Monthly Archives: January 2013

Rock On, Radio: The Latest Alternative Releases

From singer-songwriters to pop/rock bands, these latest singles are all Adam Approved (always a good thing) and going to Alternative or AAA (Adult Album Alternative) radio within the next few weeks. They are just a small sample of the songs you may be seeing on next week’s Radio Report for the month of February. I give you these four great new tracks as an appetizer:

Can't get it out of my "Head".

Can’t get it out of my “Head”.

BEN HOWARD – “Keep Your Head Up”
Adds Date: January 28 (AAA)

25-year-old Howard is originally from West London and released his only album to date, Every Kingdom, back in the fall of 2011. His biggest single thus far in the States, “Only Love”, recently went to #5 on the adult alternative chart. “Love” was also his only single to place in the top 40 in the U.K. Singles Chart. Howard is following it up in the States with the song “Keep Your Head Up”, which went to #74 in the U.K. in September 2011. For you pop music fans out there, no, this is not a hot Andy Grammer cover. Howard’s track is more along the lines of a David Gray or a Paolo Nutini song; a really organic sound with an emotive vocal as Howard appeals to the listener to “keep your head up, keep your heart strong/keep your mind set in your ways.” It’s a boost of encouragement when the protagonist is lost in his wicked ways and looking for a way out, only find that “all I was searchin’ for was me.” The song’s much more immediate for me than “Love” ever was. Since that slowly broke him on the AAA format, I would hope that this next release will rise a little bit faster and get Howard back to the top ten. He’s a hidden jewel in the world of singer-songwriters; you’ll keep coming back for another listen.

The element of "Freedom".

The element of “Freedom”.

DIDO – “No Freedom”
Adds Date: February 18 (AAA)

Hello there, old friend. The hitmaker behind “Thankyou” and “White Flag” came back with a not-so-eventful album in 2008 called Safe Trip Home. First single “Don’t Believe In Love” never saw any significant radio action and the album quickly faded away. Dido hopes that this will be a big return for her, which comes nearly ten years after their release of her last big chart hit in the States, “White Flag”. The first official single from her forthcoming album, Girl Who Got Away, is “No Freedom”, which sees the singer back to her familiar sound with perhaps a touch of an older R&B sound in elements of the composition. The song is about being constricted by a relationship, with the protagonist seemingly at the end of one: “Take it by your silence/I’m free to walk out the door/By the look of your eyes, I can tell/You don’t think I’ll be back for more.” She realizes that there’s “no love without freedom”, even if the two of them pass by each other in a more indirect way. The song will at least be enough to get her back on the airwaves, but, is it too little too late in the States or will she get the full embrace that she did in previous eras? Keep looking out on the charts to see what happens.

No need to horse around.

No need to horse around.

FUN. – “Why Am I The One?”
Adds Date: February 25 (Alternative)

What’s fun of having no new fun. songs on the radio? Good question. The band poses another one with “Why Am I The One?”, the fourth single from their album, Some Nights, and the followup to recent hit “Carry On”. It comes just in time for the GRAMMY Awards, where they’re up for a number of awards and will be performing on the live broadcast. (I’ll be posting all my picks for the ceremony in two weeks.) “One” sounds like an Elton John song hit the production of a mid-90’s rock band. I don’t know what it is, but there’s one distinctive part of the chorus that reminds me a lot of John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” in the melody that Ruess is singing. The protagonist is bored of his situation, until he gets the “feeling that I’m right where I belong”, but he still manages to be on the losing end of a situation with his girl, asking “Why am I the one always packing all my stuff?” This may very well be the fourth top ten hit in a row for the group on the Alternative chart, which almost never happens with an act’s first four radio releases. We’ll see what happens! The radio adds date is still a month away, so “Carry” could still make some upward movement in the meantime. (It’s currently top ten on the Alternative chart and also charting on mainstream radio.)

Imagination's got the best of you.

Imagination’s got the best of you.

Adds Date: at radio now (AAA/Alternative)

This quartet from Las Vegas has garnered two big hits on alternative radio within the past year: “It’s Time” and ‘Radioactive”, the former of which has become a sizeable crossover hit. This third release, also from their 2012 release Night Visions, the band’s debut album, is a little more mellow overall than their past two releases, but still finds the right amount of energy during the chorus to keep the song going. This isn’t exactly light stuff, taking place in a world where “days are cold” and “your dreams all fail”, but it’s the pre-chorus that really hits the message home in a very thought-provoking way: “No matter what we breed/We are still made of greed.” It’s sort of disturbing in a sense, but it rings frighteningly true given the world’s situation today. Still, there are demons present even in the protagonist’s eyes, even as he tries to “save the light” of another presence that he can make him pure again. It’s an outstanding lyric, and alternative radio will definitely make this another big hit for the band. They’ll be on tour for much of the first half of 2013 before potentially returning to the studio to record their second full-length album.

Do you have a favorite song out of the four highlighted here? Is there another artist that you think I should cover? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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REWIND: 1989’s Adventures In The Musical Lost & Found Bin

Where are they now?

Where are they now?

Some songs by big artists naturally become hits. Others take a little more promotional push to rise up the charts. Some flop outright, but then, there are the lucky few that get a second chance and see that single revived on the national charts. For example, you might remember that “At This Moment” by Billy Vera & The Beaters went to #1 in early 1987, but you may not know that in its initial release, it peaked at a dismal #79 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1981. This was, of course, before it was used on Family Ties and subsequently rereleased by Rhino Records.

Though this kind of thing happened periodically in the 80’s, 1989 for some strange reason became the breakout year for this re-releasing of underperforming singles. A few programmers of note helped to influence the trend; other singles were released just for the sake of being released. Prepare for a trip down memory lane as we take a look into our mystical and musical lost and found bin to see which treasures got plucked out again for a second spin.

SHERIFF – “When I’m With You” (#1 — February 4, 1989)
This Canadian band formed in 1979 and released only one self-titled album. The biggest single from it, “When I’m With You”, charted on the Hot 100 for seven weeks between May and June 1983, peaking at #61. The band proceeded to break up two years later. It was in the fall of 1988 that a disc jockey named Jay Taylor at KLUC-FM in Las Vegas that put the song back on the air again, stating that, “I always thought it should have been a big hit.” Well, the phones began to light up, and the word spread to nearby stations, who promptly put it into rotation. Eventually, Capitol Records began pressing the single again, and it re-charted in November 1988, reaching the top 40 on the chart dated December 17. By January of 1989, it was in the top ten, and then it hit the top spot for one glorious week. This, while lead singer Freddy Curci left the business and paid the bills by becoming a letter carrier in Canada, often hearing his voice on the radio when delivering the mail to workplaces. Of course, his customers didn’t actually believe it was him. With the success of the long-forgotten single, Curci and another former Sheriff member, Steve DeMarchi, formed another band, Alias, who hit the next year with the big hit “More Than I Can Say”.

THE BELLE STARS – “Iko Iko” (#14 — May 13, 1989)
This all-female group from England released a remake of this much covered song (probably best known in a 1965 version by The Dixie Cups) and it became their debut single in the United Kingdom, peaking at #35 in June 1982. Their biggest success was with the song “Sign Of The Times”, which got to #3 in the U.K., but only went as high as #75 on the Hot 100 later that year. After a few more single releases that weren’t nearly as big, the band broke up in 1986. However, the song unexpectedly found new life when it was featured on the soundtrack to the 1988 movie Rain Man, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. A major hit at the box office, Capitol Records promoted the single release in the States, which made the Hot 100 starting in March 1989 before peaking at #14 in May. The group didn’t chart again.

JIMMY HARNEN with SYNCH – “Where Are You Now?” (#10 — June 10, 1989)
Well, look who it is! Jay Taylor and KLUC-FM struck again with this song, originally just a regional hit in the midwest, especially in Harnen’s home state of Pennsylvania. After being signed to Columbia Records, the label promoted the single, which debuted on the Hot 100 in March 1986 before climbing to a peak of #77 in April. It slowly descended the survey, spending a total of twelve weeks on. Taylor put it on the air again and listener response was once again big, so a sub-label of Epic Records, WTG, picked up the song, re-credited it to Jimmy Harnen with Synch (rather than just Synch as in the 1986 release) and sent it out to shops. It hit the Hot 100 once again in late February 1989, slowly climbing to a peak of #10 in June. (This is an interesting news reel clip which highlights the song and some members of the group as “Now” hit the top 40 in late April.) Harnen released a solo album, but it didn’t catch on, though he continued writing for a number of years afterward. Harnen is now the president of Republic Nashville Records, as well as the executive vice president for Big Machine Records.

BENNY MARDONES – “Into The Night” (#20 — July 1, 1989)
Ohio-born Mardones originally signed to Private Stock Records in 1978 before the label shut down, but was picked up by Polydor shortly afterward. They released his second album, Never Run, Never Hide, which featured “Into The Night”. It peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 in September 1980 during a long (at least for the time) twenty week chart run. Mardones fell off the radar almost immediately afterward due to drug abuse from his sudden fame. In 1989, KZZP-FM in Phoenix aired a “Where Are They Now?” type feature, the most popular artist covered on the segment being Mardones. Many people were intrigued to know about what was happening with him. This caught the attention of then-program director at Los Angeles radio station KQLZ-FM, “Pirate Radio”, Scott Shannon. When he was a disc jockey at WRBQ-FM in Tampa, Shannon had successfully returned Charlene‘s atrocious ballad “I’ve Never Been To Me” to the charts after flopping five years prior, which went to #3 in 1982. He thought he could do it again with yet another ballad, and so, he added it into rotation and soon it became a big hit once again. Re-entering in May 1989, it hit the #20 spot in a newer version, and though it didn’t top its original run, it propelled the song to become one of the most-played songs on FM radio of all-time. Mardones recorded new material after his brief resurgence, but nothing made the national charts.

REAL LIFE – “Send Me An Angel ’89” (#26 — July 22, 1989)
In 1983, this quartet from Melbourne, Australia managed a top ten hit in their native country, as well as two weeks in the #1 spot in New Zealand, with the original release of “Angel”. In the States, it crossed over several months later, debuting on the Hot 100 in mid-November before peaking at #29 for two weeks in February 1984 during a nineteen week chart run. Followup single “Catch Me I’m Falling” tanked, only reaching as high as #40. In 1989, as the band prepared a greatest hits package, the song was remixed slightly for a single release with some harder drums and a variation of the synth line (perhaps an updated keyboard) and once again, it climbed the charts. Returning to Hot 100 in May, it peaked in July at #26, three spots higher than the original release, before falling off by the end of the next month. The group had some success on Dance/Club Play chart after “Angel” got a second wind, but it was their last release to make the Hot 100.

Two other songs were rereleased in 1989, but just missed the top 40 on their second try despite becoming minor hits in their first run on the charts. In the summer, Peter Gabriel‘s “In Your Eyes” went as high as #41 after being featured in the film Say Anything, starring John Cusack. Maybe you held up a boombox or two over your head and blasted the song so your significant other could hear it. (Actually, scratch that, the neighbors would probably call the police.) Then, in the fall, Australian band Moving Pictures returned to the #46 spot what “What About Me?”, a song that took its sweet time peaking during its original run from 1982 into 1983. It spent nearly half a year in the Hot 100 and peaked at #29, enough to make it on to the 1983 year-end countdown. Gabriel is still making music; Moving Pictures never made the Hot 100 again.

For the best of everything that’s retro, keep it here on POP! Goes The Charts! Follow the blog and follow me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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ON THE REBOUND: Bands On The Comeback Trail

Bring on the bands! Here are two groups that ended their last eras on a sour note, but are ready to bring it back hard with their latest singles. Will they rise up the charts or stall out in the midst of heavy competition? Only time will tell, but I enjoy them both. They’re two more releases to add to what has already been a very diverse first quarter in the music biz. Let’s start this thing with a little twang…

Treat her like a Lady.

Treat her like a Lady.

Lady A’s been hitting the charts for about five years now, but their last ballad-heavy effort wasn’t as successful as their previous albums. Own The Night produced two number-one singles on the Country Chart, “Just A Kiss” and “We Owned The Night”, but it also gave them their lowest-peaking commercial release ever on the survey, “Wanted You More”, which only went as high as #20. Again, this might have been due to the adult contemporary trending sound of the record; country radio just didn’t want to embrace the more middle-of-the-road and not very, well, “country” material from the band after all the soft singles. Their latest single, the leadoff from their forthcoming album, is a song called “Downtown”, which is pretty much the most country-sounding thing from them in a while. (Although, watch me say that and then weeks down the line, the label remixes it for crossover airplay. Just an assumption, not a fact.) This is a bit of a new side to the group, originally recorded in demo form by Natalie Hemby. The lead vocal is done by Hillary Scott, with the background provided by Charles Kelley, and there’s a newfound spunk and attitude in them with lyrics like “knew the band, so we never paid our cover / Wrote our names on the bathroom tile,” while Scott appeals to her boyfriend or close friend, “I don’t know why you don’t take me downtown anymore.” Look at them being angst-ridden teenagers once again. Lady A, we hardly knew ye. She isn’t the most persuading gal in the world when she urges her significant other to “talk it up and give me the go ’round-round like a good time tease”, but the song overall is definitely a step in the right direction for the band after some misfires. I just sort of wish we had a Kelley lead vocal for the first single, but I’m sure there will be plenty of those on the new album. Look for it to become their next #1 record on the Country survey when it gets a digital release on February 5. (Listen) (Lyric Video)

Turn the "Beat" around.

Turn the “Beat” around.

THE GOO GOO DOLLS – “Rebel Beat”
It’s been almost eighteen years since this band out of Buffalo released their first hit single, “Name”, a #1 song on mainstream radio at a time when alternative rock dominated the charts. Obviously, things have changed a lot since then, but the trio continues on long after their biggest commercial peak. Their last album, 2010’s Something For The Rest Of Us, provided some uninspired and bland singles in “Home” and “Notbroken”, the former of which barely hit the top ten and the latter of which struggled to make the top 30 at the Hot AC format. Two years ago, their theme from Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, “All That You Are”, made the top 15 on the same chart, and that was a vast improvement. Still, it was bound to have a short chart life being from a film. Fast forward to 2013 and the band is back with a new track, “Rebel Beat”. It’s the first single from the band’s forthcoming album, Magnetic, out on May 7. “Whoa! Did Ryan Tedder produce this?” is probably the first thought out of the listener’s head when hearing the song for the first time. As far as I know, he didn’t, but yes, it does sound like OneRepublic‘s sound influence this particular song, specifically their 2011 hit “Good Life”. Hey, they’re going to need to do whatever they need to do to get a hit, and if that means shedding their edgier side once again to appeal to soccer moms, they’ll get at least one more chart hit. I’m sure there will be rockier stuff on the album to appease those long-time fans who still desire it. Anyways, the song itself is pretty good. The lyrics are nothing special, though they seem to explode in a well-engineered chorus: “Hey, you, look around / Can you hear that noise? It’s the rebel sound / We got nowhere else to go / And when the sun goes down and we fill the streets / We’re gonna dance ’til the morning to the rebel’s beat / You can take everything from me, ’cause this is all I need.” Yes, it’s ironic that the song is called “Rebel Beat” when the beat isn’t rebellious and more on the generic side, but give the guys credit for heading in a new direction. It’s a cool tune. It’ll probably take them into at least the top 30 again at Hot AC, though I’m not sure at this time how any followup singles are going to fare. At least we have this for now. (Listen)

Also look out for these new singles coming in the next few weeks:
* NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK – “Remix (I Like The)”: the new single from one of the biggest boy bands of all-time goes to radio on January 25 and to iTunes on January 28. Their new album, 10, is released on April 2. They’ll be touring with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men this summer. Will the potential success of the band’s new single spur the other two bands to try out new material at mainstream radio? Those rumors will be swirling… (Listen)
* VAMPIRE WEEKEND – “[title TBA]”: the band led by Ezra Koenig returns with their third album on May 7. A single should be at Alternative radio by March.

As always, find out all the information you need right here at POP! Goes The Charts — don’t forget to follow the blog and my personal Twitter handle, @AdamFSoybel.

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REWIND: Pop’s Biggest Paternity Case Turns 30

A little slice of Michael madness.

A little slice of Michael madness.

“If my ears are correct,” says KIIS-FM music director Mike Schaefer, “Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ is going to the top of the charts. I crank it up every chance I get. The bass line, the lyrics, they’re just incredible. I’m telling you, it’s a mutha!” — Billboard Magazine (January 22, 1983)

Well, Schaefer’s ears didn’t deceive him: “Billie Jean” became the big hit record that he and a lot of other programmers thought it was going to be. Released as the second single from Michael Jackson‘s landmark album, Thriller, it marked a clear distinction from the first taste that listeners got of the album, a #2 duet with Paul McCartney from late 1982, “The Girl Is Mine”. The song became an international success and an iconic single for a multitude of reasons. Here’s just a fraction of why the song stands in the high ranks that it does today.

Recorded in 1982, the song details a woman, a groupie of sorts, who meets the protagonist at some sort of club and claims that he “is the one” who fathered her young child, which the protagonist denies. She tries to further prove her point by showing him a picture of the newborn son, whom he notes that “his eyes were like mine” but still refutes the statement that he is indeed the father of him. By the end, we don’t exactly know who is telling the truth in this story. Now, Jackson’s claimed in a few interviews that the character of Billie Jean is a sort of composite of some of the girls he and his brothers would encounter on tour during their early days in the late 1960’s. One biographer, J. Randy Taraborrelli, pointed out that in 1981, the year before the song was composed, a woman wrote a letter to Jackson claiming that he was the father of her child, continuing to send him letters that he ignored until one day, he received a package with photograph of the fan, as well as a letter and a gun. The latter incident would seem a little more believable as the inspiration for the song given the timing, but while he was alive, Jackson never really specified that one particular source was correct. I suppose we’ll never know, but whatever case you believe, the lyrics still make for quite the haunting tale.

Sonically, the bass line is everything in this song. It’s booming and intense and makes you just want to dance, despite the dense lyrical matter. It’s mixed together with guitar, strings, and of course, Jackson’s snapping and hiccup-style vocals. Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates mentioned that Jackson admitted to him that he essentially “copied that groove” from the duo’s 1981 hit, “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”, but that Hall was fine with it, remarking that he himself had lifted it from someone else. At least he was inspired somewhere good. It’s hard to believe that Quincy Jones, the legendary producer, didn’t actually like the song when it was first created; he thought it was too “weak” to appear on Thriller. The two fell out over several issues, including a co-producer credit for Jackson, but eventually reconciled and decided that song, after being mixed by Bruce Swedien a total of ninety-one times, was finally ready to put on the record. Man, were things about to blow up for his status on the music scene.

Jackson’s single was one of the first big releases of that new year; thus, it was an instant impact once sales and airplay data starting rolling in. “Billie Jean” rocketed straight onto the Hot 100 at #47 on the chart dated January 22. It entered the top 40 next week, climbing to #37, then to #27, a more modest climb to #23, and then a huge rise up to #6 on the chart dated February 19. Two weeks later, it was spending its first of seven weeks at #1, ending its run in mid-April just as next single, “Beat It”, hit the top 5. The latter single only spent one week at the top. “Billie” last held a spot in the top 40 on May 21, at #29, spending a total of seventeen weeks there and twenty-four within the Hot 100. The song landed as the #2 song of the year on Billboard’s year-end chart. It also spent two weeks at #1 on rival Radio & Records’ airplay-only chart and six weeks at the top on Cashbox Magazine Top 100 chart.

On top of all this success, “Billie Jean” became one of the first big music videos by an African-American artist played on MTV in heavy rotation: the network had been criticized for not playing many of those artists since its inception a few years back. It earned GRAMMY Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. Plus, who can forget the moonwalk he danced during the song’s performance at Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever? The song broken down racial barriers while breaking onto all kinds of charts. It remained one of the big sellers after Jackson’s death in 2009 as well, selling in excess of 3.5 million copies in the States when combining digital, physical and ringtone sales. It’s a true classic, one that we’ll be remembering for many years to come. Forget Maury — the biggest unsolved paternity case of all-time just celebrated its 30th anniversary of making the charts. Congrats to the long-gone, but still celebrated, King of Pop.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Jan. 22)

A little more Country than that.

A little more Country than that.

Ready for a busier week of new albums hitting the shelves? Here are the new releases out in stores on Tuesday, January 22:

  • Country veteran Gary Allan returns with Set You Free, his ninth studio album. Leadoff single “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)” is currently a top 5 record on Country radio, his biggest hit in five years. Expect that to give this newest release of his a big boost. Allan has yet to score a #1 album, but he’s made the top 5 with his last three consecutive albums. (iTunes)
  • Also pulling into the Release Ranch this week is the third album from Randy Houser, How Country Feels. The title track is currently #1 at Country radio. His only other top ten record was “Boots On”, a #2 hit in 2009. (iTunes)
  • The GRAMMY Awards are almost here! This 22-track compilation features songs by big nominees like fun., Gotye, Kelly Clarkson and more. (iTunes)
  • Popular Christian group Casting Crowns release their first acoustic-based compilation, The Acoustic Sessions: Volume One. It also features two new songs. (iTunes)
  • Punk Rockers Bad Religion returns with True North, their first album since 2010. (iTunes)
  • His first single was released way back in 1960 and he’s still singing today. Aaron Neville‘s latest album, out today, is My True Story, another album of cover songs. (iTunes)
  • My personal pick of the week belongs to Luke McMaster‘s All Roads. His debut album features his recent adult contemporary hit with Jim Brickman, “Good Morning Beautiful”, as well as remakes of tunes by Al Jarreau and Hall & Oates. (iTunes)
  • Just in time for award season, Mumford & Sons release a deluxe edition of their album Babel, the Gentlemen Of The Road Edition. It’s also available in a box set version. (Amazon)
  • Two albums get a released today that are Valentine’s Day themed: Billy Joel‘s She’s Got A Way: Love Songs, a collection of eighteen of his classic hits (Amazon) and Now! That’s What I Call Love Songs, a collection of titles by various artists. (Amazon)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “Now”, the first single from Paramore‘s self-titled forthcoming album. (AmazonMP3)
  • “Love Me”, the latest from Lil Wayne, featuring additional rappers Drake and Future. (iTunes)

See you on Tuesday, the 29th, for the next edition!

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Inauguration Sensation: The Presidents of Pop

Mr. President, meet Mr. President.

Mr. President, meet Mr. President.

Today, January 21, 2013, marks the public ceremony of the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. Regardless of whether you voted the candidate or not, it’s always interesting to see the different performers during the event and hear what the President has to say during his speech. This year, the acts include Beyoncé (“The Star Spangled Banner”), James Taylor (“America The Beautiful”) and Kelly Clarkson (“My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”.) In order to prepare for the big day, I thought I’d put together a list of some of the songs and artists that have charted nationally using the word “president” or any variation of it (presidents, presidential, etc.) There’s some intriguing finds in the bunch, so I hope you enjoy.

Surprisingly enough, out of the eleven Hot 100 singles to contain some form of the word “president”, none have made the top 40. Some were novelty songs like 1960’s “Alvin For President” by David Seville and the Chipmunks and 1968’s “Snoopy For President” by The Royal Guardsmen. Two were by young female singers: 1962’s “My Daddy Is President” by 7-year-old Little Jo Ann, supposed to be taken from the perspective of then 7-year-old Caroline Kennedy, and 1975’s “Please Mr. President” by 10-year-old Paula Webb, a spoken-word appeal to Gerald Ford from a young girl whose father had lost his job at an automobile plant.

Three made the top 50 while just missing a coveted spot in the top 40. In 1996, rapper Jay-Z scored his very first hit single with “Dead Presidents”, about the faces of presidents you see on dollar bills, which went as high as #50. In 1969, soul singer Johnnie Taylor got up to #48 with “I Could Never Be President”. However, it was the Godfather Of Soul, James Brown, who passed the closest to the top 40, peaking at #44. His charting entry was “Funky President (People It’s Bad)” in 1974, referring once again to Ford’s presidency just after Richard Nixon’s resignation from office.

By the way, the last presidential song to hit the Hot 100 was “President Carter” by Lil Wayne, an album track from Tha Carter IV that charted due to digital download sales. It peaked at #94 in the fall of 2011.

As for the acts, the first of them to chart was way back in the fall of 1970. They called themselves The Presidents, a soul group based out of the national’s capital. Over the Christmas holiday, they peaked at #11 with their only big hit, “5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years Of Love)”, before dropping out rather quickly after that. They made the Hot 100 with a followup single, “Triangle Of Love”, but it failed to climb higher than #68 and the group fell off the radar.

In the 90’s, a trio out of Seattle made some waves on Alternative radio, calling themselves The Presidents of the United States of America. In 1995, they hit the #1 spot on rock radio with “Lump”, which became a mainstream crossover, but failed to make the Hot 100 due to a lack of a physical CD or vinyl single at the time. However, their next release, “Peaches”, made up for that. It was another top ten record on the Alternative survey and gained about the same mainstream exposure as “Lump”, but with the added sales, it made it to #29 on the Hot 100 in 1996. The band is still together today and making music, though they haven’t broken onto any chart, genre-specific or overall, since 1997.

The last of the three presidential acts and most recent is from a one-man, two-woman trio out of Germany, Mr. President. The group was pretty successful in their native country for the latter half of the 90’s, scoring seven top-20 hits, including a #2 in 1996 called “Coco Jamboo”. It quickly spread across Europe and Asia, becoming a significant top ten hits in most of those countries. It eventually made it to the States in 1997, peaking at #21 on the Hot 100. It was the band’s only charting song here. They last hit the Austrian and German charts in 2003 and broke up in 2008.

Don’t forget to tune in to see all the coverage of the inauguration — check your local listings to see when the festivities begin in your respective time zone. In the meantime, thank you for casting your ballot for POP! Goes The Charts and follow the blog and my personal Twitter account (@AdamFSoybel) for more music news!

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: January 20, 2013

Pretty "Young" things.

Eight is enough for this trio.

40. Josh Groban – Brave
39. Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man
38. Olly Murs – Army Of Two
30. Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie | HIGHEST DEBUT

31. Bon Jovi – Because We Can (35)
28. Taylor Swift – 22 (32)

10. Kelly Clarkson – Catch My Breath (09) | PEAK: #09
09. Maroon 5 – Daylight (11) | PEAK: #09
08. Jason Mraz – 93 Million Miles (05) | PEAK: #05
07. Hunter Hayes – Wanted (08) | PEAK: #07
06. The Script – Six Degrees Of Separation (06) | PEAK: #06
05. Train – Mermaid (07) | PEAK: #05
04. Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble (04) | PEAK: #04
03. Pink – Try (03) | PEAK: #02
02. Olly Murs – Troublemaker (02) | PEAK: #02
01. fun. – Carry On (01) | PEAK: #01 for eight weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Aerosmith featuring Carrie Underwood – Can’t Stop Lovin’ You (2)
2. The Saturdays – What About Us (4)
3. Of Monsters And Men – Mountain Sound (3)
4. Gentlemen Hall – Sail Into The Sun (-)
5. Kenny Chesney – El Cerrito Place (7)
6. Cassadee Pope – Over You (-)
7. Little Mix – Wings (-)
8. Train – This’ll Be My Year (9)
9. Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us (10)
10. Maroon 5 – Love Somebody (-)

In The Mix:
Carly Rae Jepsen – Tonight I’m Getting Over You
Caro Emerald – Back It Up
Cher Lloyd – With Ur Love (new)
Conor Maynard – Animal
Emeli Sandé – Clown
Goo Goo Dolls – Rebel Beat (new)
Jewel – Two Hearts Breaking (new)
Jilette Johnson – Torpedo (new)
Shiny Toy Guns – Somewhere To Hide
Stefano – Yes To Love
Tristan Prettyman – Say Anything

See my full chart on the M4BCC message board.

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