The entire recording industry normally comes down to raw numbers at the end of the day. No matter how many artists try to go above and beyond for the sake of their art, there is nothing that matters more than serving the company’s bottom line. Yet, on the rarest of occasions, the general public agrees with the mindset of big business.
Outside of the usual obscure rock and roll records, it was the albums that made rock a cultural force and one of the best-selling genres imaginable. What… don’t you believe it? Compared to most of their peers, these records have become Diamond. That’s over 10 million copies sold of their record. And that was back when the physical medium was also the only way to get the numbers, so copies of those records were flying off the shelves.
Since this is based on raw numbers taken by the RIAA, this is the kind of rock and roll you can actually bring to the bank. For the sake of variety, let’s take a look at one per artist and see just how much of a hold rock has on the music world. It takes any artist to be successful, but these are the records that everyone has collectively recognized as being great.
There are probably quite a few people who have Born in the USA in their house and have no idea what the song is really about. Considering this was an album that shows a working class man’s butt against the backdrop of an American flag, this should be an ode to all things great about stars and stripes, isn’t it not? Well, actually not at all when it comes to the lyrics.
After selling over 15 million copies, people began to realize what they had bought, with many of Springsteen’s most famous songs detailing the rougher side of American life. Although you’ve got the tough, rambunctious American spirit behind something like No Surrender and Working on the Highway, the characters in those songs are much more depressed than they were on Born to Run, like the man stuck in your own life on My Hometown or leaving a lover behind on the downhill train.
Hell, The Boss himself thought the record was a bit too dark that he ended up livening up the Glory Days arrangement to make it more of a comedy than a tragedy. Again, this is just a testament to the E Street Band as a whole. Leave it to these guys to make the death of the American dream sound like the most passionate music in the world.