Saturday, May 30, 1992

Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” topped country chart

Achy Breaky Heart

Billy Ray Cyrus

Writer(s): Don Von Tress (see lyrics here)


Released: March 23, 1992


First Charted: April 4, 1992


Peak: 4 US, 4 CB, 27 RR, 23 AC, 15 CW, 3 UK, 4 CN, 17 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.2 UK, 1.41 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 94.68 video, 82.2 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Don Von Tress wrote a song called “Don’t Tell My Heart” in 1990. The Oak Ridge Boys considered recording it, but lead singer Duane Allen didn’t like the words “achy breaky.” WK It was recorded in 1991 by the Marcy Brothers, but failed to chart. It took off when Billy Ray Cyrus recorded it in 1992 as “Achy Breaky Heart.” It was a crossover hit in the United States, peaking at #1 on the country charts and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the first country song since Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton’s 1983 hit “Islands in the Stream” to achieve platinum status. WK The song propelled Cyrus’ album, Some Gave All to 17 weeks atop the Billboard album chart and nine million in sales.

Thanks to its novelty status, the song has been targeted by Blender and VH1 as one of the worst songs of all time, although VH1 also ranked at as one of the 100 greatest songs of the 1990s. WK Country singer Travis Tritt touched off controversy when he called the song “frivolous” and argued it turned country music into “an ass-wiggling contest.” TC Cyrus has defended the song, saying, “It felt like a good time for a happy song. Something simple that everyone could sing and yes, even dance to. Take your mind off all the heavy stuff for 3 minutes and 27 seconds!” TC

Audiences for “old country” artists such as Willie Nelson and George Strait were waning, but the slicker production techniques and pop melodies of “new country” revived interest in country music amongst younger listeners. “Achy Breaky Heart” was considered a pivotal song in ushering in that new era. Country purists hated it, but it led the way for success for artists such as Faith Hill and Shania Twain. SF

The video was filmed during a live performance at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, Kentucky. WK “The song’s insistent beat and simple two-chord structure lent themselves to line dancing, which featured heavily in the video and exploded into a crazy that swept country dance halls across the U.S. and the world.” TC


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First posted 11/3/2021.

Friday, May 1, 1992

Jimmy Guterman: The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Records of All Time

Jimmy Guterman:

The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Records of All Time

In this book, critic Jimmy Guterman, who has written for Rolling Stone and other magazines, ranks what he considers the best rock albums of all time. He only allows one album per artist, a practice I consider absurd. Since when should the influence of acts like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, or Bob Dylan be restricted to one work to represent their vast impact on the rock genre? It becomes even sillier when he doesn’t even follow his own rule. His listings for Marvin Gaye, the Drifters, and Charlie Rich are really two albums each.

Still, Guterman does break with the equally ludicrous rule applied by some listmakers to not include live albums or compilations. This allows for the inclusion of artists like James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry who don’t usually have studio albums on best-of lists. He may have gone too far, however, considering roughly one third of the albums on this list are not traditional studio releases.

Finally, Guterman does include many familiar names, but falls into the trap of a rock critic pushing his favorites that the general public know nothing about. I get that this is a personal list, but by keying in so specifically on the rock genre, the implication is that these are vital albums to understanding the history of the genre. How much familiarity does the average person have with acts like the Morells or Arthur Alexander?

Check out other best-of album lists by individuals/critics here.

1. Rod Stewart Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)
2. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (1972)
3. Van Morrison Astral Weeks (1968)
4. James Brown Star Time (box set: 1956-84, released 1991)
5. Otis Redding The Dictionary of Soul (1966)
6. Jerry Lee Lewis Live at the Star Club, Hamburg (live, recorded 1964)
7. Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967)
8. Chuck Berry The Chess Box (recorded 1955-73, released 1988)
9. Prince Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987)
10. The Clash London Calling (1979)

11. Bob Dylan Ten of Swords (bootleg box set: 1961-66, released 1985)
12. Elvis Presley The Complete Burbank Sessions, Vol. 1 (live bootleg recorded 1968, released 1978)
13. The Beatles Please Please Me (1963)
14. Bruce Springsteen Nebraska (1982)
15. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Radio One (recorded live 1967, released 1988)
16. Lonnie Mack The Wham! of That Memphis Man (1963)
17. Dusty Springfield Dusty in Memphis (1969)
18. Various Artists 1000 Volts of Stax: Rare and Unissued Tracks from the Golden Era of Soul (compilation: 1967-73, released 1991)
19. Carl Perkins The Classic Carl Perkins (box set: 1954-65, released 1990)
20. Creedence Clearwater Revival Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)

21. Little Richard The Specialty Sessions (box set: 1955-64, released 1989)
22. Derek and the Dominos Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
23. Ray Charles Live (live recordings: 1958-59, released 1973)
24. Bo Diddley Beach Party (live recordings: 1963, released 1964)
25. Various Artists Greatest Rap Hits, Vol. 2 (compilation: 1981)
26. Neil Young Tonight’s the Night (recorded 1973, released 1975)
27. Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971) / Let’s Get It On (1973)
28. Elvis Costello King of America (1986)
29. Smokey Robinson Where There’s Smoke… (1979)
30. Jason & the Scorchers Fervor (1984)

31. Robert Cray Strong Persuader (1986)
32. The Moonglows Look! It’s the Moonglows (1956)
33. Pretenders Pretenders (1979)
34. Jackie Wilson The Jackie Wilson Story (compilation, released 1983)
35. Roy Orbison For the Lonely (compilation: 1956-65, released 1989)
36. Ted Hawkins On the Boardwalk (1986)
37. Stevie Wonder Innervisions (1973)
38. Patsy Cline Stop, Look and Listen (compilation, 1986)
39. Burning Spear Garvey’s Ghost (1976)
40. Ry Cooder Paradise and Lunch (1974)

41. Sam & Dave The Best of (compilation: 1965-69, released 1987)
42. Parliament The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (1976)
43. The Contours Do You Love Me (1962)
44. Richard & Linda Thompson Shoot Out the Lights (1982)
45. Hank Williams Jr. Hank Williams Jr. and Friends (1975)
46. Bob Marley & the Wailers Catch a Fire (1973)
47. Rank and File Sundown (1982)
48. Various Artists The Nonesuch Explorer: Music from Distant Corners of the World (compilation, 1971)
49. Gary “U.S.” Bonds On the Line (1982)
50. Wilbert Harrison Let’s Work Together (1969)

51. The Firesign Theater Everything You Know Is Wrong (1974)
52. Sly & the Family Stone There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)
53. Michael Jackson Off the Wall (1979)
54. The Drifters Let the Boogie Woogie Roll (compilation: 1953-58, released 1988) / All-Time Greatest Hits and More (compilation: 1959-65, released 1988)
55. Huey “Piano” Smith Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival (1980)
56. Iron City Houserockers Have a Good Time But Get Out Alive (1980)
57. Johnny Horton The World of Johnny Horton (compilation, released 1966)
58. Merle Haggard A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World (Or, My Salute to Bob Wills) (1970)
59. Everly Brothers Roots (1968)
60. Graham Parker Heat Treatment (1976)

61. LaVern Baker Real Gone Gal (1984)
62. The Temptations Anthology (compilation: 1964-72, released 1973)
63. Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, & Elvis Presley The Complete Million Dollar Session (recorded 1956, released 1987)
64. Etta James Tell Mama (1968)
65. James Carr You Got My Mind Messed Up (1966)
66. Al Green Call Me (1973)
67. Buddy Holly The Complete Buddy Holly (box set, released 1979)
68. The Four Tops Second Album (1965)
69. Johnny Cash The Sun Years (compilation: 1954-58, released 1985)
70. Rockpile Seconds of Pleasure (1980)

71. Mott the Hoople Mott (1973)
72. Steve Forbert Alive on Arrival (1978)
73. John Lennon Plastic Ono Band (1970)
74. The Persuasions Chirpin’ (1977)
75. Junior Walker & the All-Stars Compact Command Performances (compilation, released 1986)
76. Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the Africa ‘70 Roforofo Flight (1975)
77. Arthur Alexander The Greatest (compilation, released 1989)
78. B.B. King Live at the Regal (live, recorded 1964, released 1965)
79. The Morells Shake and Push (1983)
80. Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs The Best of (compilation, released 1967)

81. Charlie Rich Original Hits and Midnight Demos (compilation, released 1985) / Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave (1986)
82. Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes Hearts of Stone (1978)
83. Dwight Yoakam Just Lookin’ for a Hit (1989)
84. John Cougar Mellencamp Scarecrow (1985)
85. Bunny Wailer Hook, Line, and Sinker (1982)
86. Various Artists Sun City (1986)
87. Womack & Womack Love Wars (1983)
88. X See How Great We Are (1987)
89. The Kinks Greatest Hits (compilation, released 1989)
90. The Mekons Rock ‘N’ Roll (1989)

91. The Blasters Hard Line (1985)
92. Ritchie Valens Ritchie Valens (1959)
93. Lone Justice Lone Justice (1985)
94. Ennio Morricone Once Upon a Time in the West (soundtrack, 1972)
95. The Who Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy (compilation: 1964-70, released 1971)
96. The English Beat Special Beat Service (1982)
97. Paul Kelly Post (1985)
98. Tina Turner Private Dancer (1984)
99. The Kingsmen The Best Of (compilation, released 1991)
100. The Georgia Satellites In the Land of Salvation and Sin (1989)


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First posted 12/13/2021.