CSPC: The Beatles Popularity Analysis

(only some of ) Dad's Beatles collection

Full Length related records Sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical single, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the one originated from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge how worth this latter is, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains it all.

Remaining Long Format Part 1 – US Albums #1

I previously mentioned how Please Please Me, With the Beatles and Beatles for Sale weren’t available in the US until the CD issue of 1987. In fact, they got locally issued albums instead including the first batch listed on this table.

On various articles listing the Beatles sales, they tend to add directly total US album sales into the UK releases as per the chronological order. For example, the second main US album Meet the Beatles! gets mixed with the second main UK LP With the Beatles. As shown in the table, this is a wrong assumption. The album not only has tracks from Please Please Me, but it also sold that well in the US thanks to the inclusion of popular stand-alone hits like I Want to Hold Your Hand.

How to understand the table from the picture? For each compilation, we first define its sales. Sticking to our example, Meet the Beatles! sold 6,1 million units in the few countries it got released. Its tracks combine for 66,7 million streams on Spotify. Those tracks got initially released from 3 original sources which are the albums listed in the fourth column. Then we learn that songs first issued on With the Beatles are responsible for 34% of Meet the Beatles! total streams, meaning it created 34% of its appeal which is the equivalent of 2,101,000 sales.

Naturally, as both I Want to Hold Your Hand and She Loves You, the Beatles biggest early hits, were issued as Orphan tracks, this folder album appears to be responsible for most of those US packages sales.

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Sonique

Is Beatles the best selling musical act in UK?

Martin

Yes.

Sonique

I hope you would update and make a record and achievement section for the Beatles

Jeric

Will BTS surpass the Beatles eventually? And is it possible that a current artist at present will surpass them?

Jeric

Thank you for your response!

Someone shared on Twitter that the Beatles is the second best selling artist of the century. Eminem took the first place. Can you pls confirm this fact? Thanks ahead and more power!

Richard Dakin

You show the US sales for the White Album at around 12 million. It is a double album. The RIAA has its sales at 24 million plus, making allowance for the fact that it is 2 records that were purchased. Ditto for the red and blue albums. The Anthologies were triple albums, as were the BBC albums.
Do your numbers make allowance for this?

Martin

Nope. The White Album, Physical Graffiti, The Wall etc are counted as one album, one sale, no multiplication of discs included, times sales.

One of the albums you mention, is probably the best example against multi counting. The double disc, Red Album, which has less tracks and a shorter total running time, than single disc 1.

Richard Dakin

I’m not sure I follow. If one buys and pays for an album that contains 2 records, have 2 records not been sold?
Do you allow for this by using the total number of tracks on the album?

Richard Dakin

MJD:Thank you for expaining that!
I really enjoy and appreciate the work that went into, and still goes into, your website. I look forward to updates as they appear.

tom riise

Update would be nice 🙂

Walter

Hi MJD,
the RIAA certifications on red album and blue album also include download and streaming, seen how much higher are they ?

César

I’ve just realized that the physical single sales of Beatles For Sale and A Hard Day’s Night are swapped.

César

I think this should get an update. It’s been 3 years and a lot of things have happened like the anniversary editions of Abbey Road and the White Album. (Also pls do George and Ringo’s CSPC 🙂 )

Dan

I’m positive they’ll be well above 420 mill after the update.

Al

Beatles featuring Tony Sheridan is included in the compilation section on page 46

Mark Lupi

Amazing work, congratulations! However you’ve missed one important EP release. The Beatles fifth Ep release, Long Tall Sally, which was released in Britain in June 1964 and is another reported global million seller.

Sonique

Has this already been included in the analysis? If not, I hope Chartmasters would consider verifying this one and include its sales in computing the Beatles CSPC points

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