Monthly Archives: July 2013

PROFILE: Shane Filan Gives His “Everything” On New Single

That jet's a sure bet.

That jet’s a sure bet.

It’s written in the Bible of Boy Bands: thou shalt have at least one member who goes solo. Think about all of those bands that managed to produce a member that made it on their own. On the charts today, former *NSYNC member Justin Timberlake is still racking up the hits. JC Chasez also charted away from the group. In Europe and the U.S., Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams managed successes away from Take That, with Mark Owen also leaving his mark to a lesser degree in his homeland. From more stealthier groups like Backstreet Boys to the second-string bands like O-Town, virtually every one has had one member that breaks away to varying degrees of solo success. Now, the latest example of the pop phenomenon comes from a member of a band who recently parted ways, but still wants a piece of the action.

His name is Shane Filan, coming to us courtesy of the Irish boy band Westlife. They ranked highly all over the charts in the U.K. for more than a decade. Beginning as bubblegum pop act with a mix of original songs and light remakes, they turned into virtually an all-covers act about midway through their run, which gave them a mature edge but an increased amount of flack too. The group broke up last year after a Greatest Hits album and one final tour together. They were never fully embraced by a U.S. audience under RCA Records, going as high as #20 on the Hot 100 with “Swear It Again” in 2000 after a slow run upward. The label also sent “World Of Our Own” to CHR radio during the summer of 2002 and was a hair away from making the pop top 40, only to be blocked out by the surging “A Moment Like This” by then-American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Her coronation anthem debuted the week of their maximum push and thus, priorities were shuffled, and they lost out, never to be heard from on this soil again.

Two members of the now defunct act have since recorded alone. In 2002, Nicky Byrne participated on the single “Here Come The Good Times”, Ireland’s official anthem for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It went to #1 there for one week in May. In 2004, Brian McFadden left the quintet to pursue his own solo career, which landed him three top ten singles in the United Kingdom (including the #1 “Real To Me”) and two number-one hits in Australia: “Almost There” with ex-girlfriend Delta Goodrem (2005) and “Just Say So” with Kevin Rudolf (2010). His glory days are far behind him and his high peaks are sales are virtually non-existant now. So, I guess third time will hopefully be the charm for Mr. Filan and his attempt at a long and lasting career on his own, and thankfully, he’s off to a good start with his debut release.

“Everything To Me” isn’t out in the United Kingdom until August 25, but a music video for the song premiered on VEVO and YouTube over the weekend. It has since received about 47,000 views. The song is a charming reminder of what made Westlife popular in the first place. It’s a sweet and carefree ode to the one he loves. Though he admits sometimes finds himself lost in at all, utilizing the first verse to compare life to a jigsaw puzzle, he comprehends that the idea taking things slowly with his girl will bring them the best in their relationship. He sings, “I don’t need the sunshine shining on my face/And I don’t need perfection to have the perfect day/I just want to see you happy, a smile on your face/Nothing else matters ’cause you’re everything to me.” Precious! Musically, it’s another take on the breezy island sound that Jason Mraz made popular again with “I’m Yours” and Train with “Hey, Soul Sister”, with more of a reliance on the background vocalists as well as a horn section in the final segment of the song. Though it does take some time to build, the ending ultimately soars, creating a pleasant melody and composition that will resonate with more than just his former group’s core audience.

Filan’s release date also features new singles from Bastille, Olly Murs and Rizzle Kicks, but I doubt he will be totally forgotten. Whether he makes it to the U.S. or not this time around is another question, but considering his clip is available to watch here, I’d like to think that maybe it could happen. It would do rather well at the adult contemporary formats. Time will tell if the label wants it to be pursued as I do. Until then, Shane Filan is doing his “everything” to get his name back out there.

Buy “Everything To Me” on iTunes (United Kingdom only.)

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (July 30)

Layin' it on Thicke.

Layin’ it on Thicke.

Get ready to take your seat on the soulacoaster because it’s taking you on a smooth ride through the week’s music releases for Tuesday, July 30:

  • His album sales were dropping fast and his singles weren’t gaining nearly as much airplay as in years past… it looked as though Robin Thicke was on his way out, until a little song called “Blurred Lines” gave him his first #1 single ever. Now, parent album Blurred Lines is in stores today and expected to be next week’s top-selling album. How high will the numbers be? Based on how enormously well the single is doing, it may just be his biggest week yet. (iTunes)
  • Featuring the pop hit “Chloe (You’re The One I Want)”, X Factor’s season 2 bad boy trio Emblem3 makes their debut with Nothing To Lose. It will very likely do better than season 2 winner Tate Stevens‘s debut album of a few months ago. (Did I hear a “he had an album out?”) (iTunes)
  • On the topic of boy bands, the Backstreet Boys are back (alright!) with In A World Like This, with the title track being the current radio single from it. This is no Millenium, but you know their core fans will like it. (iTunes)
  • With their first album in three years, Michael Franti & Spearhead return with All People, featuring the single “I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)”. (iTunes)
  • Legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy is out with Rhythm & Blues. He released his first album way back in 1965 with the Junior Wells Band. (iTunes)
  • Other albums out this week include Moore Is More by Chanté Moore (iTunes) and Bakersfield by Vince Gill and Paul Franklin (iTunes).

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

  • “Bonfire Heart”, the first single from James Blunt‘s forthcoming album Moon Landing. (iTunes)
  • “Can’t Believe It”, a collaboration between rappers Flo Rida and Pitbull. (iTunes)
  • “Turn The Night Up”, a new single from Latin singer Enrique Iglesias. (iTunes)

In a light release week for the first week of August, duo The Civil Wars may battle for the #1 spot with their self-titled album, or current “Don’t Ya” hitmaker Brett Eldredge could crank that Country sound to the top. We’ll see! A preview is coming in seven.

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The State Of Pop: Hits Of The Geographical Survey

Rockin' the States.

Rockin’ the States.

California duo Capital Cities are all over the radio with their multi-format smash “Safe And Sound”. It’s worth noting that the act’s name is pretty unusual, but I guess that could be said of a lot of groups nowadays. Fact is, Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian are based out of Los Angeles, which is the biggest city in California, but isn’t the capital of it. That would be the much smaller Sacramento. That got me thinking about all of the capital cities in the United States and how well they’ve been represented by both top 40 artists and singles on the national music charts. As you might expect, it’s not that fairly distributed but it’s still an interesting look. Luckily, you don’t need a map for this one; I’ll be happy to map it out for you.

Of the 55 years that the Hot 100 has officially been around, I could only find ten state capital names that were featured in either or both categories, though not all of them actually reference the city or town in question. Some check out, like the catalog of John Denver, with Denver being the capital of Colorado (his birthplace), “Honolulu Lulu” by Jan & Dean (#11, 1963) representing Hawaii, and “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” by Glen Campbell (#26, 1967) or Isaac Hayes (#37, 1969), the state capital of Arizona. Others, like the forgotten “Sink The Bismarck” by Johnny Harton (#3, 1960) is about the German ship rather than the capital of North Dakota. There are also the examples of capital names that are pretty common enough to be a first name or surname. When you hear the name Jackson, you may think of the last name for Janet, Joe, Michael, Wanda, etc. but they have nothing to do with the capital of Mississippi. The same is true of Austin, TX and Montgomery, AL; multiple chart examples, but they are names of people rather than the place. So, with all that said, we’re down to three, and all are major cities that have at least one band and one single named after them, so you get the best of both worlds. Let’s explore them:

ATLANTA
Founded in Doraville, GA in 1971, the Atlanta Rhythm Section took their Southern rock sound onto the charts in 1974 with their debut single, “Doraville” (#35). Seven of their songs made the top 40 on the Hot 100, including two #7 singles: “So Into You” (1977) and “Imaginary Lover” (1978). They last charted in 1981 with a release that’s gone obscure, but are still active on the live circuit. They haven’t recorded new material since the late 90’s.

The only song about Georgia’s capital to make the top 40 did it in the fall of 1981. After his departure from Jefferson Starship, Marty Balin‘s “Hearts” became a top ten single, followed by the #27 entry “Atlanta Lady (Something About Your Love)”. After one more minor single in 1983, his chart days were over.

BOSTON
Aerosmith and New Kids On The Block may have the bigger selection of hits, but how can you not love a band from Boston called Boston? The group led by the late Brad Delp burst onto the charts in 1976 with singles like “More Than A Feeling” (#5) and “Don’t Look Back” (#4) two years later. After much delay, their Third Stage album in 1986 provided them with the #1 hit “Amanda”. They still perform today with a different set of members.

Two songs name-checking Beantown also made the top 40. In 1974, “Please Come To Boston” became the first and only big single for Tenneessee born Dave Loggins. It went to #5. A followup release only managed a peak in the 50’s. Then, in 2007, Augustana slowly rose up to a peak of #34 with their first charting hit, “Boston”. They also charted only once more with a minor peaking single and have gone through a few lineup changes since then, though they appear to have a new record deal and album in the pipeline.

NASHVILLE
The only group with the Tennessee’s capital in their name didn’t grow up in the United States at all. The Nashville Teens were based out of Surrey in the southern part of England. Their claim to fame was the 1964 hit “Tobacco Road”, which went as high as #14. “Find My Way Back Home” barely scratched the Hot 100 the following year, but they continued to record material into the early 70’s before splitting.

Also in the 60’s, “Nashville Cats” became a #8 single for quintet The Lovin’ Spoonful in 1967. Though it was far from their biggest release on the charts, the #1 “Summer In The City”, it was their sixth and last time charting in the top ten. They would be off the Hot 100 altogether by 1969, when the group parted ways.

For more chart chronicles that put the top in topography, follow the blog below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: July 28, 2013

Third time lucky.

Doin’ it by the dozen.

DEBUTS
40. San Cisco – Fred Astaire
39. Matt Cardle & Melanie C – Loving You | HIGHEST DEBUT

TOP GAINERS
35. Toad The Wet Sprocket – New Constellation (40)
32. One Direction – Best Song Ever (39) | BIGGEST MOVER — tie
31. Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran – Everything Has Changed (36)
25. John Newman – Love Me Again (30)
24. The 1975 – Chocolate (31) | BIGGEST MOVER — tie
19. Justin Timberlake – Take Back The Night (25)
11. Bastille – Pompeii (16)

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. Family Of The Year – St. Croix (11) | PEAK: #10
09. Bruno Mars – Treasure (06) | PEAK: #03
08. Maroon 5 – Love Somebody (07) | PEAK: #07
07. Train featuring Ashley Monroe – Bruises (09) | PEAK: #07
06. Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky (04) | PEAK: #02
05. Five For Fighting – What If (08) | PEAK: #05
04. Sara Bareilles – Brave (05) | PEAK: #04
03. Mayer Hawthorne – Her Favorite Song (02) | PEAK: #02
02. Pink featuring Lily Rose Cooper – True Love (03) | PEAK: #02
01. Passenger – Let Her Go (01) | PEAK: #01 for twelve weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Mayer Hawthorne – The Stars Are Ours (-)
2. Capital Cities – Kangaroo Court (5)
3. Fitz & The Tantrums – 6AM (2)
4. Savoir Adore – Dreamers (1)
5. MKTO – Classic (7)
6. Mika featuring Ariana Grande – Popular Song (-)
7. Rudimental featuring John Newman – Feel The Love (4)
8. Phillip Phillips – Where We Came From (9)
9. Austin Mahone – What About Love? (6)
10. Elton John – Home Again (10)

In The Mix:
Avril Lavigne – Rock N Roll
Backstreet Boys – In A World Like This
Barenaked Ladies – Odds Are
Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams – Lose Yourself To Dance (new)
Earth, Wind & Fire – My Promise
Ed Sheeran – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You
Ellie Goulding – Burn
Emeli Sandé – My Kind Of Love
fun. – Out On The Town (new)
Franz Ferdinand – Right Action
Goo Goo Dolls – Come To Me
Hey Ocean! – Big Blue Wave
Jim Brickman featuring Luke McMaster – Every Shade Of You
John Mayer – Paper Doll
JTX – Summer Lover (new)
Kelly Clarkson – Tie It Up
Kings Of Leon – Supersoaker
Little Mix – Change Your Life
Michael Bublé featuring Bryan Adams – After All (new)
Mike Posner – The Way It Used To Be
Mutya Keisha Siobhan – Flatline
New Politics – Harlem (new)
Olly Murs – Dance With Me Tonight (re-entry)
Olly Murs – Right Place Right Time
Satellite – Say The Words
Serena Ryder – What I Wouldn’t Do
Shane Filan – Everything To Me (new)
Sheppard – Hold My Tongue (new)
Tony Lucca – Never Gonna Let You Go
Travis – Moving

Chart Notes:

  • After looking as though he would be the one to finally push Passenger out of the top spot, Mayer Hawthorne drops back to #3 with “Her Favorite Song”, while Pink and Lily Rose Cooper advance to #2 with “True Love”. Two against one may be an unfair fight, but the truth hurts, and these two ladies are looking to take over this chart ride. Will it happen next week? Stay tuned.
  • This week, I purchased physical editions of EPs from British bands Bastille and The 1975, and it just so happens that the two acts score big jumps in the countdown this week. “Pompeii” from quartet out of London rises 16-11, while “Chocolate” from the Manchester group is jointly-tied for the Biggest Mover of the week, up 31-24. Both songs are expected to make the top ten.
  • This week’s Highest Debut is a duet between former U.K. X Factor winner Matt Cardle and Sporty Spice of the Spice Girls, Melanie C. “Loving You” is in at #39. It’s Cardle’s fifth song to make my chart (his last, “Anyone Else”, went to #17 earlier this year) and the third song to chart for Miss Chisholm, her first since “I Turn To You” went to #30 in 2001.
  • Australian indie rockers San Cisco quickstep onto the survey at #40 with “Fred Astaire”. It’s their first song to make the chart. They’re one of two Australian acts in the top 40 with Sheppard being the other.
  • As for next week’s potential debuts, Mayer Hawthorne‘s chances look promising with “The Stars Are Ours”, while Capital Cities, MKTO and others keep climbing up. Phillip Phillips also looks to enter the top 40 in the next few weeks.

See my full chart on the M4BCC message board.

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PROFILE: Open Air Stereo Get “Stuck On” The Dial

Clearing the Air.

Clearing the Air.

You can find a lot of formats on the FM frequencies. Say that three times fast. Here’s a new group whose name is based on those very radio waves that they’d like to get on. They’re the four guys from Southern California who call themselves Open Air Stereo, a rock band who have been together for several years now. The group consists of Chase Johnson (lead vocals), Nick Gross (drums), Scott Pounds (guitars) and Evan Smith (bass). They were originally featured several years ago on the MTV reality (but scripted) show Laguna Beach, where the airtime both Johnson and his group received during the show’s third season led to a record deal with Epic Records and a prominent performance at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles. Their star was rising fast.

Then, the momentum stalled. Laguna Beach ended after that third season, so their exposure on television dwindled. After a year and a half of creating original material for what would’ve been their first album, creative differences ensued, and the sessions were halted. They split, which I’m sure must have been a hard decision at the time. Johnson pursued some in the studio for a solo record, which was due in the second quarter of 2009, but was also shelved. In the meantime, he managed to get in some hosting gigs as a result of his Laguna Beach fame. Time eventually healed the wounds of the band members and foursome got back together in 2011 and created an album together with the help of producers Gavin Brown, Mike Plotnikoff and Peter Stengaard, along with writer Marti Fredrikson, among some other very talented people. So, after a decade of playing together on and off, they may not be the newest kids on the block, but the world of radio and retail is their playground, at least for the time being.

As the beginning of fall comes upon us, Open Air Stereo is preparing to launch their debut single at radio, “Stuck On You”, from the debut album called Primates, which has been out since late May. It goes for adds on Alternative radio on August 13 and is also being serviced to the Hot Adult Contemporary format at a later date. It’s being promoted through Goomba Music, home to a range of harder rock and heavy metal acts, as well as a few more notable names to the mainstream audience like American Hi-Fi and Puddle Of Mudd. Also credited on the label is STRZ Enterprises, based out of Los Angeles, who have a smaller roster of both acts and producers. Neither record group is particularly established at either format, so it shall be an interesting experiment is trying to break an indie release.

On the upside, the band has a likable song. “Stuck” has obviously been out there for several months now, but I just heard it for the first time recently and I’m enjoying it. It’s a solid pop/rock song about a guy reminiscing about the memories with his former love who “got nothing to prove” because no matter what happens, they’ll always find themselves back together. It’s sort like the band in itself. Cute. It has a laid-back So-Cal vibe to it, which is refreshing, and with a light-hearted message to it, I think a lot of people will enjoy it. On an album that reflects the evolution of both time and the construction of a band, their many influences are involved, including alternative and ska outfits like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime. They know their roots and they know their sound. Now, it’s time to make people start appreciating it.

On the downside, they are “new” in the sense that this is their first radio single, and the band will need even more time and patience to try to make it nationally. While they easily could’ve been lost in the shuffle with a major label, they also could’ve been properly handled and become a big success. Who knows? Nothing’s a guarantee with a smaller label in terms of the promotional aspect of this forthcoming campaign. Although, I’m sure they’ve benefitted artistically from the jump. We’ll see how far they go. The fact that they even have an adds date is a good sign, so I’m sure they’ll plan everything out and let it unfold.

The quartet is currently on tour with 90’s band Candlebox and some additional fall dates will be announced soon, but in the meantime, keep your tuner ready: you may just be hearing Open Air Stereo in stereo at your local radio station soon.

Purchase the single “Stuck On You” on iTunes. / Purchase the album Primates on iTunes.

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It’s A Zoo In Here: The Animals Of Alternative Radio

It’s a nice summer day out there… chances are that the kids want to go outside to explore and maybe go on a field trip, so, why not take them to the zoo? You went there yourself when you were younger. You’ll find it all there. The screaming children. The disgusting smells from the animal cages. The tourist trap gift shop. Oh, yes, the horrors. I think I have better solution to this issue. Why not let these two new singles give you some visuals without the driving around and blowing money? These jungle jams will rock the jungle gyms and everywhere in-between. Just, watch out for the manure….

A "Safe" bet for some sales.

All rise!

CAPITAL CITIES – “Kangaroo Court”
Release Date: August 6 (Alternative)

If you haven’t heard “Safe And Sound” by now, you might be living under a rock. The duo of Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian recorded it in 2011, but it wasn’t until this year that it went to #1 on the Alternative chart and is now crossing over to mainstream radio. Not bad for two guys who initially started as jingle writers before deciding that they wanted make an album together. That became In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery, released back in June on Lazy Hooks/Capitol Records, peaking at #66 on the Billboard 200. Perhaps it was meant to be that they’re going to primarily be a singles act. That should work in their favor because Merchant and Simonian are issuing the next radio release from the project, a quirky number called “Kangaroo Court”. Obviously, this is more about a proceeding gone wrong rather than our animal friend hopping about on the stand, but musically, it embodies the feel of both, jumping around from a synth line straight out of Mario Bros. to a heavier synth overlay to a brassy horn section with the thump of a memorable chorus: “Shut up, shut up, shut up/Sit up, sit up, sit up/It’s a kangaroo court.” It’s sonically similar to “Safe”, but I find it much more likable. It’s bound to repeat its success on the rockier side of radio, but the title might be a little out there to crossover, not that we should judge it by that alone. Plus, “Safe” is far from peaking there. They may be one of the more unusual breakouts in 2013, but the verdict’s looking good for them.

"Heart" of the chart.

“Heart” of the chart.

THE GRISWOLDS – “Heart Of A Lion”
Release Date: August 27 (Alternative)

With San Cisco breaking at Alternative radio with their song “Fred Astaire”, why not bring another group from Australia up with them to conquer the U.S.? The five-man group is originally from Sydney and formed last year, circulating in the blogosphere with a few promotional tracks before getting picking up for a record deal several months after. They ended up with Wind-Up Records (with some additional support by RED) and it appears they’ll now be making the rounds in the States with a single called “Heart Of A Lion”. It was released in their homeland in the fall of last year, but never charted. However, it’s done well in parts of Europe. Though they already have an EP out digitally, the song itself is not available yet to purchase – you’ll be able to get it from August 13, so says Amazon. Mixing the indie pop sound of Vampire Weekend with a dash of the punk rock vibrations of Green Day, they’ve created a track that’s tribal but is also familiar. They sing, “Heart of a lion, beating the drum/Fear of the hunted in his blood/The witch doctor is trying to smite you/So take the medicine that he gives you.” With the success of fun.‘s “Some Nights” and the recent gains by Bastille‘s “Pompeii”, all sharing a more primitive pulse, this song would fit right in there on playlists. It should draw a good audience, especially with the college crowd, who have already been receptive to their prior material. We’ll just have to wait and see how and if it roars onto the charts or not.

If this isn’t enough, look out for a new song by Cage The Elephant that will also be at radio next month, “Come A Little Closer”. Wild enough for you? Let me know which act/song is your favorite with a comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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The Royal Rankings: Rulers Of The Charts

Sovereigns of the singles chart.

Sovereigns of the singles survey.

There’s a celebration going on in the United Kingdom as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, welcomed a baby boy into the world on Monday. His name has not yet been revealed. The coverage of the event is continuing on all the major news networks, so, how can I ignore it? With a musical twist on the announcement, let’s look back at the royalty that made the charts, both in act name and in song title. They reigned over the charts for several decades, and now, the crown jewels are on display for music historians to gaze upon:

ACTS
Since the Hot 100 began in 1958, there have been eight acts to royally make the top 100 with their regal names. The majority of them were groups, with only one solo singer in the bunch:

BILLY JOE ROYAL: Georgia-born Royal had nine Hot 100 singles between 1965 and 1978 (with a number of near-misses), but the best known of them was his first, “Down In The Boondocks”. It went to #9 in 1965. He has also had a successful career on the Country charts in the mid-to-late 80’s.

ROYALTONES: The quintet out of Michigan made Billboard’s chart just twice, with their first single “Poor Boy” reaching the top 40 in the fall of 1958, going as high as #17. The second of the two was released in 1981 and didn’t go past #82. Several members struck big in other music acts.

THE “5” ROYALES: They were big on the R&B survey before the Hot 100 even existed. However, their only song to make the pop chart was “Dedicated To The One I Love”, a #81 single in 1961. It was bigger for both The Shirelles (#3, 1961) and The Mamas and The Papas (#2, 1967).

THE ROYALETTES: The girl group out of Maryland charted with the original version of “It’s Gonna Take A Miracle”, which later became a top ten single for Deniece Williams. Their version went to #41 in 1965. They made the Hot 100 once more before splitting apart a few years later.

THE ROYAL GUARDSMEN: The sextet from Florida scored big when they put a character from the popular Peanuts comic strip into their music. “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron” was hot seller during Christmas 1966, spending four weeks at #2. They had a total of seven singles make the chart.

THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: In the early 1980’s, the music industry decided the medleys were in again. As a result, “Hooked On Classics”, mixing together pieces by Bach, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky (among others) against a rhythmic beat was a hit, going to #10 in 1982.

THE ROYAL SCOTS DRAGOON GUARDS: Though their album initially bombed, their bagpipe-heavy version of the standard “Amazing Grace” spent five weeks at #1 in the United Kingdom. It climbed to #11 on the Hot 100. They had a handful of other charting singles in Europe, but none here.

THE ROYAL TEENS: The group out of New Jersey was best known for their 1958 hit, “Short Shorts”, which went to #3. You may know it as the song from the Nair commercials. After a minor top 40 followup, the group struggled on the national charts and its members went onto play in other groups.

SONGS
As for the noble song titles to capture the nation, they are fewer and far between. Only four have made the Hot 100, with one charting actively as I write this. Let’s see if you remember any of these:

“Her Royal Majesty”, James Darren (#6, 1962)
Actor and singer Darren was best known as Moondoggie in a series of Gidget films in the late 50’s and early 60’s, but he also charted with a string of ten singles on the Hot 100. “Majesty” was the second-biggest of them (#6) following “Goodbye Cruel World”, which went to #3 during the previous year. He last made the Billboard charts in 1977 and last recorded in 2001.

“Casino Royale”, Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass (#27, 1967)
From the film of the same name which portrayed James Bond (played by David Niven) in a more comical light, Alpert and his band provided this theme song, which played over the end credits of the film. It was a minor entry on the Hot 100, but it became the group’s second #1 on the then Easy Listening survey (now Adult Contemporary chart) for two weeks in length.

“The Royal Mile (Sweet Darlin’)”, Gerry Rafferty (#54, 1980)
Originally a member of the band Stealers Wheel, known for the big single “Stuck In The Middle With You”, Rafferty found even more success as a solo act with five top 40 singles in a row, including the #2 “Baker Street” from 1978. This was his last single to make the pop chart, featured on the album Snakes and Ladders. He passed away two years ago at the age of 63.

“Royals”, Lorde (#74+, 2013)
She’s only 16 years old, but she’s done a lot more than most 16-year-olds I can think of. Ella Yelich-O’Connor, known as Lorde, has a top-selling EP in The Love Club and this song, which went to #1 in her home country, New Zealand. It’s already up to #74 on the Hot 100 and is solidly in the top ten on Alternative radio. Look for it to dominate here in the U.S. this fall.

For more on the kings and queens of the music world, follow this palace of pop I call my blog down below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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