CSPC Battle: 1975 Monster Rock Albums

Led ZeppelinPhysical Graffiti


With this example of Led Zeppelin you should start really understanding the huge lie in catalog album sales. In fact, Physical Graffiti hits are nowhere near as big as Toys In The Attic hits for example – Walk This Way has more streaming than all songs combined of the double album Physical Graffiti. If Led Zeppelin original album is on par sales-wise with Aerosmith set it is only thanks to the way Atlantic label decided to exploit the album by focusing mostly on the original albums rather than through compilations.

The main point to notice is that the oldest record on this list is from 1990, a huge 15 years after Physical Graffiti which thus faced no competition for a very long time.

All in all, Physical Graffiti songs, led by Kashmir, generated a relatively modest 2,7 million sales of subsequent full length records.

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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


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 »


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 »


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.