Saturday, September 26, 1998

George Gershwin: Top 50 Songs

First posted 12/7/2019.

Composer and pianist George Gershwin was born Jacob Gershowitz on this day 100 years ago - 9/26/1898 - in Brooklyn, NY. Died 7/11/1937 of a brain tumor. Worked with popular and classical music. Collaborated with his brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin, on more than a dozen Broadway shows. His songs “Swanee,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me” are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era, 1890-1953. For a complete list of this act’s DMDB honors, check out the DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry.

Top 50 Songs

Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Many of these songs have been recorded multiple times. Only the highest-ranked version in Dave’s Music Database is included in this list. There are also some songs not identified as being by any particular artist. Additionally, songs which hit #1 on the following charts are noted: United States’ pop charts (US) and Hit Parade (HP).

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Swanee (Al Jolson with Charles Prince’s Orchestra, 1920) #1 US
2. I Got Rhythm (Red Nichols, 1930)
3. Someone to Watch Over Me (Gertrude Lawrence, 1926)
4. Rhapsody in Blue (Paul Whiteman with George Gershwin, 1924)
5. They Can’t Take That Away from Me (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937) #1 US
6. The Man I Love (Marion Harris, 1928)
7. Summertime (Billie Holiday, 1936)
8. Somebody Loves Me (Paul Whiteman, (1924) #1 US
9. Embraceable You (Red Nichols with Dick Robertson, 1930)

DMDB Top 5%:

10. Oh, Lady Be Good (Paul Whiteman, 1925)
11. Fascinating Rhythm (Cliff Edwards, 1925)
12. Nice Work if You Can Get It (Fred Astaire with Ray Noble’s Orchestra, 1937) #1 US
13. Do It Again (Paul Whiteman, 1922) #1 US
14. I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise (Paul Whiteman, 1922) #1 US
15. Love Walked In (Sammy Kaye with Tommy Ryan, 1938) #1 US, HP
16. Strike Up the Band (Red Nichols, 1930)
17. Do Do Do (Gertrude Lawrence, 1927)
18. Love Is Here to Stay (Larry Clinton with Bea Wain, 1938)
19. S’ Wonderful (Sarah Vaughan, 1927)
20. But Not for Me (Ella Fitzgerald, 1959)

21. Sweet and Low Down (Harry Archer & His Orchestra, 1926)
22. A Foggy Day in London Town (Fred Astaire with Ray Noble’s Orchestra, 1937)
23. Clap Yo’ Hands (Roger Wolfe Kahn, 1927)
24. It Ain’t Necessarily So (Leo Reisman, 1935)
25. Of Thee I Sing ( Ben Selvin, 1932)
26. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937)
27. Mine (Emil Coleman, 1933)
28. Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away) (Al Jolson with Bob Haring’s Orchestra, 1929)
29. That Certain Feeling (Paul Whiteman, 1929)
30. Yankee Doodle Blues (Billy Murray with Ed Smalle, 1922)
31. I’ve Got a Crush on You (Frank Sinatra, 1948)

DMDB Top 10%:

32. Bidin’ My Time (Foursome, 1930)
33. They All Laughed (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937)
34. Funny Face (Arden-Ohman Orchestra with Johnny Marvin, 1928)
35. My One and Only (Jane Green with Nat Shilkret’s Orchestra, 1928)
36. I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ (Leo Reisman, 1935)
37. An American in Paris (George Gershwin with Nat Shilkret & the Victor Symphony Orchestra, 1929)

DMDB Top 10%:

38. Shall We Dance? (Fred Astaire with Johnny Greer’s Orchestra, 1937)
39. Things Are Looking Up (Fred Astaire with Ray Noble’s Orchestra, 1937)
40. For You, for Me, Forevermore (Dick Haymes with Judy Garland & the Gordon Jenkins Orchestra, 1947)
41. Bess, You Is My Woman (Porgy and Bess cast, 1935)
42. I Loves You, Porgy (Porgy and Bess cast, 1935)

DMDB Top 10%:

43. How Long Has This Been Going On? (Bobbe Arnst with Mary O’Brien, 1927)
44. Isn’t It a Pity? (George Givot with Josephine Huston, 1932)
45. Slap That Bass (Fred Astaire with Dudley Dickerson, 1937)
46. I Was Doing All Right (Ella Logan, 1938)
47. He Loves and She Loves (Ella Fitzgerald, 1959)
48. Maybe (Nat Shilkret, 1926)
49. Anything for You (1921)
50. Love Is in the Air (1925)


Tuesday, September 22, 1998

Lyle Lovett released covers album Step Inside This House

Step Inside This House

Lyle Lovett

Released: September 22, 1998

Peak: 55 US, 9 CW, 190 UK

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: alt-country/Americana

Tracks, Disc 1:

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

  1. Bears (Steven Fromholz) [3:04] (9/19/98, 11 AA)
  2. Lungs (Townes Van Zandt) [2:18]
  3. Step Inside This House (Step Inside My House) (Guy Clark) [5:29]
  4. Memphis Midnight/Memphis Morning (Eric Taylor) [4:23]
  5. I’ve Had Enough (Vince Bell, Craig Calvert) [3:02]
  6. Teach Me About Love (Walter Hyatt) [3:52]
  7. Sleepwalking (Willis Alan Ramsey) [5:39]
  8. Ballad of the Snow Leopard and the Tanqueray Cowboy (David Rodriguez) [5:51]
  9. More Pretty Girls Than One (traditional) [2:56]
  10. West Texas Highway (Boomer Castleman, Michael Martin Murphey) [3:32]
  11. Rollin’ By (Robert Earl Keen) [4:06]

Tracks, Disc 2:

  1. Texas Trilogy: Daybreak (Fromholz) [3:17]
  2. Texas Trilogy: Train Ride (Fromholz) [2:35]
  3. Texas Trilogy: Bosque County Romance (Fromholz) [4:53]
  4. Flyin’ Shoes (Van Zandt) [4:38]
  5. Babes in the Woods (Hyatt) [3:04]
  6. Highway Kind (Van Zandt) [3:27]
  7. Lonely in Love (Hyatt) [2:45]
  8. If I Needed You (Van Zandt) [3:46]
  9. I’ll Come Knockin’ (Hyatt) [3:24]
  10. Texas River Song (traditional) [4:09]


3.962 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)

Quotable: “Few covers albums are as unified.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Step Inside This House, in a way, is a perfect follow-up to The Road to Ensenada, his straightest country album since his debut, taking Lyle Lovett back to the very beginning, as he covers his favorite songwriters. He consciously avoids such obvious influences as Randy Newman and Jesse Winchester, choosing to concentrate almost solely on Texan singer/songwriters, resulting in a minor revelation. Lovett’s place in Texas’ progressive country tradition has always been evident, and his good taste has never been in question, but this not only confirms his strength as a performer, but also illustrates the origins of his clear, wry narratives.” AMG

“He not only sheds light on songwriters known better for their reputation than their actual recordings (Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Walter Hyatt, Michael Martin Murphey, Robert Earl Keen), yet he carries a torch for obscure names like Eric Taylor, Vince Bell and Craig Calvert, David Rodriquez, and Steve Fromholz, who has no less than four songs on the album. For all the different writers, what's striking about Step Inside This House is how all the songs seem to spring from the same worldview. Few covers albums are as unified and Lovett’s achievement is particularly noteworthy since none of the songs are standards.” AMG

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 5/18/2022.

Lyle Lovett released “Step Inside This House”

image from

Step Inside This House

Lyle Lovett

Writer(s): Guy Clark (see lyrics here)

Released: 9/22/1998 as album cut on Step Inside This House

First Charted: --

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

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.114 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

For his seventh album, Lyle Lovett decided to a tribute with a double album of covers of songs written by fellow Texans. The title cut was written by Guy Clark as “Step Inside My House.” Clark says it was the first song he ever wrote, MS but it never appeared on any of his albums. WK In fact, he never even recorded it. MS

Eric Taylor (who wrote “Memphis Midnight/Memphis Morning” – another track on the Step Inside This House album) introduced the song to Lovett. WC It had become sort of a shared song amongst local Houston songwriters. WC In the mid-to-late ‘90s, Clark, Lovett, Joe Ely and John Hiatt did a handful of acoustic shows together. One night, Lovett surprised Clark by performing the song and declaring it was one he wished he’d written. WC

Lyle explains. “We were doing one of the guitar pulls at the Paramount Theatre in Vancouver. We were riding the elevator after the show which I had ended with ‘Step Inside This House.’…So Guy said, ‘Man, I wish you would stop doing that song. That song is too long. There’s a reason I never recorded it.’ I laughed. I think it’s a brilliant song.’” LS Lovett got permission from Clark to use it for the Step Inside This House album. WK

Of Clark, Lovett said, “He’s always himself. Guy is one of the most honest people you’ll ever meet…To get to sit on stage and watch him play one of his songs is incredible.” LS Clark was instrumental in getting Lovett signed to a record deal in the late ‘80s. Clark heard a demo tape of Lovett’s in the mid-‘80s and started passing around copies to people in Nashville. He gave a copy to Tony Brown at MCA Records who signed Lovett. WC


Related Links:

First posted 3/10/2021; last updated 10/31/2022.

Monday, September 21, 1998

Marillion Radiation released



Released: September 21, 1998

Peak: -- US, 35 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: neo-progressive rock


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

  1. Costa del Slough [1:24]
  2. Under the Sun [4:13]
  3. The Answering Machine [3:48]
  4. Three Minute Boy [5:59]
  5. Now She'll Never Know [4:59]
  6. These Chains [4:49] (9/21/98, 78 UK)
  7. Born to Run [5:12]
  8. Cathedral Wall [7:19]
  9. A Few Words for the Dead [10:31]

All songs written by Hogarth/Rothery/Kelly/Trewavas/Mosley.

The Players:

  • Steve Hogarth (vocals, percussion)
  • Steve Rothery (guitar)
  • Pete Trewavas (bass)
  • Mark Kelly (keyboards)
  • Ian Mosley (drums)


2.958 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

After the more “acoustic approach of This Strange Engine, Marillion turns back toward the heavier sound of Afraid of Sunlight.” AMG They “decided to experiment with different instrument tones, vocal effects, samples…and the like.” WK The album was “arguably influenced by Radiohead's 1997 album OK ComputerAMG but “also shows a Beatles sound that lends more of a pop flavor than the band had shown before.” AMG

“They also tried a different approach to mixing that left the recording often sounding flat and tinny. The entire album was significantly remixed in 2013 to give a different perspective and rectify many of those complaints.” WK

Answering Machine, These Chains and Under the Sun are appealing tracks, while Three Minute Boy, yet another Marillion examination of the impact of fame, contains some of Steve Rothery's best guitar work in years.” AMG

This was the second of three albums Marillion released through Castle Communications after they were dropped by EMI in 1995. The group would eventually turn to crowd-funding to allow themselves to finance albums before they even began recording and released them independently.

It’s also worth noting that two songs from the sessions – Tumble Down the Years and Interior Lulu – were recorded and mixed but left off the album. They were added on Marillion’s 1999 release

Notes: The album was also released with alternate version of "Estonia" and "Memory of Water" (both from This Strange Engine). A 2013 reissue added a remix version of the album on a second disc.

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/14/2008; last updated 3/6/2022.

Saturday, September 5, 1998

Aerosmith debuted at #1 with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”

I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing


Writer(s): Diane Warren (see lyrics here)

Released: August 18, 1998

First Charted: May 29, 1998

Peak: 14 US, 11 BA, 18 RR, 13 AC, 2 A40, 4 AR, 4 UK, 2 CN, 18 AU, 10 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 1.35 UK, 6.49 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.7 radio, 661.0 video, 879.51 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Aerosmith established themselves as one of the premiere classic rock band in the 1970s with album rock staples like “Walk This Way,” “Dream On,” and “Sweet Emotion.” By the end of the decade, the group looked like they were toast, but a late ‘80s revival restorted their commercial clout with hits like “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” “Angel,” “Love in an Elevator,” and “Janie’s Got a Gun.” However, it wasn’t until 1998 that Aerosmith landed their one and only #1 song with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” At the time, no act had waited longer – almost 25 years – from its first chart entry to its first chart-topper. FB

The song was written by Diane Warren who wrote #1 hits in the 1980s and ‘90s for Bad English (“When I See You Smile”), Toni Braxton (“Un-Break My Heart”), Chicago (“Look Away”), Taylor Dayne (“Love Will Lead You Back”), Celine Dion (“Because You Loved Me”), Milli Vanilli (“Blame It on the Rain”), and Starship (“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”). She envisioned someone like Celine Dion singing the power ballad which was featured in 1998 disaster film Armageddon. U2 was asked to perform it, but passed. SF

Aerosmith emerged as a candidate after lead singer Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv was cast in the movie. The band’s drummer, Joey Kramer, said it was difficult to imagine them singing the song when he first heard it, but they were able to make it their own after they began playing it. WK Warren was also surprised Aerosmith was asked, but got chills when she was sitting at the piano with Steven Tyler teaching him the song and hearing him bring it to life. SF

Birmingham Evening Mail said “Warren weaves her magic again with a bombastic power ballad…[which] perfectly suits Steven Tyler’s sleazy vocals.” WK Billboard’s Larry Flick wrote that it was “a high=voltage performance that is matched by a collision of rock-style instrumentation and grand, faux-classical orchestration.” WK

The video for the song intercut performances of the band with clips from the movie, including appearances by one of the movie’s stars, Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv. It won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film and Nickelodeon’s Teen Choice Award for Love Song of the Year. It was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.


  • FB Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 870.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

Related Links:

First posted 1/27/2021; last updated 7/24/2023.