Saturday, December 14, 1991

Michael Jackson debuted at #1 with Dangerous

First posted 3/21/2008; updated 12/1/2020.


Michael Jackson

Released: November 26, 1991

Charted: December 14, 1991

Peak: 14 US, 112 RB, 11 UK, 3 CN, 16 AU

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 1.98 UK, 32.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop/R&B


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

  1. Jam (7/11/92, 21a US, 13 UK, 3 RB)
  2. Why You Wanna Trip on Me
  3. In the Closet (4/25/92, 5a US, 8 UK, 1 RB, sales: ½ million)
  4. She Drives Me Wild
  5. Remember the Time (1/25/92, 1a US, 3 UK, 1a RB, 15 AC, sales: ½ million)
  6. Can’t Let Her Get Away
  7. Heal the World (12/5/92, 24a US, 2 UK, 62 RB, 9 AC)
  8. Black or White (11/23/91, 1 US, 1 UK, 3 RB, 23 AC, sales: 1 million)
  9. Who Is It? (7/25/92, 14 US, 10 UK, 6 RB)
  10. Give in to Me (2/27/93, 2 UK)
  11. Will You Be There? (7/10/93, 6a US, 9 UK, 53 RB, 5 AC, sales: ½ million)
  12. Keep the Faith
  13. Gone Too Soon (12/18/93, 33 UK)
  14. Dangerous

Total Running Time: 77:10


4.012 out of 5.00 (average of 25 ratings)

Quotable: --

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Despite the success of Bad, it was hard not to view it as a bit of a letdown, since it presented a cleaner, colder, calculated version of Thriller – something that delivered what it should on the surface, but wound up offering less in the long run. So, it was time for a change-up, something even a superstar as huge as Michael Jackson realized, so he left Quincy Jones behind, hired Guy mastermind Teddy Riley as the main producer, and worked with a variety of other producers, arrangers, and writers, most notably Bruce Swedien and Bill Bottrell.” STE

“Michael Jackson was still going for pop hits with 1991’s Dangerous,” RW but “the end result of this is a much sharper, harder, riskier album than Bad, one that has its eyes on the street, even if its heart gets middle-class soft on Heal the World. The shift in direction and change of collaborators has liberated Jackson, and he’s written a set of songs that is considerably stronger than Bad, often approaching the consistency of Off the Wall and Thriller.” STE In fact, the “six straight Teddy Riley-assisted cuts” RW that front-load the album make for a “ half-hour swoop of tense, aggressive, often angular funk [that] was Jackson’s most interesting music since Thriller.” RW

There is the challenge of Jackson’s “suffocating stardom, which results in a set of songs without much real emotional center, either in their substance or performance.” STE “But, there’s a lot to be said for professional craftsmanship at its peak, and Dangerous has plenty of that, not just on such fine singles as In the Closet, Remember the Time, or the blistering Jam, but on album tracks like Why You Wanna Trip on Me.” STE

“The sprightly Black or White is explicitly pro-interracial romance, an angle its video didn’t go near, and the urgent Give in to Me is almost scary…good.” RWGone Too Soon, a non-Jackson composition about teen AIDS casualty Ryan White, is a quiet statement (particularly played next to the choir-laden ‘Heal the World,’ Keep the Faith, and Will You Be There) showing that the star doesn’t always have to get showy.” RW

The album isn’t “perfect – it has a terrible cover, a couple of slow spots, and suffers from CD-era ailments of the early ‘90s, such as its overly long running time and its deadening Q Sound production, which sounds like somebody forgot to take the Surround Sound button off.” STE

“Even so, Dangerous captures Jackson at a near-peak, delivering an album that would have ruled the pop charts surely and smoothly if it had arrived just a year earlier. But it didn’t – it arrived along with grunge, which changed the rules of the game nearly as much as Thriller itself. Consequently, it’s the rare multi-platinum, number one album that qualifies as a nearly forgotten, underappreciated record.” STE

Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, November 19, 1991

U2 released Achtung Baby: November 19, 1991

Originally posted November 19, 2012.

image from

Release date: 19 November 1991
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Zoo Station / Even Better Than the Real Thing (6/20/92, #32 US, #8 UK, #1 AR, #5 MR) / One (1/4/92, #10 US, #7 UK, #1 AR, #1 MR, #24 AC) / Until the End of the World (2/1/92, #5 AR, #4 MR) / Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses? (1/25/92, #35 US, #14 UK, #2 AR, #7 MR) / So Cruel / The Fly (11/2/91, #61 US, #1 UK, #2 AR, #1 MR) / Mysterious Ways (11/23/91, #9 US, #13 UK, #1 AR, #1 MR) / Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World / Ultra Violet (Light My Way) / Acrobat / Love Is Blindness

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 1.2 UK, 20.4 world

Peak: 11 US, 2 UK


Review: “Reinventions rarely come as thorough and effective as Achtung Baby,” AMG an album in which “U2 discarded the arena-rock sound that catapulted it into stardom on The Joshua Tree in favor of feedback, electronic beats and introspective lyrics.” RV They “detour[ed] into the darker realms of irony, decay and turmoil on accessible avant-garde rock tunes recorded in Berlin.” UT In addition, U2 loosened up “after fostering a dour public image for years…cracking jokes and even letting themselves be photographed in color. ‘It’s a con, in a way,’ Bono admitted to Rolling Stone in 1992. ‘…It’s probably the heaviest record we’ve ever made.’” RS500

“Coaxed to Berlin by producer Brian Eno, U2 spent several chilly months arguing over how they wanted to sound in their second decade. Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton were in the ‘Ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ camp while Bono and The Edge campaigned for changing everything.” TL

“This radical shift in style is loudly declared on Zoo StationRV with “crashing, unrecognizable distorted guitars” AMG and “postmodern, contemporary European music. Drawing equally from Bowie’s electronic, avant-garde explorations of the late ‘70s and the neo-psychedelic sounds of the thriving rave and Madchester club scenes of early-‘90s England, Achtung Baby sounds vibrant and endlessly inventive.” AMG

Throughout the album, U2 “use the thick dance beats, swirling guitars, layers of effects, and found sounds to break traditional songs out of their constraints, revealing the tortured emotional core of their songs with the hyper-loaded arrangements.” AMG They experimented “with a wall of sound, using waves of melody emanating in Until the End of the World and Ultra Violet.” RV


“In such a dense musical setting, it isn’t surprising that U2 have abandoned the political for the personal on Achtung Baby, since the music, even with its inviting rhythms, is more introspective than anthemic.” AMG “Bono has never been as emotionally naked as he is on Achtung Baby, creating a feverish nightmare of broken hearts and desperate loneliness.” AMG “U2 capped its reinvention with…One,” RV “one of the most beautiful songs U2 ever recorded.” RS500 It is “a fragile ballad that shines amidst a whirling soundscape of strings, guitars and Bono’s anguished voice.” RV “Bono wonders whether individuality also means eternal loneliness and comes down on the side of hope.” RS500 The song “started as a bitter take on Bono’s relationship with his father, twisted into a commentary on the state of the band, became a staple at weddings and now is used as an anthem to fight global poverty.” TL

“Unlike other U2 albums, it’s filled with sexual imagery, much of it quite disturbing, and it ends on a disquieting note. Few bands as far into their career as U2 have recorded an album as adventurous or fulfilled their ambitions quite as successfully as they do on Achtung Baby, and the result is arguably their best album.” AMG

The Fly

Mysterious Ways

Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?

Resources and Related Links:


Thursday, November 14, 1991

Michael Jackson’s video for “Black or White” debuted

First posted 2/7/2021.

Black or White

Michael Jackson

Writer(s): Michael Jackson, Bill Bottrell (see lyrics here)

Released: November 11, 1991

First Charted: November 15, 1991

Peak: 17 US, 14 CB, 12 RR, 23 AC, 3 RB, 12 UK, 12 CN, 18 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.6 UK, 3.32 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 430.4 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

When “Black or White” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, it made him the first artist to land on top in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. It debuted at #35, shot to #3 the next week, and was on top the week after that. It reached the pinnacle faster than any song since the Beatles’ “Get Back” in 1969. In the UK, it was the first song since Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never” to debut at #1. WK It topped the charts in 20 countries.

The record company billed “Black and White” as “a rock ‘n’ roll dance song about racial harmony.” WK Albumism’s Chris Lacy said it “merges classic rock with soulful crooning in a call for racial unity.” WK Billboard’s Larry Flick said it was an “instantly gratifying pop/rocker that reveals his grittiest and most affecting performance in years.” WK Entertainment Weekly’s David Browne said Jackson “still knows how to fashion a hook that will take up permanent residence in your brain.” WK

Depending on the account, Slash of Guns N’ Roses may or not have played the main guitar riff on the song. Some sources say it was actually Bill Bottrell, who co-wrote and produced the song, but that Slash did play the riff during live performances. WK Bottrell himself said it was Slash and that the piece he plays on was originally developed from a track intended for the 1987 Bad album. BR1

The video was directed by John Landis, who had also helmed “Thriller.” It premiered on November 14, 1991, simultaneously in 27 countries, amassing 500 million views, the most ever for a music video. WK In the U.S., it premiered on BET, Fox, MTV, and VH1, landing the highest Nielsen ratings ever at that time. WK Networks wanting to air the video were required to refer to Jackson as “The King of Pop.” SF The video was controversial because of violent and sexual scenes such as Jackson grabbing his crotch, smashing windows, and destroying a car.

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Michael Jackson
  • DMDB page for parent album Dangerous
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books. Page 801.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 12, 1991

Back to Mono box set released

Last updated 11/16/2020.

Back to Mono

Various Artists, produced by Phil Spector

Released: November 12, 1991

Recorded: 1958 to 1969

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop


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

Tracks, Disc 1:

  1. TEDDY BEARS “To Know Him Is to Love Him” (9/22/58, 1 US, 2 UK, 10 RB)
  2. RAY PETERSON “Corinna, Corinna” (11/21/60, 9 US, 41 UK)
  3. BEN E. KING “Spanish Harlem” (12/31/60, 10 US, 15 RB)
  4. CURTIS LEE “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” (7/3/61, 7 US, 47 UK)
  5. GENE PITNEY “Every Breath I Take” (8/7/61, 42 US)
  6. THE PARIS SISTERS “I Love How You Love Me” (9/4/61, 5 US)
  7. CURTIS LEE “Under the Moon of Love” (10/16/61, 46 US)
  8. THE CRYSTALS “There’s No Other Like My Baby” (11/20/61, 20 US, 5 RB)
  9. THE CRYSTALS “Uptown” (3/31/62, 13 US, 18 RB)
  10. THE CRYSTALS “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)
  11. THE BLOSSOMS (aka THE CRYSTALS) “He’s a Rebel” (9/8/62, 1 US, 19 UK, 2 RB)
  12. BOB B. SOXX & THE BLUE JEANS “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” (11/17/62, 8 US, 7 RB)
  13. THE ALLEY CATS “Puddin’ N’ Tain” (1/12/63, 43 US, 21 RB)
  14. BOB B. SOXX & THE BLUE JEANS “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts” (2/16/63, 38 US)
  15. DARLENE LOVE “Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry” (4/6/63, 39 US)
  16. THE CRYSTALS “Da Doo Ron Ron” (4/27/63, 3 US, 5 UK, 5 RB)
  17. THE CRYSTALS “Heartbreaker
  18. VERONICA “Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in Love
  19. DARLENE LOVE “Chapel of Love
  20. BOB B. SOXX & THE BLUE JEANS “Not Too Young to Get Married” (6/8/63, 63 US)
  21. DARLENE LOVE “Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home” (7/20/63, 26 US)
  22. THE CRYSTALS “All Grown Up” (8/1/64, 98 US, 98 RB)

Tracks, Disc 2:

  1. THE RONETTES “Be My Baby” (8/31/63, 2 US, 4 UK, 4 RB)
  2. THE CRYSTALS “Then He Kissed Me” (8/17/63, 6 US, 2 UK, 8 RB)
  3. DARLENE LOVE “A Fine, Fine Boy” (10/19/63, 53 US)
  4. THE RONETTES “Baby, I Love You” (12/21/63, 24 US, 11 UK, 24 RB)
  5. THE RONETTES “I Wonder
  6. THE CRYSTALS “Girls Can Tell
  7. THE CRYSTALS “Little Boy” (2/1/64, 92 US, 92 RB)
  8. THE TREASURES “Hold Me Tight
  9. THE RONETTES “The Best Part of Breakin’ Up” (4/4/64, 39 US, 43 UK, 39 RB)
  10. THE RONETTES “Soldier Boy of Mine
  11. DARLENE LOVE “Strange Love
  12. DARLENE LOVE “Stumble and Fall
  13. THE RONETTES “When I Saw You
  14. VERONICA “So Young
  15. THE RONETTES “Do I Love You?” (6/20/64, 34 US, 35 UK, 34 RB)
  16. THE RONETTES “Keep on Dancing
  17. THE RONETTES “You, Baby
  18. THE RONETTES “Woman in Love with You
  19. THE RONETTES “Walking in the Rain” (10/24/64, 23 US, 28 RB)

Tracks, Disc 3:

  1. THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (12/12/64, 1 US, 1 UK, 3 RB)
  2. THE RONETTES “Born to Be Together” (2/6/65, 52 US)
  3. THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS “Just Once in My Life” (4/10/65, 9 US, 26 RB)
  4. THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS “Unchained Melody” (7/17/65, 3a US, 1 UK, 1 AC, 6 RB, sales: 1.0 m)
  5. THE RONETTES “Is This What I Get for Loving You?
  6. DARLENE LOVE “Long Way to Be Happy
  7. THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS “Love You for Sentimental Reasons
  8. THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS “Ebb Tide” (12/4/65, 5 US, 3 UK, 13 RB)
  9. THE MODERN FOLK QUARTET “This Could Be the Night
  10. THE RONETTES “Paradise
  11. IKE & TINA TURNER “River Deep, Mountain High” (5/28/66, 88 US, 3 UK)
  12. IKE & TINA TURNER “I’ll Never Need More Than This
  13. IKE & TINA TURNER “A Love Like Yours Don’t Come Knockin’ Everyday” (10/27/66, 16 UK)
  14. IKE & TINA TURNER “Save the Last Dance for Me
  15. THE RONETTES “I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine
  16. THE RONETTES “You Came, You Saw, You Conquered
  17. SONNY CHARLES & THE CHECKMATES “Black Pearl” (5/10/69, 13 US, 8 RB)
  18. THE CHECKMATES “Love Is All I Have to Give” (4/5/69, 65 US)

Tracks, Disc 4 (A Christmas Gift for You):

  1. DARLENE LOVE “White Christmas
  2. THE RONETTES “Frosty the Snowman
  3. BOB B. SOXX & THE BLUE JEANS “The Bells of St. Mary
  4. THE CRYSTALS “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  5. THE RONETTES “Sleigh Ride
  6. DARLENE LOVE “Marshmallow World
  7. THE RONETTES “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  8. THE CRYSTALS “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  9. DARLENE LOVE “Winter Wonderland
  10. THE CRYSTALS “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”
  11. DARLENE LOVE “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  12. BOB B. SOXX & THE BLUE JEANS “Here Comes Santa Claus
  13. PHIL SPECTOR & ARTISTS “Silent Night

Total Running Time: 206:12


4.529 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)

Quotable: “Spector’s Wall of Sound made even the most pedestrian teen pop seem mythic.” Blender Magazine


About the Album:

“Two hits and ten pieces of junk, was how [producer Phil] Spector described the typical album, so the groups he produced released singles – honed to perfection and exclusively in mono.” TL “Monomaniacally massive, magical and mysterious,” BL “Spector thought that stereo sound gave listeners more control than producers; he really liked control.” TL

“This junk-free, four-disc set released in 1991 includes Ben E. King’s Spanish Harlem, The Ronettes’ Be My Baby (Brian Wilson pulled off the road and wept with joy the first time he heard it) and the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, all pinnacles of Spector’s Wall of Sound production techniques” TL in which “a huge Wagnerian slab of instruments…made even the most pedestrian teen pop seem mythic.” BL

“At the time Back to Mono was released in 1991, Phil Spector’s reputation as one of pop's great visionaries was intact, but there was no way to hear his genius. It wasn't just that there were no collections spotlighting his productions, there weren't collections of artists he produced. It wasn't until Back to Mono that there was a thorough overview of Spector's greatest work, and while it’s not without flaws, it still stands as one of the great box sets. Some may complain that there are no selections from his superstar '70s productions for John Lennon, George Harrison, Leonard Cohen, and the Ramones, but that's for the best, since their presence would have been incongruous, taking attention away from the music that forms the heart of Spector's legacy.” STE

“All of that music is here, not just on the first three discs, all devoted to singles, but also on the fourth disc, his seminal 1963 holiday album, A Christmas Gift for You,” STE “the only holiday album one ever need own.” TL Not only is it “the greatest rock Christmas album, but a crystallization of his skills.” STE

“It could be argued that the song selection overlooks some obscure fan favorites, such as ‘Do the Screw,’ but that’s simply nitpicking, because what’s here are all the great Spector records, which were hardly just great productions, they were great songs as well. As the set plays, it’s hard not to be stunned by the depth of the material and clarity of Spector’s vision…whether you’ve heard these songs hundreds of times or not at all – especially because they gain power when grouped together. Many producers have been credited as the true creative force behind many rock records, but usually that’s hyperbole. In Spector's case, it wasn’t, as this set gloriously proves.” STE

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Phil Spector
  • BL Blender Magazine’s “100 Greatest American Albums” (10/08)
  • STE Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
  • TL Josh Tyrangiel and Alan Light, Time Magazine’s “All-TIME 100 Albums” (11/13/06)

Tuesday, October 15, 1991

Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974 box set released

First posted 11/11/2020; updated 11/16/2020.

Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974

Various Artists

Released: October 15, 1991

Recorded: 1947 to 1974

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

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

Genre: R&B


Song Title by Act [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

Tracks, Disc 1:

  1. Lowe Groovin' by Joe Morris
  2. That Old Black Magic by Tiny Grimes
  3. Annie Laurie by Tiny Grimes (11/20/1948, B-side of “Midnight Special”)
  4. Midnight Special by Tiny Grimes (11/20/1948, 12 RB)
  5. The Applejack by Joe Morris
  6. Cole Slaw by Frank Culley (5/14/1949, 11 RB)
  7. Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee by Stick McGhee (4/2/1949, 26 US, 2 RB)
  8. So Long by Ruth Brown (9/17/1949, 4 RB)
  9. I'll Get Along Somehow (Parts 1 & 2) by Ruth Brown
  10. Hey Little Girl by Professor Longhair
  11. Mardi Gras in New Orleans by Professor Longhair
  12. Tee Nah Nah by Harry Van Walls
  13. Danny Boy by Al Hibbler (8/12/1950, 9 RB) *
  14. Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere by Joe Morris (10/7/1950, 1 RB)
  15. Teardrops from My Eyes by Ruth Brown (10/28/1950, 1 RB)
  16. One Monkey Don't Stop No Show by Stick McGhee
  17. Don't You Know I Love You by The Clovers (6/9/1951, 1 RB)
  18. Shouldn't I Know by The Cardinals (10/6/1951, 7 RB)
  19. Chill Is On by Big Joe Turner (12/15/1951, 3 RB)
  20. Chains of Love by Joe Turner (6/30/1951, 2 RB, sales: 1 million)
  21. Fool, Fool, Fool by The Clovers (9/29/1951, 1 RB)
  22. One Mint Julep by The Clovers (4/19/1952, 2 RB)
  23. Wheel of Fortune by The Cardinals (3/15/1952, 6 RB)
  24. Sweet Sixteen by Big Joe Turner (4/12/1952, 3 RB)
  25. 5-10-15 Hours by Ruth Brown (4/12/1952, 1 RB)
  26. Gator's Groove by Willis Jackson

Tracks, Disc 2:
  1. Ting-a-ling—The Clovers by The Clovers (7/26/1952, 1 RB)
  2. Daddy Daddy by Ruth Brown (9/6/1952, 3 RB)
  3. The Midnight Hour by Ray Charles (9/11/1952)
  4. A Beggar for Your Kisses by Diamonds
  5. Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean by Ruth Brown (3/14/1953, 23 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  6. Good Lovin' by The Clovers (7/25/1953, 2 RB)
  7. Wild Wild Young Men by Ruth Brown (6/20/1953, 3 RB)
  8. Mess Around by Ray Charles (6/19/1953, 3 RB)
  9. Honey Hush by Joe Turner (9/19/1953, 53 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  10. Soul on Fire by LaVern Baker
  11. Money Honey by Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters (10/31/1953, 1 RB)
  12. Lovey Dovey by The Clovers (3/20/1954, 2 RB)
  13. Such a Night by Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters (3/13/1954, 2 RB)
  14. Tipitina by Professor Longhair
  15. White Christmas by Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters (12/18/1954, 6 US, 2 RB)
  16. Honey Love by Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters (9/11/1954, 21 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  17. Whatcha Gonna Do by Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters (3/26/1954, 2 RB)
  18. Shake, Rattle and Roll by Joe Turner (5/8/1954, 22 US, 1 RB)
  19. Sh-Boom by The Chords (7/3/1954, 5 US, 2 RB)
  20. Oh What a Dream by Ruth Brown (8/7/1954, 1 RB) *
  21. Jam Up by Tommy Ridgley
  22. After the Lights Go Down Low by Al Hibbler *
  23. Tomorrow Night by LaVern Baker (1/15/1955)
  24. Tweedle Dee by LaVern Baker (1/15/1955, 14 US, 4 RB, sales: 1 million)
  25. I Got a Woman by Ray Charles (1/22/1955, 79 US, 1 RB)
  26. Greenbacks by Ray Charles (10/29/1955, 5 RB)

Tracks, Disc 3:
  1. Door Is Still Open by The Cardinals (4/2/1955, 4 RB)
  2. Flip, Flop and Fly by Joe Turner (3/19/1955, 2 RB)
  3. A Fool for You by Ray Charles (7/2/1955, 1 RB)
  4. This Little Girl of Mine by Ray Charles (7/9/1955, 9 RB)
  5. Play It Fair by LaVern Baker (10/22/1955, 2 RB)
  6. Adorable by The Drifters (11/5/1955, 1 RB)
  7. Smokey Joe's Cafe by The Robins (12/3/1955, 79 US, 10 RB)
  8. Ruby Baby by The Drifters (5/12/1956, 10 RB)
  9. In Paradise by The Cookies (3/31/1956, 9 RB)
  10. Chicken and the Hawk by Joe Turner (1/14/1956, 7 RB)
  11. Devil or Angel by The Clovers (12/31/1955, 6 US, 3 RB, airplay: 1 million)
  12. Drown in My Own Tears by Ray Charles (2/25/1956, 1 RB)
  13. Hallelujah, I Love Her So by Ray Charles (5/31/1956, 5 RB, airplay: 1 million)
  14. Jim Dandy by LaVern Baker (12/15/1956, 17 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  15. Down in Mexico by The Coasters (3/17/1956, 8 US, 8 RB)
  16. Corrine Corina by Joe Turner (4/21/1956, 2 RB, sales: 1 million)
  17. Treasure of Love by Clyde McPhatter (5/26/1956, 16 US, 1 RB, 27 UK)
  18. Love, Love, Love by The Clovers (6/23/1956, 30 US, 4 RB)
  19. It's Too Late by Chuck Willis (7/7/1956, 3 RB)
  20. Lonely Avenue by Ray Charles (10/20/1956, 6 RB)
  21. Since I Met You Baby by Ivory Joe Hunter (11/17/1956, 12 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)
  22. Lucky Lips by Ruth Brow (2/9/1957, 25 US, 6 RB, sales: 1 million)
  23. Without Love (There Is Nothing) by Clyde McPhatter (1/12/1957, 4 RB)
  24. Fools Fall in Love by The Drifters (3/9/1957, 69 US, 10 RB)
  25. Midnight Special Train by Joe Turner
  26. Empty Arms by Ivory Joe Hunter (4/6/1957, 2 RB)
  27. C.C. Rider by Chuck Willis (4/20/1957, 1 RB)
  28. Searchin' by The Coasters (5/6/1957, 3 US, 1 RB, 30 UK, sales: 1 million)

Tracks, Disc 4:
  1. Young Blood by The Coasters (5/6/1957, 8 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  2. Mr. Lee by The Bobbettes (8/3/1957, 6 US, 1 RB, 1 CN)
  3. Long Lonely Nights by Clyde McPhatter (8/5/1957, 49 US, 1 RB) *
  4. Betty and Dupree by Chuck Willis (2/3/1958, 15 RB)
  5. What Am I Livin' For by Chuck Willis (5/5/1958, 25 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  6. Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes by Chuck Willis (5/5/1958, 9 RB)
  7. Yakety Yak by The Coasters (5/31/1958, 1 US, 1 RB, 12 UK, sales: 1 million)
  8. Lover's Question by Clyde McPhatter (10/4/1958, 6 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million, airplay: 2 million)
  9. I Cried a Tear by LaVern Baker (12/8/1958, 6 US, 2 RB, sales: 1 million)
  10. Night Time Is the Right Time by Ray Charles (1/5/1959, 95 US, 5 RB)
  11. Charlie Brown by The Coasters (2/2/1959, 2 US, 2 RB, 12 UK, 1 CN, sales: 1 million)
  12. What'd I Say (Parts 1 & 2) by Ray Charles (7/6/1959, 6 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  13. There Goes My Baby by The Drifters (6/1/1959, 2 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)
  14. Along Came Jones by The Coasters (5/18/1959, 9 US, 14 RB)
  15. Let the Good Times Roll by Ray Charles (1/11/1960, 78 US)
  16. Poison Ivy by The Coasters (8/24/1959, 7 US, 1 RB, 15 UK, sales: 1 million)
  17. Dance with Me by The Drifters (10/12/1959, 15 US, 2 RB, 17 UK, sales: 1 million)
  18. Just for a Thrill by Ray Charles (5/23/1960, 16 RB)
  19. This Magic Moment by The Drifters (2/13/1960, 16 US, 4 RB, airplay: 3 million)
  20. Save the Last Dance for Me by The Drifters (9/5/1960, 1 US, 1 RB, 2 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, sales: 1 million, airplay: 6 million)
  21. Shopping for Clothes by The Coasters (10/3/1960, 83 US)
  22. Spanish Harlem by Ben E. King (12/31/1960, 10 US, 15 RB, airplay: 3 million)
  23. Young Boy Blues by Ben E. King (10/14/1961, 66 US)
  24. Stand by Me by Ben E. King (5/8/1961, 4 US, 1 RB, 1 UK, 1 CN, airplay: 7 million)
  25. Gee Whiz Look at His Eyes by Carla Thomas (1/28/1961, 10 US, 5 RB)
  26. Saved by LaVern Baker (4/10/1961, 37 US, 17 RB)
  27. Just Out of Reach of My Two Empty Arms by Solomon Burke (9/4/1961, 24 US, 7 RB)

Tracks, Disc 5:
  1. Little Egypt (Ying-Yang) by The Coasters (4/24/1961, 23 US, 16 RB)
  2. Amor by Ben E. King (7/29/1961, 18 US, 10 RB, 38 UK)
  3. Last Night by The Mar-Keys (7/1/1961, 3 US, 2 RB)
  4. I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song) by The Ikettes (1/13/1962, 19 US, 3 RB)
  5. You Don't Miss Your Water by William Bell (4/28/1962, 95 US)
  6. I Found a Love by The Falcons (3/31/1962, 75 US, 6 RB)
  7. Cry to Me by Solomon Burke (1/22/1962, 44 US, 5 RB)
  8. Don't Play That Song (You Lied) by Ben E. King (4/21/1962, 11 US, 2 RB)
  9. Green Onions by Booker T. & the MG's (8/11/1962, 3 US, 1 RB, 7 UK, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)
  10. Up on the Roof by The Drifters (11/3/1962, 5 US, 4 RB, airplay: 5 million)
  11. See See Rider by LaVern Baker (12/1/1961, 34 US, 9 RB)
  12. I (Who Have Nothing) by Ben E. King (6/29/1963, 29 US, 16 RB)
  13. If You Need Me by Solomon Burke (4/20/1963, 37 US, 2 RB)
  14. These Arms of Mine by Otis Redding (3/23/1963, 83 US, 20 RB)
  15. Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis (5/4/1963, 3 US, 1 RB)
  16. On Broadway by The Drifters (3/16/1963, 9 US, 7 RB, airplay: 6 million)
  17. Just One Look by Doris Troy (6/8/1963, 10 US, 3 RB, 1 CN)
  18. Do the Mashed Potatoes (Parts 1 & 2) by Nat Kendricks & The Swans (2/13/1960, 84 US, 8 RB)
  19. Land of 1000 Dances by Chris Kenner (6/29/1963, 77 US)
  20. Walkin' the Dog by Rufus Thomas (10/5/1963, 10 US, 4 RB, sales: 1 million)
  21. Release Me by Esther Phillips (10/27/1962, 8 US, 1 RB, airplay: 5 million)
  22. Mercy, Mercy by Don Covay (9/5/1964, 35 US, 1 RB)
  23. Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters (6/27/1964, 4 US, 4 RB, 45 UK, airplay: 3 million)
  24. And I Love Him by Esther Phillips (4/17/1965, 54 US, 11 RB)
  25. Hold What You've Got by Joe Tex (12/19/1964, 5 US, 1 RB)
  26. Mr. Pitiful by Otis Redding (2/6/1965, 41 US, 10 RB)
  27. Baby I'm Yours by Barbara Lewis (6/19/1965, 11 US, 5 RB, airplay: 2 million)

Tracks, Disc 6:
  1. Teasin' You by Willie Tee (2/27/1965, 97 US, 12 RB)
  2. Got to Get You Off My Mind by Solomon Burke (3/6/1965, 22 US, 1 RB) *
  3. I Want to Do Everything for You by Joe Tex (8/28/1965, 23 US, 1 RB) *
  4. I've Been Loving You Too Long by Otis Redding (5/15/1965, 21 US, 2 RB)
  5. A Sweet Woman Like You by Joe Tex (12/4/1965, 29 US, 1 RB) *
  6. In the Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett (6/26/1965, 21 US, 1 RB, 12 UK, sales: 1 million, airplay: 2 million)
  7. See-Saw by Don Covay (10/30/1965, 44 US, 5 RB)
  8. Respect by Otis Redding (9/4/1965, 35 US, 4 RB, airplay: 2 million)
  9. You Don't Know Like I Know by Sam & Dave (1/1/1966, 90 US, 7 RB)
  10. When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge (4/9/1966, 1 US, 1 RB, 2 UK, 1 CN, sales: 1 million, airplay: 7 million)
  11. 634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.) by Wilson Pickett (2/12/1966, 13 US, 1 RB, 36 UK) *
  12. Hold on, I'm Comin’ by Sam & Dave (4/9/1966, 21 US, 1 RB, sales: 2 million, airplay: 1 million)
  13. Cool Jerk by The Capitols (4/9/1966, 7 US, 2 RB)
  14. Neighbor, Neighbor by Jimmy Hughes (5/28/1966, 65 US, 4 RB)
  15. Land of 1000 Dances by Wilson Pickett (7/30/1966, 6 US, 1 RB, 22 UK)
  16. Knock on Wood by Eddie Floyd (8/27/1966, 28 US, 1 RB, 19 UK, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)
  17. Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding (12/3/1966, 25 US, 4 RB, 46 UK)
  18. Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett (11/19/1966, 23 US, 6 RB, 28 UK, airplay: 1 million)
  19. When Something Is Wrong with My Baby by Sam & Dave (2/11/1967, 42 US, 2 RB)
  20. Sweet Soul Music by Arthur Conley (3/11/1967, 2 US, 2 RB, 7 UK, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)
  21. I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You by Aretha Franklin (3/4/1967, 9 US, 1 RB, 5 CN, sales: 1 million)
  22. Do Right Woman-Do Right Man by Aretha Franklin (6/3/1967, 37 RB, sales: 1 million)
  23. Show Me by Joe Tex (3/4/1967, 35 US, 24 RB)
  24. Tramp by Otis & Carla (5/6/1967, 26 US, 2 RB, 18 UK)
  25. Funky Broadway by Wilson Pickett (8/5/1967, 8 US, 1 RB, 43 UK)
  26. Hip Hug-Her by Booker T (3/25/1967, 37 US, 6 RB)
  27. Soul Man by Same & Dave (9/9/1967, 2 US, 1 RB, 24 UK, sales: 2 million)

Tracks, Disc 7:
  1. Respect by Aretha Franklin (4/10/1967, 1 US, 1 RB, 10 UK, 3 CN, 14 AU, sales: 1 million, airplay: 2 million)
  2. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin (9/30/1967, 8 US, 2 RB, 11 CN, 36 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  3. Soul Finger by The Bar-Kays (5/20/1967, 17 US, 3 RB, 33 UK, sales: 1 million)
  4. Baby I Love You by Aretha Franklin (7/1/1967, 4 US, 1 RB, 39 UK, 3 CN, 51 AU, sales: 1 million)
  5. Skinny Legs and All by Joe Tex (10/28/1967, 10 US, 2 RB, sales: 1 million)
  6. Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin (11/30/1967, 2 US, 1 RB, 43 UK, 4 CN, 51 AU, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)
  7. I'm in Love by Wilson Pickett (12/2/1967, 45 US, 4 RB)
  8. Memphis Soul Stew by King Curtis (9/16/1967, 6 RB)
  9. Sweet Sweet Baby, Since You've Been Gone by Aretha Franklin (3/2/1968, 5 US, 1 RB, 47 UK, 6 CN, 76 AU) *
  10. Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding (1/8/1968, 1 US, 1 RB, 3 UK, 7 CN, sales: 4 million, airplay: 7 million)
  11. Tighten Up by Archie Bell & the Drells (3/30/1968, 1 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)
  12. Slip Away by Clarence Carter (7/6/1968, 6 US, 2 RB, sales: 1 million)
  13. Think by Aretha Franklin (5/2/1968, 7 US, 1 RB, 26 UK, 6 CN, 49 AU, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)
  14. Too Weak to Fight by Clarence Carter (11/2/1968, 13 US, 3 RB, sales: 1 million) *
  15. Can I Change My Mind by Tyrone Davis (12/21/1968, 5 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million) *
  16. First Time I Ever Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack (3/4/1972, 1 US, 4 RB, 14 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, sales: 1 million, airplay: 3 million)
  17. Take a Letter, Maria by R.B. Greaves (10/18/1969, 2 US, 10 RB, sales: 1 million, airplay: 2 million)
  18. Rainy Night in Georgia by Brook Benton (1/3/1970, 4 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million, airplay: 2 million)
  19. The Ghetto by Donny Hathaway (1/10/1970, 87 US, 23 RB)
  20. Turn Back the Hands of Time by Tyrone Davis (3/7/1970, 3 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  21. Compared to What by Eddie Harris & Les McCann (1/10/1970, 85 US, 35 RB)
  22. Call Me by Aretha Franklin (1/21/1970, 13 US, 1 RB, 11 CN) *

Tracks, Disc 8:
  1. Don't Play That Song (You Lied) by Aretha Franklin (8/8/1970, 11 US, 1 RB, 13 UK, 13 CN, sales: 1 million)
  2. Precious Precious by Jackie Moore (12/5/1970, 30 US, 12 RB) *
  3. Groove Me by King Floyd III (10/10/1970, 6 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  4. Patches by Clarence Carter (7/18/1970, 4 US, 2 RB, 2 UK, sales: 1 million)
  5. Don't Knock My Love, Pt. 1 by Wilson Pickett (4/24/1971, 13 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million) *
  6. Funky Nassau (Parts 1 & 2) by The Beginning of the End (5/1/1971, 15 US, 7 RB, 31 UK)
  7. Thin Line Between Love and Hate by The Persuaders (8/14/1971, 15 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  8. Rock Steady by Aretha Franklin (10/23/1971, 9 US, 2 RB, 12 CN, sales: 1 million)
  9. Day Dreaming by Aretha Franklin (3/11/1972, 5 US, 1 RB, 13 CN, sales: 1 million) *
  10. You've Got a Friend by Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway (6/12/1971, 29 US, 8 RB)
  11. Clean Up Woman by Betty Wright (11/20/1971, 6 US, 2 RB, sales: 1 million)
  12. Could It Be I'm Falling in Love? by The Spinners (12/30/1972, 4 US, 1 RB, 11 UK, sales: 1 million, airplay: 2 million)
  13. Killing Me Softly with His Song by Roberta Flack (1/20/1973, 1 US, 2 RB, 6 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, sales: 1 million, sales: 5 million)
  14. Where Is the Love? by Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway (6/3/1972, 5 US, 1 RB, 1 UK, sales: 1 million)
  15. I'll Be Around by The Spinners (8/19/1972, 3 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million, airplay: 2 million)
  16. Feel Like Makin' Love by Roberta Flack (6/15/1974, 1 US, 1 RB, 34 UK, 1 CN, sales: 1 million, airplay: 3 million)
  17. One of a Kind (Love Affair) by The Spinners (4/28/1973, 11 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million) *
  18. Sideshow by Blue Magic (4/20/1974, 8 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million) *
  19. Mighty Love by The Spinners (1/19/1974, 20 US, 1 RB)
  20. Love Won't Let Me Wait by Major Harris (3/15/1975, 5 US, 1 RB, 37 UK, sales: 1 million, airplay: 1 million)

* Songs added to the reissue.

Total Running Time: 10:20:44


4.766 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)

Quotable: “Should be a part of any collection that presumes to take American music -- not just rock & roll or rhythm & blues – seriously” – Bruce Eder, All Music Guide


About the Album:

“This eight-CD set should be a part of any collection that presumes to take American music -- not just rock & roll or rhythm & blues -- seriously. Atlantic Records was one of dozens of independent labels started up after the war by neophyte executives and producers, but it was different from most of the others in that the guys who ran it were honest and genuinely loved music. Coupled with a lot of luck and some good judgment, the results trace a good chunk of the history of American music and popular culture.” AMG

Disc one opens with cuts which slot in somewhere midway between jazz, bop, and ‘race’ music (as the term was used then). Disc two is pure, distilled R&B, the stuff filling the airwaves of black radio and the jukeboxes in the "wrong" parts of town in 1952-54. Surprisingly, the material on Disc three, covering 1955-57, isn’t very different in content or character from Disc two, despite the fact that it covers the period when white teenagers were starting to listen to and buy these records in large numbers.” AMG Disc 2 captured some of the songs celebrated as quintessential to the birth of rock and roll, such as the Chords’ “Sh-Boom” and Big Joe Turner’s “Shake, Rattle and Roll”

“It’s only with Disc four that one sees the consequences of the late ‘50s – Ray Charles in his final days with the label, juxtaposed with the Drifters in their post-1958 incarnation and the start of the company's relationship with Stax/Volt Records.” AMG Highlights include Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say” and Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.” The latter was one of those rare songs to hit the charts in two separate runs – first hitting the top 10 pop charts in 1961 and again in 1986 as the title song from the movie of the same name.

“Disc six (1965-67) is practically a mini-tribute to Stax/Volt, filled with the best-known sides of Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, and Booker T. & the MG’s.” AMG The standout track is the iconic “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge. Redding’s original version of “Respect” is also featured, but it’s on the next disc that we get Aretha Franklin’s cover of the song, which she turned into a classic anthem for female empowerment.

“Discs seven and eight run from the late '60s and the heyday of Aretha Franklin to some great early-‘70s soul, including Roberta Flack and the Spinners.” AMG Among the highlights from the two discs are Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”

The booklet, with a full sessionography and biographical notes on each artist, would be worth 20 bucks on its own.” AMG

Notes: The original box set was released in 1985. When it was rereleased in 1991, it was expanded to eight discs from seven. Songs in the track listing marked with an asterisk (*) are the ones which were added to the reissue.

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Saturday, September 28, 1991

Garth Brooks' Ropin' the Wind is first country album to debut at #1

First posted 2/22/2008; updated 12/3/2020.

Ropin’ the Wind

Garth Brooks

Released: September 2, 1991

Peak: 118 US, 133 CW, 41 UK, 22 CN, 21 AU

Sales (in millions): 14.8 US, -- UK, 19.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country


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

  1. Against the Grain (3/21/92, 66 CW)
  2. Rodeo (8/12/91, 3 CW)
  3. What She’s Doing Now (12/6/91, 1 CW)
  4. Burning Bridges
  5. Papa Loved Mama (2/1/92, 3 CW)
  6. Shameless (10/19/91, 1 CW, 71 UK)
  7. Cold Shoulder
  8. We Bury the Hatchet
  9. In Lonesome Dove
  10. The River (4/27/92, 1 CW)

Total Running Time: 39:21


3.986 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“It makes sense that this was the first country album to debut atop the pop charts, for Garth Brooks was as omnivorous a commercial force as music will ever see. With an advertising degree from Oklahoma State in his pocket, he invaded Nashville in the mid-80s with unparalleled instincts for how to walk the line between corn pone and pop.” TL

“Music Row was suspicious – (particularly of his liberalism) but his tastes and influences were truly catholic – which explains how he careens so easily from the honky-tonk of Merle Haggard to the tenderness of James Taylor in a single verse.” TL “With Ropin’ the Wind, Garth Brooks begins to make his ‘70s rock influences more explicit. Naturally, that is most notable in his reworking of Billy Joel's Shameless, which he transforms from a rock power ballad into contemporary country. But that influence is also evident on ambitious epics like The River and even the honky tonk ravers of Papa Loved Mama and Rodeo.” STE

“Some might say that those rock influences are what make Brooks a crossover success, but he wouldn't be nearly as successful if he didn't have a tangible country foundation to his music – even when he comes close to standard arena rock bombast, there are gritty steel guitars or vocal inflections that prove he is trying to expand country's vocabulary, not trying to exploit it.” STE

“That Ropin’ is only his second-best selling album…probably sticks in Garth's craw, but it is his best, and ‘The River’ and We Bury the Hatchet (‘but leave the handle stickin' out’) endure as monuments to the cleverness of his songwriting and the intensity of his genre-busting ambition.” TL

Notes: On the Limited Series box set, the song “Which One of Them” was added to Ropin’ the Wind.

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