Saturday, April 30, 2016

Songoftheday 4/30/16 - Don't get me wrong I'm really not zooped, ego trips is not my thing...


"My Prerogative" - Bobby Brown
from the album Don't Be Cruel (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from Bobby Brown, who left the R&B "boy-band" New Edition in the mid-80s to start a solo career. While his first album didn't get as much notice as probably as hope in the pop radio market, his second, Don't Be Cruel, had gotten off to a much better start, with the title track racing to the top-10 in America. The follow-up single, however, would end up being his best-known and biggest single to date.

"My Prerogative", written by Brown with producer Gene Griffin, was a late addition to the album, and answered the attacks on the singer for his wild ways and for leaving/getting kicked out of his former act. With a slinky beat helped along by new jack swing master Teddy Riley of Guy, the synth-pop gem was the first non-carryover #1 of 1989...


"My Prerogative" went to #1 on the American pop chart in January of 1989, while leading for two weeks on Billboard's R&B chart the previous October. The extended remix single was his first solo club hit, climbing to #7 on their Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the record made the top ten in the UK (#6), Ireland (#9), the Netherlands (#7), New Zealand (#3), peaked at #15 in Germany, and stopped at #40 in Australia. He would be nominated for a Grammy for Urban Contemporary (read: "new" R&B) single.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

twostepcub's music chart for April 29, 2016...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Danish newcomers Lukas Graham stay on top for a third week, while country crossover band Old Dominion (pictured above) make it into the top-5. Former big hits from Carrie Underwood and PHASES drop off my chart, while songs from WTS/Gia, Thomas Rhett, and Da Buzz have the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). That's your final offer? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

This Week       Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. 7 Years - Lukas Graham (1)
2. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (2)
3. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (3)
4. Snapback - Old Dominion (6)
5. You Should Be Here - Cole Swindell (5)
6. Let It Go - James Bay (4)
7. One Call Away - Charlie Puth (9)
8. Something In The Way You Move - Ellie Goulding (12)
9. Brand New - Ben Rector (13)
10. First - Cold War Kids (11)
11. The Pop Kids - Pet Shop Boys (15)
12. Drunk On Your Love - Brett Eldredge (7)
13. Walking On A Dream - Empire Of The Sun (19)
14. Mountain At My Gates - Foals (10)
15. Under The Influence - Elle King (16)
16. Piece By Piece - Kelly Clarkson (21)
17. Ride - twenty-one pilots (22)
18. When We Were Young - Adele (8)
19. Adventure Of A Lifetime - Coldplay (14)
20. Little Bit Of You - Chase Bryant (24)
21. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (26)
22. Ophelia - The Lumineers (30)
23. Faded - Alan Walker (27)
24. Trip Switch - Nothing But Thieves (18)
25. America's Sweetheart - Elle King (25)
26. Hey No Pressure - Ray Lamontagne (31)
27. Fast Car - Jonas Blue f/Dakota (28)
28. I Like The Sound Of That - Rascal Flatts (29)
29. Youth - Troye Sivan (33)
30. Spirits - The Strumbellas (34)
31. Beautiful Drug - The Zac Brown Band (17)
32. I Took A Pill In Ibiza - Mike Posner (37)
33. Nobody To Blame - Chris Stapleton (23)
34. Roses - The Chainsmokers f/ROZES (20)
35. Make Me Like You - Gwen Stefani (39)
36. Think Of You - Chris Young f/Cassadee Pope (43)
37. The Sound Of Silence - Disturbed (42)
38. Electric Love - BORNS (40)
39. No - Meghan Trainor (46)
40. Die A Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (38)
41. Angel - Lalah Hathaway (45)
42. Work - Rihanna f/Drake (48)
43. Lush Life - Zara Larsson (49)
44. My House - Flo Rida (44)
45. Off The Ground - The Record Company (57)
46. Hello - Adele (41)
47. Light It Up - Major Lazer f/Nyla & Fuse ODG (47)
48. Pillowtalk - Zayn (52)
49. If You Like It - Stonebridge f/Elsa Li Jones (51)
50. Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw (54)
51. T-Shirt - Thomas Rhett (65)
52. That Don't Sound Like You - Lee Brice (62)
53. My Church - Maren Morris (53)
54. Something About You - Da Buzz (68)
55. Mind Reader - Dustin Lynch (59)
56. Confession - Florida Georgia Line (56)
57. Lost Boy - Ruth B. (60)
58. True Original - Dave Aude f/Andy Bell (36)
59. The Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy (55)
60. Sound Of Your Heart - Shawn Hook (61)
61. Cheap Thrills - Sia (72)
62. New Romantics - Taylor Swift (66)
63. Me, Myself & I - G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha (63)
64. This One's For Me & You - Johnny Gill f/New Edition (64)
65. Pretty Pimpin' - Kurt Vile (32)
66. One By One - Glovibes & Luciana (71)
67. Reapers - Muse (67)
68. Stitches - Shawn Mendes (58)
69. Good Love - Keith Sweat (69)
70. Somewhere On A Beach - Dierks Bentley (74)
71. Hands To Myself - Selena Gomez (76)
72. February (One Last Kiss) - Joe Gauthreaux f/Abigail (86)
73. 10000 Emerald Pools - BORNS (78)
74. Never Forget You - Zara Larsson & MNEK (DEBUT)
75. Came Here To Forget - Blake Shelton (87)
76. One Night - WTS f/Gia (96)
77. Genghis Khan - Miike Snow (DEBUT)
78. Middle - DJ Snake f/Bipolar Sunshine (79)
79. Say You Do - Sigala f/Imani & DJ Fresh (81)
80. I'm Feeling You - KC & The Sunshine Band f/Bimbo Jones (80)
81. Work From Home - Fifth Harmony f/Ty Dolla $ign (85)
82. Love Overdose - Nikki Lund vs North2South (82)
83. In The Dark - 3 Doors Down (83)
84. Rise Up - Andra Day (88)
85. Hide Away - Daya (70)
86. Stay - Kygo f/Maty Noyes (91)
87. Piece Of Me - MK f/Becky Hill (DEBUT)
88. Catch & Release - Matt Simons (93)
89. Electric Walk - Nytrix f/Dev (DEBUT)
90. Amen - Anthony Hamilton (94)
91. Capsized - Andrew Bird (DEBUT)
92. Keep You In Mind - Guordan Banks (98)
93. Backroad Song - Granger Smith (89)
94. Noise - Kenny Chesney (DEBUT)
95. This Girl - KUNGS vs Cookin' on 3 Burners (97)
96. Huntin', Fishin' & Lovin' Every Day - Luke Bryan (100)
97. Desire - Years & Years (DEBUT)
98. Wait - Vinny Vero f/Mykal Kilgore (DEBUT)
99. Pride - American Authors (DEBUT)
100. Runaway - Bright Lights f/3LAU (RE-ENTRY)

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 that artist's official website. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 4/29/16 - We both lie silently still in the dead of the night, although we both lie close together we feel miles apart inside...


"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" - Poison
from the album Open Up And Say... Ahhh! (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from the "glam-metal" rock band Poison, whose sophomore album Open Up And Say... Ahhh! had landed them a second top ten pop hit with "Nothing But A Good Time" and almost another one with "Fallen Angel". Like many hard-rock act in the decade, for the third single the boys rolled out the "power-ballad" of the album, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn". Written by the four bandmates and produced by Tom Werman, the countrified love song sung from the view of an imperfect (and probably raucous) man to his girl most likely was inspired by life on the road for this troublesome group, and it eventually became their biggest hit on the pop chart...


"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" became the band sole #1 pop hit in America in December of 1988. The song also climbed to #11 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the record made the top ten in Ireland (#8) and New Zealand (#8), and the top-20 in the UK (#13, their biggest hit there), Switzerland (#12), Australia (#16), and the Netherlands (#18).

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Aussie Sweep: April 28, 2016..


It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making the local-artists chart in Australia this week, as Sia holds at #1 with "Cheap Thrills" (gnash leads the all-inclusive chart with "I Hate U, I Love U" with Olivia O'Brien)...

Two metalcore bands from the state of New South Wales, Northlane from Sydney and In Hearts Wake from Byron Bay, collaborate at #5 with the 3-track EP Equinox...


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Songoftheday 4/28/16 - I recorded every movement and plotted how to seize her, I used a tiny camera I thought I'd Japanese her...


"Spy In The House Of Love" - Was (Not Was)
from the album What Up, Dog? (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from the alternative-pop/dance act Was (Not Was), who were led and put together by producers David Weiss (David Was) and Don Fagenson (Don Was) in the late 70s in Detroit. In 1980, they released the single "Wheel Me Out" (with Weiss' mom Elizabeth singing/speaking), which landed at #34 on Billboard's Dance Club Play/Disco chart. But by the time of their self-titled debut album a year later, the duo brought on a pair of soul singers in "Sweet Pea" Atkinson and Harry Bowens, who added a flavor of old-style soul to the avant-garde production. Their first release together, "Out Come The Freaks", was a nod to the hiphop/disco amalgam that was gaining tread with the Sugar Hill Gang and the Furious Five, and climbed to #16 on the dance chart. Another track from the album, "Tell Me That I'm Dreaming", made it to #3 on that list, and crossed over to Billboard's R&B chart at #68.

Two years later, the band released their sophomore full-length set, Born To Laugh At Tornadoes, which had gathered a cult following since, with its mixture of styles and guests as varied as Mel Torme' and Ozzy Osbourne. "(Return To The Valley of) Out Come The Freaks", a sequel of sorts to their hit from the last album, in a old-school soul style like the Drifters, just missed the top-40 in England at #41.

In 1986, their most successful album to date, What Up, Dog?, was recorded, which found Was (Not Was) a much tighter unit and centered on Atkinson and Bowens singing more classic pop instead of the studio tricks that marked their last albums. The first single from the set, the funky workout "Robot Girl", nicked the British chart at #95. But the second release, "Spy In The House Of Love", was a perfect nugget of dance-pop with Atkinson's growl weaving a tale of betrayal over a sophisti-pop groove...


"Spy In The House of Love" became the group's first big pop success in the States, reaching the top-20 on the pop chart in December of 1988. The song also crossed over to Billboard's R&B chart at #77. Internationally, the record initially went to #51 in the UK in 1987, but on re-release a year later climbed to #21 (and #13 in Ireland). The 12" remixed single, which sounded dramatically different from the original version, topped the American dance chart for two weeks, and was one of the most notable club hits of the year.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

German Sweep: April 27, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as Australian singer/songwriter Sia claims her first #1 hit in the country with "Cheap Thrills" featuring Sean Paul (it's also his first #1 as well)...

1. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia featuring Sean Paul (2)
2. "Faded" - Alan Walker (1)
3. "Die Immer Lacht" - Stereoact featuring Kirsten Ott (3)
4. "Stressed Out" - twenty-one pilots (4)
5. "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" - Mike Posner (5)
6. "One Dance" - Drake featuring Wizkid (DEBUT)
7. "Work From Home" - Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla Sign (7)
8. "Fast Car" - Jonas Blue featuring Dakota (6)
9. "Don't Let Me Down" - The Chainsmokers featuring Daya (DEBUT)
10. "Bonbon" - Era Istrefi (DEBUT)

Canadian rap star Drake jumps into the top ten at #6 with "One Dance" featuring Wizkid. It's his second top ten hit here, after his featured role this year on Rihanna's "Work"...

(Well, what do you know, they pulled the YouTube audio track for this. Without an official version. Bastards!)

American DJ duo the Chainsmokers grab their first top ten hit in this country with "Don't Let Me Down" featuring vocalist Daya...


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Songoftheday 4/27/16 - Well if you wanna see other guys, baby I could let it slide...


"Finish What Ya Started" - Van Halen
from the album OU812 (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from the hard rock band Van Halen, whose second album with new lead singer/guitarist Sammy Hagar, OU812, had scored a #1 rock hit with "Black And Blue" as well as a top-5 pop follow-up with the song "When It's Love". However, accusations of the group, known best for Eddie Van Halen's guitar work, "softening" their sound for pop hits and straying away from good old rock and roll, still bubbled around. Hence, it was a smart move for their third release from OU812 to bring out a track that featured no synthesizers at all, but rather good old rhythm and plucked guitar. "Finish What Ya Started", a rather meek plea to a lover to get them off despite knowing they fool around, was a nice slice of southern groove rock written primarily by Sammy and Eddie...


"Finish What Ya Started" became the third top-40 pop hit from OU812 in America in December of 1988. The song also climbed up to #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

French Sweep: April 26, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as KUNGS and Cookin' on 3 Burners recapture the #1 spot for a second non-consecutive week...

1. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs Cookin' On 3 Burners (2)
2. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia (3)
3. "Paradise" - Nehuda featuring Cris Cab (DEBUT)
4. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (5)
5. "One Dance" - Drake featuring WizKid (1)
6. "Faded" - Alan Walker (4)
7. "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" - Mike Posner (6)
8. "Stressed Out" - twenty-one pilots (7)
9. "7 Years" - Lukas Graham (8)
10. "Catch & Release" - Matt Simons (10)

French singer Nehuda, who appeared on the fourth season of this country's version of The Voice, leaps into the top ten at #3 with "Paradise" featuring American singer/songwriter Cris Cab, who had a top ten hit of his own two years ago with "Liar Liar"...




Songoftheday 4/26/16 - We are the people that can find whatever you may need, if you got the money honey we got your disease...


"Welcome To The Jungle" - Guns N' Roses
from the album Appetite For Destruction (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day is by the hard rock/Blues-metal band Guns N' Roses, who had broke through on pop radio in a big way in the fall of 1988 with the love ballad suite "Sweet Child Of Mine", which went to #1 on the Hot 100. Capitalizing on that success, the group re-released their second single, "Welcome To The Jungle", which originally hit rock radio airwaves in the spring of that year, reaching #37 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart. But this time around, radio was primed and ready based on the incredible sales of their debut album Appetite for Destruction, which validated putting such hard-edged material in rotation. I'm telling you, Axl Rose's screech in the chorus with the "bring you to your kn-kn-kn-kn-knees!" is evil in a way that most people not exposed to Ozzy Osborne had yet to hear. And the bleak representation of life in the underbelly of Los Angeles was like a spotlight on a rash that had not been exposed to so many. Written by Axl along with lead guitarist Slash and bass man Duff McKagan, the song cut across the sugar-filled landscape of pop radio like a machete, but did have that amazing bridge where it almost morphs into a sanguine ballad (kind of like "Layla" at its 2 and a half minute mark) before being yanked back into the devilish darkness...


"Welcome To The Jungle" became Guns N' Roses' second top-10 hit on the American pop chart in December of 1988. Internationally, the song reached #24 in the UK, #6 in New Zealand, and #14 in Ireland.

But in my opinion, more than Nirvana, this band and especially this single started the change in pop radio that would see more rawer rock and rap music eventually dominate through the next decade.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Robbed Hit of the week 4/25/16 - Depeche Mode's "Strangelove"...


"Strangelove" - Depeche Mode
from the album Music For The Masses (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #76 (in 1987), #50 (in 1988)

This week's 'robbed hit' comes from the British new wave band Depeche Mode, who had garnered a fanbase large enough to fill the Rose Bowl stadium, but was still a musical delicacy on American pop radio. They managed to break through in the summer of 1985 with the top-20 hit "People Are People", but were passed over by stations on their (in my opinion best) album Black Celebration the following year. In 1987, the group put out the ambitiously-titled Music For The Masses album, and the first single was the Bond-esque dance track "Strangelove". While the song became their first #1 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart in the U.S., and peaked at #16 in their native Britain, it pooped out at #76 on the American pop Hot 100.


After a couple more singles from Music..., including a reworked version of album track "Behind The Wheel" mixed with "Route 66" that was pretty popular and made it to the middle of the pop chart in America, they (or, rather, Mute Records) brought back "Strangelove" to the States, this time in a remix done by cut-and-paste masters Bomb the Bass, who had a top-10 British hit with "Beat Dis" that year...



This time around, "Strangelove" did a bit better, but stopped short of the American Top-40 at the halfway point on the Hot 100 in October of 1988. The new mixes re-appeared on the dance chart at #24.

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Songoftheday 4/25/16 - When you look around you wonder, do you play to win? Or are you just a bad loser?


"Domino Dancing" - Pet Shop Boys
from the album Introspective (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day is by the Pet Shop Boys, whose second album Actually had rewarded them with a trio of top-10 pop hits in America with "It's A Sin", "What Have I Done To Deserve This" with Dusty Springfield, and their cover of "Always On My Mind". Instead of using that momentum for a third full-length album, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe took a little bit of a left turn with an EP titles Introspective. A six-track set that had an extended version of "Always On My Mind", it was preceded by the decidedly different first single "Domino Dancing". Written by the duo and produced with Miami-based guru Lewis Martinee', who had success with his female vocal group Expose' ("Come Go With Me", "Point Of No Return"), the record had much more in common with the latter's work, although the biting wit of Tennant's lyrics is still hidden in there. That, along with the music video, filmed in Puerto Rico with lots of Latin muscled boys in the mix, reminded us, yes, it was the Pet Shop Boys after all...


"Domino Dancing" became the pair's sixth and so far most recent top-40 hit in the U.S. in December of 1988. The single also made Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart at #22, while the extended remix reached #5 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the song went top-ten in Germany (#3), Ireland (#4), Italy (#4), Switzerland (#5), Norway (#5), Belgium (#6), Sweden (#6), the Netherlands (#7), New Zealand (#9), and their native UK (#7).

The next single from the set, the more electro-pop goodness of "Left To My Own Devices" (which I personally would've preferred to have been the lead single), did better for them in England, climbing to #4, but in the States it stalled out down at #84. Another stellar track, the third single "It's Alright", was another top-ten hit in the UK at #5, making four total of those (albeit not in radio-version form) on the EP. The entire set itself made the American dance chart at #15.

By the time their next full-length album, Behaviour, was released in 1990, American pop radio had mostly passed them by, with the first single "So Hard" stopping at #62 (that song did make it to #17 on the Modern Rock radio list). Two more minor pop hits came from the record, but even another fun remake, this time the mash-up of U2's "Where The Streets Have No Name" with the Four Seasons' "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", only manage to squeak by at #72. They both went to #4 in the UK, where their popularity kept going strong.

In 1993 the Boys' fourth full-length album, Very, landed them in the top ten on the modern rock radio chart in America for the final time with "Can You Forgive Her?", which also brought them back to #1 on the Dance chart for the third time (after "West End Girls" and "What Have You Done..."). A second single, a remake of the Village People's camp anthem "Go West", also hit the top of the US Dance list and reached #2 on the British chart. They would continue their success internationally and in the gay-dominated dance clubs, reaching the top-10 in the UK as recently as in 2008 with "I'm With Stupid". Their 2009 release, Yes, gave them two top-40 UK pop/#1 US dance hits with "Love Etc." and "Did You See Me Coming?". The duo has no perception of stopping, scoring yet another #1 club hit this past week with "The Pop Kids" from their new Super album.

But "Domino Dancing" marked the point when the Boys went from being pop up-and-comers to underground cult faves.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Songoftheday 4/24/16 - All around the world there are people like you and me, from the poorest beggar in the street to the richest king and queen...


"Small World" - Huey Lewis & The News
from the album Small World (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day comes from the squeaky-clean pop/rock band Huey Lewis & The News, who had scored their twelfth top ten hit with "Perfect World". The second single from the Small World album was the 'part one' version of the title track. Written by Lewis and band guitarist Chris Hayes, is seemingly cribs the keyboard riff from Prince's "1999", tweaks it just a little, and offers up a slightly jazzy slice of cosmopolitan adult-pop...


"Small World" became the second top-40 hit from the Small World album in November of 1988. The single also crossed over to #19 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or 'easy listening') radio chart, and made it to #25 on their Mainstream Rock list.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dance Sweep: April 30, 2016...


It's time to wrap up this week's 'music sweeps', checking out the songs making the charts in Billboard magazine. I'll end with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, The Pet Shop Boys go to #1 with "The Pop Kids"...

Remixers DirtyFreqs team up with Australian singer Vassy at #42 with "T.U.T.P. (Turn Up The Party)". Grade: B-


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Country Sweep: April 30, 2016...






Part four of today's 'music sweeps' is here with the latest songs making the charts in Billboard magazine. This time out it's the newest on country radio...

On their Country Airplay chart, Rascal Flatts finally make it to #1 again in their 31st week with "I Like The Sound Of That". It's their first leader since "Banjo" in 2012...

Craig Campbell comes in at #56 with his spiritual tome "Outskirts Of Heaven". Grade: D+


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Soul Sweep: April 30, 2016...


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

On their main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Rihanna's "Work" featuring Drake is on top for a seventh week...

Neo-soul artist Maxwell comes in at #30 with my "Soul Pick of the Week", "Lake By The Ocean". The track also leaps into the top ten on the Adult R&B list at #8. Grade: B


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Rock Sweep: April 30, 2016...


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

On the main Rock Airplay chart, the Cold War Kids hang tight at #1 for a 16th consecutive week with "First"...

Indietronica band Joywave claim this week's "Rock Pick of the Week" and the top new entry at #46 with "Destruction". The track also moves back to its peak of #21 on the Alternative chart. Grade: A-


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Pop Sweep: April 30, 2016...


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

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), radio airplay from all formats, and sales (like Amazon MP3 and iTunes), Rihanna and Drake hold on to the top spot for a ninth week with "Work"...

Pitbull is back with a new single that samples heavily from an older classic, as his "Messin' Around" featuring Enrique Iglesias becomes the top new entry at #70. Its title and chorus is cribbed from REO Speedwagon's "Take It On The Run". It's the first track from his upcoming Climate Change album to make the top 100. Grade: D+


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Songoftheday 4/23/16 - I can't believe I could of been so blind but love is strange, I thought about it for a long long time but the truth remains...


"Edge Of A Broken Heart" - Vixen
from the album Vixen (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #26 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's song of the day comes from the all-female "glam metal" band Vixen, who originally was formed in the early 80's in Los Angeles, but by the time their self-titled first album was released, only guitarist Jan Kuehnemund remained from their starting lineup. Although sporting an image of a womanly version of Poison (yes, I know), the album had producers like David Cole (of the future C&C Music Factory) and Richard Marx, the latter co-writing their first single "Edge Of A Broken Heart" with Fee Waybill of the new wave group the Tubes. No matter the heritage of the track, the band sold the pop/metal vibe and their made-up looks got the guys attention as much as lead singer Janet Gardner's voice, but either way they were a fresh respite from the testosterone-filled room of hard rock...


"Edge of A Broken Heart" became Vixen's first top-40 pop hit in November of 1988. The single also crossed over to the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard magazine at #24. The song was a minor hit in England as well at #51.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Brit Sweep: April 22, 2016...


Hey guys and gals, it's time to head over the Atlantic yet again to check out some of the songs making their way on to the official singles chart in the UK this week, as Drake tops the British list for a second week with "One Dance"...

American pop singer/songwriter Pink returns to the chart at #32 with her contribution to the upcoming Alice Through The Looking Glass movie, "Just Like Fire". She's been incredibly successful in Britain, racking up 18 top ten hits so far...


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twostepcub's music chart for April 22, 2016...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Lukas Graham spends their second week at #1, while country singer Cole Swindell (pictured above) makes it to the top-5. Songs from Thomas Rhett, Sia, and Keith Sweat have the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, and Dirty Disco/Inaya Day drop out. Can a brother spare a contract?

This Week       Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. 7 Years - Lukas Graham (1)
2. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (3)
3. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (2)
4. Let It Go - James Bay (5)
5. You Should Be Here - Cole Swindell (9)
6. Snapback - Old Dominion (11)
7. Drunk On Your Love - Brett Eldredge (8)
8. When We Were Young - Adele (4)
9. One Call Away - Charlie Puth (10)
10. Mountain At My Gates - Foals (6)
11. First - Cold War Kids (15)
12. Something In The Way You Move - Ellie Goulding (16)
13. Brand New - Ben Rector (17)
14. Adventure Of A Lifetime - Coldplay (14)
15. The Pop Kids - Pet Shop Boys (25)
16. Under The Influence - Elle King (21)
17. Beautiful Drug - The Zac Brown Band (7)
18. Trip Switch - Nothing But Thieves (13)
19. Walking On A Dream - Empire Of The Sun (23)
20. Roses - The Chainsmokers f/ROZES (12)
21. Piece By Piece - Kelly Clarkson (29)
22. Ride - twenty-one pilots (32)
23. Nobody To Blame - Chris Stapleton (19)
24. Little Bit Of You - Chase Bryant (24)
25. America's Sweetheart - Elle King (26)
26. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (28)
27. Faded - Alan Walker (31)
28. Fast Car - Jonas Blue f/Dakota (30)
29. I Like The Sound Of That - Rascal Flatts (33)
30. Ophelia - The Lumineers (34)
31. Hey No Pressure - Ray Lamontagne (35)
32. Pretty Pimpin' - Kurt Vile (22)
33. Youth - Troye Sivan (37)
34. Spirits - The Strumbellas (38)
35. Heartbeat - Carrie Underwood (20)
36. True Original - Dave Aude f/Andy Bell (18)
37. I Took A Pill In Ibiza - Mike Posner (47)
38. Die A Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (36)
39. Make Me Like You - Gwen Stefani (43)
40. Electric Love - BORNS (42)
41. Hello - Adele (27)
42. The Sound Of Silence - Disturbed (44)
43. Think Of You - Chris Young f/Cassadee Pope (50)
44. My House - Flo Rida (48)
45. Angel - Lalah Hathaway (49)
46. No - Meghan Trainor (54)
47. Light It Up - Major Lazer f/Nyla & Fuse ODG (57)
48. Work - Rihanna f/Drake (52)
49. Lush Life - Zara Larsson (51)
50. I'm In Love With My Life - PHASES (40)
51. If You Like It - Stonebridge f/Elsa Li Jones (61)
52. Pillowtalk - Zayn (62)
53. My Church - Maren Morris (53)
54. Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw (59)
55. The Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy (55)
56. Confession - Florida Georgia Line (56)
57. Off The Ground - The Record Company (67)
58. Stitches - Shawn Mendes (46)
59. Mind Reader - Dustin Lynch (64)
60. Lost Boy - Ruth B (74)
61. Sound Of Your Heart - Shawn Hook (63)
62. That Don't Sound Like You - Lee Brice (80)
63. Me, Myself & I - G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha (71)
64. This One's For Me & You - Johnny Gill f/New Edition (68)
65. T-Shirt - Thomas Rhett (90)
66. New Romantics - Taylor Swift (76)
67. Reapers - Muse (81)
68. Something About You - Da Buzz (DEBUT)
69. Good Love - Keith Sweat (89)
70. Hide Away - Daya (65)
71. One By One - Glovibes & Luciana (91)
72. Cheap Thrills - Sia (96)
73. Hymn For The Weekend - Coldplay (73)
74. Somewhere On A Beach - Dierks Bentley (78)
75. Jealous - M.E.L. (75)
76. Hands To Myself - Selena Gomez (92)
77. Bang My Head - David Guetta f/Sia & Fetty Wap (77)
78. 10000 Emerald Pools - BORNS (94)
79. Middle - DJ Snake f/Bipolar Sunshine (79)
80. I'm Feeling Young - KC & The Sunshine Band f/Bimbo Jones (87)
81. Say You Do - Sigala f/Imani & DJ Fresh (85)
82. Love Overdose - Nikki Lund vs North2South (86)
83. In The Dark - 3 Doors Down (83)
84. Solid Ground - Kourtney Kelly (84)
85. Work From Home - Fifth Harmony f/Ty Dolla Sign (93)
86. February (One Last Kiss) - Joe Gauthreaux f/Abigail (DEBUT)
87. Came Here To Forget - Blake Shelton (97)
88. Rise Up - Andra Day (88)
89. Backroad Song - Granger Smith (69)
90. Same Old Love - Selena Gomez (70)
91. Stay - Kygo f/Maty Noyes (95)
92. Take Me Back - Claire Rasa (58)
93. Catch & Release (Deepend Remix) - Matt Simons (RE-ENTRY)
94. Amen - Anthony Hamilton (98)
95. Lithium - Athena (60)
96. One Night - WTS f/Gia (DEBUT)
97. This Girl - KUNGS vs Cookin' on 3 Burners (99)
98. Keep You In Mind - Guordan Banks (DEBUT)
99. Girls Like - Tinie Tempah f/Zara Larsson (DEBUT)
100. Huntin', Fishin' & Lovin' Every Day - Luke Bryan (DEBUT)

There are six 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 for music, tour dates, and more info. And here they are on video, after the break...

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Songoftheday 4/22/16 - So listen now Velvet Lou was a neighbor of mine, now he walks the dog in Jersey brother...


"Downtown Life" - Daryl Hall/John Oates
from the album Oooh Yeah!!! (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #31 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from the biggest pop duo of the 1980's, Daryl Hall and John Oates, who had switched record labels to Arista and came back in 1988 with a top-3 pop hit in "Everything Your Heart Desires" and a top-40 follow-up in "Missed Opportunity". For their third release from the Oooh Yeah!!! album, they did a single-buyers enhancing trick, remixing the radio version of their album cut "Downtown Life". Written by the pair along with longtime collaborator Sara Allen and (the late) guitarist Rick Iantosca, it was a frenetic piece of pop music glamming on to the dance-pop leanings of mainstream radio at the time...


Hall & Oates - Downtown Life by jpdc11

"Downtown Life" became the third top-40 pop hit from Oooh Yeah!! in November of 1988.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Aussie Sweep: April 21, 2016...


It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making the local artists chart in Australia this week, as Sia reigns with "Cheap Thrills" (American act Gnash featuring singer Olivia O'Brien climb to #1 on the main chart with "I Hate U, I Love U")...

Sydney-based electronica DJ/producer Chris Emerson, aka What So Not, comes in at #6 with "Lone" featuring Ganz and Joy. The act formerly was a duo with Emerson and Flume, who has a hit of his own worldwide with "Never Be Like You"...


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Songoftheday 4/21/16 - If you need a friend don't look to a stranger, you know in the end I'll always be there...


"The Promise" - When In Rome
from the album When In Rome (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the British dance/sophisti-pop band When In Rome, who came together in the mid-80's when singer Clive Farrington hired on keyboard man Michael Floreale and vocalist Andrew Mann in Manchester, England. The trio released their self-titled debut (and what would be their only full-length effort) in the spring of 1988, with the first single "The Promise" taking a long journey to the top of the charts. A synth-driven slice of ethereal sonnet, the song gave some class to the dancefloor, even though the lead singer looks like the stripper version of Michael Hutchence of INXS. It went to #1 in June, then slowly but surely pop radio caught on by the end of the year...


"The Promise" became When In Rome's sole top-40 pop hit in the U.S., barely missing the top ten in December of 1988. The song also slipped on to the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart at #45. Internationally, the single was a minor hit in their home country, reaching #58 in the UK.

A follow-up single, "Heaven Knows", went to #14 on the Dance chart, and popped on to the Hot 100 at #95. A third release, "Sight Of Your Tears", made it to #40 on the Dance Club chart. They never made it to album number two, splitting into two factions who tour separately on the 80s "oldies" circuit.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

German Sweep: April 20, 2016...


Here's the top ten songs in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as Alan Walker's "Faded" hangs in on top for a tenth week...

1. "Faded" - Alan Walker (1)
2. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia (3)
3. "Die Immer Lacht" - Stereoact featuring Kirsten Ott (2)
4. "Stressed Out" - twenty-one pilots (4)
5. "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" - Mike Posner (5)
6. "Fast Car" - Jonas Blue featuring Dakota (6)
7. "Work From Home" - Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla Sign (8)
8. "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber (7)
9. "Me, Myself & I" - G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha (9)
10. "7 Years" - Lukas Graham (10)

Further down the chart, pop/rock singer Nena (yes, the "99 Luftballons" Nena) returns with her deservedly biggest hit in five years with "Genau Jetzt" ("Just Now") which debuts on the top 100 all the way up at #27...



Songoftheday 4/20/16 - Well I'm no angel now I'll admit, I made a few bad moves I should regret...


"Walk On Water" - Eddie Money
from the album Nothing To Lose (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from rock singer Eddie Money, who had come off the biggest album of his career with Can't Hold Back in 1986, which landed him the top 10 hit "Take Me Home Tonight", along with top-40 follow-ups "I Wanna Go Back" and "Endless Nights". Two years later, Eddie released his seventh album Nothing To Lose, with the same producer, Richie Zito. The first single from the record, "Walk On Water", was another straightforward slice of workingmans rock written by Sammy Hagar sideman Jesse Harms, and floated on its harmonies and "na-na-na's" adorning a bad guy trying to be good tome...


"Walk On Water" became Eddie's second and so-far last top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in December of 1988. The single also climbed to #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

French Sweep: April 19, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Drake leaps in all the way at the top...

1. "One Dance" - Drake featuring Wizkid (DEBUT)
2. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs Cookin' on 3 Burners (1)
3. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia (3)
4. "Faded" - Alan Walker (2)
5. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (6)
6. "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" - Mike Posner (7)
7. "Stressed Out" - twenty-one pilots (4)
8. "7 Years" - Lukas Graham (5)
9. "Hymn For The Weekend" - Coldplay (8)
10. "Catch & Release" - Matt Simons (9)

Surprisingly, Canadian rap star Drake has never been to the top ten in this country before this year, either as a lead artist or a guest; now he's done both, as his featured role on Rihanna's "Work" earned him a #1 record earlier this year, and now his own "One Dance" featuring Wizkid leaps in at the top spot...


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Songoftheday 4/19/16 - I don't mind if you're keepin' someone else behind, I don't care cause you got somethin' I can share...


"I Don't Want Your Love" - Duran Duran
from the album Big Thing (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the British "New Romantic" group Duran Duran, who had reformed after a break down from the "Fab Five" lineup to a trio of singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, and bass man John Taylor. Their 1986 album Notorious brought them back to the top-3 on the pop chart in America with the title track, while the follow-up "Skin Trade" scraped the top-40 as well. Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo from the new wave faves Missing Persons was put in for that album, and later on Sterling Campbell was recruited for drums. However, Warren would not be on the first single from their next album, Big Thing. "I Don't Want Your Love", written by Simon, Nick, and John, though he shows up in the video miming in for studio axe Chester Kamen. The Chic-inspired dance thumper had an attitude that drove away from their teen-swooning roots especially with the lyrics about total non-monogamous carnality. I was all up in that shit when it came out, as the bass-heavy track got them back on pop radio in the States...


"I Don't Want Your Love" became Duran Duran's ninth top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in December of 1988. The 12" single remix (done by Shep Pettibone) landed them their first #1 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart as well. It also crossed over to #13 on their Modern Rock radio list. Internationally, the song topped the Italian singles chart, made the top ten in Ireland (#8), and top-20 in New Zealand (#12), the Netherlands (#11), Switzerland (#15), and their native Britain (#14).

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 4/18/16 - Kim Wilde's "You Came"...


"You Came" - Kim Wilde
from the album Close (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #41

This week's "robbed hit" comes from British pop singer Kim Wilde, who had shed her new-wave beginnings to ride the HI-NRG train all the way to #1 in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, and #2 in her native UK with her cover of the Motown classic "You Keep Me Hangin' On". However, her original follow-up, the slinky mid-tempo "Say You Really Want Me", stopped short of the top-40 in America in 1986.

Two years later, Kim released her sixth album Close, which would go on to be her biggest set internationally. The first single in the UK was the slower-paced "Hey Mister Heartache", which stopped at #31 on the British singles chart. So for release #1, she again went to the clubs and came up with the dance anthem "You Came". Written by Kim and her brother Ricky, who co-produced the album version with Tony Swain (who helmed Bananarama's pre-SAW work), the track was enhanced even more for American ears with a single remix done from Shep Pettibone...


While "You Came" climbed to #3 on the British chart, the single stopped at the frustrating rank of #41 in October of 1988. The song also went to #10 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the single was a huge success, though, reaching #1 in Denmark, top-10 in Finland (#2), Ireland (#3), Switzerland (#3), Italy (#4), Norway (#4), France (#5), Germany (#5), Sweden (#7), Austria (#8), and Belgium (#10). In Australia, the track made it to #34, while in Canada it mimicked the US by stalling at #42.

This would be her last moment on the chart until 1993, when another remake of hers, this time the disco classic "If I Can't Have You", went to #14 on the Dance chart. She still remains a fan favorite just a notch below the Kylie's and the Cheryl's in Europe.

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Songoftheday 4/18/16 - The scales are sometimes unbalanced and you bear the weight of all that has to be, I hope you see that you can lean on me and together we can calm a stormy sea...


"Giving You The Best That I Got" - Anita Baker
from the album Giving You The Best That I Got (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from jazz/soul singer Anita Baker, who had left the band Chapter 8 for a solo career, and with her landmark album Rapture, her second solo release, scored a top-10 pop hit with "Sweet Love", along with a top-40 follow-up in "Caught Up In The Rapture". In 1988, Anita put out her third effort, Giving You The Best That I Got, which would go on to hit #1 on the albums chart for four weeks, and land her a Grammy in 1990 for Best R&B Female Vocal. The title track also won that same award a year earlier, along with Best R&B Song (it was also nominated for Record and Song of the Year), and became her biggest pop hit to date. Co-written by Baker along with Skip Scarborough (who penned Bill Withers' "Lovely Day") and Randy Holland, it put her back in her wheelhouse of smooth, sophisticated jazz music covered in a love song with just enough uncertainty to bring a twinge of emotion in her voice to make this a perfect/imperfect wedding song...


"Giving You The Best That I Got" went to the top-3 on the American pop chart in December of 1988. The single topped both of Billboard's R&B (two weeks) and Adult Contemporary (one week) charts. Internationally, the single itself didn't translate too well, making the top-40 in New Zealand (#25), but missing the top-40 entirely in the UK and Canada (the album, though, did reach #9 in Britain).

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Songoftheday 4/17/16 - I hear your name whispered on the wind, it's a sound that makes me cry...


"Waiting For A Star To Fall" - Boy Meets Girl
from the album Reel Life (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's song of the day comes from the songwriting/performing duo Boy Meets Girl, who had parlayed their success with such hits as Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" to their own record contract, landing a top-40 hit in 1985 with "Oh Girl". Three years later, Shannon Rubicam and George Merrill put out their sophomore effort, Reel Life. On it was a track originally meant for Belinda Carlisle, but ultimate became their own biggest hit, "Waiting For A Star To Fall". Co-produced with Arif Mardin, the hook-filled nugget was one of the most memorable adult-pop hits of the latter part of the 80s...


"Waiting For A Star To Fall" became Boy Meets Girl's biggest hit, reaching the pop top-5 in the U.S. in December of 1988. The single also topped Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the song hit #1 in Canada, #5 in Ireland, and #9 in the UK.

Their follow-up single from Reel Life, "Bring Down The Moon", went to #28 on the Adult Contemporary list but stalled under the top-40 at #49. While the couple split romantically, they continued to record together, though they never hit the chart as a performing act since.

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dance Sweep: April 23, 2016...


I'll wrap up this week's "music sweeps" of the songs reaching the charts in Billboard magazine with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On their DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart,  Rihanna and Drake shimmy to #1 with "Work". They previously went to #6 together on this list with "What's My Name".

L.A.-based DJ Mustard takes the top new entry on the chart at #44 with "Whole Lotta Lovin'" featuring hip-hop aritst Travis Scott. If you listen, you can hear the interpolation of CeCe Peniston's "Finally".  B-


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Country Sweep: April 23, 2016...






Part four of this week's 'music sweeps', checking out the songs reaching the charts in Billboard magazine, is up now with the latest hits on country radio...

On their main Country Airplay chart, Cole Swindell's tearjerking "You Should Be Here" is on top for a third week...

Actress/singer Jana Kramer pulls in at #58 with "Said No One Ever", the third single from her sophomore effort Thirty One. It follows "I Got The Boy", which climbed to #6. C-


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