Whether it’s pandemic boredom, slavish dedication or a combination of both, fans of some of pop music’s top divas have been amusing themselves lately by launching social media campaigns to get their favorite singers’ less respected albums to the top of the download charts, years after the fact. It happened when Mariah Carey’s “lambs” drove her 2008 album “E=MC2” to the top of the iTunes album sales chart in late April, closely followed by Madonna’s devotees doing the same for 1994’s “Bedtime Stories.”
On May 3, it was Britney Spears’ turn. Her most faithful fans rallied to get the 2016 album “Glory” to the top of the iTunes album rankings, and she thanked them, releasing a video message that acknowledged the weirdness of the chart resurgence and said, “I have no idea what happened, but because of you, I’m having the best day ever.”
How good a day, or week? Good enough that she apparently decided to give fans a treat — and/or further goose sales of the long-dormant catalog album — by switching the official cover art that appears with it on digital services. Gone is the dull, up-to-the-chin lacy look in the head shot that originally fronted “Glory.” In its place now is a provocative full body shot of a largely unclothed Spears, laying back on the floor of the desert alongside a giant prop chain.
Fans, many of whom hated the blandness of the previous “Glory” cover, were besides themselves at the switch to the lounging desert shot by Dave LaChappelle, known for his artsiness as well as kinkiness, who has worked with Spears dating back to her early days but has occasionally had his ideas for her rejected or censored. The current shot is said to be the one that was originally planned for the album before it was decided that something less racy would better suit Spears as she went through personal trials at the time.
Of the switch, sources say that “she just kinda did it on her own” as a way to thank fans for re-supporting “Glory,” which was critically praised but commercially disappointing.
Fans are now clamoring to ask that a shelved music video for “Make Me” from that project get a belated release, too, while they’re on a roll.