Beyonce's 4 & 11 Other Numerical Album Titles
Beyonce is not the first artist to title her album after a number. Here are 11 more - one of which B may have to unseat from the top of the charts when her fourth solo album, 4, is released next month.
Chicago, Chicago III-Twenty 1 (1971-91): Chicago had a simple formula for naming albums: band name + number of albums in band's catalog. Basically, each album was titled according to its sequence in Chicago's discography, just in case they ever forget how many they had released.
Adele, 19 (2008); 21 (2011): Adele takes the fun out of album titling by naming her CDs after her age at the time of recording. 19 is essentially a breakup album. Current Billboard 200 No. 1 21 follows the same woman-scorned blueprint. We can't wait for her midlife-crisis special, 44.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Twenty (1997): The title is a tribute to a tragic incident that devastated the band in 1977. Twenty was released 20 years after the plane crash that claimed the lives of three band members: Lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zandt, backup vocalist Cassie Gaines, and guitar player Steve Gaines.
The Doors, 13 (1970): 13 is thirteen of The Doors' most popular hits stuffed into one CD. It grew to become one of their most popular albums, a rare feat for a greatest-hits compilation.
Blur, 13 (1999): 13 was supposedly named after the studio where Blur recorded its sixth LP. The album also sports 13 tracks.
Pearl Jam, Ten (1991): Mookie Blaylock is one lucky bastid. Not only does he share an uncanny resemblance with the greatest basketball player of all time, he's also wildly adored by one of the most important grunge bands ever. The band named its 1991 debut Ten in honor of its favorite basketball player. The measure brought good karma, as Ten literally struck diamond and sold almost 10 million units on its way to becoming Pearl Jam's best-selling album of all time.
The Guess Who, #10 (1973): You may be forgiven for guessing that #10 was The Guess Who's tenth album; it was actually their 12th. Who said you had to be good at math to be a rocker?
LL Cool J, 10 (2002); Exit 13 (2008); 14 Shots to the Dome (1993): If you include his greatest hits collection, then 10 is LL's 10th album for Def Jam. This was kind of a big deal, seeing as he was Def Jam's first artist. 2008's Exit 13 marked his thirteenth and final album at the label.
Prince, 3121 (2006): Prince has always used the album title as a sandbox, from the frustratingly unpronounceable love symbol to the painfully stylized LOtUSfLOW3R / MPLSºUND. 3121 is his most interesting album in recent years, but it wouldn't be a Prince album without some mystique pegged to it. Several theories exist on the inspiration behind 3121: Is it the address of Prince's mansion? His favorite Bible psalm? The number of days he can walk on water without sinking?
Toto, Toto IV (1982): Toto was pretty much backed against the wall when album No. 4 arrived. They revived their career by slowing things down and whipping up a few hits, including the unforgettable "Africa". And in the spirit of dumbing things down, they titled the album Toto IV and put four rings on the cover just to be sure.
The Beatles, 1 (2000): The Beatles compiled this 27-track showcase as an accompaniment to the group's autobiography. It's appropriately titled 1 because every song here once sat atop of the U.S. or UK singles chart.
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