#BILLCSTop30 #542 – August 20/18

My last chart of August is a transitional one, since I’ve had 10 songs debut in the last month.  So plenty of songs continue to head up the chart, to compete with favourites that I’ve been savouring for a bit longer.  In other words, you’ll find mainly small chart moves, aside from a couple that are breaking through and becoming successors to my current big favourites.  But there are still four more debuts!!

The Top 10

  • Continuing to play festival and club after festival and club, the very in-demand Dutch duo The Him hold with a fierce grip on #1 with “Broken Love”, featuring the enormously talented Parson James.  

  • James Bay’s Electric Light is one of my favourite pop albums of 2018 because it took risks to try a lot of different styles within the genre on one album.  The result was with no one single that the industry could fawn over, but the 80’s new wave-influenced “Pink Lemonade” is also one of my favourite songs of 2018 and advances a bit belatedly to #2!

  • More new Rüfüs Du Sol means that their album is finally coming!  Check out “Underwater” below, while “No Place” (above) climbs 5-3.

  • The contagious party feel of “Get Down” by French producer RetroVision has caused it to zip through the Top 10 this week, soaring 9 to 5 🙂

  • “I’m In Love With You” by Tony Moran and Jason Walker reached the summit of the Billboard Dance Club Play chart this week in their third #1 pairing, and it also becomes their third Top 10 in this chart, rising 12-9.
  • L.A.’s Bobby Nourmand has one of the most interesting repertoires as a dance producer.  This week he has three songs in the Top 10, thanks to the double whammy former #1 EP of “Subterranean” and “Estranged” at #4.  “The Sun” (above), featuring Blonde’s Adam Engle, rises a notch to #10 to become Bobby’s 3rd Top 10 entry this year and 5th overall!  Bobby has also prepared a progressive remix for”Sparrows” by New Mystics (below), a new release on his DITN label below.

Movin’ On Up

  • Benny Benassi and Sofi Tukker plough through the competition and set their sights on the top of the chart with “Everybody Needs A Kiss”.  It’s the fastest riser this week, climbing 19-11.

  • The fastest riser from the last chart continues to build momentum for the Top 10.  And that’s “Casually” by Alyx Ander and Redondo featuring Maria Z, which advances 14-12.
  • Evan and Corey, aka Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, are not holding back with their releases!  Not only does “Eyes” (above) move up 22-19, but they’ve since released both “Tequila” and “Stranger”, both below.

 

  • Two of the most inspiring songs on the chart should take off in two weeks.  Martin Garrix and Bonn’s “High On Life” (below) is one of those songs that makes you think about all of the good times, and it rises 23-20.  Right behind it is Arty’s heartwarming instrumental tribute to Avicii, appropriately called “Tim” (also below), moving up 25-21.

4 Debuts

  • Guy James Robin, aka UK producer Jonas Blue and immensely popular in Europe, may finally have his calling card in North America with the jubilant “Rise” at #26.  Great to see US ‘Net sensations Jack & Jack carrying the song away with their spot-on vocals, it’s been a while since they’ve appeared in these blog pages!  It’s Jonas’ second appearance on this chart following 2016’s cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” (#3).

  • As “Lonely” by Matoma and MAX departs the chart after reaching #10, a new and somewhat unexpected duet replaces it!  This time it’s with new buddy Enrique Iglesias with the insanely catchy “I Don’t Dance (Without You)”, which also features seasoning from the islands courtesy of vocalist Konshens.  This one deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting, especially with Enrique giving one of his best vocals in years.  It bows at #27 – it’s Enrique’s 9th appearance on this chart and first since 2011.

  • New and independent and very worthy of your ears and dancing feet is “The Pain I Feel” by UK singer Marlon Percy and the UK/France production duo LoFrames.  It’s a nice mix of soul, blues and house music, with stellar production, and arrives at #28.

  • I think he may be the first Polish artist to appear in this chart, but veteran producer Gromee has a winner with “One Last Time”, featuring an appealing Shawn Mendes-like vocal by Norway’s Jesper Jenset, who got to #3 two years ago on the chart with “High” in a Young Bombs remix.  “One Last Time” enters at #29.  It’s also a good sonic companion to Jonas Blue’s “Rise” above 🙂

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 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #541 – August 6/18

What’s going on in the lower end of the chart will be of most interest to my fellow chart makers and fans, as the new chart has five debuts for the second chart in a row.  The Top 6 songs stay exactly the same, though a shakeup is likely in two weeks.

The Top 10

  • There’s no denying that “Broken Love” by The Him featuring Parson James has a lock on #1.  To my ears it’s the dance ballad of the summer and also one of the best songs of the year.  The Him has quickly followed it up with “By Your Side” with Jordan Jay, which is somewhat different from what they’ve been producing lately.  Check it out below.

  • “Pink Lemonade” by James Bay (#3, above) and “No Place” by Rüfüs Du Sol (#5, below) are the most likely candidates to remain in the Top 5 in two weeks.

  • “Jackie Chan” by the collaboration that is Tiësto, Dzeko, Preme and Post Malone glides into the Top 10 at #8, marking Tiësto’s first Top 10 placing as an artist since 2007, while it’s Dzeko’s second Top 10 of the year following the Tiësto-remixed cover of Seal’s “Crazy” (#2).
  • RetroVision’s “Get Down” shares a Top 10 placing with the song from which its hook is primarily derived – “Lola’s Theme” by The Shapeshifters, which got to #1 in 2004 and is one of my all time favourite dance songs.  “Get Down” advances to #9.

  • Also new to the Top 10 and independent is UK singer/songwriter Lostchild’s “Blacklist”, which climbs 14-10.  I’ll share the acoustic video version of the song once again with you, it really is as good as the much more produced dance version 🙂

Movin’ On Up

So many great new songs, and so little time to write…

  • Tony Moran and Jason Walker are headed for the Top 10 for the third time together with the jubilant “I’m In Love With You”, which climbs 18-12.  The song is already in the Top 5 of Billboard’s Club Play chart.

  • Also looking for a third Top 10, following “Memories of You” and “Wake Up For the Night” is Miami-based producer/DJ Alyx Ander this time in a joint effort with Dutch producers Redondo with “Casually”, featuring vocalist and songwriter Maria Z.  It’s the fastest riser on the chart, soaring 22-14.

  • Singer/actor Keiynan Lonsdale’s great new song “Preach” rises 23-17.  Check out the joyous and colourful video above.
  • NYC-based indie producer Squired has hit the chart full on with his powerful song “Peace Out”, which rises 24-18.
  • “Vacant Love” is a terrific sing-a-long that will also have you moving on the dance floor courtesy of L.A. producer Caden Jester and vocalist Blake Rose.  It moves up 26-20.
  • Turn the lights down low, relax your mind and sway to “Eyes”, the latest single from Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, which climbs a healthy 29-22.  It’s the group’s second chart entry following last year’s “P A R T Y” (#3).

Five Debuts

  • I’m waiting for the international chart attack to happen, because it’s already happening here!  Veteran producer Benny Benassi pairs up with new kids Sofi Tukker for “Everybody Needs A Kiss”, which features some of the most wonderous synth work of the year, and duly crashes onto the chart as the highest debut at #19.  It’s Benny’s third appearance, the last being in 2011 concurrently with “Cinema” (#11) and “Beautiful People” (#10, with Chris Brown).  It’s also Sofi Tukker’s third appearance, immediately following the #4 “Baby I’m A Queen” from their Treehouse album.

  • Martin Garrix returns to the chart for the first time since last year’s collaboration with Troye Sivan on “There For You” (#3) with “High On Life” at #23.  It’s one of the year’s most vibrant dance songs featuring an excellent vocal from newcomer Bonn.

  • Russian producer Arty, like Benny Benassi, has also been absent from the chart for a while, when 2012 brought us “Must Be The Love” (#13) in collaboration with Nadia Ali and BT.  He’s back with a beautiful instrumental tribute to Avicii simply called “Tim” at #25.  This one will have you bouncing in no time.
  • One of Minnesota’s finest, indie artist Call Me Karizma, returns to the chart with the spoken/sung “Life Of The Party” (#27), which with its minimal electronic arrangement is turning out to be a great companion song to The Chainsmokers’ “Sick Boy” and “Everybody Hates Me”.  ‘Riz first appeared on the chart two years ago with the fun and pointed “u suck” (#9).
  • The last debut is also independently released by Netherlands-based production duo Revelries with the bright and inviting “Infinitum”, featuring vocals by Australia’s Beamish Boys, at #28.  Revelries has only appeared on the chart previously as remixers under another name last year for Welcome To The Hotel’s “Darlin'” (#10).  “Infinitum” is a free download for now at the link above.

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 🙂

 

Bill’s Top 75 Songs of 2011

That annual ritual is upon us again.  I kicked it off with my previous post “And Visions of 2011 Danced In His Head”, which talked about my favourite 20 performers (and one compilation album) that made 2011 glitter for me.  I won’t go into much depth about those performers again, other than those whose songs are in my Top 10.  I’ve provided links to some notable videos and/or songs in my list below (click on the relevant song titles), particularly some you may not know, as well as some comments.  You can see the web-pretty list using the Best of 2011 list in the sidebar to the right or click right here.

Before we begin, only one performer has more than 4 songs on the list, and that is Simon Curtis, who had my #1 song of 2010 “Beat Drop”.  Among 7 entries, he has three duets on the list!  Then with four songs is Frankmusik, and with three songs apiece we have Penguin Prison, Elouise, Eric Saade, Ro Danishei, and Kyle Brylin.  These are no surprises if you’ve read this blog throughout the year.

Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin 🙂

BILL’S TOP 75 SONGS OF 2011

75 TILL THE WORLD ENDS  Britney Spears

Unlike much of the pop world, I have never much been a fan of Ms Britney.  But this year she recorded the best song of her career thus far which kicks off my year end list.  In fact one of the very best reasons for expanding my list to 75 songs this year was to include this song.  Well done – more like this please!
74 METAPHOR  Nick Hagelin

Watch Nick’s Twitter account for word about his upcoming single “X Games”!
73 JILTED LOVERS & BROKEN HEARTS  Brandon Flowers
72 WE DON’T MISS A BEAT Van Go Lion

Portland, Oregon duo Amy Paige and Josh Hoertzel make magical melodies together, and “We Don’t Miss A Beat” is their best yet.  Watch for more in 2012.
71 ICE MELTS  Matt & Kim
70 ANOTHER DIMENSION   Bass Robbers featuring Matt Blue
69 NEVER WILL BE MINE  Rye Rye featuring Robyn
68 THE CITY (Richard X emix)  Patrick Wolf

It was so grand to hear British singer Patrick Wolf full of positive and happy energy with songs like “The City” from his recent album Lupercalia.
67 TILL IT HURTS (Radio mix) Native Underground

Native Underground and singer Javi Silva (who gave us last year’s tantalizing “Situation”) are part of a New York City new dance/disco undercurrent.  Watch for more from them in 2012, including Javi’s other project Chasing The Ghost.
66 CINEMA  Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go
65 FALLING Bright Light Bright Light

BrightLightx2 aka Rod Thomas recorded this free download and unique interpretation of the theme from TV’s “Twin Peaks”, originally sung by Julee Cruise.

64 WHITE HORSE  Jessica 6
63 MORE (Red One Jimmy Joker remix)  Usher
62 STUPID WITH YOU  Eric Saade
61 MY FIZZY POP   Kyle Brylin
60 THEN I GO TWISTING  Erasure
59 ALL YOU NEED IS NOW  Duran Duran
58 THE LOVER’S RUMBA   Elouise

The first of three contemporized ballroom songs to appear in this list from the fantastic Ballroom Remixed compilation from our favourite UK torch song chanteuse.

57 KEEP YOUR HEAD UP  Andy Grammer

One of the most upbeat and carefree songs of the year also had one of the most enjoyable (and interactive) videos!

56 BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE  Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi

I must say I was totally enthralled with Chris Brown’s performance of this song on the Grammy Awards – though it was really a lot of special effects that catch your attention more so than the song, you can imagine how much work went into it.  But I was totally puzzled that his record company did not promote this song to pop radio, and instead it became a #1 Dance Club Play hit.

55 TAINTED LOVE  Elouise

Another magnificent Steve Anderson production which turns the song best known as the 80’s hit by Soft Cell into a seductive, smoky, and empowering torchy rendition.
54 ALORS ON DANSE  Stromae

53 NEVER LOVE A DJ  Kyle Brylin

52 THE EDGE OF GLORY  Lady GaGa
51 DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART  Agnes
50 SUNLIGHT Bag Raiders featuring Dan Black
49 FAMOUS Audio Playground featuring Kardinal Offishall or Randy Raymond

Canadian dance trio Audio Playground enlisted Kardinal Offishall for this infectious dance song that perked up Canadian radio playlists this Fall.

48 LADY LUCK  Jamie Woon
47 ROCKETEER  Far East Movement featuring Ryan Tedder
46 BAD DOG  Neon Hitch
45 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL   Elouise

From the little belter herself, a live clip of this version of the ABBA hit which shows that Elouise has the goods and you’ll hear much more from her in 2012.


44 SET FIRE TO THE RAIN  Adele
43 MOVES LIKE JAGGER  Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
42 MONSTER  Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj

I will always listen to Kanye West’s music knowing that he can come up with greatness with the help of such friends… and to me Nicki’s outstanding rap in this song is what helped get her on the map.
41 FAIR WARNING (Dirty Vegas remix) Penguin Prison
40 VENOM Long Story Short

A hooky, movie theme-inspired rock song from this duo, who are from Quebec and L.A.  Watch for more from Long Story Short in 2012.
39 THE PUPPET WHO GAVE HIMSELF STRINGS  Simon Curtis

The most adorable song from Ballroom Remixed which shows a different side of Simon.
38 PREY TO THE BEAT   Ro Danishei

Prey To The Beat is the hidden gem in Ro’s End Of The Rainbow album.  It can easily slay the dancefloor!
37 BLOCK AFTER BLOCK  Matt & Kim

Block After Block is set to one of the best videos of the year – it’s just so much fun, like the duo themselves.

36 PULL THE TRIGGER  Adam Tyler
35 MULTI-MILLIONAIRE (Shook remix)  Penguin Prison
34 TALK TALK TALK  Darren Hayes

33 FIX ME  Matthew Kurz

Fix Me is one of the most heart-wrenching ballads of the year by L.A.’s Matthew Kurz, a new singer with an amazing voice.  Download his Mixtape featuring Fix Me right here.
32  CINNAMON  Matt Webb 

Guitarist Matt Webb  initially released Cinnamon as a limited free download before appearing on his debut EP Coda and Jacket.  It’s one of those perfect summer heartbreak songs that shows another side of this Marianas Trench member.
31 EVERYTHING I’M MISSING  Kyle Brylin

As Kyle enters an acoustic phase of his career, his electropop of 2011 leaves its mark especially with this hypnotic song with a video that makes you watch, even reluctantly. And what is it about the eye makeup that helps give this song a bit of a sinister side? 😉

30 SUPERHERO  Simon Curtis

Your Superhero arrived in May to stage the arrival of R∆.

29 STUPID (Brad Walsh remix)  Databoy

It takes a few listens until you realize what a smart release this is from this Austin TX duo.  It’s still available as a free download right here.

28 I WON’T LET YOU GO   Adam Tyler

Watch the colourful video from the best song on Adam’s Shattered Ice debut release.


27 MICHELLE  Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis

Watch Ro and Simon perform this blistering duet from London, the first of two videos from that show in this list!

26 BORN THIS WAY  Lady GaGa
25 I’M IN LOVE  Christian TV

The first of two pop/dance confections on this list from the Detroit performer who now goes by the moniker JMSN.  Watch for more tricks up Christian Berishaj’s sleeve in 2012.
24 PRISONER OF LOVE  Jessica 6 featuring Antony Hegarty

Prisoner of Love is just one of those to-die-for duets that happen once in a while.  Hopefully this will be the first of many Nomi Ruiz/Antony Hegarty pairings!


23 BLOODSTAINED HEART  Darren Hayes

There are few performers who can convey heartbreak so conscientiously as Darren Hayes.  The best song on his Secret Codes & Battleships album is also one of his finest vocal performances.  Watch the video all the way through.

22 PUMPED UP KICKS (Skeet Skeet Show remix)  Foster The People

It’s very clear from their sold out concerts and their praised performances (even on TV’s Saturday Night Live) that Foster The People is not a one-hit pony.  Despite the strange subject matter, the song became one of the defining hits of the summer, but my preference is for the frenetic Skeet Skeet Show remix.
21 JACKSONVILLE  Brandon Flowers

Held over from 2010, Jacksonville is one of the songs on the deluxe version of Flamingo, an album that could have fared very differently if the excellent deluxe tracks had been the the core of the record.  Nonetheless, this is Brandon at his most unique – Jacksonville could have also been kicked up a notch with some dance remixes.
20 DISCO MOMENT Bright Light Bright Light

One of Rod Thomas’ very best songs contains several lyrics that can leave you teary-eyed while you dance:  “And I am open, I am open, but I might just close if… /You make it so hard to be around”.  The outstanding video will twist your emotions on the spot.


19 OUT WITHOUT YOUR BOYFRIEND  Jerry Reid featuring Ben Waters

The best song from the Ballroom Remixed compilation is this contemporary jive number, aided immeasurably by the magic fingers of Ben Waters.  Jerry Reid, too, is a new bad boy talent to watch in 2012.
18 TALK TO ME  Andrea Lewis featuring Simon Curtis

Toronto’s Andrea Lewis has another hold over from 2010 release 54321, with her 60’s retro sounding duet with Simon Curtis.  Watch the exclusive performance by these best friends from London below.


17 HURT YOU AGAIN Frankmusik

Pre-dating the Do It In The AM album by several months, it’s one of the rare tender ballads you will hear from Frankmusik, originally available as a free download.
16 SOMEONE LIKE YOU Adele
15 S&M Rihanna

Rihanna was a non-stop music-making machine in 2011, but S&M to me exceeded all expectations and made the music that followed pale in comparison.  She was at the top of her game but is now probably due a break for fear of that other industry-eating event, over-exposure.  The song also accompanied an interesting cadre of songs with suggestive topic matter, which all ended up in Billboard’s Top 4 on the Hot 100 earlier in year – the others were “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa, “Fuckin’ Perfect” by Pink, and “Tonight (I’m Fuckin’ You)” by Enrique Iglesias 🙂

14 DO IT IN THE A.M.  Frankmusik F/ Far East Movement

13 CAN’T HELP MYSELF (KEEP DANCING)  Matt Blue

One of 2011’s must-talents to watch is 19 year old Matt Blue, who hails from the Netherlands.  Songs like “Can’t Help Myself” transcend the record industry barriers for official release through their videos.


12 LOVE 2 BABY Christian TV

If there was any song that should’ve been a hit in 2011 it was “Love 2 Baby”, dance pop at its best and somewhat hedonistic video to boot.  Watch for the artist now known as JMSN in 2012.


11 NO I.D. Frankmusik featuring Colette Carr

One of the most joyous treats of 2011 was watching this completely unexpected video throwback to “Grease”.  Frank and Colette have great chemistry together – hopefully they’ll record again.


10 MADE OF POP  Eric Saade

It was never released as a single *hrumpf* but this love letter to Eric’s fans has some of the best lyrics that pop music could offer in 2011:  “My kings and queens /Are speaking through me / Got my degree / In the big P-O-P”.

9 ROLLING IN THE DEEP  Adele

Rolling In The Deep is the song that defines 2011 in pop culture.  It endured the entire year, became a massive hit beyond expectations, was covered – sometimes magnificently – a gazillion times.  More than any other song in the 21 album, it showcases the many broad talents of Adele.  Now let’s hope her voice recovers and we hear more magnificence in the next few years.


8 NIGHT AIR  Jamie Woon

One of the most mysterious and oddly appealing songs by this new English singer with deep down embedded talents.  While the video surely must have had “Twilight” as a source, its quiet is incredibly elegant.


7 THE FEAR INSIDE  Frankmusik

The best song from Do It In The AM was Frank’s first single from the album, released about a year ago.  Just release yourself to this one.

6 GOLDEN TRAIN Penguin Prison

Penguin Prison held court on my chart at the top of the year for two months with this song, which was made even better when Chris Glover paired it in a stunning mashup with Michael Jackson’s “Workin’ Day And Night”, which you can hear and download in the link in song title.

5 LASER GUNS UP  Simon Curtis

It lasted from the first time I heard it in a live clip from a January show throughout the year.  Laser Guns Up is still my anthem for 2011.  And I still want some LEGO laser guns.  “This one’s for the people who’ve been told they’re never good enough / The little girls and boys who dream of what they wanna be / The little girls and boys who grow up into you and me”.
4 JUST ONCE Databoy

I had just heard “Stupid” and had not yet charted it before I was introduced to Databoy at the Superfraiche showcase in New York City in April.  And that’s where I heard this song.  Instantly, it became my song for the upcoming summer, and when it arrived as a free download there was no other competition.  I can’t wait for more Databoy music in 2012.

3 WICKED BABY Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis

We had to wait till late Summer for this bonus track from the deluxe edition of Ro Danishei’s End of the Rainbow, but the best was saved for last.  This is the child of Ace of Base’s The Sign that you’ve all been waiting for, with a stunning dubsteppy breakdown amid another smoking Ro/Simon duet.  And I wasn’t the only one who loved it, check out My Fizzy Pop’s thoughts on the song too!

2 FLESH  Simon Curtis

There was no song more unique in 2011 than this second single from Simon’s R∆ album.  Totally different from even the songs within R∆, it’s a tour-de-force of sensual imagery carried by fierce production that will simply throttle you.  I still want to see it featured in a segment on TV’s “The Vampire Diaries”:  “You put your hand upon my neck and feel the pulse beat-beat-beat-beat /It’s like a trigger getting ready to shoot” and “Hold me up against the wall / Give it till I beg, give me some more /Make me bleed, I like it raw / Like it R∆ R∆ R∆”.
1 POPULAR  Eric Saade

“Popular” is the best and most captivating song of 2011 to me, which threw Swedish singer Eric Saade even more into the spotlight when the song won the Melodifestivalen contest and came third in Eurovision.  It signalled things to come, with Saade’s Volume One and Volume Two albums dropping before year’s end and giving us the year’s most  lighthearted, feel good, crunchy electropop, which hopefully will find its way around the world in 2012.  Eric Saade and his team have created the template, the rest of the world needs to catch on.  And if you’re a male pop singer, all eyes should be on Eric!  Watch the star-making performance from Melodiefestivalen again below.


Summer Popervescence #1 featuring the Tuned-On! Top 30 #357 – July 18/11

It’s been two weeks since we’ve written, so this time you get a longer two-fer blog:  A new personal chart with commentary, and hot new music courtesy of Summer Popervescence #1.  A lot of the latter music is creating some strife on the chart, causing an absolute glut of wonderful music.  I’m loving it!

Tuned-On! Top 30 #357 – July 18/11

The Top 4 songs remain unchanged and seemingly unmovable.  “Flesh” by Simon Curtis and “Do It In The A.M.” by Frankmusik featuring Far East Movement rank #1 and #2 for third appearances each (6 weeks).  “I’m in Love” by Christian TV ranks 3rd as his latest single, the R&B-oriented “Girl I Used To Know” is released.  “Out Without Your Boyfriend” by Jerry Reid stays at #4 as interest in the Ballroom Remixed project from which it comes continues to grow.  “Talk Talk Talk” by Darren Hayes climbs 7-5 as the singer continues to promote the record in Australia.  I’m waiting for my purple vinyl copy of the single in the mail 😀  View his performance on Australia’s “Dancing with the Stars” below (gosh, I adore Australian accents).

New to the Top 10 are “Just Once” by Databoy, a true summer song if there was one, which really makes its presence felt, zooming 14-6 to challenge those equally excellent songs in the Top 5!  It’s so obvious that Lady GaGa has set a standard over the last three years for female vocalists with powerful voices.  They are prevalent on the chart this week, so it’s fitting the Lady herself has another Top Tenner with “The Edge Of Glory” at #9.  And Chris Brown lands in the Top 10 for the first time since 2008 with his feelgood Benny Benassi collabo “Beautiful People” at #10.

Recent additions to the chart from the past few weeks continue to move up nicely.  “Venom” by Long Story Short is Top 10 bound in two weeks as it climbs to #11.  “The Lover’s Rumba”, Elouise’s contribution to the Ballroom Remixed album, jumps 19-15.  The fastest riser on the chart is the other, more laid back, summer confection, “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People, which is getting its slow burn groove on with more people each week.  It soars 27-16 on the chart.  Three other powerful female vocalists are right below… “We Don’t Miss A Beat” by Van Go Lion, featuring Amy Paige, is at #17; “Prey To The Beat”, the secret loaded weapon in Ro Danishei’s End Of The Rainbow album, charges up 28-18; Nicola Roberts’ “Porcelain Heart” is up to #19 and will continue to rise in two weeks; similarly “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera climbs to #20 and continues to build.

Five more debuts on the chart means five more songs to adore.

How does one follow such a magnetic song as Eric Saade’s “Popular”?  Well, with an incredibly solid Saade Volume One album, which is full of truly happy-go-lucky pop from the Swedish singer who has some great people behind-the-scenes in his court.  The album is a dazzler, an aural equivalent to Baked Alaska (ice cream baked in meringue) with peach and raspberry sauce!!  At its best, Volume One is all cute and endearing… but with loads of power and know-how to support it all.  Hence we have Eric the geek in “Stupid With You”, Eric the lonely retro romantic in “Me and My Radio”, and best of all, Eric Pop Personified with “Made Of Pop” (you can hear the song at the top of the page).  “Made Of Pop” is a much more logical follow up to “Popular” than the weak-ish “Hearts In The Air”, so I hope it will be the third single.  It has one of my favourite verses of the year:  “My kings and queens are speaking through me / Got my degree in the big POP”.  Single-handedly with these words has Eric given a huge shout-out to his fans – not unlike Simon Curtis with “Get In Line”, and Eric and Simon NEED to record and sing in concert together!! – and declared himself triumphant. Brilliant.  And speaking of brilliant, you can read a much more in-depth review of Saade Volume One by MyFizzyPop.  I’m not about to repeat so much of what he says so well 🙂

Next up at #24 is the Shook remix of Penguin Prison’s “Multi-Millionaire” about which I wrote previously.  Penguin Prison has happily joined the Scissor Sisters and a number of other artists on Downtown Records for the release of the PP self-titled record and new single “Fair Warning”.  But in the meantime, the Prince-ly influenced “Multi-Millionaire” will kick off the anticipation in advance.  Then at #25 we have “Runway”, the highly emotional single from singer/music exec Blue Hamilton.  I’m posting the video clip once again below so that you can all have a good cry.  We first heard New Yorker Wynter Gordon on Flo Rida’s Top 5 hit “Sugar” back in 2009.  In the meantime she co-wrote several songs for the Love? album by Jennifer Lopez and has seen her first album With The Music I Die become a massive hit in Australia – which makes two U.S. artists on this chart to have success Down Under (the other is Foster The People).  So while North America only gets an EP version of With The Music I Die, the song “‘Til Death” (which contains the title’s lyrics) arrives on my chart at #26 (video below).  Fellow New Yorker and star of the Broadway play “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” Reeve Carney climbs onto the chart at #27 with “Rise Above 1”, his inspiring collaboration with “Spider-Man” songwriters Bono and The Edge.  Reeve is previously known for his work with his band Carney, which has released both a live album and a studio album to date and continues to perform throughout Reeve’s success with “Spider-Man”.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Note that when you click on the pictures in the first column of the chart pages that they will now allow you to either listen to the song or view the official video to the song.  Enjoy this new feature!

“Runway” by Blue Hamilton

“‘Til Death” by Wynter Gordon

Summer Popervescence #1

“I Won’t Let You Go” by Adam Tyler

It would not be Summer ’11 without the long-awaited arrival of the video for L.A. singer Adam Tyler’s “I Won’t Let You Go”.  It’s a visually stunning positive pastiche of images of handsome Adam in various appearances and hairstyles (and paint) which make it incredibly memorable.  That the song is also a stunner makes it a winning combination, it’s one of my favourites of the year, having already peaked at #5 this past Spring.  Watch the video below and purchase the song on iTunes.

“Bad Girl” by Matt Webb

I love how Matt Webb is carving out his own mark from Marianas Trench with his enjoyable EP Coda and Jacket.  His track “Cinnamon” is already #7 on my chart.  I don’t like the current single “Bad Girl” as much, but the video is enjoyable in the same way as… well,  “Misery” by Maroon 5.  Check it out below.

“My Name Is Kay” by Kay

It may be a little samey to The Ting Tings’ “That’s Not My Name” but Canadian singer Kay’s “My Name Is Kay” has a whole other smashing funky bassline side that speaks for it alongside her Britney-ish delivery when she’s not rap/singing.  Watch the video below.

“Atlantis” by The Midway State

I previously wrote about this first single from the Toronto quartet’s upcoming album Paris Or India.  The video for this jubilant and ethereal song below has also surfaced in advance of the album.  The band will be performing at the Toronto Festival of Beer on August 5.  “Atlantis” has done well enough as a lead up but I think the best new songs from The Midway State will be heard on the album.

“The Story of Us” by Nick Hagelin

I continue to be so impressed by Atlanta-based singer Nick Hagelin and the careful choice of cover songs for which he has been posting videos.  The latest is a simply delightful rendition of Taylor Swift’s latest hit “The Story Of Us” (video below).  This just goes to say that Nick Hagelin needs a record released soon along with a DVD that might include some of these enjoyable videos.  Nick is a star just waiting to happen.

Rune RK & Databoy “Memorize Me” (teaser)

What would the summer be without an Ibiza-styled dance anthem?  And what a great pairing – Rune RK (you’ll remember his “Calabria”, famously redone twice in 2007/08, once by Alex Gaudino featuring Crystal Waters as “Destination Calabria”, and then as “Calabria 2008” by Enur featuring Natasja) – and US duo Databoy, who’ve been gracing my chart with “Stupid” and “Just Once”.  Get teased below.

And finally, we have four more videos by artists who appear on the Ballroom Remixed album, along with charting songs by Jerry Reid, Simon Curtis, and Elouise.

Dutch talent Jeromino sings about “How They Dance In Outer Space” on Ballroom Remixed.  To completely get away from the novelty of that song, he’s released “Renaissance Man” which not only shows his diversity but how much the camera just loves him as well.

New York self-professed theatre nerd Joshua Desjardins gave us executive producer Melanie La Patin’s namesake theme song on Ballroom Remixed.  So how does he follow it up?  With “I’m A Nerd” of course!  This is what could happen if a Weird Al Yankovic song got dunked in Europop (think Eiffel 65’s “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” or Dan Balan’s “Crazy Loop”).  Joshua’s spot-on delivery makes geekdom seem way more than okay!  Hear the song below and get your inner nerd on.

German singer Linda Teodosiu offered up the steamy “Body Heat” on Ballroom Remixed.  Her latest single, which has a good chance to follow the worldwide success of her 2009 hit “Reprogram My Heart”, is “Alive”.  It’s a slinky mid-evening dance number partnered nicely with Linda’s soaring voice.

Lastly, for a very recent glimpse at Simon Curtis singing at his acoustic best, watch the clip below of Simon singing “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone” (from 8bit Heart) and support his sick kids charity 100 Million Miracles ( a reminder that Simon is a cancer survivor).

Okay – are your ears full enough now? 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 30 #355 – June 20/11

Another personal chart is here and it’s the start of a sizzling and scintillating summer of synthpop, which will also be known as in some future posts as Summer Popervescence 🙂

As we begin the sun-worshipping dancing, Simon Curtis has done what both Adele and Frankmusik could not do:  Replace Eric Saade’s “Popular” – my favourite song so far this year, by the way – at the top of my personal chart.  So the rivetting “Flesh” – which should by all rights be a prime candidate as a featured song on the new season of “The Vampire Diaries” – becomes Simon’s 4th number one song on this chart, joining “Delusional”, “Beat Drop”, and “8bit Heart” in that special group.  Look for a special announcement from Simon on Monday, June 20, which I’m sure has something to do with the R∆ album and moving full steam ahead!  Simon’s own “Superhero” continues to hold the charge at #4, while the still fantastic “Do It In The A.M.” by the very busy Frankmusik and Far East Movement, climbs to #2 but won’t possibly be able to dislodge “Flesh”.  Pop/dance duo Databoy take advantage of the middle of the Top 10 and find “Stupid” rising up to #5.  A pic of the boys from their Superfraiche show in NYC on April 1 is below.

Further into the Top 10, we find the Ballroom Remixed project making its presence known.  First up from that record is the sock-hop swing of Jerry Reid’s “Out Without Your Boyfriend” at #6.  Both Christian TV and Elouise make welcome returns to the Top 10.  Christian scores his third straight Top Tenner with “I’m In Love” at #7, while Elouise’s tantalizing cover of “Tainted Love” becomes her third Top 10 entry as well at #10.

Just below is a mid-section of the chart abuzz with activity.  A totally different and non-R∆ song by Simon Curtis appears on the Ballroom Remixed album.  “The Puppet Who Gave Himself Strings” is a heart-tugger at #11.  Benny Benassi and Gary go lead a sparkling summer charge to the Top 10 with “Cinema” at #13, followed by Lady Gaga and “The Edge Of Glory” (along with its underwhelming video) at #14, and then we’re back with Benassi, this time with Chris Brown (whodathunkit) on the feel-good dance song “Beautiful People” at #15.  The emotional “Linda” by Toronto’s Andrea Lewis continues to climb at #17, Adele’s snappy “Rumour Has It” rises to #18, and the buoyant voices of Blue carry “I Can” to #19.

But the big news within the Top 20 is with “Cinnamon”, by Marianas Trench guitarist Matt Webb.  Smack me on the head and send me through the wayback machine to the 1983 pop hooks of songs by the likes of Rick Springfield or Huey Lewis, and give me guitar riffs that won’t quit and are as memorable as those in a song like “Let It Rock” by Kevin Rudolf.  I think a lot of broken hearts will identify with the lyrics of “Cinnamon”.  As much as I like Matt’s lead single “Bad Girl”, “Cinnamon” is a winner and the fastest riser on the chart moving 26-16.

Finally, four debuts arrive on the chart this week.

You may recall that I blogged about Montreal/L.A. duo Long Story Short earlier this year, who have debuted with their album What A Scene which includes the song “Caved In”.  The band has since amassed a following in the Philippines (!!), came second in a couple of songwriting contests, is about to make a video for the song, and has seen “Caved In” added to several radio station playlists across Canada – a difficult thing to do when you’re an independent artist.  Even better, Dan and Nicky have recorded a new song, “Venom”, which is included as a free download if you subscribe to their newsletter.  It’s also their best song to date, a true late summer night driving song, and you can hear it at the top of this blog.  Taking the best pages from the edgy sides of bands like Lifehouse, Matchbox 20, and Goo Goo Dolls, producer John Nathaniel has helped craft a wickedly catchy song that documents a relationship’s dive into a hellish abyss.  “Venom” is the highest debut on the chart at #21 – go get it!

Ballroom Remixed Part 3:  I’ve already blogged about the dance/pop wonders of “The Lover’s Rumba” by Elouise, and while her version of “Born This Way” exits the chart, our torch club queen remains on the chart with “Rumba” at #23.  Then at #24 we have a song that totally floored me over the past few weeks, thanks in part to MuuMuse touting the artist and the song.  Former Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts slid onto the UK charts with “Beat Of My Drum” and then promptly slid back off.  Perhaps it’s because “Porcelain Heart”, also released on the single, is the better song of the two, with some cool drama carried by successfully emotive vocals.  It’s a real grower!

The last premiere belongs to the creative producer/remixer Monsieur Adi, who in the last year has had triumphs with the likes of Madonna (his take on “Get Together” must be heard), Ellie Goulding, Javi Silva, Reni Lane, Gary Go, and Marina & The Diamonds, as well as his own songs.  His most recent free download is the mesmerizing and commanding “Chariot”, which bows on the chart at #26.  Listen and download below.

http://soundcloud.com/monsieuradi/chariot

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Note that when you click on the pictures in the first column of the chart pages that they will now allow you to either listen to the song or view the official video to the song.  Enjoy this new feature!

Tuned-On! Top 30 #354 – June 6/11

It’s been an extraordinarily busy few weeks in the pop music world, and accordingly my new personal chart takes to some flipping and flopping.  When that happens, usually some songs that might have been destined for greater sights on the chart suddenly stop or tumble to make way for some of the year’s best triumphs.  And this chart is no exception.

“Popular” by Eric Saade remains at #1 for a fourth appearance (8 weeks) from his forthcoming album Saade Volume One.  Lord knows what would have happened if “Popular” was about pushing up against hot bodies, S&M, going down on someone, or biting into willing flesh, it might have never let go of the top of my chart 😉  For just this past Tuesday (May 31), Simon Curtis unleashed “Flesh” onto the somewhat unsuspecting public, and the resulting Internet frenzy may have been cause for temporary decreases in a productive workforce or perhaps sudden desires to procreate.  From its slow-building start to its heart-racing climax, “Flesh” vaults onto the chart into the runner-up spot right off the bat.  And though I’ve heard versions of a number of the fine songs that will eventually appear on R∆ in their finest forms, one can only wonder what tasty production treats Simon and producer Jeff “Jadion” Wells have in store for us.  Listen to the Future Freestyle remix below.

With “Flesh” building a solid wall at #2, that leaves “Do It In The A.M.”, the fine single from Frankmusik and Far East Movement, to climb to third place.  But don’t underestimate this song’s place on the chart.  It’s a great motivational song, particularly if you want to paint your town red.  Then it’s more super Simon climbing from 9 to 4 with the first single from R∆, “Superhero”.  Though “Flesh” has the lead story this week, “Superhero” should be taken hand-in-hand for the pop anthem that it truly is.

All of this activity leaves songs by Kyle Brylin, Jamie Woon, and Databoy stranded mid-Top 10 (a good place to be, by the way), Adele’s “Someone Like You” tumbling to #8, and “Another Dimension” by Bass Robbers and new Dutch sensation Matt Blue struggling to get past #9.  And it’s not going to get much easier, as the first entry from the Ballroom Remixed compilation (read here for more) debuts at #10.   That belongs to “Out Without Your Boyfriend”, the jive-East/West coast swing bundle of energy by Jerry Reid featuring pianist Ben Waters (listen to the song here).  Rarely is a song such fun that you can visualize a room full of people going full tilt, dancing and having a blast to it.

Just below, the always busy Christian TV has the fastest riser on the chart with his slice of eurodance/pop “I’m In Love”, which moves up 19-11.  “Tainted Love” by Elouise has to take a few smaller steps this week, rising to #12, while songs by Britney Spears and Nelson Clemente hold just below.  Then it’s a triple play score for Simon Curtis as his song from Ballroom Remixed, “The Puppet Who Gave Himself Strings”, bows mid-chart at #15 (listen to the song here).  It’s gotta be hard when such a fine, but differently styled song from those on R∆, is such a winner unto itself.  Its story will resonate with listeners and Simon’s vocals are totally captivating.

The incredible activity on the chart continues just below with lovely Ro Danishei’s “Drunk Txt” climbing to #16, while Lady GaGa herself soars to #18 with “The Edge Of Glory”.  Benny Benassi is two-for-two as his own “Cinema”, featuring the talented UK vocalist Gary Go, rises to #17, and his collaboration with Chris Brown on “Beautiful People” lands at #20.  Sandwiched between GaGa and Brown/Benassi we find Andrea Lewis with the heart-wrenching “Linda” at #19.

Many recent favourites have slid into the 20-30 zone, which is also peppered by Adele’s “Rumour Has It”, “I Can” by Blue”, and our fourth debut.  Canadian band Marianas Trench are promoting their current release Masterpiece Theatre in the U.S., and in among all of that, guitarist Matt Webb has put together an upcoming album.  I blogged about “Bad Girl” a few weeks ago, but Matt also posted a limited free download of “Cinnamon”.  And he’s outdone “Bad Girl”  with that song, with great end-of-summer-breakup lyrics and a zinger of a guitar hook.  Listen to “Cinnamon” right below – I can’t wait for his debut solo record.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Note that when you click on the pictures in the first column of the chart pages that they will now allow you to either listen to the song or view the official video to the song.  Enjoy this new feature!

Tuned-On! Top 30 #353 – May 23/11

It finished in third place at Eurovision but that’s still enough to keep a big buzz worldwide for Eric Saade’s “Popular” as it remains at the top of my personal chart handily for a third appearance (6 weeks).  The Adele machine slows a bit, but not enough to prevent Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” from breaking a chart record as it remains on the chart for an 11th consecutive appearance.  Will it go for a 12th or disappear from the chart? It will have to fend off Adele’s own “Someone Like You” at #3 and the smart summery vibe of “Do It In The A.M.” by Frankmusik featuring Far East Movement, which ascends to #4.  Kyle Brylin’s sexy, eerie but addictive “Everything I’m Missing” rounds out the Top 5 in advance of his upcoming appearance this week on the Ballroom Remixed album with a song called “I’m A Man (Not A Piece Of Meat)”…

Next to Adele’s 21, Jamie Woon’s Mirrorwriting is the album I’m listening to most in full.  “Lady Luck” is definitely on his side – though I want him to make up his cancelled Toronto show sometime soon – and climbs to #6, but the album is deep with multi-layered enjoyable songs.  Databoy’s “Stupid” rises to #7, and I can’t wait for the fun music this duo has to offer up this summer.  “Another Dimension” by Dutch talents Bass Robbers featuring Matt Blue enters the Top 10.  Talented Mr. Blue releases his first major label single “Can’t Help Myself” in the near future!  But the big news within the Top 10 of course is the debut of Simon Curtis’ “Superhero” at #9.  Simon’s not content to put this pop anthem on iTunes for your purchasing pleasure, a second single is on its way from his forthcoming album R∆.  And another song from the aforementioned Ballroom Remixed project by Simon is “The Puppet Who Gave Himself Strings”.  You can hear the original version of “Superhero” at the top of this page, and the trancey remix below.

Simon Curtis “Superhero (The Remix)”

While Lady GaGa’s original slides to #8, Elouise’s pensive live cover of “Born This Way” inches up to #11, but the Fastest Riser on the chart is her sensational and original take on “Tainted Love”, which climbs to #15.  The Top 20 is otherwise filled with rising songs by Shawn Desman, Britney Spears, Nelson Clemente (listen to the Australian talent’s “No Protection” in the Brian Canham – remember “Funky Town” by Pseudo Echo?  – mix version below), Ro Danishei, and Richard Barone.

Nelson Clemente “No Protection (BC mix)”

Debuting at #19 is a song that continues to display the versatility of singer Christian TV.  We’ve already experienced two pop-to-die-for releases in the form of #1 “Love 2 Baby” and #5 “When She Turns 18”, as well as an urban flipside in the form of the mixtape Who The Fuck Is Christian TV?  Now Christian conquers eurodance with the effervescent “I’m In Love”, which arrives at #19.  The song is a giddy ode to being uncontrollably in love, with a high pitched keyboard hook that you’ll find in the best Swedish dance hits.  It’s destined to join the other two songs as Top 5 entries in this chart 🙂  Listen to to the song below.

While “Cinema” by Benny Benassi & Gary Go and “Linda” by Andrea Lewis don’t end up in the Top 20 this week, it’s because of fierce competition so watch them to move up in the coming weeks.  There are four additional songs debuting on the chart this week.  Adele’s “Rumour Has It” at #24  is a slick and seductive track that would be amazing in a dance remix.  I’m not sure what will follow up “Someone Like You” as a single but “Rumour” has my vote.  Then at #25 is a return to fun pure pop dance form for Lady GaGa with “The Edge Of Glory”.  Next at #26 is the UK Eurovision entry by Blue, “I Can”.  I never really cared much for these four lads in their early 00’s heyday outside of a few songs, but I love the uplifting vibe of this song as well as the vocal arrangement.  They could find an audience that they never had with this song, particularly if released in North America (hear the song below).  Lastly, it’s a complete turnaround for Chris Brown but his teaming with Benny Benassi for “Beautiful People” at #27 has landed him at #1 on Billboard’s dance club play chart as well as in the Top 10 on charts around the world.  North America decided to go with the urban “Look At Me Now” as a single from F.A.M.E. instead but this one could do equally well at radio.  It’s Brown’s first appearance on this chart since 2008’s #5 “Forever”.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)  Note that I will be replacing the My Space links on the chart with You Tube links to the song or video in the near future…

Tuned-On! Top 30 #352 – May 9/11

Sitting atop the new Tuned-On! Top 30 of course is “Popular” by Eric Saade, an amazingly feel-good song that shows no sign of leaving the summit any time soon.  There is competition below but it will have to wait!!

This leaves two songs by Adele to tread behind “Popular”, either of which could be number one if there was no “Popular”.  Most interestingly, “Rolling In The Deep” has rebounded to the runner-up spot, which is also a new peak for that song.  There is a dilemma however.  “Rolling In The Deep” is in its 10th appearance (20th week) on my chart.  On every occasion during the nearly 13 years that I’ve published this chart online, such a song leaves the chart as long as it’s in a holding position or descending.  This helps keep the chart fresh and full of great songs that otherwise may not get as much attention.  No song has been in an upward rise in its 10th appearance until now.  If “Rolling In The Deep” continues to be in second place in two weeks – and I think it may – it will break a chart rule and have 11 consecutive appearances.  It couldn’t happen to a nicer song.  And “Someone Like You” is right behind to keep it company – an outstanding Top 3!

New to the Top 5, and still pretty fresh to my ears, is “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa, despite a new single being released tomorrow called “The Edge Of Glory”, in anticipation of the Born This Way album.  Kyle Brylin’s “Everything I’m Missing” follows suit right up to #6, along with soulful dubstep vibe of Jamie Woon’s “Lady Luck” coincidentally at lucky #7.   At #8, and the fastest riser on the chart, moving from #25 two weeks ago, is the first, and possibly definitive, summer jam of ’11 – “Do It In The A.M.” by Frankmusik featuring Far East Movement.  After such great music this year with my #1 “The Fear Inside” and #2 “Hurt You Again”, I felt a little underwhelmed with this track on the first few listens… but after that it simply becomes a highly contagious summer driving song.  You can view the video at the top of this page.  Another seemingly ridiculous song but similarly irresistible is “Stupid” by Databoy, which soars into the Top 10 at #9.  

The middle of the chart continues to be busy, with Bass Robbers & Matt Blue almost in Top TenLand with “Another Dimension”, and other big moves from songs by Britney Spears (looks to be my all time favourite from her), Nelson Clemente, Ro Danishei, and Richard Barone’s “Sanctified”, which you can hear at the bottom of the page in a video of a photoshoot of Richard.

The highest debut on the chart at #24 quite deservedly goes to “Tainted Love” by Elouise, the retooling of the song best known by Soft Cell, which you can hear in my previous entry a few weeks back.  And the song sparked an entire investigation about cover songs on my chart, and that discussion will follow this paragraph.  Then at #27 you’ll find “Cinema” by Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go, which was discussed in these pages last week.  Finally, in anticipation of next week’s show in London, England with Simon Curtis and Ro Danishei, I go 4 songs deep into Andrea Lewis’ fine 54321 album with “Linda” bowing at #28.  Her duet with Simon, “Talk To Me” got to #4, with “Voodoo” and “Robot” reaching #10 and #11 respectively.  Before the last paragraph you can listen to her gorgeous live rendition from a show I attended in Toronto in January.

So with Elouise reaching my chart with no less than 3 cover versions in 6 months, and with me never being one enamoured with cover versions, I investigated how many cover songs have actually appeared in my chart since I began publishing it online in late 1997.   Counting Elouise’s three winners, there is a grand total of 41 cover versions out of over 1,415 chart entries – a very small percentage indeed!  I will publish a list of the entire 41 later in the week, but for now here are the Top 10 placing cover versions in my chart’s history.

MECK F/ LEO SAYER (2006) Thunder In My Heart Again
MICHAEL BUBLE (2004) Sway
TYLER HILTON & BETHANY JOY LENZ (2005) When The Stars Go Blue
BLUE MAN GROUP featuring VENUS HUM (2003) I Feel Love
ENUR F/ NATASJA (2007) Calabria
RUFUS, MARTHA & LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III, AND KATE MCGARRIGLE (1998) What’ll I Do
KATE RYAN (2003) Desenchantee
ORGY (1998) Blue Monday
FREEMASONS F/ SYLVIA MASON-JAMES (2006) Nothing But A Heartache
LOST BROTHERS featuring G TOM MAC (2004) Cry Little Sister

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)




Spring Popervescence 2: Albums by Jamie Woon and April Smith & The Great Picture Show, and More Singles!

Popervescence is turning into a mighty strong force this Spring, for I have two terrific new albums and several fantastic singles to talk about.

April Smith & The Great Picture Show

“Songs For A Sinking Ship”

Though this record came out last year, I was fortunate enough to discover it in full on a recent trip to Nashville (more on that later), though I did know about it.  This four piece band based out of Brooklyn NY is led by feisty and powerful singer New Jersey-born April Smith.  Songs For A Sinking Ship is full of all kinds of character for its influences in music extend back nine decades.  Yup – Tin Pan Alley, big bands, Broadway, blues, rock, pop, and soul – they’re all here.  

That’s not at all to say that the record isn’t contemporary, for it is in spades.  These are story-songs for a new generation.  “Movie Loves A Screen” and “Terrible Things” (video below) are the opening songs immediately grabbing your ears with well-structured songs led by April’s commanding voice.  After that the quirky-but-it-works mix starts happening with the 40’s inspired “Drop Dead Gorgeous” and almost southern kind of retro with “Dixie Boy”.  The record is not without a ballad, but I would say “Beloved” is more of a direct descendant of Rufus Wainwright’s debut album than anything else.  Other strong songs come in the form of “What’ll I Do”, “Colors”, and “The One That Got Away”, but all in all this is a tightly crafted, well-played and jubilantly sung album that breezes by like a sunny day.

When I was in Nashville on Record Store Day, I made plans to go to a local store called Grimey’s.  Little did I know they were having bands play in their backyard until I arrived.  While I was there, April and her band launched into a set that instantly caught my attention.  And there’s a bit of a strange connection to all of this that I’ll share.  My 10 year old daughter is a competitive dancer and singer also named April Smith.  So I was able to chat with April after her set for a few minutes to tell her about this odd coincidence.  I guess some things were just meant to happen 🙂

Jamie Woon “Mirrorwriting”

UK singer 27 year old Jamie Woon is a sensation in the making.  Mirrorwriting is full of atmospheric, moody, and soulful songs that can strike you differently at any point in the day in which you play them.  I’ve already been raving about first single “Night Air” with its haunting and sparse melody as well as Jamie’s striking voice.  Second single “Lady Luck” has subtle dubstep rhythm set to an interesting story.  

But beyond the singles there is so much more to Mirrorwriting.  The album is carefully and deliberately produced and arranged.  I love the composed pauses, the chunky bass, and the simplicity of the strumming of acoustic guitar in various songs.  For music aficionados, you can go to town on the variety of inspirations because Mirrorwriting is deep and rich within the pop spectrum.  Most noteworthy are “Waterfront” (watch the video below), “Shoulda”, and “tmrw”.  I’ve often compared Jamie to my fellow countryman Justin Nozuka.  They both have old-world qualities about their voices and songs.  They both have ages-old wisdom about them in their lyrics.  But whereas Justin’s music I feel draws more from gut-wrenching emotion and old-style blues, Jamie’s music speaks old school UK R&B and soul as well as more contemporary acts like Fine Young Cannibals, Jamiroquai, and perhaps even Terence Trent D’Arby.  You cannot go wrong with Mirrorwriting.

Kyle Brylin “S&M”

I am nowhere near over the haunting and danceable “Everything I’m Missing” when our Kyle launches his own version of Rihanna’s “S&M”.  Having enjoyed Rihanna’s version immensely (#2 posting on my chart), I was very dubious as I am with just about any cover version.  But Kyle sends his version into hyper-velocity, strips the song of its campiness, making it an outright dancefloor assault.  Definitely surpasses my expectations!  Buy it on iTunes.

Elouise “The Lover’s Rumba”

(Ricardo Autobahn 12″ remix)

There’s nary a moment goes by that I can’t say enough nice things about ever-so-talented UK singer Elouise.  Last week it was her stunning cover of “Tainted Love” (now available on iTunes US (but alas not in Canada!).  This week, it’s something totally unexpected, given the singer’s dynamic flair for torch and show.  So Elouise gives us a spicy contemporary rumba in remixed version from the wonderful Ricardo Autobahn, who has retooled recent efforts by Adam Tyler and Kyle Brylin among others.  While keeping your booty plenty happy, Elouise extends her range by demolishing the dance floor with this effortless knockout.  Download it for free from her website with a subscription to her newsletter.  

Monsieur Adi “Chariot”

Regular readers of this blog know I love me a good danceable instrumental.  In recent years I can name Russ Chimes “Never Look Back” and Tiesto’s “He’s A Pirate” as favourites within the dance realm.  Outstanding producer/remixer Monsieur Adi (Ellie Goulding, Javi, Noah) is about to unleash his latest project, and to give us a taste in advance we have “Chariot” which was recently available as a free download.  It’s a fun throwback to late 70’s disco (love the robotic voices) and has a real cinematic quality to it along with an infectious if militant beat.  Can’t wait to hear more.

Native Underground “Night Vision”

And speaking of Javi, the New York singer along with house veteran Henry Maldonado as Native Underground follow up the effortless 80’s inspired “Till It Hurts” with “Night Vision”.  The song seems to draw from early 80’s UK electro more this time with alternately restrained and punchy soulful vocals by Javi.  And the keyboard hook that creeps in reminds me a lot of the strings from the classic “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” by the Temptations.  Watch the video below.

Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go “Cinema”

You may know Benny Benassi’s name recently because he is featured in Chris Brown’s uncharacteristically electro hit “Beautiful People”.  But he’s actually been a major dance force for most of the last 10 years, ultimately winning a Grammy in 2008 for his remix of Public Enemy’s “Bring The Noise”.  The Italian producer/remixer is back and looking to follow in David Guetta’s steps with “Cinema”, a winning, sparkling effort from his upcoming album Electroman featuring the talents of UK singer Gary Go (whose “Wonderful” was one of my favourites of 2009).  “Cinema” is going to turn into a summer singalong.