Tag Archives: Elvis Presley

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: August 18, 2002

“You” know these 2002 hits.

It’s the start of another weekend, which means it’s time for another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I feature the highlights of a past countdown. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This week, we stroll back fifteen years and find out what was topping my chart for the week of August 18, 2002…

39. THICKE, “When I Get You Alone”
33. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, “Like I Love You”

Biggest Mover:
WESTLIFE, “World Of Our Own” (35-26, nine spots)

10. ELVIS PRESLEY vs. JXL, “A Little Less Conversation” (up 6)
Album: ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits (2002, RCA Records)
Peak: #7

09. SEVEN AND THE SUN, “Walk With Me” (down 2)
Album: Back To The Innocence (2002, Atlantic Records)
Peak: #5

08. DANIEL BEDINGFIELD, “Gotta Get Thru This” (up 5)
Album: Gotta Get Thru This (2002, Island Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

07. BBMAK, “Out Of My Heart (Into Your Head)” (up 1)
Album: Into Your Head (2002, Hollywood Records)
Peak: #7 for two weeks

06. BRYAN ADAMS, “Here I Am” (down 4)
Album: Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron (2002, A&M/Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

05. OUR LADY PEACE, “Somewhere Out There” (up 1)
Album: Gravity (2002, Columbia Records)
Peak: #2

04. NELLY featuring KELLY ROWLAND, “Dilemma” (steady, second week)
Album: Nellyville (2002, Fo’ Reel/Universal Records)
Peak: #4 for two weeks

03. PINK, “Just Like A Pill” (steady, fourth week)
Album: M!ssundaztood (2001, Arista Records)
Peak: #2

02. MICHELLE BRANCH, “Goodbye To You” (up 3)
Album: The Spirit Room (2001, Maverick/Warner Bros. Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

01. VANESSA CARLTON, “Ordinary Day” (steady, second week)
Album: Be Not Nobody (2002, A&M/Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: August 25, 2002

“Just A Little” touch of 2002.

It’s the start of another weekend, which means it’s time for another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I feature the highlights of a past countdown. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This week, we stroll back fourteen years and find out what was topping my chart for the week of August 25, 2002…

40. SAMANTHA MUMBA, “I’m Right Here”
39. AMANDA LATONA, “Can’t Take It Back”
32. NICK CARTER, “Help Me”

Biggest Mover(s):
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, “Like I Love You” (33-18, fifteen spots)

10. BRYAN ADAMS, “Here I Am” (down 4)
Album: Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron (2002, A&M/Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

09. NELLY featuring KELLY ROWLAND, “Dilemma” (down 5)
Album: Nellyville (2002, Fo’ Reel/Universal Records)
Peak: #4 for two weeks

08. ELVIS PRESLEY vs. JXL, “A Little Less Conversation” (up 2)
Album: ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits (2002, RCA Records)
Peak: #7

07. BBMAK, “Out Of My Heart (Into Your Head)” (steady, second week)
Album: Into Your Head (2002, Hollywood Records)
Peak: #7 for two weeks

06. DANIEL BEDINGFIELD, “Gotta Get Thru This” (up 2)
Album: Gotta Get Thru This (2002, Island Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

05. AMY STUDT, “Just A Little Girl” (up 6)
Album: False Smiles (2003, 19/Universal Records)
Peak: #1 for one week

04. OUR LADY PEACE, “Somewhere Out There” (up 1)
Album: Gravity (2002, Columbia Records)
Peak: #2

03. VANESSA CARLTON, “Ordinary Day” (down 2)
Album: Be Not Nobody (2002, A&M/Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

02. PINK, “Just Like A Pill” (up 1)
Album: M!ssundaztood (2001, Arista Records)
Peak: #2

01. MICHELLE BRANCH, “Goodbye To You” (up 1)
Album: The Spirit Room (2001, Maverick/Warner Bros. Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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Record Store Day, Black Friday 2015: Seven 7″ Selections

Viva la Vinyl.

For the record…

This Thanksgiving, you’ll probably be going through many a leftover when the big meal is done: the turkey, the stuffing… it’ll be there for a while. However, these items available for this year’s Black Friday edition of Record Store Day won’t be there for a lot of time. Of course, this has been happening for several years now, so expect lines anywhere you head out to. Trust me, all will be well when you’re holding those glorious gifts from the musical gods in your hands. Here are seven 7″ singles (and more) that you may be hunting for, and I’ll definitely be hunting for, on Friday, November 27:

ALAN PARSONS PROJECT/The Turn of A Friendly Card — The Singles (EP) (Legacy)
The original Turn set gave this act their first two top 20 singles on the Hot 100 survey, one being “Games People Play” on side B, but how are you not going to put “Time” on this EP? That had an edit too! Anyways, the set is being released on cool green vinyl.

ELVIS PRESLEY/If I Can Dream (Legacy)
A new posthumous Presley album was recently released, featuring new arrangements of some of his classic singles by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The title track and previously unreleased b-side “Anything That’s Part Of You” are from those sessions.

FALCO/Rock Me Amadeus/Vienna Calling (Legacy)
Nothing says “#1 single in 1986” like a German-sung single about Mozart. It is a part of a double a-side with the followup release, which climbed to #18 that June. Both of the mixes featured on this red vinyl release were the single versions for the U.S. market.

The ongoing Side By Side series for RSD is always a hit with consumers, and this one should be no different. The original release spent four weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 in 1969. Buckley’s remake is also featured on a lost album called You And I, due March 11.

NEIL HEFTI/Batman Theme Song (Legacy)
Doesn’t everyone want to channel the inner superhero inside of them? Hefti’s theme was barely a national top 40 hit when it was released, going to #35 in 1966, but reducing this to a chart peak doesn’t do it justice. Catch this classic before it flies out of stock!

PHIL COLLINS/In The Air Tonight (Rhino)
It wasn’t Collins’s first solo single ever, but it’s certainly a notable one that keeps new generations of fans listening to his songs. I think this could be my top release of the bunch. It features the original b-side titled “The Roof Is Leaking” and a new comic book.

THE KINKS/Dedicated Kinks (EP) (Sanctuary)
Dedicated is one of two EPs by the act to be released for Black Friday, and was originally released in July 1966. All four cuts saw some U.S. success, with three of them making the Hot 100. The highest, “Set Me Free”, went to #23 during the summer of 1965.

More from my must-haves list:
BECK/Dreams (12″, Capitol)
HOUNDMOUTH/Sedona (7″, Rough Trade)
OTIS REDDING/Shake (EP) (7″, Rhino)
PAUL MCCARTNEY & MICHAEL JACKSON/Say Say Say (12″, Concord/Hear Music)
QUEEN/Bohemian Rhapsody (12″, Hollywood)

(Check out the full list of RSD releases here!) (Listen to some of this year’s RSD releases on Spotify!)

Are you pumped for RSD’s Black Friday event? Is there another release (or set of releases) not listed above that you’ll be trying to find on Friday? 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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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of October 30, 2015

A spooky set of new releases.

A spooky set of new releases.

This week’s New Music Friday is a good one for all the ghouls and girls of the world, with many treats to be devoured. Is a trick or two in the works as well? Get your costume ready — here’s a look at the week’s top new album and single releases for Halloween:

  • FALL OUT BOY — Make America Psycho Again (iTunes)
    • Earlier this year, the Illinois rockers debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with American Beauty/American Psycho, a set that featured hit singles like “Centuries” and “Uma Thurman”. This new release is a totally remixed version, with urban acts appearing on all of the cuts, including Migos and Wiz Khalifa. It may be polarizing for many, but it will likely debut well (for a remixes album, at least) next week.
  • CHRIS JANSON — Buy Me A Boat (iTunes)
    • The title track from Janson’s debut album recently topped the Country radio survey, and now, second single “Power Of Positive Drinkin'” hopes to continue that momentum as it grows at the format. It likely won’t be strong enough to grab the top spot on the Country albums chart, though a top five entry is possible.
  • THE NEIGHBOURHOOD — Wiped Out! (iTunes)
    • “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” is the name of their latest single, which is just inside the top 30 on Alternative radio, but there’s no need to bury this era just yet. Aided by some Beats 1 action, the California act should see a solid turnout for their first studio album in two years.
  • VARIOUS ARTISTS — We Love Disney (iTunes)
    • The latest Disney covers album is a goldmine of top artists like Ariana Grande, Gwen Stefani, Tori Kelly and a lot more doing their takes on the classics. It’s a cool collection and among the most intriguing releases of the week.
  • More albums out this week: Alanis Morissette‘s Jagged Little Pill (Collector’s Edition) (iTunes), Bryan Adams‘s Get Up (iTunes), Car Seat Headrest‘s Teens Of Style (iTunes), Carnage‘s Papi Gordo (iTunes), Crown The Empire‘s The Resistance (Deluxe) (iTunes), Def Leppard‘s Def Leppard (iTunes), Drive-By Truckers‘s It’s Great To Be Alive! (iTunes), Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra‘s If I Can Dream (iTunes), EL VY‘s Return To The Moon (iTunes), Imagine Dragons‘s Smoke + Mirrors (Deluxe) (iTunes), Josh Ward‘s Holding Me Together (iTunes), Jovanie‘s What’s The Move, Pt. II (iTunes), Marc Scibilia‘s Out Of Style (iTunes), Puscifer‘s Money Shot (iTunes), Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings‘s It’s A Holiday Soul Party (iTunes), Steve Martin and Edie Brickell‘s So Familiar (iTunes), Straight No Chaser‘s The New Old Fashioned (iTunes), Trey Anastasio‘s Paper Wheels (iTunes), NOW That’s What I Call Music! 56 (iTunes), NOW That’s What I Call Disney Princess! (iTunes), Original Soundtrack to “AMY” (iTunes)
  • More EPs out this week: Bruns‘s Bruns (iTunes), Kelley Stoltz‘s 4 New Cuts (iTunes), LoCash‘s I Love This Life (iTunes)

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

  • “All I Want Is Love”, A Great Big World (iTunes)
  • “Army”, Ellie Goulding (iTunes)
  • “Black & Blue”, James TW (iTunes)
  • “Door Number Three”, Sara Bareilles (iTunes)
  • “Ego”, Bibi Bourelly (iTunes)
  • “Fix”, Chris Lane (iTunes)
  • “Focus”, Ariana Grande (iTunes)
  • “Gold”, Kiiara (iTunes)
  • “Grown”, Little Mix (iTunes)
  • “Heart Is Full”, Miike Snow (iTunes)
  • “Humble And Kind”, Tim McGraw (iTunes)
  • “I Don’t Belong To You”, Keke Palmer (iTunes)
  • “I Know A Guy”, Chris Young (iTunes)
  • “I Want To Love You”, Mat Kearney (iTunes)
  • “Let The Games Begin”, AJR (iTunes)
  • “Mess Around”, Cage The Elephant (iTunes)
  • “One Step At A Time”, Jeff Lynne’s ELO (iTunes)
  • “Random”, G-Eazy (iTunes)
  • “Thank God For Girls”, Weezer (iTunes)
  • “There’s A Place”, The All-American Rejects (iTunes)
  • “You Look Like I Need a Drink”, Justin Moore (iTunes)

Next Friday, our preview will include new albums from notable artists like Ellie Goulding, Little Mix, Old Dominion, Tim McGraw and many more. See you then!

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Lucky Charms: A Pack Of Fine And Fortunate Songs

They should be so lucky.

They’re magically delicious.

Just like that, the French electronic duo named Daft Punk have scored their very first top 40 hit as a main act on the Hot 100, “Get Lucky”, featuring a vocal from Pharrell Williams. Though they’ve managed to chart here with other songs like “Around The World”, “One More Time”, and “Stronger” (as a featured artist on Kanye West‘s #1 single), the group still aren’t a household name here, though this is anticipated to be their biggest era ever. “Get Lucky” has already made it up to #14 and with an album, Random Access Memories, a few days away, I thought we could look back at the luck that we listened to when we were little (and still do today.) At least two dozen titles have crashed the top 40 with “luck” or “lucky” in their title, but only seven has gone as high as Daft Punk‘s current record. So, take seven of those, plus seven more that I like, and I think we’ve got a whole lot of good luck to contend with. Let me share some with you:

“Lucky Ladybug”, Billy & Lillie (#14, 1959)
The duo of Billy Ford and Lillie Bryant got together in 1958 to record for Swan Records. Their debut single, “La Dee Dah”, written and produced by Bob Crewe and Frank C. Slay, Jr., went to #9 on the Hot 100 in 1958 and sold over 1 million copies. That pairing also wrote their second and final top 40 hit, “Lucky Ladybug”, which went to #14. The group split shortly afterwards after a few failed singles.

“Happy-Go-Lucky Me”, Paul Evans (#10, 1960)
Queens-born Evans struck it big in his early 20’s with a handful of hit singles, including the 1959 record “Seven Little Girls (Sitting in the Back Seat)”, which went to #9. (You’d think it would’ve peaked at #7.) “Me” was his only other top ten hit, and after a couple more charting songs, he was done. He later went into songwriting and production of film and television scores, including CBS This Morning.

“Lady Luck”, Lloyd Price (#14, 1960)
R&B singer Price started making the R&B survey in the early 50’s, but it wasn’t until after a stint in the military that he began to crash the pop charts. He’s best known for his 1959 version of the song “Stagger Lee”, which went to #1 on the Hot 100. He last hit the top 40 in 1963 with a remake of the song “Misty”, though he continued to put out original music for some time. He continues to perform.

“Good Luck Charm”, Elvis Presley (#1, 1962)
He was the King of Rock and Roll and he was still at the top on his golden throne when this song came along, cut in 1961 and released the following spring. “Good” spent two weeks at #1 in April and was one of eighteen number ones on the Billboard Hot 100 for Mr. Presley. Long after his death in 1977, his songs are continually played on the radio, and his home, Graceland, remains a popular tourist spot.

“With A Little Luck”, Paul McCartney & Wings (#1, 1978)
1978 was another hot year on the charts for this group who released their latest studio album, London Town. This first single from the effort made a huge splash and quickly climbed into the #1 spot, which it held for two weeks, with its parent album going to #2. McCartney, having made music for over fifty years now, is still on tour frequently and making original material. There’s definitely no stopping him now.

“Lucky Star”, Madonna (#4, 1984)
The megastar from Michigan first made it into the top 40 a year prior with “Holiday”, but this was her first single to make the top 5 on the Hot 100. Featured on her self-titled album, it is one of her most remembered songs, thanks in part to a music video which established her as a fashion icon. It also prepared her for her forthcoming era, the Like A Virgin album, and a whole lot more luck on the singles survey.

“Some Guys Have All The Luck”, Rod Stewart (#10, 1984)
First done by R&B group The Persuaders in 1973, it became a minor single for them, peaking at #39 on the Hot 100. The Stewart version became the singer’s second top ten hit in a row from his Camouflage album, which was certified Gold in the United States. It still gets a bit of adult contemporary play today. Stewart recently released his first album of all original material in twelve years, Time, on Capitol Records.

BONUS: these singles could have used a little more luck (but I still enjoy them a lot):
“Hard Luck Woman”, KISS (#15, 1977) / remake by Garth Brooks (#45, 1994)
The original comes from the Platinum-certified Rock And Roll Over album; the Brooks remake appears on a tribute album, Classic KISS Regrooved.

“The Lucky One”, Amy Grant (#18, 1994)
Oh, baby baby, this one didn’t do as well as her #1 hit from 1991. This was one of her last major hits to see any attention from mainstream radio.

“Lucky”, Britney Spears (#23, 2000)
“This is a story about a girl named Lucky.” The down sides of fame couldn’t stop it from reaching the #2 spot on my personal chart in the summer of 2000.

“I Should Be So Lucky”, Kylie Minogue (#28, 1988)
She should be so lucky (lucky, lucky, lucky) to appear on the list. “Should” went to #1 in Australia and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

“Lucky Love”, Ace Of Base (#30, 1996)
Following “Beautiful Life”, which came and went, this single didn’t stay around for much time either. The group had one last top 40 hit here in 1998.

“Just Got Lucky”, JoBoxers (#36, 1983)
They were a little more “lucky” in their native United Kingdom where this hit #7 on the Singles Chart. This was their only charting release here.

“Lucky”, Jason Mraz featuring Colbie Caillat (#48, 2009)
This soft rock ballad blended their two voices perfectly and garnered a lot of adult contemporary airplay. It went to #2 on my personal chart for three weeks.

Which song is the luckiest of all in your book? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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FRIDAY FORTY: Just A Fool Or Forty

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!)

It’s still a few days before you have to put your April Fool’s Day pranks into action, so make it a good one this year. I’m sure you’ll come up with something extra special. In the meantime, there’s been some foolish behavior on the music charts for years, from dancing fools to fools in the rain. We’ve kissed them and believed them. We’ve even questioned ourselves about being the fool. Everybody plays the fool, and we played these records a lot, even if they didn’t peak around the Day. (Some of them indeed did.) So, instead of my yapping and fooling around, I present to you the Friday Forty: The Top 40 Fools of the Rock Era.

(I’m still figuring out the best way to compile these lists. In this case, songs are ranked by peak from the Hot 100 (1958-1973) or the CHR airplay chart (1974-present.) Ties in peak are broken up by year-end positions on the respective survey. Enjoy!)

40. The Impressions – Fool For You (#22, 1968)
39. James Ray – If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody (#22, 1961)
38. Lulu – Oh Me, Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby) (#22, 1970)
37. Styx – Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) (#21, 1978)
36. The Rolling Stones – Fool To Cry (#19, 1976)
35. Frankie Valli – I Make A Fool Of Myself (#18, 1967)
34. Eddie Money – Maybe I’m A Fool (#18, 1979)
33. Dino, Desi and Billy – I’m A Fool (#17, 1965)
32. Sammy Davis, Jr. – What Kind Of Fool Am I (#17, 1962)
31. Wilson Pickett – Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You (#17, 1971)

30. Larsen-Feiten Band – Who’ll Be The Fool Tonight (#16, 1980)
29. Quarterflash – Find Another Fool (#16, 1982)
28. The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again (#15, 1971)
27. Foghat – Third Time Lucky (First Time I Was A Fool) (#14, 1980)
26. Andy Williams – A Fool Never Learns (#13, 1964)
25. Luther Vandross – Don’t Want To Be A Fool (#12, 1991)
24. Rick Nelson – Fools Rush In (#12, 1963)
23. Steve Perry – Foolish Heart (#10, 1985)
22. The Tams – What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am?) (#9, 1963)
21. Aaron Neville – Everybody Plays The Fool (#9, 1991)

20. Chris Rea – Fool (If You Think It’s Over) (#9, 1978)
19. Rick Springfield – What Kind Of Fool Am I? (#9, 1982)
18. Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb – What Kind Of Fool (#7, 1981)
17. Diana Ross – Why Do Fools Fall In Love? (#7, 1981)
16. Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 – The Fool On The Hill (#6, 1968)
15. George Michael – Kissing A Fool (#6, 1988)
14. Kenny Loggins – Nobody’s Fool (#6, 1988)
13. Lesley Gore – She’s A Fool (#5, 1963)
12. The Shirelles – Foolish Little Girl (#3, 1963)
11. Brenda Lee – Fool #1 (#3, 1961)

The top ten:
10. The Main Ingredient – “Everybody Plays The Fool”
PEAK: #3, 1972

9. Elvin Bishop – “Fooled Around And Fell in Love”
PEAK: #3, 1976

8. Elvis Presley – “A Fool Such As I”
PEAK: #2, 1959

7. Aretha Franklin – “Chain Of Fools”
PEAK: #2, 1968

6. Ashanti – “Foolish”
PEAK: #2, 2002

Not just a "Little" hit.

Not just a “Little” hit.

5. RICKY NELSON – “Poor Little Fool”
PEAK: #1 in 1958

Teen idol Ricky Nelson blew up at an early age, starring on the 50’s sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet along with the rest of his family. In 1957, Nelson began his recording career with a #1 album, Ricky, and a #2 single, “A Teenager’s Romance”. “Poor” was issued in the spring of 1958 and went to #1 for two weeks in August. It holds the distinction of being the first #1 song on the then newly introduced Billboard Hot 100 chart. Nelson had a number of big singles into the early 60’s, but by the middle of the decade, his success experienced a sharp cutoff. “Garden Party” became his final top-40 hit in 1972, peaking at #6, his biggest single in nearly a decade. He had 35 top-40 hits total. Nelson died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve, 1985.

"Somebody" familiar to the top ten.

“Somebody” familiar to the top ten.

4. CONNIE FRANCIS – “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool”
PEAK: #1 in 1960

She was on the last Friday Forty about fashion-themed hits, and now, Connie Francis is back again. Like Nelson at #5, Francis also hit the charts for the first time in 1957 with the #4 “Who’s Sorry Now?” but her track record was a little more inconsistent. “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” was originally the b-side of another single, “Jealous Of You”, which only went to #19. However, in this rare case, the song that was demoted to a b-side actually went to the top spot, spending two weeks there. Francis followed it up with “My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own”, which also went to #1. She last hit the top 40 in 1964, but she occasionally made the Hot 100 until the end of the decade. Francis is now 74 years old and sometimes performs.

Couldn't quite "Beat" the top two.

Couldn’t quite “Beat” the top two.

3. DEBBIE GIBSON – “Foolish Beat”
PEAK: #1 in 1988

New Yorker Debbie Gibson wanted to make it big very young, performing in community theater and playing multiple instruments. In 1987, Atlantic Records signed her, and her debut album Out Of The Blue became a multi-Platinum success. This fourth single from the effort became the only #1 hit from it, and, at the tender age of 17, made her the youngest act to write, produce and perform a chart-topping single. Electric Youth, released in 1989, went to #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart on the strength of “Lost In Your Eyes”, but her sales slowly diminished at this point. Gibson last cracked the national charts in 1993, though she’s made some genre-specific surveys since then. She still performs today; in fact, I’ll be seeing her on April 12 at a local event here.

For your chart, your intuition...

“Games” people play.

2. JEWEL – “Foolish Games”
PEAK: #1 in 1997

After two big singles from her Pieces Of You album, this dark track from the Batman & Robin soundtrack was one of two from it to make the mainstream radio chart. (The other was the mid-charter “Gotham City” by R. Kelly.) “Foolish Games” spent four weeks at #1 in the fall, the most out of any song on the list. Jewel scored hits for a number of years afterwards, including 1998’s “Hands” and 2003’s “Intuition”, and also leaped into the world of Country music. Still, her days of big national hits are behind her. She recently put out a Greatest Hits album and a new song from it, “Two Hearts Breaking”, is receiving some minor airplay at the adult contemporary format. She’ll be on tour through the late spring and early summer.

You better "Believe" it.

You better “Believe” it.

1. THE DOOBIE BROTHERS – “What A Fool Believes”
PEAK: #1 in 1979

Now, the most foolish of the fools at #1 on the countdown. After lead singer Tom Johnston fell ill in 1975, The Doobie Brothers took on a different sound with new leader Michael McDonald. “What A Fool Believes” was the first single from Minute By Minute and was a huge and unexpected hit, spending three weeks at #1 on the airplay chart (including over April Fool’s Day) in the spring of 1979. (It only spent one week atop the Hot 100.) The group had a handful of other charting singles, then disbanded in 1982, until they reunited in 1987. They managed to take one more single into the top 40, 1989’s “The Doctor”, though McDonald had left the band at that point. The group still tours today with different lineups and Johnston reinstated as lead singer.

Thanks for logging on and checking out another of the Friday Forty posts and if you have any suggestions for themes or a favorite song on the list, let me know! Post away in the comments or find on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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All Dolled Up: Tales From The Top 40 Toy Chest

Some assembly required.

Some assembly (and musical guilty pleasures) required.

After a GRAMMY nomination for his hit song “The A Team”, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is releasing a new single in the U.S., “Lego House”, though it’s not exactly new to a lot of audiences. The song peaked at #5 in the U.K. way back in November 2011. It’s also gone top ten in Australia, Belgium and Israel. Despite the song just picking up here, including a top 30 placing on Hot AC radio, it got me thinking about other toys that have made it onto the national charts. Lego products are popular enough, but how about dolls and video games? “Lego House” may be the next to join them with a run into the top 40 on the Hot 100. Supplies are limited, so buy into this post while you can.

Whether you’re bouncing, dunking, hitting or kicking it, the ball has always been a playground favorite for kids. Only one top-40 hit has used the term referring to a toy, in which quintet The Cyrkle compared the sun to a “Red Rubber Ball”. It peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 in 1966. They continued to release singles for the next two years, though none were nearly as big.

In addition, three songs about balloons have made the top 40 over the decades. First up was The Yellow Balloon, who hit #25 in 1967 with a song also called “Yellow Balloon”, from, yes, a self-titled album, The Yellow Balloon. Fast forward to 1984 and we find the German group Nena and their only charting single, the #2 “99 Luftballons”, which was then sung in English and retitled as “99 Red Balloons”. Finally, in 1999, rockers the Goo Goo Dolls made it on the charts with “Black Balloon”. It achieved similar peaks on both the Hot 100 (#16) and CHR radio (#12).

Not a huge shocker, but this is the category where most of our entries are. We love dolls of all shapes and forms and they’re still popular today. Here are some of significant titles:

The first hit in the U.S. for superstar Cliff Richard also became his first #1 single in the U.K., “Living Doll”. It went to #30 on the Hot 100 in 1959. Two songs called “Rag Doll” have hit the top 40: in 1964, it was a #1 single for The Four Seasons, and in 1988, it was top 20 entry for Boston rockers Aerosmith. From the big screen, singer Dionne Warwick went to the runner-up spot in 1968 with the theme song from Valley Of The Dolls.

Arguably the most famous song about a doll hit during the summer of 1997. Danish quartet Aqua went from plastic to pop perfection with their biggest hit here., “Barbie Girl”, an ode to Mattel’s magnificent maiden. Huge sales propelled it into the top ten on Billboard, peaking at #7, but its airplay lagged behind, only reaching #21 on the CHR chart. The group had two more minor singles chart in the States, one of which was “Turn Back Time”, a bigger radio hit than “Barbie” but a no-show on the Hot 100 due to a lack of a physical single at the time.

You may as well have a pad to put all these ladies in, and singer-songwriter Priscilla Renea has just the solution. Her only charting song to date, “Dollhouse”, went to #33 on CHR radio in 2009. Lastly, for acts, we have the aforementioned Goo Goo Dolls, who had #1 radio hits like “Name” (1995) and “Iris” (1998), as well as the Pussycat Dolls, who had a string of top 5 hits at both radio and retail, including “Buttons” and “Don’t Cha”.

In addition to dolls, four songs about those G.I. Joes and Janes marched straight into the top 40. Two versions of the song “One Tin Solder” made the top 40; the original, by The Original Caste, went to #34 in 1969, and in 1971, Coven‘s take rose to #26. As for the other two songs, one sampled the other. That pair would be Martika‘s “Toy Soldiers” from 1989 (#1) and Eminem‘s 2005 single, “Like Toy Soldiers” (#34). The rapper’s song fared better at CHR radio, hitting #24. There have been many other songs with “soldier” in the title, but majority of those are addressing people and not play things.

Sometimes they’re cute and sometimes they’re a little bit on the scary side. I’d like to think that all of these selections can put on a good show. Two such singles about the subject made the top 40: in 1966, the duo of James & Bobby Purify went to #6 with “I’m Your Puppet”. They ranked seven other singles on the Hot 100 through 1968. Pop quintet The 5th Dimension scored the second of them, going to #24 in 1970 with “Puppet Man”. It was their first top-40 hit of the decade and would make that portion of the charts for three more years.

Remember the Meat Puppets? They’re the only act to pack the puppet into their name. Their one crossover single, “Backwater”, went to #30 on CHR radio in 1994. (It just missed the top 40 on the Hot 100 at #47.)

From Beanie Babies to Pillow Pets, you know you at least had a few of them. Might be obvious to some of you, but the only kind of stuffed animal to make the top 40 is that lovable, hugable teddy bear. Two song titles have made it that high. One pre-dated the Hot 100, but topped the similar Top 100 for seven weeks in 1957. That was “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” by the King himself, Elvis Presley. On the other side of the charts, a beary big Country hit that spent a lone week at #40 in 1976. That one was “Teddy Bear” by Red Sovine. The song’s technically about a trucker whose handle on CB radio is “teddy bear”, but it still works. Sad song, by the way.

Of course, we can’t forget The Teddy Bears, the studio group that was Phil Spector’s first big foray into the music world. They spent three weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 in 1958 with the classic “To Know Him Is To Love Him”.

I was never good with these things, even though they were pretty popular when I was younger. Two songs with “yo-yo” in the title made it into the top 40 on the Hot 100. The first, in 1971, became the second top ten hit for family group The Osmonds. “Yo-Yo” peaked at #3. The second, by the female rapper named Yo-Yo, went to #36 in the spring of 1991. “You Can’t Play With My Yo-Yo” also featured rapper turned television star Ice Cube.

You can probably sort “My Ding-A-Ling” by Chuck Berry into this category. It hit #1 during the fall of 1972. Hey, it is “silver bells hanging on a string”, right? Oh… yeah, let’s just move on.

Can you believe a character from Sesame Street actually made the Billboard Hot 100? Yes, it’s true, Ernie‘s “Rubber Duckie” was cut as a single and actually hit #16 in October 1970. The creator and voice behind him, the late Jim Henson, also hit the top 40 in 1979 as Kermit The Frog, who went to #25 with “The Rainbow Connection”.

In 1973, singer-songwriter Don McLean made the top 40 with his last single of the decade, a #21 song based off of a spinning top used by children during the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. That was called “Dreidel”. Based off of the hit video game, “Pac-Man Fever” went to #9 for Buckner & Garcia in 1982. Their followup, “Do The Donkey Kong”, failed to make the top 100. Then, in 1989, the only top-40 hit for Roachford, “Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)”, went to #25 on the Hot 100.

As for the one act to fit in here, it didn’t take a lot of thought to come up with a name like The Toys, but the New York trio hit the #2 slot in 1965 with “A Lover’s Concerto”. They charted for several more years, but didn’t have anything as big as “Concerto”. Synthpop and rock act Shiny Toy Guns have hit the Alternative chart a total of five times since 2006, but have barely made the Hot 100.

For more articles from the attic, follow the blog by clicking the tab below or follow me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel. Hope you enjoyed!

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Return To Sender: A “No Mail On Saturday” Playlist

You've got mail.

You’ve got mail.

It was announced earlier this week that the U.S. Postal Service will be eliminating Saturday mail delivery this August (though packages aren’t affected to be this decision.) There’s been mixed reaction to the announcement, but it appears that it won’t be reversed – for now, at least. While you’re counting down the days until the six-day delivery system goes away, here are six of my favorite songs about the postal service, writing letters and more from the past fifty or so years. Hopefully, you can cope with this playlist from the P.O. box of pop music.

Stevie B made a name for himself on the freestyle circuit, charting for several years on the Hot 100 with minor entries that also hit the Dance Chart. Then, in 1990, the singer released this big ballad which became his signature song, spending four weeks at the top of the chart. Too bad the postman couldn’t answer his request for additional singles with that kind of chart presence. After some weaker top-40 hits, he was off the scene by 1995.

Here’s one of two songs on the list that made the national charts three times. Back in 1961, a trio out of Michigan named The Marvelettes took the song to #1 for one week in December 1961. It was the first number-one record for the fledgling Tamla Records, a subsidiary label of Motown. They followed it with “Twistin’ Postman” the next year, but it just scratched the top 40. Then, in 1974, duo the Carpenters recorded their version of the tune, and it also went to #1 for one week in January 1975. It would be the last time the graced the top of the Hot 100. “Postman” last made the Hot 100 in a version by R&B trio Gentle Persuasion, which went to #82 in 1983. It essentially came off as a second-rate version of The Pointer Sisters and became their only charting single.

Written by Paul McCartney, this one made the charts just about a month after The Beatles claimed the top five singles in the nation in late March 1964. Originally the b-side of their #1 single, “Love Me Do”, it went to #10 on the Hot 100 in 1964, an unexpectedly high charting for the flip side of a record, but it is Fab Four we’re talking about. The band also covered other mail-themed songs like the aforementioned “Please Mr. Postman” and Buddy Holly‘s “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues”.

It’s another classic song from Tamla Records, originally recorded by the great Stevie Wonder. The song became his first top ten hit of the 70’s, going to #3 on the Hot 100. “Signed” also went as high as #18 in a remake by Peter Frampton in 1977. I personally really like his version, though I know many people who don’t. It was Frampton’s second-to-last top-40 hit.

I’m not a huge fan in general of this next group on the list, but this is probably my favorite song from The Brothers Johnson, who remade a 1971 album track by Johnny Otis and turned it into a #5 hit on the Hot 100 in 1977. Plus, I hear the vinyl single pressings had a strawberry scent to them. Sweet. A remake with an added rap break by young R&B singer Tevin Campbell peaked at #53 on the Hot 100 in 1992, though it hit the top 40 in CHR airplay.

Having a number-one hit with your debut single seems to be a common thread amongst many of the acts in this post like Stevie Wonder, The Beatles and The Marvelettes. Well, The Box Tops did it too, with a #1 for four weeks on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1967. It was remade by soft-rock quartet The Arbors, peaking at #20 in 1969. Lastly, a version by Joe Cocker went to #7 in 1970. It was co-produced by Leon Russell.

Other post-worthy odes to the postal service since the 60’s:
“A Letter To Myself”, The Chi-Lites (1973)
“Amsterdam (Gonna Write You A Letter)”, Guster (2003)
“Another Postcard (Chimps)”, Barenaked Ladies (2003)
“In Your Letter”, REO Speedwagon (1981)
“Rock And Roll Love Letter”, The Bay City Rollers (1976)
“Take A Letter Maria”, R.B. Greaves (1969)

Can’t forget about the one in the title… “Return To Sender” by Elvis Presley. It hit #2 on the Hot 100 in 1962.

Have another song you’d like to add that got lost in transit? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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