Biggest of the 2000's: The Billboard Decade End Review

Billboard's listings of the biggest releases of the 2000's may prove one thing. That there was very little in the way of innovation in the last ten years. Yes, there were many new artists but they tended to fit themselves into existing genres. Rock remained rock. Rap remained rap. There may have been a little throwback to earlier sounds in R&B and country may have continued it's charge towards a mainstream pop sound but, overall, the music of the last ten years was a continuation of the previous ten.

What can be seen is that there are certain artists that seem to be timeless. U2 continued their campaign to establish themselves as one of the few truly timeless, groundbreaking acts. Madonna moved farther into dance music while trying to stay on top of the latest trends. George Strait remained the old reliable country artist and Enya's new age sound continued to draw a wide audience.

Just a couple of veteran artists showed that they could change their style and still bring in sales. For better or worse, Rod Stewart's biggest albums of the decade found him crooning standards from the middle of the last century and Santana took on a distinct pop feel while collaborating with some of the biggest artists of the day.

Overall, when we get a few decades down the road, we may look back and see that the "oughts" really was one of the most boring decades in music in quite some time.
  • Albums - Let us say right up front that we don't know the methodology behind the Billboard charts. The supposedly use the Nielsen SoundScan information, but their decade end charts do not reflect it. Nielsen said that the Beatles 1 was the biggest selling album of the decade where Billboard has it at number 8. Either way, it is still the highest charting album by a veteran artist for the 2000's.

    Just behind the Beatles at number 9 is one of the biggest albums of 1999, Santana's Supernatural. Not only was the album huge, but it produced two hits (Smooth and Maria Maria) that were among the biggest of the decade.

    U2 also continued to show their dominance by placing two albums on the list, All That You Can't Leave Behind at 68 and How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb at 124. The only other veteran artist to have two was Rod Stewart with the first two volumes of his Great American Songbook series, but they finished low at 175 and 199.
  • Singles - One of the major trends of the decade was away from albums to buying individual tracks. Brought about by the digital revolution, buyers now can cherry pick their favorites from an artist's catalog. This is turning out to be very much a young artist's game as is proven on the singles lists. Only three tracks by veteran artists made it into the Top 100 of the decade, the two by Santana and Janet Jackson's All For You.

    Even worse, only one made it onto the list of the top downloads of the decade (Madonna's Four Minutes) and the radio airplay list (Santana's Smooth).
  • Catalog Albums - This year, we've very much been focused on the sales of Michael Jackson and Beatles albums but, for the decade, the Catalog Album chart is filled with a wide variety of mostly classic rock artists and their career spanning retrospectives.

    Landing at number 1 for the 2000's is Bob Seger's Greatest Hits, a testament to the longevity of his career and his ability to bring in new fans. The same can be said for the artist at number 2, Bob Marley. Almost thirty years after his death, his Legends album still regularly places high on the charts.

    Of course, the number 3 album, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is legendary as being the LP that spent the longest on the Billboard charts. Obviously, it is not slowing down as it is currently in the revamped comprehensive Top 200.

    The rest of the Catalog chart is filled with familiar names from Queen to ABBA. Then there's Michael Jackson who, with the immense sales he's had just this year, managed to place three albums on the decade end chart.
  • R&B - R&B was very much dominated by modern rap, hip-hop and neo soul acts over the last decade. Of the top 100 albums, only three were by veteran artists with Sade's Lovers Rock being the only one in the top 50. Janet and Michael Jackson each have one album on the lower end of the chart.

    The singles chart is even more sparse as LL Cool J was the only artist to make it on the list with his Luv U Better all the way down at 92.
  • Blues - Eric Clapton has always been influenced by the blues, but he has made his career in rock music. In the 2000's, he spent much of his time with his beloved music, taking the top two albums of the decade (Ridin' With the King with B.B. King and Me & Mr. Johnson. Plus, who would have guessed that the third biggest blues album of the decade would come from Aerosmith?

    Once again, an artist who had been gone for ten years when the decade started continued to sell albums at an astounding pace. Stevie Ray Vaughan and his group Double Trouble came in with the number 8, 9 AND 10 albums of the decade.
  • Country - When it comes to veteran country artists, there's nobody doing it better than King George. George Strait was dominant in this decade, placing four albums and five singles on the decade-end charts.

    The biggest album by a veteran artist, though, is really not true country. Elvis Presley's #1's collection came in at number 17 for the decade, just beating out the Eagles for the highest charting album by a veteran artist. On the singles side, the crown went to Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett who placed It's Five O'Clock Somewhere at the third biggest country single of the 2000's.
  • Rock - Billboard only published a rock singles chart for the decade and it was dominated by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. RCHP placed five singles in the top 100 with Metallica getting two and U2 having one.
  • Adult Contemporary - Another big surprise came in the Adult Contemporary singles as the second biggest track of the decade came from Unkle Kracker with Dobie Gray and their remake of Gray's 1970's hit Drift Away. Santana was also huge between the Adult Contemporary and the Adult Pop Songs list as three of their hits, all collaborations with other artists, were ranked.
  • Dance - There was on name dominating the dance charts in the 2000's, Madonna. She took the top two Dance Club hits with Hung Up and Music and placed a total of five songs on the decade-end chart. She also had the second biggest Dance Album with Confessions On a Dance Floor.
  • Jazz - If you thought that Madonna had dominated Dance, take a look at what Kenny G did on the Jazz chart. Nine of the top fifty albums are his, including the highest charting by a veteran artist, Faith: A Holiday Album.

    Also big was Harry Connick, Jr. who placed five on the tally. Surprisingly, even though he has had so many hit albums in the last couple of years, Frank Sinatra did not land one album on the jazz chart.

Comprehensive

Top 200 Albums of the 2000's
  • 1. No Strings Attached - 'N Sync
  • 2. Confessions - Usher
  • 3. The Eminem Show - Eminem
  • 4. Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
  • 5. Human Clay - Creed
  • 8. 1 - Beatles
  • 9. Supernatural - Santana
  • 16. A Day Without Rain - Enya
  • 20. O Brother, Where Art Thou? - Soundtrack
  • 68. All That You Can't Leave Behind - U2
  • 93. Elv1S: 30 #1 Hits - Elvis Presley
  • 106. Long Road Out of Eden - Eagles
  • 109. Lovers Rock - Sade
  • 119. Genius Loves Company - Ray Charles
  • 124. How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - U2
  • 138. Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 141. All For You - Janet (Jackson)
  • 142. Brand New Day - Sting
  • 159. Music - Madonna
  • 163. 50 Number Ones - George Strait
  • 175. It Had To Be You: The Great American Songbook - Rod Stewart
  • 193. The Legend of Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash
  • 199. As Time Goes By: The Great American Songbook Volume II - Rod Stewart
Top 100 Singles of the 2000's
  • 1. We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
  • 2. Yeah! - Usher Featuring Lil John & Ludacris
  • 3. Low - Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain
  • 4. How You Remind Me - Nickelback
  • 5. I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
  • 14. Maria Maria - Santana Featuring The Product G&B
  • 33. Smooth - Santana Featuring Rob Thomas
  • 65. All For You - Janet (Jackson)
The Digital, Radio Airplay, Catalog R&B, Blues, Country, Bluegrass, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Dance and Jazz charts are after the cut.


Top 100 Digital Songs
  • 1. Low - Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain
  • 2. Just Dance - Lady Gaga Featuring Colby O'Danis
  • 3. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
  • 4. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  • 5. Poker Face - Lady Gaga
  • 44. 4 Minutes - Madonna Featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland

Top 100 Radio Airplay Songs
  • 1. We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
  • 2. Yeah! - Usher Featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris
  • 3. No One - Alicia Keys
  • 4. Let Me Love You - Mario
  • 5. How You Remind Me - Nickelback
  • 23. Smooth - Santana Featuring Rob Thomas
Top 50 Pop Catalog Albums
  • 1. Greatest Hits - Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
  • 2. Legend - Bob Marley & the Wailers
  • 3. Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
  • 4. Metallica - Metallica
  • 5. 1 - Beatles
  • 6. Greatest Hits - Queen
  • 8. Back in Black - AC/DC
  • 9. Number Ones - Michael Jackson
  • 10. Greatest Hits - Journey
  • 12. Gold - ABBA
  • 14. Thriller - Michael Jackson
  • 15. Vault: Greatest Hits - Def Leppard
  • 16. Greatest Hits - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  • 18. Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • 22. 16 Biggest Hits - Johnny Cash
  • 23. A Charlie Brown Christmas (Soundtrack) - Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • 24. Greatest Hits - James Taylor
  • 25. Now That's What I Call Christmas - Various Artists
  • 26. Cross Road - Bon Jovi
  • 31. Experience Hendrix: The Best of - Jimi Hendrix
  • 33. Christmas Extraordinaire - Mannheim Steamroller
  • 37. Paint the Sky With Stars: The Best of Enya - Enya
  • 41. The Best of 1980-1990 - U2
  • 48. Essential - Michael Jackson
  • 50. The Definitive Collection - Stevie Wonder

R&B and Blues

Top 100 R&B Albums
  • 1. Dr. Dre: 2001 - Dr. Dre
  • 2. The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem
  • 3. ...And Then There Was X - DMX
  • 4. Country Grammar - Nelly
  • 5. TP-2.COM - R. Kelly
  • 36. Lovers Rock - Sade
  • 79. Invincible - Michael Jackson
  • 81. All For You - Janet (Jackson)

Top 100 R&B Songs
  • 1. Be Without You - Mary J. Blige
  • 2. We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
  • 3. Pretty Wings - Maxwell
  • 4. Lost Without You - Robin Thicke
  • 5. Blame It - Jamie Foxx Featuring T. Pain
  • 92. Luv U Better - LL Cool J

Top 15 Blues Albums
  • 1. Riding With the King - B.B. King & Eric Clapton
  • 2. Me and Mr. Johnson - Eric Clapton
  • 3. Honkin' on Bobo - Aerosmith
  • 4. Greatest Hits: 30 Years of Rock - George Thorogood & the Destoyers
  • 5. Gotta Get the Groove Back - Johnnie Taylor
  • 8. Essential - Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
  • 9. Blues at Sunrise - Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
  • 10. The Real Deal: Greatest Hits - Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
  • 11. Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues - Various Artists
  • 12. Milk Cow Blues - Willie Nelson
  • 13. Trouble No More - John Mellencamp
  • 14. Nothing Personal - Delbert McClinton
  • 15. The Best of: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection - B.B. King

Country, Bluegrass and Folk

Top 100 Country Albums
  • 1. Some Hearts - Carrie Underwood
  • 2. O Brother, Where Art Thou? - Soundtrack
  • 3. Fly - Dixie Chicks
  • 4. Home - Dixie Chicks
  • 5. Breathe - Faith Hill
  • 17. Elv!s: 30 #1 Hits - Elvis Presley
  • 23. Long Road Out of Eden - Eagles
  • 29. 50 Number One Hits - George Strait
  • 33. The Legend of Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash
  • 62. Duets - Reba McEntire
  • 64. License to Chill - Jimmy Buffett
  • 67. Raising Sand - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
  • 69. Walk the Line - Soundtrack
  • 71. Latest Greatest Straitist Hits - George Strait
  • 75. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait
  • 82. American IV: The Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash
  • 94. The Road Less Traveled - George Strait

Top 60 Country Songs
  • 1. Somebody Like You - Keith Urban
  • 2. 19 Somethin' - Mark Wills
  • 3. It's Five O'Clock Somewhere - Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett
  • 4. How Do You Like Me Now?! - Toby Keith
  • 5. The Good Stuff - Kenny Chesney
  • 12. Beer For My Horses - Toby Keith Duet with Willie Nelson
  • 15. The Best Day - George Strait
  • 26. She'll Leave You With a Smile - George Strait
  • 50. Living and Living Well - George Strait
  • 56. Run - George Strait
  • 71. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait

Rock

Top 100 Rock Songs
  • 1. How You Remind Me - Nickelback
  • 2. In the End - Linkin Park
  • 3. Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down
  • 4. Blurry - Puddle of Mudd
  • 5. Hemorrhage (In My Hands) - Fuel
  • 15. By the Way - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 27. Otherside - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 38. I Disappear - Metallica
  • 63. Can't Stop - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 70. Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 76. No Leaf Clover - Metallica
  • 90. Beautiful Day - U2
  • 92. Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Adult Contemporary

Top 50 Adult Contemporary Tracks
  • 1. I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden
  • 2. Drift Away - Unkle Kracker Featuring Dobie Gray
  • 3. If You're Gone - matchbox twenty
  • 4. I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack
  • 5. Hero - Enrique Iglesias
  • 16. Only Time - Enya
  • 19. Taking You Home - Don Henley
  • 20. The Game of Love - Santana Featuring Michelle Branch
  • 21. Can't Stop Loving You - Phil Collins

Top 50 Adult Pop Songs
  • 1. Wherever You Will Go - The Calling
  • 2. Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) - Train
  • 3. Hanging By a Moment - Lifehouse
  • 4. Unwell - matchbox twenty
  • 5. Why Don't You and I - Santana Featuring Alex Band or Chad Kroeger
  • 11. Smooth - Santana Featuring Rob Thomas
  • 27. Drift Away - Uncle Kracker Featuring Dobie Gray
  • 44. The Game of Love - Santana Featuring Michelle Branch

Dance

Top 50 Dance Club Play Songs
  • 1. Hung Up - Madonna
  • 2. Music - Madonna
  • 3. Keep Control - Sono
  • 4. No, No, No - (Yoko) Ono
  • 5. Dark Beat (Addicted to Drums) - Oscar G & Ralph Falcon
  • 6. I've Got a Life - Eurythmics
  • 9. Perfect Love - Simply Red
  • 13. Jump - Madonna
  • 18. Die Another Day - Madonna
  • 19. Sorry - Madonna
  • 22. All For You - Janet (Jackson)
  • 24. I Learned From the Best - Whitney Houston
  • 43. Precious - Depeche Mode

Top 25 Dance/Electronic Albums
  • 1. Demon Daze - Gorillaz
  • 2. Confessions On a Dance Floor - Madonna
  • 3. The Fame - Lady Gaga
  • 4. St. Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley
  • 5. 18 - Moby
  • 9. Playing the Angel - Depeche Mode

Jazz

Top 50 Jazz Albums
  • 1. Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
  • 2. It's Time - Michael Buble
  • 3. Call Me Irresponsible - Michael Buble
  • 4. Faith: A Holiday Album - Kenny G
  • 5. The Look of Love - Diana Krall
  • 6. Only You - Harry Connick, Jr.
  • 10. Harry For the Holidays - Harry Connick, Jr.
  • 13. A Wonderful World - Tony Bennett & k.d. lang
  • 15. Wishes - Kenny G
  • 16. At Last...The Duets Album - Kenny G
  • 17. Paradise - Kenny G
  • 21. Ultimate - Kenny G
  • 22. Classics in the Key of G - Kenny G
  • 24. Possibilities - Herbie Hancock
  • 27. Playin' With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues - Tony Bennett
  • 32. River: The Joni Letters - Herbie Hancock
  • 35. I'm In the Mood For Love: The Most Romantic Melodies of All Time - Kenny G
  • 36. At Carnegie Hall - Thelonious Monk Quartet With John Coltrane
  • 37. What a Night! A Christmas Album - Harry Connick, Jr.
  • 38. Ask a Woman Who Knows - Natalie Cole
  • 39. Rhythm & Romance - Kenny G
  • 40. A Swingin' Christmas - Tony Bennett Featuring the Count Basie Big Band
  • 43. The Greatest Holiday Classics - Kenny G
  • 44. The Best of Ken Burns Jazz - Various Artists
  • 47. Ray Sings Basie Swings - Ray Charles + Count Basie Orchestra
  • 48. Songs I Heard - Harry Connick, Jr.
  • 50. Oh, My NOLA - Harry Connick, Jr.
Source for all above charts: Billboard

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