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Thread started 10/29/20 1:49pm

rogifan

RIAA top 20 artists based on album sales

1. The Beatles - 183M

2. Garth Brooks - 157M

3. Elvis Presley - 146.6M

4. The Eagles - 120M

5. Led Zeppelin - 115M

6. Billy Joel - 84.5M

7. Michael Jackson - 84M

8. Elton John - 79M

9. AC/DC - 75M

10. Pink Floyd - 75M

11. George Strait - 69M

12. Barbra Streisand - 68.5M

13. Aerosmith, Mariah Carey, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen - 66.5M

17. Madonna 64.5M

18. Metallica - 63M

19. Whitney Houston - 60M

20. Van Halen - 56.5M


Any artists on here surprise you? Any you would have expected to be here that aren’t? I guess I’m surprised Billy Joel is higher than Michael Jackson. And maybe a little surprised Celine Dion and Shania Twain aren’t in the top 20. Also didn't expect Aerosmith to be in the top 20. I guess all those soppy movie ballads really moved album sales.

Paisley Park is in your heart
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Reply #1 posted 10/29/20 2:29pm

alphastreet

Shouldn’t be surprised but only 3 black artists are in the top 20. I thought Whitney’s number would have been higher
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Reply #2 posted 10/29/20 3:10pm

MickyDolenz

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alphastreet said:

Shouldn’t be surprised but only 3 black artists are in the top 20. I thought Whitney’s number would have been higher

Well in general, rock artists have been the highest sellers of albums for several decades, and some with getting little or no Top 40 airplay. Especially post Beatles. When they used to have the AOR format, most of the acts played were white males other than maybe a few like Jimi Hendrix & Heart. Same with classic rock radio today. Its the rock bands (and teen idol acts while they're popular) who sell a lot of merchandising. Rock acts have logos that are recognizable like particular name fonts & the Rolling Stones tongue. People in general are more likely to buy the records of artists of their own race/ethnicity before another one. If white people are the majority, then of course white entertainers are going to sell more. There's a reason people like Berry Gordy wanted his label to crossover to the mainstream audience to get the bigger sales. Black artists have been more accepted to some extent since the late 1950s by the mainstream than other races. Until recently with BTS, how many singers/bands of an Asian background became a big thing in the US? There was the Sukiyaki song in the 1960s by Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #3 posted 10/29/20 3:25pm

rogifan

alphastreet said:

Shouldn’t be surprised but only 3 black artists are in the top 20. I thought Whitney’s number would have been higher


These are just US sales. I think Whitney is higher if world wide sales are included though I’m guessing those are harder to certify. Isn’t Mariah Carey only partially black?

Paisley Park is in your heart
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Reply #4 posted 10/29/20 3:32pm

alphastreet

rogifan said:



alphastreet said:


Shouldn’t be surprised but only 3 black artists are in the top 20. I thought Whitney’s number would have been higher



These are just US sales. I think Whitney is higher if world wide sales are included though I’m guessing those are harder to certify. Isn’t Mariah Carey only partially black?



Yes Mariah is half black, half Irish, and yes she still counts

It makes sense that rock acts sold the most, but also mi shattered a lot of records and seems to be not respected enough
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Reply #5 posted 10/29/20 4:17pm

MickyDolenz

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alphastreet said:

It makes sense that rock acts sold the most, but also mj shattered a lot of records and seems to be not respected enough

The importance of rock n roll was pushed by the boomer era originators of rock magazines like Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone pretty much originated the idea of self-writing being important. Before Rolling Stone, the buyers of records did not care if Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, or Bing Crosby wrote songs or not. Pre-Beatles it was very uncommon for acts to write their own material. There were songwriters who wrote, singers who sang, producers who produced, etc. Each part had their own job. Singers from that era recorded a lot of the same songs which became known as standards.

Michael Jackson came from a Motown background, where there were staff writers. The Jackson 5 also had a more old showbiz presntation, which Rolling Stone did not really understand or promoted, such as dance routines. The early RS was more into writing about blues oriented rock acts & the large hippie audience who bought the magazine. Going by the way the rock media tends to put it, 1960s music was all British Invasion, psychedelic rock, folk rock, and Motown. But acts like Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Percy Faith, Johnny Mathis, & The 5th Dimension were popular during that time as well. Louis Armstrong had a #1 pop hit with Hello Dolly in the middle of Beatlemania and one of the biggest selling albums during the 1960s was The Sound Of Music soundtrack. Bossa Nova was also popular in the US during the mid-1960s.

[Edited 10/29/20 16:50pm]

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #6 posted 10/29/20 4:34pm

alphastreet

Good to know
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Reply #7 posted 10/30/20 6:57am

kitbradley

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I'm not sure why people are always thinking Nippy should score higher on these types of lists. She had a long career but her album releases were very scattered after 1990 and were not anywhere near as successful as her two 80s albums.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
"The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing." - Socrates
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Reply #8 posted 10/30/20 2:43pm

MotownSubdivis
ion

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We need to find out who behind the scenes has been shamelessly fudging The Eagles' numbers
[Edited 10/30/20 14:43pm]
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Reply #9 posted 10/30/20 3:10pm

alphastreet

kitbradley said:

I'm not sure why people are always thinking Nippy should score higher on these types of lists. She had a long career but her album releases were very scattered after 1990 and were not anywhere near as successful as her two 80s albums.



Well I personally thought so because of the high sales of the bodyguard
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Reply #10 posted 10/30/20 3:37pm

MickyDolenz

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alphastreet said:

Well I personally thought so because of the high sales of the bodyguard

That's not really her album because there's other acts on it. There's soundtracks with only one artist on it, but The Bodyguard is not one of them.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #11 posted 10/30/20 3:42pm

alphastreet

MickyDolenz said:



alphastreet said:


Well I personally thought so because of the high sales of the bodyguard

That's not really her album because there's other acts on it. There's soundtracks with only one artist on it, but The Bodyguard is not one of them.



Yeah true, but she’s the most well known artist on it lol but you’re right, cause her two 90s albums sold 4 million each, which is good but not as high as her 80s albums
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Reply #12 posted 10/30/20 6:00pm

rogifan

MickyDolenz said:

alphastreet said:

Well I personally thought so because of the high sales of the bodyguard

That's not really her album because there's other acts on it. There's soundtracks with only one artist on it, but The Bodyguard is not one of them.


But it is considered her album as far as album sales classification. I believe the RIAA says if an individual artists has 4 or more songs on a soundtrack it can be counted in their album sales.

Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #13 posted 10/30/20 6:50pm

alphastreet

MotownSubdivision said:

We need to find out who behind the scenes has been shamelessly fudging The Eagles' numbers
[Edited 10/30/20 14:43pm]


So true right? lol
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Reply #14 posted 10/30/20 10:20pm

mynameisnotsus
an

Never heard or bumped into one Garth Brooks or George Strait song. Or maybe I have and never knew it.
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Reply #15 posted 10/30/20 10:48pm

MickyDolenz

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mynameisnotsusan said:

Never heard or bumped into one Garth Brooks or George Strait song. Or maybe I have and never knew it.

You don't know All My Exes Live In Texas? It's probably the closest George got to the mainstream audience. On the country chart George Starit has more #1s and Top 10's than anyone else on any other chart.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #16 posted 10/31/20 2:44am

SantanaMaitrey
a

I'm surprised by Garth Brooks. I know he's big in North America, but contrary to all the others, he really isn't very well known in the rest of the world.
[Edited 10/31/20 2:48am]
[Edited 10/31/20 2:49am]
O tempora! O mores!
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Reply #17 posted 10/31/20 2:59am

SantanaMaitrey
a

MickyDolenz said:



mynameisnotsusan said:


Never heard or bumped into one Garth Brooks or George Strait song. Or maybe I have and never knew it.

You don't know All My Exes Live In Texas? It's probably the closest George got to the mainstream audience. On the country chart George Starit has more #1s and Top 10's than anyone else on any other chart.


Interesting how American music like jazz, rock & roll, blues, hiphop is popular throughout the world, but country not so much. Maybe it's because country doesn't have the rebellious spirit that the other genres have?
[Edited 10/31/20 3:02am]
O tempora! O mores!
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Reply #18 posted 10/31/20 3:58am

mynameisnotsus
an

MickyDolenz said:



mynameisnotsusan said:


Never heard or bumped into one Garth Brooks or George Strait song. Or maybe I have and never knew it.

You don't know All My Exes Live In Texas? It's probably the closest George got to the mainstream audience. On the country chart George Starit has more #1s and Top 10's than anyone else on any other chart.



I just looked him up and thought he was Alan Jackson lol
Hand on heart never heard his music though I guess I've heard the name through the years. I actually don't mind a bit of country but it seems you have to really listen to country stations to hear it and I can't really do all country all the time shake
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Reply #19 posted 10/31/20 7:47am

MickyDolenz

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SantanaMaitreya said:

Interesting how American music like jazz, rock & roll, blues, hiphop is popular throughout the world, but country not so much. Maybe it's because country doesn't have the rebellious spirit that the other genres have?

British acts like The Beatles & Rolling Stones have done country style songs or remakes of country songs. How popular was southern rock like 38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, or Marshall Tucker Band outside of the US? It's kind of a mixture of rock, country, & jazz. The Eagles earlier music is country influenced and so is Linda Ronstadt. Country might also not translate as well because it originated from appalachian people. There's also the case that the genres you names originated from black people, but country originated from white people. Although early country was basically rural white people mixing blues & Hawaiian music together with their traditional folk music. Folk is music originating from Europe so it was already there, it did not have to be imported. I also think country is less popular on the coasts of the USA than in the middle where there is more farmland & rural areas. There are other forms of entertainment that is popular to many country listeners like rodeos, trail rides, & NASCAR races. In Houston TX there is probably the most well known rodeo very year and even has non country artists perfoming at it like Jackson 5, Tony Bennett, Mary J. Blige, Duran Duran, Neil Diamond, Cardi B, Kool & The Gang, Blink 182, etc. I think Selena's final concert was at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

There has also long been rural/country life in US movies & TV too. Such as:
the Ma & Pa Kettle series of movies
the many westerns pre-1970s. They were all over TV & movie theaters. (Smokey Robinson said he got his nickname from his family because he was a big fan of westerns as a kid and wanted to be a cowboy. He said he was called Smokey Joe, but the Joe was later dropped. The Jacksons have said that they sang country songs when they were growing up because that is what their mother listend to.)
Beverly Hillbillies
Green Acres
The Grapes Of Wrath

Hee Haw

Andy Griffith Show (Matlock was kinda country too)

Urban Cowboy

Smokey & The Bandit

1970s trucker movies & TV shows (even Good Times had an episode about CB radios)

even though Dallas was set in a city, they were living on a ranch and the guys often wore cowboy hats

The Dukes Of Hazzard

In The Heat Of The Night

many sitcoms had an episode about going to the country or being around some hillbillies or rednecks.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #20 posted 10/31/20 8:02am

MotownSubdivis
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SantanaMaitreya said:

I'm surprised by Garth Brooks. I know he's big in North America, but contrary to all the others, he really isn't very well known in the rest of the world.
[Edited 10/31/20 2:48am]
[Edited 10/31/20 2:49am]
This is US sales only.
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Reply #21 posted 10/31/20 5:54pm

Tontoman22

alphastreet said:

kitbradley said:

I'm not sure why people are always thinking Nippy should score higher on these types of lists. She had a long career but her album releases were very scattered after 1990 and were not anywhere near as successful as her two 80s albums.

Well I personally thought so because of the high sales of the bodyguard

LOL, high sale of the Bodyguard Sountrack ? It has sold 18 million in the US. She only has 2 other big albums.

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Reply #22 posted 10/31/20 6:10pm

Tontoman22

rogifan said:

MickyDolenz said:

That's not really her album because there's other acts on it. There's soundtracks with only one artist on it, but The Bodyguard is not one of them.


But it is considered her album as far as album sales classification. I believe the RIAA says if an individual artists has 4 or more songs on a soundtrack it can be counted in their album sales.

I am not sure about that, 4 songs (different) are needed to constute an album. But as far as counting it as her album. The RIAA had a list of the best selling female albums. The Bodyguard Soundtrack was not on the list. I remember, as far as counting them in Billboard, Soundtracks were not counted as single artists credits,unless it was the artist singularly. In 1976, Barbra Streisand had the #1 single and the Soundtrack to A Star Is Born was #1. But she could not be credited as having the #1 album, because of it being a Soundtrack and not a Studio album. Soundtracks are self promoting because of the movie. Thus they are not considered the same as studio albums.

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Reply #23 posted 10/31/20 6:27pm

Tontoman22

rogifan said:

1. The Beatles - 183M

2. Garth Brooks - 157M

3. Elvis Presley - 146.6M

4. The Eagles - 120M

5. Led Zeppelin - 115M

6. Billy Joel - 84.5M

7. Michael Jackson - 84M

8. Elton John - 79M

9. AC/DC - 75M

10. Pink Floyd - 75M

11. George Strait - 69M

12. Barbra Streisand - 68.5M

13. Aerosmith, Mariah Carey, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen - 66.5M

17. Madonna 64.5M

18. Metallica - 63M

19. Whitney Houston - 60M

20. Van Halen - 56.5M


Any artists on here surprise you? Any you would have expected to be here that aren’t? I guess I’m surprised Billy Joel is higher than Michael Jackson. And maybe a little surprised Celine Dion and Shania Twain aren’t in the top 20. Also didn't expect Aerosmith to be in the top 20. I guess all those soppy movie ballads really moved album sales.

Shania Twain has only 5 studio album, 2 Greatest Hits and a Live album. Houston has 7 Studio albums, 2 Soundtracks, 7 compilations (GH), a live albums, and 6 box sets. Although Shania has the biggest album by a female artist in US history 20 millions; again she has 2 other big albums. Celine Dion worldwide is huge, bigger than Houston. Like Madonna and Mariah Carey. The other thing is having how many artist are even certified, or updated ? Beyone is apparently grossly under certified, because her record company doesn't give a shit about the RIAA certification program. Houston was just updated a few days ago.

[Edited 10/31/20 18:31pm]

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Reply #24 posted 10/31/20 6:35pm

Tontoman22

rogifan said:

1. The Beatles - 183M

2. Garth Brooks - 157M

3. Elvis Presley - 146.6M

4. The Eagles - 120M

5. Led Zeppelin - 115M

6. Billy Joel - 84.5M

7. Michael Jackson - 84M

8. Elton John - 79M

9. AC/DC - 75M

10. Pink Floyd - 75M

11. George Strait - 69M

12. Barbra Streisand - 68.5M

13. Aerosmith, Mariah Carey, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen - 66.5M

17. Madonna 64.5M

18. Metallica - 63M

19. Whitney Houston - 60M

20. Van Halen - 56.5M


Any artists on here surprise you? Any you would have expected to be here that aren’t? I guess I’m surprised Billy Joel is higher than Michael Jackson. And maybe a little surprised Celine Dion and Shania Twain aren’t in the top 20. Also didn't expect Aerosmith to be in the top 20. I guess all those soppy movie ballads really moved album sales.

Interesting fact, Billy Joel outsold Michael Jackson in the US market in the 80s. Jackson sold 32 million albums, Joel sold 35 million. Just like, Houston sold 15 million albums in the 80s, Streisand sold 18 million. Their back catalogs, and the fact that the 80s and the 90s were the all time decades for albums sales.

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Reply #25 posted 11/01/20 7:45am

MickyDolenz

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Tontoman22 said:

Interesting fact, Billy Joel outsold Michael Jackson in the US market in the 80s. Jackson sold 32 million albums, Joel sold 35 million. Just like, Houston sold 15 million albums in the 80s, Streisand sold 18 million. Their back catalogs, and the fact that the 80s and the 90s were the all time decades for albums sales.

Billy Joel released more albums than Mike in the 1980s. What people seem to forget is that Def Leppard had huge selling albums during that era.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #26 posted 11/01/20 9:22am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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MickyDolenz said:



Tontoman22 said:


Interesting fact, Billy Joel outsold Michael Jackson in the US market in the 80s. Jackson sold 32 million albums, Joel sold 35 million. Just like, Houston sold 15 million albums in the 80s, Streisand sold 18 million. Their back catalogs, and the fact that the 80s and the 90s were the all time decades for albums sales.



Billy Joel released more albums than Mike in the 1980s. What people seem to forget is that Def Leppard had huge selling albums during that era.

Def Leppard was massive in the 80s. Pyromania and Hysteria both went Diamond.

I'm not a fan but I'm surprised that AC/DC is so low. I thought they would have hit 100 mill.
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Reply #27 posted 11/01/20 9:46am

MickyDolenz

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MotownSubdivision said:

Def Leppard was massive in the 80s. Pyromania and Hysteria both went Diamond. I'm not a fan but I'm surprised that AC/DC is so low. I thought they would have hit 100 mill.

I'm not sure but I think AC/DC is like Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Alanis Morrisette, Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, & Norah Jones. They had one big blockbuster album in the USA and the rest weren't as popular.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #28 posted 11/01/20 5:59pm

Tontoman22

MotownSubdivision said:

MickyDolenz said:

Billy Joel released more albums than Mike in the 1980s. What people seem to forget is that Def Leppard had huge selling albums during that era.

Def Leppard was massive in the 80s. Pyromania and Hysteria both went Diamond. I'm not a fan but I'm surprised that AC/DC is so low. I thought they would have hit 100 mill.

Those 2 alubms sold for Def Leppard sold 17 million by the begining of the 90s. With AC/DC, I had there albums, but it wasn't unitl Back In Black, that there earlier albums started to sell. At the begining of the 90s it had sold 9 million, it's up to 25 now, last updated December 2019. There next highest selling is Highway to Hell with 7 million, then 6 million Drity Deeds, so its a big drop in comparison.

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Reply #29 posted 11/03/20 8:12am

MickyDolenz

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Tontoman22 said:

I am not sure about that, 4 songs (different) are needed to constute an album.

Wouldn't 4 songs be considered an EP? Unless you're talking about 2-4 really long songs like some jazz & prog rock albums.

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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