Sunday, December 31, 2006

Virgin Radio: Top 100 Songs

Virgin Radio:

Top 100 Songs

Virgin Radio has done listeners’ polls to determine the Top 100 Tracks/Songs of All Time. Here is an exclusive Dave’s Music Database in which three of those lists have been consolidated into an aggregate list. See the sources at the bottom of the page.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Nov. 20, 2006: U2 released their U218 Singles collection

Last updated September 16, 2018.

** Compilations

Here are the collections featured on this page:

  1. Best of 1980-1990
  2. Best of 1990-2010
  3. U218

Click here to see all the album tracks featured on the above collections.

Genre: --

Related DMDB Link(s):

U2: Best of 1980-1990

Recorded: 1980-1989

Released: Nov. 3, 1998

Sales (in millions): US: 2.0, UK: 1.5, IFPI: 6.0, World: 18.5

Peak: US: 2, UK: 11, Canada: 11, Australia: 15



“As one of the most popular bands of the '80s, U2 didn't quite fit into any particular category. They were a post-punk band that quickly found acceptance from a hard rock audience, a group that made fully formed albums but often made their best statements on individual songs, especially during the ‘80s.” STE

“Consequently, they're a very hard band to anthologize. Since they were most effective on single songs, it seems that throwing all of them together on one disc would work. The problem is, each of the albums, from Boy to Rattle and Hum, has a distinctive flavor that doesn't necessarily blend when combined, especially in the nonchronological form of The Best of 1980-1990.” STE

“There’s little quibbling with the featured tracks on U2's first compilation – a few important songs, such as ‘Gloria’…and ‘Two Hearts Beat as One,’ may be missing, but everything else deserves to be here (Pride, New Year’s Day, With or Without You, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Desire, etc.).” STE

“Even though the song selection is strong, the album winds up as less than the sum of its parts – each song is pretty great of its own accord (even the single mix of the B-side Sweetest Thing, which is, in truth, not much different at all), but the overall effect is a little underwhelming. On one hand, it may be a good choice for casual fans or nostalgia mongers, since it does contain everything they need to hear, but anyone who has more than a passing interest in the band will be better suited with individual albums.” STE

U2: Best of 1990-2000

Recorded: 1991-2000

Released: Nov. 5, 2002

Sales (in millions): US: 1.0, UK: 0.6, IFPI: 3.0, World: 7.5

Peak: US: 3, UK: 2, Canada: 11, Australia: 11


Best of 1990-2000 was the second compilation from U2, the first being Best of 1980-1990, released four years earlier. This one picks up where that one left off, offering a nice one-two punch retrospective of the band’s first two decades.

Hits like Mysterious Ways, One, Numb, Discothèque, and Beautiful Day are here alongside 1995’s Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, which first appeared on the Batman Forever soundtrack. Also from that year is Miss Sarajevo, which was a collaboration with Brian Eno originally credited to Passengers.

Unlike the previous collection, this one offered a couple of new songs – Electrical Storm and The Hands That Built America. The former was released as a single and the latter appeared on the soundtrack for Gangs of New York.

Still, this album isn’t quite as strong as its predecessor. A couple of album cuts (Gone, The First Time) appear here, which take up space that could have been given to hits like “The Fly” (a #1 hit in the UK), “Last Night on Earth” (a top ten hit in the UK), or “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” (a #2 album rock hit), or even the band’s cover of “Night and Day,” a #2 modern rock hit which appeared on the 1990 album Red Hot + Blue, a tribute to Cole Porter.

U2: U218 Singles

Recorded: 1980-2006

Released: Nov. 20, 2006

Sales (in millions): US: 0.1, UK: 0.6, IFPI: 2.0, World: 5.13

Peak: US: 12, UK: 4, Canada: 3, Australia: 12


While a single-disc retrospective of U2 would seem a sure-fire hit, this album stalled in the U.S., becoming the band’s first album since 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire to miss the top ten. Part of the blame is releasing the album so soon after their last compilation – the 2002 Best of 1990-2000. In fact, based on that album title and its predecessor, Best of 1980-1990, the next compilation would seemingly have come at the close of the decade and rounded up the band’s hits from the new millennium.

That is accented all the more by the fact that the band had only released one studio album, 2004’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, since Best of 1990-2000 so there’s not much new here. There’s Vertigo and Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own from that album and two new songs. One is a cover of the Skids’ The Saints Are Coming. The song was done as a collaboration with Green Day to benefit Hurricane Katrina charities. W18 The other new song was Window in the Skies.

Still, it isn’t the worst thing to have New Year’s Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride (In the Name of Love), With Or Without You, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Desire, Mysterious Ways, One, and Beautiful Day all on one collection.

Album Tracks – All Collections

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.


  1. I Will Follow (10/19/80, #81 US, #78 UK, #20 AR) 80
  2. October (album: 10/20/81, --) 80
  3. New Year’s Day (1/1/83, #53 US, #10 UK, #2 AR) 80, 18
  4. Sunday Bloody Sunday (3/11/83, #7 AR) 80, 18
  5. Pride (In the Name of Love) (9/4/84, #33 US, #3 UK, #2 AR) 80, 18
  6. The Unforgettable Fire (4/1/85, #6 UK) 80
  7. Bad (8/24/85, #19 AR) 80
  8. With Or Without You (3/20/87, #1 US, #4 UK, #23 AC, #1 AR) 80, 18
  9. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (3/28/87, #1 US, #6 UK, #16 AC, #2 AR) 80, 18
  10. Where the Streets Have No Name (4/4/87, #13 US, #4 UK, #11 AR) 80, 18
  11. Sweetest Thing (8/4/87, #63 US, #3 UK, #31 AR, #9 MR) 80, 18
  12. Desire (9/26/88, #3 US, #1 UK, #1 AR, #1 MR) 80, 18
  13. Angel of Harlem (10/22/88, #14 US, #9 UK, #38 AC, #1 AR, #3 MR) 80
  14. When Love Comes to Town (with B.B. King, 10/22/88, #68 US, #6 UK, #2 AR, #10 MR) 80
  15. All I Want Is You (6/13/89, #83 US, #4 UK, #13 AR) 80


  1. Mysterious Ways (11/23/91, #9 US, #13 UK, #1 AR, #1 MR) 90, 18
  2. One (1/4/92, #10 US, #7 UK, #24 AC, #1 AR, #1 MR) 90, 18
  3. Until the End of the World (2/1/92, #5 AR, #4 MR) 90
  4. Even Better Than the Real Thing (6/7/92, #32 US, #8 UK, #1 AR, #5 MR) 90
  5. Numb (6/30/93, #61a US, #18 AR, #2 MR) 90
  6. Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (7/31/93, #61 US, #4 UK, #12 AR, #15 MR) 90
  7. The First Time (album: 7/5/93, --) 90
  8. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (6/5/95, #16 US, #2 UK, #1 AR, #1 MR) 90
  9. Miss Sarajevo (recorded as Passengers, 11/11/95, --) 90
  10. Discothèque (1/24/97, #10 US, #1 UK, #6 AR, #1 MR) 90
  11. Staring at the Sun (3/14/97, #26 US, #3 UK, #2 AR, #1 MR) 90
  12. Gone (album: 3/4/97, --) 90


  1. Beautiful Day (9/9/00, #21 US, #1 UK, #14 AR, #5 MR) 90, 18
  2. Walk On (1/6/01, #5 UK, #19 AR, #10 MR) 18
  3. Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of (1/29/01, #52 US, #2 UK, #35 AR, #35 MR) 90, 18
  4. Elevation (4/28/01, #3 UK, #21 AR, #8 MR) 18
  5. Electrical Storm (9/14/02, #77 US, #5 UK, #26 AR, #14 MR) 90
  6. The Hands That Built America (album: 11/12/02, --) 90
  7. Vertigo (8/31/04, #31 US, #1 UK, #3 AR, #1 MR) 18
  8. Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own (2/7/05, #97 US, #1 UK, #29 MR) 18
  9. The Saints Are Coming (with Green Day, 10/14/06, #51 US, #2 UK, #33 AR, #22 MR) 18
  10. Window in the Skies (11/19/06, #4 UK, #32 MR) 18

80 Best of 1980-1990
90 Best of 1990-2000
18 U218 Singles

Review Source(s):

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

UK Music Hall of Fame

image from

The UK Music Hall of Fame was launched in 2004 to honor musicians, regardless of nationality, for their lifetime contributions to the United Kingdom music scene. The last ceremony was held on November 14, 2006. There apparently is no standing Hall or official web page either.

  • The Beatles (2004)
  • Black Sabbath (2005)
  • Chris Blackwell (2004)
  • Bon Jovi (2006)
  • James Brown (2006)
  • Bob Dylan (2005)
  • Eurythmics (2005)
  • Aretha Franklin (2005)
  • Jimi Hendrix (2005)
  • Michael Jackson (2004)
  • Joy Division (2004)
  • Judas Priest (2005)
  • The Kinks (2005)
  • Led Zeppelin (2006)
  • Madonna (2004)
  • Bob Marley (2004)
  • George Martin (2006)
  • New Order (2005)
  • Ozzy Osbourne (2005)
  • John Peel (2005)
  • Pink Floyd (2005)
  • Elvis Presley (2004)
  • Prince (2006)
  • Queen (2004)
  • Cliff Richard (2004)
  • The Rolling Stones (2004)
  • Dusty Springfield (2006)
  • Rod Stewart (2006)
  • U2 (2004)
  • The Who (2005)
  • Robbie Williams (2004)
  • Brian Wilson (2006)


Monday, November 13, 2006

Time Magazine’s All-TIME 100 Albums

First posted 11/13/2006; updated 8/13/2020.

Time Magazine:

All-TIME 100 Albums

This list, created by Time magazine, was not a ranked list. Instead, it was presented in chronological order. However, compilations were listed by release year, meaning a collection like Sam Cooke’s Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964 is listed as a 2003 release. Dave’s Music Database has adjusted that so that such albums are listed by the final year covered by the collection (in the case of Cooke, 1964) instead of the release date. After all, it is a bit odd to see artists like Sam Cooke and Hank Williams, who’ve been dead for more than four decades, show up with new millennium releases.

Note: you can click on an album title to go to a DMDB page for more about that album. If you click on TIME after the album title, that will take you to the article from the Time magazine list about that album.

Also, check out annual picks for album of the year.

The 1930s – 1950s

1. Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers (archives: 1936-37, released 1961) TIME
2. Hank Williams Turn Back the Years: The Essential Collection (compilation: 1947-52, released 2005) TIME
3. Frank Sinatra In the Wee Small Hours (1955) TIME
4. Elvis Presley The Sun Sessions (archives: 1954-55, released 1976) TIME
5. Frank Sinatra Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! (1956) TIME
6. Little Richard Here’s Little Richard (1957) TIME
7. Miles Davis Kind of Blue (1959) TIME

The 1960s

8. Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962) TIME
9. James Brown Live at the Apollo Volume 1 (live, 1962) TIME
10. Sam Cooke Portrait of a Legend (compilation: 1951-64, released 2003) TIME
11. John Coltrane A Love Supreme (1965) TIME
12. Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited (1965) TIME
13. Otis Redding Otis Blue (1965) TIME
14. The Beatles Rubber Soul (1965) TIME
15. Chuck Berry The Great Twenty-Eight (compilation: 1955-64, released 1982) TIME
16. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966) TIME
17. Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde (1966) TIME
18. The Beatles Revolver (1966) TIME
19. Velvet Underground & Nico Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) TIME
20. Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967) TIME

21. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967) TIME
22. The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) TIME
23. Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison (live, 1968) TIME
24. Aretha Franklin Lady Soul (1968) TIME
25. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968) TIME
26. Van Morrison Astral Weeks (1968) TIME
27. Sly & the Family Stone Stand! (1969) TIME
28. The Band The Band (1969) TIME
29. The Beatles Abbey Road (1969) TIME
30. Various Artists produced by Phil Spector Back to Mono (box set: 1958-69, released 1991) TIME

The 1970s

31. Simon & Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970) TIME
32. Van Morrison Moondance (1970) TIME
33. Miles Davis Bitches Brew (1970) TIME
34. Neil Young After the Gold Rush (1970) TIME
35. Black Sabbath Paranoid (1970) TIME
36. John Lennon Plastic Ono Band (1970) TIME
37. Carole King Tapestry (1971) TIME
38. The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971) TIME
39. Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971) TIME
40. Joni Mitchell Blue (1971) TIME

41. The Who Who’s Next (1971) TIME
42. Dolly Parton Coat of Many Colors (1971) TIME
43. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971) TIME
44. David Bowie Hunky Dory (1971) TIME
45. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (1972) TIME
46. David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972) TIME
47. Stevie Wonder Talking Book (1972) TIME
48. Muddy Waters The Anthology (compilation: 1947-72, released 2001) TIME
49. Jimmy Cliff et al The Harder They Come (soundtrack, 1972) TIME
50. Al Green Call Me (1973) TIME

51. Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) TIME
52. Willie Nelson Red Headed Stranger (1975) TIME
53. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975) TIME
54. Patti Smith Horses (1975) TIME
55. Ramones Ramones (1976) TIME
56. Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life (1976) TIME
57. Eagles Hotel California (1976) TIME
58. Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977) TIME
59. Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977) TIME
60. Elvis Presley 30 #1 Hits (compilation: 1956-77, released 2002) TIME
61. Funkadelic One Nation Under a Groove (1978) TIME
62. The Clash London Calling (1979) TIME

The 1980s

63. AC/DC Back in Black (1980) TIME
64. Michael Jackson Thriller (1982) TIME
65. Talking Heads Stop Making Sense (live soundtrack, recorded 1983, released 1984) TIME
66. Bob Marley & the Wailers Legend (compilation: 1973-83, released 1984) TIME
67. Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain (soundtrack, 1984) TIME
68. James Brown Star Time (box set: 1956-84, released 1991) TIME
69. Metallica Master of Puppets (1986) TIME
70. Run-D.M.C. Raising Hell (1986) TIME

71. Paul Simon Graceland (1986) TIME
72. U2 The Joshua Tree (1987) TIME
73. Prince Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987) TIME
74. Eric B. & Rakim Paid in Full (1987) TIME
75. R.E.M. Document (1987) TIME
76. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) TIME
77. N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (1989) TIME
78. Madonna Like a Prayer (1989) TIME
79. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses (1989) TIME
80. Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique (1989) TIME

The 1990s

81. R.E.M. Out of Time (1991) TIME
82. Garth Brooks Ropin’ the Wind (1991) TIME
83. Nirvana Nevermind (1991) TIME
84. A Tribe Called Quest The Low-End Theory (1991) TIME
85. U2 Achtung Baby (1991) TIME
86. Pavement Slanted and Enchanted (1992) TIME
87. Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992) TIME
88. Hole Live Through This (1994) TIME
89. The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die (1994) TIME
90. Mary J. Blige My Life (1994) TIME

91. Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (1995) TIME
92. DJ Shadow Endtroducing… (1996) TIME
93. Radiohead OK Computer (1997) TIME
94. Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind (1997) TIME
95. Lucinda Williams Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998) TIME

The 2000s

96. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) TIME
97. Radiohead Kid A (2000) TIME
98. PJ Harvey Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000) TIME
99. OutKast Stankonia (2000) TIME
100. Kanye West The College Dropout (2004) TIME

Resources and Related Links:

  • Time Magazine (11/13/2006). “All-TIME 100 Albums” with commentary by Josh Tyrangiel and Alan Light

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thunder Bay Press: Top 100 Songs

Thunder Day Press:

Top 100 Songs

This book from Thunder Bay Press features multiple authors offering commentary on more than 800 songs from 1954 to 2006. The songs are presented chronologically, but the top 100 have been ranked here based on their overall status in Dave’s Music Database.

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

1. Bing Crosby “White Christmas” (1942)
2. The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968)
3. The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
4. Bill Haley & His Comets “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” (1954)
5. Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” (1992)
6. The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
7. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1982)
8. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
9. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
10. John Lennon “Imagine” (1971)

11. Aretha Franklin “Respect” (1967)
12. The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963)
13. Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1970)
14. Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968)
15. The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” (1966)
16. Eagles “Hotel California” (1977)
17. Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (1991)
18. Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965)
19. Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” (1977)
20. Otis Redding “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” (1968)

21. Elton John “Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose)” (1997)
22. Bobby Darin “Mack the Knife” (1959)
23. The Beatles “Yesterday” (1965)
24. Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956)
25. Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990)
26. Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On” (1997)
27. Don McLean “American Pie” (1971)
28. Elvis Presley “Hound Dog” (1956)
29. Ben E. King “Stand by Me” (1961)
30. OutKast “Hey Ya!” (2003)

31. The Animals “The House of the Rising Sun” (1964)
32. Derek and the Dominos “Layla” (1970)
33. The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (1964)
34. Guns N' Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1988)
35. Roy Orbison “(Oh) Pretty Woman” (1964)
36. Elvis Presley “Jailhouse Rock” (1957)
37. Abba “Dancing Queen” (1976)
38. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts “I Love Rock and Roll” (1981)
39. Chubby Checker “The Twist” (1960)
40. Chuck Berry “Johnny B. Goode” (1958)

41. Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run” (1975)
42. Stevie Wonder “Superstition” (1972)
43. R.E.M. “Losing My Religion” (1991)
44. Procol Harum “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (1967)
45. Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” (1978)
46. The Doors “Light My Fire” (1967)
47. Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” (1971)
48. The Kingsmen “Louie Louie” (1963)
49. Elton John “Your Song” (1970)
50. Pink Floyd “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” (1979)

51. U.S.A. for Africa “We Are the World” (1985)
52. Rod Stewart “Maggie May” (1971)
53. Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris “Yeah!” (2004)
54. Van Morrison “Brown-Eyed Girl” (1967)
55. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross “Endless Love” (1981)
56. Gnarls Barkley “Crazy” (2006)
57. Ray Charles “What’d I Say” (1959)
58. The Ronettes “Be My Baby” (1963)
59. Los Del Rio “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” (1995)
60. Elvis Presley “Suspicious Minds” (1969)

61. The Monkees “I’m a Believer” (1966)
62. The Who “My Generation” (1966)
63. All I have to do is dream 64. The Kinks “You Really Got Me” (1964)
65. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “All Along the Watchtower
66. Beyoncé with Jay-Z “Crazy in Love” (2003)
67. The Beatles “She Loves You” (1963)
68. U2 “With or Without You” (1987)
69. Percy Sledge “When a Man Loves a Woman” (1966)
70. Santana & Rob Thomas “Smooth” (1999)

71. The Human League “Don’t You Want Me?” (1981)
72. Mariah Carey “We Belong Together” (2005)
73. Martha & the Vandellas “Dancing in the Street” (1964)
74. Britney Spears “Baby One More Time” (1998)
75. Louis Armstrong “What a Wonderful World” (1967)
76. Chic “Le Freak” (1978)
77. Buddy Holly and The Crickets “That’ll Be the Day” (1957)
78. Simon and Garfunkel “The Sounds of Silence” (1965)
79. Eye of the tiger 80. Al Green “Let’s Stay Together” (1971)

81. George Harrison “My Sweet Lord” (1970)
82. Madonna “Like a Prayer” (1989)
83. U2 “One” (1992)
84. The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women” (1969)
85. Coolio with L.V. “Gangsta’s Paradise” (1995)
86. Four Tops “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966)
87. Blondie “Heart of Glass” (1978)
88. Gnarls Barkley “Crazy” (2006)
89. Oasis “Wonderwall” (1995)
90. The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever” (1967)

91. Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (1980)
92. Kanye West with Jamie Foxx “Gold Digger” (2005)
93. Del Shannon “Runaway” (1961)
94. Simon & Garfunkel “Mrs. Robinson” (1968)
95. The Flamingos “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959)
96. Spice Girls “Wannabe” (1996)
97. Steppenwolf “Born to Be Wild” (1968)
98. Carl Perkins “Blue Suede Shoes” (1956)
99. 50 Cent “In Da Club” (2002)
100. Mariah Carey with Boyz II Men “One Sweet Day” (1995)

Resources/Related Links:

First posted 4/11/2021.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black released

First posted 3/29/2008; updated 12/19/2020.

Back to Black

Amy Winehouse

Released: October 6, 2006

Peak: 2 US, 16 UK, 4 CN, 4 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.3 US, 3.26 UK, 16.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: British blue-eyed soul


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

  1. Rehab (10/28/06, 9 US, 32 MR, 7 UK, 27, AU, sales: 1.7 million)
  2. You Know I’m No Good (1/13/07, 77 US, 87 RB, 18 UK, 89 AU, sales: 0.7 million)
  3. Me & Mr. Jones
  4. Just Friends
  5. Back to Black (5/5/07, 8 UK, 56 AU, platinum single)
  6. Love Is a Losing Game (12/8/07, 33 UK)
  7. Tears Dry on Their Own (8/11/07, 16 UK)
  8. Wake Up Alone
  9. Some Unholy War
  10. He Can Only Hold Her
  11. Addicted

Total Running Time: 34:56


4.001 out of 5.00 (average of 29 ratings)

Quotable: “One of the finest soul albums, British or otherwise, to come out for years.” – Ted Kord,

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The story of Back to Black is one in which celebrity and the potential of commercial success threaten to ruin Amy Winehouse.” AMG “It’s hard to recall, before the tabloid barking drowned out all else, how fresh this sounded – how funny, hip, instantly classic.” RS’11 “For one short moment, she pushed back the demons to make something this full of life.” GQ This “is one of the finest soul albums, British or otherwise, to come out for years.” AZ

Newsweek magazine hailed the “tatted 23-year-old with a beehive crown” RS’11 “as a cross between Billie Holiday and Lauryn Hill.” AZ The New York Daily News said the album “would do Etta James proud” AZ and New Yorker called her “a fierce English performer whose voice combines the smoky depths of a jazz chanteuse with the heated passion of a soul singer.” AZ Finally, Spin magazine said, “there’s never been a British star quite like her.” AZ

Frank, her first album, was a sparse and stripped-down affair; Back to Black, meanwhile, is neither of these things.” AZ “As before, Winehouse writes all of the songs from her experiences, most of which involve the occasionally riotous and often bittersweet vagaries of love.” AMG She is “incandescently alive – funny, pissed off, in love – on her finest album.” GU “Also in similar fashion to Frank, her eye for details and her way of relating them are delightful.” AMG

However, this album “smolders with a bristling fusion of old school doo-wop/soul inflected uprisings,” AZ finding “her deserting jazz and wholly embracing contemporary R&B, all the best parts of her musical character emerge intact, and actually, are all the better for the transformation from jazz vocalist to soul siren.” AZ

This is “a beautiful album that highlighted her unique singing voice, which was at once euphoric and sorrowful,” PM and “the casual honesty she brought to inventorying her own flaws” GQ “The depth and pain in her voice…sounded like something she’d left outside overnight one too many times and then wrung out in the morning.” GQ

“With producer Salaam Remi returning from Frank, plus the welcome addition of Mark Ronson (fresh off successes producing for Christina Aguilera and Robbie Williams), Back to Black has a similar sound to Frank but much more flair and spark to it.” AMG “She’s taken her inspiration from some of the classic 1960’s girl groups like the Supremes and the Shangri-Las, a sound particularly suited to her textured vocal delivery, while adding a contemporary songwriting sensibility” AZ and offering up “her brassy mix of emotive vocals tinged with…sly funk, and anguished jazz.” AZ

“Ronson and Remi are two of the most facile and organic R&B producers active.” AMG “Ronson, with help from a band of devoted soul revivalists,” RS’11 “cherrypicked from the previous century of popular music (doo-wop, soul, hip-hop).” GU He “conjured golden-era sounds with a sample-sculpting hip-hop edge.” RS’11

Tears Dry on Their Own is a sparkling homage to the Motown chestnut ‘Ain't No Mountain High Enough,’ and Ronson summons a host of Brill Building touchstones on his tracks.” AMG The title cut “is a heartbreaking musical tribute to Phil Spector, with it’s echoey bass drum, rhythmic piano, chimes, saxophone and close harmonies.” AZ

“The knockout first single” AMG and instant classic, Rehab, is “a gospel-tinged stomp” AZ which “captures a joyous Motown sound, but the sting of depression always lingers in the background. PM It won the Grammy for song and record of the year. In light of her substance abuse problems since, one may cringe at lines like “they tried to make me go to rehab/ I won’t go, go, go,” but it provides an authenticity and iconic nature most artists will never accomplish with a song.

“Winehouse confronts longing and loneliness head-on in slower, more soulful tracks like Love Is a Losing Game and Wake Up Alone, and they’re the most moving recordings of her career. After listening to this intensely personal record, there’s a sense that we’ve crawled inside the soul of a flawed, troubled woman who wanted nothing more than to be loved and deeply understood by those around her. Each track is a testament to Winehouse's vulnerability as a human, honesty as an artist, and brilliance as a musician.” PM

Back to Black is “unabashedly grown-up in both style and content. Winehouse’s lyrics deal with relationships from a grown-up perspective, and are honest, direct and, often, complicated: on You Know I’m No Good, she’s unapologetic about her unfaithfulness. But she can also be witty, as on Me & Mrs Jones when she berates a boyfriend with ‘You made me miss the Slick Rick gig’. Back to Black is a refreshingly mature soul album, the best of its kind for years.” AZ


“Her triumph triggered a resurgence of R&B traditionalism” RS’11 “paving the way for new artists Adele and Duffy as well as inspiring such established acts as Tom Jones and Raphael Saadiq.” EB “But it also kicked open the mainstream door for pop oddballs from Lily Allen to Lady Gaga.” RS’11 “No other artist, however, would release anything as convincingly sassy and dramatically beautiful as Back to Black.” EB

Notes: On the U.S. edition, “Addicted” was replaced with a remix of “You Know I’m No Good.” A 2007 deluxe edition adds a bonus disc to the original UK album. Cuts include “Valerie,” which was a hit with Mark Ronson, as well as covers of Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” and the Phil Spector-penned tune “To Know Him Is to Love Him.” Also here are “Monkey Man,” “Hey Little Rich Girl,” “You’re Wondering Now,” and alternate versions of “Some Unholy War” and “Love Is a Losing Game.” There have been many other variations of the album, but these are the most notable.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

50 years ago: Fats Domino charted with “Blueberry Hill”

Blueberry Hill

Fats Domino

Writer(s): Vincent Rose, Al Rose, Larry Stock (see lyrics here)

First Charted: September 29, 1956

Peak: 2 US, 4 CB, 3 HR, 111 RB, 6 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

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

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 25.43 video, 42.32 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The song that established Fats Domino as one of the pivotal figures in transforming R&B into rock and roll began life as a number in the 1940 Western The Singing Hill SF sung by Gene Autry. He may have birthed the song, but it quickly entered the public conscience with Sammy Kaye, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller, Kay Kyser, Russ Morgan, Connee Boswell, and Jimmy Dorsey WK all taking a crack at it. After Autry’s original, the song charted three times in 1940. Kyser and Morgan each took it into the top 20 while Miller went all the way to #1 on the U.S. pop charts with his take on the song.

In 1949, Louis Armstrong added a more R&B vibe to “Blueberry Hill.” Armstrong’s interpretation informed Fats’ recording NRR as he birthed a “rock and roll standard.” WK The song was Domino’s biggest hit, giving him his greatest audience. Rockabilly star Carl Perkins said, “In the white honky-tonks where I was playin’, they were punchin’ ‘Blueberry Hill.’ And white cats were dancin’ to Fats Domino.” RS500

The song reemerged in the ‘70s as a sort of theme for a television character on the popular series Happy Days. High schooler Ritchie Cunningham, played by now famous director Ron Howard, would break into the song whenever he’d scored a dating coup. SF

The Doors’ Ray Manzarek confirmed the song’s influence on future generations of rock and roll when he revealed on a BBC Radio 2 program that the Doors’ classic #1 hit “Light My Fire” took its baseline from “Blueberry Hill.” SF

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Last updated 4/30/2021.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Justin Timberlake hit #1 with “SexyBack”

Last updated 3/20/2020.


Justin Timberlake

Writer(s): Justin Timberlake/Tim Mosley/Nate "Danja" Hills (see lyrics here)

Released: July 18, 2006

First Charted: July 14, 2006

Peak: 17 US, 15 RR, 18 A40, 11 RB, 11 UK 1 CN, 12 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.9 US, 0.65 UK, 6.22 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.5 radio, 223.3 video, -- streaming


About the Song:

“Even back in N Sync’s heyday, you always got the feeling that Timberlake was just a little bit…well, funkier than those other boy band singers.” MX Naysayers couldn’t help but ask who is “this skinny, pasty, curly-haired, girly-singing, Walt Disney World teeny-bopper to talk about bringing sexy back? And BACK? Back from where?” LR However, doubters were “forced to sign off…on Justin’s hot, hot hit” LR and acknowledge that he could “do no wrong. Two great albums after leaving a boy band, television and movie appearances where he’s proven to be pretty damn funny and a collaborator with many, he’s almost untouchable.” PD Kanye West said at one point that “Justin Timberlake should be the #1 artist on the planet (right before stating that he himself is actually that guy, of course).” PD

Timberlake told Observer Music Monthly, “The chorus is very James Brown-ish…It’s a very physical song, meant to provoke sexual dance. ‘Sex Machine’ is the closest reference.” SF He also said the song’s vocals were influenced by Prince, WK but that he sang the song in a rock style instead of an R&B style, as if David Bowie and David Byrne were covering James Brown’s “Sex Machine.” WK He said the end result “doesn’t qualify as rock or straight funk” WK but that he liked it being described as “club funk.” WK

Andrew Murfett of The Age said the song “introduced a new phrase into the pop cultural lexicon.” WK Billboard’s Katy Kroll said one “can almost feel beads of sweat rolling off” WK the track and that when Timberlake “claims to be bringing sexy back to pop music…indeed he is.” WK Entertainment Weekly amusingly wrote, “We didn’t even know that sexy was missing until 2006. We’re just happy Justin brought it back safe and sound.” WK

The instrumental backing is built on “a pounding bass beat, electronic chords, and beat box sounds.” WK Instead of his “famous falsetto,” WK Timberlake’s voice is distorted on the track and features backing vocals from Timbaland, who also produced the track. He’d previously worked on Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” and also produced Nelly Furtado’s #1 hit “Promiscuous.” SF’s Quentin B. Huff called “SexyBack” a ‘fraternal twin” with “Promiscuous.” WK

Timberlake had top five hits with “Cry Me a River” and “Rock Your Body” from his previous album, 2002’s Justified, and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with *NSYNC on “It’s Gonna Be Me” from 2000. This, however, was his first #1 as a solo artist. The song also won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, a People’s Choice Award for Favorite R&B Song, and and MTV Video Music Award for Male Artist of the Year.

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