Saturday, January 30, 1988

INXS top the chart with “Need You Tonight”

First posted 10/23/2020.

Need You Tonight

INXS

Writer(s): Andrew Farriss, Michael Hutchence (see lyrics here)


Released: September 23, 1987


First Charted: October 24, 1987


Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 11 RR, 73 RB, 12 AR, 1 CO, 2 UK, 1 CN, 3 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, -- video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

INXS had been around for a decade when “Need You Tonight” became their one and only U.S. chart-topper. In the early ‘80s, they started gaining attention on college rock with songs like “Don’t Change” and “Original Sin.” They landed squarely in the pop arena with the #5 hit “What You Need” in 1985, which set them up for their 1987 Kick album to be the biggest of their career. In addition to the success of “Need You Tonight,” the album generated three more top-10 hits in America.

While it has “arguably become the band’s signature song,” WK it didn’t reach #1 in INXS’s native Australia where their only #1 was “Original Sin.” In the UK, the song climbed to #2, but only after the release of a remix a year later. In its original run, it stalled at #58.

The lyrics, written by Michael Hutchence in one night, were “basically a musical booty call.” SF The song’s famous riff also came quickly. Andrew Farris was about to catch a taxi to the airport when it came to him. He asked the cabbie to wait while he recorded the riff. The driver was not happy when it took an hour. WK

The video combined “Need You Tonight” with “Mediate;” the first segued into the other on the album. It combined different forms of animation with live action with visual effects creating by cutting up 35mm film and relayering photcopied images over the original footage. The video portion for “Mediate” is an homage to “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan, in which the artist flips cards showing the song’s lyrics. At the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards, the video took home Video of the Year and four other awards.


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Saturday, January 16, 1988

50 years ago: Benny Goodman performed at Carnegie Hall

First posted 11/14/2008; updated 10/2/2020.

Complete Legendary Carnegie Hall Concert

Benny Goodman


Recorded: January 16, 1938


Charted: December 20, 1952


Peak: 18 US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: jazz


Tracks, Disc 1:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks). Chart information is for original studio releases. Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Benny Goodman Introduction (recorded 1950) [0:22]
  2. Don’t Be That Way (Edgar Sampson, Benny Goodman, Mitchell Parish) [4:12] (3/12/38, 1 US)
  3. Sometimes I’m Happy (Vincent Youmans, Irving Caesar, Clifford Grey) [4:13] (9/14/35, 12 US) *
  4. One O’Clock Jump (Eddie Durham, Buster Smith) [6:47] (3/12/38, 8 US)
  5. Applause; transition to Twenty Years of Jazz [0:41]
  6. Sensation Rag (Edwin “Eddie” Edwards) [1:12]
  7. I’m Coming Virginia (Will Marion Cook, Donald Heywood) [2:15]
  8. When My Baby Smiles at Me (Bill Munro, Andres Sterling, Ted Lewis, Harry Von Tilzer) [0:52]
  9. Shine (Cecil Mack, Ford Dabney, Lew Brown) [0:55]
  10. Blue Reverie (Duke Ellington, Harry Carney) [3:32]
  11. Applause, transition back to Goodman Orchestra [0:22]
  12. Life Goes to Party (Harry James, Benny Goodman) [4:05]
  13. Setting Up for Jam Session [0:40]
  14. Honeysuckle Rose (Thomas “Fats” Waller, Andy Razaf) [16:42]
  15. Applause; setting up and tuning up for BG Small Groups [1:00]
  16. Body and Soul (Johnny Green, Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, Frank Eyton) [3:10] (9/7/35, 5 US)
  17. Applause as Lionel Hampton enters [0:27]
  18. Avalon (Vincent Rose, B.G. DeSylva, Al Jolson) [4:04]
  19. The Man I Love (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) [3:35] (9/11/37, 20 US)
  20. I Got Rhythm (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) [4:51]

Tracks, Disc 2:

  1. Blue Skies (Irving Berlin) [3:14] (8/17/46, 9 US)
  2. Loch Lomand (traditional) [3:04] (12/18/37, 12 US)
  3. Applause: Benny Goodman’s ‘No Encore’ announcement [1:14]
  4. The Blue Room (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) [2:36]
  5. Swingtime in the Rockies (Jimmy Mundy, Benny Goodman) [2:38] (8/15/36, 2 US)
  6. Applause: Martha Tilton returns to stage [0:21]
  7. Bei Mir Bist du Schön (Scholom Secunda, Jacob Jacobs, adapted by Sammy Cahn & Saul Chaplin) [3:54] (1/29/38, 4 US)
  8. Applause: setting up for BG small groups [0:32]
  9. China Boy (Dick Winfree, Phil Boutelje) [4:45] (6/27/36, 9 US)
  10. Stompin’ at the Savoy (Edgar Sampson, Benny Goodman, Chick Webb) [5:55] (7/11/36, 11 US)
  11. Applause: BG Quartet continues but changes program [0:24]
  12. Dizzy Spells (Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson) [5:37]
  13. Applause; transition back to Goodman orchestra for finale [0:41]
  14. Sing Sing Sing with a Swing (Louis Prima) [12:02] (4/9/38, 7 US)
  15. Applause until encores [1:03]
  16. If Dreams Come True (Edgar Sampson, Benny Goodman, Irving Mills) [2:34] *
  17. Big John’s Special (Horace Henderson) [3:41]

* unique to Complete Legendary Carnegie Hall Concert


Total Running Time: 101:04

Rating:

4.650 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)


Quotable: “One of the greatest concerts ever captured on record.” This “belongs in every serious music library.” – Scott Yanow, All Music Guide


Awards:

About the Album:

Band leader and clarinetist Benny Goodman, “touted as the ‘King of Swing’ at his peak,” NRR was “the first real jazz musician to capture a mass bourgeois white audience in America.” AZ He was also the first to stage a full jazz concert at Carnegie Hall. SY His publicist, Wynn Nathanson, initially suggested it as a publicity stunt, but after “his film Hollywood Hotel opened to rave reviews and giant lines, he threw himself into the work.” WK It sold out its capacity 2,760 seats at the then-high top price of $2.75 a seat. WK

This “belongs in every serious music library, capturing Benny Goodman and the swing era in general at its height.” SY His “fantastic performance at Carnegie Hall” AZ started with three contemporary numbers, then played a history of jazz, and then a jam session on Honeysuckle Rose, “which found sidemen of the orchestras of Duke Ellington and Count Basie interacting with Goodman's star.” SY Later some “trio and quartet numbers were well-received and a vocal on Loch Lomond by Martha Tilton provoked five curtain calls.” WK

“This concert has been regarded as one of the most siginificant in jazz history” WK and “one of the greatest concerts ever captured on record.” SY This was “a turning point in the way jazz is judged by outsiders.” SY It had “finally been accepted by mainstream audiences.” WK “It is hard to believe that tapes of this momentous event were kept in a closet, forgotten until rediscovered by accident in 1950” SY by Benny’s sister-in-law in a closet in his apartment. WK

The performance “captures Goodman and his orchestra at the peak of their performance.” AZ He is “fronting top performers and appearing before an energetic audience.” NRR His “stellar bandsmen were joined by Lionel Hampton and members of the Count Basie and Duke Ellington ensembles for this famous festival of jazz during the height of the swing music era.” NRR

“There are many, many high points, including exciting versions of Don’t Be That Way and One O’Clock Jump, a tribute to the 20 years of jazz that were then on record; …exciting performances by the Trio and Quartet; and, of course, Sing, Sing, Sing with Gene Krupa’s creative (if not too subtle) drumming and Jess Stacy’s remarkable ad lib piano solo.” SY

Three of these songs are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era, 1890-1953, albeit not the versions by Goodman. Ben Selvin had a chart-topper with Blue Skies in 1927, Red Nichols took I Got Rhythm to #5 in 1930, Coleman Hawkins had a #13 hit with Body and Soul in 1940.


Notes: When issued on CD in 1999, the original Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert was expanded (track listing reflects that) and retitled The Legendary Carnegie Hall Concert.

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George Michael spent 1st of 12 weeks at #1 with Faith

First posted 3/25/2008; updated 11/27/2020.

Faith

George Michael


Released: November 3, 1987


Peak: 112 US, 16 RB, 11 UK, 15 CN, 3 AU


Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 1.2 UK, 25.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Faith (10/24/87) #1 US, #2 UK, #5 AC, sales: 0.5 m
  2. Father Figure (1/9/88) #1 US, #11 UK, #3 AC, #6 RB
  3. I Want Your Sex (6/6/87) #2 US, #3 UK, #43 RB, sales: 1.0 m
  4. One More Try (4/16/88) #1 US, #8 UK, #1 AC, #1 RB, sales: 0.5 m
  5. Hard Day (10/17/87) #21 RB
  6. Hand to Mouth
  7. Look at Your Hands
  8. Monkey (7/9/88) #1 US, #13 UK, #8 RB
  9. Kissing a Fool (10/8/88) #5 US, #18 UK, #1 AC, #33 RB


Total Running Time: 49:37

Rating:

4.219 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)


Quotable: “One of the finest pop albums of the ‘80s” – Steve Huey, All Music Guide


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“A superbly crafted mainstream pop/rock masterpiece,” SH Faith was George “Michael’s stunning solo debut after four years in the lightweight British duo Wham!” MR and it made him “an international solo star.” SH He scored four consecutive #1 hits in the U.S. with singles from the album (“Faith”, “Father Figure”, “One More Try”, and “Monkey”). That made him the only British male solo artist to land that many chart-toppers from one album. WK He book-ended his four #1’s with two more top 10 hits (“I Want Your Sex” and “Kissing a Fool”). Some of those songs “were among the decade’s best pop.” MR

Faith’s ingenuity lies in the way it straddles pop, adult contemporary, R&B, and dance music as though there were no distinctions between them.” SH The album made Michael “the first white solo artist to hit number one on the R&B album charts. Michael had already proven the soulful power of his pipes by singing a duet with Aretha Franklin on the 1987 smash ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),’ but he went even farther when it came to crafting his own material, using sophisticated ‘70s soul as an indispensable part of his foundation.” SH

However, he didn’t just cross genres. He was equally successful at “funky dance-pop and airy, shimmering ballads.” SH As for the former, “Michael appropriates the Bo Diddley beat for the rockabilly-tinged title trackSH In regards to the latter, there was “the heartfelt ballad Father Figure.” MR However, he also proved “himself a better-than-decent torch singer on the cocktail jazz of Kissing a Fool.” SH

“Michael arranged and produced the album himself, and the familiarity of many of these songs can obscure his skills in those departments – close listening reveals his knack for shifting elements in and out of the mix and adding subtle embellishments when a little emphasis or variety is needed.” SH

“Though Faith couldn’t completely shake Michael’s bubblegum image in some quarters, the album’s themes were decidedly adult.” SH With its “wicked R&B groove” MR I Want Your Sex was the most notorious example, of course, but even the love songs were strikingly personal and mature, grappling with complex adult desires and scarred by past heartbreak.” SH

“All of it adds up to one of the finest pop albums of the ‘80s, setting a high-water mark that Michael was only able to reach in isolated moments afterward.” SH “Unlike so much 1980s treacle, this disc hold ups surprisingly well.” MR


Notes: A 2011 remaster added “A Last Request (I Want Your Sex Part 3)” to the original album and added a second disc of remixes (three of “Monkey” and one of “Hard Day”), instrumental versions of “Faith” and “Kissing a Fool,” covers of two Stevie Wonder songs (“I Believe When I Fall in Love” and “Love’s in Need of Love Today”), and the song “Fantasy.”

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Monday, January 11, 1988

Lyle Lovett released Pontiac

First posted 3/12/2011; updated 1/5/2020.

Pontiac

Lyle Lovett


Buy Here:


Released: January 11, 1988


Charted: February 20, 1988


Peak: 117 US, 12 CW


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: alt country


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. If I Had a Boat [3:06] (9/17/88, #66 CW)
  2. Give Back My Heart [3:00] (10/3/87, #13 CW)
  3. I Loved You Yesterday [2:56] (5/21/88, #24 CW)
  4. Walk Through the Bottomland [4:11]
  5. L.A. County [3:17]
  6. She’s No Lady [3:13] (1/30/88, #17 CW)
  7. M-O-N-E-Y [3:15]
  8. Black and Blue [3:58]
  9. Simple Song [3:17]
  10. Pontiac [2:24]
  11. She’s Hot to Go [2:30]
All songs written by Lyle Lovett.


Total Running Time: 35:07

Rating:

4.341 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)


Quotable: “Lyle Lovett’s finest album” – David Cantwell, Amazon


Awards:

About the Album:

“While Lyle Lovett’s self-titled debut album made it clear he was one the most gifted and idiosyncratic talents to emerge in country music in the 1980s, his follow-up, 1987’s Pontiac, took the strengths of his first disc and refined them.” AMG “If Lyle Lovett left any doubts at all about this man’s gifts as a performer and songwriter, Pontiac proved that he had even more tricks up his sleeve than he’d let on first time out, and it’s the first of several masterpieces in Lovett’s career” AMG and can even be consider “Lyle Lovett’s finest album.” AZ

“Crack playing, keen observations and clever lyrics, and a neo-traditionalist aesthetic that pulls in everything from Texas folk, honky-tonk and Western swing to old-school pop all shine brightly here.” AZ The “sound and feel more accurately reflected Lovett’s musical personality. While much of Pontiac favors the country side…, the bouncy swing of Give Back My Heart and the weepy stroll of Walk Through the Bottomland have a lighter touch that suits them noticeably better than the stiffer production and arrangements of the first album.” AMG There’s also “the breezy snap of L.A. CountyAMG in which “Lovett convincingly stalks an old lover.” AZ

“The second half of the album gives Lovett a chance to indulge his fondness for jazz and blues flavors on the cynical She’s No LadyAMG (“take my wife, please”) AZ as well as “M-O-N-E-Y, and She’s Hot to Go, and if Lovett would follow this path with great musical success on his next few albums, he was already traveling in the right direction and the songs and the arrangements are aces.” AMG

And it’s all but impossible to imagine anyone being given a big push by a major label in Nashville who could get away with the fanciful whimsy of If I Had a Boat and the stark and unsettling character sketch of Pontiac on the same album.” AMG

On the downside, some of the songs are “dulled by an ironic distance and a bitterness toward women that approaches misogyny. On Pontiac, the strengths generally win out.” AZ

The album ranked in the German edition of Rolling Stone’s “500 Best Albums of All Time” and is one of 300 albums listed in the book, 50 Years of Great Recordings. WK It was also cited as one of the top 100 albums of the 1980s by Italian magazines Il Mucchio Selvaggio and Velvet. WK

Review Sources:


Related DMDB Link(s):