Monthly Archives: December 2013

Adam’s Top 100 of 2013: #2, fun. – “Carry On”

They don't call 'em mellow yellow.

Bad to the cone. (Hey, #2 of the year is pretty sweet.)

First Chart Entry: “We Are Young” (#1 for two weeks, 2012)
Biggest Hit To Date: “Carry On” (#1 for eight weeks, 2012-3)

#1 for eight weeks, 34 weeks in the top 40

Chart Run:

In The Mix entry date: September 9, 2012
Top 40 debut: October 14, 2012
First week at #1: December 2, 2012

Music Video:

When three local acts decided to split, one member of each formed a trio, and in 2008, that new act became fun., consisting of Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess. Even then, I bet they couldn’t have imagined what the last two years or so would’ve looked like for them, but they hit in a big way with huge hooks and a sound all their own. Their last of three #1’s in a row on my personal chart holds down the runner-up spot of my Top 100 of 2013.

“Carry On” was written by the three members and producer Jeff Bhasker, a song about persevering even when the moment is rough. Often compared to works by Guns N’ Roses and Queen for its anthemic feel and harder rock touch, it was a critical favorite and received much fan support both live and on sales and streaming. Thus, it was an easy choice to become the third single from Some Nights and did moderately well in territories like Canada and the U.S., where it went top 20. It also went top ten on several international airplay charts.

As seen above, “Carry On” entered into consideration for my chart on September 9 of last year, the same week that previous single “Some Nights” was spending its eighth and final frame at #1. As not to disrupt its run too quickly, “Carry” bubbled under my chart for about a month and then entered on October 14. It took just five weeks to go top ten and then hit #1 in its eighth week, also running a length of eight frames at the top. So, why is “Carry” their biggest hit when “Some” spent the same amount of time at #1? Well, “Carry” is farther ahead in points than “Some” ever totaled. “Carry” achieved a massive 21 weeks in the top ten and 29 in the top 20, which really built up its numbers.

I would also be remiss to not mention that the reason it had an extended run in the top 20 falling down the survey was, in part, due to the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, a really sad and tragic day for all of this around this area. During the manhunt for the two suspects and into the aftermath of it all, one of the local stations played a custom mix of “Carry On” with audio clips of victims, police officers and other witnesses to the event. I guess it served as a message that we all could, indeed, carry on and be Boston Strong in the face of such a horrific day. We move forward, but we never forget.

I also don’t think I’ll forget the impact that this band had on me with their second album, Some Nights. With three #1 singles in a row and a fourth top ten hit, they had one of the best debut eras in my chart’s history. I’m not sure if we’ll see the band in action on the charts again in 2014 as member Jack Antonoff and his band Bleechers will be releasing their debut album on RCA Records in the new year. Although, if it’s early enough, I think a Q4 surprise from the trio may just be an explosive. Until then, I think they’re doing quite alright. Well done, Andrew, Jack and Nate. It’s been another fun. year in music with you.

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Adam’s Top 100 of 2013: #3, Pink featuring Nate Ruess (of fun.) – “Just Give Me A Reason”

Just give me a #1.

Just give me a #1.

First Chart Entry for Pink: “There You Go” (#2, 2000)
Biggest Hit To Date: “So What” (#1 for six weeks, 2008)

First Chart Entry for Nate Ruess: “We Are Young” (fun.) (#1 for two weeks, 2012)
Biggest Hit To Date: “Carry On” (fun.) (#1 for eight weeks, 2012-3)

#1 for five weeks, 27 weeks in the top 40

Music Video:

The famous painter and sculptor Leonardo di Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” I think that’s well-suited to this entry on the countdown, the biggest collaboration on my chart this year. Not only was it simple and elegant, but it was a real work of art, carefully crafted and executed for maximum consumption. Pink and Nate Ruess, you done good, kids.

The #3 song of the year, “Just Give Me A Reason”, was co-written by the two singers, as well as producer Jeff Bhasker, one of driving forces behind fun.‘s breakout in 2012 with their Some Nights album. Initially conceived as a solo song during a songwriting session, Pink ultimately decided that song was offering two perspectives rather than just a singular view on a relationship, and she got the band frontman to take the co-lead on the song. After a demo was well received, the duet made the singer’s album, and when it was released back in September of that year, it was one of the tracks that showed early signs of public demand from strong download sales. Several months later, it was show time, and what a show it put on on the global stage.

After a slower-paced single in “Try”, there were some initial questions as to whether a pure piano-based ballad like “Reason” was the right choice for the third single from The Truth About Love, but those fears were put to rest when the song had an immediate reaction at radio. You literally just couldn’t escape it at one point. Not only was it a multi-format #1, topping the AC, Hot AC and CHR surveys, but it also topped the Hot 100 for three weeks. On my chart, it reigned for five frames: four in March in addition to the first week of April. Internationally, the song went to #1 in over a dozen countries, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Sweden and The Netherlands. Needless to say, it was the biggest success overall during a wonderful era, one that will be well-remembered by both fans and critics alike.

Looking back on 2013, I’d say the results for Pink and Nate Ruess were both pretty reasonable. Both have two songs in the top ten and took over the top spot on my countdown with two separate singles during the chart year. One for Mr. Ruess is still yet to come on the chart, and considering there’s only two positions left, you’ll be seeing where it lands tomorrow. Until then, “Carry On” and wait for the update!

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Adam’s Top 100 of 2013: #4, Olly Murs – “Troublemaker”

Olly olly oxen free.

Have an Olly Olly Christmas. (It’s the best time of the year!)

First Chart Entry: “Heart Skips A Beat” (#6, 2011)
Biggest Hit To Date:
“Troublemaker” (#1 for three weeks, 2013)

#1 for three weeks, 28 weeks in the top 40

Music Video:

After his In Case You Didn’t Know era delivered three consecutive top ten singles on my chart in 2011 and 2012, former X Factor U.K. runner-up Olly Murs had a lot to live up to when it came to his next era. Well, he and it did, to the point that he proved that, not third, but the fourth time was the charm when it came to topping even my personal tastes.

Murs achieved that feat when “Troublemaker” spent three weeks at #1 in January, which was concurrent with its overseas run. The song was co-written by Murs, Claude Kelly and producer Steve Robson. With a bouncy guitar-driven beat a la Maroon 5‘s “Misery”, this one was a no-brainer when it came to taking over my playlists. In fact, “Troublemaker” was one of five singles to make my top 40 this year from the original edition of Right Place Right Time; the other four were, in order of release, “Army Of Two” (#5), “Dear Darlin'” (#17), “Hey You Beautiful” (#23) and “Hand On Heart” (#35). That makes it his most successful year yet in terms of total number on entries and brings his chart history up to eight songs. I guess you could say that I knew he was trouble when he walked in (and I’m quite okay with that.)

After the disappointing results of the U.S. release of “Heart Skips A Beat”, which barely edged into the Hot 100, “Troublemaker” had a much easier time landing on station playlists, going top ten on the CHR airwaves. It also charted on a few other radio surveys during the late spring. That’s about the extent of what Murs has done here; the label recently gave up on a remixed version of “Dance With Me Tonight” after multiple delays, which earned some Hot AC play but couldn’t take off. It’s safe to assume that nothing else from the album will be promoted here, which is a shame as something like “Hey You Beautiful” would’ve at least ranked somewhere in the lower rungs nationally. Oh, well.

Murs is set to release his next studio album in mid-2014 in Europe; no word on what the Stateside promotion for it will look like if anything. Whatever the case, I’m ready for some more Jolly Olly fever. Be on the lookout, people.

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Adam’s Top 100 of 2013: #5, Bastille – “Pompeii”

Pomp up the jam.

Pomp up the jam.

First Chart Entry / Biggest Hit To Date: “Pompeii” (#1 for two weeks, 2013)

#1 for two weeks, 29+ weeks in the top 40

Music Video:

Oh, where do we begin? Let’s start here. Take a solo project, turn it into a band, get signed to Virgin Records and a few years down the line, you’re on top of the charts. It’s a little oversimplified, but it’s certainly not a bad progression for the British quartet Bastille, who dropped a historical hit on us this year in “Pompeii”.

The smash about the smashed up Roman city (thanks, Mount Vesuvius, we never liked you anyways) was written and co-produced by lead singer Dan Smith, as well as Mark Crew. With a distinctive sound and vocal, it’s no wonder it caught the attention of a lot of people during these past twelve months. However, you don’t see a lot of fourth singles becoming big hits after an initial string of underperforming releases, but that’s exactly what happened with this in the U.K., as it shot up to #2 during the spring. The tribal-meets-modern song then came onto my radar, leapt up my chart, and spent two weeks at #1 in August and September. It’s still descending on my top 40 and is just about to hit the 30 week mark.

In the U.S., like many British crossovers, the song has needed a little extra time to break out. It did manage to sneak in four weeks at #1 on Alternative radio in October and November and is now just crossing over to the mainstream formats. Looks like it’ll be huge into early 2014. A U.S. followup, the title track from Bad Blood, is now being worked at a few formats where “Pompeii” already peaked out. (“Bad Blood” originally went to #90 in the U.K. about a year and a half ago.)

Bastille may have just missed out on being this year’s Top Newcomer on my top 40, but they sure have a great future ahead of them. I’m sure you’ll be seeing their name all over my chart deep into 2014 to the point where you’ll question, “Does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all?” Congrats, guys!

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Adam’s Top 100 of 2013: #6, Passenger – “Holes”

Rosenbergs are red, violets are blue...

I sure fell into this one.

First Chart Entry / Biggest Hit To Date: “Let Her Go” (#1 for twelve weeks, 2013)

#1 for five weeks, 26+ weeks in the top 40

Music Video:

Can you dig it? I can dig it. No, we won’t be grazing in the grass for this entry in the countdown, but we may be crashing through craters and turning into some tunnels on the ride there. Call it a pit hit for the 29-year-old singer Passenger.

Born Mike Rosenberg in Brighton, England, he wrote and co-produced this second of his three songs on the chart, which was also co-produced by Chris Vallejo. You can find the original edit on his 2012 album All The Little Lights, ranked as my #2 album of this year. When serviced as a radio single, it was remixed with several added elements, including a prominent xylophone throughout the arrangement, a backing choir in the second verse and light strings during a repetition of choruses in the last 1/3 of the song. Yet, in any version, the best aspect of this song is the wordplay, which Rosenberg always does a fantastic job with. So, you’ll be able to find a hole in your pocket, your shirt, a promise, etc., but none in this post, of course.

With the immense attention “Let Her Go” received, “Holes” couldn’t garner the same reaction when released in Europe this year, especially when “Let” was still receiving consistent airplay and sales. It did crack the top 40 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland and The Netherlands, but unfortunately, it likely won’t be remembered down the line. Still, a charting song is a charting song. As for where I think this should’ve peaked globally, well, that’s a hole other story.

Mr. Rosenberg still has one song left to chart in my special year-end chart; how high will I let it go? You’ll find out very soon.

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Adam’s Top 100 of 2013: #7, Train – “Mermaid”

Water you waiting for?

Water you waiting for?

First Chart Entry: “Meet Virginia” (#6, 1999)
Biggest Hit To Date: “Drive By” (#1 for three weeks, 2012)

#1 for three weeks, 25 weeks in the top 40

Music Video:

The lovely locomotive lads opted for a shiny boat in their highest-charting song on this year’s countdown and washed up on a woman who tickled leader Pat Monahan‘s fancy. What can I say? It’s the classic buoy meets girl tale.

Riding the tide of their successful 2012 California 37 album, this third radio single from it was co-written by Monahan and songwriting teams Espionage and Stargate, with Espionage and Butch Walker co-producing the track. In a bit of a twist, this song was actually on the airwaves during the winter months, although I guess it was a helpful reminder that summer would eventually show its face. Its rise up the charts was about average, climbing to #1 in its thirteenth week on and spending the first three weeks of March in the top spot. (I first wrote about it in November 2012.) I can’t say I’ve heard it in regular rotation on the radio since it was a current on the charts, though the song remains a fan favorite.

“Mermaid” did very little outside of the States, and even in the U.S., it missed the Hot 100 by a few spots, peaking in the Bubbling Under. It did, however, become the band’s latest top 20 entry on the Hot Adult Contemporary survey, a streak that likely has a few more years left in it. After all, the band is still a hot touring act, Monahan has a popular weekly podcast and their music is still all over the place. This one may have gone overboard, but it wasn’t a total loss.

2013 was yet another great year for Train and I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings, including a new album due to be released in the third quarter. Stay tuned.

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: December 22, 2013

"Story" time.

Giving the chart “Life” once again.

40. Bastille – Bad Blood
39. Mayer Hawthorne – Reach Out Richard
38. Peter Thomas featuring Betty Who – All Of You | HIGHEST DEBUT

35. Karmin – I Want It All (40)
30. Grouplove – Shark Attack (35)
26. MAGIC! – Rude (33) | BIGGEST MOVER
24. Boy & Bear – Southern Sun (29)
19. Colbie Caillat – Hold On (25)

10. Gary Barlow – Let Me Go (11) | PEAK: #10
09. Daughtry – Waiting For Superman (08) | PEAK: #06
08. Christina Perri – Human (12) | PEAK: #08
07. American Authors – Best Day Of My Life (05) | PEAK: #01 for one week
06. The Fray – Love Don’t Die (07) | PEAK: #06
05. Bastille – Of The Night (06) | PEAK: #05
04. Passenger – The Wrong Direction (02) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks
03. The 1975 – Girls (03) | PEAK: #01 for one week
02. A Great Big World – Say Something (04) | PEAK: #02
01. One Direction – Story Of My Life (01) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Gary Barlow & Elton John – Face To Face (10)
2. Strange Talk – Climbing Walls (1)
3. Kes – Gimme Your Love (-)
4. Disclosure featuring Sam Smith – Latch (5)
5. Kodaline – Love Like This (2)
6. Cher – I Hope You Find It (4)
7. Keane – Won’t Be Broken (-)
8. James Blunt – Heart To Heart (-)
9. Gavin DeGraw – Make A Move (3)
10. Lea Michele – Cannonball (-)

In The Mix:
Bruno Mars – Young Girls
Crosses – The Epilogue
Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas – Instant Crush
Daughtry – Battleships
Delta Rae – Chasing Twisters (new)
Gabriel Rios – Gold
James Durbin – Parachute (new)
John Butler Trio – Only One
Los Lonely Boys – Don’t Walk Away
Mary Lambert – She Keeps Me Warm (new)
MKTO – God Only Knows
Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith – La La La
New Politics – Tonight You’re Perfect
OneRepublic – Burning Bridges
OneRepublic – I Lived (new)
Parade Of Lights – We’re The Kids
Passenger – All The Little Lights
Robbie Williams featuring Lily Allen – Dream A Little Dream
Sara Bareilles – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Live)
The Killers – Just Another Girl
The Wild After – Lesson Learned
twenty one pilots – House Of Gold
tyDi featuring Carmen Keigans – Live This Lie

Chart Notes:

  • Biggest Mover this week comes from newcomers MAGIC!, up 33-26 with their first hit, “Rude”. The quartet is originally from the Toronto area and are now based in Los Angeles. The song is currently charting in five countries, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. (My profile post on the group)
  • The Highest Debut this week is the first top 40 hit for two 22-year-old acts: producer and writer Peter Thomas and singer Betty Who. “All Of You” is available for free on Thomas’s SoundCloud account and enters this week at #38. Thomas hails from 45 minutes down the road from here via Route 146 in Rhode Island, while Who was born on the other side of the world in Australia.
  • His album ranked as my favorite of 2013; now, Mayer Hawthorne‘s fourth song to chart from it debuts at #39. A video recently premiered for “Reach Out Richard” using a series of GoPro cameras set at different angles, and those images from various Hawthorne shows were compiled into one video along with some home movies. The singer’s previous single, “Crime”, ranks at #25 this week.
  • Finally, at #40, is the fourth hit for the British quartet Bastille, and luckily enough, all four rank in the top 40 at the moment! That’s the first time that’s happened since 2006. “Bad Blood” was originally released in the U.K. last year, and now, it’s the second U.S. single from the album of the same name. I guess that means things aren’t so “bad” at all. Look for it at Alternative radio early next year.
  • Check back for my year-end chart continuing for a few more days and catch up on what you’ve missed by clicking the “Adam’s Top 100 of 2013” tab at right.

(See my full chart on the M4BCC message board)

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