Tuesday, January 31, 2017

French Sweep: January 31, 2017...


Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as "Shape Of You" from Ed Sheeran reigns for a third week...

1. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. "Je M'en Vais" - Vianney (2)
3. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (5)
4. "I Feel It Coming" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (3)
5. "Rockabye" - Clean Bandit featuring Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (4)
6. "Tuesday" - Burak Yeter featuring Danelle Sandoval (6)
7. "Be Mine" - Ofenbach (DEBUT)
8. "Bazardée" - Keblack (8)
9. "Sunset Lover" - Petite Biscuit (DEBUT)
10. "Lost On You" - LP (7)

Parisian dance-rock duo Ofenbach drop into the top ten at #7 with "Be Mine"...


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Songoftheday 1/31/17 - When I look back on everything I've done, I know you must have cried a river of tears...

"The Deeper The Love" - Whitesnake
from the album Slip Of The Tongue (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #28 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day comes from the British pop/metal band Whitesnake, who under lead singer David Coverdale reorganized again with a new lineup for the act's Slip Of The Tongue album, reviving an older song "Fool For Your Loving" for their third top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in the winter of 1989. (Another track from the album, "Judgement Day", shortly followed it into the Mainstream Rock chart at #32.) The second pop radio single from the set was another mid-tempo "adult-metal" track, "The Deeper The Love". Written by Coverdale with group guitarist Adrian Vandenburg (who back in the day had his own band and own top-40 hit with "Burning Heart"), the song's video again featured David's wife Tawny Kitaen...


"The Deeper The Love" became Whitesnake's fourth, and so far latest, top-40 pop hit in America in March of 1990. The song was a big hit at rock radio, peaking at #4 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock list. Internationally, the single returned them to the British top-40 at #35, and also got to #36 in Canada.

A third single from Slip Of The Tongue, "Now You're Gone", slipped on to the American pop chart at #96, while going to #15 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and was the most successful offering from the album in their native Britain at #31. After touring, Coverdale again dissolved Whitesnake, appearing in 1993 on a collaborive album with former Led Zeppelin guitar icon Jimmy Page on the Coverdale/Page record, which scored a #1 rock hit in the States with "Pride And Joy". A few years later, he reconvened a new lineup of Whitesnake (but keeping Vandenburg) for the Restless Heart album, which gave them a minor hit in the UK with "Too Many Tears" (#46). He's put out three more studio albums under the Whitesnake moniker so far, the latest in 2015 with The Purple Album, where they cover songs from Coverdale's old band Deep Purple.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 1/30/17 - Skyy's "Real Love"...

"Real Love" - Skyy
from the album Start Of A Romance (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #47

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the post-disco/R&B band Skyy, who came together in New York in the early 70s anchors by siblings Bonnie, Delores, and Denise Bunning. They released their self-titled debut album at the end of the decade, and the first single "First Time Around" was a respectable R&B hit at #20 and knicked the disco chart at #50. The following year, the sophomore effort Skyway scored them a second R&B hit with "High" (#13), but it came right at the waning days of the disco boom, and the song just missed the pop Hot 100, "bubbling" under at #102 in Billboard. But instead of changing their sound to match the mainstream mood, they just continued in their nook, thankfully, for in 1982 they had one of the great final hits of the post-disco era of the early 80s with "Call Me", which climbed to #26 on the U.S. pop chart, while spending two weeks at #1 on the R&B list, and peaking at #3 on Billboard's Dance Club Play tally (their biggest club success). They continued to have success through the 80s, landing a second top ten dance hit with "Show Me The Way" (#10) in 1983, but as the final flickers of disco went out, they switched over from the dance label Salsoul to Capitol, where they made it back into the R&B top ten with "Givin' It To You", which brought out a meatier funk like the Flyte Tyme/Jackson sound of the time, but weren't able to keep it up, so after a three-year break re-emerged on yet another label, Atlantic, which was successful in dance-pop at that time. With the title track from their Start Of A Romance album, Skyy grabbed the new jack swing sound to get their second #1 R&B hit in May of 1989. The second release from the set, "Love All The Way", sounded a little too much the same and missed the R&B top-40, but the group got their "footing" back on the third single "Real Love". Written by the band's guitarist/singer Solomon Roberts along with their longtime producer Randy Muller, the slow-dance charmer not only gave "quiet storm" adult soul radio a big hit, but also got mainstream stations notice...


While "Real Love" gave Skyy their third #1 R&B hit, the single just missed the American pop top-40 in March of 1990. After another three years from the release of Start Of A Romance, they recorded their second Atlantic album, Nearer To You, but after lead single "Up And Over (Stronger and Better)" stopped at #16, and the title track followed at #73, they haven't returned to pop or soul radio with new material.

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Songoftheday 1/30/17 - I got brothers I got some sisters too, stuck in the middle tell you what I'm gonna do...

"Keep It Together" - Madonna
from the album Like A Prayer (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day is by Madonna, whose Like A Prayer album had already spun off four big hits in the U.S. with "Oh Father", "Cherish", "Express Yourself", and the #1 title track. While in most of Europe and the world the baroque-pop pastiche of "Dear Jessie" was released next, becoming a top-10 in the UK (#5) and Ireland (#3), America and Canada were treated to the unity jam "Keep It Together" as the fifth and final single from the album. Written by Madonna with her old Breakfast Club partner Stephen Bray, the loose and funky number took elements from new jack swing and the Soul II Soul sound and retrofit it on to a synthpop track that could have been pulled from one of her first couple albums. The lyrics spoke of the bond of family, whether it be "blood" as taken literally in the words or as for many LGBT people like myself their 'adopted' family, which brought just as much emotional nourishment, especially in the time when AIDS was decimating our community...


"Keep It Together" returned Madonna to the American pop top ten in March of 1990. The single also climbed to #32 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and even crossed over to their R&B singles list at #66. The 12" remix single became her fifth straight #1 hit on the Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the song made it to #8 in Canada, #16 in Italy, and as the "B-side" of her next release "Vogue" spent five weeks atop the chart in Australia (more on that another time).

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Songoftheday 1/29/17 - You know I never meant to see you again, but I only passed by as a friend...

"I Wish It Would Rain Down" - Phil Collins
from the album ...But Seriously (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from Phil Collins, whose Grammy-winning single "Another Day In Paradise" closed out the 1980's as #1. The second single from his ...But Seriously album was another downtempo track, "I Wish It Would Rain Down". Done in a power-ballad style, with Eric Clapton on lead guitar, it has Phil mourning a past love he just can't get over, and like the similarly-titled song by the Temptations, he wants something to hide the tears...


"I Wish It Would Rain Down" became the second top-10 hit from ...But Seriously in March of 1990. The song also climbed to #3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, while it crossed over to #5 on their Mainstream Rock radio list. Internationally, the single topped the chart in Poland and Canada (the latter for six weeks), made the top ten in Ireland (#4), the Netherlands (#4), Sweden (#7), Finland (#7), Germany (#8), Switzerland (#8), and Phil's native UK (#7).

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Brit Sweep: January 28, 2017...


Let's cross the Atlantic yet again to check out the notable singles and albums reaching the official charts in the UK this week...

On the British singles chart, Ed Sheeran continues to hold the #1 and #2 spots with "Shape Of You" and "Castle On The Hill" for a third week.

British rapper Tinie Tempah returns with the highest debut of the week at #35 with "Text From Your Ex" featuring American R&B singer Tinashe. The fourth single from his upcoming album Youth becomes his 23rd top-40 hit in the UK...


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Songoftheday 1/28/17 - Party all night cut the fight do what's right and you just might, win a battle you never fought just by checkin' this record you bought...


"Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over)" - Technotronic
from the album Pump Up The Jam (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from the Dutch electro-dance act Technotronic, who pulled a "Milli Vanilli" on the world with their debut single "Pump Up The Jam", pretending to have vocals done by a model named Felly, but were forgiven much more easily. Their infectious second release was "Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over)", and even though rapper/singer Ya Kid K (aka Manuela Kamosi) is now front and center in the music video, Felly wasn't just discarded but makes her own dancing cameo, along with the group's nominal leader, Jo Bogaert...


"Get Up" became Technotronic's second top ten pop hit in the U.S. in April of 1990. The song also climbed to #27 on Billboard's R&B chart. The 12" Remix single was huge in the clubs, spending four weeks at #2 on the Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the original release topped the chart in Switzerland, Spain, Finland, and their native Belgium, peaked at # 2 in the UK, Germany, France, Ireland, Austria, and the Netherlands, and reached the top ten in Sweden (#4), Norway (#6), Italy (#6), Australia (#7), New Zealand (#7), and Canada (#10).

The next single from the set, "This Beat Is Technotronic", missed the American pop chart but did go to #3 on Billboard's Dance chart, and was a top-40 hit over most of Europe (including #5 in Ireland). A fourth release, "Rockin' Over The Beat", slipped on to the Hot 100 in the U.S. at #95, and returned them to the top ten in Britain at #9.

Two years later, another cut from Pump Up The Jam would bring the group back to the American airwaves in a big way. But that's for another day.


Friday, January 27, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for January 27, 2017...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. British blues singer Rag N' Bone Man climbs to the #1 spot, while fellow countrymen Clean Bandit and Anne-Marie (pictured above) leap into the top five. Songs from Sia, Vassy, and DNCE make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red), while former big hits from the Head and the Heart, Tony Moran/Jason Walker, and Ro James drop off. Well, one week into this trip to Armageddon...

This Week               Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (2)
2. Water Under The Bridge - Adele (4)
3. Waste A Moment - Kings Of Leon (1)
4. Rockabye - Clean Bandit f/Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (8)
5. 24K Magic - Bruno Mars (3)
6. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 f/Kendrick Lamar (6)
7. The Greatest - Sia f/Kendrick Lamar (7)
8. Starboy - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (5)
9. Dirty Laundry - Carrie Underwood (9)
10. Love Me Now - John Legend (10)
11. Star Of The Show - Thomas Rhett (15)
12. Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara (16)
13. Side To Side - Ariana Grande f/Nicki Minaj (14)
14. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (20)
15. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (13)
16. I Can't Stop Thinking About You - Sting (11)
17. Wanna Be That Song - Brett Eldredge (12)
18. So I Can Have You Back - Joe (22)
19. She's Out Of Her Mind - blink-182 (23)
20. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes (18)
21. Song For Another Time - Old Dominion (17)
22. Thick Of It - Mary J. Blige (19)
23. Still Breathing - Green Day (33)
24. How I'll Always Be - Tim McGraw (24)
25. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (21)
26. 80s Mercedes - Maren Morris (32)
27. Blue Ain't Your Color - Keith Urban (27)
28. Fresh Eyes - Andy Grammer (26)
29. Let Me Love You - DJ Snake f/Justin Bieber (29)
30. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (30)
31. Starving - Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f/Zedd (31)
32. HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums (28)
33. Closer - The Chainsmokers f/Halsey (25)
34. My Name Is Human - Highly Suspect (34)
35. Older - Lodato & Joseph Duveen (36)
36. Blow Your Mind (MWAH) - Dua Lipa (38)
37. Seein' Red - Dustin Lynch (39)
38. A Guy With A Girl - Blake Shelton (44)
39. Better Man - Little Big Town (46)
40. Button Pusha - Ralphi Rosario & Aneeta Beat (40)
41. Good Grief - Bastille (37)
42. I Feel It Coming - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (52)
43. Setting The World On Fire - Kenny Chesney f/Pink (35)
44. Sober Saturday Night - Chris Young f/Vince Gill (54)
45. If The Boot Fits - Granger Smith (45)
46. Love On The Brain - Rihanna (51)
47. Mercy - Shawn Mendes (55)
48. Go Robot - Red Hot Chili Peppers (48)
49. Hell In Paradise 2016 - Yoko Ono (59)
50. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (50)
51. Love On The Weekend - John Mayer (56)
52. Kill A Word - Eric Church f/Rhiannon Giddens (53)
53. Sleep Without You - Brett Young (43)
54. I Hate U, I Love U - gnash f/Olivia O'Brien (49)
55. You're Not There - Lukas Graham (57)
56. Trouble - Offaiah (61)
57. Middle Of A Memory - Cole Swindell (47)
58. Million Reasons - Lady Gaga (58)
59. 1990X - Maxwell (63)
60. Body Moves - DNCE (74)
61. This Town - Niall Horan (66)
62. Move Your Body - Sia (84)
63. Play That Song - Train (67)
64. Blood In The Cut - k. flay (70)
65. Rhythm & Blues - The Head and the Heart (69)
66. Shine - Mondo Cozmo (71)
67. Square Hammer - Ghost (72)
68. May We All - Florida Georgia Line f/Tim McGraw (68)
69. Nothing To Lose - Vassy (89)
70. Shout Out To My Ex - Little Mix (60)
71. Today - Brad Paisley (76)
72. Cheap Thrills - Sia f/Sean Paul (62)
73. In A Drawer - Band of Horses (73)
74. I Don't Wanna Live Forever - Zayn & Taylor Swift (78)
75. Alarm - Anne-Marie (75)
76. When You Love Someone - James TW (80)
77. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (81)
78. Lost On You - LP (79)
79. Recovery - Kristii (83)
80. Icarus - R3Hab (65)
81. Think A Little Less - Michael Ray (85)
82. Hurts - Emeli Sande (82)
83. Distortion - Jessica Sutta (95)
84. Enough Is Enough 2017 - Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand (DEBUT)
85. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (90)
86. Ophelia - The Lumineers (86)
87. The Urge In Me - Joe Gauthreaux f/Inaya Day (DEBUT)
88. Atlas, Rise! - Metallica (88)
89. Talk Too Much - COIN (93)
90. Chore - Mark Forster (91)
91. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (DEBUT)
92. In My Head - Party Favor f/Georgia Ku (92)
93. Long Song Away - Kevin Ross (98)
94. Cleopatra - The Lumineers (RE-ENTRY)
95. Anywhere - Dillon Francis f/Will Heard (97)
96. Do You Still Love Me? - Ryan Adams (DEBUT)
97. I Would Like - Zara Larsson (99)
98. Touch - Little Mix (100)
99. By Your Side - Jonas Blue f/RAYE (DEBUT)
100. Get Together - Christine Saadé & Twisted Dee (DEBUT)

There are six songs making their debut on the 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 1/27/17 - Feeling unknown and you’re all alone, flesh and bone by the telephone, lift up the receiver I'll make you a believer...

"Personal Jesus" - Depeche Mode
from the album Violator (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #28 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6

Today's song of the day comes from the British new wave group Depeche Mode, who were insanely popular in their home country and throughout Europe through the 80s, but aside from their top-20 pop hit "People Are People" in the summer of 1985, they were mostly avoided by mainstream American radio. However their popularity with the youth was growing exponentially, as proven by their sell-out show in the Rose Bowl in L.A. At the time, their Music For The Masses album produced a moderate hit with "Strangelove", which entered the Hot 100 twice. Embraced by the growing power of college/modern rock radio and the goth culture in America, they were poised for more success with their first album of the new decade, Violator. The first single, though, was a striking opening salvo; "Personal Jesus", written by the group's Martin Gore and produced with Flood (Erasure, New Order, U2), for the first time the electric guitar was put front and center, as the vaguely western blues pastiche was fitted onto an ominous bass-synth core, but that guitar and Dave Gahan's growling romantic come-ons are what made this record. The gamble paid off, as the single returned them to American airwaves in a big way, though I admit as a longtime fan at that time, the change in sonics for this single was quite jarring, to say the least...


"Personal Jesus" became Depeche Mode's second American top-40 pop hit in March of 1990. The single was a big hit on Modern Rock/Alternative stations, spending three weeks at #3 on Billboard's Alternative radio chart. The 12" single, which included the "B-Side" "Dangerous", climbed to 12 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the record reached the top-10 in Italy (#3), Germany (#5), Spain (#5), Switzerland (#5), Poland (#5), Ireland (#7), and Finland (#9). It also got to #27 in France, and #13 in their native Britain.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Aussie Sweep: January 26, 2017...


Let's head Down Under to check out the singles and albums from local artists making the charts in Australia this week...

On the Australian Artists Singles chart, newcomer Starley takes her international hit "Call On Me" to #1...

Electrodance duo Slumberjack, from the western city of Perth, land at #17 with "Fracture", featuring vocals from Vera Blue...


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Songoftheday 1/26/17 - One look in your eyes and there I see just what you mean to me...


"Here and Now" - Luther Vandross
from the album The Best Of Luther Vandross...The Best Of Love (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from soul singer Luther Vandross, who had enjoyed a moderately successful career throughout the 80's after leaving the disco group Change. He had racked up five top-40 pop hits (as well as 17 top-40's on the R&B list). Most of those fell into the uptempo adult-soul (like his bubbly "She Won't Talk To Me" from the spring of 1989) and post-disco genres. In 1989 he released a double-CD/LP greatest hits compilation, The Best Of Luther Vandross...The Best Of Love. The set contained two new tracks; the first, "Here And Now", was a sweet wedding-ready love ballad written by David Elliott and Terry Steele, and produced by Luther with long-time helmsman Marcus Miller. Mainstream radio took to this song right away, fitting it in as their requisite "slow song", and since it came at a time when Luther was in a rare (but closeted) relationship, he poured his heart into it..


"Here And Now" became Luther's first top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in April of 1990. The song also spent two weeks atop Billboard's R&B chart, while is climbed to #3 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening" radio list. Internationally the single was a minor hit in Canada (#54) and the UK (#43). He would go on to win his first Grammy Award for the song in 1991 for Best R&B Male Vocal (the track was also nominated for Best R&B song, criminally losing to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This").

The second new song on the compilation, the mid-tempo Billy Ocean-ish "Treat You Right", missed the pop chart entirely though it was a big R&B hit, peaking at #5 (it also slipped on to the British charts at #92).

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

German Sweep: January 25, 2017...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as Englishman Ed Sheeran remains on top for a second week....

1. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. "Rockabye" - Clean Bandit featuring Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (3)
3. "Castle On The Hill" - Ed Sheeran (2)
4. "Alone" - Alan Walker (4)
5. "Chöre" - Mark Forster (5)
6. "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" - Zayn & Taylor Swift (9)
7. "Shed A Light" - Robin Schulz & David Guetta featuring Cheat Codes (7)
8. "Never Give Up" - Sia (DEBUT)
9. "Call On Me" - Starley (DEBUT)
10. "Starboy" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (8)

Australian pop singer/songwriter Sia enters the top ten at #8 with her contribution to the film Lion starring Nicole Kidman, "Never Give Up". It's her lucky seventh top ten hit in this country...


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Songoftheday 1/25/17 - It's a human sign when things go wrong, when the scent of her lingers and temptation's strong...

"Sacrifice" - Elton John
from the album Sleeping With The Past (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #18 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day is by Elton John, whose album Sleeping With The Past had already earned him a top-20 pop hit in the U.S. with "Healing Hands" in the fall of 1989. The second single from the set was for many (including me) his best of the latter half of the decade. "Sacrifice", written by Elton with his longtime lyrical collaborator Bernie Taupin, flourished about the state of a broken relationship where some seek solace in infidelity. As opposed to the usual angry or heartbroken takes on the subject, Elton is rather resigned about it, more observational than judgy...


"Sacrifice" became the second top-20 American pop hit from Sleeping With The Past in March of 1990. The song was a huge hit on Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio, spending four weeks at #3 on the chart in Billboard magazine. Internationally, the single went to #1 for three weeks in France, peaked at #2 in Ireland, Belgium, and Norway, #3 in the Netherlands, and got to #7 in both Australia and New Zealand. In Elton's native Britain, the song originally was only a minor hit at #55, but after a BBC DJ featured the song regularly, it was re-released with "Healing Hands" as a 2-fer single and became Elton's first solo #1 hit, where it stayed for five weeks.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

French Sweep: January 24, 2017...






Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Ed Sheeran spends a second week at #1 with "Shape Of You"...

1. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. "Je M'en Vais" - Vianney (2)
3. "I Feel It Coming" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (5)
4. "Rockabye" - Clean Bandit featuring Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (4)
5. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (6)
6. "Tuesday" - Barak Yeter featuring Danelle Sandoval (7)
7. "Lost On You" - LP (8)
8. "Bazardée" - Keblack (DEBUT)
9. "Mula" - Siboy featuring Booba (DEBUT)
10. "Nervous" - Gavin James (DEBUT)

A single I featured a couple weeks back, "Bezardee'" by rapper/singer Keblack, leaps into the top ten at #8 from #24...


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Songoftheday 1/24/17 - Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date, but a year to make love she wanted you to wait...

"Just A Friend" - Biz Markie
from the album The Biz Never Sleeps (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from comic rapper Biz Markie, who was born in New Jersey but moved to Long Island as a child. He released his debut album in 1988, and from it had two minor but seminal R&B hits with "Make The Music With Your Mouth" (#84) and "Vapors" (#80). But it was the sample-heavy sophomore effort, The Biz Never Sleeps, that gave him his biggest success. "Just A Friend", a story-joke track about catching a love interest with someone supposedly "friendzoned", sampled the hook from a moderate soul hit from Freddie Scott in 1968, "(You) Got What I Need". And the video, having Biz dress up like Mozart, was one of the most memorable rap clips of the turn of the decade...


"Just A Friend" became Biz's sole pop hit, reaching the top ten in March of 1990. The single also climbed to #37 on Billboard's R&B chart, while it peaked at #5 on their rap singles list. The record was a minor hit in Canada (#66) and the UK (#55).

In 1991, Biz released his follow-up album, I Need A Haircut, but after a successful lawsuit for his samples caused the pulling of the record, with only single "What Comes Around Goes Around" reaching #84 on the R&B chart, his career after stalled. He continued to make appearances on other artist's singles, reaching the chart in 1995 on Funkmaster Flex's "Nuttin' But Flavor" (R&B #85), the Rolling Stones' "Anybody Seen My Baby" (#3 rock),  and again in 1999 on Caron Wheeler's "Star" (R&B #82), but he never was able to recover from the "One-Hit Wonder" syndrome. In 2003, he appeared on the British charts for a couple of weeks with "Let Me See You Bounce" with reggae artist Elephant Man.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Brit Sweep: January 23, 2017...


It's time to head across the Atlantic to check out the singles and albums reaching the charts in the UK this week...

On the official singles chart in Britain, Ed Sheeran's one-two punch with "Shape Of You" and "Castle On The Hill" remains intact for a second week...

The Chainsmokers return at #10 with their brand-new single "Paris". The American duo recruit singer/songwriter Emily Warren (uncredited though). She wrote their single "Don't Let Me Down", the first of their three British top ten hits (including this one)...


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Robbed hit of the week 1/23/17 - Yvonne's "There's A Party Going On"...


"There's A Party Going On" - Yvonne
from the cassingle release (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #88

This week's "robbed hit" comes from dance music singer Yvonne (DeLeon), who wasn't one of the big artists of the Latin freestyle music movement, but had one of the more enjoyable and regionally successful singles with "There's A Party Going On". Written by Elis Pacheco, who produced the song with popular DJ Glen Friscia and Joe Lodi, the mixture of that genre's drama with house music's churning bassline made the club track a classic in the New York area...


"There's A Party Going On" only made it to the bottom region of the pop chart in the U.S. in February of 1990, but it stuck around the charts for over two months. It would be her only success nationally, though in the New York area she got airplay with her follow-up single  "I Can't Face The Fact".

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Songoftheday 1/23/17 - Saying goodbye is never an easy thing, but you never said that you'd stay forever...

"Love Will Lead You Back" - Taylor Dayne
from the album Can't Fight Fate (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from dance-pop singer Taylor Dayne, whose sophomore effort Can't Fight Fate had landed her a fifth consecutive top-ten pop hit on "With Every Beat Of My Heart" in the winter of 1989. The second single from the record would be her grandest ballad, "Love Will Lead You Back". Written by one of the biggest songwriters of the decade, Diane Warren, it drew on the "if you love something, set it free" credo, while the production put her directly away from the clubs into Michael Bolton soft-pop territory...


"Love Will Lead You Back" became Taylor's sole #1 pop hit in April of 1990. The single also spent a week atop Billboard magazine's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the song went to #2 in Canada, made the top-40 in Australia (#11) and New Zealand (#28). It was only a minor hit in the UK at #69.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Songoftheday 1/22/17 - Mississippi in the middle of a dry spell, Jimmy Rodgers on the Victrola up high...

"Black Velvet" - Alannah Myles
from the album Alannah Myles (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day comes from Canadian rock artist Alannah Myles, who changed her surname from Byles (her dad's a radio biggie in the country) before embarking on a music career, recording demos and commercials before releasing her debut album in 1989. While in her native country the single "Love Is" was released first, in the States her homage to the "King", "Black Velvet", written by producer David Tyson and boyfriend Christopher Ward, had the aura of Elvis infused into a love interest Alannah sings about with a strut that gives us blues with a bit more sensuality, and it was a sign of what was to come in the next decade when a song eschewing the new wave synths and freestyle groove was going to the top of the charts.


"Black Velvet" became Alannah's first hit in America and sole #1 pop single in March of 1990. The song spent two weeks atop Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, while also crossing over to #7 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list. Internationally, the record went to #1 in Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland, got to #2 in the UK, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, and Belgium, and top ten in Australia (#3), the Netherlands (#3), Ireland (#4), and her native Canada (#10). The following year, "Black Velvet" won Myles a Grammy award for Best Rock Vocal as well as a Juno Award in Canada for "Single of the Year".

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Songoftheday 1/21/17 - So, she says it's time she goes, but wanted to be sure I know she hopes we can be friends...

"No Myth" - Michael Penn
from the album March (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from singer/songwriter Michael Penn, who is the older brother of actor Sean Penn (and the late Chris Penn). He did a little acting work himself, but his biggest success came on the release of his debut album March in 1989. The first single from the record, "No Myth", was a catchy piece of jangle-pop that used a baroque electronic keyboard called a Chamberlin. The lyrics remind me of a slowed down Difford & Tilbrook Squeeze track...


"No Myth" became Michael's sole top-40 pop hit in March of 1990. The song climbed to #4 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, while it also made it to #5 on their Mainstream Rock list. It crossed over to the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") chart at #22. His second single from March, "This & That", was a respectable hit on both the Modern (#10) and Mainstream (#16) rock radio charts, but stopped short on the pop Hot 100 at #53 and the Adult Contemporary list at #39. A third release from the set, "Brave New World", reached #20 on the Modern Rock and #26 on the Mainstream Rock tallies. In 1992, Penn put out his sophomore effort, Free-For-All, and while nothing from it got to the pop charts, "Seen The Doctor" went to #5 on the Modern Rock chart (and #33 Mainstream) and "Long Way Down (Look What The Cat Drug In)" peaked at #14 on the Modern Rock list. He hasn't graced the charts since then, but he still records and performs, and in 1997 married former Til Tuesday's Aimee Mann, who are still together.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for January 20, 2017...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Brotherly rockers Kings Of Leon climb to #1, while Adele (pictured above) leaps into the top ten. A former big hit from Pet Shop Boys drops out, while songs from Green Day, DNCE, and Dustin Lynch make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). May we protect each other in these times of trouble...

This Week                Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Waste A Moment - Kings Of Leon (2)
2. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (5)
3. 24K Magic - Bruno Mars (1)
4. Water Under The Bridge - Adele (6)
5. Starboy - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (3)
6. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 f/Kendrick Lamar (4)
7. The Greatest - Sia f/Kendrick Lamar (11)
8. Rockabye - Clean Bandit f/Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (18)
9. Dirty Laundry - Carrie Underwood (13)
10. Love Me Now - John Legend (14)
11. I Can't Stop Thinking About You - Sting (7)
12. Wanna Be That Song - Brett Eldredge (8)
13. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (9)
14. Side To Side - Ariana Grande f/Nicki Minaj (16)
15. Star Of The Show - Thomas Rhett (19)
16. Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara (20)
17. Song For Another Time - Old Dominion (10)
18. Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes (12)
19. Thick Of It - Mary J. Blige (15)
20. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (25)
21. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (17)
22. So I Can Have You Back - Joe (26)
23. She's Out Of Her Mind - blink-182 (28)
24. How I'll Always Be - Tim McGraw (24)
25. Closer - The Chainsmokers f/Halsey (21)
26. Fresh Eyes - Andy Grammer (22)
27. Blue Ain't Your Color - Keith Urban (27)
28. HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums (23)
29. Let Me Love You - DJ Snake f/Justin Bieber (29)
30. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (32)
31. Starving - Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f/Zedd (41)
32. 80s Mercedes - Maren Morris (36)
33. Still Breathing - Green Day (53)
34. My Name Is Human - Highly Suspect (38)
35. Setting The World On Fire - Kenny Chesney f/Pink (35)
36. Older - Lodato & Joseph Duveen (40)
37. Good Grief - Bastille (37)
38. Blow Your Mind (MWAH) - Dua Lipa (46)
39. Seein' Red - Dustin Lynch (51)
40. Button Pusha - Ralphi Rosario & Aneeta Beat (44)
41. All We Ever Knew - The Head and the Heart (31)
42. Say Yes - Tony Moran f/Jason Walker (30)
43. Sleep Without You - Brett Young (33)
44. A Guy With A Girl - Blake Shelton (48)
45. If The Boot Fits - Granger Smith (49)
46. Better Man - Little Big Town (54)
47. Middle Of A Memory - Cole Swindell (39)
48. Go Robot - Red Hot Chili Peppers (52)
49. I Hate U, I Love U - gnash f/Olivia O'Brien (43)
50. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (50)
51. Love On The Brain - Rihanna (56)
52. I Feel It Coming - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (62)
53. Kill A Word - Eric Church f/Rhiannon Giddens (57)
54. Sober Saturday Night - Chris Young f/Vince Gill (58)
55. Mercy - Shawn Mendes (59)
56. Love On The Weekend - John Mayer (60)
57. You're Not There - Lukas Graham (61)
58. Million Reasons - Lady Gaga (63)
59. Hell In Paradise - Yoko Ono (69)
60. Shout Out To My Ex - Little Mix (45)
61. Trouble - Offaiah (71)
62. Cheap Thrills - Sia f/Sean Paul (55)
63. 1990X - Maxwell (67)
64. Permission - Ro James (64)
65. Icarus - R3Hab (65)
66. This Town - Niall Horan (70)
67. Play That Song - Train (68)
68. May We All - Florida Georgia Line f/Tim McGraw (66)
69. Rhythm & Blues - The Head and the Heart (73)
70. Blood In The Cut - k. flay (74)
71. Shine - Mondo Cozmo (75)
72. Square Hammer - Ghost (72)
73. In A Drawer - Band Of Horses (83)
74. Body Moves - DNCE (88)
75. Alarm - Anne-Marie (76)
76. Today - Brad Paisley (78)
77. High and Low - Empire of the Sun (47)
78. I Don't Wanna Live Forever - Zayn & Taylor Swift (82)
79. Lost On You - LP (81)
80. When You Love Someone - James TW (80)
81. Wish I Knew You - The Revivalists (85)
82. Hurts - Emeli Sande (RE-ENTRY)
83. Recovery - Kristii (87)
84. Move Your Body - Sia (DEBUT)
85. Think A Little Less - Michael Ray (89)
86. Ophelia - The Lumineers (84)
87. Black Beatles - Rae Sremmurd (91)
88. Atlas, Rise! - Metallica (92)
89. Nothing To Lose - Vassy (RE-ENTRY)
90. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (90)
91. Chore - Mark Forster (95)
92. In My Head - Party Favor f/Georgia Ku (96)
93. Talk Too Much - COIN (DEBUT)
94. Packed Powder - Blind Pilot (94)
95. Distortion - Jessica Sutta (DEBUT)
96. A Little More Summertime - Jason Aldean (86)
97. Anywhere - Dillon Francis f/Will Heard (97)
98. Long Song Away - Kevin Ross (DEBUT)
99. I Would Like - Zara Larsson (DEBUT)
100. Touch - Little Mix (100)

There are five songs making their debut on the 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 1/20/17 - Mercy don't think she's pretty no more, starin' at the stars through a backscreen door...

"Sometimes She Cries" - Warrant
from the album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich (1989)

Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the glam metal band Warrant, whose debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich has spun off a top-40 pop hit with "Down Boys", followed by the power-ballad "Heaven" which peaked at #2 on the American Hot 100 singles chart. A third single, the uptempo "Big Talk", went to #30 on the rock radio chart and was a minor pop hit at #93. They slowed things down again for the fourth release, "Sometimes She Cries". Written by lead singer Jani Lane, the by-the-book power-ballad touched all the bases in the "girl getting done wrong" narrative, somehow naming the girl "Mercy"...


"Sometimes She Cries" became the third top-40 pop hit from DRFSR in March of 1990. The single also climbed to #11 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Up north, the track made it to #27 on the Canadian singles list.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Aussie Sweep: January 19, 2017...

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

On the Australian Artists' Singles chart, dance act Peking Duk hold tight at #1 with "Stranger"...

International pop superstar Sia returns at #7 with "Move Your Body"...


Meanwhile, on the local artists' Albums Chart, Keith Urban remains on top with Ripcord...

Another country singer, Ashleigh Dallas, lands at #15 with Lighthouse...


Songoftheday 1/19/17 - What I had to flaunt has come back to haunt, like a restless wind...

"Too Late To Say Goodbye" - Richard Marx
from the album Repeat Offender (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day is by pop singer/songwriter Richard Marx, whose second album Repeat Offender was living up to its name so far, spinning off three big hits with "Angelia" and a pair of #1's in "Satisfied" and "Right Here Waiting". The fourth single from the album would be probably his most straightforward "rock" single, "Too Late To Say Goodbye". Written by Marx with Fee Waybill from the new wave group The Tubes (which may explain the frantic pace of the tune), the song didn't really set any new ground in pop music in general, but for him it was a stretch...


"Too Late To Say Goodbye" became Richard's first pop radio single to miss the top ten on the U.S. Hot 100, though only by two spots, in March of 1990. (Another track from the album, "Nothing You Can Do About It", went to #12 on the rock radio chart the previous July, but was never released as a true single.) The single also climbed to #17 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, and slipped on to their adult contemporary list at #47. Internationally, the song reached #18 in Ireland, and #38 in the UK (actually better than "Satisfied" did).

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

German Sweep: January 18, 2017...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as British ex-busker Ed Sheeran takes over the top two spots...

1. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (DEBUT)
2. "Castle On The Hill" - Ed Sheeran (DEBUT)
3. "Rockabye" - Clean Bandit featuring Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (1)
4. "Alone" - Alan Walker (4)
5. "Chöre" - Mark Forster (2)
6. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (3)
7. "Shed A Light" - Robin Schulz & David Guetta featuring Cheat Codes (6)
8. "Starboy" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (5)
9. "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" - Zayn & Taylor Swift (DEBUT)
10. "Bad Ideas" - Alle Farben (7)

As in France, Sheeran lands his first #1 single in this country with "Shape Of You", one of two songs from his forthcoming album ÷ that jumps on to the chart...


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Songoftheday 1/18/17 - Calls her man the great white hope, says she's fine she'll always cope...

"Woman In Chains" - Tears For Fears
from the album The Seeds Of Love (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #36 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's song of the day comes from the English new wave act Tears For Fears, whose lush lead single from their third album, "Sowing The Seeds Of Love", returned them to the top-5 on the American pop chart in the fall of 1989.  The second single featured a jazz-soul artist that was recording and performing with them at the time, Oleta Adams. She imparts a special emotion to "Woman In Chains", written by TFF's Roland Orzabal who trades verses with her, and transforms a simple meditation on the need for female empowerment into an almost religious experience by the end of the record. Phil Collins was also hired on the play the drums on the song, but it's the fluid bass and the repeating flute-ish sounds that dominate the background jungle-like rumbling of the track...


"Woman In Chains" became the band's sixth top-40 pop hit in the U.S. (and so-far last to feature Curt Smith) in February of 1990. The single also climbed to #27 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, while peaking at #37 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list. Internationally, the single reached the top-40 in Canada (#11), the Netherlands (#16), France (#20), Ireland (#21), Italy (#23), New Zealand (#34), Australia (#36), and their native Britain (#26). 

Their next single from the set, "Advice For The Young At Heart" (with Smith on lead), stalled down at #89 on the American pop chart, but did go to #24 on the Adult Contemporary list. The somber "Famous Last Words" came in as the fourth single, and was a minor hit in the UK at #83.

Adams would gain massive love from this single rightfully, and in soon time would score her own solo success with "Get Here" in the next year.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

French Sweep: January 17, 2017...






Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as British pop singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran scores his first #1 hit...

1. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (DEBUT)
2. "Je M'en Vais" - Vianney (5)
3. "Castle On The Hill" - Ed Sheeran (DEBUT)
4. "Rockabye" - Clean Bandit featuring Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (4)
5. "I Feel It Coming" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (1)
6. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (2)
7. "Tuesday" - Burak Yeter featuring Danelle Sandoval (7)
8. "Lost On You" - LP (3)
9. "24K Magic" - Bruno Mars (6)
10. "Pour Mieux S'Aimer" - Patrick Fiori (DEBUT)

Sheeran tops the list for the first time in this country with "Shape of You" from his upcoming ÷ album. He has said he originally wrote it for Rihanna, but ended up keeping the track for himself...


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Songoftheday 1/17/17 - So many times I've been around you I don't know how much I like you, It's like a dream each time I see you and there's this magic in the air...

"C'mon & Get My Love" - D-Mob f/Cathy Dennis
from the albums A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That (D-Mob, 1989), Move To This (Cathy Dennis, 1990), and She-Devil (Original Soundtrack) (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from British DJ/producer Dennis Poku, who as "Dancin' Danny D" records under the moniker D-Mob. In 1988, he released his debut single "We Call It Acieeed" with Gary Haisman, which introduced that style of house music made popular in Britain. The record went to #3 in the UK and ended up crossing the shores to top the American dance chart by the spring of 1989. A second release, "It's Time To Get Funky" (featuring LRS), also made the top-10 in the UK (#9) and #1 on the US Dance chart. But it was the third release that exposed Dennis to a broader audience. "C'mon and Get My Love", written by Poku, was more of a straightforward pop hit with vocals from newcomer Cathy Dennis instead of the previous two rap-dominated singles (though he did provide his own verses in the bridge of the song). The single also got a spot in the Meryl Streep/Rosanne Barr laughfest movie She-Devil...


"C'mon and Get My Love" became D-Mob's first and only top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in March of 1990. The single also climbed to #1 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart, and crossed over to #69 on their R&B list. Internationally, the record reached the top-40 in the UK (#15), Ireland (#16), New Zealand (#22), and Australia (#35). A second single featuring Dennis, "That's The Way Of The World", scored Poku a fourth consecutive #1 Dance hit from his A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit of That album, while becoming minor pop hits in the UK (#48) and the US (#59).

Dennis would go on to release her own solo debut album Move To This, partly produced by Poku. They would reunite on record again for the single "Why" from her second album Into The Skyline, which was a top-40 hit in Britain (#23) in 1994.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Robbed Hit of the week 1/16/17 - Peter Murphy's "Cuts You Up"...


"Cuts You Up" - Peter Murphy
from the album Deep (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #55

This week's "robbed hit" comes from alternative rock artist Peter Murphy, who sang lead for the legendary goth band Bauhaus from 1978 to 1983. After departing for a solo career, he released his debut album Should The World Fail To Fall Apart in 1986. From that record a cover of Pere Ubu's "Final Solution" slipped on to the British singles chart at #92. Two years later, with his Love Hysteria album, his sound had softened a little to include more "janglepop", and the resulting "All Night Long" and "Indigo Eyes" were minor British hits.

In 1989, while his former bandmates, now rechristened as Love and Rockets, reached the top-3 on the American pop chart with "So Alive", Murphy released his third solo disc Deep. The lead rock radio track "The Line Between The Devil's Teeth (and That Which Cannot Be Repeated)", climbed to #18 on the American Modern Rock chart, his first success in the States' airwaves. The follow-up, "Cuts You Up", was much more sedate, and the mid-tempo alternative nugget with flashes of the goth he's known for, was a much better "fit" for radio, which made it a huge success on the newly-emerging "Modern Rock" format...


While "Cuts You Up" went all the way to #1 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart for seven weeks (ironically breaking the record at the time by...Love and Rocket's "So Alive"), the single stopped just under the halfway mark on the Pop Hot 100 in May of 1990. The track also crossed over to the Mainstream Rock list at #10. A third single from Deep, "A Strange Kind Of Love", peaked at #21 on the Modern Rock chart.

In 1992, Murphy put out his next record Holy Smoke. The lead single "The Sweetest Drop" spent a week at #2 on the Modern Rock chart, while "You're So Close" made it to #18. He has since released a handful of solo albums, the most recent in 2014 with Lion which did reach the American albums sales chart (#173). He also reunited for a while with his Bauhaus bandmates to tour in the 2000s.

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