Tuesday, May 31, 2022

In Concert: Tori Amos

Tori Amos

Music Hall in Kansas City
May 31, 2022

Opening Act:

Companion

Review:

I’ve been a Tori Amos fan since her debut album, 1992’s Little Earthquakes but this was my first time seeing her live. I have a great respect for artists who have produced a large enough catalog to allow them to pretty much do what they want in concert instead of sticking to a must-play-these-hits-every-time setlist. Amos has definitely reached that point in her career.

I’m also impressed when artists dip into every phase of their careers instead of overdosing on the hits or the current release. Once again, Amos accomplished this task.

Having said that, I admit the perfect Tori Amos concert (for me) would have pulled almost exclusively from her first two albums and B-sides from that era. She did play “Girl” and “Precious Things” from Little Earthquakes, but none of the singles from that album (“Silent All These Years,” “Crucify,” “Winter,” “China,” and “Me and a Gun”). I’d have also loved to see her version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” a B-side for “Crucify.”

Similarly, she barely touched sophomore album Under the Pink. She did play arguably her best-known song, “Cornflake Girl,” from that album, but ignored the other singles (“God,” “Pretty Good Year,” “Past the Mission”). She did play “Honey,” a B-side from “Pretty Good Year.”

So was it a good concert? Sure. I’m glad I went. I just wish there would have been a few moments where I was ecstatic about her playing one of my favorites.

Click here to see other concerts I’ve attended.

“Juárez” and “Bouncing Off Clouds” Live in London, 3/13/2022


Setlist:

1. Juárez 5
2. Bouncing Off Clouds 9
3. A Sorta Fairytale 7
4. Caught a Lite Sneeze 3
5. Ocean to Ocean 6
6. Girl 1
7. Honey 2
8. Jesse (cover of Janis Ian song)
9. Oysters 14
10. Russia 15
11. Don’t Make Me Come to Vegas 7
12. Addition of Light Divided 16
13. Siren *
14. Tombigbee
15. Devil’s Bane 16
16. Cornflake Girl 2

Encore:
17. Precious Things 1
18. Raspberry Swirl 4


Discography – Studio Albums:

1 Little Earthquakes (1992)
2 Under the Pink (1994)
3 Boys for Pele (1996)
4 From the Choirgirl Hotel (1998)
* Great Expectations soundtrack
5 To Venus and Back (1999)
6 Strange Little Girls (2001)
7 Scarlet’s Walk (2002)
8 The Beekeeper (2005)
9 American Doll Posse (2007)
10 Abnormally Attracted to Sin (2009)
11 Midwinter Graces (Christmas songs, 2009)
12 Night of Hunters (2011)
13 Gold Dust (rerecordings, 2012)
14 Unrepentant Geraldines (2014)
15 Native Invader (2017)
16 Ocean to Ocean (2021)


Resources and Related Links:


First posted 6/1/2022.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Lionel Richie/Commodores: Top 50 Songs

Lionel Richie/Commodores

Top 50 Songs

Lionel Richie was born June 20, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama. As a freshman at Tuskegee Institute in 1968, he met the other members of what was to become the Commodores. The group signed with Motown in 1972 and became hugely successful on the pop and R&B charts.

In 1980, Richie penned “Lady” for Kenny Rogers and it was a huge crossover hit. The following year, “Endless Love,” his duet with Diana Ross, was even bigger. It paved the way for his solo career, which he launched in 1982.

Richie became one of chart history’s most successful crossover artists, landing #1 songs on the pop, R&B, adult contemporary charts and even the country chart (if you count “Lady”). His 1983 album, Can’t Slow Down, won the Grammy for Album of the Year. “Endless Love” is featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999.

Click here to see other best-of lists from performers and here to see other best-of lists from songwriters and/or producers.

Awards (Lionel Richie):

Awards (Commodores):


Top 50 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 are solo hits by Richie unless marked otherwise. Songs which hit #1 on various charts are noted. (Click for codes to singles charts.)

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Endless Love (with Diana Ross, 1981) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
2. We Are the World (written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, recorded by U.S.A. for Africa) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
3. Lady (written by Lionel Richie, recorded by Kenny Rogers, 1980) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 CW
4. All Night Long (All Night) (1983) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
5. Three Times a Lady (Commodores, 1978) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
6. Brick House (Commodores, 1977)
7. Say You Say Me (1985) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
8. Hello (1984) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB

DMDB Top 2%:

9. Truly (1982) #1 US, #1 AC

DMDB Top 5%:

10. Easy (Commodores, 1977) #1 RB
11. Still (Commodores, 1979) #1 US, #1 RB
12. Sail On (Commodores, 1979)
13. Stuck on You (1984) #1 AC
14. You Are (1983) #1 AC

DMDB Top 10%:

15. Lady (You Bring Me Up) (Commodores, 1981)
16. Dancing on the Ceiling (1986)
17. Running with the Night (1983)
18. Night Shift (Commodores, 1985)
19. Penny Lover (1984) #1 AC
20. My Love (1983) #1 AC
21. Machine Gun (Commodores, 1974)
22. Love Will Conquer All (1986) #1 AC

DMDB Top 20%:

23. Oh No (Commodores, 1981)
24. Sweet Love (Commodores, 1975)
25. Just to Be Close to You (Commodores, 1976) #1 RB
26. Ballerina Girl (1986) #1 AC
27. Deep River Woman (with Alabama, 1986)
28. Do It to Me (1992) #1 RB
29. Se La (1986)
30. Don’t Wanna Lose You (1996)
31. Too Hot ta Trot (Commodores, 1977) #1 RB
32. Wonderland (Commodores, 1979)
33. Old-Fashion Love (Commodores, 1980)

Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

34. Slippery When Wet (Commodores, 1975) #1 RB
35. Heroes (Commodores, 1980)
36. Fancy Dancer (Commodores, 1976)
37. Flying High (Commodores, 1978)
38. Only You (Commodores, 1983)
39. I Call It Love (2006)
40. Why You Wanna Try Me (Commodores, 1981)

41. Angel (2000)
42. My Destiny (1992)
43. I Feel Sanctified (Commodores, 1974)
44. This Is Your Life (Commodores, 1975)
45. Goin’ to the Bank (Commodores, 1986)
46. Animal Instinct (Commodores, 1985)
47. Janet (Commodores, 1985)
48. Painted Picture (Commodores, 1982)
49. Just for You (2004)
50. Zoom (Commodores, 1977)


Resources and Related Links:


First posted 6/20/2017; updated 5/22/2022.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Lyle Lovett: A Retrospective, 1986-2022

Lyle Lovett: 1986-2022

Lyle Lovett

A Retrospective: 1986-2022

Genre: alternative country/Americana

Born: Lyle Pearce Lovett

When: Nov. 1, 1957

Where: Klein, TX

Overview:

“Lyle Lovett was one of the most distinctive and original singer/songwriters to emerge during the ‘80s. Though he was initially labeled as a country singer, the tag never quite fit him. Lovett had more in common with ‘70s singer/songwriters like Guy Clark, Jesse Winchester, Randy Newman, and Townes Van Zandt, combining a talent for incisive, witty lyrical detail with an eclectic array of music, ranging from country and folk to big-band swing and traditional pop. Lovett’s literate, multi-layered songs stood out among the formulaic Nashville hit singles of the late ‘80s as well as the new traditionalists who were beginning to take over country music. Drawing from alternative country and rock fans, Lovett quickly built up a cult following which began to spill over into the mainstream with his second album, 1988’s Pontiac. Following Pontiac, his country audience declined, but his reputation as a songwriter and musician continued to grow, and he sustained a dedicated cult following throughout the ‘90s.” STE

Early Years (1957-1983)
“Born in Klein, TX – a small town named after his great-grandfather, a Bavarian weaver called Adam Klein, which later became a Houston suburb – Lovett was raised on his family horse ranch” STE “and lived next door to Robert Earl Keen.” WK His parents were “William and Bernell (née Klein) Lovett, a marketing executive and training specialist, respectively. He was raised as a Lutheran.” WK

“He didn’t begin his musical career until he began writing songs while he attended Texas A&M University in the late ‘70s, where he studied journalism and German. While he was a student, he performed covers and original songs at local folk festivals and clubs. As a graduate student, he traveled to Germany to study and continued to write and play while he was in Europe. However, he didn’t begin to pursue a musical career in earnest until he returned to America in the early ‘80s.” STE

From Songwriter to Singer (1983-1986)
“Upon his return to the States, Lovett played clubs throughout Texas, eventually landing a spot in the 1983 Mickey Rooney TV-movie Bill: On His Own. The following year Nanci Griffith, whom Lyle had interviewed for a school paper while he was in college, recorded his If I Were the Woman You Wanted on her Once in a Very Blue Moon album. He also sang on the album as well as her 1985 record Last of the True Believers. Guy Clark heard a demo tape of Lovett’s songs in 1984 and directed it toward Tony Brown of MCA Records. Over the next year, MCA worked out the details of a record contract with Lyle.” STE


On the Web:


Lists:

Awards:

The Studio Albums:

Hover over an album cover to see its title and year of release. Click on the album to go to its dedicated DMDB page.


Compilations/Live Albums:

Under each album snapshot, songs featured on the anthologies are noted. If the song charted, the date of the song’s release or first chart appearance and its chart peaks are noted in parentheses. Click for codes to singles charts.

Lyle Lovett (1986):

  • Farther Down the Line (7/12/86, 21 CW) GH, CM
  • Cowboy Man (11/1/86, 10 CW) HA, GH, CM
  • God Will [2:13] (2/21/87, 18 CW) GH, CM
  • Why I Don’t Know (6/6/87, 15 CW) GH, CM
  • If I Were the Man You Wanted (9/23/89, 49 CW) GH, CM
  • This Old Porch HA, CM
  • You Can’t Resist It HA, LT
  • Closing Time HA, LT, GH
“Lovett signed with MCA/Curb in 1986, releasing his eponymous debut later in the year. Lyle Lovett received excellent reviews, and five of its singles – Farther Down the Line, the Top Ten Cowboy Man, God Will, Why I Don’t Know, and Give Back My Heart – reached the country Top 40. Despite his strong showing on the country charts, it was clear from the outset that Lovett’s musical tastes didn’t rely on country.” STE “Though the genre provided the foundation of his sound,” STE “Lovett’s compositions often incorporate folk, swing, blues, jazz and gospel music as well as more traditional country & Western styling.” WK

Pontiac (1988):

  • Give Back My Heart (10/3/87, 13 CW) HA, GH, CM
  • I Loved You Yesterday (5/21/88, 24 CW) GH, CM
  • She’s No Lady (1/30/88, 17 CW) HA, LT, GH
  • If I Had a Boat (9/17/88, 66 CW) LT, GH, CM
  • Walk Through the Bottomland CM
  • L.A. County HA, CM
  • M-O-N-E-Y LT
  • Simple Song HA
Pontiac, his second album, revealed exactly how eclectic and literate Lovett was. Greeted with overwhelmingly positive reviews from both country and mainstream publications upon its 1987 release, Pontiac expanded his audience in the pop and rock markets. The album charted in the lower reaches of the pop charts and slowly worked its way toward gold status. While his pop audience grew, his country fan base began to shrink – She’s No Lady and I Loved You Yesterday both made the Top 30, but after those two songs, none of his other singles cracked the country Top 40.” STE

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band (1989):

  • I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You (12/10/88, 45 CW) GH
  • Stand by Your Man (3/4/89, 82 CW) GH
  • Nobody Knows Me (6/17/89, 84 CW) LT, GH
  • Here I Am HA, LT
  • Cryin’ Shame HA
  • What Do You Do/The Glory of Love HA, LT
  • Which Way Does That Old Pony Run? CM
  • If You Were to Wake Up CM
“It didn't matter that Lovett’s country audience was disappearing – Pontiac had gained enough new fans in the pop mainstream to guarantee him a strong cult following. To support Pontiac, he assembled His Large Band, which was a modified big band complete with guitars, a cellist, a pianist, horns, and a gospel-trained backup singer named Francine Reed. Lovett recorded his third album, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, with his touring band. Like its two predecessors, the album was well-received critically upon its early 1989 release, and it performed well commercially, peaking at number 62 and eventually going gold. Perhaps because of the album’s eclectic, jazzy sound, the album produced only one minor country hit in I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You, but his straight rendition of Tammy Wynette’s Stand by Your Man received a great deal of attention in the media.” STE The album won a Grammy for Best Country Male Vocal.

Here I Am: The Lyle Lovett Collection

Lyle Lovett


Released: 1991


Recorded: 1986-1991


Peak: --


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: alt-country/Americana


Tracks: (1) You Can’t Resist It (2) Friend of the Devil (3) Simple Song (4) L.A. County (5) She’s No Lady (6) Cryin’ Shame (7) This Old Porch (8) Give Back My Heart (9) Cowboy Man (10) What Do You Do/The Glory of Love (11) Here I Am (12) Closing Time

Rating:

3.520 out of 5.00 (average of 1 ratings)

About Here I Am:

This European release pulled cuts from Lyle’s first three albums and added his cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” from the tribute album Deadicated.


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Friend of the Devil (released 4/23/1991 on Deadicated) HA

Joshua Judges Ruth (1992):

  • You’ve Been So Good Up to Now (9/19/92, 36 AR)
  • I’ve Been to Memphis (1992? single, --) LT
  • North Dakota (1993? single, --) LT
  • Church LT
  • She’s Already Made Up Her Mind (1992 single, --)
  • She Makes Me Feel Good (1992 single, --)
“Following the release of His Large Band, Lovett settled out in California, which signaled that he was abandoning country. After settling in Los Angeles, he spent the next two years collaborating and working on his fourth album. In 1990, he produced Walter Hyatt’s King Tears album; the following year, he sang on Leo Kottke’s Great Big Boy and donated a cover of Friend of the Devil to the Grateful Dead tribute album Deadicated. Also in 1991, he made his acting debut in Robert Altman’s The Player, which was released in the spring of 1992.” STE

“A few months after The Player hit the theaters, Lovett’s fourth album, Joshua Judges Ruth, was released. Boasting a heavy gospel and R&B influence, Joshua Judges Ruth was his most successful album to date, peaking at number 57 and going gold. On the whole, the album was ignored by country radio, but pop audiences embraced the record, and Lovett became a staple on adult alternative radio and VH1.” STE

In 1993, “Lovett became a near-superstar” STE “when he married actress Julia Roberts. The couple had met on the set of The Player in 1992. After a three-week romance, they eloped and married in June 1993 in Marion, Indiana.” WK

I Love Everybody (1994):

  • Penguins LT
  • Skinny Legs (single, --)
  • Just the Morning (single, --)
“Lyle’s next album came in “the fall of 1994, when I Love Everybody hit the stores. A collection of songs Lovett wrote in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, I Love Everybody continued his move away from country, and it was the first record he had released that didn’t expand his audience in some way.” STE

In his personal life, Lyle and Julia Roberts divorced in March 1995. “The marriage breakup was said to be caused by their career demands causing the two to often be away from each other.” WK However, they remained friends.

The Road to Ensenada (1996):

  • Private Conversation (7/20/96, 72 CW, 12 AA) GH
  • Don’t Touch My Hat (9/28/96, 68 CW) GH
  • That’s Right, You’re Not from Texas LT
“Lyle began to retreat from the spotlight somewhat, spending the remainder of the year touring and writing. Lovett re-emerged with The Road to Ensenada, the first album since Pontiac to be dominated by country songs, in the summer of 1996. In addition to performing well on the pop charts, where it entered at a career peak of number 24, The Road to Ensenada performed strongly on the country charts, entering at number four. The two-disc covers album Step Inside This House followed in 1998, featuring mostly underexposed material penned by some of Lovett’s favorite songwriters (many of whom hailed from Texas).” STE

Lyle also picked up several Grammys during this era, winning Best Country Album for The Road to Ensenada, Best Country Duo/Group with Vocal (1994 for Blues for Dixie with the Texas swing group Asleep at the Wheel), and Best Pop Vocal Collaboration (1994 for Funny How Time Slips Away with Al Green.

Live in Texas

Lyle Lovett


Released: June 23, 1999


Recorded: September 1, 1995


Peak: 94 US, 7 CW


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: alt-country/Americana


Tracks: (1) Penguins (2) I’ve Been to Memphis (3) That’s Right, You’re Not from Texas (4) Nobody Knows Me (5) If I Had a Boat (6) North Dakota (7) She’s No Lady (8) Here I Am (9) What Do You Do (10) Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues (11) M-O-N-E-Y (12) You Can’t Resist It (13) Church (14) Closing Time

Rating:

4.063 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)

About Live in Texas:

The album was recorded in Austin and San Antonio, Texas from August 29 to September 1, 1995. The only song featured on the album which hasn’t appeared on a studio album by Lyle Lovett was a cover of Ida Cox’s 1924 vaudeville song “Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues.” Lovett’s longtime backup singer Francine Reed performs the song.


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues LT

Greatest Hits

Lyle Lovett


Released: March 10, 2017


Recorded: 1986-1996


Peak: --


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: alt-country/Americana


Tracks: (1) Farther Down the Line (2) Cowboy Man (3) God Will (4) Why I Don’t Know (5) Give Back My Heart (6) She’s No Lady (7) I Loved You Yesterday (8) If I Had a Boat (9) I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You (10) Stand by Your Man (11) Nobody Knows Me (12) If I Were the Man You Wanted (13) Don’t Touch My Hat (14) Private Conversation (15) Closing Time

Rating:

4.213 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)

About Greatest Hits:

This was clearly a stopgap release from the record company trying to come up with a way to make money off Lovett’s back catalog, considering it had been five years since his last album. Considering that eight of these cuts were already packaged on the Anthology Vol. 1: Cowboy Man collection, this set is far too repetitive. It would have made more sense to create a compilation which picked up where that one left off.

Step Inside This House (1998):

This double album was Lovett’s love letter to fellow Texan songwriters. In his personal life, Lovett started dating future wife April Kimble in late 1997.

Smile: Songs from the Movies

Lyle Lovett


Released: February 25, 2003


Recorded: 1992-2001


Peak: 106 US


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: alt-country/Americana


Tracks: (1) Blue Skies (2) Straighten Up and Fly Right (3) Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You (4) Smile (5) Mack the Knife (6) Summer Wind (7) What’d I Say (8) Till It Shines (with Keb’ Mo’) (9) You’ve Got a Friend in Me (with Randy Newman) (10) Walking Tall (11) Pass Me Not (12) I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord

Rating:

3.385 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)

About Smile: Songs from the Movies:

This seemingly hodge-podge collection of songs Lovett recorded for movies may actually do the best job of any album of Lovett’s career at making the argument about how much more he is than just a country artist. He tackles plenty of non-country covers her with “Blue Skies,” “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Mack the Knife,” “What’d I Say,” and more. It also includes what may be his best known song – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story.


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Pass Me Not (Leap of Faith, 1992)
  • Blue Skies (With Honors, 1994)
  • Mack the Knife (Quiz Show, 1994)
  • You’ve Got a Friend in Me (with Randy Newman) (Toy Story, 1995)
  • Straighten Up and Fly Right (Dear God, 1996)
  • Smile (Hope Floats, 1998)
  • I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord (The Apostle, 1998)
  • Summer Wind (For the Love of the Game, 1999)
  • Till It Shines (with Keb’ Mo’) (Mumford, 1999)
  • Walking Tall (Stuart Little, 1999)
  • What’d I Say (Where the Heart Is, 2000)
  • Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You (Kissing Jessica Stein, 2001)

My Baby Don’t Tolerate (2003):

  • The Truck Song CM
  • San Antonio Girl CM
  • My Baby Don’t Tolerate (10/25/03, 19 AA)
This was Lovett’s first album of original material since 1996’s The Road to Ensenada. In the interim, he was still active with the 1998 Step Inside This House covers album, the Live in Texas release, and the soundtrack to the Robert Altman movie Dr. T. & the Women.

“His small-town life was again brought to the public’s attention on March 28, 2002 when Lovett was caught by a bull and rammed into a fence on his uncle's farm in Klein, Texas, before being pulled to safety. Lovett fully recovered after six months and began touring again in the summer of 2003.” WK He also became engaged to April Kimble that year.

After laying low for five years, Lovett re-emerged with 2003’s My Baby Don’t Tolerate on Lost Highway.

Anthology Vol. 1: Cowboy Man

Lyle Lovett


Released: October 23, 2001


Recorded: 1986-2001


Peak: 195 US, 26 CW


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: alt-country/Americana


Tracks: (1) The Truck Song (2) Cowboy Man (3) God Will (4) Farther Down the Line (5) This Old Porch (6) Why I Don’t Know (7) If I Were the Man You Wanted (8) San Antonio Girl (9) If I Had a Boat (10) Give Back My Heart (11) I Loved You Yesterday (12) Walk Through the Bottomland (13) L.A. County (14) Which Way Does That Old Pony Run? (15) If You Were to Wake Up

Rating:

3.675 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)

About Anthology Vol. 1: Cowboy Man:

This collection pulls cuts from Lovett’s first three albums (6 from Lyle Lovett, 5 from Pontiac, and 2 from Lyle Lovett and His Large Band) to promote the always genre-bending singer as a conventional country singer. The idea isn’t horrible, although some ‘90s songs would have made this feel less slanted toward his early career, especially since the collection includes two new songs from 2001. It would also be interesting to see a second collection which focused on his arguably more successful career at adult alternative radio with songs like “Penguins,” “Private Conversation,” and “Bears.”


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • The Truck Song CM
  • San Antonio Girl CM

It’s Not Big, It’s Large (2007):

  • I Will Rise Up/Ain’t No More Cane
  • Up in Indiana
Like Lovett’s previous album, this was released on the Lost Highway label.

Natural Forces (2009):

  • Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel
  • Pantry
Lovett somewhat returns to the concept of 1998’s Step Inside This House with another set of songs primarily by fellow Texan songwriters. He does, however, mix in a few originals, including “Pantry,” written with his longtime partner April Kimble, and “Farmer Brown” which also incorporates the traditional “Chicken Reel.”

Release Me (2012):

  • Isn’t That So [4:50] (3/3/12, 26 AA)
  • Release Me (with k.d. lang)
  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside (with Kat Edmonson)
  • Brown Eyed Handsome Man
This was Lovett’s album to get out of his contractual obligation to Curb Records. It offers a mix of covers and originals.

12th of June (2022):

  • 12th of June (3/21/22, --)
  • Pants Is Overrated (4/22/22, --)
  • Straighten Up and Fly Right
  • Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good to You
After a decade, Lovett returns with this collection of mostly new material which reflects on his experience becoming a first-time father at age 59. He married long-time girlfriend April Kimble in 2017 and she gave birth to twins on June 12.

Resources and Related Links:


First posted 1/12/2010; last updated 5/20/2022.