Answers to readers' questions about Keith's favorite 2006 singles, "Fever" and artists' "legendary" status.
"Listen" from the motion picture "Dreamgirls" is, in my opinion, the finest vocal yet from Beyonce Knowles.
To my knowledge, a video for this song has been in rotation since November and yet I'm unclear as to whether it has officially been released as the fourth single from the "B'Day" album. Considering the massive popularity of the set's third single "Irreplaceable," I figured it would be some time before radio programmers started choosing to play "Listen," but I have yet to see it show up on the Billboard charts. Do you know if the song is gaining in airplay?
What I find even stranger is that the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart shows that another of the album's songs, "Upgrade U," is currently in the top 20. Does that mean "Upgrade U" is the fourth single to be released from "B'Day?"
It seems to me that "Listen" is a shoo-in to win both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for best original song, and I would think that promoting it at radio would be a logical step in the process. Can you shed any light on this?
By the way, kudos to you for citing Pink's "I'm Not Dead" in your year-end top 10 list. I haven't a clue as to why radio has practically ignored her last two albums, and I really hope her label allows her to continue recording pop music that actually has a message. In any case, now that you've shared your Top 10 Albums, is there any chance that you'd be willing to share your top 10 Singles of 2006 like Fred Bronson does?
I think it's a fair estimate to think that "Listen" will likely get an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. Other new tunes from the film might get nods, too.
It's hard these days to say what is a single and what isn't. Now, with digital sales driving many songs onto the charts (see "High School Musical" for example), we may have to rethink what a "single" is. Unless I'm mistaken, there have been three proper single releases from "B'Day" that have been promoted to radio stations and video networks: "Deja Vu," "Ring The Alarm" and "Irreplaceable."
"Upgrade U" became popular with R&B and hip-hop stations and that airplay powered it onto the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
You sent in your question likely before "Listen" reached the charts, as this week, it's on both The Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs lists. On the Hot 100, it debuts at No. 95 (Jan. 6 chart) and on the R&B list, it moves 69-63 in its second week.
Switching gears to Pink: while it's unfortunate that Americans aren't really in tune with Pink's music, it's great that she's experiencing some current success with her latest single "U + Ur Hand." And, she'll be opening for Justin Timberlake's on his tour as well, so that may get people more interested in her music.
As a refresher, here is the top 10 albums of 2006 list that I prepared for inclusion in our year-end roundup at Billboard.com.
1. Gnarls Barkley, "St. Elsewhere" (Downtown/Atlantic).
2. My Chemical Romance, "The Black Parade" (Reprise).
3. Pink, "I'm Not Dead" (LaFace/Zomba).
4. Nelly Furtado, "Loose" (Mosley/Geffen/Interscope).
5. Scissor Sisters, "Ta-Dah" (Universal Motown).
6. Pet Shop Boys, "Fundamental" (Rhino).
7. Dixie Chicks, "Taking the Long Way" (Open Wide/Columbia).
8. Corinne Bailey Rae, "Corinne Bailey Rae" (Capitol).
9. Justin Timberlake, "FutureSex/LoveSounds" (Jive).
10. Girls Aloud, "Chemistry" (Polydor). (A December 2005 U.K. release that came out too late for last year's list.)
Here, in alphabetical order, is a gaggle of singles from 2006 that I
particularly enjoyed in 2006. (I'm probably missing a few that I just can't remember right now.)
AFI, "Miss Murder"
The All-American Rejects, "Move Along"
Chicane Featuring Tom Jones, "Stoned In Love"
Christina Aguilera, "Ain't No Other Man"
Corinne Bailey Rae, "Put Your Records On"
Deep Dish featuring Stevie Nicks, "Dreams"
Fall Out Boy, "Dance, "Dance"
Girls Aloud, "Something Kinda Ooooh" (America doesn't know what it's
Nelly Furtado, "Maneater"
Gnarls Barkley, "Crazy,"
Goldfrapp, "Ooh La La"
Hi_Tack, "Say Say Say (Waiting 4 U)"
Paris Hilton, "I Want You" (Bring it on. I'm ready to defend her album.)
Infernal, "From Paris To Berlin"
Elton John, "Just Like Noah's Ark"
Justin Timberlake, "SexyBack"
Kelly Clarkson, "Walk Away"
Lindsay Lohan, "Who Loves You" (Another easy target, but the song is fun.)
Meck Featuring Leo Sayer, "Thunder In My Heart Again"
My Chemical Romance, "Welcome To The Black Parade"
Mylo Vs. The Miami Sound Machine, "Doctor Pressure"
Joey Negro, "Make A Move On Me"
Oakenfold Featuring Brittany Murphy, "Faster Kill Pussycat"
Pet Shop Boys, "I'm With Stupid"
Pink, "U + Ur Hand"
Prince, "Black Sweat"
The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg, "Buttons"
Bob Sinclair, "World, Hold On (Children Of The Sky)"
Sugababes, "Easy" (See Girls Aloud, above)
HOT FOR 'FEVER'
I have a question concerning the song "Fever." Although Peggy Lee seems to get the most credit for the song, I remember a popular couple back in the late '50s and early '60s that also sang the song. She was a tall slender woman and he was of average build. In my opinion they had a knockout version of "Fever." I'm driving myself crazy trying to remember their names. I've done a Google search in almost every way I can think of and have had no luck. Can you please help me? What were their names?
John R. Rosenburg
I think you may be talking about a version of "Fever" by Louis Prima and Keely Smith.
The couple, who divorced in the '60s, sang the song in their 1959 film "Hey Boy! Hey Girl!" The soundtrack, originally released on Capital Records, has been out of print for years. I've tried searching everywhere to see if their version of "Fever" is currently available on any album, and it looks like there are a few imports that might include the tune. Good luck, and hopefully this is the couple you were talking about!
LEGEND, STAR, DIVA... MARIAH
I have been a Mariah Carey fan since 1998 when she released the song "My All" from the "Butterfly" album. [I want to] know what you think about Carey's status in music industry. Do you think one day she could become a legend? Or do you think she might be just a lucky star in that she has had a lot of success on charts [and sold a lot of albums]?
Thanks in advance for your time!
Oh boy, another diva question? It does seem like certain acts, no matter how many albums they sell, or No. 1 singles they have, just aren't considered "legendary." Truly, just because you sell a lot, that doesn't mean you are a legend.
Take for example, acts like Bon Jovi, Journey, Celine Dion or Whitney Houston. All have had many hit singles, sold millions of albums, and yet, most would debate whether all of them have reached "legendary" status. (I'm waiting for frustrated Houston fans to write in, angered that I would even suggest she isn't a legend.) With some artists, say, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson... it's a no brainer. They are legends. Period.
I think the "legend" perception may have to do with the artist's cultural significance. While Carey will likely end up rewriting history books as the artist with the most No. 1 Hot 100 singles (she get closer to breaking the Beatles' record every year), has she made the same sort of cultural impact as the Beatles? I think even Carey herself might concede that she's not in the same ballpark as the fab four.
And Carey fans, don't send me hate mail. "The Emancipation of Mimi" was my No. 9 favorite album of 2005.