Thursday, September 7, 2023

#TBT - Mel's Top 100 Hits of 1991


1991: A Year of Transition

In 1991, I shifted from mainstream top 40 music to more alternative rock music. This was the year that pop music transitioned to more rap and hip hop songs, hence the transition to alternative rock. 

The songs on my Top 100 Hits of 1991 were all popular for different reasons. 

Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was a cultural phenomenon that helped define the grunge movement and  generation. It turned out to be the band's first and only #1 hit and became their signature song.

"Valerie Loves Me" by Material Issue was a catchy power pop song that started the band's foray into titles named after women. R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" was a more thoughtful and introspective song that resonated with many people in 1991. 

Prince and the New Power Generation's "Cream" was a danceable and funky rock track that was perfect for parties. "Caribbean Blue" by Enya was a beautiful and ethereal ballad that transported listeners to another world. 

Seal's "Crazy" was a soulful and passionate love song that was sure to stir emotions, while EMF's "Unbelievable" was a quirky and experimental track that was ahead of its time. 

"Justified and Ancient" by The KLF and Tammy Wynette was a strange and unexpected collaboration that merged dance, funk and country into an unexpected but memorable hit. 

Sting's "All This Time" was a moving and heartfelt ballad about love and loss.

Yes, 1991 was a year of great musical transition. The rise of grunge and alternative rock challenged the dominance of synth-pop and hair metal, while hip hop and R&B continued to evolve. Meanwhile, genres like electronica and world music were also gaining ground.

THE TOP 100 HITS OF 1991

1Smells Like Teen SpiritNirvana
2Valerie Loves MeMaterial Issue
3Losing My ReligionR.E.M.
5Wicked GameChris Isaak
6Caribbean BlueEnya
8I've Been Thinking About YouLondonbeat
9CreamPrince and The New Power Generation
10Justified And AncientThe KLF with Tammy Wynette
11Groove Is in the HeartDeee-Lite
12Alice EverydayBook of Love
13Shiny Happy PeopleR.E.M.
14Tom's DinerDNA featuring Suzanne Vega
15Nothing Else MattersMetallica
16Something to Talk AboutBonnie Raitt
17Silent LucidityQueensrÿche
18Sadeness (Part I)Enigma
19Kiss Them For MeSiouxsie & The Banshees
20All This TimeSting
21Justify My LoveMadonna
22Right Here, Right NowJesus Jones
23Give It AwayRed Hot Chili Peppers
24QuiverBook of Love
25So You Think I'm in LoveRobyn Hitchcok & The Egyptians
27DianeMaterial Issue
28You Could Be MineGuns N' Roses
29Enter SandmanMetallica
30Here I Am (Come and Take Me)UB40
31Breaking the GirlRed Hot Chili Peppers
32I Touch MyselfDivinyls
33Mysterious WaysU2
34Baby BabyAmy Grant
35There She GoesThe La's
36I Wanna Sex You UpColor Me Badd
37Show Me the WayStyx
38Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance...)C+C Music Factory
39Black or WhiteMichael Jackson
40Near Wild HeavenR.E.M.
41Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me (live)Elton John with George Michael
42The Way You Do the Things You DoUB40
43Everybody Plays the FoolAaron Neville
44Learning to FlyTom Petty & The Heartbreakers
45The UnforgivenMetallica
46More Than WordsExtreme
47GirlfriendMatthew Sweet
48RushBig Audio Dynamite II
49MotownphillyBoyz II Men
50She Lives (In A Time of Her Own)The Judybats
51The Promise of a New DayPaula Abdul
52Don't Drop The BabyThe Judybats
54Wind of ChangeScorpions
56Summer Kisses Winter TearsJulee Cruise
57Rush RushPaula Abdul
58Sunny DayBook of Love
59Right NowVan Halen
60Under The BridgeRed Hot Chili Peppers
61Bitter TearsINXS
62Until The End of the WorldU2
63AlivePearl Jam
64Real Real RealJesus Jones
65I Can't DanceGenesis
66EmotionsMariah Carey
67Hole HeartedExtreme
68Good VibrationsMarky Mark And The Funky Bunch
69Live and Let DieGuns N Roses
70High EnoughDamn Yankees
71Kinky AfroHappy Mondays
72The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)Cher
73(Everything I Do) I Do It for YouBryan Adams
74I'm Your Baby TonightWhitney Houston
75I'm Too SexyRight Said Fred
76Into the Great Wide OpenTom Petty & the Heartbreakers
77Just Another DreamCathy Dennis
78It Ain't Over 'til It's OverLenny Kravitz
79Radio SongR.E.M.
80Rhythm of My HeartRod Stewart
81The Other Side of SummerElvis Costello
82The FlyU2
83O.P.P.Naughty by Nature
84It Hit Me Like a HammerHuey Lewis & The News
85November RainGuns N' Roses
86This HouseTracie Spencer
87Too Many WallsCathy Dennis
88Get A Leg UpJohn Mellencamp
89Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave)Roxette
90SomedayMariah Carey
91Love Takes TimeMariah Carey
92The One and OnlyChesney Hawkes
93Love Will Never Do Without YouJanet Jackson
94SummertimeDJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
95Touch Me (All Night Long)Cathy Dennis
96I Adore Mi AmorColor Me Badd
97I'm Not in LoveWill to Power
98Coming Out of the DarkGloria Estefan
99Here We GoC+C Music Factory
100Something to Believe InPoison

Thursday, August 31, 2023

#TBT - The Name Game by Shirley Ellis


From my childhood way back in 1965 comes "The Name Game" by singer Shirley Ellis. We used to have this 45 on the old Congress label back in the day. My late sister and her friend used to love to sing this and substitute names of people they knew at the end of the song. This was a real long time ago... what almost 60 years now.

One thing I liked about "The Name Game" 45 was the killer B-side of that record. The song title was "Whisper To Me Wind". This could have also been a hit back in the day... though I never recall any radio station playing the song.

Shirley Ellis' real name was Shirley Marie O'Garra. She was born in 1929 and lived to 2005. During her career Shirley had three major Billboard Hot 100 hits. The first was "The Nitty Gritty" which came out in 1963 and topped off at the #8 position in October of that year. Her next hit single was "The Name Game" which peaked at #3, followed by "The Clapping Song (Clap Pat, Clap Slap)" which went to #8. Shirley Ellis had a total of 14 charted singles that appeared on the U.S. as well as the U.K. charts.

Check this playlist I created on Spotify featuring Shirley Ellis' music. The playlist tracks should play in full if you have a Spotify subscription.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Elvis Presley - Are You Lonesome Tonight? | I Gotta Know

Throwback Thursday - 45 RPM Heaven

Much has been written about "The King of Rock n Roll", ELVIS PRESLEY. This little post on my music corner of nowhere is just another cog to add to that huge, growing wheel, more than 46 years ago today.

Elvis Presley passed away on August 16, 1977. He left a long musical legacy of hundreds of memorable singles and record albums, all of which have been brought up to date in the digital age when you can stream just about anything online.

One of the very first records I was exposed to in the rock n roll genre came very early in my life, probably before I was five years old. My Dad used to have a friend who ran a vending machine business. Among his many vending machines were jukeboxes that he loaned out to restaurants and other eating places. Periodically he would have to change out the records contained in the jukeboxes. Since he was a friend of my Dad, we would end up with dozens of old 45s that Dad brought home. How cool was that?

One of the first records I remember getting was Elvis Presley's single "Are You Lonesome Tonight" with "I Gotta Know" on the B-side. I think my Mom first played the record when we got it. She fell in love with the broken hearted ballad that was the featured A-side of the record. The song was one of several Elvis singles that went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

As a kid I found the other side of the record to be much better. "I Gotta Know" was an upbeat song, more to my early rock n roll liking of faster tunes. So I played that side of the record more than the A-side which my Mom loved. 

That all said, both "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and "I Gotta Know" both became radio hits, with "Lonesome" as previously stated peaking at #1 and "I Gotta Know" peaking at #20 on the Hot 100.

I love 45 rpm records, especially in the old days when both sides of a 45 could become hits. DJs had more flexibility in those days to flip a record over and figure that hey, the other side is just as good as the A-side being pushed by the record company.

The original 45 was on the black RCA label featuring Nipper the dog looking into the old gramophone record player. What a classic label and symbol. Sadly I no longer have that original 45.

Today "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and "I Gotta Know" exist on CD or a digital playlist like I have at. Spotify.

"Are You Lonesome Tonight" and "I Gotta Know" appear on the CD Elvis Golden Records Volume 3.

You can listen to both songs on my Digital 45 playlist on Spotify.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Rich Men North of Richmond - Oliver Anthony


"Rich Men North of Richmond" is a rootsy, blue-collar song that came out of nowhere to become a huge viral video hit for its author and singer Oliver Anthony. Apparently this guy just does some home made recordings and this one has resonated a lot... so much that it debut at #1 on my country music chart. The song is available for streaming on various platforms as well as digital purchase on Amazon and iTunes.

"Rich Men North of Richmond" also tops the iTunes Top 100 and the iTunes Country Charts. Oliver Anthony's other songs are also charting on iTunes including "Ain't Gotta Dollar" which chimes in at #10 on my country chart. Check that out below:

The Country 5 + 5 Chart

As of August 15, 2023.

TW                TitleArtistLR
1Rich Men North of RichmondOliver Anthony Music     new
2Try That In A Small TownJason Aldean1
3Need A FavorJelly Roll2
4When I DieFanny Lumsden4
5Fast CarLuke Combs5
6Bury Me In GeorgiaKane Brown7
7White HorseChris Stapleton9
8Save Me The TroubleDan + Shay3
9Save Me (featuring Lainey Wilson)      Jelly Roll6
10Ain't Gotta DollarOliver Anthony Musicnew

You can listen to all ten of the Country 5 + 5 hits on Spotify.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Try That In A Small Town


Jason Aldean Tops the Current Top 20, Country 5 + 5, Billboard's Hot 100 and More

Jason Aldean tops Mel's Current Top 20 with his high profile hit, "Try That in a Small Town." The track has been the #1 best seller on iTunes for the past few weeks, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 onTuesday for the week of August 1. I would be thrilled to see if "Try That in a Small Town" can hold on to #1 for a few more weeks, especially on the Hot 100 chart.

Here are this week's Current Top 20 hits as posted on August 4, 2023.

TW                      TitleArtistLW
 1Try That In A Small TownJason Aldean3
 2When I DieFanny Lumsden1
 3I Can See You (Taylor's Version)Taylor Swift5
 4VampireOlivia Rodrigo4
 5Heavenly Kind of State of MindLewis Capaldi2
 6Need A FavorJelly Roll7
 7Fast CarLuke Combs8
 8CurtainsEd Sheeran6
 9Loving YouCannons10
10Island in the Sun (feat. American Authors)     Smallpools11
11American Flags (with Adam Calhoun)Tom MacDonald19
12Save Me (with Lainey Wilson)Jelly Roll9
13Silver FishDengue Fever15
14A Beautiful GameEd Sheeran14
15I Won't Back DownGoo Goo Dolls & O.A.R.16
16Resolution/RevolutionThe Linda Lindasnew
17Save Me The TroubleDan + Shay20
18Until I Found You (Em Beihold Version)Stephen Sanchez & Em Beihold  12
19Karma / Karma (featuring Ice Spice)Taylor Swift13
20Barbie Girl (Tiësto Remix)Aqua + Tiëstonew

Jason Aldean and his #1 hit video.

The Country 5 + 5
As of August 1, 2023.

TW               Tit          leArtistLR
1Try That In A Small TownJason Aldean2
2Need A FavorJelly Roll3
3When I DieFanny Lumsden        1
4Save Me The TroubleDan + Shay6
5On The Boat AgainJake Owen5
6Save Me (featuring Lainey Wilson)       Jelly Roll4
7Fast CarLuke Combs7
8Bury Me In GeorgiaKane Brown9
9Good Lookin'Dixon Dallas8
10World on FireNate Smithnew

Listen to the Current Top 20 on Spotify.

Awaiting: New Dawn by Fanny Lumsden from Bandcamp.

Also waiting from Bandcamp: Reissue of The Connells' 1993 album Ring with bonus tracks.

Listen to the Country 5 + 5 on Spotify.