Tuesday, September 23, 1997

The Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon released

Bridges to Babylon

The Rolling Stones


Released: September 23, 1997


Peak: 3 US, 6 UK, 2 CN, 19 AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.1 UK, 4.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock veteran


Tracks:

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

  1. Flip the Switch [3:28] (11/22/97, 14 AR, 26 CN)
  2. Anybody Seen My Baby? (Jagger/ Lang/ Mink/ Richards) [4:31] (9/20/97, 45 RR, 2 AA, 3 AR, 22 UK, 1 CN, 58 AU)
  3. Low Down [4:26]
  4. Already Over Me [5:24]
  5. Gunface [5:02]
  6. You Don't Have to Mean It [3:44]
  7. Out of Control [5:02] (8/17/98, 51 UK)
  8. Saint of Me [5:15] (11/1/97, 94 US, 7 AA, 13 AR, 26 UK, 24 CN, 100 AU)
  9. Might As Well Get Juiced [5:23]
  10. Always Suffering [4:43]
  11. Too Tight [3:33]
  12. Thief in the Night (DeBeauport/ Jagger/ Richards) [5:15]
  13. How Can I Stop [5:53]

Songs written by Jagger/ Richards unless indicated otherwise.


Total Running Time: 61:20


The Players:

  • Mick Jagger (vocals, guitar, percussion)
  • Keith Richards (guitar, vocals, bass)
  • Ronnie Wood (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Charlie Watts (drums)

Rating:

3.413 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“It’s no use comparing Stones albums to Exile on Main Street anymore; the world’s greatest rock & roll band clearly substitutes finances for passion these days. But compared to, say, Soul Asylum or the Black Crowes, the band still produces worthwhile records.” AZVoodoo Lounge confirmed that the Stones could age gracefully, but it never sounded modern; it sounded classicist.” AMG

Bridges to Babylon finds the Rolling Stones swaggering towards the millenium with a record that confidently asserts that rock & roll is far from a young person’s game. Don Was returns behind the boards, and joining him at Mick Jagger's behest are uber-technophiles The Dust Brothers. Rather than leaping headlong onto an ill-fitting bandwagon, The Stones wisely gild their rock & roll lily with subtle electronic nuances.” CD Additional collaborators like “Beck, the Beastie Boys, and Danny Saber (of Black Grape)…give the veteran group an edge on their explorations of drum loops and samples.” AMG

“Of course, the Stones are the Stones, and no production is going to erase that, but the group is smart enough – or Keith Richards is stubborn enough – to work within their limitations…As a result, Bridges to Babylon sounds like the Stones without sounding tired. The band is tight and energetic, and there’s just enough flair” in the “noirish mood” CD of “the sultry Anybody Seen My Baby?, the menacing Gunface, and the low-key, sleazy Might as Well Get Juiced, to make them sound contemporary.” AMG

The latter features “swooshing laser sounds” CD while “Anybody Seen My Baby?” includes a sampled rap, both of which offer “present-day window dressing for a legacy deeply rooted in rhythm and blues.” CD “Anybody Seen My Baby?” was released as the lead off single and received a nomination for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocal. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Album.

“But the real key to the success of Bridges to Babylon is the solid, craftsman-like songwriting. While there aren’t any stunners on the album, nothing is bad.” AMG “The Stones stop long enough to cleverly acknowledge their past by dropping a harp playing the main riff of ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’ into the mid-tempo Out of Control.” CD Rockers like that, Flip the Switch and Low Down, along with “the closing Keith Richards suite all give Bridges the edge over the Stones’ spotty previous Voodoo Lounge.” CD

Richards’ winners include “and the slow-burning How Can I Stop.” AZ He “remains the soul of the Stones. His riffing and his endearing rasp continue to stand out.” CD “His crooning” CD on “the reggae workout You Don’t Have to Mean ItAZ and “the emotive one-two punch of Thief in the NightCD and “the slow-burning How Can I StopAZ “shows Keef to be a closet romantic camouflaged by a bad-ass strut.” CD

There are also ballads like Already Over Me and “Saint of Me to revel in their bad-boy persona.” CD They “cap off another fine latter-day Stones record.” AMG “The Stones don’t deserve our indifference just yet.” AZ

Resources and Related Links:


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 3/23/2008; last updated 10/25/2021.

Saturday, September 6, 1997

Elton John performed “Candle in the Wind” at Princess Di’s funeral

Candle in the Wind 1997

Elton John

Writer(s): Elton John/Bernie Taupin (see lyrics here)


Released: September 13, 1997


First Charted: September 6, 1997


Peak: 114 US, 32 RR, 5 AC, 22 A40, 15 UK, 11 CN, 16 (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 11.0 US, 5.4 UK, 37.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 4.0 radio, 44.4 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

According to Elton John, lyricist Bernie Taupin called “Candle in the Wind” “the best song we’ve ever written.” KL It charted three times in three decades with three versions. The original was a tribute to Marilyn Monroe and hit #11 in 1974 in the U.K. In the U.S., when DJs latched on to “Bennie and the Jets” the planned single release was aborted, RS500 but a live version would hit #6 on the pop chart and #2 on the adult contemporary chart in 1987.

The song’s greatest success came when Princess Diana died in a car crash on August 31, 1997. Elton proposed the idea to Taupin of revising the lyrics as a eulogy. Within the hour, Taupin had faxed the new words to John. HL Elton performed the only public performance of the revamped version at Diana’s funeral for a televised worldwide audience of more than 2.5 billion people. BR After the funeral, Elton headed to the studio with famed Beatles’ producer George Martin to record the song. BR

When released in the U.K., the song went straight to #1 on the strength 658,000 copies sold in a single day. The song amassed 2 million in sales by the end of its second week and logged another million in the next week. MG In 2008, the song had moved more than 5 million, making it the U.K.’s biggest seller ever. MG

The U.S. matched that number just in advance orders BR and would go on to 11 million in sales. MG Worldwide, it ranks as one of the top 100 best-selling songs in the world. Only Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” with estimates as high as 56 million, has sold more. The song topped the charts in 11 countries,” BB100 most notably with an astonishing 45 weeks at #1 in Canada. MG Its 14 weeks atop the U.S. charts make it one of the biggest #1 pop songs in U.S. chart history.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Elton John
  • BB100 Billboard (9/08). “All-Time Hot 100
  • BR Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 860.
  • HL Michael Heatley and Spencer Leigh (1998). Behind the Song: The Stories of 100 Great Pop & Rock Classics. Page 66.
  • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh. (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits. Page 447.
  • MG Theo Morgan-Gan (year?). “The UK’s Best Selling Singles
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (12/04). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

First posted 9/6/2011; last updated 4/13/2021.

Wednesday, September 3, 1997

Dennis DeYoung's musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame premiered

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Dennis DeYoung


Premiered: September 3, 1997


Peak: --


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: show tunes


Tracks:

Song Title [time]

  1. Who Will Love this Child [4:22]
  2. King of Fools [4:37]
  3. Hey Quasimodo [3:28]
  4. By the Grace of God [1:53]
  5. When I Dance for You [3:53]
  6. Ave Maria [4:32]
  7. Alms for the Beggarman [4:06]
  8. Paradise [3:15]
  9. Bless Me Father [3:14]
  10. With Every Heartbeat [5:29]
  11. Beneath the Moon [4:16]
  12. While There's Still Time [3:59]
  13. This I Pray [3:40]
  14. Esmerelda [3:28]
  15. The Confrontation [3:32]
  16. Sanctuary [1:37]
  17. With Every Heartbeat (Reprise) [2:57]

All songs written by Dennis DeYoung.


Total Running Time: 62:00


The Players:

  • Dennis DeYoung, Dawn Marie Feusi Candlish (lead vocals)
  • Dennis DeYoung, Ed Tossing (musical performance and arrangement)
  • Suzanne DeYoung, Carrie Ann DeYoung, Gary Loizzo, Forbes Candlish (backing vocals)

Rating:

2.681 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)

About the Album:

Dennis DeYoung’s theatrical leanings emerged when he was in Styx, especially on 1981’s Paradise Theater and 1983’s Kilroy Was Here. Some fans and even bandmates weren’t crazy about that aspect of DeYoung’s music and it was even a contributing factor to the band’s breakup in 1984. He himself acknowledged, “if you’re in rock ‘n’ roll, you’re not supposed to admit to liking theatre stuff,” PB but, he continues, “Styx was always a theatrical band…[and] essentially I’m a melody person in a rhythm age, and that’s what Broadway is really about.” PB

He dove in full steam when he took on the role of Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar in 1993. He said, “after months of crucifying across America I thought I might really be suited to this medium.” PB It sparked him to record an album of showtunes (1994’s 10 on Broadway) and to start writing his first musical – an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He wrote the score, book, and lyrics and called it his “greatest accomplishment as a songwriter.” DDY

DeYoung recorded an early homemade demo of the score for his personal use, but enough people expressed interest in it that he made it available for commercial release by money order at at concession booths at Styx concerts. PB He performed all the male parts while his sister-in-law Dawn Marie performed the female parts.

It was first performed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1996 at TPAC’s Polk Theater. DDY In Lisa DuBois’ review of the show, she says it “solidly translates Hugo’s tale of the lecherous priest, beautiful gypsy, and ridiculed hunchback into an exciting, if grandiose, musical” VY that is “perhaps more extravagant than profound.” VY She commended DeYoung’s use of strings and accordion in the gypsy music and adaption of church tones into Ave Maria and Bless Me Father. VY

Most of the songs were written specifically for the musical, but Beneath the Moon was a re-worked version of a song originally on DeYoung’s 1989 Boomchild album. There are also two songs here that were later reworked as Styx songs. Paradise was “lyrically altered and re-recorded by Styx and released as a studio track on Styx’s Return to Paradise double live album.” WK Styx also re-recorded While There’s Still Time for their 1999 Brave New World album.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 6/7/2021.