Thursday, July 31, 2014

8 of the 80s: 7/31/14 (1981)






We move a decade ahead in this week's throwback Thursday to 1981, the year of the Wonderland murders of a cocaine gang involving the biggest name in porn, John Holmes...

Styx - "The Best Of Times"
from the album Paradise Theater (1981)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3
Songwriter: Dennis DeYoung


The song that closed the first side of the arena-rock band's classic album was a crescendo of sound not far from the bombast of Broadway.

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7 of the 70s: 7/31/14 (1971)






It's throwback Thursday 70s style time, and this week I'm serving up seven more nuggets from 1971, the year Jim Morrison died in a bathtub in Paris...

Jean Knight - "Mr. Big Stuff"
from the album Mr. Big Stuff (1971)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2
Songwriters: Joe Broussard, Carol Washington, Ralph Williams


The sassy soul singer from the Big Crescent had something to say to those guys too big for their own britches.

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Songoftheday 7/31/14 - I can see we're thinkin' 'bout the same things, yes I see your expression when the phone rings...


Stevie Nicks - "Talk To Me"
from the album Rock A Little (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is from singer/songwriter/sometimes Fleetwood Maccer Stevie Nicks, whose second solo album The Wild Heart had rewarded her a trio of top-40 pop hits, including the #5 single "Stand Back" in 1983. Two years later, still without a release from the Mac, Stevie recorded (twice, in fact) a new album, Rock A Little, and the first single from the project, "Talk To Me", was written by Charles Sanford, who penned John Waite's #1 "Missing You"...


"Talk To Me" became Stevie's fourth (and so far most recent) top-10 hit outside of Fleetwood Mac in January of 1986, while scoring her first #1 single on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. The record also crossed over to the adult contemporary format, peaking at #14. Internationally, the single went to #6 in Canada, and was a top-40 hit in Germany and Austria, while stalling down at #68 in the UK.
 

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Aussie Sweep: July 30, 2014...


Heading down under to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in Australia, as British singer Paloma Faith leaps six spots to #1 with "Only Love Can Hurt Like This"...

Rocketing in all the way up at #3 with English singer/songwriter Gabrielle Aplin with "Please Don't Say You Love Me". It follows her #5 cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "The Power Of Love", and already beats this current single's peak in her native Britain...


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6 of the 60s: 7/30/14 (1961)


It's time for this week's hump-day 60s flashback, with a half-dozen more nuggets from 1961, the year the Russian submarine K-19 leaked radioactive material, which killed dozens of sailors on the ship who were exposed fixing the trouble (later to be made into a Harrison Ford movie The Widowmaker)...

Bert Kaempfert - "Wonderland By Night"
from the album Wonderland By Night (1960)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Lincoln Chase, Klaus-Gunter Neuman


Proof of the Barenaked Ladies' claim that "Bert Kaempfert's got the mad hits", this trumpet-driven instrumental topped the chart for three weeks and gave the German orchestra leader his big break.

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Songoftheday 7/30/14 - In the empire of the senses you're the queen of all you survey...


Sting - "Love Is The Seventh Wave"
from the album Dream Of The Blue Turtles (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #17 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's Song of the Day comes from the British singer/songwriter/bassist Sting, who after disbanding his band the Police released his debut album and already scored back-to-back top-ten pop hits in America with "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" and "Fortress Around Your Heart". For the third single from the project he put out the lite-reggae groove of "Love Is The Seventh Wave", which was much more positive a song than his usual fare...


"Love Is The Seventh Wave" became Sting's third top-40 solo hit in America in December of 1985. The record also reached the Mainstream Rock (#19) and Adult Contemporary (#20) radio charts in Billboard as well. Internationally, "Love..." was released as the second single, and actually missed the top-40 at #41 in Sting's native England, though it did climb to the top-10 in the Netherlands and went top-40 in France and Ireland.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

German Sweep: July 29, 2014...






Crossing the border into Germany, it's time to sample the songs making the official singles chart, as Andreas Bourani returns to #1 with "Auf Uns"...

The top debut of the week at #63 comes from the rock band Hohner from the city of Cologne, who sing in their regional dialect with "Stah Auf Mach Laut!" ("Carry A Loud Voice")...


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French Sweep: July 29, 2014...


It's time again to cross the Atlantic to check out the songs making the top-100 on the official singles chart in France this week, as Lilly Wood & The Prick stick around at #1 for a second week with "Prayer In C"...

The top debut of the week at #22 is French pop duo Frero Delavega, who score their third top-40 hit with "Le Chant Des Sirenes" (The Song of the Sirens). The pair competed on The Voice in this country earlier this year, and their first single "Sweet Darling" went to #18..


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Songoftheday 7/29/14 - And I never thought I'd feel this way, And as far as I'm concerned I'm glad I got the chance to say that I do believe I love you...


Dionne Warwick & Friends - "That's What Friends Are For"
from the album Friends (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (four weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 17

Today's Song of the Day comes from a collaborative effort headed by soft soul vocal giant Dionne Warwick. After decades of pop hits starting with her work with Burt Bacharach and moving to her "revival" with music with Barry Manilow and the Bee Gees, by the 1980s Dionne was probably more known by the younger folk for her hosting Solid Gold than her music, which by that time was more successful on the adult contemporary (or "easy listening") circuit. While she had a top-40 hit with Luther Vandross in 1983 with "How Many Times Can I Say Goodbye", he following album Finder Of Lost Loves didn't even manage a single in the whole pop Hot 100, even though the record had her working with Manilow, Bacharach, and producer Clive Davis again. However, her A-list name status did earn her a spot on the charity record "We Are The World" in 1985.

Perhaps inspired by the success of the USA for Africa single, Dionne recorded a benefit single for AMFAR (the American Foundation for AIDS Research). Enlisting Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight, she covered another Burt Bacharach/Carole Bayer Sager song originally recorded by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack to the Henry Winkler/Diane Keaton film Night Shift in 1982, but failed to reach any music chart...


With Elton's piano and Stevie's harmonica providing contrast to the rather sleepy song, along with each of the four oversinging to all their abilities, the record connected with the public, and got Dionne back on pop radio in a big way....


"That's What Friends Are For", like "We Are The World" the year before, ended up spending a month on top of the American pop chart, and went on to become the top single of 1986, spending more weeks in the top-40 than any other record that year. The record also topped the Billboard R&B chart for three weeks and Adult Contemporary list for two. Internationally, the single went to #1 in Australia and Canada, but actually stopped short down at #16 in Britain. It would be the last time at #1 (and the top-ten) so far for Dionne. The benefit ended up raising three million dollars for AMFAR. It also won Dionne a Grammy for Pop Performance by a Duo or Group (it lost out on Record Of The Year).

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Monday, July 28, 2014

robbed hit of the week 7/28/14 - Wang Chung's "To Live And Die In L.A."...


Wang Chung - "To Live And Die In L.A."
from the album To Live And Die In L.A. (Original Soundtrack) (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #41

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the British new wave band Wang Chung, who scored two top-40 hits from their breakthrough album Points On A Curve with "Don't Let Go" and the top-20 "Dance Hall Days". For their next project they were recruited by director William Friedkin to record the entire soundtrack for the political/crime intrigue movie To Live And Die In L.A., starring future CSI star William Petersen and Willem Dafoe. The title track from the movie, written by band members Nick Feldman and Jack Hues, became the first single from the effort...


While the single climbed to #21 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, it stopped one notch short of the top-40 at #41 for two weeks in December of 1985, spending over four months on the chart. It remains my favorite song from the band, and the moody, atmospheric soundtrack remains a personal treasure.

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Albums Sweep: August 2, 2014 - Part Two...


The second half of this week's "album sweep" is up and ready, sampling the records making their debut on Billboard magazine's official Top 200 Albums sales chart this week. You can check out the first half by clicking here, and as before I've included highlighted links to anything you see...

The soundtrack to the Zach Braff/Kate Hudson movie Wish I Was Here comes in at #43 this week. The collection includes songs from the Shins, Cat Power, and Bon Iver, among others...


Roots-rock veteran John Hiatt returns at #47 with Terms Of My Surrender. His last studio set, Mystic Pinball, remains his sole top-40 album so far...


Punk rockers Pennywise land at #62 with Yesterdays. It's their ninth to make the top-100 on the albums chart - in 2003 they made it to #54 with From The Ashes...


Mining the Grateful Dead archive their fans still clamor for, the GarciaLive: Volume Four: March 22nd, 1978, Veteran's Hall live album from the Jerry Garcia Band enters at #74, the highest he's gotten outside the Dead...


Norah Jones' alt-country side project Puss N Boots walk in at #83 with No Fools, No Fun....


London-based electronica outfit Jungle debut at #84 with their self-titled first album....


Audra McDonald's Tony-winning turn in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill finally gets a cast album release, as it comes in at #156. Only Audra's Go Back Home album from last year has been higher, at #147...


Baltimore's Christian metalcore (yes, it's a thing) band I, The Breather move in at #158 with The Reaper, their first to make the big chart...


The final new entry of the week at #164 belongs to French deathcore band Betraying the Martyrs with Phantom, their second full-length album...


That's it for the second half of the bunch...out of these nine the three I would go for first are the Jungle, Puss N Boots, and Audra McDonald sets...


Songoftheday 7/28/14 - Striking out? Well count me in, I'm gonna stand right by your side through thick or thin...


Clarence Clemons & Jackson Browne - "You're A Friend Of Mine"
from the album Hero (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day comes from the man that had stood by "The Boss'" side for decades, saxophonist Clarence Clemons. Clemons hooked up with Bruce Springsteen in the early bar-band days, and was there through the artist's entire recording career up to that point in 1985, including the mega-smash Born In The U.S.A. album. In 1985, He released his first true solo album, Hero, which capitalized on the momentum he had with Springsteen, as well as his featured roles on other hits like Aretha Frankin's "Freeway Of Love" The first single from the set was a duet with singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, but "You're A Friend Of Mine" was written by producer Narada Michael Walden along with Jeffrey Cohen, and sounded more akin to "Freeway" (also produced by Walden) that Clemons' work with the Boss, though at least it started out with his iconic sax chops. It did seem kind of random to have Jackson on the record, though....


"You're A Friend Of Mine" became Clemons' first and only top-40 pop hit in America in January of 1986. The single also reached Billboard's Mainstream Rock (#16) and Adult Contemporary (#21) radio charts as well.

Also Clemons wouldn't appear on the charts as a solo artist again, he would continue to perform with Springsteen and the E Street Band up until his death from a stroke in 2011. His last big "hurrah" came with his solo on Lady Gaga's "Edge Of Glory" that year.

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Brit Sweep: July 27, 2014...


The weekend's finally at a close, and it's time to check out the songs making the official singles chart in Britain this week....

The top song of this week is from former Girls Aloud lead singer Cheryl Cole, who tops the list for the fourth time as a solo artist with "Crazy Stupid Love" featuring British rapper Tinie Tempah. She first hit the summit in 2009 with the sublime "Fight For This Love". This also mark's Tinie's fifth time to the top of the chart...


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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Album Sweep: August 2, 2014 - Part One...


It's time to roll out the first half of this week's "album sweep" (yes, it's back), sampling the records making their way on to the official Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine. As always, I've included highlighted links to buy any of the sets, along with some of the artists' other major work. Support the talent!

This week's biggest-selling album is the first #1 in the long career of musical parody king "Weird Al" Yankovic, as his fourteenth studio album Mandatory Fun sells over 100,000 copies in its first week. It's also his third consecutive top-ten album. I'm so overjoyed to its success, as is Al...



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Songoftheday 7/27/14 - Everybody gather 'round now let your body feel the heat....


Miami Sound Machine - "Conga"
from the album Primitive Love (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's Song of the day comes from the Cuban-American band Miami Sound Machine, who were fronted by husband and wife Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Starting with independent releases in the late 70s, the Latin-flavored outfit released their first proper English-language major album, Eyes Of Innocence, in 1984. The first single from the project, "Dr. Beat", became a top-10 hit in England, Germany, and the Netherlands, and went top-20 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart as well. With that momentum, the group recorded the follow-up, Primitive Love, the following year. With a firm pop presence among the club cuts, the album was a big success. The first single, "Conga", with Gloria's rapid-fire delivery of the chorus and an infectious percussion backdrop, gave the MSM their first big pop radio exposure...


"Conga" made it to the American pop top-10 in February of 1986, while going all the way to #1 on Billboard's dance club play chart. The record even crossed over to R&B stations, reaching #60 on the mag's "Black Singles" chart. The record did even better in Canada, becoming a #1 hit there, though surprisingly in England, where "Dr. Beat" was a success, this single stalled out at #79.

Ever since, the song remains one of the most identified with Gloria, beyond just the song that made her famous.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dance Sweep: August 2, 2014...


I'm at the last installment of today's "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making the 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, Daft Punk get their "lucky" seventh #1 single with "Derezzed"...

The top debut at #38 finds Fatboy Slim "presenting" DJ Gregor Salto on "Samba Do Mundo" featuring Saxsymbol & Todorov....


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Country Sweep: August 2, 2014...






Part four of this week's "chart sweeps" of the Billboard radio charts has the latest songs on country stations across the U.S.A....

On the mag's Country Airplay chart, Joe Nichols spends a second week at #1 with "Yeah"...

The top debut of the week at #50 is the third single from Jerrod Niemann's High Noon album, "Buzz Back Girl". The first, "Drink To That All Night", topped this chart earlier this year...


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Soul Sweep: August 2, 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 the latest R&B singles ...

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Chris Brown holds for an eighth non-consecutive week at #1 with "Loyal"...

The "Rich Gang", a combination of the Young Money and Cash Money rap collectives, come in at #35 with "Lifestyle", featuring Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan. Last year their "Tapout" with Lil' Wayne and Nicki Minaj went to #7...


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Rock Sweep: August 2, 2014...


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

On their main Rock Airplay chart, The Black Keys hold tight at #1 for an eleventh week with "Fever"...

The big debut of the week at #45 is southern rock act J Roddy Walston & The Business with "Take It As It Comes". The single peaked to #25 on the Alternative rock chart. It's the follow-up to their "Heavy Bells", which made it to #28.


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Pop Sweep: August 2, 2014...


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

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of radio airplay from all formats along with sales and internet streaming, Canadian reggae-rock group Magic! spend a second week at #1 with "Rude"...

The top debut of the week belongs to Australian "boy-band" 5 Seconds of Summer, who place their fifth song in the top-40 at #24 with "Everything I Didn't Say". Their first album just came out here and is expected to come in at #1 next week. The "offiical" first single "She Looks So Perfect" also peaked at this rank, and sits at #74 in its 16th week. I guess now the 1D/Bieber crowd has moved on...


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Songoftheday 7/26/14 - Two worlds collide rival nations, it's a primitive clash venting years of frustrations...


Survivor - "Burning Heart"
from the album Rocky IV (Original Soundtrack) (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's song of the day comes from a band that got their big break with a theme song from Sylvester Stallone's boxing franchise sequel, Rocky III. "Eye Of The Tiger" topped the singles chart in 1982, and since then, the band that recorded it, Survivor, switched lead vocalist to Jimi Jamison, and enjoyed a successful follow-up album Vital Signs that scored a trio of top-20 pop hits in the U.S. In 1985, the band was hired yet again to record a song for the next Rocky movie, and the result, "Burning Heart", resulted in another hit...


"Burning Heart" reached the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in February of 1986, while stopping at #11 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the single did very well, becoming the band's second top-10 hit in the UK at #5, while going top-ten all across Europe, going to #1 in Switzerland...

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Friday, July 25, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for July 25, 2014...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from last week. Sam Smith holds on to the top spot for a fifth week, while Canadian reggae stars (that aren't Snow) Magic! land in my top-5. Former big hits from Sara Bareilles and Thomas Rhett drop off of my chart, while songs by Dave Aude' with Andy Bell, Kylie Minogue, and Robyn & Royksopp make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Congrats on your wedding Whore and Dr. Whore!

This Week           Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (1)
2. Sing - Ed Sheeran (2)
3. Summer - Calvin Harris (5)
4. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (6)
5. Rude - Magic! (7)
6. Fever - The Black Keys (3)
7. Come With Me Now - KONGOS (4)
8. Problem - Ariana Grande f/Iggy Azalea (18)
9. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers (13)
10. Fancy - Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (12)
11. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (11)
12. Birthday - Katy Perry (8)
13. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (9)
14. Whiskey In My Water - Tyler Farr (16)
15. Play It Again - Luke Bryan (10)
16. Bad Blood - Bastille (14)
17. Happy - Pharrell Williams (15)
18. Me And My Broken Heart - Rixton (19)
19. Take Me To Church - Hozier (21)
20. Hideaway - Kiesza (22)
21. A Sky Full Of Stars - Coldplay (28)
22. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (20)
23. Chainsaw - The Band Perry (23)
24. Love Runs Out - OneRepublic (29)
25. Not A Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake (17)
26. Who I Am With You - Chris Young (31)
27. All Of Me - John Legend (24)
28. The Walker - Fitz & The Tantrums (26)
29. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (32)
30. Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake (30)
31. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High - Arctic Monkeys (35)
32. I'm Not Coming Down - Martha Wash (36)
33. We Are Tonight - Billy Currington (43)
34. I Will Never Let You Down - Rita Ora (27)
35. Wasted - Tiesto f/Matthew Koma (45)
36. Latch - Disclosure f/Sam Smith (54)
37. Southern Sun - Boy & Bear (33)
38. Painkiller - Three Days Grace (38)
39. Aftermath - Dave Aude f/Andy Bell (64)
40. Tennis Court - Lorde (40)
41. Beat Of The Music - Brett Eldredge (25)
42. I Don't Dance - Lee Brice (52)
43. I Was Gonna Cancel - Kylie Minogue (67)
44. Peace - O.A.R. (44)
45. Beachin' - Jake Owen (46)
46. Yeah - Joe Nichols (48)
47. Waves - Mr. Probz (49)
48. River Bank - Brad Paisley (50)
49. Lettin' The Night Roll - Justin Moore (34)
50. Do It Again - Royksopp & Robyn (74)
51. Call Me - St. Paul & The Broken Bones (55)
52. Chandelier - Sia (62)
53. Knock You Out - Bingo Players (59)
54. Maps - Maroon 5 (66)
55. Drunk On A Plane - Dierks Bentley (63)
56. Song About A Girl - Eric Paslay (61)
57. My Eyes - Blake Shelton f/Gwen Sebastian (57)
58. I Found Out - Bimbo Jones vs. Beverley Knight (58)
59. Derezzed - Daft Punk f/Negin (76)
60. Break Your Plans - The Fray (60)
61. Ghost - Ella Henderson (71)
62. Lazaretto - Jack White (68)
63. Turn Down For What - DJ Snake f/Lil Jon (51)
64. Classic - MKTO (72)
65. Calling All Hearts - DJ Cassidy f/Robin Thicke & Jessie J (65)
66. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (56)
67. It's My Time - Kelly Price (75)
68. Already Home - A Great Big World (69)
69. I Walk Alone - Cher (39)
70. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan & Jason Derulo (70)
71. Meanwhile Back At Mama's - Tim McGraw f/Faith Hill (81)
72. Raging Fire - Philip Phillips (42)
73. Angel In Blue Jeans - Train (83)
74. Keep Them Kisses Comin' - Craig Campbell (37)
75. Holding On To Heaven - Foxes (95)
76. Wiggle - Jason Derulo f/Snoop Dogg (80)
77. Bartender - Lady Antebellum (89)
78. Dare (La, La, La) - Shakira (82)
79. Out Of The Black - Royal Blood (79)
80. Words As Weapons - Seether (88)
81. Dark Horse - Katy Perry f/Juicy J (77)
82. Budapest - George Ezra (86)
83. How You Love Me - 3LAU f/Bright Lights (87)
84. Where It's At (Yep Yep) - Dustin Lynch (84)
85. Believer - American Authors (85)
86. Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Mix) - Lilly Wood & The Prick (91)
87. I Got U - Duke Dumont f/Jax Jones (47)
88. Let It Go - Idina Menzel (53)
89. Back Home - Andy Grammer (90)
90. Riptide - Vance Joy (94)
91. West Coast - Lana Del Rey (DEBUT)
92. U Get Me High - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (97)
93. Good Kisser - Usher (DEBUT)
94. American Kids - Kenny Chesney (DEBUT)
95. Be Okay - Oh Honey (100)
96. Small Town Throwdown - Brantley Gilbert f/Thomas Rhett & Justin Moore (DEBUT)
97. Love & Sex Pt. 2 - Joe f/Kelly Rowland (RE-ENTRY)
98. Gecko (Overdrive) - Oliver Heldens f/Becky Hill (99)
99. Sur Ma Route - Black M (DEBUT)
100. F**k Me Like You Mean It - Korr-A (DEBUT)

There are a half-dozen songs making their debut on this week's chart (highlighted in blue), and if you click on any of them you will connect to their offiical website for more information. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 7/25/14 - I need a taxi, she's so hot fresh in the serious love reaction...


Kool & The Gang - "Emergency"
from the album Emergency (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day comes from a R&B/pop band from New Jersey that were enjoying a huge success with their 16th studio album, Kool & The Gang. The first three singles from the set became top-10 pop hits in the U.S. - "Misled", "Fresh", and their signature ballad "Cherish". For their fourth release from the set (surprising since the record only had eight tracks) the band released the title track, written and produced by the band, and got them back on the dance floor...


"Emergency" became the band's fourth top-20 pop hit in America from the album in December of 1985. It also climbed up to #7 on Billboard's R&B chart (their sixth consecutive top-10) and popped in at #41 on their dance club play chart. Internationally, while the single went top-40 in Ireland, it was more of a minor hit in England (#50), Canada, and Germany. However, it remains one of my faves of the group, successfully fusing their post-disco funk with a rock edge paved by Jackson and Prince.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

8 of the 80s: 7/24/14 (1980)


We move ahead a decade in this week's throwback to 1980, with eight more nuggets from the year Pope John Paul II visited Brazil, causing a stampede that killed seven people. (I've included links to buy anything you see, support the talent!)...

Diana Ross - "Upside Down"
from the album diana (1980)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers


The quintessential diva caught the tail-end of the disco craze with the guys from Chic in this summertime classic. Also, too, "respectfully, I say to thee..".

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7 of the 70s: 7/24/14 (1970)


It's throwback Thursday 70s-style time, and this week i'mback to 1970, the year Casey Kasem's American Top 40 syndicated radio show starts in July. (I've included highlights links to buy anything on MP3 or CD)...

Three Dog Night - "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)"
from the album It Ain't Easy (1970)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriter: Randy Newman


The very first #1 song on Kasem's show was this cover of a Randy Newman song by the biggest hitmaking band of the early 70s.

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Songoftheday 7/24/14 - Here comes Johnny singing oldies goldies Bebopalula baby what I say, here comes Johnny singing I gotta woman down in the tunnels trying to make it pay....

Dire Straits - "Walk Of Life"
from the album Brothers In Arms (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day comes from the British progressive rock band that struck in "rich" in 1985 with their #1 hit "Money For Nothing", Dire Straits. For it's follow-up the group released "Walk Of Life", a song about a busker that integrated old-time rock with folksy guitar strumming and a keyboard riff like newbies the Hooters....


"Walk Of Life" became the second top-10 pop hit off their Brothers In Arms album in January of 1986, while scaling to #6 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock and #4 on their adult contemporary radio chart. Internationally, the single was a big hit, and in their native Britain did even better than "Money For Nothing", climbing to #2 on the UK pop charts, and topping the list in Ireland.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Aussie Sweep: July 22, 2014...


I'm ready to head Down Under to check out the songs making the official singles chart in Australia this week, as the Madden Brothers spend a second week on top with "We Are Done"...

Coming in at the runner-up spot is French DJ/producer David Guetta with "Lovers On The Sun" featuring vocals from Sam Martin, a songwriter who co-penned Maroon 5's "Daylight"...


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6 of the 60s: 7/23/14 (1960)


Humpday 60s flashback time is back, and this week I'm serving up a half-dozen more nuggets from 1960, the year that a US Air Force plane was shot down over Murmansk, Russia.

Brian Hyland - "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"
from the album The Bashful Blond (1961)
Billboard Hot 100 peak; #1
Songwriters: Lee Pockriss, Paul Vance


The summer novelty tune about a bashful girl would have nothing these days on the thong-donning Jersey Girls.

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Songoftheday 07/23/14 - She jangles me up she does it with ease, and sometimes she passes through me Just like a breeze...


The Cars - "Tonight She Comes"
from the album Greatest Hits (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day comes from the new wave band from Boston, The Cars, who had the biggest album of their career with their fifth studio release Heartbeat City, which spun off five top-40 pop hits including two top-tenners with "You Might Think" and "Drive". As the band took a breather (with members Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr releasing solo albums, the Cars released a greatest hits collection, including a new song as the first single. "Tonight She Comes", written by Ocasek and produced by the band with Mike Shipley, sounds like an extension of their Heartbeat City work....


"Tonight She Comes" became the Cars' fourth top-ten pop hit in January of 1986, while going all the way to #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart (which they did before with "You Might Think" and "Magic"). Internationally, while the song went top-20 in Australia and New Zealand, it stalled out at #79 in England.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

German Sweep: July 22, 2014...


It's time to cross the border to Germany to check out the songs making their official singles chart, as French duo Lilly Wood and the Prick spend a fifth week at #1 with "Prayer In C"....

The top debut of the week belongs to German rapper Kontra K as his first hit "Woelfe" ("Wolves") comes in at #19...


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French Sweep: July 22, 2014...


I'm ready to cross the ocean to check out the songs reaching the official singles chart in France this week, as local heroes Lilly Wood and the Prick claim their first #1 hit with the Robin Schulz remix of "Prayer In C"...

It's a slow week on the charts here this week, with only four new entries in the entire top 100, and the highest debut not showing up until way down at #68. It's from the British modern rock group with the Francophile name, Bastille, with "Things We Lost In The Fire". It immediately does better than their breakthrough single, "Pompeii", which surprisingly only went to #96 in France....


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Songoftheday 7/22/14 - You glance my way I almost lost control, anxiety has taken hold...


Starpoint - "Object Of My Desire"
from the album Restless (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's Song of the Day comes from a funk/soul collective who started out in central Maryland in the late 1960s, but it wasn't until 1980 that Starpoint released their self-titled debut album under the big disco label Casablanca Records. A single from the set, "I Just Wanna Dance With You", became a top-40 hit on the R&B and dance club play charts in Billboard magazine. They continued with moderate success throughout the early 80s, as their sound evolved to a more slick funk from the disco they started with. In 1984, their single "It's All Yours" from the album of the same name returned them to the top-40 on the soul chart and even became a minor hit in England. With their next album, Restless, the band fit more with the sound of the other "star" groups (Atlantic, Midnight) with a touch of the freestyle growing in popularity with Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and the like. Their single "Object Of My Desire", written by band members Ernesto Phillips and Kayode Adeyemo along with producer Keith Diamond, gave the band their biggest pop hit ever...


"Object Of My Desire" became Starpoint's first and only top-40 pop hit in December of 1985, while scaling to #8 on Billboard's R&B chart, and making it to #12 on the dance club play list. It also skimmed the British chart at #96, their last time on that list. Their next single, "What You Been Missing", also hit the top-10 on the R&B chart (though missing the Hot 100), and in 1986 the title track from the album almost returned them to the pop top-40 at #46.

Two years later Starpoint released their follow-up album, Sensational, and the lead-off single "He Wants My Body" returned them to the top-10 on the R&B chart, while being their last appearance on the pop chart in America at #89. Another record in 1988 put "Say You Will" at #18 R&B. Their last album together, Have You Got What It Takes in 1990, brought the band their biggest club hit when "I Want You You Want Me" climbed to #9 on the dance chart (and was their final top-40 R&B single at #32). The title track was their final hurrah that same year before breaking up. Lead singer Renee Diggs would record a solo album, but sadly passed away in 2005 from heart trouble after battling multiple sclerosis since the early 80s. The year before, guitarist (and boyfriend of Diggs) Ernesto Phillips also died from a stroke. The song's co-write Adeyemo would go on to co-write Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True"...

Up tomorrow: Boston new wavers await her arrival this evening.