Friday, September 23, 2016

Marillion released FEAR

F.E.A.R. (Fuck Everyone and Run)


Released: September 9, 2016

Peak: -- US, 4 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: neo-progressive rock


Song Title [time] (date of single release)

  1. El Dorado [16:46]
    I. Long-Shadows Sun [1:26]
    II. The Gold [6:13]
    III. Demolished Lives [2:24]
    IV. F E A R [4:08]
    V. The Grandchildren of Apes [2:35]
  2. Living in F E A R [6:25] (9/21/17, --)
  3. The Leavers [19:08]
    I. Wake Up in Music [4:27]
    II. The Remainers [1:35]
    III. Vapour Trails in the Sky [4:49]
    IV. The Jumble of Days [4:20]
    V. One Tonight [3:56]
  4. White Paper [7:19]
  5. The New Kings [16:45] (7/7/17, --)
    I. Fuck Everyone and Run [4:22]
    II. Russia’s Locked Doors [6:25]
    III. A Scary Sky [2:34]
    IV. Why Is Nothing Ever True? [3:24]
  6. Tomorrow’s New Country [1:47]

All tracks written by Marillion.

Total Running Time: 68:10

The Players:

  • Steve Hogarth (vocals, percussion)
  • Steve Rothery (guitar)
  • Pete Trewavas (bass)
  • Mark Kelly (keyboards)
  • Ian Mosley (drums)


2.958 out of 5.00 (average of 14 ratings)

About the Album:

For their 18th studio album, the band felt “they may well have produced their best ever work.” AZ The songs do “bear the hallmark of true quality” AZ and “Marillion has certainly not mellowed with age.” AZ “With FEAR Marillion show that they are as vital and potent as ever. Peerless and, yes, fearless.” AZ

FEAR sees the band taking on the big themes but they do not see it as their place to preach to people.” AZ “The job is simple,” says Steve Hogarth. “We use the amazing privilege of having both a platform and an audience to encourage people to look in the mirror and ask themselves the big questions by doing just that ourselves.” AZ

The title, while “certainly provocative,” AZ is not meant “in anger or with any intention to shock,” says Hogarth. WK It is taken from a line in the song New Kings. Hogarth said, “We’ve used FEAR as a title with some relish, but only as it shows that we haven’t shied away, but it’s said with sadness.” AZ He said, “I have a feeling that we’re approaching some kind of…irreversible political, financial, humanitarian and environmental storm. I hope that I’m wrong. I hope that my FEAR of what ‘seems’ to be approaching is just that, and not FEAR of what ‘is’ actually about to happen.” WK There are two basic impulses behind human behaviour: Love and Fear, and all the good stuff comes from love.” AZ

“New Kings” “looks at the ravening beast that modern capitalism seems to have evolved into.” AZ An edit of the song was released prior to the album. “El Dorado examines the notions of political entitlement and the modern challenges for the UK.” AZThe Leavers examines the impact of a transient life on the road for those constantly waving goodbye.” AZ

Marillion “are widely considered crowdfunding pioneers” WK because of their habit of appealing to fans to finance the making of their albums by pre-ordering them before the albums have even been made. For FEAR, the band joined the online direct-to-fan platform PledgeMusic. They launched the campaign on September 1, 2015, and in a month had pledges from fans in 67 countries to buy the album. This allowed the band to tour South America and North America in 2016.

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First posted 8/6/2021; last updated 3/6/2022.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Frank Ocean’s Blond hit #1


Frank Ocean

Released: August 20, 2016

Peak: 11 US, 12 RB, 11 UK, 2 CN, 11 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.1 UK, 1.1 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: R&B


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

  1. Nikes (8/20/16, 79 US, 27 RB, 93 UK, 77 CN)
  2. Ivy (9/10/16, 80 US, 28 RB)
  3. Pink + White (9/10/16, 84 US, 30 RB)
  4. Be Yourself
  5. Solo (9/10/16, 96 US, 38 RB)
  6. Skyline To (9/10/16, 50 RB)
  7. Self Control (9/10/16, 42 RB)
  8. Good Guy
  9. Nights (9/10/16, 98 US, 40 RB)
  10. Solo (Reprise)
  11. Pretty Sweet
  12. Facebook Story
  13. Close to You
  14. White Ferrari
  15. Seigfried
  16. Godspeed
  17. Futura Free (includes unlisted track “Interviews”)

Total Running Time: 60:08


4.158 out of 5.00 (average of 28 ratings)

Quotable: “A post-hip-hop Pet Sounds” – Rolling Stone

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

High expectations had been built for Frank Ocean’s 2012 debut, Channel Orange, and it lived up to the hype. To fulfill his Def Jam contract for a second album, he released “the visual project Endless, but then – within hours – he released his own Blond. It’s a boldly personal statement full of layered harmonies, as Ocean mutates his voice to match every mood.” RS’20

For those who thought Channel Orange “wasn’t forthcoming enough with hooks or traditionally structured songs, this is bound to seem less like a luxurious joyride on a freshly paved motorway than it does an interminable stay in a repair shop waiting lounge. In terms of pop appeal, none of it approaches ‘Novacane’ or ‘Thinkin’ ‘Bout You.’ The focus is more on Ocean, the extensive list of ‘album contributors’ – possibly a combination of studio collaborators and mere inspirations – notwithstanding.” AMG

“The songs were so nakedly intimate, it felt like a post-hip-hop Pet Sounds.” RS’20 “He’s often accompanied by only keyboards or a guitar or two; less than one-third of the tracks include the sound of his voice and that of a beat within the same space. Over the course of an hour, all the sparsely ornamented ruminations can be a bit of a chore to absorb, no matter how much one hangs on each line.” AMG

“The writing talent on display, however, is irrefutable, whether it’s a sharp aside, the precision and economy in the chorus of the BeyoncĂ©-backed Pink + White, or the agony evoked in Self Control (with an outro multi-tracked to pull heartstrings).” AMGIvy is his most deeply melancholic confession – Ocean mourns a lost love over a distorted guitar, lamenting, “We’ll never be those kids again.” RS’20

“Ocean’s words continue to be fueled by his memories of youth and young adulthood in summertime, while recreational pharmaceuticals are a factor more than ever. The lines regarding relationships are acutely descriptive with frequently abrupt transitions from deep to shallow observations. There’s a little more playfulness to go along with the wistful heartache, Ocean’s perverse sense of humor shows most when he follows his mother’s stern anti-drug message with an ebullient vocal-and-organ number that opens with him ‘gone off tabs.’” AMG

“In the closing Futura Free, one of several cuts where processing distorts his voice the way a fun house mirror deforms a body, there is much weight to him to remarking ‘Don’t let ‘em find Pac/He evade the press/He escape the stress,’ then declaring ‘I ain’t on your schedule.’ He’s clearly bemused with the industry and fan entitlement. An undoubtedly reactive work, this is undiluted and progressive nonetheless.” AMG

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First posted 8/1/2021; last updated 4/21/2022.

50 years ago: The Supremes “You Can’t Hurry Love” hit #1

You Can’t Hurry Love

The Supremes

Writer(s): Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland (see lyrics here)

Released: July 25, 1966

First Charted: August 5, 1966

Peak: 12 US, 11 CB, 11 GR, 12 HR, 12 RB, 3 UK, 3 CN, 6 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 5.0 radio, 10.0 video, 366.54 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“You Can’t Hurry Love” was the seventh chart-topper from the Supremes. Like its predecessors, it was written by the Motown songwriting and production trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland. Billboard magazine described it as “the group’s most exciting side to date.” WK “Every one of the Supremes’ hits had a big beat working for it, a four-four engine driven by handclaps and bass-drum hits. But none of the hits leading up to ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ had a beat quite that big.” SG “That beat is the focal point, even more than the vocals. Diana Ross and her fellow Supremes flit around that bassline like hummingbirds.” SG

Lamont Dozier, one of the songwriters, said “It was basically a gospel feel we were after.” FB To that end, they were inspired by the ‘50s gospel song “You Can’t Hurry God, He’s Right on Time” by Dorothy Love Coates & the Original Gospel Harmonettes. SG It includes the lines “You can’t hurry God/ You just have to wait/ Trust and give him time/ No matter how long it takes.”

In the Supremes’ hands, Diana Ross sings “as someone who wants to be in a relationship and who finds herself getting more and more impatient.” SG It “works less as a lonely woman’s lament and more as a piece of romantic advice.” SG Cash Box summed it up as a “pulsating pop-R&B rhythmic ode which contends that romance is a slow-developing game of give-and-take.” WK

Phil Collins’ 1982 cover of the song reached #10 in the United States and topped the charts in the UK, doing even better than the #3 peak of the original. Dozier considers it one of the best covers of a song by the Supremes. FB Dozier would later co-write “Two Hearts,” a #1 song in the United States for Collins from the 1988 movie Buster.


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First posted 2/6/2023.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

100 years ago: Billy Murray hit #1 with “Pretty Baby”

Pretty Baby

Billy Murray

Writer(s): Gus Kahn (words), Tony Jackson (music), Egbert Van Alstyne (music) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: September 1, 1916

Peak: 11 US, 112 GA, 112 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.19 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This “delightful, jaunty little song” TY2 was first performed in 1912 by Tony Jackson SM who wrote the song for his boyfriend. TY2 According to Donald, the son of lyricist Gus Kahn, his father saw Jackson perform it at a black nightclub in Chicago. Kahn and the song’s composer, Egbert Van Alstyne, convinced Jackson to sell the song to them. Other accounts have suggested the tune was stolen or that Kahn and Van Alstyne were hired to rework it. TY2

The song was then introduced by Dolly Hackett in the Broadway show Passing Show of 1916. DJ It was also featured that year in the Broadway revue A World of Pleasure and the London show Houp La. SM It would later be featured in the musicals Applause (1929), She Done Him Wrong (1933), Rose of Washington Square (1939), and Coney Island (1943). It was also used in biopics for Ted Lewis (Is Everybody Happy?, 1943) Nora Bayes (Shine on Harvest Moon, 1944), Gus Kahn (I’ll See You in My Dreams, 1952), and Eva Tanguay (The I-Don’t-Care-Girl, 1953). The song also surfaced in Broadway Rhythm (1944). TY2

Billy Murray had the hit recording with the song that same year, taking it to #1. PM This was his seventeenth of 18 chart-toppers as a solo act. PM With 169 chart entries from 1903 to 1927, he was the “most sensational record seller of the entire pre-1920 pioneer era.” PM He had another 44 hits with Ada Jones from 1907 to 1922; six of those reached #1. PM

As for Kahn, the Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee would go on to write “Ain’t We Got Fun?” (Van & Schenck, #1, 1921), “Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Goo’bye)” (Al Jolson, #1, 1923), “It Had to Be You” (Isham Jones, #1, 1924), “Yes Sir! That’s My Baby” (Gene Austin, #1, 1925), “Makin’ Whoopee” (Eddie Cantor, #2, 1929), and “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (Wayne King, #1, 1931).


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First posted 3/18/2023.