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


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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


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Monday, November 9, 1992

Aphex Twin released Selected Ambient Works 85-92

First posted 8/19/2010; updated 9/9/2020.

Selected Ambient Works 85-92

Aphex Twin


Recorded: 1985-1992


Released: November 9, 1992


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


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


Genre: electronica


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Xtal
  2. Tha
  3. Pulsewidth
  4. Ageispolis
  5. I
  6. Green Calx
  7. Heliosphan
  8. We Are the Music Makers
  9. Schottkey 7th Path
  10. Ptolemy
  11. Hedphelym
  12. Delphium
  13. Actium

Rating:

4.625 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)


Quotable: “A watershed of ambient music.” – John Bush, All Music Guide


Awards:

About the Album:

This was Richard D. James third release, but his first studio album under the pseudonym of Aphex Twin. WK This collection consists “of instrumental, occasionally radio-friendly songs that were mostly beat-oriented.” WK Most of the work dates back to his pre-club DJ years of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, WK but it was exposure on the club scene which garnered him enough of an underground following to prompt this album’s release.

As a “watershed of ambient music” JB the album “reveals no influences and sounds unlike anything that preceded it, due in large part to the effects James managed to wrangle from his supply of home-manufactured contraptions.” JB “The songs are faster and more percussion-oriented than many of the earlier ambient creations of other musicians such as Brian Eno.” WK

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 is a desperately sparse album: thin percussion and several haunted-synth lines are the only components on most songs.” JB However, there are exceptions. We Are the Music Makers includes a sample of “a line of dialogue from the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” WKXtal has samples of female vocalizing as well as alternating ambient sounds, both repeated intermittently throughout the song. Tha has clips of several people…talking, while Actium has samples of what sound like squeaking shoes in a hallway.” WKGreen Calx contains samples from RoboCopWK and “a faint sample of the vocal from ‘Fodderstompf’ by Public Image Ltd, as well as from the opening titles of John Carpenter’s 1982 film The Thing.” WK

“The sound quality is relatively poor; it was recorded direct to cassette tape and reportedly suffered a mangling job by a cat.” JB “The prodigious James would preview new material to his friends on cassette as they drove around Cornwall. A few tracks on the album have apparently been mastered from these cassettes, resulting in truncated beginnings and endings and a low fidelity sound.” WK Remasterings have given the album a better overall sound quality.

“David M. Pecoraro of Pitchfork Media calls it ‘among the most interesting music ever created with a keyboard and a computer.’ Rolling Stone called the album ‘majestic,’ and the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll claims the album was received by critics as ‘an ambient masterpiece comparable to work by The Orb and Brian Eno.’ Warp Records has billed this as ‘the birthplace and the benchmark of modern electronic music’ and has stated that ‘every home should have a copy.’” WK

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