Hit Parade: The AC/DC Rule Edition

From Back in Black to Born This Way, follow-up albums often do better on the charts than more-loved classics. <iframe title="The AC/DC Rule Edition" src="https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=SLT2926526396&amp;light=true" class="slate-megaphone__megaphone-player" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%" ></iframe> View Transcript Quick, what was the only No. 1 album by Jimi Hendrix? How about the first No. 1 by Billy Joel? Jackson Browne? [...] Read more

The Bridge: Sampler’s Delight

Chris Molanphy talks to hip-hop journalist Mosi Reeves about Chic, the Sugarhill Gang, and disco and rap’s parallel histories. Get More Hit Parade! Slate Plus members get extended, ad-free versions of our podcasts—and much more. • Exclusive episodes of Slow Burn, Hang Up and Listen, and Trumpcast. • Members-only series like Dana Stevens’ Flashback and [...] Read more

Why Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” Had the Biggest Debut Since “WAP”

The singer’s overnight success is about more than the Sabrina Carpenter–Joshua Bassett drama. If, as the actor, comedian, and belletrist “Judge” John Hodgman has declared, “Specificity is the soul of narrative,” actress–singer Olivia Rodrigo just won the Soulful Specificity prize for 2021, before the year was even a month old. It’s rare that a debut [...] Read more

Hit Parade: These Are the Good Times Edition

How the sleek disco group Chic spawned hip-hop and new wave and shaped acts from Diana Ross to Duran Duran. <iframe title="These Are the Good Times Edition" src="https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=SLT7951580838&amp;light=true" class="slate-megaphone__megaphone-player" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%" ></iframe> View Transcript <iframe title="These Are the Good Times Edition" src="https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=SLT3492624205&amp;light=true" class="slate-megaphone__megaphone-player" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%" ></iframe> View Transcript How can you [...] Read more

The Bridge: Radio-Friendly Unit Shifters

Chris Molanphy talks to veteran chart analyst Geoff Mayfield about the Billboard charts he oversaw in the early SoundScan era. <iframe title="The Bridge: Radio-Friendly Unit Shifters" src="" class="slate-megaphone__megaphone-player" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"></iframe> View Transcript Get More Hit Parade Slate Plus members get extended, ad-free versions of our podcasts—and much more. • Exclusive episodes of Slow Burn, [...] Read more

Music Club: America spent 2020 retreating into the sounds of the past.

Entry 4: America spent 2020 retreating into the sounds of the past. In Slate’s annual Music Club, Slate music critic Carl Wilson emails with fellow critics—this year, Rolling Stone staff writer Brittany Spanos, New York Times contributor Lindsay Zoladz, and four special guests—about the year in music. Greetings, fellow music freaks, seven days a week: [...] Read more

Hit Parade: Smells Like Christmas Spirit Edition

How Christmas brought about Nirvana’s chart victory over Michael Jackson—and invented a holiday sales strategy. <iframe title="Smells Like Christmas Spirit Edition" src="https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=SLT2702552065&amp;light=true" class="slate-megaphone__megaphone-player" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"></iframe> <iframe title="Smells Like Christmas Spirit Edition" src="https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=SLT1571457329&amp;light=true" class="slate-megaphone__megaphone-player" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"></iframe> Advertisement Listen & Subscribe Choose your preferred player: Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts TuneIn Spotify Stitcher Overcast [...] Read more

The Bridge: Ropin’ the Charts

Chris Molanphy talks to Billboard’s Melinda Newman, frequent Garth Brooks interviewer, about the country king’s career. <iframe title="The Bridge: Ropin’ the Charts" src="" class="slate-megaphone__megaphone-player" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"></iframe> View Transcript Get More Hit Parade Slate Plus members get extended, ad-free versions of our podcasts—and much more. • Exclusive episodes of Slow Burn, Hang Up and [...] Read more

Hit Parade: Friends in Low Places Edition

How Garth Brooks became the biggest-selling musician of the ’90s, making pop fans come to his side of the fence. <iframe title="Friends in Low Places Edition" src="https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=SLT8832433334&amp;light=true" class="slate-megaphone__megaphone-player" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"></iframe> View Transcript <iframe title="Friends in Low Places Edition" src="https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=SLT7780827665&amp;light=true" class="slate-megaphone__megaphone-player" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"></iframe> View Transcript Country music is forever wrestling with its [...] Read more