Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Top 50 Eric Clapton Songs

First posted 3/30/12. Updated 3/30/14.

Eric Clapton was born on March 30, 1945. In celebration of his birthday, Dave’s Music Database presents its list of his top songs as a solo artist and with The Yardbirds (Y), John Mayall’s Blues Breakers (M), Cream (C), Blind Faith (B), Delaney & Bonnie (DB), and Derek & the Dominos (DD). Dave’s Music Database compiles best-of lists into an aggregate and also factors in sales, chart data, and awards. In the case of a specialized list such as this, appearances on compilations and best-of lists focused specifically on Eric Clapton are figured in as well.

For Your Love (studio, 1965)

1. Layla (1970) DD
2. Tears in Heaven (1992)
3. Sunshine of Your Love (1968) C
4. Wonderful Tonight (1977)
5. Change the World (1996)

Rambling on My Mind/ Have You Ever Loved a Woman?
(live, 1983, but first performed with Mayall in 1966

6. I Shot the Sheriff (1974)
7. White Room (1968) C
8. Lay Down Sally (1977)
9. Cocaine (1977)
10. Layla (Unplugged, 1992)

Sunshine of Your Love (live, 1968)

11. Crossroads (live, 1968) C
12. Badge (1969) C
13. After Midnight (1970)
14. Bell Bottom Blues (1970) DD
15. For Your Love (1965) Y

White Room (live from 2005 Royal Albert Hall reunion)

16. Promises (1978)
17. Forever Man (1985)
18. My Father’s Eyes (1998)
19. Let It Rain (1970)
20. Bad Love (1989)

Presence of the Lord (live, 1969)

21. I Can’t Stand It (1981)
22. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (1975)
23. Pretending (1989)
24. I’ve Got a Rock and Roll Heart (1983)
25. It’s in the Way That You Use It (1986)

Layla (live, 1984; originally recorded in 1970)

26. Presence of the Lord (1969) B
27. I Feel Free (1966) C
28. She’s Waiting (1985)
29. Can’t Find My Way Home (1969) B
30. Strange Brew (1967) C

I Shot the Sheriff (live; original from 1974)

31. Blues Power (1970)
32. Running on Faith (1989)
33. Hello Old Friend (1976)
34. Before You Accuse Me (1989)
35. Let It Grow (1974)

Lay Down Sally (live with Mark Knopfler; original from 1977)

36. Have You Ever Loved a Woman? (1966) M
37. Riding with the King (with B.B. King, 2000)
38. Spoonful (1966) C
39. Tales of Brave Ulysses (1967) C
40. After Midnight (rerecording, 1988)

Wonderful Tonight (live, original from 1977)

41. Circus (1992)
42. Willie and the Hand Jive (1974)
43. Old Love (1989)
44. Tulsa Time (1978)
45. Little Wing (1970) DD

After Midnight (1988 rerecording, audio with photo montage)

46. I’m Tore Down (1994)
47. Swing Low Sweet Chariot (1975)
48. No Alibis (1989)
49. Anyone for Tennis? (1968) C
50. Good Morning Little School Girl (1964) Y

Tears in Heaven (1992)

Awards/Honors for Clapton:

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Layla (Unplugged, 1992)

Friday, March 28, 2014

“In the Good Old Summertime” hit #1 – for the second of three times: March 28, 1903

image from rankopedia.ocm

Haydn Quartet “In the Good Old Summertime”

Writer(s): Ren Shields/ George Evans (see lyrics here)

First charted: 2/28/1903

Peak: 16 US, -- UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.0 (sheet music sales) US, -- UK, 3.0 world (includes US and UK)

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

Review: Comedian Ren Shields and black-faced minstrel George “Honey Boy” Evans wrote what has been called “the signature song for summer.” PS The song grew out of a Sunday trip to the beach with singer-actress Blanche Ring. When Evans remarked that he liked “the good old summertime” Shields said it would make a great song title. Shields worked up lyrics and Evans improvised a basic melody. Ring assisted him in writing it down and arranging it for piano since he couldn’t write a note of music. TR-276

Shields and Evans shopped the song to several music publishers, but none wanted a song doomed to a three-month lifespan. Then Ring offered to perform it in her Broadway show The Defender. TR-276 The show opened in the Herald Square Theater on July 3, 1902 PS and closed in less than two months. However, thanks to its “happy, singable melody with easy to remember lyrics” PS “Summertime” proved to have a much longer life than publishers speculated, becoming “a perennial seasonal favorite.” JA-101

J.W. Myers included the song in his vaudeville act RCG and took it to #1. His was one of five versions to hit the top three of the U.S. pop charts in 1902 and 1903. Redmond charted first (#3), followed Myers, Harry MacDonough (#2), the Haydn Quartet (#1), and Sousa’s Band (#1). The Haydn Quartet’s version showed the most endurance, ranking as Billboard’s song of the year in 1903. WHC

The song was connected to a 1927 film In the Good Old Summertime and revived for the 1948 Judy Garland movie of the same name. PS In 1952, Les Paul and Mary Ford charted with a #15 version of the song. It has also been tapped numerous times for “Broadway shows and Hollywood films whenever a ‘summer song,’ has been needed.” RCG

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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.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Asia’s Gravitas released

First posted 9/7/2020.



Buy Here:

Released: March 19, 2014

Peak: 159 US, 92 UK, -- CN, -- AU

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

Genre: heritage rock

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Valkyrie (2014, --)
  2. Gravitas
  3. The Closer I Get to You
  4. Nyctophobia
  5. Russian Dolls
  6. Heaven Help Me Now
  7. I Would Die for You
  8. Joe DiMaggio’s Glove
  9. Till We Meet Again

All songs written by John Wetton and Geoff Downes unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 49:39

The Players:

  • John Wetton (vocals, bass)
  • Geoff Downes (keyboards)
  • Carl Palmer (drums)
  • Sam Coulson (guitar)


3.000 out of 5.00 (average of 3 ratings)

Quotable: --

About the Album:

Asia surfaced in the early ‘80s as a supergroup comprised of John Wetton (King Crimson, Uriah Heep), Steve Howe (Yes), Geoff Downes (Yes, Buggles), and Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer). The original lineup only lasted one more album before members started splintering off. Downes, however, maintained the group for the next two decades, often as the only original member.

In 2006, the original four reunited for a tour and followed it with their first studio release in a quarter century. The reunion lasted for two more albums before Steve Howe parted ways with the group again. The other three, however, soldiered on releasing Gravitas with Sam Coulson on guitar. The 27-year-old “acquits himself nicely” MC on the “more reserved album” MC which serves as a showcase for Downes and Wetton’s “longstanding partnership as thoughtful songwriters and technically proficient arrangers.” MC

“Asia have always moved back and forth between their radio-friendly pop side and more classical-influenced progressive side.” MC With its “elegiac, classical tone” MC, “Gravitas bends more toward the latter.” MC It has “moments of bright, burning rock intensity…framed by extended orchestral synth arrangements,” MC such as on the three-part suite Heaven Help Me Now.

While most of the songs were written for this album, the song I Would Die for You is a reworked version of a demo dating back to 1986. WK The song “brings to mind the band’s golden ‘Heat of the Moment’ period.” MC Till We Meet Again also harkens back to another era as it “conjure[s] Queen’s layered majestic harmonies.” MC

There’s also lead single Valkyrie which “draw[s] upon Norse mythology.” MC The song also served as the original title for the album before the band opted for Gravitas instead.

Notes: Various deluxe editions included acoustic versions of “Russian Dolls,” “The Closer I Get to You,” and “Joe DiMaggio’s Glove.”

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Monday, March 17, 2014

3/17/2014: Sia released breakthrough hit “Chandelier”

Last updated 10/24/2020.



Writer(s): Sia Furler, Jesse Shatkin (see lyrics here)

Released: March 17, 2014

First Charted: April 21, 2014

Peak: 8 US, 10 RR, 17 AC, 10 A40, 6 UK, 6 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 1.8 UK, 6.81 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2173.5 video, 925.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

At the onset of 2014, Sia had charted a few minor hits in her native Australia and even mustered a top ten hit in the UK (2000’s “Taken for Granted”), but had never dented the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. In 2010, she took a hiatus from performing and co-wrote songs for Christina Aguilera, BeyoncĂ©, Flo Rida, David Guetta, and Rihanna. The result was a #1 song for Rihanna (“Diamonds,” 2012) and top ten hits featuring Sia for David Guetta (“Titanium,” 2011) and Flo Rida (“Wild Ones,” 2011). WK

The set the stage for Sia’s U.S. breakthrough when she returned with sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear. Lead single “Chandelier” not only landed Sia on the U.S. pop charts as a lead act for the first time, but took her all the way to the top ten. She originally wrote the song with BeyoncĂ© or Rihanna in mind, but as she told Ryan Seacrest, “This time I was like, ‘Uh oh, I think I just wrote a full-blown pop song for myself by accident!” SF It worked. As Gigwise’s Andrew Trendall said, the song “springboards Sia from a behind-the-scenes genius into a superstar in her own right.” WK

The electropop song featured “electronica, R&B, and reggae influences. Lyrically, [it] has a melancholic theme; detailing the demorilisation and rationalization of alcoholism through the typical thought process of a ‘party girl.’” WK As MTV Buzzworthy’s John Walker said, the song toes “the line between celebration and self-destruction.” WK VH1’s Emily Exton deemed it “the best song Sia had ever written.” WK MuuMuse’s Bradley Stern called it the best pop single of 2014, as did Billboard magazine. WK The song garnered Grammy nominations for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Music Video.

The video, directed by Sia and Daniel Askill and choreographed by Ryan Heffington, featured 11-year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler from Lifetime’s Dance Moms. SF She wore a medium-length blonde wig which matched the one Sia wore when promoting the album. Ziegler “performs an interpretive dance in a deserted, dirty apartment.” WK As she said, “It was really different and weird for me because I usually don’t…[get] to be a crazy person.” WK Time magazine said it might be the best dance routine of 2014. WK It received nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year and Best Choreography, winning the latter. Rolling Stone and Spin named it the best video of 2014. WK She told Rolling Stone that the video was “the best thing I’ve ever done,” inspiring her to continue as a solo artist. SF

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

“Moonlight Bay” hit #1: March 16, 1912

image from

American Quartet “Moonlight Bay”

Writer(s): Edward Madden/ Percy Wenrich (see lyrics here)

First charted: 3/9/1912

Peak: 18 US, -- UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

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

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

Review: “Arguably the best moonlight song ever written,” PS “Moonlight Bay” “conjures up an entire lost era of a slower-paced America that…had plenty of time for gentle spooning in an unspoiled natural setting.” SS-587 It is “a very durable song from Tin Pan Alley about an idyllic setting for romance.” RCG

Edward Madden, who also wrote “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” penned the lyrics about “sailing across the bay at night in the moonlight while losing one’s heart to true love.” RCG The music was written by Percy Wenrich, “one of the era’s specialists in sentimental ballads.” SS-587. He came from a musical family wrote a number of hits in the rag genre and performed with his wife, Dolly Connelly, in vaudeville. PS

It was Connelly who introduced the song in vaudeville and took it to #3 on the U.S. pop charts in 1912. It also became a “huge barbershop-quartet song as exemplified by the American Quartet,” JA-136 who made the tune the biggest hit of 1912. WHC-23

The song was revived by Alice Faye in the 1943 film On Moonlight Bay and again in 1951 in a Doris Day and Gordon MacRae film of the same name. The song has appeared many times in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts featuring Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. WK In 1951, Bing and Gary Crosby took their version of the song to #14. JA-136

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.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pharrell Williams hit #1 in the U.S. with “Happy”

Updated 2/6/2021.


Pharrell Williams

Writer(s): Pharrell Williams (see lyrics here)

Released: November 21, 2013

First Charted: January 18, 2014

Peak: 110 US, 13 RR, 16 AC, 16 A40, 14 AA, 112 RB, 14 UK, 110 CN, 112 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 2.63 UK, 13.63 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2109.9 video, 553.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

2013 was a remarkable year for Pharrell Williams. He aided Robin Thicke in landing at #1 for 12 weeks atop the pop charts with “Blurred Lines” and gave Daft Punk an assist on their #2 hit “Get Lucky,” which took home a Grammy for Record of the Year. Thanks to Pharrell’s work on the latter, ecstatic record label managers encouraged him to record a solo album, something he hadn’t done since 2006’s In My Mind.

Things kicked off with “Happy,” a song which Pharrell contributed to the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack and served as the first single for his 2014 album G I R L. The single was launched with a website, which was billed as the world’s first 24-hour music video. The song is played repeatedly with people in Los Angeles dancing and miming along with the song. Pharrell appeared in the first segement of each hour.

The song, which Williams had originally written for Cee-Lo Green, became the year’s most inescapable hit, spending 10 weeks atop the U.S. pop charts and hitting #1 in 23 other countries. With 12 million in worldwide sales, “Happy” ranks as one of the 100 best-selling songs of all time. The song also garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. The standard four-minute video has garnered more than 500 million views on YouTube, making it one of the top 100 most-watched music videos in history.

His falsetto on the song earned favorable comparisons from critics to Curtis Mayfield. Music journalist Paul Tingen called “Happy” a “mid-tempo soul song in a faux-Motown style” WK while Rolling Stone critic Jody Rosen called it a “standout” with a “sprightly neo-soul funk groove.” WK Huw Woodward, critic from Renowned for Sound, described the song as a “happy affair with a cheerful beat and exuberant vocal that would indicate that the…singer is finding a lot of lightheared fun…in both music and life.” WK’s Holly Williams described the “unbelievably catchy” song as “the kind…that makes you want to dance and sing along.” WK

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