The Quick 10: The 10 Best-Selling LPs of All Time

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As of yesterday, LPs (long-playing records) have been around for 61 years. It was June 21, 1948 that Columbia Records first unveiled a record that would hold at least 20 minutes per side. The first 10" LP ever released was a reissue of The Voice of Frank Sinatra. Since then, of course, millions of records have been released - but only a select few can be considered the best-selling records of all time. Here they are, with a disclaimer: they might be slightly out of order, as different reports have sales varying by a couple of million here and there.

[caption id="attachment_26625" align="alignnone" width="300"]'Cause this is THRILLER!![/caption]1. Thriller, Michael Jackson, 100-109 million copies. Knowing that Michael Jackson has the best-selling album ever by more than 50 million copies makes his current state of affairs even sadder (creepier... weirder... Whatever). Released in 1982, seven of its nine tracks made the Billboard 200 top 10.
2. Back in Black, AC/DC, 45 million copies. And nearly half of those came from the United States alone, however, although it's the second-best selling album in the world, it's only the fifth best-selling album in the U.S. This was the band's first album without Bon Scott; he had died of alcohol poisoning (although the actual cause of death is debated) just five months before the record was released.

3. Bat out of Hell, Meat Loaf, 43 million copies. The third-best selling album in the world was almost never made because Meat and songwriter Jim Steinman couldn't find a record company to sign them. Their manager later joked that people were forming record companies just so they could reject the Meat Loaf project. Clive Davis was particularly mean to the duo, asking if they had ever even heard pop music before. Todd Rundgren finally got behind the album, but even so, the album wasn't an immediate smash hit. It has only been through steady sales over time that Bat out of Hell has reached the #3 spot.

4. Their Greatest Hits, Eagles, 42 million copies. It's #4 in the world but #1 in the U.S., edging out even Thriller. Nine of the 10 songs on the album made the Top 40, the exception being "Tequila Sunrise."

5. The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston and various artists, 42 million copies. I had this one, too, and I'm in good company since this is the best-selling soundtrack of all time. Two of the songs - "Run to You" and "I Have Nothing" were nominated for the Best Original Song Academy Award but lost out to "A Whole New World" from Aladdin.

6. Dirty Dancing, various artists, 42 million copies. After the movie's 1987 release, the soundtrack took off. I, for one, am guilty of loving this soundtrack. The album, which included "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" and song sung by Patrick Swayze ("She's Like the Wind"), is so popular overseas that it still re-enters the Irish pop charts from time to time.

7. The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber, 40 million copies. That this album is the only soundtrack to a musical on the list is a testament to its popularity. It was the first album to ever enter the UK Albums chart at #1.
8. Millennium, Backstreet Boys, 40 million copies. If you were in junior high or high school when this album was released, no doubt you're familiar with its hits: "I Want It That Way" and "Larger Than Life." When it was first released, it set the record for the most albums sold worldwide in one week - 2.2. million copies.
9. Saturday Night Fever, the BeeGees and various artists, 40 million copies. Although artists like Kool & the Gang and KC and the Sunshine Band played on this album, no doubt most people associate this album with the falsetto-singing band. It's credited with reviving disco, which had been on its way out before Travolta and Co. made it cool again.

10. Rumours,, Fleetwood Mac, 40 million copies. The band members have acknowledged that the album was almost entirely about their struggles and affairs with one another, because at the time, Mick Fleetwood split from his wife, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks had just ended their relationship, and John and Christine McVie had separated as well. To deal with the stress of having to hang out with one another to finish this album, they all wrote songs about one another. The personalization panned out pretty well for the group, who won Album of the Year at the 1978 Grammies and spent 31 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts.

11. The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd, 40 million copies. I've talked about Dark Side before, but I didn't want to leave it off the list since it's tied with the others at 40 million copies.

Any surprises? I'm surprised the Beatles don't chart higher - they come in at 32 million for Sgt. Pepper, right behind Shania Twain's Come on Over,, Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin IV, and Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill (I literally wore that CD out). Share your shockers in the comments.

10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.


While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.


It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.


Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.


Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.


The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.


Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.


According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?


Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.


December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.


Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films

1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.



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