Monday, March 31, 2014

Robbed Hit of the Week 3/31/14 - Shannon's "Do You Wanna Get Away"...


Shannon - "Do You Wanna Get Away"
from the album Do You Wanna Get Away (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #49

This week's "robbed hit" is by the freestyle dance music singer Shannon (Greene), who had the first big hit of the genre when her jam "Let The Music Play" made the top-10 of the American pop chart in 1984. Her follow-up, "Give Me Tonight", missed the pop top-40, but remains a club classic.

The following year, Shannon released her sophomore album, Do You Wanna Get Away. Produced by the team that discovered her, Mark Liggett and Chris Barbosa, the title track captured the magic of her debut and seemed destined to repeat its success (well, at least in my mind)...


Well I was wrong about "Do You Wanna Get Away", as it stalled at the halfway point on the Hot 100 in May of 1985, while it made it up to #13 on the R&B chart in Billboard magazine. It did make good in the clubs, where the record topped the dance chart for two weeks. It also nicked the charts in Germany and Canada.

Her follow-up single, "Stronger Together", missed the Hot 100 altogether (it showed up on the "Bubbling Under" chart), though it climbed to the top-30 on both the R&B and dance charts. After that came a remake of Foreigner's "Urgent", which only was a minor soul hit. Her third album, Love Goes All The Way, managed to produce her last showing on the R&B chart with "Prove Me Right" (#82) and as a lead artist in the UK with "Dancin'" (#91). Even though her music was just as enjoyable, the mainstream pop radio world had moved on to late-80s bland-pop madness. After this she left the biz to head back to school.

In 1997 house music star Todd Terry enlisted Shannon to sing on his record "It's Over Love", which topped the American dance chart and headed to the top-20 of the UK singles list. A year later, German trance act Sash! went to #8 on the British singles chart with "Move Mania" with Shannon providing the vocals...

Confession: back in 1984 I was so sure that Madonna and Shannon both would grow to be superstars. Well, half-right...

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Album Sweep: April 5, 2014 - Part Two...






It's time for the second half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records reaching the Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine this week. You can check out the first part by clicking here, and as always I've included highlighted links to buy anything when available as well as some of the artists' other work...

Coming in at #45 is post-hardcore band La Dispute from Grand Rapids, Michigan, with their third full-length album and second to make the chart, Rooms Of The House...


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Songoftheday 3/31/14 - you hold in hand a diamond and left holds it tight, and you hold in your hand our love you let it fall from the right...


Boy Meets Girl - "Oh Girl"
from the album Boy Meets Girl (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #39 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's Song of the Day is by the songwriting duo of George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, who released their debut album as a music act as Boy Meets Girl in 1985. From that album came their first hit, which would establish the sound that would eventually land them a few career-high hits as both a recording artist and as songwriters for Whitney Houston. "Oh Girl" sported a high-concept/poorly-executed version of Miami Vice (quite like "Smuggler's Blues"). With the sunny-side synths, it's hard to determine on passing glance that this is a break-up song...


"Oh Girl" would become the pair's first top-40 hit in May of 1985. By the time they would release their next album, though, they would score as writers of Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" and 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)"...


Up tomorrow: a stone gets romantically fortuitous.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Brit Sweep: March 30, 2014...


Well, this dreary weekend (out east, anyway) is coming to a close, and it's time to check out the songs making the top 100 of the just-released official sales chart in Britain this week...

The top-selling single of the week is the debut from the Australian boy-band 5 Seconds of Summer with "She Looks So Perfect". Over the past year the former incarnation of vocal "boy-bands" like One Direction and The Wanted have been replaced by the new tweenage by prefab'd "musical" groups, like Big Time Rush, the Vamps, and R5, and these guys fit the bill to a T, with a sanitized "harder" rock sound (I'm laughing as I type this). They have just enough "edge" to include "damn" in their lyric (a sacrilege I'm sure to the former Norwest Christian College boys), but it's all about the product, eh? Well things are looking good as their first #1 in Australia does the same here. All I can say is that if it age-crowds out Bieber, all the well then...


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Album Sweep: April 5, 2014 - Part One...


Hey gang, it's time to kick off the first half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their first appearance on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums sales chart this week. As always, I've included highlighted links to buy anything here as well as some of the artists' other work - support the talent!

Like the winter that never ends, the top-selling album of the week for a seventh non-consecutive week is the soundtrack to Frozen, which has its biggest week ever selling over 200,000 copies...

The top debut of the high is the first full-length album from Compton rapper YG with My Krazy Life at #2...


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Songoftheday 3/30/14 - Dance into the fire That fatal kiss is all we need Dance into the fire to fatal sounds of broken dreams ...


Duran Duran - "A View To A Kill"
from the album A View To A Kill (Original Soundtrack) (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by the wildly popular British new wave band Duran Duran, who had finished off a successful 1984 with a big hit from their live album, "The Wild Boys", as well as a re-issued "Save A Prayer" that made the American top-20. After that, the "Fab Five" took a break, and split off for two separate side-projects, with lead singer Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, and Roger Taylor naming themselves Arcadia, while Andy and John Taylor hooked up with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson for the Power Station. The quintet got back together, though, to record the theme to the fourteenth James Bond movie, A View To A Kill. The single, written with Bond orchestra master John Barry and produced by Chic's Bernard Edwards (who also did the Power Station's album), fused the classic "Bond" sound with DD's new wave leanings, and became the highest-charting theme in the franchise's history...



"A View To A Kill" became the first and so far only "Bond" theme to go to #1 in the US in July of 1985, while nicking the Billboard rock radio chart at #42. Internationally, the single was one of their biggest, going top-ten everywhere in the world; it topped the single chart in Italy, and went to #2 in both the UK and Ireland. It would be the last top-40 single featuring all five of the boys (they would reunite in 2006 for the excellent Astronaut album and have a couple minor pop hits).

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dance Sweep: April 5, 2014...


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

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, the team of Shakira and Rihanna climb to #1 with "Can't Remember To Forget You". It's Shakira's fifth #1 club hit in a row...

The top debut of the week and my "Dance Pick of the Week" is the latest from Swedish EDM king Avicii with "Addicted To You" at #34. It's his fourth single from his breakthrough album True to make the chart, and should have no problem following "Wake Me Up" and "Hey Brother" to the top, as well as cross over to pop radio, and the lesberrific Bonnie & Clydette video is so well done...


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Country Sweep: April 5, 2014...






Part four of this week's "chart sweeps" has the latest country songs making the radio charts in Billboard magazine...

On the radio-monitored Country Airplay chart, Dierks Bentley scores his eleventh #1 hit with "I Hold On"...

The top debut of the week at #49 is from rock-chick exile and The Voice winner Cassadee Pope with "I Wish I Could Break Your Heart". It's the follow-up to "Wasting All These Tears", which topped out at #10. This is as safe as country/lite-pop as you can get, and as someone who had watched that season, she definitely seems to benefit from some studio pitch-tweaking...


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Soul Sweep: April 5, 2014...


We're at the "hump" of today's "chart sweeps", as I serve up the latest R&B songs to make the Billboard radio charts...

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Pharrell remains on top for a second week with "Happy"...

Kelly Price claims the top debut at #39 with "It's My Time", a former "Soul Pick" winner when it entered the Adult R&B list, where it sits at #13 this week. Kelly topped the chart back in 1998 with her debut single "Friend Of Mine". I hope this record has legs - her big, lifting voice and ease of flow is a welcome breath of fresh air on the chart...


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Rock Sweep: April 5, 2014...


Round two of this week's 'chart sweeps' is up, tracking the songs making the charts in Billboard magazine, and this time out I've got the latest rock songs on the radio...

On the main Rock Airplay chart, the Arctic Monkeys stay on top for a sixth week with "Do I Wanna Know?"...

The high debut at #45 is from alt-rock trio Sir Sly, with their first charting hit "Gold". The song, which drops to #33 in its seventh week on the Modern Rock chart, bears a passing resemblance to the Neighbourhood's "Sweater Weather" with its echoing disaffected vocals and bright background harmonies and piano touches...


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Pop Sweep: April 5, 2014...


I'm ready to kick off the first of today's five "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making their way on to the various singles charts in Billboard magazine this week. As always, I'll start with the pop side of things, then later on bring out the newest in rock, R&B, country, and dance.

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100 chart, which combines tallies from radio airplay, sales, and internet "streaming", Pharrell Williams hangs in for a fifth week with "Happy"...

(On a side note, the sadly reoccuring "stunt" charting of songs that have been a bit of a stain on their credibility, had unknown French singer Soko land a #9 debut with "We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow", which was the background music for a viral video "art statement" that turned out to be a clothing line ad. Needless to say these types of videos ebb and flow pretty quickly, but she is nowhere to be seen on the entire Hot 100. Even overlooking the fact that an ad basically placed in the supposedly spot-clean chart, but to have it sink like since screams of shenanigans. And for the big question, does this signal any value at all on the music industry? How much could Soko have even made if anything for this? In fact you can't even search the artist/song and find the viral video to begin with.)

*off soapbox*

Well, the biggest debut of this week is a more believable success. Scottish dance music DJ, producer, and singer Calvin Harris lands at #69 with "Summer". His previous album, the amazing 18 Months, spun off six hit singles in America, including his #1 collab with Rihanna, "We Found Love", and top-10 roof-raiser with Florence Welch, "Sweet Nothing". So it's no surprise that there's anticipation for his upcoming third album, and with everyone in total cabin fever from this harsh winter, "Summer" is definitely optimistically welcome. Calvin handles his own vocals here, as he did with his first American success, "Feel So Close"...


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Songoftheday 3/29/14 - I made a resolution and I plan to keep my word but I need you to make it work...


Tina Turner - "Show Some Respect"
from the album Private Dancer (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #37 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3


Today's Song of the Day is by Tina Turner, whose massive "comeback" album Private Dancer had already generated four top-40 pop hits in America starting with her cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together", moving on to her #1 signature song "What's Love Got To Do With It", and then the Fixx-assisted "Better Be Good To Me", followed by the dramatic title track. The fifth single pulled from the album in the U.S., "Show Some Respect", was another sassy slice of mainstream guitar-funk-lite written by Terry Britten (who co-wrote "What's Love...) with Sue Schifrin with Terry producing...


"Show Some Respect" reached the American pop top-40 in June of 1985, while stopping at #50 on the R&B chart in Billboard. The single wasn't released overseas, but did make it to #42 in Canada. It would be the final volley for the classic album, and one of my favorite moments of the record...

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Friday, March 28, 2014

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






Friday's here, and time to check out my top-100 song from the week. This week Pharrell spends a third week at #1, while Young The Giant (pictured above) inches closer to the top-10. Songs by The Pretty Reckless, Empire Of The Sun, and Tiesto make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from My Crazy Girlfriend, Eric Paslay, and Cher drop out. Days are numbers, watch the stars...

This Week              Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Happy - Pharrell Williams (1)
2. All Of Me - John Legend (4)
3. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (3)
4. Hey Brother - Avicii (2)
5. Team - Lorde (5)
6. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (10)
7. The Story Of My Life - One Direction (9)
8. Pompeii - Bastille (8)
9. The Best Day Of My Life - American Authors (7)
10. Say Something - A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera (6)
11. It's About Time - Young The Giant (13)
12. Afraid - The Neighbourhood (14)
13. Come A Little Closer - Cage The Elephant (11)
14. Burn - Ellie Goulding (12)
15. Into The Blue - Kylie Minogue (25)
16. The Man - Aloe Blacc (21)
17. Dark Horse - Katy Perry f/Juicy J (17)
18. Chocolate - The 1975 (18)
19. Compass - Lady Antebellum (19)
20. Counting Stars - OneRepublic (16)
21. Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About - Thompson Square (23)
22. Timber - Pitbull f/Kesha (22)
23. She Keeps Me Warm - Mary Lambert (31)
24. Red Lights - Tiesto (36)
25. Love Me Again - John Newman (15)
26. Coming Of Age - Foster The People (32)
27. When She Says Baby - Jason Aldean (28)
28. Sleeping With A Friend - Neon Trees (38)
29. Holding On For Life - Broken Bells (39)
30. Stay The Night - Zedd f/Hayley Williams (24)
31. For The Rest Of My Life - Robin Thicke (27)
32. Hands Up In The Air - Audio Playground (37)
33. Somebody Loves You - Betty Who (33)
34. Demons - Imagine Dragons (26)
35. I Hold On - Dierks Bentley (43)
36. Drink To That All Night - Jerrod Niemann (42)
37. Let Her Go - Passenger (20)
38. The Walker - Fitz & The Tantrums (50)
39. Hurt You - Toni Braxton & Babyface (34)
40. Chillin' It - Cole Swindell (30)
41. With You - Kimberly Davis (52)
42. Doin' What She Likes - Blake Shelton (44)
43. Take Me Away - Rokelle f/Dave Aude (49)
44. Young Girls - Bruno Mars (46)
45. Shepherd Of Fire - Avenged Sevenfold (45)
46. Goodnight Kiss - Randy Houser (51)
47. Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz (47)
48. Human - Christina Perri (56)
49. Love Don't Die - The Fray (29)
50. For Once In My Life - Mel B. (35)
51. The Monster - Eminem f/Rihanna (41)
52. Let It Go - Idina Menzel (57)
53. Helluva Life - Frankie Ballard (53)
54. Money On My Mind - Sam Smith (59)
55. Strangers - Seven Lions f/Myon & Shane 54 w/Tove Lo (60)
56. Drink A Beer - Luke Bryan (48)
57. On Top Of The World - Imagine Dragons (61)
58. Alone Together - Fall Out Boy (58)
59. Fall In Love - Phantogram (63)
60. Games - Claire (60)
61. Invisible - U2 (66)
62. Blow - Beyonce (69)
63. Tonight You're Perfect - New Politics (67)
64. Rewind - Rascal Flatts (68)
65. What If I Was Nothing - All That Remains (65)
66. Drunk In Love - Beyonce f/Jay Z (70)
67. 19 You + Me - Dan + Shay (73)
68. Heaven Knows - The Pretty Reckless (86)
69. Whatever She's Got - David Nail (55)
70. See You Tonight - Scotty McCreery (72)
71. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (75)
72. Beat Of The Music - Brett Eldredge (76)
73. I Choose You - Sara Bareilles (77)
74. Blue Moon - Beck (78)
75. Can't Remember To Forget You - Shakira f/Rihanna (84)
76. Celebrate - Empire Of The Sun (92)
77. Give Me Back My Hometown - Eric Church (81)
78. Come With Me Now - Kongos (82)
79. Bottoms Up - Brantley Gilbert (89)
80. Saturday Night - Natalia Kills (54)
81. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (87)
82. #SELFIE - The Chainsmokers (DEBUT)
83. Kinks Shirt - Matt Nathanson (83)
84. Time After Time 2014 - Cyndi Lauper (DEBUT)
85. Waves - Mr. Probz (85)
86. Dare You - Hardwell f/Matthew Koma (90)
87. Find You - Zedd f/Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant (DEBUT)
88. Cop Car - Keith Urban (96)
89. My Love - Route 94 f/Jess Glynne (DEBUT)
90. Riptide - Vance Joy (94)
91. Get Me Some Of That - Thomas Rhett (DEBUT)
92. Southern Sun - Boy & Bear (DEBUT)
93. Wasting My Young Years - London Grammar (97)
94. Last Chance - Kaskade & Project 46 (DEBUT)
95. Derniere Danse - Indila (99)
96. Take Me Home - Cash Cash f/Bebe Rexha (98)
97. How I Feel - DJ Rockster f/Paul Cless (DEBUT)
98. Give - Malea (100)
99. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (DEBUT)
100. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan (DEBUT)

There are ten song making their debut this week (highlighted in blue), 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 3/28/14 - I'm in the dark I'd like to read his mind, but I'm frightened of the things I might find...


'Til Tuesday - "Voices Carry"
from the album Voices Carry (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by the alternative rock band 'Til Tuesday, who came together in Boston in the early eighties behind gifted and strikingly beautiful lead singer Aimee Mann. They released their debut album in 1985, and the first single, "Voices Carry", was written by Mann with band members Michael Hausman, Robert Holmes, and Joey Pesce. The song came about from an argument between her and Hausman (former lovers), and the sense of vulnerability and "other"-ness came through so clear in her voice. The song was produced by Mike Thorne, but remixed by "big-sound" man Bob Clearmountain (Bryan Adams) to give prime epic effect. Aimee's acting skills were put to the test as well on the video, which was one of the best to have graced the "classic" MTV period...


"Voices Carry" became 'Til Tuesday's first and only top-ten hit in July of 1985, while making it to #14 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, it wasn't really a big crossover, making the top-20 in Canada and Australia.

The record remains a classic in the proto-alternative rock genre, and could've been a respectable one-hit wonder for anyone else. 

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

8 of the 80s: 3/27/14 (1985)...


I'm back with today's throwback to the 80's, and this week I'm back to 1985, the year the American Food and Drug Administration approved a blood test for AIDS...

George Clinton - "Double Oh-Oh"
from the album Some Of My Best Jokes Are Friends (1985)
Billboard peak: #101
Songwriters: George Clinton, Garry Shider, David Spradley


The audio is atrocious (you can listen to a better non-video here), but you can not beat this video, any time, any where. Please goddess, have someone find the original. I mean, c'mon FREAKING BILLY BARTY IN THE HOUSE HERE.

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7 of the 70s: 3/27/14 (1975)...


Hey gang, throwback Thursday 70's style takes us back to 1975, the year that Charlie Chaplin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II...

Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds - "Fallin' In Love"
from the album Fallin' In Love (1975)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Ann & Dan Hamilton


By the time the trio had their biggest hit, there wasn't even a "Reynolds" in the group - he had left before to be replaced by Alan Dennison.

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Songoftheday 3/27/14 - I was working part time in a five-and-dime my boss was Mr. McGee, he told me several times that he didn't like my kind 'cause I was a bit too leisurely...


Prince & The Revolution - "Raspberry Beret"
from the album Around The World In A Day (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day is by Prince, who's first foray into films in 1984, Purple Rain, had rocketed the musician to A-list status, with five top-40 hits including two American #1 in "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy". The following year, he released a followup record, Around The World In A Day, which veered more psychedelic and pop-inflected than his previous work. Released in April, it wasn't until May that he released a single from the project, "Raspberry Beret", although billed to the Revolution, in fact just has Wendy and Lisa on backing vocals with Prince playing all the instruments..



"Raspberry Beret" became Prince's lucky seventh top-ten pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1985, while reaching the top-5 on both the R&B (#3) and dance (#4) charts in Billboard magazine. It even nicked the rock radio chart at #40 as well. Internationally the single was big Down Under, climbing to #13 in Australia and #2 in New Zealand, while stopping at #8 in Canada and down at #25 in the UK.

The song remains notable for really striking the difference in his music after the success of Purple Rain

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Aussie Sweep: March 26, 2014...



G'day mates, it's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making the official sales chart in Australia this week, as Pharrell holds on for an eleventh week at #1 with "Happy" (the longest stay in over 10 years!)...

The top debut of the week is also the #1 hit in the United Kingdom this week, as neo-house producer and musician Duke Dumont is in at #17 with "I Got U" featuring Jax Jones. It's already his highest rank in this country so far, besting debut single "Need U (100%)" which went to #40...


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6 of the 60s: 3/26/14 (1965)...


It's "hump-day" 60s flashback time, and this week I've got a half-dozen more nuggets from 1965, the year The Sound Of Music debuted at the Rivoli theater in New York. (I've included links to get anything on MP3 or CD)...

The McCoys - "Hang On Sloopy"
from the album Hang On Sloopy (1965)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Wes Ferrell, Bert Russell


All though my childhood I honestly was positive that this song was about Snoopy, the Peanuts comic dog. My bad.

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Songoftheday 3/26/14 - My friends know what's in store I won't be here anymore, I've packed my bags I've cleaned the floor Watch me walkin' out the door...


Eurythmics - "Would I Lie To You?"
from the album Be Yourself Tonight (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by the British new-wave duo Eurythmics, whose last major studio release Touch in 1983 had spun off three top-40 hits in America with "Here Comes The Rain Again", "Who's That Girl", and "Right By My Side". The following year they recorded the criminally underrated album soundtrack to the movie adaptation of George Orwell's 1984, and the fabulous dance single "Sexcrime (1984)" became a top-5 hit in England, though it was relatively ignored in the States (it didn't help that the director of 1984 didn't approve of the duo's soundtrack at all).

After this album the pair switched musical direction to a more rock and soul oriented sound, and the earthier and meatier production is displayed the best on their first single for their fourth studio album Be Yourself Tonight. "Would I Lie To You?" features a kick-ass horn section and Aretha-style call and answer background vocals that packed quite the punch. Even the video forgoes the high-concept video for a bad performance-style clip (albeit with the over-dramatic flourish in the start)...


 "Would I Lie To You" became the Eurythmics' third (and so far most recent) top-10 pop hit in America, while scaling to #2 on the rock radio chart and #5 on the dance club play list in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single went to #1 Down Under in Australia, and top-10 in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Sweden. In their home country, it topped out at #17 (their follow-up single, "There Must Be An Angel", though, shot to #1).

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

German Sweep: March 25, 2014...


It's time to cross the border to check out the latest singles to make the official singles chart in Germany this week, as Mr. Probz climbs back to #1 for a second non-consecutive week with "Waves"...

The high entry of the week is from rock band Unheilig, who hail from the western city of Aachen, with "Als wär's das erste Mal" ("As If It Were The First Time"), my "German Pick of the Week". It's one of two new tracks from their greatest hits set to enter the chart this week, this one at #10, becoming their fifth top-10 single...


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French Sweep: March 25, 2014...


Bonjour mes amis, it's time to cross the Atlantic yet again to check out the songs making their way on to the top 100 on the official sales chart in France this week, as Pharrell stays put for a fifteenth non-consecutive week at #1 with "Happy"...

The week's top debut at #18 is Parisian neo-new wave band Indochine with "Belfast". It's the fourth single from their #1 album Black City Parade. The first, "Memoria", went to #13 in 2012...


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Songoftheday 3/25/14 - If she called me I'd be there I'd come running anywhere, she's all I need all my life I feel so good if I just say the word...


Phil Collins - "Sussudio"
from the album No Jacket Required (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day is by British singer/drummer/frontman for the prog-rock group Genesis Phil Collins, whose third album, No Jacket Required, had already scored him a #1 hit in the U.S. with the ballad "One More Night". To follow that up he released the single that was the first from the album in the UK, "Sussudio". Basically a re-write of Prince's "1999"'s synth power-chords coupled with an infectious bassline all provided by the System's David Frank (who would go on to score a hit of his own with "Don't Disturb This Groove"), somehow grabbed ahold of my high-school brain and wouldn't let go...


"Sussudio" became Phil's third #1 pop single and second from the album in July of 1985, while becoming quite the crossover hit, reaching #7 on the R&B chart, #10 on the Rock radio chart, #4 on the Dance club play list, and #30 on the Adult Contemporary radio chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single topped the singles chart in Ireland, and went top-40 in Australia, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Surprisingly as the lead-off single in Britain the song stopped at #12.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Robbed Hit of the Week: Philip Bailey's "Walking On The Chinese Wall"...


Philip Bailey - "Walking On The Chinese Wall"
from the album Chinese Wall (1984)
Billboard  Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" is by R&B vocalist Philip Bailey, who took a break from the band Earth, Wind & Fire to record his solo album Chinese Wall, and scored a top-5 hit with his collaboration with Genesis singer Phil Collins on "Easy Lover". For the next single (the third from the set), Philip released the titular "Walking On The Chinese Wall", written by Billie Hughes and Roxanne Seeman, and again produced by Collins...


The dramatic-sounding single (which reminds me of Africa's "Toto") failed to match the success of "Easy Lover", stopping just below the pop top-40 in May of 1985, while peaking at #56 on the R&B chart. It did do better across the Atlantic, reaching #34 on the British singles chart. I think the single would've done much better in say, 1982 or 1983...

In the following year, Bailey would release another pop solo album Inside, and the single "State Of The Heart" went to #20 on the R&B chart. He wouldn't have another solo single until 1994's new-jack "Here With Me", which was a minor soul hit and his latest chart single apart from the group he's still performing with as the lead singer (their newest, The Promise, is a keeper).

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Songoftheday 3/24/14 - How can I convince you what you see is real, who am I to blame you for doubting what you feel...


Survivor - "The Search Is Over"
from the album Vital Signs (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day is by the rock band Survivor, whose first full album with new lead singer Jimi Jamison, Vital Signs, had scored them two top-40 hits already with "I Can't Hold Back" and "High On You". For their third release from the record they went with the power-ballad "The Search Is Over", written by bandmembers Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik, and produced slickly by Ron Nevison for premium radio action and prom theme play everywhere...


"The Search Is Over" became Survivor's third top-10 pop hit in July of 1985, while nabbed them their first #1 hit on the adult contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart in Billboard magazine, where it stayed for a month.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Brit Sweep: March 23, 2014...


The end of the weekend is here, and time to check out the song debuting on the just-released official British singles chart this week...

The top-selling single of the week is the second for London-area neo-house producer and musician Duke Dumont with "I Got U" featuring Jax Jones. He previously topped the chart with the Grammy-nominated "Need U (100%)"...


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Album Sweep: March 29, 2014...


Hey gang, it's time for this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their first appearance on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums sales chart. Since this week only 15 new sets debut, I'll cover it all in one shot. and as always I've included highlighted links to buy them as well as some of the artists' other work. Support the talent!

This week's biggest-selling album for a sixth non-consecutive week is the soundtrack to Frozen, selling just under 100,000 copies...

The top debut at #2 belongs to country A-lister Luke Bryan, with the sixth volume of his Spring Break EP series subtitled ...Like We Ain't Ever. The fifth, actually a full-length collection of songs from the previous four with a couple new songs, went to #1 last year...


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Songoftheday 3/23/14 - Why am I standing on a cloud every time you're around, and my sadness disappears every time you are near...


Madonna - "Angel"
from the album Like A Virgin (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day is by pop music icon Madonna, whose sophomore album Like A Virgin had given her a #1 hit with the title track and a #2 follow-up wiith "Material Girl". She also scored a second chart-topper with a single from the movie Vision Quest (where she made a cameo), "Crazy For You". She went back to her album to mine another single, the Prince-ish sounding "Angel". Even though she was MTV's biggest star, she didn't release a regular video for this, just a promo "best of" for the clubs...


"Angel" became Madonna's fifth consecutive top-5 pop hit in June of 1985, while reaching the same mark on the adult-contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and #71 on the R&B (then the "Black") singles chart in Billboard. The single also went to #5 in England and Canada, and top-10 in Spain and Ireland.

Now, the odd thing about "Angel" is that the 12" vinyl and cassette versions of the single had a song from her next movie, Desperately Seeking Susan, as the B-Side. Madonna had a much bigger role in the film, and the movie featured the song "Into The Groove", which was written with her friend and former Breakfast Club band partner Steven Bray. Since the chart rules at the time wouldn't allow it to share the chart since it wasn't in all the configurations, "Into The Groove" never became a radio hit "officially", though it far outshined "Angel" in the long run, and did manage to top the dance club play chart (as well as the singles chart in Australia) with it...


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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dance Sweep: March 29, 2014...


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

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Rokelle takes over the #1 spot with her first chart-topper, "Take Me Away"...

Pharrell Williams' #1 pop hit "Happy" finally makes this chart as the highest debut at #34...


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Country Sweep: March 29, 2014...


Part four of today's "chart sweeps" checks out the songs making the country radio chart this week in Billboard magazine...

On the radio-monitored Country Airplay chart, Frankie Ballard scores his first #1 hit with "Helluva Life'...

David Nail follows up his #1 his "Whatever She's Got" with "Kiss You Tonight" at #54...


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Soul Sweep: March 29, 2014...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Pharrell captures the #1 spot with "Happy"...

The top entry at #48 is from Mariah Carey with her latest, "You're Mine (Eternal)". It follows "Beautiful", which went to #30 last year...


Actor and singer Trevor Jackson lands at #49 with "Drop It". He recently starred in the Syfy series Eureka...


The last entry on the main chart at #50 is singer Leela James with "Say That" featuring Anthony Hamilton. It's my "Soul Pick of the Week"...


Meanwhile, on the older-skewing Adult R&B radio panel, John Legend holds on for a seventh week on top with "All Of Me"...

R. Kelly returns at #23 with "Legs Shakin'" featuring rapper Ludacris...


...and dropping in at #29 is singer/songwriter Shalea with "I'll Never Let You Go"...

Lastly, on the Rhythmic format, which incorporates more dance music in the mix, "Happy" also moves up to #1...

Rap collective Young Money come in at #29 with "Trophies" featuring Drake...


Cuban-American singer and rapper Kat Dahlia drops in at #38 with "Crazy"...


Finally, at the #40 spot is rapper YG with "Who Do You Love?" featuring Drake (again)...


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




Rock Sweep: March 29, 2014...






Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up, sampling the songs making the radio charts in Billboard magazine, and this time out it's the newest rock songs on the radio...

On the main Rock Airplay chart,  Arctic Monkeys spend a fifth week at #1 with "Do I Wanna Know?"...

The sole entry of the week at #47 is from electronic-rock duo Brick + Mortar, from Toms River, New Jersey by way of Asbury Park, with "Locked In A Cage"...


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Pop Sweep: March 29, 2014...


It's time to kick off the start to today's five-part "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making their debut on the various singles charts in Billboard magazine. As always, I'll start out on the "pop" side of things, and then later move on to rock, R&B, country, and dance...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which tallies info from sales, radio airplay, and internet streaming, Pharrell maintains his lead for a fourth week with "Happy"...

The top debut of the week, rocketing up at #9, is another "stunt" placing from the magazine, with French singer Soko benefiting from her song being the "backing track" to the "viral video" "First Kiss" last week (that's a lot of quotation marks). At first passed around as an art piece claiming to be strangers brought together to be filmed kissing for the first time, it was later revealed to be nothing but a marketing stunt by a clothesewear company that I won't name here. Billboard says that 96% of it's total "points" come from YouTube views of this (I refuse to really call it "streaming", since it's really people watching the video which is really an ad), so you can call this chart placement on enhanced steroids. The only two upsides of it are that at least you're hearing the entire song (as opposed to the "Harlem Shake" debacle), and the song and singer are an obscure openly bisexual French artist whose piece is worthy in its own right, the song "We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow". And most people watching the "First Kiss" probably don't realize the original video for the song done almost two years ago details a lesbian love affair of the artist. The only thing is, with only 10,000 "sales" of the song last week, how is this a measure of the music business? I know tangently, but for real, this is almost making a "bubble" out of the biz, and like housing, you know where that goes...


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