CSPC: Green Day Popularity Analysis

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Physical Singles Sales

Despite amassing as many as 11 US #1 hits on the Alternative Songs list, which is based on radio airplay on themed stations, Green Day hardly sold anything in the physical singles format in their home country due to the absence of such releases.

Indeed, in the US at least, they never had a proper single issued. In Europe, they exploded later when that market was already vanishing. All in all, that’s not really good indicators. This situation concludes on a mere 3 million physical singles sold to date.

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

Physical Singles Sales
Dookie (1994) – 276,000 equivalent albums

Longview – 100,000
Welcome to Paradise – 120,000
Basket Case – 400,000
She – 100,000
When I Come Around – 200,000

Insomniac (1995) – 55,500 equivalent albums

Stuck with Me – 60,000
Geek Stink Breath – 75,000
Brain Stew / Jaded – 50,000

Nimrod (1997) – 168,000 equivalent albums

Hitchin’ a Ride – 100,000
Redundant – 60,000
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – 400,000

Warning (2000) – 78,000 equivalent albums

Warning – 125,000
Waiting – 60,000
Minority – 75,000

American Idiot (2004) – 255,000 equivalent albums

American Idiot – 200,000
Jesus of Suburbia – 50,000
Holiday – 100,000
Boulevard of Broken Dreams – 300,000
Wake Me Up When September Ends – 200,000

21st Century Breakdown (2009) – 21,000 equivalent albums

Know Your Enemy – 25,000
21 Guns – 25,000
Remaining Singles – 20,000

Orphan – 60,000 equivalent albums

The Saints Are Coming – 150,000
Remaining Singles – 50,000

9 thoughts on “CSPC: Green Day Popularity Analysis”

  1. Great work MJD, Anthony and Hernan!

    Green Day is an interesting case to read and study! Starting so slow, they became so massive with Dookie! The following 3 albums did well, and then they became massive again with American Idiot! I have to say, while Dookie is more successful, I consider American Idiot as their most impressive album in their catalog in terms of success, because they achieved it so deep into their career, and that that album is their only one that spawned numerous sizable hits!

    Regarding American Idiot, could you tell me whether it is the best selling and most successful album released in 2004? I remember Usher’s Confessions album was ahead of American Idiot in terms of album sales before, but has catalog sales changed that lead? I also suppose Confessions is the only album that can rival American Idiot as the most successful album released in 2004, since other successful alums that year (Eg. Eminem, Norah Jones etc.) fell behind Green Day.

    Regarding their physical singles sales, I was surprised to see them being so low in that format, despite having success in the 90’s, where that format was very healthy. I suppose as rock bands, their main fort in singles is airplay, which comes to my attention. I would like to ask why don’t you factor airplay in the CSPC analysis? Does airplay not have any value in the music industry? It’s still a way of consumption of music, and the success of airplay is factored in numerous singles charts worldwide, so why shouldn’t airplay be factored into the success of an album? I think that it would compensate lots of acts, most notably rock acts and acts who were successful in the early 2000’s, a time when both the physical singles and digital downloads markets were abysmal and the main determination of a single’s success was airplay.

    Finally, I love how you’ve updated the format of your analysis! Still, there are a few suggestions I would like to make. Firstly, would it be possible to post your overall Asian sales in the album sales breakdown like you did with Europe? Also, would it be possible for you to post Asian countries (aside from Japan) in your album sales breakdown as well. I think this is most favorable to acts like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Mariah Carey etc. who achieved tremendous success in that particular continent, and it would save you some time from posting it in the comment sections when asked. Also, regarding album sales, I saw that Green Day had impressive and stable success in countries like Japan, and wanted to know how much they sold in total in Japan, but I had to go back to each page and calculate that total. Hence, do you mind summing up how much an act sold in each continent/main countries after all your album sales breakdown? I hope that wouldn’t be too much work.

    Anyway, looking forward for your upcoming projects! Mind telling us which act(s) you’re going to analyze next?

    1. Hi Raffi!

      Very precise and detailed views as usual! Thanks for your continuous suggestions which are really helpful 🙂

      About Green Day physical singles sales, you need to consider none of their hits got released in the US. They were also not popular during the 90s in France, a huge market for that format. This limits a lot their potential of sales on this category.

      About Asian sales, at least for big 90s pop stars this can be done as we do have such information. For most other artists sadly the info about continental Asian sales are just too disparate to commit in detailing figures. For older / rock acts most of the time we have to handle it with only a few popularity indicators (like Hong Kong old certs, recent Korean shipments, tours, gaps between known sales elsewhere and global shipment when known etc) to gauge if the act did proportionally weaker, as well or better than in Japan. I’ll be following your suggestion as soon as an album has enough information to do so!

      About Airplay, they do bring some money for the industry. To be honest, I just don’t see a reliable / accurate way to count it. Depending on the country / era / catalog-new, this is just way too complex with too little information available. Indirectly, this ends up being weighted in a bit since as you mention airplay impacts some rankings like the Hot 100, so when estimating single sales for old records on the back of those lists hits which got big airplay will get rewarded a more favorable figure.

      About cumulative tallies per country, surely this can be done. I still need to see how I’ll handle “the holes” – for example Swiss sales pre-1983, sales off the radar of some compilations here and there, often known in the US but not elsewhere etc, all those figures displayed as “N/A” in breakdowns. Depending on the act / country, this part of the discography with no figure may be tiny or big. At least a range for smallest countries with no data, while I can surely commit on a precise figure for countries like the US, the UK or France.

      About the next act coming, hmm may I only say that it will be What some users Want 😉

      1. What some users Wants? Is that perhaps a reference to Christina Aguilera?😉 If so, pretty excited for it! Been dying to know whether her debut or Stripped was the more successful album, and how she compared with her peers

          1. Only a few days left to see if one of you is correct 😉

            @Raffi,

            In the middle of such a message I was sure I missed one question! About the biggest album from 2004, yes I fully expect American Idiot to be the one as Confessions would most likely fall below in a CSPC logic!

  2. These rankings are simply amazing! Thanks for all the work! I just discovered your page and can’t stop reading. I’m a big fan!

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