CSPC: Bruce Springsteen Popularity Analysis

Hack'ish.

Original Album Sales – Comments

1973 Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. – 3,950,000
1973 The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle – 3,550,000
1975 Born to Run – 10,700,000
1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town – 5,700,000
1980 The River – 10,050,000
1982 Nebraska – 4,200,000
1984 Born in the U.S.A. – 29,300,000
1987 Tunnel of Love – 8,350,000
1992 Human Touch – 4,600,000
1992 Lucky Town – 3,700,000
1995 The Ghost of Tom Joad – 2,850,000
2002 The Rising – 5,000,000
2005 Devils & Dust – 1,950,000
2006 We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions – 2,050,000
2007 Magic – 2,750,000
2009 Working on a Dream – 1,950,000
2012 Wrecking Ball – 1,750,000
2014 High Hopes – 1,000,000

How many artists can claim studio album sales of over 100 million units? The Boss is one of them with a total of 103,4 million albums sold. The high point is obviously Born In The U.S.A. which is closing in on 30 million copies sold.

This 1984 blockbuster also accelerated the entire catalog of the artist, while also creating high expectations for following LPs. Tunnel of Love proved that Springsteen wasn’t going to remain one of the very top sellers like Michael Jackson or Phil Collins. After this though, the next 25 years were incredibly consistent for him.

In fact, High Hopes at 1 million units is his only album under 1,75 million. That figure is easily explained by the drop of the market and by its track list as it contains outtakes and re-recording of some old songs, making its sales good after taking everything into consideration.

However, Springsteen hasn’t been that strong in Latin America and Asia, making his sales all the more impressive. Up to this day, all his albums are surefire #1s in most European markets. This highlights the unbelievable strength of his fan base, especially 44 years after his debut album.

His sales aren’t only the result of a loyal fan base though, his two early classic albums Born To Run and The River are now over 10 million copies sold.

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Innocent Eyes

You know me too well haha 😉

Well, I must admit that I found that 9xP cert. a bit fishy at first, particularly since it came so soon after the 4xP. I thought though that it may have been due to unaudited sales (a bit like how John Farnham’s Whispering Jack jumped from 17 to 24x Plat. from 1997 to 2006).

But your explanation does make sense and would perhaps explain why Greatest Hits has never been re-certified in the 2017 audit when Sony even updated his singles certs.

Innocent Eyes

Fantastic job MJD!

I was wondering though. Didn’t you make a slight mistake for Greatest Hits in Australia? You have it at 420,000 units but it was certified 9 x Platinum in 2009 (630,000 units). Given it’s been a solid catalog seller Down Under, I would expect it to be very close to 770,000 units.

What do you think?

Anon.

This is very off-topic sorry, but what is your opinion on the new trend of claiming Chinese sales?

Like here
https://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=121586&p=6501788&hilit=china#p6501788
https://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=121586&p=6517071&hilit=china#p6517071

Are those real and reliable sales? Seems sketchy.

borderwolf

Hi! You wrote “With some 2,2 million album sales in Norway, he is also the all-time leader of the country among non-Scandinavian acts.”
Do you have a list of Best Selling “non-Scandinavian acts” in Norway?

borderwolf

Mmmhhhh… I can never to cheat you!
Ahahah! 🙂

In any case, great job, my friend!

Trond Grønvold

You’re doing a great job.
Love reading this kind of articles.

But, why don’t you post Norwegian stats??

Dan

One King, one Prince, one King of Pop, one Voice, one The Boss and one Queen.

Brianna

Hey MJD,

Along with successful male artists, are you planning on studying Garth brooks? I’m pretty sure he has the most diamond certified albums in the US. It would be interesting to see how the country singer performed worldwide

Raffi

Hey MJD! Great Job on this analysis of The Boss! I always wanted to know how big Born In The USA was since it produced 7 Top 10 hits in the US! Regarding that 1984 album, I expected album sales in the US higher (20m+). 16m is similar to what Prince sold there with Pruple Rain, right? Its sales outside that market, most notably Europe, is fantastic though! I never expected 8m+ in that continent! It did wonders in Oceania as well! Speaking of Europe, I’m positively surprised by how well Springsteen did there! Almost 50m+ albums sold is higher… Read more »

Gary Hudson

This is interesting as far as it goes, and represents a lot of hard work, but it’s not a measure of popularity, as claimed. It’s a sales chart, which does an admirable job of weighing the value of different formats, but there are other factors determining popularity, many of them subjective: for example, many people who bought Born in the USA believing (in a misguided Reagan/Mondale way) that it was tub-thumping patriotism rather than a more nuanced critique (!) don’t like Bruce any more because of his politics. The biggest factor missing from this analysis though is live ticket sales.… Read more »

Kurt m

Springsteen is 3rd in box office, behind only the Rolling Stones and possibly U2. Springsteen total concert gross is approximately $1.8 billion , not including over $100 million from broadway.

Yog

Please do prince.

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