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Studio 360

42 Years of Hits in 37 Minutes

Thursday, March 12, 2015

In “Billboard,” avant-garde musician and programmer R. Luke Dubois compresses four decades of chart-topping hits into one very strange-sounding song.  

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Studio 360

Backup Singers Bring the Hits

Thursday, March 12, 2015

There’s no predicting how well a particular song will do on the pop charts. But researchers have found that one characteristic unites a strong majority of hits: backup singers.

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Soundcheck

Five Female Solo Artists Just Smashed a Billboard Record

Monday, October 27, 2014

For the past seven weeks, the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart have been held by female solo artists -- breaking a previous record set in 1999. 

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Studio 360

Sideshow Podcast: “Rude” by Magic! Is the Worst Best Song of the Summer

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

“Rude” by Magic! is America's #1 song — it's also America's most hated song. Critic Jia Tolentino explains the fine line between good, credible pop and the incredibly bad stuff.
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Soundcheck

That Was A Hit?!?: Candyman, 'Knockin' Boots'

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The latest installment in our That Was A Hit!?! series about improbable chart hits looks at Candyman's 1990 song "Knockin' Boots."

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Soundcheck

'Frozen' Thawing Disney's Musical Deep Freeze

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Entertainment Weekly reporter Marc Snetiker explains why Frozen -- a hit at the box office and on the Billboard charts -- has been able to do what other recent Disney musicals haven't -- and what's ahead for the Frozen franchise.

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Soundcheck

Bruce Springsteen's 'High Hopes' Delivers

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Billboard’s Caryn Rose shares her reaction to Bruce Springsteen's new record, High Hopes.

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Soundcheck

Summer of '93: What Was Happening On The Pop Charts

Monday, July 15, 2013

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." 

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Soundcheck

The Not So Slight Return Of Jimi Hendrix

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The number one album on the Billboard chart this week is from the 36 year old country star Luke Bryan. The number two album is from a musician who hasn’t recorded a new song for more than 36 years -- Jimi Hendrix. His new, posthumous album is called “People, Hell And Angels.” Billboard editor and Soundcheck regular Joe Levy joins us to discuss. You can read more on the album from Joe Levy here.

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Soundcheck

Jimi Hendrix Took It All Too Far. But Boy, Could He Play Guitar

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Billboard editor Joe Levy on the just-released album from the late guitarist and icon. Hear more from Joe Levy here.

If you looked at the charts this week and saw that Jimi Hendrix’s newest, People, Hell & Angels debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard album tally and that David Bowie’s latest was on its way to claiming the No. 1 spot on the UK charts, you’d be forgiven for wondering if we’d all tripped, fallen into the Way Back Machine, and landed in 1972.
 
That’s the year that Bowie immortalized a Hendrix-like figure on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, capturing all the lost potential and mythic power of rock’s greatest improviser on songs like “Rock & Roll Suicide.” Two years earlier, on September 18, 1970, Hendrix had become the first of the rock stars to die for our sins (beating Janis Joplin by a mere 16 days), though like many of the departed starmen and women, he’s never really left us.

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Soundcheck

Billboard Names Its Top Money Makers Of 2012, And We Put You To The Test

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Last week, Billboard magazine published its yearly roundup of the industry’s top earners in their “Music’s Top 40 Money Makers” list. We tapped Billboard editor Joe Levy to serve as our quizmaster in our Money Makers test. Play along at home!

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Soundcheck

Robyn Hitchcock; Musical Top Dogs; YouTube Shakes Up Billboard's Hot 100

Monday, February 25, 2013

In This Episode: English troubadour and former leader of The Soft Boys Robyn Hitchcock plays songs from his upcoming album, Love From London.

Plus: We talk with New York Times bestselling authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman about competition in the music world -- and the science behind why some musicians deal with it better than others.

And: We learn about YouTube’s new role in calculating Billboard’s Top 100 singles chart. 

Soundcheck

Billboard Shakes Up The Charts With YouTube

Monday, February 25, 2013

Billboard magazine, which has charted popular music for decades, announced that it will now count YouTube views when tabulating the Hot 100 singles. The means that viral videos can now top the charts -- just in time for Baauer’s 'Harlem Shake' to debut at #1. Joining us to explain the change is Billboard's director of charts, Silvio Pietroluongo

 

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WNYC News

YouTube Joins Billboard Rankings

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The video-sharing service YouTube is now part of the Billboard Ratings.

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Soundcheck

That Was A Hit?!? (The Journey Begins)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Billboard editor Joe Levy joins us to kick off a series about surprising pop hits. 

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Soundcheck

Adele's '21' Tops Year-End Album Sales (Again)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Joe Levy of Billboard joins us to explain year-end sales numbers for the music industry. 

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Albums of the Week

The Most Popular Classical Albums of 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In 2012 we've been pleased to spotlight new recordings in our Album of the Week feature. Here are the year's most popular albums according to web traffic on WQXR.org.

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Soundcheck

Esperanto Pop: Global Music For Global Domination

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Billboard editor and Soundcheck regular Joe Levy adds an entry to the dictionary with a category of music he calls "Esperanto Pop." We hear how acts from ABBA to PSY to Usher are making music that's engineered for the biggest pop market possible -- the world.

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Soundcheck

MacArthur Genius Grants And Mumford & Sons Make A Splash

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Billboard editor Joe Levy joins us to share what he would do with a $500,000 MacArthur "Genius" Award. And, he tells us more about the folky, foot-stompy, chart-topping British band Mumford & Sons.

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Soundcheck

New Releases From Carly Rae To G.O.O.D. Music

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It may have been a quiet summer for new releases, but it's gearing up to be a big fall. Joining us to discuss some noteworthy releases this week is Billboard editor and Soundcheck regular Joe Levy. We hear the latest from Carly Rae Jepsen, Pink, Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label and a reissue of Michael Jackson's Bad, which features a previously unheard demo from the late King of Pop.

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