Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Predictions for the 2012 Grammy Nominations

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The 2012 Grammy nominations will be officially announced tonight. Keeping in mind that the eligibility period is from October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011, here are my predictions for the four major awards:

Adele can plan on hearing her name announced a few times.

  • Adele 21. This is as close to a shoo-in for a nomination (and win) as it gets this year. It was the dominant seller of the year and is exactly the critically-acclaimed mainstream kind of stuff the Grammy voters love. Other mainstream pop which hold possibilities include Bruno Mars’ Doo Wops & Hooligans, Beyonce’s 4, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, and Rihanna’s Loud.
  • Tony Bennett Duets II. Of course, they also love old-timers. This is the most likely shot (although he already won for his Unplugged album), although I’m surprised I haven’t seen more predictions touting Elton John & Leon Russell’s The Union or Glen Campbell’s Ghost on the Canvas. There’s also Grammy favorite Paul Simon with So Beautiful or So What.
  • Taylor Swift Speak Now. Her last album, Fearless, took home the Album of the Year two years ago, but she’s likely to get a nod here to satisfy the country slot. Alison Krauss’ Paper Airplane, Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party, or Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night are also possibilities.
  • Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The Grammys like to nominate him for the big prize; they just don’t give it to him. The other most likely rap contender would be Nicki Minaj with Pink Friday.
  • Bon Iver Bon Iver. This one fits the “who the hell is that?” cache which Grammy likes. It is a critically acclaimed album by a respected indie artist. Other albums which fall into the indie, rock, or alternative arena and could take this slot include Radiohead The King of Limbs, Foo Fighters Wasting Light, PJ Harvey Let England Shake, or Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: (goes to the performers)
  • Adele “Rolling in the Deep”
  • Tony Bennett with Amy Winehouse “Body and Soul”
  • Bruno Mars “Grenade”
  • Katy Perry “Firework”
  • Foster the People “Pumped Up Kicks”

Can sentiment for old-timer Tony Bennett (former Album of the Year winner) and died-too-young star Amy Winehouse (former Record/Song of the Year winner) – derail Adele’s hopes for winning the big three awards?

Once again, Adele is a shoo-in for a nomination here and probably the win. However, Tony Bennett’s recording with Amy Winehouse not only has old-timer clout, but a Grammy favorite who died this year. Mars and Perry make this category heavy on pop, leaving Foster the People to represent the more rock or indie crowd (even if it was a #3 pop hit). There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly edgy which keeps coming up, but here are some other songs that deserve mention: Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, Kanye West “All of the Lights”, Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera “Moves Like Jagger”, Taylor Swift “Back to December”, LMFAO “Party Rock Anthem”, Coldplay “Paradise”, Nicki Minaj “Super Bass”, and Foo Fighters “Walk”.

SONG OF THE YEAR: (goes to the songwriters)
  • “Rolling in the Deep” – Adele and Paul Epworth
  • “Grenade” – Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Andrew Wyatt (performed by Bruno Mars)
  • “Firework” – Katy Perry, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy Wilhelm, Ester Dean (performed by Katy Perry)
  • “The Cave” – Mark Mumford (performed by Mumford & Sons)
  • “I Was Here” – Diane Warren (performed by Beyonce)

Could Bruno Mars land three nominations in the big categories?

This category generally comes pretty close to duplicating the Record of the Year nominations. However, I’m inserting Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave” in the mix because it will be a nod to the folkie sound which has taken off in the last couple years – and which they have a lot to do with. Then I’m giving the fifth slot to “I Was Here”. Diane Warren is one of the most celebrated songwriters around and Beyonce adds big-name clout. For other possibilities, see the other Record of the Year runner-ups.

  • Nicki Minaj
  • Bon Iver
  • The Band Perry
  • Foster the People

Could little known indie-folk rock singer/songwriter Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) best rapper Nicki Minaj, who seemingly is everywhere, in the Best New Artist category?

Finally a category Adele can’t win (since she already took home this prize a couple years ago). The consensus here seems to be for Nicki Minaj, but there’s also a lot of love out there in the prediction world for Bon Iver. I find that odd since his debut album was released independently in 2007, but the Grammys have strange rules about what constitutes a “new” artist, so he might well get a nod and even a win on the back of his sophomore album. The Band Perry fill in the country-pop crossover group slot for Lady Antebellum. Foster the People again fit the alternative/rock slot here, but voters may be scared of them being a one-hit wonder and not take them too seriously. LMFAO fits the bill here for a huge pop group, but their “Party Rock Anthem” isn’t likely to get them much critical clout. Other names which have come up as possibilities here include rapper Wiz Khalifa, Latin-pop group Il Volo, rapper Tyler the Creator, Ellie Goulding, and Jessie J. Thompson Square and The Civil Wars have also been mentioned, but they would be in direct competition with The Band Perry. I just don’t see more than one slot here going to a country act.

Do Foster the People have legitimate shots at winning any of the big awards or are they just potential slot-fillers?

It’s just a waiting game now to see how many kinks the actual Grammy nominations throw into my picks.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Top 25 Electronica Albums of All Time

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This is Dave’s Music Database’s take on the top electronica albums of all time. This list is the result of an aggregate of 16 other best-of lists focused on electronica albums. Links will take you to more detailed pages about the album at Note: 19 of these albums also make the DMDB’s list of the top 1000 albums of all time.

Massive Attack Blue Lines

1. Massive Attack…Blue Lines (1991)
2. Portishead…Dummy (1994)
3. DJ Shadow…Endtroducing… (1996)
4. The Orb…Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld (1991)
5. Tricky…Maxinquaye (1995)

Portishead Dummy

6. Leftfield…Leftism (1995)
7. Moby…Play (1999)
8. Underworld…Dubnobasswithmyheadman (1993)
9. Daft Punk…Homework (1997)
10. The Prodigy…The Fat of the Land (1997)

DJ Shadow Endtroducing…

11. The Chemical Brothers…Dig Your Own Hole (1997)
12. Orbital…Orbital 2 (aka “The Brown Album”) (1993)
13. Primal Scream…Screamadelica (1991)
14. Global Communication…76:14 (1997)
15. Fatboy Slim…You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby (1998)

The Orb Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld

16. Aphex Twin…Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992)
17. Happy Mondays…Pills ‘N’ Thrills and Bellyaches (1990)
18. Air…Moon Safari (1998)
19. The Prodigy…Music for the Jilted Generation (1994)
20. Massive Attack…Mezzanine (1998)

Tricky Maxinquaye

21. The Chemical Brothers…Exit Planet Dust (1995)
22. Kraftwerk…Computer World (1981)
23. The KLF…Chill Out (1990)
24. Depeche Mode…Violator (1990)
25. New Order…Technique (1989)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Making a List and Checking It Twice

Originally published in my "Aural Fixation" column on on Nov. 23, 2011. See original post here.

image from

Ah, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Shoppers rush home with their treasures and people are making their lists and checking them twice. While these lines might evoke visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, they make a particularly joyful noise in the ears of music geeks.

In the world of music fanaticism, the last month of the year is a time for 1) gathering the overlooked goodies of the last eleven months and 2) ranking, rating, and reviewing said releases ad infinitum in year-end best-of lists. For such aficionados, December is all about summing up the sounds of the year gone by. While Santa loads his sleigh with goodies, editors of every music mag known to mankind pack year-end magazine issues with plenty of treats. List junkies can expect their own fix for such addictions right here at PopMatters as guide you in their own trip down 2011 Memory Lane.

image from

My particular insatiable urge for consuming and crafting lists has caused me to pollute the ‘net with a website, blog, and a Facebook page all devoted to music lists. All right, kiddos, settle in with your hot cocoa and egg nog and I’ll tell you a little story.

It began in September 1982. My local Top 40 radio station did a Labor Day weekend countdown of the biggest hits of the summer. I was inspired to scrawl my own list of favorites. I’m not convinced confession is entirely good for the soul – it certainly won’t boost my credibility – but I’ll admit that “soft rock” populated my list at that time. While my peers were spiking their hair to look like their latest MTV favorites, I spent the early part of my rebellious teen years headbanging to Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Olivia Newton-John, and Air Supply.

The trifecta of head-banging heroes...not exactly.

My initial “Super 70” list (that’s how many lines a sheet of notebook paper sported, front and back) ballooned into a weekly endeavor maintained over a dozen years. While my charts would never interest anyone else, they documented my musical journey from adolescence through young adulthood. Before I exited high school, my tastes gravitated to the arena rock of Styx, Journey, and Foreigner. College afforded me chances to dig into classic rock stalwarts like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Rush as well as alternative fare like Squeeze and the Violent Femmes.

Then my tastes went more toward arena rock.

Some view institutes of higher learning as the place to educate one’s self on how best to get laid, get drunk, or get high. Some freaks out there consider it a place to get an education. For me, the university was the place to get more music. More than once, I hauled an armload of borrowed tapes from someone’s dorm room just minutes after meeting them.

However, music magazines and lists opened my ears to sounds beyond what blared from my mere dorm mates’ speakers. I made weekly excursions to the library to pore over Billboard magazine, the American king of charts. I regularly dove into issues of Rolling Stone, Q, New Musical Express, Spin, Blender, Melody Maker, and other tunefully-themed rags. As anyone knows who’s ever perused these publications, they regularly practice one-upmanship in trying to trump each other with the latest biggest and best-of-all time lists of anything noise-related. 

Lists, however, are a polarizing thing. With the exception of Justin Bieber, there may not be anything in the music community which simultaneously disgusts and delights so many. Detractors whine about what is included or excluded. Elitists argue that lists devalue artistic accomplishments via subjective rankings.

The love-hate relationship fans have with lists is readily apparent with even a minimum of online browsing. Find a list on the Internet about, say, the best guitarists of all time. Scroll down to the comments section and you can bet it will be littered with insightful observations such as “This list sucks” or “How the hell is so-and-so only ranked #58?”

List bashers fail to recognize three things:1) a list is one person’s opinion (or a group consensus of multiple opinions collected under the banner of a specific publication); 2) there is a 100 percent guarantee that the list in question will not match the list basher’s personal tastes, and’ 3) IT’S A LIST. Relax.

Now, to be clear, I am not suggesting refraining from voicing contrary opinions. Far from it. Some of those who’ve lobbed the harshest criticism at my lists have earned my greatest respect. Why? Because they were informed opinions which challenged me to either justify my point of view or rethink it. Healthy debate is a good thing. Venting ferociously about the moronic quality of the list maker is as productive as flipping the bird at someone who cuts you off in traffic.

As for those who roll their eyes at the value of lists, I argue that lists offer musical history snapshots for those willing to do the homework. One of the earliest lists to reel me in was a book – The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made (1989). The author, rock critic Dave Marsh, plugged obvious classics like like Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, and Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”. However, he also turned me on to unknown gems like Little Willie John’s “Need Your Love So Bad”, Clarence Carter’s “At the Dark End of the Street”, and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message”.

Would I have discovered classics like this without lists?

This was the real point. Seeking out and falling in love with that song at #68 which the reader had never heard becomes the justification for a list’s existence.

Lists operate on the same plane as compilation albums. Album purists bash such collections as misrepresentations of an artists’ work, but anthologies are often a casual fan’s first dip of the toe into the artist’s greater pool of work, prompting the listener to dive deeper.

I didn’t learn about the Velvet Underground, Joy Division, Gram Parsons, Television, Love, the New York Dolls, or Big Star because friends spun them at parties. I learned about them because music critics hyped them in best-of lists. When the names cropped up enough, I felt obligated to check them out.

So this holiday season, as you sing your ancient yuletide carols and curl up with your iPod in front of the chestnuts roasting on the open fire, try embracing the holiday spirit. At least remember Mom’s advice: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Remember the Bearded Guy in Red is watching and knows if you’ve been good or bad. If you’d rather have the Black Keys’ new album in your stocking than a lump of black coal, then be good for goodness’ sake.

By the way, if the holiday spirit has left you with an urge to shower me with gifts, there’s no need to buy anything for me but you can head over to or and pick up No One Needs 21 Versions of Purple Haze or The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era 1954-1999 for that music fanatic on your shopping list.

I’d also light up like a Christmas tree if you hit my blog a couple hundred times and left comments. Make sure to check out the index of Best-of Lists on the blog.

These last two shameless plugs are brought to you by… well, me. Happy holidays.

The jukebox debuted: November 23, 1889

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Also check the Dave’s Music Database Facebook page for daily music-related posts.

Photo from Caption said, “For a nickel apiece a thrilled group tunes in on a screechy jukebox in the 1890s.” Photo: Bettmann/Corbis

The jukebox became popular in the 1950s, but its origins actually go back more than 50 years. The first jukebox was installed in the Palais Royale Saloon, although some accounts say the Palace Royal Hotel. The saloon, on 303 Sutter Street, was owned by Frederick Mergenthaler.

The Pacific Phonograph Company constructed the jukebox from an Edison Class M electric phonograph in an oak cabinet. The machine had no amplification, so four patrons at a time could listen via stethoscope-like tubes. A phonograph could only handle one song at a time, so it was only changed every day or so. At a nickel per play, the machine made $1000 in its first six months of operation. Incidentally, a nickel in 1889 would be more like a dollar today.

Louis T. Glass, the entrepreneur who patented the device, originally called it a nickel-in-the-slot player. In 1879, Glass left his job as a Western Union telegraph operator. He turned his interest to being a general manager and investor in telephone and phonograph companies.

The device eventually spelled doom for the player piano, or self-playing piano. As for the term jukebox, its origins aren’t clear, but it appeared in the 1930s in the southern U.S. and may derive from music played in a “juke house”, or brothel. The term “juke” was black American slang for dancing and brothels were some of the first places to install jukeboxes.

Meanwhile, the phonograph grew through 1920 to become a mass medium for playing music. In the mid-‘20s, the radio became prevalent and during the 1930s the jukebox became a popular means for sharing dance records. For more about the development of the phonograph and gramophone, check out the Dave’s Music Database blog entry “Thomas Edison Invents the Phonograph: August 12, 1877”.

Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Kinks released Village Green Preservation Society: November 22, 1968

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This was the sixth album by the Kinks and the final one by the original foursome since bassist Pete Quaife left early in 1969. WK Frontman Ray Davies was ““Sensing that the Beatles, Stones, and Who were radically transforming rock music by turning it literate and conceptual” RO and responded with this effort. His “sentimental, nostalgic streak emerged on Something Else, but it developed into a manifesto on The Village Green Preservation Society, a concept album lamenting the passing of old-fashioned English traditions.” STE

The album’s concept grew out of the November 1966 track Village Green. The song neatly sums up what became the album’s theme: “I miss the village green and all the simple people.” WK For the subsequent album, Davies relied “on English music hall tradition and sentiments” RO to create “a series of stories, sketches, and characters about a picturesque England that never really was. It’s a lovely, gentle album, evoking a small British country town, and drawing the listener into its lazy rhythms and sensibilities. Although there is an undercurrent of regret running throughout the album, Davies’ fondness for the past is warm, making the album feel like a sweet, hazy dream.” STE

“Davies did not compose many of the songs to fit the predetermined theme of the album” WK so the “songs touch on a wide range of emotions and experiences.” WK However, “the title track, one of the last written and recorded (in August 1968), effectively unifies the songs through an appeal to preserve a litany of sentimental objects, experiences, and fictional characters from progress and modern indifference: ‘God save little shops, china cups, and virginity’. This last lyric inspired the slogan, ‘God save the Kinks’ which was used in the US promotion for the album, and was associated with the band through the 1970s.” WK

“Considering the subdued performances and the detailed instrumentations, it’s not surprising that the record feels more like a Ray Davies solo project than a Kinks album.” STE It also has a calmness to it, but that “doesn’t mean tame or bland – there are endless layers of musical and lyrical innovation on The Village Green Preservation Society.” STE “Davies’ singing has always been rough and non-Kinks fans may have trouble getting past his sloppy pitch. But for those listening closely, the tales are one of a kind.” RO This album’s “defiantly British sensibilities became the foundation of generations of British guitar pop.” STE

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Monday, November 14, 2011

New Musical Express published the first British singles chart: November 14, 1952

The British music magazine NME or New Musical Express, launched as a weekly publication on March 7, 1952. On November 14 of that year, it became the first British paper to include a chart of the current singles. The NME chart survived a barrage of competitors over the years, lasting until the early 1990s.

Percy Dickins, the paper’s advertising manager, compiled the first chart by calling roughly 20 shops and asking for lists of their ten best-sellers. Those results were aggregated into a top 12 chart. Al Martino’s “Here in My Heart” topped that first list. On October 1, 1954, the chart expanded to twenty positions.

In 1955, rival publications began compiling charts. The most notable was Record Mirror which started a top 20 chart in October 1955. In April 1956, NME expanded its chart to thirty positions. That same month, Melody Maker began a top ten chart. In February 1958, Dsic launched a top 20 singles chart. In 1960, Record Retailer initiated a top 50 singles chart.

By 1962, Record Mirror stopped its chart, opting to publish the Record Retailer chart instead. Prior to 1969, there was no official chart although NME’s was the most widely recognized. At the time, the BBC released an aggregated chart which compiled lists from NME, Melody Maker, Disc, and later Record Mirror.

In 1969, the BBC and Record Retailer allied to form the first official chart. The British Market Research Bureau chart was established in 1969, they adopted Record Retailer’s charts back to 1960 as the “official charts” and turned to NME for pre-1960 charts. In 1982, the BMRB lost its contract to Gallup who then implemented electronic data as the gathering format instead of the previously used sales diaries. Today the chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company and ranks the top 200 singles in the United Kingdom as determined by downloads and physical sales.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rolling Stone magazine hit the newsstands: November 9, 1967

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the first issue

The iconic magazine has become “a rock and roll institution” GB and “the most authoritative publication on rock and roll music.” ABC It was launched in San Francisco in 1967 by still-editor and publisher Jann Wenner along with music critic Ralph J. Gleason. Wenner was a transplanted New Yorker who’d moved west to go to Berkeley. As a student, he became a political activist and aspiring journalist. Gleason was a jazz critic with the San Francisco Chronicle who helped Wenner land a job after he dropped out of college in 1966.

In the first issue, Wenner described it as “sort of a magazine and sort of a newspaper” AG which was “not just about the music, but about the things and attitudes that music embraces.” GB The name for the magazine was inspired by the phrase “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” Of course, the famed British rock group of the same name also figured into the mix, as did the Muddy Waters’ song from which they took their name. In addition, Bob Dylan’s “first rock and roll record” was called “Like a Rolling Stone”. AG

The first issue featured a cover image of John Lennon from his movie How I Won the War. Some of the pieces in that issue included an investigation on what happened to profits from the Monterey Pop Festival, the split between the Byrds and David Crosby, Jefferson Airplane’s future plans, and a report that The Who’s “I Can See for Miles” was released that week.

The magazine has ironically received criticism for 1) a bias toward the 1960s and 1970, and 2) an attempt in more recent years to pander to younger audiences. Some bands, such as Led Zeppelin, were largely written off in their active years but celebrated years later. Also, some albums were rated as average or even poor initially (Nirvana’s Nevermind, The Beatles’ Let It Be), but in subsequent issues were celebrated as classics. In addition, the magazine’s liberal politics have occasionally come under fire.

The format has undergone several changes over the years. It started as a black-and-white print tabloid newspaper style publication. From 1973-1980, it was printed on newsprint paper size and then became a 10” x 12” magazine. In 2008, it switched to the smaller, standard-format size. As of April 19, 2010, it began featuring the entire collection archived online. It now operates under a subscription model meaning readers have to be paid members to access some content. The bi-weekly publication has done more than a thousand issues and has a circulation of 1.4 million.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Lynn Anderson charted with “Rose Garden”: November 7, 1970

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The song’s writer, Joe South, first recorded “Rose Garden” as a cut on his Introspect album in 1969. Billy Joe Royal, Freddy Weller, Dobie Gray, and The Three Degrees all soon put their stamps on it as well. As South’s publisher, Bill Lowery, said, “We didn’t have any problems finding people to record it…But none of us expected it to be a huge country hit.” CL However, that’s exactly what Lynn Anderson did with the song.

She had purchased Joe South’s album when it first came out and was drawn to “Rose Garden”. She wanted to record it, but Glenn Sutton, her producer and husband, thought lines like “I could promise you things like big diamond rings” made it a “man’s song”. WK They rewrote some words, made the song more uptempo, and – in a move unheard of for that era’s country sound – added strings. CL

While Sutton still saw the song as nothing more than an album cut, but Columbia Records executive Clive Davis thought it worthy of release – and to both the country and pop markets. CL Not only did the song hit the U.S. country (#1), adult contemporary (#5), and pop charts (#3), but it sold a million copies and has racked up four million airplays. It proved successful internationally as well, topping the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. WK The song also won a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and was nominated for Song of the Year and Country Song of the Year.

Since 1966, Anderson had hit the country chart 19 times, going top-ten five times. “Rose Garden”, however, was her first trip to the top. She would repeat the feat four more times over the next few years and would rack up a total of sixty country hits over more than twenty years. However, on the pop charts, this was her first and last trip to the top 40.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

50 years ago: Jimmy Dean hit #1 with “Big Bad John”

First posted 3/13/2021.

Big Bad John

Jimmy Dean

Writer(s): Roy Acuff, Jimmy Dean (see lyrics here)

First Charted: October 2, 1961

Peak: 15 US, 15 CB, 16 HR, 110 AC, 12 CW, 2 UK, 11 CN (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 32.41 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“Big Bad John” tells a sort of American folklore tale in the vein of Paul Bunyan or John Henry about a “mysterious and quiet miner who earned the nickname Big John because of his height, weight, and muscular physique.” WK When a support timber cracked at the mine, John held the passage open while 20 men escaped. The mine collapsed, leaving John to die. WK

Jimmy Dean wrote it in an hour-and-a-half while on a plane heading to Nashville for a recording session. As he said, “At that time you recorded four sides a session. I had to do something. I had worked with a guy in summer stock named John Mentoe. He was six-foot-five and skinny as a rail…I used to call him Big John. It had a powerful ring to it. So I put him in a mine and killed him on a plane going to Nashville.” BR1

The song proved fortunate for Dean as Columbia Records was ready to drop him. The legal department hadn’t renewed his contract because his records weren’t selling, but A&R didn’t know and released the single “I Won’t Go Huntin’ with You Jake, But I’ll Go Chasin’ Women” with “Big Bad John” as the B-side. When DJ’s took to the B-side, the song became a hit and suddenly Dean found himself in a much better negotiating place for a new contract. BR1

“Big Bad John” proved to be a massive crossover success, hitting #1 on Billboard’s pop, country, and adult contemporary charts. The feat wasn’t achieved again until Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” in 1975. SF It won the Grammy for Best Country & Western Recording and was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Male Solo Vocal Performance.

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Jimmy Dean
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 100.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Top 100 Albums of the 1960s

You can check out the top albums of all time or for other decades by clicking here. These are the top 100 albums of the 1960s according to Dave’s Music Database. Just how much do the sixties dominate the album landscape? Well, all 100 of these albums make the DMDB’s Top 1000 Albums of All Time and 22 albums also make the Top 100 Albums of All Time list. Oh, and if you don’t like The Beatles, you might as well not look at this list at all.

Note: Links go to DMDB web pages focused on the specific album. On those pages, you’ll find a review of the album, track listing, rating, chart peaks, sales figures, and more!

1. The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
2. The Beatles Revolver (1966)
3. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
4. The Beatles Abbey Road (1969)
5. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
6. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967)
7. The Velvet Underground and Nico The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967)
8. The Beatles Rubber Soul (1965)
9. The Doors The Doors (1965)
10. Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde (1966)

11. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland (1968)
12. Van Morrison Astral Weeks (1968)
13. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II (1969)
14. Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
15. The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed (1969)
16. The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet (1968)
17. The Who Tommy (1969)
18. Love Forever Changes (1967)
19. The Band The Band (1969)
20. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I (1969)

21. James Brown Live at the Apollo Vol. 1 (1962)
22. John Coltrane A Love Supreme (1965)
23. The Beatles A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
24. Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
25. West Side Story (soundtrack, 1961)
26. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Trout Mask Replica (1969)
27. King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)
28. The Sound of Music (soundtrack, 1965)
29. The Band Music from Big Pink (1968)
30. Cream Disraeli Gears (1967)

31. Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison (1968)
32. Pink Floyd Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
33. Otis Redding Otis Blue (1965)
34. The Beatles With the Beatles (1963)
35. Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967)
36. Big Brother & the Holding Company Cheap Thrills (1968)
37. Dusty Springfield Dusty in Memphis (1969)
38. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Axis: Bold As Love (1967)
39. Bob Dylan The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
40. Crosby, Stills & Nash Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)

41. The Mothers of Invention We’re Only in It for the Money (1968)
42. The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground (1969)
43. Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962)
44. Aretha Franklin Lady Soul (1968)
45. Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
46. The Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968)
47. Nick Drake Five Leaves Left (1969)
48. The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
49. B.B. King Live at the Regal (1964)
50. The Flying Burrito Brothers The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969)

51. Leonard Cohen The Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
52. The Rolling Stones Aftermath (1966)
53. The Byrds Younger Than Yesterday (1967)
54. Frank Zappa Hot Rats (1969)
55. The Beatles Please Please Me (1963)
56. The Who Sell Out (1967)
57. The Byrds The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968)
58. The Kinks Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
59. The MC5 Kick Out the Jams (1968)
60. Johnny Cash At San Quentin (1969)

61. Simon & Garfunkel Bookends (1968)
62. Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto Getz/Gilberto (1963)
63. The Beatles Help! (1965)
64. Neil Young Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
65. The Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat (1967)
66. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (1966)
67. The Doors Strange Days (1967)
68. The Zombies Odessey & Oracle (1968)
69. The Beatles Beatles for Sale (1964)
70. Judy Garland Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961)

71. The Stooges The Stooges (1969)
72. The Grateful Dead Live/Dead (1969)
73. The Who Sings My Generation (1965)
74. Hair (cast album, 1967)
75. Sly & the Family Stone Stand! (1969)
76. The Moody Blues Days of Future Passed (1967)
77. The Byrds Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)
78. Frank Zappa Freak Out! (1966)
79. Eric Dolphy Out to Lunch (1965)
80. The Small Faces Odgden’s Nut Gone Flake (1968)

81. Creedence Clearwater Revival Green River (1969)
82. Cream Wheels of Fire (1968)
83. Iron Butterfly In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)
84. Elvis Presley Blue Hawaii (soundtrack, 1961)
85. Fiddler on the Roof (cast album, 1964)
86. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass Whipped Cream & Other Delights (1965)
87. The Kinks Something Else (1967)
88. Elvis Presley From Elvis in Memphis (1969)
89. Fairport Convention Liege and Lief (1969)
90. Buffalo Springfield Again (1967)

91. Elvis Presley G.I. Blues (soundtrack, 1960)
92. Bob Dylan John Wesley Harding (1967)
93. Moby Grape Moby Grape (1967)
94. Mary Poppins (soundtrack, 1964)
95. The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones (1964)
96. Miles Davis/Gil Evans Sketches of Spain (1960)
97. Camelot (cast album, 1960)
98. Miles Davis In a Silent Way (1969)
99. Blind Faith Blind Faith (1969)
100. Charles Mingus The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (1963)