Monthly Archives: January 2014

RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (February 2014)

If you follow the radio charts like I do, you’ll want to be on top of only the freshest music being serviced across the nation. So, I’m bringing back an early PGTC feature with a bit of a revamp. With this monthly series, I’ll be highlighting some great tracks at a few different radio formats I enjoy that will be fighting for airspace over the next few months. So, what are we waiting for? Let the battles begin.

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Play that Punky music.

Doin’ it Daftly.

DAFT PUNK – “Give Life Back To Music” (February 4) (*)
Label: Columbia
They are, in fact, the champions, my friends. With five wins at the recent GRAMMY Awards, it’s no wonder that Columbia Records is issuing a third CHR single from the Album Of The Year, Random Access Memories. However,  without the aid of Pharrell Williams, does it stand a chance to live that chart “Life”? We’ll see.


A perfect match and “Latch”.

DISCLOSURE featuring SAM SMITH – “Latch” (February 4) (*)
Label: Cherrytree/Interscope
You may know Smith from his collaboration with Naughty Boy, “La La La”, which is taking off nicely on the CHR charts after a few adds dates. Brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence are behind EDM act Disclosure, who charted with this in the U.K. in 2012, reaching the #11 spot. It should be at least a minor hit at the format.

"Still Into" rocking out.

Girls just want to have “Fun”.

PARAMORE – “Ain’t It Fun” (February 4) (*)
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Roadrunner
After crashing the CHR top ten last year with their first song to do so, “Still Into You”, the Nashville trio goes to radio with this funky track with some lyrical edge. Don’t forget to check out the music video as well; the band tries to break ten world records in the clip. Let the vinyl smashing and screaming out of the car begin.


Flyin’ like an eagle.

BIRDY – “Skinny Love” (February 11) (**)
Label: Atlantic
About three weeks ago, I wrote this post about this track‘s second run at U.S. radio, which is now hovering around the #40 position on the Alternative survey. Though the Bon Iver remake is now going on three years old, it’s still new to the audience here, and will likely found a nice home thanks to other softer releases as of late.


A Rae of light at the end of the month.

HOT CHELLE RAE – “Don’t Say Goodnight” (February 25) (*)
Label: RCA
Here’s a band going from “Tonight Tonight” to “Goodnight”. If the lineup looks different, it’s because bassist Ian Keaggy left the group last year shortly after they released a single “Hung Up”, which attracted a little radio play. Now, with another single off their forthcoming album, the three guys are ready to party once again.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

Don't call him Casper.

Don’t call him Casper.

JEREMY MESSERSMITH – “Ghost” (February 4) (**)
Label: Glassnote
The performer originally born in South Carolina has been recording independently since 2006, but his forthcoming Heart Murmurs album, due on Tuesday, will be his first for Glassnote Records. An album track, “Tourniquet”, was released for free in advance of the effort. I liked the sound of that and this single is also really solid.

Preachin' to the choir.

Preachin’ to the choir.

PANIC! AT THE DISCO – “This Is Gospel” (February 4) (*)
Label: Roadrunner
This trio is currently on tour in support of their Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! album, a #2 on the Billboard 200. While “Miss Jackson” keeps up its run on the CHR airwaves just inside the top 50, the group is moving onto “Gospel”, which charted as a promotional single last summer. A video was also commissioned for it.

"Young" at chart.

“Young” at chart.

BRETT DENNEN – “When We Were Young” (February 11) (**)
Label: F-Stop/Atlantic
For those folks who enjoy folk music, 34-year-old Dennen is still promoting his album released last year, Smoke and Mirrors, which produced a #6 AAA hit in “Wild Child” in November. His ode to nostalgia has a poppy feel to it with a great set of lyrics. However, my favorite from him is 2008’s “Make You Crazy” with Femi Kuti.

Abracadabra, it's a hit.

Abracadabra, it’s a hit.

MAGIC MAN – “Paris” (February 11) (*)
Label: Columbia
I’m proud to say that these five guys and gals are a local act, originally from Boston, MA. Their debut EP, You Are Here, was released back in September. The song is currently just below the top 40 at Alternative and a handful of adds may raise it higher during the month. Their dreamy synth-heavy sound is worth more play.

This "No" is a yes.

This “No” is a yes.

CHET FAKER – “No Diggity” (February 25) (**)
Label: Downtown
Yes, that would be a hot Blackstreet cover that’s all sorts of groovy and particularly unique. Last year around this time, Faker’s remake was featured in a beer commercial during the Super Bowl, but it was never serviced for airplay despite the large placement. 12 months later, can the record actually do anything? I sure hope so.

Which track(s) would you like to see do well from the list above? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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REWIND: The Leader Of The Pac-Man

Drivin' them crazy.

Drivin’ them crazy.


With a reliance on synth-pop and programmed parts in a lot of mainstream music today, you’d think artists and producers were playing video games while creating hit songs. There’s a certain musicality about it that some acts really like. In fact, music and video games really go hand in hand, especially now that well-known musicians have a much greater role in the content. However, there was one such case where a landmark video game, one that took in billions of dollars in both game play and additional merchandise, made the final leap and became the subject of a top ten hit in early 1982 thanks to one of the earlier uses of sampling. From the joystick to a joyride up the charts, this is Buckner & Garcia with “Pac-Man Fever”.

Pac-Man, of course, is the famous arcade game and the name of the game’s title character, who zips around a maze looking to eat up a series of pac-dots and the occasional cherry before the four colorful enemies attack. First introduced in Japan in the spring of 1980, it made its way to the U.S. by the fall of the same year and became one of the most recognizable figures in video game history. Heavy sales were almost immediate, both by individual players in arcades and those who desired units for personal use. Chances are you’ve probably played it or some variation of it, like Ms. Pac-Man or Super Pac-Man.

It was also in 1980 that Buckner & Garcia first cracked the Hot 100 with a Christmas record. “Merry Christmas In The NFL” was the title, credited to Willis The Guard & Vigorish, and it spent a week at #82 on the chart dated December 27, 1980. The song imitated sports journalist Howard Cosell as Santa Claus with a chorus of cheerleaders, which Cosell didn’t particularly like, though the shelf life of the song was obviously limited. However, bigger things were on the horizon for the twosome, who had been together and recording since the 1960’s. With that arcade game on the brain, they hit the jackpot.

Today, January 30, back in 1982, “Pac-Man Fever” rose from 45-38 on the Hot 100, becoming the duo’s first and only top 40 single. It would peak at #9 for two weeks in March and April on the Hot 100 and slowly descended (for the time) down the top 40. (Billboard had adopted a policy in February 1982 which led to an overwhelming amount of stall-outs followed by sharp falls.) “Fever” also peaked at #7 on the Cashbox Singles Chart, a leading competitor to Billboard at the time, but it’s noticeably absent from the airplay archives compiled by Radio & Records, which like Cashbox is now defunct. Either the song was under-reported, or it was primarily attaining points from sales and jukebox rotations. Nevertheless, the song was a hit; it was certified Gold and parent album Pac-Man Fever (featuring other video game themed songs) also went Gold.

After that sudden breakout success in the spring of 1982, it was inevitable that the duo was to remain a one-hit wonder with their novelty track. Follow-up single “Do The Donkey Kong” just missed the Hot 100 by a few spots (#103) a few months later. No other singles charted from their debut effort, though the two musicians continued writing for other artists and for commercial jingles for the next few decades. They also recorded a few new original tunes along the way. Gary Garcia passed away in the fall of 2011, but with the help of writer and producer Jamie Houston, he and Jerry Buckner completed a song credited to the duo, “Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph”, a theme song for the principal character of the 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph.

For more chart action faster than a hunt for cherries, keep it locked on PGTC and follow the blog on social media via the “Get Social!” tab.

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BEHIND THE GROOVE: A “Nu” Sound For Austin Mahone

MMMusical samplings galore.

MMMusical samplings galore.

Were you watching the GRAMMY Awards on Sunday night? You may have noticed a commercial in-between starring singer Austin Mahone for Aquafina FlavorSplash, a new line of flavored waters from the beverage company. The song featured in it is “MMM Yeah”, featuring rapper Pitbull, his now fifth radio single from an album that has yet to be released, Junior Year. While he and his friends are magically transformed into a colorful CGI soundstage in that 30 second clip, the song has been magically lighting up the music world thanks to the performer’s usual pre-order setup and, of course, a rabid fan base.

After being released on Sunday morning and reaching #2 on the overall iTunes singles chart, it’s falling down thanks to the GRAMMY effect on several acts who won big awards, but a decent week at CHR radio with a few key medium and large market adds will help sustain its chart life through the spring. (I think.) However, as a composition itself, “Yeah” is built around a pretty memorable song from the early 90’s, though I’m guessing that the majority of his fans weren’t even born when the song was active. That’s pretty depressing. Let’s go Behind The Groove and hone in on what Mahone’s cooking:

The sample:
“Nu Nu”, Lidell Townsell (1992) (PEAK: #26, Hot 100)
Townsell was a Chicago-based dance and house act, first recording in the late 80’s for local label Trax Records to some success. In 1991, he signed to Mercury, who released a full-length album the next year, Harmony. First single “Get With U” was a minor pop (#78) and more significant dance (#4) hit, but it was this second single that managed to pick up a little more action. Featuring the duo M.T.F., “Nu” reached #26 on Billboard’s big survey and crossed over to R&B radio with a minor peak of #44. However, it was even bigger in the clubs than “Get”, going as high as #2 on the Dance/Club Play chart, which led to strong physical sales of the single in both 12″ vinyl and maxi CD form. With a simple arrangement and a focus primarily on the lead vocals, it definitely made an impact, and perhaps even influenced some house tracks going forward.

Covered and sampled by:
“Nu” hasn’t totally been ignored by those producers and writers out there, but of the few songs that have actually sampled it, none went on to be an overwhelming success. Most prominently, the New York quintet Fannypack, who achieved a little bit of CHR airplay in 2003 with the song “Cameltoe”, sampled the song and retitled it as “Nu Nu (Yeah Yeah)” in 2005 on Tommy Boy Records. Like the original, its most notable run was on the Dance/Club Play chart, where it peaked at #29 during an 8-week ride. The airplay numbers on it were non-existent, which is more like a “no no” rather than a “yeah yeah”.

This short history leads us to…

“MMM Yeah”, Austin Mahone featuring Pitbull (2014)
…and back to the current hit, which if you haven’t heard already, you can listen to above. If you’re familiar with “Nu Nu”, you know that “MMM Yeah” interpolates the entire first verse and the chorus (roughly about the first 45 seconds), with a slight variation in the melody of the latter section. (The first verse is utilized as a bridge and/or pre-chorus here.) Of course, “Yeah” also sounds a lot like a prior Pitbull hit, “Don’t Stop The Party”, which peaked early last year. Originality doesn’t run very far with this new single. Nevertheless, if a hit is meant to be a hit, radio will serve it and the sales will continue on.

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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PROFILE: Royal Wood Finds “Forever” On Latest Single

We'll never be royals... but he will.

We’ll never be royals… but he will.


He’s been kicking it in the music industry for more than a decade and, knock on Wood, a major breakthrough is in the cards for Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist Royal Wood. The former business major and graduate of McGill University in Montreal put out his first EP in 2003, but it’s just now that Wood is bursting onto the Canadian airwaves with a sweet and catchy love song just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Forever And Ever”. Already top 40 at the Hot AC format and top 30 on AC, it’s catching on and is on course to keep building in the next few months. I think he’s destined for even more than that.

Born into a musical family, the Petersborough, Ontario born performer was already playing the piano at a young age, and through practice and time acquired the skill to play the bass, clarinet, drums, guitar and trumpet. That’s quite a selection. In college, Wood found himself playing at jazz clubs and then self-releasing his own material before being picked up by the independently-owned MapleMusic. That led to his first full-length album, the well-praised Tall Tales in 2004. He continued creating music over the next few years, began licensing his catalogue to television, and all’s been going up since that point.

With a total of seven EPs and full-length albums to date behind him now, he’s no newcomer to the scene. In fact, in 2011, he was nominated for a Juno Award for Songwriter Of The Year based off of songs from his 2010 album The Waiting. National Canadian radio network CBC Radio 2 has championed his material and video channel MuchMusic has also featured clips from him in the past. This time around, however, it’s been Bell Media and their chain of radio stations that are helping to back “Forever”. Since the beginning of this year, 10 of the 19 stations from the group across those two radio panels have added the song into light and moderate rotation, including larger markets like Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. It’s a hit!

Should the performer make it to the U.S. later this year, “Forever” would find a nice home at the same Stateside AC and Hot AC formats, as well as the more independent AAA airwaves. Taken only at its surface level, it’s a song with a simple message backed with a sonically pleasing folk-pop arrangement, a perfect fit given the musical atmosphere at the moment, but it also has a lot of heart. There’s something so deeply pure about it that you can’t help but be content and clap along to the beat. Promotion company DMD Entertainment is staying on top of the record up there; we’ll have to see just how far this can go.

Wood’s forthcoming album, The Burning Bright, will be released on March 18 in his native Canada and the singer has tour dates planned up north through mid-February and then again in the late spring and early summer. Be sure to check his official website for specific locations and ticket purchasing information. He also recently announced a deal with the small Toy Town Records for his latest releases in the United Kingdom. However, Canada will remain the focus market for now.

Just one song can change a career and this could be the moment. “Forever” lives up to that timeless feel of falling in love and rush of finding the perfect someone; now, finding the right opportunities will seal the deal for this song’s future.

(Download “Forever And Ever” on iTunes)(Discover other releases from Royal Wood on iTunes)

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: GRAMMY Winners + What’s New In Stores This Week (January 28)


Play that Punky music.

Music’s Biggest Night gave us some amazing performances and some huge winners racking up the Awards, but let’s not forget, we do have a few albums and singles keeping things fresh this week. Here are all the big GRAMMY surges and new releases you need to know about for January 28:

  • ALBUM / RECORD OF THE YEAR: Daft Punk took home five statutes last night, the most of any act there. Two were for the #2 hit “Get Lucky” (iTunes), featuring Pharrell Williams, including Record Of The Year, while parent album Random Access Memories (iTunes) accumulated the other three, including Album Of The Year.
  • SONG OF THE YEAR: 17-year-old Lorde beat out a lot of musical heavyweights for this year’s Song Of The Year, “Royals” (iTunes). The multi-format #1 song was also a winner for Best Solo Pop Performance and comes from album Pure Heroine (iTunes).
  • BEST NEW ARTIST: In addition to their win in the Big Four, duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis also took three out of the four Rap categories, including Rap Performance and Song for “Thrift Shop” (iTunes), featuring Wanz, and Best Rap Album for The Heist (iTunes). They’ll certainly be able to buy some more new threads soon.
  • Other records reacting well to last night’s show include: Beyoncé‘s self-titled effort (iTunes), Bruno Mars‘s Unorthodox Jukebox (iTunes), Imagine Dragons‘s Night Visions (iTunes) and Kacey Musgraves‘s Same Trailer Different Park (iTunes). Of course, you can also download the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album (iTunes), featuring a nice selection of songs from all different genres.
  • Of this week’s selections, you can check out Casting Crowns‘s Thrive (iTunes), Dave Barnes‘s Golden Days (iTunes), David Crosby‘s Croz (iTunes), Of Mice And Men‘s Restoring Force (iTunes), Red Dragon Cartel‘s self-titled album (iTunes) and Smith & Myers (from Shinedown)’s Acoustic Sessions (EP) (iTunes).

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

  • “Find You”, a collaboration between Zedd and vocalists Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant. (iTunes)
  • “Girls”, a new single from Jennifer Lopez. (iTunes)
  • “Into The Blue”, the first single from Kylie Minogue‘s forthcoming album. (iTunes)
  • “Invisible”, the first single from Hunter Hayes‘s forthcoming album. (iTunes)
  • “I Want It All”, the latest from swag pop duo Karmin. (iTunes)
  • “MMM Yeah”, a new track from teen singer Austin Mahone and rapper Pitbull. (iTunes)
  • “Radioactive”, a big hit from Imagine Dragons in a new remix with Kendrick Lamar following their GRAMMY performance. (iTunes)

Next week, we’ll look at new albums from Toni Braxton & Babyface, Broken Bells, Eric Paslay and more. See you in seven!

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: January 26, 2014

Playing for Ceeps.

Ceeps gettin’ better.

40. One Direction – Midnight Memories
39. Shane Filan – Knee Deep In My Heart
37. The 1975 – Settle Down | HIGHEST DEBUT

30. Max Frost – White Lies (35)
28. Foster The People – Coming Of Age (34)
18. Neon Trees – Sleeping With A Friend (26) | BIGGEST MOVER — two weeks
15. Bastille – Bad Blood (21)
08. Grouplove – Shark Attack (13)

10. A Great Big World – Say Something (08) | PEAK: #02
09. Boy & Bear – Southern Sun (09) | PEAK: #09
08. Grouplove – Shark Attack (13) | PEAK: #08
07. Gary Barlow – Let Me Go (05) | PEAK: #05
06. One Direction – Story Of My Life (04) | PEAK: #01 for three weeks
05. MAGIC! – Rude (07) | PEAK: #05
04. Fitz & The Tantrums – The Walker (06) | PEAK: #04
03. The Fray – Love Don’t Die (03) | PEAK: #03
02. Bastille – Of The Night (02) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks
01. Christina Perri – Human (01) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. The Vamps – Can We Dance? (2)
2. Eric Hutchinson – Tell The World (-)
3. James Durbin – Parachute (3)
4. Disclosure featuring Sam Smith – Latch (1)
5. Mary Lambert – She Keeps Me Warm (4)
6. Royal Wood – Forever And Ever (-)
7. Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith – La La La (7)
8. KONGOS – Come With Me Now (-)
9. Sara Bareilles – I Choose You (-)
10. MKTO – God Only Knows (8)

In The Mix:
Bastille – Flaws
Birdy – Skinny Love
Chet Faker – No Diggity
Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas – Instant Crush
Daughtry – Battleships
HAIM – Forever
Hudson Taylor – Weapons (new)
Jared & The Mill – Breathe Me In
John Butler Trio – Only One
John Newman – Out Of My Head (new)
Kylie Minogue – Into The Blue (new)
Lo-Fang – When We’re Fire
Los Lonely Boys – Don’t Walk Away
Magic Man – Paris
needtobreathe – The Heart
New Politics – Tonight You’re Perfect
OneRepublic – I Lived
Paloma Faith featuring Pharrell Williams – Can’t Rely On You
Tegan & Sara – Drove Me Wild (new)

Chart Notes:

  • Baby, there’s a shark in the water… so said V.V. Brown in her only hit to date, the #1 “Shark In The Water” from 2010. Well, don’t go in the water because the beast is looking for another bite. Grouplove rides a wave up from 13-8 with “Shark Attack”, their third top ten hit in a row. The quintet is now looking for their second #1; “Tongue Tied” spent two weeks at the top back in 2012.
  • The Biggest Mover for the second week in a row belongs to “Sleeping With A Friend” by Neon Trees. It launched from 39-26 last week, and climbs from 26-18 this week. As far as friendly titles goes, the biggest pop pal in my chart’s history is “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C; it rose to #2 in the early summer of 2000.
  • This week’s Highest Debut enters at #37 this week, which lands British indie rockers The 1975 their third top 40 hit, “Settle Down”. Their two previous singles were the #2 “Chocolate” and a recent #1 for a week, “Girls”. The title of their latest entry has been in the countdown twice before in 2012: in the spring, it peaked at #30 for Kimbra, and in the summer, it rose to #9 for No Doubt. No one settled for anything less than an original tune in each instance.
  • 34-year-old Irish singer Shane Filan is back with his second solo single to reach my chart, “Knee Deep In My Heart”, debuting at #39. Last September, “Everything To Me” rose to #34. Filan was previously a member of the quintet turned quartet Westlife, one of the top-selling boy bands across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Two of their songs made my top 40, “Swear It Again” in 2000 and “World Of Our Own” in 2002.
  • Finally, at #40, is the latest single from One Direction. “Midnight Memories” is the title song from their latest full-length effort and follow-up to “Story Of My Life”, which is still in my top ten. A clip for the song premieres on Friday. “Midnight” is the band’s tenth charting hit since 2011.

(See my full chart on the M4BCC message board)

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: January 26, 2003

This chart's in sync.

This chart’s in sync.

Welcome back for another edition of Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Now, time to relive the awkwardness that was seventh grade. It was a weird year, let’s just leave it at that. However, on the musical side of things, here’s a look at my top 40 from January 26, 2003:

40. CELINE DION, “I Drove All Night”
39. DANIEL BEDINGFIELD, “If You’re Not The One”
36. THE DONNAS, “Take It Off”
34. 50 CENT, “In Da Club”

Biggest Mover:
BOOMKAT, “The Wreckoning” (40-30) (10 spots)

After polarizing pop radio with her “Dirrty” track, which peaked at #2 on my own chart, Aguilera released this ballad with the Linda Perry touch and all was forgiven. Coming off a three-week run at #1, this was her last solo chart-topper to date. All five of the single releases from her 2002 album Stripped ranked in my top 5, which remains her biggest album in terms of total number of entries.

09. JOHN MAYER, “Your Body Is A Wonderland”
There was “No Such Thing” as one-hit wonder status for Mayer (see what I did there?) as the second single from Room For Squares took shape as a moderate radio hit. He wrote the song about his first girlfriend at age 14 and it was initially titled “Strawberry Wonderland” before the change to its published title. The performer’s had his ups and downs on the charts — he last made mine in 2012.

08. PUDDLE OF MUDD, “She Hates Me”
In 2001, the Missouri rockers began a run of big hits on the Alternative chart, including the 2002 crossover hit “Blurry”. By 2003, they found themselves with another rocker on the pop airwaves, an angsty anthem about songwriter (and one-time band member) Jimmy Allen’s ex-girlfriend at the time. “Hates” got as high as #2 on my survey, which remains their biggest and last song to enter.

07. JC CHASEZ, “Blowin’ Me Up (With Her Love)”
After *NSYNC‘s hiatus in the summer of 2002, its two lead singers went solo. Justin Timberlake will be coming up later on the countdown, but at #7 was the first solo hit for Chasez, first featured on the soundtrack to the movie Drumline and then on solo album Schizophrenic. This was his biggest solo chart hit, peaking at #6 the next week, while fourth single “Build My World” went to #13.

06. COUNTING CROWS featuring VANESSA CARLTON, “Big Yellow Taxi”
Originally recorded and released in 1970 by singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, “Yellow” charted under three different acts including Mitchell (as well as The Neighborhood in 1970 and Amy Grant in 1995) before touching the radio airwaves in this duet version. A big single on the Hot AC survey, it was also one of their last CHR hits, and racked up a few weeks in the runner-up slot on my top 40.

05. DIXIE CHICKS, “Landslide”
Back-to-back remakes in the countdown, although this one was about to experience a plunge on the national charts several weeks later after lead singer Natalie Maines made her infamous comments about President Bush. The Fleetwood Mac cover was their one song to crossover to CHR radio thanks to a remix by Sheryl Crow. On my list, it peaked at #4 for two weeks in February before falling.

He could be picking up a few GRAMMY statuettes tomorrow night, that is, if he actually attends the show. (He reportedly turned down an invite to perform on it.) “River” was inspired by Timberlake’s relationship with pop star Britney Spears, and the music video went so far as to cast a look-alike in it. Whatever side you’re on, we can all agree it was a hit, and that’s not worth shedding any tears over.

03. AVRIL LAVIGNE, “I’m With You”
She was all of 18 years old when this was a hit, but the Canadian born singer was having a monster debut album with Let Go after two #1 singles on my chart, “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi”. This single was as its peak. Unfortunately, the performer hasn’t exactly shed her teenage image since and her peaks have suffered: her last leadoff single, 2013’s “Here’s To Never Growing Up”, just missed my top ten.

02. JENNIFER LOPEZ featuring LL COOL J, “All I Have”
This was her… then. The R&B duet from the Bronx native’s last multi-Platinum album to date was another big hit, and the two worked so well together that in 2006, they teamed up again on the rapper’s hit, “Control Myself”. Lopez is currently teasing a promo single from her forthcoming album titled “Same Girl” and judging along with Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban on TV’s American Idol.

01. GOOD CHARLOTTE, “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous”
2003 was a big year for this pop punk band, just a few months after the release of their second album, The Young And The Hopeless. There was one particular girl in my grade who had a huge crush on the two brothers, Benji and Joel Madden. I’m guessing she was over them by the time high school started. Anyways, the quintet had three top ten singles on my survey during the era, this one spending four weeks at #1. Only one single from their next album charted, “Predictable” (#17), and they haven’t been on since 2004.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Retro

GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for The Big Four

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day.

As you may remember, I did my predictions for who was going to be nominated for the Big Four way back in October. As it turns out, I wasn’t 100% right, not that I was expecting to be. (For the record, I wasn’t 100% wrong either.) So, for the final GRAMMY Week post, let’s deal with the actual nominations and see who I think will be taking home the night’s top prizes at the big show!

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)


“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Radioactive”, Imagine Dragons
Alex Da Kid, producer; Manny Marroquin & Josh Mosser, engineers/mixers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer

“Royals”, Lorde
Joel Little, producer; Joel Little, engineer/mixer; Stuart Hawkes, mastering engineer

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Mark Ronson & The Smeezingtons, producers; Alalal, Josh Blair, Wayne Gordon, Ari Levine, Manny Marroquin & Mark Ronson, engineers/mixers; David Kutch, mastering engineer

“Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell
Pharrell, producer; Andrew Coleman & Tony Maserati, engineers/mixers; Chris Gehringer, mastering engineer

PREDICTION: I think the general consensus is that “Blurred Lines” has the best shot of winning this category. It was the biggest song of last year and gave Robin Thicke his biggest hit ever on the charts. However, I’m more inclined to think that “Get Lucky” is going to take this category and give Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers a big thrill. It was a slick and catchy summer hit and makes the French duo and American producer/singer my big winners of the night.


The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles, Mark Endert & John O’Mahony, producers; Jeremy Darby, Mark Endert & John O’Mahony, engineers/mixers; Greg Calbi, mastering engineer

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Julian Casablancas, DJ Falcon, Todd Edwards, Chilly Gonzales, Giorgio Moroder, Panda Bear, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams & Pharrell Williams, featured artists; Thomas Bangalter, Julian Casablancas, Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, DJ Falcon & Todd Edwards, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta, Guillaume Le Braz & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityKendrick Lamar
Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Drake, Jay Rock, Jay Z, MC Eiht & Anna Wise, featured artists; DJ Dahi, Hit-Boy, Skhye Hutch, Just Blaze, Like, Terrace Martin, Dawaun Parker, Pharrell, Rahki, Scoop DeVille, Sounwave, Jack Splash, Tabu, Tha Bizness, THC & T-Minus, producers; Derek Ali, Dee Brown, Andrew Coleman, Dr. Dre, James Hunt, Mauricio ‘Veto”” Iragorri, Mike Larson, Jared Scott, Jack Splash & Andrew Wright, engineers/mixers; Mike Bozzi & Brian ‘Big Bass”” Gardner, mastering engineers

The HeistMacklemore & Ryan Lewis
Ab-Soul, Ben Bridwell, Ray Dalton, Eighty4 Fly, Hollis, Mary Lambert, Baffalo Madonna, Evan Roman, Schoolboy Q, Allen Stone, The Teaching & Wanz, featured artists; Ryan Lewis, producer; Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis, Amos Miller, Reed Ruddy & Pete Stewart, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne & Brian Gardner, mastering engineers

Red, Taylor Swift
Gary Lightbody & Ed Sheeran, featured artists; Jeff Bhasker, Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff, Jacknife Lee, Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift, Butch Walker & Dan Wilson, producers; Joe Baldridge, Sam Bell, Matt Bishop, Chad Carlson, Nathan Chapman, Serban Ghenea, John Hanes, Sam Holland, Michael Ilbert, Tyler Johnson, Jacknife Lee, Steve Marcantonio, Manny Marroquin, Justin Niebank, John Rausch, Eric Robinson, Pawel Sek, Jake Sinclair, Mark “”Spike”” Stent & Andy Thompson, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne & Hank Williams, mastering engineers

PREDICTION: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s name has been tossed around a bit for the win here, but I’m not sure if the whole effort appeals to the committee. (I do think Best New Artist is theirs, however.) The most successful both on the Billboard 200 and on my own personal chart is Taylor Swift‘s Red, which I’m pegging as the winner. She may have won four years ago for Fearless, but she’s certainly grown since then, and scored major pop and country hits from this album.


“Just Give Me A Reason”, Pink featuring Nate Ruess
Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters

“Roar”, Katy Perry
Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters

“Royals”, Lorde
Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Same Love”, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters

PREDICTION: Much like the huge Gotye and Kimbra duet of last year’s ceremony, “Somebody That I Used To Know”, Pink and Nate Ruess seems like a strong enough team to pull off double duty at this year’s show with Song of the Year, as well as Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Just Give Me A Reason”. Bruno Mars and Lorde will certainly stand their ground against the beautiful ballad, but “Reason” is such a timeless record that it will sway a lot of voters to get on its side.


James Blake (Day In The Life)
Kendrick Lamar (Day In The Life)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (DITL video not available) (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Kacey Musgraves (Day In The Life)
Ed Sheeran (Day In The Life)

PREDICTION: This year’s pack, as many people have stated, is out of whack; what can you do? Of the five, the easiest choice for me is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who have four solid hits now and will likely produce a big second album. Ed Sheeran will too, but he would’ve made sense as a winner last year. Kacey Musgraves and Kendrick Lamar likely don’t stand a chance; however, James Blake could always be the Esperanza Spalding of this year. You never know!

Watch to see how I did with my picks on Sunday night when the GRAMMY Awards air! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Dance/Pop Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Let’s go for the Dance and Pop fields, shall we?

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

5. Best Pop Solo Performance

Brave”, Sara Bareilles
“Royals”, Lorde (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“When I Was Your Man”, Bruno Mars
“Roar”, Katy Perry
“Mirrors”, Justin Timberlake

PREDICTION: Difficult decision right here. “Brave” and “Roar” will probably cancel each other out (if only Bareilles and Perry would do a medley on GRAMMY night!) A safer choice would be Bruno Mars‘s “When I Was Your Man”; it’s a classic ballad.

6. Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Just Give Me A Reason”, Pink featuring Nate Ruess
“Stay”, Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko
“Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell
“Suit & Tie”, Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z

PREDICTION: This is tough too. Looks like we’re going to have another year where the winner of this category also wins one of the Big Four, whether it’s “Blurred Lines”, “Get Lucky” or “Just Give Me A Reason”. I’m going with the Pink and Nate Ruess duet.

7. Best Pop Instrumental Album

Steppin’ Out, Herb Alpert (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
The Beat, Boney James
Handpicked, Earl Klugh
Summer Horns, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair & Richard Elliot
Hacienda, Jeff Lorber Fusion

PREDICTION: Again, this isn’t my best area of expertise, but I know a lot of these names from the occasional look at the Jazz survey. A version of “Puttin’ On The Ritz” from Alpert’s album just got serviced to AC radio; it could be a sign that this this one is his.

8. Best Pop Vocal Album

ParadiseLana Del Rey
Pure HeroineLorde
Unorthodox JukeboxBruno Mars (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke
The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience, Justin Timberlake

PREDICTION: Believe it or not, this is the only category in which Justin Timberlake‘s album is nominated for. Is that some major shade on the Academy’s part? Yet, the biggest album of last year has to win something, right? It would only seem fair to me.

9. Best Dance Recording

“Need U (100%)”Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK
Adam Dyment & Tommy Forrest, producers and mixers

“Sweet Nothing”, Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
Harris, producer and mixer

“Atmosphere”, Kaskade
Finn Bjarnson & Ryan Raddon, producers; Raddon, mixer

“This Is What It Feels Like”, Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie
Armin Van Buuren & Benno De Goeij, producers and mixers

“Clarity”, Zedd featuring Foxes
Zedd, producer and mixer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: With no Skrillex in the mix (and no Al Wasser, thank God), this category is probably going to go back to one of the bigger hits of the bunch, most likely “Clarity” or “Sweet Nothing”. Of the two, I prefer the Calvin Harris and Florence Welch song.

10. Best Dance/Electronica Album

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
18 MonthsCalvin Harris
A Color Map Of The SunPretty Lights

PREDICTION: There was no bigger Dance album in 2013 than Random Access Memories. Daft Punk didn’t just get lucky; they knocked it out of the park. The critical acclaim of Disclosure will keep it in the running, but the French duo will likely take it.

11. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Viva DuetsTony Bennett and Various Artists
To Be Loved, Michael Bublé (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
The StandardsGloria Estefan
Cee Lo’s Magic MomentCee Lo Green
NowDionne Warwick

PREDICTION: This category is usually a two horse race between Bennett and Bublé, and because the Canadian crooner didn’t win last year for his Christmas album, I think Michael Bublé is overdue for yet another win here. “It’s A Beautiful Day” indeed.

67. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

Annie UpPistol Annies
Chuck Ainlay, engineer; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

The Blue RoomMadeleine Peyroux
Helik Hadar & Leslie Ann Jones, engineers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer

The Devil Put Dinosaurs HereAlice In Chains
Paul Figueroa & Randy Staub, engineers; Ted Jensen, mastering engineer

…Like ClockworkQueens Of The Stone Age
Joe Barresi & Mark Rankin, engineers; Gavin Lurssen, mastering engineer

The MooringsAndrew Duhon
Trina Shoemaker, engineer; Eric Conn, mastering engineer

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert, Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I don’t know a ton about this category, but the winners in past years have been a real mix of commercial releases and some lesser-known works. Though I’m placing Daft Punk for the win here, it could essentially be any one of these six.

68. Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I love Rob Cavallo and would be thrilled to see him win this category, but 2013 was clearly the year of Pharrell Williams, both as a producer and singer, and he’s very much deserving of this honor. Tell Dr. Luke to go back to medical school.

69. Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

“Days Turn Into Nights”, Delerium featuring Michael Logen
Andy Caldwell, remixer

“If I Lose Myself”, OneRepublic
Alesso, remixer

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Ned Shepard & Sultan, remixers

“One Love/People Get Ready”, Bob Marley and The Wailers
Rupert Parkes (Photek), remixer

“Summertime Sadness”, Lana Del Rey
Cedric Gervais, remixer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Long after Lana Del Rey had been written off in the U.S., Interscope’s push of the Cedric Gervais remix of “Summertime Sadness” launched her at radio, selling over 2 million copies with all versions combined. Not so sad anymore, huh?

Check back tomorrow to see what I take a second swing at predicting the Big Four! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for R&B/Rap Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we continue with the fields for R&B and Rap music.

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

17. Best R&B Performance

“Love And War”, Tamar Braxton
“Best Of Me”, Anthony Hamilton
“Nakamarra”, Hiatus Kaiyote featuring Q-Tip
“How Many Drinks?”, Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Something”, Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Many of the winners in this category are generally successful on the R&B survey, and with a former top 5 hit on the Urban airwaves as well as a #2 album, singer Tamar Braxton stands out with her single “Love And War”. It is one smooth track.

18. Best Traditional R&B Performance

“Please Come Home”, Gary Clark, Jr. (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Get It Right”, Fantasia
“Quiet Fire”, Maysa
“Hey Laura”, Gregory Porter
“Yesterday”, Ryan Shaw

PREDICTION: A few of these acts really don’t have a lot of coverage out on social media. Fantasia, a prior nominee in this category, has a good shot, but if he isn’t a winner in Best Rock Song, I think Gary Clark, Jr. may take this one with “Please Come Home”.

19. Best R&B Song

“Best Of Me”
Performed by: Anthony Hamilton
Written by: Hamilton & Jairus Mozee

“Love And War”
Performed by: Tamar Braxton
Written by: Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick

“Only One”
Performed by: PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder
Written by: Morton

“Pusher Love Girl”
Performed by: Justin Timberlake
Written by: James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Timberlake (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Without Me”
Performed by: Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott
Written by: Barrino, Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart

PREDICTION: Even though he was shut out of the Big Four, a huge shock to many, Justin Timberlake‘s “Pusher Love Girl” was a fan favorite from his album. Hard to believe it didn’t even get an Urban AC servicing. I think it will pull off the trick here.

20. Best Urban Contemporary Album

Love And War, Tamar Braxton
Side Effects Of You, Fantasia
One: In The Chamber, Salaam Remi
Unapologetic, Rihanna (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
New York: A Love Story, Mack Wilds

PREDICTION: This category is probably going to end up being won by a female; I was initially going to pick Rihanna for the win, but I think this is Tamar Braxton‘s year to shine at The GRAMMY’s. Otherwise, this may be some bull you know

21. Best R&B Album

R&B Divas, Faith Evans
Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Love In The Future, John Legend
BetterChrisette Michele
Three Kings, TGT

PREDICTION: Both Keys and Legend are prior winners here, so the choice is ultimately between them. However, this is the only award that John Legend is up for and he’s singing “All Of Me” on the show, so be prepared for him to walk away with this one.

22. Best Rap Performance

“Started From The Bottom”Drake
“Berzerk”, Eminem
“Tom Ford”Jay Z
“Swimming Pools (Drank)”Kendrick Lamar
“Thrift Shop”Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Heavy hitters are a-plenty here, a few of whom could win in bigger categories. However, given the rock field and all the older acts there, the Billy Squier sample and Rick Rubin production on “Berzerk” by Eminem could help secure a win.

23. Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

“Power Trip”J. Cole featuring Miguel
“Part II (On The Run)”Jay Z featuring Beyoncé
“Holy Grail”, Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Now Or Never”Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige
“Remember You”Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd

PREDICTION: I’m convinced that one of the Jay Z collaborations is going to win here — question is, which one? “Holy Grail” was the hit, but “Part II (On The Run)” packs some marriage power and a potential performance. However, I’m going with “Grail”.

24. Best Rap Song

“F***in’ Problems”
Performed by: A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
Written by: Tauheed Epps, Graham, Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib

“Holy Grail”
Performed by: Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
Written by: Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Timberlake & Ernest Wilson (sample: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Nirvana – Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic)

“New Slaves”
Performed by: Kanye West
Written by: Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Sham Joseph, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Travis Scott, Che Smith, West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Anna Adamis & Gabor Presser, songwriters)

“Started From The Bottom”
Performed by: Drake
Written by: W. Coleman, Graham & Noah Shebib

“Thrift Shop”
Performed by: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
Written by: Haggerty & Lewis (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Since 2010, either Jay Z or Kanye West have won this particular award, both separately and together. Once again, they’re competing against each other. Yet, this category usually goes to a hit song, so “Holy Grail” is your best best for the win.

25. Best Rap Album

Nothing Was The Same, Drake
Magna Carta… Holy GrailJay Z
Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityKendrick Lamar
The HeistMacklemore & Ryan Lewis (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
YeezusKanye West

PREDICTION: Best Rap Album hasn’t gone to a newcomer in some time, and it generally goes to an act with a large first-week, which should pit Drake vs. Jay Z. The Canadian rapper won last year for Take Care; I’m guessing that a repeat is in the cards.

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Dance and Pop categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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