Tag Archives: will.i.am

TOP TEN: The Voices Within

You want a peace of this?

You want a peace of this?

In the past few days, there have been a few news stories out there about both the domestic and international versions of The Voice, the singing competition in which four coaches/judges rely on just a contestant’s voice in order to persuade them to turn their chair around and fight to add them onto their team. In the United Kingdom, singers Danny O’Donoghue of The Script and Jessie J are exiting the show, while Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs and Kylie Minogue will be their replacements. In the United States, original judges Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera are returning to the panel, leaving fill-ins Shakira and Usher out of a chair this season.

With all that shifting around, I thought I would do the same and compile another top ten list of the acts with the most top 40 singles to make my personal chart who have also coached on the show, whether here in the U.S. or abroad. In fact, 18 of them, both current or former, have managed at least one charting single. Can you guess which of them has the biggest voice of them all, at least on my survey? Check it all out below… but turn your chair around to face your computer, this isn’t a singing competition.

10. SHAKIRA (5)
Her hips don’t lie and neither do her chart stats. First a star in the Spanish-speaking world, she set her sights on the English market with 2001’s Laundry Service. Her first single to make it on remains her highest peaking release, “Whenever Wherever”. It went to #2 for two weeks. Although she’s had some massive worldwide hits since then, the Columbian singer hasn’t ranked on my top 40 since early 2006.

09. APL.DE.AP (6)
The first season of The Voice of the Philippines is currently underway, and Apl.De.Ap is the only judge from that version to appear on here. He’s one of two members of the Black Eyed Peas on the list, the other being will.i.am further up. The group’s biggest entry to date, 2003’s “Where Is The Love?”, went to #4 for a week and garnered a lot of airplay. The song features Justin Timberlake on the chorus.

08. JOEL MADDEN (6)
Madden’s been a judge for two years on Australia’s version of The Voice. As a member of pop-punk quartet Good Charlotte, Madden made my top 40 six times in the past decade or so. One single went to #1, “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous”, which spent four weeks there in 2003. Ah, the days of middle school. They last made my chart in the fall of 2010 and are in the process of recording once again.

07. USHER (7)
He’s a actor, dancer and a singer and last season, he filled in on the U.S. edition of The Voice. Though he first charted in 2000 with a single that was pulled from radio, his biggest success so far on my chart is “Yeah!”, featuring Lil’ Jon and Ludacris. His signature song rose to #5 in 2004. Usher largely missed my chart after the Confessions era, though he still pops up now and again with a song that I enjoy.

06. WILL.I.AM (7)
Back at #9 was this guy’s partner-in-crime from the Black Eyed Peas; now, will.i.am appears. His only solo single to make my top 40, in which he’s a featured performer, ended up being his lone #1 so far: “Hall Of Fame”, as done by The Script. It occupied the spot for four weeks last year. Since then, he released a solo album, #willpower, but nothing from it has even come remotely close to making my chart.

05. DANNY O’DONOGHUE (7)
O’Donoghue was on the U.K. edition of The Voice for two seasons before leaving this Spring. He first made the top 40 in the group MyTown, but he is primarily known as the leader of The Script, who have been massive on my chart since 2009. Of their seven charting songs, four went to #1, including “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” for eight weeks. They’re expected to release a fourth album early next year.

04. RICKY MARTIN (8)
The former Menudo singer and Latin heartthrob has been enjoying his time as a judge on The Voice in Australia. His self-titled debut English album broke him in a big way, but it was his followup release, Sound Loaded, that delivered his biggest hit thus far: “She Bangs”. It totaled four weeks at the top in 2000. Martin hasn’t been on since 2001, but a recent single, “Come With Me”, came out earlier this year.

03. KYLIE MINOGUE (15)
She’s a legend and she’ll be bringing the heat to the judging panel on The Voice in the U.K. in 2014 during the show’s third season. Though Minogue’s been hitting the charts since the late 80’s over in Europe, her first single to reach my top 40 was a #1 for five weeks, 2002’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”. 2004’s “Red Blooded Woman” also topped my list for three weeks. The singer last charted earlier this year.

02. ADAM LEVINE (17)
He’s been with the U.S. version of The Voice since its beginning, including this upcoming season, but you also know him as the leader of Maroon 5. The band has now been atop my chart six times, including the nine week “This Love” in 2004 and their biggest, 2007’s “Makes Me Wonder”, which spent eleven big weeks there. All in all, they’ve had 17 top 40 entries, one of the largest sums for a band to my chart.

01. CHRISTINA AGUILERA (20)
She’s got some big pipes and a big stack of hits too, and thus, Christina Aguilera glides into the #1 spot on my list. She had my very first #1 back in September 1999 with “Genie In A Bottle” and would later charge the chart summit with “What A Girl Wants”, “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)”, “Lady Marmalade” (with Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink), “Beautiful” and “Moves Like Jagger” (with Maroon 5).

Don’t forget to tune into the premiere of the U.S. version of The Voice, premiering this Monday night at 8PM EDT/7PM CDT on NBC, and follow the blog or click “Get Social!” to find PGTC on social media.

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

I'm not Frontin'...

I’m not Frontin’…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Things That Need To Stop: #HashtagsInSongTitles

#thatisjustnotright.

#thatisjustnotright.

If you’re an act that’s looking to make a new single and deciding on a title for it, please reflect on this post for a moment, because it will spare you the embarrassment of years to come. Now, I know it’s trendy to trend yourself on Twitter using a hashtag and get some attention by finding your tag listed on the worldwide topics list according to the social media service. It’s fun and great if it works, but please, please spare yourself and don’t put a hashtag in your soon-to-be-hit’s title. When we look back on this era in song titles, it’ll rank up there with those awful ideas like the double r in “Dirrty” or “Hot In Herre” and songs with no vowels like “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs”. It’s just all shades of wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I get the feeling you’ve probably seen that several songs lately on the charts that have hashtags in them. A hashtag, for those of you still confused, is the use of a “#” symbol followed by a short word of phrase, like #whyamiwritingaboutthis or #thisissodumbguys. For example, “#Beautiful” by Mariah Carey and Miguel just debuted on the radio last week and “#thatPOWER” by will.i.am and Justin Bieber is doing well at both radio and retail. Pretty soon, Miley Cyrus will be collaborating with Pharrell Williams on a track from her new album, “#GetItRight”, and who knows what else will come after that. Point is, if this doesn’t stop now, the top 40 will be full of songs with hashtags, and do you really want to see a chart filled with songs titles and phrases that aren’t actually trending anywhere on Twitter? Plus, what was the problem with not calling them “Beautiful” or “Get It Right” or “That Power” in the first place?

Something is inevitably going to replace Twitter someday, and when that service doesn’t use hashtags as a way of promotion, you know that people will stop referencing to these songs without the “#” sign in them. Sure, you could argue that a song with a hashtag is “trending” up the charts when it rises; why can’t all of them be that way? The national charts, the genre charts, the digital charts, etc. do not equal Twitter. A hashtag is free to tweet out; buying a song isn’t, and while there are several hundred million accounts active on Twitter worldwide, not all of them use hashtags. Plus, the United States population far surpasses that. It looks odd on the charts when the majority of songs use a normal title. It looks odd on a compact disc case because it’s not like you can trend a song title up or down a tracklisting. However, I would think it would be most awkward for the disc jockey on the duty to properly front-sell or back-sell a song as “Hashtag Beautiful” or “Hashtag That Power”. That just screams unnecessary. Plus, like a Twitter trend, what happens when the number of times the DJ says the title goes up? Do they raise their voice an octave? (Please don’t do this, I beg of you.)

Before this Twitter phenomenon, the “#” was rarely used in a top 40 hit, and it was meant to signify a number, of course. Take a look at this list of those credits with the symbol as opposed to a “Number One” or a “No. 1”:

“Hashtags” in top 40 hits prior to 2013:
“Fool #1”, Brenda Lee (#3, 1961)
“Love Potion #9”, The Searchers (#3, 1964)
“Engine Engine #9”, Roger Miller (#7, 1965)
“Rainy Day Women #12 & #35”, Bob Dylan (#2, 1966)
“Westbound #9”, The Flaming Ember (#24, 1970)
“#9 Dream”, John Lennon (#9, 1975)
“#1 Crush”, Garbage (#29 Airplay, 1997)
“#1”, Nelly (#22, 2002)

So to you cowboys and crooners, divas and disc jockeys and all you bands out there, stop the madness. Yes, you have the artistic license to do whatever you want, but this isn’t art. It’s a shameless plug. If hashtags keep being integrated into song titles, you know acts will start creating songs with 140 characters total, then Billboard will start adding hashtags into their formulas for compiling their charts, and then the RIAA will take them into account for certifications. OK, some of this may not actually happen, but I’m keeping my eye for them. Let’s be honest, though, nobody wants to see #StairwayToHeaven to show up on the charts or a media player in that form. Why do that to yourself and make yourself instantly dated? It’s not worth it.

#HashtagsInSongTitles. They’re not stopping anytime soon, but they may be gone just around the trend.

Let me know what you think about this in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (April 23)

Cool for the pool.

Cool for the pool.

From Canada to France and Scotland to the States, this week’s report is an international affair when it comes to the acts releasing. Here’s what you can expect in stores for the week of April 23:

  • Call him irresponsible… or just call him rich. The latest studio album for Michael Bublé is released this week, To Be Loved. “It’s A Beautiful Day” is the current #1 song on my chart and is also top 20 on Adult Contemporary radio. With a mix of original songs and a few covers, it’s sure to delight some beautiful audiences. It’s a strong contender for the top album next week. (iTunes)
  • American Idol season 3 winner Fantasia delivers her fourth studio album, Side Effects Of You. First single “Lose To Win” is #5 on the Urban Adult Contemporary chart and her next single features Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott. (iTunes)
  • It was four years ago that the French band Phoenix broke out in the U.S. with big Alternative hits like “1901” and “Listzomania”. Their second album on Glassnote Records, Bankrupt!, is out today, featuring current single “Entertainment”. (iTunes)
  • It’s a Dogg Eat Dogg kind of world, but there’s one less pup on the pop scene today. Snoop Dogg is now Reincarnated as Snoop Lion on his latest efforts, featuring a pack of collaborations that include a first single with Miley Cyrus, “Ashtrays And Heartbreaks”. (iTunes)
  • She may not know the Loch Ness Monster, but her monster smash, “Next To Me”, is still rising here in the States. It also appears on Emeli Sandé‘s new iTunes Session EP. (iTunes)
  • He’s a former X Factor winner and now he’s ready to take on the Country charts. Tate Stevens is out with his self-titled album today, featuring current radio single “Power Of A Love Song”. (iTunes)
  • After being delayed for nearly a year and a half, the second solo album by will.i.am is released this week, #willpower. It features the hits “Scream & Shout” (with Britney Spears) and “#thatpower” (with Justin Bieber.) (iTunes)
  • Rockers Youngblood Hawke Wake Up the music scene with their debut album. (iTunes)
  • His single “Recovery” is hopping up the Alternative chart, and now English singer-songwriter Frank Turner is out with Tape Deck Heart. (iTunes)
  • Comedian and performer Steve Martin collaborates with folk and pop singer Edie Brickell on the album Love Has Come For You. (iTunes)
  • Finally, Rob Zombie‘s fifth studio album and first in three years is out this week, titled Venomous Rat Regeneration. (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

Will Kenny Chesney live a lovely chart life with Life On A Rock, his latest album? A preview is coming in seven!

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Mar. 19)

He drives himself... crazy.

An Experience like no other.

Time to get in sync with the new releases taking over digital and brick-and-mortal retailers this Tuesday, March 19:

  • It’s hard to award anything else the top new release of the week when a superstar event like this is happening. From boy bands to big bands, Justin Timberlake takes on a soulful twist with The 20/20 Experience, featuring the singles “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors”. Some industry sources are predicting first week sales of between 500-600k, which would be the largest bow of the year thus far. (iTunes) (Read my review.)
  • Newcomer to the country charts Kacey Musgraces takes it to the Same Trailer Different Park. Lead single “Merry Go ‘Round” recently made the top ten on Country radio. (iTunes)
  • R&B hit maker Brian McKnight puts out his newest studio album, More Than Words. 2013 marks his 20th year of making the charts. “Sweeter” is almost top ten at Urban AC radio. (iTunes)
  • Indie rockers Alpha Rev are in full Bloom this week as their second full-length album arrives in stores, featuring single “Sing Loud”. (iTunes)
  • They’re known for 90’s classics like “Hard To Handle” and “She Talks To Angels”. Now, the Black Crowes release more than two dozen live tracks as a part of their new album, Wiser For The Time. (iTunes)
  • Rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club put out their first album in three years, Specter At The Feast. (iTunes)
  • Dance singer Kerli has a new EP out this week, Utopia. One song, “The Lucky Ones”, was a big hit on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play survey last year. (iTunes)
  • A deluxe edition of the Les Miserables soundtrack is released, its parent movie doing well over the Awards season. (iTunes)
  • Classic metal band Anthrax take on songs from AC/DC, Boston and Rush on their covers EP, Anthems. (Amazon)
  • Internet sensations Walk Off The Earth release their first full-length CD, R.E.V.O., with single “Red Hands” already a moderate hit in their native Canada. (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • #thatpower“, the fourth single to be promoted off will.i.am‘s album that’s been delayed for a year and a half, #willpower. It features Justin Bieber. (iTunes)
  • “Something You Can’t Live Without”, the latest from current Dancing With The Stars contestant and Country singer Wynonna. (iTunes)

New albums from Blake Shelton and Depeche Mode lead the pack next week. See you in seven!

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Leaders Of The Club: The Mouseketeers Go Mainstream (Again)

Those Disney darlings.

Those Disney darlings.

20 years ago, three tweens auditioned for the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club and from then on, music history would never be the same. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake rose to the top of the charts in the heat of the late 90’s bubblegum pop explosion with hit albums and singles, eventually branching out into reality television, film and other endeavors. I was 3 in 1993 when the trio first made their mark on the Club; the show was done the next year (though I saw it in repeats) and I’m betting a lot of people didn’t think those performers would do anything substantial. Heck, The Party, the quintet formed from cast members in the early 90’s, had only one top-40 hit and they were done. No big deal there.

Something was different with Aguilera, Spears and Timberlake. The latter two joined groups; one flopped and one flourished. I think you know which one is which. The two ladies then pursued solo careers, all three became superstars, etc. That was then. I’m now 23, and all three of them are top ten on iTunes’ top-selling songs chart, the first time that this has likely ever happened, or at least one of the first. As of the early morning, Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (featuring Jay-Z) stands at #5, Aguilera’s feature on Pitbull‘s “Feel This Moment” is holding down #8, and “Scream & Shout” by will.i.am and Spears is down to #9.

At CHR radio, “Moment” is the only one to not be within the top ten, but its large gains should put it there soon. (It’s currently #16; “Scream” is #4 and “Suit” is #10.) Since I like to focus on the radio aspect of the industry, I thought it would be interesting to point out the last time that all three singers were simultaneously in the top 40 and in the top 10 together on the format. Trust me, it’s been a while. Each singer has had their shares of ups and downs over the years, but this unification of the three so high on the charts nearly 15 years after each singer debuted at radio is certainly something to be celebrated.

According to the archives of Mediabase 24/7 data, this is the last published chart that all three singers appeared in together:

Mediabase CHR Chart – January 18, 2009
#04: Britney Spears“Womanizer”
#31: T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake“Dead And Gone”
#40: Christina Aguilera“Keeps Gettin’ Better”

In this example, Spears was on the decline after peaking at #1 for two weeks in late December and early January. “Dead” was in its second week in the top 40. The collaboration with T.I. would eventually peak at #4 in April. Aguilera’s “Better” quickly peaked at #11 for two non-consecutive weeks in late October and early November before quickly falling, though it spent several weeks in the 30’s (and this last week at #40) thanks to year-end chart airplay. All three would make the top 40 several times between then and their current songs, with Aguilera accumulating the last singles (2), followed by Timberlake (3; all featured appearances) and then Spears with 8. Often times, two of them would be in the top 40 at the same time, but nothing panned out between the three until now.

If you’re looking for the last survey where all three singers appeared as main-credited acts, then we’ll need to travel back even further to 2003:

Radio & Records CHR Chart – November 21, 2003
#11: Britney Spears featuring Madonna“Me Against The Music”
#15: Christina Aguilera featuring Lil’ Kim“Can’t Hold Us Down”
#40: Justin Timberlake“Señorita”

Spears once again comes in highest on this survey with her first single from In The Zone. It was at its peak, though it hit the #10 spot unofficially at midweek. Next release “Toxic” would return her to the top after a four-year absence. Aguilera’s song was trending downward after spending a month at #3 starting in mid-September. It was the fourth single from Stripped, the biggest of which was “Beautiful”, her fourth and last #1 on the CHR chart to date. This was the last week in the top 40 for “Señorita”, probably the least remembered release from Justified. It too was a fourth single, and spent two weeks at #5 in September. I wasn’t really a fan of it back in the day, though I’ve learned to like it over the years. He largely remained absent from the charts until 2006, then Spears had zero charting singles between late 2004 and late 2007, and Aguilera became really hit or miss after the Back To Basics era. In short, things didn’t match up until the beginning of 2009. You see how rarely these things happen.

Now, for the big question. When was the last time these three all appeared in the top ten together? Wait for it…

Radio & Records CHR Chart – June 16, 2000
#01: Britney Spears“Oops! I Did It Again”
#02: *NSYNC“It’s Gonna Be Me”
#09: Christina Aguilera“I Turn To You”

“You’re kidding me!” Nope, our three Mouseketeers haven’t been in the top ten together on the pop chart since the summer of 2000, nearly thirteen years. I remember it well. Spears was spending her last of three weeks at #1 with “Oops!” before Timberlake and his group would take over the #1 spot for six weeks. Both acts were riding high on albums that sold north of one million copies in their first week, with *NSYNC‘s No Strings Attached pulling in a record 2.4 million copies in sales during its first seven days on shelves. (Let’s not forget that a fourth member of the Club, JC Chasez, was also in the group.) Aguilera didn’t exactly see the same numbers, but her debut album put four singles into the top ten, “Turn” being her third. It peaked at #6 a few weeks earlier.

Do you feel old yet? I do. Those darn chart retrospectives. Hope you’ve enjoyed this look back in time and congratulations to Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake for lasting this long on the charts, together for what could be the last time. M-I-C… see you real soon with more chart stories. (Follow me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.)

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Voices Carry: Screaming and Shouting Up The Survey

Would you hold it against her?

Would you hold it against her?

Pipe down! Better yet, pipe into this. This week on the Hot 100, the collaboration between will.i.am and Britney Spears, “Scream & Shout”, rises to #6. It’s the first main-credited solo top ten hit for the leader of the Black Eyed Peas and twelfth for Spears. Question is, which word has appeared in the top ten more times before? “Scream” or “Shout”? You may be yelling at the top of your lungs when you find out. I would save your voice, however. Here they are:

THE SCREAMERS
MICHAEL & JANET JACKSON – “Scream” (#5, 1995)
One of the most hotly anticipated singles of the decade went in with a roar but bowed out pretty quickly despite two big names and a $7 million music video, which has influenced a number of other videos over the years. The song debuted on the radio during the third full week of May, with a CD single release just a week afterwards, combining in a huge #5 debut on the Hot 100 on the chart dated June 17. However, the airplay suddenly stopped building less than a month after it debuted and the single sales, though strong for a few weeks, started dropping by the end of July. The hype was just too big and it couldn’t sustain it. Both artists would hit the #1 spot on the Hot 100 after this single before Michael passed away in 2009. Janet’s last hit on a genre-specific chart was as recent as 2010.

USHER – “Scream” (#9, 2012)
This singer’s latest album, Looking 4 Myself, was one of his more polarizing to date in that it took him into a more dance and electronic direction, which alienated a lot of his Urban audience despite a few hits at the format. This was his only major mainstream hit from the album, which got to #6 on CHR radio and #9 on the Hot 100. 2013 marks the 20-year mark for Usher on the national charts, and I’m sure he’ll be around with some more big singles for years to come. (This is the most recent occurrence of the word “scream” appearing on the charts.)

THE SHOUTERS
JOEY DEE & THE STARLITERS – “Shout (Part One)” (#6, 1962)
Several months earlier, the band had a big debut #1 hit in “Peppermint Twist”, knocking out Chubby Checker‘s rereleased version of “The Twist”. This was followed by the similar “Hey, Let’s Twist”, which only got to #20. By that point, the countdown was all twisted out with a twister of songs by Billy Joe & The Checkmates, Gary U.S. Bonds, Sam Cooke and more. So, the band went in a different direction, recording this live version of the old Isley Brothers tune and shouting their way to a peak of #6. The band would continue to hit the Hot 100 through 1963.

ERNIE MARESCA – “Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)” (#6, 1962)
Though he only charted with one solo song, Maresca was very successful as a songwriter, co-writing/writing two big hits for Dion in 1961, “Runaround Sue” (#1) and “The Wanderer” (#2). He was also part of the band The Regents, who did the original version of “Barbara Ann” in 1961 (#13) before the Beach Boys made it into a top seller four years later. Maresca’s song peaked within two weeks of Dee’s; in fact, for the week of May 4, both songs were in the top ten! Dee & The Starliters fell from 6-10, while Maresca soared from 16-8. Now that’s something to shout about. He continued to write and sing until the end of the decade.

TEARS FOR FEARS – “Shout” (#1, 1985)
This English duo was just coming off a #1 hit with “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, so expectations were high for their American followup, and it did not disappoint. “Shout” hit #1 in eight countries, including the United States, and launched parent album Songs From The Big Chair into the top spot on the Albums Chart. The group had two other top-5 hits following this, and a handful of top-40 entries, their last one being “Break It Down Again” in 1993.

(We’ve had some shouters on the air and selling big since then. The most recent top-40 appearance of it was in a rereleased version of “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles in 1986. It hit #23 after it was featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Shaggy also scored a CHR radio entry in 2000 with “Dance & Shout”, which sampled “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” by The Jacksons. It went as high as #22 on that format chart and just missed the Hot 100.)

So, there you have it. There have been two other “Scream” titles and three other “Shout” titles besides “Scream & Shout” to make the top ten. It’s a pretty close race. Will the screamers eventually topple the shouters? Will a combination of two in “Scream & Shout” prove to be a #1 record in the next few weeks? Anything can happen in the chart game. For more music information, don’t raise your voice, just follow the blog and follow me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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