Monday, June 30, 2014

Robbed Hit of the Week 6/30/14 - Howard Jones' "Like To Get To Know You Well"...


Howard Jones - "Like To Get To Know You Well"
from the album Dream Into Action (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #49

This week's "robbed hit" is from British new-wave singer-songwriter Howard Jones, whose second album Dream Into Action brought the biggest crossover success, reaching the top-10 on the albums chart in America and spinning off two top-40 hits with "Things Can Only Get Better" and "Life In One Day". The third single released from the set in the U.S. was a track originally released in the UK as a stand-alone single and part of a remix album from his debut, and went to #4 on that country single's chart. "Like To Get To Know You Well", written by the artist and produced by Rupert Hine (The Fixx, Tina Turner), was tacked onto Dream Into Action for American audiences...


"Like To Get To Know You Well" stopped at about the halfway point on the American pop chart in November of 1985.

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Brit Sweep: June 30, 2014...


A day late and a pound short, but I've got the newest songs in Britain according to their official chart.

The #1 song in the UK this week is the first hit for Dutch electro-house producer Oliver Heldens with "Gecko" featuring vocals from The Voice UK finalist Becky Hill...


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Album Sweep: July 5, 2014...


Since I was away at Pride festivities in New York over the weekend, I'm gonna take care of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making the Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine, in one shot. As usual I've included links to buy them along with some of the artists' other major work. Support the talent!

The top-selling album of the week is the second full-length major release from Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence. It sold a very respectable 182,000 copies in its first week, allowing her to go to #1 for the first time...



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Songoftheday 6/30/14 - Somewhere there is a fire burning, somewhere inside...


Olivia Newton-John - "Soul Kiss"
from the album Soul Kiss (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day is from Olivia Newton-John, who had taken a break after the release of her second movie with John Travolta, Two Of A Kind, didn't get kindly received, even though it scored her a couple of top-40 singles with the #5 hit "Twist Of Fate" and its follow-up "Livin' In Desperate Times". After setting up her Koala Blue clothing line and marrying actor Matt Latanzi, Olivia released her thirteenth album Soul Kiss. Further placing her into seductive cougar territory, the album's title track was released as the first single, with a hypnotic bass-synth riff over her cooing that fellow Aussie Kylie would perfect years later...


Soul Kiss became Olivia's most recent top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in November of 1985, while also reaching the top-20 on Billboard's adult contemporary radio chart. The remix of the record made #28 on the dance club play list. Internationally, the single was a top-40 hit in Australia and Canada.

Olivia would have a couple more minor hits, the last of which was a remake of her prior #1 "I Honestly Love You" that made the top-20 on the country chart, and #67 on the pop chart in 1998. Both overseas and in the States her Grease hits have perennially shown up on various lists as well, and she's been successfully touring ever since.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Songoftheday 6/29/14 - Baby, don't understand why we can't just hold on to each other's hands?


Mr. Mister - "Broken Wings"
from the album Welcome To The Real World (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day is by the pop/rock band Mr. Mister, who came together in Los Angeles under former Phoenix natives Steve George and Richard Page, the latter who was a well-known studio musician who had worked on a lot of the soft-pop hits of the first half of the 80's. They released their first album, I Wear The Face, in 1984, and scored a minor hit with the single "Hunters Of The Night". Although Page was offered lead singer gigs in both Chicago and Toto (both of whom were going through transitions), he kept going with Mr. Mister.

After changing their sound from the new wave of their first album to a more expansive western-pop of Welcome To The Real World, the band released "Broken Wings" as the first single from their second effort. Based on a Lebanese love story written in the beginning of the 20th century, "Broken Wings" featured Page's bass hook front and center...


"Broken Wings" not only became Mr. Mister's first top-40 hit, the single went all the way to #1 in December of 1985. It also was able to straddle genres, being soft enough to reach #3 on the adult contemporary radio chart, while remaining cool enough to make it to #4 on the Mainstream Rock chart in Billboard. Internationally the record was a huge success, topping the chart in Canada, going to #4 in England, and reaching the top-10 in Germany, Australia, and Italy.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dance Sweep: July 5, 2014...


I'm ready to wrap up today's "chart sweeps" with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio from Billboard's charts..

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Iggy Azalea claims her first #1 hit here with "Fancy" featuring Charli XCX...

Newcomer Scarlett Rabe has the highest debut of the week at #45 with "Battle Cry"...


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Country Sweep: July 5, 2014...


Part four of this week's "chart sweeps" has the newest country songs on Billboard's radio chart...

On the Country Airplay chart, Justin Moore scores his fourth #1 hit with "Lettin' The Night Roll"...

Kenny Chesney returns big as his new single "American Kids" leaps in at #27. In his career he's racked up twenty-two #1 hits dating back to 1997's "She's Got It All"...



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Soul Sweep: July 5, 2014...


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

On the main R&B/HipHop Airplay chart, Chris Brown spends a fifth week on top with "Loyal"...

The top debut at #34 is rapper T.I. with "No Mediocre" featuring Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea. He topped this chart with "Whatever You Like" and "What You Know"...


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Rock Sweep: July 5, 2014...

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

On the main Rock Airplay chart, The Black Keys spend a seventh week at #1 with "Fever"....

The sole debut on the chart at #44 is the latest from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "U Get Me High". It's their first to make the chart in four years, and my "Rock Pick of the Week"...

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Pop Sweep: July 5, 2014...


It's time to kick off the first of this week's "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making their way on to the singles charts in Billboard magazine. As usual, I'll start with the pop side of things, and then later in the day move on to the rock, R&B, country, and dance radio charts...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of radio airplay, sales, and internet streaming, Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" spends a fifth week at #1....

Maroon 5 claim the highest debut of the week as "Maps" rockets in at #14. It's the first single from their upcoming album V, and my "Pop Pick of the Week". So far Adam Levine and the boys have racked up three #1 hits, "Makes Me Wonder", "One More Night", and "Moves Like Jagger" with Christina Aguilera.


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Songoftheday 6/28/14 - In the desert sun every step that you take could be the final one...


Tina Turner - "One Of The Living"
from the album Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (Original Soundtrack) (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #15 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is from veteran soul singer with the high hair and long legs, Tina Turner, who followed up her "comeback" record Private Dancer with an acting turn as Aunty Entity on the Road Warrior sequel Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She recorded two songs for the soundtrack, and the first, "We Don't Need Another Hero", went all the way to #2 on the American pop chart. The other, "One Of The Living", was written by song doctor Holly Knight (who penned her top-5 hit "Better Be Good To Me") and produced by Mike Chapman (Blondie, The Knack)...


"One Of The Living" made the top-20 on the Hot 100 in the U.S. in November of 1985, while going up to #6 on Billboard's dance club play chart, and #41 (!) on the R&B chart. Internationally, the record went top-10 in Germany and Switzerland, Top-40 in Canada and Australia, though only making it to #55 in the UK.

And for some reason I can't explain, I included a passage from this song as one of the quotes in my high school yearbook. I must've been listening to the 45 I had repeatedly that week.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for June 27, 2014...


The end of the week is here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the week. This week Sam Smith leaps to the #1 spot, while Paramore (pictured above) moves up a notch in the top-10. Former big hits by Tiesto, Jerrod Niemann, and Demi Lovato drop out of the chart, while songs by Big Data, Magic!, and Ariana Grande make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Vacation time, take one!

This Week              Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (3)
2. Play It Again - Luke Bryan (4)
3. Come With Me Now - KONGOS (1)
4. Fever - The Black Keys (2)
5. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (5)
6. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (7)
7. Not A Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake (11)
8. Sing - Ed Sheeran (14)
9. Happy - Pharrell Williams (6)
10. Bad Blood - Bastille (12)
11. Summer - Calvin Harris (15)
12. I Choose You - Sara Bareilles (10)
13. All Of Me - John Legend (9)
14. The Walker - Fitz & The Tantrums (8)
15. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (13)
16. Birthday - Katy Perry (21)
17. Automatic - Miranda Lambert (17)
18. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (25)
19. I Got U - Duke Dumont f/Jax Jones (19)
20. Raging Fire - Phillip Phillips (20)
21. Beat Of The Music - Brett Eldredge (23)
22. Fancy - Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (24)
23. Rude - Magic! (37)
24. Sleeping With A Friend - Neon Trees (16)
25. Me And My Broken Heart - Rixton (31)
26. Let It Go - Idina Menzel (26)
27. Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz (22)
28. Whiskey In My Water - Tyler Farr (36)
29. Chainsaw - The Band Perry (30)
30. Southern Sun - Boy & Bear (34)
31. Problem - Ariana Grande f/Iggy Azalea (41)
32. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers (40)
33. Pompeii - Bastille (29)
34. I Walk Alone - Cher (38)
35. Bombs Away - Gia (35)
36. I Will Never Let You Down - Rita Ora (42)
37. Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake (47)
38. Supernova - Ray Lamontagne (18)
39. Hideaway - Kiesza (43)
40. Addicted To You - Avicii (28)
41. Turn Down For What - DJ Snake & Lil' Jon (45)
42. Take Me To Church - Hozier (52)
43. Warrior - Havana Brown (39)
44. Lettin' The Night Roll - Justin Moore (46)
45. Keep Them Kisses Comin' - Craig Campbell (49)
46. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (32)
47. Magic - Coldplay (27)
48. G.U.Y. - Lady Gaga (54)
49. Love Runs Out - OneRepublic (57)
50. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High? - Arctic Monkeys (55)
51. Who I Am With You - Chris Young (56)
52. Dark Horse - Katy Perry f/Juicy J (48)
53. Bottoms Up - Brantley Gilbert (51)
54. Get Me Some Of That - Thomas Rhett (50)
55. Tell It To My Heart - Jason Walker f/Bimbo Jones (60)
56. Beachin' - Jake Owen (66)
57. We Are Tonight - Billy Currington (61)
58. Waves - Mr. Probz (58)
59. If I Fall - Cole Plant f/Myon & Shane 54 w/Ruby O'Dell (59)
60. Tennis Court - Lorde (64)
61. Peace - O.A.R. (65)
62. On Top Of The World - Imagine Dragons (62)
63. Best Day Of My Life - American Authors (53)
64. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (81)
65. Painkiller - Three Days Grace (70)
66. River Bank - Brad Paisley (71)
67. Human - Christina Perri (33)
68. Rewind - Rascal Flatts (44)
69. Miami 82 - Syn Cole (77)
70. Already Home - A Great Big World (74)
71. Break Your Plans - The Fray (79)
72. Yeah - Joe Nichols (76)
73. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan (73)
74. I Don't Dance - Lee Brice (84)
75. I'm Not Coming Down - Martha Wash (DEBUT)
76. My Eyes - Blake Shelton f/Gwen Sebastian (82)
77. Crazy Stupid Love - My Crazy Girlfriend (DEBUT)
78. Torn To Pieces - Pop Evil (78)
79. It's My Time - Kelly Price (83)
80. Come A Little Closer - Cage The Elephant (80)
81. The Worst - Jhene Aiko (85)
82. Lazaretto - Jack White (DEBUT)
83. Call Me - St. Paul & The Broken Bones (91)
84. Classic - MKTO (88)
85. Song About A Girl - Eric Paslay (DEBUT)
86. Giants - Bear Hands (90)
87. How You Love Me - 3LAU f/Pretty Lights (87)
88. Latch - Disclosure f/Sam Smith (DEBUT)
89. Last Love Song - ZZ Ward (89)
90. A Sky Full Of Stars - Coldplay (DEBUT)
91. I Found Out - Bimbo Jones vs. Beverley Knight (DEBUT)
92. Wiggle - Jason Derulo f/Snoop Dogg (DEBUT)
93. Believer - American Authors (DEBUT)
94. Out Of The Black - Royal Blood (DEBUT)
95. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (95)
96. Meanwhile Back At Mama's - Tim McGraw f/Faith Hill (DEBUT)
97. Traum - Cro (97)
98. I Wanna Feel - SecondCity (98)
99. Loyal - Chris Brown f/Lil Wayne & Tyga (99)
100. I Luh Ya Papi - Jennifer Lopez f/French Montana (DEBUT)

There are a dozen new entries 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 6/27/14 - Talk to me don't lie to me, save your breath...


Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - "So In Love"
from the album Crush (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #26 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day is by the British new wave group Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, who were one of the first big synthpop acts to make it big in the UK in the late 70s. Hailing from the town of Meols by the western border with Wales, Paul Humphries and Andy McCluskey led the band as they released their first album in 1980, which was much more experimental in sound than their later work. Their second single, "Red Frame/White Light", was their first to nick the UK chart, peaking at #67. Their next single from their debut, "Messages", did even better, becoming their first top-40 hit at #13.

Later that same year they released a second album, Organisation, and the sole single from the project, "Enola Gay", made it to the top-10 in the UK at #8. It also was their first taste of success outside of Britain, hitting the chart in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, and even reaching the top-40 on the American dance club play chart in Billboard. The single's success set them up for their next effort, Architecture and Morality, which was their biggest yet, with three singles going top-5 in the UK, and "Souvenir" climbing to #3 (their best showing in their career). From the same album "Maid Of Orleans" topped the singles chart in Germany and the Netherlands.

While their next set Dazzle Ships was more out there, and sold considerably less, the band drifted more toward mainstream pop, and their next album Junk Culture brought them back to the UK top-5 with "Locomotion", which was also another minor club hit in the U.S. (and also my first exposure to OMD courtesy of my Now Thats What I Call Music import cassettes from the Listening Booth).

In 1985 OMD released Crush, which placed them firmly in the center of the pop realm, and the first single, "So In Love", finally got the quartet played on American radio. Produced by up and coming helmsman Stephen Hague, the song had soaring falsettos and pounding keys over a straight-up break-up song...


"So In Love" became OMD's first American top-40 pop hit in November of 1985, while climbing to #16 on the dance club play chart in Billboard magazine. Surprisingly, the single actually peaked one notch under its American high on the British chart, though it did go top-10 in Holland and top-20 in Germany and Ireland.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

8 of the 80s: 6/26/14 (1988)


We move ahead a decade on Throwback Thursday to 1988, the year that Wembley Stadium in London held a concert to celebrate the 70th birthday of then-imprisoned South African leader Nelson Mandela..

The Communards - "Never Can Say Goodbye"
from the album Red (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #51
Songwriter: Clifton Davis


I played this album from Jimmy Sommerville's post-Bronski Beat act incessantly, and this cover of the disco classic from Thelma Houston would always send me into a fevered dancing spree.

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7 of the 70s: 6/26/14 (1978)


It's throwback Thursday time, and this week I'm going back to 1978, the year the World Cup was played in Argentina, with the home team winning the trophy....

Frankie Valli - "Grease"
from the album Grease (Original Soundtrack) (1978) and Frankie Valli Is The Word (1978)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriter: Barry Gibb


Peter Frampton plays guitar on this disco-fied opening to the blockbuster movie.

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Songoftheday 6/26/14 - You called me from the room in your hotel all full of romance for someone that you met...


Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin - "Separate Lives"
from the album White Nights (Original Soundtrack) (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's Song of the Day comes from Phil Collins, whose third album No Jacket Required had scored Phil back-to-back #1 pop hits in America with "One More Night" and "Sussudio". In between singles from the album, he released a single he recorded for the ballet intrigue movie White Nights, "Separate Lives". The film, starring tap dancer and singer Gregory Hines and ballet star and Russian defector Mikhail Baryshnikov, had the two as dancers and political refugees. The single, written by Stephen Bishop, who already had a movie "hit" of his own with "It Might Be You" from the movie Tootsie, paired Collins with singer Marilyn Martin, a back-up singer for the likes of Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty...



"Separate Lives" became Phil's fourth #1 hit in November of 1985, while also topping Billboard magazine's adult contemporary (or "easy-listening") radio chart. The single also went to the top of the chart in Canada, and in his native Britain it peaked at #4.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Aussie Sweep: June 25, 2014...


It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making the official Australian singles chart, as Justice Crew reign for a seventh week with "Que Sera"...

The top debut of the week at #41 is singer-songwriter Charli XCX with "Boom Clap" from the Fault In Our Stars movie. She's been featured on big hits from Icona Pop ("I Love It") and local hero Iggy Azalea ("Fancy") already...


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6 of the 60s: 6/25/14 (1968)


It's "hump day 60s" time, and this week I'm back to 1968, the year that Italy beat Yugoslavia in the European Championship (a precursor to the World Cup)....

The Doors - "Hello I Love You"
from the album Waiting For The Sun (1968)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriter: John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison


While Jose Feliciano's cover of their "Light My Fire" was in the top-5, this song was coming down from topping the chart.

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Songoftheday 6/25/14 - You walked in on the sly scopin' for love, in the crowd I caught your eye you can't hide your stuff...


Aretha Franklin - "Who's Zoomin' Who"
from the album Who's Zoomin' Who (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (one week)
Week sin the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who had a big pop comeback with her peppy retro jam with futuristic synth sounds "Freeway Of Love". As its follow-up she released the title track from her album, written by Aretha with producer Narada Michael Walden and Preston Glass. It has her sassin' a "player" in the club....


"Who's Zoomin' Who" became Aretha's second consecutive top-10 pop hit from the album in November of 1985, the first time she's had back-to-back top ten hits since 1971. The record was also a big crossover hit, going to #2 on the R&B chart, #10 on the adult contemporary radio chart, and topped Billboard's dance club play chart for a week. Internationally, the single stopped at #11 in the UK (where it was a much bigger hit than "Freeway" was), #19 in Canada, and # 38 in Australia.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

German Sweep: June 24, 2014...


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

The top-selling single of the week is from the French indie-pop duo Lilly Wood & The Prick. The Parisian pair had their "Prayer In C" remixed by the German dance artist Robin Schulz, and it comes right in at #1, just like Schulz' other work on Dutchman Mr. Probz' "Waves"...


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French Sweep: June 24, 2014...


It's time to cross the Atlantic again to check out the songs making their debut on the top-100 of the official French singles chart this week, as rapper Black M spends a second week at #1 with "Sur Ma Route"...

The top debut of the week belongs to Lebanese-born singer Mika, who now lives in Britain, with his latest single "Boum Boum Boum". The openly gay artist has been quite successful in France, scoring three #1 hits with "Relax, Take It Easy", "Love Today", and the francophone "Elle Me Dit"...


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Songoftheday 6/24/14 - When I go out I can see the world from inside, without a doubt I can shake my head and scream and shout...


Corey Hart - "Boy In The Box"
from the album Boy In The Box (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #26 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day comes from Canadian singer/songwriter Corey Hart, whose second album had given him his biggest hit ever, "Never Surrender", in the summer of 1985. For its follow-up the album's title track was released, a frenetic pop/rock song written by the singer with the paranoid themes that pervaded his first album...


"Boy In The Box" became Corey's fourth top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in November of 1985. The 12" remix also climbed the Dance Club Play chart in Billboard magazine up to #19. In his native Canada, the single was his third top-10 hit, peaking at #4.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Robbed hit of the week 6/23/14 - Oingo Boingo's "Weird Science"...


Oingo Boingo - "Weird Science"
from the albums Weird Science (Original Soundtrack) (1985) and Dead Man's Party (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #45

This week's "robbed hit" was the title track to the comedy-scifi movie Weird Science, recorded by the Los Angeleno new wave band Oingo Boingo. Formed in the early 70s as a performance act by Richard Elfman, who gave the reins to his brother Danny in order to focus on films. Danny's version of the group first got exposure on the Gong Show, and released their first single "You Got Your Baby Back" (about Patty Hearst) later that year. During the early 80's the act transformed themselves from the freakshow group to new wave band, and their big break came with the Anthony Michael Hall film, and the commercially viable track became their first hit...


While "Weird Science" got major exposure from the movie and the subsequent TV show, the single stopped short of the top-40 at #45 in October of 1985. Their follow-up single, "Just Another Day", would be their last time in the Hot 100 at #85, though the album sold over a half a million copies...

The band continued one, having a few successes on the newly-minted modern rock radio format, going as high as #14 with "Winning Side" in 1988. Their last chart appearance came in 1994 with the grungy-sounding "Hey!" (#23 Modern Rock). They would split up shortly thereafter, and Elfman started the most fruitful portion of his career, scoring movies like Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Men In Black, and most of Tim Burton's movies. He's been nominated for four Oscars so far..


Album Sweep: June 28, 2014 - Part Two


It's time for the second half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on the 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 anything you see, as well as some of the artists' other major work.

Swedish melodic death metal act Arch Enemy ascends to #44 with their ninth studio album War Eternal. It's the highest any of their four charting sets have gone. This set marks their first with new lead singer Alissa White-Gluz...


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Songoftheday 6/23/14 - Electric flashes of light that appear in dark skies out of nowhere. Sailors would guide entire journeys by it, but the joke was on them... there was no fire...


David Foster - "Love Theme From St. Elmo's Fire"
from the albums St. Elmo's Fire (Original Soundtrack) (1985) and David Foster (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #15 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is from the Brat Pack movie St. Elmo's Fire, which starred the biggest young actors of the time like Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. The rock anthem "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" from English musician John Parr went all the way to #1 in September, and as a follow-up producer David Foster's "Love Theme" from the movie was released as a single. Foster, who was born in British Columbia, Canada, was no stranger to the charts, first as part of the soft-rock group Skylark, who went to the top-10 on the pop chart in America in 1972 with "Wildflower". He spend the rest of the decade establishing ground as a songwriter and producer, scoring hits with Earth Wind & Fire's "After The Love Is Gone", Donna Summer's "Last Dance", and Boz Scaggs' "Love Look What You've Done To Me".

In the 80's Foster helped veteran acts like Chicago and Paul Anka transform into adult-pop hitmakers, and wrote and produced "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)". So his momentum at that time held up enough that his instrumental "Love Theme" was able to be played on pop radio, something unfathomable today...


Foster's "Love Theme" reached the top-20 on the American pop chart in November of 1985, while going all the way to #3 on Billboard magazine's Adult Contemporary radio chart. It would be his only time as an artist in the top-40. The following year, he released "The Best Of Me" with Olivia Newton-John, but while it made the top-10 on the adult contemporary chart, it stalled at #80 on the Hot 100. His last time on the pop chart came in 1988 with his "Winter Games" theme, which went to #85 on the pop chart and #28 on the adult contemporary...

Most recently, Foster has become sort of reality show fodder, taping The Princes Of Malibu with stepsons and Kardashian-adjacents Brody and Brandon Jenner, as well as his wife Yolanda being on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills....

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Brit Sweep: June 23, 2014...


Hey gang, the weekend's coming to a close, so it's time to check out the songs making their debut on the just-released official sales chart in Britain (since they've nothing better to do, with the World Cup and all). as Ella Henderson's "Ghost" remains on top of the chart for a second week.

Ella beat out Australian boyband 5 Seconds of Summer with their third hit in the UK, "Don't Stop". Their debut "She Looks So Perfect" made it to the top a dozen weeks back...


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Album Sweep: June 28, 2014 - Part One...


I'm ready to bring out the first half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on this week's Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine. As usual, I've included highlighted links to buy any of the records, along with some of the artists' other major work. Support the talent!

The top-selling album of the week is the second solo album for former White Stripes frontman Jack White, Lazaretto, which sells over 138,000 copies in its first week. His first solo set Blunderbuss also topped the chart in 2012...



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Songoftheday 6/22/14 - Hey baby, I'm talking to you stop yourself and listen, Some things you can never choose even if you try...


Heart - "Never"
from the album Heart (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the top-40: 14

Today's song of the day is brought to us from the rock group Heart, who had a big pop "comeback" after a label and lineup shakeup in the early 80s, scoring a top-10 single with "What About Love". For its follow-up the band released the mainstream arena rock anthem "Never", written by lead singer Ann Wilson along with song doctor Holly Knight and Walter 'Greg' Bloch.


"Never" became Heart's fourth top-10 hit (and highest rank so far in their career at that point) in December of 1985, while climbing to #2 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single made it to #13 in Canada, but in England it took until 1988 for the record to become a hit, climbing to #8 in a double-sided single with "These Dreams".

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dance Sweep: June 28, 2014..


I'm ready to wrap up today's "chart sweeps" of the singles charts in Billboard magazine with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio..

On their DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, British singer Rita Ora scores her second #1 hit with "I Will Never Let You Down"...

There are only two songs making their entry this week; first up at #48 is Beyonce' with "Pretty Hurts", from here self-titled album.


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Country Sweep: June 28, 2014...


Part four of this week's "chart sweeps" has the latest songs to make Billboard magazine's country radio chart...

On their Country Airplay chart, Brett Eldredge scored his second straight #1 hit with "Beat Of The Music". he topped the list with "Don't Ya" last year...

Newcomer Sam Hunt, who wrote Billy Currington's #11 hit "We Are Tonight", makes his debut at #53 with "Leave The Night On"...


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Soul Sweep: June 28, 2014...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay radio chart, Chris Brown holds at #1 for a fourth week with "Loyal"...

Hip-Hop singer Jeremih drops in at #45 with the second single from his upcoming Thumpy Johnson album, "Don't Tell 'Em" featuring rapper YG...


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Rock Sweep: June 28, 2014...


Round two of today's "chart sweeps" has the latest songs reaching rock radio as monitored by Billboard magazine....

On their main Rock Airplay chart, The Black Keys hold steady at #1 for a sixth week with "Fever"...

The top entry of the week comes from hard rock band Godsmack, whose sixth studio album is due in August. "1000hp" revs in at #31. They have gone as high as #5 on this chart, with "Love-Hate-Sex-Pain" in


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Pop Sweep: June 28, 2014...


Hey kids, it's time to kick off the first of today's five "chart sweeps", sampling the songs making their appearance on Billboard magazine's various singles charts this week. As usual, I'll start out on the pop side of things, then later on move to the newest on rock, R&B, country, and dance radio...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies from radio airplay, sales, and internet streaming (like YouTube and Spotify), Iggy Azalea reigns for a fourth week with "Fancy" featuring Charli XCX...

The highest debut of the week is one of the biggest beneficiaries of Billboard's policy change including YouTube view in their charts. Korean comic "rapper" PSY lands at #26 with his latest, "Hangover" featuring "true rapper" Snoop Dogg. It's his third top-40 hit; he went to #2 with "Gangnam Style" in 2012...


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Songoftheday 6/21/14 - Airmail cassettes postcards telex, drop me a line need my grapevine...


Power Station - "Communication"
from the album Power Station (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #34 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's Song of the Day is by the modern rock "supergroup" Power Station, who were a side project for Duran Duran members Andy and John Taylor along with Chic drummer Tony Thompson and singer Robert Plant. They scored back-to-back top-10 pop hits in America with their first two singles, "Some Like It Hot" and their cover of T. Rex's "Get It On (Bang A Gong)". Their third single was the song that Palmer was originally hired on to record, which led to him singing on the whole album. Written by the band and produced by Bernard Edwards, "Communication" was a funky slice of album dance/rock that rode the coattails of their other singles up the charts...


"Communication" climbed to the top-40 on the American pop chart in October of 1985, while stalling down at #75 in the Taylors' and Palmer's native Britain. It would be their last time on the American pop chart. Palmer had left the band before this single had peaked, and Michael Des Barres joined as the new lead singer for their tour and their appearance at Live Aid. Ten years later, with Robert Palmer back on board the group recorded a second album, Living In Fear the following year, but that album tanked badly, with only one minor hit in the UK with "She Can Rock It" (#63). With John Taylor in rehab, and producer Edwards passing away before the release of the set from pneumonia, the Power Station didn't last much longer than that. While John regrouped with Duran Duran, and Andy and Robert continued their solo career, Tony Thompson almost hooked up with Led Zeppelin as their "reunion" drummer, though both he and Palmer died in 2003.

Up tomorrow: The rockin' sisters from Seattle are back at no occasion.


Friday, June 20, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for June 20, 2014...






Friday is back, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the week. KONGOS spend a third week at #1, while Sam Smith (pictured above) climbs up five notches within the top-10. Songs by Lady Gaga, Joe Nichols, and Brad Paisley make the biggest jumps on the chart (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Zedd, Avicii, Lorde, and the Chainsmokers drop out. Happy summer, everybody in the northern hemisphere!

This Week                Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. Come With Me Now - KONGOS (1)
2. Fever - The Black Keys (2)
3. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (8)
4. Play It Again - Luke Bryan (6)
5. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (5)
6. Happy - Pharrell Williams (3)
7. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (9)
8. The Walker - Fitz & The Tantrums (4)
9. All Of Me - John Legend (7)
10. I Choose You - Sara Bareilles (10)
11. Not A Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake (15)
12. Bad Blood - Bastille (14)
13. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (11)
14. Sing - Ed Sheeran (18)
15. Summer - Calvin Harris (20)
16. Sleeping With A Friend - Neon Trees (12)
17. Automatic - Miranda Lambert (17)
18. Supernova - Ray Lamontagne (13)
19. I Got U - Duke Dumont f/Jax Jones (23)
20. Raging Fire - Phillip Phillips (22)
21. Birthday - Katy Perry (31)
22. Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz (16)
23. Beat Of The Music - Brett Eldredge (27)
24. Fancy - Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (28)
25. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (30)
26. Let It Go - Idina Menzel (19)
27. Magic - Coldplay (25)
28. Addicted To You - Avicii (24)
29. Pompeii - Bastille (29)
30. Chainsaw - The Band Perry (32)
31. Me And My Broken Heart - Rixton (36)
32. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (26)
33. Human - Christina Perri (21)
34. Southern Sun - Boy & Bear (38)
35. Bombs Away - Gia (35)
36. Whiskey In My Water - Tyler Farr (41)
37. Rude - Magic! (52)
38. I Walk Alone - Cher (42)
39. Warrior - Havana Brown (39)
40. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers (51)
41. Problem - Ariana Grande f/Iggy Azalea (55)
42. I Will Never Let You Down - Rita Ora (54)
43. Hideaway - Kiesza (45)
44. Rewind - Rascal Flatts (34)
45. Turn Down For What - DJ Snake f/Lil Jon (49)
46. Lettin' The Night Roll - Justin Moore (50)
47. Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake (57)
48. Dark Horse - Katy Perry f/Juicy J (46)
49. Keep Them Kisses Comin' - Craig Campbell (53)
50. Get Me Some Of That - Thomas Rhett (40)
51. Bottoms Up - Brantley Gilbert (37)
52. Take Me To Church - Hozier (56)
53. Best Day Of My Life - American Authors (43)
54. G.U.Y. - Lady Gaga (82)
55. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're Drunk - Arctic Monkeys (63)
56. Who I Am With You - Chris Young (66)
57. Love Runs Out - OneRepublic (61)
58. Waves - Mr. Probz (58)
59. If I Fall - Cole Plante f/Myon & Shane 54 w/Ruby O'Dell (59)
60. Tell It To My Heart - Jason Walker f/Bimbo Jones (74)
61. We Are Tonight - Billy Currington (65)
62. On Top Of The World - Imagine Dragons (62)
63. Red Lights - Tiesto (33)
64. Tennis Court - Lorde (81)
65. Peace - O.A.R. (77)
66. Beachin' - Jake Owen (78)
67. Partition - Beyonce (67)
68. The Rising - Five Knives (68)
69. I'm A Freak - Enrique Iglesias f/Pitbull (69)
70. Painkiller - Three Days Grace (DEBUT)
71. River Bank - Brad Paisley (91)
72. Alone - Armin van Buuren f/Lauren Evans (72)
73. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan (73)
74. Already Home - A Great Big World (92)
75. Neon Lights - Demi Lovato (75)
76. Yeah - Joe Nichols (98)
77. Miami 82 - Syn Cole (DEBUT)
78. Torn To Pieces - Pop Evil (88)
79. Break Your Plans - The Fray (84)
80. Come A Little Closer - Cage The Elephant (80)
81. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (DEBUT)
82. My Eyes - Blake Shelton f/Gwen Sebastian (90)
83. It's My Time - Kelly Price (83)
84. I Don't Dance - Lee Brice (DEBUT)
85. The Worst - Jhene Aiko (89)
86. Nobody To Love - Sigma (76)
87. How You Love Me - 3Lau f/Pretty Lights (93)
88. Classic - MKTO (DEBUT)
89. Last Love Song - ZZ Ward (DEBUT)
90. Giants - Bear Hands (94)
91. Call Me - St. Paul & The Broken Bones (96)
92. Back Home - Andy Grammer (DEBUT)
93. Drink To That All Night - Jerrod Niemann (79)
94. Wasted - Tiesto f/Matthew Koma (DEBUT)
95. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (97)
96. Give Me Back My Hometown - Eric Church (86)
97. Traum - Cro (DEBUT)
98. I Wanna Feel - SecondCity (DEBUT)
99. Loyal - Chris Brown f/Lil Wayne & Tyga (99)
100. Jubel - Klingande (RE-ENTRY)

There are ten songs 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 jump...

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