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Numbers never lie.

In spite of the passionate debate that typically surrounds the worthiness or worthlessness of musicians and their records, clarity can always be found by taking a quick glimpse at how those artists and albums have performed in the marketplace.

Using such a criteria, one can readily see that 1998 wasn't just a bad year for rock music, -- as it has generally been touted -- it was a horrendous year for new music in general. Of the 25 best-selling records of 1998, only six were actually released last year and one, Matchbox 20's "Yourself or Someone Like You," was issued in 1996.

In analysis, such figures suggest that most music buyers were far less interested in exploring new artists or new albums than simply keeping up with the Joneses, unless those new songs happened to turn up on the soundtrack of a box-office smash.

So read on as MTV News Online takes a look at the Top 25 Albums of 1998, as determined by SoundScan sales figures, and attempts to explain how and why these particular records had people lined up at the check-out counter all year long...


pick a number, any number

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