CSPC: Grease Popularity Analysis

Grease Soundtrack CSPC Results

Movie Soundtrack - Grease (Inner)

So, after checking all figures, you must be looking for how many overall album sales equivalent sold by Grease Soundtrack.

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, Grease singles released in download format sold the equivalent of 951,000 albums – 6,340,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500)

At a massive 52,2 million album sales equivalent, Grease is undoubtedly one of the most successful albums of all-time. A strong contender to be the #2 best selling album ever after Michael Jackson‘s Thriller and the home of gigantic selling physical singles, this total may look lower than expected.

With a total on par with Nirvana‘s Nevermind despite being on sale for 13 more years, our CSPC approach enables us to establish a more accurate way to define which albums are the most successful. Those Grease figures tell us the album has gigantic album sales obviously because it was truly successful, but also thanks to largely favorable circumstances, mostly the absence of a proper replacing compilation.

As a comparison, let use again the Grease vs Saturday Night Fever battle. In their first years, they sold respectively 17 and 25 million copies. Singles of both albums were equally big. During the next three decades, Grease went on to catch in Saturday Night Fever, ultimately outselling it. A natural reasoning would be that Grease album is more popular nowadays. If we check streams from Spotify or YouTube, just like former iTunes results, we notice Saturday Night Fever songs have a lead of about 50% over all Grease songs. How come?

Grease hits have been part of only one UK Top 10 artist best of and it contained only two out of the six initial singles. They were also part of none US Top 10 such compilation. In the other side, Saturday Night Fever hits were part of five UK Top 10 and three US Top 10 Bee Gees compilations, three such packages sold over 1 million units in each countries. In fact, the Bee Gees sold roughly 40 million copies of their compilation and live albums, most of them on the back of Fever smashes. So, although Grease album has been outselling Saturday Night Fever in terms of albums sales, do you still think it necessarily means it is more successful nowadays?  Well, definitely not. Our upcoming Bee Gees CSPC article will end up proving it!

Do not forget to check our amazing lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge its position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, Chartmasters.org.

5 thoughts on “CSPC: Grease Popularity Analysis”

  1. Hello MJD,
    Gigantic success for this album, but less impressive than I imagined. I was sure that its CSPC total would be greater than Led Zeppelin IV.
    In this article “http://chartmasters.org/2016/04/france-best-selling-albums-ever-summary-1970-1979/7/”, you wrote that Grease OST total in France was 2.64m, and here it’s only 2.04m. Is it a typo, or did you find another data?

      1. Hi Luminator!

        I’ll be doing it as part of Whitney breakdown, both her own Bodyguard count related to her tracks only and the total of the comprehensive album.

    1. Hello Tony!

      The edition of both Grease and Saturday Night Fever France sales articles is ongoing at the moment. In fact I have solid evidences that all figures reported from 1978 to 1984 about both albums were done using the discs count rather than albums count, meaning all figures were doubled! I also downgraded that way figures of New-Zealand, Netherlands, Sweden and more posted on Billboard, all of them doubled as well!

  2. I’v always thought that Olivia was the first to benefit from the success of the movie and its music. She acquired Pop immortality that her previous MOR hits would not have granted. With this soundtrack she won grammy and academy awards nominations and most of all she enjoyed a few years of international pop stardom and reached Europe and South-America.

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