Iron Butterfly – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)
Claimed Sales – 30,000,000
Estimated Sales – 7,800,000
With In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida I’m introducing a group of eight albums pretty difficult to estimate. What’s safe is how inflated their sales claims have been.
Likely one of the most absurd fake claim ever relates to Iron Butterfly record In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, released in 1968. This album was a massive success in the US with a #4 peak, 49 weeks inside the Top 10 and 140 consecutive weeks Top 200. It also remained some kind of mid-range perennial catalog seller.
Its sales have been heavily used in order to promote the record and the band. Very early, it got communicated as the first ever Platinum album in the US, which is obviously a wrong claim as not only many other albums sold 1 million in the US before that one, it also got awarded an official RIAA Platinum plaque in 1993 only. Sales-wise, claims are now up to an incredible – in many aspects – 30 million units.
What’s interesting is to notice how the band label always carefully audited the album sales in order ot keep it certified and feed this legend even in countries where it performed poorly. As a result, it got audited in 1993 in the US at 4xPlatinum, representing 4 million units, in 2004 in the UK as Silver, 60,000, Gold in 1980 and Platinum in 2004 in Germany for 500,000 copies, Gold in 1977 in France for 100,000 copies, Platinum at 70,000 units in Australia in 2001 and so on.
All in all, the album total sales must be approaching 8 million units as of 2016. Still some way until 10 million, and still a huge, huge way before reaching 30 million!