Friday, February 28, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for February 28, 2014...







Hey gang, Friday is finally here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the week. This time out A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera hold on to #1 for a second week, while Pitbull and Ke$ha (pictured above) hold on so close to the top 10. Songs by Natalia Kills, Mel B., and Aloe Blacc make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Katy Perry and the Band Perry drop out. I'm gonna Office Space that printer!

This Week               Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. Say Something - A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera (1)
2. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (2)
3. Team - Lorde (3)
4. Happy - Pharrell Williams (8)
5. Hey Brother - Avicii (5)
6. Pompeii - Bastille (4)
7. The Best Day Of My Life - American Authors (7)
8. Burn - Ellie Goulding (6)
9. Come A Little Closer - Cage The Elephant (11)
10. Let Her Go - Passenger (10)
11. Stay The Night - Zedd f/Hayley Williams (9)
12. Timber - Pitbull f/Ke$ha (12)
13. Story Of My Life - One Direction (17)
14. Counting Stars - OneRepublic (14)
15. All of Me - John Legend (19)
16. Love Me Again - John Newman (21)
17. Sirens - Pearl Jam (13)
18. Hurt You - Toni Braxton & Babyface (18)
19. Love Don't Die - The Fray (23)
20. Afraid - The Neighbourhood (24)
21. Sweater Weather - The Neighbourhood (16)
22. For The Rest Of My Life - Robin Thicke (22)
23. Compass - Lady Antebellum (29)
24. Whatever She's Got - David Nail (20)
25. Waiting For Superman - Daughtry (25)
26. Demons - Imagine Dragons (26)
27. Take It Like A Man - Cher (27)
28. Hold On - Colbie Caillat (28)
29. It's About Time - Young The Giant (36)
30. Friday Night - Eric Paslay (15)
31. Go F**k Yourself - My Crazy Girlfriend (41)
32. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (46)
33. The Monster - Eminem f/Rihanna (33)
34. Drink A Beer - Luke Bryan (38)
35. Chocolate - The 1975 (49)
36. Dark Horse - Katy Perry f/Juicy J (48)
37. Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About - Thompson Square (47)
38. When She Says Baby - Jason Aldean (44)
39. Chillin' It - Cole Swindell (39)
40. Do What U Want - Lady Gaga f/R. Kelly or Christina Aguilera (40)
41. Wake Me Up! - Avicii (37)
42. Neon Lights - Demi Lovato (42)
43. Without Me - Fantasia f/Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott (43)
44. Thinking Of You - Calvin Harris f/Ayah Marar (32)
45. Royals - Lorde (31)
46. For Once In My Life - Mel B. (68)
47. Sweet Annie - The Zac Brown Band (35)
48. Tsunami - DVBBS & Borgeous (56)
49. Somebody Loves You - Betty Who (59)
50. Unbelievers - Vampire Weekend (51)
51. The Man - Aloe Blacc (73)
52. Young Girls - Bruno Mars (62)
53. Mad - Vassy (53)
54. Saturday Night - Natalia Kills (79)
55. Hands Up In The Air - Audio Playground (65)
56. Coming Of Age - Foster The People (66)
57. Helluva Life - Frankie Ballard (64)
58. Human - Christina Perri (60)
59. Shepherd Of Fire - Avenged Sevenfold (63)
60. Higher - Deborah Cox f/Paige (45)
61. Right There - Ariana Grande f/Big Sean (61)
62. She Keeps Me Warm - Mary Lambert (69)
63. Goodnight Kiss - Randy Houser (67)
64. Stay - Florida Georgia Line (54)
65. Strangers - Seven Lions f/Myon & Shane 54 w/Tove Lo (75)
66. Holding On For Life - Broken Bells (84)
67. I Hold On - Dierks Bentley (71)
68. Unconditionally - Katy Perry (50)
69. Doin' What She Likes - Blake Shelton (89)
70. Sleeping With A Friend - Neon Trees (85)
71. Red Lights - Tiesto (81)
72. You Make Me - Avicii (52)
73. Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz (93)
74. Trumpets - Jason Derulo (74)
75. What If I Was Nothing - All that Remains (76)
76. On Top Of The World - Imagine Dragons (83)
77. Tired - Stone Sour (78)
78. Crying For No Reason - Katy B (88)
79. Drink To That All Night - Jerrod Niemann (91)
80. Drunk Last Night - Eli Young Band (70)
81. See You Tonight - Scotty McCreery (86)
82. Drunk In Love - Beyonce f/Jay Z (82)
83. If I Lose Myself - OneRepublic vs. Alesso (97)
84. Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus (72)
85. Let It Go - Idina Menzel (DEBUT)
86. Take Me Away - Rokelle f/Dave Aude (DEBUT)
87. My Favorite Thing - Ronald Isley f/Kem (87)
88. Rewind - Rascal Flatts (DEBUT)
89. 19 You + Me - Dan + Shay (DEBUT)
90. The Heart Of Dixie - Danielle Bradbery (90)
91. Hard Out Here - Lily Allen (96)
92. Dare You - Hardwell f/Matthew Koma (92)
93. Crucified 2013 - Army Of Lovers (95)
94. Gaudete - Erasure (94)
95. Feelin' Myself - will.i.am f/Miley Cyrus, French Montana & Wiz Khalifa (100)
96. Give Me Back My Hometown - Eric Church (DEBUT)
97. Dibby Dibby Sound - DJ Fresh vs Jay Fay f/Ms Dynamite (DEBUT)
98. I See Fire - Ed Sheeran (RE-ENTRY)
99. Satellite - Justin Caruso & Dave Aude f/Christina Novelli (DEBUT)
100. Derniere Danse - Indila (RE-ENTRY)

There are seven songs making their debut on the chart this week (highlighted in blue or purple), and if you click on any of them you'll connect to their official website. And here they are on video after the break...

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Songoftheday 2/28/14 - Sometimes I think life is just a rodeo, the trick is to ride and make it to the bell...


John Fogerty - "Rock and Roll Girls"
from the album Centerfield (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day is by veteran roots-rocker John Fogerty, who had a big comeback in 1985 with "The Old Man Down The Road", his first top-ten pop hit since his days in Creedence Clearwater Revival. For its follow-up single John released the straight-forward rock ditty "Rock and Roll Girls", written and produced by the artist...


"Rock and Roll Girls" shot up the charts and reached the top-20 on the Hot 100 in April of 1985, while climbing to #5 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. It did a little better in Canada, stopping at #16, while across the pond in England the record was a minor hit at #83.

The song would be John's most recent top-40 pop hit; his next single, the title track from the album, almost scraped that level (it'll be an upcoming "robbed hit"). The following year, Fogerty released the darker and more complex Eye Of The Zombie, and while the title track and "Change In The Weather" from that album went to #3 on the rock chart, only the former made the pop list at #81, becoming his last shot there so far.

A decade would go by before another Fogerty solo release. In the meantime Creedence were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and John would finally release his demons about performing his old band's material live. His 1997 album Blue Moon Swamp would send two songs to the rock chart, while even placing a minor country hit with "Southern Streamline". A year later, his live album Premonition (featuring solo and CCR tunes) gave him his latest hit on the rock chart with the title track (#19). While he hasn't been seen on pop radio, Fogerty returned in 2004 with three excellent records so far, with his most recent "rock songbook"-style album Wrote A Song For Everyone coming in at #3 on the albums chart in 2013.

For this song, the opening line is everything.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

8 of the 80s: 2/27/14 (1981)...


It's 80's throwback time, and this week I'm back to 1981, the year the Wojciech Jaruzelski becomes the last communist head of state in Poland, lasting until the rise of the Solidarity movement under  Lech Walesa. (I've included highlighted links to buy anything on CD or MP3)...

Olivia Newton-John - "Physical"
from the album Physical (1981)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Steve Kipner, Terry Shaddick


At one time the record-holder for most weeks at #1 in the pop era, this sultry number by the former "Sandy" from Grease even included a nod to her gay fanbase, comic as it is...

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7 of the 70s: 2/27/14 (1971)...


70's throwback of the week is here, and to close out Black History Month here's seven more soul-soaked nuggets from 1971. (I've included links to buy anything here on CD and MP3)...

Isaac Hayes - "Theme from Shaft"
from the album Shaft (Original Soundtrack) (1971)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriter: Isaac Hayes


The classic Oscar-winning song even crossed over to the top ten of the easy-listening radio chart, a real coup musically speaking. Shut yo mouth.

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Songoftheday 2/27/14 - How many times must I tell you baby how many bridges I've got to cross, how many times have I got to explain myself before I talk to the boss...


Eric Clapton - "Forever Man"
from the album Behind The Sun (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #26 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day is by "Slow Hand", the guitar legend himself, Eric Clapton, who we last saw in 1983 with "I've Got A Rock N Roll Heart" from the album he recorded while recovering from drug addiction, Money & Cigarettes. After that, he appears on Roger Waters' first post-Pink Floyd album and tour, before heading back in the studio with Phil Collins from Genesis to record his ninth solo album Behind The Sun. The first single from the set, "Forever Man", was like an extra-pop-hook-filled sequel to "Layla" with the synths just as prominent as his ax. It was written by Jerry Lynn Williams, who penned the top-10 "Giving It Up For Your Love" for Delbert McClinton in the late 70s...


"Forever Man" reached the top-40 in April of 1985, while becoming Clapton's second Billboard Mainstream Rock radio hit (after "I Can't Stand It"). Internationally, it would be a #15 hit in the Netherlands, but stalled out under the top-40 at #51 in his native England.

It would be his last top-40 pop hit in the 80's, though a lot of critics downplay his work in that period, I especially have a big fondness for the two albums he did with Collins, Behind The Sun and August. They both are extremely tight albums front to back with half of each being singlesworthy. He would show up again big on the pop chart at the beginning of the next decade after the death of his son Conor which inspired his #2 hit "Tears In Heaven".

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Aussie Sweep: February 26, 2014...


G'day mates I'm ready to head Down Under to check out the new songs making the official sales chart in Australia this week, as Pharrell  spends a seventh week at #1 with "Happy"...

The top entry of the week belongs to British singer Lily Allen, who arrives at #15 with "Air Balloon". It follows up "Hard Out Here", which came in at #14...


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6 of the 60s: 2/26/14 (1961)...


It's 60s flashback Hump Day, and this week I'm back to 1961, the year the US tests the Minuteman I ballistic missile....(I've included links to buy anything you see on CD or MP3 when available)...

Ferrante and Teicher - "Exodus"
from the album Golden Piano Hits (1962)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2
Songwriter: Ernest Gold


Four different covers of this theme from the epic Paul Newman/Eva-Marie Saint movie based on the early history of the modern state of Israel made the pop chart in 1961, but it was this double-piano version that did the best by far.

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Songoftheday 2/26/14 - Diamond life lover boy we move in space with minimum waste and maximum joy...


Sade - "Smooth Operator"
from the album Diamond Life (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by the jazz-soul band named for its strikingly beautiful and talented leader and vocalist, Sade. Born Helen Folasade Adu in western Nigeria, then moved to England as a toddler after her parents split up. Her singing career started in a band originally named Pride, but when signed to Portrait Records as a solo artist, she brought on three of Pride's members into her band. They released their first single, "Your Love Is King", at the start of 1984, and became their first top-10 hit in the UK. Sade's first single in the US, "Hang On To Your Love", almost made the Hot 100 around the same time, peaking at #102 on the "bubbling under" chart. 

For its follow-up Sade released the seductive lite jazz of "Smooth Operator", written by Adu with former Pride bandmate Ray St. John (it was a staple of her previous group), and the single took off in America, giving them their big break on these shores. It was a delightful success, something different than all the pop and new wave on the radio at the time...


"Smooth Operator" became Sade's first top-5 pop and R&B hit in May of 1985, while going all the way to #1 on the Adult-Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart in Billboard. The record even came one rung from being a top-ten hit on the dance club play chart as well. As the fourth single from her Diamond Life album, it peaked at #19 in England, while becoming a top-ten hit in France, and top-20 in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, and Ireland. Although this would be the sole top-40 pop hit from the album, it would go on to sell over four million copies in the U.S.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kraut Sweep: February 25, 2014...


I'm ready to cross over now to see the latest songs to make the official music singles chart in Germany this week, as Pharrell hangs on for a sixth week on top with "Happy"...

The top entry of the week at #24 is from French DJ and producer David Guetta with his rework of Cher/Nancy Sinatra's classic "Shot Me Down" with Skylar Grey on vocals. Guetta previously topped the chart in this country with "Sexy Bitch" back in 2009...


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French Sweep: February 25, 2014...


Bonjour, mes amis, it's time again to cross the Atlantic yet again to check out the records making the official top 100 singles chart in France this week, as Pharrell spends an eleventh non-consecutive week at #1 with "Happy"...

The top debut of the week up at #6 is from the French-born international dance music DJ and producing star David Guetta with his rework of the Cher/Nancy Sinatra hit "Shot Me Down" featuring Skylar Grey on vocals. Guetta has topped the charts in his own country twice, with "Gettin' Over You" and "Sweat" with Snoop Dogg..


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Songoftheday 2/25/14 - I feel like I could run away looking at a darker day, oh I'm pulling the shades away from my eyes...


Daryl Hall & John Oates - "Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid"
from the album Big Bam Boom (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day is from the Philadelphia blue-eyed soul and pop hitmaking duo of Hall and Oates, whose dance-oriented Big Bam Boom album had already spun off a #1 single with "Out Of Touch" and a top-5 follow up with "Method Of Modern Love". For the third release the pair slowed things down a bit with a more reflective song about relationships written by Daryl alone called "Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid"....


They go through pouring rain, but their hair is perfect. Really.

"Some Things..." became the third top-20 pop hit off of the album in May of 1985, while doing the same on the adult contemporary (or "easy-listening") chart at #17. The record even dropped in on the R&B chart in Billboard, peaking at #85. Internationally, it was a top-30 single in Canada (#23).

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Robbed Hit of the Week 2/24/14 - Santana's "Say It Again"...


Santana - "Say It Again"
from the album Beyond Appearances (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" is by the Latin-rock fusion band Santana, who had last been seen in 1982 with the top-20 pop hit "Hold On". It took three years for the release of their next album, Beyond Appearances, with most of the lineup changed save for leader and namesake Carlos Santana. Although guitarist and vocalist Alex Ligertwood, who had sung on the band's last two top-40 hits "Winning" and "Hold On", was still on the record, the lead-off single, "Say It Again", was handled by newbie Greg Walker. The song, written by producers Val Garay ("Bette Davis Eyes") and Steve Goldstein with background singer Anthony Lapeau, seemed disconnected from the classic band's sound...


"Say It Again" did manage to almost scrape the top-40 (probably mostly from name recognition) in April of 1985, while at least becoming a decent rock radio hit, peaking at #15. The record did become a top-40 hit in Australia and the Netherlands, though. It would be Carlos' last pop hit for fourteen years, when with a push from Clive Davis and an all-star cast gave him the biggest hit of not only his career, but a couple of the biggest hits of the rock era, with "Smooth" and "Maria Maria" from his Supernatural album.


Album Sweep: March 1, 2014 - Part Two...



It's time for part two of this week's "album sweep" sampling the records reaching the Top 200 Album chart in Billboard magazine for the first time. You can check out part one by clicking here, and as before I've included highlighted links to buy anything you see as well as the artist's other work.

Philly-area indie-punk band Modern Baseball debuts at #97 with You're Gonna Miss It All...


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Songoftheday 2/24/14 - We want to multiply are you going do it, I know you qualify but are you gonna do it...


The Power Station - "Some Like It Hot"
from the album The Power Station (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day is by the rock/funk "supergroup" The Power Station, which came together after the British new wave chart kings Duran Duran, took a break after their tour behind their successful Seven & The Ragged Tiger album in 1984. Guitarist Andy Taylor and bass player John Taylor (no relation) choose to work together on a project that would explore their interest in a more heavier rock style of music, and recruited Chic drummer Tony Thompson to provide the whomping drums that would pervade their recordings. Originally meant to feature a myriad of guest singers, instead they chose suave British blue-eyed soul singer Robert Palmer to record the entire debut album as lead singer, and Thompson's Chic bandmate Bernard Edwards to produce the disc. The first single from the set, "Some Like It Hot", written by the Taylors with Palmer, featured transgender model Tula in the video along with some really racy animation...


"Some Like It Hot" became the Power Station's first top 10 hit in America in May of 1985, while also reaching #17 on the club dance play chart in Billboard and #34 on the Mainstream Rock radio list. In the UK, home to 3/4 of the band, the single manages to make it to #14, while internationally the single went top-10 in Canada, Belgium, and Austria.

It's still a hidden milestone in music video for a transgender model to have such a prominent and sensual role in this video. And that's the awesome.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Brit Sweep: February 23, 2014...


The weekend's almost at a close, and time to check out the songs making their first appearance on the just-released British official singles chart this week...

The top-selling song of the week belongs to singer and Brit Award winner Sam Smith with his first top-40 lead-artist hit and one of his two entries in the top 100 this week, "Money On My Mind". He previously was at #1 as a featured artist on Naughty Boy's single "La La La" last year...


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Album Sweep: March 1, 2014 - Part One...


Hey folks, I'm ready to roll out the first half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the songs making the Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine. As always, I've included highlighted links to buy any of the albums or the artists' other work if possible, but if you get a chance, please visit an independent record store, it'll do you (and the economy) good...

The top-selling album of the week selling close to 300,000 copies this week is the fourth studio album by country rocker Eric Church, The Outsiders. It's his second to reach the top of the albums chart; in 2011 he did the same with Chief...



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Songoftheday 2/23/14 - I wanna read it in my magazine I wanna hear it on my radio, there's no limit to the magic of this love that we know...


Dan Hartman - "Second Nature"
from the album I Can Dream About You (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #39 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's Song of the Day is by singer/songwriter/producer Dan Hartman, who went from being a rock sideman in the Edgar Winter Group to being a disco wunderkind to being a pop breakout with his I Can Dream About You album, which had already spawned a top ten hit with the title track and a #1 club hit with follow-up "We Are The Young". For the third release from the album Dan went back to the pop/soul well with "Second Nature", a straightforward pop song written by the artist with collaborator Charlie Midnight, and co-produced by Dan with Jimmy Iovine...(cue up the cheesily-adorbs video)


"Second Nature" became Dan's fourth and final top-40 pop hit in March of 1985. The single also climbed to #19 on the adult contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, while stopping at #40 on Billboard's dance club play list. Overseas, it was a minor hit in England, peaking at #66.

Dan's next recorded album Whiteboy went unreleased by the label, as Hartman contributed tracks to various soundtracks, most notably writing and producing James Brown's 1986 "comeback" hit, "Living In America". Another album of new age material came in 1989, but sadly Dan would succumb to AIDS-related brain tumor in 1994. At that time a retrospective with some newly produced cuts, Keep The Fire Burnin', was released, and the title track, a sort of sequel to his "Relight My Fire" song, went to #49 in the UK that year.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dance Sweep: March 1, 2014...






I'm ready to wrap up today's "chart sweeps" with the latest dance songs to make the charts in Billboard magazine...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Swedish DJ and producer Avicii claims a fifth #1 hit single with "Hey Brother"...

Teaming up at #39 with "Can't Remember To Forget You" is Colombian powerhouse Shakira and Barbadian diva Rihanna.....


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Country Sweep: March 1, 2014...


Part four of this week's "Chart sweeps" has the latest country songs on the radio monitored by Billboard magazine.

On the Country Airplay chart, Jason Aldean scores his fourth #1 from his Night Train album (and eleventh overall) with "When She Says Baby"...

I was flabbergasted when Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles' first solo single "That Girl" stalled out at #37.  She's off to a better start by debuting at #50 with the follow-up single, "Me Without You", my "Country Pick of the Week"...


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Soul Sweep: March 1, 2014...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Beyonce and Jay Z hang on for a fifth week at #1 with "Drunk In Love"...

Coming in as the high debut of the week at #46 is the return of Louisiana rappers Lil' Boosie and Webbie with "Show The World" featuring Kiara. The pair previously went to #5 here as a collaboration with "Independent"...


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Rock Sweep: March 1, 2014...






Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up, with the latest song on rock radio as per the charts in Billboard magazine.

On the main Rock Airplay list, British alt-rockers Arctic Monkeys score their first #1 with "Do I Wanna Know?"...

The big debut at #43 is from electro-pop duo Cherub from Tennessee, with their first hit "Doses and Mimosas"...


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Pop Sweep: March 1, 2014...


It's time to roll out the first of today's five "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making the latest singles and radio charts in Billboard magazine. As always, I'll start with the pop side, and later on today cover rock, R&B, country, and dance music.... and away we go...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which tallies sales, airplay, and internet streaming, Katy Perry remains on top for a fourth week with "Dark Horse"...

The top entry of the week at #62 is the theme to the biggest movie in the land, The LEGO Movie, and Tegan Are Sara proclaim that "Everything Is Awesome!!!" with comic trio the Lonely Island in tow. It's automatically their biggest hit to date - last year they snuck in at #90 with their slow-burner hit "Closer"...


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Songoftheday 2/22/14 - Games I never used to play cause everytime I'd lose, it just turns out that way...


Greg Kihn - "Lucky"
from the album Citizen Kihn (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #30 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's Song of the Day is by Bay Area rocker Greg Kihn, who had scored a huge hit in 1983 with "Jeopardy", which peaked one notch away from the top spot. However, Greg had troubles following up that single, and his next album even failed to put a single in the whole top-100. Leaving from local label Berserkley to EMI America, Kihn commemorated his fresh start with the song "Lucky", complete with big-idea storyboarded music video (one of the cheesiest of the 80s)....


"Lucky" did manage to bring Kihn back to the pop top 40 in April of 1985, though perhaps it was too much of a paler knockoff of "Jeopardy" to do any better. It did even better in the dance clubs, peaking at #16, while stopping at #24 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. It would be his last hurrah in the top-40, though the following year his next EMI album sneaked the title track, "Love and Rock and Roll", onto the Hot 100 at #92 and the rock list at #50. He's still a big draw in the San Jose area, and continues to tour...

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Friday, February 21, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for February 21, 2014..






The end of the work week is here, and I'm ready to run down my top 100 tunes from the week. This time out A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera climb to the #1 spot, while Pharrell Williams (pictured above) leaps into the top ten. Former big hits by Darius Rucker, Fitz & The Tantrums, Cole Plante, and Kristine W fall off my list, while songs by Betty Who, Randy Houser, and Clean Bandit make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). I'm looking up groundhog recipes now...

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Say Something - A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera (2)
2. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (1)
3. Team - Lorde (5)
4. Pompeii - Bastille (4)
5. Hey Brother - Avicii (7)
6. Burn - Ellie Goulding (6)
7. The Best Day Of My Life - American Authors (3)
8. Happy - Pharrell Williams (14)
9. Stay The Night - Zedd f/Hayley Williams (9)
10. Let Her Go - Passenger (10)
11. Come A Little Closer - Cage The Elephant (8)
12. Timber - Pitbull f/Ke$ha (13)
13. Sirens - Pearl Jam (11)
14. Counting Stars - OneRepublic (12)
15. Friday Night - Eric Paslay (15)
16. Sweater Weather - The Neighbourhood (16)
17. Story Of My Life - One Direction (22)
18. Hurt You - Toni Braxton & Babyface (18)
19. All Of Me - John Legend (33)
20. Whatever She's Got - David Nail (20)
21. Love Me Again - John Newman (25)
22. For The Rest Of My Life - Robin Thicke (26)
23. Love Don't Die - The Fray (23)
24. Afraid - The Neighbourhood (29)
25. Waiting For Superman - Daughtry (19)
26. Demons - Imagine Dragons (21)
27. Take It Like A Man - Cher (31)
28. Hold On - Colbie Caillat (30)
29. Compass - Lady Antebellum (41)
30. Don't Let Me Be Lonely - The Band Perry (17)
31. Royals - Lorde (27)
32. Thinking Of You - Calvin Harris f/Ayah Marar (28)
33. The Monster - Eminem f/Rihanna (39)
34. Up All Night - Jon Pardi (34)
35. Sweet Annie - The Zac Brown Band (24)
36. It's About Time - Young The Giant (46)
37. Wake Me Up! - Avicii (32)
38. Drink A Beer - Luke Bryan (42)
39. Chillin' It - Cole Swindell (49)
40. Do What U Want - Lady Gaga f/R. Kelly or Christina Aguilera (44)
41. Go F**k Yourself - My Crazy Girlfriend (51)
42. Neon Lights - Demi Lovato (52)
43. Without Me - Fantasia f/Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott (38)
44. When She Says Baby - Jason Aldean (54)
45. Higher - Deborah Cox f/Paige (37)
46. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (66)
47. Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About - Thompson Square (57)
48. Dark Horse - Katy Perry f/Juicy J (63)
49. Chocolate - The 1975 (59)
50. Unconditionally - Katy Perry (40)
51. Unbelievers - Vampire Weekend (61)
52. You Make Me - Avicii (43)
53. Mad - Vassy (53)
54. Stay - Florida Georgia Line (50)
55. Make A Move - Gavin DeGraw (56)
56. Tsunami - DVBBS & Borgeous (71)
57. Wasting All These Tears - Cassadee Pope (45)
58. Ordinary Love - U2 (64)
59. Somebody Loves You - Betty Who (83)
60. Human - Christina Perri (62)
61. Right There - Ariana Grande f/Big Sean (73)
62. Young Girls - Bruno Mars (72)
63. Shepherd Of Fire - Avenged Sevenfold (67)
64. Helluva Life - Frankie Ballard (69)
65. Hands Up In The Air - Audio Playground (85)
66. Coming Of Age - Foster The People (76)
67. Goodnight Kiss - Randy Houser (89)
68. For Once In My Life - Mel B. (82)
69. She Keeps Me Warm - Mary Lambert (79)
70. Drunk Last Night - Eli Young Band (55)
71. I Hold On - Dierks Bentley (81)
72. Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus (68)
73. The Man - Aloe Blacc (DEBUT)
74. Trumpets - Jason Derulo (74)
75. Strangers - Seven Lions f/Myon & Shane 54 w/Tove Lo (75)
76. What If I Was Nothing - All That Remains (84)
77. Roar - Katy Perry (70)
78. Tired - Stone Sour (78)
79. Saturday Night - Natalia Kills (94)
80. Now Or Never - Tritonal f/Phoebe Ryan (80)
81. Red Lights - Tiesto (DEBUT)
82. Drunk In Love - Beyonce f/Jay Z (86)
83. On Top Of The World - Imagine Dragons (DEBUT)
84. Holding On For Life - Broken Bells (88)
85. Sleeping With A Friend - Neon Trees (DEBUT)
86. See You Tonight - Scotty McCreery (91)
87. My Favorite Thing - Ronald Isley f/Kem (87)
88. Crying For No Reason - Katy B (92)
89. Doin' What She Likes - Blake Shelton (95)
90. The Heart Of Dixie - Danielle Bradbery (90)
91. Drink To That All Night - Jerrod Niemann (DEBUT)
92. Dare You - Hardwell f/Matthew Koma (96)
93. Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz (RE-ENTRY)
94. Gaudete - Erasure (DEBUT)
95. Crucified 2013 - Army Of Lovers (DEBUT)
96. Hard Out Here - Lily Allen (DEBUT)
97. If I Lose Myself - OneRepublic vs. Alesso (RE-ENTRY)
98. Ready For Your Love - Gorgon City f/MNEK (DEBUT)
99. Heart To Heart - James Blunt (DEBUT)
100. Feelin' Myself - will.i.am f/Miley Cyrus, French Montana & Wiz Khalifa (DEBUT)

There are eleven songs making their debut on my chart this week (highlighted in blue), and if you click on any of them, you'll connect to their official webpage. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 2/21/14 - I thought I knew you well but all this time I could never tell, I let you get away haunts me every night and every day...


Foreigner - "That Was Yesterday"
from the album Agent Provocateur (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (one week)

Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is by the arena-rock group Foreigner, who went a bit soft and scored the biggest hit of their career with "I Want To Know What Love Is". For its follow-up they picked up the pace just a tad for the midtempo rocker from Lou Gramm and Mick Jones, "That Was Yesterday". With the synths more prominent than the guitar, it's apparent the guys were shooting for pop airplay...


"That Was Yesterday" became the second single from the band's Agent Provocateur album to reach the top-20 on the pop chart in May of 1985, while scaling to #4 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. The record was "light" enough to even make the adult-contemporary (or "easy-listening") list at #24. It was a little less successful internationally, but still managed to make the top 40 in Canada, Britain, and Germany.

It's one of those enjoyable but non-essential rock songs of the 80s that you won't necessarily clamor for but won't turn off.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

8 of the 80s: 2/20/14 (1980)...


80's throwback time is up right now with eight more nuggets from 1980, the year that the FBI targeted members of Congress in the ABSCAM bribery scandal, which snagged my own congressman Frank Thompson (now the subject of the movie American Hustle)...(I've included highlighted links to buy anything on MP3 or CD when available)

The Pointer Sisters - "He's So Shy"
from the album Special Things (1980)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3
Songwriters: Tom Snow, Cynthia Weil


Hey whatdya know, it's my own theme song, song by the totally awesome siblings from Oakland.

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7 of the 70s: 2/20/14 (1970)...


Hey gang - it's 70s throwback time, and this week I'm back to 1970, the year Black Sabbath's debut album was released, dubbed by some as the first "heavy metal" album...(I've included links to buy anything if available on mp3 or CD)...

The Jackson 5 - "I Want You Back"
from the album Diana Ross presents the Jackson 5 (1969)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Berry Gordy, Fonze Mizell, Freddie Peren, Deke Richards


The song that started it all for the family from Gary Indiana, and there was no stopping them after that. The album title may be misleading, since it was Gladys Knight that got the boys to Gordy.

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Songoftheday 2/20/14 - Won't you come see about me I'll be alone dancing you know it baby, tell me your troubles and doubts giving me everything inside and out...


Simple Minds - "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
from the album The Breakfast Club (Original Soundtrack) (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day is by the Scottish alternative rock group Simple Minds, who came together in the city of Glasgow in the late 1970s under lead singer Jim Kerr. They released their first album Life In A Day in 1979, and its new-wave styled title track became their first minor hit in the UK, peaking at #62. They would continue to have a few more minor hits while also crossing over to the dance clubs in America, popping up on the club chart in Billboard as early as 1981 with "I Travel" (#55), which was a frantic slice of electro-pop that predicted the Human League's success. Their first big hit in their homeland came in 1982, with the single "Promised You A Miracle", which slowed to a New Romantic midtempo almost Chic-like sheen, and climbed the British chart to #13. This started a streak of five consecutive UK top-40 hits from 1982 to 1984, with "Waterfront", which eschewed the disco and new wave and brought the Celtic-style rock thunder. It's that record that would probably be the closest to what would be their biggest hit that the band at first loathed.

"Don't You (Forget About Me)", written by Keith Forsey ("Flashdance") and Steve Schiff, was pitched to Simple Minds after being rejected by other new wave and punk acts like the Fixx. After prodding from their label (I'm sure wanting to finally "break" them), the band recorded the song for the soundtrack to the teen-angst classic film The Breakfast Club. Despite the band hating the record (probably for it not sounding like their work), it connected with millions around the world, and blew up like nobody's business...


"Don't You", their first American pop hit, went straight to #1 in May of 1985, while also topping the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard for three weeks. The record also shot to #9 on the dance club play chart, and even crossed over to adult-contemporary (or "easy listening") radio, peaking at #36 on that format. Internationally, the track went to #1 in Canada, top-ten in their native Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand. It would remain a classic anthem for the 80s generation even today, drawing from both new wave and film buff fans.

And I'm telling you half of American kids my age had this song as the soundtrack to their life running in their head at one point in their life.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Aussie Sweep: February 19, 2014...


G'day mates, it's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in Australia this week, as Pharrell climbs back to #1 for a sixth non-consecutive week with "Happy"...

The top debut of the week at #50 is from English singer/songwriter Ryan Keen with "Old Scars"...


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6 of the 60s: 2/19/14 (1960)...


Hey gang I'm here to serve out a half dozen more nuggets from the 60s, and this week I'm back to 1960, the year four black students from North Carolina held a sit-in at the lunch counter at a Woolworths at Greenboro, sparking similar protests nationwide.

Larry Verne - "Mr. Custer"
from the album Mister... (1960)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Fred Darlan, Al Delory, Joseph Van Winkle


Comedy gets a history lesson with this western knockoff that somehow made it to the top ten of the R&B chart. Verne would later quit music to be a set designer.

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Songoftheday 2/19/14 - Oriental setting and the city don't know what the city is getting, the creme de la creme of the chess world in a show with everything but Yul Brynner...


Murray Head - "One Night In Bangkok"
from the album Chess (Original Cast Album) (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is from the musical about board and love games Chess, which was conceived by the men of Swedish sugar-pop giants Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson along with Broadway star lyricist Tim Rice. After their group broke up in 1983, Benny and Bjorn were able to write the music for the play about Cold War hostility and intrigue told through the eyes of tournament chess players and their paramours. Playing the role of "The American" Freddie Trumper in the play was stage veteran Murray Head, who got his big break in the role of Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar, which Rice also wrote the lyrics for. Murray's version of the showstopper "Superstar" made it to #14 on the American pop chart in 1971, two years after its original release.

Murray would appear in movies and on record throughout the rest of the decade, but it wasn't until 1983 that his fortunes exploded with the starring role in Chess. In "One Night In Bangkok", which takes place during the championship city, Murray "raps" snarky lyrics about the Asian city while background vocals by Swedish singer Anders Glenmark bring it more nuanced with the "One night in Bangkok makes the hard man humble" line. It was released as a single in both England and the States, even though the musical wasn't on Broadway as yet..


"One Night In Bangkok" became a top ten hit for Murray in May of 1985, while also scaling to #5 on the dance club play chart, and even making an appearance on the R&B chart in Billboard at #89. In England, where the show was playing at West End, the single actually didn't do as well, stopping at #12. It did better across Europe, topping the singles chart in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, and top ten in France, Canada, and Sweden. It would be Murray's last appearance in the American pop charts, though last year his song "Say It Ain't So, Joe" became a left-field top-20 hit in France.

As for Chess, the musical only lasted a couple of months on Broadway in a redone show. 

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