Saturday, September 27, 2008

Taylor Swift charted with “Love Story”

Love Story

Taylor Swift

Writer(s): Taylor Swift (see lyrics here)

Released: September 12, 2008

First Charted: September 27, 2008

Peak: 4 US, 11 RR, 16 AC, 3 A40, 12 CW, 2 UK, 4 CN, 12 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 0.65 UK, 16.2 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.7 radio, 804.0 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

With her debut album, teen singer Taylor Swift became a major country star, landing two songs atop the country charts and another three in the top 10. While setting up a seemingly inevitable sophomore slump, Swift opted instead to conquer the pop world as well. “Everything you need to know about Taylor Swift’s talent is summed up here in four star struck minutes. Wide-eyed innocence served up in slick, perfectly calibrated Nashville pop? We’ll take four million, please.” MX

Swift wrote the song about a love interest but she never had a relationship with him. He was not popular with her friends and family. Swift wrote the song from the perspective of Juliet in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. As she said, “The only people who wanted them to be together were them.” WK She replaced the play’s tragic ending with a happy one – the ending she felt the characters deserved and the one which females hoped for. WK

Paste magazine’s Kate Kiefer said it is impossible not to sing along with the song. WK Slant magazine’s Jonathan Keefe saw the song’s success hinging on its prominent hook while The Boston Globe’s James Reed saw its strength in the songwriting. WK The BBC’s Fraser McAlpine said that the song, “although obvious, a bit dramatic, and probably targeted towards younger audiences, was just lovely and that Swift proved herself a true princess of pop with the song.” WK’s Sean Dooley deemed the song responsible for transitioning Swift from a “fresh-faced star to crossover star.” WK

“Love Story” was only the fifth song to top both the adult contemporary and country charts, following Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most”, Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance”, Faith Hill’s “Breathe”, and Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One”. SF It became Swift’s best-selling single WK and was once the best-selling country single of all time. WK Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) declared it the Country Song of the Year while it took Video of the Year honors at the CMT Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards.


Related Links:

First posted 9/27/2011; last updated 11/3/2021.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Kings of Leon Only by the Night released


Only by the Night

Kings of Leon

Released: September 19, 2008

Peak: 4 US, 14 UK, 2 CN, 114 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 3.0 UK, 8.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rock


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

  1. Closer [3:57]
  2. Crawl [4:06] (7/28/08, 40 MR, 70 AU)
  3. Sex on Fire [3:23] (9/6/08, 56 US, 42 RR, 24 AR, 18 MR, 24 AA, 18 A40, 13 UK, 14 AU)
  4. Use Somebody [3:51] (10/4/08, 4 US, 11 RR, 13 AC, 25 AR, 13 MR, 111 A40, 12 AA, 2 UK, 8 CN, 2 AU)
  5. Manhattan [3:24] (4/5/09, 38 AU)
  6. Revelry [3:21] (3/2/09, 29 UK, 21 AU)
  7. 17 [3:05]
  8. Notion [3:00] (6/13/09, 99 US, 11, MR, 19 AA, 46 AU)
  9. I Want You [5:07]
  10. Be Somebody [3:47]
  11. Cold Desert [5:34]
All lyrics by Caleb Followill. Music by Caleb Followill, Nathan Followill, Jared Followill, and Matthew Followill.

Total Running Time: 42:55

The Players:

  • Caleb Followill (vocals, rhythm guitar)
  • Matthew Followill (guitar, vocals, keyboards)
  • Jared Followill (bass, vocals)
  • Nathan Followill (drums, percussion, vocals)


3.718 out of 5.00 (average of 35 ratings)

Quotable: Only by the Night (finally) establishes Kings of Leon as a rock act that’s worthy of seriously sustained attention.” – Jason Kirk,

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The Kings of Leon’s first three albums established them as critical darlings and British favs, despite their distinctively U.S. roots, having come out of Tennessee. All three albums hit one of the top 3 slots of the U.K. charts while they racked up six top 25 hits. However, in the U.S., while each album had improved on the former’s success, the Kings still made little waves at radio, having only hit the modern rock charts once with minor hit “The Bucket.”

On the band’s third album, “2007’s Because of the Times, Kings of Leon ventured out of the garage and into the arena” AL and Only by the Night “furthered the epic sound that Times introduced, flaunting a set of ringing guitars and radio-ready melodies that pushed the band away from the Allman Brothers’ camp.” AL “Like many big-sounding albums, Only by the Night is a polarizing piece of work, one that targets new fans at the expense of those who wish Kings of Leon had never shaved their beards or discovered post-‘70s rock.” AL Yes, they take “a turn for the heavily polished here, but what the album lacks in rough-edged raunch, it more than makes up for in earnestness and – yes – stunning beauty.” JK

Like its predecessor, it topped the U.K. charts, but Night was even bigger; it charted over a year and became the biggest selling digital album of all-time there. WK In the U.S., it gave the band its first top ten album when it debuted at #5. On the strength of singles Sex on Fire and Use Somebody, the album went platinum and nearly a year into its run actually bested its debut week.

“Sex on Fire” was a #1 in the U.K. and on the U.S. modern rock chart. It “makes up for its goofy title with a meteoric chorus tailored to Caleb’s voice.” In fact, throughout the album, “Caleb emotes with a dramatic grit that never loses its command.” JK

However, it was the multi-format smash “Use Somebody” that really put the Kings in the minds of the general populus. The song wasn’t just commercially successful; it also won Grammys for Record of the Year, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

On “Use Somebody” and Manhattan, “Matthew Followill cloaks his guitar riffs in reverb and bassist Jared Followill takes the spotlight sporadically, popping up for quick melodic fills before ducking back into the mix.” AL When it comes to that “trading off of melodic lines between instruments, …Jared… is the album’s quiet MVP.” JK

“While past Kings of Leon albums concerned themselves with alcohol, women, and other hedonistic themes, those two songs are nothing but pop/rock grandeur, and Caleb howls their hopeful lyrics like Bono’s American-born cousin.” AL

Crawl flexes the band’s rock & roll muscle, melding Led Zeppelin-styled crunch with the experimental guitar buzz of U2’s Achtung Baby.” AL

Only by the Night focuses on textures and experimentation during the album's latter half, but most songs still deliver some sort of Technicolor melody, from Notion (one of the only tracks featuring piano) to the unexpected chorus of Be Somebody.” AL

“Taken as a whole, Only by the Night targets the audience that approved Kings of Leon’s sonic shift in 2007, leaving older fans free to damn these tracks for their consciously grand approach. Yes, the album is often cheesy. Yes, some of the more popular songs lost their luster after endless months of radioplay. But Only by the Night remains a potent Kings of Leon record, and the guys have never defined their ambition so clearly.” AL It is “a model of melodic rock composition, arranged and produced with a warm, inviting veneer, and performed with aching sincerity.” JK “These 11 tracks coalesce into a sanguine whole that eclipses the band’s much-discussed rock posturing and yields more with every play.” JKOnly by the Night (finally) establishes Kings of Leon as a rock act that’s worthy of seriously sustained attention.” JK

Notes: “Frontier City” was released as a bonus track on the vinyl and iTunes editions. The Japanese edition included “Beneath the Surface” and the CSS remix of “The Bucket.” A Target exclusive added a bonus disc of a 2007 live performance from the Hammersmith Apollo. Finally, an Australian tour edition added a five-track DVD Live in London.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 2/10/2010; last updated 3/12/2022.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rhythm & Blues Foundation – Pioneer Awards

Rhythm & Blues Foundation:

Pioneer Awards

As stated on the website, “The Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Awards Program has recognized over 150 legendary artists whose lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of Rhythm & Blues music. This ceremony honors the career achievements of solo artists, vocal groups, songwriters and producers who are nominated and selected by members of our board of directors.” The award was first given in 1989 and last awarded in 2008.

See other lifetime achievement awards.


  • Herb Abramson (1998)
  • Faye Adams (1998)
  • Johnny Adams (1999)
  • Ashford & Simpson (1999)


  • LaVern Baker (1989)
  • Mickey Baker (1999)
  • Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (1992)
  • Dave Bartholomew (1996)
  • Fontella Bass (2001)
  • Jackson K Beavis (1997)
  • Al Bell (Leadership Award, 2008)
  • Thom Bell (Entrepreneur Award, 2006)
  • William Bell (1997)
  • Frankie Beverly (2006)
  • Otis Blackwell (1994)
  • Bobby “Blue” Bland (1992)
  • Gary “U.S.” Bonds (1997)
  • Booker T. & the M.G.’s (1995)
  • Hadda Brooks (1993)
  • Charles Brown (1989)
  • Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown (1997)
  • James Brown (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1993)
  • Maxine Brown (1991)
  • Ruth Brown (1989)
  • Solomon Burke (1993)
  • Jerry Butler (1994)
  • Bobby Byrd (1998)


  • The Cadillacs (1996)
  • Clarence Carter (1994)
  • Gene Chandler (1997)
  • The Chantels (1996)
  • Ray Charles (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1991)
  • Chubby Checker (2006)
  • The Chi-Lites (2000)
  • Dave Clark (1993)
  • George Clinton (2003)
  • The Clovers (1989)
  • The Coasters/The Robins (1994)
  • Sam Cooke (Legacy Tribute Award, 1999)
  • Don Covay (1994)


  • Tyrone Davis (1998)
  • The Delfonics (2006)
  • The Dells (1992)
  • The Del Vikings (2003)
  • Sugar Pie DeSanto (2008)
  • Bo Diddley (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1996)
  • The Dixie Cups (2003)
  • Floyd Dixon (1993)
  • Bill Doggett (1994)
  • Fats Domino (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1995)


  • The Emotions (2001)
  • Ahmet Erteg√ľn (2000)
  • Betty Everett (1996)
  • The Five Keys (1991)
  • The Five Satins (1998)
  • The Flamingos (1996)
  • Eddie Floyd (1996)
  • The Four Tops (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1997)
  • Inez and Charlie Foxx (1995)
  • David “Panama” Francis (1993)
  • Aretha Franklin (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1992)
  • Lowell Fulson (1993)
  • The Funk Brothers (Sidemen Award, 2008)


  • Marvin Gaye (Legacy Tribute Award, 2000)
  • Berry Gordy Jr. (Lifetime Achievement Award, 2006)
  • Al Green (Lifetime Achievement Award, 2001)
  • The Harptones (1998)
  • Donny Hathaway (Legacy Tribute Award, 2008)
  • Erskine Hawkins (1993)
  • Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (1998)
  • Isaac Hayes (1999)
  • Clarence “Frogman” Henry (2003)
  • Al Hibbler (1991)
  • Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland (2001)
  • Brenda Holloway (1999)
  • John Lee Hooker (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999)
  • Cissy Houston (1995)



  • Ernie K-Doe (1998)
  • Chaka Khan (Lifetime Achievement Award, 2008)
  • Albert King (1991)
  • Ben E. King (1994)
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1998)
  • Kool & the Gang (2008)
  • Patti LaBelle & The Bluebells (1999)
  • Bettye LaVette (2006)
  • Barbara Lewis (1999)
  • Little Anthony & the Imperials (1993)
  • Little Richard (Lifetime Achievement Award, 1994)
  • Darlene Love (1995)
  • Nellie Lutcher (1992)
  • Barbara Lynn (1999)
  • Gloria Lynne (1997)


  • The Manhattans (1999)
  • Teena Marie (2008)
  • The Marvelettes (1995)
  • Barbara Mason (2006)
  • Curtis Mayfield (1991)
  • Jimmy McCracklin (1991)
  • Big Jay McNeely (2001)
  • Jay McShann (1996)
  • Little Milton (1997)
  • Garnet Mimms (1999)
  • The Moonglows (1995)
  • Johnny Moore (1999)
  • Sam Moore (1991)


  • Johnny Nash (2003)
  • David “Fathead” Newman (1998)
  • The O’Jays (1998)
  • Johnny Otis (1994)
  • Clyde Otis (2000)
  • Earl Palmer (1994)
  • Maceo Parker (2003)
  • Wilson Pickett (1993)
  • Bill Pinkney (1999)
  • Doc Pomus (1991)
  • David Porter (1999)
  • Lloyd Price (1995)
  • Arthur Prysock (1995)



  • “Little” Jimmy Scott (1989)
  • Mabel Scott (1995)
  • Dee Dee Sharp (2001)
  • The Shirelles (1994)
  • Joe Simon (1999)
  • Percy Sledge (1989)
  • Sly & the Family Stone (2001)
  • Huey “Piano” Smith (2000)
  • The Spaniels (1991)
  • The Spinners (1997)
  • The Staple Singers (1992)
  • Jesse Stone (1992)
  • The Supremes (2003)


  • Johnnie Taylor (1996)
  • Koko Taylor (2003)
  • Carla Thomas (1993)
  • Charlie Thomas (1999)
  • Irma Thomas (1994)
  • Rufus Thomas (1992)
  • Allen Toussaint (2001)
  • Doris Troy (1996)
  • Phil Upchurch (1997)


  • Junior Walker (1995)
  • Van “Piano Man” Walls (1997)
  • Dee Dee Warwick (1999)
  • Dionne Warwick (Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003)
  • Justine “Baby” Washington (1995)
  • Johnny “Guitar” Watson (1996)
  • Mary Wells (1989)
  • Kim Weston (1998)
  • The Whispers (2008)
  • Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams (1992)
  • Jackie Wilson (Legacy Tribute Award, 2003)
  • Bill Withers (2008)
  • Jimmy Witherspoon (1993)
  • Bobby Womack (1996)
  • Stevie Wonder (Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000)
  • Betty Wright (2000)

Resources/Related Links:

First posted 11/6/2012; last updated 5/23/2021.