Monday, January 28, 2008

Adele released 19



Released: January 28, 2008

Peak: 10 US, 11 UK, 4 CN, 3 AU

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 2.45 UK, 9.61 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop/blue-eyed soul

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Daydreamer
  2. Best for Last
  3. Chasing Pavements (1/14/08, #21 US, #2 UK, #23 AC, sales: 3.34 m)
  4. Cold Shoulder (4/21/08, #18 UK)
  5. Crazy for You
  6. Melt My Heart to Stone
  7. First Love
  8. Right As Rain
  9. Make You Feel My Love (10/27/08, #4 UK)
  10. My Same
  11. Tired
  12. Hometown Glory (2/5/08, #19 UK)


3.482 out of 5.00 (average of 17 ratings)

Quotable: “A fleshed-out stunning portrayal of a young woman with a talent beyond her years who deserves immense credit for a unique style that never fails. A beyond stellar debut in both quality and originality.” – Matthew Chisling, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

With her debut album, singer/songwriter Adele was quickly lumped in with British blue-eyed soul counterparts such as Amy Winehouse. She made an immediate splash when the album debuted at #1 on the UK charts. It was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Prize for Best Album and lead to four Grammy nominations, including wins for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Chasing Pavements. That song also received nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Detractors generally assessed her as not on the same level as her contemporaries. NME (New Musical Express) magazine said, “it’s clear that the Amy associations are little more than empty mediaspeak without any real weight. Despite the early indicators, there’s precious little on the album that prevents it from collapsing under the weight of its own expectation.” WK Uncut said, “19 reeks of some A&R trendhound making it his/her biz to sign The New Amy and not resting till s/he’s found the right chick.” WK Entertainment Weekly said “Adele’s songs aren’t as sharp as Duffy’s.” WK

However, even the detractors conceded that “Adele can certainly sing” (Uncut). WK and that “her singing throughout is a thing to behold” (Entertainment Weekly). WK Clearly in the fan camp, All Music Guide’s Matthew Chisling said, “Adele doesn’t shout for attention, and doesn’t rely on anyone but herself to prove she’s worth it.” MC She “is simply too magical to compare her to anyone. Bluesy like it’s no one’s business yet voluptuously funky in a contemporary way, Adele rocks out 19 with a unique voice and gritty sound that dazzle endlessly. Synthesizing blues, jazz, folk, soul, and even electric pop, Adele mystifies through her mature songwriting skills and jaw-dropping arrangements.” MC

Echoing similar sentiments, People magazine said, “with a knockout voice that’s rich and supple, robust and sultry, it’s hard to believe that this singer-songwriter is barely out of her teens.” WK The Guardian, which gave the album five stars, said, “The way she stretched the vowels, her wonderful soulful phrasing, the sheer unadulterated pleasure of her voice, stood out all the more; little doubt that she’s a rare singer.” WK BBC Music’s said, “she’s included something for everyone without ever pandering to a particular trend. Her melodies exude warmth, her singing is occasionally stunning…she has tracks that make Lily Allen and Kate Nash sound every bit as ordinary as they are.” WK In Billboard magazine, Chuck Taylor went so far as to say that “Adele truly has potential to become among the most respected and inspiring international artists of her generation.” WK

“In July 2008 Adele informed noted UK soul writer Pete Lewis…that the reason for naming her debut album 19 was to reflect her age while she was writing it: ‘I just kinda remember becoming a bit of a woman during that time. And I think that is definitely documented in the songs.’” WK

To be “such a terrific songwriter” MC at such a young age means “the Brit has so much room to expand her artistic dimensions into a full-fledged artist…it’s no wonder most critics see her as the top new talent of 2008.” MC “Nearly all the tracks seem to have been nurtured to glory over months as labors of love.” MC Daydreamer “engulfs the listener with a gorgeous feeling of awe and wonderment. On Melt My Heart to Stone and the bona fide hit ‘Chasing Pavements,’ Adele allows herself to soar over the strings and power her way through these incredible songs. The upbeat Right as Rain is just wonderful, with clear Ashford & Simpson influences speckled all over it in an upbeat set.” MC “The jazzy Best for Last is as retro as the tunes get on the album, yet it still manages to steer away from being boring or old-fashioned.” MC

One of the album’s highlights is her version of Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love, a song which Dylan first recorded on his 1997 Time Out of Mind. It had previously been recorded by Garth Brooks (a #1 country hit), Billy Joel (a top 10 adult contemporary hit), Trisha Yearwood, Bryan Ferry, Timothy B. Schmidt, and Joan Osborne. Adele recorded the song at the suggestion of Jonathan Dickins, her manager. He loved the song. WK Hers is the first charted version in the U.K.

“The song Hometown Glory has been featured in the British and American television shows Skins, Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, Hollyoaks, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and most recently danced by Katee Shean and eventual winner, Joshua Allen on So You Think You Can Dance.” WK The song was also a nominee for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

“The only awkwardness throughout all of 19 is the overly poppy galactic Tired, which sounds as though it might have fallen off a Lily Allen track list, something that doesn’t suit Adele as a musician.” MC

In the overall assessment, “this debut isn’t an empty promise of a great career; 19 is a fleshed-out stunning portrayal of a young woman with a talent beyond her years who deserves immense credit for a unique style that never fails. A beyond stellar debut in both quality and originality.” MC

In February 2011, Adele accomplished a feat on the U.K. charts not seen since the Beatles’ heyday in 1964. With her new album, 21, perched atop the charts, 19 re-entered the top 5. At the same time, the singles chart gave up two of its top 5 spots to the first two singles in support of the new album. This made Adele the first artist since the Beatles to have two top 5 songs and two top 5 albums on the British charts.

Notes: The Taiwanese edition of the album added three bonus cuts: That’s It I Quit I’m Movin' On (B-side of “Chasing Pavements”), Now and Then (B-side of “Cold Shoulder”) and Painting Pictures (B-side of “Make You Feel My Love”). In Indonesia, a special edition added a video for “Chasing Pavements.” WK

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 2/22/2011; updated 11/17/2021.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

50 years ago: “At the Hop” hit #1 for first of 7 weeks

At the Hop

Danny & the Juniors

Writer(s): Artie Singer/John Medora/David White (see lyrics here)

First Charted: November 18, 1957

Peak: 17 US, 15 CB, 16 HR, 15 RB, 3 UK, 13 CN, 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.5 US, -- UK, 2.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 9.79 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Just as Elvis Presley had appropriated black music to become the King of Rock and Roll, this white vocal quartet tapped into the doo-wop format largely owned by black groups. They formed in high school in Philadelphia in 1955 as the Juvenairs and sang on street corners and local dances and parties. Their break came in 1957 when they decided to sing at the street corner right under the window of record producer John Madara. He introduced them to a DJ who, in turn, introduced them to Artie Singer, who owned Singular Records. Singer signed them. SJ

The group recorded “Do the Bop,” a song written by Madara and band member Dave White. SJ Singer was acquainted with Dick Clark, who hosted American Bandstand from Philadelphia and played the song for him. Clark was impressed, but since the bop dance craze was on the way out, he suggested changing the title to “At the Hop.” SJ

It wasn’t the only break the group got from Clark. When another act scheduled to appear didn’t show up, Danny & the Juniors filled in. The song was picked up by ABC Paramount Records for national distribution and would go on to top the pop and R&B charts. This was their only top-ten pop hit, but it became the biggest single of 1958. CPM

The song is “one of the all time great slabs of rock ‘n’ rolling exuberance;” DT it “makes you want to dance.” PW It is “reminiscent of the blues, while capitalizing on the upbeat feeling of 50s music.” KW It is a “catchy tune” PW with an “attractive beat” PW “and dumb words. The joybful, liberating power of a few well-chosen dumb words should never be underestimated.” PW


First posted 4/15/2020; last updated 4/2/2023.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Flo Rida’s “Low” spent first of 10 weeks at #1


Flo Rida featuring T-Pain

Writer(s): Tramar Dillard, Faheem Najm (see lyrics here)

Released: October 9, 2007

First Charted: October 6, 2007

Peak: 110 US, 14 BA, 110 DG, 16 RR, 9 RB, 2 UK, 18 CN, 13 AU, 12 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 0.6 UK, 17.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 142.5 video, 573.25 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Low” was the debut single for American rapper Flo Rida, who at one point was nearly homeless. BB The song was featured on the soundtrack for Step Up 2: The Streets and on Mail on Sunday, Flo Rida’s debut album. The song was co-written by American rapper T-Pain, who is also featured on the song.

Flo Rida said he “knew it was gonna be big, [especially] ‘cause T-Pain was doing a lot of huge records at the time.” He credited T-Pain with “a good melody on the hook” and himself for “having some great melodies on the verses” and noted that “the record just has so much ear candy.” SF

It was definitely big. In addition to hitting #1 in the U.S., “Low” reached the pinnacle of the charts in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, and New Zealand. SF It also became the best-selling song of 2008, the second most-listened-to song of 2008 on American radio, and, at the time, the biggest-selling digital single of all time.

For the week ending January 12, 2008, “Low” sold a record 470,000. A couple of months later, he broke his own record when “Right Round” sold 636,000 in its debut week. SF The song also tied a record (with five other songs) for shortest-titled #1 on the U.S. Hot 100. SF

The reference to “getting low” comes from Lil’ Jon’s 2002 hit “Get Low.” Flo Rida also promotes rap singer Nelly’s clothing line for women in a lyrical reference to Apple Bottom jeans. SF


Last updated 4/24/2023.