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Wales Online
David Prince

The best-selling albums you won't believe turn 20 in 2023

We all know the saying that something ages like a fine wine and nothing ages better than music - but it's hard to believe that some of our favourite albums that were released in 2003 are now turning 20 years old.

While it seems like we only bought them yesterday, some of those recordings are now considered to be stone-cold classics with the likes of 50 Cent, The Darkness, Beyoncé, Dizzee Rascall and Amy Winehouse all releasing their debut albums in 2003.

The music world would also be changed forever when the iTunes Store opened for business the same year. Originally called the iTunes Music Store, it soon became the largest digital music vendor all over the world.

Read More: What happened to our favourite Blue Peter presenters from the '80s and '90s

A lot happened in 2003 in the world of music with Beyoncé going solo and, following their arrival at the tail end of 2002, the girl band phenomenon that was Girls Aloud flourished, all thanks to a little show called Popstars: The Rivals. As we reminisce about these albums turning 20, we can bask in their awesomeness and take a musical trip down memory lane.

Beyoncé - Dangerously In Love

When Beyoncé released her debut album Dangerously In Love, few knew that this was the album that would launch her into the stratosphere and mark her journey to becoming one of the biggest pop stars of the new century.

The Grammy Award-winning album also included all-star cameos from the likes of Jay-Z, Sean Paul, and Luther Vandross.

Radiohead - Hail To The Thief

Radiohead - Hail To The Thief (PA Photo/Handout)

No one was as shocked as Radiohead when their sixth album was leaked online some two and a half months before its release, however, this didn't dampen the public need and love for the band and their new music.

At the time, the album was hailed as the sound of a band that was firing on all cylinders, and a more live-sounding organic album compared to the band's previous releases Kid A and Amnesiac.

The Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk

2003's Elephunk was The Black Eyed Peas' breakthrough album, thanks in due course to the worldwide smash hit Where Is The Love?

At the time of the album's release the group consisted of, Fergie,, and Taboo. The album also saw collaborations with a diverse range of musicians from the likes of Justin Timberlake, blink182's Travis Barker, and John Legend.

Muse - Absolution

Rock giants Muse released their third album Absolution in September 2033 and it quickly cemented their status as one of the UK's premier rock bands

The album was full of hits with the likes of Time Is Running Out, which was the band's first UK top ten single.

The Darkness - Permission To Land

Back in 2003, who would have imagined that a rock band whose idols were the likes of Thin Lizzy and Queen, would hit the UK number one album spot for four weeks? Well, that is exactly what The Darkness did with their debut album - Permission To Land.

The buzz around the band began in 2002 with their reputation as a must-see live act preceded them and this led directly to sales of the album which was released in July 2003 and would go on to sell over a million copies.

Elbow - Cast of Thousands

Capitalising on the success of their debut album Asleep In The Back, 2003's Cast of Thousands saw Guy Garvey and the rest of Elbow continue their attack on the charts with their brand of indie rock.

Even though the band would become rock royality, it was the foundation that was laid by their earlier music that saw the band hone their skill and become the masters of what they do today.

The Thrills - So Much For The City

Irish guitar pop band The Thrills burst onto the music with their debut album So Much For The City and their brand of lo-fi indie pop rock with songs like Big Sur and One Horse Town.

The album debuted at number three on the UK album chart and stayed in the charts for most of the year.

Amy Winehouse - Frank

Amy Winehouse - Frank (PA)

The 2003 debut of Amy Winehouse's Frank remains one of the biggest moments in modern pop music history.

Even though it would be her second album that would see Winehouse become a household name, it was Frank that introduced us to the talented genius that was Amy Winehouse and it hinted at what was yet to come in the form of Back to Black, but that's a story for another time.

Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner

Boy In Da Corner was the Mercury Prize winning album for 2003 and established Dizzee Rascal as one of grime's major stars throughout the world.

The impact the album continues to have on today's grime and R&B scene will never be fully understood, in part thanks to its timeless sound and is rightly considered to be a grime classic.

Kylie - Body Language

Kylie Minogue - Body Language (PA Photo/Parlophone Records.)

Back in 2003, Kylie released Body Language which was the follow up to her com eback album Fever some two years earlier and the pop star flirt even more with synth pop and R&B.

Featuring the singles Slow, Red Blooded Woman, and Chocolate, Body Language was another successful reinvention for Minogue.

Super Furry Animals - Phantom Power

Phantom Power was Welsh Indie gods Super Furry Animals' sixth album and saw the band produce the album themselves which was a first for them.

Whatever your musical taste is, there is something for everyone on this album and it is seen as one of the best albums by the band.

Evanescence - Fallen

Even if you weren't a rock fan in the early noughties, there wasn't much chance of missing Fallen, by Evanescence, which was their debut album released in March of 2003.

The album gave us the worldwide smash hit Bring Me To Life which was used in the promotion of the Marvel film Daredevil and catapulted the band to the top of UK charts, for both the single and the album as well.

The Strokes - Room On Fire

Back in 2001, The Strokes gave the world their debut album Is This It? and become worldwide sensations, and just two years later the indie rock band delivered Room On Fire

The album would go on to sell over a million copies and would reach number two in the album charts

Sugababes - Three

Imaginatively titled Three is the third album by UK girl band Sugababes and saw the trio co-write most of the album, and helping the group make giant strides with their music.

With singles such as Hole In The Head, Too Lost In You and Caught In A Moment - the Sugababes made sure that they would be one of the leading girl bands in the UK.

Girls Aloud - Sound Of The Underground

Riding on the heels of their successful bid in winning Popstars: The Rivals competition at the end of 2002, the group wasted no time in recording their debut album and when it was released in May 2003, the album went straight to number two with only the Justin Timberlake holding them off the top spot.

The album was a solid launchpad for the reality TV group and saw the girls edge that little bit closer to becoming the girl band leaders they were destined to be

P!nk - Try This

When P!nk teamed up with Rancid's Tim Armstrong, everybody was intrigued by what was to come, the result was 2003's Try This, which followed her breakthrough album Missunderztood.

The album features the hit songs Trouble, Last To Know, and P!nk's contribution to the Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle soundtrack Feel Good Time.

Blur - Think Tank

In 2003 Blur released Think Tank, which is the band's seventh album, and saw the band delve more into the dance music scene, which is no surprise when you see that Norman Cook and William Orbit helped with some of the production on the album.

During the making of the album guitarist Graham Coxon left the band and while the album is largely ignored by the band since Coxon's return, it is no doubt a worthy addition to their collection.

Kings Of Leon - Youth And Young Manhood

When Kings of Leon released their debut album Youth and Young Manhood in July 2003, the band and their garage rock-influenced songs found their fanbase in the UK where the album peaked at number three in the album charts.

Songs like Molly Chambers and Red Morning Light helped the album gain a double platinum certificate in the UK.

The White Stripes - Elephant

White Stripes - Elephant. (Leicester Mercury)

Elephant is the Grammy award-winning album by The White Stripes. The album is mainly known in the music world for containing the hit Seven Nation Army and no doubt helped it go straight to the top of the UK Album chart upon its release.

The album has gone on to be certified triple platinum in the UK alone.

Funeral For A Friend - Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation

Can you really believe that Welsh rock band Funeral For A Friend's debut album came out 20 years ago?

Complete with songs as catchy as Juneau, and She Drove Me To Daytime Television the welsh quartet showed their potential from the start, which saw the band prove just how good they really were.

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