Byrdview – Mid-Year Look At 2021

2021 is my 41st year of tracking my favorite songs, and it is safe to say I did see this year coming. I have been telling all my music friends over the last year, that 2021 should be incredible since everyone was writing songs at home in 2020. After all, what else were musicians going to do while they are home and can’t get out. The only question was how quickly would the written songs get recorded and out to us music fanatics? Well, it didn’t take all that long, because it pretty much started by February with really good new music.

The ByrdTrax volume started moving up and up in February hitting a record (at that point) of (1,245) weekly song plays for the week ending February 13, 2021. Although I haven’t always tracked how many songs I play a week (I haven’t always been this smart), that number of plays is insane for even me. The record was just recently broken the week ending June 12, 2021 with (1,261) plays (even more insane). For anyone crazy enough to care, you can always see the ByrdTrax song plays for the prior week on the ByrdTrax page of the website. Honestly, I don’t know that the total number of song plays for a week means anything definitively about the quality of music. However, it does a solid job of evaluating my interest in that years music. Some of the insane amounts of song plays are just because of my situation though. I have a job that I can play music all day, and I can continue the music in my car (I call those songs “car-tunes”) and no one is home to stop me from continuing the party. Well, except the dog (Cash), and he only howls when I sing which is perfectly understandable.

2021 began where it ended in 2020 with a Country mood that saw six straight weeks with a Country artist on top of the singles chart. Keith Urban kicked off 2021 with “Change Your Mind” spending the first two weeks at (#1). Although Urban is a regular at the top of Byrdbored, Gary Allan’s “Waste Of A Whiskey Drink” spent the last three weeks of 2020 on top and was a surprise. Lee Brice would make it seven weeks out of eight with a Country artist on top with his (#1) hit, “Memory I Don’t Mess With”, the week ending January 23, 2021. AC/DC would be the lone non-Country artist to hit the top as “Realize” became their second (#1) hit from their new album, “PWR/UP”. By the end of January, the Country mood must have passed as another rock act, Black Stone Cherry, took “Again” to the top to become their first-ever (#1). AC/DC’s “PWR/UP” dominated the album chart in January as the guys hit their 10th overall week on top by the end of January.

February would bring the beginning of an historic Byrdbored run by a young man from Canada. Forest Blakk started his run in late 2020 with one of the best pop ballads ever with “If You Love Her”. It would be the first week in February when Blakk began his run on top of the singles chart, but he would continue his reign for an amazing ten weeks at (#1). Blakk’s “If You Love Her” joins eight other songs in Byrdbored history to spend ten weeks or more on top, and the song finished it’s run in the Byrdy Dozen as the (#18) song in Byrdbored history narrowly passing “Every Breath You Take” by The Police. Yes, Forest Blakk, The Police!!! Hopefully he doesn’t let that go to his head too much. It seems that the Explosion Award winner for 2020 (which was Forest Blakk) was a good selection.

On the albums front, February would see both The Foo Fighters and Dua Lipa step forward. “Medicine At Midnight” would spend three weeks on top for the Foo Fighters, and it was the first big rock release of 2021. For Dua Lipa, she was soon going to become the Byrdbored pop queen with her second album, “Future Nostalgia”. Lipa’s album would finish the last week of February on top of the albums chart and continue for a total of four weeks on top until the second big rock release hit. Evanescence had officially been away for ten years (since their last entirely new album of music), but “The Bitter Truth” would bring the rock act back to (#1) on Byrdbored with a resounding rock blast heard all through the Byrdbored home studios (that is just my house, but it sounds better). “The Bitter Truth” would end the month of March on top of the album charts and spend three total weeks at (#1).

As March ended and everyone started to dream of Spring, Forest Blakk would finally surrender the (#1) song (don’t be greedy Forest!) and a rock duo originally from England took center stage. Royal Blood had already scored a (#1) hit single with “Lights Out” back in 2017, but “Boilermaker” would take it up a notch! The new hit song from the duo debuted on top of the SongByrd 60 the week ending April 17, 2021, and would not relinquish the top spot for seven weeks. Until the release of the Duo’s new album, “Typhoons”, Dua Lipa would take full advantage returning to the top of the albums chart with “Future Nostalgia”. Lipa would spend two more weeks on top before Royal Blood would debut at (#1) on the albums chart with “Typhoons”. The new album would spend five weeks on top and finish out the month of May at (#1) with a great deal of thanks to “Boilermaker” which spent it’s seventh and final week on top of the singles chart the week ending May 29, 2021.

June would begin as the month of Dua Lipa. Her album returned to the top of the chart (yes, Dua loves attention) for two more weeks, and she earned her first-ever (#1) single with “Levitating”. With a total of eight non-consecutive weeks on top of the albums chart and three weeks at (#1) on the singles chart, Lipa had arrived in her full pop queen-ness (yes, that is now a word). There is no doubt that “Future Nostalgia” is an Album of the Year contender, and Dua Lipa most definitely could win Entertainer of the Year. The last female to take that award was Shania Twain who won back-to-back in 1998 and 1999 with the help of another massive hit album, “Come On Over”. I truly believe “Future Nostalgia” might just be the best pop album since that time.

As June ended, however, there was a new king on the Byrdbored throne and he had a very familiar last name. Wolfgang Van Halen is someone almost everyone in rock music circles knew already. He toured with Van Halen when he was a very young man as the bassist, but now it is time for Wolfgang to make his own mark. His “Mammoth WVH” album debuted at (#2), but easily moved to the top of the albums chart the week ending June 19, 2021. It could be quite simply the best rock debut album since a guy named Chris Daughtry formed a band and released his self-titled debut in 2006. That album is currently ranked as the (#6) album in Byrdbored history. “Mammoth WVH” could be setting up for a long run on top of the albums chart, and Wolfgang Van Halen could be a very important part of the future of Byrdbored.

Click pic to find more info on Wolfgang Van Halen

For the week ending June 26, 2021, the Foo Fighters would grab the (#1) SongByrd 60 Single with “Cloudspotter”. The song had appeared to have stalled at (#4) for four weeks, but the Foo Fighters rocked their way to the top anyway. It became the band’s fourth overall (#1) song on Byrdbored. The Foo Fighters biggest all-time hit is 2002’s “All My Life” which spent four weeks on top and (15) total weeks as the top Rock song. “Cloudspotter” is the second hit from their 2x Platinum former (#1) album, “Medicine At Midnight”, as “No Son Of Mine” peaked at (#2) earlier in 2021. The album did finally drop from the Byrdy Dozen after (19) weeks and three weeks on top, however, the points earned help the Foo Fighters jump to (#89) all-time with exactly (1,400) points as of the week ending June 26, 2021.

How will 2021 finish? Obviously, that is an impossible thing to predict. After all, I am a music nerd, not a fortune teller. However, I try to keep my finger on the pulse of what might be out by the end of the year. I fully expect the same artists that have dominated in the first half to continue their assault on Byrdbored. Dua Lipa, Forest Blakk, the Foo Fighters, Evanescence, AC/DC and Mammoth WVH should all have great finishes to 2021. Lipa has so many great songs on “Future Nostalgia” that I could release songs for another year and she would still be having top ten hits. Rumor has it, she is already working on a new album, however, and a new song could be out before year-end. Forest Blakk has scored another top ten hit with “Foolish”, and his latest EP, “Sideways”, could include another hit or two down the road (even if he doesn’t sneak a new song in before year-end). The Foo Fighters, Evanescence and AC/DC all have multiple possible hits from their new albums so there is no doubt they stay on the singles and albums charts the rest of 2021. Wolfgang Van Halen has only just begun his invasion of Byrdbored and his debut album is loaded with hits.

Now that I have delivered the easy part, let’s dive into the unknown. Silk Sonic has already scored a (#2) hit with “Leave The Door Open”, but anything Bruno Mars is associated with has the potential to blow up big time. If the duo have a new album before the end of 2021, it could be huge late in the year. It just really depends on the direction he and Anderson .Paak take. If the next song released is an upbeat fun pop/R&B tune, the sky is the limit. I love the throwback sound of “Leave The Door Open”, and it does show that the sound is classic and with the right song can always be a hit.

On June 25th, Ed Sheeran released his new song, “Bad Habits”, from what is expected to be a new album in 2021. In the past, I have not been a huge fan of Sheeran although his 2017 hit, “Shape Of You” spent three weeks at (#1) and finished the year at (#10). “Bad Habits” may not end up topping “Shape Of You”, but could be good enough to get back to the top for Sheeran. It is possible he could score another top ten song for a year, and if he gets a new album out before 2021 ends he could have major impact on the end of the year. He will also (most likely) have a ton of his older music played as 2021 comes to an end since I really haven’t listened to his entire catalog of music. 2021 could be the start of a ton of points earned for Sheeran.

John Mayer already has a new single in the top ten, “Last Train Home”, and a new album will be out July 16th called “Sob Rock”. Most articles I have read claim it could have what some have coined as a “yacht rock” sound and sort of a throwback to the 1980’s keyboard driven pop/rock sound. Personally, I obviousy like the new song, and I most likely will like some other tracks from the new album. Mayer is always a hit or miss with me, but overall he is closing in on possibly making the Nest of Fame in the next couple of years. If “Sob Rock” is really good, he could even be inducted in 2022 since 2021 is his 20th year officially. His earlier stuff is definitely my favorite with his first four albums particularly having a ton of great songs. He has cooled off some in the last ten years, but did have a huge (#1) hit with “Helpless” in 2017 that finished the year in the top five songs of 2017. “Last Train Home” has the potential to get him back to (#1), but the competition is fierce right now. Mayer is definitely a wildcard to end 2021.

Imagine Dragons have been huge on Byrdbored since they debuted roughly a decade ago. As a matter of fact, they already have enough points to be eligible for the Nest of Fame, but have to wait until their 20-year mark of recording to be eligible overall. They are dropping a new album, “Mercury – Act 1”, on September 3 2021. Their first single, “Follow You”, hasn’t exactly torn up the Byrdbored charts like normal. It is still stuck in the top 20 currently, but does have enough momentum to possibly get into the top ten soon. Since three of their four albums have hit the top, I would expect the same from a new album. However, 2021 is one of the tougher years I have seen in some time. I would still expect the album to have enough hits to make some significant impact as the year ends. With almost four months to receive song plays the new album should be able to make some impact. Although it is probably too late to win Album of the Year (Dua is not having that anyway), there is plenty of time to possibly hit the singles chart with a huge (#1) song which would have enough time to make a run at Song of the Year (Forest Blakk is not having that either).

Coldplay, much like John Mayer, has cooled off lately. However, their early albums have some great hits and a new album in 2021 could definitely make a splash. Their new single, “Higher Power” got off to a very slow start, but is starting to pick up in the last two weeks. After some listens to the song, it reminds me some of the “X&Y” album which is my favorite. Hopefully it is a indication of the direction of the new album. They have been really hush hush about a release date, however, with no real word on when it might see the light of day. Their last (#1) hit single was 2017’s “Something Just Like This” which features The Chainsmokers so they are capable of the top spot, but they are also a wildcard for 2021. They are very unpredictable.

Jason Aldean is in my top ten artists of all-time currently at (#8). When it comes to Country artists of today, he is one of the best at what he does. The rumors have been fairly consistent that Aldean will have something new out by the end of 2021. Most likely it will be a new song by the end of the Summer and hopefully a new album by the end of the year. If the album gets held up until 2022, his impact will be minor for 2021, but if the album comes out in October or before, he could put his name in the hat for Country Album of the Year for 2021. He is very consistent, and usually doesn’t include a bad song on any album he does (if you are a Country fan). Since only his self-titled debut album is the only album to not hit (#1) on Byrdbored, I feel fairly confident he could get to (#1) with a new release. There is always a chance he disappoints, but that is the case with any new music. He and Keith Urban are generally up for Country Male Artist of the Year every year so a new album could help Aldean win another award or two.

Click pic for more info on Jason Aldean

Normally I would not mention Gary Allan as having big impact on Byrdbored. He has been a solid Country artist for a long time for sure, however, he hasn’t typically been a major force. At the end of 2020, however, Allan scored his second overall (#1) hit single with “Waste Of A Whiskey Drink”. The momentum from that hit seems to have followed him into 2021 as he just hit the Byrdy Dozen with a second single, “Temptation”. His new album, “Ruthless” just debuted at (#3) on the SongByrd 60 Albums Chart which ties his second album, “It Would Be You”, for his highest charting performance on the albums chart. The album is loaded with possible hit singles so Gary Allan may just be getting his second wind. It looks like underestimating Allan for, at least, the rest of 2021 would be a mistake. Allan actually hit (#1) on the SongByrd 60 Artists Chart for the week ending June 26, 2021, so if that isn’t making impact I don’t know what is.

The new Prince release, “Welcome 2 America”, which is due out July 30th would normally be a huge deal to me. Prince was inducted into the Nest of Fame in 2008, and has always been one of favorites. However, most of what I have read mention it being a “political heavy” album which generally doesn’t interest me. I have been around long enough to know though that not everyone hears the same thing when they listen to an album. It is entirely possible that even if Prince dives deep into politics on the album, it won’t matter much to me if the songs are good. Prince was always a creative genius in my book, and although he definitely took many detours away from what I like I respected his talent and drive. There will never be another Prince, so any album released will most definitely get some listens. Prince, as usual, is the very definition of a wildcard to finish 2021. Not many artists could possibly be significant after they have passed, but Prince could be one of the few that can.

Click pic to find more info on Prince

Avril Lavigne’s first two albums were nothing short of pop perfection. Both received a perfect 5 Byrd Beak rating with the debut, “Let Go”, spending eight weeks on top on it’s way to 6x Platinum, while “Under My Skin” was even bigger spending (13) weeks at (#1) and has been certified 8x Platinum. In the last ten years, however, she has only garnered one (#1) album with 2011’s “Goodbye Lullaby”, being certified 2x Platinum. I understand that she has had some health issues, and that most definitely can play a major factor. There have been rumblings that she is ready for a comeback, and 2021 might be the year we see a new album from Avril. With no official release date or new single available yet, it is difficult to tell if the rumors are true. However, I am hoping and pulling for her to make a comeback soon. Even with some music that I haven’t cared for over the years, she is still ranked as the (#62) artist all-time, and with some great new music she could kick the door open to the Nest of Fame. I know Avril would love to kick any door down, and hopefully 2021 will end great for her.

Shania Twain is also in need of a major comeback, and recently I read articles about how high she is on her new music that she is finishing up. Of course, she is saying things like “my best album ever” which no one could possibly believe. However, I am most definitely game for some new classic Shania Twain to add to Byrdbored. Twain has two of the (43) Diamond certified albums in Byrdbored history in “Come On Over” currently ranked (#2) all-time, and “The Woman In Me” which is currently ranked (#17). Shania was inducted into the Nest of Fame in 2016, but it would be nice to hear some more classic hits from the Byrdbored Queen of the 1990’s. I am sure she also wants to show that ex-husband of hers she can write some hits without him as well. Her last release, “Now”, in 2017 simply fell very short of expectations (for me and everyone else for that matter). I am not sure if I even believe she can make a comeback, and I am one of her biggest fans. One thing that is for sure though. If you know her story you know she is a fighter. This could very well be her last legitimate shot at being big again, and I would love to see it. As of now though, no word on any official release date.

As is typical of Byrdbored, I have to hit on some rock artists. Rock has always been my favorite overall, although I listen to many, many types of music. Shinedown will have a major undertaking ahead of them following up the massive hit album, “Attention Attention”, which produced nine consecutive (#1) singles. That was the first time in Byrdbored history that any album had achieved that. The album ended it’s run as the (#10) ranked album in Byrdbored history spending (17) weeks on top and (131) weeks in the Byrdy Dozen. The (131) weeks on the chart is second only to the (#1) album of all-time which is “Hysteria” by Def Leppard. The band has announced that they expect a new single by the end of the Summer. I am not sure if a new album will happen in 2021 with that late release of a new song, but it should follow fairly soon I hope. Shinedown has really surprised me over the years. I never thought they would be one of my all-time favorites, but “Attention Attention” guarantees the Nest of Fame for them down the road. They are currently only one of (24) artists with (3,000) points or more. Another great album and Shinedown might jump into the top ten artists of all-time. Although I have realistic expectations following up a massive album, Shinedown is most definitely one of the better rock bands around.

Click pic for more info on Shinedown

Halestorm is another rock band that have been very hot in the last decade or so. Their self-titled debut album hit in 2009 and Lzzy Hale and the guys have not looked back. They have landed four (#1) albums including their last, “Vicious”, in 2018 which has been certified 8x Platinum. They have also hit the top of the singles chart six times with five Platinum songs. At this point, there is no official word as to a song or album release, but the band have been leaking little teases about their excitement over the new music. I would think a new song will at least drop in 2021 with an album out by early next year at the latest. Halestorm sometimes does go into harder rock which sometimes I like and sometimes I don’t. However, their track record is so strong that I have no reason to believe their new music won’t be incredible. It is just all about the timing and when the new music becomes available. If a new song is out by the end of the year expect a huge year for Lzzy and the band in 2022.

Click pic for more info about Halestorm

There is probably no group outside of Def Leppard that got off to as great a beginning as Daughtry. Their self-titled debut in 2006 is the highest ranked debut album in Byrdbored history currently coming in at (#6). Actually their first four album releases all hit (#1), and they have some of the best Byrdbored statistics of any rock band. Daughtry has scored (40) Byrdy Dozen hit singles with (36) of them charting in the top five and (16) hitting (#1). Now for the bad news. Their last album, “Cage To Rattle”, became their first to not hit the top peaking at (#3), and it only spent (21) weeks in the Byrdy Dozen. Almost everything I am reading about their new music is positive, however, as the consensus is that they are getting back to their roots and going to rock more like the early album releases. They released a first single, “World On Fire”, in 2020 which did peak at (#5), but the follow up, “Heavy is the Crown” only hit the top 20. All indications are that an album will happen in 2021, but no release date is officially known. If everything I am reading is correct, I would not count out Daughtry for a huge rebound when the new album does become available. Chris Daughtry is a very likable guy, and he has one of the better voices of any rock lead singer of the last fifteen years. Now all they need is great songs. Piece of cake right?

Fuel announced just this week that they will have a new single, “Hard”, out July 9th with a new album, “Anomaly”, to follow in October 2021. The return of the band had been discussed quite a bit earlier in 2021, so most of us rock fans knew it was coming. The return of Carl Bell who originally wrote all the band’s biggest hits was a surprise when it was first brought up though. Fuel have scored five (#1) Byrdbored hits including the (#55) ranked song in Byrdbored history in “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” which spent six weeks on top and nine weeks as the top rock song. With four (#1) albums in their catalog, it isn’t impossible that Fuel could hit the top on the albums chart at the very least. The new lead singer. John Corsale, sounds great from the clips I have heard, and with Carl Bell’s song writing back in tow they could be a late surprise for 2021.

Click pic for more info on Fuel

For most people, aging rock bands are a no-no. They turn their noses up and totally ignore the existence of such bands claiming that they have had their time in the sun, and it is time to move on. One of the major things I am happiest about is that Byrdbored is all about the songs. I truly do not care if the artist is 17 or 70 as long as the songs are what I like. If I want to hear a song over and over it will be a Byrdbored hit. One of the greatest examples of that is the rock band Night Ranger who continue to do solid rock music and simply do what they do best. Most don’t even realize they continue to make new music, because they don’t look for it. However, Night Ranger has new music and a new song, “Breakout”, which is pushing the top 20 on the SongByrd 60 and a new album, “ATBPO”, due out August 6th. Since they have scored eight (#1) albums all-time, they are always capable of hitting the top again. Night Ranger has always been my under-the-radar rock band from the 1980’s that I just love most of what they do. Actually, some of the songs they have released in the last ten years are some of their best in my opinion. Obviously, there will never be another “Sister Christian”, but if you are a rock fan the guys have a catalog of music that will surprise you if you give it a chance. I expect a big finish to 2021 on into 2022 for Night Ranger.

Journey have always been a favorite of mine and are currently ranked at (#17) all-time. They are one of the “Fabulous 5” artists that were the first to be inducted into the Nest of Fame in 2006. Unfortunately, the last album from Journey was released in 2011 so they have been in free fall over the last decade with no new music to fuel them on Byrdbored. On June 24th, the guys released a new song, “The Way We Used To Be”, which was the High Flyin’ Debut the week ending June 26th coming in at (#9). The song sounds like classic Journey with Neal Schon’s guitar work sounding like he hasn’t missed a beat. With a revamped lineup including Randy Jackson on bass (don’t even get me started on Ross Valory), keyboardist Jason Derlatka and drummer, Narada Michael Walden (don’t get me started on Steve Smith either), along with Arnel Pineda who replaced Steve Augeri on vocals in 2007, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain seem to be set for another run. Of course, the obvious elephant in the room will always be the Steve Perry debate, but unfortunately that ship seems to have sailed all the way back in 1996 with the last album to feature Perry on vocals which was “Trial By Fire”. I understand why many fans don’t want to hear Journey without Perry, but they are the ones missing out. I get it, but I am not going to be closed-minded and miss out on good songs because Perry isn’t involved. From the first new song, it sounds like Journey are capable of some more hit music in 2021 and beyond.

Duran Duran’s last album release was 2015’s “Paper Gods” which peaked at (#5), but did not yield a Byrdy Dozen hit single. Duran Duran have always been a little up and down with me especially in the last 20 years or so. 2010’s “All You Need Is Now” hit (#1), however, and produced the (#8) title track. So is Duran Duran capable of a comeback? Most certainly they are. The first single from their new album, “Future Past”, has already hit the top ten as “Invisible” has so far peaked at (#6). “Invisible” is the biggest hit single since 2004’s “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise” peaked at (#3). The new album is set to drop October 22, 2021 so it might be a little late to finish in the top ten albums of the year. However, Duran Duran could see another single possibly hit Byrdbored in 2021 and continue their momentum into 2022. Beyond that, Duran Duran have always been a band that are on my bubble as far as the Nest of Fame goes. A strong new album might help guarantee the guys a spot there in the future. I have a good feeling about “Future Past”, but we will find out for sure in October 2021.

Christian Contemporary music is never a huge deal on radio or ever on pop charts with very rare exceptions. However, Byrdbored does have quite a few artists that do make major impact from time to time. One of the biggest is Jeremy Camp who has a string of (#1) albums that ties him with some pretty big artists. Camp has eleven (#1) albums all-time which ties Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, and Tim McGraw. Camp is expected to release his new album in September so it is possible he takes the lead in that category. Camp also has (42) hit singles under his belt and (18) overall (#1) hits. Since 2002, Camp has most definitely been very consistent and one of the top Christian Contemporary artists of his time. Although his newer music hasn’t had the huge hits he had early in his career (that can be said for most artists), he is still relevant and capable of (#1) songs and albums. His new single, “When You Speak”, is currently moving up the SongByrd 60 Singles Chart and sits at (#23) as of the week ending June 26, 2021. Camp will be one to watch as 2021 ends.

Another Christian Contemporary act that always makes big impact is MercyMe who’s new album, “Inhale (Exhale)”, appears to have peaked at (#2) but remains in the top ten as of the week ending June 26, 2021. They already have one of the top Christian Contemporary songs of the year with “Say I Won’t” which peaked at (#2) on the SongByrd 60, and they currently have the top Christian Contemporary song with “On Our Way” which has so far peaked at (#16). The album is very good and is expected to produce multiple top ten hits down the road. Any conversation of new music for 2021 (and 2022 for that matter) has to include MercyMe. The guys are primed and ready for a Nest of Fame appearance soon and are very deserving.

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list since there are many artists that I haven’t been able to find any new music updates for. However, part of the fun of music is the not knowing and then the surprise of knowing in that instant. New music instantly changes the landscape one way or the other. Something great changes music history for the better, and disappointments leave openings for other artists to take advantage. Hopefully some of the above artists will have great new music, but undoubtedly some will disappoint. 2021 has been one of the best music years for me personally that I can remember, and it is only half-way finished. What will the rest of 2021 bring? I don’t have a crystal ball (it would be called a “Byrdy ball” if I did), but I celebrate all the music fans like myself who want a great musical ending to 2021. Keep flyin’ high Byrd heads!

Top Flights – June 2021

Welcome to a new category for the Byrdbored site called Top Flights. I already have pages on the site which detail the Top Flights for particular years (2019 & 2020), as well as, the last decade (2010-2019). They are for the top songs, albums and artists for whatever time period is listed. The category, however, will focus on specific songs, albums or artists that are moving up the all-time ranks of Byrdbored history. This will most likely be a monthly feature. The return of the Vault charts in 2020 has made it possible for older music to still have a chance to move up the all-time rankings of Byrdbored and current artists are always moving up or down depending on how much I enjoy their new music. It is a very fluid situation as songs, albums and artists are all moving up or down based on the points they earn, but a once a month update should be reasonable (and fun). At some point, I may add a Top Flights page that does show all-time songs, albums and artists, but that may be tied into a 50th year celebration in 2030. I have always joked that if I make it to 50 years I might just retire from Byrdbored, but we will see if I make it nine more years.

Right around the time of an announcement about a new unreleased album from Prince, “Welcome 2 America”, I got this strange urge to listen to his classic “Purple Rain” album. That is how it starts many times as new music by an artist often inspires me to listen to their older music. The “Purple Rain” album is so classic, and every Prince fan loves it. However, the side benefit from listening to the album is that “Let’s Go Crazy” also had a re-birth on Byrdbored. With the Vault charts on Byrdbored now every song and album has a chance to chart no matter what I play. “Let’s Go Crazy” started it’s run on the SongByrd 60 Vault Singles Chart in late April and by the time the smoke cleared the end of June 2021, it had moved up the all-time songs listing to (#8). “Let’s Go Crazy” has now spent eight overall weeks at (#1) and an amazing (37) weeks in the Byrdy Dozen which is tied for second all-time with Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. The overall leader for weeks in the Byrdy Dozen is Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name” which has spent (39) weeks on the chart.

The “Purple Rain” album has moved up to (#50) all-time, but could definitely see more weeks in the Byrdy Dozen by the end of 2021. So far, the album has spent ten weeks at (#1) and (72) weeks in the Byrdy Dozen and has been certified 9x Platinum. The album is only (16) points away from becoming the 44th Diamond certified album in Byrdbored history. Prince was inducted into the Nest of Fame in 2008 and is currently ranked at (#21) all-time. Despite his passing in 2016, Prince is one of the few artists of his time that certainly can move up even higher. I am not even close to listening to all his older albums. Some of which I have never heard to be honest. He has so much music it would be almost impossible to listen to it all. That doesn’t even consider any new releases that do see the light of day like “Welcome 2 America” which is due out July 30, 2021. I may not like any of the new album, but it is Prince. The name says it all, and there will never be another Prince.

Another benefit of having the Vault charts is that music before 1981 can also chart. Byrdbored began in 1981 so in the past anything before that year would have never had a chance to earn points. One band that is benefiting from that now is AC/DC who had many songs and albums in the 1970’s that have never charted on Byrdbored. They also have an incredible new album, “PWR/UP”, which isn’t exactly hurting them, but the Bon Scott years are definitely a bonus. “PWR/UP” has been certified 5x Platinum so far and may continue to earn points throughout the rest of 2021. Their 1979 release, “Highway To Hell”, was certified Platinum the week ending June 26, 2021 and can also continue to earn points for quite some time.

I had never listened to the final album featuring original lead singer, Bon Scott, and it is a very good album from the guys. Without the addition of the 1970’s songs and albums I am not sure AC/DC would be eligible for the Nest of Fame. However, as of this year they did finally earn enough points to be eligible and have a solid chance to be inducted in 2022. AC/DC is currently ranked (#44) all-time with (2,277) points earned. To be inducted into the Nest of Fame an artist needs at least (2,000) points and must have twenty years under their belt since their first official album (boy do the guys have that!). (2,000) points is the minimum to be eligible, but (2,500) along with 20 years is an automatic induction so the Australian rockers are very close with plenty of potential points to be had in the next six months.

Another artist that has definitely benefited from the Vault charts is John Mayer. He has racked up the points over the last year and a half thanks to his 2020 Vault Album of the Year, “Continuum”. The album has now produced five (#1) singles. “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room”, “Vultures”, “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)”, “Gravity” and “Belief” have all had their time on top. “Continuum” has spent a total of nine weeks on top and (61) weeks in the Byrdy Dozen to be currently ranked as the (#72) album in Byrdbored history.

As of the week ending June 26, 2021, Mayer becomes the 60th artist to earn (2,000) points or more and is currently ranked as the (#56) artist in Byrdbored history with (2,069) points. By the end of 2021, Mayer will officially have twenty years since the release of “Room For Squares” which will make him eligible for the Nest of Fame and possible induction in 2022. However, it might be a tougher road for Mayer than AC/DC to make it in 2022. His new album is due out July 16, 2021 so he does have some points he can earn for sure, but he is still (431) points away from an automatic induction for 2022. I have been playing a ton of his older music though so it is entirely possible Mayer could rack up those points in six months. Whether it is 2022 or 2023, Mayer should be in the Nest of Fame unless his new album is horrible and kills his momentum. I already like the new song, “Last Train Home”, which is in the top ten so he should get some points from it no matter what the rest of the album does. Although Mayer isn’t as hot as he was in his early recording years, he is still someone very worthy of the Nest of Fame and that normally takes care of itself with time.

Billy Joel has also continued his march up the all-time artists listing thanks to the Vault charts. Joel hasn’t released any new music since 1993’s “River Of Dreams” album so the Vault charts are his only way he can move up. I have always loved Billy Joel. He was actually my very first Male Vocalist of the Year in 1981. The problem was that when I was very young I didn’t have money to buy every album he had, and I mostly decided to just buy his singles instead of albums. In my system, good albums are most definitely a huge advantage as they earn twice as many points as songs. That is on purpose, because I have always been an album driven music listener (and probably always will be as long as they exist). I believe an album that has many, many great songs should be rewarded more than just a couple of great songs individually.

Since I never really listened to any of Joel’s albums, the Vault charts allow me the ability to go back and chart them now. When you consider how many albums Joel has it is definitely safe to say he has a ton of points he can earn down the road. Since he straddles the 1970’s and 1980’s mostly, there would have been some 1970’s music I wouldn’t have listened to anyway since Byrdbored started in 1981. The bottom line for Joel is that he has now climbed up to (#69) as of the week ending June 26, 2021. He has earned (1,770) points to date, and he really does have a ton of potential points left on the board.

I have really only touched his 1970’s albums and a couple of 1980’s albums. He has quite a few more to listen to, and I could definitely see Joel with (2,000) points fairly easily down the road. I am finding that Billy Joel is someone that I just enjoy most of everything he has done, and I listen to something by him almost every week. I believe an artist that I still play their music all these years later deserves that credit, which is a large part of what the Vault charts give Byrdbored. The artists that are still played the most continue to earn points and whenever the Byrdbored journey ends I will have listings of songs, albums and artists that I truly love the most (which is the point).

It is safe to say the Foo Fighters have had a great year. They were just inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for starters. That is always incredible and very deserving. I was a very early fan of the Foo Fighters and really liked their early music. At some point, my interest did slow down, and I wasn’t loving a lot of what they were doing. Their new album, “Medicine At Midnight” most definitely re-ignited my love for them, however, and it debuted on top of the Byrdbored Albums Chart. It eventually spent three weeks on top and has spent (19) weeks in the Byrdy Dozen so far. It has produced a (#2) hit in “No Son Of Mine” and “Cloudspotter” which hit the top the week ending June 26, 2021.

The new album success has sparked interest in their past music which has gotten a ton of Vault chart action in 2021. The Foo Fighters got so much interest that they spent six weeks atop the SongByrd 60 Artists Chart as well. The guys have a ton of momentum, and it should drive them though the end of 2021. They have moved up to the (#89) spot on the all-time artists listing with (1,400) points. At one point (in the last five years or so), I really thought they had no shot at the Nest of Fame, but I have to say now they might. I doubt the guys quit making new music which definitely helps, and they do have some older music I haven’t really tapped into as much as I want to. I would expect the Foo Fighters to continue their march up the all-time artists listing with Dave Grohl carrying the torch I am sure.

Another song that has benefited from some Vault chart action is Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” which has always been one of my 1980’s favorites. The release of the band’s new single, “Breakout”, which currently sits at (#17) on the SongByrd 60, has sparked my interest in their past music. Although “Sister Christian” didn’t get a long run in the Vault Byrdy Dozen, it still got enough points to move up to the (#34) song in Byrdbored history.

The 1984 hit has spent a total of five weeks at (#1) and (27) weeks in the Byrdy Dozen, and is obviously the biggest hit of Night Ranger’s career. However, I always let people that are particularly my age know about Night Ranger’s new music. They are doing some really good music especially for someone who loves rock music from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Night Ranger has always done what they do and never worry about sounding like someone else. They don’t try to be Shinedown, Halestorm, Five Finger Death Punch or The Pretty Reckless. They rock on their own terms, and I love that about them. I believe they have done some very good rock music over the 15 years with some of those songs actually in my top ten Night Ranger songs all-time. They have scored eight (#1) albums on Byrdbored and were inducted into the Nest of Fame in 2013.

In the end, “Sister Christian” will always be the claim to fame for Night Ranger, and it is still one of the 1980’s songs I still play quite often. Therefore (#34) might not be it’s final landing spot.

Be sure to check out the Byrd Notes category for any questions about the point & certification system along with info about how Byrdbored works or any updates about changes coming down the road.

Byrdnotes – New Category Top Flights

The latest new Byrdbored Category will be Top Flights which will feature all-time songs, albums or artists that have been on the move of late. There are Top Flight pages which feature the top songs, albums and artists for a given year (2019 and 2020) and decade (2010-2019), however, the new category will focus on all-time rankings. This will most likely be a monthly write-up which will highlight some of the higher ranked songs, albums or artists that are on the rise. Although occasionally I might update a significant change for a given week. Eventually I do plan on adding Top Flight pages for all-time songs, albums and artists, but that will most likely happen in conjunction with the celebration of 50 years of Byrdbored in 2030.

As far as the Top Flights category is concerned, if a song were to start a run on the Vault Singles Chart, Top Flights would be the vehicle used to update where the song moved up on the all-time list. Byrdbored is very fluid now that the Vault charts are involved and things can change week-to-week. However, a monthly update should capture most of the important changes with only major changes being updated more often.

The debut will be soon featuring the biggest changes for the month of June 2021. Keep Flyin’ High Byrd Heads!


John Mayer Becomes 60th Artist With 2,000 Or More Points

John Mayer is officially charting in his 20th year on Byrdbored. He has been very busy on the Vault charts over the last year and a half scoring the 2020 Vault Album of the Year with “Continuum” and the 2020 Vault Single of the Year with “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room”. He has recently released a new single, “Last Train Home”, which is currently at (#8) on the SongByrd 60 Singles Chart. His new album, “Sob Rock”, is set to drop July 16, 2021. It is all good for Mr. Mayer.

Mayer also receives good news to get excited about as he becomes the 60th artist to earn (2,000) or more points on Byrdbored. Mayer has received (2,069) points to date and is currently ranked the (#56) artist in Byrdbored history. Since 2021 is Mayer’s 20th year since the release of “Room For Squares” (his first official album), he will be eligible for the Nest of Fame at the end of 2021 and induction in 2022. (2,000) points are only a minimum, however, and it won’t guarantee Mayer makes it in his first year of eligibility. He will have to get to (2,500) points or more to guarantee induction, however, it is just a matter of time for Mayer who does have a great deal of potential points on the board the last six months of 2021 and beyond.

John Mayer has scored one of the top 100 albums in Byrdbored history with “Continuum” which is currently ranked at (#72) and is currently certified 8x Platinum. Mayer has also landed seven (#1) songs all-time. Enjoy listening to live versions of those seven (#1) hits below.

Gary Allan Surprises To Take (#1) SongByrd 60 Artist

In what is the surprise of the week, Gary Allan takes the SongByrd 60 Artist of the Week. The Country artist scores the (#3) album on the SongByrd 60 with “Ruthless” and has two Byrdy Dozen albums on the Vault Albums Chart to help take (#1). Mammoth WVH remains steady at (#2) while Dua Lipa drops to (#3) after two weeks on top. Styx drops down one spot to (#4) as does Alan Jackson falling to (#5). Journey re-enters the chart at (#6) which is a new peak since the chart only began in 2020. The new Maryland rock act, Crashing Atlas, comes in at (#13) thanks to their debut album, “Black Sky Sunrise”, hitting (#8). Gabby Barrett’s Power Pick Hit Album of the Week, “Goldmine”, drives her up the chart to (#17) this week.

The ByrdTrax volume remains surprisely steady coming in at (1,230) which is only five plays down from last week. The expectations have been (and still are) that the volume will have to crash somewhat due to the high volume of plays over the last three weeks. Even a music nut like myself can’t keep that many plays up for long. The Vault % remains at 32% which is in the expected range between 30% to 40%. With no major new album releases until the July 16th release of “Sob Rock” by John Mayer , the Vault % could actually move closer to 40% in the coming weeks and the overall volume should drop back down to a more reasonable amount.

(For the week ending June 26, 2021)

Journey, Styx Continue 80’s Resurgence On Vault Charts

On the SongByrd 60 Vault Singles Chart, Journey re-enters the Byrdy Dozen with their hit, “Any Way You Want It”, at (#1). The song originally hit (#1) for six weeks back in 1981 and just recently celebrated it’s 40-year anniversary on top of Byrdbored. The release of the band’s new song, “The Way We Used To Be” sparks interest in the band’s classic music, and “Any Way You Want It” hits the top to spend a seventh-overall week.

AC/DC’s “Touch Too Much” moves up two spots to (#2) followed by “Don’t Rock The Jukebox” by Alan Jackson at (#3) who spends a second week as the top Country song. “Something’s Missing” by John Mayer moves up two slots to (#4) while Toto’s “Hold The Line” blasts up from (#11) to (#5). Kool & The Gang’s “Tonight” also has a great week moving from (#12) to (#6). Matt Stell’s first-ever Byrdbored hit, “Everywhere But On”, leaps from (#20) to (#8) which is a new peak. The (#1) Vault Single of the last two weeks has a bad week as “Notorious” by Duran Duran takes a major tumble down to (#12).

Styx continues their reign on top of the Vault Albums Chart with “Paradise Theatre” for a second week. The album did see a decrease in plays overall, but it is still strong enough to hold onto the top spot. Amy Grant’s “Heart In Motion” blasts from (#5) to (#2) as Byrdbored continues to celebrate it’s release 30 years ago. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble move up one notch to (#3) with “Texas Flood”. Another album that Byrdbored is celebrating is the 32-year anniversary of Don Henley’s “The End Of The Innocence” which was on top of Byrdbored this week in 1989. The album leaps from (#9) to (#4) this week. AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” album moves back up to (#5) and is certified Platinum this week. Journey’s “Departure” catapults from (#60) to (#6) thanks to the (#1) Vault Single, “Any Way You Want It”. The album has been certified Gold this week. Gary Allan has two albums hit the Vault charts with his debut, “Used Heart For Sale”, hitting (#7) and his third album, “Smoke Rings In The Dark”, blasting from (#35) to (#11). Allan’s Country music catalog will most likely see an increase in the coming months with the release of his new (#3) album, “Ruthless”.

Be sure to check out J-BRD Vault Radio to hear the Vault Byrdy Dozen hit songs every week!!!!

(For The Week Ending June 26, 2021)

Click pic to see more info on Styx