50 Fascinating Facts about Music Albums

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1Aladdin Sane

The album cover to “Aladdin Sane”, featuring a lightning bolt across Bowie’s face, was the most expensive cover ever made at the time. The image went through a dye transfer process, extensive airbrushing, and the plates were made up in Switzerland.


2. When the Eagles band broke up in 1980, Don Henley said in an interview that they would play again together “when hell freezes over.” About 14 years later, the Eagles released their comeback album, ‘Hell Freezes Over.’


3. About 400 copies of Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning” album were accidentally printed in green instead of blue in France. These rare misprints are now considered collector’s items.


4. When the Rolling Stones were forced to make another single to fulfill their contract, they recorded a vulgar song known as “Cocks*cker Blues.” In retaliation, their former label released an album named ‘Stone Age’ which comprised of the band’s greatest hits. Despite Stone’s renunciation, it hit the top 10 on UK charts.


5. ‘The Tragically Hip’ is a band that has been nicknamed “the most Canadian band in the world.” They have sold more albums in Canada than global bands like U2, and have had nine albums in the #1 spot on Canadian charts, but are virtually unknown outside of Canada.


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6Bat out of Hell

Meat Loaf has sold over 200,000 copies of his first album “Bat out of Hell (1977)” every year for the past 40 years (as of 2018), making it one of the most successful albums of all time.


7. Dave Grohl wrote and recorded an entire album by himself, singing and playing each instrument in the studio. He chose the name Foo Fighters for the album to hide his identity. After a record label picked it up he needed to recruit members to perform the songs live. Thus the Foo Fighters were created.


8. When recording with ‘Bowie in Berlin,’ Brian Eno would use whatever loose change he had in his pocket to buy a U-Bahn subway ticket to however far that cash would take him, and then spend the day exploring there. Bowie says they took that approach to record the album.


9. Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” is implied to be an endless loop. The final song, “Outside the Wall”, ends with the words “Isn't this where...”, and the album begins with the words “... we came in?” with a continuation of the melody of the last song, hinting at the cyclical nature of Water’s theme.


10. The creator of the TV show Archer became bored with the show and wrote a Country music career for Cheryl in season 5. The show’s producers went so far as to record a full country album named “Cherlene”. This album surprised music fans with its quality and reached #68 on iTunes.


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11Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath’s debut album in 1970 “Black Sabbath” began with the sound of rain and a distant church bell. About 43 years later, in 2013, their final album ended with the sound of rain and a distant church bell.


12. David Bowie was so unconvinced of the commercial viability of his album “Low” that after its release he decided to tour as Iggy Pop’s keyboardist instead of promoting the new record.


13. The band Fleetwood Mac seriously considered thanking their drug dealer in their album credits for “Rumours.” They ultimately decided against it after their drug dealer was murdered.


14. The title of the Radiohead album “OK Computer” comes from a line in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “OK, computer, I want full manual control now.” The song “Paranoid Android” refers to “Hitchhiker” character Marvin, the Paranoid Android.


15. In 1969, a musician named Jim Sullivan recorded an album called “U.F.O.”, which featured strange lyrics about leaving his family and being abducted by aliens. Sullivan disappeared 6 years later without a trace, the only piece of evidence being his abandoned car found on a desert road.


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16Sleepify

The band Vulfpeck released a completely silent album on Spotify named “Sleepify” and asked their fans to play it on repeat while they slept. They earned $20,000 in royalties before Spotify closed the loophole.


17. The opening track to Slipknot’s album “Iowa” titled “515” wasn’t just random screaming. Sid Wilson was having an emotional breakdown in the studio because he wasn’t able to make it home to tell his grandfather goodbye before he died.


18. After the Beatles fired drummer Pete Best in favor of Ringo Starr, he formed a new band and released the album: “Best of the Beatles,” a play on his own name. This led to disappointment from fans who bought the album without reading the tracklisting.


19. Stagehands mistakenly installed a malfunctioning piano for hour-long solo Jazz performance. Musician, Keith Jarrett, had to improvise around the instrument’s limitations and a recording of this concert went on to become the bestselling piano album (The Köln Concert) of all time.


20. The sound quality of the album “Back in Black” by AC/DC is so good, that after its release, studios in Nashville would use it to check the acoustics of a room, while Motörhead would use it to tune their sound system.


21Smash

The Offspring’s Album ‘Smash’ had a small budget of $20,000, which limited studio time. The last four songs recorded for the album were worked through in just two nights. “Smash” went on to be the best-selling album released by an independent record label with over 11 million sales.


22. All the tracks in Prince’s first album ‘For You’ was produced, arranged, composed, and performed by Prince. He sang all the parts and played all the 27 instruments, including the guitars, bass, synths, drums, wind chimes, piano, clavinet, and even the bongos.


23. Johnny Cash fought for the rights of Native Americans and dedicated an entire album to them named “Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian.” Radio stations refused to play any song in the album. In retaliation, Cash bought an ad on Billboard asking: “Where are your guts?”


24. Frank Zappa’s Grammy-winning album ‘Jazz from Hell’ received a “Parental Advisory” sticker even though it is a collection of instrumental pieces and contains no lyrics at all.


25. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album was on the Billboard charts for a total of 741 consecutive weeks from 1973 to 1988.

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