Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ray Charles: Top 50 Songs

Posted 5/20/2019.

R&B singer Ray Charles (click link for DMDB encyclopedia entry) was well known for integrating multiple genres into his music. He was born Ray Charles Robinson on 9/23/1930 in Albany, GA. He died on 6/10/2004.

His family moved to Greenville, Florida while he was still an infant. He was partially blind at age 5 and completely blind at age 7 from glaucoma. He studied classical piano and clarinet at the State School for Deaf and Blind Children, St. Augustine, Florida from 1937 to 1945. He worked with local Florida bands before moving to Seattle in 1948. He formed the McSon Trio (aka Maxim Trio and the Maxine Trio) with guitarist Gossady McGhee and bassist Milton Garret. His first recordings were in the King Cole Trio style. He formed his own band in 1954.

Among his career highlights are his 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music and songs “Georgia on My Mind” (1960) and “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1962), both featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era 1954-1999. Those two songs and “What’d I Say” (1959) also rank in the DMDB top 1000 of all time. Singer/actor Jamie Foxx won the Academy Award for Best Actor portraying Charles in Ray!

To celebrate his birthday, the DMDB compiled a list of his top 50 songs. Songs which hit #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (US), R&B charts (RB), and adult contemporary (AC) are noted. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” also hit #1 on the United Kingdom (UK) and Australian (AU) charts.

1. I Can’t Stop Loving You (1962) #1 US, RB, AC, UK, AU
2. Georgia on My Mind (1960) #1 US
3. What’d I Say (1959) #1 RB
4. Hit the Road Jack (1961) #1 US, RB
5. Yesterday (1967)
6. I Gotta Woman (1955) #1 RB
7. Crying Time (1965) #1 AC
8. Hallelujah I Love Her So (1956)
9. Busted (1963)
10. Your Cheatin’ Heart (1962)

11. You Don’t Know Me (1962) #1 AC
12. Ol’ Man River (1963)
13. You Are My Sunshine (1962) #1 RB
14. Eleanor Rigby (1968)
15. America the Beautiful (1972)
16. That Lucky Old Sun (1963)
17. Makin’ Whoopee (1964)
18. Let’s Go Get Stoned (1966) #1 RB
19. Unchain My Heart (1961) #1 RB
20. One Mint Julep (1961) #1 RB

21. Take These Chains from My Heart (1962)
22. Come Rain or Come Shine (1960)
23. Here We Go Again (1967)
24. Lonely Avenue (1956)
25. Drown in My Own Tears (1956) #1 RB
26. Together Again (1965) #1 AC
27. Don’t Set Me Free (1963)
28. Born to Lose (1962)
29. Night Time Is the Right Time (1959)
30. No One (1963)

31. Ruby (1960)
32. Sticks and Stones (1960)
33. Baby It’s Cold Outside (with Betty Carter, 1961)
34. Without Love (with Aretha Franklin, 1974)
35. Hide Nor Hair (1962)
36. Don’t Change on Me (1970)
37. Mess Around (1953)
38. My Heart Cries for You (1964)
39. Baby Grand (with Billy Joel, 1986)
40. Without Love There Is Nothing (1963)

41. If You Were Mine (1970)
42. At the Club (1962)
43. I’m Movin’ On (1959)
44. No One to Cry To (1964)
45. A Tear Fell (1964)
46. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (1969)
47. Booty Butt (1970)
48. I Choose to Sing the Blues (1966)
49. Swanee River Rock (1957)
50. In the Heat of the Night (1967)


Friday, September 14, 2018

50 years ago: Jimi Hendrix charted with Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”

All Along the Watchtower

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Writer(s): Bob Dylan (see lyrics here)


Released: September 2, 1968


First Charted: September 14, 1968


Peak: 20 US, 18 CB, 18 HR, 1 CL, 5 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)


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


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 119.2 video, 419.42 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Jimi Hendrix is largely credited with reinventing the electric guitar and his prowess is never more apparent than on his take on Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” “Raging and climactic where Dylan’s had been soft-paced and relaxed,” AMG Hendrix’s version pulls off the rare feat of giving the world a cover that outdoes its original source. After hearing Hendrix tackle it, “you can’t imagine it...any other way.” BBC Dylan himself has admitted that in his subsequent performances of the song, he strove to emulate Hendrix’s version. RS500 “When I sing it,” Dylan said, “ I… feel like it’s a tribute to him.” LW

Dylan first recorded the song for 1968’s John Wesley Harding. Musically, the song is a perfect example of why Dylan songs lend themselves so easily to re-interpretation. “Aside from a few harmonica flourishes, it is a fairly basic affair,” BBC both “direct and unadorned.” LW

Lyrically, the song took the form of a conversation between a joker and a thief in “an allegorical tale about the sweeping away of society’s old guard.” BBC Peppered with “Biblical imagery and apocalyptic words,” AMG the original has “such an odd, abstract lyric that hardly anyone…could have held on long enough to spot the song hidden within,” MA but Hendrix’s interpretation does so, “obliterating the lyric’s pretensions” MA and giving the song an “urgency and edginess…far more in keeping with its apocalyptic message.” BBC

While at a party, Hendrix proclaimed to Traffic’s Dave Mason his interest in recording the song just a few weeks after its release. Just days later, the pair assembled with drummer Mitch Mitchell at London’s Olympic Studios to nail down their rendition AMG that has now become a rock standard.


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Last updated 4/25/2021.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Top 50 Operas of All Time

image from czechtourism.com

This list was created, as are most DMDB lists, by aggregating multiple best-of lists, both those focused specifically on opera and those on all albums/works regardless of genre, alongside sales, chart data, and album ratings. Here are the results:

1. Claudio Monteverdi: L’Orfeo (Orpheus) (1607)
2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni (1787)
3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) (1786)
4. Richard Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle) (1874)
5. Richard Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (1859)
6. Georges Bizet: Carmen (1875)
7. Gioacchino Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) (1816)
8. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) (1791)
9. George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin/Dubose Heyward: Porgy and Bess (1935)
10. Giacomo Puccini: Tosca (1900)

11. Giacomo Puccini: La Bohème (The Bohemian Life) (1896)
12. Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata (The Fallen Woman) (1853)
13. Claudio Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppaea) (1642)
14. Giuseppe Verdi: Aida (1871)
15. Giacomo Puccini: Turandot (1926)
16. Giuseppe Verdi: Rigoletto: La Donna È Mobile (1851)
17. Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas (1689)
18. Giacomo Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly) (1904)
19. George Friedrich Händel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Julius Caesar in Egypt) (1724)
20. Luciano Pavarotti with Placido Domingo & Jose Carreras: The Three Tenors in Concert/Mehta (live: 1990)

21. Ludwig van Beethoven: Fidelio (1805)
22. Vincenzo Bellini: Norma (1831)
23. Andrea Bocelli: Romanza (1997)
24. Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) (1911)
25. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) (1781)
26. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Cosí Fan Tutte (Thus Do They All) (1790)
27. Gaetano Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (1911)
28. Christoph Willibald Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (Orpheus and Eurydice) (1762)
29. Giuseppe Verdi: Otello (1887)
30. Alban Berg: Wozzeck (1922)

31. Giuseppi Verdi: Il Trovatore (The Troubador) (1853)
32. Modest Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (1873)
33. Christoph Willibald Gluck: Iphigenie en Tauride (Pphigenia in Tauris) (1779)
34. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Idomeneo (1781)
35. Gaetano Donizetti: L'Elisir d'Amore (The Elixir of Love) (1873)
36. Richard Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander (aka 'The Flying Dutchman') (1843)
37. Gioacchino Rossini: Guillaume Tell (William Tell) (1829)
38. Richard Wagner: Lohengrin (1850)
39. Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) (1890)
40. Gioacchino Rossini: La Cenerentola (Cinderella) (1817)

41. Richard Wagner: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg (The Master-Singers of Nuremburg) (1868)
42. Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsk: Eugene Onegin (1879)
43. Jules Massenet: Manon (1884)
44. Carl Maria von Weber: Der Freishchutz (The Marksman) (1821)
45. Hector Berlioz: La Damanation of Faust (The Damnation of Faust) (1846)
46. Giuseppe Verdi: Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar) (1842)
47. Charles Gounod: Faust (1859)
48. Richard Wagner: Tannhauser (1845)
49. Giuseppe Verdi: Don Carlos (1867)
50. Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande (1902)


Monday, September 10, 2018

Top 50 Blues Albums of All Time

First posted 9/10/2018; updated 9/4/2020.

Genre:

The Top 100 Albums

This list started as a post on the DMDB Facebook page (Top 10 Blues and Blues/Rock Albums) on 2/23/2010. It has been expanded and refocused on just blues albums, although some albums still making the cut are arguably more in the blues/rock genre (Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan).

The list was created, as are most DMDB lists, by aggregating multiple best-of lists (see sources at bottom of page), both those focused specifically on the blues and those on all albums regardless of genre, alongside sales, chart data, and album ratings.

Also, check out other best-of-genre lists here.

1. Robert Johnson The Complete Recordings (compilation: 1936-37, released 1990)
2. B.B. King Live at the Regal (live, 1964)
3. John Mayall & the Blues Breakers Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (1966)
4. The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones (aka ‘England’s Newest Hitmakers’) (1964)
5. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Texas Flood (1983)
6. Howlin’ Wolf Moanin’ in the Moonlight/Howlin’ Wolf (aka ‘The Rockin’ Chair Album’) (compilations: 1951-62, released in 1959 and 1962) *
7. Bessie Smith The Essential (compilation: 1923-1933, released 1997)
8. Muddy Waters At Newport (1960)
9. ZZ Top Tres Hombres (1973)
10. Bobby “Blue” Bland Two Steps from the Blues (1956-60)

11. Eric Clapton: From the Cradle (1994)
12. Albert King Born Under a Bad Sign (1967)
13. Junior Wells Hoodoo Man Blues (1965)
14. Eric Clapton & B.B. King Riding with the King (2000)
15. Robert Cray Strong Persuader (1986)
16. Muddy Waters Best of/His Best 1947-55 (compilations: 1947-55, released 1958 and 1997)
17. Charlie Patton Founder of the Delta Blues (compilation: 1929-34, released 1969)
18. Paul Butterfield Blues Band Paul Butterfield Blues Band (1965)
19. Willie Dixon/various artists The Chess Box (compilation: 1951-69, released 1988)
20. Magic Sam West Side Soul (1967)

21. Albert Collins Ice Pickin’ (1978)
22. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble In Step (1989)
23. Eric Clapton Me and Mr. Johnson (covers: 2004)
24. Muddy Waters Hard Again (1977)
25. Elmore James The Sky Is Crying – The History of (compilation: 1951-63, released 1993)
26. Howlin’ Wolf The Chess Box (compilation: 1951-73, released 1991)
27. Rory Gallagher Irish Tour ’74 (live: 1974)
28. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Couldn’t Stand the Weather (1984)
29. Skip James The Complete Early Recordings (compilation: 1930, released 1994)
30. B.B. King Live in Cook County Jail (live: 1970, released 1971)

31. Muddy Waters Folksinger (1964)
32. Paul Butterfield Blues Band East West (1966)
33. Big Joe Turner Boss of the Blues (1956)
34. Muddy Waters The Real Folk Blues (compilation: 1947-64, released 1966)
35. Blind Willie Johnson Praise God I’m Satisfied (compilation: 1927-30, released 1977)
36. B.B. King Singin’ the Blues (1956)
37. John Lee Hooker The Ultimate Collection (compilation: 1948-90, released 1991)
38. Albert King Live Wire/Blues Power (1968)
39. Ry Cooder Paradise and Lunch (1974)
40. Little Walter His Best – Chess 50th Anniversary Collection (compilation: 1952-60, released 1997)

41. Robert Cray Bad Influence (1983)
42. Blind Lemon Jefferson King of the Country Blues (compilation: 1926-29, released 1990)
43. Johnny Winter The Progressive Blues Experiment (1968)
44. Mississippi Fred McDowell I Do Not Play No Rock and Roll (1969)
45. Sonny Boy Williamson II Down and Out Blues (1959)
46. Gary Moore Still Got the Blues (1990)
47. T-Bone Walker T-Bone Blues (1959)
48. Henry Thomas Texas Worried Blues – Complete Recorded Works (compilation: 1927-29, released 1975)
49. Otis Spann Is the Blues (1960)
50. The Blues Brothers The Blues Brothers (soundtrack, 1980)

* These were initially released as two separate albums, but are now typically packaged together.


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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Top 50 Cast Albums of All Time

First posted 9/5/2018; last updated 9/4/2020.

Cast Albums:

The Top 50

This is an expansion of a list (Top 10 Show Tune Albums of All Time) originally posted on Dave’s Music Database Facebook page on February 21, 2010. As with most DMDB lists, this was created based on aggregated lists, sales, and chart peaks.

Also, check out other best-of-genre lists here.

1. South Pacific (1949)
2. My Fair Lady (1956)
3. Hair (1967)
4. The Sound of Music (1959)
5. The Music Man (1957)
6. West Side Story (1957)
7. Kiss Me, Kate (1948)
8. Guys and Dolls (1950)
9. Camelot (1960)
10. Phantom of the Opera (1986)

11. Fiddler on the Roof (1964)
12. Show Boat (1927)
13. Jesus Christ Superstar (1970)
14. Gypsy (1959)
15. Oklahoma! (1943)
16. Hamilton (2015)
17. Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979)
18. Annie Get Your Gun (1946)
19. Company (1970)
20. Hello, Dolly! (1964)

21. Candide (1956)
22. Carousel (1945)
23. Funny Girl (1964)
24. Wicked (2003)
25. A Chorus Line (1975)
26. Cats (1981)
27. Les Misérables (1985)
28. Rent (1996)
29. The King and I (1951)
30. A Little Night Music (1973)

31. Evita (1976)
32. The Wiz (1975)
33. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1978)
34. Man of La Mancha (1965)
35. The Cradle Will Rock (1938)
36. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
37. Anything Goes (1934)
38. Finian’s Rainbow (1947)
39. Miss Saigon (1989)
40. Flower Drum Song (1959)

41. Sunday in the Park with George (1984)
42. Brigadoon (1947)
43. Damn Yankees (1955)
44. Jersey Boys (2005)
45. Cabaret (1966)
46. The Book of Mormon (2001)
47. Oliver! (1960)
48. Annie (1977)
49. Aida (1999)
50. Spring Awakening (2006)


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Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Top 50 Soundtracks of All Time

First posted 4/17/11. Updated 9/1/2018.
This list was first posted on April 17, 2011, as a Note on the Dave’s Music Database Facebook page. It has been revised a few times since then. Note: Click on the titles of the soundtrack for more detailed pages at DavesMusicDatabase.com.

1. Purple Rain…Prince & the Revolution (1984)
2. Saturday Night Fever…Bee Gees et al (1977)
3. A Hard Day’s Night…The Beatles (1964)
4. The Sound of Music…Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) (1965) *
5. South Pacific…Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) (1958) *
6. Grease…Olivia Newton-John John Travolta, et al (1978)
7. The Bodyguard…Whitney Houston et al (1992)
8. West Side Story…Leonard Bernstein (composer) (1961) *
9. Dirty Dancing (1987)
10. Help!…The Beatles (1965)

11. Titanic…James Horner (1997)
12. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
13. Superfly…Curtis Mayfield (1972)
14. The Student Prince…Mario Lanza (1954)
15. Mary Poppins…Richard and Robert Sherman (composers) (1964)
16. The Harder They Come…Jimmy Cliff et al (1973)
17. Blue Hawaii…Elvis Presley (1961)
18. Music from Peter Gunn…Henry Mancini (1959)
19. The Lion King…Elton John and Tim Rice (composers) (1994)
20. G.I. Blues…Elvis Presley (1960)

21. Footloose (1984)
22. An American in Paris…George & Ira Gershwin (composers) (1951)
23. The King and I…Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) (1956)
24. Frozen (2013)
25. American Graffiti (1973)
26. Gigi…Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe (composers) (1958)
27. Top Gun (1986)
28. Waiting to Exhale…Whitney Houston et al (1995)
29. Flashdance (1983)
30. Oklahoma!…Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) (1955) *

31. Parade…Prince (Under the Cherry Moon soundtrack, 1986)
32. That’s the Way of the World…Earth, Wind & Fire (1975)
33. Pulp Fiction (1994)
34. 8 Mile…Eminem et al (2002)
35. With a Song in My Heart…Jane Froman (1952)
36. Loving You…Elvis Presley (1957)
37. The Graduate…Simon & Garfunkel (1968)
38. Breakfast at Tiffany’s…Henry Mancini (1961)
39. High School Musical (TV soundtrack, 2006)
40. Show Boat…Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) (1951) *

41. Forrest Gump (1994)
42. Miami Vice (TV soundtrack, 1985)
43. High School Musical 2 (TV soundtrack, 2007)
44. Songs He Made Famous…Al Jolson (1947)
45. Exodus (1961)
46. Hans Christian Andersen…Danny Kaye (1953)
47. Around the World in 80 Days (1957)
48. Batman…Prince (1989)
49. Love Me or Leave Me…Doris Day (1955)
50. Evita…Madonna et al (1996)


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