Despite a heavy promotional push, Lady Gaga's new album ARTPOP hasn't performed as well as expected sales-wise. Is something amiss in Gaga land?
Our series That Was a Hit?!? is all about improbable chart success -- generally, of a single song that unexpectedly rose to the top. Today, music writer Chris Molanphy joins us to talk about trumpeter Herb Alpert, whose entire career full of surprises.
The incredibly successful musician and record label founder ruled the 1960's with five No. 1 albums -- second only to The Beatles. By the end of the '70s, Alpert had scored two No. 1 hits on the Billboard Top 20: "This Guy's In Love With You" (with the Tijuana Brass) and "Rise."
Chris Molanphy, chart columnist and NPR Music contributor, calls the summer of '93 a "dog's breakfast of assorted stuff." We're not exactly sure what that means -- but he says it's a good thing. On the charts, "there were two songs that dominated that summer -- one was by Janet Jackson, 'That's The Way Love Goes,'" he says. "And the other was a light reggae cover of the Elvis Presley classic 'Can't Help Falling In Love' by the reggae band UB40."
Join Soundcheck all week as we revisit albums, singles and watershed moments that sizzled in the summer of 1993. Hear about landmark releases from Liz Phair, Biz Markie, Sheryl Crow, Smashing Pumpkins, Bjork, Nirvana, PJ Harvey and more.
Every so often, we turn our series “THAT Was A Hit?!?” on its head with Soundcheck frequent guest Chris Molanphy, calling it instead, “That WASN’T A Hit?!?” We look back at songs that, although we may now think of them as hits, actually weren't hits at all. Today, we look at Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide."
In this episode: Pop diva Kylie Minogue stops by to talk about a new single, "Skirt," a new book chronicling the evolution of her fashion through a 25-year career, and her upcoming album.
Plus: Known for their “digital shorts” on Saturday Night Live, the hip hop parody trio The Lonely Island released a new album that debuted in the top ten of Billboard’s album chart. New York Magazine pop critic Jody Rosen joins us to talk about the state of pop parody.
And: Our series “That Was a Hit?” continues with Chris Molanphy and a look at a song that surprisingly wasn't a hit – Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.”
Every so often, our series, “That Was A Hit?!?,” catalogues songs that — however unlikely — charted in the Top 40. Chris Molanphy, who previously profiled Prince’s “Batdance” in our series, suggested that we turn the series on its head, calling it, “That WASN’T A Hit?!?”
In this episode: Last week, the news leaked that NBC plans to move The Tonight Show back to New York -- and replace current host Jay Leno with the comedian, actor and musician Jimmy Fallon. We take a look at how this decision could change the sound of late night TV.
Plus: Twenty-five more recordings have been marked for preservation by the Library of Congress. We’ll take a listen to the songs and artists that made this year’s list.
And: Duluth, Minnesota indie trio Low plays songs from their new album, The Invisible Way, live in our studio.
Also: Pop chart columnist Chris Molanphy turns the tables on our occasional series about surprising hits, "That Was a Hit?!?," by giving us a now-ubiquitous pop song that flopped when it was first released.
Can you name all five of Prince's hits that have hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100?
Go ahead, try.
It's 2052. And we're programming an oldies station that plays the "turn of the century hits" (that's 21st century). What music from the '90s, '00s and '10s would survive? And what wouldn't? We ask Chris Molanphy - author of the "100 & Single" Billboard charts column in the Village Voice - and Scott Shannon - WPLJ host and creator of the syndicated radio network The True Oldies Channel.