Monday, May 26, 2014

The War on Drugs “Under the Pressure” released

Under the Pressure

The War on Drugs

Writer(s): Adam Granduciel (see lyrics here)

Released: May 26, 2014

First Charted: March 21, 2015

Peak: 19 AA, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 24.5 video, 62.54 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The War on Drugs formed in Philadelphia in 2005. The rock band’s original lineup consisted of singer/guitarist Adam Granduciel and guitarist/keyboardist Kurt Vile with bassist David Hartley. Vile left after the band’s debut album, 2008’s Wagonwheel Blues, for a solo career. Neither that album nor its follow-up, 2011’s Slave Ambient, charted in the United States although the latter petered onto the UK charts at #127.

The band’s third album, 2014’s Lost in the Dream, became a critical favorite and the commercial highpoint of their career reaching #26 in the U.S. and #18 in the UK. called it the “most fully realized statement from the group thus far…with a sense of purpose and understated brilliance.” AMG The album produced five singles, none of which had huge chart implications, although “Under the Pressure” got to #19 on the adult alternative chart.

The song title reflected Adam Granduciel’s struggles after the band came off their tour supporting their second album. He struggled to readjust to everyday life, dealing with loneliness, anxiety, depression, and paranoia. The band’s music has been viewed “as an update to the wild-eyed sermons of [Bob] Dylan and [Bruce] Springsteen or the summer-night abandon that Tom Petty perfected, all filter through walls of decidedly indie guitar noise.” AMG

One Reddit user called the track “a freakin’ force of nature” “among the greatest songs of the decade.” RD Another described it as “a masterpiece” built on a “simple piano melody, the backing drums, the yearning vocals…[and] warbling guitars.” RD breaks down the song, saying, “In the first verse, the narrator talks about how the ‘comedown’ is easy, but without you (presumably a loved one), everything felt wasted and pointless. The chorus then captures the theme of the song: under the pressure of life, we often forget that we are not alone in our struggles, and that there is comfort in knowing somebody is there for us despite the hardships. The post-chorus and last verse touch on the idea of fleeing from life's problems and the fear of allowing oneself to become consumed by it. Ultimately, the song conveys the need for connection and understanding during difficult times.” ST


First posted 2/24/2024.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

John Legend’s “All of Me” hit #1 in 30th week on chart

All of Me

John Legend

Writer(s): John Stephens/ Toby Gad (see lyrics here)

Released: August 12, 2013

First Charted: September 21, 2013

Peak: 13 US, 15 RR, 17 BA, 110 AC, 14 A40, 13 RB, 2 UK, 15 CN, 13 AU, 10 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 14.0 US, 2.16 UK, 17.33 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1580.0 video, 2079.05 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“All of Me” took 30 weeks to hit the top of the pop charts, the third-longest climb to the top after Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” and Lonestar’s “Amazed.” A major factor was Legend’s performance of the song at the Grammys in January 2014. As Legend told Billboard, “By all rights, I shouldn’t have gotten that slot to perform by myself…but producer Ken Ehrlich believed in the song and thought it was special enough to deserve its own slot.” SF

The song sent him not only to #1 in the U.S., but in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland. Rolling Stone’s Jon Dolan called the song a “mountainous piano crusher” WK and Exclaim!’s Ryan Patrick praised what he called “Legend’s current commercially friendly, sentimental sound.” WK

Legend premiered the song in June 2013 on Oprah Winfrey’s prime-time television show Oprah’s Next Chapter. It was the third single from his Love in the Future album. Previous singles “Who Do We Think We Are” and “Made to Love” failed to chart. In fact, Legend’s last song to hit the pop charts had been in 2008 with “Green Light,” one of only two Legend songs to hit the top 40. The other was “Ordinary People” in 2005. In fact, in a ten-year career, Legend had only hit the Hot 100 four times, leading to the suspicion that he’d be a respected name in the music industry, but one who never had a major hit.

Legend co-wrote this piano-driven ballad with songwriter Toby Gad (Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy”). She suggested to Legend that he write a song as a dedication to model Chrissy Teigen, his then-fiancee and later wife, in the vein of Billy Joel’s “She’s Always a Woman.” SF As he told BBC News about Teigen, “She’s definitely affected my songwriting.” SF The two met in 2007 on the set of his video for “Stereo” and married in 2013 in September 14. The black-and-white video, shot just days before the couple’s wedding in Italy, features the two making love and finishes with footage from their actual wedding. Legend sang the song to her during the wedding.


Last updated 7/21/2023.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Brian Eno's Top 20 Albums

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Happy birthday, Brian Eno! Born Brian Peter George Eno on May 15, 1948, this English musician has made a name for himself as a record producer, composer, singer, and one of the principal innovators of ambient music. In celebration of his birthday, the DMDB offers up the top 20 albums of Eno’s career. The majority of the albums on this list feature Eno as a producer. Albums on which he was a performer are noted with an asterisk (*). It should also be pointed out that the top 18 albums on this list are in the DMDB’s Top 1000 Albums of All Time and the top three albums also make the DMDB’s Top 100 Albums of All Time list.

The Top 20 Brian Eno Albums

1. U2…The Joshua Tree (1987)
2. U2…Achtung Baby (1991)
3. Talking Heads…Remain in Light (1980)
4. Roxy Music…For Your Pleasure (1973) *
5. U2…The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
6. U2…All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
7. Coldplay…Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)
8. Talking Heads…Fear of Music (1979)
9. Brian Eno…Another Green World (1975) *
10. David Byrne/Brian Eno…My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981) *

11. Roxy Music…Roxy Music (1972) *
12. Talking Heads…More Songs about Buildings and Food (1978)
13. Brian Eno…Here Come the Warm Jets (1974) *
14. U2…No Line on the Horizon (2009)
15. Devo…Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo (1978)
16. U2…Zooropa (1993)
17. Roxy Music…Stranded (1973) *
18. Brian Eno…Before and After Science (1977) *
19. Coldplay…Mylo Xyloto (2011)
20. David Bowie…Outside (1995)

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

190 years ago: Beethoven premieried his 9th symphony

Symphony No. 9 in D minor (Choral)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Composed: 1818-1824

First Performed: May 7, 1824

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: classical > symphony


  1. Allegro ma non troppo
  2. Molto vivace
  3. Adagio molto e cantabile
  4. Presto – Allegro assai

Average Duration: 68:10


4.216 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Work:

“On May 7, 1824, Ludwig van Beethoven experienced what must certainly have been the greatest public triumph of his career. The audience which gathered at the Hoftheater adjacent to the Vienna K√§rtnertor heard not only the abridged local premiere of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (the Kyrie, Credo, and Gloria were given) and Op. 124 Overture, but also the first performance of the composer’s ‘Choral’ Symphony. The event was a rousing success; indeed, one of the most moving accounts of Beethoven’s final years describes how the profoundly deaf composer, unable to hear the colossal response of his admirers, had to be turned around by one of the soloists so that he could see the hundreds of clapping hands!” AMG

“Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 started life as two separate works – a symphony with a choral finale, and a purely instrumental work in D minor. He labored on these sporadically for almost 10 years before finally deciding (in 1822) to combine the two ideas into one symphony, with Friedrich von Schiller’s Ode an die freude (Ode to Joy) – a text he had contemplated setting for a number of years – as the finale.” AMG

“The finished work is of visionary scope and proportions, and represents the apogee of technical difficulty in its day. There are passages, notably a horn solo in the slow movement, which would have been almost impossible to play on the transitional valveless brass instruments of Beethoven’s time. As Dennis Matthews writes: ‘As with other late-period works, there are places where the medium quivers under the weight of thought and emotion, where the deaf composer seemed to fight against, or reach beyond, instrumental and vocal limitations.’” AMG

“The Ninth also personifies the musical duality that was to become the nineteenth century – the conflict between the Classic and Romantic, the old and new. The radically different styles of Brahms and Liszt, for instance, both had their precedents in this work. On one hand, there was the search for a broader vocabulary (especially in terms of harmony and rhythm) within the eighteenth century framework; on the other, true Romanticism, embracing the imperfect, the unattainable, the personal and the extreme – qualities that violate the very nature of Classicism. When viewed individually, the first three movements still have their roots distinctly in the eighteenth century, while the fourth – rhapsodic, and imbued with poetic meaning – seems to explode from that mold, drawing the entire work into the realm of program music, a defining concept of musical Romanticism.” AMG

“Beethoven’s Ninth represents a fitting culmination to the composer’s symphonic ouvre – a body of work that is still unmatched in its scope and seminal ingenuity – and remains a pillar of the modern symphonic repertoire.” AMG

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Last updated 4/17/2022.