The Queens of 2020, Top the Trending 100 in December. Plus 1970 leads backwards to 1969 and the December Alternative Sub-Genres


These are the top 100 songs that are making gains at mid-month

December 2020


1              MILEY CYRUS f/ DUA LIPA             Prisoner               6              2233.75

Who didn’t think that this collaboration would top the trending chart? It’s already #1 in airplay in the UK and in the Pop top 25 in the States. Cyrus is going on 4 months at the top of the BR250 with “Midnight Sky” and Lipa is by far the biggest artist here this year. With Miley’s album release, 5 titles make the Trending Top 100. Her duet with Billy Idol, “Night Crawling”, comes in at #9 and another ‘80s icon, Joan Jett, shows up with her at #82 with “Bad Karma”.

2              RINA SAWAYAMA            Lucid      65           1113.6

A new addition to the deluxe version of her album “Sawayama” that was released on November 25. A strong out the box debut on the BR250 at #65 means the song has potential to surpass “XS” and reach the top 25. That song peaked at #32 earlier this year. This one is a pure pop nugget produced by Bloodpop who also was behind Lady Gaga’s “Chromatica”.

3              BILLIE EILISH       Therefore I Am  12           1055.3

#2 in both the UK and the U.S. This is her fourth top 20 in 2020.

4              THE WEEKND     Save Your Tears 16           1026.85

He is definitely in an ‘80s mode on this synth-y track. Top 30 airplay on both sides of the Atlantic. But can any song of his keep them from playing “Blinding Lights”?

5              FOO FIGHTERS  Shame Shame   7              1014.45

A different direction and a cool vibe to this #1 Rock tune from their upcoming tenth studio album.

6              BRITNEY SPEARS               Swimming In The Stars   87           949.7

Interesting that Spears re-issued her 2016 album “Glory” twice this year. “Mood Ring” made it to #43 on the BR250 earlier in 2020. This one was released to coincide with her 39th birthday. Another track “Matches”, is a collaboration with Backstreet Boys.

7              LIAM GALLAGHER            All You’re Dreaming Of  73           902.5                       

A charity single for Action For Children UK, timed well as the Oasis song “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” was just a UK top 10 by the BBC Children In Need Allstars. Around since 1980, the BBC charity has been releasing a single every year since 1985.

8              PALE WAVES      Change 44           878.8

This is the most straightforward Pop song the UK group has done. This has bested the #89 peak of 2018’s “Eighteen”.

9              MILEY CYRUS f/ BILLY IDOL           Night Crawling   101         854.3

10           MARIAH CAREY f/ ARIANA GRANDE & JENNIFER HUDSON              Oh Santa!            105         846.55

From Mariah’s Christmas special, I don’t think this can usurp “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, which is #1 on the Hot 100 again and probably would have been #1 every year if the Billboard rules allowed it all along.

11           THE BLEACHERS f/ BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Chinatown          68           821.25

12           SAM FENDER      Winter Song       116         807.5

13           MARINA              Man’s World      24           805.1

14           AVA MAX            My Head & My Heart      29           803.75

15           NATHAN  DAWE f/ LITTLE MIX    No Time For Tears            96           776.1

16           SYSTEM OF A DOWN       Protect the Land               17           737.1

17           MAMMOTH WVH            Distance               119         689.7

18           SHANE CODD     Get Out Of My Head       35           679.15

19           STEPS    Something In Your Eyes 13           663.4

20           PROSPA               The Thrill              115         662.2

21           SHAWN MENDES & JUSTIN BIEBER           Monster              75           660.9

22           ERIC PRYDZ         NOPUS 97           630

23           KENNYHOOPLA f/ TRAVIS BARKER            Estella   172         521.25

24           CELESTE                A Little Love       91           475.7

25           LP           How Low Can You Go     232         471.8


The 1970 retrospective leads to a look at 1969

So, working on the 1970 year-end chart had me going down a 1969 rabbit hole. First, I wanted to finish up my exploration of the second half of 1969 in an effort to put together the mid-year charts that I have been doing since the summer music party. My regular year-end chart goes from Dec-Nov and the mid-year chart goes from June-May. This set up allows late-year songs to see their full potential. Often with just a year-end chart, songs that straddle both years don’t see good chart positions in either year. There are glaring examples of this actually occurring on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969-71 range. 5 songs that reached #1 on the Hot 100 never showed up on the year-end lists. These are the songs:



STEAM Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye

PETER, PAUL & MARY Leaving On A Jet Plane

DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES Someday We’ll Be Together

Conversely, some songs that never made the top 20 made the year-end chart.

Peak Year-end #

30 55 MAMA CASS ELLIOT It’s Getting Better

28 100 THE BOX TOPS Sweet Cream Ladies, Forward March

21 78 MOUNTAIN Mississippi Queen

34 79 IKE & TINA TURNER I Want To Take You Higher

23 83 CHRISTIE Yellow River

Seems a bit of a letdown (if you follow these things). Doing the mid-year chart avoids this situation on a personal level. Here’s a comparison of the top 40 from my 69-70 cycle compared to how the songs fared in either year.

69# 6970# 70#

16 1 31 CHICAGO Questions 67 And 68

57 2 14 ELTON JOHN Skyline Pigeon

81 3 10 THE BEATLES Oh Darling

29 4 45 ELTON JOHN Empty Sky

7 5 260 MAMA CASS ELLIOT It’s Getting Better

56 6 32 THE FIFTH DIMENSION Wedding Bell Blues

94 7 19 THE BEATLES Maxwell’s Silver Hammer


109 9 25 THE BEATLES Abbey Road Medley


x 11 2 THE HOLLIES He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

121 12 26 MAMA CASS ELLIOT Make Your Own Kind Of Music

30 13 148 THREE DOG NIGHT Eli’s Coming

9 14 x FRIENDS OF DISTINCTION Grazing In The Grass

22 15 x THE GRASS ROOTS I’d Wait A Million Years

38 16 138 ELVIS PRESLEY Suspicious Minds

58 17 82 SMITH Baby It’s You

x 18 3 EDISON LIGHTHOUSE Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

157 19 38 THE JACKSON 5 I Want You Back

135 20 54 GLEN CAMPBELL Try A Little Kindness

x 21 4 RAY STEVENS Everything Is Beautiful

40 22 202 CUFF LINKS Tracy

2 23 x THE FIFTH DIMENSION Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In

x 24 13 THREE DOG NIGHT Celebrate

x 25 17 SLY & THE FAMILY STONE I Want To Take You Higher

33 26 x THE BEATLES Martha My Dear

192 27 22 MARMALADE Reflections Of My Life

34 28 x THE ARCHIES Sugar Sugar

87 29 x PROCUL HARUM A Salty Dog

x 30 5 CHICAGO 25 Or 6 To 4

123 31 72 R.B. GREAVES Take A Letter, Maria

168 32 58 ARETHA FRANKLIN Eleanor Rigby

42 33 298 THE TEMPTATIONS I Can’t Get Next To You

23 34 x THE BEATLES Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

72 35 171 PEGGY LEE Is That All There Is

11 36 x CREAM Badge

35 37 340 NEIL DIAMOND Sweet Caroline

x 38 21 BADFINGER Come And Get It

86 39 157 THE BEATLES Come Together

189 40 59 MARK LINDSAY Arizona


I could not complete the 1970 exercise without filling out 1969 in total. There were a number of songs from ’69 that I had completely forgotten about until doing this. 3 of those made my top 25. I was most excited by #4, Edwin Starr’s “Twenty-Five Miles”. I never knew the title of this song or who it was by, but I remember it well. This will absolutely be put on my next party playlist. Cream comes in at #11 with “Badge” a song I know through osmosis of radio exposure over the years. It did better than “White Room” at #32 but that was a late 1968 release so it would probably be in the top 10 for the 68-69 cycle.

Eric Clapton was a member of the Cream trio. He also was part of the trio Blind Faith (with Steve Winwood and his Cream bandmate Ginger Baker). That one album supergroup scored 2 songs just outside the top 100, “Sea of Joy” at #104 and “Can’t Find My Way Home” at #106. They did a bit better on the mid-year. Winwood was also a member of the band Traffic that had “Empty Pages”, “Glad” and “Freedom Rider on my chart in 1970. Between Clapton and Winwood, who both went on to impressive solo careers, there is an interesting family tree of bands that intersect. Traffic connects to Bread, Seals & Croft, and Fleetwood Mac. In the mid-‘60s Clapton was in the Yardbirds, which connects to Led Zeppelin and Jeff Beck, while Winwood was in the Spencer Davis Group which connects to Elton John’s ‘70s backing band. In addition, with Clapton part of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac (again) and the Rolling Stones enter the mix. Clapton’s involvement with the one-off band Derek & the Dominos (with a Traffic connection as well) brings the Allman Brothers to the family, while his work with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends adds George Harrison, Leon Russell, and Rita Coolidge. This could go on and on.

Another song I had forgotten about was “I’d Wait A Million Years” at #22 by the Grass Roots. I have a number of favorites by that band, 1971’s “Sooner Or Later” definitely the best of the bunch. I’ve discovered quite a few songs by the band that I did not know like “The River Is Wide” at #63, “Bella Linda” at #90, and “Baby Hold On” (#44 of 1970). I did not know their first top 10 hit was 1967’s “Let’s Live For Today”, definitely a different vibe than most of their other hits. I remember the song but didn’t know who it was by.

Another band that I have been able to explore a little more deeply recently is the Turtles. This resulted from one of the early podcasts and that’s when I discovered “Elenore” at #26 and 1967’s “She’d Rather Be With Me”. They also show up at #114 with “You Showed Me”. Of course, their biggest hit was “Happy Together” in 1967 but their first top 10 was 1965’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe”. I have no recollection of this song. When the band broke up in 1970 the vocalist’s Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan joined the Mothers Of Invention, the experimental band that included frontman Frank Zappa. That band leads down another family tree that includes Little Feat, Journey, Canned Heat plus circles back to Traffic, John Mayall, and Jeff Beck.

Volman and Kaylan contractually could not use their real names (or that of the Turtles) so they became Phlorescent Leech & Eddie. They left the Mothers in 1971 and became Flo & Eddie. I certainly knew the name but absolutely nothing about them. This could become another rabbit hole as the Spotify bio describes them as the Partridge Family and Redd Foxx on one album. Just listening to 2 songs, “Thoughts Have Turned from 1972 and “Keep It Warm” from 1976, I could spend some time exploring these guys.

Here are my Top 200 songs of 1969

Beyond Radio Alternative Sub-Genre Charts–December 15, 2020


Alt Pop/Electro

1          1          24KGOLDN f/ IANN DIOR    Mood

97        2          BILLIE EILISH           Therefore I Am

2          3          OF MONSTERS AND MEN   Visitor

8          4          NOTHING BUT THIEVES     Impossible

5          5          TAME IMPALA           Is It True

26        6          HOT CHIP f/ JARVIS COCKER       Straight To The Morning

7          7          I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME       Leave Me Alone

6          8          ROMY Lifetime

12        9          CANNONS      Fire For You

new     10        PALE WAVES             Change


Retro Soul (R&B, Soul Pop, Jazz Pop, Disco, Throwback Hip Hop)

1          1          KYLIE MINOGUE      Magic

6          2          BECKY HILL  Space

4          3          SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR       Crying At The Discotheque

2          4          KYLIE MINOGUE      Say Something

7          5          KYLIE MINOGUE      I Love It

5          6          LONDON GRAMMAR            Californian Soil

83        7          CELESTE        A Little Love

new     8          KYLIE MINOGUE      Real Groove

3          9          LONDON GRAMMAR            Baby It’s You

28        10        MALUMA x THE WEEKND   Hawai


Adult Leaning Alternative

2          1          OF MONSTERS AND MEN   Visitor

3          2          TAME IMPALA           Is It True

4          3          ROMY Lifetime

10        4          CANNONS      Fire For You

new     5          CLAIRO          Sofia

48        6          JAKE BUGG  All I Need

31        7          PHOEBE BRIDGERS I Know The End

7          8          LONDON GRAMMAR            Californian Soil

1          9          THE KILLERS            My Own Soul’s Warning

new     10        THE BLEACHERS f/ BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN         Chinatown


Alternative Hip Hop

3          1          LABRINTH     No Ordinary

9          2          EMOTIONAL ORANGES       All That

6          3          THE AVALANCHES   Take Care Of Your Dreaming

new     4          SHYGIRL        Slime

18        5          ACTRESS f/ SAMPHA           Walking Flames

1          6          CLIPPING       Say The Name

24        7          CLIPPING       96 Neve Campbell

new     8          RUN THE JEWELS    No Save Point

new     9          FRED AGAIN…          Kyle (I Found You)

10        10        ASHNIKKO    Daisy


Alt Rock

1          1          ROYAL BLOOD         Trouble’s Coming

26        2          FOO FIGHTERS         Shame Shame

20        3          OF MONSTERS AND MEN   Visitor

6          4          BRING ME THE HORIZON   Teardrops

3          5          I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME       Leave Me Alone

31        6          TEENAGE WRIST      Earth Is A Black Hole

2          7          BEABADOOBEE         Care

10        8          CHRIS CORNELL      Patience

4          9          DEFTONES     Ohms

28        10        MACHINE GUN KELLY f/ HALSEY Forget Me Too



8          1          BICEP Apricots

121     2          JAMES BLAKE          Before

25        3          EGOISM          You You

38        4          JONSI f/ ROBYN       Salt Licorice

new     5          BICEP Saku

new     6          BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD      Science Fair

new     7          DOGBAR CINEMA     Bridge Too Far

27        8          DIRK.  Toulouse

new     9          SOFT BLUE SHIMMER         Cherry-Cola Abyss

17        10        JOENSU 1685           All Around You


Roots AAA (Roots Rock, Americana, Folk, Heritage Pop)

1          1          TAYLOR SWIFT         Betty

4          2          BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN         Letter To You

3          3          TAYLOR SWIFT f/ BON IVER          Exile

new     4          LIAM GALLAGHER   All You’re Dreaming Of

2          5          FLEET FOXES           Can I Believe You

97        6          JADE BIRD    Headstart

new     7          SAM FENDER            Winter Song

6          8          ALANIS MORISETTE            Ablaze

9          9          TOM PETTY   Leave Virginia Alone

15        10        CHRIS STAPLETON  Cold

By: Radio Tim 
Dec 15, 2020