Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Top 25 Albums

First posted 12/31/2013; updated 1/8/2021.

Dave’s Music Database:

Top Albums of 2013

Based on a combination of year-end lists (see resources at bottom of page) and overall status in Dave’s Music Database, these are the top 25 albums of 2013. Be sure to also check out the DMDB post of the top 50 songs of 2013.

  1. Beyoncé Beyoncé
  2. Frozen soundtrack
  3. Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City
  4. Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer, Different Park
  5. Kanye West Yeezus
  6. Daft Punk Random Access Memories
  7. Arctic Monkeys AM
  8. Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience
  9. Lorde Pure Heroine
  10. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2

  11. Luke Bryan Crash My Party
  12. Arcade Fire Reflektor
  13. Haim Days Are Gone
  14. David Bowie The Next Day
  15. Drake Nothing Was the Same
  16. Queens of the Stone AgeLike Clockwork
  17. My Bloody Valentine MBV
  18. Chance the Rapper Acid Rap
  19. Disclosure Settle
  20. One Direction Midnight Memories

  21. Michael Bublé To Be Loved
  22. Blake Shelton Based on a True Story
  23. Janelle Monáe The Electric Lady
  24. Jay-Z Magna Carta…Holy Grail
  25. Katy Perry Prism

Resources and Related Links:

Q Magazine: Songs of the Year, 1953-2013

Originally posted 4/15/2019.

Q is a British music magazine which has published numerous best-of lists over the years. Based on those lists (sources at bottom of page) and year-end lists, here are the best songs from each year.

  • 2013: Arctic Monkeys “Do I Wanna Know?”
  • 2012: Plan B “Ill Manors”
  • 2011: Adele “Someone Like You
  • 2010: Plan B “Stay Too Long”

  • 2009: Kasabian “Fire”
  • 2008: The Fall “Senior Twilight Stock Replacer”
  • 2007: Amy Winehouse “Rehab
  • 2006: Gnarls Barkley “Crazy
  • 2005: Arctic Monkeys “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”
  • 2004: Franz Ferdinand “Take Me Out
  • 2003: OutKast “Hey Ya!
  • 2002: Coldplay “The Scientist”
  • 2001: The Strokes “Last Nite”
  • 2000: Eminem with Dido “Stan

  • 1999: Pharoahe Monch “Simon Says”
  • 1998: Britney Spears “Baby One More Time
  • 1997: The Verve “Bittersweet Symphony”
  • 1996: The Prodigy “Firestarter”
  • 1995: Underworld “Born Slippy”
  • 1994: Oasis “Live Forever”
  • 1993: Nirvana “Heart-Shaped Box”
  • 1992: Radiohead “Creep
  • 1991: Massive Attack “Unfinished Sympathy”
  • 1990: The Charlatans “The Only One I Know”

  • 1989: The Stone Roses “Fools Gold”
  • 1988: The La’s “There She Goes”
  • 1987: Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine
  • 1986: Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry “Walk This Way
  • 1985: Madonna “Into the Groove”
  • 1984: The Smiths “How Soon Is Now?”
  • 1983: New Order “Blue Monday”
  • 1982: The Jam “A Town Called Malice”
  • 1981: The Specials “Ghost Town”
  • 1980: Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart

  • 1979: The Specials “Gangsters”
  • 1978: Kate Bush “Wuthering Heights”
  • 1977: David Bowie “Heroes”
  • 1976: Sex Pistols “Anarchy in the U.K.”
  • 1975: Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody
  • 1974: Kraftwerk “Autobahn”
  • 1973: Slade “Cum on Feel the Noize”
  • 1972: Stevie Wonder “Superstition
  • 1971: John Lennon “Imagine
  • 1970: Black Sabbath “Paranoid”

  • 1969: The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”
  • 1968: The Beatles “Hey Jude
  • 1967: The Kinks “Waterloo Sunset”
  • 1966: The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations
  • 1965: Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone
  • 1964: The Kinks “You Really Got Me
  • 1963: The Beatles “She Loves You
  • 1962: The Tornadoes “Telstar”
  • 1961: Ben E. King “Stand by Me
  • 1960: The Shadows “Apache”

  • 1959: Ray Charles “What’d I Say
  • 1958: Cliff Richard & the Drifters “Move It”
  • 1957: Wee Willie Harris “Rockin’ at the 2 I’s”
  • 1956: Lonnie Donegan “Rock Island Line”
  • 1955: Fats Domino “Ain’t That a Shame”
  • 1954: Elvis Presley “That’s All Right, Mama”
  • 1953: Hank Williams “Your Cheatin’ Heart”


Q Magazine Lists:

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 50 Songs of 2013

image from hindicinenglish.blogspot.com

With more than 40 best-of song lists aggregated (see links at bottom of page), here are the songs which rank as the best 2013 has to offer. Interestingly, the song list is very slanted toward the big pop hits of the year while the album list (see it here) is very geared toward less-commercial, independent releases. Admittedly, the use of multiple Billboard lists below has a great deal to do with that, but I also believe song lists tend to lean more toward the commercial while album lists incorporate the more obscure. Anyway, here’s the list:

Get Lucky

1. Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams “Get Lucky”
2. Lorde “Royals”
3. Robin Thicke with T.I. and Pharrell Williams “Blurred Lines”
4. Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”
5. Drake with Majid Jordan “Hold on, We’re Going Home”

Royals

6. Katy Perry “Roar”
7. Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball”
8. Kanye West “Black Skinhead”
9. Imagine Dragons “Radioactive”
10. Miley Cyrus “We Can’t Stop”

Blurred Lines

11. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Ray Dalton “Can’t Hold Us”
12. Haim “The Wire”
13. Arcade Fire “Reflektor”
14. Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble”
15. Pink with Nate Ruess “Just Give Me a Reason”

Mirrors

16. Bruno Mars “When I Was Your Man”
17. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Wanz “Thrift Shop”
18. Drake “Started from the Bottom”
19. The Lumineers “Ho Hey”
20. Rihanna with Mikky Ekko “Stay”

Hold on, We’re Coming Home

21. Kanye West with Frank Ocean “New Slaves”
22. Ciara “Body Party”
23. Disclosure with AlunaGeorge “White Noise”
24. Bruno Mars “Treasure”
25. Jay-Z with Justin Timberlake “Holy Grail”

Roar

26. Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
27. Avicii “Wake Me Up”
28. Zedd with Foxes “Clarity”
29. Florida Georgia Line with Nelly “Cruise”
30. Phosphorescent “Song for Zula”

Wrecking Ball

31. Vampire Weekend “Diane Young”
32. Justin Timberlake with Jay-Z “Suit & Tie”
33. Big Sean with Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica “Control”
34. Maroon 5 “Daylight”
35. Kacey Musgraves “Follow Your Arrow”

Thrift Shop

36. Taylor Swift “22”
37. Tegan & Sara “Closer”
38. Migos with Drake “Versace”
39. Lady Gaga “Applause”
40. Anna Kendrick “Cups (When I’m Gone)”

Radioactive

41. Kurt Vile “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day”
42. Fall Out Boy “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)”
43. Capital Cities “Safe and Sound”
44. Rich Homie Quan “Type of Way”
45. Mumford & Sons “I Will Wait”

Cruise

46. Haim “Falling”
47. Phillip Phillips “Gone, Gone, Gone”
48. Maroon 5 “Love Somebody”
49. Vampire Weekend “Ya Hey”
50. Janelle Monae with Erykah Badu “Q.U.E.E.N.”

Black Skinhead


Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Beyonce’s self-titled album hit #1

First posted 12/18/2020.

Beyoncé

Beyoncé


Released: December 13, 2013


Peak: 13 US, 110 RB, 2 UK, 13 CN, 13 AU


Sales (in millions): 2.3 US, 0.6 UK, 5.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: R&B/pop


Tracks:

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

  1. Pretty Hurts (6/10/14, 36 RB, 63 UK, 78 CN, 47 AU, 0.2 million)
  2. Haunted (includes hidden track “Ghost”)
  3. Drunk in Love (with Jay-Z) (12/17/13, 2 US, 12 RR, 11 RB, 9 UK, 23 CN, 22 AU, sales: 3.75 million)
  4. Blow
  5. No Angel
  6. Partition (includes hidden track “Yonce”) (1/25/14, 23 US, 12 RB, 74 UK, 100 CN, sales: 1.42 million)
  7. Jealous
  8. Rocket
  9. Mine (with Drake) (1/4/14, 82 US)
  10. XO (12/16/13, 45 US, 16 RR, 12 RB, 22 UK, 21 CN, 16 AU, sales: 1.53 million)
  11. Flawless (with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) (8/12/14, 41 US, 12 RB, 65 UK, 88 CN, 0.2 million)
  12. Superpower (with Frank Ocean)
  13. Heaven
  14. Blue (with Blue Ivy)


Total Running Time: 66:35

Rating:

3.852 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)


Quotable: --


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The greatest female R&B artist of the century finally made a record as sexy, snarling, soft, strange, and outright superlative as she is.” GQ “This album was the smart risk that made it all happen.” VC This “was a record seemingly designed to convey, clearly and calmly, that there was simply no one else in her lane.” Beyoncé asserted herself “as a full-spectrum visionary who was also dreaming up the future, invigorating the industry, maturing in her marriage, and blossoming into first-time motherhood. PF

Surprise Release

“Beyoncé pulled off pop’s biggest heist, disappearing off the face of the earth to make a visual masterpiece behind closed doors, with a ring of secretive collaborators. Shooting music videos around the world while on tour, Bey wore in-ear headphones throughout filming to keep the material under wraps. When she finally unleashed the self-titled project the hugely ambitious album laid down the blueprint for a whole new way to release music.” NME

“On an unassuming Thursday night, when most people were either getting ready for bed or still reeling over the latest drama-filled episode of ABC’s Scandal,” SP Beyoncé’s eponymous fifth album was released on iTunes with no warning. Such releases are more common now, but when Beyoncé dropped with zero promotion, it “completely disrupted existing models of distribution,” VC “setting the internet on fire, setting new metrics of success for the out-of-nowhere album release model.” BB It showed that she wasn’t afraid of “an unconventional marketing strategy.” VC “Marketing campaigns, it implied, were for the little people.” GU

It worked, earning a Guinness world record as the fastest-selling album in iTunes’ history IS selling 80,000 downloads in just three hours, VC “revolutionizing how albums are conceived and released.” PF “To this day, the music industry has yet to figure out how to top Beyoncé, as a multimedia tour de force and sheer news event – the only person who has is Beyoncé herself.” SP

Visual Album

Beyoncé also broke ground as a “a full-suite visual album,” RS’19 redefining “what constituted an album package.” VC It was “the first major pop album to adapt to the way we listen to, and watch, music in the YouTube age.” PF It “was a kaleidoscopic experience that heightened the senses” SP with each track accompanied by “an artfully directed video and packaged as one immersive, even cinematic experience.” VC

The Music

“After being previously accused of being too robotic and having a cold personality,” SP “the famously guarded singer [was] more candid than ever” SP offering “a court side view of her explorations of feminine sexuality and intimate relationships.” CS’19 “Black women are often urged to be silent, yet Beyoncé made it more comfortable to own and express your identity.” SP This set “the mold for a more politically aware, sexually confident and altogether provocative iteration of Queen Bey.” BB

The songs were “an unprecedented display of her blossoming self-realization.” VC She tackled “heavier sociopolitical issues more directly than ever before.” VC For example, Flawless “was an unprecedented summit of women’s continuous fight for gender equality” SP complete with a sample from a 2012 Ted talk by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, offering “a breakdown of feminist theory.” VC It “helped establish Beyoncé as a fierce interpreter and purveyor of black feminist thought for the pop masses. PF

The album “deals a lot with sexuality and her marriage to Jay-Z, and those songs ended up being the best on the album.” IS Rob Sheffield wrote in Rolling Stone that “she hits nasty highs all through the album, from the squishy slow jam RocketIS to “the fractured Timbaland production Partition [in which] she and Jay get kind of rough in the back of the limousine. She has to warn the chauffeur, ‘Driver roll up the partition please.’” IS Both songs “highlighted her innate provocative nature” SP while others, such as “Pretty Hurts and Jealous, found her face-to-face with her insecurities.” SP

There were “big-time bangers and anthems” VC like the “club-ready Drunk in LoveSP which “will get played at weddings as long as there are weddings,” RS’19 and Blow, which “was best paired with disco lights and rollerblades.” SP Sheffield called the latter track about oral sex the best on the album, saying that it “has an air of melancholy in the chilly neo-disco groove.” IS

She also “stretched her sonic capabilities” SP and sought “more challenging music with no regard for airplay.” SP “The production was dank, sexy, and shook the electro-pop environment…to its core with booming R&B bass lines and rattling trap hi-hats, which would soon become the new norm.” CS’19 Sheffield said “the vibe on Beyoncé is moodily futuristic R&B, strongest when it goes for full-grown electro soul with an artsy boho edge.” IS

Impact and Accolades

The album was at the helm of a renaissance in which R&B found itself “creeping up behind hip-hop and surpassing rock entirely as the more innovative, album-centric genre.” SP It also “laid the groundwork for Lemonade, her next visual album, which would…tell the story of her rage, liberation, and ultimate forgiveness for her husband Jay Z’s alleged infidelity.” VC

“It was nominated for five Grammy Awards, took home three, secured her Video Vanguard Award at the 2014 VMAs…and earned Beyoncé the distinction of being the first female artist to have her first five albums debut atop the Billboard 200 chart. SP The album spent a whopping 185 weeks on that chart.


Notes: A second disc included videos of the songs.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2014

image from nydailynews.com

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for the 2014 class. Artists are eligible for the Hall 25 years after the release of their first single or album. The newest slate will be inducted on April 10, 2014, at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in New York City. HBO will air the event in May. Here are the inductees:

Peter Gabriel: He was inducted into the Hall in 2010 as a member of Genesis. As a solo artist since the ‘70s, he has explored electronic and world music. His video for #1 hit “Sledgehammer” ranks as one of the best videos of all time.

image from details.com


Daryl Hall & John Oates: This blue-eyed soul duo has the most successful Billboard chart run of any twosome in music history. They started in Philadelphia in the early ‘70s, but hit their peak in the early ‘80s with #1 hits “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” and “Maneater.” They’ve sold more than 13 million albums.

image from nydailynews.com


Kiss: Miracles never cease. Members of the Hall induction committee swore they’d never let the mother of all hair bands in while fans have raised a stink in the 15 years the group have been eligible and been passed up. Critics have never liked the band, but the KISS Army represents one of the most loyal fan bases in the history of rock. They’ve sold over 20 million albums on the strength of rock classics like “Rock and Roll All Nite” and power ballads like “Beth.”

image from blabbermouth.net


Nirvana: The group most associated with grunge enters the Hall in its first year of eligibility, 25 years after the release of the single “Love Buzz” in 1988. Three years later, they would take over the world with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and parent album Nevermind. The group’s heyday was short-lived when lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide months after the release of the 1994 follow-up, In Utero, but their influence had been cemented.

image from coolcleveland.com


Linda Ronstadt: She emerged from the folk scene in Los Angeles in the 1960s and became one of pop music’s biggest successes in the 1970s with a blend of country and rock, selling more than 30 million albums and winning a slew of Grammy awards. She regularly covered classics from rock’s pioneers – among them were the Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved,” Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day,” and Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou.”

image from fanart.tv


Cat Stevens: This British folk singer/songwriter made a name for himself in the 1970s with hits like “Wild World” and “Peace Train.” He converted to Islam in 1977, changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and stepped out of the spotlight for more than two decades. He has sold more than 15 million albums.

image from pianosheetmusiconline.com


E Street Band: Bruce Springsteen was inducted into the Hall in 1999. Now his backing band since 1973 is inducted with the Award for Musical Excellence.

image from morrisonhotelgallery.com


Brian Epstein: He receives the Ahmet Ertegun Award (for non-performers) for his work as the manager of the Beatles. He signed them and then sheparded them until his death in 1967. Paul McCartney said, “If anyone was the fifth Beatle it was Brian.”

Epstein in white hat, image from efemeridesdelamusica.blogspot.com


Andrew Loog Oldham: He also receives the Ahmet Ertegun Award (for non-performers) – and also for producing one of rock music’s most acclaimed bands – The Rolling Stones. He was with them for their formative years, helping to push Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to write original material.

Oldham (second from left) with the Rolling Stones, image from zombiesenelghetto.tumblr.com


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Friday, December 6, 2013

Grammy Nominations 2014

image from grammy.com

The nominations for the 2014 Grammys were announced on Friday, December 6, 2013. Below are the nominees for the major awards. The full listing is available here. The 56th Grammy Awards will be held January 26, 2014. Album of the Year:

  • Sara Bareilles The Blessed Unrest
  • Daft Punk Random Access Memories
  • Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist
  • Taylor Swift Red

Record of the Year:

  • Daft Punk with Pharrell “Get Lucky”
  • Imagine Dragons “Radioactive”
  • Lorde “Royals”
  • Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
  • Robin Thicke with T.I. & Pharrell “Blurred Lines”

Royals

Song of the Year:

  • Lorde “Royals”
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Same Love”
  • Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
  • Katy Perry “Roar”
  • Pink “Just Give Me a Reason”

Roar

Best New Artist:

  • James Blake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Kacey Musgraves


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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Grammy Hall of Fame’s Newest Inductees

image from hayspost.com

In 1973, the Recording Academy (more widely known as the Grammys) established a Hall of Fame to, as it says on their website, “honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old.” 40 years later, nearly 1000 albums and songs have been inducted (see the full list here). Here are this year’s inductees: Albums:

  • Chicago Chicago Transit Authority (1969)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
  • Miles Davis Relaxin’ (1958)
  • George Harrison All Things Must Pass (1970)
  • Kris Kristofferson Kristofferson (1970)
  • U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)
  • Doc Watson Doc Watson (1964)
  • Neil Young After the Gold Rush (1970)
  • Various Artists Mary Poppins (soundtrack, 1964)
  • Various Artists Woodstock (soundtrack, 1970)

The Joshua Tree and After the Gold Rush ranked in the DMDB’s Top 100 Albums of All Time already. All Things Must Pass, Cosmo’s Factory, Mary Poppins, Woodstock, and Chicago Transit Authority all ranked in the top 1000.

Songs:

  • Louis Armstrong “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” (1938)
  • James Brown “Get Up – I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine” (1970)
  • Hoagy Carmichael & His Orchestra “Georgia on My Mind” (1930)
  • Sam Cooke “Wonderful World” (1960)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival “Fortunate Son” (1969)
  • The Drifters “Under the Boardwalk” (1964)
  • Robert Johnson “Sweet Home Chicago” (1937)
  • B.B. King “3 O’Clock Blues” (1952)
  • Charlie Parker “Yardbird Suite” (1946)
  • Dolly Parton “Jolene” (1973)
  • The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women” (1969)
  • Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry “Walk This Way” (1986)
  • Gil Scott-Heron “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (1970)
  • Sugarhill Gang “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe “Strange Things Happening Every Day” (1945)
  • B.J. Thomas “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” (1969)
  • War “Low Rider” (1975)

Six of the songs were already listed in the DMDB’s Top 1000 of All-Time: “Honky Tonk Women,” “Walk This Way,” “Rapper’s Delight,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “Fortunate Son,” and “Under the Boardwalk.” “Honky Tonk Women” also ranks as one of the Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era.

Honky Tonk Women


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Friday, November 29, 2013

Charles Bradley released “Changes”

First posted 5/7/2020.

Changes

Charles Bradley

Writer(s): Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward (see lyrics here)


Released: November 29, 2013


First Charted: --


Peak: -- (Click for codes to singles charts.)


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


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 19.2 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

I’m a sucker for a good cover. It’s even better if the performer seems to be from such a different genre that one can’t imagine how he or she was even exposed to the song. When it comes to that criteria, it’s hard to outdo an obscure soul singer opting to cover a heavy metal song by none other than the kings of the genre – Black Sabbath.

Black Sabbath originally released the song “Changes” on their 1972 album Vol. 4. The song was a rare foray into ballad territory for the band. Guitarist Tony Iommi reportedly stayed up all night snorting cocaine SF and composed the song’s piano melody while experimenting in the studio WK1 learning to play piano. SF Bassist Geezer Butler added lyrics inspired by drummer Bill Ward’s split with his wife. The band’s singer, Ozzy Osbourne, has called the song “heartbreaking” and critic Barney Hoskyns described it as “forlornly pretty.” WK1

In 2003, Ozzy recorded the song again as a duet with his daughter, Kelly. The song with some revised lyrics about a father and daughter drifting apart, SF reached #1 in the UK. Critics weren’t as enamored with their version. In a 2009 Village Voice article, it was ranked one o the worst songs of the decade. WK1

A decade later, soul singer Charles Bradley recorded a version which was released as a single on Record Story Day Black Friday. He said, “That song is very emotional to me. I didn’t want to learn that song…but…the story…made me think about talking with my mother, bonding…The last 12 years of her life, she actually told me things that got me stronger.” SF

Kitty Empire of The Observer compared Bradley’s voice to Al Green WK2 while Pop Matters’ Steve Horowitz called him “the closest living equivalent to [James] Brown.” WK2 The song was featured as the theme song for Big Mouth, an animated Netflix series and appeared in the first season of Big Little Lies, an HBO series. WK2


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Monday, November 25, 2013

Frozen Soundtrack Released

Last updated March 2, 2019.

Frozen Soundtrack

various artists

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Frozen Heart (Cast of Frozen)
  2. Do You Want to Build a Snowman? (Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn, and Katie Lopez) (#51 US, #61 CAN, #45 AUS, #26 UK)
  3. For the First Time in Forever (Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel) (#57 US, #70 CAN, #62 AUS, #38 UK)
  4. Love Is an Open Door (Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana) (#49 US, #89 AUS, #52 UK)
  5. Let It Go (Idina Menzel) #5 US, #18 CAN, #16 AU, #11 UK, worldwide sales: 8.085 million)
  6. Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People (Jonathan Groff)
  7. In Summer (Josh Gad) (#90 AUS, #84 UK)
  8. For the First Time in Forever (Reprise) (Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel)
  9. Fixer Upper (Maria Wilson and Cast of Frozen)
  10. Let It Go (Demi Lovato) (#38 US, #31 CAN, #25 AU, #42 UK)
  11. Vuelie (Christophe Beck, Frode Fjelheim, & Cantus)
  12. Elsa and Anna *
  13. The Trolls *
  14. Coronation Day *
  15. Heimr Arnadair *
  16. Winter’s Waltz *
  17. Sorcery *
  18. Royal Pursuit *
  19. Onward and Upward *
  20. Wolves *
  21. The North Mountain *
  22. We Were So Close *
  23. Marshmallow Attack! *
  24. Conceal, Don’t Feel *
  25. Only an Act of True Love *
  26. Summit Siege *
  27. Return to Arendelle *
  28. Treason *
  29. Some People Are Worth Melting For *
  30. Whiteout *
  31. The Great Thaw (Vuelie Reprise) (Christophe Beck and Frode Fjelheim)
  32. Epilogue

* score by Christophe Beck

Released: November 25, 2013


Peak: #113 US, #1 UK, #12 AU, #17 CN


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 1.0 UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: Disney soundtrack


Review:

Disney’s Frozen was a “welcome return to form” AMG in the tradition of animated musicals in which characters broke into song. AMG The story was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen. The movie took home the Oscar for Best Animated Featured Film and the soundtrack proved to be a monster. It became only the fourth soundtrack from an animated film to top the U.S. album charts. WK With 13 weeks logged on top, it became the biggest soundtrack since 1998’s Titanic. WK It became the best-selling album of 2013 with more than 10 million albums sold worldwide.

Robert Lopez Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon), one of twelve people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, AMG teamed up with Kristen Anderson-Lopez (In Transit, Winnie the Pooh) to write original Broadway-style songs for the soundtrack. Idina Menzel’s version of Let It Go won the Oscar for Best Song, sold more than 8 million worldwide, and garnered over 400 million views on YouTube.

The soundtrack offered a balance of songs with comic relief (In Summer, Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People) alongside musical interplays (For the First Time in Forever) between the two leading ladies, sisters Anna and Elsa, voiced respectively by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel.

In addition, Christophe Beck, fresh off an Oscar win for short Paperman, provided the score. His instrumentals provided “much of the soundtrack’s drama and suspense…[incorporating] orchestral, choral, and folk-inspired elements.” AMG


Review Source(s):


Awards:


Sunday, November 24, 2013

American Music Awards 2013

image from neontommy.com

Here are the 2013 winners from the American Music Awards:

  • Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
  • Icon Award: Rihanna
  • New Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande
  • Single of the Year: Florida Georgia Line with Nelly “Cruise”
  • Top Soundtrack: Pitch Perfect

Cruise

POP/ROCK

  • Favorite Male Artist : Justin Timberlake
  • Favorite Female Artist : Taylor Swift
  • Favorite Band, Duo or Group : One Direction
  • Favorite Album: One Direction Take Me Home

COUNTRY

  • Favorite Male Artist : Luke Bryan
  • Favorite Female Artist : Taylor Swift
  • Favorite Band, Duo or Group : Lady Antebellum
  • Favorite Album: Taylor Swift Red

SOUL/R&B

  • Favorite Male Artist : Justin Timberlake
  • Favorite Female Artist : Rihanna
  • Favorite Album: Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

RAP/HIP-HOP

  • Favorite Artist : Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Favorite Album: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist

FAVORITE ARTISTS – OTHER GENRES

  • Alternative Rock: Imagine Dragons
  • Latin: Marc Anthony
  • Electronic Dance Music (EDM): Avicii
  • Adult Contemporary: Maroon 5
  • Contemporary Inspirational: Matthew West


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Friday, November 22, 2013

50 years ago: The Beatles released With the Beatles

First posted 4/7/2008; updated 9/19/2020.

With the Beatles

The Beatles


Released: November 22, 1963


Peak: -- US, 121 UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): -- US, 1. 0 UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop/rock


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts. You can check out the Beatles’ complete singles discography here.

  1. It Won’t Be Long [2:13]
  2. All I’ve Got to Do [2:02]
  3. All My Loving [2:07] (3/28/64, 45 US, 1 CN, 1 AU)
  4. Don’t Bother Me (George Harrison) [2:28]
  5. Little Child [1:46]
  6. Till There Was You (Meredith Wilson) [2:14]
  7. Please Mr. Postman (Georgia Dobbins/William Garrett/Freddie Gorman/Brian Holland/Robert Bateman) [2:34]
  8. Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry) [2:45] (3/21/64, 68 US)
  9. Hold Me Tight [2:32]
  10. You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me (Smokey Robinson) [3:01]
  11. I Wanna Be Your Man [1:59]
  12. Devil in Her Heart (Richard Drapkin) [2:26]
  13. Not a Second Time [2:07]
  14. Money (That’s What I Want) (Janie Bradford/Berry Gordy) [2:49]

Songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 33:07


The Players:

  • John Lennon (vocals, guitar)
  • Paul McCartney (vocals, bass)
  • George Harrison (guitar, vocals)
  • Ringo Starr (drums, vocals)

Rating:

4.163 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)


Quotable: “This is the one that turned the world upside-down…With the Beatles both affirmed promise and proclaimed genius” – CdUniverse.com


Awards for With the Beatles:

Meet the Beatles

The Beatles


Released: January 20, 1964


Peak: 111 US, -- UK, 1 CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 5.7 US, -- UK, 7.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop/rock


Tracks on Meet the Beatles:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts. You can check out the Beatles’ complete singles discography here.

  1. I Want to Hold Your Hand (11/29/63, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, sales: 4 million)
  2. I Saw Her Standing There [2:55] (1/13/64, 14 US, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single)
  3. This Boy (11/29/63, B-side of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” 53 US, 10 CN)
  4. It Won’t Be Long [2:13]
  5. All I’ve Got to Do [2:02]
  6. All My Loving [2:07] (3/28/64, 45 US, 1 CN, 1 AU)
  7. Don’t Bother Me (George Harrison) [2:28]
  8. Little Child [1:46]
  9. Till There Was You (Meredith Wilson) [2:14]
  10. Hold Me Tight [2:32]
  11. I Wanna Be Your Man [1:59]
  12. Not a Second Time [2:07]

Songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 26:43


The Players:

  • John Lennon (vocals, guitar)
  • Paul McCartney (vocals, bass)
  • George Harrison (guitar, vocals)
  • Ringo Starr (drums, vocals)

Rating for Meet the Beatles:

4.618 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)


Awards for Meet the Beatles:

The Beatles’ Second Album

The Beatles


Released: April 10, 1964


Peak: 15 US, -- UK, 1 CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 3.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop/rock


Tracks on The Beatles’ Second Album:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts. You can check out the Beatles’ complete singles discography here.

  1. Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry) [2:45] (3/21/64, 68 US)
  2. Thank You Girl [2:01] (4/12/63, B-side of “From Me to You,” 35 US)
  3. You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me (Smokey Robinson) [3:01]
  4. Devil in Her Heart (Richard Drapkin) [2:26]
  5. Money (That’s What I Want) (Janie Bradford/Berry Gordy) [2:49]
  6. You Can’t Do That [2:39] (3/16/64, B-side of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” 48 US, gold single)
  7. Long Tall Sally (Enotris Johnson, Richard Penniman, Robert Blackwell) [2:00] (6/19/64, Long Tall Sally EP, 1 CN)
  8. I Call Your Name [2:09] (6/19/64, Long Tall Sally EP, 1 CN)
  9. Please Mr. Postman (Georgia Dobbins/William Garrett/Freddie Gorman/Brian Holland/Robert Bateman) [2:34]
  10. I’ll Get You [2:05]
  11. She Loves You [2:20] (8/29/63, 1 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 3 AU)

Songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 26:43


The Players:

  • John Lennon (vocals, guitar)
  • Paul McCartney (vocals, bass)
  • George Harrison (guitar, vocals)
  • Ringo Starr (drums, vocals)

Rating:

4.217 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

About With the Beatles:

”This is the one that turned the world upside-down. Released as its creators evolved from pop group to phenomenon, With the Beatles both affirmed promise and proclaimed genius.” CDU While it shares “several similarities with its predecessor – there is an equal ratio of covers-to-originals, a familiar blend of girl group, Motown, R&B, pop, and rock, and a show tune that interrupts the flow of the album,” STE the album “is a sequel of the highest order – one that betters the original by developing its own tone and adding depth.” STE This time around, The Beatles demonstrated a “growing toughness,” SP With the Beatles “not only rocks harder, it's considerably more sophisticated.” STE

“The heart of [the album] lies…in…the originals” STE which “are well-crafted and tuneful.” DBW “No band in the history of rock music can boast…sing[ing] harmony like these guys…Those nasal, working-class accents just manage to melt into some of the most beautiful combinations of notes ever.” DC ”The Lennon-McCartney writing team was gathering steam and beginning to knock out pop classics as if they were pulling them out of thin air.” AZ “A slew of memorable…compositions embraced pop at its most multi-faceted, robust, melancholic, excited, and wistful.” CDU The group “had acquired a unique sound in the blend of John's and Paul's voices, while George was coming on by leaps and bounds as a guitar player.” AZ “It was clear that, even at this early stage, the Beatles were rapidly maturing and changing, turning into expert craftsmen and musical innovators.” STE

“They could deliver rock & roll straight [such as on] I Wanna Be Your Man,” STE which “is a good original Beatles’ song [with] a decent energetic Ringo vocal.” AD After “observing the tremendous audience response that Ringo [got] whenever he [sang] ‘Boys’, John and Paul…pen[ned this] new number” TB with Ringo in mind. It was also a song “which Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Loog Oldham had coaxed from the band earlier.” DC

It Won't Be Long is one of the album’s “propulsive rockers.” STE It “is a Beatle-mania crowd-pleaser” AD “with it's yeah yeah yeah's” GA and is “unremarkable musically but fairly remarkable vocally, especially the swoon-some harmony at the end.” AD

They could also “twist it around with a little Latin lilt [such as on]Little Child, one of their most underrated early rockers” STE that “makes good use of the harmonica.” AD

All My Loving, a “sprightly pop/rocker,” STE “is about as good a song as the Beatles have ever released. It has one of those Beatlesque melodies that is sure to stick in your head for a long time.” GA “The little country guitar break in the middle is delightful. It shows The Beatles beginning to think a little more about their songs, even at this early stage.” AD

There were also “richly melodic…slower songs [such as] Not a Second Time,” STE which “benefits from piano in the mix.” AD

That song and “sweet ballads [like] the achingly gorgeous All I've Got to Do,” STE showcased “great Lennon vocals.” DBW This is “a semi-successful attempt at rewriting the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song ‘Baby It's You’ which they covered on Please Please Me.” GA It “has a nice structure about it [and] it's a good song that shows practice makes, if not perfect, then at least a little better than before.” AD

”The midtempo pop number Don't Bother Me,” GA which is George Harrison’s first contribution, ”is a standout, with its wonderfully foreboding minor-key melody.” STE

Since the Beatles covered so much ground with their originals, their covers pale slightly in comparison, particularly since they rely on familiar hits.” STE Only Devil in Her Heart by American all-girl group The Donays TB “qualifies as a forgotten gem.” STE Still, “the band was always remarkably competent even when covering the most vapid material” JA and, after all, “the group always turns in thoroughly enjoyable performances.” STE

There are a couple of “high-energy 50s rock 'n' rollers” JA like Roll Over Beethoven, “a surprisingly stiff reading,” STE in which “Harrison does a dead-on Chuck Berry guitar lick,” GA and Money (That's What I Want), which “is slightly bizarre with its jazzy parts and all, but once John lets his vocals loose, you're slightly pinned back to the wall.” AD

The Beatles also cover a couple of modern R&B hits “such as Lennon's soaring interpretation” STE of You Really Got a Hold on Me, originally recorded by The Miracles. “The guitars are less to the fore varying the sound of the album when it needed a little sonic variation. Piano comes in (played by George Martin apparently)” AD and ”with able backup singing by McCartney and Harrison [the song is] out of the stratosphere.” GA

The Beatles complete a trilogy of Motown covers (“Money” and “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” being the other two), with their “playful” GA version of The Marvelettes’ Please Mister Postman. They “try to replicate those girl group harmonies, and actually do an ok job. John's double-tracked lead vocal is pretty strong.” AD

Paul does a “respectable job” GA on the “endearing” cover of Till There Was You, “the near-standard hit from the show The Music Man.” TB It “is a lovely lilting Spanish flavoured song” AD that demonstrates how the Beatles “listened to a lot of different kinds of music to come up with their unique sound.” GA

With the Beatles freed artists to record their own material, and the course of pop was irrevocably changed.” CDU “This album successfully shows a band with plenty of talent and charisma. It is a testament to the Beatles that one of their lesser albums is this good.” GA “This is probably the best document of the Beatles as high-energy, three-guitar rock and roll band.” DBW


About Meet the Beatles:

Vee-Jay Records had released Introducing the Beatles, its version of the Beatles’ UK debut Please Please Me, and went largely unnoticed until Beatlemania hit American shores in the beginning of 1964. That meant that Meet the Beatles, Capitol Records’ version of With the Beatles, was the true introduction to the Beatles for most Americans.

While it was common practice in the UK to treat singles and albums as separate entities, American audiences wanted the hits on the albums. Most notably that meant adding I Want to Hold Your Hand, the song that launched Beatlemania in the United States. That also meant adding This Boy, the original B-side of the UK single, and I Saw Her Standing There, the B-side in the U.S. and a cut from Please Please Me.

To meet demand for shorter running times for albums, that also meant excising five cover songs from the original UK album – “Please Mr. Postman,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Devil in Her Heart,” and “Money (That’s What I Want).”


About The Beatles’ Second Album:

Those five songs found their way on to the next American release, The Beatles’ Second Album, which also gathered the She Loves You / I’ll Get You single and two cuts from the Long Tall Sally EP – the title song and I Call Your Name.

Chopping up the original UK album actually made for two more unified albums. Meet the Beatles focused more on original material while The Beatles’ Second Album was centered around covers which had largely already become rock-n-roll standards.

In 2004, the Capitol Records Vol. 1 box set gathered the U.S. albums Meet the Beatles, The Beatles’ Second Album, Something New, and Beatles ‘65 on CD for the first time.

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