Saturday, October 28, 2017

Post Malone hit #1 with “Rockstar”


Post Malone with 21 Savage

Writer(s): Austin Post, Shayaa Abraham-Joseph, Louis Bell, Carl Austin Rosen, Jo Vaughn Virginie, Olufunmibi Awoshiley (see lyrics here)

Released: September 15, 2017

First Charted: October 7, 2017

Peak: 18 US, 11 DG, 114 ST, 5 RR, 114 RB, 14 UK, 16 CN, 17 AU, 26 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 1.8 UK, 13.26 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1546.40 video, 2908.87 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

As the lead single from his second album, “Rockstar” took Post Malone to new heights. “Congratulations,” from his debut album, had gone top 10 on the U.S. pop and R&B charts, but “Rockstar” gave Post Malone his first #1 on those charts as well as countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. WK The song was also nominated for a Grammy for Record of the Year and won Song of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The song was marketed with an unusual, albeit unofficial YouTube video consisting solely of an audio of the song’s chorus. While some considered it a trick to qualify for downloads, others called it a clever marketing scheme which may have been responsible for its #1 status. Spin magazine said, “the chorus loop may be a weirdly hypnotic, post-Vine marketing gimmick, but it seems like it worked.” WK However, they also named it one of the worst songs of 2017. WK

Lyrically, the song is a celebration of the hedonistic lifestyle of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. English singer-songwriter Ian Dury’s 1977 single “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll” first popularized the phrase. SF Post Malone and 21 Savage, with whom he duets on the track, both brag about the amount of sex and drugs which they have incorporated into their rock ‘n’ roll lifestyles. SF

Musically, the song grew out of two chance meetings between Post Malone and Tank God, a young producer who was working on a session next door at Quad Studios in New York. Tank God ran into Post Malone again in a sneaker store in Los Angeles and asked if he could play some beats for Post Malone. SF When it was recorded, T-Pain and Joey Badass were first featured on the song before they were replaced by 21 Savage. SF


Last updated 3/31/2024.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 25, 1885: Brahms' Symphony No. 4 premiered

Last updated August 31, 2018.

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Johannes Brahms (composer)

Composed: 1884-85

First Performance: October 25, 1885

Sales: --

Peak: --

Quotable: --

Genre: classical > symphony


  1. Allegro non troppo
  2. Andante moderato
  3. Allegro giocoso
  4. Allegro energico e passionato

Average Duration: 40:30


“That Brahms initially approached the symphonic form with trepidation is fairly evident from the chronology of his works. It wasn't until the age of 43 that he completed his First Symphony. Indeed, the composer’s output to that point suggests a conscious process of self-education. A number of smaller-scale orchestral works, including the Variations on a Theme of Haydn and the proto-symphonic Piano Concerto No. 1, suggest preparation for what Brahms clearly saw as the elusive of compositional enterprises. He was to meet the challenge with a skill and individual spirit, one of Classicism refracted through the prism of high omanticism, that led many to pronounce him heir to Beethoven.” MR

“Each of the movements bears the distinct stamp of the composer’s personality. The first begins with a theme in E minor based upon the interval of a third, which also provides a structural and motivic foundation for the remainder of the work. There is a notable sense of unrest from beginning to end, and the tragic, even fatalistic atmosphere is further and stunningly underlined by the final, minor-key plagal (IV-I) cadence. The second movement, which opens with a brief, melancholy sort of fanfare, gives way to the quietly accompanied winds in perhaps one of the loveliest of any of the composer’s themes, granted particular plangency through the use of the flat sixth and seventh scale degrees borrowed from the minor mode. This material is gradually developed into soaring, tutti lyricism that fades into ethereal quiet.” MR

“The third movement, a lusty, stomping, duple dance, proved so popular in Brahms’ lifetime that audiences constantly demanded that it be repeated. The last movement is perhaps most notable of all, cast as it is in the "archaic" Baroque form of a chaconne — variations over a ground bass. The chaconne’s subject is in fact a slight modification of that used by Bach in his Cantata No. 150; though deceptively simple — essentially an ascending minor scale segment from the tonic note to the dominant, then a leap back to the tonic — Brahms uses this skeleton as the basis for an increasingly elaborate and thematic harmonic framework. From its first presentation, which is not as a bass line, but as a theme in the winds, Brahms gradually weaves some 34 variations that steadily build in intensity, as though in defiance to the oppressive, insistent rotation of the ground. The final variations lead directly into an ending which reconfirms the weight of tragedy and pathos borne by the first movement.” MR

Review Source(s):


Related DMDB Link(s):

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Today in Music (1967): First stage production of Hair

Hair (cast album/soundtrack)

Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, & James Rado (composers)

First Stage Production: October 17, 1967

Cast Album Recorded: May 6, 1968

Cat Album Charted: August 3, 1978

Soundtrack Recorded: December 1978 – January 1979

Soundtrack Charted: April 7, 1979

Peak (cast album): 113 US, 114 CN, 128 AU

Peak (soundtrack): 65 US

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US (cast), 0.5 (soundtrack)

Genre: show tunes/rock

Tracks (Cast Album):

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

  1. Aquarius (3/8/69, 1 US, 11 UK – the Fifth Dimension)
  2. Donna
  3. Hashish
  4. Sodomy
  5. Colored Spade
  6. Manchester England
  7. I’m Black
  8. Ain’t Got No
  9. I Believe in Love *
  10. Ain’t Got No (Reprise) *
  11. Air
  12. Initials *
  13. I Got Life
  14. Going Down *
  15. Hair
  16. My Conviction
  17. Easy to Be Hard
  18. Don’t Put It Down
  19. Frank Mills
  20. Be-In *
  21. Where Do I Go?
  22. Electric Blues
  23. Manchester England (Reprise) *
  24. Black Boys
  25. White Boys
  26. Walking in Space
  27. Abie Baby
  28. 3-5-0-0
  29. What a Piece of Work Is Man
  30. Good Morning Starshine
  31. The Bed *
  32. The Flesh Failures (Let the Sun Shine In)
* unique to cast album

Tracks (Soundtrack):

  1. Aquarius
  2. Sodomy
  3. Donna/ Hashish
  4. Colored Spade
  5. Manchester England
  6. Abie Baby/ Fourscore **
  7. I’m Black/ Ain’t Got No
  8. Air
  9. Party Music **
  10. My Conviction
  11. I Got Life
  12. Frank Mills
  13. Hair
  14. L.B.J. **
  15. Electric Blues/ Old Fashioned Melody **
  16. Hare Krishna **
  17. Where Do I Go?
  18. Black Boys
  19. White Boys
  20. Walking in Space
  21. Easy to Be Hard (4/28/79, #64 US – Cheryl Barnes)
  22. 3-5-0-0
  23. Good Morning Starshine
  24. What a Piece of Work Is Man
  25. Somebody to Love **
  26. Don’t Put It Down
  27. The Flesh Failures (Let the Sun Shine In)
** unique to soundtrack

Rating (Cast Album):

4.634 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)

Rating (Soundtrack):

3.801 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“With a score by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and composer Galt Macdermot,” CD-C Hair was “the first and best musical of the hippie peace and love generation.” CD-C “The show and the album were quite different to the usual Broadway fare.” CD-CHair was both celebratory and anticlimactic at the same time. Heralded by many at the time as being a rejuvenation for musical theater, it was also supposed to ‘speak’ for the youth. The problem with that is that any time you attempt to allow a piece of written work to speak for a generation, it invariably fails. It is undoubtedly impossible for one musical to classify every attitude held by a person under 30 at that time. Given this fact, Hair was destined to be considered a disappointment.” SE

“However, if you take the score out of this context and listen to it simply as a snippet of some prevalent beliefs of the time, or simply as a fictional work, it is really quite wonderful. As Claude’s best friend is expelled from high school and the love of Claude’s life loves someone else, Claude must struggle with the decision to submit to government regulations in which he doesn't believe. A youthful exuberance covers the proceedings, with the first act ending with the infamous nude sequence.” SE

The cast album was recorded in RCA Studio B in New York, New York on May 6, 1968. CD-CThe “principal cast includes: Ronald Dyson (Ron); James Rado (Claude); Gerome Ragni (Berger); Steve Curry (Woof); Lamont Washington (Hud); Lynn Kellogg (Sheila); Sally Eaton (Jeanie); Melba Moore (Dionne); Shelley Plimpton (Crissy); Diane Keaton (Waitress); Jonathan Kramer (Young Recruit); Paul Jabara (General Grant); Lorrie Davis (Abraham Lincoln); Donnie Burks (Sergeant).” CD-CThe album won a Grammy for best score from an Original Cast album. CD-C

More than ten years later, Milos Forman directed the “cinematic version…As with most adaptations from the stage, the results can be either hit or miss. While the film did not generate much in the way of critical or viewer acclaim, this album contains some noteworthy variations on the 1968 play. At the center is music from Galt MacDermot and James Rado, which likewise has remained as a sort of late-1960s aural time capsule.” LP

“In more than a few cases, the movie’s luminous cast take the tunes to a new level. In particular, Treat Williams’ portrayal of Berger shines throughout, especially on secondary numbers such I Got Life, which he turns into one of the best on-screen performances.” LP

“John Savage turns in a stellar rendering of the central figure, Claude, whose middle American roots and values are challenged by the freedom offered in the burgeoning counterculture. His substance-induced Where Do I Go becomes not only a pivotal point in the movie, but one of the best cuts on this disc.” LP

“The support is of equal value with Beverly d’Angelo’s ‘Good Morning Starshine’ and Cheryl Barnes’ reading of ‘Easy to Be Hard’ being among the strongest versions available. Nell Carter’s big screen debut could not have been more perfectly cast. She captures the essence of Abie Baby and White Boys with a perfect blend of soul and drama. Additionally, Carter plays a significant role in ensemble pieces such as I Got No. The contributions of Melba Moore are not only worth mentioning due to her exceptional rendering of 3-5-0-0, but she is the only member of both the motion picture as well as the original Broadway company. Rock vocalist/ actress Ellen Foley’s solo on Black Boys should be mentioned as a cameo appearance highlight.” LP


A 20th anniversary edtion of the soundtrack was released in 1999 that included a booklet with expanded liner notes and the songs “Party Music” and “My Conviction.” LP

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 8/11/2008; last updated 10/5/2023.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

50 years ago: Louis Armstrong charted with "What a Wonderful World"

What a Wonderful World

Louis Armstrong

Writer(s): Bob Thiele, George David Weiss (see lyrics here)

First Charted: October 14, 1967

Peak: 32 US, 37 CB, 37 RR, 7 AC, 14 UK, 13 CN, 12 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.4 UK, 0.9 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 4.0 radio, 180.94 video, 467.05 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Music critic Dave Marsh called Louis Armstrong “the greatest musical talent this country has produced.” DM Some musical scholars say that popular music as we know it today wouldn’t exist without the vocal techniques he pioneered in the 1920s. TB Through that decade and the next, “Satchmo” charted more than 50 U.S. pop hits. From the 1940s through ‘60s, he mustered less than half the chart singles as during his first two decades, but certainly hadn’t disappeared. He even pulled off a #1 hit in 1964 with “Hello, Dolly!,” a feat which made Armstrong the oldest artist in the U.S. to land the top spot, improbably dethroning the Beatles’ fourteen-week run on top with three consecutive #1’s. However, it was one of his last hits, recorded three years before he died, which proved the most immortal.

“World” hit #1 in the UK in 1968, which gave him the distinction of being the oldest artist (66) to top the British charts. TB In the U.S., the song didn’t even dent the Billboard Hot 100 – until twenty years later. The song’s initial failure could be attributed to tight radio formatting at the time, but also because Larry Newton at ABC Records hated the song and wouldn’t promote it. TB However, the song regained life after being featured in the 1987 movie Good Morning, Vietnam. It went top 40 on the U.S. pop charts and reached #7 on the adult contemporary charts, besting its original #12 peak. “It sounds at least as modern as anything on the charts in 1988.” DM

The song’s “saccharine, improbably sweet view of life on earth” MC could justify Newton and other detractors. However, Armstrong’s “pained gravel voice pitted against lush strings” DM also evokes a “peaceful aura that makes it a perfect antidote to harsh reality,” MC making for “one of the warmest, wittiest specimens of musical humanity.” DM


Related Links:

First posted 10/14/2011; last updated 7/13/2023.