Every Best Selling Album In The U.S., Organized By U.S. Presidents (Because ‘Murica)

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When I watched last week’s State Of The Union address, I had two thoughts: “Hey, those are a lot of great plans that Congress won’t pass,” and “Hey, I should organize every best selling album in the U.S. by who was President was at the time, our readers would love that!”

We’re starting with Eisenhower in 1956 because that was the first year album sales were tracked in the U.S., and all this data comes from this Wikipedia page, so take it for what it’s worth.

I also had to make some adjustments to what years went to which Presidents. For example, JFK has 1961 – 1963 since he officially began his term on January 20, 1961 and was assassinated November 22, 1963, so I’m just rounding up. Also, Nixon resigned office on August 1974 in the middle of the year, but I’m giving him all of 1974 just to make things easier for myself (sorry Gerald Ford). Reminder – all these album sales only include US sales.

Here are some interesting takeaways from doing all this research:

Albums that were bestsellers in back to back years:

-My Fair Lady soundtrack (1957-58)

-West Side Story soundtrack (1962-63)

-Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983-84)

-Adele’s 21 (2011-12)

Artist with the most bestselling albums: Elton John (1974’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1975’s Elton John’s Greatest Hits, and 1994’s The Lion King soundtrack)

Other artists with multiple bestselling albums:

-Whitney Houston (1986’s Whitney Houston and 1993’s The Bodyguard soundtrack)

-Mariah Carey (1991’s Mariah Carey and 2005’s The Emancipation of Mimi)

-Eminem (2002’s The Eminem Show and 2010’s Recovery)

-Taylor Swift (2009’s Fearless and 2014’s 1989)

Artist I wasn’t expecting to have a bestselling album in the U.S.: Toto (though it is the album that has “Africa”)

Artist I was expecting to have a bestselling album in the U.S. but actually didn’t: The Eagles (they’re one of the bestselling bands of all time, but they never dominated a single year)

The most ironic album-President paring: Nixon and War’s The World Is a Ghetto

Alrighty, let’s begin:

 

Dwight_D._Eisenhower,_official_photo_portrait,_May_29,_1959Belafontecalypso

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953 – 1960)

1956: Harry Belafonte – Calypso

1957 and 1958: My Fair Lady (Broadway cast recording)

1959: Henry Mancini – Music from Peter Gunn

1960: The Sound of Music (Broadway cast recording)

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John_F._Kennedy,_White_House_color_photo_portraitWest_Side_Story_poster

John F. Kennedy (1961 – 1963)

1961: Camelot (Broadway cast recording)

1962 and 1963: West Side Story soundtrack

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Lyndon B. Johnson (1964 – 1968)

1964: Hello, Dolly! (Broadway cast recording)

1965: Mary Poppins soundtrack

1966: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Whipped Cream & Other Delights

1967: The Monkees – More of The Monkees

1968: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?

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Richard_M._Nixon,_ca._1935_-_1982_-_NARA_-_530679War_The_World_Is_a_Ghetto

Richard Nixon (1969 – 1974)

1969: Iron Butterfly – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

1970: Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

1971: Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack

1972: Neil Young – Harvest

1973: War – The World Is a Ghetto

1974: Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

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Gerald Ford (1975 – 1976)

1975: Elton John – Elton John’s Greatest Hits

1976: Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive

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Jimmy Carter (1977 – 1980)

1977: Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

1978: Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever soundtrack

1979: Billy Joel – 52nd Street

1980: AC/DC – Back in Black

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640px-Official_Portrait_of_President_Reagan_1981Michael_Jackson_-_Thriller

Ronald Reagan (1981 – 1988)

1981: REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity

1982: Toto – Toto IV

1983 and 1984: Michael Jackson – Thriller

1985: Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A.

1986: Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston

1987: Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

1988: George Michael – Faith

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640px-George_H._W._Bush,_President_of_the_United_States,_1989_official_portraitMariah_Carey_1990

George H. W. Bush (1989 – 1992)

1989: Bobby Brown – Don’t Be Cruel

1990: Janet Jackson – Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814

1991: Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey

1992: Billy Ray Cyrus – Some Gave All

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Bill Clinton (1993 – 2000)

1993: Whitney Houston – The Bodyguard soundtrack

1994: Elton John – The Lion King soundtrack

1995: Hootie and the Blowfish – Cracked Rear View

1996: Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill

1997: Spice Girls – Spice

1998: James Horner and Celine Dion – Titanic soundtrack

1999: Backstreet Boys – Millennium

2000: *NSYNC – No Strings Attached

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George W. Bush (2001 – 2008)

2001: Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory

2002: Eminem – The Eminem Show

2003: 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’

2004: Usher – Confessions

2005: Mariah Carey – The Emancipation of Mimi

2006: High School Musical soundtrack

2007: Josh Groban – Noel

2008: Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III

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640px-President_Barack_ObamaAdele_-_21

Barack Obama (2009 – current)

2009: Taylor Swift – Fearless

2010: Eminem – Recovery

2011 and 2012: Adele – 21

2013: Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience

2014: Taylor Swift – 1989

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Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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