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Thread: SoundScan Era - USA's Best Selling Artists and Albums

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    by Sat April 9th, 2005, 13:01

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    by Sat April 9th, 2005, 13:31

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    by Sat April 9th, 2005, 13:56

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    by Sat April 9th, 2005, 14:15

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    by Sat April 9th, 2005, 14:23

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  6. #31

    by Sat April 9th, 2005, 14:51

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil
    Using all these figures, we can compile the following list of current and estimated totals.

    Down to about 25 million, I believe the list is complete. Below 25 million, there are many artists missing for which I have no figures. Therefore these are not ranked - they are just there for interest.

    1 - Garth Brooks - 66m
    2 - The Beatles - 52m
    3 - Celine Dion - 47.2m
    4 - Metallica - 47m
    5 - Mariah Carey - 43m
    6 - George Strait - 41m
    7 - Kenny G - 34m
    8 - Alan Jackson - 33m
    9 - Pink Floyd - 32.6m
    10 - Shania Twain - 32m
    11 - Tim McGraw - 31m
    12 - U2 - 30m
    13 - Pearl Jam - 29.8m
    14 - Back Street Boys - 29.5m
    15 - Eric Clapton - 28.5m
    16 - Britney Spears - 28m
    17 - N'Sync - 27.6m
    18 - Aerosmith - 27.4m
    19 - Reba McEntire - 27m
    20 - Dave Matthews - 26.5m

    some others
    Madonna - 24.8m
    The Eagles - 24.4m
    Elton John - 24m
    Dixie Chicks - 23m
    Whitney Houston - 22.9m
    AC/DC - 22m
    Led Zeppelin - 22m
    Guns n Roses - 21.7m
    Janet Jackson - 18.3m
    Michael Jackson - 17m
    Van Halen - 16.4m
    TLC - 15.2m
    Ozzy Osbourne - 15m
    Def Leppard - 14m
    Bon Jovi - 13.8m
    Destiny's Child - 13.6m
    Spice Girls - 11.8m
    Brandy - 11.5m
    Kiss - 8.3m
    Iron Maiden - 4.6m
    Alice Cooper - 3m
    Whitesnake - 2m
    America - 1.7m
    Can you post Soundscan figures for every format sales ( including singles)to weighs on the era's biggest selling artists. Some artists like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey could see their sales dramatically increase in doing so.

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    by Sun April 10th, 2005, 10:36

    Quote Originally Posted by rikta
    Can you post Soundscan figures for every format sales ( including singles)to weighs on the era's biggest selling artists. Some artists like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey could see their sales dramatically increase in doing so.
    Sorry it's not possible at the moment rikta.

    First, it took a tremendously long time to compile these figures from so many different sources. I think I now have figures on every artist scanning more than 25m. This is important because the list therefore has meaning - everyone included.

    I don't have nearly enough figures on singles and it would take many months to get ALL of them to make a true list.

    Also I would not mix album and single sales. Albums say one thing about an artist and are nearly always available to buy. Some albums have been available in shops for 50 years.

    Singles are made to get radio play and sell the album. They sometimes make no money, but if they sell the album, they have done their job. Also singles sales vary so much in different decades. Right now they are selling virtually nothing at all in the US. Years ago million selling singles were common.

    Many on the forum have much more information on singles than I do. On a recent thread, I think Nelson posted many totals for US singles, and there were several threads before that with US singles sales. I don't think, though, that anyone has all the soundscan single sales to compile a list as I've done here for albums. Maybe someone is reading this and can do it!
    See Page One of my threads for all updates

  8. #33

    by Tue April 12th, 2005, 17:58

    This thread gets better and better. Some of the info is invaluable.

    Question time: "Yellow Submarine"; does it include sales of the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" released n 1999? Do you have SoundScan figures of Beatles CDs with sales of under 1 million as well?

    It's indeed amazing to see the Beatles' albums from the 60s still sell like that, considering that they're fairly high priced to this day (sometimes more expensive than new CDs by current acts) and do not offer that much in terms of package and remastering (in fact, they're pretty poor compared to other acts). That makes these sales even more astounding.

  9. #34

    by Tue April 12th, 2005, 17:59

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil
    1900 - 1949?

    OK, no riaa or soundscan figures for albums actually released then. Proper albums only appeared from 1947 onwards - before that they were box sets of 78 rpm records.

    However, like the 1950's, material from this time still sells in the form of re-issues.

    The Robert Johnson 2CD box from the 1930's went platinum, and material by artists like Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Peggy Lee and dozens of others from the mists of time sells fine on CD. Anyone got soundscan information on these!!
    Do you know the Book Of Golden Records by Joseph Murrells? If not, look out for it, has a lot of data on records of the earlier years.

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    by Thu April 14th, 2005, 02:03

    Quote Originally Posted by Herkenrath
    This thread gets better and better. Some of the info is invaluable.

    Question time: "Yellow Submarine"; does it include sales of the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" released n 1999? Do you have SoundScan figures of Beatles CDs with sales of under 1 million as well?

    It's indeed amazing to see the Beatles' albums from the 60s still sell like that, considering that they're fairly high priced to this day (sometimes more expensive than new CDs by current acts) and do not offer that much in terms of package and remastering (in fact, they're pretty poor compared to other acts). That makes these sales even more astounding.
    Many thanks Herkenrath. I'm glad you're enjoying the statistics on this thread. A few points to cover

    - I have the Joseph Murrells book, which is unique and very useful.

    - Yellow Submarine Sales are for the original soundtrack. The 1999 Songtrack is the only Beatles CD I don't have a recent figure for. It sold 140,000 before dropping off the chart in 1999. A decent estimate is that is has now sold what it shipped - about 0.5m.

    - Hanboo posted all the Beatles Soundscan figures for me earlier this year. Other ones were

    Please Please Me - 772,000
    With the Beatles - 563,000
    Beatles For Sale - 594,000
    Let It Be - 1,032,000
    Let It Be Naked - 1,027,000
    Past Masters Vol One - 772,000
    Past Masters Vol Two - 1,098,000

    The catalogue came out on CD in 1987 and early 1988. Between then and 1991 when Soundscan started, sales must have been at their peak as Beatles Fans got their hands on CD versions at last. It makes their sales since 1991 even more remarkable - the total is 52m. Between 1987 and 1991 it must have been many more millions.

    As you say, they are full priced - no extras and not available through record clubs.

    The Yellow Submarine Soundtrack was certified for 1 million in 1991, but has scanned more than a million since - due for a re-certification!

    One unfortunate thing is that the riaa combines UK and US versions of their albums for certification. In many cases, although the title is the same, the contents are so altered that they are really very different albums. The quirky nature of the riaa is just one of those things.

    Will be posting Part Four shortly which I hope you'll also find of interest.
    See Page One of my threads for all updates

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    by Thu April 14th, 2005, 02:07

    Forgot I have 2 more Beatles figures for albums that were only on vinyl/cassette

    20 Greatest Hits - 821,000
    Hollywood Bowl - 11,000
    See Page One of my threads for all updates

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    by Mon April 18th, 2005, 21:01

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    by Tue April 19th, 2005, 00:40

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    by Tue April 19th, 2005, 22:30

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil
    1983 - Madonna's 396,000 is the top figure. Not many other candidates - ZZ Top, Def Leppard - none likely to be over 1,000,000. Conclusion is that nobody buys music released in 1983! Must have been a very bad year.
    What about The Police - Synchronicity ? No over 396.000 ? :-?
    And Flashdance Soundtrack ? Or Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil
    1989 - Another bad year. Something wrong with music in 1989. Janet Jackson probably the highest figure as not many are missing.
    Are you sure that Bonnie Rait with Nick Of Time don't do better ? It stay in charts all 1991 and 1992 year...
    And soundscan sales of Phil Collins, But Seriously ?
    25 June 2009, the day the Music died

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    by Sun April 24th, 2005, 00:57

    Quote Originally Posted by MJDangerous
    Quote Originally Posted by Basil
    1983 - Madonna's 396,000 is the top figure. Not many other candidates - ZZ Top, Def Leppard - none likely to be over 1,000,000. Conclusion is that nobody buys music released in 1983! Must have been a very bad year.
    What about The Police - Synchronicity ? No over 396.000 ? :-?
    And Flashdance Soundtrack ? Or Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie ?
    I've looked very closely at all the candidates for 1983. I don't think that any album has exceeded 1m soundscan sales. The most likely best sellers are ZZ Top - Eliminator, Def Leppard - Pyromania, and maybe, as you suggest The Police - Synchronicity. Lionel Richie and Flashdance are not in the running as they had virtually stopped selling by 1991. It remains a mystery why no album from 1983 sells very much now.

    Quote Originally Posted by MJDangerous
    Quote Originally Posted by Basil
    1989 - Another bad year. Something wrong with music in 1989. Janet Jackson probably the highest figure as not many are missing.
    Are you sure that Bonnie Rait with Nick Of Time don't do better ? It stay in charts all 1991 and 1992 year...
    And soundscan sales of Phil Collins, But Seriously ?
    Again I have done some research on 1989. It was a strange year anyway. Only one album was certified for more than 6 million copies, and this was Pump by Aerosmith. This had the best soundscan sales just beating Janet Jackson with 1,363,000 copies scanned. This is still very poor compared to 1988 and 1990. The only other albums that just may have reached 1m copies are Kenny G - Live, Chicago - Greatest Hits 82-89 and Don Henley - End Of Innocence. Bonnie Riatt and Phil Collins could possibly be in the range 0.5 to 1m. However, like 1983, 1989 contained no albums at all that sell well today. Even the "top album" Rhythm Nation only sold 17,395 copies in 2004!

    The Billboard Catalogue Chart runs to 200 titles. The title at No. 200 can sell as little as 1,000 copies - or about 50,000 per year. I have a few of these charts in different years. In my next posting on this thread I will analyse some of these. They provide vital clues as to what titles sell over time. I will also be looking at Christmas albums which sell for only 3 months of each year, but which can accumulate significant sales over time.
    See Page One of my threads for all updates

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    by Sun April 24th, 2005, 09:32

    Hi Basil! I got some stats on Celine Dion, maybe you can update your database. Those sales are until the W/E 09/01/2005

    Unison 1,214,000
    Celine Dion 2,324,000
    The Colour of my love 4,455,000
    Falling into you 10,786,000
    Let's talk about love 9,368,000
    There are special times 4,578,000
    The Collector's series vol.1 827,090
    A New day has come 3,153,000
    One heart 1,735,000
    A New day - Live in Las Vegas 311,120

    Also, "All the way - A Decade of song" has sold 7,104,000 until the end of February of 2005.

    As we can see, her certifications are REALLY late, specially for "All the way". Just add to those numbers her sales at BMG Music club and you will see how her certifications are late :-?

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    by Sun April 24th, 2005, 18:00

    hi basil and hanboo.

    looking for bee gees soundscan figures.the bee gees have been selling very well since 91 in the us.bee gees greatest have sold even more than sat night fever since 91,thanks in advance .
    MUSIC IS MY PASSION ALONG WITH TENNIS AND I AM A FAMILY MAN .

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    by Sun April 24th, 2005, 18:27

    Anyone have the numbers for all Backstreet Boys albums and singles?
    "Like a calm wind, yet vicious snake."

  19. #44

    by Mon April 25th, 2005, 10:53

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil

    Many thanks Herkenrath. I'm glad you're enjoying the statistics on this thread. A few points to cover

    - I have the Joseph Murrells book, which is unique and very useful.

    - Yellow Submarine Sales are for the original soundtrack. The 1999 Songtrack is the only Beatles CD I don't have a recent figure for. It sold 140,000 before dropping off the chart in 1999. A decent estimate is that is has now sold what it shipped - about 0.5m.

    - Hanboo posted all the Beatles Soundscan figures for me earlier this year. Other ones were

    Please Please Me - 772,000
    With the Beatles - 563,000
    Beatles For Sale - 594,000
    Let It Be - 1,032,000
    Let It Be Naked - 1,027,000
    Past Masters Vol One - 772,000
    Past Masters Vol Two - 1,098,000

    The catalogue came out on CD in 1987 and early 1988. Between then and 1991 when Soundscan started, sales must have been at their peak as Beatles Fans got their hands on CD versions at last. It makes their sales since 1991 even more remarkable - the total is 52m. Between 1987 and 1991 it must have been many more millions.

    As you say, they are full priced - no extras and not available through record clubs.

    The Yellow Submarine Soundtrack was certified for 1 million in 1991, but has scanned more than a million since - due for a re-certification!

    One unfortunate thing is that the riaa combines UK and US versions of their albums for certification. In many cases, although the title is the same, the contents are so altered that they are really very different albums. The quirky nature of the riaa is just one of those things.

    Will be posting Part Four shortly which I hope you'll also find of interest.
    Thank you very much for these figures! Invaluable!

    Forgot I have 2 more Beatles figures for albums that were only on vinyl/cassette

    20 Greatest Hits - 821,000
    Hollywood Bowl - 11,000
    My question regarding these two records: are these soundscan figures? Probably not, as both records had been deleted in 1987.

    Do you happen to know how many copies of George Harrison's triple-LP "All Things Must Pass" have been sold? Bit tricky.

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    by Mon April 25th, 2005, 13:53

    Wow, this is amazing work, Basil! I just had two questions. Shouldn't Eminem be included in the top selling artists list? Here are his SoundScan Sales Figures eff. 4/05:

    Slim Shady: 4,900,000
    Marshall Mathers LP: 9,740,000
    Emimem Show: 9,348,000
    Encore: 4,471,481
    Total: 28,459,481

    Second question: Are Marshall Mathers and Eminem Show still selling well enough to pass 10mm in the next year or so (if you have a breakdown of these albums sales)?

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    by Mon April 25th, 2005, 20:08

    Quote Originally Posted by AutomaticBR
    Hi Basil! I got some stats on Celine Dion, maybe you can update your database. Those sales are until the W/E 09/01/2005

    Unison 1,214,000
    Celine Dion 2,324,000
    The Colour of my love 4,455,000
    Falling into you 10,786,000
    Let's talk about love 9,368,000
    There are special times 4,578,000
    The Collector's series vol.1 827,090
    A New day has come 3,153,000
    One heart 1,735,000
    A New day - Live in Las Vegas 311,120

    Also, "All the way - A Decade of song" has sold 7,104,000 until the end of February of 2005.

    As we can see, her certifications are REALLY late, specially for "All the way". Just add to those numbers her sales at BMG Music club and you will see how her certifications are late :-?
    Thank you Automatic for the figures. My current estimate for total soundscan sales on page one of this thread was 47.2m. Your figures, when added to the french albums comes to 47.1m, so I'm pretty pleased about that.

    The only overdue cert is for decade of song. Now at 6m, club and soundscan total is over 8.2m.

    I'll update the relevant figures on this thread and the other one shortly. I tend to do this about once a week. Now that nearly all the lists are in place, it is vital for me to keep them updated as so many other lists on the net are not just inaccurate, but very old!

    These are just the sort of posts I need to do just this. Thanks again.
    See Page One of my threads for all updates

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    by Mon April 25th, 2005, 20:14

    Quote Originally Posted by juan
    hi basil and hanboo.

    looking for bee gees soundscan figures.the bee gees have been selling very well since 91 in the us.bee gees greatest have sold even more than sat night fever since 91,thanks in advance .
    Juan, didn't you ask this question on page one of this thread? I did reply.

    Hanboo has a few Bee Gees figures, but you must ask him on his US Chart thread to get a reply. I don't even know if he has read this particular thread.

    All the evidence I have is that Saturday Night Fever has sold a lot more than The Greatest album since 1991. I will be posting some figures on the catalogue chart to support this. The figures are not quite ready yet. They will be Part Seven on this thread.

    I don't have an exact figure yet, but I believe SNF has sold more than 3,000,000* soundscan. Wish I could help more.

    *Ha! - I was wrong about this. Hanboo has now come up with a SNF total of 1.7m.
    See Page One of my threads for all updates

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    by Mon April 25th, 2005, 20:19

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterRegal
    Anyone have the numbers for all Backstreet Boys albums and singles?
    The figures for albums are on page one of this thread and

    https://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.p ... 47&start=0

    except for Chapter One. The last figure I saw for that was 1,520,000.

    There are several threads on the chart analysis forum covering US Singles sales and you should find what you are looking for there. Just look through Chart Analysis Index or use Search Function.
    See Page One of my threads for all updates

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    by Mon April 25th, 2005, 20:30

    Quote Originally Posted by Herkenrath
    Quote Originally Posted by Basil

    Forgot I have 2 more Beatles figures for albums that were only on vinyl/cassette

    20 Greatest Hits - 821,000
    Hollywood Bowl - 11,000

    My question regarding these two records: are these soundscan figures? Probably not, as both records had been deleted in 1987.

    Do you happen to know how many copies of George Harrison's triple-LP "All Things Must Pass" have been sold? Bit tricky.
    Thanks Herkenrath. The non-CD Beatles catalogue was not deleted in 1987. The were still available through US distributors until the early 90's. These are therefore Soundscan figures. It means that the rest of their US only albums, plus the 70's compilations will also have soundscan figures, albeit very small ones. So, we don't have the full Beatles soundscan figures yet, although we now have at least 95% of them.

    All Things Must Pass shipped 3m since 1970. I don't have a soundscan figure, but the evidence is that it would be pretty low - certainly less than 1m.
    See Page One of my threads for all updates

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    by Mon April 25th, 2005, 20:52

    Basil.

    you are always a good help ,thanks for everything and for your answer.
    MUSIC IS MY PASSION ALONG WITH TENNIS AND I AM A FAMILY MAN .

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