CSPC: Wham! & George Michael Popularity Analysis

Make It Big

Original Album Sales – Comments – Wham!

1983 Fantastic – 3,750,000
1984 Make It Big – 14,000,000
1986 Music from the Edge of Heaven – 1,700,000

Selling 19,45 million with just 3 albums was no easy task during the first music industry crisis that happened after the disco collapse in the early 80s. The giant part of that amount goes to Make It Big which was home to both global smashes Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Careless Whisper. Interestingly, George Michael’s star was so big that this latter hit was credited to George Michael ft. Wham!.

A real teen sensation, the duet destroyed the competition in various countries. It was one of the first albums to break the million milestone in Japan, also being one of the first foreign albums to move relevant numbers in countries like China and India.

Sales of Music from the Edge of Heaven seem abysmal though, even more so considering it featured Last Christmas. This is due to the very bizarre release strategy adopted at the time. That package was issued only in American and Asian continents, whilst still missing some markets in those continents. Instead, remaining countries including Europe and Australia got the package The Final. That record included the biggest hits of the two previous albums plus the full album Music from the Edge of Heaven. As such, we will meet it again within the other full length releases – compilations, live albums, videos – later on in this article. Combined, the two packages will give back much more justice to this album’s success.

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Cameron Tracy

Oh umm I remember listen without prejudice being at 2,475,000 not 2,415,000 did MJD Update it?

Nathan Abramson

In Switzerland, the total should be 950,000 not 95,000, right?


hello! i have 2 questions:
1. is the total aes of “don’t let the sun go down on me” including sales generated from duets by elton john and other elton compilations or just sales generated exclusively by michael’s work? if so what is it’s total

2. are physical, digital and streaming sales from the elton john tracks “wrap her up” and “nikita” included into george michael’s total, because i THINK wrap her up officially credits michael, but i don’t think nikita does despite michaels major contribution to the song, like stings contribution to money for nothing ?


i’m suprised “i knew you were waiting (for me)” with aretha franklin didnt reach 1m aes i always thought it was one of his biggest hits


Faith sales was around 20-25 million and Song from the last century was around 4 million.


Yes I thought this too


Coming back to this analysis, I’m still very confused as to why George Michael and Wham’s numbers are combined. This isn’t done for any other artists that can be seen as the face of the group. Saying that “Wham is George Michael” doesn’t prove anything. They’re two separate artists whose sales and charting counts as two separate positions. Just look at their respective discography pages and chart histories on Billboard, OCC, etc…