Tuesday, November 17, 1998

Garth Brooks Double Live released

Double Live

Garth Brooks

Released: November 17, 1998

Recorded: 1996-1998

Peak: 15 US, 18 CW, 57 UK, 11 CN, 43 AU

Sales (in millions): 23.0 US *, 0.06 UK, 23.66 world (includes US and UK)

* The album shipped 11.5 million in the United States, but was certified for 23 million because it was a double album.

Genre: country

Tracks, Disc 1:

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

  1. Callin’ Baton Rouge (9/18/93, 70 CW)
  2. Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House (2/9/91, 1 CW)
  3. Shameless (10/19/91, 1 CW)
  4. Papa Loved Mama (2/1/92, 3 CW)
  5. The Thunder Rolls (5/18/91, 1 CW)
  6. We Shall Be Free (9/12/92, 12 CW)
  7. Unanswered Prayers (11/3/90, 1 CW)
  8. Standing Outside the Fire (9/18/93, 3 CW, 28 UK)
  9. Longneck Bottle (with Steve Wariner, 11/22/97, 1 CW)
  10. It’s Your Song * (11/14/98, 9 CW, 47a US)
  11. Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old (3/25/89, 8 CW)
  12. The River (5/2/92, 1 CW)
  13. Tearin’ It Up and Burnin’ It Down * (12/5/98, 63 CW)

Tracks, Disc 2:

  1. Ain’t Going Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up (8/7/93, 1 CW)
  2. Rodeo (8/17/91, 3 CW)
  3. The Beaches of Cheyenne (12/9/95, 1 CW)
  4. Two Pina Coladas (12/6/97, 1 CW)
  5. Wild As the Wind * (with Trisha Yearwood, 12/5/98, 65 CW)
  6. To Make You Feel My Love (5/16/98, 1 CW, 8 AC)
  7. That Summer (5/8/93, 1 CW)
  8. American Honky-Tonk Bar Association (9/11/93, 1 CW)
  9. If Tomorrow Never Comes (9/9/89, 1 CW)
  10. The Fever (11/25/95, 23 CW)
  11. Friends in Low Places (8/18/90, 1 CW)
  12. The Dance (5/5/90, 1 CW, 36 UK)

* These songs were new to this album; otherwise all the chart information above refers to the original studio releases of these songs.

Total Running Time: 100:11


3.600 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

With 18 #1 country songs in the 1990s, Garth Brooks established himself not only as the biggest country artist of the decade, but the biggest artist of the decade period. He already had the record for the biggest selling male solo artist. All that was left was “toppling the Beatles’ status as the best-selling artist of all time. A difficult task, to be sure, but one that was conceivably within Garth Brooks’ reach.” AMG

As the decade drew closer to its end, it became obvious that Brooks would shamelessly do whatever it took to reach that milestone. He released a box set called The Limited Series which repackaged his first six studio albums. He added one bonus track to each original album, forcing his fans to plunk down for a box set of albums they most likely owned already just to get six new songs. Back in 1994, he served a similar milk-the-fans-for-every-last-dollar album with The Hits, a collection which sold 10 million despite offering nothing new.

It’s hard not to see Double Live as another cash grab, especially since like The Limited Series, it is more than one disc which inflates sales figures. The album has been certified 23 times platinum, twice the 11.5 million shipped since it is a double album. Sales wise, however, it had sold only six million copies as of 2012. WK “The generic titles of both sets suggest that both albums shouldn’t be viewed as anything more than product, since Garth couldn’t be bothered to think of an actual title; he just called it what it is.” AMG

“The title alone isn’t what suggests that Double Live is product.” AMG There was also “the elaborate marketing plan – where the disc retails for the low price of $13.99 during the ‘holiday’ season, where the album has a different cover, photos and Brooks-penned liner notes every million copies pressed.” AMG On top of that, “the cassette has completely different artwork than the CD [which] ensures that he’ll move as many units as possible in as short a time as possible…Initial reports suggested that Brooks, his label EMI, and his favorite retailer, Wal-Mart, planned to move a million copies in one week.” AMG It worked. Double Live sold 1,085,000 copies in its first week, passing the first-week sales record previously held by Pearl Jam’s Vs. WK

To be fair, “Double Live is a professionally entertaining album with a few nice bonuses – including extra verses for Friends in Low Places and The Thunder Rolls…but much of this record is either identical to the studio counterparts or offers nothing new whatsoever.” AMG

There are three new songs – “the dedicated-to-mama It’s Your Song,” AMG the Trisha Yearwood duet Wild as the Wind which was intended for a duets album with Yearwood, and “the rocker Tearin’ It Up (And Burnin’ It Down)AMG which was originally planned for Brooks’ 1997 album Sevens. WK

Brooks also employs the all-too common trick of cleaning up “live” recordings in the studio. “It’s clear that the intros to Two Pina Coladas, The River and We Shall Be Free are pasted on in the studio – and even when the crowd intrudes on The Fever, it feels forced, not like the genuine kinetic energy that can be captured on a live recording.” AMG

It doesn’t help that the 25 songs are recorded on 25 different dates. “An album culled from such a wide variety of sources can’t help but feel patchwork…Despite the handful of new twists on familiar material, which will surely satisfy the diehards, Double Live simply isn’t that interesting for the average Garth fan. It’s the kind of record that’s hyped as an event upon its original release, but will be seen as little more than a curio a few years after its release.” AMG

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 11/18/2008; last updated 11/15/2023.

The Complete Wailers released

The Complete Wailers

The Wailers

Released: March 17, 1998

Recorded: 1967-1970

Charted: --

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

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

Genre: reggae

Disc 1: Rock to the Rock (1968): *

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

  1. Rock to the Rock
  2. Steady
  3. How Many Times
  4. Touch Me
  5. Mellow Mood
  6. There She Goes
  7. Rebel
  8. Put It On
  9. Chances Are
  10. Love
  11. Bend Down Low
  12. The World Is Changing
  13. Nice Time (1967, --)
  14. Treat You Right
  15. What Goes Around Comes Around (6/8/96, 42 UK)

Total Running Time: 48:35

Disc 2: Selassie Is the Chapel (1968-1970): *

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

  1. Don’t Rock My Boat
  2. The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow
  3. Chances Are
  4. Selassie Is the Chapel
  5. Tread Oh
  6. Alright
  7. Rhythum
  8. Rocking Steady
  9. Adam and Eve
  10. Wisdom
  11. This Train
  12. Thank You Lord (6/81, --)
  13. Give Me a Ticket
  14. On the Road Again
  15. Black Progress

Total Running Time: 46:20

Disc 3: The Best of the Wailers (1969-1970): *

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

  1. Sugar, Sugar
  2. Stop the Train
  3. Cheer Up
  4. Soon Come
  5. Soul Captive
  6. Go Tell It on the Mountain
  7. Can't You See (alternate)
  8. Give Me a Ticket (alternate)
  9. Hold on to This Feeling
  10. Chatterbox (alternate)
  11. Soul Shakedown Party (9/70, --)

Total Running Time: 36:33

The Players:

  • Bob Marley
  • Peter Tosh
  • Bunny Wailer
  • Other vocalists: Junior Braithwaite, Cherry Smith, Beverley Kelso, Constantine “Vision” Walker, Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt
  • Musicians: Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Carlton Barrett, Earl Lindo, Tyrone Downie, Alvin “Seeco” Patterson, Al Anderson, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Donald Kinsey, Junior Marvin


4.00 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

Quotable: A “living testament to the birth of the legend.” – Vibe magazine

About the Album:

Marley’s pre-major-label work has been repackaged and regurgitated to the point of market suffocation. While it isn’t complete, as the title suggests, this three-disc collection, along with two other Jad/Koch box sets released in 1998-99, is is fairly definitive in covering “Marley’s first important signing outside the local scene,” VB< the span between Studio One (1963-66) and the Wailers’ major label debut in 1973. It “may be as close as we ever get to that elusive portrait of the world’s greatest reggae band.” AZ

“Compiled by Marley-ologist Roger Steffens, this exhaustive archive is the culmination of many years' work trying to get at Marley tunes which lay dormant in record company vaults around the world.” AMG The set includes “copious” VB but “hard-to-follow” AZ “liner notes by reggae historians Bruno Blum and Roger Steffens, rare photos, and unheard instrumental ‘versions.’” VB

Amazon.com says the collection is “hampered by clumsy packaging,” AZ while AllMusic.com calls it “impeccable.” AMG In any event, “these recordings sound light-years better than most of the scratchy, poorly recorded early Wailers material previously available.” AZ This is “a necessary addition to any Marley collection.” AMG Vibe calls it a “living testament to the birth of the legend.” VB

The first installment, covered on this page, consisted of a 3-CD box set “of 47 tracks, 28 of which were previously unreleased outside Jamaica.” VB “We discover… a band reaching to find its own voice.” AZ “The collection brims with the influence of old American soul, gospel, and R&B hits that were popular in Jamaica at the time.” VB The Wailers “only begin to hint at the soul power they would find in reggae.” AZ “Also included are early versions of original tunes that eventually became big hits.” VB

“Despite the tentative feel on many of these songs, the undeniable talent of the ‘proto’ Wailers is unmistakable. Rita Marley appears as the rock solid force supporting the platform from which Peter Tosh and Bob Marley sprung. Tosh, for his part, is the real surprise here, already showing the jaunty, take-no-prisoners delivery that made him so unique. Marley is all over the stylistic map – trying on pop, love songs, standards, anything to try to capture the sense of urgency that would later become the band’s hallmark. An interesting historical marker.” AZ

“Alternate versions and dub versions of well-known classics, plus a few previously unreleased tracks, make this a must-have for fans of this most fertile period for Jamaica's greatest trio. Previously hard-to-find gems like The Lord Will Make a Way, Tread Oh, Feel Alright and Rhythm are all included, plus many more. There’s even a cover of Sugar Sugar.” AMG

“Perhaps of greatest interest to longtime Marley fans is the release of Selassie Is the Chapel, which was first printed in 1968 on a tiny edition of only 26.” AMG

Notes: This was the first box set in a set of three covering the years 1967-1972 over 11 discs. The three discs in this collection (Rock to the Rock, Selassie Is the Chapel, and Best of the Wailers were also released individually. The latter, originally released in 1970, also included “Back Out and “Do It Twice,” which are not on this box set. Also – this collection included alternate versions of songs which are not covered in the track listings on this page.

Resources and Related Links:

Last updated 5/6/2021.

Saturday, November 14, 1998

Lauryn Hill “Doo Wop (That Thing)” debuted at #1

Doo Wop (That Thing)

Lauryn Hill

Writer(s): Lauryn Hill (see lyrics here)

Released: August 10, 1998

First Charted: October 3, 1998

Peak: 12 US, 38 GR, 29 RR, 2 RB, 3 UK, 2 CN, 35 AU, 18 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.6 UK, 1.24 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 176.18 video, 366.27 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Lauryn Hill is “generally remembered as one of the greatest rappers and singers of an era when singers didn’t really rap and rappers didn’t really sing.” SG She grew up in a suburban South Orange, New Jersey, in a middle-class family. Her parents were amateur musicians and Hill was drawn to “her mother’s stack of old soul records.” SG In 1990, she became a member of the hip-hop group the Fugees with whom she released two albums, including 1996’s #1, multi-platinum album The Score. Then she bolted for a solo career.

Her one and only studio release, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was “a near-perfect album” SG which blended rap and R&B and was hailed as a neo-soul classic. Author Fred Bronson says “critics placed the album in the same category with seminal works like Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions.” FB She wrote and produced it herself and wound up with Grammys for Best Album and Best New Artist.

“Doo Wop (That Thing)” was the album’s lead single, although that wasn’t originally the plan. However, after the album had been out two months and gone double platinum, the record company wanted a commercial single. The song debuted at #1, becoming her only top-ten hit. It is “a bright, peppy, joyous track, and it features Hill both singing and rapping about as well as anyone can sing or rap.” SG It was “interpreted as a message to other female artists, who relied more on their bodies than their minds, like rapper Lil’ Kim.” FB “James Poyser, a prolific collaborator who’s now a full-time member of the Roots, added a prim, icy piano line. Hill’s collaborators jumped in with jubilant horn-stabs, DJ scratches, and a Motown-style string arrangement that really hits hard on the bridge.” SG

“For the ‘Doo Wop’ video, Lauryn Hill pulled off a neat trick…In splitscreen, we see two different Lauryn Hills at two different neighborhood jams on the same Washington Heights block — one in 1967, one in 1998. The old-timey Lauryn sings; the then-contemporary one raps…That bit where the two different Lauryns do the same shimmy-sway move in unison? Cinematic magic, baby.” SG


  • FB Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 873.
  • SG Stereogum (6/20/2022). “The Number Ones” by Tom Breihan
  • WK Wikipedia

Related Links:

First posted 7/24/2023.

Monday, November 9, 1998

Squeeze released Domino



Released: November 9, 1998

Peak: -- US, -- UK

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: new wave


Song Title (Writers) [time]

  1. Play On (3:39]
  2. Bonkers (3:43]
  3. What’s Wrong with This Picture? (3:24]
  4. Domino (4:34]
  5. To Be a Dad (4:10]
  6. Donkey Talk (4:55]
  7. Sleeping with a Friend (4:27]
  8. Without You Here (3:28]
  9. In the Morning (3:34]
  10. A Moving Story (3:11]
  11. Little King (3:33]
  12. Short Break (4:20]

Songs written by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook.

Total Running Time: 47:06

The Players:

  • Chris Difford (vocals, guitar)
  • Glenn Tilbrook (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
  • Chris Holland (keyboards)
  • Hilaire Penda (bass)
  • Ashley Sloan (drums)


2.795 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)

Quotable: ”Sounds workmanlike, not like the work of craftsmen” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

About the Album:

”If in the kingdom of the pop ballad the chorus still reigns supreme, then Squeeze is sitting pretty in the pleasure palace. Despite being largely a cult success since the late '70s, the band hasn't lost its sense of fun or sacrificed its style in the face of the electronic revolution.” HE

”Since their second album, Squeeze's strength was the craftsmanship of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook. Early in their career, they began perfecting pop songwriting, and even after the hits stopped coming in 1987, they were extraordinarily reliable, contributing a handful of memorable, sophisticated pop gems on each album.” AMG

”Perhaps such a consistent track record meant that they were due for a dud like…Domino. All the familiar elements are in place, but nothing really clicks – the melodies never grab hold, the performances are rote, the record sounds flat.” AMG ”Glenn Tilbrook's voice belies his age and still has the same home-grown tinge to it, occasionally doubled with the trademark octave vocals to hammer home the chorus hook,” HE but ”there's an overall sense that with the encroaching years that the pace of the band-members' lives has slowed.” HE

Domino sounds workmanlike, not like the work of craftsmen. It's a dogged, predictable album without any of the small musical or lyrical flourishes that have graced every other Squeeze album. It feels rushed, as if they had to turn out an album instead of wanting to record one – which is quite strange, considering it's the first album they've recorded for their own label. No doubt Domino is just a slump…it's a disappointment, nevertheless.” AMG

”Hints of mature crises appear, such as in To Be a Dad (‘I went to the cleaners / And came back with my life’).” HEHowever, that’s pretty much it. Only Play On and the title track come anywhere close to being memorable, and even they would have no business on a career-retrospective of Squeeze. After this album, Squeeze would not, in fact, “play on.” After 25 years together, Difford and Tilbrook packed it up and went their own separate ways. The band may have gone on a few more years than they should have, and you never know if they might be back someday, but in their moments of greatness, they were “the quintessential pop band, with fluffy riffs, music rich in appeal and variety, and lyrics to warm the cockles of any suburban heart.” HE

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/16/2006; last updated 5/20/2022.

Friday, November 6, 1998

50 years ago: Dinah Shore hit #1 with “Buttons and Bows”

Buttons and Bows

Dinah Shore & Her Harper Valley Boys

Writer(s): Jay Livingston (music), Ray Evans (words) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: September 18, 1948

Peak: 110 US, 13 GA, 110 HP, 112 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.4 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The biggest hit of 1948 WHC was also an Academy Award winner for Best Song. Bob Hope and Jane Russell introduced the song in the movie The Paleface. The song had a distinct western flavor and referenced Hope’s character in the film – a dentist from the east. TY It was initially written with an Indian theme, but the director determined that wouldn’t work. WK

The song charted six times in 1948 – the Dinning Sisters million-selling version with the Art Van Damme orchestra TY (#5), Betty Garrett (#8), Betty Jane Rhodes (#9), Evelyn Knight (#14), and Gene Autry (#17). PM-481 However, Dinah Shore’s version was the most successful. It went to #1, was a million-seller, and was “long associated with Shore, who continued to perform it for decades.” JA

Born Frances Rose Shore, Dinah was one of the most popular singers in the 1940s. She had a brief stay wit the Xavier Cugat band before striking out as a solo star. She charted 83 hits from 1940-1957, hitting #1 with “I’ll Walk Alone” (1944), “They Gypsy” (1946), “Anniversary Song” (1947), and “Buttons and Bows” (1948). The latter, however, was her last and longest time at the top. PM From 1951-62, she hosted a popular TV variety series and was a talk show host in the 1970s. PM

The song was used as a theme for one of the characters on F Troop, a 1960s TV sitcom. WK It surfaced again on The Jack Benny Program in 1962 when Gisele MacKenzie performed it as a saloon singer (“Ghost Town: Western Sketch”). WK It was used again in 1996 in an episode of Frasier (“Look Before You Leap”) in which the lead character attempts a performance of the song but forgets most of the lyrics. WK

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Dinah Shore
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 29.
  • TY Don Tyler (1985). Hit Parade 1920-1955. New York, NY: Quill. Page 135.
  • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 388.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Pages 318-20, 571.
  • WK Wikipedia

Last updated 9/8/2021.