billboard mainstream rock

Song Sunday: Hands Tied

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Scandal Image
Photo Credit: last.fm

“She may be one good reason to leave but, I’m a hundred reasons to stay…”

This Sunday’s playlist submission is Hands Tied by American pop rock band Scandal, formed in 1981 in New York City by guitarist Zack Smith…and not to be confused with the Japanese band or the Australian band. Written by Holly Knight and Mike Chapman, it was the third track from the album Warrior (featuring Patty Smyth). I can’t find a release date but, it entered the Billboard Hot 100 on October 20, 1984, and peaked at #41 on December 1st. It also peaked at #21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks on the same day.

This album was the very first CD I ever owned. It was a gift and, up until that point, I only had vinyl, 45s and cassettes. I wore this one out, too. The band called it quits in 1985 but, reformed in 2004 and are still active. The song Love’s Got A Line On You from their debut EP Scandal was on the soundtrack to the 1983 movie Easy Money and Smyth was a solo artist on soundtracks for Caddyshack II & Armageddon. Other songs have appeared in additional movies and TV.

Patty Smyth & Scandal (Official Site)

Lyrics

Song Saturday: Gates of the Country

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Black Lab 1998 Image
Photo Credit: Paul Durham (the blond)
June 1998
Wikipedia

“Somehow I see, there are ships in her eyes…”

This Saturday’s playlist submission was never released as a single and it never charted…anywhere. It’s the last track, number 12, on the original 1997 debut release of Your Body Above Me by Black Lab. An alternative rock band founded in San Franciso, CA, in 1995 by Paul Durham, the band’s name is an amalgam of band names Black Sabbath and Stereolab. The album did have two hits, one of which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

There is not a bad song on this album and I nearly wore out my CD. I took notice of them when an alternative rock station showcased their first track (the #6 hit). I love Paul Durham‘s voice and, the band has had many songs used in movies and television, most notably Spider-Man (2002), Blade: Trinity and Transformers.

Black Lab World (Official Site)
Paul Durham (Official Site)

Lyrics

Music Monday: REM 1994

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R.E.M. Image One
Photo Credit: hotpress.com

Twenty-five years ago, this week (November 26/December 2, 1994) the song Bang and Blame by R.E.M. debuted on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart (Page 119/called Modern Rock Tracks in 1994), entering at #8, making it to #1 on December 17. Released October 31, it was the second single from the album Monster, their ninth studio album. Co-produced by the band and Scott Litt, all song writing credits are the band members. The song also made it to #1 in Canada on February 20, 1995, and peaked in the top ten in the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart (Album Rock Tracks in 1994), Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart and, in Finland, Iceland and Poland.

Rain Phoenix (sister of River & Joaquin) and Lynda Stipe (Michael’s sister) sang backing vocals. Recordings were difficult with Mike Mills and Bill Berry‘s illnesses and, the deaths of Kurt Cobain and River Phoenix. The album is dedicated to Phoenix.

Television Episodes (song used)

R.E.M. Official Website


 
Lyrics (from LyricFind):
If you could see yourself now, baby
It’s not my fault, you used to be so in control
You’re going to roll right over this one
Just roll me over, let me go
You’re laying blame
Take this as no, no, no, no, no

You bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
Then blame, blame, blame
You bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
It’s not my thing, so let it go

If you could see yourself now, baby
The tables have turned, the whole world hinges on your swings
Your secret life of indiscreet discretions
I’d turn the screw and leave the screen
Don’t point your finger
You know that’s not my thing

You came to bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
To blame, blame, blame
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
It’s not my thing, so let it go now

You’ve got a little worry
I know it all too well
I’ve got your number
But so does every kiss and tell
Who dares to cross your threshold
Happens on you way
Stop laying blame
You know that’s not my thing
You know that’s not my thing

You came to bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
Then blame, blame, blame
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
It’s not my thing so let it go, you
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
Then blame, blame, blame
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang
It’s not my thing so let it go

You kiss on me
Tug on me
Rub on me
Jump on me
You bang on me
Beat on me
Hit on me
Let go on me
You let go on me

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: Bob Dylan 1989

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Bob Dylan Image One
Photo Credit: alldylan.com

Now that I have access to some old Billboard magazines, thirty years ago, today, Everything Is Broken, by American singer/songwriter, author and visual artist Bob Dylan, debuted on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart (called Album Rock Tracks back in 1989), entering at #23. Released from the album Oh Mercy, his 26th studio album, the song is a reflection of Dylan’s detachment from his world. It peaked at number eight after eight weeks on the chart.

From Wikipedia:

The track found on Oh Mercy is an April 1989 re-working of a take recorded the previous month. Originally recorded as “Broken Days” in March 1989, Dylan had re-written the song entirely by April, giving it its current name.

In an interview with Nigel Williamson (the author of The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan) and Oh Mercy’s producer, Daniel Lanois, he described how Dylan would rework his songs over and over again:

“I sat next to him for two months while he wrote [Oh Mercy] and it was extraordinary. Bob overwrites. He keeps chipping away at his verses. He has a place for all his favorite couplets and those couplets can be interchangeable. I’ve seen the same lyrics show up in two or three different songs as he cuts and pastes them around, so, it’s not quite as sacred ground as you might think.”

Bob Dylan Image Two
Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

From All Dylan:

“Most of them [the songs on “Oh Mercy”] are stream-of-consciousness songs, the kind that come to you in the middle of the night, when you just want to go back to bed. The harder you try to do something, the more it evades you. These weren’t like that.”
~Bob Dylan (to Edna Gundersen, September 21, 1989)

“While it would be unfair to compare ‘Oh Mercy’ to Dylan’s Sixties recordings, it sits well alongside his impressive body of work.”
~Clinton Heylin (Behind The Shades)

[While] promoting The Traveling Wilburys in the fall of 1988, George Harrison discussed some of Dylan’s upcoming work. Harrison [was] enthused about Dylan’s new songs…informing a skeptical world that the experience of recording the Wilburys had given him the urge to write again.

[Bono], lead singer of U2, paid Dylan a visit at his home. When he asked Dylan if he had written any new songs, Dylan showed him the ones stored in his drawer. Bono urged him to record the songs but, Dylan was reluctant.

Notable Cover Versions:
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Sheryl Crow


 
Lyrics [via LyricFind]
Broken lines, broken strings
Broken threads, broken springs
Broken idols, broken heads
People sleeping in broken beds
Ain’t no use jiving
Ain’t no use joking
Everything is broken

Broken bottles, broken plates
Broken switches, broken gates
Broken dishes, broken parts
Streets are filled with broken hearts
Broken words never meant to be spoken
Everything is broken

Bridge: Seem like every time you stop and turn around
Something else just hit the ground

Broken cutters, broken saws
Broken buckles, broken laws
Broken bodies, broken bones
Broken voices on broken phones
Take a deep breath, feel like you’re chokin’
Everything is broken

Every time you leave and go off someplace
Things fall to pieces in my face

Broken hands on broken ploughs
Broken treaties, broken vows
Broken pipes, broken tools
People bending broken rules
Hound dog howling, bull frog croaking
Everything is broken

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.

Music Monday: The Alarm 1989

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The Alarm Image One
Photo Credit: 45cat.com

Shaking things up a bit and being different. ~Vic

Thirty years ago, today, Sold Me Down the River by The Alarm, a Welsh alternative rock/new wave band from Rhyl (formed 1981), debuted on the Billboard Alternative Rock chart, entering at number ten. The first release from the album Change, their fourth studio album, it peaked at number three after five weeks. It made it to number two on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart in October, staying there for two weeks and number 43 on the UK Singles Chart, starting September 10.

I confess. I’ve never heard of this band. They are still active (Band Website).

From LyricFind:

There’s a fire beneath my skin
There’s a fever that makes me ill
Got a love, a love that kills
I’ve got twenty-four hours to live, come back

I’m begging you please, come back
Come back
I’m down on my knees, come back
I’m begging you please

I don’t know why and I don’t understand
How you sold me down the river
I don’t know why, I don’t understand
How you sold me down the river
Sold me down the river

There’s a rose across my chest
Got your name written on it
Love’s the drug that I live by
Give me a shot before I die, come back

I’m begging you please, come back
Come back
I’m down on my knees, come back
I’m begging you please

I don’t know why, I don’t understand
How you sold me down the river
I don’t know why, I don’t understand
How you sold me down the river
Sold me down the river

Oh yeah, sold me down the river now

Sold me down the river tonight
Hoo-hoo

I’ve got twenty four hours
I don’t know why, I don’t understand
How you sold me down the river
Sold me down the river

Tune Tuesday: Bruce Springsteen 1984

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Bruce Springsteen Image One
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk & YouTube

Thirty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock chart was Dancing in the Dark from the album Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen. The music video was directed by Brian De Palma (Carrie/Scarface/The Untouchables) and it introduced the world to a, then, unknown Courteney Cox. This was his biggest hit single and the album is, to this day, his best selling. The song also went to #1 with Cash Box, in Canada, with Radio & Records and, went on to #1 in 1985 in Belgium & The Netherlands. Notable cover version artists are Kermit the Frog, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Pete Yorn.

Bruce Springsteen Image Two
Image Credit: wikipedia.org

Awards
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male Grammys
Grammy Hall of Fame Grammys
Pop/Rock Single American Music Awards
International Album of the Year Juno Awards
Best Stage Performance MTV Video Music Awards

Nominations
Grammys: 2
American Music Awards: 2
Brit Awards: 1
MTV Video Music Awards: 1

Lyrics
[Verse 1]
I get up in the evening
And I ain’t got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain’t nothing but tired
Man, I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

[Chorus 1]
You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

[Verse 2]
Message keeps getting clearer
Radio’s on and I’m moving ’round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man, I ain’t getting nowhere
I’m just living in a dump like this
There’s something happening somewhere
Baby, I just know that there is

[Chorus 1]
You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

[Bridge]
You sit around getting older
There’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on me
I’ll shake this world off my shoulders
Come on, baby, the laugh’s on me

[Verse 3]
Stay on the streets of this town
And they’ll be carving you up all right
They say you gotta stay hungry
Hey, baby, I’m just about starving tonight
I’m dying for some action
I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
Come on now, baby, gimme just one look

[Chorus 2]
You can’t start a fire
Sitting ’round crying over a broken heart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
You can’t start a fire
Worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

[Outro]
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Hey, baby