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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Top 50 Albums of 2013

image from hindicinenglish.blogspot.com

According to 30+ lists (see bottom of page for links) aggregated by Dave’s Music Database, these are the best albums of 2013. Be sure to also check out the DMDB post of the top 50 songs of 2013.

1. Daft Punk Random Access Memories
2. Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City
3. Kanye West Yeezus
4. My Bloody Valentine MBV
5. Haim Days Are Gone
6. Disclosure Settle
7. Arcade Fire Reflektor
8. David Bowie The Next Day
9. Savages Silence Yourself
10. Queens of the Stone Age Like Clockwork

11. Chance the Rapper Acid Rapper
12. Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer, Different Park
13. The National Trouble Will Find Me
14. Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience
15. Drake Nothing Was the Same
16. Arctic Monkeys AM
17. Kurt Vile Walkin’ on a Pretty Daze
18. Janelle Monae The Electric Lady
19. Deafheaven Sunbather
20. Lorde Pure Heroine

21. The Knife Shaking the Habitual
22. Chvrches The Bones of What You Believe
23. Laura Marling Once I Was an Eagle
24. Waxahatchee Cerulean Salt
25. Run the Jewels (El-P with Killer Mike) Run the Jewels
26. Jon Hopkins Immunity
27. Neko Case The Worst Things Get the Harder I Fight. The Harder I Fight, the More I Love You.
28. James Blake Overgrown
29. Danny Brown Old
30. Rhye Woman

31. Phosphorescent Muchacho
32. Earl Sweatshirt Doris
33. Eminem Marshall Mathers LP 2
34. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Push the Sky Away
35. Bill Callahan Dream River
36. Deerhunter Monomania
37. Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time
38. Ashley Monroe Like a Rose
39. Oneohtrix Point Never R Plus Seven
40. Tegan & Sara Heartthrob

41. Tim Hecker Virgins
42. These New Puritans Field of Reeds
43. Autre Ne Veut Anxiety
44. Foxygen We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
45. Julia Holter Loud City Song
46. M.I.A. Matangi
47. Jason Isbell Southeastern
48. Boards of Canada Tomorrow’s Harvest
49. Pusha T My Name Is My Name
50. Speedy Ortiz Major Arcana


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Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 50 Songs of 2013

image from hindicinenglish.blogspot.com

With more than 40 best-of song lists aggregated (see links at bottom of page), here are the songs which rank as the best 2013 has to offer. Interestingly, the song list is very slanted toward the big pop hits of the year while the album list (see it here) is very geared toward less-commercial, independent releases. Admittedly, the use of multiple Billboard lists below has a great deal to do with that, but I also believe song lists tend to lean more toward the commercial while album lists incorporate the more obscure. Anyway, here’s the list:

Get Lucky

1. Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams “Get Lucky”
2. Lorde “Royals”
3. Robin Thicke with T.I. and Pharrell Williams “Blurred Lines”
4. Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”
5. Drake with Majid Jordan “Hold on, We’re Going Home”

Royals

6. Katy Perry “Roar”
7. Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball”
8. Kanye West “Black Skinhead”
9. Imagine Dragons “Radioactive”
10. Miley Cyrus “We Can’t Stop”

Blurred Lines

11. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Ray Dalton “Can’t Hold Us”
12. Haim “The Wire”
13. Arcade Fire “Reflektor”
14. Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble”
15. Pink with Nate Ruess “Just Give Me a Reason”

Mirrors

16. Bruno Mars “When I Was Your Man”
17. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Wanz “Thrift Shop”
18. Drake “Started from the Bottom”
19. The Lumineers “Ho Hey”
20. Rihanna with Mikky Ekko “Stay”

Hold on, We’re Coming Home

21. Kanye West with Frank Ocean “New Slaves”
22. Ciara “Body Party”
23. Disclosure with AlunaGeorge “White Noise”
24. Bruno Mars “Treasure”
25. Jay-Z with Justin Timberlake “Holy Grail”

Roar

26. Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
27. Avicii “Wake Me Up”
28. Zedd with Foxes “Clarity”
29. Florida Georgia Line with Nelly “Cruise”
30. Phosphorescent “Song for Zula”

Wrecking Ball

31. Vampire Weekend “Diane Young”
32. Justin Timberlake with Jay-Z “Suit & Tie”
33. Big Sean with Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica “Control”
34. Maroon 5 “Daylight”
35. Kacey Musgraves “Follow Your Arrow”

Thrift Shop

36. Taylor Swift “22”
37. Tegan & Sara “Closer”
38. Migos with Drake “Versace”
39. Lady Gaga “Applause”
40. Anna Kendrick “Cups (When I’m Gone)”

Radioactive

41. Kurt Vile “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day”
42. Fall Out Boy “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)”
43. Capital Cities “Safe and Sound”
44. Rich Homie Quan “Type of Way”
45. Mumford & Sons “I Will Wait”

Cruise

46. Haim “Falling”
47. Phillip Phillips “Gone, Gone, Gone”
48. Maroon 5 “Love Somebody”
49. Vampire Weekend “Ya Hey”
50. Janelle Monae with Erykah Badu “Q.U.E.E.N.”

Black Skinhead


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2014

image from nydailynews.com

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for the 2014 class. Artists are eligible for the Hall 25 years after the release of their first single or album. The newest slate will be inducted on April 10, 2014, at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in New York City. HBO will air the event in May. Here are the inductees:

Peter Gabriel: He was inducted into the Hall in 2010 as a member of Genesis. As a solo artist since the ‘70s, he has explored electronic and world music. His video for #1 hit “Sledgehammer” ranks as one of the best videos of all time.

image from details.com


Daryl Hall & John Oates: This blue-eyed soul duo has the most successful Billboard chart run of any twosome in music history. They started in Philadelphia in the early ‘70s, but hit their peak in the early ‘80s with #1 hits “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” and “Maneater.” They’ve sold more than 13 million albums.

image from nydailynews.com


Kiss: Miracles never cease. Members of the Hall induction committee swore they’d never let the mother of all hair bands in while fans have raised a stink in the 15 years the group have been eligible and been passed up. Critics have never liked the band, but the KISS Army represents one of the most loyal fan bases in the history of rock. They’ve sold over 20 million albums on the strength of rock classics like “Rock and Roll All Nite” and power ballads like “Beth.”

image from blabbermouth.net


Nirvana: The group most associated with grunge enters the Hall in its first year of eligibility, 25 years after the release of the single “Love Buzz” in 1988. Three years later, they would take over the world with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and parent album Nevermind. The group’s heyday was short-lived when lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide months after the release of the 1994 follow-up, In Utero, but their influence had been cemented.

image from coolcleveland.com


Linda Ronstadt: She emerged from the folk scene in Los Angeles in the 1960s and became one of pop music’s biggest successes in the 1970s with a blend of country and rock, selling more than 30 million albums and winning a slew of Grammy awards. She regularly covered classics from rock’s pioneers – among them were the Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved,” Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day,” and Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou.”

image from fanart.tv


Cat Stevens: This British folk singer/songwriter made a name for himself in the 1970s with hits like “Wild World” and “Peace Train.” He converted to Islam in 1977, changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and stepped out of the spotlight for more than two decades. He has sold more than 15 million albums.

image from pianosheetmusiconline.com


E Street Band: Bruce Springsteen was inducted into the Hall in 1999. Now his backing band since 1973 is inducted with the Award for Musical Excellence.

image from morrisonhotelgallery.com


Brian Epstein: He receives the Ahmet Ertegun Award (for non-performers) for his work as the manager of the Beatles. He signed them and then sheparded them until his death in 1967. Paul McCartney said, “If anyone was the fifth Beatle it was Brian.”

Epstein in white hat, image from efemeridesdelamusica.blogspot.com


Andrew Loog Oldham: He also receives the Ahmet Ertegun Award (for non-performers) – and also for producing one of rock music’s most acclaimed bands – The Rolling Stones. He was with them for their formative years, helping to push Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to write original material.

Oldham (second from left) with the Rolling Stones, image from zombiesenelghetto.tumblr.com


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"My Blue Heaven" hit #1: December 17, 1927


Gene Austin “My Blue Heaven”


Writer(s): Walter Donaldson / George Whiting (see lyrics here)

First charted: 12/3/1927

Peak: 113 US (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US (includes 1 million in sheet music sales)

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --


Review: Eddie Cantor introduced this song in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927. JA Austin and Paul Whiteman both had #1 versions of the song that year; two more top ten versions came the next year. The song was also a notable hit for New Orleans R&B singer and pianist Fats Domino nearly 30 years later when he had a #5 R&B hit and #19 pop hit with it. “The song was revived as a title theme song for a minor musical drama starring Betty Grable and Dan Dailey in 1950, and forty years later for a Steve Martin comedy about a small-time gangster who is relocated as part of a witness protection program.” JA

However, Austin’s version is the biggest, selling over 5 million copies, making it one of the ten best sellers of the first half of the century, PM the biggest song of 1927, WHC and the second biggest non-holiday record seller of the entire pre-1955 era. PM In the wake of the song’s initial success, Gene Austin reportedly bought a yacht which he named ‘My Blue Heaven’. Sales of the song skyrocketed when, on his first trek out, the boat was caught in a hurricane and rumor had it that he’d drowned. DS

His tenor voice has been credited as the onset of the crooner revolution. DS Blogger Jonathan Bogart called Austin “the stuffiest, squarest popular singer around,” DS saying that Austin would serve up “unimaginative…but serviceable” DS “standard-issue Tin Pan Alley…fluff.” DS For “Heaven,” Austin demonstrated “how deeply jazz had soaked into the collective unconscious of popular entertainment” DS with his “wordless warble…in the middle of the song.” DS The producers also tacked some fake birdsong on to the last chorus, a hint of the “the future of artificial sound in pop music.” DS


Resources and Related Links:

  • Gene Austin’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • DS Don’t Stay Up Too Late (2011). Top 100 Lists
  • JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Pages 38 and 139.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 631.
  • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 42.

Award(s):


Friday, December 6, 2013

Grammy Nominations 2014

image from grammy.com

The nominations for the 2014 Grammys were announced on Friday, December 6, 2013. Below are the nominees for the major awards. The full listing is available here. The 56th Grammy Awards will be held January 26, 2014. Album of the Year:

  • Sara Bareilles The Blessed Unrest
  • Daft Punk Random Access Memories
  • Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist
  • Taylor Swift Red

Record of the Year:

  • Daft Punk with Pharrell “Get Lucky”
  • Imagine Dragons “Radioactive”
  • Lorde “Royals”
  • Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
  • Robin Thicke with T.I. & Pharrell “Blurred Lines”

Royals

Song of the Year:

  • Lorde “Royals”
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Same Love”
  • Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
  • Katy Perry “Roar”
  • Pink “Just Give Me a Reason”

Roar

Best New Artist:

  • James Blake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Kacey Musgraves


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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Grammy Hall of Fame’s Newest Inductees

image from hayspost.com

In 1973, the Recording Academy (more widely known as the Grammys) established a Hall of Fame to, as it says on their website, “honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old.” 40 years later, nearly 1000 albums and songs have been inducted (see the full list here). Here are this year’s inductees: Albums:

  • Chicago Chicago Transit Authority (1969)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
  • Miles Davis Relaxin’ (1958)
  • George Harrison All Things Must Pass (1970)
  • Kris Kristofferson Kristofferson (1970)
  • U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)
  • Doc Watson Doc Watson (1964)
  • Neil Young After the Gold Rush (1970)
  • Various Artists Mary Poppins (soundtrack, 1964)
  • Various Artists Woodstock (soundtrack, 1970)

The Joshua Tree and After the Gold Rush ranked in the DMDB’s Top 100 Albums of All Time already. All Things Must Pass, Cosmo’s Factory, Mary Poppins, Woodstock, and Chicago Transit Authority all ranked in the top 1000.

Songs:

  • Louis Armstrong “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” (1938)
  • James Brown “Get Up – I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine” (1970)
  • Hoagy Carmichael & His Orchestra “Georgia on My Mind” (1930)
  • Sam Cooke “Wonderful World” (1960)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival “Fortunate Son” (1969)
  • The Drifters “Under the Boardwalk” (1964)
  • Robert Johnson “Sweet Home Chicago” (1937)
  • B.B. King “3 O’Clock Blues” (1952)
  • Charlie Parker “Yardbird Suite” (1946)
  • Dolly Parton “Jolene” (1973)
  • The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women” (1969)
  • Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry “Walk This Way” (1986)
  • Gil Scott-Heron “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (1970)
  • Sugarhill Gang “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe “Strange Things Happening Every Day” (1945)
  • B.J. Thomas “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” (1969)
  • War “Low Rider” (1975)

Six of the songs were already listed in the DMDB’s Top 1000 of All-Time: “Honky Tonk Women,” “Walk This Way,” “Rapper’s Delight,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “Fortunate Son,” and “Under the Boardwalk.” “Honky Tonk Women” also ranks as one of the Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era.

Honky Tonk Women


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