This whole thread has a lot of unprovable assumptions and incorrect statistical interpretations with purpose to make great success of Adele's "21" even more impressive and to dismiss success of prior artists. You want to make comparisons, but in doing that some of you deliberately ignore/twist all the facts which are not in favor of Adele.
joao wrote:diamond albums were relatively common in the 80´s and 90´s - as opposed to the second half of the 00´s, when we got NO diamond album at all.
From all albums released in period 1980-1985 only 4 were certified 10x Platinum or more during 80s. "Thriller" as 20xP in 1984, "Born in the U.S.A." and "Can't Slow Down" as 10xP in 1985 and "Purple Rain" was certified as 10xP and "Born in the U.S.A." was re-certified as 11xP in 1989.
rundmck wrote:Surely Adele's 'competition' in terms of 'musical quality' is everyone else in the world making music, as it has been for every artist, ever.
Obviously there are many variables influencing public intake and consumption of music, but bringing up 'quality of other artists' is redundant, considering, as mentioned before, it is subjective.
rundmck wrote:In other words, discuss the other variables, but leave the highly subjective 'musical quality of other acts' out of it.
For some people Mozart's music or Shakespeare's dramas are nothing special but that doesn't change a fact that their works are considered by public for generations as important and great works of art. There is a difference
between personal subjective opinion and public opinion which is complex collection of opinions of many different people. Do you know why students in school around the world read and analyze works of great writers like Dostoyevsky, Goethe, Tolstoy, Cervantes, Dante, Dickens, Shakespeare, Poe etc... Do you know why some works of art are considered extremely important works of our civilization?
In excellent book "What is Art?", great Leo Tolstoy talks about art, good art, bad art, exclusive art, religious (Christian) art etc. and he writes that good art
pleases majority of people, and majority should understand what is good art.
For various reasons certain periods in the history have produced a number of quality artists and works, only for example, film movements - the French New Wave in the 60s or the Italian neorealism after the WW2... and same goes for music. Many albums from the Thriller era - 1982-84 are considered as masterpieces of (modern) music of the 20th century, actually many were considered as master-pieces immediately after release and were good sellers. We could also talk about the sociological impact made by these albums, and that is another important factor in observing a work of art and its success because some works have the quality of uniting men (or group of people) in one common feeling, perception, some albums are/were very important part of certain musical and/or cultural movement etc... Anyway, of course, like anyone else you have own personal opinion regarding quality of any of the Thriller era albums but the point is your personal opinion doesn't change a fact that the Thriller era produced many masterpieces of (modern) music and that can't be ignored with "'musical quality' is subjective" argument. Among others, Thriller's success is also impressive because it was from the era with many great albums.
Without the passage of time it is difficult to make definitive judgments about today's music and their sociological impact (if any exists at all?), but looking at sales numbers and general interest of people to spend money on new music (vs. old music), and the huge amount of money that people spend on concert tickets of old stars it is easy to make conclusion what the audience thinks about today's music in general.