Sunday, August 31, 2014

Brit Sweep: August 31, 2014...


Hey gang, I'm ready to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in the United Kingdom this week....

The biggest song in Britain this week comes from French indie-folk duo Lilly Wood and the Prick, whose song "Prayer In C" received a dance remix from German DJ Robin Schulz, and after going to #1 in both Germany and France, finally makes it on top here...


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Album Sweep: September 6, 2014 - Part One...


I'm ready to start up the first half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums sales chart. As always, I've included highlighted links to buy any of the new sets, as well as some of the artists' other major work. Support the talent!

The top-selling album in America this week is the first #1 album from rapper Wiz Khalifa, who sells about 90,000 copies of his third major-label solo studio album Blacc Hollywood.The other two made it to #2...


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Songoftheday 8/31/14 - Some people hunger for fame and fortune, all their lives saddest fools, in paradise...


Thompson Twins - "King For A Day"
from the album Here's To Future Days (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day is by the British new-wave trio Thompson Twins, whose 1985 album Here's To Future Days had already scored them their second top-10 single with "Lay Your Hands On Me". For its follow-up the band released the bouncy "King For A Day", which was remixed for the American market adding more guitars to the track. It was their most joyful moment on the radio in their career...


Thompson Twins - King For A Day by jpdc11

"King For A Day" became the third and final top-10 pop single in America for the "Twins" in March of 1986, while also climbing to #13 on the Adult Contemporary (or "easy-listening") radio chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single was a top-ten success in Sweden and New Zealand, but in England, where it was the third release after "Don't Mess With Doctor Dream" in a shorter synth-heavy version, stopped at #22.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Story of the Day 8-30-14: What is it with St. Louis?


But seriously, while many fans of football player Michael Sam, including myself, were disappointed over the "cut" of the defensive end from the St. Louis Rams, the reaction of his fans, and the supportive words from Rams coach Jeff Fisher, and beyond all the class displayed by the man who still may be the first openly gay NFL player on the field (but if so possibly with another team), showed that there is a bright future for Sam. This happens all the times with hundreds of players in the league, and while there's no doubt that Michael's backstory is as much an asset as a possible risk to other teams, I'm certain that the support that Sam has gotten has shown to NFL owners and coaches (seriously, fuck Dungy already) that besides Sam's proven skill (hey, he did great in preseason, just that the Rams were defense-heavy as it was), he's a draw for fans, and money does talk. Now how about it, Chicago? Make my day.


Dance Sweep: September 6, 2014...


I'm ready to wrap up today's five-part "chart sweeps" tracking the songs making the Billboard singles charts with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Hot Dance Club Play chart, Demi Lovato scores her third consecutive #1 hit from her Demi album with "Really Don't Care". It follows "Neon Lights" and "Heart Attack"...

The highest debut of the week comes from British modern rock act Bastille with "Bad Blood". They went to #1 with "Pompeii" in February. They're at the most Coldplay on this track...


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Country Sweep: September 6, 2014...


Part four of today's "chart sweeps" checks out the latest country songs on Billboard magazine's radio chart....

The #1 song for a second week on the Country Airplay chart is Dierks Bentley's "Drunk On A Plane"...

Blake Shelton rockets in at #18 with the first single from his upcoming album Bringing Back The Sunshine, "Neon Light". Can he extend his streak of twelve #1 singles on this chart? Probably inevitable. He's got the full promo action of The Voice behind him, and by now is really the "old guard" of current country radio (scary, eh?). Sure,the song itself is a crowdsource piece of fluff, and he wouldn't be caught dead in a cowboy hat anymore, but at least it's no "Boys 'Round Here". I just wish Miranda would have more of an influence on him than the other way around.


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Soul Sweep: September 6, 2014...


We're at the "hump" of today's "chart sweeps", with the latest songs to make some of Billboard magazine's weekly singles charts, and this time I'm serving up the newest R&B songs on the radio...

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, singer Jeremih scores his second #1 single with "Don't Tell 'Em" featuring YG. Back in 2009 he went to #1 with his first lead-artist hit "Birthday Sex". It's odd there still is no official video for this one yet!

Tennessee rapper Snootie Wild has the big debut at #42 with "Made Me" featuring K Camp. Meh. Posturing. And can we have a moratorium on children's piano noises?


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Rock Sweep: September 6, 2014...


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

On the aggregate Rock Airplay chart, Vance Joy spends his third week at #1 with "Riptide"...

The top debut of the week, at #32, belongs to Canadian bro-rockers Nickelback, who must be another of the seven signs of the apocalypse, releasing yet another single at this uneasy time in history. But while I can readily admit that I've been defiantly fond of many a tune from the boys, this slice of cheese falls like a group-tested anthem of faux anarchy, handily vague enough for those libertarian fucktards fighting against "the system" yet still taking full advantage of said "system". And even when this is trying so hard to be "edgy", it feels so tagged to white-man anger which can be easily tied to our current president (who is kind of "different", don't ya know?). Now Chad and the gang can get the job done even with poster-inspired "message" songs like "When We Stand Together", but this is about as anti-establishment as the Young Republicans. It's just what "establishment" they can't stand. Lord. This makes Avril look like Patti Smith.(Since the combined Rock Airplay chart started in 2009, they've hit the top-10 twice with "Burn It To The Ground" reaching #7)


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Pop Sweep: September 6, 2014...






It's time to kick off the first of today's five-part "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making the various charts in Billboard magazine this week. As usual, I'll start on the pop side of things, then later in the day move on to rock, R&B, country, and dance music. And away we go....

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of radio airplay, sales, and internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), there's a new "sheriff" in town, and it's Taylor Swift, who lands her second #1 hit on the list with the first single from her upcoming pure-pop album 1989, "Shake It Off". She last led in 2012 with the initial release from her last album Red, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", which created a maelstrom of controversy over Billboard topping its first "combined airplay" country chart with the decidedly non-country single. I guess they've learned their lesson as the song is absent of that chart, even though it did garner enough airplay to reach the Country Airplay list (I'll cover that later on today). Although it keeps newcomer Meghan Trainor's incredibly infectious "All About That Bass" from the top, it thankfully also prevents Nicki Minaj's poor remake of "Baby Got Back", "Anaconda", from #1 as well, as it jumps from #39 to #2 from the release of the soft-porn video. And without the tarnish of being labelled "country", the song is cute, a little self-serving considering, but cute (though it seems a little late to the party from Trainor's similar empowerment theme, which comes off more universal that personal)....


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Post 4000! So that's where my time's went....


Wow. I've been busy. 4000 posts in the eight years and change that's I've been at my little corner of the interwebs, with a total of over 150,000 pageviews from anywhere and everywhere in the world, I'm thankful to have this little outlet to share my passions, be it music, news, or any random thing that's on my mind. I have never done ads on this, but have only benefited from the joy in writing it. Thanks for keeping up with my musings, and I hope I've kept you slightly entertained and maybe slipped something new into your brain. Onwards and upwards!

(Mind, if you're using an RSS reader like Feedspot and see ads, they aren't from my site and I'm not profiting. If you want to see the real deal, please follow me on da Blogger at twostepcub.blogger.com. Thanks!)

Cheers
twostepcub

Songoftheday 8/30/14 - Got someone else to keep you warm, you've been seen in cozy places...


Freddie Jackson - "He'll Never Love You (Like I Do)"
from the album Rock Me Tonight (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6


Today's Song of the Day comes from soul singer Freddie Jackson, whose debut album Rock Me Tonight had scored two big top-20 pop hits in 1985 with "You Are My Lady" and the title track. For the third single from the album Freddie revved up the tempo for the sassy "He'll Never Love You (Like I Do)", which has him channeling his inner Vandross at 100%...


"He'll Never Love You" became Jackson's third top-40 pop hit in February of 1986. On the R&B chart, the single was his third to make the top-10 stopping at #8, and it even crossed over to the adult contemporary list in Billboard at #28. Over in England the song popped onto the singles charts at #81.

Up tomorrow: The oddly-named trio seeks to be coronated.

Friday, August 29, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for August 29, 2014...





Hey gang, it's Friday at last, and time to run down my top 100 tunes from last week. Sam Smith holds on to #1 for a tenth week, while OneRepublic (pictured above) jumps up two spots in the top-ten. Songs from Milky Chance, Vance Joy, and Clean Bandit make the biggest leaps on the chart (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while a former big hit from Justin Timberlake drops out. Happy Labor Day weekend, Americans!

This Week                 Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (1)
2. Rude - Magic! (3)
3. A Sky Full Of Stars - Coldplay (4)
4. Problem - Ariana Grande f/Iggy Azalea (2)
5. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (7)
6. Love Runs Out - OneRepublic (8)
7. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (6)
8. Latch - Disclosure f/Sam Smith (12)
9. Chandelier - Sia (14)
10. Take Me To Church - Hozier (10)
11. Come With Me Now - KONGOS (11)
12. Maps - Maroon 5 (16)
13. Summer - Calvin Harris (9)
14. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers (5)
15. Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake (15)
16. Hideaway - Kiesza (19)
17. Fever - The Black Keys (13)
18. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (17)
19. Do It Again - Royksopp & Robyn (23)
20. We Are Tonight - Billy Currington (21)
21. Aftermath - Dave Aude f/Andy Bell (20)
22. Fancy - Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (18)
23. Drunk On A Plane - Dierks Bentley (30)
24. I Don't Dance - Lee Brice (28)
25. I Was Gonna Cancel - Kylie Minogue (25)
26. Bartender - Lady Antebellum (36)
27. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (45)
28. Riptide - Vance Joy (46)
29. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (47)
30. Who I Am With You - Chris Young (26)
31. Waves - Mr. Probz (37)
32. Yeah - Joe Nichols (33)
33. Pretty Hurts - Beyonce (41)
34. Ghost - Ella Henderson (38)
35. Derezzed - Daft Punk f/Negin (35)
36. Sing - Ed Sheeran (22)
37. Classic - MKTO (39)
38. River Bank - Brad Paisley (42)
39. Me And My Broken Heart - Rixton (24)
40. Really Don't Care - Demi Lovato f/Cher Lloyd (48)
41. Happy - Pharrell Williams (31)
42. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor (58)
43. Cool Kids - Echosmith (53)
44. Words As Weapons - Seether (44)
45. Knock You Out - Bingo Players (40)
46. I'm Not Coming Down - Martha Wash (34)
47. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High? - Arctic Monkeys (27)
48. Song About A Girl - Eric Paslay (49)
49. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (29)
50. Meanwhile Back At Mama's - Tim McGraw f/Faith Hill (50)
51. West Coast - Lana Del Rey (56)
52. Angel In Blue Jeans - Train (52)
53. Roller Coaster - Luke Bryan (57)
54. Prayer In C - Lilly Wood & The Prick (54)
55. Never Say Never - Basement Jaxx (62)
56. Secrets - Mary Lambert (64)
57. Wasted - Tiesto f/Matthew Koma (32)
58. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys (43)
59. Hope You Get Lonely Tonight - Cole Swindell (63)
60. U Get Me High - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (60)
61. Don't - Ed Sheeran (68)
62. First Love - Jennifer Lopez (77)
63. Play It Again - Luke Bryan (51)
64. Where It's At (Yep Yep) - Dustin Lynch (66)
65. Believer - American Authors (65)
66. 1000hp - Godsmack (70)
67. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan & Jason Derulo (67)
68. Good Kisser - Usher (71)
69. All Of Me - John Legend (59)
70. Back To The Shack - Weezer (80)
71. Back Home - Andy Grammer (75)
72. Small Town Throwdown - Brantley Gilbert f/Justin Moore & Thomas Rhett (74)
73. Bye Felicia - Joe Gauthreaux f/Mitch Amtrak (79)
74. My Sweet Summer - Dirty Heads (76)
75. Superheroes - The Script (87)
76. Baby Baby 2014 - Amy Grant f/Dave Aude (90)
77. Somethin' Bad - Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood (91)
78. One Minute More - Capital Cities (78)
79. American Kids - Kenny Chesney (81)
80. Be Okay - Oh Honey (82)
81. Gimme Something Good - Ryan Adams (85)
82. Later On - Swon Brothers (92)
83. Boom Clap - Charli XCX (83)
84. Dirt - Florida Georgia Line (84)
85. Ballast - Nothing More (86)
86. Do You - Spoon (96)
87. Lovers On The Sun - David Guetta f/Sam Martin (DEBUT)
88. Ready Set Roll - Chase Rice (84)
89. It's You - Kem (97)
90. Battleships - Daughtry (93)
91. Break Free - Ariana Grande f/Zedd (DEBUT)
92. Try - Colbie Caillat (DEBUT)
93. Last Call - Bello Boys f/Kat Deluna (DEBUT)
94. Five Hours - Deorro (DEBUT)
95. Crazy Stupid Love - Cheryl Cole f/Tinie Tempah (95)
96. Burnin' It Down - Jason Aldean (DEBUT)
97. Cardiac Arrest - Bad Suns (DEBUT)
98. When The Beat Drops Out - Marlon Roudette (98)
99. Budapest - George Ezra (RE-ENTRY)
100. Battle Cry - Scarlett Rabe (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 8/29/14 - Here we are the two of us together, taking this crazy chance to be all alone...


Atlantic Starr - "Secret Lovers"
from the album As The Band Turns (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14


Today's Song of the Day is by the rhythm and blues band Atlantic Starr, who were one of the many "Starr/Star" groups having success in the early 80s on the radio. In 1982, they crossed over to the pop charts with their post-disco top-40 hit "Circles", but while they scored a couple more hits on soul stations, they had trouble following up that success on mainstream Top-40. In 1986, the third single from their sixth album, As The Band Turns, was released, and it was a ballad much more in tune with easy-listening radio than R&B. "Secret Lovers", written by bandmates and brothers David and Wayne Lewis, made cheating a much more romantic affair than most songs on the topic...


"Secret Lovers" hit big, becoming the group's first top-10 pop hit in March of 1986. The single also topped the Adult Contemporary radio chart in Billboard, and climbed to #4 on their R&B/Black Singles chart. Internationally, the record made #10 over in England, whilegoing all the way to #1 in Canada. They would continue to have success with similar ballads through the rest of the decade...

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

8 of the 80s: 8/28/14 (1983)


It's throwback Thursday 80s time, and this week I'm back to 1983, the year the Philadelphia Arena on Market Street was burnt and destroyed by arson.

Walter Egan - "Fool Moon Fire"
from the album Wild Exhibitions (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46
Songwriter: Walter Egan


The rock singer-songwriter also spent the 80's appearing on various game shows...

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7 of the 70s: 8/28/14 (1973)






It's back to the 70s after a two week break, and this week I'm serving up seven more nuggets from 1973, the year an amusement park in the Isle Of Man off of England caught fire from kids smoking, killing 50 people....

Jim Croce - "Time In A Bottle"
from the album You Don't Mess Around With Jim (1972)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriter: Jim Croce


Another of those songs that immediately put a tear in my eye, no doubt helped by the tragic end to the singer's life in a plane crash.

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Songoftheday 8/28/14 - I could go on counting for hours the things that I like, please don't move baby stay right here stay right inside...


Ready For The World - "Digital Display"
from the album Ready For The World (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day is by Ready For The World, an R&B band out of the 'motor' city of Flint, Michigan, that took their Prince-ish funk of "Oh Sheila" to the top of the pop and soul chart in America. Their next single, "Digital Display", was written by their keyboardist, Greg Potts...


"Digital Display" became the group's second top-40 pop hit in February of 1986. The record also climbed up to #3 on Billboard's Dance Club Play list, and #4 on the R&B chart, their fourth consecutive top-10 hit there.

Up tomorrow: Another New York R&B act "cheats" for a big hit.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aussie Sweep: August 27, 2014...


It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in Australia this week, as Meghan Trainor spends a third week on top with "All About That Bass"...

There are only two new songs in the top-50 this week. The first rockets in at #5, and it's the new one from Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off". This becomes her eighth top-10 single; she's topped the list here back in 2008 with "Love Story" (she went to #1 here before she did in America, coincidentally)...


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6 of the 60s: 8/27/14 (1963)


6 of the 60s is back after a two-week vacation, with a half-dozen more nuggets from 1963, the year of the Great Train Robbery in England, memorialized on film in Phil Collins' Buster in the late 80s....

Lesley Gore - "It's My Party"
from the album I'll Cry If I Want To (1963)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: John Gluck, Wally Gold, Herb Weiner


One of legendary producer Quincy Jones' first big pop successes, "It's My Party" almost came out as a Wall Of Sound production for Phil Spector's Crystals. In 2006, Gore would come out of the closet as a lesbian in an interview.

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Songoftheday 8/27/14 - Take the children and yourself and hide out in the cellar, by now the fighting will be close at hand...


Mike + The Mechanics - "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)"
from the album Mike + The Mechanics (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day comes from a side-project for progressive rock trio Genesis' guitarist Mike Rutherford, Mike + The Mechanics. Like drummer Phil Collins, Rutherford released a couple of solo albums in the early 80s, but besides a top-40 rock radio hit with "Maxine" in 1982, there wasn't much interest in his non-Genesis work. In the mid-80s Mike, along with producer Christopher Neil and songwriter Brian Robertson, started a project called Mike & The Mechanics, with a band formed with journeyman singers Paul Young (not the "Everytime You Go Away" one) and Paul Carrack, who went from a stint with Squeeze to a top-40 hit of his own with "I Need You" in 1982. The first single released from the act was used in the movie On Dangerous Ground, renamed for American audiences as Choke Canyon (a porn movie name if I ever heard one). With Carrack on lead vocals for "Silent Running", the sci-fi lyrics of this track didn't really fit the movie (in fact they were inspired by a Bruce Dern film of the same name), though the paranoiac musical theme did the job in its own way...


"Silent Running" became the first top-10 pop hit for the group in March of 1986. The single also went all the way to #1 on Billboard magazine's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, while the record went top-10 in both Canada and Germany, in Rutherford/Carrack's native Britain the single stopped at #21.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

German Sweep: August 26, 2014...


It's time to cross the border to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in Germany this week, as David Guetta holds at #1 for a second week with "Lovers On The Sun"...

The top debut of the week comes from Ariana Grande, who pops in at #27 with "Break Free". It follows "Problem", which "peaked" at #19 last week...


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French Sweep: August 26, 2014...


I'm ready to head across the Atlantic to check out the songs making the official singles chart in France this week, as Lilly Wood & The Prick rack up a sixth week at #1 with the Robin Schulz remix of "Prayer In C"...

The top debut of the week comes from Algerian/French rapper Lacrim, who almost makes the top-10 by a notch with "Pronto". It does become his highest rank though at #11 out of his five French top-40 hits this year...


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Songoftheday 8/26/14 - Go now don't look back we've drawn the line...


Starship - "Sara"
from the album Knee Deep In The Hoopla (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by the band Starship, who were the mutated result from years of member defection from 60s acid-rock giants Jefferson Airplane. Revamped a la Chicago as a pop/adult-contemporary hitmaking machine, with only Grace Slick hanging on from its original incarnation, Starship had already landed a #1 pop hit in America with my least favorite hit record of all time, "We Built This City". The pasteurized cheese of that earworm would make anything else sound like Mozart, so it's no surprise I wasn't turned off too much by its successor, the mid-tempo ballad "Sara". Written by husband-and-wife team of Peter and Ina Wolf (no, the former wasn't the J. Geils Band guy, but rather a producer who did most of the keyboard work with the group's album), "Sara" was a straight-forward made-for-the-workplace-radio track that barely featured any Slick at all. No matter, at least Mickey Thomas was more restrained in his performance, though he was able to turn in an overblown performance in the high-concept video featuring Rebecca DeMornay as a seemingly drugged-up groupie wife compared to Thomas' own mom in the video. Weird...


"Sara" became Starship's second #1 pop hit in a row in the U.S. They also crossed over to the Adult Contemporary (also #1) and Mainstream Rock (#12) radio charts in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single also topped the singles chart in Canada, and went top-20 in Germany and Ireland, but relatively tanked in Britain, stalling at #66 in that country.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Robbed Hit of the Week 8/25/14 - Asia's "Go"...


Asia - "Go"
from the album Astra (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: 46

This week's "robbed hit" is from the British progressive rock "supergroup" Asia, who after having the biggest-selling album of 1982 with their self-titled debut, followed up with sophomore effort Alpha, which spawned their second top-10 pop hit with "Don't Cry", but sold considerably less compared to their first record. After lead singer John Wetton left/was booted from the band only to return before the recording of their third album, Asia found themselves one member down again as guitarist Steve Howe quit the band to join GTR (who will soon score a top-40 hit of their own with "When The Heart Rules The Mind". The remaining three recruited Mandy Meyer of the metal band Krokus to replace Howe, and his style made their music a little bit more rough around the edges. The first single from the project, "Go", lured rock radio in with its church-organ beginning, to a track that kind of remind me if Yes attempted to make a Scorpions record....


While "Go" was another success for Asia on rock radio, peaking at #7 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in Billboard magazine, the single stalled under the pop top-40 in January of 1986. After this and the album relatively tanking (it climbed to #67 on the albums chart), the group splintered for a bit, with Wetton, keyboardist Carl Palmer, and drummer Geoffrey Downes joined by guitarist Pat Thrall for a part greatest hits part new material set Then & Now, which had a decent single included with "Days Like These", which climbed to #2 on the Rock chart and was a minor pop hit at #64 in 1990.  The quartet would break apart again, with Wetton leaving and singer John Payne pairing with Downes and a musical chairs of lineups for almost fifteen years, having big success in Japan but nothing more than cult status elsewhere in the world. In 2006 the four original members of Asia reunited (with Payne confusingly still touring legally under the "Asia With John Payne" moniker"), and began releasing records again that were actually really good and worthy of getting back together. Three of the records have even made the American album chart, the most recent being Gravitas in 2014.

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Album Sweep: August 30, 2014 - Part Two...






I'm down for the second half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on Billboard magazine's Top 200 Albums sales chart. You can check out part one by clicking here, and as before I've included links to buy the new stuff as well as some of the artists' other important work.

Underground hip-hop veterans Dilated Peoples return at #41 with their first album in eight years, Directors Of Photography. Back in 2001 they came in at #36 with their third effort Expansion Team...


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Songoftheday 8/25/14 - Hide and seek I play along while rushing cross the forest, monkey business on a sunny afternoon....


Baltimora - "Tarzan Boy"
from the album Living In The Background (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is from an Italian pop-dance act called Baltimora, who were led by keyboardist and producer Maurizio Bassi. Recruiting Irishman Jimmy McShane to be the visual frontman of the group, the "band" recorded their first album for release in 1985. The debut single from the project, "Tarzan Boy", was a big success around the world, no doubt helped by the infectious Tarzan-like yodel as a stand-in chorus....


"Tarzan Boy" would become the band's first and only top-40 hit in America, reaching the top-20 in March of 1986 and eventually spending half a year on the Hot 100. The remix of the record climbed to #6 on Billboard magazine's Hot Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the single went to #1 in both France and the Netherlands, peaked at #3 in England, and made the top-10 in most of the rest of Europe and Canada, with a #6 placing in their native Italy and #2 in McShane's Ireland.

The novelty of the record would be their doom in America, with their next single, the title track from Living In The Background, stalling at #87. Meanwhile in Europe they had a bit more success with another campy number, "Woody Boogie", which went top-10 in Sweden and top-20 in Italy. In 1987 the band released a second album, and the first single, "Key Key Karimba", slipped into the Italian top-40 at #37, but with the record not getting any attention anywhere else, Baltimora split up shortly thereafter. McShane would leave the biz, and passed away from complications from AIDS in 1995.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Brit Sweep: August 24, 2014...


Hey mates, the end of the weekend (and sadly, my vacation) is upon us, and I'm ready to check out the songs making the top-100 of the just-released official singles chart in Britain.

The new #1 song in the UK this week comes from the biggest French DJ and dance music producer around, David Guetta, with "Lovers On The Sun" featuring vocals from Sam Martin. It's Guetta's sixth time at the top of the chart in this country, dating back to 2009's "When Love Takes Over" (still an awesome jam)...


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Album Sweep: August 30, 2014 - Part One...






It's time to kick off the first half of this week's "album sweep", 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 new sets, as well as some of the artists' other major work. Support the talent!

The top-selling album of the week for the second week in a row is the Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 collection, coming close to selling another hundred thousand copies in its third week.

The highest debuting album of the week at #4 comes from the Gaslight Anthem, an alternative rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, with their fifth full-length album Get Hurt. Their last record, Handwritten, went in a notch higher in 2012...


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Songoftheday 8/24/14 - The wind blows hard against this mountainside, across the sea into my soul...


Mr. Mister - "Kyrie"
from the album Welcome To The Real World (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day comes from the pop/rock band Mr. Mister, who found success on radio with their second album, which scored a #1 hit with their first top-40 effort, "Broken Wings". While that song was inspired by writings of an Arab poet, the second single from the set, "Kyrie", drew from Christian mass, with the chorus of "Kyrie, Elaison" an integral part of the Catholic service. Written by lyricist John Lang along with lead singer Richard Page and keyboardist Steve George, the song's video had clips of them on tour....


"Kyrie" became Mr. Mister's second consecutive #1 pop hit in America in March of 1986. The single also topped the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard, and crossed over to the adult-contemporary (or "easy listening") list at #11. Internationally, the record went to #1 in Canada and Norway, while stopping one notch under the top-10 in both England and Australia. It would be the band's last #1 hit...

The song is a perfect example of how much positive music still had a fighting chance in the 80's, until grunge and the 90s killed that all dead.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dance Sweep: August 30, 2014...


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

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Beyonce scores yet another #1 hit with "Pretty Hurts"...

Swedish DJ Alesso has the high entry at #39 with "Tear The Roof Up". The track had already appeared on the airplay chart at #21. In 2012 he topped the club chart with "Calling (Lose My Mind)"...


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Country Sweep: August 30, 2014...






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

On their Country Airplay chart Dierks Bentley lands his twelfth #1 single with "Drunk On A Plane"...

The top debut of the week belongs to Darius Rucker, whose "Homegrown Honey" enters at #55....



The third single from Chris Young's A.M. album, "Lonely Eyes", sees its debut at #58. It follows "Who I Am With You", which climbed to #2 on this list. It's also my "Country Pick of the Week"...


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Soul Sweep: August 30, 2014...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Schoolboy Q spends his third week at #1 with "Studio"...

DJ Khaled comes in at #35 with "Hold You Down", with vocals from Chris Brown, August Alsina, Jeremih, and rapper Future...


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Rock Sweep: August 30, 2014...


Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up, with the latest music to make the radio charts in Billboard magazine. This time out it's the newest on rock radio...

On the main Rock Airplay chart Aussie Vance Joy spends his second week at #1 with "Riptide"...

Nu-metal veterans Korn come in at #48 with "Hater", the third single from their expanded Paradigm Shift album. The first, "Never Never", went to #13 on this list. "Hater" also moves up to #13 on the Mainstream Rock format chart...


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Pop Sweep: August 30, 2014...


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

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies from radio airplay, sales, and internet streaming (like YouTube or Spotify), Canadian lite-reggae band Magic! hold at #1 for a sixth week with "Rude". It looks like they might challenge "Fancy" for the song of the summer title...

The top debut of the week at #49 comes from singer Ariana Grande, who is having a pretty good week, with three of the songs in the top-ten with her as the lead artist - "Break Free" leaps up to #4, "Problem" dropping a notch to #7, and her collab with Nicki Minaj and Jessie J, "Bang Bang", slipping to #10. Her new hit "Best Mistake" features rapper Big Sean, who the singer has been rumored to be seeing romantically as well as professionally...


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Songoftheday 8/23/14 - A Salvation Army band played and the children drank lemonade, and the morning lasted all day...


The Dream Academy - "Life In A Northern Town"
from the album The Dream Academy (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day is by the Dream Academy, a British trio that with a little help from Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, who co-produced their self-titled debut album, made a big splash in the mid-80's with the dreamy-pop nugget "Life In A Northern Town". Written by lead singer/guitarist Nick Laird-Clowes and keyboardist Gilbert Gabriel, the song was a tribute to the late indie-folk artist Nick Drake, who lost his battle with addiction and depression in 1974. With a rush of orchestral flourishes behind Nick's fragile Lennon-esque lead and the African-style chorus it led to, the single was a welcome change of pace from the beeps and bloops of new wave out of Britain. And where else are you going to find the English horn played so prominently?


"Life In A Northern Town" became the Dream Academy's first and only top-10 pop hit in America in February of 1986. The record also crossed over to both the Adult Contemporary (#2) and Mainstream Rock (#7) radio charts in Billboard magazine. Internationally, while the single reached the top-10 in Canada, Australia, and Ireland, it surprisingly stopped at #15 on the British singles chart (considering how "English" the record sounds). Since then, "Life In A Northern Town" with its classic acoustic sound has aged much better than its electronic contemporaries.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for August 22, 2014...


Friday is here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the week. This week Sam Smith spends his ninth week at the top, while electropop duo Big Data climb up two notches in the top-10. Former big hits from Lorde, Katy Perry, Rita Ora, and Fitz & The Tantrums drop off my list, while songs from Basement Jaxx, Luke Bryan, and Weezer make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Another year older, none the wiser...

This Week                  Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (1)
2. Problem - Ariana Grande (2)
3. Rude - Magic! (3)
4. A Sky Full Of Stars - Coldplay (5)
5. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers (6)
6. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (4)
7. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (9)
8. Love Runs Out - OneRepublic (8)
9. Summer - Calvin Harris (7)
10. Take Me To Church - Hozier (10)
11. Come With Me Now - KONGOS (11)
12. Latch - Discosure f/Sam Smith (14)
13. Fever - The Black Keys (13)
14. Chandelier - Sia (28)
15. Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake (19)
16. Maps - Maroon 5 (31)
17. Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michaelson (17)
18. Fancy - Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (16)
19. Hideaway - Kiesza (20)
20. Aftermath - Dave Aude' f/Andy Bell (21)
21. We Are Tonight - Billy Currington (23)
22. Sing - Ed Sheeran (12)
23. Do It Again - Royksopp & Robyn (27)
24. Me And My Broken Heart - Rixton (15)
25. I Was Gonna Cancel - Kylie Minogue (25)
26. Who I Am With You - Chris Young (18)
27. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High? - Arctic Monkeys (29)
28. I Don't Dance - Lee Brice (32)
29. Ain't It Fun - Paramore (22)
30. Drunk On A Plane - Dierks Bentley (34)
31. Happy - Pharrell Williams (26)
32. Wasted - Tiesto f/Matthew Koma (30)
33. Yeah - Joe Nichols (35)
34. I'm Not Coming Down - Martha Wash (24)
35. Derezzed - Daft Punk f/Negin (36)
36. Bartender - Lady Antebellum (43)
37. Waves - Mr. Probz (39)
38. Ghost - Ella Henderson (38)
39. Classic - MKTO (41)
40. Knock You Out - Bingo Players (40)
41. Pretty Hurts - Beyonce (46)
42. River Bank - Brad Paisley (42)
43. Do I Wanna Know - Arctic Monkeys (33)
44. Words As Weapons - Seether (48)
45. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (53)
46. Riptide - Vance Joy (52)
47. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (54)
48. Really Don't Care - Demi Lovato f/Cher Lloyd (58)
49. Song About A Girl - Eric Paslay (50)
50. Meanwhile Back At Mama's - Tim McGraw f/Faith Hill (51)
51. Play It Again - Luke Bryan (37)
52. Angel In Blue Jeans - Train (56)
53. Cool Kids - Echosmith (61)
54. Prayer In C - Lilly Wood & The Prick (60)
55. Holding On To Heaven - Foxes (55)
56. West Coast - Lana Del Rey (66)
57. Roller Coster - Luke Bryan (77)
58. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor (DEBUT)
59. All Of Me - John Legend (45)
60. U Get Me High - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (68)
61. Peace - O.A.R. (57)
62. Never Say Never - Basement Jaxx (92)
63. Hope You Get Lonely Tonight - Cole Swindell (73)
64. Secrets - Mary Lambert (81)
65. Believer - American Authors (71)
66. Where It's At (Yep Yep) - Dustin Lynch (70)
67. This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan & Jason Derulo (69)
68. Don't - Ed Sheeran (78)
69. Calling All Hearts - DJ Cassidy f/Robin Thicke & Jessie J (59)
70. 1000hp - Godsmack (75)
71. Good Kisser - Usher (76)
72. Dare (La, La, La) - Shakira (72)
73. Beachin' - Jake Owen (65)
74. Small Town Throwdown - Brantley Gilbert f/Justin Moore & Thomas Rhett (84)
75. Back Home - Andy Grammer (79)
76. My Sweet Summer - Dirty Heads (86)
77. First Love - Jennifer Lopez (DEBUT)
78. One Minute More - Capital Cities (82)
79. Bye Felicia - Joe Gauthreaux f/Mitch Amtrak (DEBUT)
80. Back To The Shack - Weezer (98)
81. American Kids - Kenny Chesney (85)
82. Be Okay - Oh Honey (83)
83. Boom Clap - Charli XCX (95)
84. Dirt - Florida Georgia Line (90)
85. Gimme Something Good - Ryan Adams (DEBUT)
86. Ballast - Nothing More (91)
87. Superheroes - The Script (DEBUT)
88. Not A Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake (78)
89. Kick Drum - London Rose (89)
90. Baby Baby 2014 - Amy Grant f/Dave Aude (DEBUT)
91. Somethin' Bad - Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood (93)
92. Later On - The Swon Brothers (97)
93. Battleships - Daughtry (96)
94. Ready Set Roll - Chase Rice (DEBUT)
95. Crazy Stupid Love - Cheryl Cole f/Tinie Tempah (99)
96. Do You - Spoon (DEBUT)
97. It's You - Kem (DEBUT)
98. When The Beat Drops Out - Marlon Roudette (DEBUT)
99. Faded - Zhu (DEBUT)
100. Hopeful - Bars And Melody (DEBUT)

There are a dozen debuting songs on my 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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