Tuesday, June 13, 2000

June 13, 2000: B.B. King and Eric Clapton collaborate on Riding with the King

First posted March 6, 2011. Last updated September 10, 2018.

Riding with the King

Eric Clapton with B.B. King

Released: June 13, 2000


Sales (in millions):
US: 2.89
UK: 0.27
IFPI: 1.0
World (estimated): 5.0


Peak:
US: 3
UK: 15
Canada: 13
Australia: 5

Quotable: --


Genre: blues


Album Tracks:

  1. Riding with the King (Hiatt) [4:23] (6/17/00, #26 AR)
  2. Ten Long Years (King/ Taub) [4:40]
  3. Key to the Highway (Broonzy/ Segar) [3:39]
  4. Marry You (Bramhall/Melvoin/ Ross/ Segar) [4:59]
  5. Three O’Clock Blues (King/ Taub) [8:36]
  6. Help the Poor (Singleton) [5:06]
  7. I Wanna Be (Bramhall/ Sexton) [4:45]
  8. Worried Life Blues (Merriweather) [4:25]
  9. Days of Old (Bihari/ King) [3:00]
  10. When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer (King/ Taub) [7:09]
  11. Hold On! I’m Comin’ (Hayes/ Porter) [6:20]
  12. Come Rain or Come Shine (Arlen/ Mercer) [4:11]

Singles/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

Review:

For his second full-fledged blues album, the 55-year-old Clapton collaborated with B.B. King, his senior by nearly 20 years. The pair first performed together in 1967, but didn’t record together until 30 years later when Clapton guested on King’s Deuces Wild album. WK For Riding with the King, “Clapton arranged the session using many of his regular musicians, picked the songs, and co-produced with his partner Simon Climie.” WR That would seemingly relegate King to guest status, but “because of Clapton's respect for his elder, it nearly works the other way around.” WR

Indeed, PopMatters’ Don Moos called the album “strong blues cocktail…with one part Mr. Clapton slickness mixed with three parts of Mr. King’s blues stature.” WK Entertainment Weekly’s Steve Futterman called the “father” and “son” collaboration “triumphant.” WK

In the Columbia Daily Spectator, Nicole Bode offered specific praise for the “call and response guitar and vocal duet…on…Hold On, I’m Comin’, an Isaac Hayes’ song originally released as a single for Sam & Dave in 1966. Of Come Rain or Come Shine, from the 1946 musical St. Louis Woman, she said it was “a mournful vibrato so tender it almost breaks your heart.” WK

The album also included covers of standards such as “the Big Bill Broonzy-penned Key to the Highway (which Clapton had recorded in the early 1970s with Derek and the Dominos) [and] Chicago pianist Maceo Merriweather’s Worried Life Blues.” WK Alongside those standards are “five ‘vintage’ King songs from the 1950s and 1960s: Ten Long Years, Three O'Clock Blues, Help the Poor, Days of Old, and When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer.” WK

The title cut was written by John Hiatt and first appeared on his 1983 album of the same name. The song came about when producer Scott Matthews told Hiatt about his dream of flying on an airplane with Elvis Presley. WK The album was rounded out “with some specially written and appropriate recent material.” WR

The “danger is that Clapton will defer too much…but the two players turn out to have sufficiently complementary, if distinct, styles so that Clapton’s supportive role fills out and surrounds King’s stinging single-string playing…The result is an effective, if never really stunning, work.” WR

That sentiment was echoed by the Mobile Register’s Dave Ferman who said that while it “was a ‘great idea well-executed,’ it is not as good as it could have been.” WK He also said Clapton has never been a great blues singer and critiqued the overall result as too “squeaky clean…antiseptic and clinical.” WK

However, Cosmopolitan’s Louis Gerber called it a “refreshing and sensational album” WK which “goes directly to the heart and soul.” WK while Bode said King takes Clapton “deeper into blues territory than he has ever gone alone” WK and draws out a “raw, growling” side of Clapton’s voice. WK

Like Clapton’s 1994 From the Cradle album, this one also won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album.


Review Source(s):

Awards:


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Saturday, June 10, 2000

Eric Bazilian released first solo album, The Optimist

The Optimist

Eric Bazilian


Released: June 10, 2000


Peak: --


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: rock


Tracks:

Song Title [time]

  1. Driving in England [4:19]
  2. Until You Dare [4:17]
  3. Gemini Yo Yo [4:32]
  4. Bye Bye Baby [5:24]
  5. U.G.L.Y. [3:45]
  6. When I Was the Man [3:54]
  7. Kid from Outer Space [5:03]
  8. Be My Woman [4:46]
  9. Fiddlesticks [4:03]
  10. Hopelessly, Relentlessly [5:11]
  11. Mind Going Down [3:27]
  12. The Optimist/
  13. One of Us (unlisted bonus track) [9:30]

Rating:

3.262 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)


Quotable: “A gift to the pop canon” – Karl J. Valentine, customer review on Amazon.com

About the Album:

“For many the name Eric Bazilian will bring about blank stares. But once you start naming some of the songs he has written or co-written (‘One of Us,’ ‘Kiss the Rain’ to name two) usually a spark of recognition begins. His work as a hit song writer came a few years after success as a member of the Hooters began to dwindle.” JB

“Now eight years after the last Hooters studio album we have The Optimist…It comes with a sigh of relief that some artists do care about music and lyric content.” JB “He’s constantly evolving, consistently honing his craft (both as a musician and songwriter), and digging as deep as he can to keep the spirit alive.” KV

“The songs…pick up where the Hooters Out of Body left off and go in an entirely new direction. Eric plays the majority of the instruments with the familiar mandolin and saxophone making appearances here and there.” JB “At the core, Eric is deeply methodical, and cut very much out of the Lennon/McCartney cloth, but his lyrics tend to venture more into the sardonic...Eric may be unknown to most in the pop world…, but he's very accessible for all his eccentricities.” KV “Because he’s gifted at his craft…and can spin a pop lyric with the best of them, Eric has created a work that is highly personal, while comfortably familiar.” KV

“Don’t be fooled by the fact that this album is a hybrid of basement demo tapes, because these songs smoke most contemporary studio albums.” KV Bazilian “seems to clearly remember what it's like to be an alienated pre-adult. The pleasing assortment of songs on his self-produced solo debut, The Optimist, attest to this.” AMG

“The songs grab at you and don’t let go until the final note ends.” JB “Tracks such as the sullen Kid from Outer Space, the lightly comical Driving in England, and the very pretty Until You Dare are a few such gems, reminiscent of radio-friendly pop/rock from the late '80s and early '90s.” AMG The latter would later be recorded by the Hooters on their Time Stand Still album and Bazilian would revisit it yet again on his 2012 album What Shall Become of the Baby? with Mats Wester.

There’s also “the humorous lyrics of Be My Woman about the relationship between two individuals that have an age difference, or the pessimism of The Optimist.” JB Both show “that Eric loves his profession. It’s a shame that his profession has become one of writing hit songs for other artists.” JB

“If you want to hear Eric open up and reveal himself [down to the core], simply go straight to track # 10. The song, Hopelessly, Relentlessly includes a guitar solo [that] gives…chills, and when his voice cracks, [it is clear] he’s spilling out his heart with abandon, and has the skill to cut us to the quick. For that reason alone, this album will enjoy a long shelf life.” KV

“The rest of this album falls along similar, non-threatening lines, never veering from the middle-of-the road path Bazilian paved for other artists from Billie Myers to Amanda Marshall and the Hooters. It stands to reason – if the formula worked for them, why not for the craftsman himself? With a graceful and uncomplicated approach, eschewing major labels and going the self-released route is apparently the biggest risk Eric Bazilian takes with this easy to like recording.” AMG “The album is really a gift to the pop canon.” KV

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Last updated 6/17/2021.

Eminem hit #1 with The Marshall Mathers LP

First posted 3/12/2008; updated 12/16/2000.

The Marshall Mathers LP

Eminem


Released: May 23, 2000


Peak: 18 US, 14 RB, 12 UK, 113 CN, 11 AU


Sales (in millions): 10.21 US, 2.23 UK, 23.35 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rap


Tracks:

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

  1. Public Service Announcement 2000 (performed by Jeff Bass) (Bass) [0:25]
  2. Kill You (Bradford/ Mathers/ Young) [4:24]
  3. Stan (with Dido) (Armstrong/ Herman/ Mathers) [6:43] (10/7/00, 51 US, 31a RB, 1 UK, 1 AU, 2x platinum)
  4. Paul (skit by Paul “Bunyan” Rosenbert) (Rosenbert) [0:10]
  5. Who Knew (Bradford/ Elizondo/ Mathers/ Young) [3:47]
  6. Steve Berman (with Steve Berman) (Mathers) [0:53]
  7. The Way I Am (Mathers) [4:44] (8/5/00, 58 US, 22a RB, 8 UK, 34 AU, platinum)
  8. The Real Slim Shady (Coster/ Elizondo/ Mathers/ Young) [4:50] (5/6/00, 4 US, 10a RB, 19 MR, 1 UK, 6 CN, 11 AU, 4x platinum)
  9. Remember Me? (with RBX & Sticky Fingaz) (Collins/ Doctor Dre/ Eminem/ Jones) [3:38]
  10. I’m Back (Bradford/ Doctor Dre/ Mathers) [5:10]
  11. Marshall Mathers [5:20]
  12. Ken Kaniff (skit) (?) [1:01]
  13. Drug Ballad [5:00] (3/17/01, 65a RB)
  14. Amityville (with Bizarre) (Bass/ Bass/ Johnson/ Mathers) [4:14]
  15. Bitch Please II (with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, & Xzibit) (Bradford/ Broadus/ Elizondo/ Joyner/ Mathers/ Young) [4:48] (7/8/00, 51a RB)
  16. Kim [6:17]
  17. Under the Influence (with D-12) (Carlisle/ Holton/ Johnson/ Mathers/ Moore/ Porter) [5:22]
  18. Criminal [5:19]

Songs by Bass/ Bass/ Mathers unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 72:04

Rating:

3.922 out of 5.00 (average of 27 ratings)


Quotable: --


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“It’s hard to know what to make of Eminem.” AMG “His debut, The Slim Shady LP, established [him] as a major force in both hip-hop and broader contemporary culture, but there was still doubt as to whether he would be the latest in a string of short-lived white rap novelties.” TL “Even if you know that half of what he says is sincere and half is a put-on; the trick is realizing that there’s truth in the joke, and vice versa. Many dismissed his considerable skills as a rapper and social satirist because the vulgarity and gross-out humor on The Slim Shady LP were too detailed for some to believe that it was anything but real.” AMG

“To Eminem’s credit, he decided to exploit that confusion on his masterful second record, The Marshall Mathers LP.” AMG “Rap’s superlative wordsmith blurs the line between autobiography and cartoons in hilarious and vulgar high-velocity rhymes.” UT It is “a fairly brilliant expansion of his debut, turning his spare, menacing hip-hop into a hyper-surreal, wittily disturbing thrill ride. It’s both funnier and darker than his debut, and Eminem’s writing is so sharp and clever that the jokes cut as deeply as the explorations of his ruptured psyche.” AMG “He lashed out at the hypocrisy of American society, exposed the prejudices that fuelled rap music, and held his constituency’s psychosis up to the light.” VUThe Marshall Mathers LP raised the stakes, raised his profile, and damn near raised the dead.” TL

“Eminem delivered dizzying, blistering rhymes that laid bare his neuroses, his fury, and his confusion. He jumped from laugh-out-loud funny to chillingly menacing from one line to the next, and went after his critics (The Way I Am) and his fans (Stan, the mesmerizing high-wire act in a stalker’s voice) with equal fever.” TL

“The production is nearly as evocative as the raps, with liquid basslines, stuttering rhythms, slight sound effects, and spacious soundscapes. There may not be overpowering hooks on every track, but the album works as a whole, always drawing the listener in. But, once you’re in, Eminem doesn’t care if you understand exactly where he’s at, and he doesn’t offer any apologies if you can’t sort the fact from the fiction. As an artist, he’s supposed to create his own world, and with this terrific second effort, he certainly has. It may be a world that is as infuriating as it is intriguing, but it is without question his own, which is far more than most of his peers are able to accomplish at the dawn of a new millennium.” AMG


Notes: --

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