Home Read Features Stylus Counsel | Area Resident’s Records

Stylus Counsel | Area Resident’s Records

Track 45 | People Love Greatest Hits.

I finally got around to watching that new Creedence Clearwater Revival documentary on Netflix. It’s solid — you should watch it, especially if you like gapped teeth, bowl cuts, excellent hit songwriting and curly patch cords.

One factoid I took away from the doc was that Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits is still on the Billboard 200. It came out in 1976 — in the midst of a mess of fighty band lawsuits, four years after the breakup. But people love their Creedence. Anyone who has ever played in a bar band can attest to that. You better know at least one CCR tune if you want any free drinks. I suggest Born On The Bayou. Goddamn, it’s so good.

Anyway, the best-of compilation — as of the first week of October 2022 — has spent 608 weeks in the Billboard chart. Let’s break that down. The album came out in January 1976. That’s 2,432 weeks ago. That works out to being in the Billboard 200 exactly 25% of the time ever since. The highest the album ever got was 18. In the first week of October, it sat at No. 58, down from 55 the week before. It has gone platinum more than 10 times — that’s 10 million albums. Roughly one for every person in Sweden.

So I thought I would take a look at the current Billboard 200 for albums on the chart which have been there for 500 weeks or more. One thing seems for certain — people love a solid compilation.

Queen’s Greatest Hits was the highest-charting one at the start of October — No. 38. It’s been on this chart for 509 weeks, getting as high as No. 8. This is actually more impressive than CCR because this compilation came out in 1981 — five years later than Chronicle. But what’s more impressive is Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. Sure, it’s *only* been on the charts for 495 weeks — but this is not a compilation. It’s a regular studio album, just a very, very good one. It came out in 1977 and is the first one on our list to have been a No. 1 record.

Eminem’s Curtain Call: The Hits is next at No. 65. Another compilation, this one came out in 2005 and has spent a staggering 598 weeks in the Billboard 200. Even better, Take Care by Drake came out in 2011 — it isn’t a compilation — and has been in the Billboard 200 for 500 weeks. The former No. 1 record is currently sitting at No. 70, and is the first Canadian, too! But hold the phone, down at No. 82 we find Journey‘s Greatest Hits. The 1988 compilation has spent a staggering 731 weeks in the Billboard 200. It got as high as No. 10.

Next is another compilation — Guns N’ RosesGreatest Hits, at No. 96. The 2004 release has been in the Billboard 200 for 592 weeks. Yeah, well — AC/DC’s Back In Black is a studio album and has been there 534 weeks since its release in 1980. Currently sitting at 102 in the chart. Michael Jackson’s Thriller from 1983 is no stranger to the charts. This one is next at No. 108 for 540 weeks.

Hard to believe Doo-Wops & Hooligans by Bruno Mars is already 10 years old. Nevertheless, the non-compilation studio album has been in the Billboard 200 for 590 weeks. One the first week of October, it held down the 19th spot. Never a No. 1, the highest this monster rose was to No. 3. I doubt Bruno is complaining. Another regular studio album is next, at 112 — Nirvana‘s Nevermind. 593 weeks.

There are a few almost-500s, including Tom Petty and the HeartbreakersGreatest Hits… and then another heavy-hitter: Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers. Seriously, who doesn’t have this 1984 compilation? It’s on the Billboard 200 now at No. 126 and has been on this chart for 749 weeks. You need to go a ways down to find the next 500+ one, but it’s another studio album: Metallica’s self-titled black album from 1991. It’s 151 now, but has been on this chart for a total of 678 weeks. That buys a lot of wristbands.

That’s it for veterans on the current Billboard 200 — or the Oct. 1 edition, anyway. So, let’s just make sure to mention two other dominant albums which happen to not be on the chart at the moment, but will likely make a return before too long: 21 by Adele. It’s been in the Billboard 200 more than 541 weeks, the most by a woman.

But the best of them all is Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd. The 1973 studio album spent 962 weeks on the Billboard 200. The former No. 1 album has gone 15x platinum in the U.S. and sold 45 million copies worldwide. It only sat at No. 1 for one week, but was on the chart consecutively from 1973 to 1988. All that you touch, indeed.

•         •         •

Area Resident is an Ottawa-based journalist, recording artist, music collector and re-seller. Hear (and buy) his music on Bandcamp, email him HERE, follow him on Instagram and check him out on Discogs.