ABBA :: Charts & Sales History

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Postby Nameless » Sat May 21, 2016 11:24 am

I've seen this list of ABBA's best-selling singles. Estimates by some 'expert'

Dancing Queen - 6,500,000
Fernando - 6,000,000
Waterloo - 5,500,000
Chiquitita - 4,700,000
Take a Chance on Me - 4,200,000
Money, Money, Money - 4,000,000
S.O.S. - 4,000,000
Gimme Gimme Gimme - 3,900,000
Mamma Mia - 3,500,000
Knowing Me, Knowing You - 3,300,000
The Winner Takes It All - 3,000,000
I Do, I Do, I Do - 2,500,000
Super Trouper - 2,300,000
Summer Night City - 2,000,000
I Have a Dream - 1,600,000
The Name of the Game - 1,500,000
One of Us - 1,500,000
Voulez-Vous - 1,400,000
Honey, Honey - 1,000,000
Ring, Ring - 800,000
Does Your Mother Know - 600,000
Eagle - 350,000
So Long - 250,000
Hasta Mañana - 200,000
On and On and On - 100,000
(ABBA’s remaining 17 major singles presumably sold less than 100,000 copies each.
Total: 64,800,000

Main Source:Joel at Media Source

Some suspect stats there:
Does Your Mother Know only on 600,000? It sold more than that in US/UK combined....
The Name of the Game probably at leat 1.2m in US/UK so how come only 1.5m?

Most though do seem to be on the high side...

Waterloo - 5,500,000, hmmmm, let's see
US 800,000
UK 450,000
Germany 450,000
France 400,000
Holland 100,000
Canada 50,000
Australia 50,000
Sweden 100,000

That 2,400,000. Over 3,000,000 in the rest of the world....really????
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Postby zeus555 » Sat May 21, 2016 12:05 pm

Nameless - As soon as The OCC answer the 2nd 'set' of ABBA Sales Questions for me, I will ensure that I Post
them here & elsewhere. The OCC 'misplaced' the 2nd 'Set' that I sent them last October. In February they
asked me to send them again - which I did. They still have not answered them. (I've learnt to be very patient
with The OCC. They warned me last September, that whilst they will answer my Sales Questions, they cannot
make it a priority to do so. Due to that warning, I just wait for them to get back to me).

1)... Dancing Queen has sold over 600,000 in USA Downloads. In the UK, it must be on about 200,000
Downloads by now. It had sold 192,300 UK Downloads by last October. Its Global Downloads must
be at least 1,500,000 to 2,000,000.

2)... Waterloo's 450,000 'Global' Downloads are only from 21 Countries, as that was all that was 'surveyed',
to find out the World's most Downloaded ESC Winners since 2004. There are 196 Countries on Earth, so
the 450,000 Waterloo Download Sales have no Data - at all - from the other 175 Countries.....

3)... Mamma Mia had sold 140,700 UK Downloads by last October. The Winner Takes it All is, (so far), the
only other UK ABBA Single/Song to have 100,000 Download Sales. It reached 100,000 by last October.

4)... The UK's 4th biggest ABBA Single, (via Downloads), is Waterloo. That had reached 71,300 Sales by
last October.

5)... Due to being in the 'Mamma Mia!' Film, both Slipping Through My Fingers & Honey Honey have sold
well in UK Downloads, with 50,100 & 44,000 respectively, by last October. Happy New Year picks up UK
Download Sales every December & January, so that had reached 29,300 UK Download Sales, by last October.
ABBA's 5th biggest UK Download Single is Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!. That had reached 66,700 Sales, by last
October. It sold very well in 1979 too. Although it 'only' reached No.3, in the UK, it was the 28th Best Seller
of that Year, which is very good for a No.3 Hit.

6)... I'll List all the Up-Dated UK Downloads for ABBA Tracks, as soon as The OCC send me the Sales of the
2nd 'Set', that I asked them for, in October 2015 & February 2016.

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Postby Benny » Sat May 21, 2016 2:21 pm

Interesting to see the download figures, thank you Colin!

There's no way 'Waterloo' sold 5.5 mio copies in the 1970s, 3.5 mio is much more realistic.
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Postby Nameless » Sat May 21, 2016 4:53 pm

Benny

This list I got from a site puts Waterloo on 3.6m - very much in line with your thinking.

Top 20 ABBA Singles* - Worldwide estimate
1 Dancing Queen 6,000,000
2 Fernando 5,000,000
3 Waterloo 3,600,000
4 Take a Chance on Me 3,400,000
5 Knowing Me, Knowing You 3,100,000
6 Money Money Money 3,000,000
7 The Winner Takes it All 2,600,000
8 Gimme Gimme Gimme 2,400,000
9 Chiquitita 2,300,000
10 The Name of the Game 2,200,000
11 Super Trouper 2,200,000
12 SOS 2,000,000
13 Mamma Mia 2,000,000
14 I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do 1,800,000
15 Does Your Mother Know 1,750,000
16 One of Us 1,700,000
17 I Have a Dream 1,650,000
18 Summer Night City 1,100,000
19 Voulez Vous 1,000,000
20 Chiquitita (Spanish version) 1,000,000
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Postby Mikerocha » Sat May 21, 2016 5:02 pm

Isn't one million for Voulez Vous a bit too much?
It was their least successful single of 1979.
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Postby Nameless » Sat May 21, 2016 5:35 pm

Maybe 1,000,000 is rounded up!

Let's see:
Uk #3 350,000
France #9 150,000
Germany #14 100,000
USA #80 100,000
Holland #3 50,000
Belguim #1 50,000

That's 800,000 in those 5 countries. True, it didn't have wide-spread release. Probably 900-1000K.

The previous list I posted, on the previous page put VV on 1,400,000
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Postby Benny » Sat May 21, 2016 5:50 pm

'Voulez-Vous' sold 124k copies in Japan. I think a total of 1 mio copies sold worldwide is realistic.
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Postby Nameless » Sat May 21, 2016 6:54 pm

On page 1 it gives the UK download sales in May 2011

The sales from then to Oct 2015

Dancing Queen 82,000
Mamma Mia 52,000
The Winner Takes it All 44,000
Waterloo 28,000
Gimme Gimme Gimme 23,000
Honey Honey 21,000
Slipping Through My Fingers 17,000
Happy New Year 14,000
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Postby Mikerocha » Sun May 22, 2016 2:08 pm

Nameless wrote:Maybe 1,000,000 is rounded up!

Let's see:
Uk #3 350,000
France #9 150,000
Germany #14 100,000
USA #80 100,000
Holland #3 50,000
Belguim #1 50,000

That's 800,000 in those 5 countries. True, it didn't have wide-spread release. Probably 900-1000K.

The previous list I posted, on the previous page put VV on 1,400,000
Ah so you are counting Angeleyes from the UK, i was counting that seperately
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Postby Nameless » Sun May 22, 2016 4:40 pm

Sales for Voulez Vous in UK are the double A side with Angel Eyes. I think that's the only way you can do it...
Obviously, if I was adding up UK sales I would have 350K for Voulez Vous/Angel Eyes not 350K each...
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Postby zeus555 » Sun May 22, 2016 5:35 pm

In May 2011 The OCC gave Voulez Vous 21,000 UK Download Sales & Angel Eyes had 12,500.

By October 2015 Voulez Vous had 38,000 UK Download Sales & Angel Eyes had 21,000, which
were increases of 17,000 & 8,500, since May 2011.

That gives the 2 Tracks a combined 59,000 UK Download Sales, to October 2015.

It is likely to be over 60,000 by now. Add them to its 350,000 UK Sales, as a 1979 Double A Side,
and that gives that ABBA 'Single' over 410,000 UK Sales. which would give them another Gold Single,
by today's criteria - 400,000. However - UK Gold Singles had to sell at least 500,000, in ABBA's time,
as an active Group.

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Postby Nameless » Sun May 22, 2016 5:50 pm

The OCC gave the combined sales as 480,000 a few years ago - clearly too much. This included the 33,000 downloads, meaning the physical single to be just under 450,000....about 100,000 too high.

Regarding certifications, my understanding is now sales of physical singles and downloads can be added together. So, Dancing Queen isn't too far away from 1,200,000. When it reaches that, wouldn't that mean a double platinum award?
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Postby zeus555 » Sun May 22, 2016 9:15 pm

Nameless - The BPI could either give Dancing Queen a Double Platinum Award, (for 1,200,000 UK Sales),
or it may leave it with the Gold Award, that it got in 1976, & just give its Download Sales a Silver Award.
It must have sold 200,000 UK Downloads, (since late 2004), by now. So The BPI will either count its total
UK Sales, (since 1976), as Double Platinum, or its 200,000 Download Sales will get their own Silver Disc.

If I recall correctly, the Voulez Vous Single does not have a BPI Silver Award for 1979. The BPI treat the
Double A Side as if only Angel Eyes was the A Side. Only Angel Eyes was given a 1979 Silver Disc. There
was nothing for the Double A Side. The Voulez Vous Single was not given any UK BPI Award.

Here is The B.P.I. Site Entry for Angel Eyes:,

ABBA - ANGEL EYES

Silver Certification (Single) 01 September 1979

CBS (EPIC)

Released 06 July 1979

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Postby Nameless » Mon May 23, 2016 11:59 am

You're right. I checked the BPI website and indeed it is Angeleyes that gets the Silver award.

Could they update the certifications based on current criteria and downloads eg Fernando, Knowing Me, Knowing You, The Name of the Game, Take a Chance on Me, The Winner Takes it All and Super Trouper all getting platinum for 600,000 sales (DQ almost double platinum)

Waterloo, Mamma Mia, Gimme Gimme Gimme, upgraded to gold for 400,000 sales

SOS and Lay All Your Love On Me finally getting Silver for 200,000

Others remain on their original silver/gold awards.

As for download sales, I guess there are some people who only like Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia and The Winner Takes it All and have downloaded those songs in particular.
I'm sure even the most casual Abba fan would like at least 10 songs - making a copy of GOLD a better option.

Non-GOLD songs don't seem to have sold well - the best being Honey Honey which is only 50,000.
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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:34 pm

US sales of ABBA-related albums in the past 10 years:

oldbloke wrote:ALBUMS: LAST 10 YEARS

Sales: Week 22, 2006 - Week 21, 2016

Albums shown in red were released before week 22, 2006

Rank - Estimated Sales (m) - TITLE - Artist

104 - 2.02 - MAMMA MIA - Soundtrack
179 - 1.47 - GOLD: GREATEST HITS - Abba
'ABBA Gold' was certified 6x platinum in 2002. We now know that it sold 1.5 mio copies from 2006 to 2016.
From 2003-2005, it spent (almost) every week inside the top 50 of the 'Top Catalog Albums' chart.
So it should be 8x platinum by now.
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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:28 pm

Some US sales totals for 'ABBA Gold':

Soundscan
3.134 mio Feb 2003
3.251 mio Aug 2003
3.425 mio Jan 2004
3.487 mio Apr 2004
3.631 mio Sep 2004
3.759 mio Feb 2005
3.858 mio July 2005
3.984 mio Dec 2005
4.159 mio Oct 2006
4.2 mio Jan 2007
4.253 mio Mai 2007
4.292 mio Sep 2007
4.351 mio Mai 2008
4.391 mio July 2008
4.750 mio Jan 2009
5.002 mio Nov 2009
5.023 Mio Dec 2009
5.100 Mio Feb 2010
5.185 mio Oct 2010
5.293 mio Sep 2011
5.372 mio Dec 2012
5.402 mio Jan 2013
5.407 mio Feb 2013
5.420 mio Apr 2013
5.435 mio July 2013
5.439 mio Aug 2013

1.47 mio sold from june 2006 – june 2016
392k sold in 2008
346k sold in 2009
916k sold from july 2008 (when the 'Mamma Mia' movie opened) - sept 2011

It also sold an additional 884k through BMG Record Club.
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Postby Benny » Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:19 am

A look at ABBA's German Singles Chart history:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYt2UQRuKPE

Some differences to the UK:
- The singles released between 'Waterloo' and 'SOS' didn't flop.
- 'Honey, Honey' & 'Eagle' were released as singles.
- 'Dancing Queen' was not their most successful number one. 'SOS', 'Fernando', 'Money Money Money' and 'Super Trouper' were bigger hits.
- After six consecutive number ones, 'The Name of the Game' only peaked at number 7 and stayed in the top 10 for just 3 weeks.
- 'Voulez-Vous' broke their run of consecutive top 10 singles from 1975 to 1980.
- 'The Day Before You Came' didn't flop, it reached the top 5.
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Postby Nameless » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:01 pm

On the album front, why did The Album only get to #2? What kept it off #1?

Similarities with the UK

- Biggest selling singles in 1976-77
- Knowing Me, Knowing You #1 in both countries despite being 3rd single from Arrival
- Summer Night City and Voulez Vous singles not as successful as previous years
- Return to #1 spot in 1980
- Head Over Heels and Under Attack flopped in both countries
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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:43 pm

Nameless wrote:On the album front, why did The Album only get to #2? What kept it off #1?
A bunch of compilation albums and a 'best of' album by Buddy Holly kept it off #1:

Saturday, 18.02.1978 & 25.02.1978
1. Various Artists - "Disco Fire: 20 Original Stars"
2. Various Artists - "Hit Rocket: 20 Super Hits"
3. ABBA - "The Album"

Saturday, 04.03.1978 & 11.03.1978
1. Various Artists - "Disco Fire: 20 Original Stars"
2. Paul Biste - "40 Schunkellieder"
3. Various Artists - "Hit Rocket: 20 Super Hits"
4. ABBA - "The Album"

Saturday, 18.03.1978 & 25.03.1978
1. Buddy Holly - "Seine 20 Grössten Hits"
2. ABBA - "The Album"
3. Slavko Avsenik Und Seine Original-Oberkrainer - "Die 20 Besten"

Saturday, 01.04.1978 & 8.04.1978
1. Buddy Holly - "Seine 20 Grössten Hits"
2. ABBA - "The Album"
3. Bonnie Tyler - "The Hits Of Bonnie Tyler"

Saturday, 15.04.1978 & 22.04.1978
1. Udo Jürgens / The West Germany National Football Team [Die Fußball-Nationalmannschaft] - "Buenos Dias Argentina"
2. Buddy Holly - "Seine 20 Grössten Hits"
3. ABBA - "The Album"

However, the album chart was two-weekly when 'The Album' was released. It only became a weekly chart in September 1978.
So in theory, it's possibly that 'The Album' would have spent one week at number one had the album chart been weekly at the time.

From 1980 onwards, compilation albums were excluded from the main album chart. Under these rules, 'The Album' would have hit number one.
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Postby Nameless » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:25 pm

In terms of sales, they were higher in the UK. ABBA had 11 singles that sold over 500,000 (The Winner Takes it All wasn't certified). In Germany there was just one, Fernando. I imagine several other such as Waterloo, SOS, Knowing Me, Knowing You and Super Trouper sold at least 400,000.

Money Money Money and One of Us, "only" made it to #3 in the UK but sold about 500,000 - more than in West Germany (as it then was) despite both being #1.
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Postby Benny » Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:11 pm

Nameless wrote:In terms of sales, they were higher in the UK. ABBA had 11 singles that sold over 500,000 (The Winner Takes it All wasn't certified). In Germany there was just one, Fernando. I imagine several other such as Waterloo, SOS, Knowing Me, Knowing You and Super Trouper sold at least 400,000.

Money Money Money and One of Us, "only" made it to #3 in the UK but sold about 500,000 - more than in West Germany (as it then was) despite both being #1.
Yes, sales in the UK were higher. Same for most of their albums.
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Postby Benny » Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:13 pm

German Albums Chart History - an overview:

The German Albums Chart was a top 50 from 1971 until the end of 1979. 'Various artist' compilations were included in the chart until September 1978, after that they were exlcuded and listed in a separate chart.
From January 1980 onwards, the chart was a top 65. It became a top 75 in July 1988 and a top 100 in August 1989.

1974-1984:
Waterloo (1974); peak: #6; weeks on the chart: 32; sales: 500,000+
The Best of ABBA (1975); peak: #1 (4 weeks); weeks on the chart: 84; sales: 500,000+
ABBA/ Mamma Mia (1976); peak: #31; weeks on the chart: 6
The Very Best of ABBA (1976); peak: #2; weeks on the chart: 88; sales: 750,000+
Arrival (1976); peak: #1 (14 weeks); weeks on the chart: 76; sales: 1,000,000+
The Album (1978); peak: #2; weeks on the chart: 55; sales: 500,000+
Voulez-Vous (1979); peak: #1 (4 weeks); weeks on the chart: 57; sales: 500,000+
Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (1979); peak: #6; weeks on the chart: 70; sales: 500,000+
Super Trouper (1980); peak: #1 (2 weeks); weeks on the chart: 51; sales: 1,000,000+
A wie ABBA (1981); peak: #1 (5 weeks); weeks on the chart: 29; sales: 250,000+
The Visitors (1981); peak: #1 (5 weeks); weeks on the chart: 30; sales: 500,000+
The Singles - The First Ten Years (1982); peak: #5; weeks on the chart: 18; sales: 250,000+
I Love ABBA (1983); peak: #10; weeks on the chart: 12

2 albums were certified gold but never charted:
Greatest Hits, sales: 250,000+ (certified in 1980)
16 ABBA Hits (sold through music clubs), sales: 250,000+ (certified in 1982)

weeks on the charts 1974-1984: 608

1992-6/2016:
Gold - Greatest Hits (1992); peak: #1 (11 weeks); weeks on the chart: 286; sales: 2,500,000+
More ABBA Gold (1993); peak: #9; weeks on the chart: 20; sales: 250,000+
Forever Gold (1996); peak: #50; weeks on the chart: 17
Love Stories (1998); peak: #82; weeks on the chart: 3
The Complete Singles Collection (1999); peak: #10; weeks on the chart: 38; sales: 300,000+
The Definitive Collection (2002); peak: #14; weeks on the chart: 107; sales: 300,000+
ABBA In Concert (DVD, 2004); peak: #34; weeks on the chart: 7
The ABBA Story (2004); peak: #31; weeks on the chart: 6
ABBA - The Movie (DVD, 2005); peak: #48; weeks on the chart: 3
Number Ones (2006); peak: #24; weeks on the chart: 16
18 Hits (2008); peak: #62; weeks on the chart: 6
The Albums (2011); peak: #61; weeks on the chart: 11
The Visitors (Deluxe Edition) (2012); peak: #75; weeks on the chart: 1
The Essential Collection (2012); peak: #16; weeks on the chart: 10
Waterloo (Deluxe Edition) (2014); peak: #97; weeks on the chart: 1
Live At Wembley (2014); peak: #9; weeks on the chart: 3

weeks on the charts 1992-6/2016: 535

Total weeks 1974-6/2016: 1143

total certified album sales: 10,100,000+

sources:
1974-84: http://home.zipworld.com.au/~callisto/germany.html
1992-2016: http://www.musicline.de/de/chartverfolg ... e=longplay
certifications: http://www.musikindustrie.de/no_cache/g ... #topSearch
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Postby zeus555 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:37 pm

Benny - Thanks/Danke for the very interesting ABBA Data, from the German Charts.

Did you know that the German 'Hit Bilanz' Album Chart Book Lists 'Greatest Hits'
as reaching No.2 in Germany, in 1976? I realise that it should be 'The Very Best Of
ABBA', but the Book says that it is 'Greatest Hits'. As you point out - although the
'Greatest Hits' Album was released in Germany, it failed to Chart & it got a 250,000+
Sales Award in 1980.

A)... The Very Best of ABBA (1976); peak: #2; weeks on the chart: 88; sales: 750,000+

B)... Greatest Hits, sales: 250,000+ (certified in 1980)

SWEDISH ACTS IN THE USA HOT 100 SINGLES CHART

If you work out the USA's 'All Time Singles Acts', by giving
100 Points for a Week at No.1, down to 1 Point for a Week
at No.100, then ABBA are only in 232nd place - with 10,695
Points. They are not even the biggest scoring Swedish Act
in the USA Singles Chart. Ace Of Base are in 206th place,
with 11,395 Points. They 'only' had 1 USA No.1 Single, (like
ABBA), but 7 Top 10 Hits & 56 Weeks in the Top 10 - to 4
Top 10 Hits & 23 Top 10 Weeks for ABBA. Although Roxette
had 4 USA No.1 Hits & 38 Top 10 Weeks, they did not spend
as long in the Hot 100 as ABBA & Ace Of Base, & their 8,724
Points is not enough to get them into the Top 250 All Time
USA Singles Acts.

ABBA LINKS -- DAILY MAIL -- (UK 'NEWSPAPER')

Due to all 4 member of ABBA recently attending the same 'Event',
the 'Daily Mail' has done 2 Articles about an ABBA 'Reunion', with
Agnetha getting the most attention.

LINK 1

http://goo.gl/wFoi95

LINK 2

http://goo.gl/Gieofm

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Postby Benny » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:43 pm

Thank you Colin!

Ace of Base have the following gold & platinum certifications on http://www.riaa.com:
The Sign (album) - 9x platinum
The Bridge (album) - 1x platinum
The Sign (single) - 1x platinum
All That She Wants (single) - 1x platinum
Don't Turn Around (single) - gold (500k)
Cruel Summer (single) - gold (500k)

This adds up to a total of 13 mio.

ABBA have the following:
ABBA Gold - 6x platinum
The Album - 1x platinum
Greatest Hits - 1x platinum
Arrival - gold
Voulez-Vous - gold
Greatest Hits Vol.2 - gold
Super Trouper - gold
20th Century Masters - gold
Dancing Queen (single) - gold (1 mio at the time)
Take a Chance on Me (single) - gold (1 mio)

This gives us a total of 12.5 mio copies, which could lead to the impression that Ace of Base sold more records in the US than ABBA, which is, of course, not true!

First of all both 'ABBA Gold' and '20th Century Masters' are undercertified. The former should be 8x platinum by now, the latter 1x platinum.
There was also no award for singles selling between 500,000 and 1 mio copies in the 70s and early 80s, so songs like 'Waterloo' and 'The Winner Takes It All', which are very likely to have sold that much, have to be taken into account as well.
ABBA had much more singles and albums on the Billboard charts than Ace of Base, we just don't have any sales figures for them.
Some people estimate that they have sold 20 mio albums and 8 mio singles in the US.
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Postby Nameless » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:28 pm

US sales...

Yep, an extra 2m for GOLD, extra 0.5m for 20th Century Masters plus certified albums an extra 0.5m each, Arrival, The Album, Voulez Vous, Super Trouper, Greatest Hits Vol 2. About 0.5m for The Visitors and the Singles each. That's an extra 6m...plus Waterloo, ABBA, The Definitive Collection, Number Ones. Maybe not quite 20m but not far off....

Waterloo, The Winner Takes it All, Fernando, The Name of the Game, Knowing Me, Knowing You all on about 0.5m...plus perhaps SOS, I Do I I Do at least 2.5-3.5 in certifications. Plus other singles. 8m looks about right for singles...

Anyone got download sales from any country?
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