CSPC: Led Zeppelin Popularity Analysis

Led Zeppelin Career CSPC Results


So, after checking all figures, what’s the most successful album by Led Zeppelin and how many overall equivalent albums sales have they achieved? Well, at this point we barely need to do the addition of all figures defined all over this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

#CoverAlbumTotal CSPCSales*StreamsTotal CSPC
Studio AlbumsOther LPsPhysical SinglesDigital SinglesLast verifiedAuto updateDaily Increase
1LedLed Zeppelin I24,393,00015,800,0007,069,00075,000
Av.: 270
LD: 530
2LedLed Zeppelin II34,635,00021,900,0009,937,000750,000
Av.: 500
LD: 540
3LedLed Zeppelin III20,960,00013,700,0005,608,000225,000
Av.: 450
LD: 490
4LedLed Zeppelin IV58,437,00036,800,00018,296,000300,000
Av.: 900
LD: 1,740
5HousesHouses Of The Holy22,868,00017,700,0004,059,000225,000
Av.: 230
LD: 230
6PhysicalPhysical Graffiti18,087,00013,400,0003,532,000120,000
Av.: 280
LD: 270
Av.: 40
LD: 40
8InIn Through The Out Door13,198,00011,500,0001,195,000150,000
Av.: 110
LD: 110
*Pure sales figures updated on 09/07/21.
'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

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 for Audio stream and 1/6750 for Video stream)

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers

Led Zeppelin is often ranked with the likes Metallica and AC/DC, meaning bands enjoying large catalog sales thanks to the lack of proper compilation albums. This is just untrue with a huge 44 million sales of such records. The fact those sales got spread over several compilations, box sets, live albums and strong music videos concludes on the absence of a very big selling greatest hits, but their overall total is strong.

Out of this total, Led Zeppelin IV is easily the main contributor and as such got fairly rewarded nearly 40% of those sales. If its single segment accounts for less than 1,5 million units all formats considered, the full length records sold on the back of Led Zeppeling IV songs amount for a gigantic 57 million units. Overall this 1971 blockbuster cracks Nirvana‘s Nevermind which was the leading CSPC album out of all those which got studied so far.

While such outstanding results may eclipse the discography of many acts, the rest of Led Zeppelin catalog is equally impressive. In fact, each of their 8 studio albums generated the average of 24,55 million equivalent album sales. If some artists did so over a 3-4 albums discography, doing it over a 8-albums list is massive.

All in all, the cumulative tally of Led Zeppelin is up to 200,5 million album sales equivalent. You can clear all your doubts, Led Zeppelin is definitely in the A-League of all-time top sellers.

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.

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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

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


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 😉


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

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.


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


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 »


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


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


Slippery when wet and New Jersey without Cross Road?


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).


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


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 !


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).


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.


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.


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!


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 »


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…


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


“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.”

I don’t understand where the loss is for the artist …


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 »


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


“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.


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 »


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 »


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 ?


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


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




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


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

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).


I never saw numbers about Led zeppelin sales in Brazil.

Do They have some information about this?


The CSPC: Data Collector link isn’t working anymore

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