Sunday, February 26, 2006
1. Sorry - Madonna
Madonna pulls out another chart victory in a fairly difficult week with high-profile releases from several new and vetaran artists. "Sorry" is the second single and second #1 hit from Confessions on a Dancefloor, following last year's #1 hit "Hung Up." It brings Madonna's total of UK #1s to 12--equal the number she's had in the States. Combined, she's had 19 songs hit #1 in either (or both) countries:
1. Like a Virgin (US 6 wks)
2. Crazy For You (US 1 wk)
3. Into the Groove (UK 4 wks)
4. Live to Tell (US 1 wk)
5. Papa Don't Preach (US 2 wks, UK 3 wks)
6. True Blue (UK 1 wk)
7. Open Your Heart (US 1 wk)
8. La Isla Bonita (UK 2 wks)
9. Who's That Girl (US 1 wk, UK 1 wk)
10. Like a Prayer (US 3 wks, UK 3 wks)
11. Vogue (US 3 wks, UK 4 wks)
12. Justify My Love (US 2 wks)
13. This Used to Be My Playground (US 1 wk)
14. Take a Bow (US 7 wks)
15. Frozen (UK 1 wk)
16. American Pie (UK 1 wk)
17. Music (US 4 wks, UK 1 wk)
18. Hung Up (UK 3 wks)
19. Sorry (UK, 1 wk so far)
2. Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae is getting a lot of buzz as one of 2006's hot new British artists. Her album is out tomorrow and her sound is somewhere between Norah Jones and Macy Gray. Soulful pop for sunny days. I thought this record had a shot at #1, but in the end Madonna asserted her supremacy. Still, #2 ain't bad. Although touted by some media as her first single, this is actually the follow-up to "Like a Star," which hit #34 in November without much notice.
4. Amazing - Westlife
Westlife hit a milestone this week with "Amazing," their 20th top 40 hit. This group is nothing if not consisent: all 20 of their singles have hit the top 5, including 13 that made it to #1. This one is rather formulaic, and heavily apes Backstreet Boy's #1 1999 hit, "I Want it That Way." Nonetheless, it's a decent track even if it's easy to make the butt of a joke: "1: Have you heard Westlife's new single? It's 'Amazing.' 2: Really? I heard it's crap."
8. Is It Just Me? - The Darkness
The Darkness scores their 6th top hit this week, 5th in a row to make the top 10. "Is It Just Me?" matches the #8 debut of their last single, "One Way Ticket." The single adheres closely to their formula of hairband drama-fueled guitar rock.
16. After All This Time - Simon Webbe
After 2 consecutive top 5 hits, former Blue member Simon Webbe has to settle for top 20 this time, not even matching the #15 placing of Lee Ryan's third single "When I Think of You." Too bad, as it's a pretty good song, although I agree not as good as his last two.
17. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
Good grief. So Elvis last year annoying re-released most of his #1 hits (okay, I guess he didn't do it, but you get the picture) with 1 a week over the course of 18 weeks. Since whatever's good enough for Elvis is good enough for Michael, we now have 20 Michael Jackson singles coming out over the next few months, with 1 a week except this week, which also included the release of "Thriller" in a large otherwise empty box that you can use to collect all of the subsequently released singles ("Thriller" is chart ineligible because of the packaging and cost). The only motivation here is greed as far as I can tell. These aren't even all #1 hits. Thankfully, unlike the Elvis thing, which proved to be quite popular, returing 3 of the re-releases to #1, the first MJ re-release didn't even make the top 10. Here's the list of what's coming and when:
Rock With You (2/27)
Billie Jean (3/6)
Beat it (3/13)
The Way You Make me Feel (3/27)
Dirty Diana (4/3)
Smooth Criminal (4/10)
Leave Me Alone (4/17)
Black or White (4/24)
Remember the Time (5/1)
In The Closet (May 8th)
Jam (May 15th)
Heal The World (May 22nd)
You Are Not Alone (May 29th)
Earth Song (June 5th)
They Don’t Care About Us (June 12th)
Stranger In Moscow (June 19th)
Blood On The Dancefloor (June 26th)
20. Hung Up - Madonna
"Hung Up" deserves special mention for spending 16 weeks in the top 40 as of this week--the most weeks a Madonna single has spent in the top 40 without the benefit of a re-release. Even the release of "Sorry" doesn't slow it down much as it's only down 4 spots this week. Madonna is definitely on a roll.
After 4 weeks at #1, Arctic Monkeys get knocked to #2 by none other than Jack Johnson with In Between Dreams, his first #1 album and a real surprise for #1 I think. This is the album's 18th week on the chart. Jack Johnson also earned his first #1 album in the US last week with the Curious George Soundtrack. At midweek, Kaiser Chiefs looked like they might actually hit #1 for the first time, but Employment actually falls 2 spots this week to #4.
Madonna's "Sorry" is #1 for a 4th week, holding off Corinne Bailey Rae at #2. The Feeling's "Sewn" is up this week to #4, and moving up 8 spots to #5 is the Sugababes with "Red Dress."
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Sewn - The Feeling (2/27)
No Tomorrow - Orson (2/27)
Red Dress - Sugababes (3/6)
Incredible - Shapeshifters (3/6)
Wisemen - James Blunt (3/13)
Live With Me - Massive Attack (3/13)
Walk Away - Kelly Clarkson (3/13)
Dreams - Deep Dish Featuring Stevie Nicks (3/13)
Whole Lotta History - Girls Aloud (3/13)
Nature's Law - Embrace (3/20) -- Haven't heard it yet, but loved their last album.
Stupid Girls - Pink (3/20)
When You Wasn't Famous - The Streets (3/27)
I Only Like You When I'm High - Jet (3/27)
The Fallen - Franz Ferdinand (3/27)
Better Do Better - Hard-Fi (3/27)
The Hardest Part - Coldplay (4/3)
Who Am I - Will Young (4/3)
Corinne Bailey Rae (2/27) --I love "Put Your Records On," but the first review I read of the album wasn't promising.
Taller in More Ways - Sugababes (2/27) --Re-release of their latest album with 1 new track and at least 3 tracks re-recorded to featuring their new member, Amelle Berrabah, including latest single "Red Dress."
Collected (Greatest Hits) - Massive Attack (3/27)
This New Day - Embrace (4/3)
Best of Feeder (4/3)
I'm Not Dead - Pink (4/3)
1 .... 1 .... 7 ..... Sorry - Madonna (2 weeks @ #1)
2 .... 5 ... 4 ..... Thunder in My Heart Again - Meck Featuring Leo Sayer
3 .... 3 ... 12 ... All Time Love - Will Young (3 wks @ #1)
4 .... 6 ... 34 ... Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
5 .... 4 ... 16 .... Check on It - Beyonce Featuring Slim Thug
6 .... 8 .... 5 ..... When the Sun Goes Down - Arctic Monkeys
7 ... 15 ... 4 ..... Red Dress - Sugababes
8 ... 18 ... 3 ..... Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae
9 ... 10 ... 9 ..... Walk Away - Kelly Clarkson
10 .. 2 .... 6 ..... You Got the Love - The Source Featuring Candi Staton (1 wk @ #1)
Second week at #1 for Madonna, and a third week is quite likely. After that she might face some challenge from Corinne Bailey Rae, Sugababes, or Natasha Bedingfield.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten (She looks great, fun video)
The Streets - When You Wasn't Famous (Funny new single from upcoming album)
Simon Webbe - After All This Time (He is so hot)
The Shapeshifters - Incredible (Great dance track, hot bod opens the video)
Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On (If only it were spring)
Madonna - Sorry (Duh, of course I think you should watch this)
The Darkness - Is It Just Me? (For Robin)
Will Young - All Time Love (Epic, cinematic, and enigmatic. Really!)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Roll On - The Little Willies (4/5)
Beep - The Pussycat Dolls (3.5/5)
Moodswings (To Come at Me Like That) - Charlotte Church (3/5)
Click below the read the reviews.
Watchin' - Freemasons Featuring Amanda Wilson (3.5/5)
A pretty decent thumping old school house track. About cheatin.' Makes you wanna move--better than other recent dance releases. (Out 2/27)
Roll On - The Little Willies (4/5)
The unexpected return of Norah Jones, this time with country band in tow. Apparently this group of musicians performed together in New York and decided they liked the experience so much to record an entire album of bluesy folk/country stuff. This is a standout track from the album--it showcases Norah well--and is a great single. Pretty upbeat, but mellow too. Not too country, but just enough. (Out 2/19, digital)
Beep - The Pussycat Dolls (3.5/5)
It's no "Stickwitu" or "Don't Cha," but I still find it pretty enjoyable. Some people compare it to "My Humps," but I think this is way better than than crap. (2/27)
Moodswings - Charlotte Church (3/5)
Charlotte can sing, that much is obvious, but a lot of her appeal as a pop artist rests on her outlandishness, which fizzled up singles-wise after "Crazy Chick" and "Call My Name." While not as staid as "Even God," this still lacks that vampy spark we had a taste of with her first 2 pop hits. Not bad, but she could camp it up a bit more. (2/27)
Monday, February 20, 2006
Click below to read the full commentary
Billboard Hot 100:
Beyonce (Featuring Slim Thug) spends a 4th week at #1 with "Check On It." She still has a ways to go before "Check On It" becomes even close to challenging the longevity of her previous two solo #1 hits--"Crazy in Love" spent 8 weeks at #1 while "Baby Boy" spent 9. James Blunt remains bulleted at #2 with "You're Beautiful." If he could hit #1, he'd become the first Brit to have a #1 single in the US since Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997" 9 years ago. Sean Paul's "Temperature" is the only new entry in the top 10, up 10 to #8. It's this week's Sales Gainer winner and Sean Paul's 5th top 10 hit.
At #12, Dem Franchize Boys earn the Airplay Gainer award and are up 11 spots this week with "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It." Cascada also makes a good jump this week, up 8 to #19 with "Everytime We Touch."
Pink is back at #25 with "Stupid Girls," her 9th top 40 hit and this weeks highest debut in the Hot 100. Pink first hit the top 40 in 2000 with a trio of hits from her first album, Can't Take Me Home, a slick Babyface-produced collection of R&B/Pop. Best of the lot was "Most Girls," which hit #4. She had her first (and so far only) #1 hit in 2001 as 1/4 of the Moulin Rouge quarter remake of "Lady Marmalade." In 2002, Pink returned with her second album, which proved to be much different and more interesting than her debut. Missundaztood was a brilliant blend of pop, rock, R&B, and funk influences that firmly rooted Pink as a personality beyond label influence. The album scored three big top 10 hits, "Get The Party Started," "Don't Let Me Get Me," and "Just Like a Pill." In trying to remain edgy, however, Pink continued her move away from R&B and toward rock with her third album Try This in 2003. The magic was gone this time, and neither "Trouble" nor "God is a DJ" managed to make the top 40. Pink appears to be turning that around with "Stupid Girls," which looks set to deliver her a major hit.
There's several other new entries in the top 40 this week that deserve recognition. At #33 (up from #41) is "Walk Away," the 7th top 40 from Kelly Clarkson, and 5th release alone from her second album, Breakaway. At #38 is the first top 40 hit for Jack Johnson, "Upside Down," from this week's #1 album, the soundtrack (all by Jack Johnson) for the film Curious George. Johnson's first chart appearance was 4 years ago with "Flake;" last year he had a hit (with a very cool video) for "Sitting, Wishing, Waiting." He's been a favorite on VH-1 for his laid back singer-songwriter approach (and he's very good looking too, which doesn't hurt his video airplay). Finally at #39 is Brad Paisely (featuring Dolly Parton) with "When I Get Where I'm Going."
Jack Johnson lands a #1 album with Curious George, the soundtrack to the new film. Mary J. Blige maintains pole position with a bullet for The Breakthrough. Second biggest debut of the week is Dem Franchize Boys at #5 with On Top of Our Game.
Grammy Award winners got expected boosts this week. Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi, winner of Contemporary R&B Album of the Year, re-entered the top 10, up 7 to #7. Kelly Clarkson, winner of Pop Album of the Year for Breakaway is up 16 spots to #8. Last week was the first and only week the album has spent outside of the top 20 since its debut 62 weeks ago. Kanye West's Late Registration, which won Best Rap Album, is up 20 spots to #30. The evening's biggest winner, U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, the Album of Year, re-enters the chart at #49. The annual Grammy compilation is also up 17 spots to #15.
R&R Top 40:
Beyonce (Featuring Slim Thug) remains #1 for a third week with "Check On It," and commands a significant lead over #2, Ne-Yo's "So Sick," which is up 2 to #2. Kelly Clarkson scores her 7th top 10 hit at #10 with "Walk Away," the fifth top 10 hit from Breakaway. Pink leaps into the top 40 at #31 (up from #49) with "Stupid Girls," her 12th top 40 hit.
1. "Thunder In My Heart Again" - Meck Featuring Leo Sayer
It's a second week at #1 for Meck and Leo Sayer. Interestingly, the UK chart is off to a slower start than usual this year. "Thunder in My Heart Again" is only the 3rd #1 hit this year. Last year, by the time we'd gotten to the 7th week, there had been 7 #1 singles--one per week.
5. "Woman In Love" / "I Get The Sweetest Feeling" - Liz McLarnon
Former Atomic Kitten Liz McLarnon is the first member of the now defunct group to have a top 10 solo hit. This double-A side single consists of 2 remakes, but they are well done, particularly "Woman in Love," a remake of Barbra Streisand's #1 hit from 1980. It's this week's highest debut.
7. "All Time Love" - Will Young
Will Young's classic love song benefits from Valentine's Day sales and moves back up into the top 10, to spend its 4th week within the top 10. This is the longest stay he's had in the top 10 since "Leave Right Now," a #1 single, managed 7 weeks (his longest stay). Recent singles, "Your Game," "Friday's Child," and "Switch It On" all managed only 1 week within the top 10.
13. "One More Night at Home" - Friday Hill
Second biggest new entry of the week comes from boyband Friday Hill at #13, a far cry from the top 5 placing of their debut single last year, "Baby Goodbye."
15. "Ride a White Horse" - Goldfrapp
Goldfrapp's third Supernature single debuts at #15 this week. "Ride a White Horse" is a pulsing slice of electro-pop, just as satisfying as "Ooh La La." Although the single fails to make the top 10, which both of their last singles "Ooh La La" and "Number 1" did, you have to remember that until "Ooh La La" hit #4 last year, the best they'd done was #20 with "Strict Machine." So not too shabby.
It's a fourth week at #1 for the Arctic Monkey's Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. The Monkeys picked up the Brit Award for Best Newcomer lsat week. Kaiser Chiefs, the award show's big winner (3 awards-British Group, British Rock Group, and Live Act) are up 5 spots to #2 with Employment. KT Tunstall, winner of Best British Female Act, is up 15 spots to #4 with Eye to the Telescope. At midweek, Will Young was all the way up to #2, but he settles back down a bit in the end at #5. Coldplay's X&Y, which won Best British Album, makes a big leap up 13 spots to #8. At #10 is the week's highest debut, The Jam's hits collection, Snap.
Madonna tops the airplay chart for a third week with "Sorry," which is finally in shops today. Moving up 2 spots to #2 is relative newcomer Corinne Bailey Rae with "Put Your Records On." In a surprising move, Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You" is up 5 to #5; the single itself is now 12 weeks old. Westlife makes a big leap into the top 10, up 18 spots to #6 with "Amazing." This bodes well for the new single, which is out today, since neither "You Raise Me Up" or "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" were very big airplay hits, even though they sold well, particularly the former. Also making a big up into the top 10 is El Presidente, up 14 spots to #9--the single itself charted fairly poorly, debuting at #39 last week.
New band Orson makes a good leap up 21 spots to #12 with "No Tomorrow." I've listened to samples on their Web site and I'm definitely interested in their forthcoming album. The Sugababes' latest, "Red Dress" is up 5 to #13, while one of their previous singles (and not even the most recent), "Push the Button" is nipping at its heals, up 3 to #14 in its 24th week on the chart. They're also at #22 with "Ugly." Both "Push the Button" and "Ugly" topped the airplay chart. Massive Attack is back at #34 with a new entry, "Live With Me," which comes out in March. I heard a sample of it--very cool.
So next week's UK singles chart is set to be quite a chart battle, with new releases from Madonna, Westlife, and Corinne Bailey Rae vying for #1. There's also new singles out from Simon Webbe and The Darkness. I'll give the edge to Madonna, but look to Corinne Bailey Rae to be the darkhorse for a steal.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
So, it struck me this week that Natasha Bedingfield needs more exposure, so at least I can do my part to give her some. She's got a top 10 hit this week, "Unwritten," her second US top 40 single, but I feel like there's a surprising absence of attention to her from the media. So here goes. Click to read more.
Bedingfield is 24, and like her brother Daniel, born in New Zealand, but raised in London. Her career launched phenominally well in Britain in 2004 (partly because her big brother Daniel was already a big star there, but also on her own merits). First up was a top 10 hit, "Single," followed by a #1 smash, "These Words," and 2 more top 20 hits, "Unwritten" and "I Bruise Easily." Her album, Unwritten, debuted at #1 upon its release in the fall of 2004.
Her sound is very pop, but with some R&B sensibility and production edge. Kinda like Pink's second album-- a good blend of stuff that falls comfortably into "pop," while bringing in various influences.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
1 .... 3 .... 6 ..... Sorry - Madonna (1 wk @ #1)
2 .... 1 .... 5 ..... You Got the Love - The Source Featuring Candi Staton (1 wk @ #1)
3 .... 2 ... 11 .... All Time Love - Will Young (3 wks @ #1)
4 .... 5 ... 15 .... Check On It - Beyonce Featuring Slim Thug
5 ... 15 ... 3 ..... Thunder in My Heart Again - Meck Featuring Leo Sayer
6 .... 8 ... 33 .... Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
7 .... 4 .... 15 .... Ugly - Sugababes
8 ... 10 ... 4 ..... When The Sun Goes Down - Arctic Monkeys
9 .... 6 .... 18 ... Stickwitu - The Pussycat Dolls (2 wks @ #1)
10 .. 11 ... 8 .... Walk Away - Kelly Clarkson
Click for commentary
Madonna tops my chart for the 18th time, extending her reign as the artist with the most #1s on my chart since I started it 16 years ago. Janet Jackson is second with 16, Mariah Carey third with 14. Madonna is probably settling in for a decent stay at the top. Two new entries in the top 10, disco-revivalist Meck at #5 with "Thunder In My Heart," and Kelly Clarkson scores her 8th top 10 hit at #10 with "Walk Away."
Woman in Love - Liz McLarnon (4/5)
Suffer Well - Depeche Mode (4/5)
Click below to read the reviews
Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae (5/5)
Heard this yet? If not, then you haven't heard the first new big artist of 2006. Corinne Bailey Rae actually released a single last year, "Like a Star," but received little attention. Things are different now, as this is poised to be huge, and already is top 5 in UK airplay. The melody is uplifting, miminal, and soulful. The lyrics are sweet, sentimental, but not sappy. Perfect for those sunny spring days we're all dying for by now. (Out 2/20).
Woman in Love - Liz McLarnon (4/5)
Liz McLarnon steps out solo here, the first of the former Atomic Kitten members to do so since their band split up a couple of years ago. The results are better than expected. The track kicks off with a dramatic, dark flourish. Guitars and synths work standard mid-tempo pop magic, but Liz pulls it off with better than average vocals. This sounds like something Charlotte Church should have put on her album. (Out now)
Suffer Well - Depeche Mode (4/5)
Their last single, "A Pain That I'm Used To," was a letdown after the return to form that "Precious" was. Things are back on track with "Suffer Well," which could pass for an update of "Personal Jesus" with a faster tempo. Immediate, dark, and enjoyable--what Depeche Mode are at their best. (2/20)
Kaiser Chiefs snagged the most awards--three--for Best British Group, Best Live Act, and British Rock Act. James Blunt also snagged two awards, for Best Male Solo Artist and Best Pop Act. Best British Female Solo Artist went to KT Tunstall and Newcomer to Arctic Monkeys.
In the international (i.e. non-British) categories, Americans dominated. Green Day led the way with wins for Best International Album for American Idiot and International Group. Madonna won Best International Female, while Kanye West won International Male.
The Brits are widely viewed as the British equivalent to the Grammy Awards, although are generally a bit more commercial in their appeal (and has far fewer categories).
Sunday, February 12, 2006
1. Thunder In My Heart - Meck Featuring Leo Sayer
A new #1 and a cool one too. It's an old school disco cut, remixed by Meck to bring it up to date for 2006. Leo Sayer was popular in the '70s, and had quite a few hits between 1973 and 1983, the biggest of which was the #1 "When I Need You," which was also a #1 hit in the US. "Thunder in My Heart" was a relatively slight release for him--hitting only #22 in 1977. Nearly 30 years later, and a faithful remix by Meck, and Sayer finally has a second #1.
7. You Got The Love - The Source Featuring Candi Staton
Second biggest new hit of the week slides in at #7. It it, of course, the re-released newly remixed track that I've been raving about for weeks now. I'm glad it made the top 10--I was skeptical considering that it's already been in the top 10 twice before--first time in 1991 where it hit #4 and then again in 1997 (remixed) where it went to #3. The new remix getting the most attention is the "New Voyagers" remix, which adheres close to the "Now Voyagers" remix from 1997. Also included in the current single is a "Shapeshifters" remix, best known for their #1 hit from 2004, "Lola's Theme." Finally, if you don't know this song but think it sounds familiar, chances are that you're a Sex and the City fan. The song is heard during the show's final moments where Carrie Bradshaw strolls down a Manhattan avenue after having lunched with the girls and received a call from "John," aka Mr. Big. The song works great there, and the new remixes of this timeless house track are welcome additions.
8. Sugar, We're Going Down - Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy took the US by storm over the last 6 months, scoring 2 top 10 hits with this cut and its follow-up, "Dance, Dance." Hotly anticipated in the UK, I'm actually surprised this didn't chart higher--some were predicting #1.
18. Grow - Kubb
Third single and second top 40 hit for Kubb becomes their biggest-topping "Wicked Soul," which hit #25 in November. The track is decent, but innocuous--somewhere in the vein of Snow Patrol or Athlete. Radio has taken a liking to it--it's #5 this week on the airplay chart. The band is really cute too, but maybe too clean cut for some tastes.
19. Do You Ever Think of Me - Antony Costa
The last member of Blue to attempt a solo careers becomes its lowest charting. Duncan James hit #2 in 2004 with "I Believe My Heart," Lee Ryan hit #3 with "Army of Lovers," and Simon Webbe's had 2 top 10 hits (#4s) with "Lay Your Hands" and "No Worries." Sadly, Costa, does not follow in his bandmates footsteps and manages only #19. The song is decent, but somewhat tepid, and no one thought he was a Lee Ryan or Simon Webbe talent wise. Sorry Costa--hope you've got a backup plan.
39 Turn This Thing Around - El Presidente
Pretty decent pop/rock/electronic cut. Surprised it charted so low. You should check it out.
Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not tops for a third week, while James Blunt moves up 1 to pole position with Back to Bedlam. Kelly Clarkson is up 5 to #5. Biggest new entry of the week is at #8, Belle & Sebastian with The Life Pursuit.
Madonna is #1 for a second week with "Sorry," while Meck (Featuring Leo Sayer) moves up a spot to #2 with "Thunder in My Heart Again." Corrinne Bailey Rae also continues her ascent, up 1 to #4 with "Put Your Records On," set to be big hit when the single is released in 2 weeks.
Next week is kinda boring, the biggest new single is probably former Atomic Kitten Liz McLarnon's "Woman in Love." Also out are Goldfrapp's third Supernature single, "Ride a White Horse," and a new one from Friday Hill. It's the week after (2/20) that will really be interesting, when we get new singles from Westlife, Corinne Bailey Rae, Simon Webbe, The Darkness, and Madonna.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Billboard Hot 100:
Beyonce (Featuring Slim Thug) spends a third week at #1 with "Check On It." The track is #1 on the Airplay, Pop 100, and Pop 100 Airplay charts as well. Moving up three places to #2 is James Blunt with "You're Beautiful." Although it lags behind "Check On It" in airplay, "You're Beautiful" is #1 on the Sales Chart, this week's Sales Gainer winner, and surely to sell even more next week for Valentine's Day (even though it's actually a heartbreak song, not a love song, oh well). Interestingly, another track by Blunt, "Goodbye My Lover," debuts this week at #100.
Mary J. Blige slips a notch to #4 with "Be Without You," but nonetheless garners the Airplay Gainer award this week. Three tracks enter the top 10: "I'm In Luv (With a Stripper)" by T-Pain (Featuring Mike Jones) moves up 7 to #5, Chris Brown scores his second top 10 hit at #7 with "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)," which is up from #11, and Eminem scores his 7th top 10 hit with "Shake That (Featuring Nate Dogg)" Eminem's top hits thus far:
1. "The Real Slim Shady," #4 (2000)
2. "Without Me" #2 (2002)
3. "Cleanin' Out My Closet," #4 (2002)
4. "Lose Yourself, #1 (12 wks, 2002/2003)
5. "Just Lose It," #6 (2004)
6. "When I'm Gone," #8 (2006)
7. "Shake That," #9 (so far, 2006)
The biggest move within the top 40 this week comes from Dem Franchize Boys (Featuring Lil Peanut & Charlay) up 10 spots to #23 with "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It." Three tracks enter the top 40: Busta Rhymes at #31 (up from #42) with "Touch It," Keyshia Cole's "Love" is up 16 spots to #33 and Daddy Yankee moves up from #50 to #38 with "Rompe."
The High School Musical dominance last week did turn out to be a flash in the the pan. "Breaking Free" tumbled from #4 to #19 while "Get'Cha Head in the Game" fell from #22 to #40.
Barry Manilow has the most popular album in the U.S. this week, debuting at #1 with Greatest Songs of the Fifties. Americans LOVE Barry Manilow--we cannot get enough. What an incredible talent. Manilow leads a pack of 4 top 10 debuts: at #3, Andrea Bocelli debuts with Amore, which I have a feeling is operatic love songs (although I've never heard it, maybe it's thug rap), Heather Headley debuts at #5 with In My Mind and Train debuts at #10 with For Me, It's You. Right.
James Blunt's album Back to Bedlam benefits from the success of "You're Beautiful," and moves back into the top 10 at #9. Falling out of the top 20 for the first time since it debuted 61 weeks ago is Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway. Her high profile showing at the Grammy Awards this week (including a Pop Album win for Breakaway) should boost it back up next week.
R&R Top 40:
Beyonce spends a second week at #1 with "Check on It." No major movement in the top 10, although Natasha Bedingfield lands a top 10 hit with "Unwritten," up 2 to #9. Her first hit, "These Words," managed to reach only #11. Two track make 10-spot jumps: Mary J. Blige at #23 with "Be Without You" and T-Pain (Featuring Mike Jones) at #28 with "I'm in Luv (With a Stripper)."
Big top 40 debut for Rihanna at #29 with "SOS," her third top 40 hit. Chris Brown debuts at #38 with "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" and Jamie Foxx debuts at #40 with "Unpredictable."
Green Day took home the Record of the Year Grammy for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Green Day was nominated in this category last year for "American Idiot." I was rooting for Gorillaz' "Feel Good Inc," but this is certainly deserving. I'm glad it didn't go to Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" as I predicted.
Kelly Clarkson won both of the Grammies she was nominated for, Best Pop Album for Breakway and Best Female Pop Performance for "Since U Been Gone." The Male Pop award went to "From The Bottom of My Heart" by Stevie Wonder and the Duo/Group award went to Maroon 5 for a live rendition of 2-years-old "This Love."
John Legend was named best new artist.
Gorillaz and Madonna opened the show and had a surprisingly smooth transition between "Feel Good Inc." and "Hung Up." Time for a mash-up?
1 .... 4 .... 4 ..... You Got the Love - The Source Featuring Candi Staton (1 wk @ #1)
2 .... 1 ... 10 .... All Time Love - Will Young (3 wks @ #1)
3 ... 12 ... 5 ..... Sorry - Madonna
4 .... 2 ... 14 .... Ugly - Sugababes
5 .... 5 ... 14 .... Check On It - Beyonce Featuring Slim Thug
6 .... 3 ... 17 .... Stickwitu - The Pussycat Dolls (2 wks @ #1)
7 .... 7 .... 5 ..... Break The Night With Colour - Richard Ashcroft
8 ... 10 .. 32 ... Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
9 .... 6 ... 14 .... Talk - Coldplay (1 wk @ #1)
10 .. 19 .. 3 ..... When the Sun Goes Down - Arctic Monkeys
The Source Featuring Candi Staton jumps up to #1, knocking Will Young from the top after 3 weeks. It's an unusual move for me, but I've really been into this song for the last month and I love to new remixes. The track was a hit in Britain originally in 1991, then re-released again in 1997 and 2003. The song itself was a remake when first released--an almost identical version to The Source's original 1991 version appears on Black Box's 1989 album, Dreamland. Madonna makes a big jump into the top 10 with "Sorry;" the track is already #1 on the UK airplay chart. Also entering this top 10 is the 2nd top 10 hit for Arctic Monkeys, "When the Sun Goes Down." Next week, I'm looking at three more top 10 entries, including the 8th top 10 hit for Kelly Clarkson.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Is It Just Me? - The Darkness (4/5)
After All This Time - Simon Webbe (4/5)
Amazing - Westlife (3/5)
Boys Will Be Boys - Ordinary Boys (3.5/5)
Turn This Thing Around - El Presidente (4/5)
Click below to read the full reviews
Sorry - Madonna (4/5)
Second Confessions on a Dancefloor single finds Madonna again on top of her form. Without the distraction of an Abba sample, "Sorry" adheres more to the true core of Confessions--a hard-driving bass-thumping modern House track. (Out 2/20)
Is It Just Me? - The Darkness (4/5)
Not quite as weird as "One Way Ticket," which might be in its favor, since the first single from One Way Ticket to Hell and Back may have been offputting to some(I liked it). This is more straightforward and what you'd expect--hard rockin' electric guitars, drums, and Justin's nutty vocals. (2/20)
After All This Time - Simon Webbe (4/5)
Third single from former Blue man Webbe upholds the consistent quality of his first two releases, "Lay Your Hands" and "No Worries." Lots of acoustic guitars and hand claps here, along with some banjo and something I can't quite place (it's that thing you'd expect to hear playing in the background if you were walking around Paris). (2/20)
Amazing - Westlife (3/5)
Sounds a lot like Backstreet's "I Want It That Way." A lot like it. The sound is the usual polish and harmony you'd expect, but it's lacking a good hook (the one thing it didn't rip off from "I Want It That Way"). Westlife does it all so well though, so it's hard to hate it. (2/20)
Boys Will Be Boys - Ordinary Boys (3.5/5)
Burning up the UK charts right now, thanks to band member's appearance on Celebrity Big Brother. It's a decent track, but wouldn't have been a hit on its own. (Out now)
Turn This Thing Around - El Presidente (4/5)
Another notch in the '80s-influenced pop/rock vein. Not bad though, in fact, quite good. (out today, 2/6)
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Billboard Hot 100:
Beyonce (featuirng Slim Thug) spends a second week at #1 with "Check On It," extending her cumulative weeks at #1 as a solo artist to 19 (2 ahead of Destiny's Child's 17 weeks).
But the really story of the week, and it's quite a good one, begins at #4. High School Musical is a made for TV Disney Channel musical that aired last month. The album was released at that time, but wasn't available digitally until this week. The ensuing download sales has achieved the remarkable feat of propelling no less than 9 of the album's cuts into the Hot 100, of which 7 debut this week, and 5 land in the top 40, including 1 in the top 10 (at #4, up 82 spots from #86, which breaks the record for biggest jump within the Billboard Hot 100). Here is a summary of the musical's amazing chart success this week:
#4 (up from #86), "Breaking Free" - Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens (Troy & Gabriella)
#23 (up from #100, "Get'Cha Head in the Game" - Zac Efron (Troy)
#28 (NEW), "Start of Something New" - Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens (Troy & Gabriella)
#34 (NEW), "We're All in This Together" - High School Musical Cast
#35 (NEW), "What I've Been Looking For" - Lucas Gabreel and Ashley Tisdale (Ryan & Sharpay)
#43 (NEW), "Stick to the Status Quo" - High School Musical Cast
#62 (NEW), "Bop to the Top" - Lucas Gabreel and Ashley Tisdale (Ryan & Sharpay)
#67 (NEW), "What I've Been Looking For (Reprise)" - Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens (Troy & Gabriella)
#72 (NEW), "When There Was Me and You" - Vanessa Anne Hudgens (Gabriella)
The characters' names are in parenthesis, which is how iTunes lists the artists (Billboard uses the actors names). It may just be a flash in the pan and all these songs disappear next week, but it's still a pretty amazing feat and a testament to the power teens have over the chart through digital sales. There's lots of sound bites to mine from it too. Vanessa Anne Hudgens, for example, a chart unkown until now, has 5 singles debuting on the Hot 100 this week and a top 10 hit--Something Madonna, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, or Britney Spears cannot claim.
Natasha Bedingfield earns her first top 10 hit this week with Unwritten at #10 (up from #14). This is significant for 2 reasons: first, Natasha and her brother Daniel become the third set of brother/sister siblings to have separate top 10 hits after the Donny and Marie Osmond and Neneh and Eagle-Eye Cherry. Daniel Bedingfield hit #10 in 2002 with his first single, "Gotta Get Thru This." Second, this is the first time almost 5 years that two British artists have had singles in the Billboard top 10. Joining Bedingfield in the top 10 this week is countryman James Blunt's "You're Beautiful," which moves up three spots this week to #5. The last time 2 Brits had top 10 hits together was in 2001 with Dido's "Thank You" and S Club 7's "Never Had a Dream Come True" charted. For more about British music trends on the Billboard Hot 100, read this post.
I'll write more later. I had written the whole thing and it got deleted, so I'm a little upset, but I wanted to share the stuff about High School Musical for sure.
1. Nasty Girl - The Notorious BIG (featuring P. Diddy, Nelly, Jagged Edge, & Avery Storm)
The Notorious BIG spends a second week at #1. This might be an appropriate time to comment on his featured guest artists. P Diddy (as Puff Daddy) spent 6 weeks at #1 in 1997 with "I'll Be Missing You," while Nelly has topped the UK singles chart three times before: in 2002 with "Dilemma" (featuring Kelly Rowland), in 2004 with "My Place," in last year with "Over and Over" (featuring Tim McGraw).
2. Run It! - Chris Brown (featuring Juelz Santana)
Just short of #1 comes the debut single for American teenager Chris Brown. "Run It!" was a huge hit at the end of last year in the US, and now becomes a hit abroad as well. The track follows in the crunk style of R&B popularized by Ciara and Usher's last album.
3. Boys Will Be Boys - Ordinary Boys
Continuing its ascent is "Boys Will Be Boys" by Ordinary Boys. It jumped up to #9 (from #30) last week upon its official single release and this week moves up even further. At one point, it was even a serious challenger for #1. Still, #3 aint bad for a single that charted initially almost a year ago and didn't make the top 10.
4. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) - Dead or Alive
What is this doing here? How rediculous. Even so, it is the second biggest "new" hit of the week. It originally debuted in 1984 and spent 2 weeks at #1 in early 1985. It also also first re-released in 2003, where it peaked at #23.
12. Boyfriend - Ashlee Simpson
Ashlee Simpson's third UK release, first from her second album, becomes her lowest charting, failing to achieve top 10 status like "Pieces of Me" or even #11 like "La la" did. Throw in the towel Ashlee.
15. When I Think of You - Lee Ryan
Another one falls short for Lee Ryan. After an intial #3 hit ("Army of Lovers"), Ryan's failed to duplicate the success with either follow-up single. While "Turn the Car Around" was decent enough, this track is fairly lame.
17. Beautiful Soul - Jesse McCartney
This was a big hit about a year ago in the US for McCartney, not a relative of Paul's, but an American WB TV star (Summerland). While Americans embraced it, the Brits are apparently taking a pass. Good move.
No change at the top of course, as Arctic Monkeys continue to rule at #1. Richard Ashcroft is still #2 also.
Madonna scores another #1 airplay hit with "Sorry," the second release from Confessions on a Dancefloor. The single won't chart for another 3 weeks (it's out 2/20), so expect a good run at the top. "Hung Up" spent 8 weeks atop the airplay chart. Meck's "Thunder In My Heart Again" moves up 1 spot to #3, and Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" leaps up to #5.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Still waiting for an exciting new release for this year, here's my rundown of the 40 best albums so far this decade (click below for full list):
1. Kylie Minogue – Fever
2. Coldplay – X&Y
3. Keane – Hopes & Fears
4. Madonna – Music
5. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
6. Scissor Sisters
7. Dido – Life For Rent
8. Dido – No Angel
9. Goldfrapp – Black Cherry
10. Madonna – Confessions on a Dancefloor
11. James Blunt – Back to Bedlam
12. White Stripes – Elephant
13. Air – Talkie Walkie
14. Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
15. Rachel Stevens – Come and Get It
16. Will Young – Keep On
17. David Gray – A New Day At Midnight
18. Goldfrapp – Felt Mountain
19. Coldplay – Parachutes
20. The Killers – Hot Fuss
21. Will Young – Friday’s Child
22. Sugababes – Three
23. Kylie Minogue – Body Language
24. Embrace – Out of Nothing
25. Dannii Minogue – Neon Nights
26. Goldfrapp - Supernature
27. Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better
28. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
29. Natalie Imbruglia – Counting Down The Days
30. Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
31. Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway
32. Green Day – American Idiot
33. Daniel Bedingfield – Gotta Get Thru This
34. Robbie Williams – Swing When You’re Winning
35. The Strokes – Is This It?
36. Kylie Minogue – Light Years
37. P!nk – M!ssundaztood
38. Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten
39. Sade – Lover’s Rock
40. Radiohead – Kid A
Friday, February 03, 2006
There was the 70s British rock invasion, the 80s new wave, and the odd 90s blend of Oasis and Spice Girls. Now, finally, it appears that British pop may be catching on, as we have two top 1o hits by UK pop stars James Blunt and Natasha Bedingfield. Gorillaz and Coldplay have also had top 40 hits lately.
Last time a Brit had the #1 hit in the U.S. was 8 years ago when Elton John was #1 with "Candle In the Wind 1997/Something About The Way You Look Tonight." Other Brits with US #1s in the 90s were the Spice Girls ("Wannabe" in 1997), Rod Stewart and Sting ("All For Love" with Bryan Adams in 1994), UB40 ("Can't Help Falling in Love," 1993), George Michael and Elton John ("Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me," 1992), Right Said Fred ("I'm Too Sexy," 1992), Londonbeat ("I've Been Thinking About You," 1991), EMF ("Unbelieveable," 1991), George Michael ("Praying For Time," 1990), and Maxi Priest ("Close to You," 1990).
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Good news! After much media speculation and rumors, Dannii Minogue has confirmed that her famous sister Kylie's breast cancer is in full remission. Dannii described it as the best news to start the new year. Read the story on UK Yahoo Music Launch.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
1 .... 1 .... 9 ..... All Time Love - Will Young (3 wks @ #1)
2 .... 2 ... 13 ... Ugly - Sugababes
3 .... 3 ... 16 ... Stickwitu - The Pussycat Dolls (2 wks @ #1)
4 ... 14 ... 3 .... You Got The Love - The Source Featuring Candi Staton
5 .... 8 ... 13 ... Check On It - Beyonce Feat. Slim Thug
6 .... 4 ... 13 ... Talk - Coldplay (1 wk @ #1)
7 .... 10 .. 4 .... Break The Night With Colour - Richard Ashcroft
8 .... 6 .... 4 .... Sleep - Texas
9 .... 5 ... 16 ... Hung Up - Madonna (6 wks @ #1)
10 .. 13 . 31 ... Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
Will Young spends a third week at #1, matching that of his first single, "Evergreen." If he gets 1 more week at the top, "All Time Love" will become his longest-running #1. Big move into the top 10 for The Source Featuring Candi Staton. This is a re-released dance track (with a new remix) that I'm just loving right now. Also re-entering the top 10 is Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten," which has become a big hit in the U.S. Looks like "Hung Up's" last week in the top 10, but Madonna has a new single just around the corner, "Sorry."
Album of the Year: Kanye West - Late Registration
My Favorite: U2 - How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb
Kanye West should pull it out this year, after having been nominated last year also for The College Dropout. Both albums were critical successes, but Late Registration was even more successful commercially, and features the big hit "Gold Digger." Some pundits predict U2, and the only other person with a chance may be Mariah Carey for The Emancipation of Mimi, which was a great comeback for her last year, but not really her best work (certainly not as good as her two prior albums that were nominated). Gwen Stefani doesn't really have a chance, and personally, I found Love.Angel.Music.Baby. a bit disappointing. Paul McCartney is of course a legend, but this album hasn't gotten much attention. Of course, if it was up to me, this award would be going to Coldplay's X&Y.
Record of the Year: We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
My Favorite: Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz
As with the album of the year, my favorite single, Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," was not nominated (and surprisingly so, I think), but the remaining nominees do round out well what 2005 was about. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" could be a contender--it was topical, taken from an album that was nominated for Album of the Year last year, and it was a huge hit (much bigger than "American Idiot," which was nominated in this category last year). Still, since Mariah's not getting the album award, the academy may give her this one for the year's biggest hit. Count out "Hollaback Girl," as we're all surely in banana overkill by now.
Best New Artist: John Legend
My favorite: Keane
Keane is one of my favorite bands, and I was so excited to see then get nominated for this award. Of course, they're probably in last place with this bunch. Ciara fells too commercial, and Fall Out Boy not serious enough. I bet it goes to John Legend, who has earned a great deal of respect it seems.
Female Pop Performance: Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
My favorite: Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Kelly just simply must win. This was pop at its best, a huge hit, and earned her a lot of respect, putting to rest any notion that she wasn't meant to be a music star in her own right. Since "We Belong Together" wasn't nominated here, look for Gwen Stefani to be the only possible upset.
Male Pop Performance: Lonely No More - Rob Thomas
My favorite: Sitting, Waiting, Wishing - Jack Johnson
Rob Thomas' debut solo album was overhyped, but "Lonely No More" was a big hit, particularly with the AC crowd. I think Jack Johnson is much more interesting though.
Pop Duo/Group Performance: More Than Love - Los Lonely Boys
My favorite: Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Los Lonely Boys sounds like the kind of lame thing that Grammy voters would like here, even though they've got The Killers and The White Stripes to choose from too. Just as long as it doesn't go to Maroon 5, for a live version of "This Love," which was a huge hit in 2004, not 2005.
Pop Vocal Album: Gwen Stefani - Love.Angel.Music.Baby.
My favorite: Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway
Thinking themselves hip, Grammy will give this one to Gwen Stefani, seeing as she is also nominated in the general album category, but really, her album is not nearly as consistent as Kelly Clarkson's. Fiona Apple's album, which I haven't heard, is also supposed to be quite good.
My other pics (my favorites):
Dance recording: "I Believe in You" - Kylie Minogue
Rock Duo Group performance: "Speed of Sound" - Coldplay
Rock Song: "Beverly Hills" - Weezer
Rock Album: "X&Y" - Coldplay
Alternative Album: "You Could Have it So Much Better" - Franz Ferdinand