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Hit Parade
Music History and Music Trivia
What makes a song a smash? Talent? Luck? Timing? All that—and more. Chris Molanphy, 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.
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Ratings & Reviews
4.8 stars from 1,962 ratings
Transcends the podcast format
At its best, such as the recent episode about Sam Cooke, this podcast offers insight into music history, along with a healthy dollop of informed criticism, at a level that meets or exceeds anything you can find. While not every episode is a home run, the quality is consistently high enough that...Read full review »
The Crenz via Apple Podcasts · United States of America · 04/23/21
I have a sore plus subscription JUST so I can have access to this show. Worth’s every penny. Deep dives, no snobbery here as Chris take about and through all genres, time periods and influences. This is a great podcast for music lovers, nerds, historians etc... one of my Top five across all...Read full review »
S.F.G. #1 via Apple Podcasts · United States of America · 04/20/21
Stilted delivery is tough to take
Overall interesting, but Chris’ robovoice is so halting that it sounds like it’s made for English learners or 2-year-olds. Maybe I’m just used to people sounding like natural humans. It’s the spoken word version of the uncanny valley. It just feels wrong.
Rich Loammiser via Apple Podcasts · United States of America · 04/18/21
Recent Episodes
Let’s be clear: Rap has always been musical. But back in the day, rappers generally, well, rapped: talked in cadence over a beat. Fans judged MCs primarily by their rhymes and rhythms, not their melodies. Now? Rappers are mostly singers: MCs from Drake to DaBaby slip seamlessly in and out of...
Published 06/18/21
In Part 2 of this episode of Hit Parade, Chris Molanphy continues his analysis of Milli Vanilli, the musical act that many of us who were around in 1989 listened to more than they might admit. They also have quite a legacy: a blend of pop, dance and rap that now seems commonplace but was still...
Published 05/28/21
For a musical project that’s synonymous with deceit, Milli Vanilli sold an awful lot of records. They also have quite a legacy: a blend of pop, dance and rap that now seems commonplace but was still relatively novel in 1989. If you’ve danced to Europop that fronts like hip-hop, you’re living in a...
Published 05/20/21
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