CSPC: Led Zeppelin Popularity Analysis

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Original Album Sales – Comments

1969 Led Zeppelin I – 15,800,000
1969 Led Zeppelin II – 21,900,000
1970 Led Zeppelin III – 13,700,000
1971 Led Zeppelin IV – 36,800,000
1973 Houses Of The Holy – 17,700,000
1975 Physical Graffiti – 13,400,000
1976 Presence – 7,300,000
1979 In Through The Out Door – 11,500,000
1982 Coda – 3,400,000

No need to comment much as numbers speak by themselves. A very impressive pattern of sales, especially for their first 5 albums, or even 6 when one considers that Physical Graffiti is a double album. At 36,8 million Led Zeppelin IV is firmly established as one of the very best selling albums ever on its own, whilst Led Zeppelin II comes second with 21,9 million copies. Houses Of The Holy at 17,7 million, Led Zeppelin I at 15,8 million,  Led Zeppelin III at 13,7 million and Physical Graffiti at 13,4 million rank behind those two.

The softest part of their catalogue relates to their later material, even though Presence and especially In Through The Out Door achieved good sales. Coda is included above but it wouldn’t really be fair to classify it as a proper studio album. In fact, it is listed here to provide you more information but will be added to Orphan Album tally.

As far as worldwide sales are concerned, North America is by far their biggest market. Those 9 albums combined for 96,9 million copies sold there, a sizable 68% of their overall results. UK, Japan, Germany and France are – not surprisingly – amongst their best markets in absolute terms. In relative terms, however, Oceania and parts of Scandinavia are up there, albeit with smaller total sales due to their market’s size.

All told, the above 9 albums managed to sell a breathtaking 142,6 million combined. But their appeal doesn’t quite stop there. And that is what comes next.

11 thoughts on “CSPC: Led Zeppelin Popularity Analysis”

  1. Massive sales and success for a gigantic band (one of my favorite)! I really hope that the same analysis will be done for artists like The Beatles, MJ, Elvis (very difficult and long job, I imagine) and Pink Floyd, the numbers will be insane!
    Just a observation: European sales seems a bit low. For example, the total in Europe for “Presence” is 1.46m, and the total of all European countries given here is 1.46m too.

    1. Hello Tony!

      Indeed some data glitch, although totals weren’t impacted for some reason French sales and its related weighting for Belgium sales were excluded from European totals, this is now fixed!

      While I really hope to do such a job on all major artists even more now that I have a great help from Hernan, working on Elvis catalog would be a nightmare 😉

  2. Where are sales information sales from country’s like Brasil, Poland etc?
    Led Zeppelin sales in Brasil:
    Led Zeppelin IV – GOLD album. 250’000 copies sold
    Led Zeppelin Remasters – GOLD album. 100’000 copies sold
    Led Zeppelin How The West Was Won – GOLD album. 50’000 copies sold
    Led Zeppelin Celebration Day CD – PLATINUM album. 40’000 copies sold
    Led Zeppelin Celebration Day DVD – PLATINUM album. 30’000 copies sold
    Led Zeppelin DVD – DIAMOND DVD. 100’000 copies sold.
    http://www.abpd.org.br/home/certificados/?busca_artista=led+zeppelin

    Led Zeppelin sales in Poland:
    Led Zeppelin Mothesrship – PLATINUM album. 20’000 copies sold
    Led Zeppelin Celebration Day – DIAMOND album. 100’000 copies sold
    http://bestsellery.zpav.pl/wyroznienia/diamentoweplyty/cd/archiwum.php?year=2012#title

    1. Hello Zbig,

      Great to see you here.

      The purpose was to list only a sample of countries, some of the most representative ones, plus a few others for which there is enough information to estimate the sales accordingly.

      Some countries aren’t listed above, like Poland, but they were considered for the final worldwide albums sales.

      Anyway, something that is very important to know: in both Brazil and Poland, certifications are based on the amount of discs contained on each release. Eg., each double album counts as two copies sold, triple albums as three copies sold, etc. Most of those Led Zeppelin titles are hit by this systen of multiple counting.

      Regardless, all countries are included in the worldwide totals, even those that don’t show up on the albums’ breakdowns.

      Thanks for your message.

  3. Hi dear MJD !!!!
    I hope you have spent a merry christmas and a happy new year, then I believe that there are small errors in the stream of Led Zeppelin and U2, for Led Zeppelin there are not songs like “10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod Pod”,”Hey, Hey, What Can I Do” and “St. Tristan’s Sword” in streaming; while for U2 there are not some songs of the album Rattle and Hum, then I would understand why U2 Wide Awake In America (EP) and the Unforgettable Fire collection you evaluate them half of their copies sold.
    I think that their total CSPC with these corrections change a little bit !!!

    1. Hi Anthony!

      I’m currently trying to complete David Bowie analysis for the anniversary of his death. After that, I’ll focus on fixing those errors, thanks for spotting them!

      1. Hi MJD !!!

        Congratulations for CSPC analysis of David Bowie. Your analysis are always very detailed,articulated and fantastic. Then I hope that now you can correct those errors about U2 and Led Zeppelin; is a bit of time that you analyze only singers.
        I bet that you will analyze the next group will be the Eagles considering that Glenn Frey died January 18, 2016 !!!

  4. Hi dear MJD !!!
    I would like to know when you correct the errors of the stream that are missing to Led Zeppelin and U2.
    Then for U2 there is not a complete sale of Wide Awake In America (EP), The Unforgettable Fire collection and Innocence and Experience +: Live In Paris.
    I hope you answer me and correct the CSPC total for Led Zeppelin and U2; you said that after the analysis of David Bowie you would have corrected these errors.

  5. 70% sold in America. Which confirms my theory of Led Zeppelin being one of the most overrated bands of all time. Take 1 country out of the equation, and they are no longer considered gods, but fall down to the level of Bon Jovi or Guns n Roses.

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