Original Album Sales – Comments
2000 Parachutes – 10,100,000
2002 A Rush of Blood to the Head – 13,700,000
2005 X&Y – 11,900,000
2008 Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends – 9,700,000
2011 Mylo Xyloto – 6,300,000
2014 Ghost Stories – 3,350,000
2015 A Head Full of Dreams – 3,450,000
From its August 2002 release to the end of March 2003 A Rush Of Blood To The Head sold 5,6 million copies worldwide. By March 31 2004, it was up to 9,1 million copies. Why do I mention those old figures from EMI Annual Reports?
Mostly for two reasons.
First because it shows very well how the combination of a modern day classic plus the absence of a greatest hits package generates massive catalog sales, as this album is now up to a huge 13,7 million units.
Second because it reveals most recent albums, like A Head Full Of Dreams, aren’t complete bombs in comparison. In fact, it sold roughly 40% of the amount sold by A Rush Of Blood To The Head in the same time-frame despite a worst market environment for album sales that will appear clear later in this article with A Head Full Of Dreams benefiting way more from streaming than 2002 blockbuster.
The same can be said of pretty much all their albums. All of them were proportionally successful upon release – although Parachutes had yet to break the main audience outside a few countries like the UK – and all of them keep going strong year after year. Coldplay‘s catalog popularity added to that compilation unavailability is doing wonders, pushing their studio albums sales up to 58,5 million units, an impressive average of nearly 8,4 million copies per album, a tally that continues growing every single day.