Saturday, December 22, 2001

Nickelback hit #1 with “How You Remind Me”

How You Remind Me


Writer(s): Chad Kroeger, Mike Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Ryan Vikedal (see lyrics here)

Released: August 21, 2001

First Charted: July 28, 2001

Peak: 14 US, 18 RR, 2 A40, 11 AA, 113 AR, 113 MR, 4 UK, 1 CN, 2 AU, 9 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 1.2 UK, 3.15 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 7.25.8 video, 685.19 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

When Nickelback recorded “How You Remind Me” in about ten minutes as a last minute edition to their Silver Side Up album, they had something special. SF The band has amassed a legion of detractors, and this song is “a guilty pleasure, to be sure,” TG but an “absolutely undeniable” TG “example of mainstream songwriting chops and flawlessly slick production.” TG

This was the first top 40 hit for the Canadian rock band and only the second #1 song by a Canadian group, the first being the Guess Who’s “American Woman.” SF “Remind Me” was the most-played song of 2002 in the U.S. SF and topped the Billboard year-end chart. Billboard named it the #1 rock song of the decade. WK Lead singer Chad Kroeger has referred to what is often considered their signature song as “the song that put Nickelback on the map.” WK

Kroeger told MTV he penned this song about an ex-girlfriend with whom he’d had a rather dysfunctional relationship. However, he kept the lyrics ambiguous so that listeners could relate to the idea of an ex pointing out one’s faults. SF

The band’s drum tech, Andrew Mawhinney, suggested the idea of the band dropping out at the last chorus in which Kroeger bellows, “for handing you a heart worth breaking!” Mawhinney was rewarded by the band for the suggestion with $5000. SF


First posted 4/23/2020; last updated 11/7/2022.

Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Alan Jackson performed “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” at the CMAs

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning

Alan Jackson

Writer(s): Alan Jackson (see lyrics here)

First Performed: November 7, 2001

Released: November 26, 2001

First Charted: November 24, 2001

Peak: 28 US, 15 CW, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.4 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.2 radio, 7.5 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” was Alan Jackson’s heartfelt reaction to the September 11 attacks. As soon as he saw the news on television, he knew he wanted to write a song about it, but couldn’t for several weeks. As he said, “I didn’t want to write a patriotic song. And I didn’t want it to be vengeful, either. But I didn’t want to forget about how I felt and how I knew other people felt that day.” WK

At 4 a.m. on October 28, 2001, he awoke with the melody, opening lines, and chorus going through his mind. He got out of bed and sang into a hand-held digital recorder. After his family went to Sunday school that morning, he finished the lyrics. The words focus on questions about how people reacted, such as, “Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow? / Go out and buy you a gun? / Did you turn off that violent old movie you’re watchin’ / And turn on I Love Lucy reruns?” He referred to himself as “a singer of simple songs” and “not a real political man” and concludes by paraphrasing The Bible with the line, “Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us / And the greatest is love.”

Still, he wasn’t sure about recording it, much less releasing it, because he didn’t want to capitalize on a tragedy. However, when he played it for his wife, Denise, and for his producer, Keith Stegall, they both gave their approval. He went into the studio and recorded it that week. He played the finished track for executives at his record label. RCA chairman Joe Galante said, “We just kind of looked at one another. Nobody spoke for a full minute.” WK Jackson later said the song was his greatest accomplishment. SF

Jackson premiered the song at the County Music Association’s annual awards on November 7, 2001. He originally was going to perform “Where I Come From,” which was #1 on the Billboard country charts. When Jackson’s manager, Nancy Russell, played “Where Were You” for four of the CMA’s top executives, they were overcome with emotion. WK Vince Gill introduced Jackson that night and Jackson received a standing ovation at the song’s conclusion.

The next morning stations were immediately playing the song. Based almost entirely on that airplay, the song debuted at #25 on the Billboard country charts the week ending November 24, 2001 – the highest debut in a decade. It was then released as a single and, only six weeks later, became the fastest rising song to #1 in four years. WK


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First posted 8/13/2022.

Thursday, November 1, 2001

The White Stripes “Hotel Yorba” charted

Hotel Yorba

The White Stripes

Writer(s): Jack White (see lyrics here)

Released: November 10, 2001

First Charted: November 1, 2001

Peak: 26 UK, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 7.0 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Jack Gillis, a singer/songwriter and musician, and drummer Meg White married in 1996. He changed his last name to White and they formed the White Stripes a year later. The Detroit-based, garage-rock duo released a couple of singles and then a self-titled debut in 1999. That album and its 2000 follow-up, De Stilj, failed to make a dent on the U.S. charts, although both would eventually reach 300,000 in sales.

The two divorced in 2000, but kept the group together. A year later, their third album, White Blood Cells, proved to be their breakthrough. The album would sell more than a million copies in the U.S. and reach #61. In the UK, it got to #55 and sold more than 300,000 copies. It was the second single, “Fell in Love with a Girl,” which introduced the band to American audiences. However, in the UK, it was the first single, “Hotel Yorba,” which proved to be the band’s opening salvo.

The song was written about an actual hotel built in 1926 in Detroit. WK It was located in a run-down section in the southwestern part of the city at 4020 Lafayette Boulevard near a bus station. SF As a child, Jack heard rumors – which proved to be false – that the Beatles had stayed at the hotel. WK

Jack White first performed the song, which was inspired by Woody Guthrie, with hs band Two Star Tabernacle in 1998. SF Jack said Woody “wanted his songs to make people happy and make them feel good about themselves…I think ‘Hotel Yorba’ is definitely in that category.” SF The White Stripes recorded the song at the hotel in room 206 and later wanted to film the video – their first – at the hotel. According to Jack, they tried filming inside the hotel without permission, which got him banned for life. SF They ended up shooting much of the video outside the hotel.


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First posted 7/26/2022.

Thursday, October 4, 2001

50 years ago: American in Paris soundtrack released

An American in Paris

George & Ira Gershwin (composers)

Composed: 1928

Soundtrack Released: October 4, 1951

Peak: 116 US

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: classical


  1. Overture
  2. Embraceable You
  3. By Strauss
  4. I Got Rhythm
  5. Tra-La-La
  6. Love is Here to Stay
  7. I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise
  8. Concerto in F, Third Movement
  9. Tra-La-La/ Love Is Here to Stay
  10. 'S Wonderful
  11. “Something to Tell You…”
  12. An American in Paris (Ballet)
  13. Finale

Singles/Hit Songs:

These were covers of songs from this musical which became hits:

  • “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” – Carl Fenton (#12, 1922)
  • “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” – Paul Whiteman (#1, 1923)
  • “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” – Ben Selvin (#8, 1923)
  • “’S Wonderful” – Frank Crumit (#5, 1928)
  • “’S Wonderful” – Ipana Troubadors (#12, 1928)
  • “Embraceable You” – Red Nichols (#2, 1929)
  • ”Embraceable You” – Jimmy Dorsey (#23, 1941)
  • ”An American in Paris” – Victor Symphony Orchestra featuring George Gershwin (#7, 1929)
  • ”An American in Paris (excerpt entitled ‘Blues’)” – Ralph Flanagan (#15, 1951)
  • ”Concerto in F, Parts 1 & 2” – Paul Whiteman (#10, 1929)
  • ”I Got Rhythm” – Red Nichols (#5, 1931)
  • ”I Got Rhythm” – Ethel Waters (#17, 1931)
  • ”I Got Rhythm” – Louis Armstrong (#17, 1932)
  • ”Love Is Here to Stay” – Larry Clinton (#15, 1938)
  • ”Love Is Here to Stay” – Red Norvo (#16, 1938)


4.334 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The 1951 MGM musical An American in Paris was “inspired by the 1928 classical composition by George Gershwin. Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, and Oscar Levant, the film is set in Paris, and was directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner.” WK The film “won a well-deserved eight Academy Awards, including Best Score.” RM

“The plot is interspersed with showstopping dance numbers choreographed by Gene Kelly and set to popular Gershwin tunes.” WK “The climax is an 18 minute ballet featuring Kelly and Caron and set to Gershwin’s An American in Paris. The ballet alone cost more than half a million dollars, a staggering sum in those days.” WK

“In its original form, the soundtrack album…ran 25 minutes on a 10" LP (also released on 78s and 45s).” WR That collection included “Kelly and/or co-star Georges Guetary warbling their way through the Gershwin favorites S’Wonderful, Love Is Here to Stay, I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise, and I Got Rhythm.” WR

“Later reissues by CBS/Sony and Rhino vastly expanded that running time with outtakes and other bonus tracks.” WR Notably, “after 50 years, the soundtrack went out of copyright in Europe, enabling Britain’s Prism Leisure label, which specializes in unlicensed reissues, to come up with its own version,” WR which followed the original track listing “plus a 13-minute abridgement” WR of the aforementioned climatic ballet that closes the film. Also added were “42 minutes of bonus tracks not actually related to An American in Paris…[making it] more of a compilation of Gershwin movie music from the 1930s to the 1950s than a simple soundtrack recording.” BE

However, it is the two-CD Turner/Rhino set that “represents the ultimate musical resource for the MGM film.” BE “In the early ‘90s, Turner Entertainment undertook a major restoration of the movie and, in doing so, in addition to original film elements, unearthed a treasure trove of original audio masters and studio session recordings, including alternate takes, unused songs, and rehearsals. Some of these (which included many tracks by Georges Guetary) turned up on the 1992 vintage laser disc box, and now they’re here, remastered yet again, along with elements of the film’s underscore, which contained dozens of George Gershwin tunes that were never actually ‘featured’ in the movie.” BE

“The result is a two-hour celebration of Gershwin’s music that may hold up better than any of the other MGM songbook musicals of this period, thoroughly annotated for the serious listener and pleasingly, entertainingly packaged for the casual purchaser, for whom the only drawback may be the relatively steep price of the double-disc set.” BE

All the bonus material makes it the only “issue of the original soundtrack…that contains all of Gershwin's work on An American in Paris. According to Rhino Records, previous soundtrack albums have included abbreviated versions of songs, some of which were ruined by sound effects and dialogue overriding the music.” RM

Notes: There are multiple versions of this soundtrack available. You can see many at Soundtrack Collector.

The track listing here is based on 1990 CBS Special Products release. Only charted versions of songs from that collection have been listed above.

However, it is the 2-CD, 47-track Rhino reissue that is the cream of the crop. For its full track listing, check out All Music Guide. That collection included many more well-known Gershwin tunes that had charted versions, including Someone to Watch Over Me, I’ve Got a Crush on You, Nice Work if You Can Get It, How Long Has This Been Going On?, But Not for Me, Biding My Time, Love Walked In, and Do, Do, Do.

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Last updated 4/17/2022.