Friday, September 25, 2020

Fish: The final album?



Released: September 25, 2020

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: neo prog rock


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Grace of God [8:19]
  2. Man with a Stick [6:27] (9/21/18 on Parley with Angels EP)
  3. Walking on Eggshells [7:18]
  4. This Party’s Over [4:22] (9/11/20: video)
  5. Rose of Damascus [15:45]
  6. Garden of Remembrance [6:07] (7/24/20: video)
  7. C Song (The Trondheim Waltz) [4:41]
  8. Little Man What Now? [10:54] (9/21/18 on Parley with Angels EP)
  9. Waverly Steps (End of the Line) [13:45] (9/21/18 on Parley with Angels EP)
  10. Weltschmerz [6:51] (3/13/20: video)

Total Running Time: 84:30

The Players:

  • Fish (vocals)
  • Steve Vantsis (bass, guitar, keyboards, programming, sequencing)
  • Robin Boult, John Mitchell (guitar)
  • Craig Blundell, Dave Stewart (drums)
  • David Jackson (saxophone)
  • Doris Brendel (backing vocals)
  • Liam Holmes (keyboards)
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra (strings)
  • Mikey Owers (brass)


3.545 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“And so this is it. The end…The old warrior-poet is draining his glass one final time, proud of everything he’s achieved by aching-boned and world-weary.” LS Fish first gained attention in the ‘80s as the front man for the British neo-prog group Marillion, most notably with their 1985 #1 UK album, Misplaced Childhood. After four studio albums with them, he embarked on a solo career, starting with 1990’s Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors. This is, according to Fish, the last hurrah on a career than began more than 40 years ago.

Fish announced five years ago Weltschmerz would be his parting shot. The double album was more than three years in the making. FM At times, it looked like it wouldn’t happen, thanks to “ailed romances and family bereavements,” LS which included the death of his father Robert from bladder cancer at 87 years old. HD Fish also underwent surgeries on his spine and shoulder and went through two potentially deadly bouts of sepsis. HD It makes sense then, that the album’s title is a German word which means “a feeling of melancholy and world-weariness.” DS

His website says it “is being acclaimed as the finest work of his long and illustrious career” FM and that “it is a truly exceptional collection of music worthy of this accomplished artists farewell album.” FM Dave Everley’s review at echoes that sentiment. He calls it “the best album of his solo career, one that it is lush and expansive, yet intimate and personal, sometimes angry, sometimes dejected, but never anything less than magnetic.” LS

Long-time collaborators Steve Vantsis and Robin Boult assume the roles of co-writers. John Mitchell also lends a hand on ‘Garden of Remembrance’ and Foss Paterson assists as well. FM The album is produced by Calum Malcolm, who also produced Fish’s Feast of Consequences and 13th Star, and Vantsis, who also did the principal engineering. FM The artwork and sleeve design are done by illustrator Mark Wilkinson, whose work with Fish dates back to Marillion days.

The album is “entirely self-funded, marketed, created, and distributed” from his home in Scotland. HD As such, that makes the album ineligible to chart in the UK as their rules require album “distribution through official channels.” HD Fish, however, claims that his album would have debuted at #2 if such barriers weren’t in place. HD Fish said, “I’ve been operating as an independent artist since the mid-‘90s and we have adjusted to living without the machinery of the major music business.” HD

“Grace of God”

Opening song Grace of God “sets the scene nicely with a haunting intro” DS in which a doctor is assuring his patient before an MRI scan. Fish “conjures images of…a body ‘pinned down on a table at the mercy of machines.’” LS Halfway in, “the song opens up into something grander and more cinematic, all sweeping strings and intricate production.” LS

“Man with a Stick”

Man with a Stick, which was first featured on the 2018 EP A Parley with Angels, was voted the best single of 2019 by Planet Rock Radio. FM The song is “an on-the-money takedown of police brutality” LS talking about how a stick can be misused when handled by those in power, but it also explores other uses a stick can have, such as “lending support to a frail, elderly person.” DS

“Walking on Eggshells”

“The deceptively sparkling Walking on Eggshells updates the themes of toxic co-dependency and volatile relationships he first mined…[with] Marillion.” LS

“This Party’s Over”

Clearly the title can be interpreted as Fish’s farewell. The song “combines early Peter Gabriel with Celtic sounds” AD and “has a melodic theme played on tin whistle.” DS It is also the most commercial and, probably not coincidentially, the shortest song on an album loaded with epics.

“Rose of Damascus”

This epic song “focuses on one character, Rose, “and her attempts to flee the war-torn area.” DS I’f ever a song portrayed the pight of Syrian refugees, this is the one.” DS It “has six sections, weights in at a hefty 16 minutes, and contains a lengthy spoken-word section.” AD It “ties together geo-political upheaval, religious fundamentalism, terrorism, immigration, and Fish’s newfound passion for horticulture (at least half of the album’s songs reference flowers or gardening). It’s a grand suite of a song, built on shifting musical and emotional sands, but it’s a world away from the bloated self-regard that sometimes come with the territory.” LS

“Garden of Remembrance”

Garden of Remembrance is “a beautiful, piano-based lament to the tragedy” DS of “absence and loss inspired by his mother’s dementia.” LS “it is probably Fish’s most poignant vocal-delivery ever. The lyric on the chorus encapsulates the hearteach of witnessing a loved one losing their memory: ‘He’s lost between the here and now/ Somewhere that he can’t be found.’” DS It “sounds like the closing chapter of a book that opened with 1990’s ‘A Gentleman’s Excuse Me.’” LS

“C Song (The Trondheim Waltz)”

“Fish rallies against troubles and injustices but his positivity is encapsulated” DS here with lines such as “I won’t let you bring me down/ I don’t want to buy into your sadness.” DS The song “benefits from a gentle accompaniment on accordian.” DS

“Little Man What Now?”

“The brooding, nocturnal Little Man What Now? addresses the death of Fish’s father and the bleak emptiness that followed.” LS It “draws on the work of a Weimar Republic-era German author to describe a man crushed by the ‘system.’” AD

“Waverly Steps (End of the Line)”

“Depression informs Wavery Steps, the tale of a life unravelling that the singer has implied could easily have mirrored his own.” LS The song is “almost as long and even more challenging” AD as “Rose of Damascus.”


The closing title track, “a call to peaceful revolution,” DS is the “musical highlight.” AD It “starts off like a Muse track before the vocals take over with a blend of weariness with stirring defiance.” AD It finds Fish “railing against the state of the world” LS in what “is pretty much ‘Market Square Heroes’ 40 years on, the blazing fury of youth tamed but still burning,” LS calling for people “to rage against the injustices that are perpetrated and to ‘stand tall.’” DS “Maybe it’s a deliberate closing of the circle, maybe it’s not. Either way, it’s a hell of a way to finish an album. And a career.” LS

Notes: Three of these songs (“Man with a Stick,” “Waverly Steps,” “Little Man What Now”) were first released on the Parley with Angels EP in 2018.

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Last updated 6/12/2021.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Rolling Stone's Top 100 Albums of All Time

Rolling Stone:

The Top 100 Albums

This is not an official Rolling Stone magazine list; rather it is an aggregate of nine major lists published by the magazine. (See the specific links at bottom of page). The best resource for reading more about these albums is Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time book, published in 2005 by Wenner Media, LLC. The list differs slightly from the original 2003, which was updated again in 2012 and a third time in 2020.

Note: you can click on an album title to go to a DMDB page for more about that album. If you click on RS after the album title, that will take you to an online article from one of the Rolling Stone lists.

Also, check out Rolling Stone’s annual picks for album of the year. They have made such picks since 1978. However, the DMDB has expanded the list back to 1965 based on the lists aggregated here.

Check out other publications and organizations’ best-of album lists here.

1. The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) RS
2. Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971) RS
3. Velvet Underground & Nico Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) RS
4. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (1972) RS
5. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966) RS
6. The Beatles Abbey Road (1969) RS
7. The Clash London Calling (1979) RS
8. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968) RS
9. Nirvana Nevermind (1991) RS
10. Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks (1975) RS

11. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967) RS
12. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975) RS
13. The Beatles Rubber Soul (1965) RS
14. Michael Jackson Thriller (1982) RS
15. Van Morrison Astral Weeks (1968) RS
16. The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed (1969) RS
17. The Who Who’s Next (1971) RS
18. Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977) RS
19. Ramones Ramones (1976) RS
20. The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971) RS

21. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971) RS
22. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland (1968) RS
23. Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home (1965) RS
24. David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972) RS
25. Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited (1965) RS
26. Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde (1966) RS
27. Joni Mitchell Blue (1971) RS
28. Patti Smith Horses (1975) RS
29. Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977) RS
30. The Band The Band (1969) RS

31. John Lennon Plastic Ono Band (1970) RS
32. Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (1973) RS
33. Carole King Tapestry (1971) RS
34. The Doors The Doors (1967) RS
35. Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain (soundtrack, 1984) RS
36. The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet (1968) RS
37. Michael Jackson Off the Wall (1979) RS
38. The Clash The Clash (1977) RS
39. Van Morrison Moondance (1970) RS
40. Sly & the Family Stone There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971) RS

41. Neil Young After the Gold Rush (1970) RS
42. Aretha Franklin Lady Soul (1968) RS
43. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II (1969) RS
44. Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. (1984) RS
45. Bruce Springsteen Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) RS
46. Jimmy Cliff et al The Harder They Come (soundtrack, 1972) RS
47. Pretenders Pretenders (1980) RS
48. Elvis Costello My Aim Is True (1977) RS
49. Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow (1967) RS
50. The Beatles Revolver (1966) RS

51. Neil Young Tonight’s the Night (1975) RS
52. James Brown Live at the Apollo Volume 1 (live, 1962) RS
53. The Band Music from Big Pink (1968) RS
54. Stevie Wonder Innervisions (1973) RS
55. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) RS
56. U2 The Joshua Tree (1987) RS
57. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Trout Mask Replica (1969) RS
58. Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987) RS
59. Elvis Costello & The Attractions This Year’s Model (1978) RS
60. Miles Davis Bitches Brew (1970)

61. U2 Achtung Baby (1991) RS
62. Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967) RS
63. Television Marquee Moon (1977) RS
64. Stevie Wonder Talking Book (1972) RS
65. Dusty Springfield Dusty in Memphis (1969) RS
66. David Bowie Hunky Dory (1971) RS
67. Talking Heads Remain in Light (1980) RS
68. Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962)
69. Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992)
70. John Lennon Imagine (1971) RS

71. The Who Tommy (1969) RS
72. The Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968)
73. Black Sabbath Paranoid (1970)
74. Derek and the Dominos Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (1970) RS
75. Sly & the Family Stone Greatest Hits (1970) RS
76. Velvet Underground Loaded (1970) RS
77. The Smiths The Queen Is Dead (1986) RS
78. R.E.M. Automatic for the People (1992) RS
79. Rod Stewart Every Picture Tells a Story (1971) RS
80. Pearl Jam Ten (1991) RS

81. R.E.M. Murmur (1983) RS
82. Prince Dirty Mind (1980) RS
83. New York Dolls New York Dolls (1973) RS
84. Various Artists Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (compilation: 1965-68) RS
85. Madonna Like a Prayer (1989) RS
86. The Flying Burrito Brothers The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969) RS
87. Randy Newman Sail Away (1972) RS
88. Randy Newman 12 Songs (1970) RS
89. Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (1995)
90. Bob Dylan & The Band The Basement Tapes (recorded 1967, released 1975) RS

91. Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York (recorded live 1993, released 1994) RS
92. Creedence Clearwater Revival Willy and the Poor Boys (1969) RS
93. The Rolling Stones Some Girls (1978) RS
94. Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) RS
95. Neil Young & Crazy Horse Rust Never Sleeps (1979) RS
96. Miles Davis Kind of Blue (1959) RS
97. Beck Odelay (1996) RS
98. Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream (1993) RS
99. Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life (1976) RS
100. Bob Marley & the Wailers Legend (compilation: 1973-83, released 1984) RS

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 11/30/2003; last updated 3/12/2024.

Dave's Music Database Hall of Fame: Music Maker Inductees (September 2020)

Originally posted 9/22/2020.

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 seventh class of music maker inductees celebrates the top ten all-time Billboard Hot 100 acts from 1958-2015 who were not previously inducted. Those previous inductees are the Beatles, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Madonna, Elvis Presley, Prince, the Rolling Stones, and Stevie Wonder. See the full list of music maker inductees here.

Bee Gees (active 1966-2001)

Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

Pop/disco trio from Manchester, England consisting of brothers Barry and twins Maurice and Robin. They first performed in December 1955. They went to Australia in 1958; performed as the Gibbs, later as BG’s, finally the Bee Gees. Returned to England in February 1967. In 1969, each tried a solo career. Reunited the next year. Best known for 1977’s Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, which is featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Albums of All Time. “Stayin’ Alive” is featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era. Read more.

Chicago (active 1967-)

Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

Jazz-oriented rock group formed in Chicago. Originally called The Big Thing; later Chicago Transit Authority. Members included Peter Cetera (v/b: 67-85), Robert Lamm (k/v), James Pankow (trombone), Lee Loughnane (trumpet), Terry Kath (g; died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot on 1/23/78 at age 31), Walt Parazaider (reeds), Danny Seraphine (d: 67-89), Donnie Dacus (g: 78-79), Bill Champlin (k: 82-), Jason Scheff (v: 85-), and DaWayne Bailey (g: 89-). Best known for #1 songs “If You Leave Me Now,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” and “Look Away” as well as album rock staples “25 or 6 to 4” and “Saturday in the Park.” Read more.

Daryl Hall & John Oates (active 1974-)

Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

Pop-rock, blue-eyed-soul duo. Met while students at Temple University in 1967. Hall sang backup for many top soul groups before teaming up with Oates in 1972. In the late 1980s, they passed the Everly Brothers as the #1 charting duo of the rock era. Had #1 pop hits with “Rich Girl,” “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That,” “Maneater” and “Out of Touch.” Read more.

Janet Jackson (1966-)

Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

R&B/pop singer born in Gary, Indiana. Youngest of nine children. Her older brothers, including Michael Jackson, were in the Jackson 5. She debuted at age 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with her brothers. She was a regular on TV’s Good Times (1977-79), Diff’rent Strokes (1981-82) and Fame (1984-85) before becoming a superstar singer. She had #1 hits with “When I Think of You,” “Miss You Much,” “Escapade,” “Black Cat,” “Love Will Never Do Without You,” and “That’s the Way Love Goes.” Read more.

Paul McCartney (1942-)

Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

Rock singer/songwriter and bassist born James Paul McCartney in Liverpool, England. With the Quarrymen and the Beatles (60-70) before going solo and recording with the Wings (71-79). He had #1 hits with “My Love,” “Band on the Run,” “Listen to What the Man Said,” “Silly Love Songs,” “With a Little Luck,” “Coming Up,” “Ebony and Ivory” (a duet with Stevie Wonder), and “Say, Say, Say” (a duet with Michael Jackson). Read more.

Olivia Newton-John (1948-)

Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

Country/pop singer born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. With Pat & Olivia duo and group Tomorrow before going solo. Moved to Australia in 1953. At age 16, won talent contest to England. CMA Award for 1974 Female Vocalist of the Year. In movies Grease, whose soundtrack is featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Albums of All Time, as well as Xanadu, and Two of a Kind. Had #1 hits with “I Honestly Love You,” “Have You Never Been Mellow,” “You’re the One That I Want,” “Magic,” and “Physical.” Read more.


Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

Pop/R&B singer born 2/20/1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados. Youngest artist (age 23) in Billboard history to land 10 #1’s. “Umbrella,” “Love the Way You Lie,” “We Found Love,” and “Work” are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Digital Era. Read more.

Rod Stewart

Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

Rock singer born Roderick David Stewart in Highgate, London, England. With the Shotgun Express (66),Jeff Beck Group (67-69), andThe Faces (69-75). Has worked as a solo artist since 1969. “Maggie May” is featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era. He had #1 hits with that song, “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright), “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?,” and “All for Love.” Read more.

The Supremes (active 1959-1976)

Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

Female R&B vocal group from Detroit. Formed as The Primettes in 1959. Signed to Motown’s Tamla label in 1960. Changed name to The Supremes in 1961. Members included Diana Ross (59-69), Mary Wilson (59-76), Florence Ballard (59-67; died 2/22/76), Barbara Martin (59-61), Cindy Birdsong (67-76), Jean Terrell (69-73), Lynda Lawrence (72-73), Scherrie Payne (73-76), and Susaye Green (76). Had a dozen #1 hits including “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” and “You Can’t Hurry Love,” all of which rank in the DMDB’s top 1% of songs. Read more.

Usher (1978-)

Inducted September 2020 as a “Top Billboard Hot 100 Act”

R&B singer born Usher Raymond IV on 10/14/1978 in Dallas, TX. “Yeah!” is featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Digital Era. His album Confessions ranks in the top 100 albums of the 21st century. Read more.

Friday, September 11, 2020

The World's Top 100+ All-Time Best-Selling Albums

First posted 2/20/2012; last updated 9/11/2020.

World’s Best-Selling Albums:

The Top 100+ Albums

You’d think it would be simple to generate this list; you just count up how many sales each album has and the one with the most is the best-seller and so on, right? Well…

There’s a couple problems. First, on a global scale, there just isn’t any solid means in place for tracking albums. Second, even those official sales measurers (such as the RIAA in the United States) favor more recent albums because of improvements in tracking over the years and simple population growth. Third, albums that preceded official tracking measures don’t even typically show up on all-time best-selling lists.

As a result, the DMDB has compiled what lists it can find to try to generate a worldwide bestsellers list. Click here for a complete list of those sources. In the event of ties, the oldest album is listed first. Click on an album to go to its DMDB page.

Note: One should certainly regard this list with at least some skepticism. Remember, these aren’t official numbers, just estimates. Also, to boost an album’s reputation, even official websites or record companies may inflate numbers. (Iron Butterfly has sold 30 million copies worldwide of In-A-Gada-Da-Vida? Really?) However, it is my opinion that these estimates come much closer to reflecting all-times sales than the official records reflect.

Note: when albums sold the same amount, they are listed by overall DMDB points. Also, this list is slightly over 100 albums to include all those which sold 20 million or more.

1. 72.4 million: Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)
2. 50 million: AC/DC Back in Black (1980)
3. 50 million: Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell (1977)
4. 45 million: Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
5. 44.5 million: Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
6. 42.9 million: Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 (1976)
7. 40.4 million: Grease (soundtrack, 1978)
8. 40 million: Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977)
9. 40 million: Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack, 1977)
10. 40 million: Shania Twain Come on Over (1997)

11. 38.5 million: Various Artists (Whitney Houston et al) The Bodyguard (soundtrack, 1992)
12. 35.0 million: Michael Jackson Bad (1987)
13. 34.4 million: Abba Gold: Greatest Hits (compilation, 1992)
14. 33 million: Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill (1995)
15. 33 million: Celine Dion Falling into You (1996)
16. 32.6 million: Dire Straits Brothers in Arms (1985)
17. 32.33 million: Eagles Hotel California (1976)
18. 32 million: The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
19. 32 million: Various Artists Dirty Dancing (soundtrack, 1987)
20. 32 million: Michael Jackson Dangerous (1991)

21. 32 million: Mariah Carey Music Box (1993)
22. 31.5 million: The Beatles 1 (compilation, 2000)
23. 31.5 million: Madonna The Immaculate Collection (compilation, 1990)
24. 31.3 million: Bob Marley & the Wailers Legend (compilation, 1984)
25. 31 million: Adele 21
26. 31 million: Metallica Metallica (aka “The Black Album”) (1991)
27. 31 million: Celine Dion Let’s Talk about Love (1997)
28. 30.7 million: Pink Floyd The Wall (1979)
29. 30.4 million: Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987)
30. 30 million: Nirvana Nevermind (1991)

31. 30 million: The Beatles Abbey Road (1969)
32. 30 million: U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)
33. 30 million: Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
34. 30 million: Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
35. 30 million: Santana Supernatural (1999)
36. 30 million: the Beatles 1962-1966 (compilation, 1973)
37. 30 million: James Horner (composer) Titanic (soundtrack, 1997)
38. 30 million: Iron Butterfly In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)
39. 30 million: Bee Gees Spirits Having Flown (1979)
40. 29.8 million: The Beatles 1967-1970 (compilation, 1973)

41. 28.5 million: Simon & Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
42. 28.3 million: Britney Spears Baby…One More Time (1999)
43. 28 million: Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet (1986)
44. 28 million: Boston Boston (1976)
45. 28 million: Backstreet Boys Backstreet Boys (U.S. version, 1997)
46. 27.6 million: Queen Greatest Hits (compilation, 1981)
47. 27.6 million: Spice Girls Spice (1996)
48. 27 million: Norah Jones Come Away with Me (2002)
49. 27 million: Eminem The Eminem Show (2002)
50. 27 million: Elton John Greatest Hits (compilation, 1974)

51. 27 million: Linkin Park Hybrid Theory (2000)
52. 26.45 million: Phil Collins No Jacket Required (1985)
53. 26.3 million: Madonna True Blue (1986)
54. 26 million: Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain (soundtrack, 1984)
55. 26 million: Eric Clapton Unplugged (live, 1992)
56. 26 million: Madonna Like a Virgin (1984)
57. 26 million: U2 Songs of Innocence (2014)
58. 25.1 million: Simon & Garfunkel Greatest Hits (compilation, 1972)
59. 25 million: Carole King Tapestry (1971)
60. 25 million: George Michael Faith (1987)

61. 25 million: Whitney Houston Whitney Houston (1985)
62. 25 million: Backstreet Boys Millenium (1999)
63. 25 million: Mariah Carey Daydream (1995)
64. 25 million: Elvis Presley Christmas Album (1957)
65. 24.5 million: Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II (1969)
66. 24.4 million: Phil Collins But Seriously (1989)
67. 24.3 million: Whitney Houston Whitney (1987)
68. 24 million: Backstreet Boys Black & Blue (2000)
69. 23.9 million: Hootie & the Blowfish Cracked Rear View (1994)
70. 23.4 million: ZZ Top Eliminator (1983)

71. 23.35 million: Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
72. 23 million: Garth Brooks No Fences (1990)
73. 23 million: Ace of Base The Sign (aka “Happy Nation”) (1993)
74. 22.4 million: Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (1995)
75. 22.3 million: Queen Greatest Hits 2 (compilation, 1991)
76. 22 million: Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II (composers) The Sound of Music (soundtrack, 1965)
77. 22 million: Def Leppard Hysteria (1987)
78. 22 million: Adele 25 (2015)
79. 22 million: Michael Jackson HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book 1 (studio album/compilation, 1995)
80. 22 million: Celine Dion All the Way…A Decade of Song (compilation, 1999)

81. 21.5 million: The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
82. 21.4 million: Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume I & II (compilation, 1985)
83. 21.3 million: Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975)
84. 21 million: Lionel Richie Can’t Slow Down (1983)
85. 21 million: Bon Jovi Cross Road (compilation, 1994)
86. 21 million: Boyz II Men Men II (1994)
87. 21 million: Dido No Angel (1999)
88. 20.4 million: U2 Achtung Baby (1991)
89. 20.4 million: Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman (1988)
90. 20 million: The Who Tommy (1969)

91. 20 million: Michael Jackson Off the Wall (1979)
92. 20 million: Blondie Parallel Lines (1978)
93. 20 million: Green Day Dookie (1994)
94. 20 million: MC Hammer Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990)
95. 20 million: Supertramp Breakfast in America (1979)
96. 20 million: Usher Confessions (2004)
97. 20 million: The Fugees The Score (1996)
98. 20 million: Tina Turner Private Dancer (1984)
99. 20 million: Shania Twain The Woman in Me (1995)
100. 20 million: Mariah Carey #1’s (compilation, 1998)

101. 20 million: Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell (1993)
102. 20 million: Various Artists: Flashdance (soundtrack, 1983)
103. 20 million: Celine Dion The Colour of My Love (1993)
104. 20 million: Aerosmith Get a Grip (1993)
105. 20 million: Ricky Martin Ricky Martin (1999)
106. 20 million: Britney Spears Oops!...I Did It Again (2000)

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

BTS “Dynamite” debuted at #1



Writer(s): David Stewart, Jessica Agombar (see lyrics here)

Released: August 21, 2020

First Charted: September 5, 2020

Peak: 13 BB, 118 DG, 16 AC, 10 A40, 3 UK, 2 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.6 UK, 5.53 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2157.70- video, 1827.50 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Foreign language hits have generally been received as novelties in the Unite States” TB but the Internet “atomized American into smaller and more segmented audiences” TB which meant “radio programmers had a harder time determining what counted as pop and what didn’t, and sounds from outside the anglophone mainstream could charge their way up the Hot 100. That, more or less, is what happened with the South Korean genre known as K-pop.” TB

K-pop is a “hypermodernized take on the old Motown charm-school model” TB “Young pop idols are trained with military precision…go[ing] through years of lessons in singing, dancing, speaking foreign languages, and interacting with the media.” TB The greatest benefactor of this approach was BTS (short for Bangtan Sonyeondan, which roughly translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts). The seven-member South Korean boy band formed in 2010 with Jin, Sugar, J-Hope, Rap Monster (later RM), Jimin, V, and Jung Kook.

They released their first album, 2 Cool 4 Skool, in 2013 and landed their first #1 in South Korea in 2016 with “Blood, Sweat & Tears.” The next year, “DNA” became their first chart hit in the U.S., peaking at #67 on the Billboard Hot 100. Even after reaching the top 10 with “Fake Love” in 2018, the group wasn’t focused on recording in English. RM said, “ We don’t want to change our identity or our genuiness to get the #1. Like, if we suddenly sing in full English…then that’s not BTS.” TB

However, after another couple of top-ten hits and the band being forced to cancel touring plans because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they did exactly that. While they “were reluctant to record ‘Dynamite’…they felt it was a necessary move…to record in English to avoid losing its pandemic momentum.” TB As their first English-language single, “Dynamite” was “created specifically to dominate the American charts” TB and did exactly that – it debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100.

The song was written by David Stewart and Jessica Agombar, “two British pop-industry professionals who’d previously worked with American stars like the Jonas Brothers and Hailee Steinfeld.” TB They focused on creating a song that was “uptempo, fun, [and would] not take itself too seriously.” TB It “needed to grab listeners’ attention immediately.” TB The result was “a bright, ingratiating piece of disco-pop…[that] was perfectly in tune with its moment on the American pop charts.” TB


First posted 3/24/2024.