August 24, 2010
Rewind back to summer 2010 when Katy Perry was back with a new album, Teenage Dream, and once again on top of the charts ruling the world with another smash summer anthem “California Gurls.” Fitting to help rep the West Coast, Snoop Dogg joined Perry’s response to 2009’s East Coast anthem “Empire State Of Mind,” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
That was only the beginning. “Gurls” wasn’t the only song trying to claim song of summer 2010’s title by her. The title track from Katy Perry’s new album Teenage Dream was also blazing up the charts vying for the honor. Perry was back better than ever and once again on top of her candy coated world of infectiously sweet pop mega hits.
August 24th marks the anniversary of when Katy’s career defining Dream was released via Capitol Records as her second major label album (Katy Hudson dropped a self titled indie Christian Rock album in 2001). In its first week, Teenage Dream debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 selling 192,000 copies.
Both summer smashes went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 and kicked off an era that couldn’t be considered anybody’s sophomore slump.
While a lot of Teenage Dream’s success could partially be contributed to hit factory producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin (also executive producers alongside Perry), it wasn’t just her Luke/Martin collaborations that the world ate up. “Firework” became the inspirational Winter hit that helped propel the album’s success way into 2011. Not to mention, it garnered Perry a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year, only losing out to Adele’s monstrous “Rolling in the Deep” at the 54th GRAMMYs in 2013.
In an effort to introduce new life to the fan favorite album cut “E.T.,” Perry enlisted Kanye West (despite her 2009 Taylor Swift defense tweet: “FUCK U KANYE. IT’S LIKE U STEPPED 0N A KITTEN.”) to add two verses to the single edit. It’s no surprise that with double the star power “E.T.” became the fourth number 1 hit from Teenage Dream. Even zany Ye lyrics “Pockets on Shrek, rockets on deck/Tell me what’s next? Alien sex/I’mma disrobe you/ Then I’mma probe you,“ couldn’t stall the futuristic tune’s chart trek.
How do you top that? One way might be to enlist an all star cast full of characters including Katy’s own Kathy Beth Terry, viral “Friday” phenomenon Rebecca Black, 80’s pop star Debbie Gibson, child actor Corey Feldman, and Kenny G to name a few who make cameos in her sitcom-like video for “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” An album standout upon release a year prior, positioned perfectly for a summer release in 2011 with the epic video, later paired with a Missy Elliott remix and you have Perry’s fifth consecutive number one hit from the same body of work. Perry became the first woman to notch five number ones from one album, putting Katy in the history books alongside Michael Jackson (for his 1987 album, Bad).
Katy’s Dream wasn’t over just yet; there was even more success to come, if you can believe it! Due to the album’s momentum, a sixth single “The One That Got Away” was released and it managed to peak in the Top 5 (no. 3) and bring it’s parent album, released in August 2010, into 2012. Extraordinarily impressive!
At this point you might imagine after a super successful album campaign plus world tour, the California Dreams Tour (February 2011-January 2012), Katy Perry might want a break. Nope, that wasn’t the case at all!
2012 saw a re-release of the mega successful album as, Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, in the works with “Part Of Me,” leading the newly reworked set. The new single officially premiered at the 54th GRAMMY Awards in 2013, and became the twentieth song to debut at number 1 on the Hot 100, and Perry’s 7th number one.
But wait, there’s even more! Katy Perry was working on an autobiographical film Katy Perry: Part Of Me, assisted by the mid-tempo Luke/Martin ballad “Wide Awake.” The track managed to peak at number 2, only held from the top spot due to the inescapable summer 2012 staple “Call Me Maybe.” In addition, Katy ended up snagging a 54th Grammy nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance, sadly once again losing to an Adele track: “Set Fire To The Rain.”
Nearly two years to the day of its release you might have thought you heard all Teenage Dream had to offer. Not quite the case. Truly it’s one of the greatest Pop albums of the 2010s. Despite having eight Top 5 singles, the album still boasts more tunes with comparable hit potential.
Most notably, the Tricky Stewart produced “Hummingbird Heartbeat” could have been the perfect sequel song to the album’s second single and title cut. Or perhaps the audacious “Peacock,” which brings Katy back to her more controversially sly lyrics (akin to her 2008 summer smash “I Kissed A Girl”). While she isn’t known for her strength in ballads (see “Thinking Of You” from One Of The Boys stalling at number 29) “Not Like The Movies,” wraps up the standard LP beautifully while showcasing the depth and range of Katy’s talent as both a songwriter and vocalist.
When you look back on how Katy Perry dominated the first few years of the decade off of one album alone, it’s hard not to consider Teenage Dream one of the top Pop albums the 2010s had to offer. With seven GRAMMY nominations, including Album Of The Year, movie quality epics presented as music videos (MTV’s VMAs will definitely have to award Katy Perry her very own Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award one day), a tour grossing $59.5 million, plus 8 massive singles peaking in the Hot 100’s Top 3 (6 hitting number 1) it’s unquestionable that Katy Perry’s legacy as a superstar was more than just a dream; this album cemented her place in the Pop music history books forever.