Readers might remember that earlier this summer, we ran a Turntable Talk feature on “cover songs”, with various regulars here weighing in on what makes a good cover song , or when they were utterly redundant. Well, that caught the attention of one of our readers, Randy who is so interested in the concept that […]September 13 – The King Of Cover Songs — A Sound Day
Follow the above link for my contribution to Dave’s blog. I wrote a piece on the motivations to cover a song and focused on the most covered pop song of all time, “Yesterday” by The Beatles.
I received some feedback on the first two 1970’s posts citing that there were “some forgotten songs mentioned, and yet they came back immediately in my head” which is all part of the fun.
Music of the 1970’s
Parts one and two focused on three major sources; the Billboard charts, Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs and from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. A few other references were used and I will try not to repeat myself as I would like to give an overview of the decades music. It was a time of much social change and we saw the introduction of many new music styles that still impact the music of today.Read More »
Last but not least, 25 more of the Greatest Cover Songs
Ok here is the last of my list, I could go on and as a matter of fact I will, just not with another set of 25 plus “to infinity and beyond!” I have to say it was easy to come up with more songs to complete the total of 100 as this final list started at 43. But it was very difficult to decide which ones would make the cut, so these last 25 songs became a list with a number of great ones left for another day.
|Downchild Blues Band|
We’re Number One! (almost) part 2
We’re Number one! almost, because we’re number one 2!
|Jerry Lee Lewis
would only ever reach as high as #2
on Billboard’s Hot 100
Here are some great songs that just didn’t make it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 or R&B charts.
In my post on Little Richard I commented on his breakthrough single, “Tutti Frutti” that got stalled at #2 because “Great Pretender” by ‘The Platters’ would not budge from the #1 spot from the beginning of January through to the week ending March 10. I’ve run across this before so I decided to research how many of the old classic hit songs had the same fate and just didn’t get to the #1 spot. I’ve talked about many of these songs but when you look at the number that didn’t make it is a bit surprising. And do we remember them any less for being #2? Let’s show the song that kept them out of the top spot and see how it compares.Read More »
Real One Hit Wonders
|Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton doing the Hucklebuck|
A while back I sort of debunked “One Hit Wonders” lists in my “One Hit Wonders (Not!)” post as there were so many songs that just don’t qualify. So I thought I’d share a list of songs that are truly “one and done” hit songs. Once again following the definition laid out by music journalist Wayne Jancik “an act that has won a position on a national, pop, Top 40 record chart just once.” This from the ‘The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders’ (1998).Read More »
Greatest Songs Lists
Not all ‘Greatest of’ lists are created equal …
My thoughts on the ‘greatest of’ lists…and my own
Greatest Songs (Part 1 )
My choice for – Greatest Song of all time is “Over the Rainbow”
The song was also released as a single by Decca Records on a 78 r.p.m. record as the 45 r.p.m was not invented yet (it came out in 1949). By the time Garlands record had been released in 1939 the song had already been covered five times, and has gone on to be recorded including instrumentals, into perhaps the thousands of times but officially documented at over 1100 times if you go by Secondhandsongs.com, eight of those versions in 2019 alone. Judy Garland had not only the most remarkable and beautiful voice but her performances both on screen and live on stage were trans-formative. That is to say audiences were taken away to another place, dare I say “over the rainbow” when she sang. There are few voices that compare to hers nor a person that can deliver a song like she did. All too often behind a performer we find a heartbreaking and sometimes tragic story. Judy Garland has such a story and you can read about in many places and also see a bit of insight in the new movie ‘Judy’.
While the song came out before the music charts were created there is little doubt it would be a chart topper and it won the Academy Award in 1939 for Best Original Song. Various later recordings have hit the charts but none reaching the top 10.
One Hit Wonders (not!)
Yesterday (Sept. 26) was the 50th Anniversary of Abbey Road, the Beatles last recording session together and the second last album before Let it Be was issued May 8, 1970. And also Happy belated One Hit Wonder Day! (Sept. 25th) so I thought it would make a good blog topic.
The simplest definition I found is from music journalist Wayne Jancik “any recording act that place just one 45 rpm single on Billboards Top 40 chart” this from The Billboard book of one-Hit Wonders’ (1998). The term is a bit antiquated now as we no longer have 45 rpm singles, but the concept of only one hit single remains. So we aren’t talking one #1 hit. It’s not a term I like as it implies (and some truth to that) these artists have had just a brief moment in the spotlight, perhaps undeservedly so and then fallen off the music map. I know other and deeper definitions are a bit more broad and go beyond the absolute single hit idea. They also consider many artists that have still maintained a quality career and just not reproduced another ‘top 40 hit’ song and or may be from another country/language and snuck in a single hit, enter ‘Nena’ who (including her band “Nena”) had a very respectable career in her native Germany but just the one english language version of “99 Luftballons“. In some cases the definition includes a single song that listeners strongly identify with to the point of ignoring the artist (that may have had other hits). I think this strays way off the path of the ‘one hit’ concept. Strongly ‘identified’ song does not mean in my opinion that the artist is a “one hit wonder”. If you ask 10 people to name one Led Zeppelin song 9 are going to say “Stairway to Heaven”. Most lists should be labelled “Billboard Top 40 One Hit Wonders” to be fair, but I give examples below that disqualify songs from that list as well.Read More »