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Old Oct 21, 2008, 01:59 AM   #2
FPSHOT
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11. Neil Diamond, 15. Diamond landed his first top 10 album, Neil Diamond/Gold, in September 1970. It was recorded at the fabled Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles. He landed his most recent top 10 album (and his first #1) in May with Home Before Dark. Diamond had 10 consecutive top 10 albums from Moods in 1972 through The Jazz Singer in 1980 (discounting four compilations released on old labels). Three of Diamond's top 10 albums are live albums. Two are soundtracks to movies that bombed at the box-office: Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which he scored, and The Jazz Singer, in which he starred.

12. Bruce Springsteen, 15. Springsteen landed his first top 10 album, Born To Run, in September 1975, five weeks before he famously appeared on the covers of TIME and Newsweek simultaneously. He landed his most recent in October 2007 when Magic hit #1. Two of Springsteen's top 10 albums are live albums with the E Street Band: the five-disk Live/1975-1985 and the double-disk Live In New York City, recorded in 2000. Springsteen had 10 consecutive top 10 albums from Born To Run through Greatest Hits in 1995. The biggest of all was Born In The U.S.A., which logged 84 weeks in the top 10. Springsteen was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

13. George Strait, 15. Strait has amassed more top 10 albums on The Billboard 200 than any other country artist in history. (Garth Brooks is in second place, with 14.) Strait also started his top 10 tally more recently than any other artist on this list. The Texan landed his first top 10 album, the Pure Country soundtrack, in November 1992. He landed his most recent in April when Troubadour hit #1. Strait was voted into the Country Music Assn.'s Hall of Fame in 2006.

14. Bing Crosby, 15. Crosby landed his first top 10 album, Going My Way, in October 1945. He landed his 15th, White Christmas, in late 1954. Both of these releases were soundtracks to Crosby movies, as were five of his other top 10 albums. White Christmas was Crosby's 15th consecutive top 10 album-and his last new release to make the top 10. The emergence of rock'n'roll made the genial crooner suddenly seem old. Crosby's tally includes two albums that also featured entertainer Danny Kaye. In 1962, Crosby became the first recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Crosby would surely have received a Kennedy Center Honor, but he died in 1977, one year before the awards were initiated. He was 74.



* * *

Now For The Fun Part: I didn't combine group and solo releases (except for McCartney's post-Beatles output, which was part of one continuous flow). If I had combined group and solo releases, the individual Beatles would hold down four of the top six spots on this list. McCartney would top the list with 47 top 10 albums. George Harrison would have 38; John Lennon, 37; and Ringo Starr, 32.

Harrison's tally in this alternate, all-inclusive list includes the 30 top 10 Beatles albums, plus five solo albums, the all-star The Concert For Bangla Desh (which he organized and fronted) and two Traveling Wilburys albums. Lennon's tally includes the 30 Beatles albums, plus three solo albums, three albums billed John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and one collaboration with his wife, Yoko Ono. Ringo's tally includes the 30 Beatles albums and his two top 10 solo albums.

Three other musicians would have made the list if I had combined group and solo releases. Since these acts, unlike the Beatles, weren't already on the list, I'm going to give them their due here:

Robert Plant, 19. Plant's tally includes 12 albums with Led Zeppelin, one with the Honeydrippers, three solo albums, two collaborations with Jimmy Page, and one with Alison Krauss. Plant first made the top 10 with Led Zeppelin's eponymous debut in May 1969. His most recent album to hit the top 10 was Zeppelin's Mothership in November 2007. Plant made the top 10 with 13 consecutive albums from Led Zeppelin to the Honeydrippers' Volume One in November 1984. Led Zeppelin was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. The group received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Eric Clapton, 17. Clapton's tally includes 11 solo albums, four albums with Cream, one with Blind Faith and one collaboration with B.B. King. Clapton first made the top 10 with Cream's Disraeli Gears in January 1968. He scored most recently in April 2004 with Me And Mr. Johnson, his tribute to blues legend Robert Johnson. Clapton's most successful album was Unplugged, which logged 38 weeks in the top 10 in 1992-1993. Clapton has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, as a member of the Yardbirds in 1992, as a member of Cream in 1993 and as a solo artist in 2000. Cream received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Jimmy Page, 16. Page's tally includes 12 albums with Led Zeppelin, one with the Honeydrippers, two collaborations with Robert Plant and one with David Coverdale. Led Zeppelin reached the top 10 with its first 10 albums, from Led Zeppelin in May 1969 to Coda in December 1982. For all this success, Page has yet to reach the top 10 as a solo artist. His highest-charting solo album was Outrider, which hit #26 in 1988.
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