Saturday, October 31, 2009

Taylor Swift hit #1 on the AC charts with “You Belong with Me”

You Belong with Me

Taylor Swift

Writer(s): Taylor Swift, Liz Rose (see lyrics here)

Released: April 18, 2009

First Charted: November 22, 2008

Peak: 2 US, 11 RR, 114 AC, 2 A40, 12 CW, 30 UK, 3 CN, 4 AU, 10 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.6 UK, 8.35 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.7 radio, 1201.24 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Taylor Swift took the world by storm in 2008-2009. Her second album, Fearless, pulled off the astonishing feat of sending twelve of its 13 songs into the Billboard Hot 100. Four went top ten, with “You Belong with Me” being the biggest. The song also gave her a fourth trip to the top of the country charts and marked her second ascension to the pinnacle of the adult contemporary chart (following “Love Story”). It was also the first song in nearly a decade (the last being Faith Hill’s “Breathe” in 2000) to simultaneously chart in the top 5 of the Hot 100 and country charts. WK and the first country song to top the Billboard Hot 100 radio airplay chart AB’00

Swift somehow “made teen love, angst, and romance sound incredibly fresh again.” AB’00 She explained that she overheard a friend’s conversation and wrote the song’s first line, “You’re on the phone with your girlfriend/ She’s upset, going off about something that you said.” SF The song hit on the idea that, as she told MTV News, “somehow the popular girl gets the guy every time” even though she “doesn’t appreciate him at all.” WK She extended the idea “that I’m in love with him and he should be with me instead of her,” SF and highlighted the differences between the two women with lines like “She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts.” SF

The video for the song was shot at the high school in Hendersonville, Tennessee, where her brother went. SF Lucas Till, from Hannah Montana: The Movie, starred as her love interest and in case of life imitating art, the two dated for a short time after doing the video. SF The video’s director, Roman White, said the sparks between the two were evident to everyone on set. He joked, “How many kisses did we go through? I stopped counting at, like, 45.” SF

Swift became the first country artist to win an MTV Video Music Award, landing the prize for Best Female Video at the 2009 Awards. Her win was overshadowed when rapper Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech to proclaim his opinion that BeyoncĂ© should have won the award. When BeyoncĂ© won Video of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” she graciously invited Swift back on stage to finish her speech.


Related Links:

Last updated 10/21/2022.

Pearl Jam released “Just Breathe”

Just Breathe

Pearl Jam

Writer(s): Eddie Vedder (see lyrics here)

Released: October 31, 2009

First Charted: November 7, 2009

Peak: 78 US, 20 A40, 113 AA, 36 AR, 6 MR, 14 CN, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 43.25 video, 213.25 streaming

Awards (Pearl Jam):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Willie Nelson):

About the Song:

As big as Pearl Jam had been since their beginnings in 1991, it took nine albums before they pulled off a platinum-selling single – “Just Breathe” from 2009’s Backspacer. The song grew out of “Tuolumne,” an instrumental on the Into the Wild soundtrack by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. It was released as a double A-side along with “Got Some.” WK

Vedder described it as being “as close to a love song as we’ve ever gotten.” SF It says, “Just stop, and be together. Don’t talk now, just breathe and feel each other’s presence – now that the kids are in bed.” SF Jennifer Warnes, who covered it on her 2018 album Another Time, Another Place, said the song has a universal them about mortality: “[It] is on everybody’s mind at one time or another.” SF

One can hear the reflective meditation on life in Vedder’s aching, angst-ridden, middle-aged voice. However, the song took on even more weight in the hands of Willie Nelson, who released his version on his 2012 album Heroes, just days shy of his 79th birthday. It chills the listener the way Johnny Cash did with Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.” The difference? The posthumous success of Cash’s recording, combined with a video showcasing his fragility at the end of his life turned it into an epitaph for Cash. Nelson made it clear he wasn’t drawing his last breath just yet.

In fact, with his laid-back delivery and familiar, gravelly voice, Nelson still taps into the song’s retrospective nature, but there’s a satisfaction with a life well lived. As another bonus, the song pairs Willie with his best vocal impersonator – his son Lukas. If possible, with his twangier voice, Lukas sounds more like Willie than Willie does.


Related Links:

First posted 5/7/2020; last updated 11/13/2023.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Thrill of the New

I am a download junkie. There’s no denying it – the 28,000+ songs on my hard drive weren’t all ripped from my CD collection that now does little more than keep one of the basement walls from being bare. A healthy chunk of my music has known no other home but the computer and isn’t likely to find its way to disc. Occasionally I still buy a CD (they still make ‘em, can you believe it?), but generally out of necessity – some of the stuff is obscure enough that I can’t find it to download.

Still, I get nostalgic for my former music buying habits – paying for an actual, tangible object that might have even required unwrapping. Hmm…I guess a benefit of the mp3 is that you don’t have to wait for your fingernails to grow before you can get the shrink wrap off a CD. How about those awful plastic cases CDs and cassettes used to come in that required super human strength or a machete to open?

I’ve survived a few music formats. Beyond 45 records, my first-ever album music purchase was a K-Tel compilation eight track. That might evoke more than a few chuckles, but there’s even more ammo when it comes to the cassette department, considering my first venture into the tape world was the Xanadu soundtrack. I am proud of my first CD buy – Marillion’s Clutching at Straws, even if I didn’t own a CD player when I bought it. I already had the cassette, but the CD had a bonus track and my buddy across the hall in the dorm let me play it on his CD player.

In my pre-digital adult life, Tuesdays were weekly holidays since that’s when new releases came out. In my college days, the only game in town was (shudder) Wal-Mart, but I occasionally hopped a ride with a buddy to Streetside Records thirty minutes away. In post-college days, my musical hunts often took me to Westport. For those unfamiliar with the Kansas City area, Westport is the kind of neighborhood where, well, there were lots of used record shops. My favorite was Music Exchange. It was one of those places that smelled of dust from the crates of old records and whose door and windows were wallpapered with notices of when and where local bands were playing.

Once the CD dominated, my most frequent stop was Disc Traders. Neither would win a best-name contest, but at the latter they knew me by name, knew my tastes well enough to make recommendations, and weren’t wearing brightly-colored smocks and asking if I needed a shopping cart. It was a relief to know that even in suburbia, I could hit a store that didn’t have a TM after their logo – or even a logo for that matter.

Wrapped or unwrapped, once the acquisition was home or in the car, I’d check out the album packaging, read off song titles, peruse the liner notes and lyrics, and plop the thing in for that virgin listen. What really heightened the experience is when the tunes of choice were either 1) new stuff by a favorite act, or 2) a been-on-my-most-wanted-list-forever item.

I can’t remember the last time I plopped down cash or credit card on an actual counter instead of clicking on the “Pay Now” button. While grabbing up 7 Worlds Collide on may not be the same as stumbling across that long-sought 3rd Matinee disc (complete with a “For Promotional Use Only” label) at whatever-the-name-of-that-place-was-on-75th-Street, both methods can still elicit joy.

Last Friday, two new Kevin Gilbert CDs greeted me in my mailbox. There hasn’t been a “new” KG album since 2002’s Kaviar Sessions. Of course, unless you’re Elvis, Hendrix, or 2pac, you aren’t moving a lot of product from the grave. To the credit of KG’s estate, they’ve released a handful of gems since his untimely passing in 1996, most notably The Shaming of the True in 2000 – my favorite album of the last decade. No worries if you don’t know the name – his solo stuff hasn’t even scraped the bottom of the Billboard charts. His greatest fame comes from his 1990 Toy Matinee project that sold a few hundred thousand shy of gold on the strength of minor album-rock hit “Last Plane Out” and his stint as one of the under-appreciated musicians behind Sheryl Crow’s success with Tuesday Night Music Club. If you’re curious about him, check out my Dave’s Music Database page on him or go straight to the official website.

However, I digress. The point of this blog wasn’t to convert you to KG’s music (well, maybe a little), but to simply relive those music buying experiences in era when phrases like “backmasking” and “dropping the needle on a stack of vinyl” dominated instead of “iTunes” and “synching up your musical device.” The names and formats in your own collection will vary, but there remains one constant among anyone who’s ever bought music – the elation of that perfect purchase, the discovery of a lost treasure, the arrival of a long-awaited must-have. Go ahead and break out that Xanadu soundtrack again – nobody has to know but you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lyle Lovett released Natural Forces

Natural Forces

Lyle Lovett

Released: October 20, 2009

Peak: 29 US, 8 CW

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: alt-country/Americana


Song Title (Writers) [time]

  1. Natural Forces (Lyle Lovett) [5:40]
  2. Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel (Lovett, traditional) [4:03]
  3. Pantry (Lovett, April Kimble) [4:08]
  4. Empty Blue Shoes (Lovett) [2:58]
  5. Whooping Crane (Eric Taylor) [4:50]
  6. Bayou Song (Don Sanders) [4:05]
  7. Bohemia (Tommy Elskes) [3:18]
  8. Don’t You Think I Feel It Too (David Ball) [3:48]
  9. Sun and Moon and Stars (Vince Bell) [4:33]
  10. Loretta (Townes Van Zandt) [3:38]
  11. It’s Rock and Roll (Lovett, Robert Earl Keen) []
  12. Pantry (acoustic version) (Lovett, Kimble) [4:03]


2.986 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Retreating to generally quieter territory after the somewhat splashy It’s Not Big It’s Large, Lyle Lovett also backs away from original tunes on Natural Forces, choosing to devote the bulk of the 11-track album to other writers. Covers are common for Lovett, but not since 1998’s Step Inside This House has he spent so much time singing other’s songs, and he revisits some of the same composers as before, picking tunes from Townes Van Zandt and Vince Bell.” AMG “Tommy Elskes’ slyly sarcastic blues, Bohemia,…[is] the liveliest of the bunch.” AMG

He does mix in some originals, including the title cut, It’s Rock and Roll, and “the bawdy, rollicking Pantry.” AMG The latter two are co-writes – the first with Robert Earl Keen and the second with longtime partner April Kimble.

As usual, he mixes “humor and tempo through his originals” AMG such as with “the dirty jump blues Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel.” The originals “act as anchors to a record that wanders down its own quiet, idiosyncratic path, grounding the album and keeping things amiably unpredictable.” AMG

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 5/20/2022.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kevin Gilbert “Tired Old Man” first released

Tired Old Man

Kevin Gilbert

Writer(s): Kevin Gilbert (see lyrics here)

Recorded: 1986?

Released: October 19, 2009 (on Nuts)

First Charted: --

Peak: 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

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


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Singer/songwriter and musician Kevin Gilbert was born in 1966 in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. He started playing piano at four years old, studying classical piano. He said a hippy guitarist named Mike Scully heard Gilbert playing piano at church and brought him Genesis’ Fox Trot CH and that by age ten, he was into pop and progressive rock. RB-N Gilbert said he was terrible at reading music and would go buy the records, listen to them, and then play it for his piano teacher, convincing her he was reading the music. She eventually got frustrated with him and quit. SD

He attended high school in San Mateo, California. He spent a lot of time at Sunnyvale’s Sensa Sound studio after hours. JS96 He ended up writing and recording the album No Reasons Given in 1984 under the name NRG before he’d graduated from high school. The album wouldn’t be widely available until he’d made a bigger name for himself and it was offered at

From 1984 to 1987, Gilbert continued to record more music although it wasn’t getting him an audience. In 2021, his estate released the box set Call Me Kai, which gathered recordings from the era. One disc, called Sometimes Why, assembled songs recorded by Gilbert in 1986. It included a four-part version of “Tired Old Man,” a song which had circulated as a bootleg for years amongst Gilbert’s fans, and had been first officially released on the archival set Nuts in 2009.

The song is a beautiful take on the tale of Pinocchio through Gepetto’s eyes. It serves as one of the best arguments there is that Gilbert was an overlooked genius. He would go on to tour as a keyboardist with Eddie Money and release two albums with Giraffe in the late ‘80s. and collaborate with Patrick Leonard (a producer who worked for Michael Jackson and Madonna) in Toy Matinee in 1990. He was part of a collective known as the Tuesday Night Music Club which lifted Sheryl Crow to fame. He released his first solo album in 1995 and was working on the next one when he died in 1996 at the age of 29. He never did become a household name, but he left an enviable body of work more than worth exploring.


Related Links:

First posted 10/8/2022.

Kevin Gilbert Nuts and Bolts released


Kevin Gilbert

Released: October 19, 2009

Recorded: 1984-1996

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: neo-progressive rock singer/songwriter

Tracks on Nuts:

  1. The World Just Gets Smaller PS
  2. While Heroes Cry
  3. Until I Get Her Back CK
  4. When Strangers Part NRG
  5. Finally Over You
  6. Circling Winds CK
  7. Shannon Elizabeth CK
  8. Tired Old Man CK
  9. Childhood’s End
  10. Joytown (acoustic version) TH, TA
  11. Kashmir (studio version) CV

Tracks on Bolts:

  1. Waking the Sun LT
  2. The Ballad of Jenny Ledge (acoustic version) TM, TA
  3. Something Nice for My Dog
  4. Souvenir
  5. God’s Been Tapping My Phone CK
  6. Goodness Gracious (acoustic) TH, TA
  7. The Best of Everything
  8. Blank Page
  9. Taxi Ride CV
  10. Lonely Road
  11. Finale

Other Appearances: Many of these songs appear on other Kevin Gilbert releases, although not always the same versions.

  1. NRG also on No Reasons Given
  2. CK also on Call Me Kai
  3. PS also on The Power of Suggestion
  4. TM also on Toy Matinee
  5. TH also on Thud
  6. TA also on Toy Matinee Acoustic
  7. LT also on Live at the Troubadour
  8. CV also on Covers

The Players:

  • Kevin Gilbert (vocals et al)
  • John Cuniberti (mastering)


3.322 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Albums:

While Kevin Gilbert is an unknown to most, those who knew his music of the ‘80s and ‘90s before his tragic death in 1996 have become fanatics. Consequently, “the long awaited singer songwriter releases, “Nuts and Bolts,” KG will be received, if only by a small core of fans, with great enthusiasm upon their arrival in mid-September of 2009. The collections “represent the best of the unreleased singer/ songwriter material, from Kevin’s career, beginning to end.” PP

That beginning, back in 1984, is represented by When Strangers Part and Tired Old Man, the latter a wonderful take on the tale of Pinocchio and Gepetto. The mid-‘80s are represented with Circling Winds, Shannon Elizabeth, The Best of Everything, While Heroes Cry, God’s Been Tapping My Phone, and Until I Get Her Back. Also from this era is Souvenir, which is also known as “Bitter Souvenir.”

There’s also The World Just Gets Smaller, which Gilbert recorded with his band Giraffe on the 1988 album The Power of Suggestion, and Jenny Ledge and Blank Page from his Toy Matinee days in 1990-91.

After his stints with Giraffe and Toy Matinee, Gilbert recorded his first and only solo album, Thud, released during his lifetime. Representing that period are acoustic versions of Goodness Gracious and Joytown from 1994-95. Fans are likely to be most excited by the inclusion of the studio version of Kashmir, which after its rejection from the Led Zeppelin tribute album Encomium, was bundled with the Thud album as a bonus single.

The collections also feature seven songs whose origins are not known. Unfortunately, the album liner notes offer no insight as to when these songs may have been recorded.

“From sentimental to cynical, happy to heartsick these collections were carefully put together and we feel something Kevin would be proud of.” PP “Every song on each disc was mastered carefully by John Cuniberti. Both packages are beautifully done Digipaks with bookending images” KG and “the insightful and witty liner notes of Cintra Wilson,” PP a former girlfriend of Gilbert’s.

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 8/30/2009; last updated 11/8/2022.