Tuesday, August 27, 2002

8/27/2002: Queens of the Stone Age release Songs for the Deaf

image from Wikipedia.org


Released: 27 August 2002
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. The Real Song for the Deaf 2. You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like a Millionaire 3. No One Knows (10/12/02, #51 US, #5 AR, #1 MR, #15 UK) 4. First It Giveth (8/1/03 #33 UK) 5. A Song for the Dead 6. The Sky Is Fallin’ 7. Six Shooter 8. Hangin’ Tree 9. Go with the Flow (4/1/03, #24 AR, #7 MR, #21 UK, #39 AU) 10. Gonna Leave You 11. Do It Again 12. God Is in the Radio 13. Another Love Song 14. A Song for the Deaf 15. Mosquito Song

Sales (in millions): 1.19 US, 0.1 UK, 2.29 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 17 US, 4 UK

Rating:


Review: Songs for the Deaf, the third outing for American rock band Queens of the Stone Age, was loosely built around the concept of the listener tuning into local radio stations while road tripping from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree. Mock radio broadcasts surface between songs, reinforcing the cliché that modern commercial radio is worthless drivel.

The formula proved successful, pushing the album to platinum status in the U.S. and Europe and generated modern-rock hits with the “lurching, weirdly-springy” AZ “No One Knows” (#1) and “Go with the Flow” (#7). Bot songs earned Grammy nominations for Best Hard Rock Performance.

No One Knows

The album got a big boost because of the presence of Dave Grohl, leader singer for Foo Fighters and former drummer for Nirvana. Grohl had befriended QOTSA frontman Josh Homme in 1992 and QOTSA had opened for Foo Fighters. The band was going through a shake-up and Grohl stepped in as the temporary drummer, even touring with the band and putting Foo Fighters on hold.

The album is often considered the band’s best. Amazon’s Kim Hughes calls it “speed rock that whips by so fast it creates its own breeze” and says it is “a hard rock record so good that it immediately evokes a conspiratorial fervor that makes you want to tell everyone you can about it.” AZ Entertainment Weekly called it “the year’s best hard-rocking album” WK while Splendid said, “This is not your father’s metal. It’s better.” WK Mojo, Spin, and NME all ranked it as one of the top ten albums of the year. WK Kerrang! rated it #1 for 2002 while music critic Steven Hyden went a step farther in calling it the greatest hrd-rock record of the 21st century. WK


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Monday, August 26, 2002

Coldplay released A Rush of Blood to the Head

A Rush of Blood to the Head

Coldplay


Released: August 26, 2002


Peak: 5 US, 13 UK, 1 CN, 11 AU


Sales (in millions): 4.8 US, 2.96 UK, 15.8 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rock


Tracks:

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

  1. Politik
  2. In My Place (7/20/02, 17 MR, 2 UK, 2 CN, 23 AU)
  3. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face (7/14/03, 100 UK, 43 AU)
  4. The Scientist (11/4/02, 18 MR, 10 UK, 16 CN, 40 AU, sales: 0.5 m)
  5. Clocks (11/30/02, 29 US, 9 MR, 9 UK, 7 CN, 28 AU, sales: 1.0 m)
  6. Daylight
  7. Green Eyes
  8. Warning Sign
  9. A Whisper
  10. A Rush of Blood to the Head
  11. Amsterdam


Total Running Time: 54:08


The Players:

  • Chris Martin (vocals, piano, synthesizers, guitar)
  • Jonny Buckland (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Guy Berryman (bass)
  • Will Champion (drums, percussion, backing vocals)

Rating:

4.028 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“In the early '00s, starry-eyed Brit-pop boys doing a cuddly version of Radiohead were a dime a dozen…It was Coldplay’s second album that showed they were true contenders.” RS’11 Coldplay burst on the scene in 2000 with Parachutes, their “wonderfully assured debut.” AZ The album topped the UK charts, but its #51 peak in the U.S. coupled with minor pop hit “Yellow” (also a top ten at alternative rock) certainly didn’t suggest the group would some day compete for title of Biggest Band in the World. That song “didn’t follow the rock formula… similarly A Rush of Blood to the Head might not instantly grab listeners, but it’s not tailored that way.” AMG

Others saw the band’s dominance coming. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis said, “It sounds like an album ready to take on the world, and win.” WK Coldplay had “advanced to a stage where they outshine nearly every one of their rivals in terms of imagination and emotional pull.” AZ

There was actually noise in the U.K. press after the debut that they might call it quits after just one album. The group was exhausted after touring to support Parachutes and frontman Chris Martin “insisted he was dry; …he hadn’t written a song in months.” AMG However, “somewhere lurked the beauty” AMG of “the delicate, shimmery classic” AMG In My Place. The spirit and soul of this ballad allowed Coldplay to pull it together to make a second album.” AMG As Martin said, “It was the song that made us want to do a second album. It kept us going and made us think we could still write songs.” WK

The album is “initially inaccessible, but that’s what makes it intriguing.” AMG “Echoes of early post-punk showcase Coldplay’s ballsy musicianship…It’s not exactly rock & roll, but Radiohead, Echo & the Bunnymen, and the Smiths aren’t exactly rock & roll either, and they’re well-loved.” AMG “The disco haze of DaylightAMG and the “hushed tones” AMG of “lovedrunk ballad Green EyesAMG “are divine examples of solid lyrical arrangements.” AMG The latter, along with The Scientist “brought back the comforting melodies of ‘Yellow’ but revealed a band that was restless and hungry: The twinkling sonics suggested prime Smiths or U2.” RS’11

“Coldplay exude an honest passion” AMG on this “soulful, exhilarating journey, moving from the cathartic” AZ The “U2-esque epic rock of…PolitikWK projects “a nervy edge to the band” AMG as does the “stunning guitar-driven” AMGOK Computer-worthy God Put a Smile Upon Your Face.” RS’11 Darker stuff like that and “the austerely beautiful death meditation Amsterdam…showed the group had more than arena anthems on its mind.” RS’11

“Acoustics are drowned out by Jon Buckland’s riveting guitar work, and vocally, Martin has sharpened his falsetto, refining his haunting deliver…You can feel, hear, and touch the blood, sweat, and tears behind each song, and that’s exactly what Coldplay were going for.” AMG “Lush melodies and a heartbreak behind the songs are there, but also a newfound confidence.” AMG “Martin takes his voice on soaring flights, reaching places only Jeff Buckley previously dared to go. And the music is nearly flawless, a persuasive cross between Pink Floyd and the Verve…This is exquisite stuff.” AZ “Regardless of the band still being in their mid-twenties, they’ve made an amazing record…A Rush of Blood to the Head didn’t sugarcoat anything.” AMG

Rush garnered Coldplay its second Grammy for Best Alternative Album and “In My Place” landed a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The group also landed the prize for Record of the Year for Clocks. A BBC listener poll in 2013 ranked the album the best of all time. WK

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Last updated 8/9/2021.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Bruce Springsteen The Rising hit #1

The Rising

Bruce Springsteen


Released: July 30, 2002


Peak: 12 US, 11 UK, 11 CN, 4 AU


Sales (in millions): 2.1 US, 0.1 UK, 5.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rock


Tracks:

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

  1. Lonesome Day [4:08] (11/25/02, 39 UK)
  2. Into the Fire [5:04]
  3. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day [4:18] (4/7/03, --)
  4. Nothing Man [4:23]
  5. Countin’ on a Miracle [4:44]
  6. Empty Sky [3:34]
  7. Worlds Apart [6:07]
  8. Let’s Be Friends (Skin to Skin) [4:21]
  9. Further on Up the Road [3:52]
  10. The Fuse [5:37]
  11. Mary’s Place [6:03]
  12. You’re Missing [5:10]
  13. The Rising [4:50] (52 US, 26 AC, 24 AR)
  14. Paradise [5:39]
  15. My City of Ruins [5:00]

All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.


Total Running Time: 78:50

Rating:

4.252 out of 5.00 (average of 38 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“‘Yes, life is very confusing, we're just trying to get on with it.’ – Art Carney as Harry Coomes in Harry and Tonto.” AMG

“The many voices that come out of the ether on Bruce Springsteen's The Rising all seem to have two things in common: The first is that they are writing from the other side, from the day after September 11, 2001, the day when life began anew, more uncertain than ever before. The other commonality that these voices share is the determination that life, however fraught with tragedy and confusion, is precious and should be lived as such. This is a lot for a rock album by a popular artist to claim, but perhaps it's the only thing there is worth anything.” AMG

“On this reunion with the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen offers 15 meditations – in grand rock & roll style — on his own way of making sense of the senseless. The band is in fine form, though with Brendan O’Brien’s uncanny production, they play with an urgency and rawness they've seldom shown. This may not have been the ideal occasion for a reunion after 15 years, but it's one they got, and they go for broke. The individual tracks offer various glimpses of loss, confusion, hope, faith, resolve, and a good will that can only be shown by those who have been tested by fire. The music and production is messy, greasy; a lot of the mixes bleed tracks onto one another, giving it a more homemade feel than any previous E Street Band outing. And yes, that's a very good thing.” AMG

“The set opens with Lonesome Day, a mid-tempo rocker with country-ish roots. Springsteen's protagonist admits to his or her shortcomings in caring for the now-absent beloved. But despite the grief and emptiness, there is a wisdom that emerges in questioning what remains: ‘Better ask questions before you shoot/Deceit and betrayal's bitter fruit/It's hard to swallow come time to pay/That taste on your tongue don't easily slip away/Let kingdom come/I'm gonna find my way/ Through this lonesome day.’ Brendan O'Brien's hurdy-gurdy cuts through the mix like a ghost, offering a view of an innocent past that has been forever canceled because it never was anyway; the instrument, like the glockenspiels that trim Bruce Springsteen's songs, offers not only texture, but a kind of formalist hint that possibilities don't always lie in the future.” AMG

“In contrast, Into the Fire seems to be sung from the perspective of a deceased firefighter's remaining partner who, despite her/his unfathomable loss, offers a prayer of affirmation, and the request to embody the same qualities he or she displayed in paying the ultimate price for selflessness. A dobro and acoustic guitar bring in the ghost of a mountain melody, and Max Weinberg's muted snare and tom-tom rhythm offer the solemnity of the lyric before Roy Bittan and Danny Federici shift the gears and offer a nearly symphonic crescendo on the refrain: ‘May your strength bring us strength/may your faith give us faith/May your hope give us hope/May your love give us love.’ The second time through, the last line subtley changes to, ‘May your love bring us love.’ While the band is in full flower, the keys are muted under sonic ambience and the snaky lone acoustic guitar and Weinberg's thundering processional drumming.” AMG

“Likewise, the revelatory rock & roll on World's Apart, complete with a knife-edged wail of a guitar solo by Springsteen that soars around a Sufi choir (yes, Sufi choir) is not only a manner of adding exotica to the mix, but another way of saying that all cultures are in this together, and it unwittingly reveals that great rock can be made with virtually any combination of musicians. It's a true scorcher. Further On (Up the Road) is a straight-ahead rocker complete with knotty riffs and plenty of rootsed-out, greasy guitar overdrive – most of the album does, but that's one of O’Brien's strengths as a producer – that are evocative of Mike Ness and Social Distortion's late efforts.” AMG

“Lest anyone mistakenly perceive this recording as a somber evocation of loss and despair, it should also be stated that this is very much an E Street Band recording. Clarence Clemons is everywhere, and the R&B swing and slip of the days of yore is in the house — especially on Waitin’ for a Sunny Day, Countin’ on a Miracle, Mary's Place (with a full horn section), and the souled-out Let's Be Friends (Skin to Skin). These tracks echo the past with their loose good-time feel, but "echo" is the key word. Brendan O'Brien's guitar-accented production offers us an E Street Band coming out of the ether and stepping in to fill a void. The songs themselves are, without exception, rooted in loss, but flower with the possibility of moving into what comes next, with a hard-won swagger and busted-up grace. They offer balance and a shifting perspective, as well as a depth that is often deceptive.” AMG

“The last of these is a bona fide love song, without which, in rock & roll anyway, no real social commentary is possible. The title track is one of Mr. Springsteen's greatest songs. It is an anthem, but not in the sense you usually reference in regard to his work. This anthem is an invitation to share everything, to accept everything, to move through everything individually and together. Power-chorded guitars and pianos entwine in the choruses with a choir, and Clemons wails on a part with a stinging solo. Here too, the chantlike chorus is nearly in symphonic contrast to the country-ish verse, but it hardly matters, as everything inside and outside the track gets swept into this "dream of life." The album closes with Paradise, a haunting and haunted narrative offered from the point-of-view of a suicide bomber and a studio version of My City of Ruins. These songs will no doubt confuse some as they stand in seemingly sharp contrast to one another, but in ‘My City of Ruins,’ all contradictions cease to matter. With acoustic pianos and subtley shimmering Memphis soul-style guitars that give way to a Hammond B-3 and a gospel choir, Springsteen sings without artifice ‘Rise Up.’ In this ‘churchlike’ confessional of equanimity, Springsteen reaches out to embrace not only his listeners, but all of the protagonists in the aforementioned songs and their circles of families and friends. The album ends with an acknowledgement of grace and an exhortation to action.” AMG

“With The Rising, Springsteen has found a way to be inclusive and instructive without giving up his particular vision as a songwriter, nor his considerable strength as a rock & roll artist. In fact, if anything, The Rising is one of the very best examples in recent history of how popular art can evoke a time period and all of its confusing and often contradictory notions, feelings, and impulses. There are tales of great suffering in The Rising to be sure, but there is joy, hope, and possibility, too. Above all, there is a celebration and reverence for everyday life. And if we need anything from rock & roll, it's that. It would be unfair to lay on Bruce Springsteen the responsibility of guiding people through the aftermath of a tragedy and getting on with the business of living, but rock & roll as impure, messy, and edifying as this, helps.” AMG

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First posted 3/23/2008; last updated 8/8/2021.

Nelly knocks himself from #1 with “Dilemma”

Last updated 4/23/2020.

Dilemma

Nelly with Kelly Rowland

Writer(s): Cornell Haynes Jr., Antoine Macon, Kenneth Gamble, Bunny Sigler, Kelly Rowland (see lyrics here)


Released: June 25, 2002


First Charted: July 5, 2002


Peak: 110 US, 15 RR, 19 RB, 12 UK, 3 CN, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.94 UK, 7.6 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.5 radio, 581.17 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

“While Nelly’s ‘Hot in Herre’ got parties started throughout 2002, his pairing with Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland on this sentimental rap track proved just as popular.” BB100 He met Rowland on tour in 2001 and wanted to use her on the song. WK She became the first member of Destiny’s Child to chart as a solo artist. SF The Guardian’s Caroline Sullivan wrote of her vocals that she “is no longer a mere backing vocalist for Beyoncé Knowles,” WK her co-member in Destiny’s Child.

“Dilemma” was a last-minute addition to Nelly’s sophomore albumNellyville. Producer Antoine “Bam” Macon gave him a basic track which sampled Patti LaBelle’s 1983 “Love Need and Want You” and Nelly crafted lyrics for it. WK The song is about a “girl who thinks about another guy even when she’s with her boyfriend.” SF Nelly and Kelly sing to each other by name in the song and act this out in the video. SF

Not only was the song not planned for the album, but it wasn’t planned as a single. While “Hot in Herre” was still climbing the charts, U.S. radio latched onto “Dilemma” and it powered its way into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 based on airplay alone. WK Nelly wisely released it as the album’s second single and it ended up knocking “Hot in Herre” from #1 and becoming the biggest song of Nelly’s career. WK He became the fifth artist in chart history to succeed himself at the top, following The Beatles, Boyz II Men, Puff Daddy, and Ja Rule. SF

The song was nominated for a Grammy for Record of the Year. It didn’t win that, but did take home the prize for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. A video to support the song featured Patti LaBelle as Rowland’s mother. BB100


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Saturday, August 10, 2002

Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” spends 7th week at #1

Last updated 3/17/2020.

Hot in Herre

Nelly

Writer(s): Cornell Haynes Jr., Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, Charles L. Brown (see lyrics here)


Released: April 16, 2002


First Charted: April 26, 2002


Peak: 17 US, 12 RR, 16 RB, 4 UK, 13 CN, 3 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.6 UK, 2.93 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.4 radio, 158.0 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

“Find…a summer song more apt to get any party started, no matter how resistant the crowd.” LR With its “ultra-catchy chorus” AB’00 “Hot in Herre” landed Nelly his first #1 pop song in the U.S. and became “one of the top party tracks of the decade.” AB’00 The song also hit #1 in Canada and was a top ten hit throughout the world. WK

The Neptunes, comprised of the team of Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, produced this song. They also did songs for Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, ando others. SF The song incorporates the hook from the 1979 Chuck Brown single “Bustin’ Loose,” as well as samples from Neil Young’s “There’s a World” and Nancy Sinatra’s “As Tears Go By.” WK

Two videos were made for the song – one set in a dance club and another at the St. Louis Arch. The first video featured cameos by actor and comedian Cedric the Entertainer, NBA player Carmelo Anthony, and NFL players T.J. Duckett and Julius Peppers. In one scene, club goers shout the chorus for the 1984 dance song “The Roof Is on Fire” by Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three – while there was an actual fire burning in the club. WK

Weird Al Yankovic recorded a parody (“Trash Day”) about a man who refuses to empty the garbage. SF Instead of the “it’s getting hot in here” chorus, Weird Al sang “there’s somethin’ rotten here, you better hold your nose.” WK The song was also parodied in a Mad TV sketch and performed by other artists including Devo, Jill Sobule, Wang Chung, and Widespread Panic. Canadian electronic artist Tiga shot a video of the song with puppets depicting cliché scenes from hip-hop videos of the era. WK


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