Tag Archives: Glee

SINGLE PREMIERE: Lea Michele (of Glee) – “Cannonball” (+ Lyrics)

Fierce and firing away.

Fierce and firing away.

She’s still on Glee as the popular character Rachel Berry, but 27-year-old Lea Michele is moving onto bigger things in her music career with her first single outside of the show. As the leadoff release from her forthcoming album Louder, “Cannonball” was written by Sia and produced by Benny Blanco and Stargate. The eleven track album also features credits from Chris Braide (“If You Say So”), Christina Perri (“Empty Handed”) and Matt Rad (“Cue The Rain”), among others. It will out on March 4.

(Purchase “Cannonball” on iTunes) / (Listen to “Cannonball”)

“CANNONBALL”

[Intro]
Break down (x2)

[Verse 1]
(Break down)
I was scared to death, I was losing my mind
(Break down)
I couldn’t close my eyes, I was pacing all night
(But now)
I think I found the light at the end of the tunnel
(A light out)
I couldn’t find the truth, I was going under

[Pre-Chorus]
But I won’t hide inside
I’ve got to get out
Got to get out (x3)
Lonely inside and light the fuse
Light it now (x3)

[Chorus]
And now I will start living today
Today, today, I close the door
I’ve got this new beginning and I will fly
I’ll fly
Like a cannonball (x3)
I’ll fly (x3)
Like a cannonball

[Verse 2]
(Freedom)
I let go of fear and the peace came quickly
(Freedom)
I was in the dark and then it hit me
I chose suffering and pain and the fog and rain
I know I gotta get out into the world again

[Pre-Chorus]
But I won’t hide inside
I’ve got to get out
Got to get out (x3)
Lonely inside and light the fuse
Light it now (x3)

[Chorus]
And now I will start living today
Today, today, I close the door
I’ve got this new beginning and I will fly
I’ll fly
Like a cannonball (x3)
I’ll fly (x3)
Like a cannonball

[Middle 8]
(Break down)
I was scared to death, I was losing my mind
(Break down)
I gotta get out into the world again

[Chorus]
And now I will start living today
Today, today, I close the door
I’ve got this new beginning and I will fly
I’ll fly
Like a cannonball (x3)
I’ll fly (x3)
Like a cannonball (x3)
I’ll fly (x3)
Like a cannonball

Leave a comment

Filed under Single Reviews

REWIND: “Don’t Stop” This Song’s Journey

Go on, "Stop".

Go on, “Stop”.

They were the boys from the Bay, the sultans of San Francisco rock. I’m talking about Journey, the band formerly led by Steve Perry. With over a dozen studio albums and two dozen charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100, we loved them and still love them; they’re a staple on Classic Rock radio and their 1988 Greatest Hits collection remains one of the top catalog releases. However, it’s back into the vault to remember, quite possibly, their most well-known song. It may not have peaked the highest or sold the most during its original run, but its impact through the media, especially in the past few years, has given it the new life it deserves. So, a little history on the anthem that is “Don’t Stop Believin'” and how we got to where it is now:

“Stop” is featured on Journey‘s album Escape, recorded in the spring of 1981 and released in late July of that same year. It was co-written by band members Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry and Neal Schon and co-produced by Kevin Elson (who worked with the band since 1980’s Departure) and Mike Stone, his first time recording them after previously working largely with Queen. In terms of a composition, it has the distinction of consisting of several verses and pre-choruses before one big chorus in the last-minute of the song. That section also proclaims the first uses of the title. Sounds weird on paper, but it worked. Columbia pushed the song as the second single after ballad “Who’s Crying Now?” climbed as high as #4 in October.

Today, on the chart dated November 7, 1981, “Don’t Stop Believin'” climbed to #40 on the Hot 100, moving up from #56 where it debuted the previous week. At the time, it was the group’s sixth top 40 hit. After peaking at #9 the week before Christmas, the song fell, finding itself back at #40 on the chart dated January 30, 1982. Though its time in the top 40 was short, it accumulated enough weeks in the top 100 to rank as the #73 single of 1982. It would also help extend the Escape era; followup single “Open Arms” became the band’s biggest single ever, reaching #2 a few months after “Stop” was off the charts.

Though it was a significant single in its own right, Journey went onto other big hits through 1987, when the group took a hiatus. They reunited in 1996 for Trial By Fire, but after lead singer Perry sustained an injury and a subsequent tour was postponed, the original lineup began to fall apart, including the dismissal of Perry, and a series of alternate singers combined with minimal airplay and sales for the new material left the group with no momentum. It was definitely one of their lows.

Things began to turn around several years later as “Stop” became popular with several sports teams on winning runs. Then, in 2007, “Stop” was used in that pivotal final scene of the HBO series The Sopranos and reaction was quick at digital retailers. In 2009, the song also gained new life when it was performed by the cast of Glee in their pilot episode. The cast version peaked at #4 on the Hot 100 and remains their highest peaking release on the chart to date. Countless other acts have covered the song, from Alvin and the Chipmunks to U.K. The X Factor winner Joe McElderry. From television placements to massive arenas around the country, the song is pretty much everywhere. Chances are, you probably have a copy of it in some form.

“Stop” is the biggest seller of all-time to have never been originally released during the digital era (from 2003), with total sales at nearly 5.9 million digital copies in the U.S.; couple that with another 500,000 copies in physical certifications and 1 million ringtones sold and you have what continues to be a monster sales hit over three decades after the song was first released. Escape is certified 9x Platinum domestically, their largest sum behind Greatest Hits. The dream era bloomed just perfectly.

It’s hard to imagine a world where this classic song was never as big as it is right now, but then again, Journey was a one of a kind act and this is certainly a one of a kind song. Thanks for the memories, and hold onto that feeling like we always will be.

Download Journey‘s “Don’t Stop Believin'” on iTunes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Retro

SINGLE PREMIERE: Naya Rivera featuring Big Sean – “Sorry” (+ Lyrics)

Gleefully growing up.

Gleefully growing up.

Though Glee recently suffered a tragedy with the death of actor Cory Monteith, the forthcoming fifth season of the series is back to filming, and at least one of the original series regulars is beginning her own music career. Naya Rivera, best known for playing the sassy Santana Lopez on the show, is premiering her debut single, which features her boyfriend and rapper Big Sean, “Sorry”. It’s the first release from her forthcoming album, due later this fall.

You can listen to the premiere of “Sorry” via Soundcloud.

“SORRY” (featuring Big Sean)

(Lyrics should generally be correct, but if there any errors or corrections, let me know in the comments. Thanks!)

[Chorus]
Sorry b***h, I’m not sorry
‘Cause I’ve been rolling ’round, shut it down, lady
Bagged him up, now he’s my baby
Sorry b***h, I’m not sorry
Yeah, you had your fun, now it’s done, crazy
Lookin’ at his #1 lady

S-O-R-R-Y (x2)
Yeah, you had your fun, now it’s done, crazy
Lookin’ at his #1 lady

[Verse 1]
I don’t really know much about you
But it’s clear you know my name
So I guess all I can tell you
Is that I don’t have much to say
If you used to be the one
Well, I don’t know s**t about it
I don’t know s**t about it
But I know you’re mad about it

[Bridge]
He loves the way I put it down
Starstruck by what he found
You’re wishing that it played out different
Yeah, I know it sucks, girl, I’m so

[Chorus]
Sorry b***h, I’m not sorry
‘Cause I’ve been rolling ’round, shut it down, lady
Bagged him up, now he’s my baby
Sorry b***h, I’m not sorry
Yeah, you had your fun, now it’s done, crazy
Lookin’ at his #1 lady

S-O-R-R-Y (x2)
Yeah, you had your fun, now it’s done, crazy
Lookin’ at his #1 lady

[Verse 2]
Now you’re showing up at his house
Looking like a hot mess, honey
I think it’s time for you to cut it out
Trying to save you from looking funny
I guess until you find somebody
You’re a hashtaggin’ pity party
P-p-party
All I gotta say is I’m so

[Chorus]
Sorry b***h, I’m not sorry
‘Cause I’ve been rolling ’round, shut it down, lady
Bagged him up, now he’s my baby
Sorry b***h, I’m not sorry
Yeah, you had your fun, now it’s done, crazy
Lookin’ at his #1 lady

[Rap – Big Sean]
You’re now rolling with the all-time high, never satisfied
Forever getting paid off of my money can’t buy
Always in the street, you’d have thought I was scared of heights
Oh, my girl’s so fine, that you’re scared to tell her “hi”
She’s an all-around ten like a hi-five
And we ain’t fall in love, we sky dive
I always get off when she’s on
She’s there, I’m gone
I call her fine, she call me Sean
And I love her quarter G, quarter free, quarter Puerto Ric’
Quarter sweet, Honolulu luau on the beat
South of France, me and my Mona Lise, bon appetit, mon ami

Yeah, I know it sucks, girl, I’m so

[Chorus]
Sorry b***h, I’m not sorry
‘Cause I’ve been rolling ’round, shut it down, lady
Bagged him up, now he’s my baby
Sorry b***h, I’m not sorry
Yeah, you had your fun, now it’s done, crazy
Lookin’ at his #1 lady

[Outro]
Amber, Brittany, Tiffany
Sorry, he belongs to me
Heather, Ashley, Stephanie
It just wasn’t meant to me
Sorry
S-O-R-R-Y (x3)

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Sound Of The Sip: Serving Up Pop Potions

What's "Cup"?

What’s “Cup”?

It’s become the surprise breakout hit from a movie that’s taken on a life of its own even after it was in theaters. The song is “Cups (When I’m Gone)”, the current #30 on the Hot 100, performed by actress Anna Kendrick from the film Pitch Perfect. Interpolating the 1937 song by J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers, “Miss Me When I’m Gone”, the song is climbing in both airplay and sales thanks to a radio remix which incorporates a folk backing behind Kendrick’s vocal and, of course, the sound of cups hitting the ground and her claps. It’s a rare hit for so many reasons, including the origin of the lyrics, the fact that the movie was screening last fall, and now Kendrick is just the fourth artist born in the state of Maine to have a top 40 hit behind Rick Pinette & Oak (1980), Howie Day (2004) and Spose (2010). It’s not every day that we have a popular single that has the word “cup” in the title either, so before you go spilling the tea on this one, drink a little of this chart concoction:

“I’ll Just Have A Cup Of Coffee (Then I’ll Go)”, Claude Gray (#84, 1961)
Country singer Gray had a handful of top ten hits on the Country survey, this one going to #4. It was his only song to crossover to the pop survey, albeit in a limited fashion. He last made the top 40 on his home format in 1970.

“Another Cup Of Coffee”, Brook Benton (#47, 1964)
Benton was successful on the R&B and pop surveys between the late 50’s and early 70’s with songs like “It’s Just A Matter Of Time” (#3, 1959) and “The Boll Weevil Song” (#2, 1961), although this wasn’t a big hit on either chart. His last top 40 single was a 1970 ballad titled “Rainy Night In Georgia” (#4).

“My Cup Runneth Over”, Ed Ames (#8, 1967)
Ames, an adult standards singer, recorded a version of this Biblical-inspired song, going top ten on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The song originates from the 1966 musical I Do! I Do! Ames hit the top 40 once more in 1968 with an English translation of a Spanish song, “Who Will Answer?” (#19), but he continued to rank on the AC survey through 1970 to varying success.

“Paper Cup”, The 5th Dimension (#34, 1967)
Before the quintet from Los Angeles struck gold with two #1 singles, they struggled to get this song into the top 40. It was the followup to “Up, Up And Away”, which didn’t struggled at all and climbed to #7. Parent album The Magic Garden was a dud, failing to break the top 100 on the Billboard 200.

“The Cup Of Life (La Copa De La Vida)”, Ricky Martin (#60, 1998 / #45, 1999)
One of the more famous songs to come out of the World Cup (in this case, the 1998 FIFA World Cup), Martin’s song went to #60 on the Hot 100 in 1998. However, after “Livin’ La Vida Loca” soared to #1, “Life” was serviced back to radio and retail, going to #45 on the Hot 100 and top 30 at mainstream radio. Two versions, one recorded in English and one mixing English and Spanish, were both heard here.

“Drank In My Cup”, Kirko Bangz (#28, 2012)
This Texas rapper had one moderate single on the R&B survey before going top 5 with this hit, which also charted moderately on the Hot 100. It was certified Platinum for sales of 1 million copies. He is prepping for the release of his first studio album, Bigger Than Me, which is due out later this summer. A single from it should be available soon.

“Red Solo Cup”, Toby Keith (#15, 2012)
It’s perhaps one of the silliest songs to make the charts, but both the song and video went viral, and thus, radio had to pick up on it. It went to #9 on the Country chart. A version performed on Glee by Chord Overstreet went to #92 in late 2011. Keith’s label tried unsuccessfully to market the song to mainstream radio as a Spring Break anthem last year, but the format wasn’t sipping the Kool Aid.

In addition, two songs about the “buttercup” flower went top 40: “Pucker Up Buttercup” by Jr. Walker & The All-Stars from 1967 (#31) and the classic “Build Me Up Buttercup“, a #3 single for the The Foundations in 1969. Let’s not forget about the most successful “cup” act to hit the charts, The Dixie Cups. The trio had a handful of top 40 hits in the 60’s, including the #1 “Chapel Of Love” in 1964 and the first charting version of the song “Iko Iko” a year later (#20) which would also make the Hot 100 for Dr. John (#71, 1972) and The Belle Stars (#14, 1989).

Hope you enjoyed your fill of these poppin’ pieces and don’t forget to follow the blog below and find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

PROFILE: Glee‘s Matthew Morrison Serves Up Standards For Seconds

Begin again.

Begin again.

You know him well as the character of Will Schuester on Glee, which was recently renewed for not one, but two more seasons. You think it’s a little premature to come to that announcement? I do too, but the network seems to really believe in it. When he’s not teaching the students at McKinley High, Matthew Morrison is an artist himself. There’s been a little bit out there on his recent developments in the music world, but now that the first single from his second album has magically appeared online, let’s have a listen to it, shall we? First, a little bit of background on the matter.

Glee attained a pretty good audience when it premiered in the fall of 2009, but it wasn’t until the second part of the first season that things really started to pick up for the crew. As the show rocked the ratings, Morrison signed a solo deal with Mercury Records, who released his self-titled debut album in the spring of 2011. He performed one of the songs on it, “Still Got Tonight”, on an episode of Glee that season, and the radio single from the effort, “Summer Rain”, made the top 20 on Adult Contemporary radio. It also made the top 20 on my personal chart, but we know those things don’t count in the real world. Sigh. Despite duets with Elton John and Sting and a top show on the air, he couldn’t really promote the album when it came out, and thus, it debuted moderately and then crashed down, never to be seen again. He was then, understandably, dropped from the label. However, just a year later, Morrison became the first signee on 222 Records, a label put together by the lead singer of Maroon 5, Adam Levine. He’s been working on this project ever since, and now his baby is ready to be revealed to the world in just a few weeks.

Where It All Began marks Matthew Morrison‘s first full release to go in an all-standards direction rather than the pop record he put out two years ago. The twelve-song set, released on June 3, is a mix of songs from the musicals and big band era, from “The Lady Is A Tramp” (from Babes In Arms) to “Luck Be A Lady” (from Guys And Dolls) to the first single from it, a take on the Duke Ellington classic from the 30’s, “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”. (You can hear that rendition below.) The album was produced by the late Phil Ramone, so there may be some curiosity buys based on that unfortunate event. There are some peculiar choices, including a duet with Smokey Robinson on “Ease On Down The Road” from The Wiz (who made that decision?) as well as a cover of “Send In The Clowns” from A Little Night Music, which is generally sung from the female perspective, although I guess that didn’t stop Frank Sinatra from recording a version of it. This is purely based on viewing the tracklisting; we’ll see if Morrison’s collection of songs actually works when it comes out in June. (You would think the label would want to put it out for Mother’s Day to cash in on that. Way to go, kids.) The first single is decent enough and a pretty faithful version of the old song, so I have decent-sized expectations for the rest of the eleven tracks.

(Pre-order Where It All Began on Amazon.)

Morrison hasn’t announced a full tour to promote his forthcoming album yet, but he will be doing two dates with the Boston Pops on May 28 and 29, two dates at 54 Below in New York City on June 2 and 4, as well as two dates with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. on November 29 and 30. In the meantime, perhaps we’ll see him pop up on The Voice for a performance with coach Adam Levine on the show. The genre of the album may be a hard sell to younger audiences who enjoy his stuff on Glee, but should he see the older folks come out for it, he may be able to stretch this era a bit. Otherwise, he still has a television to fall back on until the spring of 2015. At least this is the kind of material he wants to do artistically rather than being forced in a studio to record something, and I’m sure that’s enough satisfaction for him.

Listen to the first single from Morrison’s Where It All Began, “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”. You can also request it at your local Adult Contemporary radio station, where the song has been serviced as of this week. Let me know what you think of it in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

1 Comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Music News, Retro

PROFILE: A Great Big World Get A Gleeful Gain

"New" kids in town.

“New” kids in town.

Say hello to two guys who call themselves A Great Big World. Don’t know this duo yet? Well, they’re about to get their big introduction to the mainstream via a cover on the television show Glee. You may remember that a little song called “We Are Young” made its debut to a large audience on the same television show in December 2011, and now fun. is practically a household name with several GRAMMY nominations and two million-selling singles. Will the same overnight success happen with this duo’s “This Is The New Year”? The year is still young. Here’s a little background on the group and the song that you may be adding on your next playlist.

The duo of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino formed at New York University a few years back and they eventually formed a friendship while playing at the piano in the college’s practice spaces. Vaccarino found that Axel had a natural ability to sing and helped him to perfect his craft, going so far as to pay for his first professional vocal lesson. Axel started off as a solo artist, with Vaccarino managing him and writing his material. Axel put out “New Year” in a studio version to Adult Album Alternative, or AAA radio at this time last year, but the song never gained any traction on the airwaves and like a lot of songs, faded away, at least in the world of radio programmers. (The song dates back to at least 2008.) The song, however, provided them some online attention and the two set out on the road, opening for singer-songwriters like Five For Fighting and Ingrid Michaelson. It also got Axel’s material licensed to television shows like ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS’s The Amazing Race, among other well-known programs.

Last summer, Axel’s solo act turned into both performers being credit as a duo, A Great Big World, and the two created and released a six-song EP funded on the popular site Kickstarter. Vaccarino states, “It’s optimistic, hopeful pop music. There are fewer songs about heartbreak and more about the meaning of life, but even the most painful of our songs are hopeful.” That hopefulness is definitely heard in “New Year”, as Axel and Vaccarino sing, “‘Cause in the end we have each other/And that’s at least one thing worth living for.” It’s a soaring piano-lead number that recalls the classic mid-80s Americana anthem mixed with a contemporary vocal and other melodic elements. It would certainly fit in with the current sound of adult contemporary radio and also has big crossover potential. The Glee version doesn’t really compare to it, but the group does a decent rendition of it. There’s a lot of expectations following the sudden exposure of the song on a major TV show, but I think the boys will be able to follow through and deliver one of this year’s first big breakout singles.

Tune in and see the cast of Glee perform the song on the episode entitled “Naked”. It airs tonight at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central on FOX. Meanwhile, look for the original version on the charts in the next few weeks. By the way, if you get the chance, check out their whole EP, which is also available digitally. “I Really Want It” is another solid song from the effort, as well as “There Is The Answer”. Let’s hope that the answer is a good one following the show’s airing.

Buy “This Is The New Year” on iTunes:
A GREAT BIG WORLD VERSION
GLEE VERSION

5 Comments

Filed under Music News, Single Reviews

TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Dec. 11)

Something happened on the way to "Heaven".

Something happened on the way to “Heaven”.

Need some rock without the jingle bells? Let me try and help. Here’s your roundup of some of the new music releases for this week, in stores on December 11.

  • Unorthodox Jukebox, the second studio album from Bruno Mars, hits stores today, featuring the smash “Locked Out Of Heaven”. “Young Girls”, released to digital outlets several weeks ago, is set to be the second radio single. Look for it to enter in the top 5 on the album chart.
  • Rapper The Game releases Jesus Piece, his fifth album, of which three have debuted at #1 on the album chart thus far. It’s currently #1 on iTunes, but it likely won’t debut near the top. However, a top 10 entry is possible.
  • Green Day release the third album in their 2012 trilogy, ¡Tré! However, their promotion vehicle is still stuck in park, so expect this one to be in the lower top ten or even miss it altogether.
  • Light rockers Lifehouse release their followup LP to Smoke & Mirrors called Almería. First single “Between The Raindrops”, featuring Natasha Bedingfield, is top 30 at Hot AC radio. Physical stock is a little low on this one, and there’s no first week sale price for it, so expect this one in perhaps the top 30.
  • The third Christmas album from the Glee franchise features their takes on standards like “White Christmas” and “The First Noel”, as well as a rendition of “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah”. Look for it to enter somewhere in the top 40; doesn’t look like this one will be as big as the first two, and considering how low the ratings have dropped this season, it’s understandble.
  • If you’re a fan of the television show Nashville, some of the songs featured on various episodes are on a compilation entitled The Music Of Nashville: Season 1, Volume 1. Star Hayden Panettiere sings the first single from it, “Telescope”, already top 40 at Country radio.
  • One half of the duo OutKast, Big Boi, releases a solo album this week, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.
  • Boston-based band Boys Like Girls release their new full-length studio album, Crazy World. Lead single “Be Your Everything” just missed the top 40 in CHR airplay.
  • For you movie buffs, the soundtracks to On The Road, The Hobbit, and This Is 40 are all out this week.

Other assorted music DVDs and books out this week include:

  • Quebec Magnetic, Metallica‘s latest live performance DVD, which was filmed three years ago.
  • Beck‘s Song Reader, which is a sheet-music album.
  • A paperback version of Josiah Howard’s biography of singer Cher, named after her 1999 hit Strong Enough.

Lastly, the new digital-only singles that you can buy this week:

  • A virtual duet between Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé, “White Christmas”, which has already garnered a lot of adult contemporary airplay.
  • “Mary And Joseph”, a Christmas tune from Country superstar Tim McGraw.
  • “Boyfriend” by new Country singer RaeLynn, formerly from the television show, The Voice.
  • “C’mon Let Me Ride” by singer-songwriter Skylar Grey and featuring Eminem.

Enjoy all the new music out this week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Album Reviews, Charts/Trade Papers, Single Reviews