CSPC: Pink Floyd Popularity Analysis

Pink Floyd Career CSPC Results

pink-floyd-1

So, after checking all the figures how many overall equivalent album sales has each Pink Floyd album achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

*Pure sales figures updated on 06/18/17.
'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/6750 for Video stream)

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


Albums from the late 60s selling 5 million units are huge albums. This is true if we look only at the pure album format. Now that we mentioned it, we need to check carefully additional information. Albums like Atom Heart Mother or Ummagumma built solid sales over the years, but outside the main format they created close to no value to the band’s catalog. Thus, the total CSPC isn’t much higher at also around 5 million equivalent album sales. If we look at the Rolling Stones for example, Aftermath and Beggars Banquet sold 4 million units each in pure album sales, but their overall totals combine for a massive 35 million. In concrete words, even if sales of Pink Floyd‘s albums pre-1973 are solid, they aren’t as big as they seem with decent catalog sales being the result of the absence of cannibalization from compilations.

Nothing can be said against the big 3 though. It is already an absolutely unbelievable feat to reach 50 million with one album, let alone doing it with two. Although The Wall doesn’t quite catch Dark Side of the Moon (55,8 million), it is an unstoppable machine itself at 50,3 million. Whilst Dark Side Of The Moon sold 8,5 million more physical copies of the original album than Saturday Night Fever, it falls 10,9 million short in terms of overall performance. Still, 55,8 million puts it in a very restricted league. Below is the Top 5 albums out of all the previously posted articles:

1 1977 Soundtrack / Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever – 66,705,000
2 1977 Fleetwood MacRumours – 60,508,000
3 1971 Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin IV – 56,573,000
4 1973 Pink FloydDark Side of the Moon – 55,796,000
5 1992 Whitney HoustonThe Bodyguard – 53,231,000

Overall, Pink Floyd sold 229,4 million equivalent album sales, a figure out of reach for all but a handful of artists.

The following pages list their most successful songs. Do not forget to check our amazing cross-artists lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge their position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Billboard, Musica e Dischi, Guinness Book of Records, New York Times, JimmyPages59, Chartmasters.org.

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Smiley

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

Analord

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

Clockingbell

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

Analord

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

Dan

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

Clockingbell

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

Analord

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…

Clockingbell

Thanks! Missed Johnny Halliday myself…

Martin

Robbie Williams low 50ms also.

Smiley

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

Matrix

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