Monthly Archives: September 2014

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: September 12, 1999 (15th Anniversary Edition)

Cherishing the first chart ever.

Cherishing the first chart ever.

After a little time off, we’re back with another round of way back wonders on 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.

This is a very special edition of the Flashback as it marks the fifteenth anniversary of my first official top 40 chart. Back in the day, I would write the chart down with pen and paper as I listened to Kiss 108 in Boston or American Top 40 early on Sunday morning. Things have definitely changed since then… never did I think I would still be ranking my favorites weekly fifteen years after I first began my chart. Obviously, it’s been an amazing run that will continue onward. However, let’s go back once more to that very first top ten from this week in 1999:

10. *NSYNC featuring GLORIA ESTEFAN, “Music Of My Heart”
Album: Music Of The Heart: The Album (1999, Sony Music Soundtrax/Epic Records)
Chart History: Though this was Estefan’s only single to reach my top 40, the Florida quintet would go onto four #1 songs between 2000 and 2002. JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake both went top ten as solo acts.

09. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, “Bailamos”
Album: Enrique and Music Inspired By The Motion Picture Wild Wild West (1999, Interscope Records)
Chart History: Four singles in total from Iglesias’s debut English effort climbed aboard my chart, though his biggest hit to date remains the 2001 single “Hero”, which made it to #1. He has not charted since the fall of 2011.

08. LOU BEGA, “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…)”
Album: A Little Bit Of Mambo (1999, RCA Records)
Chart History: After the success of “Mambo”, followup “Tricky Tricky” also made my top ten. He’s not been top 40 since that song, though he’s had some minor success in parts of Europe with a handful of other single releases.

07. JENNIFER LOPEZ, “If You Had My Love”
Album: On The 6 (1999, WORK Group)
Chart History: Lopez was a mainstay on my top 40 for several years at the beginning; “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” remains her sole #1. Despite a well-received comeback a few years back, 2005’s “Get Right” was her last single to chart.

06. SUGAR RAY, “Someday”
Album: 14:59 (1999, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Chart History: The California group had a few other big singles after their summer classic. 2001’s “When It’s Over” gave them their highest peak to date, climbing up into the #2 spot. Their last top 40 came in 2005 with “Shot Of Laughter”.

05. TAL BACHMAN, “She’s So High”
Album: Tal Bachman (1999, Columbia Records)
Chart History: Bachman never repeated the crazy success of “High” in the U.S. nor in his native Canada, but a few singles were released after it, including the minor Hot AC entry “If You Sleep” in the spring of 2000. “Sleep” bubbled under my top 40 around then.

04. GOO GOO DOLLS, “Black Balloon”
Album: Dizzy Up The Girl (1998, Warner Bros. Records)
Chart History: Still huge on the charts at that point, the Dolls continued to break my top ten with “Broadway” and “Here Is Gone”, which went to #1 in 2002. A series of Hot AC hits have kept them around on my top 40 as recently as last year, going to #18 with “Rebel Beat”.

03. SMASH MOUTH, “All Star”
Album: Astro Lounge (1999, Interscope Records)
Chart History: It was an anthem that lit up the #1 spot at both CHR and Hot AC radio and even rose to #2 on Alternative radio. It’s been quite a while since the format’s spun them. Their cover of “I’m A Believer” spent four weeks at #1 on my survey in 2001. They last charted with “So Insane” in 2006.

02. 98 DEGREES, “I Do (Cherish You)”
Album: 98 Degrees and Rising (1998, Motown Records) and Notting Hill: Music From The Motion Picture (1999, Universal Records)
Chart History: Out of all the boy bands on my first top 40, this one ranked the highest, charting with a song that was first a hit on the Country survey a year prior for Mark Wills. The quartet’s version was heard across multiple formats and ties their highest peak on my chart with “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)”, a #2 in 2000.

01. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “Genie In A Bottle”
Album: Christina Aguilera (1999, RCA Records)
Chart History: It’s a perfect piece of pop; what else can you say about “Genie”? It launched Aguilera into superstar status and gave her a string of hits on my top 40, including the #1 songs “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)” in 2000 and “Beautiful” in 2003. Though the glory days are long behind her, she still goes top 40 from time to time as a featured act.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown 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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ALBUM REVIEW: Train – Bulletproof Picasso

Not quite out of the "Blue".

Not quite out of the “Blue”.

They took the California 37 and drove into the top ten on the Billboard 200 with hits like “Drive By” and “50 Ways To Say Goodbye”. Now, Train, reduced to two original members after the departure of drummer Scott Underwood, rides again onto the scene with Bulletproof Picasso, their seventh album for longtime home Columbia Records. Like the two previous albums of their well-deserved comeback, Bulletproof brings together both the serious and fun, as well as the old and the new. However, there’s more of an emphasis on intimate moments and less of a pop culture punch lyrically. It seems that the group keeps growing even when you don’t expect them to, good for both the members and their fans. This is a record strictly for them and the relationship that’s kept them going for 15+ years.

The five pre-release songs from the set encompass the first part of this effort, which starts off with a pair of straight-up pop/rock tracks: the solid “Cadillac, Cadillac” and the even better title track. The former suffers from a bit of a cheesy lyric (“I’d rather play games on my G4 phone”… really?) but the latter is more carefree and certainly radio ready: “We don’t need a reason/For anything we feel/We don’t need a reason/Picasso’s at the wheel.” I’d definitely love to see it as the followup to the wildly western grower of a Hot AC hit “Angel In Blue Jeans”, third in the lineup.

Next is “Give It All”, slowing the pace a taste, in which Monahan comes off as a Bono sound-alike to the point where it would just be better to crank up some U2. An improvement comes in the form of “Wonder What You’re Doing For The Rest Of Your Life”, a really sweet pop tune with a bubbly retro touch. Surprisingly enough, it works given the duet with Floetry singer and now soloist Marsha Ambrosius. It’s a head-scratcher, but it’s the final product that counts. The whistle-laden “Son Of A Prison Guard” is next, the winner of the most interesting title on here. The song is just OK, but it’s good to hear a more story-driven song.

In the middle, the lyric-driven “Just a Memory” continues to serve that pop/rock sentiment of the first few songs, this one being a song of lost love that ultimately gets lost in the lineup. “I’m Drinkin’ Tonight” goes darker in a Tom Petty vein, as Monahan relays, “I’m drinkin’ tonight/Gonna give up the fight/The only thing stronger than you is whiskey.” “I Will Remember” tries to position itself as a more anthemic version of “Bulletproof Picasso” with its oversimplified metaphors, but falls flat. Luckily, “The Bridge” is there to pick up the pieces, a slick psychedelic rock cut that teaches us a lesson: “This is what happens when you go to the bridge/You jump into the fire or you learn to swim.”

One of the final two songs will probably serve as the third and last single from the album: both are exceptionally strong slower pieces. Question is, which will be the “Marry Me” of the era? “Baby, Happy Birthday” nears close to that classic sound, slightly reminiscent of the Boston‘s 1986 single “Amanda”. It’s about changes in life and remembering the little things, the protagonist urging the listener to find “someone that would never forget your birthday.” Finally, the tender “Don’t Grow Up So Fast”, a country-tinged ode from a father to his young child, just melts your heart. Monahan sings, “The good times too shall pass/There’s only so much sand in the hourglass/So, don’t grow up so fast.” Well, hello, Bob Carlisle‘s “Butterfly Kisses” for 2015, anyone? Needless to say, there’s much potential for both of them.

With only moderate airplay for “Angel” and a diminished audience buying music, expect a medium-sized debut for this on the album survey before it sadly falls off the radar. It’s a step above their last outing and certainly harkens back to the days of their earlier material, if only for mere moments, but the scaled-down playfulness of their material (not the cringeworthy kind) is sometimes missed when the guys relied on it so much over the last few years. That being said, it’s worth a purchase and support to keep the guys chugging along down the tracks of top-selling music.

(Stream and pre-order Train’s Bulletproof Picasso, due in stores September 16)

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

Going up the Country.

Going up the Country.

After a lackluster Labor Day schedule, things pick up in a big way this week with releases in all genres. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of September 9:

  • That’s how Country boys roll: three acts take charge with their notable releases this week. Dustin Lynch is out with Where It’s At (iTunes), with the title track currently top five at Country radio. Coming off a recent #1 at the format with the title track from his album, Lee Brice is back with I Don’t Dance. (iTunes) Finally, we have The Brothers Osborne, debuting with a self-titled EP, which includes their current release “Rum”. (iTunes)
  • She made it to #1 on the Urban chart earlier this year with “The Worst”; that would be 26-year-old Jhené Aiko, who may now turn that worst into best with the release of her album Souled Out. It also features followup single “The Pressure”. With pre-order sales looking significant, this is likely good for a top five entry on next week’s list. (iTunes)
  • Christian hip hop artist Lecrae raps his way into stores with Anomaly, his first studio album in two years. His last three have debuted atop both the Christian and Gospel charts. Will this be his latest to pull off the feat? With some pop praise from above, perhaps he can do it. It should be top ten on the Billboard 200 regardless. (iTunes)
  • With his first album distributed through Blue Note Records, singer/songwriter Ryan Adams does the self-titled thing on his latest album, featuring the current AAA single “Gimme Something Good”. Much like his 2011 effort, Ashes & Fire, this should once again break the lower top ten. (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: Banks’s Goddess (iTunes), Better Than Ezra‘s All Together Now (iTunes), Death From Above 1979‘s The Physical World (iTunes), Interpol‘s El Pintor (iTunes), Robert Plant‘s lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar (iTunes), Switchfoot‘s The Edge of the Earth: Unreleased Songs From The Film ‘Fading West’ (EP) (iTunes), The Kooks‘s Listen (iTunes) and Vance Joy‘s Dream Your Life Away (iTunes).

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week (and there’s a whole lot of them) include:

  • “Blame”, new from producer Calvin Harris and singer John Newman. (iTunes)
  • “Centuries”, new from rockers Fall Out Boy. (iTunes)
  • “Gold”, a great digital single from Jamie Scott and featuring Christina Perri. (iTunes)
  • “Hail Rain Or Sunshine”, a digital release from The Script‘s forthcoming album. (iTunes)
  • “Jealous”, a solo single from Nick Jonas. (iTunes)
  • “Shut Up And Dance”, a fantastic new single from Walk The Moon. (iTunes)
  • “The Only Way Out”, a new single from rockers Bush. (iTunes)
  • “Utopia”, the theme from the new FOX series by Daughtry. (iTunes)
  • “What Are You Waiting For?”, a new single from Nickelback. (iTunes)

Barbra Streisand, Chris Brown, Tim McGraw and Train are just a few of the artists vying for the top spot next week. Who gets the job done? A full preview is coming in seven!

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: September 7, 2014

It's a band, it's a plane...

Flying high once again.

40. Cobra Starship featuring Icona Pop – Never Been In Love
39. Jessie Ware – Say You Love Me | HIGHEST DEBUT

30. Foster The People – Are You What You Want To Be? (39) | BIGGEST MOVER
27. Coldplay – True Love (33)
24. Boy & Bear – Three Headed Woman (29)
20. Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – Cecilia And The Satellite (25)
14. Jamie Scott – Unbreakable (20)
06. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off (11)

10. Christina Perri – Burning Gold (06) | PEAK: #02
09. The Griswolds – Beware The Dog (09) | PEAK: #09
08. Rixton – Wait On Me (10) | PEAK: #08
07. Charli XCX – Boom Clap (04) | PEAK: #04
06. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off (11) | PEAK: #06
05. Train – Angel In Blue Jeans (05) | PEAK: #05
04. Jamie Scott – My Hurricane (03) | PEAK: #01 for four weeks
03. Ed Sheeran – Don’t (07) | PEAK: #03
02. Maroon 5 – Maps (02) | PEAK: #02
01. The Script – Superheroes (01) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Paolo Nutini – Let Me Down Easy (1)
2. Cold War Kids – All This Could Be Yours (2)
3. Neon Trees – First Things First (9)
4. Bleachers – Rollercoaster (8)
5. MAGIC! – Let Your Hair Down (7)
6. The 1975 – Heart Out (3)
7. Heymous Molly – Life’s A Beach (5)
8. Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance (-)
9. O.A.R. – Favorite Song (-)
10. Jungle – Busy Earnin’ (6)

In The Mix:
Bea Miller – Young Blood
Charli XCX – Break The Rules (new)
Danny Mercer – Who Are You Loving Now?
Goo Goo Dolls – Caught In The Storm (new)
Hilary Duff – All About You
Hudson Taylor – Chasing Rubies
Lilly Wood & The Prick featuring Robin Schulz – Prayer In C
Maroon 5 – Animals
Nickelback – What Are You Waiting For? (new)
Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This
Ryn Weaver – OctaHate
SecondCity featuring Ali Love – What Can I Do
Vance Joy – Mess Is Mine

Chart Notes:

  • Stay putting at #1 for the second week running is The Script with their fifth #1 single on my chart, “Superheroes”. This marks their 19th week total atop the survey, which started with the eight week run of “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” back in 2009. Look for the single to debut in the top three on the Singles Chart over in the United Kingdom this weekend, which will mark their third time entering in the region on that survey.
  • Just outside the top ten are three great songs looking to break in next week: “Secrets” by Mary Lambert, holding at #12 for the third week in a row, “Unpack Your Heart” by Phillip Phillips, climbing to #13, and “Unbreakable” by Jamie Scott, which takes a six notch leap to #14. All are very worthy contenders, though the two males have been there before, while newcomer Lambert hasn’t. We’ll see what happens.
  • After entering last week at #39, the current hit for Foster The People takes the title of this week’s Biggest Mover. The inquisitive “Are You What You Want To Be?” is up to #30 this week, a gain of nine notches for the third top 40 single from Supermodel. The song goes to Alternative radio on Tuesday and should rank there relatively quickly.
  • This week’s Highest Debut is the second entry for Jessie Ware, who debuts at #39 with “Say You Love Me”. Ware rose to the top 20 last year with “Wildest Moments” and did an uncredited backing vocal on Mayer Hawthorne‘s “Her Favorite Song”, a #2 single. “Say” is taken from her forthcoming album Tough Love, due later next month.
  • Also, at #40 is this week’s second debut, “Never Been In Love” by American quintet Cobra Starship and Swedish duo Icona Pop, together for the first time. For you chart trivia buffs, the title has cracked the top 40 only once on the Hot 100: in 1982, former Eagles member Randy Meisner went to #28 with his song of the same name.

(See my full chart on the M4BCC message board)

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: September 4, 2011

Can we "Talk"?

Can we “Talk”?

After a little time off, we’re back with another round of way back wonders on 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. Let’s take a trip back to senior year of college and revisit the top songs from this week in 2011…

38. KELLY CLARKSON, “Mr. Know It All”
35. DARREN HAYES, “Black Out The Sun”

Biggest Mover:
LADY ANTEBELLUM, “We Owned The Night” (37-31) (6 spots)

10. GAVIN DEGRAW, “Not Over You” (steady, third week)
Album: Sweeter (2011, RCA Records)
Peak: #6 for two weeks

09. COLBIE CAILLAT, “Brighter Than The Sun” (up 3)
Album: All Of You (2011, Universal Republic Records)
Peak: #4 for three weeks

08. BRITNEY SPEARS, “I Wanna Go” (steady, third week)
Album: Femme Fatale (2011, Jive Records)
Peak: #8 for three weeks

07. REEVE CARNEY featuring BONO & THE EDGE, “Rise Above 1” (up 2)
Album: Music from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2011, Interscope Records)
Peak: #6 for three weeks

06. ADELE, “Someone Like You” (up 2)
Album: 21 (2011, XL/Columbia Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

05. DARREN HAYES, “Talk Talk Talk” (down 1)
Album: Secret Codes and Battleships (2011, Mercury Records)
Peak: #4 for two weeks

04. LADY ANTEBELLUM, “Just A Kiss” (down 1)
Album: Own The Night (2011, Capitol Nashville Records)
Peak: #2

03. THE SCRIPT, “Nothing” (up 2)
Album: Science & Faith (2011, Epic Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

02. COLDPLAY, “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” (steady, second week)
Album: Mylo Xyloto (2011, Parlophone/Capitol Records)
Peak: #1 for seven weeks

01. MAROON 5 featuring CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “Moves Like Jagger” (steady, second week)
Album: Hands All Over (re-issue) (2011, A&M/Octone Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown 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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TOP TEN: The Music Of The (Nick and) Knight

New kids on the backstreet.

New kids on the backstreet.

It’s not a full NKOTBSB reunion, but Jordan Knight from the New Kids On The Block and Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys are back as the duo Nick & Knight for their self-titled release. The album is currently in the top ten on iTunes in Canada and the top 20 on the U.S. survey, though it isn’t projected to be as high once the final Billboard 200 numbers are released. Nevertheless, fans are embracing the new project. A single from it, “One More Time”, saw its video premiere two weeks ago and was serviced to radio several weeks prior to that.

In honor of all the boy band love as of late, I give you my favorite ten songs from both acts: five from the New Kids, five from Backstreet, and as a bonus, my favorite solo single from each. Good enough? Let’s see how your picks match up to mine:

5. “Shape Of My Heart” (#7 CHR, 2000)
This one may not be a Sting cover, but it was certainly a risky (but solid) single as the leadoff release from Black & Blue.

4. “All I Have To Give” (#6 CHR, 1999)
The sixth and final single from their U.S. self-titled debut was yet another top ten, a lovely R&B pop tune from Full Force.

3. “The Call” (#17 CHR, 2001)
Released in the spring of 2001, both the original version and remix by The Neptunes propelled “Call” to #1 on my top 40.

2. “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely” (#1 CHR, 2000)
Sad, dark, but ultimately, it was gorgeous. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it went to #1 at radio very close to my tenth birthday.

1. “Larger Than Life” (#6 CHR, 1999)
I remember many a day watching Total Request Live in awe of this song’s clip. It’s classic Max Martin and just a pop jam.

Top solo cut: “Do I Have To Cry For You?” (#65 CHR, 2002)
“Help Me” may have been his solo song to go top 40 at CHR, but I always thought that this followup was a stronger effort.

5. “Hangin’ Tough” (#1 CHR, 1989)
If you ever wanted to “get on the floor and do the New Kids dance”, this was your song back in the day. Nice edge to this.

4. “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” (#6 CHR, 1989)
This was one of a handful of the quintet’s singles to go top 40 on the R&B chart. Can’t say I ever got that leg shuffle down.

3. “Tonight” (#6 CHR, 1990)
The Kids tried their hand at a baroque pop influence on this forgotten top ten single, which showed some needed growth.

2. “Cover Girl” (#3 CHR, 1989)
When music turned to magazines, this was a front page frenzy. Well, maybe not a full frenzy, but it is really a great single.

1. “Step By Step” (#1 CHR, 1990)
Sure, I was four months old when the song went to #1, but how can you deny a catchy tune like this one? Awesome song.

Top solo cut: “Give It To You” (#14 CHR, 1999)
My first ever CD single: can you believe it? It wasn’t the most appropriate song to listen to at age 9, but it’s still hot today.

Loving the Nick & Knight album? Do you prefer the guys with their own bands? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (September 2)

Following the "Maps" to a #1 debut.

Following the “Maps” to a #1 debut.

It may be back to work and back to school after Labor Day, but the music world is still on a little break with only a few releases on the schedule this time. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of September 2:

  • Still bringing the hits over a decade later, pop/rockers Maroon 5 are back with V, their first studio album since 2012. Unless anything crazy pops up over the next few days, this should be next week’s #1 on the Billboard 200. Two singles from the effort, “Maps” and “Animals”, are in the top 20 on iTunes at the moment. (iTunes)
  • Rapper Jeezy, no longer Young, is out with his first album since 2011, Seen It All: The Autobiography. “Seen” is currently trending towards the top ten on the Urban chart and features Jay Z. Look for it to be in the runner-up spot behind Adam Levine and the guys. (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: Counting Crows‘s Somewhere Under Wonderland (iTunes), Cris Cab‘s Where I Belong (iTunes), Johnny Winter‘s Step Back (iTunes) and Nick & Knight‘s Nick & Knight (iTunes).

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

  • “Dear Jane”, a new digital release from The Madden Brothers. (iTunes)
  • “La La Latch”, a digital single from a cappella group Pentatonix. (iTunes)

Things get more exciting next week with new albums from Country stars Dustin Lynch and Lee Brice, R&B singer Jhene Aiko and the legendary Robert Plant. Who scores the week’s top debut? A full preview is coming in seven!

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