Tuesday, March 17, 1998

Bruce Springsteen covers "We Shall Overcome"

6/8/1963: Pete Seeger “We Shall Overcome” recorded

We Shall Overcome

Pete Seeger

Writer(s): Charles Albert Tindley (see lyrics here)

Recorded: June 8, 1963

First Charted: --

Peak: -- (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 4.1 video, 1.2 streaming


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We Shall Overcome

Joan Baez

First Charted: November 9, 1963

Peak: 90 US, 28 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 6.1 video, -- streaming


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cover of We Shall Overcome album

We Shall Overcome

Bruce Springsteen

Released: March 17, 1998 (cut on Where Have All the Flowers Gone tribute album

First Charted: --

Peak: 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.12 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“We Shall Overcome” dates back to 1901 when Charles Albert Tindley published a hymn called “I’ll Overcome Some Day.” WK He was a noted minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, authoring roughly 50 gospel hymns. The songs were rooted in African American folk traditions, frequently featuring short refrains which allowed the congregration to join in. His audiences were comprised of many former slaves who were often impoverished and illiterate. WK

The music is said to date back to “No More Auction Block for Me,” an 1833 song sung by former slaves in Canada after Britain abolished slavery. WK Bob Dylan said he used the same melodic motif from “Auction Block” in composing his own classic protest song, “Blowin’ in the Wind.” WK

The modern version of the song is thought to have emerged in 1945 when Lucille Simmons led tobacco workers in singing the song during a cigar workers strike in Charleston, South Carolina. WK It was published in 1947 under the title “We Will Overcome” in an edition of the People’s Songs Bulletin, a publication of People’s Songs, an organization directed by Pete Seeger. WK That version was contributed by Zilphia Horton, the music director of Highlander Folk School, an adult education school in Monteagle, Tennessee that trained union organizers. She learned the song from Simmons and taught it to many others, including Pete Seeger. WK

Martin Luther King, Jr. saw Seeger perform the song in 1957 and remarked how the song stuck with him. WK He recited words from the song in his final sermon before his assassination in 1968. It was sung at his funeral. WK When Guy Carawan became the music direction of Highlander in 1959, his version became associated with the civil rights movement. Seeger and others, such as Joan Baez, sang the song at rallies, festivals, and concerts. WK

Ivan Cooper, a member of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, is shown singing the song in the film Bloody Sunday shortly before British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians during a 1972 civil rights protest march. WK Hundreds of thousands of Czechs sang the song in 1989 in Prague during the Velvet Revolution. Roger Waters covered the song in 2010 as a protest against the Israeli blockade of Gaza. WK

Bruce Springsteen covered the song for the 1998 tribute album Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger and again in 2006 for an album of songs inspired by Seeger, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. He performed the song in 2012 during a memorial concert for Norwegians killed in terrorist attacks the year before. WK


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First posted 9/23/2022.

Monday, March 16, 1998

Simple Minds’ Neapolis released

First posted 10/10/2020.


Simple Minds

Released: March 16, 1998

Peak: -- US, 19 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alternative rock


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

  1. Song for the Tribes
  2. Glitterball (3/14/98, 18 UK)
  3. War Babies (5/30/98, 43 UK)
  4. Tears of a Guy
  5. Superman v. Supersoul
  6. Lightning
  7. If I Had Wings
  8. Killing Andy Warhol
  9. Androgyny

Total Running Time: 45:00

The Players:

  • Jim Kerr (vocals)
  • Charlie Burchill (guitars, keyboards)
  • Derek Forbes (bass)
  • Mel Gaynor (drums)


3.195 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)


About the Album:

After Virgin Records released them from their contract, Simple Minds decided to reinvent themselves yet again. Since 1991, original members Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill had essentially recorded as a duio with session musicians. Prior to this album, they reunited with original members Derek Forbes and Brian McGee. McGee’s involvement didn’t go past the rehearsal stage, but Forbes was reinstated as an official member. They also brought back Mel Gaynor, who’d first started working with the band in 1982.

The move meant a return to the more new wave sound of their early ‘80s work instead of the more arena-rock sound they’d crafted since then. One would have thought such a reunion would have revived the band’s fortunes and garnered more attention. However, the album failed to chart in the U.S. when the band’s new label, Chrysalis, opted not to release the album there. WK In the UK it peaked at #19, a long way from the band’s previous six albums which had all peaked in the top 3.

Two singles were released from the album. Glitterball reached the top 20 in the UK while War Babies fell just short of the top 40. The band toured to support the album, but health problems and contractual fiascos dogged the tour. WK After the tour, the band parted with Chrysalis Records and dropped Gaynor and Forbes from the band yet again.

Notes: The Japanese edition also included remixes of “Don’t You Forget About Me” and “Waterfront” as bonus tracks.

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