Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Top 50 Albums of 2014

image from therazorkxrz.com

According to 40+ lists (see bottom of page for links) aggregated by Dave’s Music Database, these are the best albums of 2014. Be sure to also check out the DMDB post of the top 50 songs of 2014. 1. The War on Drugs Lost in the Dream
2. St. Vincent St. Vincent
3. FKA Twigs LP1
4. Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 2
5. Aphex Twin Syro
6. Caribou Our Love
7. Sharon Van Etten Are We There
8. Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence
9. Taylor Swift 1989
10. Flying Lotus You’re Dead!

11. Mac DeMarco Salad Days
12. Beck Morning Phase
13. Future Islands Singles
14. Spoon They Want My Soul
15. Swans To Be Kind
16. Perfume Genius Too Bright
17. Jack White Lazaretto
18. Sun Kil Moon Benji
19. Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire for No Witness
20. Damon Albarn Everyday Robots

21. Todd Terje It’s Album Time
22. Jenny Lewis The Voyager
23. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Pinata
24. Real Estate Atlas
25. Leonard Cohen Popular Problems
26. Wild Beasts Present Tense
27. Sam Smith In the Lonely Hour
28. Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty
29. Ty Segall Manipulator
30. The Black Keys Turn Blue

31. Royal Blood Royal Blood
32. Alt-J This Is All Yours
33. Cloud Nothings Here and Nowhere Else
34. Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues
35. La Roux Trouble in Paradise
36. Sturgill Simpson Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
37. Elbow The Take Off and Landing of Everything
38. Kate Tempest Everybody Down
39. The Tune Yards Nikki Nack
40. Ed Sheeran X

41. Robert Plant Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar
42. Temples Sun Structures
43. Eric Church The Outsiders
44. Ben Frost Aurora
45. Hurray for the Riff Raff Small Town Heroes
46. YG My Krazy Life
47. East India Youth Total Strife Forever
48. Miranda Lambert Platinum
49. Parquet Courts Sunbathing Animals
50. Strand of Oaks Heal


Resources and Related Links:

The Top 50 Songs of 2014

image from pastemagazine.com

Here are the best songs of 2014, based on an aggregate of more than 33 best-of song lists.

Fancy

1. Iggy Azalea with Charli XCX “Fancy
2. John Legend “All of Me
3. Ariana Grande with Iggy Azalea “Problem”
4. Taylor Swift “Shake It Off
5. Sia “Chandelier”
6. Sam Smith “Stay with Me”
7. Pharrell Williams “Happy
8. Meghan Trainor “All About That Bass”
9. Future Islands “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
10. Katy Perry with Juicy J “Dark Horse”

All of Me

11. Magic! “Rude”
12. Jason Derulo with 2 Chainz “Talk Dirty”
13. FKA Twigs “Two Weeks”
14. One Republic “Counting Stars”
15. Nicki Minaj “Anaconda”
16. Drake “0 to 100/The Catch”
17. Lorde “Team”
18. Nico & Vinz “Am I Wrong”
19. Bastille “Pompeii”
20. Passenger “Let Her Go”

Shake It Off

21. Pitbull with Ke$ha “Timber”
22. Charli XCX “Boom Clap”
23. Iggy Azalea with Rita Ora “Black Widow”
24. Maroon 5 “Maps”
25. Eminem with Rihanna “The Monster”
26. One Direction “Story of My Life”
27. DJ Snake with Lil’ Jon “Turn Down for What”
28. Lorde “Royals
29. American Authors “Best Day of My Life”
30. Jessie J with Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj “Bang Bang”

Happy

31. Beyonce with Jay-Z “Drunk in Love”
32. Ariana Grande with Zedd “Break Free”
33. Taylor Swift “Blank Space”
34. Imagine Dragons “Demons”
35. Jason Derulo with Snoop Dogg “Wiggle”
36. Calvin Harris “Summer”
37. Tinashe with Schoolboy Q “2 On”
38. Clean Bandit with Jess Glynne “Rather Be”
39. Perfume Genius “Queen”
40. The War on Drugs “Red Eyes”

All About That Bass

41. Caribou “Can’t Do Without You”
42. Alvvays “Archie, Marry Me”
43. Jeremih with YG “Don’t Tell ‘Em”
44. A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera “Say Something”
45. Paramore “Ain’t It Fun”
46. I Love Makonnen with Drake “Tuesday”
47. Justin Timberlake “Not a Bad Thing”
48. Tove Lo “Habits (Stay High)”
49. Sharon Van Etten “Your Love Is Killing Me”
50. Rixton “Me and My Broken Heart”

Dark Horse


Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Radio’s Most-Played Songs in History

Radio’s Most-Played Songs in History First posted 12/6/2011. Revised 12/30/2014.

These are, according to various sources (see bottom of page), the all-time most-played songs on the radio. These figures generally treat all versions of a song as one entity so in this list the title is listed first and then the artist most associated with the song. For ties, songs are listed in order of how high they rank according to the DMDB. The numbers, in millions, refer to how many plays the song has had at radio regardless of format, genre, demographic, or time slot.

Note: in creating this list, multiple sources were used to try to assure as much accuracy as possible. However, because there are different companies who measure radio airplay and some report that information readily, there are inherent flaws. For example, some assert that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is the most-played song in history, but it doesn’t make the list because no reference was found for an officially reported number. In addition, the focus here is on radio airplay so songs like “Happy Birthday” which is sung ad infinitum or “It’s a Small World after All” which Time magazine estimates to have been played 50 million times at Disney World (see article here) are not included. Also, this list cuts off at the 5 million mark.

    11 million:

  1. “Every Breath You Take” (The Police)

    10 million:

  2. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (The Righteous Brothers, Hall & Oates)

    9 million:

  3. “Yesterday” (The Beatles, Ray Charles)
  4. “Baby, I Need Your Loving” (Four Tops, Johnny Rivers)

    8 million:

  5. “Brown-Eyed Girl” (Van Morrison)
  6. “Act Naturally” (Buck Owens, The Beatles)

    7 million:

  7. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin)
  8. “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” (Otis Redding)
  9. “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King, John Lennon)
  10. “When a Man Loves a Woman” (Percy Sledge, Michael Bolton)
  11. “Your Song” (Elton John)
  12. “Never My Love” (The Association)

    6 million:

  13. “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” (The Rolling Stones)
  14. “I Will Always Love You” (Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton)
  15. “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Creedence Clearwater Revival)
  16. “Oh, Pretty Woman” (Roy Orbison, Van Halen)
  17. “Layla” (Derek & the Dominos, Eric Clapton)
  18. “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (The Everly Brothers)
  19. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (Ray Charles, Don Gibson, Conway Twitty)
  20. “Georgia on My Mind” (Ray Charles, Willie Nelson)
  21. “Mrs. Robinson” (Simon & Garfunkel, The Lemonheads)
  22. “Strangers in the Night” (Frank Sinatra)
  23. “Only You and You Alone” (The Platters)
  24. “Wind Beneath My Wings” (Bette Midler, Gary Morris)
  25. “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher” (Jackie Wilson, Rita Coolidge)
  26. “Save the Last Dance for Me” (The Drifters)
  27. “On Broadway” (The Drifters, George Benson)
  28. “Daniel” (Elton John)
  29. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” (Frankie Valli)
  30. “Up, Up and Away” (The Fifth Dimension)
  31. “Twilight Time” (The Platters)
  32. “Oh Girl” (The Chi-Lites, Paul Young)
  33. “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” (Neil Sedaka)
  34. “Michelle” (The Beatles, The Overlanders)
  35. “How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You” (Marvin Gaye, James Taylor)
  36. “Rhythm of the Rain” (The Cascades, Dan Fogelberg)
  37. “Oh Lonesome Me” (Don Gibson)

    5.8 million:

  38. “Working My Way Back to You” (The Four Seasons, The Spinners)

    5 million:

  39. “Imagine” (John Lennon)
  40. “Let It Be” (The Beatles, Aretha Franklin)
  41. “The House of the Rising Sun” (The Animals)
  42. “Suspicious Minds” (Elvis Presley, Fine Young Cannibals)
  43. “Proud Mary” (Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ike & Tina Turner)
  44. “Honky Tonk Women” (The Rolling Stones)
  45. “Killing Me Softly with His Song” (Roberta Flack, The Fugees)
  46. “The Sound of Silence” (Simon & Garfunkel)
  47. “Always on My Mind” (Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Pet Shop Boys)
  48. “You Send Me” (Sam Cooke)
  49. “How Deep Is Your Love” (Bee Gees)
  50. “You’re Still the One” (Shania Twain)
  51. “Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac)
  52. “The Rose” (Bette Midler)
  53. “California Girls” (The Beach Boys, David Lee Roth)
  54. “The Letter” (The Box Tops, Joe Cocker)
  55. “Happy Together” (The Turtles)
  56. “You Can’t Hurry Love” (The Supremes, Phil Collins)
  57. “Something” (The Beatles)
  58. “Cherish” (The Association)
  59. “Up on the Roof” (The Drifters)
  60. “Everybody’s Talkin’” (Harry Nilsson)
  61. “Amazed” (Lonestar)
  62. “Release Me” (Engelbert Humperdinck, Little Esther Phillips)
  63. “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” (Glen Campbell, Isaac Hayes)
  64. “Scarborough Fair” (Simon & Garfunkel)
  65. “Born Free” (Roger Williams)
  66. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” (Elton John, George Michael & Elton John)
  67. “Don’t Stop” (Fleetwood Mac)
  68. “Angel of the Morning” (Merrillee Rush & the Turnabouts, Juice Newton)
  69. “Hooked on a Feeling” (Blue Swede, B.J. Thomas)
  70. “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” (The Police)
  71. “Gentle on My Mind” (Glen Campbell)
  72. “Sometimes When We Touch” (Dan Hill)
  73. “And I Love Her” (The Beatles)
  74. “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” (England Dan & John Ford Coley)
  75. “Canadian Sunset” (Hugo Winterhalter with Eddie Heywood)
  76. “Sunny” (Bobby Hebb)
  77. “Goin’ Out of My Head” (Little Anthony & The Imperials)
  78. “To Love Somebody” (Bee Gees, Michael Bolton)
  79. “Born on the Bayou” (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
  80. “The Heart of the Matter” (Don Henley)
  81. “Traces” (Classics IV)
  82. “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” (Casinos, Eddy Arnold)
  83. “More” (Perry Como, Marcello Ciorciolini)


Resources and Related Links:
  • Arbitron

    Not an indicator of specific songs played, but what musical genres dominate radio stations.

  • American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)

    “Membership association of more than 370,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers.” Established in 1914. Their primary function is the licensing and distribution of royalties for public performances of copyrighted works. Represent more than four million copyrighted works.

  • ASCAP’s Top 25 Holiday Songs of the 20th Century (1998)

    Link broken. Updated versions of list in 2005 and 2009 (see below).

  • ASCAP’s Top 25 Songs of the Century (12/27/99)

    Unranked list of the most performed songs of the century. Topping the list was “Happy Birthday to You.”

  • ASCAP’s Most Performed Love Songs of the 20th Century (2000)

    For Valentine’s Day 2000, ASCAP named the top 5 love songs for each decade of the 20th century.

  • ASCAP’s 25 Most-Performed Holiday Songs for 2000-05 (12/1/05). Written by Eric Olsen.

    Olsen offers commentary on ASCAP’s top holiday songs of the 21st century. Updated version of 1998 list above.

  • ASCAP’s Top 25 Holiday Songs of the Decade (11/23/09)

    While this list focuses only on the 21st century, it includes many of the same songs from the 20th century list above since holiday favorites are fairly consistent year-to-year.

  • Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) – see Nielsen

  • Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI)

    Performance rights and royalty tracking and distribution organization for recording artists. Represents more than a quarter million songwriters, composers, and publishers. Has a repertoire of 3 million + songs. The company monitors nearly a half million hours of radio airplay.

  • BMI.com BMI Announces Top 100 Songs of the Century (13 December 1999)

  • BMI’s Top 100 Songs of the Century

    There are no details offered in the link, but because this is BMI, that would make this a list of the most-played songs of the century.

  • Chartts.Tripod.com (2001)

    While the Digital Dream Door site below is more current, this list does offer a more complete list of all songs to have aired more than a million times. Site appears to be the personal website of Oleg Grishntkin. He does not indicate the list’s origin.

  • ClassicBands.com Radio’s Most Played Artists (November 2003)

  • Digital Dream Door Most Played Songs on the Radio (December 2002)

    This appears to be a listing of those songs reaching the BMI “Million Airs” Club, but a list more current than 2002 would be nice. According to this list, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” is the most played song, with 8 million airs. Only includes songs with 3 million + airs. This same list appears at ClassicBands.com.

  • Dave Masters, (4/14/09). The Sun. Abba to Wings: The Top 75 Tunes.

    List of the top 75 most played songs, via public airplay, in the last 75 years in Great Britain. List does not indicate number of airplays for each song.

  • Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (BDS)

    Their function is to track the number of plays for songs on radio and other mediums. They are the basis of Billboard magazine’s airplay data. The site is geared toward businesses and does not appear to have any links to to an archive of songs and the airplay they’ve garnered. However, they do publish a list of BDS Certified Spin Awards each month in Billboard magazine of songs which have received 50,000+ spins. Generally, there are one or two songs each month which reach heights beyond a ½ million spins.

  • Phonographic Performance Ltd. Britain’s 75 Most Heard Song List Topped by…Procol Harum?. By Ted Spangler at AmericanSongwriter.com (4/15/09)

    75 most played songs in public places (radio stations, sports stadiums, jukeboxes, elevators, supermarkets) in Britain over the last 75 years.

  • Phonographic Performance Ltd. (PPL) Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars’ Most Played and Used Song of the Noughties (1/1/00)

    Top 50 list of most-played songs in the UK from 2000-2009. Also in “Lists (Songs – Best of 2000-2009)” section.

  • SESAC

    Performance rights and royalty tracking and distribution organization for recording artists. Lesser known than ASCAP or BMI. Name originally stood for Society of European Stage Authors & Composers, organized to better represent European artists in the U.S. Today they are just known as SESAC.

  • Time Is This the Most Played Song in Music History? (30 April 2014)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

50 years ago: The Beatles released Beatles for Sale

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 9/18/2020.

Beatles for Sale

The Beatles


Released: December 4, 1964


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


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


Genre: pop/rock


Tracks for Beatles for Sale:

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. No Reply [2:15]
  2. I’m a Loser [2:30]
  3. Baby’s in Black [2:04]
  4. Rock & Roll Music (Chuck Berry) [2:31]
  5. I’ll Follow the Sun [1:49]
  6. Mr. Moonlight (Roy Lee Johnson) [2:38]
  7. Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! (Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller/Richard Penniman) [2:38]
  8. Eight Days a Week [2:43]
  9. Eight Days a Week (2/15/65, 1 US, 1 CN, gold single)
  10. Words of Love (Buddy Holly) [2:04]
  11. Honey Don’t (Carl Perkins) [2:57]
  12. Every Little Thing [2:04]
  13. I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party [2:33] (2/15/65, B-side of “Eight Days a Week,” 39 US, gold single)
  14. What You’re Doing [2:30]
  15. Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby (Carl Perkins) [2:26]

Songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 33:43


The Players:

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

Rating for Beatles for Sale:

3.887 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)


Quotable: “The group’s most uneven album” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

…but still with “enough moments sprinkled throughout for anyone to enjoy” - Adrian Denning, Adrian’s Album Reviews


Awards for Beatles for Sale:

Beatles ‘65

The Beatles


Released: December 15, 1964


Peak: 19 US, -- UK, 1 CN, -- AU


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


Genre: pop/rock


Tracks for Beatles ‘65:

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. No Reply [2:15]
  2. I’m a Loser [2:30]
  3. Baby’s in Black [2:04]
  4. Rock & Roll Music (Chuck Berry) [2:31]
  5. I’ll Follow the Sun [1:49]
  6. Mr. Moonlight (Roy Lee Johnson) [2:38]
  7. Honey Don’t (Carl Perkins) [2:57]
  8. I’ll Be Back [2:22]
  9. She’s a Woman [2:57] (11/23/64, B-side of “I Feel Fine, 4 US, gold single)
  10. I Feel Fine [2:20] (11/23/64, 13 US, 15 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single)
  11. Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby (Carl Perkins) [2:26]

Songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 26:10


The Players:

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

Rating for Beatles ‘65:

4.380 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)


Awards for Beatles ‘65:

Beatles VI

The Beatles


Released: June 14, 1965


Peak: 16 US, -- UK, 1 CN, -- AU


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


Genre: pop/rock


Tracks for Beatles VI:

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. Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! (Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller/Richard Penniman) [2:38]
  2. Eight Days a Week [2:43]
  3. Eight Days a Week (2/15/65, 1 US, 1 CN, gold single)
  4. You Like Me Too Much (Harrison) [2:38]
  5. Bad Boy (Larry Williams) [2:17]
  6. I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party [2:33] (2/15/65, B-side of “Eight Days a Week,” 39 US, gold single)
  7. Words of Love (Buddy Holly) [2:04]
  8. What You’re Doing [2:30]
  9. Yes It Is [2:40]
  10. Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Williams) [2:54]
  11. Tell Me What You See (Harrison/Lennon/McCartney) [2:39]
  12. Every Little Thing [2:04]

Songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 27:45


The Players:

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

Rating for Beatles VI:

4.128 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)

About Beatles for Sale:

”With the release of Beatles for Sale…the constant spotlight glare of Beatlemania and the accompanying happy, shiny surface was beginning to bear heavily on the Fab Four. The album cover photo shows a very somber and tired-looking band, and the double meaning of the title was lost on only the very naïve.” CW ”It was inevitable that the constant grind of touring, writing, promoting, and recording would grate on the Beatles, but the weariness of Beatles for Sale comes as something of a shock. Only five months before, the group released the joyous A Hard Day's Night. Now, they sound beaten, worn, and, in Lennon's case, bitter and self-loathing.” STE

”The Beatles were rushed into the studios inbetween touring to make a new LP in time for the Christmas season of 1964” AD – a de facto deadline imposed by commercial considerations (see title).” JA “Only eight of the fourteen songs here were penned by The Beatles.” AD “In desperation, the band fell back on cover versions of 50s rock standards by Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, and Chuck Berry.” JA ”It's well-performed” DBW – even “though their voices had been frazzled a bit by constant touring, they revved them up for some joyous shouting, and indulged their fondness for American country in subtle, playful ways.” DW Even so, “despite some experimentation with recording effects and instrumentation,” JA the covers are “ill-conceived” DW “and the originals are mostly lackluster.” DBW After writing everything for A Hard Days Night, “the very presence of six covers…feels like an admission of defeat or at least a regression.” STEBeatles for Sale is usually regarded as a temporary step backwards.” AD

“There are some important changes…most notably Lennon's discovery of Bob Dylan and folk-rock,” STE Lennon’s “opening trilogy…is the darkest sequence on any Beatles record, setting the tone for the album.” STE Those songs, “along with I Don't Want to Spoil the Party, are implicitly confessional and all quite bleak, which is a new development.” STE

First up in that “1-2-3 opening punch” MU is the “moody No ReplyMU “sounds like a stronger song from With the Beatles.” AD This flows right into I'm a Loser, a ”brilliant, remarkably introspective number” JA that “displays a country influence in the guitar picking [and] has a fresh sound and wonderful lyrics throughout.” AD

The trilogy wraps with “the harmony-drenched Baby's in Black,” MU which “is a weird semi-lilting song with strained sounding vocals perhaps reflecting the pressure these songs were recorded under. [There’s] a guitar solo that sounds all over the place, and not in a good way. Still, it triumphs despite these problems, because the song itself is just that strong.” AD

“The most memorable [of the covers was] the…frantic” JA and “frenetic, inspired take on Chuck Berry's Rock and Roll Music.” CDU “A trip down memory lane for the group…it's a good performance but does give off the 'whiff' of something [the group] played literally hundreds of times and ran through 'just once more' for the sake of recording.” AD

The “cheery I'll Follow the SunSTE “is a pretty ballad Paul had written” DBW “pre-Please Please Me,” AD “but revived for this project as a last resort.” DBW It features “acoustic guitar [and] sweet vocals although lyrically is less sweet with such lines as ‘And now the time has come, and so my love, I must go / And though I lose a friend, in the end you will know, oh’: hardly the stuff of flowers and moonlit romances.” AD

”A tremendous medley of Kansas City and Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey…finds Paul McCartney's exuberant vocals comparing admirably to his hero Little Richard, providing a vibrant centerpiece.” CDU

”Some of the tracks ended up being among the most widely disliked by Beatles fans” JA – ”Lennon's cover of his beloved obscurity Mr. Moonlight winds up as arguably the worst thing the group ever recorded.” STE

“The mid section of Beatles for Sale sags and suffers, so thank god for” AD “the dynamic” STE Eight Days a Week, a “true pop classic…The title of the song was inspired by something Ringo said describing their hectic work schedule.” AD

A couple of cover tunes follow – Buddy Holly’s Words of Love and Carl Perkins’ Honey Don’t, with Ringo’s sole vocal lead on the album, before the “undeservedly unheralded Lennon/McCartney album track Every Little Thing.” MU The song is “a true underrated Beatles gem, a fabulous song led by Paul and mixing in cool clear guitar lines with catchy vocals.” AD

George takes the lead on Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby, “an average Carl Perkins cover.” AD “Apart from the sound and style of the lead guitar - everything else is very tired and old sounding,” AD “leaving the impression that Beatlemania may have been fun but now the group is exhausted.” STE

”That exhaustion results in the group's most uneven album, but its best moments find them moving from Merseybeat to the sophisticated pop/rock they developed in mid-career.” STE Besides, even with a lackluster outing, Beatles for Sale “has enough moments sprinkled throughout for anyone to enjoy” AD and, “as a marker of where they were and where they were going, the album is revelatory.” CW After all, “the Beatles…instincts for what worked musically were so strong that they could basically do no wrong.” DW


About Beatles ‘65:

In the U.S., Beatles for Sale was broken up over two albums. The first seven cuts and “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby” were kept for Beatles ‘65 but the other six were replaced with three different cuts. “I’ll Back” was leftover from the UK version of A Hard Day’s Night and the single I Feel Fine / She’s a Woman was used to flesh out the album. The latter are welcome additions, but still don’t make up for the omission of “Eight Days a Week,” the most recognizable cut on Beatles for Sale.


About Beatles VI:

The other six cuts from Beatles for Sale were held over in the U.S. until the June 1965 release of Beatles VI. Those songs included the “Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!” medley, “Eight Days a Week,” “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party,” “Words of Love,” “What You’re Doing,” and “Every Little Thing.”

Three other songs were taken from the U.K. version of Help!, which wasn’t released until August 1965. Those were You Like Me Too Much, Tell Me What You See, and Dizzy Miss Lizzy.

The other two songs were Bad Boy and Yes It Is. The former was never released on a UK album and the latter was the B-side of “Ticket to to Ride.”


Notes:
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.

In 2006, the Capitol Records Vol. 2 box set gathered the U.S. albums The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help!, and Rubber Soul on CD for the first time.

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Taylor Swift dethrones herself at #1 with “Blank Space”

Last updated 3/17/2020.

Blank Space

Taylor Swift

Writer(s): Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback (see lyrics here)


Released: November 10, 2014


First Charted: November 2, 2014


Peak: 17 US, 15 RR, 14 AC, 16 A40, 4 UK, 16 CN, 13 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 0.65 UK, 11.68 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2526.0 video, 19.2 streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

“Blank Space” was the second single from Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album 1989. It followed previous single, “Shake It Off,” to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. In fact, Swift knocked herself out of the top spot, becoming the first woman in the history of the chart to do so. WK So far, it has been her longest reign at #1.

The “electropop song” was compared by some critics to the work of Lorde (“Royals”). WK Lyrically, it “satirizes the media’s perception of Swift and her relationships.” WK She is portrayed as “an overly attached maneater who dates for songwriting material.” WK She sings that she’s “got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane” and that she has “a blank space, baby, and I’ll write your name.” Swift wrote the song with Max Martin and Shellback, who also produced.

PopMatters called the song “likely the best of Swift’s career.” WK The New York Times said “This is Ms. Swift at her peak.” WK The song was nominated for Gramys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. She also took home an iHeart Radio Music Award for Best Lyrics for the song. SF

For the video, Swift wanted to continue with the jokes about how she included her ex-boyfriends in her songs. Joseph Kahn, who’d done Eminem’s “Without Me” and Katy Perry’s “Waking Up in Vegas,” was tapped to direct the video. Swift is depicted as “an unhinged lovelorn woman who lives alone in a giant mansion.” SF In July 2015, the video became the fourth to reach one billion views on Vevo. WK It won the MTV awards for Best Pop Video and Best Female Video. WK


Resources and Related Links:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Roy Acuff charted with “Wabash Cannonball”: November 24, 1938

image from classictrainsongs.com


Roy Acuff “Wabash Cannonball”


Writer(s): A.P. Carter (see lyrics here)

First charted: 11/24/1938

Peak: 12 US (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 10.0 world (includes US)

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --


Review: This is “a genuine knight-of-the-road ballad with a touch of the Paul Bunyan flavor,” TR-367 “perhaps the greatest of all train songs.” SS-67 The song originated in the 1880s, In 1882, J.A. Roff wrote words and music for “The Great Rock Island Route!,” a song about a mythical train which traveled coast to coast. It became an anthem for hoboes. In Southern America in the late 19th century, the railroad offered a different form of work for those wishing to escape the farms and served up a touch of romanticism for those who wanted to live a less conventional life, riding the rails and going wherever the trains would take them.

William Kindt adapted Roff’s piece in 1905 under the title “Wabash Cannonball.” There were several Wabash Railroad passenger trains dating back to the 1880s while the term “cannonball” was used to reference a fast train. When the song entered the public domain in 1928, it was reworked and claimed by A.P. Carter whose group, the Carter Family, recorded the song the next year, but didn’t release it until 1932. In the meantime an unissued version was recorded by Clark & Edans in 1928 and Tennessee singer and guitarist recorded and released the song in 1929.

Roy Acuff, who was billed as “the King of Country Music,” SS-68 recorded the song in 1936 with Dynamite Hatcher on vocals, but didn’t release it until 1938. NRR He didn’t record it with his vocal until 1947, although he performed it regularly on the Grand Ole Opry, SS-67 where he first appeared in 1938 and was its top star by 1942. NRR His “voice was pure country and he was one of the first to carry the title ‘hillbilly’ proudly.” CL He embraced the plain and simple values of poor, rural Americans and gained an audience via his recordings, tours, and movie appearances. NRR In 1962, he was the first living artist elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame. NRR


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Award(s):


Friday, November 21, 2014

Nov. 21, 1964: B.B. King recorded his Live at the Regal album

Originally posted September 16, 2011. Last updated September 7, 2018.

Live at the Regal

B.B. King

Recorded: Nov. 21, 1964


Released: 1965


Charted: Sept. 25, 1971


Sales (in millions):
US: --
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): --


Peak:
US: 56
UK: --
Canada: --
Australia: --

Quotable: “An absolutely necessary acquisition for fans of B.B. King or blues music in general.” – Daniel Gioffre, All Music Guide


Genre: blues


Album Tracks:

  1. Every Day I Have the Blues (1/29/55, #8 RB)
  2. Sweet Little Angel
  3. It’s My Own Fault
  4. How Blue Can You Get? (3/28/64, #97 RB)
  5. Please Love Me (6/27/53, #1 RB)
  6. You Upset Me Baby (11/6/54, #1 RB)
  7. Worry, Worry
  8. Woke Up This Morning (My Baby’s Gone) (3/14/53, #3 RB)
  9. You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now
  10. Help the Poor (6/27/64, #90 US, #36 RB)

Singles/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs. Note: chart data is for original studio releases.

Review:

B.B. “King, who has been called ‘The King of the Blues’ and the ‘best blues artist of his generation,’ has been a primary influence on a number of artists, including Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Mike Bloomfield.” NRR “King is not only a timeless singer and guitarist, he’s also a natural-born entertainer, and on Live at the Regal the listener is treated to an exhibition of all three of his talents. Over percolating horn hits and rolling shuffles, King treats an enthusiastic audience (at some points, they shriek after he delivers each line) to a collection of some of his greatest hits.” DG

The album was significant in King’s career because it graduated him from a largely black following to a much larger white audience. ABC-Paramount had signed King in 1961 in the hopes of emulating the crossover success of label-mate Ray Charles. Having struck out so far, they returned to basics and let King do what he did best – play live. Studio albums bounced back and forth between showcasing King’s vocals and guitars. A live performance let him excel at both simultaneously while also allowing King to prove himself the consummate performer.

This album was recorded “at the Regal Theater in Chicago in 1964” NRR “in front of a few hundred lucky fans” SM and “is considered by many to be one of the definitive blues albums.” SM It was “one of the first of an in-concert blues performance.” NRR It “documents King’s intimate relationship with his audience” NRR as he puts “on a stunning performance by which all others would soon be judged.” SM

“The recording showcases King’s inventive and emotional guitar style, which blends Delta blues with a rhythm and blues beat, spiking the combination with his ‘sliding note’ style.” NRR The style “has been copied by just about every guitarist around.” SM

“Things get off to a lively start with the classic Every Day I Have the Blues, and they don’t let up till the CD’s over. The guitar work is superb (yet never overdone) throughout the disc, and B.B.’s unique storytelling abilities are unmatched.” SM

“The backing band is razor-sharp, picking up the leader’s cues with almost telepathic accuracy. King’s voice is rarely in this fine of form, shifting effortlessly between his falsetto and his regular range, hitting the microphone hard for gritty emphasis and backing off in moments of almost intimate tenderness.” DG This is clear by the second number, when…he immediately slows things down with Sweet Little Angel, “climaxing when King unleashes his guitar, the legendary Lucille, into an inspired less-is-more solo.” GW

A similar highlight is “at the climax of How Blue Can You Get, where the Chicago venue threatens to explode at King’s prompting. Of course, the master’s guitar is all over this record, and his playing here is among the best in his long career. Displaying a jazz sensibility, King’s lines are sophisticated without losing their grit.” DG

“Most of the songs here are fairly short, so King doesn’t get to stretch out much. Worry Worry is an exception though. Largely an instrumental (at least in the first half), B.B. really cuts loose on this one.” SM

“More than anything else, Live at the Regal is a textbook example of how to set up a live performance. Talking to the crowd, setting up the tunes with a vignette, King is the consummate entertainer. Live at the Regal is an absolutely necessary acquisition for fans of B.B. King or blues music in general. A high point, perhaps even the high point, for uptown blues.” DG


Review Source(s):

Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):