Norwegian Stargate Produces Mariah Carey’s Oz Theme Almost Home

The Norwegian production team Stargate – Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen – has co-written and -produced the upcoming Mariah Carey single ‘Almost Home.’ Expect a video directed by David LaChapelle to direct the music video. Lifted off the soundtrack to Oz the Great and Powerful which is due next month,  the track follows ‘Triumphant (Get ‘Em)’ from August last year.

Collaborated on E=MC2 in 2008

It’s not the first time Stargate collaborates with Mariah Carey. Back in 2008, the duo contributed with two tracks on Carey’s album E=MC2. The album followed The Emancipation of Mimi and achieved worldwide sales of 2.5 million copies worldwide. Only one of the tracks were released as a single – ‘Bye Bye’ (April 2008). In addition, Carey also recorded the Stargate track ‘I’m That Chick.’ The track peaked at No.82 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart due to strong digital downloads, yet it was never released commercially.

Mariah Carey – Bye Bye

 Sole No.1 in Sweden

With more than 60 singles under her belt, Mariah Carey is yet to achieve a second No.1 hit in Sweden. To date, ‘Without You’ (1994) is her only No.1 in Sweden, spending eight weeks atop the chart. Included on the 1993 album Music Box, the track was  a global success, yet it only managed to peak at No.3 in her home country. Instead, both ‘Dreamlover and ‘Hero’ became Billboard Hot 100 hits.

Stargate Responsible for Rihanna Success

Stargate first rose to international fame with Ne-Yo’s ‘So Sick’ (2006). The duo had written and produced tracks for UK pop acts such as S Club 7, Samantha Mumba and Billie Piper. Moving to the US, recent hits includes e.g. ‘Take a Bow’ and ‘Rude Boy’ with Rihanna as well as ‘Irreplaceable’ with Beyoncé and ‘Black and Yellow’ with Wiz Khalifa.

The Goo Goo Doll’s ‘Iris’ Returns

CHART REWIND. John Rzeznik wrote “Iris” for the soundtrack to the 1998 film City of Angels starring Nicolas Cage. Rzeznik’s group The Goo Goo Dolls chose to include it on its sixth album Dizzy Up the Girl which amassed more than 3m in worldwide record sales.


“Iris” was no less than a chart sensation as it spent a record 18 weeks at No.1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart in 1998. That beats No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” (1996-1997) and Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” (2005) who spent 16 weeks atop the airplay chart.

So, how come it never made it higher than No.9 on the Hot 100? That’s because it wasn’t allowed to chart on the Hot 100 as it was never released as a physical single (that was long before the legal downloads). It bowed on the chart and peaked at No.9 when Billboard revised its chart policy in 1998. It, however, managed to top the Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Despite becoming such a huge US hit, it never reached the UK top 20 peaking at No.26.  WelcheMusic still hasn’t figured out why. Boyzone lead singer  Ronan Keating took “Iris” to No.12, thus beating the original peak of Goo Goo Dolls.

And now, another boy band has covered the track. The Wanted performed “Iris” on The Sun’s concert sessions the other week.

Read more about The Wanted and watch the clip:

Heroes Returns to the Charts

There was no anti-campaign this time, no obstacle in the way. Simon Cowell and his X Factor finalists easily fought off competition as they bowed atop this week’s singles chart with “Heroes.” Originally released in September 1977 by David Bowie, the track wasn’t a hit at that time. Alongside “Rebel Rebel,” this Bowie track has been cited as one of the most covered songs by the singer.

David Bowie wrote the track with U2 producer Brian Eno and it was actually a reference to the German band Neu’s hit “Hero” from 1975. Fast forward to 2010 and this week’s UK No.1. This time around, the Bowie track has turned charity as it’s recorded in aid of the British charity Help for Heroes. The organization supports injured servicemen and women.

It’s definitely not the first time the organization got the help from aspiring talents and one cannot blame the X Factor producer to think outside of the box. In 2008, the finalists covered Mariah Carey’s “Hero.” Surely, Help for Heroes can accept contributions made from a song without ‘hero’ in the title.  Last year, the finalists topped the singles chart with a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone.” It benefited the Great Ormond Street Hospital, so need to put hero in the title then. All three charity singles topped the singles chart. As the BBC chart blog points out, there are a few tracks with ‘heroes’ in the title for further covers.

Quick research shows  some great insight into the world of covers. Ewan McGregor sang the tune in the “Elephant Love Medley” with Nicole Kidman as featured in Moulin Rouge. In 2003, the track was remixed by none other than David Guetta.

Finally, still there are X-Factor Internet campaigning. The 54-year old Wagner Carrilho managed to earn supporters making his Bookmakers Coral odds dropping from 150-1 a month ago to 6-1 before being ejected.  “There was people out there trying to derail this show,” Simon Cowell said to BBC News after Wagner Carrilho left the show this week.

Please also read

Check out the lyrics to “Heroes” via Lyrics Depot here.

Listen to Heroes via Spotify:

Life on Mars” – Like You Never Hard It

JLS Dethrones Rihanna

British boyband JLS manage to do what Take That couldn’t. Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World)” falls to No.4 in the UK as “Love You More” with JLS goes straight to No.1. The group releases the new album Outta This World tomorrow, which includes their former UK No.1 “The Club Is Alive.” Built on “The Sound of Music” from the Julie Andrews 1965 film, JLS topped the charts in July with their rendition.

We’ve covered boy bands before, and this fall sets some sort of record. Take That is back, Westlife returns with new material, but it seems as if the latest acts like The Wanted and JLS sit firm atop the charts. Outta This World contains new songs produced by well-known boy band producers such as Steve Mac, Wayne Hector and Stargate.  At least, there is no change in terms of production teams.

The new No.1 – “Love You More” – also serves as the 2010 official Children in Need charity. JLS lost to Alexandra Burke in the 2008 X-Factor series.  Apart from “One Shot” in February 2010, the group’s four hit singles have all the No.1 spot in the UK. In addition, they’ve appeared on two additional chart toppers – The X Factor Finalists 2008’s rendition of Mariah Carey’s Hero and the Helping Haiti charity cover “Everybody Hurts,” that WelcheMusic covered in a previous post.

Coincidentally, JLS performed Rihanna’s “Umbrella” on X-Factor. The very same artist they dethrone this week. This September, the guys even launched their own condom range via Durex encouraging their fans to conduct safe sex.

  • Click here for JLS’ official YouTube channel
  • Please find lyrics to JLS’ hits via Elyrics
  • Listen to JLS via Spotify UK
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