Friday, December 31, 1999

Century of Pop Music – Songs of the Year, 1900-1999

Originally posted 4/6/2019.

A Century of Pop Music is a book published by Joel Whitburn’s Record Research. It ranks the top 40 songs of every year from 1900 through 1999 based on weekly Billboard pop charts.

Dave’s Faves: #1 Songs in the 1990s

First posted 4/26/2020; updated 4/28/2020.

Dave’s Faves:

#1’s: 1990-1999

September 18, 1982. I can peg my fascination with music charts to that date. After listening to a local radio station’s countdown of the hits of the summer, I decided to make my own list of favorites (see original list here). I ended up revising it every few days, eventually developing my own charts which I maintained into the ‘90s.

I’ve also projected before and after those lists to create speculative lists of #1 songs for eras not covered by those original charts. You can check out those links here, but this page is focused on the #1 songs that might have been for me in the 1980s.


  • Jan. 6: Aerosmith “Janie’s Got a Gun” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 20: Marillion “After Me” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 10: Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” (4 wks)
  • Mar. 10: Fish “Cliché” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 31: Faith No More “Epic” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 21: Animal Logic “I’m Sorry Baby I Want You in My Life” (2 wks)
  • May 5: Bonnie Raitt “Nick of Time” (2 wks)
  • May 19: Fish “A Gentleman’s Excuse Me” (1 wk)
  • May 26: Shawn Colvin “Diamond in the Rough” (2 wks)
  • June 9: Sinéad O’Connor “Black Boys on Mopeds” (3 wks)
  • June 30: Tom Petty “Alright for Now” (2 wks)
  • July 14: Adrian Belew “Shoe Salesman” (1 wk)
  • July 21: Del Amitri “Kiss This Thing Goodbye” (4 wks)
  • Aug. 18: Guns N’ Roses “Civil War” (4 wks)
  • Sept. 15: Styx “Love Is the Ritual” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 6: Roger Waters with Sinéad O’Connor “Mother (live)” (1 wk)
  • Oct. 13 Styx “All in a Day’s Work” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 3: Toy Matinee “There Was a Little Boy” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 24: Don Henley “New York Minute” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 8: U2 “Night and Day” (2 wks)
  • Dec 22: Seal “Crazy” (3 wks)


  • Jan. 12: Enigma “Sadeness Part 1” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 2: Chris Isaak “Wicked Game” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 16: Queensrÿche “Silent Lucidity” (4 wks)
  • Mar. 16: Extreme “More Than Words” (2 wks)
  • Mar. 30: Simple Minds “See the Lights” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 13: Crash Test Dummies “Superman’s Song” (4 wks)
  • May 11: Lyle Lovett “Friend of the Devil” (3 wks)
  • June 1: The Williams Brothers “It’s a Wonderful Life” (2 wks)
  • June 15: The Williams Brothers “Miss This World” (2 wks)
  • June 29: Aha “The Way We Talk” (1 wk)
  • July 6: Tony Banks with Fish “Another Murder of a Day” (2 wks)
  • July 20: Marillion “The Party” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 3: Marillion “A Collection” (1 wk)
  • Aug. 10: Animal Logic “What Looks Good on the Outside” (1 wk)
  • Aug. 17: The Commitments “I Never Loved a Man” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 31: The Commitments “Try a Little Tenderness” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 14: Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 2: Nirvana “Something in the Way” (1 wk)
  • Oct. 19: The Williams Brothers “Can’t Cry Hard Enough” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 2: Sinéad O’Connor “Sacrifice” (2 wks)
  • Nov 16: Tori Amos “Silent All These Years” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 30: Tori Amos “Me and a Gun” (5 wks)


  • Jan. 4: U2 “One” (3 wks)
  • Jan. 25: T-Bone Burnett “Humans from Earth” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 15: Metallica “Nothing Else Matters” (5 wks)
  • Mar. 21: Eric Clapton “Tears in Heaven” (6 wks)
  • May 2: Lyle Lovett “Church” (2 wks)
  • May 16: Tori Amos “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (3 wks)
  • June 6: Marillion “Sympathy” (1 wk)
  • June 13: Sting with Eric Clapton “It’s Probably Me” (3 wks)
  • July 4: Melissa Etheridge “The Letting Go” (1 wk)
  • July 11: Faith No More “RV” (2 wks)
  • July 25: Toad the Wet Sprocket “Hold Her Down” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 8: Eric Clapton “Circus Left Town” (4 wks)
  • Sept. 5: Toad the Wet Sprocket “Pray Your Gods” (1 wk)
  • Sept. 12: Pearl Jam “Jeremy” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 10: Roger Waters “What God Wants” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 24: Boyz II Men “The Birth of Christ” (5 wks)
  • Nov. 28: Shawn Colvin “Shawn Colvin “I Don’t Know Why” (5 wks)


  • Jan. 2: Dada “Dizz Knee Land” (3 wks)
  • Jan. 23: The Musical Cast of Toys “The Closing of the Year (Reprise)” (5 wks)
  • Feb. 27: U2 with R.E.M. as Automatic Baby “One” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 20: Fish “Solo” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 3: Alice in Chains “Rooster” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 24: Sting “Epilogue (Nothing ‘Bout Me)” (3 wks)
  • May 15: Terence Trent D’Arby “Tension Inside the Sweetness/Frankie and Johnny (T.I.T.S./F&J)” (4 wks)
  • June 12: Tears for Fears “Break It Down Again” (3 wks)
  • July 3: Robert Plant “If I Were a Carpenter” (2 wks)
  • July 17: Stone Temple Pilots “Plush (acoustic)” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 7: Pearl Jam with Victoria Williams “Crazy Mary” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 28: Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder & Mike McCready “Masters of War (live)” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 18: Pearl Jam “Rockin’ in the Free World (live)” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 2: Prince “Nothing Compares 2 U” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 16: Alice in Chains “Down in a Hole” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 30: U2 with Bruce Springsteen “Stand by Me (live)” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 13: Pearl Jam “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 27: Pearl Jam “Daughter” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 11: Crash Test Dummies “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (4 wks)


  • Jan. 8: Stone Temple Pilots “Creep” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 22: Nirvana “All Apologies” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 5: Bruce Springsteen “Streets of Philadelphia” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 26: Tori Amos “God” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 19: Tori Amos “Home on the Range” (1 wk)
  • Mar. 26: Billy Joel “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 9: Marillion “The Hollow Man” (1 wk)
  • Apr. 16: Pearl Jam “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 30: Pearl Jam “Saying No (live)” (2 wks)
  • May 14: Frente! “Bizarre Love Triangle” (5 wks)
  • June 18: Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories “Stay (I Missed You)” (4 wks)
  • July 16: Nine Inch Nails “Closer” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 6: Stone Temple Pilots “12 Gracious Melodies” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 20: Seal “Kiss from a Rose” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 3: Pearl Jam “Better Man” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 1: Sinéad O’Connor “The House of the Rising Sun” (2 wks)
  • Oct 15: Sinéad O’Connor “All Apologies” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 29: Eagles “Get Over It” (4 wks)
  • Nov. 26: Todd Snider “Alright Guy” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 17: Queensrÿche “Bridge” (4 wks)


  • Jan. 14: Indigo Girls with K’S choice “Rockin’ in the Free World (live)” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 28: Live “Lightning Crashes” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 23: Melissa Etheridge with Bruce Springsteen “Thunder Road (live)” (5 wks)
  • Mar. 25: Kevin Gilbert “Song for a Dead Friend” (4 wks)
  • Aprl. 22: Collective Soul “December” (3 wks)
  • May 13: Tori Amos with Robert Plant “Down by the Seaside” (1 wk)
  • May 20: Nine Inch Nails “Hurt” (3 wks)
  • June 10: Filter “Hey Man, Nice Shot” (3 wks)
  • July 1: The Rembrandts “I’ll Be There for You” (4 wks)
  • July 29: Marillion “Beautiful” (2 wks)
  • Aug. 12: Kevin Gilbert “Kashmir” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 2: Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know” (4 wks)
  • Sept. 30: Coolio with L.V. “Gangsta’s Paradise” (5 wks)
  • Nov. 14: David Bowie “Outside” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 25: Squeeze with Cathy Dennis “Temptation for Love” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 16: Tracy Chapman “At This Point in My Life” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 30: Candlebox “Understanding” (1 wk)


  • Jan. 6: Alanis Morissette “Ironic” (3 wks)
  • Jan. 27: Foo Fighters “Big Me” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 10: Stabbing Westward “What Do I Have to Do?” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 2: Jars of Clay “Flood” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 23: Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know (live at the Grammys)” (4 wks)
  • Apr. 20: Sting “I Hung My Head” (3 wks)
  • May 11: Primitive Radio Gods “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand” (3 wks)
  • June 1: Ben Folds Five “Underground” (4 wks)
  • June 29: Lyle Lovett & Randy Newman “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (4 wks)
  • July 27: No Doubt “Don’t Speak” (4 wks)
  • Aug. 24: Bruce Springsteen “Spare Parts (live, slow version)” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 7: Eric Clapton “Change the World” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 21: Fiona Apple “Never Is a Promise” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 5: Bruce Springsteen “Born in the U.S.A. (live, slow version)” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 19: Eels “Novocaine for the Soul” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 9: Tori Amos “Over the Rainbow” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 30: Sting “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 14: Seal “Fly Like an Eagle” (2 wks)
  • Dec. 28: Paula Cole “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” (2 wks)


  • Jan. 11: Fish “Kayleigh (acoustic)” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 25: Fish “Sugar Mice (acoustic)” (2 wks)
  • Feb. 8: The Verve Pipe “The Freshmen” (4 wks)
  • Mar. 8: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones “The Impression That I Get” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 29: K’s Choice “Not an Addict’ (5 wks)
  • May 3: Marillion “Estonia” (4 wks)
  • May 31: Live “Freaks” (2 wks)
  • June 14: Indigo Girls “Leeds” (2 wks)
  • June 28: Styx “Dear John” (6 wks)
  • Aug. 9: Babyface with Stevie Wonder “How Come, How Long” (4 wks)
  • Sept. 6: Puff Daddy with Faith Evans & 112 “I’ll Be Missing You” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 4: The Verve “Bittersweet Symphony” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 25: Foo Fighters “Everlong” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 8: Elton John “Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose)” (4 wks)
  • Dec. 6: Loreena McKennitt “The Mummer’s Dance” (4 wks)


  • Jan. 3: Third Eye Blind “How’s It Gona Be” (2 wks)
  • Jan. 17: Ben Folds Five “Brick” (4 wks)
  • Feb. 14: Green Day “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” (3 wks)
  • Mar. 7: David Bowie “I Can’t Read” (2 wks)
  • Mar 21: Foo Fighters “Baker Street” (2 wks)
  • Apr. 4: Pearl Jam “Wishlist” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 25: Bruce Springsteen “We Shall Overcome” (4 wks)
  • May 23: Alanis Morissette “Uninvited” (4 wks)
  • June 20: Peter Gabriel “I Grieve” (3 wks)
  • July 11: Harvey Danger “Flagpole Sitta” (2 wks)
  • July 25: Eve 6 “Inside Out” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 15: Barenaked Ladies “One Week” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 5: Keb’ Mo’ “What a Wonderful World” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 26: Third Eye Blind “Jumper” (2 wks)
  • Oct. 10: The Flys “Got You Where I Want You” (3 wks)
  • Oct. 31: Shery Crow “Mississippi” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 21: Lyle Lovett “Step Inside This House” (4 wks)
  • Dec. 19: Alanis Morissette “Thank U” (3 wks)


  • Jan. 9: New Radicals “You Get What You Give” (4 wks)
  • Feb. 6: Peter Gabriel “That’ll Do” (3 wks)
  • Feb. 27: Squeeze “To Be a Dad” (2 wks)
  • Mar. 13: Pearl Jam “Last Kiss” (3 wks)
  • Apr. 3: Alanis Morissette “Unsent” (4 wks)
  • May 1: Fatboy Slim “Praise You” (3 wks)
  • May 22: Eminem “’97 Bonnie and Clyde” (4 wks)
  • June 19: Everlast “Ends” (3 wks)
  • July 10: Train “Meet Virginia” (3 wks)
  • July 31: Sheryl Crow “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (3 wks)
  • Aug. 21: Styx “Everything Is Cool” (2 wks)
  • Sept. 4: Chris Isaak “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” (3 wks)
  • Sept. 25: Lyle Lovett & Keb’ Mo’ “Till It Shines” (4 wks)
  • Oct. 23: Sting “Fill Her Up” (3 wks)
  • Nov. 13: Sting “Tomorrow We’ll See” (2 wks)
  • Nov. 27 Melissa Etheridge “Scarecrow” (3 wks)
  • Dec. 18: Alanis Morissette “King of Pain (MTV Unplugged)” (2 wks)

Vibe’s 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century

image from

In December of 1999, the urban-oriented American magazine Vibe published its list of the 100 essential albums of the 20th century, as determined by the Vibe staff. Surprisingly, a link to that list has proved elusive. However, you can find the original article through Google books here.

The albums were not ranked, so the list below is organized in alphabetical order by artist. Note: because many of these are compilations, the date of release may be adjusted to reflect the years represented by the collection instead. For example, Sam Cooke’s collection The Man and His Music was released in 1986, but only covers material through 1965, so the latter date is the one used.

  1. Louis Armstong An American Icon (1998)
  2. Eric B. & Rakim Paid in Full (1987)
  3. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
  4. Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill (1986)
  5. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
  6. Chuck Berry 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (1999)
  7. Bjork Post (1995)
  8. Black Sabbath Paranoid (1970)
  9. Mary J. Blige My Life (1994)
  10. Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded (1987)

  11. David Bowie Station to Station (1976)
  12. James Brown In the Jungle Groove (1971)
  13. Johnny Cash I Walk the Line (1964)
  14. Ray Charles Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection (1997)
  15. Chic Dance, Dance, Dance – The Best of (1982)
  16. The Clash London Calling (1979)
  17. Patsy Cline The Collection (1991)
  18. Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
  19. John Coltrane A Love Supreme (1965)
  20. Sam Cooke The Man and His Music (1965)

  21. Elvis Costello Armed Forces (1979)
  22. Miles Davis Kind of Blue (1959)
  23. De La Soul Is Dead (1991)
  24. Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992)
  25. Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks (1975)
  26. Duke Ellington The Centennial Edition (1927-1973)
  27. Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977)
  28. Aretha Franklin Lady Soul (1968)
  29. The Fugees The Score (1996)
  30. Funkadelic One Nation Under a Groove (1978)

  31. Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971)
  32. Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto Getz/Gilberto (1963)
  33. Dizzy Gillespie The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (1937-1949)
  34. Al Green The Supreme Al Green (1992)
  35. Woody Guthrie Library of Congress Recordings (1964)
  36. Guy Guy (1988)
  37. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967)
  38. Billie Holiday..Quintessential (1940-1942)
  39. Buddy Holly & the Crickets Collection: 50 Classic Recordings (1959)
  40. Husker Du Zen Arcade (1984)

  41. Ice Cube Death Certificate (1991)
  42. Janet Jackson Control (1986)
  43. Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)
  44. Robert Johnson The King of the Delta Blues Singers Vol. 1 (1937)
  45. B.B. King Live at the Regal (1964)
  46. Kraftwerk Trans-Europa Express (1977)
  47. Fela Anikulapo Kuti Zombie (1977)
  48. The Last Poets This Is Madness (1971)
  49. Leadbelly Last Sessions (1948)
  50. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II (1969)

  51. Little Richard 18 Greatest Hits (1985)
  52. Bob Marley & the Wailers African Herbsman (1972)
  53. Massive Attack Blue Lines (1991)
  54. Curtis Mayfield Superfly (1972)
  55. Charles Mingus Pithecantrophus Erectus (1956)
  56. Joni Mitchell Blue (1971)
  57. Thelonious Monk Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 1 (1947)
  58. Van Morrison Moondance (1970)
  59. Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral (1994)
  60. Nirvana Nevermind (1991)

  61. The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die (1994)
  62. N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (1989)
  63. Charlie Parker Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve (1988)
  64. Lee Perry & the Upsetters Blackboard Jungle Dub (1973)
  65. The Police Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings (1977-1986)
  66. Elvis Presley The King of Rock and Roll: The Complete ‘50s Masters (1953-1959)
  67. Prince Purple Rain (1984)
  68. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
  69. Sun Ra Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1 (1965)
  70. Ramones Rocket to Russia (1977)

  71. Shabba Ranks As Raw As Ever (1991)
  72. Otis Redding Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding (1993)
  73. The Replacements Let It Be (1984)
  74. The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971)
  75. Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus (1956)
  76. Roxy Music Siren (1975)
  77. Rufus featuring Chaka Khan Ask Rufus (1977)
  78. Run-D.M.C. Raising Hell (1986)
  79. Mongo Santamaria Our Man in Havana (1959)
  80. Santana Abraxas (1970)

  81. Tupac Shakur Greatest Hits (1998)
  82. Nina Simone Sugar in My Bowl: The Very Best of (1998)
  83. Frank Sinatra Songs for Swinging Lovers (1956)
  84. Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (1988)
  85. Sly & the Family Stone There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)
  86. Bessie Smith The Essential (1923-1933)
  87. Patti Smith Horses (1975)
  88. The Specials The Specials (1979)
  89. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975)
  90. The Stooges The Stooges (1969)

  91. The Supremes Anthology (1969)
  92. Talking Heads Remain in Light (1980)
  93. A Tribe Called Quest The Low-End Theory (1991)
  94. Various Artists Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (1977)
  95. Sarah Vaughan The Complete Sarah Vaughan (1954-1967)
  96. The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
  97. War Anthology (1970-1994)
  98. Muddy Waters At Newport (1960)
  99. Stevie Wonder Innervisions (1973)
  100. Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)

Friday, December 3, 1999

Gene Autry charted with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” 50 years ago (12/3/1949)

Last updated 4/21/2020.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Gene Autry with the Pinafores

Writer(s): Johnny Marks (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 3, 1949

Peak: 11 US, 6 GA, 12 HP, 43 HR, 24 AC, 11 CW, 16 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, -- UK, 18.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 19.69 video, -- streaming


About the Song:

The inescapable Christmas classic about Rudolph and his once-mocked red nose saving the day started life as a story Robert L. May conceived to help his daughter cope with her mother’s terminal cancer. The character took the form of a reindeer after May visited the Lincoln Park Zoo and saw how cute the animal was. He had been tasked by Sewill Avery, the owner of the Montgomery Wards in Chicago, to develop a marketing idea to attract customers. May wrote up the story and company artist Denver Gillen illustrated it. At Christmas, children received a booklet at the store when they visited Santa. More than 2.5 million were given away in 1939. In 1946, 3.5 million copies were printed. LW

In 1949, May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks (who’d previously written songs like the Ink Spots’ “Address Unknown”), turned the story into a song. It was repeatedly rejected until Gene Autry agreed to record it because his wife liked it. LW He’d launched his career in the 1920s as a cowboy in Hollywood westerns, but had also became well known as “The Singing Cowboy” for his country hits in the 1930s and ‘40s with songs like “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine.”

The song was launched with a “vigorous multi-media promotion” SS which included a Max Fleischer animated short. By the end of the holiday season, the song had sold 1.3 million copies in the U.S. plus another 400,000 of the plastic “kid-disc” version. SS

In the pre-rock era, the song is second only to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” in terms of sales. PM With no official sales tallies, the song has been reported to have sold as many as 60 million copies by 1970, AMP a figure which would actually eclipse “White Christmas.” It may be that the number reflects all versions of the song. Certainly it has been recorded multiple times – Bing Crosby and Spike Jones both had hits with it in 1950. PM The Chipmunks had a #21 hit with it in 1960 and the Melodeers, Paul Anka, and The Temptations have also charted with the song. HT

Resources and Related Links:

  • Gene Autry’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • Johnny Marks’ DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • AMP (2009). Pine Tree Productions. “Top Christmas Hit Songs
  • LW Alan Lewens (2001). Popular Song – Soundtrack of the Century. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 92.
  • SS Steve Sullivan (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. Page 762.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Pages 40 and 631.
  • HT Joel Whitburn (2009). Top Pop Singles 1955-2008 (12th edition). Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 1232.

Sunday, October 24, 1999

Santana hit #1 with "Smooth": October 23, 1999

Originally posted October 23, 2011.

When Santana hit #1 on the pop charts with “Smooth”, it marked the 30th anniversary of his chart debut on the Billboard 100 and the longest span in chart history between an artist’s chart debut and first trip to #1. SF In October 1969, “Jingo” became Carlos’ first hit, albeit it a minor one with a peak at #56. Over the next few years, he had notable hits with “Evil Ways” (#9), “Black Magic Woman” (#4), and Oye Como Va” (#13). He regularly landed top 40 hits during the 1970s, but by the 1980s, his success with singles had dwindled. He landed only five songs on the Hot 100 during the entire decade, although “Winning” and “Hold On” were top 20 hits.

Arista Records’ chief Clive Davis, who had worked with Santana at Columbia Records, signed him to record an album with an all-star guest roster. Santana had been fronted by many lead singers over the years, but this was a new approach. Among those lending their aid to Santana’s comeback were Eric Clapton, Cee-Lo Green, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Dave Matthews, and Rob Thomas. Thomas was one of the hottest names around as the front man of pop-rock group Matchbox 20. His co-writing and singing on “Smooth” launched one of the most impressive career resurgences in chart history.

Itaal Shur, a songwriter and producer who had worked with Jewel and Maxwell, brought a song called “Room One Seven” to Arista. They liked the instrumental, but thought his lyrics were too sexual and tapped Thomas for a rewrite. SF Inspired by his wife’s Puerto Rican descent, Thomas crafted the new song with the Spanish-flavored lyrics. WK Thomas envisioned George Michael singing the, but recorded a demo to play for Santana. WK

With “Smooth”, Santana didn’t just land the biggest hit of his career, but the biggest pop single of 1999. WHC In its 2008 run-down of the biggest hits in the fifty-year history of the Hot 100, Billboard magazine named it the #2 all-time song on that chart. BB100 “Smooth” spent a dozen weeks at the chart pinnacle and a grand total of 30 weeks in the top 10.

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, October 16, 1999

Creed hit #1 with Human Clay: October 16, 1999

Originally posted October 16, 2012.

“Creed burst out of Florida with 1997’s My Own Prison, a dark but commercial debut reminiscent of the early-‘90s Seattle sound. Creed’s moody guitar grunge and ardent lyrics, coupled with singer Scott Stapp’s passionate vocals, helped My Own Prison sell millions.” KT Human Clay proved even more successful, debuting at #1 in the U.S. and selling 17 million copies worldwide.

The first single, Higher, “is typical Creed – safe, emotive guitar rock for the masses, but with a slight edge.” KT It spent a then-record 17 weeks atop the album rock tracks chart. The third single, With Arms Wide Open, reached even higher, going all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, a rare occurrence for a rock band at a time when boy bands ruled the charts.

The group didn’t mess with the success of their first album, turning out a “a sophomore outing rife with evocative moodiness, soaring guitars, and a dark, roiling, intense vibe.” KT “Nobody could figure out why this group managed to not just survive, but thrive…After all, at the time, not only were post-grunge bands dying, but so were such grunge heavyweights as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell.” STE

When one listens to the album, though, “a realization sets in: Unlike their influences – from Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains to Stone Temple Pilots – Creed is happy to be a rock band.” STE “Their music may not be particularly joyous and they may even favor foreboding, heavy riffs, but they’re not trying to stretch into political causes or worldbeat like Pearl Jam; they’re not reveling in dark psychedelia like Soundgarden; nor are they attempting a glam Abbey Road like Stone Temple Pilots.” STE This “a straightforward grunge and hard rock band, embracing everything that goes along with that.” STE “They might not have as strong an identity as their forefathers, but they’re not faceless.” STE It makes “Human Clay at once compelling and effectively redundant.” KT

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Tuesday, August 31, 1999

Q Magazine – The 100 Greatest Stars of the 20th Century

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Toward the close of the 20th century, British music magazine Q asked its readers to vote on the greatest stars of the 20th century. Here were the results:

  1. John Lennon
  2. Paul McCartney
  3. Kurt Cobain
  4. Bob Dylan
  5. Elvis Presley
  6. David Bowie
  7. Madonna
  8. Noel Gallagher
  9. Liam Gallagher
  10. Michael Stipe

  11. Keith Richards
  12. Bob Marley
  13. Freddie Mercury
  14. Frank Sinatra
  15. Jimi Hendrix
  16. Thom Yorke
  17. Aretha Franklin
  18. Bono
  19. James Brown
  20. Brian Wilson

  21. Robert Johnson
  22. Mick Jagger
  23. Iggy Pop
  24. Joe Strummer
  25. Marvin Gaye
  26. Ringo Starr
  27. Little Richard
  28. Chuck D
  29. Joni Mitchell
  30. George Michael

  31. Richard Ashcroft
  32. Richey Edwards
  33. Kate Bush
  34. Patti Smith
  35. Bruce Springsteen
  36. George Harrison
  37. Stevie Wonder
  38. Jarvis Cocker
  39. Marc Bolan
  40. Dr. Dre

  41. Morrissey
  42. Cerys Matthews
  43. Nick Drake
  44. Charlie Parker
  45. Neil Young
  46. Debbie Harry
  47. Pete Townshend
  48. John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon
  49. Ray Davies
  50. Captain Beefheart

  51. Paul Weller
  52. Miles Davis
  53. Ian Curtis
  54. Brian Eno
  55. Rod Stewart
  56. Nicky Wire
  57. Hank Williams
  58. Jimmy Page
  59. Lou Reed
  60. Duke Ellington

  61. Phil Spector
  62. Paul Simon
  63. Woody Guthrie
  64. Ralf Hutter
  65. Sam Cooke
  66. Jim Morrison
  67. Prince
  68. Shaun Ryder
  69. Lee “Scratch” Perry
  70. Syd Barrett

  71. Brian Jones
  72. Keith Moon
  73. Youssou N’Dour
  74. Roger Waters
  75. Buddy Holly
  76. Billie Holiday
  77. Robert Plant
  78. Bez
  79. Diana Ross
  80. Sting

  81. Louis Armstrong
  82. Igory Stravinksy
  83. Eric Clapton
  84. John Squire
  85. Liam Howlett
  86. Lauryn Hill
  87. Fela Kuti
  88. Serge Gainsbourg
  89. Damon Albarn
  90. Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart

  91. Muddy Waters
  92. Claudy Debussy
  93. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
  94. Elvis Costello
  95. Johnny Marr
  96. Ozzy Osbourne
  97. Frank Zappa
  98. Ian Brown
  99. Bryan Ferry
  100. Ravi Shankar


Saturday, August 28, 1999

In Concert: Roger Waters

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Venue: Kemper Arena; Kansas City, MO
Tour: In the Flesh Tour
The Players: Roger Waters (vocals, guitar, bass), Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar), Doyle Bramhall II (guitar, vocals), Jon Carin (keyboards), Graham Broad (drums), Katie Kissoon (backing vocals)

The Set List:

1. In the Flesh
2. The Thin Ice
3. Another Brick in the Wall Part 1
4. The Happiest Days of Our Lives
5. Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
6. Mother
7. Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert
8. Southampton Dock
9. Pigs on the Wing Part 1
10. Dogs
11. Welcome to the Machine
12. Wish You Were Here
13. Shine on You Crazy Diamond Part 1-4
14. Shine on You Crazy Diamond Part 5-8
15. Speak to Me
16. Breathe
17. Time
18. Breathe Reprise
19. The Great Gig in the Sky
20. Money
21. Every Stranger’s Eyes
22. The Powers That Be
23. What God Wants Part 1
24. Perfect Sense Part 1 and 2
25. It’s a Miracle
26. Amused to Death
27. Brain Damage
28. Eclipse
29. Comfortably Numb
30. Each Small Candle

Fairweather-Low has played and/or recorded with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Stevie Nicks, and Kate Bush, among others; has worked with Waters since the 1984 Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking tour. Bramhall has played professionally since he was 15. He was one of the few musicians the late Stevie Ray Vaughan would invite to sit in with him and, at 19, was invited to join Jimmie Vaughan's Fabulous Thunderbirds. Broad has worked with Procol Harum, Bill Wyman & the Rhythm Kings, and on Waters’ Amused to Death. Jon Carin has played with The Who, Pete Townshend, Bryan Ferry and others. Kissoon has worked with Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, George Harrison, and the Pet Shop Boys among others.

Wednesday, April 7, 1999

50 Years Ago Today: South Pacific opened on Broadway (April 7, 1949)

First posted 4/7/2012; updated 3/30/2019.

South Pacific (cast/soundtrack)

Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II (composers)

Opened on Broadway: 4/7/1949

Cast Album Charted: 5/21/1949

Soundtrack Released: 5/19/1958

U.S. Peak: #169-C, 131-S

UK Peak: #1115-S

U.S. Sales (in millions): 3.0 c, 8.0 s

UK Sales (in millions): -- c, 1.8 s

Total Sales (in millions): 3.0 c, 9.8 s

Genre: show tunes

C cast, S soundtrack

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Overture
  2. Dites-Moi
  3. A Cockeyed Optimist
  4. Twin Soliloquies
  5. Some Enchanted Evening (#1 US, Perry Como, 1949)
  6. Bloody Mary
  7. My Girl Back Home **
  8. There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame
  9. Bali Ha’i (#5 US, Perry Como, 1949)
  10. I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair
  11. A Wonderful Guy (#12 US, Margaret Whiting, 1949)
  12. Younger Than Springtime (#30 US, Gordon MacRae, 1949)
  13. Happy Talk
  14. Honey Bun
  15. You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught
  16. This Nearly Was Mine
  17. Finale: Dites-Mo (Reprise)

Above track listing based on 2000 Decca reissue. Songs with an asterisk (*) are on original 1946 cast album.

c Songs unique to cast album.


Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s South Pacific is considered “one of the greatest Broadway musicals” W-C and “one of the most beloved musicals ever to hit the stage.” AZ It was a massive hit, running 1,925 performances on Broadway AMG-C and another 802 in London. MK Its nearly five-year Broadway run was “longer than any musical before it except Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!.” AMG-C “The appeal is simple: a collection of stunning compositions…and characters with a simple though cohesive through-line.” AZ

At the time, a critic for the New York Daily Mirror wrote that it was “likely to establish a new trend in musicals” W-C and that “every number is so outstanding that it is difficult to decide which will be the most popular.” W-C The New York World-Telegram review said it was “the ultimate modern blending of music and popular theatre to date, with the finest kind of balance between story and song, and hilarity and heartbreak.” W-C

Joshua Logan, a stage and film director and also a World War II veteran, read James Michener’s 1947 novel Tales of the South Pacific and decided to adapt it for the stage; he wound up as the musical’s director and producer. Rodgers & Hammerstein were tapped to write.” W-C Initially, “the musical was to center on the story ‘Fo’ Dolla’, about a love affair between a Polynesian girl and a stuffy American officer.” MK As Rogers recounted, however, he and Hammerstein decided that it “would look too much like a rehash of Madame ButterflyMK and opted to make it secondary to “another story from the book, ‘Our Heroine,’ about a nurse from Arkansas who falls in love” MK with “an expatriate French plantation owner with a dark past.” W-C To add “comic leavening” MK alongside these “wartime romances complicated by racial issues,” AMG-C R&H added a third story, “A Boar’s Tooth,” MK about “Luther Billis, a womanizing sailor.” W-C

“The dashing former Metropolitan Opera bass Ezio Pinza” AZ was tapped to play the role of Emile deBecque, the French plantation owner.” W-C Of his eventual South Pacific performance, The New York Times’ Brooks Atkinson said, “Mr. Pinza’s bass voice is the most beautiful that has been heard on a Broadway stage for an eon or two.”

Filling the role of “the heartily feminine American nurse” AZ is “the lovely, girlish Mary Martin” AZ who was “a musical comedy star…[and] a Broadway favorite” MK noted for performances in Peter Pan and Annie Get Your Gun. AZ The New York Post’s Richard Watts, Jr. said this of her performance in South Pacific: “Nothing I have ever seen her do prepared me for the loveliness, humor, gift for joyous characterization, and sheer lovableness of her portrayal of Nellie Forbush…Hers is a completely irresistible performance.” W-C

“The issue of racial prejudice is sensitively and candidly explored in several plot threads.” W-C “Nellie struggles to accept Emile’s mixed-race children. Another American serviceman, Lieutenant Cable, struggles with the prejudice that he would face if he were to marry an Asian woman.” W-C The song You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught “attacks the issue with a vehemence never before (and seldom since) seen on the stage.” MK It was initially “criticized as too controversial for the musical stage and called indecent and pro-communist.” W-C

“Critical response to the Broadway opening, April 7, 1949, at the Majestic Theater, was probably as uniformly ecstatic as for any show in history.” MK “Acclaim heaped up: nine Tony awards, including Musical, Book, Score, and Direction, along with acting kudos for Martin, Pinza, Myron McCormick (who played Billis) and Juanita Hall (Bloody Mary). Nine Donaldson awards. The New York Drama Critics Circle award for Best Musical. And the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.” MK

The accompanying cast album tapped Pinza and Martin and other cast members. It proved immensely successful, spending 69 weeks atop the Billboard charts – the most weeks spent at #1 in the chart’s history. When the soundtrack to the 1958 film was released, it accomplished a similar feat by becoming the most successful #1 album in the history of the U.K. charts – with 115 weeks on top. Collectively, the cast album and soundtrack have sold nearly 13 million worldwide.

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Sunday, April 4, 1999

BBC 100 Favourite Songs of the Century

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Paul Gambaccini invited the public and music personalities to submit their choices for the best songs of the century and then broadcast the results over BBC Radio 2 over Easter weekend, 1999. The list only lists song titles. The DMDB has included the act for the highest-ranked version of the song according to the DMDB.

1. Yesterday…The Beatles (1965)
2. Star Dust…Artie Shaw (1941)
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water…Simon & Garfunkel (1970)
4. White Christmas… Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers (1942)
5. Unchained Melody…The Righteous Brothers (1965)
6. Imagine…John Lennon (1971)
7. My Way…Frank Sinatra (1969)
8. Summertime…Billie Holiday (1936)
9. Over the Rainbow… Judy Garland (1939)
10. As Time Goes By…Dooley Wilson (1943)

11. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes…Paul Whiteman with Bob Lawrence (1933)
12. You’ll Never Walk Alone…Frank Sinatra (1945)
13. Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose)…Elton John (1997)
14. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer…Gene Autry (1949)
15. Hey Jude…The Beatles (1968)
16. In the Mood…Glenn Miller (1939)
17. Alexander’s Ragtime Band…Arthur Collins with Byron Harlan (1911)
18. Bohemian Rhapsody…Queen (1975)
19. (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock…Bill Haley & the Comets (1954)
20. Ol’ Man River…Paul Robeson (1928)

21. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye…Benny Goodman with Peggy Mann (1945)
22. Blowin’ in the Wind…Bob Dylan (1963)
23. We’ll Meet Again…Vera Lynn (1954)
24. I Heard It Through the Grapevine…Marvin Gaye (1968)
25. When I Fall in Love…The Lettermen (1961)
26. Heartbreak Hotel…Elvis Presley (1956)
27. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’…The Righteous Brothers (1964)
28. A Whiter Shade of Pale…Procol Harum (1967)
29. My Heart Will Go On…Celine Dion (1997)
30. St. Louis Blues…Bessie Smith with Louis Armstrong (1925)

31. My Blue Heaven…Gene Austin (1927)
32. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town…Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters (1947)
33. Night and Day…Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra (1932)
34. September Song…Walter Huston (1939)
35. Stairway to Heaven…Led Zeppelin (1971)
36. Moonlight Serenade…Glenn Miller (1939)
37. What a Wonderful World…Louis Armstrong (1967)
38. I Will Always Love You…Whitney Houston (1992)
39. Let It Be…The Beatles (1970)
40. There’ll Be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover…Kay Kyser (1941)

41. Begin the Beguine…Artie Shaw (1938)
42. American Pie…Don McLean (1971)
43. Moon River…Henry Mancini with Audrey Hepburn (1961)
44. Always on My Mind…Willie Nelson (1982)
45. Without You…Harry Nilsson (1971)
46. Hound Dog…Elvis Presley (1956)
47. Unforgettable…Natalie Cole with Nat “King” Cole (1991)
48. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face…Roberta Flack (1970)
49. The Little Drummer Boy…Harry Simeone Chorale (1958)
50. Baker Street…Gerry Rafferty (1978)

51. Tennessee Waltz…Patti Page (1950)
52. Hotel California…Eagles (1976)
53. Lili Marlene…Perry Como (1944)
54. Mack the Knife…Bobby Darin (1959)
55. I Only Have Eyes for You…The Flamingos (1959)
56. I’ve Got You Under My Skin…Ray Noble (1936)
57. Someone to Watch Over Me…Gertrude Lawrence (1927)
58. The Power of Love…Celine Dion (1993)
59. God Only Knows…The Beach Boys (1966)
60. I Believe…Frankie Laine (1953)

61. I Just Called to Say I Love You…Stevie Wonder (1984)
62. Crazy…Patsy Cline (1961)
63. Deep Purple…Larry Clinton with Bea Wain (1939)
64. Wind Beneath My Wings…Bette Midler (1989)
65. Strawberry Fields Forever…The Beatles (1967)
66. It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary…John McCormack (1915)
67. Blue Moon…Glen Gray with Kenny Sargent (1935)
68. All the Things You Are…Tommy Dorsey with Jack Leonard (1939)
69. Like a Rolling Stone…Bob Dylan (1965)
70. Singin’ in the Rain…Cliff Edwards (1929)

71. Nights in White Satin…The Moody Blues (1967)
72. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction…The Rolling Stones (1965)
73. Send in the Clowns…Judy Collins (1975)
74. What’s Going On…Marvin Gaye (1971)
75. Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time)…Ethel Waters (1933)
76. Walk on By…Dionne Warwick (1964)
77. The Folks Who Live on the Hill…Guy Lombardo (1937)
78. Keep the Home Fires Burnin’…James F. Harrison (1915)
79. Every Breath You Take…The Police (1983)
80. Winter Wonderland…Guy Lombardo (1934)

81. Killing Me Softly with His Song…Roberta Flack (1973)
82. Some Enchanted Evening…Perry Como (1949)
83. Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay…Otis Redding (1968)
84. Roses of Picardy…Lambert Murphy (1918)
85. I Say a Little Prayer…Aretha Franklin (1968)
86. Let Me Call You Sweetheart…Peerless Quartet (1911)
87. Everything I Do I Do It for You…Bryan Adams (1991)
88. Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?...Rudy Vallee (1932)
89. The Way We Were…Barbra Streisand (1973)
90. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square…Glenn Miller with Ray Eberle (1940)

91. Somewhere…Marni Nixon (1961)
92. Tea for Two…Marion Harris (1925)
93. Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina…Madonna (199)
94. Something…The Beatles (1969)
95. The Way You Look Tonight…Fred Astaire (1936)
96. MacArthur Park…Richard Harris (1968)
97. Georgia on My Mind…Ray Charles (1960)
98. Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart)…Haydn Quartet (1904)
99. Take Five…Dave Brubeck Quartet (1999)
100. Stand by Me…Ben E. King (1961)

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Tuesday, February 23, 1999

Eminem released his debut album, The Slim Shady LP: February 23, 1999

“The audacious debut from the snot heard round the world.” ZS “Hip-hop had never heard anything like Em’s brain-damaged rhymes…which earned Em respect, fortune, fame and a lawsuit from his mom.” RS He was “more shocking than Marilyn Manson, more offensive than Andrew Dice Clay” ZS with detractors arguing that “his talent doesn’t outweigh the misogynistic lyrics.” ZS Indeed, he served up “lacerating insights with vigor and venom, blurring the line between reality and parody, all seemingly without effort.” AMG

The Slim Shady LP bristles with this tension, since it’s never always clear when Marshall Mathers is joking and when he’s dead serious.” AMG “Nowhere is this more true than on ’97 Bonnie and Clyde, a notorious track where he imagines killing his wife and then disposing of the body with his baby daughter in tow. There have been more violent songs in rap, but few more disturbing, and it’s not because of what it describes, it’s how he describes it – how the perfectly modulated phrasing enhances the horror and black humor of his words.” AMG

“In the first single, My Name Is, he’s self-deprecating, rapping about his poor upbringing and his hairy palms. But on the very next song, Guilty Conscience, he plays the devil to Dr. Dre’s angel – that is, until Eminem brings up an incident from Dre’s devilish past, rapping, ‘You gonna take advice from someone who slapped Dee Barnes?’” AZ

“But he isn’t a straight-up gangsta.” AZ “At a time when many rappers were stuck in the stultifying swamp of gangsta clichés, Eminem broke through the hardcore murk by abandoning the genre’s familiar themes and flaunting a style with more verbal muscle and imagination than any of his contemporaries.” AMG “Years later…it’s those lyrical skills and the subtle mastery of the music that still resonate, and they’re what make The Slim Shady LP one of the great debuts in both hip-hop and modern pop music.” AMG


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