Tag Archives: Corey Hart

Something To Reflect On: “Mirrors” In The Mainstream

Who's the fairest of them all?

Who’s the fairest of them all?

You’ve probably heard it on the air by now or on the best-selling album in the country for the past two weeks. It’s “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake from The 20/20 Experience, and it’s already gone as high as #11 on the Hot 100. Timberlake’s song becomes the sixth song in the history of the Hot 100’s top 40 portion to contain the word “mirror” and the (lucky) thirteenth entry for the word overall. So, let’s look back into the looking glass and magnify those monster mainstream hits, from Mac Davis to Michael Jackson to M2M.

“MAN IN THE MIRROR”, Michael Jackson (#1, 1988)
He’s the late and great King Of Pop and he sure could make those ballads pop. “Man” spent two weeks at #1 and was the fourth chart-topping single from the Bad album, which became the first to have its first five singles all hit the top of the chart. It’s one of the singer’s most oft-covered songs and became one of the top sellers after his death in 2009. Two other versions of Jackson’s song also hit the Hot 100 in 2011, both from television shows. In the summer, The Voice season 1 winner Javier Colon and coach Adam Levine went to #45 and just before Christmas, the cast of Glee took their version to #76.

“MIRROR”, Lil Wayne featuring Bruno Mars (#16, 2011)
From the rapper’s album Tha Carter IV, the song was initally just a track on the deluxe edition of it, which normally would have never seen the light of day as a commercially released single. However, “Mirror” became a sales hit after the album debuted, and was eventually issued to radio as the sixth single from it. It also became the biggest hit for him (thus far) in many countries outside of the States; certainly didn’t hurt with Mars singing the hook. The rapper recently released the album I Am Not A Human Being II, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200.

“MIRROR MAN”, The Human League (#30, 1983)
After a set of classic new wave hits, “Don’t You Want Me?” (1982) and “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” (1983), crashed the top tier of the Hot 100, this Motown-inspired effort issued from the EP Fascination! only shuffled up to a #30 peak during the fall of 1983 and is largely forgotten today. It was released a year earlier in the United Kingdom where it got to #2 around the holidays. The group scored top-40 hits until 1995 (including the #1 single “Human” in 1986) and the trio is back together today, last releasing an album in 2011.

“MIRROR MIRROR”, Diana Ross (#8, 1982)
From leading The Supremes to singing her own, she’s a legend. After making the jump from her longtime home of Motown Records to RCA, Ross put out her first album with her new label in 1981, Why Do Fools Fall In Love. After the title track (and remake) went top ten on the Hot 100, “Mirror Mirror” became the second single from the effort, climbing to #8 in early 1982. Ross continued to chart with a number of moderate-sized top 40 hits until 1985, last entering the lower rungs of the Hot 100 in 1986. She occasionally tours today, though rarely puts out new music.

“OBJECTS IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR MAY APPEAR CLOSER THAN THEY ARE”, Meat Loaf (#38, 1994)
I’m guessing no one could have predicted that the singer born Marvin Lee Aday could make a stellar comeback with 1993’s Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell. This third single and epic power ballad from the multi-Platinum album just dented the top 40 in the spring of 1994. It remains one of the longest song titles to hit the Hot 100 at twelve words in length. Though he only had one other top 40 single the following year, he’s charted on the Billboard 200 several times since then. He is currently working on a new album, Brave And Crazy, his followup to 2011’s Hell In A Handbasket.

The rest of the reflectors:
“Dancing With My Mirror”, Corey Hart (#88, 1987)
“Mirror Mirror”, M2M (#62, 2000)
“Mirror Star”, Fabulous Poodles (#81, 1979)
“Stranger In My Mirror”, Randy Travis (#81, 1999)
“Texas In My Rear View Mirror”, Mac Davis (#51, 1980)

So, which song is your selection for the best reflection? Let me know! Comment below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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FRIDAY FORTY: A Passion For Fashion

Dressed to impress.

Dressed to impress.

Happy Friday! Welcome to another special edition of an occasional segment I’m putting together called The Friday Forty. Consider it a definitive list on all sorts of music-related topics (and much better than those VH1 lists!)

I guess we’ve decided recently that if you want to have a big hit nowadays, it needs to be fashion forward. Look at “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. That one’s a formal affair. “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis recently topped the charts and explored the less expensive side of things. It wasn’t exclusively about clothing, but it’s so hard to ignore a bargain. So, inspired by these two songs, especially the former one, I give you the Top 40 Most Fashionable Titles of the Rock Era. The list contains those song titles that either mention a specific article of clothing (pants, shirt, etc.), a major component of it (a collar or a pocket, but not a button) or a style of clothing. So, you won’t be seeing titles with the generic word “clothes” in them (like Shakira‘s “Underneath Your Clothes”), songs with solely materials in the title (like “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles) or other songs that may otherwise use “dress” or “wear” but without something else to complete it (like “You Wear It Well” by Rod Stewart.) Oh, and no songs about a “sock” when its clearly meant to be a verb. Now, get ready to run down the aisles, ’cause this sale on singles won’t last long.

(Statistics are from the Hot 100, 1958 to the present, with ** indicating Hot 100 Airplay peaks, thus releases like the original “Blue Suede Shoes” by Elvis Presley from 1956 are left off.  You didn’t want to see “Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy” at the top, did you?)

Just so you can make some room in your closet, the majority of these songs are about pants and shoes (10 each). Four are about hats, two mention sunglasses, another two dive into some swimwear, and I’ll let you figure out the rest.

40. Chris YoungGettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song) (#33, 2009)
39. TLCHat 2 Da Back (#30, 1993)
38. James BrownI Got Ants in My Pants (and I Want to Dance) (#27, 1973)
37. Dr. HookBaby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk (#25, 1982)
36. Morris DayFishnet (#23, 1988)
35. StyxBlue Collar Man (Long Nights) (#21, 1978)
34. Neil DiamondForever In Blue Jeans (#20, 1979)
33. Timbuk3The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades (#19, 1986)
32. Eddie KendricksShoeshine Boy (#18, 1975)
31. Nigel OlssonDancin’ Shoes (#18, 1979)

30. David DundasJeans On (#17, 1977)
29. ApplejacksMexican Hat Rock (#16, 1958)
28. Elton JohnWho Wears These Shoes? (#16, 1984)
27. James BrownHot Pants (She Got to Use What She Got to Get What She Wants) (#15, 1971)
26. Alanis MorissetteHand In My Pocket (#15**, 1995)
25. The Ohio PlayersSkin Tight (#14, 1974)
24. RoxetteDressed For Success (#14, 1989)
23. The PretendersBrass In Pocket (I’m Special) (#14, 1980)
22. Joe South & The BelieversWalk A Mile In My Shoes (#12, 1970)
21. Adam AntGoody Two Shoes (#12, 1983)

20. Tommy TuckerHi-Heel Sneakers (#11, 1964)
19. GinuwineIn Those Jeans (#8, 2003)
18. David BowieBlue Jean (#8, 1984)
17. Jimmy ClantonVenus In Blue Jeans (#7, 1962)
16. Corey HartSunglasses At Night (#7, 1984)
15. Del ShannonHats Off To Larry (#5, 1961)
14. Natasha BedingfieldPocketful Of Sunshine (#5, 2008)
13. Connie FrancisLipstick On Your Collar (#5, 1959)
12. Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-ZSuit & Tie (#4, 2013)
11. TacoPuttin’ On The Ritz (#4, 1983)

The top ten:
10. Mitch Ryder & The Detroit WheelsDevil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly (#4, 1966)

I think I’ve heard this medley a few too many times on the local classic hits station. The original song, combined with the Little Richard hit, became the biggest of their five singles to make the top 40, hitting #4. Ryder also made the Hot 100 as a solo artist later in the decade. The Michigan native still tours in the U.S. and in Europe.

9. H-TownKnockin’ Da Boots (#3, 1993)

Named after their hometown of Houston, Texas, this trio catapulted to the #3 slot in 1993 with the first single. It led them to a win at the Soul Train Music Awards the following year in the category of Best R&B New Artist. They largely struggled to find a hit single after “Boots”, charting three other times below the top 40. They haven’t recorded any music during this decade… yet.

8. Helen ReddyLeave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) (#3, 1973)

Australia’s darling was taking over the charts here in the States in the early 70’s, which included three number-one singles like “Angie Baby” and “I Am Woman”. “Alone” only got to #3, but it was one of six top ten hits Reddy collected on the Hot 100. As disco infiltrated the mainstream, Reddy could no longer make the top 40 by 1977, and she last hit nationally in 1981. She occasionally performs today.

7. NellyAir Force Ones (#3, 2003)

The rapper from St. Louis took us to Nellyville back in 2002 and this song about Nike-brand shoes (rather than the presidential aircraft) from the multi-Platinum album went #3 in the early 2003. He’s recorded several albums since then and recently made the Hot 100 with his latest single, “Hey Porsche”. He’s also featured on a new remix of Florida-Georgia Line‘s “Cruise”.

6. Dodie StevensPink Shoe Laces (#3, 1959)

She was born Geraldine Pasquale, but was given her stage name on a local talent show. Stevens was just 13 years old when she found herself in the pop spotlight with her Gold-certified debut single about a wacky guy’s sense of clothes. It took her to #3 on the Hot 100, her highest charting position. She had several other minor singles make the big chart. She has a daughter and performs with her today.

No ordinary "Song".

No ordinary “Song”.

5. SisqoThong Song (#3, 2000)

After taking a break from Dru Hill, it was clear that Sisqo was the frontrunner from the group to achieve a solo career. The goals of a long career, however, were stunted rather quickly when his novelty “Thong Song” blew up. Whether you were at the beach or the club, you couldn’t ignore it. “Thong” went to #3 on the Hot 100, which was followed by the #1 “Incomplete”, which secured the spot thanks to big R&B airplay and strong physical sales. His second album ultimately tanked, and Dru Hill‘s next release couldn’t measure up to the success of their 90’s material. In other words, he bottomed out.

When "Cool" goes hot.

When “Cool” goes hot.

4. The HolliesLong Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) (#2, 1972)

After several charting records on the Hot 100 in the 60’s, including a handful of top-ten hits like “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, these Brits scored their biggest entry in 1972 with the #2 “Woman”, just stuck behind the monster that was “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan. It’s the highest song on this list about a dress. The group would have one more big single two years later, “The Air That I Breathe”, before largely disappearing from the U.S. charts. They last made the top 40 in 1983 and remain together with a few replacement members.

A man of many hats.

A man of many hats.

3. Prince & The RevolutionRaspberry Beret (#2, 1985)

Prince and his band The Revolution were on fire in 1985 after just coming off the success of Purple Rain and its corresponding soundtrack full of hits like “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry”. “Beret” was the first single from Around The World In A Day, which went to #1 on the Billboard 200, though the single itself only made it to #2. One other song from the album, “Pop Life”, went to top ten. The video for “Beret” was combination of both live performance and animation which the Purple One ended up editing himself. Let’s just say juggling all those berets didn’t quite help him on that one.

She won't be defeeted.

She won’t be defeeted.

2. Nancy SinatraThese Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (#1, 1966)

As the daughter of the iconic Frank Sinatra, Nancy was bound for big things once she decided to pursue a career in music. After a single failed to achieve a high position in 1965, Sinatra went to the top of the Hot 100 the next year with “Boots”, which became her signature song. She enjoyed some modest success with the occasional top ten single for the rest of the decade, last reaching the Hot 100 in 1969. She hosts a weekly show on a SiriusXM Radio channel named after her father, Siriusly Sinatra.

Taking the Hy-Road.

Taking the Hy-Road.

1. Brian HylandItsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (#1, 1960)

Watching the snow melt away day after day brings us closer to the summer season, and now, a musical memory from the summer of 1960. It’s the most popular song on this list about articles of clothing. 16-year-old Brian Hyland was objection of affection for many a young girl back then as he went to the top of the Hot 100 with his mouthful of a song title. Sales of the garment skyrocketed because of the song’s popularity, and it’s been featured in a number of movies and advertisements in the nearly 53 years since its release. Hyland went onto other top ten singles like “Sealed With A Kiss” (1962) and “Gypsy Woman” (1970), but he’ll always be remembered as the teen idol who sang the sweet sounds of swimsuits. Not surprisingly, it’s still his most requested song on his tours.

That’s going to do it for this Friday Forty. Hope you enjoyed this look back in the glamorous genre of pop music, and let me know if I missed any along the way! Or, suggest a topic for the next Friday Forty! Leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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