ABBA :: Charts & Sales History

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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.
I love pop music -
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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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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:43 pm

On the German Amazon music chart, "The Essential Collection" is now at number 7 and at number 8. "Gold" is at no. 22 & no. 59, "The Albums" at no. 48, "The Definitive Collection" at no. 63, "More Abba Gold" at no. 82 and "The Visitors Deluxe Edition" at no. 91.
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Postby zeus555 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:56 pm

Benny - I wonder how well ABBA wil do in next Week's
German Album Charts? They come out on a Friday, don't
they? Or is it earlier than that?

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

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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:04 pm

zeus555 wrote:Benny - I wonder how well ABBA wil do in next Week's
German Album Charts? They come out on a Friday, don't
they? Or is it earlier than that?

Well in general first information on the German Album Chart (new entries and climbers) is already out on Monday night; on the "German charts" thread the new album chart is usually posted on Tuesday or Wednesday (though Friday is the official date). Let's see how big the impact will be next week and the week after that.

Meanwhile, "The Winner Takes It All" is top 100 on German iTunes (number 96).
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Postby PaperCat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:43 pm

zeus555 wrote: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.

Zeus555
So around the same figure that Adele as sold with her four singles in America recently .
Which shows how big the American market still is .
ABBA should have toured America more i think ,they had a good foot in the door in that market but failed to build on their success .
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Postby zeus555 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:49 pm

PaperCat, Downloads are far easier to buy than CD
Singles, (& Vinyl Singles), were. They have huge
advantages over those Formats. They are available
24/7, 365 Days a Year. They can sell forever. And
your Fans do not even have to leave their Homes to
buy them.

No wonder an Act can sell 6 or 7 Million of a
'Single' in the USA now, if they are popular enough.
In the past, 2 or 3 Million was about the limit for
physical Sales of most of even the biggest Hits.

As regards ABBA - they had well over a dozen Top 10
Hits in many Countries, & over 20 in some European
Countries - Germany etc. 19 in the UK. It all adds up.

THE UK'S TOP 12 SINGLES ACTS

(From W/E 15th November 1952 to W/E 9th June 2012)

From Officialcharts.com:

The Official Charts Company today unveils the Diamond Dozen – the 12 artists who have sold more than 10m singles in the history of the UK ‘s Official Singles Chart.

This definitive list of chart royalty is published to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee of both Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the UK’s Official Singles Chart - both celebrating 60 glorious years of heritage in 2012 – the list forms part of a BBC Radio 2 show running from 2pm till 5pm on Bank Holiday Monday (June 4).

In November 1952, five months after Queen Elizabeth II took the throne, the first ever Official Singles Chart was published in the New Musical Express. To mark this joint Jubilee, the Official Charts Company has compiled the definitive list of the biggest singles artists of all time, to be counted down by BBC Radio 2's Tony Blackburn in a special Jubilee Bank Holiday Monday show.

The list reveals The Beatles at the top, having sold the most chart singles over the past 60 years in the UK, followed by Elvis Presley and Sir Cliff Richard – all three have sold more than 20m singles in the UK. The Top 5 is completed by Madonna (on 17.6m) and Michael Jackson (15.3m).

Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company, adds, “The Diamond Dozen, from the Beatles to Kylie, with Rihanna, Madonna, Elvis and Bowie in between, is truly the cream of music makers over the past six decades years. Over the past 60 years, the Official Singles Chart has provided the musical soundtrack to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s reign – and these artists have been her entertainers.”

The full Diamond Dozen are as follows:

01 THE BEATLES 21.9m

02 ELVIS PRESLEY 21.6m

03 CLIFF RICHARD 21.5m

04 MADONNA 17.6m

05 MICHAEL JACKSON 15.3m

06 ELTON JOHN 14.8m

07 QUEEN 12.6m

08 ABBA 11.2m

09 DAVID BOWIE 10.6m

10 RIHANNA 10.4m

11 PAUL McCARTNEY 10.2m

12 KYLIE MINOGUE 10.1m

http://www.officialcharts.com/chart-new ... aled-1431/

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Postby PaperCat » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:44 pm

It's a very fair point about downloads zeus555 .
But it's also true had ABBA mounted 3 or 4 big tours of America their single sales and certainly their album sales would have been much bigger .
It's not that their music wasn't popular in the states it was , it just needed a bigger push from them .
David Bowie also didn't do very well in the singles market in America , but he mounted big tours there and that certainly helped his album sales between 1974 and 1983 .
Had ABBA toured there more Arrival ,The Album , Voulez Vous , Super Trouper and The Visitors would all have been top 10 US albums :)
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Postby Benny » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:09 pm

In Germany, "The Essential Collection" is new at number 41 on the official album chart.
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Postby zeus555 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:59 pm

Whilst going in at No.41, (German Top 100), is not
very high for 'The Essential Collection', it is only
for Sales from Friday 25th May to Thursday 31st May.

The impact of the 4 Hour ABBA Documentary will not
be seen in the German Charts until next Week. The
Documentary was not shown until Monday - 4th June.

Next Week's German Charts will reflect Sales from
Friday 1st June to Thursday 7th June - and there
will be a climb for 'The Essential Collection'.
'Gold' may re-enter the German Top 100, too.
We will see.

I noticed that the Documentary had an effect on
the Sales of ABBA in 4 German speaking Countries
- Germany, Austria, Switzerland, & Luxembourg.
Because 'Gold suddenly jumped into the Top 3
in all 4 Countries iTunes Charts. 'The Essential
Collection' must have been released in Austria,
(as well as in Germany), as, on Tuesday, I saw
'Gold' at No.2 in the Austrian iTunes Chart,
& 'The Essential Collection' was at No.8

I think that they speak German in Luxembourg!
It could be French. Or French & German. I know
that they speak both languages in Switzerland.
Whatever the case, all 4 Counties seem to have
been able to see the ABBA Documentary on Monday.

Regarding Switzerland...The Documentary has caused
'Gold' to re-enter their Top 100, at No.58. It is
its 266th Chart Week, & it has now scored 11,049
Points in the Swiss Album Chart. Not only does that
make it the biggest scoring Album ever, there, it
also makes it the only Album to reach 11,000 Points.
Then again, the 'Official' Swiss Album Charts only
began in November 1983. The 2nd biggest scoring Album
is 'The Fame', by Lady GaGa - 9,989 Points. So 'Gold'
is 1,060 Points ahead of 'The Fame'.

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Postby AndiIversen » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:06 pm

zeus555 wrote:
I noticed that the Documentary had an effect on
the Sales of ABBA in 4 German speaking Countries
- Germany, Austria, Switzerland, & Luxembourg.
Because 'Gold suddenly jumped into the Top 3
in all 4 Countries iTunes Charts. 'The Essential
Collection' must have been released in Austria,
(as well as in Germany), as, on Tuesday, I saw
'Gold' at No.2 in the Austrian iTunes Chart,
& 'The Essential Collection' was at No.8

Yes! Gold has re-entered the Austrian O3 albums chart this week at #63 (its 90th week on chart) 8-)
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Postby prici900 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:30 pm

I have read the thread for Chiquitita on this site and it seems that its success has been all downplayed -

Make no mistake this is the record that broke Abba in the South American territories and inadvertently also helped sell bucket loads of Voulez vouz and greatest hits 2 along with their Spanish LP Gracious Por La Mmusica.

I have said it before and I will say it again –I care no more for the big markets than I do for the smaller markets – some of the South American markets may have been small but Chiquitita sold some 2.5 million copies in those territories and there was two versions of this record in the various South American Charts (an English one and a Spanish one) – I have always thought that this record would have easily sold about 5 to 6 million copies which puts it as one of Abba’s five bestselling singles.

Chiquitita may well be Abba’s single to hit number one in the most countries – as two Abba books in 1979 highlight that the single got to number one in ten South American countries (with the English version riding high in the charts as well).

It may also be the song that was stayed at number one the longest (taking into consideration both LP’s and singles) – 30 weeks in the Mexican charts – (I know that its 32 weeks in the Mexican /English charts but that is a separate chart).

There is some denying /down playing of sales of this single and it is seldom talked about as being an Abba classic in the same vein as Waterloo, Fernando, Dancing Queen or The Winner Takes it All. I have always thought that this is because it has not aged as well as those songs but its beauty can’t be denied.

There was also a time when I thought that if you combine both the Spanish and the English versions of the song then it may well be Abba’s bestselling single of all time but the naysayers play this down as it’s as if this single being Abba’s bestselling single will singlehandedly blow whatever kudos they have built up.

It’s one of my very favourite Abba songs as it is soo melodic it just carries you away. I am so glad that its success in South America led to many more top five singles in that territory and kept Abba’s sales in the stratosphere long after their sales had calmed down in some parts of the world.

So sales wise what do we know that it sold –

UK – 575,000.
Spain – 150,000
Germany – 300,000
Sweden – 150,000
Japan – 135,000
France – 175,000
USA – 200,000
Holland – 50,000
Switzerland - 50,000
Australia – 50,000
Finland – 30,000

South American Countries – 2.5 Million
• Argentina • Bolivia • Brazil • Chile
• Colombia • Costa Rica • Cuba • Dominican Republic
• Ecuador • El Salvador • Guatemala Haiti
• Honduras • Mexico • Nicaragua • Panama
• Paraguay • Peru • Uruguay • Venezuela

I am sure that there are many more that I do not know about but watch this space.
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Postby AndiIversen » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:07 pm

In Colombia, Chiquitita the spanish version alone sold 50k+ when it was certified Gold back in late 1979 when singles there were actually certified (I think they don't give single certs there anymore, only to albums).

The spanish version literally went #1 in every spanish-speaking country that had a chart at the time (save for Spain where the spanish version went to #5 and the english version went to #1), also both versions charted simultaneously in many countries as well.
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Postby HUR » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:08 pm

prici900 wrote:South American Countries – 2.5 Million
• Argentina • Bolivia • Brazil • Chile
• Colombia • Costa Rica • Cuba • Dominican Republic
• Ecuador • El Salvador • Guatemala Haiti
• Honduras • Mexico • Nicaragua • Panama
• Paraguay • Peru • Uruguay • Venezuela
Hello Prici900,

Where does this figure come from? Is it an estimation or what?

Don't you think it is too high?

Off the top of my head, "Chiquitita" sold 525,000 copies in Argentina. Plus in Brazil, for obvious reasons, it was nowhere near as big a success. How has it sold 2,500,000 in South America? For example, it sold 75,000 in Chile, 50,000 in Colombia and if I remember well some 60,000 in Venezuela. Where do you find the other 1,800,000 units to get to 2,500,000.

I guess you probably meant Latin America, which includes Mexico and the rest of Central America. In Mexico, it sold more than 500,000 copies according to Billboard (and that one is the biggest Spanish market of the continent). Still far from 2,500,000, although a bit closer.

I don't think it sold 2,500,000.

Who downplayed "Chiquitita", I'm curious? From what I have seen in this topic, with due respect, you are the only member who downplayed the sales of other acts, like the Bee Gees, Queen and Spice Girls and just because some claims were made up on Wikipedia, even when Abba are also claimed to have sold 370 million records worldwide, a bigger overestimation than any attached to the other acts I mentioned.

Isn't it possible that you are inflating some of Abba's sales (not on purpose, of course) rather than other people trying to 'downplay' them?

One of your key sources was an Abba fansite. Am I the only who finds a inconsistency there? I mean: I don't think you can pass from discrediting Wikipedia (where some big numbers were wrong added to Queen, Bee Gees or the Spice Girls, amongst many others) and then use an Abba's fansite as you did.
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Postby prici900 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:33 pm

Response to Hur –

I am very choosy where I source my material from – notice that I did not use any of the overinflated figures for Chiquitita from the Abba the worldwide Chart list - such as the figures given for Mexico, Argentina and Costa Rica –

I did use some of the ROTW figures for my post – but I contribute to that site when I have source material (you will see my name in some of its domains) – I have asked Trent on many occasions to remove the Costa Rica info and replace it with what we know about Denmark – as I agree that some of the sales claims (not all) are wrong and can be embarrassing.

You are right I did mean south and Latin America (I write this stuff at work in my tea breaks) but I stick by the figure of some 2.5 million as this was cited in two books form the 1979 and 1980 (Abba for the record John Tobler) and Chart toppers (1980). It seems to me to be perfectly reasonable figure - when the figures that you quoted may only be for the Spanish or English version of that song and may not be for both. Make no mistake Chiquititia was huge in that part of the world - the success of the song was also discussed on radio 1 – news break – when I was a child and its success in those territories was seen as a major boost to Abba.

Okay on to me discrediting sales claim form other groups on Wikipedia- there is a big difference to me claiming 2.5 million sales for a single in South and Latin America (chiquitita - Abba) to a group's fan doubling the sales claim of one of their favorites LP’s from 15 to 30 million - my claim there is a lot of evidence for - the claim for 30 million sales for a particular LP, there is little or no evidence for. (Notice I did not mention the group’s name on this occasion as to be respectful).

I do not at all feel inconsistent – as I have made my stance - I am an Abba fan who is fed up of their achievements being downplayed whilst the usual suspects are bigged up and seldom challenged. I am open to fans quoting sales from other groups fan sites as long as it is consistent with the historical and chart information that is out there.

Abba is not part of the rock and roll fraternity – they were not allowed into that particular boys club (to me that makes them much more interesting) but also an easy target for the rock and roll establishment to have a dig. That Abba has had its biggest single sales success in the form of Abba Gold is true testament to their greatness.

I was lucky, as I was a child when Abba was big and the train spotter in me collected chart and music books so I have a lot of source material. I will make estimations – but they are informed ones – I also love new information coming to light but will challenge that when it makes no sense.
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Postby AndiIversen » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:58 pm

Ireland:

#35 (lw:#30) 18 Hits ABBA (45 weeks)
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