Saturday, February 27, 1993

Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” tops R&B chart

Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang

Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg

Writer(s): Tracy Curry, Calvin Broadus, Otha Haywood (see lyrics here)

Released: November 19, 1992

First Charted: January 23, 1993

Peak: 2 US, 2 CB, 24 RR, 12 RB, 31 UK, 63 AU, 24 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.3 US, 0.2 UK, 1.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 79.82 video, 274.37 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Rapper Dr. Dre (born Andre Young) started out with the World Class Wreckin’ Cru and then was part of the gangsta rap group N.W.A. before releasing his debut solo effort, The Chronic, in 1992. The album reached #3 on the Billboard album chart and sold more than five million copies, fueled by top-ten hits “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” and “Dre Day” as well as top 40-hit “Let Me Ride.”

With “Nuthin’” Dre “brought his innovative G-Funk sound to the mainstream.” TB It was “a West Coast rap classic” TC about gangster life and getting laid. It’s ultimately a “piece of misogynistic nonsense,” TC that “reads like the patter between two adolescent boys” TC which explains why “gangsta rap essentially appealed to teenage males.” TC

The song is built around a sample from seventies funk artist Leon Haywood’s “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You.” “All the hallmarks of his best work are here: the Funkadelic-inspired beats, the stop-start liquid bass, the subtle funk guitar, and the heavy-breathing backing vocals.” TB

The song didn’t just establish Dr. Dre as a commercially-viable solo artist, but as “one of the most clued-up talent spotters around.” TB “Nuthin’” introduced Snoop Dogg (then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg) to the mainstream; in fact, Snoop actually does most of the rapping on the song. TC The pair previously collaborated on “Deep Cover” in 1992, a #46 R&B hit from the soundtrack of the same name. Snoop’s Dr. Dre-produced debut solo album, Doggystyle, dropped the next year. It hit #1 on the Billboard album chart, sold nearly seven million copies in the United States, and produced two top-ten hits.

With those two albums, Dre “developed a sound that was so funky and fat that he quickly became one of the most inventive and powerful of rap producers; ” TC in fact, “the most important hip-hop producer of the 1990s.” TB He produced and guested on Blackstreet’s chart-topping hit “No Diggity” and would also work with Tupac Shakur, Eminem, and Mary J. Blige.


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First posted 6/18/2023.

Monday, February 22, 1993

Radiohead released Pablo Honey

Pablo Honey


Released: February 22, 1993

Peak: 32 US, 22 UK, 42 CN, 86 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.52 US, 0.6 UK

Genre: experimental rock


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

  1. You [3:29] (5/5/92 on Drill EP)
  2. Creep (Radiohead, Mike Hazlewood, Albert Hammond) [3:56] (9/21/92, 34 US, 37 CB, 25 RR, 20 AR, 2 MR, 7 UK, 30 CN, 6 AU)
  3. How Do You? [2:12]
  4. Stop Whispering [5:26] (10/5/93, 23 MR)
  5. Thinking about You [2:41] (5/5/92 on Drill EP)
  6. Anyone Can Play Guitar [3:38] (2/1/93, 32 UK)
  7. Ripcord [3:10]
  8. Vegetable [3:13]
  9. Prove Yourself [2:25] (5/5/92 on Drill EP)
  10. I Can’t [4:13]
  11. Lurgee [3:08]
  12. Blow Out [4:40]

All lyrics are by Thom Yorke and music by Radiohead, unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 42:11

The Players:

  • Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar)
  • Jonny Greenwood (guitar, keyboards)
  • Colin Greenwood (bass)
  • Ed O’Brien (guitar)
  • Philip Selway (drums)


3.152 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)

About the Album:

“Radiohead's debut album, Pablo Honey, is a promising collection that blends U2’s anthemic rock with long, atmospheric instrumental passages and an enthralling triple-guitar attack that is alternately gentle and bracingly noisy. The group has difficulty writing a set of songs that are as compelling as their sound, but when they do hit the mark – such as on Anyone Can Play Guitar, Blow Out, and the self-loathing breakthrough single Creep – the band achieves a rare power that is both visceral and intelligent.” AMG

“You” has the good fortune of being the lead track to Pablo Honey, catching listeners when the aggressive squall feels fresh. Hell, even if it closed out the album, the three-way guitar acrobatics of Yorke, Greenwood, and O’Brien would still be impressive.” CS

This “was the hit single that put these guys on the fast-track to stardom.” SP With “all that teenage angst condensed into four minutes,” PM “Creep” was an “absolute anthem” RR “tailor-made for the marketable Gen X category.” RB It “fit right in with the rest of the melancholy, alternative grunge rock that had taken over the airwaves.” SP Still, at the time “Radiohead seemed destined to be another One Hit Wonder alt-rock band. At best, they’d wind up like Better Than Ezra and ‘Creep’ would be their ‘Good.’” RS However, “the simmering obsession that boils over into a full-throated howl would make this an enduring alt-rock artifact from the early ‘90s, even if Radiohead hadn’t followed their debut with multiple classic albums.” BB With “a chord progression from the Hollies’ “The Air That I Breathe,” RG it is “one of the few grunge-tinted hits from the ‘90s that sounds fresh two decades later” PM and “will still be playing in karaoke bars long after our great-great-grandchildren and their flying cars have graduated from space college.” PM

“Most bands would have spent the rest of their careers chasing and trying to re-create this success” RG but “everything after ‘Creep’ was done to wreck its success, to be the antithesis of ’90s rock.” RG Radiohead “had a dislike for the song from pretty early on.” RS “Those famous guitar scratches are Jonny Greenwood trying to mess up what he thought was a boring song;” RS the pace was too slow. RG He “makes his guitar sound like he’s priming a chainsaw before the chorus.” RG

“Snobs complain that Radiohead’s debut single is not at all representative of what the band is capable of.” DF Because “the verses are straightforward” CS and the music is “playable by anyone on guitar,” CS “hard-core fans naturally have gravitated to other tracks that are more skillfully conceived, written, and performed.” UP However, “this is the only undeniable standard in Radiohead’s catalogue.” UP “Creep” has ventured “to places Radiohead wouldn’t dare visit, like American Idol and Glee. Korn has covered ‘Creep,’ as have Blues Traveler and Tears For Fears. Prince played it at Coachella before Radiohead did. The whole point of Radiohead’s stubbornly, thrillingly independent career is that they don’t belong to anyone. But ‘Creep’ is the property of us all.” UP

It also carved out a template for what was to come. “The chorus drops in with the mechanized thud of Jonny Greenwood’s distortion, interrupting the – until that point, anyway – pleasant lyrics with anger, resentment, and heaviness.” CS That “lyrical focus on alienation” RB along with “Thom Yorke’s soaring vocals during the bridge” RB and “Jonny Greenwood’s pre-chorus guitar stabs…can now be heard as loving precursors to Radiohead’s continued experimentation and left-of-center aesthetics.” RB As a result, “Radiohead effectively transcended its monster debut single, to avoid one-hit-wonder status and sustain a hall of fame-worthy career.” BB

“My Iron Lung,” a song from the next album, was even “about how much they hated playing the song over and over again during their early days.” RS After OK Computer, they pretty much stopped playing the song, but eventually it “crept” its way back into setlists.

“How Do You?”
Pablo Honey is storm-cloud sullen in its lyrical content, making ‘How Do You’ stand out for its exuberance – courtesy of the distortion and tack piano, of course; not the words.” CS The song is “grungy, snarling, frenetic, and very straightforwardly about a specific person who sounds like he’s a real asshole. It’s an understatement to say that this is not a direction that Radiohead would pursue as they progressed as a band, but that doesn't mean it’s not a banger.” BZ

“Stop Whispering”
This “early and uncharacteristic example of fun optimism” CS “celebrates self-expression.” CS It is “one of the catchiest and sunniest tracks from Pablo HoneyBZ and “Radiohead’s uncharacteristically earnest attempt at a Pixies tribute. The third of three singles from Pablo Honey, ‘Stop Whispering’ neither captured the zeitgeist in the way ‘Creep’ did nor had the staying power of ‘Anyone Can Play Guitar,’ but…this song kicks ass, even if it doesn’t sound remotely like the Pixies.” BZ

“Thinking About You”
“Radiohead has long been known for their willingness to push the boundaries of rock into weirder and more thrilling territory. But none of that would matter much if they didn’t have the song-craft to form the foundation of it all. Before they started their turn for the experimental, this lovely, melancholy track” CU is “a rare moment of tenderness for Radiohead.” CS

Yorke “chronicles a relationship torn apart by fame” CS in what “was a mid-’90s mixtape classic, especially for lovelorn teens trying to communicate the depth of their feelings to other, more desirable teens.” UP “Yorke doesn’t judge either party, but sympathizes with the both of them.” CS It “has its clumsy, mawkish moments — ‘But I’m playing with myself / What do you care when the other men are far, far better?’ — the guileless naiveté…remains highly affecting.” UP

The song showed the band’s “ability to make an impact with nothing much more than a riveting melody and bittersweet sentiment.” CU “The brisk, folky strum…points to the electro-acoustic balladry that Radiohead would subsequently perfect on The Bends and OK Computer.” UP This is “a much improved redux of a faster, rockier take” UP that first appeared on the Drill EP.

“Anyone Can Play Guitar”
This was released as a single “back when Thom Yorke still sang with a trace of a Johnny Rotten sneer.” BZ It “drips with disdain for the notion of rock martyrdom. Compared with modern Radiohead, it's gauche and unsubtle – but also weirdly heroic. Featuring an almost nursery rhyme-simple chorus offset by a thrillingly discordant Jonny Greenwood guitar solo, it’s one to treasure.” BZ “Aptly enough, the song’s triple-axe attack has more snarl than Yorke’s criticism of Jim Morrison.” CS “Yorke’s exhortation that he ‘wanna be, wanna be, wanna be Jim Morrison’ could be read as irony, but Radiohead has never been an ironic band.” UP

The band are embarrassed by the song, not playing it live in twenty years. BZ Still, it is “a slightly better-than-average cut…from the band’s grungier days” CS and can even be seen “as a prequel to Oasis’ ‘Rock N’ Roll Star.’” UP

“Yorke would eventually sharpen his music-industry attacks into phrases more evocative than ‘soul destroyed with clever toys for little boys.’” CS

“For all their introspection and anxiety, Radiohead are often at their best when they’re defiant.” BZ This is “a rousing anthem for those of us whose default state is petty indignation. ‘I will not control myself;’ ‘I spit on the hand that feeds me.’ Surprisingly cathartic things to shout at the top of your lungs if you have a complicated relationship with authority.” BZ

Instrumentally, “Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien could hold their own against the best grunge guitarists in the ’90s. Then again, Radiohead would go on to do grunge way better on The Bends.” CS

“Prove Yourself”
“Although Yorke’s suicidal thoughts are no laughing matter, the band’s first official single never manages to break free of its own self-pitying melodrama.” CS

“I Can’t”
“Of all the Pablo Honey tracks, ‘I Can’t’ sounds the most at home in a coffeehouse. If it had been released three years later, it would have found its way onto the Friends soundtrack.” CS

This “is truly a woeful cry, and that’s why it’s such an underrated gem. It advances at a taciturn pace, with a rhythm section that stands in the distance as the overall message takes center stage; a weight of emotional baggage being lifted from the shoulders. This song is for those who felt adversity in all the wrong places.” CR

“Blow Out”
Pablo Honey frequently is dismissed as an also-ran in Radiohead’s discography, but there’s plenty of gold on the band’s debut.” UP “The album has its fair share of heavy, riff-oriented tracks, but it also combated its rock side with just as many melodious tracks.” CR “The more lackadaisical attitude of the post-grunge vacuity, was omnipresent.” CR

The album “deserves more attention for genuine gems like ‘Blow Out.’” CS “This appropriately titled guitar meltdown” UP is “one of the best and most unsung cuts.” UP It “suggests that Radiohead could’ve pursued a promising path as Sonic Youth-style noise-pop enthusiasts had their creative impulses not guided them elsewhere.” UP “People forget that Radiohead ever had a foot in the shoegaze scene, but this cacophonous wigout…draws from the same well as early '90s bands like Ride or Slowdive. What those bands lacked, of course, was an incredible singer. And ‘Blowout’ showcases Yorke’s voice to stunning effect.” BZ

“His mournful overdubs of the lyrics, ‘all wrapped up in cotton wool…..all wrapped up in sugar-coated pills,’ are wonderfully grim.” CR “The song represents a high point of that early period when his lyrical disquiet was focused in on himself, rather than outwards at society.” BZ

“The overall sound…makes it…a treat. It starts out with these fast octave chords over Thom’s unenthusiastic vocals, until eventually exploding into a fit of distorted rage.” CR Jonny Greenwood’s “cushioned guitar tone…sets the mood for easy listening” CS and is one of his “best and earliest freakouts on guitar.” CS The song was “the feedback-soaked set-closer at early live shows.” BZ

Notes: A Collector’s Edition was released in 2009. It included a second disc which was comprised of the Drill EP and the B-sides from the singles for “Creep,” “Anyone Can Play Guitar,” and “Stop Whispering.” The non-album “Pop Is Dead” single was also included and four cuts from a BBC Radio One Session on 6/22/1992.

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First posted 3/29/2008; last updated 5/25/2022.

Saturday, February 20, 1993

Shawn Colvin charted with “I Don’t Know Why”

I Don’t Know Why

Shawn Colvin

Writer(s): Shawn Colvin (see lyrics here)

First Charted: February 20, 1993

Peak: 16 AC, 62 UK, 59 CN, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.3 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin was born in South Dakota in 1956 and grew up in Carbondale, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada. She started playing guitar at age 10 and had her first official paid gig while in college at Southern Illinois University. She moved to New York City in 1980 and became part of the Greenwich Village folk scene, participating in off-Broadway shows and providing backup vocals to Suzanne Vega’s “Luka” in 1987.

She got a late start on her own recording career, not releasing her debut album until 1989’s Steady On. It won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. She had her greatest commercial success in her forties with the 1997 top-ten hit “Sunny Came Home” won Grammys for Song and Record of the Year.

Her first commercially-available recordings, however, date back to 1988. While not released until 1995, her Live ‘88 collection featured early versions of many of the songs which would appear on Steady On. However, that album also featured “I Don’t Know Why,” the first song she ever wrote. AMG A studio recording of it showed up on 1992’s Fat City and was was nominated for a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal.

“I Don’t Know Why” could be seen as a conventional love song, but lines such as “I don’t know why the sky is so blue” and “I don’t know where but there will be a place for you” could also be interpreted as a lullaby. Other lines such as “I would lay down my life for you” and “I don’t know why but somewhere dreams come true” also evoke thoughts of a parent’s love for a child. Regardless of the interpretation, the song is an underrated expression of love that deserved a greater audience than its #16 peak on the adult contemporary charts.


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First posted 8/4/2022; last updated 9/22/2022.