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


Tracks:

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

Rating:

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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Guns N’ Roses chart with “November Rain”

First posted 2/1/2021; updated 2/7/2021.

November Rain

Guns N’ Roses

Writer(s): Axl Rose (see lyrics here)


Released: February 18, 1992


First Charted: September 28, 1991


Peak: 3 US, 13 CB, 2 RR, AR 15, 4 UK, 5 CN, 5 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK, 2.15 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 1500.0 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“November Rain” hit the album rock chart in September as soon as Guns N’ Roses released their highly anticipated Use Your Illusion albums. However, it wasn’t released as an official single until February 1992 and it wasn’t until June that it finally hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart, eventually peaking at #3. With a running time of nearly nine minutes, it is the longest song to reach the top 10. WK The original version was 25-minutes long. SF Guitarist Slash said they band jokingly called it “the ‘Layla’ song.” WK

Lead singer Axl Rose started working on the song in 1983 SF and it was first recorded in 1986 prior to the band’s monstrous Appetite for Destruction album. That version has since been released on an expanded, box set-version of that album. Lead singer Axl Rose wanted to tackle the song again, giving it “a sweeping string arrangement,” WK but the rest of the band were reluctant, wanting to focus on more direct rock songs. WK

The video was one of the most expensive ever made, costing more than a million and a half. SF It was the first made prior to the founding of YouTube in 2005 to pass the one-billion-views mark. WK Rose is portrayed as marrying then-girifriend Stephanie Seymour and later grieving at her funeral. The video, as well as the song’s original lyrics, are based on the short story “Without You” by Del James. SF

NPR’s Stephen Thompson called the song “one of the ultimate hard-rock power ballads.” NPR New Zealand listeners of radio station The Rock ranked it #1 of all time in 2006. WK


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Tuesday, September 24, 1991

Bryan Adams released Waking Up the Neighbours

First posted 3/28/2011; updated 9/10/2020.

Waking Up the Neighbours

Bryan Adams


Released: September 24, 1991


Peak: 6 US, 11 UK, 110 CN, 14 AU


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.9 UK, 13.2 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: mainstream rock


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Is Your Mama Gonna Miss Ya?
  2. Hey Honey, I’m Packin’ You In!
  3. Can’t Stop This Thing We Started (9/14/91, 2 US, 12 UK, 2 AR, 40 AC, sales: ½ million)
  4. Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven (2/22/92, 13 US, 8 UK, 14 AR, 36 AC)
  5. Not Guilty
  6. Vanishing
  7. House Arrest
  8. Do I Have to Say the Words? (8/1/92, 10a US, 30 UK, 5 AC)
  9. There Will Never Be Another Tonight (11/23/91, 31 US, 32 UK, 36 AR)
  10. All I Want Is You (7/18/92, 22 UK)
  11. Depend on Me
  12. Everything I Do I Do It for You (6/29/91, 1 US, 1 UK, 10 AR, 1 AC, sales: 3 million, airplay: 3 million)
  13. If You Wanna Leave Me (Can I Come Too?)
  14. Touch the Hand (5/2/92, 13 AR)
  15. Don’t Drop That Bomb on Me

Rating:

3.177 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)


Quotable: “Old-fashioned good time…rock & roll.” – Jose F. Promis, All Music Guide


Awards:

About the Album:

“Although not as good as Reckless, Bryan Adams’ 1991 album, Waking up the Neighbours, signaled his commercial apex. Bridging the time gap between ‘80s arena rock and ‘90s angst-ridden grunge, the album also ushered in an era in which Adams became more known for his sweeping power ballads than his straight-ahead rock tunes. This album, filled with nearly 75 minutes of showstopping arena rockers and mid-tempo ballads, churned out no less than five hit singles, the most notable being the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves theme Everything I Do I Do It for You. That ballad spent seven weeks atop the U.S. pop charts, becoming the longest-reigning American chart-topper since Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’ seven years earlier. The song also became a phenomenon in Europe, becoming Adams’ biggest hit ever” JF with a whopping sixteen weeks atop the UK chart.

“Other singles which followed included the joyous rocker Can’t Stop This Thing We Started, which became a number two hit, the mid-tempo ballads Do I Have to Say the Words? and Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven, and the fun, straight-ahead rocker There Will Never Be Another Tonight.” JF

Waking up the Neighbours was co-produced by Robert Jon ‘Mutt’ Lange, and as a result, many of these songs sound as though they could have easily been Def Leppard recordings, especially All I Want Is You, which sounds like ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ part two. Nonetheless, Waking up the Neighbours is a fun album and perfect for those who expect nothing more than an old-fashioned good time from their rock & roll.” JF

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A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory released

The Low End Theory

A Tribe Called Quest


Released: September 24, 1991


Charted: October 12, 1991


Peak: 45 US, 13 RB, 58 UK


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US


Genre: jazz-flavored rap


Tracks:

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

  1. Excursions
  2. Buggin’ Out
  3. Rap Promoter
  4. Butter
  5. Verses from the Abstract
  6. Show Business
  7. Vibes and Stuff
  8. The Infamous Date Rape
  9. Check the Rhime (10/12/91, 59 RB)
  10. Everything Is Fair
  11. Jazz (We’ve Got) (11/27/91)
  12. Skypager
  13. What?
  14. Scenario (3/13/92, 57 US, 42 RB)


Total Running Time: 48:03

Rating:

4.113 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)


Quotable: “One of the closest and most brilliant fusions of jazz atmosphere and hip-hop attitude ever recorded.” – John Bush, All Music Guide


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The discerning fan’s hip-hop. A Tribe Called Quest rose above the murky waters of gangsta rap to hold aloft a beacon of hip-hop positivity. The Low End Theory was their second album, an undisputed masterpiece with warm jazz samples, plus relaxed, thoughtful rhymes by Q-Tip and Phife Dawg.” BL “The link between rap and jazz has always been more wishful thinking on the part of critics than anything actual, with one grand exception: The Low End Theory.” TL “While most of the players in the jazz-rap movement never quite escaped the pasted-on qualities of their vintage samples, with The Low End Theory, A Tribe Called Quest created one of the closest and most brilliant fusions of jazz atmosphere and hip-hop attitude ever recorded.” JB

“The connection was more atmospheric than specific.” TL “Tribe’s DJ, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, used lots of jazz bass samples (and one notable live contribution from upright master Ron Carter)” TL while “the rapping by Q-Tip and Phife Dawg could be the smoothest of any rap record ever heard; the pair are so in tune with each other, they sound like flip sides of the same personality, fluidly trading off on rhymes, with the former earning his nickname (the Abstract) and Phife concerning himself with the more concrete issues of being young, gifted, and black.” JB

“The trio also takes on the rap game with a pair of hard-hitting tracks: Rap Promoter and Show Business, the latter a lyrical soundclash with Q-Tip and Phife plus Brand Nubian's Diamond D, Lord Jamar, and Sadat X.” JB

Buggin’ Out and Check the Rhime are studies in minimalism that feel like smoky rooms where cool guys, like rappers Phife Dawg and Q-Tip, say cool things. (Phife: ‘I float like gravity, never had a cavity/Got more rhymes than the Winans got family.’ Q-Tip: ‘If knowledge is the key then just show me the lock/ Got the scrawny legs but move just like Lou Brock’).” TL

“The woman problem gets investigated as well, on two realistic yet sensitive tracks, Butter and The Infamous Date Rape.” JB

The Tribe was also “socially conscious without being dull and closed with Scenario, a group free-for-all every bit as hip and improvised as bebop.” TL

“The productions behind these tracks aren’t quite skeletal, but they’re certainly not complex. Instead, Tribe weaves little more than a stand-up bass…and crisp, live-sounding drum programs with a few deftly placed samples or electric keyboards. It’s a tribute to their unerring production sense that, with just those few tools, Tribe produced one of the best hip-hop albums in history, a record that sounds better with each listen. The Low End Theory is an unqualified success, the perfect marriage of intelligent, flowing raps to nuanced, groove-centered productions.” JB

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Last updated 4/18/2022.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik released

Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Red Hot Chili Peppers


Released: September 24, 1991


Peak: 3 US, 25 UK, 11 CN, 12 AU


Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.9 UK, 15.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: alternative rock/funk/rap


Tracks:

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

  1. The Power of Equality [4:03]
  2. If You Have to Ask [3:37]
  3. Breaking the Girl [4:55] (7/30/92, 15 AR, 19 MR, 41 UK, 45 CN, 30 AU)
  4. Funky Monks [5:23]
  5. Suck My Kiss [3:37] (12/14/91, 15 MR, 8 AU)
  6. I Could Have Lied [4:04]
  7. Mellowship Slinky in B Major [4:00]
  8. The Righteous & the Wicked [4:08]
  9. Give It Away [4:43] (9/4/91, 73 US, 1 MR, 9 UK, 41 AU)
  10. Blood Sugar Sex Magik [4:31]
  11. Under the Bridge [4:24] (2/15/92, 2 US, 1 CB, 1 RR, 2 AR, 6 R, 13 UK, 3 CN, 1 AU)
  12. Naked in the Rain [4:26]
  13. Apache Rose Peacock [4:42]
  14. The Greeting Song [3:13]
  15. My Lovely Man [4:39]
  16. Sir Psycho Sexy [8:17]
  17. They’re Red Hot (Robert Johnson) [1:00]

All songs written by the Red Hot Chili Peppers unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 73:55


The Players:

  • Anthony Kiedis (vocals)
  • Flea (bass et al)
  • John Frusciante (guitar)
  • Chad Smith (drums, percussion)

Rating:

4.179 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)


Quotable: “Probably the best album the Chili Peppers will ever make.” – Steve Huey, All Music Guide


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The Red Hot Chili Peppers formed in 1983 and released four albums before the end of the decade. They found an audience primarily in the alternative rock world. The ‘90s saw them reach a new level with Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which All Music Guide’s Steve Huey says is “probably the best album the Chili Peppers will ever make.” SH

It was a decidedly commercial effort, opening up the band to their widest audience mixing “just the right blend of punk, funk, and hip-hop.” MG It demonstrates “continuity and cohesion both within and across the 17 cuts.” MG It “benefits immensely from Rick Rubin’s production.” SH He “masterfully fuses John Frusciante’s raunchy guitar with the irresistible grooves.” MG That means the “guitar is less overpoweringly noisy, leaving room for differing textures and clearer lines” SH and “the band overall is more focused and less indulgent.” SH

“Riding Flea’s surging bass, Anthony Kiedis delivers his explicit lyrics with a rapper’s flair.” MG “Kiedis is as preoccupied with sex as ever, whether invoking it as his muse, begging for it, or boasting in great detail about his prowess, best showcased on the infectiously funky singles Give It Away and Suck My Kiss.” SH

“However, he tempers his testosterone with a more sensitive side,” SH infusing the album with his “first consistent embrace of lilting acoustic balladry.” SH “While it’s not what Kiedis does best as a vocalist, these are some of the album’s finest moments, varying and expanding the group’s musical and emotional range.” SH He writes “about the emotional side of failed relationships (Breaking the Girl, I Could Have Lied), his drug addictions (Under the Bridge and an elegy for Hillel Slovak, My Lovely Man), and some hippie-ish calls for a peaceful utopia.” SH

They “give the album depth and provide contrast to the raw energy of Mellowship Slinky in B Major, Funky Monks, and ‘Give It Away.’” MG


Notes: On the iTunes version of the album, “Little Miss Lover” and “Castles Made of Sand,” both originally by Jimi Hendrix, were added as bonus tracks.

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First posted 9/7/2011; last updated 9/4/2021.