Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dance Sweep: February 7, 2015...


I'm ready to wrap up today's five-part "chart sweeps" checking out the new hits on the various singles charts in Billboard magazine, and I'll close things out with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart Swedish duo Cazzette climbs to #1 with "Blind Heart" featuring American singer Terri B!. Terri, originally from Washington DC, scores her second #1 club hit of the new year already; she sang on D.O.N.S.'s cover of "Big Fun" at #1 a few weeks ago...

The top new entry at #45 comes from British singer Marlon Roudette with "When The Beat Drops Out". Last year the single version topped the German pop chart...


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Country Sweep: February 7, 2015...


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

On their Country Airplay chart, Eric Church scores his fourth #1 hit with "Talladega"...

Kip Moore returns at #50 with the highest new entry of the week, "I'm To Blame". In 2011 he climbed to #1 with "Somethin' 'Bout A Truck"...


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Soul Sweep: February 7, 2015...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Big Sean spends a fourth non-consecutive week at #1 with "I Don't F**k With You"...

Surprisingly, the #1 pop hit in America, with a title with "Funk" in its name, finally makes it on to the R&B chart as "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars is the sole debut of the week...


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Rock Sweep: February 7, 2015...


Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up, sampling the songs making their way on to the radio charts in Billboard magazine, and this time I've got the latest hits on rock radio...

On their main Rock Airplay chart, the Foo Fighters remain at #1 for a fourteenth week with "Something For Nothing"...

Kid Rock comes in at #47 with "First Kiss", the first single and title track from his upcoming tenth album. His last single, "Let's Ride", climbed to #36 on this chart in 2013. "First Kiss" also jumps up to #26 on the Mainstream Rock list in its second week...


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Pop Sweep: February 7, 2015...


It's time to kick off the first of today's "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making the various charts in Billboard magazine. As usual, I'll start on the pop side of the house, and then later in the day bring out the latest in 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 from all formats, sales (from the likes of iTunes and Amazonmp3 and such), and internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars spend a fourth week at #1 with "Uptown Funk!"...

The top debut of the week with a "rush" release of the new collaboration from Rihanna, Kanye West and Sir Paul McCartney with "Fourfiveseconds", which arrives at #54 after being released only on the 24th. It's Paul's second time in the Hot 100 this year - his "Only One" with Kanye made the top-40 a few weeks back...



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Songoftheday 1/31/15 - An angel's smile is what you sell, you promise me heaven then put me through hell...


"You Give Love A Bad Name" - Bon Jovi
from the album Slippery When Wet (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day comes from the band Bon Jovi, who started out pretty modestly compared to the rock juggernaut they would become, with their debut album doing respectably but just scraping the top-40 with their breakthrough single "Runaway" in 1984. After a second single, "She Don't Know Me", almost did the same, the group released a another album a year later, and while the full-length set reached the top-40, none of the songs did so.

With their third album, Slippery When Wet, the two biggest factors to making the big leagues are the hiring of "song doctor" Desmond Child to help write the album, and Canadian Bruce Fairburn to produce (he previously helmed Loverboy's successful sets). For their first single, Child brought in the melody to a chorus for a song he wrote for Bonnie Tyler, "If You Were A Woman", and basically laid new lyrics on it. Here's Bonnie's record, which was a top-10 hit in France...


So, here's Bon Jovi with lead singer Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora's contribution...


So there.

"You Give Love A Bad Name" was a record the band needed, shooting up to #1 on the American pop chart in November of 1986, while peaking (surprisingly) at #9 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single reached the runner-up spot in Canada and the Netherlands, top-10 in Belgium, and #14 in the UK.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

twostepcub's music chart for January 30, 2015...






Friday is here, and it's time again to run down my top 100 tunes from the week. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars make a quick trip to #1 with "Uptown Funk!", while Meghan Trainor (pictured above) follows it close behind into the top-5. Songs from Nikkole, Jason Aldean, and James Newton Howard/Jennifer Lawrence make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Aristofreeks/Kathy Sledge, Zhu, and Usher drop off the list. Congrats, grad Bruno!

This Week       Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Uptown Funk! - Mark Ronson f/Bruno Mars (3)
2. Jealous - Nick Jonas (2)
3. Take Me To Church - Hozier (1)
4. Lips Are Movin' - Meghan Trainor (6)
5. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran (5)
6. I'm Not The Only One - Sam Smith (4)
7. Something From Nothing - Foo Fighters (7)
8. Budapest - George Ezra (8)
9. Centuries - Fall Out Boy (9)
10. From Eden - Hozier (11)
11. Animals - Maroon 5 (10)
12. Ghost - Ella Henderson (12)
13. Call My Name - Avery Sunshine (15)
14. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (14)
15. Try - Colbie Caillat (16)
16. Blank Space - Taylor Swift (18)
17. Heroes (We Could Be) - Alesso f/Tove Lo (13)
18. I Lived - OneRepublic (20)
19. Til It's Gone - Kenny Chesney (23)
20. Something In The Water - Carrie Underwood (24)
21. Blame - Calvin Harris f/John Newman (17)
22. Like A Cowboy - Randy Houser (26)
23. Let Me Down Easy - Paolo Nutini (19)
24. I Bet My Life - Imagine Dragons (28)
25. Waves (Robin Schulz Mix) - Mr. Probz (25)
26. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor (21)
27. Habits (Stay High) - Tove Lo (27)
28. Perfect Storm - Brad Paisley (32)
29. Riptide - Vance Joy (29)
30. Don't - Ed Sheeran (22)
31. Go All Night - Gorgon City f/Jennifer Hudson (41)
32. Dangerous - David Guetta f/Sam Martin (30)
33. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (33)
34. Afterlife - Ingrid Michaelson (38)
35. Make You Better - The Decemberists (37)
36. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift (31)
37. Figure It Out - Royal Blood (39)
38. Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Mix) - Lilly Wood & The Prick (34)
39. Make Me Wanna - Thomas Rhett (49)
40. Cigarette Daydreams - Cage The Elephant (44)
41. Close Your Eyes - Parmalee (36)
42. Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon (48)
43. Talladega - Eric Church (43)
44. Mean To Me - Brett Eldredge (46)
45. Wrapped Up - Olly Murs f/Travie McCoy (35)
46. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (40)
47. I See You - Luke Bryan (51)
48. Reason - Erasure (55)
49. Love Me Harder - Ariana Grande f/The Weeknd (53)
50. Big Fun - D.O.N.S. f/Terri B! (50)
51. Shotgun Rider - Tim McGraw (42)
52. Take It On Back - Chase Bryant (52)
53. R U Mine? - Arctic Monkeys (57)
54. World - Gia (58)
55. It's Your World - Jennifer Hudson f/R. Kelly (45)
56. Just Gettin' Started - Jason Aldean (70)
57. The Hanging Tree - James Newton Howard f/Jennifer Lawrence (71)

58. Can't Hold Us Down - Axwell & Ingrosso (59)
59. Rolling In The Deep - Aretha Franklin (60)
60. Wrong Side Of Heaven - Five Finger Death Punch (64)
61. Homegrown Honey - Darius Rucker (65)
62. Kansas City - The New Basement Tapes (74)
63. Headphones - Matt Nathanson f/Lolo (63)
64. Nobody - Kem (68)
65. Destination (We Are The Ones) - Twisted Dee & Spyglass Edmund f/Amuka (66)
66. Geronimo - Sheppard (78)
67. Like I Can - Sam Smith (67)
68. Sun Daze - Florida Georgia Line (67)
69. Animals - Nabiha (47)
70. Lonely Tonight - Blake Shelton f/Ashley Monroe (75)
71. What's Best For You - Trey Songz (61)
72. Zero - Nikkole (90)
73. Drinking Class - Lee Brice (77)
74. Blind Heart - Cazzette f/Terri B! (84)
75. All Of You - Betty Who (87)
76. Turn In Up - Kwanza Jones (76)
77. Up - Olly Murs f/Demi Lovato (82)
78. I Like You - Tony Moran f/Debby Holiday (86)
79. The Heart Wants What It Wants - Selena Gomez (79)
80. Sugar - Five Knives (80)
81. Too Cool To Dance - Eden XO (69)
82. Love Come Home - Kristine W. (62)
83. Every Breaking Wave - U2 (85)
84. These Days - Take That (54)
85. Lonely Eyes - Chris Young (89)
86. Surrender - Cash Cash (91)
87. Somewhere In My Car - Keith Urban (83)
88. Lampshades On Fire - Modest Mouse (DEBUT)
89. Walk - Kwabs (94)
90. Bartender - Lady Antebellum (97)
91. Right Now - Mary J. Blige (DEBUT)
92. Wish You Were Here - Phillip George (96)
93. Words - Christina Perri (DEBUT)
94. Let Me Know - Tamar Braxton f/Future (DEBUT)
95. Everywhere - MYNC & Mario Fischetti f/Deborah Cox (DEBUT)
96. Dearly Departed - Shakey Graves (RE-ENTRY)
97. 7/11 - Beyonce (DEBUT)
98. Anchor - Tritonal (DEBUT)
99. Leave The Night On - Sam Hunt (99)
100. God Made Girls - RaeLynn (100)

There are seven songs making their first appearance 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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Songoftheday 1/30/15 - I've had other guys I've looked into their eyes, but I never knew love before 'til you walked through my door...


"True Blue" - Madonna
from the album True Blue (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day comes from the "Material Girl" herself, Madonna, whose third album True Blue had already spun off a pair of #1 pop hits in the U.S. with the restrained "Live To Tell" and the topical "Papa Don't Preach". For her third single she went much lighter, with the ebullient and almost girl-group inspired pop of the title track, which she dedicated to her husband Sean Penn. Written mostly by producer Stephen Bray (whom she played with in the Breakfast Club before her success), it's a straight-forward love song you can picture Phil Spector aching to get his hands on for the Ronettes, especially with its cutesy charm disguising a rather mature reminiscing of a girl who has been around the block quite a few times but is ready to stop...


"True Blue" became the third top-10 pop hit from the album in November of 1986. The single also crossed over to both the Adult Contemporary radio (#5) and Dance Club Play (#6) charts in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single was just as big, becoming her third consecutive #1 hit in Canada, while reaching the top-10 in Australia, England, and most of the rest of Europe. However, it hasn't appeared on any of her "hits" sets (maybe because of the Penn connection?) and has only been on her first tour after the album.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Songoftheday 1/29/15 - Yo pretty ladies around the world, got a weird thing to show you so tell all the boys and girls...


"Word Up" - Cameo
from the album Word Up (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day comes from the funk band Cameo, who started out in the 70s as the New York City Players, before changing their name and releasing their debut album in 1977. Their first hit from the set, "Rigor Mortis", reached the top-40 on the R&B chart, sounding like a late entry in the jam-funk streak set from the Ohio Players and B.T. Express. A year later, their third top-40 soul single "It's Serious" crossed over to the clubs and hit #29 on the dance chart. In 1979, the band hit their stride as they scored their first big R&B single with "I Just Want To Be", one of two top-10 hits from their Secret Omen album. Having consistent success on those charts, they got their first taste of success on the pop side of things as their first #1 R&B hit "She's Strange" crossed over to the Hot 100, nearly missing the top-40.

After two years and seeing their lineup pared down to a core of three led by singer/multi-instrumentalist Larry Blackmon, the act released their twelfth studio album Word Up! in 1986. With a tight seven songs in the set, it was louder, brasher, and more "thumpier" (is that a word?) than they've ever been. The title track, written by Blackmon with backup singer/member Tomi Jenkins, brought the (synth?) brass to the front, and a slinking bass that would not let your mind go...


"Word Up!" climbed all the way into the top-10 on the American pop chart in November of 1986. The record also ended up topping the R&B (three weeks) and Dance (one week) charts in Billboard magazine as well. Internationally, the record was a huge success, one of the biggest American funk records in Europe, reaching the top-10 in the UK, Germany, Italy, Ireland, even down in Australia. 

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

German Sweep: January 28, 2015...


Here's the top-ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles charts, as Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding leap five spots to #1 with "Outside". It's Calvin's second #1 hit in this country (we previously topped with "We Found Love" with Rihanna) and Ellie's first...

1. "Outside" - Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding (6)
2. "Walk" - Kwabs (1)
3. "The Hanging Tree" - James Newton Howard featuring Jennifer Lawrence (4)
4. "I'm An Albatraoz" - AronChupa (5)
5. "Dangerous" - David Guetta featuring Sam Martin (3)
6. "Du Liebst Mich Nicht" - Ado Kojo featuring Shirin David (DEBUT)
7. "Uptown Funk!" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (DEBUT)
8. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier (7)
9. "Blank Space" - Taylor Swift (DEBUT)
10. "Auf Angeren Wegen" - Andreas Bourani (9)

R&B singer Ado Kojo, from the city of Cologne, claims the top debut at #6 with "Du Liebst Mich Nicht" ("You Don't Love Me") featuring Shirin David...


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Songoftheday 1/28/15 - Babe tomorrow's so far away there's somethin' I just have to say, I don't think I could hide what I feel inside another day knowin' I love you...


"Amanda" - Boston
from the album Third Stage (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day is by the arena rock band Boston, who are one of the best selling rock acts despite a very scattered recording schedule. Formed around songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Tom Scholz, and with Brad Delp on lead vocals, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1976, with songs worked on for two years. Their first single, "More Than A Feeling", climbed into the top-10 of the American pop chart, and the album ended up selling over seventeen million copies in the States. It would take another two years for Boston to release their sophomore record, but the title track, "Don't Look Back", went one notch higher on the Hot 100 at #4. However, things started falling apart after that. Feuding with his management, his label, and even members (guitarist Randy Goudreau left to form Orion The Hunter), Scholz took another eight years to finalize Boston's third album, Third Stage. Perfecting the sound to rival his other classic albums, rock fans gave the set a warm welcome, with the first single "Amanda" ending up their highest charting hit...


"Amanda" became Boston's sole #1 pop hit in November of 1986, while also topping the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard magazine. The record even crossed over to the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart, peaking at #13. Internationally, the record went to #1 in Canada, made the top-10 in Norway, and landed in the top-40 in Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands (surprisingly it flopped in Britain, not even landing in the top-75).

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

French Sweep: January 27, 2015...


Here's the top-10 hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars remain at #1 for a fifth week with "Uptown Funk!"...

1. "Uptown Funk!" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (1)
2. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier (4)
3. "Je Vole" - Louane (2)
4. "Chandelier" - Sia (5)
5. "Dangerous" - David Guetta featuring Sam Martin (3)
6. "Fade Out Lines" - The Avener (7)
7. "Andalouse" - Kendji Girac (6)
8. "Saint Claude" - Christine and the Queens (10)
9. "All About That Bass" - Meghan Trainor (RE-ENTRY)
10. "Fresh Prince" - Soprano featuring Uncle Phil (9)


Songoftheday 1/27/15 - Some people live their dreams some people close their eyes, some people's destiny passes by...


"I'll Be Over You" - Toto
from the album Fahrenheit (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day comes from the soft-rock band Toto, who replaced original lead singer Bobby Kimball with Fergie Frederiksen for their Isolation album, and reappeared in the pop top-40 in America with "Stranger In Town". However with the set not as successful, Fergie was booted out as well in favor of Joseph Williams (son of Star Wars score composer John) for their sixth album Fahrenheit. Leaning back more towards easy-listening territory, the first single from the record was a gentle ballad, "I'll Be Over You". Written by band guitarist Steve Lukather along with song doctor Randy Goodrum (DeBarge's "Who's Holding Donna Now"), the song featured backup vocals from Michael McDonald...


"I'll Be Over You" stopped one notch short of the pop top-10 in America in November of 1986, a month after it topped the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart in Billboard magazine. The song also was a top-40 hit in the Netherlands.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Robbed Hit of the Week 1/26/15 - Gwen Guthrie's "Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent"...


"Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent" - Gwen Guthrie
from the album Good To Go Lover (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #42

This week's "robbed hit" comes from a disco legend, Gwen Guthrie, who got her start as a backup singer and soul songwriter before getting a solo deal of her own. Releasing her self-titled debut in 1982, she scored a top-40 R&B hit with "It Should Have Been You", which also peaked right under the dance chart top tier at #11. With dance club DJ king Larry Levan, she became the "house singer" for the Paradise Garage, one of the biggest post-disco dance bastions in the US in the early 80s. Two years later, she sang co-lead on "Say Yeah" from the Dutch act the Limit, which climbed into the dance chart in America at #7, and reached the top-20 on the British singles chart at #17. That same year her own single "Love In Moderation", a mid-tempo soul record, made it to #17 on the R&B chart. 1985 saw Guthrie back ruling the clubs with her cult classic "Padlock", which came two rungs from making the Hot 100, while peaking at a deceptively low #13 on the club list.

The percussive intro to "Padlock" would rear its head with her next release, the sassy "Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent". Written and produced by the artist, it differed from most of the heartbreaking big-girl diva dance music of the time, asserting herself and with lyrics predating TLC's "No Scrubs" by a generation, proclaimed that there was "no romance without finance" for this "fly girl"...


While "Ain't Nothin' Goin' On..." topped both the R&B and dance charts in the summer of 1986, the single stalled out right under the pop top-40 at #42 in September. Internationally, the single did much better, reaching the top-5 in the UK and #1 in New Zealand.

But it would be Gwen's last big hit. On R&B radio, as new jack swing took over, she managed a few minor hits, with "Sweet Bitter Love" in 1991 her final appearance. Meanwhile, in the clubs, she last reached the chart with "Miss My Love" in 1990. Sadly, Gwen died at 48 in 1999 from cancer.

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Album Sweep: January 31, 2015 - Part Two...


It's time for the second half of this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on Billboard magazine's official American Album Sales Chart this week. You can check out part one by clicking here, and as before I've included highlighted links to buy any of the new sets, along with some of the artists' other work.

Cuban-American rapper/singer Kat Dahlia debuts at #38 with her first full-length studio album My Garden...


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Songoftheday 1/26/15 - Love I get so lost sometimes, days pass and this emptiness fills my heart...


"In Your Eyes" - Peter Gabriel
from the album So (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #26 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day comes from progressive rock veteran Peter Gabriel, who in 1986 found himself a proper pop star as his single "Sledgehammer" ended of topping the American singles chart in the summer. For his next single he toned it a bit down with a romantic and subliminally tribal love song. "In Your Eyes", written by the artist who produced the track with Daniel Lanois and bassist Bill Laswell, and featured Senegalese treasure Youssou N'Dour on back-up vocals as well as Manu Katché from the Ivory Coast providing the hypnotic percussion.


"In My Eyes" became the second top-40 hit from So in October of 1986, as well as earning Peter his third #1 Mainstream Rock radio hit in Billboard magazine. Internationally, while the song wasn't released as a single in his native Britain, it was a top-40 hit in Canada and a minor one in Australia and New Zealand.

Three years later "In My Eyes" found a new audience courtesy of the John Cusack movie Say Anything, and reappeared on the Hot 100 pop chart in America, coming one notch away from being a double-top-40-hit at #41. But in return the song was proven to probably be his most widely beloved song despite its chart performance.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Brit Sweep: January 25, 2015...


The end of the weekend is upon us, and it's time to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in Britain this week, as Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars spend a sixth non-consecutive week at #1 with "Uptown Funk!"...

In this extra-quiet week on the chart the highest new entry doesn't come until way down at #55, as Maroon 5's "Sugar" becomes the third single from the band's V album to make the chart. Their last, "Animals", peaked at #27...


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Album Sweep: January 31, 2015 - Part One...


It's time for this week's "album sweep", sampling the records making their debut on Billboard magazine's Album Sales Chart this week, and for the first time this year there's so many newbies I will divide the pack into two, with the second half tomorrow. As always, I've included links to buy any of the new sets along with some of the artists' other major work...

The new top-selling album in the U.S. in its first week is the debut full-length release from pop singer/songwriter Meghan Trainor with Title (a four-song EP of the same, erm, title reached #15 last year). She sold just under 200,000 copies, not bad for what normally would be considered a "singles" genre...



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Songoftheday 1/25/15 - I feel a hunger, it's a hunger that tries to keep a man awake at night...


"Take Me Home Tonight" - Eddie Money
from the album Can't Hold Back (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)

Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day comes from rock singer Eddie Money, who like yesterday's SOTD act the Human League followed up a successful 1982 album (which produced the top-20 pop hit "Think I'm In Love") with a set that in comparison underperformed, with his Where's The Party record his first to miss the album top-40 and the biggest single from the set, "The Big Crash", peaking under the halfway point on the Hot 100. But instead of changing his sound for his next record like the League did, Money battened down and produced a stellar slice of power-pop with his sixth release Can't Hold Back. The first single from the set, "Take Me Home Tonight", written by Michael Leeson and Peter Vale, featured "Wall Of Sound" girl-group giant Ronnie Spector as the track interpolated the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" into the tag on the chorus, earning the writing team of Greenwich/Barry/Spector (Phil, Ronnie's now felonious ex-husband) a writing credit. She also appears in the video, looking and sounding amazing...


"Take Me Home Tonight" reinvigorated Eddie's career, landing him his first top-10 pop hit in November of 1986. The song also topped Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks radio chart, his second after "Think I'm In Love". Internationally, the record landed in the top-20 in Canada, and was a minor hit in Germany, Australia, and the Netherlands. It would end up being Eddie's biggest hit to date.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dance Sweep: January 31, 2015...






We've reached the end of today's musical journey, as I roll out the final "chart sweep" of the day, sampling the latest dance jams in Billboard magazine.

On their DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, the #1 pop song in the USA, "Uptown Funk!" from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, jumps to #1 on this list as well...

Scottish DJ and producer Calvin Harris comes in at #48 with "Outside" featuring Ellie Goulding. His last single, "Blame" (which peaked at #5 here), is one notch higher at #47...


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Country Sweep: January 31, 2015...


Part four of today's "chart sweeps" of the songs making the Billboard charts is up with the latest hits on country radio...

On their Country Airplay chart, Kenny Chesney nabs his 24th #1 hit with "Til It's Gone"...

Country jam masters the Zac Brown Band come back in a big way as "Homegrown" leaps in at #23. It's my "Country Pick of the Week".  So far they've racked up ten #1 hits...


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Soul Sweep: January 31, 2015...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Big Sean spends a third non-consecutive week at #1 with "I Don't Fuck With You"...

Sevyn Streeter is back at #40 with "Don't Kill The Fun" featuring Chris Brown. In 2013 she climbed to #2 with "It Won't Stop" (also with Brown)...


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Rock Sweep: January 31, 2015...


Round two of today's "chart sweeps" is up as I check out the songs making the charts in Billboard magazine. This time up I've got the latest hits on rock radio...

On the main Rock Airplay chart, The Foo Fighters remain at #1 for a thirteenth week with "Something From Nothing"...

The top newbie of the week at #29 is "Weight Of Love", the third single from the alt-rock duo the Black Keys. The track also jumps to that same rank on the Alternative rock list in its second week. Their lead single from Turn Blue, "Fever", topped this chart last year...

 
 
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Pop Sweep: January 31, 2015...


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

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of radio airplay from all formats, sales (physical and mp3 like iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play), and internet streaming (like YouTube and Spotify), Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars spend a third week at #1 with "Uptown Funk!"...

The top new entry of the week all the way up at #8 is the third single from pop/rock band Maroon 5's V album, "Sugar". No doubt the impetus for the high debut is the premiere of the video on YouTube, which features the band "crashing" weddings (which really doesn't look very "spontaneous", if you get my drift...) But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to put three songs in the top-10 from an album these days (their last single, "Animals", peaked at #3), and it's my "Pop Pick of the Week"...


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Songoftheday 1/24/15 - Come on baby dry your eyes wipe your tears, never liked to see you cry won't you please forgive me...


"Human" - The Human League
from the album Crash! (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day comes from the new wave band that brought the first salvo in the "second British Invasion", the Human League. They successfully avoided the follow-up slump with their 1983 Fascination EP, which spun out two more hits in America with the top-ten title track and top-40 follow-up "Mirror Man". However, even though their next proper album Hysteria saw them growing musically with meatier lyrics and more organic instrumentation, it failed to continue the success in America and to a lesser extent England, with three singles making the top-20 in the UK and only one of them, the stellar "The Lebanon", stalling out at #64 in the US.

Hoping for their investment to regain momentum, their label sent the band to work with the red-hot production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the "Flyte Tyme" crew responsible for Janet Jackson's Control album. But instead of them collaborating on a rework of the Human League sound, Jimmy and Terry basically wrote up another Control album to plug the act into. With the pair doing almost all of the non-vocal work, leaving the trio of lead singer Philip Oakey and backups Joanne Catherall and Sue Sulley on a "whiter" version of a post-funk album, Crash was as much a hodgepodge as the eventual movie bearing the same name. The thing is, within that mess was a stunner that turned out to be one of the group's best ever moments, the ballad "Human". With the act leaving the pair dishearteningly to complete the production on their own (and keyboardist Ian Wright quitting the band altogether), Lewis and Jam crafted a record that transcended anything they could have expected...


"Human" became the Human League's second #1 pop hit in the States in November of 1986. The record also crossed over to reach #3 on both the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") and surprisingly on the R&B charts in Billboard magazine. The 12" extended version of the track topped the Dance Club Play list in the mag as well. Internationally, the record reached #8 in their native Britain, top ten in Germany, Ireland, and New Zealand, and #1 in Canada, and gave their career the boost it really needed.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

twostepcub's music chart for January 23, 2015...


Friday is finally here, and it's time to run down my top 100 songs of the week. Hozier lands on top for a fifth non-consecutive week, while Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars (pictured above) dance into the top-3. Former big hits from Bastille and alt-J drop off my list, while songs from Erasure, Hozier, and Kenny Chesney make some of the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Let it snow (tomorrow, I'm off)!

This Week                 Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Take Me To Church - Hozier (1)
2. Jealous - Nick Jonas (4)
3. Uptown Funk! - Mark Ronson f/Bruno Mars (7)
4. I'm Not The Only One - Sam Smith (2)
5. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran (5)
6. Lips Are Movin' - Meghan Trainor (9)
7. Something From Nothing - Foo Fighters (3)
8. Budapest - George Ezra (6)
9. Centuries - Fall Out Boy (11)
10. Animals - Maroon 5 (10)
11. From Eden - Hozier (21)
12. Ghost - Ella Henderson (12)
13. Heroes (We Could Be) - Alesso f/Tove Lo (8)
14. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (14)
15. Call My Name - Avery Sunshine (19)
16. Try - Colbie Caillat (18)
17. Blame - Calvin Harris f/John Newman (13)
18. Blank Space - Taylor Swift (22)
19. Let Me Down Easy - Paolo Nutini (15)
20. I Lived - OneRepublic (20)
21. All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor (17)
22. Don't - Ed Sheeran (16)
23. Til It's Gone - Kenny Chesney (33)
24. Something In The Water - Carrie Underwood (30)
25. Waves (Robin Schulz Mix) - Mr. Probz (26)
26. Like A Cowboy - Randy Houser (36)
27. Habits (Stay High) - Tove Lo (23)
28. I Bet My Life - Imagine Dragons (38)
29. Riptide - Vance Joy (29)
30. Dangerous - David Guetta f/Sam Martin (25)
31. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift (31)
32. Perfect Storm - Brad Paisley (34)
33. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (28)
34. Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Mix) - Lilly Wood & The Prick (24)
35. Wrapped Up - Olly Murs f/Travie McCoy (27)
36. Close Your Eyes - Parmalee (32)
37. Make You Better - The Decemberists (39)
38. Afterlife - Ingrid Michaelson (41)
39. Figure It Out - Royal Blood (43)
40. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (37)
41. Go All Night - Gorgon City f/Jennifer Hudson (51)
42. Shotgun Rider - Tim McGraw (42)
43. Talladega - Eric Church (45)
44. Cigarette Daydreams - Cage The Elephant (49)
45. It's Your World - Jennifer Hudson f/R. Kelly (46)
46. Mean To Me - Brett Eldredge (50)
47. Animals - Nabiha (40)
48. Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon (53)
49. Make Me Wanna - Thomas Rhett (54)
50. Big Fun - D.O.N.S. f/Terri B! (58)
51. I See You - Luke Bryan (55)
52. Take It On Back - Chase Bryant (52)
53. Love Me Harder - Ariana Grande f/The Weeknd (56)
54. These Days - Take That (48)
55. Reason - Erasure (76)
56. Keep It Movin' - Aristofreeks f/Kathy Sledge (44)
57. R U Mine? - Arctic Monkeys (61)
58. World - Gia (62)
59. Can't Hold Us Down - Axwell & Ingrosso (69)
60. Rolling In The Deep - Aretha Franklin (60)
61. What's Best For You - Trey Songz (57)
62. Love Come Home - Kristine W. (47)
63. Headphones - Matt Nathanson f/Lolo (64)
64. Wrong Side Of Heaven - Five Finger Death Punch (68)
65. Homegrown Honey - Darius Rucker (65)
66. Destination (We Are The Ones - Twisted Dee & Spyglass Edmund f/Amuka (71)
67. Like I Can - Sam Smith (77)
68. Nobody - Kem (70)
69. Too Cool To Dance - Eden XO (69)
70. Just Gettin' Started - Jason Aldean (74)
71. The Hanging Tree - James Newton Howard f/Jennifer Lawrence (75)
72. Sun Daze - Florida Georgia Line (72)
73. Faded - Zhu (35)
74. Kansas City - The New Basement Tapes (78)
75. Lonely Tonight - Blake Shelton f/Ashley Monroe (79)
76. Turn It Up - Kwanza Jones (82)
77. Drinking Class - Lee Brice (81)
78. Geronimo - Sheppard (80)
79. The Heart Wants What It Wants - Selena Gomez (83)
80. Sugar - Five Knives (84)
81. When We Were Young - Dillon Francis and Sultan & Ned Shepard (85)
82. Up - Olly Murs f/Demi Lovato (86)
83. Somewhere In My Car - Keith Urban (63)
84. Blind Heart - Cazzette f/Terri B! (DEBUT)
85. Every Breaking Wave - U2 (89)
86. I Like You - Tony Moran f/Debby Holiday (DEBUT)
87. All Of You - Betty Who (DEBUT)
88. Good Kisser - Usher (88)
89. Lonely Eyes - Chris Young (95)
90. Zero - Nikkole (94)
91. Surrender - Cash Cash (97)
92. Call It Whatever - Bella Thorne (92)
93. Something I Need - Ben Haenow (93)
94. Walk - Kwabs (100)
95. Leave The Night On - Sam Hunt (91)
96. Wish You Were Here - Philip George (DEBUT)
97. Bartender - Lady Antebellum (RE-ENTRY)
98. Let's Be Still - The Head and the Heart (RE-ENTRY)
99. Andalouse - Kendji Girac (DEBUT)
100. God Made Girls - RaeLynn (DEBUT)

There are six song making their debut on my chart this week (highlighted in blue), and if you click on any of them, you'll connect to the artists' official website. And here they are on video, after the break....

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Songoftheday 1/23/15 - Hmmm how do I get to sleep, I know I'll count those bars on the window one, two, three, sleep...


"Paranoimia" - The Art Of Noise with Max Headroom
from the album In Visible Silence (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #34 (one week)

Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's Song of the Day belongs to the British experimental art-rock outfit the Art Of Noise, who nearly made the top-40 in the summer of 1986 with their Grammy-winning adaptation of the theme to Peter Gunn featuring 60's guitar legend Duane Eddy. Their follow-up single was another track from their In Visible Silence album reworked to include a cult-classic TV character, Max Headroom. Comedian/actor Matt Frewer did an impersonation of a computer-generated hologram with just makeup and quick editing. With a show on pioneer cable station Cinemax, "Max" was sewn into the original instrumental from the British version of the album written by members Anne Dudley, J J Jeczalik, and Gary Langan, with a slew of random non sequitors...



"Paranoimia" became the Art of Noise's first top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in October of 1986, while climbing to #14 on Billboard magazine's Hot Dance Club Play chart. In their native Britain, the track peaked at #12, while internationally making the top-10 in the Netherlands and New Zealand, the top-20 in Ireland and Belgium, and the top-40 in Germany.

Max Headroom would soon fizzle out before the requisite movie cash-in even came. Frewer now can be seen as Dr. Leekie on the hit BBC show Orphan Black.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Aussie Sweep: January 22, 2015...






It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in Australia this week, as Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars remain on top for a sixth week with "Uptown Funk! ".

Jumping in the pool all the way up at #8 is local hero singer/songwriter Sia with "Elastic Heart". It's her second top-10 hit after "Chandelier", which made it to #2 in this country...


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Songoftheday 1/22/15 - If he could hold her so close in his arms again, if she could show him the letter her heart forgot to send..


"Girl Can't Help It" - Journey
from the album Raised On Radio (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #17 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's Song of the Day is by the arena-rock band Journey, who shed a couple members and returned with a sleek, more pop-inflected album Raised On Radio in 1986. With a top-ten hit ("Be Good To Yourself") and a top-20 follow-up ("Suzanne") under their belt, the group released the mid-tempo highlight from the album, "Girl Can't Help It". Featuring flawless harmonies under lead singer Steve Perry's soaring voice, the track was written by him along with remaining bandmates Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain...


"Girl Can't Help It" climbed into the top-20 on the American pop chart in November of 1986, while returning them to the Mainstream Rock radio top-10 at #9. Over the border, the single was a minor Canadian hit at #60.

I could listen to that closing tag all day

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

German Sweep: January 21, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week according to their official singles chart, as British soul singer Kwabs nabs his first #1 hit with "Walk"...

1. "Walk" - Kwabs (2)
2. "Real Love" - Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne (DEBUT)
3. "Dangerous" - David Guetta featuring Sam Martin (1)
4. "The Hanging Tree" - James Newton Howard featuring Jennifer Lawrence (3)
5. "I'm An Albatraoz" - AronChupa (4)
6. "Outside" - Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding (DEBUT)
7. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier (6)
8. "Cool Kids" - Echosmith (RE-ENTRY)
9. "Auf Anderen Wegen" - Andreas Bourani (7)
10. "Sun Goes Down" - Robin Schulz featuring Jasmine Thompson (5)

Landing in the runner up spot this week is British neo-house act Clean Bandit, who follow up their single "Rather Be", a #1 hit in Germany, with "Real Love", also featuring singer Jess Glynne...


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Songoftheday 1/21/15 - The vision of your love's loveliness and i hope and i pray, that someday I'll be the vision of your happy happiness...




"Earth Angel" - New Edition
from the albums Under The Blue Moon and Karate Kid II (Original Soundtrack) (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day comes from the Boston-bred soul vocal group New Edition, who last were seen here with the only single from their All For Love album to make the pop top-40, "A Little Bit Of Love (Is All It Takes)".  Losing (or rather ejecting) member Bobby Brown, the four remaining singers trudged on, trying to buy out their contract to properly sign directly with MCA Records. Their next single was a cover of a doo-wop classic that was one of the first true hits of the "rock and roll era".

"Earth Angel" was originally released by the Penguins, who included the song's writer Curtis Williams (well, co-writer after a lawsuit proved Jesse Belvin did the heavy work), and came out in the summer of 1954. By the end of the year it reached #1 on the R&B chart in Billboard, while crossing over to reach the top-3 on the pop chart a few months later...



New Edition's version downplayed the background vocals to spotlight lead singer Ralph Tresvant over a synth instead of a piano...



"Earth Angel" became the group's fifth top-40 pop hit in October of 1986, while climbing all the way to #3 on the R&B chart in Billboard. Internationally, the single was a top-40 hit in New Zealand, while a minor hit in Canada.

By the time New Edition would be back in the top-40, they'd be up one more important member.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

French Sweep: January 20, 2015...






Here's the top ten hits in France this week according to their official singles chart, as Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars spend a fourth week at #1 with "Uptown Funk!"...

1. "Uptown Funk!" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (1)
2. "Je Vole" - Louane (4)
3. "Dangerous" - David Guetta featuring Sam Martin (2)
4. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier (10)
5. "Chandelier" - Sia (7)
6. "Andalouse" - Kendji Girac (5)
7. "Fade Out Lines" - The Avener (6)
8. "Prayer In C" - Lilly Wood & The Prick (3)
9. "Fresh Prince" - Soprano featuring Uncle Phil (DEBUT)
10. "Saint Claude" - Christine and the Queens (RE-ENTRY)

Comoran-French rapper Soprano scores his second top-ten hit in a row as "Fresh Prince" lands at #9. "Cosmo" climbed to #5 last year...




Songoftheday 1/20/15 - You with the sad eyes don't be discouraged, oh I realize it's hard to take courage...


"True Colors" - Cyndi Lauper
from the album True Colors (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day comes from the delightfully quirky pop singer Cyndi Lauper, who we last saw following up her breakthrough album She's So Unusual with a top-ten "novelty-by-name" single from the movie Goonies, "Goonies 'R Good Enough" in the summer of 1985. Her sophomore record wouldn't arrive until more than a year after that, but Cyndi proved it was definitely worth the wait with the inspirational and "grown up" title track. "True Colors", written by the team of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who wrote the biggest hit of 1984, Madonna's "Like A Virgin", as well as Whitney Houston's #1 smash "So Emotional", was intended as a country song for Anne Murray, but luckily she passed and Lauper's stripped-down version with subtle slowed-down tribal rhythms in the back highlighted her most emotional vocal performance up to that time....


"True Colors" became Cyndi's second #1 pop hit in America in October of 1986, while also crossing over to the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart at #5. Internationally, the single went to #1 in Canada, climbed into the top-10 in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, the Netherlands and Ireland. In Britain and Germany, it peaked within the top-20. At the following Grammy Awards, Cyndi grabbed a nomination for Female Pop Vocal Performance, losing to Barbra Streisand (for her #1 The Broadway Album). Since then the song has become an anthem in the gay and lesbian community, even inspiring a tour featuring Lauper and synthpop kings Erasure.

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