1986 – Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet reaches #1 on the US album chart

Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet represents the high water mark of the Eighties hair metal craze. Bon Jovi were different from other hair metal bands, in that they didn’t costume or wear make up, and also because one of their hits (“Wanted Dead Or Alive”) was a country and western song. (Not that stopped it from being the best song on the album.)

The album spawned four singles, two of which (“Living On A Prayer” and “You Give Love A Bad Name”) reached number one on the US charts. The other two were both top 20 hits. Unfortunately for Bon Jovi, the album was lightning in a bottle, and they would never recapture the success they enjoyed with it, although John Bon Jovi’s solo hit, “Blaze Of Glory”, would be a top ten hit around the world.

Referenced in:

Rockin’ the Suburbs — Ben Folds

1984 – Michael Jackson’s Thriller is #1 on the US album chart

Michael Jackson’s Thriller was his sixth studio album, and is still his best known and best-selling. It dominated the US album charts in 1983 and 1984, spending most of the year at number one on the charts (and the rest at number 2). It also reached number one on the charts in Australia, Japan, Sweden, West Germany, New Zealand, Holland, Canada and the United Kingdom. Of the seven singles from the album, all were top ten hits, with two of them (“Beat It” and “Billie Jean”) reaching number one on the US singles charts.

The album went on to win 8 Grammy awards, which remains a record number, and in the year of its release, became the best-selling album in the history of the world – a title which it still holds. It is also responsible for making “Weird Al” Yankovic a star, thanks to the success of his parody of “Beat It” (“Eat It”), which was his best selling single until 2009.

Referenced in:
Rockin’ the Suburbs — Ben Folds

1983 – Quiet Riot’s album “Metal Health” reaches #1 on the US album chart

Quiet Riot came out of nowhere in 1983, with two hugely popular singles in “Cum on Feel the Noise” and “Bang Your Health (Metal Health)” that carried the album to number 1 on the US, UK, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand charts.

Arguably, the success of Quiet Riot paved the way for the metal acts that were generally called the hair bands – groups like Poison, Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue – simply because it made metal mainstream for a time. However, none of their subsequent albums ever performed as well as Metal Health, although Quiet Riot kept recording and performing until 2007, when lead singer Kevin DuBrow died. After DuBrow’s death, the group disbanded.

Referenced in:

Rockin’ the Suburbs – Ben Folds

2001 — Ben Folds releases “Rockin’ the Suburbs”

Folds’ 2001 album “Rockin’ the Suburbs” was his first solo album since the dissolution of Ben Folds Five. It marked a progression for him to a more guitar-based sound, and despite its inauspicious release date, it remains one of his best selling albums. The title track was released as the first single from the album, and became his best selling song to date.

Just to clear up any confusion: the song “Rockin’ the Suburbs” mentions the release of a new cd, and in the clip, Folds brandishes a copy of his new album, also titled “Rockin’ the Suburbs”, which features the song of the same name. It’s all very recursive, and you’ll probably just get a headache if you think about it too much.

Referenced in:
Rockin’ The Suburbs – Ben Folds