Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Top 50 Eric Clapton Songs

First posted 3/30/12. Updated 3/30/14.

Eric Clapton was born on March 30, 1945. In celebration of his birthday, Dave’s Music Database presents its list of his top songs as a solo artist and with The Yardbirds (Y), John Mayall’s Blues Breakers (M), Cream (C), Blind Faith (B), Delaney & Bonnie (DB), and Derek & the Dominos (DD). Dave’s Music Database compiles best-of lists into an aggregate and also factors in sales, chart data, and awards. In the case of a specialized list such as this, appearances on compilations and best-of lists focused specifically on Eric Clapton are figured in as well.

For Your Love (studio, 1965)

1. Layla (1970) DD
2. Tears in Heaven (1992)
3. Sunshine of Your Love (1968) C
4. Wonderful Tonight (1977)
5. Change the World (1996)

Rambling on My Mind/ Have You Ever Loved a Woman?
(live, 1983, but first performed with Mayall in 1966

6. I Shot the Sheriff (1974)
7. White Room (1968) C
8. Lay Down Sally (1977)
9. Cocaine (1977)
10. Layla (Unplugged, 1992)

Sunshine of Your Love (live, 1968)

11. Crossroads (live, 1968) C
12. Badge (1969) C
13. After Midnight (1970)
14. Bell Bottom Blues (1970) DD
15. For Your Love (1965) Y

White Room (live from 2005 Royal Albert Hall reunion)

16. Promises (1978)
17. Forever Man (1985)
18. My Father’s Eyes (1998)
19. Let It Rain (1970)
20. Bad Love (1989)

Presence of the Lord (live, 1969)

21. I Can’t Stand It (1981)
22. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (1975)
23. Pretending (1989)
24. I’ve Got a Rock and Roll Heart (1983)
25. It’s in the Way That You Use It (1986)

Layla (live, 1984; originally recorded in 1970)

26. Presence of the Lord (1969) B
27. I Feel Free (1966) C
28. She’s Waiting (1985)
29. Can’t Find My Way Home (1969) B
30. Strange Brew (1967) C

I Shot the Sheriff (live; original from 1974)

31. Blues Power (1970)
32. Running on Faith (1989)
33. Hello Old Friend (1976)
34. Before You Accuse Me (1989)
35. Let It Grow (1974)

Lay Down Sally (live with Mark Knopfler; original from 1977)

36. Have You Ever Loved a Woman? (1966) M
37. Riding with the King (with B.B. King, 2000)
38. Spoonful (1966) C
39. Tales of Brave Ulysses (1967) C
40. After Midnight (rerecording, 1988)

Wonderful Tonight (live, original from 1977)

41. Circus (1992)
42. Willie and the Hand Jive (1974)
43. Old Love (1989)
44. Tulsa Time (1978)
45. Little Wing (1970) DD

After Midnight (1988 rerecording, audio with photo montage)

46. I’m Tore Down (1994)
47. Swing Low Sweet Chariot (1975)
48. No Alibis (1989)
49. Anyone for Tennis? (1968) C
50. Good Morning Little School Girl (1964) Y

Tears in Heaven (1992)

Awards/Honors for Clapton:

Resources and Related Links:

Layla (Unplugged, 1992)

Friday, March 28, 2014

“In the Good Old Summertime” hit #1 – for the second of three times: March 28, 1903

image from rankopedia.ocm

Haydn Quartet “In the Good Old Summertime”

Writer(s): Ren Shields/ George Evans (see lyrics here)

First charted: 2/28/1903

Peak: 16 US, -- UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.0 (sheet music sales) US, -- UK, 3.0 world (includes US and UK)

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

Review: Comedian Ren Shields and black-faced minstrel George “Honey Boy” Evans wrote what has been called “the signature song for summer.” PS The song grew out of a Sunday trip to the beach with singer-actress Blanche Ring. When Evans remarked that he liked “the good old summertime” Shields said it would make a great song title. Shields worked up lyrics and Evans improvised a basic melody. Ring assisted him in writing it down and arranging it for piano since he couldn’t write a note of music. TR-276

Shields and Evans shopped the song to several music publishers, but none wanted a song doomed to a three-month lifespan. Then Ring offered to perform it in her Broadway show The Defender. TR-276 The show opened in the Herald Square Theater on July 3, 1902 PS and closed in less than two months. However, thanks to its “happy, singable melody with easy to remember lyrics” PS “Summertime” proved to have a much longer life than publishers speculated, becoming “a perennial seasonal favorite.” JA-101

J.W. Myers included the song in his vaudeville act RCG and took it to #1. His was one of five versions to hit the top three of the U.S. pop charts in 1902 and 1903. Redmond charted first (#3), followed Myers, Harry MacDonough (#2), the Haydn Quartet (#1), and Sousa’s Band (#1). The Haydn Quartet’s version showed the most endurance, ranking as Billboard’s song of the year in 1903. WHC

The song was connected to a 1927 film In the Good Old Summertime and revived for the 1948 Judy Garland movie of the same name. PS In 1952, Les Paul and Mary Ford charted with a #15 version of the song. It has also been tapped numerous times for “Broadway shows and Hollywood films whenever a ‘summer song,’ has been needed.” RCG

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.


Monday, March 17, 2014

3/17/2014: Sia released breakthrough hit “Chandelier”

Updated 11/26/2018.

image from



Writer(s): Sia Furler, Jesse Shatkin (see lyrics here)

Released: 3/17/2014

First Charted: 4/21/2014

Peak: 8 US, 17 AC, 6 UK, 6 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales *: 3.0 US, 1.8 UK, 6.81 world (includes US + UK)

Radio Airplay *: --

Video Airplay *: 1943.98

Streaming *: 781.00

* in millions


At the onset of 2014, Sia had charted a few minor hits in her native Australia and even mustered a top ten hit in the UK (2000’s “Taken for Granted”), but had never dented the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. In 2010, she took a hiatus from performing and co-wrote songs for Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Flo Rida, David Guetta, and Rihanna. The result was a #1 song for Rihanna (“Diamonds,” 2012) and top ten hits featuring Sia for David Guetta (“Titanium,” 2011) and Flo Rida (“Wild Ones,” 2011). WK

The set the stage for Sia’s U.S. breakthrough when she returned with sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear. Lead single “Chandelier” not only landed Sia on the U.S. pop charts as a lead act for the first time, but took her all the way to the top ten. She originally wrote the song with Beyoncé or Rihanna in mind, but as she told Ryan Seacrest, “This time I was like, ‘Uh oh, I think I just wrote a full-blown pop song for myself by accident!” SF It worked. As Gigwise’s Andrew Trendall said, the song “springboards Sia from a behind-the-scenes genius into a superstar in her own right.” WK

The electropop song featured “electronica, R&B, and reggae influences. Lyrically, [it] has a melancholic theme; detailing the demorilisation and rationalization of alcoholism through the typical thought process of a ‘party girl.’” WK As MTV Buzzworthy’s John Walker said, the song toes “the line between celebration and self-destruction.” WK VH1’s Emily Exton deemed it “the best song Sia had ever written.” WK MuuMuse’s Bradley Stern called it the best pop single of 2014, as did Billboard magazine. WK The song garnered Grammy nominations for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Music Video.

The video, directed by Sia and Daniel Askill and choreographed by Ryan Heffington, featured 11-year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler from Lifetime’s Dance Moms. SF She wore a medium-length blonde wig which matched the one Sia wore when promoting the album. Ziegler “performs an interpretive dance in a deserted, dirty apartment.” WK As she said, “It was really different and weird for me because I usually don’t…[get] to be a crazy person.” WK Time magazine said it might be the best dance routine of 2014. WK It received nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year and Best Choreography, winning the latter. Rolling Stone and Spin named it the best video of 2014. WK She told Rolling Stone that the video was “the best thing I’ve ever done,” inspiring her to continue as a solo artist. 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.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

“Moonlight Bay” hit #1: March 16, 1912

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American Quartet “Moonlight Bay”

Writer(s): Edward Madden/ Percy Wenrich (see lyrics here)

First charted: 3/9/1912

Peak: 18 US, -- UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music) US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

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

Review: “Arguably the best moonlight song ever written,” PS “Moonlight Bay” “conjures up an entire lost era of a slower-paced America that…had plenty of time for gentle spooning in an unspoiled natural setting.” SS-587 It is “a very durable song from Tin Pan Alley about an idyllic setting for romance.” RCG

Edward Madden, who also wrote “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” penned the lyrics about “sailing across the bay at night in the moonlight while losing one’s heart to true love.” RCG The music was written by Percy Wenrich, “one of the era’s specialists in sentimental ballads.” SS-587. He came from a musical family wrote a number of hits in the rag genre and performed with his wife, Dolly Connelly, in vaudeville. PS

It was Connelly who introduced the song in vaudeville and took it to #3 on the U.S. pop charts in 1912. It also became a “huge barbershop-quartet song as exemplified by the American Quartet,” JA-136 who made the tune the biggest hit of 1912. WHC-23

The song was revived by Alice Faye in the 1943 film On Moonlight Bay and again in 1951 in a Doris Day and Gordon MacRae film of the same name. The song has appeared many times in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts featuring Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. WK In 1951, Bing and Gary Crosby took their version of the song to #14. JA-136

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.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Top 50 Punk Songs of All Time

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I just watched the movie CBGB (2013) last night. While the famous New York club is often considered ground zero for punk rock, the movie left much to be desired. Its weak story apparently had two goals: portray club founder Hilly Kristal as a loser with a heart of gold and trot out countless poorly-cast lookalikes to bludgeon viewers with reminders of all the famous bands who started there.

However, the movie did prompt me to delve into best-of lists to determine the best punk songs of all time. Here are the top 50 punk rock songs of all-time, as determined by an aggregate of 27 best-of lists (see resources after the list). Here’s the results:

1. Anarchy in the U.K….Sex Pistols (1976)
2. Blitzkrieg Bop…Ramones (1976)
3. London Calling…The Clash (1979)
4. God Save the Queen…Sex Pistols (1977)
5. Holiday in Cambodia...Dead Kennedys (1980)
6. Rise Above…Black Flag (1981)
7. Search and Destroy…The Stooges (1973)
8. I Wanna Be Sedated…Ramones (1978)
9. Sonic Reducer…Dead Boys (1977)
10. California Uber Alles…Dead Kennedys (1980)

11. Ever Fallen in Love…Buzzcocks (1978)
12. Kick Out the Jams…MC5 (1969)
13. Gloria…Patti Smith (1975)
14. Personality Crisis…New York Dolls (1973)
15. White Riot…The Clash (1977)
16. Blank Generation…Richard Hell & the Voidoids (1977)
17. Longview…Green Day (1994)
18. Psycho Killer…Talking Heads (1977)
19. I Wanna Be Your Dog…The Stooges (1969)
20. Waiting Room…Fugazi (1989)

21. 12 X U…Wire (1977)
22. New Rose…The Damned (1976)
23. Sheena Is a Punk Rocker…Ramones (1977)
24. Welcome to Paradise…Green Day (1994)
25. Where Eagles Dare…The Misfits (1979)
26. Complete Control…The Clash (1977)
27. Alternative Ulster…Stiff Little Fingers (1978)
28. Institutionalized…Suicidal Tendencies (1983)
29. Pay to Cum…Bad Brains (1980)
30. American Jesus…Bad Religion (1993)

31. I Against I…Bad Brains (1986)
32. American Idiot…Green Day (2004)
33. Straight Edge…Minor Threat (1981)
34. Oh Bondage! Up Yours…X-Ray Spex (1977)
35. White Man in Hammersmith Palais…The Clash (1978)
36. Bastards of Young…The Replacements (1985)
37. Celebrated Summer…Husker Du (1985)
38. Ruby Soho…Rancid (1995)
39. In the City…The Jam (1977)
40. Johnny Hit and Run Paulene…X (1980)

41. Orgasm Addict…Buzzcocks (1977)
42. Banned in D.C….Bad Brains (1982)
43. Chinese Rocks…The Heartbreakers (1977)
44. Basket Case…Green Day (1994)
45. Radio, Radio…Elvis Costello (1978)
46. Nazi Punks Fuck Off…Dead Kennedys (1981)
47. Roadrunner…The Modern Lovers (1975)
48. See No Evil…Television (1977)
49. TV Party…Black Flag (1981)
50. X-Offender…Blondie (1976)

Resources and Related Links:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive” sets record for most weeks on Hot 100

Updated 11/29/2018.

image from


Imagine Dragons

Writer(s): Imagine Dragons (Dan Reynolds, Wayne Sermon, Ben McKee, Daniel Platzman) with Alexander Grant and Josh Mosser (see lyrics here)

Released: 4/2/2012

First Charted: 8/18/2012

Peak: 3 US, 20 AC, 4 AA, 11 AR, 113 MR, 12 UK, 5 CN, 6 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales *: 10.0 US, 1.2 UK, 13.75 world (includes US + UK)

Radio Airplay *: 0.25

Video Airplay *: 976.88

Streaming *: 805.0

* in millions


As of the 3/1/14 issue of Billboard magazine, the song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons had logged a record-breaking 77 weeks on the Hot 100 pop chart. It passed Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” which racked up 76 weeks in 2008-09. Interestingly, this week also saw AWOL Nation’s “Sail” tie “I’m Yours” with its 76th week on the chart. The song won the Grammy for Rock Performance and was nominated for Record of the Year.

“Radioactive” first hit the Hot 100 chart the week eneding 8/18/2012. Nearly a year later, it peaked at #3 in the 8/3/13 issue. WK The song also set the record for slowest ascension the Top 5 in the chart’s history with 42 weeks, breaking the 34-week record set three weeks earlier by Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” SF The also hit the top ten in a dozen other countries. SF “Radioactive” was first featured on the band’s Continued Silence EP and later on its debut album, Night Visions.

The mostly alternative-rock-oriented song features elements of electronic music, dubstep, pop, and rock. Audio Ink Radio’s Anne Erickson called the song “hook-y” and “emotional,” and said the song had appeal to both alternative-pop and hard-rock fans. WK Crave Online said the song was as “radio-ready as they come” WK and Rolling Stone named it “the biggest rock hit of the year.” WK AbsolutePunk called the song “haunting” and “hypnotizing,” WK a sentiment easy to reach considering the song’s apocalyptic and revolutionist-themed lyrics (“I’m waking up to ash and dust” and “This is it, the apocalypse”). WK NPR music critic Ann Powers voiced her sense that the song possessed strong religious and spiritual imagery, but the band has maintained that it is a secular group. Singer Dan Reynolds told MTV News, “Generally speaking, it’s a song about having an awakening; kind of waking up one day and deciding to do something new, and see life in a fresh way.” SF

Here’s the top-ten list of songs spending the most weeks on the Hot 100 from 1958 through 2014 (year in parentheses indicates when song peaked): BB

  • 77 weeks: Imagine Dragons “Radiactive” (2013)
  • 76 weeks: AWOL Nation “Sail” (2013)
  • 76 weeks: Jason Mraz “I’m Yours” (2008)
  • 69 weeks: LeAnn Rimes “How Do I Live” (1997)
  • 68 weeks: LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock “Party Rock Anthem” (2011)
  • 65 weeks: Adele “Rolling in the Deep” (2011)
  • 65 weeks: Jewel “You Were Meant for Me”/“Foolish Games” (1997)
  • 64 weeks: Carrie Underwood “Before He Cheats” (2007)
  • 62 weeks: The Lumineers “Hey Ho” (2012)
  • 62 weeks: Lifehouse “You and Me” (2005)

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.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pharrell Williams hit #1 in the U.S. with “Happy”

Updated 11/26/2018.

image from


Pharrell Williams

Writer(s): Pharrell Williams (see lyrics here)

Released: 11/21/2013

First Charted: 1/18/2014

Peak: 110 US, 16 AC, 14 AA, 112 RB, 14 UK, 110 CN, 112 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales *: 7.0 US, 2.3 UK, 13.52 world (includes US + UK)

Radio Airplay *: --

Video Airplay *: 1030.58

Streaming *: 553.00

* in millions


2013 was a remarkable year for Pharrell Williams. He aided Robin Thicke in landing at #1 for 12 weeks atop the pop charts with “Blurred Lines” and gave Daft Punk an assist on their #2 hit “Get Lucky,” which took home a Grammy for Record of the Year. Thanks to Pharrell’s work on the latter, ecstatic record label managers encouraged him to record a solo album, something he hadn’t done since 2006’s In My Mind.

Things kicked off with “Happy,” a song which Pharrell contributed to the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack and served as the first single for his 2014 album G I R L. The single was launched with a website, which was billed as the world’s first 24-hour music video. The song is played repeatedly with people in Los Angeles dancing and miming along with the song. Pharrell appeared in the first segement of each hour.

The song, which Williams had originally written for Cee-Lo Green, became the year’s most inescapable hit, spending 10 weeks atop the U.S. pop charts and hitting #1 in 23 other countries. With 12 million in worldwide sales, “Happy” ranks as one of the 100 best-selling songs of all time. The song also garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. The standard four-minute video has garnered more than 500 million views on YouTube, making it one of the top 100 most-watched music videos in history.

His falsetto on the song earned favorable comparisons from critics to Curtis Mayfield. Music journalist Paul Tingen called “Happy” a “mid-tempo soul song in a faux-Motown style” WK while Rolling Stone critic Jody Rosen called it a “standout” with a “sprightly neo-soul funk groove.” WK Huw Woodward, critic from Renowned for Sound, described the song as a “happy affair with a cheerful beat and exuberant vocal that would indicate that the…singer is finding a lot of lightheared fun…in both music and life.” WK’s Holly Williams described the “unbelievably catchy” song as “the kind…that makes you want to dance and sing along.” WK

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.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Top 100 Rap/Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

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This list was originally posted June 18, 2011. That week, UK magazine The Guardian featured a special series called A History of Modern Music. One of those days the focus was on hip-hop and R&B. Since then, 28 total lists have been aggregated to create the DMDB’s list of the top 100 rap/hip-hop songs of all-time. Here is the aggregated result:

1. The Message…Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five (1982)
2. Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang…Dr. Dre with Snoop Doggy Dogg (1993)
3. Rapper’s Delight…The Sugarhill Gang (1979)
4. Fight the Power…Public Enemy (1989)
5. Planet Rock…Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force (1982)
6. Lose Yourself…Eminem (2002)
7. It Was a Good Day…Ice Cube (1993)
8. Mind Playing Tricks on Me…Geto Boys (1991)
9. Gangsta’s Paradise…Coolio with L.V. (1995)
10. Tha Crossroads…Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (1996)

11. Walk This Way…Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (1986)
12. Stan…Eminem with Dido (2000)
13. I Used to Love H.E.R….Common (1994)
14. Straight Outta Compton…N.W.A. (1989)
15. Push It…Salt-N-Pepa (1987)
16. Dear Mama…2pac (1993)
17. Juicy…The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)
18. C.R.E.A.M….Wu-Tang Clan (1994)
19. They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)…Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth (1992)
20. Bust a Move…Young M.C. (1989)

21. In Da Club…50 Cent (2002)
22. I Need Love…LL Cool J (1987)
23. Wild Thing…Tone Loc (1988)
24. Shook Ones Part II…Mobb Deep (1995)
25. O.P.P….Naughty by Nature (1991)
26. I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need…Method Man & Mary J. Blige (1995)
27. Baby Got Back…Sir Mix-a-Lot (1992)
28. Scenario…A Tribe Called Quest with Busta Rhymes (1992)
29. Ms. Jackson…OutKast (2000)
30. Children’s Story…Slick Rick 1989)

31. The Humpty Dance…Digital Underground (1990)
32. I’ll Be Missing You…Puff Daddy with Faith Evans & 112 (1997)
33. It Takes Two…Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock (1988)
34. The Bridge Is Over…Boogie Down Productions (1987)
35. Big Poppa…The Notorious B.I.G. (1995)
36. Mama Said Knock You Out…LL Cool J (1991)
37. Me, Myself and I…De La Soul (1989)
38. (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)…Beastie Boys (1986)
39. Summertime…DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (1991)
40. Hot in Herre…Nelly (2002)

41. Keep Ya Head Up…2pac (1993)
42. La Di Da Di…Doug E. Fresh with Slick Rick (1985)
43. The World Is Yours…Nas (1994)
44. My Philosophy…Boogie Down Productions (1988)
45. The Breaks…Kurtis Blow (1980)
46. California Love…2pac with Dr. Dre & Roger (1996)
47. Gin & Juice…Snoop Doggy Dogg (1994)
48. Jump Around…House of Pain (1992)
49. Hypnotize…The Notorious B.I.G. (1997)
50. Tennessee…Arrested Development (1992)

51. Just a Friend…Biz Markie (1989)
52. Work It…Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott (2002)
53. I Got 5 on It…Luniz (1995)
54. Regulate…Nate Dogg & Warren G (1994)
55. Get Ur Freak On…Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott (2001)
56. The Real Slim Shady…Eminem (2000)
57. Paid in Full (Seven Minutes of Madness)…Eric B. & Rakim (1987)
58. U Can’t Touch This…M.C. Hammer (1990)
59. Killing Me Softly…Fugees (1996)
60. Ain’t No Half Steppin’…Big Daddy Kane (1990)

61. The Show…Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew (1985)
62. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)…Jay-Z (1998)
63. Doo Wop (That Thing)…Lauryn Hill (1998)
64. Jesus Walks…Kanye West (2004)
65. Top Billin’…Audio Two (1988)
66. My Name Is…Eminem (1999)
67. Parents Just Don’t Understand…DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince (1988)
68. Ridin’…Chamillionaire with Krayzie Bone (2006)
69. Big Pimpin’…Jay-Z with UGK (2000)
70. Fuck tha Police…N.W.A. (1989)

71. Ice Ice Baby…Vanilla Ice (1990)
72. One Mic…Nas (2002)
73. Whoomp! There It Is…Tag Team (1993)
74. Low…Flo Rida with T-Pain (2007)
75. Hey Ya!...OutKast (2003)
76. Gold Digger…Kanye West with Jamie Foxx (2005)
77. Lollipop…Lil Wayne with Static Major (2008)
78. Jump…Kriss Kross (1992)
79. Empire State of Mind…Jay-Z with Alicia Keys (2009)
80. Dilemma…Nelly with Kelly Rowland (2002)

81. Crank That (Soulja Boy)…Soulja Boy Tell’em (2007)
82. The Symphony…The Juice Crew (1988)
83. Paul Revere…Beastie Boys (1986)
84. Set Adrift on Memory Bliss…PM Dawn (1991)
85. I Know You Got Soul…Eric B. & Rakim (1987)
86. White Lines (Don’t Do It)…Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel (1983)
87. Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)…Digable Planets (1992)
88. NY State of Mind…Nas (1994)
89. Jay-Z…99 Problems (2004)
90. B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)…OutKast (2000)

91. Public Enemy…Rebel without a Pause (1987)
92. Hate It Or Love It…The Game with 50 Cent (2005)
93. How I Could Just Kill a Man…Cypress Hill (1991)
94. Lean Back…Terror Squad with Fat Joe & Remy (2004)
95. What You Know…T.I. (2006)
96. Drop It Like It’s Hot…Snoop Dogg with Pharrell Williams (2004)
97. Whatta Man…Salt-N-Pepa with En Vogue (1994)
98. Changes…2pac (1998)
99. Sucker M.C.’s…Run-D.M.C. (1983)
100. Rosa Parks…OutKast (1998)

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Love Is a Mix Tape: A Review

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I just finished reading the New York Times bestseller, Love Is a Mix Tape (2007) by Rob Sheffield. The book reads like stream-of-consciousness journal entries written by a music fanatic. I can definitely relate. See my reading, Ways to Spot a Music Geek.

As is par for the course, when I review books on my Writ by Whit blog, I am looking for what I can learn as a writer. My closest related work to Mix Tape is my unfinished Music Lessons from the Pit. (See a sample chapter here). The events are inspired by people and events from my coming-of-age years in the 1980s. While highly fictionalized, my goal is to capture real feelings and emotions in the context of the music of the moment. Each chapter comes from a song title, generally under-the-radar indie-rock and alternative-rock hits like New Order's "Blue Monday" or The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go." Check out a sampling of songs referenced in the book here.

Similarly, Sheffield's book surrounds autobiographical events with the music that framed them. Each chapter kicks off with the rundown of songs collected on a mix tape. Sheffield then uses that as a springboard for unfolding his saga, which is mostly about meeting Renée, marrying, and then tragically losing her to pulmonary embolism.

Obviously the death of his wife at such a young age is the overriding theme of the book. However, Rob gives his tragic tale its unique spin by giving the reader insight into how music played into his relationship with Renée - and how he used it to cope with her loss.

Learn more about this book and others written by Sheffield at Here a sample from Mix Tape here: