CSPC: Pink Floyd Popularity Analysis

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Pink Floyd Forever

Original Album Sales – Comments

1967 The Piper at the Gates of Dawn – 2,450,000
1968 A Saucerful of Secrets – 1,900,000
1969 More – 2,700,000
1969 Ummagumma – 5,050,000
1970 Atom Heart Mother – 5,700,000
1971 Meddle – 7,950,000
1972 Obscured by Clouds – 3,600,000
1973 The Dark Side of the Moon – 43,300,000
1975 Wish You Were Here – 22,300,000
1977 Animals – 12,150,000
1979 The Wall – 31,300,000
1983 The Final Cut – 6,800,000
1987 A Momentary Lapse of Reason – 10,200,000
1994 The Division Bell – 11,550,000
2014 The Endless River – 2,650,000

Over the course of 47 years, The 15 studio LPs of Pink Floyd moved the unbelievable total of 169,6 million copies. May I say this tops the 160,65 million studio albums sold by the Beatles?

An average of 11,3 million is truly stunning. It is even more incredible considering the circumstances. As many as 7 of those albums came out before the explosion of the group’s popularity and during a singles-axed era, selling well under 1 million copies during their promotional campaigns. The first two albums were mostly deleted too during the golden days of the band given A Nice Pair box set replaced them. This set is considered within the compilations category coming later. 2014’s The Endless River came out in a disastrous market environment and contains almost exclusively instrumentals. Also, the band stopped releasing new albums while they were still massively popular. 2 or 3 additional albums issued in the period of 1995-2005 would have done wonders, possibly pushing the tally all the way up to 200 million.

Owning one album which is a 43,3 million seller obviously helps in building an average as impressive as theirs. This figure eclipses the 41,1 million sales of The Bodyguard soundtrack which was the top selling album in original format studied so far. No need to say Michael Jackson’s Thriller still needs to be added to this tally.

At 22,3 million, Wish You Were Here would be the blockbuster album of many giant artists. For Pink Floyd however, it is a distant third.

Out of a near 170 million total, there is tons of individual figures of note in those albums breakdowns. Consequently, before moving into the physical singles sales category, let’s go back to some key numbers like Dark Side of the Moon sales in the UK or in Italy. After that, I’ll be displaying sales timelines of the band’s biggest albums, e.g. their sales up to various dates, to better gauge their initial reception as well as their appeal in the long run.

8 thoughts on “CSPC: Pink Floyd Popularity Analysis”

  1. Hi MJD!

    Glad you’re back! It’s been a long wait and it was quite worth it!

    Regarding Pink Floyd’s sales, I have to say their album sales are excellent! 80m+ in both the US and Europe is mind-blowing! They also managed huge sales in almost everywhere except Asia, but that can be explained by the weak market during their peak.

    Still, I was rather disappointed with their performance on other formats. 8,8m physical singles is very low compared to acts of the same time frame, especially since the singles market was huge at the time. I guess not releasing so many singles led to their extraordinary album sales, but The Wall is a perfect example of both huge album sales and singles sales. If they had relased more singles, they probably would end up having slightly less album sales, but much higher album sales equivalents from singles sales.

    I’m not sure how to judge their digital results though. While 23m downloads is quite good considering that the band is already quite old, it pales a lot compared to their album sales. I even find their streaming results more impressive than their download results.

    Lastly, with nearly 170m coming from studio album sales, this format takes up 75% of their total results. What other artists have such a huge proportion of their total results belonging to this format?

    The only acts i can think of right now that would be above Pink Floyd’s are Elvis, Michael Jackson and Queen. Not sure about Sir Elton John though. That means Pink Floyd is most likely in the Top 10.

    What other analysis/updates/projects are you planning to do next?

  2. Great article! I have a question, is it the THE WALL and Moon era the biggest era of all time ? Or Michael’s Thillir era 1983-1985 or Beatles’ 1965-1969 or Celine’s 1996- 1999?

    1. Hi Skkywill!

      I’m not sure to fully understand your question, how do you define ‘era’? Are you referring to a period time-frame or a set of consecutive albums?

      1. time-frame, biggest CSPC sales during their peak time, of course, considered market size and number of album and sales., It’s hard to credit Swift’s era., but adele’s era is 2011-2012, Bad is no doubt an incredible era, but despite of how biggest Thillir is, its, era didnt last 1982—1988, but two era, Whitney as well. era credited for consecutive Year end chart run of artist’s record

  3. outstanding numbers! it is worth mentioning that they are the second artist on your list to have two 40+ million CSPC albums after Celine. Of course in their case, they almost have both their albums over 50 million which is a ridiculous result. Do you reckon any other artist of those left apart from Michael Jackson to have 2 albums generate over 40 million CSPC units (let alone 50 million!!)?

  4. time-frame, biggest CSPC sales during their peak time, of course, considered market size and number of album and sales., It’s hard to credit Swift’s era., but adele’s era is 2011-2012, Bad is no doubt an incredible era, but despite of how biggest Thillir is, its, era didnt last 1982—1988, but two era, Whitney as well. era credited for consecutive Year end chart run of artist’s records

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