Go to the NEW FORUM
I think the "big" album of the last ten years was definately Kid A. Then again, if Neon Bible sold 10 mil instead of 1, I would say it's Funeral and credit it with the rise of indie in the mainstream, but it probably isn't big and era-defining on the scale that Kid A was.
For sheer musical influence on the mainstream? It's probably the Marshall Mathers LP. And it's not even in my top 10.
The Indie Big 4 (Funeral, Is This It, Kid A, and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) are like 80s alternative in their scope; they're like Remain in Light, Murmur, Doolittle and Daydream Nation. Not mega-hit albums, but mega-influential.
I think the defining album of this decade is Coldplay's A rush of blood to the head. Which is not necessarily a positive thing... For black music, Kanye West and Outkast are battling it out, though Beyoncé probably will eclipse both.
I would say clearly yes. I was in Atlanta a couple of years ago and mentioned that Radiohead was going to be in town. The people around me all said "Who's Radiohead?" No way that Kid A can be compared to Thriller or Nevermind from the standpoint of its impact on the culture. But I think it's bullshit to say that it was because of the internet. Both Thriller and Nevermind would've had the same effect if the web was around in the 80s or 90s.
Thriller has sold 65 million copies worldwide. Nevermind has sold 25 million. Kid A has sold about 3.5 million copies.
No album that I can think of. Like someone said, Eminem probably comes closest. Kid A, while great. Is not really comparable to Nevermind or Thriller in terms of cultural influence. I know a lot of people who don't even know who Radiohead is barring Creep. It's not like Michael Jackson or Kurt Cobain where everyone knew or still knows who they were/are.
If we're gonna be talking whole catalog, it has to be Kanye. 4 great albums with a dozen great singles. Then when we look at his producer credits...it's just insane how much he has done in order to bring alternative hip-hop mainstream.
The 00's were dominated by a change in technology that allowed music fans to eat up everything and spit most of it out. There might not have been a Thriller or Nevermind but that's only because no single album was that important because every week new album or single entered the mix that everyone had the opportunity to hear. With millions of albums at the fingertips of billions it's not surprising that one album didn't change the landscape of music. I'm not saying it can't ever happen again but I think if Thriller or Nevermind had come out during the download age they probably wouldn't have had the same impact.
It's a thought-provoking article, and it inspired me to post another article (in the "music business in the oh-ohs" thread).
My two cents:
No, of course there hasn't been a Thriller or a Nevermind in the last decade, if by that you mean a combination of huge commercial success and critical acclaim. I think we're unlikely to see one again--and, pace ChrisF, I do think that's because of technological change (the internet, obviously, but also mp3 players, CDs...hell, even cable television).
Good pop music has clearly become a niche market. Personally, I'm OK with that.
EDIT: Obviously, John, I agree with your post. As to what Thriller or Nevermind would have done had they been released this decade...it's a fun speculation, but obviously the answer is that Michael and Kurt would have made very different albums than they did if they had been born in 1980.
There definitely hasn't been a big decade-defining album for the naughts. I think if you made a list of all the albums that were enormously popular and influential, I think the most recent one is probably The Marshall Mathers LP. Eminem is the last really idolized superstar, if you're around my age you can remember back in '01 when everyone had his poster in their bedroom. We didn't do that for OutKast, Green Day, Kanye or Lil Wayne. 50 Cent maybe, but I think that's more of a popular, not critical phemonenon. The past 4 years or so are really funny in that there's really no superstar that critics, musicians and the general public all love. The album is slowly dying, and with that, the blockbuster album comes with it.
Come to think of it though, when the Blueprint 3 came out, lots of people I know were really excited to get it on CD. Strange, eh?
I would define the 00's as a very splintered decade. There couldn't have possibly been a Thriller or a Nevermind, because there was no way to get so many people all listening to the same thing.
I am totally agree with Mr.Jonathon.
Midnight Hour on MySpace Music –Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos
(This is partly in response to ChrisF’s last post…where are the others? Here you go.)
Again, I take it we’re defining a Thriller/Nevermind-type album as one that combines colossal sales with colossal critical acclaim. To find albums meeting both criteria, I did a bit of digging. OK, OK, I went to Wikipedia.
Below is a list of all albums which both:
a. are ranked in the Acclaimed Music top ten for the decade of their release, and
b. have sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1960s #4, 32 million sold)
Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon (1970s #8, 45 million)
Michael Jackson, Thriller (1980s #4, 110 million)
Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain (1980s #8, 20 million)
U2, The Joshua Tree (1980s #6, 25 million)
Nirvana, Nevermind (1990s #1, 26 million)
A fun fact I can’t resist sharing: if we make it each decade’s AM top ELEVEN, rather than top ten, we can add four more albums to the above list:
The Beatles, Abbey Road (1960s #11, 30 million)
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV (1970s #11, 37 million)
Guns N’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction (1980s #11, 28 million)
Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1990s #11, 22 million)
(That’s right…each decade’s #11 album from the 60s to the 90s has sold over 20 mil. Weird, huh?)
Nothing in the 2000s top ten is anywhere near this level of sales.
Really, I've just been looking at the top selling albums of the decade and I've noticed one (very obvious) fact: they all come from early in the decade. Most people would just say that they have had the most time to sell, but I also think that during that time, the internet was less prevalent and digital music sales were less. Thus, this adds to the point that due to the internet, there was probably no room for an album to be in every house.
And in case you were wondering, this is the top albums for the decade (sales only based in the USA, I couldn't find a worldwide list):
1. The Beatles - 1 - 11,499,000
2. *NSYNC - No Strings Attached - 11,112,000
3. Norah Jones - Come Away With Me - 10,546,000
4. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP - 10,204,000
5. Eminem - The Eminem Show - 9,799,000
6. Usher - Confessions - 9,712,000
7. Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory - 9,663,000
8. Creed - Human Clay - 9,491,000
9. Britney Spears, Oops! ... I Did It Again - 9,185,000
10. Nelly - Country Grammar - 8,461,000
Out of these, the only album that I could think of to be close to the scale of "Thriller" or "Nevermind" would be the two Eminem albums and the Beatles "1" which while not critically acclaimed (due to being a greatest hits album), it feels like the was everywhere.
EDIT: Based on Wikipedia, the best selling albums worldwide of the decade are:
1. The Beatles - 1
2. The Backstreet Boys - Black & Blue
3. Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory
4. Britney Spears - Oops!... I Did It Again
5. Norah Jones - Come Away with Me
6. Shakira - Laundry Service
7. Usher - Confessions
Those are the only 7 selling more than 20 million to begin with...
Well, I think Come Away with Me is one of the best albums ever, so there.
Also, would Speakerboxxx/Love Below count? 11x Platinum in the US (granted, double album) and lots of critical acclaim.
"Come Away With Me" is music for people who don't like music; for people who buy one CD a year. A pharmaceuticals company should purchase its copyright and market it as a sleeping aid.
Liking the stats, schleuse.
Also Thriller and Nevermind changed all mainstream instead of just one portion of it, and didn't need neo-puritan backlash to get themselves more attention. And even accepting Eminem is the most influential artist of the decade, he's nowhere near as influential as Public Enemy was.
I think it's a good thing there aren't single iconic albums that sum up the entire musical culture of the time. Back then, to get heard you needed the record label's stamp of approval, and even then your fans could only see you through the lens of your marketing. Now musicians can play whatever they want and have an outlet to be heard. We have lots of people searching out lots of different stuff and figuring out what they like instead of just getting spoonfed whatever the labels thought was the next new craze.
Once again; not arguing the net doesn't hurt record sales. I'm arguing that the same cultural impact could happen. What are the second place albums in terms of cultural impact from the 80s and 90s?
“neo-puritan backlash”? I’m not even sure what that means, but it’s a great phrase.
Having thought about it some, the best example of a high-sales/high-acclaim/high-influence album this decade might be The Blueprint. It’s “only” double platinum in the US, though.
Exactly. I expect a good 20 new 5 stars from AMG in the next 3-4 years. Probably when a lot of the 00s classics start hitting their 10 year anniversaries.
Right now, only 5 rock albums of the post OK Computer era have 5 stars: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Summerteeth, Is This It, Toxicity and Elephant. While I don't think there have been nearly as many 5 star worthy albums in the 00s as in past decades, Funeral, Kid A, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and others are obvious choices for future recipients of a 5 star.