Saturday, August 22, 2020

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

Originally posted 8/22/2020.

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 seventh batch of album inductees. Since theBillboard album chart launched in 1945, only 17 albums have spent 20 weeks or more at #1. Six of them have been previously inducted: Adele 21 (2011), Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977), Michael Jackson Thriller (1982), the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (1977), and the South Pacific cast album (1949) and soundtrack (1958). That leaves 11 albums to be inducted in this batch.

Harry Belafonte Calypso (1956)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

“With this landmark album, calypso not only became tattooed to Belafonte permanently; it had a revolutionary effect on folk music in the 1950s and ‘60s.” AMGCalypso became the first million-selling album by a single artist…[and] triggered a veritable tidal wave of imitators, parodists, and artists wishing to capitalize on its success.” AMG Read more.

Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim (composers) West Side Story (soundtrack, 1961)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

West Side Story is hailed as “one of the greatest musicals of all time.” RU The modern take on Romeo and Juliet opened on Broadway in 1957 and won Tonys for choreography and design. In 1961, it was made into a movie which went on to win 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The soundtrack spent more weeks atop the Billboard album chart (54) than any other album in history and won the Grammy for Best Soundtrack or Cast Album. Read more.

Bing Crosby Merry Christmas (aka ‘White Christmas’) (1945)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

This is the second best-selling Christmas album of all-time, only behind Elvis Presley. When it comes to songs, though, nothing tops the 56 million in sales of “White Christmas,” just one of the songs featured in this collection. Originally issued as five 78s in 1945, this was reissued and repackaged multiple times. However, since the 1955 vinyl reissue, only the cast recording of Oklahoma! has been in print longer. Read more.

Jane Froman With a Song in My Heart (1952)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

The movie biopic starred Oscar-nominee Susan Hayward as Jane Froman, a star of Broadway, radio, television, and movies during a 30-year career. Froman supplied the vocals for the movie and this soundtrack of her collection of standards, including “Blue Moon” and “Tea for Two,” was released. Read more.

Jackie Gleason Music for Lovers Only (1953)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

While known more as a comedic actor, Gleason also took an active role in the music featured on his shows. He couldn’t read or write music, nor was he a conductor or composer, but he released a series of “orchestral pop” albums in the ‘50s and ‘60s that were designed as mood music. Gleason said, “The only thing better than one of my songs is one of my songs with a glass of scotch.” SA Read more.

M.C. Hammer Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

The album didn’t break any new ground; its biggest hits, “U Can’t Touch This” and “Pray” borrowed their hooks from Rick James’ “Super Freak” and Prince’s “When Doves Cry” respectively while “Have You Seen Her?” was pretty much a cover of the Chi-Lites’ song. However, the familiarity of the music helped propel rap music from “a specialty niche genre” AMG to a “commercial juggernaut.” AMG Read more.

Al Jolson Songs He Made Famous (soundtrack, 1946)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

This collection of re-recordings of some of Jolson’s biggest hits from 1913 to 1928 served as the soundtrack for the 1946 movie musical The Jolson Story, a somewhat fictionalized version of Jolson’s life. The re-recorded versions of “My Mammy” and “April Showers” were top-20, million-selling hits. The soundtrack was followed by a second volume entitled Souvenir Album. Read more.

Mario Lanza The Student Prince (soundtrack, 1954)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

Sigmund Romberg’s operetta The Student Prince opened on Broadway in 1924. When cast albums became popular in the 1940s, Columbia, RCA Victor, and Decca all released versions. However, the one that became the biggest success – spending more weeks at #1 than all albums in history except the cast album for The Sound of Music and the soundtrack for West Side Story – was Mario Lanza’s soundtrack recording to accompany the 1954 MGM film. Read more.

Elvis Presley Blue Hawaii (soundtrack, 1961)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

When Elvis came back from the Army, he delved into movies, churning out dozens of soundtracks. They took on a formulaic quality, but the earlier ones – like Blue Hawaii – were still “attractive if flawed efforts.” BE The Hawaiianesque flavor of this soundtrack “doesn’t necessarily present Elvis in…his strongest musical setting, BE but it does feature standout tracks such as “Aloha Oe,” “No More,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “arguably the best song in any Elvis movie, and maybe the best song ever written for a rock & roll movie.” BE Read more.

Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain (1984)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

Prince had experienced mainstream success prior to Purple Rain, but the schmaltzy movie based loosely on his life became a surprise hit – and the soundtrack became a juggernaut. It was huge right out of the gate, selling a million and a half copies in its first week. “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” were #1 hits and the title cut and “I Would Die 4 U” landed in the top 10. The album spent a whopping 6 months atop the album chart. Read more.

Various artists (Whitney Houston et al) The Bodyguard (soundtrack, 1992)

Inducted August 2020 as “Albums with 20+ Weeks at #1.”

Whitney Houston was already a superstar before taking on her first big-screen role in The Bodyguard. The movie was hit, but the soundtrack’s success was astonishing. Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” spent a record-shattering 14 weeks at #1, propelling the soundtrack to the top of the album charts. It sold more than 38 million worldwide and won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Read more.

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