Wednesday, December 31, 1986

Pop Memories 1890-1954 – Top 100 Artists

image from recordresearch.com

This list is taken from page 623 of Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954. That book was designed as a companion to the Billboard books which tracked the songs which charted on the Hot 100 from 1955 to the present. The book lists acts alphabetically and all their hits, including peak position and date first charted. This list was created by totaling each act’s chart points.

1. Bing Crosby
2. Paul Whiteman
3. Guy Lombardo
4. Tommy Dorsey
5. Billy Murray
6. Benny Goodman
7. Glenn Miller
8. Henry Burr
9. Peerless Quartet
10. Harry MacDonough

11. Ben Selvin
12. Ted Lewis
13. Al Jolson
14. Sammy Kaye
15. Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan
16. Perry Como
17. Jimmy Dorsey
18. Frank Sinatra
19. Charles Adams Prince
20. The Andrews Sisters

21. Freddy Martin
22. Kay Kyser
23. John McCormack
24. Leo Reisman
25. Isham Jones
26. Rudy Vallee
27. Eddy Duchin
28. American Quartet
29. Dinah Shore
30. Harry James

31. Jo Stafford
32. Haydn Quartet
33. Ada Jones
34. Duke Ellington
35. Louis Armstrong
36. Vaughn Monroe
37. Fats Waller
38. Glen Gray
39. Jan Garber
40. Hal Kemp

41. The Mills Brothers
42. Ruth Etting
43. Byron Harlan
44. Gene Austin
45. Ray Noble
46. Russ Morgan
47. Nat Shilkret
48. Fred Waring
49. Arthur Collins
50. Nat “King” Cole

51. Albert Campbell
52. Artie Shaw
53. George Olsen
54. Horace Heidt
55. Len Spencer
56. Frankie Laine
57. Ada Jones and Billy Murray
58. Enrico Caruso
59. Woody Herman
60. Frank Stanley

61. Marion Harris
62. Cal Stewart
63. The Ink Spots
64. Eddy Howard
65. Ella Fitzgerald
66. Ben Bernie
67. Dick Haymes
68. Walter Van Brunt
69. Patti Page
70. Nora Bayes

71. Dan Quinn
72. Eddie Fisher
73. Bob Crosby
74. Fred Astaire
75. Larry Clinton
76. Cab Calloway
77. Shep Fields
78. Margaret Whiting
79. George J. Gaskin
80. Charles Harrison

81. Doris Day
82. Bert Williams
83. Billie Holiday
84. Teddy Wilson
85. Ozzie Nelson
86. J.W. Myers
87. Ted Weems
88. Wayne King
89. Tony Martin
90. Vic Damone

91. Lewis James
92. Frank Crumit
93. Peggy Lee
94. Vincent Lopez
95. Cliff Edwrads
96. John Phillip Sousa
97. Vess Ossman
98. Connee Boswell
99. Kay Starr
100. Johnny Mercer


Resources:
  • Joel Whitburn (1991). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Record Research: Menomonee Falls, WI. Page 623.

Saturday, December 20, 1986

The Bangles hit #1 with “Walk Like an Egyptian”

First posted 12/8/2020.

Walk Like an Egyptian

The Bangles

Writer(s): Liam Sternberg (see lyrics here)


Released: September 1, 1986


First Charted: September 13, 1986


Peak: 14 US, 11 CB, 12 RR, 1 CO, 3 UK, 11 CN, 12 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 1.3 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 109.34 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Liam Sternberg was part of the Akron, Ohio, music scene in the ‘70s. He worked with Jane Aire & the Belvederes and wrote songs for Rachel Sweet, but didn’t find any real success. He did, however, find one-hit wonder status as a songwriter with “Walk Like an Egytian.” While riding a ferry boat across the English Channel, he noticed that as people struggled to maintain their balance, they held up their arms like they were doing Egyptian movements. SF

He recorded a demo of the song with singer Marti Jones in 1984. He offered it to Toni Basil, who had a #1 hit in 1982 with “Mickey,” but she turned it down. Lene Lovich recorded the song, but she decided to take a break from music to raise a family and the song went unreleased. Dave Kahne, who produced the Bangles’ Different Light album, got a copy of the demo and presented it to the Bangles.

He had each of the four members sing the song, eventually opting to have Vicki Peterson, Michael Steele, and Susanna Hoffs each sing a verse. WK Kahne didn’t like Debbie Peterson’s vocal, so he relegated her to backing vocals. She was even more angry when a drum machine was also used instead of her drumming. WK As for the whistling in the song – none of them do it. It was done by machine. WK

The band didn’t think the song would be released because it was “a goofy romp” and “too weird.” SF However, it was the third single from the Different Light album, following the success of the #2 hit “Manic Monday” and “If She Knew What She Wants” (#29). It became their best-selling album with 3 million copies and highest charting, reaching #2. Not only did “Walk Like an Egyptian” go to #1 in the U.S., but became Billboard magazine’s top song of the year.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Bangles
  • DMDB page for parent album Different Light
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books. Page 656.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

The Beastie Boys charted with “Fight for Your Right”: December 20, 1986

Originally posted December 20, 2011.

image from imstars.aufeminin.com

The fourth single from the Beastie Boys’ debut album made them a household name. Their goofy wit and party atmosphere endured them to millions – millions who flocked to buy the parent album, Licensed to Ill and give the Beasties the distinction of being the first rap group in U.S. history to hit #1 on the Billboard album chart.

The song – and the success of the album – owed much to the Beasties’ combination of metal and rap. The Beastie Boys were “just three kids from rich New York families who liked black culture.” CR With the help of producer Rick Rubin, they merged the sounds of Led Zeppelin with the style of old school rap. It wasn’t the first time rock and rap had found chart success – just months earlier, Rubin helped Run-D.M.C. get a top 5 U.S. pop hit with their remake of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” – aided by Aerosmith’s own Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

“Fight for Your Right” was intended as a parody of the kind of “beer-soaked, panty-raiding rock jam that ruled fraternity houses and dingy bars alike.” TB The video, which depicted “the party that is every suburban parent’s worst nightmare” TB played up the parody and garnered it plenty of spins on MTV.

Unfortunately, as member Mike D said, “There were tons of guys singing along to ‘Fight for Your Right’ who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them.” WK In fact, the song was reportedly cut just as a joke. Once the group became superstars thanks to their new frat-boy fanbase, they played up the roles until, according to Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch, they had become their own joke. SF

In time, the group would come to be very respected for their experimental music and ability to merge different genres. Rap group Public Enemy was on board early, even sampling the song for their own 1988 “Party for Your Right to Fight”.

You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party


Awards:



Resources and Related Links:

Friday, December 19, 1986

Judge refuses to reinstate a lawsuit against Ozzy Osbourne’s “Suicide Solution”: December 19, 1986

Originally posted December 19, 2011.



October 26, 1984: 19-year-old John McCullum committed suicide in his home in California. His parents brought a lawsuit against heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne and his CBS record label. The McCullums were convinced that the song “Suicide Solution” from Ozzy’s Blizzard of Oz album, played a part in their son’s death. They claimed the song had hidden lyrics which incited their son to kill himself and that the song urged listeners to “get the gun and try it, shoot, shoot, shoot.” HI Osbourne responded that the song was actually anti-suicide, written in response to a musician who drank himself to death, HI supposedly AC/DC’s Bon Scott. WK

The crux of the lawsuit depended on the idea that while it is legal to express a viewpoint or feeling, it is illegal to directly call for any specific violent responses. Specifically, in the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that “expression advocating violent or otherwise illegal behavior only loses First Amendment protection if the expression is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless behavior, and is likely to result in such action.” TJ Because this is hard to prove, similar lawsuits brought against other entertainers have generally failed. On December 19, 1986, a judge in California refused to reinstate the lawsuit.





Resources and Related Links:



Sunday, November 30, 1986

Prince: The Aborted Albums from 1986

First posted 3/9/2021.

The Aborted Albums from 1986

Prince

A Brief History: In between the release of Parade in 1986 and Sign ‘O’ the Times in 1987, Prince was incredibly prolific, recording material for three different proposed albums. All were aborted, but songs from all three projects survived to see the light of day on Sign ‘O’ the Times.

The Albums:

These three albums are spotlighted on this page. Appearing after song titles are the songwriters in italicized parentheses, running times in brackets, and when relevant, the date the song was released as a single and its peaks on various charts.

Finally, there are raised number codes indicating what album(s) the songs eventually appeared on.

1 Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987)
2 The Black Album (recorded 1987, released 1994)
3 Graffiti Bridge (soundtrack, 1990)
4 Crystal Ball (1998)
5 1999: Super Deluxe Edition (2019)
6 Sign ‘O’ the Times: Super Deluxe Edition (2020)

Dream Factory

Prince


Intended Release Date: mid-1986


Recorded: 1982 – July 1986


Charted: NA


Peak: NA


Sales (in millions): NA


Genre: R&B/funk


Tracks (April 1986 configuration):

Song Title [Time] (Writers)

  1. Visions (Lisa Coleman) 6
  2. Dream Factory 4
  3. Wonderful Day 6
  4. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker 1,6
  5. Big Tall Wall 6
  6. And That Says What? 6
  7. Strange Relationship 1,6
  8. Teacher Teacher 6
  9. Starfish and Coffee (Prince and Susannah Melvoin) 1
  10. A Place in Heaven 6
  11. Sexual Suicide 4

Written by Prince unless noted otherwise.

Tracks (June 3, 1986 configuration):

Song Title [Time] (Writers)

  1. Visions (Lisa Coleman) 6
  2. Dream Factory 4
  3. Wonderful Day 6
  4. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker 1,6
  5. It 1
  6. Strange Relationship 1,6
  7. Teacher Teacher 6
  8. Starfish and Coffee (Prince and Susannah Melvoin) 1
  9. Colors (aka “Wendy”) (Wendy Melvoin) 6
  10. In a Large Room with No Light 6
  11. Nevaeh Ni Ecalp A 6
  12. Sexual Suicide 4
  13. Crystal Ball 6
  14. Power Fantastic 6
  15. Last Heart 4
  16. Witness 4 the Prosecution 6
  17. Movie Star 4
  18. A Place in Heaven 6
  19. All My Dreams 6

Written by Prince unless noted otherwise.

Tracks (July 18, 1986 configuration):

Song Title [Time] (Writers)

  1. Visions (Lisa Coleman) 6
  2. Dream Factory 4
  3. Train 6
  4. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker 1,6
  5. It 1
  6. Strange Relationship 1,6
  7. Slow Love (Prince and Carole Davis) 1
  8. Starfish and Coffee (Prince and Susannah Melvoin) 1
  9. Colors (aka “Wendy”) (Wendy Melvoin) 6
  10. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man 1,6
  11. Sign ‘O’ the Times 1,6
  12. Crystal Ball 6
  13. A Place in Heaven (Lisa Coleman on vocals) 6
  14. Last Heart 4
  15. Witness 4 the Prosecution 6
  16. Movie Star 4
  17. The Cross 1
  18. All My Dreams 6

Written by Prince unless noted otherwise.

These songs were released in some version or another on the following albums:


The Players:

  • Prince (vocals, all instruments)
  • Lisa Coleman (piano, vocals)
  • Susannah Melvoin (background vocals)
  • Wendy Melvoin (guitar, vocals)
  • Bobby Z (drums)
  • Matt Fink (keyboards)
  • Mark Brown (bass)
  • Eric Leeds (saxophone)
  • Sheila E. (drums, percussion, vocals)
  • Levi Seacer, Jr. (bass)
  • Atlanta Bliss (trumpet)
  • Norbert Satchell (saxophone)
  • Clare Fischer (string arrangements)

Rating:

2.137 out of 5.00 (average of 3 ratings)

About Dream Factory:

After the release of 1986’s Parade, Prince recorded a wealth of material. Prior to the double album release Sign ‘O’ the Times in 1987, Prince put together what could have been two more albums with Dream Factory and Camille. The former represented the last hurrah for his backing band, the Revolution, whom had worked with him since the 1999 album in 1982. On October 7, Prince fired Wendy, Lisa, Bobby Z, and Mark Brown. MM-61

Vibe magazine did a feature in March 2009 on “51 Albums That Never Were” and included Dream Factory on its list as a “coulda-been classic.” WK-1

The April Configuration:

He pieced together the first version, an 11-track album, in April 1986. Alternate double-album versions surfaced in June and July. Most of the songs were recorded in 1986, but versions of “Strange Relationship,” “Teacher Teacher,” and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” date back to the summer of 1982. PV-1 The title cut was recorded in December 1985.

In mid-March of 1986, Prince set to work recording in his new home studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. From then through mid-April, he recorded “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker,” “Power Fantastic,” “A Place in Heaven,” “Movie Star,” and Witness 4 the Prosecution.” PV-1 During this same time, he recorded “And That Says What?” at Washington Avenue Warehouse in Edina, Minnesota. PV-1 In mid-April, Prince recorded “Crystal Ball,” “Starfish and Coffee,” “Big Tall Wall,” and “Visions.” PV-1

The June Configuration:

After putting together the tentative 11-track listing for Dream Factory in late April, Prince went on recording, laying down “In a Large Room with No Light” and “It.” This led to the second configuration of the album in June. It was even mastered, but Prince didn’t consider it final. PV-1

The July Configuration:

In mid-June and early July, Prince recorded “Slow Love,” “The Cross,” and “Sign ‘O’ the Times.” He also reworked “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.” The third and final track listing for Dream Factory was put out on July 18, but the project never surfaced.

Releases:

The songs from all three configurations of Dream Factory eventually surfaced on Sign ‘O’ the Times in 1987, the archival box set Crystal Ball in 1998, or the super deluxe edition of Sign ‘O’ the Times in 2020. “Train” was also released in 1989 by Mavis Staples on her Time Waits for No One album. Wendy & Lisa released “Visions” on a limited edition bonus CD with their album Eroica. An edited version of “Power Fantastic” showed up on Prince’s The B-Sides compilation in 1993. The 1982 version of “Teacher Teacher” was released on the deluxe edition of 1999 in 1982. PV-1

“Witness 4 the Prosecution” was released as a promo single for the super deluxe edition of Sign ‘O’ the Times on August 14, 2020.

Art Work:

While it was long believed that no work was done on the packaging, in 2017 Susannah Melvoin showed some color pencil sketches she made in 1986 for an album cover idea. It depicted “sort of a time-warp flash surrounded by a an array of flowers and a border of little hearts.” PV-1 There’s a rainbow at the bottom of the flash and Susannah is holding open the door to the “Dream Factory.” PV

Camille

Prince


Intended Release Date: January 1987


Track Listing Announced: November 5, 1986


Recorded: 1981 – October 1986


Charted: NA


Peak: NA


Sales (in millions): NA


Genre: R&B/funk


Tracks:

Song Title [Time] (Writers)

  1. Rebirth of the Flesh [4:54] 6
  2. Housequake [4:34] 1
  3. Strange Relationship [4:04] 1
  4. Feel U Up [6:27] 5
  5. Shockadelica [6:12] 6
  6. Good Love [5:11] 4
  7. If I Was Your Girlfriend [4:47] 1
  8. Rock Hard in a Funky Place [4:30] (Prince/Eric Leeds) 2

All songs by Prince (credited as Camille) unless noted otherwise.


The Players:

  • Prince (vocals, all instruments)
  • Eric Leeds (saxophone)
  • Atlanta Bliss (trumpet)
  • Wendy Melvoin (tambourine, congas)
  • Lisa Coleman (sitar, wooden flute, Fairlight sample)
  • Susannah Melvoin (background vocals)
  • Jill Jones (background vocals)

Rating:

1.304 out of 5.00 (average of 3 ratings)

About Camille:

After Prince released Parade in 1986, he and his band The Revolution went to work on the potential follow-up, Dream Factory. By October, Prince had sacked the band and went to work on a new project, Camille, which was marked by his use of distorted pitched-up vocals that gave him a more androgynous sound. Prince intended to release the album under the pseudonym “Camille” and not acknowledge his identity. WK-2

While most of the songs were recorded in late 1986, “Feel U Up” dated back to 1981 and “Strange Relationship” to 1983. PV-2 Wendy and Lisa, from the Revolution, appear on the latter track but Prince buried their contributions in the mix. PV-2 Two other songs were recorded during this era, but were not planned for inclusion on the Camille album. “U Got the Look” ended up on Sign ‘O’ the Times and “Scarlet Pussy” was released as the B-side of the 1988 single “I Wish U Heaven.” WK-2

Prince compiled a track listing for the proposed album on November 5, 1986 and set for released in January 1987. It was to be proceeded by the single “Shockadelica.” PV-2 This project was also aborted, possibly because Prince’s record company wasn’t sold on the idea of releasing a Prince album without attributing it to him. WK-2

All the tracks except “Feel U Up” were then slated to appear on his next proposed project, a three-disc album called Crystal Ball. When the record company vetoed a three-disc set, he whittled it down to the two-disc Sign ‘O’ the Times, released in March 1987.

Of the eight cuts from Camille, three (“Housequake,” “Strange Relationship,” “If I Was Your Girlfriend”) survived to Sign. “Shockadelica” was released as a B-Side for “If I Was Your Girlfriend.” “Good Love” emerged as a cut from the Bright Lights Big City soundtrack in 1988 and “Feel U Up” surfaced as a B-side to Prince’s 1989 single “Party Man.” “Rock Hard in a Funky Place” was slated for The Black Album, which was intended for release in late 1987, but didn’t surface until 1994. “Rebirth of the Flesh” was released as a live rehearsal in 2001, but didn’t see a studio release until the 2020 release of the Sign ‘O’ the Times super deluxe edition.

“The album cover has been described as having a stick figure with X’s for eyes. However, rather than a fully developed design this is believed to have been only in the stage of Prince drawing on the white unmarked sleeve of a test-pressing, much like the 12" to Gett Off. The labels of the vinyl would have been the first with the new Paisley Park design and featured the song titles in Prince’s own writing, as well as the name Camille with the C as a crescent moon. And an x instead of the dot on the i. The name Prince would not have been on the record.” PV-2

Crystal Ball

Prince


Intended Release Date: early 1987


Track Listing Announced: November 30, 1986


Recorded: date


Charted: NA


Peak: NA


Sales (in millions): NA


Genre: R&B/funk


Tracks:

Song Title [Time] (Writers)

  1. Rebirth of the Flesh [4:54] 5
  2. Play in the Sunshine [5:05] 1
  3. Housequake [4:34] 1
  4. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker [4:04] 1
  5. It [5:10] 1
  6. Starfish and Coffee [2:51] 1
  7. Slow Love [4:18] 1
  8. Hot Thing [5:39] 1
  9. Crystal Ball [10:22] 4,6
  10. If I Was Your Girlfriend [4:47] 1
  11. Rock Hard in a Funky Place [4:30] (Prince/Eric Leeds) 2
  12. The Ball [4:22] 6
  13. Joy in Repetition [4:59] 3
  14. Strange Relationship [4:04] 1
  15. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man [6:21] 1
  16. Shockadelica [6:12] 6
  17. Good Love [5:11] 4
  18. Forever in My Life [3:38] 1
  19. Sign ‘O’ the Times [4:51] 1
  20. The Cross [4:46] 1
  21. Adore [6:29] 1
  22. It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night [8:59] 1


The Players:

  • Prince (vocals, all instruments)
  • Eric Leeds (saxophone)
  • Atlanta Bliss (trumpet)
  • Wendy Melvoin (tambourine, congas)
  • Lisa Coleman (sitar, wooden flute, Fairlight sample)
  • Susannah Melvoin (background vocals)
  • Jill Jones (background vocals)
  • Sheila E. (drums, background vocals)

Rating:

2.062 out of 5.00 (average of 3 ratings)

About Crystal Ball:

After aborting Dream Factory and Camille, Prince prepared a three-disc collection which incorporated songs from both projects. Of the cuts from Camille, only “Feel U Up” didn’t make it to Crystal Ball. Nine songs from Dream Factory made the cut. Six more songs were brand new to this album – “Joy in Repetition,” “The Ball,” “Forever in My Life,” “It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night,” “Adore,” and “Play in the Sunshine.”

Prince submitted the album to Warner Bros. in late 1986, but they rejected it, wanting it to be reduced to a double album. 15 of the 22 songs from Crystal Ball eventually ended up on Sign ‘O’ the Times alongside “U Got the Look,” which was recorded in December 1986. This included four of the six songs specifically recorded for Crystal Ball. “Joy in Repetition” was eventually released on the 1990 soundtrack for Graffiti Bridge and “The Ball” was released on the super deluxe edition of Sign ‘O’ the Times in 2020. The latter song first appeared as “ No” on Lovesexy in 1988 in a reworked version.

It is unlikely there was any proposed artwork for the album cover as the project didn’t get to that stage when Warner Bros. declined to release Crystal Ball. PV-3 The artwork featured on this page is from the 1998 box set Crystal Ball, which features a vastly different track listing of archival material.


Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, November 29, 1986

Bruce Springsteen live box set debuted at #1

First posted 2/14/2011; updated 11/16/2020.

Live 1975/1985

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band


Released: November 10, 1986


Recorded: October 18, 1975 to September 30, 1985


Peak: 17 US, 4 UK, 17 CN, 3 AU


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.1 UK, 12.3 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic heartland rock


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts. Chart information is for original studio releases for pre-1986 songs. The raised numbers indicate the studio album on which the song was originally featured.

Disc 1:

  1. Thunder Road (1975, 1 CL) 3
  2. Adam Raised a Cain (1978, 42 CL) 4
  3. Spirit in the Night (5/73, 9 CL) 1
  4. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (1973, 9 CL) 2
  5. Paradise by the “C”
  6. Fire (11/22/86, 46 US, 54 UK, 14 AR)
  7. Growin’ Up (1973, 19 CL) 1
  8. It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City (1973, 23 CL) 1
  9. Backstreets (1975, 12 CL) 3
  10. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (1973, 4 CL) 2
  11. Raise Your Hand (12/20/86, 44 AR)
  12. Hungry Heart (10/21/80, 5 US, 6 CB, 3 CL, 28 UK, 5 CN, 33 AU) 5
  13. Two Hearts 5

Disc 2:

  1. Cadillac Ranch (3/28/81, 48 AR, 11 CL) 5
  2. You Can Look But You Better Not Touch 5
  3. Independence Day 5
  4. Badlands (8/78, 42 US, 52 CB, 6 CL, 44 CN) 4
  5. Because the Night (12/6/86, 22 AR)
  6. Candy’s Room (1978, 11 CL) 4
  7. Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978, 17 CL) 4
  8. Racing in the Street (1978, 11 CL) 4
  9. This Land Is Your Land
  10. Nebraska 6
  11. Johnny 99 (10/9/82, 50 AR) 6
  12. Reason to Believe 6
  13. Born in the U.S.A. (6/23/84, 9 US, 6 CB, 8 AR, 5 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU, gold single) 7
  14. Seeds

Disc 3:

  1. The River (6/13/81, 19 CL, 35 UK) 5
  2. War (11/22/86, 8 US, 18 UK, 4 AR)
  3. Darlington County 7
  4. Working on the Highway 7
  5. The Promised Land (10/78, 21 CL) 4
  6. Cover Me (6/23/84, 7 US, 16 UK, 2 AR, gold single) 7
  7. I’m on Fire (2/16/85, 5a US, 5 UK, 6 AC, 4 AR) 7
  8. Bobby Jean (6/23/84, 36 AR) 7
  9. My Hometown (11/21/85, 6 US, 7 CB, 11 AC, 6 AR, 9 UK, 16 CN, 47 AU, gold single) 7
  10. Born to Run (8/25/75, 23 US, 1 CL, 16 UK, 53 CN, 38 AU) 3
  11. No Surrender (6/16/84, 29 AR) 7
  12. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (1/10/76, 83 US, 5 CL, 82 CN) 3
  13. Jersey Girl

1 Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ (1973)
2 The Wild, the Innocent, & the Street Shuffle (1973)
3 Born to Run (1975)
4 Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
5 The River (1980)
6 Nebraska (1982)
7 Born in the U.S.A. (1984)


Total Running Time: 216:13


The Players:

  • Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
  • Roy Bittan (piano, synthesizer, backing vocals)
  • Clarence Clemons (saxophone, percussion, backing vocals)
  • Danny Federici (organ, accordian, glockenspiel, piano, synthesizer, backing vocals)
  • Nils Lofgren (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Patti Scialfa (backing vocals, synthesizer)
  • Garry Tallent (bass, backing vocals)
  • Steve Van Zandt (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Max Weinberg (drums)

Rating:

4.084 out of 5.00 (average of 17 ratings)


Quotable: --


Awards:

About the Album:

“Long before he sold substantial numbers of records, Bruce Springsteen began to earn a reputation as the best live act in rock & roll. Fans had been clamoring for a live album for a long time, and with Live/1975-85 they got what they wanted, at least in terms of bulk. His concerts were marathons, and this box set, including 40 tracks and running over three and a half hours, was about the average length of a show.” AMG

Anticipation was so high, the album generated over 1.5 million advance orders, the largest dollar-volume pre-order in record business history at that time. WK The album debuted at #1, a feat last seen a decade earlier with Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. It was the first five-record set to reach the top 10 and the first to sell more than a million copies. WK The album was certified for sales of 12 million; U.S. sales were actually 4 million, but the RIAA multiplies that figure by the number of discs in the collection. The only live album certified for more was Garth Brooks’ Double Live at 13 times platinum. WK

“In his brief liner notes, Springsteen spoke of the emergence of the album’s ‘story’ as he reviewed live tapes, and that story seems nothing less than a history of his life, his concerns, and his career. The first cuts present the Springsteen of the early to mid-‘70s; these performances, most of them drawn from a July 1978 show at the Roxy in Los Angeles, present the romantic, hopeful, earnest Springsteen.” AMG

“The second section begins with his first Top Ten hit, Hungry Heart – this is the Springsteen of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, an arena rock star with working-class concerns. After an acoustic mini set given largely to material from Nebraska – songs of economic desperation and crime – comes a reshuffling of Born in the U.S.A., songs in which the artist and his characters start to fight back and rock out.” AMG Surprisingly, ‘Dancing in the Dark,” his #2 hit from that album and highest-charting song of his career, doesn’t make the cut. He does, of course, include his most iconic song, Born to Run, the “unofficial state anthem” AMG of New Jersey.

Reviews were “overwhelmingly positive,” WK but some critics cited the omission of concert highlights such as “Prove It All Night,” “The Fever,” and his cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” WK “Fans could rejoice in the seven previously unreleased songs,” AMG which included a cover of Edwin Starr’s War and Fire, a song written by Springsteen and a top-ten hit for the Pointer Sisters in 1979.

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, November 15, 1986

Nov. 15, 1986: Robert Cray's Strong Persuader hit the charts

First posted May 29, 2008. Last updated September 9, 2018.

Strong Persuader

Robert Cray

Charted: Nov. 15, 1986


Sales (in millions):
US: 2.0
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): 2.0


Peak:
US: 13
UK: 34
Canada: 34
Australia: --

Quotable: --


Genre: blues


Album Tracks:

  1. Smoking Gun (11/29/86, #22 US, #2 AR)
  2. I Guess I Showed Her (3/28/87, #28 AR)
  3. Right Next Door (Because of Me) (5/9/87, #80 US, #50 UK, #27 AR)
  4. Nothin’ But a Woman
  5. Still Around
  6. More Than I Can Stand
  7. Foul Play
  8. I Wonder
  9. Fantasized
  10. New Blood

Notes: A 1995 reissue added a bonus live disc.


Singles/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

Review:

Strong Persuader, Cray’s fifth studio album, was his mainstream breakthrough, opening up blues to a wider audience than it had received in decades. The Village Voice, Robert Christgau called it “the first album to break out of the genre’s sales ghetto since B.B. King was a hot item” WK and “the best blues record in many, many years.” WK

It was Cray’s “innovative expansion of the genre itself that makes this album a genuine 1980s classic.” BD In his Rolling Stone review, Jon Pareles called it “a version of blues and soul that doesn't come from any one region, building an idiom for songs that tell with conversational directness the stories of ordinary folks.” WK

The album was heavily praised by Christgau for the “fervently crafted” WK “songwriting of his supporting studio team.” WK Pareles gave it props for “intriguing stories about sex and infidelity with disciplined singing, songwriting.” WK

“Cray’s smoldering stance on Smoking Gun and Right Next Door rendered him the first sex symbol to emerge from the blues field in decades.” BDNothing but a Woman boasts an irresistible groove pushed by the Memphis Horns and some metaphorically inspired lyrics, while I Wonder and Guess I Showed Her sizzle with sensuality.” BD

The Village Voice called it the third best album of the year WK and Rolling Stone named it the 42nd best album of the ‘80s. WK


Review Source(s):

Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):


Saturday, October 25, 1986

Bon Jovi hit #1 with Slippery When Wet: October 25, 1986

First posted 2/19/2008; updated 11/24/2020.

Slippery When Wet

Bon Jovi


Released: August 18, 1986


Peak: 18 US, 6 UK, 18 CN, 16 AU


Sales (in millions): 12.0 US, 1.0 UK, 28.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop metal/hair band


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Let It Rock
  2. You Give Love a Bad Name (8/9/86, 1 US, 14 UK, 9 AR)
  3. Livin’ on a Prayer (10/25/86, 1 US, 4 UK, 1 AR)
  4. Social Disease
  5. Wanted Dead or Alive (11/1/86, 6a US, 13 UK, 13 AR)
  6. Raise Your Hands
  7. Without Love
  8. I’d Die for You
  9. Never Say Goodbye (3/14/87, 28a US, 21 UK, 11 AR)
  10. Wild in the Streets


Total Running Time: 43:49


The Players:

  • Jon Bon Jovi (vocals, guitar)
  • Richie Sambora (guitar, harmony and backing vocals)
  • Alec John Such (bass, backing vocals)
  • Tico Torres (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
  • David Bryan (keyboards, backing vocals)

Rating:

4.165 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

Bon Jovi hit the rock scene in 1984. Their debut chart single, “Runaway”, cracked the top 40 on the pop charts and went top 5 at rock radio. However, the handful of singles which followed over the rest of that album and the next came and went with much less fanfare. It looked like Bon Jovi could well become an also-ran that would be lucky to be remembered beyond the ‘80s.

WK “The group wrote 30 songs and auditioned them for local New Jersey and New York teenagers.” WK While most of the album was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, Desmond Child lent his talents to You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin’ on a Prayer, and Without Love. Collaboration with an outside professional songwriter worked: two of those songs were #1 hits and the band went “from minor-league poodle rockers to global superstars” RD

As “Name” was still climbing the charts, Wet found itself at #1 on the album chart. It abdicated the throne to Boston’s Third Stage the next week. After that album’s month-long stay on top, Bruce Springsteen grabbed the gold for seven weeks with his Live 1975-1975 box set. However, by the time “Prayer” became the band’s second #1 song in February 1987, the album returned to the top as well – for an additional seven weeks.

Bon Jovi may have “had little more on their minds than girls and rock-as-mythology (even the working-class anthem ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ featured a character who was forced to hock his ‘six string’), but that may only mean they had identified their audience – young white adolescent males – and were targeting it accurately.” WR “From the scantily clad car-wash girls on the inner sleeve to the ‘You lost more than that in my back seat / Yeah!’ lyrics, the album is blissfully untouched by irony and subtlety, which actually adds to its charm.” RD

Even the album title betrays the band’s aim at hormonal youth males. The band came up with the album title “Slippery When Wet after visiting strip clubs in Vancouver.” WK In addition, “the album originally was to feature a busty, 34DD woman in a wet yellow tee shirt with the album name on the front of the shirt. This original version of the cover was swapped for the wet plastic bag cover just prior to release, mainly due to the fact that Jon Bon Jovi hated the pink edging to the cover. The exception is in Japan, where most releases of the album do include the original cover art.” WK

Of course, the album wouldn’t have achieved such massive success if it were only targeted at horny male teenagers. “Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi’s mop of curls and winning smile” WR gave the group a healthy dose of sex appeal from the female front as well.

Ultimately, though, the album became a massive success because it “contains its fair share” RD of “consistently memorable tunes” RD and “competent contemporary pop/rock from its Eddie Van Halen-inspired guitar solos to the singer’s enthusiastic, husky wail (which owed a lot to Bruce Springsteen).” WRSlippery When Wet won’t change your world, but it will, undoubtedly, rock it.” RD


Notes: An import edition includes bonus tracks.

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