Original Album Sales – Comments
1971 Cold Spring Harbor – 1,100,000
1973 Piano Man – 6,700,000
1974 Streetlife Serenade – 1,700,000
1976 Turnstiles – 2,900,000
1977 The Stranger – 15,300,000
1978 52nd Street – 13,300,000
1980 Glass Houses – 11,000,000
1982 The Nylon Curtain – 4,900,000
1983 An Innocent Man – 13,000,000
1986 The Bridge – 4,400,000
1989 Storm Front – 7,900,000
1993 River Of Dreams – 9,000,000
Overall, Billy Joel released 12 studio albums which accumulated a massive 91,4 million sales combined.
In terms of markets, he was the first solo artist to truly break the main audience of non-English speaking countries. The first international act to ever release officially an album in China, he was also the first to release an album on CD format in the world when The Stranger came out in Japan in 1982. Often regarded as a pure American act, Billy Joel has been an incredible seller and opened the door to foreign artists in various places.
Figures listed here don’t consider Fantasies & Delusions which is counted in Orphan category during upcoming pages. Speaking of which, and as explained in the introduction, Billy Joel‘s appeal doesn’t quite stop here given that he also boasts quite a huge catalogue of physical singles, compilations, live albums, box sets, music videos and, more recently, also digital downloads and streaming. Getting into those formats is the only way to truly have a perspective of his real status in the business. And that comes just next.