Saturday, December 22, 2001

Nickelback hit #1 with “How You Remind Me”

Updated 1/12/2019.

image from loudersound.com

How You Remind Me

Nickelback

Writer(s): Chad Kroeger, Mike Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Ryan Vikedal (see lyrics here)


Released: 8/21/2001


First Charted: 7/28/2001


Peak: 14 US, 11 AAA, 113 AR, 113 AR, 4 UK, 1 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales *: 1.0 US, 0.6 UK, 1.81 world (includes US + UK)


Radio Airplay *: 2.0


Video Airplay *: 415.8


Streaming *: --


* in millions

Review:

When Nickelback recorded “How You Remind Me” in about ten minutes as a last minute edition to their Silver Side Up album, they had something special. SF The band has amassed a legion of detractors, and this song is “a guilty pleasure, to be sure,” TG but an “absolutely undeniable” TG “example of mainstream songwriting chops and flawlessly slick production.” TG

This was the first top 40 hit for the Canadian rock band and only the second #1 song by a Canadian group, the first being the Guess Who’s “American Woman.” SF “Remind Me” was the most-played song of 2002 in the U.S. SF and topped the Billboard year-end chart. Billboard named it the #1 rock song of the decade. WK Lead singer Chad Kroeger has referred to what is often considered their signature song as “the song that put Nickelback on the map.” WK

Kroeger told MTV he penned this song about an ex-girlfriend with whom he’d had a rather dysfunctional relationship. However, he kept the lyrics ambiguous so that listeners could relate to the idea of an ex pointing out one’s faults. SF

The band’s drum tech, Andrew Mawhinney, suggested the idea of the band dropping out at the last chorus in which Kroeger bellows, “for handing you a heart worth breaking!” Mawhinney was rewarded by the band for the suggestion with $5000. SF


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.

Awards:


Saturday, September 8, 2001

Kylie Minogue released “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”

Last updated 3/19/2020.

Can’t Get You Out of My Head

Kylie Minogue

Writer(s): Cathy Dennis/Rob Davis (see lyrics here)


Released: September 8, 2001


First Charted: September 17, 2001


Peak: 7 US, 3 RR, 23 A40, 14 UK, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 0.53 US, 1.3 UK, 5.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.3 radio, 154.4 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

“There is no false advertising here.” AB’00 “Never has a pop song more effectively done what it says” TL With its “catchy hooks, a salaciously cool video and lyrical content” NME this “irresistibly fun, flirty dance-pop confection” MX “can be very very difficult to get out of your head.” AB’00 “The Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis-penned single sinks its playground chant of a hook into the brain and just refuses to let go as Kylie sexes it up.” TL

Before penning this song, Dennis had a couple top 10 hits in the U.S. in the early ‘90s. This one was offered first to Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who turned it down. SF The song is also known as “The La La Song” because Kylie sings “la la la, la la la la la la” repeatedly in the chorus. SF That “hook wormed its way into several billion ears worldwide” PD as the song topped the charts in over 40 countries. It was her 20th top ten hit in the UK, where it was also the most played song of 2001 and her best-selling single. SF

While Kylie had been a successful actress and sex symbol in her native Australia and musically was huge around the world, she hadn’t graced the American charts since her 1988 debut. However, “the pint-size Aussie disco dolly seduced the U.S. with this mirror-ball classic.” RS’09

So “how did Kylie make one of the decade’s finest dance-pop anthems” PF and what PopEater.com called “one of the greatest dance-pop cuts of all time”? PE “By offering less: less singing, less melody, less feeling. What’s left is a buzzy, insatiable desire, an itch you can’t scratch but maybe can dance out.” PF She knows “intuitively how each coy purr, each insouciant whisper can speak to and for the lust of her audience.” PF “If its sleek, synthetic surfaces feel hollow, it’s because fantasy is hollow, a shell for impossible expectation.” PF


Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, August 18, 2001

Alicia Keys hit #1 with “Fallin’”

Last updated 3/18/2020.

Fallin’

Alicia Keys

Writer(s): Alicia Keys (see lyrics here)


Released: April 2, 2001


First Charted: May 5, 2001


Peak: 16 US, 15 RR, 24 AC, 14 A40, 14 RB, 3 UK, 24 CN, 7 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.6 UK, 1.92 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.6 radio, 160.37 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

Alicia Keys grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan with her mother. She has said her mother was the inspiration for the song “Fallin’”, about caring deeply about a person who one loves very much, but drives one crazy at times. SF Musically the song revealed Keys’ roots playing classical piano; it opens with a piece taken from Chopin. SF

She landed a record deal with Columbia Records which fell through SF but then Arista Records executive Clive Davis saw her perform. He kicked off his new company, J Records, with Keys at the forefront. He wrote a personal letter to Oprah Winfrey landing Keys a gig on The Oprah Winfrey Show before the album had even come out. SF

There proved to be an audience. She fit into the neo-soul genre “without being as spacy as Macy Gray or as hippie mystic as Erykah Badu while being more reliable than Lauryn Hill.” AMG “Fallin’” “is a testament to Keys’ skills as a musician;” AMG it “was rich enough to compensate for some thinness in the writing” AMG and has become her signature song. WK It was an “aching piano ballad” TB-296 which made Keys “an instant heartthrob and a household name in record time.” TB-296 Entertainment Weekly’s Beth Johnson described the song as “gospel fervor of lovesick righteousness.” WK PopMatters.com’s Mark Anthony Neal said it combined “Keys’ natural blues register with a subtle, and brilliantly so, sample of James Brown’s ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.’” WK

The song cleaned up at the Grammys nabbing awards for Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Vocal Performance. She also took home the prizes for Best New Artist and Best R&B Album. MTV gave her the award for Best New Artist in a Video.


Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, August 7, 2001

In Concert: Barenaked Ladies

image from rateyourmusic.com

Venue: City Market; Kansas City, MO


The Set List:

1. Never Do Anything
2. It’s All Been Done
3. The Old Apartment
4. Filthy Frenchmen (improv)
5. Falling for the First Time
6. Pinch Me
7. Ear (improv)
8. Get in Line
9. Alcohol
10. Turn Me Loose (Loverboy cover)

11. Break Your Heart
12. One Week
13. Shoebox
14. If I Had a Million Dollars
15. Medley of other people’s hits

Encore:

16. Careless Whisper
17. Too Little, Too Late

Encore 2:

18. Brian Wilson


Monday, July 30, 2001

The Strokes released Is This It: July 30, 2001

Originally posted July 30, 2012.

image from mxdwn.com

With their debut album, these “mod ragamuffins” RS from New York City “mixed Velvet Underground grime and skinny-tie New Wave jangle” RS with “late-‘70s New York punk;” AMG in essence, they combined “all the trademarks of pre-1977 rock” EW or “pre-alternative alternative music.” EW The music was “sometimes acidic, always full of great melody,” RS and marked by “off-kilter guitar solos,” EW “primitive tom-tom rhythms (shades of the Velvets’ Moe Tucker),” EW and “an insistently chugging backbeat.” AMG It was all accompanied by “attitude-heavy slurring (by singer Julian Casablancas)” EW and his “raw, world-weary” AMG and “half-buried vocals (à la ‘Louie, Louie’).” EW

The Strokes intentionally sought out “the raw, muddy sonics of garage-band 45s.” EW Casablancas said they wanted to sound like “a band from the past that took a time trip into the future to make their record.” WK However, “the Strokes don’t rehash the sounds that inspire them,” AMG namely Television, the Stooges, and aforementioned Velvets, but “remake them in their own image.” AMG The subject matter behind their songs “reflected their own early-twenties lust for life.” AMG and made “the timeworn themes of sex, drugs, and rock & roll and the basic guitars-drum-bass lineup seem new and vital again.” AMG

On one hand, the Strokes became “the most hyped band [in the UK] since Oasis in the mid 1990s;” TB the New Musical Express “placed the Strokes at the head of its ‘new rock revolution’” TB However, “haters threw whatever they had at them.” SY After all, these were were guys straight out of “the exclusive Dwight School in Manhattan” TB decked out in “expensive leather and denim.” SY However, the band’s “daily twelve-hour practices are so blindingly evident on Is This ItSY that “the Strokes prove to be one of the few groups deserving of their glowing reviews.” AMG “The record is considered crucial in the development of other alternative bands and of the post-millennial music industry.” WK Rolling Stone’s Joe Levy said it was “the stuff of which legends are made” WK while NME’s John Robinson said “Is This It was one of the best debut LPs by a guitar band during the past 20 years.” WK

Last Nite

Highlights from the album included Last Nite, a “guitar-driven song” WK with “reggae-inspired rhythm guitar lines” WK and Hard to Explain, “arguably the finest song they've written in their career.” AMG

Hard to Explain


Awards:

Resources and Related Links:

Friday, July 20, 2001

In Concert: Eric Clapton

image from guitardevil.com

Venue: Kemper Arena; Kansas City, MO
Opening Act: Doyle Bramhall II
The Players: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar), Billy Preston (keyboards), Andy Fairweather-Low (back-up guitarist and vocalist), Nathan East (bass), Steve Gadd (drums)


The Set List:

1. Key to the Highway
2. Reptile
3. Got You on My Mind
4. Tears in Heaven
5. Bell Bottom Blues
6. Change the World
7. My Father’s Eyes
8. River of Tears
9. Going Down Slow
10. She’s Gone
11. I Want a Little Girl
12. Badge
13. Hoochie Coochie Man
14. Five Long Years
15. Cocaine
16. Wonderful Tonight
17. Layla

ENCORE:

18. Will It Go Round in Circles
19. Sunshine of Your Love
20. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Here’s a timeline of when each of the above songs was originally released. It’s interesting that the entire decade of the ‘80s was neglected. He also avoided perhaps his three best-known covers: “After Midnight,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” and “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”

  • 1939: Judy Garland in the movie The Wizard of Oz: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Not featured on any Clapton albums.
  • 1967: Cream’s album Disraeli Gears: “Sunshine of Your Love”
  • 1969: Cream’s album Goodbye: “Badge”
  • 1970: Derek and the Dominoes’ album Layla…and Other Assorted Love Songs: “Key to the Highway,” “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Layla”
  • 1972: Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round in Circles,” a #1 single from Preston’s album Music Is My Life. Not featured on any Clapton albums.
  • 1977: Slow Hand: “Cocaine,” “Wonderful Tonight”
  • 1992: Rush Soundtrack: “Tears in Heaven”
  • 1994: From the Cradle: “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Five Long Years”
  • 1996: Phenomenon Soundtrack: “Change the World”
  • 1998: Pilgrim: “My Father’s Eyes,” “River of Tears,” “Going Down Slow,” “She’s Gone”
  • 2001: Reptile: “Reptile,” “Got You on My Mind,” “I Want a Little Girl”

    Billy Preston is most noted as the only artist to share billing with the Beatles on one of their songs (“Get Back”). Also a successful solo artist; at his peak in the early ‘70s. He was playing keyboards for gospel diva Mahalia Jackson by the age of 10. Andy Fairweather-Low has toured and recorded with Eric Clapton since 1992. He has also worked with George Harrison, Roger Waters, Stevie Nicks, and Kate Bush, among others. In the late ‘60s, Andy was the lead singer of British group Amen Corner. Nathan East has worked with Clapton since 1986. He has also worked with Barry White, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Mathis, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, and Kenny Loggins. He also has been a member of the jazz group Fourplay in the ‘90s. Steve Gadd has worked with Clapton since 1998. Gadd also has worked as a jazz drummer with Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Bob James, Grover Washington Jr., and David Sanborn. All of the above, including opening act Doyle Bramhall II, were involved in the recording of the Reptile album. Only Dave Sancious, Bruce Springsteen’s keyboardist on his first three albums, was added for the tour. He has also worked as a solo artist, as well as a keyboardist for Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Bryan Ferry.

Thursday, March 29, 2001

March 29, 1951: The King and I opened on Broadway

Originally posted August 11, 2008. Last updated September 4, 2018.

The King and I (cast/soundtrack)

Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II (composers)

Opened on Broadway: March 29, 1951

Cast Album Charted: May 26, 1951

Soundtrack Released: June 11, 1956


Sales (in millions):
US: -- c, 2.0 s
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): -- c, 2.0 s


Peak:
US: 2C, 1 1-S
UK: 148-S
Canada: --
Australia: --

Quotable: “One of the all-time greats among musicals.” – Daily Variety


Genre: show tunes


Album Tracks:

  1. Overture
  2. I Whistle a Happy Tune
  3. My Lord and Master
  4. Hello, Young Lovers
  5. March of the Siamese Children
  6. A Puzzlement
  7. Getting to Know You
  8. We Kiss in a Shadow/ I Have Dreamed
  9. Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?
  10. Something Wonderful
  11. Song of the King
  12. Shall We Dance?
  13. Something Wonderful (Finale)

Singles/Hit Songs:

We Kiss in a Shadow
Frank Sinatra (1951) #22

Hello, Young Lovers
Perry Como (1951) #27

As was common in the pre-rock era, multiple versions of a single song from a Broadway show would become hits. All chart positions are from the U.S. Billboard pop charts.

Review:

The King and I was the fifth collaboration for Rodgers and Hammerstein. The musical came about when Fanny Holtzmann, a theatrical attorney, was looking for a part for her client, Gertrude Lawrence. Holtzmann thought Margaret Landon’s 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam, would be a perfect vehicle and contacted Rodgers & Hammerstein. WK

The novel was based on the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, a British widow and school teacher who, in the 1860s, served as governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam. WK She was hired as part of the king’s effort to modernize his country WK and tutor him in how to become a cultivated English gentleman. DF The musical is marked by the conflict between the king and Anna and the love which neither can admit. WK

Rodgers was concerned that “the aging Lawrence had a voice of limited range and she was notorious for singing flat.” DF They’d also never written a show designed for a specific performer, and had tried to liberate Broadway of that very habit. DF However, Rodgers, later wrote, of some of the appealing elements of the story: “there was the contrast between Eastern and Western cultures…there was the intangibility of the attraction between teacher and king…there was the warmth of the relationship between Anna and her royal pupils; there was the theme of democratic teachings triumphing over autocratic rule.” DF

However, they were still challenged to find a worthy co-star. Rex Harrison played the part in a 1946 film based on Landon’s book – but he was unavailable. WK Alfred Drake and Noel Coward, Lawrence’s oldest and dearest friend, were also considered. DF They ended up holding auditions and the first candidate was an actor named Yul Brynner, whose only Broadway musical credit was in Lute Song, a failed 1946 show starring Mary Martin. DF Rodgers had never heard of him, but wrote about his first impression. He “was a bald, muscular fellow with a bony, Oriental face…He looked savage, he sounded savage, and there was no denying that he projected a feeling of controlled ferocity. When he read for us…Oscar and I looked at each other and nodded…we had our king.” DF

The musical debuted at Broadway’s St. James Theatre on March 29, 1951. WK Brynner was an overnight sensation and Lawrence “was once again the toast of Broadway.” DF They both won Tonys for their performances; The King and I was also given the Tony for Best Musical. With a run of nearly three years, it became, at the time, the fourth longest-running Broadway musical in history. WK

The 1956 film version was, at the time, the most expensive film to date for 20th Century Fox. DF Brynner was tapped to reprise his role, but Lawrence died of cancer on September 6, 1952, so was replaced by Deborah Kerr, at Brynner’s urging. DF “She had the gracious quality of an English lady, but her powerful performances in From Here to Eternity on the screen and Tea and Sympathy on the stage had the kind of sexual tension that Brynner wanted to emphasize in the relationship between Anna and the King.” DF

“Chemistry sizzled between…Brynner and…Kerr…, and the rich multilayered story had an emotional pull that was rare in film musicals. The film made breathtaking use of color and of a new widescreen photographic process called Cinemascope 55. The format’s enhanced sound quality provided a sumptuous setting for the Rodgers and Hammerstein score.” DF Daily Variety called it the “Blockbuster of the year. One of the all-time greats among musicals. Sure to wow all classes and nations. Socko in all departments: story, performances, production, score.” DF

The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning nine – including Best Actor for Yul Brynner.


Review Sources:
  • DF David Foil, liner notes from CD of The King and I soundtrack (1956/1993).
  • WK Wikipedia

Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):