Tag Archives: Pharrell Williams

RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (June 10, 2018)

Welcome to Radio Active, a Sunday evening report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: all the highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. As Flag Day flies onto the schedule for later this week, we shall let our freak flag fly when it comes to song statistics. After all, it’s only natural. Here’s what’s making noise at the Top 40 format this Sunday:

HOME MALONE: Give me five! No, really. This week, the fifth top 40 single for Post Malone becomes his very first #1 hit on the Top 40 chart. Up from 3-1, the Ty Dolla $ign-assisted “Psycho” hits the top spot during the same week that Malone’s “Better Now” (the next pop single from his former #1 album Beerbongs & Bentleys) climbs from 50-34 to become his sixth top 40 entry. Malone’s new #1 at the format also spent two weeks atop the Rhythmic chart in late April. Believe it or not, “Psycho” also makes the top 40 on the Hot AC chart for this update, up 45-40 to become his second entry into the region. (Just in case you forgot, “Rockstar” peaked at #37 at that format a few months ago.) It’s anyone’s guess as to what else may prove be a notable radio hit from this project following “Psycho” and “Better”, but with the album’s impressive streaming statistics, there sure are a lot of potential choices.

WHAT’S LEFT IS “RIGHT”: Lots of action in the lower rungs of the chart this week, as new singles by Maroon 5, the previously mentioned Post Malone, 5 Seconds Of Summer and BTS all enter the region. In a merely coincidental twist, “Girls Like You” lifts from 49-26, giving Maroon 5 their… 26th top 40 hit. We always love a journey into the fun with numbers department. From there, it gets even more busy toward the bottom of the chart. Leading this week’s top 50 debuts, first-time collaborators Pharrell Williams and Camila Cabello shake up the scenery with their splashy “Sangria Wine”, bowing at #45. Though it’s their first duet together as artists, Williams was a co-writer and background vocalist for Cabello on her chart-topping smash “Havana”. Cabello’s labelmate and current The Four judge Meghan Trainor checks in at #48 with “Let You Be Right”, the follow-up to “No Excuses”. One spot lower, Childish Gambino debuts at #49 with the politically-charged “This Is America”, which could become his third top 40 single at the format later this month. Finally, dancing in at #50, EDM act Cash Cash has their first top 50 hit in nearly two years with the Abir-assisted “Finest Hour”. How will they do in the coming weeks? Stay tuned to PGTC for updates.

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ADD LIB — Brace For (CHR) Impact (June 5, 2018)

Welcome to Add Lib, your Tuesday report on POP! Goes The Charts that’s mad about CHR/Top 40 adds, based on the station data provided by Mediabase 24/7 and Add Board. This week: the radio report is brought to you by the letter B, as in Cardi B, and other top letters and numbers from across the pop panel. Let’s add ’em up:

IT’S A GIRL THING: As those June tunes invade the pop airwaves, one lands well above the rest this Tuesday. Of course, it’s not a surprise that this week’s Most Added song at the Top 40 format is “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5, with a new remix featuring the previously mentioned Cardi B. Now, this comes at the same time that her new radio single as a lead act, “I Like It”, with Latin stars Bad Bunny and J Balvin, is also breaking out at the format. I guess there’s a whole lot to like about her, heh? In any case, “Girls” puts up a very strong 108 stations on impact, while “I Like” grabs another 38 stations, finishing in third place. The original version of “Girls” can be found on the group’s 2017 release Red Pill Blues. Cardi B’s Invasion Of Privacy continues to draw large streaming numbers week-to-week.

As he makes his way to #1 at the format with the Ty Dolla $ign-assisted “Psycho”, Post Malone is also having a super week with the follow-up single, “Better Now”. During its impact week, it scored 46 stations, settling for the runner-up spot. “Better” also went to the Rhythmic format this week, where it also took second place with a solid 25 new stations on impact. The song snuck in at #50 on last Sunday’s published update, and should have a substantial gain (in both spins and position) by this coming weekend.

1. MAROON 5 featuring CARDI B, “Girls Like You” (222/Interscope)
2. POST MALONE, “Better Now” (Republic)
3. CARDI B, BAD BUNNY & J BALVIN, “I Like It” (KSR Group/Atlantic)
4. BACKSTREET BOYS, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (RCA)
5. MEGHAN TRAINOR, “Let You Be Right” (Epic)
6. BTS, “Fake Love” (Columbia)
7. PHARRELL WILLIAMS x CAMILA CABELLO, “Sangria Wine” (Columbia)
8. 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER, “Youngblood” (Capitol)
9. SOFIA REYES featuring JASON DERULO & DE LA GHETTO, “1, 2, 3” (Warner Bros.)
10. CASH CASH featuring ABIR, “Finest Hour” (Big Beat/RRP)

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RADIO REPORT: What’s Popping At Top 40 Radio This Week (June 4-5, 2018)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist this week. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here are five singles impacting this week at the Top 40 format:

MAROON 5 featuring CARDI B – “Girls Like You” (222/Interscope)
Album: Red Pill Blues (2017, original version)
Past T40 History: Since 2010, Maroon 5 has charted 14 top ten songs at this format, half reaching the top, totaling 26 weeks at #1.

MEGHAN TRAINOR – “Let You Be Right” (Epic)
Album: TBA (2018)
Past T40 History: Trainor is coming off three top ten misses in a row on the pop chart. Does “Right” get her in the right direction?

Album: TBA (2018)
Past T40 History: This is the first time together for Williams and Cabello. It was originally recorded by the latter for her debut set.

POST MALONE – “Better Now” (Republic)
Album: Beerbongs & Bentleys (2018)
Past T40 History: As “Psycho” approaches the top spot, which would be his first #1 at the format, “Better” is already in the top 50.

SOFIA REYES featuring JASON DERULO & DE LA GHETTO – “1, 2, 3” (Warner Bros.)
Album: TBA (2018)
Past T40 History: Reyes and De La Ghetto are newcomers here; Derulo last charted at the format with “Swalla”, which got to #19.

Next week: BTS officially impact here with “Fake Love”, but will the real love go to “Flames” from David Guetta and Sia? We’re in for another good Tuesday in just over a week.

Which of these new songs would you like to see top the charts? Let me know!

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ADD LIB — Brace For (CHR) Impact (May 22, 2018)

Welcome to Add Lib, your Tuesday report on POP! Goes The Charts that’s mad about CHR/Top 40 adds, based on the station data provided by Mediabase 24/7 and Add Board. This week: it’s a miracle that we’ve haven’t lost our minds, as at least eight fresh titles (and probably more) impact at the format, giving the Top 40 panel some mighty tough decisions for a musical Memorial Day. Let’s take a breather (phew) and get back to adding ’em up:

“BACK” TO BACKSTREET: With all the excitement on this week’s report, the top three singles at the format this Tuesday came down to last week’s Most Added song, “Back To You” by Selena Gomez, and two releases from acts who found their biggest chart success in the late 90’s and early 00’s: “Dinero” by singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, which also features labelmate DJ Khaled and Cardi B, and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” from top boy band Backstreet Boys. Yes, it was a nail-biter for most of the day, but when the dust settled, all three songs finished with 51 stations each, a rare three-way tie for the Most Added spot.

Given all the prominent songs impacting on the Top 40 airwaves this week, it would be quite the challenge to cover everything that scored any sort of action today. That being said, the latest single from Australian quartet 5 Seconds Of Summer (“Youngblood”) and the first song at the format for Israel’s Dennis Lloyd (“Nevermind”) each secured enough stations to rank well in the top ten, the former with 21 in fifth place and the latter with 24 in fourth place. (There’s much more music below, so check it out!) Enjoy the long holiday weekend ahead!

1-T. BACKSTREET BOYS, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (RCA)
1-T. JENNIFER LOPEZ featuring DJ KHALED & CARDI B, “Dinero” (Epic)
1-T. SELENA GOMEZ, “Back To You” (Interscope)
4. DENNIS LLOYD, “Nevermind” (Warner Bros.)
5. 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER, “Youngblood” (Capitol)
6-T. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS featuring PITBULL, “Move To Miami” (RCA)
6-T. NF, “Lie” (Caroline)
8. CASH CASH featuring ABIR, “Finest Hour” (Big Beat/RRP)
9. PHARRELL WILLIAMS & CAMILA CABELLO, “Sangria Wine” (Columbia)
10-T. DIPLO, FRENCH MONTANA & LIL PUMP featuring ZHAVIA, “Welcome To The Party” (Columbia)
10-T. SAM SMITH featuring LOGIC, “Pray” (Capitol)

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SINGLE REVIEW: Ed Sheeran – “Sing”

Sheer genius.

Sheer genius.

(Listen to “Sing”) — (Buy “Sing” on iTunes – U.S. only, available 4/8)

The last few years have been a crazy ride for 23-year-old singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran. After signing with Atlantic in 2011 following a series of EP releases, he soared onto the British charts that summer with “The A Team”, which debuted and peaked at #3. Parent album + (“plus”) did even better, securing a #1 debut in September in the United Kingdom. It’s one of the rare debut efforts to go six singles deep in that country, all of which went top 40 and sent album sales up to 6x Platinum status, or 1.8 million units. A similar story happened around the globe in the next few months.

In the U.S., Sheeran’s rise was more drawn out. “Team”, sent to AAA radio in February 2012 and Hot AC in March, rose to #3 at the former in July, but slowly crept up to #5 at the latter (and #9 CHR) in January 2013. The extra time paid off: the single sold 2 million copies during its U.S. run, + went Gold and he, himself, has garnered two GRAMMY nominations in the Big Four in two consecutive years. The era ended rather abruptly over the summer as third single “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” (followup to “Lego House”) was serviced as duet “Everything Has Changed” (with Taylor Swift, from Red) went to radio in July, with “Changed” winning out. Yet, times have changed again and he’s back for more.

“Sing” leads off the second full-length album from Sheeran, x (“multiply”). It’s issued worldwide on Monday, June 23. It was produced by an unlikely collaborator, Pharrell Williams, who describes the song as “a dance record… not because it’s electronica, but because it’s danceable.” (Billboard) He’s certainly right. The massive track, built on a booming drum line straight out of the 80’s hip-hop scene, the singer’s charming falsetto and a guitar riff sounding plucked out of “Long Train Runnin'” by the Doobie Brothers, is bound to be a huge hit during the summer season and certainly give him the needed momentum to have a well deserved big sophomore era on the worldwide charts.

Out on the town, Sheeran and his lady make their best of their crazy situation by “ignoring everybody here/We wish they would disappear/So, maybe we could get down now.” Intent to woo her more directly, he opines, “I want you to be mine, lady,” and into the stripped-back chorus, becomes decidedly more sensual: “If you love me, come on, get involved/Feel it rushing through you from your head to toe.” Their passion for one another grows rather quickly, as he quickly raps to open verse two: “This love is ablaze/I saw flames on the side of the stage/And the fire brigade comes in a couple of days.” The songs rides along in this zone for much of the rest of composition, grooving to a solid beat against Sheeran’s shouts of “Can you feel it?” much like a Jacksons disco record. It’s fresh, yet inspired, and it’s bound for a whole lot of attention.

Look out for more information on Sheeran’s forthcoming album and tour dates in Europe (and hopefully the U.S. as well) on his official social media sites.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Dance/Pop 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. Let’s go for the Dance and Pop fields, shall we?

(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.)

5. Best Pop Solo Performance

Brave”, Sara Bareilles
“Royals”, Lorde (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“When I Was Your Man”, Bruno Mars
“Roar”, Katy Perry
“Mirrors”, Justin Timberlake

PREDICTION: Difficult decision right here. “Brave” and “Roar” will probably cancel each other out (if only Bareilles and Perry would do a medley on GRAMMY night!) A safer choice would be Bruno Mars‘s “When I Was Your Man”; it’s a classic ballad.

6. Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Just Give Me A Reason”, Pink featuring Nate Ruess
“Stay”, Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko
“Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell
“Suit & Tie”, Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z

PREDICTION: This is tough too. Looks like we’re going to have another year where the winner of this category also wins one of the Big Four, whether it’s “Blurred Lines”, “Get Lucky” or “Just Give Me A Reason”. I’m going with the Pink and Nate Ruess duet.

7. Best Pop Instrumental Album

Steppin’ Out, Herb Alpert (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
The Beat, Boney James
Handpicked, Earl Klugh
Summer Horns, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair & Richard Elliot
Hacienda, Jeff Lorber Fusion

PREDICTION: Again, this isn’t my best area of expertise, but I know a lot of these names from the occasional look at the Jazz survey. A version of “Puttin’ On The Ritz” from Alpert’s album just got serviced to AC radio; it could be a sign that this this one is his.

8. Best Pop Vocal Album

ParadiseLana Del Rey
Pure HeroineLorde
Unorthodox JukeboxBruno Mars (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke
The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience, Justin Timberlake

PREDICTION: Believe it or not, this is the only category in which Justin Timberlake‘s album is nominated for. Is that some major shade on the Academy’s part? Yet, the biggest album of last year has to win something, right? It would only seem fair to me.

9. Best Dance Recording

“Need U (100%)”Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK
Adam Dyment & Tommy Forrest, producers and mixers

“Sweet Nothing”, Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
Harris, producer and mixer

“Atmosphere”, Kaskade
Finn Bjarnson & Ryan Raddon, producers; Raddon, mixer

“This Is What It Feels Like”, Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie
Armin Van Buuren & Benno De Goeij, producers and mixers

“Clarity”, Zedd featuring Foxes
Zedd, producer and mixer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: With no Skrillex in the mix (and no Al Wasser, thank God), this category is probably going to go back to one of the bigger hits of the bunch, most likely “Clarity” or “Sweet Nothing”. Of the two, I prefer the Calvin Harris and Florence Welch song.

10. Best Dance/Electronica Album

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
18 MonthsCalvin Harris
A Color Map Of The SunPretty Lights

PREDICTION: There was no bigger Dance album in 2013 than Random Access Memories. Daft Punk didn’t just get lucky; they knocked it out of the park. The critical acclaim of Disclosure will keep it in the running, but the French duo will likely take it.

11. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Viva DuetsTony Bennett and Various Artists
To Be Loved, Michael Bublé (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
The StandardsGloria Estefan
Cee Lo’s Magic MomentCee Lo Green
NowDionne Warwick

PREDICTION: This category is usually a two horse race between Bennett and Bublé, and because the Canadian crooner didn’t win last year for his Christmas album, I think Michael Bublé is overdue for yet another win here. “It’s A Beautiful Day” indeed.

67. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

Annie UpPistol Annies
Chuck Ainlay, engineer; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

The Blue RoomMadeleine Peyroux
Helik Hadar & Leslie Ann Jones, engineers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer

The Devil Put Dinosaurs HereAlice In Chains
Paul Figueroa & Randy Staub, engineers; Ted Jensen, mastering engineer

…Like ClockworkQueens Of The Stone Age
Joe Barresi & Mark Rankin, engineers; Gavin Lurssen, mastering engineer

The MooringsAndrew Duhon
Trina Shoemaker, engineer; Eric Conn, mastering engineer

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert, Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I don’t know a ton about this category, but the winners in past years have been a real mix of commercial releases and some lesser-known works. Though I’m placing Daft Punk for the win here, it could essentially be any one of these six.

68. Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I love Rob Cavallo and would be thrilled to see him win this category, but 2013 was clearly the year of Pharrell Williams, both as a producer and singer, and he’s very much deserving of this honor. Tell Dr. Luke to go back to medical school.

69. Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

“Days Turn Into Nights”, Delerium featuring Michael Logen
Andy Caldwell, remixer

“If I Lose Myself”, OneRepublic
Alesso, remixer

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Ned Shepard & Sultan, remixers

“One Love/People Get Ready”, Bob Marley and The Wailers
Rupert Parkes (Photek), remixer

“Summertime Sadness”, Lana Del Rey
Cedric Gervais, remixer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Long after Lana Del Rey had been written off in the U.S., Interscope’s push of the Cedric Gervais remix of “Summertime Sadness” launched her at radio, selling over 2 million copies with all versions combined. Not so sad anymore, huh?

Check back tomorrow to see what I take a second swing at predicting the Big Four! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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Roll The Credits: Big Delays From The Big Screen

From flicks to hits.

From flicks to hits.

Around the world, people have been grooving to the latest single by Pharrell Williams, “Happy”. The 40-year-old’s new jam has now been to #1 in ten countries including Australia and the United Kingdom. However, the song has a long history, one that’s especially surprising considering the performer’s been red hot as both a singer and producer over the past year.

You may not know that “Happy” was first released on the soundtrack to the film Despicable Me 2, out last July. A radio edit was serviced at the time, but wasn’t heavily pushed. Several months went by and then a “24-hour” music video for it was made available in November, meant to promote the song rather than the movie (although there are scenes with characters from it dancing along to the music.) Now, with a Beats By Dre ad all over TV, it’s being serviced again to U.S. radio next week as the first single from Williams’s upcoming solo album with no further tie-ins to the film. Confusing, yes?

This isn’t the first time this kind of thing’s happened, but it’s not often that it does. In fact, in some cases, it takes years for a song originally found on a soundtrack to become a hit in its own right. Here are some notable examples from the past:

“Another Part Of Me”, Michael Jackson (1986-1988)
Captain EO, a science fiction movie starring Jackson in the lead role, premiered at both Disney World and Disneyland in September 1986 and featured this song at the end of it. A year later, it was on Jackson’s hit album Bad, and as the sixth single to be released from the effort, it went as high as #11 in September 1988. “Part” was the only top ten miss of that era.

“Lily Was Here”, David A. Stewart featuring Candy Dulfer (1989-1991)
“Lily” was used in the 1989 Dutch film De Kassière, which was released during that summer. It took until November to hit #1 on the Dutch Singles Chart, spending six weeks in the position, and it took until the spring of 1991 to see a single release in the U.S., eventually peaking at #11 on the Hot 100 in July. It remains one of the last instrumentals to reach the top 40.

“Thank You”, Dido (1998-2001)
Back in 1998, “Thank You” was included on the soundtrack to Sliding Doors, which featured several other charting singles at the time from Aqua (“Turn Back Time”) and Blair (“Have Fun, Go Mad”). It wasn’t until it was sampled on Eminem‘s “Stan” that the song was given a release in the U.S., going to #3 on both CHR radio and the Hot 100 in the spring of 2001.

“Cups (When I’m Gone)”, Anna Kendrick (2012-2013)
From the successful Pitch Perfect, which opened in September 2012, the lyrics for “Cups” date back to the 1930’s when it was written as a bluegrass composition. The song originally went for adds in February 2013, a few months after the movie was out on DVD, but it wasn’t until August that it slowly rose to #6 on the Hot 100 (#8 CHR). A sequel is now in the works.

There are also several songs that didn’t break the charts until after being awarded (or their respective film being awarded) at ceremonies such as the Academy Awards. These instances mostly took place in the 70’s and include “The Morning After” by Maureen McGovern (from The Poseidon Adventure) and “The Rose” by Bette Midler (from The Rose). One of the longer waits was by “I’m Easy” by Keith Carradine, named Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, which didn’t peak until August 1976 at #17, over a year after Nashville opened. Another is “Chariots Of Fire” by Vangelis from the film of the same name, the winner for Best Score; it first premiered in March 1981, but didn’t reach #1 until May 1982.

For more movie madness on the music charts, follow the blog below or hit the “Get Social!” tab to find out how you can connect with PGTC on social media.

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Adam’s Top 100 of 2013: 20-11

They're here...

Packing on the pop hits.

Single bells, single bells, singles all the way! Oh, what fun is to rank all my favorites from the past 365 days. You’ve seen the songs from 100-21 so far, and now, the numbers keep on getting smaller as we take a ride into the top 20. It’s the cream of the pop as we head towards the top. All the big songs are here, but we’ve got a “Ways To Go” before we stumble upon that #1 position. Get ready to “Cruise” until the countdown is “Gone, Gone, Gone”, but don’t get “Carried Away” now: there are plenty of awesome tunes in this section that just missed going a little bit higher, So, let’s go!

Peak positions listed are as of the last chart included in the year dated November 24, 2013. Those marked with a plus had not yet reached their highest position as of that date. Ties in points were broken based on peak, number of weeks at peak and number of weeks in the top 40.

We start off this section with the performer who has my favorite album of the year, Where Does This Door Go? Turn the key and we find…

Is he your "Favorite"?

020. Mayer Hawthorne – “Her Favorite Song” (#2)
Writers: Andrew Cohen, Warren “Oak” Felder / Producers: Cohen, Felder, Steve “Ace” Mostyn

2013 was the year that this Detroit singer (bow wow) wowed me with his music; “Her” quickly climbed to a peak of #2, spending three weeks there. It features background vocals from Jessie Ware, who charted with “Wildest Moments” (#19).

Related Posts: Album Review of Where Does This Door Go? (July 8, 2013)
**Second of two songs in the top 100

This chart has taken control of them.

019. Maroon 5 – “Daylight” (#3)
Writers: Adam Levine, Mason Levy, Max Martin and Sam Martin / Producers: Levine, Martin and MdL

This is the highest showing for the California band this year, who once had my #1 song of the year back in 2004 with a nine-week #1, “This Love”. “Daylight” climbed as high as #3, their second-biggest single this era behind another #1, “Payphone”.

**Second of two songs in the top 100

Passion Pit

018. Passion Pit – “Carried Away” (#4)
Writer: Michael Angelakos / Producer: Angelakos, Chris Zane

The former quintet and now quartet originally from Cambridge, MA scored their biggest hit to date on my chart with this bouncy number, reaching #4 for two frames. That’s far better than previous single “Take A Walk”, which only went to #26.

It suits him well.

017. Justin Timberlake – “Suit & Tie” (#2)
Writers/Producers: Writers: James Fauntleroy, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley, Justin Timberlake, Sly, Slick and Wicked (Charles Still, Terrence Stubbs, Johnny Wilson) for sample of “Sho’Nuff” / Producers: Harmon, Mosley, Timberlake

Dressing fashionably fierce for his return to the music scene, Timberlake not only looked the part but sounded it too. “Suit & Tie” took a soulful strut up the survey to #2 for two weeks and tumbled just as quickly as it rose. Go ‘head, be gone with it.

Related Posts: Single Review (January 13, 2013), Album Review of The 20/20 Experience – Part One (March 13, 2013)
**Second of three songs in the top 100

Ready, set, "Go".

016. Grouplove – “Ways To Go” (#5)
Writers: Grouplove (Sean Gadd, Hannah Hooper, Ryan Rabin, Andrew Wessen and Christian Zucconi) / Producer: Rabin

There was no other way to go but up for this quintet’s second hit, which peaked at #5 and stayed in the top 40 for nearly half a year. It’s the biggest single in the top 20 to not break the top 3. Followup release “Shark Attack” is currently climbing.

Related Posts: Single Premiere (June 10, 2013), Album Review of Spreading Rumours (September 10, 2013)

A girl in "Trouble" is a temporary thing.

015. Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble.” (#3)
Writers: Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift / Producers: Max Martin, Shellback

From the two step to dubstep, the once Country singer ditched her roots for a mainstream pop sound on this track, which did big numbers at radio and on the sales charts. Of the four singles to rank from Red, this one remains the most successful.

**Third of three songs in the top 100

He drives himself... crazy.

014. Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors” (#2)
Writers/Producers: Writers: James Fauntleroy, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley, Justin Timberlake / Producers: Harmon, Mosley, Timberlake

Written about the relationship with his wife, Jessica Biel, along with his grandparents, Timberlake’s tender ode to love spent three weeks at #2 on my top 40 this year. Beyond the looking glass, there’s a successful tour continuing for him into 2014.

Related Posts: Album Review of The 20/20 Experience – Part One (March 13, 2013), Something To Reflect On (April 6, 2013)
**Third of three songs in the top 100

Hold the Line. (Crossovers aren't always on time.)

013. Florida-Georgia Line featuring Nelly – “Cruise” (#3)
Writers: Cornell Haynes, Jr., Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Joey Moi, Chase Rice, Jesse Rice / Producers: Moi, Jason Nevins

Once upon a time, this was just a #1 smash on the Country chart. Then, it took on a second run when remixed with rapper Nelly, becoming a huge crossover success. It was for sure a polarizing single, but I was definitely coming along for the ride.

Related Posts: Cruises and Caskets (February 19, 2013)

A "League" of their own.

012. Fitz & The Tantrums – “Out Of My League” (#2)
Writer: Noelle Scaggs / Producers: Michael Fitzpatrick, Tony Hoffer

The sextet based in Los Angeles started their chart career off right with a #1 for a week for debut single “MoneyGrabber” in 2011. “Out” spent five straight weeks at #2; it was a real heartbreaker. New single “The Walker” may go top ten very soon.

Related Posts: Single Review (February 7, 2013)

Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams

011. Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky” (#2)
Writer: Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo), Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams/Producers: Daft Punk

This collaboration didn’t exactly do as its title suggests, and like “Out” at #12, it stalled out in the runner-up spot for five weeks after a quick rise. Still, it was one of the great records that helped relaunch Williams’s career, now stronger than ever.

Related Posts: Single Premiere (April 14, 2013)
**Second of two songs in the top 100 (both acts)

Are you ready for this year’s top ten? I know I am. Prepare yourself for the madness starting tomorrow and let me know what you’re liking so far below!

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Filed under Adam's Top 100 of 2013

Just Got Lucky: Pharrell’s On Fire, But For How Long?

I'm not Frontin'...

I’m not Frontin’…

He’s the man with the Midas Touch, it seems; his producing and featured appearances turn to Gold and Platinum records. 40-year-old Pharrell Williams is back on top of the charts with his involvement on two huge summer singles: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, featuring he and T.I. (a Williams co-write and production) and “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, where he is a vocalist and co-writer. Understandably, there have been quite a few calls placed to his office for collaborations: he’s featured on new singles by rappers 2 Chainz and Azealia Banks, plus he’s being put to good use on albums by Jay-Z, Justin TimberlakeMayer Hawthorne, Mike Posner and Miley Cyrus, but that list keeps on growing. For a guy who has been in the industry 20+ years, it’s nice to see that he’s a relevant name in the mainstream once again. Yet, it’s all come very fast, and with the radio release of a song he did for Despicable Me 2, “Happy”, he’s bound to be overexposed down the road. How much is too much and how long can Pharrell maintain this sudden momentum? You decide if this is the real thing or just a summer fling.

I guess what gets me most, and maybe a few other analyzers too, is whether this sudden rise in popularity for this jack-of-all-trades is a performer/producer trend or a genre/sound trend, because the former is a little more stable than the latter, but he’s essentially mixed up in both. I’ve noted above that Pharrell is on a number of current and forthcoming projects that will take him through the end of the year should he play his cards right. This is a set of production, vocal and writing credits, so it’s not just focused in one area of the song. Still, his frequent appearances will ultimately get him compared to other acts like Flo RidaPitbull, and will.i.am, providing the “rent-a-rapper” break for an act whose label is trying to secure a hit. I’m personally hoping that he doesn’t get caught up in this area, because there’s a high potential of backlash to follow. Go on any music message board (or listen to any mainstream radio station) and you’ll see the dozens of cries in disgust when a new single by an anonymous performer is serviced with the (featuring so-and-so rapper) tag. This isn’t the case in every song he has out right now, but you just wait. It could happen.

So, he’s getting more work today. However, there is a second argument that both songs that he’s featured on, “Lines” and “Lucky”, are also influenced by variations of 70’s disco, a specific sound belonging to a previous era. “Lines” is a party jam inspired by Marvin Gaye‘s #1 hit “Got To Give It Up” (1977), while a co-write by Nile Rodgers on “Lucky” automatically brings up Chic with songs like “Le Freak” (1978) and “Good Times” (1979). (His own single, “Happy”, is a Motown copycat.) Besides these songs, there are a few other throwback singles making their way up the charts: “Safe And Sound” by Capital Cities, for example, is very much rooted in the late 70’s new wave scene and could’ve easily been a Devo song, while “Treasure” by Bruno Mars brings you back to the club, reminiscent of Michael Jackson‘s Off The Wall era. This would reinforce the idea that it’s only a trend given that those two songs are hits at multiple formats. It may only last until the end of the season. It also helps that not everything Pharrell is producing is dated; his current single with 2 Chainz, “Feds Watching”, is just that — sounding like it belongs in 2013, not 1979. Case closed?

Not exactly. It’s going to be at least another few months until we can determine which way popular radio has travelled, at least until “Lines” and “Lucky” finish their chart runs. Remember, these things probably won’t be off the air/out of high rotation until probably September or October. It should be pointed out that although these featured appearances have done wonders for Pharrell, he has only managed one top 40 hit as a main-credited artist, “Frontin'”, which peaked at #5 on the Hot 100 in the later summer of 2003. It featured Jay-Z, and while it was huge at Urban radio, it was only a minor crossover at CHR radio. Let’s be honest, it was out ten years ago; you probably barely remember it if at all. His only solo album to date did moderately well, 2006’s In My Mind, but produced no top 40 singles (though a pair did make the Hot 100.) “Happy”, you little soundtrack single… you don’t really have a bright future, I’m afraid, not that Mr. Williams is scoffing when he’s rolling in plenty of dough.

Regardless of what you think of him, the guy’s come a long way from his first musical number, 1992’s “Rump Shaker” by Wreckx-N-Effect. However, with the kind of exposure he’s getting lately and the unfortunate ageism in the industry, radio and retail may just shake him off sooner rather than later, and that’s not very lucky at all.

Let me know what you think about Pharrell, his musicand his resurgence. Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Music News

SINGLE PREMIERE: Daft Punk featuring Pharrell – “Get Lucky” (+ Lyrics)

With a little "Luck", it'll be huge.

With a little “Luck”, it’ll be huge.

Download “Get Lucky” on iTunes.

You’ve heard a taste of it in a few commercials; now, the full thing is out. It’s the highly anticipated single by dance and electronic group Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”, featuring a guest vocal from Pharrell Williams. It’s the first release from their new album, Random Access Memories, out May 21 on Columbia Records. The thirteen-track effort features other collaborations with producers Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers, as well as other musicians. You’ll be seeing a lot more information about it coming out soon. Listen to the radio edit version of “Get Lucky” here.

Pharrell, Daft Punk

[Verse 1]
Like the legend of the Phoenix
All ends are beginnings
What keeps the planet spinning, ah
The force from the beginning

[Pre-Chorus x2]
She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky (x4)

We’re up all night to get lucky (x8)
We’re up all night to get-to-get-to get
We’re up all night to get lucky (x2)
We’re up all night to get-to-get-to get
We’re up all night to get lucky (x2)

[Verse 2]
The present has no limit
Your gift keeps on giving
What is this I’m feeling
If you wanna leave I’m with it
We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar in our cups to the stars

[Pre-Chorus x2]
She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky (x4)

[Chorus x2]
We’re up all night to get-to-get-to get
We’re up all night to get lucky (x2)
We’re up all night to get-to-get-to get
We’re up all night to get lucky (x2)

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar in our cups to the stars

[Pre-Chorus – x2]
We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night to get lucky (x8)


Filed under Single Reviews