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Old 08 January 2013, 03:58 AM
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Icon106 Did “Thriller” Really Sell a Hundred Million Copies?

Music-industry sales figures are a complex subject, but this doesn’t excuse the fact that they are often exaggerated for public consumption. The numbers surrounding Michael Jackson have always been particularly outlandish.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...on-copies.html
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Old 09 January 2013, 05:55 PM
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The Guinness Book of World Records says the estimated sales are something like forty million.

Sister "less than half, but still an impressive number" Ray
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Old 29 April 2013, 08:26 PM
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Back in the 90s, I used to hear 48 millions. So it has to be at least 60 millions by now.
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Old 29 April 2013, 09:11 PM
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That's a pretty good article. Interesting that the guy who's provided most of the data says that each of The Beatles has individually outsold Michael Jackson, but there are only two Beatles albums (one a Greatest Hits collection) and no solo albums from Beatles members in his Top 20 list - and the ones that are there aren't high on it.

There are three Michael Jackson albums on the list, adding up to 130,700,000. The two Beatles albums add up to 60,700,000 - which would put them second in terms of artists after Jackson. (Nobody else on the list has more than one album, apart from Soundtrack, who don't count because they've never had a fixed line-up.) I guess that's because The Beatles have far more albums than that, and most of the others must have sold almost enough to be on the list in their own right.

Metallica's Black Album has sold more than Abbey Road - and more than any Beatles album which isn't a compilation, according to that.
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Old 01 May 2013, 05:45 PM
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Well, many artists I think have one or two "really big" albums, and then a number of albums only known to hard-core fans. The Beatles are one of the exceptions - they have half a dozen or so albums that are pretty well known to anyone with a good knowledge of pop or rock music. So it's not too surprising that their collective sales would be more impressive than many artists who have had bigger-selling single albums.

(Really, the Beatles were a unique phenomenon in a huge number of ways, only partly related to their actual level of talent as musicians and composers. How many other bands are there where all the members' names are well-known to the general public - and were pretty much household words at the time? When you consider that they were only recording together for about six years, it's pretty astonishing.)
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Old 01 May 2013, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
Well, many artists I think have one or two "really big" albums, and then a number of albums only known to hard-core fans. The Beatles are one of the exceptions - they have half a dozen or so albums that are pretty well known to anyone with a good knowledge of pop or rock music.
Primarily because the Beatles started during the days when rock 'n' roll performers were typically viewed as fads of limited appeal, so the record labels had them cranking out two or three albums a year (plus a stream of singles) to capitalize on their popularity before it faded. They didn't have the leisure that modern acts do to put out one mega-selling album every three years or so.
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