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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Pop Shots – A Look At The Charts … From 16 Years Ago
Monday, September 21, 2020

Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hopping into my time machine again, this time setting the coordinates for 16 years ago this week.

In September of 2004 I was nearly four full years into my career as a music journalist, so looking at the Billboard Hot 100 I see a bevy of artists I either interviewed, or whose releases I covered in some way.

Ciara was at #1 with her “Goodies” collab with Petey Pablo. I interviewed Ciara right around the time this song started becoming popular, and a very well known men’s publication jacked some of the quotes without any attribution for an online feature of their own. All I’m gonna say is I’m doing well in 2020, the men’s publication in question … not so much so.

Usher was also all over this chart, as his Confessions album launched him to a whole ‘nother level of superstar. I actually quasi-partied with him – OK, it wasn’t with him, it was near him – at a concert afterparty in Hartford, and I worked on a project for him for a month, or so.

Alright, that’s enough about my career. Let’s check out some highlights from the Billboard Hot 100 from this week back in 2004. Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.


2. Terror Squad – Lean Back


I am forever thankful to Fat Joe for creating a dance that white people could do. Lean back? Oh hell yeah! Finally, the dance craze I’d been waiting my entire life for!

As an aside, even our “dance” hip-hop songs were so much harder back then. It’s like we were fine inspiring some ass shakin’, but also wanted to punch people in mouth at a same time. Actually, it wasn’t just “like” that, that’s exactly how it was.


20. Linkin Park – Breaking The Habit


On a somber note, we really miss Chester Bennington, and his remarkable, emotive voice. The fact that Linkin Park could go from nu metal to synth rock so seamlessly is a testament to how remarkable the band was. We probably only heard the tip of the iceberg of what could have been.


27. JoJo – Leave (Get Out)


We all kinda knew there was something special about JoJo even when she was just a youngin’ with her first single, “Leave (Get Out).” Over the years she’s proven everyone who believed in her right, making her initial pop offering something that currently borders on the word “classic.”


38. Seether w/ Amy Lee – Broken


I’ve always had a soft spot for this song. Partially it’s because I love Amy Lee’s voice. Partially it’s because I’m a sucker for rock ballads. Partially it’s because it’s just a damned good song. Were there songs on the chart that had more of a lasting impact than this one? Most definitely, but we all need personal favorites, and this is one of mine.


53. Bowling for Soup – 1985


I loved this song when it was first released, and today I not only love it, but have a plethora of friends who relate to it on a very real level. The fact that Bowling for Soup managed to get Tawny Kitaen to recreate her car hood writhing from Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” video was a prefect touch.

Side Note – Did you know this is actually a cover, and the original was done earlier in 2004 by a band named SR-71?


76. The Killers – Somebody Told Me


I gotta say, although most of us really liked The Killers in 2004, I’m not sure any of us could’ve predicted the staying power of their songs. “Somebody Told Me” is just a handful of years away from qualifying for classic rock airplay, and that’s freakin’ wild!


86. Velvet Revolver – Slither


Velvet Revolver was a fantastic rock supergroup. With Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum from Guns N Roses, Dave Kushner from Wasted Youth, and Stone Temple Pilots’ frontman Scott Weiland on vocals, songs like “Slither” were the kind you cranked up to eleven … and if you’re like me, you still do!


92. Crime Mob w/ Lil Scrappy – Knuck If You Buck


There was quite a bit of … let’s call it “motivational” hip-hop on the chart at this time. Trick Daddy was at #57 with “Let’s Go,” Young Buck checked in at #67 with “Let Me In,” but Crime Mob’s “Knuck If You Buck” featuring Lil Scrappy may have been the best of the best when it came to inciting enthusiasm with club goers. And yes, we’re going with the word “enthusiasm.”


100. Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue


Easily one of the best, and most recognizable, pop punk songs of all-time, the chorus of “Ocean Avenue” is one of the great earworms of the genre. It’s also a perfect song for singing/shouting along to while driving with the windows down on a sunny day. Actually, that sounds like a good plan for later!


That’s all for this edition of Pop Shots, but come back next Monday for more shots on all things pop.

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