Music recording certification
Music recording certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped, sold, or streamed a certain number of units. The threshold quantity varies by nation or territory. All countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories, which are named after precious materials; the threshold required for these awards depends upon the population of the territory where the recording is released. They are awarded only to international releases and are awarded individually for each country where the album is sold. Different sales levels, some 10 times lower than others, may exist for different music media; the original gold and silver record awards were presented to artists by their own record companies to publicize their sales achievements. The first silver disc was awarded by Regal Zonophone to George Formby in December 1937 for sales of 100,000 copies of "The Window Cleaner"; the first gold disc was awarded by RCA Victor to Glenn Miller and His Orchestra in February 1942, celebrating the sale of 1.2 million copies of single "Chattanooga Choo Choo".
Another example of a company award is the gold record awarded to Elvis Presley in 1956 for one million units sold of his single "Don't Be Cruel". The first gold record for an LP was awarded by RCA Victor to Harry Belafonte in 1957 for the album Calypso, the first album to sell over 1,000,000 copies in RCA's reckoning. At the industry level, in 1958 the Recording Industry Association of America introduced its gold record award program for records of any kind, albums or singles, which achieved one million dollars in retail sales; these sales were restricted to U. S.-based record companies and did not include exports to other countries. For albums in 1968, this would mean shipping 250,000 units; the platinum certification was introduced in 1976 for the sale of one million units for albums and two million for singles, with the gold certification redefined to mean sales of 500,000 units for albums and one million for singles. No album was certified platinum prior to this year. For instance, the recording by Van Cliburn of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto from 1958 would be awarded a platinum citation, but this would not happen until two decades after its release.
In 1999, the diamond certification was introduced for sales of ten million units. In the late 1980s, the certification thresholds for singles were dropped to match that of albums; the first official designation of a "gold record" by the Recording Industry Association of America was established for singles in 1958, the RIAA trademarked the term "gold record" in the United States. On 14 March 1958, the RIAA certified its first gold record, Perry Como's hit single "Catch a Falling Star"; the Oklahoma! Soundtrack was certified as the first gold album four months later. In 1976, RIAA introduced the platinum certification, first awarded to the Eagles compilation album Their Greatest Hits on 24 February 1976, to Johnnie Taylor's single "Disco Lady" on 22 April 1976; as music sales increased with the introduction of compact discs, the RIAA created the Multi-Platinum award in 1984. Diamond awards, honoring those artists whose sales of singles or albums reached 10,000,000 copies, were introduced in 1999.
In the 20th century, for a part of the first decade of the 21st, it was common for distributors to claim certifications based on their shipments – wholesale to retail outlets – which led to many certifications which outstripped the actual final retail sales figures. This became much less common once the majority of retail sales became paid digital downloads and digital streaming. In most countries certifications no longer apply to physical media but now include sales awards recognizing digital downloads. In June 2006, the RIAA certified the ringtone downloads of songs. Streaming from on-demand services such as Apple Music, Spotify and Napster has been included into existing digital certification in the U. S since 2013 and the U. K. and Germany since 2014. In the U. S. and Germany video streaming services like YouTube, VEVO, Yahoo! Music began to be counted towards the certification, in both cases using the formula of 100 streams being equivalent to one download. Other countries, such as Denmark and Spain, maintain separate awards for digital download singles and streaming.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry was founded in 1996, grants the IFPI Platinum Europe Award for album sales over one million within Europe and the Middle East. Multi-platinum Europe Awards are presented for sales in subsequent multiples of one million. Eligibility is unaffected by time, is not restricted to European-based artists; the Independent Music Companies Association was founded in 2000 to grow the independent music sector and promote independent music in the interests of artistic and cultural diversity. IMPALA sales awards were launched in 2005 as the first sales awards recognising that success on a pan-European basis begins well before sales reach one million; the award levels are Silver, Double Silver, Double Gold, Diamond and Double Platinum. Below are certification thresholds for the United States, United Kingdom and France; the numbers in the tables are in terms of "units", where a unit represents one sale or one shipment of a given medium. Certific
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is an American global music corporation, a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG's global corporate headquarters are located in California, it is considered one of the "Big Three" record labels, along with Warner Music Group. Since 2004, the corporation is no longer related to the film studio Universal Studios. Universal Music was once the record company attached to film studio Universal Pictures; the company's origins go back to the formation of the American branch of Decca Records in September 1934. The Decca Record Co. Ltd. of England spun American Decca off in 1939. MCA Inc. merged with American Decca in 1962. In November 1990, Japanese multinational conglomerate Matsushita Electric agreed to acquire MCA for $6.59 billion. In 1995, Seagram acquired 80 percent of MCA from Matsushita. On December 9, 1996, the company was renamed Universal Studios, Inc. and its music division was renamed Universal Music Group. In May 1998, Seagram purchased PolyGram and merged it with Universal Music Group in early 1999.
With the 2004 acquisition of Universal Studios by General Electric and merging with GE's NBC, Universal Music Group was cast under separate management from the eponymous film studio. This is the second time a music company has done so, the first being the separation of Time Warner and Warner Music Group. In February 2006, the label became 100 percent owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi when Vivendi purchased the last 20 percent from Matsushita. On June 25, 2007, Vivendi completed its €1.63 billion purchase of BMG Music Publishing, after receiving European Union regulatory approval, having announced the acquisition on September 6, 2006. Doug Morris stepped down from his position as CEO on January 1, 2011. Former chairman/CEO of Universal Music International Lucian Grainge was promoted to CEO of the company. Grainge replaced him as chairman on March 9, 2011. Morris became the next chairman of Sony Music Entertainment on July 1, 2011. With Grainge's appointment as CEO at UMG, Max Hole was promoted to COO of UMGI, effective July 1, 2010.
Starting in 2011 UMG's Interscope Geffen A&M Records will be signing contestants from American Idol/Idol series. On January 2011, UMG announced it was donating 200,000 master recordings from the 1920s to 1940s to the Library of Congress for preservation. In March 2011, Barry Weiss became chairman and CEO of The Island Def Jam Music Group and Universal Republic Records. Both companies were restructured under Weiss. In December 2011, David Foster was named Chairman of Verve Music Group. In 2011, EMI sold its recorded music operations to Universal Music Group for £1.2 billion and its music publishing operations to a Sony-led consortium for $2.2 billion. Among the other companies that had competed for the recorded music business was Warner Music Group, reported to have made a $2 billion bid. IMPALA opposed the merger. In March 2012, the European Union opened an investigation into the acquisition The EU asked rivals and consumer groups whether the deal would result in higher prices and shut out competitors.
On September 21, 2012, the sale of EMI to UMG was approved in Europe and the United States by the European Commission and Federal Trade Commission respectively. However, the European Commission approved the deal only under the condition the merged company divest one third of its total operations to other companies with a proven track record in the music industry. UMG divested Mute Records, Roxy Recordings, MPS Records, Cooperative Music, Now That's What I Call Music!, Universal Greece, Sanctuary Records, Chrysalis Records, EMI Classics, Virgin Classics, EMI's European regional labels to comply with this condition. UMG retained The Beatles and Robbie Williams; the Beatles catalogue was transferred to UMG's newly formed Calderstone Productions, while Williams' catalogue was transferred to Island Records. Universal Music Group completed their acquisition of EMI on September 28, 2012. In November 2012, Steve Barnett was appointed CEO of Capitol Music Group, he served as COO of Columbia Records. In compliance the conditions of the European Commission after purchase of EMI, Universal Music Group sold the Mute catalogue to the German-based BMG Rights Management on December 22, 2012.
Two months BMG acquired Sanctuary Records for €50 million. On November 8, 2012, Universal Music and Hewlett-Packard launched a marketing operation that allows customers with an HP computer with HP Connected Music software to access music from Universal artists, as well as exclusive content. On February 8, 2013, Warner Music Group acquired the Parlophone Label Group for $765 million. In February, Sony Music Entertainment acquired Universal's European share in Now That's What I Call Music for $60 million. Play It Again Sam acquired Co-Operative Music for £500,000 in March 2013. With EMI's absorption into Universal Music complete, its British operations will consist of five label units: Island, Decca, Virgin EMI and Capitol. In April 2013, Universal Music Greece was sold to Victoras Antippas, who renamed the company Cobalt Music. Edel AG acquired the MPS catalogue from Universal in January 2014. On March 20, 2013, UMG announced the worldwide extension of their exclusive distribution deal with the Disney Music Group, excluding Japan and Russia.
As a result of t
Psychedelic rock is a diverse style of rock music inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, centred around perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music is intended to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs, most notably LSD. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, the label is applied spuriously. Originating in the mid-1960s among British and American musicians, the sounds of psychedelic rock invokes three core effects of LSD: depersonalization and dynamization. Musically, the effects may be represented via novelty studio tricks, electronic or non-Western instrumentation, disjunctive song structures, extended instrumental segments; some of the earlier 1960s psychedelic rock musicians were based in folk and the blues, while others showcased an explicit Indian classical influence called "raga rock". In the 1960s, there existed two main variants of the genre: the whimsical British pop-psychedelia and the harder American West Coast acid rock.
While "acid rock" is sometimes deployed interchangeably with the term "psychedelic rock", it refers more to the heavier and more extreme ends of the genre. The peak years of psychedelic rock were between 1966 and 1969, with milestone events including the 1967 Summer of Love and the 1969 Woodstock Rock Festival, becoming an international musical movement associated with a widespread counterculture before beginning a decline as changing attitudes, the loss of some key individuals and a back-to-basics movement, led surviving performers to move into new musical areas; the genre bridged the transition from early blues and folk-based rock to progressive rock and hard rock, as a result contributed to the development of sub-genres such as heavy metal. Since the late 1970s it has been revived in various forms of neo-psychedelia; as a musical style, psychedelic rock attempted to replicate the effects of and enhance the mind-altering experiences of hallucinogenic drugs, incorporating new electronic sound effects and recording effects, extended solos, improvisation.
Common features include: electric guitars used with feedback, wah wah and fuzzbox effects units. The term "psychedelic" was coined in 1956 by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond first as an alternative descriptor for hallucinogenic drugs in the context of psychedelic psychotherapy; as the countercultural scene developed in San Francisco, the terms acid rock and psychedelic rock were used in 1966 to describe the new drug-influenced music and were being used by 1967. The terms psychedelic rock and acid rock are used interchangeably, but acid rock may be distinguished as a more extreme variation, heavier, relied on long jams, focused more directly on LSD, made greater use of distortion. In the popular music of the early 1960s, it was common for producers and engineers to experiment with musical form, unnatural reverb, other sound effects; some of the best known examples are Phil Spector's Wall of Sound production formula and Joe Meek's use of homemade electronics for acts like the Tornados. XTC's Andy Partridge interprets the music of psychedelic groups as a "grown-up" version of children's novelty records, believing that many acts were trying to emulate those records that they grew up with.
There was no transition to be made. You go from things like'Flying Purple People Eater' to'I Am the Walrus', they go hand-in-hand." Music critic Richie Unterberger says that attempts to "pin down" the first psychedelic record are therefore "nearly as elusive as trying to name the first rock & roll record". Some of the "far-fetched claims" include the instrumental "Telstar" and the Dave Clark Five's "massively reverb-laden" "Any Way You Want It"; the first mention of LSD on a rock record was the Gamblers' 1960 surf instrumental "LSD 25". A 1962 single by The Ventures, "The 2000 Pound Bee", issued forth the buzz of a distorted, "fuzztone" guitar, the quest into "the possibilities of heavy, transistorised distortion" and other effects, like improved reverb and echo began in earnest on London's fertile rock'n' roll scene. By 1964 fuzztone could be heard on singles by P. J. Proby, the Beatles had employed feedback in "I Feel Fine", their 6th consecutive No. 1 hit in the UK. American folk singer Bob Dylan was a massive influence on mid 1960s rock music.
He led directly to the creation of folk rock and the psychedelic rock musicians that followed, his lyrics were a touchstone for the psychedelic songwriters of the late 1960s. Virtuoso sitarist Ravi Shankar had begun in 1956 a mission to bring Indian classical music to the West, inspiring jazz and folk musicians.
Robbie van Leeuwen
Robbie van Leeuwen is a Dutch musician, guitarist, background vocalist and main songwriter for Dutch bands, including The Motions and Shocking Blue. As of February 2018, he is the only surviving member of Shocking Blue's best known four-piece lineup. In 1974 he released the successful single "Long Hot Summer" with his new band Galaxy-Lin, he was the founder and main composer for this band which released two albums, "Galaxy Lin" in 1974 and "G" in 1975. The singer was Rudy Bennett, with whom van Leeuwen collaborated in The Motions. Galaxy-Lin disbanded in 1976. Together with Rick van der Linden, van Leeuwen founded Mistral in 1977; the group scored three hits during this period, "Jamie", "Starship 109" and "Neon City". The main instrument used was the synthesizer; the group produced three more singles in 1980, but these were not as successful as the former singles. In 1984 he released two more singles under the name Cat's Eye. Except for producing two singles for former Shocking Blue singer Mariska Veres in 1977, titled "Too Young" and in 1994, "Body and Soul", Robbie van Leeuwen withdrew from the music business and moved to Luxembourg.
In 2013 he received the Buma Lifetime Achievement Award. As of 2018 he, lives in the Netherlands, in Wassenaar, his best-known compositions are Shocking Blue's most famous songs, "Venus", in 1970 a US and UK No. 1 hit, "Love Buzz", covered by Nirvana and released as their first single, "Daemon Lover". Robbie van Leeuwen on IMDb
Bananarama are an English female pop music vocal duo formed as a trio in London in 1981 by friends Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward. Their success on both pop and dance charts saw them listed in the Guinness World Records as the all-female group with the most chart entries in the world. Between 1982 and 2009, they had 28 singles reach the Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart; the group's 10 UK Top 10 hits include "It Ain't What You Do...", "Really Saying Something", "Shy Boy", "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", "Cruel Summer", "Robert De Niro's Waiting..." and "Love in the First Degree". In 1986, they had a U. S. number one with another of their UK Top 10 hits, a cover of "Venus". In total, they had 11 singles reach the U. S. Billboard Hot 100, including two in the Top 10, with "Cruel Summer" and "I Heard a Rumour", they are associated with the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US. The group featured on the 1984 Band Aid single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?". They topped the Australian ARIA albums chart in June 1988 with Wow!, earned Brit Award nominations for Best British Single for "Love in the First Degree", Best Music Video for their 1988 hit cover of The Supremes single "Nathan Jones".
Fahey left the group in 1988 and formed Shakespears Sister, best known for the UK number one "Stay". She was replaced by Jacquie O'Sullivan; this line-up had UK top five hits with "I Want You Back" and The Beatles track "Help!", recorded with comedy duo French and Saunders for the charity Comic Relief. In 1989 they embarked on their first world tour. After O'Sullivan's 1991 departure and Woodward continued Bananarama as a duo, with hits including "Movin' On", "More, More" and "Move in My Direction". Fahey rejoined Bananarama in 2017 and they toured the UK in November/December 2017 and North America in February 2018, they performed their final dates as a trio in August 2018. Bananarama formed in London September 1981 when teenagers and childhood friends Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward met Siobhan Fahey. Dallin and Fahey were studying journalism at the London College of Fashion and Woodward was working at the BBC in Portland Place. Dallin and Woodward were living at the YWCA and were about to be made homeless until Paul Cook, who they had become fast friends with after meeting at a club, offered them a place to live above the former Sex Pistols rehearsal room in Denmark Street, Charing Cross.
The trio were ardent followers of the punk rock and post-punk music scenes during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They performed impromptu sets or backing vocals at gigs for such bands as The Monochrome Set, Iggy Pop, Department S, The Nipple Erectors, The Jam. Bananarama recorded their first demo, "Aie a Mwana", a cover of a song by Black Blood, sung in Swahili; the demo was heard at Demon Records, who offered Bananarama their first deal. The song was an underground hit and Bananarama were signed by Decca and remained on the label until 1993. UK fashion magazine The Face featured an article on Bananarama after the release of their first single; this caught the attention of ex-Specials member Terry Hall, who invited them to collaborate with his new vocal group Fun Boy Three on their album and the single "It Ain't What You Do, It's The Way That You Do It". In 1982, the song hit the Top 5 in the UK and gave Bananarama their first significant mainstream success. Fun Boy Three guested on Bananarama's single, "Really Saying Something" that year.
Bananarama experienced their greatest success during the period 1982 to 1989, with their first three albums produced and co-written with Jolley & Swain. Their debut album, Deep Sea Skiving contained several hit singles — "Really Saying Something" and "Shy Boy" — and included a cover version of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"; the band recorded a version of the Sex Pistols' song "No Feelings" in late 1982 for the soundtrack of the British teen-comedy film, Party Party. During 1982 and 1983, Bananarama did several promotional US press tours and TV appearances on American Bandstand and Solid Gold. Success in the United States came in 1984 with a Top Ten hit "Cruel Summer", their second album, Bananarama was a more conscious effort. The group wanted to be taken more so wrote songs that focused on heavier topics: "Hotline To Heaven" is a stand against the drugs-are-cool culture; the album contained the hit singles, "Robert De Niro's Waiting..." and their first US Top 10 hit, "Cruel Summer", included in the film The Karate Kid.
The trio recorded the single, "The Wild Life" for a 1984 American film of the same name. Bananarama featured on the Band Aid single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?," and were the only artists to appear on both the original 1984 Band Aid and the 1989 Band Aid II versions. 1985 would be a quiet transitional year for Bananarama. London Records' release of "Do Not Disturb" would keep the girls' public profile alive. 1986 saw the release of their third album, True Confessions on which some production duties were taken up by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman known as Stock Aitken Waterman. The move resulted in the international number one hit, "Venus"; the dance-oriented beats on the song typified the SAW approach to pop production. Bananarama had tracked the producers down after hearing "You Spin Me Round" by Dead o
Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. It was founded by guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting and best-known being Dave Grohl, who joined in 1990. Though the band dissolved in 1994 after the death of Cobain, their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock and roll culture. In the late 1980s, Nirvana established itself as part of the Seattle grunge scene, releasing its first album, for the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989, they developed a sound that relied on dynamic contrasts between quiet verses and loud, heavy choruses. After signing to major label DGC Records, Nirvana found unexpected worldwide success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the first single from the band's second album Nevermind, which has now been ranked as one of the greatest songs in the history of rock music. Nevermind has been called one of the greatest albums of all time and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
Nirvana's sudden success popularized alternative rock and grunge, Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the "spokesman of a generation", with Nirvana considered the "flagship band" of Generation X. After touring and releasing Incesticide and Hormoaning, Nirvana's third studio album, In Utero, was released to critical acclaim; the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart and featured an abrasive, less mainstream sound and challenged the group's audience and has since sold over 15 million copies worldwide. In Utero would be Nirvana's last studio album in their active career. Nirvana's active career ended following the death of Cobain in 1994, but many various posthumous releases have been issued since, overseen by Novoselic and Cobain's widow Courtney Love; the posthumous release MTV Unplugged in New York won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996. Overall, Nirvana have received twelve awards from twenty-five nominations winning an American Music Award, Brit Award, Grammy Award, seven MTV Video Music Awards and two NME Awards Since its debut, the band has sold over 25 million records in the United States alone, over 75 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.
Nirvana has been ranked as one of the greatest music artists of all time with Rolling Stone placing them at number 27 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" in 2004, at number 30 on their updated list in 2011. Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility. Cobain and Novoselic met while attending Aberdeen High School, although they never connected, according to Cobain; the pair became friends while frequenting the practice space of the Melvins. Cobain wanted to form a band with Novoselic, but Novoselic did not respond for a long period of time. In persuading Novoselic to form a band, Cobain gave him a demo tape of his project Fecal Matter. Three years after the two first met, Novoselic notified Cobain that he had listened to the Fecal Matter demo and suggested they start a group; the pair recruited Bob McFadden on drums. In early 1987, Cobain and Novoselic recruited drummer Aaron Burckhard; the three practiced material from Cobain's Fecal Matter tape but started writing new material soon after forming.
During its initial months, the band went through a series of names, starting with Skid Row and including Fecal Matter and Ted Ed Fred. The group settled on Nirvana, which Cobain said was chosen because "I wanted a name, kind of beautiful or nice and pretty instead of a mean, raunchy punk name like the Angry Samoans". With Novoselic and Cobain having moved to Tacoma and Olympia, Washington the two temporarily lost contact with Burckhard; the pair instead practiced with Dale Crover of the Melvins, Nirvana recorded its first demos in January 1988. In early 1988, Crover moved to San Francisco but recommended Dave Foster to the band as his replacement on drums. Foster's tenure with Nirvana lasted only a few months. Cobain and Novoselic put an ad in Seattle music publication The Rocket seeking a replacement drummer, which only yielded unsatisfactory responses. Meanwhile, a mutual friend introduced them to Chad Channing, the three musicians agreed to jam together. Channing continued to jam with Cobain and Novoselic, although the drummer noted, "They never said'okay, you're in,'" and Channing played his first show with the group that May.
Nirvana released its first single, a cover of Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz", in November 1988 on the Seattle independent record label Sub Pop. They did their first interview with John Robb in Sounds who made the release single of the week; the following month, the band began recording its debut album, with local producer Jack Endino. Bleach was influenced by the heavy dirge-rock of the Melvins and Mudhoney, 1980s punk rock, the 1970s heavy metal of Black Sabbath. Novoselic said in a 2001 interview with Rolling Stone that the band had played a tape in their van while on tour that had an album by The Smithereens on one side and an album by the extreme metal band Celtic Frost on the other, noted that the combination played an influence as well; the money for the recording sessions for Bleach, listed as $606.17 on the album sleeve, was supplied by Jason Everman, subsequently brought into the band as the second guitarist. Though Everman did not play on the album, he received a credit on
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original