CSPC: Wham! & George Michael Popularity Analysis


Original Album Sales – Comments – George Michael

1987 Faith – 18,850,000
1990 Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 – 7,800,000
1996 Older – 8,650,000
1999 Songs from the Last Century – 2,750,000
2004 Patience – 2,700,000

Passing away almost 30 years after his debut solo album, George Michael still released only five LPs, one of them being a cover album. That one, Songs from the Last Century, broke the artist’s status of being an active monster selling act. In fact, his first three records sold a combined 35,3 million copies while the latter two only push that mark to 40,75 million.

More often than not, sales distribution within all markets of an artist remains quite linear over the years. It wasn’t at all the case for the pop legend. Faith was an absolute blockbuster in North America, selling 12 million units there. Barely a decade after the end of that era, Songs from the Last Century was struggling to break the 200,000 units barrier in the same markets despite the all-time US peak market 1999 as a background.

On the other side, up to Older his sales remained brilliant in Europe with the 1996 set even topping Faith’s sales on the old continent.

17 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.

  4. I hope you combine genesis/phil collins ………….and
    Rod Stewart/Faces/Jeff Beck (Truth/Beck Ola albums)
    Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac (starting in 1975 with “Fleetwood Mac”) the same way 🙂

  5. What I find impressive, even tho he fell off in the states, he was still selling amazingly everywhere else, proving…you can still be global without trumps’s america… 🙂

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