Wednesday, November 27, 1996

Today in Music (1896): Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra premiered

Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 30 (TrV 176)

Richard Strauss (composer)

Composed: 1896

Premiered: November 27, 1896

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: classical


  1. Einleitung (Introduction)
  2. Von den Hinterweltlern (Of the Backworldsmen)
  3. Von der großen Sehnsucht (Of the Great Longing)
  4. Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften (Of Joys and Passions)
  5. Das Grablied (The Song of the Grave)
  6. Von der Wissenschaft (Of Science and Learning)
  7. Der Genesende (The Convalescent)
  8. Das Tanzlied (The Dance-Song)
  9. Nachtwandlerlied (Song of the Night Wanderer)

Average Duration: 33:30


4.303 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Strauss, like many of his contemporaries, was enthralled with Richard Wagner. Many of his works exhibit “an intent on Strauss’ part to re-create the spirit of the older composer’s works.” AMG However, in adapting Friedrich Nietzsche’s tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra to music, “Strauss’ music soon took on a distinct identity.” AMG A former Wagner devotee, Nietzsche had become his most vocal critic. By aligning with Nietzsche, “Strauss forever removed himself from the camp of ‘true’ Wagnerians.” AMG

“Like most of Strauss’ tone poems, Also sprach Zarathustra employs massive instrumental forces; however, it provides a contrast to Strauss’ more strongly narrative works in its deployment of the orchestra in a more subtle and deft manner. The relative concision of its musical material suggests the composer’s attempt to mirror the nature and character of his literary source.” AMG He completed it “in the summer of 1896 and premiered in November of the same year…Iit was among the works that forever solidified the composer’s reputation and distilled the essence of his singular orchestral language.” AMG

The first of nine sections kicks off with an introduction which has been immortalized in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Three distinctive episodes follow, each exploring an element of Nietzsche’s text, “from Von den Hinterweltlern (From the Back-world People) to an expression of intense yearning (Von der großen Sehnsucht) and a portrayal of joy and passion (Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften). At the center of the work is Das Grablied (Song of the Grave), which sets the stage for the clever and ironic Von der Wissenschaft, in which a truncated fugue gently pokes fun at science by – perhaps prophetically – including all twelve chromatic pitches in its subject. Der Genesende (The Convalescent) slowly regains its strength, bursting forth into the energetic Das Tanzlied (Dance-Song), led by a solo fiddle.” AMG

“The final section, Nachtwandlerlied (Song of the Night Wanderer), makes subtle use of tonal and thematic cues (most notably, a return to the tonality of the opening section) to suggest that the journey of the unnamed Night Wanderer is cyclic – eternally returning to its beginning.” AMG

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Last updated 11/25/2023.

Saturday, November 16, 1996

Cash Box's Top 100 Singles 1958-1996

First posted 11/28/2011; last updated 3/23/2020.

Cash Box’s Top 100 Singles


Cash Box magazine first issued a top 100 singles chart for the September 13, 1958 issue when they expanded their top 75 chart to one hundred positions. The original version of the magazine lasted through November 16, 1996. Using a progressive inverse point system, Cash Box chart archivist Randy Price compiled a list of the top 100 songs according to the Cash Box charts. Here’s the list:

  1. Chubby Checker “The Twist” (1960)
  2. Bobby Darin “Mack the Knife” (1959)
  3. The Monkees “I’m a Believer” (1966)
  4. Boyz II Men “End of the Road” (1992)
  5. The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1964)
  6. The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968)
  7. Debby Boone “You Light Up My Life” (1977)
  8. Johnny Horton “The Battle of New Orleans” (1959)
  9. Percy Faith & His Orchestra “The Theme from “A Summer Place” (1960)
  10. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1976)

  11. Boyz II Men “I’ll Make Love to You” (1994)
  12. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross “Endless Love” (1981)
  13. Olivia Newton-John “Physical” (1981)
  14. The Archies “Sugar Sugar” (1969)
  15. Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra “Love Is Blue (L’Amour Est Bleu)” (1968)
  16. Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” (1992)
  17. Boris Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers “Monster Mash” (1962)
  18. Louis Armstrong “Hello, Dolly!” (1964)
  19. The Fifth Dimension “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” (1969)
  20. Queen “Another One Bites the Dust” (1980)

  21. Three Dog Night “Joy to the World” (1971)
  22. Los Del Rio “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” (1996)
  23. Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men “One Sweet Day” (1995)
  24. The New Vaudeville Band “Winchester Cathedral” (1966)
  25. Irene Cara “Flashdance...What a Feelin’” (1983)
  26. The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women” (1969)
  27. Chic “Le Freak” (1978)
  28. The Bee Gees “Night Fever” (1978)
  29. The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
  30. Boyz II Men “On Bended Knee” (1994)

  31. Sir Mix-A-Lot “Baby Got Back” (1992)
  32. Blondie “Call Me” (1980)
  33. The J. Geils Band “Centerfold” (1981)
  34. The Bee Gees “How Deep Is Your Love” (1977)
  35. Andy Gibb “Shadow Dancing” (1978)
  36. Tony Orlando & Dawn “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree” (1973)
  37. Tag Team “Whoomp! (There It Is)” (1993)
  38. The Four Seasons “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” (1976)
  39. The Platters “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (1958)
  40. Ben E. King “Stand by Me” (1961)

  41. The Knack “My Sharona” (1979)
  42. Tommy Edwards “It’s All in the Game” (1958)
  43. Phil Collins “Another Day in Paradise” (1989)
  44. Ray Charles “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1962)
  45. B.J. Thomas “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” (1969)
  46. Donna Lewis “I Love You Always Forever” (1996)
  47. Lionel Richie “Say You, Say Me” (1985)
  48. Snap! “Rhythm Is a Dancer” (1992)
  49. Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968)
  50. The Steve Miller Band “Abracadabra” (1982)

  51. UB40 “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (1993)
  52. Don McLean “American Pie” (1971)
  53. Andy Gibb “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” (1977)
  54. Ssgt. Barry Sadler “The Ballad Of The Green Berets” (1966)
  55. The Jackson 5 “I’ll Be There” (1969)
  56. Kenny Rogers “Lady” (1980)
  57. Ferrante & Teicher “Exodus” (1960)
  58. Chubby Checker “Limbo Rock” (1962)
  59. Mariah Carey “Fantasy” (1995)
  60. Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” (1978)

  61. Men at Work “Down Under” (1982)
  62. The Beatles “She Loves You” (1964)
  63. Janet Jackson “That’s the Way Love Goes” (1993)
  64. Gilbert O’Sullivan “Alone Again (Naturally)” (1972)
  65. Jim Reeves “He’ll Have to Go” (1960)
  66. The Box Tops “The Letter” (1967)
  67. The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
  68. Exile “Kiss You All Over” (1978)
  69. Elvis Presley “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” (1960)
  70. The Singing Nun “Dominique” (1963)

  71. Survivor “Eye of the Tiger” (1982)
  72. Mary MacGregor “Torn Between Two Lovers” (1977)
  73. Daryl Hall & John Oates “Maneater” (1983)
  74. Jimmy Dean “Big Bad John” (1961)
  75. The Human League “Don’t You Want Me?” (1982)
  76. Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes” (1981)
  77. Toni Braxton “You’re Makin’ Me High”/“Let It Flow” (1996)
  78. The Monkees “Last Train to Clarksville” (1966)
  79. Real McCoy “Another Night” (1994)
  80. Glen Campbell “Rhinestone Cowboy” (1975)

  81. The Partridge Family “I Think I Love You” (1970)
  82. The Everly Brothers “Cathy’s Clown” (1960)
  83. Mr. Aker Bilk “Stranger on the Shore” (1962)
  84. USA for Africa “We Are the World” (1985)
  85. Roy Orbison “(Oh) Pretty Woman” (1964)
  86. The Kingsmen “Louie Louie” (1963)
  87. Elvis Presley “It’s Now or Never” (1960)
  88. Stevie B “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” (1990)
  89. Bobbie Gentry “Ode to Billie Joe” (1967)
  90. Tony Orlando & Dawn “Knock Three Times” (1970)

  91. Dire Staits “Money for Nothing” (1985)
  92. The Supremes “Love Child” (1968)
  93. Bobby Lewis “Tossin’ and Turnin’” (1961)
  94. Rod Stewart “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (1979)
  95. The Marvelettes “Please Mr. Postman” (1961)
  96. Lulu “To Sir with Love” (1967)
  97. Lawrence Welk & His Orchestra “Calcutta” (1961)
  98. The Kingston Trio “Tom Dooley” (1958)
  99. The Starland Vocal Band “Afternoon Delight” (1976)
  100. George Michael “Faith” (1987)

Spice Girls debuted at #1 in UK with Spice


Spice Girls

Released: September 19, 1996

Charted: November 16, 1996

Peak: 15 US, 115 UK, 16 CN, 3 AU

Sales (in millions): 7.5 US, 3.0 UK, 27.6 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop


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

  1. Wannabe (7/20/96, 1 US, 1 UK, platinum single)
  2. Say You’ll Be There (10/26/96, 3 US, 1 UK, gold single)
  3. 2 Become 1 (12/28/96, 4 US, 1 UK, 8 AC, gold single)
  4. Love Thing
  5. Last Time Lover
  6. Mama (3/15/97, 1 UK)
  7. Who Do You Think You Are
  8. Something Kinda Funny
  9. Naked
  10. If U Can’t Dance

Total Running Time: 39:56

The Players:

  • Victoria Beckham (“Posh Spice”)
  • Melanie Brown (“Scary Spice”)
  • Emma Bunton (“Baby Spice”)
  • Melanie Chisholm (“Sporty Spice”)
  • Geri Halliwell (“Ginger Spice”)


3.566 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)


“Irresistible, immaculately crafted pop that gets by on the skills of the producer and the charisma of the five Spices” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Heart Management held auditions to create a girl group in the ‘90s which could compete with the British boy band craze. The result was the Spice Girls, formed in 1994, with members Victoria Beckham (“Posh Spice”), Melanie Brown (“Scary Spice”), Emma Bunton (“Baby Spice”), Melanie Chisholm (“Sporty Spice”), and Geri Halliwell (“Ginger Spice”).

The resulting debut album, Spice, “is considered to be the record that brought teen pop back.” WK Dev Sherlock of LAUNCHcast called it “pure upbeat ear candy” and “one of the most must and exciting pop releases of the year.” WK It promoted a strong feminist image called Girl Power and generated hype in the UK that was compared to Beatlemania. The album topped the charts in more than 17 countries, becoming the world’s best-selling album in 1997 with more than 19 million copies sold. WK It became the biggest-selling album by a gril group in music history. WK

“None of the Girls have great voices, but they do exude personality and charisma, which is what drives bouncy dance-pop like Wannabe, with its ridiculous ‘zig-a-zig-ahhh’ hook, into pure pop guilty pleasure.” AMG That song definitely was that, reaching #1 in 37 countries and becoming one of pop music’s most memorable earworms.

Spice doesn’t need to be original to be entertaining, nor do the Spice Girls need to be good singers. It just has to be executed well, and the innocuous dance-pop of Spice is infectious.” AMG “What is surprising is how the sultry soul of Say You’ll Be There is more than just a guilty pleasure, and how ballads like 2 Become 1 are perfect adult contemporary confections.” AMG Both followed “Wannabe” to the top of the charts in multiple countries and were top-5 hits in the United States.

In the UK, Mama and What Do You Think You Are were released as a double-A-sided single and topped the charts, making the Spice Girls the first act in UK chart history to reach the top of the chart with its first four singles. WK

“The rest of the album isn’t quite as catchy as those first three singles, but it is still irresistible, immaculately crafted pop that gets by on the skills of the producer and the charisma of the five Spices. Sure, the last half of the album is forgettable, but it sounds good while it’s on, which is the key to a good dance-pop record.” AMG

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Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/25/2008; last updated 11/15/2023.

Saturday, November 9, 1996

Blackstreet “No Diggity” hit #1

No Diggity

Blackstreet with Dr. Dre & Queen Pen

Writer(s): Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Lynise Walters, William Stewart, Dr. Dre (see lyrics here)

Released: July 29, 1996

First Charted: October 12, 1996

Peak: 14 US, 11 CB, 13 GR, 12 RR, 14 RB, 9 UK, 2 CN, 21 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.6 US, 1.8 UK, 3.44 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 342.66 video, 669.85 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Teddy Riley became “one of the greatest producers in pop history” SG and the “originator of the new jack swing sound,” FB “a streetwise brand of R&B.” TB He produced blockbuster albums for Bobby Brown (Don’t Be Cruel) and Michael Jackson (Dangerous) and rap classics “The Show” by Doug E. Fresh and “Rump Shaker” by Wreckx-N-Effect. He “injected R&B with rap swagger and dance-music intensity.” SG

He’d also been with the group Guy in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but started a new R&B group Blackstreet in 1991. He said, “I wanted to do something like Boyz II men but with a different sound, different style, different image.” FB Their self-titled 1994 debut went platinum and set up the group for even greater success on their sophomore effort, Another Level. That album hit #3 and was certified four-times platinum. The first album generated a top-ten hit in “Before I Let You Go,” but the second album did even better with the chart-topping “No Diggity.”

The phrase came out of a unreleased remix of “I Like the Way You Work” from the first album. LL Cool J rapped on the track, using the line “no diggity” to mean “no doubt.” SG The song was built on a sample of “Grandma’s Hands” by Bill Withers. Riley and co-producer William “Skylz” Stewart looped the song’s “soft and thoughtful humming-to-himself moment.” SG Withers wrote the song about his grandma, but Riley “turned it into a song about an extremely sexy woman.” SG

“Blackstreet performed ‘No Diggity’ with all the swagger of street rappers” TB but it did also feature actual rapping. Riley brought in Lynise Walters, a rapper from Brooklyn known as Queen Pen who sounded a lot like Lil’ Kim. SG “She’s got a ton of presence, and she really attacks the beat, bringing equal measures of strut and style.” SG

Even bigger, though, is Dr. Dre, “the former N.W.A. producer and occasional rapper, [who] figured out how to make a street-rap blockbuster.” SG When Dre first heard the song, he told Riley he wanted to be in the video. Riley agreed, but only if Dr would rap on the song. His “verse isn’t exactly masterful, but it sounds cool as hell anyway.” SG


First posted 6/26/2023.

Saturday, November 2, 1996

“Macarena” spent 14th week on top

Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix)

Los Del Rio

Writer(s): Rafael Ruiz, Perdigones, Antonio Romero Monge, SWK, Carlos de Yarza (see lyrics here)

First Charted: September 2, 1995

Peak: 114 US, 12 CB, 28 AC, 19 A40, 2 UK, 16 CN, 19 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.3 US, 0.6 UK, 11.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 222.61 video, 240.0 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Macarena” was a Spanish dance song originally released in 1993 by Los Del Rio, a Spanish flamenco-pop lounge act comprised of Antonio Romeo Monge and Rafael Ruiz. Monge wrote the chorus on the spot at a private party in Venezuela. WK Inspired by a local flamenco dancer named Diana Patricia, SF he sang about a woman named Magdalena. The term was associated with Mary Magdalene and her seedy past and someone who was sassy and sensuous. WK It was renamed Macarena, which means “Mother of God.” SF

Jammin’ Johnny Carride, a radio personality and club DJ in Miami, saw how popular the song was with clubgoers and snuck in an airing of the song at his radio station, despite their policy to exclude non-English songs. The program director was hooked, but wanted an English remix. SF Carride recruited Mike Triay and Carlos de Yarza, his partners at Bayside Records, to remix the song. They added English-language lyrics and a new dance beat. WK In the original version, Macarena carouses with other men to get revenge on her boyfriend, Vitorino, who joined the army. The Bayside Boys remix, featuring lyrics sung by Carla Vanessa, paints her as more promiscuous. SF

The remix topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in August 1996 and stayed there for 14 weeks, making it one of the longest-running #1 songs in history. Its 60 weeks on the chart also made it, at the time, the longest-charting #1 song in the chart’s history. WK Billboard named it the #1 song of the year.

With easy-to-learn, accompanying dance movies, the song became an international dance sensation and iconic presence at weddings, parties, and sporting events. It was even featured at the 1996 Democratic National Convention when Vice President Al Gore, known for his stiffness, made a joke about doing the Macarena and then stood motionless for a few seconds. In 2002, VH1 ranked it the greatest one-hit wonder of all-time. WK In 2012, Billboard ranked it the #1 all-time Latin song. WK


First posted 10/30/2019; last updated 10/22/2022.