Ask Billboard

Keith answers questions about ZZ Top, Alanis Morrisette, rock charts and more!

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Keith Caulfield at Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Hello Keith,

With a tour of theaters coming up, a new contract with American Recordings and a deluxe reissue of "Eliminator" coming out shortly, are there any plans for RCA Records to put out a "best of" from ZZ Top?

Kelly Mullins
Charleston W.Va.

Hello Kelly,

According to ZZ Top's management, as far as they are aware, there are no current plans for RCA Records to release a greatest hits album. But who knows? That doesn't mean one might not materialize down the road, but at this moment, it's not on the horizon.

The band released four albums with RCA in the '90s and '00s, after having spent its entire career with Warner Music.

Warner has released five compilations chronicling the band's work, but none of them include any of their RCA material.

On Sept. 9, ZZ Top's biggest selling album, "Eliminator," will get the deluxe reissue treatment, bolstered with additional tracks and a DVD with music videos. The Warner Bros. set, first released in 1983, has been certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling 10 million units in the U.S.

The classic album includes the Billboard Hot 100 hits "Gimme All Your Lovin'" (No. 37), "Sharp Dressed Man" (No. 56) and "Legs" (No. 8).


Hi Keith,

I am a big fan of Alanis Morissette and love her current CD release, "Flavors of Entanglement." I believe it is her best album since "Jagged Little Pill." I absolutely love it and think that there are a handful of hits on it. However, since she gets so little promotion, especially on radio, I see that "Flavors" is falling on the Billboard 200.

Could you please tell me how the album is doing and how her other releases have sold? By the way, I get to be in front row for her concert when she comes to town in October.

Thank you,
Kevin Kotke
Milwaukee, Wis.

Hi Kevin,

Thus far, at least through the week ending Aug. 31, Alanis Morissette's "Flavors of Entanglement" has sold 184,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The album, which debuted and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart, spawned the hit single "Underneath," which reached No. 27 on our Adult Top 40 radio airplay chart.

As for her previous U.S. albums, here is a recap of the U.S. sales of Morissette's American albums according to Nielsen SoundScan:

"Jagged Little Pill" (1995; 14.6 million)
"Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie" (1998; 2.6 million)
"MTV Unplugged" (1999; 646,000)
"Under Rug Swept" (2002; 1,017,000)
"Feast on Scraps" (DVD/CD release) (2002; 76,000)
"So-Called Chaos" (2004; 470,000)
"Jagged Little Pill: Acoustic" (2005; 354,000)
"The Collection" (2005; 304,000)



Billboard has a Top R&B/Hip Hop album chart and Top Country Album chart, but no Rock album chart? Why not? Considering that the Billboard 200 seems to already be dominated by pop, R&B, hip-hop and country, how can people in the music industry and music enthusiasts know what the top rock albums are? I mean, how hard would it be really? Top Rock Tracks is not enough.

Joe Silberstein

Hi Joe,

We actually produce three different rock album charts.

Sometimes are charts are hard to locate on our Web site (even we have difficulty tracking them down sometimes), so maybe you missed them.

We've got Top Rock Albums, Top Hard Rock Albums and Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums. Each chart houses different flavors of rock, from metal to singer-songwriters and everything in between.


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