Sunday, November 30, 2014

Brit Sweep: November 30, 2014...



The end of the long Thanksgiving weekend (for some) is here, and it's time to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in the United Kingdom this week...

The biggest song in Britain and my "Brit Pick of the Week" is the newest single from veteran boys-to-men band Take That, who land their first #1 hit as a trio (Jason Orange left the group this year and Robbie Williams couldn't participate) with "These Days". It's the act's twelfth chart-topping hit in the UK and fourth since re-forming in 2006. Their last #1 hit, "Greatest Day", came in 2008...


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


It's time to roll 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 this week in Billboard magazine (I though last week would be their last sales-only frame, but alas here we are). 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 American unsurprisingly comes from the British boyband One Direction, who sell over 387,000 copies of their fourth album Four in its first week. It makes it their third consecutive #1 out of four tries; they topped the chart a year ago with Midnight Memories...





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Songoftheday 11/30/14 - Not a word from your lips, you just took for granted that I want to skinny dip....


Jermaine Stewart - "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off"
from the album Frantic Romantic (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day comes from singer Jermaine Stewart, who started out as a dancer on Soul Train along with Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel, who also went on to musical success with the band Shalamar (and Jody's subsequent solo success). Jermaine tried out for the group, but was passed over. Landing a backup dancer spot for Shalamar, he hooked up with Culture Club, who hired him on to sing background vocals on their top-5 pop hit "Miss Me Blind". They also helped him get a solo record deal, and he released his first album in 1984, and almost made the American top-40 with "The Word Is Out". For his second album Frantic Romantic, producer Narada Michael Walden brought his A-game for a single as infectious as his "Freeway Of Love" was for Aretha Franklin. With a AIDS-era message that went beyond safe sex to downright chastity, "We Don't Have To Take Your Clothes Off" was made even more hilarious from Jermaine's campy delivery, sounding like he's making a million excuses not to get down with the ladies. But his vocal chops and attitude made you forget all about that and just dance...


"We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" became Jermaine's first and only top-10 pop hit in America in August of 1986. The single also crossed over to the R&B chart at #64, and made the dance club chart at #41. Internationally, the song did even better, reaching #2 in both Canada and England, and #4 in Ireland. And due to it being in a commercial the song returned to the British top-40 in 2011.

The single remains the perfect specimen of one-off pop goodness, offering the slightest bit of social commentary with a groove that makes you turn up the radio in the car and damn the consequences.

(Fun fact, I reviewed the album on the bloggie back in 2007.)

Cherry wine sounds disgusting. And yes, Jermaine did go on to pass away from AIDS-related illnesses, but keep your mind out of that judgy place.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dance Sweep: December 6, 2014...






It's time 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 the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Jennifer Lopez claims yet another #1 hit with "Booty" featuring Iggy Azalea and Pitbull...

They might be "broken up", but two-thirds of the Swedish House Mafia take the highest entry at #34 with "Can't Hold Us Down". Third SHM member Steve Angello's own "Wasted Love" still hangs in at #49...


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Country Sweep: December 6, 2014...


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

On their Country Airplay chart, Keith Urban nabs his sixteenth #1 hit with "Somewhere In My Car". His first, "But For The Grace Of God", came in 2000...

The top debut at #50 is the second single from Garth Brooks' Man Against Machine album, "Mom". The first, "People Loving People", peaked at #19, and this sentimental new one is my "Country Pick of the Week"...


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Soul Sweep: December 6, 2014...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, DJ Khaled is at #1 for a fourth week with "Hold You Down"...

As Beyonce' releases an expanded version of her self-titled album, one of the new tracks, "7/11", lands on the chart at #42...


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Rock Sweep: December 6, 2014...






Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up, with the latest hits on rock radio as monitored by Billboard magazine.

On their main Rock Airplay chart, the Foo Fighters spend a fifth week at #1 with "Something From Nothing"...

The top entry at #46 comes from "moombahton" artist Robert Delong with "Long Way Down". The track, this week's "Rock Pick of the Week", also climbs from #33 to #27 on the Modern Rock chart...


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Pop Sweep: December 6, 2014...


Hey gang, I'm ready to kick off the first of today's five "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making their way on to the various radio and club charts in Billboard magazine this week. As usual, I'll start out on the "pop" side of things, then later in the day cover 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, sales (like iTunes, Amazon, and what dwindling physical singles sales there are) and internet streaming (with subscription services like Spotify and on-demand like YouTube), Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" holds for a second week on top...

Landing up at #26 as the highest entry on the chart is a-cappella stars Pentatonix, who have been the most successful act from the competition show The Sing-Off by far. And as the show is about to come back for a one-off this holiday season, the quintet's Christmas carol "Mary Did You Know?" lands them their second top-40 hit. Their first, another seasonal track "The Little Drummer Boy", went to #13 last year...


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Songoftheday 11/29/14 - Tonight it's very clear as we're both lying here there's so many things I wanna say...


Peter Cetera - "The Glory Of Love"
from the albums Solitude/Solitaire and Karate Kid II (Original Sountrack) (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day is by singer/songwriter Peter Cetera, who had been a founding member of the seminal jazz/rock fusion band Chicago since 1967. With his recognizable high-pitched vocals complimenting the gruff voice of Terry Kath (and later Bill Champlin), Cetera was the focus of the "soft" side of the band's music, although he could definitely jam out in songs like the top-10 single "25 Or 6 To 4". As the band's chart success was a little dimmer during the disco/post-disco years, Peter released a self-titled solo album in 1981, that got little notice besides a top-10 rock radio hit with "Livin' In The Limelight". He would stick around for two more albums with Chicago under soft-rock producer David Foster before leaving permanently for a solo career in 1985.

The following year, Peter released what would be his first solo pop hit, a song featured in The Karate Kid II movie. "Glory Of Love", written by the singer and producer along with Diane Nini, was a ringer for the ballads Foster helped Chicago get a second wind with on their last two albums...


"Glory Of Love" became Cetera's first #1 solo hit in August of 1986, after it spent five weeks on top of the adult contemporary radio chart in Billboard magazine. It also was his only solo British hit at #3 (most likely helped by the movie tie-in). Despite earning nominations for a Grammy, Golden Globe, and an Oscar, the song came up short on all three.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

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


(Black) Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the past week. Irish singer/songwriter Hozier finally makes it to the top of my list in his 27th week with "Take Me To Church", while synthpop legends Erasure (pictured above) climb three notches in the top-10. Former big hits by Coldplay, Bastille, Enrique Iglesias, and Disclosure drop off my chart, while songs by Alesso, Zhu, and Take That make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Damn, the tryptophan is kicking in!

This Week           Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Take Me To Church - Hozier (2)
2. Don't - Ed Sheeran (1)
3. I'm Not The Only One - Sam Smith (5)
4. Secrets - Mary Lambert (4)
5. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor (3)
6. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (6)
7. Elevation - Erasure (10)
8. Riptide - Vance Joy (8)
9. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift (13)
10. Gotta Get Away - The Black Keys (11)
11. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (7)
12. Blame - Calvin Harris f/John Newman (17)
13. Cool Kids - Echosmith (9)
14. Animals - Maroon 5 (19)
15. Left Hand Free - alt-J (16)
16. Superheroes - The Script (12)
17. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (15)
18. Something From Nothing - Foo Fighters (22)
19. Bang Bang - Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj (14)
20. Habits (Stay High) - Tove Lo (20)
21. Day Drinking - Little Big Town (27)
22. Do You - Spoon (18)
23. Good Kisser - Usher (23)
24. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (21)
25. Black Widow - Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (25)
26. Chandelier - Sia (26)
27. Try - Colbie Caillat (29)
28. Neon Light - Blake Shelton (28)
29. One Life - Chris Willis & Joachim Gerraud (31)
30. Somewhere In My Car - Keith Urban (34)
31. Flaws - Bastille (36)
32. Let Me Down Easy - Paolo Nutini (44)
33. Heroes (We Could Be) - Alesso f/Tove Lo (53)
34. Roller Coaster - Luke Bryan (24)
35. Sunshine & Whiskey - Frankie Ballard (51)
36. Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Mix) - Lilly Wood & The Prick (32)
37. Won't Look Back - Duke Dumont (37)
38. Leave The Night On - Sam Hunt (42)
39. Parachute - Olivia Somerlyn (39)
40. Rude - Magic! (35)
41. Boom Clap - Charli XCX (33)
42. Ghost - Ella Henderson (52)
43. Don't Tell 'Em - Jeremih f/YG (50)
44. Hustlin' - Vassy, Crazibiza, & Dave Aude' (54)
45. This Is How We Do - Katy Perry (46)
46. Budapest - George Ezra (56)
47. Burnin' It Down - Jason Aldean (40)
48. Angel - Yoko Ono (48)
49. What's Best For You - Trey Songz (49)
50. Break Free - Ariana Grande f/Zedd (30)
51. In Your Arms - Nico & Vinz (59)
52. Maps - Maroon 5 (38)
53. Close Your Eyes - Parmalee (57)
54. Centuries - Fall Out Boy (58)
55. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (51)
56. I Lived - OneRepublic (61)
57. Something In The Water - Carrie Underwood (67)
58. Rock This Party - Fuzztroniks (62)
59. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran (63)
60. I Wanna Feel - SecondCity (45)
61. Girl In A Country Song - Maddie & Tae (65)
62. The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) - U2 (66)
63. Faded - Zhu (81)
64. Wrapped Up - Olly Murs f/Travie McCoy (72)
65. Look At You - Big & Rich (69)
66. Shotgun Rider - Tim McGraw (71)
67. Dirt - Florida Georgia Line (60)
68. Feelin' It - Scotty McCreery (74)
69. Wasted Love - Steve Angello f/Dougy (47)
70. Battleships - Daughtry (70)
71. Perfect Storm - Brad Paisley (75)
72. Hyper Love - Ferry Corsten f/Nat Dunn (DEBUT)
73. Everybody Be Somebody 2014 - Ruffneck f/Yavahn (DEBUT)
74. Til It's Gone - Kenny Chesney (84)
75. Call My Name - Avery Sunshine (85)
76. You & I (Nobody In The World) - John Legend (82)
77. Waves (Robin Schulz Mix) - Mr. Probz (91)
78. Yellow Flicker Beat - Lorde (78)
79. Cadillac Cadillac - Train (93)
80. Headphones - Matt Nathanson f/Lolo (80)
81. Where It's At (Yep Yep) - Dustin Lynch (73)
82. Talladega - Eric Church (86)
83. Wrong Side Of Heaven - Five Finger Death Punch (87)
84. Keep It Movin' - Aristofreeks f/Kathy Sledge (DEBUT)
85. These Days - Take That (100)
86. From Eden - Hozier (92)
87. Blank Space - Taylor Swift (DEBUT)
88. Trumpets - Jason Derulo (88)
89. Fire - Gavin DeGraw (89)
90. What Are You Waiting For - Nickelback (90)
91. Dangerous - David Guetta f/Sam Martin (93)
92. Baby Don't Lie - Gwen Stefani (98)
93. Sun Goes Down - Robin Schulz f/Jasmine Thompson (DEBUT)
94. Fade Out Lines - The Avener (94)
95. The Devil In I - Slipknot (95)
96. Geronimo - Sheppard (96)
97. American Kids - Kenny Chesney (97)
98. Take It On Back - Chase Bryant (DEBUT)
99. I Don't Care - Cheryl (DEBUT)
100. High Enough - Alina Artts (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 their official website for more info, tour dates, music and more... and here they are on video after the break...

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Songoftheday 11/28/14 - You see her sitting with her coffee and her paper with her high top sneakers of italian design...


Billy Joel - "Modern Woman"
from the albums Ruthless People (Original Soundtrack) and The Bridge (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's Song of the Day is by singer/songwriter/piano man Billy Joel, who spent 1985 capping off a hugely successful career with a double-set greatest hits album that eventually became one of the biggest selling albums of all time, and spun off two top-40 hits of its own with "You're Only Human" and "The Night Is Still Young". The following year Billy released his tenth studio album, The Bridge, collaborating with producer Phil Ramone. The first single from the project was a song from the soundtrack to the Bette Midler/Danny DeVito comedy Ruthless People. "Modern Woman", written by the artist, is your typical uptempo 80s comedy background music fodder, that even Joel disavows today...


"Modern Woman" became Billy's ninth top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1986. The single also crossed over to both the Mainstream Rock (#34) and Adult Contemporary (#7) radio charts in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the record was a moderate top-40 hit in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Up tomorrow: a Chicago man goes kung-fu fighting for romance.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

8 of the 80s: 11/27/14 (1985)


It's Thanksgiving Throwback Thursday 80s time, and this week I'm going back to 1985, the year the first version of Microsoft's Windows (Windows 1.0) is released.

Maurice White - "Stand By Me"
from the album Maurice White (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: 50
Songwriters: Ben E.King, Jerry Lieber, Mike Stoller


Maurice White. Stand By Me.1985 by capitainfunkk

The leader of Earth Wind & Fire covers the soul classic a year before the Stephen King movie brought the original back into the top-10.

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Aussie Sweep: November 27, 2014...






It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making the official singles chart in Australia this week, as the first week that "streaming" tallies (from the likes of Spotify and such, and not YouTube) are included...

Taylor Swift lands her third #1 single in this country as "Blank Space" climbs to the top. Her last single "Shake It Off" did the same, and it's worthy to note that she claimed her first chart-topper "Love Story" in 2007, years before she did on the American pop chart...

 The top debut of the week at #3 is the 30th anniversary version of the charity seasonal single "Do They Know It's Christmas", this time to benefit the fight against Ebola in Africa. With current stars like Sam Smith, One Direction, Rita Ora, and Chris Martin of Coldplay, it's a worthy update to the classic...


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Songoftheday 11/27/14 - I've had enough of scheming and messing around with jerks, my car is parked outside I'm afraid it doesn't work...


Pet Shop Boys - "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)"
from the album Please (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's Song of the Day comes from the British electro-pop duo Pet Shop Boys, whose proto-rap hit "West End Girls" finally broke through in America in 1986, landing them a #1 hit single and a top-ten album. The second single in the States, like "West End Girls", was one they originally recorded with freestyle producer/performer Bobby O in 1985. Called "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)", the track was sung in the first person as a 'pitch' to a prospective partner, be it hooker, swindler, lover, or whatever the listener wanted. This is how it sounded, much more like a Madonna knockoff...


When the Boys were signed to Parlophone Records, they hired the Art Of Noise's JJ Jeczalik to produce the song which was released as a single and "bubbled under" the British singles chart in 1985..


However, after their success with WEG, the pair had Stephen Hague also work on this single for the album, and the combination of his more lush production and sharper edits worked magic with the song, contrasting the almost comical lyrics with lead singer Neil Tennant's vocal treatment which manages to be deadpan and earnest at the same time. With an almost "are they just describing themselves" wink-wink, the song even works better as a single then West End, like Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Two Tribes" to their "Relax"..


"Opportunities" became the Pet Shop Boys' second American top-10 pop hit, while actually peaking a notch below that in their native Britain at #11. The record also climbed to #3 on the Dance Club Play chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the song went top-40 in places like Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands....

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

7 of the 70s: 11/26/14 (1975)


It's time for this week's 70s trip, and this week I'm back to 1975, the year The Price Is Right doubled its time to an hour-long show...

Average White Band - "Pick Up The Pieces"
from the album AWB (1974)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
Songwriters: Roger Ball, Malcolm Duncan, Alan Garrie, Robbie McIntosh, Onnie McIntyre, Hamish Stuart


The self-proclaimed funky Caucasians from Scotland didn't need words or a gimmick to send this song to #1.

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German Sweep: November 26, 2014...


Here's the top-10 songs in Germany this week according to that country's official singles chart...

1. "Dangerous" - David Guetta featuring Sam Martin (DEBUT)
2. "All About That Bass" - Meghan Trainor (1)
3. "The Sun Goes Down" - Robin Schulz featuring Jasmine Thompson (2)
4. "Walk" - Kwabs (DEBUT)
5. "Morgen" - Herbert Grönemeyer (DEBUT)
6. "Fade Out Lines" - The Avener (3)
7. "Blame" - Calvin Harris featuring John Newman (5)
8. "Geronimo" - Sheppard (4)
9. "Auf Anderen Wegen" - Andreas Bourani (9)
10. "Shake It Off" - Taylor Swift (7)

The top song of the week in Germany is a new entry from French DJ/producer David Guetta, who scores his third chart-topping hit in this country after "Sexy Bitch" and his last single "Lovers On The Sun" with "Dangerous", featuring American singer Sam Martin, who also sung on "Lovers..."....


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Songoftheday 11/26/14 - Pushing the day into the night time, somewhere between the two we start to see...


Belinda Carlisle - "Mad About You"
from the album Belinda (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day comes from singer Belinda Carlisle, who had fronted the all-female rock band the Go-Go's in the early 80's, until they broke up after their third album Talk Show in 1985. The following year she released her debut solo album, Belinda, which included some songs written when she was still a part of the band. One of them, "Mad About You", was co-written by former temp bandmate Paula Jean Brown, and became the first single released from the project. Former Duran Duran/Power Station guitarist Andy Taylor played on the single and appears in the video...


"Mad About You" became Belinda's first solo hit, reaching the top-3 on the American pop chart in August of 1986. The single also crossed over to the adult contemporary (or "easy-listening") radio chart in Billboard at #25. Internationally, the record went to #1 in Canada and top-10 in Australia, though in England it stalled out at #67.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

6 of the 60s: 11/25/14 (1965)


It's time for this week's 60s flashback, with a half-dozen more nuggets from 1965, the year the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is completed....

Bob Dylan - "Like A Rolling Stone"
from the album Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2
Songwriter: Bob Dylan


Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone (1966) by alexnesic66

This year someone paid two million smackers for a Dylan's handwritten lyrics. Wow.

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French Sweep: November 25, 2014...


Here's the top ten songs in France according to their official singles chart, as hometown hero David Guetta scores his third #1 hit (after "Gettin' Over You" and "Sweat") with "Dangerous" featuring Sam Martin...

1. "Dangerous" - David Guetta featuring Sam Martin (2)
2. "Chandelier" - Sia (1)
3. "Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Remix)" - Lilly Wood & The Prick (3)
4. "Fade Out Lines" - The Avener (5)
5. "Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo (4)
6. "Andalouse" - Kendji Girac (6)
7. "Blame" - Calvin Harris featuring John Newman (7)
8. "Diamonds" - Josef Salvat (DEBUT)
9. "Je Ne Dirai Rien" - Black M (10)
10. "All About That Bass" - Meghan Trainor (DEBUT)

Australian singer Josef Salvat lands his first top ten hit in France with his first time in even the top-100 with a cover of the Rihanna hit "Diamonds" (coincidentally co-written by the lady at #2, Sia)...


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Songoftheday 11/25/14 - Oh baby, I don't know why but somehow I always seem to get tangled up in my pride...


Rod Stewart - "Love Touch (Theme From Legal Eagles)
from the album Rod Stewart (Every Beat Of My Heart) (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day comes from Scottish singer/songwriter Rod "The Mod" Stewart, who we last saw with his 1984 album Camouflage, which reunited him with guitarist Jeff Beck and landed him a pair of American top-10 pop hits with "Infatuation" and "Some Guys Have All The Luck". Two years later, Rod released his self-titled fourteen album (called Every Beat Of My Heart outside of the States). Mostly produced by Bob Ezrin (KISS, Alice Cooper), the first single was a song from the Robert Redford/Debra Winger movie Legal Eagles. "Love Touch", produced by co-writer Mike Chapman, who penned it with song doctor Holly Knight and Gene Black, was a lite-reggae piece of fluff perfectly suited for toss-off "chick movie" fodder...


"Love Touch" became Rod's ninth American top-10 pop hit in August of 1986. The single went a notch higher on Billboard magazine's adult contemporary (or 'easy listening') chart at #5, and climbed to #26 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart as well. Internationally, the single was a top-ten hit in Ireland, and top-20 in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and New Zealand. It stalled at #27 in England, though his next single "Every Beat Of My Heart" rocketed to #2 there.

Up tomorrow: a gone-gone girl go-goes insane.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Robbed hit of the week 11/24/14 - The S.O.S. Band's "The Finest"...


The S.O.S. Band - "The Finest"
from the album Sands Of Time (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #44

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the R&B/postdisco group the S.O.S. Band, who also knocked on top-40's door in America in 1983 with "Just Be Good To Me". In 1986 they recorded their third album with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (the Flyte Tyme guys behind Janet Jackson), Sands Of Time. The first single from the project, "The Finest", was written by the guys, and was white-hot on R&B radio...


Although "The Finest" climbed all the way to #2 on the R&B chart in Billboard, on the pop side the single stalled out at #44. The remix peaked at #8 on the dance club play chart as well. Internationally, the record did much better, becoming their second top-20 hit in England (after "Just Be Good To Me"), and landed in the top-40 in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and New Zealand.

After lead singer Mary Davis left the Band in 1987, Chandra Currelley came on board, and they scored one more R&B top-ten hit in 1989 with "I'm Still Missing Your Love".  But the new-jack swing fad didn't suit their sound, and after another album with the #12 R&B hit "Sometimes I Wonder", Currelley left (she's starred in all of Tyler Perry's movies) and Davis returned, where they are on the oldies tour circuit...

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Album Sweep: November 29, 2014 - Part Two...


The second half of this week's 'album sweep' is up, sampling the records making the official Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine this week. You can check out part one by clicking here, and as before I've included highlighted links to buy the new stuff when possible as well as some of the artists' other major work...

Twenty-year-old rapper Bobby Shmurda sends his first EP, Shmurda She Wrote (awesome name) to #79 on the chart. It contains the top-10 single "Hot N*gga", seen below...


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Songoftheday 11/24/14 - What in the world is this feeling catch a breath and leave me reeling? It'll get you in the end it's God's revenge!


The Blow Monkeys - "Digging Your Scene"
from the album Animal Magic (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #14 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day comes from the British new wave band the Blow Monkeys, who came together in the early 80s under lead singer Dr. Robert (Bruce Robert Howard), and released their debut album in 1984. That record went unnoticed, but with their second, Animal Magic, the band struck gold with a lite-disco-ish number that coyly referenced the AIDS crisis in the gay community and bars. "Digging Your Scene", written by Howard, was just enough subtlety to avoid being blacklisted for its theme, and the video completely whitewashed it all into a simple club performance...


Blow Monkeys - Digging Your Scene (1986) from MTVClassic1 on Vimeo.


"Digging Your Scene" became the Blow Monkeys' first and only American pop hit in August of 1986, while climbing up to #7 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the single was a top-40 hit in Germany and Italy, and peaked at #12 in their native Britain.

The following year the band released their next album, She Was Only A Grocer's Daughter, which was their biggest success in England, with first single "It Doesn't Have To Be This Way" going up to #5 on the pop chart there. They followed that with Whoops! There Goes The Neighbourhood in 1989, which included the Dr. Robert and Kym Mazelle house jam "Wait", which went to #7 on the chart in the UK. A hits set gave them their most recent top-40 rank with "Choice" (#32), and after that they faded, with their next album Springtime For The World only scoring a minor pop hit in the UK with the title track. In 1990 the band split, though they reconnected in 2008 and released a couple more albums.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Brit Sweep: November 23, 2014...


The end of the weekend is here, and it's time to check out the songs making their debut on the just-released official singles chart in the UK this week, as three huge and deserving song vied for the top spot....

But there was no stopping the juggernaut that is Band Aid, as the 30th anniversary of the first "Do They Know It's Christmas?" single arrives, and Bob Geldof assembled yet another collection of artists such as Sam Smith, One Direction, Ellie Goulding, and more, with Bono along for the ride for the fourth time. The single sold over 300,000 copies in Britain, and proceeds are being directed to the effort to stop the ebola outbreak in Africa this time out. Lyrics were altered to reflect the new direction. Natch, it's my "Brit Pick of the Week", go and buy a copy, right?


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Album Sweep: November 29, 2014 - Part One...


Hey gang, I'm ready to roll out the first half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making the Top 200 Albums sales chart in Billboard magazine this week. This is the last week the "Top 200" will be a reliable sales chart, since the editors announced that they are changing the makeup of the chart to include not only individual track sales (where ten "singles"-like sales will equal an album), but internet streaming (where 1500 song streams will equal an album). Seriously. Maybe I should send them a dictionary to look up what an "album" is. Or are they so craven for a market that they'll never have since absolutely nobody pays any attention to their totally fictional "Artist 100" list they rolled out recently? Shit, make it easier and just ask a group of twelve-year-olds who they think should have the #1 album each week. I know that album sales are down, but we're still the biggest market in the world, and there's no reason to just shoot up numbers like that. Supposedly, they are retaining a sales-only chart on the side, but I'm still on the fence to whether I'll continue this part of the bloggie. But hey, I'm sure my OCD will just kick in..

Although three new albums sell over 100,000 copies in their first week, none of them could top Taylor Swift, who spends a third week on top with 1989 with over 300K sold. So after only three weeks that puts her probably only behind the soundtrack to Frozen and Beyonce's self-titled album in the year-end sales chart (which counts sales from December 2013 to November 2014)...

The alt-rock band Foo Fighters return at #2 with their eighth studio album Sonic Highways, which sold 190,000 copies in its first week. Seven of those eight have made the top-ten, with their last set Wasting Light going to #1 in 2011...



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Songoftheday 11/23/14 - I'd say, "Her values are corrupted but she's open to change", then one day she's satisfied and the next I'll find her cryin'...


Bangles - "If She Knew What She Wants"
from the album Different Light (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #29 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's Song of the Day comes from the all-woman rock band the Bangles, who got some help from "the purple one" as Prince wrote their breakthrough hit "Manic Monday". Their next single, "If She Knew What She Wants", was also written by a critically heralded artist, Jules Shear, whose love song turns more observational as they sing in the third person. The music video was directed by lead singer Susannah Hoffs' mom, Tamar...


"If She Knew What She Wants" became the Bangles' second top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1986. The single also crossed over to the adult contemporary (or "easy listening") chart at #24. Internationally, the song went top-20 in Germany and Switzerland, and top-40 in England, Australia, and Austria.

And truthfully, it's my favorite single from their Different Light album. The call and response over the jangly guitars just gets me every time.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dance Sweep: November 29, 2014...






I'm about to wrap up this week's 'chart sweeps' of the latest songs to make the Billboard charts with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Australian singer Vassy nabs her second #1 hit with "Hustlin'" with Crazibiza and remixer supreme Dave Aude'...

Gia follows up her #4 hit "Bombs Away" with "World" as the highest debut at #41...


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Country Sweep: November 29, 2014...


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

On their Country Airplay chart, Frankie Ballard scores his second (and consecutive) #1 hit with "Sunshine & Whiskey"...

Blake Shelton returns at #38 with "Lonely Tonight" featuring Ashley Monroe. It follows up his #1 single "Neon Light", and it's my "Country Pick of the Week"...


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Soul Sweep: November 29, 2014...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, DJ Khaled spends a third week at #1 with "Hold You Down"...

Rapped Schoolboy Q claims the top entry of the week at #45 with "Hell Of A Night". It's the sixth single from his #1 album Oxymoron. He took "Studio" to #10 earlier this year...


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Rock Sweep: November 29, 2014....


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

On the main Rock Airplay chart, the Foo Fighters spend a fourth week at #1 with "Something From Nothing"...

Punk/hardcore rock act Rise Against claim the top new entry of the week at #47 with "Tragedy + Time", my "Rock Pick of the Week". It's the second single from their Black Market album; the first, "I Don't Want To Be Here Anymore", went to #10 on this chart...


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Pop Sweep: November 29, 2014...


It's time to kick off the first of today's five "chart sweeps", sampling the songs making the various singles charts in Billboard magazine this week. As usual, I'll start out with the latest on the pop charts, then move on later in the day to the newest on rock, R&B, country, and dance radio (and clubs). And away we go..

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of sales, internet streaming (like YouTube and Spotify), and radio airplay of all formats, Taylor Swift manages to be the first woman to succeed herself at #1 as "Blank Space" leaps from #13 to the top replacing her "Shake It Off" after four non-consecutive weeks (it falls to #3)...

The top entry of the week at #65 is the first American hit for British producer Mark Ronson, whose work with Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars has already been big hits here. He brings Bruno along for the ride for "Uptown Funk", my "pop pick of the week". (Mark's had four top-ten hits in the UK...)


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Songoftheday 11/22/14 - World turns black and white pictures in an empty room, your love starts fallin' down better change your tune...


Van Halen - "Dreams"
from the album 5150 (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #22 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day is from the hard rock band Van Halen, who recruited Sammy Hagar to be their new lead singer after David Lee Roth's departure, and scored a top-3 pop hit with the synthtastic "Why Can't This Be Love?". The most widely seen video for the second single, "Dreams", brought in the Blue Angels flying squad, catching the Top Gun fever without having to be a part of the movie....


"Dreams" became the second "Van Hagar" top-40 pop hit in July of 1986. The record also climbed to #6 on the Mainstream Rock radio charts. Internationally, though, the macho adrenaline kick didn't really transfer, as it missed the top-40 in Canada, Australia, and England.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

twostepcub's music chart for November 21, 2014...


Friday is finally here, so time to run down my top 100 tunes from the past week. Ed Sheeran scores his first #1 on my chart, while Sam Smith (pictured above) lands in the top-5. Songs from Chris Willis, Vassy, and OneRepublic make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Weezer and Miranda Lambert drop off the list.

This Week              Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Don't - Ed Sheeran (2)
2. Take Me To Church - Hozier (6)
3. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor (1)
4. Secrets - Mary Lambert (4)
5. I'm Not The Only One - Sam Smith (9)
6. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (3)
7. Rather Be - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (5)
8. Riptide - Vance Joy (8)
9. Cool Kids - Echosmith (7)
10. Elevation - Erasure (15)
11. Gotta Get Away - The Black Keys (14)
12. Superheroes - The Script (12)
13. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift (13)
14. Bang Bang - Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj (10)
15. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (11)
16. Left Hand Free - alt-J (16)
17. Blame - Calvin Harris f/John Newman (19)
18. Do You - Spoon (18)
19. Animals - Maroon 5 (23)
20. Habits (Stay High) - Tove Lo (21)
21. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (20)
22. Something From Nothing  - Foo Fighters (30)
23. Good Kisser - Usher (24)
24. Roller Coaster - Luke Bryan (17)
25. Black Widow - Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (27)
26. Chandelier - Sia (26)
27. Day Drinking - Little Big Town (31)
28. Neon Light - Blake Shelton (36)
29. Try - Colbie Caillat (39)
30. Break Free - Ariana Grande f/Zedd (22)
31. One Life - Chris Willis & Joachin Gerraud (46)
32. Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Mix) - Lilly Wood & The Prick (32)
33. Boom Clap - Charli XCX (33)
34. Somewhere In My Car - Keith Urban (38)
35. Rude - Magic! (35)
36. Flaws - Bastille (48)
37. Won't Look Back - Duke Dumont (37)
38. Maps - Maroon 5 (28)
39. Parachute - Olivia Somerlyn (43)
40. Burnin' It Down - Jason Aldean (34)
41. Sunshine & Whiskey - Frankie Ballard (51)
42. Leave The Night On - Sam Hunt (49)
43. A Sky Full Of Stars - Coldplay (29)
44. Let Me Down Easy - Paolo Nutini (56)
45. I Wanna Feel - SecondCity (45)
46. This Is How We Do - Katy Perry (50)
47. Wasted Love - Steve Angello f/Dougy (47)
48. Angel - Yoko Ono (52)
49. What's Best For You - Trey Songz (53)
50. Don't Tell 'Em - Jeremih f/YG (60)
51. Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz (44)
52. Ghost - Ella Henderson (62)
53. Heroes (We Could Be) - Alesso f/Tove Lo (65)
54. Hustlin' - Vassy, Crazibiza & Dave Aude (69)
55. Bad Blood - Bastille (55)
56. Budapest - George Ezra (66)
57. Close Your Eyes - Parmalee (61)
58. Centuries - Fall Out Boy (68)
59. In Your Arms - Nico & Vinz (63)
60. Dirt - Florida Georgia Line (57)
61. I Lived - OneRepublic (76)
62. Rock This Party - Fuzztroniks (74)
63. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran (67)
64. Bailando - Enrique Iglesias f/Descemer Bueno or Sean Paul and Gente De Zona (40)
65. Girl In A Country Song - Maddie & Tae (75)
66. The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) - U2 (80)
67. Something In The Water - Carrie Underwood (82)
68. Ready Set Roll - Chase Rice (54)
69. Look At You - Big & Rich (83)
70. Battleships - Daughtry (72)
71. Shotgun Rider - Tim McGraw (79)
72. Wrapped Up - Olly Murs f/Travie McCoy (DEBUT)
73. Where It's At (Yep Yep) - Dustin Lynch (73)
74. Feelin' It - Scotty McCreery (84)
75. Perfect Storm - Brad Paisley (87)
76. Latch - Disclosure f/Sam Smith (71)
77. Sex Machine - Ralphi Rosario & HiFi Sean (78)
78. Yellow Flicker Beat - Lorde (88)
79. Tear The Roof Up - Alesso (59)
80. Headphones - Matt Nathanson f/Lolo (92)
81. Faded - Zhu (81)
82. You & I (Nobody In The World) - John Legend (86)
83. Cadillac Cadillac - Train (DEBUT)
84. Til It's Gone - Kenny Chesney (DEBUT)
85. Call My Name - Avery Sunshine (DEBUT)
86. Talladega - Eric Church (DEBUT)
87. Wrong Side Of Heaven - Five Finger Death Punch (DEBUT)
88. Trumpets - Jason DeRulo (100)
89. Fire - Gavin DeGraw (89)
90. What Are You Waiting For - Nickelback (91)
91. Waves (Robin Schulz Mix) - Mr. Probz (RE-ENTRY)
92. From Eden - Hozier (DEBUT)
93. Dangerous - David Guetta f/Sam Martin (95)
94. Fade Out Lines - The Avener (94)
95. The Devil In I - Slipknot (97)
96. Geronimo - Sheppard (DEBUT)
97. American Kids - Kenny Chesney (93)
98. Baby Don't Lie - Gwen Stefani (DEBUT)
99. Up All Night - Arty f/Angel Taylor (RE-ENTRY)
100. These Days - Take That (DEBUT)

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

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