Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dance Sweep: June 7, 2014...


It's time to wrap up today's "chart sweeps" of this week's Billboard charts with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club play chart, British neo-house artist Duke Dumont scores his second #1 hit with "I Got U" featuring Jax Jones. The first, "Need U (100%)", was nominated for a Grammy this year as well...

The highest debut of the week at #38 is from British modern rockers Coldplay with their "Sky Full Of Stars", which was produced by Swedish EDM king Avicii. They topped this chart before with "Talk"...


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Country Sweep: June 7, 2014...


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

On their Country Airplay chart, accident-prone Luke Bryan spends a second week at #1 with "Play It Again"...

Jumping in at #48 are the two most popular women in country music today, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood,  with "Something Bad". It's from Miranda's upcoming Platinum album - the first single, "Automatic", is still climbing at #4...


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Soul Sweep: June 7, 2014...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Chris Brown takes over the #1 spot with "Loyal" featuring Lil' Wayne, Tyga, Too Short, or French Montana (depending on which version you're airing)...

Well it seems that Australian-born rapper Iggy Azalea is able to conquer this chart as "Fancy" featuring Charli XCX is the top debut at #36...


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Rock Sweep: June 7, 2014...






Round two of today's chart sweeps is up, sampling the songs making the radio 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 Black Keys hold steady for a third week on top with "Fever"...

The top entry at #34 is modern rock giants Coldplay with "A Sky Full Of Stars", my "Rock Pick of the Week". It's the follow-up to "Magic", which still is in the top-10 here at #7...


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Pop Sweep: June 7, 2014...


Hey gang, it's time to kick off the first of today's "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making the various radio and singles charts in Billboard magazine. As always, I'll start on the pop side of things, then move on to rock, R&B, country, and dance music later in the day...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of radio airplay, sales, and internet "streaming", there's a new winner, as former children's show star Ariana Grande scores her first #1 hit with "Problem" featuring Australian rapper Iggy Azalea (also a first). With Iggy also at #2 with her own "Fancy", her record company is sure spending money to make her "happen", aren't they?

Speaking of payola, I'm not going to delve into the re-appearance of a Michael Jackson track from 1982 at #14 except for saying that 500,000 worldwide views of a non-official clip only lasting two minutes doesn't seem like something that would push a record to the top-20. Just sayin'.

The true top debut of the week is a superstar duet from two of the biggest female voices in country music, which is seriously devoid of much womanly presence. Miranda Lambert teams up with former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood at #39 for "Somethin' Bad". It's the second track to make the chart from Miranda's upcoming album Platinum. So far it's gone higher than the first, "Automatic", which had topped out at #41 earlier this year and it still going strong at #46. This new one seems more Underwood style than Lambert's and that's a shame. Miranda's one of the few trad-country holdouts out there...


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Songoftheday 5/31/14 - Under the ruins of a walled city, crumbling towers and beams of yellow light...


Sting - "Fortress Around Your Heart"
from the album The Dream Of The Blue Turtles (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day is by singer/songwriter/bassist/tantric expert Sting, who left The Police and released his first solo album in 1985, scoring a top-10 pop hit in America with "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free". He followed that record up with "Fortress Around Your Heart", which sounded more like his old band, with a few jazz touches in the instrumentation by saxophonist Branford Marsalis. I could have seen this one on their last album Synchronicity. It was inspired by Sting's divorce from his first wife, actress Frances Tomelty...


"Fortress Around Your Heart" became Sting's second top-10 solo hit in the U.S. in October of 1985, while topping the Mainstream Rock radio chart like its predecessor. However, in his native England, the single didn't even reach the top-40, stopping at #49.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for May 30, 2014...


Hey gang, Friday is here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the week. This week Pharrell climbs back to #1 for a tenth week, while local girl gone good Christina Perri (pictured above) moves into the top-10. Former big hits by Phantogram, Randy Houser, Mary Lambert, and Blake Shelton drop off my chart, while songs by Gia, Ariana Grande, and Katy Perry make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red).

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Happy - Pharrell Williams (2)
2. The Walker - Fitz & The Tantrums (1)
3. Come With Me Now - KONGOS (5)
4. All of Me - John Legend (4)
5. Fever - The Black Keys (6)
6. Sleeping With A Friend - Neon Trees (3)
7. Human - Christina Perri (11)
8. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (13)
9. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (9)
10. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (8)
11. Let It Go - Idina Menzel (7)
12. Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz (10)
13. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (15)
14. I Choose You - Sara Bareilles (18)
15. Play It Again - Luke Bryan (19)
16. Red Lights - Tiesto (12)
17. Supernova - Ray Lamontagne (21)
18. Pompeii - Bastille (14)
19. Not A Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake (23)
20. Magic - Coldplay (20)
21. Automatic -Miranda Lambert (24)
22. Bottoms Up - Brantley Gilbert (22)
23. The Man - Aloe Blacc (16)
24. Hey Brother - Avicii (17)
25. Find You - Zedd f/Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant (26)
26. Bad Blood - Bastille (30)
27. Rewind - Rascal Flatts (28)
28. Addicted To You - Avicii (32)
29. Summer - Calvin Harris (39)
30. Raging Fire - Phillip Phillips (34)
31. Beat Of The Music - Brett Eldredge (35)
32. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (46)
33. #SELFIE - The Chainsmokers (25)
34. Sing - Ed Sheeran (44)
35. The Best Day Of My Life - American Authors (31)
36. I Got U - Duke Dumont f/Jax Jones (41)
37. Drink To That All Night - Jerrod Niemann (27)
38. Dark Horse - Katy Perry f/Juicy J (33)
39. Chainsaw - The Band Perry (47)
40. Get Me Some Of That - Thomas Rhett (45)
41. Team - Lorde (29)
42. Say Something - A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera (38)
43. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (57)
44. Fancy - Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (54)
45. Come A Little Closer - Cage The Elephant (42)
46. Hideaway - Kiesza (52)
47. Shiny Disco Balls - Scotty Boy f/Sue Cho (43)
48. Take Out The Gunman - Chevelle (48)
49. Cop Car - Keith Urban (49)
50. You're Mine (Eternal) - Mariah Carey (50)
51. Bombs Away - Gia (71)
52. Give Me Back My Hometown - Eric Church (53)
53. Warrior - Havana Brown (63)
54. Southern Sun - Boy & Bear (58)
55. Me and My Broken Heart - Rixton (69)
56. Nobody To Love - Sigma (66)
57. Turn Down For What - DJ Snake f/Lil Jon (59)
58. Waves - Mr. Probz (62)
59. Ten Feet Tall - Afrojack f/Wrabel (61)
60. Lettin' The Night Roll - Justin Moore (60)
61. Keep Them Kisses Comin' - Craig Campbell (65)
62. On Top Of The World - Imagine Dragons (55)
63. Guilty All The Same - Linkin Park (67)
64. I Blame You - Ledisi (64)
65. I Walk Alone - Cher (75)
66. Birthday - Katy Perry (82)
67. Into The Blue - Kylie Minogue (37)
68. Partition - Beyonce (68)
69. I'm A Freak - Enrique Iglesias f/Pitbull (73)
70. Whiskey In My Water - Tyler Farr (78)
71. Blue Moon - Beck (56)
72. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers (80)
73. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan (74)
74. Problem - Ariana Grande f/Iggy Azalea (94)
75. Neon Lights - Demi Lovato (76)
76. The Rising - Five Knives (86)
77. If I Fall - Cole Plante f/Myon & Shane54 with Ruby O'Dell (DEBUT)
78. Love Runs Out - OneRepublic (88)
79. We Are Tonight - Billy Currington (89)
80. When She Says Baby - Jason Aldean (72)
81. Burn - Ellie Goulding (81)
82. Beachin' - Jake Owen (90)
83. Wake Up Lovin' You - Craig Morgan (87)
84. I Will Never Let You Down - Rita Ora (99)
85. For The Rest Of My Life - Robin Thicke (85)
86. Peace - O.A.R. (91)
87. Alone - Armin van Buuren f/Lauren Evans (97)
88. Story Of My Life - One Direction (83)
89. Rude - Magic! (DEBUT)
90. Take Me To Church - Hozier (DEBUT)
91. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High? - Arctic Monkeys (DEBUT)
92. Only Love Can Hurt Like This - Paloma Faith (92)
93. The Worst - Jhene Aiko (98)
94. Break Your Plans - The Fray (DEBUT)
95. Who I Am With You _ Chris Young (DEBUT)
96. Torn To Pieces - Pop Evil (DEBUT)
97. Invincible - Borgeous (RE-ENTRY)
98. My Eyes - Blake Shelton f/Gwen Sebastian (DEBUT)
99. Better Without You - FAKY (DEBUT)
100. Auf Uns - Andreas Bourani (DEBUT)

There are ten songs making their debut on the chart this week (highlighted in blue), and if you click on any of them you'll connect to their official website for more info, tour dates, music, and more. And here they are on video after the break...

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Songoftheday 5/30/14 - I'm fading out of sight my wheels are the only sound, runnin' at the speed of sight I can't slow down...


Michael McDonald - "No Lookin' Back"
from the album No Lookin' Back (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #34 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's Song of the Day comes from the soulful singer with the awesome hair and beard Michael McDonald, who left the Doobie Brothers in the early 80s to pursue a solo career, and scored a top-10 hit out of the box in 1982 with his cover of "I Keep Forgettin'".  A year later he returned to the top-40 with his duet with James Ingram, "Yah Mo B There".

In 1985 Michael released his second solo album, which he co-produced and co-wrote all the songs. The first single from the project was a collaboration with fellow yacht-rock star Kenny Loggins, who also recorded a version of "No Lookin' Back" for his own Vox Humana album the year before. The pair wrote "No Lookin' Back with keyboardist Ed Sanford, who had a big hit of his own in the late 70s with "Smoke From A Distant Fire"....


"No Lookin' Back" became McDonald's third solo top-40 hit in September of 1985. It became his biggest success on rock radio, peaking at #4 on Billboard magazine's Mainstream Rock chart, while also climbing to #18 on their adult contemporary radio list.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

8 of the 80s: 5/29/14 (1984)


80's throwback for this week has eight more nuggets from 1984, the year the Herreys' "Diggi-Loo, Diggi-Ley" won the Eurovision song contest for Sweden.

Van Stephenson - "What The Big Girls Do"
from the album Righteous Anger (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #45
Songwriters: Jan Buckingham, Steve Buckingham, Van Stephenson


Van would go on to be a third of one of the biggest country groups of the 90s, Blackhawk, after trying out the power-pop route in the 80s like on this MTV staple.

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7 of the 70s: 5/29/14 (1974)


It's throwback thursday time 70s style, and this week I'm back to 1974, the year the first all-female team climbed to the top of Mount Everest...

Gordon Lightfoot - "Sundown"
from the album Sundown (1974)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 
Songwriter: Gordon Lightfoot


According to Gordon, the song was about former girlfriend Cathy Smith, who would go on to go to jail for assisting in the overdose of John Belushi in 1982.

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Songoftheday 5/29/14 - On the South side of Detroit city I'm working all night on the line...


John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band - "C-I-T-Y"
from the album Tough All Over (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day comes from the Rhode Island bar band John Cafferty and Beaver Brown, who followed up their success with the soundtrack to Eddie and the Cruisers with a straight ahead rock record Tough All Over, scoring a top-40 hit with the title track. The second release from the album, "C-I-T-Y", was another danceable rock number that so encapsulated the mid-80s...


"C-I-T-Y" became the band's fourth and final top-40 pop hit in October of 1985, while scaling to #9 on Billboard magazine's Mainstream Rock radio chart. In neighboring Canada, it also made the top-40 at #30.

Cafferty would put out a few more minor pop hits, including a contribution to the Rocky IV soundtrack, "Heart's On Fire". His last time on the pop chart came in 1989 with a song from the Eddie And The Cruisers II sequel, "Pride And Passion" (#66). He continues to tour with a shifting lineup of Beaver Browners..

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Aussie Sweep: May 28, 2014...


Time to head Down Under to check out the songs making the official sales chart in Australia this week, as the Justice Crew rule for a third week at #1 with "Que Sera"...

The top debut of the week at #24 is from the Amity Affliction, a metalcore band from Queensland, with "Don't Lean On Me". It's their second consecutive top-40 hit in their home country...



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6 of the 60s: 5/28/14 (1964)


Hey gang, it's 60s time again, and this week I'm back to 1964, the year hundreds of students marched in Times Square and San Francisco to protest the Vietnam War....

Mary Wells - "My Guy"
from the album Mary Wells Sings My Guy (1964)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriter: Smokey Robinson


The biggest hit for Motown's first big star, the song has hit the chart for more acts than you can count on both hands, but it's Mary's perky original that retains its innocent sweetness the best.

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Songoftheday 5/28/14 - I spend my time thinkin' 'bout you constantly, it's true that I want you you're the meaning of success to me...


John Waite - "Every Step Of The Way"
from the album Mask Of Smiles (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day comes from British rock singer John Waite, who had left his power-pop band the Babys to score a #1 pop hit in America in 1984 with "Missing You" and a top-40 follow-up with "Tears". The following year, John released his third solo album Mask Of Smiles, and the first single from the project, "Every Step Of The Way", co-written by the artist with Czech rock/punk songwriter Ivan Kral. Behold the wall of hair in the video...



"Every Step Of The Way" became Waite's third and final solo top-40 pop hit in September of 1985. It was a much bigger hit on rock radio, climbing to #4 on Billboard magazine's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, while it popped in the top-40 at #39 in Canada, it failed to even make the singles chart in Waite's native England.

The single would be his last solo trip in the pop top-40. though he would go on to have a bunch of minor hits, including one, "These Times Are Hard For Lovers", that made the top-10 on the rock chart at #6 in 1987. However, that year he joined the hair-rock "supergroup" Bad English with Journey's Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon, and returned to the top of the American pop chart with "When I See You Smile" in 1989. After they dissolved after their second album, Waite went back to being a solo artist, and made it back on the pop chart in 1995 with "How Did I Get By Without You" (#89 pop, #20 rock). He would continue to have a couple more singles make the adult-contemporary radio chart, the latest being 2005's "New York City Girl". Most recently, he remade "Missing You" as a duet with bluegrass artist Alison Krauss and made the top-40 on the country chart.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

German Sweep: May 27, 2014...






I'm ready to cross the border into Germany to check out the songs making the official singles chart this week....

There's a new #1 on the list, and it's from rapper Cro from the southern city of Aalen with "Traum" ("Dream"). The man who dons an eerie panda mask has had one other #1 hit with "Whatever" from 2013...


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French Sweep: May 27, 2014...


It's time to cross the Atlantic yet again to check out the song making the official sales chart in France this week, as Milky Chance holds at #1 for a second week with "Stolen Dance"

The top debut of the week at #18 belongs to a duo that recently competed on France's version of The Voice. Frero Delavega (a moniker built on their two surnames) place their first single on the chart with "Sweet Darling"...


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Songoftheday 5/27/14 - Radio playin' softly some singer's sang sad song, he's singin' about standing in the shadows of love I guess he feels awfully alone...


John Cougar Mellencamp - "Lonely Ol' Night"
from the album Scarecrow (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is from Midwestern rocker John Cougar Mellencamp, whose 1983 album Uh Huh pointed him more into an everyman artistic direction, and scored three top-20 pop hits with "Crumblin' Down", "Pink Houses", and "The Authority Song". In 1985, John started writing and recording the music to what would end up his probably his most important piece of work, the Scarecrow album. Wanting to replicate the oldtime 60s rock and roll of his youth, he put together a top notch backing band who learned classic rock tunes before setting them loose on his originals. The resulting work was a classic that should rank over some more heralded albums, but Mellencamp had a lot to overcome for his "Cougar" days. The first single from the album was the rollicking "Lonely Ol' Night", a straight-ahead dance-rock number like "Crumblin' Down" was....


"Lonely Ol' Night" became Mellencamp's fifth top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in October of 1985, while also topping the Mainstream Rock radio, his second after "Hurts So Good" did the trick in 1982. The record even popped into Billbaord's Adult Contemporary radio chart at #37. Internationally, the single went all the way to #4 in Canada and  #32 in Australia.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Robbed hit of the Week 5/26/14 - Loose Ends' "Hanging On A String (Contemplating)"...


Loose Ends - "Hanging On A String (Contemplating)"
from the album So Where Are You? (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #43

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the British soul trio Loose Ends, who came together in the early 80s under musician Steve Nichol along with singers Jane Eugene and Carl McIntosh. They released their debut album A Little Spice in 1984 in England, where they had a few minor hits including one that almost made the top-40 there at #41, "Emergency (Dial 999)". However it wasn't until their second UK set So Where Are You? that they had their big break with a slinky neo-soul number called "Hanging On A String". With a sophistication like acts like Sade along with a groove that Soul II Soul would capitalize on, the single became their first top-40 hit in the UK, and when their debut album was released in the US, it included this song, and it became their first taste of success on this side of the ocean...


"Hanging On A String" became Loose Ends' first #1 R&B in America, also a first for a group from the country to do so. It also made the Hot 100, but just missed the top-40 by a hair in August of 1985. The record also climbed to #12 on Billboard's Dance Club play chart as well.

It would be their only time in the pop chart in America, but the trio continued to have success on R&B radio through the rest of the decade. In 1986, they scored a second R&B #1 hit with "Slow Down", while musically backing up the British quintet Five Star on their debut album. In 1988, though, both Nichol and Eugene left Loose Ends, and McIntosh recruited two new members and continued briefly, having a top-10 soul hit in America with "Don't Be A Fool" in 1990, which also nicked the dance chart at #50. Their last showing in the US was with 1991's "Cheap Talk", which climbed to #28 on the R&B list. Most recently the original trio has reunited for tours and new music. But their legacy of classy yet danceable soul music places them in my faves of the decade.

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Album Sweep: May 31, 2014 - Part Two...


It's time for part two of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on this week's Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine. You can check out part one by clicking here, and as before I've included highlighted links to buy the albums and some of the artists' other work...

Coming in at #53 is the second full-length effort from indie-pop musician Kishi Bashi, with Lighght.


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Songoftheday 5/26/14 - a few stolen moments is all that we share, you've got your family and they need you there...


Whitney Houston - "Saving All My Love For You"
from the album Whitney Houston (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day is from Whitney Houston, who in 1985 was a fresh-faced up and coming newbie on the music scene whose classy soft R&B debut album had introduced her to pop and soul radio with "You Give Good Love". For the second American single from the album, Whitney released the slinky "Saving All My Love For You", which hid a tale of infidelity underneath its cocktail party-ready sheen. The song, written by former Carole King collaborator Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser, was originally recorded by 2/5ths of the Fifth Dimension, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. in 1978....


Whitney's youth and vitality certainly gave more power to the theme of the song, and her range was custom-fit for the record...


"Saving All My Love For You" became Whitney's first #1 pop hit in October of 1985, while also claiming the top spot on both the R&B and Adult Contemporary radio charts in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the record also went to #1 in Britain, as well as top-10 in Canada, France, and Switzerland. It would be the first of eventually seven consecutive #1 pop hits in the U.S. for Houston...

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Brit Sweep: May 25, 2014...


Hey gang, Sunday is here, and it's time to check out the songs making the just-released official sales chart in Britain this week....

The top-selling song in the country this week belongs to angelic-voiced singer Sam Smith, who nabs his third #1 hit with "Stay With Me". Previously he topped the chart as a featured artist on Naughty Boy's "La La La" and on his own "Money On My Mind"....


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Album Sweep: May 31, 2014 - Part One...


I'm ready to kick off the first half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on the official Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine. As usual, I've included links to buy the newbies as well as some of the artists' other work, but if you can, stop on by an independent record store. It'll do your soul some good...

There were a race for the top spot this week, and the winner by about 7,000 copies is Turn Blue, the eighth album and third big-time release for the indie-rock duo the Black Keys. It's their first to hit the top of the chart...



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Songoftheday 5/25/14 - Talking away I don't know what I'm to say, I'll say it anyway today isn't my day to find you...


a-ha - "Take On Me"
from the album Hunting High and Low (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day is by the Norwegian new wave trio a-ha, who came together in Oslo in the early 80s when leader singer Morten Hacket met keyboard player Magne Furuholmen and guitarist Paul Waaktaar. They released their debut album in 1985, and the first single from the set, "Take On Me", original sported a by-the-number performance video, but when MTV got a hold of their second visualization, which had the band and a lady immersed in an animated action clip directed by Steve Barron ("Billie Jean", "Money For Nothing") that was truly innovative and captivating, the channel made it their star attraction. Alan Tarney's vivid production added to the danceability of the track...


"Take On Me" became the trio's first top-40 hit in America, climbing to #1 in October of 1985, while scaling to #4 on the adult-contemporary (or "Easy-listening") radio chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single topped the chart in all of Scandanavia as well as Germany and Austria, and went to #2 in Britain. In their native country, they topped the singles chart in their second try - they originally went to #3 with the song long before the iconic video was released.

The video would go on to dominate the MTV Music Video awards, grabbing six trophies including special effects and new artist (though losing to the director's own "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits for video of the year).

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dance Sweep: May 31, 2014...


I've come to the end of today's "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making the singles 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, Australian DJ and singer Havana Brown lands her fourth #1 hit with "Warrior"...

Rocketing in at #30 is the pop smash from Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea with "Fancy" featuring Charli XCX. Last year Iggy went to #5 on this chart with "Work"...


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Country Sweep: May 31, 2014...


Part four of today's "chart sweeps" has the latest songs on country radio as monitored by Billboard magazine...

On their Country Airplay chart, Luke Bryan claims his ninth #1 hit with "Play It Again"...

The top debut of the week comes from Brantley Gilbert, who teams up with Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett for "Small Town Throwdown". It follows his #1 hit "Bottoms Up"...


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Soul Sweep: May 31, 2014...






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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Jhene Aiko holds tight at #1 for a third week with "The Worst"...

The top debut of the week belongs to singer/songwriter Trey Songz, whose second single from his upcoming sixth album, "SmartPhones", comes in at #46. The first, "Na Na", peaked at #9 a few weeks back and now is at #13 for the third straight week...


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Rock Sweep: May 31, 2014...


Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" brings you the latest rock songs making the radio charts in Billboard magazine....

On the main aggregate Rock Airplay chart, The Black Keys hold on to #1 for a second week with "Fever"...

Leaping on to the chart at #34 as the top debut are the reggae-rock tones of the Dirty Heads with "My Sweet Summer", the first single from their upcoming third album Sound Of Change, and my "Rock Pick of the Week". They previously topped this chart back in 2010 with "Lay Me Down"...


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Pop Sweep: May 31, 2014...


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

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of radio airplay, sales, and internet streaming, John legend holds tight at #1 for a third week with "All Of Me"...

The top debut of the week comes from the Australian "boy-band" 5 Seconds of Summer, with their second hit single in the US, "Don't Stop", at #47. Their first, "She Looks So Perfect", moves up to a new high of #32 this week...


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Songoftheday 5/24/14 - Like I always say what's good for the goose is always good for the gander...


Ready For The World - "Oh Sheila"
from the album Ready For The World (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by the R&B/funk group Ready for the World who came out of the former automotive giant of Flint, Michigan, where they were discovered on local radio before being signed by MCA Records in the mid-80s. They released their self-titled debut album in 1985, and the first single released from the project, "Oh Sheila", was a dead ringer for a Prince track, and with vocals from leader Melvin Riley resembling the Purple One and a chord structure sooooo close to Sheila E's "The Glamorous Life", it caught on with pop and soul audiences alike. And of course, they threw in an Aussie sounding "Sheila" to throw you slightly off...


"Oh Sheila" became a #1 hit simultaneously on the pop, R&B, and dance chart in Billboard magazine in October of 1985. Internationally, the single stopped at the halfway mark on the chart at #50 in the UK, while topping the chart in Canada, top-10 in Belgium, and top-40 in most of the rest of Europe.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for May 23, 2014...


Friday is finally here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the week. Fitz & The Tantrums stick around on top for a second week, while the Black Keys (pictured above) climb up four spots in the top-10. Songs by Iggy Azalea, Sam Smith, and Craig Campbell make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from OneRepublic, Pretty Reckless, and Sam Smith (again) drop off my list. Happy Memorial Day summer kickoff weekend every who has it!

This Week               Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. The Walker - Fitz & The Tantrums (1)
2. Happy - Pharrell Williams (2)
3. Sleeping With A Friend - Neon Trees (3)
4. All Of Me - John Legend (4)
5. Come With Me Now - KONGOS (6)
6. Fever - The Black Keys (10)
7. Let It Go - Idina Menzel (5)
8. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (7)
9. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (9)
10. Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo (12)
11. Human - Christina Perri (16)
12. Red Lights - Tiesto (8)
13. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (18)
14. Pompeii - Bastille (14)
15. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (19)
16. The Man - Aloe Blacc (11)
17. Hey Brother - Avicii (13)
18. I Choose You - Sara Bareilles (22)
19. Play It Again - Luke Bryan (26)
20. Magic - Coldplay (25)
21. Supernova - Ray Lamontagne (31)
22. Bottoms Up - Brantley Gilbert (24)
23. Not A Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake (37)
24. Automatic - Miranda Lambert (28)
25. #SELFIE - The Chainsmokers (20)
26. Find You - Zedd f/Matthew Koma &Miriam Bryant (32)
27. Drink To That All Night - Jerrod Niemann (17)
28. Rewind - Rascal Flatts (30)
29. Team - Lorde (15)
30. Bad Blood - Bastille (40)
31. The Best Day Of My Life - American Authors (27)
32. Addicted To You - Avicii (36)
33. Dark Horse - Katy Perry (23)
34. Raging Fire - Phillip Phillips (41)
35. Beat Of The Music - Brett Eldredge (39)
36. Fall In Love - Phantogram (21)
37. Into The Blue - Kylie Minogue (29)
38. Say Something - A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera (34)
39. Summer - Calvin Harris (53)
40. Goodnight Kiss - Randy Houser (35)
41. I Got U - Duke Dumont f/Jax Jones (46)
42. Come A Little Closer - Cage The Elephant (38)
43. Shiny Disco Balls - Scotty Boy f/Sue Cho (44)
44. Sing - Ed Sheeran (48)
45. Get Me Some Of That - Thomas Rhett (49)
46. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (76)
47. Chainsaw - The Band Perry (61)
48. Take Out The Gunman - Chevelle (52)
49. Cop Car - Keith Urban (54)
50. You're Mine (Eternal) - Mariah Carey (50)
51. She Keeps Me Warm - Mary Lambert (43)
52. Hideaway - Kiesza (58)
53. Give Me Back My Hometown - Eric Church (55)
54. Fancy - Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (89)
55. On Top Of The World - Imagine Dragons (45)
56. Blue Moon - Beck (56)
57. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (71)
58. Southern Sun - Boy & Bear (62)
59. Turn Down For What - DJ Snake f/Lil' Jon (59)
60. Lettin' The Night Roll - Justin Moore (64)
61. Ten Feet Tall - Afrojack f/Wrabel (65)
62. Waves - Mr. Probz (67)
63. Warrior - Havana Brown (73)
64. I Blame You - Ledisi (69)
65. Keep Them Kisses Comin' - Craig Campbell (90)
66. Nobody To Love - Sigma (74)
67. Guilty All The Same - Linkin Park f/Rakim (77)
68. Partition - Beyonce (72)
69. Me And My Broken Heart - Rixton (87)
70. Give Life Back To Music - Daft Punk (70)
71. Bombs Away - Gia (DEBUT)
72. When She Says Baby - Jason Aldean (68)
73. I'm A Freak - Enrique Iglesias f/Pitbull (80)
74. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan (78)
75. I Walk Alone - Cher (DEBUT)
76. Neon Lights - Demi Lovato (82)
77. Coming Of Age - Foster The People (42)
78. Whiskey In My Water - Tyler Farr (88)
79. Doin' What She Likes - Blake Shelton (57)
80. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers (92)
81. Burn - Ellie Goulding (47)
82. Birthday - Katy Perry (DEBUT)
83. Story Of My Life - One Direction (63)
84. Memory - Asher Monroe (86)
85. For The Rest Of My Life - Robin Thicke (85)
86. The Rising - Five Knives (DEBUT)
87. Wake Up Lovin' You - Craig Morgan (91)
88. Love Runs Out - OneRepublic (99)
89. We Are Tonight - Billy Currington (DEBUT)
90. Beachin' - Jake Owen (100)
91. Peace - O.A.R. (95)
92. Only Love Can Hurt Like This - Paloma Faith (DEBUT)
93. Wait For Me - Kings Of Leon (DEBUT)
94. Problem - Ariana Grande f/Iggy Azalea (DEBUT)
95. Invisible - U2 (93)
96. Dead But Rising - Volbeat (DEBUT)
97. Alone - Armin van Buuren f/Lauren Evans (DEBUT)
98. The Worst - Jhene Aiko (RE-ENTRY)
99. I Will Never Let You Down - Rita Ora (DEBUT)
100. Black Pearl (He's A Pirate) - Rebel f/Sidney Housen (DEBUT)

There are a dozen songs making their debut on the chart 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 5/23/14 - know you don't really know me I know you don't really care to see me, I'm into total affection not being scared if you never please me...


Ratt - "Lay It Down"
from the album Invasion Of Your Privacy (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's Song of the Day belongs to the Californian glam metal band Ratt, who scored their first top-40 hit with their single "Round And Round" from their debut full-length album. It was no doubt helped by the music video, featuring a dragged-up Milton Berle, and was all over MTV. A year later, they released their sophomore set Invasion Of Your Privacy, and though the video for first single "Lay It Down" didn't have Milton, it did have a well-film concept of a kid's idea of a fun birthday, as well as a guitar riff that killed...


"Lay It Down" popped into the American top-40 for a week in August of 1985, while scaling to #11 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally the single would be their first top-40 hit in Germany, and it was a minor hit in England (#77) and Switzerland (#61).

It would be the band's final time in the pop top-40; they would continue to sell albums and have a few more minor pop hits, ending with the more bluesy "Way Cool Jr.", which peaked at #75 in 1989. However, with declining sales and guitarist Robbin Crosby's heroin addiction causing him to exit the band, Ratt laid it down in 1991. After pursuing other projects separately, lead singer Stephen Pearcy and a couple of the original bandmates reunited, and with a self-titled album in 1999 had a single that cracked the top-40 on the rock chart, "Over The Edge". That reunion didn't last long, and not only did Ratt break up yet again, former guitarist Robbin Crosby, who was too messed up to participate in the 1999 album, and had already revealed that he was HIV positive, died of an overdose in 2002. After another brief reunion in 2000, the band fractured yet again, and you may see any myriad of lineups cavorting around the country performing the songs.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

8 of the 80s: 5/22/14 (1983)


On this week's 80s throwback, I'll traveling back to 1983, the year the space shuttle Challenger took its first voyage.

Lanier & Co. - "After I Cry Tonight"
from the album Lanier & Co (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #48
Songwriter: Phillip Mitchell


Soul singer Ferris Lanier and his band had a quiet storm hit with this song that put me to sleep many times (I'd be listening to the Philly QS station then)...

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7 of the 70s: 5/22/14 (1973)


Throwback Thursday is back with seven more nuggets from the 70s, and this week I'm back to 1973, the year the completed Sears Tower in Chicago becomes the tallest building in the world...

Charlie Rich - "The Most Beautiful Girl"
from the album Behind Closed Doors (1973)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Rory Bourke, Billy Sherrill, Norro Wilson


Rich channeled a little of the "King" in this break-up tearjerker and topped the pop, country, and easy-listening charts.

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Songoftheday 5/22/14 - You don't know how to play the game and you cheat you lie, you don't even know how to say goodbye...


Godley & Creme - "Cry"
from the album The History Mix Volume 1 (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is by the duo of (Kevin) Godley & (Lol) Creme, who had both come from the Lancashire area of England, and joined the art-rock group 10cc in the early 70s, and were there for the band's biggest hit "I'm Not In Love" in 1975. However with the group's gaining popularity and disputes over the direction of their sound, the pair left 10cc the year after in order to pursue more experimental music. They released their first album in 1977, and while it's Prince-like expansiveness got the cold shoulder from the buying public, their hipster cred grew with each of their succeedingly reined in follow-ups. In 1979, they had a minor hit in Germany with a track from their third album Freeze Frame called "An Englishman In New York" (not to be confused with the Sting song). For its single release, they directed their own music video, and this trippy special-effects-laden clip would point them in the direction of where their most lasting fame came.

Their fourth album in 1981, Ismism, brought them a wider audience, scoring a pair of top-ten singles in Britain, with "Under Your Thumb" topping out at #3. But instead of that being a springboard for their music, their next album Birds Of Prey went rather unnoticed. In that time, they started directing music videos for others, and in the first half of the 80s their work has become some of the most iconic visual work of the medium, with classics like Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Two Tribes", Duran Duran's "Girls On Film", Herbie Hancock's "Rockit", Culture Club's "Victims", Sting's "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free", and his band the Police's "Every Breath You Take". As such their name was as well known to MTV addicts as the bands they were shooting, and by the time 1985 rolled around, their cache' was enough to make them an A-list addition for the channel. So in releasing the part-retrospective part-new album The History Mix that year, they gave themselves a song and a video just as memorable as their greatest.

"Cry", written and produced by the duo with The Buggles' Trevor Horn (ironically the guy with the hit "Video Killed the Radio Star"), was a slow, building march to an emotional climax that was visualized by various faces both famous (Mr. T) and not along with Godley and Creme in a stylistically simple yet technically complex fades where each lipsynching face would transform to another, all the while forcing you to focus on the eyes. It was mesmerizing...(the final lipsynch was done by Horn)...


"Cry" became Godley & Creme's first and only top-40 pop hit in America in October of 1985, while reaching the top-10 on both the Mainstream Rock (#6)  and Adult Contemporary (#5) radio charts in Billboard magazine. A more midtempo mix even made the dance chart at #22. Internationally, the single made the top-10 in both Germany and Canada, and in their native Britain peaked at a respectable #19. It would be their only time as a duo on the American charts, though, as the duo went back to specializing in video, releasing only one more album before splitting up. In the meantime, they continued to prospect on MTV with clips for Huey Lewis ("Hip To Be Square"), Peter Gabriel ("Don't Give Up"), and most noticably, Wang Chung, whose "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" brought them to a much wider audience.

After the split Lol would continue to delve into art-rock, joining the Art Of Noise by the end of the 90s, while Kevin would still churn out more memorable videos for the likes of Erasure ("Blue Savannah"), Bryan Adams ("Can't Stop This Thing We Started"), and U2 ("Even Better Than The Real Thing").

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