ABBA :: Charts & Sales History

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Postby LostAvenger » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:50 am

Those figures aren't including digital sales though.
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Postby Benny » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:32 am

LostAvenger wrote:Those figures aren't including digital sales though.
Yep, physical sales only.

prici900 wrote:I will start digging out the books and get more accurate single sales information, one by one, country by country and like it or not I will be doing comparisions to Abba's peers.
Great that you have so many books with Abba sales figures - I envy you for that. :wink:
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Postby Benny » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:03 am

HUR wrote:
Instead of "Ring Ring", could you please start with "Dancing Queen"?

Does anybody have a breakdown for that specific single?
Well let's try to do a breakdown for Dancing Queen:

Phyiscal sales in 1976 & 1977:

US - 1.1 million
UK - 840k
Germany - 380k
France- 360k (French site with sales estimations)
Japan - 350k
Australia - 322k (Billboard)
Netherlands - 150k (Billboard)
Scandinavia - ??? (14 weeks at number one in Sweden and 12 weeks in Norway)
Ireland - 50k (gold)
Belgium - ?
Austria & Switzerland - ?
Italy & Spain - ?
Canada - ?
South America - ?

Maybe 4.5 million in total?

Sales in 1992:
80k in the UK, maybe the same amount in Germany, I would say 250k in total

Downloads:
US - 597k (23/01/2009) Does anyone have a more current figure?
UK - 133k
maybe another 500k for the rest of the world?

Maybe 1.5 million downloads in total?

Regarding its UK sales (musicweek.com Chart Analysis, 16/04/12):
The Abba total in 2003 included estimated sales of 920,000 for Dancing Queen - but it has since sold a further 132,777 copies (all but six of them digitally) which, if the original estimate is correct,, would elevate it to a million seller, with a to date tally of 1,052,777.
Including downloads it has definitely sold more than 6 million copies worldwide.
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Postby tino » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:45 am

According to the facts from the Billboard-magazine you've posted we might add for "Dancing Queen":

East Germany: at least 50k, a double a-side single (with "Fernando") was released there.

Canada: at least 50k, as it is mentioned with a gold award in the magazine.

Portugal: at least 20k (Portugal is such a deep mystery as no one seems to know, what exactly happened there...see "The Visitors").

I don't know, where Johnnyboy has got his information for the 20 gold awards for DQ in Australia on page one, which would mean one million singles by then. Even the Billboard-magazine is confusing the Australian sales: first 322k, later 300k. Rounded down? Shipments back to retailers? And 22k are 22k.

For Sweden I'd say at very, very least 100k, as it was massive there with a fourteen-week-reign at the top, as it was in Norway (12 weeks), Austria (8 weeks)and Belgium (7 weeks).
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Postby zeus555 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:01 am

As regards 'Dancing Queen'. I do know that in 1977
it was reported that it had sold a USA Million as it
climbed to No.1 there - before it actually reached
No.1. Because it took a while to get there. If this
is true, a USA Sale of 1,100,000, between 1976
& 1977, may be a bit too low.

Here is a List of ABBA's, (estimated) Global Album
Sales. It is by MJDangerous, who puts a lot of
effort into such matters - by many Artists, & not
just ABBA. It is from the Haven Chart Site.

He's included 'The Movie', at No.35 & No.50, but
I regard those as Videos/DVD's. Likewise for 'In
Concert', at No.51 - unless some Countries had an
ABBA 'Live' Album called 'In Concert'. I've never heard
of the Album at No.44 - does anyone know what it is?

ABBA's WORLDWIDE ALBUM SALES

by MJDangerous

1) Gold - 31,400,000
2) Arrival - 11,900,000
3) Greatest Hits - 10,700,000
4) Super Trouper - 8,000,000
5) The Album - 8,000,000
6) Voulez-Vous - 7,600,000
7) Greatest Hits Volume 2 - 7,500,000
8) The Visitors - 4,800,000
9) ABBA - 4,500,000
10) The Best Of Abba - 3,700,000
11) The Definitive Collection - 3,200,000
12) The Singles (The First Ten Years) - 3,000,000
13) Waterloo - 2,700,000
14) More Abba Gold - More Abba Hits - 2,300,000
15) The Millenium Collection - 1,800,000 (US/Canada)
16) 18 Hits - 1,500,000
17) Gracias Por La Musica - 1,400,000
18) Master Series / The Complete Collection / Universal Masters - 1,200,000
19) SOS - The Best Of ABBA - 1,200,000 (Japan)
20) The Music Still Goes On - 1,200,000
21) The Name Of The Game - 1,200,000
22 Ring Ring - 1,000,000
23 Number Ones - 1,000,000
24) Forever Gold - 900,000
25) A Van ABBA / A Wie ABBA - 700,000 (Holland/Germany)
26) Very Best Of ABBA - 500,000
27) The Collection - 500,000
28) 16 ABBA Hits - 450,000 (Germany)
29) All About ABBA - 400,000
30) Love Stories - 400,000
31) The ABBA Story - 400,000
32) Thank You For The Music - 400,000
33) The Hits 2 - 350,000
34) 25 Jaar Na 'Waterloo', De Grootste Hits In Nederland Deel 1 - 320,000 (Holland)
35) ABBA The Movie - 300,000
36) The Albums - 300,000
37) I Love ABBA - 250,000
38) Absolute ABBA - 250,000
39) The Hits - 250,000
40) The Hits 3 - 250,000
41) Live - 200,000
42) The Songbook - 200,000
43) Thank You For The Music Box Set - 200,000
44) To Run - 200,000
45) The ABBA Story - 200,000
46) Todo ABBA - 200,000 (Spain)
47) Love Songs - 150,000
48) 25 Jaar Na 'Waterloo', De Grootste Hits In Nederland Deel 2 - 120,000 (Holland)
49) The Ultimate Collection - 100,000
50) The Movie - 100,000
51) In Concert - 100,000
52) The Best Of ABBA - 100,000


Estimated Total of ABBA's Global Album Sales = 129,590,000

Of course these Sales are being added to all the
time, as 'Gold' keeps re-appearing in several
Countries Charts, '18 Hits' is a steady UK seller,
& 'The Essential Collection' is currently in the
German & Austrian Charts, with a Global release
for it in early September.

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Postby Benny » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:15 pm

zeus555 wrote:As regards 'Dancing Queen'. I do know that in 1977
it was reported that it had sold a USA Million as it
climbed to No.1 there - before it actually reached
No.1. Because it took a while to get there. If this
is true, a USA Sale of 1,100,000, between 1976
& 1977, may be a bit too low.
1,100,000 for "Dancing Queen" seems too low indeed, the same thing with "Take A Chance On Me" which is said to have sold 1,000,000 copies. Didn't "Take A Chance On Me" allegedly sell more copies than "Dancing Queen" despite the lower chart peak?
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Postby HUR » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:23 pm

LostAvenger wrote:Those figures aren't including digital sales though.
Benny wrote:Including downloads it has definitely sold more than 6 million copies worldwide.
Yes, absolutely. When I was suggesting that Dancing Queen may not have sold 6,000,000 worldiwde, I was looking at its physical sales up to 1983, because Prici900 made a coment about Abba selling some 75,000,000 singles worldwide by then. On worldwide basis, if we add digital downalods to their physical singles, I think that Abba may have sold as much as what Prici900 is claiming. Otherwise I find his sales numbers to be extremly inflated. Some estimations for Dancing Queen, based on what has been mentioned (and other personal totals):

USA - 1,100,000
Canada – 50,000

UK – 920,000
Germany – 400,000
France – 350,000
Netherlands – 150,000
Belgium – 150,000
Ireland – 50,000
Portugal – 50,000
East Germany – 50,000

Australia – 325,000
New Zealand – 30,000

Japan – 350,000

The total is nearly 4,000,000.

I think that 4,500,000 could be fine. If you want to make some higher estimations, you can even raise it to 5,000,000 (especially if it sold more than 1,100,000 as Zeus555 suggested and he has a point).

As you can see, Benny, we are like 20-25% below what Prici900 estimated. Inresting, isn't it?

If only Prici900 was equally generous to other acts, that would be fine. But not coming from someone who came here to dispute what other bands have sold. And let's be careful with what he has written:

"I will be doing comparisions to Abba's peers.

Abba released their singles in many more countries than most groups and were more consistently sucessful than most groups"

Implicitly, what he is telling us is that he is going to add an unjustified amount of million singles (and albums) to Abba and virtually nothing to other groups, such as Queen or Bee Gees. Even though he was told, earlier, that those two groups were just as massive and global as Abba on a worldwide basis.
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Postby Benny » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:51 pm

German Album Chart

24 16 The Essential Collection ABBA
57 34 Gold - Greatest Hits ABBA
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Postby tino » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:57 am

I've concentrated myself on the 27 million singles up to november 1976 from billboard-magazine Benny has posted a while ago.

First it is necessary to consider, if this number is reliable or not. I tend to the first option and there must be something we can hang on, if we don't believe in what record companies, managers or even involved musicians try to make us believe.

27 million sold singles up to november 1976. A time when "Dancing Queen" was vanishing from most of the charts where it was listed (with some exceptions as we'll see).

So the amount of 27 million singles was reached with the following singles:

Waterloo
Honey Honey
So Long
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do and once again I Do
SOS
Mamma Mia
Fernando
and maybe two-third of Dancing Queen
plus the pre-breakthrough singles like People Need Love, He's Your Brother, Ring Ring and some specific country limited releases. Eventually the sales for She's my Kind Of Girl in Japan were included.

The list above shows, that five of them were massive responsible for the 27 million sold singles and two more to make it a round thing (I know, it's not a correct method, but the average sales of a single up to november 1976 is 3,375 millions, if you divide 27 (million) by 8 (hits). The mixture of massive hits and close to massive hits and the rest kept constant for ABBA, so when you mutliplize 3,375 with 23 you'll see. Please, don't pay too much attention to this!).

What happened after:

As slightly mentioned: Dancing Queen became a million seller in the US and a big hit in Japan and singles selling at least in average amounts like Waterloo or Mamma Mia followed:

Money, Money, Money
Knowing Me, Knowing You
The Name Of The Game
Take A Chance On Me
Chiquitita
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
I Have A Dream
The Winner Takes It All
Super Trouper
One Of Us

plus the close to ones:

Does Your Mother Know
Voulez Vous
Summer Night City

plus the here and there-hits:

Eagle
Lay All Your Love On Me
On And On And On
When All Is Said And Done
Head Over Heels
The Visitors
The Day Before You Came
Under Attack
Thank You For The Music

and again some limited releases like That's Me in Japan.

The matter of losing ground for ABBA in Australia could be compensated with two million sellers in the US and the success in Latin-America and Japan.

So I'd say: if they sold 27 million singles in the period 74 - 76 (perhaps minus one for the pre-waterloo era), they sold at least another 27 million units until the end of recording. Perhaps more.

I've tried to calculate the sales for the singles from november 1976 onwards, using the numbers other users have posted (f.e. Benny for Germany), the figures from the Billboard-magazine and chart perfomances.

Germany: 5,0 (million)
UK: 7,5
USA: 5,5
Japan: 1,4
France: 2,5
Australia: 0,7 (no real idea, only Money Money Money with 244k is known - the time of massive hits there was over)
Mexiko: 1,0 (the half belongs to Chiquitita, ABBA had several hits there)
Argentina: 0,6
Netherlands: 0,7

That's close to 25 million (24,9 - if I'm right).

There remain countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, New Zealand, Isreal, Canada, the formerly GDR, Poland, the rest of Latin-America, the African Countries, Spain, Italy and Asia.

Small countries - small markets, no question, but ABBA had hits there and in most of these countries they had a lot of hits. A careful suming up offers 8 million singles, but it might be lower or higher, even the double. I have no idea about Belgium, for example. It might be 300k units (as I have calculated), it might be 600k. And if you do so country by country the amount is all of a sudden 16 million singles and with a simple addition you are at 68 million singles for the entire band career.
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Postby HUR » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:37 pm

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.
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Postby tino » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:53 pm

HUR wrote: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.
First answer before I go on reading the long rest:

It's nothing special about Portugal, just the fact that I/we can't really handle with exact sales there. I never saw any portugese chart archives. "The Visitors" was the number two top-selling (foreign?) album there in 1981. What does it mean for this country? 20k? 100k? 150k? Who knows?
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Postby tino » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:46 pm

To avoid any confusions:

I am not saying that ABBA sold 68 million songs or more. I just tried to make clear that there is a possibility that they did.

As I wrote, I started from the 27 million singles that were claimed in november 1976. Is this number worth trusting? How much sold Waterloo? 4 millions, 4.5 millions? Less than 4 millions? SOS the same, some say so, others so.

I don't think that this number is too high, if you agree that Waterloo, Mamma Mia, Fernando MIGHT have sold more than 4 million each. Plus Dancing Queen (without Japan and the USA) another 3 or more, the same as SOS. And the word more leaves space. And again: Fernando MIGHT have sales of 5 millions or more. 15 million singles are much to less.

Concerning the fact that ABBA sold more albums than singles: this case just turned then out. They had their Greatest Hits/Best Of a.so.-period and Arrival just arrived! In fact, they were called a single-band then.

My estimated sales for the special countries are based upon the numbers here within the topic (the UK sales f.e., I just sumed up all the sales (without downloads) beginning with Money, Money, Money. For Germany I went along with Benny but not to all directions. I tend to put ABBA's single-sales a little higher (Head Over Heels with 30k is much too low). And I can't see any reasons, why both Waterloo and Honey, Honey shouldn't have passed the 500k mark in Germany. Let the gold award be official or not.

Tomorrow more.
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Postby HUR » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:46 pm

Yes, although I don't understand why you don't try to deconstruct their sales from 1973 to 1983, isntead of relying on misleading claims like that one.

Anyway, your choice; I was adding some thoughts, which provide a different picture. As I said, based on your numbers, we would be on 2,500,000 in UK, some 2,000,000 in Germany (you are now telling it could a little bit more, but certainly not enough to increase this substantially) and probably not more than 3,000,000 in the USA. How they would have achieved a further 20,000,000 elsewhere is something I would love to understand, and the percentages I mentioned lean toward what I'm claiming.

As for The Visitors in Portugal:

It was the second best selling album of 1982, when it started selling in Portugal (there was a delay back then, and albums would often be released months later there). The annual chart was compiled by Musica & Som, official source during that era; that ranking included local albums and even Various Artists compilations. So The Visitors was the second biggest title, in the comprehensive chart.

It was officially certified gold in 1983 (for sales of 30,000 copies sold).

But here is the thing: before 1984 there were no platinum awards, which means that gold was the highest possible certification.

According to a reliable article from 1984, The Visitors sold more than 60,000 copies in Portugal.

I do have many numbers and chart stats for Abba in Portugal, coming from a mixed number of sources and most of which I posted.

In my opinion, Abba sold 450,000 to 500,000 albums and 350,000 to 400,000 singles, which is enough for them to rank amongst the best selling foreign acts ever.
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Postby Benny » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:16 pm

The whole discussion is getting a little bit confusing...

If we say that Abba sold 7 million singles in Germany then it would be 3 million singles until the end of 1976 and 4 million singles after that (not 2 and 5 million).

tino wrote:And I can't see any reasons, why both Waterloo and Honey, Honey shouldn't have passed the 500k mark in Germany. Let the gold award be official or not.
Here's a German year-end chart for 1974 based on points for every week in the top 20; for three singles there's a (reliable) sales total in Billboard magazine:

1) Rock Your Baby - 451 points - 560k
5) Waterloo - 341 points
6) Honey Honey - 329 points
8) Dan The Banjo Man - 299 points - 300k
17) Devil Gate Drive - 215 points - 275k

I gave "Waterloo" sales of 450k and "Honey Honey" sales of 350k so that they both fit in. Of course, theoretically it is possible that they sold more as every sales week is different but I think it's quite unlikely.

In John Tobler's Abba book from 1993, there's a breakdown for the 27 million singles and 12 million albums that Abba are said to have sold until the end of 1976:

Singles
"Fernando" 6 mio, "Waterloo" 5 mio, "SOS" 4 mio, "Mamma Mia" 3.5 mio, "Dancing Queen" 3 mio (still selling); "Honey Honey"; "I Do x5"; "So Long" 1 mio each (2.5 million are missing)

Albums
"Greatest Hits" 5 mio, "Abba" 4 mio´, "Waterloo" 3 mio

These numbers aren't correct, though; there's no way that "So Long" sold as much as "I Do x5"; "So Long" sold less than one million, "I Do x5" more.

Album sales are also quite bizarre, "Abba" for example did not sell as much as 4 million. All the greatest hits albums released in 1976, on the other hand, sold more than 5 million.
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Postby zeus555 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:54 pm

'Gold' falls from No.21 to No.31 in Austria, (Week
131), & 'The Essential Collection' rises from No.53 to
No.47 there. Its 2nd Chart Week.

'Gold' falls from No.33 to No.60 in Switzerland - its 268th Chart Week.

Having given close study to ABBA's Global Sales,
for several Years, I have concluded:,

1) They have sold about 180 Million to 200 Million
Records. That's Singles & Albums combined - including
Cassette Tapes.

2) That their Sales consist of 60 Million to 70 Million Singles.

3) And 120 Million to 130 Million Albums & Cassettes.

4) That the claims of 300 Million to 400 Million
ABBA Sales are greatly exaggerated. (As are claims
of a Billion Beatles, & Elvis Presley, Record Sales).

I do recall, that in the early 1980's, Alan Jones
was talking about Cliff Richard's Global Singles
Sales, in 'Record Mirror'. He gave an estimate
of 77 Million for them, & said that only ABBA
had come close to such Singles Sales, in the
previous Decade. He was not sure if ABBA may
even have sold more Global Singles than Cliff.


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Postby tino » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:48 am

@HUR: Thanks for the further info about "The Visitors" in Portugal.

The claim about the 27 million sold singles was in fact lanced by Polar music in 1976 with the exact breakdown Benny has posted.

I'd like to start a try to break down ABBA's single sales chronologically. Not to get with any force as possible any significant mark. Just to see where it might end.

Unfortunately there's no way to ignore every reference or source. If necessary to mention where this and that is from, I do. Of course, all of this to follow is discusable.

PEOPLE NEED LOVE

Sweden: 17

combined charts of albums and singles, according to Carl Magnus Palm, without albums it would be a number 7).

Verified releases beside Sweden: Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, USA with no (known) impact on the charts. ABBA had at least an appearance on a popular German music-show (without pregant Agnetha, a friend of Frida took place instead).

My estimations: 70.000 units

HE IS YOUR BROTHER

Released in Sweden and at least in New Zealand, too. It didn't chart.

My estimations: 5.00 - 10.000

RING RING

Sweden 1 (Swedish Version)
Sweden 2 (English version)
Belgium 1
Austria 2
Norway 2
South Africa 3
Netherlands 5
Australia 7 (peak reached within third chartrun in 1976)
Zimbabwe 12
New Zealand 17 (1976)
UK 32 (1974)
France 82 (early 1974)

Additional releases in Brazil, Chile, Denmark (I guess, it was at least charting there), Germany, Spain, Cuba (!), Turkey and the US.

Carl Magnus Palm gives sales for RING RING with 545.000 units (100.00 for both versions combined in Sweden) until the middle of 1974, so the main sales of the UK, Australia and New Zealand aren't included yet. In the UK it's reported to have sales of 50.000 units.

My estimations: 650.000

Estimations so far: 725.000 - 730.000 with the first original singles.
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Postby prici900 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:40 pm

Tino

I have been working on Ring Ring sales - lets see how we can get to nearly a million for them.

BTW Ring Ring was a hit 2 x for Abba in Denmark - Number 1 in 1973 (before they were Abba) and Number 3 for the remix in 1974 - yipee.

Although Stig told some fibs (that Ring Ring got to number 1 in five countries) - at least we have it as number 1 in two countries so far - I am soo happy. :P
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Postby prici900 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:04 pm

I am an orderly kind of fella so if it’s Ok I would sooner start with Ring Ring – As this was Abba’s first big international hit - BTW I am not interested in downloads or sales after 1983 – as I said I need to get to 75-79 Million single sales by the end of Abba’s career as an active group.

What we know about Ring Ring: It was released twice in some countries original and the remix version and Sweden released 2 versions - the English and the Swedish. – Some countries re- released it after Abba won Eurovision with Waterloo in a remixed version. Polar claimed 545,000 a year after its original release (meaning this does not include all its sales)

Countries where we know it was released and sales – or estimated sales:

Ring Ring Single –

Country Chart Position total Sales

Finland - 3 Estimated – 20,000+
Norway 2 Estimated – 25,000+
Sweden 1 & 2 (E & S versions) Actual – 160,000+
Denmark 1 & 3 (remix) Estimated –60,000+
Belgium 2 Estimated – 50,000+
Australia 7 Estimated – 45,000+
Holland 5 Estimated – 25,000+
Austria 2 Estimated – 50,000+
France 82 Estimated – 1,000+
New Zealand 17 Estimated – 3,000+
South Africa 3 Estimated – 50,000+
UK 32 Actual - 5,500+
Zimbabwe 12 Estimated - 2,000+

Countries where we know it was released but did not chart;

Germany - Did not chart -
Ireland - Did not chart
Italy - Did not chart
Spain - Did not chart
USA - Did not chart

Although it did not chart in these countries it still may have sold a few thousand.

Countries that we know it was released but we do not know its chart position (if any) or its sales (If any).

Argentina +Brazil + Israel + Turkey and there may be others -
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Postby prici900 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:19 pm

Zeus555 wrote - "I do recall, that in the early 1980's, Alan Jones was talking about Cliff Richard's Global Singles Sales, in 'Record Mirror'. He gave an estimate of 77 Million for them, & said that only ABBAhad come close to such Singles Sales, in the
previous Decade. He was not sure if ABBA may even have sold more Global Singles than Cliff."

I have that copy of record Mirror (Need to dig it out) but I remember Alan Jones going on to say that Abba may have sold this many singles but the bulk of their sales came in the form of LP's - I have always thought their LP estimations were too low, that is why it is not in my big sellers - I really like the song and Abba gave a good performance of it but it really was their biggest flop until under attack.

But I am concentrating on the singles for now.

BTW I do not believe for a minute that 'So Long' sold a million - may not have even sold half a million may have been as little as 300,000 world wide.
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Postby prici900 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:43 pm

I am so sorry all the last post should have read like this to make sense:

Zeus555 wrote - "I do recall, that in the early 1980's, Alan Jones was talking about Cliff Richard's Global Singles Sales, in 'Record Mirror'. He gave an estimate of 77 Million for them, & said that only ABBAhad come close to such Singles Sales, in the
previous Decade. He was not sure if ABBA may even have sold more Global Singles than Cliff."

I have that copy of record Mirror (Need to dig it out) but I remember Alan Jones going on to say that Abba may have sold this many singles but the bulk of their sales came in the form of LP's - I have always thought their LP estimations were too low, But I am concentrating on the singles for now.


BTW I do not believe for a minute that 'So Long' sold a million - may not have even sold half a million may have been as little as 300,000 world wide.that is why it is not in my big sellers list- I really like the song and Abba gave a good performance of it but it really was their biggest flop until under attack.
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Postby Benny » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:33 am

Prici900, good estimations for "Ring Ring", so the total is about 500k. :D

Tino, interesting to see in which countries it was released, even Cuba. :o
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Postby tino » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:43 am

So are there any objections that Ring Ring sold somewhere beetween at least 500.000 and a maximum of 650.000 units (as most figures are estimations relying on chart perfomances, so there's always a plus/minus) and the figures from polar-music and Carl Magnus Palm might be quite right, despite the Australian peak was yet to come?

We know nothing about the turkish market, for instance, but Turkey seemed to be a loyal market due to quite constant releases during the years (like later the Philippines f.e., a country no one gave special attention).


Before hanging on to the Waterloo-era another overview about several worldwide releases from the Ring Ring-album:

NINA, PRETTY BALLERINA

Austria peak 8

Verified releases in France, Philippines and the US.

ANOTHER TOWN, ANOTHER TRAIN

Zimbabwe peak 18

Verified releases in Japan, South Africa, Venezuela and the US.

I'M JUST A GIRL

Released in Japan

And still there is She's my kind of girl from Benny & Björn with a more than moderate success in Japan ( I read a number of 188.000 units). Actually no ABBA-item it became one due to its release on their first album.

I suggest (with the 188.000 units in Japan in mind) at least 250.000 sold singles for all these releases together.

This would give all added up sales for all singles from Ring Ring to a amount of at least 830.000 to a maximum of 1 million.
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Postby prici900 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:26 pm

Hi Tino -

Before we close the book on Ring Ring – associated Singles there are a few others to consider –

People Need Love USA – Released on the playboy label – got to number 115.
So would have sold a few thousand copies.

Love isn’t easy – Denmark - got to number 21 maybe a couple thousand.

If you go on You Tube – you can see a very young Abba preforming this song and Ring Ring on a Danish TV show – the girls were very attractive in this show – stunning and the performance was funny with Frida punching Benny and Agnetha hitting Bjorn (not that I am advocating domestic violence but Benny and Bjorn will not give us all that lovely unreleased material so pre-emptive judgment I say- LOL).

I think we need to look at other minor singles from the Ring Ring LP before we close the door on this as yet as I am sure that there were some other minor releases. There is a website that details all Abba’s single releases and shows the single sleeves for them – Proving what was released in different territories zeus555 I am sure has this web address and I am sure he will be kind enough to put it on this site to aid in our quest for Abba sales.
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Postby Benny » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:45 pm

prici900 wrote:
If you go on You Tube – you can see a very young Abba preforming this song and Ring Ring on a Danish TV show – the girls were very attractive in this show – stunning and the performance was funny with Frida punching Benny and Agnetha hitting Bjorn (not that I am advocating domestic violence but Benny and Bjorn will not give us all that lovely unreleased material so pre-emptive judgment I say- LOL).

That performance of "Love Isn't Easy" on Danish TV from 1973 is hilarious indeed. :lol:
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Postby tino » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:38 pm

I read somewhere in another forum, that PEOPLE NEED LOVE was also released in the Netherlands, after Ring Ring became a hit there in 1973. The label was the french-based Vogue, not POLYDOR as for the predecessor, so perhaps imports...? In fact it was listed within the Dutch Tip-list, a quite similar list to the bubbling under-charts in the US.

ME AND BOBBY AND BOBBY'S BROTHER was released as a postcard disc in Poland, but later in 1976.

ROCK'N'ROLL BAND was released as a limited promo press in the US.

I can't think of any other song of ABBA's first album released as a single, if I think on songs like I SAW IT IN THE MIRROR or DISILLUSION.
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