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Thread started 10/04/18 2:04pm

HAPPYPERSON

Prince sold nearly 132 million equivalent album sales!

34552726456_c805067efa_z.jpg

PRINCE CAREER CSPC RESULTS

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Prince achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from Night Visions released in digital format sold the equivalent of 4,367,000 album albums – 29,110,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

CSPC-Prince-Totals.png

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/11750 for Video stream)

Conclusions

Purple Rain emerges far and away as Prince‘s most successful album. It registers over 37 million sales on the back of all formats. The album continues to sell well and its streams started off strong since its wide availability from February 2017.

We tend to say that the 80s legend has been strongly inconsistent. While Purple Rain is a one-in-a-lifetime blockbuster, follow ups are numerous and solid. There is as many as 6 albums fighting for the second spot. 1999, Diamonds and Pearls, Parade, Sign ‘O’ The Times, Batman and Around the Word in A Day, in that order, range from 11,5 million to 7,5 million. The average of these 6 albums is over 9 million which shows the singer has been widely popular during many years.

Actually, every album from 1978’s For You to 1994’s The Gold Experience reached at least 1 million equivalent album sales. From 1981’s Controversy to 1992’s Love Symbol Album every era topped 3 million EAS.

The average per release dropped drastically after his departure from Warner. The artist got one more comeback with 2004’s Musicology. Frozen for several years due to the lack of its availability on all formats, the recent arrival of the record on Spotify & cie may push it over the 3 million mark at some point.

Over a career of 38 years plus 2 seasons of posthumous sales, the mastermind amassed 131,92 million equivalent album sales. An incredibly innovative artist that shared new sounds, new formats (he sold downloads virtually before anyone else), new concepts, and new promotion methods, Prince managed to combine all his experiments with highly successful records during his extensive career.

To go deeper…

Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that their sales represent 21,81 million times the purchase of his entire discography. Coupled with his total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 304. This puts him ahead of other legends like David Bowie and Bob Dylan.

Additionally, the following pages list their most successful songs as well as their records and achievements. Do not forget to check our amazing cross-artists lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Discogs, Chartmasters.org.

Click here for full analysis https://chartmasters.org/...alysis/64/

[Edited 10/4/18 14:04pm]

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Reply #1 posted 10/04/18 3:10pm

Lovejunky

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Orphan Album ??????????

“LOVE IS THE MASTERPLAN”
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Reply #2 posted 10/04/18 4:00pm

sambluedolphin

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amazing didnt realise his top albums sold taht much, he has aged better with time

Prince 2010 Good Luck for Future & Tour
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Reply #3 posted 10/04/18 5:38pm

Graciegirl719

Wow the jump from Controversy to 1999 is amazing!

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Reply #4 posted 10/04/18 5:45pm

jennalynn

this is impressive!!!

~everything is a prince reference~
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Reply #5 posted 10/04/18 5:59pm

onlyforaminute

Did you sit and add up all these numbers?

"You want to know your biggest fault? You don’t keep true accounts: you put a high value on what you’ve given, a low value on what you’ve received."

- Seneca, On Anger 3.31.3
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Reply #6 posted 10/04/18 6:34pm

HAPPYPERSON

onlyforaminute said:

Did you sit and add up all these numbers?

Chart Masters did.

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Reply #7 posted 10/04/18 8:04pm

RODSERLING

Équivalent sales here means only that by a strange system hé adds to the albums sales (which are highly disputable here) the singles sales and streaming.
Of course this system discard the greatest Hits sales.
.
These list is very close to my estimations to the hundred of thousand copies lol except for :
- BAtman, the worldwide sales are two millions higher than the numbers stated by WB and Billboard in 1993. And it is a very Bad catalogue seller
- SOTT who Couldn t have sold 3.25 millions outside the US
-the Guy invents his system of équivalent sales, but yet still refuses (I argued with him à lot back in 2005/2010!) To account for the 1.6 millions Musicology sold through Billboard.
.
The Guy seriously thought MJ was singing on the Cascios tracks...
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Reply #8 posted 10/04/18 8:05pm

TKO

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Lovejunky said:

Orphan Album ??????????

Means singles or songs not released on his studio albums.

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Reply #9 posted 10/05/18 12:01am

Moonbeam

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RODSERLING said:

Équivalent sales here means only that by a strange system hé adds to the albums sales (which are highly disputable here) the singles sales and streaming. Of course this system discard the greatest Hits sales. . These list is very close to my estimations to the hundred of thousand copies lol except for : - BAtman, the worldwide sales are two millions higher than the numbers stated by WB and Billboard in 1993. And it is a very Bad catalogue seller - SOTT who Couldn t have sold 3.25 millions outside the US -the Guy invents his system of équivalent sales, but yet still refuses (I argued with him à lot back in 2005/2010!) To account for the 1.6 millions Musicology sold through Billboard. . The Guy seriously thought MJ was singing on the Cascios tracks...


Looking through the methodology, I don't think it discards greatest hits sales - it distributes them to studio albums (or "orphan albums" in the case of songs that weren't on studio albums) based on Streaming numbers of those songs. So sales of The Very Best of Prince, for example, would be allocated to Prince, 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade, Sign o' the Times, Lovesexy, Graffiti Bridge, and Diamonds and Pearls proportionally to the streams of the tracks that are included on it. I think that's what the "other releases" column is, which explains why there are so few for Batman and none for Come, for example.

Feel free to join in the Prince Album Poll 2018! Let'a celebrate his legacy by counting down the most beloved Prince albums, as decided by you!
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Reply #10 posted 10/05/18 12:57am

Lovejunky

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TKO said:

Lovejunky said:

Orphan Album ??????????

Means singles or songs not released on his studio albums.

Thank you

“LOVE IS THE MASTERPLAN”
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Reply #11 posted 10/05/18 1:56am

feeluupp

How accurate are these numbers do you think?

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Reply #12 posted 10/05/18 2:02am

feeluupp

Couple comments, if these are indeed accurate, it's good to see updated total sales figures for albums such as 1999, which says it's at 7 million now. The media traffic world charts claimed PURPLE RAIN sold over 21 million last year, this chart says 23 million, but I feel PURPLE RAIN is even higher than that, since the RIAA last certififed PURPLE RAIN at 13x Platinum, it should at least be over 15 million in the U.S. by now if WB tried to audit and recertify it...

SOTT with 5.2 million, seems a little high, but I know it sold over 1 million in the U.S. alone and over 2 million in EUROPE just in 80's alone... So it's possible its at 5 million mark by now...

With reissues and promotion of reissues of albums like 1999 and DIAMONDS & PEARLS they very well could reach the 10 million and over mark.

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Reply #13 posted 10/05/18 3:32am

bonatoc

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Out of curiosity, did someone ever calculate the median income of Prince on his records? I've always wondered since he's the writer, composer, performer, arranger and producer. He's not cashing in as your regular rock star. I've been quite suprised with the 200 million USD evaluation, but yeah, given the figures, it makes sense.

Which means he was burning money like crazy in the nineties (and it recoups with Kevin Smith comments on how much videos Prince had fully produced that sit in The Vault). Imagine if he had been careful about expenses early on. To think he just had to wait for the 20th anniversary of Purple Rain to replenish his wallet with a back catalogue tour is simply amazing (ahhh, 2004...).
Like, U know, nuthin' happened.


[Edited 10/5/18 3:38am]

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #14 posted 10/05/18 6:18am

databank

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To be fair, this table should also include side projects and other singles composed/produced by Prince.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #15 posted 10/05/18 6:51am

PURPLEIZED3121

Jeeez, are you lot still getting a hard-on over sales figures?!

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Reply #16 posted 10/05/18 6:56am

rdhull

avatar

databank said:

To be fair, this table should also include side projects and other singles composed/produced by Prince.

I agree. He has been semi short-changed regarding this. As if him being as one of the most prolific successful musicians isnt already cemeneted, but articles rarely add on the other hits he is involed in as part of his sales (flr ex: Chaka, Easton, Bangles etc etc) figures.

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #17 posted 10/05/18 7:04am

bonatoc

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rdhull said:

databank said:

To be fair, this table should also include side projects and other singles composed/produced by Prince.

I agree. He has been semi short-changed regarding this. As if him being as one of the most prolific successful musicians isnt already cemeneted, but articles rarely add on the other hits he is involed in as part of his sales (flr ex: Chaka, Easton, Bangles etc etc) figures.


Yup, let's add a million or so between "Manic Monday", "Nothing Compares 2 U", and "I Feel For You".
Probably more.

[Edited 10/5/18 7:25am]

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #18 posted 10/05/18 7:10am

rdhull

avatar

bonatoc said:

rdhull said:

I agree. He has been semi short-changed regarding this. As if him being as one of the most prolific successful musicians isnt already cemeneted, but articles rarely add on the other hits he is involed in as part of his sales (flr ex: Chaka, Easton, Bangles etc etc) figures.


Yup, let's add a million or so between "Manic Monday", "Nothing Compares 2 U", and "I Feel For You".

Not sure if your being facetious to make fun of me in snark, but even if you are, those seminal hits significantly boosted the careers of some of these artists. It wasnt simply just givjng them a million sales between them but boosted their cache in sales, concert attendance for those artsist etc.

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #19 posted 10/05/18 7:36am

heymistermusic

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The Black Album isn't listed

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Reply #20 posted 10/05/18 7:50am

rdhull

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heymistermusic said:

The Black Album isn't listed

It's evil. It didnt sell any copes.

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #21 posted 10/05/18 9:12am

bonatoc

avatar

rdhull said:

bonatoc said:


Yup, let's add a million or so between "Manic Monday", "Nothing Compares 2 U", and "I Feel For You".

Not sure if your being facetious to make fun of me in snark, but even if you are, those seminal hits significantly boosted the careers of some of these artists. It wasnt simply just givjng them a million sales between them but boosted their cache in sales, concert attendance for those artsist etc.


I was not.

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #22 posted 10/05/18 9:56am

Silvertongue7

How cool that Art Official Age is his sixth most streamed album (although am I right to think that it was available for streaming since it came out?). I love that album so much...
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Reply #23 posted 10/05/18 10:07am

rdhull

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Silvertongue7 said:

How cool that Art Official Age is his sixth most streamed album (although am I right to think that it was available for streaming since it came out?). I love that album so much...

Its the Dream Factory of now.

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #24 posted 10/05/18 10:17am

Silvertongue7

rdhull said:



Silvertongue7 said:


How cool that Art Official Age is his sixth most streamed album (although am I right to think that it was available for streaming since it came out?). I love that album so much...

Its the Dream Factory of now.


Well, probably not, but I love it (and I can’t believe how incredibly beautiful Clouds is)
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Reply #25 posted 10/05/18 11:02am

onlyforaminute

HAPPYPERSON said:

onlyforaminute said:

Did you sit and add up all these numbers?

Chart Masters did.



Ah ok. Wasn't a problem if you did, it just makes you more a Prince fan.

"You want to know your biggest fault? You don’t keep true accounts: you put a high value on what you’ve given, a low value on what you’ve received."

- Seneca, On Anger 3.31.3
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Reply #26 posted 10/05/18 8:22pm

heymistermusic

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rdhull said:

heymistermusic said:

The Black Album isn't listed

It's evil. It didnt sell any copes.


...well I bought one! let's add "1" to the total mr.green

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Reply #27 posted 10/05/18 8:50pm

rdhull

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heymistermusic said:

rdhull said:

It's evil. It didnt sell any copes.


...well I bought one! let's add "1" to the total mr.green

Sales to the devil dont count.

Lost your keys? check princevault..lost your relationhip? check princevault..they have all the answers
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Reply #28 posted 10/05/18 9:10pm

databank

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The streaming ratio is a bit strange when all is said and done. For one thing the ratio numbers seem completely arbitrary, it could be anything. Why 1500/1, why not 15 or 15,000?

Besides, following that logic why not also count TV and radio broadcasts?

Also of note is the absence of NEWS.

And what to make of NPGMC/Lotusflow3r memberships?

And does Emancipation still count as 3 albums while 1999 counts as 1 on CD/MC and 2 on LP?

And what of the countless cassette copies, burned CD's, third world pirate releases and illegal downloads?

In the end it gives us an indication of success and popularity, as charts always did, but there isn't much to learn from this that we didn't already know, and honestly whether Parade sold 37 more copies than ATWIAD or not isn't really gonna make much of a difference...

I think we should soon rebrand this board Princesales.org or Princecharts.org anyway, because that's all y'all are capable of talking about nowadays...

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #29 posted 10/06/18 7:15am

jdcxc

bonatoc said:



rdhull said:




databank said:


To be fair, this table should also include side projects and other singles composed/produced by Prince.



I agree. He has been semi short-changed regarding this. As if him being as one of the most prolific successful musicians isnt already cemeneted, but articles rarely add on the other hits he is involed in as part of his sales (flr ex: Chaka, Easton, Bangles etc etc) figures.




Yup, let's add a million or so between "Manic Monday", "Nothing Compares 2 U", and "I Feel For You".
Probably more.

[Edited 10/5/18 7:25am]



True...and don’t forget The Time, Sheila E, Vanity 6 which are almost exclusively Prince albums.

Anaylsis of Prince’s record sales really illustrate his artistic independence and integrity. He truly is a “cult” artist who occasionally got commercially lucky.
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