Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia

By Slate Magazine

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Description

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.

Episode Date
Music Trivia: The Christmas Music Edition
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Think you know music? Quiz yourself with the latest episode of Hit Parade: The Bridge. <br><br>This month, Host Chris Molanphy is joined by Jessica Goldstein, the culture editor at ThinkProgress and a journalist whose work has appeared in <em>Vulture</em> and <em>The Washington Post</em>, among other places. Her October<a href="https://ew.com/music/2018/10/23/baby-one-more-time-britney-spears-oral-history/"> article</a> in <em>Entertainment Weekly</em>, “Britney Spears wanted to be a star: An oral history of '...Baby One More Time,'” was an inspiration for the <a href="https://slate.com/culture/2018/11/how-a-teenaged-britney-spears-made-a-generational-hit.html">November episode</a> of Hit Parade. <br> Chris is also joined by one listener contestant to play some music trivia, which is all about holiday music.<br><br>If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership <a href="https://my.slate.com/plus/?utm_medium=audio&amp;utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=Hit_Parade&amp;utm_source=podcast">here</a>, and enter as a contestant <a href="http://slate.com/hitparadesignup">here</a>. You can also enter to play if you’re already a Slate Plus member. <br><br>Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email a voice memo to <a href="mailto:hitparade@slate.com">hitparade@slate.com</a>. &nbsp;<br><br>Podcast production by T. J. Raphael. Additional support for this episode comes from Danielle Hewitt and Merritt Jacob.&nbsp;<br><br>This episode is brought to you by The Rewind with Guy Raz. Listen today, only on Spotify. This episode is also brought to you by StoryWorth. Help your memories live on with Storyworth.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 14, 2018
The Give Me a Sign Edition
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From a very young age, Britney Spears seemed destined for stardom. The kid from Louisiana had landed a role on the revived <em>Mickey Mouse Club</em> and styled herself as a belter of power ballads. But to score <a href="https://ew.com/music/2018/10/23/baby-one-more-time-britney-spears-oral-history/">her first No. 1 hit</a>, Spears would team up with an introverted Swedish songwriter named Max Martin. He was trying to write American R&amp;B and instead, through Britney and her high-school dance formations, created a new template for über–American teen-pop. This month, we go inside the Stockholm music factory—and its decades-long history, from ABBA to Ace of Base—that gave rise to a new generation of millennial pop, from the Backstreet Boys and *N Sync to Robyn and Taylor Swift. <br>Email: hitparade@slate.com <br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: <br><br>Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com.<br><br>I Travel For, a new podcast that explores what inspires us to travel. Listen and subscribe today at <a href="https://apple.co/2DPEWJE">https://apple.co/2DPEWJE</a>.<br><br>American Express. Don’t do business without it.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 30, 2018
Music Trivia: ’90s Teen-Pop Edition
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Think you know music? Quiz yourself with the latest episode of Hit Parade: The Bridge. <br><br>This month, on the heels of the 2018 midterm elections, Host Chris Molanphy is joined by T. J. Raphael, senior producer for the Slate Podcast Network, to talk about musicians who make political endorsements. Chris is joined by one listener contestant to play some music trivia, which is all about '90s teen pop. <br><br>If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership <a href="https://my.slate.com/plus/?utm_medium=audio&amp;utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=Hit_Parade&amp;utm_source=podcast">here</a>, and enter as a contestant <a href="http://slate.com/hitparadesignup">here</a>. You can also enter to play if you’re already a Slate Plus member. <br><br>Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email a voice memo to <a href="mailto:hitparade@slate.com">hitparade@slate.com</a>. &nbsp;<br><br>Podcast production by T. J. Raphael. This episode is brought to you by The Rewind with Guy Raz. Listen today, only on Spotify.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 16, 2018
The Oh. My. God. Becky Edition
5030
In Hit Parade’s “Def Jams Edition,” we told you about rap’s first wave in the ’80s. But in this sequel (<a href="https://genius.com/Public-enemy-dont-believe-the-hype-lyrics">don’t believe the hype!</a>) we enter the ’90s with still no No. 1 rap hits on the Hot 100—even though the music was starting to dominate both streets and stores: from conscious rappers like Public Enemy, to gangstas like N.W.A, to left-field innovators like De La Soul. It would take Billboard rebooting its charts in 1991 tallying<br>record sales more accurately than ever with SoundScan data—for rap to get a fair shake on the charts. That boosted a new wave of crossover acts, from P.M. Dawn to Arrested Development to Sir Mix-a-Lot. But rap’s elders were not entirely thrilled at these new chart-toppers…and some rappers literally bum-rushed the show.<br><br>This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: <br><br>Slack, a workplace communication hub. Find out more at <a href="http://slack.com/">slack.com</a>.<br><br>I Travel For, a new podcast that explores what inspires us to travel. Listen and subscribe today at <a href="https://apple.co/2DPEWJE">https://apple.co/2DPEWJE</a>.<br><br><a href="https://www.americanexpress.com/">American Express</a>. Don’t do business without it.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 26, 2018
Music Trivia: The '90s Hip-Hop Edition
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Think you know music? Hit Parade is back with a new episode of The Bridge. This month, Chris Molanphy is joined by Slate's Mike Pesca. Together, they reflect on the<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/hit_parade/2018/09/how_the_bee_gees_influenced_pop_rock_easy_listening_country_even_hip_hop.html"> last full-length Hit Parade episode,</a> which was about The BeeGees, and look ahead to next month, which is all about ‘90s hip-hop. <br>If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership <a href="https://my.slate.com/plus/?utm_medium=audio&amp;utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=Hit_Parade&amp;utm_source=podcast">here</a>, and enter as a contestant <a href="http://slate.com/hitparadesignup">here</a>. You can also enter to play if you’re already a Slate Plus member. <br><br>Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email a voice memo to <a href="mailto:hitparade@slate.com">hitparade@slate.com</a>. &nbsp;<br><br>Podcast production by Danielle Hewitt&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 12, 2018
The Nights on Broadway Edition
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Those falsettos, those white suits, those toothy smiles: You think you know the Bee Gees. But their story goes back much further than the ’70s, and it’s full of twists. From their roots as an eclectic harmony band in Australia and their first wave of Beatlesque fame, through their domination of the disco revolution and their years as an punchline, the Bee Gees stayed alive because of the Gibb brothers’ harmonies and especially their impeccable songs. This month, Hit Parade traces the influence of the brothers Gibb on virtually every popular genre, from pop to R&amp;B, rock to easy-listening, country to…yes, even hip-hop.&nbsp;<br><br>Email: hitparade@slate.com &nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 28, 2018
Music Trivia: The Aretha Franklin Edition
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Think you know music? Hit Parade is back with a new episode of The Bridge. This month, we honor Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, who died on August 16th. <br><br><br>If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership <a href="https://my.slate.com/plus/?utm_medium=audio&amp;utm_campaign=plus_pod&amp;utm_content=Hit_Parade&amp;utm_source=podcast">here</a>, and enter as a contestant <a href="http://slate.me/hitparade">here</a>. You can also enter to play if you’re already a Slate Plus member. <br><br>Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email a voice memo to <a href="mailto:hitparade@slate.com">hitparade@slate.com</a>. &nbsp;<br><br>Podcast production by Danielle Hewitt&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 31, 2018
Madonna: The Veronica Electronica Edition (Encore)
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In 1998, Madonna was at a career crossroads. After dominating the ’80s with hits like “Like a Virgin” and “Open Your Heart,” she spent the first half of the ’90s wavering between roles as a provocateur (<em>Erotica</em>, <em>Sex</em>) and adult-contemporary balladeer (“I’ll Remember,” “Take a Bow”). That’s when she took a sharp left turn, working with producers and deejays in the burgeoning electronica scene. If it even was a scene: The very term “electronica” was a music-business confection, and by 1997 it was more hype than hit. But the result of Madonna’s experiment—her acclaimed ’98 album <em>Ray of Light</em>—was not only one of her biggest smashes ever. It also helped turn electronic music into viable pop. Email: hitparade@slate.com &nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 16, 2018
The Feat. Don’t Fail Me Now Edition
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Guest performers have existed since, literally, the beginning of the pop charts—the first Billboard No. 1 hit had a featured vocal by Frank Sinatra. Throughout the rock era, some very starry guests have helped out with hits by everyone from the Beatles to Carly Simon to Chaka Khan. But for a long time, those guests received no credit at all. Today, their names are all over the pop charts. On this episode, we trace the evolution of the guest performer, from Mick Jagger to Bobby Brown to Cardi B.&nbsp;<br>Email: hitparade@slate.com &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 27, 2018
The Deadbeat Club Edition, Part Two
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In the second part of our two-part episode about the B-52’s and R.E.M.—the bands that put Athens, Georgia on the map, and helped define new-wave rock in the early ’80s—we trace how they transformed themselves from hipsters to hitmakers. One band waited years to graduate from an indie label to the majors. The other almost quit after an AIDS-related tragedy, before their pop breakthrough. By the end of the ’80s, their hits—from “Orange Crush” to “Stand,” “Channel Z” to “Love Shack”—brought them squarely into the mainstream, just as “alternative rock” was coming to define a new sound for the ’90s.&nbsp;<br>Email: hitparade@slate.com&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 13, 2018
The Deadbeat Club Edition, Part One
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The B-52’s and R.E.M. don’t sound all that much like each other. One group were avatars of kitsch, fusing punk, girl-group and garage rock—even Yoko Ono—into a retro-nuevo style all their own. The other group were mysterious, elliptical, often indecipherable, but they reinvented jangly guitar and classic-rock influences to make a new kind of New Wave. Together, this pair of distinctive bands helped make Athens, Georgia the epicenter of alternative cool in the ’80s and ’90s. In part one of this two-part episode of Hit Parade, we present the story of how the B-52’s and R.E.M. created a scene out of a college town—and became the most prominent queer-friendly, gender-fluid bands of their era.&nbsp;<br>Email: hitparade@slate.com&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 29, 2018
Music Trivia: The MTV and Alt-Rock Edition
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The Bridge is back, and this time it's tackling some music trivia about the heyday of MTV, and some alt-rock favorites. Play along at home and quiz yourself by listening to The Bridge. If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership, and then enter as a contestant <a href="http://slate.me/hitparade">here</a>. You can also enter if you’re already a Slate Plus member. Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email hitparade@slate.com.&nbsp; Podcast production by T. J. Raphael<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 15, 2018
The Twerking and Chatrouletting Edition
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Even before the launch of MTV, the music video has been making pop songs buzzworthy. And since the early ’80s, it has transformed also-rans into hitmakers—from the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwuy4hHO3YQ">Buggles</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3W6yf6c-FA">Duran Duran</a> to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJWJE0x7T4Q">Peter Gabriel</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914">a‑ha</a>. But until the early 2010s, watching a video didn’t count on the <em>Billboard</em> charts. That all changed thanks to YouTube—and the biggest immediate beneficiary from the addition of video to the charts was a rising pop star, incubated on the Disney Channel, but looking to change her image. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My2FRPA3Gf8">Miley Cyrus</a> was born into hitmaking, line-dancing, multimedia royalty, and she used video titillation—and even the social site <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/culturegabfest/2010/02/the_culture_gabfest_meet_the_crotchman_edition.html">Chatroulette</a>—to top the charts. But what did all that provocation mean for…y’know, the <em>music</em>? And how is video still making hits—including <a href="https://slate.com/culture/2018/05/why-childish-gambinos-this-is-america-reached-no-1-on-billboards-hot-100.html">the song that’s No. 1</a> <em>this very week</em> in 2018?&nbsp; Chris Molanphy explains it all.&nbsp;<br><br>hitparade@slate.com<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 25, 2018
Music Trivia: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Edition
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Think you know music? Hit Parade, the pop-chart history podcast from Slate, is back with a new episode of The Bridge. In this monthly mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy answers some listener mail and invites one contestant onto the show to play some music trivia. Players also have the opportunity to turn the tables on him: They get a chance to try to stump Molanphy, a music journalist for the past 25 years, with their own trivia question. <br><br>This month, The Bridge tackles the Rock &amp; Roll Hall of Fame, and some some music trivia from the ‘00s. <br><br>Play along at home and quiz yourself by listening to the The Bridge here. If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a<a href="http://www.slate.com/plus/home"> Slate Plus membership</a>, and then enter as a contestant <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfWTExrLqD8k7P5SwedWBPi0ZbZZTsZqwxcyOo7UPz-Re6dFQ/viewform">here</a>. You can also enter if you’re already a Slate Plus member. <br>Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email hitparade@slate.com.&nbsp; <br>Podcast production by <a href="https://twitter.com/TJRaphael">T. J. Raphael</a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 11, 2018
Hit Parade: The You Give Rock a Bad Name Edition
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Bon Jovi are many things: platinum-selling, chart-topping and now, Hall of Fame–inducted. That angers music critics, who have been slagging off this band of hard-rock prom kings since the 1980s. Among the haters is <em>Hit Parade</em> host Chris Molanphy, who has <a href="https://www.villagevoice.com/2012/06/04/first-worsts-remembering-when-bon-jovi-gave-hair-metal-a-bad-name/">loathed Bon Jovi since high school</a>. But even he can’t deny it: Bon Jovi are hugely influential. In the wake of their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Chris puts aside his animus to explain how the biggest band in hair metal have remained strangely relevant—thanks to their deathless hits, their album sales and, more recently, their influence on a certain hair-metal-loving Swedish pop producer.&nbsp;<br>Email: hitparade@slate.com &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 27, 2018
Music Trivia: Welcome to Hit Parade—The Bridge
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Think you know music? Hit Parade, the pop-chart history podcast from Slate, is rolling out a new feature. Every month, the show will test a listener contestant in a special mini episode called The Bridge.&nbsp; Host Chris Molanphy will invite one person onto the show to play some music trivia, and contestants have the opportunity to turn the tables on him: They’ll get a chance to try to stump Molanphy, a music journalist for the last 25 years, with their own trivia question.&nbsp; If you want to play along at home and quiz yourself, listen to the first episode of The Bridge here. If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership, and then enter as a contestant <a href="http://slate.me/hitparade">here</a>. You can also enter if you’re already a Slate Plus member.&nbsp; Email: hitparade@slate.com&nbsp; Podcast production by T. J. Raphael<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 20, 2018
Hit Parade: The Veronica Electronica Edition
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In 1998, Madonna was at a career crossroads. After dominating the ’80s with hits like “Like a Virgin” and “Open Your Heart,” she spent the first half of the ’90s wavering between roles as a provocateur (<em>Erotica</em>, <em>Sex</em>) and adult-contemporary balladeer (“I’ll Remember,” “Take a Bow”). That’s when she took a sharp left turn, working with producers and deejays in the burgeoning electronica scene. If it even was a scene: The very term “electronica” was a music-business confection, and by 1997 it was more hype than hit. But the result of Madonna’s experiment—her acclaimed ’98 album <em>Ray of Light</em>—was not only one of her biggest smashes ever. It also helped turn electronic music into viable pop. Email: hitparade@slate.com&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 29, 2018
Hit Parade: The Def Jams Edition
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Watching this year’s Grammy Awards, it’s clear hip-hop is the dominant genre in popular music. But back in the ’80s, it was an influential but still underground style looking fora place on the charts and&nbsp; some mainstream respect. That is, until Run-DMC met Aerosmith. This month, how some out-of-favor ’70s rockers teamed up with the top crew in rap to remake an old hit—in the process, opening lanes for a trio of punks-turned-MCs, and a witty hip-hop lothario. We’re still feeling the reverberations today.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 23, 2018
Hit Parade: The B-Sides Edition
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Sometimes record executives and even the musicians themselves get it totally, completely wrong: thinking that throwaway, wacky song was destined for a single’s B-side, only to find it’s actually the No. 1 hit—from the Beatles to Beyoncé. At our first-ever live Hit Parade—recorded at The Bell House in Brooklyn, New York— host and trivia-meister Chris Molanphy and special guest Ted Leo break down some of the most improbable chart-toppers of all time.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 26, 2018
Hit Parade: The Silver Medalists Edition
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On the <em>Billboard</em> Hot 100, two&nbsp; can be the loneliest number. While having a No. 1 song can define an artist’s career, there’s far less glory in finishing one spot shy&nbsp; of the top slot. Yet some No. 2 hits have gone on to become classics. This month, Chris Molanphy looks at three songs that still loom large in our culture: “Shop Around” by the Miracles; “We Got the Beat” by the Go-Gos; and “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 28, 2017
Hit Parade: The Queen of Disco Edition
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Donna Summer was a hitmaker for two decades and a dancefloor deity for more than three. Her collaborations with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte were formative in dance, electronic and rock music, influencing everyone from David Bowie and Blondie to Madonna and Moby. But the rock establishment was stinting in its appreciation—whether at Comiskey Park in 1979, or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the 2000s. This month, we examine how Summer became the Queen of Disco…and how she transcended that role altogether.&nbsp;<br><br>Email: hitparade@slate.com&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 24, 2017
Hit Parade: Le Petty Prince Edition
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In 2004, Prince joined Tom Petty onstage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony for what is now regarded as the institution’s greatest live performance. They were both first-ballot inductees—but their similarities go much deeper. On this month’s Hit Parade, we track the surprising parallels between two artists gone far too soon: from their fights with the music industry to their hits across genres and generations—and even the songs they gave to Stevie Nicks. Petty and Prince were category-defying, label-infuriating, and among the best pop songwriters of the late 20th century.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 30, 2017
Hit Parade: The Great War Against the Single Edition
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Ever since the ’60s, the recording industry emphasized the album over the single. By the ’80s, they were milking as many hits as possible from an album to convince you to buy it—from <em>Thriller</em> to <em>Hysteria</em>.&nbsp;<br>But in the ’90s, labels changed tactics and tried to kill retail singles—promoting hits to radio that you could only buy on full-length albums. Why? They wanted consumers to shell out for more profitable CDs. As a result, musicians ranging from MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, to Pearl Jam and Alanis Morissette, to Chumbawamba and Lou Bega became multiplatinum-selling artists. The industry’s ploy paid off, but it also created consumer resentment as people grew tired of paying nearly $20 to acquire one song.<br>Here’s the story of how the recording industry toyed with consumers and chart fans, and how the internet struck back.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 29, 2017
Hit Parade: The Charity Megasingle Edition
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In the mid-1980s, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and “We Are the World” gathered dozens of the biggest stars in music to put on a show for a good cause. The two songs spawned imitators, but today, the charity megasingle is a relic of pop music’s past, except around the holidays. This month, we examine how good intentions, pique, excess, and vanity led to the rise and fall of the do-gooder celebrity pop song.&nbsp;&nbsp;Email: <a href="mailto:hitparade@slate.com">hitparade@slate.com</a> &nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 28, 2017
Hit Parade: The Imperial Elton and George Edition
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When Elton John came out as bisexual in 1976, it was a really big deal. It was covered on the evening news. There were angry letters and a decline in sales. And for a generation of queer musicians, like George Michael, it was a lesson: Be careful what you reveal about your sex life to the public. On this episode, we look at the friendship, collaboration, and chart rivalry of the two British icons, who collided on the <em>Billboard</em> Hot 100 for one week in 1988—and later topped the chart together.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 30, 2017
Hit Parade: The Fab Four Sweep Edition
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In episode two, Chris Molanphy takes a look at the historic week the Beatles swept the entire <em>Billboard</em> Top Five. You can see <a href="http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/6039421/50-years-ago-today-the-beatles-boast-nos-1-5-on-billboard-hot">that chart right here</a>. It’s a feat that’s never been repeated. But the Fab Four’s total domination of the pop charts was both a reflection of their massive popularity and a huge screwup by their American record label. Here’s the story of how Capitol Records nearly sabotaged the biggest rock band of all time.&nbsp; Join <strong>Slate Plus</strong>! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at <a href="http://www.slate.com/gistplus">Slate.com/gistplus</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 26, 2017
Hit Parade: Red, Red Wine Edition
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In this debut episode, Chris Molanphy tells the story of “Red, Red Wine”: a song written in the 1960s by a certain journeyman singer-songwriter who loves a <em>Hot August Night</em>. Improbably, it became a reggae song, before the ’60s were even over—and then, even more improbably,&nbsp; in the 1980s it was transformed into a lilting, toasting reggae-pop global smash. And it would have been a flop in America if it hadn’t been for an enterprising deejay, who ignored the record labels and picked his own hits. With this song, he even started a two-year fad and a radio mutiny.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 28, 2017