Wednesday, August 31, 2016

German Sweep: August 31, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as French singer Imany holds tight for an eighth week at #1...

1. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (1)
2. "Cold Water" - Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber & MØ (2)
3. "Bonfire" - Felix Jaehn featuring Alma (3)
4. "Let Me Love You" - DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber (4)
5. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (5)
6. "Treat You Better" - Shawn Mendes (6)
7. "The Ocean" - Mike Perry featuring Shy Martin (7)
8. "Sucker For Pain" - Lil' Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, & Imagine Dragons featuring Logic, Ty Dolla $ign & X Ambassadors (DEBUT)
9. "Perfect Strangers" - Jonas Blue featuring JP Cooper (9)
10. "The Sound Of Silence" - Disturbed (DEBUT)

With an unusual crediting on a pop record, four rappers and two alternative rock bands come together at #8 with a track from the Suicide Squad soundtrack, as Lil' Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Logic, and Ty Dolla $ign provide the rhymes and Imagine Dragons and X Ambassadors sing the verses in "Sucker For Pain"...


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Songoftheday 8/31/16 - The wind blows are we not friends? There is no reason to let it end...


"Who Do You Give Your Love To?" - Michael Morales
from the album Michael Morales (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #15 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from pop singer/songwriter Michael Morales, who grew up in San Antonio in a family of musicians, and released his first album in 1989. The first single from the set, "Who Do You Give Your Love To?", was a enjoyable if not remarkable slice of power-pop written by the artist, who sonically bears more than a passable resemblance to Rick Springfield...


"Who Do You Give Your Love To?" became Morales' first hit, reaching the pop top-20 in July of 1989.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

French Sweep: August 30, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as French singer Imany finally makes it to #1 in her homeland with "Don't Be So Shy". It's in its 25th week...

1. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (2)
2. "Can't Stop The Feeling!" - Justin Timberlake (1)
3. "Encore Un Soir" - Celine Dion (10)
4. "Duele El Corazon" - Enrique Iglesias featuring Wisin (3)
5. "Don't You Know" - KUNGS featuring Jamie N Commons (6)
6. "Let Me Love You" - DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber (8)
7. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs Cookin' On 3 Burners (5)
8. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia featuring Sean Paul (7)
9. "Love To Love You Baby" - Giabiconi (4)
10. "This Is What You Came For" - Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna (9)

No new songs debut in the top-10 this week, and one that makes the top-40, "Boucan" from rapper Maitre Gims, isn't available on video as yet.

On the albums chart in France, the childrens act Kids United claim the #1 spot with Kids United 2: Tout Le Bonheur Du Monde...


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Songoftheday 8/30/16 - I walk the street at night until the morning light comes shining through...


"Crazy About Her" - Rod Stewart
from the album Out Of Order (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from Scottish rock icon Rod Stewart, whose 1988 album Out Of Order had been one of his most successful so far at radio, with two top-20 pop hits in "Lost In You" and "Forever Young" followed by the mid-tempo "My Heart Can't Tell You No" with reached the top-5. The fourth pop radio single from the set was the dance-rock exercise "Crazy About Her". Written by Stewart with band keyboardist Duane Hitchings and guitarist Jim Cregan, it was like a lot of his 80s singles that straddled guitar crash and a funky-lite beat, with Chic's Bernard Edwards' production providing the right amount of bass (though the "rap" interlude hasn't aged as well)...


"Crazy About Her" became the fourth top-20 pop hit from Out of Order in July of 1989.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 8/29/16 - The Cure's "Fascination Street"...


"Fascination Street" - The Cure
from the album Disintegration (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the British "goth-mod rock" band the Cure, who after eight years and seven studio album landed themselves a top-40 pop hit in the U.S. with the sublime jangle-rock of "Just Like Heaven" in the winter of 1988. A follow-up single, "Hot! Hot! Hot!" was also a minor hit in America at #68. However, alcoholism caused the ousting of keyboardist Lol Tolhurst, the only remaining original member besides lead singer/guitarist Robert Smith. With former Psychedelic Fur Roger O'Donnell coming on as an official member, the Cure recorded their eighth studio set Disintegration. While internationally the more creepy arachnophobic "Lullaby" was put out as the first single, in the U.S. the first radio offering from the set was the dark, almost pre-grunge rock of "Fascination Street". Written by the band (with Tolhurst still getting credit) and produced by Smith with Dave Allen, the song got them much love from rock radio...


Although "Fascination Street" went to go to #1 on the newly-minted Modern Rock chart for seven weeks, and #24 on the Mainstream Rock radio list, the single stalled under the pop top 40 in June of 1989. (Pop stations quickly caught on to the album cut "Love Song" which would be the next single.) The 12" remix was able to climb to #7 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart.

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Songoftheday 8/29/16 - It wasn't my intention to mislead you, It never should have been this way what can I say?


"Toy Soldiers" - Martika
from the album Martika (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day is from (then) teen pop singer Martika, who had gone from a stint as a child variety show star in Kids Incorporated to her Madonna-esque first hit single "More Than You Know" in the spring of 1989. The follow-up release swung to the other side of the spectrum, as she co-wrote the anti-drug "message song" "Toy Soldiers" with her producer Michael Jay. Inspired by a friend struggling with addiction, the marching plea sported background vocals from Kids Incorporated co-stars like Fergie (of later Black Eyed Peas fame), Rashaan Patterson, and Jennifer Love Hewitt...


"Toy Soldiers" became Martika's biggest pop hit, topping the American pop chart in July of 1989. The song also slipped onto Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart at #37. Internationally, the record went to #1 in New Zealand, top-10 in Norway (#2), Ireland (#3), Switzerland (#3), Canada (#4), Finland (#4), Sweden (#4), Germany (#5), Australia (#5), the UK (#5), and Spain (#10).

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Songoftheday 8/28/16 - Come on girls do you believe in love, cause I've got something to sing about it and it goes something like this...


"Express Yourself" - Madonna
from the album Like A Prayer (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from Madonna, who had just released the most provocative music video up to that point for the gospel-pop anthem "Like A Prayer" in the spring of 1989. The second release from the same-titled album was another slice of uplifting dance-pop, "Express Yourself". This time, the video was a bit "safer", though it did sport her flashing her lace bra and grabbing her crotch in Michael Jackson-style. The song, written and produced by Madonna with Stephen Bray, has since become one of her most loved singles. While the original was a brass-infused album version, MTV mostly played the video using the Shep Pettibone remix, which removed the horns and admittedly campy background deep-vocals and added more bass...


"Express Yourself" became the second top-10 hit from Like A Prayer, reaching the runner-up spot in July of 1989. The song also crossed over to Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart, peaking at #12. The 12" remix single (including Pettibone's take) topped the dance club play chart for three weeks. Internationally, the song went to #1 in Canada, Italy, Switzerland, #3 in Germany, #5 in the UK, #7 in France, and top 10 in most of the rest of the world. The video would win three MTV Music Video awards in technical categories, and took Best Video at the Billboard Video Awards.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Brit Sweep: August 27, 2016...


Let's cross the Atlantic yet again to check out the notable songs and albums making their way on to the official charts in the UK this week...

On the singles chart, Major Lazer leads for a fifth week with the Justin Bieber/MØ-sung "Cold Water"...

A year after Ellie Goulding went to #1 with the song "Love Me Like You Do" from the movie 50 Shades of Grey, she is back with another film offering, this time "Still Falling For You" from the Bridget Jones' Baby soundtrack which enters at #25...


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Bonus Songoftheday 8/27/16 - If you are confused, check with the sun, carry a compass to help you along...


(Ed. Note: wouldn't you know it, but going through the SOTDs I've done this year and realized I passed this one over. Instead of shifting my sched, I'll throw a bonus in for Saturday. Cheers!)

"Stand" - R.E.M.
from the album Green (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (three weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 11

The last time we saw alternative rock pioneers R.E.M. was with their pop breakthrough hit "The One I Love", which sauntered into the top ten in the winter of 1987.  With that momentum, and wishing to expand their worldwide audience, the band switched from indie label I.R.S. to behemoth Warner Brothers in time for their sixth studio set Green. The first single from the set was the typically dark brooding emo-rock of "Orange Crush", which hat-tipped to the lethal chemical weapon Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War. However, the second release from the record was unlike anything they've done before; an absolutely perky pop song that was both sing-along and fleetingly coherent. "Stand", written by the band and produced yet again by Scott Litt (who helmed the "One You Love" sessions), the song rang all the bells (albeit ironically) at pop radio...


"Stand" became the group's second top 10 pop hit in America in April of 1989. The song was a huge success on rock radio, reaching #1 on both of Billboard magazine's Mainstream (one week) and Modern (two weeks) Rock radio charts. Internationally, the record made it to #17 in Ireland, #16 in Canada, and was a minor hit in the UK at #48.

Even though their next single was winkingly titled "Pop Song 89", it kind of stopped short on the pop charts at #86. A fourth release from the set, "Turn You Inside-Out", made the #7 spot on the Mainstream Rock chart, and #10 Modern Rock.

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Songoftheday 8/27/16 - I'm a man who lives in the city I'm a man who lives in the street, from F.L.A. to Frisco Bay and everywhere in between...


"The Doctor" - The Doobie Brothers
from the album Cycles (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the rock/soul band the Doobie Brothers, who came together in the early 70s in Northern California with guitarists Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons joining drummer John Hartman. They released their debut album in 1971, but it didn't get much notice at first; but after adding funky bass player Tiran Porter, their second release Toulouse Street brought them to pop radio, where the easy-going lead single "Listen To The Music" reached #11 (and #3 in Canada) in 1972. The following year, with their The Captain and Me set, they conquered the top ten with one of the best rhythm guitar hooks in rock history on "Long Train Runnin'" (#8). Recruiting a third guitarist with ex-Steely Dan guy Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, the Brothers landed their first #1 pop hit in 1975 with the southern rock classic "Black Water". That song also was his first to reach the top-40 in the UK. Their popularity continued to grow, however massive health problems ended up temporarily sidelining Johnston; Baxter helped bring in another Steely Dan vet, singer/pianist Michael McDonald, who would end up in the late 70s being just as vital part of the group than the rest. Their first single with McDonald singing lead, "Takin' It To The Streets", landed at #13 on the US pop chart in 1976. His influence on the band was immense; drifting from the twangy southern-rock sounds of Simmons' "Black Water", their sound immediately brought the keys and bass to center stage. Although Johnston returned to the Doobies for a brief time, he had again departed after the Livin' On The Fault Line album for a solo career, scoring a top-40 pop hit with "Savannah Nights". But with him gone the band climbed even higher, with their biggest album to date, 1978's Minute By Minute. Reaching #1 on the sales charts, the record preoduced the chart-topping pop hit "What A Fool Believes". However, the unending pressure to continue recording as well as musical differences caused a chunk of the band to defect, including Hartman and Baxter. After another album, One Step Closer, with hired hands to fill in the departed members, and another top-5 pop hit with "Real Love", even Simmons jumped ship, and with McDonald itching for a solo career, the band called it quits after a successful "farewell reunion" tour including Simmons, Johnston, Porter and Hartman.

After a break where McDonald found success including a top-5 pop hit out of the box with "I Keep Forgettin'", and to a lesser extent Simmons with a top-30 offering in "So Wrong", a dozen former members came together originally for a charity concert, then eventually for a massive "reunion tour" in 1987. With that momentum, the earlier lineup including Simmons, Johnston, Hartman, Porter, and percussionist Michael Hossack went into the studio to record a new album, Cycles. The first single, "The Doctor", was written by Johnston with producers Charlie Midnight and Eddie Schwartz, and brought them back to their rhythm guitar-led roots...


"The Doctor" returned the Brothers to the pop top ten in America in July of 1989. The single also landed them their first #1 hit on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart for three weeks. It also crossed over to the Adult Contemporary radio list at #31. Internationally, the record went to #14 in Canada, #32 in Australia, #37 in the Netherlands, and was a minor hit in England at #73.

The song would be their last to reach the top-40 in the U.S. pop chart. They came close with the follow-up single "Need A Little Taste Of Love", which stalled at #44, though it climbed to #3 on the rock radio tally. Hoping to continue the momentum, the band put out Brotherhood in 1991, and though lead track "Dangerous" went to #2 on the rock chart, and after that an follow-up "Rollin' On" (#12 Mainstream Rock) failed to reach the pop charts, they slipped away again from recording for ten years, though they continued to tour (at one point including McDonald in 1995). When they re-emerged in 2001 for Sibling Rivalry, single "Ordinary Man" solely slipped onto the adult contemporary list at #29, and the album didn't even make the charts at all. After another ten year lull, the Doobies returned to the top-40 on the albums chart with World Gone Crazy in 2010. Most recently, the band did a remake album of their material with country artists, Southbound, that hit #17 on the albums list.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

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


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Sia remains at #1 for a seventh week, while Calvin Harris and Rihanna (pictured above) climb a notch within the top ten. Songs from Ariana Grande, twenty-one pilots, and Charlie Puth/Selena Gomez make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Alex Newell/Jess Glynne and Guordan Banks drop off the chart. Get better and stronger, Rolando!

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Cheap Thrills - Sia f/Sean Paul (1)
2. Send My Love (To Your New Lover) - Adele (3)
3. One Dance - Drake f/Wizkid & Kyla (5)
4. Can't Stop The Feeling! - Justin Timberlake (2)
5. H.O.L.Y. - Florida Georgia Line (7)
6. Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers (4)
7. This Is What You Came For - Calvin Harris f/Rihanna (8)
8. Bored To Death - blink-182 (6)
9. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (11)
10. HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums (10)
11. Fix - Chris Lane (15)
12. Hymn For The Weekend - Coldplay (12)
13. Don't Let Me Down - The Chainsmokers f/Daya (9)
14. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (26)
15. Hell No - Ingrid Michaelson (16)
16. All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart (21)
17. Ride - twenty-one pilots (17)
18. Record Year - Eric Church (18)
19. Make You Miss Me - Sam Hunt (23)
20. I Need Never Get Old - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (14)
21. Ophelia - The Lumineers (19)
22. We Don't Talk Anymore - Charlie Puth f/Selena Gomez (34)
23. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (27)
24. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (24)
25. This Girl - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (25)
26. Head Over Boots - Jon Pardi (30)
27. I Wanna Know - Alesso f/Nico & Vinz (31)
28. Wherever I Go - OneRepublic (13)
29. Just Like Fire - Pink (29)
30. Lake By The Ocean - Maxwell (32)
31. Church Bells - Carrie Underwood (28)
32. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (22)
33. Brand New - Ben Rector (33)
34. Me Too - Meghan Trainor (38)
35. Ain't No Man - The Avett Brothers (20)
36. Bring Back The Summer - Rain Man f/OLY (42)
37. Amen - Anthony Hamilton (37)
38. You Look Like I Need A Drink - Justin Moore (44)
39. Livin' For Your Love (Your Love) - Rosabel f/Jeanie Tracy (39)
40. Can't Wait - Jill Scott (40)
41. Kiss It Better - Rihanna (43)
42. Casual Party - Band Of Horses (52)
43. River - Bishop Briggs (53)
44. Peter Pan - Kelsea Ballerini (54)
45. Spirits - The Strumbellas (35)
46. Like I Would - Zayn (58)
47. Close - Nick Jonas f/Tove Lo (47)
48. Faded - Alan Walker (36)
49. From The Ground Up - Dan + Shay (51)
50. The Sound - The 1975 (60)
51. Wow - Beck (55)
52. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes (57)
53. Different For Girls - Dierks Bentley (61)
54. Lights Come On - Jason Aldean (50)
55. Needed Me - Rihanna (56)
56. Sunrise - Joe Bermudez f/Louise Carver (68)
57. T-Shirt - Thomas Rhett (49)
58. Wasted Time - Keith Urban (46)
59. Drink The Night Away - Lee Dagger f/Bex (59)
60. Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande (45)
61. Good Grief - Bastille (73)
62. Tears - Clean Bandit f/Louisa Johnson (66)
63. Let It Go - NERVO f/Nicky Romero (63)
64. Don't Be So Shy - Imany (64)
65 American Country Love Song - Jake Owen (67)
66. Tell Me We're OK - DJ Hardwerk f/Akon (71)
67. Body High - Mike Taylor (77)
68. Dancing On My Own - Calum Scott (75)
69. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (79)
70. How Many F*cks - Erika Jayne (70)
71. Into You - Ariana Grande (85)
72. I Took A Pill In Ibiza - Mike Posner (48)
73. Mama Said - Lukas Graham (78)
74. You Don't Know Love - Olly Murs (84)
75. Asking For It - Shinedown (65)
76. 11 Blocks - Wrabel (86)
77. Rise - Katy Perry (82)
78. Sweet Dreams - JX Riders f/Skylar Stecker (89)
79. So Alive - Goo Goo Dolls (69)
80. Perfect Strangers - Jonas Blue f/JP Cooper (80)
81. Somewhere On A Beach - Dierks Bentley (81)
82. Running For You - Kip Moore (87)
83. She's Got A Way With Words - Blake Shelton (88)
84. Think Of You - Chris Young f/Cassadee Pope (74)
85. No Money - Galantis (90)
86. Permission - RO James (94)
87. Out There - Kristine W. (DEBUT)
88. Joyride (Omen) - Chevelle (92)
89. Singing In The Rain - Simple Plan f/R. City (91)
90. Castaway - The Zac Brown Band (DEBUT)
91. Duele El Corazon - Enrique Iglesias f/Wisin (96)
92. Only - tyDi f/Olivia Somerlyn (72)
93. Cold Water - Major Lazer f/Justin Bieber & MO (99)
94. Work From Home - Fifth Harmony f/Ty Dolla $ign (76)
95. Controlla - Drake (95)
96. Christine/Tilted - Christine & The Queens (RE-ENTRY)
97. Rock On - Tucker Beathard (97)
98. Messin' Around - Pitbull f/Enrique Iglesias (98)
99. Crush - Yuna f/Usher (RE-ENTRY)
100. Hold Back The River - James Bay (RE-ENTRY)

There are only two songs making their debut on my chart this week (highlighted in blue), and if you click on either 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 8/26/16 - Out my window the rain starts to fall, and the wind blows through an empty hall...


"Be With You" - Bangles
from the album Everything (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #30 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's song of the day is by the all-female rock band the Bangles, whose third album Everything had already scored them their second #1 pop hit in the U.S. with the ballad "Eternal Flame", along with the top-5 lead single "In Your Room". The third single from the set was "Be With You", co-written and sung by the group's drummer, Debi Peterson, who finally got her turn with a radio offering...


"Be With You" became the Bangles' most recent top-40 pop hit in America in June of 1989. Internationally, the song did a bit better, reaching the top-20 in Austria (#12), Ireland (#14), Norway (#18), and Switzerland (#19).

A fourth single from Everything, "I'll Set You Free", was a minor hit in Australia and the UK, but didn't get any attention in the States. They split up shortly thereafter, with Susannah Hoffs setting off on a label-endorsed solo career. Despite a top-40 hit with "My Side Of The Bed", she couldn't continue any momentum on radio, and by 1999, they reunited for the Austin Powers soundtrack (Hoff's husband was the director), and in 2003, a proper album Doll Revolution emerged. A song from the set, "Something That You Said", went to #38 in the UK, and made the Adult Contemporary (#26) and Adult Top-40 (#40) radio lists. Bassist Michael Steele left them a trio, and they most recently released Sweetheart Of The Sun in 2011.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Aussie Sweep: August 25, 2016...


Let's head Down Under to check out the singles and albums reaching the local artist chart in Australia this week...

On the Australian Artist Singles chart, rapper Illy and singer Vera Blue remain at #1 with "Paper Cuts" (on the main chart they're at #5, with the Chainsmokers' "Closer" at #1)...

Indie-pop duo Big Scary, from Melbourne, climb in at #13 with "The Opposite Of Us"...


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Songoftheday 8/25/16 - Somewhere out in the back of your mind, comes your real life and the life that you know...


"Rooms On Fire" - Stevie Nicks
from the album The Other Side Of The Mirror (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's song of the day is by Stevie Nicks, who was last seen taking her third solo album turn in 1985, with the Top-5 pop hit "Talk To Me" and top-20 follow-up "I Can't Wait". A third single, the beautiful "Has Anybody Ever Written Anything For You?", missed the pop top-40 at #60, but reached a respectable #31 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart. Returning to Fleetwood Mac for their 1987 album Tango In The Night, it would be four years before her next solo release, The Other Side Of The Mirror. Produced by Rupert Hine (The Fixx, Howard Jones), the album didn't stray into new wave territory like the mention of Hine would suggest; rather he gravitated more to her style, and with a romantic relationship brewing between them, Stevie wrote what would become the first single, "Rooms On Fire" with Rick Nowels. Inspired by their ill-timed romance, the song became her final top-40 solo pop hit...


"Rooms On Fire" reached the top-20 on the American pop chart in July of 1989. The song also became her second #1 Mainstream Rock radio hit (after "Talk To Me"), while crossing over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart at #16. Internationally, the single peaked at #9 in Canada, made the top-20 in the UK (#16), Ireland (#17), New Zealand (#12), and the Netherlands (#20).

While the album track "Long Way To Go" climbed to #11 on the Mainstream Rock chart (and was a minor hit in Britain and Germany and #60), the American pop follow-up "Two Kinds Of Love" stiffed altogether. Another single, "Whole Lotta Trouble", made it to #22 in Ireland, #62 in the UK, and got her nominated for a Grammy for Female Rock Vocal in 1991.

After returning to the Mac yet again for one more album, Behind The Mask, without compadre Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie took off yet again, and with 1991's Timespace retrospective, she went back to the rock radio top 10 with "Sometimes It's A Bitch" (#7).  In 1994, after another stint in rehab, the scattered Street Angel album was released, with "Maybe Love Will Change Your Mind" reaching the top-40 on the American Rock (#36) and Adult Contemporary (#17) lists as well as in Canada (#13), but it sputtered out at #57 on the pop Hot 100.

Stevie and Lindsey resolved their differences a couple years forward, and with the entire Fleetwood Mac "classic lineup" reunited for the heralded The Dance tour and album, Nicks found herself back in the public spotlight in a big way. After a box set, Nicks released the top-5 album Trouble In Shangri-La in 2001, with two top-40 adult contemporary hits including the #17 "Every Day", while the track "Planets Of The Universe" was transformed into a club anthem and went to #1 on Billboard's Dance chart. Ten years later she re-emerged with In Your Dreams (with the Eurythmics David Stewart producing). She sported a pair of adult contemporary hits, with "Secret Love" reaching #20 and "For What It's Worth" going to #25. Most recently, Stevie made a cameo on American Horror Story: Coven (natch) and her album 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault in 2014 became her sixth top-10 album in America.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

German Sweep: August 24, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as Imany remains at #1 for a seventh week...

1. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (1)
2. "Cold Water" - Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber & MØ (2)
3. "Bonfire" - Felix Jaehn featuring Alma (3)
4. "Let Me Love You" - DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber (8)
5. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs Cookin' On 3 Burners (5)
6. "Treat You Better" - Shawn Mendes (4)
7. "The Ocean" - Mike Perry featuring Shy Martin (6)
8. "Ain't Your Mama" - Jennifer Lopez (7)
9. "Perfect Strangers" - Jonas Blue featuring JP Cooper (9)
10. "Sing Me To Sleep" - Alan Walker (RE-ENTRY)

No new songs make their first appearance in the top ten this week. Further down the chart at #23 is Hamburg-based rap group Beginner rockets into the top 100 with their comic new track "Es War Einmal" ("Once Upon A Time"). Their last single, "Ahnma", went to #8 in June...

Beginner - Es war einmal (Official Music Video) from DAViD MOHN on Vimeo.


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Songoftheday 8/24/16 - No is not an answer one that I might try to understand you see, love is only letters until you prove your love is here inside for me...


"What You Don't Know" - Exposé
from the album What You Don't Know (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from the freestyle dance music trio Exposé, who had landed four top-10 pop hits from their debut album Exposure with "Come Go With Me", "Point Of No Return", "Let Me Be The One", and the #1 ballad "Seasons Change". One of their biggest strengths as an act is that all three sang lead on their debut album (although three of the singles were Jeannette Jurado's lead, while "Let Me Be The One" featured Gioia Bruno). Their second album What You Don't Know was released in 1989, with their mentor Lewis Martinee continuing to produce and write most of their material. Bruno was featured on the dancetastic title track, which became the first single from the set...


"What You Don't Know" became the trio's fifth consecutive top ten pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1989. The extended remix version climbed to #2 for a week on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the song went to #17 in Canada, was their first hit in the Netherlands at #55, and slipped on the chart in the UK for two weeks at #99.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

French Sweep: August 23, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Justin Timberlake climbs back to #1 for a sixth nonconsecutive week...

1. "Can't Stop The Feeling" - Justin Timberlake (2)
2. "Don't Be So Shy" - Imany (3)
3. "Duele El Corazon" - Enrique Iglesias featuring Wisin (4)
4. "Love To Love You Baby" - Giabiconi (DEBUT)
5. "This Girl" - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (6)
6. "Don't You Know" - KUNGS featuring Jamie N Commons (DEBUT)
7. "Cheap Thrills" - Sia featuring Sean Paul (8)
8. "Let Me Love You" - DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber (1)
9. "This Is What You Came For" - Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna (9)
10. "Encore Un Soir" - Celine Dion (7)

Model and singer  (Baptiste) Giabiconi, born to Corsican parents in the southern city of Marignane, leaps into the top ten at #4 with his interpolation of Donna Summer's classic "Love To Love You Baby". It already has beat Donna's version which went to #17 in this country in 1975...


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Songoftheday 8/23/16 - She's just 16 years old leave her alone they say, separated by fools who don't know what love is yet...


"Into The Night" - Benny Mardones
from the album Never Run, Never Hide (1980) and Benny Mardones (1989, re-recorded version)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (1980, two weeks), #20 (1989, one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12 (1980), 7 (1989)

Today's song of the day comes from pop/rock singer Ruben "Benny" Mardones. Born in Cleveland but growing up in Maryland, Benny didn't get his recording career on track until he came to New York in the 70s. His second album, Never Run, Never Hide, included a soft-rock song written by Mardones and Robert Tepper (who eventually had success on his own with "No Easy Way Out" from Rocky IV). The result, "Into The Night", was one of the most strangest "beautiful" songs to ever hit the pop charts. With explicit lyrics about falling in love and bedding a girl whose age would now clearly count as statuatory rape (mind you, Benny was 34 at the time it was released) sung in earnest over this lush and spacey production, I think most people were hypnotized to ignore the intention and go for the passion. Ah, the 80s. The video certainly didn't do any favors...



"Into The Night" first hit the American Top 40 in 1980, where it came one notch from reaching the top-10. However after a second single, "Hometown Girls", missed the pop chart, "bubbling under" the  Hot 100 at #103, his career didn't recover at first, and Mardones battles drug and alcohol addiction for a bit.

Fast forward to 1989, when an Arizona radio station started to play "Into The Night" in an oldies segment, which caught the ear of some influential DJs like Scott Shannon of Los Angeles. Eventually, with national airplay, and a re-recorded single on Curb Records to make sales, "Into The Night" re-entered the charts, and for the second time Benny landed in the top-20 in July of 1989. Mind you, Benny was now forty-three, singing about that 16-year-old. All told the song spent 37 weeks on the pop chart. The single also climbed to #20 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart.

While he hasn't reached the Hot 100 since, Benny did continue to release music, and had a few minor adult contemporary hits in the "naughties", with "I Want It All" and "I Know You By Heart" (the latter with Katrina Carlsson) reaching #25 in 2003. Even though he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he continues to perform live, and was a huge star in the upstate New York area.  Until then, he's secured his place in rock history with the most "guiltiest" of "guilty pleasures".

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 8/22/16 - New Order's "Round and Round"...


"Round and Round" - New Order
from the album Technique (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #64 

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the British new wave band New Order, who had evolved from their post-punk roots after the dissolution of Joy Division to a synthpop powerhouse with their first American top-40 pop hit "True Faith" in the winter of 1987. That single was taken from their collection Substance, which was a huge success even to this day (it appears on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 best albums of the rock era). They also scored their first #1 dance hit in the U.S. with the "double-A-sided" single "Blue Monday 1988" and "Touched By The Hand Of God" (the former also climbed to #68 on the American pop chart and #3 in the UK). Going to the Spanish vacation island of Ibiza to start recording their next album Technique, there emerge a much stronger gravitation to club music, which was apparent in their experimental first single "Fine Time". The quirky track went to #11 in the UK, and while it missed the pop chart in America, it raced to #2 on the dance chart and #3 for a week on the Modern Rock radio list. The second single from Technique was the busy club jam "Round and Round". With a frenetic beat and a throbbing prominent bass line, it was another dancefloor success, though the acetic lyrics were described by lead singer Bernard Summer to be about former label head Tony Wilson. The video has a few models in black and white with flashes of color subliminally inserted...


While "Round and Round" became the band's second #1 hit on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart, and climbed to #6 on their Modern Rock radio list, the single stalled out at #64 on the pop Hot 100 in May of 1989. Internationally, the single made it to #10 in Ireland, #13 in New Zealand, #20 in Australia, and #21 in their native UK.

A third single from the Technique album, "Run 2" (which ended up giving writing credit to John Denver), reached #49 on the British chart. A stand-alone single for the 1990 FIFA World Cup for football (or, soccer, for us Americans), "World In Motion", topped the UK list, and went to #10 on the American dance chart and #5 Modern rock.

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Songoftheday 8/22/16 - Oh don't get so excited when I come home a little late at night, 'cause we only act like children when we argue fuss and fight...


"If You Don't Know Me By Now" - Simply Red
from the album A New Flame (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from the British pop/soul band Simply Red, who had big success in America with their debut album and #1 hit "Holding Back The Years", but had a little less with their sophomore effort, though it still got them a top-40 pop hit with "The Right Thing" in the spring of 1987. (Another track from the album, "Maybe Someday", hit #28 on the American Adult Contemporary radio chart). Nevertheless, the set did respectably internationally, with three top-40 hits in their native UK. Their sound was evolving into more of a soulful direction away from new wave, and that continued with their third release A New Flame in 1989. The first single was the seductively-paced "It's Only Love", which bridged both sophisti-pop and quiet storm in its production, and while it reached the top-40 on the R&B (#21) and adult-contemporary (#19) charts, it stalled in the lower half of the American pop Hot 100 at #57. However that all changed with the follow-up, which was a remake of one of the biggest soul ballads of the 70s.

"If You Don't Know Me By Now", written by label heads and R&B legends Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, was originally meant for the group LaBelle, but instead it was recorded by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes for their first full-length album in the summer of 1972. The resulting single was that act's first top-40 pop hit, going to #3 and topping the R&B chart as well...


The Simply Red cover doesn't stray far from the feel of the original, though Mick Hucknall goes more for vocal acrobatics than emotional heft...


Simply Red's take on "If You Don't Know Me By Now" became the band's second and final #1 pop hit in America in July of 1989. The single also topped the Adult Contemporary chart for six weeks. Internationally, the song was their second to hit #2 in their home country, while reaching #1 in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and scoring a top ten hit in Ireland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria, Norway, and Sweden.

Gamble and Huff also won a Grammy for R&B song in 1990 courtesy of the remake. A third single from the set in the U.S., "You've Got It", managed to place at #7 on the Adult Contemporary radio chart, though it missed the pop Hot 100.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Songoftheday 8/21/16 - I was so crazy about you everyone knew, I couldn't sleep when I found out you feel the way you do...


"Giving Up On Love" - Rick Astley
from the album Hold Me In Your Arms (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #38 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's song of the day comes from fresh-faced British pop singer Rick Astley, whose second album Hold Me In Your Arms returned him to the top-10 on the American pop charts in the winter of 1989 with "She Wants To Dance With Me".  While in England, he scored two more top-10 hits with the bouncy "Take Me To Your Heart" and the title track ballad, in America the record company chose instead to put out the shuffling mid-tempo "Giving Up On Love", which I guess gave a passing nod to the rise of new jack swing. although the juxtaposition of the bright, sunny production to the lyrics of betrayal (as possibly written by Jack McBreyer on 30 Rock, though in truth penned solely by Rick) was a little jarring...


"Giving Up On Love" became Rick's fifth top-40 pop hit in America in May of 1989. The song did much better on Adult Contemporary radio, landing at #11 on Billboard's "easy listening" list. The song wasn't put out internationally save for Canada, where it just missed the top-40 at #45. For a third American single, he released a cover of the Motown classic "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", which slipped into the Hot 100 at #89 but did get to #16 Adult Contemp.

Up tomorrow: Copper-topped soul/pop back revive a questioning classic.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Songoftheday 8/20/16 - I know you've heard so many people say I've got a different girl in every town...


"Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)" - Roachford
from the album Roachford (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #25 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's song of the day comes from the British rock band Roachford, who came together behind group namesake and lead singer Andrew Roachford in London in the late 80s. With an all-black lineup that played rock music with a danceable beat, they stood out from their peers in mid-80s lily-white new wave-obsessed Britain. Their debut single, "Cuddly Toy", originally was released in the summer of 1988, where it was a minor hit at #61. Written and co-produced by Andrew, when it was re-released in January of 1989 (with the tag "Feel For Me") it did much better, and even became a success in the U.S...


"Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)" became Roachford's sole top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in June of 1989. The 12" remixed version reached #34 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the song climbed as high as #4 on the British chart in its second run (their single top ten hit there), got into the top-40 in the Netherlands at #17, and was a minor hit in Germany (#49) and Australia (#73).

Their next single, "Family Man", made it to #25 on the UK list. With their sophomore effort, Get Ready!, in 1991, they landed another top-40 hit in their homeland with the title track, which also got them their first hit in France at #35. The band racked up five more top-40 hits in the UK in their next two album releases, with "The Way I Feel" going to #20. His last minor hit in the country was in 2000 with "From Now On" (#90), but Andrew continued to have success in Europe as a hired singer on club tracks like Bustafunk's "Run Baby Run" the following year (#11, France) and "Pop Musak" with Mousse T. (#19 Germany, #14 Austria) in 2004. In 2010 Andrew made the top ten in France as a vocalist on Laurent Wolf's "Survive" (#9, France). That same year he joined pop-rock band Mike + The Mechanics as a co-lead singer, while still releasing music with his Roachford band through 2013.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Brit Sweep: August 19, 2016...


Let's cross the Atlantic one more time to check out the songs and albums making their way on to the official charts in the UK this week...

On the British singles chart, Major Lazer with Justin Bieber and MØ spend their fourth week at #1 out of four weeks on the chart with "Cold Water"...

In this rather slow week on the chart, the top debut doesn't show up until #60, as American pop/rock band OneRepublic is in with "Kids". It follows "Wherever I Go", which went to #29 earlier this year...


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


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Sia and Sean Paul reign for a sixth week, while Florida Georgia Line (pictured above) climb a notch in the top ten. Former big hits from Barns Courtney, Ruth B., and Zayn drop out of the chart, while songs from twenty-one pilots, Cage The Elephant, and Joe Bermudez make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). One year older. Damn.

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Cheap Thrills - Sia f/Sean Paul (1)
2. Can't Stop The Feeling! - Justin Timberlake (2)
3. Send My Love (To Your New Lover) - Adele (3)
4. Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers (4)
5. One Dance - Drake f/Wizkid & Kyla (7)
6. Bored To Death - blink-182 (6)
7. H.O.L.Y. - Florida Georgia Line (8)
8. This Is What I Came For - Calvin Harris f/Rihanna (11)
9. Don't Let Me Down - The Chainsmokers f/Daya (9)
10. HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums (15)
11. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (16)
12. Hymn For The Weekend - Coldplay (17)
13. Wherever We Go - OneRepublic (5)
14. I Need Never Get Old - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (10)
15. Fix - Chris Lane (19)
16. Hell No - Ingrid Michaelson (21)
17. Ride - twenty-one pilots (13)
18. Record Year - Eric Church (18)
19. Ophelia - The Lumineers (12)
20. Ain't No Man - The Avett Brothers (14)
21. All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart (23)
22. Cake By The Ocean - DNCE (20)
23. Make You Miss Me - Sam Hunt (31)
24. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (25)
25. This Girl - KUNGS vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners (27)
26. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (50)
27. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (49)

28. Church Bells - Carrie Underwood (24)
29. Just Like Fire - Pink (30)
30. Head Over Boots - Jon Pardi (34)
31. I Wanna Know - Alesso f/Nico & Vinz (35)
32. Lake By The Ocean - Maxwell (36)
33. Brand New - Ben Rector (33)
34. We Don't Talk Anymore - Charlie Puth f/Selena Gomez (38)
35. Spirits - The Strumbellas (28)
36. Faded - Alan Walker (26)
37. Amen - Anthony Hamilton (41)
38. Me Too - Meghan Trainor (43)
39. Livin' For Your Love (Your Love) - Rosabel f/Jeanie Tracy (39)
40. Can't Wait - Jill Scott (44)
41. Kill The Lights - Alex Newell, Jess Glynne, DJ Cassidy & Nile Rodgers (29)
42. Bring Back The Summer - Rain Man f/OLY (52)
43. Kiss It Better - Rihanna (47)
44. You Look Like I Need A Drink - Justin Moore (58)
45. Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande (45)
46. Wasted Time - Keith Urban (42)
47. Close - Nick Jonas f/Tove Lo (48)
48. I Took A Pill In Ibiza - Mike Posner (40)
49. T-Shirt - Thomas Rhett (37)
50. Lights Come On - Jason Aldean (51)
51. From The Ground Up - Dan + Shay (53)
52. Casual Party - Band Of Horses (54)
53. River - Bishop Briggs (57)
54. Peter Pan - Kelsea Ballerini (62)
55. Wow - Beck (56)
56. Needed Me - Rihanna (60)
57. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes (61)
58. Like I Would - Zayn (72)
59. Drink The Night Away - Lee Dagger f/Bex (71)
60. The Sound - The 1975 (65)
61. Different For Girls - Dierks Bentley f/Elle King (73)
62. Keep You In Mind - Guordan Banks (46)
63. Let It Go - NERVO f/Nicky Romero (67)
64. Don't Be So Shy - Imany (68)
65. Asking For It - Shinedown (66)
66. Tears - Clean Bandit f/Louisa Johnson (70)
67. American Country Love Song - Jake Owen (69)
68. Sunrise - Joe Bermudez f/Louise Carver (84)
69. So Alive - Goo Goo Dolls (59)
70. How Many Fucks - Erika Jayne (74)
71. Tell Me We're OK - DJ Hardwerk f/Akon (81)
72. Only - tyDi f/Olivia Somerlyn (55)
73. Good Grief - Bastille (77)
74. Think Of You - Chris Young f/Cassadee Young (64)
75. Dancing On My Own - Calum Scott (79)
76. Work From Home - Fifth Harmony f/Ty Dolla $ign (63)
77. Body High - Mike Taylor (87)
78. Mama Said - Lukas Graham (83)
79. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (89)
80. Perfect Strangers - Jonas Blue f/JP Cooper (80)
81. Somewhere On A Beach - Dierks Bentley (76)
82. Rise - Katy Perry (90)
83. What We Live For - American Authors (85)
84. You Don't Know Love - Olly Murs (94)
85. Into You - Ariana Grande (DEBUT)
86. 11 Blocks - Wrabel (88)
87. Running For You - Kip Moore (91)
88. She's Got A Way With Words - Blake Shelton (92)
89. Sweet Dreams - JX Riders f/Skylar Stecker (DEBUT)
90. No Money - Galantis (RE-ENTRY)
91. Singing In The Rain - Simple Plan f/R. City (93)
92. Joyride (Omen) - Chevelle (96)
93. Without A Fight - Brad Paisley f/Demi Lovato (DEBUT)
94. Permission - RO James (RE-ENTRY)
95. Controlla - Drake (99)
96. Duele El Corazon - Enrique Iglesias f/Wisin (DEBUT)
97. Rock On - Tucker Beathard (DEBUT)
98. Messin' Around - Pitbull f/Enrique Iglesias (100)
99. Cold Water - Major Lazer f/Justin Bieber & MO (DEBUT)
100. Special - Lorenzo Spano f/Liz Hill (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 8/19/16 - Is it all in that pretty little head of yours? What goes on in that place in the dark?


"Veronica" - Elvis Costello
from the album Spike (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #19 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day comes from British post-punk rock icon Elvis Costello, who was last seen here when he broke through on the American charts in 1983 with the adult-pop reflection "Everyday I Write The Book". The next year, amidst tensions that broke up his backing band the Attractions, he followed it up with the Goodbye Cruel World album, with a collaboration with Daryl Hall, "The Only Flame In Town", that became a minor pop (#56) and rock (#44) hit. Meanwhile, another track, "I Wanna Be Loved" paired with a non-album track "Turning The Town Red", reached the top-40 in the UK (#25). With the cool reception to the synth-driven pop of that album, Costello returned to a more roots-rock sound for his first album without the Attractions, King Of America in 1986. From it a cover of the Animals' rock classic "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" reached the top 40 on the British singles (#33) and American rock radio (#38) charts. He reunited with early collaborator Nick Lowe for his critically heralded Blood & Chocolate album. The set sold respectably but failed to click at the over-produced musical landscape of pop radio. Leaving his long-standing record distributor Columbia for Warner Brothers, Elvis started his tenure there with his Spike album, came during a time that he was writing with Paul McCartney, and two of the tracks from the album are theirs, including the lead single "Veronica". Inspired by his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, was a sweet but sometimes painful look at a woman who has temporary flashes of clarity within a fugue of clouded thoughts...


"Veronica" became Costello's biggest pop hit in the U.S., reaching the top-20 in June of 1989. The song went all the way to #1 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, while also climbing to #10 on the Mainstream Rock list. Internationally, the single was a top-40 hit in New Zealand (#16), Ireland (#22), Australia (#27), and his native Britain (#31). The follow-up single to the record, "...This Town", missed the pop chart both in America and worldwide but landed at #4 on the Modern Rock chart (and #41 Mainstream). He started the '90s with the Mighty Like A Rose album which delved into lush baroque pop, and the single "The Other Side Of Summer" spent a month on top of the US Modern Rock chart, but missed the British top-40 at #43. After a foray with the classical Juliet Letters piece, Elvis reunited with the Attractions for the 1994 album Brutal Youth, which gave him his most recent American radio hit with the punchy "13 Steps Lead Down" (#6 Modern Rock). In 1999 he returned to the British top-40 with the ballad "She" from the Notting Hill soundtrack. He ended with a couple of minor hits on the UK chart from his 2002 set When I Was Cruel, with "45" stopping at #92. However, he continues to record with successful album exploring multiple genres including one with his wife, jazz artist Diana Krall. His most recent studio album, Wise Up Ghost with future Late Show band the Roots, reached the top 20 on the US albums chart in 2013.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Aussie Sweep: August 18, 2016...


Let's take another trip Down Under to check out the songs making their way on to the local artists charts in Australia this week...

On the Australian Artists Singles chart, rapper Illy stays put yet again at #1 with "Paper Cuts" with Vera Blue, as the Chainsmokers and Halsey rule the all-inclusive chart with "Closer"...

Aussie hip-hop artist Ta-Ku (aka Regan Matthews) collaborates with singer/songwriter Wafia on "Love Somebody" which enters at #11...


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Songoftheday 8/18/16 - Well I know what's right I got just one life, in a world that keeps on pushin' me around but I'll stand my ground...


"I Won't Back Down" - Tom Petty
from the album Full Moon Fever (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the Floridian mainstream rock artist Tom Petty, who by the late eighties was in a bit of a lull with his band the Heartbreakers. After their Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) album which produced the hit "Jammin' Me", which spend a month on top of Billboard's Rock radio chart, he joined up with legends Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne for the critically and financially successful Traveling Wilburys project. During that time, Petty also set off to record what would be his first "solo" album, Full Moon Fever. Even though Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell would co-produce, play, and provide the studio for, and most of the rest of the band made appearances on, Petty set out to make this his "own" record. With fellow Wilbury Lynne also at the control board, the album didn't sound too different from Petty's work with the band. The first single from the set, "I Won't Back Down", shares the easy-going delivery and vague western influence of 1982's "You Got Lucky". With Howie Epstein from the band and George Harrison singing backup, it was like a mesh of his two previous works. And in the music video, Petty and Campbell are joined by Lynne and half the Beatles in Harrison and Ringo Starr...


"I Won't Back Down" became Petty's first "solo" and eleventh overall top-40 pop hit in July of 1989. The song spent five weeks on top of Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, and even crossed over to #29 on their Modern Rock tally (his only charting hit on that format). Internationally, the single was big in Canada, reaching #5 on their singles chart, while going to #16 in Australia, and #28 in the UK.

The following year, the Full Moon Fever album would be nominated for Album of the Year, losing out to Bonnie Raitt's Nick Of Time comeback album.

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