#BILLCSTop30 #604, January 4, 2021

Happy 2021! Let’s hope the worst of everything is over, and that 2021 can be used as a year of healing and revitalization. For the music industry, however, I expect things will take longer before it gets back on its feet in most of the world.  Edition #604 marks the 23rd official online anniversary of this chart, though I did post it in various forms in late 1997 on message boards, etc.

2021 starts with a new number one on my chart, and a first for all three performers.  The efforts of NYC producers The Disco Fries, L.A. producers Giiants, and vocalist Allison Park have paid off as “Give It Back” reaches the top position.  Only two of the members of Giiants have been at #1 before in their previous incarnation as DATABOY.  “Give It Back” is one helluva banger of a house track to start of 2021!

Songs #2 and #3 both fared well on my Top Songs of 2020, in fact they were back-to-back at #33 and #34.  “Tinseltown In The Rain” (Big Rhythm mix) (above) by Matt Mancid and Color Theory moves 3-2, and “Fantasy” (below) by Saxity, Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen advances 4-3. Both songs will also carry over to my Top Songs of 2021 at the end of the year.

Another house banger, “Chasing Feelings” by Jerome Price and Cally Rhodes, leaps into the Top 10, moving up 14-8, with its sights set on the Top 5.

I was very pleased to see Tyler Shaw sing “Remember” on the CBC’s New Year’s Eve telecast, he’s always on his game.  “Remember” climbs 11-9 becoming his second Top 10 on my chart after 2015’s “Dizzy” (#6).

“Good At Goodbyes” from the Fun City album becomes chart regular Bright Light Bright Light’s 18th Top 10 on my chart since 2010 as it moves up 12-10.  Featured vocalist Andy Bell also previously reached the Top 10 as a solo artist outside of Erasure with “Crazy” in 2005 (#7).

It may have charted somewhat belatedly, but I’m still grooving to James Bay’s “Chew On My Heart”, and it moves up 18-12.

The fastest riser on the chart belongs to the triple whammy of Canadian dance producers – duo Loud Luxury and Frank Walker – as “Like Gold” (featuring vocals by Stephen Puth) soars 23-14.

Scotland’s Illyus & Barrientos paired with UK singer Karen Harding is a dream team for the sophisticated deep house of “Let’s Get Together” (24-17).

“Lucid” by Japanese-British pop/dance singer Rina Sawayama makes its presence known on the chart, advancing 26-19.

The carefree and breezy sound of “All About You” moves up 28-21 for the second teaming of The Knocks and Foster The People after 2018’s “Ride Or Die”.

“Synthesizer” marks the fourth chart entry for seminal UK progressive dance group Faithless from their first album since 2004 called All Blessed.  It’s their first chart entry since 2009’s “Sun To Me” and features singer Nathan Ball.  “Synthesizer”‘s retro techno flavours matched with interesting lyrics help it become the highest debut at #24.  Although this chart wasn’t around for 1997’s “Insomnia” (which would have been a #1 for me), Faithless did reach #3 in 1998 with “God Is A DJ”.

Also in a progressive-techno vein is “Bridged By A Lightwave”, the startling single by an unlikely Canadian duo – Deadmau5 and Kiesza!  It arrives at #25, and appears in an EP along with a few remixes.  It’s Deadmau5’s first appearance on this chart, and Kiesza’s second, following 2017’s delightfully wacked out #1 “Phantom Of The Dancefloor”.

Like Deadmau5, another veteran dance music act appearing for the first time on this chart is UK legend Hot Since 82.  His album Recovery has attracted performances by the likes of Boy George and Rudimental, but it’s the intrigue of “Sinnerman”, featuring singer/songwriter Ed Graves, which helps it arrive at #27.

Making his 17th appearance on this chart since 2014, including three as featured artists, is L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandyn Burnette.  He’s back as a solo singer with “Airplane Mode”, the title track from his enjoyable new EP, which bows at #28.  Brandyn has also appeared on the chart as EMAN8 and in one-half of Cosmos & Creature.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 23 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #603, December 21/20

Many of us are having to make the most of what’s going on in our municipalities.  I can’t be more grateful that we have an overabundance of music to keep us company.  I can’t imagine my life without it.  There’s a lot of activity brewing in the new chart, with two additions joining in all the activity.  I wish everyone a safe, restful and happy holiday and a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it with me.

Closing out the year at the top is “Diamonds” by Sam Smith from their excellent third album Love Goes.  Even the best singers have to admit that Sam’s performance here is pretty unbeatable.  I think the public-at-large associates Sam with sad songs, which they also sing so well, and which make up most of the album.

Soaring from 9-2, in a tie as the Fastest Mover on the chart, is “Give It Back”, a new dancefloor banger that requires your attention!  It’s brought to you by The Disco Fries and Giiants with vocals by Allison Park.  It’s the highest that The Disco Fries and Giiants have reached on the chart, though two thirds of Giiants reached #1 three times as DATABOY in 2011-13.

Cover songs rarely appear on this chart, and I must say one by The Blue Nile is a great choice by producers Matt Mancid and Color Theory.  It’s “Tinseltown In The Rain”, which originally appeared on The Blue Nile’s 1984 album A Walk Across The Rooftops.  The “Big Rhythm” mix climbs 5-3, with vocals by Color Theory (Brian Hazard).

Climbing 7-4 is “Fantasy” by the dynamic collaboration of Saxity, Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen.  It’s Saxity’s second Top 5 entry following #3 “Brothers”, and Victor’s fourth, most recently reaching #2 with “What I Deserve”.

Tying for the Fastest Riser is another danceable favourite, “Nobody” by Sweden’s NOTD with vocals by Catello, rising 14-7.  “Nobody” also reached #1 this week on Mediabase’s national dance airplay chart.

Toronto’s Francesco Yates obtains his third Top 10 on this chart with the steamy “Late Night Love” (13-9) from his EP Bad Decisions.  It’s been amazing to hear his growth as an artist on this enjoyable EP.

“Good At Goodbyes” by Bright Light Bright Light and Erasure’s Andy Bell closes in on the Top 10 as this multi-faceted track from the Fun City album moves up 18-12.

The fun and energetic “Too Hot To Touch” by Toronto’s Crash Adams rises 16-13 and gives you another reason to check out their ‘in office’ video.

L.A. quintet Why Don’t We have a new album coming in January called The Good Times & The Bad Ones, which will include their current rollicking pop hit “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)”, which moves up 21-16.  The band also made available a hologram of sorts of themselves on Snapchat, where you can place them virtually in your room with you.

I’m fond of the messaging in “Fake” by Lauv and Conan Gray as much as I am of its cool music track and its colourful video.  It climbs 25-19.

The highest debut belongs to Japanese-British singer/songwriter Rina Sawayama with her first entry, “Lucid” at #26.  This Lady Gaga influenced track should be her big breakthrough.  It’s the lead track from her recent album called Sawayama.

The second entry is the latest collaboration between NYC producers The Knocks and rock group Foster The People with “All About You” at #28.  It’s The Knocks’ 8th song to appear on this chart (they reached #1 in 2016 with “Kiss The Sky” with Wyclef Jean), and it’s Foster The People’s fourth but first since 2012.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #602, December 7/20

It’s been a very strange and somewhat long 2020, yet here we are with my second last chart of the year.  Like many others, I’m itching to see live performances again but only when safe to do so.  I don’t know how social distancing will be maintained without strict enforcement.  We currently have to look at places like Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan to see what measures they are taking.  Anyway, there’s a new #1 on deck along with three strong entries.  There are also a few significant jumps, which shove other songs into making smaller moves, and push the debuts to the lower five of the chart.

It’s Sam Smith who claims #1 with “Diamonds” from their excellent album Love Goes.  Sam had FOUR #1’s in 2014 on this chart – “Money On My Mind”, “Stay With Me”, and “I’m Not The Only One”, from their debut album In The Lonely Hour, and “Latch” with Disclosure – and “Diamonds” is their first #1 here in six years.  I was fortunate to see Sam perform at a small club in Toronto in April 2014, because their next stop in my city was our stadium!  Their club show actually was to be earlier in the year but ended up conflicting with their first appearance on Saturday Night Live.

One of the year’s most infectious songs belongs to Sweden’s Pawl and Discrete with the toe-tapper “Type Like That” (above), which climbs a notch to #2.  And we have Swedes back-to-back with Agnes’ equally catchy “Fingers Crossed” (below) moving up 5-3.

Back in the Top 5 for the first time in seven years are Germany’s Matt Mancid with American producer (and here, singer) Color Theory with “Tinseltown In The Rain” rising 9-5.  This is the “Big Rhythm” dance mix of this much revered song from the 80’s by Scottish group The Blue Nile.

Another one with a long gap between events is Justin Nozuka.  The Toronto singer last appeared in the Top 10 in 2010 with “Unwoken Dream” (#6) from his second album You I Wind Land And Sea.  His latest is “No One But You”, a duet with British singer and 2020 R&B Grammy nominee Mahalia, which moves up 11-8.

The fastest riser on the chart is the latest in a series of dance music bangers that created some of the brightest moments of 2020.  It’s “Give It Back” by the pairing of The Disco Fries with Giiants and vocalist/co-writer Allison Park.  It smashes into the Top 10, moving 20-9.  It’s the third Top 10 on this chart for both Disco Fries and Giiants.

The third Top 10 entry is Illenium’s “Nightlight”, featuring the uncredited voice of Annika Wells.  It climbs 13-10, and is Illenium’s 6th Top 10 entry.

Also soaring up the chart 24-14 is another new favourite deep house banger, “Nobody” by Sweden’s NOTD with vocalist Catello.

Watch for “Good At Goodbyes” (above) by Bright Light Bright Light and Erasure’s Andy Bell to move up more in the coming weeks.  For now, this wondrous electronic ballad of sorts rises 21-18.  Check out the latest single from Fun City, “Saying Goodbye Is Exhausting”, featuring Justin Vivian Bond, below.

I think I’ll need to get a T-shirt or create a meme that says “Sorry for All the Bangers”.  “Chasing Feelings” by UK producer Jerome Price and singer/songwriter Cally Rhodes also fits into this category, and it climbs 23-20.

“Fake” is a fun song and video by Lauv and Conan Gray, which moves up 30-25.

The highest debut on the chart is the first entry for renown Dutch producer Oliver Heldens.  Collaborating with Party Pupils with vocals by MAX, the exuberant “Set Me Free” arrives at #26.  MAX is also sitting pretty at #17 with Suga of BTS with “Blueberry Eyes”.  And arriving this past weekend was baby Edie Schneider for proud new parents MAX and Emily!

Also premiering is the darker deep house track “Like Gold” by my fellow Canadians Loud Luxury and Toronto’s Frank Walker with vocals by Stephen Puth at #27.  Loud Luxury’s recent “Aftertaste” reached #8 a while back, while Stephen got to #5 last year with “Sexual Vibe”.  It’s a first appearance on the chart for producer Frank Walker.

The third new entry makes a concurrent chart appearance for UK singer/songwriter Karen Harding.  She’s currently at #12 with the former #1 “Undo My Heart”, and bows with Scotland-based production duo Illyus & Barrientos with the dreamy disco of “Let’s Get Together” at #29.

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!! 

#BILLCSTop30 #601, November 23/20

There continues to be an enormous abundance of fine music out there – all you have to do is look for it and listen!  The BILLCS Top 30 is now in its 22nd year online and continues to act as a guide to steer you in the direction of some great tunes in a variety of pop genres.  The chart has four new entries to tantalize you.

Hanging on to #1 is “House Is Happiness” (above) by German producer and saxophonist Stan Sax, who is one half of the duo Saxity, who themselves move into the Top 10 with “Fantasy” (below), featuring the voices of Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen (13-10).  Stan and Koni are back on another roll of releases, with another brand new one coming this Friday.

His third album Love Goes is receiving fine public and critical response, and Sam Smith has his eyes on #1 in two weeks with his engaging single “Diamonds”, climbing 5-2.

Sweden’s Agnes obtains her first Top 5 song on this chart since 2009 as the zippy “Fingers Crossed” advances 8-5.  Her last song to do this was “Release Me”, which got to #1.

Besides “Fantasy”, the other newcomer to the Top 10 is “Tinseltown In The Rain”, the emotional and intriguing cover of The Blue Nile’s 1984 song by German producer Matt Mancid and California-based vocalist (and multi-instrumentalist) Color Theory.  “Tinseltown”, in its Big Rhythm mix, climbs 11-9.

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with British singer Mahalia on “No One But You”.  This romantic R&B/pop ballad moves up 18-11.

It looks like “Nightlight” opened up even a more pop-oriented audience door for Illenium than his last album Ascend.  Recently #1 on the national dance chart for two weeks, “Nightlight” rises 17-13.  The uncredited vocal is by one of its co-writers, and frequent Illenium collaborator, Annika Wells.

I like to think of Canadian singer/songwriter Francesco Yates’ “Late Night Love” as his equivalent of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” – especially since the singer opened for JT throughout one of his recent tours.  This sexy and raucous R&B-flavoured song rises 20-15.

Tyler Shaw is one of Canada’s most versatile performers, who can shift from style to style, including recording in French.  Such is the case with his latest danceable Top 20 pop radio hit “Remember”, which climbs 21-16.

MAX and SUGA’s “Blueberry Lies” continues to lead the last chart’s new entries, and advances 25-19.  Be sure to check out MAX’s excellent album Colour Vision.  I was so pleased to see him perform the entire album in a recent free virtual show.

I currently have the Highest Debut on repeat.  It’s the new house banger “Give It Back” by The Disco Fries and Giiants featuring singer/songwriter Allison Park.  By all rights this song should be huge, and I’m helping to give it that push as it debuts at #20.

Next up at #24 is the first appearance on the chart for Swedish production duo NOTD in tandem with mystery performer Catello on their latest single “Nobody”.  The song has already soared into the Top 10 on national dance charts, and is the logical follow up to last year’s huge hit “So Close”.

Despite having been on release since summer, I can’t let the song that debuts at #25 go without it having a chart run.  British rocker James Bay returns to the chart with “Chew On My Heart” from his most recent EP Turn It Up.  He reached #2 two years ago with “Pink Lemonade”.

The fourth debut is a supurb change of pace for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Lauv, who partners with rising star Conan Gray for “Fake” at #30.  The guys really have great chemistry and make “Fake” a lighter, enjoyable song considering its subject matter.  It’s Lauv’s 4th appearance on the chart, and Conan’s first.

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!! 

 

 

“Tinseltown In The Rain” is a gorgeous, wistful #BlueNile cover by pop/electronic producers @MattMancid and @ColorTheory

MATT MANCID and COLOR THEORY, “Tinseltown In The Rain” (original and Big Rhythm mixes)

One doesn’t come along very often, but “Tinseltown In The Rain” is a classic example of a song that combines delightful synth work and rhythms with a wistful melody, courtesy of two pop/electronic producers, Germany’s Matt Mancid and California-based Color Theory (aka Brian Hazard). The song also conjures up images of Hollywood besieged by rain pouring down on all of the glamourous folks we associate with its yesteryear. It’s no surprise that it’s a bit reminiscent of an 80’s Alan Parsons-kind of release, but it’s actually an inspired cover of a track by Scotland’s acclaimed The Blue Nile from their 1984 album A Walk Across The Rooftops, and Color Theory’s engaged and passionate vocal totally nails it. “Tinseltown In The Rain” therefore is not to be overlooked, either in its original slower version or the powerful Big Rhythm mix, both designed for dancing. Matt Mancid and Color Theory last appeared together on my personal chart with “Headphones” back in late 2013, which quickly shot to #1. Could “Tinseltown” do the same?

Wrapped Up In The Music: @ColorTheory Presents “Headphones”

COLOR THEORY, “Headphones”

For readers not familiar with Color Theory, this one-man band, producer and engineer (aka Brian Hazard) has over the past 20 years or so specialized in a reverent Depeche Mode style of electronic music amid many original pieces of music as well.  Most recently Color Theory crept onto my personal chart as guest artist on the hypnotic “Colder” by Amelia’s Fault.  

Color Theory’s most recent album is Adjustments Part 2, in which you will find “Headphones”.  This song is one of those unassuming gems that surfaces every now and then and I just love it!  The lyrics depict an obsessive loner who is wrapped up in the music inside his headphones.  I think music fans will totally relate – there are just times when music consumes you and sometimes the best way is just to block everything else and let the sounds in the headphones take over.  And while the original version above pulls you into its technological fortress, the Matt Mancid retro crossover mix (which you can hear and download right here) gives the song a vibrant, more 80’s kind of makeover, particularly at the beginning, with a more lilting melody and less mechanical arrangement, making it perfectly suited for the dancefloor, very reminiscent of electronic music circa 1985 (I want to point to Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts” or Talk Talk or Pet Shop Boys).  Brian himself suggests you might hear Madonna’s “Borderline” – and I do, but it’s only a small part of the melody.  

Even though the subject matter is introverted, the result is fascinating and enthralling.  “Headphones” in its original version or remix is one of those intriguing songs that slips inside your head and stays there for good.  You can pick up the original version and the album Adjustments Part 2 on iTunes.