What Chris Does 101: interviews on how charts, hitmaking and podcasting work

Full List of Appearances

The Gist: The Hits of 1992

23 November 2022
Chris Molanphy, chart analyst, pop critic and host of the Hit Parade podcast is back to recount the number one hits of 1992. …

Slate Culture Gabfest: “Summer Strut 2022” Edition

27 July 2022
The panel is joined by Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy for our annual Strut episode, diving into the longest listener-suggested playlist to date. (42 hours!) They also discuss this year’s chart-topping songs of the summer and their lack of strut-ness.

Below the Line: Oscars 2022 – Original Song

7 March 2022
Our tour through the categories continues with a discussion of the Oscar nominees for Original Song. Returning guests Mick Coogan (songwriter), Louis Weeks (score composer) and Chris Molanphy (chart analyst and fellow podcast host) offer their insights.…

Slate Culture Gabfest: “Dancing Queen” Edition

3 November 2021
Steve, Dana and Carl Wilson are joined by host of Slate’s Hit Parade podcast (and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voter!) Chris Molanphy to discuss this year’s Rock Hall inductees and the institution at large.…

Pals with Bill Wadman: Chris Molanphy returns

1 November 2021
Back for his second episode. Slate magazine’s resident pop critic & chart analyst Chris Molanphy chats with me about the definition of a “Smash,” why the demographics of the artists on the charts have changed over time, and how much…

Waiting for Impact: The Promise of a New Day

26 October 2021
The search for Sudden Impact continues! Dave Holmes talks to Chris Molanphy, who gives us fascinating specifics on how popular culture changed in 1991 and talks about how he came to be a chart journalist…

Slate Culture Gabfest: “Summer Strut 2021” Edition

11 August 2021
Steve and Dana are joined by Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy to discuss how one passionate fanbase gained control of this year’s Song of the Summer. Then the panel announces favorite songs from the mammoth playlist of listener suggestions.

One Year: Music’s Pivot Point in 1977

6 August 2021
In this Slate Plus episode for One Year, Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy and One Year producer Evan Chung discuss the music of 1977, from disco to punk to AM radio rock.

BeatSeeker: The Charts with Chris Molanphy

8 May 2021
How does a song get on Billboard’s Hot 100? How have the charts adapted to stay relevant? We speak with chart analyst Chris Molanphy, who explains how the charts are always evolving and why they are so important to the industry.

MetaPod: Chris Molanphy of Hit Parade

28 April 2021
In this episode of MetaPod, Chris Molanphy discusses how he conceives topics and uncovers chart phenomena for his podcast Hit Parade—and makes the case that music charts still matter.

Below the Line: Oscars 2021 – Original Score

23 April 2021
To conclude our 2021 Oscar series highlighting the technical awards, I discuss the nominees for Original Score with score composer Louis Weeks, songwriter Mick Coogan and Chris Molanphy, host of the Slate podcast Hit Parade.

Below the Line: Oscars 2021 – Original Song

19 April 2021
With the Oscars ceremony approaching, we’re talking about Academy Award nominees in the technical categories. Today, we're breaking down Original Song with Mick Coogan (composer) and Chris Molanphy (host of the Slate podcast Hit Parade).

The Culture Gabfest “Summer Strut 2020” Edition

22 July 2020
Steve, Dana, and Julia are joined by Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy to take on the Song of the Summer contenders. Then the team dives into listener-nominated songs to determine the “struttiest” music to listen to as you strut around your house.

Jonathan Small’s Write About Now: Chris Molanphy

24 May 2020
Chris Molanphy is a music journalist, pop-chart expert, and host of the podcast Hit Parade, which dissects how the songs you love (or hate) rule the airwaves. His must-read Slate column “Why Is This Song No. 1?” analyzes current hits.

Below the Line: Oscars 2020 – Original Song/Original Score

30 January 2020
Our 2020 series of Oscar conversations continues with a discussion of the nominees for Original Song and Original Score. I’m joined by score composer Louis Weeks, songwriter Mick Coogan and Chris Molanphy, host of the Slate podcast Hit Parade.

The Gist: The Hits of 1983

25 January 2020
Chris Molanphy is back to talk Mike Pesca through the hits of 1983. Enjoying vegemite sandwiches, the rains in Africa, and some sweet dreams, they indulge in pop mainstays that persist on the radio and at the karaoke bar.

All Things Considered: Here Comes YouTube

2 January 2020
Starting Jan. 3, 2020, Billboard will include YouTube streams in its album charts. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks to Chris Molanphy, a chart analyst and pop critic at Slate, about the significance of this change.

CBC Radio: Is Christmas music actual holiday magic…

21 December 2019
…or just a cash grab? Paul Haavardsrud interviews Hit Parade podcast host Chris Molanphy on just why we keep reminding ourselves that all we, and Mariah Carey, want for Christmas is “you.”

The Gist: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Game

22 November 2019
Mike Pesca interviews Chris Molanphy, who runs through the nominees for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He and Mike talk about the new nominees, those who’ve appeared time and again, and the game theory of it all.

Sound & Vision: Bundling and Gaming the Billboard Charts

16 July 2019
Sound & Vision host Emily Fox spoke with chart analyst Chris Molanphy about the controversy surrounding “bundling.” Artists and labels are raising concerns that purchasing merch or tickets doesn’t prove people actually want to buy an album.

The Culture Gabfest “Summer Strut 2019” Edition

3 July 2019
Chris Molanphy joins the gabbers to discuss 2019’s Song of Summer candidates—and how one unlikely track emerged as the decisive winner. Then they sift through 400-plus listener-nominated songs to select finalists for the Summer Strut playlist.

The Gist: Retro Hits and Repeats of 2014

7 May 2019
Chris Molanphy is on the show again, this time to walk us through the big tracks from the year The Gist was born—2014 was full of retro vibes and repeats, with hits like “Happy,” “All About That Bass,” and “Blank Space” echoing older styles.

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on “Old Town Road”

17 April 2019
Dana Stevens, Steve Metcalf and Dan Kois consult Hit Parade’s Chris Molanphy on the controversy around “Old Town Road”—the reasons for its exclusion from the country charts, and how and why genre is policed in the first place.

The Gist: The Divergent Charts of 1994

12 April 2019
On The Gist, songs like “The Sign” and “I’ll Make Love to You” dominated the charts in 1994, but they weren’t all that emblematic of what was happening in music that year. Chris Molanphy has ideas as to why, and…

Jingle Sells, But Who’s Buying?

18 December 2018
What is it that makes so many artists want to sing about Christmas? Why not other holidays, in other times of year? And after decades of holiday hits, is there anything new to do with the genre?…

The Culture Gabfest “Summer Strut 2018” Edition

25 July 2018
Chris Molanphy joins the Gabfesters to discuss candidates for 2018’s Song of the Summer, unpacking the rise of Cardi B and the enduring popularity of Drake. Then they sift through more than 450 songs nominated by listeners for this year’s Summer Strut playlist.