#BILLCS Top 30 #600, November 8/20

After reaching a milestone of 2,500 blog posts last week since I began writing the BILLCS Music Blog in 2009, I’ve also hit another milestone with the BILLCS Top 30.  It’s edition #600, which would be over 1,200 if it was weekly.  The chart first began online in January 1998 and the first published #1 was “Angel” by Canadian singer Joée.  I had previously posted Top 10 versions of the chart on a few websites or message boards, starting in September 1997.  The chart remained a Top 10 until the edition of August 31, 1998, when it was extended to a Top 30.

There are 5 debuts on the chart, and we have a new #1 song in edition #600.  It’s an exhilarating instrumental called “House Is Happiness” by German producer and saxophonist Stan Sax, who is one half of the duo Saxity, and also records under the name of ZEROBADDAYS.  “House Is Happiness” is a real toe-tapper and you’ll have a tough time staying still.  It’s yet another independently released song to reach #1 on my chart.

Sweden’s Pawl & Discrete have another snappy house record that will vie for #1 with “Type Like That”, making another big bold move, advancing 10-3.

But the one to watch is the glorious “Diamonds” by Sam Smith, from his excellent new album Love Goes.  “Diamonds” soars 17-5, the Fastest Riser on the chart, among a bunch of fine breakup songs in Love Goes.  “Diamonds” features one of Sam’s best vocals, and it’s his highest placing on this chart since 2014.

Two songs arrive in the Top 10 for the first time.  Sweden’s Agnes obtains her fourth Top 10 song on this chart with “Fingers Crossed” (13-8, above), most recently reaching #3 on “Tough Love” by Avicii.  Singer/songwriter/producer Lauren Mayhew and Moroccan teen producer Mariline debut in the Top 10 with the warm and fuzzy progressive dance track “We Are Home” (11-9), which was written by Lauren at the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).

Stan Sax’s other project, Saxity, climbs 16-13 with “Fantasy”, featuring outstanding vocals by Victor Perry and American Idol alumnus Robbie Rosen.  You can see all three gents in the video above.

Denver producer Illenium has a new personal best this week as “Nightlight” (21-17) becomes the #1 song at Dance Music Radio in the USA.  

Out of four debuts two weeks ago, “No One But You” by Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with British singer/songwriter Mahalia leads the way, climbing 24-18.  Be sure to download Justin’s APP from the App Store, and you’ll find a list of all of his major concert performances over the years, plus some new exclusive acoustic clips to keep you entertained during these strange times.

The highest debut belongs to the ever-so-talented (and dad-to-be) MAX, from his excellent album Colour Vision, with “Blueberry Eyes”, featuring singing by his buddy SUGA of BTS.  This song, written for MAX’s wife Emily, arrives at #25, and joins MAX’s collaboration with Jonas Blue, “Naked” (#15), on the chart.  “Naked” recently peaked at #4.  BTS previously appeared on the chart in early 2018 with “DNA”, which peaked at #13.

Next up is another artist currently on the chart, NYC-based Welsh singer/songwriter Bright Light Bright Light.  His outstanding duet with Erasure’s Andy Bell called “Good For Goodbyes” arrives at #26 (above) and has also been released as an extended remix created by Grammy Award winner Tracy Young (below).  Tracy in fact appeared on the chart back in 2002 with her radio edit of Cyndi Lauper’s “Shine” (#5).  “It’s Alright, It’s OK” by Bright Light Bright Light and Montreal trio Caveboy also climbs 18-16.

Making their chart debut is the L.A. quintet Why Don’t We with the rock-flavoured “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)” at #27.  This single by the group of early 20-somethings follows up their 2018 debut album 8 Letters.  And with “Fallin'” already brewing at Top 40 radio, I’m sure another album is not far behind.

Also making his chart debut is British electronic dance producer Jerome Price, with vocalist Cally Rhodes, on the irresistible dance banger “Chasing Feelings”, which bows at #28.

While “Dancing Next To Me”, one of my favourites of 2020, departs the chart after a maximum 10 chart stay (20 weeks), Greyson Chance returns immediately to maintain the flow at #29 with his latest single “Bad To Myself”.  This one has a lot of personal and earnest touches, referencing Greyson’s recent bout with anorexia.

 

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

Among the treasures in @BrightLightx2’s new album Fun City is “Good At Goodbyes”, a potent duet with @Erasureinfo’s Andy Bell

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT and ANDY BELL, “Good At Goodbyes”

A week ago, Bright Light Bright Light’s fourth album Fun City was released, and today it ranked as the #1 album on the UK Dance Chart. Despite its title, and while the album has ‘fun’ at its core, with several upbeat dance tracks, there are also a number of learned-life stories, as one can often expect from the unique perspectives of Rod Thomas. Having toured with Erasure in the past few years, it’s still incredible to hear the amazing Andy Bell in duet with Rod on “Good At Goodbyes”. Whether his voice is intended to be that of a past lover or an inner-conscience, Andy’s vocal offsets Rod’s lead story-teller just beautifully. The song keeps you on edge about a guy who’s trying to be strong after a relationship has ended, while resigning himself to his memories and sadness with lack of closure. Fun City has many other glorious collaborations including those with Sam Sparro, Brendan Maclean, Jake Shears, KAYE and several others who you should get to know. It also includes the previous diverse singles “This Was My House” (which reached #5 on my personal chart), “Sensation”, “I Used To Be Cool”, and “It’s Alright, It’s OK”.

“Love You To The Sky” is uplifting electropop from the masters themselves, @Erasureinfo

ERASURE, “Love You To The Sky”

“Love You To The Sky” is the first taste of the new Erasure album World Be Gone for duo Andy Bell and Vince Clarke, the follow up to 2015’s highly successful The Velvet Flame.  That album put singles “Elevation”, “Reason” and “Sacred” back into the upper-end of the dance charts, where Erasure should rightly be more than 30 years after their first hit (my first club experience with Erasure was in 1986 😀 ).  Andy also has a fab thing going on in collaboration with Dave Audé – two #1 Billboard club play songs in a row.  

There’s nothing particularly new about “Love You To The Sky” – it’s reliably, solid Erasure with a straight-forward positive pop song about a summer romance with Andy’s recognizable voice front and centre, and a lilting, uncomplicated-sounding synth backdrop from Vince.  It’s everything you know and want from Erasure that will be a singalong by the time they tour next.  You can also head over to their page on Pledge Music where they offer up some incentives to help get World Be Gone finished and released.  Check out the lyric video for “Love You To The Sky” above.

ElectroPOP! @DaveAude & @AndyBell_info “True Original” and @Spraypopmusic & @KidKasio with “It’s Not Enough”

Is there a mini-revival going on am I just imagining it?  I’m talking about British electroPOP.  Granted performers from other countries also did well in this dance music genre, but no one did it like the Brits in the 80’s.  

DAVE AUDE featuring ANDY BELL, “True Original”

There are too many performers to mention, but electroPOP came along during the New Wave era, and stayed long past.  Erasure is one of the originators of this style, and the duo of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell came back big time last year with The Violet Flame album, yielding three Top 10 club hits with “Elevation”, “Reason”, and “Sacred”.  In a side partnership with the renown producer deluxe Dave Audé (who seemingly remixed just about everything in 2015) , Andy was the vocalist on Dave’s #1 club smash “Aftermath” as well.  And so this pair are back with pure, no-nonsense electroPOP with “True Original”, which has already vaulted into Billboard’s Top 25 Dance Club Play songs.  It’s a splendid, happy song for the mid-winter blahs and should quickly soar to the top of the dance club charts.  Like with “Aftermath”, Dave’s production has brought out the best in Andy’s voice as in Erasure’s halcyon days.  Though I’m not crazy about its video, “True Original” is slick, bouncing, beautiful, electroPOP bliss.

SPRAY + KID KASIO, “It’s Not Enough”

Although this other duo hasn’t been around as long as Erasure and haven’t had chart success like them or Dave Audé, the bold and prolific Spray – Jenny McLaren and Ricardo Autobahn, noted for songs such as “I Am Gothic”, “You Can Always Go Home” and even “Everything’s Better With Muppets” – can ride this electroPOP train with one of their best efforts to date called “It’s Not Enough”.  Featuring fellow Brit Kid Kasio, this partnership also sounds just fab together.  Great vocals, a powerhouse chorus, and enough high-end to leap out of the speakers make “It’s Not Enough” memorable enough to grab you by the feet and keep them glued to the dance floor.  Pick it up on iTunes.

 

Back In Fine Form: @Erasureinfo with “Elevation”, @DaveAude & @AndyBell_info “Aftermath (Here We Go)”

 

ERASURE, “Elevation”

DAVE AUDE featuring ANDY BELL, “Aftermath (Here We Go)”

I was thrilled to find out this summer that Erasure is back not only on record with The Violet Flame in September, but shortly after its release, they will be touring and making a stop in my city *tickets bought*… I first saw them in 1986 and last (of five times, I think) in 2011!!  So first on deck we have “Elevation” (ab0ve), a sparkling mid-tempo song which takes us back to their mid-90’s songs such as “Always” courtesy of glistening Richard X production.  It’s going to sound great in concert!  Next up is a US club #1 for “Aftermath (Here We Go)” (below), and if this was a radio era like 20 years ago, you’d be hearing it to death everywhere.  Truly, this song has HIT written all over it and shouldn’t be overlooked.  Dave Audé clearly put his Erasure inspiration hat on and gives us one of Andy’s best recent vocals (and Andy’s looking wonderfully fit in the video as ever).  At times it sounds so much like Erasure that even hardcore Erasure fans wouldn’t know!  The last quarter of 2014 looks to bring us great music and shows from Erasure and maybe even more songs from Andy given the success of “Aftermath”.  

Quirky & Quiet Retro iTouch Shuffle Mix

Sometimes letting the iTouch go to shuffle comes up with some interesting mixes of music that you wouldn’t put together yourself.  Here’s what I heard on the drive to work this morning.  Pretty quirky and quiet until the last songs – makes me wonder what I’ll hear on the drive home 🙂

Michael Buble “Sway (Ralphi’s Salsation vox edit)” (2004)

Andy Bell “Crazy” (2005 – Electric Blue album)

Tony Stone “This Is Serious (extended mix)” (1988)

Fashion “Dressed To Kill” (1982 – Fabrique album)

Steve Winwood “The Finer Things” (1987)

Jai “Cry Me A River” (1998 – Heaven album)

Book Of Love “I Touch Roses” (1986)

Kaiser Chiefs “Thank You Very Much” (2007 – Yours Truly, Angry Mob album)

Madonna & Justin Timberlake “4 Minutes” (2008)

I’ll try and post links to a few of the more obscure songs later.