CSPC: Green Day Popularity Analysis


Green Day

So, after checking all figures, how many overall equivalent album sales each Green Day album achieved? Well, at this point we barely need to do the addition of all figures defined all over this article!

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, American Idiot singles released in digital format sold the equivalent of 2,655,000 albums – 17,700,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500)

If the domination of both Dookie and American Idiot isn’t a surprise, their overall tally of over 25 million and over 21 million respectively is pretty impressive. One may try to point out how much they failed to reproduce such figures but in any case those two albums alone are responsible for more equivalent album sales than full discographies of various popular artists.

Their supposedly weaker albums are far from being ridiculous too. Nimrod is up to a solid 8 million total figure while all Insomniac, Warning and 21st Century Breakdown are in a respectable 4-6 million range.

Each of their last three albums failed to break the million milestone, but hope isn’t lost yet as Revolution Radio is still being promoted and should hit that mark at some point, possibly during 2017.



The cumulative total of Green Day climbs up to 81,15 million equivalent albums. This figure puts them in the same league as the likes Shania Twain and Adele. Among rock bands of the last 30 years, they are way below the Guns N’ Roses at 117 million, close to both Nirvana at 90 million and Coldplay at 83 million, while topping Linkin Park 74 million figure. Additional bands including Oasis and Radiohead still need to be studied but will appear nowhere near to Green Day, which proves the strong universal appeal of the latter band. Following pages list their most successful songs.

Do not forget to check our amazing lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge their position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, Chartmasters.org.

10 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 😉


            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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