Friday, November 27, 2015

Herb Alpert's Whipped Cream album hit #1 50 years ago today

First posted 3/25/2008; updated 9/6/2020.

Whipped Cream & Other Delights

Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

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Charted: May 15, 1965

Peak: 18 US, 2 UK, -- CN, -- AU

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

Genre: traditional pop

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Song Title (Writers) [Time] (chart date, peaks on charts)

  1. A Taste of Honey (Bobby Scott, Rick Marlow) [2:43] (9/4/65, #7 US, #1 AC)
  2. Green Peppers (Sol Lake) [1:31]
  3. Tangerine (Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger) [2:46]
  4. Bittersweet Samba (Sol Lake) [1:46]
  5. Lemon Tree (Will Holt) [2:23]
  6. Whipped Cream (Naomi Neville) [2:33] (2/20/65, #68 US, #13 AC)
  7. Love Potion No. 9 (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) [3:02]
  8. El Garbanzo (Sol Lake) [2:13]
  9. Ladyfingers (Toots Thielemans) [2:43]
  10. Butterball (Mike Henderson) [2:12]
  11. Peanuts (Luis Guerrero) [2:09]
  12. Lollipops and Roses (Tony Velona) [2:27]

Total Running Time: 28:22


4.275 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)


About the Album:

“It’ll never be known exactly what made Whipped Cream & Other Delights Herb Alpert’s big commercial breakthrough – the music or the LP jacket’s luscious nude model covered almost entirely with simulated whipped cream. Probably both.” AMG

“In any case, Alpert’s most famous album is built around a coherent concept; every song has a title with food in it. Within this concept, Alpert’s musical tastes are still refreshingly eclectic; he uses Brazilian rhythms on Green Peppers and Bittersweet Samba, reaches back to the big-band era for the haunting Tangerine, uses Dixieland jazz on Butterball, and goes to New Orleans for the Allen Toussaint-penned title track (familiar to viewers of TV’s The Dating Game).” AMG

“He also has developed a unique sense of timing as a producer, using pauses for humorous effect, managing to score his second Top Ten hit with a complex, tempo-shifting version of A Taste of Honey.” AMG

“No wonder Alpert drew such a large, diverse audience at his peak; his choices of tunes spanned eras and generations, while his arrangements were energetic enough for the young and melodic enough for older listeners.” AMG

Notes: A 2005 reissue added bonus tracks “Rosemary” and “Blueberry Park.”

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Chris Stapleton’s Traveller hit #1 on country album chart for 1st of 29 weeks


Chris Stapleton

Released: May 5, 2015

Peak: 12 US, 129 CW, 67 UK, 4 CN, 47 AU

Sales (in millions): 4.25 US

Genre: country


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

  1. Traveller (4/27/15, 87 US, 17 CW, 7x platinum)
  2. Fire Away (25 CW)
  3. Tennessee Whiskey (11/21/15, 20 US, 12 CW, 39 CN, sales: 6 million)
  4. Parachute (12/10/16, 78 US, 31 CW, platinum single)
  5. Whiskey and You (35 CW)
  6. Nobody to Blame (11/9/15, 68 US, 10a CW, 83 CN, platinum single)
  7. More of You
  8. When the Stars Come Out
  9. Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore
  10. Might As Well Get Stoned (44 CW)
  11. Was It 26
  12. The Devil Named Music
  13. Outlaw State of Mind (45 CW)
  14. Sometimes I Cry

Total Running Time: 63:04


4.200 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Like many country troubadours, Chris Stapleton cut his teeth as a songwriter in Nashville, churning out tunes that wound up hits in the hands of others. Kenny Chesney brought ‘Never Wanted Anything More’ to number one and Darius Rucker had a hit with ‘Come Back Song,’ but those associations suggest Stapleton would toe a mainstream line when he recorded his 2015 debut, Traveller. This new release, however, suggests something rougher and rowdier – an Eric Church without a metallic fixation or a Sturgill Simpson stripped of arty psychedelic affectations. Something closer to a Jamey Johnston, in other words, but where Johnston often seems weighed down by the mantle of a latter-day outlaw, Stapleton is rather lithe as he slides between all manners of southern styles.” AMG

“Some of this smoothness derives from Stapleton’s supple singing. As the rare songwriter-for-hire who also has considerable performance chops, Stapleton is sensitive to the needs of an individual song, something that is evident when he's covering Tennessee Whiskey – a Dean Dillon & Linda Hargrove tune popularized by George Jones and David Allan Coe in the early ‘80s – lending the composition a welcome smolder.” AMG

“The strength of Traveller lies in how he can similarly modulate the execution of his originals. He has a variety of songs here, too, casually switching gears between bluegrass waltz, Southern rockers, crunching blues, soulful slow-burners, and swaggering outlaw anthems – every one of them belonging to a tradition, but none sounding musty due to Stapleton’s casualness. Never once does he belabor his range, nor does he emphasize the sharply sculpted songs. Everything flows naturally, and that ease is so alluring upon the first spin of Traveller that it’s not until repeated visits that the depth of the album becomes apparent.” AMG

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First posted 8/1/2021; last updated 2/5/2022.

Friday, November 20, 2015

100 years ago: “They Didn’t Believe Me” hit #1

They Didn’t Believe Me

Harry MacDonough with Olive Kline (as Alice Green)

Writer(s): Herbert Reynolds, Jerome Kern (see lyrics here)

First Charted: November 13, 1915

Peak: 17 US (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 (sheet music)

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


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Jerome Kern, best known for the landmark musical Show Boat, was “one of the most important pioneering composers of American Popular Song.” PS Born in New York City in 1885, Kern was the son of an upper-middle class family. He got a Master of Music degree at Germany’s Heidleberg University and started writing for Broadway shows by the time he was 19. PS

Over the next eight years, he wrote about 100 songs for roughly thirty Broadway musicals and wrote three full, unsuccessful musical scores. SS His style integrated “vaudeville, minstrel songs, ragtime and ‘coon’ songs” LW “into Broadway theatre songs, something new and intrinsicially American.” LW He hit paydirt in 1914 with The Girl from Utah after several failed stage productions. He wrote eight songs for the adaptation of an English opera, one of which was “They Didn’t Believe Me.” It was Kern’s first hit song and “may well be his best,” PS marking his “graduation to the status of major composer from that of a ‘mere’ pop tunesmith.” SS

“The song is held to be the earliest on the cannon of showtunes, or standards, which have become to be known as ‘American Popular Song.’” LW David Ewen said this song “stands out with beacon-like brilliance. Kern no longer submitted meekly to the song conventions of the day, but bent them to his own creative needs.” SS The song is “a model for the “thirty-two bar Tin Pan Alley ballad that became standard for the time. While not exactly slangy it is written in a conversational tone, [such as] ‘And I’m cert’nly goin’ to tell them;’ it is almost spoken yet remains sung.” RCG

Michael Rourke wrote the lyrics for “They Didn’t Believe Me.” He was born in England and moved to the United States to become a press agaent. Around the start of World War I, he changed his name to Herbert Reynolds for unknown reasons. He had provided lyrics to a dozen or so of Kern’s earlier songs under his original name. This was written under his new name and “the words work perfectly with Kern’s melody, which feels tender, and natural, and still sounds fresh today.” LW

The song became a #1 song in 1915 in the hands of Harry MacDonough and Olive Kline. In 1916, Grace Kerns & Reed Miller took it to #8 and Walter Van Brunt & Gladys Rice reached #9. Morton Downey had a #15 hit with it in 1934. PM Dinah Shore sang it in the 1946 Kern biopic Till the Clouds Roll By and Mario Lanza and Kathryn Grayson tackled it in the 1949 movie, That Midnight Kiss. PS Bing Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, Johnny Mercer, and Barbra Streisand were among the others who recorded the song. RCG


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First posted 11/20/2014; last updated 11/23/2022.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” debuts at #2


Justin Bieber

Writer(s): Justin Bieber, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, Sonny Moore, Michael Tucker (see lyrics here)

Released: October 23, 2015

First Charted: October 25, 2015

Peak: 13 US, 13 RR, 11 AC, 3 A40, 34a RB, 11 UK, 17 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 2.4 UK, 13.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 3614.1 video, 1653.0 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Sorry” was the second single from Justin Bieber’s album Purpose. Like its predecessor, “What Do You Mean?,” it topped the Billboard Hot 100, but it had to wait awhile. It debuted at #2 on the 11/14/2015 chart – behind Adele’s “Hello.” It spent eight non-consecutive weeks at #2 before finally dethroning Adele. WK The song would ultimately top the chart in thirteen countries. WK

The dance-pop song featured a “smooth but electrifying EDM beat incorporating brassy horn bleats, a reggaeton rhythm, [and] warm island rhythms.” WK Bieber enlisted Skrillex to produce songs for his album after working with him on top-ten hit “Where Are Ü Now.” Bieber said, “Skrillex is a genius. He’s super futuristic and I just love his sounds. I think being able to incorporate that sound with what I’m doing has been super cool because …I feel like no one’s done it before.” WK

Michael Tucker, aka BloodPop, crafted the melody with Bieber in Mind and songwriters Justin Traner and Julia Michaels helped on the lyrics. WK The idea grew out of a personal event Michaels had. WK She said the idea was to “capture that moment in a relationship…where you realize you made a mistake and you’re finally read to admit and apologize.” WK In Bieber’s hands, he wasn’t just asking a lover for a second chance, but the public as well. He called the song “the end-all of apologies that I’m giving to people, to the media” SF for “a run of boorish behavior that included reckless driving, public urination, and even an incident involving a black market monkey.” SF He later recanted that comment, saying, “It really had nothing to do with that…It was about a girl.” SF

At first, Bieber considered the song “too safe and simple,” but came to love the song and “changed a couple things to make it feel like him” WKWK Of the final results, BloodPop said “Justin’s vocal delivery and the triumphant key of the song gave the narrative a warm color…The beat is…exciting and fun.” WK

Time’s Nolan Feeney said, “with a beat this breezy…that’s nothing to be sorry about.” WK Spin’s Brennan Carley called “Sorry” “a subdued step forward for the Biebs” WK and USA Today’s Maeve McDermott said it was “just as much of an earworm as his previous single ‘What Do You Mean?’” WK AllMusic’s Andy Kellman praised both songs as showing Bieber “makinga deeper connection with his material and that…he was progressing from performer to artist.” WK Pitchfork’s Brad Nelson called them “his best performances to date.” WK


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Last updated 11/7/2021.