Thursday, April 29, 1993

On This Day (1893): George J. Gaskin hit #1 with “After the Ball”

After the Ball

George J. Gaskin

Writer(s): Charles K. Harris (see lyrics here)

Published: 1891

First Charted: April 29, 1893

Peak: 110 US (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 5.0 (sheet music)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.13 video, -- streaming

Awards (Gaskin):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (John Yorke Atlee):

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Charles K. Harris wrote this classic waltz in 1891 for an amateur minstrel show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The first time it was performed, the singer, Sam Doctor, forgot the words and the song made a poor impression. PG However, Harris believed in the song and paid well-known performer J. Aldrich Libbey to include it in his A Trip to Chinatown show. SS It grew in popularity and John Philip Sousa and his band performed it daily at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. PG That same year, George J. Gaskin and John Yorke Atlee recorded the song. The former was a #1 for 10 weeks while the latter peaked at #2. It was the fourth chart-topper for Gaskin, who was known as “The Silve-Voiced Tenor.” He had a total of 19 songs reach the peak from 1891 to 1901. It was one of only three chart hits for Atlee. PM

In the song, an old man explains to his niece that he never married after seeing his sweetheart kissing another man at a ball. He left, and refusing to hear her explanation, WK only to find out years later that it was her brother. SS Harris got the idea from a dance in Chicago where he saw two lovers get in a fight and leave separately. SF

The song “exemplifies the sentimental ballads published before 1920, whose topics were frequently babies, separation, and death.” WK It has “a memorable, tearjerking chorus in the form of a story constructed for middle-class ladies to learn on their parlour pianos.” LW It “is sometimes credited with beginning the commercial exploitation of popular music.” SF Before 1893, most songs became regional hits and then word spread, but the aggressive marketing behind “After the Ball” set a new standard. SS It was the first song to sell a million copies of sheet music, SF eventually racking up five million and becoming the best seller in Tin Pan Alley’s history. WK Tin Pan Alley was the name given to a group of 19th century and early 20th century music publishers and songwriters in New York City.

The song resurfaced in 1927 when it was used in the groundbreaking musical Show Boat. Norma Terris performed it during its original Broadway run and Irene Dunne performed it for the 1936 film version. It was made into a film again in 1951 and performed by Kathryn Grayson. WK In 1940, it was featured in the biographical musical film Lillian Russell and performed by Alice Faye. WK It has also been performed by Nat “King” Cole, Bing Crosby, Guy Lombardo, Julie London, and Lawrence Welk. WK


First posted 4/15/2021; last updated 9/6/2023.

Tuesday, April 20, 1993

Aerosmith released Get a Grip

First posted 4/2/2008; updated 9/11/2020.

Get a Grip


Released: April 20, 1993

Peak: 11 US, 2 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.3 UK, 20.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Intro (Tyler, Perry, Jim Vallance) [0:24]
  2. Eat the Rich (Tyler, Perry, Vallance) [4:11] (5/1/93, 34 UK, 5 AR)
  3. Get a Grip (Tyler, Perry, Vallance) [3:59]
  4. Fever (Tyler, Perry) [4:15] (9/4/93, 5 AR)
  5. Livin’ on the Edge (Tyler, Perry, Mark Hudson) [6:07] (4/10/93, 18 US, 19 UK, 1 AR)
  6. Flesh (Tyler, Perry, Desmond Child) [5:57]
  7. Walk on Down (Perry) [3:39]
  8. Shut Up and Dance (Tyler, Perry, Jack Blades, Tommy Shaw) [4:56] (7/2/94, 24 UK)
  9. Cryin’ (Tyler, Perry, Taylor Rhodes) [5:09] (6/5/93, 12 US, 17 UK, 1 AR, gold single)
  10. Gotta Love It (Tyler, Perry, Hudson) [5:58]
  11. Crazy (Tyler, Perry, Child) [5:14] (5/21/94, 17 US, 23 UK, 7 AR)
  12. Line Up (Tyler, Perry, Lenny Kravitz) [4:03]
  13. Amazing (Tyler, Richard Supa) [5:57] (10/30/93, 24 US, 57 UK, 3 AR)
  14. Boogie Man (instrumental) (Tyler, Perry, Vallance) [2:17]

Total Running Time: 62:17

The Players:

  • Steven Tyler (vocals, keyboards, harmonica, percussion)
  • Joe Perry (guitar)
  • Brad Whitford (rhythm guitar)
  • Tom Hamilton (bass)
  • Joey Kramer (drums, percussion)


3.563 out of 5.00 (average of 14 ratings)


About the Album:

Aerosmith released their first seven albums, from 1973 to 1982, with Columbia Records. Their last effort, 1982’s lackluster Rock in a Hard Place, saw the band splintering as neither Steven Tyler and Brad Whitford was involved in the making. The original lineup returned for 1985’s Done with Mirrors, but the magic seemed like it might be, well, done.

When Run-D.M.C. recorded a remake of Aerosmith’s classic “Walk This Way,” they tapped Steven Tyler and Perry for guest spots. The song served not only as one of the most important songs for establishing rap music as a commercial entity that was here to stay but signaled that Aerosmith was far from done.

The band roared back on 1987’s Permanent Vacation in one of rock’s great comeback stories. Just to prove it wasn’t a fluke, they followed it up with the even bigger Pump. The rockers seemingly had nothing left to accomplish, but their next album, 1993’s Get a Grip, gave the band yet another milestone – their first #1 album.

It also became their best-selling studio effort with 20 million sold worldwide. WK “Janie’s Got a Gun,” from the previous album, had snagged the band its first Grammy – for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. They repeated the feat not once, but twice, with Livin’ on the Edge and Crazy from Get a Grip.

Surprisingly, the album which produced seven charting hits on various charts, including four top-40 hits on the Billboard pop chart, was sent back to the drawing board after originally being planned for release in the third quarter of 1992. John Kalodner thought the album lacked a radio-friendly song. He’d pushed the band to work with outside songwriters like Desmond Child and Jim Vallance on Permanent Vacation and Pump. The band went to Child, who helped write Flesh and “Crazy.”

Child was just one of many outside songwriters. While Tyler and/or Perry is credited on every song on the album, the only song written by just the two of them is Fever, a song which became a top-five album rock track and, interestingly, was covered by Garth Brooks, who took it to the top 40 of the country chart. Otherwise, the album featured Vallance lending his pen to a few songs, including a couple of “trademark raunch-rock” AMG songs such as the title cut and Eat the Rich, another top-five album rock track, which kept “adolescent fans in their corner.” AMG

The group also worked with Lenny Kravitz (Line Up) and the duo of Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades (Shut Up and Dance), who’d respectively worked with Styx and Night Ranger before working together in Damn Yankees. The latter was a minor hit in the UK. Mark Hudson, the uncle of actress Kate Hudson, also co-wrote a couple of songs, including “Livin’ on the Edge,” the album’s lead single. He would continue to work with the band, most notably as a producer on the band’s 2001 album Just Push Play.

The presence of so much outside help can make the album feel like it’s trying to hard to be everything. “Crazy,” Cryin’, and Amazing are “radio-ready hit ballads” AMG all of which feature actress Alicia Silverstone in their videos. Meanwhile, songs such as the latter and “Livin’ on the Edge” can feel like studied efforts to make “a stab at social commentary.” AMG Of the song “Amazing” and the title cut, Tyler said they reflected on the band’s history with drug abuse. “We ere saying you can point ot back to some of those old beliefs about the crossroads and signing up with the devil, that you can look at the drugs as that: It can be fun in the beginning but then it comes time to pay your debt, and if you’re not sharp enough to see that it’s taking you down, then it really will get you.” WK

All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine said, “it’s a studied performance – it sounds like what an Aerosmith album should sound like. Most of the album sounds good; it's just that there isn’t much beneath the surface.” AMG While “fitfully entertaining, Get a Grip pales against its predecessor’s musical diversity.” AMG Famed rock critic Robert Christgau, however, called it the band’s best album since Rocks. WK

Notes: “Can’t Stop Messin’” was added to the UK version.

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, April 17, 1993

Radiohead charted with "Creep"



Writer(s): Radiohead, Albert Hammond, Mike Hazlewood (see lyrics here)

Released: September 21, 1992

First Charted: April 17, 1993

Peak: 34 US, 37 CB, 18 GR, 25 RR, 20 AR, 2 MR, 7 UK, 30 CN, 6 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.6 UK, 1.1 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 664.0 video, 1259.96 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

By the close of the ‘90s, Radiohead was hailed as one of rock’s most experimental bands, loved by critics and a loyal fan base. However, when the group’s maiden single, “Creep,” was released in 1992, it initially landed with a thud. The singles “Anyone Can Play Guitar” and “Pop Is Dead” followed, but then DJ Yoav Kutner started playing “Creep” on Israeli radio. WK The song was re-released and became what has been called “one of the great loser anthems of our time” HL and a “potent outsider anthem,” MC hitting the top 40 in the U.S. and top 10 in the UK. Its “ironic self-loathing” TC tapped into the same disenfranchised Generation X vibe of the grunge movement even though the group fell more in line with the likes of XTC and R.E.M. TC

Still, lead singer Thom Yorke saw himself as a misfit in much the same way as Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and the song bore the “loud-soft dynamics and bleak lyrical sentiments” similar to songs by Nirvana and The Pixies. TB Regarding the former, guitarist Jonny Greenwood infused the song with blasts of guitar noise which he added because he didn’t like how quiet the song was. WK As bandmate Ed O’Brien said, “That’s the sound of Jonny trying to fuck the song up…And it made the song.” WK

Yorke wrote “Creep” about a drunk guy following a woman to whom he is attracted. WK The song captures what Guy Capuzzo called “the self-lacerating rage of an unsuccessful crush.” WK As he says, “the lyrics strain toward optimism...[but then] the subject sinks back into the throes of self-pity.” WK

The song first surfaced for Radiohead during the recording of their first album. According to bassist Colin Greenwood, Yorke wrote the song during his days at Exeter University in the late 1980s. During rehearsal, Yorke described it to the producers as “our Scott Walker song,” leading them to assume it was a cover. WK While it was original, its similarities to The Hollies’ “The Air That I Breathe” led to Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood, who wrote “Breathe,” receiving co-credit. WK


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Last updated 7/14/2023.