Monday, November 30, 1992

Nirvana released “In Bloom”

First posted 5/7/2020.

In Bloom

Nirvana

Writer(s): Kurt Cobain (see lyrics here)


Released: November 30, 1992


First Charted: December 12, 1992


Peak: 5 AR, 28 UK, 73 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.2 UK, 0.2 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.131 radio, 135.8 video, -- streaming

Awards (Nirvana):

Awards (Sturgill Simpson):

About the Song:

Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain wrote “In Bloom” after their debut album, Bleach, was released on Sub Pop. The song was an attack on those outside the underground music community who started showing up at Nirvana’s shows, but didn’t understand the band’s message. WK Cobain said the song was an attack on “rednecks, macho men, and abusive people.” SF He told Melody Maker magazine, “I didn’t like the cheerleader type of girl or want to hang out with the jock boys. I chose to live the life of a recluse. I didn’t hang out with anyone else because I couldn’t handle their stupidity.” SF

The band first recorded the song in April 1990 for what was then intended as their second album for Sub Pop. They even recorded a video for the song. When Nirvana signed to DGC Records, they started work on Nevermind in May 1991 and “In Bloom” was one of the first songs they revisited. It ended up as the fourth single from Nevermind, released over a year after the album first dropped.

A new video for the song was shot which parodied variety shows from the 1960s, like The Ed Sullivan Show. The host introduces the band as “thoroughly all right and decent fellas” and mispronounces their name. A crowd of teenagers screams throughout the song and the band destroys the set and their instruments by the song’s conclusion. Two different versions were shot, one in which the band performed in dresses and another where they play in Beach Boys-style outfits. A third version combined elements of both videos and won Best Alternative Video at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards. It was also named top music video by critics in Village Voice. WK

Sturgill Simpson, a country artist, recorded the song for his 2016 A Sailor’s Guide to Earth album. A “swirl of strings and horns” SF made the song “completely unrecognizable.” SF Simpson said he was in seventh or eight grade when the album ame out and it “was like a bomb went off.” SF He explained that “In Bloom” “summed up what it means to be a teenager, and I think it tells a young boy that he can be sensitive and compassionate – he doesn’t have to be tough or cold to be a man. So I wanted to make a very beautiful and pure homage to Kurt.” SF


Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, November 28, 1992

Whitney Houston hit #1 with "I Will Always Love You"

First posted 11/28/2011; updated 4/7/2020.

I Will Always Love You

Whitney Houston

Writer(s): Dolly Parton (see lyrics here)


Released: November 3, 1992


First Charted: November 13, 1992


Peak: 114 US, 17 RR, 1511 RB, 110 UK, 18 CN, 110 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 2.0 UK, 20.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 6.0 radio, 1212.9 video, 315.17 streaming

Awards (Houston’s version):


Awards (Parton’s version):

Review:

Considering that this song has topped six different U.S. 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


Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, November 7, 1992

Boyz II Men spend record-breaking 13th week at #1 with “End of the Road”

First posted 4/21/2020.

End of the Road

Boyz II Men

Writer(s): Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds/Antonio "L.A." Reid/Daryl Simmons (see lyrics here)


Released: June 30, 1992


First Charted: July 17, 1992


Peak: 113 US, 110 CB, 16 RR, 35 AC, 112 RB, 13 UK, 3 CN, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.4 UK, 1.47 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 186.3 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

For 36 years, Elvis Presley held the record for the most weeks (11) at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his double-sided hit “Hound Dog”/ “Don’t Be Cruel.” Then his feat was topped twice in the span of four months. The first was Boyz II Men, who spent 13 weeks atop the chart with “End of the Road.” Their reign was short-lived, though. They were knocked from the top by the Heights’ “How Do You Talk to an Angel,” which then succumbed two weeks later to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” which clung to the pinnacle for 14 weeks.

Boyz II Men formed in 1989 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the High School of the Creative and Performing Arts. They got their big break when they slipped backstage at an invitation-only concert sponsored by radio station WUSL-FM. BR1 They caught Michael Bivins (New Edition, Bell Biv DeVoe) backstage and auditioned for him. SS Bivins ended up as their manager and they were signed to Motown. In 1991, they landed two top-three hits (“Motownphilly,” “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”) from their debut album Cooleyhighharmony.

Writing partners Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid were impressed by the group and wanted to work with them. They wrote “End of the Road, a song slated for Eddie Murphy’s movie Boomerang, with Boyz II Men in mind. BR1 The quartet recorded the song with just a three-hour window before they had to fly out on tour. SS

Thomas Ryan said “the group’s stunningly powerful and moving four-part harmony could never have been faked…[The song’s] simple sentiments and truly excellent four-part harmonies captured the imagination of millions.” RY Babyface said, “I always wanted to have one record that would be considered a classic. Not to sound vain, but I think that’s my first classic.” BR1


Resources and Related Links:

  • Boyz II Men’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books. Page 811.
  • RY Thomas Ryan (1995). American Hit Radio: A History of Popular Singles From 1955 to the Present. Pages 603-5.
  • SF Songfacts
  • SS Steve Sullivan (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. Page 423.
  • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 252.