Saturday, April 30, 2005

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

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 charts.)

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

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


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 the organist, pianist, and arranger Damasco Perez Prado, born in Cuba in 1916. SS “With his goatee and lacquered pompadour, [he] was just about the hippest thing on two legs.” TB Known as “The King of Mambo,” Prado has been credited as the man who “truly invented the mambo as a distinct musical genre.” SS

He first recorded “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” in 1951. When it was chosen for the movie Underwater! with Jane Russell dancing to the song, he rerecorded it. The “smoothly danceable instrumental” SS featured trumpeter Billy Regis. 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


First posted 3/14/2021; last updated 3/24/2023.

Gorillaz chart with “Feel Good Inc.”

Feel Good Inc.

Gorillaz with De La Soul

Writer(s): Damon Albarn, David Jolicoeur (see lyrics here)

Released: May 9, 2005

First Charted: April 30, 2005

Peak: 14 US, 13 RR, 18 A40, 17 MR, 2 UK, 6 CN, 3 AU, 12 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.92 US, 1.8 UK, 5.79 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.3 radio, 807.51 video, 1154.15 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Damon Albarn became one of the most important figures in the Britpop movement of the 1990s with his band Blur. By decade’s end, he was interested in crafting a new sound that incorporated hip-hop, electronica, and world music so he formed the new group Gorillaz. The “band” was typically presented in cartoon form through fictional members.

The self-titled debut album was released in 2001, reached #3 in the UK, and sold three million copies in the UK and U.S. alone. The 2005 follow-up, Demon Days, topped the UK charts and went top 10 in the U.S. It outsold its predecessor by roughly a million copies. It also gave the band their only top-40 success in the United States with “Feel Good, Inc.,” the lead single.

The song reached the top ten in fifteen countries, including #1 in Spain and Greece. It was nominated for three Grammys, including Record of the Year, and won for Best Pop Collaboration. It also won MTV awards for Breakthrough Video and Best Special Effects in a Video. says, “This song is about the things people do in order to make themselves feel good. The song seems to focus on the darker side of pleasure like addictions and habits, but then the chorus comes in and it seems to say that you should stop thinking about what makes you feel good and try to love others to make them feel good. It's saying that love is what makes the world go around, hence the windmill reference.” SF


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First posted 7/26/2023.

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


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


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


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


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.

50 years ago: Frank Sinatra In the Wee Small Hours released

In the Wee Small Hours

Frank Sinatra

Released: April 25, 1955

Charted: May 28, 1955

Peak: 12 US

Sales (in millions): 1.0

Genre: traditional pop


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

  1. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (Bob Hilliard, David Mann) [3:00]
  2. Mood Indigo (Barney Bigard, Duke Ellington, Irving Mills) [3:30]
  3. Glad to Be Unhappy (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) [2:35]
  4. I Get Along without You Very Well (Hoagy Carmichael) [3:42]
  5. Deep in a Dream (Eddie DeLange, Jimmy Van Heusen) [2:49]
  6. I See Your Face Before Me (Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz) [3:24]
  7. Can’t We Be Friends? (Paul James, Kay Swift) [2:48]
  8. When Your Lover Has Gone (Elnar Aaron Swan) [3:10]
  9. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Cole Porter) [2:35]
  10. Last Night When We Were Young (Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg) [3:17]
  11. I’ll Be Around (Alec Wilder) [2:59]
  12. Ill Wind (Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler) [3:46]
  13. It Never Entered My Mind (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) [2:42]
  14. Dancing on the Ceiling (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) [2:57]
  15. I’ll Never Be the Same (Gus Kahn, Matty Maineck, Frank Singorelli) [3:05]
  16. This Love of Mine (Sol Parker, Henry W. Sanicola Jr. Frank Sinatra) [3:33] (8/30/41, 3 US)

Total Running Time: 48:41


4.219 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)


“Sinatra recordings were the yardstick by which all other vocalists would be judged when it came to dealing with the American Popular Songbook.” – Thunder Bay Press


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“For a decade, Sinatra pushed to make a cohesive LP at a time when no one in the record business was thinking beyond singles. Finally, his break-up with Ava Gardner provided the perfect catalyst” TL for “the first collection of songs Sinatra recorded specifically for an LP.” RS It is also one of “one of Sinatra’s most jazz-oriented performances” AMG and “one of the finest jazz albums of all time.” CAD It “sustains a midnight mood of loneliness and lost love – it’s a prototypical concept album;” RS it is “considered by many to be the first concept album.” CAD

“Recorded in just a few days,” TL this collection makes for an “authoritative take on masculine loneliness” TL on this “blue, melancholy album.” AMG “If you want to cry, here’s one to do it with.” ZS This “could almost be considered a heart broken follow-up to his more romantically wide-eyed prior release Songs For Young Lovers.” CAD Sinatra’s “voice had deepened and worn to the point where his delivery seems ravished and heartfelt, as if he were living the songs.” AMG

In real life, Sinatra had “embraced the high-rolling Las Vegas lifestyle with a vengeance. Breakfasting at five in the afternoon, he now lived a nocturnal life, making the the newly written title song by David Man and Bob Hilliard a particularly appropriate one.” TB The line “‘In the wee small hours of the morning, that’s the time you miss her most of all’, pretty much says it all.” CAD

The “feeling of not being able to sleep, tossing and turning, thinking about his lover sets the mood for the entire album.” CAD Ol’ Blue Eyes “wears his heart on his forlorn sleeve” CAD as he works “through a series of standards that are lonely and desolate.” AMG “Like all Sinatra songs, they’re not just beautifully sung but interpreted into drama.” TL thanks to “ravishing and heartfelt vocal phrasings” CAD from “the man with the world’s greatest diction.” ZS

Sinatra took on a deliberate “musical recipe of less-is-more” TB with “somewhat muted guitar work and the lush almost in the background string arrangements.” CAD The songs were crafted “around a spare rhythm section featuring a rhythm guitar, celesta, and Bill Miller’s piano, with gently aching strings added every once and a while.” AMG The “carefully selected melancholy standards that come across with even more sublime poignancy with the expertly crafted arrangements by Nelson Riddle and his orchestra.” CAD

On Mood Indigo “things seem to be getting a bit desperate for our desolate hero. In the evening when the lights are low seems to be a particularly bad part of the day for him as he calls himself just a soul that when he gets that blue indigo he could just lay down and die.” CAD

Glad to Be Unhappy, “the first of three Rodgers & Hart tunes, showcased a voice now deeper and more ravaged than the light tenor of early days.” TB Cole Porter’s I Get Along Without You Very Well “epitomizes the mood of the entire album and highlights Sinatra’s vocal prowess.” TB

“The first side ends with When Your Lover Has Gone, penned by Edgar Swan, a number Sinatra had originally recorded back in 1944…With a decade of life lived since then, Sinatra’s vocal performance effortlessly surpasses the earlier version – and legend has it that he broke down in the studio and cried after concluding the final take.” TB

“Side two kicks off with Cole Porter’s What Is This Thing Called Love? – a question Sinatra must have spent much time considering. Riddle’s clarinet theme here is arguably as persuasively haunting as Porter’s original melody.”

On that half of the album, Sinatra also tackles Rodgers and Hart’s It Never Entered My Mind, “described by one critic as ‘perhaps the definitive musical evocation of loneliness.’” TB On I’ll Never Be the Same The Chairman of the Board faces “the grim acceptance that the lady’s gone for good.” TL However, Dancing on the Ceiling “sees Sinatra daring to hope,” TB as does “a trenchant recast of This Love of Mine, a hit from his Tommy Dorsey days,” RS in which he sings “This love of mine goes on and on.”

“Sinatra recordings were the yardstick by which all other vocalists would be judged when it came to dealing with the American Popular Songbook.” TB “Both Tom Waits and Marvin Gaye have cited the album as one of their favorites with Waits using the album art on the cover of his own album The Heart of Saturday Night.” CAD In fact, the cover for Wee Small Hours “depicts late-night desolation particularly effectively, showing a solitary Sinatra smoking a cigarette under a streetlight’s baleful glow.” TB In fact, the reviewer at Cool Album of the Day even suggested playing “this album in its entirety while leaning against a lamp post preferably with a cigarette dangling out of the side of your mouth…Once you are finished put out your cigarette, down one more shot of whiskey, and leave the wee small hours of the morning behind you….and go to sleep.” CAD

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First posted 5/28/2012; last updated 11/30/2022.