‘Our Version Of Events‘. ‘21′. ‘Babel‘.
For today’s consumer, the albums above are no doubt three of the decade’s highest selling releases- and in ‘21‘s case- one of the highest selling releases of all time.
However, while the last decade saw a number of R&B projects reach similar heights in a fashion just as spectacular, the last few years have seen the genre fall prey to a number of commercial bombs- despite efforts made by the fan favorites Frank Ocean and reigning Queen, Mary J. Blige.
Failing to produce projects that ever feel the warm embrace of Gold status, 2013 will see the genre birth a number of acts all hoping to exceed where many of their more recent predecessors failed. Two of those being Def Jam‘s Elijah Blake and Compound‘s very own B Smyth.
Unfortunately, with recent sales figures giving labels no real incentive to prioritise the genre, the pressure is on for more established acts like Beyonce and Usher to bring in new numbers akin to the prior bests, and the likes boasted by Alanis Morissette‘s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ (16x Platinum) and Celine Dion‘s ‘Let’s Talk About Love’ (10x Platinum).
Of course, while these albums were released in a world free of illegal downloads and tougher ‘industry laws’, numbers generated by Adele, Emeli Sande and Coldplay do go a long way in proving that ‘mega selling’ LPs are far from over.
Janet Jackson – ‘Velvet Rope (10 Million Worldwide)’:
TLC- ‘Crazy Sexy Cool (11 Million in the US)’:
So now we ask you…
Is it unrealistic to hope that R&B could spawn an album as commercially successful as ‘21‘, and if so…why?