Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” continues on its seemingly unstoppable path as it logs a 10th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Last week, the song set the record for the largest listening audience (219.8 million) in Billboard’s Radio Songs’ 22-year history, topping Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together.” This week, it builds on that record, reaching 227.5 million listeners.
“Blurred Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I., is the first song to lead the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks since “We Found Love” from Rihanna (featuring Calvin Harris) did so in November 2011.
The rest of the Top 10 remains exactly the same as last week... though the Top 10 will get a big shake up next week when both Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Lady Gaga’s “Applause” no doubt zoom into the Top 10 (if not the top spot). Perry’s “Roar” bows at No. 85 based on only four days of airplay, according to Billboard.
In addition to those two pop titans, Lana Del Rey could land her first Top 10 hit next week as “Summertime Sadness” rises 23-16 this week. Drake is also headed back into the Top 10, as “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (featuring Majid Jordan) bows at No. 21.
Back to this week, here’s how the Top 10 looks: After “Blurred Lines”: Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” remains at No. 2 for the third week, Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” is at No. 3, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” featuring Pharrell, is at No. 4, and Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake, is at No. 5.
Rounding out the Top 10: Anna Kendrick’s “Cups” at No. 6, Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” at No. 7, Zedd’s “Clarity,” featuring Foxes, at No. 8, Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound” at No. 9, and Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody” at No. 10.
Will Lady Gaga or Katy Perry topple him next week?
Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” continues on its seemingly unstoppable path as it logs a 10th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
She salutes marriage as she gets ready to walk down the aisle
With her own nuptials approaching, Kelly Clarkson clearly has weddings on her mind. In her video for “Tie It Up,” Clarkson performs in a barn during a wedding reception, as scenes from other weddings and happy brides and grooms roll.
The video for the country single features straight and gay couples, so we’ll see if she gets any push back from those who oppose same sex unions.
It’s a fluffy, fun song that may be a one-off as it doesn’t appear on her most recent greatest hits set and we haven’t heard word of a new album. Clarkson, who is getting ready to marry Reba McEntire’s step son (and artist manager), has already proven that she can have country hits via her duets with the likes of McEntire, Jason Aldean, and Vince Gill. Now we’ll see if she can have one on her own.
At the end, she catches the bouquet and winks in the camera. Sounds like she's ready for her fall wedding.
Cher called leaked tune 'the wrong version,' but it sounds right to us
“The Greatest Thing,” the duet between Lady Gaga and Cher that Momma Monster has disavowed, surfaced today.
As you recall, in June Cher replied to a fan on Twitter that Lady Gaga “doesn’t like it, or want it to come out. She’s an artist, it’s up to her. I’m disappointed 2.”
Now, in addition to being disappointed, Cher is also pissed. Apparently, the RedOne-produced version that leaked today is the “wrong version,” she tweeted. Her full tweet: “Disappointed (I’ve sat on fkng song 4 over a yr) NOW SOME ASSHOLE LEAKS WRONG VERSION! GaGa’S SINGLE IS GREAT, & THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS).” What a nice little plug for “Applause," which also leaked, forcing Lady Gaga to release it a week early, yesterday.
So the song is a sweet, uplifting slice of self-esteem in which Cher (LG comes in later and in a relatively minor capacity) apologizes that someone her hurt her boo, but declares that this person is The Greatest Thing and she spends the bulk of the song trying to convince the person, even resorting to spelling out G-R-E-A-T. It’s a slight and treacly sweet, melodic, retro dance track. They sing the chorus together and then Lady Gaga takes the third verse. “When you feel you aren’t enough/I’ll give you wings and lift you up. I hope you can see that you’re the greatest thing to me,” Cher sings. And while some of the words change, that’s the message that you need to take with you. (Listen quickly, various versions are being taken down.... )
I know from Cher’s tweet that if a version was going to leak, this wasn’t the one she wanted out there, but this one isn’t bad, it just needs a little more oomph. In fact, with a stronger remix, I could see this being a club smash.
No word on if it makes the cut for Cher’s album (although it sounds in July like it would not), “Closer To The Truth,” which comes out Sept. 24. Maybe the leak changed that decision.
What do you think of “The Greatest?”
Country superstar's latest stalls in mid-gear
Luke Bryan has made a career of being country’s polite party boy. He doesn’t have the dangerous edginess of an Eric Church or Jamey Johnson (or even of his good buddy, Jason Aldean), but he surely knows how to show you a good time (as evidenced on his “Spring Break” series of EPs), and possibly get you to shed your clothes while doing so.
On his new album, “Crash My Party,” out today, the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year delivers another round of songs designed to show that he’s still the guy you want by your side, whether it’s to chug your beer or cry in it (and here, he does his fair share of crying). The songs are uniformly commercial and relatively risk free, but for Bryan fans, it will be a nice new chapter in a pleasingly familiar book, if not a particularly high-octane one. With his career riding a high on the back of this ACM award, it would have been nice if he’d taken a few risks, but that doesn’t seem to be what he or his fans want. Look for "Crash My Party" to bow atop the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Country Albums chart next week.
Here’s a track-by-track review:
“That’s My Kind of Night”: A straight-up, good time opener. As he does a lot, Bryan throws in all the country tropes: a truck, getting out into the country (he is the one guy that figures his little country cutie likes it “way out where the corn rows grow,” instead of downtown. He’s got a mixtape that includes country and hip-hop: “ A little Conway and a little T-Pain,” he sings. Despite (or perhaps because of) the lowest common denominator cookie cutter lyrics and his somewhat awkward delivery, the song is already soaring up the Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, no doubt due to the driving beat. Grade: C
“Beer In The Headlights”: Country music provides cute word play in its titles better than anyone, and this song is no exception. This mid-tempo track delivers the same message as “That’s My Kind Of Night” —he’s alone with his girl out in the country, hanging out in or by his truck, and her beer is in the headlights—and yet he delivers it so much more convincingly here. His voice, which can be a little nasally, fits the melody much better. Grade: B
“Crash My Party”: After this "Spring Break" EPs and 2011 album, "Tanlines and Tailgates," it was understandable from the title alone that folks expected this tune, the first single and title track, to be an upbeat kicker. Instead, it’s a mid-tempo invitation to love, a less sensual, sweeter “Come Over.” His love is welcome anytime, anywhere because he knows she’s a better time than anything else he’s got going on. “This is a drop-everything, kind of thing, swing on by, i’ll pour you a drink, the door’s unlocked, I’ll leave on the lights...” If a women sings it, sadly, it still can sound desperate. Here, it sounds like a beautifully open-ended invitation. Grade: B+
“Roller Coaster”: Bryan is in the amusement park of love, and his lady is twisting him around like a roller coaster, keeping him on the edge of his seat, and not necessarily in a good way. It’s a potentially dark ride. Grade: B
“We Run This Town”: Bryan takes a look back at his formative years in this wistful mid-tempo, guitar-driven track. “From crazy kids to dirt road kings/Oh, we didn’t know nothin’, but we knew everything,” he sings of those days when he and his buddies “thought we made the world go ‘round.” Grade: B
“Drink A Beer”: Bryan does vulnerability well, no more so on “Crash This Party” than on “Drink A Beer.” His friend has died and he has no answers. He sits on the edge of a pier, the one they used to sit on together, and drink a beer. Enhanced by spare production, the acoustic guitar ballad doesn’t try to be a tearjerker, and that’s part of its appeal. It just invites you to live in the moment of finding out bad news and being in shock and needing to just breathe. Grade: A-
“I See You”: Bryan, who co-wrote this spiky, jaunty track, returns to the bar, but in true fashion, is still stuck on the one girl who has dumped him. The bevy of beauties try to lure him onto the floor, but he can’t forget. Grade: B-
“Goodbye Girl”: Another mid-tempo track and another tune about a girl who has the ability to break his heart (though he never seems to crushed by anything). He’s given her the keys to his heart and even though she “scatter(s) in the wind just like a dandelion/reminding me again that you ain't ever mine for long,” he can’t be the one to pull the plug on the DOA romance. Emotionally, Bryan seems willing to take songs only so far and this is another example. Grade: B-
“Play It Again”: Bryan delivers the best sexual euphemism in this mid-tempo tale of meeting girl who he falls for on the spot. “Soon as I sat down, I was fallin’ in love/Tryin’ to pour a little sugar in her Dixie cup.” I may be reading too much into this sweet tale of falling in love over a song and a dance. One of the best songs on the album. Grade: B+
“Blood Brothers”: The Dixie cups return, but this time he’s drinking “bad booze” out of them in this song, that like “We Run This Town,” looks back at an earlier time. This time the content is slightly edgier (as is the guitar), as Bryan recounts a rough-edged youth “We were young as we were dumb/when we piled in an old pile of junk/It was all-for-one and all for one/Bunch of outlaws without a gun.” Sadly, he can’t really sell the grittiness the song deserves. Grade: C
“Out Like That”: He’s out with his girl in a truck again and he’s delivered songs like this on every track. His girl is driving him wild and he doesn’t want to hold back. They’re going to dance in the rain as the lights from his headlights capture the beauty of her face. A sure bet for a single and a likely No. 1. Slightly up-tempo rockers like this with this kind of theme are Bryan’s sweet spot. Grade: B+
“Shut It Down”: Another song with nice word play- this time build around how “any hay to make can wait for now” (literally), as this farmer and his wife go make hay while the sun shines figuratively. Who doesn’t love a guy with a farmer’s tan? Grade: B
“Dirt Road Diary”: The second song on the set co-written by Bryan takes a seemingly autobiographical turn as he relives his youth, riding in a car with his dad and as he got older, reveling in “tan legs and some Dixieland delight.” He seems to enjoy looking back a little on this album and the triptych of reminiscences serve him reasonably well. Grade: B
Momma Monster really, really wants you to like her
After leakers got their hands on it over the weekend, an angry Lady Gaga officially released new single, “Applause,” today, a week earlier than planned.
The propulsive, driving track is a layered, dance twirler about how Gaga lives for, you guessed it, “Applause.”
The song opens with a staccato beat (a la “Paparazzi”) as Lady Gaga sings in a very mannered, dramatic fashion, “I stand here waiting for you to beat the gong/to crash the critics saying, ‘Is it right or is it wrong’?.”
The song quickly bursts into a full-on dance track full of hand claps (as well as live audience applause later), and weaving synthesizers and echoes. If Lady Gaga has drawn plentiful comparisons to Madonna, here she's in Annie Lennox mode when it gets to the bridge.
The production is an in-your-face assault of 3D sounds coming at you over and over as she reminds us again and again that she lives for her Little Monsters. While it's a bit overbearing, it’s a nice message for the fans to hear as she comes back with “ARTPOP” on Nov. 11. If this song is any indication, the album will explore her role in pop culture.
The song’s release comes two days after Katy Perry put out her new single, “Roar.”
Which song do you prefer?
Beautiful girls and the young at heart mingle
Oh, to be young (or young at heart), beautiful and to be able to sound like the group fun. In the video for The Wanted’s “We Own The Night,” which is a close clone to fun.’s “We Are Young,” the British band celebrates the joys of a good night out. With lyrics that sound more like a call to arms: “Let us wake up inside a stranger’s bed/let us drink until there is nothing left,” the lads are in it to win it... or until they puke, whichever comes first.
[More after the jump...]
The good-natured clip, of course, features the girls getting dressed in various stages of clothing, while the boys just show up fully-clad. The fun element in the video is that an older couple, who can clearly drink and party the young kids under the table, shows up as well and they are the life of the party. Their livers may be shriveled, but they can keep up the young’uns.
We rate the performances and disagree over Rebel Wilson's remarks
LOS ANGELES—My ears are still ringing. Last night, one of my closest friends, her two teenage daughters and I attended the Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheater here. The show is an extremely fast-paced two-hour event that salutes teens’ favorite TV actors and shows, movie stars and films, musicians and athletes.
[More after the jump...]
I’d forgotten that teenage girls will scream at and for anything, so throughout the night, several thousand girls would raise the decibels to beyond earsplitting any time one of the following happened: 1) ANYONE associated with “Pretty Little Liars” took the stage 2) ANYTIME there was a Miley Cyrus mention or sighting 3) WHENEVER One Direction performed, accepted an award, was nominated for an award or was spotted in the audience 4) EVERY TIME a celebrity, no matter how minor--and we’re talking even “Dance Moms” level C-List, not even “Duck Dynasty" — walked through the audience and 5) They just felt like screaming, which is, pretty much, all the time.
After the show, Olivia (15), Jacqueline (13) and I (no longer a teenage) graded each of the performances and a few of the other show highlights.
One Direction: “Best Song Ever”:
Will it take her back to the top of the charts?
Katy Perry is a lion, hear her roar. “Roar,” the first single from her new album, “Prism,” debuted on Perezhilton.com Saturday morning and it’s a great change of pace for her. You can hear the full track at the bottom of the post.
The good news is that, musically, it sounds like no previous Perry single before (though thematically, it has the same uplifting spirit at "Firework"). It’s a statement song, and a smart one since it’s the first tune we’ve really heard from her since her split from Russell Brand. She’s letting us know in the mid-tempo pulser that she’s not just fine, she’s gone “from zero to my own hero.” Like Survivor, she even has “the eye of the tiger,” at her disposal. Heck, she has a whole menagerie, from a bee to butterfly. Dr. Luke produced the track, written by Perry, Dr. Luke and Bonnie McKee.
The steady stomp keeps the song grounded, while much of the rest of hand clap and mid-tempo piano production sound straight out of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. In fact, if you’re old enough it may remind you a little bit of the chorus of Martika’s “Toy Soldiers” crossed with M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” with some Avril Lavigne thrown in for good measure.
It’s a very good, not great, opening track, that announces she’s back and there’s even more to come. She shows progression but not so much that any of her fans will be alienated.
"Prism" comes out Oct. 22. As you know, Perry announced news of the release a few weeks ago by sending an gold-plated 18-wheeler with "Prism" and the release date painted on it around the country. Yesterday, a drunk driver hit the truck in Pennsylvania, according to TMZ. Luckily, no one was hurt.
What do you think?
Do Robin Thicke and Jay Z stay in the top 5?
The Civil Wars are going out with a bang as the now-defunct duo lands its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week with its self-titled sophomore set.
“The Civil Wars,” which will sell up to 110,000 copies, is one of four debuts in the top 10: “Now That’s What I Call Music 47” likely lands at No. 2 (90,000), heavy metal band Asking Alexandria comes in at No. 8 with “From Death To Destiny” (32,000), and gospel singer Tye Tribbett at No. 9 with “Greater Than” (28,000).
Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” this week’s chart topper, drops to No. 3 next week. Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” is at No. 4. There’s a logjam for spots 5-7 with Disney’s soundtrack to “Teen Beach,” Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” and Five Finger Death Punch’s ?“Wrong Side Of Heaven, Vol. 1” all slated to sell between 35,000-45,000. Rounding out the Top 10 will be Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s To The Good Times,” according to Hits Daily Double.
Planet of the Apes? Vertigo? Spartacus?
POZNAN, POLAND—If you have film scores in your music collection, chances are very good that they are on the Varese Sarabande label.
To celebrate its 35th anniversary this year, Varese Sarabande, which takes its first name from French composer Edgard Varese and its last from a Spanish dance, took its show on the road, holding concerts in Los Angeles, Macau, China; Tenerife, Canary Islands, and here in Poznan at the Transatlantyk Festival. A final concert will be held Oct. 19 in Los Angeles.
Robert Townson, VP and producer for the Studio City, Calif.-based label, has just overseen the release of his 1,200th project for Varese Sarabande. At more than 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone, the company’s best seller is the soundtrack to “Ghost,” which included Maurice Jarre’s score and Alex North’s “Unchained Melody,” made famous by the Righteous Bros.
Townson is an incredible film score historian. When we asked him to list his five all-time favorite scores, we knew his selections would be interesting, but we didn’t know we’d also find out some fascinating movie trivia at the same time.
And yes, his five selections have all been issued on Varese Sarabande, but that’s what happens when you love film scores as much as he does. “I would never limit the scores to my label,” he says, “But as it turns out, it’s been a self-fulfilling prophecy. So in every case, it’s a situation where if I love a score so much, of course I’m going to do my own release of it.”
Townson’s top five scores in descending order:
5. “Planet Of The Apes” (Jerry Goldsmith): “In a lot of ways, number five the hardest spot to fill because, of course, it has to be Jerry, but the breadth of his work is unparalleled. Bottom line, no one did the amount of great work that Jerry did because he treated every film as though it were ‘Chinatown,’ whether he was working on ‘The Swarm’ or ‘Patton.’ He wrote the scores for the films that the directors wished they had made. And always brought his A Game and to a degree that is unmatched, Jerry just never had a bad day. The consistency of excellence is all his own. ‘Planet of the Apes’ was just creating an all-new language, taking us to a world that we have never seen before, through his music, convincing us that they were on a distant planet and all of these unusual sounds: French horns being played without mouthpieces and stainless steel mixing boards and the whole tapestry was genuinely and completely a world he created. He was working with Franklin J. Schaffner on that picture. Schaffner was a great example of a director who trusted his composer and let him do his thing. And that’s why we have the masterpiece that is that score and the film has gone on to become part of history.”
4. “Sunset Boulevard” (Franz Waxman): “‘Sunset Blvd.’ is an example of a mastery, a psychological role that the music plays in that film— so much range and energy in the writing. You have the glamour and the madness and the way Wasman wove it all together. Fifty years after Waxman won the Academy Award there had never been an album for ‘Sunset Blvd.’ Never, ever, ever. There was a concert suite that ran seven minutes, that was all that ever came from “Sunset Blvd.” So 50 years later, in 2000, I went to Scotland with [composer] Joel McNeely and we recorded the complete score with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. I found when I went through the manuscripts the 10-minute prologue for the scene that never exists in the film called ‘Conversing Corpses,’ and the movie originally opened with a scene where WIlliam Holden’s character wakes up in the morgue and the other corpses tell the story of how they met their end. So no one had ever heard that before and it’s my favorite piece of the score. It’s where he introduces all of his melodies and in that setting it’s just macabre and masterful and brilliant in so many ways.”
3. “Vertigo” (Bernard Herrmann): “I just see it as the summit of his work. It’s passionate, it’s psychological. It’s so responsible for shaping the impact of that film. That’s the film that literally among Hitchcock’s script notes—he wrote it himself— ‘We will leave this scene for Mr. Herrmann.’ They had worked together since ‘The Trouble With Harry’ in 1955 and had developed this shorthand, this relationship, where Hitchcock was confident enough in the voice that Herrmann was bringing to the film that he passed the reins to the composer. The best scores have always resulted in directors trusting the composer. The best advice or input to give to a composer is just have at it.
2. “To Kill a Mockingbird” (Elmer Bernstein): “It’s just such an emotional score. Elmer Bernstein, one of the great composers of all time. So grateful that I got to spend the time I did with Elmer. We did 30 some albums together. I recorded ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ with him conducting himself with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He spent so much time before writing a single note just thinking about the score. He took the benefit of time to really let the film soak into him. The master composer that he is then came out with this melody that is just the most expressive reach into the heart. It’s what happens in the hands of a master composer who knows things that we can’t even conceive, but there’s just the soul of a great artist being expressed with notes on paper.”
1. “Spartacus” (Alex North): “I started doing what I do when I was young enough to get to spend the last few years of Alex North’s life working with him. We would hang out in his studio and talk about music. This is a guy who every genre he stepped foot in, he revolutionized. When I started talking to Alex about doing new recordings of his scores, the first one I brought up was ‘Spartacus.’ It had been my favorite score since growing up: the depth of writing, the mastery of every note, the range and all the different styles he put into it and still it all tried together in a unified work. ‘Spartacus Love Theme’ is just one of the greatest melodies to ever come from film and the degree to which he broke ground just in the orchestral writing, his language and what he was doing musically in that score just set the stage for so much of what came after. Just at its heart, the emotion behind it where he had all this genius but that it kind of disappears within the fabric of the story that he’s telling musically. When I found out that Universal was doing a restoration of the film in 1990, we were going to try to align with that, but then we realized the window that we had in order to get the recording done in time wasn’t going to happen. I promised Alex when we moved Spartacus out of the lineup, that one day I would restore and release his score. Twenty years later when I’m approaching my 1000th album, which was also the year that celebrated Alex’s 100th birthday and Spartacus’s 50th anniversary, [we did.] He didn’t live to see it, but what happened in the 20 intervening years is I got to produce ‘Spartacus’ at a level where it was the most elaborate production of any film score in history.” (Varese Sarabande’s 2010 release included 6 CDs, 1 DVD and an 168-page booklet, including two CDs devoted to “Spartacus Love Theme,” with variations by Carlos Santana, Bill Evans, and Ramsey Lewis, and Alexandre Desplat, as well as a new Lee Holdridge arrangement featuring flautist Sara Andon.)