Saturday, June 24, 2017

Jefferson Airplane chart with “White Rabbit” 50 years ago (6/24/1967)

First posted 4/17/2020.

White Rabbit

Jefferson Airplane

Writer(s): Grace Slick (see lyrics here)


First Charted: June 24, 1967


Peak: 8 US, 6 CB, 7 HR, 1 CL, 94 UK, 12 CN (Click for codes to singles charts.)


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


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 83.9 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

This was “one of the defining songs of the 1967 ‘Summer of Love’” SF and “one of the crucial sounds of the late ‘60s freak scene” DT of the psychedelic rock movement. When St. Louis radio station KSHE switched from an easy listening format to rock in 1967, “White Rabbit” was the first song they played to make it clear they “were aligning themselves with the counterculture.” SF

Grace Slick wrote the song while in her first band, the Great Society. The music came to her after taking LSD and listening to Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain for hours. SF The “insistent, militaristic rhythms and the way the song gradually builds to its menacing peak” TB were loosely based on the classical piece “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel. SJ

Of course, the lyrics were famously inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. She said, “Our parents read us stories like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz…They all have a place where children get drugs, and are able to fly or see an Emerald City or experience extraordinary animals and people….And our parents are suddenly saying, ‘Why are you taking drugs?’ Well, hello!’” RS500

The FCC came down on the song as drug-related and it was banished from the airwaves, but not until the Nixon administration. Slick has said the song isn’t just about drug use, but “about opening up, looking around, checking out what’s happening…Feeding your head is not necessarily pumping chemicals into it.” SJ She’s also said, “I don’t think most people realize the song was aimed at parents who drank and told their kids not to do drugs.” SF


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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lionel Richie: Top 30 Songs

image from 3chicspolitico.com

Born June 20, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama, Lionel Richie is one of chart history’s most successful crossover artists. He first found success as a member of the Commodores in the 1970s and then as a solo artist in the ‘80s. He has landed #1 songs on the pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts and hit the country chart as well. In celebration of his birthday, Dave’s Music Database presents its list of his top 30 songs of all time, with the Commodores (noted with an *) and as a solo artist. #1 songs are noted as follows: #1 US (Billboard pop chart), #1 AC (Billboard adult contemporary chart), and #1 RB (Billboard R&B chart).


The Top 30 Lionel Richie Songs

Hello

1. Endless Love (with Diana Ross, 1981) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
2. Three Times a Lady * (1978) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
3. Hello (1984) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
4. All Night Long (All Night) (1983) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
5. Say You, Say Me (1985) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
6. Truly (1982) #1 US, #1 AC
7. Brick House * (1977)
8. Easy * (1977) #1 RB
9. Still * (1979) #1 US, #1 RB
10. Stuck on You (1984) #1 AC

All Night Long (All Night)

11. You Are (1983) #1 AC
12. Sail On * (1979)
13. Dancing on the Ceiling (1986)
14. My Love (1983) #1 AC
15. Running with the Night (1983)
16. Lady (You Bring Me Up) * (1981)
17. Oh No * (1981)
18. Penny Lover (1984) #1 AC
19. Just to Be Close to You * (1976) #1 RB
20. Ballerina Girl (1986) #1 AC

Dancing on the Ceiling

21. Love Will Conquer All (1986) #1 AC
22. Sweet Love * (1975)
23. Machine Gun * (1974)
24. Do It to Me (1992) #1 RB
25. Se La (1986)
26. Don’t Wanna Lose You (1996)
27. Too Hot ta Trot * (1977) #1 RB
28. Old-Fashion Love * (1980)
29. Slippery When Wet * (1975) #1 RB
30. Deep River Woman (with Alabama, 1986)

* Commodores

Endless Love


Awards:


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Friday, June 16, 2017

Some of the Longest Waits Between Albums

This list was originally posted on my Dave’s Music Database Facebook page (Some of the Longest Waits Between Albums) on 2/5/2012 and has been updated several times since. I’m reposting it now in honor of Chuck Berry, whose 38-year vacation puts him in a tie with John Lodge for the longest wait between albums.

Here’s a little history about this list. In March 2012, I penned an article for PopMatters.com (“I Heard You Missed Us – We’re Back!”) on bands who’d had long breaks between albums. At the time, I’d waited five years for a new album from Fish, one of my favorite acts. That month Van Halen ended a 14-year silence and in recent years Guns N’ Roses received a lot of press for its 15-year delay between albums. I ended up with an extensive list of acts who have tried the patience of their fans to the max. Note: I’m only looking at album’s worth of new studio material. That includes “specialty” releases of new material for that act such as covers collections or Christmas recordings, but does not include live albums, compilations, remixes, or other reissues of previously released material. Thanks to DMDB fans who contributed to this list!


Some of the Longest Waits:
  • 38 years: Chuck Berry Rock It (1979), Chuck (2017)
  • 38 years: John Lodge Natural Avenue (1977), 10,000 Light Years Ago (2015)
  • 36 years: The Yardbirds Little Games (1967), Birdland (2003)
  • 35 years: Vashti Bunyan Just Another Diamond Day (1970), Lookingafter (2005)
  • 35 years: The Sonics Sinderella (1980), This Is the Sonics (2015)
  • 34 years: The Stooges Raw Power (1973), The Weirdness (2007)
  • 32 years: New York Dolls Too Much Too Soon (1974), One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (2006)
  • 30 years: Magazine Magic, Murder and the Weather (1981), No Thyself (2011)
  • 28 years: Eagles The Long Run (1979), Long Road Out of Eden (2007)
  • 28 years: The Slits Return of the Giant Slits (1981), Trapped Animal (2009)
  • 28 years: Cat Stevens Back to Earth (1978), An Other Cup (2006)
  • 27 years: Big Star Third/Sister Lovers (1978), In Space (2005)
  • 27 years: Dexy’s Midnight Runners Don’t Stand Me Down (1985), One Day I’m Going to Soar (2012)
  • 25 years: Bauhaus Burning from the Inside (1983), Go Away White (2008)
  • 25 years: Levon Helm Levon Helm (1982), Dirt Farmer (2007)
  • 25 years: Throbbing Gristle Journey Through a Body (1982), Part Two: The Endless Not (2007)
  • 25 years: Roger Waters Amused to Death (1992), Is This the Life We Really Want? (2017)

  • 24 years: The Cars Door to Door (1987), Move Like This (2011)
  • 24 years: The Who It’s Hard (1982), Endless Wire (2006)
  • 23 years: The Zombies Odessey and Oracle (1968), New World (1991)
  • 22 years: Jeff Lynne Armchair Theatre (1990), Long Wave (2012)
  • 22 years: Mission of Burma Vs. (1982), ONoffON (2004)
  • 22 years: My Bloody Valentine Loveless (1991), MBV (2013)
  • 22 years: The Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight (1980), Nextdoorland (2002)
  • 21 years: The Vaselines Dum-Dum (1989), Sex with an X (2010)

    20 Years

  • The Del-Lords Lovers Who Wander (1990), Under Construction (EP, 2010)
  • Devo Smooth Noodle Maps (1990), Something for Everybody (2010)
  • The Feelies Time for a Witness (1991), Here Before (2011)
  • Pink Floyd The Division Bell (1994), Endless River (2014)
  • Steely Dan Gaucho (1980), Two Against Nature (2000)

    19 Years

  • Grace Jones Bulletproof Heart (1989), Hurricane (2008)

    18 Years

  • Black Sabbath Forbidden (1995), 13 (2013)
  • Faith No More Album of the Year (1997), Sol Invictus (2015)
  • Was (Not Was) Are You Okay? (1990), Boo! (2008)

    17 Years

  • Blondie The Hunter (1982), No Exit (1999)
  • The Go-Go’s Talk Show (1984), God Bless the Go-Go’s (2001)
  • Kraftwerk Electric CafĂ© (1986), Tour de Force Soundtracks (2003)
  • Steve Miller Band Wide River (1993), Bingo (2010)
  • Squeeze Domino (1998), From the Cradle to the Grave (2015)

    16 Years

  • The Beach Boys Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 (1996), That’s Why God Made the Radio (2012)
  • The B-52’s Good Stuff (1992), Funplex (2008)
  • Dr. Dre 2001 (1999), Compton (2015)
  • Gang of Four Shrinkwrapped (1995), Content (2011)
  • Gil Scott-Heron Spirits (1994), I’m New Here (2010)
  • Kansas Somewhere to Elsewhere (2000), The Prelude Implicit (2016)

    15 Years

  • Camper Van Beethoven Key Lime Pie (1989), New Roman Times (2004)
  • Electric Light Orchestra: Balance of Power (1986), Zoom (2001)
  • Foreigner: Mr. Moonlight (1994), Can’t Slow Down (2009)
  • Roky Erickson All That May Do My Rhyme (1995), True Love Cast Out All Evil (2010)
  • Guns N’ Roses The Spaghetti Incident? (1993), Chinese Democracy (2008)
  • Don Henley Inside Job (2000), Cass County (2015)
  • Nitzer Ebb Big Hit (1995), Industrial Complex (2010)
  • The Rainmakers Skin (1996), 25 On (2011)

    14 Years

  • Accept Predator (1996), Blood of the Nations (2010)
  • Alice in Chains Alice in Chains (1995), Black Gives Way to Blue (2009)
  • Big Country Driving to Damascus (1999), The Journey (2013)
  • Lindsey Buckingham Out of the Cradle (1992), Under the Skin (2006)
  • Crowded House Together Alone (1993), Time on Earth (2007)
  • D’Angelo Voodoo (2000), Black Messiah (2014)
  • Electric Light Orchestra Zoom (2001), Alone in the Universe (2015)
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer Love Beach (1978), Black Moon (1992)
  • Hooters Out of Body (1993), Time Stand Still (2007)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd Street Survivors (1977), Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 (1991)
  • New Kids on the Block Face the Music (1994), The Block (2008)
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Universal (1996), History of Modern (2010)
  • The Swans Soundtrack for the Blind (1996), My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky (2010)
  • Television Adventure (1978), Television (1992)
  • Van Halen: Van Halen III (1998), A Different Kind of Truth (2012)

    13 Years

  • Garth Brooks Scarecrow (2001), Man Against Machine (2014)
  • Jane’s Addiction Ritual de lo Habitual (1990), Strays (2003)
  • The Zombies New World (1991), As Far As I Can See… (2004)

    12 Years

  • Kate Bush: The Red Shoes (1993), Aerial (2005)
  • The Go-Betweens 16 Lovers Lane (1988), The Friends of Rachel Worth (2000)
  • Wire The First Letter (1991), Send (2003)
  • Hole Celebrity Skin (1998), Nobody’s Daughter (2010)
  • The House of Love Audience with the Mind (1993), Days Run Away (2005)
  • Billy Idol Cyberpunk (1993), Devil’s Playground (2005)
  • Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose (2004), Full Circle (2016)
  • Polvo Shapes (1997), In Prism (2009)
  • Styx Big Bang Theory (2005), The Mission (2017)

    11 Years

  • Boston Life, Love & Hope (2013), Corporate America (2002)
  • ESG ESG (1991), Step Off (2002)
  • Grandmaster Flash Flash Is Back (1998), The Bridge: Concept of a Culture (2009)
  • Heart Desire Walks On (1993), Jupiter’s Darling (2004)
  • Kiss Psycho Circus (1998) Sonic Boom (2009)
  • The Libertines The Libertines (2004), Anthems for Doomed Youth (2015)
  • The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang (2005), Blue and Lonesome (2016)

  • No Doubt Rock Steady (2001), Push and Shove (2012)
  • Portishead Portishead (1997), Third (2008)
  • The Power Station The Power Station (1985), Living in Fear (1996)
  • Bob Seger It’s a Mystery (1995), Face the Promise (2006)
  • The Verve Urban Hymns (1997), Forth (2008)
  • Scott Walker Climate of Hunter (1984), Tilt (1995)
  • Scott Walker Tilt (1995), The Drift (2006)

    10 Years

  • American Music Club San Francisco (1994), Love Songs for Patriots (2004)
  • David Bowie Reality (2003), The Next Day (2013)
  • Bush Golden State (2001), The Sea of Memories (2011)
  • Dinosaur Jr. Hand It Over (1997), Beyond (2007)
  • Eurythmics We Too Are One (1989), Peace (1999)
  • Peter Gabriel Us (1992); Up (2002)
  • Gin Blossoms Congratulations I’m Sorry (1996), Major Lodge Victory (2006)
  • The Human League Secrets (2001), Credo (2011)
  • Journey Raised on Radio (1986), Trial by Fire (1996)
  • The Knack Round Trip (1981), Serious Fun (1991)
  • The Lemonheads Car Button Cloth (1996), The Lemonheads (2006)
  • Matchbox 20 More Than You Think You Are (2002), North (2012)
  • Steve Perry Street Talk (1984), For the Love of Strange Medicine (1994)
  • Sade Lovers Rock (2000), Soldier of Love (2010)
  • Suicide Why Be Blue (1992), American Supreme (2002)
  • Supertramp Free As a Bird (1987), Some Things Never Change (1997)
  • Scott Walker We Had It All (1974), Climate of Hunter (1984)
  • Stevie Wonder Conversation Peace (1995), A Time to Love (2005)
  • Yes: Magnification (2001), Fly from Here (2011)

    9 Years

  • The Allman Brothers Band Brothers of the Road (1981), Seven Turns (1990)
  • The Allman Brothers Band Where It All Begins (1994), Hittin’ the Note (2003)
  • Leonard Cohen The Future (1992), Ten New Songs (2001)
  • Deep Purple Come Taste the Band (1975), Perfect Strangers (1984)
  • Styx Edge of the Century (1990), Brave New World (1999);

    8 Years

  • AC/DC Stiff Upper Lip (2000), Black Ice (2008)
  • Aerosmith Honkin’ on Bobo (2004), Music from Another Dimension! (2012)
  • Berlin 4Play (2005), Animal (2013)
  • Blondie The Curse of Blondie (2003), Panic of Girls (2011)
  • Boston Don’t Look Back (1978), Third Stage (1986)
  • Boston Third Stage (1986), Walk On (1994)
  • Boston Walk On (1994), Corporate America (2002)
  • Camper Van Beethoven New Roman Times (2004), virus_installer.exe (2012)
  • Chicago Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album (1998), XXX (2006)
  • Leonard Cohen Dear Heather (2004), Old Ideas (2012)
  • Fleetwood Mac Time (1995), Say You Will (2003)
  • Michael Jackson Invincible (2001); Michael (2010 – released posthumously; Jackson died in 2009).
  • Mick Jagger Wandering Spirit (1993), Goddess in the Doorway (2001)
  • Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2007), Strangers to Ourselves (2015)
  • The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon (1997), A Bigger Bang (2005)
  • Rush Test for Echo (1996) Vapor Trails (2002)
  • Sade Love Deluxe (1992), Lovers Rock (2000)
  • The Smithereens God Save the Smithereens (1999), Christmas with the Smithereens (2007)
  • Stevie Wonder Characters (1987), Conversation Peace (1995)


    Still Waiting…
  • 38 years: Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door (1979)
  • 24 years: Billy Joel River of Dreams (1993)
  • 23 years: Emerson, Lake & Palmer In the Hot Seat (1994)
  • 23 years: Steve Perry For the Love of Strange Medicine (1994)
  • 20 years: Genesis Calling All Stations (1997)
  • 19 years: Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
  • 18 years: Dr. Dre 2001 (1999)
  • 16 years: Mick Jagger Goddess in the Doorway (2001)
  • 15 years: David Baerwald Here Comes the New Folk Underground (2002)
  • 15 years: Supertramp Slow Motion (2002)
  • 15 years: Shania Twain Up! (2002)
  • 14 years: The Allman Brothers Band Hittin’ the Note (2003)
  • 14 years: Fleetwood Mac Say You Will (2003)
  • 14 years: Kraftwerk Tour de France Soundtracks (2003)
  • 14 years: Steely Dan Everything Must Go (2003)
  • 13 years: Tears for Fears Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (2004)
  • 11 years: Tool 10,000 Days (2006)
  • 11 years: The Who Endless Wire (2006)
  • 10 years: Hooters Time Stand Still (2007)


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  • Saturday, June 3, 2017

    Aretha Franklin hit #1 with “Respect” 50 years ago today (6/3/1967)

    First posted 6/3/2012; updated 4/8/2020.

    Respect

    Aretha Franklin

    Writer(s): Otis Redding (see lyrics here)


    Released: April 10, 1967


    First Charted: April 29, 1967


    Peak: 12 US, 12 CB, 13 HR, 18 RB, 10 UK, 3 CN, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


    Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.14 UK, 1.14 world (includes US + UK)


    Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 72.0 video, -- streaming

    Awards:

    About the Song:

    “Respect” was first recorded by Otis Redding backed by Booker T. & the MG’s along with the Memphis Horns. It was a 1965 top five R&B hit and “considered among the best Southern blues-soul records of the era,” TB but Aretha Franklin transformed it into an anthem for blacks and women and made it her signature song in launching her reign as the Queen of Soul.

    Aretha had recorded with Columbia Records from 1960-1966. In her years there, she developed neither a signature sound nor much commercial success. When she jumped to Atlantic Records, she was paired with producer Jerry Wexler, who had worked with Wilson Pickett and Dusty Springfield. He backed her with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, which would become legendary, but was then in their infancy. For “Respect,” initially comprised only of verses and no bridge, Wexler blended a King Curtis’ tenor-sax solo with the studio band playing the chord changes from Sam and Dave’s “When Something Is Wrong with My Baby.” RS500

    Also giving the song heft was Aretha‘s addition of the “sock it to me” lines SF and the spelling out of the title, an idea which engineer Tom Dowd attributed to Aretha‘s sister Carolyn, who sang backup on the album. “I fell off my chair when I heard that!” RS500

    Aretha defiantly demands respect without playing the part of a victim. As Wexler said, “Aretha would never play the part of the scorned woman.” RS500 Mix that with the gospel flavor of the call-and-response vocal arrangement, and a classic was born. Wexler reported Otis’ reaction to Aretha’s version: “He looked at me with a big grin and said, ‘That girl done stole my song.’” CR


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    Thursday, June 1, 2017

    The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s, which includes “A Day in the Life,” 50 years ago (6/1/1967)

    First posted 4/17/2020.

    A Day in the Life

    The Beatles

    Writer(s): John Lennon/Paul McCartney (see lyrics here)


    Released: June 2, 1967 (as album cut)


    Released: September 16, 1978 (as single)


    Peak: 1 CL (Click for codes to singles charts.)


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


    Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 104.9 video, -- streaming

    Awards:

    About the Song:

    This is “one of the most complex and ambitious…songs performed by the Beatles...[and] the most outstanding instance” AMG of “seemingly disparate elements...fitted together into a cohesive and powerful whole.” BBC Producer George Martin said, “‘We put two pieces of songs together that weren’t connected in any way. Then we had that 24-bars-of-nothing in between…I wondered whether we were losing our audience...but...when I played it to the head of Capitol Records in America...he...said, ‘That’s fantastic.’ And of course, it was.’” SF

    “The beginning was based on two stories John Lennon read.” SF One was a Daily Mail story about “the death of Guinness heir Tara Browne in a car crash,” BBC the other a Daily Express article about a surveyor who said the material needed to repair the roads of Blackburn “was enough to fill the Albert Hall.” SF Lennon created a “narrative of going through the motions and observing, in a detached manner, the cruelties and absurdities of the everyday world.” AMG

    This was paired with a “jaunty McCartney tune about waking up and going to work. By itself, [it]...wouldn’t have been much. What made it effective was its juxtaposition next to Lennon’s dreamier sections.” AMG

    In the middle was “the apocalyptic string crescendo [which] was McCartney’s idea.” BBC The orchestra was instructed “to start with the lowest note of their instruments and gradually play to the highest.” SF The Beatles invited friends like Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull who, as Martin says, were “‘passing out sparklers and joints and…party novelties…The orchestra leader, David McCallum, who used to be the leader of the Royal Philharmonic, was sitting there in a bright red false nose.’” CR


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