Saturday, February 28, 2004

Usher hit #1 with “Yeah!,” his first of 4 chart toppers that year


Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris

Writer(s): Lil Jon/Sean Garrett/Usher/Patrick J. Que Smith/Ludacris/Robert McDowell/James Phillips/LaMarquis Jefferson (see lyrics here)

Released: January 27, 2004

First Charted: January 3, 2004

Peak: 112 US, 14 RR, 112 BA, 18 RB, 12 UK, 110 CN, 11 AU, 19 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 1.2 UK, 6.55 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.9 radio, 262.7 video, 1037.75 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Yeah!” secured Usher as the artist of 2004. Its 12 weeks atop the pop charts, followed by three more chart-toppers that year, gave him a record-breaking 28 weeks at the pinnacle. TB He became the first solo act, and only third recording act overall (after the Beatles and Bee Gees) with three simultaneous top ten hits. SF As the lead single from Confessions, “Yeah!” propelled that album to first week sales of 1.1 million, doubling R. Kelly’s previous record for a male R&B artist in the Nielsen SoundScan era. BB

“The synthy hook of Usher’s biggest, danciest hit” LR about a guy seduced at a club while his girlfriend is out of town looked like it might establish him as the Michael Jackson of the 21st century, but “he has yet to come up with another single as transcendent as this jam.” PD Kudos go to Ludacris, with the “greatest guest verse ever.” DS “His quotable moments are off the charts. Consider: ‘I won’t stop ‘til I get ‘em in they birthday suits,’ ‘take that and rewind it back,’ and the immortal ‘we want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed.’” BS

Then there’s the crunk sound contributed by producer/vocal contributor Lil’ Jon. His “parody-worthy exhortations that are as infuriating as they are catchy” LR make him “a one-note guy, but for the space of a single song, that one note is the greatest party ever.” DS

However, “Yeah!” nearly didn’t make it on the Confessions album. Usher had submitted the album to his label and they thought it needed, as Lil’ Jon said, “that first powerful monster.” WK The song’s similarity to Petey Pablo’s “Freek-a-Leek” then became problematic. Usher told MTV News that after he and Lil’ Jon had finished “Yeah!” they discovered it had the same beat as “Freek.” SF Another account, however, suggests that before Confessions, Lil’ Jon had been commissioned by Jive Records to produce some beats for rapper Mystikal. One of those was passed on to Pablo and became “Freek.” Lil’ Jon then later reworked the track into “Yeah!” WK


Last updated 7/19/2023.

Friday, February 27, 2004

50 years ago: Doris Day hit #1 with “Secret Love”

Secret Love

Doris Day

Writer(s): Sammy Fain (music), Paul Francis Webster (lyrics) (see lyrics here)

Released: October 9, 1953

First Charted: November 28, 1953

Peak: 14 US, 17 HP, 15 CB, 11 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 6.6 video, -- streaming


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About the Song:

“The careers of Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster were inextricabily linked to the old aristocracy of Tin Pan Alley” LW and “Secret Love” “was one of the last gasps for the old craftsmen of Tin Pan Alley” LW as pop music gave way to rock ‘n’ roll. “Power was ebbing away from the artists and writers towards the record companies.” LW

The song was featured in the film Calamity Jane, “the story of an accient prone, rough and ready cowgirl of the old Wild West.” LW The movie starred Doris Day in the title role, falling in love – secretly – with Wild Bill Hickok. It won the Oscar for Best Song.

Fain brought the song to Day’s house and played it for her. WK She said “I almost fainted. It was so beautiful.” LW On the day of the recording session, the musical director, Ray Heindorf, suggested a practice run-through with the orchestra prior to recording any takes. However, she asked that they record the first performance after which Heindorf said, “That’s it.” It was the only take they did. WK

The song charted multiple times, including versions by Tommy Edwards (#28 US, 1954), Ray Anthony (#29 US, 1954), Slim Whitman (#2 CW, 1954), Kathy Kirby (#4 UK, 1963), Billy Stewart (#11 RB, 1966), Richard “Groove” Holmes (#27 AC, 1966), Tony Booth (#47 CW, 1973), and Freddy Fender (#1 CW, 1975). Others who recorded the song included Count Basie, Bing Crosby, Connie Francis, Spike Jones, Loretta Lynn, George Michael, the Moonglows, SinĂ©ad O'Connor, the Orioles, Frank Sinatra. WK Bigs Bunny even sang “Secret Love” in the 1966 animated featurette “Rabbitson Crusoe.” WK


First posted 11/25/2022.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Hoobastank hit the charts with “The Reason”

The Reason


Writer(s): Douglas Robb, Dan Estrin, Chris Hesse, Markku Lappalainen (see lyrics here)

Released: April 27, 2004

First Charted: February 14, 2004

Peak: 2 US, 18 RR, 17 AC, 110 A40, 4 AR, 11 MR, 12 UK, 7 AU, 13 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.5 US, 0.4 UK, 4.94 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.87 radio, 933.5 video, 686.05 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Rock band Hoobastank formed in 1994, self-releasing an album four years later and a major-label-released eponymous album in 2001. The latter went platinum on the strength of two singles which hit the top ten on both the alternative and mainstream rock charts. However, the band’s pinnacle came with “The Reason,” the second single from their 2003 album of the same name.

The gold-selling single reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the adult Top 40 and alternative rock charts. It was also featured in the final episode of hit TV show Friends, garnering over 52 million viewers. MTV The song also received a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year.

Hoobastank lead singer Doug Robb said he wasn’t sure why the song was so popular. “If anybody knew why, then everybody would be [writing hits]. For one reason or another, it’s connected with people. People come up to me and say, ‘I feel like you’re sitting right next to me and you picked my brain.’ Or ‘It’s everything I’m going through.’” MTV

The video starts off showing a woman getting hit by a car. By the end, however, it becomes clear it was staged when she gets up at the end and rides off on a motorcycle with an accomplice. It turns out the band members were planning a jewel heist and used the accident as a diversion. The viewers and the presumed owner of the victimized shop realize what has happened at the end.


First posted 5/9/2020; last updated 10/22/2022.