Official Global Top Sellers of 2004 – with Sales

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The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has been providing a delightful annual ranking of top album sellers since 2001. Despite them having been leakedfor some years, actual sales figures weren’t included. What if I was to say, I have my hands on the sales figures for 2004’s Top 20? 

I’ll start by posting albums ranking from #21 to #50. Although their sales haven’t leaked their numbers range from 3,4 million to 2 million with the #35 album selling 2,5 million. The next pages include two elements that haven’t made it on to charts & sales websites so far. The first is majors’ albums bubbling under the Top 50. The second is all the albums ranging from #20 to #1 with official sales rounded to the closest 0,1 million, with some added comments understand how the industry’s figures work and an embedded video. If you don’t want to be kept in suspense, and not relive this great year, you can go directly to the last page which includes the full list!

21 Kanye West College Dropout
22 Keane Hopes And Fears 
23 Various Artists Now That’s What I Call Music! 17
24 Ray Charles Genius Loves Company 
25 OutKast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below 
26 Various Artists Now That’s What I Call Music! 16  
27 Rod Stewart Stardust…The Great American Songbook III
28 Tim McGraw Live Like You Were Dying 
29 Jay Z & Linkin Park MTV Ultimate Mash Ups Presents… 
30 Norah Jones Come Away With Me 
31 George Strait 50 #1’s  
32 Josh Groban Closer 
33 Toby Keith Greatest Hits 2 
34 Hoobastank The Reason  
35 Jessica Simpson In This Skin  
36 Gwen Stefani Love Angel Music Baby  
37 Velvet Revolver Contraband 
38 George Michael Patience 
39 Joss Stone The Soul Sessions  
40 Scissor Sisters Scissor Sisters  
41 Various Artists Now 15 
42 Jay Chou Common Jasmine Orange 
43 Evanescence Fallen 
44 Big & Rich Horse of a Different Color 
45 Nelly Sweat 
46 Twista Kamikaze 
47 Diana Krall The Girl In The Other Room 
48 R. Kelly Happy People/U Saved Me 
49 Alicia Keys The Diary Of Alicia Keys 
50 Joss Stone Mind, Body & Soul

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I hope you will continue an analysis in this way ( year by year ) . Thank You !


Please do Anastacia’s article!


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


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


Hi Dan!

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


What about In The Zone? Her worldwide smash Toxic would have continued to fuel heavy sales, in addition to her Onyx Hotel Tour promoting the album. Follow-up single Everytime would perform well enough and while her eventual GHits album did make this list, I just don’t see why ITZ wouldn’t have made it. Didn’t it have stronger sales than DiL?


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