Friday, December 3, 2010

Kanye West, Justin Bieber Join Tradition Of Mega-Release Weeks

This isn't the first time labels have loaded the shelves with new releases all at once.
By Vaughn Trudeau Schoonmaker

Kanye West
Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The sheer volume of mainstream albums dropping this week makes our head spin like that ancient artifact, the vinyl record. Monday saw the release of Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday, Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Ke$ha's Cannibal, Jay-Z's The Hits Collection Vol. 1, Lloyd Banks' Hunger for More 2 and My Chemical Romance's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. And Friday is the big day for Justin Bieber's My Worlds Acoustic.

Many may wonder why the bigwigs of the music industry would put out such a gargantuan selection all at once. But there's a precedent for this kind of strategy. In fact, music lovers have been through this very same overload dilemma a handful of times over the last decade. Here's a look back at some of them:

September 11, 2001 became a national tragedy, though it was supposed to be a huge day for the music business. Mariah Carey's "Glitter" soundtrack, Jay-Z's Blueprint, Bob Dylan's Love and Theft, Ben Folds' Rockin' the Suburbs, Nickelback's Silver Side Up and P.O.D.'s Satellite were among the many albums that were released at the beginning of the week.

November 18, 2003 marked the start to one of the year's biggest music release weeks. The range of albums seemed to hit every demographic imaginable. Releases included Britney Spears' In the Zone, Blink-182's self-titled fifth studio album, Timbaland & Magoo's Under Construction, Part II, Christmas albums from Whitey Houston and Ashanti, compilations from Michael Jackson, Moby and Joe Satriani, and live albums/DVDs from Dave Matthews Band and Linkin Park.

Following the pattern of Thanksgiving week album releases, November 22, 2004 began another big week. Two "American Idol" winners, Fantasia and Ruben Studdard went head-to-head with Free Yourself and I Need an Angel, respectively. The shelves were also packed with U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, Gwen Stefani's solo debut Love. Angel. Music. Baby., as well as other releases from Creed, Anthrax, Evanescence, Nirvana and Jessica Simpson.

September 12, 2006 was the drop date of Justin Timberlake's second solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, which produced five smash hit singles. That week John Mayer's Continuum and Bob Seger's Face the Promise were released, and both eventually went platinum. Other albums and compilations came from the Mars Volta, Papa Roach, Lionel Richie, Veruca Salt, Everclear, and the Barenaked Ladies.

On September 11, 2007 after threatening to retire from music if his album Curtis was outsold, 50 Cent came in second to Kanye West's Graduation. And though he wasn't included in the 50 Cent Challenge, Kenny Chesney's Just Who I Am: Pirates and Poets was released the same day and sold very well. The date also marked the release of Animal Collective's Strawberry Jam, which didn't exactly pose a threat.

One of the wildest weeks of 2009's album drop calendar was easily that of November 16. Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster, Justin Bieber's My World, Leona Lewis' Echo, OneRepublic's Waking Up, Kris Allen's self-titled debut, Norah Jones' The Fall, and compilations from both Janet Jackson and Fall Out Boy were some of the new additions to the music scene.

Which new albums are you buying this week? Talk about it in the comments!

Open the floodgates! It's Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.

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