Friday, December 30, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Ten - #10 to #1 and the whole she-bang...


We've reached the final installment of my year-end recap of the biggest hits on my weekly music chart for 2016. These are the songs that had gone the highest and/or stuck around the longest in the year. You can click over to catch up on the whole countdown or on parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and the 25 also-rans...

#10 - "Ophelia" - The Lumineers
          from the album Cleopatra (2016)
          Highest rank: #2 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 41 (still charting)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #66
          Songwriters: Wesley Schultz, Jeremy Fraites


Back in 2012, the indie-folk trio had the #10 song of my year-end recap with "Ho Hey" and landing a nomination for a Grammy for Best New Artist. Four years later, they are back at #10 with the moody and plodding switched with flashes of shanty song "Ophelia". It took a while for this gem to catch on with the bright and flashy radio landscape, but it proves simple is sometimes better.

Killer lyric: Oh, oh, got a new girlfriend, he feels like he's on top,
                    And I don't feel no remorse, and you can't see past my blinders...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

twostepcub's music chart for December 30, 2016...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. "24K Magic" from Bruno Mars remains on top for a sixth week, while Sting (pictured above) climbs into the top ten. Songs from Chris Young/Vince Gill, Green Day, and Rihanna make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Adele, Justin Timberlake, OneRepublic, Christina Aguilera, Calvin Harris, Jonas Blue, LoCash, and Kiiara drop off my list.

Don't forget, I'll be rolling out the top ten hits of 2016 on my chart later on today...

This Week           Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. 24K Magic - Bruno Mars (1)
2. Waste A Moment - Kings Of Leon (2)
3. Starboy - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (3)
4. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 f/Kendrick Lamar
5. Song For Another Time - Old Dominion (6)
6. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (5)
7. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (7)
8. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes (8)
9. I Can't Stop Thinking About You - Sting (13)
10. Fresh Eyes - Andy Grammer (12)
11. Closer - The Chainsmokers f/Halsey (11)
12. Wanna Be That Song - Brett Eldredge (14)
13. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (17)
14. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (10)
15. Sit Still, Look Pretty - Daya (16)
16. The Greatest - Sia f/Kendrick Lamar (20)
17. All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart (15)
18. Say It To Me - Pet Shop Boys (18)
19. HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums (19)
20. Thick Of It - Mary J. Blige (21)
21. Sleep Without You - Brett Young (9)
22. Dirty Laundry - Carrie Underwood (26)
23. Love Me Now - John Legend (23)
24. Water Under The Bridge - Adele (30)
25. Side To Side - Ariana Grande f/Nicki Minaj (33)
26. Star Of The Show - Thomas Rhett (36)
27. Setting The World On Fire - Kenny Chesney f/P!nk (27)
28. Rockabye - Clean Bandit f/Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (38)
29. Middle Of A Memory - Cole Swindell (24)
30. Say Yes - Tony Moran f/Jason Walker (32)
31. Cheap Thrills - Sia f/Sean Paul (31)
32. Good Grief - Bastille (22)
33. How I'll Always Be - Tim McGraw (41)
34. Blue Ain't Your Color - Keith Urban (40)
35. Shout Out To My Ex - Little Mix (45)
36. Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara (46)
37. People Grinnin' - NERVO f/The Child Of Lov (29)
38. Let Me Love You - DJ Snake f/Justin Bieber (43)
39. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (49)
40. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (47)
41. 80s Mercedes - Maren Morris (51)
42. Move - Luke Bryan (28)
43. In The Name of Love - Martin Garrix f/Bebe Rexha (44)
44. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (37)
45. Believe - Crystal Water f/Sted-E & Hybrid Heights (35)
46. So I Can Have You Back - Joe (54)
47. I Hate U, I Love U - gnash f/Olivia O'Brien (57)
48. Older - Lodato & Joseph Duveen (56)
49. Starving - Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f/Zedd (61)
50. Move - Saint Motel (52)
51. High and Low - Empire of the Sun (65)
52. Go Robot - Red Hot Chili Peppers (68)
53. If The Boots Fit - Granger Smith (58)
54. Permission - Ro James (50)
55. Welcome To Your Life - Grouplove (59)
56. My Name Is Human - Highly Suspect (66)
57. A Guy With A Girl - Blake Shelton (64)
58. She's Out Of Her Mind - blink-182 (70)
59. May We All - Florida Georgia Line f/Tim McGraw (55)
60. Love Me - DJ Hollywood f/Abri (60)
61. Seal The Deal - Volbeat (71)
62. Button Pusha - Ralphi Rosari & Aneeta Beat (78)
63. Blow Your Mind (MWAH) - Dua Lipa (80)
64. Seein' Red - Dustin Lynch (74)
65. Kill A Word - Eric Church f/Rhiannon Giddens (69)
66. Icarus - R3Hab (81)
67. Still Breathing - Green Day (87)
68. A Little More Summertime - Jason Aldean (63)
69. Superlove - Tinashe (83)
70. Mercy - Shawn Mendes (86)
71. Play That Song - Train (75)
72. Better Man - Little Big Town (DEBUT)
73. Sober Saturday Night - Chris Young f/Vince Gill (98)
74. Love On The Weekend - John Mayer (88)
75. Love On The Brain - Rihanna (95)
76. It Don't Hurt Like It Used To - Billy Currington (72)
77. Teardrops - Cole Plante & Bobi (62)
78. She Sets The City On Fire - Gavin DeGraw (76)
79. Holy Commotion - The Pretenders (79)
80. Square Hammer - Ghost (94)
81. 1990X - Maxwell (85)
82. This Town - Niall Horan (92)
83. Cold Water - Major Lazer f/Justin Bieber & MO (73)
84. Ophelia - The Lumineers (84)
85. Alarm - Anne-Marie (89)
86. You're Not There - Lukas Graham (DEBUT)
87. Lost On You - LP (97)
88. To Not Love You - DJ Pebbles (DEBUT)
89. Shine - Mondo Cozmo (93)
90. Million Reasons - Lady Gaga (DEBUT)
91. Hell In Paradise 2016 - Yoko Ono (DEBUT)
92. Today - Brad Paisley (RE-ENTRY)
93. In A Drawer - Band Of Horses (DEBUT)
94. Blood In The Cut - k. flay (DEBUT)
95. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (RE-ENTRY)
96. Sexual - NEIKED (96)
97. I Feel It Coming - The Weekend f/Daft Punk (DEBUT)
98. So Good - Louisa Johnson (99)
99. Chöre - Mark Forster (DEBUT)
100. Take My Breath Away - Alesso (DEBUT)

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

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 12/30/16 - Echoes thunder almost every night, why this prison if we're all alike...

"Tell Me Why" - Exposé
from the album What You Don't Know (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (one week)
Weeks on the Top-40: 11

Today's Song of the day comes from the dance-pop trio Exposé, whose sophomore effort What You Don't Know continued their streak of top ten hits in the U.S. with "When I Looked At Him" and the title track. The third single from the album would have them delve into deeper lyrical waters with "Tell Me Why". Written and produced by Lewis Martineé, it may not solve the problems of urban gang violence, but it was at least asking questions. Like "What You Don't Know", Gioia Bruno handled the vocals on this (her last lead on a top-40 Expose track)...


"Tell Me Why" became the group's seventh straight top-10 pop hit in America in February of 1990. The song also climbed to #3 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the single was a top-40 hit in Canada at #34, and a minor hit in the Netherlands (#78) and the UK (#97).

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Nine - #20 to #11...






I'm almost through with this year's recap of the biggest hit songs on my weekly music chart, as I enter the top-20. You can click over to check out parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight, as well as the 25 that almost made it...

#20 - "All We Ever Knew" - The Head and the Heart
          from the album Signs Of Light (2016)
          Highest rank: #2 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 25 (still charting)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriters: Josiah Johnson, Jonathan Russell, Charity Thielen, Chris Zasche, Kenny Hensley, Tyler Williams (The Head and the Heart)


The Seattle indie-folks outfit claim their biggest rock hit to date with this ethereal yet sing-along-ready reminiscence piece. The sunny side of regret, perhaps.

Killer lyrics: We've been here before,
                      Don't drag me through this again,
                      We tried everything under the sun...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 12/29/16 -Driving in my car with the wind run through your hair, I reach for you now but you're not there...


"Was It Nothing At All" - Michael Damian
from the album Where Do We Go From Here (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #24 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from actor/singer Michael Damian, who had parlayed his celebrity from his starring role on the daytime "soap opera" The Young And The Restless to a recording career, scoring a #1 pop hit with a cover of David Essex's "Rock On" as well as a top-40 follow-up with "Cover Of Love".  The third single from his Where Do We Go From Here album was the break-up ballad "Was It Nothing At All". Written by Damian himself, it had the lush air of the sophisti-pop that had graced the mid-80s from the UK, and a touch of guitar like in George Michael's "A Different Corner"...


"Was It Nothing At All" became Damian's third and final top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in February of 1990. The single was a big hit on Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio, reaching #7 on Billboard's chart and hanging around for 28 weeks. A fourth single from the album, "Straight From My Heart", nicked the adult contemporary chart at #47.

In 1991, Damian released his next album, Dreams Of Summer, but the lead single, "What A Price To Pay", which also had the George Michael mark on it (this time sounding just like "Careless Whisper"), stalled down at #60. Another track, "(There'll Never Be) Another You", was a minor AC hit at #26. He spent the rest of the decade more prominent on the stage, starring in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat among other things. His most recent radio hit was a rework of "Rock On" in 2009 which went to #28 on the easy listening chart.

Up tomorrow: Hitmaking dance trio gets serious and asks some questions.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Eight - #30 to #21...


I'm heading higher up my countdown of the top 100 tunes from my weekly music chart for 2016, and as we enter the top-30, you can click to check out my recaps on parts one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven, as well as the 25 "also-rans"...

#30 - "Die A Happy Man" - Thomas Rhett
          from the album Tangled Up (2015)
          Highest rank: #20 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 26 (was on for five weeks in 2015)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21
          Songwriters: Thomas Rhett, Sean Douglas, Joe Spargur (Joe London)


Thomas Rhett, son of 90s country singer Rhett Akins, was on last year's list at #49 with "Make Me Wanna", and we saw him on yesterday's post at #36 with "T-Shirt", but it was this John Mayer-ish love song that made him claim the longest reigning #1 country airplay song of the year, spending six weeks at the summit. The track also became a respectably big pop hit as well, with its straightforward wooing words.

Killer lyric: If I never get to see the Northern Lights,
                   Or if I never get to see the Eiffel Tower at night,
                   Oh, if all I got is your hand in my hand,
                   Baby, I could die a happy man...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 12/28/16 - Girl well it's been one of those days again, And it seems like the harder I try over and over I'm right back where I began...


"What Kind Of Man Would I Be?" - Chicago
from the album Chicago 19 (1988) & Greatest Hits 1982-1989 (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the veteran jazz-rock band turned soft-pop hitmakers Chicago, whose numerical release 19 continued their success with a trio of top 10 hits with "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love", "You're Not Alone", and Billboard's Top Pop hit for 1989, "Look Away". A fourth single from the album, the love ballad "We Can Last Forever", made it to #12 on the Adult Contemporary chart, but missed the pop top 40 at #55. A fifth track from the album would be remixed and included in their third greatest hits set, spanning most of the decade. "What Kind Of Man Would I Be?", written by the band's Jason Scheff, who sings lead, along with Bobby Caldwell and Chas Sanford, was yet another easy listening love anthem that fittingly started the 90s off in the age of Michael Bolton...


"What Kind Of Man Would I Be" became Chicago's 21st and so far most recent top 10 pop hit in the U.S. in February of 1990. The single would also spend four weeks at #2 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. The song also climbed to #4 in Canada.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Seven: #40 to #31...






As we roll along with my recap of the 100 biggest songs on my weekly music chart for the year 2016, I'm up to part seven. You can click over to catch up on parts one, two, three, four, five, and six, along with the 25 that almost made it. I know reach the top 40...

#40 - "Just Like Fire" - P!nk
          from the album Alice Through The Looking Glass (Original Soundtrack) (2016)
          Highest rank: #29 (three weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 29
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10
          Songwriters: Alecia Moore (P!nk), Max Martin, Karl Schuster (Shellback), Oscar Holter


It's been four years since P!nk's last studio album, but she re-emerges with a great song from a shitty movie, in this case the sequel in the Johnny Depp franchise film series for Alice In Wonderland. Her daughter and husband get cute cameos in the video, as well.

Killer lyric:  I'm walking on a wire trying to go higher,
                     Feels like I'm surrounded by clowns and liars,
                    Even when I get it all the way...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 12/27/16 - Tell me now it's untrue what did her daddy do? He jacked a little bitty baby the man has got to be insane...


"Janie's Got A Gun" - Aerosmith
from the album Pump (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the hard blues-rock band from Boston, Aerosmith, whose decade-closing Pump album had scored them a top-5 pop hit with "Love In An Elevator" in the fall of 1989. The next single from the set would take them in a more serious route. "Janie's Got A Gun", primarily written by lead singer Steven Tyler with bassist Tom Hamilton, their party-style ways were put on the shelf as topics as child abuse and gun violence are tackled. Without being tacky, and Steven providing an impassioned and angry vocal, this may indeed be their best artistic moment, if not one of them...


"Janie's Got A Gun" reached the top-5 on the American pop chart in February of 1990. The single also went to #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio list. Internationally, the song topped the singles chart in Australia (their first), peaked at #2 in Canada, got to the top-20 in Sweden (#12) and New Zealand (#13), but only was a minor hit in the UK at #76.

The band would earn their first Grammy Award for Rock Group/Duo Performance in 1991 for the song.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Monday, December 26, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 12/26/16 - Eric Clapton's "Pretending"...

"Pretending" - Eric Clapton
from the album Journeyman (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #55

This week's "robbed hit" comes from rock god Eric Clapton, who had spent a big chunk of the 1980's battling a drug and alcohol addiction, emerging sober but more serene, with two albums in the later half of the decade produced by Phil Collins. In the spring of 1985 his single "Forever Man" hit the American top-40, but after that pop radio wasn't as kind. While he topped the Mainstream Rock radio chart with "(It's In) The Way That You Use It" and reached #5 with "Tearing Us Apart" with Tina Turner, neither song made even a dent into the pop Hot 100.

With Eric's last studio set of the decade, Journeyman, he set a little bit of blues, like in the lead single "Pretending", still the record was dominated by adult pop. Written by Jerry Lynn Williams (who also penned "Forever Man"), the single was enjoyable if not breaking any new ground for him. But the video got him all wet...


While "Pretending" returned Clapton to the top of the Mainstream Rock chart in the U.S., the single stalled under the halfway mark on the pop list in December of 1989. Internationally, the record made the top-40 in Canada (#24) and the Netherlands (#29), while in Eric's native Britain it only slipped in at #96.

His next radio single "Bad Love", which had Phil Collins singing backup, went to #1 on the rock chart as well, and scored Clapton with a Grammy for Best Rock Male Vocal in 1991. It also was a top-40 hit in the UK at #25. Two more tracks from Journeyman made the rock top 10, "No Alibis"(#4)  and "Before You Accuse Me" (#9), the latter being the most straightforward blues on the disc. A fifth offering, the George Harrison-written "Run So Far", slipped in at #40; but none of the Journeyman songs save "Pretending" made the pop list.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Six - #50 to #41...


We've hit the halfway mark on my year-end recap of the biggest hits on my weekly music chart for 2016, and I'm ready to roll ten more out from the top 50. You can check out the other five parts and the 25 that almost made it by clicking here.

#50 - "Closer" - The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
          from the EP Collage (2016)
          Highest rank: #2 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 16 (still charting)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
          Songwriters: Andrew Taggart (the Chainsmokers), Ashley Frangipane (Halsey), Shaun Frank, Frederic Kennett, Isaac Slade and Joe King (The Fray)


After being a popular DJ/remixing team who had a novelty hit a couple years back with "#SELFIE", the duo of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall became legitimate pop stars in 2016, with three top ten pop hits in America, all of which made my top 100 of the year. First up at #50 was their "biggest" on the Hot 100 in the U.S., spending 12 weeks at #1. Paired up with indie-pop flake Halsey for a bro-style fuckfest of a down-tempo EDM-style track, it made the perfect "song of the fall" for this shitshow of a season. (Also, fitting for the type of year this has been, the Fray were tacked on the credits to avoid a plagiarism lawsuit for the single cribbing from "Over My Head (Cable Car)"...

Killer lyric: Pull the sheets right off the corner
                    Of the mattress that you stole
                    From your roommate back in Boulder...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Songoftheday 12/26/16 - Eleanor Rigby Spends half her life all alone no fault of her own...

"Tender Lover" - Babyface
from the album Tender Lover (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #14 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from soul/pop singer/producer/songwriter Babyface (aka Kenny Edmonds), who had landed success away from his old band The Deele with the top ten hit "It's No Crime" in the fall of 1989. The second single from his second album was the title track, "Tender Lover", a mid-tempo break-up song written by the singer with Perri Reid (otherwise known as the singer "Pebbles") and L.A. Reid, who he produced the song with. Bobby Brown also makes a rap appearance on the "single mix" of the track...


"Tender Lover" became the second top-20 hit from the album in February of 1990. The song also was his third consecutive #1 R&B hit (after "It's No Crime" and "Love Saw It" with Karyn White). Internationally, it was his first minor in the UK at #86, and made the top 40 in New Zealand at #32.

Up tomorrow: Children with weaponry.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Five and a Half - the "Bubbling Unders", #125 to #101...


Hey gang, we're gone halfway through my countdown of the 100 biggest songs on my weekly music chart for 2016. You can catch up on parts one through five by clicking here. As a bonus, here's the 25 songs that just missed out, including some real gems. (FYI 543 different singles reached my top 100 during the year.)
Happy Holidays!!!

#125 - "Waste A Moment" - Kings Of Leon
            from the album WALLS (2016)
            Highest rank (in 2016): #2 (three weeks so far)
            Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 11 (still charting)
            Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart, "bubbled under" at #102
            Songwriters: Caleb, Nathan, Jared, and Matthew Followhill (Kings Of Leon)


The current runner-up on my chart just missed the year-end. They had topped the year end back in 2009 with "Use Somebody".

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Songoftheday 12/24/16 - Go swiftly the flags and drums can hypnotize, when glory has faded the dream is worth more than the prize...





"Peace In Our Time" - Eddie Money
from the album Greatest Hits: Sound Of Money (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from rock singer Eddie Money, who had scored a top-10 pop hit in the winter of 1988 with "Walk On Water", as well as a #1 rock radio hit follow-up with "The Love In Your Eyes". He closed out the decade with a greatest hits album, which had three never released songs on it. One of them, the anti-war anthem "Peace In Our Time", was put out as a single. Written by Englishmen Andy Hill and Peter Sinfield, the latter a former member of progressive rockers King Crimson, the song was one of those feel better world healing songs that always appear in the turning of a year...


"Peace In Our Time" stopped one rung short of the American pop top ten in February of 1990. The song also climbed to #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, while it crossed over to #34 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list. Internationally, the single climbed to #3 in Canada.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Friday, December 23, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Five - #60 to #51...


We're at part five of my year-end countdown of the biggest hit songs on my weekly music chart for 2016. You can click over to check out part one, part two, part three, and part four to catch up...

#60 - "Shame" - Tyrese
          from the album Black Rose (2015)
          Highest rank (in 2016): #14 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 16 (was on for 26 weeks in 2015)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart, "bubbled under" at #103
          Songwriters: Tyrese Gibson, Warryn Campbell, DJ Rogers Jr, Sam Dees, Ron Kersey


The second of three songs to make a repeat performance on my year-end top 100, this was at #26 last year, reaching the top-20 and slowly moving down the chart, before reversing course back up, helped by its return to #1 on the Adult R&B chart in Billboard magazine. Epic video featuring Jennifer Hudson, who sings backup on the single, the emotional sponge of a track interpolates Atlantic Starr's "Send For Me"...

Killer lyric: Have I learned, that's your question,
                    And my answer I have,
                    But if you're expecting perfection,
                    Then we're not gonna last...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Twostepcub's music chart for December 23, 2016...






Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Bruno Mars reigns for a fifth week, while Old Dominion (pictured above) climbs a couple notches in the top ten. Former big hits from Blink-182, the Lumineers, Calum Scott, and Betty Who drop off my list, while songs from Lodato/Joseph Duveen, Empire of the Sun, and Rag N' Bone Man make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red).

And don't forget, I'm counting down the biggest hits on this here chart ten at a time every weekday until New Year's - you can click here to catch up...

This Week         Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. 24K Magic - Bruno Mars (1)
2. Waste A Moment - Kings Of Leon (2)
3. Starboy - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (3)
4. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 f/Kendrick Lamar (4)
5. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (6)
6. Song For Another Time - Old Dominion (8)
7. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (7)
8. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes (5)
9. Sleep Without You - Brett Young (9)
10. Unsteady - X Ambassadors (10)
11. Closer - The Chainsmokers f/Halsey (11)
12. Fresh Eyes - Andy Grammer (14)
13. I Can't Stop Thinking About You - Sting (17)
14. Wanna Be That Song - Brett Eldredge (21)
15. All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart (15)
16. Sit Still, Look Pretty - Daya (20)
17. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (27)
18. Say It To Me - Pet Shop Boys (22)
19. HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums (19)
20. The Greatest - Sia f/Kendrick Lamar (25)
21. Thick Of It - Mary J. Blige (28)
22. Good Grief - Bastille (12)
23. Love Me Now - John Legend (31)
24. Middle Of A Memory - Cole Swindell (16)
25. Kids - OneRepublic (13)
26. Dirty Laundry - Carrie Underwood (34)
27. Setting The World On Fire - Kenny Chesney f/P!nk (23)
28. Move - Luke Bryan (18)
29. People Grinnin' - NERVO f/The Child of Lov (29)
30. Water Under The Bridge - Adele (39)
31. Cheap Thrills - Sia f/Sean Paul (26)
32. Say Yes - Tony Moran f/Jason Walker (42)
33. Side To Side - Ariana Grande f/Nicki Minaj (43)
34. Send My Love (To Your New Lover) - Adele (24)
35. Believe - Crystal Waters f/Sted-E & Hybrid Heights (36)
36. Star Of The Show - Thomas Rhett (44)
37. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (32)
38. Rockabye - Clean Bandit f/Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (48)
39. Can't Stop The Feeling! - Justin Timberlake (35)
40. Blue Ain't Your Color - Keith Urban (40)
41. How I'll Always Be - Tim McGraw (46)
42. Perfect Strangers - Jonas Blue f/JP Cooper (38)
43. Let Me Love You - DJ Snake f/Justin Bieber (45)
44. In The Name Of Love - Martin Garrix f/Bebe Rexha (49)
45. Shout Out To My Ex - Little Mix (50)
46. Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara (51)
47. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (52)
48. Telepathy - Christina Aguilera f/Nile Rodgers (33)
49. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (59)
50. Permission - Ro James (30)
51. 80s Mercedes - Maren Morris (56)
52. Move - Saint Motel (60)
53. My Way - Calvin Harris (41)
54. So I Can Have You Back - Joe (66)
55. May We All - Florida Georgia Line f/Tim McGraw (55)
56. Older - Lodato & Joseph Duveen (70)
57. I Hate U, I Love U - gnash f/Olivia O'Brien (61)
58. If The Boots Fit - Granger Smith (62)
59. Welcome To Your Life - Grouplove (63)
60. Love Me - DJ Hollywood f/Abri (69)
61. Starving - Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f/Zedd (71)
62. Teardrops - Cole Plante & Bobi (47)
63. A Little More Summertime - Jason Aldean (53)
64. A Guy With A Girl - Blake Shelton (74)
65. High and Low - Empire Of The Sun (77)
66. My Name Is Human - Highly Suspect (76)
67. When The Tequila Runs Out - Dawes (67)
68. Go Robot - Red Hot Chili Peppers (72)
69. Kill A Word - Eric Church f/Rhiannon Giddens (73)
70. She's Out Of Her Mind - blink-182 (75)
71. Seal the Deal - Volbeat (81)
72. It Don't Hurt Like It Used To - Billy Currington (68)
73. Cold Water - Major Lazer f/Justin Bieber & MO (58)
74. Seein' Red - Dustin Lynch (82)
75. Play That Song - Train (80)
76. She Sets The City On Fire - Gavin DeGraw (64)
77. Gold - Kiara (57)
78. Button Pusha - Ralphi Rosario & Aneeta Beat (DEBUT)
79. Holy Commotion - The Pretenders (83)
80. Blow Your Mind (MWAH) - Dua Lipa (DEBUT)
81. Icarus - R3Hab (91)
82. Sure and Certain - Jimmy Eat World (86)
83. Superlove - Tinashe (87)
84. Ophelia - The Lumineers (84)
85. 1990X - Maxwell (89)
86. Mercy - Shawn Mendes (DEBUT)
87. Still Breathing - Green Day (97)
88. Love On The Weekend - John Mayer (96)
89. Alarm - Anne-Marie (93)
90. I Know Somebody - LoCash (78)
91. Somebody's Love - Passenger (RE-ENTRY)
92. This Town - Niall Horan (92)
93. Shine - Mondo Cozmo (DEBUT)
94. Square Hammer - Ghost (DEBUT)
95. Love On The Brain - Rihanna (DEBUT)
96. Sexual - NEIKED (RE-ENTRY)
97. Lost On You - LP (RE-ENTRY)
98. Sober Saturday Night - Chris Young f/Vince Gill (DEBUT)
99. So Good - Louisa Johnson (99)
100. Breathing Underwater - Emeli Sande

There are eight songs making their debut on the "first chart of 2017's chart year", and they are highlighted in blue. If you click on any of them, 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 12/23/16 - I was born under a bad sign left out in the cold, I'm a lonely man who knows just what it means to lose control...

"Fool For Your Loving '89" - Whitesnake
from the album Slip Of The Tongue (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #37 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

(Ed. Note: this single was the last to "peak" in the 1980's....it's all 90's from here on in, baby!)

Today's song of the day comes from the British hard rock/metal band Whitesnake, who had finally broke through on American radio at the end of 1987 with their self-titled album, which replaced most of the band save for lead singer David Coverdale, but rewarded them with a #2 hit with "Is This Love" and a chart-topping cover of one of the group's earlier singles, "Here I Go Again". Despite Coverdale's success with the album, he again ditched the players on the album save guitarist Adrian Vandenberg for the videos and tour behind the album. In 1989, recording the follow-up record, Slip Of The Tongue, injury prevented Vandenberg from playing, so axe master Steve Vai was hired to fill in along with bassist Rudy Sarzo (from Quiet Riot) and Tommy Aldridge (drummer for Ozzy Osbourne). Against their wishes, the record company tried to see if their luck would hold releasing another re-vamped earlier track as the first single would be "Fool For Your Loving". Originally released in 1980 from their third album Ready and Willing, it had gone to #13 in the UK, and had stalled down at #53 in the States. Written by Coverdale with then band guitarists Bernie Mardsen and Micky Moody, the result sounded very much like a Foreigner single...



With Slip of the Tongue, produced by Mike Clink (Guns N' Roses) and Keith Olsen (Ozzy, REO Speedwagon), the sound was much more mainstream metal-ish, like contemporaries Bon Jovi and Europe...


The revamped version of "Fool For Your Loving" returned Whitesnake to the American pop top-40 in December of 1989. The song also climbed to #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, where it stayed for four week, easily their biggest hit on the format. Internationally, the single reached the top-40 in the Netherlands (#19), New Zealand (#22), and Canada (#37), but fell far short in their native Britain, where it stalled at #43.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Four - #70 to #61...


We're chugging along on my countdown of the 100 biggest songs of 2016 on my weekly chart, as I tally who went the highest and/or stayed the longest. You can check out the first three parts of my recap by clicking here...

#70 - "Off The Ground" - The Record Company
          from the album Give It Back To You (2016)
          Highest rank: #10 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 18
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriters: Chris Vos, Alex Stiff, Marc Cazorla (The Record Company)


It was a good year for blues rock, with notable releases from the likes of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Blues Pills, and this trio, whose debut album is a great driving play. This groovy opener, which topped the Adult Alternative Songs list, had such a fluid guitar hook I still can't get it out of my head, and lyrics that are more aspirational than a hundred fake Joel Osteen missives.

Killer lyric: Well, my head is heavy and my heart is empty,
                    But my spirit is strong and my legs are ready...

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Songoftheday 12/22/16 - The way we stand and the way we lie, The way we love and the way we cry...

"I'll Be Good To You" - Quincy Jones featuring Ray Charles and Chaka Khan
from the album Back To The Block (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from producer, musician, and record mogul Quincy Jones, who besides producing the biggest names in pop music, like Michael Jackson's Thriller and Bad albums, had also released his own set The Dude in 1981, that had spun off three top-40 pop hits with "Ai No Corrida", "Just Once", and "One Hundred Ways" (the last two with James Ingram). He also helped arrange the massive charity effort single "We Are The World" by USA for Africa in 1985. Four years later, Jones released his second album under his name in the decade, Back On The Block. This time with contemporary stars like Siedah Garrett, Tevin Campbell, and rappers like Ice-T and Kool Moe Dee, it was a departure from his soft-pop leanings on The Dude. The first single from the project was a new-jack-swing cover of a song he originally produced for the Brothers Johnson in 1976. "I'll Be Good To You", written by the brothers with Sonora Sam, was from the siblings' debut album Look Out For #1, and topped the R&B chart while reaching #3 on the American pop Hot 100 list...


For Jones' 1989 version, he enlisted soul veterans Ray Charles and Chaka Khan to provide the vocals, and it was the new jack song your grandmother could love...


Jones' "I'll Be Good To You" reached the American pop top-40 in January of 1990, the first for Ray Charles since 1971, and his final top-40 hit. The song also topped Billboard's R&B chart for two weeks, and climbed to #30 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. The 12" remix single went to #1 on the Dance Club Play list as well. Internationally, the song went to #7 in New Zealand, and reached the top-40 in the UK (#21), Germany (#34), and the Netherlands (#38). The Back On The Block album won Quincy a Grammy for Album of the Year, which The Dude lost out on in 1982 to John Lennon's Double Fantasy (natch).

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Three - #80 to #71...






We're up to part three of my year-end recap of the biggest hits on my weekly music chart for 2016. You can check out parts one and two by clicking here...

#80 - "Fix" - Chris Lane
          from the album Girl Problems (2016)
          Highest rank: #10 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 16
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #65
          Songwriters: Abe Stoklasa, Sarah Buxton, Jesse Frasure


This may sound more Maroon 5 than Nashville, but who cares when this country hunk-ie delivers this addictive slice of crossover heaven that's got more soul than a ton of beer and truck tracks currently at the format.

Killer lyric: I got that love medicinal,
                    I'll make you feel invincible,
                    I'm more than recreational...

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Songoftheday 12/21/16 - Woke up to the sound of pouring rain, the wind would whisper and I'd think of you...

"I Remember You" - Skid Row
from the album Skid Row (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the hard rock band Skid Row, who had landed a top ten hit in the fall of 1989 with the bad-boy anthem "18 and Life". The third single from their self-titled debut album is the power-ballad "I Remember You". Written by guitarist Dave Sabo and bass player Rachel Bolan, it was the song rocker chicks were serenaded by in the winter of 1990. Sebastian Bach's searing and soaring vocals gave more "oomph" to the run-of-the-mill looking back lyrics...


"I Remember You" became Skid Row's second top 10 pop hit in the U.S. in February of 1990. The single also climbed to #23 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the single climbed to #2 in New Zealand, and made the top-40 in Australia (#12), Canada (#14), and the UK (#36).

The following year, the band released their second album, Slave To The Grind. While the edgier record did the notable feat of debuting at #1 on Billboard's Album Sales chart, pop radio stayed mostly away, with single "Wasted Time" sneaking on to the pop chart at #88. Meanwhile, in the UK, they actually did much better (rare for an American hard rock band), scoring two top-20 hits with "Wasted Time" (#20) and "Monkey Business" (#19). Also, a re-release of their debut single "Youth Gone Wild" hit the top 40 there at #22 in 1992. It would take three years and a new producer before their third release, Subhuman Race, which would give the band their most recent American rock radio hit with "Into Another" (#28). But even despite the evolution of their sound to fit in with the grunge rock dominating radio, their returns were diminishing, and a year after the Subhuman album lead singer Sebastian Bach quit the band. They did continue to record a few more albums with new vocalists, but never regained the success as they did under Bach, who went on to be more visible through stints on reality/competition shows than his music.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Two - #90 to #81...


Round two of this year's final recap of the biggest hits on my weekly music chart is up right now, as I count down the songs that went the highest and/or stuck around the longest on my list. You can check out part one in case you missed it by clicking here...

#90 - "Keep You In Mind" - Guordan Banks
          from the single "Keep You In Mind" (2015)
          Highest rank: #18 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 18
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriter: Guordan Banks


This Philadelphia native provided this year's cruising anthem, with a fluid synth-bass providing the foundation for songwriter Banks' D'Angelo-esque falsetto in this song that topped the normally stodgy Adult R&B chart. We're still waiting on a proper album though, even though this was originally released in the summer of 2015.

Killer lyric: I see you 'round, but now I think its time to take some time off,
                   Oh baby that made you smile now,
                   I know that you been running for a while now...

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French Sweep: December 20, 2016...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as "Lost On You" from LP remains on top for a fourth non-consecutive week...

1. "Lost On You" - LP (1)
2. "Petit Baba Noel" - Baba featuring Amine (DEBUT)
3. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (2)
4. "I Feel It Coming" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (6)
5. "24K Magic" - Bruno Mars (3)
6. "Heathens" - twenty-one pilots (8)
7. "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" - Zayn & Taylor Swift (DEBUT)
8. "Just Hold On" - Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson (DEBUT)
9. "Starboy" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (4)
10. "Black Beatles" - Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane (5)

"Baba", the creation of Tunisian/French comedian/TV personality Cyril Hanouna, rockets in at #2 with "Petit Baba Noel", an charity record appropriation of the classic French Christmas carol "Petit Papa Noel"...


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Songoftheday 12/20/16 - From the start its plain to see you're suffering from a serious broken heart...

"Two To Make It Right" - Seduction
from the album Nothing Matters Without Love (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from the dance-pop trio Seduction, an act formed by producers/remixers/writers David Cole and Rob Clivilles (aka what will be the C+C Music Factory). Meant to provide a quick-set act after the success of the single "(You're My One & Only) True Love", they had their "Milli Vanilli" moment when it came out that Martha Wash (of the Weather Girls and Two Tons of Fun) actually was the one singing on the record, with the newly-hired group lipsynching for the video. However, unlike the German boys, this slip went relatively unnoticed and the trio of Idalis Deleon, Michelle Visage, and April Harris recorded the rest of their debut album Nothing Matters Without Love. Their first single released from those sessions (and the third single from the album overall) was "Two To Make It Right". Cribbing its title and sampling liberally the rap hit "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock into a mainstream freestyle-dance anthem, the single gave the group their biggest hit single...


"Two To Make It Right" became Seduction's sole top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in February of 1990. The 12" extended single also climbed to #1 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the song went to #10 in Canada, #17 in New Zealand, #34 in France, and was a minor hit in the UK at #79.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part One - #100 to #91...






2016 was a truly fucked up year.

There's no denying it. Between the deaths of so many great musicians, actors, and artists, and the rigged election of possibly the last leader of would be the free world, by the time December rolled around there was scant reason to celebrate the past twelve months. But, alas, if anything, let's celebrate that we did make it through, through horrible mass shootings, through work stoppages, through apocalyptic-style weather, and hopefully strong enough to fight the racism, homophobia, and xenophobia, and the celebration of ignorance that is considered mainstream at this point. So before the economy tanks and we all lose our retirement financial safety net, let's take a small side journey as I count down the biggest hits of the year on my weekly music chart. I tallied up all the number week by week, and these are the songs that climbed the highest and/or stayed around the longest. I'll roll out ten songs of my top 100 each weekday until New Year's (with a little interlude of the ones that almost made it). And away we goooooo....

#100 - "24K Magic" - Bruno Mars
            from the album 24K Magic (2016)
            Highest Rank: #1 (four weeks - still at #1)
            Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 8 (still charting)
            Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4
            Songwriters: Bruno Mars, Christopher Brody Brown, Philip Lawrence


Last year Bruno took the #3 spot on my year-end chart with his James Brown-esque party anthem "Uptown Funk". For this year's festivities, he sprints ahead to the early 80's synth-funk of Midnight Star and Zapp for this too-funky-for-itself bit of "afro-camp" that just snuck into my year-end list in the last week as it sits on top of my weekly chart as we speak. From a performer who rocked the Super Bowl halftime show, this silly attitude jam is probably what more than half of America needs right now.

Killer lyric: I'm a dangerous man with some money in my pocket,
                    So many pretty girls around me and they waking up the rocket...

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