Holy crap, we’ve almost reached the top 10. Though because the rankings of the top 50 best-selling albums in the U.S. has shifted since I started doing this countdown, the math has worked out that less than 39 albums have been written about. To remedy this, I’ll start doing some bonus entries to make sure I round this out to an even 50. I know, that may sound insane to give myself more work for a project that’s taken me years to finish, but we gotta do this right.
Release Date: August 25, 1976
Copies Sold In U.S.: 17 million Continue reading
Since it’s March 31 and we still haven’t had a single post all month, here’s an obligatory People’s Album entry to keep this from being the first completely postless month. Though don’t worry, word on the street is that we’ll be a little more active on here in the month ahead.
Album: Metallica (The Black Album)
Release Date: August 12, 1991
Copies Sold In U.S.: 16 million Continue reading
It looks like I took off 2020 completely from doing any installments of The People’s Albums, but I’m still so close to finishing out this seven-year journey that I just gotta keep pushing. Also, after catching up with The Bee Gees: How Do You Mend A Broken Heart? and the film Saturday Night Fever this past week, I finally feel ready to assess this cornerstone of the disco movement.
Album: Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Soundtrack)
Artist: The Bee Gees / Various Artists
Release Date: November 15, 1977
Copies Sold In The U.S.: 16 million Continue reading
As I make my way through 2010s music, I figured I’d take a break from mere reviews to do a bonus People’s Album of the best selling album of this particular decade. The ‘10s were much less a decade of blockbuster album releases than the ‘00s or ‘90s before them for a number of reasons. The death of the monoculture, major record labels’ shifting influence, and physical media’s decline all made it hard to put out an album that simply everybody was listening to. Not to mention the effects that streaming had on how people consumed albums, or whether they bothered to listen to entire albums at all. It made for a weird decade for the album’s cultural relevance, and yet despite that, there were still a few that managed to break out and capture people’s ears, as well as their money. Continue reading
I know. There are more pressing things going on in the world right now than an alternative pop/rock album from the ’90s. But I started listening to and researching this album prior to Criterion Month, and I never got around to writing about it before that month started. So now, here I am attempting to write about it before Shocktober begins.
Album: Jagged Little Pill
Artist: Alanis Morissette
Release Date: June 13, 1995
Copies Sold In The U.S.: 15.3 million Continue reading
As you may have noticed, I got all excited about returning to The People’s Albums after a two-year hiatus in my last entry, and then failed to write a follow-up. This is mainly due to the fact that this entry was not an album I was particularly excited to write about, since it’s not only an album I’m all-too-familiar with, but is also one that is, quite frankly, boring. Not because the album itself is boring, but more because it’s such an unimpeachably classic and influential album that it’s going to be hard to say anything new or insightful about it. But hey, it’s worth a try…
Album: The Dark Side of The Moon
Artist: Pink Floyd
Release Date: March 1, 1973
Copies Sold In The U.S: 15 million
Well… it’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Back in 2013, I started counting down and reviewing the top 50 best-selling albums in the U.S., in the hopes of getting to the bottom of what exactly makes an album that America loves. Though, as you may have noticed, I haven’t done one of these since March of 2016. Which makes it all a bit fortuitous that my last entry in The People’s Albums referred to then-candidate Trump in its opening paragraph.
Obviously, a lot has changed since the Spring of 2016, and our perception of what exactly America is has also changed. This probably shouldn’t have impacted me talking about mega-selling albums from the past, but for some reason, it did. In each People’s Albums piece, I would declare (in plain terms) why America would go for a certain album. But in the wake of the 2016 election, I wasn’t in the mood at all to write about what America did or didn’t like and why. All I knew was that America sucked, and I didn’t want to think about that fact.
But now, two years later, I’m starting to feel like I have a bit more perspective on why America is the way it is. And why the tectonic shift in our perception of it happened when it did. I also still believe that there are transcendent pieces of pop culture that can unite the two warring Americas, if just for the duration of a pop song or two. Yes, even if you’re a small town girl living in a lonely world, or a city boy born and raised in South Detroit.
(Yes, I realize that was cheesy, but what do you expect? We’re about to talk about Journey for god’s sakes!)
Album: Greatest Hits
Release Date: November 15, 1988
Copies Sold In The U.S.: 15 million