Saturday, October 30, 2021

Adele “Easy on Me” hit #1 for first of 10 weeks

Easy on Me


Writer(s): Adele Adkins, Greg Kurstin (see lyrics here)

Released: October 15, 2021

First Charted: October 23, 2021

Peak: 110 US, 115 BA, 12 DG, 15 ST, 12 AC, 110 A40, 2 AA, 32a RB, 18 UK, 18 CN, 14 AU, 12 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 1.2 UK, 7.36 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 853.90 video, 1671.73 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

After Adele’s debut album, 19, in 2008, she won the Grammy for Best New Artist. Her sophomore effort, 2011’s 21, became the best-selling album of the 21st century with sales over 31 million. That album and its follow-up, 2015’s 25, both won Album of the Year Grammys. Between them, the two albums gave Adele four #1 songs. Her biggest was “Hello” from 25, which spent ten weeks on top.

While that set the bar impossibly high for Adele’s 2021 release, 30, she still pulled off another multi-platinum, #1 album which spawned yet another huge hit, “Easy on Me,” another ten-week chart topper. The song broke streaming records for a song in both a day and a week for Spotify and Amazon Music. WK The song was also nominated for Grammys for Record and Song of the Year. Adele won both awards with “Rolling in the Deep” and repeated the feat with “Hello.” Could she pull it off a third time?

The “minimally produced pop ballad [is] set to a prominent sobre piano and propelled by sparse beats. Expressing themes of nostalgia, regret, and forgiveness, the lyrics represent Adele’s plea to her son, [Angelo], in which she details her struggles with her dissolved marriage and requests him to be kind to her.” WK Adele and her ex-husband, Simon Konecki, separated in 2019 after eleven years together and finalized their divorce in March 2021.

“Easy on Me” was the first song she wrote for 30. Then she wrote nothing else for six months because she though the song said it all. SF Adele said, “I just felt like I wanted to explain to [Angelo], through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness. It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know I’ll ever be able to heal.” WK

Nick Levine of New Musical Express said “Adele has never sounded better.” WK The Independent’s Alexandra Pollard praised the raspy vocals, sentimental lyrics, polished sound, and piano composition. WK Cat Zhang said in Pitchfork that the song “isn’t really trending new ground,” instead sticking to Adele’s classic formula. WK


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First posted 1/12/2023; last updated 4/14/2024.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Tori Amos Ocean to Ocean released

Ocean to Ocean

Tori Amos

Released: October 29, 2021

Peak: 104 US, 25 UK, -- CN, 46 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.01 US

Genre: piano-based adult alternative rock


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

  1. Addition of Light Divided [4:05]
  2. Speaking with Trees [3:55] (9/29/21, --)
  3. Devil’s Bane [4:32]
  4. Swim to New York State [4:20]
  5. Spies [5:59] (10/14/21, --)
  6. Ocean to Ocean [3:30]
  7. Flowers Burn to Gold [3:41]
  8. Metal Water Wood [4:00]
  9. 29 Years [4:47]
  10. How Glass Is Made [3:56]
  11. Birthday Baby [4:44]

All songs written by Tori Amos.

Total Running Time: 47:38


3.403 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“For many, the early 2020s was a course-shifting season of change, when a global pandemic and sociopolitical upheaval cast a shadow over much of life. It was no different for singer/songwriter Tori Amos, who, during one of England’s many lockdowns, penned an entire album that she later scrapped for being too divisive. In its place, she started fresh, shifting focus and processing grief with her 16th album Ocean to Ocean. As she declares on Metal Water Wood, ‘It has been a brutal year.’” AMG

“Against this backdrop, Amos does what she does best: turning personal trauma into a universal experience, carrying both herself and listeners out of the darkness with sights set on renewal. Despite the bittersweet emotions and the still-lingering uncertainty at the time of release, Ocean to Ocean comforts like a warm hug, benefitting from a sumptuous depth of layered production that is at once soulful and satisfying.” AMG

“From the outset, a familiar team -- husband/guitarist Mark Hawley, daughter/backing vocalist Tash, drummer Matt Chamberlain, bassist Jon Evans, and orchestral maestro John Philip Shenale – joins Amos as she whips up a storm of sound and emotion with her trademark piano and vocal sorcery.” AMG

“Diving headlong into the album's main themes on Speaking with Trees, Amos addresses the death of her mother, Mary Ellen, crying, ‘I cannot let you go’ as she copes with the devastating loss. Mary Ellen’s memory is also alive on Flowers Burn to Gold, a heartbreaking piano ballad that dwells beside Toast and Mary’s Eyes as one of Amos’ biggest tearjerkers.” AMG

“Emotions flow on the tender Swim to New York State, a sentimental declaration of love and recognition to a loyal partner that swells atop a grand string section and cinematic horns. Turning her focus outward, she revisits common themes such as religious hypocrisy and misogyny (on the smoky fire-and-brimstone Devil’s Bane), while calling out ‘those who don't give a goddamn’ about the climate crisis on the turbulent title track.” AMG

“Amos later brings ‘Me and a Gun’ full circle with 29 Years, this time tackling trauma and the devastation it can cause by reconciling the past through reflection and rebuilding.” AMG

“Some much-needed mirth appears on the highlight Spies, which rides Evans' bouncing bass and Shenale’s stabbing strings like a propulsive late-era Radiohead tune filtered through a quirky Beatles lens. Named after the mischievous entities who protect us from the bad dreams, ‘thieving meanies,’ and ‘scary men,’ it's an antidote for unsure and fearful times that’s destined to become a fan favorite.” AMG

“Closing on Birthday Baby – a self-empowering tango that recalls the cinematic flourish of Abnormally Attracted to Sin – Amos sings, ‘This year, you survived through it all,’ a testament to endurance and emerging from the gloom. Like Native Invader before it, Ocean to Ocean is a late-era standout for Amos, who reaches through the dark cloud of collective grief to be that supportive presence for listeners, healing with familiar touches and a timely message.” AMG

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Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 6/3/2022.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow’s “Industry Baby” hit #1

Industry Baby

Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow

Writer(s): Montero Hill, Jackman Harlow, Mark Williams, Raul Cubina, Roy Lenzo, Denzel Baptiste, David Biral, Kanye West, Nick Lee (see lyrics here)

Released: July 23, 2021

First Charted: August 7, 2021

Peak: 11 BB, 11 DG, 12 ST, 11 RR, 26 A40, 118 RB, 3 UK, 3 CN, 5 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.6 UK, 9.52 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 845.40 video, 1973.80 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Montero Lamar Hill, professionally known as Lil Nas X, was born in Georgia in 1999. He rose to fame in 2019 when his song “Old Town Road” spent 19 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, the longest-running #1 in the history of the chart. He released his first album, Montero, in 2021. It reached #2, went platinum, and generated the #1 hits “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and “Industry Baby.”

The song paired Lil Nas X with Jack Harlow, a rapper born in Kentucky in 1998. He released several mixtapes and EPs before his debut album, That’s What They All Say, came out in 2020 and was a top-five, million-selling album. He experienced his first chart success with the album’s single “What’s Poppin’,” which reached #2 on the pop and R&B charts on its way to being certified seven times platinum.

Lil Nas X said of “Industry Baby” that it was a song “for us.” WK He wrote about “stagnation during the Covid-19 pandemic, ostraciszation due to his sexuality, and staying strong in the face of adversity to witness his future success.” WK He also said the song “captures his honest feelings of his place within the music industry.” SF

Harlow’s contribution is a verse “where he raps about handling his critics and boasts that hey’s here to stay.” SF Lil Nas X first sent the song to Nicki Minaj, but never got a reply from her. The song also features production from Kanye West.

Billboard called it an “expertly crafted rap anthem” WKClash described it as “a bubbling piece of pop-edged rap.” WK


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First posted 1/19/2024; last updated 3/25/2024.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Dave's Music Database Hall of Fame: Song Inductees (October 2021)

Originally posted 10/22/2021.

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the DMDB blog on January 22, 2019, Dave’s Music Database launched its own Hall of Fame. This is the twelfth set of song inductees. These are the 10 highest-ranked songs that ranked within the top 50 of the DMDB’s list of the “Top Big Band Songs of All Time”. It does not include previously inducted songs such as Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” and Artie Shaw’s “Stardust” and “Begin the Beguine.”

Fats Waller “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (1929)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

Waller was “a New York City-born pianist and organ accompanist during the ‘20s…[who] broke through as one of the country’s most popular entertainers. PM “Ain’t Misbehavin’” was written for the 1929 all-black revue Hot Chocolates and debuted by Louis Armstrong, who credited the revue with launching his career. TY It was so popular it moved to Broadway RCG where it ran “for a very respectable 219 performances.” SS Read more.

Ted Lewis “On the Sunny Side of the Street” (1930)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

This “cabaret and jazz standard” JA is a “metaphor for optimism.” TY In his book American Popular Song, author Alec Wilder calls it “one of the jazz musicians’ favorites…Singers, as well, love it as much for its extremely fine lyric.” SB In The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Popular Standards, Max Morath expresses a similar sentiment, saying the song “works both sides of the street, vocal and instrumental, with equal charm.” MM Read more.

Duke Ellington “Mood Indigo” (1931)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

The clarinet solo was based on a melody called “Dreamy Blues.” Duke Ellington turned the structure upside down, “composing a song of his own on top of it.” DH Typically jazz songs were arranged with the clarinet, trumpet, and trombone from highest to lowest pitch, but Ellington flipped it around the other way. DH He recorded it for an October 1930 broadcast. He said “wads of mail came in raving about the new tune.” WK Read more.

Benny Goodman “Sing Sing Sing (With a Swing)” (1938)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

By the start of the Swing era in 1936, Benny Goodman was its king. “Sing, Sing, Sing” was his most renowned performance with solos by Benny as well as drummer Gene Krupa (on his last hit before leaving the band) and trumpeter Harry James. “Sing, Sing, Sing,” which Goodman called a “killer diller,” NPR’99 was the closer at the bandleader’s legendary Carnegie Hall concert on January 16, 1938. It was the first time jazz comprised a full concert instead of being part of a larger show SS and marked the birthplace of the legitimacy of the genre. NPR’99 Read more.

Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb’s Orchestra “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” (1938)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

“A-Tisket, A-Tasket” began life as an American children’s rhyming game in 1879. In 1938, Ella Fitzgerald and Al Feldman adapted it into a song with very little change to the lyrics. In a 1973 lecture series at Harvard, Leonard Bernstein said that research showed the song’s melodic motif “is the same all over the world, wherever children tease each other. On every continent, in ever culture, it is one of the few musical universals.” TY Read more.

Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra & the Pied Pipers “I’ll Never Smile Again” (1940)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

Ruth Lowe was a pianist with Ina Ray Hutton’s all-girl orchestra when she composed this song about the death of her husband, just a few months after their marriage. TY She staked out Tommy Dorsey in September 1939 and got Carmen Mastren, the band’s guitarist, to give her demo a listen. SS Dorsey wasn’t initially passed but took a stab at it when Frank Sinatra came on board. SS It became his first #1 song. Read more.

Duke Ellington “Take the ‘A’ Train” (1941)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

Billy Strayhorn was a hopeful pianist and composer in 1938. NPR His rearrangement of the Duke’s song “Sophisticated Lady” sufficiently impressed Ellington to invite Strayhorn to New York. TC Ellington gave directions to his house in New York, starting with “take the ‘A’ train.” WK Along the way, Strayhorn turned the directions into a song. TC It became Ellington’s signature song and one of the all-time best-loved jazz standards. Read more.

Glenn Miller “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (1941)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

The team of Mack Gordon and Harry Warren wrote the song while travelling on the Southern Railway. It didn’t refer to a particular train, but Chattanooga, Tennessee, had been on the route for most trains passing through the American South since 1880. WK The song was used in the film Sun Valley Serenade, sung by members of Glenn Miller’s band. Miller’s recording became his biggest hit after “In the Mood” and the first recording formally certified as a million seller. PM Read more.

Woody Herman “Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me)” (1941)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

Composer Harold Arlen and lyricist Johnny Mercer were approached to write a song for a movie about a jazz quintet riding the rails in search of its big break. Arlen wrote a melody after analyzing blues songs and Mercer penned four pages of lyrics. When they finished, Mercer called Margaret Whiting, who’d sung the pair’s songs “That Old Black Magic” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.” She told Mercer she had guests for dinner, but he and Arlen could come over later. When Mercer found out the guests included Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, and Mel Tormé, he announced, “My God, we’re coming right over.” After they played the song, Rooney said, “That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.” SB Read more.

Les Brown with Doris Day “Sentimental Journey” (1945)

Inducted October 2021 as “Top Big Band Songs”

When she first saw the sheet music, Doris Day commented, “What a lovely title,” to which Les Brown responded “Wait till you hear it.” SS “The song’s aching nostalgia struck a chord in a nation welcoming its boys back from the front lines,” TM becoming “one of a handful of songs that summed up romantic longing during World War II.” SS Will Friedwald called it “the definitive end-of-war song,” SS “a song that helped define an era.” SS Read more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Prince: His Top 100 Songs


Image from

Prince was a self-taught musician – a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer born Prince Roger Nelson on 6/7/1958 in Minneapolis, MN. He was named for the Prince Roger Trio, led by his father. On 6/7/1993, he changed his name to the unpronouncable symbol that was the title of his Androgyny album.

He formed his own group, Grand Central, while in high school and self-produced his first album in 1978. He achieved superstardom with his soundtrack to Purple Rain, a semi-autobiographical movie. He also starred in Under the Cherry Moon, Sign ‘O’ the Times, and Graffiti Bridge.

He married Mayte on 2/14/1996. They divorced in June 2000. Prince died on 4/21/2016 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, an opioid used as a pain medication.

This list was originally presented on the DMDB Facebook page on January 1, 2013, as a top 25 list and later expanded to a top 50 list for the blog. It has now been expanded to a top 100 list including songs both written and performed by Prince.

Spotify Podcast:

Check out Dave’s Music Database podcast: The Best of Prince, 1996-2016 based on this list. It debuts August 10, 2021 at 7pm CST. Tune in every Tuesday at 7pm for a new episode based on the lists at Dave’s Music Database.


Top 100 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. Songs which hit #1 on various charts are noted. (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Songs are written/co-written and performed by Prince unless noted otherwise.

DMDB Top 1%:

1. “Nothing Compares 2 U” (Sinéad O’Connor, 1990, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 RR, 1 MR, 1 UK, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU)
2. “When Doves Cry” (1984, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 RR, 1 RB, 1 CN, 1 AU)
3. “Purple Rain” (1984, 2 US, 1 CB, 1 RR)
4. “Kiss” (1986, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 RR, 1 RB)
5. “1999” (1982)

DMDB Top 2%:

6. “Little Red Corvette” (1982)
7. “Let’s Go Crazy” (1984, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 RR, 1 RB)
8. “Sign ‘O’ the Times” (1987, 1 RB)

DMDB Top 5%:

9. “I Feel for You” (Chaka Khan, 1984, 1 CB, 1 RB, 1 UK)
10. “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” (1994, 1 CB, 1 RR, 1 UK, 1 AU)
11. “Manic Monday” (Bangles, 1986)
12. “Batdance” (1989, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 RR, 1 RB, 1 CN)
13. “Raspberry Beret” (1985, 1 CB, 1 RR, 1 RB)
14. “I Wanna Be Your Lover” (1979, 1 RB)

DMDB Top 10%:

15. “U Got the Look” (Prince with Sheena Easton, 1987)
16. “Cream” (1991, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 RR)
17. “Diamonds and Pearls” (1991, 1 CB, 1 RR, 1 RB)
18. “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” (1987)
19. “I Would Die 4 U” (1984)
20. “Thieves in the Temple” (1990, 1 CB, 1 RB)

21. “Stand Back” (Stevie Nicks, 1983)
22. “Alphabet Street” (1988)
23. “Pop Life” (1985)
24. “7” (1992)
25. “Pray” (MC Hammer, 1990; samples “When Doves Cry”)
26. “‘03 Bonnie & Clyde” (Jay-Z with Beyoncé, 2002; samples “If I Was Your Girlfriend”)
27. “Gett Off” (1991)
28. “Delirious” (1982)

DMDB Top 20%:

29. “I Hate U” (1995)
30. “The Glamorous Life” (Sheila E, 1984)

31. “Sugar Walls” (Sheena Easton, 1984)
32. “Betcha by Golly Wow!” (1996)
33. “If I Was Your Girlfriend” (1987)
34. “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1993)
35. “Take Me with U” (Prince with Appolonia, 1985)
36. “Mountains” (1986)
37. “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night” (1991)
38. “Gold” (1995)
39. “Love…Thy Will Be Done” (Martika, 1991)
40. “Kiss” (Art of Noise with Tom Jones, 1988)

41. “Controversy” (1981)
42. “Partyman” (1989)
43. “Sexy M.F.” (1992)
44. “My Name Is Prince” (1992)
45. “Letitgo” (1994)
46. “Pink Cashmere” (1993)
47. “The Belle of St. Mark” (Sheila E, 1984)
48. “The Morning Papers” (1992)
49. “When You Were Mine” (1980)
50. “Jungle Love” (The Time, 1984)

51. “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” (1982)
52. “Anotherloverholenyohead” (1986)
53. “Jerk Out” (The Time, 1990)
54. “Round and Round” (Tevin Campbell, 1990)
55. “The Arms of Orion” (Prince with Sheena Easton, 1989)
56. “Soft and Wet” (1978)
57. “New Power Generation” (1990)
58. “Darling Nikki” (Foo Fighters, 2003)
59. “Paisley Park” (1985)

Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

60. “Nothing Compares 2 U” (Chris Cornell, 2016)
61. “A Love Bizarre” (Sheila E, 1985)
62. “Black Sweat” (2006)
63. “America” (1985)
64. “Darling Nikki” (1984)
65. “Baby I’m a Star” (1984)
66. “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore” (Alica Keys, 2002)
67. “Rock and Roll Love Affair” (2012)
68. “Peach” (1993)
69. “The Holy River” (1996)
70. “Hot Thing” (1987)

71. “The Bird (The Time, 1984)
72. “4 the Tears in Your Eyes” (1985)
73. “The Greatest Romance Ever Sold” (1999)
74. “Sign ‘O’ the Times” (Simple Minds, 1989)
75. “Girls and Boys” (1986)
76. “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” (1979)
77. “Purple Medley” (1995)
78. “So What the Fuss” (Stevie Wonder with Prince & En Vogue, 2005)
79. “Te Amo Corazon” (2005)
80. “Raspberry Beret” (Hindu Love Gods, 1990)

81. “Scandalous” (1989)
82. “Musicology” (2004)
83. “Guitar” (2007)
84. “Insatiable” (1991)
85. “The Screams of Passion” (The Family, 1985)
86. “Dinner with Delores” (1996)
87. “Born 2 B.R.E.E.D.” (Monie Love, 1993)
88. “Uptown” (1980)
89. “Martika’s Kitchen” (Martika, 1991)
90. “When Doves Cry” (Patti Smith, 2002)

91. “When You Were Mine” (Cyndi Lauper, 1983)
92. “Sex Shooter” (Apollonia 6, 1984)
93. “Call My Name” (2004)
94. “Let’s Work” (1981)
95. “The Beautiful Ones” (1984)
96. “Another Lonely Christmas” (1984)
97. “When Doves Cry” (Barenaked Ladies, 1991)
98. “The Cross” (1986)
99. “Glam Slam” (1988)
100. “I Feel for You” (1979)

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First posted 6/7/2012; last updated 10/19/2021.