Thursday, February 28, 2019

Australia’s Biggest #1 Albums

First posted 5/15/2015. Updated 2/28/2019.

image from

This is a list of the biggest #1 albums on the Australian charts from its inception in 1965 to today. In the event of ties (of which there are many), the album ranking highest in Dave’s Music Database is listed first and so on. Also, the year listed is when the album was released or first charted. Consequently, it may not indicate the actual year in which the album peaked at #1.

    76 weeks:

  1. The Sound of Music (soundtrack, 1965)

    34 weeks:

  2. Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms (1985)

    32 weeks:

  3. Adele: 21 (2011)

    30 weeks:

  4. The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

    29 weeks:

  5. Neil Diamond: Hot August Night (live, 1972)
  6. Delta Goodrem: Innocent Eyes (2003)

    28 weeks:

  7. Various Artists: Hair (cast, 1968)

    27 weeks:

  8. Ed Sheeran: ÷ (Divide) (2017)

    25 weeks:

  9. John Farnham: Whispering Jack (1986)

    20 weeks:

  10. Shania Twain: Come on Over (1997)

    19 weeks:

  11. Creedence Clearwater Revival: Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
  12. Savage Garden: Savage Garden (1997)

    18 weeks:

  13. The Beatles: Abbey Road (1969)
  14. Mariah Carey: Music Box (1993)
  15. Boz Scaggs: Silk Degrees (1976)

    17 weeks:

  16. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass: Going Places (1965)
  17. The Seekers: Greatest Hits (1967)

    16 weeks:

  18. The Beatles: The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
  19. Abba: Best of (1976) (released outside of Australia as Greatest Hits with two more tracks)
  20. Skyhooks: Living in the ‘70s (1975)

    15 weeks:

  21. Simon & Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
  22. Dire Straits: Love Over Gold (1982)
  23. Cat Stevens: Teaser and the Firecat (1971)

    14 weeks:

  24. Bee Gees/Various Artists: Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack, 1977)
  25. Various Artists: Grease (soundtrack, 1978)
  26. Kings of Leon: Only by the Night (2008)
  27. Bryan Adams: So Far So Good (1993)
  28. Michael Bublé: Christmas (2011)

    13 weeks:

  29. Pink: Greatest Hits…So Far!!! (2010)
  30. A Man and a Woman (Un Homme et Une Femme) (soundtrack, 1967)

    12 weeks:

  31. Eagles: Hotel California (1976)
  32. James Blunt: Back to Bedlam (2004)
  33. Slade: Alive! (1972)

    11 weeks:

  34. Michael Jackson: Thriller (1982)
  35. The Beatles: Rubber Soul (1965)
  36. Whitney Houston: Whitney Houston (1985)
  37. The Beatles: Help! (1965)
  38. James Horner (composer): Titanic (soundtrack, 1997)
  39. The Beatles: Beatles for Sale (1964)
  40. The Rolling Stones: Tattoo You (1981)
  41. Jethro Tull: Thick As a Brick (1972)
  42. Susan Boyle: I Dreamed a Dream (2009)
  43. Don McLean: American Pie (1972)
  44. Moulin Rouge (soundtrack, 2001)
  45. Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born (soundtrack, 2018)
  46. Abba: Abba (1975)
  47. Skyhooks: Ego Is Not a Dirty Word (1975)
  48. Icehouse: Man of Colours (1987)

    10 weeks:

  49. Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill (1995)
  50. John Lennon/Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy (1980)
  51. Split Enz: True Colours (1980)
  52. Elton John: Caribou (1974)
  53. Pink: The Truth About Love (2012)
  54. Rod Stewart: A Night on the Town (1976)
  55. Crowded House: Recurring Dream – The Very Best of (1996)
  56. Jesus Christ Superstar (Australian cast, 1992)

    9 weeks:

  57. The Beatles: 1 (2000)
  58. Norah Jones: Come Away with Me (2002)
  59. Men at Work: Business as Usual (1981)
  60. Taylor Swift: 1989 (2014)
  61. Eminem: Recovery (2010)
  62. Robbie Williams: Greatest Hits (2004)
  63. Electric Light Orchestra: A New World Record (1976)
  64. Romeo + Juliet (sountrack, 1996)
  65. Rod Stewart: Foot Loose & Fancy Free (1977)
  66. Pink: Funhouse (2008)
  67. Village People: Can’t Stop the Music (1980)
  68. Various Artists: Choose 1985 (1984)

    8 weeks:

  69. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (1977)
  70. Bruce Springsteen: Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
  71. Various Artists: Dirty Dancing (soundtrack, 1987)
  72. Eric Clapton: Unplugged (live, 1992)
  73. George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (1970)
  74. Adele: 25 (2015)
  75. Abba: Arrival (1976)
  76. Dido…No Angel (1999)
  77. Celine Dion: The Colour of My Love (1993)
  78. Ed Sheeran: X (Multiply) (2014)
  79. The Greatest Showman (soundtrack, 2018)
  80. Macy Gray: On How Life Is (1999)
  81. Joe Cocker: Cocker Happy (1971)
  82. John Farnham: Age of Reason (1988)

    7 weeks:

  83. Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell (1977)
  84. Eminem: The Eminem Show (2002)
  85. Paul McCartney & Wings…Band on the Run (1973)
  86. Live: Throwing Copper (1994)
  87. Eurythmics: Greatest Hits (1991)
  88. Avril Lavigne: Let Go (2002)
  89. Culture Club: Colour by Numbers (1983)
  90. Michael Jackson: The Essential (2005)
  91. Marvin Hamlisch: The Sting (soundtrack, 1974)
  92. Cat Stevens: Catch Bull at Four (1972)
  93. Jeff Wayne: War of the Worlds (1978)
  94. INXS: Very Best of (2014)
  95. Richard Marx: Repeat Offender (1989)
  96. Missy Higgins: The Sound of White (2004)
  97. Daddy Cool: Daddy Who?...Daddy Cool (1971)
  98. Neil Diamond: Serenade (1974)
  99. The Beatles: Ballads (1981)
  100. Moving Pictures: Days of Innocence (1982)
  101. Jimmy Barnes: For the Working Class Man (1985)

* More than 100 albums are listed so that all those albums which spent 7 weeks at the top could be listed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Canada #1 Albums – Top 100

First posted 5/14/2015. Updated 2/27/2019.

image from

This is a list of the biggest #1 albums on the Canadian charts from its inception in 1968 to today. In the event of ties (of which there are many), the album ranking highest in Dave’s Music Database is listed first and so on. Also, the year listed is when the album was released or first charted. Consequently, it may not indicate the actual year in which the album peaked at #1.

    35 weeks:

  1. Adele 21 (2011)

    24 weeks:

  2. The Police: Synchronicity (1983)

    22 weeks:

  3. Bee Gees/Various Artists: Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack, 1977)

    21 weeks:

  4. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (1977)
  5. Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill (1995)

    18 weeks:

  6. Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms (1985)

    17 weeks:

  7. U2: The Joshua Tree (1987)
  8. Whitney Houston: Whitney Houston (1985)
  9. Peter Frampton: Frampton Comes Alive! (live, 1975)

    16 weeks:

  10. Fine Young Cannibals: The Raw and the Cooked (1989)

    14 weeks:

  11. Various Artists: Dirty Dancing (soundtrack, 1987)
  12. Eric Clapton: Unplugged (live, 1992)
  13. Supertramp: Breakfast in America (1979)
  14. Madonna: True Blue (1986)
  15. Various Artists: Hair (cast, 1968)
  16. Sinéad O’Connor: I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990)
  17. Elton John: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975)

    13 weeks:

  18. Michael Jackson: Thriller (1982)
  19. Prince & the Revolution: Purple Rain (1984)
  20. Pink Floyd: The Wall (1979)
  21. Bruce Springsteen: Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
  22. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
  23. Elton John: Greatest Hits (1974)
  24. U2: Rattle and Hum (studio/live soundtrack, 1988)
  25. Ace of Base: The Sign (aka “Happy Nation”) (1993)
  26. Tears for Fears: Songs from the Big Chair (1985)
  27. Celine Dion: The Colour of My Love (1993)
  28. Queen: Classic Queen (1992)

    12 weeks:

  29. The Beatles: The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
  30. Adele: 25 (2015)
  31. Drake: Views (2016)
  32. Culture Club: Colour by Numbers (1983)
  33. Milli Vanilli: Girl You Know It’s True (1989)

    11 weeks:

  34. The Beatles: Abbey Road (1969)
  35. James Horner (composer): Titanic (soundtrack, 1997)
  36. Phil Collins: …But Seriously (1989)
  37. Shania Twain: Up! (2002)

    10 weeks:

  38. Nirvana: Nevermind (1991)
  39. Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
  40. Creedence Clearwater Revival: Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
  41. Men at Work Business As Usual (1981)
  42. John Lennon/Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy (1980)
  43. Shaggy: Hotshot (2000)
  44. Bryan Adams: Waking Up the Neighbours (1991)
  45. Avril Lavigne: Under My Skin (2004)
  46. J. Geils Band: Freeze Frame (1981)
  47. The Moody Blues: Long Distance Voyager (1981)
  48. Various Artists: Now! 3 (1998)

    9 weeks:

  49. Simon & Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
  50. Madonna: The Immaculate Collection (compilation, 1990)
  51. Various artists (Whitney Houston et al): The Bodyguard (soundtrack, 1992)
  52. R.E.M…Out of Time (1991)
  53. Eminem: The Eminem Show (2002)
  54. Rod Stewart: Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)
  55. George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (1970)
  56. Tracy Chapman: Tracy Chapman (1988)
  57. M.C. Hammer: Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990)
  58. Britney Spears: …Baby One More Time (1999)
  59. Taylor Swift: 1989 (2014)
  60. Various Artists: Footloose (soundtrack, 1984)
  61. Ed Sheeran: ÷ (Divide) (2017)
  62. Traveling Wilburys: Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988)
  63. Don McLean: American Pie (1972)
  64. AC/DC: The Razor’s Edge (1990)
  65. Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born (soundtrack, 2018)

    8 weeks:

  66. Carole King: Tapestry (1971)
  67. Bon Jovi: Slippery When Wet (1986)
  68. Green Day: Dookie (1994)
  69. Santana: Supernatural (1999)
  70. Janis Joplin: Pearl (1971)
  71. Phil Collins: No Jacket Required (1985)
  72. James Blunt: Back to Bedlam (2004)
  73. No Doubt: Tragic Kingdom (1995)
  74. Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell (1993)
  75. Blood, Sweat & Tears: Blood, Sweat & Tears (1969)
  76. Black Eyed Peas: The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) (2009)
  77. U2: Zooropa (1993)
  78. Paul McCartney & Wings: Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976)
  79. Midnight Oil: Diesel and Dust (1987)
  80. John Cougar Mellencamp: The Lonesome Jubilee (1987)
  81. Barenaked Ladies: Gordon (1992)
  82. Various Artists: Big Shiny Tunes 6 (2002)

    7 weeks:

  83. Led Zeppelin…Led Zeppelin II (1969)
  84. Various Artists: Grease (soundtrack, 1978)
  85. The Beatles: Let It Be (1970)
  86. The Rolling Stones: Tattoo You (1981)
  87. Various Artists: Frozen (soundtrack, 2013)
  88. Eminem: Recovery (2010)
  89. Eminem: Curtain Call: The Hits (2005)
  90. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live 1975/1985 (live box set, 1986)
  91. 50 Cent: The Massacre (2005)
  92. Billy Joel: Glass Houses (1980)
  93. Ricky Martin: Ricky Martin 1999)
  94. Led Zeppelin: In Through the Out Door (1979)
  95. Celine Dion: A New Day Has Come (2002)
  96. Carly Simon: No Secrets (1973)
  97. Tracy Chapman: New Beginning (1995)
  98. The Weeknd Starboy (2016)
  99. America: America (1972)
  100. Sarah McLachlan: Afterglow (2003)
  101. C + C Music Factory: Gonna Make You Sweat (1990)
  102. Bay City Rollers: Bay City Rollers (1976)
  103. Various Artists: Now! 2 (1997)
  104. Various Artists: Big Shiny Tunes 2 (1998)

* More than 100 albums are listed so that all those albums which spent 7 weeks at the top could be listed.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

50 years ago: Johnny Cash recorded live at San Quentin

First posted 2/26/2008; updated 12/4/2020.

Live at San Quentin

Johnny Cash

Recorded live: February 24, 1969

Released: June 16, 1969

Charted: July 5, 1969

Peak: 14 US, 120 CW, 2 UK, 13 CN, 12 AU

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.1 UK, 3.34 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country


Song Title (date of original studio release of single – unless noted as live, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Big River (1/20/58, 4 CW) *
  2. I Still Miss Someone *
  3. Wreck of the Old ‘97
  4. I Walk the Line (6/9/56, 1 CW, 17 US)
  5. Darlin’ Companion
  6. I Don’t Know Where I’m Bound *
  7. Starkville City Jail
  8. San Quentin
  9. San Quentin
  10. Wanted Man
  11. A Boy Named Sue (live: 7/26/69, 1 CW, 2 US, 4 UK, 1 AC, sales: ½ million, airplay: 1 million)
  12. Peace in the Valley
  13. Folsom Prison Blues (live: 6/1/68, 1 CW, 32 US, 39 AC) *
  14. Ring of Fire (6/1/63, 1 CW, 63 US, airplay: 1 million) *
  15. He Turned Water into Wine *
  16. Daddy Sang Bass (12/7/68, 1 CW, 42 US, airplay: 1 million) *
  17. The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago *
  18. Closing Medley *

* Tracks added to the Legacy Edition

Total Running Time: 34:04


4.518 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“To put the performance on At San Quentin in a bit of perspective: Johnny Cash's key partner in the Tennessee Two, guitarist Luther Perkins, died in August 1968, just seven months before this set was recorded in February 1969. In addition to that, Cash was nearing the peak of his popularity – his 1968 live album, At Folsom Prison, was a smash success – but he was nearly at his wildest in his personal life, which surely spilled over into his performance.” STE

“All of this sets the stage for At San Quentin, a nominal sequel to At Folsom Prison that surpasses its predecessor and captures Cash at his rawest and wildest. Part of this is due to how he feeds off of his captive audience, playing to the prisoners and seeming like one of them, but it’s also due to the shifting dynamic within the band. Without Perkins, Cash isn’t tied to the percolating two-step that defined his music to that point. Sure, it’s still there, but it has a different feel coming from a different guitarist, and Cash sounds unhinged as he careens through his jailhouse ballads, old hits, and rockabilly-styled ravers, and even covers the Lovin’ Spoonful (Darlin’ Companion).” STE

“No other Johnny Cash record sounds as wild as this. He sounds like an outlaw and renegade here, which is what gives it power – listen to A Boy Named Sue, a Shel Silverstein composition that could have been too cute by half, but is rescued by the wild-eyed, committed performance by Cash, where it sounds like he really was set on murdering that son of a bitch who named him Sue.” STE

“He sounds that way throughout the record, and while most of the best moments did make it to the original 1969 album, the 2000 Columbia/Legacy release eclipses it by presenting nine previously unreleased bonus tracks, doubling the album’s length, and presenting such insanely wild numbers as Big River as well as sweeter selections like Daddy Sang Bass. Now, that’s the only way to get the record, and that’s how it should be, because this extra material makes a legendary album all the greater – in fact, it helps make a case that this is the best Johnny Cash album ever cut.” STE

Notes: The 2000 Legacy re-release as San Quentin: The Complete 1969 Concert included the bonus cuts noted with an asterisk (*) in the track listing.

Resources and Related Links:

Friday, February 22, 2019

Dave’s Music Database Hall of Fame Album Inductees (Feb. 2019)

Originally posted 2/22/2019.

January 22, 2019 marked the 10-year anniversary of the DMDB blog! To honor that, Dave’s Music Database announced its own Hall of Fame! The first 12 inductees were the “Songs of the Decade” from the 1900s through the 2010s (see here). Now, a month later, the DMDB inducts the first batch of albums – the top albums from each decade from the 1930s through the 2010s. Note: click on an album title to see its more complete DMDB page and referenced footnotes.

See the full list of album inductees here.

Robert Johnson The Complete Recordings (recorded 1936-37, released 1990)

Inducted February 2019 as an “Album of the Decade.”

“If you are starting your blues collection from the ground up, be sure to make this your very first purchase.” A-J This Mississippi-born blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player was only 27 when he died, leaving a mere 29 songs captured in two series of recording sessions. Despite his slim body of work, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame called it “the bedrock upon which modern blues and rock and roll were built.” RH Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards said, “You want to know how good the blues can get? Well, this is it.” RJ Eric Clapton called him “the most important blues singer that ever lived.” WK Read more.

Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) South Pacific (cast album, 1949)

Inducted February 2019 as an “Album of the Decade.”

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s South Pacific is “one of the most beloved musicals ever to hit the stage.” PL “Critical response to the Broadway opening…was probably as uniformly ecstatic as for any show in history.” MK It amassed 1,925 performances on Broadway A-C and another 802 in London. MK Its nearly five-year Broadway run was “longer than any musical before it except Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!.” A-C The accompanying cast album spent 69 weeks atop the Billboard charts – the most weeks spent at #1 in the chart’s history. Read more.

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (1959)

Inducted February 2019 as an “Album of the Decade.”

Kind of Blue has been called the most famous and influential jazz recording of all time.” NO It “became a how-to of jazz recordings, a standard by which all others would be judged” RV and “has influenced generations of jazz and other musicians.” YN “Many consider this recording to be one of the most important jazz recordings of any era.” NRR This Grammy Hall of Fame and National Recording Registry inductee is the the top jazz album of all time, according to the DMDB. Read more.

The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

Inducted February 2019 as an “Album of the Decade.”

Some argue there are better Beatles’ albums, “yet no album is as historically important as this. After Sgt. Pepper, there were no rules to follow.” A-B It “changed the course of popular music forever” CD with “its ambition, conceptual unity, drug references, elaborate cover art, [and] bizarre sound effects.” RS’97 It “led serious music lovers, many ‘classical snobs’ included, to finally recognize rock music” GS “as actual art.” BA “Many people who had never bought a rock record bought Sgt. Pepper’s.” VH1 Read more.

Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Inducted February 2019 as an “Album of the Decade.”

With Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd delivered an album that concentrated their psychedelic sound into a cohesive collection of songs about madness. The conceptual work achieved the rare trifecta of out-of-the-gate success (their first #1 album in the U.S.), long-term chart stature (a record-setting 14 years+ on the Billboard album chart) and near-reverential critical acclaim. It has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and National Recording Registry. Read more.

Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)

Inducted February 2019 as an “Album of the Decade.”

Fueled by the unprecedented feat of seven top-ten singles, Thriller became the world’s all-time biggest-selling album. It gave Jackson a level of superstardom on par with the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Videos for “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” and “Thriller” made him the most iconic artist of the MTV generation. Thriller created the template to be followed by any future act aspiring to achieve a blockbuster, juggernaut album. Read more.

Nirvana Nevermind (1991)

Inducted February 2019 as an “Album of the Decade.”

Nirvana “planted the alternative flag on the Iwo Jima of American consciousness” CS with their “guitar-heavy blend of bubblegum punk.” SK If the sound of grunge feels overly “familiar now, it’s only because thousands of rock records that followed it were trying very hard to cop its style.” DW Nevermind served as a “foundation for most of the rock…of the ‘90s…loud, distorted guitars; raging, sometime screaming vocals; and lyrics that range from the pessimistic, to the positive, and to the apathetic.” JC Read more.

Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

Inducted February 2019 as an “Album of the Decade.”

“On his masterful second album, The Marshall Mathers LP, A-E Eminem “blurs the line between autobiography and cartoons in hilarious and vulgar high-velocity rhymes.” UT “He doesn’t offer any apologies if you can’t sort the fact from the fiction. As an artist, he’s supposed to create his own world, and with this terrific second effort, he certainly has. It may be a world that is as infuriating as it is intriguing, but it is without question his own, which is far more than most of his peers are able to accomplish.” A-E Read more.

Adele 21 (2011)

Inducted February 2019 as an “Album of the Decade.”

In his 2011 review of this Album of the Year Grammy winner, Consequence of Sound’s Nick Freed prophetically said, “Pop music should take more cues from…this album…Adele should be the future of the radio, and in the near future she will be.” NF Her sophomore outing showcases her “titanic vocal ability” A-A and extends her talents as a “bluesy pop diva with a singer/songwriter’s soul.” A-A Even as she reveals her “seemingly bottomless capacity for heartbreak,” A-A she avoids “the pitfalls of sappiness and triteness that can easily come with the lovelorn.” NF Read more.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

100 years ago: "Till We Meet Again" charted for the first time

Till We Meet Again

Henry Burr & Albert Campbell

Writer(s): Richard A. Whiting (music)/ Raymond B. Egan (lyrics) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: February 15, 1919

Peak: 19 US, 112 GA, 112 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 5.0 (sheet music)

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


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Henry Burr was one of the most successful recording artists of the first quarter of the 20th century, landing 15 songs at #1 as a solo artist. However, he also regularly worked with Albert Campbell (who sent three songs to the top on his own) and they landed another seven songs atop the charts. “Till We Meet Again” was their most successful pairing. PM

This “heartfelt farewell of a beau who promises to return and wed his love” RCG was “the most successful of all the ballads of the First World War,” RCG selling 5 million in sheet music. The United States had already entered the war when Richard Whiting and Raymond Egan penned this waltz. However, they threw it away because they disliked it. Luckily, their secretary heard the song, liked it, salvaged it from the trash, and sent it to the publisher. RCG

In 1919, five versions of the song charted – Nicholas Orlando’s Orchestra and the duo of Charles Hart & Lewis James also went to #1 with it, but Burr & Campbell had the most successful version (9 weeks at #1). Vernon Dalhart & Gladys Rice took their duet to the top 10, as did Prince’s Orchestra. PM

World War II saw the song revived and recorded by Kay Starr, Rosemary Clooney, Patti Page, Mitch Miller, and Jaye P. Morgan. RCG Doris Day and Gordon MacRae performed it for the 1951 film On Moonlight Bay. DJ The song was also played for years at the adjournment of the United States Congress. RCG


Related Links:

First posted 2/15/2012; last updated 2/27/2023.

Friday, February 15, 2019

50 years ago: “Everyday People” hit #1

Everyday People

Sly & the Family Stone

Writer(s): Sly Stone (see lyrics here)

First Charted: November 30, 1968

Peak: 14 US, 12 CB, 11 HR, 12 RB, 1 CL, 36 UK, 2 CN, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.2 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 7.1 video, 201.89 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Sylvester Stewart, aka “Sly Stone,” was musical from the start. He saw a recording studio for the first time when he was four years old, singing “On the Battlefield for My Lord” with his family’s gospel group the Stewart Four. In regards to growing up with music, he said, “That’s all I had to play with. No toys.” FB

In high school, he recorded the song “Yellow River” as a member of the vocal quintet the Viscanes. In junior college, he learned music composition, which led to work with Autumn Records FB producing hits “Laugh Laugh” and “Just a Little” for white pop group the Beau Brummels RS500 and Bobby Freeman’s “Come on and Swim.” FB He then worked as a DJ in San Francisco saying of the time, “I was into everyone’s records. I’d play Dylan, Hendrix, James Brown back to back so I didn’t get stuck in any one groove.” RS500

That taste for diversity played out when he formed the racially-integrated Family Stone. In a time when jeans and tie-dye ruled the psychedelic scene in San Francisco, Stone’s stage act was marked by elaborate costumes, glitter, and stage movements. FB He found a wide audience with “Everyday People,” a song with a “gospel message of brotherhood, couched in dance funk” FB which preached that “everyone is essentially the same, regardless of race or background.” SF It is “one of the most beguiling and literate songs about racial harmony.” TC As he said, “What I write is people’s music.” RS500

That message was drilled home with the main line of the chorus: “I am everyday people,” a line sung by himself, his sister Rosie, his brother Freddie, and Larry Graham – echoing the idea that “each of them (and each listener as well) should consider himself or herself as parts of one whole.” WK

The song’s diverse appeal is echoed by the wide range of acts to cover the song: Belle & Sebastian, Jeff Buckley, Aretha Franklin, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Peggy Lee, Dolly Parton, Billy Paul, Pearl Jam, the Staple Singers, the Supremes & Four Tops. In 1992, rap group Arrested Development had a top ten hit with an adapted version of the song called “People Everyday.” WK

Musically, the song featured what member Larry Graham said was the first use of the slap bass technique, in which the player slapped the strings with his thumb so that they collided with the frets, which became a staple of funk. WK/sup>


Related Links:

Last updated 7/11/2023.