Elvis Presley’s US album sales


Albums over 100,000 Soundscan sales

The same post shared by Hanboo also highlights that Presley had 57 albums over 100,000 Soundscan units by the end of 2005. It’s impressive since even his debut album was supposedly slightly behind that mark. Additionally, this record-breaking tally doesn’t include all direct-marketing releases previously mentioned.

For that threshold, we can hardly identify precisely the 57 albums. In fact, they aren’t albums, but instead entries on Soundscan database. For example, Elvis’ Golden Records had two versions over 6 digits by 2005, the original and the 1997 reissue. While they are merged for RIAA purpose and while Soundscan do merge frequently distinct versions together, it isn’t an automatic process and that LP still has two counts running separately. The same is supposedly true for the Christmas Album too. Furthermore, 100,000 is a low level, an album can easily sell that much off the radar. It’s impossible to distinguish which one will be just under or just over.

We can still check if the ballpark is realistic. Below I filtered pre-2006 albums for which I have an up to date assumption of Soundscan sales at 160,000 or more. They are all expected to have been safely over 100,000 by 2005.

We can also point out Country from 1998 that sold 100,000 units in 2000/2001. That’s 43 individual albums that would be responsible for 45-46 entries at 6 digits scans. About a dozens of albums are still missing.

That puts around 100k – some higher, some lower – following albums:

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Let me get this right, Chartmasters have managed to get all the sales records for those that RIAA were unable to confirm since the 50s?, the figures won’t include the sales from independent outlets since his death or bootleg albums especially during the 70s, this figures are just an estimation, we will never know the actual figures for sure

Colin Bratkovich

It looks like CHARTMASTERS needs a better look at 1969s double -FROM MEMPHIS TO VEGAS/FROM VEGAS TO MEMPHIS (490,000).As on CHARTMASTERS (PAGE 13 of 13).The separate ‘studio’ & ‘live’ is muddy. The original 1969-70 charted success (12 on Billboard),found BOTH LPS charting (lower-as ELVIS IN PERSON (BILLBOARD 183) CHARTMASTERS (1,025,000) & BACK IN MEMPHIS (BILLBOARD 80) CHARTMASTERS (175,000) ,in the last half of 1970-as REISSUED LP PRODUCT. This may have (even) confused Whitburn’s Billboard 200?This LP was also a huge C&W charted item, as a double entity. As ‘live’/’studio’ (2) or an single issues ,the physical sales of EACH just… Read more »

Petri Makkonen

I would rate RCA Victor’s “Elvis’ Christmas Album” from 1957 and RCA Camden’s “Elvis’ Christmas Album” from 1970 as two separate albums, because while 8 songs out of 10 were same on both albums, the 1970 release has “If Every Day Was Like Christmas” and “Mama Liked the Roses” songs which were not even recorded in 1957.

Anthony Britch

I dont see anywhere in the Elvis articles where its noted that RIAA certification of 1 million is units not copies shipped. up to 1974 a GOLD LP is when sales reached $1 million of the wholesale price. That is 33% of $3.98 (1956-1970, 1970-1974 an LP was $4.98). $1 million was equal to about 760,000 copies and 608,000 copies at $4.98. after 1974 a GOLD LP had to sell $1 million AND 500,000 copies. Platinum was introduced in 1975. An LP had to sell $2,000,000 at the wholesale price (1975 LPs increased to $5.98 and $6.98) AND a minimum… Read more »

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