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Thread started 05/06/18 6:09am

DonRants

Best Selling Albums in the USA

So Newsweek and the RIAA recently put out articles and figures for the best selling Albums ever in the USA. I could not help noticing that Michael Jackson topped the list but then did not return again. Led Zepplin is on several times, etc. Prince's "Purple Rain" is there too of course.

1.First Link: RIAA showing the top 100 albums on one page...Just keep clicking the link on the bottom to expand the page.

https://www.riaa.com/gold...ch_section

2. Second Link: Newsweek showing the album covers of the Top 50 albums. A countdown from album 50 to album 1.

http://www.newsweek.com/5...79337?rc=1

[Edited 5/6/18 16:29pm]

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Reply #1 posted 05/06/18 8:33am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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It really shouldn't be a surprise. Bad, his second highest-selling release, just went diamond in the US last year and the lowest-selling album on this list is 12 million.
[Edited 5/6/18 8:35am]
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Reply #2 posted 05/06/18 11:22am

2freaky4church
1

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What is scary is how much the Eagles sold.

"My motherfucker's so cool sheep count him."
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Reply #3 posted 05/06/18 1:51pm

liljojo

2freaky4church1 said:

What is scary is how much the Eagles sold.

I know right, but their best moment was on the night of their last show in 1980

"I felt Don Felder insulted Senator Cranston under his breath, and I confronted him with it. So now we're onstage, and Felder looks back at me and says, 'Only three more songs till I kick your ass, pal.' And I'm saying, 'Great. I can't wait,'". "We're out there singing 'Best of My Love,' but inside both of us are thinking, 'As soon as this is over, I'm gonna kill him.' That was when I knew I had to get out."

Man, I heard the audio and thought I was hearing things at first but I was LMAO. But this is what happens to bands that's VERY successful.

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Reply #4 posted 05/06/18 3:35pm

MickyDolenz

Garth Brooks has 7 diamond albums. Since it remained on the album chart over a decade I would have thought Dark Side Of The Moon sold more than The Wall.

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #5 posted 05/06/18 3:58pm

Hudson

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One album per page. Painful!
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Reply #6 posted 05/06/18 4:10pm

DonRants

Hudson said:

One album per page. Painful!

Hudson..use the second link...RIAA...That has the top hundred on one page.


Edit: I will edit my original post to make that clearer.

[Edited 5/6/18 16:21pm]

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Reply #7 posted 05/06/18 4:14pm

Hudson

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DonRants said:



Hudson said:


One album per page. Painful!

Hudson..use the second link...RIAA...That has the top hundred on one page.



Thanks lol
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Reply #8 posted 05/06/18 4:34pm

DonRants

MotownSubdivision said:

It really shouldn't be a surprise. Bad, his second highest-selling release, just went diamond in the US last year and the lowest-selling album on this list is 12 million. [Edited 5/6/18 8:35am]

Scroll down a little more on the RIAA link...the last couple albums are at the 10 million mark. But they got there before Bad.

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Reply #9 posted 05/06/18 4:38pm

DonRants

MickyDolenz said:

Garth Brooks has 7 diamond albums. Since it remained on the album chart over a decade I would have thought Dark Side Of The Moon sold more than The Wall.

5 of his albums are right at the 10 million mark. The other two sold more. He clearly has a very loyal fan base.

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Reply #10 posted 05/06/18 4:54pm

DonRants

Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson. The three artist who ruled my generation...are only there once each. So although they had tremendous cultural impact...other artist were outselling them massively...in the USA, at least.

I am also surprised by the absence of QUeen, Nirvana and David Bowie....three bands/artists with massive cultural impact but not the sales.

Please correct me if my obeservations are wrong...would love to hear more of your thoughts on this. What surprises you, etc.

Years ago, I remember listening to a marketer talk about America and he said that we are not who we project or think we are. He said one way you see the true America is what folks will actually pay for versus what the media tells us we are or shows us to be. This chart is showing me the wisdom of his words.

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Reply #11 posted 05/06/18 5:19pm

MickyDolenz

^^Other than Let's Dance, I don't think David Bowie's albums were really all that popular in the USA. I don't think Queen & Abba was either. I think they were more popular in Europe than here. I don't remember hearing that much by any of those acts on the radio. Before Let's Dance, the only songs by Bowie I had heard was Fame & Young Americans. Heard a lot of Eagles, Journey, & Chicago though. Before Let's Dance, Bowie was probably more of a cult act in the US, not a Top 40 radio one. I heard Steve Miller Band on the radio more than Queen. Probably the music & image of Bowie & Queen did not appeal as well to heartland America who was into Bob Seger or John Denver or southern rock bands, nor the hard rock fans of KISS & Rush.

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #12 posted 05/06/18 5:47pm

MickyDolenz

DonRants said:

5 of his albums are right at the 10 million mark. The other two sold more. He clearly has a very loyal fan base.

Garth and then Shania Twain & Dixie Chicks were really the first country related acts to get blockbuster sales like rock bands. Before Garth's success in the 1990s, Kenny Rogers was the most popular with the mainstream.

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #13 posted 05/06/18 6:16pm

MotownSubdivis
ion

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DonRants said:

Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson. The three artist who ruled my generation...are only there once each. So although they had tremendous cultural impact...other artist were outselling them massively...in the USA, at least.



I am also surprised by the absence of QUeen, Nirvana and David Bowie....three bands/artists with massive cultural impact but not the sales.




Please correct me if my obeservations are wrong...would love to hear more of your thoughts on this. What surprises you, etc.



Years ago, I remember listening to a marketer talk about America and he said that we are not who we project or think we are. He said one way you see the true America is what folks will actually pay for versus what the media tells us we are or shows us to be. This chart is showing me the wisdom of his words.


While many other artists and groups have sold more individual albums, many still rank much lower in terms of total albums sold. According to Wikipedia, Michael and Madonna rank in at #3 and #4 respectively behind only The Beatles and Elvis, both having sold 300 million+ albums worldwide. US-only, they rank much lower, however with Madonna peaking at 85 million while Michael hit 104. What I found most interesting was that both have individually sold more than The Beatles in the UK. They top out at 18 million while Michael stands at 28 and Madonna at 29.

When you break down the lump sum of artist's sales, it really is pretty intriguing.
[Edited 5/6/18 18:20pm]
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Reply #14 posted 05/06/18 7:26pm

ReddBlitz

I'm shocked Madonna is only featured once. I thought for sure True Blue would've been right alongside Like A Virgin. Even Like A Prayer.
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Reply #15 posted 05/06/18 7:34pm

DonRants

Thanks for the great points MotownSubdivision and MickyDolenz.

MotownSubdivision said:

While many other artists and groups have sold more individual albums, many still rank much lower in terms of total albums sold. According to Wikipedia, Michael and Madonna rank in at #3 and #4 respectively behind only The Beatles and Elvis, both having sold 300 million+ albums worldwide. US-only, they rank much lower, however with Madonna peaking at 85 million while Michael hit 104. What I found most interesting was that both have individually sold more than The Beatles in the UK. They top out at 18 million while Michael stands at 28 and Madonna at 29. When you break down the lump sum of artist's sales, it really is pretty intriguing. [Edited 5/6/18 18:20pm]

I remember reading too that BAD outsold Thriller in England. Good point though about both MJ and Madonna being such strong sellers globally and overall.

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Reply #16 posted 05/07/18 7:57am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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DonRants said:

Thanks for the great points MotownSubdivision and MickyDolenz.



MotownSubdivision said:


While many other artists and groups have sold more individual albums, many still rank much lower in terms of total albums sold. According to Wikipedia, Michael and Madonna rank in at #3 and #4 respectively behind only The Beatles and Elvis, both having sold 300 million+ albums worldwide. US-only, they rank much lower, however with Madonna peaking at 85 million while Michael hit 104. What I found most interesting was that both have individually sold more than The Beatles in the UK. They top out at 18 million while Michael stands at 28 and Madonna at 29. When you break down the lump sum of artist's sales, it really is pretty intriguing. [Edited 5/6/18 18:20pm]


I remember reading too that BAD outsold Thriller in England. Good point though about both MJ and Madonna being such strong sellers globally and overall.

Thank you.

We're usually just given a total of albums sold by artists but when you're able to break it down by country, year and even by albums VS individual songs/singles things get pretty interesting. One thing I notice that some places do is say such and such sold this many million records which I found out encompasses albums and singles as well as videos. Wikipedia uses the term "records" so I may have to backpedal on some of the info I provided.

The albums VS singles aspect can be complicated when it comes to "record" sales because one artist could have more overall sales but another artist could have higher album or singles sales.

Take Rihanna and Whitney Houston for example: nobody who knows the slightest about the music business would humor the idea of Rihanna selling more albums than Whitney Houston whose units sold of a single album are comparable to the sales of Rihanna's entire discography. However, Whitney only has 11 #1 hit singles to Rihanna's record-breaking 14. Considering how we live in a singles era compared to the albums era of the past that Whitney was a part of, you can assume without looking that the number of songs Rihanna has sold is comparable to what the average blockbuster album of Whitney's time sold. Personally, I think it has been and always will be more impressive for an artist to sell a boatload of albums rather than a boatload of singles but it's stuff like this that leads people to scratch their heads upon reading on record sales.
[Edited 5/7/18 10:07am]
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Reply #17 posted 05/07/18 9:48am

Empress

2freaky4church1 said:

What is scary is how much the Eagles sold.

Why is it scary? They have tons of great songs and millions of fans over 40 years.
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Reply #18 posted 05/07/18 10:13am

MotownSubdivis
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Empress said:

2freaky4church1 said:

What is scary is how much the Eagles sold.



Why is it scary? They have tons of great songs and millions of fans over 40 years.
Meh lol
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Reply #19 posted 05/07/18 3:02pm

MickyDolenz

DonRants said:

strong sellers globally and overall.

Theoretically, it is possible for a singer/band to sell only in China or India and have the biggest selling album in history. It wouldn't have to sell anywhere else because of the populations of those countries.

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #20 posted 05/07/18 3:20pm

Doalwa

Better nobody dis ma boys The Eagles on here....or I might just have to kick that ass!
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Reply #21 posted 05/07/18 5:22pm

SoulAlive

2freaky4church1 said:

What is scary is how much the Eagles sold.



It’s not scary at all.The Eagles are a great band and their songs have stood the test of time.
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Reply #22 posted 05/07/18 7:14pm

Hudson

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It scares me how much Metallica and Eminem sold, not The Eagles.
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Reply #23 posted 05/07/18 8:36pm

SoulAlive

Doalwa said:

Better nobody dis ma boys The Eagles on here....or I might just have to kick that ass!



lol I love the Eagles.Their songs are timeless.
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Reply #24 posted 05/08/18 9:18am

Cinny

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I used to hate the Eagles. Now I don't remember why. They were awesome and I hope to see them in concert!

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Reply #25 posted 05/08/18 9:19am

Cinny

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You think Thriller can save a party, but have you ever spun "Take It Easy"?

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Reply #26 posted 05/08/18 9:36am

nextedition

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DonRants said:

Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson. The three artist who ruled my generation...are only there once each. So although they had tremendous cultural impact...other artist were outselling them massively...in the USA, at least.

I am also surprised by the absence of QUeen, Nirvana and David Bowie....three bands/artists with massive cultural impact but not the sales.

Please correct me if my obeservations are wrong...would love to hear more of your thoughts on this. What surprises you, etc.

Years ago, I remember listening to a marketer talk about America and he said that we are not who we project or think we are. He said one way you see the true America is what folks will actually pay for versus what the media tells us we are or shows us to be. This chart is showing me the wisdom of his words.

Madonna and Michael Jackson are huge sellers around the world. The US market ist just part of the market. Garth Brooks for example is a very American market artist, he doesnt sell shit outside the US.

Michael Jackosn and Madonna sold out stadiums from south America to Japan to Europe to Russia to Australia.

Second, i think sales are not only what makes an artist a big artist. Its the whole picture. Prince was never a huge seller (expect for PR), but he was a huge presence. I don't see the Eagles having the influence Prince had. They were a rock band, with some great songs, but there were many of them.

That's why the death of David Bowie and Prince made such an impact. They had a huge influence on music.

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Reply #27 posted 05/08/18 9:48am

namepeace

I was mildly surprised to see that Stevie has sold less than 20 million albums.

Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #28 posted 05/08/18 9:52am

gandorb

Cinny said:

You think Thriller can save a party, but have you ever spun "Take It Easy"?



Depends on what the crowd has been smoking wink .
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Reply #29 posted 05/08/18 10:52am

MickyDolenz

namepeace said:

I was mildly surprised to see that Stevie has sold less than 20 million albums.

Before around the 1980s, Motown generally didn't report sales to the RIAA. So they wouldn't know how much he sold like in the Little Stevie era. The RIAA is voluntary, it's not required for labels to report sales to them. Also the albums after In Square Circle didn't really crossover (in the US, I don't know what they did in other countries). That came out in 1985 and he's only released 4 albums since then, 5 if you count the live album. Maybe there's been 50 greatest hits/best of/#1s albums by Stevie since 1985. lol Motown is known for releasing endless compilations of the same songs. razz

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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