Thursday, August 31, 2017

Songoftheday 8/31/17 -We must have been stone crazy, and we thought we were just friends...

"I've Been Thinking About You" - Londonbeat
from the album In The Blood (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from the dance-pop act Londonbeat, who came together in London in the late 80s, with British guitarist William Henshall and singer George Chandler (formerly of the The Olympic Runners and dance act Gonzalez of "Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet" fame) joining Trinidadian Jimmy Chambers and American Jimmy Helms, who had a top ten hit in the UK back in 1973 with "Gonna Make You An Offer You Can't Refuse" that slipped on to the R&B chart in the U.S. at #92. Also, Chandler and Chambers sang backup vocals on Paul Young's Secret Of Association album, including the #1 pop hit "Everytime You Go Away" in 1985. They released their debut album Speak in 1988, with three of its tracks reaching the top-40 in the Netherlands and one of those, "9AM (The Comfort Zone)", climbing to #19 in the UK.

It would be their sophomore effort In The Blood that would give the group international success. The first single from the record was the retro-soul style dance number "I've Been Thinking About You". Written by the band and produced by Martyn Phillips, the record meshed the vocal group doo-wop-ish sound from the 60s with the bubbly dance-pop of the late 1980's...


"I've Been Thinking About You" became Londonbeat's biggest hit, climbing all the way to #1 on the American pop top-40 in April of 1991. The single also climbed to #7 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and even crossed over to their R&B list at #83. The remixes on the 12" vinyl and CD single helped it top their Dance Club Play chart for a week that same month. Internationally, the song hit #1 in Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Finland, and Switzerland, and reached #2 in Norway and the UK, and #5 in New Zealand.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Songoftheday 8/30/17 - I'll be your love daddy just wait and see,that me and you we were meant to be...

"I'll Do 4 U" - Father MC
from the album Father's Day (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from rapper Father MC, who was discovered by hip-hop newcomer Sean "Puffy" Combs, and became Combs' first big success. Born Timothy Williams in Harlem, he released his debut album Father's Day in 1990. The first single from the record, "Treat Them Like They Want To Be Treated", climbed to #14 on Billboard's R&B chart, and gave the world an introduction to soon-to-be huge soul vocal group Jodeci. The second release from the set would also feature an act that will soon become huge, singer Mary J. Blige. "I'll Do 4 U", written by the rapper with the sample of the disco classic "Got To Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn as a foundation (as will a lot of Puffy's future hip-hop productions), was produced by Prince Markie Dee of the Fat Boys with Cory Rooney (who together were dubbed the Soul Convention)...


"I'll Do 4 U" became Father MC's first top-40 pop hit in March of 1991. The song also climbed to #14 on Billboard's R&B chart, and topped their Rap Singles chart. Internationally, the record topped the singles chart down in New Zealand for three weeks later that summer. A third single from Father's Day, "Lisa Baby" again with Jodeci, slipped on the R&B list at #87, followed by "I've Been Watching You" with Lady Kazan at #92, but neither of those reached the pop list.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Songoftheday 8/29/17 - So every day I see you in some other face, they crack a smile talk a while try to take your place...

"Waiting For That Day" - George Michael
from the album Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #27 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's song of the day is by George Michael, whose second solo album Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1 had landed him another #1 pop hit in America with "Praying For Time" along with a top-10 follow-up with "Freedom '90". The third single put out in the States was the second one released internationally, "Waiting For That Day". Using James Brown's "Funky Drummer" drum sample and a tagged-on interpolation of the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want", the laid-back adult-pop nugget definitely wasn't bright and flashy as his Wham! and Faith work, but delved deeper into his psyche, as he's trying to get over a failed relationship...


"Waiting For That Day" became the third top-40 pop hit from Listen Without Prejudice in March of 1991. The single also climbed to #22 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, where it was the second release from the album, the song was a big hit in Canada, peaking at #9, and reached the top-40 in Ireland (#11) and the UK (#23). The "B-side" of the American single, "Mother's Pride", became a minor hit on its own in relation to fans tying it to the First Gulf War; it almost reached the pop top-40 in the U.S. at #46. A fifth track from the album, "Heal The Pain", became a top-40 hit in Ireland (#16), the Netherlands (#16), and the UK (#31), and "Cowboys And Angels" did almost as well (#15 Ireland, #15 Netherlands, #36 France, #45 UK). Finally "Soul Free" was only released in Australia and Japan, reaching #95 in the former.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Robbed hit of the week: Daryl Hall and John Oates' "Don't Hold Back Your Love"...

"Don't Hold Back Your Love" - Daryl Hall & John Oates
from the album Change Of Season (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #41

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the biggest pop duo of the 1980's, Daryl Hall and John Oates, who had just missed the top ten by a notch with their first single from the next decade, the Bon Jovi-produced "So Close". They followed it up with a softer adult contemporary rock-ish track, "Don't Hold Back Your Love". Co-written by Richard Page of 80's pop band Mr. Mister along with George O'Brien and producer David Tyson (who helmed Alannah Myles' #1 pop hit "Black Velvet"), it had a spacious feel in the production that reminded me of the acoustic rock-pop of the mid-80s of groups like Cock Robin and Bruce Hornsby and the Range...


While "Don't Hold Back Your Love" climbed all the way to #4 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, the single stalled one notch under the pop top 40 in February of 1991. The song did much better in Canada, reaching #10.

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Songoftheday 8/28/17 - I look at you you look at me and then we smile, knowing what we're in for..

"Hold You Tight" - Tara Kemp
from the album Tara Kemp (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day belongs to R&B/pop singer Tara Kemp, who comes from the Bay Area of northern California. She released her self-titled debut album at the beginning of 1991, with the seductive mid-tempo track "Hold You Tight" as the first single. Written by William Hammond along with her producers Tuhin Roy and Jake Smith, the new jack swing-influenced jam was unassuming but well executed, with Kemp's sultry voice riding the synth-bass line like a slow motion mechanical bull...


"Hold You Tight" became Tara's first top ten pop hit in April of 1991. The single also climbed to #4 on Billboard's R&B chart (a rarity for a white female artist), while the remixes on the 12" single helped the song up to #15 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the track reached the top-40 in Canada (#24) and New Zealand (#19), and was a minor hit in the UK (#69) and Australia (#68).

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Songoftheday 8/27/17 - Nothin' comes from dreamers but dreams, sittin' at night all in our bowl while everyone else is down the street...

"Round and Round" - Tevin Campbell
from the albums Graffiti Bridge (Original Soundtrack) (1990) and T.E.V.I.N. (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song comes from R&B singer Tevin Campbell, who had grown up singing gospel in Texas before getting his big break with legendary producer Quincy Jones. Jones enlisted Campbell to sing a track on his 1989 album Back To The Block, and the result, "Tomorrow (A Better You, A Better Me)", gave Tevin a #1 R&B hit at the young age of 13 (it also crossed over to the pop chart at #75). The following year, Tevin appeared in Prince's movie Graffiti Bridge, and recorded a song for the soundtrack. That track, "Round and Round", was written and produced by Prince, his first major foray into the "new jack swing" movement. Released as a single, it was the second big hit from the film (after Prince's own "Thieves In The Temple") and first solo success...


"Round and Round" became Tevin's first top-40 pop hit in April of 1991. The song also spent a week at #3 on Billboard's R&B chart. Internationally, the record went to #14 in New Zealand. It would be nominated for a Grammy Award for R&B Male Vocal, which went that year to Luther Vandross' "Here And Now".

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Songoftheday 8/26/17 - And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply", so I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why...

"Signs (Live)" - Tesla
from the album 5 Man Acoustical Jam (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the heavy metal band Tesla, who had landed a top ten pop hit in the winter of 1990 with the power-ballad "Love Song". Touring with Motley Crue, the group recorded an acoustic side-show in Philadelphia and released it as 5 Man Acoustical Jam later that year. The set had a mix of cover songs and Tesla originals, but their version of a 70s hit is what was serviced to radio. "Signs", a hippie anthem written by Les Emmerson for his band Five Man Electrical Band (hence the pun title on the Tesla album), originally went to #3 on the American pop chart in 1971...


Tesla's version took away the electric guitars, but the message carried clear for the generation of metal heads in the same situation where they're judged for their appearances...


"Signs" became Tesla's second top ten pop hit in April of 1991. The song also spent a week at #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, their biggest success on either the pop or rock lists. Across the Atlantic, the single was a minor hit in the UK at #70. A live version of "Paradise" was put out as a follow-up, and made it to #28 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

Later that year, the band released their third studio album Psychotic Supper. From the record five of its tracks reached the Mainstream Rock chart, with "What You Give" going the highest to #7, but that song was the only one to nick the pop Hot 100 at #86. However, the album sold over a million copies and peaked at the highest position on the albums chart out of their studio sets at #13 (Five Man Acoustic Jam got a notch higher at #12). Another album, Bust A Nut, followed in 1994, landing them another top ten rock hit with "Mama's Fool" (#5). After a greatest hits set that had a new minor rock hit in "Steppin' Over" (#31 MR), Tesla went their separate ways for a decade. They reunited in 2004 and hit #21 on the rock chart with "Caught In A Dream". They had a few more rock radio successes, with "I Wanna Live" from their 2008 album Forever More hitting #38. The band's most recent album, Simplicity, peaked at #24 on the albums chart in 2014, making all their studio sets top-40 successes, a rarity in long-standing metal bands.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for August 25, 2017...

Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. New Jersey native Charlie Puth climbs into the #1 spot for the first time on my list, while Old Dominion (pictured above) leaps into the top ten. Former big hits from James Arthur, Julia Michaels, and Jon Pardi drop off my chart, while songs from Kesha, Deborah Cox, and Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry/Big Sean make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). No more bailing, whew...

This Week             Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Attention - Charlie Puth (2)
2. Despacito - Luis Fonsi f/Daddy Yankee (1)
3. There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back - Shawn Mendes (3)
4. Feel It Still - Portugal, The Man (4)
5. Run - Foo Fighters (5)
6. Redbone - Childish Gambino (6)
7. Believer - Imagine Dragons (7)
8. No Such Thing As A Broken Heart - Old Dominion (14)
9. Drinkin' Problem - Midland (13)
10. Malibu - Miley Cyrus (10)
11. You Look Good - Lady Antebellum (15)
12. The Fighter - Keith Urban f/Carrie Underwood (8)
13. Don't Take The Money - Bleachers (9)
14. Craving You - Thomas Rhett f/Maren Morris (12)
15. Stay - Zedd & Alessia Cara (11)
16. Somebody Else Will - Justin Moore (21)
17. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars (17)
18. Flatliner - Cole Swindell f/Dierks Bentley (22)
19. The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness - The National (24)
20. Swish Swish - Katy Perry f/Nicki Minaj (20)
21. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (19)
22. It Ain't Me - Kygo & Selena Gomez (18)
23. Dig Down - Muse (27)
24. Give Love - Andy Grammer f/Lunchmoney Lewis (28)
25. Do I Make You Wanna - Billy Currington (29)
26. Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran (16)
27. High - Sir Sly (23)
28. Slow Hands - Niall Horan (32)
29. The Man - The Killers (39)
30. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (26)
31. Feels Like Summer - Weezer (41)
32. Everything Now - Arcade Fire (37)
33. Wild Thoughts - DJ Khaled f/Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (43)
34. Love Is Love Is Love - LeAnn Rimes (34)
35. My Fire - Nile Rodgers & Tony Moran f/Kimberly Davis (30)
36. Now Or Never - Halsey (38)
37. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (33)
38. Feels - Calvin Harris f/Pharrell, Katy Perry, and Big Sean (52)
39. HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar (31)
40. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (40)
41. Strip That Down - Liam Payne f/Quavo (45)
42. Holding On - The War On Drugs (49)
43. Mama - Jonas Blue f/William Singe (47)
44. Sometimes - Kat Graham (44)
45. Save As Draft - Katy Perry (50)
46. The Cure - Lady Gaga (36)
47. Yours If You Want It - Rascal Flatts (25)
48. Hurricane - Luke Combs (48)
49. Versace On The Floor - Bruno Mars (53)
50. Symphony - Clean Bandit f/Zara Larsson (46)
51. In Case You Didn't Know - Brett Young (51)
52. Let The World Be Ours Tonight - Deborah Cox (77)
53. Praying - Kesha (80)
54. Small Town Boy - Dustin Lynch (64)
55. Cold Little Heart - Michael Kiwanuka (55)
56. Drink Up - Train (58)
57. They Don't Know - Jason Aldean (67)
58. You, I & The Music - Junior Sanchez (68)
59. The Violence - Rise Against (59)
60. Can I Sit Next To You - Spoon (60)
61. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (57)
62. Heartache on The Dance Floor - Jon Pardi (76)
63. Level - Stokely (65)
64. Your Song - Rita Ora (66)
65. Thunder - Imagine Dragons (69)
66. Only Want You - Skylar Stecker (74)
67. My Girl - Dylan Scott (61)
68. Gltchlfe - Taryn Manning (72)
69. Sun Comes Up - Rudimental f/James Arthur (81)
70. OK - Robin Schulz f/James Blunt (70)
71. Song #3 - Stone Sour (63)
72. We Get High - Karel Ullner (82)
73. Waterfall - Stargate f/Pink & Sia (73)
74. Every Time I Hear That Song - Blake Shelton (62)
75. Turn It Up - Kym Sims (85)
76. My Man - Tamar Braxton (90)
77. More Girls Like You - Kip Moore (83)
78. 2U - David Guetta f/Justin Bieber (78)
79. Unforgettable - French Montana f/Swae Lee (79)
80. Just You & I - Tom Walker (92)
81. Now That We're Dead - Metallica (71)
82. Under My Skin - Kendra Erika (84)
83. More Than You Know - Axwell & Ingrosso (93)
84. Lights Out - Royal Blood (88)
85. Rain - The Script (95)
86. Fool - Fitz & The Tantrums (DEBUT)
87. Most Girls - Hailee Steinfeld (87)
88. Peace, Love & Music - Tracy Young & Ceevox (DEBUT)
89. For Her - Chris Lane (89)
90. Don't Matter Now - George Ezra (94)
91. All The Pretty Girls - Kenny Chesney (DEBUT)
92. Came Here For Love - Sigala f/Ella Eyre (96)
93. Can I Be Him - James Arthur (DEBUT)
94. Good Times - All Time Low (DEBUT)
95. Miracles (Someone Special) - Coldplay & Big Sean (99)
96. My Mind Is For Sale - Jack Johnson (DEBUT)
97. Before I Do - Sevyn Streeter (DEBUT)
98. Only The Wild Ones - Dispatch (98)
99. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now - Dirty Pop f/Taylor Olson & Jackie Orlando (DEBUT)
100. Power - Little Mix f/Stormzy (100)

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

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Songoftheday 8/25/17 - You can reach me by railway you can reach me by trailway, you can reach me by aeroplane you can reach me with your mind...

"Get Here" - Oleta Adams
from the album Circle Of One (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from soul/jazz singer Oleta Adams, who came from Washington State to Kansas City, Missouri, where she was discovered by the British new wave band Tears For Fears, who took her on as an opening act and back-up vocalist. A major contributor to their album The Seeds Of Love, Adams sang lead vocals with Roland Orzabal on their top-40 pop hit "Woman In Chains" in the winter of 1990. That following spring, Adams released her first nationally-distributed album Circle Of One on Tears For Fears' label imprint Fontana. The first single from the set, the jazzy "Rhythm Of Life", was a big hit on R&B radio in America, climbing to #9 on Billboard's genre chart, as well as crossing over to #21 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list. But even though it made it to #38 on the British Singles chart, it missed the pop Hot 100 altogether in the States. But the next release would end up eclipsing anything she did with the band that aided her. "Get Here" was written and first released by another American jazz-R&B artist, Brenda Russell (who had a top 10 pop hit with "Piano In The Dark") as the second single and title track from her 1988 album. Brenda's original would climb to #37 on the R&B chart in America...


Oleta took the version and strengthened the delivery, which aided the power the song had in the time of the first Gulf War in 1991....


Oleta Adams' version of "Get Here" made it all the way to the top five on the American pop top-40 in March of 1991. The single also climbed to #8 on Billboard's R&B chart, while spending two weeks at #3 on their Adult Contemporary radio list. Internationally, the record went to #4 in the UK, and reached the top-40 in Canada (#26) and the Netherlands (#28). The Circle Of One album would end up topping the album chart in Britain.

A re-release of the title track from the album as a lite-house dance jam made the R&B (#27) and Adult Contemporary (#17) charts, but missed the pop Hot 100. Another track from the set, "You've Got To Give Me Room", was a minor British hit at #49. She finished the year with another UK top-40 hit with her stellar cover of Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (#33).

In 1993, Adams followed up with another studio album, Evolution, but lead single "I Just Had To Hear Your Voice" barely slipped into the American R&B chart at #97 and just missed the British Top-40 at #42. Two years later, her third Fontana album Moving On emerged, with the song "Never Knew Love" returning Oleta to the British Top-40 at #22, while nicking the American R&B chart at #60. She's continued to release music including more religious work, and her albums do better than her radio success these days.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Songoftheday 8/24/17 - I look OK but I'm not myself standing by the phone, darling I've been wondering how I'm gonna let you go...

"Waiting For Love" - Alias
from the album Alias (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the hard rock band Alias, who assembled from members of the Canadian band Sheriff ("When I'm With You") and the American band Heart (who got booted on the Wilson's reboot of the band in the mid-80s). After reaching #2 on the American pop chart with the power-ballad "More Than Words Can Say", they also climbed to #18 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart with "Haunted Heart". The third offering from their self-titled debut album together was the mid-tempo rock track "Waiting For Love". Written by Brett Walker and Jeff Paris, the song was a textbook pop-metal tune to fit in with the Bon Jovis and the Nelsons of the day...


"Waiting For Love" became the group's second and final top-40 pop hit in America in March of 1991. The single also climbed to #17 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the song peaked at #4 in Canada, while it was their sole minor hit in the UK at #87.

After a tour behind the album, Alias scored a minor hit with "Perfect World" from the movie Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, which slipped on to the U.S. pop chart at #90. A second album was scrapped (it would eventually see the light of day in 2009), as the members of Heart took off, but lead singer Freddy Curci and guitarist Steve Demarchi (along with his brother Denny) would continue to perform under the Alias moniker.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Songoftheday 8/23/17 - I haven't seen your face in a year I can't wait till I get there, just to kiss and squeeze and hug girl you know the rest 'cause they tell me...

"It Never Rains (In Southern California)" - Tony! Toni! Toné!
from the album The Revival (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #34 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day comes from the trio Tony! Toni! Toné!, who after a series of big R&B hits finally crossed over big on to the pop chart with their top ten single "Feels Good" in the fall of 1990. Their follow-up single, written by brothers Dwayne Wiggins and Ray Wiggins (aka Raphael Saadiq) and group member Tim Christian, along with Carl Wheeler, was "It Never Rains (In Southern California)". It was a smooth soul number that sported a music video directed by "Cosby Kid" Lisa Bonet...



"It Never Rains" became Tony! Toni! Toné!'s second top-40 pop hit in February of 1991. The single went all the way to #1 on Billboard's R&B chart for two weeks, their fourth trip to the top. Internationally, the track was a minor hit in the UK at #69. A fourth single from The Revival, "Whenever You Want", also topped the R&B list making an amazing four chart leaders from the album, but stalled right under the pop top-40 at #48.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Songoftheday 8/22/17 - At the playground ya know that's where I saw this cutie, this girl was swingin' and she looked so fly...

"Iesha" - Another Bad Creation
from the album Coolin' At The Playground Ya Know! (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from the R&B vocal group Another Bad Creation, five boys in their pre-teen years. Coming from all over the country but landing in Atlanta, home of their producer Dallas Austin, the boys were mentored by New Edition member Michael Bivins, who was himself enjoying a huge success with his Bell Biv Devoe side-project. The quintet had the same drive, moves, and name-checking ability that NE had, but in a younger and more hip-hop vein. Their debut single, "Iesha", was written by Bivins and Austin, and was the first big pop hit that I can recall that sang about a name that was specifically African-American in origin. So Betty, Peggy Sue, and Mary can step aside for some Iesha. And while their voices were still maturing, the song itself was a substantial jam...


"Iesha" became ABC's first top ten pop hit in April of 1991. The single also climbed to #6 on Billboard's R&B chart.

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 8/21/17 - 2nu's "This Is Ponderous"...

"This Is Ponderous" - 2nu
from the album Ponderous (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the new wave band 2nu from Seattle, who had a left-field hit single with the spoken-word dance-pop novelty "This Is Ponderous". Seemingly inspired by such alternative dance acts like Art Of Noise, who had a top-40 hit with the similar-sounding "Paranoimia", vocalist Jock Blaney and songwriter Mike Nealy track the day of a man in a dream-like trance...


"This Is Ponderous" climbed to just above the halfway point on Billboard's Hot 100 pop chart in February of 1991. It's remained a cult favorite among lovers of novelty records and art-dance music. The band didn't have any radio success since, though one of their compositions, "Crossroads", was used in Johnnie Walker ads and probably is more known that this single was.




Songoftheday 8/21/17 - Why be afraid if I'm not alone, life is never easy the rest is unknown...

"Coming Out Of The Dark" - Gloria Estefan
from the album Into The Light (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14 

Today's song of the day comes from Cuban-American singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan, whose first solo-billed album Cuts Both Ways had landed her five pop hits on the Hot 100, including three that made the top-40 with "Here We Are", "Get On Your Feet", and the #1 single "Don't Wanna Lose You". However, when she was touring behind the album, her bus was hit by a truck, sending Gloria into the hospital in critical condition, requiring surgery and left her with two metal rods in her back. After almost a year in therapy, she re-emerged, not only to continue her tour, but with a new album, Into The Light, in the winter of 1991. The first single was an inspirational anthem that drew strength from her struggle to recover from the accident. "Coming Out Of The Dark", written by Gloria with husband Emilio and backup singer Jon Secada (who would have his own solo career come to pass in short time), was dramatic but not maudlin, and proved to be one of her "signature" songs...


"Coming Out Of The Dark" became Gloria's third (and so far most recent) #1 pop hit in the U.S. in March of 1991. The single also topped Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart for two weeks, and was her fourth and final single to cross over to their R&B chart at #60. Internationally, the song went to #1 in Canada for a week, and reached the top-40 in Belgium (#10), the Netherlands (#11), Ireland (#16), the UK (#25), New Zealand (#26), and Switzerland (#28). The "B-Side" of the single, the Spanish version "Desde la Oscuridad", climbed to #4 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Songoftheday 8/20/17 - Never knew uds, so cool as ice? Hear the vibes man they'll stupefy Ducks categorize us as hard criers, That's a lie we know why we're occupiers...

"Deeper Shade Of Soul"- Urban Dance Squad
from the album Mental Floss For The Globe (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 7

Today's song of the day comes from the Dutch band Urban Dance Squad, who were one of the first acts on the continent to have success with the rap & rock fusion that had given rise to American groups like Faith No More and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Forming in the city of Utrecht in the mid-80s, their first single, "Deeper Shade Of Soul", was named from the record it sampled, recorded by Latin jazz artist Ray Barretto in 1968. Barretto had a top-20 hit in 1961 with "El Watusi"...


The Squad, with lead singer/rapper Patrick Tilon from the former Dutch South American territory turned independent country of Suriname, along with DJ DNA (Arjen de Vreede), incorporated the Barretto track into a hip stoner/ghetto rider anthem that bridged the gap of college rock and R&B stations...


"Deeper Shade Of Soul" became the Urban Dance Squad's sole American pop hit, reaching the top-40 in March of 1991. Internationally, the record was a minor hit in their native Netherlands at #52 and in Australia at #56. Two more singles from the Mental Floss.. album, "No Kid" and "Fastlane", charted in the 50s in Holland. However, the album was much better than its reception belies.

The band wouldn't place on the American charts ever again, but continued to have success at home, eventually reaching the Dutch top 40 in 1994 with "Demagogue". They folded by the end of the decade, with Tilon appearing on the first two albums from Dutch DJ Junkie XL, and provided vocals for their chart hit "Zerotonine" in 1999 (#63 UK, #62 Netherlands).

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Songoftheday 8/19/17 - I looked out across the river today, saw a city in the fog and an old church town where the seagulls play....

"All This Time" - Sting
from the album The Soul Cages (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from Sting, who had two very successful solo albums after disbanding the Police in the late 1980's. The second of those, ...Nothing Like The Sun, had scored him a pair of top-20 pop hits in America with "We'll Be Together" and "Be Still My Beating Heart". He also sent three tracks from that album to Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart: a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" (#11), "The Lazarus Heart" (#30), and "An Englishman In New York" (#32), with the latter becoming the sole one from the record to make the top-40 in his native Britain courtesy of a dance remix from Ben Liebrand (#15). In 1990, Sting released his third solo effort, The Soul Cages, a deeply personal work dealing with his father's death. The first single, "All This Time", though, was upbeat in tempo and lush in production (using the then-new "Q Sound" 3D approximation technology), and radio took him back in...


"All This Time" became Sting's fourth top ten pop hit in the U.S. in March of 1991. The song was massive on rock radio, topping Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart for seven weeks, his solo career best (the Police's "Every Breath You Take" topped for nine weeks), while also hitting #1 on their Modern Rock list for two weeks as well. The track also climbed to #9 on the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart. Internationally, the single spent a week atop the chart in Canada, hit the top ten in Norway (#7), and reached the top-40 in Ireland (#13), Switzerland (#18), France (#21), the UK (#22), the Netherlands (#22), Germany (#23), Austria (#23), and Australia (#26).

Despite the success of the single, and maybe because of the intimate nature of the album, "All This Time" was the only hit single from The Soul Cages on pop radio. The hard-edged guitar-led title track, which did manage to reach the top ten on the mainstream (#7) and modern (#9) rock radio chart, missed the pop Hot 100 completely, but made up for it by winning the first Grammy Award for Rock Song in 1992. A third release in the States, "Why Should I Cry For You?", climbed to #32 on the mainstream rock list. In Britain, the exotic-sounding "Mad About You" was offered as the follow-up to "All This Time", and stalled down at #56 (followed by "Soul Cages" at #57).

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Friday, August 18, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for August 18, 2017...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee spend a fifth week at #1, while Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood (pictured above) climb a couple notches in the top ten. Songs from Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry/Big Sean, Rudimental/James Arthur, and Karel Ullner make the biggest jumps on my chart (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from Kings Of Leon, Ariana Grande, LP, and Joe Bermudez drop off the list. This eclipse is an omen I'm telling you...

This Week              Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. Despacito - Luis Fonsi f/Daddy Yankee (1)
2. Attention - Charlie Puth (2)
3. There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back - Shawn Mendes (5)
4. Feel It Still - Portugal, The Man (4)
5. Run - Foo Fighters (6)
6. Redbone - Childish Gambino (3)
7. Believer - Imagine Dragons (7)
8. The Fighter - Keith Urban f/Carrie Underwood (10)
9. Don't Take The Money - Bleachers (9)
10. Malibu - Miley Cyrus (14)
11. Stay - Zedd & Alessia Cara (11)
12. Craving You - Thomas Rhett f/Maren Morris (12)
13. Drinkin' Problem - Midland (17)
14. No Such Thing As A Broken Heart - Old Dominion (18)
15. You Look Good - Lady Antebellum (15)
16. Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran (8)
17. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars (13)
18. It Ain't Me - Kygo & Selena Gomez (16)
19. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (19)
20. Swish Swish - Katy Perry f/Nicki Minaj (22)
21. Somebody Else Will - Justin Moore (24)
22. Flatliner - Cole Swindell f/Dierks Bentley (27)
23. High - Sir Sly (23)
24. The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness - The National (28)
25. Yours If You Want It - Rascal Flatts (20)
26. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (26)
27. Dig Down - Muse (31)
28. Give Love - Andy Grammer f/Lunchmoney Lewis (32)
29. Do I Make You Wanna - Billy Currington (37)
30. My Fire - Nile Rodgers & Tony Moran f/Kimberly Davis (30)
31. HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar (21)
32. Slow Hands - Niall Horan (35)
33. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (33)
34. Love Is Love Is Love - LeAnn Rimes (38)
35. Issues - Julia Michaels (25)
36. The Cure - Lady Gaga (29)
37. Everything Now - Arcade Fire (41)
38. Now Or Never - Halsey (42)
39. The Man - The Killers (43)
40. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (40)
41. Feels Like Summer - Weezer (51)
42. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (34)
43. Wild Thoughts - DJ Khaled f/Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (47)
44. Sometimes - Kat Graham (48)
45. Strip That Down - Liam Payne f/Quavo (49)
46. Symphony - Clean Bandit f/Zara Larsson (36)
47. Mama - Jonas Blue f/William Singe (57)
48. Hurricane - Luke Combs (44)
49. Holding On - The War On Drugs (60)
50. Save As Draft - Katy Perry (54)
51. In Case You Didn't Know - Brett Young (46)
52. Feels - Calvin Harris f/Pharrell, Katy Perry, and Big Sean (66)
53. Versace On The Floor - Bruno Mars (58)
54. Runnin' Out - After 7 (50)
55. Cold Little Heart - Michael Kiwanuka (45)
56. The Night We Met - Lord Huron (56)
57. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (53)
58. Drink Up - Train (62)
59. The Violence - Rise Against (63)
60. Can I Sit Next To You - Spoon (61)
61. My Girl - Dylan Scott (55)
62. Every Time I Hear That Song - Blake Shelton (52)
63. Song #3 - Stone Sour (59)
64. Small Town Boy - Dustin Lynch (64)
65. Level - Stokely (69)
66. Your Song - Rita Ora (68)
67. They Don't Know - Jason Aldean (74)
68. You, I & The Music - Junior Sanchez (78)
69. Thunder - Imagine Dragons (75)
70. OK - Robin Schulz f/James Blunt (70)
71. Now That We're Dead - Metallica (71)
72. Gltchlfe - Taryn Manning (73)
73. Waterfall - Stargate f/Pink & Sia (77)
74. Only Want You - Skylar Stecker (79)
75. Sugar Shack - Tami (76)
76. Heartache On The Dance Floor - Jon Pardi (84)
77. Let The World Be Ours Tonight - Deborah Cox (DEBUT)
78. 2U - David Guetta f/Justin Bieber (82)
79. Unforgettable - French Montana f/Swae Lee (83)
80. Praying - Kesha (85)
81. Sun Comes Up - Rudimental f/James Arthur (95)
82. We Get High - Karel Ullner (96)
83. More Girls Like You - Kip Moore (89)
84. Under My Skin - Kendra Erika (94)
85. Turn It Up - Kym Sims (DEBUT)
86. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (86)
87. Most Girls - Hailee Steinfeld (87)
88. Lights Out - Royal Blood (88)
89. For Her - Chris Lane (DEBUT)
90. My Man - Tamar Braxton (94)
91. One Of Us - New Politics (91)
92. Just You & I - Tom Walker (99)
93. More Than You Know - Axwell & Ingrosso (93)
94. Don't Matter Now - George Ezra (RE-ENTRY)
95. Rain - The Script (100)
96 Came Here For Love - Sigala f/Ella Eyre (RE-ENTRY)
97. Pretty Girl - Maggie Lindemann (97)
98. Only The Wild Ones - Dispatch (98)
99. Miracles (Someone Special) - Coldplay & Big Sean (DEBUT)
100. Power - Little Mix f/Stormzy (RE-ENTRY)

There are four 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 8/18/17 - Every night I say a prayer in the hopes that there's a heaven, but every day I'm more confused as the saints turn into sinners...

"Show Me The Way" - Styx
from the album Edge Of The Century (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the arena rock band Styx, who after slipping in one more top-40 pop hit in the summer of 1984 with the execrable "Music Time", from a contract-fulfilling live album, the band split up. Both lead singers Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw recorded a few solo albums, each scoring a top-40 pop hit with DeYoung's "Desert Moon" and Shaw's "Girls With Guns". In 1990, DeYoung reunited with Styx members James Young and brothers Chuck and John Pannozzo. Shaw was at that time in the "supergroup" Damn Yankees with Ted Nugent and Night Ranger's Jack Blades, and was riding high with the success of the top-10 pop hit "High Enough". In his place, the band brought in New Jersey local favorite Glen Burtnik, who was well known on the Jersey Shore venues that had previously started Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny. Their first album together was Edge Of The Century in 1990, and the lead track, "Love Is The Ritual", featured Burtnik on vocals (it was a leftover from his solo career). It sounded nothing like Styx's previous work, and more of a mix of hair-metal or Bon Jovi and white boy dance-pop of Robbie Nevil, and while it climbed to #9 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, it stalled way down at #80 on the pop Hot 100. But the second single, "Show Me The Way", was written, produced, and sung by DeYoung, and his familiar almost-Broadway theatrical power-ballad style took them back to pop radio, where the first Iraq War had given a market for sentimental and inspirational songs like this to catch on with military families and friends, as it sounded like a rewrite of Bette Midler's "From A Distance"...


"Show Me The Way" became Styx's eighth (and so far last) top ten pop hit in March of 1991. The song also spent two weeks at #3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, spending over seven months on the list. Internationally, the single made it to #4 in Canada, and was a minor hit in Australia at #68.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Songoftheday 8/17/17 - Where do we go from here? What must we do to make that change?

"This House" - Tracie Spencer
from the album Make The Difference (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 14

Today's song of the day comes from R&B/pop singer Tracie Spencer, who at the age of twelve landed herself a top-40 pop hit with the infectious dance-pop jam "Symptoms Of True Love" in the winter of 1988. Two more singles from her debut album, "Hide and Seek" and a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine", reached the top-40 on Billboard's R&B chart as well. Two years later, Tracie released her sophomore record Make A Difference. The first single from the set, "Save Your Love", was another dance-pop confection like "Symptoms", but while it hit #7 R&B and #20 Dance, it missed the pop chart altogether. That was remedied, though, with the release of the second song from the album, "This House". Written by producers Matt and Paul Sherrod with Marty Spencer, the album version was remixed into a "house music" jam (tying in the name), and with inspirational lyrics of striving for peace and harmony among everyone, it resonated with Americans, landing Tracie the biggest pop hit of her career. The video had her singing among scenes with Native Americans...


"This House" climbed all the way to the top-3 on the American pop chart in March of 1991. The single also went to #7 on Billboard's R&B chart, while the remixes on the 12" single helped it up to #7 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the single reached the top-40 in New Zealand (#26), and was a minor hit in the UK at #65 and Australia (#87).

The third single from the Make A Difference album, the youthful club jam "This Time Make It Funky", reached the top-40 on the dance (#13) and R&B (#31) charts, but stalled under the halfway mark on the pop Hot 100 at #54. Spencer slowed it down then with the midtempo love ballad "Tender Kisses", which rewarded her with her only R&B #1 hit, and almost made the top-40 at #42. That was followed by the even more slower "Love Me", which got to #48 pop and #2 R&B. She wouldn't be back until seven years later on her Tracie album.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Songoftheday 8/16/17 - Everybody needs a little place they can hide, somewhere to call their own don't let nobody inside...

"Shelter Me" - Cinderella
from the album Heartbreak Station (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #36 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's song of the day comes from the glam/heavy metal band from Philadelphia, Cinderella, whose sophomore album Long Cold Winter had scored them a trio of top-40 pop hits with "Don't Know What You've Got ('Til It's Gone)", "The Last Mile", and "Coming Home". In 1990, the group released their third effort, Heartbreak Station, which was more blues/acoustic inclined and was led off with the single "Shelter Me". Written by lead singer Tom Keifer, it would be their last entry on the pop top-40, helped along with a MTV-ready video featuring Little Richard...


"Shelter Me" became Cinderella's fifth and final top-40 pop hit in February of 1991. The song also climbed to #5 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, their highest ranking of their career. Internationally, the song reached the top-40 in Canada at #27, and was a minor hit in the UK (#55) and Australia (#48).

The band's second single from the album was the title track "Heartbreak Station", which also made the rock top ten at #10, but just missed the pop top-40 at #44. In 1992, their contribution to the Wayne's World soundtrack, "Hot And Bothered", got to #45 on the rock chart, and probably nice royalties from the success of the album. However touring behind the album caused Kiefer to require surgery to get his voice back, and Cinderella's next album took four years to emerge. That set, Still Climbing, sent lead track "Bad Attitude Shuffle" only to #37 on the rock radio list, and nowhere near the pop chart. They were dropped by their label, and went their separate ways, reuniting every now and then for touring and live sets, but Kiefer has had a solo album reach the chart in 2013.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Songoftheday 8/15/17 - Beautiful beautiful girl from the north, you burned my heart with a flickering torch...

"Candy" - Iggy Pop
from the album Brick By Brick (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #28 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 3

Today's song of the day comes from punk legend Iggy Pop, who was born James Osterberg Jr in suburban Michigan. Starting out as a drummer, and assuming the first name of "Iggy" for one of his bands the Iguanas, he put together his own group as the lead singer called the Stooges in the late 60's, dubbing himself "Iggy Pop". They released their self-titled debut album in 1969, with the cult classic "I Wanna Be Your Dog" barreling through speakers of those in the know at the time. It was produced by Velvet Underground member John Cale, and climbed to just about the halfway mark on Billboard magazine's albums chart. Their follow-up, Fun House, was even more chaotic and more revered by punk rock lovers, who deem this a seminal start to the genre. With drummer Scott Asheton and his brother Ron on guitars and then bass after Dave Alexander got booted, the band had a following but no big success. But heroin had crippled most of the band including Pop, and they split up in 1971.

A couple years later, with the help of David Bowie and his manager Tony DeFries, Iggy brought back the Stooges with guitarist John Williamson and the Asheton brothers. The result was the iconic punk precursor Raw Power, and again while the record did make the albums chart at #182, the band again descended into druggie hell, and were dropped by the label and management. Pop ended up in the hospital/rehab, put eventually set out with Bowie to Germany, where they recorded Pop's first solo album The Idiot, which came out in 1977 and contained an early version of Bowie's later top-10 pop hit "China Girl". Later that same year came his second solo disc, Lust For Life. The title track ended up a top-10 hit in the Netherlands and Belgium, helped by his set-destructing appearance on local "American Bandstand"-style show TopPop. The album also featured comedian Soupy Sales' sons Tony Fox and Hunt Sales, who would go on to play with Bowie as Tin Machine.

Pop went on his own after that, switching to Arista Records, bringing back Williamson and Stooge touring keyboardist Scott Thurston for the New Values album in 1979, but only the "I'm Bored" track saw a minor hit place in Australia, again helped by the controversial TV appearance. Releasing a scattering of albums in the early 1980's, with the single "Bang Bang" from his Party album reaching the American dance chart at #35, he again fell prey to drugs, until taking time off (with the help of royalties from Bowie's re-recordings of his "China Girl" among others) to clean up. He reemerged with Blah-Blah-Blah in 1986, and the set is my personal favorite of his, with single "Cry For Love" reaching #19 on the dance chart and #34 rock radio in the U.S., while "Real Wild Child (Wild One)" going all the way to #10 on the British pop singles chart. Two years later, Pop followed up with the Instinct record with Sex Pistols guitar man Steve Jones, which brought his punk sound back. Lead track "Cold Metal" slipped on to the rock chart at #37.

Iggy started the 1990's with a contribution to the soundtrack of the Michael Douglas movie Black Rain, "Livin' On The Edge Of The Night", that at the time would climb higher than his earlier work at #16 on the Modern Rock radio list. Produced by Don Was (of Was Not Was), the retro-rockabilly sounding track would end up on his next album, Brick By Brick. Was helmed the record, which sent the next single, "Home", to #2 on the Modern Rock chart for a week. But the third release from the set, "Candy", brought pop radio in on the party with the help of B-52's singer Kate Pierson, who was riding high after the success of her band's Cosmic Thing album. Written by Pop, it was by far his most "mainstream"-sounding record, and the mid-tempo alt-rock gem gave him his biggest American pop success...


"Candy" became Iggy's sole top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in February of 1991. The song also climbed to #5 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, and #30 on the Mainstream Rock list. Internationally, the single reached the top ten in the Netherlands (#7), Australia (#9), and Belgium (#10), and got to #67 in the UK.

Later in 1991, Pop teamed up with Debbie Harry (whose partner Chris Stein produced one of his 80s records) for a cover of the Cole Porter standard "Well Did You Evah" for the AIDS benefit Red Hot & Blue album, which just missed the British top-40 at #42. Two years later, Pop put out American Caesar, and "Wild America" appeared on the rock radio list at #25.  He continued to act and record music through the decade, though his biggest notice came in 1996 when his "Lust For Life" song was a central part of the movie Trainspotting, which caused the song to finally enter the British top-40 at #26. A couple years later, he did even better with old track "The Passenger", which hawked Toyotas in a TV ad and went to #22 in the UK. Was came band to produce Pop's Avenue B album in 1999, and the single "Corruption" slipped on to the British chart on the bottom rung of #100. After a couple of high-profile featured gigs on electronic-rock act Dirty Vegas' British top ten hit "Aisha" (#9, 2000), and on punk princess Peaches' "Kick It" (#39, 2004), Iggy reunited with the Asheton brothers for his Skull Ring album in 2004, and single "Little Know It All", featuring pop-punk band Sum-41, became his most recent rock radio hit in the U.S. at #35.  He continued with the Ashetons to revive the Stooges with sax player Steve MacKay (who played on Fun House), Mike Watt on bass, and John Williamson again (after Ron Asheton died in 2009) for tours and a couple more albums. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, and Iggy's most recent solo album, Post Pop Depression, was nominated for a Grammy for Alternative Rock album this year, losing to his late friend David Bowie's Blackstar set.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 8/14/17 - George LaMond and Brenda K. Starr's "No Matter What"...

"No Matter What" -  George LaMond Duet with Brenda K. Starr
from the album Bad Of The Heart (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #49

This week's "robbed hit" comes from two Latin freestyle dance music stars, singers George LaMond and Brenda K. Starr. Lamond had just scored three consecutive top ten club hits with "Without You", "Bad Of The Heart", and "Look Into My Eyes", with the second one reaching the American pop top-40 in the summer of 1990. The fourth release from his debut album Bad Of The Heart would be a love ballad as a duet with Brenda K. Starr, who had enjoyed a pair of top-40 pop hits of her own including another ballad, "I Still Believe". "No Matter What", written by Ann Godwin and Larry Lange, was again another huge regional hit in the tri-state area around New York City...


"No Matter What" climbed to the half-way mark on Billboard's pop Hot 100 in January of 1991.

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Songoftheday 8/14/17 - Should have told you by now but I can't find the words, if I could show you somehow but I don't have the nerve...

"If You Needed Somebody" - Bad Company
from the album Holy Water (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from the British hard rock band Bad Company, who came together in London in the early 70's as a sort of "supergroup" of veterans of other bands. Lead singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke were in the blues-rock group Free, who scored a top-5 pop hit in America in 1970 with the guitar-rock classic "All Right Now". Mick Ralphs was one of the two guitarists in Mott The Hoople during the time of their biggest success, the top-40 "All The Young Dudes". Joining them was bass player Boz Burrell, who was in the progressive rock juggernaut King Crimson for their Lizard album. With that history, there was built-up anticipation for Bad Company's self-titled first album, which landed them a #5 hit in the States (and #15 in the UK) with their first single "Can't Get Enough", while the record topped the albums chart in the U.S. in 1974. A year later, their sophomore effect Straight Shooter, which sent another song, "Feel Like Making Love", to #10 on the American pop chart and #20 in Britain.  Both these albums were notable in that this "British" pedigreed band sounded more like the chunky gruff guitar fare of American bands, and that continued with their third record Run With The Pack, and resulted in a third consecutive top ten album and a top-20 pop hit with "Young Blood". However, as disco ruled mainstream radio and arena rock took over the turntables in the late 70's, their fourth release, Burnin' Sky, failed to give them a top-40 pop hit. Adapting to flush out their sound to a more electronic production, their 1979 effort Desolation Angels returned them to the top 20 in America with the rock radio staple "Rock and Roll Fantasy" (#13). But after a four-year break and another album in 1982, Rough Diamonds, fell through the cracks, even though single "Electricland" was a big hit at rock radio, spending two weeks at #2 on Billboard's Rock Tracks chart, but sputtered out at #74 on the pop list (which was dominated with soft-rock at the time). Bad Company would call it quits (if just temporarily) after that.

In 1986, Ralphs and Kirke revived the Bad Company name, though at the time Rodgers was busy teamed up with Lep Zeppelin axe Jimmy Page in The Firm ("Radioactive"). They instead hired Brian Howe, a British singer who had previously worked with Ted Nugent. Their first record together, Fame and Fortune, was the act's first to miss the top 100 on the albums chart (#106), but did have a moderately successful rock radio hit with "This Love" (#12) that slipped on to the pop Hot 100 at #85. Adding keyboardist Greg Dechert from Uriah Heep changed the sound dramatically, making them sound more like Foreigner (natch, with producer Keith Olsen on board). Although Burrell was credited on the album, it was actually Steve Price that played on the set.

Dropping Dechert to going back to a four-piece, Bad Company's next record, Dangerous Age, was a winner, landing three songs on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart top ten: "No Smoke Without A Fire" (#4), "One Night" (#9), and the hook-laden "Shake It Up", which also peaked at #87 on the pop chart. The album went gold (selling over a half-million copies), and with the set emphasizing the guitar hooks again (helped by producer Terry Thomas, who did magic with the underrated band Charlie in the 1980s), their momentum was rising on rock radio.

Price left them a trio of Ralphs, Kirke, and Howe for the act's next album, Holy Water, but that didn't slow things, with Thomas again producing and filling out their sound for the new decade. The title track was released as the first single, and while it was their third lead-off to stall out in the 80s on the pop chart (#89), it was their first to top Billboard's rock radio chart for two weeks. A second track from the album, "Boys Cry Tough", went to #3 on that list for two weeks, but pop radio gave it no attention. But by the spring of 1991, with the band touring with Howe's old compadre Nugent's new band Damn Yankees, Bad Company released their most pop-oriented single of the set, the "power-ballad" "If You Needed Somebody". Written by Howe and Thomas, the song finally gave the veteran rock band a proper "comeback"...


"If You Needed Somebody" became Bad Company's lucky seventh top-40 pop hit in the U.S. (and first in over ten years) in March of 1991. The single also climbed to #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart for two weeks. The single was also a minor hit in Canada at #51, but missed the British list altogether.

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