Tuesday, May 31, 2016

French Sweep: May 31, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, with an old favorite landing on top...

1. "Encore Un Soir" - Celine Dion (DEBUT)
2. "Can't Stop The Feeling!" - Justin Timberlake (1)
3. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (3)
4. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia (4)
5. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (5)
6. "One Dance" - Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla (7)
7. "J'ai Cherche'" - Amir (2)
8. "Il Est Ou Le Bonheur" - Christophe Mae (6)
9. "Bailar" - Deorro featuring Elvis Crespo (DEBUT)
10. "Paname" - Slimane (DEBUT)

Canadian treasure Celine Dion returns to the chart all the way at #1 with "Encore Un Soir" ("Another Night"). It's from her upcoming French-language album, her first studio release since the death of her husband and brother at the beginning of the year. This is her sixth #1 hit in France - all but one, 1998's "My Heart Will Go On", has been a French song.


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Songoftheday 5/31/16 - There's a girl I've been waiting to see, and I really get the feeling that she likes me...


"She Wants To Dance With Me" - Rick Astley
from the album Hold Me In Your Arms (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from fresh-faced British pop singer Rick Astley, whose debut album Whenever You Need Somebody had scored him a pair of #1 pop hits in the U.S. with "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "Together Forever" along with a top-10 followup with "It Would Take A Strong, Strong Man". Since his American releases were trailing those in his native Britain already, by the time the latter song has done its run of the chart, Rick had already recorded his next album. Done with the same production team of Stock-Aitken-Waterman (the guys behind Kylie Minogue, Dead Or Alive, and Bananarama), Hold Me In Your Arms wasn't much of a stray from his first disc, though the lead single "She Wants To Dance With Me" was pretty bouncy (like their usual remixes), but the "sound of a young Britain" (aka suitable for your grandparents to hear) was in full form. And the video. Ah the video. How the dancers suddenly have roller skates on. Then they don't. And Rick's pants pulled up to his nipples. Ah, the white life.

Rick Astley - She Wants Dance With Me from Rick Astley Is Amazing on Vimeo.


"She Wants To Dance With Me" became Rick's fourth consecutive top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in February of 1989. The song also climbed to #5 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, while the 12" remix single reached #13 on their Dance Club Play chart (his last hit there so far). Internationally, the single went to #1 in Canada for a week, got to #6 in his native Britain, and made the top ten in Belgium (#3), Ireland (#4), Spain (#5), the Netherlands (#8), Germany (#10), and New Zealand (#10).

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 5/30/16 - Tracy Chapman's "Baby Can I Hold You"...


"Baby Can I Hold You" - Tracy Chapman
from the album Tracy Chapman (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #48

This week's 'robbed hit' comes from folk-rock singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman, whose Grammy-winning debut album had also landed her a top ten pop hit with "Fast Car" in the summer of 1988. Her politically-motivated follow-up, "Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution", was only a minor pop hit at #75, but did reach Billboard's R&B, rock, and Adult Contemporary charts. The third single, though, was one of the most beautiful love ballads ever recorded in the decade. "Baby Can I Hold You", written by Tracy and produced by David Kershenbaum, the song anchored the emotional weight of her debut disc...


While "Baby Can I Hold You" climbed to #19 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, the song stalled under the top-40 in December of 1988. Internationally, the track went to #16 in New Zealand, but was only a minor hit in Australia (#68) and the UK (#94).

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Dance Sweep: June 4, 2016..


Well, I'm finally caught up to the last of this week's 'music sweeps', sampling the songs making their way on to the charts in Billboard magazine. I'll finish up with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, house music king Tony Moran and singer Jason Walker climb to #1 with "So Happy"...

British neo-house act Gorgon City recruit singer Vaults for the top debut and my "Dance Pick of the Week", "All Four Walls" at #36. Last year they topped this chart with "Go All Night". Grade: A


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Country Sweep: June 4, 2016...






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

On their Country Airplay chart, Dustin Lynch scores his third consecutive #1 hit from his Where It's At album with "Mind Reader"...

Brett Eldredge is in at #58 with the third single from his Illinois album, "Wanna Be That Song". The first, "Lose My Mind", went to #1 last year. Grade: C


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Soul Sweep: June 4, 2016...






We're at the "hump" of this week's make-up "music sweeps", sampling the notable songs reaching the charts in Billboard magazine, and this time out I'm serving up the latest hits on R&B radio...

On their main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Rihanna is finally dethroned at #1 by Brooklyn rapper Desiigner with "Panda"...

Washington, DC's own Wale previews his upcoming Shine album with the track at #42, "MY PYT". While it incorporates the lyrical tag on Michael Jackson's Thriller hit, the most loudest thing is the "Sexual Healing" bassline. Grade: D+


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Rock Sweep: June 4, 2016...






Round two of this week's 'music sweeps' is up, checking out the notable songs making their debut on the charts in Billboard magazine. This time I've got the latest hits on rock radio...

On their main Rock Airplay chart, the Red Hot Chili Peppers spend a second week at #1 with "Dark Necessities"...


Chevelle, not the car but rather the hard rock band from Chicago, are back at #36 with "Joyride (Omen)", the first single from their upcoming eighth album The North Corridor. The song also leaps from #40 to #17 in its second week on the Mainstream Rock format. The group has accrued five top-10 hits on this chart, with "Jars" reaching #2 in 2009. Grade: C-


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Pop Sweep: June 4, 2016...






Hey gang, because of the holiday weekend, it's time to play catch up with my weekly "music sweeps" of the notable songs making the charts in Billboard magazine. As usual, I'll start out on the pop side of things, then later on move to the newest in rock, R&B, country, and dance music...

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

Pop songstress Meghan Trainor leaps on to the chart up at #39 with "Me Too", the second single from her sophomore effort Thank You. The first, "No", made it to #3 earlier this year and this week holds at #19. Grade: C-


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Songoftheday 5/30/16 - Five days a week is absurd, a few days off in his crazy world is something I could use...


"Back On Holiday" - Robbie Nevil
from the album A Place Like This (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #34 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from pop singer/songwriter Robbie Nevil, whose debut album nabbed him a trio of top-40 singles in the U.S., with two of them, "C'est La Vie" and "Wot's It To Ya", reaching the top ten level. In 1988, Robbie released his sophomore effort, A Place Like This, with a lite-reggae "Back On Holiday" as the first single. Written by Nevil along with David Bryant and Steven Dubin, is had a musical tag not unlike War's "Cisco Kid" hidden in there...


"Back On Holiday" became Robbie's fourth top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in January of 1989. The song also climbed to #52 on Billboard's R&B chart.

Up tomorrow: Fresh-faced pop Roller is ready to boogie with the girl.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Songoftheday 5/29/16 - Cold winds blow around me and I can't help but think of you, all the things we wanted all the things we had to do...


"Walking Away" - Information Society
from the album Information Society (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from the band Information Society, who bridged the divide between British-style new wave and Latin freestyle dance music in a fresh way that landed them a top-3 pop hit in the fall of 1988 with "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)". Their follow-up didn't have to sport a Star Trek sample even to get back on radio, as the infectious "Walking Away" took the same musical elements and merged the drama of freestyle with the fun bounciness of new wave, with this heartbreak song written by band keyboardist Paul Robb and produced by Scritti Politti's Fred Maher...


"Walking Away" gave the Information Society their second (and last) top 10 pop hit in the U.S. in February of 1989. The song also climbed to #15 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, and even crossed over to #64 on their R&B list (their sole track to do so).

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Songoftheday 5/28/16 - You don't have to be beautiful to turn me on, I just need your body baby from dusk till dawn...


"Kiss" - The Art Of Noise featuring Tom Jones
from the album The Best Of The Art Of Noise (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #31 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day is by the British art-rock collective the Art Of Noise, who had landed a left-field top-40 pop hit in the U.S. with the novelty single "Paranoimia" in the fall of 1986. Two years later, with just Anne Dudley and J.J. Jeczalik remaining as active members, the act recorded a new track for a "greatest hits" collection with Welsh superstar pop singer Tom Jones. Jones, who had racked up a truckload of hits in the 60s and 70s, had spent most of the 80s recording country albums, and hadn't been in the pop top-40 in the U.S. since "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow" over a decade before in 1977. Their new collaboration was a remake of Prince's "Kiss", which had gone to #1 only a couple years before. The Art of Noise treatment, which admitted was ghost-white compares to the inherent funkiness of Prince's original, nevertheless was sold by Jones' earnest delivery, along with some fun horn callbacks to the band's previous hits like "Paranoimia" and "Peter Gunn"...


The Art Of Noise's version of "Kiss" reached the American top 40 in January of 1989. The single also climbed to #14 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, and the remix hit #18 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the single peaked at #5 in the artist's own UK (one notch higher than Prince did in 1986), #1 in Norway and Spain, and top-10 in Australia (#8), Sweden (#5), Austria (#4), Belgium (#5), Ireland (#8), and the Netherlands (#6).

The Art Of Noise released a new studio album, Below The Waste, later that year, but managed only to have a minor hit in the UK with the African-styled "Yebo!". They decided to split up by the start of the new decade. In 1992, on the collection The FON Mixes, an instrumental track "Instruments Of Darkness", with a remix from the fave group the Prodigy, slipped in at #42 on the American dance chart and almost made the British pop top-40 at #45. Dudley reunited with former Art members Trevor Horn and Paul Morley along with 10cc's Lol Creme in 1999 for the Seduction of Claude Debussy album, scoring a minor hit in the UK with "Metaforce" featuring rapper Rakim (#53). Meanwhile, Tom had a renaissance of sorts, first in the clubs, where he went to #4 in the US dance chart in 1994 with "If I Only Knew". In 1999, his totally awesome Reload album landed him five top-40 hits in the UK, with "Sexbomb" going to #3 in the Britain and #11 on the US dance list. As recently as 2006, Tom hit the top 10 in his homeland with "Stoned In Love" with Chicane. He now is beloved as the most level-headed judge/mentor on the British version of The Voice.

Up tomorrow: Freestyle new-wavers trot on.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Brit Sweep: May 27, 2016...


It's time to trek across the Atlantic to check out the notable songs making their debut on the just-released official singles chart in Britain this week, as Drake surprisingly holds off Justin Timberlake again to spend a seventh week at #1 with "One Dance"...

Drum and bass act Sigma returns at #21 with "Cry" featuring 'boyband' legends Take That...


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twostepcub's music chart for May 27, 2016...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Danish rock band Lukas Graham holds at #1 for a fifth week, while Kelly Clarkson (pictured above) climbs into the top five. Former big hits from Ray LaMontagne, Nothing But Thieves, and Gwen Stefani drop off my list, while songs from Rachel Platten, Volbeat, and Zara Larsson/MNEK make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). May all Americans have a peaceful Memorial Day weekend...

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. 7 Years - Lukas Graham (1)
2. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (2)
3. Walking On A Dream - Empire Of The Sun (3)
4. Piece By Piece - Kelly Clarkson (6)
5. Ride - twenty-one pilots (7)
6. Snapback - Old Dominion (4)
7. Brand New - Ben Rector (5)
8. Something In The Way You Move - Ellie Goulding (8)
9. Spirits - The Strumbellas (11)
10. Ophelia - The Lumineers (10)
11. T-Shirt - Thomas Rhett (18)
12. I Took A Pill In Ibiza - Mike Posner (12)
13. The Pop Kids - Pet Shop Boys (9)
14. One Call Away - Charlie Puth (14)
15. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (16)
16. Off The Ground - The Record Company (20)
17. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (13)
18. Think Of You - Chris Young f/Cassadee Pope (17)
19. First - Cold War Kids (15)
20. Pillowtalk - Zayn (26)
21. Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw (28)
22. Mind Reader - Dustin Lynch (29)
23. If You Like It - Stonebridge f/Elsa Li Jones (23)
24. Never Forget You - Zara Larsson & MNEK (39)
25. No - Meghan Trainor (25)
26. This One's For Me & You - Johnny Gill f/New Edition (38)
27. America's Sweetheart - Elle King (19)
28. You Should Be Here - Cole Swindell (24)
29. Let It Go - James Bay (22)
30. Work - Rihanna f/Drake (30)
31. Faded - Alan Walker (21)
32. Cheap Thrills - Sia (40)
33. Adventure Of A Lifetime - Coldplay (31)
34. One Night - WTS f/Gia (42)
35. Lost Boy - Ruth B. (45)
36. My House - Flo Rida (36)
37. Mountain At My Gates - Foals (27)
38. Don't Let Me Down - The Chainsmokers f/Daya (48)
39. My Church - Maren Morris (46)
40. So Happy - Tony Moran f/Jason Walker (55)
41. Youth - Troye Sivan (33)
42. Little Bit Of You - Chase Bryant (35)
43. Somewhere On A Beach - Dierks Bentley (53)
44. The Sound Of Silence - Disturbed (37)
45. Angel - Lalah Hathaway (41)
46. Good Love - Keith Sweat (51)
47. Lush Life - Zara Larsson (43)
48. Feel This Way - Philip George f/Dragonette (58)
49. All My Friends - Snakehips f/Tinashe & Chance The Rapper (63)
50. Piece Of Me - MK f/Becky Hill (54)
51. Keep You In Mind - Guordan Banks (66)
52. Genghis Khan - Miike Snow (52)
53. Die A Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (49)
54. Something About You - Da Buzz (44)
55. I Like The Sound Of That - Rascal Flatts (50)
56. Came Here To Forget - Blake Shelton (62)
57. Hands To Myself - Selena Gomez (57)
58. Can't Stop The Feeling! - Justin Timberlake (DEBUT)
59. Smile - Sheila Gordhan (69)
60. Me, Myself & I - G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha (61)
61. New Romantics - Taylor Swift (56)
62. Noise - Kenny Chesney (76)
63. Kiss This - The Struts (73)
64. Work From Home - Fifth Harmony f/Ty Dolla $ign (64)
65. Coming Home - Dillon Francis & Kygo f/James Hersey (75)
66. Ain't No Man - The Avett Brothers (81)
67. Light It Up - Major Lazer f/Nyla & Fuse ODG (67)
68. Running Wild - Morgan Page f/Oddicitons & Bret Daley (68)
69. Stay - Kygo f/Maty Noyes (71)
70. Catch & Release - Matt Simons (70)
71. Fire - Barns Courtney (79)
72. Capsized - Andrew Bird (80)
73. Just Like Fire - Pink (83)
74. Better Place - Rachel Platten (94)
75. I Need Never Get Old - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (85)
76. Send My Love (To Your New Lover) - Adele (DEBUT)
77. The Devil's Bleeding Crown -Volbeat (97)
78. Emotionless - Red Sun Rising (78)
79. Record Year - Eric Church (89)
80. Confession - Florida Georgia Line (65)
81. Handclap - Fitz & The Tantrums (DEBUT)
82. Woman Woman - AWOLnation (86)
83. Head Over Boots - Jon Pardi (87)
84. Amen - Anthony Hamilton (84)
85. Happy Song - Bring Me The Horizon (90)
86. Get On Up - Aristofreeks f/Next Step & Kathy Sledge (DEBUT)
87. Nothing Like This - Blonde f/Craig David (91)
88. Huntin', Fishin' & Lovin' Every Day - Luke Bryan (88)
89. Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers (DEBUT)
90. Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy (59)
91. Wasted Time - Keith Urban (95)
92. So Alive - Goo Goo Dolls (96)
93. Insane - Ro-MiNa & Christiano Jordano (DEBUT)
94. Under These Lights - Xenia Ghali (98)
95. Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande (99)
96. Bored To Death - Blink-182 (DEBUT)
97. Church Bells - Carrie Underwood (DEBUT)
98. Lights Come On - Jason Aldean (100)
99. One Dance - Drake f/WizKid (RE-ENTRY)
100. This Is What You Came For - Calvin Harris f/Rihanna (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 5/27/16 - Workin' all week 9 to 5 for my money, so when the weekend comes I go get live with the honeys...


"Wild Thing" - Tone Lōc
from the album Lōc-ed After Dark (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from rapper Tone Lōc, aka Anthony Smith from Los Angeles, who released his debut album Lōc-ed After Dark in the beginning of 1989. A mostly comical record, the first single from the set was "Wild Thing", which wasn't a remake of the 60s grunge-rock classic by the Troggs, but rather a stand-up sketch done to a sample of Van Halen's "Jamie's Cryin'". Not only was the musical 'hook' of the song cribbed, but even the grainy low-rent video was a copy of Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love"/"Simply Irresistible" videos, which I guess they explained away as parody. "Wild Thing" itself wasn't even written by the rapper, but rather by Delicious Vinyl go-to Marvin Young, who would introduce himself to the world as Young MC in short time with "Bust A Move"...


"Wild Thing" went all the way up to the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in February of 1989, selling over two million copies in the process. The track also climbed to #3 on Billboard's R&B chart, while the 12" remix topped their Dance Club Play chart for a week. Internationally, the song went to #1 in New Zealand, #4 in the Netherlands, and top-40 in the UK (#21), Australia (#15), Germany (#18), and Switzerland (#23). But for a novelty record, the single lives on, with just this past Mother's Day weekend with me at the beach hearing the song blare out from speakers of a boardwalk bar.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Aussie Sweep: May 26, 2016...






It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their way on to the local artists chart in Australia this week, as Dami Im's Eurovision runner-up song "Sound Of Silence" jumps to #1 (Drake's "One Dance" holds at #1 on the main chart)...

International country star Keith Urban pairs up with American Idol Carrie Underwood for "The Fighter" at #4...


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Songoftheday 5/26/16 - Lost in a dream I don't know which way to go, you are all that you see the minute I'm movin' way to slow...


"Straight Up" - Paula Abdul
from the album Forever Your Girl (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's song of the day comes from dancer/singer Paula Abdul, who back in the day got her start as a dancer and cheerleader, being picked to become one of the "L.A. Lakers Girls", performing at the basketball teams' games, where she was spotted by the Jacksons, who took her on as their own choreographer during their Victory album videos and tour. Also, sister Janet had hired her to lead the dancing on her videos from her classic Control album as well (appearing in "What Have You Done For Me Lately" as well). With the exposure and money from these jobs, Paula set out for her own recording career. The first single from her debut album Forever Your Girl, "Knocked Out", went top-10 on the R&B chart, but missed the pop top-40 by one notch. The second, "The Way That You Love Me", also reached the R&B top ten (#10), but only slipped into the Hot 100 at #88 (it would later become a much bigger hit, thankfully).

The third single from Forever Your Girl was a slinky mid-tempo dance-pop slice of heaven called "Straight Up". Written and produced by Elliot Wolff, a relative newcomer to the pop scene who had worked with Chaka Khan, the sassy no-nonsense delivery of Paula's along with her dance prowess in the video (which friend Arsenio Hall makes a cameo in) made a superstar out of a cheerleader. The tap-dancing before the opening note won me over..


"Straight Up" not only became Paula's first top-40 hit, it topped the pop singles chart in America for three weeks in February of 1989. The song also spent two weeks at #2 on Billboard's R&B chart (her biggest hit there), and snuck on to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart at #39. The extended remixes by house king Kevin Saunderson (Inner City) and Marley Marl peaked at #3 on the Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, "Straight Up" made the top ten in the UK (#3), Canada (#1), Germany (#3), Sweden (#2), the Netherlands (#3), New Zealand (#6), Belgium (#5), Norway (#1), Switzerland (#3), and Austria (#8). The video ended up grabbing four MTV Video Awards in 1989.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

German Sweep: May 25, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as Justin Timberlake leaps from #7 to #1 making his third chart-topping single here...

1. "Can't Stop The Feeling!" - Justin Timberlake (7)
2. "One Dance" - Drake featuring WizKid (2)
3. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia featuring Sean Paul (3)
4. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (4)
5. "Faded" - Alan Walker (6)
6. "Glucksmoment" - Prince Damien (1)
7. "Cake By The Ocean" - DNCE (DEBUT)
8. "This Is What You Came For" - Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna (8)
9. "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" - Mike Posner (5)
10. "Die Immer Lacht" - Stereoact featuring Kirsten Ott (9)

American dance-rock band DNCE, fronted by Joe Jonas, lands in the top 10 for the first time with their former US top-10 single "Cake By The Ocean"...


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Songoftheday 5/25/16 - Talk about the love you're missin', maybe then it's true when they say love is blind...


"The Lover In Me" - Sheena Easton
from the album The Lover In Me (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from Scottish singer Sheena Easton, who had been one of the biggest female pop stars of the first half of the 80s, with eleven top-40 hits in America to her name. However, as the rise of dance-pop sirens like Madonna came on board, she was trying to keep up with the times with varying results. After her 1985 album's "Do It For Love" missed the top-10, and her (excellent) contribution to the Brat Pack movie ...about last night's "So Far, So Good" just missed the top-40 by a couple notches, record company reorganization troubles nixed the release of her 1987 album No Sound But A Heart, one that would include another collaboration with Prince, "Eternity" (her duet with him on his classic Sign O' The Times set, "U Got The Look", did reach #2 on the singles chart). She also had a recurring role on Miami Vice, which did keep her name in the public eye.

In 1988, Easton would change labels to MCA, during which time she, like former Eagle Glenn Frey, had started to shill for Bally's Gyms (the gym you'd go to before shopping in the mall). With two more collaborations with "The Purple One", it was the team of Babyface and L.A. Reid (Pebbles, Karyn White) that dominated her The Lover In Me album, and the evolution to soul/dance pop fit her well. The title track became the first single, and gave Sheena her highest-charting solo hit since her breakthough "Morning Train" way back in 1981...


"The Lover In Me" reached the runner-up spot on the American pop chart in March of 1989. The song also climbed to #5 on Billboard's R&B chart, while it also crossed over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list at #43. The 12" extended remix from Louis Silas, Jr. also went to #2 on the Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the song made the top-40 in the Netherlands (#11), Ireland (#12), New Zealand (#12), Belgium (#15), Canada (#17), and her native Britain (#15).

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

French Sweep: May 24, 2016...






Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to that country's official singles chart, as Justin Timberlake scores his first #1 solo hit!

1. "Can't Stop The Feeling!" - Justin Timberlake (3)
2. "J'ai Cherché" - Amir (9)
3. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (2)
4. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia (1)
5. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs Cookin' On 3 Burners (4)
6. "Il Est Ou Le Bonheur" - Christophe Mae (RE-ENTRY)
7. "One Dance" - Drake featuring Wizkid (5)
8. "Salside" - Booba (DEBUT)
9. "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" - Mike Posner (10)
10. "Stressed Out" - twenty-one pilots (7)

French-Senegalese rapper Booba, from the Parisian suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, lands his seventh top 10 hit in his country at #8 with "Salside"...


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Songoftheday 5/24/16 - Aint it funny how when I say lets go out, you're always saying someone else will get me...


"I Wanna Have Some Fun" - Samantha Fox
from the album I Wanna Have Some Fun (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from Samantha Fox, whose transformation from pin-up girl in the British papers to singing star had been solidified with her second top-10 pop hit in America, "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)" in the summer of 1988. The R&B vocal and production group Full Force, who wrote and produced that song, came back on board to do the same for the title track of Fox's third album, which became the first American single from the set. Marrying the frenetic beat of freestyle with the bass-heavy attitude of house music, the song belied the novelty of the singer yet again and another classic dance jam was born. Not only does she reference "Naughty Girls", but cleverly-placed samples of Loleatta Holloway's "Love Sensation" (years before Black Box and Marky Mark) and Yaz's "Situation" made this the cool pop club jam of the winter...


"I Wanna Have Some Fun" became Samantha's third (and so-far most recent) top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in February of 1989. The song was her sole hit to reach Billboard's R&B singles chart at #19, while the remix of the track was her biggest club success, spending three weeks at #2 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, where the song "Love House" was released first, "I Wanna Have Some Fun" went to #10 in Canada, #22 in New Zealand, #34 in Italy, and was a minor hit in her native UK at #63.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 5/23/16 - The Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care"...


"Handle With Care" - Traveling Wilburys
from the album The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #45


This week's "robbed hit" comes from the Traveling Wilburys, a rock "supergroup" of tremendous proportions, who coalesced after ELO frontman Jeff Lynne produced George Harrison's Cloud Nine album, which had brought the former Beatle back to the top of the charts with "Got My Mind Set On You". With Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison, they recorded a song originally meant as a Harrison single B-side. But instead, not only was the result worthy of its own release, the five recorded an entire album, assuming the identities as "brothers". George, aka "Nelson Wilbury", sang most of the lead on "Handle With Care", but each A-lister got a turn in this democratic record...


While "Handle With Care" spent two weeks at #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, the single stopped short of the pop top-40 at #45 in December of 1988. The song also crossed over to #30 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart. The album would go on to win the Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo/Group in 1990.

Their Traveling Wilburys Vol 1 album would go on to sell over three million copies, and four of its tracks would make the top-10 on the rock chart, including a second, "End Of The Line", that also made the pop (#63) and adult contemporary (#28) lists. But by that time in 1989 Orbison had passed away. In 1990, the remaining four members released a second album, hilariously titled Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, and reached #2 on the rock chart for the third time with "She's My Baby". They would continue to work together on each others' solo efforts, but that saw the last (so-far) of the Wilburys.

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Songoftheday 5/23/16 - Well, the streets are all crowded lots of people around, and there's music playing but I can't hear a sound...


"Ghost Town" - Cheap Trick
from the album Lap Of Luxury (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #33 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's song of the day comes from the power-pop rock band Cheap Trick, who like a lot of veteran rock bands had gone a little "softer" in the 80s and reaped the rewards, scoring a #1 hit with the ballad "The Flame" and a top-5 follow-up with a remake of Elvis' "Don't Be Cruel". For the third single they slowed the pace again for the vaguely western ballad "Ghost Town". Written by guitarist Rick Nielsen and 'song doctor' Diane Warren, the song could've been farmed out to a number of bands with no notice...


"Ghost Town" became the third top-40 pop hit from Lap Of Luxury in December of 1988. The song also climbed to #32 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. It also made the top-40 in New Zealand at #29.

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Songoftheday 5/22/16 - I never needed love like I needed you, and I never lived for nobody but I live for you...


"When I'm With You" - Sheriff
from the album Sheriff (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #61 (in 1983), #1 (in 1989) (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40 (in 1988-89): 13

Today's song of the day comes from the Canadian rock band Sheriff, who came together in the Toronto area at the end of the 70s. With a strong lead singer in Freddy Curci, the group's first single, "You Remind Me", made it to #33 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, and was a top-40 hit in their homeland. The second single from the set was the "power-ballad" "When I'm With You", written by keyboardist Arnold Lanni, and featuring a note sung by Curci at the end that was said to be the longest-held note on record at the time. It was a regional hit where I lived in New Jersey, and went to #8 in their native Canada, but the song only climbed to #61 on the American pop chart in 1983 (very surprising to me, considering the feedback from the single in my neck of the woods).

Fast forward to 1989. The band had broken up after just their sole album, with Lanni and bassist Wolf Hassel going on to create the group Frozen Ghost, who had a #4 rock/#69 pop hit with "Should I See". After a couple of DJ started to play the single again (something you'd never see these days), the single was re-released, and the timing was perfect in the era of rock bands scoring hits with power-ballads, and "When I'm With You" finally got the attention it deserved...


On its second run on the chart, "When I'm With You" went all the way to #1 on the American pop chart in February of 1989. The song also spend a week at the top of Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart as well. However, it didn't bring back a Sheriff reunion; rather, Curci and Sheriff guitarist Steve DeMarchi went to form the group Alias with former members of Heart, and did return to the top-40 a couple of times, one to #2 with "More Than Words Can Say".

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dance Sweep: May 28, 2016...


We've come to the end of my five-part 'music sweeps' for today, checking out the notable songs making their way on to the charts in Billboard magazine, and I'll wrap things up with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

On the DJ-polled Dance Club Play chart, Sheila Gordhan scores her first #1 hit with "Smile"...

As Calvin Harris recovers from his recent car accident, his new single, "This Is What You Came For" featuring Rihanna, leaps on to the chart at #34, as it's already at #2 on the airplay list in only its third week. Grade: C


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Country Sweep: May 28, 2016...


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

On their Country Airplay chart, Dierks Bentley remains on top for a second week with "Somewhere On A Beach"...

Only one new song makes its debut on the 60-place chart this week, but it's a big one - as Brad Paisley teams up with Demi Lovato at #27 for "Without A Fight", by default my "Country Pick of the Week". Grade: C+


I'll wrap things up next with the latest dance jams in the clubs and on the radio...

Soul Sweep: May 28, 2016...






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

On the main R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, Rihanna remains on top for an eleventh week with "Work"...

 Rapper Kevin Gates lands at #43 with "Really Really", an album track that's starting to get radio airplay now that previous single "2 Phones" drops out of the top ten. Grade: D


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Rock Sweep: May 28, 2016...






Round two of this week's 'music sweeps' is up, checking out the songs making their way on to the charts in Billboard magazine. This time I've got the latest on rock radio...

On their main Rock Airplay chart, the Red Hot Chili Peppers leap to #1 in just their second week with "Dark Necessities"...

Australian alternative metal band Sick Puppies bark in at #49 with "Stick To Your Guns". Their high point so far on this list was in 2011 with "Riptide" (#6). This new one also climbs to #13 on the Mainstream Rock chart. Grade: C+


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Pop Sweep: May 28, 2016...


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

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, which combines tallies of sales (like iTunes and Amazon MP3), internet streaming (like Spotify and YouTube), and radio airplay from all formats, there is a brand new song rocketing in at #1, and it's from Justin Timberlake, whose "Can't Stop The Feeling" from the upcoming movie Trolls becomes his fifth trip to #1 on the chart. His first, "SexyBack", was back in 2006. This new post-disco confection claims my "Pop Pick of the Week".  Grade: B


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Brit Sweep: May 21, 2016..






It's time to head over the Atlantic to check out the notable songs making their debut on the official singles chart in the UK this week, as Drake's "One Dance" remains on top for a sixth straight week...

Indie rock veterans the Stone Roses return to the top forty for the first time since 1999 with "All For One". The volatile act, which has only released two proper albums in their career, went to #2 back in 1994 with "Love Spreads"...


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Songoftheday 5/21/16 - Rainy night and we worked all day, we both got jobs 'cause there's bills to pay...


"Born To Be My Baby" - Bon Jovi
from the album New Jersey (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day is by New Jersey's own hair-metal boys Bon Jovi, who named their fourth album after their native state and scored their third #1 pop hit with the first single "Bad Medicine". As that single sounded like a rewrite of "You Give Love A Bad Name" from their Slippery When Wet album, the second release, "Born To Be My Baby", was so much a copy of that set's "Livin' On A Prayer" that in an alternate universe Richie Sambora, Desmond Child, and Jon Bon Jovi would be suing themselves for plaigarism. But no mind, the single was a well-done slice of mainstream metal-pop, and the music video was interesting in that it broke down the studio performances so you can see a little of how a pop record is put together...


"Born To Be My Baby" became the second top-10 pop hit from New Jersey in February of 1989. The song also climbed to #7 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the single hit the top ten in Ireland (#7), #22 in the UK, and #30 in Australia.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

twostepcub's music chart for May 20, 2016...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Lukas Graham remain at #1 for a fourth week, while singer/songwriter Ben Rector (pictured above) slips into the top-5. Songs from Tony Moran/Jason Walker, Guordan Banks, and the Chainsmokers/Daya make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Elle King, Jonas Blue, Brett Eldredge, and Adele drop off the list. OK, this picketing is getting old...

This Week              Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. 7 Years - Lukas Graham (1)
2. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (2)
3. Walking On A Dream - Empire Of The Sun (4)
4. Snapback - Old Dominion (3)
5. Brand New - Ben Rector (6)
6. Piece By Piece - Kelly Clarkson (10)
7. Ride - twenty-one pilots (11)
8. Something In The Way You Move - Ellie Goulding (8)
9. The Pop Kids - Pet Shop Boys (5)
10. Ophelia - The Lumineers (12)
11. Spirits - The Strumbellas (13)
12. I Took A Pill In Ibiza - Mike Posner (16)
13. Stressed Out - twenty-one pilots (9)
14. One Call Away - Charlie Puth (7)
15. First - Cold War Kids (15)
16. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (19)
17. Think Of You - Chris Young f/Cassadee Pope (18)
18. T-Shirt - Thomas Rhett (26)
19. America's Sweetheart - Elle King (20)
20. Off The Ground - The Record Company (32)
21. Faded - Alan Walker (17)
22. Let It Go - James Bay (14)
23. If You Like It - Stonebridge f/Elsa Li Jones (27)
24. You Should Be Here - Cole Swindell (24)
25. No - Meghan Trainor (30)
26. Pillowtalk - Zayn (36)
27. Mountain At My Gates - Foals (23)
28. Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw (38)
29. Mind Reader - Dustin Lynch (41)
30. Work - Rihanna f/Drake (34)
31. Adventure Of A Lifetime - Coldplay (31)
32. Hey, No Pressure - Ray LaMontagne (22)
33. Youth - Troye Sivan (29)
34. Trip Switch - Nothing But Thieves (28)
35. Little Bit Of You - Chase Bryant (25)
36. My House - Flo Rida (42)
37. The Sound Of Silence - Disturbed (33)
38. This One's For Me & You - Johnny Gill f/New Edition (48)
39. Never Forget You - Zara Larsson & MNEK (53)
40. Cheap Thrills - Sia (45)
41. Angel - Lalah Hathaway (37)
42. One Night - WTS f/Gia (54)
43. Lush Life - Zara Larsson (43)
44. Something About You - Da Buzz (44)
45. Lost Boy - Ruth B (49)
46. My Church - Maren Morris (52)
47. Make Me Love You - Gwen Stefani (35)
48. Don't Let Me Down - The Chainsmokers f/Daya (64)
49. Die A Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (47)
50. I Like The Sound Of That - Rascal Flatts (46)
51. Good Love - Keith Sweat (51)
52. Genghis Khan - Miike Snow (57)
53. Somewhere On A Beach - Dierks Bentley (61)
54. Piece Of Me - MK f/Becky Hill (60)
55. So Happy - Tony Moran f/Jason Walker (75)
56. New Romantics - Taylor Swift (56)
57. Hands To Myself - Selena Gomez (69)
58. Feel This Way - Philip George f/Dragonette (68)
59. Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy (59)
60. That Don't Sound Like You - Lee Brice (50)
61. Me, Myself & I - G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha (63)
62. Came Here To Forget - Blake Shelton (66)
63. All My Friends - Snakehips f/Tinashe & Chance the Rapper (70)
64. Work From Home - Fifth Harmony f/Ty Dolla $ign (72)
65. Confession - Florida Georgia Line (55)
66. Keep You In Mind - Guordan Banks (84)
67. Light It Up - Major Lazer f/Nyla & Fuse ODG (67)
68. Running Wild - Morgan Page f/Oddictions & Bret Daley (73)
69. Smile - Sheila Gordhan (79)
70. Catch & Release - Matt Simons (71)
71. Stay - Kygo f/Maty Noyes (78)
72. Never Be Like You - Flume f/Kai (78)
73. Kiss This - The Struts (83)
74. Rise Up - Andra Day (74)
75. Coming Over - Dillon Francis & Kygo f/James Hersey (80)
76. Noise - Kenny Chesney (86)
77. Electric Walk - Nytrix f/Dev (77)
78. Emotionless - Red Sun Rising (88)
79. Fire - Barns Courtney (89)
80. Capsized - Andrew Bird (81)
81. Ain't No Man - The Avett Brothers (DEBUT)
82. Stitches - Shawn Mendes (82)
83. Just Like Fire - Pink (87)
84. Amen - Anthony Hamilton (85)
85. I Need Never Get Old - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (DEBUT)
86. Woman Woman - AWOLnation (DEBUT)
87. Head Over Boots - Jon Pardi (91)
88. Huntin', Fishin' & Lovin' Every Day - Luke Bryan (92)
89. Record Year - Eric Church (DEBUT)
90. Happy Song - Bring Me The Horizon (95)
91. Nothing Like This - Blonde f/Craig David (96)
92. Runaway - Bright Lights f/3LAU (94)
93. This Girl - KUNGS vs Cookin' On 3 Burners (93)
94. Better Place - Rachel Platten (98)
95. Wasted Time - Keith Urban (99)
96. So Alive - Goo Goo Dolls (100)
97. The Devil's Bleeding Crown - Volbeat (DEBUT)
98. Under These Lights - Xenia Ghali (DEBUT)
99. Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande (DEBUT)
100. Lights Come On - Jason Aldean (DEBUT)

There are eight 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 5/20/16 - 'Cause you were born into this evil world where man is killing man and no one knows just why...


"When The Children Cry" - White Lion
from the album Pride (1987)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the Danish/American "hair-metal" band White Lion, who had crossed over to mainstream pop radio in the spring of 1988 with "Wait". However, a second single, "Tell Me", stalled out in the lower half of the pop chart. So, like any good metal band, they rolled out their power-ballad for the third release. At least they went in a little different route; instead of a groupie-herding love song, lead singer Mike Tramp and the guys put out "When The Children Cry", an anti-war song written by Tramp and lead guitarist Vito Bratta...


"When The Children Cry" became White Lion's biggest pop hit in the U.S., reaching the top-3 in February of 1989. The song also climbed to #7 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the record was a top-10 single in Sweden, and a minor hit in Canada (#53) and the UK (#88).

The song would be their last to make the American top-40. Later in 1989, the band released their third album, Big Game. The lead single, "Little Fighter", reached #12 on the rock chart, and #53 on the Hot 100. They followed with a cover of Golden Earring's "Radar Love", which so far is their last pop chart trip at #59. By the start of the 90's, hair metal had fallen out of favor for grunge and alt-rock, and their Mane Attraction managed a minor rock hit at #24 with "Love Don't Come Easy". The band broke up after touring behind the set, and like many bands of the time, their time since has been marked with Tramp and Bratta squabbling over rights to perform under the White Lion moniker.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Aussie Sweep: May 19, 2016...


It's time to head Down Under to check out the songs making their debut on the local artists' singles chart in Australia this week, as Drake's "One Dance" holds at #1 on the main chart...

There's a new "local" #1, as singer/actress Delta Goodrem lands at the top with "Dear Life". Delta, from Sydney, is also a mentor/judge on that country's version of The Voice...


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Songoftheday 5/19/16 - Used to live in the danger zone, any day it could get too rough...


"Holding On" - Steve Winwood
from the album Roll With It (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from British rock veteran Steve Winwood, whose 1988 album Roll With It had already scored him the longest-running #1 of that year with the title track, along with the top ten follow-up/Michelob ad fodder "Don't You Know What The Night Can Do?". The third single from the record was the uptempo funk-soul of "Holding On". Written with long-time partner Will Jennings and co-produced by the artist with Tom Lord-Alge, the song featured another classily-shot video...


"Holding On" just missed out on the American pop top ten by a notch in January of 1989. The single did top Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart for two weeks, while it climbed to #2 on their Mainstream Rock list.

Up tomorrow: Heavy metal cats with some tearful toddlers.