Tag Archives: CHR radio

All Covered Up: The Potential Return Of The Top 40 Remake

Will they

Will they “Own” a piece of the pop chart?

In the next few weeks, and perhaps months, you might be hearing these two songs on your local pop radio station. They are “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)” by DJ/producer Felix Jaehn and singer Jasmine Thompson, and “You Don’t Own Me” by singer Grace and rapper G-Eazy. The former release was a top ten hit in over a dozen European countries, while the latter hit was a big chart success in Australia and New Zealand. It just so happens that both of these solid singles are also remakes: the original “Ain’t Nobody” went to #20 on R&R’s radio chart in late 1983 for Rufus and Chaka Khan, while Lesley Gore‘s “You Don’t Own Me” nearly reached the top of the Hot 100, spending three weeks at #2 in February 1964. (Blame The Beatles and their hands…)

Having two covers go to radio at the same, especially two recognizable hits of different eras (and a third actually chart earlier this year) has become a rarity, with most artists and bands using samples of songs rather than covering them in full. Given the success of these two tracks in other countries, not only does that help in breaking the songs over here, but it may also help reestablish the cover song as not just something for a live audience or a one-off specialty show, but as an option for a promotional vehicle during the life of an album. There was one cover in the top ten this week in 2005, and there were two dance covers (plus a pop version of a country hit) this week in 1995. It’s certainly something to think about as a technique that’s worked in the past, but shouldn’t stay a concept of the past given the potential visibility to soak up (appearances, syncs, etc.)

With all that said, here’s a look back at how receptive (and not-so-receptive) the pop radio chart has been to remakes of prior hits in the 2000’s, with the biggest cover of each year featured, along with its original charted version. It is anyone’s guess as to where these latest two will land, but we’ll see how they do. (For more covers that landed outside the top 40, check out the new PGTC list on Spotify.)

NOTE: This list only includes cover songs of prior chart singles and not all covers period. All peaks are from the R&R CHR/Pop charts, except for those marked with a *, indicating a Hot 100 peak. Do we really care to remember that “We Are The World 25 For Haiti” still exists?

2000
“American Pie” by Madonna (#15, March)
Cover of: “American Pie” by Don McLean (#1 for four weeks*, January – February 1972)

2001
“Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink (#1 for nine weeks, May – July)
Cover of: “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle (#3, March 1975)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Emotion” (#8, November) by Destiny’s Child (originally charted by: Samantha Sang)
“I’m A Believer” (#17, August) by Smash Mouth (originally charted by: The Monkees*)
“Smooth Criminal” (#13, October) by Alien Ant Farm (originally charted by: Michael Jackson)
“What’s Going On” (#25, October) by All-Star Tribute (originally charted by: Marvin Gaye*)

2002
“Heaven” by DJ Sammy, Yanou and Do (#4, August / #34, December in a separate chart run for the Candlelight Mix)
Cover of: “Heaven” by Bryan Adams (#1 for one week, June 1985)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Papa Don’t Preach” (#25, July) by Kelly Osbourne (originally charted by: Madonna)

2003
“It’s My Life” by No Doubt (#5, December – January 2004)
Cover of: “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk (#31, May 1985)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Big Yellow Taxi” (#30, May) by Counting Crows featuring Vanessa Carlton (originally charted by: The Neighborhood*)
“Drift Away” (#10, July-August) by Uncle Kracker featuring Dobie Gray (originally charted by: Dobie Gray*)
“I Drove All Night” (#27, March) by Celine Dion (originally charted by: Cyndi Lauper)
“Landslide” (#12, February-March) by Dixie Chicks (originally charted by: Fleetwood Mac*)
“The Boys Of Summer” (#10, September) by The Ataris (originally charted by: Don Henley)

2004
“Take My Breath Away” by Jessica Simpson (#8, May)
Cover of: “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin (#2, August 1986)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Angels” (#23, July) by Jessica Simpson (originally charted by: Robbie Williams)
“Behind Blue Eyes” (#25, March) by Limp Bizkit (originally charted by: The Who)
“My Prerogative” (#22, October) by Britney Spears (originally charted by: Bobby Brown)
“Our Lips Are Sealed” (#39, July) by Hilary and Haylie Duff (originally charted by: The Go-Go’s)
“The First Cut Is The Deepest” (#11, March) by Sheryl Crow (originally charted by: Keith Hampshire*)

2005
“Listen To Your Heart” by D.H.T. (#1 for one week, September)
Cover of: “Listen To Your Heart” by Roxette (#1, October 1989)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Axel F” (#36, August) by Crazy Frog (originally charted by: Harold Faltermeyer)
“More Than Words” (#15, October) by Frankie J (originally charted by: Extreme)
“These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” (#30, July) by Jessica Simpson (originally charted by: Nancy Sinatra)

2007
“She’s Like The Wind” by Lumidee featuring Tony Sunshine (#18, March)
Cover of: “She’s Like The Wind” by Patrick Swayze featuring Wendy Fraser (#2, February 1988)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Time After Time” (#28, August) by Quietdrive (originally charted by: Cyndi Lauper)

2008
“What Hurts The Most” by Cascada (#30, March)
Cover of: “What Hurts The Most” by Rascal Flatts (#24, September 2006)

2009
“Beggin'” by Madcon (#32, May)
Cover of: “Beggin'” by The 4 Seasons (#16*, April 1967)

Other notable covers that charted/peaked that year:
“Careless Whisper” (#40, July) by Seether (originally charted by: Wham! / George Michael)

2015 (so far)
“What I Like About You” by 5 Seconds Of Summer (#29, January)
Cover of: “What I Like About You” by The Romantics (#49*, March 1980)

What’s your favorite cover or covers listed above? Let me know! Follow the blog by using the button below or find PGTC on your social media service of choice by clicking on the “Get Social!” tab above.

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (August 2015) (Part One)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new singles will be lighting up the national charts during the month. Which tracks will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a small selection of new songs being serviced in August on the CHR and Hot AC formats in the first part of this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Felix Jaehn and Jasmine Thompson
FELIX JAEHN featuring JASMINE THOMPSON – “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)” (August 4) (*)
Label: Casablanca/Republic
14-year-old Thompson has been covering songs for years, and one such remake of the 1983 Rufus and Chaka Khan hit is taking a second chart run on. In October 2013, her original version peaked at #32 in the U.K. thanks to a Sainsbury’s ad for pizza. Now, a tropical house remix by the German DJ/producer Jaehn hopes to chew on the charts globally. Yummy. Ready for a musical meal?

Conrad Swwell
CONRAD SEWELL – “Hold Me Up” (August 11) (*)
Label: 300 Entertainment
After blazing a “Firestone” of a song up the European charts with DJ/producer Kygo, the 27-year-old Australian singer is looking to set pop radio chart on fire in the U.S. without the help of that introduction. (RCA’s Stateside release is just below the top 50 on the format.) His solo single went to #1 in his native country in June, where it is certified Platinum. He can only go “Up” from here.

Disclosure and Sam Smith
DISCLOSURE featuring SAM SMITH – “Omen” (August 11) (*)
Label: Capitol
Some say that lightning doesn’t strike twice, but in the case of the English duo out of Reigate and their good pal from London, it is perhaps a good time to try and dispel that notion. The brother act was previously on Interscope in the U.S., though they opted for a label switch to Capitol for their new set; Smith is already on there, and his In The Lonely Hour era was massive. Watch out for it.

Echosmith
ECHOSMITH – “Let’s Love” (August 11) (* + **)
Label: Warner Bros.
The four Sierota siblings keep it all in the family, and their Warner family is issuing this third single from Talking Dreams to both radio formats this month as the followup to recent hit “Bright”. Several live videos for the song were released in late 2013, but it’s unclear when an official music video for it will be premiering given its new status. Will the dream continue for this young quartet?

Hailee Steinfeld
HAILEE STEINFELD – “Love Myself” (August 11) (*)
Label: Republic
Earlier this week, the Pitch Perfect 2 actress and singer appeared in a clip with Canadian singer and Vine star Shawn Mendes, as the two teens sang a new acoustic version of his latest single, “Stitches”. Now, her first solo single, which will be released to iTunes next Friday, looks like it could be a fall hit based on some early radio reaction. Yet, it’s still too soon to tell if the “Love” continues.

Robin Thicke and Nicki Minaj
ROBIN THICKE featuring NICKI MINAJ – “Back Together” (August 11) (*)
Label: Star Trek/Interscope
Thicke is currently climbing up the Urban AC survey with “Morning Sun”, which seems to be responding nicely given the response to his legal issues earlier this year over the case concerning his hit “Blurred Lines”. Now, he looks to capture the pop audience and he’ll be bringing in Minaj to help. You may remember that the two worked together before on his 2009 song “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy”.

Gavin James
GAVIN JAMES – “Bitter Pill” (August 25) (**)
Label: Capitol
With the huge support of Beats 1 beginning a month ago and his current U.S. tour with the aforementioned Smith (see “Omen”), a push at the Hot AC format seems like the next logical step for this Irish newcomer and his label. Of course, his lovely cover of “The Book Of Love” has been #1 on my personal chart for two weeks, but this “Pill” isn’t hard to swallow, and it should be ranking soon.

Ryn Weaver
RYN WEAVER – “Promises” (August 25) (*)
Label: Mad Love/Interscope
After a surge of blog coverage and notable hype in the summer of 2014, it was disappointing to see Weaver’s song “OctaHate” stall down in the 20’s on the pop radio chart earlier this year after an initial bump from a Cumulus block add. Nevertheless, her second radio single is being serviced later this month in both its original version and a new dance mix by French producer Norman Doray.

Which of these new songs would you like to see on top of the charts? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (July 2015) (Part One)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new singles will be lighting up the national charts during the month. Which tracks will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a small selection of new songs being serviced in July on the CHR and Hot AC formats in the first part of this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Demi Lovato
DEMI LOVATO – “Cool For The Summer” (July 7) (*)
Label: Safehouse/Island/Republic/Hollywood
We have a number of singers on the chart at the moment that are (or were) associated with the Walt Disney family, as Lovato has a partnership with both her longtime label and a new home that was set by her manager, Phil McIntyre. “Cool” is a slick single for the season that was co-written and produced by Max Martin. Fun and fresh, it’s bound to be a big hit in her catalog. Soak it all up.

Afrojack
AFROJACK featuring MIKE TAYLOR – “SummerThing!” (July 14) (*)
Label: Def Jam
Dutch DJ/producer Nick van de Wall stands a very tall 6′ 10″, and his last main-credited single to reach this particular chart, “Ten Feet Tall”, propelled him to new heights when it peaked at #19 last year. Now, he’s throwing his hat into the ring with a “summer” title that could face some competition from Lovato’s new song. However, he and newcomer Taylor are ready for some radio rays.

Alessia Cara
ALESSIA CARA – “Here” (July 14) (*)
Label: Def Jam/EP Entertainment
Newcomer Cara, born and raised in the Toronto area, is poised to see some huge numbers later this year as her single develops at radio across several formats. (It is also building at Rhythmic and Urban radio at the moment.) Spotify has been one of the driving forces behind its success, having accumulated millions of streams before ever being serviced. She and her song are “Here” to stay.

Avicii
AVICII (uncredited vocal by SIMON ALDRED) – “Waiting For Love” (July 14) (*)
Label: PRMD/Island/Republic
Late last year, the Swedish DJ/producer released an EP called The Days / Nights, which featured two cuts that were either pulled (“The Days”) or tanked (“The Nights”) when released to radio despite positive streaming numbers. The latest attempt to launch a new album titled Stories is this single, already a #1 in Austria, Norway and his native Sweden. Let’s hope U.S. radio remembers it.

Little Mix
LITTLE MIX – “Black Magic” (July 14) (*)
Label: Syco/Columbia
The former The X Factor winners from the U.K. have been very successful across the pond and on the Billboard 200, where their two studio albums thus far have both debuted in the top ten, but the quartet has yet to receive a big pop radio hit here. “Wings” is still their highest charting cut, peaking at #24 on the format in 2013. Still, this pop potion may cast a spell on more programmers.

Travie McCcoy
TRAVIE MCCOY featuring SIA – “Golden” (July 14) (*)
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic
After McCoy’s “Rough Water” swam up to #20 in late 2013, things have been, well, rough for the performer at pop radio. After a second single failed to chart, two of his features stalled in the 40’s earlier this year. Luckily, things are shining brighter for the 33-year-old now that he’s teamed up with the red hot Australian singer/songwriter. It could be a fall favorite for fans and radio alike.

Icona Pop
ICONA POP – “Emergency” (July 21) (*)
Label: Big Beat/Atlantic
It felt like you couldn’t escape this duo’s “I Love It” in the spring and summer of 2013 as it slowly climbed up to a peak of #2 at the format. Though the two have managed a pair of charting singles since then, nothing’s come close to the love for “Love”. The latest single from them could ring the musical alarm, a solid dance sound sprinkled with an uncredited vocal from the great Erik Hassle.

Tove Lo
TOVE LO – “Timebomb” (July 28) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
The Queen of the Clouds has ruled over CHR radio since last year with the #1 “Habits (Stay High)” and a recent top five follow-up in “Talking Body”. Now, I suppose we’ll be talking about this third single, which has fans divided based on the reaction thus far. It may not be the most popular pick, but the tune will likely gain for some time given her momentum. Will it stay ticking or explode?

Which of these new songs would you like to see on top of the charts? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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