Monthly Archives: April 2013

Red, White and “Out Of The Blue”: A Delightful Debbie Gibson Post

Lost in your hits.

Lost in your hits.

Happy Friday everybody! If you’re in central Massachusetts like I am, you may know that there’s an 80’s Prom going down tonight in Worcester and it’s going to be like, totally awesome, for sure. 80’s attire, 80’s music, and our special guest of the evening is Debbie Gibson, the singer and songwriter who started cranking out hits at the age of sixteen with her debut album, Out Of The Blue. Of course, Team Debbie Gibson triumphed over Team Tiffany when it came to their rivalry (at least in the chart presence and sales department.) With a total of eleven titles hitting the Hot 100 (nine in the top 40) and three certified albums, the girl had some major hit factor for several years. So, in honor of this special occasion, it’s time to take a look at my favorite songs from the singer. It’s not exactly a Friday Forty, but hey, I don’t exactly know forty Debbie Gibson songs. (She has more than forty, I know.) Since Debbie and Gibson both have six letters in them, I reckon that’s a good enough reason to highlight six songs of hers. So, here we go!

“ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE” (from Anything Is Possible, 1990)
At the point when this was released, top-40 radio had changed dramatically from when Gibson first started out. A more dance and urban sound began to take over the mainstream, including a huge boost in rap music, and thus, she had to adapt. For her, that meant the addition of a new songwriter and producer, classic Motown contributor Lamont Dozier. The title track and first single combined some bubblegum pop sweetness with a new R&B sound and a good message. However, the single peaked at #26 in early 1991; the album just missed the top 40 that same year. Some things just weren’t possible back then.

“ELECTRIC YOUTH” (from Electric Youth, 1989)
She was zappin’ it to us for a hot second. After the soft “Lost In Your Eyes” tore up the pop survey, Gibson returned with this energetic second single and title track from her second album. It was an anthem for teens during that era who believed “the future belongs to the future itself/And the future is electric youth.” Cue the dancing! It was definitely one of her most fun videos ever. Though “Youth” was a top ten hit on the airplay chart, it only went to #11 on the Hot 100 before zipping and zapping its way down the survey at record speed. Blame it on all the initial hype for her album; it, sadly, had to lose its youthfulness.

“FOOLISH BEAT” (from Out Of The Blue, 1988)
The “Beat” went on for our young singer with the fourth single from her debut album. Given her previous track record, the singer was due for another big hit, but it was this song that carried her all the way to the top of the Hot 100 in June 1988, dislodging another hot singer’s second single, “Together Forever” by Rick Astley. When it made the climb, Gibson became the youngest singer in the chart’s history to produce, record and write a number-one song at the tender age of seventeen. Though it only spent a week at the top, it still managed to do well on the year-end chart and prepared her for a huge second era.

“NO MORE RHYME” (from Electric Youth, 1989)
“Rhyme” is my clear favorite from Gibson when it comes to her ballads. While “Foolish Beat” and “Lost In Your Eyes” both hit #1 and got played out, “Rhyme” only managed a meager #17 and is definitely under-appreciated in the scheme of things. I’m not quite sure why exactly I prefer it, but you can’t help but recognize the sincerity in both her vocal and lyrics; she questions, “I always felt the rhythm/What happens when there’s no more rhyme?” Well, at least she rhymed in this song. It also helped that Winnie Cooper was in the video. It was the last top-40 hit from the era, charting in the summer of 1989.

“OUT OF THE BLUE” (from Out Of The Blue, 1988)
I mean, it would be hard to put it in the title of this post and not include it somewhere on this list of songs. “Blue” was another collaboration between her and Fred Zarr, who co-produced the majority of her first two albums in the 80’s. It’s a harmless piece of pop and a light-hearted love song about a girl who finds her perfect boy in an instant; to her, “love appeared before my eyes…/I never thought I’d realize what love was.” Realize, she did, and so did the national charts in the spring of 1988. After two consecutive #4 singles on the Hot 100, “Blue” managed to sneak into the #3 spot, a new high for her at the time.

“SHAKE YOUR LOVE” (from Out Of The Blue, 1987)
The fall turned into winter in 1987 and 1988, but Gibson kept things hot on the charts with this dancey ditty. I’m sure you remember the video. The tye-dye colors, the classic car, the dance routines, etc. Looked like a pretty good time out there. Again, it’s not a song that you need to overanalyze lyrically, just a cute piece of fluff to get you up and moving. Honestly, you probably shouldn’t physically shake your love because you might get dizzy and disoriented and nobody wants that, do we? Right. Like her first single, “Only In My Dreams”, “Shake Your Love” eventually went to #4 on the Hot 100.

Of course, her catalog goes further than that, but I hope you enjoyed this look back down memory lane and have fun if you’re heading out to our fun and festive 80’s event! For more music news and chart action, keep it here and find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Swayin’ To The Music: A Tale Of Two Jamies

Well, if I could do it with three Josh/Joshua singers, how about two new releases from two new acts with the first name Jamie? They’re both not your typical mainstream singles, but the two artists pack a lot of punch when it comes to artistry in their music. Are you down for a little bit of the old school mixed with a new sound? Then, check out these two new songs out below.

Uncommonly good.

Uncommonly good.

JAMIE N COMMONS – “Rumble And Sway”
Release Date: at AAA radio now; #29 on rolling chart

Here’s a new guy on the scene, so new that there actually isn’t a lot out there about him. Here’s what we do know. Commons is originally from London, England and still makes his home there, but he’s now bouncing up the adult alternative survey with his first single, “Rumble And Sway”, issued through a joint effort of KIDinaKORNER Records (owned by producer Alex da Kid) and Interscope. He’s only been playing live here in the U.S. for a few weeks now, though there will be more live events to come. Commons has been gaining quite a bit of buzz in the last month from song placement on television shows like Mob Wives and The Walking Dead, and now comes word that the singer will be featured on rapper Eminem‘s first single to be released very soon. (At least he says it will be.) He did help Dido out when he sampled her “Thank You” for his “Stan”; maybe something big will happen again. “Rumble” is the title track from a recently released EP by the singer, six tracks in total. Lyrically, the song is the classic boy meets girl situation, where the boy is enraptured with his choice of partner. His expectations are certainly blown out of the water, and when he’s really feeling the groove of the relationship, all he wants to do is be satisfied. In short, “Don’t you tell me no truths/I want all of your lies.” Combining a bluesy guitar, piano, and a horn section, along with the pops, crackles and warped sound of a vinyl record, this is a sparkling reminder of what an ode to this past musical era should sound like. At the same time, it has a very current feel to it too; Commons is a developing a style for himself. Look out for it on your dial soon.

Oh say, can't you "Sea"?

Oh say, can’t you “Sea”?

JAMIE CULLUM – “Everything You Didn’t Do”
Release Date: May 13 (U.K.)

He’s gone from jazzy to snazzy over the years; now, the 33-year-old performer returns with a pop twist. Though he began recording in the late 90’s, Cullum’s commercial breakthrough came in 2003 with the release of Twentysomething, a largely covers album with a few original songs. The effort launched two singles into the top 20 on the U.K. Singles Chart and propelled it to #3 on the Albums Chart, now certified 3x Platinum in the country. Though it didn’t impact the U.S. nearly as well, one of his self-penned tunes, “All At Sea”, went top 30 on the Adult Contemporary radio survey. 2005’s Catching Tales was a moderate success; I particularly liked the first single, “Get Your Way”, which hit the top 5 on my personal chart. The Pursuit, in 2009, fell under the radar and none of its singles made any particular charts, but now, his first release in nearly four years comes out May 20 in Europe, Momentum. (There is no Stateside release date at this time.) The first single from it, a song called “Everything You Didn’t Do”, is a fusion of his more traditional days with a more commercial side, balanced out by a mix of organ, piano and drum, along with 70’s-sounding harmonies and chants straight out of the 80’s. By just that description, you can tell that it’s a real mixture of musical identities, but Cullum pulls it off and he sounds just as great as usual. This is also a really strong set of lyrics, punctuated by a powerful pre-chorus: “We should put up a sign/We are citizens of all you can see/We’ve got nothing but time/But you’ll find, everything you didn’t do.” With a great flow and energy, Jamie Cullum is officially back in business.

Are you jiving to Jamie N Commons or jumping to Jamie Cullum? Both? Neither? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (April 9)

"Still Into" rocking out.

“Still Into” rocking out.

Country and rock take over on this edition of Turn It Up Tuesday. Here are the new releases in stores for the week of April 9:

  • Former rock quintet, now turned trio Paramore are back with their fourth album on Fueled By Ramen, the self-titled Paramore. “Now” is the first alternative radio single from it, while “Still Into You” goes to mainstream radio. Their last album debuted at #2 and went Gold. Could this one do the same? (iTunes)
  • You probably saw him perform with Dierks Bentley and Hunter Hayes on the ACM Awards on Sunday. Now, Brad Paisley‘s Wheelhouse is in stores. Current single “Beat This Summer” is beating up the competition on Country radio. (iTunes)
  • Speaking on Country acts, Eric Church has a new full-length album performed in concert coming out today, Live: Caught In The Act. (iTunes)
  • On the heels of single “Dope”, featuring Rick Ross, rapper Tyga releases Hotel California, his third album. (iTunes)
  • The folk quartet known as Dawes go “From A Window Seat” and out into record stores with Stories Don’t End, their third studio album. (iTunes)
  • After releasing a Part 1 last year, the rock group Stone Sour puts out House of Gold & Bones – Part 2 today. The first single, “Do Me A Favor”, is another top ten hit for them on Active Rock radio. (iTunes)
  • Danish metal band Volbeat return with their first album in three years, Outlaw Gentleman and Shady Ladies. (iTunes)
  • Legendary singer and songwriter Paul Anka releases his Duets album this week, featuring collaborations with Celine Dion, Willie Nelson and more classic artists. (iTunes)
  • Jazz man Boney James is swaying to The Beat, his new studio album, which includes the single “Maker Of Love” with singer Raheem Devaughn. (iTunes)

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

Their songs know what you did in the dark, but will Fall Out Boy‘s new album, Save Rock And Roll, see the light at #1 next week? A preview is coming in seven!

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SINGLE PREMIERE: Avril Lavigne – “Here’s To Never Growing Up” (+ Lyrics)

"Up" up and away.

She’s “never” ever ever going to do it.

From the days of Let Go with hit singles like “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi” to her newest release “Here’s To Never Growing Up”, Avril Lavigne has still got the pop punk princess image down. Her last album, Goodbye Lullaby, came and went quickly without the success of her first few eras, but she’s hoping to impress with this one of hers. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be the graduation anthem of this year. Lavigne’s first single from her forthcoming album due this summer was written and produced by David Hodges, a former member of Evanescence and Martin Johnson, the lead singer for the pop band Boys Like Girls. It’s now at radio and on iTunes, where you can find a link below to download. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD “Here’s To Never Growing Up” on iTunes. / LISTEN to “Here’s To Never Growing Up”.

“HERE’S TO NEVER GROWING UP”
(Hodges/Johnson)

[Chorus – Half]
Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs
With the boom box blaring as we’re falling in love
Got a bottle of whatever, but it’s getting us drunk
Singing “here’s to never growing up”

[Verse 1]
Call up all our friends
Go hard this weekend
For no damn reason
I don’t think we’ll ever change
Meet you at the spot
Half past 10’clock
We don’t ever stop
And we’re never gonna change

[Bridge]
Say
Won’t you stay forever
Stay
If you stay forever
Hey
We can stay forever young

[Chorus]
Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs
With the boom box blaring as we’re falling in love
Got a bottle of whatever, but it’s getting us drunk
Singing “here’s to never growing up”
We’ll be running down the street yelling “kiss my (hey!)”
I’m like yeah, whatever, we’re still living like that
When the sun goes down, we’ll be raising our cups
Singing “here’s to never growing up”
Oh-oh (Here’s to never growing up)
Oh-oh (Here’s to never growing up)

[Verse 2]
We live like rockstars
Dance on every bar
This is who we are
I don’t think we’ll ever change
They say just grow up
But they don’t know us
We don’t give a f–k
And we’re never gonna change

[Bridge]
Say
Won’t you stay forever
Stay
If you stay forever
Hey
We can stay forever young

[Chorus]
Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs
With the boom box blaring as we’re falling in love
Got a bottle of whatever, but it’s getting us drunk
Singing “here’s to never growing up”
We’ll be running down the street yelling “kiss my (hey!)”
I’m like yeah, whatever, we’re still living like that
When the sun goes down, we’ll be raising our cups
Singing “here’s to never growing up”
Oh-oh (Here’s to never growing up)
Oh-oh (Here’s to never growing up)

[Bridge]
Say
Won’t you stay forever
Stay
If you stay forever
Hey
We can stay forever young

[Chorus]
Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs
With the boom box blaring as we’re falling in love
Got a bottle of whatever, but it’s getting us drunk
Singing “here’s to never growing up”
We’ll be running down the street yelling “kiss my (hey!)”
I’m like yeah, whatever, we’re still living like that
When the sun goes down, we’ll be raising our cups
Singing “here’s to never growing up”
Oh-oh (Here’s to never growing up)
Oh-oh (Here’s to never growing up) (Raise your glass and say!)
Oh-oh (Here’s to never growing up) (And we’re never growing up)
Oh-oh (Here’s to never growing up)

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BEHIND THE GROOVE: “A Little Bit Of” Sampling Power

That's "the way" to sample.

That’s “the way” to sample.

Nickelodeon star turned singer Ariana Grande is officially a hit on the charts. After failing to make the top 40 in a few previous attempts like 2011’s “Put Your Hearts Up”, her “The Way”, the first single from her forthcoming album, rose to #1 on iTunes and just debuted at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 this past week. It’s now gaining quickly in radio airplay. The song also includes rapper Mac Miller who is enjoying his first top 40 hit, albeit as a featured artist. However, you may find yourself recognizing that “Way” samples another song that’s been included in two other hits to make the Hot 100. You probably just don’t know what it’s called or who sings it. Let’s go behind the groove and see where our sample takes us.

The sample:
“A Little Bit Of Love”, Brenda Russell
In this particular case, we’ll be taking a trip back into the late 70’s. R&B singer Russell was just about 30 when her debut self-titled album hit the shelves on Horizon Records. Among the songs on the effort was “So Good So Right”, which became a #30 hit on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1979. “Love” was the fifth song on the track listing, and although it didn’t become a single when the album was released, it has managed a chart life all on its own as a sample. It was written and produced by Russell herself. It is the most interpolated song in her catalogue now. Of note, this is the second song by the performer to be sampled on a song in the top ten this year. Earlier in January, “I Cry” by Flo Rida, which sampled her 1988 hit “Piano In The Dark”, climbed to a peak of #6 on the Hot 100, the same as the original song.

The samplers:
“Still Not A Player”, Big Pun featuring Joe (#24, 1998)
Rapper Christopher Rios, born in The Bronx, New York, made a name for himself as Big Pun, a shortened version of Big Punisher. He signed to Loud Records in 1997 and began to record for his debut album, 1998’s Capital Punishment. First single “I’m Not A Player” went to #57 on the Hot 100, a decent start for the new talent, but it was a remix featuring our sampled song in question and R&B singer Joe‘s “Don’t Wanna Be A Player” that brought both of them into the top 40. While Joe sang the hook, Big Pun rapped, and the track managed a peak of #24 on the Hot 100. It was also Pun’s biggest hit on the R&B survey, going to #6. Sadly, the performer lost his life in 2000, and a posthumous album was released after his death to moderate sales and single peaks. “Player” remains his signature song.

“I Want You”, Thalia featuring Fat Joe (#22, 2003)
After the success of singers like Paulina Rubio and Shakira into the American market in 2001-2002 with albums and singles in English, Mexican performer Thalia decided to try to break the U.S. with her 2003 self-titled album. This first single from the effort features rapper Fat Joe, a longtime friend and collaborator with Big Pun. Looks like Joe was inspired by that previous hit of his with the Brenda Russell sample; not only is it used in the song, but he even mentions the late rapper’s song in his rap in “Want”: “We could maybe elope, have a baby and all/’Cause I don’t want to be a player no more.” Though it became a top ten single on CHR radio, it only managed a peak of #22 on the Hot 100, Thalia‘s only top-40 hit to date in the States. She’s still having hits in regular ol’ Spanish nowadays.

“The Way”Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller (#10, 2013)
So, now we get to the current incarnation of the song that came out nearly thirty-five years ago. Once again, the Big Pun song is name-checked by Mac Miller in his opening rap of the song: “Do she love me, do she love me not?/I ain’t a player, I just crush a lot.” Grande is now the third act from a Nickelodeon-based series to go onto hit the Hot 100 as a recording artist, following Miranda Cosgrove and Big Time Rush. However, she is the first of the three to successfully make the top 40 and she’s done it with a bang. Will she go any higher than #10 on the big chart? She may be down to #25 on iTunes, but her radio gains are just taking off. Look out for it on the airwaves all summer long and an album to follow at the end of it. Her new series, Sam & Cat, will also debut sometime later this year.

For more on your favorite music, from sampling to singles to statistics, keep it here on the blog or follow me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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SINGLE PREMIERE: Hunter Hayes – “I Want Crazy” (+ Lyrics)

He wants what he wants.

The new one from Hunter Hayes is here, “I Want Crazy”. It’s the first single from the rerelease of his self-titled debut album. Will it follow “Wanted” and “Somebody’s Heartbreak” to the #1 spot on Country radio? We’ll find out soon! It’s a catchy uptempo number that’s great after two slower numbers and it’s bound to be all over the radio this summer. Check out the lyrics below and the download links to iTunes. He’ll be performing the song at the ACM Awards on Sunday evening. Enjoy!

“I Want Crazy” is serviced to radio tomorrow and the Encore edition of his album is out in June.

DOWNLOAD “I Want Crazy” on iTunes. / PRE-ORDER Hunter Hayes: Encore. / NEW: Listen to the new crossover mix of “I Want Crazy”, remixed by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.

[Verse 1]
I’m booking myself a one-way flight
I gotta see the color in your eyes
And tellin’ myself I’m gonna be alright
Without you baby is a waste of time, ooh
Yeah, our first date, girl, the seasons change
That got washed away in a summer rain
You can’t undo a fall like this
‘Cause love don’t know what distance is
Yeah, I know it’s crazy

[Chorus]
But I don’t want good and I don’t want good enough
I want can’t sleep, can’t breathe without your love
Front porch and one more kiss
It don’t make sense to anybody else
Who cares if you’re all I think about?
I’ve searched the world and I know now
It ain’t right and if you ain’t lost your mind
Yeah, I don’t want easy, I want crazy
Are you with me baby, let’s be crazy

[Verse 2]
Yeah, I wanna be scared, don’t wanna know why
I wanna feel good, don’t have to be right
The world makes all kinds of rules for love
I see you gotta let it do what it does
I don’t want just another hug and a kiss goodnight
Catchin’ up calls and a date sometimes
A love that revels and we still believe
We’re the kind of crazy that people wish that they could be
I know we’re crazy

[Chorus]
But I don’t want good and I don’t want good enough
I want can’t sleep, can’t breathe without your love
Front porch and one more kiss
It don’t make sense to anybody else
Who cares if you’re all I think about?
I’ve searched the world and I know now
It ain’t right and if you ain’t lost your mind
Yeah, I don’t want easy, I want crazy
Are you with me baby, let’s be crazy

[Chorus 1]
But I don’t want good and I don’t want good enough
I want can’t sleep, can’t breathe without your love
Front porch and one more kiss
It don’t make sense to anybody else
Who cares if you’re all I think about?
I’ve searched the world and I know now
It ain’t right and if you ain’t lost your mind

[Chorus 1 – extended]
Yeah, I don’t want easy, I want crazy
Yeah, look at us baby
Tonight the midnight rules are breaking
There’s no such thing as wild enough
Or maybe we just think too much
Who needs to play it safe in love?
Let’s be crazy

[End]
Who cares if we’re crazy?
We gotta be crazy
I know that we’re crazy
So let’s be crazy

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: April 7, 2013

Just give me a #1.

Five weeks is more than Reasonable.

DEBUTS
40. Hanson – Get The Girl Back
39. Barenaked Ladies – Boomerang
38. Nikki Williams – Glowing
37. Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us | HIGHEST DEBUT

TOP GAINERS
34. Chris Wallace – Keep Me Crazy (40)
18. Passenger – Let Her Go (25)
11. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors (24) | BIGGEST MOVER
04. Michael Bublé – It’s A Beautiful Day (11)

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. Daniel Powter – Crazy All My Life (15) | PEAK: #10
09. OneRepublic – If I Lose Myself (06) | PEAK: #03
08. Olly Murs – Army Of Two (05) | PEAK: #05
07. fun. – Why Am I The One? (08) | PEAK: #07
06. Phillip Phillips – Gone, Gone, Gone (04) | PEAK: #02
05. Passion Pit – Carried Away (07) | PEAK: #05
04. Michael Bublé – It’s A Beautiful Day (11) | PEAK: #04
03. Fitz & The Tantrums – Out Of My League (03) | PEAK: #03
02. Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie (02) | PEAK: #02
01. Pink featuring Nate Ruess – Just Give Me A Reason (01) | PEAK: #01 for five weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Labrinth featuring Emeli Sandé – Beneath Your Beautiful (6)
2. Churchill – Change (2)
3. A Great Big World – This Is The New Year (1)
4. Matchbox Twenty – Our Song (10)
5. Plain White T’s – Should’ve Gone To Bed (-)
6. Vampire Weekend – Diane Young (7)
7. Classified featuring David Myles – Inner Ninja (8)
8. Michael Franti & Spearhead – I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) (-)
9. Jamie Cullum – Everything You Didn’t Do (-)
10. 98 Degrees – Microphone (-)

In The Mix:
Christina Aguilera – Let There Be Love
Daft Punk – Two (new)
Frank Turner – Recovery
James Arthur – Impossible (new)
Jessica Sanchez featuring Ne-Yo – Tonight
Jonas Brothers – Pom Poms
Joshua Radin – When We’re Together
Junior Doctor – Falling To Pieces
Lawson – Gone (new)
Maroon 5 – Love Somebody
One Direction – Rock Me (new)
Paloma Faith – Just Be
Paramore – Still Into You (new)
Rod Stewart – She Makes Me Happy
Selena Gomez – Come & Get It (new)
The Band Perry – Better Dig Two
The Wanted – All Time Low

See my full chart on the M4BCC message board.

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