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Amazon.com Press Release
November 15th, 1999
Amazon.com Customers Choose the Best Books, CDs, and Videos of the Millennium
The leading online retailer receives more than a quarter-million votes to determine the 100 best books, CDs, and videos of the past 1,000 years
SEATTLE, November 15th, 1999 - Amazon.com (www.amazon.com), the Internet's No. 1 book, music, and video retailer, today announced the results of its Millennium Poll, which asked Amazon.com customers to name their picks for best books, CDs, and videos of the past 1,000 years.
Receiving top honors were J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, best book of the millennium; the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, best album of the millennium; and George Lucas's Star Wars, best video of the millennium. Amazon.com's Millennium Poll received more than a quarter-million votes, which were used to create the definitive lists of the most popular works of the millennium.
The books, CDs, and videos that secured a place on Amazon.com's Millennium Poll lists reflect the breadth and depth of titles offered by the leading online retailer as well as the diverse tastes of its customers. Earth's Biggest Selection is brought to life by all three lists, which demonstrate Amazon.com's commitment to helping people discover books, CDs, and videos they'll love.
"For those of us who work at Amazon.com reviewing and selecting books, the Millennium Poll was an invaluable look inside our customers' minds and hearts," said Nicholas H. Allison, Books editor in chief. "The results are a bracing mix of street populism and highbrow literature. How many top-10 lists feature Stephen King's The Stand at No. 6 above James Joyce's Ulysses at No. 7?"
"I'm not at all surprised that the list includes CDs by the Beatles, Nirvana, John Coltrane, Metallica, Prince, and Bob Marley," said Music Editor in Chief Keith Moerer. "They're all great albums that have stood the test of time. As for the Backstreet Boys (whose CD, Millennium, placed No. 3), they're simply pop stars of the moment. Of course, a lot of adults said the same thing about the Beatles in 1964."
"The Millennium Poll winners offer a reflection of our customers: their choices balance the broad popularity of big box-office hits with true landmarks in film and television history, featuring titles from the 1920s to the present," said Anne Hurley, Video editor in chief. "It is also reassuring to see further evidence that our audience includes plenty of true film buffs, a fact borne out by a top-10 ranking that places classics from the '30s and '40s such as Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, and Casablanca alongside contemporary blockbusters."
The complete results of Amazon.com's Millennium Poll, which include the top 100 selections in each category, can be accessed at www.amazon.com/millennium-poll or via the Amazon.com home page at www.amazon.com.
General Highlights of Amazon.com's Millennium Poll Results Include:
* Customers chose the Bible as the best book of the millennium, but because the Bible was not written in this millennium, it was not included in the final book list.
* The Beatles dominated the music charts, receiving a grand total of 6,667 votes -- more than any other artist, writer, or entertainment franchise appearing in the Millennium Poll results.
* The Star Wars franchise received a total of 5,795 combined votes for its videos and soundtrack CDs, and Steven Spielberg received a total of 5,474 votes for eight of his films.
* Films based on seven of the top 100 books also made the top-100 video list (A Clockwork Orange, The Godfather, Gone with the Wind, Jurassic Park, The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, and To Kill a Mockingbird).
Highlights from the Books List Include:
* Literary classics dominated the top-100 book list, with legendary works such as Moby Dick, The Brothers Karamazov, Paradise Lost, and The Canterbury Tales making the final edit. However, voters also showed a strong interest in recent bestsellers, such as Beloved, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and The Firm.
* J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings topped the Books list and Tolkien received more total votes than any other author.
* Stephen King has the most books on the list (five) and is the most popular living author on the list.
Highlights from the Music List Include:
* In addition to having the No. 1 album - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - the Beatles placed a total of seven albums on the top-100 list and received 6,667 votes, more than any other music act. Other artists with more than two albums on the list include Garth Brooks with four albums, and Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, the Eagles, and Sarah McLachlan with three albums each.
* The top-100 CD list reflects the diverse interests of today's music fans, with albums representing classic rock and pop (Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan) alongside country (Dixie Chicks), classical (Beethoven and Mozart), show tunes (The Phantom of the Opera), and modern rock (Nirvana, Pearl Jam).
* When broken down by decade, 51 of the music titles are from the 1990s, 12 are from the 1980s, 16 are from the 1970s, 13 are from the 1960s, two are from the 1950s. The remaining six are classical selections, showing the timeless appeal of composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Handel.
Highlights from the Video List Include:
* Director Steven Spielberg had the most films on the list - eight - and had two movies in the top 10. Other directors with more than two films on the list were Stanley Kubrick (five), Alfred Hitchcock (four), and James Cameron and Martin Scorsese (three each).
* The original 1977 Star Wars received more votes than any other single title - whether in Books, Music, or Video - in the entire poll.
* Sequels scored big with Amazon.com customers, with the three Star Wars films, Alien and Aliens, and Terminator 2 making the list. Surprisingly, The Godfather Part II, regarded by some critics as the best sequel ever made, did not place in the top-100-videos list.
The top 10 books of the millennium, as chosen by Amazon.com customers, are:
1. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
3. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
4. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
5. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
6. The Stand: Complete and Uncut, by Stephen King
7. Ulysses, by James Joyce
8. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
9. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
10. 1984, by George Orwell
The top 10 albums of the millennium, as chosen by Amazon.com customers, are:
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, by the Beatles
2. The Beatles (the "White Album"), by the Beatles
3. Millennium, by Backstreet Boys
4. Dark Side of the Moon, by Pink Floyd
5. Abbey Road, by the Beatles
6. Thriller, by Michael Jackson
7. The Joshua Tree, by U2
8. The Wall, by Pink Floyd
9. Kind of Blue, by Miles Davis
10. Nevermind, by Nirvana
The top 10 videos of the millennium, as chosen by Amazon.com customers, are:
1. Star Wars (directed by George Lucas)
2. Titanic (directed by James Cameron)
3. Citizen Kane (directed by Orson Welles)
4. Gone with the Wind (directed by Victor Fleming)
5. The Godfather (directed by Francis Ford Coppola)
6. Schindler's List (directed by Steven Spielberg)
7. The Matrix (directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski)
8. Saving Private Ryan (directed by Steven Spielberg)
9. Casablanca (directed by Michael Curtiz)
10. Braveheart (directed by Mel Gibson)
To view the complete results of Amazon.com's Millennium Poll - the top 100 books, CDs, and videos of the millennium as selected by Amazon.com's customers - visit Amazon.com's Web site or go directly to the lists at: www.amazon.com/millennium-poll.
For more information please contact
Text 100 Public Relations
Global High Technology Public Relations
Van Diemenstraat 164-166, 1013 CN Amsterdam
Tel: +31 20 5304347
Fax: +31 20 5304331
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