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  • Led Zeppelin :: Charts & Sales History

    About a year ago, I purchased one of the Guinness UK Chart books... a 1991 edition. I compared Led Zeppelins chart achievements with those of other bands + performers, and Zeppelin easily held their own with anyone on the planet, including Elvis, the Beatles, Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones.

    In the next few days (when I have a bit more time to post), I will list what I found. It was very, very impressive. The facts will speak for themselves. ;)

    Kashmir75

  • #2
    Led Zeppelin USA shipments

    Key
    release date
    date of latest riaa certification
    title
    riaa shipment
    soundscan figure


    Studio Albums
    1969 1999 Led Zeppelin - 8,000,000 - 1,685,000 jan 2013
    1969 1999 Led Zeppelin II - 12,000,000 - 2,482,000 jan 2013
    1970 1999 Led Zeppelin III - 6,000,000 - 1,310,000 dec 2006
    1971 2006 Led Zeppelin IV - 23,000,000 - 3,825,000 apr 2013
    1973 1999 Houses of the Holy - 11,000,000 - 1,792,000 dec 2006
    1975 2006 Physical Graffiti - 8,000,000 - 1,418,000 jan 2013
    1976 1997 Presence - 3,000,000 - 497,000 mar 2013
    1979 1997 In Through the Out Door - 6,000,000 - 782,000 dec 2006
    1982 1983 Coda - 1,000,000 - 190,000 dec 2006

    Box Sets
    1993 1999 Complete (10CD) - 200,000 - 267,000 dec 2006
    1990 2001 Led Zeppelin (4CD) - 2,500,000 - 1,350,000 dec 2006
    1993 2004 Box Set Two (2CD) - 250,000 - 222,000 dec 2006

    Compilations
    1992 1997 Remasters - 667,000 - 745,000 dec 2006
    1999 2001 Early Days - 1,000,000 - 1,128,000 dec 2006
    2000 none Latter Days - 366,000 dec 2006
    2002 2004 Very Best Of - 500,000 - 1,609,000 sep 2007
    2007 2008 Mothership - 1,000,000 - 1,829,000 apr 2013

    Live Albums
    1997 2001 Live at the BBC 1969/71 - 1,000,000 - 1,273,000 dec 2006
    2003 2003 How the West Was Won 1972 - 334,000 - 819,000 nov 2008
    1976 1997 Song Remains the Same 1973 - 4,000,000 - 369,000 + 150,000 re-issue dec 2006+jan 2013
    2012 none Celebration Day - 410,000 may 2013

    Their total soundscan figure since 1991 is 25,000,000 dec 2012

    Audited Total Shipments 89,460,000

    Estimated Total Shipments - 103,000,000


    Videos

    Led Zeppelin (DVD) - 1,300,000 - 1,239,000 apr 2013
    Song Remains the Same (VHS/DVD) - 176,000 dec 2006
    See Page One of my threads for all updates

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Basil
      Led Zeppelin USA shipments
      Led Zeppelin IV - 22,000,000 - 3,190,000
      Nice overview Basil.

      I was looking at RIAA certifications for "IV". It went 10 x Platinum in 1990, 17 x Platinum in 1997 and 22 x Platinum in 1999! Making it the best selling Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album in the US ever!!!!

      So what happened? Did it really ship more than 12 million in the 90's or did they suddenly find lost records of old shipments? I mean, it couldn't have shipped 5 million between nov '97 and nov '99 could it?????

      Anyway, no update since nov '99, maybe sales have stopped since "Early days: The best of Led Zeppelin vol.1" was released in nov '99 (and later "Early/Latter days").
      "IV" hasn't appeared on Top Pop Catalog albums since apr '99 and it has just 6 weeks since okt '96!
      Top Catalog Albums of the Soundscan era

      Let there be rock!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Basil
        Led Zeppelin USA shipments
        Presence - 3,000,000 - 326,000
        In Through the Out Door - 6,000,000 - 730,000
        Btw, I never understood why sales of "In through the out door" doubled those of "Presence".
        I mean which do you prefer "Achilles last stand" or "In the evening"?
        But I see soundscan figures since 1991 confirm it...
        Top Catalog Albums of the Soundscan era

        Let there be rock!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thats just part of the certification mess that is the RIAA... *Atlantic* is the company to certify Led Zeppelin albums, and from 1969-1989 hardly any Zep albums were kept up to date with certs.

          In 1990 Atlantic finally got off their asses and decided to update Zep's catalogue, and lo and behold Zep had roughly 30-35 million in updated RIAA certifications. Quite a windfall, I would say.

          Comment


          • #6
            Led Zeppelin earned their first Gold record much sooner (in 10 months) than Elvis (24 months) or the Beatles (19 months). This figure pertained to the very first gold record earned, regardless of country.

            LZ dominated the charts in the 70's. 8 consecutive #1 albums from '69-'79. Abba also had 8 #1's, but these were over only 6 yrs. The Beatles had 7 #1's over a mere 3 yrs. (UK)

            In 1973, they were acknowledged as the best selling rock band in the world by a senior official from Atlantic Recording company who made the announcement on 5/31/73.

            From 1968-80, Zeppelin had 8 #1 albums, the Beatles had 4 #1's, the Rolling Stones had 6 #1's, and Elvis only had 2 #1's. (UK)

            Led Zeppelin's #1's chart over 34 yrs, Elvis' #1's chart over only 15 yrs. (UK)

            In 1975 Zep had all 6 albums on the chart at the same time, and they bettered this in '79 by having all 9 on the charts at the same time. (US)

            Zeppelin broke the US Beatles attendance record in 1973 with 56,800 and bettered this in 1977 with 76,229 in Detroit. At Knebworth 1979 UK festival Zep drew a crowd of 210,000 then the next week drew 180,000.

            It took Zeppelin less time to make it in to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame than Elvis. It took Zep 27 yrs, while it took Elvis about 32 yrs. (US)

            On Jan 31st 1970, Abbey Road was toppled from the Charts by Zeppelin II, and the Beatles quit a few months later. Zeppelin also won the Melody Maker poll in 1970, ending the Beatles 8 yr run there. Zep also won the Melody Maker poll in '75, '77, and '79. (UK)

            Their 1973 UK tour sold 110,000 tickets in a mere four hours. 1975 Earls Court sold 85,000 for five days... 5 straight capacity crowds for the legendary venue. This was yet another record in the UK for Led Zep.

            Another achievement: Zeppelin's first 4 albums are considered timeless classics in the world of rock, and comparing these 4 albums with those of other bands I found another impressive feat. Zeppelin's first 4 albums were on the charts longer the first 4 of Elvis, the Beatles, Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones. (UK)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kashmir75
              LZ dominated the charts in the 70's. 8 consecutive #1 albums from '69-'79. Abba also had 8 #1's, but these were over only 6 yrs. The Beatles had 7 #1's over a mere 3 yrs.
              Colin is crying, lol

              Comment


              • #8
                I read in this forum that Led Zeppelin IV i over 40 million but this is what ive found

                USA 22m
                Canada 2m
                UK 1,5m
                France 0,6m
                Australia 0,560
                Japan 0,141M

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kashmir75
                  Led Zeppelin earned their first Gold record much sooner (in 10 months) than Elvis (24 months) or the Beatles (19 months).

                  LZ dominated the charts in the 70's. 8 consecutive #1 albums from '69-'79. Abba also had 8 #1's, but these were over only 6 yrs. The Beatles had 7 #1's over a mere 3 yrs.

                  In 1973, they were acknowledged as the best selling rock band in the world.

                  From 1968-80, Zeppelin had 8 #1 albums, the Beatles had 4 #1's, the Rolling Stones had 6 #1's, and Elvis only had 2 #1's.

                  Led Zeppelin's #1's chart over 34 yrs, Elvis' #1's chart over only 15 yrs.

                  In 1975 Zep had all 6 albums on the chart at the same time, and they bettered this in '79 by having all 9 on the charts at the same time.

                  Zeppelin broke the US Beatles attendance record in 1973 with 56,800 and bettered this in 1977 with 76,229. At Knebworth 1979 Zep drew a crowd of 210,000 then the next week drew 180,000.

                  It took Zeppelin less time to make it in to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame than Elvis. It took Zep 27 yrs, while it took Elvis about 32 yrs.

                  On Jan 31st 1970, Abbey Road was toppled from the Charts by Zeppelin II, and the Beatles quit a few months later. Zeppelin also won the Melody Maker poll in 1970, ending the Beatles 8 yr run there. Zep also won the Melody Maker poll in '75, '77, and '79.

                  Their 1973 UK tour sold 110,000 tickets in a mere four hours. 1975 Earls Court sold 85,000 for five days... 5 straight capacity crowds for the legendary venue. This was yet another record in the UK for Led Zep.
                  Are you referring to UK or US charts/certifications or both?
                  Top Catalog Albums of the Soundscan era

                  Let there be rock!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Most of the information in my post is regarding the UK, but not all of it. (I found most of these chart facts from a UK chart book). Should I label the few entries that pertain to the USA? Just let me know.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MIGUEL
                      I read in this forum that Led Zeppelin IV i over 40 million but this is what ive found

                      USA 22m
                      Canada 2m
                      UK 1,5m
                      France 0,6m
                      Australia 0,560
                      Japan 0,141M
                      I wish Zep IV was over 40 million, but the highest sales estimate I have seen for Led Zeppelin IV is from the IFPI, which puts it at 32 million. Still quite impressive, not many albums have ever broke the 30 million level.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kashmir75
                        Most of the information in my post is regarding the UK, but not all of it. (I got most of the chart facts from a UK chart book). Should I label the few entries that pertain to the USA? Just let me know.
                        Yes, please state which entries are non UK. Maybe by editing your post.
                        Thanks!
                        Top Catalog Albums of the Soundscan era

                        Let there be rock!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          More info has been added to my post, along with another entry to the original.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dane
                            Nice overview Basil.
                            Thanks Dane. I think to get the sales patterns it is a good idea to separate out studio albums and compilations. For Led Zep this shows how sales of their studio albums varied a lot.

                            Originally posted by Dane
                            I was looking at RIAA certifications for "IV". It went 10 x Platinum in 1990, 17 x Platinum in 1997 and 22 x Platinum in 1999! Making it the best selling Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album in the US ever!!!!

                            So what happened? Did it really ship more than 12 million in the 90's or did they suddenly find lost records of old shipments? I mean, it couldn't have shipped 5 million between nov '97 and nov '99 could it?????
                            The Led Zep catalogue was fully certified in 1990 at 40 million units. It is now 87.54m albums and 108.5m units.

                            In the early 90's there were various rule changes that enabled previously disallowed sales to be included. Things like record clubs and military base sales.

                            In 1997 the catalogue was done again and had leapt to 70.5m units. In 1999 another revision gave 91.5m units.

                            Some of this must have been a re-audit of earlier sales, because they have only sold 20m soundscan since 1990.

                            It also appears to have been definitive since there has been no revision in the past 6 years.



                            Originally posted by Dane
                            Anyway, no update since nov '99, maybe sales have stopped since "Early days: The best of Led Zeppelin vol.1" was released in nov '99 (and later "Early/Latter days").
                            "IV" hasn't appeared on Top Pop Catalog albums since apr '99 and it has just 6 weeks since okt '96!
                            This is an interesting point. There have been 7 Led Zep compilations since 1990 and these seem to have gradually damaged catalogue sales more and more to the point where the old studio albums seem to have almost stopped selling.

                            Led Zep IV has probably sold less than 100,000 a year since 1999 so it would take until at least 2009 to go to 23m.

                            In 2001 there was meant to be a 2CD 30th anniversary version that Jimmy Page was preparing. It never happened of course. Still, it is the 3rd biggest selling album in the US - that is until Back in Black catches and passes it. The benefits of not releasing any compilations! People are still buying the AC/DC studio albums.
                            See Page One of my threads for all updates

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dane
                              Originally posted by Basil
                              Led Zeppelin USA shipments
                              Presence - 3,000,000 - 326,000
                              In Through the Out Door - 6,000,000 - 730,000
                              Btw, I never understood why sales of "In through the out door" doubled those of "Presence".
                              I mean which do you prefer "Achilles last stand" or "In the evening"?
                              But I see soundscan figures since 1991 confirm it...
                              Yes there is a great correlation between soundscan and long term shipments of Led Zep albums. The record buying public have kept a consistent buying pattern on their albums.

                              I fully agree that Presence beats In Through all the way. The meagre sales of Presence have always been a mystery and it remains the cinderella of their output.
                              See Page One of my threads for all updates

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Kashmir75
                                Thats just part of the certification mess that is the RIAA... *Atlantic* is the company to certify Led Zeppelin albums, and from 1969-1989 hardly any Zep albums were kept up to date with certs.

                                In 1990 Atlantic finally got off their asses and decided to update Zep's catalogue, and lo and behold Zep had roughly 30-35 million in updated RIAA certifications. Quite a windfall, I would say.
                                The riaa is blameless, it is all up to the record company.

                                The soundscan figure I have for How the West was Won is only a few months after it's release. It should easily be past 667,000 copies now and because it is 3 units should be 2xPlatinum.

                                The Very Best Of has scanned well over 1m copies and as 2 units should also be 2xPlatinum.

                                I think the rest of their certifications are now up to date with the possible exception of Remasters which was a 3CD version in the US.
                                See Page One of my threads for all updates

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Dane
                                  "IV" hasn't appeared on Top Pop Catalog albums since apr '99 and it has just 6 weeks since okt '96!
                                  Dane, could you post the weeks on the catalogue chart for all Led Zep albums? Cheers.
                                  See Page One of my threads for all updates

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The cria (Canadian Awards) database only has 6 titles listed??

                                    Led Zeppelin I - 1,000,000
                                    Led Zeppelin II - 900,000
                                    Led Zeppelin IV - 2,000,000
                                    Box Set (4CD) - 50,000 (12,500 albums)
                                    Early Days - 50,000
                                    How the West Was Won - 100,000 (34,000 albums)

                                    So where are the rest??
                                    See Page One of my threads for all updates

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Basil
                                      The cria (Canadian Awards) database only has 6 titles listed??

                                      Led Zeppelin I - 1,000,000
                                      Led Zeppelin II - 900,000
                                      Led Zeppelin IV - 2,000,000
                                      Box Set (4CD) - 50,000 (12,500 albums)
                                      Early Days - 50,000
                                      How the West Was Won - 100,000 (34,000 albums)

                                      So where are the rest??
                                      Good point!

                                      Same could be said about British certifications.
                                      I, II, III isn't certified at all, and IV wasn't certified until 2004 when it jumped to 5 x Platinum!
                                      Top Catalog Albums of the Soundscan era

                                      Let there be rock!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        One thing that has slowed down Zeppelin sales is the damned file sharing out there... it's really taken a toll on Zeppelin revenues the past 5 yrs. :( I smile every time the RIAA comes out with a new lawsuit against those people. They are not fans of music, they are just common thieves.

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by Basil
                                          Dane, could you post the weeks on the catalogue chart for all Led Zep albums? Cheers.
                                          Sure,

                                          (title, catalog weeks, month/day/year of latest entry)

                                          I, 28, 11/05/1994
                                          II, 63, 01/15/1994
                                          IV, 234, 04/17/1999
                                          Houses of the holy, 8, 04/25/1992
                                          Early days: The best vol.1, 1, 02/09/2002
                                          Early days/Latter days: The best vol. 1&2, 45, this week!!!


                                          The rest have never charted.

                                          Btw, as a Dane I must ask. What's the difference between catalog & catalogue? Is it US spelling & UK spelling?
                                          Top Catalog Albums of the Soundscan era

                                          Let there be rock!

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by Basil
                                            I think to get the sales patterns it is a good idea to separate out studio albums and compilations. For Led Zep this shows how sales of their studio albums varied a lot.
                                            Yes, it shows that the bluesy first half of their career is more popular than their experimental last half.
                                            Compare sales of "Early days" v "Latter days" for further proof.

                                            Personally I agree, "II" is actually my fave.
                                            Originally posted by Basil
                                            Some of this must have been a re-audit of earlier sales, because they have only sold 20m soundscan since 1990.

                                            It also appears to have been definitive since there has been no revision in the past 6 years.
                                            Agreed.

                                            Originally posted by Basil
                                            Still, it is the 3rd biggest selling album in the US - that is until Back in Black catches and passes it. The benefits of not releasing any compilations! People are still buying the AC/DC studio albums.
                                            My point exactly!

                                            Now compilation albums are slowing down sales of "Come on over" and "Appetite for destruction" too.
                                            "Hysteria" was often in the catalog(ue) chart before "Vault: greatest hits" was released, but never since. Examples are plenty.

                                            I've just read at Billboard that Eminem is releasing a compilation album in December. I bet it will slow down sales of his top catalog album "The Marshall Mathers LP" too.

                                            The odd case in Pink Floyd though, "DSOTM" is still selling after the release of "Echoes".
                                            Top Catalog Albums of the Soundscan era

                                            Let there be rock!

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              Originally posted by Basil
                                              Led Zep IV has probably sold less than 100,000 a year since 1999 so it would take until at least 2009 to go to 23m.
                                              I believe it takes about 4,000-5,000 weekly scans for a title to chart on Top Pop Catalog albums, so it could have sold around 200,000 a year. But 100k might be the better estimate.

                                              Remember, the weeks on chart I count is the published top 50 chart not the unpublished top 200 that Hanboo gets.
                                              Top Catalog Albums of the Soundscan era

                                              Let there be rock!

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                Led Zeppelin are the greatest band ever.

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  They didn't exactly dominate the UK singles charts though! did they? I'm sorry but I find most of this `Rose Tinted` Zeppelins UK LP sales 1969 to 1980 weren't record breaking either! Sure they have shipped quantities on C.D since-but at the time when they were a working band they NEVER ONCE! had the largest selling UK album in 1969, 70,71 etc! A little perspective PLEASE!

                                                  Comment


                                                  • #26
                                                    Ah, a voice of dissent... don't you know Zeppelin did not release singles in the UK? It was a policy of theirs + Peter Grant. Led Zep was an album band... singles did'nt interest them in the UK.

                                                    Zep always had a significant UK following, and plenty of gold + platinum records from the start. Hint: this was BEFORE the BPI era (1973-present), but Zeppelin still earned plenty of UK certifications 1969-1973.

                                                    Zeppelin had a massive fan base early on in the UK, just take the Bath festival of June 1969: 80,000 people attended. Zep headlined it, this being less than a year of their debut as a band. Quick success followed them anywhere they went.

                                                    As for your statement about certifications? Zeps first 4 albums sold about a million each, and BPI only covers releases from 1971-onwards. That leaves Zep I,II, and III out of the BPI's tally. LZ IV has been listed at Platinum x5. Certifications hardly ever tell the story; sales however, do.

                                                    Zeppelins sales in the UK are as follows for their first four: Zeppelin I sold 1 million, Zeppelin II sold 2 million, Zeppelin III sold 1.5 million and Zepplin IV sold 1.5 million. Not overwhelming numbers here, but certainly consistent and respectable success.

                                                    Comment


                                                    • #27
                                                      i know what youre saying asm. I am a very big zep fan but agree with what youre saying. yeah they had the 8 consecutive number ones, but nothing really looks that good after 4 in the guiness book. the weeks stayed in chart are very shit after 4. cant remember youre name, but, nice thread about the compelation stuff really knocking the catolgue to sh1t, so true it just aint shiftin, the uk sales for the double package (early days')absouloutly sh1ts on htwww, bbc sessions or any catalogue cd/lp. from its time of release, (308000) so far.

                                                      Comment


                                                      • #28
                                                        Originally posted by Kashmir75
                                                        One thing that has slowed down Zeppelin sales is the damned file sharing out there... it's really taken a toll on Zeppelin revenues the past 5 yrs. :( I smile every time the RIAA comes out with a new lawsuit against those people. They are not fans of music, they are just common thieves.
                                                        I don't think that's the whole of it. File-sharing hasn't put a damper in AC/DC or Pink Floyd (two "contemporary" artists). A lot of people probably don't feel the need to buy Led Zeppelin IV when the bulk of the songs are on Early Days. When you consider that Early Days and the Early Days/Latter Days have sold over 2 million in the past 5 years, that somehow justifies it.

                                                        Also, it wouldn't hurt for Warner to drop the price on the albums anyways. "Back In Black"'s sales are twice now that it's midline priced than it was when the retail was $18.99. If Warner dropped the price of "Led Zeppelin IV" from full-price to midline, the sales will spike. It's kind of a joke that Zeppelin IV costs three times now on CD that it did to buy on record in 1971, and for reasons like that, I don't feel sorry for the RIAA when people "steal" music.
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                                                        Comment


                                                        • #29
                                                          thats mad in the Uk back in black has never dropped to midprice, its always 9.99 at the cheapest, you can pick LZ4 for 4.99 sometimes, usually 9.99, but drops all the time to 5 or 6.

                                                          Comment


                                                          • #30
                                                            Originally posted by jimmypages59
                                                            thats mad in the Uk back in black has never dropped to midprice, its always 9.99 at the cheapest, you can pick LZ4 for 4.99 sometimes, usually 9.99, but drops all the time to 5 or 6.
                                                            that's weird how different it is in US and UK, in the US, LZ4 is always full list-price, while Back In Black is constantly available for $8.99-10.99 here (compared to $15.99-18.99 for LZ4). Since Epic reissued BIB in 2003 at a lower price than what Atlantic was charging, the sales of it have been much higher, almost always in the top 20 on Pop Catalog these days (while it rarely made the pop catalog charts pre-2003, and when it did, it was never top 5 like it sometimes is now)
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