Sunday, June 22, 2003

Evanescence’s Fallen hit #1 in UK



Released: March 4, 2003

Charted: March 22, 2003

Peak: 3 US, 11 UK, 15 CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 1.35 UK, 18.3 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alternative rock


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

  1. Going Under (6/28/03, 49 RR, 26 AR, 5 MR, 8 UK)
  2. Bring Me to Life (with Paul McCoy, 1/25/03, 5 US, 1 RR, 4 A40, 11 AR, 1 MR, 1 UK 3 CN, 1 AU)
  3. Everybody’s Fool (4/10/04, 36 MR, 24 UK)
  4. My Immortal (11/29/03, 7 US, 2 RR, 19 AC, 1 A40, 7 UK, 1 CN, 4 AU)
  5. Haunted
  6. Tourniquet
  7. Imaginary
  8. Taking Over Me
  9. Hello
  10. My Last Breath
  11. Whisper

Total Running Time: 48:45


3.640 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Fallen is the major-label debut of Evanescence, a Little Rock, AR-based quartet led by the soaring vocals of 20-year-old Amy Lee. Emboldened by the inclusion of its single Bring Me to Life on the soundtrack to the hit film Daredevil, Fallen debuted at an impressive number seven on Billboard's Top 40.” AMG

“But ‘Bring Me to Life’ is a bit misleading. A flawless slice of Linkin Park-style anguish pop, it’s actually a duet between Lee and 12 Stones’ Paul McCoy.” AMG “Half of the album does include flashes of the single’s PG-rated nu-metal (Everybody’s Fool, Going Under),” AMG but the rest “are piano-driven ballads that suggest Tori Amos if she wore too much mascara and recorded for the Projekt label.” AMG

“It’s the symphonic goth rock of groups like Type O Negative that influences most of Fallen. Ethereal synths float above Ben Moody’s crunching guitar in Haunted, while Whisper even features apocalyptic strings and a scary chorus of Latin voices right out of Carmina Burana.” AMG

Tourniquet is an anguished, urgent rocker driven by chugging guitars and spiraling synths, with brooding lyrics that reference Evanescence’s Christian values: ‘Am I too lost to be saved? / Am I too lost? / My God! My tourniquet / Return to me salvation.’ The song is Fallen’s emotional center point and defines the band’s sound.” AMG

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First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 5/3/2022.

Friday, June 20, 2003

50 years ago: Les Paul & Mary Ford “Vaya Con Dios” hit #1 for 1st of 11 weeks


Vaya Con Dios (May God Be with You)

Les Paul & Mary Ford

Writer(s): Larry Russell, Inez James, Buddy Pepper (see lyrics here)

First Charted: June 20, 1953

Peak: 111 US, 15 HP, 15 CB, 7 UK, 14 (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.6 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Vaya Con Dios” was given the parenthetical title “May God Be with You,” but the phrase translates literally to “Go with God.” It is considered a phrase meaning “farewell” or “Godspeed.” The song was a collaborative effort between Larry Russell, Inez James, and Buddy Pepper. James was also known for composing songs for film such as When Johnny Comes Marching Home and Pillow Talk. Pepper also worked on the latter and was known as the piano accompanist and arranger for Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Margaret Whiting and others.

The Western Writers of America chose this as one of the top 100 Western songs of all time. WK “Vay Con Dios” has been recorded over 500 times. WK Anita O’Day was the first to record it in December 1952. The most popular version was recorded by Les Paul and Mary Ford in May 1953. WK Theirs topped Billboard magazine’s Best Sellers, Disc Jockey Hits, and Jukebox Hits charts. It was also a #1 on Your Hit Parade and Cashbox.

The two were a popular husband-and-wife duo who recorded for Capitol Records in the 1950s. They had several top-10 hits including “Mockin’ Bird Hill” and the chart-topping “How High the Moon.” Les Paul also recorded on his own and is known as a pioneer in electric guitar and studio recording techniques including multi-tracking and overdubbing.

Other chart versions followed by the Drifters (1964, #43 US, #10 RB), Tony Orlando & Dawn (1972, #95 US), Millican & Nesbitt (1973, #20 UK), and Freddy Fender (1976, #59 US). It has also been recorded by Chet Atkins, Gene Autry, Jeff Beck, Chuck Berry, Pat Boone, Nat “King” Cole, Bing Crosby, the Fontane Sisters, Connie Francis, Julio Iglesias, the Lennon Sisters, Julie London, the McGuire Sisters, Anne Murray, Jim Reeves, Hank Snow, Mel Tormé, Jerry Vale, Slim Whitman, and Roger Whittaker among others. WK

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First posted 9/8/2021.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Michael Franti released “Everyone Deserves Music”

Everyone Deserves Music

Michael Franti & Spearhead

Writer(s): Michael Franti, D. Shul, C. Young (see lyrics here)

Released: June 17, 2003 (album cut)

First Charted: 2003

Peak: 39 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

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

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.26 video, 2.05 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

July 11, 2017. I discovered Michael Franti. My friend Paul and I were debating over going to a concert at the last minute – Robert Cray or Michael Franti? We opted for the latter because we knew nothing about him other than a handful of minor hits on adult alternative radio. It was the best concert I’ve ever seen.

Franti completely encapsulates a throwback, “why can’t we all just get along?” hippy vibe. He certainly looks the part with his bare feet and dreadlocks, but the music is completely on point as well. Not only do his songs tirelessly incorporate that theme, but the concert experience is all about bonding with the audience. Franti brings kids up on stage with him. He wanders out in the audience to sing with fans. He implores fans to hug and dance. He hangs out and chats after the show.

I’ve seen him twice in concert and, ironically, he didn’t play “Everyone Deserves Music” either time. The song is the perfect Franti mantra; the title says it all. It’s a celebration of the power of music to connect people – all people. The message that all human beings are worthy of dignity comes through vividly, thanks to lines like, “Even our worst enemies, Lord, they deserve music.” “In a perfect world, this would be a future classic played out of every car stereo, boombox, and apartment for generations to come.” AMG

“Everyone Deserves Music” isn’t just the perfect representation of the diversity in Franti’s message, but in the music he uses to deliver it. In an All Music Guide review of the album, Rob Theakston says Franti’s “politically and socially charged hip-hop is a breath of pure, fresh air.” AMG However, Franti & company also make “a deliberate attempt to stray from the typical hip-hop beats and go for something a bit more organic and acoustic.” AMG Indeed, the song includes elements of reggae and funk while also sounding completely at home amongst adult alternative staples like Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson. Everyone deserves Michael Franti.


First posted 5/7/2020; last updated 2/24/2024.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Bob Walkenhorst released first solo album, The Beginner

The Beginner

Bob Walkenhorst

Released: June 10, 2003

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: roots rock


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

  1. Life Can Turn [3:18] (2003, --)
  2. Call a Wrecker [2:44]
  3. She Don’t Love Me [3:01]
  4. Broken Down [1:56]
  5. Stolen the Moon [1:58]
  6. Jan Vermeer [2:33]
  7. Just Another Joe [2:48]
  8. The Day We Hung Up the Flag [3:11]
  9. Just Leaving [2:48]
  10. Punching Bag [3:17]
  11. Proof [3:38]
  12. J-Walkers [2:14]
  13. The Beginner [6:17]

All songs written by Bob Walkenhorst.


3.949 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The debut solo release from the lead vocalist/primary songwriter of The Rainmakers. The Beginner, features Bob Walkenhorst paring down his signature elemental song arrangements to a skeletal acoustic guitar, bass, and drums, most often played by his one-man-band. Harmonica is the lead instrument of choice on this release with the notable exception of a honking sax solo on Jan Vermeer, and a lead guitar solo on the J-Walkers. Vocal harmonies appear on only one song, Just Leaving. From the sparse instrumentation to the early-60's style extreme-stereo production, the overall sound of The Beginner is as much about what has NOT been recorded, as it is about what you do hear.” AZ

“The humor and irony that have been the trademarks of Walkenhorst's songwriting in The Rainmakers are abundant on The Beginner. However, rather than being applied to social and political subjects, Walkenhorst's new songs are about more universal themes of love, work, patriotism, age, and escape. The dense opinionated word avalanche of his Rainmakers songs has been refined and reduced to choice phrases, delivered with a lighter touch and a stronger sense of melody.” AZ

“Like Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, The Beginner is Bob Walkenhorst's love letter to rock n’ roll. Echoes of garage bands learning Beatles songs, lonely boys in rooms with acoustic guitars, two minute blasts of youth coming from a blown car-radio speaker, are caught in an over-the-shoulder backwards glance at, not only where he has been, but where he is coming from.” AZ

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First posted 3/11/2011; updated 8/9/2021.

Monday, June 9, 2003

Radiohead's Hail to the Thief released

Hail to the Thief


Released: June 9, 2003

Peak: 3 US, 11 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.12 US, 0.3 UK, 2.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: experimental alternative rock


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

  1. 2 + 2 = 5 (The Lukewarm) [3:19] (11/17/03, 15 UK)
  2. Sit Down Stand Up (Snakes & Ladders) [4:19]
  3. Sail to the Moon (Brush the Cobwebs Out of the Sky) [4:18]
  4. Backdrifts (Honeymoon Is Over) [5:22]
  5. Go to Sleep (Little Man Being Erased) [3:21] (8/18/03, 32 MR, 12 UK)
  6. Where I End and You Begin (The Sky Is Falling In) [4:29]
  7. We Suck Young Blood (Your Time Is Up) [4:56]
  8. The Gloaming (Softly Open Our Mouths in the Cold) [3:32]
  9. There There (The Boney King of Nowhere) [5:25] (5/10/03, 14 MR, 4 UK, 12 CN)
  10. I Will (No Man’s Land) [1:59]
  11. A Punchup at a Wedding (No No No No No No No No) [4:57]
  12. Myxomatosis (Judge, Jury & Executioner) [3:52]
  13. Scatterbrain (As Dead as Leaves) [3:21]
  14. A Wolf at the Door (It Girl. Rag Doll) [3:21]

All songs written by Radiohead.

Total Running Time: 56:35

The Players:

  • Colin Greenwood (bass)
  • Jonny Greenwood (guitar, keyboards)
  • Ed O’Brien (guitar, effects, backing vocals)
  • Philip Selway (drums, percussion)
  • Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, keyboards)


3.845 out of 5.00 (average of 29 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Radiohead’s admittedly assumed dilemma: how to push things forward using just the right amounts of the old and the older in order to please both sides of the divide? Taking advantage of their longest running time to date, enough space is provided to quench the thirsts of resolute Bends devotees without losing the adventurous drive or experimentation that eventually got the group into hot water with many of those same listeners. Guitars churn and chime and sound like guitars more often than not; drums are more likely to be played by a human; and discernible verses are more frequently trailed by discernible choruses.” AMG

“So, whether or not the group is to be considered ‘back,’ there is a certain return to relatively traditional songcraft. Had the opening 2 + 2 = 5 and Sit Down, Stand Up been made two years before, each song’s slowly swelling intensity would have plateaued a couple minutes in, functioning as mood pieces without any release; instead, each boils over into its own cathartic tantrum.” AMG

“The spook-filled Sail to the Moon, one of several songs featuring prominent piano, rivals ‘Street Spirit’ and hovers compellingly without much sense of force carrying it along.” AMG

“Somewhat ironically, minus a handful of the more conventionally structured songs, the album would be almost as fractured, remote, and challenging as Amnesiac. Backdrifts and The Gloaming feature nervous electronic backdrops, while the emaciated We Suck Young Blood is a laggard processional that, save for one outburst, shuffles along uneasily.” AMG

“At nearly an hour in length, this album doesn’t unleash the terse blow delivered by its two predecessors. However, despite the fact that it seems more like a bunch of songs on a disc rather than a singular body, its impact is substantial. Regardless of all the debates surrounding the group, Radiohead have entered a second decade of record-making with a surplus of momentum.” AMG

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First posted 10/15/2009; last updated 6/2/2022.

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

John Mellencamp “To Washington” released

To Washington

John Mellencamp

Writer(s): traditional, new lyrics by John Mellencamp (see lyrics here)

Released: June 3, 2003 (album cut on Trouble No More)

First Charted: --

Peak: 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

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


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

John Mellencamp, the small-town boy from Indiana, released his first album in 1976. After a few lean years, he broke through with “I Need a Lover,” his first top-40 hit, in 1979. He went on to become one of the biggest acts of the 1980s with top-ten hits including “Hurts So Good,” “Jack and Diane,” “Pink Houses,” “Small Town,” and “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” He saw a drop-off in his commercial appeal in the 1990s, but still produced top-ten, platinum-selling albums and even landed another top-ten hit in 1994 with his cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night.”

Still, his chart-busting years were pretty much behind him by the end of the decade. In 1998, he got a fresh start when he signed with Columbia Records. He released two albums, 1998’s John Mellencamp and 2001’s Cuttin’ Heads, which failed to produce any chart entries on the Billboard Hot 100, although the albums still achieved gold status.

His third and final album with Columbia was Trouble No More, a collection of blues and folk covers. It certainly wasn’t going to revive his pop stardom, but it would serve as a marker for where he would go from there. Mellencamp settled into the voice that he’d hinted at all along: a disgruntled curmudgeon who railed against political and social injustice with angry, blues-and-folk-based protest songs. He became the 21st Century Woody Guthrie.

That was vividly apparent on the song “To Washington” from the Trouble No More collection. Mellencamp reworked a traditional folk song with new lyrics that railed against President Bush as a warmonger motivated by oil profits SF to thrust America into the Iraq War. He said it led to “a huge amount of abuse back hom in Indiana.” SF He explained, “People were driving past my house throwing s—t and yelling and giving my wife Elaine the finger as she drove down the street. I was driving to the airport one day with the boys (about four and eight then) and they played the song on the radio. A listener calls and says, ‘I don’t know who I hate the most, that John Mellencamp or Saddam Hussein.’ It really freaked the kids out and it pissed me off. We had to get security to come around the school playground because the teachers thought people might harm them.” SF


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First posted 6/17/2023.