CSPC: Billy Joel Popularity Analysis

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Digital Singles Sales

Apart from looking at the old physical singles sales, in order to have a more complete perspective of what those songs’ appeal is, we also need to further inspect in his digital downloads sales, a format now in decline but which was significant from about 2006 to 2013 and is worth getting into.

This isn’t one of his biggest avenues. But he still sold around 21 million units worldwide.

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1 ratio between one album and one digital single.

Cold Spring Harbor (1972) – 40,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 400,000

Piano Man (1973) – 400,000 equivalent albums

Piano Man – 3,200,000
Remaining tracks – 800,000

Streetlife Serenade (1974) – 90,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 900,000

Turnstiles (1976) – 100,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 1,000,000

The Stranger (1977) – 450,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 4,500,000

52nd Street (1978) – 100,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 1,000,000

Glass Houses (1980) – 120,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 1,200,000

The Nylon Curtain (1982) – 50,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 500,000

An Innocent Man (1983) – 340,000 equivalent albums

Uptown Girl – 2,000,000
Remaining tracks – 1,400,000

The Bridge (1986) – 30,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 300,000

Storm Front (1989) – 240,000 equivalent albums

We Didn’t Start The Fire – 1,750,000
Remaining tracks – 650,000

River Of Dreams (1993) – 90,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 900,000

Orphan Album – 50,000 equivalent albums

Total tracks – 500,000

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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