Saturday, April 30, 2005

50 years ago: Perez “Prez” Prado hit #1 with “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White”

First posted 3/14/2021.

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White

Perez “Prez” Prado

Writer(s): Jacques Larue, Louis Gugliemi, Mack David (see lyrics here)


First Charted: January 31, 1955


Peak: 110 US, 11 HP, 2 CB, 18 8, 12 UK, 13 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


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


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.5 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The song was originally written in 1950 as “Cerisiers Roses et Pommiers Blanc” with lyrics by Jacques LaRue and music by Louis Gugliemi (Louiguy). The first version was released that year by André Claveau avec Jo Boyer et son orchestra. Mack David, brother of famous lyricist Hal David, gave it English lyrics in 1951. SF Georgia Gibbs, backed by an orchestra conducted by Glenn Osser, released her version of the song in August 1951.

However, the most popular recording was an instrumental by Perez Prado. He recorded it with his orchestra and featured trumpeter Billy Regis. WK The Cuban-born Prado, known as “The King of Mambo,” recorded “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” as a mambo in 1951. He re-recorded it in 1955 SF for the movie Underwater! which features Jane Russell dancing to the song. It spent 10 weeks at #1 and Billboard named it the song of the year.

The song has the distinction of being the last #1 before what Billboard magazine deemed the start of the rock era: when Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” hit #1. Alan Dale also charted with the song in 1955, reaching #14 with his vocal version. Prado and British trumpeter Eddie Calvert both went to #1 with the song in the United Kingdom. The song returned to the UK charts in 1982 when Modern Romance took their vocal version to #20.

Others who’ve recorded the song include Chet Atkins, Pat Boone, Petula Clark, Bing Crosby, Xavier Cugat, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Harry James, Liberace, Billy Vaughn, and Lawrence Welk. WK


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Mariah Carey hit #1 with The Emancipation of Mimi

The Emancipation of Mimi

Mariah Carey


Released: April 12, 2005


Charted: April 30, 2005


Peak: 12 US, 15 RB, 7 UK, 2 CN, 6 AU


Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.62 UK, 11.4 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop/R&B


Tracks:

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

  1. It’s Like That (1/22/05, 16 US, 17 RR, 17 RB, 4 UK, 9 AU)
  2. We Belong Together (4/2/05, 1 US, 1 RR, 1 RB, 3 AC, 16 A40, 2 UK, 2 CN, 1 AU)
  3. Shake It Off (7/22/05, 2 US, 1 RR, 2 RB, 9 UK, 6 AU)
  4. Mine Again (8/6/05, 73 RB)
  5. Say Somethin’ (with Snoop Dogg) (4/29/06, 79 US, 23 RR, 27 UK, 26 AU)
  6. Stay the Night
  7. Get Your Number (with Jermaine Dupri) (11/5/05, 9 UK, 19 AU)
  8. One and Only (with Twista)
  9. Circles
  10. Your Girl
  11. I Wish You Knew
  12. To the Floor (with Nelly)
  13. Joy Ride
  14. Fly Like a Bird (3/11/06, 19 RB)


Total Running Time: 50:10

Rating:

4.026 out of 5.00 (average of 29 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The titular ‘Mimi’ of The Emancipation of Mimi is, by all accounts, an alter ego of Mariah, a persona that captures Carey's true feelings and emotions.” AMG “Mariah frees herself from the constraints of being herself, revealing herself to be – well, somebody that looks [and sounds] startlingly like Beyoncé.” AMG

Her “last couple of albums had only attained platinum status, paltry by her usual high-flying standards.” RS’20 “The reserved, tasteful adult contemporary pop of 2002’s Charmbracelet failed to revive her career” AMG so Carey did “a 180 and returned to R&B, in hopes that maybe this will create some excitement. It's not a bad idea, particularly because Mariah could use any change at this point, and it's not executed all that badly either, as all 14 tracks — heavy on mid-tempo cuts and big ballads, with a few harder dance tunes featuring big-name guest rappers scattered along the way — all follow the same deliberately smoky, late-night template.” AMG “While the tunes aren’t always memorable, it does make for a consistent album, one that’s head and shoulders above the other LPs she's released in the 2000s, even if it doesn’t compare with her glory days of the ‘90s.” AMG

“The Neptunes provide the best dance cut here with Say Somethin’AMG but there are also “some nice old-school ‘70s smooth soul flourishes” AMG on the “deliciously sleek Mine Again,” AMG I Wish You Knew, and Fly Like a Bird. Even so, there are “times that the mixes slip and don’t hide the flaws in Mariah’s voice.” AMG

“But the vocal acrobat swept away the naysayers with We Belong Together, a chattering, heartbroken ballad that interpolates two R&B classics (Bobby Womack’s ‘If You Think You’re Lonely Now’ and the Deele’s ‘Two Occasions’), then followed that song’s huge success with Shake It Off, a dismissive, vengeful cut for all the jilted lovers.” RS’20

The biggest problem “is that Mariah never sounds like herself on this record. When she’s not sounding like Beyoncé, she sounds desperate to be part of the waning bling era, dropping product placements…or bragging about her house in Capri…all of which sounds a little tired and awkward coming from a 35-year-old woman in her 15th year of superstardom.” AMGThe Emancipation of Mimi still works, at least as a slick, highly crafted piece of dance-pop – it might not be as hip as it thinks it is, nor is it as catchy as it should be, but it’s smooth and listenable, which is enough to have it qualify as” AMG “a sextuple-platinum return to form.” RS’20


Notes: The “Ultra Platinum Edition” added “Don’t Forget About Us,” “Makin’ It Last All Night (What It Do)” (with Jermaine Dupri), “So Lonely (One & Only, Pt. 2” (with Twista), and a remix of “We Belong Together.” The UK edition included the song “Sprung.” Still another version of the Ultra Platinum Edition had a bonus DVD with videos for “We Belong Together,” “It’s Like That,” “Shake It Off,” and “Get Your Number.”

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First posted 3/26/2008; last updated 4/25/2022.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Robert Plant Mighty Rearranger released

Mighty Rearranger

Robert Plant


Released: April 25, 2005


Peak: 22 US, 4 UK, 51 AU


Sales (in millions): 0.04 US, 0.06 UK


Genre: rock


Tracks:

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

  1. Another Tribe
  2. Shine It All Around (3/26/05, 11 AA, 18 AR, 32 UK)
  3. Freedom Fries
  4. Tin Pan Alley
  5. All the King’s Horses
  6. The Enchanter (2005, --)
  7. Takamba
  8. Dancing in Heaven
  9. Somebody Knocking
  10. Let the Four Winds Blow
  11. Mighty Rearranger
  12. Brother Ray


Total Running Time: 54:14

Rating:

3.600 out of 5.00 (average of 25 ratings)


Quotable: Plant’s “most musically satisfying and diverse recording since…Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti.” – Thom Jurek, All Music Guide


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

After the “tentative DreamlandQ covers album in 2002, “Mighty Rearranger was Plant’s true comeback album.” Q The album consists of an expanded version of the Strange Sensation band which worked with him on the previous album. In addition, Phil Johnstone, who co-wrote with Plant on 1988’s Now and Zen returned as a co-producer. They “have painstakingly and energetically crafted an album that takes his full history into account.” AMG The result is Plant’s “most musically satisfying and diverse recording since…Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti.” AMG

This is “an imaginative, confident record” Q which blends “world and Western music influences with mystical, oblique and somewhat cynical references to religion and destiny.” WK “It found room for booming Zeppelin-style drums on Shine It All Around,” Q which also features Justin Adams’ “canny emulation of Jimmy Page’s Les Paul toneography [which] fills Plant’s sung and moaned lines with ferocity.” AMG

Freedom Fries, which incorporates “21st-century rockabilly,” Q offers “startling percussive syncopation and juxtaposition of roots rockabilly blues and hard rock – a la ‘Black Dog’ – that…shatters the sensual tension.” AMG The song is critical of George W. Bush’s presidency and the post-September 11 climate. WK

Another Tribe is “a sociopolitical ballad that touches upon the textural string backdrops from Zep’s ‘Kashmir’ and is fueled by Moroccan bendir drums.” AMG There are also “African rhythms in Somebody’s Knocking.” Q On Tin Pan Alley, John Baggot’s “whispering keyboard lines under Plant’s nocturnal moan set a…slippery, sexy, undulating” AMG mood.

“The beautiful balladry of All the King’s Horses offers solid proof of Plant’s ability to reference the English folk tradition with elegance and taste, and his continued acumen for fine lyric writing.” AMG There’s also “the sultry slow stroll of The Enchanter and the North African-flavored rocker Takamba.” AMG “The dramatic Let the Four Winds Blow touches everything from early rock & roll to droning Delta blues to biker soundtrack music.” AMG

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First posted 9/27/2010; last updated 8/16/2021.