Music

Three Hits You Didn't Know Were Covers

Last week, I disappeared down the rabbit hole of one-hit wonders, and this afternoon I dove into the world of songs you didn't realize were covers. I'm blaming this article for lighting the spark.

Here are three songs I didn't realize were cover songs. I'm betting you didn't know, either.

"Obsession" by Animotion was originally done by Michael Des Barres and Holly Knight.

"Gloria" by Laura Branigan was originally an Italian hit by Umberto Tozzi.

Juice Newton's "Angel of the Morning" was first recorded by Evie Sands.

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One-Hit Wondering

I spent some time heading down the one-hit wonder rabbit hold this morning. It all started with this interesting article about the death of one-hit wonders.

Since 1958, Billboard has released a weekly “Hot 100,” which ranks the “most popular songs across all genres.” Over the years, their ranking methodology has changed to reflect how people consume music; currently, it is measured by radio plays, sales and “streaming activity.”

We took this data and analyzed it for the number of Billboard Hot 100 songs in a given year by artists that never appeared in the Hot 100 again. In the chart below, each point represents the number of one-hit wonders in a given year. (It’s worth mentioning that the counts from 1965 to 1970 may be slightly inflated because these early one-hit wonders might have had a hit prior to the establishment of the Hot 100.)

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I once wrote about our need for a standard to define one-hit wonders. The criteria criterion used in this article is an artist who appeared in the Billboard Hot 100 once, but never again. That's fine, but it's resulted in some rather questionable data.

For example, here's what their analysis has determined to be the top 50 one-hit wonders of all-time.

1-hit

Where do I begin...

  • There's no way the Righteous Brothers are one-hit wonders. In fact, they had two massive hits with "Unchained Melody" and "You've Lost That Loving Feeling".
  • Moby's in there. That doesn't make sense unless it's because of how that song was credited as Moby featuring Gwen Stefani.
  • Same goes for Evanescence. They had a few other hits, so this must have to do with how the song was credited.
  • Tubthumping was a great single, wasn't it?

Fun article, though. I'm going to spin some Chumbawamba now...

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All 39 Canadians to Reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100

Can't Feel My Face by The Weeknd is #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. The Weeknd is Toronto's own Abel Tesfaye, making him the 39th Canadian to top this chart.

Here's the complete list of 39 Canadians to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  1. It's Love-Love-Love by Guy Lombardo
  2. Cry by Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads
  3. Sh-Boom by The Crew-Cuts
  4. Diana by Paul Anka
  5. Lonely Boy by Paul Anka
  6. Theme from A Summer Place by Percy Faith
  7. Ringo by Lorne Greene
  8. American Woman / No Sugar Tonight by The Guess Who
  9. Heart of Gold by Neil Young
  10. Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks
  11. Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot
  12. (You're) Having My Baby by Paul Anka and Odia Coates
  13. Rock Me Gently by Andy Kim
  14. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  15. Hot Child In The City by Nick Gilder
  16. You Needed Me by Anne Murray
  17. Heaven by Bryan Adams
  18. When I'm With You by Sheriff
  19. Black Velvet by Alannah Myles
  20. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You by Bryan Adams
  21. Informer by Snow
  22. All for Love by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
  23. The Power of Love by Céline Dion
  24. Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? by Bryan Adams
  25. Because You Loved Me by Céline Dion
  26. My Heart Will Go On by Céline Dion
  27. One Week by Barenaked Ladies
  28. I'm Your Angel by R. Kelly and Céline Dion
  29. How You Remind Me by Nickelback
  30. Bad Day by Daniel Powter
  31. Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
  32. Say It Right by Nelly Furtado
  33. Give It to Me by Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake
  34. Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
  35. What's My Name? by Rihanna featuring Drake
  36. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
  37. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell
  38. Rude by MAGIC!
  39. Can't Feel My Face by The Weeknd

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Teddy Bear Picnic

When I was a toddler, one of my go-to albums was There's a Hippo in My Tub by Anne Murray. My favourite cuts were "Animal Crackers" and "Teddy Bears' Picnic". For the longest time I thought that last one was an Anne Murray original.

I was way wrong. The music behind "Teddy Bears' Picnic" was written by John Walter Bratton in 1907 and the lyrics were added by Jimmy Kennedy in 1932.

Here's the first recording with lyrics, in 1932 by Henry Hall and His Orchestra with Val Rosing on vocals.

It's been recorded dozens and dozens of times. Here's Bing Crosby singing it in 1950.

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The Best New Cancon Single You've Never Heard

The last time I enjoyed a French-language song was when MuchMusic played the mess out of Mitsou's Bye Bye Mon Cowboy. That probably had more to do with Mitsou and less to do with Bye Bye Mon Cowboy.

I'm sure there are some great French songs I'm missing out on, but I really like understanding the lyrics in a song and that means focussing my ears on English tunes. This explains why I didn't know Lisa LeBlanc, the Acadian singer-songwriter who released her debut album a couple of years ago.

But then I sampled an English song from Lisa LeBlanc I was linked to on YouTube. This track, "You Look Like Trouble (But I Guess I Do Too)", blew me away. It's nothing you'll hear on the radio, but I think it's crazy good. Crank up your speakers and give this a listen:

She calls that "trash rock". More, please.

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Best Songs for the Days of the Week

There are many great songs about Sunday. Think about it. In fact, there are many great songs entitled "Sunday Morning".

Vocativ studied 57 years of Billboard charts to see which days of the week get the most love from songwriters. As you'd likely guess, Sunday, Saturday, Monday and Friday are the big winners. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday get very little love.

Here are my favourite songs for each day of the week. We'll start with Sunday and work our way to Saturday.

Sunday

Sunday Morning - Velvet Underground

Monday

I Don’t Like Mondays - The Boomtown Rats

Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones

Wednesday

Waiting for Wednesday - Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories

Thursday

Thursday's Child - David Bowie

Friday

Friday I’m in Love - The Cure

Saturday

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting - Elton John

With apologies to No Doubt, U2, The Mamas & the Papas and New Order.

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Baby, It's Cold Outside

Baby, It's Cold OutsideMy buddy Erin Davis wrote an interesting blog entry about Baby, It's Cold Outside, a song you'll hear often at this time of year. Baby, It's Cold Outside isn't a Christmas song, but a "cold weather" song, and since it's so good, it gets lumped in with holiday favourites like White Christmas and Silver Bells.

Erin commented on the pushback that Baby, It's Cold Outside is a little "date-rapey". After all, the songstress says "I simply must go, the answer is no" yet her pursuer persists with the charm and continues to pour the alcohol. Today, it's less "no means no" and more "only an explicit sober yes means yes".

The tune is fantastic and, as these seasonal songs go, this is one of the best. Everyone has a favourite version (mine is Ray Charles and Betty Carter from 1961).

When it comes to music, it's best we don't over-analyze the lyrics. I'm not offended by the lyrics of Baby, It's Cold Outside any more than I'm offended by the use of the slur "faggot" in my favourite Christmas song of all-time. If we were to only listen to music with 100% safe and politically correct lyrics, we'd be left with a whole lot of Kenny G.

Oh, but baby it’s cold outside.

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Everyone Loves Red

Everyone Loves RedI just heard Treble Charger's Brand New Low on the radio. As I was singing along I thought, "I dig this tune, but it's no Red".

With Treble Charger on the mind, I quickly thought of American Psycho, Friend of Mine and Even Grable, all great tracks (especially the fantastic Even Grable), but none as good as Red.

Everyone loves Red.


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USS at the RHCPA: James's First Concert

USS at the RHCPA: James's First ConcertMy daughter's first concert was Selina Gomez, but my oldest son chose a different sound. Last night, we enjoyed Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

They were amazing, as always. Damn I dig their sound. It's rock, it's hip hop, it's EDM, it's folk, it's awesome.

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The best part was experiencing it all with my boy. I can't wait to do it again.

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Bryan Adams and Ryan Adams Have the Same Birthday

Bryan Adams and Ryan Adams Have the Same BirthdayBryan Adams celebrated his birthday earlier this week.

On that same day, Ryan Adams celebrated his birthday.

Isn't that mind blowing?

adams

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