By Slate Magazine
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What makes a song a smash? Talent? Luck? Timing? All that—and more. Chris Molanphy, pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts and shaped your memories forever.
||Hit Parade: The Def Jams Edition||Today, rap is ubiquitous on pop radio. But the genre’s first crossover hit required a little help from some out-of-favor rock stars. This month, how Run-DMC met Aerosmith, and provided career boosts to them, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys.||2/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Hit Parade: The B-Sides Edition||Live from the Bell House, in Brooklyn New York, it’s a very special Hit Parade about B-sides that improbably became classics, or even No. 1 hits. Plus special guest Ted Leo!||1/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Hit Parade: The Silver Medalists Edition||On the Billboard Hot 100, two is often the loneliest number. This month, Chris Molanphy profiles No. 2 songs that went on to become historic, from Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Go-Go’s and Kelly Clarkson.||12/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Hit Parade: The Queen of Disco Edition||Donna Summer set chart benchmarks and managed to stay relevant on the radio and in clubs for more than three decades. Why didn’t she get more respect from the rock establishment?||11/24/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Hit Parade: Le Petty Prince Edition||Tom Petty and Prince only played together once. But their careers paralleled each other for four decades.||10/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Hit Parade: The Great War Against the Single Edition||The story of how the recording industry made you shell out $18 for one good song in the ’90s.||9/29/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Hit Parade: The Charity Megasingle Edition||In the mid-1980s, big, loud, multicelebrity pop songs were briefly all over the charts and the radio. How’d that happen?||7/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Hit Parade: The Imperial Elton and George Edition||George Michael and Elton John were friends, collaborators, and for one week, chart rivals||6/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Hit Parade: The Fab Four Sweep Edition||How a major label screw up helped The Beatles sweep the Billboard Top Five.||5/26/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Hit Parade: Red, Red Wine Edition||How a rogue DJ took a flop to #1||4/27/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
Always Worth A Listen
Waiting for a New Hit Parade is like when you used to wait for a new album to drop when you were a teenager. The anticipation can only be relieved when a new episode appears and you're filled with the joy of listening to it. Great and detailed stories of the music business. A must listen!
Detailed, gripping explainer of how/why music becomes ubiquitous. So fun!
Finally has it's own feed!
I'm very pleased to be able to get this separately from the gabfest. Too long in coming!