Thursday, December 31, 2015

twostepcubchart's Best of 2015: Part Ten - #10 to #1 and the whole she-bang...

Well, 2015 is coming to a close, and it's time for the final installment in my recap of the 100 biggest songs on my weekly music chart this year. If you'd like to catch up on the other nine parts, plus the bonus of the 25 that almost made it, you can click here. And away we goooooo...

#10 - "Lean On" - Major Lazer & DJ Snake featuring
          from the album Peace Is The Mission (2015)
          Highest rank: #3 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart (so far in 2015): 33 [still charting]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4
          Songwriters: Karen Ørsted [MØ], Thomas Pentz [Diplo], William Griachine [DJ Snake], Martin Bresso [Tchami], Philip Meckseper

"Artisan Dance Music" had a banner year in 2015, and the biggest proof was the success of veteran alt-dance act Major Lazer, who landed an international smash with this trippy bouncer with south Asian influences by collaborating with dubstep Frenchman DJ Snake, and the voice of Swedish songstress MØ to guide it all. The fact that this got passed over for a Grammy nom is a travesty.

Killer lyrics: What will we do when we get old?
                     Will we walk down the same road?
                     Will you be there by my side?
                     Standing strong as the waves roll over...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

#9 - "Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran
        from the album x (2014)
        Highest rank: #2 (one week)
        Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 25 [spent seven more weeks in 2014]
        Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2
        Songwriters: Ed Sheeran, Amy Wadge

The "ginger darling" of pop music has a lot of soul in this tender ballad that became the prom/wedding song of the year. Sounding like something that's been around forever, yet fresh at the same time, this simple love song turned Sheeran into the heartthrob he wasn't meant to be. And the video is one big audition for all the seasons of Dancing With The Stars.

Killer Lyrics: When my hair's all but gone and my memory fades,
                       And the crowds don't remember my name,
                      When my hands don't play the strings the same way,
                       I know you will still love me the same...

#8 - "Earned It" - The Weeknd
        from the albums 50 Shades Of Grey (Original Soundtrack) and Beauty Behind The Madness (2015)
        Highest rank: #4 (three weeks)
        Weeks on the chart (so far in 2015): 41 [still charting]
        Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3
        Songwriters: Abel Tesfaye [Weeknd], Stephan Moccio, Ahmad Balshe [Belly], Jason Quenneville [DaHeala]

What definitely wasn't the big prom or wedding theme (well, mostly) was the song that made Canadian alt-soul artist Abel Tesfaye, aka the Weeknd, a household name. As millions of fans of the book 50 Shades of Grey were introduced to him for the seductive theme to the movie of their touchstone book, his yearning tone gave the perfect vehicle to the beat that moves with a whip-like throb. The "Let's Get It On" of 2015. By the time the strings come in, if you're not in ecstasy, check your pulse.

Killer lyrics: On that lonely night (lonely night),
                      You said it wouldn't be love,
                      But we felt the rush (felt the love),
                      It made us believe it there was only us (only us),
                      Convinced we were broken inside...

#7 - "Fight Song" - Rachel Platten
        from the album Wildfire (2016)
        Highest rank: #4 (two weeks)
        Weeks on the chart: 36
        Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6
        Songwriters: Rachel Platten, Dave Bassett

Four years ago, this singer/songwriter made a dent on my chart with the song "1000 Ships". They definitely came in with this (female) empowerment anthem that moved the Oprah crowd into a frenzy. Co-written with Dave Bassett, who has previously worked with gruff rock bands like Shinedown, Pop Evil, and Adelitas Way, and along with Elle King's "Ex's & Oh's" takes the top two female-driven songs on my countdown.

Killer lyrics: Losing friends and I'm chasing sleep...
                     Everybody's worried about me...
                     In too deep...

#6 - "Renegades" - X Ambassadors
        from the album VHS (2015)
        Highest rank: #2 (one week)
        Weeks on the chart (so far in 2015): 29 [still charting]
        Billboard Hot 100 peak: #17
        Songwriters: X Ambassadors [Sam Harris, Casey Harris, Noah Feldshuh, Adam Levin], Alex Da Kid [Alexander Grant]

This upstate New York group took over from where Imagine Dragons left off with this Jeep commercial turned radio earworm. With an inspirational video that had people overcoming their disabilities, the record-breaking stay at #1 on the rock chart only cemented its place in America's heart this year, even if they may not outlast the longevity of the song itself.

Killer lyrics: Long live the pioneers,
                     Rebels and mutineers,
                     Go forth and have no fear,
                     Come close the end is near...

#5 - "Can't Feel My Face" - The Weeknd
        from the album Beauty Behind The Madness (2015)
        Highest rank: #1 (eight weeks)
        Weeks on the chart (so far in 2015): 23 [still charting] 
        Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
        Songwriters; Abel Tesfaye [Weeknd], Max Martin, Ali Payami, Savan Kotecha, Peter Svensson

The only act to place two songs into my top ten this year (nobody did it last, and Imagine Dragons did it in 2013), this alternate-universe version of a Michael Jackson song done by the Steve Miller Band rocked the m'er f'ng house this year. Spending two months atop my chart, this smooth as stainless steel funk throwdown got us out to the dancefloor, with lyrics spelling out pain in love so bad but so so good. (Fun fact: Svensson was the guitarist in the Swedish band the Cardigans.)

Killer lyrics: And I know she'll be the death of me, at least we'll both be numb,
                     And she'll always get the best of me, the worst is yet to come,
                     All the misery was necessary when we're deep in love...

#4 - "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Mix)" - OMI
        from the album Me 4 U (2015)
        Highest rank: #1 (six weeks)
        Weeks on the chart: 36
        Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
        Songwriters: OMI [Omar Pasley], Clifton Dillon, Ryan Dillon, Mark Bradford, Sly Dunbar

The one-hit wonder of the year, this breezy peon to a faithful and supportive lover was originally released by the reggae artist in 2011, but caught fire in Europe and Oceania with a remix done by German DJ/producer Felix Jaehn, who put together the epitome of "Trop House" with its bouncy bass with steel-drum-ish percussion along with that trumpet that glides over the whole proceedings like Herb Alpert's wet dream. It's a shame again how this so dominated the summer that he's had troubles with equally fun songs on his debut album, but at least he ruled the season benevolently.

Killer lyrics: She is always in my corner,
                     Right there when I want her,
                     All these other girls are tempting,
                     But I'm empty when you're gone...

#3 - "Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
        from the album Uptown Special (2015)
        Highest rank: #1 (seven weeks)
        Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 30 [spent one week in 2014]
        Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (fourteen weeks)
        Songwriters: Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars, Jeff Bhasker, Philip Lawrence, Nicholas Williams [Trinidad James], Devon Gallaspy, Lonnie Simmons, The Gap Band, Rudolph Taylor

The song you could not avoid at the beginning of the year, more a phenomenon than a record, this throwback to late 70s/early 80s funk was the party record of 2015. Before this Mark was probably more known in the States for being the brother of Lindsey Lohan's (ex)lover, but his love for retro soul (like his work with Amy Winehouse) was respected in Britain, and the homage, which ended up tacking on songwriters for the Gap Band's "Oops Upside Your Head" for the breakdown in the middle, gave radio a needed kick in the ass from its robotic dominating the previous few years.

Killer lyrics: Stylin', whilen, livin' it up in the city.
                     Got Chucks on with Saint Laurent.
                     Gotta kiss myself, I'm so pretty...

#2 - "Honey, I'm Good." - Andy Grammer
        from the album Magazines or Novels (2014)
        Highest rank: #1 (eight weeks)
        Weeks on the chart: 30
        Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9
        Songwriters: Andy Grammer, Nolan Sipe

Last December, a video for the second single from pop singer Andy Grammer quietly came out, with a hundred couples lipsyncing to "Honey, I'm Good" along with Andy and his wife. With one three-minute swoop, the case for marriage equality was made unknowingly, with same-sex couples interspersed (and not spread out) within the "anniversary parties" in this, the absolute cutest of the cute viral videos. Thank you to Grammer for showing that monogamy and longevity are not exclusive to the "breeders". And a song that topped the pop, dance, and even made the country charts about this subject without getting preachy is a major achievement. Tied for the longest stay at the top of my chart this year, Grammer went from a b-list adult-pop troubadour to a hero with this song.

Killer lyrics: Now better men, than me have failed,
                     Drinking from that unholy grail,
                     I've got her, and she got me,
                     And you've got that butt, but I kindly gotta be like...

#1 - "Shut Up And Dance" - Walk The Moon
        from the album Talking Is Hard (2014)
        Highest rank: #1 (seven weeks)
        Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 51 [spent two weeks in 2014]
        Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4
        Songwriters: Walk The Moon [Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Eli Maiman, Sean Waugaman], Captain Cuts [Ben Berger, Ryan McMahon]

The top track on my chart this year, which stay on for all but one week, comes from the modern rock outfit Walk The Moon, who channel the 80s with this ultra-fun club closer that is so campy it's beyond camp. Like the Tubes reinvented for this millenium, the combination of hipster funk and new wave glam, to end with a whirl of guitar crunch, all to fete the woman to obviously controls his mind and body. Add the dancing guy pulled from the Nik Kershaw video, and you've got gold.

Killer lyrics: A backless dress and some beat up sneaks,
                     My discotech Juliet teenage dream,
                      I felt it in my chest as she looked at me,
                      I knew we were bound to be together...

And there you have it, my top tracks on the chart this year. Thanks for taking the trip, and thanks to the 200,000+ readers of this here darn bloggie through the years. Have a happy new year! And here it is, the top 100...

1. Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon
2. Honey, I'm Good - Andy Grammer
3. Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
4. Cheerleader [Felix Jaehn Remix] - OMI
5. Can't Feel My Face - The Weeknd
6. Renegades - X Ambassadors
7. Fight Song - Rachel Platten
8. Earned It - The Weeknd
9. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
10. Lean On - Major Lazer & DJ Snake featuring MØ
11. Photograph - Ed Sheeran
12. Sugar - Maroon 5
13. Budapest - George Ezra
14. Ex's & Oh's - Elle King
15. Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding
16. Take Your Time - Sam Hunt
17. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance
18. Style - Taylor Swift
19. Take Me To Church - Hozier
20. I Bet My Life - Imagine Dragons
21. Uma Thurman - Fall Out Boy
22. Want To Want Me - Jason Derulo
23. Hold Back The River - James Bay
24. Nobody - Kem
25. First - Cold War Kids
26. Shame - Tyrese
27. Believe - Mumford & Sons
28. Like I'm Gonna Lose You - Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend
29. Lips Are Movin' - Meghan Trainor
30. Tear In My Heart - twenty one pilots
31. Ghost - Ella Henderson
32. Talking Body - Tove Lo
33. Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne
34. Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift
35. Call My Name - Avery Sunshine
36. I'm Not The Only One - Sam Smith
37. Black Sun - Death Cab For Cutie
38. Cecilia and the Satellite - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
39. Ship To Wreck - Florence + The Machine
40. Blank Space - Taylor Swift
41. Jealous - Nick Jonas
42. Dreams - Beck
43. Marvin Gaye - Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor
44. Invincible - Kelly Clarkson
45. Centuries - Fall Out Boy
46. Prayer In C [Robin Schulz Mix] - Lilly Wood & The Prick
47. Bad Blood - Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
48. Crystals - Of Monsters and Men
49. Make Me Wanna - Thomas Rhett
50. Heartbeat Song - Kelly Clarkson
51. Lampshades On Fire - Modest Mouse
52. Mean To Me - Brett Eldredge
53. Someone New - Hozier
54. Ghost Town - Adam Lambert
55. Riptide - Vance Joy
56. Cigarette Daydreams - Cage The Elephant
57. Something Better - Audien featuring Lady Antebellum
58. No Sleeep - Janet Jackson featuring J. Cole
59. How Deep Is Your Love - Calvin Harris featuring Disciples
60. Like A Cowboy - Randy Houser
61. Something From Nothing - Foo Fighters
62. Lay Me Down - Sam Smith
63. Lose My Mind - Brett Eldredge
64. Dead Inside - Muse
65. Baby Be My Love Song - Easton Corbin
66. Nothin' Like You - Dan + Shay
67. Congregation - Foo Fighters
68. Geronimo - Sheppard
69. Drinking Class - Lee Brice
70. From Eden - Hozier
71. Homegrown - The Zac Brown Band
72. I Lived - OneRepublic
73. The Wolf - Mumford & Sons
74. Girl Crush - Little Big Town
75. Black Magic - Little Mix
76. Just Gettin' Started - Jason Aldean
77. Tonight Looks Good On You - Jason Aldean
78. Stay With Me - Sam Smith
79. Could Have Been Me - The Struts
80. Cool For The Summer - Demi Lovato
81. Bright - Echosmith
82. Mess Is Mine - Vance Joy
83. Blame It On Me - George Ezra
84. Save It For A Rainy Day - Kenny Chesney
85. Break Up With Him - Old Dominion
86. Smoke - A Thousand Horses
87. Outside - Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding
88. The Hills - The Weeknd
89. Heroes (We Could Be) - Alesso featuring Tove Lo
90. Dear Future Husband - Meghan Trainor
91. Waves [Robin Schulz Mix] - Mr. Probz
92. Lonely Eyes - Chris Young
93. Don't Be So Hard On Yourself - Jess Glynne
94. Like I Can - Sam Smith
95. Make You Better - The Decemberists
96. Don't Wanna Fight - Alabama Shakes
97. Hold Each Other - A Great Big World featuring FUTURISTIC
98. Watch Me - Silento
99. Smoke Break - Carrie Underwood
100. Say You Do - Dierks Bentley


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