Kelly Clarkson climbs to #1 with "People Like Us". It's her fourth straight non-country single to top the chart...

The top debut at #44 is Canadian dance-pop act Audio Playground with "You Never Know", featuring the remonikered Snoop Lion. Two years ago they made the top-10 here with "Famous"...


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Country Sweep: June 29, 2013...


Part four of this week's "chart sweeps" are up, checking out the latest songs making the radio charts at Billboard magazine, and this time I've got the newest on country radio...

On the Hot Country Airplay chart, Blake Shelton racks up a 14th #1 hit on the chart (and ninth consecutive) with "Boys 'Round Here"...

Barreling in at #26 (meaning somebody probably paid someone off) is Toby Keith with his latest, "Drinks After Work". He hopes to add to his collection of 20 #1 hits...


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Soul Sweep: June 29, 2013...






We're up to the "hump" of this week's five-part "chart sweeps" sampling the songs making the radio charts in Billboard magazine, and I've got the newest R&B songs on the radio for ya...

On the main R&B/HipHop Airplay chart, rapper Wale holds on to #1 for an eighth week with "Bad"....

There's only one debut here, and it's rapper Problem with his first hit at #50, "Like Whaaat", featuring Bad Lucc...(NSFW)


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Rock Sweep: June 29, 2013...


Round two of today's "chart sweep" is up, and now I've got the latest rock songs to make the radio charts in Billboard magazine...

On the aggregate Rock Airplay chart, Imagine Dragons spend an impressive 16th week on top with "Radioactive", while their next single "Demons" is at #4....

The top entry at #29 is Los Angeles "indietronica" act Grouplove with the first single from their upcoming sophomore set, "Ways To Go", my "Rock Pick of the Week". Their breakthrough hit "Tongue Tied" made it to #3 in 2011..


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Pop Sweep: June 29, 2013...


It's time to kick off today's five-part "chart sweeps" of the new songs making the weekly music radio charts in Billboard magazine. This time out it's the pop side of things, including the 'big chart', Billboard's Hot 100, which combines sales, airplay, and streaming data....

On the Hot 100, Robin Thicke takes a second week on top with "Blurred Lines", featuring Pharrell Williams, who also appears on the #2 track, Daft Punk's "Get Lucky"...

The Voice excrutiatingly ended it's fourth season this week, and even though the final performance singles won't show up on until next week's chart, five of the ten debuts on this list belong to competitors on the show. The top entry at #66 is the cover of Kenny Loggins' "Danny's Song" by the Swon Brothers, who placed third at the end of it all. Anne Murray originally took the song to #7 in 1972 thirteen years before the elder Swon (Zach) was born.


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Songoftheday 6/22/13 - She says no when she means yes and what she wants you know that I cant guess...



Dan Fogelberg - "The Language Of Love"
from the album Windows And Walls (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is by singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg, who dominated the bearded soft-rock balladeer department in the late 70s and early 80s. Dan released his first Greatest Hits set in 1982 and scored a top-40 hit with the more-upbeat "Missing You" and another with the laid-back "Make Love Stay".

In 1984, Fogelberg put out his eighth studio album, Windows and Walls, and the video for the first single, "The Language Of Love" showed his "harder" side...


"The Language Of Love" put Dan back in the top-20 on the pop and adult contemporary chart in America. It would be the last of his to make the top-40 pop chart, though he continued well on down the line on easy-listening radio, even going to #1 with the follow-up to this single, "Believe In Me". His last adult-contemporary hit came in 1990 with a cover of "Rhythm of the Rain".

Sadly in 2004 Fogelberg was diagnosed with prostrate cancer, and succumbed to the disease three years later. Although most remember his as a love song coo-er, moments like this round out the true musician Fogelberg was...

Up tomorrow: No way to control it, say some siblings.

Friday, June 21, 2013

twostepcub's music chart for June 21, 2013...


Hey gang - It's time for my 100 top tunes for the week....this time out Macklemore & Ryan Lewis hold on for a second week at #1, while Swedish duo Icona Pop (pictured above) jump up the top-10. Former big hits by Kenny Chesney, Mumford & Sons, and the Lumineers drop off my list, while songs by Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke, and Tony Moran make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). OMG they played "Legal Tender"!....

This Week              Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Can't Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/Ray Dalton (1)
2. Get Lucky - Daft Punk f/Pharrell Williams (4)
3. Mirrors - Justin Timberlake (3)
4. Lego House - Ed Sheeran (2)
5. Next To Me - Emeli Sande (5)
6. Safe And Sound - Capital Cities (8)
7. I Love It - Icona Pop f/Charli XCX (10)
8. Just Give Me A Reason - Pink f/Nate Ruess (6)
9. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons (7)
10. Gone, Gone, Gone - Phillip Phillips (9)

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Songoftheday 6/21/13 - I saw an old friend of ours today she asked about you I didn't quite know what to say...


Sheena Easton - "Almost Over You"
from the album Best Kept Secret (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day is by the Scottish ingenue who got her start on a British "reality"-style program tracking her musical rise, Sheena Easton, who by 1984 had already scored a top-10 single from her fourth studio album Best Kept Secret, "Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair)". For its follow-up Sheena released the epic break-up ballad "Almost Over You", written by Jennifer Kimball and Cindy Richardson, and the female-powered burst of emotion is lightened up considerably by the totally dated video where Sheena's love is distracted by an arcade-size video game in their apartment. But she does get the last laugh at the end..


"Almost Over You" became Sheena's fifth and final top-10 hit on the adult-contemporary chart in the US, while reaching the top-40 on the American and Canadian pop chart (it was a minor hit on the British pop chart). The song even got play on country stations, reaching #86 on that radio format.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

8 of the 80s: 6/20/13 (1980)...


Hey gang...I'm a little behind from 4 hours sleep...but chug along with this week's eight nuggets from the 80s, and this time out I'm back to 1980, the year the Cable News Network (CNN) is launched.

Air Supply - "Lost In Love"
from the album Lost In Love (1980)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3
Songwriter: Graham Russell


The soft-rock group that defined the sound of the early 80s got their start with this ethereal production.

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7 of the 70s: 6/20/13 (1970)...


Hey gang, it's time to roll out another 70s throwback, and this week I'm back to 1970, the year Soyuz 9 with a two-man crew was launched by Russia.

Bread - "Make It With You"
from the album On The Waters (1970)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriter: David Gates


The first (well, only) mixtape I ever got from my first boyfriend had this as the first song. Of course, naive me thought it was because he wanted our relationship to "make it". AH, youth.

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