Monday, July 31, 2000

Coldplay’s “Yellow” charted

First posted 7/31/2012; updated 3/18/2021.

Yellow

Coldplay

Writer(s): Guy Berryman, Jon Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin (see lyrics here)


Released: June 26, 2000


First Charted: July 8, 2000


Peak: 48 US, 20 RR, 11 A40, 2 AA, 6 MR, 4 UK, 5 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 1.38 UK, 3.45 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.2 radio, 652.19 video, 200.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

This was the American market’s introduction to Coldplay and lead singer Chris “Martin’s unique dreaminess.” RS’09 The band “translated Radiohead’s paranoid soundscapes into something that was palatable to the mass audience.” CR Rolling Stone said, “Has any band had a better line for their first single than ‘Look at the stars, see how they shine for you’?” RS’09

The song tells a familiar tale of unrequited love, although Martin has said it could be brotherly love and not necessarily romantic devotion. SF He said, “That’s just about somebody throwing themselves in front of a car for somebody else…I’d do anything for them and they’d do anything for me.” CR While a simple song, it is elevated by the “romantic, spiraling boy-wail” TB of Martin’s “killer falsetto in the bridge” TB and the unusual move of closing with the same chords as played throughout, but switching them from major to minor. TB

He got the inspiration for this song from the yellow pages phone book. AB’00 He said, “It was simply because that word sounded nice, it just seemed to fit, no other reason. None of the other colors would have sounded right really!’” SF

In addition, a bare-bones emphasis on “the song’s sheer quality ensured classic status for the video.” TB Only Martin was featured in the video as his Coldplay cohorts attended the funeral of mother of Will Champion, the band’s drummer. Since it was shot at a fast shutter speed to achieve a slow motion effect, Martin had to lip-sync to the song played at twice its normal speed. SF

Martin used to change the song’s melody while performing it, but R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe told him, “’Stop doing that. People want to hear the songs the way they know them.’” SF


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Coldplay
  • DMDB page for parent album Parachutes
  • AB’00 About.com (2009) “Top 100 Pop Songs of the 2000s
  • CR Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Pages 717-8.
  • RS’09 Rolling Stone (12/9/09). “Songs of the Decade” (12/9/09).
  • SF Songfacts
  • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 294.

Sunday, July 23, 2000

In Concert: Sting and Tracy Chapman

image from sting.com

Venue: Sandstone Ampitheatre; Bonner Springs, KS
Tour: Sting’s Brand New Day Tour
Opening Act: Tracy Chapman


Tracy Chapman’s Set List:

1. It’s OK
2. Baby, Can I Hold You
3. Wedding Song
4. Crossroads
5. For My Lover
6. Less Than Strangers
7. The Promise
8. Fast Car
9. Speak the Word
10. Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution
11. Telling Stories
12. Give Me One Reason


Sting’s Set List:

1. A Thousand Years
2. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free
3. After the Rain Has Fallen
4. We’ll Be Together
5. Perfect Love...Gone Wrong
6. All This Time
7. Seven Days
8. Fill Her Up
9. Fields of Gold
10. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
11. Moon Over Bourbon Street
12. Tomorrow We’ll See
13. Englishman in New York
14. Brand New Day
15. Roxanne
16. Desert Rose
17. When the World Is Running Down You Make the Best of What’s Still Around

Encore 1:

18. If I Ever Lose My Faith in You
19. Every Breath You Take

Encore 2:

20. Message in a Bottle
21. Fragile

Monday, July 17, 2000

Aha released Minor Earth, Major Sky

Minor Earth, Major Sky

A-ha


Released: July 17, 2000


Peak: -- US, 27 UK, -- CN, 169 AU


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


Genre: synth pop


Tracks:

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

  1. Minor Earth Major Sky (7/10/00, --)
  2. Little Black Heart
  3. Velvet (9/14/00, --)
  4. Summer Moved On (5/22/00, 33 UK)
  5. The Sun Never Shone That Day (9/21/00, --)
  6. To Let You Win
  7. The Company Man
  8. Thought That I Was You
  9. I Wish I Cared
  10. Barely Hanging On
  11. You’ll Never Get Over Me
  12. I Won’t Forget Her
  13. Mary Ellen Makes the Moment Count


Total Running Time: 58:42


The Players:

  • Morten Harket (vocals, guitar)
  • Magne Furuholmen (keyboards, guitar, bass)
  • Pål Waaktaar-Savoy (guitars, drums, percussion)

Rating:

3.667 out of 5.00 (average of 3 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“A-ha's sixth studio CD came seven years after their previous album, Memorial Beach, and in that time it seems that a-ha mellowed out. They do not seem to have concern about attracting the youth/dance market, but instead seem to be focusing in on how to make perfect middle-of-the-road pop songs with ‘90s technology. This is not a criticism, as it produces several fantastic songs, such as Little Black Heart and the wonderful I Wish That I Cared. These, and many others, are full of catchy, beautiful melodies and Morten Harket’s vocals are near perfect as usual; his voice has not lowered one octave since their debut.” AMG

“The one problem with this CD is the relative sameness to some of the music. The tempos do not change a great deal, and by the end the songs seem to run together. More variety would have been beneficial. However, in terms of production, this is as close to perfect as a CD can get, and the lyrics keep things interesting throughout. Overall, a good album, and one that fans will enjoy.” AMG

“On its release Minor Earth, Major Sky was an instant number one, platinum awarded success in Norway and in Germany. Gold discs came in Austria, Spain and Switzerland. The title track Minor Earth, Major Sky and Velvet followed Summer Moved On as singles, the latter hitting No. 1 in Norway and top-10 in Germany.” AZ

“The deluxe version of Minor Earth, Major Sky is more than just another reissue of a hit album, with demos, early versions and alternate mixes. Disc two amounts to an entirely new take on the album. Early versions of the title track ‘Minor Earth, Major Sky,’ ‘Velvet,’ ‘Summer Moved On’ and the enormous powerful version of The Sun Never Shone That Day as well as other takes that did not make it on the final cut reveal the sparkles of songwriting and the process of an idea becoming a hit. Four live-performances in Oslo taken from their 2001 tour prove the grandeur of an a-ha live performance.” AZ

Resources and Related Links:


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 1/18/2009; updated 8/9/2021.

Saturday, July 8, 2000

50 years ago: Nat “King” Cole hit #1 with “Mona Lisa”

Mona Lisa

Nat “King” Cole

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


First Charted: June 10, 1950


Peak: 18 US, 18 HP, 14 CB, 14 RB, 15 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 5.05 video, -- streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting, Ray Evans and Jay Livingston (who also wrote “Silver Bells,” “Buttons and Bows,” and “Que Sera Sera”) penned this tune about her “mystic smile,” TY pondering if it was intended to “tempt a lover or to hide a broken heart.” TY

The song was used in the 1949 movie Captain Carey, U.S.A. starring Alan Ladd. In the movie a street musician was to play a specific melody to warn when the Germans were coming. SF The few fragments of “Mona Lisa” featured in the movie were in Italian, TY but it was enough to merit an Academy Award win for Best Song in 1950.

Of course, the song is most strongly associated with Nat “King” Cole. JA He only agreed to record the song after the writers practically begged him. TY Nelson Riddle arranged the song and Les Baxter’s Orchestra provided the orchestral backing. WK The result was one of the ten best sellers of the first half of the century. PM

It became an instant standard – nine versions of the song charted in 1950 alone. Victor Young, Harry James, Art Lund, Ralph Flanagan, Charlie Spivak, and Dennis Day all hit the pop charts with it and Moon Mullican and Jimmy Wakely took it to the top ten of the country charts. In 1959, Conway Twitty recorded a version initially intended only as an album cut, but it got enough attention it was released as a single WK which went top 25 in the U.S. and hit #5 in the U.K. That year, Sun Records’ Sam Phillips also signed Carl Mann to record a rockabilly version. WK It reached the top 25 on the pop and R&B charts. Three decades later, Willie Nelson just missed the top ten on the country charts with his #11 version. Harry Connick Jr., Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, The Neville Brothers, Elvis Presley, Shakin’ Stevens, and Cole’s daughter Natalie all recorded the song as well. WK

In 1954, the song plays in the background of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and the song resurfaced again as the theme to the 1986 British film Mona Lisa. WK


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Nat “King” Cole
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 135.
  • SF Songfacts.com
  • TY Don Tyler (1985). Hit Parade 1920-1955. New York, NY: Quill. Page 143.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 631.
  • WK Wikipedia.org


First posted 7/8/2012; last updated 9/8/2021.