Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: Top 25 Albums

First posted 1/8/2021.

Dave’s Music Database:

Top Albums of 2010

Based on a combination of year-end lists and overall status in Dave’s Music Database, these are the top 25 albums of 2010:

  1. Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  2. Arcade Fire The Suburbs
  3. Eminem Recovery
  4. Katy Perry Teenage Dream
  5. Taylor Swift Speak Now
  6. Bruno Mars Doo Wops & Hooligans
  7. Lady Antebellum Need You Now
  8. Janelle Monáe The Arch Android
  9. The National High Violet
  10. The Black Keys Brothers

  11. LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening
  12. Rihanna Loud
  13. Robyn Body Talk
  14. Beach House Teen Dream
  15. Justin Bieber My World 2.0
  16. Nicki Minaj Pink Friday
  17. Glee Cast Volume 3: Showstoppers
  18. Deerhunter Halcyon Digest
  19. Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown
  20. Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

  21. John Mellencamp No Better Than This
  22. Drake Thank Me Later
  23. Vampire Weekend Contra
  24. Ke$ha Animal
  25. Usher Raymond v. Raymond

Resources and Related Links:

World Wide Albums: Top 100

First posted 12/30/2020.

World Wide Albums:

Top 100 All-Time doesn’t offer a particularly good definition of how their lists are compiled. A “methods” link explains that sales figures are gathered for albums, but a quick glance at this list reveals many albums that were not definitely not best sellers. The site still exists, but apparently no new data has been gathered since 2010.

Check out best-of lists from other publiciations and organizations here.

1. Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
2. Velvet Underground & Nico Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
3. The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
4. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
5. Bob Dylan The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
6. The Doors The Doors (1967)
7. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
8. King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)
9. Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde (1966)
10. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)

11. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II (1969)
12. The Rolling Stones Aftermath (1966)
13. The Who Who’s Next (1971)
14. David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
15. Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks (1975)
16. The Beatles Revolver (1966)
17. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland (1968)
18. Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention Freak Out! (1966)
19. U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)
20. Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)

21. Nirvana Nevermind (1991)
22. The Beatles Abbey Road (1969)
23. The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed (1969)
24. Radiohead OK Computer (1997)
25. The Clash London Calling (1979)
26. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I (1969)
27. Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
28. The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971)
29. Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
30. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967)

31. Pink Floyd A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)
32. Joy Division Unknown Pleasures (1979)
33. AC/DC Back in Black (1980)
34. Frank Zappa Hot Rats (1969)
35. Black Sabbath Paranoid (1970)
36. Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)
37. The Who Sell Out (1967)
38. Neil Young Harvest (1972)
39. Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)
40. Lou Reed Transformer (1972)

41. Curtis Mayfield Curtis (1970)
42. The Stooges The Stooges (1969)
43. David Bowie Heroes (1977)
44. The Who Tommy (1969)
45. Nick Drake Pink Moon (1972)
46. Van Morrison Moondance (1970)
47. Queen A Night at the Opera (1975)
48. Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987)
49. Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971)
50. Bob Marley & the Wailers Burnin’ (1973)

51. Metallica Master of Puppets (1986)
52. The MC5 Kick Out the Jams (live, 1969)
53. Creedence Clearwater Revival Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
54. Janis Joplin Pearl (1971)
55. Jethro Tull Aqualung (1971)
56. Deep Purple Made in Japan (live, 1973)
57. Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)
58. Joy Division Closer (1980)
59. The Allman Brothers At Fillmore East (live, 1971)
60. Patti Smith Horses (1975)

61. Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells (1973)
62. John Lennon Imagine (1971)
63. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975)
64. Television Marquee Moon (1977)
65. Talking Heads Remain in Light (1980)
66. Joni Mitchell Blue (1971)
67. Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975)
68. R.E.M. Automatic for the People (1992)
69. The Cure Disintegration (1989)
70. Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (1995)

71. Eagles Hotel California (1976)
72. Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
73. Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast (1982)
74. Cream Wheels of Fire (studio/live, 1968)
75. Tom Waits Rain Dogs (1985)
76. Jeff Buckley Grace (1994)
77. Miles Davis In a Silent Way (1969)
78. Pearl Jam Ten (1991)
79. The Pixies Doolittle (1989)
80. Pink Floyd The Wall (1979)

81. Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain (soundtrack, 1984)
82. Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
83. The Cure Pornography (1982)
84. Ramones Ramones (1976)
85. Peter Gabriel So (1986)
86. The Police Regatta De Blanc (1979)
87. Prince Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987)
88. Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral (1994)
89. Sonic Youth Daydream Nation (1988)
90. Depeche Mode Violator (1990)

91. Hüsker Dü Zen Arcade (1984)
92. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
93. Green Day Dookie (1994)
94. Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
95. Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine (1992)
96. The Smiths The Queen Is Dead (1986)
97. Slint Spiderland (1991)
98. The Verve Urban Hymns (1997)
99. Metallica Metallica (aka ‘The Black Album’) (1991)
100. Kraftwerk Trans-Europa Express (Trans Europe Express) (1977)

Resources and Related Links:

World Wide Albums: Albums of the Year

First posted 12/30/2020.

World Wide Albums:

Albums of the Year, 1965-2010 doesn’t offer a particularly good definition of how their lists are compiled. A “methods” link explains that sales figures are gathered for albums, but a quick glance at this list reveals many albums that were not definitely not best sellers. The site still exists, but apparently no new data has been gathered since 2010.

Check out other album of the year awards here.

Resources and Related Links:

The Top 50 Songs of 2010

Dave’s Music Database:

Top 50 Songs of 2010

These are the top 50 songs of the year based on their overall performance in Dave’s Music Database, which is determined by combining chart data, sales figures, streaming, video views, and aggregates from year-end lists.

Check out “Top Songs and Albums of the Year” lists here.

    DMDB Top 1%:

  1. Adele “Rolling in the Deep
  2. Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are (Amazing)
  3. Eminem & Rihanna “Love the Way You Lie
  4. Katy Perry “Firework
  5. Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg “California Gurls
  6. Cee-Lo Green “Fuck You (aka “Forget You”)
  7. Bruno Mars “Grenade
  8. Rihanna “Only Girl in the World”
  9. Taio Cruz “Dynamite”

    DMDB Top 2%:

  10. Usher with “OMG”

  11. Foster the People “Pumped Up Kicks”
  12. Eminem “Not Afraid”
  13. Katy Perry with Kanye West “E.T.”
  14. Pink “Raise Your Glass”
  15. Justin Bieber with Ludacris “Baby
  16. Katy Perry “Teenage Dream”
  17. Usher with Pitbull “DJ Got Us Falling in Love”

    DMDB Top 5%:

  18. B.o.B. with Bruno Mars “Nothin’ on You”
  19. AWOL Nation “Sail”
  20. Katy Perry “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”

  21. The Band Perry “If I Die Young”
  22. Rihanna with Drake “What’s My Name?”
  23. Black Eyed Peas “The Time (Dirty Bit)”
  24. B.o.B. with Hayley Williams “Airplanes”
  25. Rihanna with Britney Spears “S & M”
  26. Kanye West with Pusha T “Runaway”
  27. Bruno Mars “The Lazy Song”
  28. Ellie Goulding “Lights”
  29. Miranda Lambert “The House That Built Me”
  30. Christina Perri “Jar of Hearts”

  31. Wiz Khalifa “Black and Yellow”
  32. Robyn “Dancing on My Own”
  33. Michael Franti & Spearhead “The Sound of Sunshine”
  34. Flo Rida with David Guetta “Club Can’t Handle Me”
  35. Taylor Swift “Mine”
  36. Ke$ha “We R Who We R”
  37. Bruno Mars “Marry You”
  38. Katy Perry “The One That Got Away”
  39. Far East Movement with Cataracs & Dev “Like a G6”
  40. Pink “Fuckin’ Perfect”

  41. California Swag District “Teach Me How to Dougie”
  42. Kanye West & Dwele “Power”
  43. Enrique Iglesias with Pitbull “I Like It”
  44. Travie McCoy with Bruno Mars “Billionaire”

    DMDB Top 10%:

  45. Janelle Monáe with Big Boi “Tightrope”
  46. Mike Posner & Big Sean “Cooler Than Me”
  47. The Black Keys “Tighten Up”
  48. Enrique Iglesias with Ludacris & DJ Frank E “Tonight I’m Lovin’ You”
  49. Kings of Leon “Radioactive”
  50. Arcade Fire “Ready to Start”

Resources/Related Links:

First posted 12/27/2021; last updated 1/18/2023.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Katy Perry hit #1 with “Firework”


Katy Perry

Writer(s): Katy Perry, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy Wilhelm, Ester Dean (see lyrics here)

Released: October 26, 2010

First Charted: October 17, 2010

Peak: 14 US, 14 RR, 11 AC, 15 A40, 3 UK, 11 CN, 3 AU, 8 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 12.0 US, 1.3 UK, 14.41 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.3 radio, 1536.70 video, 1019.13 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Katy Perry’s second album, Teenage Dream, with Capitol Records established her as “the #1 poster girl for contemporary dance-pop” SS thanks to five chart-topping songs. Only Michael Jackson had previously accomplished the feat (with 1987’s Bad). The album’s third single, “Firework,” was “a bouncing, danceable celebration of new love” SS and anthem to self-empowerment.

Perry pronounced it her favorite song from the album WK and has even called it her epitaph. SF It’s hard,” she said, “to write an anthem that’s not cheesy…I hope this could be one of those things where it’s like, ‘Yeah, I want to put my fist up and feel proud and feel strong.’” WK

She told Billboard that the inspiration for the song came from what she called her “very morbid idea…to be put into a firework and shot across the sky over the Santa Barbra Ocean” when she died. SF Her then boyfriend showed her a paragraph from Jack Kerouac’s book On the Road which she described as being about “people that are buzzing and fizzing and full of life…They shoot across the sky like a firework make people go ‘Ahhh.’ I guess that making people go ‘ahhh’ is kind of like my motto.” SF

The lyrics weren’t completely embraced by critics. MTV said the lyrics were “clunky,” but praised Perry’s vocals and Slant magazine said the lyrics “are nonsensical…but the song would work well enough in a club setting that you could forgive its otherwise glaring weaknesses.” WK BBC Music’s Al Fox said the song “displays a breezy maturity and serious set of pipes.” WK

It was the third of five songs from the album to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her and Michael Jackson the only artists to land five chart toppers from one album (for Jackson it was his 1987 album Bad).

The video, which featured Perry in Budapest, Hungary, features Perry at the center of an outdoor dance party among fans. The director, Dave Meyers, said he wanted the video “to articulate the meaning of that song: what it means to be an underdog and have the courage…to be your own person.” SF It won MTV Video of the Year and was ranked #1 on MuchMusic’s list of best videos of 2010. WK The song was also nominated for Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.


Related Links:

Last updated 3/31/2024.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mojo: Songs of the Year, 1955-2006

Originally posted 12/10/2010; updated 4/7/2019.

Mojo is a monthly UK magazine first published in October 1993. While they haven’t always named a “song of the year” they have done multiple best-of lists. Based on 15 of those lists (see links at bottom of page), here are the best songs of each year from 1955 to 2005.

  • 1955: Little Richard “Tutti Frutti
  • 1956: Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel
  • 1957: Buddy Holly & the Crickets “That’ll Be the Day
  • 1958: Chuck Berry “Johnny B. Goode
  • 1959: Ray Charles “What’d I Say

  • 1960: The Shadows “Apache”
  • 1961: Del Shannon “Runaway
  • 1962: Booker T. & the MG’s “Green Onions”
  • 1963: The Ronettes “Be My Baby
  • 1964: The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  • 1965: The Miracles “The Tracks of My Tears”
  • 1966: Ike & Tina Turner “River Deep, Mountain High”
  • 1967: Aretha Franklin “Respect
  • 1968: Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  • 1969: The Jackson 5 “I Want You Back”

  • 1970: Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • 1971: Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On
  • 1972: Stevie Wonder “Superstition
  • 1973: Stevie Wonder “Living for the City”
  • 1974: Kraftwerk “Autobahn”
  • 1975: Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody
  • 1976: Sex Pistols “Anarchy in the U.K.”
  • 1977: Sex Pistols “God Save the Queen”
  • 1978: The Dils “I Hate the Rich”
  • 1979: Dead Kennedys “California Über Alles”

  • 1980: Martha & the Muffins “Echo Beach”
  • 1981: Ultravox “Vienna”
  • 1982: Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five “The Message
  • 1983: The Smiths “This Charming Man”
  • 1984: Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Two Tribes”
  • 1985:
  • 1986: Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry “Walk This Way
  • 1987: Phuture “Acid Tracks”
  • 1988: A Guy Called Gerald “Voodoo Ray”
  • 1989: The La’s “There She Goes”

  • 1990: Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U
  • 1991: Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • 1992: Radiohead “Creep
  • 1993: Beck “Loser”
  • 1994: Oasis “Live Forever”
  • 1995: Pulp “Common People”
  • 1996: Manic Street Preachers “A Design for Life”
  • 1997: The Verve “Bittersweet Symphony”
  • 1998: Britney Spears “Baby One More Time”
  • 1999: Rage Against the Machine “Sleep Now in the Fire”

  • 2000: Asian Dub Foundation “Real Great Britain”
  • 2001: The White Stripes “Fell in Love with a Girl”
  • 2002: The Libertines “What a Waster”
  • 2003: The Darkness “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)”
  • 2004: Franz Ferdinand “Take Me Out
  • 2005: Arctic Monkeys “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”
  • 2006: Camera Obscura “Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken”

Mojo Song Lists:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

'Tis the Season to Be Listing

‘Tis the season for mistletoe, gawdy blow-up decorations in people’s yards, and earworm-inducing ad infinitum spins of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” This also means it’s time for scrawling those wish lists and checking them twice. Santa’s dropping down that chimney in just a few weeks and stuffing those stockings with CDs by Justin Bieber or Arcade Fire, depending on whether we’ve been naughty or nice. With an 8-year-old and 5-year-old, list-making in my household means children taking notes during television commercials.

Ah, but in the music world, this is the time of year for another kind of list-making as well. While Santa’s loading up his sleigh with goodies, editors of every music mag known to man (a phrase that begs the question, “are there ‘zines devoted to the auditory pleasures of, say, the platypus kingdom?”) are packing their year-end magazine issues with plenty of treats. Those often come in the form of best-of-the-year snapshots. Considering my inclination in that area, my Christmas wish list is generally comprised of which year-end issues rank highest as must-haves.

As a side note, my obsession with year-end lists has overwhelmed even my fictional writing. Last week, in my efforts toward penning that great music-themed novel everyone so desperately needs from me (yeah, right), I scribed an entire chapter devoted to two characters debating the best college rock tunes of 1983. I know. I have a problem and need to seek help.

In the spirit of the season of list-making, Rolling Stone has offered a unique spin with its playlist issue (Dec. 9, 2010; issue #1119). While their year-end wrap-up should be just around the corner, this time out the focus is squarely on artists making lists of other artists. I doubt the world has been on pins and needles awaiting the revelation that Maroon 5’s Adam Levine ranks “Man in a Suitcase” as his eighth favorite Police song, but they might care about what roots and reggae songs make Keith Richards’ top ten. I must admit that after perusing a couple lists even I was thinking what an exercise in tedium this seemed to be – and this is coming from a list devotee so obsessed that he’s created a website and Facebook page devoted to the crap.

However, when I read Patti Smith’s comments about how moved she was by “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,” it matters not one whit whether that or “One Too Many Mornings” ranks higher on her list of favorite Bob Dylan love songs. (For the record, she ranked “Mornings” #1 and “Lowlands” #4). The importance comes not in the rankings, but the feelings evoked by the creation of the list. More importantly, for us readers it allows a glimpse into Smith’s world as she reverentially describes singing “Dark Eyes” with Dylan nightly while they toured together in 1995. Her comments about striving, and failing, to pen a song of gratitude to Dylan was revelatory; even the greats like Smith, no slouch in the lyrical writing department herself, have musical gods to whom they bow.

When Elton John calls Kanye West’s “Say You Will” the “2008 equivalent of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On,’” my browser is already heading toward my favorite quasi-legal Russian download site.

While the presence of Kanye West on Elton John’s iPod might be eyebrow raising, it is no shock that Gerard Way, frontman for emo-rock group My Chemical Romance, would offer up his snapshot of the glam rock world. It is hardly groundbreaking to see David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” and Mott the Hoople’s “All the Young Dudes” make the cut, but Way defines glam in a broader context to include Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Alice Cooper, and the New York Dolls. We’d all do well to similarly expand the boundaries we’ve placed on genre classification.

This is why I love music lists. Ultimately, it isn’t about what ranks at #1 and what comes in at #68. It is more about being on the list at all. A list is a celebration of what shows up and a surefire argument starter over what doesn’t. Either way, the end benefit is the discussion spurred by a list. Heated debates over what should and shouldn’t make the grade really are mini-musical history lessons. Why should an artist be lauded with “best ever” status? How has so-and-so’s album left its mark? What has “song X” done to change the musical landscape?

Of course, there never really can be such a thing as a “definitive” list – although I cheekily attach the tag to many of the posts on my Dave’s Music Database Facebook page. Any list is subject to debate or change – just ask my kids. If they watch any TV tonight, they’re bound to scratch something off their Christmas wish lists and add a couple new things.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re stumped over what to get me, I’d be fine with the $750 thirty-disc box set of Elvis’ studio recordings. You know, just in case you’ve got nearly a grand burning a hole in your pocket that you desperately feel a yearning to throw my way. Merry Christmas all. Here’s hoping you get at least something on your list.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rihanna “Only Girl in the World” hit #1

Only Girl in the World


Writer(s): Crystal Johnson, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy Wilhelm (see lyrics here)

Released: September 10, 2010

First Charted: September 12, 2010

Peak: 11 US, 13 RR, 17 AC, 11 A40, 12 UK, 14 CN, 14 AU, 16 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 1.29 UK, 7.78 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.4 radio, 968.20 video, 1010.37 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Only Girl in the World” was the lead single from Rihanna’s fifth album, 2010’s Loud. It topped the Billboard Hot 100, but not until after the album’s second single, “What’s My Name?” had reached the pinnacle. It was the first time that an album’s lead single got to #1 after the second single had reached that peak. WK It was her fourth #1 of the year, making her the first female to achieve that feat. SF “Only Girl” also hit the top in the UK, Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Rihanna approached the Norwegian production duo of Stargate (Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen) about writing a song for the Loud album. She had worked with them on her top-10 hits “Don’t Stop the Music” and “Hate That I Love You” as well as the #1 song “Rude Boy.” She told them she wanted “happy, uptempo songs.” WK “Only Girl” was the first song written for the album. Cyrstal Nicole and Sandy Vee were also songwriters on the song. They had just produced Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Perry was also interested in “Only Girl” but it went to Rihanna. SF

Lyrically, the dance-pop song is about the narrator demanding her lover’s physical attention, i.e. wanting to feel like the only girl in the world. Critics praised the song and Rihanna’s decision to move away from some of the previous album’s darker themes.

Los Angeles Times’ Gerrick D. Kennedy called it a “surefire hit” WK and Billboard’s Monica Herrera said the song “aims squarely for dance-floor domination.” WK Rolling Stone’s James Dolan wasn’t as complimentary, saying “the trance beat won’t keep you in the club unless someone else is paying for the drinks.” WK

The song won a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Recording.


Related Links:

First posted 2/10/2023; last updated 3/31/2024.

Friday, December 3, 2010

50 years ago: Camelot opened on Broadway


Frederick Loewe (music), Alan Jay Lerner (lyrics)

The Musical

Opened on Broadway: December 3, 1960

Number of Performances: 873

Opened at London’s West End: August 1964

Number of Performances: 518

Movie Release: October 25, 1967

Cast Album

Recorded: December 11, 1960

Charted: January 23, 1961

Peak: 16 US, 37 UK

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: show tunes


Charted: November 11, 1967

Peak: 11 US, 37 UK

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Genre: show tunes

Songs on Cast Album:

  1. Overture
  2. March
  3. I Wonder What the King Is Doing Tonight (RICHARD BURTON)
  4. The Simple Joys of Maidenhood (JULIE ANDREWS)
  5. Camelot (RICHARD BURTON)
  6. Follow Me (BERRY/ MARY SUE)
  7. C’est Moi (ROBERT GOULET)
  8. The Lusty Month of May (JULIE ANDREWS)
  9. Then You May Take Me to the Fair (JULIE ANDREWS/ JAMES YARNELL/ JOHN CULLUM)
  10. How to Handle a Woman (RICHARD BURTON)
  11. Before I Gaze at You Again (JULIE ANDREWS)
  12. If Ever I Would Leave You (ROBERT GOULET)
  13. The Seven Deadly Virtues (RODDY McDOWALL)
  14. What Do the Simple Folk Do? (RICHARD BURTON)
  15. Fire on Goodness (MALE ENSEMBLE)
  16. I Loved You Once in Silence (JULIE ANDREWS)
  17. Guenevere
  18. Finale Ultimo (Camelot Reprise) (RICHARD BURTON)

Songs on Soundtrack:
  1. Prelude and Overture - Orchestra
  2. I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight - Arthur
  3. The Simple Joys of Maidenhood - Guenevere
  4. Camelot and the Wedding Ceremony - Arthur, Guenevere, and Chorus
  5. C'est Moi - Lancelot
  6. The Lusty Month of May - Guenevere and Women
  7. Follow Me and Children's Chorus - Chorus
  8. How to Handle a Woman - Arthur
  9. Take Me to the Fair - Guenevere, Lionel, Dinadan, Sagramore
  10. If Ever I Would Leave You - Lancelot
  11. What Do the Simple Folk Do? - Guenevere and Arthur
  12. I Loved You Once In Silence - Guenevere
  13. Guenevere - Chorus
  14. Finale Ultimo - Arthur and Tom


4.633 out of 5.00 (average of 14 ratings for cast album and soundtrack combined)

Quotable: “One of the great Lerner & Loewe musicals” – Wikipedia

Awards (Cast Album and Soundtrack): (Click on award to learn more).

About the Show:

Lerner & Loewe turned to the legend of King Arthur, specifically T.H. White’s novel The Once and Future King, for their 1960 musical Camelot. Initially, Loewe agreed to write the music, but said he had no interest in the project and that it would be his last score if things went badly. WK-C The production of the show was delayed when Lerner had to seek medical attention after his wife left him. WK-C The show initially ran too long with Lerner noting that “only Tristan and Isolde equaled it as a bladder endurance contest.” WK-C

However, the result was a success. “The advance sale for the show was the largest in Broadway history.” WK-C It opened on December 3, 1960, at the Majestic Theatre and ran for 873 performances. WK-C It starred Richard Burton and Julie Andrews and introduced Robert Goulet in his first Broadway role. WK-C It also won four Tony Awards.

Initial reaction from New York critics was mixed, but a 1993 New York Times review noted that the musical “has grown in stature over the years, primarily because of its superb score.... [which] combined a lyrical simplicity with a lush romanticism.” WK-C A 2003 review said “Camelot has it all – a beautiful English princess swept off her feet by a shy, but passionate bachelor king; an ardent French knight, torn between devotion to his liege and an uncontrollable hunger, reciprocated, to be sure, for the king’s tempestuous wife.” WK-C

The story follows Arthur and Guinevere from their first meeting when they have yet to meet, but stumble across each other accidentally. Arthur – still unknown to Guinevere – persuades her of the joys of Camelot in the title song and she agrees to marry him.

Lancelot, a young Frenchman, enters the picture five years later when he comes to become one of Arthur’s knights after hearing about the Round Table, “a democratic system built around the idea of “a new kind of knight – one that does not pillage and fight, but tries to uphold honor and justice.” WC-C He is devoted to Arthur, but he and Guinevere battle feelings for each other.

Their forbidden love is uncovered by Mordred, Arthur’s illegitimate son, who is determined to overthrow Camelot. He accuses them of treason and Arthur, born by his own law, is obliged to burn Guinevere at the stake. To his relief, the escaped Lancelot returns to save her.

Before Mordred attacks Camelot, Arthur meets Lancelot and Guinevere and forgives them. In camp the night before battle, Arthur is inspired by boy named Tom of Warwick who wishes to join the Round Table. Arthur instructs him “to run behind the lines and survive the battle, so he can tell future generations about the legend of Camelot.” WK-S

The 1964 film version directed by Joshua Logan snagged eight Oscars, but ultimately fell short of the Broadway version. “There wasn’t time for half a dozen songs, which have been deleted, leaving the highlights.” WR-S Richard “Harris is a much more demonstrative King Arthur than Burton, overplaying his role as if he's trying to be a royal Henry Higgins, as played by Rex Harrison (in My Fair Lady).” WR-S Vanessa “Redgrave has the impossible task of replacing Andrews…in fact, she can’t sing.” WR-S Franco Nero, who stepped in as Lancelot, had the singing done by Gene Merlino, who’s “ not a patch on Goulet. The result is a mediocre soundtrack album that really doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as the original Broadway cast recording.” WR-S

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 6/10/2011; last updated 12/24/2021.