Friday, May 22, 2020

Dave's Music Database Hall of Fame: Album Inductees (May 2020)

Originally posted 5/22/2020.

January 22, 2019 marked the 10-year anniversary of the DMDB blog. To honor that, Dave’s Music Database announced its own Hall of Fame. This month marks the sixth group of album inductees. There have been 38 albums in history with reported sales (officially and unofficially) of 30 million or more. 21 of those featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Albums of All Time. 11 have already been inducted: The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles Abbey Road (1969), Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977), Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987), Michael Jackson Thriller (1982), Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971), Metallica Metallica (aka ‘The Black Album’) (1991), Nirvana Nevermind (1991), Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (1973), U2 The Joshua Tree (1987), and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (1977). That leaves 10 albums to be inducted in this batch.

See the full list of album inductees here.

AC/DC Back in Black (1980)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

The Australian group was on the cusp of “worldwide breakthrough success” AMG when leader singer Bon Scott died from choking on his own vomit after a drinking spree. The band mourned for two days and then went right back into action, recruiting Brian Johnson as their new lead singer and roaring back into action months later with what All Music Guide’s Greg Prato called “one of hard rock’s greatest achievements.” AMG Read more.

Dire Straits Brothers in Arms (1985)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

When most albums were still being recorded on analog equipment, Dire Straits embraced new digital techniques, making this a “must-have record for serious audiophiles.” ZS It become the first album to sell one million copies in the CD format. WK Industry insiders suggested anyone who owned a CD player owned this album. PR Of course, the album was also helped by the huge #1 hit “Money for Nothing.” Anyone who had MTV saw the song’s inescapable video. Read more.

Eagles Hotel California (1976)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

By their fifth album, the Eagles had shifted from country-rock to mainstream rock. While they lost two founding members along the way, they gained a larger audience than ever before. The album sported two #1 hits with “New Kid in Town” and the title cut, a classic rock staple, but the entire album got played on album rock stations. Read more.

Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

This is Elton John’s “commercial and creative apex.” ZS It “plays like a greatest hits album, overflowing with classic songs” RV which “remain standards more than 30 years later thanks to Bernie Taupin’s sharpest lyrics, John’s propulsive keyboard skills and vocals that leap into falsetto without losing any of their power.” TL Read more.

Bob Marley & the Wailers Legend (compilation: 1973-83, released 1984)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

“Ask someone to name a reggae artist, and the first name that comes to mind is always Bob Marley.” NO “For many Marley embodied the music to the exclusion of all other artists.” PR “Often called Reggae 101,” VU this compilation is “the classic Marley album, the one that any fair-weather reggae fan owns.” AMG “To many, this compilation is the reggae album,” NO setting “the standard by which all other reggae albums are judged.” VU Read more.

Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

“There is no other album like Bat Out of Hell, unless you want to count the sequel” AMG which came out in 1993. This collection of “mini-epics” AMG makes for “one of rock’s most theatrical, grandiose records” RS and one of the genre’s “least likely hit albums.” AZ It is “overwrought and undeniable;” AZ “gothic, operatic, and silly – and it’s appealing because of all of this.” AMG Read more.

Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill (1995)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

After two dance-pop albums released in her native Canada, Alanis partnered with producer and songwriter Glen Ballard and tapped into her bitter diary entries of teen angst to transform into an “angry rocker chick.” ZS She was savvy enough, however, to give the songs enough pop gloss to churn out multiple hits from the album and inspire “a generation of soundalikes to bare their souls on record.” PR Read more.

Pink Floyd The Wall (1979)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

This is “a narcissistic, double-album rock opera” AMG which “has become synonymous with, if not the very definition of, the term ‘concept album.’” BU Roger Waters, the band’s bassist and lyricist, crafted a story of “an emotionally crippled rock star” AMG and the “implications of self-imposed isolation, symbolised by the metaphorical wall of the title.” WK Ironically, the album made Pink Floyd bigger than ever thanks to the anthemic #1 hit “Another Brick in the Wall Part II.” Read more.

Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

Prior to Born in the U.S.A., Bruce Springsteen was as close to cult status as an artist could get who’d had platinum-selling, top-10 albums and the occasional top-40 hit. However, his seventh album transformed him to pop icon on the strength of seven top-10 hits and a slew of well-received videos on MTV – all while still keeping his core album-rock audience. Read more.

Various Artists (including Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta) Grease (soundtrack, 1978)

Inducted May 2020 as “Top 100 Albums with 30 Million + Sales.”

This “high-camp classic” ZS whisked listeners away “to the ‘50s teeny-bopper days” ZS by boasting “summer-loving hits that will be on karaoke playlists until the end of time.” ZSGrease was a huge success as a Broadway musical prior to hitting the big screen in 1978…It was a runaway box office success, and then became a TV, cable, and video favorite.” AMG The soundtrack produced three top-5 hits and spent a dozen weeks atop the album chart in the U.S. Read more.

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