Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia
Reviewer: Rob Ivessa
What is it?
Chris Molanphy, a pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia, and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts, and shaped your memories forever.
A typical episode is around an hour long and (often across two episodes) focuses on a particular musical movement or a group of artists.
This podcast is just fantastic. It’s not hard going. It’s not going to extend you and make you grow as a person. It’s just fun. Pick an episode that focuses on a genre you love and I guarantee a good time. And you’ll learn a little along the way. For instance why due to a deliberate marketing choice up until the streaming era, songs like Stairway to Heaven and Highway to Hell never charted. Like a criminal barrister adhering to the cab-rank rule, the host even does a great job when analysing a musical movement he hates: Bon Jovi.
Score: 5 stars
Start with: The very first episode: “Red, Red Wine Edition” (truly fascinating), or recent episodes “A Deal with the TV God” (about how TV shows like Stranger Things have made songs like “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush a long delayed No.1 hit).