CSPC: Led Zeppelin Popularity Analysis



So, after checking all figures, what’s the most successful album by Led Zeppelin and how many overall albums sales equivalent have they achieved? Well, at this point we barely need to do the addition of all figures defined all over this article!

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, Presence singles released in physical format sold the equivalent of 30,000 albums – 100,000 sales with a 10 to 3 weighting.

Led Zeppelin is often ranked with the likes Metallica and AC/DC, meaning bands enjoying large catalog sales thanks to the lack of proper compilation albums. This is just untrue with a huge 44 million sales of such records. The fact those sales got spread over several compilations, box sets, live albums and strong music videos concludes on the absence of a very big selling greatest hits, but their overall total is strong.

Out of this total, Led Zeppelin IV is easily the main contributor and as such got fairly rewarded nearly 40% of those sales. If its single segment accounts for less than 1,5 million units all formats considered, the full length records sold on the back of Led Zeppeling IV songs amount for a gigantic 55 million units. Overall this 1971 blockbuster cracks Nirvana‘s Nevermind which was the leading CSPC album out of all those which got studied so far.

While such outstanding results may eclipse the discography of many acts, the rest of Led Zeppelin catalog is equally impressive. In fact, each of their 8 studio albums generated the average of 24,35 million equivalent album sales. If some artists did so over a 3-4 albums discography, doing it over a 8-albums list is massive.

All in all, the cumulative tally of Led Zeppelin is up to 198,9 million album sales equivalent. Considering their yearly sales rate, it won’t be so long before they get into the 200-million territory. You can clear all your doubts, Led Zeppelin is definitely in the A-League of all-time top sellers.

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

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, Chartmasters.org.

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.

    Led Zeppelin sales in Poland:
    Led Zeppelin Mothesrship – PLATINUM album. 20’000 copies sold
    Led Zeppelin Celebration Day – DIAMOND album. 100’000 copies sold

    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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