BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #60 to #41

Today I bring you the big middle bit of the list, a delightful array of 20 songs that more than tickled my fancy throughout the year.  So this post is a little long, but bear with me…

Click here to view songs #75 to #41  :)

Three singers in this list escaped from an often horrible fate in the music industry – record company hell.  Tyler Hilton had never been away from the music scene, and of course showed up on TV quite regularly in One Tree Hill as Chris Keller.  After many delays in trying to release a sophomore album, seven years perhaps is a long time between albums but his TV and film popularity preceded him and Tyler definitely grew in that time.  So he ended up releasing his album Forget The Storm independently, and toured throughout North America, the UK, and Europe.  It’s a fine rocking effort and gave Tyler the opportunity to connect with many fans who have been waiting for him, and “Prince Of Nothing Charming” became yet another Top 10 entry on my chart for him.  Ryan Star is another fantastic singer whose previous record company was doing nothing to help the release of new songs after some success in 2010 with the album 11:59.  So he switched to Island Records and saw his single “Stay Awhile” (video below) released while he works on a new album.  Phenomenal piano man Jon McLaughlin also parted ways with his previous record company only to sign a new deal with Razor & Tie after releasing the exceptional (and now, no longer available) Forever If Ever album independently.  Two of his songs slid into the Top 10 and both long runs on the chart.  “Promising Promises” was originally featured on Forever If Ever but ended up being the title song of his re-released album.  And to whet our appetite for that album, Jon teamed up with Sara Bareilles in one of those pairings where the voices just go so well together.  A rerecording of “Summer Is Over” (video below) was the song the singer was waiting for to throw him back into the spotlight after touring North America for most of the year.

His initial songs didn’t really draw me in, but I thought “Better Than I Know Myself” by Adam Lambert had a lot of personal conviction in the vocal performance, and showed a more vulnerable side of the singer, so it became his first chart entry for me.  Darren Hayes’ third and final entry in this list peaked in January where some chartphiles carried over “Bloodstained Heart” from 2011 (that song was #22 on last year’s list).  “Black Out The Sun” is a lilting and sombre affair led by another wonderful vocal by Darren.  Another darker song captured with a fine and appropriate vocal is Jane Badler’s theatrical “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” (video below), a song that gets better with repeated listenings (there are also many delightful remixes available).  The Australia-based actress best known for TV’s “V” is well on her way with another career as a pop singer.  And did funky pop seem out of vogue?  Not if you’re Sam Sparro, who released his sophomore album Return To Paradise mid-year with lead single “Happiness” in advance.  The album is a moody but always danceable affair, and is much better as a long-player than to isolate most of the songs individually.

Singles still go very steady in my musical world.  “Champagne” gave the start of the year its fizz courtesy of Australian singer Nelson Clemente.  Converse shoes had a stroke of brilliance by creating a free download with a highly entertaining video (below) to promote its products.  So Foster The People head honcho Mark Foster gets paired up with Canadian producer/DJ extraordinaire A-Trak for the song “Warrior”, and who gets to save the day not only in one of the year’s most entertaining videos, but as the song’s vocalist?  New Zealand chanteuse Kimbra, who duetted with Gotye on the year’s biggest song “Somebody That I Used To Know”.  US production duo The Knocks did the rather unthinkable – they transformed M83’s ethereal “Midnight City” into a 3 minute pop song with the help of singer Mandy Lee, in a free download and a fine video (also below) to showcase the singer.  I ended up liking it even better than the original so it ranks in the Top 50.  Minnesota’s Nicole Brenny, known as Vague-à-bonde, is an emerging talent to watch who is recording a new album as well as a video for the song that reached the Top 10 on my chart, “Evolved”.  The song has a gentle vocal whose toe-tapping refrain throttles you and makes you want more.  UK quartet Boy Banned seemed on the bubble to go on to big things by the end of 2011, however the bubble exploded when they split after the release of the immensely likeable “The Stars Are Saying Yes” and its utterly charming video (also below).  “Only The Horses” by Scissor Sisters proved that this outfit can produce fine original pop singles that sparkle amid an inconsistent album, outside of its engaging presence in the dance/EDM community with fun records like “Let’s Have A Kiki”.  “Horses” became their first Top 5 hit on my chart.

The remaining songs in this group are featured in albums that have held their own since their release.  “Unheard” is a jaunty album track from Netherlands singer Jeronimo, whose song “It’s A Fun Thing” is the Cartoon Network theme song in the south Pacific part of the world.  His unique voice and eagerness to please made his album One Kiss one of the most solid records of the year, even if it didn’t receive release in North America.  Another song from that record ranks higher up on the list 🙂 Markus Riva’s “How It Feels To Be A Man” is the Latvian singer’s second entry on the chart, and one of the highlights of the year’s best dance compilations This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume One that morphed into a summer dance festival on the beaches outside of Barcelona.  Volume Two and another festival are in the works for this year.  Another song from the compilation is featured later on as well.  I proclaimed Brooklyn’s Matt & Kim as pop music’s hardest working duo after partaking in their most enjoyable show, where they had to work around a power failure (with the effortless help of the audience).  “Let’s Go” is the song and video (below) that took them back to a simple and basic but high energy sound on their latest album Lightning.

Boston sextet Gentlemen Hall are one of my 13 Performers to Watch for ’13 and mix journeyman rock in with powerful, lush instrumentation on their EP When We All Disappear, which is still available for free on their website.  While every song on that EP is strong, it was the joyous “All Our Love” and its accompanying video (below) that captured my attention this past Spring.  And what would the year be without me including two songs from Austin duo DATABOY’s Dreams Are Gold album?  “Lotion” was initially released on the free Summer Now EP, which led up to the release of their long-awaited full album.  That record contains some of the most entertaining and heartfelt songs of the year, all also designed to make you dance, one being “Genius”, which could be the new unofficial theme song for “The Big Bang Theory”.  Without question, Dreams Are Gold is my favourite album of 2012, and you’ll find two more DATABOY songs much higher on this list in the next few days 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #372

Yeah I know it’s late for the first time but there are neither as many words nor much energy behind it this week.  Expect several videos 🙂

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

“Memorize Me” by Rune RK & Databoy continue with a tight grip at the top (video is at the bottom of the blog), with “Backseat” by Eric Saade (which I’m hoping will be the follow up to “Hotter Than Fire”, but I think it will be something a little lighter and less risque) as runner-up.  Joe Jonas climbs to #3 with “Make You Mine”, while gorgeous soul ballad “Home” by new UK singer Stone Walters is now at #4.  Listen to “Home” below.

Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” climbs to #9, while the cheery “Champagne” by Nelson Clemente becomes his fourth top tenner on my chart.  But it’s “Like A Drug” by Adam Tyler that makes a nice surge up to #7.  The snazzy video is below.

The mostly upwardly mobile songs in the teens are by Eric Saade, The Midway State, Lana Del Rey, Marianas Trench, and Jon McLaughlin & Sara Bareilles, but they’re punctuated by some faster risers.  Joe Jonas once again has the fastest climber on the chart with “Not Right Now” from the Fastlife album at #15.  Right below is Adam Lambert’s “Better Than I Know Myself”, which has a really strong video that shows a softer, vulnerable side of Adam (below) – and I love the high notes in this song.  And “Something” by JMSN is both well worth hearing and watching ( below – you have already been warned in previous posts).  The talented Detroit singer climbs to #18 on the chart.

The newbies this week are almost all dance-oriented except for the one that leads the pack.  Graffiti 6 are on the rise, long after many bloggers have praised their glory over the last few years.  But “Free” is definitely the song to cut it for them, featuring a beautiful vocal from singer Jamie Scott.

Then we have at #22, M83 with “Midnight City”, a song that I’ve been listening to for quite a while now but now the melodic hook is completely entrenched in my brain.  I don’t usually mention covers in conjunction with a newly charted song or one on the rise, but I must say that the rendition by the much-praised The Knocks featuring Mandy Lee is a swift alternate version well worth checking out, with a free download on Soundcloud right here.

It’s nice to have the divine Nadia Ali back in the chart at #26, this time in the hands of producers Spencer & Hill.  “Believe It” has already had significant club play but it’s also great for blasting out the car window on a bad day.  Nadia has previously charted with #2 “Love Story” in 2009, plus of course as part of duo iio with “Rapture”, “At The End”, and “Smooth”.

Lastly, the Monsieur Adi remix of “Out Of It” by Fallulah is such a humdinger that it enters the chart at #27, and you can buy it on iTunes too!

Bill’s #1 song:  “Memorize Me” by Rune RK & Databoy

BILLCS Top 30 #371 – Jan 30/12 – Rune RK & Databoy’s “Memorize Me” Returns – At The Top

Oh the joys and sometimes pain of making a chart and being consistent!  Be prepared for a bit of a ramble…

Back in November, I got so excited about a song that I put it on my chart right away, anticipating a release.  The release, unfortunately got delayed… and delayed… and delayed.  So in ways that only chart geekdom will explain 😉 I have two rules about my chart:  1) If a song is on the way down the chart or holding, it will be removed from it after 10 appearances (20 weeks); and 2) A song must be officially released and commercially available somewhere, either as a free download or for purchase, it can’t exist strictly on a video that people can’t buy or download legally.

So I was thrilled last week when the official release of “Memorize Me” by Rune RK & Databoy happened!!  But it created both a dilemma and strange chart situation.  The dilemma:  Eric Saade’s “Hotter Than Fire” and “Backseat” ruled the top.  Could they make room for “Memorize Me”?  The strange chart situation:  I removed “Memorize Me” from the chart after three appearances (all in the Top 5) because it wasn’t released.  Returning it to the chart would allow a consecutive 10 appearance chart run, like anything else, and it may join Nelson Clemente’s “You Want Me Don’t You” (16 appearances, two chart runs, in 2008 and 2009) and Ryan Star’s “Last Train Home” (the record holder at 17 appearances, two chart runs, also in 2008 and 2009) as one of the three longest running songs on my chart.  The longest consecutive run is Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”, which moved upward in its 11th appearance to peak at #2 last year.  In any case, “Memorize Me” manages to re-enter the chart at #1, the only song ever to do so in the chart’s 14 year online history.  Another song did re-enter the chart and got to #1, but it didn’t re-enter at the top.  That was “Millennium” by Robbie Williams, my #1 song of 1999.  “Memorize Me” is in great company and will certainly rank highly at year’s end!

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

With all of that chart madness out of the way – it doesn’t happen too often thank goodness – Eric Saade’s “Backseat” holds hard at #2, while “Hotter Than Fire” gives way and lands at #3.  “Make You Mine”, the snappy album track by Joe Jonas, holds tightly at #4.  Further into the Top 10, the beautiful soul ballad “Home” by UK singer Stone Walters rises 8-6, with fellow Brits Labrinth and Tinie Tempah up to #7 with the Benny Benassi remix of “Earthquake” (watch the snazzy video below).  Jon McLaughlin’s piano-laden “Promising Promises” jumps to #8, with The Midway State’s rocking “Fire!” at #9.  Rounding out the Top 10 is “Like A Drug” by Adam Tyler.  I posted about the slick video earlier in the week and you can watch once again below.

All of the songs ranked 6 through 17 are movin’ on up.  They include songs by Jason Mraz (which alas is slowing down, I thought it would have more staying power), Lady GaGa, Nelson Clemente, Marianas Trench, The Midway State’s “St. Paul and the Wolf”, and Lana Del Rey’s “Born To Die”.  In the middle of the chart is the fastest riser, another Eric Saade would-be-smash called “Fingerprints” which climbs 21-15.  Also Top 10 bound is Adam Lambert’s latest, “Better Than I Know Myself”, which climbs to #21.  “Summer Is Over” by Jon McLaughlin & Sara Bareilles should move up more in the coming weeks but for now rises 28-24.

There are four debuts this week, and I did warn you previously about another Joe Jonas song from Fastlife making an appearance.  “Not Right Now” bows at #23, and it’s a real hum-dinger… a beautiful and romantic contemporary cha-cha number.  I would love to hear a remix of this one for clubs.  Hear the song below.

A couple weeks back, I posted about JMSN’s fascinating and mysterious debut album †Priscilla, which contains several songs of note, including the new single “Something”, which arrives at #25.  Its video is definitely worth a look, but is not for those of you who might squirm.

Florence & The Machine’s “No Light, No Light” bows at #27, and the clip below is from the excellent Saturday Night Live performance in December.  I’m finding Ceremonials a bit heavier hitting than Lungs at times, it seems fairly relentless, but still marvel at Flo’s Annie Lennox-meets-Sinead O’Connor voice – best of both worlds there.

And after arriving with a big splash in the UK, singer Yasmin has the last debut on the chart with the percolating “Light Up The World”, featuring Shy FX and Ms Dynamite at #28.  It gets stuck in your head and keeps your foot tapping away.

BILLCS Top 30 #370 – When will the rest of the world get the Eric Saade albums?

OK, Nordic countries, it’s time to share.  While it’s a mean feat to cop a release in the UK, the rest of the world awaits.  Of course I’m referring to Saade Volumes One and Two, my favourite albums of 2011 by 21 year old Eric Saade.  His duet with Dev, “Hotter Than Fire” continues to lead my personal chart at the top.  The fastest riser is right behind at #2, none other than (surprise, surprise) “Backseat”, also from Volume Two.  No singer has started to dominate my chart this way since Simon Curtis (oh, and they should do a duet – but that’s a whole other story 🙂 ).

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

In addition to “Hotter” and “Backseat” (which is a really sexy song, if you haven’t already got that), I’ve debuted another song at #21 this week, and that’s the anthemic “Fingerprints”.  Despite a little too many effects on Eric’s voice, the song is just too damn catchy for you to miss.  Listen below.

This will be a shorter chart blog than usual because I’ve already blogged about the other new songs on the chart.  We have Jason Mraz’s tender and hopeful “I Won’t Give Up” bounding onto the chart at #13 and Top 5 bound.  Adam Lambert (and it’s hard to believe he’ll be 30 in a few weeks!) makes his premiere appearance here – “Whataya Want From Me” and “If I Had You” came close – with “Better Than I Know Myself” at #26, which sounds like it’s a whole new chapter in the making with such a stunning vocal.  Adam’s upcoming sophomore album is called Transmission.  And the teaming of Jon McLaughlin and Sara Bareilles couldn’t be better on “Summer Is Over” at #28, from Jon’s upcoming album due in May called Promising Promises – the song of the same name strolls into my Top 10 on this chart 🙂

Closer to the top, most noteworthy is “Make You Mine” by Joe Jonas, which climbs handily to #4 (listen below).  I can’t say enough how much his album Fastlife is such a joy.  While R&B ballad “Just In Love” slides down the chart, you can expect another song from the album to debut in a few weeks.  Sounds absolutely great up loud!  Other upward moves in the Top 10 come from the late lamented Boy Banned, Darren Hayes’ “Black Out The Sun”, and the stunning soul/pop ballad full of things important and personal, “Home” by UK singer Stone Walters at #8.

The middle of the chart is looking mighty fine with nice moves from songs by Labrinth & Tinie Tempah, The Midway State (both “Fire!” #12 and the increasingly infectious “St. Paul & The Wolf” at #20 – listen to remixes on the band’s Soundcloud page), Lady GaGa, Adam Tyler (just a forthnight away from the video for #15 “Like A Drug”), Nelson Clemente’s cheery “Champagne”, the fine “Fallout” from Marianas Trench, and of course the gothic sound of “Born To Die”, the title track from the upcoming debut album by Lana Del Rey.  Lana’s “Blue Jeans”, in its spunky Penguin Prison remix, still resides at #5.  Frankmusik is no more in favour of independence for Vincent Did It, but “Wrecking Ball” nonetheless climbs to #22.

I’ve been listening to lots and lots of new music – you should see my Internet bookmarks – so more news on songs you should hear will be coming your way over the next two weeks.  Don’t forget to bookmark this blog too please 🙂

Saade’s Hotter… with the Highest Debut: BILLCS Chart – January 2, 2012

It’s a new name for the blog and personal chart, but the number one song on the chart looks to remain the same for the next while anyway.  Eric Saade & Dev hold at the top with “Hotter Than Fire”, but the 21 year old Swede also has the highest debut in this edition.  I love so many of the slamming electropop on Saade Volume Two that it was tough to choose another one… so this will probably be the second in a series of songs to chart from that album.  Nonetheless, the most rocking track “Backseat” bows at #11.  This song has major international fan appeal.  I don’t think it will be the second official single but it shouldn’t be overlooked as one of the best songs on the record.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

Some songs didn’t appear in my year end Top 75 Songs list because they carried over into the current year.  So “Don’t Fuck With My Money” by Penguin Prison gets cozy at #3, while Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” (Penguin Prison remix preferred) slides into the #5 spot, and “Black Out The Sun” by Darren Hayes lands inside the Top 10 at #8 with “Bloodstained Heart” hanging in at #4.   Also new to the Top 10 are the riveting “Make You Mine” by Joe Jonas at #6, fastest riser “Home” by UK soul singer Stone Walters at #10, and “The Stars Are Saying Yes” by Boy Banned at #7.  You can listen to the former and watch the latter below.  But alas Boy Banned has called it a day, so in the coming weeks you will hear more about the upcoming activities of two of the quartet, Paul (Pob) O’Brien and Ethan Bourne.

The middle of the chart is absolutely crammed with songs vying for the Top 10 by Jon McLaughlin, Joe Jonas (again), Mika, and The Midway State.  It’s rather ironic that “Fire!” by The Midway State precedes fast riser “Earthquake” by Lanbrinth featuring Tinie Tempah, which soars 23-16.  Other recent tunes by Lady GaGa, Adam Tyler (whose video for “Like A Drug” arrives in a few weeks), and Nelson Clemente all continue to climb.

Four more debuts arrive on the chart.  I’ve already blogged about the second entry by Lana Del Rey, whose stunning video for “Born To Die” (#24) arrived a few weeks before the holidays.  The gal is one to watch, as she has signed to Interscope for her upcoming album of the same name.  Above “Born To Die” is the second single from Marianas Trench’s third album Ever After.  I enjoyed first single “Haven’t Had Enough” but other songs prevented it from entering my chart in the Fall.  So their second single “Fallout” is that much more unique and is actually the core of the Ever After album.  I’m enjoying the album immensely and expect to have a full review of it later in the week.  Listen below – an official video for “Fallout” is coming soon!

Frankmusik gave us an enjoyable animated video for “Wrecking Ball” which I blogged about before the holidays, and as “No I.D.” drifts down the chart, “Wrecking Ball” debuts at #26.  Just above that, I’ve dug deeper into The Midway State’s Paris Or India album.  My impressions of the record keep changing as I listen to it.  The group performed “St. Paul & The Wolf” with a local college’s marching band’s members when I saw them in concert on December 17.  The song’s storytelling and anthemic sound continues to win me over and arrives at #25.  Watch a live clip of the band below performing the song this past summer.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #368 – December 19/11… plus Frankmusik, Adam Lambert, Lana Del Rey and more

Well if you’ve been reading this space these past several weeks, then it’s no surprise that Eric Saade & Dev have dethroned Matt Blue’s “Can’t Help Myself” at the top of my personal chart in this edition.  “Hotter Than Fire” is a highly appropriate 2011 finale for this chart, since my next one won’t be posted till January 2 or thereabouts.  It looks to have a nice long stay at the top, unless either a long-awaited release of another song I love happens, or unless another Eric Saade song catches hold of me like “Hotter” and sails to the top.  Watch the spiffy video above; the camera takes great advantage of Eric…

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

This won’t be a long blog because the rest of the top stays the same, and while both New Yawkers Penguin Prison’s “Don’t Fuck With My Money” and Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” (in a Penguin Prison remix no less) are on their way to the Top 5, both “Then I Go Twisting” by Erasure and “White Horse” by Jessica 6 sneak into the Top 10 for what look like peak appearances.  In the meanwhile, take a gander at the provocative video by Lana Del Rey, “Born To Die”, which is one of the best you will see these days, tragic story and all.  Her voice almost has a Rufus Wainwright-like quality to it at times in this song.

Just outside of the Top 10 is another story entirely, for four songs look to storm the Top 10 in two weeks.  Keep your eyes on Boy Banned, for “The Stars Are Saying Yes” will getcha when you’re not looking!  It climbs 20-11 this week.  Right behind is the second entry for Darren Hayes currently on the chart, “Black Out The Sun”.  The Fastest Riser on the chart follows, and that’s “Make You Mine”, the big surprise that is within Joe Jonas’ Fastlife album.  It soars 24-13.  Jon McLaughlin’s “Promising Promises” continues to climb at #14.  Rounding out the movers are The Midway State’s “Fire!” at #18, Lady GaGa’s “Marry The Night” which is up to #21, and “Like A Drug” by Adam Tyler jumps 28-24.

I talked about two of the three debuts recently.  “Home” by Stone Walters is a stunning but low-key release from the UK soul singer which hits your heart in all of the right places.  It’s one to watch and debuts at #20.  It’s available for free download right here with an email subscription.  “Champagne” by Nelson Clemente is either a great way to end the current year or a great starter for the next year.  Its lightheartedness is contagious and premieres at #27.  Nelson has already attained a number of Top Tenners on this chart, with “You Want Me Don’t You” (in both its original 2008 release and 2009 Spekr Freks remix) and “90 Days” both cracking the Top 5.  Ninthwave Records has made it available as a free download on Soundcloud right here.  Lastly, producer/remixer Benny Benassi has made some intoxicating music for the dance floor this year, so he gets a hat-trick of sorts with his remix of Labrinth & Tinie Tempah’s “Earthquake” arriving on my chart at #23.  The other two songs to reach the chart?  Chris Brown’s “Beautiful People” and Benassi’s “Cinema” (featuring Gary Go) were on the chart concurrently this summer, peaking at #10 and #11 respectively.  Listen to his remix of “Earthquake” below.  Your body may start moving without you.

A few more tidbits before I wrap up…

Ever the busy guy, Frankmusik recently unveiled a delightful animated video for his Do It In The A.M. track “Wrecking Ball”.  Mr. Frank’s full of ideas… watch for more next year.  In the meantime, watch “Wrecking Ball” below.

And welcome back, Adam Lambert, though you didn’t seem away for more than a hot second.  The most important thing about his upcoming single “Better Than I Know Myself” is that it does away with the dramatic, almost over-the-top high notes of songs like “Whataya Want From Me” in favour of cleaner, richer, and more classic production.  But everything you ever liked about Adam is much intact!  The new album’s gonna be even better, I think.  Listen to “Better Than I Know Myself” streaming from his official website right here.

And I leave you with two more songs for the season.  He was Warbler #6 on “Glee” for a time, and recorded a terrific EP about a year ago along with a bang-on cover of George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex”.  It’s a pleasure to hear Chris Mann so beautifully sing “Silent Night” below.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you, I said it was coming.  Here’s Joshua Desjardins’ heartwarming and humourous video for “Macauley Culkin (Home Alone at Christmas)”.  You will have a smile on your face when it’s finished 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 30 #367 – December 5/11… Plus More New Music and Christmas Tunes

It doesn’t happen too often but my top two songs this week are by singers whose first language isn’t English.  And currently, both songs are only available in Europe or Scandinavia, something that I hope will be rectified in the future.  And they are both success stories in their own right in 2011.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

We have to go back to almost the start of the year when I first came across cover versions of songs like “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” and “What If” by The Netherlands’ Matt Blue.  He teased us throughout the summer with a clip of “Can’t Help Myself (Keep Dancing)”, which continues to have the marks of a smash hit all over it for me.  It finally got released in Europe this Fall, and now this talented cancer survivor has claimed the #1 spot on my personal chart.  No brain cramping here – just pure joy about getting out and having a good time, and sometimes we simply just need that.  Check out the video – again – below 🙂

On a different scale, of course, we have Eric Saade, who has basically took the Nordic countries for his own, courtesy of massive hits “Popular” and “Hearts In The Air” from the Saade Volume One album.  Last week, Saade Volume Two arrived with a similar blend of cosmic pop and magnetic electrodance – the harder and spicier the album gets, the better it is.  More on that later in the week.  In the meantime, the first single “Hotter Than Fire”, featuring Dev, almost beat Mr. Blue to the top, tearing up the chart with a 23-2 move.  So it looks like I’ll be listening to a lot more Mr. Saade throughout the month and into the holidays.  Given my initial impressions of Volume Two, Eric Saade is poised for international success in 2012.  I’m hoping remixes and a crack at the North American market will be in store.  If there is any music that I’ve turned to in 2011 for a break away from absolutely everything, it’s the songs from Saade Volume One, and Volume Two is exactly the logical continuation that might have been anticipated!  Here’s a live clip of “Hotter Than Fire” from a month ago.

Darren Hayes’ “Bloodstained Heart” still moves up to #3, while “Black Out The Sun” continues its rise up to #16.  With already three singles culled from Secret Codes And Battleships, I’m hoping that some other songs from the album might be given a chance, such as the hopeful “Don’t Give Up” or beautiful “Roses”.

The lower half of the Top 10 is party-central!  Matt & Kim’s “Block After Block” jumps to #6, with the forceful electropop of Agnes Carlsson’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” right behind at #7.  Kyle Brylin’s aggressive technopop of “Never Love A DJ”, along with Penguin Prison’s “Don’t Fuck With My Money”, and chanteuse-of-the-moment Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” (in a Penguin Prison remix no less) round out the Top 10.  Looking to break into the Top 10 in two weeks are “Then I Go Twisting” by Erasure and Jessica 6’s “White Horse”, both worthy of filled dance floors.

While great songs by Joe Jonas, Jon McLaughlin, Mika, The Midway State, and Jeronimo continue to reach new heights on the chart, four songs debut.  I can’t rave enough right now about “The Stars Are Saying Yes” by UK quartet Boy Banned.  It’s pop at its purest – a fantastic, simple melody, magical lyrics, and vocals to die for.  The song bows at #20 and is available on iTunes.  Here’s the absolutely charming video, again.

At #24, I go two songs deep into Joe Jonas’ Fastlife album – and if you asked me if that would happen six months ago I would have stared at you with a strange expression.  While I was interested in the Jonas project, I had no idea how good it was, especially after the drab first two singles.  For me, the killer on the album is “Make You Mine”, which has a vocal performance by Joe unlike anything you could have imagined.  The song has a warm lyric and seems to be a distant cousin of a song like “Rock with You” by Michael Jackson.  Look for this one to take off on the chart in the coming weeks.  Listen below for yourself! 🙂

Despite all the hoopla about the video, as well as its many excesses, which you can watch below, “Marry The Night” is one of the very best songs from Born This Way, and its timely release as a single is good enough reason for it to arrive on my chart at #27.  The Lady is everywhere these days, and I try not to get too overexposed to her for fear I will not enjoy her music as much.  Anyone else feel that way?

The last new entry on the chart is the upcoming second single from Shattered Ice, the debut album by Adam Tyler.  “Pull The Trigger”, my second favourite song on the album next to previous Top Fiver “I Won’t Let You Go”, just dipped out of the Top 10, leaving room for me to now add “Like A Drug” to the mix at #28.  I can’t wait to see the video, which looks like it has some massive choreography in store for us.  However I do need you to backtrack to the Shattered Ice album.  It’s been a mainstay on my playlist since its release in August.  And despite some of my initial quibbles about too much production, the album is many songs deep past these three.  “Music Freak” has become a little bit of a personal anthem, and I savour Adam’s less produced voice on the acoustic version of “I Won’t Let You Go” and the ‘orchestral’ version of “Emergency”.  Get it on iTunes and listen to “Like A Drug” below.

Bubbling below the chart we have some festive songs for the holidays, whether they be for Christmas or otherwise.

There are no better bubbles to drink than those of “Champagne”, and we have this new effervescent single courtesy of Australian singer Nelson Clemente, about whom you have read about many times in these pages.  This is a splendid change of pace for Nelson, whose songs are often wrapped up in intense emotion and mystery.  That he recorded someone else’s song this time just ups the ante for Nelson who has this modest kind of talent that people would kill for.  Listen to a taste (?) of “Champagne” below and purchase it on iTunes.  Nelson also this week officially releases his previously free EP Love.Feel.Dangerous (which contains “90 Days”, which you can hear below, and “No Protection”, which have both appeared in my chart) – be sure to get it on Amazon among other places.

“90 Days” by Nelson Clemente

New Yorker Joshua Desjardins gets around.  First he’s writing a song for (and about) dream choreographer Melanie LaPatin on her Ballroom Remixed comp, then he’s man about the comic store during the summer in “I’m A Nerd”.  He’s been performing a show in theatre district called “Joshing Around NYC”, and still has had time for a song highly appropriate for the season.  Sure to put a smile on your face, give a listen to “Macauley Culkin (Home Alone at Christmas)” below.  Then go watch the “Home Alone” series while the movies pop up on TV.  Then listen again.  Happy?  Video to come!  Buy it on iTunes.

The final Christmas song on Elouise’s latest EP Santa’s Little Belter is yet again another bang-on version of a recent classic.  Darlene Love originally sang “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”  for Phil Spector’s seminal Christmas album A Christmas Gift for You.  Listen to a clip below and purchase Santa’s Little Belter on iTunes.  Watch for more fantastic music from Elouise in 2012!

Lastly, we have a beauty of a holiday original from American singer/pianist/songwriter Gavin Mikhail, who has given us some lovely renditions of other songs this year.  This gentle holiday treat is called “Evergreen” and it’s matched with a delightful animated video that perfectly captures the song’s essence.  Buy it on iTunes and be dazzled by the video below.

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 :)