Can more popular = more interesting?
“Rod is a classic example of an artist where more popular = less interesting.”
– Bruce @ Vinyl Connection, in a recent thought-provoking/this-post-inspiring comment.
There are plenty of examples where that negative correlation exists (or conversely, less popular = more interesting).
As shown in Graph A, this is a relatively common scenario: as the # of albums sold increases (or popularity increases), the interesting-ness index of that particular record decreases.
But is it possible for an artist to release his/her most interesting output when the artist’s popularity is at its peak?
Is Graph B (below) merely theoretical?
Can the positive correlation, more = more, be achieved?
In search of answers, I visited Dave’s Music Database for the list of the top 100 Best Selling Albums of All Time.
Based on this list, I’m pleased to report it can be done. Sometimes, more popular = more interesting.
That being said, of the scores of artists listed, I’m only confident in saying conclusively that 2 artists pulled off the more = more equation!
Perhaps fittingly, both were sophomore albums that built upon already interesting & popular rookie releases.
Compelling arguments could probably be made for some other albums and artists from the Top 100 list but for me, these were the only ones I was willing to go ‘all-in’ with.
What say you?
Did anyone else’s commercial peak coincide with their most interesting record?