billboard hot 100

Music Monday: Pearl Jam 1994

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Pearl Jam Image One
Photo Credit: vinylthriftchaser.wordpress.com

Twenty-five years ago, this week (November 19/25, 1994), the song Spin the Black Circle by Pearl Jam debuted on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart (Page 79/ called Album Rock Tracks in 1994), entering at #16 (also its peak). Released November 8, it was the first single from their third album Vitalogy. Produced by Brendan O’ Brien, it was written by Eddie Vedder and Stone Gossard.

Mike McCready had difficulty with the leads and Jeff Ament didn’t like the punk sound at the time. Per Vedder, the lyrics reflect a love of vinyl records but, there could be interpretations of similarities with drug addiction.

From Jon Pareles with The New York Times (December 4, 1994):

The most [Vedder] will do is proselytize against the extinction of the LP, as he does in “Spin the Black Circle,” one of the few songs from Seattle in which a needle has nothing to do with heroin.

From Al Weisel with Rolling Stone (December 15, 1994):

Vitalogy has a number of gripping songs that match the soaring anthems of Ten. The first three tracks are a promising start: “Last Exit,” “Not for You” and especially “Spin the Black Circle,” a revvedup thrash tribute to vinyl, rock harder than anything Pearl Jam have ever done.

Pearl Jam Image Two
Image Credit: pinterest.com

From David Browne with Entertainment Weekly (December 9, 1994):

Pearl Jam still hasn’t developed an individual style to match that of its profoundly uptight singer, Eddie Vedder. Guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready continue to play sloppy, characterless riffs. [T]heir punk song, ”Spin the Black Circle,” is a little flabby, like dinosaur rockers trying to prove they’re into Green Day.

The song peaked at #18 November 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the first Pearl Jam single to enter this chart. It also peaked at #11 on the Billboard Alternative chart (called Modern Rock Tracks in 1994). It peaked in the top five in Australia, New Zealand and Norway.

The single won Best Hard Rock Performance at the 38th annual Grammy Awards. Vedder famously remarked:

I don’t know what this means. I don’t think it means anything.


 
Lyrics (From LyricFind)
See this needle
Oh see my hand
Drop, drop, dropping it down
oh so gently
here it comes
touch the flame
Turn me up
won’t turn you away

Spin, spin
spin the black circle
Spin, spin
spin the black, spin the black
Spin, spin
spin the black circle
Spin, spin
whoa

Pull it out
a paper sleeve
Oh my joy
only you deserve conceit
Oh I’m so big
and my whole world
I’d rather you
rather you, than her

Spin, spin
spin the black circle
Spin, spin
spin the black, spin the black
Spin, spin
spin the black circle
Spin, spin
whoa

Oh you’re so warm
oh, the ritual
as I lay down your crooked arm

Spin, spin
spin the black circle
Spin, spin
spin the black, spin the black
Spin, spin
spin the black circle
Spin, spin

[Repeat: x5]
Spin the black

circle

Spin the black circle
Spin the black circle

Music Monday: TLC 1994

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TLC Image One
Image Credit: hellogiggles.com

Twenty-five years ago, this week, the song Creep by TLC debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, entering the chart at #71. Written and produced by Dallas Austin, it was the first single released from their second studio album CrazySexyCool. It is based on member Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins‘s experience with infidelity. The lyrics portray the singers as women who cheat on their unfaithful lovers for attention.

You’re with a guy and he’s not showing you attention, so another guy comes along and you’re like, “Hey, if you were where you were supposed to be, he couldn’t be showing me attention right now!” I was in the middle of this drama, because the other guy was [my boyfriend’s] friend and my boyfriend was just not getting it together.

[From T-Boz]

The idea was controversial. [M]ember Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was opposed to it. She threatened to wear black tape over her mouth in the song’s music video to express her disagreement with its message, and its selection as CrazySexyCool’s lead single, [in] part because of the group’s history of advocating for safe sex.

The women sing about infidelity, revenge, status and power plays, not as victims but as contenders. [W]hen they’re cheated on, they cheat, too.

[From Jon Parales @ The New York Times, advocating for the concept.]

TLC Image Two
Photo Credit: leilanisays.wordpress.com

The song made it to #1 and remained for four weeks. It also made it to #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart and the Billboard Rhythmic chart.

Lisa Lopes passed away April 25, 2002, from injuries in a car crash. She was 30 years old.

[I have to confess that I have never heard this song. The middle 90s was the time I stopped listening to Top 40 and moved to Alternative Rock stations. ~Vic]

Accolades
Legacy
Cover Versions


 

Lyrics via LyricFind:
(Creep) oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah,
(Creep) oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah,

(Creep) oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah,
(Creep) oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah,

The twenty second of loneliness
And we’ve been through so many things.
I love my man with all honesty,
But I know he’s cheating on me.
Look him in the eyes,
But all he tells me is lies to keep me near.

I’ll never leave him down though I might mess around.
It’s only ’cause I need some affection, oh.
So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
On the down low, ‘cept nobody is supposed to know.
So I creep yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do
And no attention goes to show oh.

So I creep.
The twenty third of loneliness
And we don’t talk, like we used to do.
Now this is pretty strange,
But I’m not buggin’ ’cause I still feel the same.
I Keep giving loving till the day he pushes me away.
Never go a stray.

If he knew the things I did, he couldn’t handle me.
And I choose to keep him protected, oh.
So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
But I’ll know. ‘cept nobody is supposed to know.
So I creep, yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do,
And no attention goes to show oh.

So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
But I’ll know. ‘cept nobody is supposed to know.
So I creep, yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do,
And no attention goes to show.

So I creep, oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah
So I creep, oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah
So I creep, oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah
Baby, oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah

So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
But I’ll know.

So I creep, yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do,
And no attention goes to show.
So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
But I’ll know.
So I creep, yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do,
So I creep, ‘cept nobody is supposed to know.

Music Monday: Billboard Rant

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Well, well, well…silly me. I was planning to do a post on a fresh Billboard chart entry for the week of September 23, 1989. After having done a Hot 100 entry and an Alternative Rock entry, I was looking at Adult Contemporary, Hot R&B, Hot Country and Mainstream Rock. Ladies…Gentlemen…if you so desire to look at Billboard’s history charts other than the Hot 100 chart, YOU ARE SHIT OUT OF LUCK. You can’t look at ANY of their charts, even the new ones, except the Hot 100…UNLESS YOU PAY THEM. This has happened, just in the last week.

I’m not paying these assholes $12/$13 a month just to LOOK at their damn charts. I was attempting to showcase ALL music pieces instead of just the number ones or stuff on the Hot 100, only. Not every song debuts on the Hot 100. Most country music goes straight to the country chart. Most rock, what new rock there is left to listen to on the radio, goes to rock charts. Now, I have no way of knowing what debuted when…or where. If anyone out there knows where I can get this information, let me know. FUCK THEM.

This situation tells me that Billboard magazine is in trouble and hemorrhaging money.

Billboard Screen Capture
Screen Capture from the site.

Tune Tuesday: Janet Jackson 1989

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Janet Jackson Image One
Image Credit: timeout.com

Thirty years ago, Miss You Much by Janet Jackson debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of September 2, entering at position 42 (changing to chart entries and releases instead of number ones to cover more pieces of music). Released August 22 as the lead single from the album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, it reached number one the week of October 7 and stayed there for four weeks. It also reached number one on the Dance Club chart the same week, staying for two weeks. It hit number one on the Hot R&B chart the week of October 14, staying two weeks and was number one in South Africa. Billboard went on to declare that the song was Janet’s biggest Hot 100 single. The song was written and produced by writing team “Jimmy Jam” Harris and Terry Lewis.

Janet Jackson GIF Two
GIF Credit: giphy.com

 

Grammy Award & Nominations (32nd Annual 1989)
American Music Awards
Billboard Awards
Soul Train Awards
Brit Awards Nomination


 
Lyrics [Via LyricFind]
Shot like an arrow going through my heart
That’s the pain I feel
I feel whenever we’re apart
Not to say that I’m in love with you
But who’s to say that I’m not
I just know that it feels wrong,
When I’m away too long
It makes my body hot
So let me tell ya baby

I’ll tell your mama
I’ll tell your friends
I’ll tell anyone whose heart can comprehend
Send it in a letter baby
Tell you on the phone
I’m not the kinda girl
Who likes to be alone
I miss ya much (boy-oh-I miss you much)
I really miss you much (M-I-S-S you much)
I miss ya much (boy-oh-I miss you much)
Baby I really miss you much (M-I-S-S you much)

I’m rushing home
Just as soon as I can
I’m rushing home to see
Your smiling face
And feel your warm embrace
It makes f-feel so g-g-g good
So I’ll tell you baby

I’ll tell your mama
I’ll tell your friends
I’ll tell anyone whose heart can comprehend
Send it in a letter baby
Tell you on the phone
I’m not the kinda girl
Who likes to be alone
I miss ya much (boy-oh-I miss you much)
I really miss you much (M-I-S-S you much)
I miss ya much (boy-oh-I miss you much)
Baby I really miss you much (M-I-S-S you much)

I miss you much
I really really miss you much
I miss you much
I’m not ashamed to tell the world
I miss you

I’ll tell your mama
I’ll tell your friends
I’ll tell anyone whose heart can comprehend
Send it in a letter baby
Tell you on the phone
I’m not the kinda girl
Who likes to be alone
I miss ya much (boy-oh-I miss you much)
I really miss you much (M-I-S-S you much)
I miss ya much (boy-oh-I miss you much)
Baby I really miss you much (M-I-S-S you much)

Tune Tuesday: Cyndi Lauper 1984

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Cyndi Lauper Image One
Photo Credit: rollingstone.com & wennermedia.com

Thirty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart (and, simultaneously, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and Canadian Singles chart) was Time After Time from the album She’s So Unusual by Cyndi Lauper. Co-written by Lauper and Rob Hyman (The Hooters), it was released on January 27, the second single from the album. The title came from the 1979 movie Time After Time:

“We started by putting together a list of song titles. I thumbed through a TV Guide magazine. One movie title seemed good—a sci-fi film called “Time After Time” from 1979. I never meant for it to be the song’s real title. It was just supposed to get me thinking.” (Quote from Lauper)

It was her first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

The video for “Time After Time” was directed by Edd Griles and, its storyline is about a young woman leaving her lover behind when she becomes homesick and worried about her mother. Lauper’s mother, brother and then-boyfriend, David Wolff, appear in the video and Lou Albano, who played her father in the “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” video, can be seen as a cook.

The video opens with Lauper watching the 1936 film The Garden of Allah and the final scene, where she gets on the train and waves goodbye to David, has Lauper crying for real.

[Source]

Cyndi Lauper Image Two
Image Credit: discogs.com

Cover artists include Miles Davis, Eva Cassidy and Lil Mo. Lauper made an acoustic version with Sarah McLachlan and performed live with McLachlan at the 2005 AMA Awards. Other live performances have been with Patti LaBelle and Lil’ Kim.

Critical Reception
Accolades
Awards & Nominations
Greatest & Best Songs
Other Cover Versions
 


 


 
Lyrics:
[Verse 1]
Lying in my bed, I hear the clock tick and think of you
Caught up in circles, confusion is nothing new
Flashback, warm nights almost left behind
Suitcases of memories, time after…
Sometimes you picture me, I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear what you’ve said
Then you say, “Go slow.” I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

[Chorus]
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting (I will be waiting)
Time after time

[Verse 2]
After my picture fades and darkness has turned to gray
Watching through windows, you’re wondering if I’m OK
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time

[Chorus]
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time

[Instrumental break]

[Bridge]
You said, “Go slow.” I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

[Chorus]
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting (I will be waiting)
Time after time

[Outro]
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after… time…

Tune Tuesday: Deniece Williams 1984

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Footloose Image One
Photo Credit: rollingstone.com

Thirty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R & B charts (plus Cash Box) was Let’s Hear For The Boy by Deniece Williams from the soundtrack of the movie Footloose. This was Williams second number one hit on the Billboard 100.

Composed by Tom Snow and Dean Pitchford, country singer Jana Kramer performed the song for the 2011 Footloose remake.

Deniece Williams Image Two
Image Credit: classic45s.com

From Songfacts [no citations]:

This was the second single from the Footloose soundtrack, following the “title track,” which was recorded by Kenny Loggins. In the film, the song was used in a scene where Kevin Bacon tries to teach Christopher Penn how to dance and Penn is having a hard time.

Once the song was written, Pitchford asked Deniece Williams and her producer George Duke to record the song. Kenny Loggins was onboard for the title track, which gave the project credibility and, Williams loved the song and the story idea for the film. She grew up in a small Indiana town with a religious environment similar to the one described in Footloose. When she saw the film, she thought the scene where they used her song was incredible. “If I had come to the film without the music in and they asked me what segment I wanted my song to be in, I would have chosen that segment.” said Williams.

Best Original Song Academy Award Nomination
Best Pop Vocal Performance (Single) Grammy Nomination
Best R & B Vocal Performance (Album) Grammy Nomination

Official Music Video

 

Footloose Movie Clip

Lyrics
[Verse 1]
My baby, he don’t talk sweet
He ain’t got much to say
But he loves me, loves me, loves me
I know that he loves me anyway
And maybe he don’t dress fine
But I don’t really mind
‘Cause every time he pulls me near
I just wanna cheer

[Chorus]
Let’s hear it for the boy
Let’s give the boy a hand
Let’s hear it for my baby
You know you gotta understand
Maybe he’s no Romeo
But he’s my loving one-man show
Whooa, whooa, whooa-oh
Let’s hear it for the boy

[Verse 2]
My baby may not be rich
He’s watching every dime
But he loves me, loves me, loves me
We always have a real good time
And maybe he sings off-key
But that’s all right by me, yeah
‘Cause what he does, he does so well
Makes me wanna yell

[Chorus]
Let’s hear it for the boy
Let’s give the boy a hand
Let’s hear it for my baby
You know you gotta understand
Maybe he’s no Romeo
But he’s my loving one-man show
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Let’s hear it for the boy

[Pre-Chorus]
‘Cause every time he pulls me near
I just wanna cheer

[Chorus]
Let’s hear it for the boy
Let’s give the boy a hand
Let’s hear it for my baby
You know you gotta understand
Maybe he’s no Romeo
But he’s my loving one-man show
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Let’s hear it for the boy

[Outro]
Let’s hear it for the boy
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for the boy
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for the boy
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for the boy
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for the boy
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for the boy
Let’s hear it for my man
Let’s hear it for my man

Tune Tuesday: The Bellamy Brothers 1979

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Bellamy Brothers Image One
Photo Credit: wolfgangs.com

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Country chart was If I Said You Have A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me by The Bellamy Brothers from Pasco County Florida. Written by David Bellamy, the song’s title is a reference to the Groucho Marx line from You Bet Your Life. Bellamy was fond of the show and Marx’s comment stuck with him.

Released in March, it was the second single from the album The Two and Only and their first #1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart, with Let Your Love Flow reaching #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in May of 1976. The title […] shown on the original single was “If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me” but, on the album and subsequent releases, the title is shown as “… Had …”.

Britney Spears Controversy

Nominations


 
Lyrics
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I was dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Now we could talk all night about the weather
Could tell you about my friends out on the coast
I could ask a lot of crazy questions
Or ask you what I really wanna know

If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I was dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Now rain can fall so soft against the window
Sun can shine so bright up in the sky
But Daddy always told me, “Don’t make small talk”
He said, “Come on out and say what’s on your mind”

So if I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I was dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I were dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Tune Tuesday: Peaches & Herb 1979

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Peaches & Herb Image One
Photo Credit: mm-group.org

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot R&B chart (and the Hot 100 chart, simultaneously, plus Cash Box) was Reunited by Peaches & Herb (Herb Fame & Linda “Peaches #3” Greene). The song was co-written by Dino Fekaris and Freddie Perren, whom also co-wrote Shake Your Groove Thing, a previous Peaches & Herb song and, I Will Survive, the Gloria Gaynor hit. This was a sequel piece to the duo’s (Herb Fame & Francine “Peaches” Hurd Barker) previous song (We’ll Be) United released in 1968, a cover of The Intruders hit from 1966.

The song sold over two million copies, was the Billboard #5 song for 1979 and the RPM (Canadian) #9 song for 1979 (Wayback Machine). Artists Louise Mandrell (with husband R. C. Bannon), Faith No More and Lulu (with Cliff Richard) have done cover versions. [This link reflects David Hasselhoff and Raven-Symone as cover artists but, I can’t verify. ~Vic]

Nominated for:
American Music Award: Favorite Soul/R&B Song
Grammy: Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus


 
Lyrics
[Verse 1:]
I was a fool to ever leave your side
Me minus you is such a lonely ride
The breakup we had
Has made me lonesome and sad
I realize I love you cause
I want you back, hey, hey

I spent the evening with the radio
Regret the moment that I let you go
Our quarrel was such
A way of learning so much
I know now that I love you
Cause I need your touch, hey, hey

[Chorus:]
Reunited
And it feels so good
Reunited
Cause we understood

There`s one perfect fit
And sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
Cause we`re reunited
Hey, hey

[Verse 2:]
I sat here staring
At the same old wall
Came back to life just when I got your call

I wished I could climb right
Through the telephone line
And give you what you want
So you will still be mine
Hey, hey

I can’t go cheating
Honey, I can’t play
I found it very hard to stay away

As we reminisce on
Precious moments like this
I`m glad we`re back together
Cause I missed your kiss
Hey, hey

[Repeat Chorus:]
Reunited
And it feels so good
Reunited
Cause we understood

There`s one perfect fit
And sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
Cause we`re reunited
Hey, hey

Yeah, yeah, yeah, baby

[Verse 3:]
Oh, lover, lover
This is solid love
And you`re exactly what I`m dreaming of

All through the day
And all through the night
I`ll give you all the love I have
With all my might
Hey, hey

[Repeat Chorus:]
Reunited
And it feels so good
Reunited
Cause we understood

There`s one perfect fit
And sugar, this one is it…

Tune Tuesday: England Dan & John Ford Coley 1979

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England Dan & John Ford Coley Image One
Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart was Love Is The Answer by England Dan & John Ford Coley. Released on March 4, the song was written by Todd Rundgren for his band Utopia. It is the last track on the 1977 album Oops! Wrong Planet. Rundgren’s version didn’t chart but, this cover version reached #10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

From John Ford Coley:

Of all the songs we released as singles, that was my favorite. The song, first of all, had a classical base and the middle had a gospel section, which I loved.

Love Is The Answer Image Two
Image Credit: recordrelics.ecrater.com

From Todd Rundgren (on what the song meant to him):

We were doing an album at the time and, usually, we try and be collaborative when we write the songs because, we had made an agreement that we would share the publishing on all of our songs so that specific writers don’t get the credit. But, that was a song that I came up with. We put it on a bummer album like Oops! Wrong Planet thinking, maybe, we need to put something a little hopeful on it.

The song still has meaning to me. I perform it every night with Ringo. Ringo has his “three hit rule” and I’m taking advantage of a technicality in that Love Is The Answer was a hit but, it wasn’t a hit for me or Utopia. It was a hit for England Dan & John Ford Coley.

Originally, Ringo wanted me to do Hello It’s Me and I just felt that the song, in the context of what the rest of the band was playing, didn’t represent the message I wanted to convey because, “Hello It’s Me” is a kind of a selfish song. It’s me, me, me…it’s all about me. I’m in charge and, all this other stuff. I thought a better song, especially for Mr. Peace & Love, Ringo himself, would be “Love Is The Answer” and, people would know the song because it was a hit. […] they, maybe even, would just gloss over the fact that it wasn’t a hit for me and think, ‘Oh Yeah! Now, I remember him singing this song.’ So, for me, it’s a high point of the evening and, hopefully, the audience is getting the message.

Glen Campbell recorded the song in 2004 on his Love Is The Answer: 24 Songs of Faith, Hope and Love album. It remains a favorite of Christian artists.


 

Lyrics:
Name your price
A ticket to paradise
I can’t stay here anymore

And I’ve looked high and low
I’ve been from shore to shore to shore
If there’s a shortcut
I’d have found it
But there is no easy way around it

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why someday
We all must die
We’re all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard

It’s such a lonely, lonely, lonely world
People turn their heads
And walk on by
Tell me
Is it worth just another try

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
(Let it shine)
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Tell me
Are we alive
Or just a dying planet?
(What are the chances?)
Ask the man in your heart
For the answer

And when you feel afraid
(Love one another)
When you’ve lost your way
(Love one another)

And when you’re all alone
(Love one another)
And when you’re far from home
(Love one another)

And when you’re down and out
(Love one another)
And when your hopes run out
(Love one another)

And when you need a friend
(Love one another)
And when you’re near the end
(Love, we got to love
We got to love one another)

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
(Shine, shine, shine)
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer

Tune Tuesday: John Denver 1974

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John Denver Image One
Photo Credit: seventiesmusic.wordpress.com

Forty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver. Co-written with guitarist Mike Taylor and bassist Richard Kniss, the song was originally released in 1971 as an album track on Poems, Prayers & Promises. It wasn’t released as a single until October 1973 (oddly, the same month as his death) and hit #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart just two weeks prior to making the Hot 100. It had been re-mixed to include woodwinds and strings and, had the last verses removed. The full length single mix showed up on Denver’s later compilation albums.

From Wikipedia (without citation?):

Denver described how he wrote “Sunshine on My Shoulders”: “I wrote the song in Minnesota at the time I call ‘late winter, early spring’. It was a dreary day, gray and slushy. The snow was melting and, it was too cold to go outside and have fun but, God, you’re ready for spring. You want to get outdoors again and you’re waiting for that sun to shine and, you remember how, sometimes, just the sun, itself, can make you feel good. And, in that very melancholy frame of mind, I wrote ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders’.”

The song was used as the theme to the CBS Friday Night made-for-TV movie Sunshine starring Cristina Raines, Cliff De Young and, Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush. Canadian singer-songwriter-actress Carly Rae Jepsen released her cover version of the song on June 16, 2008.

Lyrics:
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
Sunshine almost all the time makes me high
Sunshine almost always

Tune Tuesday: Sly & The Family Stone 1969

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Sly & The Family Stone Image One
Photo Credit: usa-hit-parade.blogspot.com

Fifty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts was Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone. Written by Sylvester Stewart and released November 1968, the song was somehow a plea for unity and, pride of diversity, at the same time, along with pleas for peace, and equality, between differing races and social groups.

From The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

Sly and the Family Stone took the Sixties ideal of a generation coming together and, turned it into deeply groove-driven music. Rock’s first integrated, multi-gender band became funky Pied Pipers to the Woodstock Generation, synthesizing rock, soul, R&B, funk and psychedelia into danceable, message-laden, high-energy music. In promoting their gospel of tolerance and celebration of differences, Sly and the Family Stone brought disparate audiences together during the latter half of the Sixties. The group connected with the rising counterculture by means of songs that addressed issues of personal pride and liberation in the context of driving, insistent and sunny-tempered music that fused rock and soul, creating a template for Seventies funk.

Notable covers of the song were recorded by Joan Jett, Aretha Franklin, Arrested Development, Maroon 5 and Billy Paul. The single made it to #5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for 1969.

Lyrics:
Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah, yeah

There is a blue one
Who can’t accept the green one
For living with a fat one
Trying to be a skinny one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
We got to live together

I am no better and neither are you
We are the same, whatever we do
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a long hair
That doesn’t like the short hair
For being such a rich one
That will not help the poor one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
We got to live together

There is a yellow one
That won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one
That won’t accept the white one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
I am everyday people

Addendum:
In 1961, Billboard added a new category called Adult Contemporary. Prior to that, from 1958 to 1960, everything fit into either Hot 100, R & B or Country. In 1963, Billboard 200 was added and in 1964, Top Country Albums. As of 2018, Billboard now has 87 individual categories. Choosing a number #1 song in any of these categories could fill up a blog, if a blogger was so inclined. Previously, I tried to showcase Hot 100s and added Alternative Rock, Mainstream Rock, Country and, R&B. It is a lot of work and if I tried to cover all the new categories, well…they would find my dead body, slumped over the keyboard.

Under normal circumstances, I go backwards each week by five years. I love music so, I’m going to have to shift gears, soon, to cover #1 songs in some categories other than the coveted Hot 100. I may end up going backwards five years every month instead of every week. We shall see… ~Vic

Tune Tuesday: Lloyd Price 1959

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Lloyd Price Image One
Photo Credit: youtube.com

Sixty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts was Stagger Lee. The song references a murder that took place on December 27, 1895 (though some accounts say Christmas night). “Stag” Lee Shelton, born in Texas on March 16, 1865 (the same year John B. Stetson started his famous cowboy hat company), owner of the Modern Horseshoe Club, shot William “Billy” Lyons at the Bill Curtis Saloon after an argument.

From the St. Louis Globe-Democrat December 28, 1895:

William Lyons, 25, a levee hand, was shot in the abdomen yesterday evening at 10 o’clock in the saloon of Bill Curtis, at Eleventh and Morgan Streets, by Lee Sheldon [sic], a carriage driver. Lyons and Sheldon [sic] were friends and were talking together. Both parties, it seems, had been drinking and were feeling in exuberant spirits. The discussion drifted to politics, and an argument was started, the conclusion of which was that Lyons snatched Sheldon’s [sic] hat from his head. The latter indignantly demanded its return. Lyons refused, and Sheldon [sic] withdrew his revolver and shot Lyons in the abdomen. When his victim fell to the floor Sheldon [sic] took his hat from the hand of the wounded man and coolly walked away. He was subsequently arrested and locked up at the Chestnut Street Station. Lyons was taken to the Dispensary, where his wounds were pronounced serious. Lee Sheldon [sic] is also known as ‘Stag’ Lee.

Quote from Cecil Brown (author of Stagolee Shot Billy):

“Lee Shelton belonged to a group of pimps known in St. Louis as the ‘Macks’. The Macks were not just ‘urban strollers’. They presented themselves as objects to be observed.”

Lloyd Price Image Two
Image Credit: amazon.com

Shelton’s first trial in July, 1896, ended in a hung jury. The second trial in October 1897 returned a guilty verdict and a sentence of 25 years in prison at Jefferson Penitentiary. Shelton was pardoned and released from prison by Governor Folk on Thanksgiving in 1909. He returned to prison in May of 1911 for robbery & assault. He was granted an additional parole by Governor Hadley on February 8, 1912 but, died in the prison hospital of tuberculosis in March as Missouri’s Attorney General, Elliot Major, objected.

The original version of this song was the Stack O’ Lee Blues from 1924. It has some shocking lyrics and has absolutely nothing to do with the Stagger Lee version penned by Price and Harold Logan.

This song has been covered by Pat Boone (can you imagine?), Ike & Tina Turner, The Righteous Brothers, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Doc Watson, The Youngbloods and, even, Huey Lewis and the News.

[I grew up dancing to this song. It was a shagging staple. Have you ever seen Shag: The Movie? ~Vic]

Analog Version

Shag: The Movie

Fellow blogger Badfinger always lists lyrics. I will take his lead.

Lyrics
The night was clear and the moon was yellow
And the leaves came tumblin’ down…

I was standin’ on the corner
When I heard my bull-dog bark.
He was barkin’ at the two men
Who were gamblin’ in the dark.

It was Stagger Lee and Billy,
Two men who gambled late.
Stagger Lee threw a seven,
Billy swore that he threw eight.

“Stagger Lee,” said Billy,
“I can’t let you go with that.
You have won all my money,
And my brand-new Stetson hat.”

Stagger Lee went home
And he got his. 44.
He said, “I’m goin’ to the ballroom
Just to pay that debt I owe.”

Go, Stagger Lee

Stagger Lee went to the ballroom
And he strolled across the ballroom floor.
He said “You did me wrong, Billy.”
And he pulled his. 44.

“Stagger Lee,” said Billy,
“Oh, please don’t take my life!
I’ve got three hungry children,
And a very sickly wife.”

Stagger Lee shot Billy
Oh, he shot that poor boy so hard
That a bullet went through Billy
And broke the bartender’s bar.

Go, Stagger Lee, go, Stagger Lee!
Go, Stagger Lee, go, Stagger Lee!

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 26

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that makes you want to fall in love…

So many love songs. So little time.
“You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs…
I look around me and I see it isn’t so…
Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs…
And what’s wrong with that…
It isn’t silly, love isn’t silly, love isn’t silly at all…”

Gives me chills…every time. For a song that was created to be the theme to a prison film, it has to be one of the greatest love songs ever written.


 

Originally released in 1967, this was re-released in 1972 and it made it to #2 on the Billboard 100. I am posting the full orchestral version with the ‘late lament’ in tact (including gong) considering we are officially in winter. This is a masterpiece. More chills…


 

I was very fortunate to get to see these two, live, with my mom at Carowinds in 1976. I was ten when the song came out and I remember it playing on the radio, vividly. Even at that young of an age, the words of love and longing struck a chord with me (pun intended) that remains to this day.


 

Oh, Pat Benatar…her music is a large part of my teen years. Her first album was released three days before my 13th birthday. What a way to grow up. She and her hubby, Neil, have rocked us all.


 


 


 

Tune Tuesday: November 27, 1998

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Lauryn Hill Image
Photo Credit: billboard.com

Twenty years ago, today, the #1 Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Hot Rap song was Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill. It debuted at #1, the tenth song in the chart’s history to do so and, the first début single to do so.

Awards
1999 Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Best R&B Album, Best New Artist, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance & Best R&B Song
1999 American Music Awards: Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist
1999 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA): Video of the Year, Best Female Video, Best R&B Video & Best Art Direction in a Video (Gideon Ponte)
1999 Soul Train Awards: Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year (Female), R&B/Soul or Rap Album of the Year, Best Female R&B/Soul Album & The Michael Jackson Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video

Nominations
1999 MTV Video Music Awards: Best Hip-Hop Video
1999 Soul Train Awards: Best Female R&B/Soul Single


 

The #1 Billboard Mainstream Top 40 (Pop) song was One Week by the Barenaked Ladies.


 

The #1 Billboard Mainstream Rock and Billboard Alternative Rock song was Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz.


 

The #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop song was Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here by Deborah Cox.


 

The #1 Billboard Hot Country song was Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks.

Tune Tuesday: November 13, 1988

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The Escape Club Image
Photo Credit: englandunderground.com

Thirty years ago, today, the #1 Billboard Hot 100 song was The Wild, Wild West by The Escape Club, an English pop-rock band out of London (Est. 1983). Curiously, the album and the single didn’t chart in the UK, their home turf.

Nominations:
Breakthrough Video (1989 MTV Video Music (VMA) Awards)
Best Post-Modern Video (1989 MTV VMA)
Best Special Effects In A Video (Nicholas Brandt & Bridget Blake-Wilson/1989 MTV VMA)

 

The #1 Billboard Adult Contemporary (Pop) song was How Can I Fall? by English pop-rock band Breathe, also out of London (Est. 1984).


 

The #1 Billboard Mainstream Rock song was It’s Money That Matters by Randy Newman. [This is Newman’s only #1 hit in any U.S. chart. The only reason this qualifies as rock is because Mark Knopfler is on guitar. ~Vic]


 

The #1 Billboard Alternative song was Desire by U2, Irish rock band out of Dublin (Est. 1976). This had been the #1 Mainstream Rock song one week prior.


 

The #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop song was Giving You The Best That I Got by Anita Baker.


 

The #1 Billboard Hot Country song was Runaway Train by Roseanne Cash.