Swift began preparing for the album during the same year that Red was released, and during a significant amount of media scrutiny. Over the course of the two-year songwriting period, she primarily collaborated with producers Max Martin and Shellback—Martin served as the album's executive producer alongside Swift. The album's title was inspired by the pop-music scene of Swift's birth year, and its musical content represents a stylistic departure from the country pop of her previous albums.
In contrast to Swift's previous work, the production of 1989 consists of drum programming, synthesizers, pulsating bass, processed backing vocals, and guitars.
The album's release was preceded by the 2× Platinum top 10 lead single "Centuries", released September 9, 2014 while the album was still being completed. The album's title track was released as the second single in the UK on December 15, 2014, receiving a radio premiere a month before on November 24, 2014. American Beauty/American Psycho debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 album chart, selling 218,000 equivalent copies in its first week alone and becoming the band's third No. 1 album.
In support of the record, Fall Out Boy played Soundwave in Australia and are scheduled for a UK tour and a co-headlining U.S. tour, The Boys of Zummer.
Upon its release, In the Lonely Hour received generally positive reviews from music critics, who highly praised Smith's vocal ability but criticised the music for being too conventional. The album was a commercial success worldwide, peaking at number one in Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and number two in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States.
Stevens recorded and produced the album at multiple venues in New York City using low-fidelity studio equipment and a variety of instruments between late 2004 and early 2005. The artwork and lyrics explore the history, culture, art, and geography of the state—Stevens developed them after analyzing criminal, literary, and historical documents. Following a July 4, 2005 release date, Stevens promoted Illinois with a world tour.
Critics praised the album for its well-written lyrics and complex orchestrations; in particular, reviewers noted Stevens' progress as a songwriter since the release of Michigan. Illinois was named the best-reviewed album of 2005 by review aggregator Metacritic, and was included on several reviewers' "best of the decade" lists—including those of Paste, NPR, and Rolling Stone.
The album received positive reviews from music critics. It was an international success in its first week on sale, charting at number one in twelve countries, topping both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, and reaching the top 5 in eleven other countries. Four singles were released from the album, "Sing", "Don't", "Thinking Out Loud", and "Bloodstream". "Sing" was a major international success and became Sheeran's first UK number-one single and his second US Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit. The second single off the album, "Don't", was also a worldwide success, peaking at number 8 in the UK, and being Sheeran's first ever Hot 100 top 10, peaking at number 9. "Thinking Out Loud" was a slow burner hit, becoming Sheeran's second UK number-one single after 19 weeks in the chart. It also became his highest charting US single to date, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
It continues to be one of the most popular 'best of' packages, at times selling close to 500,000 copies globally per year. The album has been reissued several times and was digitally remastered for compact disc by Legacy Recordings, issued on August 1, 2006, with a bonus track. In Japan, the album has been reissued as Open Arms: Greatest Hits with the song "Open Arms" appearing as the first song on the album. A second Journey compilation album, Greatest Hits 2, was released in 2011.
Three official singles have been released from the album: "I Bet My Life", "Gold", and "Shots". The title track is due to be released on May 2, 2015 as the fourth single.
The recording of Metallica was troubled; the band frequently entered conflicts with Bob Rock, the band's new producer, during production. The album debuted at number one in ten countries and spent four consecutive weeks at the top spot of the Billboard 200, making it Metallica's first album to top album charts. As of November 2014, the album has spent 328 weeks on the Billboard album chart, making it one of the ten longest running discs of all time.
Well received by music critics, Hozier was also commercially successful, reaching top ten positions in Ireland, UK, the United States, Canada, and Denmark. The album's lead single "Take Me to Church" was a huge success worldwide, and also earned a nomination for Song of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in 2015.
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 238,000 units sold. It also peaked at number one in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Title was the highest selling debut for a female artist's first full-length album in the US since Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream, and Epic Records' first number one album since Sara Bareilles' Kaleidoscope Heart.
Despite low commercial expectations by the band and its record label, Nevermind became a surprise success in late 1991, largely due to the popularity of its first single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit". By January 1992, it had replaced Michael Jackson's album Dangerous at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. The album also produced three other successful singles: "Come as You Are", "Lithium", and "In Bloom". The Recording Industry Association of America has certified the album Diamond, and the album has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Nevermind was in part responsible for bringing alternative rock to a large mainstream audience, and has been ranked highly on lists of the greatest albums of all time by publications such as Rolling Stone and Time.
Straight Outta Compton redefined the direction of hip hop, which resulted in lyrics concerning the gangster lifestyle becoming the driving force in sales figures. It was later re-released on September 24, 2002, remastered and containing four bonus tracks. An extended version of the album was released on December 4, 2007, honoring the 20th anniversary of the original album.