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Ask Billboard: Readers' Favorites Of 2012, Part 2

The Associated Press, Sunday, December 30, 2012, 10:42pm (PST)

Billboard -- As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20 LAST TO FIRST Hi Gary, There's a popular phrase that says, "So the last will be first." It applies to Billboard charts, too. For example, in the Billboard Hot 100 era (which began the week of Aug. 4, 1958), seven songs that finished at No. 1 the last week of the year became the top Hot 100 song of the entire following year: Song, Artist, Year No. 1, Last week at No. 1 "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)," Rod Stewart, 1977, Dec. 25, 1976 "Physical," Olivia Newton-John, 1982, Dec. 26, 1981 "Walk Like an Egyptian," the Bangles, 1987, Dec. 27, 1986

"Faith," George Michael, 1988, Dec. 26, 1987 "I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston, 1993, Dec. 26, 1992 "How You Remind Me," Nickelback, 2002, Dec. 29, 2001 "Irreplaceable," Beyonce, 2007, Dec. 30, 2006 But, let me be the first one to wish you, Gary, and your loyal readers, a healthy, safe and happy 2013 with your loved ones. Take care, Mackenzie (Mac) Scott, Fajardo, Puerto Rico Thanks Mac - Happy New Year to you, as well! Interesting observation. Still, such a feat has been fairly rare, especially since Nielsen BDS airplay and SoundScan data has been fueling the chart (since Nov. 30, 1991) and year-end rankings are based strictly on December-November spans. Songs like "How You Remind Me" and "Irreplaceable" have had to split their points totals across two years - making their No. 1 year-end placements all the more impressive. Can current leader "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars be the latest such year-end No. 1? Again, any points it accrued prior to the Dec. 1, 2012, chart week went toward 2012 rankings; thus, its first six chart weeks, by which point it had risen to No. 6, won't count toward 2013. Clearly, it helps a song's chances to have all its chart weeks within one chart year when it comes to year-end tabulations. Still, "Locked" could have the top spot locked up for awhile, as it has a relatively comfortable lead over the Hot 100's No. 2 song, Rihanna 's "Diamonds." Taylor Swift 's "I Knew You Were Trouble.," however, is coming on strong, bounding 10-4 this past week, up 31% in total points, the largest percentage gain in the chart's top 25. But, there'll be plenty of time to watch 2013 charts. Before we get too far ahead, let's roll part two of readers' best of 2012 lists. We'll sprinkle in some Billboard staff picks, too (I'll even sneak in mine), in this New Year's Eve edition of "Ask Billboard." NEXT As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20 P!NK TO WHITE Hello Gary, Seeing your call for submissions for lists of personal top 10 albums this year, I couldn't help but give the question some deep thought. It has been a bountiful year in music, with so many stellar releases, making it a huge challenge to whittle down this list. But, here goes, ranked in order of my preference. As you might suppose from the diverse mix below, I do listen to quite a range of music. 10, "The Truth About Love" by P!nk P!nk is at her best in this album, comprising memorable pop-rock ditties from the angst-ridden "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" and "Slut Like You" to the inspirational "Try," the fun "How Come You're Not Here?" and "Just Give Me a Reason," featuring fun. frontman Nate Reuss. 9, "Born To Die" by Lana Del Rey The album may have been plagued with mixed reviews and Del Rey's lyrics criticized for lacking depth, but in an era of overproduced songs, this album is a welcome change. Melancholic tracks from "Summertime Sadness" to "Without You" make for easy listening. 8, "Little Broken Hearts" by Norah Jones Jones ventures into indie-pop territory and further from her jazz roots in this edgy fifth solo album. Tracks such as "Happy Pills" and "Say Goodbye" may reek of vulnerability and spite but the album never sounds too morose. 7, "The Idler Wheel ..." by Fiona Apple As quirky as its title, Apple's first album in seven years may not be easily digested at first but underneath it all is a beguiling masterpiece. 6, "Babel" by Mumford & Sons The folk band returns with a more accomplished effort that is bigger, bolder, fuller and grittier than its debut effort. 5, "Blunderbuss" by Jack White The White Stripes lead singer opines about relationships gone wrong in his sonically-striking debut solo, unleashing his emotional baggage onto the listener over 13 poignant tracks. 4, "18 Months" by Calvin Harris Harris' unique sound is evident in this album, and his strong beats, addictive hooks and roster of collaborators make this album full of anthem-worthy hits brilliant with which to usher in the new year. 3, "Still Alive" by Big Bang Even with a galloping labelmate - PSY - stealing much of its thunder, it is quite impossible to ignore the achievements of Big Bang over the past year. "Still Alive" is a strong comeback album and G-Dragon and T.O.P once again prove what excellent songwriters they are. 2, "Lonerism" by Tame Impala A tremendous spectacle of experimental and psychedelic rock. It is great that people are starting to take note of this Australian experimental band, which I am sure will be a force in 2013.

1, "Halcyon" by Ellie Goulding Rarely has an electro-pop album been so rich and compelling in its soundscape. Goulding casts her magic in her follow-up to "Lights" in gems such as "Anything Could Happen," "My Blood" and "Figure 8." Best, Walter Sim Singapore NEXT As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20 'KISS' ON THEIR LISTS Hi Gary, Here are my top 10 albums of the year: 1, "Warrior," Ke$ha 2, "Halcyon," Ellie Goulding 3, "Unapologetic," Rihanna 4, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," Nicki Minaj 5, "Born to Die," Lana Del Rey 6, "Clarity," Zedd 7, "Electra Heart," Marina and the Diamonds

8, "Kiss," Carly Rae Jepsen 9, "Trespassing," Adam Lambert 10, "MDNA," Madonna Zack Judson 1, Gotye, "Making Mirrors" 2, Emeli Sande, "Our Version of Events" 3, One Direction, "Up All Night" 4, Secondhand Serenade, "A Naked Twist to My Story" 5, The Script, "#3" 6, Frank Ocean, "channel ORANGE" 7, Hunter Hayes, "Hunter Hayes" 8, fun., "Some Nights" 9, P!nk, "The Truth About Love" 10, Mumford & Sons, "Babel" Honorable mentions: Matthew Koma, "Parachute" (EP) Carly Rae Jepsen, "Kiss" Ed Sheeran, "+" The Wanted, "The Wanted" Miguel, "Kaleidoscope Dream" Alex Vitoulis Billboard associate chart production manager New York, New York Hi Gary, Just a year-end trivia note for you. Carly Rae Jepsen, who finished at No. 2 for the year with "Call Me Maybe," just missed being the latest Canadian act to have the No. 1 Hot 100 song of the year. She would've joined the likes of Percy Faith, who earned the honor with "The Theme From 'A Summer Place'" (1960), Bryan Adams, with "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" (1991), and Nickelback, with "How You Remind Me" (2002). I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season. Best always, Larry Cohen Trumbull, Connecticut NEXT As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20 TREES STAND TALL Gary, My top 10 albums of 2012:

1, "Picture Show," Neon Trees 2, "Take Care," Drake 3, "channel ORANGE," Frank Ocean 4, "The Lateness of the Hour," Alex Clare 5, "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City," Kendrick Lamar 6, "Nights Like These," Outasight 7, "Babel," Mumford & Sons 8, "Night Visions," Imagine Dragons 9, "The 2nd Law," Muse 10, "My Head Is an Animal," Of Monsters and Men Best, Alex Guzman 'BORN' TO 1 Hi Gary, Here are my favorite albums of the year: 1, Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die" 2, Marina and the Diamonds, "Electra Heart" 3, Emeli Sande, "Our Version of Events" 4, Nicki Minaj, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded" 5, Rihanna, "Unapologetic" 6, Christina Aguilera, "Lotus" 7, Rita Ora, "Ora" 8, Birdy, "Birdy" 9, Taylor Swift, "Red 10, Ke$ha, "Warrior" Thanks, Michael Hallegger 'AWESOME' TOP 10 1, Mumford & Sons, "Babel" 2, Frank Ocean, "channel ORANGE" 3, Gotye, "Making Mirrors" 4, The Lumineers, "The Lumineers" 5, fun., "Some Nights" 6, Ellie Goulding, "Halcyon" 7, Alt-J, "An Awesome Wave" 8, Elle Varner, "Perfectly Imperfect" 9, Ed Sheeran, "+" 10, Allen Stone, "Allen Stone" Katie Morse Billboard social marketing manager New York, New York NEXT As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20 2MANYDJs TO MENTION Hi Gary, Thought I'd pitch in with my list to add to your collection! Here are my top 25 songs of 2012: 1, "Madness," Muse 2, "Smoke and Mirrors," Gotye 3, "Secret Fear," Daniel Bedingfield 4, "Put Your Hands Up," Nerina Pallot 5, "Everything Means Something," Pet Shop Boys

6, "Intergalactic Rockit (Beastie Boys vs. Herbie Hancock)," 2ManyDJs 7, "Survival," Muse 8, "Nightfall," PVT 9, "Six Months in a Cast," The Trouble With Templeton 10, "Why Don't We Do Something?," Hey Geronimo 11, "Nineteen," Millions 12, "Devo Was Right About Everything," The Attery Squash 13, "O.V.E.R. U.," Daniel Bedingfield 14, "All I Know (Triple Kit Extended Mix)," Eagle and the Worm 15, "Extraloveable," Prince 16, "Easy Way Out," Gotye 17, "Skyfall," Adele 18, "Jesse," Mia Dyson 19, "Timebomb," Kylie Minogue 20, "Spare Change," Ingrid Michaelson 21, "Invisible," Pet Shop Boys 22, "Girl Gone Wild," Madonna 23, "Don't Stop (St. Lucia Remix)," Foster the People 24, "Slut Like You," P!nk 25, "You're Mine," Devin Stephen Scott Australia ANOTHER 'AWESOME' TOP 10 Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago's "Awesome" connected with me immediately and profoundly. Sometimes the simplest messages are the most transformative. 1, Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago, "Awesome" 2, Justin Moore, "Til My Last Day" 3, Rhett Walker Band, "When Mercy Found Me" 4, Easton Corbin, "Lovin' You Is Fun" 5, Patrick Dopson, "Keep Me" 6, Jamey Johnson, "Would These Arms Be in Your Way" 7, John P. Kee & New Life, "Life & Favor" 8, Greg Bates, "Did It for the Girl" 9, Toby Keith, "Hope on the Rocks" 10, Time Jumpers, "Someone Had to Teach You" Wade Jessen Billboard senior chart manager Nashville, Tennessee NEXT As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20 ROCKIN' NEW YEAR'S In 2012, we were gifted with a generally real sound, courtesy of acts like Lana Del Rey and the Black Keys. The importance of lyrics came back into play (think Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know"). Music also tended toward a rockier and more alternative direction which, in my humble opinion, is nothing short of a good thing. This year presented some truly phenomenal music. If you weren't literally swept off your feet by Carrie Underwood's first ambitious record, you probably found yourself closer to heaven with Mumford & Sons' smash or Lana Del Rey's ode to classical. And, the electronic sounds of M83. and Awolnation did justice to the reputation of music. Here are my picks for the top 10 albums of 2012: 1, Mumford & Sons, "Babel" 2, Carrie Underwood, "Blown Away"

3, The Black Keys, "El Camino" 4, Lana Del Rey, "Born To Die" 5, M83., "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" 6, Florence + the Machine, "Ceremonials" 7, fun., "Some Nights" 8, Awolnation, "Megalithic Symphony" 9, Bat for Lashes, "The Haunted Man" 10, Rick Ross, "God Forgives, I Don't" Regards, Fabian Lemuel Pillay Durban, South Africa 12 FOR '12 Hi Gary, Here are my top 12 albums of 2012. 1, Emeli Sande, "Our Version of Events 2, Madonna, "MDNA" 3, Agnes, "Veritas" 4, Ellie Goulding, "Halcyon" 5, Nelly Furtado, "Spirit Indestructible" 6, P!nk, "The Truth About Love" 7, Olly Murs, "Right Place Right Time" 8, Christina Aguilera, "Lotus" 9, Delta Goodrem, "Child of the Universe" 10, Alanis Morissette, "Havoc and Bright Lights" 11, Kylie Minogue, "The Abbey Road Sessions" 12, Leona Lewis, "Glassheart" Mark D. Kilinsky Florence, South Carolina 'WILD' ONE

1, Madonna, "Girl Gone Wild" (Offer Nissim Remix). Madonna's tongue-in-cheek, fun lyrics combine with her expertly crafted pop structure and Benny Benassi's brilliantly tight production. Offer Nissim showed he 'got' the song with his remix, allowing the most important parts to shine, while uniquely adding signature middle eastern elements. Instantly catchy, pulsatingly energetic, and able to still sound fresh after many months, this song tops the rest. 2, Divini + Warning, "4 L.B." (Radio Edit) 3, Swedish House Mafia, "Greyhound" (Original Club Mix) 4, Dave Matthias vs. Maroon 5, "Look For the Girl" (Dave Matthias Club Mix) 5, Neon Hitch, "F U Betta" (Danny Verde Remix) 6, Gareth Emery, "The Saga" (Original Mix) 7, Kaskade featuring Neon Trees, "Lessons in Love" (Extended) 8, Sander van Doorn, "Drink to Get Drunk" (Extended Mix) 9, Hardwell, "Spaceman" (Original Mix) 10, Orjan Nilsen, "Viking" (Original Mix) Gordon Murray Billboard chart manager (dance/electronic, jazz, world, new age, comedy, Ringtones) New York, New York NEXT As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20 'HEAVEN' HAS A PLACE AT NO. 1 Hi Gary! Here are my top 15 favorite songs of 2012, including singles and album cuts. 1, "Locked Out of Heaven," Bruno Mars 2, "Waiting for the Night," Nelly Furtado 3, "Wildest Moments," Jessie Ware 4, "Some Nights," fun. 5, "Thinking Bout You," Frank Ocean 7, "Vegas Girl," Conor Maynard 8, "The Chaser," Infinite 9, "Blown Away," Carrie Underwood 10, "Army of Me," Christina Aguilera 11, "Young, Single & Sexy," Rita Ora 12, "Breath of Life," Florence + the Machine 13, "Do You …," Miguel 14, "Andre," JoJo 15. "Turn Around," Conor Maynard featuring Ne-Yo Wilson Candido Nova Iguacu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil HOT HITS Hi Gary, Here's my list of 12 songs (I call them my Hot 12 of 2012) that got me pushing the "repeat track" button on my music player as the past 12 months went by.

1, "Somebody That I Used to Know," both the simple yet awesome original version by Gotye featuring Kimbra and the peculiar cover by Walk Off the Earth 2, "Rolling in the Deep," Adele (yes, a carryover from last year) 3, "Payphone," Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa 4, "Glad You Came," The Wanted 5, "What Makes You Beautiful," One Direction 6, "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen 7, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," Kelly Clarkson 8, "We Are Young," fun. featuring Janelle Monae 9, "One More Night," Maroon 5 10, "Someone Like You" Adele (also from 2011) 11, "Gangnam Style," PSY 12, "It Will Rain," Bruno Mars Happy holidays! Cheers, Leo O. Laparan II Manila, Philippines FIRST FROM THE START In this week of recapping the year's favorites...my top song of 2012 is "Somebody That I Used ..." from @gotye. Grabbed me from 1st listen. @silpiet Silvio Pietroluongo Billboard director of charts New York, New York NEXT As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20 BIG BROTHER WAS LISTENING

1, "Labrador," Aimee Mann 2, "Summer Child," Dar Williams 3, "Charmer," Aimee Mann 4, "Chasing What's Already Gone," Mary Chapin Carpenter 5, "Soul Companion," Mary Chapin Carpenter 6, "Winner," Pet Shop Boys 7, "Heart of Hearts," Great Big Sea 8, "It's Possible," Roxette 9, "Silenced By the Night," Keane 10, "Time Spent in Los Angeles," Dawes 11, "Cold October," Escondido 12, "November Sun," Susanna Hoffs 13, "Little Talks," Of Monsters and Men 14, "Heart on Fire," Scars on 45 15, "Mountain Sound," Of Monsters and Men And a few extras: "Every Time I'm Home," Sam Chase "Hero," Family of the Year "Take a Walk," Passion Pit "I'll Say It," Kathy Griffin "Worlds Are Made of Paper," Ben Taylor "That Game," Laura Warshauer "Next to Me," Emile Sande "Teardrop Windows," Benjamin Gibbard "The Sweet Hello, the Sad Goodbye (Bassflow Remake)," Roxette "Stay Young, Go Dancing," Death Cab for Cutie Michael Trust Boston, Massachusetts ... AND MINE If you're still reading ... thanks! Here are my top 13 albums of 2012 (13 in honor of looking ahead to '13). As always, a sincere thank you for all your e-mails throughout the year. Here's to a happy, healthy and safe 2013. Looking forward to sharing your insights and continuing the conversation about charts and music all year long! 13, Demetri Martin, "Standup Comedian" 12, Roxette, "Travelling" 11, Karmina, "Car Train Ship Plane (2012)" 10, Martha's Trouble, "A Little Heart Like You" 9, The Beach Boys "That's Why God Made the Radio" 8, Cheryl Wheeler, "Cheryl Wheeler Live" 7, Alanis Morissette, "Havoc and Bright Lights" 6, Aimee Mann, "Charmer" 5, Madonna, "MDNA" 4, Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Ashes and Roses" 3, Stars, "The North" 2, Liz Longley, "Inside This Song" (EP)

1, The Strange Familiar, "Chasing Shadows" (seen above performing my No. 1 song of 2012, "Run Away Heart," at a visit earlier this year to Billboard's New York offices)

Related article on Billboard.com:

The Best of 2012: The Year In Music

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Find more online: Billboard.com

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