ABBA :: Charts & Sales History

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Postby innocenteyes » Sat May 26, 2012 5:28 pm

prici900 wrote:If gold was based on Abba's best selling singles around the world 1 do x 5 would replace lay all your love on me or Thank you for the music and Ring Ring would also make Gold I think.

To be honest I would love I have a dream not to have made Gold and have had Eagle on there but Hey Ho - I bet we all have our own versions of Gold in mind. :P
The main problem is that the compilation is called "ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits", not "ABBA Gold: their greatest hits in the UK only". You just need to look at the tracklist to see how they only focused on the UK's chart performances.

Polydor should have really thought on a worldwide scale instead when they made that compilation.

And I'm not saying that I Do x5 should've made the cut because I love it, but because it was one of their biggest hits worldwide.

Oh well, what's done is done and that didn't prevent Gold from being a success. That's what matters I guess.
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Postby prici900 » Sat May 26, 2012 5:33 pm

Ok last post for now -

there are now 196 countries in the world -

Most countries will consume records in either large or small amounts -

Abba were sucessful at a time when we consumed massive amounts of singles and LP'S

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Abba had sold 175 - 200 million records by the time they disbanded - what they have sold since 1983 is up for debate - although I have my own ideas it is best not to air them here for now, as I might upset those who are trying to down play Abba's sales success. The more we trace back the more we prove.
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Postby Benny » Sat May 26, 2012 6:19 pm

In Billboard magazine's "5 years Abba" special from September 8 1979 it is stated that "Abba has sold 1.2 million albums and cassettes in Denmark, which, in a country of only five million people, means every fourth Danish inhabitant has an album. Additionally, singles sales add up to more than 250.000".

Regarding the tracklist of Gold, the Australasian version featured "I Do x5", "Ring Ring" and "Rock Me" until 2008; "Super Trouper", "I Have A Dream" and "Thank You For The Music" were left out.

The Abba sales for France quoted on the "Abba worldwide Chart list" site are from the French site infodisc. They are estimations and not official. The site offers a list of the biggest selling artists of all time in France.

On this list Abba are at number 47 with a total of 8 585 423 records sold (5 476 000 singles and 3 109 423 albums). However, 2 years ago, the sales total for Abba on that site was only
6 516 962 (3 508 659 singles & 3 008 303 albums). So they increased their sales estimations for Abba.

I've also seen the French silver certification for "I Do x5" in various articles. Didn't silver equal sales of 250k at that time (and not 125k)?
"I Do x 5" was also the only Abba single that peaked higher in the US than in the UK (US #15, UK #38). It also started Abbamania on the Australian charts in late 1975: It was number one for three weeks, then it was replaced at the number one spot by "Mamma Mia" which stayed at the top for 10 weeks; "Mamma Mia" was then replaced at number one by "SOS".

And finally "I Do x5" was their longest charting single ever in New Zealand with a total of 48 weeks.

Prici900, thanks for the charts and sales information for the smaller countries, very interesting! :D
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Postby zeus555 » Sat May 26, 2012 7:53 pm

In New Zealand:,

1) 'Rock Me' was the 'B' Side of 'I Do, I Do, I Do...',
& that was made the 'A' Side in December 1976.
It eventually got to No.2, (2 Weeks), & spent 20
Weeks on the Chart. So, the 'I Do, I Do, I Do...',
& 'Rock Me' combination, really spent 68 Weeks on
the New Zealand Charts. And, it should really have
been 75 Weeks, due to 7 Weeks of Charts not being
compiled, from December 1976 to February 1977.....

2) The Charts of W/E 17th December 1976, were the
last in New Zealand for 8 Weeks. (The Singles & Albums
Charts did not return until W/E 13th February 1977).

3) So, anything by ABBA, in the 17th December Charts,
lost 7 Weeks of Chart placings.

4) This included 'Dancing Queen', which had climbed
to No.1 for the 4th time - up from No.5. It would
have remained at No.1 for at least some of those
missing 7 Charts.

When the Charts returned, 8 Weeks later, it fell
from No.1 to No.8. It would have had a far more
sensible fall to No.8, had the previous 7 Charts
not been missing....

5) 'Money, Money, Money' had fallen from 1 to 2 in
the 17th December Chart - so that lost 7 Weeks of
Top 10 Positions.

You can see that it was badly affected by losing
7 Top 10 Weeks, by how unimpressive its Top 10
'Run' was, because of those 7 Charts being removed:,

5 - 1 - 2 - (Then 7 Missing Charts) - 10

6) 'Rock Me' had entered at No.23, & it held at
No.23, in the 17th December Chart - so that lost
7 Weeks of Positions, where it would have been
climbing into the Top 10.

7) 'Fernando' had fallen from No.20 to No.28, so
that lost 7 Weeks of Chart Positions.

8) 'Arrival' was on its 4th Week at No.1 - so that
lost 7 No.1 Weeks, as it was No.1 for a 5th, (&
final) Week, when the Charts returned 8 Weeks later.

9) 'The Best Of ABBA' was up from No.3 to No.2 - so
that lost 7 Weeks of Top 5 Positions. It fell from
2 to 5, when the Charts returned, 8 Weeks later.

10) 'ABBA' was up from No.17 to No.14. So, that lost
7 further Top 20 Weeks. It rose from 14 to 11, when
the Charts returned 8 Weeks later.

11) So, basically ABBA lost 7 Weeks of Positions for
4 Singles, in New Zealand = 28 Weeks = 7 Months.
They also lost 21 Weeks from 3 Albums. All because
the New Zealand Charts vanished from 24th December
1976 to 6th February 1977. In the UK, we'd have
filled those gaps in, by repeating the 17th December
1976 Charts for 7 Weeks. In New Zealand, they just
left the gaps. Meaning that a lot of Artists were
cheated out of Months of Chart placings.

12) ABBA were hit badly, as they had both the No.1
& No.2 Singles, & No.1 & No.2 Albums, when the Charts
vanished.

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Postby HUR » Sun May 27, 2012 3:50 am

prici900 wrote:Please don't misunderstand what I am getting at when I make my posts - I believe that Abba were consistantly sucessful in most countries where records were sold - in that they are one of the few acts to have a level of success in most countries.

Abba's success (like Queen, the Bee Gees and the Beatles) was down to the talented members of the group not down to the talents of outsiders.
Here I agree with Prici900.

I think Pink Floyd along with those four groups he mentioned (Abba, Queen, Bee Gees and The Beatles) are the most 'global' bands in history.

prici900 wrote:Abba Sales in Hong kong - see website LP'S ONLY -

IFPI Hong Kong Sales Awards?
it seems the year is when the sales award was awared:
Back in the seventies and early eighties, the levels were like this:

Gold: 7,500
Platinum: 15,000

They were increased to 10,000 and 20,000 in subsequent years.

prici900 wrote:Israel - population in the 1970's was about 4 million +

I would love to know more about Abba's sucess in this country as I heard that they were extremely popular here -

What I do know is that GGG made number 1 in 1979

and Gold sold 20,000+ to get a Platinum award

Silver - for Arrival which I believe is some 5,000+

Gold award for- Abba - The Album - some 10,000
Gold award for - Super Trouper some 10,000
I could be wrong, but as far as I know, the levels were actually like this:

Silver: 10,000
Gold: 20,000
Platinum: 40,000
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Postby prici900 » Sun May 27, 2012 8:12 am

Hur Wrote of Israel

"I could be wrong, but as far as I know, the levels were actually like this:

Silver: 10,000
Gold: 20,000
Platinum: 40,000".

I hope you are right the information I got was off a current Israel site - so great if the Abba's sales were even bigger than I posted.

I suppose that's one thing we forget about is that sales awards have decreased at the same time that outrageous sales claims are being made for current artists.
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Postby Benny » Sun May 27, 2012 6:22 pm

UK Albums Top 100

71 (53) 18 Hits
100 (110) Gold
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Postby HUR » Sun May 27, 2012 7:02 pm

prici900 wrote:I suppose that's one thing we forget about is that sales awards have decreased at the same time that outrageous sales claims are being made for current artists.
Well, some 'outrageous claims' are also being made for most of the oldest acts, with Abba being a prime example of that (along with other acts, of course).

One week ago you mentioned some inflated numbers being attached to the Spce Girls and Bee Gees on Wikipedia. And the very same thing applies to Abba, who are claimed to have sold 370 million records worlwide on that same site and that is obviously inaccurate. No disrespect, but Abba are one of the ultimate examples when it comes to inflated sales, some of which are (or were) published on that Abba worlwide Chart list you talked about yesterday.

Consistency is needed in these issues. Again, I'm saying this with due respect to you, Abba and their fans.
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Postby prici900 » Sun May 27, 2012 8:28 pm

Hi Hur

I am never offended by debate, so no worries, and I am with you in that I do not believe that Abba have sold 370 million records - I do belive that they sold about 175 million + by the time they broke up but am willing to try and gather evidence and make a case for this but am open to be proved wrong.

What makes Abba diffrent in my eyes - in their sales claim - is that it appears to be only one lie that is being perpetuated about them - that is that they have sold 370 million records to date - with regards to Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees and Queen is that the outrageous claims are being made for individual LP's - but I take your point.

BTW I feel a bit wired saying anything negative about the Bee Gees at present(although I always saw them as Abba's main sales competition in the 1970's) - due to the death of Robin Gibb - whose voice I liked a lot and as a person he was always very generous about other artists including Abba.
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Postby prici900 » Mon May 28, 2012 8:09 pm

I know some people hate comparing some groups sales with others – but I am comparing some groups claims of sales against Abba’s.

Firstly I never compare the Beatles to Abba – As I feel that this is a wasted exercise as apparently Sgt Pepper is the second bestselling Album of all time in the UK (is it really with those extra sales ermmm… discovered) but they were really one of a kind and could never happen again.


I have always thought who could you really compare Abba with Sales wise? Queen certainly, Bee Gees – yes but they only had one massive selling studio LP (That is if you don’t’ count Saturday Night Fever as their LP), Fleetwood Mac – yes but their sales were mostly in America but had good success in mainly the UK outside America, and maybe the Eagles (but they were quintessentially an American phenomena just as Madness are quintessentially an English phenomena. Ok so that really leaves Queen and the Bee Gees – So I started to compare LP sales –

Queens claims are staggering –

The Works is estimated to have sold 12 million copies worldwide, but here are its claimed Certifications:

Austria (IFPI Austria)[28]


Platinum


50,000x

Canada (Music Canada)[29]

Platinum

100,000^

Germany (BVMI)[30]

Platinum

500,000^

Netherlands (NVPI)[31]

Gold

50,000^

Switzerland (IFPI

Platinum

50,000x

United Kingdom (BPI)[33]

Platinum

650,000

United States (RIAA)[34]

Gold

500,000^

And it only made number one – (As far as I can find) in Holland – therefore I would say worldwide sales at 7 million at best (For all the pedantic people out there – I know chart positions does not mean massive sales – but I would say high chart positions can be an indicator of sales).

Whilst Abba the Album is said to have sold 7.5 million but it got to number one in at least 9 countries – and sold about 1.3 million in the USA and 1.1 million In the UK and had stunning sales in Sweden of 753,000+ and yet we are supposed to believe that the Works was a bigger hit. Abba the Album sold more than the works – period - and it is provable.

There are more extraordinary claims made later on by Queen fans with the LP ‘It’s a kind of Magic LP sales claims at 14 million, The miracle LP at 9.5 Million, innuendo at 11 million and the posthumous ‘Made in Heaven’ at a staggering claim of 20 Million. The evidence does not bear this out but that does not stop Queen from being a great Act whom sold a lot of records and who were truly unique.
Don’t get me wrong I think Queen, the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles are great groups but the sales claims leave me cold and while there are some people on the internet downplaying Abba Sales – the fans of the aforementioned groups are bigging up their favourite group’s sales whilst diminishing Abba’s considerable sales achievements.

I am a big fan of the Bee Gees and to make a comparison to Abba seems unfair as they had about 40 years of recording as an active Group and Abba had ten but only if we include Saturday Night Fever as a Bee Gees LP could we claim that they sold about the same amount of LP’s as Abba if we are comparing group for group – ( and remove SNF LP) I would have to say that Abba sold more LP’S and maybe more singles – just maybe as the Bee Gees had some massive selling singles in the USA – 9 NUMBER ONES that’s some going for the USA.

I am and have always been of the mind that the Abba LP’s sold more than are usually credited with having sold– if the Bee Gees Spirits having flown sold 30 Million – then so did Arrival (which neither of them did of course but the Claim for SHF as having sold 30 million is all over the internet and is getting presented as fact) the claim in the official Bee Gees book got SHF at 16 million, - I would question that as only about 800,000 copies sold in England and about 500,000 copies sold in Germany – and the most I can find for the USA is 1+ million claim.

My point – Arrival was massive and on a par with SHF – in fact there is more evidence for Arrival having sold 16 million than for SHF – but nobody is making that claim for Abba - In fact the most we get claimed tor Arrival is 10 – 11 million (For which there is considerable evidence) – 1 .7 million in the UK, 1 million + in Germany, 700,000 in Sweden, 800,000 in Poland, 900,000 in Australia and so it goes.

I am not of the mind that we should not do comparisons of other groups – I think that is the only way we get the truth – I do believe that Saturday Night Fever LP did sell 30 million (Not the 40 million that is claimed now) and that the Bee Gees sold a lot of records in the late 70’s – Strangely their career total of some 220 million seems reasonable to me – but if that is the case then Saturday Night Fever has been included in that total.

As discussed with Hur I do not believe that Abba’s career total is 370 million (At the very least 120 million too many) but I do believe that Abba sold more records than the Bee Gees, Queen, Eagles and Fleetwood Mac - certainly nowhere near as many as the Beatles – and I know nothing about Led Zeppelin – but my guess is that they sold more LP’S than singles.
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Postby HUR » Mon May 28, 2012 8:42 pm

I have to admit that I don't know why so many Abba fans (in this forum, just here) are always so keen on comparing them to Queen.

I mean: why? Two successful groups, but completely different in terms of charts and sales success. I don’t see the point.

Some people (not taking specifically about you) see Queen are easy to pick on, for some reason. As a fan, it gets frustrating; I wish more people showed more respect toward them. Again, not talking about you.

I can tell you that all those Wikipedia claims are obviously inaccurate. Queen's "The Works" sold far fewer than 7,000,000 (let alone 12,000,000); same as with other albums (including those you mentioned). Anyway, it is important to notice those sales totals were made up by some fans in that site, but never spread to other websites. Unlike the ludicrous Abba's claim of 370 million records, which is always cited every now and then.

I think there is no way Abba sold 250 million records worldwide. Their albums sales range between 100 and 120 million, and with singles and music videos, it should be 180/190 million overall. Half of what they are claimed to have sold, and far fewer than you are estimating. I think Benny, Zeus555 and other Abba fans will agree with me.

Looking at the biggest markets, we have this:

USA
UK
Japan
Germany
France
Canada
Australia
Netherlands
Italy
Spain

Personally I think that Queen have clearly sold more albums in at least 8 of them.

Abba sold more in Australia.

Not idea about Japan, but it could be Abba too.

As for physical singles sales, Queen are easily ahead in the UK and USA.

Abba are ahead in Germany, Japan, France, Australia.

And I guess they could be close in Netherlands, Canada, Italy and Spain.

As far as music videos are concerned, Queen are way ahead everywhere, even if the market is smaller.

Digital sales are more favourable toward Queen by far.

Overall, it is safe to say that Queen have clearly sold more records than Abba in the above countries.

Of course, we still have the rest of the world to go. But it is important to notice (as I was mentioning some days ago) that Queen are also a global act.

For example, Abba's fans are keen on claiming how dominant they were in Eastern Europe, Asia or South Africa. That is an argument they could use when comparing them to acts like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC or The Eagles (even U2). But definitely not Queen, who were massive in just as many markets and are likely to have sold more than Abba in many of them (although sales are difficult to track).

I think you are great at contesting exaggerated claims of other acts, but you aren't equally enthusiastic in doing so when it comes to Abba.

I think, with due respect, that Queen have sold more records than Abba worldwide. But well, we are entitled to different views, as Zeus555 said. In my opinion, Queen's sales are like this:

Albums – 140 million
Singles – 40
Videos – 10
Digital – 25

Abba would be like this:

Albums – 110 million
Singles – 50
Videos – 5
Digital – 15

Some numbers are conservative, but for both acts.

The Bee Gees are my second favourite group, but I think jcguzman can defend them better than me. I love Abba too, even if they don't rank in my personal Top 10.
Last edited by HUR on Wed May 30, 2012 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Benny » Mon May 28, 2012 8:45 pm

prici900 wrote:As discussed with Hur I do not believe that Abba’s career total is 370 million (At the very least 120 million too many) but I do believe that Abba sold more records than the Bee Gees, Queen, Eagles and Fleetwood Mac
If HUR sees this than you better be prepared :lol:

As much as I love Abba I don't think that they sold more records worldwide than Queen or the Bee Gees because both were much bigger in the US than Abba. As we all know the US is by far the world's biggest music market and Abba's success in many smaller markets still can't compensate their moderate sales in the US. Abba and the Bee Gees may have similar total sales but I'd say Queen sold about 30 million records more.
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Postby HUR » Mon May 28, 2012 8:49 pm

Benny wrote:
prici900 wrote:As discussed with Hur I do not believe that Abba’s career total is 370 million (At the very least 120 million too many) but I do believe that Abba sold more records than the Bee Gees, Queen, Eagles and Fleetwood Mac
If HUR sees this than you better be prepared :lol:

As much as I love Abba I don't think that they sold more records worldwide than Queen or the Bee Gees because both were much bigger in the US than Abba. As we all know the US is by far the world's biggest music market and Abba's success in many smaller market still can't compensate their moderate sales in the US. Abba and the Bee Gees may have similar total sales but I'd say Queen sold about 30 million records more.
If you see my above message, I think I was kind. :D My socials are improving.

Loving you, Benny.

Anyway, can anybody explain to me why Abba are always compared to Queen? I would like to believe it is because Abba fans have respect for them; but in general, from what I have seen, it is the opposite.
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Postby Benny » Mon May 28, 2012 9:01 pm

HUR wrote: If you see my above message, I think I was kind. :D My socials are improving.
:lol:
Yes they are :wink:

HUR wrote: Anyway, can anybody explain to me why Abba are always compared to Queen? I would like to believe it is because Abba fans have respect for them; but in general, from what I have seen, it is the opposite
I guess that's because after the Beatles, many people (especially in Europe) see Abba and Queen as the second biggest bands ever (regarding their musical impact, their iconic status and their success). This puts them in some kind of competition for some people, especially fans who want to prove that Abba sold more than Queen or vice versa.

I'm an Abba fan but I do have a lot of respect for Queen, despite the fact that they are not among my all-time favourite bands (however, both "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "The Show Must Go On" are among my all-time favourite songs). I don't think that there are more Abba fans who don't respect Queen than there are Queen fans who don't respect Abba (I'm sure that some Queen fans would discredit Abba's music as girly bubble gum pop). But let's not elaborate on this, both bands are among the best bands of all-time, no doubt about that 8-).
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Postby prici900 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:33 am

Hi Hur and Benny - Thanks for the responses – One thing that is true is that I do like Queen – I am a big fan of groups who relied on their talents and developed and this is truer of Queen than most groups – Queen had four brilliant songwriters – Abba had three but relied on two. It’s true that I am a bigger fan of Abba’s – but I have balance and I did say that the onus is on me and all Abba fans to prove what Abba sold.

Strange that I think less of Queen as being Abba’s main competition and more of the Bee Gee’s (I think that this is more to do with the style of music) – What I would say about Queen is that they are truly unique - their style of rock was also pantomime ( meant as a compliment - as I hate the American style rock bands ) and true talent has a style all of its own and that is what mostly separates out the real greats – Queen defiantly belongs with the true greats – my only minor quibble with Queen’s music was when they did stadium rock like songs – like ‘we will rock you’ or ‘We are the champions’ (although I love the verses to ‘We are the champions’ – pure magic).

As regards to sales – it’s a bit of fun to see who sold what around the world and it’s also important for historical reasons (I have a degree in History and like to ensure historical accuracy as much as possible) – But in no way is this meant to be disrespectful to Queen as Abba and Queen were very different type of groups but one can enjoy both.

Ok Sales – It is difficult but Abba had consistently big selling singles – whilst queens singles were a bit more hit and miss but Queen improved on their Album sales over time and were at the height of their game in the 1980’s – long after Abba had disbanded.

The Bee Gees had spates of success – but their biggest spate of success is clearly from 1977 to 1979 – Massive sales but not sustained in every part of the world. The Bee Gees easily beat Abba and Queen with records of single sales in the USA and defiantly beat Abba with Album sales in the USA - I am not too sure they beat Queen though as it all depends on if you count SNF as a Bee Gee LP?

I can’t say it enough Abba sold massive records where groups did not traditionally sell large amounts of records and they did this in Australia, South America (for a short period), Poland, and Japan – Abba broke the mould in a lot of ways – not British or America, played pop music not rock, front persons were women and not men – Abba were as subversive as any punk movement.

I was also thinking of Boney M – I love Boney M – as it is fun music that was well made – but I must admit that my attitude changed when it came to light that only two of the group sang on the records – as it becomes more of a product than a musical journey (unpopular of me I know but I have the same feeling towards Madonna – whose list of contributors to her latest LP – looks like the production team on a MGM Movie). Boney M sold massive amount of music in the 1977-1980 period and were bigger at times in Europe than Abba, Queen or the Bee Gees – but we were much more cynical back then and once their lack of musical integrity was highlighted – sales plummeted.
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Postby EdWood » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:08 pm

I'm sure that Queen easily outsold both Abba and The Bee Gees in South America in terms of album sales.

Also on worldwide album sales Queen beat both of them - this has been shown many times when we do a breakdown of sales for each album in each country. I;m not sure about singles.

All 3 are great bands though with huge sales, great achievements that will stand the test of time and will be remembered as all-time greats...
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Postby PaperCat » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:24 pm

I think Paul McCartney & Wings were ABBA's main compition in the 70's .
Both bands released pretty much the same amount of material both albums and singles during a similar time frame .
Although ABBA were more succesful globally i think Paul's band Wings was maybe closer to them in sales ?
People forget Wings had five US # 1 albums and were the second most succesful singles act on Billboard during the 70's .
The top three singles acts on Billboard 1970 -79 are:

1.Elton John
2.Paul McCartney & Wings
3.Bee Gees .

Queen are not in the top 25 singles acts on Billboard during this period , ABBA also don't appear .
ABBA and Queen although succesful in America didn't open up the American market like Wings and the Bee Gees did .
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Postby HUR » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:31 pm

This topic is getting chaotic. Poor Benny. I will also respond to Prici900's comment addressed at me. But hopefully things will get back to normal (Benny, I didn't cause this).

prici900 wrote:Hi Hur and Benny - Thanks for the responses – One thing that is true is that I do like Queen – I am a big fan of groups who relied on their talents and developed and this is truer of Queen than most groups – Queen had four brilliant songwriters – Abba had three but relied on two. It’s true that I am a bigger fan of Abba’s – but I have balance and I did say that the onus is on me and all Abba fans to prove what Abba sold.
Thank you for nice comments about Queen. Nice surprise. In this forum, I'm get used to reading bad things about them.

prici900 wrote:Ok Sales – It is difficult but Abba had consistently big selling singles – whilst queens singles were a bit more hit and miss but Queen improved on their Album sales over time and were at the height of their game in the 1980’s – long after Abba had disbanded.
I think that Abba sold some more million physical singles. If you read my above breakdown, you will notice I estimated them on 50 million physical singles, while I gave Queen 40 million.

However, it is very likely that in the ten biggest markets I also mentioned (USA, UK, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Italy and Spain), both Queen and Abba sold roughly a similar amount of (physical) singles. Which infers that in my conjectures, I was assuimng that Abba outsold Queen by a margin of 10 million singles outside of the biggest markets, which is too much of a big gap, no matter how popular Abba were in Scandinavia (where singles sales weren't that strong anyway). So perhaps I was being kind to them or too conservative on Queen.
But your comment about Queen being 'hit and miss' on the singles charts somehow fits with the above numbers, assuming you are right.

If we combine physical and digital singles sales (in the modern era), I think Queen have sold just a many as Abba, perhaps more.

The key is in their albums sales, but then again, I personally think it is clear Queen sold more.

Anyway if you don't trust my numbers, here I will post those that MJDangerous (an ex member of this site) came up with for both Queen and Abba worlwide:

Albums sales

Act - Album sales (last update)
The Beatles - 349,1m (April 2010)
Michael Jackson - 232,7m (April 2010)
Elvis Presley - 231,0m (April 2010)
Pink Floyd - 204,7m (September 2010)
Madonna - 195,7m (April 2010) - Some ongoing updates ATM
The Rolling Stones - 190,3m (April 2010)
Elton John - 180,2m (December 2010)
Queen - 173,5m (May 2010)
Led Zeppelin - 171,4m (November 2010)
U2 - 167,6m (November 2010)
AC/DC - 158,3m (November 2010)
The Eagles - 153,9m (November 2010)

Abba – 130m (May 2010)

Link: http://fanofmusic.free.fr/index.php?m=C ... sWorldActs (you need to go below in the page, where the 'Display Updates' works)

Physical Singles sales compiled in 2009 (USA, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan combined)

1 Elvis Presley 122,28 m
2 The Beatles 122,12 m
3 Elton John 106,6 m
4 Michael Jackson 89,59 m
5 Madonna 86,48 m
6 Rolling Stones 76,66 m
7 Bee Gees 76,53 m
8 Stevie Wonder 74,72 m
9 Rod Stewart 55,1 m
10 ABBA 52,87 m
11 Queen 49,98 m
12 Whitney Houston 49,75 m
13 Jackson5/The Jacksons 38,46 m

So according to MJDangerous (I don't agree with all his numbers, but he works as a neutral source in this), Queen sold nearly 225 million albums and physical singles.

Abba sold 185 million albums and physical singles.

Considering that Queen made a bigger impact on both the digital and music video market, the gap would increase if you included both supports.

According to one of the most prolific posters of this forum (MJDangerous), Queen have sold more albums and records than Abba.

prici900 wrote:I can’t say it enough Abba sold massive records where groups did not traditionally sell large amounts of records
Again, the same thing applies to Queen and Bee Gees. You could use that argument if you were comparing Abba to The Eagles, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin or other groups, but definitely not Queen.

I recommend you to take a look at various sources (online databases, old articles, even this forum) to find out about some of Queen's sales in Latin America, for instance.

For example, in the former Argentinian database (not available online since the beginning of the year), Queen were the highest certified band after The Beatles and I hold further evidence and neat research to show they have actually sold more records than any other group, apart from that band. In Brazil, one of the Ukmix members (AutomaticBR) has built a databse with the shipments totals from 2003 to 2012 and I invite you to compare Queen to other old, disbanded bands: http://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=33047.

I would like you to visit the Polish database too to see what is the most certified band there too. Link: http://www.zpav.pl/rankingi/wyroznienia/zlote/index.php.
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Postby zeus555 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:25 pm

'The Essential Collection' has now been released in Germany.

However, it turns out that the 1999 Edit of 'Eagle' has been used.
It was Edited, (to 4.25), by someone called Jon Astley, in 1999, for
a Re-Issue of 'More Gold'. The Edit is widely regarded as not very
good.

Apparently Carl Magnus Palm left instructions, (to Universal),
that the 4.25 Singles Edit, (from 1978), should be used, & they
have ignored him.

Even though 'The Essential Collection' is not out until September
in the rest of the World, Magnus does not think that Universal will
use the 1978 Edit of 'Eagle', (at all), now.

Here is the difference between the 2 versions - from Wikipedia:,

"The original 4:25 single edit was issued on CD for the first time in 1993 on the compilation More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits. However, for the 1999 re-release of this album, plus subsequent releases, a new version based on the 1978 edit was created. Unfortunately this edit missed out a vital instrumental-only section at the end of the second chorus prior to the closing instrumental, thereby sounding disjointed. The original edit (or at least an exact re-creation of it) was finally issued again on the deluxe version of The Album in 2007".

And here is a Link,to a Video Clip, which let's you hear how the
2 versions are different:,

'EAGLE' (The 1978 & 1999 Edits)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_nJgDZkUoY


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Postby PaperCat » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:07 pm

Are ABBA and Queen's singles sales over inflated , their US gold certifications are low .

ABBA have 2 singles that sold over a million and Queen have 4 singles that sold over a million in the US .

Contrast that with the Bee Gees who have 11 singles that sold over a million and Paul McCartney & Wings + SW/MJ who have 12 singles that sold over a million in the US .

Both the Bee Gees and PM & Wings + SW/MJ have singles that appear in the top 25 best selling singles of the decade in the 70's and 80's in the US .

Bee Gees - Night Fever # 2 in the 70's decade end chart
Bee Gees - Staying Alive # 20 in the 70's decade end chart

Wings - Silly Love Songs # 13 in the 70's decade end chart

Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder - Ebony & Ivory # 6 in the 80's decade end chart
Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson - Say Say Say # 11 in the 80's decade end chart

ABBA and Queen are nowhere to be seen as great selling singles acts in America .
That big US market just didn't buy their singles in the same way the rest of the world appears to have done .
With smaller US singles sales for both groups i think there global single sales are to high .
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Postby HUR » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:40 am

PaperCat wrote:That big US market just didn't buy their singles in the same way the rest of the world appears to have done .
With smaller US singles sales for both groups i think there global single sales are to high .
The USA is the most important market in terms of sales, but the rest of the world also matters. You know that.

You are asking whether Abba and Queen's worlwide singles sales are inflated. The question is: inflated according to who?

If you are referring to the above MJDangerous' list, then I agre with you; some of them are too high, but not just for Queen and Abba but for other acts too, in my opinion. Including Bee Gees and The Rolling Stones. I cited it because he isn't a massive fan of any of those groups. So he is impartial.

Personally I deconstruct Queen's worldwide physical singles sales as follows:

USA – 15 million
UK – 10
Rest of the world – 15

Total – 40 million

USA sales are difficult to estimate. But I don't think this is inflated, although there is an obvious margin for error.

Abba's singles would be like this:

USA – 10 million
UK – 10
Rest of the world – 30

Total – 50 million

I'm assuming that Abba sold 30 million outside of USA and UK, and 15 million for Queen; I'm giving them twice as many singles sales to them as I'm giving to Queen outside of USA and UK. So anyone who thinks I'm being biased against Abba, should just take that into account.

Anyway when you claim that The Wings and Bee Gees were bigger singles selling bands than Queen in the USA, you are obviously talking about physical sales and I obviously agree.

If you combine both physical and digital sales, I think Queen sold just as much as both groups in the USA, if not more. In total, Queen were on 10,203,000 units by September 2009 in the United States and arguably 15,000,000 by now. If I merge that with 15,000,000 physical singles (just a subjective guess I posted above), I get 30,000,000 overall. Surely similar to what The Wings and Bee Gees did in total.
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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:34 am

Last night, the 4 hour Abba special aired on German TV channel Vox. It was actually pretty good, much better than I had expected. They showed some rare footage I hadn't seen before, for example when Abba were in Japan in early 1980. Of course they got some facts wrong and the chronological order of events wasn't always correct either but these are minor errors that only fans could spot.

TV ratings for the programme were pretty good, an average of 1.98 million viewers watched it (8.8 % market share). Among viewers aged 14 - 49, the market share was 12% and the number 1.05 million.

On German Amazon, the limited edition of "The Essential Collection" is now at number 17, the normal edition at number 25, "Gold" at number 33 and at number 86, "The Albums" at number 85. Let's see how the effect will be on the official German Album Chart.
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Postby zeus555 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:48 am

ABBA IN THE GERMAN AMAZON CHARTS

Well, the German TV Documentary has had a huge effect
on ABBA's Amazon Sales, as Benny says. I've been
checking for Weeks, and none of the Editions of
'The Essential Collection' have even reached the
Top 300 Amazon Best Sellers there, until now. As late
as Saturday morning, the 2 CD + DVD version was at
No.336, the 2 CD version was only at No.1985, & the
DVD version was at No.2560!

DVD'S - In the German Amazon Music DVD's Chart,
ABBA connected DVD's are at No.4, ('Mamma Mia!'),
No.11, ('The Essential Collection), No.16, ('Mamma
Mia!' on Blu-ray, No.22, ('ABBA In Concert'), No.25,
('ABBA - The Movie'), & No.49, ('The Essential Collection').

LINKS TO 2 GERMAN AMAZON CHARTS

1) This German Amazon Chart shows you the Albums
that have risen the most, (by Percentage), in the
past 24 Hours. As you can see, ABBA totally dominate
that Chart, with many of their Albums rising in Sales:,

http://www.amazon.de/gp/movers-and-shak ... =zg_bs_tab

2) And here is the latest German Amazon Top 100 Sales Chart:,

http://www.amazon.de/gp/bestsellers/music/ref=sv_m_1#1

ABBA & QUEEN'S SINGLES SALES

PaperCat - I can assure you that ABBA & Queen's
Singles Sales are not inflated outside the USA.
Both Groups had Top 10, Top 5, & No.1 Hits in
many Countries.

You cannot use the USA to gauge how well, (or
badly), an Act does outside the USA. If we did that,
we could just as easily say that Garth Brooks must
have sold about 300 Million Albums outside the USA,
on the grounds that he's sold 128 Million Albums inside
the USA. (In fact, I estimate his Album Sales outside
the USA to be about 5 or 6 Million, at most).

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Postby PaperCat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:29 pm

I'm not saying that ABBA & Queen didn't sell a large number of singles in many other countries , they clearly did .
But the other big singles acts like Rod Stewart , Paul McCartney & Wings , The Bee Gees also sold very well in other countries with many top 5 top 10 and # 1 singles .
What i'm questioning is both acts didn't sell that many physical singles in America during the 70's and 80's .
So there is a big hole they have to fill , selling double even tripple the amount of these more successful American/world singles acts .
I know ABBA were mega selling in Australia and Europe .
But in America ABBA and Queen were no bigger in terms of physical single sales to someone like Cyndi Lauper or The Doobie Brothers , an avarage selling singles act .
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Postby zeus555 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:52 pm

With Downloads, 'Dancing Queen' alone, has sold over
7 Million copies. Without Downloads, 'Fernando' is
on over 6 Million, 'Waterloo' on over 5.5 Million.
That's 18.5 Million from just 3 ABBA Singles -
without even any Download Sales for 2 of them.

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