This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #207: Rolling in the Deep by Adele.
If there is a better, more naturally gifted singer in the music business today then, I have not heard them. Wow! Can Adele ever sing!
From her earliest days as a child, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins has been singing in public and drawing rave reviews the whole time. Growing up in various suburbs of London, England, Adele eventually settled in a place called West Norwood where, as a teen, she and her friends would get together and sing for fun in local parks. The experience of doing this and the joy it contained for her, led Adele to write a song when she was sixteen years old called, “Hometown Glory”. Not long after she began playing that song in public, she was contacted by a record executive and signed to a recording deal. When Adele turned nineteen, she released her debut album called, “19”. On that song was “Hometown Glory”, which became her first song of note. In the months that followed, Adele shot to fame in the UK and was voted as “The Most Promising Singer” at The Brit Awards. While touring in support of “19”, Adele landed a spot as the musical guest on the tv show, “Saturday Night Live” in the US. That appearance helped launch her acreer in America. While touring in the US, Adele was exposed to early Blues and Country music, which she found inspiring and which she wanted to incorporate into her next album. That next album, “21”, would end up sending her career completely through the roof!
Adele’s albums are always titled to reflect the age she was when they were released. So, her debut album was released when she was only nineteen years old and the follow-up came out when she was a mere twenty-one years of age! When you are that young, it can be difficult to have gained enough life experiences to inspire one’s writing. In Adele’s case, her biggest hits songs from “21” were inspired by an event that many young people experience at that age….love and heartbreak. In Adele’s case, she had had a steady boyfriend from her late teens, into her early twenties. In fact, when things started to become rocky for the couple, Adele even cancelled some of her US tour for “19” to be with her boyfriend. But, alas, it was not to be. Adele channeled her anger and heartbreak into songs like, “Someone Like You”, “Set Fire To The Rain” and “Rolling in the Deep”. She had #1 hits with all of those songs, causing “21” to become the highest selling album for two years in a row *(which was the first time an album has accomplished that feat).
“Rolling In The Deep” was the first release from “21” and, for many people, it was the first real taste of the power she possesses as a singer. The strength needed to push out those notes and the vocal dexterity required to climb the highs and lows that exist through this number, make her rendition of “Rolling In The Deep” one of the finest singing performances of all-time. In fact, to no one’s surprise, after touring in support of “21” and singing “Rolling In The Deep” so powerfully, so many times, Adele had to take some time off for minor throat surgery. She has returned to live singing but is more restrained and careful now. But, having said that, an Adele performance at 80% power is still light years better than most singers will ever manage in their careers. Adele is, quite simply, phenomenal.
She has recently released a brand new album called, “30”, which tells you how old she is as I write these words in 2021. In the first decade and a bit of her career, Adele has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. She has won over a dozen Grammy Awards and virtually every other music award around the world that she has been eligible to receive. As long as she keeps writing memorable songs, like the ones she has released to date, Adele stands a chance of becoming one of the top-selling artists of all-time; up there with the Titans like Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Garth Brooks. Quite an accomplishment for a little girl who got her start singing in local parks with her friends for fun.
Without further delay, let’s listen to one of the most amazing talents of this generation. Here is Adele with her hit, “Rolling in the Deep”. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Adele, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.