Saturday, November 30, 2002

Coldplay charted with "Clocks": November 30, 2002

Originally posted November 30, 2011.

“Coldplay haters are a dime a dozen” LR and much of why the band is criticized rings true: “they’re boring, Chris Martin writes lyrics that are meaningless at best and embarrassing at worst, they’ve inspired a generation…that tries to soar and mostly just whines.” DS

However, on songs like “Clocks” “there’s something to the construction of the song that can be admired.” DS It is “built around one of the most compelling piano riffs of the entire decade.” AB’00 It “doesn’t progress like a standard Romantic melody, it interlocks and shifts with the tides.” DS “From those first piano plinkings, it is a soaring trip through the thinnest air.” LR“It’s almost unnerving, how Martin’s voice gets more delicate while the music gets more strident.” LR

The song wasn’t initially intended for A Rush of Blood to the Head, the band’s second album. Martin “had a crisis of confidence about the proposed release” NME’09 “en route to filing the tracklisting to label Parlophone” NME’09 and requested a two-month delay on the album’s release. At the suggestion of the band’s manager Phil Harvey, recorded “Clocks.” NME’09

The title alludes to “the world’s obsession with time” AMG while the lyrics pose the big question regarding our purpose for being here. Martin has said British rock band Muse served as the song’s inspiration, AB’00 but U2 is really the other band at play here since “Clocks” marks the moment when Coldplay thought “they could challenge U2 as The World’s Biggest Band.” PD

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Saturday, October 5, 2002

Eminem charts with "Lose Yourself": October 5, 2002

Originally posted October 5, 2011.

“Eminem’s autobiographical acting debut in 8 Mile marked the high point of the trickster’s relevance.” SN No one expected much from the movie. Sure, Eminem was at his peak, but on the surface this looked like a high-profile vanity project. However, the movie made “hip-hop as inspirational as Rocky with Em rapping about the kind of poverty he grew up in – and showing the superhuman rhyme powers that got him out of it.” RS’09

If Em’s “‘Rabbit’ character was 8 Mile’s Rocky Balboa, then ‘Lose Yourself’ was the movie’s ‘Eye of the Tiger.’” PD It is Eminem’s “definitive anthem, a vivid, white-knuckle account of the anxiety and self-doubt he grappled with during his earliest forays into performing.” MX As Jonathan Bogart writes, this is “the moment when he sounded as urgent and necessary as anyone’s ever been.” DS He also calls this “the finest postmillennial portrait of the pressures of lower-middle-class life in America.” DS

“The cinema-ready piano intro” CS suggests “how epic this song is going to be,” CS but the listener is still unprepared for “the force unleashed when Mr. Mathers begins rhyming over a head-nodding guitar riff.” CS “This anthem captured the raw intensity and emotion that comes with performing” BX and may be “the most lyrically complex hip-hop song to ever hit #1 on the pop charts” PD with Eminem “tongue-twisting his way through a variety of internal rhyme schemes.” PD

While Eminem had landed three #1’s in the UK, “Lose Yourself” marked his first trip to the top of the U.S. charts. With a dozen weeks in the pole position, “the tense, grunge-y” SN track became the longest-running #1 rap song on the Billboard Hot 100 AB’00 and has been called the most popular rap song in history. SS

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Tuesday, August 27, 2002

8/27/2002: Queens of the Stone Age release Songs for the Deaf

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Released: 27 August 2002
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. The Real Song for the Deaf 2. You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like a Millionaire 3. No One Knows (10/12/02, #51 US, #5 AR, #1 MR, #15 UK) 4. First It Giveth (8/1/03 #33 UK) 5. A Song for the Dead 6. The Sky Is Fallin’ 7. Six Shooter 8. Hangin’ Tree 9. Go with the Flow (4/1/03, #24 AR, #7 MR, #21 UK, #39 AU) 10. Gonna Leave You 11. Do It Again 12. God Is in the Radio 13. Another Love Song 14. A Song for the Deaf 15. Mosquito Song

Sales (in millions): 1.19 US, 0.1 UK, 2.29 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 17 US, 4 UK


Review: Songs for the Deaf, the third outing for American rock band Queens of the Stone Age, was loosely built around the concept of the listener tuning into local radio stations while road tripping from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree. Mock radio broadcasts surface between songs, reinforcing the cliché that modern commercial radio is worthless drivel.

The formula proved successful, pushing the album to platinum status in the U.S. and Europe and generated modern-rock hits with the “lurching, weirdly-springy” AZ “No One Knows” (#1) and “Go with the Flow” (#7). Bot songs earned Grammy nominations for Best Hard Rock Performance.

No One Knows

The album got a big boost because of the presence of Dave Grohl, leader singer for Foo Fighters and former drummer for Nirvana. Grohl had befriended QOTSA frontman Josh Homme in 1992 and QOTSA had opened for Foo Fighters. The band was going through a shake-up and Grohl stepped in as the temporary drummer, even touring with the band and putting Foo Fighters on hold.

The album is often considered the band’s best. Amazon’s Kim Hughes calls it “speed rock that whips by so fast it creates its own breeze” and says it is “a hard rock record so good that it immediately evokes a conspiratorial fervor that makes you want to tell everyone you can about it.” AZ Entertainment Weekly called it “the year’s best hard-rocking album” WK while Splendid said, “This is not your father’s metal. It’s better.” WK Mojo, Spin, and NME all ranked it as one of the top ten albums of the year. WK Kerrang! rated it #1 for 2002 while music critic Steven Hyden went a step farther in calling it the greatest hrd-rock record of the 21st century. WK

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Monday, August 26, 2002

Coldplay released A Rush of Blood to the Head: August 26, 2002

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Released: 26 August 2002
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. Politik 2. In My Place (7/20/02, #2 UK, #17 MR) 3. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face (7/14/03, --) 4. The Scientist (11/4/02, #10 UK, #18 MR, sales: 0.5 m) 5. Clocks (11/30/02, #29 US, #9 UK, #9 MR, sales: 1.0 m) 6. Daylight 7. Green Eyes 8. Warning Sign 9. A Whisper 10. A Rush of Blood to the Head 11. Amsterdam

Sales (in millions): 4.8 US, 2.8 UK, 15.8 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 5 US, 13 UK


Review: Coldplay’s “wonderfully assured debut” AZ album, Parachutes, put the group on the map when it emerged in 2000. However, while it topped the UK charts, its #51 peak in the U.S. coupled with minor pop hit “Yellow” (also a top ten at alternative rock) certainly didn’t suggest the group would some day compete for title of Biggest Band in the World. That song “didn’t follow the rock formula… similarly A Rush of Blood to the Head might not instantly grab listeners, but it’s not tailored that way.” AMG Others saw the band’s dominance coming. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis said, “It sounds like an album ready to take on the world, and win.” WK

The album is “initially inaccessible, but that’s what makes it intriguing.” AMG “Echoes of early post-punk showcase Coldplay’s ballsy musicianship…It’s not exactly rock & roll, but Radiohead, Echo & the Bunnymen, and the Smiths aren’t exactly rock & roll either, and they’re well-loved.” AMG Coldplay had “advanced to a stage where they outshine nearly every one of their rivals in terms of imagination and emotional pull.” AZ There was actually noise in the U.K. press after the debut that they might call it quits after just one album. The group was exhausted after touring to support Parachutes and frontman Chris Martin “insisted he was dry; …he hadn’t written a song in months.” AMG However, “somewhere lurked the beauty of In My Place. The spirit and soul of this ballad allowed Coldplay to pull it together to make a second album.” AMG As Martin said, “It was the song that made us want to do a second album. It kept us going and made us think we could still write songs.” WK

In My Place

“From the delicate, shimmery classic ‘In My Place’ to the piano surge of The Scientist, Coldplay exude an honest passion.” AMG Coldplay “let it all go on this” AMG “soulful, exhilarating journey, moving from the cathartic” AZ “U2-esque epic rock of…PolitikWK “to the hushed tones of” AZ “lovedrunk balladGreen EyesAMG “without once breaking its mesmerizing spell.” AZ The latter, along with “the disco haze of Daylight,” AMG “are divine examples of solid lyrical arrangements.” AMG Meanwhile “‘Politik’ and the stunning guitar-driven God Put a Smile Upon Your Face project a nervy edge to the band.” AMG

The Scientist

“Acoustics are drowned out by Jon Buckland’s riveting guitar work, and vocally, Martin has sharpened his falsetto, refining his haunting deliver…You can feel, hear, and touch the blood, sweat, and tears behind each song, and that’s exactly what Coldplay were going for.” AMG “Lush melodies and a heartbreak behind the songs are there, but also a newfound confidence.” AMG “Martin takes his voice on soaring flights, reaching places only Jeff Buckley previously dared to go. And the music is nearly flawless, a persuasive cross between Pink Floyd and the Verve…This is exquisite stuff.” AZ “Regardless of the band still being in their mid-twenties, they’ve made an amazing record…A Rush of Blood to the Head didn’t sugarcoat anything.” AMG

Rush garnered Coldplay its second Grammy for Best Alternative Album and “In My Place” landed a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The group also landed the prize for Record of the Year for Clocks. A BBC listener poll in 2013 ranked the album the best of all time. WK


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Saturday, April 20, 2002

NME – Greatest Artists of All Time

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New Musical Express, or NME, is a British music magazine. In April 2002, they featured a list of those artists which they said had the biggest impact over the magazine’s first 50 years.

  1. The Smiths
  2. The Beatles
  3. The Stone Roses
  4. David Bowie
  5. The Sex Pistols
  6. Oasis
  7. Radiohead
  8. Paul Weller
  9. U2
  10. Public Enemy

  11. Bez and Shaun Ryder (of Happy Mondays)
  12. The Clash
  13. Nirvana
  14. Elvis Presley
  15. Joy Division
  16. Blur
  17. The Strokes
  18. The Rolling Stones
  19. The Verve
  20. Bob Marley

  21. The Fall
  22. Prodigy
  23. Lou Reed/Velvet Underground
  24. R.E.M.
  25. Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  26. Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  27. Beastie Boys
  28. T-Rex
  29. The Jesus and Mary Chain
  30. The Specials

  31. Manic Street Preachers
  32. Roxy Music
  33. The Pixies
  34. Iggy Pop
  35. Shane MacGowan (of The Pogues)
  36. Primal Scream
  37. Frank Sinatra
  38. Bob Dylan
  39. Blondie
  40. Eminem

  41. Boy George
  42. Madonna
  43. Marvin Gaye
  44. Pulp
  45. Michael Jackson
  46. The Charlatans
  47. Echo & the Bunnymen
  48. The KLF
  49. Neil Young
  50. PJ Harvey


Saturday, March 23, 2002

The O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack hit #1: March 23, 2002

Originally posted March 23, 2012.

The soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? was a slow burner. Released in December 2000, it served as the musical back drop to “the Coen brothers’ delightfully warm and weird Depression-era re-telling of Homer’s Odyssey.” AMG The soundtrack hit its peak in the first quarter of 2002 after winning the Grammy for Album of the Year. That sent the album to the top of the charts and completely out-of-the-blue blockbuster status as an eight-million seller in the U.S.

“In order to capture the sound of Mississippi circa 1932, the Coens commissioned T-Bone Burnett, a masterful producer whose work with artists like Elvis Costello, Sam Phillips, Joseph Arthur, and Counting Crows has earned him a special place in the folk-rock hall of fame.” AMG He tapped “an impressive assembly of old-time country veterans (Fairfield Four, Ralph Stanley, the Whites) and talented newcomers (Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris)” AMG to “re-create the country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, and blues of the era.” AMG

“There are no original compositions here (though Burnett is given a ‘music by’ credit usually reserved for composers), and the characters do not generally break into stylized song and dance numbers.” AMG However, “nearly every scene in O Brother is set to a period song, and the music frequently drives and defines the action.” AMG For example, the a cappella performance on Stanley’s “chillingly plaintive O DeathAZ “sets a chilling tone for a climactic struggle at a Ku Klux Klan rally.” AMG Also, “a significant segment of the plot hinges on the (utterly plausible) notion that Dan Tyminksi’s ebullient rendition of I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow could be a runaway hit.” AMG

The material is featured “in arrangements that are either a cappella or feature bare-bones accompaniment.” AZ “Nothing mucks up these homespun tunes” TM “which were made without the meddling clarity of digital technology” AMG but instead in a style “reminiscent of the single-microphone, wax-cylinder recordings of the 1930s.” TM They “give the film much of its power and authenticity.” AMG Every song was recorded for the film with the exception of “a stunning 1955 Alan Lomax recording of a black prison chain gang singing Po Lazarus, and Harry McClintock’s Big Rock Candy Mountain.” AMG

The soundtrack is “chock-full of ol’-timey fun” ZS as “a great throwback to pickin’, grinnin’, fiddling, and knee-slappin’” ZS music, all a testament to “Burnett’s remarkable skills as a producer.” AMG It serves as “a powerful tribute not only to the time-honored but commercially ignored genres of bluegrass and mountain music.” AMG

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Thursday, February 28, 2002

Spin – 50 Greatest Bands of All Time

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Like so many “all time” lists, American music magazine Spin makes a ludicrious claim to creating a list that celebrates the greatest bands of “all time” when the description already betrays their real intent of looking at 50 great bands from the 1960s forward. Spin’s editors determined the groups had to have “a roof-changing, history-changing, sound, presence or hairstyle,” had to “cearly influence today’s music,” and “they had to be bands that spawned a special emotional attachment to their fans.” 1. The Beatles
2. Ramones
3. Led Zeppelin
4. Bob Marley & The Wailers
5. Nirvana
6. Parliament/Funkadelic
7. The Clash
8. Public Enemy
9. The Rolling Stones
10. Beastie Boys

11. The Velvet Underground
12. Sly & the Family Stone
13. U2
14. Run-D.M.C.
15. Radiohead
16. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
17. Sonic Youth
18. AC/DC
19. The Stooges
20. Metallica

21. The Smiths
22. Patti Smith Group
23. N.W.A.
24. Kraftwerk
25. The Sex Pistols
26. Pearl Jam
27. Grateful Dead
28. R.E.M.
29. Black Sabbath
30. Pavement

31. Fugazi
32. Kiss
33. Pretenders
34. Rage Against The Machine
35. Fela Kuti & Afrika 70/Egypt 80
36. David Bowie And The Spiders From Mars
37. Blondie
38. Bad Brains
39. The Who
40. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

41. New Order
42. Husker Du
43. Guns N' Roses
44. Outkast
45. The Beach Boys
46. Massive Attack
47. Lynyrd Skynyrd
48. Korn
49. Pink Floyd
50. Red Hot Chili Peppers


Saturday, January 19, 2002

VH1’s 100 Greatest Albums

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This list originally aired on cable network television’s VH1. For more details, check out the book VH1: 100 Greatest Albums book, edited by Jacob Hoye and published in 2003. Hoye offers commentaries on all the albums as well as the accurate list. In the introduction, this explanation of the project is offered: “VH1 sent ballots out to over 700 musicians, from Art Garfunkel to Britney Spears; songwriters, disc jockeys, radio programmers, and critics…The votes were calculated and the albums were ranked, producing the following list,” which DMDB is presenting below, including links to DMDB album pages.

Albums are in rank order, with the #1 album being the top left corner, #2 to its immediate right, etc. Hover your mouse over an album to get the name of the album and the recording act. You can also click on an album to link to its DMDB page. Enjoy!

Revolver: The Beatles Nevermind: Nirvana Pet Sounds: Beach Boys What's Going On: Marvin Gaye Are You Experienced?: The Jimi Hendrix Experience Rubber Soul: The Beatles Songs in the Key of Life: Stevie Wonder Abbey Road: The Beatles Blonde on Blonde: Bob Dylan Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Beatles (1967)
The Beatles (aka “The White Album”): The Beatles Exile on Main Street: The Rolling Stones Who’s Next: The Who Blue: Joni Mitchell The Joshua Tree: U2 Rumours: Fleetwood Mac Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the…: Sex Pistols Purple Rain: Prince & the Revolution Velvet Underground & Nico: Velvet Underground & Nico It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back: Public Enemy
The Sun Sessions: Elvis Presley Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan Thriller: Michael Jackson Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones London Calling: The Clash Exodus: Bob Marley and the Wailers Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen Horses: Patti Smith Blood on the Tracks: Bob Dylan I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You: Aretha Franklin
Innervisions: Stevie Wonder Moondance: Van Morrison Bridge Over Troubled Water: Simon and Garfunkel (1970) Sex Machine: James Brown Sign 'O' the Times: Prince Off the Wall: Michael Jackson The Miseducation of…: Lauryn Hill Hotel California: Eagles Tapestry: Carole King Astral Weeks: Van Morrison
Lady Soul: Aretha Franklin Appetite for Destruction: Guns N' Roses Led Zeppelin I: Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II: Led Zeppelin Stand!: Sly & The Family Stone (1969) Sticky Fingers: The Rolling Stones Hunky Dory: David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: David Bowie 1999: Prince Synchronicity: The Polie
Dark Side of the Moon: Pink Floyd Pretenders: Pretenders Bringing It All Back Home: Bob Dylan Ramones: Ramones Mothership Connection: Parliament Trans Europa Express: Kraftwerk Saturday Night Fever (Soundtrack): Various Artists/Bee Gees Dusty in Memphis: Dusty Springfield Live at Fillmore East: The Allman Brothers Band The Doors: The Doors
Déjà Vu: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Straight Outta Compton: NWA Superfly: Curtis Mayfield Bitches Brew: Miles Davis Achtung Baby: U2 Kind of Blue: Miles Davis Beggars Banquet: The Rolling Stones Darkness on the Edge of Town: Bruce Springsteen Raw Power: Iggy & The Stooges Call Me: Al Green
Electric Ladyland: The Jimi Hendrix Experience Grace: Jeff Buckley Paul’s Boutique: Beastie Boys Let It Be: Replacements Sweet Baby James: James Taylor Axis: Bold As Love – The Jimi Hendrix Experience Ten: Pearl Jam
Otis Blue: Otis Redding (1965) Back in Black: AC/DC Marquee Moon: Television Graceland: Paul Simon Abraxas: Santana Quadrophenia: The Who Disraeli Gears: Cream Remain in Light: Talking Heads Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs: Derek and the Dominos Tommy: The Who
So: Peter Gabriel Murmur: R.E.M. Bookends: Simon & Garfunkel OK Computer: Radiohead Private Dancer: Tina Turner Exile in Guyville: Liz Phair Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music: Ray Charles (1962) ABC: The Jackson 5 The B ‘52s: The B ‘52s Like a Prayer: Madonna