Saturday, July 28, 2007

Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah” hit #1

Hey There Delilah

Plain White T’s

Writer(s): Tom Higgenson (see lyrics here)

Released: January 25, 2005 (album cut)

Released: May 9, 2006 (single)

First Charted: March 17, 2007

Peak: 12 BB, 14 DG, 2 RR, 3 AC, 12 A40, 11 AA, 3 MR, 2 UK, 13 CN, 3 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.48 US, 1.8 UK, 10.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.6 radio, 116.16 video, 1055.27 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“The sensitive white guy with the acoustic guitar will never, ever die…The archetype has been around, at the very least, since the ’50s folk revival, though god knows it might’ve already been a cliché by then…During the George W. Bush administration, a few sensitive white guys with acoustic guitars made chart-topping hits.” SG “Plain White T’s are a super-polished pop-punk band, not an acoustic-guitar situation…but ‘Hey There Delilah’…is a total sensitive acoustic-guitar white-guy song. It might be that decade’s purest example of the form.” SG

The group formed in 1997 in Illinois. They released two albums before a shake-up led to the departure of two members. The group’s third album, 2005’s All That We Needed, didn’t chart but eventually went gold. It fit into the emo wave spearheaded by, frankly, more successful bands like Dashboard Confessional, Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World, My Chemical Romance, and Paramore, but Plain White T’s were the only one to land a chart-topping hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

That song, “Hey There Delilah,” took two and a half years to go from it is initial January 2005 release to #1 in July 2007. The song first showed up on the All That We Needed album and then again on an EP in 2006. After the group signed to Hollywood Records, they released their fourth album, Every Second Counts, in 2007. It featured a couple of songs from the previous album, including “Hey There Delilah.” The album also reached gold status and peaked at #10 on the Billboard album chart.

The song depicts a fictionalized, long-distance relationship, but the namesake is based on a real person. Tom Higgenson, the lead singer of Plain White T’s, met the real-life Delilah DiCrescenzo, a professional distance runner, in Chicago in 2002. He said “she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen” WK and told her he’d write a song for her even though she said she had a boyfriend and wasn’t interested. When she heard the song, she said “it was so beautifully written” WK but she also worried she’d led him on and gave him the wrong impression. SG’s Tom Breihan says, “’Hey There Delilah’ has a simple, memorable melody, and it stands out…from the rest of the 2005 emo class, and from the rest of the stuff that was on the radio at the time.” SG However, he attacks the song as “profoundly wimply…boring, and just slightly off-putting” SG and that it “sounded like Starbucks music, like Grey’s Anatomy music” SG while also acknowledging that people are are drawn to it because it is “plainspoken and specific.” SG Frankly, these are the kinds of assessments that lead to people’s negative views of critics.


First posted 4/9/2024.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bon Iver released debut For Emma, Forever Ago

For Emma, Forever Ago

Bon Iver

Released: July 8, 2007

Charted: March 8, 2008

Peak: 64 US, 42 UK, -- CN, 32 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.3 UK, 1.3 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: folk


  1. Flume
  2. Lump Sum
  3. Skinny Love (4/28/08, --)
  4. The Wolves (Act I and II)
  5. Blindsided
  6. Creature Fear
  7. Team
  8. For Emma (9/15/08, ---)
  9. re: Stacks

Total Running Time: 37:11


4.169 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

For Emma, Forever Ago is “the most unlikely masterpiece…It’s heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.” FO “It’s one man’s journey from battling back from the brink and always makes for a therapeutic listen.” FO

“Justin Vernon didn’t plan on reshaping a generation’s understanding of love-torn folk music” RS’20 when he retreated for nearly four months to his father’s remote hunting cabin in the woods of Wisconsin after breaking up with his girlfriend. It was there that he wrote and recorded most of the songs on “his haunting” AMG “falsetto-laden DIY debut,” RS’20 For Emma, Forever Ago. He “poured his existential crisis into his music and made one of the albums of the decade.” FO

“A few parts (horns, drums, and backing vocals) were added in a North Carolina studio, but for the majority of the time it’s just Vernon, his utterly disarming voice, and his enchanting songs. The voice is the first thing you notice. Vernon’s falsetto soars like a hawk and when he adds harmonies and massed backing vocals, it can truly be breathtaking.” AMG

The Wolves (Acts I & II) truly shows what Vernon can do as he croons, swoops, and cajoles his way through an erratic and enchanting melody like Marvin Gaye after a couple trips to the backyard still.” AMG The “heartsick” RS’20 Skinny Love “shows more of his range as he climbs down from the heights of falsetto and shouts out the angry and heartachey words quite convincingly.” AMG

“Framing his voice are suitably subdued arrangements built around acoustic guitars and filled out with subtle electric guitars, the occasional light drums, and slide guitar. Vernon has a steady grasp of dynamics too; the ebb and flow of Creature Fear is powerfully dramatic and when the chorus hits it’s hard not to be swept away by the flood of tattered emotion.” AMG

“Almost every song has a moment where the emotion peaks and hearts begin to weaken and bend: the beauty of that voice is what pulls you through every time. For Emma captures the sound of broken and quiet isolation, wraps it in a beautiful package, and delivers it to your door with a beating, bruised heart.” AMG

What was most surprising is how the music “would reshape the contours of the pop mainstream – from Ed Sheeran and Kanye West to James Blake and Taylor Swift — for years to come.” RS’20 “It’s quite an achievement for a debut and the promise of greatness in the future is high.” AMG

Notes: “Wisconsin” was added as an iTunes bonus track.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 4/27/2022; last updated 4/28/2022.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

In Concert: The Police

image from

Venue: Xcel Energy Center; St. Paul, MN
Opening Act: Fiction Plane
The Players: Sting (vocals, bass), Andy Summers (guitar), Steward Copeland (drums)

The Set List:

1. Message in a Bottle
2. Synchronicity II
3. Walking on the Moon
4. Voices Inside My Head/
5. When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around
6. Don’t Stand So Close to Me
7. Driven to Tears
8. Truth Hits Everybody
9. The Bed’s Too Big without You
10. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
11. Wrapped Around Your Finger
12. De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
13. Invisible Sun
14. Walking in Your Footsteps
15. Can’t Stand Losing You


16. Roxanne


17. King of Pain
18. So Lonely
19. Every Breath You Take


20. Next to You