’80s golden oldies

Veterans tip RIAA cert scales for May

Veteran acts such as Pink Floyd, Chicago, Kiss and Aerosmith led the list of gold and platinum certifications for the month of May. More than half of the 14 multiplatinum certs were earned from discs released during the ’80s, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America. Jimi Hendrix also earned his first career multiplatinum certification.

Pink Floyd’s seminal Columbia Records disc “The Wall,” which bowed in November 1979, topped the 11 million unit tally and led the trade org’s list of certifications, which boasted 26 gold (500,000 copies), 14 platinum (1 million units) and 14 multiplatinum albums. The tallies reflect albums shipped to stores, but not yet sold through to consumers.

Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” still ranks as its bestseller at 13 million units. The group’s career tally tops 25 million units in the U.S.

Billy Joel gained another career milestone by landing his 11th multiplatinum certification for the 9 million unit tally achieved by “Greatest Hits Vol. I & II.” The Columbia Records best-of set, which was released in June 1985, tied the crooner’s top disc for the label, “The Stranger.” Joel’s domestic career tally tops 60 million units.

Chicago, whose current “Heart of Chicago” disc is ascending the sales charts, no doubt sparked interest in its catalog. Its Reprise Records offering, “Chicago 17” which was released in May 1984, hit the 6 million plateau and nabbed the band its first 6 million unit certification. Chicago’s “Greatest Hits 1982-1989,” released in November 1989, crossed the 5 million unit mark during the period. Chicago’s career tally exceeds 34 million copies.

Jimi Hendrix’s “The Ultimate Experience” crossed the 3 million unit mark to become the late guitarist’s first triple-platinum album.

Kiss earned its 22nd gold disc with “You Wanted the Best,” its Mercury Records disc released last June in advance of its world tour.

Aerosmith logged both a gold and platinum cert for its new Columbia disc “Nine Lives,” which was released in March, marking its bow with the label.

With the new certifications, the two groups join the list of the top five bands with the industry’s highest number of gold certifications.

Kiss’ 22 gold certs trails the Rolling Stones’ 36 and the Beatles’ 38. At 20 gold albums, Aerosmith is just one shy of Rush’s 21 gold disc tally.

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