Tino, you mentioned this: "Portugal: at least 20k (Portugal is such a deep mystery as no one seems to know, what exactly happened there...see 'The Visitors')". Can you be more specific? What is the mystery between Portugal and The Visitors? I had never heard about it.
As for those 27,000,000 million singles sold up to November 1976, the original source will have been their record companies. But as I understand, they were involved with different labels, depending on the country, so I'm not sure how reliable that is, to be honest. It makes far more sense to assume they had sold 27,000,000 million records, including 12,000,000 million albums; leaving 15,000,000 million singles sold.
Didn't Prici900 mention that Abba were cited as selling more albums than singles?
Unless I'm not understanding your sales numbers, Abba’s sales (by late 1976) would have been:
UK - 2,500,000
Germany - 2,000,000
USA - 3,000,000 (?) (Dancing Queen reached its peak after that claim was made)
So we are at 7,500,000 singles coming from the three biggest markets (for Western acts, at least).
Does that mean that we are going to find a further 20,000,000 million singles sold in the rest of the world? I see little evidence to support that, even though they were massive in certain territories: as you said, they reached their peak in several territories after that (as was the case of Latin America, Japan, the rest of Asia and even Eastern Europe).
What those numbers imply is that, by November 1976, three countries (UK, Germany and USA) accounted for 27% of all their sales and the rest of the world for as much as 73% of their total.
But according to your further breakdown (covering 1977 to 1983), the picture changed. You are telling that in those five years, the following cumulative sales were achieved:
UK – 7,500,000
Germany – 5,000,000
USA – 5,500,000
We are at a massive 17,500,000 singles between these three countries, while their worldwide sales within that time period (according to you) were 40,000,000 or so.
In percentages terms: UK, Germany and USA represented 43% and the rest of the world 57% between 1977 and 1983.
So those three markets passed from representing less than 27% of all their sales to 43%, whereas all the other countries saw a decline from 73% to 57%.
Which is the more weirder when one consideres –as you mentioned- that Abba penetrated in more different countries as they years went by, rather than the opposite. Latin American is an ultimate example, for instance, as you acknowledged.
I'm sure you realize something doesn't really make sense, tino. I trust your intentions, but things are way too patchy.
Let's look at the album Gold, in particular. It has arguably sold more than 30,000,000 copies worldwide.
What were its sales in UK, Germany and the USA? These ones:
UK - 5,000,000
Germany – 2,500,000
USA – 8,000,000
So a massive 15,500,000, which represents half of what they sold. And Gold was just as massive as anything they released between 1973 and 1983, or perhaps more.
And just for the sake of numbers, why don't we apply some of the above percentages to the single Dancing Queen, given that we have some nice sales numbers for it:
UK – 920,000
Germany – 400,000
USA – 1,100,000 (maybe more)
In total, we have 2,420,000 copies sold.
Assuming that those three countries accounted for a mere 27% (as those 27 million singles sold, by 1976, would have us believe), what would be the sale of that single?
The total would have to be like 9,000,000 worldwide. But we all know it didn't sell that many.
It may not have sold far more than half of that (at least during the physical era).
Just some food for thoughts, tino.
I also find your 40,000,000 million singles sold, between 1977 and 1983, to be exaggerated. You came up with a neat total of nearly 25,000,000 million in a couple of markets (mostly the biggest ones) and then added some 16,000,000 with little grounds, which incidentally took where you probably wanted to get: 68,000,000 worldwide, exactly what Prici900 estimated as a bare minimum.
By this point, I'm wondering how Abba will have been on 100,000,000 albums sold by 1983, another implication of this discussion.
Last edited by HUR
on Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.