Oct 26
Another look at the Year 2000

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

   

See my October 7, 2000 chart here

 

My Personal Chart Blog, October 7, 2000

Part 2, A Big Era for Christian Music, Many Roads lead to DC Talk.

SOLOMON’S WISH/Grand Scheme (2)

The playlist on the left features the songs discussed in this section, the one on the right features all the songs on the chart for this week as well.

 

**Bolded songs were on my top 150 this week in 2000 & the number in parentheses is its position on the chart.

I could not find much information about Solomon’s Wish on the internet. They were a trio and only had one album. At the time, this acoustic guitar-based song was my #1 song of the year. Much of that status has to be because of the harmonies and the grandeur of the song as it builds. Besides, I must have been a pretty spiritual state of mind at the time. They were in the same lane as Jars of Clay and this song especially reminds me of Toad The Wet Sprocket and the song “Something’s Always Wrong”. In total, I charted 5 songs from the album “A Wise Man’s Tragedy”. “Learning To Fly” (25) was the only other to make my top 10, peaking at #3. Their music is not available on Spotify. There also seems to be one or two bands with the same name. Both indie rock, one from the mid-’90s and another in the last few years.

‘Fly’ has a similar style to a number of songs from the Australian band Taxiride (not a Christian band) that had a string of hits in the land down under between 1999 and 2005. One of those, “Get Set” reached the Alternative top 40 in the States and was featured in the movie “Election” with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. I charted 8 songs from their debut album “Imaginate” and 17 songs in total. 10 of those reached my top 10 including 3 #1’s with the 2002 song “How I Got This Way” becoming my #1 song of 2003. This song has one of my favorite choruses of all-time. There is an acoustic version of this song on Spotify that is good, but it doesn’t have the intensity of the original. Like Solomon’s Wish, there was extensive use of vocal harmony by this band. On this week’s chart was “Let Me Die Young” (101), a song about joining the one you lost too soon. “72 Hour Daze” is another lamenting ballad that reached #6 on my chart earlier in the year and was my #30 of the year. In ’99 “Get Set” and “Everywhere You Go” with its late ‘70s vibe both reached my top 10.

Christian music was much more prominent on my personal chart between the mid-’90s and about 2010. The catalyst for that was most likely DC Talk, a trio from Lynchburg, Virginia. Their early music was much more Hip-Hop oriented than their music towards the end of the ‘90s. Early songs like “Spinnin’ Round” and “Heavenbound” owe a lot to the Beastie Boys and Run DMC who both incorporate Rock into their brand of Hip-Hop. I will say this early music, to me, was relatively amateurish. Their second album in 1990 added a dose of New Jack Swing to the mix. “Nu Thang” brought them into the Christian top 5 for the first time. In 1992 with their third album “Free At Last” they started to settle into their status as a major Christian force. The album featured covers of “Jesus Is Just Alright” made most famous by the Doobie Brothers in 1972 and Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me”. The album went on to win Best Rock/Gospel Album of the year at the Grammys. ‘Jesus’ helped bring them into mainstream consciousness. They were among only a handful of Christian artists to appear on late-night TV, performing this song on “The Tonight Show” in November 1993. The song contains samples from Madonna’s “Vogue” and Snap’s “The Power” but I also hear elements of Crystal Water’s “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”. It wasn’t until their next album that I really became fully aware of them.

The album “Jesus Freak” released in November 1995 helped to propel them as the biggest Christian Rock band of the ‘90s. In 1997 they placed 6 songs from the iconic album “Jesus Freak” in my top 50 of the year. The title track was a brilliant mix of Rock and Rap yet so much of the album settled into a polished and melodic Pop-Rock lane. This helped them to attain Pop airplay with “Just Between You And Me” their only crossover hit, reaching #15 Pop. The album also includes a cover of the “Day By Day” from Godspell. The song “Mind’s Eye” was my #3 song of 1997 and one of 17 songs of theirs that went to #1 on the Christian chart.

In listening to snippets from the album one of the tracks is a 1:18 reprise of “Jesus Freak”, done in a tongue in cheek off-key lounge style. What is particularly funny about this is that yesterday at a friend’s house we ended up getting sucked into a documentary about Florence Foster Jenkins by accident. She is notable as “the world’s worst opera singer”. Meryl Streep portrayed her in the movie named after her in 2016. Just another perfectly timed coincidence in my life of coincidences. Just listen to “The Magic Flute: Queen Of The Night Aria” to experience her sheer delightful awfulness. In total DC Talk had 7 #1’s on my personal chart, the last was “Wanna Be Loved” in 1999.

See the Rest Here

Oct 26
Another look at the Year 2000

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

   

See my October 7, 2000 chart here

 

My Personal Chart Blog, October 7, 2000

Part 2, A Big Era for Christian Music, Many Roads lead to DC Talk.

SOLOMON’S WISH/Grand Scheme (2)

The playlist on the left features the songs discussed in this section, the one on the right features all the songs on the chart for this week as well.

 

**Bolded songs were on my top 150 this week in 2000 & the number in parentheses is its position on the chart.

I could not find much information about Solomon’s Wish on the internet. They were a trio and only had one album. At the time, this acoustic guitar-based song was my #1 song of the year. Much of that status has to be because of the harmonies and the grandeur of the song as it builds. Besides, I must have been a pretty spiritual state of mind at the time. They were in the same lane as Jars of Clay and this song especially reminds me of Toad The Wet Sprocket and the song “Something’s Always Wrong”. In total, I charted 5 songs from the album “A Wise Man’s Tragedy”. “Learning To Fly” (25) was the only other to make my top 10, peaking at #3. Their music is not available on Spotify. There also seems to be one or two bands with the same name. Both indie rock, one from the mid-’90s and another in the last few years.

‘Fly’ has a similar style to a number of songs from the Australian band Taxiride (not a Christian band) that had a string of hits in the land down under between 1999 and 2005. One of those, “Get Set” reached the Alternative top 40 in the States and was featured in the movie “Election” with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. I charted 8 songs from their debut album “Imaginate” and 17 songs in total. 10 of those reached my top 10 including 3 #1’s with the 2002 song “How I Got This Way” becoming my #1 song of 2003. This song has one of my favorite choruses of all-time. There is an acoustic version of this song on Spotify that is good, but it doesn’t have the intensity of the original. Like Solomon’s Wish, there was extensive use of vocal harmony by this band. On this week’s chart was “Let Me Die Young” (101), a song about joining the one you lost too soon. “72 Hour Daze” is another lamenting ballad that reached #6 on my chart earlier in the year and was my #30 of the year. In ’99 “Get Set” and “Everywhere You Go” with its late ‘70s vibe both reached my top 10.

Christian music was much more prominent on my personal chart between the mid-’90s and about 2010. The catalyst for that was most likely DC Talk, a trio from Lynchburg, Virginia. Their early music was much more Hip-Hop oriented than their music towards the end of the ‘90s. Early songs like “Spinnin’ Round” and “Heavenbound” owe a lot to the Beastie Boys and Run DMC who both incorporate Rock into their brand of Hip-Hop. I will say this early music, to me, was relatively amateurish. Their second album in 1990 added a dose of New Jack Swing to the mix. “Nu Thang” brought them into the Christian top 5 for the first time. In 1992 with their third album “Free At Last” they started to settle into their status as a major Christian force. The album featured covers of “Jesus Is Just Alright” made most famous by the Doobie Brothers in 1972 and Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me”. The album went on to win Best Rock/Gospel Album of the year at the Grammys. ‘Jesus’ helped bring them into mainstream consciousness. They were among only a handful of Christian artists to appear on late-night TV, performing this song on “The Tonight Show” in November 1993. The song contains samples from Madonna’s “Vogue” and Snap’s “The Power” but I also hear elements of Crystal Water’s “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”. It wasn’t until their next album that I really became fully aware of them.

The album “Jesus Freak” released in November 1995 helped to propel them as the biggest Christian Rock band of the ‘90s. In 1997 they placed 6 songs from the iconic album “Jesus Freak” in my top 50 of the year. The title track was a brilliant mix of Rock and Rap yet so much of the album settled into a polished and melodic Pop-Rock lane. This helped them to attain Pop airplay with “Just Between You And Me” their only crossover hit, reaching #15 Pop. The album also includes a cover of the “Day By Day” from Godspell. The song “Mind’s Eye” was my #3 song of 1997 and one of 17 songs of theirs that went to #1 on the Christian chart.

In listening to snippets from the album one of the tracks is a 1:18 reprise of “Jesus Freak”, done in a tongue in cheek off-key lounge style. What is particularly funny about this is that yesterday at a friend’s house we ended up getting sucked into a documentary about Florence Foster Jenkins by accident. She is notable as “the world’s worst opera singer”. Meryl Streep portrayed her in the movie named after her in 2016. Just another perfectly timed coincidence in my life of coincidences. Just listen to “The Magic Flute: Queen Of The Night Aria” to experience her sheer delightful awfulness. In total DC Talk had 7 #1’s on my personal chart, the last was “Wanna Be Loved” in 1999.

See the Rest Here

Oct 15
Trouble's Coming to Trending 100, Post-Grunge is the Talk of 2000, and New Alternative Sub-Genre Charts

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

October 2020

POS/ARTIST/SONG/POS ON BR250/POINTS

1              ROYAL BLOOD   Trouble's Coming             8              2851.6

Whoever thought Royal Blood would add a dance edge to their bluesy rock music? Well here it is, and it is quite groovy. They were trying to achieve a Daft Punk meets rock vibe and I think they found it. By blasting onto the BR250 this week at #8 it seems likely that they will surpass the #6 peak of 2017’s “Lights Out”.

2              KYLIE MINOGUE               Magic    13           2495.85

The other out of the box BR250 splash (#13 debut) comes from Queen Kylie.  The second single from the upcoming “Disco” album would keep me on the dance floor after the Royal Blood song. It has a wonderfully happy groove. This has been a great year for dance-pop. This week Dua Lipa tops my personal chart with “Hallucinate”, the first in that genre in a long time.

3              SHAWN MENDES              Wonder               71           1198.15

This new single has a grand Sam Smith-ian chorus and is quite introspective from a lyrical standpoint. It’s already top 20 Pop in the States and top 10 in the UK. For some reason, his voice has always somewhat irked me. He has only made my top 100 once.

4              AC/DC   Shot In The Dark               78           1144.15

It has been 5 years since AC/DC’s last release and Rock radio was clamoring for it. It debuted at #5 on that chart last week. Funny, in an interview with Mike Kerr of Royal Blood, he talked about AC/DC and their connecting of rock and dance music. The band’s 17th album “Power Up” will be released in November. This song also marks the return of vocalist Brian Johnson.

5              SAM SMITH        Diamonds            18           2238.65

Oh look, Sam Smith right here. He’s also right behind Mendes on the Mediabase Pop airplay chart right now. I’ve always been hot and cold with Smith but on this dance track I’m liking what I hear. This has already surpassed the BR250 peak of his 3 other singles over the last year. His third album “Love Goes” is scheduled for release at the end of the month.

6              DAVID GUETTA f/ SIA      Let's Love            9              2822.65

This duo has teamed up on numerous tracks over the years including the smash “Titanium”. I hear shades of A-Ha’s “Take On Me” but I don’t see a songwriting credit. The song is currently top 10 in the UK and top 15 in Australia.

7              LADY GAGA        911         29           1860.2

The frenetic techno pulse of the third single from Chromatica fits the theme of the song quite well. I have a different take on the song now that I understand it. The song talks about her relationship with taking an antipsychotic drug, thus the lyric “pop a 911”.

8              TRAVIS SCOTT f/ YOUNG THUG & M.I.A. Franchise             102         958.15

Scott made Billboard history with this song, it being his third to debut atop the Hot 100 in less than one year. It made it with one week to go. “Highest In The Room debuted at #1 on Oct. 19, 2019 and this on Oct. 10, 2020. In-between the song “The Scotts” with Kid Cudi was the third.

9              JUSTIN BIEBER f/ CHANCE THE RAPPER   Holy       57           1348.35

The gospel influenced track actually features gospel artist Kirk Franklin in the choir at the end of the song. It is an across the globe hit, already top 5 on the Hot 100, Australia and in the UK plus top 15 across Europe.

10           BASTILLE              Survivin'               100         968

This UK band does not typically get a song on Pop radio in the States out of the box but it is already charting at Pop, Hot AC, AAA and Alternative. The thing that makes this song unique is the saxophone line that almost seems out of place.

11           OF MONSTERS AND MEN              Visitor   24           2111.35

This Icelandic band has had an impressive run on Alternative radio over the last decade, landing 10 songs on that chart. This driving electro-pop song becomes their first top reach the top 25 on the BR250. In 2019 “Alligator” peaked at #36 and “Wars” topped out at #32.

12           BLACKPINK         Lovesick Girls     122         829.1

This single co-written by David Guetta is the fourth to make the BR250. 2 of those are still on the chart, “Ice Cream” at #44 and “How Like That” #147 after a #20 peak.

 

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

My Personal Chart, October 7, 2000

See my October 7, 2000 chart here

 

The playlist on the left features the songs discusssed in this section, the one on the right features all the songs on the chart for this week as well.

My Personal Chart Blog, October 7, 2000

Part 1, The Mainstream Side of Post-Grunge, Iconic Songs, Music Party Impact, and the Future Wives Club.

Leaving Town/Dexter Freebish (1)

 

“Leaving Town” ranks as one of my all-time favorite songs. Back in 2001 was the last time I put together my all-time list and at that time it ranked at #220, in a similar zone to songs I have talked about in my blog posts this year (“Breakdown Dead Ahead” by Boz Scaggs, Elton John’s “Sartorial Eloquence” and the Jeff Healey Band version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”). I feel that when I re-do this list, which I should do for my 60th birthday coming up next July, this song will move upwards, possibly into the top 100 or higher. The Austin, Texas band has a connection to the Beatles in that they won Song of the Year in the 1999 John Lennon Songwriting Contest with this song. That contest was established in 1997 by Yoko Ono and gives awards in 12 different categories plus the Song of the Year grand prize. Sadly, it is the only song by the band that charted, reaching #30 Pop, #25 Alternative, and #15 AAA. It missed the Hot 100, placing at #111 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under chart. It was a favorite among my circle of friends and was #24 at the 2001 music party that I host each summer. The second series of my podcast “Beyond Radio Presents” chronicles the #1 songs from the parties that started in 1984 and that will have a virtual version later this fall.

Over the course of 3 albums, they scored 15 placements on my personal chart (plus at least 5 others that should have charted) with 7 of those making my top 5 including 2 #1’s (“Wonderland” was the other). Their debut album “A Life Of Saturdays” is definitely among my favorite albums of all-time, which is why I’m perplexed that 4 of the songs from that never charted (though 5 did) and 2 of those that didn’t (“Spotlight” and “Deeper”), would easily make the top 10 if I re-did those charts now. The band was named after a roller coaster at Astroworld in Houston, Texas that closed in 2005. The coaster was originally called “Dexter Frebish’s Electric Roller Ride”, opening in 1972. Its name was changed to Excalibur and they closed that coaster in 1998. I only late last year discovered the band’s 2010 third album “Shine On” with the song “Save The Last Dance” reaching #7 on my chart in February.

Though only a one-hit-wonder (and moderate at that), Dexter Freebish fits into the mold of the mammoth Pop-Rockers of the time, Matchbox 20. The Orlando group led by Rob Thomas first hit the airwaves 4 years earlier with “Long Day”, a #8 Rock song that was their first #1 on my chart. It was a melodic slice of Post-Grunge but slightly harder than what would follow and establish the band. The next single “Push” was the breakthrough, taking them to #1 on the Alternative chart and #3 Pop. The album “Yourself Or Someone Like You” proved to be a hit-making machine and eventually sold over 12 million copies. By the time the 2nd album “Mad Season” came out, Thomas had become a household name due to his turn as the vocalist on the #1 song of 1999, Santana’s “Smooth”. That song is ranked by Billboard as the #2 song of all-time, behind Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”.

The lead single from “Mad Season” was the fabulously insinuating “Bent” which was another multi-format smash that topped the Hot 100 in July and my personal chart the week of my birthday at the end of the month. It was the #5 song at the 2001 party, and it will always be connected to my friend and business partner at the time, Keino from South Africa. He came to the States for the party and if I recall correctly it was his favorite song at the time. The opening instrumental line of the song is definitely part of what makes the song great, a moody lick that is repeated later and contrasts the gentleness of the verses. Thomas has said this was the first love song he had ever written, though not necessarily tender and sweet.

“If You’re Gone”, the second single (and I guess his second love song), was released to radio the first week of October. It debuted on my chart the following week but somehow only managed to hit #72 on my chart 2 weeks later. The horn line, most prevalent in the bridge and towards the end, so totally reminds me of the early ‘70s and specifically the Partridge Family. Maybe the top 5 Pop hit was too bland for me in that moment. At the time the song had the distinction of taking the longest to reach #1 on the AC chart, 42 weeks. The Rock-oriented “Crutch” debuted on my chart the same week and reached #5, albeit 7 months later, so it was a long slow burn. In all 11 of the 13 songs from this album charted for me with the title track also going to #1. More to that story when I circle back to early 2001 next March.

Another song that fits into the Matchbox playbook is an obscure song from the California band Neve. Their #30 Alternative and #25 Hot AC song from 1999 “It’s Over Now” spent 4 weeks at #1 on my chart in mid-99 and was my #2 song of the year. For some reason that escapes me now, it re-appeared on my chart in June 2000 and spent another 6 weeks in my top 15. It was unusual for a song to chart twice for me in those days but typically it was if I knew the song better and thus it performed better in its second appearance. This was not the case with this one. This band came and went quickly and were also compared to the New York band Nine Days. They are an almost one-hit-wonder. Their song “Absolutely (Story of A Girl)” was a true Pop hit, spending 2 weeks at #1. The autobiographical song was written about the lead singer’s future wife (Matchbox 20’s “If You’re Gone” was also written for Rob Thomas’ future wife). They were able to reach the Pop top 40 a second time with “If I Am” (124), peaking at #25. 4 of the 9 songs that I charted from the band between 2000-2003 made my top 20, better than “Absolutely” which peaked at #25. The third single “257 Weeks” (16) was a piano rocker while the break-up song “Bitter” went to #1 on my chart for 2 weeks in the summer of 2001. The follow-up album was mired in release delays by their label because they said there wasn’t a single (“Good Friend” and “Marvelous” both made my top 15 so I disagree) and they were eventually dropped.

Fellow New Yorkers Splender had a remarkably similar life on my personal chart. They also scored a #1 on my chart with the Pop top 20 ballad “I Think God Can Explain” for 2 weeks in June 2000. Before that, they peaked at #15 with “Yeah Whatever”, a top 25 Alternative song in 1999. ‘God’ placed at #21 for the 1991 music party. In total, they also placed 9 songs on my chart, 6 of those reaching my top 25. They also had 2 songs on this week’s chart, “Spaceboy” (70) and “Monotone” (115). Like Nine Days, their follow-up album went nowhere. Both bands also appear on the album “Music From Dawson’s Creek, Vol 2”.

See the Rest Here

Beyond Radio Alternative Sub-Genre Charts--October 15, 2020

Each of these charts (top 100’s) now have their own page found on the Monthly Genre Charts Menu

 

Alt Pop/Electro

1          1          BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON      What You Gonna Do???

6          2          24KGOLDN f/ IANN DIOR    Mood

8          3          LONDON GRAMMAR            Baby It's You

20        4          SMASHING PUMPKINS        Cyr

135     5          OF MONSTERS AND MEN   Visitor

10        6          I DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME       Leave Me Alone

2          7          BEABADOOBEE         Care

3          8          BILLIE EILISH           My Future

7          9          EVERYTHING EVERYTHING           Violent Sun

50        10        NEW ORDER  Be A Rebel

 

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

new     1          KYLIE MINOGUE      Say Something

new     2          KYLIE MINOGUE      Magic

new     3          LONDON GRAMMAR            Baby It's You

new     4          CALVIN HARRIS f/ THE WEEKND  Over Now

1          5          JESSIE WARE           What's Your Pleasure?

22        6          ARLO PARKS             Hurt

3          7          MARIAH CAREY f/ LAURYN HILL  Save The Day

new     8          SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR       Crying At The Discotheque

2          9          JESSIE WARE           Save A Kiss

85        10        JANELLE MONAE     Turntables

 

Adult Leaning Alternative

2          1          THE KILLERS            My Own Soul's Warning

1          2          BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON      What You Gonna Do???

4          3          LONDON GRAMMAR            Baby It's You

8          4          PHOEBE BRIDGERS Kyoto

36        5          NEW ORDER  Be A Rebel

11        6          TAME IMPALA           Is It True

7          7          CHRIS CORNELL      Patience

9          8          SAINT MOTEL           Preach

14        9          SUFJAN STEVENS    Video Game

6          10        FUTURE ISLANDS    For Sure

 

Alternative Hip Hop

1          1          DISCLOSURE f/ AMINE & SLOWTHAI       My High

6          2          CLIPPING       Say The Name

2          3          TERRACE MARTIN & DENZEL CURRY     Pig Feet

new     4          SLOWTHAI f/ JAMES BLAKE & MOUNT KIMBIE            Feel Away

24        5          RUN THE JEWELS    Out Of Sight

5          6          YVES TUMOR            Gospel For A New Century

new     7          THE AVALANCHES   Take Care Of Your Dreaming

new     8          THE AVALANCHES   Music Make Me High

4          9          THE AVALANCHES   Wherever You Go

3          10        RUN THE JEWELS f/ PHARRELL WILLIAMS & ZACK DE LA ROCHA  Ju$t

 

Alt Rock

1          1          BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON      What You Gonna Do???

new     2          ROYAL BLOOD         Trouble's Coming

new     3          DEFTONES     Ohms

15        4          SMASHING PUMPKINS        Cyr

79        5          OF MONSTERS AND MEN   Visitor

6          6          I DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME       Leave Me Alone

2          7          BEABADOOBEE         Care

new     8          SEETHER        Dangerous

4          9          CHRIS CORNELL      Patience

44        10        BEABADOOBEE         Worth It

 

Underground

5          1          IDLES  Model Village

23        2          CLIPPING       Say The Name

2          3          SUFJAN STEVENS    My Rajneesh

8          4          BON IVER      AUATC

1          5          FONTAINES DC        Televised Mind

160     6          SOFT SET      7 On Up

new     7          SLOWTHAI f/ JAMES BLAKE & MOUNT KIMBIE            Feel Away

new     8          RUN THE JEWELS    Out Of Sight

44        9          LAVENDER BLUSH  I'm In Love

7          10        FONTAINES DC        A Hero's Death

 

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

1          1          TAYLOR SWIFT f/ BON IVER          Exile

2          2          TAYLOR SWIFT         Betty

7          3          THE GO-GO'S            Club Zero

3          4          THE CHICKS Sleep At Night

4          5          ALANIS MORISETTE            Ablaze

5          6          SEMISONIC    You're Not Alone

50        7          BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN         Letter To You

9          8          SEMISONIC    All It Would Take

11        9          ORVILLE PECK & SHANIA TWAIN            Legends Never Die

6          10        JAMES BAY   Chew On My Heart 

Oct 9
My Personal Chart, Oct. 7, 2000 and the latest Podcast Episode

See my October 2000 chart here

Blog posts for the chart will be coming in a few days

   

Beyond Radio Presents - Castlist 006 - Ep 4

From '90s Alt to Country Crossover

Follow the podcast on Spotify

I teased Jeff and the audience at the end of the last episode by ending before he was aware of the transition from the Editors "Hallelujah" to the Eels.

Once we establish that we delve a bit into that band's music, sampling, and Beck. This segues nicely to the next artist, who exemplify how Alternative music has changed from the '90s 'til now.

From there we deep dive into Country (Jeff's not so favorite place) and talk about that genre's connection to Pop music over the years. Jeff needs to make a point about the effects of Twang on him and how it relates to a spoken vocal style as well.

In the end, I allude to the theme of the next podcast which also includes some Country music and will feature a great backstory, one of my favorite stories connected to the podcast.

Oct 5
My Personal Chart Blog, September 8, 1990 Part 3, Start Your Cars, Vaughn Marx the Path From Blues to Country

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

My Personal Chart, September 8, 1990

See the chart here

The companion Spotify playlist has all the songs discussed in the blog.

Number in Parentheses after bolded and underlined songs are the chart position on my personal chart that week.

Just Came Back/Colin James (5)

This song had just come off a 4-week run at the top of my personal chart in July and August and spending its 9th week in my top 10. The song starts like a campfire song recorded in a bygone era and then transforms into a blistering Blues-Rocker smoothed out by a killer melody, horns, and female background vocals. The production of the time added a simmering synth backdrop and all these elements have put this song in a grand place in my personal chart history. At the time it was my #4 song of the year but now it stands as my favorite song of 1990, surpassing the original #1 “Heart Of The Matter” by Don Henley, #2 “Policy of Truth” by Depeche Mode, and #3 by Winger ?! “Can’t Get Enuff” (8). That one also had an underlying keyboard groove that elevated it above other hair metal of the time.

Saskatchewan native Colin James is an acclaimed blues guitarist who was discovered by Stevie Ray Vaughn and has had 16 albums and 17 charted singles since 1988. With this song, which went to #5 in Canada, he won the Juno Award for Song of the Year in 1991 as well as Male Vocalist of the Year. “Voodoo Thing” was his 1st hit in 1988 and he returned the Canadian top 10 in 1995 with “Saviour”. In 1991 he played guitar on the Richard Marx song “Thunder and Lightning”, the B-side of his hit “Hazard”.

On his follow-up album In 1993, “Colin James and the Little Big Bad”, he dabbled in Jump Blues long before the Swing revival of the late ‘90s made it popular. He would do 4 albums in that style over the years. He also often collaborated with members of the Canadian band Odds who had a few Alternative hits in the mid-90s; “Someone Who’s Cool” (hitting #6 on Adult Alternative in 1997), “Heterosexual Man” and “Eat My Brain”. That last song was featured in the 1996 movie “Brain Candy” from Canadian comedy troupe Kids In The Hall who had a successful TV show from 1988-1995.

Stevie Ray Vaughn was also instrumental in bringing Blues guitarist Jeff Healey to recognition. Healey had a rare cancer and went blind at the age of 1.  At 3 he started playing guitar and uniquely played it flat on his lap. In 1989 he scored a major hit with the Blues ballad “Angel Eyes”. The song co-written by famed artist John Hiatt hit #5 on the Hot 100. In the summer of ’89 “Angel Eyes” and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s own “Crossfire” were both moving up my chart. The week of Sept. 30 ‘Eyes’ peaked at #5 and “Crossfire” and #22.

In 1990 The Jeff Healey Band won Entertainer of the Year at the Juno Awards. Their 1990 album “Hell To Pay” produced 2 Rock top 10 songs; the #5 “I Think I Love You too Much” written by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and the Beatles cover “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (14). This version went to #1 on my chart and #7 on the Rock chart. On this track they got an assist from the song’s writer George Harrison and ELO’s Jeff Lynne. In 2007 Healey died at the age of 41 from complications from sarcoma.

 

Find the rest here

Oct 1
September Charts and a New Podcast Episode

For September 30, the top 25 is relatively quiet. Miley extended her lead over Taylor, now over 2000 points. The Killers make a nice move, 7-3, but probably will stall there though right now there are no clear fast movers. Dua Lipa joins herself in the top 10 but neither have the juice needed to challenge the top 3. I’m enjoying her new song “Love Is Religion” from “Club Future Nostalgia”. “Dynamite”, up 21-14 is the only song that saw a substantial increase in charts over the last BR250 in the top 15.

There are 4 new titles in the top 25, led by London Grammar’s “Baby It’s You” (30-19) and followed by 24kgoldn’s “Mood” (27-20), “Over You” from Calvin Harris and the Weeknd (39-22) puls Everything Everything’s “Violent Sun” (28-25), their 1st appearance in the top 25 this year after 3 other songs placing on the BR250.

Just outside the top 25, 2 songs make substantial moves from outside the top 200. The 1st New Order song singe 2015, “Be A Rebel” got 16 adds and leaps 267-28 while the David Guetta/Sia collab ‘Let’s Love” added 17 charts moving it 245-33. The songs with the most adds, and highest out of the box debut belongs to Sam Smith and “Diamonds” (#82).

Here are the #1’s on September’s Genre and Untapped Charts

AAA-TAYLOR SWIFT f/ BON IVER Exile

AC-KYGO & TINA TURNER             What's Love Got To Do With It

ALT-THE KILLERS               My Own Soul's Warning

CHRISTIAN-JENNA PARR Those Eyes

COUNTRY-TAYLOR SWIFT             Betty

DANCE-DUA LIPA             Levitating

HIP HOP-CARDI B f/ MEGAN THEE STALLION        WAP

HOTAC-TAYLOR SWIFT   Cardigan

ROCK-DEFTONES Ohms

UNTAPED HIP HOP-JANELLE MONAE       Turntables

UNTAPPED AAA-CELESTE              Little Runaway

UNTAPPED AC-JESSIE WARE        Remember Where You Are

UNTAPPED ALT-STAND ATLANTIC             Blurry

UNTAPPED CTY-SPENCER CRANDALL       Say In This

UNTAPPED HOT -VIZE f/ TOM GREGORY Never Let Me Down

UNTAPPED POP-TROYE SIVAN    In A Dream

UNTAPPED ROCK-NICKELBACK   The Devil Went Down To Georgia

A brand new “Beyond Radio Presents” Podcast episode has been added. Check out all the episodes through the above link or by following it on Spotify.

This episode makes connections between '80s Goth and Dark Wave and more recent songs in those styles. It starts on a completely different path at first. Jeff wants to play me a song by a local Maine artist that I find was part of 2 groups I know. This leads to another Struts conversation and 2 collaboration songs.

Once the actual theme starts a few different concert experiences come into play, the lack of baritone and bass vocals in popular music, and a lot of talk about songs that build. This seems to be a comfort zone for Jeff, who offers some interesting connections which leads to one that only I became aware of during editing. This process is always so much fun.

We end on a highlight for Jeff that will lead to the next episode.

Sep 23
How XTC, Radiohead, Big Star and Semisonic connect to my September 1990 Chart

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

My Personal Chart, September 8, 1990

See the chart here

The companion Spotify playlist on the left has all the songs discussed in the blog. The Jellyfish playlist features only the songs discussed in Part 2.

My Personal Chart Blog, September 8, 1990

Part 2, Section 2 - The Power of Pop? The Ecstasy of the Bends, Big Star Worship, and a Semisonic Reunion

Golden Blunders/The Posies (95)

 

This song was just getting started on my chart, in its 2nd week, and would go on to my top 5. Its title, obviously a play on the Beatles song “Golden Slumbers”, has a vastly different meaning. This song is about making mistakes that last a lifetime, alluding to teen pregnancy and the aftermath of a failed marriage (“Four weeks seemed like a long time then, but nine months is longer now” and “Honeymoons will never start, bonds will blow apart just as fast as they were made”). At the time I never thought about the lyrics, the song just fit into that Power Pop sweet spot. The song certainly had an impact on Ringo Starr who covered it on his album, “Time Takes Time”, the album I spoke of in the last post concerning Jellyfish.

The song was another Modern Rock top 20 (#17 peak) and the band had 8 albums between 1988-2016. Their commercial peak came in 1993 with the album “Frosting On The Beater” that produced The #4 “Dream All Day” and “Flavor of The Month”, a song that addressed the rise of oh so many grunge bands from their hometown of Seattle. Funny the album had a bit more of a grunge factor than the previous album with production from Don Fleming, who helmed albums by Screaming Trees and Hole.

Like Jellyfish, the driving force of the Posies, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow met in high school. They got major label support for their 2nd album “Dear 23” and producer John Leckie was brought on. 2 of the albums that he produced over the years were XTC’s “White Music” from 1978 and Radiohead’s “The Bends” in 1995. XTC was certainly an influence on the Posies. The XTC debut album features my introduction to the band, “This Is Pop”, a song that mixes a Post-Punk sensibility with a Power Pop style chorus. “The Bends” is my favorite album of the ‘90s, with the title track definitely among my top 100 songs of all-time. Similar to the Jellyfish song “Joining a Fan Club” it has a great instrumental bridge, but the sonicscape of the song is quite different; dissonance, slicing guitar, feedback, and a quiet/loud tone. Right behind that song would be “Just” a gloriously soaring anthem that I was surprised only reached #37 on the Modern Rock chart (though #19 in the UK). Interestingly the band’s 2nd single in 1993 was called “Pop Is Dead” (not available on Spotify – seek it out on YouTube). I wasn’t expecting to go on this tangent.

In 1993 Auer and Stringfellow joined a resurrected Big Star (while remaining in the Posies), the influential ‘70s band led by Alex Chilton that Rolling Stone magazine called “the quintessential American Power Pop band”. Their song “September Gurls” from the 1974 album “Radio City” was covered by The Bangles on their monster 1986 album “Different Light”. The only thing I knew about Big Star was the name until now. Before Big Star, Alex Chilton was the lead singer of the late ‘60s band The Box Tops, who topped the Hot 100 in 1967 with “The Letter” when he was only 16. They almost reached the top again in 1968 with “Cry Like A Baby”, stalling at #2.

Find the rest here

Sep 21
Feelin' Groovy in 1990

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

My Personal Chart, September 8, 1990

See the chart here

The companion Spotify playlist has all the songs discussed in the blog.

My Personal Chart Blog, September 8, 1990

Part 2, Section 1 - The Anatomy of a Jellyfish and the Power of Pop

The King Is Half Undressed/Jellyfish (24)

 

This song was my introduction into a band that would become one of my favorites of the early ‘90s. The band only released 2 albums, “Bellybutton” in 1990, and “Spilt Milk” in 1993 but they have a legacy that has brought me back to their brand of Power Pop 30 years later. The band has/had a cult following, though some critics derided them as derivative. True that the influences from the Beatles, Queen, the Beach Boys, and XTC are evident, but the pastiche of melody and lyric is what made them special. This is not to say they were not praised as well, one writer calling “Bellybutton” the “Pop album of the year” and the influential Q Magazine giving it 5 stars.

The band was unfortunately lost in a world that was not part of the prevailing popular music trends though they did find an audience on Modern Rock radio. ‘King’ made it to #19 and the follow-up “That Is Why” reached number 11 (and #1 on my personal chart). The bubblegum of “Baby’s Coming Back” took the band onto the Hot 100 where it reached #62, their only appearance on that chart. They fared better on the UK singles chart, hitting that one 6 times with ‘King’ the only one to crack the top 40. 2 other “Bellybutton” appearances on that chart were “I Wanna Stay Home” and “The Scary Merry-Go-Round” EP that featured the song “Now She Knows She’s Wrong (15). The album was co-produced by Albhy Galuten, producer of the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack and 13 U.S. #1 songs by the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb. Barbra Streisand, Frankie Valli, and “Islands In The Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. My friends Brian and Steven gave me a heads up on that separately.

I found an interesting commentary while doing research. “Contributing bass guitar to the album was Redd Kross's Steve McDonald, lured in by the promise of an album that was meant to sound “somewhere between Queen and the Partridge Family”.

Anyone who knows me well is aware that the Partridge Family is partially responsible for my deep dive journey into music consumption. Indeed, the opening of ‘King’ features a harpsichord, so central to PFam’s “I Think I Love You”, while the ending of ‘Baby’ is the most overly Partridge of the bunch. In addition, and funny, Redd Kross contributed to the soundtrack and had a cameo appearance in the 1990 movie “The Spirit of ‘76”, starring David Cassidy. Their song from the soundtrack, “1976” is a fun slice of Power Pop. They also made the Modern Rock top 20 later in ‘90 with “Annie’s Gone”.

The songwriting team of Andy Sturmer (lyrics, lead vocals, and drums) and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (music, keyboards) were central to the songs of Jellyfish. The 2 met in high school and were part of the band Beatnik Beatch in the late ‘80s that produced one album and little exposure but managed to get on 3 ‘80s New Wave collections (?!), 2 of those with the song “Lonesome Town”. Following the 1stalbum, they worked with influences, Ringo Starr and Brian Wilson. The Starr collaboration led to the song “I Don’t Believe You” on his album “Time Takes Time”.

Find the rest here

Sep 15
A Lot Happening at Mid-Month; New Blog Post, Trending Chart and the Alt Sub-Genres

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

 

Trending Chart September 2020

POS/ARTIST/SONG/POS ON BR250/POINTS

1              MILEY CYRUS     Midnight Sky      1              3274.85

There was no touching Miley on the trending chart this week as the song also goes to #1 on the BR250 this week. The pulsating dance-pop preview to her 7th album “She Is Miley Cyrus” addresses pansexuality and debuted at #10 in the UK and #14 on the Hot 100.

2              24KGOLDN f/ IANN DIOR              Mood    27           1660.5

Following the streaming success of “Valentino” last year and reaching the top 15 on Alternative radio earlier this year with “City Of Angels”, the singer and rapper has exploded onto the Pop chart in the last few weeks. He has also hit #1 or #2 on numerous charts around the world as well as the Rock and Alternative songs chart in Billboard. He also shows up on the #25 song by Clean Bandit “Tick Tock” this week.

3              CALVIN HARRIS f/ THE WEEKND Over Now            39           1482.1

I would have expected this this easy-going slice of soul to make a bigger initial splash based on the caliber of the collaboration and The Weeknd’s radio dominance this year. However it is just at #25 on the Pop chart and debuted in the 30’s in the UK and on the Hot 100.

4              DEFTONES           Ohms    20           1444.45

This is the Sacramento alt-metal band’s first release since 2016 and already is at #20 on the BR250. This is their 14th song to reach the Rock top 40.

5              BTS         Dynamite            21           1356.5

6              BLACKPINK & SELENA GOMEZ    Ice Cream            91           946.25

Back to back K-Pop. The Hot 100 #1 by BTS is pure vintage boy band while Blackpink’s collab with Selena Gomez is a more current sound pop-hip-hop hybrid. “Dynamite” had the largest 1st day global streaming of 2020 with close to 8 million plays. “Ice Cream”, co-written by Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Victoria Monet is chock full of double entendres. Both songs are in the top 25 on Pop radio.

7              DUA LIPA f/ MADONNA & MISSY ELLIIOTT             Levitating            13           932.3

Another month, another Dua Lipa song in the Trending top 10. The remix is top 10 on the Dance chart but the question is what will be the next radio single in the U.S. after “Break My Heart”.

8              BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON    What You Gonna Do??? 6              890.05

All of last month’s top 10 have lost points in the tracking period this month except Bastille who only drops one position. The only other songs in this week’s top 25 to still see gains from last month are “WAP at #12 and Betty” at #22. “What You Gona Do???” is currently top 10 Alternative and top 25 Adult Alternative.

9              BIFFY CLYRO       Space    42           874

The Scottish band’s 9th album, “A Celebration of Endings” debuted at #1 on the UK album chart in August, their 3rd in a row. This ballad was written by Steve Mac who has had a longstanding relationship with Westlife and has written songs for artist like Pink, Demi Lovato and Ed Sheeran.

10           SMASHING PUMPKINS  Cyr         108         844

This mid-tempo electro-pop song just entered the Alternative top 40 and previews the band’s 11th album.

11           LONDON GRAMMAR      Baby It's You      30           827.5

There is a subtle groove to the latest from this ethereal band whose 2017 album

12           CARDI B f/ MEGAN THEE STALLION           WAP      10           813.5

13           STEPS    What The Future Holds  136         729.3

14           MARIAH CAREY f/ LAURYN HILL  Save The Day     63           706.9

15           SIGALA & JAMES ARTHUR             Lasting Lover      151         705.8

16           EVERYTHING EVERYTHING           Violent Sun         28           700.3

17           PHOENIX             Identical               128         665.2

18           AGNES  Fingers Crossed 93           631.7

19           NOTHING BUT THIEVES  Unperson            194         586.4

20           DRAKE  Laugh Now Cry Later       86           582.75

21           STRUTS Another Hit Of Showmanship     198         575.1

22           TAYLOR SWIFT   Betty     18           571.45

23           BLOXX   Off My Mind      74           567.9

24           VISTAS  Stranger               212         552.6

25           CLEAN BANDIT & MABEL f/ 24KGOLDN   Tick Tock              51           547.8

See the full chart here

Beyond Radio Alternative Sub-Genre Charts--September 15, 2020

Full charts available via the Genre Charts tab

Alt Pop/Electro

4          1          BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON      What You Gonna Do???

2          2          BEABADOOBEE         Care

5          3          BILLIE EILISH           My Future

1          4          THE 1975      If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know)

10        5          GLASS ANIMALS      Heat Waves

378     6          24KGOLDN f/ IANN DIOR    Mood

48        7          EVERYTHING EVERYTHING           Violent Sun

new     8          LONDON GRAMMAR            Baby It's You

3          9          FUTURE ISLANDS    For Sure

89        10        I DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME       Leave Me Alone

 

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

3          1          JESSIE WARE           What's Your Pleasure?

1          2          JESSIE WARE           Save A Kiss

new     3          MARIAH CAREY f/ LAURYN HILL  Save The Day

6          4          ANDERSON.PAAK     Lockdown

12        5          SAULT            Wildfires

2          6          VICTORIA MONET    Experience

7          7          LIANNE LA HAVAS  Can't Fight

21        8          ROISIN MURPHY      Something More

4          9          HAIM   Don't Wanna

57        10        TONI BRAXTON        Dance

 

Adult Leaning Alternative

new     1          BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON      What You Gonna Do???

1          2          THE KILLERS            My Own Soul's Warning

9          3          GLASS ANIMALS      Heat Waves

new     4          LONDON GRAMMAR            Baby It's You

7          5          DOVES            Prisoners

4          6          FUTURE ISLANDS    For Sure

5          7          CHRIS CORNELL      Patience

2          8          PHOEBE BRIDGERS Kyoto

new     9          SAINT MOTEL           Preach

3          10        DOVES            Carousels

 

Alternative Hip Hop

1          1          DISCLOSURE f/ AMINE & SLOWTHAI       My High

4          2          TERRACE MARTIN & DENZEL CURRY     Pig Feet

2          3          RUN THE JEWELS f/ PHARRELL WILLIAMS & ZACK DE LA ROCHA  Ju$t

new     4          THE AVALANCHES   Wherever You Go

6          5          YVES TUMOR            Gospel For A New Century

new     6          CLIPPING       Say The Name

3          7          GORILLAZ f/ SCHOOLBOY Q         Pac-Man

new     8          PORIJ 150

7          9          JPEGMAFIA   Bald!

14        10        TKAY MAIDZA           Don't Call Again 

 

Alt Rock

4          1          BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON      What You Gonna Do???

new     2          BEABADOOBEE         Care

1          3          NOTHING BUT THIEVES     Real Love Song

5          4          CHRIS CORNELL      Patience

2          5          BRING ME THE HORIZON   Parasite Eve

50        6          I DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME       Leave Me Alone

7          7          FONTAINES DC        Televised Mind

25        8          BIFFY CLYRO            Weird Leisure

38        9          BLOXX            Off My Mind

12        10        BADFLOWER 30

 

Underground

1          1          FONTAINES DC        Televised Mind

new     2          SUFJAN STEVENS    My Rajneesh

new     3          BEABADOOBEE         Sorry

23        4          JAMES BLAKE          Are You Even Real?

new     5          IDLES  Model Village

3          6          IDLES  Grounds

4          7          FONTAINES DC        A Hero's Death

new     8          BON IVER      AUATC

5          9          THE HU          Wolf Totem

new     10        THE AVALANCHES   Wherever You Go

 

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

2          1          TAYLOR SWIFT f/ BON IVER          Exile

4          2          TAYLOR SWIFT         Betty

10        3          THE CHICKS Sleep At Night

9          4          ALANIS MORISETTE            Ablaze

1          5          SEMISONIC    You're Not Alone

new     6          JAMES BAY   Chew On My Heart

new     7          THE GO-GO'S            Club Zero

20        8          THE ROLLING STONES f/ JIMMY PAGE   Scarlet

35        9          SEMISONIC    All It Would Take

11        10        ALANIS MORISETTE            Reckoning

 

My Personal Chart, September 8, 1990

See the chart here

The companion Spotify playlist has all the songs discussed in the blog.

Part 1, First Stop Scottish Folk-Pop, Last Stop Scottish Jangle and Juice

Stone Cold Sober/Del Amitri (1)

The Scottish band’s second album “Waking Hours” was released in the UK in July 1989 and rose to #6 on the album chart there. It wasn't released in the States until March 1990 and was led by the single “Kiss This Thing Goodbye”, a song that reached the Pop top 30 and Alternative top 15 in addition to #8 on my personal chart. There is heavy use of banjo and harmonica in this tune and even with the slide guitar, it doesn’t necessarily come across as a Country song (which it is not). Probably because of the British lilt to lead singer Justin Currie’s voice. Their biggest UK hit (#11) was the strummy “Nothing Ever Happens” which made a random top 100 songs of the ‘90s list. They never reached the top 10 there but did place 5 singles in the top 20 and all 5 of their ‘90s albums reach the top 10.

 

“Move Away Jimmy Blue” (50)is a ballad that I can see a large group of people belting out in a pub with beer mugs in hand (“move away Jimmie Blue before your small, small town turns around and swallows you”). The rootsy Folk-Rock sound of this album helped to usher in the ‘90s Pop-Rock sound made huge by bands like Gin Blossoms, Toad The Wet Sprocket, and Counting Crows. It was the more upbeat tunes on it that had the most impact on me. “Stone Cold Sober” was the second song from the album to reach #1 on my chart. Upbeat yes, but not necessarily happy (“we’re stone cold sober looking for bottles of love, we are the dead life, so come on, come on”). That’s where the bridge kicks the song up a notch. I do love juxtaposition in a song.

The rollicking “Opposite View” (31), a song that was never released as a single, spent 2 weeks at #1 and 11 weeks in the top 10 on my chart, ending up as my #3 song of the year (‘Sober’ was #22 and ‘Kiss” #43). This one is totally a car song to me (“pennies won’t get us to heaven, but a borrowed car just might”) and definitely holds up as my favorite song by the band.

 

“Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello (Petrol)” (11) by Irish band Something Happens serves a similar purpose. Catchy and chugging, this was another Alternative top 15 hit. With the subtitle petrol (the UK term for gasoline), the car imagery is obvious. The song also made the top 50 of the year in the UK mag New Music Express even though it only reached #82 on the UK chart. The album “Stuck Together With God’s Glue” was well received and made the list of 40 greatest Irish albums at #33 when the Irish Times produced the list. The album includes “What Now” (134), the jaunty “The Patience Business”, the downer “Kill The Roses” and their second most well-known song “Parachute”.

Ireland’s Hothouse Flowers saw their biggest U.S. Alternative hit, #2 in 1990 with “Give It Up” (108), a joyously effervescent song. It made it to #16 on my chart but only #30 in the UK. Something about their mix of Irish sensibility, Folk, Rock, and Soul with a nice dose of Gospel makes me feel like they would have been a good Saturday Night Live house band. Or maybe it was their heavy use of saxophone. They appear twice more on my chart this week with the piano-driven “Movies” (70) and the best version of “I Can See Clearly Now” (16) in my opinion. The re-working of the 1972 Johnny Nash hit starts as a solemn ballad and explodes into a Gospel rave-up. The band never reached the top 10 in the UK but had 9 top 10 singles in Ireland including “Hardstone City” and the #1 “Feet On The Ground” from their 1988 debut album “Home”. That was the most successful debut album in Irish history. An obscure fact is that the band contributed to the Indigo Girls song “Closer To Fine”. They provided backing vocals and the tin whistle was played by the band’s vocalist Fiachna Ó Braonáin.

Find the rest here

Sep 9
More of the August 1980 Personal Chart Blog

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

  **Bolded and Underlined songs were on my top 100 this month in 1980 & the number in parentheses is its position on the chart.  

See my August 1980 chart here

 

or follow this link

Part 2, Section 1 – The UK and the Many Faces of New Wave

Squeeze/Pulling Mussels From The Shell (2)

Though the movement had begun a few years earlier in the UK, 1980 was the watershed year for its ascent in the States. By the time the album “Argybargy” (a British expression for a lively discussion or argument) came out in early 1980, the band lead by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, already had 2 albums, 1978’s “Squeeze” and 1979’s “Cool For Cats” and a series of hit singles. I did not know those previous albums and singles until after this album blew up on Boston radio. “Argybary” was the first of their albums to chart in the U.S., reaching #71.

The week of May 17 was when I first bought the album. In the late ‘70s into the early ‘80s, I did a regular airplay chart in addition to my weekly personal chart. I was that geeky music kid that always wanted to discover new music and, of course, I was also extremely interested in stats. Part of it was to see a comparison between what I heard and what the official charts said. The airplay chart started with me spinning the radio dial and keeping a tally of the songs I heard. I still have a lot of those paper charts saved in folders, along with detailed release information. I can’t even fathom how much time I devoted to this stuff.

At some point, I must have started including the spins of the music I owned as well. That week 3 of the songs from the album, ‘Mussels”, “Another Nail In My Heart” (35) 'and “If I Didn’t Love You” (49) all debuted. Since they were 3 of the 4 singles released in the UK I may have heard any number of them on the radio but it’s likely that ‘Mussels’ was the one getting radio exposure at the time as it was the highest debut at #48. From what I can tell though ‘Nail’ was the first single when the album was released and ‘Didn’t Love” You” the second (at least in the States). That song was featured in an episode of “Breaking Bad”.

‘Mussels’ which went to #1 on my chart only reached #44 in the UK. Even ‘Nail” only peaked at #17 there. Despite the surprising singles chart performance, the album is considered a classic. Along with these 3 songs. 2 other songs from the album were on my chart the week of August 3, “Separate Beds” (56) and “Misadventure” (143). Supposedly “Mussels” was inspired by a”holiday’ lyricist Difford went on. The line “behind the chalet, a holiday’s complete” has led to some feeling there is a double entendre in play. One of my favorite parts is the piano bridge.

Their manager in the early years was Miles Copeland III, brother of Stewart Copeland, the drummer of the Police. In late 1979 that band put out their second album “Reggatta de Blanc” which spawned the UK #1 “Message In A Bottle” and 4 other songs that made my top 100, “Bring On The Night”, “The Bed’s Too Big Without You”, “Walking On the Moon” and “It’s Alright For You” plus a song re-released from their first album “So Lonely”. Miles Copeland was also the Police’s manager and in 1979 formed I.R.S. Records that became responsible for the rise of artists like R.E.M., The Go-Go’s. Fine Young Cannibals and The Bangles.

While the early Police albums were a Reggae-Rock hybrid, another Jamaican music style called Ska was having a huge revival in the UK in 1979 and 80. The style was actually called Two-tone as it was a mix of Ska and Punk. The original Ska music was a precursor to Reggae, born in the late ’50s, and was a popular style in the UK in the early ‘60s. The Two-tone revival was exemplified by bands such as The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, Bad Manners, and The English Beat. These bands amassed over 25 top 10 hits over a 2 to 3 year period between 79-81. At the time they had minimal impact on my personal chart with only The English Beat’s remake of ‘Tears of A Clown” making my top 100, peaking at #26 in April 1980.

Madness was certainly the most prolific of this group of artists, clocking in 17 UK top 10’s (9 in a row over 2 years) and 31 songs making the top 40. Their only #1 on the UK chart, “House of Fun” from 1982, came after that with a #14 in between. They certainly employed a more pop bent to the style overall, certainly evidenced on their one Stateside top 10, “Our House”. A snippet of their 1st UK top 10 “One Step Beyond” is used in 2019’s fantastic cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” by the L.A. band The Interrupters. That Ska-Punk version went to #2 on my chart (and should have hit #1). We discuss that song and Ska in general on the “Beyond Radio Presents” Podcast (Castlist #5, Episode 1) released on April 7, 2020.

The Motors/Love And Loneliness (4)

One of the many facets of the New Wave movement came from a subset called Pub Rock. The scene drew from early Rock & Roll and R&B. It was a response against the Progressive Rock and Glam of the early ‘70s. It had a back to basics approach and was fueled mostly by indie record labels. The original scene was supposedly short-lived and was usurped by the Punk scene. The scene did not generate much in the way of radio hits in the UK. The Motors “Airport” was one of them in 1978, reaching #4, though being synth-driven I feel the song was veering more into New Wave territory.

The swirling synth line of “Love And Loneliness” hooked me in. It only peaked at #58 in the UK but would go all the way to #1 on my chart. The album it came from, their 3rd and last, “Tenement Steps” did not even crack the UK album chart. The song was remade by Chris Thompson in 1986 with a more guitar-based approach, with the replete sax solo so prevalent at the time and returned to #1 on my chart. That was featured on the soundtrack of “American Anthem”, a highly derided movie, which starred gymnast Mitch Gaylord who was nominated for a Razzie for his performance. Thompson’s voice would be recognizable from 2 ‘70s hits, Manfred Mann’s 1977 “Blinded By The Light” and his solo ballad “If You Remember Me” from the movie “The Champ” in 1979.

The Motors followed ‘Loneliness” with “Time For Makeup” (68) a bouncy, carnivalesque ditty, that would make my top 10 in the fall of 1980. 2 earlier singles were also covered by other artists. 1977’s “Dancing The Night Away” was done by Cheap Trick and “Forget About You” by teen heartthrob Leif Garrett. That song is extremely reminiscent of the Grass Roots “Sooner Or Later”. One of the members of the band, Bram Tchaikovsky, turned solo in 1979 and scored a top 40 hit in the States, “Girl Of My Dreams”, which did not chart in the UK.

 

Read the rest here

Aug 31
The Summer Ends With a Little Watermelon
"Watermelon Sugar" sees enough of an increase over the last 2 weeks to overtake "Rain On Me", which eroded more than a third of its points. "Hallucinate" is right on Harry Styles heels and knowing the nature of this chart it could become her 4th #1 of the year. Dua Lipa also returns to the BR250 at #41 with the remix of "Levitating", beating its old peak of 44. Kylie Minogue gets pushed down 1 spot while Taylor Swift holds steady at #5 with "Cardigan" in addition to moving up 17-7 with "Exile". This week Swift has 8 songs on the BR250. 2 songs from the top 10 of the last Trending chart splash into the top 25. Bastille moves 33-12 and Billie Eilish 37-17. Right behind her, Miley Cyrus crashes onto the chart at #17 with a her straightforward dance-pop confection "Midnight Sky", already #2 on the UK airplay chart. UK songstress Raye follows 2 major 2020 hits as a featured vocalist (Regard's 'Secrets" and Jax Jones' "Tequila") and surges 29-14 with her infectious "Natalie Don't". The song just reached the UK top 20 and made it to #5 in Israel.  The final new entry to the top 25, "For Sure" by Baltimore's Future Islands, is from their forthcoming album "As Long As You Are". The synth-pop track is currently top 15 on AAA radio. Just missing the top 25 is "WAP" by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion at #26. It was last week's #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. I have no words for this song.
Aug 26
Pod-Castlist 006, Episode 1

In this inaugural episode of Pod-Castlist 006 Jeff and I discuss a handful of songs from bands with quirky names and that tend to go in multiple musical directions during the course of 3 or 4 minutes. As often seems to happen there is some kind of connection to Queen on the episode as well.

A sub-thread about supergroups starts in this episode and extends into episode 2 (the intention was 1 episode but it would have been over 90 minutes).

A short-lived band (and 1 of my favorites) from the early '90s makes a prominent appearance in the second half of the episode and as is usually the case, there is a perfectly timed discovery while editing this episode (which was recorded in Oct. 2018). I must be in sync with the universe.

Enjoy the music discussed and featured on this Spotify playlist. As more episodes are added other songs we discuss will be added to the playlist.

One of the new bands mentioned in the Podcast is the Lickerish Quartet, 3 former members of that early '90s  band.

 

In episode 2 we continue our conversation with a song title that references a book series but from a content perspective has nothing to do with it. It does lead us into a more in depth look at supergroups, transitioning from an Alt/Metal group to one of the biggest supergroups of all time. A fact that Jeff was unaware of.

Discussing a song by the Last Shadow Puppets that Jeff was kind of sour on may have helped to turn him around on it. And a member of one of the bands it was born from links to another supergroup that connects back to 2 previously discussed bands.

We settle into an alternative comfort zone for Jeff where he appreciates 2 songs he did not know, he talks about a song I don't remember and find out about one of his favorite albums.

In the end, we have some fun with Morrissey and that brings back a connection to a conversation we had in the second episode of the podcast (I thought it was the first).

Aug 15
A Battle for the Top Spot on the Trending 100, and a Surprise Victor/Alternative Sub-Genre Charts for August

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

August 2020

POS/ARTIST/SONG/POS ON BR250/POINTS

1              KYLIE MINOGUE               Say Something  3              3427.95

The lead single from her 19th studio album “Disco”, surprisingly eclipses the surge of Taylor Swift’s “Cardigan” to take the top spot on the Trending chart for August. Both songs were added to 29 charts, but Kylie sneaks out the win. Both also vault into the top 5 on this week’s BR250. In the UK ‘Something’ moves up to #11 on the airplay chart.

2              TAYLOR SWIFT   Cardigan              5              3388.25

Swift can claim a victory however as 8 songs from the surprise album “Folklore” make it into the top 60 on the Trending chart. The album is a departure for her, introspective with an Alternative-Folk bent to it, written and recorded during the pandemic. In addition to oft producer Jack Antonoff she enlisted Aaron Dessner of the Alternative band The National as producers.

3              BEABADOOBEE Care       10           2267.2

Like going back to the mid-90’s and listening to Veruca Salt and Liz Phair. Not necessarily a bad thing. After 5 EP releases her debut album “Fake It Flowers” is on track for an October release.

4              TAYLOR SWIFT f/ BON IVER          Exile       17           2128

I have never been a fan of Swift or Bon Iver but I will admit that I’ll be giving this and other tracks from the album more time to digest. This debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 last week, 1 of 13 songs from the album that debuted in the top 50 (“Cardigan” at #1 and “The 1” at #4). Speaking of not a fan, the current methodology for the Hot 100 makes me a little bit crazy but I am certainly an old school guy.

5              DUA LIPA             Hallucinate          4              1791.4

Radio single #4 is another Pop confection from the unstoppable Lipa. Already top 5 on the UK airplay chart, I’m sure it will follow suit in the States. She shows up again at #34 on the J. Balvin song “Un Dia (One Day)”. Her remix of “Levitating” with Madonna and Missy Elliott, just released, should impact on the next BR250 and bring the song back into the top 50 (or higher, it originally peaked at #44). A remix album is lsated for release at the end of the month.

6              KYGO & TINA TURNER    What's Love Got To Do With It    13           1611.3

Now this remix seems to me to be a waste of time. I get that he brought Whitney Houston back from the dead on last year’s “Higher Love” but at least her original version was not well known, appearing on the Japanese version of the album, ”I’m Your Baby Tonight”. This modernizes the song slightly but to me is a big yawn.

7              BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON    What You Gonna Do??? 33           1586.1

The rockier edge on the latest Bastille single is a welcome change of pace and Alternative radio is responding, already in the top 20.

8              BILLIE EILISH       My Future           37           1521.2

The song starts in familiar Eilish territory and then goes full out “Miss Chatelaine” lounge. It debuted at #6 on the current Hot 100 chart. It is the second animated video on the chart, after "Hallucinate". It is not vaulting up the airplay charts, so we’ll see how this one plays out. Her song “ilomilo” is also getting Alternative play right now.

9              KATY PERRY        Smile     14           1487.35

The title song from her upcoming album is all over TV, featured in the current crop of Target commercials.

10           TROYE SIVAN     Easy       41           1392.8

Australian Sivan had released a trio of songs from his upcoming EP, ”In A Dream”. They seem to like him in New Zealand. “Take Yourself Home” reached #9 this spring and this hit #11.

11           LITTLE MIX          Holiday 57           1299.35

12           TAYLOR SWIFT   Betty     73           1193.8

13           CHRIS CORNELL Patience              39           1100.25

14           MCFLY  Happiness           85           1076.6

15           AVA MAX            Who's Laughing Now      88           1045.5

16           DOVES  Prisoners             55           1038.5

17           NOTHING BUT THIEVES  Real Love Song  9              1031.4

18           JOEL CORRY f/ MNEK      Head & Heart     7              1018.95

19           FUTURE ISLANDS              For Sure               28           966.35

20           JAMES BAY          Chew On My Heart          48           963.25

Full Trending chart here

 

Beyond Radio Alternative Sub-Genre Charts--August 15, 2020 Each of these charts (top 100’s) now have their own page found on the Monthly Genre Charts Menu

 

Alt Pop/Electro

1 1 THE 1975 If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know) new 2 BEABADOOBEE Care 157 3 FUTURE ISLANDS For Sure new 4 BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON What You Gonna Do??? new 5 BILLIE EILISH My Future new 6 JUICE WRLD & MARSHMELLO Come & Go 3 7 PERFUME GENIUS On The Floor 196 8 SAINT MOTEL Preach 5 9 BENEE f/ GUS DAPPERTON Supalonely new 10 GLASS ANIMALS Heat Wave

 

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

1 1 JESSIE WARE Save A Kiss 3 2 VICTORIA MONET Experience 7 3 JESSIE WARE What's Your Pleasure? new 4 HAIM Don't Wanna 4 5 ARLO PARKS Black Dog 16 6 ANDERSON.PAAK Lockdown 22 7 LIANNE LA HAVAS Can't Fight 2 8 DOJA CAT Say So 15 9 JESSIE WARE The Kill 6 10 JESSIE WARE Spotlight

Adult Leaning Alternative

2 1 THE KILLERS My Own Soul's Warning 7 2 PHOEBE BRIDGERS Kyoto 5 3 DOVES Carousels 78 4 FUTURE ISLANDS For Sure new 5 CHRIS CORNELL Patience 1 6 THE KILLERS Caution 84 7 DOVES Prisoners 4 8 PERFUME GENIUS On The Floor 52 9 GLASS ANIMALS Heat Waves 6 10 TRAVIS A Ghost

 

Alternative Hip Hop

12 1 DISCLOSURE f/ AMINE & SLOWTHAI My High 2 2 RUN THE JEWELS f/ PHARRELL WILLIAMS & ZACK DE LA ROCHA Ju$t new 3 GORILLAZ f/ SCHOOLBOY Q Pac-Man 1 4 TERRACE MARTIN & DENZEL CURRY Pig Feet 3 5 ROSALIA & TRAVIS SCOTT TKN 26 6 YVES TUMOR Gospel For A New Century 18 7 JPEGMAFIA Bald! new 8 TRAVIS BARKER & RUN THE JEWELS Forever 4 9 FREDDIE GIBBS & THE ALCHEMIST Something To Rap About 45 10 BISHOP NEHRU Meathead

Alt Rock

6 1 NOTHING BUT THIEVES Real Love Song 5 2 BRING ME THE HORIZON Parasite Eve 1 3 WEEZER Hero new 4 BASTILLE F/ GRAHAM COXON What You Gonna Do??? new 5 CHRIS CORNELL Patience 2 6 KENNYHOOPLA How Will I Rest In Peace If I'm Buried by A Highway 19 7 FONTAINES DC Televised Mind 8 8 THE STROKES Bad Decisions 9 9 IDLES Grounds new 10 YUNGBLUD Strawberry Lipstick

Underground

8 1 FONTAINES DC Televised Mind 1 2 FIONA APPLE Shameika 4 3 IDLES Grounds 7 4 FONTAINES DC A Hero's Death 11 5 THE HU Wolf Totem 62 6 YVES TUMOR Gospel For A New Century 209 7 ANOTHER SKY Fell In Love with The City 15 8 ARCA f/ ROSALIA KLK 55 9 THE RADIO DEPT. You're Lookin' At My Guy 9 10 THE RADIO DEPT. You Fear The Wrong Thing, Baby

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

5 1 SEMISONIC You're Not Alone new 2 TAYLOR SWIFT f/ BON IVER Exile 1 3 THE ROLLING STONES Living In A Ghost Town new 4 TAYLOR SWIFT Betty 30 5 THE CHICKS March March 10 6 THE PRETENDERS Didn't Want To Be This Lonely 6 7 MATT MAESON Hallucinogenics 41 8 MARGO PRICE Letting Me Down new 9 ALANIS MORISETTE Ablaze new 10 THE CHICKS Sleep At Night

Aug 12
My Personal Chart Blog, August 1980, Part 1, Section 3, Big Albums continued, more Background Cross-Pollination and the Party Record of the Year

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

  **Bolded and Underlined songs were on my top 100 this month in 1980 & the number in parentheses is its position on the chart.  

See my August 1980 chart here

 

Boz Scaggs got his start in the mid-60s with a failed solo album before teaming up with childhood and college friend Steve Miller as part of his band on their 1st2 records in 1968 and 1969. The early Steve Miller Band albums were vastly different than the hit-making machine of the ’70s, steeped in Psychedelic Blues instead of heartland Classic Rock. Scaggs wrote and sang lead on a couple of tracks from each album, including “Steppin’ Stone”. Going solo again in the late 60s my introduction to him was the song “Dinah Flo” from 1972. This song indicated a direction change, one to a more soulful Pop stance. It only reached #86 on the Hot 100 but certainly received its share of airplay on NYC rock station WNEW, as did 1974’s ‘You Make It So Hard (To Say No”).

His true breakthrough came in 1976 with the album “Silk Degrees” that spawned 5 hit songs. His original version of “We’re All Alone” was not released as a single but received substantial airplay and is my preferred version, though I do like the Rita Coolidge hit version as well. 5 of the songs from the album and all 4 single releases were co-written by David Paich who would go on to form Toto the following year. 1980 became another big year for Scaggs with the release of the album “Middle Man” and a contribution to the “Urban Cowboy” Soundtrack. 2 of those songs, the rocker “Breakdown Dead Ahead” (45) and the movie ballad “Look What You’ve Done To Me” (6), both reached #1 on my personal chart and made my top 10 of the year. The entire album, along with the soundtrack single, was co-written by Scaggs and David Foster while members of Toto also contributed as musicians, most notably Steve Lukather. He also helped write 1 song from the album. All 9 songs from the album placed on my personal chart with this week boasting 5 of them (‘Breakdown’, “Jojo” (48), a song about a pimp on Broadway, “Middle Man” (91), “Isn’t It Time” (111), and ”You Got Some Imagination” (141) ).

Scaggs received other star assists as well from Carlos Santana, Ray Parker Jr., and members of the Eagles (backing vocals on ‘Look’). That song was written and recorded in 1 night. The studio had requested the song for the shooting of the scene the next day. Later in the year, he released “Hits”, a greatest hits package with the new song “Miss Sun”. After that, it wasn’t until 1988 that he released new music again. His 1st name is an abbreviated version of a nickname he got as a child, Bosley.

Quite a few of the performers on the Boz Scaggs songs showed up on the album “21 At 33” by Elton John. The title meaning he had 21 album/EP releases by the age of 33. Lukather and Paich from Toto, David Foster, members of the Eagles, Bill Champlin of Chicago, and a regular Elton contributor James Newton Howard all appeared. This was an underrated album of his in my opinion. It only generated 1 true hit with the easy-going “Little Jeannie” (36). That was only his 2nd top 10 on the Hot 100 since 1976, a period where he dabbled in Disco and wrote with songwriters other than Bernie Taupin. ‘Jeannie’ was co-written with Gary Osborne, whom he had collaborated with on the 1978 album “A Single Man”. His 1979 disco album “Victim Of Love” actually had no songs written by John on it and none have ever been performed live.

The 2nd single from “21 at 33” was “Sartorial Eloquence (Don’t Ya Wanna Play This Game No More?)” (3), which would go to #1 on my chart the following week. It has stood up as one of my favorite songs by him, but barely made the Hot 100 top 40 at #39 and missed the top 40 in the UK at #44. It does have an interesting history though, becoming the theme to the BBC’s annual coverage of the World Snooker Championship. Snooker is a cue sport like pool, with the added level of impeccably dressed participants. Sartorial means “of or related to a tailor or tailored clothing”. So, it makes total sense that one of my favorite songs of 1975 was a song called “Snookeroo” by Ringo Starr, another song relating to the game AND written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It was coupled with “No-No Song” and a double-sided single in the States, reaching #3 on the Hot 100. It did not chart in the UK and surprisingly through his solo career, Starr did much better on the charts overall in the U.S.

The lyrics to ‘Eloquence’ were written by Tom Robinson. His band had a handful of UK top 40 hits, their debut single “2-4-6-8 Motorway” reaching #5 in 1977. I must remember this song from airplay on WBCN and WFNX in Boston as I know it well, but I never charted it back during my college days. Robinson, who is gay, attempted suicide at the age of 16 when homosexual activity was a crime in the UK. In ‘Motorway’ he references a gay truck driver and 1 of his most popular songs is “Glad To Be Gay”.

Another favorite from “21 at 33” is “Two Rooms At The End Of The World” (10), 1 of 3 songs on the album reuniting John with Bernie Taupin. The other 2, “White Lady White Powder” and “Chasing The Crown” which would debut the following week, would make 5 top 20s on my chart in 1980, 4 of which would make the top 10. These 3 are all upbeat Pop-Rockers. I can’t decide if I like ‘Rooms’ (horn-laden with a Phil Collins vibe) or ‘Crown’ (rollicking with urgent female background vocals) better.

Another album that had all of its songs reach my personal chart (and all 7 made the top 15) is “Hold Out” by Jackson Browne. I can’t say that would be the case this time around. It is already showing signs of weakness with “Boulevard” (52) which originally peaked at #5 and “Hold Out” (100)that made it all the way to the top. That song will at least make it to the top 25, I suspect. The song that will probably perform the best is “Disco Apocalypse” which was the last song I charted from the album. That could probably return to the top 10. Browne has connections to Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, and a myriad of other artists, being a prolific songwriter. In 1966 he was a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In the summer of 1980, they had a top 25 hit “Make A Little Magic” with the aforementioned Nicolette Larson. This was the last week that the Eagles “In The City” (126) was in my top 150, after peaking at #2 in June. That was my last charted song from their swan song album “The Long Run”. Joe Walsh was featured on lead vocal and he is represented on the chart this week as well with his solo song “All Night Long” (73).

Bob Seger was a co-writer on the Eagles 1979 hit “Heartache Tonight”. The Detroit rocker’s album “Against The Wind” was a major player for me back then with 9 songs charting; the best showing the title track (117) that peaked at #5. This week 4 others are on the chart “You’ll Accomp’ny Me” (123), “No Man’s Land” (108), “Long Twin Silver Line” (77) and “Betty Lou’s Gettin’ Out Tonight” (47). Like Browne, he suffers in the present day, I imagine from Classic Rock burnout. “Fire Lake” has seen the biggest erosion, down from #8 in 1980 to a #58 peak now.

These major players on my 1980 personal chart (Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Boz Scaggs, Elton John, Jackson Browne, and Bob Seger) all got their starts in the late 60s and early 70s, spending the better part of a decade honing their craft before reaching their peak. I can’t say this is as true nowadays. Likewise, the J. Geils Band got their start in the mid-60s. The band started as an acoustic blues trio called Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels. I love this, being a big Peanuts fan. By the end of the decade they had moved towards electric blues and through the 70s solidified their stance a bar band with a number of well-known party songs starting with 1971’s “Looking For A Love” and continuing with 1973’s “(Ain’t Nothin’ But) a House Party”. They really came into their own commercially with the album “Love Stinks”. This was the biggest album for me that year, perhaps because I was a newcomer to Massachusetts, their home base. They clocked 3 #1’s and a #2 on my chart and placed 5 songs in my year-end top 100. “Come Back” had the right ingredients (dance pulse and rock swagger) to become my #1 song of the year. I love it when those 2 elements come together exactly right. Seth Justman’s keyboard is just killer in this gem.

Lead singer Peter Wolf started out as a late-night DJ on Boston’s WBCN in the late 60s and was married to Faye Dunaway from 1974-1979. Perhaps the song “Love Stinks” was written in response to that break-up. This was another #1 on my chart for the band and just missed the top 10 this time around. Both of these songs had minor national top 40 impact, reaching #32 and #38 but they were ubiquitous in Boston. There have been comparisons made to the Kingsmen “Louie Louie” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” but to me, either is a stretch. The song has been used in a number of movies, most notably “The Wedding Singer”.

The album is a true party record. The guitar/keyboard/harmonica combo is a winner. The hand-clappy “Just Can’t Wait” (19) was the 3rdsingle release and another #1 for me. “Till The Walls Come Tumblin’ Down” (28) and “Takin’ You Down” (a #2 peak on my chart) both feature response backing vocals (ooh yeah) and feel like good time drinking songs. “No Anchovies Please” is a great unexpected comedy piece (“that bowling ball, it’s my wife!”). “Night Time” (90), coming off a #19 peak in June is a sped-up remake of the Strangeloves 1966 top 30 hit. 1 of the Strangloves was Richard Gottehrer, who if you remember was Blondie’s original producer and co-founded Sire Records. Another unexpected connection that makes my life so great.

Aug 6
My Personal Chart Blog, August 1980

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

  **Bolded and Underlined songs were on my top 100 this month in 1980 & the number in parentheses is its position on the chart.  

See my August 1980 chart here

Part 1, Big albums, Dabbling in Alternate Styles and Six Degrees of Toto and Paul Shaffer

Billy Joel/Sometimes A Fantasy (1)

This was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college and the music landscape was changing. Having moved from New Jersey to Boston in the fall of ’79 I discovered 3 essential things in my music life. Used record stores, small local clubs with live music in a thriving music town, and a different kind of radio palette than I was used to from NYC radio. Of course, the Pop, Dance, and late 70’s AOR bands were all part of it but 3 radio stations were offering a wider mix of rock music; WBCN, WCOZ, and the very local WLYN which would morph into the influential 80s’/90s’ station WFNX.

My personal chart was becoming more diverse because of this and expanded to 200 songs per week on the week of Oct. 21, 1979 (my #1 song that week was “The Main Event” by Barbra Streisand). With so many songs my chart was becoming slower moving so by the beginning of 1980 it might take a song 5 months to reach the top of my chart. In the years since my chart has become much faster paced. To illustrate the point, the top 10 from my original chart for the week of Aug. 3 had 7 songs that had peaked at radio in March, April, and May. Here they are:

2 DAN FOGELBERG Heart Hotels my

3 BOZ SCAGGS Breakdown Dead Ahead my

4 BILLY JOEL You May Be Right ap

5 J. GEILS BAND Come Back mr

6 THE CLASH Train In Vain (Stand By Me) my

8 CHRISTOPHER CROSS Ride Like The Wind ap

9 J. GEILS BAND Love Stinks my

I started creating an updated chart for each week from that period last fall when I began working on the retro personal charts for the website. These move more like my current charts do so the music is much timelier to the date. And certainly, my view of songs has changed with quite a number of songs that never charted for me back then that have become favorites making impact, and conversely, some songs that did well with my 19-year-old self have fallen out of favor.

There were quite a few huge albums that generated 6 or more songs on my chart back then. Ones like “The Wall” and “Against The Wind” I will cover in other posts. The above list features 4 artists whose albums were huge for me at the time. Billy Joel’s “Glass Houses” was one where all 10 songs from it charted for me. Clearly, Joel was a holdover of my NYC radio days. Being a Long Island guy, he was ubiquitous.

Even with that, he had become an international superstar and this album was a departure in style for him. He incorporated a rockier New Wave edge to a bulk of the album, definitely a thing at that moment in time. New Wave and Punk had been slowly rising in popularity in the late 70s’ (much quicker in the UK than the States). The #1 song of 1979 was “My Sharona” by The Knack and M’s “Pop Musik” was another Pop #1. It was typical for artists to jump on stylistic bandwagons as their careers progressed with varying results. ’79 was still early in the process as the next closest songs with that influence on Billboard’s Hot 100 were ‘Let’s Go” by the Cars which peaked at #14 and “Driver’s Seat” by Sniff ‘N The Tears, reaching #15.

It was perfect timing for Joel because he achieved his 1st Hot 100 #1 with “It’s Still Rock ‘N Roll To Me”. It spent 2 weeks at the top and fell to #2 this week in 1980. This is one that did not hold up for me. It reached #9 on my chart 40 years ago but couldn’t rise above #70 this time around. This was true of the 1st single as well but to a lesser extent. “You May Be Right” reached #17 on the 2020 version of my chart, while it spent 3 weeks at #1 back then.

“Sometimes A Fantasy”, the 4th single from the album is one of the most New-Wavey of the songs on the album and it holds up nicely for me, reaching the summit in both 1980 and now. The song about phone sex actually hit #1 on Feb. 8, 1981, on the old charts but struggled to reach the Hot 100 top 40, finally topping out at #36. The actual #1 on the original Aug. 3 chart was another from the album, “Close To The Borderline” (20), and still made it into my top 5 now. It has a nice staccato guitar lick and a somewhat affected vocal by Joel. He received the Grammy for Male Rock Vocal Performance for the album.

The ballad “Through The Long Night” (148) is a stunning example of a fall from grace. It was #2 on my chart at the beginning of October that year and is struggling to stay in the top 150 right now. The Latin-tinged “Don’t Ask Me Why” became a #1 Adult Contemporary song in the fall and was released as the 3rd single at the end of July. It too may have a hard time making inroads now.

A song that should do equally as well as the 1st time around is “All For Leyna” (debut-81) which made it to #9. Another more up-tempo tune. plus more piano-driven, this was released as a single in Europe and hit #40 in the UK and #16 in Spain. Here it was the B-side of ‘Fantasy’.

Another major artist who took the New Wave direction on her 1980 album “Mad Love” was Linda Ronstadt. She was nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance at the Grammys in 1981 for the 1st single “How Do I Make You”, a Hot 100 #10 that, according to the songwriter Billy Steinberg, was influenced by “My Sharona”. She lost to Pat Benatar (who won the award 4 years in a row between ’81- ‘84. Both ladies had a hard time recreating their original luster on my chart. ‘Make You’ and Benatar’s “You Better Run” (122) made my top 10 last time out. Neither made the top 30 this time. I did not know that this song was a remake, done by the Garfield, NJ (right across the river from my hometown of Passaic) band the Rascals. It was the follow-up to their #1 song “Good Lovin’” and reached #20 in 1966. It fared better than Benatar’s version which only reached #42.

Read the rest here

Aug 3
July Charts are Updated plus an Overhaul of the Untapped Resources Charts

The BR250 July 2020

 

The combo of Gaga and Grande has a commanding lead over the sugary summer concoction that is “Watermelon Sugar”. The song has not gotten as much radio love in the States as in Europe and Australia but the ladies have forceful fan bases. The one new entry in the top 10 shows up even though it is already descending at radio. "Be Kind", another collab between Marshmello and Halsey, is helped by the compilation charts from Crownnote, M4B and Buzzjack that mostly have had the song in the top 15 throughout the month. I'm not a fan of Halsey generally but this and "Rain On Me" look to enter my top 100 next week.

Right outside the top 10 3 songs surge from outside the top 50. “Parasite Eve” moves 52-12 after placing at #3 on the trending chart at mid-month. Joel Corry was right behind on the trending chart at #4 and jumps 69-15. Dua Lipa releases her 4th radio single with “Hallucinate” and bounds 84-13, making it her 5th top 15 on the BR250 in 2020 (“Future Nostalgia” peaked at #12 but was not pitched to radio, at least not yet).

The return of the Doves with the ethereal “Carousels” apparently has clicked with our audience as it enters the top 25 at #11. The sister trio Haim reaches the top 30 for the 4th time in the last year with the #19 “Don’t Wanna”. “Now I’m In It” has performed the best, peaking at #13 last November.

The top 10 Alternative radio song by Kennyhoopla continues its upward climb here, up to #20 from #28. Of interest are 2 other current Alternative radio top 25 songs that enter the BR250 for the 1st time this week. Bakar’s Retro-Soul/Reggae AAA #1 “Hell n Back” (Alt radio #17) enters at #242 in its 35th week in release while the Wallows “Are You Bored Yet?” (Alt radio #21) breaks in at #246 in its 79th week.

The last new entry in the top 25, Blackpink’s “How You Like That” *62-21) is one of the few K-Pop songs to gain traction on the BR250. The Crownnote top 100 is the compilation chart that reflects those fans in a big way.

This is a slow week for songs new to the BR250 as the highest debut is Kygo’s update of Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It” at #116. Hard to believe she’s 80 years old. The August trending chart will most likely see action from a handful of July late comers, Kylie Minogue’s “Say Something”, Taylor Swift’s “Cardigan”, Billie Eilish’s “My Future”, “Chew On My Heart” by James Bay and the late Chris Cornell’s take on the G’N’R song “Patience”.

My birthday was last Tuesday so the past week had been focused in other directions. Because of that the July monthly charts were a bit late. I have done a major update on the Untapped charts. Originally untapped songs were based on radio saturation in the U.S. A couple of years ago I added saturation in the European and Australian markets to the formula. As of this month I have added saturation on the Beyond Radio genre charts to the formula. This change makes the Untapped charts more reflective of the songs that are bubbling in each genre. There were too many instances when the top of the main genre chart and the untapped chart were the same, exhibiting the waning importance of radio, though it still is a factor.

For my birthday I created a playlist of some of my favorite songs from 1970, 80, 90, 2000, 2010 and 2020, going with the theme of the monthly retro personal chart playlists and blog posts. My August 1980 personal chart will be forthcoming.

Or go directly to Spotify here. You can follow me and access any of my over 300 playlists.

Jul 31
New Music Friday

Happy weekend! Such a simple song but if it doesn't rev you up I can't help you LOL.

 

Not my typical lane but I kind of like it.

 

This Brit metal band always entertains. I'd describe this song as electro-thrash.

Cute and clever summery country ditty.

Roosevelt has reached my top 5 twice. This is another electro-dance gem from them.

 

Nice return from the UK outfit, along with "Carousels", the ethereal side of the Coldplay playbook. They topped my chart in 2002 with "Caught By The River".

 

Who doesn't like a dance contest in ill-fitting suits set to a strummy-kinetic beat.

If you can't get out of your own way here's a song for you.

For those who are looking for something that sounds like a little 70's summer breeze.

Jul 25
2 Part Beyond Radio Presents Podcast, Castlist 4&5-Our Top 10's

Too much to fit into one super-sized episode so breaking it down into 2 parts. We get part of the way through our top 10's and then go on a COVID-19 tangent in Part 1. Definitely some surprises (and pleasant ones) on both lists. I think I might have overwhelmed Jeff with all the songs that got added to the playlists after the episodes. We talk about A LOT of music over the course of a Castlist.

It's funny how these top 10 episodes can end up being great introductions into the podcasts from the Castlist playlists if you haven't listened to the others.

In Part 2, Jeff floored me again with 2 of the songs in his top 4. After the top 10 we talk about honorable mentions and what he calls his off list. He found so much music to like in what I add to the playlist through our discussions and the narrative that unfolds. In the end he has become a Harry Styles fanboy. We all should be.

Some of the other artists featured include Elton John, The Glorious Sons, Counting Crows, The Interrupters, Guster, Lawrence, Hanson, The Bird & The Bee, J-Hope, Caitlyn Smith, Adam Lambert and Morrissey

Jul 22
Part 2 of My Personal Chart Blog, July 1970
 

See my July 1970 chart here

The companion Spotify playlist has all the songs discussed in the blog that are available. The playlist on the right is just the songs from this post. 

 

**Underlined songs were on my top 100 this month in 1970 & the number in parentheses is its position on the chart.

Part 2, Family Ties, The 70/20 Parallel and the Writer Behind the Song

The Carpenters/(They Long To Be) Close To You (2)

 

I was definitely not finished with my discussion of the Carpenters. Since my mother was such a huge fan of Karen Carpenter, I was fortunate enough to have my first concert experience when I was 10 years old. We drove in the wood-paneled station wagon down to the Garden State Arts Center to see them perform. I can’t say I remember much about the concert itself, but I remember the excitement of going and the feeling of being in this cool amphitheater. Years later when my sister was a teenager in dancing school her troupe got to perform on that stage as well, which was a big deal.

In listening to the songs from the album I was surprised at how many of the songs I remembered but I am sure that most were played at the concert as well. One of the more interesting ones is the Richard Carpenter/John Bettis penned “Mr. Guder”. Triangle, Flute, and signature harmonies are the backdrop for a song about a robotic company man. With Carpenter, Bettis penned quite a number of the duo’s hits like “Only Yesterday” and “Yesterday Once More”. Bettis has co-written songs for a myriad of Pop and Country artists including “Crazy For You” by Madonna, “Slow Hand” by the Pointer Sisters, and George Strait’s “Heartland”. In addition, he wrote the theme to the sitcom “Growing Pains” and the anthem for the Summer Olympics in 1988, Whitney Houston’s “One Moment In Time”.

One of my favorites from the album is “Maybe It’s You” with its prominent use of the oboe and lovely chorus. In Sept. 1970 they released “We’ve Only Just Begun”, my #11 of the year, co-written by another well-known lyricist, Paul Williams. Williams had his fingers in another television theme song, writing lyrics for “The Love Boat”. 2 of his most important songs, in my opinion, are Barbra Streisand’s Evergreen” from “A Star is Born” and “Rainbow Connection” from “The Muppet Movie”. Many people may remember him from his acting career as well. He showed up a lot in TV and film through the ’70s, most notably the “Smokey And The Bandit” film series.

The origins of ‘Begun’ are interesting as well. It first showed up in early 1970 as the music in a commercial for the Crocker National Bank of California, sung by Williams. Upon hearing it Richard Carpenter asked Williams if there was a full version of the song. They were both under contract with A&M Records. From an insignificant beginning to a major radio smash (hitting #1 in Cashbox Magazine and #2 for 4 weeks in Billboard), the song was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 as well as making the Rolling Stone top 500 of all time at #414.

Of particular note, it stalled at #2 in Billboard behind 2 other families. The real family, Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There”, and the fictitious family, the Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You” (more on them later in the year). Right behind the Carpenters on my July 1970 chart is the Jackson 5 with “The Love You Save” (3), their third of 4 Billboard #1’s that year. While the previous 2 songs had reached my top 10 (“I Want You Back” #7 and “ABC” #5 (38)) this was my favorite of the bunch. You may not be aware that the song references 4 historic figures; Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell, and Christopher Columbus.

The ballad “I’ll Be There” followed ‘Save’ in September and became the group’s biggest hit, and their last #1 in Billboard. It would not be the last time the song reached #1, as Mariah Carey brought it back to the summit in 1992. The song replaced Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through The Grapevine” as Motown’s most successful single until it was supplanted in 1981 by “Endless Love” the movie theme sung by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross. Of course, Mariah Carey comes back into play, as her version of this song with Luther Vandross climbed to #2 in 1994.

While the group did not have another Billboard #1, the next 2 singles which peaked at #2, both reached #1 in the rival magazine Cashbox. “Mama’s Pearl” was another favorite of the time. It certainly fell in line with the other bubblegum oriented tunes from the group. The original name of the song was “Guess Who’s Making Whoopie (With Your Girlfriend)’” but that was changed (along with lyrics) to keep the 12-year-old Michael’s image pure. The song was kept out of the top spot in Billboard by another group of brothers, The Osmonds, and their song “One Bad Apple” (a 5-week chart-topper), ironically written by a guy named George Jackson. He also co-wrote “Old Time Rock ‘n Roll” for Bob Seger and a song called “The Only Way Is Up” for soul singer Otis Clay in 1980 (thought the version that became a hit was by Yazz and the Plastic Population in 1988 ( a UK #1 and Dance chart #2). That version surprisingly only reached #45 on my chart, a song that has stood up quite well for me.

The next single, “Never Can Say Goodbye” was written by Clifton Davis, an actor best known for his roles in the mid-70’s sitcom “That’s My Mama” and the late 80’s sitcom “Amen” starring Sherman Hemsley of “The Jeffersons”. The ballad was re-imagined as a dance song twice, first by Gloria Gaynor in 1974 (#9 Hot 100, #1 Dance) and then by the UK outfit The Communards in 1987 (a #2 Dance hit and top 5 in the UK).

The next band has a connection to the Jacksons. Alive ‘N Kickin’ was a one-hit-wonder from Brooklyn that scored a major hit in 1970 with “Tighter, Tighter” (7), a song co-written by Tommy James. The band had started working with him in 1968 and he almost gave them his 1969 hit “Crystal Blue Persuasion” but decided to keep it for himself. Their song peaked at #7 on the Hot 100. One of the 6 members of the band was Bruce Sudano.

In 1984 he wrote the song “Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming (Too Good To Be True)” for Jermaine Jackson featuring Michael Jackson. That song was never released as a single due to conflicts from the 2 brothers opposing record companies but did reach the top 10 in airplay on the Pop chart in June 1984. It also received a Grammy nomination for R&B Performance by a Duo or Group. Some of you may know that Sudano, who was a member of Brooklyn Dreams later in the ’70s, is Donna Summer’s husband. I discovered their 1979 song “Make It Last” when I was working on the precursor to these blogs last fall. The very '70s era Hall & Oates style song made it up to #62 on my chart this past January. They had a few minor chart entries in the late ’70s but scored best with their collaboration with Summer, “Heaven Knows”, reaching #4 on the Hot 100 in early 1979.

The Jackson 5 had been given the moniker “the first family of soul” but it originally had been bestowed on the Five Stairsteps, a Chicago family of 5 boys and 1 girl. Between 1966 and 1969 they charted 13 songs that made the lower reaches of the Hot 100, many of which made the R&B top 20. It wasn’t until 1970 that they scored their signature hit “O-o-h Child” (18), a song that also shows up in Rolling Stone’s top 500 of all-time at #402. 

 

Read the rest here

Jul 15
Trending July, the Sound and Taste of Summer, Dance Beats, Industrial Sounds and Social Commentary; Alt Sub-Genres

These are the top 100 songs that are making gains at mid-month. To see the entire top 100 click the link above.

July 2020

Pos./ARTIST/song/BR250 Pos./Points

1              HARRY STYLES    Watermelon Sugar          3              1399.9

Appropriately a song that sounds like a breezy summer wind is the #1 trending song of July. The latest single from Styles that is showing up in top 10’s around the world was already a Beyond Radio hit when the album “Fine Line” was 1st released. It reached #22 in December of last year and is now at #3 on the BR250.

2              THE KILLERS        My Own Soul's Warning 7              1391.75

The 2nd official radio single from the Las Vegas band is already in the BR250 top 10 at #7 and top 15 at Alternative radio. It has that epic Killers sound, awash in synths and a driving beat.

3              BRING ME THE HORIZON              Parasite Eve        52           1318.15

You never know what to expect from this UK band. This song starts with African inspired chanting then goes into a sinister half-rap half-sung verse backed by ominous industrial flourishes and then an explosive chorus. In September 2018 they reached #24 on the BR250 with “Mantra”.

4              JOEL CORRY f/ MNEK      Head & Heart     69           1129.4

Corry rose to fame on an MTV reality series in the UK that was a spin-off of “Jersey Shore”. In 2019 he reached the UK top 10 with “Sorry” after it was featured in another UK reality series “Love Island”. This is his third single to reach the UK top 20.

5              BLACKPINK         How You Like That           62           975.4

The K-Pop girl group have received a number of Guinness World Records for this new single including the most viewed video on YouTube in a 24-hour period. Haha, How you like that?

6              CAMELPHAT f/ YANNIS      Hypercolour       76           965.4

This UK duo first appeared on Beyond Radio in late 2017 with “Cola” that peaked at #37 on the BR250 and made the top 20 in England. They have since reached the top 100 at Beyond Radio 6 times and just missed with a seventh, “Breathe” a #104 peak. This pulsating dance track )with Yannis, the vocalist from Foals) will be the first to reach my personal chart.

7              DOVES  Carousels            26           888.8

This ethereal indie rock trio from the UK had a #1 song on my personal chart in 2002 with “Caught By The River” and look to make their first appearance in my weekly top 150 since 2009 with the latest release “Prisoners” This moody percussive track should also follow suit.

8              NOTHING BUT THIEVES  Real Love Song  60           868.4

The second song to preview their upcoming album “Moral Panic” is a sweeping, synth-y mid-tempo ballad that reminds me of the Cure and other late 80’s bands. Once again the soaring vocals of lead singer Conor Mason take it to another level.

9              JESSIE WARE       Save A Kiss          8              834.45

Her fourth album “What’s Your Pleasure?” just debuted on the UK album chart at #3 and this week 5 songs appear in the BR250. Ware has eclipsed the #9 peak of “Spolight” earlier this year by moving to #8 with this breathy disco nugget. The synths evoke a more subdued Moroder feel than Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”.

10           ERIC CHURCH     Stick That In Your Country Song 136         777.55

On an almost opposite end of the spectrum, the most adventurous artist in country music previews an upcoming album with a socially conscious and relevant single. Co-written by prolific songwriter Jeffrey Steele, this undoubtedly with bring him back to my top 10, marking his seventh appearance (including 3 #1’s). It is a true rocker that I’m sure has already stirred up controversy at Country radio. Hard to believe this was written prior to the pandemic and racial tensions of late. And in an unusual turn, he did not assist in the writing of this.

11           RASCAL FLATTS How They Remember You            104         711.25

Jeffrey Steele is responsible for a number of this band’s big hits. They just recently cancelled their farewell tour for obvious reasons. A new EP is coming out at the end of July with a possible album to follow.

12           KANYE WEST f/ TRAVIS SCOTT    Wash Us In The Blood    133         700.6

The latest presidential candidate preview’s his 10th studio album “God’s Country” with the second song here with industrial influence. And like #10, plenty of social commentary.

13           BECKY HILL & SIGALA     Heaven On My Mind       111         653.6

14           VICTORIA MONET            Experience         77           638.3

15           AJ TRACEY f/ MABEL       West Ten             176         628.6

16           KATY J PEARSON              Take Back The Radio       184         610

17           FONTAINES DC  Televised Mind 188         600

18           THE BETHS          Out Of Sight        189         599.4

19           SUFJAN STEVENS             America               194         594.4

20           MICKEY GUYTON              Black Like Me    16           555.7

 

Beyond Radio Alternative Sub-Genre Charts--July 15, 2020

Each of these charts (top 100’s) now have their own page found on the Monthly Genre Charts menu

Alt Pop/Electro

1              1              THE 1975              If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know) 12

2              2              TWENTY ONE PILOTS      Level Of Concern              14

10           3              PERFUME GENIUS           On The Floor      17

3              4              POWFU f/ BEABADOOBEE            Death Bed (Coffee For Your Head)            19

4              5              BENEE f/ GUS DAPPERTON          Supalonely          18

8              6              GLASS ANIMALS               Your Love (Deja Vu)        20

88           7              ERASURE             Hey Now (Think I Got A Feeling)                 5

9              8              RINA SAWAYAMA            XS           19

7              9              TAME IMPALA   Lost In Yesterday             28

17           10           THE STROKES     Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus           15

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

4              1              JESSIE WARE       Save A Kiss

1              2              DOJA CAT            Say So

new       3              VICTORIA MONET            Experience

9              4              ARLO PARKS       Black Dog

5              5              U.S. GIRLS           4 American Dollars

2              6              JESSIE WARE       Spotlight

new       7              JESSIE WARE       What's Your Pleasure?

3              8              THE MAMAS      Move

8              9              KIESZA  All Of The Feelings

14           10           SURFACES           Sunday Best

 

Adult Leaning Alternative

1              1              THE KILLERS        Caution

new       2              THE KILLERS        My Own Soul's Warning

2              3              FIONA APPLE     Shameika

5              4              PERFUME GENIUS           On The Floor

new       5              DOVES  Carousels

12           6              TRAVIS A Ghost

18           7              PHOEBE BRIDGERS          Kyoto

4              8              GLASS ANIMALS               Your Love (Deja Vu)

3              9              TAME IMPALA   Lost In Yesterday

10           10           THE STROKES     Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus

 

Alternative Hip Hop

1              1              TERRACE MARTIN & DENZEL CURRY         Pig Feet 6

6              2              RUN THE JEWELS f/ PHARRELL WILLIAMS & ZACK DE LA ROCHA   Ju$t        5

3              3              ROSALIA & TRAVIS SCOTT             TKN        6

17           4              FREDDIE GIBBS & THE ALCHEMIST            Something To Rap About              5

2              5              THE WEEKND     After Hours         21

40           6              YVES TUMOR     Romanticist        10

5              7              AJ TRACEY           Dinner Guest     11

8              8              RUN THE JEWELS              Ooh LA LA           15

37           9              JPEGMAFIA        Cutie Pie              5

10           10           24KGOLDN          City Of Angels    17

 

 

Alt Rock

3              1              WEEZER                Hero      10

2              2              KENNYHOOPLA How Will I Rest In Peace If I'm Buried by A Highway          21

6              3              BIFFY CLYRO       Tiny Indoor Fireworks    9

1              4              NOTHING BUT THIEVES  Is Everybody Going Crazy?           18

new       5              BRING ME THE HORIZON              Parasite Eve        2

new       6              NOTHING BUT THIEVES  Real Love Song  3

9              7              PEARL JAM         Retrograde         15

4              8              THE STROKES     Bad Decisions    21

new       9              IDLES     Grounds              3

10           10           BILLY TALENT     I Beg To Differ (This Will Get Better)        15

 

Underground

1              1              FIONA APPLE     Shameika            13

7              2              PHOEBE BRIDGERS          Kyoto    13

5              3              EVERYTHING EVERYTHING           Arch Enemy        8

new       4              IDLES     Grounds              3

4              5              IDLES     Mr. Motivator   8

3              6              EVERYTHING EVERYTHING           In Birdsong         11

2              7              FONTAINES DC  A Hero's Death  11

new       8              FONTAINES DC  Televised Mind 2

16           9              THE RADIO DEPT.             You Fear The Wrong Thing, Baby               15

122         10           FONTAINES DC  I Don't Belong    5

 

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

1              1              THE ROLLING STONES    Living In A Ghost Town

7              2              HAIM    Don't Wanna

3              3              ALANIS MORISETTE         Diagnosis

8              4              KATIE PRUITT     Expectations

new       5              SEMISONIC         You're Not Alone

18           6              MATT MAESON Hallucinogenics

2              7              ALANIS MORISETTE         Smiling

4              8              MAREN MORRIS f/ HOZIER           The Bones

13           9              LAURA MARLING             Held Down

69           10           THE PRETENDERS             Didn't Want To Be This Lonely

 

 
Jul 7
Party Like It's July 1970

Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.

My Personal Chart Blog, July 1970

 

See my July 1970 chart here

The companion Spotify playlist has all the songs discussed in the blog that are available. Individual playlists for each blog entry are available on My YouTube Channel.

   

**Underlined songs were on my top 100 this month in 1970 & the number in parentheses is its position on the chart.

 

Part 1, Superstar Beginnings and Endings

Elton John/Take Me To The Pilot (1)

As was the case with the January 1970 chart Elton John claims the #1 slot. While he had released his 1st album “Empty Sky” in the UK in 1969 it was his self-titled 2nd album that brought him to the States and started his illustrious 5-decade career. Music researcher Joel Whitburn, who has chronicled the U.S. music charts for 50 years through a series of books, places John as the #3 artist of all-time. “Border Song (Holy Moses)” (15) was the 1st song released when the album hit in April and in the last verse (written by John instead of his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin) he speaks to matters that are almost more pertinent today than ever. "Holy Moses, let us live in peace/let us strive to find a way to make all hatred cease/there's a man over there. What's his colour I don't care/he's my brother let us live in peace."

While this was the 1st song that made a chart in any country for Elton (nothing from “Empty Sky” charted in the UK), it was the cover version of this song that performed better on the Billboard charts. His version reached #92 (#34 in Canada), while Aretha Franklin took it to #37 late in the year. The gospel-tinged song was certainly a perfect fit for.

The 2nd single released was “Rock and Roll Madonna” (9), a rollicking piano boogie stomper that was only released in the UK and again, did not make the official chart there. The b-side was an early version of “Grey Seal” (62) that re-surfaced in a more upbeat version on the 1973 album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. I do prefer that later version, coming in at #11 for the year in ’73. Soon after ‘Madonna’ a song called “From Denver To L.A.” was released. Not on the album, it was featured in the movie “The Games”. It was erroneously credited to Elton Johns and the single was withdrawn quickly because he and his record label objected to its release. It is now quite the collector’s item.

“Take Me To The Pilot”, certainly my favorite song from this album, was slated as the a-side of the next release with “Your Song” as the b-side. We all know how that played out. ‘Pilot’ received airplay mostly on FM album rock radio while “Your Song” became the pop standout earning him his 1st top 10 in the U.S. and 1st chart entry in England ever. I charted a live version of ‘Pilot’ from the 1987 album “Live In Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra” and it again peaked at #1. In 2002 Ewan Macgregor’s version of “Your Song” from the movie “Moulin Rouge” went to #2 on my chart and it is now my preferred version. We’ll see how the original “Your Song” fares when we re-visit 1970 in December. In total I would chart 10 songs form John’s album including “The King Must Die” (72-debut), “Bad Side Of The Moon”, “I Need You To Turn To”, “Sixty Years On” and “The Cage”.

While his career was starting to escalate Joel Whitburn’s #2 artist of all-time, The Beatles, had just released their last studio album “Let It Be”.  The album was far from their strongest, especially after the previous “Abbey Road”. Interestingly this album was recorded prior to “Abbey Road”. Only 3 songs from this would make my chart. The Billboard #1 “Let It Be” (26) had made it to #5 on my chart in May and “The Long And Winding Road” (5) (their last #1 in the States) was, for a brief time in the late 70’s when I was truly absorbing all the Beatles catalog, my #1 song of all-time. “Across The Universe” was just outside my top 100 in July and would enter the following month.   

Read the rest here