Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Albums that Spent the Most Time on Billboard Charts

Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon
When you think about some of the truly great albums of all time that have spent time on the album charts, it's worth noting Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is still top dog.Released way back in March, 1973, the record spent an astounding 953 weeks on the Billboard charts, even spending a week at No. 1 in the U.S.

What's really interesting is it fell off the charts in 1988, only to re-appear with the introduction of the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart in May 1991, and has been a perennial feature ever since. It's a testament to the innovation and song writing the Pink Floyd brought to Abbey Road Studio when they created the masterpiece. 

Floyd's bassist and principal songwriter Roger Waters says he knew the band was onto something amazing when he played it for his wife.

"When the record was finished I took a reel-to-reel copy home with me and I remember playing it for my wife then, and I remember her bursting into tears when it was finished. And I thought, 'This has obviously struck a chord somewhere', and I was kinda pleased by that. You know when you've done something, certainly if you create a piece of music, you then hear it with fresh ears when you play it for somebody else. And at that point I thought to myself, 'Wow, this is a pretty complete piece of work,' and I had every confidence that people would respond to it."

Of all the albums that spent the most time on the Billboard 200, only two of the top five are non-compilations - Dark Side of the Moon and Metallica's Black Album, which sits at No. 4 with 542 weeks on the chart. Bob Marley's Legend (No. 2), Journey's Greatest Hits (No. 3), and Johnny Mathis' Greatest hits (No. 5), are all compilations.

The Black Album Shows Longevity

Metallica's Black Album
Metallica's 1991 record marked a massive change for the thrash band. The San Francisco quartet brought in uber producer Bob Rock to help them find a different sound as the band went from the brutally produced ...And Justice For All to a clear, hard-hitting sound that made the band more accessible to a much wider audience. It also helped that "Enter Sandman" became a staple of modern rock radio. The band also made a concerted effort to slow down, going from pure thrash to more grinding metal.

"…And Justice For All album sounds horrible, awful, can't fucking stand it," says Hetfield "That was our fancy stage, showing off too much. We knew we had to move on and the Black Album was the opposite. So when me and Lars got back together after a short break, I said, 'We gotta really try and write some shorter, to-the-point songs.'"

Metallica fans at the time were outraged the band was "selling out", which they were, to a certain extent, but there aren't many artists who don't want their work to be heard or seen. James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Jason Newsted, and Lars Ulrich can't be faulted for wanting to broaden their horizons and change things up.

Time, the ultimate arbiter of what becomes legendary, has shown how well the Black Album has held up and appealed to multiple generations, much like Dark Side of the Moon.

Check Out: How Pink Floyd created The Wall album

1 comment:

  1. Great read! I picked up Floyd’s DSOTMoon in 73 as a young teenager after getting a tip about it. Have enjoyed it for years. Liked the playing it to wizard of oz movies with sound down as it is absolutely amazing how so many things coincide with the record and Movistar. Have never heard anyone explain this. Is it just coincidence? Hope a band member will tell us! Love that record! Oh yeah, Metallica Black Album great too. Both are a “must have” for any rock fan!