CSPC: The Beatles Popularity Analysis

Week 4/52:Collection

Controversy #5: One Billion Records Sold!

Checking reliable old press, we can identify various articles publishing a sales total for the Beatles. They had sold 150 million discs by August 1965, 225 million by January 1968, 545 million by October 1972, by 1984 the total was crossing 1 billion units.

Hm… not exactly in line with what is presented today. All those claims were correct, but we need to put them in their context to not be misled about their meaning. By the 60s, albums just ended to arrive. It took until mid-50s to see artists, famously Frank Sinatra, record an album as one unique piece of art, rather than simply packaging singles together. Sales of albums were also fairly weak in comparison to singles, while their price was much higher. Giving this background, the music industry standard was to speak about discs sold, a disc being a weighted unit depending on the format – yes, mathematical weighting hasn’t come in with Streaming.

What was one unit then? The barometer was the single, the most widely known and purchased format. One single was worth one single, one EP was worth two singles while one album was weighted at five units. This is how the 545 million tally was arrived at by 1972 in spite of the previously mentioned 100 million-only singles sold – the remaining 445 million units were made of slightly over 86 million albums, weighting for more than 430 million units, the rest being completed with EP sales.

Of course, those global claims involved also the two tricks previously met – sales of solo material was included, while proper Beatles records sales were excluded when achieved through a leasing with an other label. As you can see, this article was more than needed to sort all those misleading information!

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Carmen T

B est
E xciting
A mazing
T alented
L ads
E ver
S een

No wonder they are not considered one of the best groups ever, BUT THE BEST:)
Three things in this world that is precious, and we are lucky to enjoy.
The Environment, Animals, Beatles


Is it true that data from other markets such as USSR/Russia and Philippines are still needed to be added in The Beatles sales? And will you pls confirm if Long Tall Sally sales were already included in your analysis or is that part still missing?

Thank you!


MARTIN!!!!!!!! 😍😍

or MJD


No, data from those markets has been accounted for. When an update is performed, we will look to see if any additional information/knowledge has come to light, which certainly has with regards to the USSR and adjusted numbers accordingly.

Not sure what you mean, with regards to LTS.

Last edited 2 months ago by Martin

Martin, thank you 😍 🤗


What do you mean by it will probably downgrade their traditional albums? Can you please elaborate on this? Will it not increase their CSPS since sales were missing from these countries?

Thank you, MJD 😍


So the missing data would not increase their sales but to allocate them properly?

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