Blackout (Britney Spears album)
|Studio album by Britney Spears|
|Released||October 25, 2007|
|Britney Spears chronology|
|Singles from Blackout|
Blackout is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Britney Spears. It was released on October 25, 2007, by Jive Records and the Zomba Music Group. Opting to re-establish her music career after her fourth studio album, In the Zone (2003), she began planning the project in 2006. Work continued into 2007, during which time Spears' much-publicized personal struggles, including several instances of erratic behavior and her divorce from Kevin Federline, overshadowed her professional endeavors.
Blackout represents a musical departure from Spears' earlier work, featuring a foreboding and atmospheric tone in terms of musical and lyrical direction. She collaborated with producers including Danja, Bloodshy & Avant, Sean Garrett, and The Neptunes in several recording studios around the United States, including Spears' home in Los Angeles, with the intention of creating uptempo, high-energy music. Their efforts resulted in a primarily electropop, dance-pop, and R&B record, which sees additional influences from euro disco, dubstep, and funk. The lyrical themes revolve around fame, media scrutiny, sex, and clubbing.
Upon its release, Blackout received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented it as Spears' most progressive and consistent album. However, some suggested that its quality should have been attributed to the producers rather than Spears, and criticized her vocals for being overly-processed. The album has appeared on many end-of-the-year and decade lists, including reader polls by Billboard and Rolling Stone; The Times named it as the fifth best pop album of the decade. Rolling Stone described it as one of the most influential albums in modern pop. In 2012, the album was added to the library and archives of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Blackout was originally scheduled to be released on November 13 in the United States, though it was ultimately rush-released after several unauthorized internet leaks. It was expected to debut at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, but debuted at number two with first-week sales of 290,000 copies after a last-minute rule change. Consequently, Blackout is distinguished as Spears' first studio album not to debut in the number-one position in the United States, although it was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for exceeding one million shipments. The record charted in the top-ten of several national charts internationally, and has attained several certifications worldwide. By the end of 2011, Blackout had sold 3 million copies worldwide.
Three singles were released from Blackout. Its lead single "Gimme More" peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and charted strongly internationally. Follow-up singles "Piece of Me" and "Break the Ice" respectively peaked at numbers 18 and 43 in the United States, and experienced moderate success worldwide. Unlike her previous records, Spears did not heavily promote Blackout; her only televised appearance for Blackout was a universally-panned performance of "Gimme More" at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards.
- 1 Background and development
- 2 Recording
- 3 Composition
- 4 Release and artwork
- 5 Singles
- 6 Promotion
- 7 Critical reception
- 8 Commercial performance
- 9 Legacy
- 10 Track listings
- 11 Credits and personnel
- 12 Charts
- 13 Certifications
- 14 Release history
- 15 References
Background and development
In November 2003, while promoting her fourth studio album In the Zone, Spears told Entertainment Weekly that she was already writing songs for her next album and was also hoping to start her own record label in 2004. Henrik Jonback confirmed that he had written songs with her during the European leg of The Onyx Hotel Tour, "in the bus and in her hotel room between the concerts." Following her marriage with Kevin Federline in October 2004, Spears announced through a letter on her official website that she was going to "take some time off to enjoy life." However, on December 30, 2004, she made a surprise appearance at Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM to premiere a rough mix of a new midtempo track, "Mona Lisa". Spears had recorded the song live with her band while on tour, and dedicated it to all the "legends and icons out there." The lyrics lament the fall of Mona Lisa, calling her "unforgettable" and "unpredictable," and cautions listeners not to have a "breakdown". She also revealed she wanted the song to be the first single of her upcoming album, tentatively titled The Original Doll, and hoped to release it "probably before summertime , or maybe a little sooner than that." In January 2005, Spears posted another letter on her website, saying,
I think I should rephrase myself from my previous letters when I was talking about taking a 'break'. What I meant was I am taking a break from being told what to do. ... It's cool when you look at someone and don't know whether they are at work or play since it's all the same to them. The things I've been doing for work lately have been so much fun, because it's not like work to me anymore. I've been even more 'hands on' in my management and the business side of things, and I feel more in control than ever.
A representative for Jive Records stated that although Spears was working in the studio, "no album is scheduled at the moment" and "there are no plans to service 'Mona Lisa' to radio." "Mona Lisa" was released in a bonus CD included in the DVD of Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. (2005). Spears gave birth to her first son, Sean Preston, on September 15, 2005. In an interview with People in February 2006, Spears explained that she was anxious to resume her career, commenting she missed "traveling [...] the road, seeing different places and being with the dancers and having fun. That feeling of being on the stage, knowing it's your best – I love that. I needed a break. I needed to be hungry again." When asked about her next album, she said she had been experimenting in her home studio with live musicians, stripping down her sound and playing the piano. Spears wanted the album to represent her Louisiana roots, explaining that she grew up listening to blues. "When I was little, I would listen to myself [...] But the record label signs you, and you're just thankful to get a hit song. You can't really show off your voice and where you came from. I would like to try to have more influences of that sound. Not that I'm going to be like frickin' Tina Turner. But you never know", she stated. She also said that she hoped the album would reinvigorate the current pop scene, adding that "It's been boring. Nothing's been wow to me." On May 9, 2006, Spears announced she was pregnant with her second son. A few days later, producers such as J. R. Rotem and Sean Garrett told MTV News they were working with Spears. On September 12, 2006, Spears gave birth to her second child, Jayden James. She filed for divorce from Federline on November 7, 2006, citing irreconcilable differences. After the divorce, her partying and public behaviour drew attention from the worldwide media, and ended with two separate stints at rehab facility Promises in February 2007. Her manager Larry Rudolph released a statement on March 20, 2007, saying that she "successfully complet[ed] their program."
The M+M's Tour
The M+M's Tour was the fifth concert tour by Britney Spears. She started rehearsing for a show at House of Blues venues in secret, and pulled out of a surprise performance on April 25, 2007, at Los Angeles nightclub Forty Deuce. After a marquee reading "The M+M's" at the House of Blues in San Diego, appeared in late April 2007, media sources identified the act as Spears, and the show quickly sold out. The tour began in San Diego and marked the first time Spears performed live since The Onyx Hotel Tour in June 2004. The show featured Spears accompanied by four female back-up dancers performing shortened versions of five songs, including hits such as "...Baby One More Time" and "Toxic". It displayed choreographed dance numbers and only one costume change. During the performance of "Breathe on Me" from In the Zone, a male audience member participated onstage. The opening performance received mixed reviews from critics. Some said that Spears looked happy and in great shape, while others deemed the show as subpar. Although seen as inferior to her previous efforts, it was a great experience for Spears, who seemed to love returning to stage in a simple setting. Scalpers outside the San Diego venue sold tickets with a face value of $35 for prices between $200 and $500.
Earnest recording of the album began in 2006, according to a Spears' representative. Spears first met Rotem in Las Vegas, Nevada in March 2006, and enlisted him to work on the album after listening to Rihanna's "SOS". They wrote and recorded four songs together, including "Everybody" and "Who Can She Trust". In July 2006, she started working with Danja, who contacted songwriters such as Keri Hilson, Jim Beanz, Marcella Araica and Corte Ellis to work with him. The team wrote seven tracks for Spears: "Gimme More", "Break the Ice", "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)", "Hot as Ice", "Perfect Lover", "Outta This World" and "Get Back". Danja explained that the creative process was not difficult at first since he was "left to do pretty much whatever I wanted to", and "if she felt it, she was gonna ride with it. If she didn't, you’d see it in her face." Hilson wrote "Gimme More" with Spears in mind after Danja played her the instrumental, saying, "I just started singing, 'Give me, Give me,' and added a little more in and just having fun and messing around really." Spears began recording with them at Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas in August 2006, while she was seven months pregnant with Jayden James. Recording continued at Spears' house in Los Angeles, three weeks after she gave birth. Hilson commented that "She gave 150 percent. [...] I don’t know any other mother that would do that." Danja added that despite all her problems in her personal life, "As far as her work ethic, I haven't seen anybody come in like that and do what you go to do." Regarding the sound of the album, He deemed it as bigger, more mature and "a new Britney", explaining, "I come from hip-hop, so it's underlined with [it], but I throw it down."
Kara DioGuardi, co-producer of "Heaven on Earth" and co-writer and co-producer of "Ooh Ooh Baby" worked with Spears while she was pregnant with her second child. DioGuardi said that Spears "worked really hard" and called her "unstoppable". In September 2006, Rotem told MTV News that him and Spears were trying to innovate the current sound of radio at the moment, exemplifying Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous". In November 2006, Spears recorded "Radar" with Ezekiel Lewis and Patrick M. Smith of The Clutch at Sony Music Studios in New York City. Lewis had wanted to work with her for a long time and was motivated to produce something for her that was going to "help her project become a great project to come back with". Smith stated that the team tried to create a record "for the Britney Spears that we know and love" and that it did not "touch on anything that was really dealing with all the stuff that she was dealing with." Both commented that although Spears arrived late to the recording sessions, she caught them off guard with her efficiency and professionalism, with Lewis adding, "It was absolutely nuts, and she took directions very well. [...] I don’t know what I was expecting because we went in to cut that record the day after she filed divorce from Kevin." T-Pain, who co-wrote "Hot as Ice", was in the studio with Spears in February 2007, and stated that one of the three songs they recorded was finished in only an hour. He said that he "thought she was going to be sitting on the couch eating Doritos or nachos or something [...] but she came in, shook my hand, gave me a hug and went right in the booth. She got in there and put it down."
"Heaven on Earth" was written by Nicole Morier, Nick Huntington and Michael McGroarty, the latter two known as Freescha. Although Morier had been writing songs with Greg Kurstin and other artists, she felt she "hadn't really found [her] niche" until she wrote "Heaven on Earth", which she described as "a very honest song". After she played the song to her publisher, they met with Spears and her A&R Teresa LaBarbera-Whites, who both loved it. Morier described "Heaven on Earth" as the song that transformed her career. Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, known as Bloodshy & Avant, co-wrote and co-produced four tracks: "Piece of Me", "Radar", "Freakshow" and "Toy Soldier". When the album was considered to be finished, they were persuaded by LaBarbera Whites to work on a new track. Winnberg commented that it had always been "an unwritten rule" to not write songs about Spears' personal life, since "Sweet Dreams My LA Ex", an answer song to Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River", was rejected by her record label. However, the duo wrote "Piece of Me" with Klas Åhlund anyway as an answer to Spears' critics, and sent it to the singer who "loved it". Winnberg stated, "We knew that the song broke all the rules we had, [...] When she came to the studio, she was extremely psyched, had learned the lyrics by heart in the car, and recorded the song on half an hour." Before the album's release, LaBarbera-Whites told MTV News that the album "shows a lot of growth as a performer. [...] She was very involved in the songs and how they turned out. It's her magic that turns these songs into what they are." Among the producers who worked in Blackout but did not make the album were Scott Storch, Dr. Luke and Ne-Yo.
Danja stated that Spears' objective was to make a fun, danceable album with uptempo, high-energy music, saying, "She wanted to stay away from being personal. It's fun, it's basic and there's nothing wrong with that. It's about feeling good, celebrating womanhood." The album opens with the first single "Gimme More", an upbeat dance-pop song with influences of electro and funk. The song opens with a spoken intro in which Spears says the line "It's Britney, bitch". The lyrics appears to be about dance and sex, although they are actually about the media's fascination with her private life, as noted in the lines "Cameras are flashin' while we're dirty dancin' / They keep watchin', keep watchin'". The next song and second single, "Piece of Me" runs through a down-tempo dance beat and consists of over-the-top vocal distortions, causing a split sound effect and making it difficult to discern which voice is Spears'. It talks about fame and is written like a biography retelling her mishaps, while she sings in a nearly spoken manner. The third track of the album, "Radar", is an electro and Euro disco song which features distorted synthesizers emulating sonar pulses, that received comparisons to those of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" (1981). In the lyrics, Spears lets the subject know he is on her radar, while she lists the qualities the man has.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
The fourth song and third single "Break the Ice" opens with Spears singing the lines "It's been a while / I know I shouldn't have kept you waiting / But I'm here now". The song features a choir and Keri Hilson singing background vocals sounding almost like a duet. Hilson explained the song is about "two people, a girl and a guy, [...] and the girl is saying, 'You're a little cold. Let me warm things up and break the ice.'" After the chorus, the bridge begins with Spears saying "I like this part" mimicking Janet Jackson in "Nasty" (1986). The album's fifth track, "Heaven on Earth", is a Euro disco love song with new wave influences. It is inspired by Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" (1977), with three vocal lines taking place over the beat. Nicole Morier commented that the song was written from a very dark place, saying, "I was thinking of someone and thinking they were so perfect and that I have all these imperfections. [...] I think what's touching about it is that it's from the perspective of someone who feels like they really need this person just to feel safe and feel good." Spears named the song her favorite from Blackout. The sixth track, "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)" is an uptempo dance song about sex. It is constructed as a duet between Spears and Danja, who sings the chorus with his voice distorted to sound like a decaying moan. Spears contributes a series of gasps, sighs and chants and her voice is also distorted. The seventh track, "Freakshow", is built around the 'wobbler' effect of dubstep. Spears sings about dancing and being in the spotlight in lyrics such as "Make them other chicks so mad / I'm 'bout to shake my ass / Watch that boy". During the bridge, her vocals are pitched down low, making her sound masculine.
After "Freakshow" is Blackout 's eight track, "Toy Soldier", an R&B song reminiscent of Destiny's Child that showcases a military drumroll and Spears singing about needing a new lover. In "Hot as Ice", an R&B song featuring background vocals by T-Pain, she sings in a higher register, "I'm just a girl with the ability to drive a man crazy / Make him call me 'mama,' make him my new baby." Blackout 's tenth track "Ooh Ooh Baby" contains a flamenco guitar and blends the beat from Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll" (1972) and the melody of The Turtles' "Happy Together" (1967). In the lyrics, she sings to a lover "Touch me and I come alive / I can feel you on my lips / I can feel you deep inside". Kara DioGuardi said she was inspired by the relationship between Spears and her first son in the studio, saying, "I would look at the two of them, the way they looked at each other and the way she would hold the baby. It kind of struck me as interesting. At times it'd be about a kid at times about a lover." "Perfect Lover" an R&B song, has a propulsive, clattery belly-dance beat in which Spears sings lyrics such as "Tick-tock / Tick-tock / Come and get me while I'm hot". The twelfth track is "Why Should I Be Sad", a midtempo R&B song directed to her ex-husband Kevin Federline. One of the bonus tracks, "Everybody", samples Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (1983). It features Spears singing about the dancefloor in a breathy lower register.
Release and artwork
In June 2007, Spears posted a message on her official website asking for assistance with a title for the album. Among the options were OMG Is Like Lindsay Lohan Like Okay Like, What If the Joke Is on You, Down Boy, Integrity and Dignity. On October 6, 2007, Jive Records announced through a press release that the album would be titled Blackout, referring to "blocking out negativity and embracing life fully." Blackout was set to be released on November 13, 2007. However, Jive announced on October 10, 2007, that the release date would be moved up two weeks, to October 30, 2007, due to unauthorized leaks. The following day, Zomba Label Group filed a lawsuit against Perez Hilton claiming he illegally obtained and posted on his gossip blog at least ten songs and unfinished demos of the album. Zomba representatives alleged the posts had taken place over the course of the previous three months, and requested real and punitive damages as well as legal costs. On June 30, 2009, the parties submitted a stipulation to dismiss the case, pursuant to an undisclosed settlement agreement. The following month, The District Court judge dismissed the case, with prejudice.
The cover sleeve and images were shot by Ellen von Unwerth. The cover was released by Jive Records on October 12, 2007. It features Spears sporting black hair and wearing a white fedora. A reviewer for the Ottawa Citizen felt the design was "horrendous". The centerfold pictures feature Spears and a priest in suggestive poses in a confessional. The first image shows Spears, who wears a cross and fishnet stockings, sitting on the priest's lap, while in the second one she leans suggestively against the confessional with the priest sitting on the other side of the partition. After the album was released, the Catholic League's director of communications Kiera McCaffrey stated that the group considered the photos a "cheap publicity stunt" to promote the album and condemned Spears for "mocking a Catholic sacrament". McCaffrey added, "All we see is how troubled this girl is now, especially with her family, losing her kids, with her career on a downward slide. And now she's put out this album and this is her tactic to promote it?" Gil Kaufman of MTV said that the images were reminiscent of Madonna's music video for "Like a Prayer" (1989). The booklet also contains pictures of empty chairs with ripped tabloid pages and still images from the music video for "Gimme More". The album does not include a thank-you list, unlike her previous albums.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
"Gimme More" was released as the album's lead single. The song was met with mixed reviews from critics, who praised the music but dismissed Spears' vocals. "Gimme More" peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming her fifth top ten hit and also her second highest-peaking single at the time. It also peaked at the top of the charts in Canada and reached top five positions in fourteen countries. The accompanying music video premiered on October 5, 2007. It displayed Spears as a stripper and featured a break from Spears' highly choreographed music videos. It received mixed to negative reviews from critics, who panned Spears' pole dancing as well as the lack of storyline.
"Piece of Me" was released as the second single from the album. Critics gave the song positive reviews, praising its production and defiant lyrics, while citing it as one of the highlights from Blackout. Rolling Stone ranked the song at number fifteen on their list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007. It peaked at number one in Ireland and reached top ten positions in Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In the United States, it became the second single from the album to have peaked at the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. The music video, directed by Wayne Isham, portrayed Spears' life at the time and showed her with her friends disguising themselves in order to confuse the paparazzi. Isham's concept was to have Spears confidently parodying her situation. It received mixed reviews from critics, most arguing her body was digitally altered. The video was nominated in three categories at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards and won all of them, including Video of the Year.
"Break the Ice" was released as the third and final single from Blackout. It received positive reviews from music critics, who deemed it as a strong electronic track of the album. The song was a moderate success, reaching the top ten in Belgium, Canada, Finland, Ireland and Sweden and charting within the top forty in Australia, New Zealand and many European countries. In the United States, the song reached number forty-three on Billboard Hot 100, while peaking at number one on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. An accompanying music video, directed by Robert Hales, was released on March 12, 2008. The anime video was based on the superheroine character of Spears' "Toxic" music video, and portrays her destroying a highly secured laboratory with several clones, including one of herself. "Radar" was originally planned to be released as the third single from Blackout, according to Ezekiel Lewis of The Clutch. "Break the Ice" was released instead and "Radar" was chosen as the fourth single. However, the release was scrapped when Spears began recording new material for her sixth studio album, Circus. It was later released as the fourth single from that album.
After days of media speculation, it was confirmed on September 6, 2007 that Spears would open the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards at the Pearl Theatre in the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 9, 2007. It was also announced that she was going to perform "Gimme More", with a magic act from illusionist Criss Angel in some parts of the performance. However, the bit is thought to have been rejected by the show's organisers at the last minute. The performance began with Spears lip synching the first lines of Elvis Presley's 1958 song "Trouble". "Gimme More" began, and the camera panned out to reveal Spears wearing a black, jewel-encrusted bikini and black boots. She was accompanied by male and female dancers dressed in black outfits. Several pole dancers danced in smaller stages around the audience. The performance was universally panned by critics. Jeff Leeds of The New York Times said that "no one was prepared for Sunday night’s fiasco, in which a listless Ms. Spears teetered through her dance steps and mouthed only occasional words in a wan attempt to lip-synch her new single". Vinay Menon of the Toronto Star commented Spears "looked hopelessly dazed. She was wearing the expression of somebody who had been deposited at the Palms Casino Resort by a tornado, one that promptly twisted away, taking her clothing and sense of purpose. [...] [She was] lumbering, in slow motion, as if somebody had poured cement into her streetwalker boots". David Willis of BBC stated her performance would "go down in the history books as being one of the worst to grace the MTV Awards".
Unlike Spears' previous albums, Blackout was not heavily promoted through magazine interviews, talk-show appearances or televised performances besides the performance at the Video Music Awards and was not accompanied by a tour either. On November 27, 2007, MTV launched the contest "Britney Spears Wants a Piece of You", in which fans could direct a separate video for "Piece of Me", using footage of interviews and performances from Spears. Using the MTV Video Remixer, fans could mix and create a mash up of the footage. The winning video premiered on TRL on December 20, 2007, and MTV, Jive Records and Spears herself picked the winner. The winner also received a Haier Ibiza Rhapsody device along with a one year subscription to Rhapsody, as well as Spears' entire discography released in the United States.
|The New York Times||(favorable)|
Blackout received positive reviews from most music critics, with its production and innovation being a particular source of acclaim. The album holds a score of 61 out of 100 (indicating "generally positive reviews") based on 24 critical reviews, according to the music review aggregator Metacritic. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, senior editor of AllMusic, said the album "is state-of-the-art dance-pop, a testament to skills of the producers and perhaps even Britney being somehow cognizant enough to realize she should hire the best, even if she's not at her best." A reviewer from Blender deemed it as "her most consistent [album], a seamlessly entertaining collection of bright, brash electropop." Margeaux Watson of Entertainment Weekly commented that while the album is not poetry, "there is something delightfully escapist about Blackout, a perfectly serviceable dance album abundant in the kind of bouncy electro elements that buttressed her hottest hits." A reviewer for NME said that the heavily treated vocals make Spears sound robotic, adding that "it could really do with a few more human touches." Pitchfork Media's Tom Ewing called "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)" the centerpiece of the album, and added that "like most of Blackout, is superb modern pop, which could probably only have been released by this star at this moment. Britney as walking catastrophe makes for great car-crash copy and her record can fit into that if you want it to." Mike Schiller of PopMatters said that "Right down to its utterly garish cover, Blackout is utterly disposable and ultimately forgettable." Melissa Maerz from Rolling Stone explained that Blackout "is the first time in her career that she's voiced any real thoughts about her life" and that "she's gonna crank the best pop booty jams until a social worker cuts off her supply of hits." Rob Sheffield of the same magazine described Blackout as "one of the most influential albums in modern pop".
Slant Magazine writer Sal Cinquemani compared the album unfavorably to In the Zone, saying that although Blackout "scores well, and its hotness quotient is remarkably high, [it] isn't much of a step forward for Britney following 2003's surprisingly strong In the Zone, for which she received a writing credit on a majority of the songs (as opposed to a scant three here)." Andy Battaglia of The A.V. Club said Blackout "counts both as a significant event and as a disquieting aberration that couldn't be more mysteriously manufactured or bizarrely ill-timed" in which "every song counts as markedly progressive and strange." Alexis Petridis from The Guardian called it "a bold, exciting album: the question is whether anyone will be able to hear its contents over the deafening roar of tittle-tattle." Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times said, "The electronic beats and bass lines are as thick as Ms. Spears's voice is thin, and as the album title suggests, the general mood is bracingly unapologetic." Peter Robinson of The Observer stated that Spears "delivered the best album of her career, raising the bar for modern pop music with an incendiary mix of Timbaland's Shock Value and her own back catalogue." The Phoenix 's Ellee Dean said the album "may be more a tribute to the skills of the A-list producers who guided her through the disc than to any of her own talents. But at least she was smart enough to accept that guidance." In his consumer guide for MSN Music, critic Robert Christgau gave the album a B+ and said that "From 'Gimme More' 's 'It's Britney bitch' hiya to 'Piece of Me' 's single-of-the-year sonics, from 'Ooh Ooh Baby' 's 'feel you deep inside' to 'Perfect Lover' 's 'touch me there,' this album is pure, juicy, plastic get-naked."
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Blackout sold 124,000 copies during its first day of availability in the United States. Jessica Letkemann of Billboard compared the sales favorably to those of the number-one album of the previous week, Carrie Underwood's Carnival Ride, which sold 49,000 copies. Letkemann also estimated that Blackout would possibly debut at the top of the Billboard 200. On November 6, 2007, Billboard announced that even though The Eagles's first-week sales of Long Road Out of Eden had handily surpassed Spears, they would not debut at the top of the charts because of rules forbidding albums exclusively sold at one retail outlet (Walmart in this case) from entering the Billboard 200. The magazine's senior analyst and director of charts Geoff Mayfield explained he was frustrated by the situation, saying "I can believe the Eagles sold more, but I'm not seeing anything that verifies for me that they outsold her and anything we see otherwise might be from people with a stake in suggesting that." During the afternoon of the same day, Walmart issued a press release announcing that Long Road Out of Eden had sold 711,000 copies. At night, it was announced through an article on Billboard.biz that after an agreement with Nielsen SoundScan, Billboard would allow exclusive album titles that were only available through one retailer to appear on the charts, effective that same week. Hence Long Road Out of Eden would top the Billboard 200, while Blackout would debut at number two, with sales of 290,000 copies. It became Spears' first studio album to not debut at number one. The album, however, set the record as the biggest selling digital album debut by a female artist in one week at the time. Following the release of Circus in December 2008, Blackout re-entered the chart at number one-hundred ninety eight, with sales of 4,600 copies. As of May 2012, the album has sold over 1 million copies in the United States.
In Canada, Blackout debuted atop of the Canadian Albums Chart with sales of 29,000 units. It became her first number-one album there since Britney in 2001. It was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) for shipments of 100,000 copies. In Australia and New Zealand, Blackout debuted at number three and eight in the official charts, respectively. It was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) indicating shipments of 70,000 units. Blackout debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart with sales of 42,000 units, only behind Long Road Out of Eden. It stayed on the chart for twenty-eight weeks. It was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipments of 100,000 copies. In Ireland, the album debuted at the top of the Irish charts, replacing Magic by Bruce Springsteen. Blackout also debuted at number-one in the European Top 100 Albums, holding off Long Road Out of Eden and Eros Ramazzotti's e² from reaching the top of the chart. The album had consistent performance across the European region, hitting the top ten in ten markets, including debuting at number four in Switzerland, number six in Austria, Italy and Denmark, and number ten in Germany and Portugal. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the album was the thirty-second best selling album of 2007. By the end of 2008, Blackout had sold 3.5 million copies worldwide.
When Blackout was released, Spears' behaviour in public began to clash with her image. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic stated that Spears was an artist that always relied on her "carefully sculpted sexpot-next-door persona", but for Blackout "those images [we]re replaced by images of Britney beating cars up with umbrellas, wiping her greasy fingers on designer dresses, and nodding off on-stage, each new disaster stripping away any residual sexiness in her public image." Erlewine added that the album served as a soundtrack "for Britney's hazy, drunken days, reflecting the excess that's splashed all over the tabloids", while noting that the album had a coherence that the public Spears lacked. Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times said Spears became a spectral presence in her own album, explaining that when compared to her previous records, "[she] cuts a startlingly low profile on Blackout [...] Even when she was being marketed as a clean-cut ex-Mouseketeer, and even when she was touring the country with a microphone that functioned largely as a prop, something about her was intense." Tom Ewing of Pitchfork Media compared the relationship between Spears and Blackout with American television series Twin Peaks, saying that what made the show "so great wasn't the central good-girl-gone-bad story, it was the strangeness that story liberated. And Britney's off-disc life is both distraction from and enabler for this extraordinary album".
Critics also referred to the high expectations of the album's direction and quality. Alexis Petridis of The Guardian elaborated that when faced with a public image in freefall, an artist has two options: making music "that harks back to your golden, pre-tailspin days" to "underlin[e] your complete normality" or "to throw caution to the wind: given your waning fortunes, what's the harm in taking a few musical risks?" Petridis commented that Spears opted for the latter and the results were "largely fantastic." Ewing said that "eleven successive tracks of hard, defiant, envelope-pushing dance-pop" may have been what he expected from Spears, but "on paper and on precedent you might have expected an apologetic ballad or two; a song about her kids, maybe; a high-profile guest star, [...] You don't get any of those things and I'd like to think Britney had the sense to avoid them herself." Ewing noted that after "Freakshow" leaked online, a dubstep forum thread on the song hit seven pages in 24 hours, generating mixed reactions and exemplifying that "it still seems [that] when the mainstream borrows underground music, [it] brings it into the wider pop vocabulary." He also attributed the quality of every track of Blackout to economic reasons, since one of the main causes album sales began to suffer during the digital era is due to the "unbundling" of albums in online stores – making it easier for consumers to buy some tracks rather than the entire album. Ewing explained that "The Revolver blueprint for pop albums – every track good, every track a potential hit – makes more sense than ever. Especially if a star can keep sonically up-to-date in a fast-moving market."
Reviewers noted the use of Auto-Tune in Spears' voice. Ewing said that Blackout serves as a reminder of how instantly recognizable Spears' vocals are, saying that "treated or untreated: her thin Southern huskiness is one of the defining sounds of 00s pop." He noted that the album "is a masterclass in autotune and vocal treatment as a studio instrument, disrupting and jamming the songs as much as it helps them." While reviewing Spears' demo of "Telephone", Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone compared it to "Piece of Me", "proving yet again how much impact Britney has had on the sonics of current pop. People love to make fun of Britney, and why not, but if 'Telephone' proves anything, it's that Blackout may be the most influential pop album of the past five years." In June 2012, "Blackout" was added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's musical library and archive, in recognition of the album's musical and cultural influence, as well as significance.
In October 2012, Spears had mentioned the possibility of making a follow-up to Blackout, tweeting "I heard Happy Birthday Blackout was trending earlier... thank u all for loving the album as much as I do. Blackout 2.0?" In May 2013, Danja commented that he "[doesn't] know when the next [Blackout] is going to be, but [he believes] there’s going to be another one." In October, however, Spears announced that her eighth studio album would be titled Britney Jean (2013).
Awards and accolades
Blackout was ranked by Rolling Stone at number fifty on their list of the 100 Best Albums of 2007. The album topped Billboard 's Reader's Choice poll as the best album of the year. Spears won by 37% of the votes, and over 16,000 votes were cast. Blackout won International Album of the Year at the 2008 NRJ Music Awards, and Album of the Year at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards. The Times named it as the fifth best pop album of the decade. The album also appeared on Rolling Stone 's end of the decade poll, where it was voted the seventh best album of the decade by readers. The influential magazine Stylus also named Blackout the 54th best album of the 2000s, with critic Brad Shoup commenting "No treacle, no pity: this is the Britney that Lady GaGa sought to hermetically replicate, a set of Europe-informed broadsides unmatched that year  for defiant pop bleakness." 
|2.||"Piece of Me"||Bloodshy & Avant||3:32|
|4.||"Break the Ice"||
|5.||"Heaven on Earth"||4:53|
|6.||"Get Naked (I Got a Plan)"||
|9.||"Hot as Ice"||
|10.||"Ooh Ooh Baby"||
|12.||"Why Should I Be Sad"||Pharrell Williams||The Neptunes||3:10|
|Target bonus track|
|13.||"Outta This World"||
|Japanese bonus tracks|
|13.||"Outta This World"||
|16.||"Gimme More" (Oakenfold Remix)||
|iTunes Store bonus tracks|
|14.||"Gimme More" (Junkie XL Dub)||
|16.||"Gimme More" (music video)||
- ^a signifies a vocal producer
- ^b signifies a co-producer
- ^c signifies a remixer
- ^d signifies an additional producer
- "Everybody" contains a sample from "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)", as written by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart.
Credits and personnel
- Britney Spears – vocals, composer, executive producer
- Klas Åhlund – composer, bass, bass guitar
- Marcella "Ms. Lago" Araica – composer, engineer, mixing, programming
- Jim Beanz – composer, vocal producer, background vocals
- Bloodshy & Avant – composer, producer, programming, background vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards
- Jim Carauna – engineer
- Erik "Baby Jesus" Coomes – composer, bass, guitar, bass guitar
- Tom Coyne – mastering
- The Clutch – producer
- Kara DioGuardi – composer, producer, background vocals
- Corte Ellis – composer, background vocals
- David M. Erlich – production coordination
- Niklas Flyckt – mixing
- Fredwreck – composer, producer, guitar, keyboards
- Freescha – composer, producer
- Sean Garrett – composer, producer, background vocals
- Brian Garten – engineer
- Mark Gray – assistant engineer
- Hart Gunther – assistant engineer
- Jeri Heiden – art direction, design
- Keri Hilson – composer, vocal producer, background vocals
- Nate "Danja" Hills – composer, producer
- Nick Huntington – composer
- Cara Bridgins Hutchinson – production coordination
- Ken "Duro" Ifill – engineer
- Henrik Jonback – composer, bass, guitar
- Ezekiel "Zeke" Lewis – composer, background vocals
- Mango – programming
- Tony Maserati – mixing
- Nicole Morier – composer, background vocals
- Balewa Muhammad – composer
- Jackie Murphy – art direction, design
- Glen Nakasako – art direction, design
- Candice Nelson – composer, background vocals
- The Neptunes – producer, audio engineer, mixing, background vocals
- Brian Paturalski – engineer
- Robyn – background vocals
- Rob Skipworth – assistant engineer
- Mike Snow – assistant engineer
- Patrick Smith – composer
- T-Pain – composer, background vocals
- Ron Taylor – editing
- Francesca Tolot – make-up
- Ellen von Unwerth – photography
- Windy Wagner – background vocals
- Miles Walker – engineer
- Theresa LaBarbera Whites – A&R
- Patti Wilson – stylist
- Jordan "DJ Swivel" Young – engineer
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||7,500^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|Italy||October 25, 2007||Sony|
|Austria||October 26, 2007|
|Australia||October 27, 2007|
|France||October 29, 2007|
|Canada||October 30, 2007||Sony|
|Japan||November 14, 2007||Sony|
- "Britney Spears: Nobody's Angel". Entertainment Weekly (Time Warner). 2003–11. ISSN 1049-0434. Check date values in:
- Staff, Recipeformen.com (November 30, 2007). "November: Henrik Jonback, musician and songwriter". Recipeformen.com. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (October 16, 2004). "Britney Spears Announces She's Taking A Break From Her Career". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (January 3, 2005). "So Much For 'Taking Time Off': Britney Previews New Song On L.A. Radio Station". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (January 4, 2005). "Britney Clarifies: I'm Taking A Break From Being Told What To Do". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- Newman, Melina (January 7, 2005). "Spears gives L.A. radio station 'Mona Lisa'". msnbc.com. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- Staff, RCA (October 18, 2005). "Britney Spears. Chaotic - DVD out October 31st". RCA/Jive Label Group. Sony Music Entertainment. Archived from the original on October 19, 2005. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (September 15, 2005). "Britney Spears Gives Birth To A Baby Boy". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- Harris, Chris (February 17, 2006). "Britney Spears Working On New Album To Boost 'Boring' Pop Scene". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- "Britney Speaks Her Mind". People (Time Warner). 2011–08. ISSN 0093-7673. Check date values in:
- Vineyard, Jennifer (May 9, 2006). "Britney Pregnant Again". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (November 7, 2006). "Britney Working On 'Crazy-Ass' New Music And Even Rapping". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (September 12, 2006). "Britney's Baby: It's A Boy!". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (November 7, 2006). "Britney Spears Files For Divorce – It's Official". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (November 7, 2007). "Britney Spears Leaves Rehab". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- Malkin, Marc (April 26, 2007). "Oops, Britney Wasn't Ready to Do It Again!". E!. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Arnold, Thomas K. (May 2, 2007). "Fans line up to watch Britney take stage". USA Today. Gannett Co. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Hebert, James (May 3, 2007). "Britney's famous 14 minutes". USA Today. Gannett Co. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- VanHorn, Teri (May 2, 2007). "Britney's Back! Spears Returns To The Stage With Five-Song Dirty Dance Party". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Lee, Chris (May 17, 2006). "The No. 1 choice of pop-music divas". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Archived from the original on June 1, 2006.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (May 10, 2007). "Britney Spears Collaborator Says Her LP Is 'About Feeling Good, Celebrating Womanhood'". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- Reporter, OK! (October 2, 2007). "Keri Hilson: ‘Gimme More’ is My Song!". OK! (Northern & Shell). Retrieved February 13, 2010.
- Kondo, Toshitaka (February 13, 2008). "Q&A: Danja". Rhapsody. Archived from the original on November 4, 2008.
- Staff, Extra (October 31, 2007). "Producer Says Brit Was 'Unstoppable' While Recording 'Blackout'". Extra. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Moss, Corey (September 18, 2006). "Britney's New Music Is 'The Next Level,' Producer Says". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- "The Clutch Talks How To Write a Hit Song". Allternatives. AllHipHop.com. April 22, 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- Blackout liner notes.
- Reid, Shaheem (August 30, 2007). "T-Pain Talks About Recording With Britney Spears: 'She Was About Her Business'". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 2, 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (October 12, 2007). "Britney Spears' New Album, Blackout: A Track-By-Track Report". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- Bouwman, Kimbel (August 23, 2010). "Interview with Nicole Morier, songwriter for Britney Spears, Wynter Gordon, Pixie Lott, Sky Ferreira - Aug 23, 2010". HitQuarters.com. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- Gradvall, Jan (July 16, 2008). "Bloodshy & Avant". Café Magazine (in Swedish) (Hachette Filipacchi Médias). Retrieved December 29, 2010.
- Vena, Jocelyn (November 20, 2008). "Britney Spears Explains Why Circus Is 'Lighter' And Less Edgy Than Blackout". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- Sanneh, Kelefa (October 29, 2007). "'Miss Bad Media Karma' Sings, Too". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "Blackout - Blender". Blender (Alpha Media Group). November 2007. ISSN 1534-0554.
- Danton, Eric R. (October 30, 2007). "CD Review: 'Blackout' by Britney Spears". The Hartford Courant (Tribune Company). Retrieved February 15, 2010.
- Levine, Nick (October 22, 2007). "Britney Spears: 'Gimme More'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi (UK) Ltd. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
- Lamb, Bill (2007). "Britney Spears – Piece of Me". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- Ewing, Tom (November 20, 2007). "Poptimist #10: Britney in the Black Lodge (Damn Fine Album)". Pitchfork Media. Ryan Schreiber. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "Decent early reviews of new Britney tracks". msnbc.com. NBC Universal / Microsoft. September 12, 2007. Archived from the original on January 8, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2009.
- Chou, Kimberly (September 19, 2007). "Britney? Back". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved November 24, 2009.
- Petridis, Alexis (October 26, 2007). "Britney Spears, Blackout". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Arnold, Chuck (September 11, 2007). "Sneak Preview: Britney Spears's New Album Details". People (Time Warner). Retrieved August 13, 2011.
- Sterdan, Darryl (October 26, 2007). "Britney's back with a thud". Jam!. Quebecor Inc. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
- Maerz, Melissa (November 15, 2007). "Britney Spears, Blackout". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- du Lac, J. Freedom (October 30, 2007). "'Blackout': Britney Is Back, Not That You'd Notice". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved August 13, 2011.
- Reporter, OK! (October 31, 2007). "Britney Talks!". OK! (Northern & Shell). Retrieved February 13, 2010.
- Watson, Margeaux (October 26, 2007). "Blackout Review". Entertainment Weekly (Time Warner). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Ottawa Citizen (October 30, 2007). "Britney's latest album: Two views on Blackout". Canada.com. Postmedia News. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
- Staff, MTV News (May 10, 2007). "Hilary Duff Stuffs Backpacks; Plus Lindsay Lohan, Fabolous, Foxy Brown, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears & More, In For The Record". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 2, 2011.
- "Britney Spears names new album "Blackout"". Reuters. October 6, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
- Staff, MTV News (October 10, 2007). "Britney Spears Plans An Early Blackout; Plus Diddy, Black Eyed Peas, Bobby Brown, Justin Timberlake & More, In For The Record". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 4, 2011.
- Staff, MTV News (October 11, 2007). "Amy Winehouse To Perform At Woodie Awards; Plus Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Linkin Park, Perez Hilton, Britney Spears & More, In For The Record". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 4, 2011.
- Staff, CMLP (October 24, 2007). "Zomba Recording, LLC v. Lavandeira". Citizen Media Law Project. Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
- Kaufman, Gil (October 30, 2007). "Britney Spears Slammed By Catholic League For Blackout's Religious-Themed Photos". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 4, 2011.
- Silverman, Stephen M. (October 12, 2007). "Britney Spears's Cover Art Revealed". People. Time Warner. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- NME Staff (November 9, 2007). "NME Album: Blackout: Britney Spears". NME (IPC Media). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Dodd, Gareth (September 3, 2007). "Britney and pals party at new Las Vegas nightclub". Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
- "'More' Scores For Britney On Digital, Hot 100 Charts". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). October 13, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- "Canada Singles Top 100". Billboard (acharts.us). September 22, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- "Britney Spears – Gimme More (song)". Ultratop 50. 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- Parsley, Aaron (October 4, 2007). "New Britney Video Set to Air". People (Time Warner). Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- Leeds, Jeff (September 13, 2007). "Spears’s Awards Fiasco Stirs Speculation About Her Future". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- Bain, Becky (July 18, 2011). "Watch Britney Spears’ "Gimme More" Video – Now With Additional Footage". Idolator. Buzz Media. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- Robinson, Peter (November 11, 2007). "Britney Spears, Blackout and Kylie Minogue, X". The Observer (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "The 100 Best Songs of 2007". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). 2007. ISSN 0035-791X.
- "Britney Spears – Piece of Me(song)". Ultratop 50. 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- "Piece of Me charts". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- Vena, Jocelyn; Elias, Matt (November 23, 2009). "Britney Spears Took Aim At The Media In 'Piece Of Me' Video". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- Staff, The Daily Telegraph (December 17, 2007). "Watch Britney Spears' new video for Piece of Me". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- "2008 Video Music Awards". MTV (MTV Networks). September 7, 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2007-11). "Blackout - Britney Spears". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 8, 2011. Check date values in:
- "Britney Spears - Break the Ice (song)". Ultratop 50. 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- "Break the Ice charts". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- Reporter, Daily Mail (March 13, 2008). "Britney Spears transformed into a slimline superhero for her new animated video". Daily Mail (Daily Mail and General Trust). Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- Kreps, Daniel (March 12, 2008). "Britney Spears' "Break The Ice" Video To Premiere Today, Fandemonium Ensues". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). ISSN 0035-791X.
- "Britney Spears – Radar review". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Ltd. June 27, 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2009.
- "Breaking News: Radar is Britney’s fourth single". BritneySpears.com. Brandcasting Unlimited. May 7, 2007. Archived from the original on May 11, 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2009.
- Harris, Chris (September 6, 2007). "Britney Spears To Open 2007 MTV Video Music Awards: It's Official!". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Reporter, Times Online (September 10, 2007). "Oops! Britney Spears forgets the words in catastrophic return to stage". The Times (News Corporation). Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Kaufman, Gil (September 10, 2007). "Britney Spears Kicks Off Show, But VMA Night Belongs To Rihanna And Justin Timberlake". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Menon, Vinay (September 11, 2007). "Get out of the spotlight, Britney". Toronto Star (Michael Cooke). Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Willis, David (September 10, 2007). "Britney's MTV comeback falls flat". BBC Online. BBC. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (November 29, 2007). "Britney Spears Launches Fan-Made-Video Contest – Winning Clip To Air On 'TRL'". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- "Britney Spears – Blackout – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Christgau, Robert (October 2007). "Britney Spears". MSN Music. Microsoft. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Cinquemani, Sal (October 23, 2007). "Britney Spears: Blackout". Slant Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Schiller, Mike (October 29, 2007). "Britney Spears: Blackout". PopMatters. Sarah Zupko. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Sheffield, Rob (November 26, 2013). "Britney Spears 'Britney Jean' Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
- Battaglia, Andy (November 13, 2007). "Britney Spears: Blackout". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Dean, Ellee (November 6, 2007). "Britney Spears - CD Reviews - Blackout". The Phoenix (Phoenix Media/Communications Group). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Harris, Chris (November 1, 2007). "Britney Spears' Blackout Projected To Light Up The Charts For Fifth No. 1 Debut". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Kaufman, Gil (November 7, 2007). "Britney Spears' Blackout Denied No. 1 Debut On Billboard Chart After Last-Minute Rule Change". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- "Britney Spears Debuts No. 1 on European Albums Chart and Debuts No. 1 on... -- re> NEW YORK, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ --:". PR Newswire. November 8, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Montgomery, James (December 10, 2008). "Britney Spears Is Back On Top As Circus Sells More Than 500,000 Copies". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Trust, Gary (May 27, 2012). "Ask Billboard: Spears, Lovato's 'X'-cellent Sales". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- Williams, Johns (November 7, 2007). "Britney's No. 1 again". Jam!. Quebecor Inc. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- "Britney Spears | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- "ultratop.be - Britney Spears - Blackout". Ultratop 50. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- "ARIA Charts — Accreditations – 2008 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- "Britney Spears - The Official Charts Company:". The Official Charts Company. November 8, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- Lars, Brandle (November 8, 2007). "Britney Spearheads Hot Euro Chart Return". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- "BPI Certifications Searchable database". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- "Irish Charts Week 44 – 2007 Top 50 Albums". Irish Recorded Music Association. November 1, 2007. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- "Top 50 Global Best Selling Albums 2007". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. November 1, 2007. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- Petridis, Alexis (November 28, 2008). "Britney Spears: Circus". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Sheffield, Rob (May 11, 2010). "Why Britney’s ‘Telephone’ beats Gaga by a mile". msnbc.com. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- "Blackout [sound recording] / Britney Spears". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Twitter / britneyspears: I heard Happy Birthday Blackout ...". Twitter. October 26, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- "Danja On Blackout 2.0: "I Believe There’s Going To Be Another One"". MuuMuse. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- Justin Ravitz (October 15, 2013). "Britney Spears Reveals Title of Eighth Album: Britney Jean!". Us Weekly. Northern & Shell. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- Staff, Rolling Stone (December 27, 2007). "The Top 50 Albums of 2007". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- Staff, Billboard (December 1, 2007). "Billboard 2007 Year In Music". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Archived from the original on January 9, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- Dadds, Kimberly (January 28, 2008). "Spears wins album award at NRJ ceremony". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi (UK) Ltd. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- Lyons, Ben; Sutherland, Laura (November 7, 2008). "Britney Spears seals comeback with two gongs at MTV Europe Music Awards". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- "The 100 best pop albums of the Noughties". The Times (News Corporation). November 21, 2009. ISSN 0140-0460.
- Staff, Rolling Stone (December 8, 2007). "The Decade-End Readers' Poll". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- Blackout (Target edition liner notes). Britney Spears. Jive Records. 2007. PID 88697 19127 2.
- Blackout (Japan edition liner notes). Britney Spears. Jive Records. 2007. PID 88697 18255 2.
- "Blackout – Credits". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
- "French Albums Chart". Les Charts. Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- "Hungarian Top 40 Albums Chart". Mahasz. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- "ブリトニー・スピアーズのCDアルバムランキング、ブリトニー・-ORICON STYLE" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Mexican Top 100 Albums Chart". mexicancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- "Oficjalna Lista Sprzedažy" (in Polish). OLiS. November 12, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 2007". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- "Top 100 Mexico – Los Más Vendidos 2007". Top 100 Mexico. December 31, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "UK Year-end Albums 2007" (PDF). The Official Charts Company. Chartplus.co.uk. p. 4. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- "Billboard Charts – Year-end Albums – The Billboard 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
- "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 2007". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- "Rapports Annuel 2007". Ultratop. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- "UK Year-end Albums 2008" (PDF). The Official Charts Company. Chartplus.co.uk. p. 6. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
- "Billboard Charts – Year-end Albums – The Billboard 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2008 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2007". Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Brazilian album certifications – Britney Spears – Blackout" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Canadian album certifications – Britney Spears – Blackout". Music Canada. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "French album certifications – Britney Spears – Blackout" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Adatbázis – Arany- és platinalemezek – 2008" (in Hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Irish album certifications – Britney Spears – Blackout". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Japanese album certifications – Britney Spears – Blackout" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "New Zealand album certifications – Britney Spears – Blackout". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "British album certifications – Britney Spears – Blackout". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 16, 2013. Enter Blackout in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- "American album certifications – Britney Spears – Blackout". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 16, 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH