Bruce Springsteen albums and songs sales

Among the most beloved male singers of all-time, we have one King, one Prince, one King of Pop, one Voice and then The Boss. Elvis Presley, Prince, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen, the one we are studying today. This elite group of American icons have been the brightest stars of the music industry from the 1940s into the 2000s. Other singers like Garth Brooks and Neil Diamond sold as much as some of them, but in the Legends area this Big 5 is untouched.

Bruce Springsteen

The 80s had more massive singers from other countries, each representing a specific branch of music history. Springsteen was the biggest star of the Rock music scene, Prince was the flagship of the Black music family, Phil Collins was the go-to guy within the British-sound category while Bob Marley owned World Music. If you wanted a sound crossing over all those branches, Michael Jackson was the man.

It is no coincidence if I mention those distinct sections of music. In fact, they were directly responsible of the sales distribution over the world of all those acts. Collins was massive in Europe, while Prince was nowhere near as big there as he was in the US. Bob sold huge amounts in various places all over the world, while Bruce Springsteen struggled to sell his American Rock Music to many Asian countries. British bands like the Beatles, Queen or the Rolling Stones, the perfect balance between the US Classic Rock stations sounds along with an European Pop vibe, are among the very top selling acts ever for this reason. Elsewhere, US acts like Aerosmith or Van Halen never managed to truly impact the global audience in the long term.

This raises the question about Springsteen‘s results. As a pure American product, he was unlikely to make it big worldwide. Also, cult following isn’t always translated into notable sales. How big is he then? His Born In The U.S.A. album was a hit. How big though in comparison to the sales monsters we have met so far?

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge his results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Springsteen‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.

Let’s go!

Table of Contents

The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)

There are two ways to understand this revolutionary concept. The first is the Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within just a few minutes.

If you are a mathematical person, and want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.

Now let’s get into the artist’s sales figures in detail in order to apply this concept and define the act’s true popularity!

Original Albums Sales

NB: N/A means no specific number is available. Sales from the country are still accounted for in the Worldwide estimate by using figure patterns of both the artist and the country market. Countries not displayed in this fixed panel are also factored in.

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen greetings from asbury park album cover"
  • America
    • US – 2,700,000
    • Canada – N/A
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 140,000
    • Japan – 100,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 50,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 710,000
    • UK – 175,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – 80,000
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 50,000
    • Netherlands – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 3,950,000

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (1973)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen the wild the innocent and the e street shuffle"
  • America
    • US – 2,400,000
    • Canada – N/A
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 140,000
    • Japan – 100,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 50,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 670,000
    • UK – 175,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – 60,000
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 50,000
    • Netherlands – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 3,550,000

Born to Run (1975)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen born to run"
  • America
    • US – 6,700,000
    • Canada – 600,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 440,000
    • Japan – 300,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 200,000
    • New Zealand – 30,000
  • Europe – 2,470,000
    • UK – 625,000
    • France – 150,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – 275,000
    • Spain – 175,000
    • Sweden – 180,000
    • Netherlands – 125,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – 45,000
  • World – 10,700,000

Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen darkness on the edge of town"
  • America
    • US – 3,300,000
    • Canada – 250,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 220,000
    • Japan – 150,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 125,000
    • New Zealand – 15,000
  • Europe – 1,680,000
    • UK – 475,000
    • France – 100,000
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – 140,000
    • Spain – 75,000
    • Sweden – 140,000
    • Netherlands – 90,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 5,700,000

The River (1980)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen the river"
  • America
    • US – 5,250,000
    • Canada – 400,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 380,000
    • Japan – 250,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 225,000
    • New Zealand – 45,000
  • Europe – 3,520,000
    • UK – 925,000
    • France – 330,000
    • Germany – 425,000
    • Italy – 250,000
    • Spain – 200,000
    • Sweden – 250,000
    • Netherlands – 215,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – 30,000
  • World – 10,050,000

Nebraska (1982)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen nebraska"
  • America
    • US – 1,900,000
    • Canada – 150,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 290,000
    • Japan – 200,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 100,000
    • New Zealand – 20,000
  • Europe – 1,630,000
    • UK – 360,000
    • France – 160,000
    • Germany – 275,000
    • Italy – 175,000
    • Spain – 75,000
    • Sweden – 75,000
    • Netherlands – 90,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 4,200,000

Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen born in the usa"
  • America
    • US – 16,300,000
    • Canada – 2,100,000
    • Argentina – 100,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 840,000
    • Japan – 560,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 925,000
    • New Zealand – 260,000
  • Europe – 8,120,000
    • UK – 1,850,000
    • France – 675,000
    • Germany – 1,500,000
    • Italy – 700,000
    • Spain – 350,000
    • Sweden – 425,000
    • Netherlands – 475,000
    • Switzerland – 200,000
    • Austria – 150,000
    • Finland – 115,000
  • World – 29,300,000

Tunnel of Love (1987)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen tunnel of love"
  • America
    • US – 4,000,000
    • Canada – 400,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 490,000
    • Japan – 320,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 140,000
    • New Zealand – 25,000
  • Europe – 3,050,000
    • UK – 580,000
    • France – 280,000
    • Germany – 450,000
    • Italy – 300,000
    • Spain – 300,000
    • Sweden – 140,000
    • Netherlands – 140,000
    • Switzerland – 75,000
    • Austria – 30,000
    • Finland – 42,000
  • World – 8,350,000

Human Touch (1992)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen human touch"
  • America
    • US – 1,450,000
    • Canada – 250,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 350,000
    • Japan – 225,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 60,000
    • New Zealand – 10,000
  • Europe – 2,310,000
    • UK – 300,000
    • France – 175,000
    • Germany – 400,000
    • Italy – 275,000
    • Spain – 225,000
    • Sweden – 150,000
    • Netherlands – 80,000
    • Switzerland – 70,000
    • Austria – 50,000
    • Finland – 37,000
  • World – 4,600,000

Lucky Town (1992)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen lucky town"
  • America
    • US – 1,150,000
    • Canada – 240,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 320,000
    • Japan – 210,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 45,000
    • New Zealand – 10,000
  • Europe – 1,810,000
    • UK – 240,000
    • France – 125,000
    • Germany – 325,000
    • Italy – 200,000
    • Spain – 200,000
    • Sweden – 120,000
    • Netherlands – 50,000
    • Switzerland – 50,000
    • Austria – 35,000
    • Finland – 29,000
  • World – 3,700,000

The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen the ghost of tom joad"
  • America
    • US – 800,000
    • Canada – 80,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 125,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 140,000
    • Japan – 85,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 50,000
    • New Zealand – 5,000
  • Europe – 1,610,000
    • UK – 260,000
    • France – 150,000
    • Germany – 200,000
    • Italy – 300,000
    • Spain – 160,000
    • Sweden – 50,000
    • Netherlands – 65,000
    • Switzerland – 50,000
    • Austria – 25,000
    • Finland – 15,000
  • World – 2,850,000

The Rising (2002)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen the rising"
  • America
    • US – 2,400,000
    • Canada – 275,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 135,000
    • Japan – 80,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 80,000
    • New Zealand – 15,000
  • Europe – 1,970,000
    • UK – 305,000
    • France – 135,000
    • Germany – 380,000
    • Italy – 220,000
    • Spain – 175,000
    • Sweden – 165,000
    • Netherlands – 70,000
    • Switzerland – 45,000
    • Austria – 25,000
    • Finland – 29,000
  • World – 5,000,000

Devils & Dust (2005)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen devils & dust"
  • America
    • US – 700,000
    • Canada – 125,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 6,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 45,000
    • Japan – 25,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 40,000
    • New Zealand – 8,000
  • Europe – 990,000
    • UK – 190,000
    • France – 55,000
    • Germany – 150,000
    • Italy – 130,000
    • Spain – 85,000
    • Sweden – 65,000
    • Netherlands – 40,000
    • Switzerland – 35,000
    • Austria – 15,000
    • Finland – 15,000
  • World – 1,950,000

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen we shall overcome"
  • America
    • US – 800,000
    • Canada – 100,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 3,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 30,000
    • Japan – 15,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 25,000
    • New Zealand – 7,000
  • Europe – 1,020,000
    • UK – 210,000
    • France – 60,000
    • Germany – 100,000
    • Italy – 175,000
    • Spain – 80,000
    • Sweden – 70,000
    • Netherlands – 70,000
    • Switzerland – 15,000
    • Austria – 10,000
    • Finland – 15,000
  • World – 2,050,000

Magic (2007)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen magic"
  • America
    • US – 1,150,000
    • Canada – 140,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 5,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 110,000
    • Japan – 70,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 40,000
    • New Zealand – 10,000
  • Europe – 1,230,000
    • UK – 290,000
    • France – 75,000
    • Germany – 175,000
    • Italy – 150,000
    • Spain – 90,000
    • Sweden – 100,000
    • Netherlands – 50,000
    • Switzerland – 20,000
    • Austria – 15,000
    • Finland – 15,000
  • World – 2,750,000

Working on a Dream (2009)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "bruce springsteen working on a dream"
  • America
    • US – 700,000
    • Canada – 85,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 5,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 60,000
    • Japan – 35,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 30,000
    • New Zealand – 7,000
  • Europe – 1,010,000
    • UK – 220,000
    • France – 70,000
    • Germany – 150,000
    • Italy – 120,000
    • Spain – 70,000
    • Sweden – 80,000
    • Netherlands – 50,000
    • Switzerland – 30,000
    • Austria – 20,000
    • Finland – 13,000
  • World – 1,950,000

Wrecking Ball (2012)

  • America
    • US – 550,000
    • Canada – 50,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 10,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 45,000
    • Japan – 25,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 40,000
    • New Zealand – 6,000
  • Europe – 990,000
    • UK – 245,000
    • France – 55,000
    • Germany – 200,000
    • Italy – 90,000
    • Spain – 60,000
    • Sweden – 70,000
    • Netherlands – 55,000
    • Switzerland – 20,000
    • Austria – 20,000
    • Finland – 22,000
  • World – 1,750,000

High Hopes (2014)

  • America
    • US – 250,000
    • Canada – 25,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 12,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 50,000
    • Japan – 35,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 50,000
    • New Zealand – 10,000
  • Europe – 560,000
    • UK – 115,000
    • France – 50,000
    • Germany – 100,000
    • Italy – 55,000
    • Spain – 30,000
    • Sweden – 35,000
    • Netherlands – 35,000
    • Switzerland – 15,000
    • Austria – 10,000
    • Finland – 15,000
  • World – 1,000,000

Original Album Sales – Comments

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 Bruce 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, Bruce 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.

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

Physical Singles Sales

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

1973-78

By the end of the 70s, The Boss had yet to get a Top 10 hit in the US. His Chart History was restricted to 4 Hot 100 singles led by #23 hit Born To Run. In the UK, no single from him had made the Top 100. Interestingly, his first Top 20 hit, in any country, was in Sweden where Born To Run reached #17. We will quickly see that the love story between him and this country never ended.

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (1973) – 45,000 equivalent albums

Blinded by the Light – 100,000
Spirit in the Night – 50,000

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (1973) – 30,000 equivalent albums

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) – 50,000
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) – 50,000

Born to Run (1975) – 246,000 equivalent albums

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out – 180,000
Born to Run – 580,000
Born to Run (live) – 60,000

Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) – 186,000 equivalent albums

Badlands – 250,000
The Promised Land – 50,000
Prove It All Night – 320,000

1980-84

As earlier singles became cult classics, in latter years, and since the Born in the U.S.A. era became so much bigger, it is almost a surprise to see that Hungry Heart was the real breakthrough hit of Bruce Springsteen. It was his first entry in the UK chart, although it reached a modest #44, while reaching #5 in the US, his first Top 10 smash in his home country.

If The River era produced more than 2 million singles sales, it was Born in the U.S.A. that smashed everything before it. Five of its singles topped 1 million sales, I’m On Fire is under the mark only because of the single being the B-Side of Born in the U.S.A. in the UK. The title track isn’t the reason for this monster success, though. It was Dancing In The Dark. This song was a Top 5 smash everywhere, selling over 3 million units. In the US, it was blocked from the number one spit, spending 4 weeks at #2, 3 of which behind Prince‘s classic hit When Doves Cry.

As incredible as it seems, while Born in the U.S.A. tied the still-standing record of 7 Top 10 Billboard hits from Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, none of its songs reached the top, nor in the UK! Nevertheless, it’s 9 million plus singles sales are absolutely amazing.

The River (1980) – 705,000 equivalent albums

Hungry Heart – 1,590,000
The River – 70,000
Fade Away – 500,000
Hungry Heart 95 – 30,000
Other Singles – 160,000

Nebraska (1982) – 15,000 equivalent albums

Atlantic City – 30,000
Open All Night – 20,000

Born in the U.S.A. (1984) – 2,808,000 equivalent albums

Born in the U.S.A. – 1,470,000
Cover Me – 1,340,000
I’m on Fire – 860,000
I’m Goin’ Down – 610,000
Glory Days – 1,000,000
Dancing in the Dark – 3,070,000
My Hometown – 1,010,000

1987-92

With Tunnel of Love, the attempt to reproduce the success of Born in the U.S.A. is obvious with the various singles released. They failed to be as big though, the only exception being Brilliant Disguise which remains one of The Boss‘s stand-out moments of his career so far.

This 1987-1992 period clearly marks the end of the rocker as a strong hit maker with his single sales decreasing rapidly, and his fan base focusing on his albums instead.

Tunnel of Love (1987) – 828,000 equivalent albums

Tougher Than the Rest – 180,000
Spare Parts – 30,000
Tunnel of Love – 790,000
Brilliant Disguise – 1,240,000
One Step Up – 520,000

Human Touch (1992) – 243,000 equivalent albums

Human Touch – 720,000
57 Channels (And Nothin’ On) – 90,000

Lucky Town (1992) – 21,000 equivalent albums

Better Days – 30,000
Lucky Town – 20,000
Leap of Faith – 20,000

1995-2006

Already deep into his career, Bruce Springsteen was clearly not able to produce big hits anymore, at least not with tracks from his studio albums. The Rising was a nice hit though, selling some units in physical single format along with the tremendous success of the album.

The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995) – 12,000 equivalent albums

All Singles – 40,000

The Rising (2002) – 75,000 equivalent albums

Lonesome Day – 10,000
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day – 10,000
The Rising – 230,000

Devils & Dust (2005) – 3,000 equivalent albums

Devils & Dust – 10,000

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006) – 0 equivalent albums

No single.

2007 onwards and orphan songs

While there isn’t much to say about his physical singles sales in recent years, since this market disappeared almost completely, the Orphan section is full of notable songs. In 1994/1995, he managed back to back hits with Streets of Philadelphia from the Philadelphia Soundtrack and then Secret Garden, the song promoting his huge Greatest Hits set.

Flagged as an album seller, Bruce Springsteen still sold a healthy 21 million physical singles during his career.

Magic (2007) – 8,000 equivalent albums

Radio Nowhere – 25,000

Working on a Dream (2009) – 5,000 equivalent albums

All Singles – 15,000

Wrecking Ball (2012) – 2,000 equivalent albums

All Singles – 5,000

High Hopes (2014) – 2,000 equivalent albums

All Singles – 5,000

Orphan – 1,068,000 equivalent albums

Fire – 340,000
War – 760,000
Streets of Philadelphia – 1,730,000
Secret Garden – 710,000
Missing – 20,000

Digital singles sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between albums and digital singles.

1973-78

An instant smash and an enduring classic aren’t always related. None of these songs reached the Top 10s when first released, but several of them achieved notable fame in the long run. Thunder Road is a good example of that, but the most extreme one remains Born to Run. This tune has been a very solid catalog seller in digital formats, with its US downloads alone being over 1,4 million to date. It is quite simply the highest selling song in this format for the singer.

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (1973) – 83,000 equivalent albums

Blinded by the Light – 175,000
Spirit in the Night – 125,000
Remaining tracks – 250,000

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (1973) – 60,000 equivalent albums

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) – 100,000
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) – 200,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

Born to Run (1975) – 540,000 equivalent albums

Thunder Road – 700,000
Born to Run – 2,500,000
Remaining tracks – 400,000

Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) – 135,000 equivalent albums

Badlands – 400,000
Remaining tracks – 500,000

1980-84

Although no song from this immaculate 1980-1984 era tops Born to Run, a full string of hits sold more than 1 million downloads. One of them is I’m On Fire which has been increasing in fame more and more during the years, just like The River.

The River (1980) – 435,000 equivalent albums

Hungry Heart – 900,000
The River – 1,300,000
Remaining tracks – 700,000

Nebraska (1982) – 90,000 equivalent albums

Atlantic City – 400,000
Remaining tracks – 200,000

Born in the U.S.A. (1984) – 1,065,000 equivalent albums

Born in the U.S.A. – 1,800,000
Cover Me – 200,000
I’m on Fire – 1,400,000
No Surrender – 200,000
I’m Goin’ Down – 200,000
Glory Days – 1,300,000
Dancing in the Dark – 1,600,000
My Hometown – 200,000
Remaining tracks – 200,000

1987-92

Following the trend of both album sales and physical singles sales, downloads from 1987-1992 are strongly down from their predecessors.

Tunnel of Love (1987) – 120,000 equivalent albums

Tougher Than the Rest – 300,000
Tunnel of Love – 100,000
Brilliant Disguise – 300,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

Human Touch (1992) – 53,000 equivalent albums

Human Touch – 250,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

Lucky Town (1992) – 45,000 equivalent albums

Better Days – 100,000
If I Should Fall Behind – 100,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

1995 onwards and orphan songs

Once again no real hit from his latter studio albums, although post-2005 LPs benefited from the digital era to sell a few more units.

A new unexpected hit emerges from the Orphan category with Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town at 1,300,000 downloads. This song is lower than the likes of All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey or Last Christmas by Wham!, but it is easily among the Top 50 ever in the best selling Holiday songs.

All in all, Bruce Springsteen sold over 25 million downloads.

The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995) – 53,000 equivalent albums

The Ghost of Tom Joad – 250,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

The Rising (2002) – 150,000 equivalent albums

Waitin’ on a Sunny Day – 400,000
The Rising – 300,000
Remaining tracks – 300,000

Devils & Dust (2005) – 38,000 equivalent albums

Devils & Dust – 150,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006) – 60,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 400,000

Magic (2007) – 75,000 equivalent albums

Radio Nowhere – 300,000
Remaining tracks – 200,000

Working on a Dream (2009) – 120,000 equivalent albums

Working on a Dream – 250,000
The Wrestler – 250,000
Remaining tracks – 300,000

Wrecking Ball (2012) – 98,000 equivalent albums

We Take Care of Our Own – 250,000
Remaining tracks – 400,000

High Hopes (2014) – 38,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 250,000

Orphan – 555,000 equivalent albums

Fire – 150,000
Because the Night – 200,000
Streets of Philadelphia – 1,000,000
Secret Garden – 200,000
Merry Christmas Baby – 250,000
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – 1,300,000
Remaining tracks – 600,000

Streaming Sales

Streaming is made up of two families – audio and video. Our CSPC methodology now includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. As detailed in the Fixing Log article, Spotify represents 132 million of the 212 million users of streaming platforms, while YouTube is pretty much the only video platform generating some revenue for the industry. Below is the equivalence set on the aforementioned article:

Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit

Thus… Equivalent Albums Sales = 212/132 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Streaming Part 1

It is no surprise to see that both 1973 debut albums have no big hit. The consistency of their songs being close or over 1 million is still pretty good. Obviously, those songs have no music video to accompany them, so YouTube views are much lower than Spotify streams.

In terms of album sales equivalent, Greetings sold nearly 30,000 units while Wild is on 20,000 units.

Streaming Part 2

Close to 100 million Spotify streams combined, Thunder Road and Born to Run withstood the test of time. The latter has very decent YouTube views too. The album as a whole enjoys 136,000 equivalent album sales from streams.

Darkness on the Edge of Town is expectedly lower. Badlands has 15 million Spotify streams and the remaining 9 songs average nearly  4 million each. This good all-around showing represents 52,000 equivalent album sales.

Streaming Part 3

The extensive 20-track album The River impresses with all its songs over 1,5 million audio streams on Spotify. It is led by its two big hits, Hungry Heart at 37 million and the title track at 57 million. It translates into 164,000 equivalent album sales.

Nebraska posts very similar results to Darkness with one hit at 15 million, Atlantic City, and all the remaining tracks over 1 million. It has 39,000 equivalent album sales.

Streaming Part 4

Here comes the beast. At 64 million streams, I’m on Fire would be the diamond of many artists’ discography. However, it is only the third highest song on Born in the U.S.A.! The title track has 76 million streams on Spotify, while Dancing in the Dark is up to 87 million. The album, which for many, is often the first step into Bruce Springsteen‘s discography also receives nice totals from YouTube with 246 million overall. All told, this adds 348,000 equivalent album sales.

The iconic song Brilliant Disguise is one of the most disappointing results with less than 10 million Spotify streams, a bit less than Tougher Than the Rest. Interestingly, the ongoing development of MTV during the 80s is visible in YouTube results 30 years later as songs from Tunnel of Love amass more streams there than on Spotify. It is up to 39,000 equivalent album sales.

Streaming Part 5

The lack of big hits from Springsteen‘s albums during the 90s impacts their streaming results too. They are also far less consistent than previous albums with all album tracks under 1 million. Songs from Human Touch and The Ghost of Tom Joad are both on 10 million. Equivalent album sales average 18,000 units for those LPs.

Streaming Part 6

The Rising has been as much an up as Devils & Dust has been a down. The Rising has two 10-million tracks and 11 over 1 million. Devils & Dust has 2 songs over 1 million and 10 below that mark. This explains why they are respectively on 45,000 and 8,000  equivalent album sales.

Streaming Part 7

We Shall Overcome was a special release, a traditional folk record made of covers from Pete Seeger‘s catalog. It wasn’t supposed to be a great seller, with virtually no single to support it. Rave reviews quickly did the job though, and this word of mouth appeal is seen within its streaming results too as 12 of its songs have over 1 million Spotify streams. It has accumulated 32,000 equivalent album sales in spite of owning no hit.

Magic is less consistent, but benefits in full from streams of Radio Nowhere which are close to 20 million. The album has 36,000 equivalent album sales.

Streaming Part 8

From Wrecking Ball, the audio streaming market was starting to grow. It explains the higher figures overall without a sizable hit though. All together, these three albums represent more than 100,000 equivalent album sales.

Streaming Part 9

Very few artists released as many songs as the Boss outside of their main original albums. It is mostly due to the recent extensive packages themed around those studio sets.

Two songs stand out of the pack in this list. The first is Streets of Philadelphia at nearly 60 million Spotify streams and over 70 million YouTube views. The second is Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town at 30 million audio streams. In total, all those streams are worth 218,000 equivalent album sales.

Full Length related record Sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the value originating from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains this method.

Remaining Long Format – Part 1 – Compilations 1

How to understand this table? If you check for example the Greatest Hits compilation line, those figures mean it sold 15,350,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 586,000 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.

The second part on the right of the table shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents on the overall package. Thus, streaming figures tell us songs from The River are responsible for 18% of Greatest Hits track list attractiveness. This means it generated 2,719,000 of its 15,350,000 album sales and so forth for the other records.

A pattern appears from the distribution of sales of those four releases. Born in the U.S.A. is the main appeal provider of the singer-songwriter catalog while both Born to Run and The River complete the leading trio.

Remaining Long Format – Part 2 – Compilations 2

No surprise from this new list of compilations as the same pattern is verified with a big 3 standing over the pack.

The only exception is The Promise. This 2CD pack was made of outtakes from The Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions, although it contains no song in common with it which means they are all Orphan songs.

Remaining Long Format – Part 3 – Lives

Originally released as a 5LP package, Live 1975-85 was an unbelievable seller. Those sales were due to the set being the closest product to a greatest hits compilation until the 1995 album. Thus, it is natural to see it with the same pattern as best of records, axed around songs of Born in the U.S.A., Born to Run and The River. As we can see, compilation after compilation, those studio albums generated large album sales outside of their original form.

Remaining Long Format – Part 4 – Boxes & EPs

In recent years, various boxes emerged. A couple of them have been focusing on the 1973-1984 period. Far and away the most profitable one. As usual, sales of boxes containing entire original albums have their sales assigned at 100% into each studio album.

Remaining Long Format – Part 5 – Music Videos

With 4,7 million units sold, Bruce Springsteen is a real monster in the music video department.

Interestingly, we can notice that up to 2003, the main catalog of the singer was exploited with live albums focusing on big hits. In latter years, various live albums have been themed around old – 1975 – concerts, or around a specific album like Wings for Wheels and The Promise.

Full Length related records Sales – Summary

Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success – the amount of compilation sales of all kinds it generated. Due to the dependency of sales of the original studio albums on these releases, they are a key piece of the jigsaw.

Unsurprisingly, Born in the U.S.A. leads the pack. It generated a massive 13,85 million album sales of various compilations and live sets. Maybe not as expected is the very solid total of Born to Run at 8,3 million.

BONUS: Compilation Albums Sales

Live 1975-85 (1986)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "springsteen Live 1975-85"
  • America
    • US – 4,600,000
    • Canada – 450,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 400,000
    • Japan – 280,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 120,000
    • New Zealand – 20,000
  • Europe – 1,650,000
    • UK – 250,000
    • France – 115,000
    • Germany – 325,000
    • Italy – 150,000
    • Spain – 100,000
    • Sweden – 125,000
    • Netherlands – 120,000
    • Switzerland – 50,000
    • Austria – 30,000
    • Finland – 33,000
  • World – 7,400,000

Greatest Hits (1995)

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  • America
    • US – 6,050,000
    • Canada – 800,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 950,000
    • Japan – 650,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 420,000
    • New Zealand – 65,000
  • Europe – 6,580,000
    • UK – 1,350,000
    • France – 600,000
    • Germany – 1,275,000
    • Italy – 625,000
    • Spain – 325,000
    • Sweden – 350,000
    • Netherlands – 325,000
    • Switzerland – 150,000
    • Austria – 160,000
    • Finland – 85,000
  • World – 15,350,000

BONUS: Total Album (all types) Sales per Country

  • America
    • US – 67,050,000
    • Canada – 7,530,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 5,980,000
    • Japan – 3,950,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 3,125,000
    • New Zealand – 645,000
  • Europe – 49,960,000
    • UK – 10,675,000
    • France – 3,925,000
    • Germany – 7,910,000
    • Italy – 5,225,000
    • Spain – 3,455,000
    • Sweden – 3,120,000
    • Netherlands – 2,415,000
    • Switzerland – 1,240,000
    • Austria – 835,000
    • Finland – 675,000
  • World – 138,400,000

Please note that some of the countries totals may be slightly incomplete when the figure is N/A for minor releases. Countries with too much missing information to be precise enough are listed as N/A.

Bruce Springsteen Career CSPC Results

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Bruce Springsteen 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.

'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)

Artist career totals

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


So, is he really The Boss? The figures speak for themselves. Born In The U.S.A. is a gigantic sales beast, up to 47,4 million equivalent album sales overall. U2‘s The Joshua Tree and Bon Jovi‘s Slippery When Wet are the only albums from the 80s studied up to now with higher total sales. Both edge ahead with a tiny lead.

We can’t expect the remaining albums to be close to this monster. However, they still do wonders on their own. Born to Run is now close to 20 million equivalent album sales while The River is almost as big at 17,5 million.

After Tunnel of Love, on its way to break 10 million, there is a dozen of successful albums spread over 4 decades. Bruce Springsteen has yet to drop below 2 million sales with a studio album of new songs.

So many hit albums builds an impressive tally of 157 million equivalent album sales in total. This makes him the biggest solo male singer studied so far while we await the arrival of articles covering Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and Elton John.

The following sections list his most successful songs as well as his records and achievements.

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

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Chartmasters.org.

BIGGEST TRACKS – Bruce Springsteen

The list of most successful songs is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each of them. It includes the song’s own physical singles sales with a 0,3 weighting, its download and streaming sales, and with appropriate weighting too, plus its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

1 1984 – Born in the U.S.A. [Born in the U.S.A.] – 14,800,000
2 1984 – Dancing in the Dark [Born in the U.S.A.] – 13,530,000
3 1975 – Born to Run [Born to Run] – 11,100,000
4 1984 – I’m on Fire [Born in the U.S.A.] – 7,920,000
5 1980 – The River [The River] – 7,850,000
6 1975 – Thunder Road [Born to Run] – 5,640,000
7 1980 – Hungry Heart [The River] – 5,130,000
8 1984 – Glory Days [Born in the U.S.A.] – 4,300,000
9 1992 – Human Touch [Human Touch] – 3,890,000
10 1987 – Tougher Than the Rest [Tunnel of Love] – 3,290,000
11 1982 – Atlantic City [Nebraska] – 3,140,000
12 1987 – Brilliant Disguise [Tunnel of Love] – 3,110,000
13 1978 – Badlands [Darkness on the Edge of Town] – 2,960,000
14 1994 – Streets of Philadelphia [Orphan] – 2,890,000
15 1973 – Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) [The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle] – 2,060,000
16 2007 – Radio Nowhere [Magic] – 1,830,000
17 1995 – The Ghost of Tom Joad [The Ghost of Tom Joad] – 1,780,000
18 1984 – My Hometown [Born in the U.S.A.] – 1,760,000
19 2002 – Waitin’ on a Sunny Day [The Rising] – 1,510,000
20 2002 – The Rising [The Rising] – 1,440,000
21 1973 – Blinded by the Light [Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.] – 1,420,000
22 1984 – Cover Me [Born in the U.S.A.] – 1,260,000
23 1992 – Better Days [Lucky Town] – 1,200,000
24 1987 – Tunnel of Love [Tunnel of Love] – 1,180,000
25 1978 – Darkness on the Edge of Town [Darkness on the Edge of Town] – 1,150,000

Records & Achievements

  • His 157 million CSPC sales represent the highest tally ever achieved by a solo artist who never achieved a #1 single in the US and in the UK
  • At 3,1 million album sales, The Boss is far and away the biggest selling international artist ever in Sweden. He sold almost twice as much as Pink Floyd (1,7 million) and the Beatles (1,6 million).
  • With some 2,2 million album sales in Norway, he is also the all-time leader in the country among non-Scandinavian acts. The country has 5,2 million inhabitants against 321 million in the US, so per capita, his Norwegian sales equal nearly 136 million albums sold in his homeland.
  • Bruce Springsteen is one of the rare artists to top both the US and the UK Album charts in four consecutive decades.
  • He is the 5th biggest album seller of all-time in Europe among US artists
  • Born in the U.S.A. holds the record for the most Top 10 hits ever from a single album, tying Michael Jackson‘s Thriller which first achieved the feat.
  • Born in the U.S.A. reached Diamond status in November 1985 in the US, only the fourth album ever to reach this milestone at the time after Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours and the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack
  • Born in the U.S.A. was the fourth album in music history to break 20 million global sales when passing the mark in 1987, following Michael Jackson‘s Thriller and both Soundtracks Saturday Night Fever and GreaseFleetwood Mac‘s Rumours and Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon followed suit the same year.
  • Born in the U.S.A. sold over 1 million units in Scandinavia, topping even Michael Jackson‘s Thriller

Springsteen‘s love story with Scandinavia started a long time ago. Here is an unbelievable moment of him performing live in the street, in spite of being a mega-star by that time.

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