Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Toby Creswell: Top 1001 Songs

First posted 3/18/2021.

Toby Creswell:

1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time

Toby Creswell is an Australian music journalist who was the editor of the Australian edition of Rolling Stone (1985-1992) and the founding editor of Juice. In 2005, he published the book 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. While the years covered by the book are impressive (1924-2004), the list suffers from the usual problem of focusing primarily on music from the latter half of the 20th century. There are only 26 songs from the pre-rock era (before 1954).

More maddening, however, is the construction of the book. There isn’t any. The songs are not in any kind of order – ranked, listed chronologically, or alphabetically by song title or act name. Creswell tries to justify the lack of any ranking by saying in the introduction: “There is no greatest song of all time…There is no #1. There is no canon. Some of the songs are better than others.”

Let me stop right there. In his own words, he says “some of the songs are better than others,” which supports the idea that there is, in fact, a greatest song of all time. It’s just that Creswell is either 1) too lazy to rank the songs, or 2) too afraid of the backlash that inevitably comes from those who disagree with the rankings. With that said, Dave’s Music Database believes strongly that some songs are better than others and that there is a greatest song of all time. Therefore, this list ranks the top songs featured in Creswell’s book by their overall Dave’s Music Database status.

Click here to see other lists from publications and/or organizations.

DMDB Top 1%:

1. The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968)
2. The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
3. Bill Haley & the Comets “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” (1954)
4. The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
5. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1982)
6. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
7. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
8. John Lennon “Imagine” (1971)
9. The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963)
10. Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1970)

11. Aretha Franklin “Respect” (1967)
12. Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968)
13. The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” (1966)
14. Eagles “Hotel California” (1976)
15. Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” (1977)
16. Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965)
17. Judy Garland “Over the Rainbow” (1939)
18. Otis Redding “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” (1968)
19. Bobby Darin “Mack the Knife” (1956)
20. Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956)

21. Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990)
22. OutKast “Hey Ya!” (2003)
23. Elvis Presley “Don’t Be Cruel” (1956)
24. Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” (1971)
25. Elvis Presley “Hound Dog” (1956)
26. The Animals “The House of the Rising Sun” (1964)
27. Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1988)
28. Derek & the Dominos “Layla” (1971)
29. Ben E. King “Stand by Me” (1961)
30. Roy Orbison “(Oh) Pretty Woman” (1964)

31. The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (1965)
32. Elvis Presley “Jailhouse Rock” (1957)
33. Abba “Dancing Queen” (1976)
34. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts “I Love Rock and Roll” (1981)
35. Chuck Berry “Johnny B. Goode” (1958)
36. Prince “When Doves Cry” (1984)
37. Procol Harum “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (1967)
38. R.E.M. “Losing My Religion” (1991)
39. Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” (1971)
40. The Doors “Light My Fire” (1967)

41. The Kingsmen “Louie Louie” (1963)
42. Beyoncé with Jay-Z “Crazy in Love” (2003)
43. Rod Stewart “Maggie May” (1971)
44. The Who “My Generation” (1966)
45. Elton John “Your Song” (1970)
46. Elvis Presley “Suspicious Minds” (1969)
47. The Ronettes “Be My Baby” (1963)
48. Elvis Presley “All Shook Up“ (1957)
49. Ray Charles “What’d I Say” (1959)
50. The Kinks “You Really Got Me” (1964)

51. The Monkees “I’m a Believer” (1966)
52. The Beatles “She Loves You” (1963)
53. U2 “With Or Without You” (1987)
54. The Human League “Don’t You Want Me?” (1981)
55. Chic “Le Freak” (1978)
56. Britney Spears “Baby One More Time” (1998)
57. Madonna “Like a Prayer” (1989)
58. The Beach Boys “God Only Knows” (1966)
59. Simon and Garfunkel “The Sounds of Silence” (1965)
60. Al Green “Let’s Stay Together” (1971)

61. Coolio with L.V. “Gangsta’s Paradise” (1995)
62. Oasis “Wonderwall” (1995)
63. U2 “One” (1992)
64. Roberta Flack “Killing Me Softly with His Song” (1973)
65. Blondie “Heart of Glass” (1978)
66. Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (1980)
67. The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever” (1967)
68. The Beatles “A Day in the Life” (1967)
69. Del Shannon “Runaway” (1961)
70. Elvis Presley “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” (1960)

71. The Jackson 5 “I Want You Back” (1969)
72. Simon & Garfunkel “Mrs. Robinson” (1968)
73. Soft Cell “Tainted Love” (1981)
74. The Verve “Bitter Sweet Symphony” (1997)
75. The Byrds “Mr. Tambourine Man” (1968)
76. Jerry Lee Lewis “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1957)
77. Steppenwolf “Born to Be Wild” (1968)
78. Carl Perkins “Blue Suede Shoes” (1956)
79. Roberta Flack “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (1969)
80. Patsy Cline “Crazy” (1961)

81. Village People “Y.M.C.A.” (1978)
82. The Mamas & the Papas “California Dreamin’” (1966)
83. Van Halen “Jump” (1984)
84. Queen “Another One Bites the Dust” (1980)
85. The Clash “London Calling” (1979)
86. Little Richard “Tutti Frutti” (1955)
87. Buffalo Springfield “For What It’s Worth” (1967)
88. Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” (1956)
89. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “Purple Haze” (1967)
90. Madonna “Like a Virgin” (1984)

91. Bob Marley & the Wailers “No Woman, No Cry” (1974)
92. Radiohead “Creep” (1993)
93. Billie Holiday “Strange Fruit” (1939)
94. David Bowie “Space Oddity” (1969)
95. The Miracles “The Tracks of My Tears” (1965)
96. The Knack “My Sharona” (1979)
97. Led Zeppelin “Whole Lotta Love” (1969)
98. Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This” (1983)
99. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five “The Message” (1982)
100. The Beatles with Billy Preston “Get Back” (1969)

101. AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night Long” (1980)
102. Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” (1973)
103. The Shirelles “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (1960)
104. Ritchie Valens “La Bamba” (1958)
105. The Rolling Stones “Sympathy for the Devil” (1968)
106. Paul Whiteman with George Gershwin “Rhapsody in Blue” (1924)
107. Henry Mancini with Audrey Hepburn “Moon River” (1961)
108. Buddy Holly & the Crickets “Peggy Sue” (1957)
109. Dire Straits “Sultans of Swing” (1978)
110. Madonna “Music” (2000)

111. New Order “Blue Monday” (1983)
112. Sex Pistols “Anarchy in the U.K.” (1976)
113. TLC “Waterfalls” (1995)
114. The Beatles “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1964)
115. Johnny Cash “I Walk the Line” (1956)
116. The Supremes “Stop! In the Name of Love” (1965)
117. Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know” (1995)
118. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge” (1992)
119. The Who “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (1971)
120. Fleetwood Mac “Go Your Own Way” (1977)

121. Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Relax” (1983)
122. Eminem with Dido “Stan” (2000)
123. Duke Ellington “Take the ‘A’ Train” (1941)
124. Isaac Hayes “Theme from Shaft” (1971)
125. Beck “Loser” (1993)
126. Little Eva Little Eva “The Loco-Motion” (1962)
127. David Bowie “Heroes” (1977)
128. Lou Reed “Walk on the Wild Side” (1972)
129. Harry James Orchestra with Frank Sinatra “All or Nothing at All” (1939)
130. Chuck Berry “Maybellene” (1955)

131. The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” (2003)
132. Jefferson Airplane “White Rabbit” (1967)
133. Cyndi Lauper “Time After Time” (1984)
134. Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (1985)
135. The Everly Brothers “Bye Bye Love” (1957)
136. Woody Guthrie “This Land Is Your Land” (1944)
137. Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” (1985)
138. James Brown “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (1965)
139. Ike & Tina Turner “River Deep, Mountain High” (1966)
140. Coldplay “Clocks” (2002)

141. Gladys Knight & the Pips “Midnight Train to Georgia” (1973)
142. The Beatles “in My Life” (1965)
143. Chic “Good Times” (1979)
144. Frank Sinatra “My Way” (1969)
145. Sheryl Crow “All I Wanna Do” (1993)
146. Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer” (1986)
147. Sly & The Family Stone “Everyday People” (1968)
148. R.E.M. “Everybody Hurts” (1992)
149. Pink Floyd “Comfortably Numb” (1979)
150. Bruce Springsteen “Born in the U.S.A.” (1984)

151. Wilson Picket “In the Midnight Hour” (1965)
152. The Kinks “Lola” (1970)
153. The Rolling Stones “Angie” (1973)
154. The Kinks “Waterloo Sunset” (1967)
155. Deep Purple “Smoke on the Water” (1973)
156. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott “Get Ur Freak On” (2001)
157. Oasis “Live Forever” (1994)
158. Metallica “Enter Sandman” (1991)
159. The Who “Baba O’Riley” (1971)
160. Free “All Right Now” (1970)

161. Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime” (1981)
162. Hank Williams “Your Cheatin’ Heart” (1953)
163. Pretenders “Brass in Pocket” (1979)
164. U2 “Pride (In the Name of Love)” (1984)
165. Culture Club “Karma Chameleon” (1983)
166. OutKast “Ms. Jackson” (2000)
167. Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (1956)
168. 10cc “I’m Not in Love” (1975)
169. Dion “Runaround Sue” (1961)
170. David Bowie “Changes” (1972)

171. Roy Orbison “Only the Lonely” (1960)
172. Madonna “Into the Groove” (1985)
173. Bo Diddley “Bo Diddley” (1955)
174. The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” (1969)
175. Marty Robbins “El Paso” (1959)
176. Louis Armstrong “West End Blues” (1928)
177. Pulp “Common People” (1995)
178. Black Eyed Peas with Justin Timberlake “Where Is the Love?” (2003)
179. The Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” (1981)
180. Cream “Sunshine of Your Love” (1967)

181. Coldplay “Yellow” (2000)
182. Elton John “Bennie and the Jets” (1973)
183. The Beatles “I Feel Fine” (1964)
184. Count Basie “One O’Clock Jump” (1937)
185. The Troggs “Wild Thing” (1966)
186. The Beatles “Come Together” (1969)
187. The Band “The Weight” (1968)
188. Jackie Wilson “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher” (1967)
189. Dave Brubeck Quartet “Take Five” (1959)
190. Roger Miller “King of the Road” (1965)

191. INXS “Need You Tonight” (1987)
192. Creedence Clearwater Revival “Fortunate Son” (1969)
193. Aretha Franklin “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” (1967)
194. Crowded House “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (1987)
195. Pet Shop Boys “West End Girls” (1985)
196. Bob Dylan “The Times They Are A-Changin’” (1964)
197. The Impressions “People Get Ready” (1965)
198. The Beatles “Ticket to Ride” (1965)
199. Bruce Springsteen “Thunder Road” (1975) 200. Madonna “Ray of Light” (1998)

201. Bob Dylan “Tangled Up in Blue” (1975)
202. Bobbie Gentry “Ode to Billie Joe” (1967)

Resources/Related Links:

Saturday, November 26, 2005

50 years ago: Little Richard charted with “Tutti Frutti” 50 years ago today

Last updated 3/6/2021.

Tutti Frutti

Little Richard

Writer(s): Little Richard, Dorothy LaBostrie (see lyrics here)

Released: October 1955

First Charted: November 26, 1955

Peak: 17 US, 10 CB, 2 RB, 29 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

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

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 31.53 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The 22-year-old Richard Penniman, aka “Little Richard,” was looking for a breakthrough in 1955 when he went into a New Orleans recording studio to lay down his first tracks for Specialty Records. He “started extemporizing verses of ‘Tutti Frutti,’ a risque feature of his club sets.” NRR As he said, “I’d been singing ‘Tutti-Frutti’ for years, but it never struck me as a song you’d record.” RS500

Lyrics like “Tutti frutti, loose booty/ If it don’t fit, don’t force it/ You can grease it, make it easy” were deemed too raunchy, “so Dorothy La Bostrie was called in to sanitize them; she gave Richard a gal named Sue (“She knows just what to do”) and another named Daisy (“She almost drive me crazy”). TM The results made the song “barely eligible for radio airplay.” MA

“Kids scrambled to decipher the meaning of the sounds emitted by the pompadoured piano dervish…but really, the words weren’t nearly as important as the remorselessly frenetic beat, the propulsive piano work and the primal, screaming vocal.” TM Jimi Hendrix, who worked as a sideman for Richard in 1964, said, “I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice.” TM

Little Richard “fused a unique falsetto and gospel scream that simultaneously oozed sexuality and spirituality. His performances and wardrobe were wild and outlandish. His androgynous stage persona would be reflected by Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Prince. FR The man who’d grown up in the South “black, gay, and outrageous…was so far out he was in.” SA His first chart single became a signature in the early days of rock and roll, cementing him as one of the genre’s forefathers.

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Little Richard
  • FR Paul Friedlander (1996). Rock and Roll: A Social History. Boulder, Colorado; Westview Press, Inc. Pages 38-9.
  • MA Dave Marsh (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library. Pages 11.
  • NRR National Recording Registry
  • RS500 (4/7/2011). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • SA David Sadowski (1999). Haven’t Named It Yet: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Prehistory, 1926-55.
  • TM Time magazine (10/24/2011). “All Time 100 Songs

Friday, November 4, 2005

Aha released Analogue



Released: November 4, 2005

Peak: -- US, 24 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.06 UK, 0.06 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: synth pop


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

  1. Celice (10/7/05, --)
  2. Don’t Do Me Any Favours
  3. Cosy Prisons (4/17/06, 39 UK)
  4. Analogue (All I Want) (1/23/06, 10 UK)
  5. Birthright (10/28/05, --)
  6. Holy Ground
  7. Over the Treetops
  8. Halfway Through the Tour
  9. A Fine Blue Line
  10. Keeper of the Flame
  11. Make It Soon
  12. White Dwarf
  13. The Summers of Our Youth

Total Running Time: 54:43

The Players:

  • Morten Harket (vocals, guitar)
  • Magne Furuholmen (keyboards, guitar, bass)
  • Pål Waaktaar-Savoy (guitars, drums, percussion)


3.033 out of 5.00 (average of 3 ratings)

Quotable: “A return to form.” – Sharon Mawer, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Thanks to the international success of “Take on Me” in 1985, a-ha became “one of the most popular Norwegian bands of all time.” AZ “Lead singer Morten Harket's incredible falsetto has wowed audiences for over two decades, and this new album shows real progression without straying too far from the band's trademark sound.” AZ

While the U.S. market largely forgot about a-ha after their debut album, they’ve never really been away so “Analogue was hardly a comeback but a continuation of their 20-plus years of hitmaking. If anything, it was a return to form after the disappointing Lifelines album.” AMG

The trio’s eighth studio endeavor kicks off with Celice, which features Harket’s “trademark falsetto vocals over a beat driven song.” AMG The song also served as the first single, released only in Europe. It was the band’s ninth, and, to-date, final #1 song in Norway.

The title cut, Analogue (All I Want) was also released as a single and became the band’s first top-ten hit in the UK since 1988’s “Stay on These Roads” AMG and the band’s eighteenth top-ten hit in Norway.

“Pål Waaktaar's fuzzy guitar dominates Make It Soon but Analogue is mainly a very laid-back album; only a few of its 13 tracks are up-tempo in the style of their classic era ‘Take on Me,’ and most of the tracks are piano led, melancholy ballads including Cozy Prisons, Birthright, A Fine Blue Line, and The Summers of Your Youth.” AMG

Graham Nash guests with backing vocals on “Cozy Prisons” and Over the Teardrops. “The harmonies on the latter song sound almost like one of CSN & Y’s own.” AMG

Halfway Through the Tour is one of the album’s more unusual songs. It is “a synth-beat number over seven minutes long. It’s a strange song which appears to finish at the standard three-minute mark but then continues for a further four minutes as a flute instrumental with echoes of ‘Nights in White Satin.’” AMG

Notes: An iTunes store version of the album included two remixes of “Celice.”

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 9/9/2020; updated 8/9/2021.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

50 years ago: “Autumn Leaves” hit #1

10/29/1955: “Autumn Leaves” hit #1

Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes)

Roger Williams

Writer(s): Joseph Kosma (music), Jacques Prévert (words – French), Johnny Mercer (words – English) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: August 1, 1955

Peak: 14 US, 13 HP, 13 CB, 13 HR (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.12 video, -- streaming

Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes)

Cannonball Adderley

Recorded: March 9, 1958

Released: August 1958

First Charted: --

Peak: -- (Click for codes to singles charts.)

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

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 6.4 video, -- streaming

Awards (Williams’ version): (Click on award for more details).

Awards (Adderley’s version): (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“Autumn Leaves” was originally written in 1945 as “Les Feuilles Mortes (The Dead Leaves)” by Hungarian composer Joseph Korma with French lyrics by Jacques Prévert. It was written as a choreographed duo for the ballet Le Rendez-Vous. It was introduced, without words, by Roland Petit in 1945 and copyrighted the next year. CJ

The next year Marcel Carné used it in his film Les Portes de la Nuite (Gates of the Night) It was sung briefly in the film by Yves Montand, CJ who also recorded the song in 1950, WK and again by Irène Joachim. CJ Cora Vaucaire was the first to sing the song in public and recorded it in 1947. CJ

Michael Golden from Capitol’s music publishing department loved the song and asked Johnny Mercer to write English lyrics for it. CJ The new version, titled “Autumn Leaves,” was recorded in July 1950 by Jo Stafford. WK Bing Crosby and Artie Shaw also recorded it that year. During the 1950s, it would also be covered by Nat “King” Cole and Frank Sinatra. WK Mercer later said he made more money from “Autumn Leaves” than any other song he wrote. CJ

The song had its first chart success in the United States in 1955 with versions by Steve Allen, the Ray Charles Singers, Jackie Gleason, Mitch Miller, and Victor Young all reaching the Billboard pop charts. HT However, the most successful version was the “majestic instrumental reading” AMG by pianist Roger Williams which went to #1 in 1955.

The song also became a favorite of jazz musicians. Cannonball Adderly and Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Erroll Garner, and Stan Getz were among those to record the song in the 1950s. Jazz historian Philippe Baudoin called it “the most important non-American standard,” noting that it is “the eighth most-recorded tune by jazzmen,” CJ having been recorded around 1400 times. CJ

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 4/22/2021.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Variety - 100 Icons of the Century

image from

Variety named its 100 icons of the century based on factors like their commercial and creative impact. The list consisted of people from all facets of the entertainment industry, but only those in the music arena are listed below (the top ten were ranked):

  • Louis Armstrong (ranked #2)
  • Fred Astaire
  • The Beatles (ranked #1)
  • Irving Berlin
  • Chuck Berry
  • Maria Callas
  • Johnny Cash
  • Ray Charles
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Bing Crosby
  • Miles Davis
  • Bob Dylan
  • Duke Ellington
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Judy Garland
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Oscar Hammerstein II
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Billie Holiday
  • Michael Jackson
  • Robert Johnson
  • Al Jolson
  • Janis Joplin
  • Gene Kelly
  • Little Richard
  • Madonna
  • Bob Marley
  • Edith Piaf
  • Elvis Presley (ranked #10)
  • Richard Rodgers
  • Ginger Rogers
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Sex Pistols
  • Tupac (2pac) Shakur
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Igor Stravinsky
  • Barbra Streisand
  • The Supremes
  • Hank Williams
  • Stevie Wonder


Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Journey’s Generations released



Released: October 4, 2005

Peak: 170 US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


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

  1. Faith in the Heartland
  2. The Place in Your Heart (2005, --)
  3. A Better Life
  4. Every Generation
  5. Butterfly (She Flies Alone)
  6. Believe
  7. Knowing That You Love Me
  8. Out of Harms Way
  9. In Self Defense
  10. Better Together
  11. Gone Crazy
  12. Beyond the Clouds
  13. Never Too Late [remix version]

Total Running Time: 73:12

The Players:

  • Steve Augeri (vocals, guitar)
  • Neal Schon (guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on “In Self-Defense”)
  • Jonathan Cain (keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Every Generation and “Pride of the Family”)
  • Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Gone Crazy”)
  • Deen Castronovo (drums, backing vocals, lead vocals on “A Better Life” and “Never Too Late”)


3.530 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Generations was Journey’s second full studio album with lead singer Steve Augeri and drummer Deen Castronovo. This is the same line-up as the last two releases, 2001’s Arrival and 2002’s Red 13 EP.” JM “As Journey albums go, this isn’t anywhere near the genius that the dream team of Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, [and former lead singer Steve] Perry brought forth in their heyday, but it certainly isn’t their worst work either,” AMG although from a chart standpoint, only the 1980 mostly-instrumental soundtrack Dream after Dream fared worst; it didn’t even chart. Of course, “the album was given away for free by the band during most of the concerts of the Generations tour in 2005, and subsequently released on Sanctuary Records later the same year.” JM

Steve Augeri is “finally coming into his own on the new material;” AMG he “has finally grown beyond being a soundalike for Perry and adds his own distinct flourishes to his delivery.” AMG Still, “there are moments you could swear the band is just playing one large practical joke and it really is Perry in the vocal booth.” AMG

“This time around, Augeri isn’t the only one doing vocal duty; it’s a whole band thing. Each member takes a turn singing a song, and the results are painfully mixed.” AMG “Jonathan Cain sings lead on Every Generation, the first time he sang lead since ‘All That Really Matters’ (a song originally left off Frontiers) from the Time 3 box set.” JM “Drummer Dean Castronovo is another convincing Perry soundalike” AMG on A Better Life and Never Too Late. However, “Schon and bassist Ross Valory come up short” AMG on In Self Defense and Gone Crazy, respectively. “Of course, singing isn’t Schon’s forte, as his signature blistering solos return and will testify to on many of these songs (including a nod in one solo to his memorable ending guitar solo on ‘Who’s Crying Now’).” AMG

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 10/10/2008; updated 8/9/2021.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Kanye West hits #1 for first of 10 weeks with “Gold Digger”

Last updated 3/16/2020.

Gold Digger

Kanye West with Jamie Foxx

Writer(s): Kanye West, Ray Charles, Renald Richard (see lyrics here)

Released: July 5, 2005

First Charted: July 16, 2005

Peak: 110 US, 12 RR, 14 RB, 2 UK, 5 CN, 13 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 1.26 UK, 8.54 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.5 radio, 211.54 video, 200.0 streaming


About the Song:

“Gold Digger” the second single from Kanye West’s Late Registration album, flips the script on the stereotypical hip-hop song where “wealth is coveted and women are mistreated” TM to spin a “tale of a man used by his woman for financial gain.” PD It’s “unusual for one of music’s kingpins to admit he’s been suckered by a woman – much less write an upbeat song about it.” TM

This is “lighthearted Kanye at his best: his lyrics are funny (‘She was supposed to buy your shorty Tyco with your money/ [Instead] she went to the doctor [and] got lipo with your money’)” TM and “when it comes to killer beats, Kanye West is every bit as good as he thinks he is.” MX He “never dropped a beat deadlier than the stuttering bass drum that propels his biggest hit.” MX “The song’s backbone is a mixture of scratches, loops and handclaps set to follow the lyrics’ cadence.” TM

“But just when you think ‘Gold Digger’ is nothing more than a danceable screed against money-grubbing women, Kanye throws in a story about a poor black woman who stands by her man only to see him get rich and dump her for a white girl. Everybody gets played” TM in “Kanye’s most instantly pleasurable single ever.” RS’09

In addition, Kanye didn’t just stick to “contemporary mode or aping a classic pop genre sound,” AB’00 but opted for “blending the past with the present.” AB’00 Even then he aschewed the typical route when he decided to integrate Ray Charles’ “I Gotta Woman,” but not by sampling it directly. He turned to Jamie Foxx, who won an Academy Award playing Charles in the previous year’s Ray, for a “pitch-perfect Ray Charles impersonation.” MX Two years earlier, the pair worked on the #1 “Slow Jamz” with Twista, but this proved even bigger, with 10 weeks atop the charts.

Resources and Related Links: