Check out this list of artists that never had a No. 1 hit

This comes from

What do Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, The Who and James Brown have in common? Well besides being music legends, none of them ever topped the Billboard Top 40,  which factors in both sales and airplay and is viewed as the official ranking system in the US (as opposed to the genre charts). But still, it’s pretty insane that these musical monsters haven’t scaled this mountain and tasted Billboard glory.

Below are the first ten on the list. For the complete list, click here.

Artist: Bob Marley Close Call: “Roots, Rock, Reggae” hit #51 in 1976, “Exodus” hit #19 on the Billboard R&B charts in 1977

Artist: Bruce Springsteen Close Call: “Dancing In The Dark” hit #2 on May 26th 1984

Artist: Bob Dylan Close Call: “Like A Rolling Stone” hit #2 on August 14th 1965, “Rainy Day Women #12 & #35” hit #2 on April 23rd 1966

Artist: James Brown Close Call: “I Got You (I Feel Good)” hit #3 on November 20th 1965

Artist: KISS Close Call: “Beth” hit #7 on September 25th 1976

Artist: Beastie Boys Close Call: “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Fight (To Party!)” hit #7 on January 24th 1987

Artist: Led Zeppelin Close Call: “Whole Lotta Love” hit #4 on December 6th 1969

Artist: Green Day Close Call: “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” hit #2 on December 25 2005

Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers Close Call: “Under The Bridge” hit #2 on April 18th 1992

Artist: R.E.M.Close Call: “Losing My Religion” hit #4 on April 20th 1991


Captain Mumbles to play Toronto July 15th

americanarama_web_1On July 15th, the Americanarama Festival of Music featuring Captain Mumbles Bob Dylan, My Morning Jacket, Wilco “and more!” will make its only Canadian stop at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre.  The “and more!” portion will include additional artists such as the Richard Thompson Electric Trio and Ryan Bingham.

The tour kicks off June 26th in West Palm Beach. Tickets for the Toronto show go on sale Friday May 3rd @ 10:00 am. According to Dylan’s website there will be a  presale starting April 27th. Prices for the Toronto show haven’t been announced but expect them to top out at around $100 based on the prices for dates already listed on Ticketmaster.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Dylan’s, from his classic 1960’s output straight through to last year’s Tempest. That’s not to say I’ve enjoyed everything he’s done, but enough so that some of his albums (Highway 61 Revisited, Infidels) rank among my favourites in any genre. With that said, however, I have never had the desire to see the man in concert. I’ve seen enough clips and read enough reviews that to know that buying a ticket to see Dylan is akin to a trip to a doctor’s office. You may walk out some good news, but you probably won’t enjoy the experience while you’re there. You’ve been warned.

One of my all-time favourite cuts:

My Sunday morning Oscars playlist

oscar-nominationsHere are some of my favourites that have been nominated for Best Original Song (you’ll notice I wasn’t a big fan of the ’80s). Click on the song name for the movie trailer; click on the artist for the song:

1. Town Without PityGene Pitney (1961, Town Without Pity)

2. My Kind of TownFrank Sinatra (1964, Robin and The Seven Hoods)

3. The Bare NecessitiesPhil Harris (1967, Jungle Book)

4. Theme from ‘Shaft’Isaac Hayes (1971, Shaft)

5. Live and Let DiePaul McCartney (1973, Live and Let Die)

6. Gonna Fly NowBill Conti (1976, Rocky)

7. Streets of PhiladelphiaBruce Springsteen (1993, Philadelphia)

8. You’ve Got A Friend In MeRandy Newman (1995, Toy Story)

9. That Thing You Do!Adam Schlesinger (1996, That Thing You Do!)

10. When She Loved MeSarah McLachlan (1999, Toy Story 2)

11. Things Have ChangedBob Dylan (2000, Wonder Boys)

12. Lose YourselfEminen (2002, 8 Mile)

13. Falling Slowly— Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (2007, Once)

14. The Weary KindRyan Bingham (2009, Crazy Heart)

15. SkyfallAdele (2013, Skyfall)

Song of the Day: The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar

(A random selection from the SideTwo collection. A classic? A little known gem? Hey, it might be both of them! Enjoy.)

Been quite awhile since I posted one of these so I thought I’d get back to it. Most casual Bob Dylan fans are more familiar with his 1960’s work that made him a household name rather than his output that was released in the decades since. Personally, I think he has produced some of the most interesting music of his career over the course of just his last few albums.

But today I go back to 1981 and the album Shot of Love. For the most part, this was a largely forgettable album, coming at the end of his religious period. For me, the song that stood out wasn’t even included on the original album’s release; it was only as a B-side to the single “Heart of Mine”. The song was eventually included when Shot of Love was released on CD in the mid-80’s, and on compilations such as Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume 3, which I highly recommend.

The song is “The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar”, a full-band sonic blast that is one of the hardest-rocking tracks I think he has ever released, and I love it. I don’t really echo such a sentiment as “Turn It Up” when talking about Dylan, but for this one, it definitely applies.

Sidetwo’s Decade Ending List, Part 5: THE TOP 10

Here it is, the final ten from my list of 50 songs from some of my favourite discs of the decade. Enjoy.

10. Things Have Changed–Bob Dylan (Wonder Boys OST)

An ok movie but a great soundtrack, with four Dylan cuts including this brand new one to lead off his fifth decade in the biz. Even today, Dylan shows no signs of slowing down and this song is one of my favourites of his from any decade.

9. Best Of You–Foo Fighters (In Your Honor)

A double-disc affair: Disc one rocks hard like nobody’s business and disc two takes a more mellow, and acoustic, tone. But it works. And there’s not a single dud among the twenty tracks. Best of You is Dave Grohl at his screaming…best.

8. Beautiful Day–U2 (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)

A slightly better album than ….Atomic Bomb, and both are immensely better than the one that followed, No Line On The Horizon. Love how the chorus just explodes on this one.

7. Please Read The Letter–Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Raising Sand)

Robert Plant’s going to do a country/folk album with Alison Krauss? Yeah, right. Well, colour me converted. The combination is brilliant. And the Grammy people finally got one right. (BTW, the album version is actually two minutes longer than the video below. That’s two more minutes of brilliance.)

6. Comin’ Home–City and Colour (Sometimes)

About as far-removed from Dallas Green’s other day job, Alexisonfire, as you can get. This song is just beautiful. And I love the lyric about Nova Scotia.

5. The Wrestler–Bruce Springsteen (Working On A Dream)

Springsteen won a Golden Globe for this one last year, but was snubbed by Oscar. However, because of the timing of nomination eligibility, it’s now up for a Grammy for “Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media”. If you’ve seen The Wrestler, you know that this song has to win. One of the best songs ever written specifically for a movie. Hopefully the Grammy people will correct Oscar’s mistake.

4. Amerika V. 6.0 (The Best We Can Do)–Steve Earle (Jerusalem)

Right from that powerhouse drum-intro, you know you’re in for some good ol’ seething rock and roll from a guy who’s not afraid to speak his mind. The lyrics in this one speak volumes. “Fourscore and 150 years ago, our forefathers made us equal as long as we can pay.” Great stuff.

3. Sequestered In Memphis–The Hold Steady (Stay Positive)

Ok, I admit it, I had never heard of these guys until I caught a review of their album Stay Positive on CBS’ Sunday Morning, of all places. But let me ask you this: you know how sometimes a song takes a few listens for it grow on you, and then other times it just hits you in the gut the first time you hear it and doesn’t let go? That’s what happened to me with Sequestered. Loved it the first time, loved it a dozen times later, and still love it. A knockout tune.

2. Clocks–Coldplay (A Rush Of Blood To The Head)

I wasn’t that keen on Coldplay when their first album, Parachutes, was released. I mean, the single “Yellow” was just ok in my book. In ’02, when their follow-up was released, the first song I heard was “In My Place”, and I liked it better than “Yellow”, but still just kinda ok. Then I heard “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face”, and I liked that one even more so I bought the album. And then I heard…”Clocks”. Right from the opening note…that was it, I was hooked. Bought the next couple of albums but I think this is still their best track.


1. The Rising–Bruce Springsteen (The Rising)

As I understand it, the story goes something like this: not too long after 9/11 when the wounds were still fresh, Springsteen, who hadn’t released a studio album in seven years, was driving his car in New Jersey when a passerby saw him and yelled out something to the effect of “We need you!”. That was Springsteen’s call to arms, and with 9/11 as a backdrop, he got the band back together and went into the studio and came out with an album in the summer of ’02 that both made you want to cry, and made you want to get up and shout your ass off. That’s what “The Rising” is. A rousing fist-pumper that let everyone know that while America was still hurting, all was not lost. My pick for song of the decade.

I’ll take Potpourri for $200, Alex


Bunch of stuff on the agenda today.

First off, a big Happy #60 to The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. As what has essentially been a two-year tour winds down, Bruce and the E Street Band continue to play with more energy, power and passion then bands half their age. Guitartist Steve Van Zandt has stated that the band as a performing entity intends to take a hiatus after the tour ends November 22 in Buffalo, but that does not mean all will go quiet for Springsteen. He has already stated that he’s working on some solo projects so it is very likely there will be new music and possibly solo tours in the future. I saw him on the Devils & Dust solo tour in 2005 and while the Air Canada Centre was a little less than an intimate venue for such a show, it was still very powerful. Would love to see him in a theatre setting. As for turning 60, hell that’s just a number in my book. I think the best may yet still come from him. Look at the output of artists like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. Some of the best work of their entire careers has come out in the last few years.

On to item #2: Today the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum announced the nominees for the class of 2010. And the nominees are: ABBA, Darlene Love, Donna Summer, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff, KISS, Laura Nyro, LL Cool J, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Chantels, The Hollies and The Stooges. Only five of the nominees will actually be inducted in ceremony to be held in March 2010 in New York City. In order to even be considered as a nominee, the performer had to have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination.

Ever year I look at these nominations with a very skeptical eye. I mean, I can appreciate the influence of performers like KISS, Jimmy Cliff and The Stooges. But Abba? LL Cool J? Popular, sure. But are they deserving of a nomination?

And finally item # 3: I’ll warn you ahead of time, this made my stomach churn when I read about it. Actress Mackenzie Phillips (“One Day at a Time“) has stated in a new book entitled High on Arrival that she slept with her father, “Papa” John Phillips just prior to her wedding thirty years ago (She was 20 at the time; he was 44). Phillips, who died in 2001, was a member of the Mamas and the Papas, the hugely successful 60s pop group whose hits included “California Dreamin’,” “Monday, Monday,” and my personal favourite, “Creeque Alley“. While it’s no secret that both father and daughter were serious drug addicts, John Phillips isn’t around anymore. What’s the point of Mackenzie coming out with this stuff now? Do you care? While I try not to go through life with blinders on, I would rather just remember John Phillips for the music.

And that’s all I got for today. 🙂

(One Hit Wonder Wednesday will return next week. Unless there’s something else to write about).

The 4 O’Clock Shuffle Report

ipodHere just for fun are the 10 songs I had listened to on my iPod at around 4:00 p.m. today (in shuffle mode, of course). A couple from Ms. Lennox, a couple from the Fab Four, and a little bit of Cancon for good measure.

1. Pavement Cracks–Annie Lennox (Bare)
2. Highway 61 Revisited–Bob Dylan (Highway 61 Revisited)
3. Don’t Let Me Down–The Beatles (Past Masters Volume 2)
4. Consequence Free–Great Big Sea (Turn)
5. Through The Glass Darkly–Annie Lennox (Songs of Mass Detruction)
6. Native Son–John Hiatt (Walk On)
7. Got To Get You Into My Life–The Beatles (Revolver)
8. Ballad of Big–Genesis (And Then There Were Three)
9. New Kid (On The Block)–Barenaked Ladies (Gordon)
10. Jolé Blon–Gary U.S. Bonds (Dedication)