Monday, March 27, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 3/27/17 - Gloria Estefan's "Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)"...

"Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)" - Gloria Estefan
from the album Cuts Both Ways (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #48

This week's "robbed hit" comes from Cuban-American pop star Gloria Estefan, whose first album with solo billing, Cuts Both Ways, had rewarded her with a #1 pop hit with "Don't Wanna Lose You", along with hit follow-ups "Get On Your Feet" and "Here We Are". The fourth single from the record brought her back to her pre-pop fame, with the "Spanglish" (part Spanish and part English) single "Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)". Written by Gloria with nominal "Miami Sound Machine" members Clay Ostwald and Jorge Casas, the single dared to stray from the middle-of-the-road path she was taking, and she did have musical "capital" to spend at the time. And the combination of Latin rhythm and house music bass and groove notes add to the freshness of the final track...


While "Oye Mi Canto" reached #31 on the Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and made it to #10 on Billboard's Latin Songs list, it stalled not far from the pop top 40 at #48 in May of 1990. Internationally, the record did better, climbing to #16 in the UK, as well as making the top ten in Ireland (#7), The Netherlands (#8), and Belgium (#10).

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Songoftheday 3/27/17 - Everyday love me your own special way, melt all my heart away with a smile...

"Always And Forever" - Whistle
from the album Always and Forever (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #35
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day comes from the group Whistle, who started out as a rap act from Brooklyn in the mid-1980's. Releasing their self-titled debut album in 1986, their first single "Nothing Serious (Just Buggin')", was a moderately successful R&B hit in the U.S. at #17 and on the dance list at #18, but despite the fact that it missed the pop chart altogether, the single became big overseas, landing at #7 on the British singles chart. Another song from the set, the freestyle/hip-hop mesh of "Barbara's Bedroom", also made the R&B top-40 at #31. Changing out a couple members to go from a trio to a foursome, they re-emerged as a predominantly singing group on their second effort Transformation, which landed three songs on the R&B chart with the third, the break-up ballad "Right Next To Me", becoming their first to reach the pop chart at #60. So to gain on the momentum from that success, Whistle's third album started out not only with another lead single ballad, but a cover of one of the most known love songs in the "quiet storm" canon. "Always And Forever", written by the late great Rod Temperton, leader of the disco band Heatwave, originally went to #2 on the R&B chart and #18 on the American pop Hot 100 in 1978, and has become a wedding/prom staple since...


Whistle goes it the neo-doowop treatment to this like New Edition did to 60s songs on their Under The Blue Moon set...


Their version of "Always And Forever" became their sole top-40 pop hit in June of 1990. The single was their biggest soul radio hit, reaching #9 on the R&B chart in Billboard. They followed with an uptempo record, "Bad Habit", which climbed to #40 R&B while the remixes nabbed them a second club hit at #13. A third single, "Do You Care", featuring jazz-soul saxophonist Najee, was also a minor soul hit at #69. In 1992, the group released their fourth and final album, Get The Love, with two minor R&B hits, the latest being "I Am" at #92. They split not long after that.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Songoftheday 3/26/17 - I've been walking in the rain just to get wet on purpose, I've been forcing myself not to forget just to feel worse...

"Getting Away With It" - Electronic
from the album Electronic (1991)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #38 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's song of the day comes from Electronic, a new-wave "supergroup" led by New Order lead singer Bernard Sumner and the guitarist from the Smiths, Johnny Marr. With the Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant also on board, as well as ABC drummer David Palmer, the band recorded a one-off single, "Getting Away With It". Written and produced by Sumner, Marr, and Tennant, and with the Art of Noise's Anne Dudley arranging the lush string section behind the dance track, this was probably the first all-star collaboration I remembered being really excited about on its initial release...


"Getting Away With It" became the collective's sole pop hit in the U.S., reaching the top-40 in May of 1990. The single also climbed to #4 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, while the 12" remixes went to #7 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, in the members' native Britain, the single climbed to #12, while reaching the top-40 in New Zealand (#32), Canada (#33), and Australia (#40).

They followed up with a proper album the following year, and although the next single "Get The Message" missed the American pop chart, it spent two weeks at #1 on the Modern Rock list (not surprising with its more organic production), and a second dance top tenner at #8. It also was their first UK top ten at #8, and first top-40 hit in Germany at #37. That was followed in the States by "Tighten Up", which peaked at #6 on the Modern Rock chart, and then "Feel Every Beat", which made the top-40 on the American modern rock (#27) and dance (#28) charts and #39 in the UK.

In 1992 the trio contributed a track to the animated movie Cool World, and the result, "Disappointed", became their biggest British hit at #6, and returned them to the top ten in the American modern rock (#9) and dance (#10) charts. It was also my favorite of their career together. After that, the three went to work on projects from New Order, The The, and Pet Shop Boys, and in 1996 Sumner and Marr reunited for a second album, Raise The Pressure. Although the album made the U.S. charts, radio didn't bite, though in Britain they landed three more top-40 hits, with "Forbidden City" going the highest at #14. A third set, Twisted Tenderness, arrived in 1999, with their most recent British top-40 single in "Vivid" (#17).

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Brit Sweep: March 25, 2017...

I'm ready to cross the Atlantic yet again to check out the notable songs and albums reaching the official charts in the UK this week...

On their singles chart, Ed Sheeran is unstoppable as he holds at #1, #2, and #3 with "Shape Of You", "Galway Girl", and "Castle On The Hill". It's the former's 11th week at the top...

Drake's new "playlist" album, More Life, did major bank, with twenty-one tracks debuting on the top 100, and two entering the top-10, "Passionfruit" (#4) and "KMT" (#9), but unlike Sheeran, none of them are on YouTube (which explains also why his are doing much better). The radio single "Fake Love" rebounds to #43 after peaking at #10...

Neo-house act Clean Bandit follow up their #1 hit "Rockabye" with the song at #6, "Symphony". It featured Swedish singer Zara Larsson and a powerful music video...


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Songoftheday 3/25/17 - When there's clouds hangin' in the sky and they're just not lettin' any light in, and you feel like you'd like to give in don't you give up so soon...

"I'll Be Your Shelter" - Taylor Dayne
from the album Can't Fight Fate (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from dance-pop singer Taylor Dayne, whose sophomore effort Can't Fight Fate had given her a #1 pop hit with the ballad "Love Will Lead You Back", along with a top-5 club jam in "With Every Beat Of My Heart". The third single from the record would be a mid-tempo song with a rock-ish edge, "I'll Be Your Shelter". Written by song doctor supreme Diane Warren, who also penned "Love Will Lead You Back", this release showed a different side to her beside a club diva or balladeer...


"I'll Be Your Shelter" became Taylor's seventh consecutive top-10 pop hit in July of 1990. The single also climbed to #15 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the song topped the singles chart in Canada for a week in August, while peaking at #4 in Australia. In the UK, the record just missed the top-40 at #43.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for March 24, 2017...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Rag N' Bone Man hangs tight for a ninth week on top, while Katy Perry (pictured above) bounds into the top 10. Songs from Imagine Dragons, Cold War Kids, and Kelsea Ballerini make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places are highlighted in red), while former big hits from John Legend, Sia, Joe, and Lukas Graham drop off my list. OK, spring, melt this snow already...

This Week          Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (1)
2. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (2)
3. I Feel It Coming - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (5)
4. Rockabye - Clean Bandit f/Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (3)
5. Still Breathing - Green Day (6)
6. Chained To The Rhythm - Katy Perry f/Skip Marley (12)
7. Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara (7)
8. Water Under The Bridge - Adele (8)
9. Better Man - Little Big Town (4)
10. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (11)
11. Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran (10)
12. Sober Saturday Night - Chris Young f/Vince Gill (14)
13. Love On The Brain - Rihanna (15)
14. Cleopatra - The Lumineers (18)
15. Waste A Moment - Kings Of Leon (13)
16. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars (26)
17. Mercy - Shawn Mendes (17)
18. Show Me Love - Brian Justin Crum f/Toy Armada & DJ Grind (24)
19. Fast - Luke Bryan (23)
20. Million Reasons - Lady Gaga (21)
21. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 f/Kendrick Lamar (16)
22. 24K Magic - Bruno Mars (22)
23. Think A Little Less - Michael Ray (27)
24. Kill A Word - Eric Church f/Rhiannon Giddens (28)
25. Star Of The Show - Thomas Rhett (20)
26. Seein' Red - Dustin Lynch (19)
27. The Greatest - Sia f/Kendrick Lamar (25)
28. Paris - The Chainsmokers (34)
29. Rhythm & Blues - The Head and the Heart (31)
30. Long Live Love - LeAnn Rimes (30)
31. Hot Thoughts - Spoon (41)
32. I Don't Wanna Live Forever - Zayn & Taylor Swift (36)
33. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (37)
34. This Town - Niall Horan (42)
35. Heavydirtysoul - twenty-one pilots (45)
36. Road Less Traveled - Lauren Alaina (48)
37. Enough Is Enough 2017 - Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand (29)
38. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (33)
39. Somebody Else - The 1975 (39)
40. A Guy With A Girl - Blake Shelton (38)
41. Believer - Imagine Dragons (69)
42. Call On Me - Starley (46)
43. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (35)
44. Love Is Mystical - Cold War Kids (64)
45. Side To Side - Ariana Grande f/Nicki Minaj (41)
46. Today - Brad Paisley (56)
47. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (51)
48. Wanna Be That Song - Brett Eldredge (44)
49. Yeah Yeah 2016 - Luciana & Dave Aude (49)
50. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (50)
51. Let's Hurt Tonight - OneRepublic (59)
52. On Hold - The xx (54)
53. Play That Song - Train (55)
54. Closer - The Chainsmokers f/Halsey (52)
55. Name For You - The Shins (57)
56. Slumber Party - Britney Spears f/Tinashe (61)
57. Dancing On My Own - Calum Scott (58)
58. Yeah Boy - Kelsea Ballerini (72)
59. The Mack - Nevada f/Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap (71)
60. In A Drawer - Band Of Horses (60)
61. How Did You Love - Shinedown (65)
62. Any Ol' Barstool - Jason Aldean (66)
63. Lost On You - LP (63)
64. Long Song Away - Kevin Ross (68)
65. Cold - Maroon 5 f/Future (75)
66. The Weekend - Brantley Gilbert (79)
67. Watch Out - Glovibes & Gary Caos (77)

68. Down - Marian Hill (82)
69. Bad Things - Machine Gun Kelly f/Camila Cabello (73)
70. Oasis - Kendra Erika (70)
71. Distortion - Jessica Sutta (53)
72. Koinz - SR (67)
73. Bar At The End Of The World - Kenny Chesney (87)
74. Hometown Girl - Josh Turner (84)
75. Fire Escape - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (85)
76. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (88)
77. You Don't Know Me - Jax Jones f/RAYE (78)
78. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (DEBUT)
79. Best Love - Yuna (89)
80. Touch - Little Mix (80)
81. All Time Low - Jon Bellion (86)
82. Let Me Love You - DJ Snake f/Justin Bieber (74)
83. Heavy - Linkin Park f/Kiiara (DEBUT)
84. Don't Want You Back - Leela James (94)
85. Lick Me Up - Tony Moran & Dani Toro f/Zhana Roiya (DEBUT)
86. Shine - Mondo Cozmo (76)
87. May We All - Florida Georgia Line f/Tim McGraw (81)
88. Issues - Julia Michaels (98)
89. Alegre - Rod Carrillo (DEBUT)
90. Just Hold On - Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson (90)
91. Baby Let's Lay Down And Dance - Garth Brooks (91)
92. Be The One - Dua Lipa (93)
93. I Got You - Bebe Rexha (97)
94. 7 - Catfish & The Bottlemen (96)
95. Gonna Be Power - Glenn Thornton f/Dawn Tallman (100)
96. Oh My God - The Pretty Reckless (DEBUT)
97. I'm Blessed - Charlie Wilson f/T.I. (DEBUT)
98. Places - Martin Solveig f/Ina Wroldsen (DEBUT)
99. Giants - Take That (DEBUT)
100. It Ain't Me - Kygo f/Selena Gomez (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 3/24/17 - Cry come to me and cry, I know it's not easy your heart is aching but so is mine...

"Cruising For Bruising" - Basia
from the album London Warsaw New York (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #29 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day comes from Polish jazz-pop singer/songwriter Basia, who had gone solo in the mid-80's from her old band Matt Bianco to find success in the U.S. with her single "Time and Time" in the fall of 1988. A year later, she released her second album, London Warsaw New York, name-checking the capital of her birth country as well as that of her adopted home at the start of her success. The first single from the record was "Cruising For Bruising", written by the singer about the falling out of her romantic relationship with Danny White, who was also her producer and former Matt Bianco bandmate. But the lush mid-tempo number classed up the tears to almost make break-ups seem downright seductive...


"Cruising For Bruising" became Basia's second and so-far most recent American top-40 pop hit in June of 1990. The single also climbed to #5 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the song went to #21 in Canada, and just missed the top-40 in France at #46, but in the UK, where she had done well with Matt Bianco, the single stalled down at #86. The second single from the album, "Baby You're Mine", went to #18 on the American adult contemporary chart (and #84 in the UK), while a third release, a remake of Aretha Franklin's "Until You Come Back To Me", came in at #33 on that former list.

Three years later, Basia put out her third solo album, The Sweetest Illusion. One of the tracks from the set, "Drunk On Love", was remixed and became a #1 Dance Club hit in the States, and was her best showing in the UK solo at #41. She slipped off the map after, going into almost a retirement status for a while, until reuniting with White and Matt Bianco for an album in 2004, then another solo album It's That Girl Again in 2009.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Aussie Sweep: March 23, 2017...

It's time to go Down Under to check out the songs and albums from local artists making their way onto the charts in Australia this week...

On the Australian Artists Singles chart, dance act Pnau remains on top with "Chameleon"...

Brisbane-based indie-pop band Sheppard return at #4 with "Keep Me Crazy". Back in 2014 they had international success with "Geronimo"...


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Songoftheday 3/23/17 - All that I know in my life I have learned on the street, no magic carpet no genie no shoes on my feet..

"Children Of The Night" - Richard Marx
from the album Repeat Offender (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day comes from pop singer/songwriter Richard Marx, whose sophomore album Repeat Offender had racked up four big hits on the American singles chart with "Too Late To Say Goodbye", "Angelia", and a pair of #1's with "Satisfied" and "Right Here Waiting". The fifth single released from the album would be dedicated to runaway and homeless children, "Children Of The Night". Proceeds from the single went toward a Los Angeles charity helping these kids, some of who sang background vocals...


"Children Of The Night" became the fifth top-20 pop hit from Repeat Offender in June of 1990. The single also climbed to #6 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the song was a minor hit in the UK (#54) and Germany (#58).

Up tomorrow: Polish singer is just asking for it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

German Sweep: March 22, 2017...


Here's the top ten hits in Germany this week, according to their official singles chart, as Ed Sheeran takes a tenth week at #1...

1. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. "It Ain't Me" - Kygo & Selena Gomez (2)
3. "Tuesday" - Burak Yeter featuring Danelle Sandoval (6)
4. "Something Just Like This" - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (4)
5. "Galway Girl" - Ed Sheeran (8)
6. "You Don't Know Me" - Jax Jones featuring RAYE (DEBUT)
7. "Castle On The Hill" - Ed Sheeran (3)
8. "Chained To The Rhythm" - Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley (7)
9. "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" - Zayn & Taylor Swift (5)
10. "Paris" - The Chainsmokers (9)

British DJ/producer Jax Jones climbs into the top ten with "You Don't Know Me" featuring singer RAYE. Jones previously was a featured artist on Duke Dumont's "I Got U", which went to #22 in this country, while RAYE just missed the top-40 at #45 as the singer on Jonas Blue's "By Your Side"...


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Songoftheday 3/22/17 - Don't waste your time fighting blind minded thoughts of dispair...

"Hold On" - En Vogue
from the album Born To Sing (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 17

The song of the day for this "humpday" comes from the vocal group En Vogue, who were put together by the production/songwriting team of Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy. Foster & McElroy, who had been original members of Club Nouveau, who had scored a #1 hit with their remake of "Lean On Me" in 1987, and even released an album of their own in 1989. But their biggest success was behind the scenes, becoming one of the biggest forces in the new jack swing genre (along with the Teddy Riley/Guy crew). Assembling the four female singers about that same time, Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones could have been strong solo singers in their own right, but put together they were miles above any of the current "girl-groups" of the time. Releasing their debut album, Born To Sing, at the start of the new decade, their slinky first single, "Hold On", was pretty understated for that time but belies a fun mid-tempo club jam that out-classed anything young kids were listening to. And it was the stunning acappella intro of the Jacksons' "Who's Lovin' You" by Terry Ellis that got everyone's ears and eyes pricked up watching MTV, before Herron took over on lead for the song itself...


"Hold On" became the group's first top-10 pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1990. The single not only spent two weeks atop Billboard's R&B chart, but ended up as their #1 song of the year on that list. The 12" remix single also went to #1 for a week on their Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the record reached the top ten in the UK (#5), New Zealand (#5), Germany (#6), and the Netherlands (#10), got to #12 in Austria, and peaked at #18 in Ireland. The Born To Sing album would be nominated for a Grammy Award for R&B Duo/Group Performance, losing out to Quincy Jones/Chaka Khan/Ray Charles' remake of "I'll Be Good To You".

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

French Sweep: March 21, 2017...

Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Ed Sheeran makes it to double digits on top...

1. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (2)
3. "I Feel It Coming" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (4)
4. "Peine & Pitie'" - Vitaa (3)
5. "Be Mine" - Ofenbach (5)
6. "Sunset Lover" - Petit Biscuit (RE-ENTRY)
7. "Way Down We Go" - Kaleo (7)
8. "Je M'en Vais" - Vianney (6)
9. "Rockabye" - Clean Bandit featuring Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (RE-ENTRY)
10. "Chained To The Rhythm" - Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley (9)

Further down the chart, rapper Niska from the Parisian suburb of Évry enters the top-40 at #35 with "B.O.C."...


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Songoftheday 3/21/17 - The crime wave is high with mugging mysterious, All police and detectives are furious...

"Turtle Power" - Partners In Kryme
from the album Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Original Soundtrack) (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day was the theme to the first incarnation of the movie adaptation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, which came out in 1990, and ended up making huge bank in the top 10 films of that year. With no major stars and an independent production, the movie ended up reaping over 200 million at the box office. For the big song from the movie, "Turtle Power", two New Yorkers, rapper Richard Usher and DJ James Alpern came together as Partners In Kryme for the single they wrote and produced themselves...


"Turtle Power" climbed all the way into the pop top 20 in June of 1990. The single also made it to #23 on Billboard's R&B chart as well. But as well as it did here (and the album also reached the top-20 on the charts in America), the novelty number was a major smash overseas, with the record spending a whole month time at #1 in the UK. It also hit the top 10 in Ireland (#4) and New Zealand (#7), and peaked in the top-20 in Germany (#12), Switzerland (#14), and Australia (#15). The pair followed up with another single, "Undercover", which slipped on to the British chart for a week at #92. They continue to record together, and probably don't deserve the one-hit-wonder status they ended up with from the "Turtle Power" success.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 3/20/17 - Robert Plant's "Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eyes On You)"...

"Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eyes On You)" - Robert Plant
from the album Manic Nirvana (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" comes from rock legend Robert Plant, who had a rather successful solo career in the 1980's following the disbandment of Led Zeppelin. He racked up four top-20 albums in the U.S. as well as four top-40 solo pop hits (along with a pair from his Honeydrippers project), including the 1988 hit "Tall Cool One". In 1990, Plant released his fifth album, Manic Nirvana, and the first single from the set, "Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eye On You)", was another loud and rollicking hard rock number written by Plant with his backing bandmates Phil Johnstone, Doug Boyle, Charlie Jones, and Chris Blackwell, and fit in with the pre-grunge rock radio sound of the beginning of the new decade...


While "Hurting Kind" climbed all the way to #1 on Billboard magazine's Mainstream Rock radio chart (his fifth and most recent), the song stopped right under the pop top-40 in April of 1990. Internationally, the song did best in Canada, climbing to #14, and made the top-40 in New Zealand at #39, while in Plant's native England the single did one notch better at #45.


Songoftheday 3/20/17 - We've been through days where nothing would go right, in your arms your holding me so tight...

"Time After Time" - Timmy T
from the album Time After Time (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's song of the day comes from Latin freestyle dance music artist Timmy T (T for Torres), who hails from Fresno, California, where he recorded and independently distributed his first single, "Time After Time". After regional success, Quality Records picked him up nationwide, and dance music stations gave Timmy his first hit single...


"Time After Time" became Timmy's first top-40 pop hit in May of 1990.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Songoftheday 3/19/17 - We never talked about it but I hear the blame was mine, I'd call you up to say I'm sorry but I wouldn't want to waste your time...

"Do You Remember?" - Phil Collins
from the album ...But Seriously (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from Phil Collins, whose fourth solo album apart from Genesis ...But Seriously had scored him a #1 pop hit single with "Another Day In Paradise" as well as a top-5 follow-up in the ballad "I Wish It Would Rain Down". The third single pulled from the record in America was yet another downtempo track, "Do You Remember?". Written by Collins who produced it with Hugh Padgham, the lyrics portray a guy whose been jilted by the love of his life, while the music video was another cinematic nostalgia concocted for MTV "special presentation" status...


In the U.S., "Do You Remember" became the third top-5 hit from ...But Seriously in June of 1990. The single spent five weeks at #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, while it slipped on to their Mainstream Rock list for a week at #49. Internationally, the song went to #1 in Canada for a week, while in Europe, where it wasn't released as a single until a concert version from his ...Seriously Live album, it reached the top-40 in the Netherlands (#20), France (#22), and Ireland (#25), and was a minor hit in the UK (#57) and Germany (#46).

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Brit Sweep: March 18, 2017...


It's time to cross the Atlantic yet again to check out the notable songs and albums reaching the charts in the UK this week...

On the official singles chart in Britain, with Ed Sheeran claiming nine of the top ten spots, and "Shape Of You" at #1 for a tenth consecutive week...

Pop vocal group Steps reunite at #37 with their new single, "Scared Of The Dark". It's the first single from their much-anticipated first full non-seasonal album since 2000's Buzz. The last time they were in the top-40 in the UK was in 2001 with "Words Are Not Enough"/"I Know Him So Well", the last in their string of 14 top-10 hits...


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Songoftheday 3/18/17 - Gone the voice that used to fill the room is all but gone, an echo of a perfect love that ended wrong...

"I'll See You In My Dreams" - Giant
from the album Last Of the Runaways (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8

Today's song of the day comes from the hard rock band Giant, who came together in the mid-80s under two brothers, Dann and David Huff, who were Christian rock artists originally in the band White Heart at the beginning of the decade. With keyboardist Alan Pasqua and bass player Mike Brignardello, the Nashville-based group released their debut album Last Of The Runaways in 1989. The first single from the album, "I'm A Believer" was I guess a pun on their religious background, since it was by far not that but a raucous womanizing glam-metal-ish number, and it climbed to #13 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart and #56 on the American pop Hot 100. They followed with "Innocent Days", which came across like a Richard Marx outtake, which missed the pop chart but did do a little better at rock radio, peaking right under the top ten at #11. And as with a lot of those hard rock/metal acts, they went to the "power ballad" on the record for the "hat trick". This time it was "I'll See You In My Dreams", written by Pasqua with songwriter Mark Spiro. The single, like the rest of the album, was produced by Terry Thomas, leader of one of my favorite power-pop bands, Charlie. And it fit in the mold of a lot of the "heartbreak" songs that bands relied on...


"I'll See You In My Dreams" became Giant's sole top-40 pop hit in June of 1990. The song also climbed to #7 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Over in Britain, the single popped on to the chart for a week at #96.

In 1992, the band released a second album, Time To Burn, in which the lead single, "Chained", only made it to the Mainstream Rock list at #16. Dann left shortly after to concentrate on writing and producing, which he was even more successful with in the country genre, aiding acts like Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, and Lonestar. Fusqua also departed at that time, with the other Huff and Brignardello reuniting with Dann for one more album in 2001, then recruiting Terry Brock and John Roth for another in 2010.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

twostepcub's music chart for March 17, 2017...


Friday's here, and it's time to run down my top 100 tunes from the previous week. Rag N' Bone Man's "Human" reigns for an eighth week, while the Weeknd (pictured above) climbs into the top-5. Former big hits from blink-182, Mary J. Blige, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, DNCE, and k. flay drop off my list, while songs from twenty-one pilots, Bruno Mars, and LP make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red). Erin Go Bragh!

This Week              Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. Human - Rag N' Bone Man (1)
2. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran (3)
3. Rockabye - Clean Bandit f/Anne-Marie & Sean Paul (2)
4. Better Man - Little Big Town (5)
5. I Feel It Coming - The Weeknd f/Daft Punk (7)
6. Still Breathing - Green Day (5)
7. Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara (4)
8. Water Under The Bridge - Adele (8)
9. So I Can Have You Back - Joe (9)
10. Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran (11)
11. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur (11)
12. Chained To The Rhythm - Katy Perry f/Skip Marley (22)
13. Waste A Moment - Kings Of Leon (13)
14. Sober Saturday Night - Chris Young f/Vince Gill (15)
15. Love On The Brain - Rihanna (17)
16. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 f/Kendrick Lamar (16)
17. Mercy - Shawn Mendes (19)
18. Cleopatra - The Lumineers (28)
19. Seein' Red - Dustin Lynch (12)
20. Star Of The Show - Thomas Rhett (14)
21. Million Reasons - Lady Gaga (25)
22. 24K Magic - Bruno Mars (20)
23. Fast - Luke Bryan (33)
24. Show Me Love - Brian Justin Crum f/Toy Armada & DJ Grind (36)
25. The Greatest - Sia f/Kendrick Lamar (21)
26. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars (51)
27. Think A Little Less - Michael Ray (47)
28. Kill A Word - Eric Church f/Rhiannon Giddens (35)
29. Enough Is Enough 2017 - Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand (30)
30. Long Live Love - LeAnn Rimes (34)
31. Rhythm & Blues - The Head and the Heart (41)
32. Love Me Now - John Legend (27)
33. Trouble - Cage The Elephant (31)
34. Paris - The Chainsmokers (54)
35. Take It All Back - Judah & The Lion (29)
36. I Don't Wanna Live Forever - Zayn & Taylor Swift (46)
37. Dirt On My Boots - Jon Pardi (59)
38. A Guy With A Girl - Blake Shelton (38)
39. Somebody Else - The 1975 (43)
40. Move Your Body - Sia (32)
41. Side To Side - Ariana Grande f/Nicki Minaj (37)
42. This Town - Niall Horan (52)
43. Hot Thoughts - Spoon (63)
44. Wanna Be That Song - Brett Eldredge (40)
45. Heavydirtysoul - twenty-one pilots (73)
46. Call On Me - Starley (60)
47. You're Not There - Lukas Graham (39)
48. Road Less Traveled - Lauren Alaina (68)
49. Yeah Yeah 2016 - Luciana & Dave Aude' (53)
50. Heathens - twenty-one pilots (50)
51. Way Down We Go - Kaleo (55)
52. Closer - The Chainsmokers f/Halsey (42)
53. Distortion - Jessica Sutta (49)
54. On Hold - the xx (56)
55. Play That Song - Train (57)
56. Today - Brad Paisley (58)
57. Name For You - The Shins (61)
58. Dancing On My Own - Calum Scott (64)
59. Let's Hurt Tonight - OneRepublic (69)
60. In A Drawer - Band Of Horses (65)
61. Slumber Party - Britney Spears f/Tinashe (71)
62. The Urge In Me - Joe Gauthreaux f/Inaya Day (44)
63. Lost On You - LP (87)
64. Love Is Mystical - Cold War Kids (DEBUT)
65. How Did You Love - Shinedown (75)
66. Any Ol' Barstool - Jason Aldean (76)
67. Koinz - SR (67)
68. Long Song Away - Kevin Ross (84)
69. Believer - Imagine Dragons (DEBUT)
70. Oasis - Kendra Erika (80)
71. The Mack - Nevada f/Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap (85)
72. Yeah Boy - Kelsea Ballerini (82)
73. Bad Things - Machine Gun Kelly f/Camila Cabello (77)
74. Let Me Love You - DJ Snake f/Justin Bieber (66)
75. Cold - Maroon 5 f/Future (89)
76. Shine - Mondo Cozmo (72)
77. Watch Out - Glovibes & Gary Caos (91)
78. You Don't Know Me - Jax Jones f/RAYE (78)
79. The Weekend - Brantley Gilbert (79)
80. Touch - Little Mix (70)
81. May We All - Florida Georgia Line f/Tim McGraw (81)
82. Down - Marian Hill (DEBUT)
83. Atlas, Rise! - Metallica (83)
84. Hometown Girl - Josh Turner (88)
85. Fire Escape - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (95)
86. All Time Low - Jon Bellion (90)
87. Bar At The End Of The World - Kenny Chesney (97)
88. Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt (DEBUT)
89. Best Love - Yuna (DEBUT)
90. Just Hold On - Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson (94)
91. Baby, Let's Lay Down And Dance - Garth Brooks (DEBUT)
92. Just Say - KDA f/Tinashe (92)
93. Be The One - Dua Lipa (93)
94. Don't Want You Back - Leela James (DEBUT)
95. Do You Still Love Me? - Ryan Adams (96)
96. 7 - Catfish & The Bottlemen (RE-ENTRY)
97. I Got You - Bebe Rexha (DEBUT)
98. Issues - Julia Michaels (DEBUT)
99. Ritual - Marshmello f/Wrabel (99)
100. Gonna Be Power - Glenn Thornton f/Dawn Tallman (DEBUT)

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

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Songoftheday 3/17/17 - Won't you pick up the phone ‘cause I know that you're home, too many words have not been said for us to be living alone...

"Baby It's Tonight" - Jude Cole
from the album A View From 3rd Street (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #16 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

The song of the day for this St. Patrick's Friday comes from singer/songwriter Jude Cole, who hails from a small town in the northwestern part of Illinois, in Rock Island County. After playing behind soft-rock artist Moon Martin, Cole joined the British power-pop band the Records for one album at the start of the 1980's before striking out on his own. His debut solo record, A View From 3rd Street, came in 1990, and it's a solid set of pop/rock tunes, including the first single, "Baby It's Tonight". Part of a group of semi-alternative rock solo men heralding in a new sound for the 90s, his looks definitely didn't hurt either...


"Baby, It's Tonight" became Cole's first top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in June of 1990. The song also climbed to #3 for a week on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, while it also crossed over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list at #19.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Aussie Sweep: March 16, 2017...

Let's head Down Under yet again to check out the songs and albums from local albums reaching the chart in Australia this week....

On the Australian Artists singles chart, Pnau holds tight at #1 with "Chameleon"...

Indie-pop trio Methyl Ethel. from the western city of Perth, come in at #17 with "Ubu"...


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Songoftheday 3/16/17 - Her mother broke the news to my heart, she said theyre leaving and now I'm torn all apart...

"Ooh La La (I Can't Get Over You)" - Perfect Gentlemen
from the album Rated PG (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the R&B/pop trio Perfect Gentleman, who were put together in Boston by producer/songwriter/manager Maurice Starr, who had huge success bringing together and producing acts like New Edition and New Kids On The Block. This time he kept it in the family, with his son Maurice Jr. joining Corey Blakely and Tyrone Sutton. Their first single was the mid-tempo kiddie break-up song "Ooh La La (I Can't Get Over You)". Produced and written by Maurice Sr., it filled the gap nicely between NKOTB albums, marketed to those same fans, with the pre-teen boys' voices not changed yet...


"Ooh La La" climbed all the way into the pop top-10 in the U.S. in June of 1990. The song also went to #12 on Billboard's R&B chart. They released a follow-up single, "One More Chance", which peaked at #33 R&B but missed the pop chart altogether. Three years later, a second album emerged, with Sutton replaced by two new members - Maurice Jr's brother Stephen and future Mayback Music mixtape artist "Masspike" Miles Wheeler - but that record was DOA.

Up tomorrow: The time has come for this pop/rock singer/songwriter.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

German Sweep: March 15, 2017...


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

1. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. "It Ain't Me" - Kygo & Selena Gomez (3)
3. "Castle On The Hill" - Ed Sheeran (9)
4. "Something Just Like This" - The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (4)
5. "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" - Zayn & Taylor Swift (2)
6. "Tuesday" - Burak Yeter featuring Danelle Sandoval (8)
7. "Chained To The Rhythm" - Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley (6)
8. "Galway Girl" - Ed Sheeran (DEBUT)
9. "Paris" - The Chainsmokers (5)
10. "Loin" - Maitre Gims featuring Dany Synthe' (7)

As Ed Sheeran's Divide album finally gets its big release, eight of its tracks join the three already released within the top-40, with "Galway Girl" entering way up at #8...


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Songoftheday 3/15/17 - I'll give the sun the rain the moon the stars and the mountains, I'll give you the world and all that you wish for...

"Ready Or Not" - After 7
from the album After 7 (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #7 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the R&B trio After 7, who came together in the mid-1980's with two brothers of soul singer/songwriter/producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Kevon and Melvin, along with Keith Mitchell. They recorded their self-titled debut album in 1989, with Babyface helping them out in a huge way, producing the album and co-writing six of its eight tracks. And with Kevon sounding so much like his brother, the set was like an extension of the Babyface/Deele canon. The upbeat first single, "Heat Of The Moment", was a top-5 hit on Billboard's R&B chart, but only made a minor dent on the pop chart at the time at #74 (it would later re-enter the Hot 100 and reach the top-40). Another dance-soul number, "Don't Cha Think", was released next, and while it made the R&B chart at #25, it missed the pop chart altogether. Normally, most R&B groups wouldn't get much promotion for the album after that, or even be dropped, but it does help to have one of the biggest moneymakers in the record business in the family, so they got a third single released, this time changing gears to a lush mid-tempo love song. "Ready Or Not", written and produced by Babyface with longtime collaborator L.A. Reid, accompanied the former's own "Whip Appeal" up the pop charts, appealing to the much of the same (ahem, female) audience...


"Ready Or Not" climbed the pop chart to become After 7's first top 10 pop hit in the U.S. in June of 1990. The single spent two weeks at #1 on Billboard's R&B chart, and crossed over to #7 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

French Sweep: March 14, 2017...

Here's the top ten hits in France this week, according to their official singles chart, as Ed Sheeran racks up a ninth week on top...

1. "Shape Of You" - Ed Sheeran (1)
2. "Human" - Rag N' Bone Man (2)
3. "Peine & Pitie'" - Vitaa (DEBUT)
4. "I Feel It Coming" - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk (3)
5. "Be Mine" - Ofenbach (5)
6. "Je M'en Vais" - Vianney (4)
7. "Way Down We Go" - Kaleo (9)
8. "Juste Un P'tit Chanson" - Les Enfoires (DEBUT)
9. "Chained To The Rhythm" - Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley (8)
10. "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" - Zayn & Taylor Swift (7)

R&B singer Vitaa, from the city of Mulhouse on the German border, scores her third top ten hit in France with "Peine & Pitie" (Pain and Pity). She went to #1 as the featured singer on Maitre Gims' "Game Over" in 2013...


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Songoftheday 3/14/17 - Hey you the one with the laughing eyes, you the one with the haunting stare...

"Save Me" - Fleetwood Mac
from the album Behind The Mask (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #33 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day comes from the British/American rock group Fleetwood Mac, whose 1987 album Tango In The Night had scored their four top-40 pop hits in America with "Everywhere", "Seven Wonders", and a pair of top-5 singles with "Big Love" and "Little Lies". However, Lindsey Buckingham had had enough of it for awhile, and called it quits from the band, causing them to hire on guitarists/singers Billy Burnette and Richie Vito for the tour behind that album, and also to contribute to the two new tracks on the group's Greatest Hits album. The single from that compilation, "As Long As You Follow", topped the Adult contemporary radio chart in Billboard, but just missed the pop top-40 in the winter of 1989.

A year later, the now six-member lineup of Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Vito and Burnette released the fifteenth studio album under the Fleetwood Mac name, Behind The Mask. The first single from the set would be another Christine McVie-led track, written by her with then-husband Eddie Quintela (like "As Long As You Follow"). "Save Me", produced by the band with Greg Ladanyi, would be a touch harder than their easy-going last single, with Mick's drums taking a more prominent position with Vito and Burnette's guitars...


Fleetwood Mac - Save Me by jpdc11

"Save Me" became the eighteenth and so far most recent top-40 pop hit for Fleetwood Mac in May of 1990. The song did much better on rock radio, reaching #3 for two weeks on Billboard's Mainstream Rock list, while it also climbed to #6 on their Adult Contemporary chart. Internationally, in Fleetwood and the McVie's native UK, the album became their fourth #1 set, though the "Save Me" single stalled down at #53. The song had its greatest success in Canada, peaking at #7 (their eighth top ten hit there and biggest since "Hold Me" in 1982), while going to #16 in the Netherlands, #27 in New Zealand, and #36 in Germany.

The next single from the album, "Love Is Dangerous" (written and sung by Nicks and Vito), went to #7 on the American rock chart, while the third, "Skies The Limit", was a top 10 hit on Adult Contemporary and made the pop top-40 in Canada at #26. Another track from the album, "In The Back Of My Mind", co-written by Burnette, who sung it with Nicks and McVie, was a minor hit in the UK at #58.

Shortly after touring behind the album, Stevie Nicks and Richie Vito left the group, who hired on former Traffic member Dave Mason as well as singer Bekka Bramlett for their next album, Time. That album stiffed badly, not even appearing on the American albums chart, and single "I Do" only appearing as a minor entry on the Canadian chart in 1995. Fleetwood would dissolve that version of the band shortly after.

The split, which seemed like forever since it was years from when Buckingham was on board, didn't last long, and in 1997 Buckingham and Nicks joined Fleetwood and the McVies for a recorded live concert, released in album form as The Dance, which became one of their most successful releases, reaching #1 on the albums chart in American and selling over 5 million copies. The record was mostly their older work, though they included four new songs. Their performance of "The Chain" from the show reached #30 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and was nominated rock a Grammy for rock group vocal performance, which the Wallflowers took home with "One Headlight". Two of Stevie's songs reached the top ten on the Adult Contemporary radio list - "Silver Springs" (#5) and "Landslide" (#10). The former earned them a Grammy nomination for Pop Group Vocal (losing to Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity"), while the latter landed on the pop Hot 100 at #51 and reached the Canadian top-40 at #38.

In 2003, the band regrouped this time without Christine McVie for their most recent studio album Say You Will. The lead single "Peacekeeper" (led by Buckingham) went to #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #16 Adult Top-40, and snuck in to the main pop chart at #80 (their most recent appearance). The title track, written and sung by Nicks, was a moderate hit on the AC (#17)/Hot AC (#21) charts. They continued to tour in different years since, with Christine returning in 2014. However, a new studio album has been late in coming, with Nicks reluctant to interrupt her solo career for the band's errant schedule shifts. There's been word of a set without her, but so far nothing has come to light.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 3/13/17 - Kaoma's "Lambada"...

"Lambada" - Kaoma
from the album Worldbeat (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the world music collective Kaoma, who were based in France but had members from all around the globe, including lead singer Loalwa Braz who hails from Brazil. From that country came the song they covered for their first and biggest single, "Lambada". It was a remake of a hit titled "Chorando se foi", which itself was a Portuguese-translated cover of a Bolivian song called "Llorando Se Fue" from 1981. The song, constructed from a traditional South American melody, was released by the duo Los Kjarkas. The new version of the record from Kaoma became the song of the summer in most of the world, not only ruling the club dancefloors, but even inspiring not one but two movies about the seductive moves, titled Lambada and The Forbidden Dance, the former featuring soap star J Eddie Peck and the latter with Miss USA Laura Harring...


While "Lambada" topped the Latin Songs chart in the U.S., the foreign language track just couldn't reach the pop top-40, peaking just under at #46 in April of 1990. The 12" remix climbed to #21 on Billboard's Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the single was huge, topping the charts in France and Italy (where it was the top song of the year), as well as Austria, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, while it peaked at #4 in the UK and #5 in Australia. Unfortunately, lawsuits against Kaoma from the guys in Los Kjarkas, who held the rights to the original rendering, caused the profits from songwriting to be given away.

The band's next single from Worldbeat, "Dançando Lambada", was a respectable international hit, reaching the top ten in a few countries and #3 on the American Latin chart. A year later, they released their second album Tribal-Pursuit, which returned them to the top ten in France, their base country, with "Dança Tago-Mago" (#3). Two more tracks from that set reached the French top-40, with "Moco do Dende" their most recent in 1992. Tragically, Braz was killed under bad circumstances in Brazil this past January, believed to be a robbery gone wrong. She was 63 years old.

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Songoftheday 3/13/17 - my music makes me so hard makes me say oh my Lord, thank you for blessing me with a mind to rhyme and two hype feet...

"U Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer
from the album Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from rapper MC Hammer, who as Stanley Burrell grew up in Oakland and worked helping out the local major baseball team the A's before joining the military on the road to starting a music career. After a locally successful independent release he pushed himself, Hammer signed with Capitol Records and put out his first major album, Let's Get It Started in 1988. The first single from the set, "Pump It Up", reached the #40 spot on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart, and almost got to that level on the R&B chart at #46. While that single was a rapid-fire classic rap track, he would follow it with a taste of the mainstream leaning material to come with "Turn This Mutha Out". Sampling Parliament's "Give Up The Funk" , the track went to #12 on the R&B chart and #34 dance. Both of those plus the third single "They Put Me In The Mix" climbed to the top five on the Rap Singles chart. The album itself reached the top 30 in Billboard, and set the stage for one of the biggest-selling rap albums of all time, Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em. Released in the spring of 1990, the first single was an earnest rework of Marvin Gaye's "Help The Children", which went to #12 on the R&B chart. For the follow-up, Hammer mined the Rick James catalog, which he had already done on the Let's Get It Started title track. This time it was "Super Freak" which laid the foundation for Hammer's "U Can't Touch This". Predating a cartload of Puff Daddy records, "U Can't Touch This" didn't just sample "Super Freak" but laid on top of it like a bed of grooves, so much so that it earned Rick a Grammy Award for Best R&B song. But what Hammer brought besides his rap was that video, with the dancing girls and those pants, from then on in dubbed "Hammer Pants" for posterity...


"U Can't Touch This" did what "Super Freak" couldn't, reaching the top ten on the American pop chart in June of 1990. The song did go all the way to #1 on Billboard's R&B chart, while the 12" remix single climbed to #6 on their Dance Club Play list. In fact, since the 12" single was the only way to by the song apart from the album, it was the first to challenge Billboard's chart rules in a major way, allowing it to chart with just the vinyl being released and causing album sales to rocket.  Besides the R&B Song Grammy, Hammer also won Best Rap Solo performance on his own. Internationally, the record went to #1 in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden, and peaked in the top ten in the UK (#3), Switzerland (#2), Germany (#2), Ireland (#3), Finland (#2), Austria (#5), Norway (#6), and Canada (#8).

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