Tag Archives: Celine Dion

FLASHBACK: Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit Of Chart History

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“Meant for” a top ten record.

The CHR/Top 40 airwaves were starting to rebuild their identity by the end of 1996, after a tumultuous few years of ratings slides, faceless new acts and lost songs. Before the Spice Girls swept the nation with “girl power”, and Lillith Fair ruled the summer tour season, a number of female singers began to perform well at the format. During that year, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion and Donna Lewis (and others) had a super run at the top, leaving only two published charts with a #1 song by a male soloist. Then, as the hits kept piling up, the inevitable result occurred: just as 1997 began, the top ten songs on the pop chart were all sung by female soloists or female-led bands. It’s the only time this kind of event took place on the format, pre-PPW (plays per week) or PPW era.

Now, just because it’s been two decades since this historic chart week, that doesn’t mean that female-led top threes, fours and fives are going away anytime soon. An all-female top seven occurred on the pop chart as recently as September 2014, which included big hits by acts like Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift. So, keep that dream of a top ten led by the ladies alive. It may just happen again when you least expect it…

Let’s get into those sensational songs that gave the top ten a special feminine touch for a little Throwback Thursday action:

(Stats taken from: Radio & Records – issue dated January 10, 1997, airplay period of December 30, 1996 – January 5, 1997)

10. CELINE DION, “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” (down 3)
Album: Falling Into You
Label: 550 Music/Epic

1996 was a year of sevens for Dion on the pop chart. “Because You Loved Me” spent seven weeks at #1, and “All” spent seven at #2.

09. JEWEL, “You Were Meant For Me” (up 10)
Album: Pieces Of You
Label: Atlantic

Though 1996 was her breakout year, 1997 was even more successful for this singer. Her two #1 songs totaled nine weeks at the top.

08. GINA G, “Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit” (up 6)
Album: Fresh!
Label: Eternal/Warner Bros.

The number of U.S. hits that originated at Eurovision is quite small, but “Ooh” connected with pop radio’s audience, peaking at #5.

07. THE CARDIGANS, “Lovefool” (up 9)
Album: First Band On The Moon
Label: Mercury

Nina Persson led this Swedish group to a huge smash in early 1997, spending six weeks at #1. They never made the pop chart again.

06. ALANIS MORISSETTE, “Head Over Feet” (=)
Album: Jagged Little Pill
Label: Maverick/Reprise

With her third in a run of five consecutive #1 singles on the pop chart, Morissette dominated the airwaves across multiple formats.

05. SHERYL CROW, “If It Makes You Happy” (=)
Album: Sheryl Crow
Label: A&M

Crow was likely “Happy” to reach the top five again after a couple of misses. “If” also went top ten at Alternative and Hot AC radio.

04. MERRIL BAINBRIDGE, “Mouth” (=)
Album: The Garden
Label: Universal

This Australian singer’s biggest U.S. hit held at #2 for four weeks in late 1996. Her two other chart singles stalled below the top 40.

03. TONI BRAXTON, “Un-Break My Heart” (=)
Album: Secrets
Label: LaFace/Arista

This iconic ballad became Braxton’s penultimate top ten hit on the pop listing, later making it there with “He Wasn’t Man Enough”.

02. EN VOGUE, “Don’t Let Go (Love)” (=)
Album: EV3
Label: EastWest/EEG

Shortly before the messy circumstances that made them a trio, this soundtrack cut gave the girls their biggest pop hit in four years.

01. NO DOUBT, “Don’t Speak” (=)
Album: Tragic Kingdom
Label: Trauma/Interscope

With a giant 11 (two frozen) weeks at #1, “Don’t” became the group’s signature song and one of the biggest radio hits of the decade.

Listen to Ooh Aah… A #TBT List on Spotify, featuring these songs and more top tunes from this week in 1996!

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: January 16, 2000

Da ba dee, da ba "Bye".

Da ba dee, da ba “Bye”.

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. Second half of fourth grade meant that the Projects Fair was on the horizon; I’ll have you know that I had a fabulous report on firefighters. It was fun. Meanwhile, here’s a look at my top 40 from January 16, 2000:

Debuts:
40. SPLENDER, “I Think God Can Explain”
37. KID ROCK, “Only God Knows Why”
20. *NSYNC, “Bye Bye Bye”

Biggest Mover:
S CLUB 7, “Bring It All Back” (36-26) (10 spots)

10. SUGAR RAY, “Falls Apart (Run Away)”
We start off the top ten with this track from the California band and their third hit (fourth single overall) from their 14:59 era. “Falls” was produced by David Kahne and co-written by he and the group. It may not have had the longest shelf life on the charts, but it did make an impact and drove its parent album sales to over 3 million copies in the U.S. alone. They last made my top 40 in 2005.

09. SMASH MOUTH, “Then The Morning Comes”
Coming off a big #1 on the pop chart, “All Star”, Steve Harwell and the boys had to follow up their summer anthem with this chilled-out track just in time for fall and winter. Lifted from Astro Lounge, their only top ten album on the Billboard 200, the song rose to #11 on the Hot 100 and cracked the top 5 at CHR radio. Sadly, night had to fall on “Morning” and the band’s success diminished after it.

08. BLINK 182, “All The Small Things”
I was one of the many who had a chuckle or two when the music video for this used to air on Total Request Live, parodying recent clips at the time from the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and more. Plus, who can’t resist a good “na na na na” chorus? Simple, yet effective. “Small” remains their trio’s largest single to reach my chart, which they last entered in 2004 with the ballad “I Miss You”.

07. FILTER, “Take A Picture”
Hey man, nice song. The rockers out of Ohio burst onto the scene in 1995, but it wasn’t until 1999’s Title Of Record that they reached their commercial peak with this top 5 Alternative record. It was inspired by frontman Richard Patrick’s drunken adventures on a plane trip. This would be their only song to reach my chart, though they’re still together and reached the rock charts as recently as 2013.

06. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, “The Rhythm Divine”
The Latin explosion in 1999 brought us a lot of great new acts and Iglesias was one of them with his English breakthough hit, “Bailamos”. This was the next release, which wasn’t nearly as big, but still made the top ten on my chart. The singer is still at work on his next album, another bilingual effort. Three English singles have been issued from it so far; the most recent is “I’m A Freak”, with Pitbull.

05. CELINE DION, “That’s The Way It Is”
Representing for Canada, Dion is the only performer from the Great White North in the week’s top ten. The song was co-written by Max Martin, which was unusual at the time because he was known for his work with teen pop acts. However, “Way” was yet another hit for the diva and helped her first greatest hits compilation, All The Way… A Decade Of Song, rise to #1. She last went top 40 in 2008.

04. SAVAGE GARDEN, “I Knew I Loved You”
It led the pop radio chart for five weeks and ranked on the Adult Contemporary for what seemed like an eternity; this was one big song you heard everywhere back in the day. It was also coming off a run atop my own list. The Australian duo would rank two other singles on my chart, “Crash And Burn” and “Affirmation”, before splitting in 2001. Darren Hayes charted as a solo act beginning in 2002.

03. BACKSTREET BOYS, “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”
There was about to be a boy band battle brewing on the survey with the high debut of *NSYNC‘s “Bye Bye Bye” and this quickly rising ballad, which was up to #3 after just six weeks on the chart. “Lonely” had a pretty dramatic, but memorable video, one that I remember seeing quite a lot on television. This would eventually hit #1 later that month before it was knocked out by “Bye” in February.

02. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “What A Girl Wants”
Long before the Lotus rose and the Bionic woman claimed that she wasn’t herself on that particular night, Aguilera was deep in the heart of her debut era and continuing to shine with this light and fun single. Certified Gold, it went to #1 on the Hot 100 for two weeks, though it was kept out of the top spot on my own chart. She would rack up another two big singles from her self-titled album in 2000.

01. EIFFEL 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”
In 1992, three friends based in Turin, Italy began their ride to a huge worldwide hit, a novelty song about a man stuck in a “blue world” emotionally and physically. It was addictive, and for three weeks in January 2000, it ruled my chart. Unfortunately, the song wore out quickly, and after a minor followup in “Move Your Body” (which did much better in Europe), their days on the U.S. scene were done. After two more moderately successful albums in their homeland, they broke up, but reformed in 2012 to tour.

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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Stormy Weather: A Wintry Wallop Of Hits

Dion and Hercules: snow way!

Dion and Hercules: snow way!

If you’re in the Northeast Corridor tomorrow, you better break out the shovels and salt before you head out. Winter Storm Hercules is ready to deliver some big snowfall totals, and the general consensus is that somewhere between 8-12″ is going to fall locally around here. Now, like many, I don’t know understand the need to name winter storms; I mean, they’re not hurricanes. It just sounds sort of foolish, but alas, some people like the system and use it. Surprisingly enough, some of the names picked for this year’s season also blew onto the charts over the past few decades, coldly climbing in both names of acts and song titles. So, get arctic and chill out while reading up on this list:

ATLAS (October)
“Atlas”, Coldplay (#69, 2013)

Recently featured on the original soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, “Atlas” spent three weeks at #1 on my personal chart.

DION (December)
Celine Dion: twenty-one entries, biggest hit: “Because You Loved Me” (#1, 1996)
Dion: thirty-two entries, biggest hit: “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961)

Mrs. Dion is currently promoting her latest studio album, Loved Me Back To Life, the title track recently charting at AC radio. Mr. DiMucci hasn’t been on the Hot 100 since 1989, though he’s charted several efforts on the Top Blues Albums survey since 2006.

FALCO (December)
Falco: two entries, biggest hit: “Rock Me Amadeus” (#1, 1986)

The Austrian performer became one of the two Austrian acts in the top 40 at the same time (Opus being the other) in 1986. He died in 1998.

GEMINI (December)
“Gemini Dream”, The Moody Blues (#12, 1981)

The English band out of Birmingham last made the Hot 100 in 1988 with a minor top 40 single, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”.

HERCULES** (January; ongoing)
Technically, there hasn’t been an artist or song named after Hercules to break the charts. However, a song from the soundtrack to Disney’s Hercules peaked at #24 on the Hot 100 in 1997: “Go The Distance” by Michael Bolton.

Could we see these storms be named in the future months to come?

LEON
Leon Haywood: eight entries, biggest hit: “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You” (#15, 1975)
Leon Russell: eight entries, biggest hit: “Tight Rope” (#11, 1972)

Haywood may have only taken one of his songs into the top 40, but it’s an oft-sampled one, including use by Dr. Dre, 50 Cent and others. Singer-songwriter Russell last entered the Hot 100 in 1976 and released an album with Elton John, The Union, in 2010.

NIKA
“Nika”, Vicious (#69, 1995)

From Brooklyn, this rapper only charted once, though the song did slightly better on R&B radio. An album, released on Epic, also tanked.

ORION
Orion The Hunter: one entry, biggest hit: “So You Ran” (#58, 1984)
“The Arms Of Orion”, Prince featuring Sheena Easton (#36, 1989)

The band, who only lasted one self-titled album and a year total, was a side project from several members of rockers Boston. The duet, which was featured on the soundtrack to 1989’s Batman, was the lowest charting Hot 100 single from that era.

REX
Rex Allen: one entry, biggest hit: “Don’t Go Near The Indians” (#17, 1962)
Rex Smith: two entries, biggest hit: “You Take My Breath Away” (#10, 1979)
T. Rex: four entries, biggest hit: “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#12, 1972)

Allen had a handful of significant Country hits in the 50’s and 60’s, this one reaching #4 while just missing the Hot 100’s top ten. Teen idol Smith starred in the made-for-TV film Sooner Or Later in 1979 as singer Michael Skye, which featured his biggest hit. The only band in the bunch were more successful in their native U.K., but “Gong” was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

XENIA
Xenia: two entries, biggest hit: “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” (#92, 2011)

From season one of The Voice, this young singer was a finalist on Blake Shelton‘s team. She hasn’t charted since her on time on television.

ZEPHYR
“The Zephyr Song”, Red Hot Chili Peppers (#49, 2002)

The legendary band is last, but certainly not least on here. The single from By The Way charted moderately and gained some pop airplay.

Which stormy single(s) are your favorite(s) from the ones listed above? Is there another non-charting song you enjoy? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: December 9, 2007

"Better" with the both of them.

The “Best” of 2007.

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. I was just about set to head onto Winter Break during my senior year of high school when I made these rankings. Here’s a look at my top 40 from December 9, 2007:

Debuts:
40. DARREN HAYES, “Casey”
38. JOHN MAYER, “Say”

Biggest Mover(s):
ONEREPUBLIC, “Stop And Stare” (37-28) (9 spots)

10. DARREN HAYES, “Me, Myself And (I)”
From his glorious double album, This Delicate Thing We’ve Made, this was one of three tracks by Hayes in the top 40 this week with the debuting “Casey” at #40 and a former #2 song, “On The Verge Of Something Wonderful”, falling to #39.  “Me” would end up stuck at #10 for three straight weeks. Four songs from his most recent album, 2011’s Secret Codes And Battleships, ranked on my weekly chart.

09. MAROON 5, “Won’t Go Home Without You”
Taking a leap up from #15, this is the first of two songs in the top ten for the band and their third consecutive top ten single from their first #1 album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. The era was led off by the funky “Makes Me Wonder”, which debuted in the top spot in April and stayed there for eleven weeks. “Won’t” was only a mid-charter on the Hot 100, but it did go top ten in Australia and Belgium.

08. CELINE DION, “Taking Chances”
The title track from Dion’s tenth English album was written by former American Idol judge and songwriter Kara DioGuardi and Eurythmics‘s Dave Stewart and originally recorded for their band Platinum Weird. HoweverDion ended up with the hit version during that fall, a big top ten single at her core radio format, AC. Her latest studio album, Loved Me Back To Life, was released in November.

07. MAROON 5, “Wake Up Call”
Here’s the second single by the band, which peaked at #3. A remix of the song featuring Mary J. Blige was released in November of that year as remixed by Mark Ronson. The band is currently receiving some limited airplay with “Lucky Strike”, an unofficial fifth single from their album, Overexposed. Lead singer Adam Levine is doing well on this season of The Voice with three finalists in the top 5.

06. DURAN DURAN, “Falling Down”
Co-produced and co-written by Justin Timberlake, who participated in a large chunk of their album Red Carpet Massacre, this was the first single from the set. While the single tanked globally, it did reach a surprisingly strong #2 in Italy. The parent album became the group’s ninth top 40 release on the Billboard 200. The now quartet last made my personal chart in 2011 with “Leave A Light On”.

05. ROZ BELL, “Papercut”
Canadian singer-songwriter Bell was one of the breakout stars on my chart in 2007, placing two consecutive singles in the top 5: “Yesterday Man” (#2) and this song, which got as high as #4. After one more minor entry in 2009 titled “Heart Attack”, which just missed the top 20, Bell has yet to make my chart again. However, he’s still uploading music on his SoundCloud account via his own label, Enacy.

04. MATCHBOX TWENTY, “How Far We’ve Come”
Back in 2007, Rob Thomas and the guys were promoting their first greatest hits compilation titled Exile On Mainstream. The single was a radical shift in sound for them, an energetic and quick-paced number that totaled five weeks at #1 on my chart, their biggest hit as a band to date. They’ve charted since and have a pair of singles vying for placement in my Top 100 of 2013: “Our Song” and “Overjoyed”.

03. TIMBALAND presents ONEREPUBLIC, “Apologize”
Originally out in 2006, “Apologize” didn’t become a hit until it was remixed by producer Timbaland and slapped onto his top 5 album Shock Value. Then, it burned up the radio charts, at one time holding an airplay record for the most spins in one week at the CHR format, and launched frontman Ryan Tedder‘s career as a star producer and writer. It topped my chart for three weeks, their only #1 thus far.

02. GRAHAM COLTON, “Best Days”
You might remember this song being featured on American Idol early on in its seventh season. “Best” remains Colton’s biggest single to reach my survey, spending three weeks at #1. In 2011, he rose to #5 with “Pacific Coast Eyes”, and that’s been his last charting to date. The Oklahoma singer is in the process of putting together a new album, Lonely Ones, due in 2014 after a successful fundraising project.

01. MATT NATHANSON, “Car Crash”
Topping it all this week back in 2007 was this song from a local guy, born about 45 minutes from here in Lexington, MA. “Car” was the first single issued from Nathanson’s album Some Mad Hope, and while it only did modestly well at the AAA and Hot AC formats, it took a slow ascent up my chart and hit #1 in its 23rd week in the top 40, the longest run to reach the top ever. Both “Kinks Shirt” and “Mission Bells” from his most recent album, Last Of The Great Pretenders, made my chart and peaked in the 20’s earlier this year.

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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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (November 5)

All that Mathers this week.

All that Mathers this week.

Ready to go berzerk over another week of big releases? Of course you are. Here are all the albums and singles you need to know about for the week of November 5:

  • With four songs floating around the top ten on iTunes, including the new radio hit “The Monster” (featuring Rihanna), rapper Eminem is set to have a huge opening frame with next week’s #1 album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Reviews have been generally favorable thus far; only question is, how high will it go? Stay tuned. (iTunes)
  • After all the push backs and changes in singles, Avril Lavigne‘s self-titled album is out this week, likely aiming for a top 5 debut. The current single from the project is “Let Me Go”, a duet with husband Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. (iTunes) (Read my review!)
  • Canada’s out in full force this week; diva Celine Dion also wants to wake up the industry with Loved Me Back To Life, with the title track getting some airplay at Adult Contemporary radio. Look for it to enter in the top ten, if not higher. (iTunes)
  • Singer-songwriter James Blunt returns this week with Moon Landing, featuring the single “Bonfire Heart”. The song is beautiful, it’s true. (iTunes)
  • They own the night, at least in song, but they won’t be owning the charts this time around. After two underperforming singles, “I Found You” and “We Own The Night”, The Wanted are out with Word Of Mouth, likely to flop here but  still doing well overseas. (iTunes)
  • Just looking for the classics this week? Look no further than Bob Dylan‘s The Complete Album Collection, available digitally by decade: 60’s (iTunes), 70’s (iTunes), 80’s (iTunes) and 90’s (iTunes). Also of note this week is Miami Pop Festival, recorded live in 1968 from the Jimi Hendrix Experience (iTunes).
  • Other albums out this week include Il Divo‘s A Musical Affair (iTunes), Jake Miller‘s Us Against Them (iTunes), Luscious Jackson‘s Magic Hour (iTunes), M.I.A.‘s Matangi (iTunes), Scott Stapp‘s Proof Of Life (iTunes) and Stryper’s No More Hell To Pay (iTunes).

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

  • “Bad Day”, the latest Music Mondays track from Justin Bieber. (iTunes)
  • “Courage”, a new single from legendary artist Peter Gabriel. (iTunes)
  • “Dope”, another album track from Lady Gaga‘s ARTPOP. (iTunes)
  • “I Do”, a new track from country and pop singer Jessie James Decker. (iTunes)
  • “I See Fire”, a soundtrack release from Ed Sheeran from The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. (iTunes)
  • “Move”, already lighting up the charts in Australia and the United Kingdom for Little Mix. (iTunes)
  • “Perfume”, the second scentimental single from Britney Spears‘s Britney Jean. (iTunes)
  • “Say Something”, a new version of the A Great Big World single featuring Christina Aguilera. (iTunes)
  • “Talk About It”, a great new single from Swedish singer-songwriter Erik Hassle. (iTunes)

Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP will be the talk of the town next week; find out about it and more coming up next Tuesday!

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (September 3)

That's "the way" to sample.

A Grande entrance to the album chart.

Hope you had an awesome Labor Day weekend! Now that the barbecue’s over, let’s take a look at what’s grilling on the album survey this week with all the notable releases for September 3:

  • She’s also over Nickelodeon with her latest series Sam & Cat and now actress and singer Ariana Grande will be starring on the Billboard 200 next week with her first album, Yours Truly. It features singles “Baby I”, “The Way” and her collaboration with Mika, “Popular Song”. The album’s already top 5 in several dozen countries as is, so look for it to do big numbers in the U.S. as well. (iTunes)
  • With their first major label recording in six years, Nine Inch Nails are back with Hesitation Marks, featuring the recent top ten Alternative single “Came Back Haunted”. It should debut in the top 5 as most of their albums have. (iTunes)
  • My picks of the week come from two bands out of the United Kingdom who are just breaking here in the States. Bastille is out with the U.S. release of Bad Blood (iTunes), led by “Pompeii” (the current #1 single on my chart), while The 1975 debut with a self-titled album featuring the #5 song my top 40, “Chocolate”. (iTunes) Both are favorites on Alternative radio and should do well with the public both first week and in the long term.
  • With a pack of big solo singles behind her in the past few months, Tamar Braxton is feeling the groove on Love And War, her first album in thirteen years. New single “All The Way Home” is already lighting up the Urban AC airwaves. (iTunes)
  • Also on the R&B side of things, John Legend gets experimental on his latest album, Love In The Future. With five top ten albums since 2005, this one could see similar results, though it will likely fade away quickly due to little radio play at the moment. (iTunes)
  • Rockers Pepper make it to stores with a self-titled album, their first full-length release in five years. “FKARND”, the lead single, is just below the top 20 on Alternative radio. (iTunes)
  • His album Time went to #7 earlier this year; now, from Mercury Records, comes a Rarities album from Rod Stewart. It features material recorded by the singer from 1969 to 1974. (iTunes)
  • Two original soundtracks from television programs are out this week: a second volume of songs from Boardwalk Empire (iTunes) and Songs From Scandal: Music For Gladiators. (iTunes)
  • Other albums out this week include Craig Morgan‘s The Journey: Livin’ Hits (iTunes), One Day I’m Going To Soar by Dexys (formerly Dexys Midnight Runners of “Come On Eileen” fame) (iTunes), Trouble by Natalia Kills (iTunes) and UB40‘s Getting Over The Storm (iTunes).

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

  • “ATM Jam”, fresh from rapper Azealia Banks and Pharrell. (iTunes)
  • “Come Walk With Me”, a new single from M.I.A.‘s forthcoming album, Matangi. (iTunes)
  • “I Wish”, from former U.K. X Factor contestant Cher Lloyd and American rapper T.I. from Lloyd’s forthcoming album. (iTunes)
  • “Loved Me Back To Life”, a return from the girl who sank the Titanic with her voice (or maybe just sang the theme from it) Celine Dion. (iTunes)
  • “New”, new from the legend himself, Paul McCartney. (iTunes)
  • “Slow Me Down”, the latest single from Country singer Sara Evans. (iTunes)

Next week, the players include hot country star Keith Urban and the funky futuristic Janelle Monáe — will either go to #1 with their latest releases? A preview is coming in seven!

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Eurovisions Of Paradise: From The Song Contest To The States

Thank you for the music.

Thank you for the music.

Once a year, dozens of European nations come together for the Eurovision Song Contest, in which each country picks an act who performs their song live on television, after which they are voted upon and a winner is crowned. This year, the Contest is being held in the city of Malmö, Sweden, with a tagline of “We Are One”. 39 countries are participating in this event, and after two semi-finals earlier this week, that pack is down to 26, who will perform in the live final later on today. You can stream it at Eurovision’s official website or if you’re outside of North America, you can probably find a national broadcaster that will air the show on television.

In the U.S., we generally aren’t in the loop with what goes on at Eurovision. We don’t even have our own Amerivision where all fifty states could participate in a contest such as this. (Wouldn’t that be fun?) Despite this, we’ve seen established acts in the United States go onto success at the annual contest. Cliff Richard and Katrina & The Waves have both scored highly for the United Kingdom with their original songs, though those specific compositions were never issued in the States. In 1988, future superstar Celine Dion, representing for Switzerland, won that year’s contest with the French song “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi” (“Don’t Leave Without Me”), competing against Luxembourg’s Lara Fabian, best known for her 2000 single, “I Will Love Again”. This year, German dance and electronic act Cascada, who hit the top ten here in 2006 with “Everytime We Touch”, will be competing for Germany with “Glorious”, which has yet to see a release here. There have also been a few cases of songs that did well at Eurovision that became hits in the United States in an alternate version or cover. For example, fourth-place entry at the 1967 Contest, “L’amour Est Bleu” by Luxembourg’s Vicky Leandros, became a #1 on the Hot 100 the following year in an instrumental version by Paul Mauriat, “Love Is Blue”.

To date, only four finalists from the Eurovision Song Contest have ever made the top 40 on the Hot 100 in their original form by the original artist or band. Remember these pop ditties?

“Nel Blu Dipino Di Blu (Volare)”, Domenico Modugno (#1, 1958) [English: “In The Blue-Painted Sky (I Will Fly)”]
Though the Eurovision Song Contest began in 1956, it gained worldwide popularity two years later when this song competed in it. Though Italy’s entry only made it to third place, it became a smash hit in the United States, spending five non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the then-newly created Hot 100, becoming the top song of the year. Furthermore, it also received Record and Song Of The Year honors at the very first GRAMMY Awards in 1959. Modugno would only ever chart one other song in the U.S., his next year’s entry in the Contest: “Piove (Ciao, Ciao Bambina)” (#97). [English: “It’s Raining (Bye, Bye Baby)”.]

“Waterloo”, ABBA (#6, 1974)
Here’s the biggest act to come out of Eurovision with the amount of international success that the group has had. Back in 1974, the quartet competed with their debut single, “Waterloo”, and it won the Contest by six points, giving the country their first ever win. Released in both English and Swedish versions, the song did very well all over Europe and also cracked the top ten in the U.S., going as high as #6. ABBA would have a total of fourteen songs hit the Hot 100’s top 40, with “Dancing Queen” going to #1 in 1977, their biggest single. They last charted in 1982 and have never created new material together since that date.

“Save Your Kisses For Me”, Brotherhood Of Man (#27, 1976)
You may recall that this group first made the top 40 in the U.S. as a quintet with their song “United We Stand”. It went to #13 during the summer of 1970. Six years later, a totally revamped group reduced to a quartet, all new members, won that year’s Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom, and became so popular that it registered a minor charting here nationally, as well as a #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Though it reignited their career in their homeland for several more years, this was it for them in the U.S., and the song quickly faded away. The quartet is still together today and play live on occasion.

“Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit”, Gina G (#11, 1997)
Australian-born Gina G was the United Kingdom’s pick for the 1996 Eurovision Contest, though her song ranked in 8th place when all was said and done. However, it did climb to #1 in the United Kingdom, the last single (thus far) by any participating act from the U.K. to hit #1 on that country’s Singles Chart. Several months later, the song charted in the United States, becoming a top ten radio hit and a #11 smash on the Hot 100. Though she had a string of large singles overseas, she only charted one more time here with the #46 “Gimme Some Love” in the summer of 1997. She’s largely done with recording and performing.

Check out the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest when it airs later today. I’m personally rooting for Denmark, Finland, Ireland and the United Kingdom! Let me know your picks in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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