Pink Floyd albums and songs sales

Since 1973, one part of the Moon has been shaking the entire world. The British band Pink Floyd are the ones responsible for this event. Nearly half a century later, they are still producing new music, such as Is This the Life We Really Want?, the first studio album by founding member Roger Waters in 25 years, which came out just a few days ago.

Among music legends, some have been incredible sellers like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. Others are nowhere near their stellar achievements a la Janis Joplin or Frank Zappa. So, just where do Pink Floyd stand?

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The album Dark Side of the Moon is widely praised for its consistent sales since it spent decades charting on the Billboard US rankings. The 1979 double album The Wall was a long-standing #1 in various countries. On the minus side though, the band rarely issued singles. They also sold relatively few compilations. This means their studio albums have been catalyzing the largest part of their discography appeal. Thus, how does the band perform overall considering their lack of sales in several key formats? Are their pure album sales enough to put them among the A-List of the most popular artists of all-time?

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge their results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all the Pink Floyd’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)

04 Scale and Balance Eric Johnson

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!

Pink Floyd’s original album 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.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

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  • America
    • US – 800,000
    • Canada – 100,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 135,000
    • Japan – 80,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 45,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 1,130,000
    • UK – 275,000
    • France – 200,000
    • Germany – 175,000
    • Italy – 130,000
    • Spain – 35,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherlands – 50,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 2,450,000

A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

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  • America
    • US – 500,000
    • Canada – 70,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 130,000
    • Japan – 80,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 30,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 980,000
    • UK – 225,000
    • France – 180,000
    • Germany – 150,000
    • Italy – 115,000
    • Spain – 30,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherlands – 45,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 1,900,000

More (1969)

  • America
    • US – 550,000
    • Canada – 75,000
    • Argentina – 55,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 180,000
    • Japan – 100,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 30,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 1,540,000
    • UK – 250,000
    • France – 375,000
    • Germany – 200,000
    • Italy – 160,000
    • Spain – 100,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherlands – 75,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 2,700,000

Ummagumma (1969)

  • America
    • US –  1,900,000
    • Canada – 200,000
    • Argentina – 45,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 265,000
    • Japan – 150,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 105,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 2,240,000
    • UK – 375,000
    • France – 400,000
    • Germany – 325,000
    • Italy – 250,000
    • Spain – 125,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherlands – 175,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 5,050,000

Atom Heart Mother (1970)

  • America
    • US – 1,250,000
    • Canada – 150,000
    • Argentina – 100,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 500,000
    • Japan – 300,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 75,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 3,230,000
    • UK – 450,000
    • France – 675,000
    • Germany – 400,000
    • Italy – 500,000
    • Spain – 180,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherlands – 200,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 5,700,000

Meddle (1971)

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  • America
    • US – 3,100,000
    • Canada – 350,000
    • Argentina – 100,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 425,000
    • Japan – 250,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 175,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 3,320,000
    • UK – 750,000
    • France – 650,000
    • Germany – 500,000
    • Italy – 300,000
    • Spain – 150,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherlands – 175,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 7,950,000

Obscured by Clouds (1972)

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  • America
    • US – 1,175,000
    • Canada – 125,000
    • Argentina – 65,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 250,000
    • Japan – 150,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 65,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 1,640,000
    • UK – 275,000
    • France – 325,000
    • Germany – 225,000
    • Italy – 230,000
    • Spain – 100,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherlands – 80,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 3,600,000

The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

  • America
    • US – 21,800,000
    • Canada – 2,575,000
    • Argentina – 450,000
    • Brazil – 600,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 1,485,000
    • Japan – 850,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 1,080,000
    • New Zealand – 255,000
  • Europe – 13,500,000
    • UK – 3,725,000
    • France – 1,725,000
    • Germany – 1,900,000
    • Italy – 2,000,000
    • Spain – 600,000
    • Sweden – 275,000
    • Netherlands – 450,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – 200,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 43,300,000

Wish You Were Here (1975)

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  • America
    • US – 8,300,000
    • Canada – 1,000,000
    • Argentina – 200,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 870,000
    • Japan – 450,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 515,000
    • New Zealand – 75,000
  • Europe – 10,270,000
    • UK – 1,750,000
    • France – 1,440,000
    • Germany – 2,575,000
    • Italy – 950,000
    • Spain – 625,000
    • Sweden – 180,000
    • Netherlands – 300,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – 160,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 22,300,000

Animals (1977)

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  • America
    • US – 5,450,000
    • Canada – 625,000
    • Argentina – 100,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 465,000
    • Japan – 250,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 275,000
    • New Zealand – 60,000
  • Europe – 4,630,000
    • UK – 650,000
    • France – 900,000
    • Germany – 1,050,000
    • Italy – 325,000
    • Spain – 300,000
    • Sweden – 100,000
    • Netherlands – 175,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – 60,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 12,150,000

The Wall (1979)

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  • America
    • US – 14,100,000
    • Canada – 1,850,000
    • Argentina – 300,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 950,000
    • Japan – 475,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 800,000
    • New Zealand – 235,000
  • Europe – 11,470,000
    • UK – 1,750,000
    • France – 1,535,000
    • Germany – 2,475,000
    • Italy – 1,450,000
    • Spain – 675,000
    • Sweden – 350,000
    • Netherlands – 425,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – 225,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 31,300,000

The Final Cut (1983)

  • America
    • US – 2,675,000
    • Canada – 375,000
    • Argentina – 100,000
    • Brazil – 200,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 270,000
    • Japan – 150,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 150,000
    • New Zealand – 50,000
  • Europe – 2,580,000
    • UK – 520,000
    • France – 325,000
    • Germany – 500,000
    • Italy – 375,000
    • Spain – 125,000
    • Sweden – 70,000
    • Netherlands – 70,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – 50,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 6,800,000

A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987)

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  • America
    • US – 4,850,000
    • Canada – 650,000
    • Argentina – 110,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 285,000
    • Japan – 150,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 300,000
    • New Zealand – 115,000
  • Europe – 3,260,000
    • UK – 600,000
    • France – 575,000
    • Germany – 525,000
    • Italy – 375,000
    • Spain – 180,000
    • Sweden – 80,000
    • Netherlands – 110,000
    • Switzerland – 125,000
    • Austria – 55,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 10,200,000

The Division Bell (1994)

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  • America
    • US – 3,750,000
    • Canada – 600,000
    • Argentina – 110,000
    • Brazil – 450,000
    • Mexico – 250,000
  • Asia – 385,000
    • Japan – 200,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 180,000
    • New Zealand – 70,000
  • Europe – 5,470,000
    • UK – 1,175,000
    • France – 800,000
    • Germany – 1,050,000
    • Italy – 700,000
    • Spain – 200,000
    • Sweden – 95,000
    • Netherlands – 225,000
    • Switzerland – 130,000
    • Austria – 75,000
    • Finland – 25,000
  • World – 11,550,000

The Endless River (2014)

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  • America
    • US – 500,000
    • Canada – 125,000
    • Argentina – 15,000
    • Brazil – 60,000
    • Mexico – 30,000
  • Asia – 80,000
    • Japan – 45,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 75,000
    • New Zealand – 25,000
  • Europe – 1,680,000
    • UK – 460,000
    • France – 265,000
    • Germany – 375,000
    • Italy – 240,000
    • Spain – 15,000
    • Sweden – 25,000
    • Netherlands – 45,000
    • Switzerland – 30,000
    • Austria – 15,000
    • Finland – 5,000
  • World – 2,650,000

Original Album Sales – Comments

Over the course of 47 years, The 15 studio LPs of Pink Floyd moved the unbelievable total of 169,6 million copies. May I say this tops the 160,65 million studio albums sold by the Beatles?

An average of 11,3 million is truly stunning. It is even more incredible considering the circumstances. As many as 7 of those albums came out before the explosion of the group’s popularity and during a singles-axed era, selling well under 1 million copies during their promotional campaigns. The first two albums were mostly deleted too during the golden days of the band given A Nice Pair box set replaced them. This set is considered within the compilations category coming later. 2014’s The Endless River came out in a disastrous market environment and contains almost exclusively instrumentals. Also, the band stopped releasing new albums while they were still massively popular. 2 or 3 additional albums issued in the period of 1995-2005 would have done wonders, possibly pushing the tally all the way up to 200 million.

Owning one album which is a 43,3 million seller obviously helps in building an average as impressive as theirs. This figure eclipses the 41,1 million sales of The Bodyguard soundtrack which was the top selling album in original format studied so far. No need to say Michael Jackson‘s Thriller still needs to be added to this tally.

At 22,3 million, Wish You Were Here would be the blockbuster album of many giant artists. For Pink Floyd however, it is a distant third.

Out of a near 170 million total, there is tons of individual figures of note in those albums breakdowns. Consequently, before moving into the physical singles sales category, let’s go back to some key numbers like Dark Side of the Moon sales in the UK or in Italy. After that, I’ll be displaying sales timelines of the band’s biggest albums, e.g. their sales up to various dates, to better gauge their initial reception as well as their appeal in the long run.

Pink Floyd Forever

1967 The Piper at the Gates of Dawn – 2,450,000
1968 A Saucerful of Secrets – 1,900,000
1969 More – 2,700,000
1969 Ummagumma – 5,050,000
1970 Atom Heart Mother – 5,700,000
1971 Meddle – 7,950,000
1972 Obscured by Clouds – 3,600,000
1973 The Dark Side of the Moon – 43,300,000
1975 Wish You Were Here – 22,300,000
1977 Animals – 12,150,000
1979 The Wall – 31,300,000
1983 The Final Cut – 6,800,000
1987 A Momentary Lapse of Reason – 10,200,000
1994 The Division Bell – 11,550,000
2014 The Endless River – 2,650,000

Controversies about Pink Floyd’s sales

Part 1 – Dark Side of the Moon – UK

As per the official music industry organization of the UK, the BPI, Dark Side of the Moon sold over 4,2 million copies there as of February 2016.

Sadly, official doesn’t always mean accurate. The BPI bases their figures on scanned copies since 1994 to date. Everything prior to that date was achieved by requesting awards on the back of an audit. From 2013 though, the BPI started to automatically certify albums on their scanned units. Since that data was incomplete for various all-time top sellers which came out before 1994, the organization decided to certify those biggest albums on sales estimated by Alan Jones in February 2016.

The estimate of Dark Side of the Moon is clearly incorrect though. The set was audited and certified as 9xPlatinum in 2005, representing shipments between 2,7 million and 3 million. Since that date, the album sold close to 750,000 units which sets a roof of possible sales on 3,75 million – nowhere near the 4,2 million plus assumption.

Various chart experts contested that 9xPlatinum award too though, myself included. In fact, the album was 7xPlatinum back in 1993 while there is documented sales of more than 900,000 units between those two awards and more than 1,2 million shipments. How wasn’t it certified at least 10xPlatinum in 2005 then? Let’s check its yearly sales and shipments for the relevant period. All figures in thousands.

As you can see, adding the 2,1 million units certified in early 1993 to further copies shipped / sold by 2005 brings the total to 3,3 / 3,1 million respectively. These figures are tricky though. Based on royalties, net shipments weren’t always factored into the year of sales, often copies shipped were paid to the artist months or even years later! It is very visible in 2004 when it net shipped 180,000 units while most of them were indeed shipped (and sold) in 2003 with the 30th anniversary edition. In the other side, units barely ordered by retailers already have their bills, meaning they can be included into certifications.

The fact that net shipments run well ahead of sales for many years imply that a good portion of copies shipped from 1993 to 1995 most likely happened in reality between the early 90s to March 1993. This was when the 20th anniversary edition came out shooting to #4 in the weekly chart. Assuming a realistic 300,000 units shipped for this reissue, pushing the total to 2,1 million, there is still 865,000 new copies that got shipped up to the end of 2004. Among copies shipped in 2005, most of them occurred in the last part of the year when it reached the Top 50. While the 9xPlatinum award was received in May. Doing the math, the album had shipped 2,1 million + 865,000 + a few early 2005 copies by May 2005, explaining why it fell short of the 3 million copies needed to be 10xPlatinum.

Those 2,975,000 units moved by May 2005 added to the 750,000 units shifted since that date justifies the 3,725,000 estimate to date.

Part 2 – Dark Side of the Moon – ITALY

Pink Floyd have been immensely popular in various markets. Often even more than in the US or in the UK. In France for example, Meddle, an album that peaked at #70 in the US, returned to the Top 10 four years in a row. In Spain, Wish You Were Here lasted 20 weeks at #1. In Sweden, The Wall was 26 weeks at the top.

If all those numbers are outstanding, nothing comes close to the band’s legacy in Italy. Since 2000, although only one album was released, they amassed the unreal total of 1590 weeks on the charts. Most of them since 2006 thanks to their catalog albums. Dark Side of the Moon is the leading force of their discography. As a trademark of that feat, it reached #2 in 2003, #5 in 2006, #15 in 2010, #5 in 2011, #20 in 2013, #18 in 2014 and #17 in 2016. This mind-blowing chart history provides it a well documented 550,000 sales since the start of the millennium. A figure of that magnitude obviously opens up the debate on its release to date sales, which are poised to be among the very highest figures ever seen in that country.

Historical figures are very hard to identify for this market, except on old Musica e Dischi magazines. Its edition covering the year 1988 revealed an immense milestone managed by Pink Floyd‘s album.

Simple Minds ( “Street Fighting Years “) and Simply Red ( “A New Flame “) follow with 400,000 sales, Pink Floyd ( “Delicate Sound Of Thunder “) did 300,000 […] EMI in Italy was delighted by demand for Pink Floyd‘s back catalog, especially on CD, a demand fueled by the band’s live show in Venice. The Floyd 1973 classic “The Dark Side Of The Moon” has now passed the 1 million mark in Italy.

This fantastic information was relayed by Billboard back in the day. The album shipped very limited copies in the early 90s due to the bulk of CDs sent to retailers in 1989. However, it then moved an average of 50,000 units from 1991 to 1999. This adds 450,000 to 1 million to 550,000, for a grand total of 2 million copies. Simply magnificent.

Sales Timeline – Dark Side of the Moon & The Wall

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Hitting #1 when first released in 1973, Dark Side of the Moon also spent 27 weeks inside the Top 10 in the US. Until February 1980, it continued to feature within the Top 200 week after week, accumulating incredible sales.

As surprising as it is the album had sold only 6,5 million units in the US by that date, as confirmed at the time by the New York Times. This is barely 30% of its 21,8 million sales to date. In a Worldwide scale, the Guinness Book of Records – which is valid when sales are audited, not when random people enter random claims on their website nowadays – audited its sales in December 1986 at 19,5 million, less than half its sales to date. By the release of The Division Bell in 1994, EMI confirmed global sales of 28 million copies.

Two things must be understood from those figures. As sales from 1994 to date are under control in all relevant markets, and suggest a bit more than 15 million units moved in that time frame, release to date sales of Dark Side of the Moon of over 43 million are exact. The margin of error is under 1 million, a tiny window for such a monster seller. The second highlight concerns the size of the market in distinct eras. Watching an album from 1973 selling 43 million units suggest the market was huge at the time. In reality, it took about 5 years to break the 10 million barrier in spite of monumental charts performances. A sales pattern similar to the one achieved by Ed Sheeran‘s X since its 2013 release.

A blockbuster #1 album in most markets when issued in late 1979, The Wall registered 14 or more weeks at the top in Sweden, the US, France, Norway, Germany, Spain and Austria. The market overall was already much healthier than in 1973, but it wasn’t strong enough even to build 20 or 30 million tallies as fast as during the 90s. By 1981, the album had sold 10,5 million units, a total up to 12,5 million by 1984. The next decade was huge for this album which climbed all the way to 20 million by 1994, some 15 years after its release. Those figures show how unreal sales were of the likes of Saturday Night Fever and Thriller that went past 25 and 30 million units respectively in less than 2 years during the same era.

Pink Floyd’s physical singles sales

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

1967-71

Pink Floyd weren’t a pure album band during its early days. Under the direction of the late Syd Barrett, they debuted by issuing singles. Arnold Layne and See Emily Play reached #20 and #8 respectively in the UK charts way back in 1967. After his exclusion from the band due to his strong addictions, which led to the arrival of David Gilmour, Pink Floyd focused more and more on albums as a full piece of work.

Some singles still came out sporadically here and there, but it wasn’t until Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) that a proper lead single benefited from a global release. It was a groundbreaking smash, selling 5,6 million copies after topping charts in most countries just like its parent album.

This gap between one all-time top seller and songs barely released in one or two countries conclude on a truly unique fact. Although the band has been active for 3 decades, that 1979 single alone is responsible for 72% of their career sales of physical singles!

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) – 15,000 equivalent albums

Flaming – 50,000

A Saucerful of Secrets (1968) – 15,000 equivalent albums

Let There Be More Light – 50,000

More (1969) – 15,000 equivalent albums

The Nile Song – 50,000

Ummagumma (1969) – 0 equivalent albums

No single released

Atom Heart Mother (1970) – 0 equivalent albums

No single released

Meddle (1971) – 15,000 equivalent albums

One of These Days – 50,000

1973-79

Obscured by Clouds (1972) – 3,000 equivalent albums

Free Four – 10,000

The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) – 282,000 equivalent albums

Money – 860,000
Us and Them – 80,000

Wish You Were Here (1975) – 11,000 equivalent albums

Have a Cigar – 25,000
Wish You Were Here – 10,000

Animals (1977) – 6,000 equivalent albums

Pigs (Three Different Ones) – 20,000

The Wall (1979) – 1,823,000 equivalent albums

Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) – 5,610,000
Comfortably Numb – 25,000
Run Like Hell – 300,000
Proper Education (remix of Another Brick in the Wall (Part II))- 140,000

1983-94 and orphan songs

The Final Cut (1983) – 45,000 equivalent albums

When the Tigers Broke Free – 70,000
Not Now John – 80,000

A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) – 84,000 equivalent albums

Learning To Fly – 170,000
One Slip – 40,000
On the Turning Away – 70,000

The Division Bell (1994) – 143,000 equivalent albums

Take It Back – 240,000
Keep Talking – 25,000
High Hopes – 210,000

Orphan – 183,000 equivalent albums

Arnold Layne – 140,000
See Emily Play – 330,000
Apples and Oranges – 50,000
It Would Be So Nice – 50,000
Julia Dream – 30,000
Point Me at the Sky – 10,000

Pink Floyd’s digital singles sales

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

1967-69

As expected, very few download sales from their early singles which benefit from almost no airplay nowadays.

pink floyd rules the earth
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) – 45,000 equivalent albums

Astronomy Domine – 125,000
Remaining tracks – 175,000

A Saucerful of Secrets (1968) – 23,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 150,000

More (1969) – 15,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 100,000

1969-72

Songs from Meddle are slightly more popular than the remaining 1967-1972 tunes, but this is still far from breathtaking as they combine for just half a million units.

Ummagumma (1969) – 7,500 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 50,000

Atom Heart Mother (1970) – 23,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 150,000

Meddle (1971) – 75,000 equivalent albums

Echoes – 200,000
One of These Days
– 100,000
Fearless – 100,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

Obscured by Clouds (1972) – 30,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 200,000

1973-77

Obviously, with both Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, we get into much higher waters. Incredibly, the title track of the latter album is the biggest selling catalog song of the band at nearly 3 million. Both Time and Money are over 1 million.

The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) – 795,000 equivalent albums

Time – 1,100,000
Money – 1,600,000
Remaining tracks – 2,600,000

Wish You Were Here (1975) – 645,000 equivalent albums

Wish You Were Here – 2,900,000
Remaining tracks – 1,400,000

Animals (1977) – 75,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 500,000

1979-87

With combined sales of 8 million tracks, The Wall is easily the biggest album in this format. It achieved this result thanks to its three million sellers, Another Brick in the Wall (Part II), Comfortably Numb and Hey You. 

Songs from the following albums haven’t caused much of an impact, although Learning To Fly remains relevant to this day.

The Wall (1979) – 1,200,000 equivalent albums

Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) – 2,400,000
Hey You – 1,100,000
Comfortably Numb – 2,000,000
Proper Education (remix of Another Brick in the Wall (Part II))- 300,000
Remaining tracks – 2,200,000

The Final Cut (1983) – 60,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 400,000

A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) – 165,000 equivalent albums

Learning To Fly – 500,000
On the Turning Away – 100,000
Sorrow – 100,000
Remaining tracks – 400,000

1994 onwards and orphan songs

Some more sales. Again, nothing stunning. This leads to a comprehensive tally of 23 million singles sold in downloads and ringtones format.

The Division Bell (1994) – 195,000 equivalent albums

High Hopes – 500,000
Remaining tracks – 800,000

The Endless River (2014) – 90,000 equivalent albums

Remaining tracks – 600,000

Orphan – 60,000 equivalent albums

See Emily Play – 150,000
Remaining tracks – 250,000

Pink Floyd’s 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

Two specific albums among the discography of Pink Floyd are known by the presence of Syd Barrett, those albums include no real hits. The strongest track from the pair is Astronomy Domine, with a relatively modest 7 million Spotify streams and just under 10 million YouTube views.

The consistency of all songs around 1 million audio streams or more doesn’t make up for the lack of hits. This leads to equivalent album sales of only 24,000 and 11,000 units for The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets respectively.

Streaming Part 2

With the Soundtrack More, which is full of themes, and then Ummagumma, an album made up of half-live half-solo songs, Pink Floyd were clearly moving away from the standard trajectory of 60s rock bands.

Not much is left from those records in the streaming era as they register a mere 14,000 equivalent album sales combined.

Streaming Part 3

The absence of hits from all pre-Dark Side of the Moon albums makes the band’s album sales all the more impressive.

Meddle does include three moderate hits in One of These Days, Echoes and Fearless. This isn’t enough to impress. Atom Heart Mother is up to 10,000 equivalent album sales, whilst Meddle stands at 33,000 and Obscured by Clouds 15,000.

Streaming Part 4

Expectedly, the Dark Side of the Moon shows a huge improvement upon previous albums. Released in 1973, all the songs on the album are past 15 million Spotify streams, a pretty amazing feat. Money is the leading song at 78 million, followed by Time at 52 million. Overall, the album has 392,000 equivalent album sales. While absolutely great for such an old LP, it is rather far from the 00s biggest albums from the likes Coldplay or Eminem.

Impressively, the song Wish You Were Here has 125 million streams on Spotify and 393 million on YouTube. The album as a whole is on 255,000 equivalent album sales, severely suffering from the length of all songs which last from 5 to 13 minutes each.

Animals suffers from the same problem with 3 songs surpassing the 10 minutes mark, but nowhere near the same appeal with only 35,000 equivalent album sales.

Streaming Part 5

Streaming Part 6

The Wall album is totally different from its predecessors as it contains 26 songs. This boosts strongly its overall performance which stands at 527,000 equivalent album sales. This is helped by Another Brick In The Wall (Part II) at nearly 100 million but also Comfortably Numb at 84 million and Hey You at 47 million.

The low sales of The Final Cut aren’t reversed in the streaming world. All the tracks top 1 million but none of them reach higher than 5 million. It has 31,000 equivalent album sales so far.

Interestingly, The Division Bell hasn’t sold well thanks to just the strong 90s sales as well as the legendary status of the band. It’s a very successful album, their fourth biggest record after the ground breaking trio Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. All of its songs are over 4 million Spotify streams and they combine for nearly 200 million YouTube views, leading to 109,000 equivalent sales. This is more than The Final Cut and A Momentary Lapse of Reason combined.

The Endless River is obviously the band’s only album released in the streaming era. It hasn’t been that successful in this field. At least nowhere near its results in pure album sales.

Streaming Part 7

A lot of very minor songs fullfil this list. The most notable tune is the classic See Emily Play at 8 million streams on Spotify.

Pink Floyd’s 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 – early Compilations

How to understand this table? If you check for example the A Collection of Great Dance Songs compilation line, those figures mean it sold 4,700,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 460,000 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 Wish You Were Here are responsible for 46% of A Collection of Great Dance Songs track list attractiveness. This means it generated 2,183,000 of its 4,700,000 album sales and so on for the other records.

The first part of the compilations analysis includes all the greatest hits packages issued during the active years of the band. Interestingly, those sets share a common factor, that they were never promoted. They were barely released to the market in some countries. A Nice Pair isn’t a traditional best of but instead a box of the first two albums released by Pink Floyd. It came out just after the smash Dark Side of the Moon to capitalize on the band’s new found popularity.

While none of those albums are truly big sellers, they do account for 12 million units combined.

Remaining Long Format – Part 2 – recent Compilations

This list of the most recent compilations is led by the 2001 package Echoes. A solid seller, this album was replaced one decade later by A Foot In The Door, which hasn’t taken the charts by fire but remains selling steadily week after week.

The difference with these packages is that they are aimed to be career-spanning. On their track lists, we notice the big 3 albums Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall are the main providers of attractiveness. Indeed, their songs represent a huge 93% of the last 2011 compilation tracks interest to listeners. Logically, most sales from those greatest hits are reassigned to their creators bringing huge additions to the aforementioned big 3.

Remaining Long Format – Part 3 – Live Albums

Pink Floyd has never been regarded as a best of band. They are absolutely a strong live act though. Both Delicate Sound of Thunder and Pulse are impressive sellers in the Live album category. Those figures do not account for VHS / DVD sales that will be listed separately.

Once again, the big 3 takes over the largest part of sales from those packages. The last live album Is There Anybody Out There? has lower sales, but 100% of them come from The Wall album which boosts it in a big way. From those live sets alone the 1979 LP records nearly 6 million sales.

Remaining Long Format – Part 4 – Box Sets

Along the years, various box sets of Pink Floyd‘s albums have been released. The last one was Discovery in 2011. All those boxes are re-assigned to the original albums in this list. You may notice that albums have different totals. It is due to boxes released at different dates which mean they contained different albums. Albums with the highest figures, over half a million, enjoy the 400,000 units sold by Shine On box set.

Remaining Long Format – Part 5 – Music Videos

Strong album sellers, Pink Floyd are also gigantic in the music video field. Two of their outputs, The Wall and Pulse, are past 3 million sales combining VHS and DVD releases. Both Live at Pompeii and Dark Side of The Moon are well over 1 million, creating a rare total of over 10 million music videos sold.

The big 3 is again responsible for the majority of those units shifted. The Wall repeats the advantage of having one massive selling package made up of only its songs. It means without doubt that Dark Side of the Moon sold more copies in its original format, slowly but surely though we are seeing The Wall generating more sales in various avenues like physical, digital and streaming singles and now on compilation sales too. Will that be enough to match it overall? Stay tuned, we are getting close to the totals.

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.

The Wall generated roughly 5 million sales of each, compilations, live albums and music videos. The combined total of 15,5 million sales provided is well ahead of the tally of Dark Side of the Moon at 11 million, while Wish You Were Here is a close third at 9,3 million.

Both The Piper at The Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets are the weakest sellers in album format. The CSPC method gives them back some justice by attributing sales from A Nice Pair into their total.

Animals fully used the heavy appeal of the group in the latter part of the 70s to amass great sales. As we can see here, it created very little value by itself.

BONUS – Pink Floyd’s compilation albums sales

NB: Just like for original album sales, 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.

A Collection of Great Dance Songs (1981)

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  • America
    • US – 2,400,000
    • Canada – 350,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 145,000
    • Japan – 80,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 150,000
    • New Zealand – 45,000
  • Europe – 1,320,000
    • UK – 350,000
    • France – 125,000
    • Germany – 250,000
    • Italy – 125,000
    • Spain – 75,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherlands – 80,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – 35,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 4,700,000

Delicate Sound of Thunder (1988)

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  • America
    • US – 2,400,000
    • Canada – 350,000
    • Argentina – 50,000
    • Brazil – 200,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 160,000
    • Japan – 75,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 175,000
    • New Zealand – 65,000
  • Europe – 2,470,000
    • UK – 400,000
    • France – 400,000
    • Germany – 400,000
    • Italy – 400,000
    • Spain – 120,000
    • Sweden – 50,000
    • Netherlands – 100,000
    • Switzerland – 80,000
    • Austria – 35,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 6,100,000

Pulse (1995)

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  • America
    • US – 1,800,000
    • Canada – 275,000
    • Argentina – 55,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 200,000
    • Japan – 100,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 120,000
    • New Zealand – 60,000
  • Europe – 2,780,000
    • UK – 525,000
    • France – 380,000
    • Germany – 525,000
    • Italy – 400,000
    • Spain – 120,000
    • Sweden – 45,000
    • Netherlands – 110,000
    • Switzerland – 80,000
    • Austria – 65,000
    • Finland – 15,000
  • World – 5,800,000

Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd (2001)

  • America
    • US – 2,500,000
    • Canada – 425,000
    • Argentina – 50,000
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 240,000
    • Japan – 120,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 225,000
    • New Zealand – 75,000
  • Europe – 3,480,000
    • UK – 1,025,000
    • France – 500,000
    • Germany – 400,000
    • Italy – 600,000
    • Spain – 150,000
    • Sweden – 60,000
    • Netherlands – 65,000
    • Switzerland – 60,000
    • Austria – 30,000
    • Finland – 20,000
  • World – 7,400,000

BONUS: Total Album (all types) Sales per Country

pink-floyd-1
  • America
    • US – 83,280,000
    • Canada – 10,785,000
    • Argentina – 2,075,000
    • Brazil – 3,855,000
    • Mexico – 2,870,000
  • Asia – 7,820,000
    • Japan – 4,290,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 4,820,000
    • New Zealand – 1,340,000
  • Europe – 80,780,000
    • UK – 16,390,000
    • France – 12,495,000
    • Germany – 14,520,000
    • Italy – 10,250,000
    • Spain – 4,055,000
    • Sweden – 1,720,000
    • Netherlands – 3,065,000
    • Switzerland – 1,875,000
    • Austria – 1,205,000
    • Finland – 435,000
  • World – 203,010,000

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.

Pink Floyd Career CSPC Results

So, after checking all the figures how many overall equivalent album sales has each Pink Floyd 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


Albums from the late 60s selling 5 million units are huge albums. This is true if we look only at the pure album format. Now that we mentioned it, we need to check carefully additional information. Albums like Atom Heart Mother or Ummagumma built solid sales over the years, but outside the main format they created close to no value to the band’s catalog. Thus, the total CSPC isn’t much higher at also around 5 million equivalent album sales. If we look at the Rolling Stones for example, Aftermath and Beggars Banquet sold 4 million units each in pure album sales, but their overall totals combine for a massive 35 million. In concrete words, even if sales of Pink Floyd‘s albums pre-1973 are solid, they aren’t as big as they seem with decent catalog sales being the result of the absence of cannibalization from compilations.

Nothing can be said against the big 3 though. It is already an absolutely unbelievable feat to reach 50 million with one album, let alone doing it with two. Although The Wall doesn’t quite catch Dark Side of the Moon (55,8 million), it is an unstoppable machine itself at 50,3 million. Whilst Dark Side Of The Moon sold 8,5 million more physical copies of the original album than Saturday Night Fever, it falls 10,9 million short in terms of overall performance. Still, 55,8 million puts it in a very restricted league. Below is the Top 5 albums out of all the previously posted articles:

1 1977 Soundtrack / Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever – 66,705,000
2 1977 Fleetwood MacRumours – 60,508,000
3 1971 Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin IV – 56,573,000
4 1973 Pink FloydDark Side of the Moon – 55,796,000
5 1992 Whitney HoustonThe Bodyguard – 53,231,000

Overall, Pink Floyd sold 229,4 million equivalent album sales, a figure out of reach for all but a handful of artists.

The following sections list their most successful songs.

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

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Billboard, Musica e Dischi, Guinness Book of Records, New York Times, JimmyPages59, Chartmasters.org.

BIGGEST TRACKS – Pink Floyd

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 1975 – Wish You Were Here [Wish You Were Here] – 22,260,000
2 1979 – Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) [The Wall] – 16,700,000
3 1973 – Money [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 14,130,000
4 1979 – Comfortably Numb [The Wall] – 10,740,000
5 1973 – Time [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 9,170,000
6 1973 – Breathe [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 6,220,000
7 1975 – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I–V) [Wish You Were Here] – 6,110,000
8 1973 – The Great Gig in the Sky [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 5,750,000
9 1987 – Learning to Fly [A Momentary Lapse of Reason] – 5,550,000
10 1979 – Hey You [The Wall] – 4,900,000
11 1973 – Us and Them [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 4,450,000
12 1973 – Brain Damage [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 3,760,000
13 1994 – High Hopes [The Division Bell] – 3,640,000
14 1971 – Echoes [Meddle] – 3,460,000
15 1977 – Dogs [Animals] – 3,290,000
16 1977 – Pigs (Three Different Ones) [Animals] – 3,080,000
17 1973 – Speak to Me [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 3,070,000
18 1971 – One of These Days [Meddle] – 3,040,000
19 1977 – Sheep [Animals] – 2,800,000
20 1973 – On the Run [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 2,760,000
21 1973 – Any Colour You Like [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 2,590,000
22 1973 – Eclipse [The Dark Side of the Moon] – 2,540,000
23 1977 – Pigs on the Wing 1 [Animals] – 2,460,000
24 1987 – Sorrow [A Momentary Lapse of Reason] – 2,060,000
25 1975 – Have a Cigar [Wish You Were Here] – 1,960,000
26 1971 – Fearless [Meddle] – 1,840,000
27 1994 – Coming Back to Life [The Division Bell] – 1,810,000
28 1967 – Astronomy Domine [The Piper at the Gates of Dawn] – 1,730,000
29 1970 – Atom Heart Mother [Atom Heart Mother] – 1,700,000
30 1968 – Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun [A Saucerful of Secrets] – 1,640,000
31 1969 – Grantchester Meadows [Ummagumma] – 1,560,000
32 1967 – See Emily Play [Orphan] – 1,480,000
32 1987 – On the Turning Away [A Momentary Lapse of Reason] – 1,480,000
34 1983 – The Fletcher Memorial Home [The Final Cut] – 1,460,000
35 1979 – Mother [The Wall] – 1,400,000
36 1994 – Marooned [The Division Bell] – 1,380,000
37 1977 – Pigs on the Wing 2 [Animals] – 1,370,000
38 1970 – Fat Old Sun [Atom Heart Mother] – 1,300,000
39 1979 – The Happiest Days of Our Lives [The Wall] – 1,280,000
40 1979 – Another Brick in the Wall (Part I) [The Wall] – 1,270,000
41 1979 – Run Like Hell [The Wall] – 1,230,000
42 1994 – What Do You Want from Me [The Division Bell] – 1,200,000
42 1994 – Keep Talking [The Division Bell] – 1,200,000
44 1970 – If [Atom Heart Mother] – 1,130,000
44 1975 – Welcome to the Machine [Wish You Were Here] – 1,130,000
46 1967 – Interstellar Overdrive [The Piper at the Gates of Dawn] – 1,100,000
47 1970 – Summer ’68 [Atom Heart Mother] – 1,090,000
48 1994 – A Great Day for Freedom [The Division Bell] – 910,000
49 1979 – Goodbye Blue Sky [The Wall] – 900,000
50 1979 – Young Lust [The Wall] – 850,000
50 1968 – Remember a Day [A Saucerful of Secrets] – 850,000

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