Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dance Sweep: March 7. 2015...






I'm ready to wrap up today's "chart sweeps" checking out the latest songs making the 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, Madonna claims her record-setting 44th #1 hit with "Living For Love". In fact, only George Strait has had as many chart-topping hits on any of Billboard's singles charts...

Another club legend, producer Giorgio Moroder, has the top debut of the week and my "Dance Pick Of The Week" with his collaboration with Kylie Minogue, "Right Here, Right Now". In 2000, the Jam & Spoon remix of his classic "Chase" topped the club chart...


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Country Sweep: March 7, 2015...


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

On their Country Airplay chart, Thomas Rhett scores his third consecutive #1 hit with "Make Me Wanna". His father, Rhett Akins, had a #1 hit of his own in 1996 with "Don't Get Me Started"...

The fifth single from Eric Church's The Outsiders album, "Like A Wrecking Ball", is the top new entry at #55. It follows his #1 "Talladega"...


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Soul Sweep: March 7, 2015...


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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Beyonce' reigns for a fourth week with "7/11"...

The fourth single from rapper KCamp's EP In Due Time, "Lil Bit", enters at #43. The second, "Cut Her Off", climbed to #3...


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Rock Sweep: March 7, 2015...


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

On their main Rock Airplay chart, Walk The Moon stay at #1 for a second week with "Shut Up And Dance"...

The sole debut on the big rock chart at #35 is roots-rock act Alabama Shakes with "Don't Wanna Fight", my "Rock Pick of the Week". It's high placement is helped from its success on Triple-A, where it leaps into the top-10 in its second week. Previously they went to #15 with "Hold On"...


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Pop Sweep: March 7, 2015...


I'm ready to kick off the first of today's five "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making their debut on the various singles charts in Billboard magazine. As usual I'll start on the pop side of things, then later in the day go over 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 and Amazonmp3), and internet streaming (like Spotify or YouTube), Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars remain at #1 for an eighth week with 'Uptown Funk!"...

The top debut of the week was originally an exclusive track on the Target stores deluxe version of Taylor Swift's 1989 album, "Wonderland", it now moves in at #51. She also has back-to-back top-10 hits as "Blank Space" holds at #7 and "Style" moves up to #8...


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Songoftheday 2/28/15 - When I was seventeen I did what people told me, did what my father said and let my mother mold me but that was long ago...


"Control" - Janet Jackson
from the album Control (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day is by Janet Jackson, whose breakthrough album Control had already scored the artist a #1 pop hit with "When I Think Of You" as well as two other top-5 single with "Nasty" and "What Have You Done For Me Lately". For the fourth single from the project Janet went with the title track, the perfect distillation of her attitude and musical signature (helped by producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis) for the album. The music video ran over nine minutes and featured Janet's Good Time co-star Janet Dubois...


"Control" became the fourth top-5 pop hit from the album in January of 1987. The single topped both the R&B and Dance Club Play chart (the latter for three weeks). Internationally, the song was a more moderate success, reaching the top-20 in Canada, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, but just stopped short of the top-40 in England at #42.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

twostepcub's music chart for February 27, 2015...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars remain on top for a fifth week, while Cage The Elephant (pictured above) jumps in to the top 10. The biggest gainers come from Axwell & Ingrosso, Madonna, and Seether (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Brad Paisley and Sam Hunt drop out. I'm gonna find that groundhog and strangle it!

This Week              Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Uptown Funk! - Mark Ronson f/Bruno Mars (1)
2. Lips Are Movin' - Meghan Trainor (3)
3. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran (4)
4. Jealous - Nick Jonas (2)
5. Take Me To Church - Hozier (6)
6. Cigarette Daydreams - Cage The Elephant (12)
7. Ghost - Ella Henderson (7)
8. Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon (18)
9. Like A Cowboy - Randy Houser (10)
10. I'm Not The Only One - Sam Smith (8)
11. Make Me Wanna - Thomas Rhett (17)
12. I Bet My Life - Imagine Dragons (14)
13. Call My Name - Avery Sunshine (9)
14. From Eden - Hozier (11)
15. Centuries - Fall Out Boy (5)
16. Budapest - George Ezra (16)
17. Blank Space - Taylor Swift (13)
18. Just Getting Started - Jason Aldean (22)
19. Something From Nothing - Foo Fighters (15)
20. Make You Better - The Decemberists (25)
21. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (19)
22. Go All Night - Gorgon City f/Jennifer Hudson (20)
23. R U Mine? - Arctic Monkeys (27)
24. I Lived - OneRepublic (21)
25. Mean To Me - Brett Eldredge (30)
26. The Hanging Tree - James Newton Howard f/Jennifer Lawrence (31)
27. Waves (Robin Schulz Mix) - Mr. Probz (23)
28. Lampshades On Fire - Modest Mouse (36)
29. Riptide - Vance Joy (29)
30. Love Me Harder - Ariana Grande f/The Weeknd (34)
31. Heroes (We Could Be) - Alesso f/Tove Lo (26)
32. I See You - Luke Bryan (32)
33. Reason - Erasure (28)
34. All Of You - Betty Who (41)
35. Talladega - Eric Church (35)
36. Something In The Water - Carrie Underwood (24)
37. Take It On Back - Chase Bryant (39)
38. Blind Heart - Cazzette f/Terri B! (38)
39. Right Now - Mary J. Blige (49)
40. Kansas City - The New Basement Tapes (42)
41. Nobody - Kem (51)
42. Living For Love - Madonna (57)
43. Lonely Tonight - Blake Shelton f/Ashley Monroe (47)
44. Geronimo - Sheppard (48)
45. Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Mix) - Lilly Wood & The Prick (45)
46. Sugar - Maroon 5 (54)
47. Animals - Maroon 5 (33)
48. Lonely Eyes - Chris Young (58)
49. Figure It Out - Royal Blood (37)
50. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (50)
51, Homegrown Honey - Darius Rucker (55)
52. Blame - Calvin Harris f/John Newman (40)
53. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (53)
54. Something New - Axwell & Ingrosso (70)
55. I Like You - Tony Moran f/Debby Holiday (56)
56. Drinking Class - Lee Brice (60)
57. The Heart Wants What It Wants - Selena Gomez (61)
58. 7/11 - Beyonce (62)
59. Sun Daze - Florida Georgia Line (59)
60. I Am Machine - Three Days Grace (64)
61. Ain't Worth The Whiskey - Cole Swindell (65)
62. Zero - Nikkole (52)
63. Heartbeat Song - Kelly Clarkson (71)
64. Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding (74)
65. Outside - Calvin Harris f/Ellie Goulding (73)
66. Beg For It - Iggy Azalea f/MO (68)
67. Everywhere - MYNC & Mario Fischetti f/Deborah Cox (67)
68. World - Gia (44)
69. Every Breaking Wave - U2 (69)
70. Rollercoaster - Bleachers (82)
71. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift (46)
72. Up - Olly Murs f/Demi Lovato (72)
73. Til It's Gone - Kenny Chesney (43)
74. Unholy - Wolfgang Gartner (78)
75. Same Damn Life - Seether (90)
76. Wrapped Up - Olly Murs f/Travie McCoy (76)
77. Wrong Club - The Ting Tings (87)
78. Wrong Side Of Heaven - Five Finger Death Punch (66)
79. Dearly Departed - Shakey Graves (84)
80. Bartender - Lady Antebellum (81)
81. Night Changes - One Direction (86)
82. Let Me Know - Tamar Braxton f/Future (92)
83. Style - Taylor Swift (89)
84. What We Ain't Got - Jake Owen (88)
85. Chasing Time - Azealia Banks (85)
86. Time Of Our Lives - Pitbull f/Ne-Yo (DEBUT)
87. Shotgun Rider - Tim McGraw (77)
88. Homegrown - The Zac Brown Band (DEBUT)
89. What's Best For You - Trey Songz (79)
90. Say You Do - Dierks Bentley (DEBUT)
91. Words - Christina Perri (91)

92. Freestyle - Lady Antebellum (94)
93. FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney (97)
94. Wherever Is Your Heart - Brandi Carlile (DEBUT)
95. Black Sun - Death Cab For Cutie (DEBUT)
96. Young Blood - Bea Miller (DEBUT)

97. Heartbeat - Mat Kearney (DEBUT)
98. Like I Can - Sam Smith (RE-ENTRY)

99. Cassy O' - George Ezra (DEBUT)
100. Move - Jenevieve X (DEBUT)

There are nine 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 tour dates, music, bios, and more. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 2/27/15 - Ms. Cristina drives a 944 satisfaction oozes from her pores...


"Welcome To The Boomtown" - David + David
from the album Boomtown (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #37 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's Song of the Day come from the mainstream rock duo David + David, who may be better known as songwriters as well as musicians on Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club album. But years before that, David Baerwald and David Ricketts had their own act, and released one of the best rock albums of the 80s, Boomtown. Drawing on the trodden down workingman class that also inspired Springsteen and Mellencamp, David and David's music had a more melodic sheen to it, but between the more introspective insights on love and Baerwald's growling voice, it was a steady companion in my Walkman that year. The first single from the set, "Welcome To The Boomtown", Got them exposure on pop radio as well...


"...Boomtown" reached the American pop top 40 in December of 1986, while climbing to #8 on the Mainstream Rock chart in Billboard magazine. Their second single, "Swallowed By The Cracks", didn't make the pop chart but did reach #14 on the Mainstream Rock chart in Billboard. That was followed by my personal favorite, "Ain't So Easy", which made it to #51 on the Hot 100 and #17 on the rock radio list. The duo would go on to do backup work while Baerwald embarked on a solo career, but if you're a fan of 80s mainstream rock music, this album is an essential listen for a look into the California experience to compare to Mellencamp's heartland sensabilities and Springsteen's Eastern storylines.

Up tomorrow: A newly crowned R&B/pop queen has some self-reserve.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Aussie Sweep: February 26, 2015...


It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in Australia this week, as British singer Ellie Goulding lands her first #1 hit here with "Love Me Like You Do" from the 50 Shades Of Grey soundtrack...

Florence & The Machine, the alternative rock act from England, claims the top debut of the week at #16 with "What Kind Of Man". They've had three top-10 hits in this country, with "Never Let Me Go" reaching #3, while lead singer Florence Welch's collaboration with Calvin Harris, "Sweet Nothing", went a notch higher in this country...


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Songoftheday 2/26/15 - When I'm hurt then I come on strong I wanna break down, but I just keep it in...


"Foolish Pride" - Daryl Hall
from the album Three Hearts In The Happy Ending Machine (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #33 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's Song of the Day comes from pop singer/songwriter Daryl Hall, whose second album apart from his wildly successful act with John Oates, Three Hearts In The Happy Ending Machine, earned him his first solo hit with the top-5 "Dreamtime" in the fall of 1986. The second single from the project, "Foolish Pride", didn't stray from his Hall & Oates work either...


"Foolish Pride" became Daryl's second and final solo top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in December of 1986. The record also went to #21 on the adult contemporary (or easy-listening) radio chart (besting the success of "Dreamtime" there), and even crossed over to the R&B chart at #91. Across the ocean, "Foolish Pride" was his biggest solo hit at #25.

A third single from the set, "Somebody Like You", peaked at #57 but became his biggest American adult contemporary hit at #11. After that, he rejoined Oates for a bit before releasing another solo album, I'm In A Philly Mood, in 1993, which gave him his most recent minor pop hit with the title track. Hall still managed to hit the charts in England through the 90s, and his single with the Sounds Of Blackness neo-gospel/house act for the FIFA soccer tournament in the States, "Gloryland", went to #36 in the UK. His last hit on the British chart was a duet with Dusty Springfield, "Wherever Would I Be", which came not long before she passed away.

Most recently, Hall's solo work has shown up on the American adult contemporary charts, with "Talking To You" reaching #16 in 2011.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

German Sweep: February 25, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart.

1. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding (DEBUT)
2. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)" - Omi (1)
3. "The Hanging Tree" - James Newton Howard featuring Jennifer Lawrence (2)
4. "Uptown Funk!" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (3)
5. "FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartmey (6)
6. "Firestone" - Kygo featuring Conrad (8)
7. "Break The Rules" - Charli XCX (4)
8. "Outside" - Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding (5)
9. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier (10)
10. "Walk" - Kwabs (7)

There's a brand new #1 single in Germany this week, and it's from British singer Ellie Goulding with "Love Me Like You Do" from the 50 Shades Of Grey soundtrack. That gives her two top-ten hits in this country, as her former #1 collaboration with Calvin Harris, "Outside", sits at #8...



Songoftheday 2/25/15 - I relive the same old dream day and night, memories of love I knew...


"Love Is Forever" - Billy Ocean
from the album Love Zone (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day comes from the Trinidadian pop/dance singer Billy Ocean, whose Love Zone album had already spun off three top ten pop hits in America with "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going", the title track, and the #1 "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)". The fourth single from the album was the ballad, "Love Is Forever", was written by the artist with producers Wayne Braithwaite and Barry Eastmond, and had the same vibe as his top-5 ballad from his last album, "Suddenly"...


"Love Is Forever" became the fourth song from Love Zone to make the American pop top-20 in December of 1986. The ballad was even more popular on easy-listening radio, topping the Adult Contemporary chart for three weeks, as well as making the top-10 on the R&B chart. Internationally, the record reached the top-40 in Canada and England.

Up tomorrow: A blue-eyed Philly soulster has delusions of grandeur.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

French Sweep: February 24, 2015...


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

1. "Uptown Funk!" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (1)
2. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier (2)
3. "Christine" - Christine and the Queens (9)
4. "Saint Claude" - Christine and the Queens (RE-ENTRY)
5. "Earned It"  - The Weeknd (DEBUT)
6. "FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney (4)
7. "Are You With Me" - Lost Frequencies (6)
8. "Stay With Me" - Sam Smith (RE-ENTRY)
9. "Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran (5)
10. "Avenir" - Louane (10)

Canadian alt-hip-hop/soul artist the Weeknd leaps in at #5 with his first top ten hit in this country, "Earned It", from the soundtrack to 50 Shades Of Grey...


Songoftheday 2/24/15 - I must've dreamed a thousand dreams, been haunted by a million screams...

"Land Of Confusion" - Genesis
from the album Invisible Touch (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's Song of the Day comes from the British progressive rock-gone-pop trio Genesis, whose 1986 album Invisible Touch had already scored the band their first #1 hit with the title track and a top-5 follow-up with "Throwing It All Away". The third single from the set, "Land Of Confusion", had the same white-boy funk backdrop as some of Phil Collins' solo ventures, and a sped-up BPM to augment the sense of paranoia in the lyrics from guitarist Mike Rutherford. The music video featured puppets from the popular British show Spitting Images done as the group as well as some world leaders and entertainment icons...


"Land Of Confusion" became the third top-10 pop hit from Invisible Touch in January of 1987, while climbing to #11 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the record made the top-10 in Canada, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, but in their native England it stopped short at #14 (surprising, considering the popularity of the video).

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Robbed hit of the week 2/23/15 - Midnight Star's "Midas Touch"...


"Midas Touch" - Midnight Star
from the album Headlines (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #42

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the soul/funk band Midnight Star, who had finally scored their big pop crossover with their first #1 R&B hit "Operator" in 1985. A year later, the group released their sixth studio album, Headlines. The title track climbed to #3 on the R&B chart, and was a minor pop hit as well. The second single, "Midas Touch", was much more in the post-disco vein of "Operator". Written by band keyboardist Bo Watson and featuring the production of the Calloway brothers from the group, it seemed to be destined for pop radio as well...


While "Midas Touch" went to #7 on the R&B chart, the single stalled right under Billboard's top-40 at #42 in November of 1986. Not long after that, the Calloway brothers would leave Midnight Star to form their own self-named act, which hit the top-10 with "I Wanna Be Rich". Meanwhile, the rest of the band eked it out for a couple more albums, returning to #3 on the R&B list with "Don't Rock The Boat" in 1988. They last appeared on the singles chart with "Luv-U-Up" in 1990 (#58). The Calloways reunited with the band in 2002 for one album that got unnoticed.


Songoftheday 2/23/15 - I've heard talk of blind devotion, lovers through thick and thin...


"Is This Love" - Survivor
from the album When Seconds Count (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day comes from the rock band Survivor, who had scored their second big hit from the Rocky film franchise when "Burning Heart" from Rocky IV hit #2 in the winter of 1986. At the end of the year, the band released their second album with new lead singer Jimi Jamison, When Seconds Count. The first single, "Is This Love", written by band guitarist Frankie Sullivan and keyboardist Jim Peterik, followed that mainstream bread-and-butter workhorse rock they have been successful with but haven't really grown from...


"Is This Love" became Survivor's fifth and final top-10 pop hit in January of 1987. The single also crossed over to both the Mainstream Rock (#27) and Adult Contemporary (#25) charts, proving their ability to straddle the line between power and safety in listeners' ears. It would be the only single from the album to make the pop top=40. They released a follow-up album, Too Hot To Sleep, in 1988, and while "Didn't Know It Was Love" scraped the top-40 on the mainstream rock chart, it was only a minor pop hit, as was their next single, "Across The Miles", which did manage to climb to #16 on the Adult Contemporary list. 

After a greatest hits set Jamison left the band for a solo career, and since then both he and former lead singer Dave Bickler had been shuffling in an out of the band's touring schedule. Sadly, Jamison died in September of last year from a stroke exasperated by drug use.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Brit Sweep: February 22, 2015...


It's time to check out the new songs making their way on to the official singles chart in the UK this week. First, I've got to say to all the other chart geeks out there that the Official Chart Company in that country did an awesome job revamping the look of their website, which Billboard should take note of (they can't even get their own charts right months after their roll-out, issuing "Hot Shot Debut" to their "Greatest Gainer" week after week; but I digress...)

The top song of the week in Britain for a third week is Ellie Goulding with "Love Me Like You Do"...

There's only one new track in the top-40, and it's English neo-house duo LuvBug with their second top-40 hit and my "Brit Pick of the Week" "Revive (Say Something)" at #17. Last year their "Resonance" went to #13...


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Album Sweep: February 28, 2015...






Hey gang, it's time to kick off this week's "album sweep", sampling the albums making their debut on the Top Album Sales chart this week in Billboard magazine. As usual, I've included links to buy any of the new sets, as well as some of the artists' other work.

The top-selling album on the chart is Canadian-born rapper Drake with his "mixtape" If You're Readying This It's Too Late, selling just under a half-million copies in America in its first week. It's his fourth #1 album in this country, including all three of his full-length studio albums like 2013's Nothing Was The Same...




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Songoftheday 2/22/15 - Got a job that's okay but they've got me workin' night and day...


"C'est La Vie" - Robbie Nevil
from the album Robbie Nevil (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's Song of the Day comes from pop/soul singer Robbie Nevil, who went from writing songs for the likes of the Pointer Sisters to landing a solo deal of his own, releasing his self-titled debut album in 1986. The first single from the record, "C'est La Vie", came in the non-photo single cover above, and unless you saw the music video, you'd swear he was a black guy with a song that made the top-10 on the R&B chart. Even then, they did the "sepia-tone" trick that they would copy with Jane Child...


"C'est La Vie" climbed to the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in January of 1987, staying in the top-40 for four months (tying Gregory Abbott's "Shake You Down" for the longest stay of 1987). The record also crossed over to the R&B chart at #7, and topped the dance club play chart for a week. Internationally, the single was a huge success, going to #1 in Canada and Switzerland, #3 in England, and #2 in Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, and Sweden. And as time would progress, Robbie proved his talent was greater than "one hit wonder" territory.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dance Sweep: February 28, 2015...


I'm ready to wrap up this week's "chart sweeps", sampling the songs making the charts in Billboard magazine, with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Mary J. Blige takes over at the top with "Right Now". It's her sixth trip to #1...

House music hero Tony Moran jumps in at #43 with "Free People" featuring Martha Wash, my "Dance Pick of the Week". His remake of "I Like You" with Debby Holiday made the top-5 this year and stands at #14 this week...


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Country Sweep: February 28, 2015...


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

On their Country Airplay chart, Florida Georgia Line score their sixth #1 hit with "Sun Daze"...

Newcomer Michael Ray has the highest new entry at #54 with "Kiss You In The Morning"...


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Soul Sweep: February 28, 2015...


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

On their main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Beyonce is at #1 for a third week with "7/11"...

American Idol season-six winner Jordin Sparks has the biggest debut of the week at #46 with the remix of "How About Now", her "diss" track from her former fiance' Jason Derulo, and it's from her #BYEFELICIA mixtape, and it's a rework of a Drake record...


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Rock Sweep: February 28, 2015...






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

On the main Rock Airplay chart Walk The Moon score their first #1 hit with "Shut Up And Dance"...

Alternative rock band Incubus returns with the highest new entry as "Absolution Calling" is in at #28. Their last album in 2011 produced the #3 hit "Adolescents"...


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Pop Sweep: February 28, 2015...


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

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines sales (from places like iTunes and Amazonmp3), internet streaming (like Spotify or YouTube), and radio airplay from all formats, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are at #1 for a seventh week with "Uptown Funk!", making it Bruno's longest stay in the top spot with a song...

As Canadian-born rap/hip hop artist Drake tops the album chart this week with his "stealth" release If You're Reading This It's Too Late, five of its tracks sell/stream enough on their own to make the Hot 100, including the top debut of the week, "Energy" at #49. Most recently his single "0 To 100/The Catch Up", from his upcoming regular album due later in the year, peaked at #35 on the Hot 100...


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Songoftheday 2/21/15 - I can't read about it burns the skin from your eyes, I'll do fine without it here's one you don't compromise...


"Notorious" - Duran Duran
from the album Notorious (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day comes from the British band Duran Duran, who were going through a bit of a crossroads in the mid-80s, with the five members going off on two successful side projects (Arcadia and the Power Station). Also, both John and Andy Taylor managed to have solo top-40 pop hits in America. In 1985, the five members managed to reunite for the one-off single for the James Bond movie A View To A Kill, but by the time it came for them to record their fourth album, drummer Roger Taylor opted out from exhaustion, while guitarist Andy Taylor dropped out after only a couple of tracks. Leaving lead singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, and bassist John Taylor, Duran Duran went back to Chic headman Nile Rodgers, who had worked with them on their #1 "Reflex" single and subsequent hit "Wild Boys". Rodgers played guitar on the title track, which became the first single from the project, and his signature sound  (reminiscent of his transformation of David Bowie's "Let's Dance") won both the band's fanbase as well as older, more discerning ears. He even was in the music video, choreographed by Paula Abdul...


"Notorious" reached the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in January of 1987, while peaking at #26 on Billboard magazine's Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the single went to #1 in Italy and Canada, and top-10 in Germany, the Netherlands, and their native Britain.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

twostepcub's music chart for February 20, 2015...


Friday is here, so it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars funk about for a fourth week at #1, while neo-soul singer Avery Sunshine (pictured above) climbs a notch in the top-10. Former big hits from Ingrid Michaelson, Tove Lo, Meghan Trainor, and Keith Urban drop off my chart, while songs from Madonna, Ellie Goulding, and Modest Mouse make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). I'm gonna hunt that groundhog down, I tell ya....

This Week                   Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. Uptown Funk! - Mark Ronson f/Bruno Mars (1)
2. Jealous - Nick Jonas (2)
3. Lips Are Movin' - Meghan Trainor (3)
4. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran (4)
5. Centuries - Fall Out Boy (6)
6. Take Me To Church - Hozier (5)
7. Ghost - Ella Henderson (7)
8. I'm Not The Only One - Sam Smith (8)
9. Call My Name - Avery Sunshine (10)
10. Like A Cowboy - Randy Houser (14)
11. From Eden - Hozier (9)
12. Cigarette Daydreams - Cage The Elephant (20)
13. Blank Space - Taylor Swift (13)
14. I Bet My Life - Imagine Dragons (16)
15. Something From Nothing - Foo Fighters (11)
16. Budapest - George Ezra (12)
17. Make Me Wanna - Thomas Rhett (21)
18. Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon (25)
19. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (15)
20. Go All Night - Gorgon City f/Jennifer Hudson (22)
21. I Lived - OneRepublic (17)
22. Just Gettin' Started - Jason Aldean (32)
23. Waves (Robin Schulz Remix) - Mr. Probz (19)
24. Something In The Water - Carrie Underwood (18)
25. Make You Better - The Decemberists (30)
26. Heroes (We Could Be) - Alesso f/Tove Lo (26)
27. R U Mine? - Arctic Monkeys (39)
28. Reason - Erasure (28)
29. Riptide - Vance Joy (29)
30. Mean To Me - Brett Eldredge (33)
31. The Hanging Tree - James Newton Howard f/Jennifer Lawrence (41)
32. I See You - Luke Bryan (36)
33. Animals - Maroon 5 (23)
34. Love Me Harder - Ariana Grande f/The Weeknd (34)
35. Talladega - Eric Church (37)
36. Lampshades On Fire - Modest Mouse (51)
37. Figure It Out - Royal Blood (27)
38. Blind Heart - Cazzette f/Terri B! (46)
39. Take It On Back - Chase Bryant (43)
40. Blame - Calvin Harris f/John Newman (35)
41. All Of You - Betty Who (53)
42. Kansas City - The New Basement Tapes (47)
43. Til It's Gone - Kenny Chesney (31)
44. World - Gia (44)
45. Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Remix) - Lilly Wood & The Prick (45)
46. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift (42)
47. Lonely Tonight - Blake Shelton f/Ashley Monroe (49)
48. Geronimo - Sheppard (54)
49. Right Now - Mary J. Blige (59)
50. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (40)
51. Nobody - Kem (55)
52. Zero - Nikkole (52)
53. Dangerous - Big Data f/Joywave (50)
54. Sugar - Maroon 5 (68)
55. Homegrown Honey - Darius Rucker (57)
56. I Like You - Tony Moran f/Debby Holiday (58)
57. Living For Love - Madonna (77)
58. Lonely Eyes - Chris Young (62)
59. Sun Daze - Florida Georgia Line (63)
60. Drinking Class - Lee Brice (61)
61. The Heart Wants What It Wants - Selena Gomez (65)
62. 7/11 - Beyonce (70)
63. Perfect Storm - Brad Paisley (38)
64. I Am Machine - Three Days Grace (74)
65. Ain't Worth The Whiskey - Cole Swindell (75)
66. Wrong Side Of Heaven - Five Finger Death Punch (56)

67. Everywhere - MYNC & Mario Fischetti f/Deborah Cox (71)
68. Beg For It - Iggy Azalea f/MO (78)
69. Every Breaking Wave - U2 (69)
70. Something New - Axwell & Ingrosso (84)
71. Heartbeat Song - Kelly Clarkson (81)
72. Up - Olly Murs f/Demi Lovato (72)
73. Outside - Calvin Harris f/Ellie Goulding (87)
74. Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding (94)
75. Big Fun - D.O.N.S. f/Terri B! (60)
76. Wrapped Up - Olly Murs f/Travie McCoy (66)
77. Shotgun Rider - Tim McGraw (73)
78. Unholy - Wolfgang Gartner (89)
79. What's Best For You - Trey Songz (79)
80. Sugar - Five Knives (80)
81. Bartender - Lady Antebellum (86)
82. Rollercoaster - Bleachers (90)
83. Walk - Kwabs (83)
84. Dearly Departed - Shakey Graves (88)
85. Chasing Time - Azealia Banks (85)
86. Night Changes - One Direction (DEBUT)
87. Wrong Club - The Ting Tings (DEBUT)
88. What We Ain't Got - Jake Owen (DEBUT)
89. Style - Taylor Swift (93)

90. Same Damn Life - Seether (DEBUT)
91. Words - Christina Perri (RE-ENTRY)
92. Let Me Know - Tamar Braxton f/Future (96)
93. All The Time - Bahamas (97)
94. Freestyle - Lady Antebellum (DEBUT)
95. Begin Again - Knife Party (DEBUT)
96. Real Love - Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (RE-ENTRY)
97. FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney (DEBUT)
98. Je Vole - Louane (100)
99. Leave The Night On - Sam Hunt (99)
100. L.A. Love (La La) - Fergie (DEBUT)

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

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 2/20/15 - Girl I've been watchin' you from so far across the floor now baby that's nothing new....


"Shake You Down" - Gregory Abbott
from the album Shake You Down (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's Song of the Day comes from R&B singer Gregory Abbott, who had previously been a college student and professor as well as former husband of Freda Payne, who had a top-3 pop hit in the early 70s with "Band Of Gold". Abbott got his own moment in the sun when he released his debut solo album, Shake You Down, in 1986. Written and produced by the artist (like the rest of the album), the title track became a cross-format smash on pop, easy listening, and soul radio...


"Shake You Down" went all the way to #1 on the American pop chart in January of 1987. It spent four months in the top-40, tying Robbie Nevil's "C'est La Vie" for longest stint in that year. The single also topped the R&B chart in Billboard magazine for two weeks, and peaked at #2 on the adult contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. Internationally, the record also made it to #6 on the British chart, remarkable for a straight-ahead soul track.

The record would be Abbott's sole time in the pop top-40; his next single, "I Got The Feelin' (It's Over)", stopped at #56, though it still made the top-5 on the R&B list. In 1988, he would release a second album, I'll Prove It To You, and the title track would also climb to #5 on the R&B chart. A final single, "Let Me Be Your Hero", was Abbott's most recent soul hit at #34.

Up tomorrow: The Fab Five become a Fab Three for an "infamous" hit.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Aussie Sweep: February 19, 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 Rihanna lands her ninth #1 hit with "FourFiveSeconds" with Kanye West and Paul McCartney...

After pop-dance duo LMFAO split, Redfoo has carved a nice career in this country, no doubt helped by his appearance as a judge on X Factor Australia. He enters at #48 with his new single "Juicy Wiggle"...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 2/19/15 - You got the socket and I got the plug, I am the floor and you are the rug...


"You Know I Love You...Don't You?" - Howard Jones
from the album One to One (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #17 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's Song of the Day is by British new wave singer/songwriter Howard Jones, whose Phil Collins-assisted mix of his song "No One Is To Blame" earned him a second top-10 pop hit in America in the summer of 1986. That fall, Jones released his third album One To One, and the first single, "You Know I Love You...Don't You?", was much more frenetic and rock-influenced than his previous work...


"You Know I  Love You..." became Howard's sixth top-40 pop hit in America, reaching the top-20 in December of 1986. Strangely, in his home country, it wasn't as warmly received, stalling right under the top-40 at #43.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

German Sweep: February 18, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as Jamaican reggae artist OMI leaps from #8 to #1 with "Cheerleader". (BTW the other two higher debuts from last week dropped off the top 100 altogether...)

1. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Mix)" - OMI (8)
2.  "The Hanging Tree" - James Newton Howard featuring Jennifer Lawrence (1)
3. "Uptown Funk!" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (3)
4. "Break The Rules" - Charli XCX (4)
5. "Outside" - Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding (2)
6. "FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney (DEBUT)
7. "Walk" - Kwabs (5)
8. "Firestone" - Kygo featuring Conrad (DEBUT)
9. "I'm An Albatraoz" - AronChupa (9)
10. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier (10)

The superstar collaboration of Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney land at #6 with "FourFiveSeconds". It's RiRi's 22nd top-10 hit in this country...(but really, nine people were needed to write this?)


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 2/18/15 - I'm wearin' fur pajamas, I ride a hot potato...


"Wild Wild Life" - Talking Heads
from the album True Stories (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day comes from the art-rock band Talking Heads, who landed a surprise top-10 pop hit in 1983 with the quirky hipster funk of "Burning Down The House". Two years later, their follow-up album, Little Creatures, was a masterpiece of pop-rock goodness, but the big single from the project, "And She Was", only manage to climb to the halfway point on the Hot 100. In 1986, lead singer David Byrne appeared in the indie-style movie True Stories, along with future Rosanne TV husband John Goodman, and Tony (and future Emmy) award-winning comedic actress Swoosie Kurtz. Naturally, the "Heads" provided the soundtrack to the movie, and returned to pop radio with a song that featured a video with the bandmates playing dress-up like other artists like Billy Idol and Prince. "Wild Wild Life", written by Byrne and produced by the band with Andy Jax, nabbed them two MTV video awards...


"Wild Wild Life" became the Talking Heads' third and final top-40 pop hit in December of 1986, while scaling to #4 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard magazine (their biggest hit on that format). Internationally, the single did even better, landing in the top-10 in Ireland and #2 in New Zealand, though in England (Byrne's native country) the track stopped below the top-40 at #43.

The band would come back in 1988 with Naked, which had a few songs with Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr, and while they would hit the top-5 on the rock chart with "(Nothing But) Flowers", they were put off by pop radio (which then was soaked in teen-pop and proto-new-jack). They would split soon after a soundtrack minor rock hit with "Sax and Violins" in 1991 (#49 Mainstream Rock). While Byrne would go solo, the remaining members reunited without him for a No Talking, Just Head album with guest vocalists. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, coming together for just that night to perform.


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