Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Black Eyed Peas hit #1 with “Boom Boom Pow”

Boom Boom Pow

Black Eyed Peas

Writer(s): William Adams, Allan Pineda, Jaime Gomez, Stacy Ferguson (see lyrics here)

Released: November 12, 2008

First Charted: March 8, 2009

Peak: 112 US, 15 BA, 110 DG, 16 RR, 21 A40, 51 RB, 12 UK, 19 CN, 16 AU, 21 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.9 US, 0.73 UK, 27.0 (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.5 radio, 367.9 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

With their lead single from their fifth studio album, The E.N.D., the Black Eyed Peas achieved a feat they hadn’t accomplished before – they topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. The song spent an amazing 12 weeks atop the charts – but it was only the beginning. The Peas didn’t have to wait long for their next #1 – the album’s follow-up single, “I Gotta Feeling,” followed “Pow” into the pole position, giving the Peas the rare distinction of knocking themselves from the top. “Feeling” proved even more successful, holding on to #1 for 14 weeks – giving the Peas a full six-month lock on #1!

All four members –, Fergie, Taboo, and – have solo raps in the futuristic-sounding, auto-tuned song. Boston Globe described the song and others from the album as “substance-free, grammatically suspect dance floor jams” which were nonetheless “booty-shaking pleasures.” WK Digital Spy’s Nick Levine called it “a fairly ridiculous robopop stomper” but also said, “Frankly who cares? Right now this just sounds cracking.” WK Rolling Stone said it was “an assault on the senses, and on good taste. And it’s the best thing The Black Eyed Peas have ever recorded.” WK acknowledge the song’s unusual and repetitive nature when he told Rolling Stone, “It has one note. It says ‘Boom’ 168 times. The structure has three beats in one song. It’s not lyrics – it’s audio patterns, structure, architecture.” SF He told Billboard the song “was made for underground clubs. Like, if I would’ve thought that was gonna be a radio song, I would’ve made it different…‘Boom Boom Pow’ is proof that if something’s dope, regardless of if it has that sprinkled radio vibe, that it should be played on the radio and the people are gonna like it.” WK

People definitely liked it. They watched the video on YouTube more than 100 million times WK and scooped up 6 million copies of the song in the U.S. and another 2.5 million internationally. It was the best-selling song on iTunes in 2009. It was a big seller right out of the gate, hitting 465,000 downloads in its first week, making it the highest sum which had been achieved at that point by a group in one week. SF


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Last updated 4/25/2023.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chris Smith 101 Albums That Changed Popular Music

Chris Smith:

101 Albums That Changed Popular Music

Excerpt of description on Amazon: This book “tells the fascinating stories behind the most groundbreaking, influential, and often controversial albums ever recorded, ranging from Anthology of American Folk Music (1952) to Elephant (2003) by The White Stripes.” “Selected on the basis of their popular appeal and influence on later genres, the albums included represent a wide variety of genres, such as blues, jazz, rock, reggae, rockabilly, folk, soul, hip-hop, and country.” “Organized chronologically to capture the flow of culture from one album to the next, this volume illuminates how these classic recordings reflected – and sometimes changed – the political, social, and economic culture of their eras.”

“Among the featured albums are releases from the hard-blues explosion of the ‘60s, including Robert Johnson’s King of the Delta Blues Singers, a landmark collection whose songs were later covered by the likes of Cream, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones. Punk made its mark in the ‘70s with Patti Smith’s Horses and the Clash’s London Calling. In the ‘80s Michael Jackson’s blockbuster LP, Thriller, not only topped the charts, it became the best-selling record of all time. Diversity defined the ‘90s, with the most influential albums ranging from Garth Brooks’ No Fences, which made country one of the hottest musical genres of the decade, to Dr. Dre’s debut, Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992)
, a multi-platinum smash hit that brought West Coast hip hop into the mainstream.”

Check out other best-of album lists by individuals/critics here.

1. Various Artists compiled by Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music (box set, recorded 1926-32, released 1952)
2. Elvis Presley Elvis Presley (aka Rock ‘N’ Roll) (1956)
3. Miles Davis Birth of the Cool (recorded 1949-50, released 1957)
4. The Weavers At Carnegie Hall (1957)
5. Miles Davis Kind of Blue (1959)
6. Dave Brubeck Time Out (1959)
7. Muddy Waters At Newport (live: 1960)
8. Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers (archives: 1936-37, released 1961)
9. Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962)
10. Bob Dylan The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)

11. The Beatles Please Please Me (1963)
12. Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
13. The Byrds Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)
14. The Beatles Rubber Soul (1965)
15. Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention Freak Out! (1966)
16. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
17. The Doors The Doors (1967)
18. Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
19. Velvet Underground & Nico Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
20. The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

21. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967)
22. The Moody Blues Days of Future Passed (1967)
23. The Band Music from Big Pink (1968)
24. The Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968)
25. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I (1969)
26. The MC5 Kick Out the Jams (live, 1969)
27. The Who Tommy (1969)
28. King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)
29. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Trout Mask Replica (1969)
30. James Taylor Sweet Baby James (1970)

31. Miles Davis Bitches Brew (1970)
32. Black Sabbath Paranoid (1970)
33. Carole King Tapestry (1971)
34. Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971)
35. Sly & the Family Stone There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)
36. Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin The Inner Mounting Flame (1971) Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (box set: 1964-68, released 1972)
38. David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
39. The Stooges Raw Power (1973)
40. Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

41. New York Dolls New York Dolls (1973)
42. Herbie Hancock Head Hunters (1973)
43. Kraftwerk Autobahn (1974)
44. Linda Ronstadt Heart Like a Wheel (1974)
45. Aerosmith Toys in the Attic (1975)
46. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975)
47. Kiss Alive! (1975)
48. Patti Smith Horses (1975)
49. Brian Eno Discreet Music (1975)
50. Queen A Night at the Opera (1975)

51. Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, & Jessi Colter Wanted! The Outlaws (1976)
52. Parliament Mothership Connection (1975)
53. Ramones Ramones (1976)
54. Boston Boston (1976)
55. Bob Marley & the Wailers Exodus (1977)
56. Various artists (Bee Gees et al) Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack, 1977)
57. Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)
58. Television Marquee Moon (1977)
59. Pere Ubu The Modern Dance (1978)
60. Van Halen Van Halen (1978)

61. Funkadelic One Nation Under a Groove (1978)
62. Neil Young & Crazy Horse Rust Never Sleeps (1979)
63. The Clash London Calling (1979)
64. AC/DC Back in Black (1980)
65. Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)
66. Herbie Hancock Future Shock (1983)
67. Def Leppard Pyromania (1983)
68. U2 War (1983)
69. R.E.M. Murmur (1983)
70. Stevie Ray Vaughn Texas Flood (1983)

71. Metallica Kill ‘Em All (1983)
72. Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
73. Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain (soundtrack, 1984)
74. Hüsker Dü Zen Arcade (1984)
75. Madonna Like a Virgin (1984)
76. Run-D.M.C. Raising Hell (1986)
77. Paul Simon Graceland (1986)
78. Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill (1986)
79. Suzanne Vega Solitude Standing (1987)
80. Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987)

81. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
82. Sonic Youth Daydream Nation (1988)
83. De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)
84. N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (1989)
85. Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine (1989)
86. Uncle Tupelo No Depression (1990)
87. Garth Brooks No Fences (1990)
88. Ice-T O.G. – Original Gangster (1991)
89. Nirvana Nevermind (1991)
90. Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

91. Tori Amos Little Earthquakes (1992)
92. Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992)
93. Liz Phair Exile in Guyville (1993)
94. Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers) (1993)
95. Green Day Dookie (1994)
96. Ani DFranco Not a Pretty Girl (1995)
97. Beck Odelay (1996)
98. Spice Girls Spice (1996)
99. Dixie Chicks Wide Open Spaces (1998)
100. Eminem The Slim Shady LP (1999)
101. The White Stripes Elephant (2003)

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First posted 3/15/2024

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lady Gaga hit #1 with “Poker Face”

Poker Face

Lady Gaga

Writer(s):Stefani Germanotta/ Nadir “RedOne” Khayat (see lyrics here)

Released: September 23, 2008

First Charted: November 17, 2008

Peak: 11 US, 15 RR, 12 A40, 75 RB, 13 UK, 19 CN, 18 AU, 10 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 1.8 UK, 28.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.5 radio, 1367.70 video, 1216.46 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

As her follow-up single to the #1 “Just Dance,” Lady Gaga had her work cut out for her with “Poker Face.” With lyrics about gambling and her own experiences with bisexuality, she wasn’t exactly going for the most radio-friendly theme either. She told Fashionista 101 that the song was about “playing with guys as if she was a poker player.” SF As she said to an audience at an April 11, 2009, performance in Palm Springs, California, the song was about being “with a man but fantasizing about a woman, hence the man in the song needs to read her ‘Poker Face’ to understand what is going through her mind.” WK

No worries, though – the song not only followed “Just Dance” to the top of the U.S. charts, but peaked at #1 in sixteen other countries as well. WK It made Gaga the first artist to top the U.S. charts with her first two entries since Christina Aguilera did it nearly a decade earlier WK with “Genie in a Bottle” and “What a Girl Wants.” It became “the song with which she placed her stamp on the waning months of the decade.” LR

Producer RedOne, with whom Gaga wrote “Poker Face” and “Just Dance,” told Billboard magazine how the two clicked immediately. “We’re not overthinking. We just do what we feel right.. Before you know it the song is pretty much done…We wrote ‘Just Dance’ in one hour. Done. ‘Poker Face’? One hour. It just happened. Magic.” SF

Both songs sold 4 million downloads in the U.S., making her the first artist in digital history to do so. WK The songs have gone on to sell six million each. Another 900,000 downloads in the U.K. also made “Face” the most downloaded song in Britain since they introduced the download chart in 2004. WK


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First posted 3/15/2020; last updated 4/11/2024.

Friday, April 10, 2009

100 years ago: “Shine on, Harvest Moon” hit #1

Shine on, Harvest Moon

Harry MacDonough with Miss Walton

Writer(s): Jack Norworth, Nora Bayes (see lyrics here)

First Charted: April 10, 1909

Peak: 19 US, 13 GA, 15 SM (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

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

Shine on, Harvest Moon

Ada Jones & Billy Murray

First Charted: May 15, 1909

Peak: 15 US, 13 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

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

Awards (MacDonough):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Jones/Murray):

About the Song:

Nora Bayes was a Broadway and vaudevillian performer in the early 1900s. In 1908, she married Jack Norworth, a singer, songwriter, and dancer, who also wrote “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” The pair toured and composed together. The duo’s collaboration, “Shine on, Harvest Moon,” “became her musical trademark” TY2 and one of “the most recognized of the many ‘moon’ ballads.” RCG The song is about “a guy begging the harvest moon to shine brightly so he and his girl can ‘stay outdoors and spoon.’” TY2 It was “decidedly old-fashioned and a product of twentieth century innocence.” RCG She sang the song as a solo act SM in Ziegfeld Follies of 1908. The couple didn’t last, divorcing in 1913 (the second of five marriages for Bayes!), SF but the song survived. Both performed it the rest of their lives. RCG

It became a favorite for player pianos and barbershop quartets RCG and “remains a perennial among amateur singers everywhere.” DJ-172 It had an impressive chart life with seven takes on the song peaking in the top 20 over the next quarter century. The first, and most successful, was a duet between Harry MacDonough and Miss Walton (believed to be Elise Stevenson) in 1909. They took the song to #1 for 9 weeks. Their version used the verse, chorus, and a second verse while another popular duo version by Ada Jones and Billy Murray did just the first verse and chorus. SM That one also went to #1 while other versions that year, one by the duo of Frank Stanley and Henry Burr, another by Bob Roberts, went to #2 and #6 respectively. The following year, Arthur Pryor also went top 5 with the song.

“Harvest Moon” was revived by Ruth Etting in Ziegfeld Follies of 1931. DJ Ethel Waters took the song back to the top ten that same year. Two years later, Kate Smith took the song back to the top 20. Over the years, the song has also been sung by Judy Garland, Vera Lynn, Glenn Miller, and Liza Minnelli. RCG At age 8, Britney Spears sang it for her Mickey Mouse Club audition. WK

It has also appeared in at least a dozen films, most notably an eponymously titled 1944 biopic starring Ann Sheridan and Dennis Morgan as Bayes and Norworth. RCG A 1938 Roy Rogers western was named after the song and Laurel & Hardy performed it in their 1939 film The Flying Deuces. It was also used in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), Look for the Silver Lining (1949), Nancy Goes to Rio (1950), I’ll See You in My Dreams (1952), The Eddy Duchin Story (1957), TY2 and Pennies from Heaven (1978). WK


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First posted 4/10/2012; last updated 12/15/2022.