Posts tagged "Spotlight"

The 50 Best Pop Singles Of 1994 (Featuring New Interviews With Ace Of Base, TLC, Lisa Loeb, Real McCoy & Haddaway)

As 2014 draws to a close, one thing that stands out the most about this year is the huge wave of artists who broke international barriers and crossed over into our pop music consciousness. And we’re not just talking about the UK, where Disclosure, Sam Smith, Charli XCX, Ella Henderson and Clean Bandit hail from — you also had Australia (Iggy Azalea), Ireland (Hozier), Canada (MAGIC! and Kiesza) Norway (Nico & Vinz), Sweden (Tove Lo) and Amsterdam (Mr. Probz) waving their flags high. It got us thinking that we hadn’t seen a foreign invasion of the American charts like this in 20 years.

So what else is it about 1994 that made it such an utterly memorable year, musically? Before we get to that, let’s first paint a quick picture of what life was like during this particular 12-month period when iTunes and YouTube and Twitter didn’t exist, nor did texting or Snapchatting — when being “social” meant driving (sans GPS or the Maps app) to meet up with friends in person, or, at the very least, putting a pen to paper and mailing a letter.

First off, when 1994 rolled around, Bill Clinton was entering the second year of his first term as President. Cell phones were the size of bricks and e-mail and the Internet were sporadically-used luxuries. It was the days of Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan and the 1994 Winter Olympics. And CD-ROMs. We watched O.J. Simpson go on the run on live TV and also tuned into the first seasons of Friends, ER and Party Of Five. Tom Hanks was America’s favorite silver screen star. At the box office, The Lion King roared loudest, while Speed, Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction also packed movie-goers in. And when Kurt Cobain was found dead at his home on April 8th, it was, as they say, the end of an era…

…which brings us back to music. It would have been the easy way out for us here at Idolator to assemble a simple list of, say, the 20 best singles from 20 years ago, and dash out a a sentence or two on each one. But it turns out, when we really dug deep into what pop had to offer in 1994, there were just far too many good songs to leave off the list. From sultry slow jams to trip hop to synth-pop to Eurodance to Swedepop to alt-rock, it truly was an eclectic year when popular music produced something for everyone.

So instead, we gathered up the 50 best pop singles that made an impact in 1994 below, and reviewed and ranked them by their overall awesomeness. Most of these songs sprung up that year, but you’ll find that some first appeared on albums released in 1993 and didn’t get a single release until ’94, or perhaps were released as a single in late ’93 but their chart run carried into the next year. Whatever the case may be, they’re the tracks we felt left an unforgettable impression.

To add a bit of flavor, we reached out to some of the artists featured — Ace Of Base, TLC, Lisa Loeb, Real McCoy and Haddaway — and asked them to share their memories of what it was like contributing to the year 1994 in pop. Ready to hop into our time machine and step back 20 years? On your mark, get set… More »

Lady Gaga’s ‘The Fame Monster’ Turns 5: Stan & Deliver

Stan & Deliver gives fans an opportunity to shake, cry and sing the praises of the albums they love from their faves.

Rah rah, ah-ah-ah…

Five years ago today (November 18), Lady Gaga tore our clothes right off, ate our hearts and then proceeded to eat our brains. Does it feel like only yesterday? Or, in the current age of Cheek To Cheek, does it feel more like decades ago? Perhaps somewhere in between.

While The Fame had already propelled Gaga to pop stardom a year prior thanks to her inescapable, syllable-happy electro-pop earworms like “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” (muh-muh-muh-mah!), it was The Fame Monster that saw Gaga effectively take over the world.

By the time her Fame re-release arrived in November of 2009, Gaga had her monster paws securely gripped around pop culture: She was the biggest pop superstar at the time, armed with a newly minted fan base (the Little Monsters were born), over-the-top ensembles that had the world ga-gagging (from her sensible Kermit The Frog carcass top to those perilously impractical sky-high stilettos to that infamous Meat Dress…hey Cher, hold my meat purse!), undeniably next-level music videos, unforgettable award show performances and, oh right, yes: The year’s best pop record in hand.

The start-to-finish immaculate 8-track EP, produced by RedOne, Fernando Garibay, Ron Fair, Darkchild and Teddy Riley, was said to represent Gaga’s 8 different “monsters” she encountered on the road (“Fear Of Loneliness Monster,” for example). And throughout, the disco stick-wielding pop princess navigated chilly synth-pop pulsations and dark lyrical themes (oh so many Hitchcock film references!) with a pristine, pop radio-friendly gloss to tackle those fears: From “Bad Romance,” one of the greatest pop records of the past decade, to a club-thumping mini-epic with Yoncé, to the campy, gothic glamour of “Dance In The Dark.” Simply put, Halloween has never sounded the same ever since.

Five years later, we’re now looking back and rattling the Fame Monster’s cage once again. Do you dare? More »

The Diddy Curse: 8 Of The Best Artists Formerly On Bad Boy Records

Cursed, But Not Forgotten

There is no question that Diddy (or is it P. Diddy nowadays?) is a hugely influential music mogul, ever since his job as a record executive in the ’90s era. But there have been many instances where the businessman fell short of doing his job. Bad Boy Records is notorious for being the Bermuda Triangle of record labels. Sure, there were artists like Faith Evans, and Notorious B.I.G. who scored major success. But many others in the Bad Boy camp could not achieve the same.

So in light of Danity Kane‘s third and final studio album, DK3 (released on October 28), we’re taking a look back at eight of the most overlooked artists who unfortunately succumbed to the Bad Boy curse. but at least they had talent!

See which artists made the cut after the jump! More »

Halloween Playlist: The 13 Creepiest Horror Movie/TV Show Theme Songs From The Past 50 (Or So) Years

Chills!

What scares us onscreen is pretty subjective. The stop-motion skeletons that got granny a-shiverin’ and a-shakin’ under her slip might not faze someone weaned in a world ruled by House-Of-Wax Plastic-Surgery-Chic like The Thing That Melted Meg Ryan.. Music, however, never loses its ability to scare us and the best, most classic horror themes can creep us all out, every time. Well, that and photographing Ariana Grande’s right side:

http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view7/2876429/pee-wee-large-marge-o.gif

Do you like scary movies? Hang up that absurdly large 90s phone, crank the volume and…wait…what was that noise? You’d better go investigate… More »

Pop Music Wishlist: 10 Blondes Who Need To Make A Comeback

Blondes Have More Fun!

When Gwen Stefani and Fergie announced their musical comebacks this year, the pop world was ecstatic. Apart from her work with No Doubt on 2012′s Push And Shove, Stefani has not put out any solo projects since 2006′s Sweet Escape. Fergie, on the other hand, kept herself busy with the Black Eyed Peas. But her 2006 debut, The Dutchess, was in dire need of a sophomore follow-up.

Along with their incredibly catchy tunes, they were also known for their bright blond locks – which definitely added to their bold and confident personalities. Eight years later, these two ladies are aiming to take over the pop scene as solo artists once again. But there are a few more blondes who deserve another shot at music stardom.

In no particular order, here are 10 blond-haired divas from yesteryear who should make a comeback sooner than later! More »

13 Great Pop Albums That Were Overlooked & Underrated In Their Time: From Gina G To Little Boots

Flopped But Not Forgotten!
At some point or other, we, as pop fans, all fall hard for an album that completely tanks on the charts. Sure, the artist in question may eke out a hit single or two, but for whatever reason, the universe seems to reject the notion of the parent album finding any major success. Sorry, Carly Rae Jepsen.

But that’s where we, your music-loving pals at Idolator, come in. Because in the few spare moments when we’re not cranking out the daily goings-on with your favorite artists currently tearing it up in the land of pop, we often pine away wistfully for the days of yore, when we’d champion our own personal fave flops in vain. Eventually at one point we decided, screw that — let’s just make a list!

So head below to find our roundup of 13 overlooked pop albums from the past 20 years that deserve to be revisited. More »

10 Things To Expect From Madonna’s Next Album

She's Got A Secret...
When Madonna releases a new album, it isn’t so much an event as it is an international holiday.

Her Madgesty is now on her 13th studio album. 2012′s MDNA gave us just a little bit of the life we needed for the icon’s 12th release, but of course we wanted more. It’s only natural, given this is a woman who has consistently reinvented herself for three decades straight.

Now it’s 2014, which feels like the perfect time for her to drop off a new project and deliver that breed of cross-genre pop that only she can provide.

Details on the album thus far have been hit or miss: While other websites have speculated by way of Instagram posts and other random clues, Idolator played detective and dug up even more info on the album. Of course, nothing is conclusive since this is Madge, but we do have enough information to at the very least be excited for the project.

So without further ado, let’s see what we have in store from the Queen Of Pop herself. More »

The 7 Most Unexpected Times Janet Jackson Made Us Worship Her

Like a moth to the flame, burned by the J.Lo, our love for Janet Damita Jo Jackson is blind, can’t you see our desire?

In anticipation of her new album, we decided to delve deep into Baby Miss Jackson Privacy Control’s video vault. But since her videography only comes in three modes: iconic, more iconic or MOST ICONIC, we’re shining the spotlight on seven of her lesser-known but unbelievably essential video triumphs. Alright! More »

The 10 Greatest Things Hilary Duff Has Ever Done

To Duff, With Love (Love, Love, Love)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Duff. And now the prophecy has been fulfilled, pop chyldren: Hilary Duff is back. To usher in this new Hilegendary era, let’s go back, back to the beginning, back to when the Earth and sun and Duff were all aligned to celebrate 10 of the greatest things accomplished by the O.G. Disney multi-hyphenate phenomenon! More »

Ibrawlator: Which Video Deserves To Win Big At The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards?

Which Video Will Win Big At The VMAs?
The MTV Video Music Awards: A time of truly iconic performances, frequent live awkwardness and culture-rattling controversy from Madonna to Miley (most of us are still suffering PTSD from hearing the term “twerk”) — and it’s happening all over again next month.

With performances from Ariana Grande, Usher and 5 Seconds Of Summer already confirmed, the August 24 ceremony is already shaping up to be yet another big show. But what about the actual videos being nominated this year?

We asked you to tell us some of your favorite videos since the last taping, and we’ve rounded up the 20 most popular suggestions. Now, it’s your turn to vote for your favorite video of the bunch.

Which one do you think most deserves to take home an award (or ten) next month? Vote in our poll below, and then sound off in the comments. Don’t see the video you’re rooting for? Let us know and we’ll add it to the poll! More »