Monthly Archives: March 2013

Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: March 31, 2013

Just give me a #1.

Pink and a twist of Nate.

DEBUTS
40. Chris Wallace – Keep Me Crazy

TOP GAINERS
35. Matt Nathanson – Mission Bells (40)
31. Walk Off The Earth – Red Hands (39)
25. Passenger – Let Her Go (36) | BIGGEST MOVER
24. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors (30)
15. Daniel Powter – Crazy All My Life (23)
11. Michael Bublé – It’s A Beautiful Day (20)

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. Train – Mermaid (07) | PEAK: #01 for three weeks
09. fun. – Carry On (08) | PEAK: #01 for eight weeks
08. fun. – Why Am I The One? (11) | PEAK: #08
07. Passion Pit – Carried Away (10) | PEAK: #07
06. OneRepublic – If I Lose Myself (04) | PEAK: #03
05. Olly Murs – Army Of Two (05) | PEAK: #05
04. Phillip Phillips – Gone, Gone, Gone (02) | PEAK: #02
03. Fitz & The Tantrums – Out Of My League (06) | PEAK: #03
02. Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie (03) | PEAK: #02
01. Pink featuring Nate Ruess – Just Give Me A Reason (01) | PEAK: #01 for four weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. A Great Big World – This Is The New Year (1)
2. Churchill – Change (2)
3. Barenaked Ladies – Boomerang (3)
4. Nikki Williams – Glowing (5)
5. Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us (9)
6. Labrinth featuring Emeli Sandé – Beneath Your Beautiful (6)
7. Vampire Weekend – Diane Young (8)
8. Classified featuring David Myles – Inner Ninja (10)
9. Hanson – Get The Girl Back (-)
10. Matchbox Twenty – Our Song (-)

In The Mix:
98 Degrees – Microphone
Christina Aguilera – Let There Be Love
Frank Turner – Recovery
Jamie Cullum – Everything You Didn’t Do (new)
Jessica Sanchez featuring Ne-Yo – Tonight
Joe King featuring Trombone Shorty – Need A Woman By Friday
Jonas Brothers – Pom Poms (new)
Joshua Radin – When We’re Together
Junior Doctor – Falling To Pieces
Maroon 5 – Love Somebody
Paloma Faith – Just Be
Parachute – Hearts Go Crazy
Rod Stewart – She Makes Me Happy
The Band Perry – Better Dig Two
The Wanted – All Time Low

See my full chart on the M4BCC message board.

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SINGLE PREMIERE: Jonas Brothers – “Pom Poms” (+ Lyrics)

Oh Brothers, where art thou?

Oh Mickey, you’re not so fine anymore.

Download “Pom Poms” on iTunes. / Listen to “Pom Poms”.

Watch the video for “Pom Poms”. This is the first release from the Jonas Brothers on their own label, Jonas Records, after leaving Disney’s Hollywood Records after their last album. It was supposed to premiere on April 2, but that plan has been thwarted by a thing we call the world wide web. The video leaked onto the internet earlier today, which you can at the above link. “Pom Poms” goes to radio this week. An album title and release date has yet to be released. This is the first single by the band to get a wide release since “Paranoid” in 2009.

“Pom Poms” represents a different sound for the guys, who have been evolving musically since their debut album. With an accompanying marching band and cheerleaders, it’s not the first song to dive into the category. Remember “Be True To Your School” and “Mickey”? We’ll see if it helps or hurts them this time around.

The boys will be interviewed on Ryan Seacrest’s KIIS-FM morning show at 10 AM Eastern on April 2. The official network television premiere of the “Pom Poms” video is on the same date on E! News, which airs at 7 PM Eastern.

“POM POMS”
(J. Jonas/K. Jonas/N. Jonas/P. Phamous)

[Chorus]
More to love when your hands are free
Baby, put your pom poms down for me (Okay!)
I’mma shake it up-uh, one two three
Baby, put your pom poms down for me

[Verse 1]
She’ll come from miles away
Just to see how you get down
Feels like an earthquake
Every time you come around

[Bridge]
Hear ’em sayin’ yeah (Yeah!)
Every time feels like a revival
So get up, right now
We’re comin’ for the title

[Chorus]
More to love when your hands are free
Baby, put your pom poms down for me
Come and shake it up-uh, one two three
Baby, put your pom poms down for me
When you move I fall to my knees
Baby, put your pom poms down for me
Come and shake it up-uh, five four three
Baby, put your pom poms down for me

[Verse 2]
Want you on my team
Want you like a kid just wants a milkshake
And I won’t let it go to waste if I get at taste
I’m gonna drink the whole thing

[Bridge]
Hear ’em sayin’ yeah (Yeah!)
Every time feels like a revival
So get up, right now
We’re comin’ for the title

[Chorus]
More to love when your hands are free
Baby, put your pom poms down for me
Come and shake it up-uh, one two three
Baby, put your pom poms down for me
When you move I fall to my knees
Baby, put your pom poms down for me
Come and shake it up-uh, five four three
Baby, put your pom poms down for me

[Spoken]
Ladies to the left, fellas to the right

[Middle 8 – Females]
If you wanna see me put my pom poms down
Then sing it to me baby, sing it right now (better sing it now!)
Na na na, etc. yeah yeah
If you wanna see me put my pom poms down
Then sing it to me baby, sing it right now (I said sing it now!)
Na na na, etc. yeah yeah

[Chorus]
More to love when your hands are free
Baby, put your pom poms down for me
Come and shake it up-uh, one two three
Baby, put your pom poms down for me
When you move I fall to my knees
Baby, put your pom poms down for me
Come and shake it up-uh, five four three
Baby, put your pom poms down for me

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SINGLE REVIEW: Hanson – “Get The Girl Back” (+ Lyrics)

"Girl", you know it's true.

“Girl”, you know it’s true.

Quite a few of you recently have been searching my blog for this new song from our favorite Mmmboppers, Hanson, probably because I’ve been listing it in consideration for my personal chart for a couple of weeks now. So, I’m glad you found it and welcome, of course! It should make it into my Top 10 Next In Line in the next few weeks and then we’ll see if it’s strong enough to make my top 40. For now, here’s a look back at the tremendous trio and their past releases, as well as their new one. If you haven’t heard it yet, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

As we know, the bodacious brothers that comprise the group are Isaac, Taylor and Zac. After performing together for some time, they signed to Mercury Records and released Middle Of Nowhere in 1997. They shined with their huge summer hit, “Mmmbop”, which spent nine weeks at #1 on the airplay chart. The album eventually rose to #2 and went 4X Platinum. The three followup releases to it were largely overshadowed by that massive song, which continued to secure airplay during the rest of the year. They were: “Where’s The Love?”, which quickly rose to #6 (but spent a paltry 12 weeks in the top 40), “I Will Come To You”, a ballad, which went to #17, and “Weird”, arguably their most mature release of the era, which only managed to climb to #32. Only “Mmmbop” and “Come” were issued with physical CD singles at a time when airplay-only songs couldn’t make the Hot 100, and both went top ten on that survey. A Christmas album, Snowed In, was released in November 1997.

Due to a label restructuring in 1998, Hanson were transferred to Island Records and issued This Time Around in 2000. Reaction was mixed, though many complimented the band’s sound adjustment from bubblegum pop to a more pop/rock sound. It attained a Gold certification, but it was largely seen as a failure compared to their last album. “This Time Around”, the lead single, barely made the top 30 in airplay (#20 Hot 100), and “If Only” missed the top 40 completely. In the wake of this, label complications ensued, new material was rejected, and the boys eventually went independent in 2003 creating 3 Car Garage Records, or 3CG. The first album to come off of it, Underneath, came out in 2004. “Penny & Me”, which went to #2 on my personal chart, received minor airplay. It went to #10 in the United Kingdom. The Walk followed in 2007, followed by Shout It Out in 2010, which saw them introduce a soulful twist into their music. Two singles from it, “Give A Little” and “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin'”, made the top 30 on my chart.

Hanson is, no doubt, blossoming as the power pop band that they’ve turned into. They’ve always had it in them, but I’ve especially noticed it in their last few releases. Shout It Out is totally under-appreciated in terms of national success. Their new single, “Get The Girl Back”, is another moment of musical mastery. It’s not exactly R&B and it’s not a straight-up pop record either. It’s a sort of fusion of them, but that doesn’t do it justice. How do you categorize a track that has a lyric straight out of the 60’s, the big band sound of The Blues Brothers, the 90’s guitar riffs of Fountains Of Wayne and a vocal that’s modern-day Hanson? How about just “great”? With Taylor on lead vocal, the track is a full-out jam and soars to new levels for the band. The song is currently at Hot Adult Contemporary radio now, though it hasn’t picked up any significant airplay as of yet. It’ll probably take a few weeks for program directors to consider it, so, you know, don’t go bombarding them with e-mails and requests just yet. An album is to follow on June 18 entitled Anthem. Listen to the track below and let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel. It’s a summer smash waiting to happen, and just maybe he’ll find that girl again with his new hit song.

Listen to Hanson‘s new single, “Get The Girl Back”. / Pre-order “Get The Girl Back” on iTunes.

[Verse 1]
She’s about to walk away
So if you’re gonna make her want to stay
Tell her she’s your moon and sun
Tell her that she’s always been the one
You’ve gotta say it from the heart
‘Cause she will know a fake right from the start

[Bridge 1]
A girl like that deserves the best, uh, yeah
You’ve got to show her (show her)
That you’re not like all the rest

[Chorus]
It’s about time that you put your cards back on the table
It’s about time that you show her you’re willing and able
It’s about time that you get the girl back
That you get the girl back on your side
You’ve got to get the girl back, get the girl back
Yeah

You’ve got to get that girl back

[Verse 2]
Tell her she was always right
You were in the wrong, you can’t deny
‘Cause when she’s caught somebody’s eye
It will be too late to apologize

[Bridge 2]
Before she shuts you out, oh yeah
You’ve got to tell her (tell her)
Tell her that there is no doubt

[Chorus]

[Post-Chorus]
You’ve got to get the, you’ve got to get the girl back
Get the girl back, you’ve got to

[Middle 8]
Get the girl back, get the girl back, back on your side
Get the girl back, get the girl back, you’ve got to, got to
Get the girl back, get the girl back, back on your side
‘Cause it’s, it’s

[End]
It’s about time, oh
It’s about time (Ooh oh no, ooh oh no)
Get the girl back, get the girl back, back on your side (x3)
Get the girl back, you’ve got to get the girl back

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Just Joshin’: It’s Triple Trouble With These Tracks

Same first name, three different songs. It just so happens that these three singers are releasing new songs at the same time, but you won’t be hearing them all in the same place. Luckily, you can hear them all below. Enjoy this trip into the Wonderful World of Joshuas:

Somewhere I "Belong".

Somewhere I “Belong”.

JOSH KRAJCIK – “Back Where We Belong”
Release Date: at AAA radio now

April is a big month for former contestants from The X Factor. Season 2 winner Tate Stevens will be releasing his self-titled album on April 23. Boy band Emblem3 will be issuing their debut single, “Chloe (You’re The One I Want)”, in a few weeks. Then, there’s Season 1 runner-up artist Josh Krajcik, who you may remember performed on the show back in November. The song he sang, “One Thing She’ll Never Know”, was featured on a digital EP out late last year, and was pushed to Hot AC radio this year to no result. Now, a second single from Blindly, Lonely, Lovely, a song called “Back Where We Belong”, was sent for adds this week to AAA radio. His album is out next week. Whoops. Though the album will likely fail to capture a wide audience besides his core fan base, this track is very much suited to Krajcik’s style. The arrangement is reminiscent of a modern Bruce Springsteen or Steve Winwood album track, and Krajcik lays on a soulful vocal. He’s completely in his element, unlike the more forced “Know”, which was constructed in a more commercial way. This at least has a little bit of edge that we’re used to from the singer who was known for his emotive vocal performances on the show. At this stage of the game, however, it’s probably not going to be the big hit it should be at the format, which is a shame. You’d think his promotional team would get it together, or at least help him a bit. Whatever happens with both the album and the single, at least Krajcik stayed true to himself.

No "Fall" from grace.

No “Fall” from grace.

JOSH GROBAN – “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)”
Release Date: May 13 (U.K.)

From caroling to contemporary, you know this guy can do it all. Groban’s album, All That Echoes, recently opened at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, his first album to pull off the trick and his first since 2007’s Noël to lead the chart. It’s sold over 300,000 copies in the U.S. thus far. The first single from the effort, “Brave” went top ten on AC radio here recently, though it’s fallen back a few spots in the last weeks or so. It sees Groban trying to adopt a more contemporary sound, though it hasn’t crossed over to mainstream radio, so, you won’t be hearing him between Pitbull and Taylor Swift anytime soon. His latest single overseas is a remake of the classic Stevie Wonder song from his 1972 album, Talking Book. It was never released as a commercial single back then, but it’s gotten a lot of coverage, from Art Garfunkel to Michael McDonald and now Josh Groban. While Wonder’s version is always going to remain my favorite, Groban does a nice job of adapting it to his style, with a gospel choir backing him and a stunning set of strings. It’s a lot much at times. The Wonder song was a simple ballad with a funky ending. This just comes off as a little schmaltzy at times, which is an acquired taste, but not one meant to be all over the radio. (It’s the last song on the CD, I get that it needs to end big.) Groban’s never had a top-40 hit in the United Kingdom, so a traditional-sounding effort like “Believe” will never make it that high… unless, of course, someone on a music talent show picks it up. A U.S. radio release has yet to be confirmed.

Come "Together".

Come “Together”.

JOSHUA RADIN – “When We’re Together”
Release Date: at AAA radio now

38-year-old Ohio native Joshua Radin has been putting out music for a number of years now on Mom & Pop Records. You may recall that he dented the Hot AC chart back in 2010 with a remixed version of “I’d Rather Be With You”, which also went to #10 for two weeks on my personal chart. It was originally released in 2008. It also became a huge hit in the United Kingdom, peaking just outside the top ten there. He also garnered some play for “Streetlight” in the U.S. during the same year. His albums have sold decently, and his songs are constantly being placed on television shows and advertisements in addition to his own performances on the small screen. Radin’s latest effort, Wax Wings, is a self-released record, which he purposely did to get his music out faster. It’s eleven tracks in total and “Together”, the first single, was recently sent for adds at the AAA format. It’s a simple little song about being in love and wanting to be in relationship “’cause we’re the best when we’re together.” Radin’s vocal is matched with an organic arrangement, less polished than some of his other singles, but the sound is familiar to his regular listeners. It’s a cute song for a spring wedding. Perhaps it will gain some online attention (as it really should.) It may not be a huge airplay single because of the independent distribution, but I admire him for putting out something in a timely manner without the final product suffering because of it. His album is out in May, so look out for more details on it.

Do you have a favorite of these three singers? Will radio make them a hit or will they be joshing around with them? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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FRIDAY FORTY: Just A Fool Or Forty

Happy Friday! Welcome to another special edition of an occasional segment I’m putting together called The Friday Forty. Consider it a definitive list on all sorts of music-related topics (and much better than those VH1 lists!)

It’s still a few days before you have to put your April Fool’s Day pranks into action, so make it a good one this year. I’m sure you’ll come up with something extra special. In the meantime, there’s been some foolish behavior on the music charts for years, from dancing fools to fools in the rain. We’ve kissed them and believed them. We’ve even questioned ourselves about being the fool. Everybody plays the fool, and we played these records a lot, even if they didn’t peak around the Day. (Some of them indeed did.) So, instead of my yapping and fooling around, I present to you the Friday Forty: The Top 40 Fools of the Rock Era.

(I’m still figuring out the best way to compile these lists. In this case, songs are ranked by peak from the Hot 100 (1958-1973) or the CHR airplay chart (1974-present.) Ties in peak are broken up by year-end positions on the respective survey. Enjoy!)

40. The Impressions – Fool For You (#22, 1968)
39. James Ray – If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody (#22, 1961)
38. Lulu – Oh Me, Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby) (#22, 1970)
37. Styx – Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) (#21, 1978)
36. The Rolling Stones – Fool To Cry (#19, 1976)
35. Frankie Valli – I Make A Fool Of Myself (#18, 1967)
34. Eddie Money – Maybe I’m A Fool (#18, 1979)
33. Dino, Desi and Billy – I’m A Fool (#17, 1965)
32. Sammy Davis, Jr. – What Kind Of Fool Am I (#17, 1962)
31. Wilson Pickett – Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You (#17, 1971)

30. Larsen-Feiten Band – Who’ll Be The Fool Tonight (#16, 1980)
29. Quarterflash – Find Another Fool (#16, 1982)
28. The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again (#15, 1971)
27. Foghat – Third Time Lucky (First Time I Was A Fool) (#14, 1980)
26. Andy Williams – A Fool Never Learns (#13, 1964)
25. Luther Vandross – Don’t Want To Be A Fool (#12, 1991)
24. Rick Nelson – Fools Rush In (#12, 1963)
23. Steve Perry – Foolish Heart (#10, 1985)
22. The Tams – What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am?) (#9, 1963)
21. Aaron Neville – Everybody Plays The Fool (#9, 1991)

20. Chris Rea – Fool (If You Think It’s Over) (#9, 1978)
19. Rick Springfield – What Kind Of Fool Am I? (#9, 1982)
18. Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb – What Kind Of Fool (#7, 1981)
17. Diana Ross – Why Do Fools Fall In Love? (#7, 1981)
16. Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 – The Fool On The Hill (#6, 1968)
15. George Michael – Kissing A Fool (#6, 1988)
14. Kenny Loggins – Nobody’s Fool (#6, 1988)
13. Lesley Gore – She’s A Fool (#5, 1963)
12. The Shirelles – Foolish Little Girl (#3, 1963)
11. Brenda Lee – Fool #1 (#3, 1961)

The top ten:
10. The Main Ingredient – “Everybody Plays The Fool”
PEAK: #3, 1972

9. Elvin Bishop – “Fooled Around And Fell in Love”
PEAK: #3, 1976

8. Elvis Presley – “A Fool Such As I”
PEAK: #2, 1959

7. Aretha Franklin – “Chain Of Fools”
PEAK: #2, 1968

6. Ashanti – “Foolish”
PEAK: #2, 2002

Not just a "Little" hit.

Not just a “Little” hit.

5. RICKY NELSON – “Poor Little Fool”
PEAK: #1 in 1958

Teen idol Ricky Nelson blew up at an early age, starring on the 50’s sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet along with the rest of his family. In 1957, Nelson began his recording career with a #1 album, Ricky, and a #2 single, “A Teenager’s Romance”. “Poor” was issued in the spring of 1958 and went to #1 for two weeks in August. It holds the distinction of being the first #1 song on the then newly introduced Billboard Hot 100 chart. Nelson had a number of big singles into the early 60’s, but by the middle of the decade, his success experienced a sharp cutoff. “Garden Party” became his final top-40 hit in 1972, peaking at #6, his biggest single in nearly a decade. He had 35 top-40 hits total. Nelson died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve, 1985.

"Somebody" familiar to the top ten.

“Somebody” familiar to the top ten.

4. CONNIE FRANCIS – “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool”
PEAK: #1 in 1960

She was on the last Friday Forty about fashion-themed hits, and now, Connie Francis is back again. Like Nelson at #5, Francis also hit the charts for the first time in 1957 with the #4 “Who’s Sorry Now?” but her track record was a little more inconsistent. “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” was originally the b-side of another single, “Jealous Of You”, which only went to #19. However, in this rare case, the song that was demoted to a b-side actually went to the top spot, spending two weeks there. Francis followed it up with “My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own”, which also went to #1. She last hit the top 40 in 1964, but she occasionally made the Hot 100 until the end of the decade. Francis is now 74 years old and sometimes performs.

Couldn't quite "Beat" the top two.

Couldn’t quite “Beat” the top two.

3. DEBBIE GIBSON – “Foolish Beat”
PEAK: #1 in 1988

New Yorker Debbie Gibson wanted to make it big very young, performing in community theater and playing multiple instruments. In 1987, Atlantic Records signed her, and her debut album Out Of The Blue became a multi-Platinum success. This fourth single from the effort became the only #1 hit from it, and, at the tender age of 17, made her the youngest act to write, produce and perform a chart-topping single. Electric Youth, released in 1989, went to #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart on the strength of “Lost In Your Eyes”, but her sales slowly diminished at this point. Gibson last cracked the national charts in 1993, though she’s made some genre-specific surveys since then. She still performs today; in fact, I’ll be seeing her on April 12 at a local event here.

For your chart, your intuition...

“Games” people play.

2. JEWEL – “Foolish Games”
PEAK: #1 in 1997

After two big singles from her Pieces Of You album, this dark track from the Batman & Robin soundtrack was one of two from it to make the mainstream radio chart. (The other was the mid-charter “Gotham City” by R. Kelly.) “Foolish Games” spent four weeks at #1 in the fall, the most out of any song on the list. Jewel scored hits for a number of years afterwards, including 1998’s “Hands” and 2003’s “Intuition”, and also leaped into the world of Country music. Still, her days of big national hits are behind her. She recently put out a Greatest Hits album and a new song from it, “Two Hearts Breaking”, is receiving some minor airplay at the adult contemporary format. She’ll be on tour through the late spring and early summer.

You better "Believe" it.

You better “Believe” it.

1. THE DOOBIE BROTHERS – “What A Fool Believes”
PEAK: #1 in 1979

Now, the most foolish of the fools at #1 on the countdown. After lead singer Tom Johnston fell ill in 1975, The Doobie Brothers took on a different sound with new leader Michael McDonald. “What A Fool Believes” was the first single from Minute By Minute and was a huge and unexpected hit, spending three weeks at #1 on the airplay chart (including over April Fool’s Day) in the spring of 1979. (It only spent one week atop the Hot 100.) The group had a handful of other charting singles, then disbanded in 1982, until they reunited in 1987. They managed to take one more single into the top 40, 1989’s “The Doctor”, though McDonald had left the band at that point. The group still tours today with different lineups and Johnston reinstated as lead singer.

Thanks for logging on and checking out another of the Friday Forty posts and if you have any suggestions for themes or a favorite song on the list, let me know! Post away in the comments or find on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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“Ready” Set Go: The U.K.’s Nearly 20-Year-Old Song At Number One

They're on the ball... now.

From on the ball to ballin’.

You’re looking at the U.K. charts wondering if The Saturdays will remain at #1 or if Justin Timberlake will reclaim the title when, suddenly, you realize that neither of them is in contention. #1 on iTunes at the moment is… PJ & Duncan AKA? What is this, 1994? Apparently so. A former top ten hit “Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble” by the duo, who are now more famously known as the hosting duo Ant & Dec, has skyrocketed back into the pop stratosphere after the duo performed the song on their weekly Saturday evening program Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. It’s held down the #1 spot on iTunes since Sunday and has a steady lead, though it’s slipping a bit, understandably, given that the performance was a few days ago. This comes a little under twenty years since the two released their debut single as a music act. Can the two hold on to claim their very first number-one single? Here’s a look at all the notes they’ve hit so far… and what might happen come the Sunday chart update.

The duo of 37-year-olds Anthony McPartlin (PJ) and Declan Donnelly (Duncan) began on the BBC television series Byker Grove in 1990 when both were in their teens. Donnelly had joined the show the year prior, and when their story lines intertwined on the children’s show, so did their personal friendship in real life. The duo signed to Sony BMG Records in 1993 as their characters PJ & Duncan AKA, creating an album called Psyche, which is referenced in “Rhumble”. Things started out slowly for the two, missing the top 40 on their first attempt, then climbing as high as #27 with their second single, “Why Me? (Is It Justified?)” It wasn’t until the summer of 1994 that “Rhumble”, which used that famous phrase from boxing and wrestling, became the needed breakout hit for the duo, spending two weeks at #9 in August. That aforementioned parent album, released a few months later, was certified Gold and went to #5 on the strength of the song and a few other minor singles like ballad “Eternal Love” (#12) and the catchy “Our Radio Rocks” (#15, 1995).

In 1995, the two released Top Katz, which saw them began to co-write most of their material, but failed to meet the expectations of their previous era. With it came three mid-charting singles, including a 1996 remake of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” by The Monkees (released as simply “Stepping Stone”), which went to #11. It also became their only single to make the top 50 in Australia. The two began to easily pick up hosting gigs at this point, but they decided to make one more album in which they renamed themselves Ant & Dec to match a show name they were hosting at the time. After all, they had to shed their former image somehow. The Cult of Ant & Dec, released in the spring of 1997, yielded four more top-20 hits, including two #10 singles: the retro-tinged “Better Watch Out” and the slower “Shout”. A copyright infringement case over what would be the latest single of the album ultimately ended their steady music career, but it was soon after that the duo began popping up on shows like CD:UK and Pop Idol, and later, Britain’s Got Talent, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and the recently reintroduced Takeaway, just to name a few shows.

Ant & Dec last saw any chart action in 2002 when they recorded a song for the 2002 FIFA World Cup entitled “We’re On The Ball”. It became their biggest hit ever, going to #3 and spending three weeks in the top ten. (Brazil ultimately won that year and not the United Kingdom.) Despite the fact that they’ve had fourteen top-40 hits in the United Kingdom, not one has spent more than eleven weeks in the UK’s Top 75 Singles Chart and even “Rhumble” only held a spot in the top 40 for nine weeks, the most out of all their singles. Looks like they’ll at least extend that one into the double digits depending on how long it stays in the news. Hey, maybe they’ll even try one of their ballads next time. Admittedly, I sort of like those ones better. (They say they won’t ever do it again; I think they might.)

As far as audiences here in the States, we barely know who these two guys are. None of their music releases were ever released here and are still not available to buy on iTunes or stream on Spotify. They’ve rarely (if ever) been on television here: all the talent shows here have generally picked American hosts. In fact, they’re probably best known for a cameo in 2003’s Love Actually if anything. However, as someone who is generally in tune with what’s out in the U.K., I say, you go guys! We’ll see where things go from here. At sales of 46,000 copies so far this week according to the Official Charts Company, it’s a hit once again, so “let’s get ready” to celebrate.

Download “Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble” on iTunes (U.K. only.)

UPDATE: “Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble” made it to #1 on the official chart update, giving PJ & Duncan AKA their first #1 hit in the United Kingdom and their biggest hit ever. It remains at #1 on iTunes there.

What do you think about this recent chart story out of the U.K.? Do you think other acts will be able to benefit from the same exposure? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Music News

Third Time Is The Charm: Totally Third Singles

First is the worst, second is the best, and the third one allegedly has the treasure chest. I have my doubts about that whole saying. However, these third singles could take the gold if they get enough attention from radio stations and retail. Will these two mainstream bands find that the third time is the charm? Here’s a preview of two songs you can expect to hear later this spring and summer.

No Taylor Swift remakes here.

No Taylor Swift remakes here.

MATCHBOX TWENTY – “Our Song”

Here they come again. Rob Thomas and the boys released their latest album, North, last year. While it did achieve a #1 debut on the Billboard 200 album chart, it hasn’t been certified yet, and radio support has been lacking significantly for the project. In fact, their last U.S. single, “Overjoyed”, was their first single to miss the Hot Adult Contemporary top ten since 2004 and their worst performance for a second single ever. Ouch. (“Put Your Hands Up” was released in Australia while “Overjoyed” was pushed here in the States; it didn’t do too well either.) Luckily, the boys are dusting it off and moving onto a rather energetic single that could’ve started off the album on the right foot in the first place. That would be “Our Song”, which goes for Hot AC adds on April 9. It already has an early add at Sirius XM/The Pulse. It was solely written by lead singer Thomas and produced by Matt Serletic. Now, this is the type of pace and sound that gave them a hit in “How Far We’ve Come” back in 2007. Sure, it’s not the typical Matchbox Twenty record, but it’s good to hear them sound alive. It’s uptempo, catchy, and fits in with everything that’s on radio now. Thomas sings, “I’m gonna be there always/After the pain has gone away/The feelings are so strong/This could be our song.” Short and simple and it does the trick. Will it be the “song” that gives substantial airplay and sales again? Probably not, but I’d like to be proven wrong. I’m imagining a #25 peak or so at the format at best, but it’s a song that could do well during the summer months (hence, the release) so we may have to wait it out. I’m just glad they even received a third single in the first place. The band begins their tour with another struggling 90’s group, the Goo Goo Dolls, in June, and is sailing the seas on a fan cruise this coming December. Hope they don’t have to walk the plank…

...but is it yellow?

…but is it yellow?

THE LUMINEERS – “Submarines”

When folk music became fashionable on mainstream radio, our new favorite folksters from Colarado were blazing the trail with top five hit, “Ho Hey”, a foot-stomping, shout-it-out jam in just about two-and-a-half minutes. The multi-format smash continues to receive a lot of airplay today. Followup single “Stubborn Love” is already a hit at Alternative radio and it’s being serviced to CHR radio at this point. “Stubborn” is also a former #1 song at AAA radio, where this next single will be headed in just a few weeks. It’s available for airplay at this point, but no adds date has been revealed thus far. Something tells me that it won’t submerge into the seas of songwriters on that radio format despite that song title. “Submarines” was co-written and produced by band members Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz. It’s a weird subject matter for a single, but I think it will be the subject of a lot of analyzing should it blow up. The narrator talks about Japanese “submarines/Underneath deep blue seas/…No one will believe me.” Now, originally I thought it would have something to do with Pearl Harbor, but Baldwin Bay is also mentioned in the lyrics, which is off of Long Island. Huh? Is it a dream? Is it a symbol for something that happened for one of the writers of the song? Eerie ending, too: “In the end it boils down to credibility/I had none, so I will die with the secrets of the sea.” Goodness. There’s too much to unpack with this song. (Anybody want to help me out?) Although I think it’s meant to be another tune to tap your feet to, the drums almost sound like gunshots being fired out of a cannon. Better watch your hat. I do like the focus on piano on this song, however. It’s clearly not meant to be a pop hit, because tweenagers would probably turn the dial within five seconds of it starting, but it’s a good enough. It should swim rather than sink on their core formats.

Will either track become the breakout hit of the summer? Will they fade within the musical landscape? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Single Reviews