Thursday, April 30, 2015

Song You Should Know About 4/30/15 - Markus Feehily's "Love Is A Drug"...


Today's SYSKA comes from Irish singer Markus Feehily, who was part of one of the biggest international musical acts, Westlife. With the quintet he helped sell close to 12 million albums in the UK, and went to #1 in Britain fourteen times with songs like "Unbreakable", "Fool Again", and "Swear It Again", the latter crossing over to make the American pop top-40 in 2000. Feehily "came out" ten years ago (it seems there's one in every group, right?) at the height of their popularity with no ill results. Westlife called it quits (well, for a second time) in 2010, and five years later, Markus is back with his first solo single, "Love Is A Drug". No, it's not a remake of the Roxy Music classic, but a departure from his "boy-band" days that draws possibly from his failed relationship with singer Kevin McDaid, and his bluesy and powerful vocals put him squarely in the company of John Newman, James Arthur, and Sam Smith...


You can pick up the CD single for "Love Is A Drug" at Amazon MP3 by clicking here or at iTunes.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Aussie Sweep: April 30, 2015...


It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in Australia, as Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth hang in for a third week at #1 with "See You Again"...

French DJ/producer David Guetta claims the highest debut of the week as "Hey Mama" featuring Nicki Minaj and Afrojack is in at #27. It's the sixth top-40 hit in this country from his Listen album; "Lovers On The Sun" made it to #2 last year...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 4/30/15 - The light of deep regret let me see what I don't get...


"The Honeythief" - Hipsway
from the album Hipsway (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #19 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day comes from the Scottish modern rock band Hipsway, who came together in the mid-80s under bassist Johnny McElhone, formerly of the new wave group Altered Images who had a #2 British hit in 1981 with "Happy Birthday". Recruiting singer Grahame Skinner, who sounded and looked like a courser Bryan Ferry, they released their self-titled debut album in 1986. The first British single, "Broken Years", barely scraped the UK chart at #72, but the act got their big break on their third release, "The Honeythief". Written by the band and produced by Gary Langan of the original Art Of Noise lineup, the New Romantic track caught ear on both sides of the Atlantic...


"The Honeythief" reached the top-20 in both the UK and America, reaching the Hot 100 peak in the U.S. in April of 1987. The track did even better in the club, reaching #9 on Billboard's dance chart.

Hipsway would go on to re-release their second single, "Ask The Lord", which popped in to the dance list in the U.S. at #44 and the UK pop chart at #50. McElhone left shortly after, and a second album only spun out a minor British hit with "Your Love" in 1989, before splintering off to other projects.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Song You Should Know About 4/29/15 - Mika's "Talk About You"...


Today's SYSKA comes from Mika, a Lebanese-born pop singer/songwriter who grew up in Paris before schooling in England. This international exposure in his upbringing surely brought a sense of universality to his music, and his debut album, Life In Cartoon Motion proved that by selling millions worldwide and nabbing him a trio of World Music Awards. His first big exposure in the US was with the bouncy and campy single "Grace Kelly", while his prideful club anthem "Love Today" from the set earned Mika a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording. All told, six hit singles came from that set (four making the top ten in Britain), with sales approaching eight million copies worldwide. His second release, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, wasn't quite the powerhouse seller, but showed his music had evolved and still made worldwide bank with songs like "We Are Golden". On album number three, he missed the top 100 in the UK altogether, but did score another minor hit in America with the Wicked-cribbing "Popular Song", but resorting to tack on Ariana Grande to the record. However, in his toddler home of France, Mika was still revered, going to #1 with "Elle Ma Dit" in 2012 and last year nabbing another top-10 with "Boum Boum Boum". He's also done turns as a judge/mentor on X Factor in Italy as well as France's version of The Voice.

Well, Mika's back with a new album, No Place In Heaven, expected in June, and his first single from the set brings him back to his musical start with simple, fun melodys and bright, colorful videos with "Talk About You"....


You can pick up "Talk About You" at Amazon MP3 by clicking here, or at iTunes. And if you pre-order the No Place In Heaven album, you also get the more reserved and emotional "Last Party", as shown below..


He's also appearing at Webster Hall in New York this coming Monday (damn, my employment)...




German Sweep: April 29, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week according to their official singles chart, as "See You Again" from Wiz Khalifa spends a second week at #1...

1. "See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth (1)
2. "Are You With Me" - Lost Frequencies (2)
3. "Don't Worry" - Madcon featuring Ray Dalton (DEBUT)
4. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Mix)" - OMI (3)
5. "Lean On" - Major Lazer & DJ Snake featuring MO (5)
6. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding (4)
7. "Ain't Nobody (Loves Me Better)" - Felix Jaehn featuring Jasmine Thompson (DEBUT)
8. "Headlights" - Robin Schulz featuring Ilsey (7)
9. "Want To Want Me" - Jason Derulo (DEBUT)
10. "Wolke 4" - Philipp Dittberner and Marv (9)

Norwegian R&B/hip hop duo that's not Nico & Vinz, Madcon, leaps in at #3 with "Don't Worry" featuring American signer Ray Dalton (who sang on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' #1 hit "Can't Hold Us"). This is the pair's fifth top-10 hit in Germany, and in its first week bests their previous high placer, "Glow" (#4, 2010)...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 4/29/15 - Ohh I've had sleepless nights, toss and turn wake up burning for what you inspire...


"Walking Down Your Street" - Bangles
from the album Different Light (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's Song of the Day comes from the all-woman rock band Bangles, whose sophomore album Different Light had already spun off three hit singles with the Prince-written "Manic Monday", the jangle-pop of "If She Knew What She Wants", and their #1 climax "Walk Like An Egyptian". For the fourth single from the record the quartet released "Walking Down Your Street", a retro-rock beat exercise that heralded back to their beginning. Written by lead singer Susanna Hoffs with producer David Kahne and Louis Gutierrez from fellow L.A. band the Three O'Clock, the track highlighted their harmonies in a way like British bands in the early 80s, and the video had the comedic touch like clips from Madness (and Randy Quaid, speaking of madness)...


"Walking Down Your Street" became their fourth top-40 pop hit in America, stopping right under the top ten for three weeks in April of 1987. The record also climbed to #33 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the single made it to #16 in the UK, and #32 in Germany.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Song You Should Know About 4/28/15 - Blonde featuring Alex Newell's "All Cried Out"...


Today's Song You Should Know About is by the British neo-house duo Blonde, who scored a top-10 hit in England last year with "I Loved You". Adam Englefield and Jacob Manson are back with a new track featuring former Glee cast member Alex Newell, who proves this year he may very well have the best voice in the whole show. With turns on Clean Bandit's "Stronger" and his own remake of "Show Me Love", the new single, "All Cried Out" should follow the former into the British top ten. This would've killed on the dance floor in Chicago in 1986 just like it should be here today...


You can pre-order "All Cried Out" on AmazonMP3 by clicking here, or on iTunes (it arrives in the States on May 5)...


French Sweep: April 28, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as OMI's "Cheerleader" remains on top for a fifth week...

1. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Mix)" - OMI (1)
2. "Lean On" - Major Lazer & DJ Snake featuring MO (3)
3. "See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth (2)
4. "Homeless" - Marina Kaye (6)
5. "Firestone" - Kygo featuring Conrad (10)
6. "Uptown Funk!" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (5)
7. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier (RE-ENTRY)
8. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding (7)
9. "Avenir" - Louane (4)
10. "Uncover" - Zara Larsson (9)

Nothing new enters the top-ten, but further down the chart, singer Barbara Lune, who appears on the French show Les Anges De La Téléréalité (Reality TV Angels) which scraps up former fodder on previous other reality shows and puts them together in a house to work on projects. Lune, a vet of Nouvelle Star and Rising Star, comes in at #49 with "The Wild In Me"...



Songoftheday 4/28/15 - While there is time let's go out and feel everything, if you hold me I will let into my dreams...


"The Finer Things" - Steve Winwood
from the album Back In The High Life (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day comes from British rock artist Steve Winwood, whose adult contemporary opus Back In The High Life had scored him his first #1 solo pop hit with "Higher Love", as well as a top-20 follow-up in "Freedom Overspill". The third pop radio single from the record was "The Finer Things", written by Winwood with frequent collaborator Will Jennings, and sounds as it was plucked off the sessions from his Arc of a Diver album, with breezy synth riffs and positive-mantra lyrics dominating the track...


"The Finer Things" became Steve's third top-10 pop hit in America in April of 1987. The record went to #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart for three weeks, and climbed to #5 on their Mainstream Rock radio list. The song was also a top-40 single in Canada, and a minor hit in Australia (it curiously never made the chart in his native Britain). It remains a fan favorite and even serves as the title for his "box set" compilation.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Monday, April 27, 2015

Robbed hit of the week 4/27/15 - a-ha's "Cry Wolf"...


"Cry Wolf" - a-ha
from the album Scoundrel Days (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #50

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the Norwegian new wave trio a-ha, who broke big around the world and in America with their debut album Hunting High and Low, which scored them a #1 hit with "Take On Me" and a top-20 follow-up with "The Sun Always Shines On T.V." in 1985. The following year the band released their second album Scoundrel Days, which expanded on their sound and was a big hit around the world. The first single from the record, "I've Been Losing You" (my personal favorite song of theirs), went to #1 in their homeland and top ten in Britain and Ireland. The second single, "Cry Wolf", was carried by a chorus punctuated by lead singer Morten Hacket's cool howl and Bond-like synth riffs (which would come in handy later), and the video was just as high-tech as their iconic "Take On Me" clip...


"Cry Wolf" made it to the halfway mark on the American pop chart in March of 1987, while climbing to #14 on Billboard's Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the track went to #5 in the UK, #2 in their native Norway, #4 in Ireland, and top-40 in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

The band was then contracted to provide the theme to the James Bond film The Living Daylights, and the results were a worldwide success but a miss completely on the American chart. In Europe, a-ha continued to sell massive, including hitting the top-10 in England as recently as 2006 with "Analogue (All I Want)".

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Brit Sweep: April 27, 2015...


It's time to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in Britain this week, as Wiz Khalifa spends a second week at #1 with "See You Again"...

British neo-house act Clean Bandit have the highest new entry as "Stronger", my "Brit Pick of the Week" arrives at #4. Alex Newell from Glee sings on this record along with Sean Bass. It's their fourth top-5 hit; the classic "Rather Be" went to #1 for four weeks here...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 4/27/15 - Oh baby my heart is full of love and desire for you, so come on down and do what you've got to do...


"Don't Leave Me This Way" - The Communards
from the album The Communards (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's Song of the Day comes from the Communards, which came together after British singer Jimmy Somerville left the seminal gay synthpop trio Bronski Beat, who broke so many barriers in pop music around the world, and even nearly missed the American top-40 with their classic "Smalltown Boy". Somerville broke off for a solo career in 1985, and partnered up with multi-instrumentalist Richard Coles and named their act after the obscure French socialist movement from the 1800s. The pair released their self-titled debut album in 1986. Their first single, "So Cold The Night", was appropriately Russian-sounding and went to #29 on the British singles chart and #16 in France. A second, "Disenchanted", harkened more to the Bronski sound, and also made the British top-30. But it was the third that earned Jimmy his biggest success in his home country and nabbed him a top-40 pop hit in America.

"Don't Leave Me This Way" was first released by the soul group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, who took the song to #3 on the American dance chart in 1975 and #5 on the British pop list two years later...


Also in 1977, Motown artist Thelma Houston put out the track as a single, and it became the most recognized version of the song, topping the pop, soul, and dance charts in the U.S....


The Communards recruited British jazz-pop singer Sarah Jane Morris to record "Don't Leave Me This Way" as a call-and-response HI-NRG anthem that brought the classic into the 80s age...


The Communards' version of "Don't Leave Me This Way" climbed into the American pop top-40 for a week in March of 1987, after making it all the way to #1 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart the previous November. Internationally, the record went to #1 for a month in the act's native Britain, two months in the Netherlands, #1 in Australia, Belgium, and Ireland, and top-ten in France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. Later that same year, the group released their lauded sophomore set Red, and with another remake, this time of "Never Can Say Goodbye", which hit #4 in the UK and #51 in the States. Three more single from the set made the British top-40, with the LGBT anthem "There's More To Love (Than Boy Meets Girl)" reaching #20 as their swan song. Somerville and Coles then split, with the former embarking on a proper solo career and Coles ending up in the Church of England and a presenter on BBC. Jimmy would reach the top ten in the UK two more times in 1990, with two more remakes, "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" (#5) and "To Love Somebody" (#8). In 1995, Jimmy topped the American dance chart with "Heartbeat", and also went to #15 in the UK with "Hurt So Good". This year, he released the disco throwback masterpiece Homage, which is definitely worth picking up.

They don't make "gay" music like this anymore.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dance Sweep: May 2, 2015...


I"m ready to wrap of today's "chart sweeps" of 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, Tony Moran and Martha Wash move to #1 with "Free People"...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Country Sweep: May 2, 2015...


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

On their Country Airplay chart, Sam Hunt scores his second #1 hit with "Take Your Time"...

Husband and wife duo Thompson Square are back at #50 with "Trans Am", my "Country Pick of the Week". The pair have topped this chart twice, with "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not" in 2010 and "If I Didn't Have You"...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Soul Sweep: May 2, 2015...


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

On their main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, The Weeknd rules for a second week with "Earned It"...

A track from another hit movie, Furious 7, is the top entry as Wiz Khalifa's #1 pop hit "See You Again" finds a home on this list at #43...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Rock Sweep: May 2, 2015...


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

On their main Rock Airplay chart, "Believe" from Mumford & Sons is on top for a third week...

The sole debut at #45 is Fall Out Boy with "Uma Thurman", my "Rock Pick of the Week". The track, which moves back up a notch to #33 on the Alternative chart, is the follow-up to "Centuries", which peaked at #8 on this list...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Pop Sweep: May 2, 2015...


It's time to roll out the first of today's "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making their debut on the various singles charts in Billboard magazine. Although a day late, I'll be covering the pop side of things first as usual, then later in the day move on to the newest in rock, R&B, country and dance music...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies from internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), radio airplay from all formats, and sales (like AmazonMP3 or iTunes), Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth spend a second week on top with "See You Again"...

Rap newcomer T-Wayne claims the top new entry on the chart at #43 with his track "Nasty Freestyle", which has gained steam through its use in Vine videos...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 4/26/15 - Some boys just got the look of a Greek Adonis, and some boys just try to talk you off your feet...


"What You Get Is What You See" - Tina Turner
from the album Break Every Rule (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: # 13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day comes from soul/pop veteran Tina Turner, whose second album post-comeback, Break Every Rule, had scored her a #2 pop hit with "Typical Male" and a top-40 follow-up with the more reserved "Two People". Her third American single from the set, "What You Get Is What You See", written by her winning team of Graham Lyle and Terry Britten, and produced by the latter, sported guitar god Eric Clapton in a cameo role. It sounds like what Shania Twain was doing over a decade later...


"What You Get Is What You See" became the third pop hit from Breaking Every Rule. reaching the top-20 in April of 1987. Internationally, the single went to the top-20 in Germany and Australia, and top-40 in Canada, Austria, and the UK.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Songoftheday 4/25/15 - Like a warrior that fights and wins the battle I know the taste of victory...


"I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" - Aretha Franklin & George Michael
from the album Aretha (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's Song of the Day comes from the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, whose second album of the 80's titled Aretha had churned out two moderate but not particularly lasting top-40 pop hits with "Jimmy Lee" and a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash". The third time truly was the charm, though, with the release of a duet with then-major-major-hot British singer George Michael, who had just ended his tenure with Wham! the year before. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)", written by Simon Climie (who had this own hit later in the decade with "Love Changes Everything"), was an immediate anthem at first listen, with both artists given enough lead space to shine without oversinging on each other, and the love song between the 45-year-old Aretha and the 24-year-old George didn't seem out of place at all...


"I Knew You Were Waiting" went all the way to #1 on the American pop chart in April of 1987, her second after 1967's "Respect". Michael also claimed his fourth chart-topper with this single. The record also climbed to #2 on the Adult Contemporary radio chart, #5 on the R&B list, and #12 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the song went to #1 in George's native Britain (Aretha's sole #1 there), and doing the same in Australia, the Netherlands, and Ireland. It would be her last time in the pop top-10 (so far) in the States.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Friday, April 24, 2015

twostepcub's music chart for April 24, 2015...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. "Shut Up And Dance" from Walk the Moon is on top for a sixth week, while Ellie Goulding (pictured above) has two songs in my top-5. Songs from Kenny Chesney, Jess Glynne, and OMI make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Jason Aldean, Avery Sunshine, Ella Henderson, and Blake Shelton drop out. Happy 75th to the coolest dad in the entire world...

This Week                    Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon (1)
2. Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding (2)
3. Sugar - Maroon 5 (3)
4. Outside - Calvin Harris f/Ellie Goulding (8)
5. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran (5)
6. Style - Taylor Swift (11)
7. Nobody - Kem (7)
8. Lampshades On Fire - Modest Mouse (4)
9. Uptown Funk! - Mark Ronson f/Bruno Mars (6)
10. Lay Me Down - Sam Smith (10)
11. Geronimo - Sheppard (13)
12. Honey, I'm Good. - Andy Grammer (14)
13. Congregation - Foo Fighters (17)
14. Right Here, Right Now - Giorgio Moroder f/Kylie Minogue (16)
15. Black Sun - Death Cab For Cutie (15)
16. I Bet My Life - Imagine Dragons (12)
17. Time Of Our Lives - Pitbull f/Ne-Yo (9)
18. Lonely Eyes - Chris Young (18)
19. Heartbeat Song - Kelly Clarkson (23)
20. Believe - Mumford & Sons (25)
21. Take Your Time - Sam Hunt (28)
22. Homegrown - The Zac Brown Band (26)
23. Earned It - The Weeknd (35)
24. I'm Gonna Get You - Dave Aude f/Jessica Sutta (24)
25. Night Changes - One Direction (33)
26. Ain't Worth The Whiskey - Cole Swindell (20)
27. Stolen Dance - Milky Chance (27)
28. Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Mix) - Lilly Wood & The Prick (29)
29. Say You Do - Dierks Bentley (39)
30. Drinking Class - Lee Brice (30)
31. Something New - Axwell & Ingrosso (21)
32. Elastic Heart - Sia (34)
33. Mean To Me - Brett Eldredge (19)
34. Long Way Down - Robert Delong (38)
35. Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) - AWOLnation (45)
36. Budapest - George Ezra (32)
37. What Kind Of Man - Florence + The Machine (42)
38. Don't Wanna Fight - Alabama Shakes (44)
39. If You Let Me Go - Salt Ashes (49)
40. DJ Fav - Joe Bermudez f/Amanda Brigham (40)
41. Homegrown Honey - Darius Rucker (41)
42. A Guy Walks Into A Bar - Tyler Farr (46)
43. Talking Body - Tove Lo (53)
44. Hold Back The River - James Bay (48)
45. Nothing Without Love - Nate Ruess (50)
46. Raise 'Em Up - Keith Urban f/Eric Church (51)
47. Wrong Club - The Ting Tings (47)
48. Free People - Tony Moran f/Martha Wash (58)
49. The Nights - Avicii (54)
50. FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney (52)
51. Living For Love - Madonna (37)
52. Smoke - A Thousand Horses (56)
53. Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne (68)
54. Don't It - Billy Currington (59)
55. Bright - Echosmith (65)
56. Mess Is Mine - Vance Joy (63)
57. Make Me Wanna - Thomas Rhett (43)
58. Wild Child - Kenny Chesney f/Grace Potter (76)
59. Spell - Noelia f/Timbaland & Peter Dranga (69)
60. Crazy - Erika Jayne f/Maino (64)
61. King - Years & Years (66)
62. Chains - Nick Jonas (DEBUT)
63. Sacred - Erasure (DEBUT)
64. Blank Space - Taylor Swift (64)
65. Riptide - Vance Joy (61)
66. Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Mix) - OMI (81)
67. Wish You Were Here - Philip George (77)

68. Big Decisions - My Morning Jacket (73)
69. Baby Be My Love Song - Easton Corbin (79)
70. Bulletproof Picasso - Train (71)
71. I Want You To Know - Zedd f/Selena Gomez (75)
72. Really Love - D'Angelo & The Vanguard (82)
73. Young Blood - Bea Miller (55)
74. Stay With Me - Sam Smith (72)
75. Bloodstream - Ed Sheeran & Rudimental (90)
76. Fight Song - Rachel Platten (88)
77. Lips Are Movin' - Meghan Trainor (57)
78. GDFR - Flo Rida f/Sage The Gemini (85)
79. High - Young Rising Sons (87)
80. Follow Me Down - The Pretty Reckless (80)
81. Want To Want Me - Jason Derulo (91)
82. Biscuit - Ivy Levan (DEBUT)
83. Diamond Rings and Old Barstools - Tim McGraw f/Catherine Dunn (93)
84. Coming For You - The Offspring (95)
85. Wherever Is Your Heart - Brandi Carlile (86)
86. Universe - Mohombi (DEBUT)
87. Sedona - Houndmouth (92)
88. I See You - Luke Bryan (84)
89. She Don't Love You - Eric Paslay (DEBUT)
90. Dead Inside - Muse (100)
91. Overload - Life Of Dillon (DEBUT)
92. One Last Time - Ariana Grande (DEBUT)
93. One Hot Mess - Malea (DEBUT)
94. Are You With Me - Lost Frequencies (98)
95. Sippin' On Fire - Florida Georgia Line (DEBUT)
96. Somebody - Natalie La Rose f/Jeremih (96)
97. What I Need (Right Here, Right Now) - Dasco f/Justina Maria (97)
98. Little Toy Guns - Carrie Underwood (DEBUT)
99. Crystals - Of Monsters and Men (DEBUT)
100. Every Moment - Jodeci (DEBUT)

There are a dozen new entries on my chart this week (highlighted in blue), and if you click on any of them you'll connect to their official website for more info. And here they are on video after the break...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 4/24/15 - Right now your world and mine are such different places through yours I wander lost and confused, and I feel like I'm speaking in a different language and the only words I haven't used...


"That Ain't Love" - REO Speedwagon
from the album Life As We Know It (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day comes from the Midwestern mainstream rock band REO Speedwagon, who we last saw with their 11th studio album Wheels Are Turnin' which spun out four top-40 pop hits in the U.S. including the #1 "Can't Fight This Feeling". After a three year break between discs, they released their Life As We Know It set, which pointed them in an even more adult-pop direction. Even the guitars are dominated by the piano for the first single, "That Ain't Love", written by lead singer Kevin Cronin, though he still delivers his witty lyrics with that undefinable accent of his while giving Howard Stern realness...


"That Ain't Love" made it into the American pop top-20 in April of 1987, while climbing to #5 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. The track was also a minor hit in Canada peaking at #82.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Song You Should Know About 4/23/15 - Shayne Ward's "My Heart Would Take You Back"...


Today's SYSKA comes from British singer Shayne Ward, who rose from a humble Irish gypsy (or "tinker") background to become the winner of the second season of the British version of the X Factor (when that show was in its prime). His "winner's single", "That's My Goal", went to #1 on the British chart, selling over 300,000 copies in its first two days, and earning Ward the third-fastest selling single in the UK. His first two album spun off four more top-10 hits (one was a double-sided hit), but after a too-long three-year gap for his next set, the lead-off track, a cover of Nickelback's "Gotta Be Somebody", missed the top-10 in 2010. Left out in the Syco-machine turnover, Ward found himself without a label or a manager. After a few years of theater work starring in Rock Of Ages in London and a stint on Dancing On Ice on TV, Shayne set to record his fourth album Closer, helped by fan-raised funds. Recruiting Mike Stock, of the classic 80s/90s production team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, to produce the record, Closer was just released earlier this month, where it landed at a respectable #17 on the UK albums chart. The first single from the project, "My Heart Would Take You Back", is a midtempo make-up song that sounds delightfully plucked from Kylie's early years, and Shayne's voice sounds better than ever, with a falsetto that would make Adam Levine jealous...


And he's looking fine.

You can buy Closer in the States, which includes "My Heart Would Take You Back" and some great disco-ish twirlers, by checking out AmazonMP3 by clicking here or on iTunes. (On Amazon the deluxe album's only $8.99)...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Aussie Sweep: April 23, 2015...


It's time to head Down Under to check out what songs are making their debut on the official singles chart in Australia this week, as Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth spend a second week on top with "See You Again"..

There's only one new song in the whole top-50, and it pairs American moombahton DJ/producer Dillon Francis with Frenchman DJ Snake on "Get Low", which arrives at #44...



Songoftheday 4/23/15 - A human heart goes out tonight, yes a red hot love on a red stop light....


"Don't Need A Gun" - Billy Idol
from the album Whiplash Smile (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #37 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's Song of the Day comes from British pop-punk icon Billy Idol, whose stripped-down and ultra-cool Whiplash Smile delivered him another American top-10 pop hit with his cover of the soul nugget "To Be A Lover". For his follow-up he went back to an original, with "Don't Need A Gun", also had a touch of retro flair in the music to highlight Steve Stevens' guitar, a keyboard riff torn from equal parts Berlin and ZZ Top, and his own attitude...


"Don't Need A Gun" became the second top-40 pop hit from Whiplash Smile in March of 1987, while climbing all the way to #10 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart (his sixth to make that level). The 12" version even popped on to the dance club play list at #33. Internationally, the single was a top-40 hit in Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland, while stopping at #26 in Idol's native UK.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

German Sweep: April 22, 2015...



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

1. "See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth (DEBUT)
2. "Are You With Me" - Lost Frequencies (1)
3. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Mix)" - OMI (2)
4. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding (3)
5. "Lean On" - Major Lazer and DJ Snake featuring MO (8)
6. "FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney (5)
7. "Headlights" - Robin Schulz featuring Ilsey (DEBUT)
8. "Hold Back The River" - James Bay (4)
9. "Wolke 4" - Philipp Dittberner and Marv (7)
10. "Firestone" - Kygo featuring Conrad (6)

Wiz Khalifa's tribute to Paul Walker in Furious 7, "See You Again" with Charlie Puth, comes on in the top-10 all the way at #1. It's his third top-10 and first #1...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 4/22/15 - I used to follow yeah that's true, but my following days are over now I just gotta follow through...


"Midnight Blue" - Lou Gramm
from the album Ready Or Not (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the Day comes from rock singer Lou Gramm, who was the lead singer of one of the hottest mainstream rock bands of the 80's, Foreigner. After their Agent Provocateur album which spun off their sole #1 pop hit, "I Want To Know What Love Is", the band took a break, while Lou recorded his first solo effort, Ready Or Not. "Midnight Blue", written by Gramm with his solo band's bassist Bruce Turgon, sounds like what Foreigner should've sounded like without their pop-progression though still as accessible...


"Midnight Blue" climbed into the top-5 on the American pop chart in April of 1987, his highest-charting solo single. The record also went to #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

French Sweep: April 21, 2015...


Here's the top-10 hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as OMI holds on to #1 for a fourth week with "Cheerleader"...

1. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Mix)" - OMI (1)
2. "See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth (DEBUT)
3. "Lean On" - Major Lazer and DJ Snake featuring MO (2)
4. "Avenir" - Louane (5)
5. "Uptown Funk!" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (4)
6. "Homeless" - Marina Kaye (7)
7. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding (6)
8. "Bitch Better Have My Money" - Rihanna (3)
9. "Uncover" - Zara Larsson (DEBUT)
10. "Firestone" - Kygo featuring Conrad (DEBUT)

The #1 hit in America, "See You Again" by rapper Wiz Khalifa and singer Charlie Puth from the movie Furious 7, drives onto this list at #2. It's Wiz's fourth time in the top 10 here and highest yet...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 4/21/15 - Yes we've stolen this moment we forgot to face one simple fact, we both belong to someone else as we slept the night away...


"As We Lay" - Shirley Murdock
from the album Shirley Murdock! (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #23 (two weeks)

Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's Song of the Day comes from Shirley Murdock, a singer from Ohio who came from a gospel background, getting her mainstream break recording with the funk group Zapp with Roger Troutman, which helped her land a solo deal. Her first single, "No More", revolved around the Zapp fluid bass-line, and made the top-30 on the R&B and the dance club play charts in Billboard. After a second single, "Truth Or Dare", that was a minor hit in England but went nowhere in the states, it looked like she may have been a soul one-off. What stopped that is slowing the tempo with a emotional and real ballad about the consequences of cheating co-written by Larry Troutman and Billy Beck called "As We Lay". With the Zapp modulation providing a softer background, the track first caught on on soul stations, to eventually cross over to pop airplay by the beginning of the new year...


"As We Lay" reached the top-30 on the American pop chart in March of 1987, after climbing all the way to #5 on the R&B chart in Billboard. The song also crossed over to the adult contemporary list at #21. It remains one of the best "cheating" songs ever recorded.

The record would be Shirley's final pop appearance, though she scored two more top-5 R&B hits with the follow-up "Go On Without You" and "Husband" from her following album. As the 90s brought a plethora of new jack swing and rap, Shirley's third album spun out her latest top-10 soul single with "In Your Eyes" and a minor dance hit in "Let There Be Love!". Since then Murdock has gone back to her gospel roots and had a couple of top-10 albums there.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Monday, April 20, 2015

Robbed Hit of the week 4/20/15 - Bruce Springsteen's "Fire"...


"Fire" - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
from the album Live 1975/1985 (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the "Boss" himself, Bruce Springsteen, who proved his fanbase clout by debuting at #1 on the albums chart with a 5-record live box set, and landing a top-ten pop hit with the pacific rock remake of "War". The follow-up single from the set was the first time he released a classic song he wrote as a single.

Originally, "Fire" was recorded for his Darkness On The Edge Of Town album, but was cut from the final listing.


Instead he gave the song to rockabilly performer Robert Gordon, who released the track in the spring of 1978 with legendary rock guitarist Link Wray and Bruce playing piano on backup...


But it was the version from the Pointer Sisters in 1978 that blew this up, eclipsing all other Springsteen tracks on the chart up to that point, peaking at #2...


For the box set/single live version of "Fire", Springsteen used his performance on the Darkness On The Edge Of Town tour from the Winterland in San Francisco in 1978...


Possibly because the song was so familiar in the Pointer Sisters version, and that it was a rather slow-paced song for the "Boss", it stalled under the top-40 in February of 1978. It did manage to climb to #14 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart. Internationally, the single made the top-40 in Ireland, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 4/20/15 - It's no exaggeration not imagination, you're the finest boy around...


"We Connect" - Stacey Q
from the album Better Than Heaven (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #35 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's Song of the Day comes from the dance/pop singer Stacey Q, whose indie-turned-major club hit "Two Of Hearts" took her to the pop top-3 in 1986. Her follow-up single, "We Connect", was written by Willie Wilcox in the same bouncy freestyle that made the Madonna-emulating previous hit so irresistible...


"We Connect" became Stacey's second and so far last top-40 pop hit in April of 1987, while climbing to #14 on Billboard's Dance Club Play list (it topped its 12" single sales list, though). In Australia, it went all the way to #7.

Two years later, Stacey released a second album, Hard Machine, but the bass-heavy lead-off track, "Don't Make A Fool Of Yourself", stopped down at #66 on the pop list (her most recent on the Hot 100), but matched "Two Of Hearts" by peaking at #4 on the Dance chart. A year later, I had high hopes for her house-tastic "Give You All My Love" (my favorite of hers), but it topped out at #16 on the club list. She's been releasing music since as well as performing on the oldies freestyle circuit.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Brit Sweep: April 19, 2015...


The weekend is coming to a close, so it's time to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in the UK this week, as Wiz Khalifa rockets to #1 from #22 with his single "See You Again". It's his first #1 as a lead artist - he topped the list as a featured rapper on Maroon 5's "Payphone" in 2012...

Spanish DJ/producer DJ Kucho (aka Daniel Salazar) leaps on to the chart at #4 with "Can't Stop Playing (Makes Me High)" with Gregor Salto and Ane Brun. It's a remix from Oliver Heldens from the Netherlands of a single from 2005...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 4/19/15 - There is freedom within there is freedom without, try to catch the deluge in a paper cup...


"Don't Dream It's Over" - Crowded House
from the album Crowded House (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from the Antipodean modern rock trio Crowded House, who came together after the dissolution of the New Wave band Split Enz ("I Got You"). New Zealander singer Neil Finn and Aussie drummer Paul Hester hooked up with fellow countryman Nick Seymour to form the classic lineup of the group, which released their self-titled debut album in 1986. The first single from the record, "Mean To Me", was a moderate success in their homeland, reaching #23 on the Aussie chart, but it was single #4 that broke the band worldwide. "Don't Dream It's Over", a somber, reflective, mantra with a touch of British wit written by Finn that was easy to remember and "hey now, hey now" was soon flooding the radio stations in America...


'Don't Dream It's Over" climbed all the way to the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in April of 1987. The song also climbed to #9 on the Adult Contemporary and #11 on the Mainstream Rock radio charts in Billboard magazine. Internationally, while the record was their first top-ten in Australia, reaching #8, and topping the list in Finn's native New Zealand (as well as Canada), it made the top-10 in the Netherlands, #13 in Germany, and surprisingly down at #27 in England (though ten years later it re-entered the top-40 there at #25).

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dance Sweep: April 25, 2015...


I'm ready to wrap up today's "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making the various 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, Tove Lo scores her second #1 (after her turn on Alesso's "Heroes (We Could Be)" with "Talking Body"...

Disco icon Nile Rodgers and Chic are back at #40 with "I'll Be There". Nile has topped the club list three times, most recently in 1992 with "Chic Mystique". Out of tough competition, this one is my "Dance Pick of the Week"...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Country Sweep: April 25, 2015...


Part four of this week's "chart sweeps" checking out the songs making the Billboard charts has the latest hits on country radio...

On their Country Airplay chart, the Zac Brown Band remain on top for a third week with "Homegrown"...

Thomas Rhett leaps in at #38 with the first single from this as yet-untitled second album, "Crash And Burn", my "Country Pick of the Week". His debut disc sent three songs to #1, including the most recent "Make Me Wanna"...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Soul Sweep: April 25, 2015...


We're at the "hump" of today's "chart sweeps", sampling the songs making the radio 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, The Weeknd jumps to #1 with "Earned It" from 50 Shades Of Grey. It's his first #1...

Rapper/singer J. Cole claims the top new entry at #42 with "Wet Dreams". It's the second single from his #1 album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. The first, "Apparently", went to #10...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Rock Sweep: April 25, 2015...


Round two of this week's "chart sweeps" is up, checking out the songs making the latest charts in Billboard magazine, and this time out it's the newest songs on rock radio...

On the main Rock Airplay chart, Mumford & Sons are on top for a second week with "Believe"...

Leaping in halfway up the chart at #24 and scoring my "Rock Pick of the Week" is modern metal duo Twenty One Pilots with "Tear In My Heart". In 2013 their single "House Of Gold" climbed to #18...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Pop Sweep: April 25, 2015...


It's time to kick off the first of today's five "chart sweeps", checking out the songs making their way on to the various charts in Billboard magazine. As usual, I'll start off on the pop side of things, then later in the day move on to 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 from sales (like AmazonMP3 or iTunes), internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), and radio airplay from all formats, Wiz Khalifa lands his second #1 hit as his single from the Furious 7 movie, "See You Again", leaps from #10 to #1. He previously went to the top with "Black And Yellow" in 2010...

Another selection from that soundtrack becomes the highest debut as Kid Ink, Tyga, Wale, YG, and Rich Homie Quan enter at #70 with "Ride Out". Between the five of them they've been lead artist on seven top-40 hits...


(Click below to see the rest of the post)