CSPC: Pink Floyd Popularity Analysis

Pink {Floyd} retro

Controversies – Part 2 – Dark Side of the Moon – ITALY

Pink Floyd have been immensely popular in various markets. Often even more than in the US or in the UK. In France for example, Meddle, an album that peaked at #70 in the US, returned to the Top 10 four years in a row. In Spain, Wish You Were Here lasted 20 weeks at #1. In Sweden, The Wall was 26 weeks at the top.

If all those numbers are outstanding, nothing comes close to the band’s legacy in Italy. Since 2000, although only one album was released, they amassed the unreal total of 1590 weeks on the charts. Most of them since 2006 thanks to their catalog albums. Dark Side of the Moon is the leading force of their discography. As a trademark of that feat, it reached #2 in 2003, #5 in 2006, #15 in 2010, #5 in 2011, #20 in 2013, #18 in 2014 and #17 in 2016. This mind-blowing chart history provides it a well documented 550,000 sales since the start of the millennium. A figure of that magnitude obviously opens up the debate on its release to date sales, which are poised to be among the very highest figures ever seen in that country.

Historical figures are very hard to identify for this market, except on old Musica e Dischi magazines. Its edition covering the year 1988 revealed an immense milestone managed by Pink Floyd‘s album.

Simple Minds ( “Street Fighting Years “) and Simply Red ( “A New Flame “) follow with 400,000 sales, Pink Floyd ( “Delicate Sound Of Thunder “) did 300,000 […] EMI in Italy was delighted by demand for Pink Floyd‘s back catalog, especially on CD, a demand fueled by the band’s live show in Venice. The Floyd 1973 classic “The Dark Side Of The Moon” has now passed the 1 million mark in Italy.

This fantastic information was relayed by Billboard back in the day. The album shipped very limited copies in the early 90s due to the bulk of CDs sent to retailers in 1989. However, it then moved an average of 50,000 units from 1991 to 1999. This adds 450,000 to 1 million to 550,000, for a grand total of 2 million copies. Simply magnificent.

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Just out of interest, after Queen, Michael Jackson and The Beatles, are Pink Floyd the biggest selling album artist (all types) in Europe?


Yes, just above Madonna, who obviously sold much more singles.


I wonder how much Abba and U2 are separated from this top 5


ABBA would be #6 with around 70m albums sold (Pink Floyd sold 82m), U2 sold maybe 67m, less than the Stones.


According to Chartmasters – sales in Europe:

Queen – 97,259,000
MJ – 90,730,000
The Beatles – 86,230,000
Pink Floyd – 80,780,000
Madonna – 79,330,000
Rolling Stones – ~70m
Elvis – 58,445,000
Elton John – 53,790,000
U2 – unclear (not in the analysis)
Rod Stewart – 52,348,500
AC/DC – 50,810,000


I think you missed some artists, like Phil Collins (61 m), or 2016 researched Abba and Celine Dion, whose exact Europe totals I can’t discover here, as well as those of the Rolling Stones


Céline Dion sold over 60m albums in Europe, the Stones around 69m. Dan’s list is missing a bunch of acts indeed (Dire Straits, Johnny Hallyday…etc.) and I’ve no idea why he put U2 beneath Elton John…


Thanks! Missed Johnny Halliday myself…


Robbie Williams low 50ms also.


Has the album ‘Wish You Were Here’ lost about a million or so EAS recently?


Pink Floyd are the one of two artists to have two 50+ million albums each. The another one is Michael Jackson.