Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Kanye West released Late Registration

Late Registration

Kanye West

Released: August 30, 2005

Charted: September 17, 2005

Peak: 12 US, 12 RB, 2 UK, 12 CN, 14 AU

Sales (in millions): 3.1 US, 0.85 UK, 5.39 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rap


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

  1. Wake Up Mr. West
  2. Heard ‘Em Say [with Adam Levine] (11/19/05, 26 US, 17 RB, 22 UK)
  3. Touch the Sky [with Lupe Fiasco] (10/15/05, 42 US, 23 RB)
  4. Gold Digger [with Jamie Foxx] (6/16/05, 1 US, 1 RB, 2 UK)
  5. Skit #1
  6. Drive Slow [with Paul Wall & GLC]
  7. My Way Home [with Common]
  8. Crack Music [with The Game]
  9. Roses
  10. Bring Me Down [with Brandy]
  11. Addiction
  12. Skit #2
  13. Diamonds from Sierra Leone [remix featuring Jay-Z] (5/14/05, 43 US, 21 RB, 8 UK)
  14. We Major [with Nas & Really Doe]
  15. Skit #3
  16. Hey Mama
  17. Celebration
  18. Skit #4
  19. Gone [with Consequence & Cam’Ron]
  20. Diamonds from Sierra Leone
  21. Late (unlisted track)

Total Running Time: 70:25


4.296 out of 5.00 (average of 30 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The College Dropout introduced the world to a polo-shirt-wearing preppy who merged backpack-rap politics and bling-rap materialism.” RS’20 “Then, in a flash, Kanye was everywhere, transformed from respected producer to big-name producer/MC, throwing a fit at the American Music Awards, performing ‘Jesus Walks’ at the Grammys, wearing his diamond-studded Jesus piece, appearing on the cover of Time, running his mouth 24/7.” AMG “For haters eager to see Kanye hit a sophomore slump – no such luck.” AZ

On Late Registration “Kanye West really started showing off.” RS’20 “One thing that remains unchanged is Kanye’s hunger, even though his head has swollen to the point where it could be separated from his body, shot into space, and considered a planet. Raised middle class, Kanye didn’t have to hustle his way out of poverty, the number one key to credibility for many hip-hop fans, whether it comes to rapper turned rapping label presidents or suburban teens. And now that he has proved himself in another way, through his stratospheric success — which also won him a gaggle of haters as passionate as his followers – he doesn’t want to be seen as a novelty whose ambitions have been fulfilled.” AMG

On Late Registration, he finds himself backed into a corner, albeit as king of the mountain. It’s a paradox, which is exactly what he thrives on. His follow-up to The College Dropout isn’t likely to change the minds of the resistant” AMG and “Late Registration can’t replicate the novelty of [its predecessor] but otherwise, this is an impressively more mature and labored-over album.” AZ

“As an MC, Kanye remains limited, with all-too-familiar flows that weren’t exceptional to begin with (you could place a number of these rhymes over College Dropout beats). He uses the same lyrical strategies as well. Take lead single Diamonds from Sierra Leone, in which he switches from boastful to rueful; more importantly, the conflict felt in owning blood diamonds will be lost on those who couldn’t afford one with years of combined income. Even so, he can be tremendous as a pure writer, whether digging up uncovered topics (as on ‘Diamonds’) or spinning a clever line (‘Before anybody wanted K. West's beats, me and my girl split the buffet at KFC’).” AMG

“The production approach, however, is rather different from the debut.” AMG West brings in “savvy producer Jon Brion to co-produce.” RS’20 The result? “The album sounds incredible” AZ with “crude beats and drastically tempo-shifted samples…replaced with a more traditionally musical touch.” AMG “Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann), who co-produces with West on most of the tracks,” AMG “help[s] polish the songs to perfection.” AZ They “are a good, if unlikely, match. Brion's string arrangements and brass flecks add a new dimension to West’s beats without overshadowing them, and the results are neither too adventurous nor too conservative.” AMG

Tracks like Heard ‘Em Say (featuring Maroon 5's Adam Levine) and “heartstring-tuggers” RS’20 like Hey Mama “are richly textured in their soulfulness while the flint-edge of Crack Music and Gone…will appeal to the street-oriented.” AZ

The Just Blaze-helmed” AMG “triumphal autobiography” RS’20Touch the Sky tops everything laid down by [West and Brion], despite its heavy reliance on Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Move on Up.’” AMG Commercially, however, the most successful song Gold Digger. Complete with Jamie Foxx doing his best Ray Charles impression, the “witty club pop” RS’20 song sailed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

“There's a few duds on here – the sickly-sweet, syrupy Bring Me Down…being one of the worst offenders – but when the album’s good, it's very, very good.” AZ This is “a near-perfect album that remade the pop landscape in West’s own oddball image.” RS’20

“Kanye’s detractors may not be swayed in their resistance to his charms but not only will his past supporters be rewarded but Late Registration has enough appeal to earn new crowds of fans.” AZ “While KRS-One was the first to proclaim, ‘I am hip-hop,’ Kanye West might as well be the first MC to boldly state, ‘I am pop.’” AMG

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/16/2010; last updated 4/22/2022.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

50 years ago: Mitch Miller “The Yellow Rose of Texas” hit #1

The Yellow Rose of Texas

Mitch Miller

Writer(s): John Kelly, Don George, traditional (see lyrics here)

Released: July 11, 1955

First Charted: July 25, 1955

Peak: 16 US, 16 BA, 16 DJ, 16 JB, 19 HP, 17 CB, 17 HR, 2 UK, 16 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.53 video, 2.65 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“The Yellow Rose of Texas” was a century old when Mitch Miller took his rendition to the top of the charts. The song was first published in Philadlephia in 1853 in the songbook Christy’s Plantation Melodies No. 2, a collection of songs performed by the Christy’s Minstrels, a blackface minstrel show founded by Edwin Pearce Christy. The song was originally uncredited and had not sheet music. WK In 1858, someone known only as “J.K.” revised the lyrics and added piano accompaniment. In 2010, research uncovered that “J.K.” was John Kelly, a member of Christy’s Minstrels. It may be that he was the original writer as well. WK

The song is written from the perspective of an African-American singer referring to himself as a “darkey.” He wants to go home to a “yellow girl,” a term for a light-skinned or biracial woman with African-American and European-American heritage. WK The 1858 version of the song changed the words “yellow girl” to “yellow rose.” WK It later became “a popular Confederate marching song during the Civil War.” DJ

Gene Autry and Jimmie Long recorded the song in 1933 as a cowboy song with some changes to the lyrics, namely removing racial references. Roy Rogers performed it in the 1944 film of the same name. WK In 1955, composer and arranger Don George gave it “an exciting march beat.” TY2 His version appeared on a collection of Civil War songs, which is how it came to the attention of Miller. He was an orchestra conductor and record company executive at Columbia who was born in 1911 in Rochester, New York. He’d provided the back-up orchestra for some hits by Guy Mitchelland Frankie Laine. “Yellow Rose,” however, was done under his own name. He gave the song a new arrangement with an “exciting snare drum part.” T2 The song might never have seen release if it weren’t for Miller’s status with the record company. He ordered 100,000 copies of the single, promising to buy back all copies at cost if they didn’t sell. WK

It sold more than a million copies and topped multiple U.S. pop charts and ranked in the top five on Billboard, Cash Box, and Variety year-end lists. TY2 Johnny Desmond (#3 US, 1955) and Stan Freberg (#16 US, 1955) also charted with the song. It was used in the 1956 James Dean Texas-based movie Giant. Elvis Presley included it as part of a medley in his 1964 film Viva Las Vegas. Hoyt Axton, Pat Boone, Bing Crosby, Mantovani, Willie Nelson and others also recorded versions. WK

The Western Writers of America chose “Yellow Rose” as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. WK It is an unofficial state song of Texas (the official song is “Texas, Our Texas”). WK


First posted 8/12/2023.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

50 years ago: Chuck Berry “Maybellene” hit #1 on R&B chart for 1st of 11 weeks


Chuck Berry

Writer(s): Chuck Berry, Russ Fratto, Alan Freed (see lyrics here)

Released: July 1955

First Charted: August 6, 1955

Peak: 5 US, 5 CB, 4 HR, 111 RB, 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 8.38 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Boogie pianist Johnnie Johnson had a gig booked for New Year’s Eve 1952 to play the Cosmopolitan Club in St. Louis. TC When a band member had a stroke, AH he called “untried guitarist Chuck Berry as a stopgap replacement.” TB He barely knew the young man who had “already served a term in prison for armed robberty, was massively ambitious, and was skinny as a rake” AH but he knew Berry could sing and play guitar.

That night Berry played the “uptempo country tune” SS “Ida Red” “about a duel between a Ford and a Cadillac.” TC It had been recorded by Roy Acuff, Bob Wills, and Cowboy Copas SS but, according to Okeh Records where Acuff cut the song, it was as “old as the hills.” DM Johnson said “the audience went crazy. We had to play that song again, maybe two or three times.” TB Some experts have called it the beginning of rock and roll. TB

Why? “This particular black man playing country music was more or less the embodiment of rock and roll.” AH By 1955, Berry went to Chicago to see blues great Muddy Waters who encouraged Berry to talk to Leonard Chess about a recording contract. SS At the first session, Berry recorded a reworked version of “Ida Red,” also incopraiting parts of “Oh Red” by the Harlem Hamfats and “Hot Rod Racer” by Arkie Shibley & His Mountain Dew Boys. The “new” song was called “Maybellene,” after the cosmetics company, at Chess’ suggestion. AH It “was the debut of the single most important songwriter in rock and roll history.” AH

It took 36 takes to record SS the “frustrated love song that’s as much about the highway as it is about girls.” DM The “rapid-fire wordplay…that became a Berry trademark is as exciting as its driving rhythm, generationg an unstoppable momentum, hurtling down the open road much like the Caddy and V-8 Ford in this song.” SS

It would be “the most important single record Chess ever put out” AH and “when it comes to rock and roll, Chuck Berry may be the single most important figure who ever lived.” AH To get the song played on the radio, Chess engaged in payola, which meant he gave DJ Alan Freed and his associate Russ Fratto two-thirds of the publishing income and songwriting credit. TC It became a hit, “kick-starting the rock ‘n’ roll revolution.” TB


Related Links:

First posted 3/24/2023; last updated 3/31/2023.