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Top 105 Songs Of 2019

My favorite song of 2019 came out in 2016. Like most people, I slept on Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” upon its initial release three years ago. I also slept on her “Truth Hurts,” my #4 song of 2019, when it was released in 2017. Lizzo’s first track to make Glenn’s Ten was “Boys,” which hit #1 in July 2018, just two months before my favorite 2019 artist after Lizzo, Billie Eilish, made her Glenn’s Ten debut with “You Should See Me in a Crown.” Eilish’s “Bad Guy” is my #3 song of this year, breaking up Lizzo’s hold on the top four. L-to-the-izzo’s “Juice,” my #2 song of 2019, debuted on Glenn’s Ten on January 12, kicking off 49 consecutive weeks with at least one Lizzo track in my top ten, 22 of those weeks at #1. I’m sure both of those are records, something I would confirm if I weren’t too lazy to look it up.

At #5 for the year sits the only artist in my year end top ten who made their Glenn’s Ten debut in 2019, Megan Thee Stallion. (Megan’s her real first name; Thee is not her actual middle name and Stallion is not on her birth certificate. I’m a Megan Thee Stallion truther.) On that hit, “Hot Girl Summer,” Megan T. Stallion is assisted by Nicki Minaj, who is also at #55 with a solo number, and Ty Dolla $ign (Ty is short for Tyrone, his real first name; Dolla is not his actual middle name and $ign is not on his birth certificate. I’m a Ty Dolla $ign truther.), who is also at #100 assisting Kehlani. If you need assistance, call Ty D. $ign.

The remainder of the top ten boasts career bests for 21 Savage, Ariana Grande, Teyana Taylor, and Vince Staples, plus the first Glenn’s Ten entry for Vampire Weekend since 2013. Other Glenn’s Ten veterans making appearances this year include Bruce Springsteen, Liz Phair, Beck, Missy Elliott, Morrissey, Beyoncé, Rufus Wainwright, Smokey Robinson (yes, Smokey Robinson!), and Belle & Sebastian. Recent favorites such as Courtney Barnett, Cardi B, Grimes, Christine and the Queens, Robyn, Miranda Lambert, 21 Savage, BROCKHAMPTON, First Aid Kit, Chance the Rapper, Angel Olsen, The National and Kacey Musgraves are represented as well.

Enough blather. Here is my top 105 songs (5 by Lizzo, 100 by others, though one of those others with an assist from Lizzo) of 2019:

  1. Good as Hell – Lizzo
  2. Juice – Lizzo
  3. bad guy – Billie Eilish
  4. Truth Hurts – Lizzo
  5. Hot Girl Summer – Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
  6. WTP – Teyana Taylor
  7. FUN. – Vince Staples
  8. thank u, next – Ariana Grande
  9. Harmony Hall – Vampire Weekend
  10. A Lot – 21 Savage
  11. bury a friend – Billie Eilish
  12. Land of the Free – the Killers
  13. Before I Let Go – Beyoncé
  14. Keep the Change – Mattiel
  15. Blame It on Your Love – Charli XCX featuring Lizzo
  16. Drogba (Joanna) – Afro B
  17. Hot Shower – Chance the Rapper featuring MadeinTYO & DaBaby
  18. Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves
  19. Wedding Bell Blues – Morrissey
  20. Trip – Ella Mai
  21. Tempo – Lizzo featuring Missy Elliott
  22. Almeda – Solange
  23. Melody of Love – Hot Chip
  24. Anybody – Burna Boy
  25. Young Republicans – Lower Dens
  26. Motivation – Normani
  27. Throw It Back – Missy Elliott
  28. People – The 1975
  29. Rylan – The National
  30. Doin’ Time – Lana Del Rey
  31. BOY BYE – BROCKHAMPTON
  32. Hello Sunshine – Bruce Springsteen
  33. Summer Girl – HAIM
  34. Good Side – Liz Phair
  35. Saw Lightning – Beck
  36. Fukk Sleep – A$AP Rocky featuring FKA twigs
  37. It’s Not Living (If It’s Not with You) – The 1975
  38. Binz – Solange
  39. Something Keeps Calling – Raphael Saadiq featuring Rob Bacon
  40. This Life – Vampire Weekend
  41. wish you were gay – Billie Eilish
  42. My Type – Saweetie
  43. Sing Along – Sturgill Simpson
  44. Now I’m In It – HAIM
  45. Oh What a World – Kacey Musgraves
  46. Lark – Angel Olsen
  47. Sister Buddha – Belle & Sebastian
  48. Uneventful Days – Beck
  49. I’ve Been Waiting – Lil Peep & ILoveMakonnen featuring Fall Out Boy
  50. Love Yourself  – Sufjan Stevens
  51. Nothing Breaks Like a Heart – Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus
  52. Drip Too Hard – Lil Baby featuring Gunna
  53. Ibtihaj – Rapsody featuring D’Angelo & GZA
  54. Cuz I Love You – Lizzo
  55. Megatron – Nicki Minaj
  56. It All Comes out in the Wash – Miranda Lambert
  57. Sunflower – Vampire Weekend featuring Steve Lacy
  58. Blaxploitation – Noname
  59. Hurry on Home – Sleater-Kinney
  60. Western Stars – Bruce Springsteen
  61. Seventeen – Sharon Van Etten
  62. Crazy Classic Life – Janelle Monae
  63. Unshaken – D’Angelo
  64. 7 Rings – Ariana Grande
  65. Way Too Pretty for Prison – Miranda Lambert with Maren Morris
  66. Hey Brother (Do Unto Others) – The Family Daptone
  67. Earth – Lil Dicky
  68. Make It Better – Anderson .Paak featuring Smokey Robinson
  69. Lo/Hi – the Black Keys
  70. Tarantula – Beck
  71. all the good girls go to hell – Billie Eilish
  72. Trouble in Paradise – Rufus Wainwright
  73. The greatest – Lana Del Rey
  74. Ordinary Pleasure – Toro y Moi
  75. Twerk – City Girls featuring Cardi B
  76. Ever Again – Robyn
  77. BLACKJACK – Aminé
  78. Red Bull and Hennessy – Jenny Lewis
  79. I BEEN BORN AGAIN – BROCKHAMPTON
  80. Money – Cardi B
  81. Brown Skin Girl – Beyoncé, SAINt JHN, WizKid and Blue Ivy
  82. Fucking Crazy – Robert Ellis
  83. Eye in the Wall – Perfume Genius
  84. sad day – FKA twigs
  85. Between the Lines – Robyn
  86. Nothing Is Safe – clipping.
  87. Redesigning Women – the Highwomen
  88. Tell Me (Doko Mien) – Ibibio Sound Machine
  89. Sofia – Clairo
  90. With My Whole Heart – Sufjan Stevens
  91. Go – the Black Keys
  92. Turn the Light – Karen O and Danger Mouse
  93. Fortune – Wye Oak
  94. holy terrain – FKA twigs featuring Future
  95. Young Enough – Charly Bliss
  96. Everybody Here Hates You – Courtney Barnett
  97. Gone – Charli XCX featuring Christine and the Queens
  98. Everyday – Weyes Blood
  99. Capacity – Charly Bliss
  100. Nights Like This – Kehlani featuring Ty Dolla $ign
  101. No Bullets Spent – Spoon
  102. Gonna Love Me – Teyana Taylor feat. Ghostface Killa, Method Man & Raekwon
  103. My Name Is Dark – Grimes
  104. Sociopath – Pusha T featuring Kash Doll
  105. Strange Beauty – First Aid Kit

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Cool Newish Music

Billie Eilish’s album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is one of my favorites of 2019.

Here are twenty recently-released tracks I’ve been grooving to of late. Let me know if you have a favorite I should check out.

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20 Greatest Songs Of The Century…So Far That Are Not On Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songs Of This Century…So Far

The current issue of Rolling Stone includes their list of the 100 greatest songs of this century, so far. Incredibly, the 20 songs on this Tunes du Jour playlist are not on the Rolling Stone list, though they are great and from this century. As the title of one of the songs says, WTF?

I should note that while “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys is better than many of the songs on my playlist or Rolling Stone’s list, it is not on Spotify, hence its omission. Also, Beyoncé has not yet posted her Lemonade album on Spotify, so sorry. (I ain’t sorry.)


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Not Your Typical LGBTQ+ Pride Playlist

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Tune du Jour celebrates with this playlist consisting of two hundred songs by and/or about Ls, Gs, Bs, Ts and Qs. Happy Pride!

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The Ultimate Christmas Playlist

Today is the day after Thanksgiving here in the United States of America. You’re officially allowed to start listening to holiday music now. To get you started, I compiled a playlist of what I consider to be 100 of the best Christmas songs. Okay, 98 songs, a stand-up routine and a skit. It’s a mix of standards, versions of standards with which you may not be familiar, and obscure but delightful tunes.

Enjoy!

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Throwback Thursday – 1975

It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
You gotta get out while you’re young

New Jersey does not have an official state song. There have been attempts to adopt one since at least 1939, when the state’s Board of Education held a contest to find a suitable number. They named Samuel F. Monroe’s “The New Jersey Loyalty Song” as the contest’s winner, but it was not good enough to be the official state song.

In 1972, the state legislature proposed that Joseph “Red” Mascara’s “I’m from New Jersey” be the state’s song, but Governor William Cahill vetoed the measure, stating succinctly about the song “It stinks.”

In March of 1980, radio d.j. Carol Miller started a petition to have “Born to Run,” written and recorded by New Jersey’s favorite son, Bruce Springsteen, be named the state song. Three state assemblypersons drafted a resolution declaring “Born to Run” “as the unofficial *rock* theme of our State’s youth.” I’m confused to as to how an official resolution can name an “unofficial” theme, just as the state’s senate was confused as to how a song that includes the lyrics that open this post expresses pride in where one’s from. The bid died.
The song also includes these lyrics that tickle my friend Audrey so: Someday, girl, I don’t know when, we’re gonna get to that place where we really wanna go.

Oh, that place!

By the way, I got out of New Jersey when I was 24.

This week’s Throwback Thursday playlist spotlights some of the best tunes from 1975, kicking off with what is unofficially New Jersey’s unofficial state song, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”


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Throwback Thursday – 1994

Ringo + Beck

Some years ago I played Beck’s “Loser” for my 94-year-old grandfather. He didn’t care for the lyrics. “I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?”

“That’s why so many young people commit suicide,” he argued.

Hearing “Loser” and the rest of Beck’s major label debut album, Mellow Gold, didn’t make me want to kill myself. Quite the opposite. He brought and continues to bring so much joy into my life.

Beck’s “Loser” kicks off this week’s Throwback Thursday playlist, spotlighting the year 1994.


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Throwback Thursday – 1983

Winston + MJ
MTV debuted on August 1, 1981. Back then it was a music video network. It positioned itself as a rock station. Most of the videos shown were of songs made by Caucasian performers, though rock-leaning black acts such as Joan Armatrading and the Bus Boys got some play.

Then came “Billie Jean.” The second single from Michael Jackson’s Thriller, “Billie Jean” was accompanied by a stylish video featuring a mesmerizing performance from Jackson. However, it wasn’t a rock song. It didn’t fit the format of rock radio stations, and it didn’t fit the format of MTV either.

But there is a big difference between radio and music television. There were plenty of radio stations and many different formats. You may not hear “Billie Jean” on the rock stations, but you could hear it on r&b stations and pop stations and dance-leaning stations. However, there was only one music television – MTV.

In his autobiography, Howling at the Moon, Walter Yetnikoff, head of CBS Records, for whom Jackson recorded (and where I worked in my first music business job), wrote “I screamed bloody murder when MTV refused to air [Jackson’s] videos. They argued that their format, white rock, excluded Michael’s music. I argued they were racist assholes – and I’d trumpet it to the world if they didn’t relent. I’ve never been more forceful or obnoxious. I’ve also never been as effective, threatening to pull all our videos. With added pressure from [Thriller producer] Quincy Jones, they caved in, and in doing so the MTV color line came crashing down.”

Jackson’s video for “Billie Jean” aired on MTV, followed just weeks later by his video for “Beat It,” a song whose guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen helped make it a hit on rock radio. These two videos made Jackson, already a superstar, a worldwide phenomenon with a humongous fan base that transcended race, age and location in a way never seen before. These two videos made MTV, a year and a half old and fairly popular in white suburban areas, a cultural institution. These two videos made the music video, then not something done for many singles, particularly those performed by artists of color, an art form and a necessary marketing tool.

Some people tuned in to MTV to see the Michael Jackson videos, and while watching the channel, discovered other acts. Some people tuned in to MTV to watch “white rock” videos, and while watching the channel, discovered Michael Jackson.

MTV went to showcase more “non-rock” videos. In 1988, they launched their hugely popular program Yo! MTV Raps, something that would have been completely unexpected just five years earlier, pre-“Billie Jean.”

While MTV deserves credit for making “Billie Jean” and Thriller successful, the person most responsible is Jackson himself. He wrote the song. He sang the song. He danced the song. Quincy Jones did not want “Billie Jean” to appear on Thriller. He didn’t like the title. He didn’t like the bassline. He felt the song’s introduction was too long. Jackson argued “But that’s the jelly!…That’s what makes me want to dance.” Jones wasn’t ready for this jelly, but Jackson stood his ground.

In May of 1983, NBC aired a tribute to Motown Records. Motown: Yesterday, Today, Forever featuring many legends who recorded for the storied label performing their classics. We saw Diana Ross, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Lionel Richie and the Commodores, Mary Wells, Junior Walker and then some. It was a terrific show, but the talk of the town following its airing was the performance of a song not from the Motown catalogue – Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” The iconic performance, during which Jackson brought the famous moonwalk to the world at large, pushed him that much more ahead of any other performer working in music back then.

Following “Beat It,” CBS Records released four more singles from Thriller. All seven of the singles released (the album had only nine songs!) went top ten, breaking the record of most top ten hits from a single-artist album that was set a few years earlier by…Michael Jackson, whose Off the Wall gave us four. Before Thriller, four singles for one album was considered a lot. Thriller raised the bar for blockbuster albums, and subsequent releases such as Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A., Prince’s Purple Rain, Def Leppard’s Hysteria and Janet Jackson’s Control each produced more than four hits.

“Billie Jean” changed everything.

On this week’s Throwback Thursday playlist, Tunes du Jour spotlights 1983, kicking off with Michael Jackson’s classic “Billie Jean.”


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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 48: Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

“Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them.”
– Bruce Springsteen, announcing the cancellation of his North Carolina concert a few days ago to protest that state’s recently-passed anti-LGBTQ laws.

This playlist pays tribute to Bruce Springsteen with eighteen songs written by him, performed by artists including Pet Shop Boys and Tegan & Sara, plus two more all-star recordings on which he participates.

[8tracks width=”300″ height=”250″ playops=”” url=”http://8tracks.com/mixes/7866614″]
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Throwback Thursday – 1982

As a songwriter, Gloria Jones charted with Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “If I Were Your Woman,” the Four Tops’ “Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life),” and Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross’ “My Mistake (Was to Love You).” As a producer, Gloria Jones hit the top ten on the disco chart with Gonzalez’s “Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet.” But as a lead singer, Jones failed to make the pop, r&b or dance charts.

In 1973, while on a trip to the United States, British DJ Richard Searling purchased a copy of a Gloria Jones single from 1965. The A-side was a song called “My Bad Boy’s Comin’ Home,” but it was the B-side that really got Searling’s attention.

Northern soul music (uptempo American soul music in a sixties Motown vein yet without commercial success) had a large cult following in the northern England at that time, and Searling played the Gloria Jones b-side during his sets.

Northern soul fan David Ball loved the song. When he and his musical partner, Mark Almond, who together comprised the duo Soft Cell, were looking for a song to cover, they went with the Jones song, thinking it would be interesting for a synth band to cover a soul tune. Their record label asked them to add guitar, bass and drums to the track, but the duo refused. Despite this, the label put out the singer. Almond told Rolling Stone magazine “We thought if we were really lucky, we’d scrape into the top 75 in Britain. We didn’t think anything would happen over here [in the US].”

Soft Cell’s recording of “Tainted Love” became a smash worldwide. In the US, it spent 43 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100, a record at that time. Said Gloria Jones of the Soft Cell recording “Their version was far better than mine.”

Winston + Soft Cell
This week, Tunes du Jour celebrates Throwback Thursday with twenty great tunes from 1982, kicking off with Soft Cell’s version of “Tainted Love,” but first, check out Gloria Jones’ original:



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