Monday, April 22, 2019

Dave's Music Database Hall of Fame Song Inductees: April 2019

Originally posted 4/22/2019.

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the DMDB blog on January 22, 2019, Dave’s Music Database launched its own Hall of Fame. The first dozen inductees were the top songs of each decade from 1900-2010 (see here). This second set of inductees were selected for appearing on more than 80 lists and/or receiving various awards.


The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” (1966)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

The song is the “crowning achievement” RS500 for Brian Wilson, who has been called “rock and roll’s finest composer ever.” WI At the time of its release, “Good Vibrations” was the most expensive single ever released BR1-215 with one claim putting the total recording cost as high as a million dollars. JA-66 The song was pieced together from hundreds of recording sessions NPR and more than seventy hours of tape CR-779 generated in four studios over seventh months time. RS500

The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles performed “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for a record-setting 73 million TV viewers on The Ed Sullivan Show. It was their first number one in the United States, launching Beatlemania and the British Invasion. Only two British acts had previously topped the U.S. charts, but in 1964 and 1965, the Brits occupied a whopping 52 weeks at the American chart pinnacle. LW

Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

“No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed the commercial laws and artistic conventions of its time.” RS500 Regarding Dylan’s 1965 Newport Folk Festival performance of this song, Joni Mitchell said, “The American folk song has grown up.” NPR Folk music fans had seen their genre as carrying intellectual import while rock-n-roll was “adolescent trash.” TB This song, however, proved that lyrical prowess need not be an impediment to commercial success BBC and suddenly rock was not just teen music, but an art form on par with any other. TB

Eagles “Hotel California” (1976)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

By their fifth album, personnel changes in the Eagles had transformed them from a country rock group to the classic rock arena. “Hotel California,” with the dual guitars of Don Felder and Joe Walsh served as a marker of the band’s new sound. The song’s tale of a luxury resort where “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave” prompted multiple interpretations with singer Don Henley saying merely that it was about “the decadence and escapism of the ‘70s.’” LW-138 It has also been considered an allegory about the music industry and the destructive influence it had on the Eagles. RS500

Aretha Franklin “Respect” (1967)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

“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. Redding reportedly responding, saying “That girl done stole my song.” CR-455

Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

Norman Whitfield, a producer for Motown, had a habit of pushing the same song on multiple acts. The Miracles, the Isley Brothers, BR1-249 and Gladys Knight & The Pips tackled it WK before Marvin Gaye. He didn’t want to record it RS500 and Motown head honcho Berry Gordy thought it was horrible BR1-249 and was initially reluctant to release it as a single. TB-106 Naturally it became Gaye’s first pop #1 and biggest hit, as well as Motown’s longest running #1 to date. BR1-249

Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1982)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

With its “insanely catchy melody atop an insistent beat,” BB100 “this fabulously funky slice of disco-pop” BBC is “the single that made Jackson the biggest star since Elvis.” RS500 The Thriller album, from which this was the second single, became the best-selling album of all-time with a record-breaking seven top ten pop singles.

Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

As producer Bruce Vig said, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain “had the dichotomy of punk rage and alientation…but also this vulnerable pop sensibility.” RS500 That all combined to give the grunge movement of the 1990s its signature song. The song owes its inspiration to perspiration. Kathleen Hanna of punk band Bikini Kill scrawled the phrase “Kurt smells like Teen Spirit,” a reference to a deodorant, on Cobain’s bedroom wall. He interpreted it as a suggestion “that he could incite teenage rebellion” LW-170 and crafted an anti-commercial message in what became an ironically monstrous commercial success.


Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

Called “one of the most complex singles ever recorded,” KL-216 “Bohemian Rhapsody” begins as a ballad, veers into opera, and ends as rock. When record execs wouldn’t release it, singer Freddie Mercury gave a copy to a DJ friend. This prompted fans to try to buy the non-existing single, which finally led to its release. WK It went top 10 in the U.S. and topped the British charts with more than a million sales. MG In the wake of Mercury’s death in 1991 and inclusion in the 1992 movie Wayne’s World, the song re-charted, peaking at #2 in the U.S. and topping the UK charts again – the only song to ever do so. MG

The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

This has often been hailed as the best rock song of all time and “one of the defining records of...its era.” AMG Richards and Jagger didn’t want to release it, but were outvoted by their band mates who wanted what they considered an unusual sound for a rock record. SF It was the Stones’ first chart topper on both sides of the pond and the biggest song of 1965. WHC-90

Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1970)

Inducted April 2019 for 80+ lists/awards.

Paul Simon originally wrote the song on guitar TB-121 and tried to sing it in falsetto, before deciding Art Garfunkel’s voice was better suited to the song. AMG Garfunkel disputed Simon’s contention that it was the best song he’d ever written AMG and thought Simon should sing it. As Simon said in 1972, “Many times I think I’m sorry I didn’t do it.” RS500 The duo disagreed with Clive Davis, then CBS Records president, over releasing the ballad as the album’s lead single, but Davis won out. AMG The result was the top pop single of the year. AMG

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Top Songs from 1970-1979

First posted on DMDB Facebook page on 3/4/2011, updated 4/19/2019.

These are the top 100 songs from 1970-1979 according to Dave’s Music Database. Titles receiving “Song of the Year” honors are noted. Click here for a full list of “Song of the Year” awards.

1. Imagine…John Lennon (1971)
2. Bohemian Rhapsody…Queen (1975)
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water…Simon & Garfunkel (1970)
4. Hotel California…Eagles (1976)
5. Stayin’ Alive…Bee Gees (1977)
6. Layla…Derek & the Dominos (1970)
7. Let It Be…The Beatles (1970)
8. American Pie…Don McLean (1971)
9. Stairway to Heaven…Led Zeppelin (1971)
10. Dancing Queen…Abba (1976)

11. I Will Survive…Gloria Gaynor (1978)
12. What’s Going On…Marvin Gaye (1971)
13. Superstition…Stevie Wonder (1972)
14. Another Brick in the Wall Part II…Pink Floyd (1979)
15. Maggie May…Rod Stewart (1971)
16. Born to Run…Bruce Springsteen (1975)
17. Your Song…Elton John (1970)
18. Killing Me Softly with His Song…Roberta Flack (1973)
19. You Light Up My Life…Debby Boone (1977)
20. Le Freak…Chic (1978)

21. My Sweet Lord…George Harrison (1970)
22. Let’s Stay Together…Al Green (1971)
23. Night Fever…Bee Gees (1978)
24. Heart of Glass…Blondie (1979)
25. The Way We Were…Barbra Streisand (1973)
26. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face…Roberta Flack (1972)
27. How Deep Is Your Love…Bee Gees (1977)
28. Y.M.C.A….Village People (1978)
29. Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree…Tony Orlando & Dawn (1973)
30. Sweet Home Alabama…Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)

31. My Sharona…The Knack (1979)
32. You’re the One That I Want…Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta (1978)
33. Without You…Harry Nilsson (1971)
34. London Calling…The Clash (1979)
35. Let’s Get It On…Marvin Gaye (1973)
36. Free Bird…Lynyrd Skynrd (1973)
37. No Woman, No Cry…Bob Marley & the Wailers (1975)
38. Fire and Rain…James Taylor (1970)
39. Joy to the World…Three Dog Night (1971)
40. Sultans of Swing…Dire Straits (1979)

41. Three Times a Lady…Commodores (1978)
42. Seasons in the Sun…Terry Jacks (1974)
43. Love Will Keep Us Together…Captain & Tennille (1975)
44. Anarchy in the U.K….Sex Pistols (1976)
45. Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)…Rod Stewart (1976)
46. Alone Again (Naturally)…Gilbert O’Sullivan (1972)
47. Brown Sugar…The Rolling Stones (1971)
48. Play That Funky Music…Wild Cherry (1976)
49. Go Your Own Way…Fleetwood Mac (1977)
50. Baker Street…Gerry Rafferty (1978)

51. We Are Family…Sister Sledge (1979)
52. Won’t Get Fooled Again…The Who (1971)
53. Just the Way You Are…Billy Joel (1977)
54. Theme from Shaft…Isaac Hayes (1971)
55. I Honestly Love You…Olivia Newton-John (1974)
56. You’re So Vain…Carly Simon (1972)
57. Dreams…Fleetwood Mac (1977)
58. Shadow Dancing…Andy Gibb (1978)
59. I’ll Be There…The Jackson 5 (1970)
60. Heroes…David Bowie (1977)

61. Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough…Michael Jackson (1979)
62. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?...Rod Stewart (1978)
63. It’s Too Late…Carole King (1971)

64. Good Times…Chic (1979)
65. God Save the Queen…Sex Pistols (1977)
66. Piano Man…Billy Joel (1974)
67. Paranoid…Black Sabbath (1970)
68. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart…Elton John & Kiki Dee (1976)

69. Old Time Rock and Roll…Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band (1978)
70. They Long to Be Close to You…Carpenters (1970)

71. Walk on the Wild Side…Lou Reed (1972)
72. Angie…The Rolling Stones (1973)
73. Bennie and the Jets…Elton John (1974)
74. You Are the Sunshine of My Life…Stevie Wonder (1973)
75. More Than a Feeling…Boston (1976)
76. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road…Elton John (1973)
77. Crazy Little Thing Called Love…Queen (1979)
78. Lola…The Kinks (1970)
79. I’m Not in Love…10cc (1975)
80. Midnight Train to Georgia…Gladys Knight & the Pips (1973)

81. The Rose…Bette Midler (1979)
82. Daniel…Elton John (1973)
83. Crocodile Rock…Elton John (1972)
84. Dream On…Aerosmith (1973)
85. Hot Stuff…Donna Summer (1979)
86. I Just Want to Be Your Everything…Andy Gibb (1977)
87. Smoke on the Water…Deep Purple (1973)
88. Just My Imagination Running Away with Me…The Temptations (1971)
89. All Right Now…Free (1970)
90. Best of My Love…The Emotions (1977)
91. The Hustle…Van McCoy (1975)
92. We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions…Queen (1977)
93. Brass in Pocket (I’m Special)…Pretenders (1979)
94. Comfortably Numb…Pink Floyd (1979)
95. Kung Fu Fighting…Carl Douglas (1974)
96. Rapper’s Delight…The Sugarhill Gang (1979)
97. Rhinestone Cowboy…Glen Campbell (1975)
98. Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone…The Temptations (1972)
99. ABC…The Jackson 5 (1970)
100. If You Leave Me Now…Chicago (1976)


Songs Which Won Year-End Awards But Didn’t Make the Top 100:
  • Amazing Grace…Judy Collins (1970)
  • America the Beautiful…Ray Charles (1972)
  • Autobahn…Kraftwerk (1975)
  • Bad Girls…Donna Summer (1979)
  • Beth…Kiss (1976)
  • Boogie Nights…Heatwave (1977)
  • Bright Eyes…Art Garfunkel (1979)
  • Bye Bye Baby…Bay City Rollers (1975)
  • California Uber Alles (1979)
  • Cum on Feel the Noize (1973)
  • December 1963 (Oh What a Night)…Four Seasons (1975)
  • Disco Duck…Rick Dees & His Cast of Idiots (1976)
  • Double Vision…Foreigner (1978)
  • Evergreen (Love Theme from ‘A Star Is Born’)…Barbra Streisand (1976)
  • Gangsters…The Specials (1979)
  • Get Down Tonight…KC & the Sunshine Band (1975)
  • Gonna Make You a Star…David Essex (1974)
  • I Can Help…Billy Swan (1975)
  • I Hate the Rich…The Dils (1978)
  • I Wanna Be Sedated…Ramones (1978)
  • I Write the Songs…Barry Manilow (1975)
  • Knock Three Times…Tony Orlando & Dawn (1970)
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You…Abba (1976)
  • Last Dance…Donna Summer (1978)
  • Living for the City…Stevie Wonder (1973)
  • The Main Event/Fight…Barbra Streisand (1979)
  • Ring My Bell…Anita Ward (1979)
  • Rivers of Babylon…Boney M (1978)
  • Rock and Roll Part 2…Gary Glitter (1972)
  • Rock Your Baby…George McCrae (1974)
  • Save Your Kisses for Me…Brotherhood of Man (1976)
  • Search and Destroy…The Stooges (1973)
  • Send in the Clowns…Judy Collins (1975)
  • She…Charles Aznavour (1974)
  • Silly Love Songs…Paul McCartney & Wings (1976)
  • Star Wars…John Williams (1977)
  • Take Me to the River…Al Green (1974)
  • Teenage Kicks…The Undertones (1978)
  • This Masquerade…George Benson (1976)
  • Torn Between Two Lovers…Mary MacGregor (1976)
  • Tusk…Fleetwood Mac (1979)
  • 20th Century Boy…T-Rex (1973)
  • What a Fool Believes…The Doobie Brothers (1978)
  • The Wonder of You…Elvis Presley (1970)
  • Wuthering Heights…Kate Bush (1978)
  • You’ve Got a Friend…James Taylor (1971)