Saturday, June 11, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: June 12

1957:  Jimmy Dorsey ("So Rare") died of throat cancer at the age of 53 in New York City.
1961:  Frankie Avalon began a 15-day tour of South America.

                                  King's song was on its way to becoming a classic...

1961:  "Travelin' Man" became Ricky Nelson's second #1 song of his career after "Poor Little Fool".  "Moody River" jumped from 7 to 2 for Pat Boone while the previous #1, "Running Scared" from Roy Orbison, ranked third.  Former Drifters singer Ben E. King was up with "Stand By Me" and Dee Clark's "Raindrops" hit #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Adam Wade with "The Writing On The Wall", Elvis Presley dropped with "I Feel So Bad", the Pips moved from 21-8 with "Every Beat Of My Heart", Gary U.S. Bonds roared from 33 to 9 with "Quarter To Three" and Brook Benton entered the Top 10 with "The Boll Weevil Song".

The Top 30 Songs of 2006*: #30-21

In 2006, Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel, suffered a severe stroke and cerebral hemorrhage.  Meanwhile, NASA launched the first spacecraft to Pluto, as New Horizons began a nine-year journey and we celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birthday of classical pianist and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  

In music, the trend the last few years has been to play the same 30 or so songs over and over for the entire year.  In most years of the Rock Era, there were so many good songs waiting in the wings that even the classics dropped off the chart after 20 or so weeks.  Now it is quite common for a song to be on the charts for 52 weeks or more.  Thus, our salute to the Class of 2006 will consist of 30 songs.  Here is the first segment:

Friday, June 10, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: June 11

1957:  Elvis Presley released the single "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear".  (Note:  several websites claim the song was released June 1.  According to the book 'Elvis Presley:  The King of Rock 'n' Roll' by Jean-Pierre Hornbach, it was released June 11.)

Prelude* Leading to The Top Songs of 2006

Here are four more songs outside of The Top 30 Songs of 2006*:

Me & U

Don't Forget To Remember Me
Carrie Underwood

Suddenly I See
K.T. Tunstall


Prelude to The Top 30 Songs of 2006*

There are 38 songs from 2006 to make The Top 5000 Songs of the Rock Era*, which is well short of the average year in which 83 make the list.  Many do not have enough going for them to accurately rank them, lacking either sales or airplay, or both.  We will thus rank The Top 30 Songs of 2006* and feature nine songs in the Prelude*.

My Love
Justin Timberlake

Ain't No Other Man
Christina Aguilera

Everytime We Touch

Move Along
All-American Rejects

(When You Gonna) Give It Up To Me
Sean Paul

Thursday, June 9, 2016

This Day in Rock Music History: June 10

1964:  The Rolling Stones recorded tracks for their upcoming album 12 x 5 at Chess Studios in Chicago.

 1966:  The Beatles became the first act to feature reversed tape in the background of the song "Rain", which was released on this date in the U.K.
1967:  Bob Dylan and the Band began recording The Basement Tapes.
1967:  "Casino Royale" was #1 on the Easy Listening chart for a second week for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

The Top Songs of 2006 Next...

We're putting the finishing touches on our salute to the graduates of 2006 who will soon be celebrating their 10-year Class Reunion.  Look for that in the next few days on Inside The Rock Era!

Featured Unknown/Underrated Song*: "Heart To Heart" by Kenny Loggins

Although it did make #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart, which was becoming more reliable than the "Popular" chart, this song stalled at #15 on that latter chart:

"Heart To Heart"
Kenny Loggins

Written by Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald and David Foster

You ain't crazy
I ain't gonna lie anymore
What you're feelin'
There's a reason for
I wanna do right
Oh, I gotta do right
Do I love you
Oh, you know I've tried
But what you're after
You can't find in my eyes
I wanna do right
Hmm, hmm, hmm...

Tell the truth
Don't turn away
This is our last chance
To touch each others heart
Does anything last forever
I don't know
Maybe we're near the end
(So come and tell me)
So darlin'
Oh, how can we go on together
Now that we've grown apart
Well the only way to start
Is heart to heart

One by one
We're collecting lies
When you can't give love
You give alibis
Now I'm gonna do right
This time I gotta do right
I don't wanna leave
I don't wanna say good-bye
Sooner or later
Honey, there comes a time
Tomorrow, when you gotta do right
Come on home

Tell the truth
Don't turn away
From this one last chance
To touch each others heart
Does anything last forever
I don't know
Maybe we're near the end
(So come and tell me)
So Darlin'
Oh, how can we go on together
Now that we've grown apart
Well the only way to start
Is heart to heart
(Why are you so torn apart)
I need a little more lovin' in my heart
(People say that love will grow)
So how was I to know
Love that's come through years and years
Can't find a way back home

[Instrumental Interlude]

Tell the truth
Don't turn away
This is our last chance
To touch each others heart
Does anything last forever
I don't know
But maybe we're near the end
So darlin' tell me
Oh, how can we go on together
Now that we've grown apart
Well the only way to start
Is heart to heart
Does anything last forever
I don't know
But maybe we're near the end
So darlin' tell me
Oh, how can we go on together
Now that we've grown apart
Well the only way to start
Is heart to heart

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: June 9

1958:  Jerry Lee Lewis and producer Sam Phillips bought a full-page ad in Billboard Magazine to explain his second divorce and third marriage to 14 year-old cousin Myra.
1959:  Bobby Darin made debut in Las Vegas, Nevada; he opened for George Burns at the Sahara.
1962:  A new artist appeared on the music charts for the first time on this date.  Bobby Vinton's first song "Roses Are Red" debuted and he would achieve the tough feat of achieving #1 with his first release.

The Top 50 Songs of 1996*: Checklist

Here are links to all songs in the Inside The Rock Era salute to songs from 1996:






The Top 50 Songs of 1996*: #10-1

In 1996, John Howard became the new Prime Minister of Australia, and the United States won the most gold medals (44) and the most total medals (101) at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.  

It's All Coming Back To Me Now
Celine Dion

This superstar is one of two artists to place two songs in The Top 10 for 1996*.  This one was written by Jim Steinman.  

Always Be My Baby
Mariah Carey

When this song went to #1, it tied Mariah Carey with Madonna and Whitney Houston at the time for the most #1 songs by a female artist (11).

Nobody Knows
Tony Rich Project

This song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance.  It peaked at #2.

Alanis Morissette

Song #7 peaked at #1 in Canada for six weeks and was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video at the Grammy Awards.

Everything But The Girl

This British duo hit #1 in Germany, #2 in the United States, Australia and Sweden and #3 in the U.K., Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland. 

Los Del Rio

Some publications ranked this song not only #1 for the year but #1 of all-time.  This is simply not true, because of a lack of competition.  Although the song has fallen since 1996, it ranks #5 in YouTube views among songs from '96.

Because You Loved Me
Celine Dion

Super songwriter Diane Warren wrote this one which Celine Dion recorded for the movie Up Close & Personal.  It has sold over two million copies and won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television and was nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.  It was also nominated for Best Original Song at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Glove Awards.

Don't Speak
No Doubt

For 16 weeks, this song was #1 on the Airplay chart.  It was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

Un-Break My Heart
Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton had a huge year in 1996, not only landing at #17 and #19 but also right here at #2.  She also took home the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

One Sweet Day
Mariah Carey with Bozy II Men

The #1 Song of 1996* not only spent a Rock Era record 16 weeks at #1 in the U.S. but also topped charts in Canada and New Zealand and reached #2 in Australia and the Netherlands, #4 in Ireland, #5 in France and Denmark and #6 in the U.K. and Norway.

The Top 50 Songs of 1996*: #20-11

In 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty while the Republicans nominated Bob Dole for president.  The Dallas Cowboys downed the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 to win the Super Bowl. 

Thirty-eight songs from 1996 are included in The Top 5000 Songs of the Rock Era*, which is about half of the average year from 60 years of music.  These 10 songs are included in that group:

Keith Sweat

This artist also placed "Nobody" at #12.  At #20, a huge R&B hit that also landed at #2 on the Popular chart.

Let It Flow
Toni Braxton

Up next, another artist who had a great 1996, including two songs in the top 20.  Toni Braxton was one of the best-selling artists of the '90s, thanks to songs like this from the movie Waiting to Exhale.

Who Will Save Your Soul

In 1996, this artist from Alaska recorded a phenomenal debut album, Pieces of You.  Although she never came close to matching it, it contains The #18 song of the Year*.

You're Makin' Me High
Toni Braxton

Here is the other half of a dynamite double-sided hit for Braxton.

No Diggity
Blackstreet with Dr. Dre

This is the song that ended the 14-week reign of "Macarena" at #1.  Blackstreet won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and was nominated for Best R&B Song.  It ranks sixth among songs from 1996 in YouTube views. 

The Crossroads
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

Winners of the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, this song has slipped quite a bit since 1996.

One Of Us
Joan Osborne

Song #14 was written by Eric Bazilian of the Hooters--you might remember them from their song "All You Zombies".  "One Of Us" went to #1 in Canada, Australia, Sweden and Belgium, #2 in Denmark and Norway, #4 in the United States and #6 in the U.K. and Osborne earned Grammy nominations for Record of the Year, Best New Artist and Album of the Year.

Change The World
Eric Clapton

In 1992, Eric Clapton ventured into unknown territory when his song "Tears In Heaven" was one of the Top 20 songs of the year.  He did it again four years later with this song from the movie Phenomenon.

Give Me One Reason
Tracy Chapman

Here's the artist that gave us one of the great debut albums in history with her self-titled release.  In 1996, Tracy Chapman proved she was no fluke with her album New Beginning.  The lead single raced to #3, won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song, sold over one million copies, and Chapman was also nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

I Love You Always Forever
Donna Lewis

Here's one of The Top #2 Songs of the Rock Era*, one which remained in the runner-up position for nine weeks.  A Gold record, it was inspired by the H.E. Bates novel Love For Lydia.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: June 8

1954:  Radio stations began receiving 45 records as opposed to 78's.
1960:  Roy Orbison released "Only The Lonely".
1961:  Elvis Presley's movie Wild in the Country premiered.
1963:  The Beatles released "My Bonnie" in the U.K. under the name Tony Sheridan and the Beatles.
1963:  "Another Saturday Night" from Sam Cooke occupied the #1 spot on the R&B chart.

The Top 50 Songs of 1996*: #30-21

It's interesting how some news events from years past have relevance today.  In 1996, after a 3-year-old boy fell into a 20-foot deep gorilla enclosure at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, Binti Jua, a female lowland gorilla, sat with the injured boy until he was rescued.  Braveheart won Best Picture at the Academy Awards while the New York Yankees turned back the Atlanta Braves 4 games to 2 to win the World Series.

Breakfast At Tiffany's
Deep Blue Something

According to Todd Pipes of Deep Blue Something, the lyrics for this song were inspired by Audrey Hepburn's performance in the movie Roman Holiday, but he felt that the Hepburn film Breakfast at Tiffany's would make for a better song title.


At #29, we have the group that was always bickering and in trouble with the law, but they somehow managed to record some good music.  This song was nominated for Best Rock song and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group at the Grammy Awards, although it did not win.

    Smashing Pumpkins

    This group was named Favorite Alternative Artist at the American Music Awards.  They were nominated seven times at the Grammy Awards, including for Album of the Year, but they were able to only come home with one trophy, for Hard Rock Performance on this song.

    Killing Me Softly 

    In 1973, Roberta Flack recorded one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* in "Killing Me Softly With His Song".  In 1996, the remake by the Fugees checks in at #27 for the year.

    Not Gon' Cry
    Mary J. Blige

    This #1 R&B hit and #2 overall earned Mary J. Blige a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.  The single has now gained Platinum status.

    Champagne Supernova

    Here is the 22nd-most played song from 1996 on YouTube, a factor that significantly helps this song.  Although it did reach the Top 100 in the U.S., it did peak at #11 in Canada.

    You Learn
    Alanis Morrisette

    At #24, another hit from the phenomenal album Jagged Little Pill that helped Alanis Morrisette win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

    The World I Know
    Collective Soul

    Here's a song that peaked at #19 in the U.S. and #1 in Canada.  Great album sales and YouTube numbers has helped this song become much stronger in 2016 than it was originally.

    Free As A Bird

    This song was originally written by John Lennon in 1977 as a home demo.  In 1995, the three surviving members of the Beatles--Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr--got together and recorded the song.  It was released 25 years after the Beatles broke up in 1970 and the song became a big hit in 1996.

    Sittin' Up In My Room

    This #2 song on both the R&B and Popular charts helped make the "Waiting To Exhale" Soundtrack one of the most popular soundtracks of the year.

    The Top 100 Songs of 1996*: #40-31

    In 1996 U.S. President Bill Clinton was elected to a second term in the United States.  The U.S. stock market gained at an incredibly fast pace followng the election, gaining 10 days in a row.  Also that year, the civil trial of O.J. Simpson began in Santa Monica, California.

    In music, these 10 songs were among the year's best:

    They Don't Care About Us
    Michael Jackson

    At #40, the most-played YouTube video of the year, a powerful song about the plight of the average individual.

    How Do U (sic) Want It
    2 Pac

    At #39, a rap that has fallen considerably in the 25 years since it first came out.

    Be My Lover

    We heard a song by the German Dance duo LaBouche in the first set, "Sweet Dreams".   Their follow-up was a big international hit, reaching #1 in West Germany and Sweden, #2 in Austria and Italy, #3 in Australia and the Netherlands, #5 in Switzerland and #6 in the U.S.

    Mariah Carey

    Up next, a #2 smash on the Adult Contemporary chart in both the United States and Canada.

    Where Do You Go
    No Mercy

    As you can tell, 1996 was a big year for Dance music with LaBouche and No Mercy among the acts which enjoyed success.  Like LaBouche, No Mercy was originally formed in Germany, and their big 1996 hit went to #1 in Ireland, #2 in the U.K. and Australia, #3 in Germany, #4 in France and Switzerland, #5 in the U.S. and Austria and #7 in the Netherlands.

    Bullet With Butterfly Wings
    Smashing Pumpkins

    We have an interesting story here at #35 with this band from Chicago, Illinois.  In 1995, the Smashing Pumpkins released the double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.  This song stopped at #22.  What in the world is a #22 song doing all the way up here?  The reason is album sales, and we'll also be hearing another song soon from the same album.  The group has now sold over 10 million copies of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in the U.S. alone.  Album sales are far from the most important factor in ranking songs, as it is easily pointed out that over 290 million people in the U.S. did not buy the album, but it does elevate this song to #35.  The other thing that allows a #22 song to be ranked this high is that 1996 was a very weak year.

    Hootie & the Blowfish

    Here's another song ranked pretty high that also did not reach the Top 10, stopping at #14.  But again, sales from this group's album Cracked Rear View have helped the song tremendously since it came out in 1996.

    'Til I Hear It From You
    Gin Blossoms

    Here's a song that was included in the movie Empire Records.  One of the rare double-sided hits in the last 30 years (we heard "Follow You Down" at #44), the flip side checks in at #33.

    Don't Cry

    Similar to the stories above, here's another song that only peaked at #33, but it has proven stronger than most songs originally ranked ahead of it.  This song, in fact, has the 10th-best Like to Dislike ratio on YouTube, a fact that definitely helps it here.

    Big Me
    Foo Fighters

    Here's a song from the debut album for the Foo Fighters on Capitol Records.  This single from the album reached #3 on the Alternative Rock chart and received a lot of airplay, but the single did not sell.  In our methodology, we consider all of these things, and when the album sales are combined with the other factors, this song comes in at #31.

    Monday, June 6, 2016

    The Top 50 Songs of 1996*: #50-41

    In 1996, Göran Persson became the new Prime Minister of Sweden.  The Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle SuperSonics 4 games to 2 to capture the National Basketball Association Championship and Alanis Morissette earned Album of the Year honors at the Grammy Awards.

    These 10 songs continue to be some of the strongest 50 from 1996:

    It Matters To Me
    Faith Hill

    Kissin' You

    Sweet Dreams

    Stupid Girl

    Real Love

    California Love
    2 Pac (Featuring Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman)

    Follow You Down
    Gin Blossoms

    No Doubt

    Head Over Feet
    Alanis Morrisette

    Keith Sweat with Althene Cage

    This Date in Rock Music History: June 7

    1958:  Jerry Lee Lewis starred in the movie High School Confidential.

    1961:  The Mar-Keys released one of The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*--"Last Night".
    1963:  The Rolling Stones released their first single "Come On" in the U.K.  It did not make the Top 100.  (Note:  some websites claim the release was on June 2.  According to the book 'Old Gods Almost Dead:  The 40-Year Odyssey of the Rolling Stones' by Stephen Davis, the group released the song on June 7.)
    1964:  Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas made their live debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.
    1964:  During their first U.S. tour, the Rolling Stones were booed off stage in San Antonio, Texas, and members of the Monkees, who were the opening act, had to be brought back on stage to perform.
    1965:  Another of those magical days in rock history, as one of the Top 10 Songs of the Rock Era*--"Satisfaction" was released on this date by the Rolling Stones.
    1966:  Roy Orbison's wife Claudette was killed in a motorcycle accident.

    Final Prelude Leading Us Into The Top 50 of 1996

    Here is the last bunch of songs outside of The Top 50 for 1996*  We believe some of these songs are actually better than those ranked in the Top 50.  However, to this point, they don't have the chart numbers, the competition, the sales, the airplay or the YouTube numbers to overtake those in the lower half of the list:

    Jann Arden

    Pearl Jam

    George Michael

    Closer To Free

    LeAnn Rimes

    Counting Blue Cars

    All Along
    Blessid Union of Souls

    6th Avenue Heartache