Saturday, March 11, 2006

James Blunt hit #1 in the U.S. with “You’re Beautiful”

Last updated 2/29/2020.

You’re Beautiful

James Blunt

Writer(s): James Blunt, Sacha Skarbek, Amanda Ghost (see lyrics here)

Released: May 30, 2005

First Charted: June 25, 2005

Peak: 11 US, 5 RR, 17 AC, 15 A40, 4 AA, 15 UK, 14 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 1.2 UK, 6.35 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.6 radio, 580.0 video, -- streaming


About the Song:

James Blunt released his debut album, Back to Bedlam, in October 2004. After two top 30 singles in the UK, the album’s third release, “You’re Beautiful,” struck gold, hitting #1 in the UK in July 2005. It would take eight more months, but the single would climb its way to the top in the U.S. as well. In 2006, the song won two of the British Ivor Norvello Awards – for most performed work and international hit.

Blunt wrote the song about former girlfriend, Dixie Chassay. She worked in film casting and got a mention in the thank you’s on Blunt’s album. He told VH1 he saw her on a train with a new man and, in his brief eye contact with her, shared a lifetime. SF As he told Radio Times, though, “I haven’t seen her since and then the press tried to find her. I’m not bothered enough to start acknowledging or denying whether they found her.” SF

When asked by The Daily Record if he’d tired of his hit, Blunt said, “If I had the radio on all the time and they kept playing that song then yes, I’d probably turn it off. But do I still like the song? Absolutely. It’s a really personal song about a moment which meant a great deal to me.” SF In October 2014, he said the song had become so ubiquitous that it was “force-fed down people’s throats.” WK

After Atlantic Records, Blunt’s record label, blocked Weird Al Yankovic’s parody of the song (“You’re Pitiful”), Al made the song available for free as a download. SF Blunt did, however, revamp the song himself as “A Triangle” for a 2007 episode of Sesame Street.

In a 2019 interview with Esquire, Blunt reflected on how iconic the song had become and seemed to make the bizarre claim that the song was bigger than anything ever done by the Rolling Stones. “I think most musicians and bands are searching for that one big hit…You know, I think the Rolling Stones are still looking, and I’m just lucky enough to have it out there right now, at the top of my career.” EQ

Resources and Related Links:

Friday, March 3, 2006

50 years ago: Carl Perkins charted with “Blue Suede Shoes”

Blue Suede Shoes

Carl Perkins

Writer(s): Carl Perkins (see lyrics here)

Released: February 1956

First Charted: March 3, 1956

Peak: 2 US, 2 CB, 11 HR, 13 CW, 2 RB, 10 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

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

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 2.98 video, 20.19 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The “most famous rockabilly record of all time” AMG owes its existence to Johnny Cash’s stint in the Air Force and a careless dancer. Cash, who at the time was a Sun Records label mate with Perkins, relayed the story to Perkins of servicemen lining up for food or pay with freshly-polished shoes HL and warn each other, “Don’t step on my blue suede shoes.” TC It was just a few weeks laterHL that Perkins heard someone in a crowd at a dance spit out a similar line TC to his date for scuffing his shoes. SA After the dance was over, Perkins supposedly scribbled down the song lyrics on an old potato sack. JA

In rock and roll’s infancy, many were convinced it was devil’s music. SF With lyrical references to drinking and stealing cars, SF Perkins’ debut Sun single was certainly not exempt. Regardless, or perhaps because of it, the song became Perkins’ biggest hit and the first song to hit the pop, R&B, and country charts in the U.S. RS500 and has become “one of the national anthems of ‘50s rock & roll” AMG

Carl Perkins missed out on a chance to perform the song on The Perry Como Show when his car crashed into a poultry truck while he was driving to New York for the performance. While laid up for a couple weeks, he helplessly watched Elvis perform the song on The Milton Berle Show. RS500 However, no one could take the song away from Perkins, who pulled off a feat even Elvis couldn’t do – he gave Sun Records a top 10 U.S. pop hit. SJ Elvis’ version only reached #20 and “The King” confessed that he couldn’t top the original by Perkins. RS500

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Carl Perkins
  • AMG All Music Guide review by Cub Koda
  • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Page 379.
  • HL Michael Heatley and Spencer Leigh (1998). Behind the Song: The Stories of 100 Great Pop & Rock Classics. London, England: Blandford Books. Page 87.
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 25.
  • RS500 (4/7/2011). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • SJ Bob Shannon and John Javna (1986). Behind the Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll. New York, NY; Warner Brothers, Inc. Page 218.
  • SF Songfacts

Last updated 4/30/2021.