Tag Archives: jimmy buffett

TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (August 20)

Makin' "Paper".

Another day in Paradise.

Whether you’re running to the rodeo or cuddling up at the coffee shop, it’s music connecting those two hot spots this week for your list of releases out today, August 20:

  • Biggest week of the release comes from GRAMMY-winning singer and songwriter John Mayer. His sixth studio album, Paradise Valley, features collaborations with Frank Ocean and girlfriend Katy Perry. Two singles from it have been released thus far: “Paper Doll” and “Wildfire”. It will likely open at #2 behind Luke Bryan‘s Crash My Party, though it does have a slight chance of debuting at #1. (iTunes)
  • He’s wasted away again, but not in Margaritaville. Jimmy Buffett continues his island party with Songs From St. Somewhere, featuring a recent duet with Toby Keith, “Too Drunk To Karaoke”. It’s a hot seller on Amazon and could be top ten next week.  (iTunes)
  • Denver-based band The Lumineers have already gone Platinum with their debut self-titled album; now, a deluxe edition is out this week featuring a few new tracks and[ a cover of “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads. (iTunes)
  • Combining the talents of Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank, TGT is all over Urban AC radio with their first project together. Three Kings is out, which includes current hit, “I Need”. (iTunes)
  • Two movie soundtracks leap from the silver screen into stores this week: Kick Ass 2 (iTunes) and The Mortal Instruments. (iTunes)
  • Other albums out this week include A$AP Ferg‘s Trap Lord (iTunes), Blue October‘s Sway (iTunes), Frames by Lee DeWyze (iTunes) and Where You Stand by Travis. (iTunes)

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

  • “Hurt You”, a classic R&B duet between Toni Braxton and Babyface. (iTunes)
  • “Loving You”, the first U.S. single release for Matt Cardle along with duet partner Melanie C. (iTunes)
  • “Next To Me”, already a hit in the U.S. for Emeli Sandé in a new mix with Alejandro Sanz. (iTunes)
  • “Pass Me By”, the latest single from the Lynch siblings, R5. (iTunes)
  • “That Girl”, the first solo single for Sugarland‘s vocalist Jennifer Nettles. (iTunes)
  • “Trying To Be Cool”, an Alternative hit for Phoenix as remixed by R. Kelly. (iTunes)

Rockers Avenged Sevenfold and rapper Big Sean top the list of new releases for next week… can either make it to #1? Stay tuned for our next update!

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Filed under Album Reviews, Music News

Leave It To Bieber: The J.B.’s Before Justin

A lighter shade of Brown(e).

A lighter shade of Brown(e).

If you hear the initials J.B. nowadays, you’d probably think of pop star Justin Bieber. The pint-size Canadian singer has taken the world by storm with international hits like “As Long As You Love Me”, “Baby”, and his newest release, “Beauty And A Beat”. Although, as of late, the charts aren’t the only thing he’s been “lighting up”. However, he’s not the only J.B. to make the charts, nor is he the biggest. There’s been at least ten other acts to make it into the top 40 in the last forty years. Here they are, in chronological order from when they first debuted:

They called him the “Godfather of Soul” and the “Hardest Working Man In Show Business” for a reason. He’s a legendary and energetic performer, one of the best we’ve ever seen. The singer from South Carolina released his first single with his group, The Famous Flames, way back in 1956, “Please, Please, Please”. It just missed the Hot 100, but was reissued and remixed a number of times afterwards. In 1965, the singer had his biggest breakout, a top ten entry called “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”, followed by the biggest hit of his career, the #3 “I Got You (I Feel Good)”. By 1968, the Flames were dropped from the main credit when Brown reached the #10 spot with “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”, and despite dozens of other top-40 hits that did even better on the R&B survey, the soulful singer only scored one other top ten hit on the pop chart: “Living In America”, from the soundtrack to Rocky IV. It went to #4 in 1986. Brown died on Christmas Day in 2006, but with his nearly 100 singles to make the Hot 100 and four decades worth of charting hits on at least one genre-specific chart, he’ll always be remembered as the original J.B. to many.

German-born Browne was an original member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, but left after several months and pursued a solo career. His first charting single was 1972’s “Doctor My Eyes”, which hit #8, but the big singles didn’t come easy for him despite some growing numbers on the Albums Chart. It wasn’t until 1978 that he came close to the top ten again with the Classic Rock staple “Running On Empty”, which went as high as #11. By 1980, he had his first #1 album, Hold Out, and in 1982, he had his biggest single to date with “Somebody’s Baby”, featured in the movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High. It went to #7, and Browne enjoyed a few more years of charting singles before things died down. He’s released albums on and off since then, most recently in 2008 with Time The Conquerer, which received positive reviews.

This singer from Mississippi started out in the world of Country before charting with a string of more novelty-type singles. “Come Monday”, one of his more serious tunes, managed a #30 peak in 1974, but it was “Margaritaville” that everybody knows and loves. That one managed a #8 on the Hot 100 in 1977 and after a few other minor entries (1978’s “Cheeseburger In Paradise” being the biggest, at #32), he was generally off the radar, scoring a few adult contemporary and country hits here and there for the better part of 25 years. Since then, Buffett’s been featured on two #1 collaborations on the Country survey: “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” with Alan Jackson from 2003 and “Knee Deep” with the Zac Brown Band in 2011.

In the late 60’s and early 70’s, Bristol worked as a songwriter and producer with the biggest of Motown’s acts. His most notable successes include co-production work on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, as well as a full production credit and background vocals on “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross & The Supremes. Bristol’s lone hit in the Hot 100’s top 40 was “Hang On In There Baby”, which hit #8 in 1974. He had charting songs on the R&B chart until 1980, but none of them managed to hit the top 40 nationally.

John Benitez was a disc jockey in New York City, specializing in production of the 12″ remixes that were often popular in the discotheques under the stage name Jellybean. In the mid-80’s, he linked up with superstar Madonna and the two became boyfriend and girlfriend, which last for a few years. In addition to all the other mainstream acts he was producing for, he engineered the remixes on most of Madonna‘s early singles, and she returned the favor by writing and singing on his first credited top-40 hit. That was “Sidewalk Talk”, which hit #18 in early 1986; Madonna sang the chorus, while another vocalist, Kat Buchanan, did the verses. One year later, he reached #16 with “Who Found Who?”, featuring a lead vocal by Elisa Fiorillo. It was her biggest of two top-40 hits. Jellybean worked well into the late 90’s on his remixes, though he never scored another big hit on the Hot 100.

This quintet was part American and part English, and though they did better in the United Kingdom, they managed to score one hit on the Hot 100: 1983’s “Just Got Lucky”, which peaked at #36. Just a few years ago, it was featured in The 40-Year Old Virgin, starring Steve Carrell.

South Africa native Butler managed one single on the Hot 100 in 1987: “Lies”, which peaked at #27. It was one of five songs for him that made the top ten on the R&B chart. Butler is primarily a Jazz artist today; his latest album, Grace and Mercy, debuted at #1 on the Jazz Albums chart back in October.

Take a cartoon rabbit and put him as the leader of a faceless group that remixes oldies but goodies into big mega mixes and, poof, instant hit. “Swing The Mood” combined early rock classics like “Hound Dog” and “Rock Around The Clock” into one song, becoming a huge #1 single in the U.K. in 1989. In the U.S., it lagged on the airplay charts, but was a huge seller in stores, reaching #11 on the Hot 100 in early 1990. Followup single “That’s What I Like” edged into the top 70, but was another easy #1 across the pond, where the group managed to place singles in the top 40 until 1991.

Former British Army member Blunt became a breakout star in 2005 when his ballad “You’re Beautiful” spent five weeks at #1 on the Singles Chart in the United Kingdom. “Beautiful” also spent a week at #1 on the Hot 100 in March 2006. Blunt managed six other top-40 hits in the U.K., most of which attracted limited airplay in the U.S. in the Hot Adult Contemporary format. His last to make the Hot 100 was “Stay The Night”, which went to #94 in 2011 after being featured in an advertising campaign for ABC.

This trio from New Jersey became Disney darlings and hit the top 40 on the Hot 100 in 2007 with “Year 3000”, a rewrite of a hit for the boy band Busted in the United Kingdom. Teen girls came out by the hundreds to buy their singles digitally, resulting in eight total top-40s, only five of which gained radio airplay. Their biggest, “Burnin’ Up”, hit #5 on the Hot 100 in 2008 while stalling in the teens at CHR radio. They haven’t had a hit since 2009, but the brothers recently reformed their group and may be releasing new material this year.

Who is your favorite J.B. act? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Music News, Playlists, Retro

SINGLE REVIEW: Train – “Mermaid”

Long Train runnin’.

They’ve been reggae and calypso and now they’re up to their third single from their compact disco. Ay dios mio.

Train have been pretty consistent this era in providing some earworms that you can’t help but crank up on the stereo. In January, they unveiled the first single from California 37, a song entitled “Drive By”, and despite some cringeworthy lyrics (I’m looking at you, Hefty bags) it rose to a peak of #2 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart, top 20 on CHR radio and spent a few weeks on top of my own personal chart. Just a few months ago, Train employed a mariachi band for about fifteen minutes to create “50 Ways To Say Goodbye”, which spent six weeks at #2 on my survey and, again, went top 5 Hot AC and top 20 CHR. I give that one brownie points for using Yom Kippur in the lyrics. The Jew Crew has to stick together, people. Plus, “I Gotta Feeling” with its auto-tuned “mazel tov” and “l’chaim” has been overplayed for years anyways. By the way, are there actually 50 ways to say goodbye? Can someone get Paul Simon on the line or is too late in the evening?

There’s been some shifting around when it came to the third release from California 37. A few months ago, a music video blog reported that a clip “Bruises”, which features Country singer Ashley Monroe, was in production, so I automatically assumed that that was the choice. Several weeks passed and I then noticed that “This’ll Be My Year” was being released to radio in Australia. Hmmm. Well, “Bruises” ended up being a video-only single, and “This’ll Be My Year” is staying down under, and thus, we come to the official third single already at American radio stations: “Mermaid”.

Now, “Mermaid” sounds like your typical Train track. A rolling guitar shuffle. A solid drum beat. There’s no question that they’re developing a sound that’s instantly recognizable. However, this time around, Train have decided to take a page out of the Jimmy Buffett Songbook, past the chapter on the Coral Reefers and onto a riveting description on Shipwrecked Sailors. So, Captain Pat Ahoy, Mateyhan takes a boat (let’s be honest, it was probably an inner tube rather than the S.S. Virginia) to some island that only Johnny Depp knows of. Is that because he’s famous and can afford a private island or because he’s a pirate of the Caribbean?  Alright, so then he’s like, “Oh God, this is just like Cast Away,” which I suppose is good since that won Tom Hanks a Golden Globe but it’s also bad because Johnny Depp wasn’t it. Maybe we can change it to Sweeney Todd. So, then, unlike the movies, some girl washes up and Pat gives her his coat because obviously the water is freezing this time of year. Wait, if she’s a mermaid, wouldn’t she be used to the water temperature? Homegirl needs to like, chill (no pun intended.) Oh, look, a clue. We’re on the Puget Sound. Hold on, I thought this was the Caribbean. Is this really the Bermuda Triangle? Is somebody gonna play the triangle? Help me, help me, I’m all out of lines…

Fine, you can’t overanalyze this sort of thing. It’s a light, fluffy pop song about a future love that washes up on shore; it’s not like it’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” Although, I suppose if this underperforms, you could call it a train wreck (not that I want it to, I’m just saying.) The only other thing I’m going to take issue with is that Pat Monahan wants this girl in 1992, because I’m being honest, that wasn’t a great year for songs about the sea at top-40 radio. The only thing that seems to fit is “Walk On The Ocean” by Toad The Wet Sprocket. Pacific Ocean, perhaps? Or, if you’d rather, the sea of love. Ooh la la. I can imagine a music video going viral already. Pat Monahan’s vocal is solid as usual, the lyrics are more cohesive than usual, and since the band seems to be a streak, then I would assume this is going to be a winner rather than a wipeout per usual. Just keep the life preserver at the ready. You never know when the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” formula is going to be taking on water. –AFS

Purchase “Mermaid” on AmazonMP3.

Listen to “Mermaid” on YouTube.


Filed under Single Reviews