On November 30, 37 years ago, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was released, which went on to become the bestselling album in history. This is a quiz on albums.

Play it again, Sam!

1 Which bestselling music album released in the late ’70s tells the story of Pink, a rock star, and begins with a flashback on his life, starting from his schooldays?

2 One of the categories in the Grammy Awards is the best spoken word album. Three US presidents have won the award. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are two of them. The third president has actually won the award thrice. Name him.

3 This album had the maximum pressings at one go. In 1979, National Geographic magazine inserted a flexible sound page inside the back cover of all of its editions in 25 languages. Name the album, which made a huge splash at the time?

4 On which hugely popular album cover would you spot a totally nude Spencer Elden with a dollar bill just out of reach?

5 Which Indian musician, son of a renowned dancer and choreographer, released a fusion album in 1970 that used the sitar with the Moog Synthesizer and featured a cover version of the Rolling Stones’ Jumping Jack Flash ?

6 While the Sholay dialogue album was huge in the ’70s, the first real Indian dialogue album was for a film that started development in 1944 and was released only in 1960. It was easily the most expensive Indian film ever made until then. Name the film.

7 African musician Ali Farka Touré was a sensation when he was first discovered by the West for his eponymous 1976 album and is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists ever. The 2018 film Black Panther features his song. From which African country did he hail?

8 Which is the only group from a non-English speaking country to have a joint record eight consecutive number one albums in the UK? They also have consistently topped the charts in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

9 Which bestselling album had a cover designed by Jonathan Barnbrook with an image credited to NASA and also contains many surprises for fans in the artwork and images?

10 In terms of total sales, the most prolific album in Indian music history is — ironically — Young Tarang, released in 1983. Who were the performers and why is it ironic?


1 Pink Floyd’s The Wall . After his father’s death, Pink starts building a metaphorical wall around himself

2 Jimmy Carter

3Songs of the Humpback Whale , one of the mammals with the greatest vocal range

4 Nirvana’s Nevermind album. Elden was four months old when the classic picture was taken of him swimming

5 Ananda Shankar, the album had the same name. Ananda was the son of Uday Shankar and the nephew of Ravi Shankar

6Mughal-e-Azam , starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Madhubala and Dilip Kumar

7 Mali. His music is regarded as the confluence of traditional African music and the blues

8 ABBA, who hail from Sweden

9 Blackstar , David Bowie’s last album, released just two days before he passed away

10 Nazia & Zoheb Hassan. They were from Pakistan


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster; Twitter: @joybhattacharj

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