Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia
Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia
Slate Podcasts
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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1200 people
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Discovered this treasure
I just started listening over the weekend and I have listened to thirteen episodes. Great historical content
Bright spot in my life
So glad I discovered this podcast...it’s truly been a bright spot for me lately. It’s so fascinating to learn about this part of the music industry. I do love a good Fun Fact - no shortage of them here!
Simply the Best
This show alone is worth the cost of Slate Plus for anyone who enjoys listening to and learning about the hits of the past several decades.
Always enjoy
This is one of the best podcasts of the many I subscribe to. Always interesting. I love learning about what was happening behind the scenes in the subjects explored - things I certainly didn’t know or threads not seen. Thanks! I always look to the next!
Nicely researched
The episodes are well-researched and I love hearing about the other music that was on the charts at the same as the artist(s) being covered. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of the podcast is done in a bit by the host. The strange halting way that he speaks drives me crazy and it’s really distracting.
Fantastic educational music podcast
Highly HIGHLY recommended
Great content - why the slow taking?
I’ve heard Chris on lots of Slate podcasts and he has a normal conversational speed. On Hit Parade, when he’s presumably reading a script, he talks PAINFULLY slowly. And I can’t solve it by playing at 1.5x speed, because then all of the music clips get thrown off! Is this a Slate thing? I have the same issue with the latest season of Slow Burn. I listen to Josh every week and know how he talks - why did he run into molasses for Slow Burn?
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Great podcast, poor decision
We will all come back. 99% of al other podcasts are running like usual. And Slate decides now is the time to ask people during a pandemic to pay for something that was free. Poor move. Can’t imagine many people have signed up to play. Such a shame. On to other podcasts, there are hundreds of thousands out there to accept my free time…
Amazing and informative
So I know we are all trapped in various phases of isolation. I can’t recommend Hit Parade by Slate Podcasts highly enough. Every month I listen and learn some more musical knowledge I had no idea about. Worth your time. The new eps require a subscription but previous are free. I subscribe to Slate because of this. Some fun facts -do you know who actually originally wrote and performed Red, Red Wine? (Of UB40 fame). Did you know Tegan and Sara performed at the ‘99 Lilith Fair before their first album ever came out? Facts taken from the first and last eps. Every time I listen I learn something about an area I am well informed about and it always expands my mind. Double thumbs up!
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The Show is Fantastic - Slate is Not
I LOVED this show and the host. Well researched, interesting, really, just everything you want, even if you're not a music geek. I think I'd even happily pay for just this podcast - becaue it's THAT good, and I missed the Billy Joel episode! - but I'm not interestedin buying Slate. I think their journalism has devolved mostly into opinion.
Outstanding show
I’ll make this short. Hit Parade is fantastic. But what isn’t fantastic is its recent descent behind the pay wall. Now I can’t listen to it. I modestly donate to a few podcast producers every month and if I had that option I’d do it for Slate Plus. But that option doesn’t exist.
Now only available to paying members?
I really, really love this podcast and can appreciate the economic fallout due to COVID. But charging for it is really sad given that Americans are also struggling financially right now too. Whack.
Awesome and definitive
Love learning about music history and Chris is a freaking amazing expert! Cannot miss the Oh. My. god. Look. At. Her. Butt. Episode.
Odd move
It seems like most other podcasts are being generous during this situation, offering previous paid shows for free as bonuses, yet this one takes it all away. It was good while it lasted (except for the needless trivia segment during the bridge episodes). You always say that you have to be a member to participate, so why did you ask every single contestant if they were a member? They wouldn’t have been on if they weren’t.
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Audio essays about music are my heroin
2020 Edit: regretfully I am changing my review to one star bc of the new paywall. Not interested in funding all the rest of the mediocre libs on Slate. Here’s what I originally wrote: I love listening to people knowledgeably speak about music. That’s probably why I’ve had some ill-advised relationships with musicians. Hit Parade gives me all the musicsplanation I crave with none of the drama. It’s well researched, well produced, and- for the sheer amount of information presented- incredibly concise. I look forward to each new episode and immediately crave more after I listen. If you like Song Exploder, you’re going to really enjoy Hit Parade. As a visual artist, it is endlessly fascinating to me to learn about the creativity, calculation, and cleverness involved in making pop music. I love gaining a deeper appreciation for these songs by learning about the commercial context in which they were made, and more closely paying attention to the constituent elements of the production. After the most recent episode, listening to Madonna is giving me actual shivers. Thanks Chris & keep it up!
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Was Great, Now Paywalled
This was a great podcast but now it’s just the shows in between the main podcast which is behind a paywall. It’s too bad Slate felt they needed to go this route. I hope to hear Chris Molanphy on an open podcast in the future.
Used to be great, hard pass on the pay wall.
I used to look forward each month to the well-researched and presented take on the billboard charts, however, using a global pandemic as the opportune time to move the podcast to a subscription only model is certainly one way to give your audience the finger. No thanks Slate. Unsubscribed.
So long Chris, you will be missed...
Requiring those who look forward to Hit Paeade and Chris’ words, to pay, especially at this time, is sad. We’re all hoping for a few hours of escape from this insanity, some just cant justify the cost. I though hard about it and tried out the other slate content...no offense, but this is definitely your best. I get it, but I just cant do it, and on the Billy Joel-BILLY JOEL! episode, of all artists...darn it. Maybe Chris will do a fantastic piece about this time in music history. I’d love to afford to hear it. So long, friend.
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MR. Bob Dobalina S.F, CA
I love this show! Worth three dollars a month? Quite possibly?
I look forward to every episode and learn something new every time. While I was disappointed when the paywall was announced, I really have to think about it. Is this podcast worth three dollars a month? Considering you get a full episode and a bridge episode, and the entertainment value, quality, and amount of detail that Chris puts into each and every episode, I believe it might actually be worth it, if one can afford it. Not to say that everyone can, and people certainly have their right to be upset with the introduction of the pay wall. I’m pretty sure I will pay the $35, three dollars a month for two episodes, to still be able to hear this great content.
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G-Man 007
Sorry I have to unsubscribe
I have no ability to subscribe to anything new. Much as I like this podcast there’s a depression going on. Sorry the advertising can’t support it
Great podcast. Too bad about the paywall!
This is absolutely my favorite music podcast, and I always appreciate the arc Chris is able to draw between genres and eras! My favorite episodes are undoubtedly the Lost and Lonely Edition & the Oh My God, Becky Edition! Brilliantly written, conceived and narrated! Unfortunately, because of the paywall, you’ve lost yet another listener. To have to pay for a podcast which also makes me listen to commercial content makes no sense to me, especially when there are countless others out there that don’t require me to do so.
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Papa Stoltz
This WAS a great podcast
A paywall during a pandemic is an insanely idiotic decision. And forcing people to pay $35!? I don't want the rest of Slate's content. This was one of the most entertaining and educational podcasts out there. Now it seems greed and shortsightedness have ruined it.
A must for music lovers
Great podcast and great host. Chris somehow bridges the gap between serious music journalist and avid music fan. I’ve listened with great enjoyment to every episode. Unfortunately, like many others in this review section, I will not be paying $35 to listen further to the only Slate content I access. It’s a huge bummer, and a big loss. I wish the host and the podcast well—it’s been fun.
So fun!
My husband and I love listening to this in the car. I just subscribed to slate plus for this show. We love Chris’a professorisms—can’t wait for the imperial period to be mentioned each episode : ) would love to hear an episode on queen, buddy holly, or Paul Simon
Disappointed, hope paywall is temporary
I refuse to give a poor rating due to the choice to move this podcast behind a paywall, but I do want to express my disappointment. This is the only slate podcast I listen to, I respect and enjoy all the work Chris et. all put into the production and realize that all that work isn’t for free, but I can’t justify the expense for one podcast that puts out 2 shows a month. Times are tough and we all have to do what we need to do to get by, but I do hope that a version of this show (with ads of course) comes back after the pandemic is behind us.
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It’s a pandemic so fork over $35
Love the show, hate the decision to go behind a paywall when people are most vulnerable.
Billy Joel is canceled
Boo! on you for insisting on paying
I have been a devoted listener from the beginning but this is the only Slate podcast I listen to regularly. Wrong of you & Slate to demand payment for podcasts right now.
Great podcast but not worth $35
This is my favorite podcast and I thought about paying the $35 this year to continue listening, but since this is the only content I listen to on Slate I decided it’s not worthy supporting this left biased company.
DG Wolverine
Well this is a bummer
I am so sorry to lose this podcast due to paywall. Hopefully it’s just temporary during this pandemic. It really has been one of my favorite listens and, Chris, you’re great. May the “haves” continue to enjoy and if you can, subscribe. I wish I could.
So Sad
Thus was the first podcast I ever listened to. I have been a faithful listener and supporter since the beginning. I am now in the position of having to pay to listen and while Slate wants to cry the blues over the Covid situation, what makes them think individuals are in any better financial shape. For what it’s worth, none of the other podcasts I listen to ( and there are many, many of them) have decided to charge for content. I can’t afford to pay for a podcast in these difficult and uncertain times.
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Love it, but not worth $3 /month
When your listeners are suffering through this economic crisis, you decide to demand a $35 ransom for continued listenership? I have sampled other Slate content and it’s just not my cup of tea. A voluntary patreon paywall for some content would be understandable, but to do this now just is inconsiderate. Too bad, I did enjoy this podcast...
This is the only podcast I listen to that is punishing people who can’t afford to pay. I get paying for additional content. But requiring people to start paying when so many are out of work is heartless. I wish you had done a separate announcement after this bridge episode because it’s now totally ruined.
Been listening since you started always enjoyed your in depth analysis and popular culture references... can you do something on Herb Alpert?
Great for Music Addicts
I found this podcast only a month ago but I am devouring episodes, like one a day. They are so imformative, even if I'm not a fan of the artist, I always learn something.
I’m sad that a paywall is going up for this. I have always loved this podcast. But since I’m unemployed and the writing at slate in general has just gone downhill in the last year, I can’t justify paying $35 for this. Sorry.
Too bad this is going behind a paywall. Now is definitely not the time to devote dwindling funds to another streaming service. I’ll miss you, Hit Parader!
Worth Every Penny
I don’t usually pay for podcasts. I don’t do Patreon. If I had lots of money I’d like to support all my favorite shows. When Chris announced the news that this show would be available by subscription only, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. This is not some rando guy discussing what he likes. This is prepared with great thought. It’s like a Master Class on pop hits through the decades. What I truly love are the music samples that accompany the narrative. I will never give up my Hit Parade! Here’s to you, Chis Molanphy.
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[was 😟],My favorite history lessons...
[edited] While this is still my favorite podcast, I’m not prepared to put out $35 simply for this experience. Sorry to see you leave my queue, Chris! This is my favorite new podcast of 2017. I devour each episode as soon as it’s available, skipping over my always growing backlog. What I find most interesting about the podcast is that it is more than a music history lesson. The host takes the time to dissect the surrounding musical landscape during the time period and put in context with pop culture history at the time. I also appreciate the back room view of how the industry worked/works and how that influences and shapes the charts. My favorite episode so far has been the one that explored the evolution of the cassingle and how it has shaped the consumption of music up to today.
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so fun!!!
i think chris goes into the right amount of depth in his episodes. he knows so much! i learn so much! pretty much all the episodes are fabulous. i’m dancing and singing through them. he makes me remember songs i’ve forgotten. or hear songs i know but didn't really know. ya know? 😏 it’s just great and so fun!
Is there a playlist somewhere where we can get the full tracks that are discussed on the episode?
I listne to the podcast, do my housework, shake it, and say YEAH" right out loud!
Great show!
Great information and great listening!
What’s Up with the Sound Editing?
Good information and awesome concept, but all the song tracks are so far in the background you can barely hear them. It’s obnoxious.
I don’t listen to podcasts...except this one
As the title says, I don’t listen to podcasts. I have nothing against them, I just can never get into them. I think it’s because podcasts are a commitment to keep up and I don’t like being talked at. But this one? I don’t know why it clicks, it just does. I love it. It’s nice knowing there are other chart obsessives out there.
I’m not a big music person, but I’m always hooked on these episodes. The amount of research and context is unparalleled and I listen to a loooooooooooot of podcasts. Hats off.
The Whitney Houston Episode!
What an amazing episode! I learned so much. I gained a great appreciation and respect for her from this. Never a huge fan, but I’m definitely taking away a lot from this. Thanks!
So in love with the Whitney episode - all my feels! Ty! ❤️
stef morgan
Great Courses
Learning and living in the mean, thank you so much.
My musical escape
I listen to mostly political and news podcasts. Hit Parade is my musical escape and is an absolute delight. I learn so much from every episode. It is extremely entertaining and well done. You don’t need to be a music nerd — I’m not — just someone who enjoys music and history. Highly recommended.
If you love music history
Hit Parade has become my favorite podcast. It takes turns you wouldn’t expect and always with depth and intelligence. It’s also beautifully produced and Chris is an excellent, informed host. If you love learning about popular music history, the cultural trends and artists that made that history all done with smarts and humor, this is for you.
Pure Pleasure
This is my favorite podcast. Every episode theme is inspired, and each one is a fascinating discussion structured in such a way that I can't stop listening. As a fellow Gen-X-er, I find myself revisiting old songs with renewed insight and appreciation, and understanding more recent pop music better. Can't let changing times leave us aging hipsters behind! Bridge episodes are not as gripping, but overall I love this podcast, as others do, at an obsessional level.
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