Monday, February 28, 2011

Q Magazine's Top 100 Albums of All Time

First posted 2/28/2011; updated 8/12/2020.

Q Magazine:

The Top 100 Albums

Q magazine is a British magazine that has been around since the mid-‘80s. While its U.S. counterparts seem dead-set on always putting a scantily clad babe on their covers or shoving in non-musical content that supposedly fits the same demographic, Q is all music. Over the years, they’ve put out a number of best-of-all-time album lists. I’ve aggregated 16 of them (see the links at the bottom of the page) for a ranking you won’t find in any of their magazines.

Also, check out annual picks for album of the year.

1. Radiohead OK Computer (1997)
2. Oasis Definitely Maybe (1994)
3. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses (1989)
4. The Verve Urban Hymns (1997)
5. Primal Scream Screamadelica (1991)
6. Blur Parklife (1994)
7. Oasis What’s the Story Morning Glory (1995)
8. Radiohead The Bends (1995)
9. Nirvana Nevermind (1991)
10. U2 Achtung Baby (1991)

11. The Smiths The Queen Is Dead (1986)
12. Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)
13. Massive Attack Blue Lines (1991)
14. The Beatles Revolver (1966)
15. The Clash London Calling (1979)
16. Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
17. U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)
18. R.E.M. Automatic for the People (1992)
19. David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
20. Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)

21. Manic Street Preachers Everything Must Go (1996)
22. Pulp Different Class (1995)
23. The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
24. Jeff Buckley Grace (1994)
25. Kate Bush Hounds of Love (1985)
26. The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed (1969)
27. Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987)
28. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
29. Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible (1994)
30. Velvet Underground & Nico Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

31. David Bowie Hunky Dory (1971)
32. Nirvana In Utero (1993)
33. The Prodigy Fat of the Land (1997)
34. Prince Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987)
35. Portishead Dummy (1994)
36. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
37. The Strokes Is This It (2001)
38. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
39. Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks (1975)
40. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (1972)

41. Van Morrison Astral Weeks (1968)
42. Coldplay Parachutes (2000)
43. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
44. Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole (1997)
45. Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill (1995)
46. Depeche Mode Violator (1990)
47. Madonna Ray of Light (1998)
48. Pearl Jam Ten (1991)
49. Beck Odelay (1996)
50. Stereophonics Word Gets Around (1997)

51. The Beatles Abbey Road (1969)
52. Radiohead Kid A (2000)
53. The Beatles Rubber Soul (1965)
54. Queen A Night at the Opera (1975)
55. Joy Division Unknown Pleasures (1979)
56. The Pixies Doolittle (1989)
57. Joy Division Closer (1980)
58. Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication (1999)
59. Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
60. Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977)

61. Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (1975)
62. Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)
63. Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti (1975)
64. The Who Who’s Next (1971)
65. The Specials The Specials (1979)
66. Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971)
67. Pink Floyd The Wall (1979)
68. Muse Origin of Symmetry (2001)
69. The Human League Dare! (1981)
70. The Jam All Mod Cons (1978)

71. The Cure Disintegration (1989)
72. The Prodigy Music for the Jilted Generation (1994)
73. Happy Mondays Pills ‘N’ Thrills and Bellyaches (1990)
74. Leftfield Leftism (1995)
75. Travis The Man Who (1999)
76. Metallica Metallica (aka “The Black Album”) (1991) 77. Moby Play (1999)
78. R.E.M. Out of Time (1991)
79. PJ Harvey Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)
80. The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971)

81. Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006)
82. Muse Black Holes & Revelations (2006)
83. Gorillaz Demon Days (2005)
84. The White Stripes White Blood Cells (2001)
85. Roxy Music For Your Pleasure (1973)
86. Radiohead In Rainbows (2007)
87. Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
88. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland (1968)
89. The Libertines Up the Bracket (2002)
90. Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

91. Nick Drake Bryter Layter (1970)
92. Amy Winehouse Back to Black (2006)
93. The Small Faces Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake (1968)
94. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975)
95. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
96. Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine (1992)
97. My Bloody Valentine Loveless (1991)
98. David Bowie Low (1977)
99. Oasis Be Here Now (1997)
100. Dexy’s Midnight Runners Searching for the Young Soul Rebels (1980)

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lady Gaga debuted at #1 with “Born This Way”

Born This Way

Lady Gaga

Writer(s): Lady Gaga, Fernando Garibay, Jeppe Laursen, DJ White Shadow (see lyrics here)

Released: February 11, 2011

First Charted: February 13, 2011

Peak: 16 US, 11 BA, 14 DG, 11 RR, 22 AC, 7 A40, 3 UK, 17 CN, 11 AU, 6 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.94 UK, 10.45 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 380.65 video, 516.95 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Born This Way” was the lead single from Lady Gaga’s second studio album of the same name. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top in more than 25 countries. It set a Guinness World Record for fastest-selling single on iTunes with more than a million copies solid in its first five days. WK It also set a record for its first week airplay audience of 78.5 million. SF

Gaga called it “her freedom song,” explaining to Billboard that it harkened “back to the early ‘90s, when Madonna, En Vogue, Whitney Houston, and TLC were making very empowering music and the gay community.” WK The lyrics “talk about empowerment, while the chorus talks about making no apologies and accepting one as themselves.” WK

The Guardian’s Michael Cragg said “Born This Way” an “almost disco anthem” and that the music’s “campiness” made the lyrics sound less serious than they were. WK Artist Direct’s Rick Florino called it “an immediate pop classic.” WK Forbes’ Meghan Casserly referred to as “the next girl power song.” WK Digital Spy’s Nick Levine said it as a “life-affirming equality anthem, a straight-up club pumper and a flat-out fantastic pop song.” WK

The song did garner some criticism in the Asian and Hispanic communities for using terms deemed offensive and deragotary. SF Spin’s Kevin O’Donnell pointed out lyrical similarities to Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and criticized her, saying “imagine what she’d come up with if she’d spent more than ten minutes writing.” WK

It was also pointed out that it had “similar chords, same uplifting, girl-power theme…[and] same tempo” WK as Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” Gaga defended her song, saying “the only similarities are the chord progression. It’s the same one that’s been in disco music for the last 50 years.” SF The Daily Telegraph’s Neil McCormick said the reworking was “a bit too much Madonna for someone who is trying to establish her own identity as, er, new Madonna.” WK


Related Links:

First posted 4/2/2021; last updated 7/24/2023.

Adele hit #1 in UK with “Someone Like You”

Someone Like You


Writer(s): Adele/Dan Wilson (see lyrics here)

Released: January 24, 2011

First Charted: February 5, 2011

Peak: 15 US, 12 BA, 14 DG, 2 RR, 14 AC, 19 A40, 2 AA, 15 UK, 2 CN, 17 AU, 4 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 3.0 UK, 17.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1832.5 video, 1616.33 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” hit the charts in late-2010 as the predecessor to her album, 21. In the UK, the song peaked at #2 while it went all the way to the top in the US and was named song of the year by Billboard magazine, Dave’s Music Database, and a slew of other publications. The follow-up single seemingly had no other awards to offer Adele for her mantelpiece. However, when “Someone Like You” was released in the UK just a couple weeks after 21 it pulled off one of the few feats “Deep” couldn’t – it hit #1 in the UK. The song leapt from 47 to 1 after Adele performed it at the 2011 Brit Awards. The MTV Video Music Awards had a similar effect on the song in the U.S., where the song topped the charts nearly eight months later. SF It was the biggest selling song of the year in her native UK. WK

Critics responded well to the song as well. No Ripchord’s Gary McGinley said the song bore “the hallmarks of a modern standard.” WK MTV UK’s Joanne Dorken called it a “heartfelt and enchanting piano ballad.” WK The Guardian’s Will Dean called it the “highlight” of the 21 album. WK’s Bill Lamb said “romantic pain has rarely been so utterly beautiful.” WK Pitchfork Media’s Tom Breihan said of the song, “Sometimes, pop music can still break your heart.” WK

Adele wrote the song about the end of her relationship with her ex-boyfriend after she found out he was engaged to someone else. Unlike “Deep,” which conveyed an “I’ll be fine without you” message, “Someone Like You” was about the fear of being alone years later after an ex was married, had kids, and was happy. WK She called it her “most articulate song…it’s not trying to be clever…it’s just so honest.” SF

Billboard magazine said it was the first piano-and-vocal-only ballad to top the Hot 100 since the chart began in 1958. SF She and co-writer Dan Wilson recorded the song as a demo with the intent of later adding strings and a choir, but after everyone they played it for cried, they left it as is. SF

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the British singles chart, the Official Charts Company asked the public to vote for their favorite single of the last six decades. “Someone Like You” came in third behind Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” WK


Last updated 7/24/2023.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Billboard: The DMDB Ranking of the Hot 100 Chart Toppers

Billboard magazine has just hit a major milestone – Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” becomes the 1,000th song to top the Hot 100 in the chart’s 52-year history. (See full story here). In celebration of the event, Dave’s Music Database has assembled its own list. How do those 1000 songs stack up in the DMDB rankings when other elements are factored in, such as sales, radio airplay, awards, success on other charts, and placement on best-of lists by multiple publications? Well, the results are below. By the way, this offers a glimpse into the DMDB book Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999 (available here). 58 of the songs on this list appear in that book. By the way, if you’re interested in seeing a straight ranking of the #1 songs based solely on weeks at #1, check out the DMDB list “The Biggest #1 Pop Songs in U.S. Chart History.”

  1. The Beatles…Hey Jude (1968)
  2. The Rolling Stones…(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (1965)
  3. The Police…Every Breath You Take (1983)
  4. Marvin Gaye…I Heard It Through the Grapevine (1968)
  5. Whitney Houston…I Will Always Love You (1992)
  6. Simon & Garfunkel…Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
  7. Eagles…Hotel California (1977)
  8. The Beach Boys…Good Vibrations (1966)
  9. Otis Redding…(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay (1968)
  10. Aretha Franklin…Respect (1967)

  11. The Beatles…Yesterday (1965)
  12. Michael Jackson…Billie Jean (1983)
  13. The Beatles…I Want to Hold Your Hand (1963)
  14. Elton John…Candle in the Wind 1997 (1997)
  15. Roy Orbison…Oh, Pretty Woman (1965)
  16. Don McLean…American Pie (1971)
  17. The Righteous Brothers…You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (1964)
  18. The Beatles…Let It Be (1970)
  19. The Animals…The House of the Rising Sun (1964)
  20. Bobby Darin…Mack the Knife (1959)

  21. Celine Dion…My Heart Will Go On (1997)
  22. The Doors…Light My Fire (1967)
  23. Percy Sledge…When a Man Loves a Woman (1966)
  24. Bryan Adams…(Everything I Do) I Do It for You (1991)
  25. Bee Gees…Stayin’ Alive (1977)
  26. The Temptations…My Girl (1965)
  27. Guns N’ Roses…Sweet Child O’ Mine (1988)
  28. Prince…When Doves Cry (1984)
  29. Stevie Wonder…Superstition (1972)
  30. U.S.A. for Africa…We Are the World (1985)

  31. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts…I Love Rock and Roll (1981)
  32. Rod Stewart…Maggie May (1971)
  33. Chubby Checker…The Twist (1960)
  34. Four Tops…Reach Out (I’ll Be There) (1966)
  35. Sinead O’Connor…Nothing Compares 2 U (1990)
  36. Roberta Flack…Killing Me Softly with His Song (1973)
  37. Abba…Dancing Queen (1976)
  38. The Rolling Stones…Honky Tonk Women (1969)
  39. Ray Charles…I Can’t Stop Loving You (1962)
  40. U2…With Or Without You (1987)

  41. Michael Jackson…Beat It (1983)
  42. Al Green…Let’s Stay Together (1971)
  43. Simon & Garfunkel…Mrs. Robinson (1968)
  44. OutKast…Hey Ya! (2003)
  45. Pink Floyd…Another Brick in the Wall Part II (1979)
  46. Gloria Gaynor…I Will Survive (1978)
  47. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross…Endless Love (1981)
  48. Elvis Presley…Suspicious Minds (1969)
  49. The Beatles…She Loves You (1963)
  50. Mariah Carey…We Belong Together (2005)

  51. Kim Carnes…Bette Davis Eyes (1981)
  52. Del Shannon…Runaway (1961)
  53. Ray Charles…Georgia on My Mind (1960)
  54. Elvis Presley…It’s Now Or Never (1960)
  55. The Everly Brothers…All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958)
  56. The Monkees…I’m a Believer (1966)
  57. The Fifth Dimension…Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (1969)
  58. The Human League…Don’t You Want Me? (1981)
  59. Barbra Streisand…The Way We Were (1973)
  60. George Harrison…My Sweet Lord (1970)

  61. The Archies…Sugar Sugar (1969)
  62. Simon & Garfunkel…The Sound of Silence (1965)
  63. Roberta Flack…The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (1972)
  64. Los Del Rio…Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) (1995)
  65. Rihanna with Jay-Z…Umbrella (2007)
  66. The Byrds…Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)
  67. The Jackson 5…I Want You Back (1969)
  68. Boyz II Men…I’ll Make Love to You (1994)
  69. Debby Boone…You Light Up My Life (1977)
  70. Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris…Yeah! (2004)

  71. George Michael…Careless Whisper (1984)
  72. Boyz II Men…End of the Road (1992)
  73. Cher…Believe (1998)
  74. Beyonce with Jay-Z…Crazy in Love (2003)
  75. Frank Sinatra…Strangers in the Night (1966)
  76. Chic…Le Freak (1978)
  77. Tina Turner…What’s Love Got to Do with It (1984)
  78. The Rolling Stones…Brown Sugar (1971)
  79. Santana with Rob Thomas…Smooth (1999)
  80. Coolio with L.V….Gangsta’s Paradise (1995)

  81. Puff Daddy with Faith Evans & 112…I’ll Be Missing You (1997)
  82. Mariah Carey with Boyz II Men…One Sweet Day (1995)
  83. Blondie…Heart of Glass (1979)
  84. Irene Cara…Flashdance…What a Feelin’ (1983)
  85. Madonna…Like a Prayer (1989)
  86. Dionne & Friends…That’s What Friends Are For (1985)
  87. Isaac Hayes…Theme from ‘Shaft’ (1971)
  88. The Beatles…Penny Lane (1967)
  89. Three Dog Night…Joy to the World (1971)
  90. Survivor…Eye of the Tiger (1982)

  91. Toni Braxton…Un-Break My Heart (1996)
  92. Bee Gees…How Deep Is Your Love (1977)
  93. Eminem…Lose Yourself (2002)
  94. Kenny Rogers…Lady (1980)
  95. The Shirelles…Will You Love Me Tomorrow (1960)
  96. The Beatles…Help! (1965)
  97. Bee Gees…Night Fever (1978)
  98. Gladys Knight & the Pips…Midnight Train to Georgia (1973)
  99. Tony Orlando & Dawn…Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree (1973)
  100. The Platters…Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (1958)

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Radiohead The King of Limbs released

The King of Limbs


Released: February 18, 2011

Peak: 3 US, 7 UK, 5 CN, 2 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.37 US, 0.1 UK

Genre: experimental alternative rock


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

  1. Bloom [5:15] (7/15/11, --)
  2. Morning Mr. Magpie [4:41]
  3. Little by Little [4:27] (7/4/11, --)
  4. Feral [3:13]
  5. Lotus Flower [5:01] (3/19/01, 20 AA, 33 MR)
  6. Codex [4:47] (8/15/11, --)
  7. Give Up the Ghost [4:50] (8/15/11, --)
  8. Separator [5:20] (7/29/11, --)

All songs written by Radiohead.

Total Running Time: 37:34

The Players:

  • Thom Yorke (vocals)
  • Jonny Greenwood (guitar, keyboards)
  • Ed O’Brien (guitar, effects)
  • Colin Greenwood (bass)
  • Phil Selway (drums)


3.612 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)

About the Album:

“After a brief return to earth to deliver the tart, focused In Rainbows, Radiohead drift back into the ether with The King of Limbs. Like In Rainbows before it, the actuality of The King of Limbs is purposefully somewhat obscured by the hullabaloo surrounding the album’s surprise release – announced for a Saturday release on a Monday, shifted to a Friday.” AMG Also like its predecessor, KOL was released in a digital only format initially – on February 18, 2011 – and then released in a physical format later – on March 28, 2011. WK

“In the case of KOL, such clamor is needed. Wispy and ephemeral, shimmering skin draped over the barest of bones, The King of Limbs doesn’t deliberately lack a solid foundation, songwriting traded for sound construction. Masters of mood that they are, Radiohead digitally weave stuttering, glitchy loops of drums and guitars with real instruments, Thom Yorke’s mournful moan and keening falsetto acting as a binding agent, creating an alluringly dour atmosphere.” AMG

“Despite a pair of intellectually funky moments – Morning Mr. Magpie and Little by Little, grouped together at the beginning, giving the album a slight hint of momentum that quickly fades – this is rather monochromatic and not too far removed from the territory Radiohead began etching out with Kid A. Where that icy 2000 effort had the bracing chill of the new, The King of Limbs is familiar – not commonplace, but carrying a certain inevitability as its eight songs slowly unspool. There are no surprises in the floating textures, no delight in the details, no astonishment in how the band navigates intricate turns: this is the sound of Radiohead doing what they do, doing it very well, doing it without flash or pretension, gently easing from the role of pioneers to craftsmen.” AMG As Pitchfork Media’s Mark Pytlik said, it “well-worn terrain for Radiohead, and while it continues to yield rewarding results, the band’s signature game-changing ambition is missed.” WK

“With eight tracks, and just over thirty-seven minutes of music, The King of Limbs is Radiohead’s shortest album to date. In 2009, commenting on the nature of future Radiohead releases, Thom Yorke stated that: ‘None of us want to go into that creative hoo-ha of a long-play record again. Not straight off. I mean, it’s just become a real drag. It worked with In Rainbows because we had a real fixed idea about where we were going. But we’ve all said that we can’t possibly dive into that again. It’ll kill us.’” WK

“Michael Brodeur of The Boston Globe praised ‘the tense calm these eight songs maintain – a composure that feels constantly ready to crack’, commenting that ‘where In Rainbows was mellow but brisk – an album that felt on its way somewhere – these songs are eerie and insidious, creeping like shadows – and, often because of the haunting voice of Thom Yorke, the occasional chill.’” WK

PopMatters called it “a beautiful record, one that begs more of a conscious listen than its predecessor, but one that provides equal – if different – thrills in doing so.” WK

Ann Powers, of the Los Angeles Times music blog, summarized the album’s polarizing nature: “Some think it’s one of the band’s best efforts; others find it too low-key or similar to previous work; a few consider it awfully doomy, and a few others wish it were less abstract.” WK

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/30/2011; last updated 6/3/2022.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Top Albums of the 1990s

You can check out the top albums of all time or for other decades by clicking here.

Here are the top 100 albums of the 1980s according to Dave’s Music Database:

1. Nirvana…Nevermind (1991)
2. Radiohead…OK Computer (1997)
3. R.E.M.…Automatic for the People (1992)
4. Pearl Jam…Ten (1991)
5. U2…Achtung Baby (1991)
6. Alanis Morissette…Jagged Little Pill (1995)
7. Oasis…(What’s the Story) Morning Glory (1995)
8. Metallica…Metallica (aka ‘The Black Album’) (1991)
9. Jeff Buckley…Grace (1994)
10. Beck…Odelay (1996)

11. Massive Attack…Blue Lines (1991)
12. Lauryn Hill…The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
13. Radiohead…The Bends (1995)
14. Portishead…Dummy (1994)
15. Red Hot Chili Peppers…Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
16. Shania Twain…Come on Over (1991)
17. Whitney Houston/various artists…The Bodyguard (soundtrack, 1992)
18. Nirvana…In Utero (1993)
19. The Verve…Urban Hymns (1997)
20. Madonna…The Immaculate Collection (1990)

21. Primal Scream…Screamadelica (1991)
22. Smashing Pumpkins…Siamese Dream (1993)
23. R.E.M.…Out of Time (1991)
24. My Bloody Valentine…Loveless (1991)
25. Oasis…Definitely Maybe (1994)
26. Smashing Pumpkins…Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
27. Green Day…Dookie (1994)
28. Dr. Dre…The Chronic (1992)
29. Fugees…The Score (1996)
30. Santana…Supernatural (1999)

31. Moby…Play (1999)
32. Nine Inch Nails…The Downward Spiral (1994)
33. Blur…Parklife (1994)
34. Nirvana…MTV Unplugged in New York (1994)
35. Spice Girls…Spice (1996)
36. Public Enemy…Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
37. Madonna…Ray of Light (1998)
38. Rage Against the Machine…Rage Against the Machine (1992)
39. DJ Shadow…Endtroducing… (1996)
40. Eric Clapton…Unplugged (1992)

41. Bjork…Debut (1993)
42. Depeche Mode…Violator (1990)
43. Pulp…Different Class (1995)
44. Tricky…Maxinquaye (1995)
45. Celine Dion…Falling into You (1996)
46. Soundgarden…Superunknown (1994)
47. TLC…CrazySexyCool (1994)
48. Pavement…Slanted and Enchanted (1992)
49. Michael Jackson…Dangerous (1991)
50. Mariah Carey…Music Box (1993)

51. Tori Amos…Little Earthquakes (1992)
52. Titanic (soundtrack, 1997)
53. Garth Brooks…No Fences (1990)
54. Liz Phair…Exile in Guyville (1993)
55. M.C. Hammer…Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990)
56. PJ Harvey…To Bring You My Love (1995)
57. Wu-Tang Clan…Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
58. Garth Brooks…Ropin’ the Wind (1991)
59. Backstreet Boys…Millenium (1999)
60. Red Hot Chili Peppers…Californication (1999)

61. Hole…Live Through This (1994)
62. Bob Dylan…Time Out of Mind (1997)
63. Celine Dion…Let’s Talk about Love (1997)
64. Boyz II Men…II (1994)
65. Sinead O’Connor…I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990)
66. Lucinda Williams…Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998)
67. Tool…Aenima (1996)
68. Dixie Chicks…Wide Open Spaces (1998)
69. Michael Jackson…HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book I (1995)
70. A Tribe Called Quest…The Low End Theory (1991)

71. Mariah Carey…Daydream (1995)
72. Buena Vista Social Club…Buena Vista Social Club (1997)
73. No Doubt…Tragic Kingdom (1995)
74. Britney Spears…Baby One More Time (1999)
75. Guns N’ Roses…Use Your Illusion II (1991)
76. Air…Moon Safari (1998)
77. Hootie & the Blowfish…Cracked Rear View (1994)
78. Mariah Carey…Mariah Carey (1990)
79. Pearl Jam…Vs. (1993)
80. Counting Crows…August and Everything After (1993)

81. Shania Twain…The Woman in Me (1995)
82. Sheryl Crow…Tuesday Night Music Club (1993)
83. Guns N’ Roses…Use Your Illusion I (1991)
84. The Prodigy…The Fat of the Land (1997)
85. Live…Throwing Copper (1994)
86. Alice in Chains…Dirt (1992)
87. Happy Mondays…Pills ‘N’ Thrills and Bellyaches (1990)
88. Janet Jackson…janet. (1993)
89. Eminem…The Slim Shady LP (1999)
90. The Notorious B.I.G.…Ready to Die (1994)

91. The Lion King (soundtrack, 1994)
92. Backstreet Boys…Backstreet Boys (U.S. version, 1997)
93. Dido…No Angel (1999)
94. Natalie Cole…Unforgettable…With Love (1991)
95. Creed…Human Clay (1999)
96. The Notorious B.I.G.…Life after Death (1997)
97. Manic Street Preachers…Everything Must Go (1996)
98. Beastie Boys…Ill Communication (1994)
99. Slint…Spiderland (1991)
100. Ace of Base…The Sign (1993)

Monday, February 14, 2011

The 2011 Grammy Awards According to Dave

Just yesterday I wrote about how my Steve theory (read here), which I used to pick last year’s Album of the Year, wouldn’t work this year. The Steve theory would have given Lady Antebellum yet another trophy to add to the five they did get, but I bucked the trend and picked Eminem, although I was rooting for Arcade Fire (who did win).

However, let’s face it – the the accolades should honor the memorable moments from the Grammy performances themselves. Here’s the trophies I’d like to hand out. Artists can feel free to swing by my house anytime to pick them up.

Singer Most Likely to Be Adopted by Aretha Franklin: Yolanda Adams

Performance Most Likely to Convince You You’re Listening to Madonna Sing “Express Yourself”: Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”

Performance by a Female Country Singer to Most Likely Recall Taylor Swift’s Off-Key Performance Last Year: Miranda Lambert “The House That Built Me”

Band Most Likely to Take the “We’re Going to Be the Next U2” Title Away from Coldplay: Muse

Hairdo Most Likely to Rival Lyle Lovett’s Pompadour: Janelle Monae

Performance Most Likely to Make You Think a Jackson-5 Era Michael Jackson Has come Back from the Dead to Sing “Who’s Lovin’ You”: Bruno Mars “Grenade”

Moment Most Likely to Make a Parent Smile: camera shot of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith while son Jaden performs with Justin Bieber

Most Hyped Performer Who Didn’t Impress Me: Justin Bieber

Shot of Someone in Audience Who Most Appeared Dead: Jeff Beck

Performance Which Got My Toes Tapping:
Mumford & Sons

Group I’m Most Likely to Download: Avett Brothers

Worst Sound Engineering of the Night: Bob Dylan (You could barely hear him at the beginning of “Maggie’s Farm”).

Strangest Audience Shot: Jennifer Lopez clapping after Dylan’s performance, but looking like she’d rather be anywhere else.

Dumbest Statement of the Night: “Awards like Record and Album of the Year only here at the Grammys!”

Most Outrageous Outfit of the Night: Cee Lo Green (although his duet partner, Gwyneth Paltrow, nearly took the award for her incredibly low-cut dress and high-heeled shoes).

Silliest Bid to Be Taken Seriously As an Artist: Katy Perry “Not Like the Movies”

Performance Most Devoid of Energy by Someone in Her Youth: Katy Perry “Teenage Dream”

Performance Fullest of Energy by Someone Most Definitely Not in His Youth: Mick Jagger

Best Imitation of Johnny Depp: John Mayer

Most Amusing Attempt to Avoid Cursing: Referring to Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You” as “The Song Otherwise Known as ‘Forget You’”

Worst Job at Avoiding Cursing: Whoever was in charge of the censor button during Eminem’s performance.

Biggest Shock of the Night: Esperanza Spalding winning Best New Artist.

Strangest Attempt to Liven up the Dullest Part of the Night: Putting a backing band behind the Grammy president while he spoke.

Person Who Looked Angriest Even When Winning an Award: Eminem

Singer Who Best Out-Sexed Lady Gaga and Katy Perry: Rihanna

Weakest Attempt at Rapport: actual spouses Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez

Band Who Wowed Best: Arcade Fire

Check out a detailed run-down of the night here. For a list of all award winners and videos from the night, check out

PJ Harvey released Let England Shake

Let England Shake

PJ Harvey

Released: February 15, 2011

Peak: 32 US, 8 UK, 23 CN, 6 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.09 US, 0.17 UK, 0.26 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alternative rock


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

  1. Let England Shake
  2. The Last Living Rose
  3. The Glorious Land (4/18/11, --)
  4. The Words That Maketh Murder (2/7/11, --)
  5. All and Everyone
  6. On Battleship Hill
  7. England
  8. In the Dark Places
  9. Bitter Branches
  10. Hanging in the Wire
  11. Written on the Forehead
  12. The Colour of the Earth

Total Running Time: 40:15


4.187 out of 5.00 (average of 24 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Polly Jean Harvey may well be one of the most overlooked artists of her generation. Of course, she has routinely collected the rave reviews of music critics across the globe, but such is the power of her work…she should be revered as highly as all of the rock and roll greats.” FOLet England Shake proved Harvey was a true legend, no matter what century she was in.” FO

Harvey’s previous album, White Chalk, was a “ghostly collection of ballads” AMG but Let England Shake offered “a set of songs strikingly different from what came before it except in its Englishness.” AMG This is “more reserved than her earlier work” FO but still “another reminder of her sheer brilliance.” FO “Using her usually disturbing lyrical style, Harvey demonstrated her sincere artistry at every turn.” FO

The album was written over two-and-a-half years time. Harvey wrote the lyrics first and has cited poets like Harold Pinter and T.S. Eliot as influences. She also credited The Doors, The Pogues, and The Velvet Underground as musical inspiration. WK Initially she was looking to record the album in Berlin before settling on St. Peter’s Church, Eype, near Bridport in Dorset for a five-week recording session in April and May of 2010. WK

Ludovic Hunter-Tilney of Financial Times said the album “depicts a country poisoned by an unfinished century of bloodshed.” WK The Independent’s Andy Gill described it as “a portrait of her homeland as a country built on bloodshed and battle” WK while Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph explained it as “a meditation on mankind’s apparently endless appetite for self-destruction.” WK NME’s Mike Williams said, “Francis Ford Coppola can lay claim to the war movie. Ernest Hemingway the war novel. Polly Jean Harvey…has claimed the war album.” WK

“Throughout the album, she subverts the concept of the anthem – a love song to one’s country – exploring the forces that shape nations and people.” AMG “Harvey leaves no stone un-thrown, as she takes aim at a society she believes to be crumbling.” FOThe Last Living Rose recalls Harvey’s Dry-era sound in its simplicity and finds weary beauty even in her homeland’s ‘grey, damp filthiness of ages.’” AMG

While exploring such themes, Harvey also experiments musically. Backed by a “xylophone melody borrowed from the Four Lads’ ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople),’” AMG she offers “a mischievous echo of the questions of national identity” AMG on the title track. “The Words That Maketh Murder culminates its grisly playground/battleground chant with a nod to Eddie Cochran’s anthem for disenfranchised ‘50s teens ‘Summertime Blues,’ while Written on the Forehead samples Niney’s ‘Blood and Fire’ to equally sorrowful and joyful effect.” AMG

“As conceptually and contextually bold as Let England Shake is, it features some of Harvey’s softest-sounding music. She continues to sing in the upper register that made White Chalk so divisive for her fans, but it’s tempered by airy production and eclectic arrangements – fittingly for such a martial album, brass is a major motif – that sometimes disguise how angry and mournful many of these songs are.” AMG

The album received widespread critical acclaim, even making Harvey the first artist to win the Mercury Prize (given to the best album from the UK or Ireland) twice. McCormick said it was “a profound and serious work from a singer-songwriter at the height of her powers.” WK The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis called it a “richly inventive album” WK which captured Harvey “at her creative peak.” WK Meanwhile Q’s Victoria Segal praised the album for its “remarkable lyrics” and “ethereal music.” WK Ultimately, the album’s “complexities make it one of Harvey’s most cleverly crafted works.” AMG

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 12/2/2011; last updated 4/28/2022.