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  • Prince :: Charts & Sales History

    This is a short version of my lenghty thread about Prince's records sales. I think maybe it is more useful and easy for everybody interested in Prince's sales to have this kind of summary of his commercial achievements in the style of similar threads regarding other artists. I also added all the other data available about his sales around the world.

    My extended thread can be read at:
    http://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=34161

    Shipments/Sales

    *****ALBUMS*****

    USA

    RIAA certifications (year of certification) = shipments
    Soundscan sales since 1991 = retail (data from January 2006 except where indicated) (courtesy of Hanboo and Keith Caulfield)

    Albums released before Soundscan-Era

    1978 - FOR YOU - NOT CERTIFIED - 88,000
    1979 - PRINCE - 1,000,000 - (1980) - 183,000

    1980 - DIRTY MIND - 500,000 - (1984) - 125,000
    1981 - CONTROVERSY - 1,000,000 - (1985) - 200,000
    1982 - 1999 - 4,000,000 - (1999) - 641,000
    1984 - PURPLE RAIN - 13,000,000 - (1996) - 2,548,000 (September 2009)
    1985 - AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY - 2,000,000 - (1985) - 162,000
    1986 - PARADE - 1,000,000 - (1986) - 230,000
    1987 - SIGN OF THE TIMES (2xCD) - 1,000,000 - (1987) - 271,000
    1988 - LOVESEXY - 500,000 - (1988) - 68,000
    1989 - BATMAN - 2,000,000 - (1989) - 111,000

    1990 - GRAFFITI BRIDGE - 500,000 - (1990) - 145,000

    Albums released in the Soundscan-Era (Studio albums)

    1991 - DIAMONDS & PEARLS - 2,000,000 - (1992) - 2,462,000 (September 2009)
    1992 - SYMBOL - 1,000,000 - (1992) - 1,080,000 (September 2009)
    1994 - COME - 500,000 - (1994) - 310,000
    1994 - THE BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE (EP) - NOT CERTIFIED - 210,000
    1994 - THE BLACK ALBUM - NOT CERTIFIED - 261,000
    1995 - THE GOLD EXPERIENCE - 500,000 - (1995) - 492,000
    1996 - CHAOS & DISORDER - NOT CERTIFIED - 131,000
    1996 - EMANCIPATION (3xCD) - 667,000 - (1995) - 628,000
    1998 - NEWPOWER SOUL - NOT CERTIFIED - 214,000
    1999 - RAVE UN2 THE JOY FANTASTIC - 500,000 - (1999) - 487,000

    2001 - THE RAINBOW CHILDREN - NOT CERTIFIED - 158,000
    2003 - N.E.W.S. - NOT CERTIFIED - 30,000
    2004 - MUSICOLOGY - 1,000,000 - 827,000 (retail sales only, full sales are 2,047,000 as Sep/2009)
    2006 - 3121 - 500,000 - (2006) - 524,000 (Jul 2007)
    2007 - PLANET EARTH - NOT CERTIFIED - 222,000

    Albums released in the Soundscan-Era (Compilation albums)

    1993 - THE HITS/THE B-SIDES (3xCD) - 334,000 - (1993) - 630,000
    1993 - THE HITS 1 - 1,000,000 - (1995) - 1,433,000 (September 2009)
    1993 - THE HITS 2 - 1,000,000 - (1995) - 1,715,000 (September 2009)
    1998 - CRYSTAL BALL (4xCD) - Not certified - 113,000
    1999 - THE VAULT - Not certified - 113,000
    2001 - THE VERY BEST OF PRINCE - 1,000,000 - (2004) - 1,618,000 (September 2009)
    2006 - ULTIMATE PRINCE - NOT CERTIFIED - 87,000 (February 2007)

    Totals

    (as March 2009)

    RIAA = 36,500,000
    RIAA (albums released 1978-1990) = 26,500,000
    RIAA (albums released 1991-2006) = 10,000,000
    Soundscan = 18,517,000 (above total) - full sales by September 2009 = 19.9 million
    Soundscan (albums released 1978-1990) = 4,772,000
    Soundscan (albums released 1991-2007) = 13,745,000

    Certifications/Sales outside USA

    UK certifications (BPI) / sales
    Germany certifications
    France certifications (SNEP)
    The Netherlands certifications
    Switzerland certifications
    Austria certifications

    1979 PRINCE
    UK= 60,000 (Silver, 2004)

    1981 CONTROVERSY
    UK= 60,000 (Silver, 1989)

    1982 1999
    UK= 300,000 (Platinum, 2008)

    1984 PURPLE RAIN
    UK= 600,000 ( 2xPlatinum, 1990) + 146,000 ('97-'05)
    Canada= 600,000 ( 6xPlatinum, 1984)
    Germany= 500,000 (Platinum, 1993)
    France= 300,000 (Platinum, 1993)
    Japan= 197,000 (Oricon)
    Australia= 140,000 ( 2xPlatinum, 1992)
    Switzerland= 50,000 (Platinum, 1989)

    1985 AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY
    UK= 100,000 (Gold, 1985)
    Japan= 99,000 (Oricon)

    1986 PARADE
    UK= 300,000 (Platinum, 1992)
    Germany= 250,000 (Gold, 1993)
    France= 200,000 ( 2xGold, 2001)
    The Netherlands= 100,000 (Platinum, 1992)
    Japan= 82,000 (Oricon)
    Austria= 15,000 (Gold, 1994)

    1987 SIGN OF THE TIMES
    UK= 300,000 (Platinum, 1990)
    Germany= 250,000 (Gold, 1996)
    France= 200,000 ( 2xGold, 2001)
    The Netherlands= 100,000 (Platinum, 1988)
    Japan= 50,000 (Oricon)
    Australia= 35,000 (Gold, 1999)

    1988 LOVESEXY
    UK= 300,000 (Platinum, 1990)
    Germany= 250,000 (Gold, 1996)
    France= 200,000 ( 2xGold, 2001)
    The Netherlands= 50,000 (Gold, 1988)
    Japan= 40,000 (Oricon)
    Switzerland= 25,000 (Gold, 1988)
    Austria= 15,000 (Gold, 1994)

    1989 BATMAN
    UK= 300,000 (Platinum, 1989)
    France= 300,000 (Platinum, 2001)
    Germany= 250,000 (Gold, 1990)
    Japan= 175,000 (Oricon)
    The Netherlands= 50,000 (Gold, 1989)
    Switzerland= 25,000 (Gold, 1989)

    1990 GRAFFITI BRIDGE
    UK= 100,000 (Gold, 1990)
    France= 100,000 (Gold, 1990)
    Japan= 75,000 (Oricon)
    Canada= 50,000 (Gold, 1990)
    Switzerland= 25,000 (Gold, 1990)

    1991 DIAMONDS & PEARLS
    UK= 900,000 ( 3xPlatinum, 2004)
    France= 450,000 (sales, 1992)
    Australia= 280,000 ( 4xPlatinum, 1996)
    Germany= 250,000 (Gold, 1992)
    Canada= 100,000 (Gold, 1991)
    The Netherlands= 100,000 (Platinum, 1992)
    Japan= 62,000 (Oricon)
    Switzerland= 50,000 (Platinum, 1991)
    Austria= 30,000 (Platinum, 1992)

    1992 SYMBOL
    UK= 300,000 (Platinum, 1992)
    France= 100,000 (Gold, 1992)
    Japan= 84,000 (Oricon)
    Australia= 70,000 (Platinum, 1992)
    Switzerland= 25,000 (Gold, 1992)
    Austria= 15,000 (Gold, 1994)

    1993 THE HITS/THE B-SIDES
    Japan= 84,000 (Oricon)
    Australia= 70,000 (Platinum, 2000)
    UK= 60,000 (Silver, 1993)

    1993 THE HITS 1
    UK= 300,000 (Platinum, 1995)

    1993 THE HITS 2
    UK= 300,000 (Platinum, 1995)

    1994 COME
    UK= 100,000 (Gold, 1994)
    France= 100,000 (Gold, 1994)
    Japan= 82,000 (Oricon)

    1994 THE BLACK ALBUM
    Japan= 59,000 (Oricon)

    1995 THE GOLD EXPERIENCE
    UK= 100,000 (Gold, 1995)
    Japan= 53,000 (Oricon)

    1996 CHAOS & DISORDER
    UK= 40,000 (sales)
    Japan= 30,000 (Oricon)

    1996 EMANCIPATION
    Canada= 100,000 (Platinum, 1996)
    Japan= 95,000 (Oricon)
    UK= 81,000 (sales)

    1999 RAVE UN2 THE JOY FANTASTIC
    Japan= 27,000 (Oricon)

    2001 THE VERY BEST OF PRINCE
    UK= 300,000 (Platinum, 2004)
    The Netherlands= 80,000 (Platinum, 2005)
    Canada= 50,000 (Gold, 2002)
    Australia= 35,000 (Gold, 2004)

    2004 MUSICOLOGY
    UK= 100,000 (Gold, 2004)
    Japan= 60,000 (Oricon)
    Canada= 50,000 (Gold, 2004)
    The Netherlands= 40,000 (Gold, 2004)
    Switzerland= 20,000 (Gold, 2004)

    2006 3121
    UK= 73,000 (sales)
    Japan= 42,000 (Oricon)
    Switzerland= 20,000 (Gold, 2006)

    Worldwide

    Worldwide sales (Entertainment Weekly, September 1992)
    USA sales (Billboard, September 1992)
    International (outside US) sales (Entertainment Weekly and Billboard, September 1992)
    Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 1993

    1978 For You 800,000
    1979 Prince 1,750,000
    1980 Dirty Mind 1,800,000
    1981 Controversy 2,300,000
    1982 1999 5,000,000
    1984 Purple Rain 14,700,000 = 10,200,000 + 4,500,000
    1985 Around The World In A Day 4,350,000 = 2,700,000 + 1,650,000
    1986 Parade 3,750,000 = 1,900,000 + 1,850,000
    1987 Sign Of The Times 3,500,000 = 1,600,000 + 1,900,000
    1988 Lovesexy 2,650,000 = 900,000 + 1,750,000
    1989 Batman (Soundtrack) 4,600,000
    1990 Graffiti Bridge 2,000,000
    1991 Diamonds & Pearls 5,800,000 = 2,500,000 + 3,300,000
    1992 Symbol 2,450,000

    *****SINGLES*****

    USA

    1979-1991

    RIAA certification
    Digital sales (Soundscan)

    1979 - I WANNA BE YOUR LOVER - 1,000,000

    1983 - LITTLE RED CORVETTE - NOT CERTIFIED - 61,000

    1984 - WHEN DOVES CRY - 2,000,000 - 250,000
    1984 - LET'S GO CRAZY - 1,000,000 - 161,000
    1984 - PURPLE RAIN - 1,000,000 - 76,000

    1986 - KISS - 1,000,000 - 210,000

    1989 - BATDANCE - 1,000,000

    1990 - THIEVES IN THE TEMPLE - 500,000


    Soundscan Era

    RIAA certification
    Soundscan sales (courtesy of Hanboo)

    1991 - GETT OFF - 500,000 - 551,000
    1991 - CREAM - 500,000 - 491,000
    1992 - DIAMONDS & PEARLS - NOT CERTIFIED - 429,000
    1992 - INSATIABLE - NOT CERTIFIED - 124,000
    1992 - MONEY DON'T MATTER 2NIGHT - NOT CERTIFIED - 100,000

    1992 - MY NAME IS PRINCE - NOT CERTIFIED - 198,000
    1992 - SEXY MF - NOT CERTIFIED - 117,000
    1993 - 7 - 500,000 - 432,000
    1993 - DAMN U - NOT CERTIFIED - 68,000
    1993 - THE MORNING PAPERS - NOT CERTIFIED - 42,000

    1993 - PINK CASHMERE - NOT CERTIFIED - 115,000
    1993 - PEACH - NOT CERTIFIED - 43,000

    1994 - THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD - 500,000 - 805,000

    1994 - LETITGO - NOT CERTIFIED - 155,000
    1994 - SPACE - NOT CERTIFIED - 35,000

    1995 - I HATE U - NOT CERTIFIED - 229,000
    1995 - GOLD - NOT CERTIFIED - 32,000

    1995 - PURPLE MEDLEY - NOT CERTIFIED - 81,000

    1999 - 1999 (REISSUE) - NOT CERTIFIED - 203,000

    -WORK IN PROGRESS-

  • #2
    Minimum sales in Brasil:

    "Musicology" 10,000
    "3121" 10,000
    Me Facebook | Me LastFM

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice thread Edu I enjoyed the breakdown.

      Comment


      • #4
        I like Prince but, Edu, why do you create another topic ?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: PRINCE: the sales database

          Originally posted by Edu
          2004 - MUSICOLOGY - 1,000,000 - 934,000 (Concert sales not considered)
          Hi Edu,

          I believe concert sales are included in this total. During this tour sales from concerts were collected by soundscan every week and contributed to the albums chart position.
          See Page One of my threads for all updates

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: PRINCE: the sales database

            Originally posted by Basil
            Originally posted by Edu
            2004 - MUSICOLOGY - 1,000,000 - 934,000 (Concert sales not considered)
            Hi Edu,

            I believe concert sales are included in this total. During this tour sales from concerts were collected by soundscan every week and contributed to the albums chart position.
            i remember seeing "Musicology" with over 1.8M on Soundscan, but that was counting the CD's that people got with the concert tickets, so 934k is definetly without those CD's
            Me Facebook | Me LastFM

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: PRINCE: the sales database

              Originally posted by Basil
              Originally posted by Edu
              2004 - MUSICOLOGY - 1,000,000 - 934,000 (Concert sales not considered)
              Hi Edu,

              I believe concert sales are included in this total. During this tour sales from concerts were collected by soundscan every week and contributed to the albums chart position.
              Basil, Edu is correct about the 934k that were actually scanned at the stores. Prince was heavily bashed by critics for the other 1.2 million copies given away with ticket purchases at the concerts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Prince was heavily bashed by critics for the other 1.2 million copies given away with ticket purchases at the concerts.
                Why was he bashed? this make no-sense
                I think it's better for higher "sales" No seriously it's a great idea and a new way for people to come at shows.
                Whiskey River take my mind,
                Don't let her mem'ry torture me.
                Whiskey River don't run dry,
                You're all I've got, take care of me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TheRock1984
                  Prince was heavily bashed by critics for the other 1.2 million copies given away with ticket purchases at the concerts.
                  Why was he bashed? this make no-sense
                  I think it's better for higher "sales" No seriously it's a great idea and a new way for people to come at shows.
                  I agree with you. Unfortunately the bashing was more of the sales weren't legit in their eyes since their logic was people probably paid for the album with the cost of the ticket which was included automatically when you bought it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Prince sold 1.5 millions tickets of the musicology tour, so it had logically sold 2.4 millions copies , only according to soundscan , with not considering the music club sales

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In the 26 weeks that "Musicology" spent on the Billboard-200 Soundscan reported a total of 1,893,000 CDs sold, of which 1,066,000 came from the Tour tickets and "only" 827,000 were result of retail sales.
                      Honestly i can't consider the sales from the concerts as real sales so i excluded them from the numbers above.
                      All the CDs sold with tickets BEFORE the album was released commercially (to the stores) were not counted by Soundscan and I also don't consider them true sales.
                      Obviously i hope someone can find more recent Soundscan numbers for "Musicology" in order for the above information to be more acurate.

                      I still hope one day to have a positive reply from you facedown36

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Edu
                        Honestly i can't consider the sales from the concerts as real sales so i excluded them from the numbers above.
                        Hi Edu

                        Man, you're being too strict on yourself.

                        When you think of the price of concert tickets these days compared to CD's.

                        I think such sales are quite legitimate as they are allowed for in the overall price of the concert ticket and Prince still makes a profit and royalties!

                        Compare this to record club sales. Prices through clubs can be incredibly low and yet we (and riaa certifications) still include them. In fact some CD's are given away FREE in record clubs and the riaa still counts it as a sale.

                        I admire your conservative approach to Prince sales, but I don't see any problem in adding concert sales at all.

                        Best Regards - Basil

                        PS This summary thread is excellent and makes it easier to see the overall shape of the Prince catalogue and therefore the pattern of sales.
                        See Page One of my threads for all updates

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Edu
                          In the 26 weeks that "Musicology" spent on the Billboard-200 Soundscan reported a total of 1,893,000 CDs sold, of which 1,066,000 came from the Tour tickets and "only" 827,000 were result of retail sales.
                          Honestly i can't consider the sales from the concerts as real sales so i excluded them from the numbers above.
                          All the CDs sold with tickets BEFORE the album was released commercially (to the stores) were not counted by Soundscan and I also don't consider them true sales.
                          Obviously i hope someone can find more recent Soundscan numbers for "Musicology" in order for the above information to be more acurate.

                          I still hope one day to have a positive reply from you facedown36
                          My replies are positive . Let's take the example of this one:
                          1) Musicology has sold 934.000 copies in stores
                          2) Musicology has sold 1.500.000 copies during the us 2004 tour
                          3) The NPg MC SAles are not taken in account, neither the music club sales , and we may suppose that that the sales approaching to 300.000.

                          So, my positive conclusion, according to your numbers, is that Musicology sold more than 2.5 copies in the us alone!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Personally, I don't think cd sales via ticket concerts should be counted in the chart.

                            For example, the Leps latest albums (a covers album) only peaked at 16 in the USA and spent a month in the top 100. However, Def Leppard are playing to about 20,000 fans a night on their current US tour. That could be as much as 80,000 fans a weeks which if, counted as albums sales in the event that each ticket holder is given a copy of an ablum, would allow for a top ten place in the album charts for every week of the Leps lenghty tour.

                            Allowing a copy of an album to count towards the chart when purchased indirectly via a concert ticket is bound to favour established acts which will indirectly sell their new music to fans of the their back catalogue.

                            Bloody Hell, the Rolling Stones would be number one on the album charts for weeks on end!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I added the rest of the figures.
                              I think now it's more easy to see Prince's sales achievements, especially in the USA.

                              Obviously any corrections or additions are more than welcome!
                              (this is also for you Hanboo )

                              Enjoy it!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                "3121" in the UK - 72,968
                                Me Facebook | Me LastFM

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  AutomaticBR OBRIGADO for the sales figures of 3121 in the UK!
                                  I added those to the breakdown above.
                                  I also added the Purple Rain UK sales from the period 1997-2005 courtesy of jimmypages59, thank you jimmy!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Good work!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Four Prince albums had their sales in US updated, and there are some new digital sales in the singles section.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        3/17/07 Catalog Chart:

                                        41 PRINCE VERY BEST OF PRINCE 4097 -18% 5004 1,301,111 (1xp)

                                        91 PRINCE PURPLE RAIN 2533 -4% 2652 2,382,745

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          7/21 Catalog chart

                                          23 WAR 57 54 54 PRINCE VERY BEST OF PRINCE 3,025 +2% 2,964 1,352,898 (1xp)

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by nibblet
                                            Personally, I don't think cd sales via ticket concerts should be counted in the chart.
                                            I agree. I went to see Prince three times on the "Musicology" tour. Some of my friends saw him six times, and some serious die-hard fans saw him a few dozen times!

                                            So what happened to all those extra "Musicology" CD's that we supposedly purchased? If you were at the concert, you'd notice that a lot of them were left behind, lying on the floor, destined for the landfill. I love Prince, but that doesn't seem like a legitimate "sale" to me!

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              What's the reason of the re-enter of Ultimate this week? Sold at the tour?

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                Billboard Top 200 11 august 2007

                                                03 NE 01 Prince, Planet Earth 95,508 999 95,927
                                                Prisoner Of Rock'n'Roll

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  Originally posted by Danny86
                                                  What's the reason of the re-enter of Ultimate this week? Sold at the tour?
                                                  20.002 copies sold in U.K.
                                                  Prisoner Of Rock'n'Roll

                                                  Comment


                                                  • #26
                                                    Originally posted by borderwolf
                                                    Originally posted by Danny86
                                                    What's the reason of the re-enter of Ultimate this week? Sold at the tour?
                                                    20.002 copies sold in U.K.
                                                    Thanks, but my question was more like "what caused the sales increase?"... ;)

                                                    Comment


                                                    • #27
                                                      Originally posted by Danny86
                                                      Originally posted by borderwolf
                                                      Originally posted by Danny86
                                                      What's the reason of the re-enter of Ultimate this week? Sold at the tour?
                                                      20.002 copies sold in U.K.
                                                      Thanks, but my question was more like "what caused the sales increase?"... ;)
                                                      just maybe the 2.8mil ppl who got the cd in the papers went out and bought them. I dont think he is sellin it at the o2 since it is a warner release he doesnt get as much royalty from warner as compared to the new releases and the kinda deal he currently has with sony he could sell stuff at the o2 and keep 100% of the proceeds. Like if he sold musicology he would get 100% of the profit unlike other acts who only get to keep 10%

                                                      Comment


                                                      • #28
                                                        Originally posted by Danny86
                                                        Originally posted by borderwolf
                                                        Originally posted by Danny86
                                                        What's the reason of the re-enter of Ultimate this week? Sold at the tour?
                                                        20.002 copies sold in U.K.
                                                        Thanks, but my question was more like "what caused the sales increase?"... ;)
                                                        Apologies for quote: my intentions was to add another info...
                                                        Prisoner Of Rock'n'Roll

                                                        Comment


                                                        • #29
                                                          Originally posted by asg
                                                          Originally posted by Danny86
                                                          Originally posted by borderwolf
                                                          Originally posted by Danny86
                                                          What's the reason of the re-enter of Ultimate this week? Sold at the tour?
                                                          20.002 copies sold in U.K.
                                                          Thanks, but my question was more like "what caused the sales increase?"... ;)
                                                          just maybe the 2.8mil ppl who got the cd in the papers went out and bought them. I dont think he is sellin it at the o2 since it is a warner release he doesnt get as much royalty from warner as compared to the new releases and the kinda deal he currently has with sony he could sell stuff at the o2 and keep 100% of the proceeds. Like if he sold musicology he would get 100% of the profit unlike other acts who only get to keep 10%
                                                          Yes, that makes sense, thank you!

                                                          Comment


                                                          • #30
                                                            UK: Ultimate falls 6-9
                                                            US: Planet Earth falls 11-20

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