Friday, May 31, 2002

Eric Bazilian released second solo album, A Very Dull Boy, this month

A Very Dull Boy

Eric Bazilian


Released: May 2002


Peak: --


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: rock


Tracks:

Song Title [time]

  1. A Very Dull Boy [5:03]
  2. Lucky to Be [2:27]
  3. Insomnia [3:26]
  4. Since You Ask [2:47]
  5. Feeling Your Pain [3:22]
  6. A Pocket Full of Nothing [3:33]
  7. Ella Fitzgerald [3:35]
  8. Too Much of My Time [4:38]
  9. Lump of Clay [3:25]
  10. Hallelujah and Amen [3:24]

Rating:

3.170 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The Philadelphia-based rock band the Hooters found success in the 1980s with their Nervous Night album, which produced three top-40 hits. They released five albums from 1980 to 1993 and then disappeared until 2007’s Time Stand Still. During that fourteen-year hiatus, Eric Bazilian wrote for other artists, most notably the top-5 hit “One of Us” for Joan Osborne in 1995, but also released a pair of solo albums. The first, The Optimist, came out in 2000.

This one, A Very Dull Boy, follows in 2002. It is “another collection of witty lyrics and personal insightful thoughts of relationships and the world around him.” MR It is “rockier and more uptempo than the debut, although the production is very rough and tumble.” MR

“Bazilian’s style is somewhat rawer and rougher than the polished Hooters, not to mention the more distinct fuzz-tones of his tuned down guitar. Still, there’s a few tracks that could be lifted off this, polished and Hooterized. It all boils down to whether you are a fan of the singer/ songwriter/ musician.” MR

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Last updated 8/9/2021.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

Eminem released The Eminem Show

First posted 3/12/2008; updated 12/23/2020.

The Eminem Show

Eminem


Released: May 26, 2002


Peak: 16 US, 16 RB, 15 UK, 19 CN, 17 AU


Sales (in millions): 10.3 US, 1.2 UK, 27.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rap


Tracks:

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

  1. Curtains Up (skit)
  2. White America
  3. Business (7/13/02, 73a RB, 6 UK, 4 AU)
  4. Cleanin’ Out My Closet (8/3/02, 4 US, 11 RB, 4 UK, 3 AU, 2x platinum)
  5. Square Dance
  6. The Kiss (skit)
  7. Soldier
  8. Say Goodbye Hollywood
  9. Drips
  10. Without Me (5/11/02, 2 US, 1 UK, 13 RB, 15 MR, 1 UK, 4 CN, 1 AU, 4x platinum)
  11. Paul Rosenberg (skit)
  12. Sing for the Moment (4/5/03, 14 US, 6 UK, 2 CN, 5 AU, platinum)
  13. Superman (2/1/03, 15 US, 44 RB, platinum)
  14. Hailie’s Song
  15. Steve Berman (skit)
  16. When the Music Stops
  17. Say What You Say
  18. ‘Till I Collapse
  19. My Dad’s Gone Crazy (with Hailie Jade) (8/3/02, #61a RB)
  20. Curtains Close (skit)


Total Running Time: 77:28

Rating:

3.864 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)


Quotable: “Essentially a holding pattern, but it’s a glorious one – one that proves Eminem is the gold standard in pop music in 2002.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“It’s all about the title. First time around, Eminem established his alter ego, Slim Shady – the character who deliberately shocked and offended millions, turning Eminem into a star. Second time at bat, he turned out The Marshall Mathers LP, delving deeper into his past while revealing complexity as an artist and a personality that helped bring him an even greater audience and much, much more controversy. Third time around, it’s The Eminem Show – a title that signals that Eminem’s public persona is front and center, for the very first time.” AMG Q magazine said the first two albums “aired dirty laundy, then the world’s most celebrated rapper examined life in the hall of mirrors he’d built for himself.” WK

The album’s title was inspired by the film The Truman Show. Jim Carrey portrayed Truman Burbank, a man who unknowingly lives within a television show. Eminem said, “My life felt like it was becoming a circus around that time, and I felt like I was always being watched.” WK Cleanin’ Out My Closet, the second song he wrote for the album, includes the line “I’d like to welcome y’all to The Eminem Show.” WK The album consequently keyed in on “the psychic toll of being America’s biggest pop star and – according to scolds on both ends of the political spectrum – number one moral menace.” RS’11

He addresses very public incidents, such as “the furor over his alleged homophobia and his scolding from Lynne Cheney, which leads to furious criticism about the hypocrisy of America and its government.” AMG He also treads familiar ground, such as his love for his daughter, Hailie, and his troubled relationships with his parents and his ex-wife, Kim.

USA Today’s Edna Gundersen accused Eminem as “hoisting The Eminem Show to a level of self-absorption rivaled only by Woody Allen.” WK She noted that he “displays an admirable dexterity in blending invective and invention, even though his approach is more reactionary than revolutionary.” WK

“The rhymes were as densely packed and virtuosic as ever (‘When I speak, it’s tongue in cheek/I’d yank my fuckin’ teeth before I’d ever bite my tongue’), but they were also poignantly confessional; the beats largely jettisoned perky hip-hop to embrace the power chords and grandeur of Seventies rock.” RS’11 “All this is married to a production very similar to that of its predecessor – spare, funky, fluid, and vibrant, punctuated with a couple of ballads along the way. So, that means The Eminem Show is essentially a holding pattern, but it’s a glorious one – one that proves Eminem is the gold standard in pop music in 2002, delivering stylish, catchy, dense, funny, political music that rarely panders (apart from a power ballad ‘Dream On’ rewrite on Sing for the Moment and maybe the sex rap Drips, that is).” AMG

“Even if there is little new ground broken, the presentation is exceptional – Dre never sounds better as a producer than when Eminem pushes him forward (witness the stunning oddity Square Dance, a left-field classic with an ominous waltz beat) and, with three albums under his belt, Eminem has proven himself to be one of the all-time classic MCs, surprising as much with his delivery as with what he says.” AMG

“Perhaps the album runs a little too long at 20 songs and 80 minutes and would have flowed better if trimmed by 25 minutes, but that’s a typical complaint about modern hip-hop records. Fact is, it still delivers more great music than most of its peers in rock or rap, and is further proof that Eminem is an artist of considerable range and dimension.” AMG

Complex magazine said the album “cemented Eminem’s place as one of the most important figures in rap history.” WK NME’s Alex Needham said The Eminem Show “is bigger, bolder and far more consistent than its predecessors” WK while Entertainment Weekly’s David Browne called it “a testament to the skills of its star.” WK Rolling Stone’s Kris Ex went so far as to say Eminem “may have made the best rap rock album in history.” WK

The album is Eminem’s best-seller and is the second best-seller of the 21st century, tied with Norah Jones’ Come Away with Me and only behind Adele’s 21. It was nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year and won for Rap Album of the Year (his third such award). Without Me won the Grammy for Best Music Video and MTV’s Video of the Year award.

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Sunday, May 12, 2002

Eminem released “Without Me”

First posted 2/12/2021; updated 2/15/2021.

Without Me

Eminem

Writer(s): Marshall Mathers, Jeffrey Bass, Kevin Bell, Anne Dudley, Malcolm McLaren, Trevor Horn (see lyrics here)


Released: May 12, 2002


First Charted: May 10, 2002


Peak: 2 US, 11 RR, 13 RB, 15 AR, 11 UK, 4 CN, 15 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 1.2 UK, 6.49 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.2 radio, 1027.8 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“Without Me” was released as the lead single for American rapper Eminem’s fourth album, The Eminem Show. It reached #1 in fifteen countries. The song features “catchy lyrics, the bizarre music video, and…extremely dense rhyming schemes.” JR In a Rolling Stone album review, Kris Ex describes the song as “a fun-loving, barb-laden romp on which he flits from one topic to the next like a bumblebee with ADD.” RS

The song received Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Male Rap Solo Performance and won the Grammy for Best Music Video. It also won four MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year. The video features him with Dr. Dre as parodies of Batman and Robin. They “rescue” a young boy from listening to The Eminem Show, which has a parental advisory on it.

The song was intended as a sequel to “The Real Slim Shady” from The Marshall Mathers LP. Eminem boasts that he is back to save the world, explaining how the music industry and culture in general was boring without him. He also mocks then Vice-President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne, the latter specifically for her comments that Eminem was “degrading and violating [women] to new levels.” JR

He also lashes out at his mother Debbie, who sued him for being mentioned in “My Name Is” from The Slim Shady LP. He tackles the FCC, Limp Bizkit, and Moby. He refers to the latter as a techno artist and says no one listens to techno. JR He also parodies Prince changing his name to a symbol and mocks comparisons of himself to Elvis Presley as a white artist milking a traditional black art form for success.


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Friday, May 10, 2002

50 years ago: Jane Froman’s With a Song in My Heart hit #1 for 1st of 25 weeks

First posted 9/29/2020.

With a Song in My Heart

Jane Froman


Charted: March 29, 1952


Peak: 125 US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU


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


Genre: traditional pop


Tracks:

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

  1. Opening Production (orchestral piece written and performed by George Greeley) [1:08]
  2. It’s a Good Day (Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee) [2:11]
  3. Tea for Two (Irving Caesar, Vincent Youmans) [2:16]
  4. Blue Moon (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) [3:13]
  5. That Old Feeling (Lew Brown, Sammy Fain) [2:31]
  6. Embraceable You (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) [3:13]
  7. Get Happy (Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler) [2:27]
  8. I’ll Walk Alone (Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne) [1:45] (5/3/52, 14 US)
  9. They’re Either Too Young or Too Old (Arthur Schwartz, Frank Loesser) [1:11]
  10. I’m Thru with Love (Fud Livingston, Gus Kahn, Matty Malneck) [3:00]
  11. An American Medley [3:59]
  12. With a Song in My Heart (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) [2:30]


Total Running Time: 29 minutes

Rating:

3.050 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

Jane Froman was an American singer and actress born in 1907. She was afflicted with a stutter since childhood, but it didn't affect her singing. During the ‘30s and ‘40s, she starred in multiple Broadway musicals and radio programs and appeared in three movies. In 1943, she suffered crippling injuries and chronic health problems due to a plane crash, but she returned to Broadway less than a year later. During World War II, she entertained the troops even though she needed crutches to walk. She ended up having a 30-year career.

In 1952, 20th Century Fox made a biographical film of her life. With a Song in My Heart starred Susan Hayward, who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for the performance. Her singing voice, however, was provided by Froman. The movie did win an Oscar for Original Music Score.

Capitol Records released a soundtrack for the film which feaured Froman on vocals and an orchestra conducted by George Greeley. It was initially a four-record 78 rpm box set, a common packaging trend of the ‘40s and ‘50s which birthed the term “album.” It featured a number of standards written by some of Broadway’s biggest stars, including George & Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Frank Loesser, Richard Rodgers, and Jule Styne. The album was the best-seller of 1952, spending 25 weeks atop the Billboard album chart. WK An LP version was released which included the song That Old Feeling and I’m Thru with Love.

The songs Blue Moon and Tea for Two, both covered on this album, are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era, 1890-1953. I’ll Walk Alone was released as a single from this album and reached the top 20.

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