CSPC Battle: 1975 Monster Rock Albums

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Original Album Sales – Comments

01 Pink FloydWish You Were Here – 23,100,000
02 Led ZeppelinPhysical Graffiti – 13,400,000
03 QueenA Night At The Opera – 11,700,000
04 Bruce SpringsteenBorn To Run – 11,200,000
05 AerosmithToys In The Attic – 10,500,000

As you can easily notice, Wish You Were Here is by very far the most successful album of the pack while the remaining albums are close to each other with Physical Graffiti leading the pack. Wait! That’s wrong. As explained in the introduction of the CSPC, best sellers and most successful are different subjects. 

Wish You Were Here faced no compilation album of Pink Floyd until Echoes was released in 2001 and that one hasn’t sold that much. Physical Graffiti competition came in 1990 with Remasters, which hasn’t sold too much either. In the other side, A Night At The Opera generated tons of greatest hits sales from 1980. So did hits from Toys In The Attic, from 1980 as well with Greatest Hits release. Bruce Springsteen album Born To Run is a bit in-between as it was covered only by Live 1975-85 released in 1986 and Greatest Hits from 1995, both competing the studio album quite late but both sold solid amounts.

Singles-wise, only Queen had a true big hit with Bohemian Rhapsody, and on a minor scale Aerosmith with Walk This Way. Pink Floyd set had no physical single released at all, facilitating its album sales.

From the next pages we will see how much all different releases and formats impact the view of those albums popularity. The point is not to get lost into too many figures nor to stick on technicalities so I’ll be using rough numbers without getting into all details.

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Thomas

Very interesting article! Strong result from Queen topping Floyd!

One question. Did you include Run DMC’s 1986 cover version of Walk This Way in your Spotify analysis? I know it featured Steven Tyler and Joe Perry as guests on vocals/guitars, but one could argue it is an orphan track in the Aerosmith catalog. The cover does not appear on either Toys in the Attic (1975) or Greatest Hits (1980). It does appear on latter compilations like Essential Aerosmith, along with the original version of the song.

Regards, Thomas

Hernán

Thanks! The only thing I’m not sure about, for future battles, is if there is any possible formula to wigtht the way some discographies are structured. You made that point several times about Pink Floyd not releasing a truly official compilation until 2001 (just like Metallica or AC/DC not releasing one ever), and therefore benefitting from more spread sales given that all their essential songs were split in various albums. That was opposed to what the likes of Michael Jackson or Queen did where you could own all the vital songs with 1-2 compilation. Basically, Queen and Michael Jackson are… Read more »

Hernán

Spotify is a vital part of any sales work at the moment. I must admit I wasn’t sure when you first mentioned how it makes things easier in several aspects, I think I didn’t get it. But now I realize it is probably a purer way to calculate popularity and compare different acts, and in this case not just for how they structured their catalogue but also when acts come from different eras, were huge in different parts of the world, their discographies have a different size, etc. All that doesn’t matter much with Spotify and similar. Which is very… Read more »

Hernán

Thank you, Guillaume!

I understand why it took so long, the most difficult part is, of course, checking the Spotify’s numbers and calculate the percentages. I wish it was easier to do that.

And course, proud that Queen won the battle, haha.

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