CSPC: Billy Joel Popularity Analysis

Billy Joel - Uptown Girl

Physical Singles Sales

By this point, it should be clear that the piano man isn’t only about albums sales. Far from that. If for someone like him it is almost imperative -as explained- to analyze his whole catalogue of records, one of the biggest avenues to go through is the physical singles.

With a very strong collection of massive hit singles, Billy Joel has sold over 36 million of them in physical form.

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Cold Spring Harbor (1972) – 60,000 equivalent albums

She’s Got A Way – 200,000

Piano Man (1973) – 330,000 equivalent albums

Piano Man – 500,000
Worse Come To Worst, Travelin’ Prayer & The Ballad Of Billy The Kid – 600,000

Streetlife Serenade (1974) – 150,000 equivalent albums

The Entertainer – 500,000

Turnstiles (1976) – 240,000 equivalent albums

Say Goodbye To Hollywood James – 800,000

The Stranger (1977) – 1,665,000 equivalent albums

Just The Way You Are – 2,500,000
Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) – 800,000
Only The Good Die Young – 600,000
She’s Always A Woman – 900,000
The Stranger – 750,000

52nd Street (1978) – 1,410,000 equivalent albums

My Life – 2,400,000
Big Shot & Until The Night – 800,000
Honesty – 1,500,000

Glass Houses (1980) – 1,380,000 equivalent albums

All For Leyna &  Sometimes A Fantasy – 500,000
You May Be Right – 1,000,000
It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me – 2,300,000
Don’t Ask Me Why – 800,000

The Nylon Curtain (1982) – 450,000 equivalent albums

Pressure & Goodnight Saigon – 900,000
Allentown – 600,000

An Innocent Man (1983) – 2,265,000 equivalent albums

Tell Her About It – 1,750,000
Uptown Girl – 3,500,000
An Innocent Man – 1,000,000
The Longest Time – 600,000
Leave A Tender Moment Alone, This Night Keeping The Faith – 700,000

The Bridge (1986) – 615,000 equivalent albums

Modern Woman – 600,000
A Matter Of Trust – 750,000
This Is The Time Baby Grand – 700,000

Storm Front (1989) – 915,000 equivalent albums

We Didn’t Start The Fire – 1,700,000
I Go To Extremes – 650,000
Leningrad, The Downeaster Alexa, That’s Not Her Style, And So It Goes Shameless – 700,000

River Of Dreams (1993) – 840,000 equivalent albums

The River Of Dreams – 2,300,000
All About SoulNo Man’s Land Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) – 500,000

Orphan Album – 750,000 equivalent albums

You’re Only Woman (Second Wind) – 800,000
The Night Is Still Young – 500,000
All Shook Up – 200,000
Other physical singles – 1,000,000

8 thoughts on “CSPC: Billy Joel Popularity Analysis”

  1. Great article, as usual. Just to let you know, there’s a typo on the Glass Houses page in regards to the US figure, it’s listed as 760,000.

  2. Hi Hernán! I have to say you did an amazing job on this article! Billy Joel’s sales are more impressive than i expected!

    However, I want to point out some certain mistake(s) you made. On page 8, for your estimation on Glass Houses, you have the US sales at 760,000, but the worldwide sales at 11,000,000? I’m guessing there’s a zero missing on that US figure. Otherwise, the remaining millions must come from Asia and Africa, which i find doubtful.

    Also, on page 15, the The Stranger album’s singles sold 5,55m, a 1,665m album equivalent than 1,65m

    Anyway, keep up the good work! Looking forward for the next article!

  3. Thanks both for your fixes!

    Raffi, you should get some work in data mining area, your ability to find out such specific errors impresses me 😉

  4. Hi dears MJD and Hernàn !!!

    congratulations again for the website and also for CSPC analysis of Billy Joel, I know that I will also be analyzed the new Nobel Prize for Literature (Bob Dylan), I am very happy, but I’m very curious to see also analyzed groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Pink Floyd, Eagles, Abba, Bee Gees, Aerosmith, AC / DC, Bon Jovi. I hope these groups will be analyzed very early because I would like to note the various differences for CSPC analysis and see who has sold more records !!!!

  5. Very interesting. I would like to ask if you have more details concerning his sales in Japan?
    Where does the figures of his first lp come from?
    How do you estimate the sales of his LPs?

    I noticed that some of his back catalogue albums were certified without charting like “52 nd street” or “the stranger” and even the “Honesty” single re-issue from 1990.

    Any explanation why he is so popular in Japan?

  6. These reports look really cool- but is there any way to view them on one page, rather than having to click thirty smaller pages?
    Thanks either way!

  7. Hi MJD and Hernán! I would like to ask you about Billy Joel’s sales.

    According to your album breakdowns, Billy Joel sold an impressive number of albums in Japan. Also, when i deduct the worldwide total of his albums from his heydays to the countries listed, there is a remaining 1-2m+ in sales, and I’m guessing a majority of those sales come from South East Asia.

    What I’m asking is that could you provide a breakdown per album for his albums in Asia here in the comments section like you did with Britney Spears. Could you also tell me which countries in Asia did Billy Joel had good sales in? Also, how high would Billy Joel rank in the biggest selling international artist in Japan and Asia overall?

    Thank You!

  8. Hi Raffi!

    Sadly for such old albums and with someone like Billy Joel, who is covered nowhere near the likes Michael Jackson or Madonna, there is too little information to answer accurately your questions, we can only work out with proportions with markets.

    What I can confirm is that he was indeed widely popular all over Asia. Most of his albums went Platinum in Hong Kong while he was also as mentioned the first international artist ever to see his albums officially issued in China. I have read various articles from Southeast Asian coverage referring to him as a huge seller, although with no specific figure.

    Basically as a rough guide, the proportion would be 1 to 0,7 between Japan and rest of Asia. He is among the Top 10 international sellers ever in Japan.

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