Monday, November 30, 2015

Robbed hit of the week 11/30/15 - the Communards' "Never Can Say Goodbye"...


"Never Can Say Goodbye" - The Communards
from the album Red (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #51

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the British new-wave duo the Communards, led by former Bronski Beat singer Jimmy Somerville along with multi-instrumentalist Richard Coles. While their self-titled debut album in 1986 contained a ton of political and social issue lyrics, as well as Eastern European design and music style (like on their first single "So Cold The Night"), it was a campy cover of the disco classic "Don't Leave Me This Way" that got them to #1 for a month in the UK and the top-40 in America. A year later they released Red, an even more advanced and complete take on issues, specifically gay rights, but they didn't forget to include another club classic. After the first British single "Tomorrow" (a delve into the domestic abuse problem) peaked at #23 in the UK (and top-40 across much of Europe), the pair put out a version of the Jackson Five by way of Gloria Gaynor song "Never Can Say Goodbye". With Jimmy's soaring falsetto and frenetic tempo, gay dance clubs took to this like a duck to water, as this even tops the energy of their previous top-40 hit, especially with the defiant way he delivers the "boy" at the end of the title verse...


While the Communards' version of "Never Can Say Goodbye" went all the way to #2 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart, the single stopped just under the halfway mark on the American pop Hot 100 chart at #51 in February of 1988. In England, the record did much better, becoming their third top-10 British hit at #4, while also reaching the top-10 in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The duo would have a couple more top-40 hits from Red in the UK, with the groundbreaking equality creed "There's More To Love (Than Boy Meets Girl)" their final hit at #20. They split shortly thereafter, with Coles going on to be an Anglican priest and TV presenter while Somerville went solo, scoring two more British top ten hits with covers, of "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" (#5 in 1990) and "To Love Somebody" (#8 in 1991). He just released an amazing retro disco album Homage this past year.

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Songoftheday 11/30/15 - I'm alone I don't know if I can face the night, I'm in tears and the cryin' that I do is for you...


"Angel" - Aerosmith
from the album Permanent Vacation (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from the blues/glam-ish rock band Aerosmith, who staged a "comeback" on the momentum from their collaboration with the rap group Run DMC (who remade the band's "Walk This Way") with their Permanent Vacation album, which scored their first top-20 pop hit in over a decade with "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)". The second radio single from the record was the ballad "Angel", written by lead singer Steven Tyler along with "song doctor" Desmond Child, and it became their highest-charting song up to that point...


"Angel" climbed into the top-3 on the American pop chart in April of 1988. The song also spent three weeks at #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, it reached #14 in Canada and was a minor hit in the UK at #69.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Brit Sweep: November 29, 2015...


It's time to cross the Atlantic to check out the songs making the latest official chart in Britain this week, as Justin Bieber's "Sorry" spends a second week at #1...

Former The Wanted lead singer Nathan Sykes scores his first solo top-10 hit as "Over and Over Again" comes in at #8. It follows the stellar "Kiss Me Quick" which went to #14 earlier this year....


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Songoftheday 11/29/15 - Here come the woman with the look in her eye, raised on leather with flesh on her mind...


"Devil Inside" - INXS
from the album Kick (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the Australian rock band INXS, who became A-list stars in America with their sixth studio album, Kick. The first single, the slinky "Need You Tonight", topped the US pop chart in the beginning of 1988. The second single from the record was another half-whispered vocal from Michael Hutchence, "Devil Inside", though the pace was upped a few notches in the process. The video, which is like a distilled version of the 80s, was directed by a pre-Batman Joel Schumacher...


"Devil Inside" rose to the runner up position on the American pop chart in April of 1988, while also reaching that mark on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the single went to #6 in their native Australia as well as New Zealand, and #20 in France, and #33 in Germany, but missed the British top 40 at #47.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dance Sweep: December 5, 2015...


I'll wrap up this week's "Music sweeps" with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio as tallied by Billboard magazine.

On their DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Faithless return to #1 with the new version of their 1995 chart-topper, "Insomnia 2.0"...

Robin S, who had a trio of #1 dance hits in the 90s including the pop smash "Show Me Love", returns at #39 with "Shout It Out Loud!" with DJ Escape, my "Dance Pick of the Week"...


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Country Sweep: December 5, 2015...






Part four of my "music sweeps" has the latest hits on country radio as monitored by Billboard magazine.

On their Country Airplay chart, Chris Young's "I'm Comin' Over" spends a second week at #1...

Frankie Ballard takes the top new entry of the week at #45 with "It All Started With A Beer", presumably the first single from his third album. His last record produced three straight #1 hits with "Helluva Life", "Sunshine & Whiskey", and "Young & Crazy"...


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Soul Sweep: December 5, 2015...

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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Drake's "Hotline Bling" is on top for a seventh week...

Jazz-soul singer Lalah Hathaway takes her cover of Anita Baker's "Angel" to the main R&B list at #41...


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Rock Sweep: December 5, 2015...






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

On their main Rock Airplay chart, the Cold War Kids spend a fifth week on top with "First"...

Blues-rock "supergroup" the Dead Weather, which includes Jack White of the White Stripes/Raconteurs, Alison Mossheart of the Kills, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age, and Jack Lawrence also from the Raconteurs, make their chart debut at #47 with "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)"...


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Pop Sweep: December 5, 2015...


I'm ready to kick off the first of today's "music sweeps", checking out the songs making their debut on the various radio and singles charts in Billboard magazine this week. 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 of sales (like iTunes and Amazon MP3), internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), and radio airplay from all formats, Adele hangs tight at #1 with "Hello" for a fourth week...

As Justin Bieber's Purpose album debuts in the top spot on the Albums chart, 12 of its tracks make their debut individually on the Hot 100 (don't get me started on how.) One of those, the third radio single "Love Yourself", leaps in at #4, joining "Sorry" and "What Do You Mean?" to give him three songs in the top 10...


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Songoftheday 11/28/15 - I never knew what i was missing, love with no passion in the kissing...


"Some Kind Of Lover" - Jody Watley
from the album Jody Watley (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from Jody Watley, whose stellar solo debut album, which nabbed her a Grammy award for Best New Artist (even after years with Shalamar), already had netted her a pair of top-10 hits with "Looking For A New Love" and "Don't You Want Me". The fourth single from the record was the jubilant dance-pop love song of "Some Kind Of Lover". Written by Jody with Andre Cymone, who produced the track with Prince collaborator David Z, the keyboard-led track was the perfect culmination of the road to joy in the album's songs. She also got two nominations for the MTV Video Awards for the clip, featuring Jody's dancing as well as a slightly different mix which started with a throwback to the hook on "Looking For A New Love"...


"Some Kind Of Lover" became the third top-10 pop hit from Jody Watley in April of 1988. The song also was her third in a row (after "Still A Thrill" and "Don't You Want Me") to peak at #3 on Billboard's R&B chart, while it climbed all the way to #1 on their Dance Club Play list. North of the border in Canada, it surprisingly missed the top-40 at #47, while in England it didn't make the top-75 at all.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

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


"Black" Friday is here, and I'm ready to roll out my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Taylor Swift holds tight at #1 for a fourth week, while Adele (pictured above werkin' it) rockets from #20 to #2. Songs from Thomas Rhett, Jess Glynne, and Vance Joy make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from the Struts, Bob Sinclar, Florence + The Machine, Disclosure with Sam Smith, and George Ezra drop off the list. Let the Christmas games begin!!!

This Week                    Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift (1)
2. Hello - Adele (20)
3. S.O.B. - Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (5)
4. Ex's & Oh's - Elle King (2)
5. Nothin' Like You - Dan + Shay (6)
6. Like I'm Gonna Lose You - Meghan Trainor f/John Legend (4)
7. First - Cold War Kids (3)
8. Smoke Break - Carrie Underwood (12)
9. The Hills - The Weeknd (9)
10. Break Up With Him - Old Dominion (11)
11. Renegades - X Ambassadors (8)
12. How Deep Is Your Love - Calvin Harris f/Disciples (10)
13. I'm Comin' Over - Chris Young (17)
14. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (24)
15. Lay It All On Me - Rudimental f/Ed Sheeran (19)
16. Wasn't Expecting That - Jamie Lawson (18)
17. Something Better - Audien f/Lady Antebellum (13)
18. Hold Each Other - A Great Big World f/FUTURISTIC (22)
19. Someone New - Hozier (7)
20. On My Mind - Ellie Goulding (26)
21. Photograph - Ed Sheeran (16)
22. Can't Feel My Face - The Weeknd (14)
23. The Other Boys - NERVO f/Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears & Nile Rodgers (25)
24. Burning House - Cam (28)
25. Feelings - Maroon 5 (15)
26. Gonna - Blake Shelton (30)
27. Locked Away - R. City f/Adam Levine (23)
28. Top Of The World - Tim McGraw (38)
29. Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne (51)
30. Ocean Drive - Duke Dumont (40)
31. Stitches - Shawn Mendes (41)
32. Gonna Know We Were Here - Jason Aldean (42)
33. No Sleeep - Janet Jackson (29)
34. The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive - Death Cab For Cutie (46)
35. The Writing's On The Wall - Sam Smith (35)
36. 2 Heads - Coleman Hell (44)
37. Fight Song - Rachel Platten (31)
38. Thunder - Leona Lewis (43)
39. Stay A Little Longer - Brothers Osborne (49)
40. Hotline Bling - Drake (54)
41. I Am - AWOLnation (21)
42. Strip It Down - Luke Bryan (32)
43. Love Is Free - Robyn & La Bagatelle Musique f/Maluca (33)
44. Lean On - Major Lazer & DJ Snake f/MO (34)
45. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart - Chris Cornell (57)
46. Insomnia 2.0 - Faithless (64)
47. The Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy (67)
48. Shame - Tyrese (50)
49. Save It For A Rainy Day - Kenny Chesney (45)
50. Synergy - Sted-E & Hybrid Heights w/Crystal Waters (55)
51. Marvin Gaye - Charlie Puth f/Meghan Trainor (37)
52. Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah) - Andy Grammer (62)
53. Anything Goes - Florida Georgia Line (53)
54. Let Me See Ya Girl - Cole Swindell (58)
55. You Have To Believe - Dave Aude f/Chloe Lattanzi & Olivia Newton-John (59)
56. Lose My Mind - Brett Eldredge (36)
57. Stand By You - Rachel Platten (63)
58. Die A Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (88)
59. Out Of My Mind - ARCS (47)
60. Levels - Nick Jonas (DEBUT)
61. Angels Fall - Breaking Benjamin (71)
62. Was It All It Was - Dirty Disco f/Debby Holiday (52)
63. Already Callin' You Mine - Parmalee (75)
64. OXO - Olivia Somerlyn (48)
65. Don't Be So Hard On Yourself - Jess Glynne (61)
66. Take You Over - Bleona (76)
67. Trust You - Rob Thomas (68)
68. Hold On Forever - Rob Thomas (80)
69. Drag Me Down - One Direction (73)
70. Bad Blood - Ryan Adams (70)
71. Earned It - The Weeknd (66)
72. Can't Sleep Love - Pentatonix (84)
73. Return To The Moon - EL VY (83)
74. Let's Love - Echosmith (74)
75. I Got The Boy - Jana Kramer (85)
76. Runnin' (Lose It All) - Naughty Boy f/Beyonce & Arrow Benjamin (82)
77. So F**kin' Romantic - Matthew Koma (77)
78. Forget To Breathe - Joe Bermudez f/Natasha Anderson (78)
79. Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon (79)
80. La Jungla - Ralphi Rosario f/Julissa Veloz (95)
81. Let It Go - James Bay (89)
82. Run Away With You - Big & Rich (86)
83. Irresistible - Fall Out Boy (DEBUT)
84. Unconditional - Ultra Nate (72)
85. I Love This Life - LoCash (90)
86. Confident - Demi Lovato (DEBUT)
87. Special - Avant (91)
88. Used To Love You - Gwen Stefani (92)
89. Mess Around - Cage The Elephant (DEBUT)
90. Adventure Of A Lifetime - Coldplay (DEBUT)
91. Smooth Sailin' - Leon Bridges (DEBUT)
92. Dibs - Kelsea Ballerini (RE-ENTRY)
93. Love Me Like You - Little Mix (99)
94. Throne - Bring Me The Horizon (DEBUT)
95. Molecules - Atlas Genius (DEBUT)
96. Kiss Me - Olly Murs (DEBUT)
97. 27 Club - Ivy Levan (DEBUT)
98. Turn The Music Louder (Rumble) - KDA f/Tinie Tempah & Katy B (98)
99. Be Right There - Diplo & Sleepy Tom (DEBUT)
100. Heaven (Beautiful Life) - Punch Inc. (DEBUT)

There are a dozen songs 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 websites for more information, tour dates, and more. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 11/27/15 - A million young poets screamin' out their words, to a world full of people just livin' to be heard...


"Check It Out" - John Cougar Mellencamp
from the album The Lonesome Jubilee (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #14 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day is by rock singer/songwriter John "Cougar" Mellencamp, whose 1987 album The Lonesome Jubilee had already spun off a pair of top-10 pop hits in America with "Paper In Fire" and "Cherry Bomb". The third release from the record was yet another reflective song about the state of life in the poverty-stricken heartland of his youth...


"Check It Out" climbed into the pop top-20 in April of 1988, while rising up to #3 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the song went to #12 in Canada, #18 in New Zealand, and #22 in Australia.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Aussie Sweep: November 26, 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 Adele's "Hello" hangs in at #1 for a fourth week...

As Justin Bieber's Purpose album is the top-selling record in the country in its first week, four of its track make their way on to the top-50, joining "Sorry" at #2, "What Do You Mean" at #7, and "I'll Show You" at #20. First at #3 is the presumed third radio single "Love Yourself"..


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Songoftheday 11/26/15 - Back then long time ago when grass was green, woke up in a daze...


"When We Was Fab" - George Harrison
from the album Cloud Nine (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #23 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day comes from the late George Harrison, who had a big "pop" comeback in 1987 with his pseudo-rockabilly hit cover of "Got My Mind Set On You".  The second single from his Cloud Nine album was a sonic throwback to his days with the Beatles, "When We Was Fab". Written and produced by Harrison with Jeff Lynne from ELO (and Harrison side-act The Traveling Wilburys), the song sounded plucked from one of the Fab Four's later psychedelic albums, while being accessible enough for the youngsters to sing along. The music video, directed by special effects and pop stars in their own right Godley and Creme, sported cameos from Lynne, fellow Beatle-mate Ringo Starr and Elton John...


"When We Was Fab" became George's thirteenth and final top-40 solo pop hit in America in March of 1988. The song climbed as high as #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart (his highest rank there), while stopping up at #10 on their Adult Contemporary (or 'easy listening') list. Internationally, the record made it to #25 in his native UK, #20 in Canada, #24 in Ireland, and #40 in Germany.

The third release from the album, "This Is Love", reached the top-20 on the Rock (#17) and Adult Contemporary (#20) chart in America, while Cloud Nine album tracks "Devil's Radio" and the title song made the top ten on the rock list. In 1989, Harrison contributed the song "Cheer Down" to the soundtrack to Lethal Weapon 2, and was his last top-ten rock hit at #7. His greatest hits set did place a minor hit "Poor Little Girl" on the list at #21. George stayed pretty quiet after that, though he did collaborate with Lynne again with Paul McCartney for the Beatles' Anthology compilations project. George passed away from lung cancer in November of 2001; in memoriam, a re-release of his first solo hit "My Sweet Lord" lept back on to the singles charts topping the British chart in January of 2002 and popping in at #94 on the American Hot 100 pop chart.

Cloud Nine would be Harrison's final solo studio album released in his lifetime; in 2002 the posthumously completed Brainwashed was put out, and from it the single and Grammy nominated song "Any Road" went to #37 on the British chart, while "Stuck Inside A Cloud" made it to #27 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart.

(P.S. - this one's for Joe.)

Up tomorrow: a Midwesterner wants you to give it a looksie. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

German Sweep: November 25, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to the country's official singles chart, as Adele's "Hello" is on top for a fourth week...

1. "Hello" - Adele (1)
2. "Geiles Leben" - Glasperlenspiel (2)
3. "Avenir" - Louane (3)
4. "Sorry" - Justin Bieber (5)
5. "Astronaut" - Sido featuring Andreas Bourani (4)
6. "Lush Life" - Zara Larsson (7)
7. "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber (DEBUT)
8. "What Do You Mean?" - Justin Bieber (RE-ENTRY)
9. "Lieblingsmensch" - Namika (6)
10. "Photograph" - Ed Sheeran (RE-ENTRY)

Justin Bieber finds himself with three songs from his Purpose album in the top ten as "Love Yourself" arrives at #7...


Songoftheday 11/25/15 - To believe or not to believe, that is the question it just takes a street degree...


"Girlfriend" - Pebbles
from the album Pebbles (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from R&B/dance singer Perri "Pebbles" Reid, who went from being a back-up singer for funk collective Confunkshun to a solo deal in the mid-80s. Her song "Love/Hate" was added to the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop II, and reached the dance chart at #34 in 1987.  She released her debut album the same year, and the first single was written and produced by the duo of "Babyface" Edmonds and "L.A." Reid, who were members of the R&B group the Deele. "Girlfriend" was a sugary slice of dance-pop with a heap of soul sass that would lead to a score of Paula Abduls by the end of the decade...


"Girlfriend" became Pebbles' first top-10 pop hit in April of 1988. The song climbed all the way to #1 on Billboard's R&B chart for a couple weeks in February, while the extended version made it to #24 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the record reached the top ten in the UK (#8) and Ireland (#9), and in Canada, it peaked at #17.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

French Sweep: November 24, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to the country's official singles chart, as Adele's "Hello" spends a fourth week at #1...

1. "Hello" - Adele (1)
2. "Working Class Hero" - John Lennon (DEBUT)
3. "Don't Worry" - Madcon featuring Ray Dalton (5)
4. "Sapes Comme Jamais" - Maitre Gims (3)
5. "The Writing's On The Wall" - Sam Smith (DEBUT)
6. "Marvin Gaye" - Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor (2)
7. "Summer 2015" - L.E.J. (6)
8. "What Do You Mean?" - Justin Bieber (RE-ENTRY)
9. "Stolen Car" - Mylene Farmer & Sting (7)
10. "Photograph" - Ed Sheeran (9)

John Lennon's classic song from 1971 "Working Class Hero" leaps onto the top ten at #2...


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Songoftheday 11/24/15 - Holding my check book got a leak in the pipe, food on the table but the landlord's knocked twice...


"Live Your Life" - Boy George
from the album Hiding Out (Original Soundtrack) (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's song of the day comes from British singer Boy George, who had led the band Culture Club to ten top-40 pop hits in America in the early 80s. However, he left the band in a drug-fuel shambles of a life, entering rehab, then having to beat an addiction to the meds to beat the addiction. In 1987, he released his first solo album, Sold, which was pretty successful in the UK, spinning off four top-40 hits including a #1 cover of the soft-rock classic from Bread, "Everything I Own", done pop-reggae style. This didn't cross over to America, though, with the album being horribly overlooked.

George did return to mainstream American radio the following year courtesy of his contribution to the Jon Cryer movie Hiding Out. "Live My Life", written by Danny Sembello ("Maniac" Michael's brother) and Ailee Willis, the lite-pop soundtrack fare was the safest best for George to take in the States, though he gets points for keeping his gender-intent intact in the lyrics ("phone don't ring got no man on the line. It would be the first track on the Hiding Out soundtrack, and the second single after Pretty Poison's "Catch Me (I'm Falling)"...


"Live My Life" became Boy George's first solo top-40 hit in America in February of 1988. The single also climbed to #21 on Billboard's R&B chart, while landing at #14 on their Dance Club Play list. It was also a minor hit in his native Britain at #62.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Robbed hit of the week 11/23/15 - Dan Hill's "Never Thought (That I Could Love)"...


"Never Thought (That I Could Love)" - Dan Hill
from the album Dan Hill (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #43

This week's 'robbed hit' comes from Canadian pop singer/songwriter Dan Hill, who had returned to the top ten on the American pop charts in 1987 with "Can't We Try". He released another self-penned ballad as a follow-up, the more optimistic "Never Thought (That I Could Love)"...


While "Never Thought" went all the way to #2 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart, the same as "Can't We Try", the song stalled right under the American Top-40 at #43. It stayed on the chart longer than any other that missed the top-40 in 1988 - 20 weeks.


Songoftheday 11/23/15 - I'll be the sun shining on you, hey Cinderella step in your shoe...


"Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" - Billy Ocean
from the album Tear Down These Walls (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day comes from Trinidadian pop/dance singer/songwriter Billy Ocean, whose 1986 album Love Zone rewarded him with four top-20 pop hits with "Love Is Forever", "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going" (from The Jewel Of The Nile), the title track, and the #1 "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)". Billy started out 1988 by releasing Tear Down These Walls, his seventh studio album, in January, and the first single from the set, co-written by the artist with producer "Mutt" Lange, showed the latter's propensity for extended song titles (like "When The Going Gets Tough". "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" returned Billy to the top of the pops in America with a "safe" but foot-tapping slice of dance-pop...


"Get Outta My Dreams..." went all the way to #1 in the U.S. in April of 1988 on both the pop and R&B charts in Billboard. The song also crossed over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart at #5. The 12" remix made an appearance on the Dance Club Play list at #25. Internationally, the record topped the chart in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, and Ireland, while stopping at #3 in the UK and Germany.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Songoftheday 11/22/15 - Time out world in a hurry, there's more love than money changing hands...


"Twilight World" - Swing Out Sister
from the album It's Better To Travel (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #31 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's Song of the Day comes from the British jazz-pop ensemble Swing Out Sister, who had broke big in America with one of the freshest and enjoyable songs of the decade in "Breakout". While in their homeland the follow-up was the seductive "Surrender", which made the top-10 there, in the U.S. the second single was the epic "Twilight World", written by lead singer Corinne Drewery and bandmates Andy Connell and Martin Jackson. Produced lushly by Paul Staveley O'Duffy, it was meant to keep the momentum going with a more uptempo number...


Swing out sister - Twilight world from Jordan Victor Luciano on Vimeo.


"Twilight World" became Swing Out Sister's second and so-far most recent top-40 pop hit in February of 1988. The song also climbed to #7 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, while the 12" remix was the biggest club hit from the album, making it to #9. In the UK, as the third single, it did comparably, stopping at #32.

The trio would release "Surrender" in the States next, missing the pop chart but reaching #37 on the adult contemporary list. They put out their sophomore effort, Kaleidoscope World, in 1989; by that time Jackson left the act as a duo. While in Europe the lead track was "You On My Mind", which hit the top-10 in Germany and #28 in the UK, America received the more "Breakout"-sounding "Waiting Game", which stopped out at #86 on the pop chart, #33 Dance, and #6 AC. The pair started out the 90s with a revival of sorts, going to #1 on the American adult-contemporary list with their remake of "Am I The Same Girl", which almost gave them a top-40 hit at #45. With another soul cover, this time in 1994 of "La-La Means I Love You" from the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, SOS scored their most recent British top-40 hit at #37.  In American, Corinne and Andy popped on to the Adult chart at #30 with "Somewhere In The World" in 1997. They continue to record and tour, being very successful still in the Far East and preparing a new record as we speak.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Songoftheday 11/21/15 - Your TV set is acting up and you don't understand, you're so upset because you can't watch "All My Children" and...


"Rocket 2 U" - The Jets
from the album Magic (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the family band the Jets, who had led off their second album Magic with the top-ten pop hit from the movie Beverly Hills Cop II, "Cross My Broken Heart", and followed with the top-20 "I Do You". The third single pulled from the record was the first to feature brother Haini Wolfgramm on lead vocals. "Rocket 2 U", written and produced by Bobby Nunn, a sometimes musical partner with Rick James, was the band's most earnest attempt to sound "funky", with a Cameo-lite bass and lyrics that suggest ever so innocently that they're sick of being "friendzoned"...


"Rocket 2 U" became the Jets' fourth top-10 pop hit in April of 1988. The single also climbed to #5 on Billboard's R&B chart, while the 12" single made it to #3 on their Dance Club Play list. The song topped out at #12 in Canada, as it was also a minor hit in Britain at #69.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

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


Friday is here, and it's time to roll out my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Taylor Swift holds on at #1 for a third week, while big ol' bear Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (pictured above) leap into the top 5. Former big hits from Fall Out Boy, Silento, and a seasonal one from Demi Lovato drop off my list, while songs from Adele, Duke Dumont, and a resurgent Jess Glynne make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Drive South!

This Week           Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift (1)
2. Ex's & Oh's - Elle King (2)
3. First - Cold War Kids (3)
4. Like I'm Gonna Lose You - Meghan Trainor f/John Legend (4)
5. S.O.B. - Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (10)
6. Nothin' Like You - Dan + Shay (8)
7. Someone New - Hozier (7)
8. Renegades - X Ambassadors (6)
9. The Hills - The Weeknd (9)
10. How Deep Is Your Love - Calvin Harris f/Disciples (5)
11. Break Up With Him - Old Dominion (13)
12. Smoke Break - Carrie Underwood (20)
13. Something Better - Audien f/Lady Antebellum (11)
14. Can't Feel My Face - The Weeknd (12)
15. Feelings - Maroon 5 (15)
16. Photograph - Ed Sheeran (14)
17. I'm Comin' Over - Chris Young (21)
18. Wasn't Expecting That - Jamie Lawson (18)
19. Lay It All On Me - Rudimental f/Ed Sheeran (29)
20. Hello - Adele (60)
21. I Am -AWOLnation (16)
22. Hold Each Other - A Great Big World f/FUTURISTIC (25)
23. Locked Away - R. City f/Adam Levine (23)
24. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (30)
25. The Other Boys - NERVO f/Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears, & Nile Rodgers (27)
26. On My Mind - Ellie Goulding (34)
27. Could Have Been Me - The Struts (17)
28. Burning House - Cam (38)
29. No Sleeep - Janet Jackson (24)
30. Gonna - Blake Shelton (32)
31. Fight Song - Rachel Platten (19)
32. Strip It Down - Luke Bryan (22)
33. Love Is Free - Robyn & La Bagatelle Musique f/Maluca (33)
34. Lean On - Major Lazer & DJ Snake f/MO (28)
35. The Writing's On The Wall - Sam Smith (45)
36. Lose My Mind - Brett Eldredge (45)
37. Marvin Gaye - Charlie Puth f/Meghan Trainor (31)
38. Top Of The World - Tim McGraw (46)
39. Feel The Vibe - Bob Sinclar f/Dawn Tallman (35)
40. Ocean Drive - Duke Dumont (56)
41. Stitches - Shawn Mendes (51)
42. Gonna Know We Were Here - Jason Aldean (54)
43. Thunder - Leona Lewis (53)
44. 2 Heads - Coleman Hell (49)
45. Save It For A Rainy Day - Kenny Chesney (41)
46. The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive - Death Cab For Cutie (58)
47. Out Of My Mind - ARCS (47)
48. OXO - Olivia Somerlyn (48)
49. Stay A Little Longer - Brothers Osborne (57)
50. Shame - Tyrese (50)
51. Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne (64)
52. Was It All It Was - Dirty Disco f/Debby Holiday (52)
53. Anything Goes - Florida Georgia Line (55)
54. Hotline Bling - Drake (61)
55. Synergy - Sted-E & Hybrid Heights w/Crystal Waters (59)
56. Gonna Wanna Tonight - Chase Rice (44)
57. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart - Chris Cornell (69)
58. Let Me See Ya Girl - Cole Swindell (62)
59. You Have To Believe - Dave Aude f/Chloe Lattanzi & Olivia Newton-John (63)
60. Ship To Wreck - Florence + The Machine (40)
61. Don't Be So Hard On Yourself - Jess Glynne (37)
62. Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah) - Andy Grammer (70)
63. Stand By You - Rachel Platten (67)
64. Insomnia 2.0 - Faithless (76)
65. Song For Someone - U2 (65)
66. Earned It - The Weeknd (66)
67. The Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy (75)
68. Trust You - Rob Thomas (68)
69. Omen - Disclosure f/Sam Smith (39)
70. Bad Blood - Ryan Adams (74)
71. Angels Fall - Breaking Benjamin (81)
72. Unconditional - Ultra Nate (42)
73. Drag Me Down - One Direction (77)
74. Let's Love - Echosmith (78)
75. Already Callin' You Mine - Parmalee (79)
76. Take You Over - Bleona (DEBUT)
77. So F**kin' Romantic - Matthew Koma (87)
78. Forget To Breathe - Joe Bermudez f/Natasha Anderson (80)
79. Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon (73)
80. Hold On Forever - Rob Thomas (86)
81. The Otherside - Red Sun Rising (8)
82. Runnin' (Lose It All) - Naughty Boy f/Beyonce & Arrow Benjamin (82)
83. Return To The Moon - EL VY (91)
84. Can't Sleep Love - Pentatonix (DEBUT)
85. I Got The Boy - Jana Kramer (89)
86. Run Away With You - Big & Rich (90)
87. Peanut Butter Jelly - Galantis (88)
88. Die A Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (DEBUT)
89. Let It Go - James Bay (RE-ENTRY)
90. I Love This Life - LoCash (DEBUT)
91. Special - Avant (95)
92. Used To Love You - Gwen Stefani (DEBUT)
93. Perfect - One Direction (93)
94. Blame It On Me - George Ezra (RE-ENTRY)
95. La Jungla - Ralphi Rosario f/Julissa Veloz (DEBUT)
96. Love 3X - ZZ Ward (84)
97. Mercy - Muse (Debut)
98. Turn The Music Louder (Rumble) - KDA f/Tinie Tempah & Katy B (98)
99. Love Me Like You - Little Mix (DEBUT)
100. Geiles Leben - Glasperlenspiel (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. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 11/20/15 - I'm gonna make a change for once in my life, it's gonna feel real good gonna make a difference gonna make it right...


"Man In The Mirror" - Michael Jackson
from the album Bad (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13 

Today's song of the day is from Michael Jackson, whose 1987 album Bad had already spun off a trio of #1 pop hits in America with "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "The Way You Make Me Feel", and the title track. The fourth single release from the record was the one that would end up its most timeless, "Man In The Mirror". Written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett (the latter who sang on "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"), and produced by Michael with Quincy Jones, the self-help mantra of a song seemed more of a hymn than a pop hit, and by the gospel ending (provided by Andre Crouch's choir) back in the day it felt like more of a religious experience....


"Man In The Mirror" became the fourth song from Bad to top the Hot 100 in March of 1988. The single also topped the R&B chart in Billboard for a week, while spending a week at #2 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart. Internationally, the record climbed to #1 in Italy, Ireland, and Belgium, as it peaked at #3 in Canada. Surprisingly, it stopped at #21 in England and #39 in Australia, but after Jackson's death in 2009, "Man" shot up to #2 in the UK and #8 Down Under.

But when all is said and done, this is the song that will be the first in Jackson's musical legacy. It's message of introspection and determination is a lesson to everyone that you see in pop music very, very rarely.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Aussie Sweep: November 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 Adele's "Hello" spends a third week at the top...

British boy-band wonders One Direction enter at #29 with a track off of their just-released Made In The A.M. album, "History". Current radio hit "Perfect" is at #17 after peaking at #4, while lead single and former #1 "Drag Me Down" moves up a notch to #38...


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Songoftheday 11/19/15 - Left my home in Georgia headed for the Frisco Bay, I had nothin' to live for looks like nothin's gonna come my way...


"(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" - Michael Bolton
from the album The Hunger (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day was a remake of the first single in the rock era to go to #1 after the artist had passed away. Otis Redding's "swan song", "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay", was recorded right before Otis' tragic plane crash in 1967. Written with Stax Records house band guitarist Steve Cropper, the breezy, reflective song captured the hearts of Americans enough to send it to the top of the pop chart in March of the following year...


In 1987, singer/songwriter/hair product Michael Bolton released a cover of the song as his second single after his first top-40 hit "That's What Love Is All About". In doing so he stripped all the subdued soul and nuanced melancholy from the track, and turned it into a overachieving vocal exercise with the subtlety of a lawnmower...


No matter, Michael's newfound throngs of female fans found his "Dock Of The Bay" a nice destination, with it becoming his second top-20 pop hit in America in March of 1988. The cover also made it up to #12 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, as well as #19 on its Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio recap. It even crossed over to the R&B chart, his highest placing of his career at #58. Internationally, the record made the top-10 in Canada (#9), Australia (#7), and New Zealand (#8).

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

German Sweep: November 18, 2015...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official music singles chart, as Adele remains on top for a third week...

1. "Hello" - Adele (1)
2. "Geiles Leben" - Glasperlenspiel (2)
3. "Avenir" - Louane (3)
4. "Astronaut" - Sido featuring Andreas Bourani (4)
5. "Sorry" - Justin Bieber (5)
6. "Lieblingsmench" - Namika (6)
7. "Lush Life" - Zara Larsson (DEBUT)
8. "Easy Love" - Sigala (9)
9. "On My Mind" - Ellie Goulding (DEBUT)
10. "Book Of Love" - Felix Jaehn featuring Polina (8)

The song I featured last week, "Lush Life" from Swedish singer Zara Larsson, jumps into the top ten here this week, becoming her first in this country...


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Songoftheday 11/18/15 - I gotta know tonight if you're alone tonight, can't stop this feeling can't stop this fight...


"Hysteria" - Def Leppard
from the album Hysteria (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from the heavy metal group Def Leppard, whose album that would become their biggest ever, Hysteria, had a slow start, with the first single "Women" stalling down in the bottom quarter of the Hot 100, and second release "Animal" finally reaching the top-20 on the pop chart. The third single from the album was the title track, a brooding mid-tempo number written by the band with producer "Mutt" Lange...


"Hysteria" became the band's first top-10 pop hit in America in March of 1988, while also climbing to #9 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. In their native Britain, the song reached #26 (as the fourth single in that country after "Pour Some Sugar On Me"), while peaking at #13 in Canada and #19 in Ireland.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

French Sweep: November 17, 2015...






Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official music singles chart, as Adele's "Hello" spends a third week at #1...

1. "Hello" - Adele (1)
2. "Marvin Gaye" - Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor (2)
3. "Sap├ęs Comme Jamais" - Maitre Gims Featuring Niska (5)
4. "Adventure Of A Lifetime" - Coldplay (DEBUT)
5. "Don't Worry" - Madcon featuring Ray Dalton (4)

6. "Summer 2015" - L.E.J. (3)
7. "Stolen Car" - Mylene Farmer & Sting (RE-ENTRY)
8. "Homeless" - Marina Kaye (RE-ENTRY)
9. "Photograph" - Ed Sheeran (DEBUT)
10. "Guru" - Adam Vadel (6)

British modern rock band Coldplay leaps on to the entire top-100 chart at #4 with their new single "Adventure Of A Lifetime". It becomes their sixth top-10 hit in France; they went to #3 with "A Sky Full Of Stars"...


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Songoftheday 11/17/15 - No one knows you better than you know yourself, do the thing you want don't wait for someone else...


"Spotlight" - Madonna
from the album You Can Dance (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
Billboard Pop Airplay peak: #32 (one week)
Weeks in the airplay chart: 5

Today's Song of the Day is from Madonna, who was last seen with two songs from the soundtrack to her horrendous film excursion Who's That Girl with the #1 title track and #2 hit "Causing A Commotion". To extended the lull between studio albums (her last was 1986's True Blue), the "Material Girl" released a remix album called You Can Dance. With help from old friend "Jellybean" Benitez, Madge mixed together six older tracks from her first three albums, both singles like "Holiday" and "Into The Groove" and fan faves like "Physical Attraction" and "Where's The Party". Included in the set was a never-before released song that was cut from the True Blue album. Originally written by Curtis Hudson, who had co-penned Madonna's first top-40 hit "Holiday", with some tweaking by the artist and producer Stephen Bray, "Spotlight" hearkened back to her older years, perfectly fitting the toss-off album it appeared on...


While "Spotlight" couldn't appear on Billboard's Hot 100 pop chart in America because it wasn't issued as a single, the track got enough airplay to show up on their pop airplay top-40, the only song in 1988 to do so. As part of the You Can Dance album it spent a week on top of the Dance Club Play chart, and the record sold over a million copies.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Robbed hit of the week 11/16/15 - Buster Poindexter's "Hot Hot Hot"...


"Hot Hot Hot" - Buster Poindexter (aka David Johansen)
from the album Buster Poindexter (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #45

This week's "robbed hit" was a campy remake of a world-music song by one of the giants of 70s punk music, David Johansen, who was the lead singer of the New York Dolls, a band that combined the energy of the full-throttle punk of Iggy Pop with the trashy genderfuck glam of David Bowie. Their classic "Personality Crisis" was on Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 rock songs list, as their debut album from 1973 did the same. The group disintegrated by the end of the decade, with Johansen releasing a few solo rock albums, with a live medley of 60s band the Animals' hits "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place/Don't Bring Me Down/It's My Life" getting airplay enough to reach #12 on Billboard's then-new Mainstream Rock radio chart in 1982.

In 1987, Johansen took a left turn an recorded an album under the alter ego of Buster Poindexter, a "sophisticated" throwback to the 40s and 50s lounge and big-band style. He released as a single a cover of a song written and performed by French West Indian calypso/soca artist Arrow (aka Alphonsus Cassell), whose "Hot Hot Hot" had been a minor hit in England in 1984, reaching #59 on the singles chart there...


Johansen's version stayed pretty faithful to this version, though going waaaaaay over the line in the 'outrageous' vocal department, and pushed the brass even farther to the forefront...


While David/Buster's "Hot Hot Hot" just missed the top-40 on the pop chart in America in February of 1988, and the 12" extended version stopped short at a frustrating #11 on Billboard's Dance Club Play list, those 'chart positions' have no meaning in the long-lasting popularity of the song, which has since overshadowed everything else he's ever done in the mainstream collective mind. It's been a wedding staple, a party constant, the glue of every white man's party ever since.

He tried to capitalize on the success for a bit, returning to the dance chart at #12 the following year with "All Night Party" from his next album, but this truly became a "one-hit-wonder" situation, with David eventually returning to rock music (and eventually reuniting with the "Dolls"). He's had more exposure acting, appearing in Bill Murray's version of the the Dickens tale Scrooged.

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Songoftheday 11/16/15 - Innocence no answer to your breaking heart, if the situation sometimes falls apart...


"Rhythm Of Love" - Yes
from the album Big Generator (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's Song of the Day is by the British progressive rock group Yes, whose 1987 album Big Generator returned them to the American pop top-40 with "Love Will Find A Way". The second single from the record was the massive-sounding "Rhythm Of Love", written by band members Chris Squire, Trevor Rabin, Tony Kaye, and lead singer Jon Anderson. The Beach Boys-esque vocal acappella lead-in was a nice touch...


"Rhythm Of Love" became their sixth and most recent top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in February of 1988. The single did much better on rock radio, climbing all the way to #2. After the tour behind this album, the band fractured apart, with Anderson joining drummer Bill Bruford, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and guitarist Steve Howe in a side project named after the quartet's surnames. The band had a reunion of sorts in 1991 when the ABWH and the "traditional" remainder of Yes (Rabin, Squire, Kaye, and drummer AlanWhite) released an album under the title Union, though only Anderson was the sole player on all of the tracks, while the other two factions played separate selections. One of those, "Lift Me Up", was a huge rock radio hit, spending six weeks on top of Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, and became their most recent Hot 100 appearance at #86. By 1994, the band was whittled down to Anderson, Squire, Rabin, Kaye, and White, and their Talk album's "The Calling" peaked at #3 on the rock chart. Three years later came Open Your Eyes which included engineer Billy Sherwood on keys, and the title track was their most recent chart appearance at #33 on the rock chart. The band has continued to record and tour in various line incarnations, with Anderson leaving in 2008 (with Sherwood taking over on lead vocals), and their most recent studio album, Heaven & Earth, reaching the top-40 on the albums chart in America. Sadly, band staple Chris Squire passed away this past May from leukemia.

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