Saturday, May 27, 1995

Hootie & the Blowfish hit #1 with Cracked Rear View: May 27, 1995

Originally posted May 27, 2012.

Cracked Rear View marks the commercial debut of these college buddies from South Carolina.” AZ It became “the success story of 1994/1995,” AMG building from a July 1994 release to topping the Billboard charts eleven months later and selling ten million copies during 1995 alone. WK “It’s a startling, large number, especially for a new band, but in some ways, the success of the record isn’t that surprising.” AMG “Although Hootie & the Blowfish aren’t innovative, they deliver the goods, turning out an album of solid, rootsy folk-rock songs that have simple, powerful hooks.” AMG

Hold My Hand

Hold My Hand has a singalong chorus that epitomizes the band’s good-times vibes.” AMG With their pop hooks, it’s no surprise that ‘Hold My Hand,’ Let Her Cry, and Only Wanna Be with You were all big hits. Granted, “none of the tracks transcend their generic status, but they are strong songs for their genre, with crisp chords and bright melodies.” AMG

Let Her Cry

Generally “bands given to blunt popcraft and elementary guitars generally favor singers up toward the whiny end of the dramatic spectrum.” RC However, lead singer Darius Rucker’s “gruff baritone has more grit than the actual songs.” AMG He “takes his vocal cues from what Gregg Allman made of blues and soul” RC and his “grit adds an extra layer of substance to a music already deeply comforting in its formal certainties.” RC

Only Wanna Be with You

In addition, with “Mark Bryan’s muscular guitar framing Jim Sonefeld’s bluesy, energetic southern folk rock tunes” AZ the crew made “the kind of thoroughly likable album people sing along with on the car radio. When Rucker demands, ‘Stand up and let me see you smile,’ there’s something that feels real and convincing behind it; sure, it’s a formula, but a sincere one, and it works over and over again.” AZ

“At their core, Hootie & the Blowfish are a bar band, but they managed to convince millions of listeners that they were the local bar band.” AMG “There may not be a lot of virtuosity behind it, but there's plenty of fun” AZ “and that’s why Cracked Rear View was a major success.” AMG


Awards:


Resources and Related Links:

Friday, May 26, 1995

50 years ago: Les Brown hit #1 with “Sentimental Journey”

Sentimental Journey

Les Brown

Writer(s): Bud Green, Les Brown, Ben Homer (see lyrics here)


First Charted: March 3, 1945


Peak: 19 US, 12 GA, 14 HP (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 4.88 video, -- streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Sentimental indeed. When she first saw the sheet music, Doris Day commented, “What a lovely title,” to which Les Brown responded “Wait till you hear it.” SS “The song’s aching nostalgia struck a chord in a nation welcoming its boys back from the front lines,” TM becoming “one of a handful of songs that summed up romantic longing during World War II.” SS Will Friedwald called it “the definitive end-of-war song,” SS “a song that helped define an era.” SS

Doris Day’s “honey with a dash of pepper” TM voice compelled one “to pack your bag and join her on that journey home.” TM “In the lilting fox-trot…and in Arthur Green’s swinging sen-tuh-men-tul phrasing — you can almost see the locomotive wheels chugging, hear the steam spurting from the smokestack and feel the second-class coach swaying back and forth as the train makes its way down the tracks.” TM

The top hit of 1945 TY launched the career of then-twenty-year-old Doris Day as a solo artist and America’s sweetheart. It would be the biggest hit of her career as well as Les Brown, the orchestra leader credited with the song. Stunningly, the record could potentially have been even bigger. According to George Simon in the December 1946 issue of Metronome, war restrictions prevented Columbia Records from pressing more copies of the song to maximize its potential. SS On top of that, Les Brown and His Band of Renown performed the song for awhile, but couldn’t record it because of the musicians’ strike of 1942 to 1944. WK

Brown adopted the million-seller as his theme song TY and Ringo Starr later used it as the title cut for his 1970 debut solo album, a collection of standards. JA It became a jazz standard and was recorded by numerous artists, including Booker T. & the MG’s, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgeald, Woody Herman, Harry James, The Platters, Frank Sinatra, and Amy Winehouse. WK


Resources:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Les Brown
  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Doris Day
  • JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 170.
  • SS Steve Sullivan (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. Pages 375-6.
  • TM Time magazine (10/24/2011). “All Time 100 Songs
  • TY Don Tyler (1985). Hit Parade 1920-1955. New York, NY: Quill. Page 125.
  • WK Wikipedia


First posted 3/3/2016; last updated 12/27/2021.

Monday, May 22, 1995

Pulp released “Common People”

Common People

Pulp

Writer(s): Jarvis Cocker, Russell Senior, Steve Mackey, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle (see lyrics here)


Released: May 22, 1995


First Charted: June 3, 1995


Peak: 2 UK, 65 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 0.6 UK


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 38.0 video, 127.61 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Common People” was the lead single from Pulp’s fifth album, Different Class. It not only became the band’s signature song but a defining Britpop track. WK In 2007, NME magazine ranked it as the third greatest indie anthem ever. WK The song was ranked the greatest song of the Britpop movement by Paste magazine in 2014 and a Rolling Stone readers’ poll in 2015. WK DJ Steve Lamacq said it “seemed to embrace the essence of the time so perfectly.” WK

Musically, the song was based a chord sequence singer Jarvis Cocker wrote on a second-hand Casio keyboard he bought after trading in a bunch of albums at the Record and Tape Exchange in Notting Hill. SF Bassist Steve Mackey said it sounded like Emerson Lake & Palmer’s version of “Fanfare for the Common Man.” SF Music & Media described it as “playing with electro and indie guitar pop like Blur on ‘Girls & Boys.’” WK

That title reminded Cocker of an experience from 1988 when he was enrolled in a film studies class at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He was attracted to a Greek art student, but got turned off by her proclamation that she “wanted to move to Hackney and live like ‘the common people.’” WK The song became a critique of slumming in which people of means ascribed glamour to poverty.

The song was written in June 1994. After the band performed the song live, “it became clear to me it was a significant song.” SF Pulp hadn’t finished the rest of the songs for the subsequent album, but pushed to release “Common People.” Cocker said,” the other eight songs were done while ‘Common People’ was in the Top 10.” SF


Resources and Related Links:


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 10/13/2021.

Friday, May 12, 1995

50 years ago: Glenn Miller hit #1 for 1st of 16 weeks with self-titled compilation

Glenn Miller (aka “Glenn Miller & His Orchestra”)

Glenn Miller


Charted: March 24, 1945


Recorded: 1939 to 1942


Peak: 116 US


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US


Genre: big band jazz


Tracks:

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

  1. American Patrol (Frank White Meacham, arranged by Jerry Gray) (7/4/42, 15 US)
  2. Song of the Volga Boatmen (traditional, arranged by Billy Finegan) (2/22/41, 11 US, 10 GA)
  3. Tuxedo Junction (Erskin Hawkins, Bill Johnson, Julian Dash, Buddy Feyne) (2/24/40, 19 US, 7 GA)
  4. In the Mood (arranged by Joe Garland) (10/7/39, 113 US, 9 HP, 5 GA, 13 UK, 120 AU)
  5. Little Brown Jug (arranged by Billy Finegan) (6/17/39, 2 US, 13 UK)
  6. Moonlight Serenade (arranged by Joe Garland) (7/29/39, 3 US, 9 GA, 12 UK)
  7. Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael, arranged by Billy Finegan and Glenn Miller) (10/26/40, 20 US, 8 GA)
  8. Pennsylvania 6-5000 (Jerry Gray, Carl Sigman; arranged by Jerry Gray) (7/6/40, 5 US, 14 GA)

Rating:

4.557 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

As a bandleader, Glenn Miller experienced tremendous success from 1939 to 1944, landing 69 hits in the top 10. Sixteen of those songs went all the way to #1. In 1942, he volunteered for the U.S. military so he could entertain troops during World War II. While flying to Paris on December 15, 1944, his aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.

This collection of some of his most beloved recordings was released posthumously in the days when an album truly was an album. The original compilation appeared as a four-disc, 78 rpm album set – two songs were disc. The set landed at #1 on the Billboard, logging a total of sixteen weeks on top during three separate years (8 weeks in 1945, 5 in 1946, 3 in 1947).

Three of Miller’s chart-topping songs appeared on this collection including In the Mood, which was the biggest hit of 1940 and of Miller’s career. It is one of the best known songs from the big band era. The song first emerged in 1930 as “Tar Paper Stomp” and was recorded by others, including Edgar Hayes and Artie Shaw, before Miller tackled it.

The song ranks at #5 in the Dave’s Music Database book of The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era. Also featured in that book at #6 is the recording of Stardust by Artie Shaw. Miller’s version of the song appears on this compilation.

“In the Mood” and another of Miller’s #1 songs on this collection, Tuxedo Junction, rank in the top 1% of songs all time. The song was written by Erskine Hawkins, who titled the song after a club in Birmingham, Alabama, that was part of the circuit played by African American performers. When Miller witnessed the crowd reaction to Erskine’s performance of the song on Christmas Eve in 1939 at the Savoy Ballroom in New York, he decided to record the song.

Three more were top-10 hits, including Moonlight Serenade. It also ranks in the top 1% of all songs and appears in the Dave’s Music Database list of the top 100 big band songs. That list also includes “In the Mood,” “Tuxedo Junction,” and Pennyslvania 6-5000.

Resources and Related Links:


First posted 2/9/2022.