Dave's Music Database books

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

3/8/1930: “Happy Days Are Here Again” goes to #1

image from redmp3.su

Ben Selvin “Happy Days Are Here Again”

Writer(s): Milton Ager/ Jack Yellen (see lyrics here)

First charted: 3/1/1930

Peak: 12 US, 11 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --

Review: “Happy Days” was originally written for the movie Chasing Rainbows and sung by Charles King and Bessie Love. JA-69 It accompanied a scene where World War I soldiers learn the war has ended. TY-47 Unfortunately, the song was cut from the film. When movie producer Irving Thalberg heard the song played at Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel, he wanted to know why such a great song wasn’t in the movies. When he found out it had been cut from one of his own films, he immediately had it put back. Unfortunately, the movie was a failure. RCG

However, the “bright and tuneful” RCG song which urged everyone to “sing a song of cheer again” found life beyond the film. The publishers took it to George Olsen, whose orchestra played it at the Pennsylvania Hotel Ballroom in Manhattan a few days after the October 1929 stock market crash. RCG Jack Yellen, the song’s lyricist, recalled the dining room being populated with “gloom-stricken diners.” Olsen directed his singers to “sing it for the corpses” and, according to Yellen, “after a couple of choruses, the corpses joined in…[and] before the night was over, the hotel lobby resounded with what had become the theme song of ruined stock speculators as they leaped from hotel windows.” SS-364

The song became an unofficial anthem for the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt used it in his 1932 Presidential campaign and it was adopted by the Democratic party SB as their “unofficial theme song for years to come,” WK being used again in campaigns by Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. RCG

Three versions of the song charted in 1930. Ben Selvin and Benny Meroff each took it to the top; Leo Reisman’s orchestra, with a vocal from Lou Levin, hit #3. Judy Garland adopted the song as an allegory of her life. RCG The song has been featured on more than 70 commercially-released albums and in more than 80 films. WK Some of the notable recordings were by Mitch Miller and Barbra Streisand. WK

Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Some of the Longest Waits Between Albums

This list was originally posted on my Dave’s Music Database Facebook page (Some of the Longest Waits Between Albums) on 2/5/2012 and has been updated several times since. Thanks to DMDB fans who contributed to this list!

In March 2012, I penned an article for PopMatters.com (“I Heard You Missed Us – We’re Back!”) on bands who’d had long breaks between albums. At the time, I’d waited five years for a new album from Fish, one of my favorite acts. That month Van Halen ended a 14-year silence and in recent years Guns N’ Roses received a lot of press for its 15-year delay between albums. I ended up with an extensive list of acts who have tried the patience of their fans to the max. I organized the list based on longest waits first, but in the cases where an act has done it more than once, I listed other instances immediately below the first. Note: I’m only looking at album’s worth of new studio material. That includes “specialty” releases of new material for that act such as covers collections or Christmas recordings, but does not include live albums, compilations, remixes, or other reissues of previously released material.

Some of the Longest Waits:
  • 38 years: John Lodge Natural Avenue (1977), 10,000 Light Years Ago (2015)
  • 36 years: The Yardbirds Little Games (1967), Birdland (2003)
  • 35 years: Vashti Bunyan Just Another Diamond Day (1970), Lookingafter (2005)
  • 35 years: The Sonics Sinderella (1980), This Is the Sonics (2015)
  • 34 years: The Stooges Raw Power (1973), The Weirdness (2007)
  • 32 years: New York Dolls Too Much Too Soon (1974), One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (2006)
  • 30 years: Magazine Magic, Murder and the Weather (1981), No Thyself (2011)
  • 28 years: Eagles The Long Run (1979), Long Road Out of Eden (2007)
  • 28 years: The Slits Return of the Giant Slits (1981), Trapped Animal (2009)
  • 28 years: Cat Stevens Back to Earth (1978), An Other Cup (2006)
  • 27 years: Big Star Third/Sister Lovers (1978), In Space (2005)
  • 27 years: Dexy’s Midnight Runners Don’t Stand Me Down (1985), One Day I’m Going to Soar (2012)

  • 25 years: Bauhaus Burning from the Inside (1983), Go Away White (2008)
  • 25 years: Levon Helm Levon Helm (1982), Dirt Farmer (2007)
  • 25 years: Throbbing Gristle Journey Through a Body (1982), Part Two: The Endless Not (2007)
  • 24 years: The Cars Door to Door (1987), Move Like This (2011)
  • 24 years: The Who It’s Hard (1982), Endless Wire (2006)
  • 23 years: The Zombies Odessey and Oracle (1968), New World (1991); 13 years: The Zombies New World (1991), As Far As I Can See… (2004)
  • 22 years: Jeff Lynne Armchair Theatre (1990), Long Wave (2012)
  • 22 years: Mission of Burma Vs. (1982), ONoffON (2004)
  • 22 years: My Bloody Valentine Loveless (1991), MBV (2013)
  • 22 years: The Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight (1980), Nextdoorland (2002)
  • 21 years: The Vaselines Dum-Dum (1989), Sex with an X (2010)

    20 Years

  • The Del-Lords Lovers Who Wander (1990), Under Construction (EP, 2010)
  • Devo Smooth Noodle Maps (1990), Something for Everybody (2010)
  • The Feelies Time for a Witness (1991), Here Before (2011)
  • Pink Floyd The Division Bell (1994), Endless River (2014)
  • Steely Dan Gaucho (1980), Two Against Nature (2000)

    19 Years

  • Grace Jones Bulletproof Heart (1989), Hurricane (2008)

    18 Years

  • Black Sabbath Forbidden (1995), 13 (2013)
  • Faith No More Album of the Year (1997), Sol Invictus (2015)
  • Was (Not Was) Are You Okay? (1990), Boo! (2008)

    17 Years

  • Blondie The Hunter (1982), No Exit (1999); 8 years: Blondie The Curse of Blondie (2003), Panic of Girls (2011)
  • The Go-Go’s Talk Show (1984), God Bless the Go-Go’s (2001)
  • Kraftwerk Electric CafĂ© (1986), Tour de Force Soundtracks (2003)
  • Steve Miller Band Wide River (1993), Bingo (2010)
  • Squeeze Domino (1998), From the Cradle to the Grave (2015)

    16 Years

  • The Beach Boys Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 (1996), That’s Why God Made the Radio (2012)
  • The B-52’s Good Stuff (1992), Funplex (2008)
  • Gang of Four Shrinkwrapped (1995), Content (2011)
  • Gil Scott-Heron Spirits (1994), I’m New Here (2010)
  • Violent Femmes Freak Magnet (2000), We Can Do Anything (2016)

    15 Years

  • Camper Van Beethoven Key Lime Pie (1989), New Roman Times (2004); 8 years: New Roman Times (2004), virus_installer.exe (2012)
  • Electric Light Orchestra: Balance of Power (1986), Zoom (2001)
  • Roky Erickson All That May Do My Rhyme (1995), True Love Cast Out All Evil (2010)
  • Guns N’ Roses The Spaghetti Incident? (1993), Chinese Democracy (2008)
  • Nitzer Ebb Big Hit (1995), Industrial Complex (2010)
  • The Rainmakers Skin (1996), 25 On (2011)

    14 Years

  • Accept Predator (1996), Blood of the Nations (2010)
  • Alice in Chains Alice in Chains (1995), Black Gives Way to Blue (2009)
  • Lindsey Buckingham Out of the Cradle (1992), Under the Skin (2006)
  • Crowded House Together Alone (1993), Time on Earth (2007)
  • D’Angelo Voodoo (2000), Black Messiah (2014)
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer Love Beach (1978), Black Moon (1992)
  • Hooters Out of Body (1993), Time Stand Still (2007)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd Street Survivors (1977), Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 (1991)
  • New Kids on the Block Face the Music (1994), The Block (2008)
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Universal (1996), History of Modern (2010)
  • The Swans Soundtrack for the Blind (1996), My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky (2010)
  • Television Adventure (1978), Television (1992)
  • Van Halen: Van Halen III (1998), A Different Kind of Truth (2012)

    13 Years

  • Garth Brooks Scarecrow (2001), Man Against Machine (2014)
  • Jane’s Addiction Ritual de lo Habitual (1990), Strays (2003)

    12 Years

  • Kate Bush: The Red Shoes (1993), Aerial (2005)
  • The Go-Betweens 16 Lovers Lane (1988), The Friends of Rachel Worth (2000)
  • Wire The First Letter (1991), Send (2003)
  • Hole Celebrity Skin (1998), Nobody’s Daughter (2010)
  • The House of Love Audience with the Mind (1993), Days Run Away (2005)
  • Billy Idol Cyberpunk (1993), Devil’s Playground (2005)
  • Polvo Shapes (1997), In Prism (2009)

    11 Years

  • Boston Life, Love & Hope (2013), Corporate America (2002); 8 years: Boston Don’t Look Back (1978), Third Stage (1986); 8 years: Boston Third Stage (1986), Walk On (1994); 8 years: Boston Walk On (1994), Corporate America (2002)
  • ESG ESG (1991), Step Off (2002)
  • Grandmaster Flash Flash Is Back (1998), The Bridge: Concept of a Culture (2009)
  • Heart Desire Walks On (1993), Jupiter’s Darling (2004)
  • Kiss Psycho Circus (1998) Sonic Boom (2009)
  • The Libertines The Libertines (2004), Anthems for Doomed Youth (2015)

  • No Doubt Rock Steady (2001), Push and Shove (2012)
  • Portishead Portishead (1997), Third (2008)
  • The Power Station The Power Station (1985), Living in Fear (1996)
  • Bob Seger It’s a Mystery (1995), Face the Promise (2006)
  • The Verve Urban Hymns (1997), Forth (2008)
  • Scott Walker Climate of Hunter (1984), Tilt (1995); 11 years: Scott Walker Tilt (1995), The Drift (2006); 10 years: Scott Walker We Had It All (1974), Climate of Hunter (1984)

    10 Years

  • American Music Club San Francisco (1994), Love Songs for Patriots (2004)
  • David Bowie Reality (2003), The Next Day (2013)
  • Bush Golden State (2001), The Sea of Memories (2011)
  • Dinosaur Jr. Hand It Over (1997), Beyond (2007)
  • Peter Gabriel Us (1992); Up (2002)
  • Gin Blossoms Congratulations I’m Sorry (1996), Major Lodge Victory (2006)
  • The Human League Secrets (2001), Credo (2011)
  • Journey Raised on Radio (1986), Trial by Fire (1996)
  • The Knack Round Trip (1981), Serious Fun (1991)
  • The Lemonheads Car Button Cloth (1996), The Lemonheads (2006)
  • Matchbox 20 More Than You Think You Are (2002), North (2012)
  • Steve Perry Street Talk (1984), For the Love of Strange Medicine (1994)
  • Sade Lovers Rock (2000), Soldier of Love (2010); 8 years: Sade Love Deluxe (1992), Lovers Rock (2000)
  • Suicide Why Be Blue (1992), American Supreme (2002)
  • Supertramp Free As a Bird (1987), Some Things Never Change (1997)
  • Stevie Wonder Conversation Peace (1995), A Time to Love (2005); 8 years: Characters (1987), Conversation Peace (1995)
  • Yes: Magnification (2001), Fly from Here (2011)

    9 Years

  • The Allman Brothers Band Brothers of the Road (1981), Seven Turns (1990); 9 years: The Allman Brothers Band Where It All Begins (1994), Hittin’ the Note (2003)
  • Leonard Cohen The Future (1992), Ten New Songs (2001); 8 years: Leonard Cohen Dear Heather (2004), Old Ideas (2012)
  • Deep Purple Come Taste the Band (1975), Perfect Strangers (1984)
  • Styx Edge of the Century (1990), Brave New World (1999);

    8 Years

  • AC/DC Stiff Upper Lip (2000), Black Ice (2008)
  • Aerosmith Honkin’ on Bobo (2004), Music from Another Dimension! (2012)
  • Berlin 4Play (2005), Animal (2013)
  • Chicago Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album (1998), XXX (2006)
  • Fleetwood Mac Time (1995), Say You Will (2003)
  • Michael Jackson Invincible (2001); Michael (2010 – released posthumously; Jackson died in 2009).
  • Mick Jagger Wandering Spirit (1993), Goddess in the Doorway (2001)
  • Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2007), Strangers to Ourselves (2015)
  • The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon (1997), A Bigger Bang (2005)
  • Rush Test for Echo (1996) Vapor Trails (2002)
  • The Smithereens God Save the Smithereens (1999), Christmas with the Smithereens (2007)

    Still Waiting…
  • 36 years: Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door (1979)
  • 23 years: Roger Waters Amused to Death (1992) *
  • 22 years: Billy Joel River of Dreams (1993) *
  • 21 years: Emerson, Lake & Palmer In the Hot Seat (1994)
  • 21 years: Steve Perry For the Love of Strange Medicine (1994)
  • 18 years: Genesis Calling All Stations (1997)
  • 17 years: Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
  • 16 years: Dr. Dre 2001 (1999)
  • 15 years: Kansas Somewhere to Elsewhere (2000)
  • 14 years: Electric Light Orchestra Zoom (2001)
  • 14 years: Mick Jagger Goddess in the Doorway (2001)
  • 13 years: David Baerwald Here Comes the New Folk Underground (2002)
  • 13 years: Supertramp Slow Motion (2002)
  • 13 years: Shania Twain Up! (2002)
  • 12 years: The Allman Brothers Band Hittin’ the Note (2003)
  • 12 years: Fleetwood Mac Say You Will (2003)
  • 12 years: Kraftwerk Tour de France Soundtracks (2003)
  • 12 years: Steely Dan Everything Must Go (2003)
  • 11 years: Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose (2004)
  • 11 years: Tears for Fears Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (2004)
  • 10 years: The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang (2005)
  • 10 years: Styx Big Bang Theory (2005)
  • 9 years: Tool 10,000 Days (2006)
  • 9 years: The Who Endless Wire (2006)
  • 8 years: Hooters Time Stand Still (2007)

    * Does not include works composed, but not performed in full by the act

    Resources and Related Links:
  • Thursday, March 3, 2016

    3/3/1945: Les Brown charts with “Sentimental Journey”

    image from allmusic.com

    Les Brown with Doris Day “Sentimental Journey”

    Writer(s): Bud Green, Les Brown, Ben Homer (see lyrics here)

    First charted: 3/3/1945

    Peak: 19 US, 14 HP, 12 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

    Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

    Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --

    Review: Sentimental indeed. When she first saw the sheet music, Doris Day commented, “What a lovely title,” to which Les Brown responded “Wait till you hear it.” SS-375 “The song’s aching nostalgia struck a chord in a nation welcoming its boys back from the front lines,” TM becoming “one of a handful of songs that summed up romantic longing during World War II.” SS-375 Will Friedwald called it “the definitive end-of-war song,” SS-375 “a song that helped define an era.” SS-375

    Doris Day’s “honey with a dash of pepper” TM voice compelled one “to pack your bag and join her on that journey home.” TM “In the lilting fox-trot…and in Arthur Green’s swinging sen-tuh-men-tul phrasing — you can almost see the locomotive wheels chugging, hear the steam spurting from the smokestack and feel the second-class coach swaying back and forth as the train makes its way down the tracks.” TM

    The top hit of 1945 TY-125 launched the career of then-twenty-year-old Doris Day as a solo artist and America’s sweetheart. It would be the biggest hit of her career as well as Les Brown, the orchestra leader credited with the song. Stunningly, the record could potentially have been even bigger. According to George Simon in the December 1946 issue of Metronome, war restrictions prevented Columbia Records from pressing more copies of the song to maximize its potential. SS-376 On top of that, Les Brown and His Band of Renown performed the song for awhile, but couldn’t record it because of the musicians’ strike of 1942 to 1944. WK

    Brown adopted the million-seller as his theme song TY-125 and Ringo Starr later used it as the title cut for his 1970 debut solo album, a collection of standards. JA-170 It became a jazz standard and was recorded by numerous artists, including Booker T. & the MG’s, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Harry James, The Platters, Frank Sinatra, and Amy Winehouse. WK

    Resources and Related Links:

    Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.