Tag Archives: Carly Simon

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of November 20, 2015

"Hello" there, #1.

“Hello” there, #1.

This week’s New Music Friday is going 0 to 25 real quick. This is potentially one for the record books, so hold onto your hats (and wigs.) Say “Hello” to our look at this week’s top new albums and singles:

  • ADELE — 25 (iTunes)
    • Two-and-a-half million copies: we’re lucky if one album sells that many copies in a calendar year in today’s industry. 25 has the potential to sell that many copies in one week. Led by the massive single “Hello”, which could be on top of four radio charts by the published Sunday update, this event record and the performer behind it stand in a league of its own. Get ready, because the fun has just begun.
  • ENYA — Dark Sky Island (iTunes)
    • Some artists that aren’t named Adele are attempting to release against the music industry’s savior this week. Well, it may not end well for this set in the U.S., but I’m sure this popular Irish singer will grab some high marks in her home country. After all, this is her first studio album release since 2008. No songs from the project are currently at radio.
  • SHAWN MENDES — Handwritten (Revisited) (iTunes)
    • Attention, shoppers: Christmas cash-in season is in full swing. Mendes’s set is the most notable as “Stitches” climbed to #1 on the pop radio format in its 23rd week recently, while new song “I Know What You Did Last Summer” finds a guest vocalist in Camila Cabello from the group Fifth Harmony. The tweens will be swooning.
  • More albums out this week: Andy Grammer‘s Magazines Or Novels (Deluxe Edition) (iTunes), Blue October‘s Things We Do At Night (Live From Texas) (iTunes), Carly Simon‘s Songs From The Trees: A Musical Memoir Collection (iTunes), Empire Cast‘s Original Soundtrack, Season 2, Vol. 1 (iTunes), Freddie Gibbs‘s Shadow Of A Doubt (iTunes), Grateful Dead‘s Fare Thee Well (Live 7/5/15) (iTunes) and The Best Of Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years (iTunes), Jadakiss‘s Top 5 Dead Or Alive (iTunes), Kalin And Myles‘s Kalin And Myles (iTunes), Leslie West‘s Soundcheck (iTunes), Nick Jonas‘s X2 (iTunes), Queen‘s A Night At The Odeon (iTunes), Roger Waters‘s The Wall (iTunes), Shovels & Rope‘s Busted Jukebox, Vol. 1 (iTunes), Take That‘s III (2015 Edition) (iTunes), Tech N9ne‘s Collabos: Strangeulation, Vol. II (iTunes), The Beach Boys‘s Beach Boys’ Party! Uncovered And Unplugged (iTunes), Tracy Chapman‘s Greatest Hits (iTunes), We The Kings‘s Strange Love (iTunes), Yellow Claw‘s Blood For Mercy (iTunes)
  • More EPs out this week: iLoveMakonnen‘s 2 (iTunes), Knife Party‘s Trigger Warning (iTunes), The Raging Idiots‘s Presents… The Raging Kidiots (iTunes), WatchTheDuck‘s The Trojan Horse (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “Drifting”, G-Eazy featuring Chris Brown & Tory Lanez (iTunes)
  • “I’m Sayin’”, Omarion featuring Rich Homie Quan (iTunes)
  • “Last Christmas”, Carly Rae Jepsen (iTunes)
  • “Man With The Bag”, Jessie J (iTunes)
  • “No Good”, Kaleo (iTunes)
  • “Pelican”, David Guetta (iTunes)
  • “Rest Your Love”, The Vamps (iTunes)
  • “Smaller”, Erik Hassle (iTunes)
  • “So Long”, Leon Bridges (iTunes)
  • “Stick Around”, Akon & Matoma (iTunes)
  • “Trouble”, Cage The Elephant (iTunes)
  • “Used”, Jake Troth (iTunes)

Not many releases are out next week due to the Thanksgiving break, but we’ll have an update for you with new albums from The Vamps and more. See you then!

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Up The Waterspout: Chart Hits On The Crawl

These hits have legs.

These hits have legs. (Kind of.)

What’s that creeping and crawling onto the airplay survey? Why, it’s “Black Widow” from rapper Iggy Azalea and singer Rita Ora, the second big hit from Azalea’s recent album The New Classic. A music video for the song is set to be released soon, and with a single cover looking straight out of Kill Bill, we’ll have the see if the big film influences the clip.

With the Azalea/Ora collaboration about to climb up the waterspout we call the national charts, at both radio and retail, it seems like the perfect time to take a trip into the animal kingdom and go from iPods to arthropods. They might’ve scared Little Miss Muffet, but don’t you be getting arachnophobia. These are just song titles! From the cobwebs to the charts, the  sound of spiders in music history:

“Spiders & Snakes”, Jim Stafford (#4 R&R / #3 Hot 100, 1974)
From 1973 until 1975, Stafford hit the top 40 with a series of comedic songs, six in total on Billboard. This was the biggest of them, a Gold certified record that was produced by another big pop artist, Lobo, and written by David Bellamy of The Bellamy Brothers. By 1976, the shtick that made him famous had worn thin to both a fading pop and country audience.

“Coming Around Again/Itsy Bitsy Spider”, Carly Simon (#22 R&R / #18 Hot 100, 1987)
Sometimes they’re listed together and sometimes they’re not, but you can find both tracks sharing the same melody in the film Heartburn and on Simon’s 1987 comeback album Coming Around Again. After a jump in label from Epic to Arista, it did the performer well; the single and album were her first top 40 entries in six years and her biggest sellers with the label.

“Spiderwebs”, No Doubt (#11 R&R / #18 Hot 100 Airplay, 1996)
1995’s Tragic Kingdom became a major breakout for this California band, and with one smash under their belts in “Just A Girl”, they returned for some more fun with this hit. Although not eligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 due to a lack of physical single, “Spiderwebs” gained both Alternative and CHR airplay, making it one of their most recognizable songs.

Other creepy crawlers on and up the Hot 100:
“Inky Dinky Spider (The Spider Song)”, The Kids Next Door (#84, 1965)
“The Red Back Spider”, Brownsville Station (#96, 1972)
“Spider Jiving”, Andy Fairweather Low (#87, 1975)
“Tarantula”, The Smashing Pumpkins (#54, 2007)

Of course, there’s always the band Spider if you need an extra shot that’s too cool for spool. With a handful of charters in the 80’s, they made the top 40 once in 1980 with “New Romance (It’s A Mystery)”.

Which act or song will you spin your web around? Let me know! Comment below or find me on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab above.

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REWIND: No Pain, No “Vain” – 40 Years Of Mystery

Legend in her own time.

Legend in her own time.

January 6 marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark song “You’re So Vain” going to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Carly Simon‘s biggest hit of all-time. It’s often been regarded as the greatest mystery song to ever hit the charts, a song that’s been the subject of many a guess as to whom Simon is actually referring to; a man who is so vain that he thinks that the song is about him. In a bit of irony, the album it’s included on is called No Secrets, which also took a fast rise to the top. Maybe it was intentional. We’ll go through the clues later on in this post. First, the statistics.

The chart action on “Vain” was super fast and it was gone almost as quickly as it appeared. On Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, it debuted at #99 on the date of December 2, 1972, bolting to #60 the next week, and then to #37 on December 16. The week before Christmas, it soared all the way up to #8, a 29-spot leap, the fourth biggest climb within the top 40 of all-time. So, after a holiday break (when “Vain” rose to #4), it was no surprise that it stood at #1 beginning on that January 6, 1973 date and stayed there for three weeks. It was in the top ten through early March, but suddenly sank, from #11 to #26 to #49 and then out entirely, all before the month was over. It ranked as the #9 song of the year and the #29 song of the decade. Obviously, it’s very well-remembered today, more so than any of her other songs. This is all despite having other big hits after her only chart-topper, like “Mockingbird” with then-husband James Taylor and “Nobody Does It Better”.

The song itself was produced by Richard Perry, sometimes referred to as “The Hit Doctor” for reviving many careers of faded singers in the late 1970’s. This was one of his earlier numbers. Simon wasn’t in a rut career-wise, more of an up-and-comer. Lyrically, it tells of a man who goes to parties and is admired by women, saw a solar eclipse in Nova Scotia, and went to Saratoga Springs, where he bet on a horse and it won the race. He’s clearly a lucky guy, but once Simon’s poison pen struck the page, everyone was wondering who exactly it could be.

So, the suitors – which of them made Simon so frustrated that she had to write a song about them? Well, according to her, it’s a “composite of three men” from her days living in Los Angeles. Mick Jagger was initially suggested to be one of them; he does the background vocals on the song and Simon took a liking to him for a while. However, this was proven to be not true. James Taylor was also proposed as he was married to the singer; Simon denied it. Actor Warren Beatty has always been seen as one of the leading candidates and Simon has stated at least on one occasion that it’s partially inspired by him. The list goes on and on.

A number of letters found in the names of the men have been revealed over the years: A, E and R, not that it does much for the detective in us. There are also three names whispered backwards in the song: “Warren”, referring to Beatty, “David”, and one that can’t be clearly heard. The second name was initially thought to be referring to label head David Geffen, but Simon’s publicist said that the rumor was untrue. Singers David Bowie and David Cassidy have also been suggested to fill that slot; no word on whether one of them is indeed the “David”. There’s also been a suggestion of Dan Armstrong, a guitarist, as the name of the person that can’t be made out. He and Simon were together for quite some time before they both went onto other relationships.

Whoever it may or may not be, the song did exactly what Simon wanted: fostered a discussion that will likely never end. Maybe we don’t want to know who the song is about. It’s influenced thousands of other performers to write their own breakup songs without revealing the name of who it’s actually about. Some have one, some have too many. (Taylor Swift.) Yet, “Vain” is always going to be seen as the one that started it all, the perfect mix of great instrumentation and a heavy lyric that makes you think. Happy anniversary, Carly.

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