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. SinĂ©ad 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. BeyoncĂ© 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)

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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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