What Chris Does 101: interviews on how charts, hitmaking and podcasting work
Full List of Appearances
25 November 2022
Can anyone take the top Christmas song from Mariah Carey? Kelly talks to Chris Molanphy form the Hit Parade podcast.…
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. …
4 September 2022
The Hot 100 has been the leading arbiter of song popularity within America since its conception in 1958. To better understand its nooks and crannies, we brought in the chart expert himself, Chris Molanphy (@cmolanphy), to break it all down.…
11 August 2022
For this “B-Side” episode, DJ Louis XIV is joined by the host of Slate's Hit Parade podcast to discuss the 60-year history of the chart and the way its metrics have evolved over time.
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.
23 June 2022
Episode One Hundred-One: Court & Amy clean the house with Drake and Bey as well as Kate Bush’s return the charts with our guest Chris Molanphy of Slate’s ”Why Is This Song No.1?”…
22 June 2022
The panel is joined by Chris Molanphy, host of Slate’s Hit Parade podcast, to discuss British musician Kate Bush’s recent rise on the charts.
11 June 2022
Chris Molanphy joins Joe & Kristen for a discussion of 1983—there’s no point that year when a 2022 inductee isn’t represented on the charts, from Duran Duran and Eurythmics to Lionel Richie and Dolly Parton.…
28 April 2022
This year’s voter calling season comes to an end with a mega-sode—Joe & Kristen call up eight more Rock Hall voters to see who they’re choosing on their ballot this year.…
10 March 2022
Pop critic, chart analyst and host of the Hit Parade podcast Chris Molanphy joins DJ Louie once again for the second part of our series on Diana Ross, discussing Diana’s transition from lead singer for The Supremes into solo superstar.…
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.…
3 March 2022
Pop critic, chart analyst and host of the Hit Parade podcast Chris Molanphy joins DJ Louie for the first of a two-part series on American Icon, Diana Ross. Louie and Chris walk through The Supremes’ astounding run of ’60s hits.…
11 January 2022
"The organic nature of the audience landing on 'We Don't Talk About Bruno' really is the marketplace picking the single and that's quite unusual, especially for an animated film," says Chris Molanphy, Slate's chart analyst and host of music history podcast Hit Parade.
26 November 2021
Critic and podcaster Chris Molanphy (Slate’s Hit Parade) returns to the show to nerd out with Joe & Kristen about the taste differences between the Nominating Committee and the larger voting body. What artists are popular with the NomCom but…
19 November 2021
In 2004, a culture war was brewing when the Super Bowl halftime show audience saw a white man expose a Black woman’s breast for 9/16ths of a second. A national furor ensued. The woman was Janet Jackson, and career was…
15 November 2021
“She's a stronger singer now than she was even a decade ago,” says Chris Molanphy, music critic for Slate and host of the “Hit Parade” podcast. “Adele gives you a consistent product…In the six years she's been gone, there have been several cycles of pop music, and Adele seems to float above all of it.”
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.…
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…
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…
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.
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.
2 June 2021
This week Steve Metcalf, Allegra Frank and Karen Han are joined by Slate’s Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy to dive into Olivia Rodrigo’s breakout album ‘Sour.’
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.
7 May 2021
Joe Kwaczala and Kristen Studard call up Rock & Roll Hall of Fame voters to see who they chose on this year's ballot—guests include Lauren Onkey, Rob Tannenbaum, Amy Linden and Chris Molanphy.
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.
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.
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).
17 February 2021
Steve and Dana are joined by Slate’s pop music expert Chris Molanphy to discuss new artist Olivia Rodrigo, whose debut single “Drivers License” surprisingly shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
18 December 2019
Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner talk with Hit Parade’s Chris Molanphy to discuss how and why Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” finally hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 charts after 25 years.
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.
7 August 2019
Farhad Manjoo: "Chris Molanphy, who writes a brilliant music chart-watching column for Slate, told me that streaming has led to quirkier hits that seem to come out of nowhere, and that stick around for longer.”
6 August 2019
"Old Town Road" has been No. 1 on the Hot 100 since early April. Chris Molanphy, chart analyst and host of the Hit Parade podcast, talked with Sound & Vision’s Emily Fox about what’s made the song a hit, as well as the controversy around its genre.
30 July 2019
How did “Old Town Road” do it? We spoke with chart analyst and pop critic Chris Molanphy, who writes the "Why Is This Song No. 1?" feature and hosts the Hit Parade podcast for Slate.com.
29 July 2019
Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” has officially broken the record for the longest-running No. 1 single on Billboard's Hot 100. Pop critic and chart analyst Chris Molanphy says, ”It has dodged all of the major contenders for song of the summer.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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?…
11 December 2018
The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees are less progressive rock, more progressive politics.…
15 November 2018
In the fall of 1987, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that George Michael’s solo debut, Faith, would be a hit. As successful as Michael had been as half of the Wham! duo, going solo was always going to be a…
19 August 2018
Chris Molanphy, host of Slate's podcast Hit Parade, sees connections and parallels along the history of popular music. Buckle up for a 100-minute trip up and down the Hot 100.
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.
22 September 2017
12 July 2017
21 April 2017
3 March 2017
22 December 2016
23 November 2016
16 September 2016
26 August 2016
27 July 2016
15 July 2016
24 June 2016
15 April 2016
25 March 2016
11 March 2016
30 December 2015
16 October 2015
8 October 2015
18 September 2015
28 August 2015