Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sales v critics v fans 1.1: Biggest selling albums of all time - Artists

Which artists have the most entries on the Top 100 biggest selling albums of all time? Glad you asked.

The artist with the most entries is - Soundtrack, with 8 entries. In descending sales order they are:

Grease, The Bodyguard, Saturday Night Fever, Dirty Dancing, Titanic,  Footloose, Top Gun, The Lion King    

Ok, let's put them to one side.

1. The Beatles - 6 entries

Well, that makes sense. Sgt Pepper, Abbey Rd, White Album, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Let It Be - all worthy contenders right? Wrong.

The biggest selling Beatles album of all time is: 1 - the greatest hits collection released in 2000. So far it has outsold Sgt Pepper, the next biggest selling. Then comes Abbey Rd, then two more greatest hits collections released in 1973 (originally as two LP sets), 1962-1966 and 1967-1970. Finally the White Album rounds out the half dozen.

2. Michael Jackson - 5 entries

Probably not too surprising. Thriller is, of course, the biggest selling album of all time - by a long way. Then come (in order of sales) Bad, Dangerous and Off the Wall. Finally the greatest hits collection HIStory. So MJ actually has one more original album in the top 100 than the Beatles.

3.= Celine Dion, Guns'n'Roses, Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Pink Floyd, U2 - 3 entries

Not a bad club. I was a little surprised to see Celine and the Gunners there. But combined with the Beatles and MJ this would be an ok desert island collection.

Celine Dion: Let's Talk About Love, Falling Into You, All the Way...a Decade of Song

Guns'n'Roses: Appetite for Destruction, Use Your Illusion 2, Use Your Illusion 1

Led Zeppelin: IV, II, Houses of the Holy

Madonna: The Immaculate Collection, True Blue, Like a Virgin

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (#2 overall), The Wall, Wish You Were Here

U2: The Joshua Tree, The Best of 1980-1990, Achtung Baby

9.= Backstreet Boys, Bon Jovi, Britney Spears, Eagles, Eminem, Fleetwood Mac, Mariah Carey, Phil Collins, Queen, Simon & Garfunkel, Whitney Houston - 2 entries

Surprised to see Eminem here with The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show. The rest not so surprising. Only a couple of what I would call truly disposable artists - but I must admit to guilty pleasure with Backstreet Boys and Britney.

Backstreet Boys: Millenium, Backstreet Boys

Bon Jovi: Slippery When Wet, Crossroad (The Very Best of)

Britney Spears: Baby One More Time, Oops!...I Did it Again

Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, Hotel California

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours, Greatest Hits

Mariah Carey: Music Box, Daydream

Phil Collins: No Jacket Required, ...But Seriously

Queen: Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits II

Simon & Garfunkel: Greatest Hits, Bridge over Troubled Water

Whitney Houston: Whitney Houston, Whitney

Everyone else - 1 entry

An interesting bunch. Not suprising that most of these are on the list. But I was surprised that artists like Prince and Elton John didn't have more entries.

Ace Of Base 
Alanis Morissette 
Andrea Bocelli 
Avril Lavigne 
Billy Joel 
Bob Marley 
Bruce Springsteen 
Carole King 
Def Leppard 
Dire Straits 
Elton John 
Eric Clapton 
Garth Brooks 
George Michael 
Green Day 
Hootie & The Blowfish 
James Taylor 
Kenny G 
Linkin Park 
Lionel Richie 
MC Hammer 
Meat Loaf 
Norah Jones 
Pearl Jam 
Shania Twain 
Spice Girls 
The Police 
Tracy Chapman 
ZZ Top 

Notable absences from the top 100 include David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones. I hypothesise that this is because they are relatively prolific artists who have been working over many decades - so their sales are diluted by being spread over many releases meaning that none make it onto the top 100.  

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