Monday, February 29, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 2/29/16 - Paula Abdul's "Knocked Out"...


"Knocked Out" - Paula Abdul
from the album Forever Your Girl (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #41

This week's "robbed hit" comes from Paula Abdul, who got her start as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. With the exposure from her dancing in that outfit, she was first hired on as the choreographer for the Jacksons, and later on served the same for sister Janet Jackson for her music videos. After landing herself a record deal after saving up to submit demos, Paula released her first single "Knocked Out" in the spring of 1988. Written by Babyface, L.A. Reid, and Daryl Simmons from the Deele, the funky dance-pop track made waves on R&B radio....


While "Knocked Out" climbed to a respectable #8 on Billboard's R&B chart, the single frustratingly stalled out at #41 on the pop Hot 100 in August of 1988. The single also made it to #14 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the song went to #21 in the UK and #23 in Canada when it was re-released as a remix in 1989. It's easy to forget such a successful album was proceeded by a track that missed the top-40.

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Songoftheday 2/29/16 - You gave me hope when I needed someone near, you bring me happiness every day of every year...


"I'll Always Love You" - Taylor Dayne
from the album Tell It To My Heart (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's song of the day comes from singer Taylor Dayne, whose debut album Tell It To My Heart had spun off two massive pop and club hits with "Prove Your Love" and the title track. For her third release from the album Dayne slowed the pace down for the romantic ballad "I'll Always Love You", written by Jimmy George...


"I'll Always Love You" became Taylor's third consecutive top-ten pop hit in America in September of 1988. The single also climbed to #2 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart, and it so far has been her only entry into their R&B chart at #21. Internationally, the song went to #11 in Canada, made the top-40 in Germany (#38) and Switzerland (#30), while it stopped short of the British level at #41.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Songoftheday 2/28/16 - The mist is lifting slowly I can see the way ahead, and I've left behind the empty streets that once inspired my life...


"I Know You're Out There Somewhere" - The Moody Blues
from the album Sur La Mer (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #30 (one week)

Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day comes from the veteran British progressive rock band Moody Blues, who had found themselves back in the American pop top ten for the first time since 1967 with "Your Wildest Dreams" in the summer of 1986. With the record company pushing to repeat this success, which watered down their sound a bit, concentrating on just the keyboard of Patrick Moraz and the singing of John Lodge and Justin Hayward, their next album, Sur La Mer, was more of a easy-listening foray than the last. Produced by Tony Visconti, the first single, "I Know You're Out There Somewhere", continued down the ELO-lite path as well as the video, which reprised the plot of "Your Wildest Dreams"...


"I Know You're Out There Somewhere" became the Moody Blues' thirteenth and so far final top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in August of 1988. The song also climbed to #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, and peaked at #9 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy-listening") chart. Internationally, the single made it to #15 in Canada, and #37 in Australia, but in their native England it stopped at #52.

The band would release a second single from Sur La Mer, "No More Lies", which went to #15 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Moraz would leave the band rather acrimoniously, leaving them to hire a couple journeymen to fill in on keys for their next album, Keys To The Kingdom. A track from the set, "Say It With Love", made it to #22 on the Mainstream Rock chart, their most recent appearance on a singles chart. They've released a couple more studio albums and a ton of compilations since, with the core of Lodge, Hayward, and drummer Graeme Edge continuing to tour.

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dance Sweep: March 5, 2016...


I'm ready to wrap up today's "music sweeps" checking out the songs reaching the charts in Billboard magazine. Let's take a look at the newest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On their DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, 99 Souls take their mashup of "The Girl Is Mine" featuring Destiny's Child and Brandy to #1...

Remixer/producer Stonebridge, aka Swedish DJ Sten Hallstrom, is back at #42 with "If You Like It" featuring Elsa Li Jones...


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Country Sweep: March 5, 2016...


Part four of this week's "music sweeps" is up with the latest songs to reach the country radio as monitored by Billboard magazine...

On their Country Airplay chart, Kelsea Ballerini lands her second straight #1 hit with just her second single, "Dibs"...

The Brothers Osborne follow up their #1 hit "Stay A Little Longer" with the song that makes the highest entry at #57, "21 Summer". It's my "Country Pick of the Week"...


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Soul Sweep: March 5, 2016...





We're at the "hump" of this week's "music sweeps", sampling the songs making their way on to the singles 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, Bryson Tiller scores his first #1 hit with "Don't"...

Sean Combs takes back his moniker Puff Daddy this week on two songs that enter the R&B Airplay chart. First up at #44 is "You Could Be My Lover" featuring rapper Ty Dolla $ign and Gizzle.


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Rock Sweep: March 5, 2016...


Round two of this week's "music sweeps" is up, checking out the latest hits on the Billboard charts, and this time out I've got the newest songs on rock radio...

On their main Rock Airplay chart, Cage The Elephant are locked in at #1 for a third week with "Mess Around"...

Ohio hard rock band Red Sun Rising went to #17 on the "big" rock with their former #1 Mainstream Rock hit "The Otherside". They return at #42 with "Emotionless", which jumps to #12 on the Mainstream list.


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Pop Sweep: March 5, 2016...


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

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies from sales (like iTunes and Amazon MP3), internet streaming (like Spotify and iTunes), and radio airplay from all formats, Rihanna leaps to #1 for the 14th times (and 11th as a lead artist) with "Work" featuring rapper Drake. It's their second collaboration to make the top of the pop chart after "What's My Name" in 2010...

In the first full-week chart since the Grammy broadcast, the top new entry of the week comes from Gwen Stefani, who premiered her filmed on-the-spot video for "Make Me Like You" live on the telecast. It comes in at #54, two rungs below the peak of the first single from her upcoming This Is What The Truth Feels Like album, "Used To Love You". But tell me seriously, they couldn't do a proper tribute to Natalie Cole, but they had time to air this?


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Songoftheday 2/27/16 - Something happens to the pledges of trust, down through the years they begin to rust...


"Perfect World" - Huey Lewis & The News
from the album Small World (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from Huey Lewis & The News, whose 1986 album Fore! had spun off an incredible five top ten pop hits with "Doing It All For My Baby", "I Know What I Like", "Hip To Be Square", and two #1s in "Jacob's Ladder" and "Stuck With You".  Two years later, the band released their fifth studio album Small World. The first single, "Perfect World", was written by Alex Call, a former bandmate of Lewis' in his former act Clover. With a lightly inspirational lyrics and a reggae-tinged chorus, the song was one of their more complex hits...


"Perfect World" made it to the top three on the American pop chart in September of 1988. It would be their so-far last to reach the top-10. The single also peaked at #2 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart and #5 on their Mainstream Rock list. Internationally, the record topped the singles chart in Canada, and went to #22 in Australia, but just missed the top-40 in the UK (#48), France (#44), and New Zealand (#43).

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Brit Sweep: February 26, 2016...


I'm ready to head over the Atlantic to check out the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in the UK this week, as Lukas Graham spend their third week at #1 with "7 Years"...

Indie pop musician Jack Garratt, from the town of High Wycombe on the outskirts of London, scores his first top-100 hit at #67 with "Worry". Jack just won the BBC "Sound of 2016" award, and last year got their "New Artist" as well as the BRIT Awards Critics Choice awards...


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twostepcub's music chart for February 26, 2016...



Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. It's week three for twenty-one pilots at the top of the chart, while Luke Bryan (pictured above) wiggles another two spots up the top ten. Songs from Brett Eldredge, Dirty Disco/Inaya Day, and Lukas Graham make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Silversun Pickups, Death Cab For Cutie, Zhu/AlunaGeorge, and Blake Shelton drop off the list.

This Week          Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (1)
2. When We Were Young - Adele (4)
3. Stand By You - Rachel Platten (5)
4. Break Up In A Small Town - Sam Hunt (2)
5. Mess Around - Cage The Elephant (7)
6. Home Alone Tonight - Luke Bryan f/Karen Fairchild (8)
7. Hello - Adele (3)
8. Adventure Of A Lifetime - Coldplay (10)
9. Here - Alessia Cara (9)
10. The Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy (11)
11. Stay A Little Longer - Brothers Osborne (6)
12. On My Mind - Ellie Goulding (12)
13. One Call Away - Charlie Puth (21)
14. Roses - The Chainsmokers f/Rozes (18)
15. Ex's & Oh's - Elle King (13)
16. Stitches - Shawn Mendes (16)
17. First - Cold War Kids (17)
18. Shame - Tyrese (14)
19. Irresistible - Fall Out Boy f/Demi Lovato (19)
20. Let it Go - James Bay (20)
21. Smooth Sailin' - Leon Bridges (15)
22. You Don't Own Me - Grace f/G-Eazy (22)
23. Beautiful Drug - The Zac Brown Band (31)
24. Die A Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (24)
25. Another Lonely Night - Adam Lambert (29)
26. Dibs - Kelsea Ballerini (26)
27. Magnets - Disclosure f/Lorde (28)
28. Backroad Song - Granger Smith (36)
29. Break On Me - Keith Urban (37)
30. In The Night - The Weeknd (34)
31. Over and Over Again - Nathan Sykes (41)
32. Heartbeat - Carrie Underwood (46)
33. Like I'm Gonna Lose You - Meghan Trainor f/John Legend (25)
34. Stolen Car - Mylene Farmer & Sting (42)
35. Gonna Know We Were Here - Jason Aldean (23)
36. 7 Years - Lukas Graham (51)
37. Shout It Out Loud - Robin S. & DJ Escape (27)
38. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (48)
39. Out Of The Woods - Taylor Swift (53)
40. True Original - Dave Aude f/Andy Bell (55)
41. We Went - Randy Houser (49)
42. Confident - Demi Lovato (32)
43. Good To Be Alive (Hallellujah) - Andy Grammer (33)
44. Renegades - X Ambassadors (44)
45. When Love Hurts - JoJo (45)
46. Catch & Release (Deepend Mix) - Matt Simons (35)
47. Alone No More - Philip George & Anton Powers (47)
48. Ditmas - Mumford & Sons (50)
49. California Dreamin' - Freischwimmer (52)
50. Higher Place - Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike f/Ne-Yo (30)
51. The Girl Is Mine - 99 Souls f/Destiny's Child & Brandy (56)
52. Pretty Pimpin' - Kurt Vile (67)
53. I'm Comin' Over - Chris Young (43)
54. Same Old Love - Selena Gomez (54)
55. I Love This Life - LoCash (39)
56. Mountain At My Gates - Foals (60)
57. Under The Influence - Elle King (57)
58. State Of My Head - Shinedown (68)
59. Smoke Filled Room - Mako (61)
60. Be Right There - Diplo & Sleepy Tom (62)
61. Stranded - Dirty Disco f/Inaya Day (79)
62. Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift (40)
63. I'm Burning Up - Karine Hannah & Dave Aude (77)
64. Sweet Lovin' - Sigala f/Bryn Christopher (64)
65. Perfect - One Direction (65)
66. Lover Come Back - City and the Colour (70)
67. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (72)
68. Little Bit Of You - Chase Bryant (76)
69. Brand New - Ben Rector (69)
70. Trip Switch - Nothing But Thieves (73)
71. You're So Beautiful - Camille (81)
72. You Should Be Here - Cole Swindell (80)
73. Drunk On Your Love - Brett Eldredge (93)
74. Hollow - Tori Kelly (87)
75. I Like The Sound Of That - Rascal Flatts (85)
76. Saint Cecilia - Foo Fighters (82)
77. No Sleeep - Janet Jackson (75)
78. Hide Away - Daya (78)
79. Ways To Get High - Pop Evil (94)
80. Confession - Florida Georgia Line (90)
81. Electric Love - BORNS (95)
82. Crazy Beautiful - Skylar Stecker (86)
83. Country Nation - Brad Paisley (83)
84. Sacrifice - DeGrazio (84)
85. L'Amour Toujours - Dzeko & Torres f/Delaney Jane (89)
86. Nobody To Blame - Chris Stapleton (DEBUT)
87. Roots - Imagine Dragons (91)
88. Fast Car - Jonas Blue f/Dakota (96)
89. Til It Happens To You - Lady Gaga (59)
90. My House - Flo Rida (100)
91. All My Friends - Snakehips f/Tinashe & Chance the Rapper (98)
92. History - One Direction (92)
93. Hypnotic - Zelia Day (99)
94. Oasis - A Great Big World (DEBUT)
95. Broken Arrow - Avicii (97)
96. Pillowtalk - Zayn (DEBUT)
97. One Love - Marianas Trench (DEBUT)
98. Angel - Lalah Hathaway (DEBUT)
99. Secret Love Song - Little Mix f/Jason Derulo (DEBUT)
100. Shatterproof - Kwanza Jones (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 2/26/16 - Hey everybody's lookin' for somethin', somethin' to fill in the holes...


"When It's Love" - Van Halen
from the album OU812 (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day is by the hard rock band Van Halen, whose second album with new lead singer Sammy Hagar was led by the guitar-punched grit of "Black And Blue", which snuck into the top 40 for a few weeks (mostly by sales and name recognition for radio). For the second release from the set they went with the much more airplay-friendly "When It's Love", which again poured on the synthesizers (like in their last album's "Why Can't This Be Love"). Written and produced by the band (along with producer Donn Landee), the single got mainstream pop radio back on board...


"When It's Love" returned Van Halen to the top ten on the American pop chart for the third and so far what would be their most recent time in September of 1988. The single also made it to #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart (like "Black and Blue" did), nabbing their fifth chart-topper there. Internationally, the track reached the top 30 in Canada (#21), Australia (#23), Ireland (#23), and the UK (#28).

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Aussie Sweep: February 25, 2016...


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 Danish rock band Lukas Graham rocket from #20 to #1 with "7 Years"...

Almost making the top ten this week at #11 is comedian Tim Minchin, who was born in England but grew up in the western city of Perth, with his protest song "Come Home (Cardinal Pell)". The song eviscerates the Australian clergyman who is not only facing charges of hiding sexual predators amongst that country's Catholic priests, but also direct accusations of abuse himself. He's refused to return to Australia from the Vatican for health reasons, and this recording helps a charity fund to get survivors over to Italy to face him as he testifies. Powerful stuff.


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Songoftheday 2/25/16 - She's got a smile it seems to me reminds me of childhood memories, where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky...


"Sweet Child O' Mine" - Guns N Roses
from the album Appetite For Destruction (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from the rock band Guns N' Roses, who came together in the mid-80s from members of two Los Angeles-based bands, L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose. With guitarist Izzy Stradlin and lead singer Axl Rose from Hollywood Rose, along with lead guitarist Slash (who replaced original member Tracii Guns from L.A. Guns), bassist Duff McKagan, and another Hollywood Rose alumnus, drummer Steven Adler, the band worked their way through the dirty underbelly of Hollywood's rock bars gathering a mighty following until they finally were signed to a record deal. They released their debut studio album Appetite For Destruction in 1987, with the ass-kicking first single "Welcome To The Jungle" making it on to rock radio, reaching #37. The second single would be their pop breakthrough, a classic hard-edged love song "Sweet Child O'Mine", written by Axl, Slash, and Stradlin, and produced by Mike Clink. With Axl's lyrics meant for his then-girlfriend Erin Everly (daughter of Don of the Everly Brothers), the song was both traditional in the love-song sense but way harder and faster than any of the other pop-metal power-ballads that preceded it...


"Sweet Child O'Mine" went all the way to #1 on the American pop chart in September of 1988 (their only trip to the top there). The song also climbed to #7 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the single made the top ten in Ireland (#4), New Zealand (#5), and the UK (#6), and hit the top ten in Australia, Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. The track would go on and win an American Music Awards, along with the MTV Music Video Awards in 1989.

But besides any accolades, their was a definitely shift in rock radio after "Sweet Child O' Mine",  with shiny-bright metal bands being edged out for more dirty, organic fare, and synth-based rock fleeing to its own "Modern Rock" format.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

German Sweep: February 24, 2016...






Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official music singles chart, as Norwegian DJ/producer Alan Walker spends a second week at #1...

1. "Faded" - Alan Walker (1)
2. "Fast Car" - Jonas Blue featuring Dakota (2)
3. "Die Immer Lacht" - Stereoact featuring Kirsten Ott (5)
4. "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber (3)
5. "Stimme" - EFF (4)
6. "Stressed Out" - twenty-one pilots (DEBUT)
7. "7 Years" - Lukas Graham (7)
8. "Me, Myself & I" - G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha (8)
9. "Stitches" - Shawn Mendes (6)
10. "Ex's & Oh's" - Elle King (DEBUT)

Two American rock hits join the German top ten this week. First at #6 is twenty-one pilots with "Stressed Out"...


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Songoftheday 2/24/16 - How can it be permissible she compromises my principle, that kind of love is mythical she's anything but typical...


"Simply Irresistible" - Robert Palmer
from the album Heavy Nova (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's Song of the Day comes from the late English singer Robert Palmer, whose 1985 Riptide album had spun off three top-40 pop hits in America with the cover of "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On", "Hyperactive", and the #1 single "Addicted To Love". After a minor hit with the title song from the Treat Williams movie Sweet Lies in 1988, later that year Palmer released his ninth album Heavy Nova. The first single was a raucous rocker in the vein of "Addicted To Love". "Simply Irresistible", his first after switching to EMI Records, was written and produced by the artist, and not only had the same guitar crunch over his bluesy vocals, but sported another music video featuring dolled up models, even more over the top than before, and they didn't even bother giving them instruments...


"Simply Irresistible" climbed all the way to the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in September of 1988. Not only did it become Robert's second #1 hit on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart after "Addicted To Love", it also repeated his Grammy win for Best Male Rock Vocal as well. It would be Robert's last top ten pop hit in the States.

Internationally, the song went to #1 in Australia, #2 in Canada, and #6 in New Zealand, but stalled outside the top-40 at #44 in his native Britain (another single from the Heavy Nova album, "She Makes My Day", went to #6 on the UK chart).

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

French Sweep: February 23, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, and another new song takes over at the top of the chart...

1. "Come" - Jain (DEBUT)
2. "Catch & Release (Deepend Mix)" - Matt Simons (1)
3. "Stressed Out" - Twenty One Pilots (DEBUT)
4. "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber (4)
5. "On Ecrit Sur Les Murs" - Kids United (3)
6. "Work" - Rihanna (2)
7. "Miracle" - Julian Perretta (5)
8. "Hundred Miles" - Yall featuring Gabriela Richardson (6)
9. "No Me Mires Mas" - Kendji Girac (7)
10. "Blind" - Feder featuring Emmi (9)

French singer Jain, from the city of Toulouse, leaps from #18 to #1 with her striking single "Come", featuring an inventive video...


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Songoftheday 2/23/16 - You see my old man's got a problem, he live with the bottle that's the way it is he says his body's too old for working...


"Fast Car" - Tracy Chapman
from the album Tracy Chapman (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the folk singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman, who had been going to college and busking on the street before being signed to a record deal, releasing her self-titled debut album in 1988. The first single from the record was a vivid story about a young couple struggling and failing at their dreams written by the artist, "Fast Car". With her flawless voice wringing out the emotion of a girl willing to bet her life on her chances with a man, the song was quiet where it needed to be, and strong as well, and offered a whole different perspective of African-American life than rap or soul music could...



"Fast Car" became Tracy's first top-10 pop hit in America in August of 1988. The single also crossed over to #7 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and peaked at #19 on their Mainstream Rock radio list. Internationally, the record originally went to #5 in the UK after her performance at the Nelson Mandela Birthday concert in 1988, then reappeared at #4 in 2011 after a contestant on Britain's Got Talent covered the song. The song also went to #1 in Canada, Belgium, and Ireland, and reached the top ten in Australia (#4), the Netherlands (#8), and Sweden (#9). Traci would go on to win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1989, along with best Folk Album and Best Female Rock Performance for "Fast Car".

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 2/22/16 - Will To Power's "Say It's Gonna Rain"...






"Say It's Gonna Rain" - Will To Power
from the album Will To Power (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #49

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the Miami-based dance act Will To Power, whose debut single "Dreamin'" also criminally missed the pop top 40 in 1987. Their follow-up "Say It's Gonna Rain", written and produced by the act's leader Bob Rosenberg and sung by Suzi Carr, followed in the same freestyle dance vein, but this time the clubs caught on in a major way...


"Say It's Gonna Rain" climbed all the way to #1 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart in August of 1988, but stopped a notch above where "Dreamin'" peaked on the pop Hot 100 the month before. They would make up for that in droves by getting off the dancefloor and slowing down for their next single the mashup cover "Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird", which went to #1...

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Songoftheday 2/22/16 - Oh I count to ten, but I don't know how,and I don't know when to open my eyes...


"Monkey" - George Michael
from the album Faith (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day is by George Michael, whose first solo album Faith had already spun off three #1 pop hits in the U.S. with "One More Try", "Father Figure", and the title track (along with the #2 "I Want Your Sex"). The fifth single released from the record was the anti-drug bopper "Monkey", written by George and sporting a different mix on the single done by Janet Jackson's go-tos Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. That added perk caused fans to rush out to buy the single, which helped its success greatly. It also doesn't hurt being one of the most infectious songs on the album...


"Monkey" became the fourth #1 pop hit from Faith in the U.S. in August of 1988. The song also was his first to go to #1 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart, and crossed over to #8 on their R&B chart as well. Internationally, the single spent two weeks atop the pop chart in Canada, and made the top ten in Switzerland (#5), the Netherlands (#6), Ireland (#8), and New Zealand (#9). In his native Britain the track peaked at #13, while is also hit the top 20 in Australia (#12) and Italy (#13), and stopped at #24 in Germany and #34 in France.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Brit Sweep: February 21, 2016...


Heading over the Atlantic yet again to check out the songs making their debut on the official singles chart in the UK this week, as Danish indie-pop band Lukas Graham spend a second week at #1 with "7 Years"...

The top debut of the week comes from a tragic event. Up and coming indie-rock band Viola Beach and their manager died in a car accident on a bridge in Sweden on February 13th. With a rallying cry from musicians like Kasabian and Liam Gallagher from Oasis, the record company announced that proceeds from the single would benefit the families of the deceased. Two singles have made the chart now, with "Swings & Waterslides" just missing the top 10 at #11 (it was at #3 on the sales-only chart)...


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Songoftheday 2/21/16 - Sometimes life can make you crazy it can really put your body to the test, you try so hard to make sure everything goes right and you find you've only wound up with a mess...


"Love Will Save The Day" - Whitney Houston
from the album Whitney (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from Whitney Houston, whose sophomore album Whitney had spun off four consecutive #1 pop hits in the U.S. with "I Wanna Dance (With Somebody)", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional", and "Where To Broken Hearts Go". This was after her three chart-toppers on her debut album, giving her a total of seven in a row, a record in the pop era. With Arista deciding to send out a fifth single from Whitney, the "dance hit-ballad-dance hit-ballad" pattern continued with "Love Will Save The Day". Written by Toni C. and produced by remixing king Jellybean Benitez, the percolating spiritual number skirted the sonics that kept freestyle dance music going strong in the urban areas of the country. But without a music video (perhaps they weren't prepared to send a fifth single out), MTV exposure wasn't there to help, though an enhanced remix did get fans that already had the album out to buy the single...


"Love Will Save The Day" broke Whitney's streak of #1s, but did become her ninth top-10 pop single in America in August of 1988. The song did reach the top of Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. It also crossed over to #5 on their R&B chart, and #10 on the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. Internationally, the single reached the top ten in the UK (#10), Canada (#8), Ireland (#8), Spain (#9), the Netherlands (#6), and Belgium (#8), while just skirting the top-40 in Germany (#37), and stopping at #48 in France.

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dance Sweep: February 27, 2016...


It's time to wrap up today's "music sweeps" of the Billboard charts with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, former lead singer of the Wanted Nathan Sykes scores his second #1 hit with "Over and Over Again"...

British DJ/producer Jonas Blue takes his international hit cover of the Tracy Chapman folk-pop classic "Fast Car" featuring vocals from Dakota to the club chart at #39...


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Country Sweep: February 27, 2016...


Part four of this week's "music sweeps" is here with the latest hits on country radio as monitored by Billboard magazine...

On their Country Airplay chart, Granger Smith gets his first #1 with "Backroad Song"...

After making it all the way to #2 on the Airplay chart with "Burning House" (which is now making roads on pop radio), her follow-up single "Mayday" flies in at #54...


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Soul Sweep: February 27, 2016...


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

On their main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Tory Lanez is on top for a fourth week with "Say It"...

Leaping on the chart at #11 is Beyonce' with her new track "Formation". With lyrics and a bouncy beat more fun than some of the striking images in the music video, it's truly a chunk of art you need to ponder for awhile, and it's my "Soul Pick of the Week". (Unfortunately, the video isn't available on YouTube, but here's part of its with some "pop ups" from Washington Post)...



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Rock Sweep: February 27, 2016...


Round two of this week's "music sweeps", checking out the songs reaching the charts in Billboard magazine, is up, and this time I've got the latest hits on rock radio...

On their main Rock Airplay chart, Cage The Elephant spend a second week at #1 with "Mess Around"...

Post-grunge "supergroup" Saint Asonia, led by former Three Days Grace vocalist Adam Gontier, comes in at #46 with "Let Me Live My Life", the second single from their self-titled first album. It follows "Better Place", which peaked at #31 on this chart. The new single is already up at #15 on the Mainstream Rock chart...


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Pop Sweep: February 27, 2016...


Hey guys, it's time to kick off the first of this week's "music sweeps", checking out the songs making their way on to the American singles charts in Billboard magazine. As usual, I'll start out with the pop side of things, then later in the day move on to the latest in rock, R&B, country and dance. And away we gooooo!

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of radio airplay from all formats, sales (like iTunes and Amazon MP3), and internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), Justin Bieber climbs back to #1 for a second non-consecutive week with "Love Yourself"...

Rapper Future's latest album EVOL lands at #2 on the Album Sales chart this week, and two tracks from the set come on to the Hot 100 pop chart on their own. First off at #52 is "Low Life" featuring the Weeknd, which probably has the best chance of grabbing radio airplay...


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Songoftheday 2/20/16 - If there is no love in your heart, then there is no hope for you...


"Tomorrow People" - Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers
from the album Conscious Party (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #39 (one week)

Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's song of the day comes from Jamaicans Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, who were four children of the biggest and most important reggae musician of all time, Bob Marley. Led by singer Ziggy, sisters Cedella and Sharon and brother Stephen came together in the late 70s as children under their father's tutelage and released one album in 1979. They re-emerged years after their dad's death in 1984 with a couple more albums, but it wasn't until being signed by Virgin Records in 1988 that they got their own big break. With their fourth album Conscious Party produced by the Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club's Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, the bright, shiny throwback to their parents' music got them noticed in their own right. The first single, "Tomorrow People", sounded so much like Bob that many people were confused, especially with the video featuring Ziggy looking strikingly like his father...


"Tomorrow People" became the Melody Makers' sole top-40 pop hit in America in July of 1988. The single also climbed to #16 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the single reached #5 in Belgium, #7 in the Netherlands, #22 in both Ireland and the UK, and #36 in Australia. The Conscious Party would earn the group a Grammy Award for best reggae album the following year.

Their follow-up single, "Tumblin' Down", failed to reach the Hot 100 in America, but the single version topped the R&B chart for two weeks, while the extended remix made it to #28. The song also reached #5 on Billboard's new Modern Rock chart, and popped in at #43 on their Mainstream Rock list. In 1989, the siblings released their next album, One Bright Day, and lead track "Look Who's Dancing" climbed all the way to #2 on the Modern Rock chart (at #65, it was their last British hit). They started the 90s with their last pop hit "Good Time" (which went to #27 on the R&B chart) along with the top ten modern rock hit "Kozmik" (#6) in 1991. Four years later, their single "Power To Move Ya" became their highest-charting club hit at #13. The band together were last seen on the singles charts in 1998 with the dance hit "Everyone Wants To Be" (#16). Ziggy embarked on a solo career in 2003, while the rest of the family still perform (sometimes with Ziggy) as the Melody Makers. Stephen also has made some solo albums, and both Ziggy and Stephen have won Grammys by themselves. Their half-brother Damian Marley has also done well with a top-5 album in the US and a #55 hit with "Welcome To Jamrock".

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Friday, February 19, 2016

twostepcub's music chart for February 19, 2016...


Friday's here, and I'm ready to roll out my top 100 tunes from the previous week. twenty-one pilots spend a second week atop my list, while Cage The Elephant (pictured above) climbs up a couple spots in the top ten. Songs from Foals, Lukas Graham, and 99 Souls make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big huts from Drake, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Jana Kramer, Disturbed, and Jess Glynne drop off the chart. I need to find that damn groundhog....

This Week        Song/Artist (last week's rank in parentheses)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (1)
2. Break Up In A Small Town - Sam Hunt (4)
3. Hello - Adele (3)
4. When We Were Young - Adele (5)
5. Stand By You - Rachel Platten (7)
6. Stay A Little Longer - Brothers Osborne (2)
7. Mess Around - Cage The Elephant (9)
8. Home Alone Tonight - Luke Bryan f/Karen Fairchild (10)
9. Here - Alessia Cara (6)
10. Adventure Of A Lifetime - Coldplay (8)
11. The Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy (11)
12. On My Mind - Ellie Goulding (12)
13. Ex's & Oh's - Elle King (13)
14. Shame - Tyrese (14)
15. Smooth Sailin' - Leon Bridges (16)
16. Stitches - Shawn Mendes (17)
17. First - Cold War Kids (15)
18. Roses - The Chainsmokers f/ROZES (25)
19. Irresistible - Fall Out Boy f/Demi Lovato (23)
20. Let It Go - James Bay (21)
21. One Call Away - Charlie Puth (26)
22. You Don't Own Me - Grace f/G-Eazy (27)
23. Gonna Know We Were Here - Jason Aldean (19)
24. Die A Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (24)
25. Like I'm Gonna Lose You - Meghan Trainor f/John Legend (20)
26. Dibs - Kelsea Ballerini (36)
27. Shout It Out Loud - Robin S. & DJ Escape (28)
28. Magnets - Disclosure f/Lorde (32)
29. Another Lonely Night - Adam Lambert (42)
30. Higher Place - Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike f/Ne-Yo (30)
31. Beautiful Drug - The Zac Brown Band (41)
32. Confident - Demi Lovato (22)
33. Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah) - Andy Grammer (33)
34. In The Night - The Weeknd (45)
35. Catch & Release (Deepend Mix) - Matt Simons (35)
36. Backroad Song - Granger Smith (43)
37. Break On Me. - Keith Urban (47)
38. Nightlight - Silversun Pickups (38)
39. I Love This Life - LoCash (29)
40. Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift (31)
41. Over and Over Again - Nathan Sykes (51)
42. Stolen Car - Mylene Farmer & Sting (52)
43. I'm Comin' Over - Chris Young (39)
44. Renegades - X Ambassadors (44)
45. When Love Hurts - JoJo (46)
46. Heartbeat - Carrie Underwood (58)
47. Alone No More - Philip George & Anton Powers (57)
48. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (62)
49. We Went - Randy Houser (53)
50. Ditmas - Mumford & Sons (55)
51. 7 Years - Lukas Graham (78)
52. California Dreamin' - Freischwimmer (66)
53. Out Of The Woods - Taylor Swift (63)
54. Same Old Love - Selena Gomez (54)
55. True Original - Dave Aude f/Andy Bell (70)
56. The Girl Is Mine - 99 Souls f/Destiny's Child & Brandy (80)
57. Under The Influence - Elle King (69)

58. Wash It All Away - Five Finger Death Punch (60)
59. Til It Happens To You - Lady Gaga (59)
60. Mountain At My Gates - Foals (90)
61. Smoke Filled Room - Mako (73)
62. Be Right There - Diplo & Sleepy Tom (64)
63. The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive - Death Cab For Cutie (61)
64. Sweet Lovin' - Sigala f/Bryn Christopher (68)
65. Perfect - One Direction (67)
66. Return To The Moon - EL VY (56)
67. Pretty Pimpin' - Kurt Vile (79)
68. State Of My Head - Shinedown (72)
69. Brand New - Ben Rector (DEBUT)
70. Lover Come Back - City and the Colour (81)
71. Automatic - ZHU vs AlunaGeorge (71)
72. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (82)
73. Trip Switch - Nothing But Thieves (77)
74. Used To Love You - Gwen Stefani (74)
75. No Sleeep - Janet Jackson (75)
76. Little Bit Of You - Chase Bryant (86)
77. I'm Burning Up - Karine Hannah & Dave Aude (DEBUT)
78. Hide Away - Daya (83)
79. Stranded - Dirty Disco f/Inaya Day (DEBUT)
80. You Should Be Here - Cole Swindell (DEBUT)
81. You're So Beautiful - Camille (DEBUT)
82. Saint Cecilia - Foo Fighters (92)
83. Country Nation - Brad Paisley (85)
84. Sacrifice - DeGrazio (88)
85. I Like The Sound Of That - Rascal Flatts (87)
86. Crazy Beautiful - Skylar Stecker (91)
87. Hollow - Tori Kelly (DEBUT)
88. Gonna - Blake Shelton (76)
89. L'Amour Toujours - Dzeko & Torres f/Delaney Jane (93)
90. Confession - Florida Georgia Line (94)
91. Roots - Imagine Dragons (95)
92. History - One Direction (96)
93. Drunk On Your Love - Brett Eldredge (DEBUT)
94. Ways To Get High - Pop Evil (DEBUT)
95. Electric Love - BORNS (RE-ENTRY)
96. Fast Car - Jonas Blue f/Dakota (DEBUT)
97. Broken Arrows - Avicii (DEBUT)
98. All My Friends - Snakehips f/Tinashe & Chance The Rapper (98)
99. Hypnotic - Zella Day (RE-ENTRY)
100. My House - Flo Rida (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 2/19/16 - Old tin lizzy do it till you're dizzy, give it all ya got until you're put out of your misery...


"Rag Doll" - Aerosmith
from the album Permanent Vacation (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #17 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from the Boston hard rock group Aerosmith, who made a comeback in the late 80s after lead singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry's guest appearance on Run DMC's top-10 pop remake of their "Walk This Way". The band's next album, Permanent Vacation, landed them their first top-20 pop hit in over ten years with the novelty rocker "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)", while the second single from the album, the power-ballad "Angel", went all the way to #3. Their third pop radio release from the set was "Rag Doll", written by Perry and Tyler along with 'song doctors' Jim Vallance and Holly Knight. A mid-tempo strutter with a hint of New Orleans blues rock bounce, the song was one in a long line of stripper pole-ready rock songs of the end of the decade...


"Rag Doll" became the third top-40 pop hit in America from Permanent Vacation in August of 1988, while climbing to #12 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Across the pond in the UK the single just missed the top-40 at #42, but it was the biggest hit of the album over there and up to that time their highest-charting single. Internationally, "Rag Doll" was the band's first top-40 hit in the Netherlands at #16, and it hit the top-40 in Ireland (#29) and Canada (#23), and was a minor hit in Australia at #73.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Aussie Sweep: February 18, 2016...


It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making the official singles chart in Australia this week, as local dance hero Flume claims his first #1 hit with "Never Be Like You" featuring Kai...

Danish indie-pop band Lukas Graham are steadily conquering the world country by country, and their breakthrough hit "7 Years" leaps on to the chart at #20...


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Songoftheday 2/18/16 - The party was packed I'm talkin' back to back, there was a rapper that was rappin' to a beat that was wack...


"The Twist (Yo, Twist)" - The Fat Boys with Chubby Checker
from the album Coming Back Hard Again (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from the rap trio the Fat Boys, who went from an underground novelty act to one of the most known groups in the genre, appearing in movies like Disorderlies and Krush Groove. Their interpolation of the 60s surf-rock classic "Wipe Out" with lily-white veterans the Beach Boys landed them a top-20 pop hit in the fall of 1987. A year later, the Boys released their fifth album Coming Back Hard Again, and with hoping that lightning would strike twice, they enlisted 60s legend Chubby Checker (aka Ernest Evans) to sing the chorus on their re-imagining of his dance-fad single "The Twist". The original, written by Hank Ballard, became the first record to go to #1 on Billboard's Pop chart in two separate chart runs, once in 1960, and again in 1962...


Checker already had a brief revival in the early 80s, with his single "Running" reaching #91 on the pop chart and "Harder Than Diamonds" going to #33 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. But it was this campy retread that brought him back to the American top-40...


The Fat Boys' version of "The Twist" became their second top-20 pop hit in August of 1988, while making it to #40 on Billboard's R&B chart. Over the Atlantic, the single was a big hit, repeating the success of "Wipe Out" and reaching #2 on the singles chart in the UK. This would be the trio's final time in the top-40, with their follow-up cover of "Louie Louie" hitting #89 in the US and #46 in the UK. They recorded the theme song to the fourth Freddie Kreuger A Nightmare On Elm Street movie, and "Are You Ready For Freddy" popped in at #93 on the R&B chart. The Boys tried to get serious on their next album On and On, but it only sent two singles into the 80s on the R&B list, their last entry being "Just Loungin'" at #86 in 1989. Member Prince Markie Dee left after that, leaving Buff Love "The Human Beatbox" and Kool Rock-Ski to put out one more completely unnoticed album in 1991. Sadly, four years later, and Buff Love died from a heart attack. Markie Dee (Mark Morales), though, did really well, placing two singles into the R&B top 40; "Trippin Out" (#25, 1992), and "Typical Reasons (Swing My Way)", the latter reaching #29 R&B and making the Hot 100 American pop chart at #64. (His album Free is an awesome find.) He's also produced for Mary J. Blige (her "Real Love" hit) and is now a radio DJ. Meanwhile, Chubby popped back on the Adult Contemporary chart in 2007 with "Knock Down The Walls", which slipped in at #29. 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

German Sweep: February 17, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany, according to that country's official music singles chart, as Norwegian DJ/producer Alan Walker leaps to claim his first #1 hit in this country...

1. "Faded" - Alan Walker (8)
2. "Fast Car" - Jonas Blue featuring Dakota (7)
3. "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber (3)
4. "Stimme" - EFF (1)
5. "Die Immer Lacht" - Stereoact featuring Kerstin Ott (DEBUT)
6. "Stitches" - Shawn Mendes (2)
7. "7 Years" - Lukas Graham (6)
8. "Me, Myself & I" - G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha (DEBUT)
9. "Light It Up (Remix)" - Major Lazer featuring Nyla and Fuse ODG (4)
10. "Renegades" - X Ambassadors (DEBUT)

Leaping fifteen notches to land at #5 in the top ten is a song I featured two weeks ago, "Die Immer Lacht" ("The Always Laughing") from German club duo Stereoact featuring singer Kerstin Ott...


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Songoftheday 2/17/16 - I must be out of my head or just plain crazy for you, 'cause I`ve been turnin` my back at all the things you do...


"Trouble" - Nia Peeples
from the album Nothin' But Trouble (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #35 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from actress and singer Nia Peeples, who was raised in Hollywood, where she got her first big break with a part on the TV adaptation series of Fame in 1984. Landing a record deal, Nia released her debut album Nothin' But Trouble in 1987. The "title" track, "Trouble", was a bubbly dance-pop number, the kind that Paula Abdul would later make millions with. Written and produced by Steve Harvey, the single let dance stations veer away from the endless stream of freestyle into more funkier territory...


"Trouble" became Nia's first top-40 pop hit in July of 1988, while sneaking in to #71 on Billboard's R&B chart. But it's biggest success was in the clubs, where the extended remix went all the way to #1 on the Dance Club Play chart for a week in April of that year.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

French Sweep: February 16, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Matt Simons climbs back to #1 for a second non-consecutive week with "Catch & Release"...

1. "Catch & Release (Deepend Remix)" - Matt Simons (2)
2. "Work" - Rihanna (1)
3. "On Ecrit Sur Les Murs" - Kids United (6)
4. "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber (8)
5. "Miracle" - Julian Perretta (DEBUT)
6. "Hundred Miles" - Yall featuring Gabriela Richardson (3)
7. "No Me Mires Mas" - Kendji Girac (RE-ENTRY)
8. "Hello" - Adele (7)
9. "Blind" - Feder featuring Emmi (RE-ENTRY)
10. "My World" - Jul (DEBUT)

English pop singer/songwriter Julian Perretta scores his second top ten hit in France this week as "Miracle" enters at #5. In 2010 he made it to #8 with "Wonder Why"...


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