CSPC: Led Zeppelin Popularity Analysis

Led Zeppelin records

Full Length related records Sales

While it mostly happened later into their career, Led Zeppelin have put out a string of compilations and live albums over the past two decades. All of them propelled by the inclusion of their biggest classic songs, which will make up for the vast majority of their subsequent sales. Once again, let’s check all figures.

Full Length Migration Part 1 – Live Albums & Music Videos

CSPCLedZepLP1

If you read carefully, you will notice how it works. Celebration Day, for example, sold 2,25 million copies in its multiple formats and combinations released, some of which were DVD/Blu Ray only. All versions of its tracklisting achieved nearly 320 million stream on Spotify platform.

The second part of the table shows, at the right side, how many streams are coming from each original studio album, the respective percentage and the final generated sales to be added to each one of those original studio albums.

It is no surprise to see Led Zeppelin 4 as their dominant album for all those records, with a share around 40% of the total streams and therefore a massive 9,5 million sales generated out of the near 21 million those sets sold combined. Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II and Physical Graffiti all get a decent share in the final percentages. All albums issued in the latter part of their career represent a fairly weak source of sales among those releases.

As an overall note it must be highlighted those figures are especially strong. Led Zeppelin DVD is one of the biggest selling music DVD ever, same for The Song Remains The Same in the live album category.

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Analord

Best selling hard rock albums : 1. Led Zeppelin – IV : 37m 2. AC/DC – Back In Black : 37m 3. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction : 31m 4. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet : 24m 5. Bon Jovi – Cross Road : 23m 6. Boston – Boston : 22m 7. Led Zeppelin – II : 22m 8. Def Leppard – Hysteria : 19m 9. Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion II : 19m 10. Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion I : 18m 11. Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy : 18m… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Analord
Martin

Led Zeppelin III, also at 14m. Going by figures on here. 13.7m in 2016.

Analord

Sure, also Bon Jovi’s New Jersey (13.9m in 2016), but I have GNR’s Greatest Hits at 14.4m and Creed’s Human Clay at 14.2m 😉

Jsak

In your opinion, what figure would Appetite for destruction reach today without the 14m greatest hits, and Nevermind without the 2002 greatest hits?

Last edited 2 months ago by Jsak
Analord

I’m guessing close to 34m for Appetite, the Nirvana GH had a much smaller impact I think so I’d add maybe just 1m.

Clockingbell

The CSPC method gives AfD millions more because of the GH album. Are you saying that it’s too inflated?

Analord

Well, if the idea is that 14m people would’ve bought a GNR album if the GH wasn’t released, then it’s highly simplistic, to say the least. What’s the point of releasing a GH then ? An extreme example is The Beatles’ 1, it sold 20m in its first year (!), does that mean 20m people would’ve bought another Beatles album instead ? Of course not, there was an extra value to have all these songs on one CD. As for AFD, it was selling maybe 700k a year before the GH, with no GH we can guess an average of… Read more »

Jsak

I did not understand, 700,000-300,000 = 400,000; 400,000 * 18 = 7,200,000 from 2004 to today not 3,000,000

Analord

700k a year in 2003, 300k/year since then with no GH = >5m, 3m< with the GH.

Jsak

Slippery when wet and New Jersey without Cross Road?

Analord

I’d say 28.5m for SWW and 16m for New Jersey. Note that Cross Road must’ve sold like 12m in its first year, thanks to the massive hit Always (#1 in Europe).

Clockingbell

A massive hit indeed back then! But it only got 2,3 million EAS through Crossroads

Analord

Yeah, an opposite case would be Eminem’s Till I Collapse, it wasn’t even released as a single but now it’s credited for a third of The Eminem Show’s sales (23m) because of its high streaming numbers… It’s not a perfect system !

Clockingbell

Indeed! A system that favores well streaming hits (largely supported by playlists, more or less like airplay, but better measurable) and is less favorable for short-term hits (especially in large discographies).

Clockingbell

I think you’re right, but the whole point of CSPC method regarding compilations is that their sales are redistributed according to the streaming numbers of the included studio albums. Sometimes, that might be justified, but I think compilations have an own appeal as well.

Analord

Oh I know about the CSPC method 😆 It’s totally irrelevant to this discussion though, the question was “how much more AFD would’ve sold without the GH”, and my guess is about 2.5m.

The CSPC album ranking is just like the “most streamed albums” list, it measures the popularity of songs, not albums.

Clockingbell

Sorry, didn’t mean to suggest you wouldn’t know this website. I’m also checking if I understand correctly and I see albums being compared, partly because of sales from compilations redistributed to them. It flows from the popularity of songs, but impacts the albums a lot. Bu I understand the difference with the question raised, thanks!

MJD

Hi Analord! An additional comment to your example of 1, The Beatles were selling 6-8 million albums a year at that point, and for the release of the best of, EMI stopped shipping them months ahead and took months to resend them later on. They froze their sales for 6-12 months to let room for ‘1’, which effectively replaced many million sales, even before we start speaking about lower catalog sales later on. Of course, the group already had best of albums. Red/Blue, Past Masters 1/2 and GH shipped a combined 1.42 million copies in the UK alone the 7… Read more »

Jsak

So by the end of the games Metallica was the smartest. With a very successful GH of their first 5 albums they could go from 134 million albums sold to less than 100 million…

Analord

No, Metallica is much closer to Pink Floyd, a band who sold 200m albums including about 14m compilations…

Jsak

“In fact, once we combine all their pre-1993 catalog, it shipped 4.85 million units from 1993 to 1999 in the UK. From 2001 to 2007, while the market increased by 17.6%, the same catalog sold 1.544 million, a drop of 3.306 million units. In these years, they released 1, Love, and the naked version of Let It Be, which combined for 3.83 million.”

3.83m+1.544m=5.374>4.85m
I don’t understand where the loss is for the artist …

MJD

Hi Jsak! The numbers shown compare the period 93-99 with 01-07. ‘One’ was the focused product until September 2009 when the remasters arrived. As I said, we haven’t got full 1992 sales, but using the 1993-1999 average to compare with 2008, they ‘lost’ an additional 601k that year (693k vs 92k), and then again some in early 2009, although that was in part on purpose to make room for the remasters. So it’s really 3.83+1.544+.092=5.466<5.543m (=4.85+0.693) Then, the market was 17.6% higher in the later period. With the same ongoing popularity, they should have sold over 6.5 million to replicate… Read more »

Jsak

In your opinion, how much could Metallica lose from 134 million albums sold with a “1” post black album?

Analord

“what’s safe to say is that we can’t say nor believe that One added 3.3m+ sales in the UK (or 30m+ globally) to their sales.”

Just to be clear, no one said that.

Analord

Top 10 most streamed songs from 1 (EAS) : Let It Be [Let It Be] – 569,000 Hey Jude [Orphan] – 555,000 Come Together [Abbey Road] – 520,000 Yesterday [Help!] – 448,000 I Want to Hold Your Hand [Orphan] – 326,000 Help! [Help!] – 253,000 Eleanor Rigby [Revolver] – 231,000 Something [Abbey Road] – 230,000 Love Me Do [Please Please Me] – 172,000 A Hard Day’s Night [A Hard Day’s Night] – 168,000 Nothing from Sgt Peppers, the White Album or Rubber Soul (3 of the 4 best selling Beatles albums) but two songs from Help (their 8th best selling… Read more »

MJD

Hi Analord! I see that you keep your vendetta against me, but no issue I’ll answer on raw facts as usual. There are two main things to consider with this example of One. 1) the specific nature of the Beatles’ catalog. It’s actually detailed on their article and various comments I made how much they benefited from having not 1 discography as most artists but 2 discographies, their studio sets and their stand-alone singles. This enabled EMI to sell countless of compilations with an impact on studio albums that is quite lower than the usual impact. Red / Blue sold… Read more »

Analord

I definitely don’t think ABBA’s studio albums would’ve become major classics without their compilations, and for the same reason I think a lot of people who bought One would’ve never bought these classic Beatles albums, as I said it’s a different kind of audience.

You might be right about not liking “ifs” very much though, but guessing can be fun sometimes 😉

“Had they been replaced by a major compilation in 1971, who knows where these albums would be among all-time best albums lists.”

What about the 1973 Red/Blue compilations ?

Analord

Oh, and I don’t have a “vendetta” against you 😆

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jsak

Honestly, even 3m more for Appetite seems like a little stuff to me

Jsak

Pyromania?

Analord

I’d say 12.5m, almost all of it in North America.

Nick

I find their streaming results a bit dissapointing. I’m really surprised that The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd outsream Led Zeppelin as much as they do. I know the Stones have a huge catalogue but none of their albums were anywhere near as big as Led Zeppelin IV. I thought Led Zeppelin IV would have similar streaming numbers to The Wall or Darkside of the Moon.

Last edited 2 months ago by Nick
Analord

Zeppelin IV does have similar streaming numbers to DSOTM (1.5b), less than The Wall though (2b), but of course this one has 26 songs.

I don’t know why you’re surprised though, the Stones and Pink Floyd sold more albums than Zeppelin after all, partly because they have much larger discographies (especially the Stones, as you said).

HENRIQUE VIANNA

I never saw numbers about Led zeppelin sales in Brazil.

Do They have some information about this?

Eoin

The CSPC: Data Collector link isn’t working anymore

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