View previous topic | View next topic

Popular Music

Page 1 of 3
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

DVD Smith
1267596.  Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:25 pm Reply with quote

Was struck by this fact whilst browsing Wikipedia the other day for good questions for my work Christmas quiz:

The first four releases of the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" were all released in the US in the summer of 1949.

So I did a little digging and found this link detailing the top 20 singles in the USA for each week of 1949. As you can see, for several weeks in July and August of 1949, there were three different versions of "Baby It's Cold Outside" in the top 20 at the same time - at the height of the summer! The peak was the weeks of July 23rd, where the song appears at number 5, 6 and 18 in the chart.

According to the printed score, the song takes places between a mouse and a wolf, with the wolf trying to convince the mouse to spend the night.

1267609.  Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:22 pm Reply with quote

Perhaps because it was featured in the film Neptune's Daughter, released in June that year.

DVD Smith
1267854.  Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:35 am Reply with quote

Very true. It's also one of only two Christmas songs to win the Oscar for Best Song (the other being White Christmas, obviously).

Sticking with anachronous Christmas songs, White Christmas and Let It Snow were both written in Hollywood in the height of the summer, as the writers dreamed of colder climes. White Christmas actually has a rarely-used first verse:

The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There's never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, LA.
But it's December the 24th,
And I'm longing to be up north...

Also, deviating from music for a sec, the first two Die Hard films were both released in the summer as well. (Not that I want to restart any debates about whether or not they count as Christmas films!)

DVD Smith
1269113.  Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:54 pm Reply with quote

At six years old, Bruno Mars appeared in the 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas as a child Elvis impersonator, and as a teenager worked as a Michael Jackson impersonator. [1][2][3]

He's not the only singer who started out as a tribute singer. After singer Rob Halford left Judas Priest in 1991, the band invited Tim "Ripper" Owens to audition after seeing a video of him in a Judas Priest tribute band. He sang one line and was hired on the spot, and became Judas Priest's lead singer for seven years until Halford returned. [4]

Similarly, the current lead singer of Journey was hired after guitarist Neal Schon spent two days trawling YouTube and found a video of a cover band in the Philippines. The cover band's lead singer, Arnel Pineda, was hired as Journey's new lead singer after an audition. He then had to employ a coach to help him with the lyrics, as English isn't his first language. [5]

DVD Smith
1271791.  Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:58 am Reply with quote

In 1986, Bon Jovi were trying to come up with a name for their third album the one that would eventually catapult them to worldwide fame. It was tentatively titled Wanted Dead or Alive, after one of the album's songs, until lead singer Jon Bon Jovi was reading a newspaper article about a band playing in a local bar, and thought that the name of that band would make a perfect album title.

So for a while during production, Bon Jovi's best-selling album was to be called Guns N' Roses.

The album was eventually titled Slippery When Wet when it was released in August '86, and went on to sell 28 million copies thanks to the success of its lead singles "Livin' on a Prayer" and "You Give Love a Bad Name". Six months later, Guns N' Roses released their debut album, which also made them world-famous so it was a good thing Jon Bon Jovi changed his mind!


Jon Bon Jovi initially believed "Livin' on a Prayer" wasn't good enough to make the album, and had to be convinced that it would be a hit. [1] He's not the only musician to misjudge the success of their songs - Toto had to be convinced to include "Africa" on their album by a CBS employee. [2]

Spud McLaren
1271806.  Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:25 pm Reply with quote

DVD Smith wrote:
White Christmas actually has a rarely-used first verse
The rarity depends on how many times you've seen the eponymous musical!

1271809.  Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:32 pm Reply with quote

Isn't this actually reasonably common among artists who want to be considered as "serious rock musicians", but had their biggest hit with what was more or less a pop song?

In similar vein, I seem to remember reading that Yes needed rather a lot of convincing about Owner of a lonely heart (which wasn't a big hit in Britain, but was #1 in the US and big in much of Europe too). A prog rock band keen on long solos weren't altogether comfortable with a song that included a Kool and the Gang sample, it's fair to say!

DVD Smith
1271905.  Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:37 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Isn't this actually reasonably common among artists who want to be considered as "serious rock musicians", but had their biggest hit with what was more or less a pop song?

There has certainly been a fair bit of that, and Yes are a good example - another one would be Ozzy Osbourne, whose only UK number one single was the piano ballad "Changes" with his daughter Kelly in 2003.

Having said that, I don't think it really applies to Bon Jovi and Toto since their surprise hits conformed to their genre, rather than subverting it.

1271943.  Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:43 pm Reply with quote

Toto's was certainly within their genre, and music of that kind was easy enough to sell in North America. It's usually been a harder sell in Europe though, so I don't really know what was different with Africa.

Perhaps CBS spent a lot of money on marketing, perhaps lots of radio stations chose (or were induced to choose, but that's not allowed and of course it never ever happens) to give the song lots more airplay than usual, or perhaps the public just liked it. Probably a bit of all of the above.

But I've met hardcore Bon Jovi fans who can't stand Livin' on a Prayer. I've met hardcore Dire Straits fans who think that Walk of Life was the worst track on the band's worst album (but also their biggest hit worldwide, in both cases). Does any hardcore Queen fan actually like the homage to Shakin' Stevens which is Crazy little thing called love?

All of these songs get claimed as nearly left off the album, but maybe I'm not completely convinced. While these kinds of bands didn't see hit singles as their #1 priority, their labels wanted them to have one from time to time - which meant that they needed to do a pop song once in a while.

DVD Smith
1271948.  Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:09 pm Reply with quote

Well while I can only speak for myself, I like to think I qualify as a pretty big Bon Jovi fan (own every album, B-side and box set, and seen them live multiple times) and I will never get tired of Livin' on a Prayer. :)

You'll always get those fans who can't stand a band's signature song because it gets overplayed, or they think there are better deep cuts. But I'm pretty sure they're in the minority - after all, in most cases the band owe their fame and success to that song, and the wider following that it brought. And in my opinion, disregarding those factors is just introducing a hipster-esque level of snobbery and elitism that I personally can't stand with so-called "hardcore fans".

Anyway, I just mentioned that fact originally because I found it interesting how close some iconic songs came to never being heard at all, regardless of the stories behind them.

1272031.  Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:10 am Reply with quote

Same here (except it's Brucie in my case) Never ever get tired of hearing "Born to Run".

1272033.  Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:25 am Reply with quote

Same here for the Allman Brothers' Whipping Post - any place, any time.

From a Billboard article, on the band's best hits list on the day Greg died:

The band's showstopper until the end, "Whipping Post" was arguably the Allman Brothers' greatest achievement, with an idiosyncratic 11/4 key signature in the intro, a gut-wrenchingly heartrending vocal from Gregg Allman and extended, high-flying solo sections that allowed both of the band's guitarists to stretch out and build to a blindingly tense crescendo, brought all the way back home by Allman's formidable voice. No matter which of the hundreds of versions is your favorite, "Whipping Post" represents all that the Allmans could achieve when firing on all cylinders.

The best version - Live at the Fillmore East, 1971
I don't think I've ever heard this on the wireless.

DVD Smith
1272076.  Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:32 pm Reply with quote

You know those apps that tell you what was number one in the UK charts on the day you were born? They can sometimes throw up some amusing coincidences.

For any girls born in the UK in the last week of 1990 (including my sister), the number one single that week was "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" by Iron Maiden.

While any parents welcoming a baby into the world in the first week of September 1998 would be listening to the Chart Show playing "If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next" by Manic Street Preachers.

And people born in mid-July 2014 had the self-fulfilling "It's My Birthday" by


While in 1964, the Beatles were number one in Australia for 39 weeks of the year, including 23 in a row from January to June. [1][2]

1272079.  Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:55 pm Reply with quote

DVD Smith wrote:
While in 1964, the Beatles were number one in Australia for 39 weeks of the year, including 23 in a row from January to June.

Although no Australian of the time would ever have known it!

Australia did not have a national singles chart until a magazine called Go-Set introduced one in October 1966. The first #1 in Australia was thus Eleanor Rigby / Yellow submarine.

Go-Set ceased publication in August 1974 with its last #1 being Billy don't be a hero by Paper Lace, but by then a fellow named David Kent had started a rival singles chart which he published as Kent Music Report. Once Mr Kent's chart had become established as Australia's main chart he went retrospective and compiled charts back to 1940, apparently using radio station playlists and a formula which he has not made public.

Those retrospective charts are by now considered "official" for the era before 1966, but no one in the Australia of 1964 knew about The Beatles' utter domination.

1272481.  Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:13 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Isn't this actually reasonably common among artists who want to be considered as "serious rock musicians", but had their biggest hit with what was more or less a pop song?

I've noticed a few that were the opposite, where a new pop group release their most rock song first to get all the rock fans buying it, then the rest of the album turns out to be pop. If it was done in the other order then the snobbishness of many rockers would mean they wouldn't buy it at all.


Page 1 of 3
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group