Saturday, November 28, 1992

Whitney Houston hit #1 with "I Will Always Love You": November 28, 1992

Originally posted November 28, 2011.

Considering that this song has topped six different charts for a combined total of 55 weeks, it could be declared the most successful chart single of all time.

On the U.S. pop charts, Elvis Presley’s double-sided single “Don’t Be Cruel”/“Hound Dog” held the record for most weeks (11) atop the Billboard Hot 100 for 36 years before Boyz II Men grabbed the pinnacle for 13 weeks with “End of the Road.” However, the Boyz didn’t hang on to the record quite as long as The King. A mere two weeks after “Road” finished its reign, the song that would dethrone it slid into the #1 spot.

Dolly Parton’s original was a #1 country song in 1974 and 1982. It was a re-recorded version for the film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Dolly even hit the country charts with it a third time when a 1995 duet version with Vince Gill went to #15. However, it was Whitney’s version that exploded. It hit on the UK charts, Cashbox, and Billboard’s pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts.

Whitney’s version was featured in the movie The Bodyguard. It had to illustrate Kevin Costner’s character’s background when it plays on a jukebox at a blue-collar bar and show Houston’s glamorous, superstar singer lifestyle when she sings it to him later as a tribute. BR1

Plans to record Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” were scuttled when the movie Fried Green Tomatoes got first dibs. Costner brought a 1975 Linda Ronstadt version of “Love You” to Houston, who re-arranged it as a soul ballad. WK

It goes without saying that this was 1992’s biggest pop hit, WHC but it also was the first triple-platinum-selling single by a woman BB100 and propelled The Bodyguard soundtrack to 17 million sales. It is also a hit at funerals, being the most requested record for those solemn occasions. KL

Awards for Whitney’s version:
Awards for Dolly’s version:
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Tuesday, October 6, 1992

R.E.M. released Automatic for the People: October 6, 1992

Originally posted 10/6/11. Updated 2/28/13.

image from

Release date: 6 October 1992
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Drive (10/3/92, #28 US, #11 UK, #2 AR, #1 MR) / Try Not to Breathe / The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite (2/20/93, #17 UK, #28 AR, #24 MR) / Everybody Hurts (4/17/93, #29 US, #7 UK, #21 MR) / New Orleans Instrumental No. 1 / Sweetness Follows / Monty Got a Raw Deal / Ignoreland (11/21/92, #4 AR, #5 MR) / Star Me Kitten / Man on the Moon (11/28/92, #30 US, #18 UK, #46 AC, #4 AR, #2 MR) / Nightswimming (7/24/93, #27 UK) / Find the River (12/11/93, #54 UK)

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 2.27 UK, 16.9 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 2 US, 14 UK


Review: “Continuing to specialize in the art of curve-throwing, R.E.M. followed up its 1991 smash, Out of TimeSK with a return “to their earlier sound” BL “with this fragile album of soft melodies and string arrangements” SK intertwined within “poetically introspective songs.” MJ Automatic for the People “followed its predecessor by a mere 18 months, but remarkably, the tone is vastly different” MJ as the band turned away from “from the sweet pop of Out of TimeAMG to create a “haunting, melancholy masterpiece. At its core, the album is a collection of folk songs about aging, death and loss, but the music has a grand, epic sweep provided by layers of lush strings, interweaving acoustic instruments and shimmering keyboards.” AMG “With Peter Buck still fiddling with his mandolin from the Out of Time sessions, Mike Mills using the keyboards more actively, and Bill Berry stepping up on bass more often than before, it’s not surprising that Michael Stipe was writing and singing with such melancholy.” PS

Automatic for the People “captures the group at a crossroads, as they moved from cult heroes to elder statesmen, and the album is a graceful transition.” AMG It “doesn’t just prove that R.E.M. have stood the test of time, it proves to be R.E.M.’s finest moment.” PS It is their “most emotional, most human album.” BL It is “reflective…with frank discussions on mortality, but it is not a despairing record…R.E.M. have never been as emotionally direct…nor have they ever created music quite as rich and timeless…while the record is not an easy listen, it is the most rewarding record in their oeuvre.” AMG It is “a classic of modern rock.” CD

Highlights include “the rock-into-oblivion Drive,” SK one of the quartet’s strongest hits. SK It is marked by “some nice mandolin” AD and an “ominous death march intro.” PS The opening line, ‘Hey, kids, rock and roll,’ isn’t so much a rallying cry as an expression of anxiety.” SK

“The empathetic Andy Kaufman tribute Man on the Moon,” BL “is a perfect REM pop song, and very happy sounding too.” AD On the other hand, “the sympathetic ballad Everybody Hurts AD taps into more painful emotions. It “must have prevented countless suicide attempts.” SK

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