Specifically, if you look at the Monster Albums of the 1980s (those that sold 9 million copies or more) and then look at the follow-up to each of those albums by the respective artists, the best follow-up album is . . . an extremely close call.
First, the criteria – I was going to use the nice, round number of 10 million copies sold, but there is that measuring stick of “A Monster Album is one everybody had to have!” And if I cut off the list at 10 million, there were a few Monster Albums that everybody had to have that would have just missed the cut.
Accepting that, there are only 24 albums that qualify for consideration. I’ve included the entire list below, with the soundtracks to Dirty Dancing, Top Gun and Footloose not eligible.
1. Michael Jackson- Thriller (29.3 Million)
2. AC/DC- Back in Black (19.1)
3. Bruce Springsteen- Born in the U.S.A. (15.9)
4.Guns N' Roses- Appetite for Destruction (15.6)
5. Whitney Houston- Whitney Houston (14.2)
6. Phil Collins- No Jacket Required (13.8)
7. Prince- Music from the Motion Picture Purple Rain (13.6)
8. Bruce Springsteen- Live/1975-85 (13.1)
9. Dire Straits- Brothers in Arms (12.9)
10. Bon Jovi- Slippery When Wet (12.9)
11. Def Leppard- Hysteria (12.6)
13. Michael Jackson- Bad (11.9)
14. U2- The Joshua Tree (11.8)
15. George Michael- Faith (11.2)
16. Madonna- Like a Virgin (10.9)
17. Lionel Richie- Can't Slow Down (10.9)
18. Whitney Houston- Whitney (10.8)
19. Van Halen- 1984 (10.1)
20. Top Gun Soundtrack (9.6)
21. Madonna- True Blue (9.1)
22. Footloose Soundtrack (9.1)
23. Def Leppard- Pyromania (9.1)
25. Garth Brooks- Garth Brooks (9)
26. Beastie Boys- Licensed to Ill (9)
27. Journey-Escape (9)
Because the Purple Rain soundtrack was all Prince, and because this is my article, that soundtrack is allowed in.
Now, looking at the above collection, any guess on what the greatest follow-up to a Monster Album from the 1980s was? Keep in mind that the follow-up itself didn’t have to be released during the 80s, only the original Monster Album.
My answer will come in Part II.
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