Official Global Top Sellers of 2004 – with Sales

#4 U2 – How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 8,500,000

We make a huge jump with U2‘s last blockbuster album, How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. Returning 4 years after their strong come back to form with All That You Can’t Leave Behind, the Irish band was hyped massively.

The heavy competition from Greatest Hits sets by Robbie Williams and Shania Twain, as well as Encore by Eminem, didn’t prevent U2 from entering at #1 almost everywhere. They shifted 840,000 copies in their first week in the US and 201,000 in the UK. The album was a terrific seller during the Christmas season.

Its very late release (November 22nd) means many copies were unsold by the end of the year. As an example, the album went 3xP in the US, at least 3 million copies shipped, as soon as it was eligible for turning 1 month old, although it had sold 2,156,000 units by the end of the year. In a way similar to the Destiny’s Child‘s album Destiny Fulfilled, the album broke the 3 million barrier more than one year later in February 2006.

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Ryan

Please do Anastacia’s article!

Cameron

Hi MJD I’ve been fascinated by all the work you’ve done with Popularity/Chart analyses, especially this one, I just have a few Questions, I am very interested in the number #17 album by Ashlee Simpson and was pretty shocked to read she didn’t break into the European market and I’ve always wondered why, if she did so great in America why not there as well? Also will you be doing a Popularity analysis on her and maybe Jessica in the future if possible (Hilary duff is also an interesting case considering her sales almost mirror Miley’s and Justin Bieber’s except… Read more »

Dan

Too quiet in here. Let’s start the bets for AC/DC. 185m from me.

Raffi

Hi Dan!

Don’t worry, it won’t be too quiet for too long! AC/DC’s figures for albums and single sales are complete! Only a few edits and a few word typing from the team and it’ll be for all of your viewing pleasure in a matter of a few days!
We also have a new addition to the data collector Anthony’s doing that might interest some of you!

Dan

Hey Raffi, thanks for the update. (im)Patiently waiting 🙂

Michael

Im loving this. I hope you can publish yearly album sales rankings. Tq.

Raffi

Hi MJD! Nice work on this article. I just have one question regarding the top seller of the year, Usher’s Confessions. You said that the album wasn’t heavily fueled by Xmas shipments, and that it shipped 8m in the US and 4m abroad. However, the album was reissued in late 04 and the single with Alicia Keys, My Boo was a big hit in late 04/early 05. The reissue helped Confessions jump from the bottom Top 20 to #2 in the US and was Top 10 for most of Nov/Dec 04, so I was wondering perhaps there would be additional… Read more »

Stephen

Thank you for posting, MJD! This was a very interesting read. I’m quite shocked Utada’s “Single Collection” sold that much. According to Oricon, it sold 2,586,347 physical copies in 2004. Was she really that global?

jessejames

I am surprised to see that Beyoncé’s Dangerously In Love did not make the list given that it still carried success into 2004.

Michael

Dangerously in Love by 2004 was already doing poorly on the charts all over the world. I wasn’t surprised in didn’t make it inside the top 50.

Raffi

On the contrary, if the IFPI recorded sales sold to consumers rather than shipments during the year, DIL would be comfortably in the Top 50, as the album sold 1,4m in the US (based on Soundscan) and had a decent chart run in both the UK and Australia to allow it to reach 2m copies sold to consumers for the year. After all, singles Naughty Girl and Me, Myself and I were Top 5 smashes in the States and did decently abroad. However, as MJD pointed out, this list is based on the IFPI’s ranking, which counts shipments (copies sold… Read more »

Oliver

And about Beyoncé’s Dangerously In Love? I expected it appears in 2004’s YTD due the release in the mid of 2003. How much it scan in these two calendar years?

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