Dave's Music Database books

Wednesday, December 31, 1986

Pop Memories 1890-1954 – Top 100 Artists

image from recordresearch.com

This list is taken from page 623 of Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954. That book was designed as a companion to the Billboard books which tracked the songs which charted on the Hot 100 from 1955 to the present. The book lists acts alphabetically and all their hits, including peak position and date first charted. This list was created by totaling each act’s chart points.

1. Bing Crosby
2. Paul Whiteman
3. Guy Lombardo
4. Tommy Dorsey
5. Billy Murray
6. Benny Goodman
7. Glenn Miller
8. Henry Burr
9. Peerless Quartet
10. Harry MacDonough

11. Ben Selvin
12. Ted Lewis
13. Al Jolson
14. Sammy Kaye
15. Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan
16. Perry Como
17. Jimmy Dorsey
18. Frank Sinatra
19. Charles Adams Prince
20. The Andrews Sisters

21. Freddy Martin
22. Kay Kyser
23. John McCormack
24. Leo Reisman
25. Isham Jones
26. Rudy Vallee
27. Eddy Duchin
28. American Quartet
29. Dinah Shore
30. Harry James

31. Jo Stafford
32. Haydn Quartet
33. Ada Jones
34. Duke Ellington
35. Louis Armstrong
36. Vaughn Monroe
37. Fats Waller
38. Glen Gray
39. Jan Garber
40. Hal Kemp

41. The Mills Brothers
42. Ruth Etting
43. Byron Harlan
44. Gene Austin
45. Ray Noble
46. Russ Morgan
47. Nat Shilkret
48. Fred Waring
49. Arthur Collins
50. Nat “King” Cole

51. Albert Campbell
52. Artie Shaw
53. George Olsen
54. Horace Heidt
55. Len Spencer
56. Frankie Laine
57. Ada Jones and Billy Murray
58. Enrico Caruso
59. Woody Herman
60. Frank Stanley

61. Marion Harris
62. Cal Stewart
63. The Ink Spots
64. Eddy Howard
65. Ella Fitzgerald
66. Ben Bernie
67. Dick Haymes
68. Walter Van Brunt
69. Patti Page
70. Nora Bayes

71. Dan Quinn
72. Eddie Fisher
73. Bob Crosby
74. Fred Astaire
75. Larry Clinton
76. Cab Calloway
77. Shep Fields
78. Margaret Whiting
79. George J. Gaskin
80. Charles Harrison

81. Doris Day
82. Bert Williams
83. Billie Holiday
84. Teddy Wilson
85. Ozzie Nelson
86. J.W. Myers
87. Ted Weems
88. Wayne King
89. Tony Martin
90. Vic Damone

91. Lewis James
92. Frank Crumit
93. Peggy Lee
94. Vincent Lopez
95. Cliff Edwrads
96. John Phillip Sousa
97. Vess Ossman
98. Connee Boswell
99. Kay Starr
100. Johnny Mercer


Resources:
  • Joel Whitburn (1991). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Record Research: Menomonee Falls, WI. Page 623.

Saturday, December 20, 1986

The Beastie Boys charted with “Fight for Your Right”: December 20, 1986

Originally posted December 20, 2011.

image from imstars.aufeminin.com

The fourth single from the Beastie Boys’ debut album made them a household name. Their goofy wit and party atmosphere endured them to millions – millions who flocked to buy the parent album, Licensed to Ill and give the Beasties the distinction of being the first rap group in U.S. history to hit #1 on the Billboard album chart.

The song – and the success of the album – owed much to the Beasties’ combination of metal and rap. The Beastie Boys were “just three kids from rich New York families who liked black culture.” CR With the help of producer Rick Rubin, they merged the sounds of Led Zeppelin with the style of old school rap. It wasn’t the first time rock and rap had found chart success – just months earlier, Rubin helped Run-D.M.C. get a top 5 U.S. pop hit with their remake of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” – aided by Aerosmith’s own Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

“Fight for Your Right” was intended as a parody of the kind of “beer-soaked, panty-raiding rock jam that ruled fraternity houses and dingy bars alike.” TB The video, which depicted “the party that is every suburban parent’s worst nightmare” TB played up the parody and garnered it plenty of spins on MTV.

Unfortunately, as member Mike D said, “There were tons of guys singing along to ‘Fight for Your Right’ who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them.” WK In fact, the song was reportedly cut just as a joke. Once the group became superstars thanks to their new frat-boy fanbase, they played up the roles until, according to Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch, they had become their own joke. SF

In time, the group would come to be very respected for their experimental music and ability to merge different genres. Rap group Public Enemy was on board early, even sampling the song for their own 1988 “Party for Your Right to Fight”.

You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party


Awards:



Resources and Related Links:

Friday, December 19, 1986

Judge refuses to reinstate a lawsuit against Ozzy Osbourne’s “Suicide Solution”: December 19, 1986

Originally posted December 19, 2011.



October 26, 1984: 19-year-old John McCullum committed suicide in his home in California. His parents brought a lawsuit against heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne and his CBS record label. The McCullums were convinced that the song “Suicide Solution” from Ozzy’s Blizzard of Oz album, played a part in their son’s death. They claimed the song had hidden lyrics which incited their son to kill himself and that the song urged listeners to “get the gun and try it, shoot, shoot, shoot.” HI Osbourne responded that the song was actually anti-suicide, written in response to a musician who drank himself to death, HI supposedly AC/DC’s Bon Scott. WK

The crux of the lawsuit depended on the idea that while it is legal to express a viewpoint or feeling, it is illegal to directly call for any specific violent responses. Specifically, in the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that “expression advocating violent or otherwise illegal behavior only loses First Amendment protection if the expression is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless behavior, and is likely to result in such action.” TJ Because this is hard to prove, similar lawsuits brought against other entertainers have generally failed. On December 19, 1986, a judge in California refused to reinstate the lawsuit.





Resources and Related Links:



Saturday, October 25, 1986

Bon Jovi hit #1 with Slippery When Wet: October 25, 1986

Originally posted October 25, 2011.




Bon Jovi hit the rock scene in 1984. Their debut chart single, “Runaway”, cracked the top 40 on the pop charts and went top 5 at rock radio. However, the handful of singles which followed over the rest of that album and the next came and went with much less fanfare. It looked like Bon Jovi could well become an also-ran that would be lucky to be remembered beyond the ‘80s.

Then came the monster that was Slippery When Wet. The group tweaked its approach, bring professional songwriter Desmond Child on board. WK It worked – the band went “from minor-league poodle rockers to global superstars” RD thanks to two #1 songs (“You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer”) co-written by Child.

As “Name” was still climbing the charts, Wet found itself at #1 on the album chart. It abdicated the throne to Boston’s Third Stage the next week. After that album’s month-long stay on top, Bruce Springsteen grabbed the gold for seven weeks with his Live 1975-1975 box set. However, by the time “Prayer” became the band’s second #1 song in February 1987, the album returned to the top as well – for an additional seven weeks.

Wet went on to sell 12 million copies domestically and 28 million worldwide. While “lead singer Jon Bon Jovi’s mop of curls and winning smile” WR grabbed the girls’ attention, their “rock-as-mythology” WR attitude also meant “they had identified their audience – young white adolescent males – and were targeting it accurately.” WR “The album contained competent contemporary pop/rock from its Eddie Van Halen-inspired guitar solos to the singer’s enthusiastic, husky wail (which owed a lot to Bruce Springsteen).” WR Overall, the “album contains its fair share” RD of “consistently memorable tunes.” RD and while it “won’t change your world…it will, undoubtedly, rock it.” RD




Awards:
Resources and Related Links:



Tuesday, August 12, 1986

Paul Simon released Graceland: August 12, 1986

Originally posted 8/12/12. Updated 3/1/13.

image from kovideo.net


Release date: 12 August 1986
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) The Boy in the Bubble (2/21/87, #86 US, #15 AR) / Graceland (11/15/86, #81 US, #38 AR) / I Know What I Know / Gumboots / Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes / You Can Call Me Al (8/9/86, #20a US, #42 AR) / Under African Skies / Homeless / Crazy Love, Vol. II / That Was Your Mother / All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 2.2 UK, 15.6 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 3 US, 18 UK

Rating:


Review: On Graceland, Paul Simon introduced world music into a pop arena by “combining his always perceptive songwriting with the little-heard mbaqanga music of South Africa, creating a fascinating hybrid that re-enchanted his old audience and earned him a new one.” AMG He gave listeners with “that magical combination: something they’d never heard before that nevertheless sounded familiar.” AMG “The story goes that Simon heard a tape called Gumboots: Accordion Jive Hits, Volume II and immediately hopped a flight to Soweto to learn more about the township jive called mbaqanga.” TL In reality, it was a few months later, but it remains “the most spontaneous thing the world’s most rational songwriter is even rumored to have done, and that sense of liberation and adventure is all over Graceland.” TL

The “former folkie” UT threw “his ears open to a host of new players and singers” TL and created “exotically fanciful collaborations with such African talents as Ladysmith Black Mambazo,” UT “Boyoyo Boys, Tao Ea Matsekha and, back in the U.S., the Mexican-American group Los Lobos.” TL He also “incorporated a great number of musical styles, including zydeco, Tex-Mex and African vocal music.” NRR It also “delved into…conjunto-flavored rock & roll” AMG and tapped “accomplished musicians…[like] Linda Ronstadt, Adrian Belew, Los Lobos, the Everly Brothers and Youssou N’Dour.” NRR

Graceland

Simon largely eschewed “a linear, narrative approach to his words,” AMG and evoked “striking images and turns of phrase torn from the headlines or overheard in contemporary speech.” AMG He experimented with exotic rhythms and chord structures, RV be it on the “highly poetic Diamonds on the Soles of Her ShoesAMG or the “satiric I Know What I Know.” AMG Ladysmith Black Mambazo served up “stirring harmonies” VH1 on songs like “Soles” and “the almost entirely a capella Homeless.” RV Both were “exquisitely melancholic evocation[s] of African beauty and desolation.” VH1 An element of humor shows up in the hit single, You Can Call Me Al VH1 and songs like The Boy in the Bubble showed Simon had “evolved as a lyricist on this album with lines that took on an almost Dylan-esque quality.” RV The song’s “pensive refrain…was as hopeful and socially conscious as any song he would ever write: ‘The way we look to a distant constellation / That’s dying in the corner of the sky / These are the days of miracle and wonder.’” RV

You Can Call Me Al

“The South African angle…was a powerful marketing tool,” AMG but it wasn’t without controversy. The United States had imposed economic sanctions on South Africa because of its apartheid government RV and the United Nations initially blacklisted Simon for violating the boycott. TL

“It is difficult now to recall the enormous impact of this trans-cultural album,” VH1 but Graceland “became the standard against which subsequent musical experiments by major artists were measured.” AMG With it, Simon created music “heard across the globe” AZ and it still reaches “generations of music enthusiasts…unaware of how pivotal that one album was” AZ in birthing “the idea of World Music.” AZ


Resources and Related Links:


Award(s):


Saturday, July 26, 1986

Run-D.M.C. charted with its remake of “Walk This Way”: July 26, 1986

Originally posted July 26, 2012.

image from sound-screen.co.uk

“Walk This Way,” about a high schooler losing his virginity, was sung at a fast speed with emphasis on rhyming. The title was inspired by a line in the Mel Brooks’ movie Young Frankenstein. WK While initially released as the second single for Aeromsith’s 1975 album Toys in the Attic, the song didn’t become a hit until after two singles from fourth album, 1976’s Rocks, charted. Then the late-1976 reissue climbed to #10 in the U.S. and established “Walk This Way” as one of Aerosmith’s signature songs and a staple of classic rock radio. A decade later, Aerosmith had fallen on hard times, unraveled by drug and alcohol problems. An attempted comeback with 1985’s Done with Mirrors did little to regenerate interest. However, a New York-based rap group would revive the song – and Aerosmith’s career.

Walk This Way (Aerosmith’s version)

DJ Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C. frequently cut back and forth between two copies of “Walk This Way” to allow MC’s Run and DMC to add rhymes to the instrumental. When the trio started work on their Raising Hell album, producer Rick Rubin – a fan of metal and rock – suggested they remake the song.

The resulting cover is often credited as breaking rap into the mainstream, as it was the first rap song to hit the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. WK The song was instrumental not only in introducing rock into rap music, but opened the possibilities for non-rap acts to include the genre in their music.

Walk This Way (Run-D.M.C.’s version)

The song also put Aerosmith back in the spotlight, not just because the band had been covered, but because singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry participated in the remake. “Perry acquitted himself quite well, as usual, and Tyler’s snotty snarl prospered in the hip-hop context.” MA The pair also appeared in the classic video which pitted them against Run-D.M.C. as neighbors trying to out-blast each other. By the video’s end, they all perform together on stage.


Awards (Aerosmith’s version):


Awards (Run-D.M.C.’s version):


Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, July 19, 1986

Madonna’s True Blue Debuts: July 19, 1986

Originally posted July 19, 2011.



Madonna arrived on the pop-dance scene in 1983 with her self-titled debut album. It produced three top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 – “Holiday” (#16), “Borderline” (#10), and “Lucky Star” (#4). She then exploded with her 1984 Like a Virgin sophomore effort which produced the #1 title song as well as top five hits “Material Girl”, “Angel”, and “Dress You Up”.

That album was such a success, it seemed impossible to follow. It spent three weeks atop the Billboard album chart and became one of the world’s all-time best-selling albums.

However, Madonna’s third album, True Blue, proved her most successful studio effort. It spent five weeks on top of the album chart (second only to the 6 weeks for 1989’s Like a Prayer). It also bested Virgin by landing three #1 songs with “Live to Tell”, “Papa Don’t Preach”, and “Open Your Heart”. Two more song – “True Blue” and “La Isla Bonita” – were top 5 hits. According to AlRog at RateYourMusic.com, True Blue is one of only 13 albums to land five top-five hits.



Click to see the DMDB page for ‘True Blue’


Blue also edged Virgin in worldwide sales, although both are in the 26 million range. Only her 1990 compilation, The Immaculate Collection, has more sales at 31.5 million. (See sources for sales figures here).

At All Music Guide, Stephen Thomas Erlewine says that it was with True Blue that “Madonna truly became Madonna the Superstar – the endlessly ambitious, fearlessly provocative entertainer that knew how to outrage, spark debates, get good reviews...and make good music while she’s at it.” STE The album won The Juno Award (Canadian equivalent of the Grammys) for International Album of the Year.

Madonna rates in the top 10 acts of all time according to Dave’s Music Database. She is also a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.



The DMDB page for the ‘True Blue’ album features this and four other videos from the album.



Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, June 28, 1986

The Smiths released The Queen Is Dead: June 28, 1986

Originally posted 6/28/12. Updated 3/1/13.

image from thesun.co.uk


Release date: 28 June 1986
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. The Queen Is Dead/Take Me Back to Dear Old Blightly (medley) 2. Frankly, Mr. Shankly 3. I Know It’s Over 4. Never Had No One Ever 5. Cemetry Gates 6. Bigmouth Strikes Again (5/31/86, #26 UK) 7. The Boy with the Thorn in His Side (10/5/85, #23 UK) 8. Vicar in a Tutu 9. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (10/24/92, #25 UK) 10. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

Sales (in millions): 0.85 US, 0.1 UK, 0.95 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 70 US, 2 UK

Rating:


Review: “The original kings of British mope rock could have earned that title on the basis of this album alone.” RS “The Smiths typify one of the classic oppositional dynamics that define many rock bands.” TM “The poet born Steven Patrick Morrissey spills out his elegant melancholy” EW and offers “waspish observations on the British obsession with social propriety and its appetite for juicy scandal,” PR all the while backed by the “much scruffier” TM “liquid lead guitar of janglemaster Johnny Marr.” EW “Marr and the rhythm section blaze trails toward an idealized zone of rock (and sometimes pop) sunshine. Their runaway exuberance magnifies and sometimes mocks Morrissey’s gloomy desperation.” TM The mix has been described as “absolute bliss meets a razor blade.” ZS

There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

Reviewer Adrian Denning called I Know It’s Over “Morrissey’s finest five minutes and forty nine seconds as a vocalist,” AD but “the epic There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” AMG “could well be the ultimate Smiths song…Critic and author Simon Goddard dubbed it ‘the national anthem of Smithdom.’” CAD “Morrissey typically manages to throw in some mordant humour amidst the euphoria” CAD with lines like “And if a double-decker bus, crashes into us / to die by your side, such a heavenly way to die / and if a ten ton truck, kills the both of us / to die by your side, the pleasure and the privilege is mine.”

Bigmouth Strikes Again/Vicar in a Tutu (live)

The album was supported by two singles (although “Light” was also released as a single six years later). Bigmouth Strikes Again is a “rampaging Stones-style rockers about saying the wrong thing,” TM complete with the “curiously empathetic line, ‘Now I know how Joan of Arc felt as the flames rose to her Roman nose and her Walkman started to melt’).” TM “While that “was largely Johnny’s show,” AD “the wistful The Boy With The Thorn in His Side.” AMG is “Morrissey’s time to shine. Both support each other.” AD

The Boy with the Thorn in His Side

The album marked the group’s “great leap forward, taking the band to new musical and lyrical heights.” AMG This “is the album that best captures the droll humor and musical extravagances that made the Smiths so riveting.” TM It “defined their times and gave us one of the greatest songwriting partnerships there’s EVER been.” CAD “This album is among the best the ‘80s pop scene had to offer and a remarkable achievement of musical artistry.” RV “The Smiths’ success brought about a resurgence of guitar-led pop in Britain after a period dominated by synthesizers.” TB They “made it possible for future independent acts such as Oasis and The Stone Roses to break into the mainstream.” PR “Forget Her Majesty — on The Queen Is Dead the Smiths simply slay us all.” EW


Resources and Related Links:


Award(s):


Monday, February 24, 1986

Metallica released Master of Puppets: February 24, 1986

Originally posted February 24, 2012.

image from 100xr.com



Master of Puppets “was the realization of all the promise Metallica, and thrash metal music in general.” GW However, the album’s true testament is that it has been “hailed as a masterpiece by critics far outside heavy metal’s core audience.” AMG

“On their final recording with bassist Cliff Burton (who would die in a tour bus accident) they reinforced everything good about heavy metal (the velocity of the playing, the emotional release of the vocals) while undermining at least a few of the cliches.” TL “Metallica fully recasts metal as thinking-person’s music” TM by expanding “metal’s ritualistic pummeling with music of impressive, even daunting, intricacy.” TM The group effectively plays “metal as modern-day classical music, offering up harmonically and structurally complex arrangements that convey a stunning range of ideas and emotions.” GW

Thematically, the album focues on “the concept of power and abuses thereof.” AZWelcome Home (Sanitarium) is from the point of view of an institutionalized inmate and Disposable Heroes is the perspective of a soldier.” AZ “They also got in digs at…head banging conformists” TL and “primal, uncontrollable human urges” like rage and drug use, such as in the “unmistakably anti-drug” TL title track.





“This eight-song album clocks in at over an hour, which makes it all the more impressive that not one moment on this recording is boring.” AZ “The arrangements are thick and muscular, and the material varies enough in texture and tempo to hold interest through all its twists and turns.” AMG Like predecessor Ride the Lightning, the album was produced by Flemming Rasmussen, who had previously engineered works by Cat Stevens and Bert Jansch. His only “previous heavy-metal production experience lay with Rainbow’s Difficult to Cure (1981), but his uncluttered style is perfect for the visceral assault of Metallica.” TB

It is “thrash metal’s finest moment” GW and has even been called “the best heavy metal album ever recorded; if it isn’t, it certainly comes close.” AMG




Awards:

Resources and Related Links:

Friday, January 24, 1986

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first class: January 23, 1986

Originally posted January 23, 2012.

image from rockhall.com



The museum wouldn’t open until 1995 (“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens its doors: September 2, 1995”), but the first induction ceremony was held on January 23, 1986 in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom.

The evening kicked off with Keith Richards’ induction speech for Chuck Berry. Richards said, “It’s very difficult for me to talk about Chuck Berry ‘cause I’ve lifted every lick he ever played.” RH After ripping off his tux jacket to reveal a leopard-print jacket underneath, Berry continued saying, “This is the gentleman who started it all!’” RH



In addition to Berry, the first class of inductees included James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley in the performers category. Non-performers were Alan Freed and Sam Phillips. Early influences were Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers, and Jimmy Yancey.

The initial intent was a dinner with music provided by Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band from Late Night with David Letterman. Inductees were not expected to perform. As Shaffer told Rolling Stone in 2009, “"We didn’t want people to feel as if they had to sing for their supper, but we had brought in instruments just in case.” RS However, by the end of the first ceremony Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and others were on stage in what has become an all-star jam tradition.




Resources and Related Links: