Saturday, May 29, 2021

Olivia Rodrigo “Good 4 U” debuted at #1

Good 4 U

Olivia Rodrigo

Writer(s): Olivia Rodrigo, Dan Nigro, Hayley Williams, Josh Farro (see lyrics here)

Released: May 14, 2021

First Charted: May 29, 2021

Peak: 11 BB, 13 BA, 18 ST, 16 RR, 12 AC, 11 A40, 15 UK, 16 CN, 14 AU, 12 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 2.1 UK, 12.99 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 562.10 video, 2096.94 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Olivia Rodrigo was born in 2003 in California. She celebrated her 18th birthday with the #1 song “Drivers License,” the lead single from her debut album Sour. The second single, “Déjà Vu,” reached #3 and then third single, “Good 4 U,” had Rodrigo back on top. While “Drivers License” spent more weeks at #1 (8), “Good 4 U” ended up being the bigger seller, getting certified seven times platinum compared to six times for “License.”

“Good 4 U” reached #1 in twenty three countries and in the top 10 in more than 20 territories. WK Hayley Williams and Josh Farro are credited as co-writers because their Paramore song “Misery Business” inspired the chorus. WK The magazine NME named it their song of the year, calling it “a masterclass in songwriting.” SF

The song has been described as “an upbeat song blending rock, pop, punk, emo, and alternative styles.” WK Rodrigo said she came up with the hook for the song in the shower. She didn’t want her debut album to be all “sad piano songs” but didn’t want happy “I’m in love” pop songs either because that wasn’t how she felt at the time. She said “Good 4 U” “was really satisfying because the song is upbeat and high energy and people can dance to it, but I didn’t have to sacrifice being honest and authentic in order to write it.” SF “Good 4 U” fit the bill, serving as a “messy breakup song” SF in which Rodrigo “confronts her ex who has moved on very quickly from the relationship…using plentiful sarcastic remarks.” WK

The video features Rodrigo as a cheerleader on the revenge. It was nominated for a Grammy for Best Music Video.


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First posted 2/18/2024; last updated 3/25/2024.

Why the "Today's Music Sucks" Argument Is Rubbish

image from Love Music and Something Facebook page

This essay was prompted by a post on Love Music and Something which said, “I hope the next big trend in music is talent.”

I responded, “What’s with posts like this which play on the idea that today's music sucks and the music of yesteryear was awesome? Let's dispense with the idea that quality and talent only belong to certain eras.”

This evoked a lengthy discussion with agreement and disagreement. I ended up posting about it on my personal Facebook page. Here's what I said:

I've gotten myself entrenched in a lengthy battle/discussion on Facebook (I know many of you are stunned 😜) about music. At the heart of the issue is the initially proposed view that, in essence, today's music sucks and yesteryear's was awesome. I'm not fond of any overall characterizations subscribed to any generation, but particularly roll my eyes about music. Here's some of my most prominent arguments:

  1. Every generation has music that is "good" and "bad." (We won't even get into how subjective such a comment is).

  2. We tend to fondly remember the music of our youth and anything that comes after pales by comparison.

  3. As people grow older, they seem to forget that music has been marketed toward the youth since at least the rock era, so about 70 years. If you're 54 like me, you aren't likely to hear music targeted to you on the most prominent radio stations.

  4. Which leads to my next point (by this time, I'm sure many of you have moved right on past my rant, which is certainly understandable). Any way, if you are looking to discover new music and aren't in your teens or 20s, you need to expand your search beyond conventional radio.

  5. Last (finally) - luckily, we live in an era where we have more means of accessing and discovering music than ever before. You can find whatever fits your tastes. Soap box preaching over. Thoughts?

I was so encouraged by some of the responses I got on my personal FB post, that I decided to post it here on the DMDB blog.

Karin: I concur & at 54 years of age, also with 2 teen aged sons, I let them introduce me to what current music they like. I, however, usually go back to the music of the 60s, 70s & some 90’s alternative.... because that is what I like. Music touches the soul ... so if it makes you happy, or helps you through a funk, or motivates you to be a kind person ... then I’d say keep listening. Now, back to the issue at hand, we would miss out on great music if we chose to generalize the younger generation’s popular music as garbage. However, I am not actively wanting to expand my listening library - but I’m impressed that Spotify offers me suggestions.

Jennifer: What I like about music today if the wide variety available to everyone! Kids playlists are rarely confined to one genre. When we were kids, we listened to one or two stations and then albums of our favorite artists. Kids today have access to all genres, all cuts anytime they want them. Their musical tastes tend to be much more eclectic than most of us when we were kids.

Mike: Agreed! My daughters have both introduced me to new music. Do I like everything they have me listen to? Absolutely not!! I have, however, enjoyed the moments when I do. I have also discovered a lot of new music via Shazam (then finding it on Spotify). I've also rediscovered some older music, and have a greater appreciation to the nuances of different artists.

Steve: Even though I'm putting the finishing touches on a nearly 500-page book on great song recordings before 1930, I still find time to listen to many music channels on SiriusXM, including a lot of new and recent stuff. The pickings of good music from the current Billboard Hot 100 may be slimmer than before, but there's never a shortage of excellent new material to be found elsewhere.

Dar: Spotify and Pandora have changed everything. The variety is huge and you don’t need to be “discovered” to get airplay. I have found more talent but adventuring down the rabbit hole than I ever heard on the radio.

Forrest: There is a ton of great music coming out now. The Record Company, Lake Street Dive, Samantha Fish, Alabama Shakes (before they broke up), Father John Misty, Dawes, Anderson East, Madisen Ward and Mama Bear are just a few of the “newer” bands and artists putting out fantastic music. A person is doing themselves a giant disservice if they do not continue to try and discover new music.

Stephen: I'll settle this for you. Music I like. Awesome. Music I don't like. Sucks. Glad to be of help. For more answers, follow me on Facebook.

Paul: So here's a weird way to think about it…I’m 40 years old. I had a student this year that loved to talk to me about 90s music, the music that grew up with…I just realized that the 90s are as far away for him as the 60s we're for me (when I was his age). Nirvana for him is the equivalent of the Beatles for me…Fudge…I'm getting old.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Del Amitri released first album in 19 years

Fatal Mistakes

Del Amitri

Released: May 28, 2021

Peak: -- US, 5 UK, -- CN, -- AU

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

Genre: adult alternative rock


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

  1. You Can’t Go Back (4/30/21, --)
  2. All Hail Blind Love (8/20/21, --)
  3. Musicians and Beer
  4. Close Your Eyes and Think of England (11/13/20, --)
  5. Losing the Will to Die
  6. Otherwise
  7. It’s Feelings (2/18/21, --)
  8. I’m So Scared of Dying
  9. Mockingbird, Copy Me Now
  10. Missing Person
  11. Second Staircase
  12. Lonely
  13. Nation of Caners

Total Running Time: 45:42

The Players:

  • Justin Currie (vocals, bass)
  • Iain Harvie (guitar)
  • Ash Soan (drums)
  • Andy Alston (keyboards, percussion)
  • Kris Dollimore (guitar)


3.371 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)

About the Album:

Fatal Mistakes is the seventh album from Scottish rock band Del Amitri. Their previous studio album, Can You Do Me Good?, was released 19 years earlier. In the interim, lead singer Justin Currie released four solo albums and an album with Uncle Devil Show. Reunion tours in 2014 and 2018 sparked the idea of recording together again.

Work was completed on the album before the UK-wide Covid 19 lockdown in March 2020. Justin Currie, the band’s lead singer and bassist, said the songs were recorded over three weeks “in a stately home in deepest England.” CR he called it “a collection of bizarre tales of poisoning, pleading, and bitter acceptance, powered by guitars, drums, and keyboards.” CR

In the UK, the band had five top-10 albums. They didn’t find the same level of success in the United States, but they did have a top-10 hit with 1995’s “Roll to Me” and have sold six million albums in their career. AS With such a long layoff since their last album, the band has “to create songs that match the rousing, resonant melodies of their earlier efforts…Happily they rise to the challenge.” AS Del Amitri “recognizes the difficulty of maintaining a certain standard but…[are] determined to reach new goals.” AS

The first single, “the state-of-the-nation lament Close Your Eyes and Think of England,” CR was released in November 2020. Currie called it the band’s “European vacation, a ballad of pure bile and remorse, sweetened by a sledgehammer of sarcasm.” CR

The opening track, You Can’t Go Back, “is the most impressive of all, an assertive launching pad that paves the way for the driving, determined offerings that follow.” AS

I’m So Scared of Dying may boast an emphatic edge, but it hints at a fear and a vulnerability that are impossible to ignore.” ASLonely hits at the same, while the solemn Second Staircase comes across as a brooding ballad that caps the earlier momentum.” AS

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 5/28/2021; last updated 8/24/2021.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Bob Dylan: Top 100 Songs

This page has been moved here.

First posted 5/24/2013.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Billboard Career Achievement Awards

Billboard Awards:


Billboard magazine has given out several career-achievement awards through the years. The Artist Achievement Award was given from 1993-2005. The Millenium Award has been given out three times (2011, 2012, 2016) to recognize music singers and contributions. The Icon Award was first given in 2011. The Billboard Century Award was given from 1992-2006. Michael Jackson and Katy Perry have received Spotlight Awards for being the only two artists with five consecutive number one singles from one album. There were also awards given for Artist of the Decade for the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. This page lists the recipients of all the aforementioned awards.

See other lifetime achievement awards.

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First posted 5/1/2016; last updated 5/23/2021.

The Top 100 Country Acts of All Time


Top 100 Acts

This list was compiled by averaging 11 lists of the best country acts of all-time and adding in points accrued on the Billboard country singles charts along with induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition, a percentage of the acts’ overall points in Dave’s Music Database were factored in. Click on a link to see the act’s DMDB music encyclopedia entry.

See other Acts/Music Makers by Genre lists.

  1. Johnny Cash
  2. Hank Williams
  3. Loretta Lynn
  4. George Jones
  5. Willie Nelson
  6. Garth Brooks
  7. Alan Jackson
  8. Merle Haggard
  9. George Strait
  10. Dolly Parton

  11. Patsy Cline
  12. Waylon Jennings
  13. Jimmie Rodgers
  14. Shania Twain
  15. Tammy Wynette
  16. Reba McEntire
  17. Kitty Wells
  18. Randy Travis
  19. Vince Gill
  20. Lefty Frizzell

  21. Conway Twitty
  22. Buck Owens
  23. The Carter Family
  24. Bill Monroe
  25. Brooks & Dunn
  26. Bob Wills
  27. Roger Miller
  28. Tim McGraw
  29. Hank Williams, Jr.
  30. Dwight Yoakam

  31. Ernest Tubb
  32. Marty Robbins
  33. Charley Pride
  34. Ray Price
  35. Hank Snow
  36. Jim Reeves
  37. Emmylou Harris
  38. Toby Keith
  39. Glen Campbell
  40. Kenny Rogers

  41. Eddy Arnold
  42. Brad Paisley
  43. Don Williams
  44. Ronnie Milsap
  45. Faron Young
  46. Porter Wagoner
  47. Ricky Skaggs
  48. Kenny Chesney
  49. Alabama
  50. Tanya Tucker

  51. Martina McBride
  52. Dixie Chicks
  53. Clint Black
  54. Jerry Reed
  55. Roy Acuff
  56. Bobby Bare
  57. Carrie Underwood
  58. Don Gibson
  59. Mel Tillis
  60. Bill Anderson

  61. Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs
  62. Barbara Mandrell
  63. Kris Kristofferson
  64. The Statler Brothers
  65. Webb Pierce
  66. Travis Tritt
  67. Patty Loveless
  68. Tom T. Hall
  69. The Judds
  70. Rascal Flatts

  71. Trisha Yearwood
  72. Oak Ridge Boys
  73. Gene Autry
  74. Keith Urban
  75. Dottie West
  76. Crystal Gayle
  77. Johnny Paycheck
  78. Marty Stuart
  79. Elvis Presley
  80. Faith Hill

  81. Keith Whitley
  82. John Denver
  83. Miranda Lambert
  84. Vern Gosdin
  85. The Louvin Brothers
  86. John Anderson
  87. Connie Smith
  88. Gene Watson
  89. Steve Wariner
  90. Diamond Rio

  91. Eric Church
  92. Ferlin Husky
  93. Charlie Daniels
  94. Charlie Rich
  95. Hank Thompson
  96. Stanley Brothers
  97. Lynn Anderson
  98. Lee Ann Womack
  99. Tennessee Ernie Ford
  100. Alison Krauss

Resources/Related Links:

First posted 4/11/2013; last updated 5/23/2021.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Dave's Music Database Hall of Fame: Albums (May 2021)

Originally posted 5/22/2021.

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. This month marks the tenth group of album inductees. These are the among the top twenty jazz albums of all time, excluding previous inductees Miles Davis’ A Kind of Blue, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Bessie Smith’s The Essential, Louis Armstrong’s Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings, Glenn Miller’s Glenn Miller, Henry Mancini’s Music from Peter Gunn, Duke Ellington’s The Blanton Webster Band 1939-1942, and Benny Goodman’s Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert.

See the full list of album inductees here.

Frank Sinatra Songs for Swingin’ Lovers (1956)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

“Sinatra’s albums for Capitol introduced the singer’s album, the concept album and the grown-up album all at once.” RC On this album, the focus from Ol’ Blue Eyes and conductor/arranger Nelson Riddle was “on churning out up-tempo dance versions of standards.” SHS Read more.

Duke Ellington At Newport (1956)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

After an unsuccessful stint at Capitol Records, Duke Ellington re-established himself “as a vitally popular jazz artist” AMG with At Newport, a recorded of his appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1956. The original album release was “almost fully manufactured, recorded in a studio with crowd madness dubbed in” AB but four decades later, a tape of the original Newport set saw the light of day, reviving the “set in its organic glory.” AB Read more.

Charles Mingus Ah Um (1959)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

Ah Um “is a stunning summation of the bassist’s talents and probably the best reference point for beginners…Mingus’ compositions and arrangements were always extremely focused, assimilating individual spontaneity into a firm consistency of mood, and that approach reaches an ultra-tight zenith” AMG on Mingus’ debut for Columbia, a Grammy Hall of Fame and National Recording Registry inductee. Read more.

Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

This “was a watershed event in the genesis of avant-garde jazz, profoundly steering its future course and throwing down a gauntlet that some still haven’t come to grips with. The record shattered traditional concepts of harmony in jazz, getting rid of not only the piano player but the whole idea of concretely outlined chord changes.” AMG The album was Coleman’s debut with Atlantic and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and National Recording Registry. Read more.

Dave Brubeck Time Out (1959)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

“Dave Brubeck’s defining masterpiece, Time Out is one of the most rhythmically innovative albums in jazz history…Brubeck’s record company wasn’t keen on releasing such an arty project, and many critics initially roasted him for tampering with jazz’s rhythmic foundation. But for once, public taste was more advanced than that of the critics.” SH Read more.

Stan Getz with João Gilberto Getz/Gilberto (1963)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

“One of the biggest-selling jazz albums of all time, not to mention bossa nova’s finest moment.” AMG “It’s one of those rare jazz records about which the purist elite and the buying public are in total agreement.” AMG Getz/Gilberto brought “two of bossa nova’s greatest innovators – guitarist/ singer João Gilberto and composer/ pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim – to New York to record with Stan Getz. The results were magic.” AMG The Grammy winner for Album of the Year featured The Girl from Ipanema, “one of the biggest smash hit singles in jazz history.” AMG Read more.

John Coltrane A Love Supreme (1965)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme is “widely considered his masterpiece.” WK Jazz critic Tom Hull called it “the most perfectly plotted single piece of jazz ever recorded.” WK It is also “easily one of the most important records ever made” JI in any genre. Techno-DJ Moby said it “is probably oe of the most beautiful and sublime recordings of the twentieth century.” AK-xvi Read more.

Miles Davis Bitches Brew (1970)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

“Inspired by the visionary work of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and Sly Stone, Miles Davis began incorporating funk grooves and electronic instruments into his music – first with the languid, contemplative In a Silent Way…and then on…Bitches Brew.” TL The latter is “thought by many to be the most revolutionary album in jazz history, having virtually created the genre known as jazz-rock fusion.” TJ Read more.

Herbie Hancock Head Hunters (1973)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

“Perhaps the defining moment of the jazz-fusion movement (or perhaps even the spearhead of the Jazz-funk style of the fusion genre), the album made jazz listeners out of rhythm and blues fans, and vice versa.” WK “Hancock had pushed avant-garde boundaries on his own albums and with Miles Davis, but he had never devoted himself to the groove as he did on Head Hunters,” STE an inductee into the Grammy Hall of Fame and National Recording Registry. Read more.

Norah Jones Come Away with Me (2002)

Inducted May 2021 as “Top Jazz Albums.”

In 2003, Norah Jones won Grammys for Best New Artist, Album of the Year for Come Away with Me, and Record and Song of the Year for the album’s lead single, “Don’t Know Why.” The album topped the Billboard album chart and sold 27 million worldwide. “Though its surprising success…overwhelmed it, this seductively modest little record is a marvel of mood and invention. The songwriting and arrangements are sophisticated, often jazzy, yet full of catchy hooks. And Jones’ vocals are silken and perfectly turned, setting a seamless mood that could soundtrack high-end restaurants and low-rent make-out sessions alike.” RS’11 Read more.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Eric Bazilian released self-titled album


Eric Bazilian

Released: May 14, 2021

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. The High Note [3:02]
  2. Back in the 80s [3:34] (4/29/21, --)
  3. Heaven Ain’t Gonna Save Us [3:54] (11/5/20, --)
  4. Sarah When She’s Sleeping [2:48] (3/5/21, --)
  5. High [3:22]
  6. I Miss Everything [3:51] (12/3/20, --)
  7. Where Home Is [3:10]
  8. Take You with You [3:08]
  9. Help! [3:31] (4/29/20, --)
  10. Bleed Red [4:40]


3.997 out of 5.00 (average of 3 ratings)

About the Album:

Eric Bazilian is best known as a founding member of the Hooters, a rock band which originated in the 1980s in Philadelphia. That group has released six studio albums to date. Bazilian released two solo albums in the early part of the 20th century and then did another album, What Shall Become of the Baby?, with Mats Wester in 2012. His self-titled Bazilian marks his first return with a full-fledged studio effort in nine years.

The build-up for the album took place over more than a year with the first single, a cover of the Beatles’ Help!, being released in April 2020. A second single, Heaven Ain’t Gonna Save Us, was released in November 2020. It is Bazilian’s reflection on the polarization of American politics. He says, “I wrote the song the day after the 2016 election, just thinking about how divided the country had gotten…No matter which side ‘wins,’ half of the people are going to feel like losers.” KY “In lesser hands, the subject matter could make for a one-sided thesis, but Bazilian’s characteristic upbeat optimism, clever analogies, and pop music sensibilities elevate the song into a memorable, sing-along chorus of shared blame of both sides.” AS

A month later, I Miss Everything was released as a third single. The “folky anthem” GL was fitting for a pandemic-plagued world as it “immediately connects to a feeling we all have these days as the world continues to be shut down and seemingly all moments of spontaneous fun are still on hold.” GL While Bazilian still considers Philadelphia home, he maintains a studio in Stockholm, Sweden. When the pandemic hit, he was locked down in the studio, VD where he wrote this song. And that while “the music and lyrics contain their fair share of pathos, the overriding sentiment is one of gratitude.” GL

The “jangly” VD Sarah When She’s Sleeping was released as the fourth single in March 2021. Bazilian calls it “a shameless declaration of love and redemption, for and by a good and kind woman.” VD He said he was trying to convey “the sense of home that I get when I see my partner peacefully at rest and hear the sweet sounds she makes when she’s there.” VD

A month later, Back in the 80s, was released as the fifth single. While that single is a seemingly reminiscent song about the 1980s, Bazilian says, “As glorified as that decade has been (and as kind as it was to me and my band, the Hooters), I feel no more sentimental attachment to it than I do to any of the other decades that gave us great music. If anything, the song is about appreciating the time we live in for all its beauty as well as its faults and frailities.” AM

In a clever twist, the video is set not in the 1980s, but more a setting akin to the 1880s or even the 1780s.

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First posted 6/16/2021.