Jake’s Take: Top 40-Songs of the Year (2015 Edition)-Part Three

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Missed Part Two of my countdown? Click here!

The countdown pushes forward! Did your favorite songs make the cut?

Sam Smith Writing's On the Wall

(Artwork property of Capitol & Columbia Records)

 20. Sam Smith: Writing’s On The Wall

Earlier this year, Sam Smith joined Dame Shirley Bassey, Madonna, Duran Duran, Chris Cornell, Sir Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight and Adele in a prestigious group: The James Bond Theme Song club. The “Lay Me Down” singer co-wrote Spectre’s theme with Jimmy Napes and the track was produced by Napes, Steve Fitzmaurice and Disclosure. While the track divided critics, “Writing’s On The Wall” peaked at the top spot on Billboard’s Euro Digital Songs and the Official Charts Company’s Scotland and UK Singles charts.  Currently, the track is up for a Golden Globe Award in the Best Original Song category.

19. Pentatonix: Stars

One of the best tracks that was featured on the Finding Neverland: The Album (Songs from the Broadway Musical) was Pentatonix’s “Stars.” Not only did the supergroup delivered one of the best performances on the album, but the track is also one of the most uplifting songs that I have heard from the Great White Way in a very long time.


Sheppard Geronimo Song of the Year 2015

(Album cover property of Empire of Song)

 18. Sheppard: Geronimo

Sheppard made their American debuts this year and since they dropped “Geronimo,” the Jay Bovino, Amy Sheppard and George Sheppard tune has been a Top 40 favorite on radio. In addition to their radio success, the band performed the track on numerous shows such as ‘The Today Show’, ‘Girl Meets World’ and the 2015 Radio Disney Music Awards.


(Album cover property of RCA)

(Album cover property of RCA)

 17. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars: Uptown Funk

Last December, celebrated music producer Mark Ronson teamed up with pop rock and funk enthusiast Bruno Mars released a single that changed the music industry. “Uptown Funk’s” funky hypnotic beats and Mars’ superb vocals blazed through the charts and peaked at the number one spot on 19 countries’ music charts. In addition, their music video became the ninth video to hit over 1,000,000,000 views on YouTube.

16. Ms. Lauryn Hill: Feeling Good

I have to admit that I did not always like the Nina Simone standard: “Feeling Good.” Either the artists that sing this track try to turn this a vocal gymnastics showcase or they bore their audience. However, when Ms. Lauryn Hill tackled the track on the Nina Simone tribute album, Nina Revisited, the actress-singer soared to new heights as she properly taught the next generation of singers how to sing the track.

15. James Taylor: Angels of Fenway

It is always a joy when James Taylor releases new music. This year, Mr. Taylor released his first album of new material in 13 years. “Angels of Fenway” was a true highlight of Before This World, because it brilliantly painted Boston Red Sox’s reversal of the Bambino’s Curse and how the team won the 2004 World Series Championship.


Alabama Shakes Don't Wanna Fight Song of the Year

(Album cover property of ATO Records)

 14. Alabama Shakes: Don’t Wanna Fight

If I had to name the best alternative rock track of 2015, Alabama Shakes’ “Don’t Wanna Fight” would be one of the strongest candidates. Brittany Howard’s commanding howls and great vocal attack on the lyrics combined with Zac Cockrell’s mighty bass line, Heath Fogg’s superb guitar riffs and Steve Johnson’s mighty drums made “Don’t Wanna Fight” an impressive force on the Billboard US Rock and Alternative Songs charts. In addition, the track helped the Athens, Georgia-based band…. two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

 13. Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor: Marvin Gaye

Singer-songwriter Charlie Puth’s debut single remains one of the best debuts I have heard as an entertainment journalist. Between the smooth Motown piano licks and the stupendous vocal harmonies between Charlie and Meghan, this song might be the millennial generation’s “Sexual Healing.” In addition to the music video’s 171 million views, “Marvin Gaye” landed on the number one slot on six different countries’ music charts.

 12. Omi: Cheerleader

Jamaican singer Omi had a great 2015! His catchy, ear candy-pleasing song, “Cheerleader,” peaked at number one spot on 20 different countries’ music charts.  Omi performed his number one jam on numerous shows such as ‘America’s Got Talent,’ VH1’s The Streamy Awards and the UK’s ‘Paul O’Grady Show.’  


FourFive Seconds Rihanna Kanye West Paul McCartney

(Album cover property of Roc Nation Records)

 11. Rihanna, Kanye West & Sir Paul McCartney: FourFiveSeconds

This powerhouse trio closes out part three of this epic countdown! I have been waiting to hear how both Rihanna and Kanye sound without a whole lot of background noise blaring out their voices. The “We Found Love” singer a fantastic vocal performance, while we saw the rarely seen side of Kanye West.  Music legend Sir Paul McCartney completed the trio as he provided the amazing acoustic guitar licks that was heavily showcased in the background. While “FourFiveSeconds” was nominated for an American Music Award, the single’s music video received over 311 million views on YouTube and was one of the top highlights of the 2015 Grammy Awards.

I do not own the clips that are featured in this article. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.


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