Thursday, July 20, 2017

Songoftheday 7/20/17 - I'm so sad feelin' blue since you left I've been missin' you....

"For You" - The Outfield
from the album Diamond Days (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the British pop/rock band the Outfield, whose sound, as American-ized as their name, had helped them grab four top-40 pop hits and eight top-40 rock radio hits in the 1980's, including their success from the spring of 1989, "Voices Of Babylon". To kick off the new decade, the group released their fourth studio album Diamond Days. With drummer Alan Jackman departing to be replaced by Simon Dawson, guitarist/songwriter John Spinks wrote and produced the album (with one track co-penned by lead singer Tony Lewis). The lead single, "For You", was a spacious bit of melodic mainstream rock about a breakup that would be their last spot in the pop top-40 in the U.S....


"For You" became the Outfield's fifth top 40 pop hit in January of 1991. The single also climbed to #13 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, while it crossed over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list at #21. Across the border in Canada, the song was their highest-charting single at #11. A second single from Diamond Days, "Take It All", was a minor hit in Canada, but missed out in America altogether.

In 1992, the trio released Rockeye, and the lead single "Closer To Me" just missed out on the pop top-40 at #43.  After a period of trudging away back in Britain, Spinks and Lewis reunited with Jackman for a new album in 2011, Replay, with single "California Sun" getting some airplay. However, after Spinks died of liver cancer in 2014, the Outfield would be permanently put to pasture.

Up tomorrow:




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Songoftheday 7/19/17 - Look in the mirror by now you should know, you're livin in a fantasy and you can't let go...

"After The Rain" - Nelson
from the album After The Rain (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from the pop/rock band Nelson, who were fronted by the twin sons of 60's teen idol Ricky Nelson, Gunnar and Matthew. They scored a #1 pop hit off the bat with their infectious debut single "(Can't Live Without Your) Love & Affection" in the fall of 1990. They followed that up with their first album's title track, "After The Rain". Written by the brothers along with producer Marc Tanner as well as Rick Wilson, the uptempo rocker sported an epic MTV-ready music video storyboarded to an inch of its life...


"After The Rain" became Nelson's second (and so-far last) top ten pop hit in February of 1991. The single also climbed to #39 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. The single was their biggest hit in Canada, peaking at #6.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Songoftheday 7/18/17 - Our friends think we're opposites falling in and out of love, they all said we'd never last still we manage to stay together...

"Love Will Never Do (Without You)" - Janet Jackson
from the album Rhythm Nation: 1814 (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day is by Janet Jackson, whose epic Rhythm Nation:1814 opus had already generated six huge hits with "Alright", "Come Back To Me", "Rhythm Nation", and three #1 pop singles in "Miss You Much", "Escapade", and "Black Cat". The seventh (and final physical) single released from the album was the ebullient dance-pop stomp of "Love Will Never Do (Without You)". Written and produced by the Flyte Tyme team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the song sported a music video directed by photographer Herb Ritts, who did for Janet what he did for Madonna on her "Cherish" clip, using black-and-white footage among handsome men on the beach, including the most useful thing Antonio Sabato Jr. has ever done. Her label head Herb Alpert's trumpet also makes a cameo in the outro of the song...


"Love Will Never Do (Without You)" became the fourth #1 and overall seventh top-5 pop hit from Rhythm Nation, then a record topping even her brother Michael. The song also peaked at #3 on Billboard's R&B chart, while crossing over to the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list at #33. The 12"/CD single remixes helped the track climb to #4 on their Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the single topped the chart in Canada, and reached the top-40 in Australia (#14), Ireland (#22), New Zealand (#27), the Netherlands (#32), and the UK (#34).

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 7/17/17 - Pet Shop Boys' "So Hard"...

"So Hard" - Pet Shop Boys
from the album Behaviour (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #62

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the Pet Shop Boys, who had veered into Latin freestyle territory on what would be their final American top-40 pop hit so far, "Domino Dancing" in the winter of 1988. In the start of the new decade, the pair of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe released their fourth album Behaviour. The first single, "So Hard", also took from the freestyle genre in its frenetic pace, but anchored it squarely in their electropop wheelhouse, with synth flourishes swirling around Tennant cooing lackadaisically about a couple weary of their life and seeking out alternative situations, which the music video portrays as a pair of couples hides a secret...


While "So Hard" continued the duo's streak of top ten hits in their native Britain, peaking at #4, in the States the single stalled down at #62 in November of 1990. The song did climb to #17 on Billboard's Modern Rock/Alternative radio chart, while the 12"/CD single remixes helped the track rise to #4 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the single topped the chart in Finland, and reached the top ten in Italy (#2), Switzerland (#2), Germany (#3), Ireland (#3), Sweden (#3), Belgium (#8), and Norway (#9).

Neil and Chris' follow-up single, "Being Boring", despite being one of their all-time most acclaimed recordings, peaked at #70 in America and #20 in the UK. They came back with "How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?" (US #93) and a mash-up of "Where The Streets Have No Name (Can't Take My Eyes Off You)" (US #72), both which were a "double-A sided" single that went to #4 in the UK and #2 in Ireland. A fifth single from Behaviour, "Jealousy", climbed to #12 in Britain but missed the American charts altogether.

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Songoftheday 7/17/17 - You know I won't forget the times we shared together, holding hands and walking in the park...

"The First Time" - Surface
from the album 3 Deep (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 18

Today's song of the day comes from the soul singing trio Surface, who landed a top-5 pop hit in the fall of 1989 with their ballad "Shower Me With Your Love".  A year later, the group released their third album together, 3 Deep, led by a song originally written years earlier. "The First Time", penned by the trio's Bernard Jackson along with Brian Simpson, was a by-the-number wedding type song with lyrics about reminiscing about the start of the relationship but still feeling just as much in love now. With production that was as much 1981 as it was 1991, nevertheless it became their biggest hit single by far...


"The First Time" climbed all the way to #1 on the American pop chart in January of 1991. The song also topped both the R&B (one week) and Adult Contemporary (two weeks) radio charts in Billboard magazine.

Up tomorrow: She isn't satisfied by anything else, says this sassy sister.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Songoftheday 7/16/17 - In every heart there is a room a sanctuary safe and strong, to heal the wounds from lovers past until a new one comes along...

"And So It Goes" - Billy Joel
from the album Storm Front (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #37 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from Billy Joel, whose last album from the 80's, Storm Front, granted him a #1 pop hit with "We Didn't Start The Fire" and a top ten follow-up in "I Go To Extremes". Two more singles were released that missed the top 40 but did well on rock and easy listening/adult contemporary radio: the nautical song named for his daughter, "The Downeaster Alexa" (#57 pop/#33 rock/#18 AC), and the bar-band rock of "That's Not Her Style" (#77 pop/#10 rock). Although those two failed at mainstream radio, popular demand caused the release of another album track as a fifth single. "And So It Goes", written by Billy who produced it with Foreigner's Mick Jones, is a pensive look at failed romance, inspired by his own breakup with model Elle MacPherson...


"And So It Goes" became the third top-40 pop hit from Storm Front in December of 1990. The single was huge on adult contemporary (or "easy listening") radio, reaching #5 on that genre chart in Billboard and sticking around for over six months. Internationally, the song was a top-40 hit in Canada (#30) and New Zealand (#24).

Another song from Storm Front, "Shameless", reached #40 on the adult contemporary radio list in Billboard, but would eventually become more famous from the cover by country superstar Garth Brooks, who took it to #1 on the country radio chart in 1991.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Songoftheday 7/15/17 - You need a love that will not change, You want a lover to remain forever yours...

"Fairweather Friend" - Johnny Gill
from the album Johnny Gill (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #28 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day comes from R&B singer Johnny Gill, whose self-titled solo album after the hiatus of New Edition had already spun off two top ten pop hits with "Rub You The Right Way" and "My, My, My". Both of those also had reached #1 on Billboard's R&B chart. The third single released from the album would be the new jack swing jam "Fairweather Friend". Written and produced by the team of Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, L.A. Reid, and Daryl Simmons, it gave Johnny a third pop hit in a row...


"Fairweather Friend" reached the top-40 (so far his last as a lead solo artist) in December of 1990. The song also climbed to #2 on Billboard's R&B chart. A fourth single from Johnny Gill, another new jack swing number in "Wrap Your Body Tight", returned him to #1 on the R&B chart but stalled down at #84 on the pop Hot 100 (it slipped on to the dance chart at #46 and on to the British singles chart at #57).

The following year, Gill was a featured artist on two top-40 pop hits, Shanice's "Silent Prayer" (#31) and Shabba Ranks' "Slow and Sexy" (#37). In 1993, Gill returned with his Provocative album, with the lead single "The Floor" a minor pop hit at #56 and nearly missing the R&B top ten at #11. Another track from the set, "A Cute, Sweet, Love Addiction", was his last British minor hit at #46.

The period between 1996 and 1997 was a busy one for Gill, starting with another solo album, and second single "It's Your Body" almost making the pop top-40 in the U.S. (#43). He also reunited with New Edition for their Home Again album, which sported a couple of top ten pop hits including the R&B #1 "Hit Me Off" (#3 pop). On top of that, he collaborated on an albums with solo soul stars Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat as LSG, going to #4 with "My Body". Gill released two solo albums since 2010, with his latest, Game Changer, sending four songs to the R&B chart, and current single "5000 Miles" in the top-3 of the Adult R&B format.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for July 14, 2017...

Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Ed Sheeran remains on top for a sixth week, while Zedd and Alessia Cara (pictured above) stay for a third week at #7. Former big hits from the Lumineers, Rag N' Bone Man, Dierks Bentley, and Alesso drop off my list, while songs from Nile Rodgers/Tony Moran/Kimberly Davis, Katy Perry/Nicki Minaj, and Zayn/PARTYNEXTDOOR make some of the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Well Cape Cod, it's almost farewell. Hope you treated me well...

This Week        Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. Despacito - Luis Fonsi f/Daddy Yankee (4)
3. Attention - Charlie Puth (5)
4. Feel It Still - Portugal, The Man (2)
5. Believer - Imagine Dragons (3)
6. Symphony - Clean Bandit f/Zara Larsson (6)
7. Stay - Zedd & Alessia Cara (7)
8. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars (8)
9. Redbone - Childish Gambino (11)
10. Craving You - Thomas Rhett f/Maren Morris (14)
11. There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back - Shawn Mendes (16)
12. Love Is Mystical - Cold War Kids (10)
13. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (13)
14. It Ain't Me - Kygo & Selena Gomez (18)
15. Issues - Julia Michaels (17)
16. How Not To - Dan + Shay (12)
17. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (15)
18. Shine On Me - Dan Auerbach (24)
19. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (19)
20. You Look Good - Lady Antebellum (25)
21. Blame - Bastille (9)
22. The Fighter - Keith Urban f/Carrie Underwood (26)
23. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (23)
24. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (22)
25. Hurricane - Luke Combs (21)
26. HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar (30)
27. Run - Foo Fighters (37)
28. The Cure - Lady Gaga (28)
29. Don't Take The Money - Bleachers (33)
30. Malibu - Miley Cyrus (35)
31. In Case You Didn't Know - Brett Young (27)
32. Yours If You Want It - Rascal Flatts (36)
33. Drinkin' Problem - Midland (38)
34. Back 2 Love - Dave Aude & JVMIE (34)
35. Heavy - Linkin Park f/Kiiara (20)
36. Reverend - Kings Of Leon (40)
37. High - Sir Sly (41)
38. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (31)
39. Sign Of The Times - Harry Styles (29)
40. Every Time I Hear That Song - Blake Shelton (44)
41. Hard Times - Paramore (45)
42. If I Told You - Darius Rucker (32)
43. Somebody Else Will - Justin Moore (47)
44. Slow Hands - Niall Horan (48)
45. Be The One - Dua Lipa (46)
46. No Such Thing As A Broken Heart - Old Dominion (51)
47. Flatliner - Cole Swindell f/Dierks Bentley (52)
48. The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness - The National (56)
49. You're Not Alone - Scotty Boy & Lizzie Curious (39)
50. Cold Little Heart - Michael Kiwanuka (50)
51. Swish Swish - Katy Perry f/Nicki Minaj (69)
52. My Fire - Nile Rodgers & Tony Moran f/Kimberly Davis (74)

53. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (53)
54. Now Or Never - Halsey (59)
55. Lady - Austin Mahone f/Pitbull (55)
56. Baby I'm Broken - The Record Company (60)
57. Ghosting - Joe Bermudez f/Meg'n (67)
58. Runnin' Out - After 7 (62)
59. My Girl - Dylan Scott (63)
60. Turn It Down For What - StoneBridge f/Seri (61)
61. Good News - Ocean Park Standoff (49)
62. U + Me (Love Lesson) - Mary J. Blige (58)
63. Dig Down - Muse (73)
64. Undress - Anjali (64)
65. Cold - Maroon 5 f/Future (43)
66. The Night We Met - Lord Huron (71)
67. 5000 Miles - Johnny Gill f/Jaheim (68)
68. Drink Up - Train (72)
69. Give Love - Andy Grammer f/Lunchmoney Lewis (79)
70. In Cold Blood - alt-J (75)
71. Song #3 - Stone Sour (81)
72. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (66)
73. Heart Away From You - DJ Pebbles (77)
74. Do I Make You Wanna - Billy Currington (82)
75. Still Got Time - Zayn f/PARTYNEXTDOOR (89)
76. OK - Robin Schulz f/James Blunt (78)
77. Now That We're Dead - Metallica (87)
78. Love Is Love Is Love - LeAnn Rimes (DEBUT)
79. Everything Now - Arcade Fire (DEBUT)
80. Strip That Down - Liam Payne f/Quavo (90)
81. Versace On The Floor - Bruno Mars (86)
82. Sometimes - Kat Graham (96)
83. Somebody Else - The 1975 (85)
84. Subeme La Radio - Enrique Iglesias f/Descemer Bueno, Zion & Lennox (88)
85. Mama - Jonas Blue f/William Singe (99)
86. Feels Like Summer - Weezer (DEBUT)
87. Wild Thoughts - DJ Khaled f/Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (DEBUT)
88. Your Song - Rita Ora (92)
89. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Artists For Grenfell (DEBUT)
90. J-Boy - Phoenix (91)
91. Thunder - Imagine Dragons (DEBUT)
92. Weak - AJR (DEBUT)
93. One Last Time - Ariana Grande (97)
94. My Old Man - The Zac Brown Band (94)
95. Power - Little Mix f/Stormzy (DEBUT)
96. Sugar Shack - Tami (DEBUT)
97. Unpredictable - Olly Murs & Louisa Johnson (DEBUT)
98. Hometown Girl - Josh Turner (95)
99. Good Day - Yellow Claw f/DJ Snake & Elliphant (RE-ENTRY)
100. Bad Liar - Selena Gomez (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 7/14/17 - Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another...

"Justify My Love" - Madonna
from the album The Immaculate Collection (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from Madonna, who had finished the 80's with her starring turn in the live-action movie version of Dick Tracy, which also landed her two big hits from the soundtrack, "Hanky Panky" and the #1 classic "Vogue". As one of the biggest stars of pop music of the past decade, and by far the top female pop artist of the 80's, Madonna recapped the most successful period of her career on radio with The Immaculate Collection, a greatest hits set that originally was notable for being recorded in the soon-doomed Q Sound format, which was supposed to enhance the spacial positioning of the recording but ended up not being very effective for music but rather lingered on for the gaming world. Two new recordings were on the Collection, and released as singles. The first was a slow, seductive booty-call track co-written with Lenny Kravitz (and Ingrid Chavez, after a lawsuit proved her contribution to the writing). The lyrics, which Madonna cooed half-spoken over the "Funky Drummer" beat and prominent loud synth-bass, were random romantic musings, like "I wanna run naked in a rainstorm", but they weren't as provocative as the music video that would emerge from the song. Banned by MTV and released as a VHS video single (a big rare thing in those days before anyone would imagine anything like YouTube), the clip for "Justify My Love" was Madonna's personal soft-porn, placing her in a hotel with models of different genders and clothing options writhing all over each other. To her fanbase (especially the gays), it was a triumphant expression of sexuality in the age of AIDS and the Reagan-Bush stiff-shirt brigade...


"Justify My Love" became Madonna's ninth #1 pop hit in the U.S. in January of 1991. The song also crossed over to Billboard's R&B chart at #42. The remixes on the 12" vinyl and CD single helped it top the Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the single went to #1 in Canada and Finland, and reached the top ten in the UK (#2), Italy (#2), Spain (#3), Norway (#3), Switzerland (#3), Australia (#4), the Netherlands (#4), New Zealand (#5), Sweden (#8), Austria (#9), and Germany (#10).

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Songoftheday 7/13/17 - Every time I see you girl it makes me feel so sad, knowing you've been seeing some other guy that treats you bad...

"One and Only Man" - Steve Winwood
from the album Refugees Of The Heart (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from British soul-rock singer and keyboardist Steve Winwood, who's 1988 album Roll With It rewarded him with his biggest pop hit in America with the title track, along with two more top-40 hits with "Don't You Know What The Night Can Do?" and "Holding On". (Another track from the album, "Hearts On Fire", peaked at #53 while reaching the top-30 on the rock and easy listening charts.) In 1990, Steve released his sixth solo album Refugees Of The Heart, which he produced himself and co-wrote all the songs on. The first single, "One and Only Man", reunited Winwood with his former Traffic bandmate Jim Capaldi, who wrote the song with him and played drums on four tracks of the album....


"One and Only Man" became Winwood's tenth and so far final top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in December of 1990. The song also granted the singer his fourth #1 single on the Mainstream Rock radio chart in Billboard, while crossing over to #9 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list. Internationally, the track climbed to #5 in Canada, but was only a minor hit at #87 in his native Britain. A second single from the set, "Another Deal Goes Down", went to #10 on the Mainstream Rock chart, while another, "I Will Be Here", slipped on to the Adult Contemporary tally at #40.

With the rock radio success of "One and Only Man", Winwood and Capaldi collaborated again, this time for a full album under the Traffic name, Far From Home, in 1994. A song from it, "Here Comes A Man", went to #10 on the American Mainstream Rock chart.  Three years later, Steve emerged with another solo studio album, Junction Seven, but it only sported a minor hit in Britain, "Spy In The House Of Love" (#82), but did land in the lower half of the albums chart. He's released a couple more records since then, most recently in 2008 with Nine Lives, which peaked at a respectable #12 on the American albums chart.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Songoftheday 7/12/17 - So this is love or so you tell me as you're walkin out the door...

"Miles Away" - Winger
from the album In The Heart Of The Young (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the "hair-metal" band Winger, who had flown in to the pop top-40 in America twice with songs from their debut album "Seventeen" and "Headed For A Heartbreak". In the fall of 1990, they re-emerged with a sophomore effort, In The Heart Of The Young. The first single from the set, the headbanging rock of "Can't Get Enuff", just missed the pop top-40 even though it was their highest-charting rock radio hit at #6. However, the second release, the power-ballad "Miles Away", rectified that situation. Written by the band's keyboardist Paul Taylor, the breakup song was perfect for mainstream radio, though many military wives and girlfriends mistakenly co-opted it during the first war in Iraq...


"Miles Away" became Winger's third (and so far last) top-40 pop hit in January of 1991. The song also climbed to #14 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, it was their sole success in the UK, becoming a minor hit at #56. A third single from In The Heart Of The Young "Easy Come Easy Go", like "Can't Get Enuff" just missed the top-40 at #41.

Taylor left the band after touring behind the album, leaving Kip Winger, Reb Beach, and Rod Morgenstein for their third release, Pull. The lead track "Down Incognito" climbed to #15 on the rock chart, but missed the pop Hot 100 altogether, while the Pull record itself stopped one notch short of the top-40 on the albums chart at #41. They split up not long after, reuniting in 2001 and again in 2006 (with Brad Taylor on board for touring only), who with John Roth continue to tour. Their most recent album, Better Days Comin', was released in 2014, reaching #85 on the chart.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Songoftheday 7/11/17 - Girl I know it's been hard since he went away and left you so sad you cry everyday...

"Sensitivity" - Ralph Tresvant
from the album Ralph Tresvant (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 16

Today's song of the day comes from soul singer Ralph Tresvant, who is a member of the 80's R&B boy-band New Edition. After the group took a break in the late 1980's Ralph was the final member to release a solo single, after Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Bell Biv Devoe all scored top-5 pop hits apart from the act. Ralph's smooth intro to his solo set was "Sensitivity", written and produced by the team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Janet Jackson, the Time, Human League), and the lush musical backdrop was perfect for his crooning voice wooing the woman of his wants to convince her of his emotional involvement...


"Sensitivity" became Ralph's biggest pop hit, reaching the top 5 on the American pop chart in January of 1991. The song also topped Billboard's R&B chart for a week the previous December, while the remixes on the CD single helped it up to #19 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the record made the top ten in Canada (#2) and New Zealand (#6) and peaked at #18 in the UK.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 7/10/17 - Al B. Sure!'s "Missunderstanding"...

"Missunderstanding" - Al B. Sure!
from the album Private Times...and the Whole 9! (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #42

This week's "robbed hit" comes from R&B singer Al B. Sure!, whose debut album In Effect Mode sold over three million copies, and spun off four top-3 R&B singles, with one of them, "Nite and Day", reaching the top-10 on the American pop chart in the summer of 1988. In 1990, after appearing on uber-producer Quincy Jones' luscious top-40 pop/#1 R&B hit "The Secret Garden", Al came back with his sophomore effort, Private Times...and the Whole 9!. The first single from the set was an uptempo new-jack-swing style record, "Missunderstanding". Written by the singer with DJ/produer Eddie F and Maurice Hodge, urban radio was all over this return, which was co-produced by Devante Swing, who would go on to join the R&B group Jodeci...


While "Missunderstanding" became Al B. Sure!'s third #1 R&B hit in Billboard magazine, the single stopped only a couple notches short of the pop top-40 in November of 1990. Down Under, the song climbed to #30 in New Zealand. His second single from Private Times, "No Matter What You Do", brought out the big guns in a duet with Diana Ross, but while the song made it to #4 on the R&B chart, it missed the pop list entirely, as did third single "Had Enuf?" (#28 R&B).

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Songoftheday 7/10/17 - Imagine if I said I sometimes need you I need you to this day, Imagine if I said I sometimes hear you call my name...

"Think" - Information Society
from the album Hack (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #28 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's song of the day comes from the dance music act Information Society, who were a fusion of new wave's electronic sounds with Latin freestyle dance music's minor-key drama and vocal pain that scored a pair of top-10 pop hits with "What's On Your Mind" and "Walking Away". Two more singles from the album became minor pop hits after that, "Repetition" (#76) and a remake of ABBA's "Lay All Your Love On Me" (#83), with the latter reaching #23 on the Dance Club Play chart as well. But by that time, sole female member Amanda Kramer left the group, leaving a trio of lead singer Kurt Harland, bass player/singer James Cassidy, and synth master/producer Paul Robb. In 1990, they released their second album, Hack, with the lead single "Think" as the first offering to radio. With a melody that's influenced heavily by freestyle, with the loud power-synth chords for the dance floor, it did respectably capture the sonic magic that made "Walking Away" so irresistible...


"Think" became Information Society's third and final top-40 pop hit in December of 1990. The remixes on the 12"/CD single climbed to #5 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the song was a hit in the Netherlands, peaking at #20. A second single from Hack, "How Long", missed the pop chart, but did manage to climb to #20 on the Dance Club Play list. In 1992, they re-emerged with a third record, Peace & Love, Inc., and the title track, one of their best, ascended to #10 on the dance chart. After another set that was unnoticed in 1997, the trio went their separate ways, with Harland concentrating on video game music. Robb and Cassidy resurrected InSoc for another record in 2004 with a new singer, but in time Harland returned to not only tour with them, but take back singing duty as well on recording, with their latest album, Orders Of Magnitude, coming out in 2016.

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Sunday, July 09, 2017

Songoftheday 7/9/17 - I went out last night that's when I met a sexy girl, she was looking so right she said "I wanna take you for a trip around the world"...

"B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)" - Bell Biv Devoe
from the album Poison (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #26 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's song of the day comes from the New Edition split-off trio Bell Biv Devoe, who had two massive R&B/pop singles from the get-go with "Poison" and "Do Me!". The third single from their first album Poison was a loose new jack swing jam based on their moniker, "B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)". Written by their producers Eric Sadler and Hank and Keith Shocklee (aka Public Enemy's "Bomb Squad") along with Darrol Durant, Roney Hooks and Paul Stewart, it described a myriad of sexually dominant and aggressive women..


"B.B.D." became the trio's third top-40 pop hit in November of 1990. The single returned them to the top of Billboard's R&B chart for a week, while the 12" remixes made it to #16 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the track reached the top-40 in New Zealand (#37), and was a minor hit in the UK (#86).

The fourth release from Poison was a more smooth mid-tempo ballad, "When Will I See You Smile Again", which climbed to #3 on the R&B chart but stalled at #63 on the pop list. A fifth single, "She's Dope!", also reached the R&B top ten at #9, but missed the pop chart altogether.

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Saturday, July 08, 2017

Songoftheday 7/8/17 - A penny for your thoughts now baby, looks like the weight of the world's on your shoulders now...

"Miracle" - Jon Bon Jovi
from the album Blaze Of Glory (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from mainstream rock singer Jon Bon Jovi, who took a detour from his namesake band to record a solo album to accompany the neo-western movie Young Guns II, scoring a #1 pop hit in the fall of 1990 with the title track "Blaze Of Glory". The second single released from the record would be the mid-tempo "Miracle", written by Jon who produced it with guitarist Danny Kortchmar with some Latin touches and a subtle keyboard background that reminds me of old Springsteen...


"Miracle" became Jon Bon Jovi's second top-40 pop hit in December of 1990. The single also climbed to #20 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the song reached the top ten in Canada (#6), New Zealand (#6), and Australia (#8), and made the top-40 in Sweden (#15), Ireland (#20), Switzerland (#20), and the UK (#29). A third selection pulled from Blaze Of Glory, "Never Say Die", was a minor hit in Canada at #86.

In 1992, Jon contributed a track to the Elton John tribute album Two Rooms, "Levon", which didn't hit the Hot 100 (it wasn't released as a proper single), but made it to #64 on the airplay chart in Billboard and #27 on the rock radio list. Later that year, he returned to the Bon Jovi band, slipping away in 1997 to release a second solo album, Destination Anywhere. That record sent two songs to the top ten in the UK, with one of then, "Midnight In Chelsea", going to #29 on the Adult Top-40 radio format.

Up tomorrow: R&B/hip-hop trio had some false assumptions.


Friday, July 07, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for July 7, 2017...

Friday's here, and I'm ready to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Ed Sheeran holds on at #1 for a fifth week, while New Jersey's own Charlie Puth (pictured above) leaps into the top five. Former big hits from Katy Perry, DNCE/Nicki Minaj, Clean Bandit, and Axwell & Ingrosso drop off my list, while songs from Old Dominion, Joe Bermudez, and Lord Huron make some of the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). P-Town, here I come!!!

This Week        Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. Feel It Still - Portugal, The Man (2)
3. Believer - Imagine Dragons (3)
4. Despacito - Luis Fonsi f/Daddy Yankee (6)
5. Attention - Charlie Puth (9)
6. Symphony - Clean Bandit f/Zara Larsson (4)
7. Stay - Zedd & Alessia Cara (7)
8. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars (8)
9. Blame - Bastille (5)
10. Love Is Mystical - Cold War Kids (10)
11. Redbone - Childish Gambino (15)
12. How Not To - Dan + Shay (12)
13. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (11)
14. Craving You - Thomas Rhett f/Maren Morris (20)
15. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (13)
16. There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back - Shawn Mendes (26)
17. Issues - Julia Michaels (21)
18. It Ain't Me - Kygo & Selena Gomez (22)
19. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (19)
20. Heavy - Linkin Park f/Kiiara (14)
21. Hurricane - Luke Combs (16)
22. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (18)
23. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (23)
24. Shine On Me - Dan Auerbach (24)
25. You Look Good - Lady Antebellum (25)
26. The Fighter - Keith Urban f/Carrie Underwood (27)
27. In Case You Didn't Know - Brett Young (17)
28. The Cure - Lady Gaga (28)
29. Sign Of The Times - Harry Styles (29)
30. HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar (34)
31. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (30)
32. If I Told You - Darius Rucker (32)
33. Don't Take The Money - Bleachers (37)
34. Back 2 Love - Dave Aude' & JVMIE (38)
35. Malibu - Miley Cyrus (40)
36. Yours If You Want It - Rascal Flatts (41)
37. Run - Foo Fighters (53)
38. Drinkin' Problem - Midland (46)
39. You're Not Alone - Scotty Boy & Lizzie Curious (39)
40. Reverend - Kings Of Leon (43)
41. High - Sir Sly (45)
42. Angela - The Lumineers (35)
43. Cold - Maroon 5 f/Future (31)
44. Every Time I Hear That Song - Blake Shelton (54)
45. Hard Times - Paramore (47)
46. Be The One - Dua Lipa (50)
47. Somebody Else Will - Justin Moore (57)
48. Slow Hands - Niall Horan (56)
49. Good News - Ocean Park Standoff (36)
50. Cold Little Heart - Michael Kiwanuka (52)
51. No Such Thing As A Broken Heart - Old Dominion (71)
52. Flatliner - Cole Swindell (62)
53. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (58)
54. Skin - Rag N' Bone Man (44)
55. Lady - Austin Mahone f/Pitbull (59)
56. The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness - The National (66)
57. Black - Dierks Bentley (33)
58. U + Me (Love Lesson) - Mary J. Blige (48)
59. Now or Never - Halsey (69)
60. Baby I'm Broken - The Record Company (74)
61. Turn It Down For What - StoneBridge f/Seri (63)
62. Runnin' Out - After 7 (72)
63. My Girl - Dylan Scott (67)
64. Undress - Anjali (64)
65. Black Rose - Volbeat (65)
66. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (61)
67. Ghosting - Joe Bermudez f/Meg'n (87)
68. 5000 Miles - Johnny Gill f/Jaheim (70)
69. Swish Swish - Katy Perry f/Nicki Minaj (DEBUT)
70. Anthem Of House - Rosabel f/Terri B! (42)
71. The Night We Met - Lord Huron (88)
72. Drink Up - Train (82)

73. Dig Down - Muse (77)
74. My Fire - Nile Rodgers & Tony Moran f/Kimberly Davis (DEBUT)
75. In Cold Blood - alt-J (75)
76. Options - Pitbull f/Stephen Marley (76)
77. Heart Away From You - DJ Pebbles (92)
78. OK - Robin Schulz f/James Blunt (84)
79. Give Love - Andy Grammer f/Lunchmoney Lewis (DEBUT)
80. The Cool - Zia (80)
81. Song #3 - Stone Sour (85)
82. Do I Make You Wanna - Billy Currington (95)
83. Falling - Alesso (73)
84. Slide - Calvin Harris f/Frank Ocean & Migos (86)
85. Somebody Else - The 1975 (89)
86. Versace On The Floor - Bruno Mars (DEBUT)
87. Now That We're Dead - Metallica (97)
88. Subeme La Radio - Enrique Iglesias f/Descamer Bueno, Zion & Lennox (DEBUT)
89. Still Got Time - Zayn f/PARTYNEXTDOOR (99)
90. Strip That Down - Liam Payne f/Quavo (91)
91. J-Boy - Phoenix (96)
92. Your Song - Rita Ora (98)
93. Fire & Lies - The Rua (93)
94. My Old Man - The Zac Brown Band (DEBUT)
95. Hometown Girl - Josh Turner (90)
96. Sometimes - Kat Graham (DEBUT)
97. One Last Time - Ariana Grande (RE-ENTRY)
98. La Vie Est Belle - Indochine (DEBUT)
99. Mama - Jonas Blue f/William Singe (DEBUT)
100. 2U - David Guetta f/Justin Bieber (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 7/7/17 - As it grooves your body moves your body starts to get the feelin', and what you're feelin' is happiness...

"Wiggle It" - 2 In A Room 
from the album Wiggle It (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #15 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the house music duo 2 In A Room, who came together in New York City in the late 1980's. DJ Rog Nice Pauletta and "Dose" Vargas had their first success overseas, with their debut single, the sample-heavy and minor-chord jam "Somebody In The House Say Yeah!" becoming a minor hit in the UK in November of 1989 (#66). Their next 12" single reached the clubs in America, with both "Do What You Want" and "Take Me Away" getting played enough by DJ's to both reach the Dance Club Play chart in Billboard at #18. These all came from their first release, The Album, Vol. 1. But it was the title track to their sophomore effort in 1990 that gave the pair an international house music smash. "Wiggle It", written by Dose with producer George Morel, was a fun slab of booty-shaking action over a circular synth-chord beat, as it grooved...


"Wiggle It" became 2 In A Room's biggest hit, reaching the top 20 on the American pop chart in December of 1990. The extended remixed track topped Billboard's Dance Club Play for two weeks in the prior month. Internationally, the single was even more successful, climbing to #3 in Australia,  Ireland and the UK, and reaching the top-40 in Switzerland (#14), Germany (#17), the Netherlands (#24), Austria (#30), New Zealand (#38), and Belgium (#39).

The duo followed up "Wiggle It" with "She's Got Me Going Crazy", which got to #40 on the dance chart in America and #54 in the UK, but missed the U.S. pop Hot 100 entirely. Then they re-released their early single "Do What You Want" with a new mix from David Morales, which got them back to the dance top ten at #9. It took three years for Dose and Rog Nice to come back with a third album, World Party. Lead single "El Trago (The Drink)" scored them a minor American pop hit at #86 and got them back into the top-40 in England at #34. It also made #36 on the dance chart and was a huge underground club hit in the New York area. Another track from the album, "Carnival", climbed to #24 on the dance chart, their last appearance. Vargas went on from there to form the respected and Grammy-nominated Latin merengue band Fulanito.

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Songoftheday 7/6/17 - It's quarter to two and I've still got you on my mind, I'm just a prisoner trapped in the chains of your love....

"My Love Is A Fire" - Donny Osmond
from the album Eyes Don't Lie (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from former teen idol Donny Osmond, who left his child-star past behind in the late 1980's with a transformation into a George Michael-lite pop singer with his comeback hit "Soldier Of Love" and follow-up "Sacred Emotion". He re-enlisted the same writing production team of Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers for the first single from his next album, Eyes Don't Lie. "My Love Is A Fire" was a slice of late-80's dance-pop that was still clinging for dear life at the turn of the decade for space on mainstream radio...


"My Love Is A Fire" became Donny's so-far most recent top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in December of 1990. The single also was a minor hit in the UK at #64. His second single from the album, "Sure Lookin'", sounded even more like something from Faith, but stalled down at #54 on the Hot 100. A third offering, the ballad "Love Will Survive", was a moderate hit on the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio format at #24.

Osmond's career since was more concentrated on the stage, where he was most noted in his role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and in concert singing his past hits for an now-older crowd. Like his contemporary David Cassidy, Donny was still big in Britain, scoring four top-40 albums there, and having a top ten single in the UK with "Breeze On By", co-written by Take That's Gary Barlow, in 2004 (it also slipped on to the American adult contemporary radio chart at #37). He also enjoyed a long-running residency at Las Vegas' Flamingo Hotel with sister Marie. His most recent album, The Soundtrack Of My Life, came out in 2014 and reached the top-20 in England and #177 in the US. He also appeared on Dancing With The Stars in 2009, eventually winning that ninth season.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Songoftheday 7/5/17 - I am waiting at the counter for the man to pour the coffee, and he fills it only halfway and before I even argue...

"Tom's Diner" - D.N.A. & Suzanne Vega
from the albums Tom's Album (various artists, 1991) & Retrospective: The Best Of Suzanne Vega (2003)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day was a remix of a song originally released as an acappella album track by indie-folk artist Suzanne Vega, who had tasted mainstream success with her anti-child abuse anthem "Luka" in the summer of 1987. Another song from the album, "Tom's Diner", was on the set twice, once as an a cappella of Suzanne and an instrumental reprise at the end of the record. The vocals-only version reached #58 on the British chart back in 1987, when Vega performed it at the Prince's Trust concert, and hit the top-40 in Denmark and Ireland...


In 1990, British remixing duo DNA (Nick Batt and Neal Slateford) took the a cappella version of "Tom's Diner" and laid it on top of a sample from British R&B group Soul II Soul for a bootleg 12" record that they distributed in dance clubs. Vega's record label, upon hearing of the success of the proto-"mash-up", bought the recording from DNA to put out as a proper single. It ended up being a left-field international hit, returning her to the American pop chart in a big way...


The DNA remix of "Tom's Diner" became Vega's second and final top-5 pop hit in America in December of 1990. The single also climbed to #7 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart, and even crossed over to #10 on their R&B list. The 12" remixed single made it to #13 on the Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the remix was a #1 hit in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, and reached the top ten in the UK (#2), Ireland (#2), the Netherlands (#4), Belgium (#3), Australia (#8), New Zealand (#8), and Italy (#9).

In 1992, Vega came back with another album, 99.9F, and lead single "Blood Makes Noise", which had some subtle hints of the success of "Tom's Diner" in its dance-music-inspired production, spent a week at #1 on the Modern Rock radio chart. The title track followed it up to #13 on that list. Four years later, she reached the top-40 in the UK with "No Cheap Thrill" from her Nine Objects Of Desire album. Those two albums were produced by her then-husband Mitchell Froom. Since then, she's put out a few more sets, most recently with 2016's Lover, Beloved: Songs from an Evening with Carson McCullers.

Meanwhile, DNA followed up the success of "Tom's Diner" with "La Serenissima" (named for a nickname for the Italian city of Venice), which reached the top 40 in France, Germany, and their native UK (#34). A year later, they provided the single mix for Kylie Minogue's release "Shocked", which peaked at #6 in the UK and #2 in Ireland. The pair put out a proper album, Taste This, in 1992, which included "Tom's Diner", and also "Can You Handle It" featuring disco singer Sharon Redd, which climbed to #17 on the British singles chart. They also mixes new age artist Loreena McKennitt's track "The Mummers Song", which rose to #18 on the American pop chart in 1997. Batt went on to work with the electronica act Goldfrapp.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Songoftheday 7/4/17 - I won't let you down I will not give you up, gotta have some faith in the sound it's the one good thing that I've got...

"Freedom '90" - George Michael
from the album Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day is by the late great George Michael, who had returned with his second album after disbanding Wham! to land a #1 pop hit in the U.S. with the poignant and thoughtful ballad "Praying For Time". The second single brightened things up quite a bit, and served as a sort of catharsis about leaving his teen idol days behind. In the fall of 1985, Wham! had a top-10 pop hit with "Freedom", and this time out he again titled a single "Freedom" (which has come to be known as "Freedom '90"), a totally different song altogether. Against a bouncy piano backdrop, George sings like he's speaking to us, letting us know he needs to grow up and out and wants us to come along for the ride. Instead of appearing in the music video, he enlisted supermodels Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and more lipsynching to the track, while his leather jacket, guitar, and jukebox from the "Faith" video gets obliterated. A simple premise (and one that Bryan Ferry did before), but the combination of the meaning of the lyrics and the visuals makes this video one of my personal favorites of all time still to this day...


"Freedom '90" became George's second top ten hit from Listen Without Prejudice in December of 1990. The song also climbed to #27 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart, while the remixes on the 12"/CD single helped it up to #16 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the single went to #1 in Canada, and reached the top 40 in New Zealand (#13), the Netherlands (#15), Ireland (#17), Australia (#18), Sweden (#20), France (#23), Austria (#25), and his native Britain (#28), where it was the third single released after "Waiting For That Day".

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Monday, July 03, 2017

Songoftheday 7/3/17 - Calling up the promised land Johnny Seven's coming over the sea, he's taking your time when you want to be free...

"Heart Like A Wheel" - The Human League
from the album Romantic? (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #32 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from the British new wave group the Human League, who returned to the #1 spot on the American chart with "Human" at the expense of selling their soul (and their sound) to be transformed into a vehicle for one of the best songs from Janet Jackson producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. After this, it took a full four years for another album to emerge, with only singers Philip Oakey, Joanne Catherall, and Susan Sulley left, taking on keyboardist Russell Dennent for their sixth full-length album, Romantic?. But what they did do is reunite with produer Martin Rushent, who helmed their breakthrough album Dare and single "Don't You Want Me", to return them to their electronic roots. Also, the first single from the set, "Heart Like A Wheel", was co-written by former member Jo Callis with Eugene Reynolds, and it was a bright, flashy comeback to be had, albeit with cutting topical lyrics that were subtly anti-war...


"Tell Me When" became the Human League's fifth top-40 pop hit in America in November. The single also climbed to #17 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, while crossing over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart at #39. Internationally, the record was a top-40 hit in Germany (#36) and their native UK (#32), while just missing the mark in Canada (#43). However, the success of the single wasn't up to what their label had hoped, and they found themselves dropped after follow-up track "Soundtrack To A Generation" stalled out on the British chart at #77. They would return in 1995 on EastWest with their last big hurrah, "Tell Me When".

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Sunday, July 02, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 7/3/17 - Cynthia and Johnny "O"'s "Dreamboy/Dreamgirl"...

"Dreamboy/Dreamgirl" - Cynthia & Johnny "O"
from the albums Cynthia II (1990) and Like A Stranger (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #53

This week's "robbed hit" came from two of the bigger names in the Latin freestyle dance music genre, New Yorkers Cynthia (Todino) and Johnny "O" (Ortiz), who came on to the scene in the late 1980's as the style became popular especially in the tri-state area. Cynthia scored a top-40 dance club hit in 1989 with "Change On Me" (#37), while Johnny reached #48 on the dance singles sales chart with "Fantasy Girl". She got another pair of dance sales hits from her debut album Cynthia, with "Endless Nights" getting to #28, while he went to #37 on the sales list with "Memories". But their modest chart positions belie the fact of how huge these records were in New York, with radio stations like WKTU putting them on constant play. So when each of the singers' second albums were released, their label MicMac paired them up for a duet, "Dreamboy/Dreamgirl", which ended up becoming big locally but also their collective biggest success nationwide...


While "Dreamboy/Dreamgirl" climbed to #17 on the Dance Sales chart, the singles stopped down at #53 nationally. But this was a top ten hit single in the New York area nonetheless in airplay and sales.

A second single from Cynthia II, a remake of the Stylistics' soul ballad "Break Up To Make Up", also made it to the pop chart at #70, while Johnny O waited until 1993 to return at #87 with "Runaway Love" (which was a top-ten dance singles seller). The following year, Cynthia landed her biggest club hit with "How I Love Him" (#15). That came from her Thinking About You album, which also sent "If I Had The Chance" on to the pop Hot 100 at #83. They've both been performing in freestyle revival shows ever since as stalwarts of the genre...

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