Hit Parade: The Bad Moon on the Rise Edition

Creedence Clearwater Revival was an eternal chart bridesmaid—with a record number of No. 2s—and the No. 1s holding them back weren’t all classics. Listen to Episode 21 of Slate’s Hit Parade: <iframe src="https://player.megaphone.fm/SLT7769267473?light=true" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"></iframe> Get More Hit Parade Slate Plus members get extended, ad-free versions of our podcasts—and much more. Sign up today [...] Read more

Why Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” Is the Ultimate “Bop,” for Better or for Worse

Writing about popular music is lousy with obnoxious words. Indeed, there are so many—jangly, crunchy, seminal—that there is a whole book of them (and shamefully, I have used my share). Making things more complicated, much of this language is also subject to a generational divide—words coined by the young are understood to be off-limits to [...] Read more

The Music Club, 2018

Entry 6: Will Drake’s reign ever end? Happy Festivus, my Kikis who will never, ever leave me: As part of its year-in-review package, Billboard published a calendar of everything Drake did every day of 2018. When I saw this a few days ago, I plaintively—desperately?—asked my social media feed: This is it, right? This means [...] Read more

Does Travis Scott Deserve His First No. 1, or Is He Just a Master of Chart Gimmicks?

Why “Sicko Mode” sits atop the Hot 100. In early 1984—as Michael Jackson’s Thriller was nearing the end of its epic run at No. 1, about 15 months after its release—a non-album single appeared on the radio that sounded like a Jackson bonus track. It was clearly Michael’s voice, singing the chorus, sounding paranoid about [...] Read more