Tag Archives: David Bowie

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of January 8, 2016

Back in Blackstar.

Back in Blackstar.

Welcome to New Music Friday in 2016! On the menu this week, a legendary English singer wishes on a star and several new artists hit the scene with promising singles and EPs. Here’s a look at this week’s top new albums and singles:

  • DAVID BOWIE — Blackstar (iTunes)
    • Bowie’s latest studio set is his first since 2013’s The Next Day, which debuted and peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Though he won’t be able to push Adele out of the top spot, he could have a solid debut in the top five.
  • VARIOUS ARTISTS — Straight Outta Compton (Soundtrack) (iTunes)
    • With the hit movie now out to buy digitally, an official soundtrack has just been released, which features the music of N.W.A and more. A DVD release is scheduled for January 19.
  • More albums out this week: Grizfolk‘s Waking Up The Giants (iTunes – Apple Music exclusive until 1/15), The Lion Guard (Music From The TV Series) (iTunes)
  • More EPs out this week: AudioDamn!‘s AudioDamn! (iTunes), Conrad Sewell‘s All I Know (iTunes)

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

  • “All The Ways”, Wet (iTunes)
  • “#BDAY”, Tank featuring Chris Brown, Siya and Sage The Gemini (iTunes)
  • “Fast Car”, Jasmine Thompson (iTunes)
  • “Freedom”, Pitbull (iTunes)
  • “God Fearin’ Man”, Hank Williams Jr. (iTunes)
  • “Lonely Girl”, Charles Kelley (iTunes)
  • “Lost Weekend”, Pete Yorn (iTunes)
  • “Love Somebody”, St. Lucia (iTunes)
  • “Reaper”, Sia (iTunes)
  • “Throw Down Your Guns”, Wild Belle (iTunes)
  • “Whole Lotta Lovin’”, DJ Mustard featuring Travi$ Scott (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new releases from Brothers OsbornePanic! At The Disco and more.

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For The Record: Adam’s Pop Picks For Record Store Day 2015

Viva la Vinyl.

All the spin on RSD.

Another year, another round of Record Store Day shopping is on schedule for this Saturday, April 18. The annual event is once again taking place all over the world, and the massive music fest is sure to bring out even more people than last year, so make it to your local store or stores early enough so that you don’t get caught behind the huge lines. With another diverse collection of exclusive CD and vinyl pieces across all genres and eras, there’s something for everyone, but quantities are limited.

In honor of the eighth national day, I’ve managed to bring down my big list to the eight most essential pieces that I’m looking to find on my journey. It may be a struggle, but let’s hope for the best. Though a little more retro-skewed than last year’s list, here are my top pop picks:

(Check out the full list of U.S. releases for RSD here.)

A-HA, “Take On Me” (Image)
Format: 7″ Picture Disc
Label: Rhino
If “Feel This Moment” wasn’t a musical moment for you, there’s always the 1985 classic to look back on, a huge #1 for the band on the Billboard Hot 100. The best part about this release is it’s a picture disc with a frame from the iconic video. Radical, man.

BEE GEES, Extended (Image)
Format: 12″ EP
Label: Rhino
This special four song set from the phenomenal brother trio features some of their international hits from the RSO era, like the Saturday Night Fever cuts “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever”. In fact, all four songs can be found on that landmark soundtrack.

BIG DATA featuring JOYWAVE, “Dangerous” (Image)
Format: 7″ Single
Label: Warner Bros.
“Dangerous” is the biggest single to date for producer Alan Wilkis, a #1 song on the Alternative chart last summer and included on his recent 2.0 album. This release definitely has one of the coolest package designs for RSD as it looks like a big floppy disk.

DAVID BOWIE, “Changes” (Image)
Format: 7″ Picture Disc
Label: Rhino
The word legend gets thrown out a lot nowadays, but Bowie truly is one and this classic single is a reminder of that status. From the Hunky Dory album, it charted twice but never made the top 40. The picture used is a different one from the original sleeve.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE and FREEDY JOHNSTON, “Bad Reputation” (Image)
Format: 7″ Single
Label: Atlantic
Johnston’s best-known song was a minor Alternative hit in the fall of 1994 before crossing over to the CHR chart in 1995. This split 7″ release concept has been one of the essentials throughout past events, including the always popular Mystery Artist one.

FLORENCE + THE MACHINE, “What Kind Of Man” (Image)
Format: 12″ Single
Label: Republic
“Man” is the leadoff single (and a top ten Alternative hit) from How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, scheduled to be released in early June. The 12″ single release comes on blue vinyl encased in a copper sleeve and features the b-side “As Far As I Can Get”.

GROUPLOVE, Under The Covers (Image)
Format: 10″ Single
Label: Atlantic
The California quintet is welcomed back onto the RSD list after appearing on a split single two years ago. This EP, a three track set strictly featuring covers, includes two unreleased songs and an additional remake recorded for a Spotify session last spring.

MUMFORD & SONS, “Believe” (Image)
Format: 7″ Single
Label: Glassnote
They may have lost the banjos, but they haven’t lost their enthusiasm for the holiday. I purchased a vinyl copy of their EP Live At Bull Moose in 2013 and I will be looking out for this. The jacket is not fancy, but the song is a solid Alternative chart-topper.

Are you looking forward to the RSD celebration and is there another cool release not listed here that you’ve got to buy? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter: click the “Get Social!” tab above to find us on there.

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TURN IT UP MONDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (November 17)

Four better or worse.

Four better or worse.

There’s only one direction that these overall sales are going… up! Q4 is in full effect with several six figure openings on tap for this batch of new releases. (NOTE: some of this week’s music releases may not be out until Tuesday dependent on label availability/iTunes response time.) Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of November 17:

  • From “Steal My Girl” to “Night Changes” and all the instant grat tracks still on the charts, One Direction has a nice thing going for them in promoting their latest set, FOUR. The English quintet’s had two consecutive albums sell over 500,000 copies in the first week — will this be their third? Hard to tell at this point, but you know that another #1 on the Billboard 200 is a lock. (iTunes)
  • With their first album since 2011, Canadian rockers Nickelback are back in stores with No Fixed Address, released on the band’s new label, Republic. Single “Edge Of A Revolution” leaped to #1 on the Active Rock survey, but “What Are You Waiting For?” has stalled out in the 20’s at Hot AC. Look for this to land in the top five. (iTunes)
  • Singer and songwriter Lorde is credited as the curator for the soundtrack to the upcoming blockbuster The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1. The set includes four songs by or featuring the teen star, as well as acts like Charli XCX, Tinashe, Tove Lo and others. This could also crash the top five on the chart. (iTunes)
  • Serving up a multi-disc compilation that spans his decades of rich music is the legend himself, David Bowie, now in stores with Nothing Has Changed. Each edition of it features a different cover of him looking into the mirror during a different album era. It’s a great gift for hardcore fans. (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: 5 Seconds Of Summer‘s Good Girls (EP) (iTunes), Bruce Springsteen‘s The Album Collection, Vol. 1 (1973-1984) (iTunes), Bryan Ferry‘s Avonmore (iTunes), Depeche Mode‘s Live In Berlin (iTunes), In This Moment‘s Black Widow (iTunes), Kristin Chenoweth‘s Coming Home (iTunes), Trisha Yearwood‘s PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit (Amazon), TV On The Radio‘s Seeds (iTunes), Wilco‘s Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994 – 2014 (iTunes) and the following Various Artists compilations: Annie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (iTunes), Christmas At Downton Abbey (iTunes), Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 6 (iTunes) and The Art Of McCartney (iTunes).

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

  • “Different Colors”, a pre-release single from Walk The Moon. (iTunes)
  • “Flight”, new from pop/rockers Lifehouse. (iTunes)
  • “Text Me Merry Christmas”, a new holiday single from Straight No Chaser and Kristen Bell. (iTunes)
  • “Wrapped Up”, a collaboration from Olly Murs and Travie McCoy. (iTunes)

See you next Sunday night with new releases from David Guetta, Eminem, Rick Ross, Selena Gomez and more!

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Record Store Day, Black Friday 2014: What I’m Looking At

Viva la Vinyl.

Back in Black Friday.

Just when you thought it was safe to put away your wallet — no, it’s back. I’m talking about the 2014 edition of Record Store Day’s Black Friday event. You’ll remember the regular Record Store Day that happened back in April; I managed to find the majority of items on my list and got to see a lot of people helping the cause. Once again, RSD is getting in on the holiday rush with another set of exclusive cassette, CD, vinyl and other pieces ready to crawl out of the chimney and onto your player of choice. Just remember to get in line early, or you could miss out on some things you are searching for! Here are ten acts and their releases that you may be hunting for on Friday, November 28:

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA & THE SOUL SONIC FORCE – “Planet Rock”
Format: 12″ vinyl single
View artwork

Though this 1982 song just squeaked into the top 50 on the Hot 100 in its original run, its impact has been felt in the hip-hop community for decades. It would be cool to have a copy of such a classic record. Oh, by the way, it’s glow in the dark. Sweet.

BLEACHERS – Strange Desire (The Demos)
Format: 12″ vinyl EP
View artwork

Strange Desire remains one of my favorite albums of the year thus far, and its two singles have both done well on my top 40 chart. I found a copy of the limited release of “I Wanna Get Better” earlier this year, so I’d love to find this six song EP next.

BON JOVI – Live 2
Format: 12″ vinyl EP
View artwork

The first Live EP, another Record Store Day release, featured four live versions of classics like “Keep The Faith” and “Livin’ On A Prayer”. This four song set features another bunch of big songs, including “Bad Medicine” and “I’ll Be There For You”.

ECHOSMITH – “Cool Kids”
Format: 12″ vinyl single
View artwork

This former On The Verge sponsored quartet has a top ten smash on both the CHR and Hot AC surveys, and their first single to be issued on vinyl could be yours on the 28th. The 12″ piece includes the radio mix of “Kids” and a new mix done by RAC.

ED SHEERAN – “Thinking Out Loud” / “I’m A Mess”
Format: 7″ single
View artwork

“Thinking” is already a hit overseas and it’s likely to achieve the same status over here next year. Much like the previous art during this era, the sleeve is green (though the record itself likely isn’t) and its b-side, found on his album X, is in a live form.

5 SECONDS OF SUMMER – 5 Seconds Of Summer
Format: 12″ vinyl LP
View artwork

I don’t have any physical product from them… yet. However, that could change on Black Friday. Of course, the tweens can’t get enough of them, especially with a #1 album and two top ten EPs (a third is on the way.) This picture disc could be a start.

RUN DMC – “Christmas In Hollis”
Format: 7″ vinyl single
View artwork

Back in 1987, you could find this festive rap on the first A Very Special Christmas compilation, which benefitted the Special Olympics. This re-release features the added b-side “Peter Piper” from 1986’s Raising Hell, as well as an “audible postcard”.

VARIOUS ARTISTS – American Hustle (Soundtrack)
Format: 2 x 12″ vinyl LP
View artwork

It was partially filmed in my hometown of Worcester, MA in the spring of 2013 and the extended version of this soundtrack is definitely near the top of my list this time around. Bringing back the sounds of decades past, it is worth the hustle to get it.

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 1
Format: Cassette
View artwork

The film did big numbers at the box office during the summer and the soundtrack from it topped the Billboard 200 chart for two weeks in August. Featuring jams from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Peter Quill’s musical memories tape is a fun find.

WHAM! – “Last Christmas”
Format: 12″ vinyl single
View artwork

I’ve enjoyed a handful of versions of this annual treat, but nothing beats the original, which climbed as high as #2 in the U.K. in 1984. Needless to say, you’ll be hearing it on many stations soon enough. This is specially printed on green and red vinyl.

What else is looking good?
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND – Recently (EP) (10″ vinyl EP)
DAVID BOWIE – “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)” (10″ vinyl single)
HOZIER – In The Woods Somewhere (EP) (10″ vinyl EP)
IMAGINE DRAGONS – Night Visions (12″ vinyl LP – picture disc)
PHIL SPECTOR/VARIOUS ARTISTS – A Christmas Gift For You (12″ vinyl LP)
THE BEATLES – Long Tall Sally (EP) (7″ vinyl EP)
VARIOUS ARTISTS (FROZEN) – “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” / “In Summer” (7″ vinyl single – picture disc)

For a full list of all the special stuff, it’s all up on Record Store Day’s website. Are you getting pumped for RSD’s Black Friday festivities and is there another release not listed here that you’ve got to have? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter: click the “Get Social!” tab above to find us on there.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Alternative/Rock/Country 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 Alternative, Rock and Country.

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

12. Best Rock Performance

“Always Alright”, Alabama Shakes
“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”, David Bowie
“Radioactive”, Imagine Dragons (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Kashmir (Live)”, Led Zeppelin
“My God Is The Sun”Queens Of The Stone Age
“I’m Shakin'”Jack White

PREDICTION: It’s hard to deny the overwhelming success of “Radioactive” during the past year, but it’s only up for two categories, one being Record Of The Year, which is out of the question. (To me, at least.) This is the safer bet for the Las Vegas band.

13. Best Metal Performance

“T.N.T.”Anthrax
“God Is Dead?”, Black Sabbath (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“The Enemy Inside”Dream Theater
“In Due Time”Killswitch Engage
“Room 24”Volbeat featuring King Diamond

PREDICTION: While metal isn’t a genre of choice when it comes to my listening habits, I do know a little bit about the acts in this category. With their first studio album in 18 years, I’m hoping the reformed trio of Black Sabbath is rewarded with this.

14. Best Rock Song

“Ain’t Messin ‘Round”
Performed and Written by: Gary Clark Jr.

“Cut Me Some Slack”
Performed and Written by: Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Doom And Gloom”
Performed by: Rolling Stones
Written by: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

“God Is Dead?”
Performed and Written by: Black Sabbath (Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi & Ozzy Osbourne)

“Panic Station”
Performed by: Muse
Written by: Matthew Bellamy

PREDICTION: There are classic acts galore in this category, along with a few newcomers. Gary Clark, Jr. would be a good choice for the win, but I think Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear have this. Just keepin’ it Reel.

15. Best Rock Album

13Black Sabbath
The Next DayDavid Bowie
Mechanical BullKings Of Leon
Celebration Day, Led Zeppelin (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
…Like Clockwork, Queens Of The Stone Age
Psychedelic Pill, Neil Young with Crazy Horse

PREDICTION: I’ll say this category is probably going to be a fight between Bowie and Zeppelin – both albums did well. Though they have several entries in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame, wouldn’t it be cool to see Led Zeppelin win their first regular award?

16. Best Alternative Music Album

The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Neko Case
Trouble Will Find Me, The National
Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails
Lonerism, Tame Impala
Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: There’s quite a few buzzworthy acts in this category, but people seemed rather surprised that Vampire Weekend was shut out of the Big Four. This is their only chance to win an award as a band this year, so I think it will easily go to them.

26. Best Country Solo Performance

“I Drive Your Truck”, Lee Brice
“I Want Crazy”, Hunter Hayes
“Mama’s Broken Heart”Miranda Lambert
“Wagon Wheel”Darius Rucker (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Mine Would Be You”Blake Shelton

PREDICTION: It’s a man’s, man’s, man’s year for this category, and while all five did particularly well on the Country chart, Hayes will probably take this honor. He’s the youngest in the pack and “Crazy” managed some minor crossover airplay in 2013.

27. Best Country Duo/Group Performance

“From This Valley”The Civil Wars (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Don’t Rush”Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill
“Your Side Of The Bed”Little Big Town
“Highway Don’t Care”, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
“You Can’t Make Old Friends”Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton

PREDICTION: It would be fantastic to see The Civil Wars win this one. That being said, if Taylor Swift is going to be at the show and performing, I’ll give her this one. (cue Swift’s shocked face) “Highway” was a #1 Country hit for the three performers.

28. Best Country Song

“Begin Again”
Performed and Written by: Taylor Swift

“I Drive Your Truck”
Performed by: Lee Brice
Written by: Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Jimmy Yeary

“Mama’s Broken Heart”
Performed by: Miranda Lambert
Written by: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves

“Merry Go ‘Round”
Performed by: Kacey Musgraves
Written by: Shane McAnally, Musgraves & Josh Osborne (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Mine Would Be You”
Performed by: Blake Shelton
Written by: Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Deric Ruttan

PREDICTION: This category is a little more balanced than the Performance award. I could conceivably see the lyric-driven “I Drive Your Truck” winning, but Kacey Musgraves is up twice here and I think she’ll be able to win for the song she performed.

29. Best Country Album

Night Train, Jason Aldean
Two Lanes Of Freedom, Tim McGraw
Same Trailer Different Park, Kacey Musgraves (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Based On A True Story, Blake Shelton
Red, Taylor Swift

PREDICTION: Aldean, McGraw and Shelton have never won this category despite being nominated before, and don’t get me started about Red being classified as “Country album.” So, under careful consideration, Kacey Musgraves shall be the winner here.
_____

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

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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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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Mar. 12)

The star (is out today.)

The star (is out today.)

This is Ground Control to Major Releases: go ahead and strut those sales. Here are the new albums orbiting the music universe for the week of March 12:

  • Ziggy Stardust is back with his first album since 2003’s Reality. David Bowie makes a triumphant return with The Next Day, a huge critical success and likely a commercial one too. Two singles from the effort have charted at AAA radio. It will almost certainly be in the top two on next week’s album chart. (iTunes)
  • Challenging Mr. Bowie and going for their fifth number-one album, Bon Jovi release What About Now, featuring leadoff single “Because We Can”. It’s seeing moderate airplay on the adult contemporary formats. (iTunes)
  • The compilation Sound City: Real To Reel is out today, a musical companion to the Dave Grohl-directed film, which features collaborations with him and artists like Paul McCartney and Stevie Nicks. (iTunes)
  • The latest from the man they call Slowhand, Eric Clapton‘s Old Sock, is in stores. It’s his 20th studio album. Current single “Gotta Get Over” is at AAA radio now. (iTunes)
  • R&B boy band Mindless Behavior are back with an Urban hit, “Keep Her On The Low”, and their second full-length release, All Around The World. (iTunes)
  • Christian supergroup Audio Adrenaline puts out their first studio album in five years, Kings & Queens. (iTunes)
  • As the soundtrack to the annual Passion conference, Let The Future Begin puts together top talent and speakers in the world of Christian music. (iTunes)
  • Rockers Adrenaline Mob get their adrenaline pumpin’ with a seven-song covers EP appropriately titled Coverta. (iTunes)
  • Smash‘s Megan Hilty is smashing on her solo release, It Happens All The Time. (iTunes)
  • Guitarist Orianthi, probably best known for her participation in the late Michael Jackson‘s This Is It tour, is out with Heaven In This Hell today. (Amazon)

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

  • “Body Party”, another song off of Ciara‘s forthcoming album, One Woman Army. It samples “My Boo” by the Ghost Town DJ’s. (iTunes)
  • “Easy”, the first single by Sheryl Crow to be released exclusively to Country radio. (iTunes)
  • “Problem”, a new single from pop and dance singer Natalia Kills. (iTunes)

We’ll be back next week with a hot new release from Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience. It’s expected to be huge. Also, look out for new releases from Country singer Kacey Musgraves and Alternative rockers Walk Off The Earth. See you in seven!

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