Diamonds in the Rough

What’s up? I’m back with another music viz for you all. The other day I stumbled upon an article on by Andrew Unterberger ranking 88 diamond certified albums. There were a few caveats but the fact remains, it’s a stellar list of some of the greatest albums ever released. Literally, in order to be diamond certified, an album must have no less than 10,000,000 units sold according to the RIAA.

It should be noted, as Andrew does in his article, there are lots of diamond albums, so he narrowed down his list by giving the following exception:

“That’s not counting compilations — including greatest-hits collections, live albums, and certain soundtracks — unless the set is comprised mainly of contemporary material.”

Below is a screenshot. Click here for the interactive version.


After reading, “I need to viz this as a timeline” was the first thing I thought. I popped the URL into and quickly created an 88 row dataset. I knew I wanted to add a little more supplemental data to the list. So I went to wikipedia and found a few other data points regarding each album e.g. number of tracks and duration.

Then I thought, I wanted to add another level of context. I went ahead and added the Rolling Stone 500 Albums of All-Time ranking for those included. Should you think much about a wide range in numbers on any particular album? No, not really but its there if you enjoy striking up a lively discussion a la “High Fidelity”

Until next time!

If you want to play around with data, please click here to download the raw data.

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