CSPC: Bob Marley Popularity Analysis


Physical Singles Sales – Part 1

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Catch a Fire (1973) – 78,000 equivalent albums

Stir It Up – 170,000
Concrete Jungle – 80,000
Kinky Reggae – 10,000

Burnin’ (1973) – 93,000 equivalent albums

(I’m Gonna) Put It On – 30,000
Small Axe – 30,000
Duppy Conqueror – 60,000
Get Up, Stand Up – 110,000
I Shot The Sheriff – 80,000

Natty Dread (1974) – 198,000 equivalent albums

Lively Up Yourself – 80,000
So Jah Seh – 30,000
No Woman, No Cry – 550,000

Marley first entered the UK Singles Chart in November 1975 when No Woman, No Cry debuted at #40, peaking at #22 one month later. That’s basically the only country where he made the charts. This shows that Marley‘s popularity was getting built by then with most of his singles going unnoticed. His biggest achievements by then were undoubtedly as a writer since Eric Clapton‘s cover of I Shot the Sheriff went to #1 in the US in September 1974.

His growing profile in later years plus the timeless appeal of his songs enabled Marley to increase his tally of physical singles sales thanks to various reissues. After his passing, No Woman, No Cry improved its original peak when it reached #8 in the UK. It was also reissued in 2005 to bring its final total to more than half a million sales, some 5 times more than after its original run. Pretty much every song from this page has been issued multiple times in distinct years.

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