Hi, my name is Richard D’Orazi and welcome to D’Orazi Hit Parade! As my motto says, this website is dedicated to giving you the stories and analysis behind the hits in music. Every piece of music no matter your opinion have an interesting story behind them and this site is my way of sharing them. I carry an encyclopedic knowledge of modern popular music and I use it to write essay like reviews of hit songs and albums from the ’50s to today. I also review music related films and documentaries if I feel like it. Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember anything. I grew up hearing music from my family to the classic rock and pop of my parent’s time to the hits of the day my sister listened to at the time. A lot of these memories helped to develop my own interest in music. Along the way, I also began learning guitar at 14 performing many times in high school and in my university’s jazz band. More recently, I began developing my critical views of music by discovering many online music critics and following the Billboard Hot 100. Now I get to express my views through this website.
Here are the columns I’m currently doing:
In The Ones of the ‘10s, I review every single that hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 2010s. Eventually, I’ll work my way into the ‘20s and review whatever’s currently #1. This was my initial inspiration for creating this site as the 2010s were ending and thought what better way to begin the new decade than look back at the past one. The 2010s was the decade I grew up and came of age in so it’s fun getting to write about all the hits I heard during my formative decade as well as give you the stories behind each song.
In The Best Sellers, I review the best selling albums in the United States from every year since 1956. With this column, I examine the music that Americans have made popular over the years analyzing the musical and societal trends that influence what people want to listen to.
In Random Tracks, I review a random hit song that’s charted on the Billboard Hot 100 from anypoint in the chart’s history going from its beginning in 1958. To make my site more interactive, comment and let me know what random hit song you want me to review.
In Party Like It’s 1999, I reviewed the #1 hit songs of my birth year 1999 in honor of my birthday in June. And I’ll also be reviewing other hit songs from ’99 in conjuction with Random Reviews.
My main influence on this website is critic Tom Breihan who with his column The Number Ones on Stereogum reviews every #1 single in the entire history of the Billboard Hot 100. His great writing style giving you the background of the artist and song while also mixing in his review and experience of the song in a story like structure inspires me a lot in how I structure my reviews.
Another influence for me is Chris Molanphy from Slate who does a podcast called Hit Parade and reviews every current #1 song. He has an absurd amount of knowledge surrounding popular music and the popular charts and does a great job with his style of writing and storytelling giving you the technical knowledge of how the Billboard charts work, how a song is able to work its way up the charts, and how it compares to other points in chart history while also sliding in some personal commentary of the song.
Other influences include YouTube critics like Todd in the Shadows and Sean Fay Wolfe of Diamond Axe Studios Music both of whom initially turned me on to music criticism teaching me so much about popular music and how you can discuss it in a fun and engaging way.
Lastly, a big thank you to everyone who has supported this site so far! Hope you all enjoy what my website has to offer! I’ll be coming up with ideas for future columns. Feel free to comment whether it’s sharing a memory or a thought on what I’m reviewing just as long as it is respectful. If you like what you see, subscribe to my site with your email address and you’ll instantly get notified about every new post!