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.

Resources and Related Links:

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


Resources and Related Links:

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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