Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kings of Leon strike platinum with Only by the Night

Kings of Leon’s Only by the Night hit platinum status in the United States last month, which means the album sold over a million copies.  Though the band is huge across the globe, selling over six million copies of the record total so far, this is the first time a Kings of Leon album has reached platinum in the States.

This is an especially significant accomplishment when the album’s company on the Billboard Top 40 is taken into consideration.  It’s increasingly rare that an honest-to-god rock and roll record gets mainstream recognition.

The indie music faithful most likely scoff at Kings of Leon the same way they scoff at anything else produced by the big record companies.  However, the music in question certainly doesn’t sound like the standard Top 40 fare.  Moreover, Kings of Leon spent years toiling in obscurity before first gaining recognition overseas.

For a better understanding of how unlikely Kings of Leon’s stint on the Top 40 is, here’s a list of the top ten selling albums on the Billboard charts when Only by the Night went platinum:

1.    Demi Lovato – Here We Go Again
2.    Daughtry – Leave This Town
3.    Maxwell – BLACKsummers’night
4.    NOW 31
5.    Hannah Montana 3 Soundtrack
6.    Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D.
7.    Jordin Sparks – Battlefield
8.    Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
9.    Taylor Swift – Fearless
10.    Lady Gaga – The Fame

This list is essentially a compilation of what the big media corporations have rammed down America’s throat.  Demi Lovato and Hannah Montana are purely Disney creations, while American Idols Daughtry and Jordin Sparks come to us courtesy of Fox/Rupert Murdoch.

The question here: do people actually have such poor taste in music, or do media conglomerates have a complete stranglehold on public opinion?  Is it both? 

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