Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: Top 25 Albums

First posted 1/8/2021.

Dave’s Music Database:

Top Albums of 2017

Based on a combination of year-end lists and overall status in Dave’s Music Database, these are the top 25 albums of 2017:

  1. Kendrick Lamar Damn.
  2. Ed Sheeran ÷ (Divide)
  3. Lorde Melodrama
  4. The Greatest Showman soundtrack
  5. Taylor Swift Reputation
  6. Jay-Z 4:44
  7. SZA CTRL
  8. Luke Combs This One’s for You
  9. Beck Colors
  10. LCD Soundsystem American Dream

  11. Drake More Life
  12. The War on Drugs A Deeper Understanding
  13. Chris Stapleton From a Room: Volume 1
  14. The National Sleep Well Beast
  15. Roger Waters Is This the Life We Really Want?
  16. Tyler, the Creator Flower Boy
  17. St. Vincent Mass Education
  18. Khalid American Teen
  19. U2 Songs of Experience
  20. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile Lotta Sea Lice

  21. Harry Styles Harry Styles
  22. Bob Dylan Triplicate
  23. Pink Beautiful Trauma
  24. H.E.R. H.E.R.
  25. Lana Del Rey Lust for Life

Resources and Related Links:

Top 50 Songs of 2017

Dave’s Music Database:

Top 50 Songs of 2017

These are the top 50 songs of the year based on their overall performance in Dave’s Music Database, which is determined by combining chart data, sales figures, streaming, video views, and aggregates from year-end lists.

Check out “Top Songs and Albums of the Year” lists here.

    DMDB Top 1%:

  1. Ed Sheeran “Shape of You
  2. Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber “Despacito
  3. Ed Sheeran with Beyoncé “Perfect
  4. Maroon 5 with Cardi B “Girls Like You
  5. Camila Cabello with Young Thug “Havana
  6. Post Malone with 21 Savage “Rockstar
  7. The Chainsmokers with Coldplay “Something Just Like This”
  8. Bebe Rexha with Florida Georgia Line “Meant to Be
  9. Cardi B “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”
  10. Kendrick Lamar “Humble

    DMDB Top 2%:

  11. Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
  12. Portugal.the Man “Feel It Still”
  13. Imagine Dragons “Thunder”
  14. Imagine Dragons “Believer”
  15. DJ Khaled with Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, & Lil Wayne “I’m the One”
  16. Sam Hunt “Body Like a Back Road”

    DMDB Top 5%:

  17. Dua Lipa “New Rules”
  18. Taylor Swift “Look What You Made Me Do”
  19. Charlie Puth “Attention”
  20. DJ Khaled with Rihanna & Bryson Tiller “Wild Thoughts”

  21. Lil Uzi Vert “XO Tour Llif3”
  22. Logic with Alessia Cara & Khalid “1-800-273-8255”
  23. Future “Mask Off”
  24. Harry Styles “Sign of the Times”
  25. Sam Smith “Too Good at Goodbyes”
  26. French Montana & Swae Lee “Unforgettable”
  27. NF “Let You Down”
  28. Ed Sheeran “Castle on the Hill”
  29. Taylor Swift “Delicate”
  30. Demi Lovato “Sorry Not Sorry”

  31. Imagine Dragons “Whatever It Takes”
  32. Camila Cabello “Never Be the Same”
  33. Zedd with Alessia Cara “Stay”
  34. Keala Settle & the Greatest Showman Cast “This Is Me”
  35. Julia Michaels “Issues”
  36. Måneskin “Beggin’”
  37. Brandi Carlile “The Joke”
  38. Kendrick Lamar “DNA”
  39. Lorde “Green Light”
  40. Khalid “Location”

  41. Khalid “Young, Dumb & Broke”
  42. G-Eazy with Halsey “Him & I”
  43. G-Eazy with A$AP Rocky & Cardi B “No Limit”
  44. Bazzi “Mine”
  45. Niall Horan “Slow Hands”
  46. U2 “You’re the Best Thing About Me”
  47. Arcade Fire “Everything Now”
  48. Beck “Up All Night”
  49. Kendrick Lamar with Zacari “Love”
  50. Taylor Swift “Ready for It?”

Resources/Related Links:


First posted 12/26/2021; last updated 1/17/2023.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Phil Spector: Top 50 Songs

image from thoughtco.com

Phil Spector

Top 50 Songs

Phil Spector was born December 26, 1939 in the Bronx, New York. He is best known as a record producer who developed what has been called “the Wall of Sound,” an approach to producing a dense orchestral asthetic within studio recordings. His personal life was troubled by a history with gun violence and in 2003 he was convicted of second degree murder. In honor of his birthday, here are his 50 biggest hits as a writer and/or producer:

Click here to see other best-of lists from performers and here to see other best-of lists from songwriters and/or producers.

Awards:


Top 50 Songs


Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards.

1. John Lennon “Imagine” 1971)
2. The Beatles “Let It Be” (1970)
3. The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (1964)
4. The Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody” (1965)
5. George Harrison “My Sweet Lord” (1970)
6. The Ronettes “Be My Baby” (1963)
7. Ike & Tina Turner “River Deep, Mountain High” (1966)
8. The Crystals “Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)” (1963)
9. John Lennon “Instant Karma (We All Shine On)” (1970)
10. The Dixie Cups “Chapel of Love” (1964)

11. The Crystals “He’s a Rebel” (1962)
12. The Beatles “The Long and Winding Road” (1970)
13. Ben E. King “Spanish Harlem” (1960)
14. The Teddy Bears “To Know Him Is to Love Him” (1958)
15. John Lennon “Jealous Guy” (1971)
16. John Lennon “Stand by Me” (1975)
17. The Crystals “Then He Kissed Me” (1963)
18. John Lennon “Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)” (1971)
19. George Harrison “Give Me Love, Give Me Peace on Earth” (1973)
20. George Harrison “What Is Life” (1971)

21. John Lennon “Mother” (1970)
22. John Lennon “Working Class Hero” (1970)
23. Paris Sisters “I Love How You Love Me” (1961)
24. John Lennon “God” (1970)
25. Ramones “Rock and Roll High School” (1979)
26. The Beatles “Across the Universe” (1970)
27. The Ronettes “Baby I Love You” (1963)
28. John Lennon “Power to the People” (1971)
29. The Ronettes “Walking in the Rain” (1964)
30. Curtis Lee & the Halos “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” (1961)

31. The Crystals “There’s No Other Like My Baby” (1961)
32. The Righteous Brothers “Just Once in My Life” (1965)
33. The Crystals “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” (1962)
34. Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” (1962)
35. Sonny Charles & the Checkmates Ltd. “Black Pearl” (1969)
36. The Ronettes “Do I Love You?” (1964)
37. The Righteous Brothers “Ebb Tide” (1965)
38. Connie Francis “Second Hand Love” (1962)
39. Ray Peterson “Corrine, Corrina” (1960)
40. The Crystals “Uptown” (1962)

41. George Harrison “Bangla-Desh” (1971)
42. The Ronettes “Born to Be Together” (1965)
43. Darlene Love “Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry” (1963)
44. Darlene Love “A Fine, Fine Boy” (1963)
45. John Lennon “Woman Is the Nigger of the World” (1972)
46. Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans “Why Do Lovers Break Each Others’ Hearts” (1963)
47. Gene Pitney “Every Breath I Take” (1961)
48. Ramones “Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio” (1980)
49. George Harrison “Isn’t It a Pity” (1970)
50. The Ronettes “The Best Part of Breakin’ Up” (1964)


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First posted 12/26/2017; updated 7/19/2021.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

December 23, 1806: Beethoven's Violin Concerto premiered

Last updated August 27, 2018.

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

Ludwig van Beethoven (composer)


Composed: 1806


First Performed: December 23, 1806


Sales: --


Peak: --

Quotable: “one of the most important works of the violin concerto repertoire” – Wikipedia


Genre: classical > violin concerto


Parts/Movements:

  1. Allegro ma non troppo
  2. Larghetto
  3. Rondo, Allegro

Average Duration: 43:30

Review:

Beethoven composed his Violin Concerto for colleague Franz Clement who debuted the work at a benefit concert at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on December 23, 1806. Beethoven reportedly finished the solo part so late Clement had to sight-read part of the performance. The premiere was not well received, sending the sending the work into decades of obscurity. In 1844, 12-year-old violinist Joseph Joachim revived the piece alongside the London Philharmonic Society conducted by Felix Mendelssohn. It has since become one of the best-known violin concertos. WK

The concerto was written at the height of Beethoven’s creative, so-called “second” period, representing one of his crowning achievements in his exploration of the concerto. WK “At over 25 minutes in length, the first movement is notable as one of the most extended in any of Beethoven’s works, including the symphonies.” MR “The second movement takes a place among the most serene music Beethoven ever produced.” MR

Possibly as a result of the concerto’s initially poor reception, Beethoven revised it for piano and orchestra. He crafted a “lengthy, somewhat bombastic first movement cadenza which features the orchestra’s timpanist along with the solo pianist. This and the cadenzas for the other movements were later arranged for the violin (and timpani).” WK


Review Source(s):


Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):


Ed Sheeran hit #1 with "Perfect"

Perfect

Ed Sheeran with Beyoncé

Writer(s): Ed Sheeran (see lyrics here)


Released: September 26, 2017


First Charted: March 25, 2017


Peak: 16 US, 12 RR, 122 AC, 19 A40, 16 UK, 16 CN, 18 AU, 13 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 2.4 UK, 21.4 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 4.0 radio, 4807.0 video, 2185.84 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Perfect” first hit the charts in March 2017 when his third studio album, Divide (÷) was released. All sixteen of the album’s tracks debuted in the top 20 in the UK and Sheeran occupied nine of the top 10 slots that week, with “Perfect” coming in at #4. WK In the U.S., ten of the album’s songs debuted on the charts with “Perfect” launching at #37. WK Six months later it was officially released as a single and in December an acoustic duet version with Beyoncé was released. The latter pushed the song to #1 on the pop charts in the U.S. The song also topped the charts in the UK and nineteen other countries. WK

The song became Sheeran’s third to spend more than a year on the Billboard Hot 100, following “Shape of You” and “Thinking Out Loud.” He was the first solo artist to do so with three separate singles. SF

“Perfect” was the first Sheeran wrote for his third album, was a romantic ballad about his girlfriend Cherry Seaborn. He initially met her in school and then then reconnected when she was working in New York. He said the lyrical inspiration came from a visit to fellow singer James Blunt’s house in Ibiza, where they listened to the music of rapper Future, WK specifically “March Madness.” SF After he wrote it, he sent it to Cherry in New York, but didn’t get to see her reaction to the song. SF He told Zane Lowe in an interview that he wanted to outdo previous ballad “Thinking Out Loud” because “I know that song was going to define me.” WK

As a final wish of his grandmother, Sheeran collaborated with his brother Matthew, who provided string orchestration on the song. WK The full orchestration was used in a third version of the song, known as “Perfect Symphony,” which featured Andrea Bocelli. Parts of the instrumentation were used in the original version. WK

The video was directed by Jason Koenig, who also helmed Sheeran’s chart-topping “Shape of You.” It was filmed at an Austrian ski resort and depicted Sheeran and actress Zoey Deutch on a ski trip, dancing in the snow, and ending up in a cabin together. MTV UK’s Ross McNeilage called the video a “Christmas dream.” WK It wasn’t actually a Christmas song or video, but the snow gave it a wintery theme.


Resources:


Related Links:


Last updated 11/12/2022.

Friday, December 22, 2017

December 22, 1808: Beethoven premiered his 6th symphony

Last updated August 28, 2018.

Symphony No. 6 in F major (Pastorale), Op. 68

Ludwig van Beethoven (composer)


Composed: 1806-1808


First Performed: December 22, 1808


Sales: --


Peak: --

Quotable: --


Genre: classical > Romantic symphony


Parts/Movements:

  1. Allegro ma non troppo (Awakening of happy feelings on arriving in the country)
  2. Andante molto moto (Scene by the Brook)
  3. Allegro (Peasant’s merrymaking)
  4. Allegro (The storm)
  5. Allegretto (Shepherds’ song. Joyous thanksgiving after the storm)

Average Duration: 41:33

Review:

“For roughly 175 years, the music appreciation racket has told us that Beethoven composed symphonies in contrasting odd-even pairs after 1803, none more startling than the heaven-storming Fifth and bucolic Sixth. Originally, however, he assigned the designation of ‘No. 5’ to the Pastoral for their shared debut on surely the most historic night in Western music, December 22, 1808. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the unheated Theater an der Wien, he premiered both symphonies, the Fourth Piano Concerto, ‘Choral’ Fantasy, ‘Ah! perfido!’ (a concert aria from 1796), and introduced a Viennese audience to excerpts from the C major Mass, an Esterházy commission of 1807 that Prince Nicolaus II disliked when he heard it.” RD

“Beethoven began making specific notes for a ‘Sinfonia pastorale’ in 1806, but didn’t complete the work until 1808, in the village of Heiligenstadt northwest of Vienna. If this had been an unlikely hatchery in 1807 for the fist-brandishing Fifth Symphony, it perfectly suited – as he noted in his sketchbook – ‘recollections of country life...more the expression of feeling than of painting’ in his ensuing woodwind-drenched symphony (although violins get first crack at nine of its 12 significant themes).” RD

Cheerful impressions wakened by arrival in the country’ (Allegro ma non troppo, in F major, 2/4) is the first movement. It is in sonata form, pretty much by the book, with violins introducing all themes. The second-movement Scene by the brook (Andante molto moto, in B flat major and 12/8 time) is a Sonata structure again, but more relaxed, with a limpid main theme for violins and a bassoon sub-theme. In the coda, the flute impersonates a nightingale, the oboe a quail, and the clarinet a cuckoo.” RD

“The third movement, Merry gathering of country folk (Allegro, 3/4 time, F major), is an expanded song-and-trio, with a 2/4 section in ‘tempo d’Allegro’ that creates the effect of an ABCABCA structure, leading without pause to the fourth movement, Thunderstorm; tempest (Allegro; F minor, 4/4). From the first raindrop to last, this is purely depictive music.” RD

“It is followed by a 10-bar chorale that segues the final Shepherd’s song; glad and grateful tidings after the storm (Allegretto; F major, 6/8), a sonata-rondo, whose C-section some have called a development section. The fun includes a sly parody of amateur musicians before the long, progressively tranquil coda that ends with a pianistic gesture: two fortissimo chords.” RD


Review Source(s):


Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):

Listen to it here.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

90 Years Ago Today: "My Blue Heaven" hit #1

My Blue Heaven

Gene Austin

Writer(s): Walter Donaldson (music), George Whiting (lyrics) (see lyrics here)


First Charted: December 3, 1927


Peak: 113 US, 18 GA, 18 SM, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)


Sales (in millions): 6.0 US (includes 1 million in sheet music sales)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.15 video, -- streaming

My Blue Heaven

Fats Domino


First Charted: March 31, 1956


Peak: 19 US, 14 CB, 18 HR, 5 RB, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US (includes 1 million in sheet music sales)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.9 video, -- streaming

Awards (Gene Austin):

Click on award for more details.


Awards (Fats Domino):

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Eddie Cantor introduced this song in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927. DJ Austin and Paul Whiteman both had #1 versions of the song that year; two more top ten versions came the next year. The song was also a notable hit for New Orleans R&B singer and pianist Fats Domino nearly 30 years later when he had a #5 R&B hit and #19 pop hit with it. “The song was revived as a title theme song for a minor musical drama starring Betty Grable and Dan Dailey in 1950, and forty years later for a Steve Martin comedy about a small-time gangster who is relocated as part of a witness protection program.” DJ

However, Austin’s version is the biggest, selling over 5 million copies, making it one of the ten best sellers of the first half of the century, PM-631 the biggest song of 1927, CPM and the second biggest non-holiday record seller of the entire pre-1955 era. PM In the wake of the song’s initial success, Gene Austin reportedly bought a yacht which he named ‘My Blue Heaven’. Sales of the song skyrocketed when, on his first trek out, the boat was caught in a hurricane and rumor had it that he’d drowned. DS

His tenor voice has been credited as the onset of the crooner revolution. DS Blogger Jonathan Bogart called Austin “the stuffiest, squarest popular singer around,” DS saying that Austin would serve up “unimaginative…but serviceable” DS “standard-issue Tin Pan Alley…fluff.” DS For “Heaven,” Austin demonstrated “how deeply jazz had soaked into the collective unconscious of popular entertainment” DS with his “wordless warble…in the middle of the song.” DS The producers also tacked some fake birdsong on to the last chorus, a hint of the “the future of artificial sound in pop music.” DS


Resources:


Related Links:


First posted 12/17/2013; last updated 3/20/2023.