CSPC: Wham! & George Michael Popularity Analysis

Make It Big

Original Album Sales – Comments – Wham!

1983 Fantastic – 3,750,000
1984 Make It Big – 14,000,000
1986 Music from the Edge of Heaven – 1,700,000

Selling 19,45 million with just 3 albums was no easy task during the first music industry crisis that happened after the disco collapse in the early 80s. The giant part of that amount goes to Make It Big which was home to both global smashes Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Careless Whisper. Interestingly, George Michael’s star was so big that this latter hit was credited to George Michael ft. Wham!.

A real teen sensation, the duet destroyed the competition in various countries. It was one of the first albums to break the million milestone in Japan, also being one of the first foreign albums to move relevant numbers in countries like China and India.

Sales of Music from the Edge of Heaven seem abysmal though, even more so considering it featured Last Christmas. This is due to the very bizarre release strategy adopted at the time. That package was issued only in American and Asian continents, whilst still missing some markets in those continents. Instead, remaining countries including Europe and Australia got the package The Final. That record included the biggest hits of the two previous albums plus the full album Music from the Edge of Heaven. As such, we will meet it again within the other full length releases – compilations, live albums, videos – later on in this article. Combined, the two packages will give back much more justice to this album’s success.

14 thoughts on “CSPC: Wham! & George Michael Popularity Analysis”

  1. Thank you very much for those figures. “Make it big” is very underrated, it’s crazy.
    There’s another reason why no one should doubt about Wham!’s figures being included into George Michael’s total sale numbers : he wrote and co-produced 90% of each Wham! album. Unfortunately, most people tend to think Wham! was a teen-pop band a la Spice Girls whereas they were closer to bands like Take That for the leading singer (that was George Michael) was a real artist who wrote and produced the band’s songs. Sadly enough, his death is the occasion to consider the quality and real dimension of George Michael’s talent.

  2. Thanks for those interesting figures. May I dare to think that Wham Japanese sales are underestimated.
    From oricon’ stats alone “Music From The Edge Of Heaven” is over 180.000 in 2004.

    1. Hi Grendizer,

      Thanks for spotting out! Going across my Excel spreadsheet, someway I glitched out non-LP sales for its original run. I’ll update the article as it should be 🙂

      Thanks again!

  3. Older was certified 7x platinum in Denmark recently. Do you know if this means 350,000 (since many associations certify according to the release date) or 140,000 (looks like IFPI Denmark are certifing platinum when records sold 20,000 since 2012…)? Thank You. 😉

      1. Exactly, George did 90% of the wham work on his own therefore makes it HIS, even Billboard counts the wham hits as George’s, so even they the tea.

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