Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Top 100 Classic Rock Albums of All Time

First posted 5/2/2011; last updated 9/4/2020.

Classic Rock:

The Top 100 Albums

This list was originally posted on Facebook on May 2, 2011. It was based on an aggregate of 13 best-of lists focused on classic rock (sources listed at bottom of page). It has been updated here on the blog with 31 lists now factored in. While there isn’t uniform agreement on exactly what era “classic rock” spans, it generally stretches from the mid-‘60s to sometime into the ‘80s so I eliminated post-‘80s albums (only two would have made the list: Nirvana’s Nevermind and Radiohead’s OK Computer). Click on an album title to go to a more detailed page about that album.

Check out other best-of-genre lists here.

1. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
2. Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
3. The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
4. AC/DC Back in Black (1980)
5. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967)
6. The Who Who’s Next (1971)
7. Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977)
8. Eagles Hotel California (1976)
9. The Doors The Doors (1967)
10. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975)
11. Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975)
12. Pink Floyd The Wall (1979)
13. Boston Boston (1976)
14. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (1972)
15. The Beatles Revolver (1966)
16. Van Halen Van Halen I (1978)
17. Queen A Night at the Opera (1975)
18. Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti (1975)
19. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland (1968)
20. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
21. The Beatles Abbey Road (1969)
22. The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971)
23. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II (1969)
24. Aerosmith Toys in the Attic (1975)
25. David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
26. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young Déjà Vu (1970)
27. Deep Purple Machine Head (1972)
28. AC/DC Highway to Hell (1979)
29. Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell (1977)
30. The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed (1969)
31. Jethro Tull Aqualung (1971)
32. Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
33. The Who Tommy (1969)
34. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I (1969)
35. U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)
36. Derek and the Dominos Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
37. Lynyrd Skynyrd Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd (1973)
38. Rush Moving Pictures (1981)
39. Cream Disraeli Gears (1967)
40. Neil Young Harvest (1972)
41. The Who Quadrophenia (1973)
42. Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987)
43. Supertramp Breakfast in America (1979)
44. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
45. Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde (1966)
46. The Doors L.A. Woman (1971)
47. Black Sabbath Paranoid (1970)
48. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Damn the Torpedoes (1979)
49. Bad Company Bad Company (1974)
50. Yes Fragile (1971)
51. Van Halen 1984 (1984)
52. Santana Abraxas (1970)
53. The Clash London Calling (1979)
54. Peter Frampton Frampton Comes Alive! (live, 1976)
55. Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet (1986)
56. The Police Synchronicity (1983)
57. Van Morrison Moondance (1970)
58. Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks (1975)
59. The Allman Brothers At Fillmore East (live, 1971)
60. Eric Clapton Slowhand (1977)
61. The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet (1968)
62. Lynyrd Skynyrd Street Survivors (1977)
63. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Night Moves (1976)
64. Def Leppard Hysteria (1987)
65. Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy (1973)
66. The Beatles Rubber Soul (1965)
67. The Rolling Stones Some Girls (1978)
68. Dire Straits Brothers in Arms (1985)
69. Journey Escape (1981)
70. Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
71. Grateful Dead American Beauty (1970)
72. The Allman Brothers Band Eat a Peach (1972)
73. Steely Dan Aja (1977)
74. Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974)
75. ZZ Top Tres Hombres (1973)
76. Aerosmith Rocks (1976)
77. Foreigner 4 (1981)
78. Def Leppard Pyromania (1983)
79. The Cars The Cars (1978)
80. ZZ Top Eliminator (1983)
81. Steve Miller Band Fly Like an Eagle (1976)
82. Creedence Clearwater Revival Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
83. Eagles The Long Run (1979)
84. King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)
85. Bob Dylan
Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
86. The Beatles Let It Be (1970)
87. Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac (1975)
88. Rush 2112 (1976)
89. Van Morrison Astral Weeks (1968)
90. Foreigner Foreigner (1977)
91. John Lennon Imagine (1971)
92. Styx The Grand Illusion (1977)
93. Neil Young After the Gold Rush (1970)
94. The Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)
95. Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
96. Bruce Springsteen Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
97. Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)
98. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Axis: Bold As Love (1967)
99. REO Speedwagon Hi Infidelity (1980)
100. The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Dave's Music Database Hall of Fame: Album Inductees (February 2020)

Originally posted 2/22/2020.

January 22, 2019 marked the 10-year anniversary of the DMDB blog. To honor that, Dave’s Music Database announced its own Hall of Fame. This month marks the fifth batch of album inductees. As of August 4, 2020, there were only 56 albums to spend 250 or more weeks on the Billboard album chart (“The Longest-Charting Albums in U.S. Chart History”). Of those albums, only 19 spent four or more weeks at #1. Seven of those have already been inducted: Adele 21 (2011), Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977), Michael Jackson Thriller (1982), Carole King Tapestry (1971) , and the South Pacific cast album (1949). That leaves 13 albums to be inducted this month.

The Beatles Abbey Road (1969)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

While not their final release, this marked the last time the Fab Four worked together in the studio. The Beatles were “exhausted and angry with one another after the disastrous sessions for the aborted Get Back LP.” RS500 Even their producer, “the normallly unruffled” George Martin, said “I don’t want to be part of this anymore.” JI However, when Paul McCartney suggested they make a Beatles’ record “like we used to” JI “the group reconvened at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios” RS500 to create what would be their “most polished and crafted long player” TL and “the best sounding Beatles’ record.” JI

The Beatles 1 (compilation: 1962-70, released 2001)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

Three years after their breakup, the Beatles released two double-album compilations 1962-1966 and 1967-1970. When this single-disc collection emerged over 30 years after the band’s finale, it proved there was still a market for their songs as the collection spent eight weeks atop the Billboard charts and has sold more than 30 million copies. The goal of the set was to gather the 27 songs which peaked atop the U.K. and/or U.S. charts, meaning fans could get a one-sitting overview of the Beatles from their beginnings from early hits like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” to mid-career hits like “Yesterday” and latter hits like “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be.”

Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975) (compilation: 1971-75, released 1976)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

This wasn’t just the “first album ever certified platinum;” WR1 but the best-selling album in the U.S. in the 20th century WK1 with sales now estimated over 40 million. This collection gathered nine singles and the album-cut “Desperado” from the band’s first four albums. By the time the band recorded their fifth album, they’d become more of a rock act, but this set showcases their more country-pop leanings like “Tequila Sunrise” and “Lyin’ Eyes” as well as #1 pop hits “Best of My Love” and “One of These Nights.” Band member Don Henley didn’t like the songs being taken out of the context of their original albums, WK1 but this makes for “a collection consistent in mood and identity” WK that “works so much better than the band’s previous discs [that it] practically makes them redundant.” WR1

Eminem The Eminem Show (2002)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

After exploring the deliberately-shocking alter ego Slim Shady and delving more into his past as Marshall Mathers, Eminem put his public persona front and center on this collection. He “spends much of the album commenting on the media circus that dominated…his life” STE and familiar topics such as “his troubled childhood; his hatred of his parents; his turbulent relationship with his ex-wife, Kim…; his love of his daughter, Hailie; and, of course, all the controversy he generated, notably the furor over his alleged homophobia.” STE The “production [is] very similar to that of its predecessor” STE but “the presentation is exceptional…Eminem has proven himself to be one of the all-time classic MCs, surprising as much with his delivery as with what he says.” STE

Eminem Recovery (2010)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

Critic Robert Christgau says this is Eminem at “his most confessional” WK although detractors argued “that being privy to the man’s therapy sessions just isn’t compelling anymore.” DJ While Andy Gill of The Independent said there is “nothing here quite as engaging as” Em’s previous albums, WK Entertainment Weekly’s Simon Vozick-Levinson said, “Eminem’s lyrical craftsmanship is second to none…and there are flashes of new maturity.” WK Regardless of the critics, fans were definitely on board as this album gave Eminem the distinction as the first artist to have four albums debut atop the Billboard album chart with over 700,000 copies. “Not Afraid,” the album’s lead single, was only the second rap song to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was followed to the pinnacle by “Love the Way You Lie,” a duet with Rihanna about an abusive relationship.

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe (composers) My Fair Lady (cast, 1956)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

My Fair Lady is “the crowning achievement” AZ for lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe. It has even been called “the most perfect stage musical ever.” CL This was an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, a story about “the mythic Greek figure who falls in love with his sculpture.” TM Rex Harrison is “effortlessly charming” ZS as Professor Henry Higgins and Julie Andrews was a “twenty-year-old revelation” ZS as “Eliza Doolittle, who aspires to a better accent and the social advantages that will come with it.” R-S Its Broadway run of 2717 performances from 1956 to 1962 was the longest run in history for a major musical at that time. W-M

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe (composers) Camelot (cast album, 1960)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

Lerner & Loewe turned to the legend of King Arthur, specifically T.H. White’s novel The Once and Future King, for their 1960 musical Camelot. The show “has it all – a beautiful English princess swept off her feet by a shy, but passionate bachelor king; an ardent French knight, torn between devotion to his liege and an uncontrollable hunger, reciprocated, to be sure, for the king’s tempestuous wife.” WK-C “The advance sale for the show was the largest in Broadway history.” WK-C It starred Richard Burton (Arthur) and Julie Andrews (Guinevere) and introduced Robert Goulet as Lancelot in his first Broadway role. It opened on December 3, 1960, at the Majestic Theatre, ran for 873 performances, WK-C and won four Tony Awards.

Johnny Mathis Heavenly (1959)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

This was the most successful studio album from Mathis, marking a return to ballads with orchestral accompaniment. All Music Guide’s William Ruhlmann called it “the epitome of Mathis’s approach to music.” WK The highlight of this collection of standards was “Misty,” a top ten R&B hit which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Metallica Metallica (aka ‘The Black Album’) (1991)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

Prior to their eponymous 1991 release (nicknamed The Black Album for its monochromatic cover), Metallica “wrote scathing diatribes about such topics as our desensitized society and the horrors of drug addiction, signed with a major record label, and then watched millions of kids buy these spewings, all without the benefit of one hummable melody.” EW For this effort, the band tapped Bob Rock, who had produced Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe, to give them “crisp, professional production” AMG and add “a previously nonexistent warmth and depth to their sound.” GW The group “slowed down the tempos, streamlined the arrangements” GW and the band plays actual hooks.” EW

Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) Oklahoma! (soundtrack, 1955)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

Oklahoma! marked the first collaboration between composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. They “turned out an exuberant, tuneful score in which all the songs grew out of the characters and the situations, an unusual approach in musical theater, where songs often had little relationship to the action.” RC The show’s five-year run made it the longest-running musical in Broadway history up to that time. The cast recording was the “first significant original-cast album.” JW More than a dozen years later, Rodgers & Hammerstein oversaw a film treatment of the show, assuring “it would be more faithful than most Hollywood treatments.” RS Compared to the cast recording, the soundtrack has “a bigger, broader interpretation and has continued to sound impressive over the decades.” RS

Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) South Pacific (soundtrack, 1958)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

The cast album for South Pacific was one of the first twelve DMDB Hall of Fame album inductees. It was the biggest album of the 1940s, spending 69 weeks at #1 and 400 weeks on the chart. That set the bar incredibly high for the soundtrack to the 1958 movie. However, it reached similar lofty status with 262 weeks on the chart, 31 of which were spent at the pinnacle. The album was also the biggest #1 in the history of the UK charts with 115 weeks on top.

Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) The Sound of Music (cast album, 1959)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

The Sound of Music was the final work for the famous musical theater team of Rodgers and Hammerstein. “The ‘based on a true story’ plot concerned an aspiring nun who becomes a governess in pre-World War II Austria” WR-C for “a wealthy naval captain with seven children,” WR-S “only to marry the children’s father and flee with the family from the Nazis.” WR-C The cast album spent an astonishing 70 weeks atop the UK charts and 16 in the U.S.

Taylor Swift 1989 (2014)

Inducted February 2020 as “Album with 4+ weeks at #1 and 250+ chart weeks.”

This was Taylor Swift’s second Grammy-winner for Album of the Year, after 2010’s Fearless. Inspired by the synthpop of the late ‘80s, this completed her transition from country music. It was her third album to sell over a million copies in its first week, making her the first artist to do so. WK The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis said the album is full of “undeniable melodies and huge, perfectly turned choruses and nagging hooks.” WK The public agreed, sending three songs to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” and “Bad Blood”) and two more into the top ten (“Style,” “Wildest Dreams”).

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Smokey Robinson: Top 100 Songs

First posted 2/14/2020.

Smokey Robinson

Image from

R&B singer/songwriter born William Robinson, Jr. on 2/19/1940 in Detroit, Michigan. With The Miracles (55-72) and later a solo artist. Record executive and songwriter for Motown.


Top 100 Songs

This list includes Robinson’s work as a solo artist, with the Miracles, and as a songwriter. The recording artist is noted in parentheses. Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Songs which hit #1 on various charts are noted. (Click for codes to singles charts.)

DMDB Top 1%:

1. My Girl (Temptations, 1964) #1 US, RB
2. The Tracks of My Tears (The Miracles, 1965)

DMDB Top 5%:

3. The Tears of a Clown (The Miracles, 1970) #1 US, CB, RB, UK
4. My Guy (Mary Wells, 1964) #1 US, CB, RB, AU
5. Shop Around (The Miracles, 1960) #1 RB
6. You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me (The Miracles, 1962) #1 RB
7. Being with You (Smokey Robinson, 1981) #1 CB, HR, RR, RB, UK
8. The Way You Do the Things You Do (The Temptations, 1964)
9. Ooo Baby Baby (The Miracles, 1965)

DMDB Top 10%:

10. I Second That Emotion (The Miracles, 1967) #1 RB
11. Love Machine (The Miracles, 1975) #1 US, CB, HR
12. Cruisin’ (Smokey Robinson, 1979) #1 CB
13. The Tracks of My Tears (Linda Ronstadt, 1975)
14. Get Ready (The Temptations, 1966) #1 RB
15. Going to a Go-Go (The Miracles, 1965)
16. Ooh Baby Baby (Linda Ronstadt, 1978)
17. Get Ready (Rare Earth, 1969)
18. The Way You Do the Things You Do (UB40, 1989)

DMDB Top 20%:

19. Ain’t That Peculiar (Marvin Gaye, 1965) #1 RB
20. Shop Around (Captain & Tennille, 1976) #1 AC

21. The Way You Do the Things You Do (Hall & Oates, 1985)
22. More Love (Kim Carnes, 1980)
23. Since I Lost My Baby (The Temptations, 1965)
24. Just to See Her (Smokey Robinson, 1987) #1 AC
25. My Girl (Hall & Oates, 1985)
26. Going to a Go-Go (The Rolling Stones, 1982)
27. More Love (The Miracles, 1967)
28. Floy Joy (The Supremes, 1971)
29. It’s Growing (The Temptations, 1965)
30. Who’s Lovin’ You (The Jackson 5, 1969)

31. Come ‘Round Here, I’m the One You Need (The Miracles, 1966)
32. Automatically Sunshine (The Supremes, 1972)
33. Still Water (Love) (The Four Tops, 1970)
34. I’ll Try Something New (The Miracles, 1962)
35. One Heartbeat (Smokey Robinson, 1987)
36. I’ll Be Doggone (Marvin Gaye, 1965) #1 RB
37. I Don’t Blame You at All (The Miracles, 1971)
38. The Composer (The Supremes, 1969)
39. Mickey’s Monkey (The Miracles, 1963)
40. Do It Baby (The Miracles, 1974)
41. My Guy (Sister Sledge, 1982)

Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

42. If You Can Want (The Miracles, 1968)
43. Pops, We Love You (A Tribute to Father) (Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, & Stevie Wonder; 1978)
44. I’ll Be in Trouble (The Temptations, 1964)
45. The Tracks of My Tears (Aretha Franklin, 1969)
46. Don’t Look Back (The Temptations, 1965)
47. One More Heartache (Marvin Gaye, 1966)
48. The Way You Do the Things You Do (Rita Coolidge, 1978)
49. My Baby (The Temptations, 1965)
50. Two Lovers (Mary Wells, (1962) #1 RB

51. I Gotta Dance to Keep from Crying (The Miracles, 1963)
52. The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage (The Miracles, 1967)
53. First I Look at the Purse (The Contours, 1965)
54. Your Wonderful, Sweet, Sweet Love (The Supremes, 1972)
55. A Breath Taking Guy (The Supremes, 1963)
56. Cruisin’ (Huey Lewis & Gwyneth Paltrow, 2000) #1 AC, AU
57. You Threw a Lucky Punch (Gene Chandler, 1962)
58. Who’s Lovin’ You (Brenda & the Tabulations, 1967)
59. The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game (The Marvelettes, 1966)
60. You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me (Eddie Money, 1977)

61. You Beat Me to the Punch (Mary Wells, 1962) #1 RB
62. When I’m Gone (Brenda Holloway, 1965)
63. That’s What Love Is Made Of (The Miracles, 1964)
64. What’s So Good About Goodbye (The Miracles, 1962)
65. Way Over There (The Miracles, 1960)
66. Take This Heart of Mine (Marvin Gaye, 1966)
67. The One Who Really Loves You (Mary Wells, 1962)
68. Don’t Mess with Bill (The Marvelettes, 1966)
69. Ebony Eyes (Rick James with Smokey Robinson, 1983)
70. My Guy/My Girl (Amii Stewart & Johnny Bristol, 1980)

71. Ain’t It Baby (The Miracles, 1961)
72. Baby, Baby Don’t Cry (The Miracles, 1969)
73. Happy (Bobby Darin, 1972)
74. A Love She Can Count On (The Miracles, 1963)
75. My Guy (Petula Clark, 1972)
76. I Like It Like That (The Miracles, 1964)
77. Everybody’s Gotta Pay Some Dues (The Miracles, 1961)
78. Mighty Good Lovin’ (The Miracles, 1961)
79. The Tears of a Clown (The English Beat, 1979)
80. Blame It on Love (Smokey Robinson & Barbara Mitchell, 1983)

81. Walk and Don’t Look Back (Peter Tosh with Mick Jagger, 1978)
82. Who’s Lovin’ You (Terence Trent D’Arby, 1987)
83. My Girl Has Gone (The Miracles, 1965)
84. Happy (Michael Jackson, 1973)
85. Tell Me Tomorrow (Smokey Robinson, 1982)
86. Old Fashioned Love (Smokey Robinson, 1982)
87. We’ve Saved the Best for Last (Kenny G with Smokey Robinson, 1989)
88. Come on Do the Jerk (The Miracles, 1964)
89. What’s Too Much (Smokey Robinson, 1987)
90. Special Occasion (The Miracles, 1968)

91. Yester Love (The Miracles, 1968)
92. My Girl (Suave, 1988)
93. Double Good Everything (Smokey Robinson, 1991)
94. We’ve Come Too Far to End It Now (The Miracles, 1972)
95. Bad Girl (The Miracles, 1959)
96. You Can’t Let the Boy Overpower the Man in You (The Miracles, 1964)
97. Whole Lot of Shakin’ in My Heart Since I Met You (The Miracles, 1966)
98. Doggone Right (The Miracles, 1969)
99. Point It Out (The Miracles, 1969)
100. Abraham, Martin and John (The Miracles, 1969)

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Brit Awards: British Albums of the Year, 1982-2020

First posted 2/18/2020.

Brit Awards:

British Album of the Year, 1982-2020

The British Phonographc Industry (BPI) represents United Kingdom record companies and artists. The annual Brit Awards have acknowledged the British Album of the Year since 1982 after first presenting it in 1977 as a sort of lifetime award. Here are the award recipients from 1982 to 2020. The 2020 awards were given on February 18, 2020.

Check out other annual picks for album of the year here.

* Award was actually for “Best Selling Album,” explaining why they were won by American artists instead of British artsts

** Award was more a “lifetime achievement award” five years before the annual award began.

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Styx: Top 50 Songs

First posted 2/3/2020.


l to r: John Panozzo, James Young, Tommy Shaw, Chuck Panozzo, Dennis DeYoung

Rock band from Chicago, IL. Active: 1969-1984, 1990-. Members: John Panozzo (d – TW4: 69-71; Styx: 71-84,90; died of gastrointestinal hemorrhage on 7/16/96 at age 47), Chuck Panozzo (b – TW4: 69-71; Styx: 71-84,90-), Dennis DeYoung (v/k: 71-84,90-99), John Curulewski (g/v – TW4: 69-71; Styx: 71-76; died of an aneurysm in 1988), James Young (g/ v – TW4: 70-71; Styx: 71-84,90-; solo), Tommy Shaw (v/g: 76-84,95-), Glen Burtnik (v/g: 90; b: 00-04), Todd Sucherman (d: 95-), Lawrence Gowan (v/k: 00-), Ricky Phillips (b: 03-).

The Panozzo twin brothers started playing in their garage at the age of 12. Their neighbor, DeYoung, joined them. When the trio went to Chicago State University, they formed TW4 with Curulewski. Young joined in 1970. In 1971, Wooden Nickel Records heard them, signed them the following year, and Styx (named after river Hades in Greek mythology) was born. In 1975, the group signed with A&M after a revival of the song "Lady" restored their Styx II album from three years earlier. After their first A&M album (Equinox), Curulewski left the group; replaced by Shaw. Group broke up in ‘84. Shaw, DeYoung, and JY did solo projects. In 1990, Styx reunited. They toured in 1995, recorded a few more songs in the studio, and released their first studio album in nearly a decade in 1999.


Top 50 Songs

In addition to Styx songs, this list includes solo material from Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw as well as Damn Yankees, which featured Shaw. Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Songs which hit #1 on various charts are noted. (Click for codes to singles charts.)

DMDB Top 5%:

1. Babe (1979) #1 US, CB, HR, RR, CL, CN
2. Come Sail Away (1977) #1 CL
3. The Best of Times (1981) #1 RR, CL, CN
4. Renegade (1978) #1 CL
5. Mr. Roboto (1983) #1 CB, CN

DMDB Top 10%:

6. Too Much Time on My Hands (1981)
7. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) (1978)
8. Lady (1973)
9. Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man) (1977)
10. Lorelei (1975)
11. High Enough (Damn Yankees, 1990)

DMDB Top 20%:

12. Don’t Let It End (1983)
13. Mademoiselle (1976)
14. Why Me? (1979)
15. Desert Moon (Dennis DeYoung, 1984)
16. Love Is the Ritual (1990)
17. Borrowed Time (1979)
18. Sing for the Day (1978)
19. Show Me the Way (1990)
20. Nothing Ever Goes As Planned (1981)

21. Love at First Sight (1990)
22. Come Again (Damn Yankees, 1990)
23. Girls with Guns (Tommy Shaw, 1984)
24. Music Time (1984)
25. Call Me (Dennis DeYoung, 1986)
26. The Grand Illusion (1977)
27. Rockin’ the Paradise (1981)
28. Crystal Ball (1976)
29. Best Thing (1972)
30. Coming of Age (Damn Yankees, 1990)

31. Snowblind (1981)
32. Suite Madame Blue (1975)
33. You Need Love (1973)
34. Where You Goin’ Now (Damn Yankees, 1992)
35. Light Up (1975)
36. This Is the Time (Dennis DeYoung, 1986)
37. Don’t Wait for Heroes (Dennis DeYoung, 1984)
38. Silence Is Broken (Damn Yankees, 1992)

Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

39. What If (Remo’s Theme) (Tommy Shaw, 1985)
40. Lights (1979)

41. Miss America (1977)
42. High Time (1983)
43. Boat on the River (1979)
44. Fanfare for the Common Man (1972)
45. Mister Please (Damn Yankees, 1992)
46. Golden Lark (1974)
47. Dear John (1997)
48. Don’t Tread on Me (Damn Yankees, 1992)
49. What Has Come Between Us (1972)
50. My Hallucination (Shaw/Blades, 1995)

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Friday, February 14, 2020

The Top 100 Love Songs of All Time

First posted 2/14/2012; updated 2/13/2020.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here are the top 100 love songs of all time as determined by aggregating more than 40 lists covering more than 900 songs. See links at the bottom of the page.

1. Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” (1992)
2. The Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody” (1965)
3. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross “Endless Love” (1981)
4. Elton John “Your Song” (1970)
5. Al Green “Let’s Stay Together” (1971)
6. Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On” (1997)
7. Etta James “At Last” (1961)
8. Eric Clapton “Wonderful Tonight” (1977)
9. Boyz II Men “I’ll Make Love to You” (1994)
10. Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (1991)

11. The Temptations “My Girl” (1965)
12. Elvis Presley “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (1961)
13. Percy Sledge “When a Man Loves a Woman” (1966)
14. Roberta Flack “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (1972)
15. Aerosmith “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (1998)
16. Bee Gees “How Deep Is Your Love” (1977)
17. Joe Cocker “You Are So Beautiful” (1974)
18. The Beach Boys “God Only Knows” (1966)
19. Beyoncé with Jay-Z “Crazy in Love” (2003)
20. Cyndi Lauper “Time After Time” (1984)

21. Madonna “Crazy for You” (1985)
22. Adele “Make You Feel My Love” (2008)
23. The Beatles “Something” (1969)
24. Paul McCartney “Maybe I’m Amazed” (1970)
25. Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990)
26. Foreigner “I Want to Know What Love Is” (1984)
27. Sonny & Cher “I Got You Babe” (1965)
28. John Legend “All of Me” (2013)
29. Journey “Faithfully” (1983)
30. The Emotions “Best of My Love” (1977)

31. REO Speedwagon “Keep on Loving You” (1980)
32. Berlin “Take My Breath Away” (1986)
33. The Pretenders “I’ll Stand by You” (1994)
34. Stevie Wonder “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (1984)
35. The Jackson 5 “I’ll Be There” (1970)
36. Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” (1973)
37. Frank Sinatra “The Way You Look Tonight” (1964)
38. Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes” (1986)
39. Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are (Amazing)” (2010)
40. Olivia Newton-John “I Honestly Love You” (1974)

41. Celine Dion “The Power of Love” (1994)
42. The Flamingos “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959)
43. Mariah Carey “Vision of Love” (1990)
44. Shania Twain “You’re Still the One” (1997)
45. Willie Nelson “Always on My Mind” (1982)
46. Stevie Wonder “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (1973)
47. Elvis Presley “Love Me Tender” (1956)
48. Ed Sheeran “Thinking Out Loud” (2014)
49. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967)
50. Savage Garden “Truly, Madly, Deeply” (1997)

51. Queen “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (1979)
52. Aretha Franklin “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” (1967)
53. Journey “Open Arms” (1981)
54. Billy Joel “Just the Way You Are” (1977)
55. Celine Dion “Because You Loved Me” (1996)
56. Commodores “Three Times a Lady” (1978)
57. Taylor Swift “Love Story” (2008)
58. Captain & Tennille “Love Will Keep Us Together” (1975)
59. Natalie Cole with Nat “King” Cole “Unforgettable” (1991)
60. U2 “With or Without You” (1987)

61. Frank Ocean “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” (2011)
62. K-Ci & JoJo “All My Life” (1997)
63. Alicia Keys “Fallin’” (2001)
64. Dolly Parton “I Will Always Love You” (1974)
65. Barry White “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” (1974)
66. Jackie Wilson “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher” (1967)
67. The Beatles “And I Love Her” (1964)
68. Donna Lewis “I Love You Always Forever” (1996)
69. Rod Stewart “Have I Told You Lately” (1993)
70. Leona Lewis “Bleeding Love” (2007)

71. Modern English “I Melt with You” (1984)
72. Bangles “Eternal Flame” (1989)
73. Paul McCartney & Wings “My Love” (1973)
74. Ray Charles “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1962)
75. Ed Sheeran with Beyoncé “Perfect” (2017)
76. Sam Cooke “You Send Me” (1957)
77. Rihanna with Calvin Harris “We Found Love” (2011)
78. Nat “King” Cole “When I Fall in Love” (1956)
79. LeAnn Rimes “How Do I Live” (1997)
80. Jason Mraz “I’m Yours” (2008)

81. Snow Patrol “Chasing Cars” (2006)
82. The Smiths “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” (1986)
83. Patsy Cline “Crazy” (1961)
84. The Supremes “Baby Love” (1964)
85. Extreme “More Than Words” (1991)
86. Carpenters “They Long to Be Close to You” (1970)
87. Luther Vandross “Here and Now” (1989)
88. Ben Folds “The Luckiest” (2001)
89. Chicago “You’re the Inspiration” (1984)
90. Styx “Babe” (1979)

91. Chris DeBurgh “The Lady in Red” (1986)
92. Vanessa Williams “Save the Best for Last” (1992)
93. Goo Goo Dolls “Iris” (1998):
94. Ben E. King “Stand by Me” (1961)
95. Bill Medley with Jennifer Warnes “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” (1987)
96. The Ronettes “Be My Baby” (1963)
97. Christina Perri “A Thousand Years” (2011)
98. Maroon 5 “She Will Be Loved” (2002)
99. Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” (1983)
100. The Cure “Love Song” (1989)

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Mind Your Dollars: Top 40 Songs

First posted 8/29/2020.

The Greatest Songs Ever Recorded appears to be a website focused on money management so your guess is as good as mine as to why they are spending time making best-song lists. While I usually refrain from nit-picking about the shortcomings of specific lists, this one begs for it.

With only 40 songs on this list, one would expect most or all of them to also show up on the DMDB’s list of the top 1% of all-time songs (just over 1000 songs). I’m not arguing that the DMDB list is completely definitive, but the very aim of the list is to aggregate as many best-of lists from as many sources as possible. That makes for a more representative list that weeds out the idiosyncrasies of individual sources in favor of those songs which regularly make appearances. With a list of only 40 songs, one would assume nearly all of these titles would surely make a top 1000+ list (those that do are marked by 1% after the song title). However, 10 out of these 40 songs (25%) don’t make the cut. That certainly doesn’t mean those 10 songs are unworthy of recognition, but for them to acquire the elite status of being recognized as one of the 40 best songs ever recorded?

There are other problems with the list, including lack of diversity in racial, gender, and genre representation. More on that after the list. Also, you can click here to see song lists from other publications.

1. Simon and Garfunkel “The Sounds of Silence” (1965) 1%
2. Louis Armstrong “What a Wonderful World” (1967) 1%
3. John Lennon “Imagine” (1971) 1%
4. The Beatles “Yesterday” (1965) 1%
5. Chuck Berry “Johnny B. Goode” (1958) 1%
6. Bob Dylan “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) 1%
7. The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” (1966) 1%
8. The Beatles “A Day in the Life” (1967) 1%
9. The Beach Boys “God Only Knows” (1966) 1%
10. The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968) 1%

11. The Kinks “You Really Got Me” (1964) 1%
12. Roy Orbison “Only the Lonely” (1960) 1%
13. The Beatles “Drive My Car” (1965)
14. The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965) 1%
15. The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun” (1969)
16. The Rolling Stones “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) 1%
17. Bill Haley & the Comets “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” (1954) 1%
18. Jerry Lee Lewis “Great Balls of Fire” (1957) 1%
19. The Beatles “Nowhere Man” (1968)
20. The Beatles “Blackbird” (1968)

21. The Who “Baba O’Riley” (1971) 1%
22. Creedence Clearwater Revival “Bad Moon Rising” (1969) 1%
23. The Doors “Light My Fire” (1967) 1%
24. Buffalo Springfield “For What It’s Worth” (1967) 1%
25. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “All Along the Watchtower” (1968) 1%
26. The Rolling Stones “Paint It, Black” (1966) 1%
27. Jefferson Airplane “White Rabbit” (1967) 1%
28. Jefferson Airplane “Somebody to Love” (1967)
29. The Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar” (1971) 1%
30. Buddy Holly & the Crickets “That’ll Be the Day” (1957) 1%

31. Bob Dylan “The Times They Are A-Changin’” (1964)
32. The Who “Behind Blue Eyes” (1971)
33. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “Purple Haze” (1967) 1%
34. The Who “I Can See for Miles” (1967)
35. The Who “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (1971) 1%
36. The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women” (1969) 1%
37. Simon & Garfunkel “I Am a Rock” (1966)
38. The Beach Boys “I Get Around” (1964) 1%
39. The Doors “Break on Through” (1967)
40. The Kingsmen “Louie Louie” (1963) 1%

Analysis of Mind Your Dollars vs. DMDB

The Mind Your Dollars’ list suffers in multiple ways – including lack of representation for different eras, races, genders, and genres. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

DMDB Book:
  • 1950s: 15%
  • 1960s: 44%
  • 1970s: 21%
  • 1980s: 13%
  • 1990s: 7%
Mind Your Dollars:
  • 1950s: 10%
  • 1960s: 78%
  • 1970s: 13%
  • 1980s: 0%
  • 1990s: 0%
Both lists place too much emphasis on the ‘60s. However, in the Mind Your Dollars world, Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” and any other song recorded after 1971 had no impact.
DMDB Book:
  • White: 73%
  • Black: 28%
Mind Your Dollars:
  • White: 90%
  • Black: 10%
Both lists show the dominance of white artists over black artists, which reflects an unfortunate reality in the music world. Sadly, there’s no representation for any other races on either list. However, at least the DMDB least includes Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and other classics by black artists – classics which Mind Your Dollars fails to acknowledge.
DMDB Book:
  • Male: 88%
  • Female: 18%
Mind Your Dollars:
  • Male: 95%
  • Female: 5%
Based on these lists, there’s even less gender diversity than racial diversity. The only female on the Mind Your Dollars list? Grace Slick, the lead singer on the two Jefferson Airplane songs.
DMDB Book:
  • Rock: 65%
  • R&B: 24%
  • Pop: 11%
  • Country: 2%
  • Jazz: 1%
Mind Your Dollars:
  • Rock: 97.5%
  • R&B: 0%
  • Pop: 0%
  • Country: 0%
  • Jazz: 2.5%
Both lists also show the dominance of rock over other genres. However, the ONLY song on the Mind Your Dollars list that falls outside rock is Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”

* Numbers may exceed 100% because some songs fit more than one category. For example, “Endless Love” is sung by a male and female so falls into both categories.


Friday, February 7, 2020

Garth Brooks: Top 50 Songs

First posted 2/7/2017; updated 1/31/2020.

Garth Brooks

Image from

Country singer/songwriter born Troyal Garth Brooks on 2/7/1962 in Tulsa, OK. Most successful country singer of all time in terms of album sales. Attended Oklahoma State on a track scholarship (javelin). Top-selling artist of the Soundscan era (1991-present) with 128 million albums sold. All-time best-selling solo artist in American music history. CMA Entertainer of the Year four times. Married country singer Trisha Yearwood on 12/10/2005.


Top 50 Songs

Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Songs which hit #1 on various charts are noted. (Click for codes to singles charts.)

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Friends in Low Places (1990) #1 CW

DMDB Top 10%:

2. The Dance (1989) #1 CW
3. Lost in You (1999)

DMDB Top 20%:

4. Standing Outside the Fire (1993)

Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

5. Shameless (1991) #1 CW
6. To Make You Feel My Love (1998) #1 CW
7. Ain’t Going Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up (1993) #1 CW
8. The Thunder Rolls (1990) #1 CW
9. If Tomorrow Never Comes (1989) #1 CW
10. Wrapped Up in You (2001)

11. We Shall Be Free (1992)
12. More Than a Memory (2007) #1 CW
13. The Fever (1995)
14. Papa Loved Mama (1991)
15. Longneck Bottle (1997) #1 CW
16. American Honky-Tonk Bar Association (1993) #1 CW
17. What She’s Doing Now (1991) #1 CW
18. It’s Your Song (1998)
19. Unanswered Prayers (1990) #1 CW
20. Wild Horses (1998)

21. Good Ride Cowboy (2005)
22. When You Come Back to Me Again (2000)
23. Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House (1990) #1 CW
24. The River (1991) #1 CW
25. That Summer (1992) #1 CW
26. Rodeo (1991)
27. One Night a Day (1993)
28. In Another’s Eyes (with Trisha Yearwood, 1997)
29. Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old (1989)
30. She’s Every Woman (1995) #1 CW

31. Callin’ Baton Rouge (1993)
32. Do What You Gotta Do (1997)
33. Ask Me How I Know (2016) #1a CW
34. The Beaches of Cheyenne (1995) #1 CW
35. Workin’ for a Livin’ (with Huey Lewis, 2007)
36. Learning to Live Again (1992)
37. Two Pina Coladas (1997) #1 CW
38. Somewhere Other Than the Night (1992) #1 CW
39. Not Counting You (1989)
40. The Change (1995)

41. That Ol’ Wind (1995)
42. It’s Midnight Cinderella (1995)
43. She’s Gonna Make It (1997)
44. You Move Me (1997)
45. Beer Run (with George Jones, 2001)
46. That’s the Way I Remember It (1999)
47. Squeeze Me In (with Trisha Yearwood, 2001)
48. Thicker Than Blood (1999)
49. It Don’t Matter to the Sun (1999)
50. Why Ain’t I Running (2001)

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