Tag Archives: pop music

THE FRIDAY FORTY: Top 40 Boy Bands of the Last 25 Years

Happy Friday! Welcome to a 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!)

With newer boy bands all over the charts and older boy bands reuniting one after the other, I give you the list of the top 40 boy bands of the past 25 years as tabulated by myself. You may call them man bands or R&B groups, but in the end, these youngsters all comprised boy bands that we listened to on the radio or saw in concert. Rankings were based off of CHR airplay peaks from Radio & Records and Mediabase 24/7, and additional points were added in for #1 songs and main-credited solo or duo hits. Entries were not counted prior to January 1988, so some groups may not have their entire chart life counted. Also, worldwide success is not factored into this list; it’s solely U.S.-based data. With all that said, let’s get the chart started.

Just missing the top 40 are 3T, BoyzoneBrother BeyondDru Hill and Immature.

40. THE BOYS (One entry)
(Biggest hit: “Dial My Heart”, #16 in 1989)

39. H-TOWN (One entry)
(Biggest hit: “Knockin’ Da Boots”, #15 in 1993)

(Biggest hit: “Ooh La La (I Can’t Get Over You)”, #13 in 1990)

37. WESTLIFE (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Swear It Again”, #21 in 2000)

36. THE CLICK FIVE (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Just The Girl”, #17 in 2005)

35. 5IVE (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “When The Lights Go Out”, #15 in 1998)

34. 112 (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Peaches And Cream”, #15 in 2001)

33. TAKE THAT (One entry, plus two solo by Robbie Williams and one by Gary Barlow)
(Biggest hit: “Back For Good”, #9 in 1995)

32. SOUL FOR REAL (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Candy Rain”, #21 in 1995)

31. JAGGED EDGE (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Where The Party At?” [featuring Nelly], #11 in 2001)

30. ANOTHER BAD CREATION (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Iesha”, #21 in 1991)

29. MINT CONDITION (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)”, #10 in 1992)

28. BIG TIME RUSH (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Music Sounds Better With You” [featuring Mann], #26 in 2012)

27. JOE PUBLIC (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Live And Learn”, #2 in 1992)

26. NEXT (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Too Close”, #6 in 1998)

25. SOULDECISION (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Faded”, #6 in 2000)

24. SILK (Two entries)
(Biggest hit: “Freak Me”, #3 in 1993)

23. B2K (Four entries, plus two solo by Omarion)
(Biggest hit: “Bump, Bump, Bump” [featuring P. Diddy], #3 in 2003)

22. THE WANTED (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Glad You Came”, #1 in 2012)

21. NO MERCY (Three entries)
(Biggest hit: “Where Do You Go?”, #3 in 1996)

Out of New York City, this quintet scored a #12 hit in early 1997 with “No Diggity”, which featured Dr. Dre. They remained hot on the R&B scene and scored two other top-40 hits on the pop survey, the last of them in 1999. They disbanded shortly afterwards, then came back for an album in 2003 before calling it quits again. Several members went onto solo success and hit records as a member of other groups.

After parting ways with Bobby Brown, the group managed a #8 peak with “If It Isn’t Love” in 1988 and three charting singles from a reunion in 1996. Solo efforts by Johnny Gill  and Ralph Tresvant were included in the total, though Brown’s solo efforts were not since he had left. If the countdown encompassed all of their releases, the group would’ve ranked much higher.

Speaking of New Edition, this side project by Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe was an instant success in 1990, with back-to-back top tens “Poison” and “Do Me!” Two other minor singles followed before the three took a break, eventually reuniting with their old band in 1996. They still perform together as a trio.

17. LFO
From Boston, the Lyte Funky Ones scored a big summer single with 1999’s appropriately titled “Summer Girls”. Of their six singles to make the airplay chart, “Every Other Time” was their biggest, reaching #10 in 2001. Though they attempted a comeback in 2009, it fizzled quickly. Lead singer Rich Cronin passed away in 2010.

These three Brits had a breakthrough in 2000 when they reached #8 with their first and biggest single, “Back Here”. Three other top-40 hits followed, the last one coming in 2002. All three members pursued music in some form after the band’s breakup, most notably Christian Burns, who took a solo dance route and Stephen McNally, who fronts a band called 10 Reasons To Live.

With Disney aiding their career, these three brothers from New Jersey took the charts by storm in 2007 and accumulated four top-40 hits within a year. “Burnin’ Up” remains their biggest song, hitting #12 during the summer of 2008. Their last entry to date in 2009 brought their total to five, but the band is planning to release a new album this year. One minor solo single for brother Joe Jonas, “See No More”, is added into their total.

14. SHAI
The four men of this group all went to college together in Washington, D.C. and after passing on a demo tape to a local disc jockey who got it on air, their song blew up and became one of the only all a cappella singles to make the top 40: “If I Ever Fall In Love”, from 1992, reaching #3. Another single, “Baby I’m Yours”, hit the same position in 1993. After four pop hits, they charted several other songs on the R&B chart until 1996.

13. O-TOWN
Hey, hey, they’re not The Monkees, but this quintet formed on ABC’s Making The Band in 2000. Their first of five singles, “Liquid Dreams”, became a minor entry in early 2001, but it was their follow-up, a big ballad called “All Or Nothing”, that launched them into the #1 spot at CHR radio. They last hit the top 50 in 2003. One solo release by Ashley Parker Angel, “Let U Go” from 2006, is included in their total.

12. ALL-4-ONE
Hailing from California, this quintet has the distinction of releasing three covers in a row, which all went top three: in chronological order, the #2 “So Much In Love” (The Tymes) from 1994, followed by the #1 “I Swear” later that year and the #3 “I Can Love You Like That” in 1995 (both by John Michael Montgomery.) After an original song tanked in 1996, they were done on pop radio, and were dropped a few years later. They’ve been between labels since, with some small AC and R&B singles every few years.

When two groups of brothers got together in North Carolina, their soulful sound gave them a string of pop and R&B hits. Taken under the wing of then-executive P. Diddy, the quartet put three singles from their debut album, Forever My Lady, into the top 40. It wasn’t until 1993 that they attained their only top ten hit, a live version of “Lately” from MTV Unplugged. It peaked at #6. After one more top-20 single in 1994, the group’s crossover success was done, but brothers K-Ci & JoJo made their mark several years later with songs like 1998’s “All My Life” (#2). Four of their singles were mixed into the total.

…and now, for the top ten boy bands on the chart.

"Feels good" to rank up here.

“Feels good” to rank up here.


Oakland’s finest had been working on records for several years before they finally made it onto the pop survey in 1990 with the #15 “Feels Good”, from their album, The Revival. The trio had their greatest success in 1993 when they mixed new jack swing and soul on their #2 hit, “If I Had No Loot”, which was a followed by a slower song, “Anniversary”, which topped out at #5. After one more top-40 hit in 1994 and a minor entry in 1996, Raphael Saadiq left the group, but they still continue on today with a replacement singer. He’s seen some minor R&B hits, but a whole lot of critical success. He’s even currently appearing in a car commercial. The group hasn’t recorded any new material since the 90’s.

Still playing hard to get.

Still playing, but not hard to get.


Five friends from Texas came together in 1989, got signed to Jive Records, and I’m sure there were high-fives all around. The group only managed to place four songs onto the airplay chart, the fewest of any act in the top tier of this list, but the first three all went top ten: 1991’s “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)” (#2) and “I Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#9), plus 1992’s “She’s Playing Hard To Get” (#4). After an additional top-20 single the next year, the quintet scored several other moderate R&B hits before disbanding shortly afterwards. Lead singer Tony Thompson died in 2007. They band returned in 2012 with new members and a self-released single, but it failed to chart.

Sealed with a "Kiss".

Sealed with a “Kiss”.


Surprised to see them so high? The five boys who came together on the U.K. version of The X Factor in 2010 have a made a significant mark on the charts in just under a year in the States. Both their debut album Up All Night and second release Take Me Home entered at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart last year. Only one of their radio releases has gone top ten, however: “What Makes You Beautiful”, which peaked at #4 last June. Yet, each of their four followup releases have gone top twenty, and this has all happened within ten or eleven months. They’re huge. They just released a Comic Relief cover of Blondie‘s “One Way Or Another” this week. Unsurprisingly, it’s a smash. They’ll be around for a while.

Bopped 'til the dropped (off the charts.)

Bopped ’til the dropped (off the charts.)


Take three brothers from Texas, given them six letters to play around with, and what do you get? A blockbuster hit. “Mmmbop”. It spent nine weeks at #1 from May to July 1997, and though radio wanted to get rid of it as quickly as they DJs put it on the air, you can’t help but recognize it as one of the key tracks that led to the growth of bubblegum pop in the late 90’s. The group had four top-40 hits following it, but not one matched the peaks that their biggest single rose to. (“Where’s The Love?” did hit the top ten, however.) After seven airplay entries ending in 2004, the boys are still together today recording on their own independent label.

Give them just one spot (un lugar.)

Give them just one spot (un lugar.)

06. 98 DEGREES

Things were just heating up with this four-man group from Ohio when their first single, “Invisible Man”, went to #10 in 1997. It wasn’t until 1999 that the group did considerably well on the teen circuit with songs like the #4 “The Hardest Thing” and the #5 “I Do (Cherish You)”. They reached their commercial peak by 2000 with Revelation and their last top ten, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#7) before their airplay and sales fell off quickly the next year. After the band broke up, Nick Lachey famously married Jessica Simpson, did a reality show, divorced, and wrote a whole album of breakup songs called What’s Left Of Me in 2006. The title track went to #5 and a followup to #25, both included in their total. The quartet is back together and releasing 2.0 in May on eOne Records.

Caught in a Badd romance.

Caught in a Badd romance.


Discovered by Robert Bell of Kool & The Gang, the quartet based out of Oklahoma made a name for themselves beginning in 1991 with the #2 single “I Wanna Sex You Up”, featured in the film New Jack City. The group has eight top ten singles to their credit, including one #1, “I Adore Mi Amor”, and another #2, “All 4 Love” (1992). After a failed album in 1998 that gave them their last of ten airplay charters, the group disbanded, but most went onto solo projects. The most successful of them, Sam Watters, produced and wrote/co-wrote singles for Anastacia, Jessica Simpson and Natasha Bedingfield. The three other members recently reunited and are looking to put out new music this year.

Can't block these boys out.

Can’t block these boys out.


After his success with New Edition, producer Maurice Starr decided to try his luck with a caucasian version of the band, originally signed as Nynuk before changing their name. Sales were slow to start, but after 1988’s “Please Don’t Go Girl” became a national top ten hit, the group hit superstardom. In 1989, they placed six songs into the top 40, including #1’s “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” and “Hangin’ Tough”. Step By Step and its title track soon followed in 1990, but after a backlash and accusations of lip syncing, the five members parted in 1994 after ten hits. After a reunion in 2008 which brought in two other top-40 entries, the New Kids plan on releasing an album in April called 10 before going on tour. Two solo singles apiece by Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight also boosted their ranking.

It's gonna be them.

It’s gonna be them.

03. *NSYNC

Formed by Lou Pearlman in the mid-1990’s, they invaded Europe before capturing the hearts of millions of girls in the United States in 1998 with songs like “I Want You Back” and “Tearin’ Up My Heart”, both #5 hits. By 2000, they had hit their full potential with a huge #1 single for ten weeks, “Bye Bye Bye”, followed by “It’s Gonna Be Me”, which spent six weeks at the top. It propelled parent album No Strings Attached to 2.4 million copies in sales in its first week alone, a record which will likely never be beaten. Celebrity followed in 2001 with three additional top ten hits, bringing their total of top-40 hits to 11 before they broke apart in 2002. JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake pursued solo careers; the former has two top-40 singles to his credit, and the latter has eleven main credits (which are all included in the group’s total.) Timberlake’s also acted in several movies, including The Social Network.

Not quite the "end of the road."

Not quite the “end of the road.”


After looking up to New Edition all their lives, this quartet from Philadelphia got their big break in 1989 when the members of Bell Biv Devoe heard them at a local tour stop and were impressed. Michael Bivans eventually agreed to manage the group, leading to their 1991 debut album, Cooleyhighharmony, and the #5 smash “Motownphilly”. They were an overnight success, scoring three other top five singles by the end of 1992. They were perhaps best known for their songs that struck around for a while at the peak of the pop chart, even when the overall speed of the survey had a quick turnover. “End Of The Road” was #1 for six weeks in 1992, the same amount of time “On Bended Knee” stayed at the top in 1994 and into 1995. However, it was their duet with Mariah Carey, “One Sweet Day”, that managed the longest run at the top spot: eight weeks, from December 1995 to February 1996. Their last minor charting single came in 2000 and after a run of thirteen top-40 hits, they were finally done. They group downsized to a trio several years ago and made a few albums of cover songs. Their last original studio album, Twenty, came out in 2011.

All you could "Want" in a boy band.

All you could “Want” in a boy band.


Well, we’ve come to the cream of the pop, the top-ranking boy band of the latest twenty-five years based on airplay data. Another of Lou Pearlman’s acts, the quintet based out of Florida officially began their journey in 1993 and released their first single in the U.S., “We’ve Got It Goin’ On”, in the fall of 1995. It just dented the CHR top 40. After finding incredible success in Europe, the Boys gave it a second go in the States and produced a #2 hit in 1997’s “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)”, the first of ten consecutive top ten hits from the group. In that impressive chain, two number one singles: 1999’s “I Want It That Way” and 2000’s “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”. Parent album Millenium sold 1.1 million copies its first week, a record at the time, and 9.5 million in its first year alone. Black & Blue opened with 1.6 million first week in the fall of 2000, but the singles had less of an impact on the charts and the album eventually sold less than half of what Millenium did. After going on a hiatus for several years, the band has put out several studio albums since 2005, but they clearly haven’t matched up in airplay or sales compared to their efforts at their peak. Nevertheless, they’ve been going strong as a group for twenty years now and have a total of 18 top-40 hits, and that’s something to be respected. They recently went the independent route for a Christmas single and plan to release new music in 2013. However, their legacy will always be their late 90’s hits, the videos, the TRL appearances, the pandemonium, etc. They truly deserve the #1 spot on the this list.

That’s going to do it for this Friday Forty. Hope you enjoyed this look back in boy band history, and let me know if I missed any along the way! Or, suggest a topic for the next Friday Forty! Leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.


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

Girls, Girls, Girls: New Singles About To Pop

Before the Radio Report goes up tomorrow, here’s a few of the fierce females releasing new singles to mainstream radio in the next few weeks. From the straight-up sounds of pop to the electronic eargasms of tomorrow, here’s a few of my choices that you may see climbing up the charts this spring.

Ready or not, she's back.

Ready or not, she’s back.

BRIDGIT MENDLER – “Hurricane” (Radio Edit)

Former Disney kid Mendler made a successful transition into the world of mainstream music when her debut single, “Ready Or Not”, hit the CHR top 40 several months ago. Though it wasn’t the biggest of hits for the young singer, Hollywood Records is trying again with this second single from Hello My Name Is…, a song called “Hurricane”. It’s another rap-sung track from the singer, with the same sort of reggae-influenced vibe as Jessie J‘s “Price Tag” or Skylar Grey‘s “C’mon Let Me Ride”. “Hurricane” was co-written by Mendler, Evan Bogart, Andrew Goldstein and Emanuel Kiriakou and produced by the latter two gentlemen. All three previously worked together on Hot Chelle Rae‘s 2011 album Whatever. Mendler once again brings out the cringeworthy, juvenile lyrics. Remember “I like your face, do you like my song?” from “Ready”? This time around, it’s “I’m flopping on my bed like a flying squirrel.” I mean, I just don’t know what to do with that, so I’m going to move on and pretend it never happened. She’s 20. I guess I can deal with it. Otherwise, it’s a harmless and cute little song with a lot of vocal stuttering about a girl who compares her noticing a boy she really likes to “standing in the eye of a hurricane” because of her emotions gone haywire. Young girls can relate to it. It’s not the strongest song from her debut album, but the breezy nature of it could hold it on radio until the warmer months arrive. I would hate to see the effort go to waste just because the wrong single was selected.

Quicker than a Rae of light.

Far from “Over”.

CARLY RAE JEPSEN – “Tonight I’m Getting Over You”

27-year-old Jepsen had a big breakthrough last year with hits like “Call Me Maybe” and “Good Time”, a collaboration with Owl City. Third single “This Kiss” failed to make a significant impact on the charts, so she’s dusted herself off and moved on to a fourth single from Kiss, “Tonight I’m Getting Over You”. The song has a long list of writers on it: in addition to Jepsen, there is Clarence Coffee Jr. (part of a production team called The Monsters and The Strangerz… jeez, who came up with that?) Lukas Hibert (German producer new to the U.S. market), Shiloh Hoganson (Canadian singer whose U.S. crossover failed a few years ago), Katerina Loules (German songwriter with her first big credit) and Max Martin (super-producer behind the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, etc.), with production duties handled by Hibert and Martin. The sound is a little more dance-driven than Jepsen’s other singles, with an unnecessary dubstep post-chorus that’s just grating on the ears. Nothing too hard to understand lyrically; the girl is gonna “keep dancing ’til the morning with somebody new” as she gets over her old flame. It’s a decent song, but unfortunately, it comes across as a throwaway track. I’m not quite sure how “Curiosity” got passed over again or even the duet with Justin Bieber, “Beautiful”. With everyone releasing lighter songs as of late, it would’ve fit right in. Alas, a video has been shot and the song’s been sent to radio, so I guess we’re stuck with it. Coming off a flop, I’m not expecting big things from it, but expect it to be a mid-charting hit before Jepsen moves onto recording a new album.

One step "Closer" to a hit.

One step “Closer” to a hit.

TEGAN & SARA – “Closer”

If this is going to be one of the first big Alternative crossover hits on the year, I approve. The two Quin sisters have been singing together since 1999 and are probably best known for their 2004 single, “Walking With A Ghost”. They also had a pair of minor chart successes in Canada as featured vocalists on singles by producers Morgan Page and Tiësto. Their days of dance have rubbed off on their new sound as found on their recent release, Heartthrob, expected to debut in the top ten on the Billboard 200 album chart, and this first single. It was written and produced by the Quins as well as Greg Kurstin, who worked on hits by Kelly Clarkson and Pink. The song itself is about the boundaries of a relationship, with the protagonist egging on her lover to “come a little closer,” but it isn’t just a sexual notion she desires. She explains: “It’s not just all physical/I’m the type who won’t get oh-so-critical/So let’s make things physical/I won’t treat you like you’re oh-so-typical.” This, combined with a glittering electro-pop beat, is the perfect combination for a great song with just the right amount of attitude. Will mainstream radio take a liking to the duo? I sure hope so. The song’s already been a top-20 national hit in Canada and it’s still in the top 100 on the overall chart on iTunes here in the States. It should also be their second song to make my personal chart in just a few weeks. The girls certainly deserve, but it’s up to programmers to decide whether to pump it or dump it.

Are there any other good pop tracks by the ladies that I should be listening to? Let me know! Post your thoughts in the comments or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.


Filed under Music News, Single Reviews

Weird Science: Popular Music and the Periodic Table

Still searching for a chart of "Gold".

Still searching for a chart of “Gold”.

A few titles just making it onto the airwaves have caught my eye in the past few weeks, both mentioning the name of a precious metal that goes for big money, especially during a time like this. On Pop radio, there is “Gold” by Christian crossover artist Britt Nicole, her first song to make the mainstream charts and on Urban radio, there’s “All Gold Everything” by rapper Trinidad James, who also happens to be a newcomer. Add the recent hit “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia on top of that and we’ve got a whole bunch of elements doing some major damage on the radio in the past year. I’ve never been one for science, so consider this as far as I’ll go when it comes to chemistry and the charts. Ever wondered just how many metals from the periodic table have been mentioned in the titles of top-40 hits? Well, even if you didn’t, you’re about to find out. All tabulations from this list are provided by the Billboard Hot 100, with some additional notation of airplay hits via Radio & Records data for some songs from the mid-1990’s.

As far as I could tell, there have been ten elements that have had at least one song bearing its exact name place in the top 100 since the chart’s introduction in 1958; in alphabetical order – gold, iron, lithium, neon, nickel, oxygen, platinum, silver, tin and titanium. Of those ten, eight have made the top-40 (everything except for platinum and lithium), and four have had multiple top-40 hits. Here are those four.

(Top ten hits are outlined in italics. #1 hits are outlined in bold.)

#4: NEON
The Box Tops – “Neon Rainbow” (#24, 1967)
Elton John – “In Neon” (#38, 1985)

On the periodic table, you can find it as Ne with the atomic number of 10. On the charts, “neon” has been featured in the titles of five songs to hit the Hot 100, two of which became top 40 entries, though neither was the biggest chart success for either act. “Rainbow” was the followup to the band’s big #1, “The Letter”, and one of a handful of hits for the band. John’s song was a tribute to the late Marilyn Monroe; this was also the case with a more well-known release of his, “Candle In The Wind”. John was in-between his big releases of the 80’s at this point.

#3: TIN
The Original Caste – “One Tin Soldier” (#34, 1970)
Coven – “One Tin Soldier” (#26, 1971)
America – “The Tin Man” (#4, 1974)

On the periodic table, you can find it as Sn with the atomic number of 50. Like neon, tin also places with five titles charted in the Hot 100, but three made it into the top 40. The two entries by Coven and The Original Caste are the same song; the 1970 version was a big hit in Canada, while the 1971 recording was a modest hit in the States. It also re-charted in 1973, though it ended up with a lower peak. “Man” came during the peak of America‘s career, when the band scored three top-5 singles in a row. They last made the top 40 in 1983 with “The Border”.

The Bill Black Combo – “White Silver Sands” (#9, 1960)
The Springfields – “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” (#20, 1962)
Mark Lindsay – “Silver Bird” (#25, 1970)
The Four Seasons – “Silver Star” (#38, 1976)

On the periodic table, you can find it as Ag with the atomic number of 47. We have a bit of a jump here as sixteen songs containing the word “silver” in the title crashed the Hot 100, but out of them, only four managed a placing within in the top 40. The only top ten of the bunch by The Bill Black Combo came way back in 1960. The song by The Springfields has hit the charts many times in a few different renditions, including one by Linda Ronstadt, but that was the only version I can find to hit the top 40. Lindsay scored his biggest success with Paul Revere & The Raiders; they hit the #1 spot in 1971 with “Indian Reservation”. “Star” was also the last original top-40 hit for The Four Seasons, though “December 1963 (Oh What A Night)” would hit again in a remixed form in 1994. Lead singer Frankie Valli had one more solo hit after “Star”, that being the title theme from Grease, which went to #1 in 1978.

An additional airplay-only single, a live version of “Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac, made the CHR top 40 in 1997. It was from their album The Dance.

#1: GOLD
Walter Brennan with Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra – “Dutchman’s Gold” (#30, 1960)
The Springfields – “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” (#20, 1962)
James Gilreath – “Little Band Of Gold” (#21, 1963)
Shirley Bassey – “Goldfinger” (#8, 1965)
Mel Carter – “Band Of Gold” (#32, 1966)
The Association – “Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies” (#35, 1966)
The Tremeloes – “Silence Is Golden” (#11, 1967)
Freda Payne – “Band Of Gold” (#3, 1970)
Neil Young – “Heart Of Gold” (#1, 1972)
Prelude – “After The Gold Rush” (#22, 1974)
America – “Sister Golden Hair” (#1, 1975)
David Bowie – “Golden Years” (#10, 1976)
Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg – “The Power Of Gold” (#24, 1978)
John Stewart – “Gold” (#5, 1979)
Spandau Ballet – “Gold” (#29, 1983)
Sting – “Fields Of Gold” (#23, 1993)
Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx – “Gold Digger” (#1, 2005)

On the periodic table, you can find it as Au with the atomic number of 79. Well, as you might expect, “gold” does come out on top, though there haven’t been 79 charting hits to show for it. Try a lesser 37 Hot 100 singles with the word in it, 17 of which hit a peak in the top 40, the majority of them in the 1960’s and 1970’s. There are some odd ones in there: a Dutchman? Pandora? However, those ones didn’t get too high. The similar titles by Mel Carter/Fred Payne and John Stewart/Spandau Ballet are all different songs. Of those 17, seven hit the top ten, five going a few notches forward in the top five. Three of them hit the jackpot: Neil Young‘s “Heart” and America‘s “Sister” both spent one week at #1, while the rap/sung collaboration by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx spent ten weeks at the top, the most glittering of the “gold”. It also fits West’s current girlfriend to a T, but that’s for another day.

Only one other additional airplay-only hit with a golden title: “Gold”, by the then Artist Formerly Known As Prince, who, thankfully, is now just back to plain Prince. Again, it’s different from the Spandau and Stewart entries. It peaked at #39 on the CHR chart in late 1995. The singer doesn’t believe in the Internet, so good luck trying to find a clip for it.

That’s it from here in the laboratory. See a song that isn’t on one of these lists that you really like? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.


Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Playlists, Retro

Kids These Days: The Latest Tweenage Hits

Headed in the right Direction.

Headed in the right Direction.

Every generation of teenage girls have their male teen idols. They include singing sensations like Elvis PresleyRick Nelson, The Beatles, The Jackson 5, The Osmonds, Shaun Cassidy, Rick Springfield, New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, The Jonas Brothers, etc. I could go on for ages listing them all out and I still wouldn’t get them all. Point is, one replaces the other, and several compete all at one time for our fair maiden’s attention.

Now, there are a few teen idols from the last wave of singers that are still around on the charts today. The most prominent one is Justin Bieber, but even Bieber is between his 3rd and 4th year mark on the charts and releasing the most urban sounding songs on his album Believe, which I guess happens to the best of them. Remember when the Backstreet Boys had The Neptunes remix “The Call” in 2001? Nelly featuring on *NSYNC‘s “Girlfriend” in 2002? Justin Timberlake followed in a similar vein for his solo career. Well, Bieber’s latest single is “Beauty And A Beat”, which features rappper Nicki Minaj, preceded by a single featuring rapper Big Sean. Followup and fourth single “All Around The World”, featuring Ludacris, is out in the United Kingdom in February, so expect it in the States in a few months.

Sadly, The Wanted‘s newest falsetto-laced release, “I Found You”, is struggling to find a wide American audience, though it essentially comes off as a part two continuation of their big hit “Glad You Came”, which is still regularly played on the radio. It did hit #3 in their native United Kingdom… before falling to #20 the next week, then to #29, and then straight out of the top 40. Expect them to have a few more hits before they call it a day. It’s not like they’ll be wanted forever. Cody Simpson‘s also been struggling on the radio here and Ryan Beatty never really caught on. Oh well.

Here are three new tween hits on the radar in the States that’ll crossover into 2013 – the good, the bad, and the ugly:

ONE DIRECTION – “Little Things”
The boys have changed it up on us! “Kiss You” was initially meant to be the second U.S. single from Take Me Home, but the boys have opted to release this pretty ballad in the States as it recently hit #1 in their native United Kingdom. This is their first slower song to get a release here (Ballad “Gotta Be You” off their last album hit #3 in the U.K. last year) so it will be interesting to see how radio reacts to it since lead single, “Live While We’re Young”, hit a brick wall before the top ten on radio. I actually liked that one a lot, but it did sound similar to some of their earlier material. Ed Sheeran co-wrote this song, but the lyrics aren’t exactly the strong point of this composition. Who has dimples on their back at the bottom of their spine? No, it’s the tenderness of their singing and their vulnerable side that will get the teenage girls swooning. I can hear the collective sighs of “Awww!” already. It’s already #32 on CHR radio and climbing. Look for it to make it through the winter season alright.

CONOR MAYNARD featuring NE-YO – “Turn Around”
This twenty-year-old British singer has three top ten hits under his belt in the U.K., including this recent one which is now just making it to the States. It’s been in the top 50 on the CHR chart for a few weeks now, but it’s only been making small gains as of recent. It has your typical Stargate produced-sound, but it’s a cute little Pop song that, at least to me, is more enjoyable than some of Bieber’s latest stuff, but because he’s still ruling the charts, Maynard can’t seem to break through. I mean, there’s even a floating elevator in the video, and it’s giving me Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory vibes without going too far. At least it didn’t end up like this. Maynard releases his fourth single in the United Kingdom, “Animal”, this month.

AUSTIN MAHONE featuring FLO RIDA – “Say You’re Just A Friend”
Sorry to be a heartbreaker, Mahomies, but this one just isn’t going to do it for me. Buzz single “Say Somethin'” was at least halfway decent because it was a essentially a second-rate version of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”, but this one is even more generic and his vocals on the chorus are grating as hell. Plus, they got a rent-a-rapper, Flo Rida feature on this single, which means that his label is desperate for a hit. This “song” samples the classic Biz Markie track, “Just A Friend”, although Flo  can’t seem to figure out what year it came out as a single, based on his rap. It was 1990, two years after “Piano In The Dark” by Brenda Russell, the sample destroyed on his latest single, “I Cry”. (Blame that one primarily on the Bingo Players, though.) Try Mario’s 2002 remake of “Just A Friend” if you want something a little better. All things of this musical tragedy considered, it’ll probably be a minor hit, although I’d like to say you’re just a flop. Nothing against Mahone himself, but this is just bad. Better luck next time.

Who knows what could be next in the Pop world? I’m sure you’ll find out here first.


Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Single Reviews