Jul 17
Paradise Trending, The Cure for Drowning in your Bad Habits, and a Podcast

On the Trending 100 the top 4 songs are all in this weeks BR250 top 10. Led by Ed Sheeran's "Bad Habits" which moves up to #7 on the BR250, it's the return of Robert Smith from the seminal alt band The Cure that lands at #2 on both charts. Chvrches' collab "How Not To Drown" has the right ingredients to make a splash, though it is far behind the juggernaut "Good 4 U" at #1 on the BR250. Lorde used her solar power to land at #3 trending and #4 on the main chart. Rounding out the top 4 on the Trending chart is no stranger to the upper reaches of either chart. Dua Lipa's "Love Again" becomes the ninth song from the Moonlight Edition of her powerhouse album "Future Nostalgia" to make the Trending top 5.

On the podcast front the latest episode is called Paradise Theater. In this episode after a 3 month hiatus, and the final in the Podcast-list 006 arc (before our top 10's), we explore a bit of where popular music and theater meet. Artists like the Dear Hunter, Styx and Panic At The Disco all fit into certain aspects of this. We throw a little Sade, Fiona Apple and Beck into the mix and of course a couple of tangents. What seemed, at first, to be a shorter episode, ended up with 2 false endings. In the end, even though Billie Eilish could have killed the party, it all ends on a super cool joyous note. 

 

Beyond Radio’s Trending 100, July 2021

1              ED SHEERAN              Bad Habits

2              CHVRCHES f/ ROBERT SMITH      How Not To Drown

3              LORDE      Solar Power

4              DUA LIPA  Love Again

5              IMAGINE DRAGONS   Wrecked

6              DOJA CAT & THE WEEKEND        You Right

7              MANESKIN I Wanna Be Your Slave

8              BASTILLE   Distorted Light Beam

9              BIG RED MACHINE f/ TAYLOR SWIFT            Renegade

10            BECKY HILL & DAVID GUETTA     Remember

11            GANG OF YOUTHS      The Angel of 8th Ave.

12            POPPY      Her

13            MABEL      Let Them Know

14            NATALIE IMBRUGLIA  Build It Better

15            CALVIN HARRIS f/ TOM GRENNAN               By Your Side

16            AVA MAX  Everytime I Cry

17            MANESKIN Beggin'

18            THE VACCINES           Back In Love City

19            SIGALA & RITA ORA    You For Me

20            TYLER, THE CREATOR  Wusyaname

21            MILEY CYRUS             Nothing Else Matters

22            NOTHING BUT THIEVES              Futureproof

23            JESSIE J     I Want Love

24            INHALER   It Won't Always Be Like This

25            KELSEA BALLERINI f/ LANY          I Quit Drinking

Jul 17
Paradise Trending, The Cure for Drowning in your Bad Habits, and a Podcast

On the Trending 100 the top 4 songs are all in this weeks BR250 top 10. Led by Ed Sheeran's "Bad Habits" which moves up to #7 on the BR250, it's the return of Robert Smith from the seminal alt band The Cure that lands at #2 on both charts. Chvrches' collab "How Not To Drown" has the right ingredients to make a splash, though it is far behind the juggernaut "Good 4 U" at #1 on the BR250. Lorde used her solar power to land at #3 trending and #4 on the main chart. Rounding out the top 4 on the Trending chart is no stranger to the upper reaches of either chart. Dua Lipa's "Love Again" becomes the ninth song from the Moonlight Edition of her powerhouse album "Future Nostalgia" to make the Trending top 5.

On the podcast front the latest episode is called Paradise Theater. In this episode after a 3 month hiatus, and the final in the Podcast-list 006 arc (before our top 10's), we explore a bit of where popular music and theater meet. Artists like the Dear Hunter, Styx and Panic At The Disco all fit into certain aspects of this. We throw a little Sade, Fiona Apple and Beck into the mix and of course a couple of tangents. What seemed, at first, to be a shorter episode, ended up with 2 false endings. In the end, even though Billie Eilish could have killed the party, it all ends on a super cool joyous note. 

 

Beyond Radio’s Trending 100, July 2021

1              ED SHEERAN              Bad Habits

2              CHVRCHES f/ ROBERT SMITH      How Not To Drown

3              LORDE      Solar Power

4              DUA LIPA  Love Again

5              IMAGINE DRAGONS   Wrecked

6              DOJA CAT & THE WEEKEND        You Right

7              MANESKIN I Wanna Be Your Slave

8              BASTILLE   Distorted Light Beam

9              BIG RED MACHINE f/ TAYLOR SWIFT            Renegade

10            BECKY HILL & DAVID GUETTA     Remember

11            GANG OF YOUTHS      The Angel of 8th Ave.

12            POPPY      Her

13            MABEL      Let Them Know

14            NATALIE IMBRUGLIA  Build It Better

15            CALVIN HARRIS f/ TOM GRENNAN               By Your Side

16            AVA MAX  Everytime I Cry

17            MANESKIN Beggin'

18            THE VACCINES           Back In Love City

19            SIGALA & RITA ORA    You For Me

20            TYLER, THE CREATOR  Wusyaname

21            MILEY CYRUS             Nothing Else Matters

22            NOTHING BUT THIEVES              Futureproof

23            JESSIE J     I Want Love

24            INHALER   It Won't Always Be Like This

25            KELSEA BALLERINI f/ LANY          I Quit Drinking

Jun 21
Typical Summer delays, but it's Good 4 Olivia Rodrigo

As is typical the summer season spreads me thinner than the rest of the year, so it is harder to keep up with Beyond Radio. This year is especially challenging as I started a new job that is taking up a good amount of my time, while I also am leading up to my 60th birthday at the end of July.  With that and the coming out of COVID, there has been more travel, and that will continue through the summer. Also, my annual music party will be back after a detour last year. That will happen on July 31, a few days after my birthday.

The podcast and my writings have taken a temporary back seat in all of this. I’m hoping to have another episode out in the next few weeks.

“Good 4 U” unsurprisingly vaults into the #1 position on the BR250 and #1 Trending on the strength of 44 adds. Olivia Rodrigo places a second song in the Trending top 10 with “Brutal” at #5, while “Déjà Vu" sits at #11 and “Traitor” at #22. Galantis and Maneskin, in the Trending silver and bronze positions, follow “Good 4 U” into the BR250 top 15 on strong early June action. “Heartbreak Anthem” has a great summer song vibe, I’d be shocked if they don’t push this in the States. “Zitti E Bouni” will not see the same action though I love that it won Eurovision.

At #4 Trending, Chvrches collaboration with the Cure’s Robert Smith "How Not To Drown" has had strong out of the box success, landing at #43 on the BR250 this week. This is by far my favorite Chvrches track, none of their songs have cracked my top 25 and this could possibly go to #1 on my list.

Another ‘80s era band, Duran Duran, return at #8 Trending with “Invisible” while ‘70s artist Nile Rodgers of Chic, appears at #19 Trending on the Keith Urban track “Out The Cage”, possibly his least Country song ever. Not that that is unusual for him. He has been a stellar performer on my personal chart since 2002 when “Somebody Like You” went to #1 on my chart. At the time I felt that was a Pop hit waiting to happen. Since then, he has had 17 songs reach #1 on my personal chart and another 13 reach my top 10.

The return of Lorde, 2013’s Olivia Rodrigo or Billie Eilish (you pick), lands her at #25 Trending. “Solar Power” seems like a bright song even though it starts out a bit sluggish. I would expect it to move towards the upper reaches of the BR250 on the June 30 chart.

Trending June 2021

1              OLIVIA RODRIGO              Good 4 U
2              GALANTIS f/ DAVID GUETTA & LITTLE MIX             Heartbreak Anthem
3              MANESKIN         Zitti E Bouni
4              CHVRCHES f/ ROBERT SMITH       How Not To Drown
5              OLIVIA RODRIGO              Brutal
6              COLDPLAY           Higher Power
7              BTS         Butter
8              DURAN DURAN Invisible
9              GO_A    Shum
10           MARSHMELLO f/ JONAS BROTHERS          Leave Before You Love Me
11           OLIVIA RODRIGO              Deja Vu
12           ANNE-MARIE & NIALL HORAN    Our Song
13           CALVIN HARRIS f/ TOM GRENNAN            By Your Side
14           DUA LIPA             Love Again
15           KATY PERRY        Electric
16           JESSIE WARE       Hot N Heavy
17           REGARD f/ TROYE SIVAN & TATE MCRAE You
18           BLEACHERS         Stop Making This Hurt
19           KEITH URBAN f/ BRELAND & NILE RODGERS         Out The Cage
20           SIGRID  Mirror
21           THE VACCINES  Headphones Baby
22           OLIVIA RODRIGO              Traitor
23           VANCE JOY          Missing Piece
24           THE WEEKND f/ ARIANA GRANDE             Save Your Tears
25           LORDE   Solar Power
26           SHARON VAN ETTEN f/ ANGEL OLSEN      Like I Used To
27           JOHN MAYER     Last Train Home
28           MANESKIN         I Wanna Be Your Slave
29           YEARS & YEARS Starstruck
30           CREEPER              Midnight
31           ELLE KING & MIRANDA LAMBERT              Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)
32           WILLOW f/ TRAVIS BARKER          Transparant Soul
33           PINK      All I Know So Far
34           MO        Live To Survive
35           GARBAGE            Wolves
36           ELTON JOHN f/ YEARS & YEARS  It's A Sin
37           DADI FREYR         10 Years
38           LITTLE MIX          Confetti
39           DOJA CAT f/ SZA               Kiss Me More
40           MANIC STREET PREACHERS          Orwellian
41           OLIVIA RODRIGO              Jealousy, Jealousy
42           BLANKENBERGE No Sense
43           OMNIA Beautiful
44           BILLIE EILISH       Lost Cause
45           GREEN DAY         Pollyanna
46           NCT DREAM       Hot Sauce
47           JAKE BUGG         Lost
48           DUA LIPA             Levitating
49           WOLF ALICE        How Can I Make It Okay
50           MADDIE & TAE  Woman Got You
51           MARINA              Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land
52           JESSIE WARE       Please
53           BILLIE EILISH       Your Power
54           POPPY  Fear Of Dying (Jack off Jill)
55           BROTHERS OSBORNE      I'm Not For Everyone
56           LAURA MVULA  Got Me
57           OLIVIA RODRIGO              Favorite Crime
58           MARINA              Venus Fly Trap
59           LONDON GRAMMAR      Lord It's A Feeling
60           OLIVIA RODRIGO              Enough For You
61           LIL NAS X              Sun Goes Down
62           ANGELS & AIRWAVES     Euphoria
63           ONEREPUBLIC   Run
64           BELLA PAORCH  Build A Bitch
65           RINA SAWAYAMA f/ ELTON JOHN             Chosen Family
66           HIGHLIGHT         Not The End
67           JOYWAVE            Every Window Is A Mirror
68           MK         Chemical
69           TWENTY ONE PILOTS      Saturday.
70           AESPA   Next Level
71           PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING              People, Let's Dance
72           ST. VINCENT       Down
73           TINASHE              Pasadena
74           NOTHING BUT THIEVES  Futureproof
75           SLEATER KINNEY               Worry With You
76           SELF ESTEEM      I Do This All The Time
77           ASHLIE AMBER  Open
78           MARTIN GARRIX f/ BONO & THE EDGE    We Are The People
79           BREEZER               Alive
80           JORJA SMITH      Bussdown
81           OLIVIA RODRIGO              1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back
82           MITCHELL TENPENNY     To Us It Did
83           RYAN HURD & MAREN MORRIS  Chasing After You
84           SAM FELDT f/ SAM FISCHER         Pick me Up
85           CHRIS STAPLETON           Cold
86           KENNYHOOPLA f/ TRAVIS BARKER            Hollywood Sucks
87           RAMKOT              Am I Alright Now
88           CHRIS MALINCHAK          Closer Every Day
89           LEON BRIDGES  Motorbike
90           ARIANA GRANDE             POV
91           COLISION            Hell Will Wait
92           EVERGLOW         First
93           GRIFF    One Foot In Front Of The Other
94           GARBAGE            No Gods No Masters
95           AGNES  24 Hours
96           CHRIS MORENO Shot At Your Heart
97           MAHMOOD        Klan
98           TA TOY BOY        Dark Fantasy
99           OLIVIA RODRIGO              Happier
100         TIX          Fallen Angel
Jun 1
The Door Is Open But Nobody's Entering

While “Leave The Door Open “ lost some points last time out, it rebounds 500 points on this chart, retaining its lead for all of April and May. Coldplay is actually on 1 more chart but is 2000 points behind at #2. They will need a bit more 'higher power' to challenge for the top spot. Jessie Ware matches the peak of her last single as the groove-tastic “Please” inches up 1 position. Years & Years moves into the top 5 with “Starstruck” while also debuting at #72 with his performance with Elton John at the Brit Awards of “It’s A Sin”. Just ahead of that song, debuting at #71 is another heritage artist, Duran Duran with “Invisible”.

The 2 highest debuts belong to the unstoppable Olivia Rodrigo with “Good 4 U” at #41 and Katy Perry at #44 with “Electric”. Rodrigo should see a big bump on the next chart, most likely joining her song “Déjà vu” (at #7) in the top 10. She is proving to be an interesting artist, not staying in one sonic lane, even if her music is total teenage girl angst. "Brutal", the lead song on her debut album “Sour”, is starting to impact at Alternative radio (“Déjà Vu” could as well).  “Electric” will be featured on the fall release of the “Pokemon 25” album that also will include Post Malone’s version of the Hootie & the Blowfish song “Only Wanna Be With You”.

Moving 35-14, DJ Regard joins forces with Australian Troye Sivan and Canadian Tate McRae on “You”, a song that just entered the U.S. Pop top 20 and UK top 40. At #18, up from 70, is the latest single from Pink, “All I Know So Far”. It is already top 5 in airplay in the UK while surprisingly it hasn’t yet hit the Hot AC chart in the States.

2 female artists that are trying to follow up monster songs also reach the top 25 this week. Elle King scored with “X’s and O’s” in 2014 and her fun top 25 Hot AC collaboration with Miranda Lambert, “Drunk (And I Don’t Want To Go Home”), rises 44-24. Alice Merton made her splash in 2016 with the ubiquitous “No Roots”. Her latest, “Vertigo”, moves 38-25 though it is faltering at radio.

The end of May usually sees a number of Eurovision entries impact the BR250. This year’s chart winner is Malta’s “Je Me Casse” From Destiny at #82 but the actual winner of the contest is the rocking “Zitti E Bouni” from Italy’s Maneskin at #233. This one should do quite well on my chart.

May 14
There's A Lot of Power Trending in May

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

Beyond Radio’s Trending 100, May 2021

POS/ARTIST/SONG/BR250

1              JESSIE WARE       Please   4

The songstress wasted no time replacing herself in the top 5 on the BR250. This new single will be included on the deluxe version of the album “What’s Your Pleasure?” in June called “Platinum Pleasure”. All of the top 3 trending songs have debuted in the top 25 on the BR250 this week. “Your Power” is Eilish’s third preview into her upcoming second album, “Happier Than Ever”, scheduled for a late July release. While Eilish talks about personal power, Coldplay is looking outward with their latest single.

2              BILLIE EILISH       Your Power        20

3              COLDPLAY           Higher Power    23

4              CHVRCHES          He Said She Said               12

The next 3 songs come from different areas of the Alternative universe. Chvrches delivers reliable synth-pop, Wolf Alice return to the harder side of their sound with “Smile” and 26 years in, the Chemical Brothers continue to burn up the dancefloor on this simmering track. Their pinnacle for me was “Galvanize” in 2005, peaking at #3.

5              WOLF ALICE        Smile     25

6              THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS            The Darkness That You Fear         49

7              LITTLE MIX          Confetti               56

Hit worthy Brits, both emanating from music competition shows, hold the next 2 spots. Since the release of the #1 “Cannonball” in 2011, the girl group Little Mix has churned out 26 top 20 singles in the UK. They were crowned the winners of the inaugural X Factor. Similarly in 2002, Will Young won the first Pop Idol crown and has laned 12 titles in the UK top 20, the last one was “Jealousy” in 2011.

8              WILL YOUNG      Daniel   64

9              PINK      All I Know So Far               70

Though the former 2 artists have had impressive careers in the UK, Pink is truly an international superstar. Her profile has been front and center over the past 6 months with collaborations with Keith Urban, Rag ‘n Bone Man and her daughter. On May 21 the documentary film “All I Know So Far” and the corresponding live album will be released. Her song that performed the best on my chart was my #2 song of the 2013/14 cycle, the ever so fun “Walk Of Shame”. It spent 8 weeks at #2 on my hcart, though both “Raise Your Glass’ and “Glitter in the Air” made it to #1.

10           LITTLE SIMZ        Introvert              41

The British rapper and singer makes a nice splash onto the BR250, moving 276-41 this week, increasing her chart totals from 5 to 15. The instrumentation on this song has the feel of a James Bond theme.

11           GARBAGE            No Gods No Masters      78

The seventh album of the same name by the ‘90s era Alt kingpins, will be released next month. The title song is their second to reach the top 100 with the lead track “The Men Who Rule The World” moving into the top 30 at #28. From Wikipedia, "This is our seventh record, the significant numerology of which affected the DNA of its content: the seven virtues, the seven sorrows, and the seven deadly sins," singer Shirley Manson explained, describing No Gods No Masters as "a critique of the rise of capitalist short-sightedness, racism, sexism and misogyny across the world."[

12           DOJA CAT f/ SZA               Kiss Me More    8

This song supposedly interpolates Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical”, but I have a hard time hearing it. Dua Lipa’s “Physical” also interpolates that song.

13           RINA SAWAYAMA f/ ELTON JOHN             Chosen Family   50

Elton John is an unabashed fan of Sawayama and lends his pipes to this heartfelt ballad about finding your tribe, a true LGBTQ anthem.

14           NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS We're On Our Way Now 112

The former Oasis brother has a compilation album coming out next month, celebrating this band’s 10th anniversary. In 2015 their song “The Ballad Of The Mighty I” was my #1 song of the year.

15           AFROJACK & DAVID GUETTA       Hero      139

This collaboration between the Dutch and French producers sounds very 2012 to me, not necessarily a bad place to be.

16           ONEREPUBLIC   Run        140

17           WILLOW f/ TRAVIS BARKER          Transparant Soul              167

18           MACHINE GUN KELLY f/ KELLIN QUINN   Love Race            176

19           KYLIE MINOGUE               Dance Floor Darling         75

20           JAKE BUGG         Lost        181

21           KINGS OF CONVENIENCE              Rocky Trail           182

22           JACK SAVORETTI f/ NILE RODGERS            Who's Hurting Who         189

23           THE WEEKND f/ ARIANA GRANDE             Save Your Tears 5

24           TEXAS   Mr. Haze              42

25           COUNTING CROWS         Elevator Boots   174

Apr 30
The Earth and Mars, Remember Where You Are and Let's Have a Boilermaker, This is the BR250 for April 30

Bruno Mars et al have strengthened their lead against the pack, almost 2900 points over Wolf Alice’s #2 “The Last Man On Earth”. To put in perspective “Leave The Door Open” is on 65 charts and Wolf Alice has 40 charts. Speaking of ‘Earth’, I had been scratching my head about that song at first, but I obviously wasn’t really paying attention to it. Now that it is firmly in my brain, I can absolutely see the allure. It reminds me a bit of “Breathe Me” by Sia which spent 4 weeks at #1 on my chart in 2005! Can it be that long? That song is just breathtaking. Earth makes another appearance in the top 25 as Beabadoobee’s “Last Day On Earth” moves 28-17.

“Bed Head” moves up to #3 and has a good chance of reaching the top on my chart. That would surpass the #2 peak on my chart of “I’ve Got Friends” in 2009. Time is just speeding by me. Lil Nas X moves 12-4 with “Montero” which has the second most chart entries, on 44 overall. Jessie Ware has had some staying power with “Remember Where You Are” The song has been in the top 10 for 5 frames, since the Feb. 28 chart, peaking at #3 and the third in a row at #5.

Year & Years makes a nice jump from 51-10 with “Starstruck”. The song is currently #1 in airplay in the UK yet on the official UK chart it is only #56, quite a discrepancy. Alt-Pop fuels 2 other entries to the top 25. Japanese Breakfast’s “Be Sweet” lands at #19 and “Shy Away” by Twenty-One Pilots comes in at #23.

This chart we welcome another compilation chart to the mix, a Netherlands-based Facebook group called Chartfreaks. That chart definitely helped Wolf Alice achieve the runner-up position and aided other titles in the top 25 like Rag ‘N Bone Man” and London Grammar’s “How Does It Feel” up 20-14. Another song that was helped by that chart is the debut of Royal Blood’s “Boilermaker” at #40. That song is on 17 charts, with a debut at #1 on one of our contributors, another Facebook group Byrdbored, and 5 additional top 10 placements.

The highest debut in the top 100 belongs to Twenty-One Pilots but Doja Cat and Sza at #29 (up from 485) with “Kiss Me More”, has a much bigger increase. Other notable debuts in the top 100 are Marina at #51 with “Purge the Poison” and the return of Alice Merton at #61 with “Vertigo”. Another top 100 debut at #44 is “Keep Moving” by British electronic duo Jungle. One of the great things about Beyond Radio IMO, is that it does not correspond completely to official chart trends. “Keep Moving” (on 22 charts) has supposedly only charted in Belgium (at #56) and on the U.S. Dance chart (at #31). More interesting is that Wolf Alice (according to Wikipedia) has only reached the Mexican Airplay chart peaking at #23. It did not make the official UK chart though I imagine it has gotten Alternative radio airplay there.

**"Chosen Family" by Rina Sawayama & Elton John somehow got deleted from the mix. It should be #232.

 
Apr 20
Alt Sub-Genres and Retro Charts for April 15

Update: One of our readers noticed a discrepancy on the AAA/Roots chart and I have adjusted it. This brings Bruce Springsteen's "I'll See You In My Dreams" up to #31 on the chart.

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

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

Alt Pop/Electro

1          1          WOLF ALICE  The Last Man On Earth

235     2          IMAGINE DRAGONS Follow You

4          3          DAYGLOW      Close To You

422     4          LONDON GRAMMAR            How Does It Feel

34        5          ST. VINCENT Pay Your Way In Pain

57        6          JAPANESE BREAKFAST     Be Sweet

new     7          BEABADOOBEE         Last Day On Earth

new     8          EVERYTHING EVERYTHING           Supernormal

6          9          WEEZER         All My Favorite Songs

3          10        THE KNOCKS f/ FOSTER THE PEOPLE    All About You

 

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

5              1              BRUNO MARS, ANDERSON.PAAK & SILK SONIC Leave The Door Open

1              2              JESSIE WARE      Remember Where You Are

133         3              LONDON GRAMMAR     How Does It Feel

2              4              SZA        Good Days

new       5              LAURA MVULA Church Girl

new       6              JORJA SMITH     Addicted

4              7              LONDON GRAMMAR     Lose Your Head

3              8              KYLIE MINOGUE & DUA LIPA      Real Groove

38           9              REBECCA FERGUSON f/ NILE RODGERS  No Words Needed

10           10           H.E.R.    Damage

 

Adult Leaning Alternative

3          1          WOLF ALICE  The Last Man On Earth

8          2          MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA           Bed Head

122     3          IMAGINE DRAGONS Follow You

1          4          KINGS OF LEON       The Bandit

2          5          FOO FIGHTERS         Waiting On A War

5          6          RAG 'N' BONE MAN All You Ever Wanted

9          7          DAYGLOW      Close To You

new     8          JAPANESE BREAKFAST     Be Sweet

new     9          BEABADOOBEE         Last Day On Earth

209     10        LONDON GRAMMAR            How Does It Feel

 

Alternative Hip Hop

new     1          BROCKHAMPTON f/ DANNY BROWN       Buzzcut

1          2          FKA TWIGS f/ HEADIE ONE & FRED AGAIN        Don't Judge Me

new     3          BROCKHAMPTON     Count On Me

48        4          WOLF ALICE  The Last Man On Earth

51        5          EMOTIONAL ORANGES f/ BIIG PIIG         Body & Soul

new     6          BROCKHAMPTON     The Light

new     7          FREDDIE GIBBS        Big Boss Rabbit

new     8          REMI WOLF f/ DOMINIC FIKE        Photo ID

new     9          BRUISER WOLF f/ DANNY BROWN           I'm An Instrument

4          10        JESSIE WARE           Remember Where You Are

 

Alt Rock

2          1          FOO FIGHTERS         Waiting On A War

1          2          ROYAL BLOOD         Typhoons

12        3          MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA           Bed Head

3          4          KINGS OF LEON       The Bandit

new     5          ROYAL BLOOD         Limbo

new     6          RISE AGAINST          Nowhere Generation

new     7          EVERYTHING EVERYTHING           Supernormal

8          8          TEENAGE WRIST      Yellowbelly

6          9          CHEVELLE     Self Destructor

11        10        TEENAGE WRIST      Earth Is A Black Hole

 

Underground

new     1          DOSS  Puppy

new     2          BLACK MIDI  John L

1          3          MOGWAI         Ritchie Sacramento

252     4          BEACH BUNNY         Cloud 9

2          5          FKA TWIGS f/ HEADIE ONE & FRED AGAIN        Don't Judge Me

3          6          SQUID f/ MARTHA SKYE MURPHY           Narrator

new     7          SQUID Paddling

new     8          BEN HOWARD           Sorry Kid

new     9          BEACHY HEAD         Destroy Us

new     10        DOUBLE MIXTE & DESIRE  Future Lights

 

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

1          1          TAYLOR SWIFT f/ HAIM      No Body, No Crime

2          2          TAYLOR SWIFT         Willow

14        3          ALANIS MORISETTE            Predator

19        4          LAKE STREET DIVE Hypotheticals

new     5          LP        One Last Time

9          6          FLEET FOXES           Sunblind

75        7          JADE BIRD    Open Up The Heavens

12        8          LORD HURON           Not Dead Yet

5          9          HAIM f/ TAYLOR SWIFT      Gasoline

3          10        JULIEN BAKER         Faith Healer

 

Retro Chart April 15

1          1927   Tell Me A Story

2          ONE NIGHT ONLY    Say You Don't Want It

3          ELECTRIBE 101       Talking With Myself

4          SHINEDOWN  Save Me

5          THE TEMPER TRAP Thick As Thieves

6          GIANT Don't Leave Me In Love

7          KYLIE MINOGUE      Sexercize

8          GEORGE STRAIT      The Cowboy Rides Away

9          LIL WAYNE    John

10        KOOL AND THE GANG        Misled

 

Retro Chart YTD

1          ALL STAR UNITED   Take Me Away

2          THE TEMPER TRAP Thick As Thieves

3          THIRD DAY    What Good

4          ARABESQUE  Love Is Just A Game

6          THE STRUTS Who Am I?

8          SHINEDOWN  Save Me

9          ARCADE FIRE           Everything Now

10        MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE  Famous Last Words

Apr 17
A Podcast in Honor of my Mother, Happy Birthday Mom

This is one of the most personal episodes we have put out so far. The first half of the episode is focused mainly on my mother and the episode coincides with her birthday and the 20th anniversary of her passing. When we recorded this in March 2019 I had no idea this is when it would see the light of day, but the universe seems to have had a hand in it.

It is a long episode but I didn't want to break it up into a 2-parter. There is a natural break in the middle though.

The episode is focused on people who have passed and how music relates to that, but it is not a somber episode. It's an episode about the stories behind the connections and the gifts they have become. I think I blindsided Jeff since he did not know where the episode was going at first and it was hard for him to articulate his responses. I also was nervous before getting into the episode because I didn't know how emotional I would become. In the end, my emotions have been confined to the t lead-up and editing process.

The main takeaway is how personal everyone's connection to music is and the triggers that make a song stay a part of your life forever. And that is truly a gift.

It is also available on Spotify 

Apr 16
April Trending Chart, Lil Nas X Feels Comfortable in His Skin, Olivia Rodrigo Still Obsessed with Her Ex

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

 

Not a lot to say this month. I’ve been working on a very important and personal podcast episode the last couple of weeks. It will be released this weekend.

Beyond Radio’s Trending 100, April 2021

Listen on Spotify

POS/ARTIST/SONG

1              LIL NAS X              Montero (Call Me By Your Name)

Good for Lil Nas X not shying away from his sexuality on this tune, the sub-title a reference the 2017 LGBTQ movie and 2007 novel. The song debuted at #1 on the Hot 100 and has gone to #1 all around the world. The video is quite a thing, though I suppose no worse that Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. I'll let you find it on your own.

2              OLIVIA RODRIGO              Deja Vu

Rodrigo stills seems to be angry at her ex but at least the song isn’t a complete rehash of “Drivers License”.  I like the interesting instrumentation and it feels like because of that it could have more staying power, at least for me. ‘License’ moved up and down my chart very quickly.

3              LAURA MVULA  Church Girl

4              YEARS & YEARS Starstruck

5              ROYAL BLOOD   Limbo

6              GARBAGE            The Men Who Rule The World

7              JUSTIN BIEBER f/ DANIEL CAESAR & GIVEON        Peaches

8              IMAGINE DRAGONS        Follow You

9              BRUNO MARS, ANDERSON.PAAK & SILK SONIC   Leave The Door Open

10           BEABADOOBEE Last Day On Earth

11           DEMI LOVATO f/ ARIAN GRANDE              Met Him Last Night

12           BECKY HILL          Last Time

13           MILEY CYRUS     Angels Like You

14           FRED AGAIN...   Marea (We've Lost Dancing)

15           TWENTY-ONE PILOTS      Shy Away

16           JAPANESE BREAKFAST   Be Sweet

17           ROSE     On The Ground

18           DEMI LOVATO   Dancing With The Devil

19           DESTINY               Je Me Casse

20           LONDON GRAMMAR      How Does It Feel

21           MIMI WEBB        Good Without

22           MASKED WOLF  Astronaut in The Ocean

23           EVERYTHING EVERYTHING           Supernormal

24           JODIE HARSH     My House

25           INHALER              Cheer Up Baby

Mar 31
The Door is Still Open for a New #1 on the BR250

A much quieter week on the BR250 than the last edition. Olivia Rodrigo held off challenger, Silk Sonic’s “Leave The Door Open”, which moved 25-2 and came within just over 150 points of the leader. The song has spent the last 2 months at the top. The return of Bruno Mars, however, is on the most charts (55), 10 more than “Driver’s License”.  Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and Wolf Alice also enter the top 10 at #9 and #10 with 6 and 8 adds, respectively.

A nice move from 40-12 was made by the Atlanta band Manchester Orchestra, with the propulsive “Bed Head”. The song is top 20 on AAA radio chart. In 2017 they reached #2 on that chart with “The Gold”. Another “Bed” shows up in the top 15 with DJ Joel Corry’s collaboration with Raye and David Guetta landing at #14.

It looks like Pop radio in the States is jumping on Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” as the next focus track from his just released #1 album “Justice” but it’s the internationally focused “Hold On” that jumps 55-16 (it is also receiving Pop airplay in the States). “Peaches” also debuted atop Billboard’s Hot 100, while the song “Anymore” sits just outside the Pop top 10, giving 3 songs in the top 40.

On the other side of the spectrum is another song with a similar move, 58-19. “This Is Heaven” by Nick Jonas has virtually no radio support anywhere but got 15 personal chart adds this cycle. IMO a better song than “Spaceman” though to be fair that has no support either. ‘Heaven’ is certainly formulaic but has a nice laidback retro vibe and arguably would sound good on the radio.

Part of the beauty and purpose of Beyond Radio is to give a mixed view of what music, from all genres, is making inroads with a passionate audience that focuses on the music instead of corporate decisions. This harkens back to the day when Pop/Rock/R&B etc. could co-exist on a chart and on radio. The BR250 represents the diversity of the music that is actually out there for our consumption. To some degree it equalizes the many facets of the industry but that is only determined by the diversity of the personal chart community. And to be clear, the BR250 strives to be a representative sample of this universe. I don’t have the capacity to process all available personal charts which is why it is great to have other forums that process charts as a subset of the entire panel.

The highest debut in the top 100 is St. Vincent’s “Pay Your Way In Pain”, a quirky left-of-center song from the acclaimed artist. Annie Clark is the niece of Tuck Andress, of jazz duo Tuck & Patti, and she was a roadie for them during her teenage years. Before embarking on her solo career in 2007 she was a member of the ensemble Polyphonic Spree and spent time in Sufjan Stevens touring band. In 2015 she won the Grammy for Best Alternative Album, “St. Vincent” which includes her best-known song “Digital Witness”. That album also appeared at #1 on 7 best-of 2014 lists and #2 on another.

Mar 22
Another Podcast and My Personal Chart Blog, 1991, The Land Down Under

Beyond Radio Presents: Castlist 006, Ep 9 - The Strings of The Soul, Part 2

We continue our discussion about the connection between early '70s R&B and Soul and the more recent revival of the style. As with the last episode and a late connection to the Grammy nominated Black Pumas, our 2 year old discussion relates to a new song by Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak that fits into the narrative nicely.

During our discussion we found an exception to a Jeff rule of thumb, we analyze how my capacity for absorbing music relates to my creation of a weekly personal chart, and discover a website that may have become one of Jeff's favorites.

Artists discussed include the Staple Singers, Hozier, Leon Bridges, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, and Tone Loc. The companion playlist of Spotify, "The Strings of the Soul" features 50 songs discussed over the 2 episodes in this arc.

I’ve Got Australia On My Mind, Part 2-Don’t Crowd the Icehouse, Best Sellers and U2 Bookends.

February 23, 1991

See the chart here

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

My favorite Australian act of the era was Crowded House. Their debut album from 1986 is my #1 album of the ‘80s. In 1987 they placed 6 songs in my top 100 of the year. One of my favorites was the moody deep cut “Hole In The River” which employs a great dissonant change bridge of piano and horns. I’ve charted all 11 songs from that album. That same year U2 came out with my #2 album of the decade. “Joshua Tree” had 5 songs in my top 100 and my #1 song of the year “Red Hill Mining Town”, one of the most gorgeous songs I’ve ever heard. It still gets me and brings a tear to my eye. Originally it was slated to be the follow-up to “With Or Without You”. It was shelved because Bono could not hit the high notes during rehearsals for the tour. A video was filmed for the song as well, but the band was unhappy with it. Of course, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” became the choice and a classic was born.

Crowded House was born out of the ashes of the seminal New Wave band Split Enz. Hailing from New Zealand, the band’s biggest song was 1980’s “I Got You” but they had 9 studio albums from 1975-1984 and 5 top 10 singles in New Zealand and Australia including “History Never Repeats” and “Six Month In A Leaky Boat”. The band was originally formed in 1972 by Tim Finn and Phil Judd as an acoustic band called Split Ends. By 1974 they had changed the name to Split Enz and had their first charted single, the #93 “Late Last Night”. That song owed more to their acoustic beginnings albeit with some quirkiness, but the next charter, the #15 “My Mistake”, more explicitly showed the direction the band was moving towards.

Tim’s brother Neil joined in 1977 and became a major focal point of the band, and drummer Paul Hester was a member is their waning years. After the Enz split (get it), these two formed Crowded House with bassist Nick Seymour. In the short term they became a bigger international band because of the song “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, reaching #2 on the Hot 100. In 2001 the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) for its 75th anniversary had a panel pick the 30 best New Zealand and Australian songs of the previous years. ‘Over’ made both lists, #2 for New Zealand and #7 for Australia. The New Zealand list included 4 Split Enz songs (‘Leaky Boat’ #15, “I Got You” #11, “I Hope I Never” #25, and “I See Red” #28) and 2 from Crowded House (“Weather With You” #16).

By 1991 Crowded House was on their third album, “Woodface” and rose to #1 on my chart for the eighth time with the lead single “Chocolate Cake”. All 8 of those songs made my top 30 of the year in their respective years with the best showing #3 in 1987 with the effervescent “Mean To Me”, their first single in Australia. It managed minor airplay in the States (kind of a shame), but it was one of 5 songs that made the top 100 at my 1988 music party. ‘Over’ clocked in at #3 at that party and their other major hit that year, “Something So Strong” was #17. “Now We’re Getting’ Somewhere” at #71 and “World Where You Live” at #80 rounded out those 5.

On “Woodface” the other Finn brother, Tim, joined the group. The brothers had been working on songs for their own album but when Neil Finn submitted songs to the record company for a new Crowded House album, they were rejected. Neil asked Tim if they could use the songs from their work and Tim asked to be part of the group. This resulted in their biggest UK hit (‘Weather’) and Alternative hits “It’s Only Natural” and “Fall At Your Feet”. The album reached #2 in Australia and in a 2010 book “100 Best Australian Albums” it ranked as #3, behind Midnight Oil’s “Diesel And Dust” (which includes my favorite Oil song “Sometimes”) and AC/DC’s “Back In Black”. Pretty great company. The final single “Four Seasons In One Day” is a common phrase used in Melbourne to describe it’s changeable weather.

Another song that used a phrase to describe Australian weather is “Cool Change” by Little River Band. I only learned this relatively recently from a rider when driving Uber. While the band was hugely popular in their homeland with 5 top 10 albums and 2 more in the top 20, as a singles artist they were more successful in the States. Only 2 of their singles made the Australian top 10, “Help Is On Its Way”, a #1 and 1982’s “Down On the Border”, a song that did not chart stateside. In the U.S. LRB reached the Pop top 20 10 times, reaching #1 with “Lonesome Loser” and #2 with “Reminiscing”. The band has been in my top 10 of the year 5 times. ‘Help’ and ‘Change’ are joined by “Lady”, “Man On Your Mind” and “The Night Owls”. Strangely, “Cool Change” was never released In Australia but did make the APRA top 30 list in 2001.

During the later years of LRB, between 1982-85, the original lead vocalist Glenn Shorrock was replaced by John Farnham, who had been a teen idol during the late ‘60s and ‘70s. After his stint in the band, he went back to his solo career and had a defining song with “You’re The Voice” and the accompanying album “Whispering Jack” became the second biggest selling album in Australian history. The song was my #2 song of 1987 and is his only Hot 100 entry in the States, reaching #82 in early 1990. Even without real success here, the song was an international hit. In 1991, Heart released a live version of the song that made it to #20 on the Rock chart but it failed to reach the Hot 100. In 1995 the Alan Parsons Project included it on a live album, with vocal from Chris Thompson, one of the actual songwriters. He is best known as the vocalist for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and “Blinded By The Light” as well as for the 1979 song “If You Remember Me” from the movie “The Champ”. Thompson initially did not want Farnham to record ‘Voice’ because of his teen idol image from the ‘70s.

To exemplify Farnham’s importance in his homeland, he has had a #1 record in 5 consecutive decades. One of those was 1988’s “Age Of Reason” a #1 single and the best-selling album in Australia that year. This song also made my top 10 of the year, #4 of 1990. This spiritual song has lyrics that are appropriate for our time:

“So why can't we be still, why can't we love each other

Is kindness an ancient skill buried by our blindness

And if we look behind us there's a wind blowing in

To create the age of reason”

In 1989-90 he also reached my top 20 with “Two Strong Hearts”, a song that made the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S. and led to the re-release of “You’re The Voice”, and “Beyond The Call”. ‘Voice’ is one of only a handful of pop songs that feature bagpipes. It was actually written as a protest song about nuclear disarmament. It has been used at rallies against COVID-19 lockdowns in Australia over the last year.

“How long can we look at each other

Down the barrel of a gun?

You're the voice, try and understand it

Make a noise and make it clear

We're not gonna sit in silence

We're not gonna live with fear”

A funny side note, Farnham passed on the song “We Built This City” for his “Whispering Jack” album and we all know how that played out. Another co-writer of ‘”You’re The Voice” was Andy Qunta, who also co-wrote the song “Crazy” from his band Icehouse. This is one of my favorite songs of all-time, it was my #1 song of 1987 (this blog so much more about 1987 than 1991) and my #3 of the entire decade of the ‘80s. The atmospheric quality of this song just sends me for some reason. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to be powerful. The album it comes from, “Man Of Colours” was another massive album in Australia, their best-selling overall and Australian’s #1 album of 1988. It was also the first album to have 5 songs reach the top 30 in Australia. “Electric Blue”, their biggest song in the States (Hot 100 #7, “Crazy” #14 and both Rock chart top 10’s), was co-written by John Oates from Hall & Oates.

The band was originally called Flowers and had an early song called “Icehouse”. The word is an Australian term for an insane asylum and became the band’s name after conflict with a Scottish band Flowers. That song and “We Can Get Together” got the band stateside Alternative airplay in 1981. The early band in essence then split up. Frontman Iva Davies recorded a solo album and released it under the Icehouse name. It spawned 2 hits, “Hey Little Girl” and “Great Southern Land”, and to promote it brought a band together with a mix of old and new members.

Their highest charting song on the Rock chart in the U.S. was “No Promises” in 1986. “Man Of Colours” generated 3 more top 10 songs on my chart in 1988 with “My Obsession” (#1), “Heartbreak Kid” (#2) and “Nothing Too Serious” (#9). In late 1989 they returned to #2 with “Touch The Fire” and in1991 this week they had 2 songs on my chart “Jimmy Dean” (63) and “Miss Devine” (92). In February 2020, right before COVID lockdown, the band played the St. Kilda Festival in Melbourne, 40 years after Flowers played at the first festival.

 

There are 2 other male artists who fronted earlier bands that were enjoying solo success during the late ‘80s-early ‘90s era. Daryl Braithwaite had been the lead singer of arguably the most successful Australian pop band of the ‘70s, Sherbet. They were relative unknowns in the States, save for a minor hit in 1976, “Howzat”. That song and the 1975 song “Summer Love” both reached #1 in Australia. I remember “Howzat” and I’m just listening to “Summer Love” now. I would have enjoyed that one as a teenager. The band moved from Little River Band style music in the ‘70s to a more New Wave approach in the early ‘80s and that came with a name change to the Sherbs. It did not gel in their homeland but in the States, they managed 2 moderate Alt hits with “I Have The Skill” and “We Ride Tonight”.

Braithwaite re-surfaced in 1988 with a solo album and scored a string of hits including the top 10 “One Summer”. In 1991, like Icehouse and John Farnham, he earned the best-selling album of the year in Australia with the 1991 album “Rise”. That was fueled by the #1 hit “The Horses” (78). That song was written by Rickie Lee Jones of “Chuck E’s in Love” fame, along with Walter Becker of Steely Dan. Jones released the song on her 1989 album “Flying Cowboys” and though it was not released as a single people may remember it from the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”.

James Reyne rose to fame as the leader of Australian Crawl who enjoyed success during the first half of the ‘80s with 4 albums, 2 of which reached #1. The band name is derived from a swimming technique that was developed by a swimmer in the 1890’s. Though their music is not patterned after the Beach Boys, they earned a reputation as the Melbourne version of that band because of their beach culture vibe. I own their 1982 album “Sons Of Beaches” but I do not recall any of the songs from it. The lead single from it was “Shut Down” but listening to it I got nothing. They did not receive much airplay in the U.S, and definitely didn’t reach any national charts here. I bought so much stuff from used record stores back in college for like $1 or $2 and probably listened to some of those once, if at all.

I did not discover Reyne as a solo artist until 1993 when his 1991 album “Electric Digger Dandy” was re-packaged in the States as “Any Day Above Ground”. It yielded 2 #1’s on my chart, “Slave” and “Some People” and 2 other appearances with the title track and “Reckless”, a reworking of Australian Crawl’s biggest hit from 1983. The first 2 songs ended up as my #8 and #5 of 1993. He also had a song on the album “Company of Strangers” that would become the name of a one album Australian supergroup featuring Reyne, Braithwaite and Simon Hussey. Hussey had also been in Australian Crawl and was married to Reyne’s sister Elisabeth at the time. In addition, he was the producer of both solo artists. As a band they did not have the same impact as their solo careers, managing 3 top 40 singles including the chugging “Motor City (I Got Lost)” but none reaching past #21.

In 1990 the best-selling album in Australia belonged to Johnny Diesel and the Injectors. It was straightforward pub Rock as evidenced by the top 10 hits “Cry In Shame” and “Don’t Need Love”. Diesel (real name Mark Lizotte) was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and his family moved to Perth when he was 5. He was sort of discovered by the wife of Jimmy Barnes (who I wrote about in the last post), Jane. Diesel eventually married her sister. My exposure to Diesel (he dropped Johnny for his moniker as a solo artist) came with the next album, the #1 “Hepfidelity”, a nice mix of Rock, Blues and Funk that brought the song “Man Alive” to #1 on my chart in 1992. “Tip Of My Tongue” was the bigger hit in Australia, reaching #4. In 1993 he won Album of the Year and Best Male Artist at the ARIA Music Awards. He would also nab Best Male Artist the following 2 years. He did not make an impact stateside though (strange aside) there was a band from the Netherlands with the same name that scored a U.S. hit in 1981 with “Sausalito Summer Night”.

Another Aussie band that could not translate their homegrown success to the States was 1927. Their debut album “…ish” was huge in Australia, going 5 times platinum and generating 4 top 20 singles. 2 of those made my top 5, “You’ll Never Know” and their first single “That’s When I Think Of You”. That song was their only Billboard Hot 100 entry, barely making it at #100. Their brand of solid Pop Rock veered between the post new Wave vibe of INXS/Icehouse and the Pop sheen of Little River Band. They had 3 songs from their second album on my chart this week, “Don’t Forget Me” (31), “The Other Side” (58) and “Tell Me A Story” (38) that had just peaked in my top 10. I’ve been groovin’ on ‘Story’ lately and it is back in my current top 10. By the third album things had fallen apart.

Going back to a band that is closer to the pulse of Crowded House, we land on Hunters and Collectors. Interestingly, that band’s frontman Mark Seymour is the brother of Crowded House member Nick Seymour. Their biggest songs on my chart were the same 2 that made the U.S. Alternative Top 10 in 1998 and 1990, “Back on The Breadline” and “When The River Runs Dry”. These songs brimmed with the Jangle Rock sound of the time, but their early music was more influenced by bands like Kraftwerk. The song “Judas Sheep”, from the second album “The Fireman’s Curse” in 1983, is pretty raw comparatively. In a way it reminds me of how some of the early Split Enz music was, adventurous and off-kilter. “42 Wheels” the lead track from their third album, “The Jaws Of Life”, is decidedly Talking Heads.

The 1984 song “Throw Your Arms Around Me” alluded to the musical direction they would move towards and become a signature song for them. I would equate their evolution through the ‘80s to that of R.E.M. Though in hindsight R.E.M. was less experimental, to me when I saw them on Landsdowne St. across from Fenway Park in 1982, I felt I was experiencing something completely new. Songs like “Wolves, Lower” and “1,000.000” we’re really exciting to me at the time. Hunters and Collectors would become one of the best live acts in Australia and I can imagine if I saw them early on, I would have had a similar experience. This was also true when I saw U2 at CBGB’s in New York City in 1980. “I Will Follow, “The Electric Co.”, and ”A Day Without Me”; the energy was unbelievable. I feel extremely fortunate to have seen both of these iconic bands at the beginning of their careers.

Mar 15
Trending March, a Surprise debut, a Big Return, plus Beds, Heads, and Hearts

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

Beyond Radio’s Trending 100, March 2021

Listen on Spotify

POS/ARTIST/SONG

1              WOLF ALICE        The Last Man On Earth

In a big surprise to me Wolf Alice crash onto the BR250 at #16 on the strength of 23 adds. This is a much more subdued song then their biggest hit, 2014’s “Moaning Lisa Smile”.

2              BRUNO MARS, ANDERSON.PAAK & SILK SONIC   Leave The Door Open

Hot off their Grammy performance this retro homage also debuts high on the BR250 at #25. Fully 12 titles debut in the top 100 from outside the top 250 this week and 74 songs make their debut on the BR250. Not sure if that is a record but it certainly seems like a spring cleaning.

3              JOEL CORRY f/ RAYE & DAVID GUETTA    Bed

The third out of the box entry on the BR250 at #30, this track could follow Corry’s “Head & Heart” into the top 10. He was featured on the British version of “Jersey Shore” called “Geordie Shore” between 2011-13.

4              DUA LIPA             We're Good

I was disappointed that Lipa did not win Album of the Year at the Grammys but at least she won Pop Vocal Album. I thought this could compete for #1 on the BR250 this week but it only managed to reach #5. “Drivers License” is already losing ground so on the next chart it’s anyone’s guess.

5              JUSTIN BIEBER   Hold On

6              NICK JONAS        This Is Heaven

Two more out the box entries at #55 and #58 on the BR250, both songs reference heaven, for Bieber it’s not too far away and for Jonas, he has found it. Both have a light groove with Bieber winning the race at radio so far. Jonas is also on the Trending chart at #36 with “Spaceman”. He also just got some exposure announcing the Oscar nominations with his wife this morning.

7              MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA           Bed Head

The word bed gets a second appearance in the top 10 on Trending and I’m sure the large bed Cardi B was upon at last night’s Grammy awards is trending somewhere else. This is an excellent, percolating track from the Atlanta band’s upcoming sixth album “The Million Masks Of God”, due for release at the end of April. Tis will likely be the band’s second song to reach my top 10. “I’ve Got Friends” reached #2 on my chart in early 2010.

8              AVA MAX            My Head & My Heart

This song is currently in the Pop top 15 in the States and top 5 in Britain. 20 years ago the song “Around The World (La La La La La)”, from which this song was born, also made the Pop top 15 and was a major international hit.

9              STEPS & MICHELLE VISAGE          Heartbreak In This City

Visage has been a part of Rupaul’s Drag Race franchise since 2011 and 30 years ago was a member of the girl group trio Seduction, who scored 4 top 25 singles on the Hot 100 including the #2 “Two To Make It Right”. Debuting at #68 on the BR250 this week, this could be Steps 4th top 25 on the chart.

10           ZARA LARSSON Look What You've Done

Last week Larsson released the album “Poster Girl” which includes 6 singles she released from 2018 through early this year. Debuting at #56 this album track has performed better on the BR250 than all the singles except “Ruin My Life” which reached #42. She also appears at #95 Trending with “Need Someone”.

11           ELLA HENDERSON & TOM GRENNAN       Let's Go Home Together

Another top 5 UK track, both artists now have 2 top 40 hits on the BR250. Henderson peaked at #38 last year with “Take Care Of Me” and Grennan moves up to #23 this week with “Little Bit Of Love”.

12           PAUL WOOLFORD f/ AMBER MARK          Heat

13           PURPLE DISCO MACHINE & MOSS KENA & THE KNOCKS  Fireworks

These two DJ/producers have come off a pair of big international hits. Woolford reached #57 on the BR 250 with “Looking For Me” last fall and Purple Disco Machine’s “Hypnotized” has been in and out of the BR250 numerous times over the last year, reaching as high as #49. Both have made the European top 25.

14           BEBE REXHA       Sacrifice

15           CONAN GRAY    Overdrive

These two songs are currently getting traction at Pop radio. Rexha started out as a songwriter and has reached the top 10 on the Hot 100 three times via collaborations with G-Eazy, David Guetta, and Florida Georgia Line. Gray started out as a YouTube personality and has been improving over the last three BR250 entries, this being his first to hit the top 100, currently #72.

16           DJ SNAKE F/ SELENA GOMEZ       Selfish Love

17           POST MALONE  Only Wanna Be With You

18           ELENA TSAGRINOU         El Diablo

19           ST. VINCENT       Pay Your Way In Pain

20           KERO KERO BONITO        The Princess And The Clock

21           THE OFFSPRING Let The Bad Times Roll

22           KALI UCHIS          Telepatia

23           THE REYTONS    Broke Boys Cartel

24           MAROON 5 f/ MEGAN THEE STALLION    Beautiful Mistakes

25           KINGS OF LEON Echoing

See the full chart here

 
Mar 13
The Strings of the Soul, Part 1. Our Latest Beyond Radio Presents Podcast

The first half of this 2-parter starts to explore the connection between early '70s Soul and R&B and more recent artists that have been reviving the style. We cover a lot of ground from later Motown to Quiet Storm to Funk and '90s Hip-Hop with a total of 31 songs mentioned.

Jeff helps me to identify a sound and I show him how a voice can sound like a guitar. In the end he finds 2 songs he loves, 2 that appeal to him overall and 2 possible throwaways.

 

As is appropriate for an episode the day before the Grammys, the songs that bookend the episode are by an artist that is up for Record and Album of the Year.

Here is the companion Spotify playlist for the episode.

 

And this is the playlist for the entire Pod-Castlist 006. As I explain in the episode a Pod-Castlist is the playlist for all the songs in this arc of episodes.

 

Mar 8
I’ve Got Australia On My Mind, Part 1-The World Around INXS, a Music Party, and Pub Rock

My Personal Chart Blog, 1991

February 23, 1991

See the chart here

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

INXS/Bitter Tears (18)

The era of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s was infiltrated by a good number of Australian bands and male artists. INXS was one of the bigger bands on my chart throughout the previous decade, starting in 1983 with “The One Thing”, their first American hit reaching #30 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Rock chart. It also was their first to make the top 100 of the year at my annual music party, #92 at the inaugural party in January 1984. After 37 years, this year we took a gap year from the party because of COVID but I look forward to having a great one this summer to coincide with my 60th birthday.

At The 15th anniversary of the music party, I tabulated the top 200 artists of the first 15 years based on the songs that made the top 500 each year (my obsessive music nature on display). INXS was the #4 artist with 33 songs that made the top 500 throughout the years, 6 of those reaching the top 20; the 4 big hits from 1987’s album “Kick”, “What You Need”, and “Suicide Blonde”. “Need You Tonight” was the #1 song at the 1989 party, their best year with 4 songs in the top 11 (“Devil Inside” #6, “New Sensation” #7 and “Never Tear Us Apart” #11). There are 4 podcast episodes dedicated to the music party and one of those features what I call the “INXS Party” extensively (Castlist 002. Ep 4 released Dec. 28, 2018). The biggest artist during the first 15 years was U2 with 58 songs overall and 3 #1’s of the year, “Bad” in 1986, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” in 1988 and “One” in 1992. 3 others (“Mysterious Ways”, “Without Or Without You” and “Pride (In The Name Of Love”) placed at #2 in their respective years.

“Bitter Tears” was #29 at the 1992 party and was my favorite song from the album “X” as it would reach my top 5. “Suicide Blonde” (#3 at the 1991 party) and “Disappear” (62) both made my weekly top 15, and both reached the top 10 on the Hot 100. The band got its start in 1977 while 3 members were still in high school, Michael Hutchence and 2 of the 3 Farriss brothers (that was the band’s name at the time). It was Midnight Oil’s manager who ended up bringing the boys on as an opening act and one of that band’s members suggested the name change to INXS, party inspired by the band name XTC. The band was born out of the Pub Rock scene but certainly evolved throughout their career, first with New Wave edges, then Dance Rock beats but it was ultimately the stage and video presence of frontman Hutchence that secured them superstar status.

It’s always difficult to follow-up a career defining album like “Kick”, and this is true of INXS and “X”, though the album still managed to go double platinum in the States. After the first 2 top 10 singles, “Bitter Tears” only reached #46 (but top 10 at Rock and Alternative). The ballad “By My Side” had moderate success in Australia and the UK but failed to chart in the States. The final single “The Stairs” did not make any major charts. I, however, found this one as compelling as any of their previous releases, ironically more U2-esque in my opinion. It followed ‘Tears’ into my top 10.

Also, on my chart this week was “Good Times” (39), their collaboration with Jimmy Barnes, that was featured in the 1987 film “The Lost Boys”. It had originally peaked at #48 on my chart that year and saw a new life when it was released in the UK in 1991. Barnes had been the lead singer of the Pub Rock band Cold Chisel from the mid-70s until the early ‘80s when he went solo. That is when I discovered the rough voiced belter. Between the band and his solo career, he has amassed more top 40 albums than any artist in Australia, homegrown or international. 10 of his solo albums went to #1.

To me, Australian Pub Rock is akin to the style of Bruce Springsteen (the music party’s #6 artist), Bob Seger and John Mellencamp (party #55). This is evidenced in Barnes 1985 song “Working Class Man”, one of several songs by him that reached #1 on my chart in the mid-80s including “I’d Die To Be With You Tonight”, his first top 10 single in Australia with an assist from Kim Carnes (his female counterpart?). In 1986 he got some exposure on U.S. Rock radio with ‘Man’ (written by Journey’s Jonathan Cain) and “No Second Prize”. “Good Times” brought him to #3 on that chart and he repeated at that number in 1988 with “Too Much Ain’t Enough Love”, but it was “Waitin’ The Heartache” that brought him back to #1 on my chart.  The album those are from, “Freight Train Heart”, features Cain. Neal Schon (also of Journey), Huey Lewis, Randy Jackson, and Jon Farriss of INXS. In 1991 his songs “Lay Down Your Guns”, “Let’s Make It Last All Night” (co-written by hit-makers Diane Warren and Desmond Child) and “Little Darling” all had marginal success on my chart.

Midnight Oil (party artist #61) got their start in the early ‘70s, like INXS, as Farm, a high school endeavor. By 1978 they released their debut album as Midnight Oil and in 1982 saw their first international success with “Power And The Passion”. The band was always more politically and socially charged then others around them, their biggest hit “Beds Are Burning” (#2 at the 1989 music party) criticizes the handling of the Aboriginal population in Australia and ‘Power’ mentions the dismissal of a former prime minister.

In 2001 both of these songs ranked in the top 30 Australian songs of all-time according to the Australasian Performing Rights Association. ‘Beds’ was #3, just behind the Easybeats “Friday On My Mind”. That band did the original version of “Good Times” in 1968. One of the fun things I’ve learned over the last year is that 2 members of the Easybeats, Harry Vanda and George Young, went on to become the late ‘70s, early ‘80s New Wave band Flash and the Pan. In addition, George Young is the older brother of Malcolm and Angus Young of AC/DC, who are on this week’s chart with “Moneytalks” (32). Vanda and Young also produced the early AC/DC albums and wrote the late ‘70s hit “Love Is in The Air” by John Paul Young (no relation). Talk about a hodgepodge of styles. Flash and the Pan have had a number of big songs on my chart including “Hey St. Peter”, Welcome To The Universe” and the #1 “Midnight Man”.

In 1991, Midnight Oil landed a a string of victories at the ARIA awards ceremony (Australia’s Grammys) winning Best Group, Best Video, and Best Album (among others) for “Blue Sky Mining”. 3 songs from that album were big Alternative and Rock hits in 1990. “Blue Sky Mine”, “Forgotten Years” and, “King Of The Mountain” also all made my weekly top 25. The next album stirred controversy with the song “Truganini” which supposedly supported a ‘white’ myth about the extinction of Tasmanian Aborigines. The album “Earth and Sun and Moon” was produced by Nick Launay, who had helmed earlier albums of theirs and also produced the album “The Swing” by INXS.

In 1992 their album “Welcome To Wherever You Are” was said to be more experimental and contains my second favorite INXS tune and Alternative #2 “Not Enough Time”, a slow burn single with a big ending that owes some thanks to the Simple Minds song “Alive And Kicking”. My favorite INXS track is “Mystify” from “Kick”. The album managed to produce 3 more top 10 Alternative hits with “Heaven Sent”, “Taste it” and “Beautiful Girl” plus the anthemic “Baby Don’t Cry, replete with orchestra.

After Hutchence’ tragic death in 1997 (officially reported as a suicide though many believe it was accidental due to autoerotic asphyxiation), the first new lead singer of the band was Jon Stevens, formerly of the Aussie band Noiseworks. In 1988 that band had a monster hit on my chart with the very INXS “No Lies”, my #3 song of the year. They followed that with a #2 on my weekly chart, “River Of Tears”, late in the year. Surprisingly, I did not chart the Australian top 10 single “Take Me Back”. This week in 1991 they were inching up my chart with “Freedom” (80). The songs “Miles And Miles” and “Hot Chilli Woman” would follow. ‘Chilli’ was their hardest rocking song and became their second, and last, top 10 in their homeland before splitting up. They also got an assist from Hutchence on the remake of Sly & The Family Stone’s “Take You Higher”, their final single. In 2009 there was a black comedy called “World’s Greatest Dad”, starring Robin Williams as the dad of a teenager who accidentally died from autoerotic asphyxiation. Yeah, that’s pretty black.

To be continued…

Mar 1
A Battle at the Top could be Brewing, but not Quite Yet. And Your Little Dog Toto, Too.

“Driver’s License” widens its lead, on 53 of the 182 charts tracked during this period. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on the next chart as Dua Lipa’s “We’re Good” debuts at #30 with one week under its belt. With her track record over the last year, it will be a battle for the top spot on the next chart. I don’t really see any other challengers between the two.

The Foo Fighters keep 2 songs in the top 10 as “Waiting On A War” moves up two to #4 and “No Son of Mine” drops one to #9. Taylor Swift almost has two titles in the top 10 with “No Body, No Crime” jumps 15-11.

Harry Styles inches closer to the top 10 (14-12) but may not have a fifth song from “Fine Line” reach that level. Though the song reached the top 10 in airplay in the UK recently, it did not make the official UK chart. Overall, it has performed best in Central and South America plus New Zealand.

Jessie Ware vaults 44-8 to become her third song to hit the top 10 from the album “What’s Your Pleasure?”. I overlooked this song at first but admit its slinky ‘70s vibe is a welcome addition to the chart.

DJ/Producer 220 Kid has his hands in 2 songs that enter the top 25 this week. The Tiesto song “The Business” (35-19) has been a major hit across the world and 220 Kid has provided a remix. There is also a version titled “The Business, Pt. II” featuring American rapper Ty Dolla $ign. The 19th century sea shanty song “Wellerman” (46-21) sung by Nathan Evans got the remix treatment from 220 Kid as well, which brought the song to #2 in the UK. The other contributors to the song, Billen Ted are a production duo that came from the world of Death Metal, of all things.

British songstress Celeste rises into the BR250 top25 for a second time with “Love Is Back” (26-22). The song is featured on Beyond Radio’s January Soul Pick list on Spotify, one of my favorite playlists to put together. It’s a mix of Retro Soul, Disco, Chill and anything that fits into a mellow, soulful groove. Last year her “Stop This Flame” peaked at #14.

Clean Bandit improves on the performance of their previous single ”Tick Tock”’s #30 peak, moving up to #24 with “Higher”, their collab with it guy Iann Dior who just came off the international smash “Mood” with 24KGoldn. Close behind, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man has the highest entry in the top 100 at #27. Highlighting again the disparity between airplay and chart performance, the song is top 5 in airplay in the UK but only managed to make it to #75 on the official UK chart.

 

The latest Podcast, 40 Years of Toto

The third in our Now and Then trilogy, we have some fun with Toto and Weezer. Though we start off with Jeff's refusal to listen to the first song we do find our happy place pretty quickly. In the end he finds his Toto sweet spot, especially with a song that wasn't included originally.

Feb 25
Another Now and Then Podcast plus the February 23, 1991 Personal Chart Blog

This is a nice quick episode with the question, are Night Ranger hair metal or are they not? We do manage a couple of asides from the main discussion. A country song kept a newer Night Ranger song from #1 on my personal chart which I did not subject Jeff to, but I do include it here.

 

My Personal Chart Blog, 1991

 

For this month’s blog, I thought I’d start with a comparison between by 1991 chart and my current week’s chart.

February 23, 1991

See the chart here

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

LW/TW/ARTIST/SONG/PEAK/WEEKS

2 1 JELLYFISH That Is Why 1 10

The last time I was writing about this era in September I wrote a lot about Power Pop and Jellyfish specifically. This song was the first of theirs to reach #1 on my chart. It was their second top 20 on the Modern Rock radio chart, peaking at #11. This was preceded on my chart by 3 top 12 songs, “The King Is Half Undressed #8, “Now She Knows I’m Wrong” #12, and “The Man I Used To Be” #8. In the end, most of their debut album “Bellybutton” would hit my chart including “I Wanna Stay Home” (55), “Calling Sarah” (131-debut), and their biggest Pop hit “Baby’s Coming Back”, which would make my top 10 in the spring.

1 2 EMF Unbelievable 1(2) 13

An across-the-board international success, many would consider the band a one-hit-wonder though they had a number of songs do well in the UK and the follow-up single, “I Believe” (25) reached #1 on the Modern Rock chart. Andrew Dice Clay’s voice was sampled, the “Oh” at the beginning and in front of the chorus is him. This was a great time for Alt-Dance music and my chart this week reflects that with roughly 20-25 songs falling under that umbrella.

3 3 SEAL Crazy 3(3) 13

This song fits into that mold with its pulsating rhythm and its ebbing and flowing keyboard line. It also adds a Funk and Soul vibe to the mix, just a really intoxicating song. It was also a huge international success, #1 in numerous countries, #2 in the UK, and #7 on the Hot 100. The debut album was certainly more cutting edge than the rest of his ‘90s output with songs like “Killer”

5 4 BREATHE Does She Love That Man? 4 15

This ballad was the last single by the UK band and was aided by its bluesy guitar. Not a big hit here, only reaching #34 on the Hot 100. It didn’t even chart in the UK. The band actually did better in the States overall with 3 top 10 singles in 1988 and 1989 (“Hands To Heaven”, “How Can I Fall?” and “Don’t Tell Me Lies”), all of which did well for me. In the fall of 1990, they also made my top 10 with the horn-laden shuffler “Say A Prayer”.

8 5 THE FARM All Together Now 5 13

This Brit band’s debut album “Spartacus” was a #1 album in the UK after this song and “Groovy Train” (48) both went top 6 the previous year. This also made the Modern Rock top 10 in April ‘91. The band was also part of the Alt-Dance movement at the time.

9 6 INDIGO GIRLS Welcome Me 6 8

The harmonies of Emily Saliers and Amy Ray were favorites of mine from the release of “Closer To Fine” through the mid-90s. Their collaboration with Michael Stipe, “Kid Fears”, was my #1 song of the year in 1989. This one was my favorite from their album “Nomads, Indians, Saints”. “World Falls” (104) was falling from its #25 peak and the lead single “Hammer And A Nail” just missed my top 40 at #41.

6 7 CELINE DION Where Does My Heart Beat Now 6 12

In 1990 2 big female voices emerged on the scene, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Though “Vision Of Love” was a great debut single, my relationship with Carey waned relatively quickly while Dion was a sustained chart performer for me. Carey clearly won the Pop battle (she stands as the #4 artist of all-time on the Billboard Hot 100 though Dion places at #87, so not shabby at all). 4 of Dion’s songs have made my top 25 of the year: “Tell Him” with Barbra Streisand, “Shadow of Love”, “Ain't Gonna Look The Other Way” and the fantastic “Taking Chances”.

4 8 DREAM WARRIORS My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style 1 14

Hip Hop is not a regular genre on my chart and usually when a song appeared it had a quirky bent to it. This is so true of this song from the Canadian trio, my #19 song of 1991. The early ‘90s was the time of a Jazz-Rap sub-genre that did have some gravitational pull with me. The instrumentation of this song is irresistible, bringing a ‘60s lounge vibe to it. It actually samples the 1962 Quincy Jones song “Soul Bossa Nova”. This was a huge song for husband John (he had a fascination with lounge music in the ‘90s) and our circle of friends. It did go top 25 on Modern Rock and top 15 the UK, Sweden, and Switzerland but it didn’t chart in their homeland.

7 9 JUDE COLE House Full Of Reasons 1(2) 13

I wrote a bit about Jude Cole on last year’s blog page. I would say he was my favorite Pop-Rock artist during the first half of the ‘90’s. If you are a fan of Bryan Adams this album would totally appeal to you. This was the sixth song from his album “A View From 3rd Street” to chart and the first of his to go to #1. On it’s heals “This Time It’s Us” (35) would follow to the summit. The last 3 songs from the album would chart as well with “Get Me Through The Night” making it 3 at #1. In January this year he released his first album since 2000, “Coup De Main”, which is a bit folkier and I’m just starting to digest. On it he does a cover of the song “Starry Eyes” a 1979 almost top 40 song by the Records. He was briefly a member of that band in 1980.

11 10 JESUS JONES International Bright Young Thing 10 8

Coming out of the same Alt-Dance pool as EMF, this band had just come off the huge “Right Here, Right Now” which had spent 2 weeks at #1 on my chart in December. That song was about the end of the cold war and was originally titled Nelson as it was inspired by Prince (Roger Nelson’s) 1987 hit “Sign ‘O The Times”. The band was associated with an Alternative sub-sub-genre Grebo that had a short shelf-life. ‘Young Thing’ and “Who?, Where? Why?” (148-debut) were more indicative of the style, a mix of Punk, EDM, Hip-Hop and Industrial. 2 other Grebo bands land back-to-back further down the list. Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine’s “Bloodsport For All” (100) and Pop Will Eat Itself’s “X, Y & Zee” (101). That band took the moniker to heart with songs like “Grebo Guru” and “Oh Grebo, I Think I Love You”.

12 11 THE KLF 3 AM Eternal 11 7

The lines of these Alt-Dance sub-genres are so very blurry that they all fit under the larger umbrella. This time was probably one of my favorites for the melding of Alt-Rock and Dance. It had more of a bite than the earlier danceable New Wave, though some of the ‘80s product in that realm had a more sinister feel. The KLF started out in 1987 and the JAMS (Justified Ancients Of Mumu) and in 1988 scored a UK #1 as the Timelords with “Doctorin’ The Tardis”. That song was a mix of the “Doctor Who” theme song, Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll (part two)” and the song “Blockbuster” by Sweet. The JAMS label was named KLF Communications and that is what led to future songs under the name the KLF. This song was originally recorded in 1988 and ‘Ancients of Mumu’ is a predominant line in the song. The song reached #5 on the Hot 100 and in early 1992 they almost returned to the top 10 with the #11 “Justified and Ancient (Stand By The JAMS)” with Tammy Wynette. Clearly, they could not release their schtick, and the sub-title winks at her signature hit “Stand By Your Man”. Always achingly trying to be clever, the tongue in cheek of the sample-heavy KLF’s name is that it stands for Kopyright Liberation Front.

10 12 WHITNEY HOUSTON All The Man That I Need 10 12

The next 4 songs are all ballads. This song originally appeared on a 1982 Linda Clifford album and was written by the team of Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore who were responsible for much of the music from the movie “Fame” in 1980. 2 of the songs from that soundtrack were co-written by Lesley Gore (of the 1963 #1 hit “It’s My Party”), “Out Here On My Own” and “Hot Lunch Jam” (The KLF should have jumped on that remake). Michael Gore is Lesley’s younger brother. After Clifford contributed the vocal to the song “Red Light” for the soundtrack, the songwriters worked with her on her next album. Houston’s version totally took the song to another level.

17 13 HALL & OATES Don't Hold Back Your Love 13 9

In essence, this was the last hit by the powerhouse duo. It only peaked at #41 on the Hot 100, following the #11 “So Close” but it did make the top 5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The original version of ‘Close’ was co-written by Hall and George Green who also co-wrote John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good”. The final version got an assist from Jon Bon Jovi and producer Danny Kortchmar who had been working on the “Blaze Of Glory” sessions. This one was co-written by Richard Page of Mr. Mister.

24 14 RICK ASTLEY Cry For Help 14 6

The lead single from Astley’s third album “Free” was his first real ballad to be a hit (and his last top 10 in the States). The gospel-tinged song was by far my favorite tune by Astley, ending up as my #15 of 1991 during its original run on my personal chart. In another co-writing scenario, his writing partner was Rob Fisher of Naked Eyes and Climie Fisher fame. In 1983 the Naked Eyes song “Promises Promises” was my #1 song of the year. Though I was only so-so on their hit “Always Something There To Remind Me”, the album was a standout for me, bringing 4 other songs into my top 10, including a second #1 “I Could Show You How”.

18 15 STYX Show Me The Way 15 12

Like Hall & Oates, 1991 saw the last appearances in the upper reaches of the Hot 100 for Styx. This inspirational ballad, written as a sort of hymn for Dennis DeYoung’s son, rode to #3 and became connected to the Gulf War and resurrected after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. It was the second single from “Edge Of The Century”, after “Love Is The Ritual” made the Rock top 10 in the fall of 1990. The third single, “Love At First Sight” brought them to #25 on the Hot 100.

February 21, 2021

The biggest difference between 1991 and 2001 on my chart is the lack of the Alt-dance that was prevalent back then and the introduction of Country, though there are a couple of danceable songs on this top 15. There is also, except for one juggernaut of a song, no songs that would be deemed as a current hit.

LW/TW/ARTIST/SONG/PEAK/WEEKS

1 1 FEE WAYBILL Faker 1(3) 8

The lead singer of the Tubes surprised me with this blistering track co-written by Richard Marx. The beginning of 2021 was seeing an absence of big songs for me as songs had been lingering on my chart a little longer than normal. Once this one clicked a few weeks ago it made the jump from 25-1. 40 years ago, his band was experiencing their first real mainstream success with “Talk To Ya Later” becoming a top 10 Rock hit (surprisingly only bubbling under the Hot 100 at #101) and their top 40 pop entry “Don’t Want To Wait Anymore”. Through the latter half of the ‘70’s they had some underground success and one minor hit “Don’t Touch Me There”. With the 1981 album “The Completion Backward Principle” they teamed up with producer David Foster and on ‘Later’ Steve Lukather of Toto which led to a combo of Pop sheen and their well-known quirkiness (“Sushi Girl”), a winning combination.

2 2 ALL STAR UNITED Take Me Away 2 15

My blog writing and podcast production has brought me many songs from the past that were forgotten or are new to me. I just this month started an oldie’s chart on Beyond Radio as there are other personal charters that feature older songs on their charts as well. This late ‘90s Christian Rock band had 13 songs on my personal chart between 1998 and 2010. This track is from the 2007 album “Love And Radiation” and becomes the band’s highest-charting song for me, pushing past the #3 “Worldwide Socialites Unite” in 2000 (not available on Spotify).

6 3 MCFLY Tonight Is The Night 3 11

This British Pop band is named after Marty McFly from “Back To The Future”. This is their first top 10 on my chart. In the UK they have had 19 top 10’s with 7 of those going to #1 since 2004. One of those #1’s was “Baby’s Coming Back” in 2007, a remake of the 1991 Jellyfish song (not available on Spotify).

9 4 BLAKE SHELTON Minimum Wage 4 4

This song saw some controversy upon its release, a millionaire singing about minimum wage, but it was ill-conceived when listening to the lyrics; “your love is money, you make a man feel rich on minimum wage”. I was instantly drawn to the propulsive upbeat Country-Rock of this tune, a certain #1 for me. It would be his third #1 for me and already his ninth top 5.

3 5 HARRY STYLES Treat People With Kindness 1(4) 25

What was a year ago a moderately successful song on my chart, ‘Kindness” has turned into a major hit for me. The superbly adorable video released on January 1 brought me such joy and its message was undeniable after the year we have had. I also experienced some of the nuances of the song that I had missed (the bongos and fuzzy guitar towards the end), even with a feature on a podcast episode. A lyric like “I don’t need all the answers, feeling good in my skin, I’ll just keep dancing” just adds to the allure. I love his old soul vibe. The video also made me fall in love with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and made me watch “Fleabag” finally.

7 6 BLACK STONE CHERRY Again 6 13

This is a second-generation Southern Rock band; co-founder John Fred Young is the son of the Kentucky Headhunters Richard Young. Not always a go-to genre, in 2012 they spent 2 weeks at #1 with “In My Blood”, their highest charter on the Rock radio chart and their only top 10.

4 7 HOT CHIP f/ JARVIS COCKER Straight To The Morning 2 15

21 years in and the UK synthpop band finally makes my top 10 for the first time, peaking at #2 a couple weeks ago. Joe Goddard spends time between Hot Chip and 2 Bears who made my top 40 in 2016 with another disco-y track “Not This Time”. Member Alan Doyle also splits time with LCD Soundsystem. That band’s song “Tonite”, my #4 song of 2018, was extensively analyzed on the Dec. 26, 2019, episode of Beyond Radio Presents. See Alt-Dance has made its appearance in 2021.

8 8 THE TEMPER TRAP Thick As Thieves 8 11

Another older title discovered from my blog writing is from the Australian band’s 2016 album of the same name. The song “Alive” from that album was the band’s sole #1 on my chart, though “Fader” and “Sweet Disposition” made my top 10 in 2010.

46 9 OLIVIA RODRIGO Driver's License 9 4

The emotional impact of this massive hit is not lost on me. The anguish in her voice, especially towards the end, is impressive. The amount of sad and sad-sounding songs that are big hits these days does not speak to me (see Harry Styles) but sometimes it is appropriate.

15 10 MERCYME Say I Won't 10 6

This Oklahoma band has been a force on Christian radio for 2 decades now. This week they notch another top 10 for me. Of their 16 top 25 songs on my chart, 6 have risen to #1 and another to #2. This seems destined for at least the top 5.

20 11 KEITH URBAN Forever 11 4

Could my king of the Country genre score an 18th #1 song on my chart? I was thinking the latest album “The Speed Of Now, Part 1” might not even get a top 10 though “Out The Cage” snuck up to #9. Again, definitely looking at the top 5, we’ll know over the next month or so. If it does, it’ll be the big ending to the song that does it. Love me some wailing guitar.

5 12 RED RUM CLUB The Elevation 3(2) 15

Extensive use of trumpet sets this indie Brit-Pop band apart and adds a fun factor. Their first top 10 for me but they have reached my chart 4 times in the last 2 years

13 13 THE SCORE f/ AWOLNATION Carry On 13 20

This song has spent 10 weeks in my top 20 without making the top 10, an interesting circumstance. The L.A. duo has a decidedly Imagine Dragons vibe but this one is more enjoyable for me than any recent Dragons song.

14 14 STEPS What The Future Holds 14 16

The UK’s late ‘90s version of Abba came back in 2017 and again in 2020 with 2 back-to-back #2 UK albums. They perform reliable Dance-Pop but this is the first time they’ve reached my top 50.

10 15 HONORARY ASTRONAUT Final Dream Machine 5 20

A side project for the Dear Hunter’s mastermind Casey Crescenzo, this doesn’t feel that off from that band’s expansive theatrical rock. Once I discovered that band in 2016, they racked up 16 top 20’s on my chart by the end of 2019. Of those 6 went to #1.

It’s hard to say which top 15 is more diverse. One side note, even though they are not in my current top 15, members of Jellyfish are on my current chart as the Lickerish Quartet. They have 2 songs moving up my chart right now from their second EP “Threesome, Vol. 2”; “Sovereignty Blues” at #26 and “Do You Feel Better” at #47, while “Lighthouse Spaceship” spent 3 weeks at #1 in September. As a solo artist Roger Manning Jr. also reached #1 for 3 weeks in November with “The Quickening” and his “Operator” is still week’s #35. After a 25 year plus absence, it’s like an old friend has come back into your life.

Feb 18
New Beyond Radio Presents Podcast: Now and Then - Kim Wilde

The first in a series of 3 side stage episodes that feature music from different times of an artist's career. Kim Wilde came on the scene in 1981, has been releasing music for going on 40 years, her music recent new music in 2018, and a live album in 2019.

We also sidestep into a conversation about radio in Boston in the '80s. It was a great time for radio and a great city for it.
Feb 15
This Month's Trending Chart Rocks out and Chills out Simultaneously, A New Chart, and the Alt Sub-Genres

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

Beyond Radio’s Trending 100, January 2021

Listen on Spotify

POS/ARTIST/SONG

1              ROYAL BLOOD   Typhoons

While “Trouble’s Coming” sits atop the Rock airplay chart in the States, this second groovy single by the band makes a nice move from 172-11 on the BR250. Hungary seems to like the song, it made the top 10 there at #8. They also made the Trending 100 at #84 collaborating with Run The Jewels on “The Ground Below”.

2              FOO FIGHTERS  Waiting On A War

The third single from “Medicine At Midnight” reached the Rock airplay top 10 this week while the album debuts at #3 on the Billboard 200. The blistering “No Son of Mine” lands at #13 Trending while both songs move into the BR250 top 10 at #6 and #8.  A third song, “Making A Fire” sneaks in at #87 this week.

3              CLEAN BANDIT f/ IANN DIOR       Higher

This song debuts on the BR250 at #40 this week. Dior just came off a #1 song with 24KGoldn’s “Mood” and Clean Bandit’s previous “Tick Tock” went to #30 on the BR250 and #2 on the airplay chart in the UK. This song was co-written by Dan Smith, the lead singer of Bastille.

4              OLIVIA RODRIGO              Driver's License

This juggernaut moved up to #1 on the BR250 this week. Part of the bedroom pop movement spearheaded by Billie Eilish, the song references her true-life circumstances, of which Sabrina Carpenter (at #30 trending with “Skin”) is a part of.

5              JESSIE WARE       Remember Where You Are

The seventh single from Ware’s album “What’s Your Pleasure” returns to the BR250 at #44. The sultry tune is one of nine from the album that have appeared on the BR250, 5 of those making the top 50. The album appeared on a myriad of best of 2020 lists including Rolling Stone (#9 of the year) and USA Today (#3).

6              NATHAN EVANS, 220 KID & BILLEN TED   Wellerman

A year ago, I doubt anyone would think a 19th century sea shanty song would reach #2 in the UK (well in the UK anything is possible). Evans started posting his versions of these songs on TikTok and a movement was born.

7              KINGS OF LEON The Bandit

Well, this month rock is not dead with 3 songs in the Trending top 10. The song is on the cusp on entering the Alternative airplay top 10 with Weezer’s “All My Favorite Songs” (#18) right on its heels.

8              ARLO PARKS       Hope

This British singer-songwriter’s retro Soul has brought 5 titles to the BR250 over the last year, including AAA charting “Hurt” which peaked at #46 on the BR250. “Hope” bows at #84 this week on that list, with the song “Caroline” five places ahead at #79. Wiki also attributes bedroom pop to her genre list.

9              LONDON GRAMMAR      Lose Your Head

Fitting into a similar lane, the ethereal dream pop of this trio, brings a third song to the BR250 top 30 in the last six months. Their album “Californian Soil’ is scheduled for release in early April.

10           SZA        Good Day

More dreaminess here. The R&B songstress just made the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 for the third time (and first solo single) last week with this song. She had previously reached #7 collaborating with Kendrick Lamar on with “All The Stars” in 2018 and in 2017 with Maroon Five on “What Lovers Do”.

11           SILK CITY f/ ELLIE GOULDING      New Love

Silk City is the superstar DJ duo of Diplo and Mark Ronson. In late 2018 they reached #3 on the BR250 with the Dua Lipa sung “Electricity”.

12           YEARS & YEARS It's A Sin

This week’s trending songs are heavy on the chill (and rock). This is a stripped down version of the Pet Shop Boys hit. Lead singer Olly Alexander is the lead character the TV series of the same name, depicting ‘80s era gay life.

13           FOO FIGHTERS  No Son Of Mine

14           SAM FELDT f/ KESHA       Stronger

15           RAG 'N' BONE MAN         All You Ever Wanted

16           STEPS    To The Beat Of My Heart

17           CELESTE                Love Is Back

18           WEEZER                All My Favorite Songs

19           PALE WAVES      Easy

20           JASON DERULO f/ ADAM LEVINE               Lifestyle

21           CARDI B                Up

22           FKA TWIGS f/ HEADIE ONE & FRED AGAIN             Don't Judge Me

23           LANA DEL REY    Chemtrails Over The Country Club

24           CHEVELLE            Self Destructor

25           BILLIE EILISH & ROSALIA Lo Vas A Olvidar

See the full chart here

 

This week I introduce the Retro 100 which I started tracking in December. It will be a year to date chart and will also show the current week's position to the left. Below that is the top 25 this week. You can find the charts on their own page as well.

There are a handful of charts that track old songs and old titles show up occasionally on other charts, especially after an artist has passed. Also my chart has become increasingly influenced by older songs because of the podcasts and blog posts as I discover  or re-discover them. Hopefully you'll dive into some of these older songs as well.

Retro Top 100 (Old songs showing up on current personal charts)

TW/ 2021 YTD

14        1          THIRD DAY    What Good

44        2          THE STRUTS The Ol' Switcheroo

9          3          ALL STAR UNITED   Take Me Away

27        4          THE STRUTS Who Am I?

4          5          ALY & AJ       Potential Breakup Song (2020)

53        6          THIRD DAY    Sky Falls Down

30        7          THE STRUTS These Times Are Changing

64        8          PARACHUTE  Blame It On Me

3          9          MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE  Famous Last Words

56        10        DEXTER FREEBISH  Everybody Knows Somebody

61        11        KEITH URBAN          God Made Woman

8          12        ARABESQUE  Love Is Just A Game

21        13        THE TEMPER TRAP Thick As Thieves

19        14        ARCADE FIRE           Everything Now

31        15        SONS OF SYLVIA     50 Ways

6          16        JOHN MAYER            I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)

48        17        CAT STEVENS           Lady D'Arbanville

17        18        JOHN MAYER            Slow Dancing In A Burning Room

35        19        THIRD DAY    Otherside

63        20        CHRIS REA    Fool If You Think It's Over

95        21        DOVES            Broken Eyes

69        22        EVERCLEAR   The New York Times

            23        REBA MCENTIRE      Rumor Has It

15        24        BERLIN           A Matter Of Time

            25        THE STRUTS Put Your Money On Me

60        26        CRYSTAL GAYLE     You Never Miss A real Good thing

42        27        LORRAINE ELLISON            Stay With Me (Baby)

67        28        STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN           Dive

23        29        THE KLF f/ TAMMY WYNETTE       Justified And Ancient

45        30        ALL STAR UNITED   La La Land

            31        GEORGE HARRISON            All Things Must Pass

22        32        MIKE CURB CONGREGATION        Burning Bridges

77        33        ELTON JOHN            Come Down In Time

13        34        ABBA  Summer Night City

            35        MELISSA MANCHESTER      Midnight Blue (2020)

73        36        A SILENT FILM         Paralysed

86        37        GUSTER         This Is How It Feels To Have A Broken Heart

7          38        JOE JACKSON          Steppin' Out

            39        AC/DC Rock 'N Roll Train

            40        YVONNE ELLIMAN   Love Pains

            41        JOURNEY      Lights

57        42        JIGSAW          Sky High

71        43        TIMMY THOMAS       Why Can't We Live Together

62        44        REBA MCENTIRE      Fancy (Dave Aude Remix)

            45        GARY ALLAN            It Would Be You

            46        LEN BARRY   1-2-3

59        47        BASH & POP On The Rocks

            48        ACE OF BASE            Happy Nation

28        49        GIRLS ALOUD           I'll Stand By You

65        50        STEVEN TYLER        (It) Feels So Good

84        51        KEITH URBAN          Slow Turning

            52        HEART            Crazy On You

18        53        THE MONKEES         Daydream Believer

            54        CHARLEY PRIDE      Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'

20        55        VAN HALEN   I'm The One

            56        MOTHER MOTHER   Hayloft

1          57        SHINEDOWN  Save Me

            58        INSPIRAL CARPETS             This Is How It Feels

81        59        LIT      Night In The Life

2          60        FOO FIGHTERS         Something For Nothing

            61        ALPHAVILLE Big In Japan

            62        KITCHENS OF DISTINCTION          Drive That Fast

24        63        GENESIS        In Too Deep

47        64        THE SEAHORSES      Blinded By The Sun

            65        MOUNTAIN    Mississippi Queen

            66        LONDON GRAMMAR            Wasting My Young Years

52        67        DAVID BOWIE & PAT METHENY   This Is Not America

70        68        BARBRA STREISAND           Ordinary Miracles

68        69        GIANT Don't Leave Me In Love

32        70        BREAD            It Don't Matter To Me

76        71        HOODOO GURUS     Get Out Of Dodge

89        72        HONEYMOON SUITE           Find What You're Looking For

5          73        LED ZEPPELIN          Black Dog

            74        BERLIN           The Metro

10        75        BRAD PAISLEY         Who Needs Pictures

11        76        CARLY SIMON          You're So Vain

            77        SILVERCHAIR            Pins In My Needles

12        78        RICK SPRINGFIELD Love Is Gonna Come At Last

50        79        TOM JONES  With These Hands

80        80        THE SEAHORSES      Love Is The Law

16        81        THE RASPBERRIES  Overnight Sensation

83        82        SLASH f/ FERGIE      Beautiful Dangerous

            83        GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS        Ferry Across The Mersey

            84        NEW SEEKERS          Pinball Wizard

            85        SKILLET         The Resistance

78        86        DAVID NAIL   Desiree

            87        BLU CANTRELL        Hit 'Em Up Style

25        88        FERRANTE & TEICHER       Midnight Cowboy

26        89        BLUE PEARL Naked In The Rain

29        90        DARYL HALL Someone Like You

33        91        ZZ TOP           Tush

34        92        ALPHAVILLE Forever Young

            93        IKE & TINA TURNER           River Deep-Mountain High

36        94        FLEETWOOD MAC    Silver Springs

37        95        BILLY JOEL   Tell her About It

38        96        SUPREMES     Where Did Our Love Go

            97        THE KLF        3 A.M. Eternal

39        98        ELTON JOHN            Skyline Pigeon

            99        BONE THUGS-N HARMONY            Thuggish Ruggish Bone

40        100     FOO FIGHTERS         Best of You

 

February 15, 20201

YTD/TW

57        1          SHINEDOWN  Save Me

60        2          FOO FIGHTERS         Something For Nothing

9          3          MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE  Famous Last Words

5          4          ALY & AJ       Potential Breakup Song (2020)

73        5          LED ZEPPELIN          Black Dog

16        6          JOHN MAYER            I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)

38        7          JOE JACKSON          Steppin' Out

12        8          ARABESQUE  Love Is Just A Game

3          9          ALL STAR UNITED   Take Me Away

75        10        BRAD PAISLEY         Who Needs Pictures

76        11        CARLY SIMON          You're So Vain

78        12        RICK SPRINGFIELD Love Is Gonna Come At Last

34        13        ABBA  Summer Night City

1          14        THIRD DAY    What Good

24        15        BERLIN           A Matter Of Time

81        16        THE RASPBERRIES  Overnight Sensation

18        17        JOHN MAYER            Slow Dancing In A Burning Room

53        18        THE MONKEES         Daydream Believer

14        19        ARCADE FIRE           Everything Now

55        20        VAN HALEN   I'm The One

13        21        THE TEMPER TRAP Thick As Thieves

32        22        MIKE CURB CONGREGATION        Burning Bridges

29        23        THE KLF f/ TAMMY WYNETTE       Justified And Ancient

63        24        GENESIS        In Too Deep

88        25        FERRANTE & TEICHER       Midnight Cowboy

89        26        BLUE PEARL Naked In The Rain

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

See the full charts via the Genre Charts tab

Alt Pop/Electro

1          1          BILLIE EILISH           Therefore I Am

49        2          LONDON GRAMMAR            Lose Your Head

5          3          GORILLAZ f/ BECK   The Valley Of The Pagans

8          4          THE BLEACHERS f/ BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN         Chinatown

9          5          THE KNOCKS f/ FOSTER THE PEOPLE    All About You

12        6          CANNONS      Fire For You

new     7          WEEZER         All My Favorite Songs

4          8          PALE WAVES             Change

new     9          PALE WAVES             Easy

7          10        THE AVALANCHES f/ MGMT & JOHNNY MARR The Divine Chord

 

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

1          1          KYLIE MINOGUE & DUA LIPA       Real Groove

4          2          SZA     Good Days

16        3          LONDON GRAMMAR            Lose Your Head

10        4          CELESTE        Love Is Back

new     5          JESSIE WARE           Remember Where You Are

6          6          ARLO PARKS             Caroline

new     7          ARLO PARKS             Hope

21        8          LOLA LENNOX          La La Love Me

17        9          GABRIELS      Love And Hate In A Different Time

2          10        KYLIE MINOGUE      Magic

 

Adult Leaning Alternative

12        1          KINGS OF LEON       The Bandit

4          2          GORILLAZ f/ BECK   The Valley Of The Pagans

new     3          FOO FIGHTERS         Waiting On A War

20        4          LONDON GRAMMAR            Lose Your Head

2          5          THE BLEACHERS f/ BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN         Chinatown

18        6          CANNONS      Fire For You

new     7          WEEZER         All My Favorite Songs

new     8          THE AVALANCHES f/ MGMT & JOHNNY MARR The Divine Chord

9          9          THE STROKES          The Adults Are Talking

new     10        LANA DEL REY         Chemtrails Over The Country Club

 

Alternative Hip Hop

new     1          FKA TWIGS f/ HEADIE ONE & FRED AGAIN        Don't Judge Me

4          2          RUN THE JEWELS f/ ROYAL BLOOD        The Ground Below

13        3          CLIPPING       96 Neve Campbell

41        4          SLOWTHAI f/ A$AP ROCKY            Mazza

10        5          YVES TUMOR            Kerosene

new     6          ASHNIKKO f/ KELIS Deal With It

6          7          SZA     Good Days

14        8          ASHNIKKO    Daisy

new     9          SERPENTWITHFEET             Fellowship

new     10        MADLIB          Road Of The Lonely Ones

 

Alt Rock

new     1          FOO FIGHTERS         Waiting On A War

8          2          KINGS OF LEON       The Bandit

new     3          ROYAL BLOOD         Typhoons

new     4          FOO FIGHTERS         No Son Of Mine

1          5          ROYAL BLOOD         Trouble's Coming

5          6          FOO FIGHTERS         Shame Shame

3          7          TEENAGE WRIST      Taste Of Gasoline

new     8          CHEVELLE     Self Destructor

12        9          KENNYHOOPLA f/ TRAVIS BARKER         Estella

7          10        TEENAGE WRIST      Earth Is A Black Hole

 

Underground

new     1          MOGWAI         Ritchie Sacramento

18        2          LIFE ON VENUS        Everything Ends Here

new     3          FKA TWIGS f/ HEADIE ONE & FRED AGAIN        Don't Judge Me

9          4          BIIG PIIG        Feels Right

new     5          YUNG Friends On Ice

2          6          BICEP Saku

3          7          THOM YORKE, BURIAL & FOUR TET       Her Revolution

16        8          THOM YORKE, BURIAL & FOUR TET       His Rope

1          9          BICEP Apricots

165     10        TOPOGRAPHIES        False Desire

 

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

1          1          TAYLOR SWIFT         Willow

2          2          TAYLOR SWIFT f/ HAIM      No Body, No Crime

5          3          PAUL MCCARTNEY  Find My Way

11        4          JULIEN BAKER         Faith Healer

3          5          LIAM GALLAGHER   All You're Dreaming Of

4          6          JADE BIRD    Headstart

7          7          COLDPLAY     Flags

8          8          CHRIS CORNELL      Watching The Wheels

10        9          CHRIS STAPLETON  Cold

6          10        FLEET FOXES           Can I Believe You

Feb 5
Another Look back at the Heartland

My Personal Chart Blog January 11, 1981

See my chart here

Part 3, The Sound of the Heartland: A Cougar is Created and Jacksonville Means Everything to Southern Rock

DELBERT MCCLINTON/Giving It Up For Your Love (21)

By the time Delbert McClinton had his first and only Pop top 10 hit he was 40 years old. His first appearance on the Pop chart was in 1962 was playing harmonica on the #1 “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel. It was Channel’s only top 40 hit. In 1965 the Lubbock, Texas native McClinton reached #97 as part of the duo The Ron-Dels with “If Really Want Me To I’ll Go” and in 1972 hit #90 as part of another duo Delbert & Glen with “I Received A Letter”. True to his Texas roots these songs all had a country bent to them.

I loved “Giving It Up For Love” and the b-side “My Sweet Baby”, both reaching the top 10 on my personal chart. ‘Giving’ was a blues/soul/pop confection, totally in the later Huey Lewis mode. ‘Baby’ employed a more prominent blues guitar, and both were heavy on the horns. At the time I thought ‘Baby’ would have been a great follow-up single choice (it’s not available on Spotify so seek it out on YouTube). Instead, they went with the more mid-tempo Country-Pop of “Shotgun Rider” which only managed a #70 peak. and then a ballad “Sandy Beaches” that just missed the Hot 100. He may have felt his blues chops were being diluted by the record company as he did not resurface until the late ‘80s when he was nominated for a Grammy for his 1989 live album “Live From Austin”.

Now 50, in 1991 he won a Grammy for his collaboration with “Bonnie Raitt” on the funky “Good Man, Good Woman” and in ’92 reached #13 on the rock chart with “Every Time I Roll The Dice”, while in ’93 his duet with Tanya Tucker “Tell Me About It” brought him to #4 on the country chart. Since then, he has won 3 more Grammys, the last in 2019. Nice later in life accomplishments. While cataloging all the music I own as I move things into my new music studio, I came across a cd single from another Texas blues rocker Ian Moore from 1993. It features 2 songs, “How Does It Feel” (which I remembered upon listening) and “Nothing”, plus 2 interviews. I’m surprised he did not make any inroads on the rock chart. I’ve added a couple of his songs to my current playlist including the slow burn “Satisfied”.

At this time in 1981, one of the biggest purveyors of heartland music was establishing his presence with his second album (well sort of). In late 1979 Indiana’s John Cougar (Mellencamp) debuted on the Hot 100 with “I Need A Lover”, which at the time, I was completely in love with. It was an interesting song in that the album version had a 2:28 instrumental intro that varied in intensity before kicking into the vocal. It was my #12 of the year back then but lost some of its luster when I re-did my 1980 charts last year.

In late 1980 the lead single from his album “Nothing Matters And What If It Did”, “This Time” (90) was an instant pleaser for me and reached #1 on my personal chart. It fits in nicely with the McClinton hit, no horns, but just an easy-going heartland slice of Pop-Rock. This was actually his fifth album. In 1976 his actual first, “Chestnut Street Incident”, was a commercial bomb, he was then known as Johnny Cougar. That name was bestowed on him by his manager Tony DeFries (who was also David Bowie’s manager), which he did not know about until he saw the album cover. He objected but was told it would not be released if they didn’t go with the name. He relinquished.

With the poor sales of that album, his label MCA refused to release his second album “The Kid Inside” and dropped him. He signed with UK label Riva Records (which he stayed with until 1985) founded by Rod Stewart’s manager Billy Gaff, and released “A Biography” in the UK and Australia only in 1978. That album included “I Need A Lover” and the song became a top 5 hit in Australia. It would also appear stateside on his next album, 1979’s “John Cougar”. Pat Benatar covered the song on her 1979 debut album as well. After the success of Mellencamp’s “American Fool” album in 1982 DeFries, his former manager, released the shelved “The Kid Inside” in 1983 to capitalize on his success while “A Biography” was remastered and released in the States in 2005.

Early songs like “American Dream” and “Born Reckless” are really not bad at all but Mellencamp is not a fan of his early music, and even with ‘Nothing Matters’ he said, “he takes no credit for that record” and of the label he said, “they thought I was going to turn into the next Neil Diamond”. “This Time” brought him into the top 30 on the Hot 100 for the second time at #27 (‘Lover’ reached #28). The second single “Ain’t Even Done With The Night” eclipsed that, going to #17. 3 other songs from the album would grace my personal chart, “Hot Night In A Cold Town” (56), “Don’t Misunderstand Me” and “Make Me Feel”. Of course, he really took off in ’82 with “Hurts So Good” and “Jack And Diane”, #2 and #1 respectively on the Hot 100. In total, he would make the top 10 on the Hot 100 10 times and the top 20 another 7 times. According to Joel Whitburn’s “Top Pop Singles” book, Mellencamp was the #9 artist of the ‘80s and #68 of all-time on the Hot 100 overall.

I could be hot and cold with his music, but he did make my top 60 of the year 4 more times with “Paper In Fire” in 1987, “Love And Happiness” in 1991, “Human Wheels” in ’93, and “Wild Night in ’94. Johnny Cash considered him one of the 10 best songwriters of all-time, and he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. In 1985 he was one of the organizers (along with Willie Nelson and Neil Young) of Farm Aid. The concert series has been going on yearly since then. The concerts have attracted a wide swath of artists from the Country, Rock, and Pop realms.

Another Indiana native, John Hiatt, shares a distinction with Mellencamp in that after his fourth album, 1980’s “Two Bit Monsters” failed to chart in the States (it did reach #41 in Sweden), he was dropped from his record label, MCA again. Over the years Hiatt has been associated with 6 different major labels before settling in with the label New West which focuses on Alt-Country, Indie Rock, and Americana claiming to be "for artists who perform real music for real people". Delbert McClinton has also been on that label. Hiatt came onto my radar in 1985 with the song “Living Just A Little, Laughing Just A Little”, a duet with Elvis Costello. Funny thing, his then record label Geffen dropped him after the album it was from failed to chart.

I just looked up the song’s chart performance on my own chart in 1985 and was surprised it only peaked at #34 the week of July 20, one position lower than another heartland rocker, “Tough All Over” by John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band. The song had a weird descent, meaning it wasn’t a natural incremental drop. It fell to 83 and stayed there for 2 weeks, then to 143 and stayed there for 2 weeks. 2 weeks later it was off the chart but what that indicates to me is that I was not ready to get rid of it quickly. Listening to it today I have a fonder memory of it than its chart peak would indicate. Back to Rhode Island’s John Cafferty and his band. They had a nice run of 4 top Rock 10 hits between ’84-’85, starting with “On The Dark Side” from the movie “Eddie and the Cruisers”.

Read the rest here

Jan 31
Beyond Radio Presents: A Look Back at 1970 and the January 2021 BR250 is Working for the Weeknd

In the final episode of our year in review we venture back 50 years to 1970 and I present some of my favorite songs of 1970 (and 1969) to Jeff. It begins and ends with 2 stories that are just 2 more of the myriad coincidences that have happened to me since beginning this adventure.

In the middle of the episode, we end up paying homage to a band that has been cranking out quality music for the better part of 3 decades. By the end of the episode we have discussed drugs a number of times, I decided that 2020 was a year of discovery and hope (for me), and folded in more discussion about Jeff's daughter Eva, Hanson, and AJR. Oh, and a newer song that has infiltrated my mind in a fantastic way.

Of the 43 songs featured we span from 1960-2020. Songs you know, songs you don't, and songs you should. I hope you find some joy out of the joy that I experience in putting these podcast episodes together.

Listen on Spotify here

 

On the BR250 The Weeknd nudges past Miley and Dua to claim the #1 spot. The song has been compared to songs as disparate as Post Malone's "Circles", Everything She Wants" by Wham and, ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky". The bigger news this week is the song "Drivers License" smashing into the top 5 pretty much out of the box. It was on 1 chart before this cycle and gained 37 adds for the explosive debut. The song and artist, Olivia Rodrigo, have broken many records globally, most notably becoming the female singer with the most weekly streams ever, surpassing Mariah Carey and "All I Want For Christmas Is You".

The other big debut this week belongs to Foo Fighters with the ballad "Waiting On A War" at #41. This song that ends in a raucous fashion and could be their biggest song in a long while. This makes 3 songs by the band in the top 50 as "Shame Shame" drops 7-10 and "No Son Of Mine" moves into the top 25 (42-22).

5 other songs enter the top 25 this week. The return of Kings of Leon with "The Bandit" flies from 66-14, a song not veering at all from their signature sound. Harry Styles' "Treat People With Kindness" gives him his 6th top 20 from "Fine Line" as it moves up to #18. It has been #1 on my chart for 4 weeks.

As Ariana Grande drops to #20 with "Positions" she lands at #21 with "34+35". Sorry but she bores me so. SZA makes a nice leap into the top 100 with "Good Days", moving 105-24. The song currently is #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Finally "The Valley of the Pagans", the collab between Gorillaz and Beck sneaks into the top 25, up 28-23. This is the 1st Gorillaz song to make my personal top 100 since "Dare" in 2006. It should make my top 40 at least.

One interesting note on this week's chart, AJR reaches their highest position with "Bang!" almost a year after debuting, entering the top 100 for a 3rd time at #90. On the May 31, 2020 chart it was #94 and on the Nov. 15 chart it returned at #96. The song is #9 on the Hot 100 this week and has been in the Pop top 10 for a few months now. As I said above, the trio is discussed again on the latest podcast.

Jan 20
My Personal Chart Blog, 1981

My Personal Chart Blog January 11, 1981

The Sound of the Heartland Leads Down Many Paths, Including a Pivotal Moment in My Life

See my chart here

Part 2 is up on the blog page

Read Part 2 here

MICHAEL STANELY BAND           He Can't Love You (1)

The early ‘80s was a major time for what is termed Heartland Rock and actually, the description didn’t take form until some time in the ‘80s. Certainly, its origins come from the ‘60s and ‘70s, drawing from artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, and Bruce Springsteen. Though it is most associated with artists from the Midwest and Rust Belt, as evidenced by Springsteen certainly, it is more about a working-class ethos that brings together elements of rock, folk, and country. From the core of the sub-genre connections can be made to Southern Rock, Americana, Alt-Country, and even the current state of commercial Country.

The Michael Stanley Band’s hometown is Cleveland, Ohio and they were superstars in their region. “He Can’t Love You” embodies the playful side of the sound, incorporating the sax driven sound of upbeat Springsteen (Clarence Clemmons from the E Street Band provides the sax solo on this) and alluding to the powerhouse style that Huey Lewis and the News would expand upon throughout the decade. This is the side of this genre that I was most drawn to. Coming from their breakthrough album, aptly titled “Heartland”, this single proved to be their biggest national success, reaching #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their 1983 song “My Town” also cracked the top 40 at #39 but bested ‘Love You’ in Pop airplay, reaching #29. They were able to land another single from the album, the ballad “Lover” on the Hot 100 at #68. I also charted the upbeat rocker “Carolyn” (#148) from the album. In total, they placed 7 singles on the Hot 100 between 1980 and 1983. Also, the lead track from the “North Coast” album in 1981, “In The Heartland” (a pattern emerges), made the Rock tracks top 10 and did quite well on my chart as well.

After 1983, the band sputtered out and Stanley has put out quite a number of albums in the last 30 years, but none have charted. In 1987 he became a local TV personality, on “PM Magazine” and then “Cleveland Tonight” and since 1990 he has been the afternoon DJ on Classic Rock station WNCX in his hometown. The lead singer on ‘Love You’ was Kevin Raleigh (he shared lead vocals with Stanley). Before his 10 years with MSB (as they were affectionately called by their fans), he had been in bands with ex-members of the Raspberries (also from Ohio) and with Neil Giraldo (best known as Pat Benatar’s professional and romantic partner). He had a minor solo charter in 1989 with “Moonlight On Water” (Hot 100 #60). The following year Laura Branigan’s version of the song went one step higher to #59.

Eric Carmen had been the lead singer of the Raspberries during their run from 1970-75, with 3 songs making the top 20; “Go All The Way” (Hot 100 #5) and “I Wanna Be With You” #16 in 1972 plus my personal favorite, “Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)”, #18 in 1974. That song is one of the most important records of my childhood as it was on the first episode of American Top 40 that I had ever heard. It was for the Billboard chart the week of October 19, 1974, and the song was #30, up from #36. I had never heard it before, and this moment became the realization of what music I was missing on NYC radio. This also became the epiphany for me to commence my own weekly personal chart. A certainly pivotal moment in my life. The song is a Power Pop dynamo: understated verses, explosive chorus with layers and harmonies, a sax bridge, big drums, and a false ending. It was everything my 13-year-old-self wanted from a song. And it was about getting a hit record (“I just want a hit record, wanna hear it on the radio, want a big hit record, one that everybody's got to know”. I need to pause and listen again. This is my life.

Another notable aspect of that week’s American Top 40 countdown was that “Beach Baby” by First Class (a huge favorite of mine and my sister) dropped from #4 to #26, a seemingly precipitous drop. Both of these songs owe a lot to the Beach Boys, ‘Sensation’ more to the “Good Vibrations” side and this to the “Surfin’ USA” side. Now I‘m pretty sure I like this one more than any Beach Boys song because it came out a formidable time for me AND holds up really well. That week’s chart featured the Southern Rock stalwart “Sweet Home Alabama” at #15 along with other personal favorites; Carole King’s “Jazzman” at #5 with more saxophone, Reunion’s “Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)” moving up to #21 (I couldn’t get enough of the rapid-fire pop culture references), Kiki Dee’s exuberant rocker “I’ve Got The Music in Me” debuting at #36 (another false ending) and her friend Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back” moving up to #6 (ok so I must have really liked sax at this moment in time).

On this week’s chart in 1981, Carmen’s “All For Love” (#131) was not making a huge impact on me. Carmen had morphed into a reliable Pop balladeer but certainly had become a bit boring by this point. His first 2 solo albums were enjoyable for me and yielded a number of big songs for me. “All By Myself” and “Sunrise” in 1976 made my top 100 of the year with both growing in stature over time. The last time I re-did my top songs of ’76 they came in at #10 and #15. An interesting thing about “Sunrise” is that the last third of this mid-tempo Pop song transforms into a blistering piano and guitar-driven rave-up. Actually, it’s a full 2 minutes of the 5:22 song. I feel there are strong similarities to the ending section of “Love Lies Bleeding” by Elton John.

Neil Giraldo over the years has worked with Rick Derringer, Kenny Loggins, and Rick Springfield to name a few, but his collaboration with Pat Benatar is his signature calling card. They were introduced by songwriter and producer Mike Chapman, a notorious behind the scenes music guy. He and his oft songwriting partner Nicky Chinn contributed 3 songs to her debut album “In The Heat Of The Night”, all covers of previous UK hits. Giraldo contributed the Hot 100 #16 song “We Live For Love”, 1 of the few originals on that album. Benatar’s song “You Better Run” was the second video played on MTV and was another cover, this time of the Young Rascals top 20 hit from 1966, something I was unaware of. 1981 was the breakthrough year for Benatar as “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (#120) had just become her first top 10 on the Hot 100 the final week of 1980. Her album “Crimes Of Passion” would become her best selling with over 4 million sold in the States. It also led to her first Grammy award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. The controversial “Hell is For Children” (#17) was a Rock tracks #7 and probably my true favorite of her earlier songs (though ‘Shot’ at the time did reach #1 on my personal chart). ‘Hell’ was a #2 on my chart and “Treat Her Right” peaked at #3.

Benatar re-worked Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” (153)on “Crimes Of Passion” as well. She tried to emulate the sonic singularity of Bush to a degree at the beginning of the song but in the end, it’s Benatar. The original song was a UK #1 in 1978 when Bush was just 19 years old. She was the first female artist to reach #1 with a self-written song in the UK. Since then, she has become a national treasure, winning the Best British Female Artist award in 1987. She has never won a Grammy though but nominated 3 times. In October 1980 her UK top 10 hit “Babooshka” reached #47 on my chart. It would be 5 years before she would show up again with ‘Running Up That Hill”.

I’ve written about Mike Chapman before, in reference to Blondie and The Knack. The Chapman/Chinn team were responsible for 19 UK top 40 hits and 5 #1’s during just the period of 1973-74 including the Sweet song “Ballroom Blitz”. Their biggest hit in the States before Blondie was 1978’s #1 song “Kiss You All Over” by Exile while Chapman also produced Nick Gilder’s 1978 #1 “Hot Child in The City”. In the ‘80s Chapman continued a streak of big hits with songs like “Mickey”, “Better be Good To Me” and Pat Benatar’s “Love is A Battlefield”. Exile had a song starting to move up my chart this week in 1981, “You’re Good For Me” (108), that would peak at #16. It was not written by Chapman/Chinn but the songwriting team gave them their only other top 40 in the States, “You Thrill Me” and a top 40 hit in the Netherlands in 1982, the title track to their album “Heart And Soul”. You might recall that Huey Lewis and the News reached #8 on the Hot 100 with the same song in the fall of 1983, the first single from their juggernaut album “Sports”.

This now requires a look back. Huey Lewis (then Huey Louis) was a member of the Country-Rock band Clover in the mid-'70s. This was a San Francisco bay area band that released 2 albums in 1970 and ‘71 and ended up moving to England. That is when Lewis became involved and they released an album in 1997 called “Unavailable” produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange best known for producing albums by AC/DC, Foreigner, and Def Leppard as well as being Shania Twain’s ‘90s producer and husband. In 1978 he also produced the album “Cabin Fever” by the Michael Stanley Band. Seemingly from left field, members of Clover became the backing musicians on Elvis Costello’s debut album “My Aim Is True” though Lewis was not a part of that. Originally Stiff Records wanted Costello to be a songwriter for Dave Edmunds. Through Edmunds's reluctance, the demos were recorded with Clover members and those recordings convinced the label to put out his own album. Costello was still working his day job when the album was released and the record company asked him to quit, saying they would match his salary as well as recording equipment. He was featured on the cover of a music magazine within 3 weeks and claimed it was “an overnight success after 7 years” (insert Raspberries song). “Alison”, “Watching The Detectives”, “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” are all now classics while the album is considered by many as one of the best of all-time.

After this aside, a second Clover album, again produced by Lange, was released in late ’77 but the group soon disbanded after getting no traction with it. What is most interesting is where members went from there (but not back to Elvis Costello). John McFee joined the Doobie Brothers. Jeff Porcaro co-founded Toto (there has to be a six degrees of Toto thing, probably 3 degrees), Alex Call had a solo career and wrote the Tommy Tutone hit “Jenny 867-5309”. John Ciambotti worked with Americana artists Lucinda Williams, John Prince and Carlene Carter. Carter herself, daughter of Johnny Cash, recorded 2 of Clover’s Call-penned songs “Mr. Moon and “Love is Gone”. Lewis and Sean Hopper went on to form the News with Alex Call contributing the song ‘Bad Is Bad” to the album “Sports”.

The actual formation of Huey Lewis & The News came from the melding with members of another bay area group called Soundhole. In a strange twist, that band had spent time backing up another well-known guy, Van Morrison. Three members of Soundhole joined Lewis and Hopper to create Huey Lewis & the American Express. Once they got a record contract with Chrysalis Records the name was changed to the News so as not to cause infringement issues with the credit card company. Their debut album came out in 1980 with an opening track “Some Of My Lies Are True (Sooner Or Later)” that placed them more in a Romantics/Tommy Tutone vein, a sort of New Wave/Power Pop sound that a lot of bands were trying to achieve at the time. It did not light up the charts. For the second album, the lead single “Do You Believe in Love” was written by Clover producer Lange and started their top 10 assault over the next 6 years.

The funny thing is just this weekend I was cataloging my old albums and cd’s now that things are moving into my new music studio and I came across ex-Clover member Alex Call’s debut album (this is among 1000’s of albums and CDs I own), not knowing it would come into play with the narrative today. Such is my wonderous music life. Call’s “Just Another Saturday Night (High School Killing)” fits the heartland mode we have veered so off-track from here. But that’s part of the fun.

To be continued…