Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Billy Murray Anthology released

Anthology: The Denver Nightingale

Billy Murray

Released: April 27, 2018

Recorded: 1903-1940

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: traditional pop


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

  1. The Way to Kiss a Girl [1:58] (1903)
  2. Bedelia [2:13] (1/23/1904, 13 US, 1 GA)
  3. Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis [2:11] (7/23/1904, 19 US, 1 GA)
  4. Alexander (Don’t You Love Your Baby No More?) [2:11] (9/19/1904, 13 US, 4 GA)
  5. Come Take a Trip in My Air-Ship [2:15] (1/4/1905, 14 US, 1 GA)
  6. Yankee Doodle Boy [2:34] (2/25/1905, 18 US, 1 GA)
  7. Under the Anheuser Bush [2:32] (2/20/1904, 2 US, 4 GA)
  8. Give My Regards to Broadway [2:33] (6/17/1905, 15 US, 3 GA)
  9. In My Merry Oldsmobile [2:52] (10/14/1905, 17 US, 2 GA)
  10. Everybody Works But Father [1:49] (12/23/1905, 13 US, 3 GA)
  11. Youre a Grand Old Flag (aka “The Grand Old Rag”) [2:46] (5/5/1906, 110 US, 1 GA)
  12. He Goes to Church on Sunday [2:17] (7/6/1907, 2 US, 6 GA)
  13. Harrigan [2:29] (9/14/1907, 19 US, 1 GA)
  14. Shine on, Harvest Moon (with Ada Jones) [2:07] (5/15/1909, 15 US, 1 GA)
  15. Carrie (Carrie Marry Harry) [3:05] (1/15/1910, 12 US, 4 GA)
  16. By the Light of the Silvery Moon (with the Haydn Quartet) [2:50] (4/9/1910, 19, 1 GA)
  17. Casey Jones (with the American Quartet) [2:46] (6/18/1910, 111 US, 3 GA)
  18. The Cubanola Glide [2:30] (6/4/1910, 6 US, 2 GA)
  19. He’d Hae to Get Under, Get Out, and Get Under to Fix Up His Automobile [3:15] (2/17/1914, 2 US, 1 GA)
  20. He’s a Devil in His Own Home Town [2:50] (7/4/1914, 2 US, 2 GA)
  21. I Love a Piano [2:46] (4/8/1916, 11 US)
  22. Pretty Baby [2:40] (10/7/1916, 11 US, 1 GA)
  23. K-K-K-Katy (Stammering Song) [2:58] (6/1/1918, 3 US, 1 GA)
  24. He Went in Like a Lion and Came Out Like a Lamb [2:56] (6/19/1920, 10 US)
  25. You’ve Got to See Mama Ev’ry Night (with Aileen Stanley) [2:57] (6/30/1923, 11 US)
  26. That Old Gang of Mine (with Ed Smalle) [3:04] (9/23/1923, 16 US, 1 GA)
  27. Charley, My Boy (with the International Novelty Orchestra) [3:11] (1924)
  28. I Faw Down and Go Boom! (with the Midnight Ramblers) [2:55] (1928)
  29. I Wonder What Amos ‘N Andy Will Do Tomorrow Night (with Walter Scanlan) [3:05] (1930)
  30. It’s the Same Old Shillelagh (with Harry’s Tavern Band) [2:08] (1940)

Total Running Time: 78:56


4.728 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)

Quotable: Billy Murray “set a standard for natural, conversational singing that informed popular music long after he himself passed from the scene.” – William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Billy Murray may have been the best-selling recording artist of the first quarter of the 20th century, but his name and work had fallen into obscurity before his death in 1954.” AMG “He remained forgotten in the LP era and for the first decades of the CD era. But this disc belatedly brings him into the digital realm, and it does so with spectacular success.” AMG

“Murray’s excellent articulation and comic timing made him a perfect singer for the acoustic era of recording, allowing him to be understood and appreciated despite the technical limitations. He led the way for such successors as Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor, and he set a standard for natural, conversational singing that informed popular music long after he himself passed from the scene. This long-overdue compilation presents the highlights of his extensive catalog; there is plenty more where it came from.” AMG

He was “one of the best interpreters of the music of George M. Cohan—America’s preeminent songwriter.” AZ This includes the songs Yankee Doodle Boy, Give My Regards to Broadway, You’re a Grand Old Flag, and Harrigan.

“From rousing anthems to biting wit, Billy had a knack for entertaining as a solo artist and with bands.” AZ That means that in addition to his solo recordings, there are representations here of songs he recorded with the American and Haydn Quartets as well as duo efforts with Ada Jones, Aileen Stanley, Ed Smalle, and Walter Scanlan.

This collection gathers 30 songs from throughout his career, spanning from 1903 to 1940. Given the chart success of so many of these songs, this set is on par with the greatest compilations of all time, such as the Beatles’ One and Elvis Presley’s 30 #1 Hits. Seventeen of these songs reached #1. Another seven were top-ten hits. Six of the songs here are featured in the Dave’s Music Database book The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era.

“Murray had so many popular recordings that a single disc could not hope to encompass them, but given the time limitations the producers have done the best possible job.” AMG In addition to some of Murray’s most important recordings, this collection also includes “the rare brown wax cylinder of The Way to Kiss a Girl, from one of Billy’s first recording sessions.” AZ It works its way through his more popular years, and then his “decline in the late 1920s and ‘30s and his attempted comeback in the early ‘40s with It’s the Same Old Shillelagh, performed with Harry’s Tavern Band, “giving a full sense of his recording career.” AMG

Notes: Originally released in 2002, this was remastered in 2018 and a “24-page booklet contains a biographical essay and song notes by Murray biographer Frank Hoffmann and a reminiscence of Murray by a man who knew him, Quentin Riggs.” AZ

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 2/9/2022.

Monday, October 21, 2002

The Libertines Up the Bracket released

Up the Bracket

The Libertines

Released: October 21, 2002

Peak: -- US, 35 UK

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.3 UK

Genre: garage rock revival


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

  1. Vertigo [2:37]
  2. Death on the Stairs [3:24]
  3. Horrorshow [2:34]
  4. Time for Heroes [2:40] (1/1/03, 20 UK)
  5. Boys in the Band [3:42]
  6. Radio America [3:44]
  7. Up the Bracket [2:40] (9/30/02, 29 UK)
  8. Tell the King [3:22]
  9. The Boy Looked at Johnny [2:38]
  10. Begging [3:20]
  11. The Good Old Days [2:59]
  12. I Get Along [2:51] (6/3/02, 99 UK)
  13. What a Waster * [3:56] (6/1/02, 37 UK)
  14. Mocking Bird * [3:17]
* Added to U.S. release. All songs written by Pete Doherty and Carl Barât.

Total Running Time: 36:33

The Players:

  • Pete Doherty (vocals, guitar)
  • Carl Barât (vocals, guitar)
  • John Hassall (bass)
  • Gary Powell (drums)


4.005 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“In 2002, the emerging music scene in Britain left a lot to be desired. There hadn’t been an exciting band to emerge since Britpop began before it ate itself and turned tedious. Coldplay, Embrace, and Travis had become the new saviours of music, but there was nothing for people who don’t want their bands to look like geography teachers. The Libertines answered everyone’s prayers. They were unhinged, feral and chaotic, arriving like a breath of fresh air among the tiresome state of affairs. They didn’t just have the rock ‘n’ roll swagger and attitude; The Libertines had the tunes to back it up.” FO “The Libertines created a modern-day British classic that got feisty guitar music back in vogue and made rock music cool again.” FO

They were “the first British band to rival the garage rock revival sparked by the Strokes and White Stripes in the U.S.” AMG The Libertines’ Up the Bracket is “a debut album so confident and consistent that the easiest way to describe it is 2002’s answer to Is This It. That’s not just because singer/ guitarist Pete Doherty’s slurred, husky vocals sound like Julian Casablancas’ with the added bonus of a fetching Cockney accent (or that both groups share the same tousled, denim-clad fashion sense); virtually every song on Up the Bracket is chock-full of the same kind of bouncy, aggressive guitars, expressive, economic drums, and irresistible hooks that made the Strokes’ debut almost too catchy for the band’s credibility.” AMG

Of course, “the Strokes’ sound owes as much to Britpop sensations like Supergrass…and Elastica as it does to American influences like the Stooges and the Velvet Underground. Likewise, the Libertines play fast and loose with four decades’ worth of British rock history, mixing bits and bobs of British Invasion, mod, punk, and Britpop with the sound of their contemporaries.” AMG

The result is “at once fresh and familiar.” AMG Mick Jones of the Clash produces and his “warm, not-too-rough, and not-too-polished production both emphasizes the pedigree of their sound and the originality of it.” AMG “On songs like Vertigo, Death on the Stairs, and the excellent Boys in the Band, the guitars switch between Merseybeat chime and a garagey churn as the vocals range from punk snarls to pristine British Invasion harmonies.” AMG

“Capable of bittersweet beauty on the folky, Beatlesque Radio America and pure attitude on Horrorshow, the Libertines really shine when they mix the two approaches and let their ambitions lead the way. ‘Did you see the stylish kids in the riot?’ begins Time for Heroes, an oddly poetic mix of love and war that recalls the band’s spiritual and sonic forefathers the Clash; The Good Old Days blends jazzy verses, martial choruses, and lyrics like ‘It’s not about tenements and needles and all the evils in their eyes and the backs of their minds.’” AMG

“On songs like these, Tell the King, and Up the Bracket, the group not only outdoes most of its peers but begins to reach the greatness of the Kinks, the Jam, and all the rest of the groups whose brilliant melodic abilities and satirical looks at British society paved the way. Though the album is a bit short at 36 minutes, that’s long enough to make it a brilliant debut; the worst you can say about its weakest tracks is that they’re really solid and catchy. Punk poets, lagered-up lads, London hipsters – the Libertines play many different roles on Up the Bracket, all of which suit them to a tee. At this point in their career they’re not as overhyped as many of their contemporaries, so enjoy them while they’re still fresh.” AMG

Notes: “What a Waster” and “Mocking Bird” were added as bonus tracks to the U.S., Canadian, Spanish, and Japanese editions. “What a Waster” and “Mayday” were bonus tracks on the Australian version. The UK version added “What a Waster” as a bonus track.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 5/12/2008; last updated 4/28/2022.