ABBA :: Charts & Sales History

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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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Postby HUR » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:57 pm

prici900 wrote: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.
Hello Prici900,

Wow I'm glad you say that. I always thought those sales were fake. :lol:

Anyway an Abba book is no more reliable than Wikipedia, I'm afraid.

This is what I have found for the single over the years:

Argentina – 525,000
Mexico 500,000
Brazil – 200,000 (?)
Chile – 75,000
Colombia – 50,000
Venezuela – 50,000
El Salvador – 60,000
Equator – 75,000

Generally, when a sales figure wa cited on Billboard, they meant both versions combined.

In Argentina, the Spanish version sold 500,000 and the English one 25,000, for a combined 525,000 as you see above. You can sense how the Spanish version sold so much more, a pattern that would easily have been replicated in the rest of the continent.

I listed 200,000 copies for "Chiquitita" for Brazil, which is very likely to be an overestimation. By September 1979, Abba had sold 200,000 albums and singles combined, for example. Plus they don't speak Spanish there, even though it is the biggest market in the whole of Latin America.

As for Mexico, they didn't specify whether they were referring to the Spanish or the Ebglish one, or both, but it is likely that both were being cited.

Even with a generous estimation for Brazil, we are just slightly above 1,500,000 units, very far from 2,500,000 copies.

Remember: all the biggest Latin American markets are included above (and even some smaller, like Equator or El Salvador). The only one missing is Guatemala: some good sales were often achieved there, so you can easily count some 50,000 to 100,000 for "Chiquitita", I'm sure it sold about that many.

But still not close.

Personally I think it sold fewer copies than 2,500,000 in Latin America. I think it may have done some 1,750,000 to 2,000,000.

Trust me, Prici. I know how huge "Chiquitita" was in Latin America; with due respect, I probably know it more than you. So I don't think I'm making any mistake. We just have different opinions.

You will challenge some information you consider to be wrong, you say. Fine. So far you have only challenged the sales of other groups, none of Abba; but I trust you, he he. I hope you don't mind me 'disputing' your estimations every time I disagree with you.
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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:04 pm

Abba sales figures from Billboard magazine

These are all the sales figures regarding Abba that can be found in old issues of Billboard magazine that are published on Google Books; the time period is 1974-1983. Note that many issues from that time are missing on Google Books (especially from 1976).

13.7.1974 "Waterloo" single 2.5 million copies worldwide
27.7.1974 "Waterloo" single UK sales 498k
12.10.1974 "Waterloo" album sales in Sweden more than 250k
2.11.1974 "Waterloo" album Sweden 300k
7.12.1974 "Waterloo" album Sweden 300k; "Waterloo" album and single 3 million worldwide

6.11.1976 Germany "Fernando" sales in excess of 600k
13.11.1976 UK preorders "Arrival" 300k; sales "Dancing Queen" UK 800k, worldwide Abba sales 27 million singles and 12 million albums; Australia "Best Of" 860k
20.11.1976 Germany "Arrival" 200k in 14 days, "Money Money Money" 100k
4.12.1976 "Arrival" sales almost 500k (in the UK? Sweden?)

22.1.1977 Australia sales 1976 "Ring Ring" 142k, "Waterloo" 112k, "Abba" 570k, "Best Of" 1.01 million, "Arrival" 890k, singles: "Fernando" 400k, "Dancing Queen" 322k, "Money Money Money" 244k, total singles sales 1,444,000
29.1.1977 Netherlands "Dancing Queen" bestselling single of 1976 with sales of 150k
9.4.1977 France "Fernando" 850k (too high?), "Money Money" 500k, "Arrival" 140k, double LP "Best Of" 130k
28.5.1977 Ireland 500k units sold last year (1976)
4.6.1977 Germany sales for "Arrival" more than 500k
26.11.1977 "The Name Of The Game" 140k in Sweden in first two weeks

14.1.1978 50 million sales worldwide
4.2.1978 "The Album" 1.2 million in Sweden (too high)
25.2.1978 "The Album" in Germany 250k inside a month; 250k (gold) from Dec.12 until Jan 16; Jan. 23 = UK release date
8.7.1978 Japan "Dancing Queen" 200k; "The Album" 100k since the release in February
29.7.1978 UK "The Album" 1 mio
26.8.1978 US "The Album" 1.3 mio

20.1.1979 Finland "The Album" 50k
10.3.1979 Japan sales of 1.6 million over 5 albums; sales by the end of January: "Arrival" 550k, "The Album" 300k, "Greatest Hits 24" 330k, "All About Abba" 220k, "Abba" 220k
26.5.1979 Japan "Voulez-Vous" LP 10,000 copies daily since May 1 release; advanced preorders of 200k, 700k expected before the end of the year; previous bestseller "Arrival" 500k

8.9.1979 ABBA SPECIAL FIVE YEARS
Argentina: sales figures up to the end of July "Chiquitita" 500k Spanish version, 25k English version; "Voulez Vous" LP 200k
Australia: albums "Waterloo" 100k (2x platinum), "Abba" 500k (10x platinum), "Ring Ring" 150k (3 x platinum), "Arrival" = shipped 750k (sold 900k?), "Best Of" = 1.1 million (22x platinum) by 1979; singles "Fernando" 720k, "Dancing Queen" 300k
Canada: "Voulez Vous" album platinum within three weeks = 100k; "The Album" and "Arrival" both double platinum; "Greatest Hits" 600k; more than one million albums sold; singles: gold for "Take A Chance On Me", "Knowing Me Knowing You", "Dancing Queen" and "Fernando"
Czechoslovakia: "The Album" 100k
Denmark: 1.2 million albums and cassettes; singles sales more than 250k
East Germany: sales 50k for each single, 40k for each album
Finland: Arrival 78k; 290k albums
France: "Waterloo" single 500k & gold; gold for "SOS / Fernando" (?) and "I Do I Do I Do"; "Greatest Hits" 100k, "Voulez Vous" double gold
Greece: more than 1.1 million records sold
Holland: the eight Abba album sold altogether some 1.75 to 2 million copies; "Best Of Abba" and "Arrival" more than 500k each
Hong Kong: all six albums certified platinum
Hungary: "Voulez Vous" album initial press of 75k
Ireland: "Greatest Hits" 200k, "Arrival" 150k; singles: "Waterloo", "Dancing Queen", "Fernando", "Chiquitita" 50k each (gold); most singles 20k status (silver); "Voulez Vous" album 30k in less than six weeks
Israel: "Arrival" platinum, "Greatest Hits" gold
Japan: "She's My Kind Of Girl" 500k (too high?)
Kenya: every Abba release sells in excess of 10k
Malaysia: "Voulez Vous" 10k + 5k in the pipeline
New Zealand: "Best Of Abba" 250k; 18x platinum with 15k for platinum; "Fernando" double platinum; "The Album" 60k / 4 x platinum
Norway: single "Ring Ring" sold some 10k units; "Greatest Hits" and "Arrival" gold and platinum; "The Album" 200,840 units sold
Poland: 543,499 copies of the two albums "Waterloo" and "I Do I Do I Do" released and sold out in 1976
Portugal: "Fernando" 80k, all Abba singles at least 20k; "Voulez Vous" album 9,500 in one week
South Africa: 13 gold albums four of which went platinum
Scandinavia: five million albums
Soviet Union: "Arrival" and "The Album" 10k each
South America/ Central America: Brazil 200k albums and singles; Venezuela 50k; El Salvador Spanish version of "Chiquitita" 65k; Columbia 135k albums and singles; "Chiquitita" 75k in Chile and over 75k in Ecuador, Mexico: "Chiquitita" (English & Spanish) and "Voulez Vous" LP altogether 450k; Dominican Republic "Chiquitita" 6,100
Spain: "Chiquitita" 100k (gold)
Sweden: at 30 june 79: "Ring Ring" 117k, "Waterloo" 350k, "ABBA" 475k, "GH" 293k, "Arrival" 693k, "The Album" 753k, "Voulez-Vous" 290k; total = 2.97 million
Taiwan: "GH" 4,500, "Arrival" 3,500, "Voulez-Vous" 2,500 in its first month of release
West Germany: "Very Best Of" and "Arrival" 3 x gold (750k) each; "Money Money Money" and "Knowing Me Knowing You" 300k each (too low?)
Yugoslavia: one of few acts to achieve sales of 100k in a year; 1977 111,600 albums and cassettes, 300k singles

6.10.1979 sales in Russia average 200k to 500k according to Stig Anderson
3.11.1979 Mexico "Chiquitita" 500k (English & Spanish)
17.11.1979 100 mio records sold

27.9.1980 Finland "Greatest Hits 2" 80k
18.7.1981 India "Best Of Abba" 50k
8.8.1981 Germany "Super Trouper" LP more than one million copies sold
17.10.1981 Australia more than 3 million albums sold over the past 5 years
23.1.1982 Germany sales of three LPs alone in 1981 passed the 2 million mark
26.6.1982 Cristy Lane’s remake of “I Have A Dream” number 17 on the US Country Chart and sales of 125k
17.7.1982 Norway: in the 1978-1979 period four LPs sold together a total million units in 12 months (nearly 13% of the total industry turnover): the four LPs were the first “Smurf” LP, Abba “The Album” and the soundtracks to “Grease” & “Saturday Night Fever”
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Postby HUR » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:33 pm

Amazing overview, Benny. Plenty of figures were reported.

Can I make some observations?

-Japan: total for Arrival is too low; it is cited with 500,000 sales but, off the top of my head, its Oricon sales were well over 600,000 units. Something happened there.

-Russia: there is an enormous discrepency between 10,000 units and what their manager claimed during October 1979. Is it possible that when Stig Anderson said that they sold 200,000 to 500,000 per album he was actually referring to the whole of Eastern Europe (including Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and others), rather than Russia?

-Worldwide: I see their timelime was 40 million by November 1976, 50 million by January 1978, and 100 million by November 1979. Did they really sell 50 million in les than two years? By the way, if Abba had really sold 100 million by late 1979, it proves that Prici900's estimation by the time they split up (in 1983) –he claimed their cumulative sales were 175 to 200 million records- is definitely wrong.
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Postby AndiIversen » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:14 pm

Germany:
The Combined Germany Album Chart :
#51 - new - 1 - ABBA - The Essential Collection

UK:
UK albums top 100
#99 (lw:#79) 18 Hits ABBA (90 weeks on)

Australia:
Aria top 50 album catalogue chart:
#42 lw:#46 (91 weeks) peak#5 18 HITS Abba <P>2 UNI/UMA
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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:32 pm

HUR, regarding Abba's total sales, Billboard cites a figure of "150 million or so records" in an interview with Frida on 13 November 1982. This could be a plausible sales figure at the time of their breakup. It's difficult to say which total was correct at which time.

Of course there are some contradictory figures, like the example with Russia or the Australian sales for "Fernando" (400k or 720k ?).

It would be great to find additional information from the issues of Billboard magazine that are not on Google Books, especially from 1976, Abba's most successful year in terms of charts and sales.
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Postby HUR » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:56 pm

I think these various worldwide figures are messy and contradictive between each other, which just proves they aren’t really reliable, even if they come from Billboard (where many wrong totals have been printed over the years, or misleading if you want).

Not only were Abba supposed to have sold 50 million between January 1978 and November 1979 (in less than two years), but now we are supposed to believe they cumulated a further 50 million between late 1979 and November 1982. Sorry, that just isn't possible, 100 million by November 1979 is already dodgy enough to believe they were already at 150 million just three years later.

How many records had Abba sold in the USA by 1982? Arguably 20 million, counting albums and singles. So we are left with as many as 130 million outside of the USA, in just eight years. Sorry, but I'm sure not even The Beatles had sold 130 million records, outside of North America, by then. Why would Abba have done so? And would be an approximate breakdown if so? All very unreliable, sorry. These don't even fit with what MJDangerous estimated, and I think his figures were already high enough.

Plus the wording of that article just doesn't help. "150 million or so records" sounds as though the journalist didn't really know what he was talking about, to me.

Anyway, I reinforce what I said a couple of posts earlier: it is all a matter of opinion, and I personally think these worldwide totals are just wrong. Although I agree with Benny that it is difficult to know which total is right.
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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:35 pm

Ok 150 million until 1983 may be a little bit too high, but 125 million should be fine:

60 million singles + 40 million studio albums + 25 million best of albums (13.5 mio for "Best Of" / "GH" in 1976, 6.5 mio for "GH2" in 1979, 2.5 million for "The Singles" in 1982 and 2.5 million for others) add up to a total of 125 million records sold until 1983.
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Postby HUR » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:01 pm

It could be right, Benny. Thank you.

In the previous page I estimated total singles of 50 million; but these 60 million figure –which you are quoting- is the most cited total, I have to admit. Do you have your breakdown per country and/or region of the world?

Also, how many physical singles have they sold in Germany, according to you? MJDangerous estimated some 8,500,000 overall, but I recall a post of yours where you came up with a more conservative number. Any idea?

Your posts are great and I trust your numbers; there may be some I disagre, but we agree on more than we disagree.
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Postby Benny » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:06 pm

HUR, here are my sales estimations for the Abba singles that reached the German top 20:

1974
Waterloo 450k
Honey Honey 350k

There are some (reliable) sales figures from Billboard magazine for other hit songs from that year: "Rock Your Baby" sold 560k (1974 + January 1975), "Devil Gate Drive" 275k and "Dan The Banjo Man" 300k. There's a German charts website which has year end charts based on performance in the top 10 or top 20. You can compare the points and the sales (for example 215 points for "Devil Gate Drive" equal 275k copies) in order to get some estimations.

1975
So Long 50k
I Do I Do I Do 150k
SOS 500k ("Only You Can" by Fox sold 400k)

1976
Mamma Mia 320k
Fernando 600k (source = Billboard; "Fernando" is the only single with an official gold certification for sales exceeding 500k; these certifications started in 1976)
Dancing Queen 380k
Money Money Money 450k (300k according to Billboard is too low, it was number one for 6 weeks around Christmas time)

1977
Knowing Me Knowing You 450k (again, 300k according to Billboard is too low; it is number 6 based on points in the year-end chart and the entire top 5 was officially certified for sales of more than 500k; "Living Next Door To Alice" sold 700k)
The Name Of The Game 130k

1978 (a very strong year saleswise in Germany)
Take A Chance On Me 370k
Eagle 230k
Summer Night City 150k

1979 (another strong year)
Chiquitita 350k ("A Walk In The Park" sold that much and has a similar chart points total)
Does Your Mother Know 150k
Voulez-Vous 100k
Gimme Gimme Gimme 300k

1980
I Have A Dream 300k
The Winner Takes It All 250k
Super Trouper 450k (press release from 1981)

1981
One Of Us 300k

1982
Head Over Heels 30k
The Day Before You Came 150k

That's a total of 7 million singles sold. There's not much to be added (maybe 200k) for songs that did not reach the top 20 as there were only very few ("Lay All Your Love On Me" peaked at number 26, "Under Attack" and the 1992 reissue of "Dancing Queen" reached number 22; "The Last Video Ever" was number 30 in 2004 and "Happy New Year" has been charting at the lower end of the charts in the past few years; that's it).
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Postby HUR » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:41 pm

Thank you, Benny. Great breakdown.

About their total singles sales per country/region? I think they sold 10 million in the USA (perhaps conservative), 10 million in the UK, and –as you said- 7 million in Germany.

What about the rest?

I guess 1 million for Canada, 1.5 million in Japan, 4/5 million in France, 1.5 million in Netherlands, and 2 million Australia, for instance. Anything else?
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Postby stollar » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:22 pm

At the end of August 1978,a Soviet delegation

travelled to Sweden to meet Stig and to discuss

the possibility of distributing ABBA"s album

and ABBA The Movie in the principal of the USSR.

The group had achieved great success in the

Soviet Unon,with their promotional videos being

regulary shown on television.The Polish TV special

Studio 2 had also been screened.Yet their records

and cassettes were still only available on the

black market.In reply to this huge demand,Polar Music

at first agreed to license the pressing of 200,000

records.Several other countries of the Eastern bloc

were to be granted licenses during the year(Via

Sannes trading),allowing them to press a specific

number of ABBA"s albums locally:Poland(500,000)

Czechoslovakia(300,000),East Germany(200,000)

Bulgaria(100,000 and Hungary(50,000).
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