Tag Archives: Top 40 radio

The “Thrill” Isn’t Gone: 40’s In The 40

"Time" is on their side.

“Time” is on their side.

Making the top five on the Top 40 radio chart is no cheap thrill, so Sia and Sean Paul have reason to be very excited right now. In fact, “Cheap Thrills” looks like it may rise to #1 later this month, which could solidify its status as 2016’s Song Of The Summer. As a dark horse contender, one that entered the top 50 in early March and is now surging months later, it’s a pretty cool sight to see. It’s also a great turnaround for the Australian singer/songwriter, who just missed the top 40 late last year with “Alive”. (The two songs can be found on her This Is Acting album, released in January.)

Will it rank among the weirdest hit collaborations ever? Perhaps it’s not at the The KLF and Tammy Wynette level, but it’s still an odd one. Even more notable than that, both acts are scoring this massive single at age 40 (Sia) or higher (43, Sean Paul.) For a format that’s often seen as ageist, you’d think that a combination like that may not get a fair shake with the gatekeepers of the large U.S. radio companies. However, “Cheap” has persevered, and it won’t stop until it reaches the top.

Though Mediabase 24/7 doesn’t credit Paul at the moment, despite the fact that it’s the top-selling and top-played version at radio here, the Hot 100 and its airplay components do. So, because it ranks #6 on the Hot 100 and looks to break the top five, let’s take a look back at some of the big songs including two credited solo acts over 40 on that list, as well as Radio & Records and Mediabase:

Here are five, beginning in the 1970’s…

“Nadia’s Theme (The Young And The Restless)”, Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr. (1976)
Hot 100: #8, December 12
R&R: #5, November 19

This song has quite a story, which begins in 1971 with the film Bless The Beasts And Children. Then, it was called “Cotton’s Dream”. From there, it became the theme of the daytime soap opera featured in its title, and finally, ABC used the tune in a montage of clips featuring gymnast Nadia Comăneci and her routines for the 1976 Olympics. When it charted, De Vorzon was 42 and Botkin was 43.

“To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before”, Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson (1984)
Hot 100: #5, May 19
R&R: #15, May 4 and 11

One of the most polarizing ballads of the 80’s didn’t have the strength to hit the top ten on R&R, but strong sales certainly made up the difference when it came to Billboard’s rankings. Iglesias’s largely English 1100 Bel Air Place became a multi-Platinum success, a real breakthrough during that year. The Madrid-born singer was 40 then, and Nelson turned 51 the month before the song peaked.

“(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life”, Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes (1987)
Hot 100: #1 for one week, November 28
R&R: #1 for one week, November 20

When we think of iconic movie songs, this has to be one of them. Dirty Dancing swept the nation in the fall of 1987, and this cut off the wildly successful soundtrack was the first single, reaching #1 in November. It was the first chart-topper for 47-year-old Medley since his 1966 hit with The Righteous Brothers, “(You’re My) Soul And Inspiration”. Warnes, who also had a #1 hit in 1982, was 40.

“Don’t Know Much”, Linda Ronstadt featuring Aaron Neville (1989)
Hot 100: #2, December 22
R&R: #4, December 8

After several versions of this song failed to break the top 40, including a solo version by the aforementioned Medley earlier in that decade, the song finally became a hit at the very end of the 80’s as a male-female duet. Ronstadt was 43, and Neville was 48 for the majority of its run, turning 49 just two days before its last week on R&R’s CHR chart. “All My Life” just missed the top ten in 1990.

“All For Love”, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting (1994)
Hot 100: #1 for three weeks, January 22 – February 5
R&R: #1 for four weeks, January 14 – February 4

“All” was featured in Disney’s The Three Musketeers, starring Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland. The film was not a hit with the critics, but it managed to propel this collaboration to the top of the charts, marking the last #1 for all three acts on the CHR survey. (Adams hit #1 on the Hot 100 again the next year.) Stewart turned 49 in the days before it climbed to #1 on R&R, and Sting was 42.

Now, you can decide for yourself whether these entries should count or not…

“That’s What Friends Are For”, Dionne & Friends (featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder) (1986)
Hot 100: #1 for four weeks, January 18 – February 8
R&R: #1 for two weeks, January 17 + 24

The single’s jacket credits the three “Friends” with a featured billing individually. However, neither trade chart chose to list all four performers, opting for the “Dionne & Friends” credit. Warwick turned 45 a few weeks before her final #1 song, while Knight was 41 at the time. (The two men, John and Wonder, were both younger than 40 then.)

“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers (2013)
Hot 100: #2 for five weeks, June 29 – July 27
Mediabase: #2 for two weeks, July 14 + 21

The current digital release of Random Access Memories credits both featured acts. However, the initial release didn’t, only naming them in the writing and production credits. Some sources, including my personal chart, credit Williams and not Rodgers. Confused yet? If both acts count, Williams was 40 and Rodgers was 63 when the song peaked.

For more age in the digital age, and forties of all kinds, follow the blog below and find PGTC on social media above.

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (August 2015) (Part One)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new singles will be lighting up the national charts during the month. Which tracks will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a small selection of new songs being serviced in August on the CHR and Hot AC formats in the first part of this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Felix Jaehn and Jasmine Thompson
FELIX JAEHN featuring JASMINE THOMPSON – “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)” (August 4) (*)
Label: Casablanca/Republic
14-year-old Thompson has been covering songs for years, and one such remake of the 1983 Rufus and Chaka Khan hit is taking a second chart run on. In October 2013, her original version peaked at #32 in the U.K. thanks to a Sainsbury’s ad for pizza. Now, a tropical house remix by the German DJ/producer Jaehn hopes to chew on the charts globally. Yummy. Ready for a musical meal?

Conrad Swwell
CONRAD SEWELL – “Hold Me Up” (August 11) (*)
Label: 300 Entertainment
After blazing a “Firestone” of a song up the European charts with DJ/producer Kygo, the 27-year-old Australian singer is looking to set pop radio chart on fire in the U.S. without the help of that introduction. (RCA’s Stateside release is just below the top 50 on the format.) His solo single went to #1 in his native country in June, where it is certified Platinum. He can only go “Up” from here.

Disclosure and Sam Smith
DISCLOSURE featuring SAM SMITH – “Omen” (August 11) (*)
Label: Capitol
Some say that lightning doesn’t strike twice, but in the case of the English duo out of Reigate and their good pal from London, it is perhaps a good time to try and dispel that notion. The brother act was previously on Interscope in the U.S., though they opted for a label switch to Capitol for their new set; Smith is already on there, and his In The Lonely Hour era was massive. Watch out for it.

Echosmith
ECHOSMITH – “Let’s Love” (August 11) (* + **)
Label: Warner Bros.
The four Sierota siblings keep it all in the family, and their Warner family is issuing this third single from Talking Dreams to both radio formats this month as the followup to recent hit “Bright”. Several live videos for the song were released in late 2013, but it’s unclear when an official music video for it will be premiering given its new status. Will the dream continue for this young quartet?

Hailee Steinfeld
HAILEE STEINFELD – “Love Myself” (August 11) (*)
Label: Republic
Earlier this week, the Pitch Perfect 2 actress and singer appeared in a clip with Canadian singer and Vine star Shawn Mendes, as the two teens sang a new acoustic version of his latest single, “Stitches”. Now, her first solo single, which will be released to iTunes next Friday, looks like it could be a fall hit based on some early radio reaction. Yet, it’s still too soon to tell if the “Love” continues.

Robin Thicke and Nicki Minaj
ROBIN THICKE featuring NICKI MINAJ – “Back Together” (August 11) (*)
Label: Star Trek/Interscope
Thicke is currently climbing up the Urban AC survey with “Morning Sun”, which seems to be responding nicely given the response to his legal issues earlier this year over the case concerning his hit “Blurred Lines”. Now, he looks to capture the pop audience and he’ll be bringing in Minaj to help. You may remember that the two worked together before on his 2009 song “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy”.

Gavin James
GAVIN JAMES – “Bitter Pill” (August 25) (**)
Label: Capitol
With the huge support of Beats 1 beginning a month ago and his current U.S. tour with the aforementioned Smith (see “Omen”), a push at the Hot AC format seems like the next logical step for this Irish newcomer and his label. Of course, his lovely cover of “The Book Of Love” has been #1 on my personal chart for two weeks, but this “Pill” isn’t hard to swallow, and it should be ranking soon.

Ryn Weaver
RYN WEAVER – “Promises” (August 25) (*)
Label: Mad Love/Interscope
After a surge of blog coverage and notable hype in the summer of 2014, it was disappointing to see Weaver’s song “OctaHate” stall down in the 20’s on the pop radio chart earlier this year after an initial bump from a Cumulus block add. Nevertheless, her second radio single is being serviced later this month in both its original version and a new dance mix by French producer Norman Doray.

Which of these new songs would you like to see on top of the charts? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (July 2015) (Part One)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new singles will be lighting up the national charts during the month. Which tracks will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a small selection of new songs being serviced in July on the CHR and Hot AC formats in the first part of this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Demi Lovato
DEMI LOVATO – “Cool For The Summer” (July 7) (*)
Label: Safehouse/Island/Republic/Hollywood
We have a number of singers on the chart at the moment that are (or were) associated with the Walt Disney family, as Lovato has a partnership with both her longtime label and a new home that was set by her manager, Phil McIntyre. “Cool” is a slick single for the season that was co-written and produced by Max Martin. Fun and fresh, it’s bound to be a big hit in her catalog. Soak it all up.

Afrojack
AFROJACK featuring MIKE TAYLOR – “SummerThing!” (July 14) (*)
Label: Def Jam
Dutch DJ/producer Nick van de Wall stands a very tall 6′ 10″, and his last main-credited single to reach this particular chart, “Ten Feet Tall”, propelled him to new heights when it peaked at #19 last year. Now, he’s throwing his hat into the ring with a “summer” title that could face some competition from Lovato’s new song. However, he and newcomer Taylor are ready for some radio rays.

Alessia Cara
ALESSIA CARA – “Here” (July 14) (*)
Label: Def Jam/EP Entertainment
Newcomer Cara, born and raised in the Toronto area, is poised to see some huge numbers later this year as her single develops at radio across several formats. (It is also building at Rhythmic and Urban radio at the moment.) Spotify has been one of the driving forces behind its success, having accumulated millions of streams before ever being serviced. She and her song are “Here” to stay.

Avicii
AVICII (uncredited vocal by SIMON ALDRED) – “Waiting For Love” (July 14) (*)
Label: PRMD/Island/Republic
Late last year, the Swedish DJ/producer released an EP called The Days / Nights, which featured two cuts that were either pulled (“The Days”) or tanked (“The Nights”) when released to radio despite positive streaming numbers. The latest attempt to launch a new album titled Stories is this single, already a #1 in Austria, Norway and his native Sweden. Let’s hope U.S. radio remembers it.

Little Mix
LITTLE MIX – “Black Magic” (July 14) (*)
Label: Syco/Columbia
The former The X Factor winners from the U.K. have been very successful across the pond and on the Billboard 200, where their two studio albums thus far have both debuted in the top ten, but the quartet has yet to receive a big pop radio hit here. “Wings” is still their highest charting cut, peaking at #24 on the format in 2013. Still, this pop potion may cast a spell on more programmers.

Travie McCcoy
TRAVIE MCCOY featuring SIA – “Golden” (July 14) (*)
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic
After McCoy’s “Rough Water” swam up to #20 in late 2013, things have been, well, rough for the performer at pop radio. After a second single failed to chart, two of his features stalled in the 40’s earlier this year. Luckily, things are shining brighter for the 33-year-old now that he’s teamed up with the red hot Australian singer/songwriter. It could be a fall favorite for fans and radio alike.

Icona Pop
ICONA POP – “Emergency” (July 21) (*)
Label: Big Beat/Atlantic
It felt like you couldn’t escape this duo’s “I Love It” in the spring and summer of 2013 as it slowly climbed up to a peak of #2 at the format. Though the two have managed a pair of charting singles since then, nothing’s come close to the love for “Love”. The latest single from them could ring the musical alarm, a solid dance sound sprinkled with an uncredited vocal from the great Erik Hassle.

Tove Lo
TOVE LO – “Timebomb” (July 28) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
The Queen of the Clouds has ruled over CHR radio since last year with the #1 “Habits (Stay High)” and a recent top five follow-up in “Talking Body”. Now, I suppose we’ll be talking about this third single, which has fans divided based on the reaction thus far. It may not be the most popular pick, but the tune will likely gain for some time given her momentum. Will it stay ticking or explode?

Which of these new songs would you like to see on top of the charts? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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