CSPC: Bee Gees Popularity Analysis

bee gees by broady 2014

The years that end in a 7 are synonymous of anniversaries. No, I’m not talking about the Beatles’ cult Sgt Pepper’s which is turning 50 soon, and getting a much talked about reissue. Today we will be speaking about one of the biggest pop bands of all-time that came to prominence 40 years ago in the middle of the disco bonanza, the Bee Gees.

A decade ago, Amy Winehouse was everywhere. Two decades back, the Spice Girls were dominating while Shania Twain and Celine Dion dropped gigantic albums. In 1987, Michael Jackson‘s Bad, U2‘s Joshua Tree, Guns N’ RosesAppetite For Destruction and Dirty Dancing all came too the spotlight. The Year 1967 is obviously home for various classics along with the Beatles, like the debut of the Doors or the Bee Gees’ own first hit in April 1967. The year interesting us today is 1977 though. Famous for being the year of Elvis Presley’s passing. Three of the biggest albums ever were released in that same year – Meat Loaf‘s Bat Out of Hell, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, the #1 CSPC album studied to date, and of course the out-of-this-world smash Saturday Night Fever.

Just like The Bodyguard, this Soundtrack contains hits from various artists but is deeply regarded as the flagship of one specific artist, in this case the Gibb brothers. While the band became well-known in another year ending in 7, 1967, thanks to the global #1 smash Massachusetts – it is this Soundtrack that secured their spot in the music industry hall of fame. If they struggled for a few years, from Jive Talkin‘ in 1975 to their input on Barbra Streisand’s 1980 Guilty album, the Bee Gees sold an insane amount of records with ABBA being the only act coming close to their pace. From there, their popularity had various ups and downs with several revivals happening, with the last hype being generated by Robin Gibb’s sad passing in May 2012.

With a career spanning 45 years, and such an irregular trajectory, it is difficult to accurately establish the group’s success during each period of their career and their overall success. Are they in Nirvana’s league, or closer to the Beatles? Do they challenge solid acts a la Celine Dion, or not even close? Of course, as they are responsible for the biggest selling album ever up to 1983, Saturday Night Fever, this study ends up being absolutely mandatory to check the overall position of this record among the all-time album eras list. A strong question will be about whether it tops its label partner the Grease Soundtrack, which amassed an impressive 51,9 million equivalent album sales.

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge their results. The concept will not only bring you sales information for all Bee Gees albums, physical singles, download singles, music videos and streaming, but it will also accurately weight all this information to conclude their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend you to check it out before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to jump straight into the sales figures. Let’s go!

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Juan Cristobal

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Billboard/70s/1979/Billboard%201979-04-21.pdf

MJD. Look please at page 112 of issue dated April 21 1979. Spirits reported with 4 million sales

Trish

Impressive job as always! I really enjoyed reading it

Juan Cristobal Guzman

Thanks MJD for the feedback. I dont agree with your grounds regarding Spirits but they are valid and you could have a point. I was very surprised though with the great sales of singles Staying Alive, Night Fever Tragedy and Too Much Heaven. Besides the sales of One Night Only CD and DVD are oustanding. Do you know how many copies the DVD has sold in the States? The set has spent 388 weeks in the top 40 and this very week is at number 18.
Thanks in advance and keep up the good work

Juan Cristobal Guzman

Thanks MJD for the feedback. I dont agree with your grounds regarding Spirits but they are valid and you could have a point. I was very surprised though with the great sales of singles Staying Alive, Night Fever Tragedy and Too Much Heaven. Besides the sales of One Night Only CD and DVD are oustanding. Do you know how many copies the DVD has sold in the States? The set has spent 388 weeks in the top 40 and this very week is at number 18.
Thanks in advance and keep up the good work

D.D

This is another amazing analysis. Thank you.

Do you mind telling us what artist(s) would be next?

Trish

Can’t wait for this one!

Juan Cristobal Guzman

Great work MJD and thanks a lot. The only thing I dont agree is the sales of Spirits Having Flown. According to RSO the album had sold almost 15 million by January 1980. This info was showed in the Bee Gees special aired in the US in 2000. Spirits sold more than any other album in the first 10 weeks in 79 so chart runs help the cause but It cant be the only source. In Canada for instance, the set sold almost 1 million according to Billboard in 1980. In Portugal Greece Hong Kong China Norway, South America, Spain… Read more »

Jostein Hansen

I miss sales figures from Norway. A lot of Bee Gees records sold very well here. A very good example is ESP with 120 000 copies sold and Platinium status.

Luminator

Could you possibly introduce a page in your CSPC-articles, in which you state the total pure album sales of the respective act (studio albums + compilations + remix/live albums etc.)? That would be an interesting information for all us chart freaks to know 😉

Thanks all always.

skkywill

GREAT BAND, GREAT ARTICLE. Bee gees is the king of the disco era, I want to know is guilty the biggest female album in disco era?

skkywill

Woman in love is the biggest female single? I remember to read your post in UKMIX which credit it the biggest non-soundtrack\holiday single by female artist

Marcus André

Main Cource got only a Gold certification, but its listed here with 1.7 million copies sold in USA. How do you know that it sold 1.2 million copies more??

Marcus André

Thank You! 😉

jacob

Hi,

Do you know what the album sales were for “Main Course” in the UK and why was it so low and why did it not chart? Thank you so much!

Mat

Amazing work! A lot numbers! I love Bee Gees!

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