Tag Archives: Sugar Ray

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: June 3, 2001

Mandy and mo(o)re from 2001…

It’s the start of another weekend, which means it’s time for another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I feature the highlights of a past countdown. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This week, we stroll back 16 years and find out what was topping my chart for the week of June 3, 2001…

Debuts:
39. DEPECHE MODE, “Dream On”
38. 3 DOORS DOWN, “Be Like That”
36. LIL’ MO, “Superwoman”
34. USHER, “U Remind Me”

Biggest Mover(s):
JANET, “Someone To Call My Lover” (33-24, nine spots)

10. MADONNA, “What It Feels Like For A Girl” (down 3)
Album: Music (2000, Maverick/Warner Bros. Records)
Peak: #7 for two weeks

09. SUGAR RAY, “When It’s Over” (up 7)
Album: Sugar Ray (2001, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #3 for two weeks

08. EDEN’S CRUSH, “Get Over Yourself” (down 3)
Album: Popstars (2001, 143/London-Sire Records)
Peak: #2 for two weeks

07. EVE 6, “Here’s To The Night” (up 4)
Album: Horrorscope (2000, RCA Records)
Peak: #4

06. MANDY MOORE, “In My Pocket” (up 3)
Album: Mandy Moore (2001, Epic Records)
Peak: #5 for two weeks

05. *NSYNC, “Pop” (up 3)
Album: Celebrity (2001, Jive/Zomba Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

04. JESSICA SIMPSON, “Irresistible” (steady, second week)
Album: Irresistible (2001, Columbia Records)
Peak: #2

03. CHRISTINA AGUILERA/LIL’ KIM/MYA/PINK, “Lady Marmalade” (down 2)
Album: Moulin Rouge! Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film (2001, Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for five weeks

02. BACKSTREET BOYS, “More Than That” (up 1)
Album: Black & Blue (2000, Jive/Zomba Records)
Peak: #1 for one week

01. O-TOWN, “All Or Nothing” (up 1)
Album: O-Town (2001, J Records)
Peak: #1 for one week

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Retro

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: August 5, 2001

Going "Up" the chart.

Going “Up” the chart.

It is time for yet another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Alright, let’s get a move on back to the first days of August and take a look at my favorite songs from this week in 2001…

Debuts:
39. CAKE, “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”

38. GORILLAZ, “Clint Eastwood”
35. EDEN’S CRUSH, “Love This Way”
31. *NSYNC, “Gone”

Biggest Mover:
SAMANTHA MUMBA, “Don’t Need You To (Tell Me I’m Pretty)” (35-26) (nine spots)

10. SUGAR RAY, “When It’s Over” (down 4)
Album: Sugar Ray (2001, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #3

09. USHER, “U Remind Me” (down 1)
Album: 8701 (2001, LaFace/Arista Records)
Peak: #8

08. DESTINY’S CHILD, “Bootylicious” (down 1)
Album: Survivor (2001, Columbia Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

07. BLINK 182, “The Rock Show” (up 3)
Album: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001, MCA Records)
Peak: #7

06. JANET JACKSON, “Someone To Call My Lover” (down 3)
Album: All For You (2001, Virgin Records)
Peak: #2 for two weeks

05. JENNIFER LOPEZ, “I’m Real” (up 4)
Album: J. Lo (2001, Epic Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

04. LFO, “Every Other Time” (down 2)
Album: Life Is Good (2001, J Records)
Peak: #2

03. THE WISEGUYS, “Start The Commotion” (up 2)
Album: Zoolander: Music From The Motion Picture (2001, Mammoth/Hollywood Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

02. BLU CANTRELL, “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” (up 2)
Album: So Blu (2001, Arista Records)
Peak: #2 for two weeks

01. SMASH MOUTH, “I’m A Believer” (steady, third week)
Album: Shrek: Music From The Motion Picture (2001, DreamWorks/Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Personal Charts

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: July 27, 2003

So "Happy" together.

So “Happy” together.

It is time for yet another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Alright, let’s get a move on back to the end of July and take a look at my favorite songs from this week in 2003…

Debuts:
39. SEAL, “Waiting For You”

36. FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, “Stacy’s Mom”

Biggest Mover:
MAROON 5, “Harder To Breathe” (27-17) (ten spots)

10. BLACK EYED PEAS featuring JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, “Where Is The Love?” (down 3)
Album: Elephunk (2003, A&M Records)
Peak: #4

09. HILARY DUFF, “So Yesterday” (up 5)
Album: Metamorphosis (2003, Buena Vista/Hollywood Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

08. SUGAR RAY, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” (down 2)
Album: In The Pursuit Of Leisure (2003, Atlantic Records)
Peak: #6

07. MICHELLE BRANCH, “Are You Happy Now?” (up 4)
Album: Hotel Paper (2003, Maverick/Warner Bros. Records)
Peak: #5

06. BEYONCÉ featuring JAY-Z, “Crazy In Love” (up 2)
Album: Dangerously In Love (2003, Columbia Records)
Peak: #6 for two weeks

05. GOOD CHARLOTTE, “Girls And Boys” (down 1)
Album: The Young And The Hopeless (2002, Daylight/Epic Records)
Peak: #4 for two weeks

04. THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS, “Swing, Swing” (down 1)
Album: The All-American Rejects (2002, Doghouse/DreamWorks Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

03. CHRISTINA AGUILERA featuring LIL KIM, “Can’t Hold Us Down” (up 2)
Album: Stripped (2002, RCA Records)
Peak: #3 for two weeks

02. SANTANA featuring ALEX BAND or CHAD KROEGER, “Why Don’t You & I” (steady, third week)
Album: Shaman (2002, Arista Records)
Peak: #2 for four weeks

01. BOOMKAT, “What U Do 2 Me” (steady, third week)
Album: Boomkatalog.One (2003, DreamWorks Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Personal Charts

TOP TEN: Three Is Better Than One

Cry Uncle.

One way to cry Uncle.

“B.Y.H.B. (Bring Your Hot Body)” (Listen) (Download)

If you ever programmed a Hot AC radio station in the last decade plus and thought about scheduling Better Than Ezra, Sugar Ray and Uncle Kracker back-to-back, congratulations. It’s 2015 and they’re all in one big group together. What’s the deal? The trio is a combination of the leaders of those two bands, Kevin Griffin and Mark McGrath, respectfully, as well as the singer. Their first single together as Uncle Ezra Ray, “B.Y.H.B.”, was released this past week through Tentative Music, owned by Griffin. It’s not likely to see much radio action (I’m looking at you, The Pulse) given that it is independent, but hey, nostalgia is nostalgia.

Speaking of the old days, in honor of the new single, I thought I would put together a top ten list of the biggest songs by the three to make my personal chart. Of course, my top 40 officially began in September 1999, so there’s several hits by the two bands that were too early to make it on here. That being said, it’s nice to see that my current workplace is represented quite well on here. (In fact, all three acts were in the Warner family at one point in their careers, with BTE on Elektra for three albums in the 90’s.) Let’s soak it all in, shall we?

*** Positions are based on adjusted chart runs as a result of the difference in turnover rates

10. SUGAR RAY, “Mr. Bartender (It’s So Easy)”
Album: In The Pursuit Of Leisure (2003, Atlantic Records)
Peak: #17 (2003)

09. BETTER THAN EZRA, “Absolutely Still”
Album: Paper Empire (2009, Megaforce Records)
Peak: #13 (2009)

08. BETTER THAN EZRA, “Crazy Lucky”
Album: All Together Now (2014, The End/ADA Records)
Peak: #14 (2014)

07. UNCLE KRACKER, “Follow Me”
Album: Double Wide (2000, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #11 (2001)

06. SUGAR RAY, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”
Album: In The Pursuit Of Leisure (2003, Atlantic Records)
Peak: #6 (2003)

05. SUGAR RAY, “Falls Apart (Run Away)”
Album: 14:59 (1999, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #7 (2000)

04. BETTER THAN EZRA, “A Lifetime”
Album: Before The Robots (2005, Artemis Records)
Peak: #10 (2005)

03. UNCLE KRACKER, “Smile”
Album: Happy Hour (2009, Atlantic Records)
Peak: #7 (2009)

02. SUGAR RAY, “Someday”
Album: 14:59 (1999, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #3 (1999)

01. SUGAR RAY, “When It’s Over”
Album: Sugar Ray (2001, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #2 (2001)

What’s your favorite tune from the three acts? Let me know! Follow the blog by clicking below and/or click the “Get Social!” page link at the top to find PGTC on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: September 12, 1999 (15th Anniversary Edition)

Cherishing the first chart ever.

Cherishing the first chart ever.

After a little time off, we’re back with another round of way back wonders on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This is a very special edition of the Flashback as it marks the fifteenth anniversary of my first official top 40 chart. Back in the day, I would write the chart down with pen and paper as I listened to Kiss 108 in Boston or American Top 40 early on Sunday morning. Things have definitely changed since then… never did I think I would still be ranking my favorites weekly fifteen years after I first began my chart. Obviously, it’s been an amazing run that will continue onward. However, let’s go back once more to that very first top ten from this week in 1999:

10. *NSYNC featuring GLORIA ESTEFAN, “Music Of My Heart”
Album: Music Of The Heart: The Album (1999, Sony Music Soundtrax/Epic Records)
Chart History: Though this was Estefan’s only single to reach my top 40, the Florida quintet would go onto four #1 songs between 2000 and 2002. JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake both went top ten as solo acts.

09. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, “Bailamos”
Album: Enrique and Music Inspired By The Motion Picture Wild Wild West (1999, Interscope Records)
Chart History: Four singles in total from Iglesias’s debut English effort climbed aboard my chart, though his biggest hit to date remains the 2001 single “Hero”, which made it to #1. He has not charted since the fall of 2011.

08. LOU BEGA, “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…)”
Album: A Little Bit Of Mambo (1999, RCA Records)
Chart History: After the success of “Mambo”, followup “Tricky Tricky” also made my top ten. He’s not been top 40 since that song, though he’s had some minor success in parts of Europe with a handful of other single releases.

07. JENNIFER LOPEZ, “If You Had My Love”
Album: On The 6 (1999, WORK Group)
Chart History: Lopez was a mainstay on my top 40 for several years at the beginning; “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” remains her sole #1. Despite a well-received comeback a few years back, 2005’s “Get Right” was her last single to chart.

06. SUGAR RAY, “Someday”
Album: 14:59 (1999, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Chart History: The California group had a few other big singles after their summer classic. 2001’s “When It’s Over” gave them their highest peak to date, climbing up into the #2 spot. Their last top 40 came in 2005 with “Shot Of Laughter”.

05. TAL BACHMAN, “She’s So High”
Album: Tal Bachman (1999, Columbia Records)
Chart History: Bachman never repeated the crazy success of “High” in the U.S. nor in his native Canada, but a few singles were released after it, including the minor Hot AC entry “If You Sleep” in the spring of 2000. “Sleep” bubbled under my top 40 around then.

04. GOO GOO DOLLS, “Black Balloon”
Album: Dizzy Up The Girl (1998, Warner Bros. Records)
Chart History: Still huge on the charts at that point, the Dolls continued to break my top ten with “Broadway” and “Here Is Gone”, which went to #1 in 2002. A series of Hot AC hits have kept them around on my top 40 as recently as last year, going to #18 with “Rebel Beat”.

03. SMASH MOUTH, “All Star”
Album: Astro Lounge (1999, Interscope Records)
Chart History: It was an anthem that lit up the #1 spot at both CHR and Hot AC radio and even rose to #2 on Alternative radio. It’s been quite a while since the format’s spun them. Their cover of “I’m A Believer” spent four weeks at #1 on my survey in 2001. They last charted with “So Insane” in 2006.

02. 98 DEGREES, “I Do (Cherish You)”
Album: 98 Degrees and Rising (1998, Motown Records) and Notting Hill: Music From The Motion Picture (1999, Universal Records)
Chart History: Out of all the boy bands on my first top 40, this one ranked the highest, charting with a song that was first a hit on the Country survey a year prior for Mark Wills. The quartet’s version was heard across multiple formats and ties their highest peak on my chart with “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)”, a #2 in 2000.

01. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “Genie In A Bottle”
Album: Christina Aguilera (1999, RCA Records)
Chart History: It’s a perfect piece of pop; what else can you say about “Genie”? It launched Aguilera into superstar status and gave her a string of hits on my top 40, including the #1 songs “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)” in 2000 and “Beautiful” in 2003. Though the glory days are long behind her, she still goes top 40 from time to time as a featured act.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Retro

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: January 16, 2000

Da ba dee, da ba "Bye".

Da ba dee, da ba “Bye”.

Welcome back for another edition of Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Second half of fourth grade meant that the Projects Fair was on the horizon; I’ll have you know that I had a fabulous report on firefighters. It was fun. Meanwhile, here’s a look at my top 40 from January 16, 2000:

Debuts:
40. SPLENDER, “I Think God Can Explain”
37. KID ROCK, “Only God Knows Why”
20. *NSYNC, “Bye Bye Bye”

Biggest Mover:
S CLUB 7, “Bring It All Back” (36-26) (10 spots)

10. SUGAR RAY, “Falls Apart (Run Away)”
We start off the top ten with this track from the California band and their third hit (fourth single overall) from their 14:59 era. “Falls” was produced by David Kahne and co-written by he and the group. It may not have had the longest shelf life on the charts, but it did make an impact and drove its parent album sales to over 3 million copies in the U.S. alone. They last made my top 40 in 2005.

09. SMASH MOUTH, “Then The Morning Comes”
Coming off a big #1 on the pop chart, “All Star”, Steve Harwell and the boys had to follow up their summer anthem with this chilled-out track just in time for fall and winter. Lifted from Astro Lounge, their only top ten album on the Billboard 200, the song rose to #11 on the Hot 100 and cracked the top 5 at CHR radio. Sadly, night had to fall on “Morning” and the band’s success diminished after it.

08. BLINK 182, “All The Small Things”
I was one of the many who had a chuckle or two when the music video for this used to air on Total Request Live, parodying recent clips at the time from the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and more. Plus, who can’t resist a good “na na na na” chorus? Simple, yet effective. “Small” remains their trio’s largest single to reach my chart, which they last entered in 2004 with the ballad “I Miss You”.

07. FILTER, “Take A Picture”
Hey man, nice song. The rockers out of Ohio burst onto the scene in 1995, but it wasn’t until 1999’s Title Of Record that they reached their commercial peak with this top 5 Alternative record. It was inspired by frontman Richard Patrick’s drunken adventures on a plane trip. This would be their only song to reach my chart, though they’re still together and reached the rock charts as recently as 2013.

06. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, “The Rhythm Divine”
The Latin explosion in 1999 brought us a lot of great new acts and Iglesias was one of them with his English breakthough hit, “Bailamos”. This was the next release, which wasn’t nearly as big, but still made the top ten on my chart. The singer is still at work on his next album, another bilingual effort. Three English singles have been issued from it so far; the most recent is “I’m A Freak”, with Pitbull.

05. CELINE DION, “That’s The Way It Is”
Representing for Canada, Dion is the only performer from the Great White North in the week’s top ten. The song was co-written by Max Martin, which was unusual at the time because he was known for his work with teen pop acts. However, “Way” was yet another hit for the diva and helped her first greatest hits compilation, All The Way… A Decade Of Song, rise to #1. She last went top 40 in 2008.

04. SAVAGE GARDEN, “I Knew I Loved You”
It led the pop radio chart for five weeks and ranked on the Adult Contemporary for what seemed like an eternity; this was one big song you heard everywhere back in the day. It was also coming off a run atop my own list. The Australian duo would rank two other singles on my chart, “Crash And Burn” and “Affirmation”, before splitting in 2001. Darren Hayes charted as a solo act beginning in 2002.

03. BACKSTREET BOYS, “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”
There was about to be a boy band battle brewing on the survey with the high debut of *NSYNC‘s “Bye Bye Bye” and this quickly rising ballad, which was up to #3 after just six weeks on the chart. “Lonely” had a pretty dramatic, but memorable video, one that I remember seeing quite a lot on television. This would eventually hit #1 later that month before it was knocked out by “Bye” in February.

02. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “What A Girl Wants”
Long before the Lotus rose and the Bionic woman claimed that she wasn’t herself on that particular night, Aguilera was deep in the heart of her debut era and continuing to shine with this light and fun single. Certified Gold, it went to #1 on the Hot 100 for two weeks, though it was kept out of the top spot on my own chart. She would rack up another two big singles from her self-titled album in 2000.

01. EIFFEL 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”
In 1992, three friends based in Turin, Italy began their ride to a huge worldwide hit, a novelty song about a man stuck in a “blue world” emotionally and physically. It was addictive, and for three weeks in January 2000, it ruled my chart. Unfortunately, the song wore out quickly, and after a minor followup in “Move Your Body” (which did much better in Europe), their days on the U.S. scene were done. After two more moderately successful albums in their homeland, they broke up, but reformed in 2012 to tour.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Retro

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: October 24, 1999

A little bit of... what's on the charts.

A little bit of… what’s on the charts.

Welcome back for another edition of Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. This week, it’s one of my earliest official charts from the fall of 1999. I was 9, in fourth grade, and writing down all my charts on paper in my room. Those were the days. Here’s my chart from October 24, 1999:

Debuts:
40. STROKE 9, “Little Black Backpack”
39. 98 DEGREES, “This Gift”
37. VITAMIN C, “Me, Myself & I”

Biggest Mover(s):
WILL SMITH featuring K-CI, “Will 2K” (35-23) (12 spots)

10. JENNIFER LOPEZ, “Waiting For Tonight”
She’s an actress, a dancer, a reality TV judge, and most importantly when it comes to this post, a singer. Coming off of debut single “If You Had My Love”, Lopez struck again with “Waiting”, taken from her 1999 album On The 6. Dancing her way to another success, the song landed at #8 on the Hot 100 later that year and also charted well internationally. Lopez is back judging on American Idol this season.

09. SAVAGE GARDEN, “I Knew I Loved You”
The duo of Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones based out of Brisbane, Australia, racked up some major hits beginning in 1997 with “I Want You”. This big ballad was their last #1, spending four weeks atop the Hot 100 and five weeks leading the CHR airplay chart. It would also rank as the top song on my chart in December. The duo broke up in 2001, but Hayes has been charting solo on my top 40 since 2002.

08. SUGAR RAY, “Someday”
Mark McGrath and the boys from Newport Beach, CA, dominated the charts earlier that year with an Alternative and CHR radio smash, “Every Morning”, and this third single from 14:59 also provided a bit of airtime for them. Paired with a black-and-white video set on the beach, it had that perfect summer and early fall vibe. The group last made my chart in the summer of 2005 with “Shot Of Laughter”.

07. MANDY MOORE, “Candy”
Don’t you love those compositions from the confectionery? Moore was always one of the lessers in the Pop Princess Class of ’99 (with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson) but I liked her music, both as a pop act and singer-songwriter. She’s since publicly come out and trashed her first few albums. Still, we treasure that precious message of I’ll be forever yours, love always, Mandy.

06. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “Genie In A Bottle”
From The Mickey Mouse Club to the Dance/Club Play charts, Aguilera is a superstar. She charted on the Adult Contemporary chart a year prior with “Reflection”, from the Disney movie Mulan, but “Genie” really put her on the map. Released in early summer, it was all over the radio by the fall and helped her self-titled debut album to sell over 9 million copies in the U.S. alone. It was my first official #1 in September.

05. BRITNEY SPEARS, “(You Drive Me) Crazy”
STOP! The needle spun out of the groove for a hot second, but then it was back to a poppin’ party hit for Spears, the third in a row from her …Baby One More Time album. It was also featured in the movie Drive Me Crazy, starring Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier. “Crazy” would spend one week at #1 on my chart in November. Spears is currently promoting a new album, Britney Jean, due December 3.

04. LEN, “Steal My Sunshine”
From their album You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush (what a title) comes this lone hit of the band’s career, led by siblings Marc and Sharon Costanzo. It’s a great summer song and became a top ten hit in many countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and in the band’s native Canada, where “Steal” went to #1. They reunited in 2012 and released an album together; however, it did not chart.

03. BACKSTREET BOYS, “Larger Than Life”
Someone might have been glued to the TV when this music video came on Total Request Live, though I’m afraid I never quite learned the dance sequence. It was one of the most expensive clips in history, but it served its purpose. “Larger” was another big top ten radio single for the Boys, and would replace the song at #1 on this chart in two weeks. Parent album Millenium went 13x Platinum. Robot suit not included.

02. SANTANA featuring ROB THOMAS, “Smooth”
Everyone and their mother wanted a copy of Supernatural in 1999, leading to one of the greatest comebacks in pop music history for Santana. “Smooth” was one of the reasons for that, a huge #1 airplay and sales hit that you could not escape for some time. On my chart, it only went to #2. Shock, horror! Three years later, “The Game Of Love”, featuring Michelle Branch, went to #1 on my survey for three weeks.

01. LOU BEGA, “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…)”
German-born David Lubega was just 24-years-old when he conquered the global music surveys with his infectious anthem, a remake of an old Pérez Prado instrumental from 50 years prior. “Mambo” would end up with a total of eight weeks at #1, this being his fifth, and would stay on through the spring of 2000. Followup single “Tricky Tricky” would also go top ten, and that would mark the end of his career on my top 40. He’s still active in his native country, releasing A Little Bit Of 80’s, a covers album, this past June.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Retro

That’s A Rap: The Obligatory (But Disposable) Rent-A-Rapper Break

You've gotta hand it to 'em.

You’ve gotta hand it to ’em.

You may try to hide from it, but it’s all over the radio. Rap music. The golden age of it may be long gone, but it won’t go away. So, how did the art of spitting a rhyme go from legendary to lackluster? One major reason in today’s music is the mainstream radio rule of the obligatory rent-a-rapper break. You’re listening to a harmless pop song, and then you hear some gruff voice out of nowhere take over, and then it’s back to the original song. Looking for street cred? Rent a rapper. Breaking America? Rent a rapper. Even if your song is perfection, it’s not going to be a hit unless you have a rapper. Why did it have to come to this predictable pattern? Let’s take a look back at how it developed.

The first rap break in a mainstream song was done by Debbie Harry in 1981’s “Rapture” by her group Blondie, toasting about men from Mars and eating cars, etc. As R&B music became more commonly accepted at radio in the mid-80’s, rap breaks appeared again on records like Chaka Khan‘s “I Feel For You”, featuring Grandmaster Melli Mel. By 1986, a movement began in which rappers interpolated other records into their own while they would freestyle over the beat. Run-D.M.C. and Aersomith scored a top-5 hit out of 1986’s “Walk This Way”, and rap trio the Fat Boys managed two top-20 hits, 1987’s “Wipe Out” (chorus by the Beach Boys, what an odd pairing) and 1988’s “The Twist”, featuring the original singer, Chubby Checker. This is when the disposable rap began, at least on the CHR format.

In 1990, two songs went to #1 that included rap breaks, but neither were issued with a rap-free edit. In February, Paula Abdul‘s “Opposites Attract” hit the top with a remixed version featuring two raps credited to the animated MC Skat Kat (vocals by Romany Malco and Derrick Stevens). Then, in July, Hawaiian-born balladeer Glenn Medeiros managed to push an uptempo number to #1, “She Ain’t Worth It”, featuring a rap by Bobby Brown. The latter example seems like a more obvious case of the record label really wanting a hit, but Brown was hot at the time, so, the song took off. Other songs that year that had an optional break for radio include “Alright” by Janet Jackson (added rap by Heavy D) and “Groove Is In The Heart” by Deee-Lite (album version featured a rap by Q-Tip.)

By 1992, the Jacksons struck again. “Jam” by Michael and “The Best Things In Life Are Free” by Janet and Luther Vandross were generally heard with their added rappers on them; Heavy D for the former and Bell Biv Devoe for the latter. (“Best” did have a rap-free edit, however.) With the fall of the CHR format beginning around this time, guest rappers also began to fall out of fashion as mainstream radio turned to alternative rock to balance out the airwaves.

For the last half of the decade, rap breaks came and went, but most remixed singles were heard in their original album versions at CHR. The driving force behind these was superstar Mariah Carey, known more for ballads than R&B material. By 1995, that was changed with the release of “Fantasy”, released with a new version featuring rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard. It went to #1. The following year, “Always Be My Baby” got a remix on behalf of producer Jermaine Dupri, which included rapper Da Brat, hitting #2. The results were more mixed for 1999’s “Heartbreaker”, where the album version featured Jay-Z (an edit without him was issued.) A separate remix also featured Da Brat and Missy Elliott. Though it hit #1 on the Hot 100, it missed the top 20 at CHR radio, continuing a downward spiral for the singer at the format.

Other than Carey, songs like 1996’s “No Diggity” by BLACKstreet featuring Dr. Dre and 1998’s “No, No, No (Part 2)” by Destiny’s Child featuring Wyclef Jean became minor CHR crossovers, but much bigger hits on the Hot 100. The only rock band to experiment with the concept during this time period and succeed was Sugar Ray, who featured reggae singer/rapper Super Fly on their 1997 #1 hit, “Fly”. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that something seemed to click between rap and the teen audience.

It took a boy band out of Canada to reignite the disposable rap for popular radio. “Faded”, the debut hit for trio soulDecision, featured an optional rap break by rapper Thrust. It climbed to #6 on pop radio in October, signaling a new era in boy bandemonium: the rap remix. The Backstreet Boys did it with “The Call”, remixed by The Neptunes in 2001. It didn’t exactly help the song. However, a remix of *NSYNC‘s “Girlfriend” with a rap by Nelly did go top 5 in 2002. By that summer, boy bands were largely off the airwaves save for a few acts, both groups and members gone solo. For example, Justin Timberlake‘s first solo single, “Like I Love You”, which featured a rap break by The Clipse, went top 5 in late 2002.

Once the boy bands got going, the females followed. In 2001, pop group Dream had their second single, “This Is Me”, remixed with added raps by P. Diddy and Kain. The collaborative #1 remake of “Lady Marmalade” with singers Christina Aguilera, Mya and Pink featured a rap break from Lil’ Kim, who was often edited out. Aguilera would use rapper Redman on her 2002 single “Dirrty”. Competitor Britney Spears added Pharell to a remix of her 2002 single, “Boys”. Both were low charters, though the Spears record did worse. One of the more important figures of this era was Jennifer Lopez, who scored two #1 singles in a row with remixes featuring rapper Ja Rule that were played over the album version: 2001’s “I’m Real” and 2002’s “Ain’t It Funny”. Lopez’s next three releases to the format all included rappers. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Other artists to add raps during this period included Joe, Lenny Kravitz and No Doubt, who had two singles: 2002’s “Hey Baby”, featuring Bounty Killer and “Underneath It All”, featuring Lady Saw.

Things slowed down with CHR radio in crisis again, though some singers like Beyoncé and Ciara continually delivered hits with featured rappers between 2003 and 2006. The former scored #1 singles with 2003’s “Baby Boy”, featuring Sean Paul and 2006’s “Check On It”, featuring Slimm Thugg. The latter took “1, 2 Step”, featuring Missy Elliott, to the top in 2005. Lopez’s overuse of the technique proved to be her downfall in 2005; both singles from Rebirth underperformed. Teen singers got in on the action as well to mixed results. JoJo‘s 2004 single, “Baby It’s You”, added a rap by Bow Wow and went top ten. Jesse McCartney‘s 2005 single, “She’s No You”, awkwardly remixed with Fabolous, barely went top 30. Frankie J, The Pussycat Dolls and Usher also saw big hits during this period that included guest raps. Some bands, like Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray, desperately tried to get another hit by featuring rappers at this time, but both flopped. Something tells me you don’t remember 2003’s “You Are My Number One” (with Ranking Roger) and “Mr. Bartender (It’s So Easy)” (with ProHoeZak), respectively.

Rap breaks began to pick up again in mid-2006 just because so many were suddenly going to #1, thanks in part to the second coming of Timbaland. From May until October, four songs dominated that all had a featured rapper/production artist: “Hips Don’t Lie”, by Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean, “Promiscuous”, by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland, “Buttons”, by The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg and “SexyBack”, by Justin Timberlake featuring Timbaland. Timberlake would also hit #1 later in the year with “My Love”, featuring T.I., for four weeks. This continued in 2007 with hit singles by Fergie and Rihanna. In fact, the former artist’s ballad, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, was reissued in a very unnecessary remix with reggae and rap artist Sean Kingston, which pretty much set the standard for most of the cash-in remixes going forward. This means we’re getting to the point where everybody needed a rap break to get airplay.

By 2008, not only were R&B singers like Ray J and Usher using the trick, but pop acts like Natasha Bedingfield (“Love Like This” with Kingston) and yes, even the Jonas Brothers, were including rappers on songs. Remember “Burnin’ Up”? Well, this continued in force, and then the labels decided that in order for us to suffer more, they would be exporting their already successful British singers into the United States with specially crafted “We need an American rapper on this” remixes. Thus, Jay Sean‘s 2009 single “Down” went to #1 with Lil Wayne tacked on, and Taio Cruz went to #1 in 2010 with “Break Your Heart” featuring Ludacris.

As for the American acts, don’t think they weren’t left out of this. Katy Perry went to #1 several weeks after that with “California Gurls”, featuring a rap by Snoop Dogg, and Usher took “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” to #2 with a rap by Pitbull. Perry’s label noticeably issued digital remixes of many of her songs with added guest rappers in an attempt to secure a record amount of consecutive #1 singles for her. “E.T.”, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”, and “The One That Got Away” featured Kanye West, Missy Elliott and B.o.B., respectively. The former two went to #1; the last stalled at #3.

Now, Enrique Iglesias, still living off the royalties of “Hero” and his mole, heard these songs one day and I’m sure went “Oye! There’s my comeback hit!” Thus, it was that “I Like It”, featuring Pitbull and “Tonight” with another phoned-in rap by Ludacris both became big hits in 2010 and 2011. (All of Iglesias’s singles since those two have featured rappers, one other with Pitbull.) For some reason, this inspired Justin Bieber to call up his grandfather Luda and ask him for a rap and you could just see the dollar signs shining in his eyes, so Ludacris again was featured on Bieber’s 2011 hit, “Baby”.

Now, every good comeback deserves another one, so the formerly washed-up Jennifer Lopez, then a judge on American Idol, returned with 2011’s “On The Floor” with a familiar face, Pitbull. Three of her next four singles featured rappers, the biggest one being 2012’s “Dance Again”, again with Pitbull. Last year, pop/rock bands began to try again with rapped portions. Maroon 5‘s “Payphone”, with a break by Wiz Khalifa, went to #1. Additionally, “I Like It Like That”, by Hot Chelle Rae and featuring the New Boyz, made the top 20.

So, you’re probably wondering where we are at this point with current singles that utilize a guest rapper. Here’s everything in the current CHR top 50:
#04: Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj“Beauty And A Beat” (no rap-free edit)
#12: Alicia Keys (featuring Nicki Minaj) – “Girl On Fire” (album version without rap)
#22: The Script featuring will.i.am“Hall Of Fame” (international edit without will.i.am)
#23: Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z“Suit & Tie” (rap-free edit issued)
#29: Olly Murs featuring Flo Rida“Troublemaker” (international edit without Flo Rida)
#46: Skylar Grey featuring Eminem“C’mon Let Me Ride” (no rap-free edit)

Additionally, one song just below the top 50 features Flo Rida on it: “Say You’re Just A Friend” by Austin Mahone. No rap-free edit is available on that one… yet.

So, as you can see, as much as we may desire them to get off the radio, the overexposed guest rapper who already a dozen hits on his or her own isn’t leaving anytime soon. The concept will always be floated around as a way to get a hit, even if it means selling out for the sake of it. Although it may go out of style for a few years, it always seems to come back around and picks up momentum in no time with the same names on every song. I usually prefer a rap-free version of a song, but that’s just me and my more pop/rock-driven tastes. If you have an opinion on this or if I missed any big examples, let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

1 Comment

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