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:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Katy Perry hit #1 with “Firework”

Last updated 2/7/2021.


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 (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 11.0 US, 1.2 UK, 13.31 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.3 radio, 1268.57 video, 200.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The third single from Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album was a dance-pop anthem to self-empowerment. Perry pronounced “Firework” as her favorite song from the Teenage Dream 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.

Resources and Related Links:

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:

Mojo: Top 100 Songs

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

Mojo is a monthly UK magazine first published in October 1993. They have published multiple best-of lists over the years. Below is an exclusive Dave’s Music Database list in which 15 song-based lists (see links at bottom of page) from Mojo hae been aggregated into one best-of list.

1. Sex Pistols…God Save the Queen (1977)
2. Nirvana…Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
3. The Ronettes…Be My Baby (1963)
4. Oasis…Live Forever (1994)
5. Marvin Gaye…I Heard It Through the Grapevine (1968)
6. Ike & Tina Turner…River Deep, Mountain High (1966)
7. Queen…Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)
8. Aretha Franklin…Respect (1967)
9. The Miracles…The Tracks of My Tears (1965)
10. Stevie Wonder…Superstition (1972)

11. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five…The Message (1982)
12. The Beach Boys…God Only Knows (1966)
13. The La’s…There She Goes (1990)
14. Pulp…Common People (1995)
15. The Kingsmen…Louie Louie (1963)
16. Bob Dylan…Like a Rolling Stone (1965)
17. The Beatles…Revolution (1968)
18. The Rolling Stones…(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (1965)
19. The Beatles…Hey Jude (1968)
20. The Beatles…Penny Lane (1967)

21. The Rolling Stones…Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1968)
22. The Beatles…Paperback Writer (1966)
23. The Beatles…Rain (1966)
24. The Righteous Brothers…You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (1965)
25. Billie Holiday…Strange Fruit (1939)
26. Procol Harum…A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)
27. The Beatles…I Want to Hold Your Hand (1963)
28. Chuck Berry…Johnny B. Goode (1958)
29. The Smiths…This Charming Man (1983)
30. The Who…My Generation (1966)

31. Ray Charles…What’d I Say (1959)
32. The Jimi Hendrix Experience…Purple Haze (1967)
33. The Beatles…Strawberry Fields Forever (1967)
34. The Beach Boys…Good Vibrations (1966)
35. The Jackson 5…I Want You Back (1969)
36. Elvis Presley…Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
37. Four Tops…Reach Out (I’ll Be There) (1966)
38. Sex Pistols…Anarchy in the U.K. (1976)
39. The Byrds…Eight Miles High (1966)
40. Kate Bush…Wuthering Heights (1978)

41. Otis Redding…(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay (1968)
42. Blue Oyster Cult…(Don’t Fear) The Reaper (1976)
43. The Animals…The House of the Rising Sun (1964)
44. ? and the Mysterians…96 Tears (1966)
45. The Specials…Ghost Town (1981)
46. Squeeze…Up the Junction (1979)
47. The Small Faces…Itchycoo Park (1967)
48. Simon & Garfunkel…Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
49. The Dils…I Hate the Rich (1978)
50. Marvin Gaye…What’s Going On (1971)

51. Sex Pistols…Holidays in the Sun (1977)
52. Martha & the Vandellas…Dancing in the Street (1964)
53. Edwin Starr…War (1970)
54. The Undertones…Teenage Kicks (1978)
55. The Clash…White Riot (1977)
56. The Poni Tails…Born Too Late (1958)
57. The Byrds…Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)
58. Sam Cooke…A Change Is Gonna Come (1965)
59. Marvin Gaye…Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (1971)
60. Derek and the Dominos…Layla (1971)

61. Stevie Wonder…Living for the City (1973)
62. Don McLean…American Pie (1971)
63. The Kinks…You Really Got Me (1964)
64. Link Wray and His Men…Rumble (1958)
65. R.E.M….Losing My Religion (1991)
66. James Brown…Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag (1965)
67. Booker T. & the MG’s…Green Onions (1962)
68. The Rolling Stones…Sympathy for the Devil (1968)
69. Del Shannon…Runaway (1961)
70. Manic Street Preachers…A Design for Life (1996)

71. David Bowie…Space Oddity (1969)
72. John Lennon…Imagine (1971)
73. This Mortal Coil…Song to the Siren (1984)
74. The Small Faces…Tin Soldier (1967)
75. The Kinks…Waterloo Sunset (1967)
76. Massive Attack…Unfinished Sympathy (1991)
77. Buddy Holly & the Crickets…That’ll Be the Day (1957)
78. Eddie Cochran…Summertime Blues (1958)
79. Mott the Hoople…All the Young Dudes (1972)
80. Jimmy Ruffin…What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (1966)

81. Primal Scream…Higher Than the Sun (1991)
82. Frankie Goes to Hollywood…Two Tribes (1984)
83. Oasis…Wonderwall (1995)
84. Oasis…Champagne Supernova (1996)
85. Chic…Good Times (1979)
86. McAlmont & Butler…Yes (1995)
87. Radiohead…Creep (1993)
88. The Jimi Hendrix Experience…Hey Joe (1966)
89. The Temptations…My Girl (1965)
90. Martha & the Vandellas…Heat Wave (1963)

91. The Smiths…How Soon Is Now? (1984)
92. Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps…Be-Bop-A-Lula (1956)
93. Ramones…Blitzkrieg Bop (1976)
94. Television Personalities…Part-Time Punks (1978)
95. Pete Seeger…We Shall Overcome (1963)
96. Kraftwerk…Autobahn (1974)
97. Subway Sect …Ambition (1978)
98. Ultravox…Vienna (1981)
99. Fairport Convention…Who Knows Where the Time Goes (1969)
100. R.E.M….Everybody Hurts (1993)

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.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Red Nichols charted with “I Got Rhythm” 80 years ago (12/6/1930)

Last updated 4/12/2020.

I Got Rhythm

Red Nichols

Writer(s): George Gershwin/ Ira Gershwin (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 6, 1930

Peak: 5 US, 16 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

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

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.04 video, -- streaming


About the Song:

“I Got Rhythm” was originally written for 1928’s Treasure Girl, but didn’t get used. SB George Gershwin took the initial slower melody and upped the tempo. TY The song surfaced again in the 1930 show Girl Crazy, featuring a 21-year-old Ethel Merman TM in her Broadway debut. MM “With a clarion contralto that could shatter glass and shoo away the blues,” TM she made the song into a “perky spirit rouser in the first year of the Great Depression.” TM

Merman also reportedly stole the limelight from Ginger Rogers, who was featured in her first leading role singing two of the show’s other classics, “Embraceable You” and “But Not for Me.” SB Merman would serve as the “sassy muse” in Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun, and Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy. TM

Red Nichols, who led the show’s all-star orchestra including Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, and Glenn Miller, SB also charted with the song, taking it to #5. Ethel Waters and Louis Armstrong each took the song to #17. The Happenings revived it in 1967 with their #3 JA million-selling version. SB Others to tackle it include Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Erroll Garner, Lena Horne, Django Reinhadt, Sarah Vaughn, Fats Waller, Roger Williams, and Teddy Wilson. MM

The song is “probably the most widely heard Gershwin song and the one most commonly recorded by instrumentalists.” SB It is “a standout for jazz performers” JA who “must know intuitively its changes and its plain AABA architecture, a matrix for improvisation as essential as the twelve-bar blues.” MM Jazz artists Sidney Bechet, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker all used variations of the song’s rhythm changes for improvisation. SB Will Friedwald, author of Stardust Melodies, says, “It would be impossible to name a melody or set of chord sequences that has withstood more interpretations and variations.” SB

Resources and Related Links:

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3, 1960: Camelot opened on Broadway

Originally posted June 10, 2011. Last updated September 3, 2018.

Camelot (cast/soundtrack)

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

Opened on Broadway: December 3, 1960

Cast Album Recorded: December 11, 1960

Cast Album Charted: January 23, 1961

Soundtrack Charted: November 11, 1967

Sales (in millions):
US: 0.5 C, 1.0 S
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): 1.5 C+S

US: 16-C, 11 S
UK: 37 S
Canada: --
Australia: --

C cast album
S soundtrack

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

Genre: show tunes

Album Tracks – 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)

Album Tracks – 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


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

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Alan Jackson Retrospective

First posted 12/5/2020.

A Retrospective: 1989-2010

Alan Jackson

A Brief History: Country singer Alan Jackson was born October 17, 1958 in Newnan, Georgia. He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was inducted into the Country Musci Hall of Fame in 2017. He has sold over 75 million records worldwide, had 35 #1 songs, won two Grammys, 16 Country Music Association (CMA) awards, and 17 Association of Country Music (ACM) awards.


The above compilations are spotlighted on this page. The snapshots of the studio albums listed below will indicate all songs featured on any of these compilations, noted with the codes above. Appearing after song titles are the songwriters in italicized parentheses, running times in brackets, and when relevant, the date the song was released as a single and its peaks on various charts. Click for codes to singles charts.

The Studio Albums:
  • Here in the Real World (1990)
  • Don’t Rock the Jukebox (1991)
  • A Lot About Livin’ and a Little ‘Bout Love (1992)
  • Who I Am (1994)
  • Everything I Own (1996)
  • High Mileage (1998)
  • Under the Influence (1999)
  • When Somebody Loves You (2000)
  • Drive (2002)
  • Good Time (2008)

Here in the Real World (1990):

  • Here in the Real World (1/13/90, 3 CW) G1, VB, 34
  • Wanted (6/23/90, 3 CW) G1, 34
  • Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow (10/6/90, 2 CW) G1, VB, 34
  • I’d Love You All Over Again (1/19/91, 12 CW) G1, 34
  • Home (4/20/96, 3 CW) G1, 34

Don’t Rock the Jukebox (1991):

  • Don’t Rock the Jukebox (4/29/91, 13 CW) G1, VB, 34
  • Someday (8/19/91, 11 CW) G1, 34
  • Dallas (12/30/91, 11 CW) G1, 34
  • Midnight in Montgomery (4/25/92, 3 CW) G1, VB, 34
  • Love’s Got a Hold on You (7/13/92, 12 CW) G1, 34

A Lot About Livin’ and a Little ‘Bout Love (1992):

  • She’s Got the Rhythm and I Got the Blues (10/5/92, 11 CW) G1, VB, 34
  • Tonight I Climbed the Wall (2/6/93, 4 CW) 34
  • Chattahoochee (5/21/93, 46 US, 14 CW, sales: ½ million) G1, VB, 34
  • Mercury Blues (9/18/93, 2 CW) G1
  • Who Says You Can’t Have It All (1/29/94, 4 CW) G1, 34

Who I Am (1994):

  • Summertime Blues (6/6/94, 13 CW, airplay: 3 million) G1, 34
  • Gone Country (8/27/94, 11 CW) G1, VB, 34
  • Livin’ on Love (8/29/94, 13 CW) G1, VB, 34
  • I Don’t Even Know Your Name (5/13/95, 11 CW) G1, 34

The Greatest Hits Collection

Alan Jackson

Released: October 24, 1995

Recorded: 1989-1995

Peak: 5 US, 14 CW, -- UK, 14 CN, 46 AU

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, -- UK, 7.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country

Tracks: (1) Chattahoochee (2) Gone Country (3) She’s Got the Rhythm and I Got the Blues (4) Midnight in Montgomery (5) Tall, Tall Trees (6) Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow (7) I’ll Try (8) Don’t Rock the Jukebox (9) Livin’ on Love (10) Summertime Blues (11) Love’s Got a Hold on You (12) Who Says You Can’t Have It All (13) Home (14) Wanted (15) I Don’t Even Know Your Name (16) Dallas (17) Here in the Real World (18) Someday (19) Mercury Blues (20) I’d Love You All Over Again

Total Running Time: 66:24


4.217 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About The Greatest Hits Collection:

Alan Jackson’s first greatest-hits set collected 18 songs from his first four albums alongside two new songs (Tall Tall Trees, I’ll Try). Every one of these songs hit the top 5 on the country charts and 13 of them went to #1.

Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Tall, Tall Trees (10/21/95, 12 CW) G1, VB, 34
  • I’ll Try (12/30/95, 11 CW) G1, 34

Everything I Love (1996):

  • Little Bitty (10/26/96, 58 US, 13 CW) G2, VB, 34
  • Everything I Love (1/18/97, 9) G2, VB
  • Who’s Cheatin’ Who (4/12/97, 2 CW) G2, VB, 34
  • There Goes (7/12/97, 11 CW) G2, 34
  • Between the Devil and Me (10/11/97, 2 CW) 34

High Mileage (1998):

  • I’ll Go on Loving You (8/1/98, 3 CW) G2
  • Right on the Money (10/17/98, 43 US, 11 CW) G2, VB, 34
  • Gone Crazy (2/6/99, 43 US, 4 CW) G2
  • Little Man (5/29/99, 38 US, 3 CW) G2, VB

Under the Influence (1999):

  • Pop a Top (10/9/99, 43 US, 6 CW) G2, VB
  • The Blues Man (2/19/00, 37 CW) G2
  • It Must Be Love (4/29/00, 37 US, 11 CW, 0.2 airplay) G2, VB, 34

When Somebody Loves You (2000):

  • www.memory (10/7/00, 45 US, 6 CW) G2, VB
  • Where I Come From (11/25/00, 34 US, 13 CW, 0.3 million) G2, 34
  • When Somebody Loves You (3/10/01, 52 US, 5 CW) G2

Drive (2002):

  • Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning (11/24/01, 28 US, 15 CW, airplay: 0.2 million) G2, VB, 34
  • Drive (For Daddy Gene) (2/2/02, 28 US, 14 CW, 0.2 million) G2, VB, 34

Greatest Hits 2 and Some Other Stuff

Alan Jackson

Released: August 12, 2003

Recorded: 1996-2003

Peak: 11 US, 111 CW, 47 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, -- UK, 6.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country

Tracks, Disc 1: (1) Little Bitty (2) Everything I Love (3) Who’s Cheatin’ Who (4) There Goes (5) I’ll Go on Loving You (6) Right on the Money (7) Gone Crazy (8) Little Man (9) Pop a Top (10) The Blues Man (11) It Must Be Love (12) www.memory (13) When Somebody Loves You (14) Where I Come From (15) Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning (16) Drive (For Daddy Gene) (17) It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (with Jimmy Buffett) (18) Remember When

Tracks, Disc 2: (1) Job Description (2) Tropical Depression (3) Let’s Get Back to Me and You (4) You Can’t Give Up on Love (5) Hole in the Wall (6) Buicks to the Moon (7) When Love Comes Around (8) The Sounds

Total Running Time: 96:46


4.529 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About Greatest Hits 2 and Some Other Stuff:

Jackson’s second compilation featured 16 songs from the five studio albums he released from 1996 to 2002 as well as ten new songs. 17 of these songs were top-10 country hits; nine of them went to #1.

Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (with Jimmy Buffett) (6/21/03, 17 US, 18 CW, sales: ½ million, airplay: 0.3 million) G2, VB, 34
  • Remember When (11/8/03, 29 US, 12 CW, sales: 1 million, airplay: 0.3 million) G2, 34
  • Job Description G2
  • Tropical Depression G2
  • Let’s Get Back to Me and You G2
  • You Can’t Give Up on Love G2
  • Hole in the Wall G2
  • Buicks to the Moon G2
  • When Love Comes Around G2
  • The Sounds G2

The Very Best of

Alan Jackson

Released: June 14, 2004

Recorded: 1989-2003

Peak: -- US, 47 UK, -- CN, -- AU

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

Genre: country

Tracks: (1) Gone Country (2) Drive (For Daddy Gene) (3) Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning (4) www.memory (5) It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (with Jimmy Buffett) (6) Chattahoochee (7) She’s Got the Rhythm and I Got the Blues (8) Midnight in Montgomery (9) Little Man (10 Pop a Top (11) Don’t Rock the Jukebox (12) Little Bitty (13) Here in the Real World (14) Livin’ on Love (15) Who’s Cheatin’ Who (16) Tall, Tall Trees (17) Right on the Money (18) Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow (19) It Must Be Love (20) Everything I Love

Total Running Time: 69:52


3.815 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)

About The Very Best of:

This international release was a consolidation of The Greatest Hits Collection and Greatest Hits 2 and Some Other Stuff into a single-disc retrospective.

Good Time (2008):

  • Small Town Southern Man (11/19/07, 42 US, 12 CW) 34
  • Good Time (4/21/08, 40 US, 12 CW, airplay: 0.5 million) 34
  • Country Boy (9/29/08, 49 US, 11 CW) 34

34 Number Ones

Alan Jackson

Released: November 23, 2010

Recorded: 1989-2010

Peak: 37 US, 7 CW, -- UK, 77 CN, 7 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: country

Tracks, Disc 1: (1) Ring of Fire (2) Here in the Real World (3) Wanted (4) Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow (5) I’d Love You All Over Again (6) Don’t Rock the Jukebox (7) Someday (8) Dallas (9) Midnight in Montgomery (10) Love’s Got a Hold on You (11) She’s Got the Rhythm and I Got the Blues (12) Tonight I Climbed the Wall (13) Chattahoochee (14) Who Says You Can’t Have It All (15) Summertime Blues (16) Livin’ on Love (17) Gone Country (18) I Don’t Even Know Your Name (19) Tall, Tall Trees

Tracks, Disc 2: (1) As She’s Walking Away (2) Look at Me (3) I’ll Try (4) Home (5) Little Bitty (6) Who’s Cheatin’ Who (7) There Goes (8) Between the Devil and Me (9) Right on the Money (10) It Must Be Love (11) Where I Come From (12) Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning (13) Drive (For Daddy Gene) (14) It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (with Jimmy Buffett) (15) Remember When (16) Small Town Southern Man (17) Good Time (18) Country Boy

Total Running Time: 132:48


4.232 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

About 34 Number Ones:

It’s not clear what charts are being referenced that suggest Alan Jackson had 34 #1’s since only 25 of these songs hit the top of the Billboard country song chart. Quibbling aside, this is a nice overview of Jackson’s career. The collection features three songs not previously available on an Alan Jackson album. Look at Me was from the 2008 soundtrack Billy: The Early Years and As Long As She’s Walking Away was first released on Zac Brown Band’s You Get What You Give album. Jackson also turns in a cover of Ring of Fire, a song made famous by Johnny Cash.

Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Look at Me (2008)
  • As She’s Walking Away (with Zac Brown Band) (8/9/10, 32 US, 12 CW, 0.1 million airplay)
  • Ring of Fire (12/11/10, 45 CW)

Resources and Related Links: