Britney Spears is one of the most iconic pop singers in the world. She became an instant star with “Baby One More Time”. It was her first album that burst into the music market in 1998. Baby One More Time, reached number 1 in the music chart around the world and changed the scenario of pop music. We are going to discuss the top 5 albums by Britney Spears that turned her career into a success.
Britney was born on December 2, 1981, in McComb, Mississippi, but lived most of her childhood in the small town of Kentwood, Louisiana. She grew up listening to Janet Jackson and Madonna and these iconic pop queens were the biggest influence in her entire career.
Top 7 Albums by Britney Spears
First Album: Baby One More Time
After participating in the American Disney Club with other pop stars such as Justin Timberlake or Christina Aguilera, Britney gave her career-defining performance in 1998 with her first single “Baby One More Time”. This song was produced by Max Martin who took it to the TLC group. Initially, they rejected it and, fortunately, it went to the young singer.
Britney was still an innocent and naive teenager during the release of her first album. And during that teenage period, it went on to become No. 1 in the United States and in many other countries. “Baby One More Time” sold 14 million copies in America while reached a record of 25 million throughout the world. It really broke the record for a debut singer at the musical panorama. Moreover, this single continues to remain her greatest achievement in her entire career. Besides, the discography of the song marked history in the world of pop.
After the success of the first single came “Sometimes”, which showed the most sensitive and emotional side of Britney. The song was one of the funkiest songs on the album, “(You Drive Me) Crazy”, which also received a good appreciation on the charts.
As the last single from the album, the ballad “From the Bottom of My Broken Heart” was released in the United States and Canada and “Born to Make You Happy” in the rest of the world. That was another success for the singer in the United Kingdom, where it reached the number 1.
Thanks to “… Baby One More Time”, because of this song, Britney Spears was nominated for the Grammy Awards as a best new artist. But unfortunately, the award was taken by her rival Christina Aguilera.
Second Album: Oops!… I Did it Again
After the immense success of her debut album, in 2000 Britney Spears released her second album, Oops!… I Did It Again. It was featured by the title track and was another hit for the singer, reaching number 1 in more than 10 countries.
The album debuted at the top of the American chart with more than a million copies sold in its first week. It also became the best-selling album in history by a female singer in its first week.
In this album, It was again Max Martin, the creator of her first album, “Baby One More Time”. Max Martin was responsible for most of the songs on the album Oops! The song, I Did It Again, including the second and third singles, “Lucky” and “Stronger,” were all got worldwide success. All these songs ranked very high on the sales charts.
The fourth single on the album was chosen for the country-influenced ballad “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know”. It was composed by Shania Twain, which became Britney’s first skid on the sales charts. The album “Oops!… I Did It Again” was a massive commercial success. Surpassing 10 million copies in the United States and 20 million worldwide, helped make Britney one of the most influential pop singers of that moment.
The musical style of Oops! is similar to the first album which is pop and dance-pop in its purest form. Her sweet and innocent image still remained but as she became a woman, Britney began to exploit her sexy image. The world began to notice her change in video clips and live performances. Later that helped make Britney one of the most important and influential pop stars of all time.
Third Album: Britney
The third album came in 2001 and it was simply titled, Britney. It showed the real singer, just as she is. After the release, it instantly reached number 1 on the American album chart. Impressively Britney became the first singer to hit the Billboard with a 3 consistent number one in the USA.
The first single from the album attracted the audience significantly and caused great controversy for the lyrics of the song that also brings a radical change in the musical style. I’m a Slave 4 U, created a lot of controversy for its lyrics and the discography produced by The Neptunes duo. The song was a more urban and less pop-style song, which is a lot more different from what the audience has heard from Britney so far.
In the music video, Britney showed her most sexual and provocative side. Being a provocative and sexually appealing video, it became a commercial success. But still “I’m a Slave 4 U” did not reach the height of the first singles from its first two albums.
With “Overprotected” and the ballad “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman” Britney returned to pop and similar songs as like the beginnings. Unfortunately, in the United States, both singles did not obtain good positions on the sales charts. Despite the bad performance in the USA, it did well in the rest of the world including in the United Kingdom, where both singles were top 5.
The third album “Britney” was more of a transition between the first two and the following. Although she continued to collaborate with Max Martin, she also began to work with other producers outside the pop world such as The Neptunes duo or Darkchild. But they surely gave the album a more modern and urban touch.
Particularly for this album, Britney took more creative control by co-writing several of the songs. In addition, she developed a more provocative and sexier image compared to the previous albums.
During the “Britney” era, the singer shot her first movie, Crossroads. It was a musical romance that failed to gain critical appreciation. She embarked on the Dream Within a Dream tour, which took her around the world. At that period Britney had a relationship with Justin Timberlake.
Fourth Album: In the Zone
After a period of hiatus, Britney Spears returned to the world of music in 2003. She is already the prince of pop songs on the verge of giving her most mature album, In the Zone. The musical style of “In the Zone” changed from pop to electronic music, dance, and urban pop.
Losing her originality, Britney’s voice is found synthesized in several of the songs that make up the album. Britney also put aside her longtime collaborator Max Martin to work with Bloodshy & Avant, R. Kelly, Tricky Stewart, and Guy Sigsworth. “In the Zone” became the fourth studio album and the fourth number 1 on the American chart. It surpassed half a million copies in its first week in the United States. Besides, it was also well received abroad.
The first song “Me Against the Music” is a dance-pop song with urban influences. This is Britney’s moment because she collaborated with none other than her pop icon Madonna. Both the pop queen and princes previously performed at the MTV awards and left the audience speechless with a kiss between them. “Me Against the Music” had a good commercial response around the world, but it was the second single that became the most memorable song on the album.
Toxic is one of the most iconic songs in the album, is a dance-pop and electro-pop style and with a Banghra melody. It was the singer’s first foray into this sound which later become fashionable. Moreover, this musical style continues in her subsequent works.
In addition, Toxic was the beginning of Britney’s relationship with producers Bloodshy & Avant. They continued to work on their subsequent albums.
With “Toxic” Britney Spears came back after several years. It hits the first top 10 in the United States and achieved even more success in the rest of the world. It was number 1 in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland at that very moment.
For Toxic, Britney got her first Grammy award in the category of best dance recording. The emotional ballad “Every time” and “Outrageous” was also successful both commercially and critically.
Greatest Hits: My Prerogative and the Period of Rest
In 2004, after only 5 years of a meteoric musical career, 4 studio albums, and more than 50 million records sold, Britney Spears’ record company collected all of the singer’s singles in a compilation, called Greatest Hits: My Prerogative. The first single was the title track, “My Prerogative”, produced by Bloodshy & Avant, and is a cover of the song by Bobby Brown. It was well-received in the European market although it went unnoticed on the American list.
In the video for this song, her then-husband, Kevin Federline, appears. Do Somethin ‘, another of the unreleased songs on the compilation was released as the second single in Europe and Australia. It was well-received, but it was not a single in the United States. “Greatest Hits: My Prerogative” garnered a huge response around the world and sold over 8 million copies. It was also released in a DVD version, with all of the singer’s video clips to date. Britney did not do any kind of promotion for this album.
After the greatest hits album, Britney Spears took a period of rest in which she gave birth to her two children: Sean Preston and Jayden James, and subsequently divorced her husband Kevin Federline.
B In The Mix: The Remixes
In 2005, Britney’s record company decided to release another compilation, with remixes of the best singles of her career. B In The Mix: The Remixes was the title of the album. The album comes with important DJs remixed songs by the singer. Though this includes all the previous hits “And Then We Kiss” was the only original song, which was released as a single in some countries. Sales of “B In The Mix” were very low.
During this period of time, Britney Spears was the subject of media gossip because of her private life and personal problems, since the singer had an erratic behavior and was besieged by the American media.
The Fifth Original Album: Blackout
Blackout was published after the hard times suffered by the singer. It was put on sale at the end of 2007 and stands out despite Britney Spears did not promote it, though she only recorded the promotional videos of the first two singles. Blackout was the singer’s first album that did not debut at number 1 like previous albums on the American chart. Being on the number 2, it has very low sales compared to her previous albums. Blackout stands out for being a darker album than the previous ones and dominates the electro-pop and dance-pop sound with an urban touch.
Blackout’s best single was Gimme More, which had great success in the worldwide sales lists despite the bad reviews for the MTV awards performance in 2007. In the second single Piece of Me, she criticizes the press and the paparazzi for meddling in her private life. It was well-received in all major markets, including number 1 in Ireland and number 2 in the UK.
The third single “Break The Ice”, went unnoticed on the sales charts. “Radar” was planned to be the fourth single from the album, but its release was eventually canceled although it entered several sales charts.
Blackout received rave reviews from music experts for its modern sound and production, and Rolling Stone magazine has called it one of the most influential pop albums in music history. In the 2008 MTV Music Awards, Britney managed to win several awards for the video for “Piece of Me.” This was the beginning of a new stage for Britney, who already fully recovered from her personal problems and had a healthier image.
Sixth Album: Circus
Womanizer was the first single from Circus, the pop princess’s sixth studio album. This catchy song, in an electro-pop and dance-pop style, became a real success all over the planet. It reached the top of the American Billboard chart, being the second number 1 of the singer in the United States.
In addition, her video clip generated great attention showing a fully fit Britney, where she plays various roles. “Circus”, the title track of the album, was chosen as the second single, and it also had a very good reception. It also reached number 3 in the United States and number 2 in Canada.
“If U Seek Amy” was the third single and the most controversial song on the album. It also marked the return of Britney Spears with Max Martin, the creator of her greatest hits. As a finishing touch to the album, “Radar” was published, originally belonging to Blackout, but it was included again in Circus and was released as a fourth single.
In this album, Britney Spears returned a more pop and dance-pop sound, with the participation of producers such as Bloodshy & Avant, Danja, or Dr. Luke, and stands out for the fact of reuniting with his old collaborator Max Martin. “Circus” had more promotion from Britney, as she made Womanizer presentations in several European countries, Japan and the United States, and this was reflected in sales, which were higher than those of Blackout and achieved its fifth number 1 on the US album chart with more than 500 thousand sales in its first week.
Aftermath of “The Circus: Starring Britney Spears” Tour
In March, the singer embarked on her first world tour in several years. The tour titled “The Circus: Starring Britney Spears”, was extensively successful in North America, Europe, and Australia. Even it was the highest-grossing tour of the singer. 2009 was the most successful in the singer’s live career, although she received some criticism for the use of playback in much of the concert.
Once the Circus Tour was over, Britney’s record company decided to publish a second compilation album called The Singles Collection, which included most of Britney’s singles but focusing on the more dance-pop themes of her latest works. On this album “3”, produced by Max Martin and Shellback, was the only unreleased song that received a good appreciation around the world. The fact is, it became their third number 1 in the United States Billboard chart.
Seventh Album: Femme Fatale
Following the Circus tour and her second greatest hits, Britney Spears worked on her seventh studio album, released in late March 2011. “Hold It Against Me” became the singer’s fourth number 1 in the United States, and the second to go directly to the top of the American chart, a record only achieved so far by Mariah Carey.
The title of her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale, was chosen by Britney because she represents a strong, sexy, and confident woman. This album had to be released in advance at the end of March as all its content had been leaked online. Although sales in the first week of release were significantly lower than those of “Circus.” But it was on the number 1 position in the United States, becoming her sixth studio album to achieve this position.
Despite not having reached number 1 in any country, the song has become one of Britney’s most successful recent singles, due to its great presence on radios and dance floors around the world. And It can be considered as the Femme Fatale’s most memorable single.
Comprised of Kesha, Max Martin, and Dr. Luke, “Till the World Ends” was number 3 in America. It received rave reviews from music experts and won the MTV award for a best pop video.
Following the success of the first two singles, Britney embarked on her new US tour, the Femme Fatale Tour. The tour was very well received by fans and music experts for its great show and for singing live. This is something that she did not do during the Circus Tour and that was highly criticized. The third single “I Wanna Go” was also well received and was the third top 10 single from Femme Fatale, something that had not happened since the singer’s first album.