Tag Archives: Safe And Sound

TOP TEN: Wondering About One Hit Wonders — 2013 Edition

The end of 2013 is just a few weeks away, and unfortunately, some acts just won’t be able to carry another single onto the charts in the new year. It’s the sad truth. Some may find success on genre-specific surveys or on small market panels, but it just isn’t the same. So, I must tackle the inevitable: acts who could be past their glory days, as small a time window as it was. Only one big song can do the trick, and for these artists and bands, that could be it. (Nothing to look down upon, however, some people can’t even get to that point.)

(NOTE: I did not include several acts who still have active singles at the moment. Those include American AuthorsEmblem3, NONONO and Zendaya, among others. You better watch out for 2014!)

Let’s start the top ten of the could-be one hit wonders of 2013 when it comes to popular music and the Hot 100…

That's "the way" to sample.

Her team has a Grande problem.

10. ARIANA GRANDE
The horror! Yes, as much as I know how many you like her, Grande’s team really can’t get it together when it comes to second significant radio hit. Though she will have an album out next year, I don’t feel she’ll have as big a hit as “The Way”.

Don't "Miss" this new track.

From #9 to Five.

09. FIFTH HARMONY
The X Factor gals had a good 2013 with a top ten EP. However, “Miss Movin’ On” is the only charting single from Better Together and I don’t think Syco/Epic know what to do with them. I am not expecting much from their full-length album.

That's "Who" he is.

That’s “Who” he is.

08. JONN HART
This is another Epic act who seems to have been lost in the shuffle. His hit “Who Booty” managed some airplay at the Rhythmic and Urban formats, plus a minor CHR crossover. Baby got back, but he hasn’t been back on the charts since.

Darling Nikki.

Darling Nikki.

07. NIKKI WILLIAMS
The South African singer took “Glowing” onto the pop airwaves but had its lights turned out midway up the survey. She plans to release a song called “Thank God It’s Friday” to CHR radio next year, but it’s very average and will underperform.

Livin' the life.

Not so “Alive” on the charts right now.

06. KREWELLA
They hit the top ten at pop radio in May with “Alive”, though sales of the songs were tepid. I actually thought the followup titled “Live For The Night” was a stronger song, but radio wasn’t a big fan. At least they’ll have DJ’ing gigs to fall back on.

I like it, "I Love It".

I like it, “I Love It”.

05. ICONA POP
They crashed their car into the bridge and wound up with a hit, “I Love It”, but when they wanted to do it “All Night”, radio and retail weren’t buying into it. Their album tanked and their buzz is largely gone. These two could only Pop for so long.

A "Safe" bet for some sales.

Their one and only “Safe” hit.

04. CAPITAL CITIES
The Los Angeles based duo had a major Alternative crossover smash in “Safe And Sound”. Its longevity was the main reason why followup “Kangaroo Court” quickly hopped on radio and was then pulled. I doubt they’re due for another hit.

Cup, cup and away.

Cup, cup and away.

03. ANNA KENDRICK
This one should be no surprise as no one expected “Cups (When I’m Gone)” from Pitch Perfect to blow up. Even though there’s a sequel in the works, Kendrick is focused on making films. Plus, “Plates” or “Utensils” couldn’t follow it up, right?

He really shook it up in 2013.

Really shook it up in 2013.

02. BAAUER
He captivated work places everywhere to film their staff shaking it out to the “Harlem Shake”, and a large change in the Billboard Hot 100 methodology lifted it to a #1 debut. Unfortunately, the DJ hasn’t busted out any chart moves recently.

"Fox" on the run.

“Fox” on the run.

01. YLVIS
Admit it, you watched the video for “The Fox” a few times and tried to howl along. It was a viral sensation for the duo from Norway, who lit up YouTube and iTunes and cracked the Hot 100’s top ten. Though this song is over now, the two keep churning out videos on the ‘net, even if they don’t get the attention their one big hit received. At least they’re consistent.

Agree with my picks? Totally disagree? Want to make a suggestion for another act you think will be known for just one song? Comment below or find PGTC on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the “Get Social!” tab.

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The State Of Pop: Hits Of The Geographical Survey

Rockin' the States.

Rockin’ the States.

California duo Capital Cities are all over the radio with their multi-format smash “Safe And Sound”. It’s worth noting that the act’s name is pretty unusual, but I guess that could be said of a lot of groups nowadays. Fact is, Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian are based out of Los Angeles, which is the biggest city in California, but isn’t the capital of it. That would be the much smaller Sacramento. That got me thinking about all of the capital cities in the United States and how well they’ve been represented by both top 40 artists and singles on the national music charts. As you might expect, it’s not that fairly distributed but it’s still an interesting look. Luckily, you don’t need a map for this one; I’ll be happy to map it out for you.

Of the 55 years that the Hot 100 has officially been around, I could only find ten state capital names that were featured in either or both categories, though not all of them actually reference the city or town in question. Some check out, like the catalog of John Denver, with Denver being the capital of Colorado (his birthplace), “Honolulu Lulu” by Jan & Dean (#11, 1963) representing Hawaii, and “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” by Glen Campbell (#26, 1967) or Isaac Hayes (#37, 1969), the state capital of Arizona. Others, like the forgotten “Sink The Bismarck” by Johnny Harton (#3, 1960) is about the German ship rather than the capital of North Dakota. There are also the examples of capital names that are pretty common enough to be a first name or surname. When you hear the name Jackson, you may think of the last name for Janet, Joe, Michael, Wanda, etc. but they have nothing to do with the capital of Mississippi. The same is true of Austin, TX and Montgomery, AL; multiple chart examples, but they are names of people rather than the place. So, with all that said, we’re down to three, and all are major cities that have at least one band and one single named after them, so you get the best of both worlds. Let’s explore them:

ATLANTA
Founded in Doraville, GA in 1971, the Atlanta Rhythm Section took their Southern rock sound onto the charts in 1974 with their debut single, “Doraville” (#35). Seven of their songs made the top 40 on the Hot 100, including two #7 singles: “So Into You” (1977) and “Imaginary Lover” (1978). They last charted in 1981 with a release that’s gone obscure, but are still active on the live circuit. They haven’t recorded new material since the late 90’s.

The only song about Georgia’s capital to make the top 40 did it in the fall of 1981. After his departure from Jefferson Starship, Marty Balin‘s “Hearts” became a top ten single, followed by the #27 entry “Atlanta Lady (Something About Your Love)”. After one more minor single in 1983, his chart days were over.

BOSTON
Aerosmith and New Kids On The Block may have the bigger selection of hits, but how can you not love a band from Boston called Boston? The group led by the late Brad Delp burst onto the charts in 1976 with singles like “More Than A Feeling” (#5) and “Don’t Look Back” (#4) two years later. After much delay, their Third Stage album in 1986 provided them with the #1 hit “Amanda”. They still perform today with a different set of members.

Two songs name-checking Beantown also made the top 40. In 1974, “Please Come To Boston” became the first and only big single for Tenneessee born Dave Loggins. It went to #5. A followup release only managed a peak in the 50’s. Then, in 2007, Augustana slowly rose up to a peak of #34 with their first charting hit, “Boston”. They also charted only once more with a minor peaking single and have gone through a few lineup changes since then, though they appear to have a new record deal and album in the pipeline.

NASHVILLE
The only group with the Tennessee’s capital in their name didn’t grow up in the United States at all. The Nashville Teens were based out of Surrey in the southern part of England. Their claim to fame was the 1964 hit “Tobacco Road”, which went as high as #14. “Find My Way Back Home” barely scratched the Hot 100 the following year, but they continued to record material into the early 70’s before splitting.

Also in the 60’s, “Nashville Cats” became a #8 single for quintet The Lovin’ Spoonful in 1967. Though it was far from their biggest release on the charts, the #1 “Summer In The City”, it was their sixth and last time charting in the top ten. They would be off the Hot 100 altogether by 1969, when the group parted ways.

For more chart chronicles that put the top in topography, follow the blog below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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