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Old 09-27-2005, 07:51 AM   #1
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Top 100 Bestselling Album Artists Of The Soundscan Era

rank, units in 1000s, artist)

1. 66,119 Garth Brooks
2. 51,202 The Beatles
3. 47,607 Metallica
4. 46,920 Celine Dion
5. 46,317 Mariah Carey
6. 35,504 George Strait
7. 32,727 Shania Twain
8. 31,729 Alan Jackson
9. 31,717 Kenny G
10. 31,516 Pink Floyd
11. 30,849 Tim McGraw
12. 30,187 Backstreet Boys
13. 29,572 U2
14. 29,167 Eminem
15. 28,231 Britney Spears
16. 27,890 Pearl Jam
17. 27,639 N Sync
18. 27,047 Aerosmith
19. 26,929 Dave Matthews Band
20. 26,823 Eric Clapton
21. 26,371 Elvis Presley
22. 25,243 Reba Mcentire
23. 24,987 Creed
24. 23,977 Elton John
25. 23,741 The Eagles
26. 23,420 Frank Sinatra
27. 23,414 Dixie Chicks
28. 23,312 Rod Stewart
29. 23,072 Santana
30. 23,045 Enya
31. 22,963 Nirvana
32. 22,805 Madonna
33. 22,749 Boyz II Men
34. 22,624 AC/DC
35. 22,573 Jimmy Buffett
36. 21,778 Jay-Z
37. 21,561 Guns & Roses
38. 21,427 Michael Bolton
39. 21,022 Toby Keith
40. 21,017 The Rolling Stones
41. 19,892 Nelly
42. 19,542 R Kelly
43. 19,472 Alanis Morissette
44. 19,462 Led Zeppelin
45. 19,396 Green Day
46. 19,390 Tupac
47. 19,080 Brooks & Dunn
48. 19,040 Barbra Steisand
49. 18,881 Limp Bizkit
50. 18,449 Leann Rimes
51. 18,486 Usher
52. 18,457 Mannheim Steamroller
53. 18,388 Janet Jackson
54. 18,212 Red Hot Chili Peppers
55. 17,939 Beastie Boys
56. 17,926 Michael Jackson
57. 17,836 REM
58. 17,508 Gill Vince
59. 17,387 Kid Rock
60. 17,024 Van Halen
61. 16,852 Luther Vandross
62. 16,843 Faith Hill
63. 16,618 Alabama
64. 16,508 Billy Joel
65. 16,472 Yanni
66. 16,432 Linkin Park
67. 16,419 Queen
68. 16,397 Sarah Mclachlan
69. 16,310 Outkast
70. 15,826 Bob Seger
71. 15,708 DMX
72. 15,659 Kenny Chesney
73. 15,649 Sade
74. 15,464 Mary J. Blige
75. 15,413 Fleetwood Mac
76. 15,284 TLC
77. 15,271 Offspring
78. 15,226 Smashing Pumpkins
79. 15,224 Bruce Springsteen
80. 15,143 No Doubt
81. 15,026 Destiny's Child
82. 14,983 Korn
83. 14,914 Van Morrison
84. 14,787 Bob Dylan
85. 14,643 Sting
86. 14,601 Ozzy Osbourne
87. 14,597 Prince
88. 14,436 Sheryl Crow
89. 14,412 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
90. 14,386 Matchbox Twenty
91. 14,378 Lynryd Skynyrd
92. 14,293 Def Leppard
93. 14,270 Jewel
94. 14,190 James Taylor
95. 14,080 Doors
96. 14,014 Neil Diamond
97. 13,974 Lenny Kravitz
98. 13,908 Hootie & The Blowfish
99. 13,778 Grateful Dead
100.13,761 Bon Jovi
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Old 09-27-2005, 12:04 PM   #2
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What timeframe does this include?

Just curious, when did the official Soundscan era start? I thought it began before POP, meaning the sales since Pop would look like this (and may be the highest of any band in this 8.5 year timeframe):

POP 6M
B/O 1980's 10M
ATYCLB 12M
B/O 1990's 5M
HTDAAB 10M
Back catalogue 3M est

Total album sales since 1997 are roughly 47M, which is amazing in itself. Based on the totals of just under 30M, it looks like the list is referring to 2000-2005, where U2 probably has sold about 30M albums. If we are just talking about the last 5 years, then some of the sales listed for bands/artists who are basically inactive and relying on their back catalogue are simply amazing.

Again, just curious about what the official Soundscan era includes. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2005, 02:26 PM   #3
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First of all, Soundscan only tracks sales for the USA, not worldwide. So beLIEve, while your numbers may be correct for the worldwide sales, they're not the US sales. As for when it started, early 1991 IIRC, but it could also be somewhere in 1990.

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Old 09-27-2005, 04:27 PM   #4
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We have, per SoundScan data I've seen, ~5.5M for AB, 2.5M for "Zooropa", 1.5M for "Pop", 4.2M for ATYCLB and 2.9M for HTDAAB. That's 16.6M. Per the above table, U2 have sold ~29.6M. That's a difference of 13M albums. The two "Best Of" albums have SoundScan results of maybe a combined 4M. So where the other 9M comes from is a mystery.

If we look at RIAA certifications, we have 8x for AB, 2x for "Zooropa", 1x for "Pop", 4x for ATYCLB, 4X for 80's "Best Of" (combined), 1X for 90's "Best Of" and 3x for HTDAAB. This adds to 23M. Even if we add as much as 2M for albums that are "in between" (like "Zooropa" and "Pop"), that's 25M. Again, where the extra 4.6M comes from is a mystery.

I'm not complaining, just not sure where all these sales come from.
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Old 09-28-2005, 12:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho
We have, per SoundScan data I've seen, ~5.5M for AB, 2.5M for "Zooropa", 1.5M for "Pop", 4.2M for ATYCLB and 2.9M for HTDAAB. That's 16.6M. Per the above table, U2 have sold ~29.6M. That's a difference of 13M albums. The two "Best Of" albums have SoundScan results of maybe a combined 4M. So where the other 9M comes from is a mystery.

If we look at RIAA certifications, we have 8x for AB, 2x for "Zooropa", 1x for "Pop", 4x for ATYCLB, 4X for 80's "Best Of" (combined), 1X for 90's "Best Of" and 3x for HTDAAB. This adds to 23M. Even if we add as much as 2M for albums that are "in between" (like "Zooropa" and "Pop"), that's 25M. Again, where the extra 4.6M comes from is a mystery.

I'm not complaining, just not sure where all these sales come from.
The other 9 million hits Soundscan recorded were from U2's catalog. Lets remember though that Soundscan started out only tracking 40% of all sales and today is still not at 100% although 90% to 95% is very close.
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Old 09-28-2005, 12:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn
First of all, Soundscan only tracks sales for the USA, not worldwide. So beLIEve, while your numbers may be correct for the worldwide sales, they're not the US sales. As for when it started, early 1991 IIRC, but it could also be somewhere in 1990.

The first Billboard Chart that used Soundscan figures was in June of 1991. I believe Soundscan may have started in January of 1991 though.
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Old 09-28-2005, 12:27 AM   #7
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Re: Top 100 Bestselling Album Artists Of The Soundscan Era

Quote:
Originally posted by Darth Sidious
rank, units in 1000s, artist)

1. 66,119 Garth Brooks
2. 51,202 The Beatles
3. 47,607 Metallica
4. 46,920 Celine Dion
5. 46,317 Mariah Carey
6. 35,504 George Strait
7. 32,727 Shania Twain
8. 31,729 Alan Jackson
9. 31,717 Kenny G
10. 31,516 Pink Floyd
11. 30,849 Tim McGraw
12. 30,187 Backstreet Boys
13. 29,572 U2
14. 29,167 Eminem
15. 28,231 Britney Spears
16. 27,890 Pearl Jam
17. 27,639 N Sync
18. 27,047 Aerosmith
19. 26,929 Dave Matthews Band
20. 26,823 Eric Clapton
21. 26,371 Elvis Presley
22. 25,243 Reba Mcentire
23. 24,987 Creed
24. 23,977 Elton John
25. 23,741 The Eagles
26. 23,420 Frank Sinatra
27. 23,414 Dixie Chicks
28. 23,312 Rod Stewart
29. 23,072 Santana
30. 23,045 Enya
31. 22,963 Nirvana
32. 22,805 Madonna
33. 22,749 Boyz II Men
34. 22,624 AC/DC
35. 22,573 Jimmy Buffett
36. 21,778 Jay-Z
37. 21,561 Guns & Roses
38. 21,427 Michael Bolton
39. 21,022 Toby Keith
40. 21,017 The Rolling Stones
41. 19,892 Nelly
42. 19,542 R Kelly
43. 19,472 Alanis Morissette
44. 19,462 Led Zeppelin
45. 19,396 Green Day
46. 19,390 Tupac
47. 19,080 Brooks & Dunn
48. 19,040 Barbra Steisand
49. 18,881 Limp Bizkit
50. 18,449 Leann Rimes
51. 18,486 Usher
52. 18,457 Mannheim Steamroller
53. 18,388 Janet Jackson
54. 18,212 Red Hot Chili Peppers
55. 17,939 Beastie Boys
56. 17,926 Michael Jackson
57. 17,836 REM
58. 17,508 Gill Vince
59. 17,387 Kid Rock
60. 17,024 Van Halen
61. 16,852 Luther Vandross
62. 16,843 Faith Hill
63. 16,618 Alabama
64. 16,508 Billy Joel
65. 16,472 Yanni
66. 16,432 Linkin Park
67. 16,419 Queen
68. 16,397 Sarah Mclachlan
69. 16,310 Outkast
70. 15,826 Bob Seger
71. 15,708 DMX
72. 15,659 Kenny Chesney
73. 15,649 Sade
74. 15,464 Mary J. Blige
75. 15,413 Fleetwood Mac
76. 15,284 TLC
77. 15,271 Offspring
78. 15,226 Smashing Pumpkins
79. 15,224 Bruce Springsteen
80. 15,143 No Doubt
81. 15,026 Destiny's Child
82. 14,983 Korn
83. 14,914 Van Morrison
84. 14,787 Bob Dylan
85. 14,643 Sting
86. 14,601 Ozzy Osbourne
87. 14,597 Prince
88. 14,436 Sheryl Crow
89. 14,412 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
90. 14,386 Matchbox Twenty
91. 14,378 Lynryd Skynyrd
92. 14,293 Def Leppard
93. 14,270 Jewel
94. 14,190 James Taylor
95. 14,080 Doors
96. 14,014 Neil Diamond
97. 13,974 Lenny Kravitz
98. 13,908 Hootie & The Blowfish
99. 13,778 Grateful Dead
100.13,761 Bon Jovi
What year is this chart from? This might be outdated information as I saw a similar chart a year or two ago.
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Old 09-28-2005, 12:28 AM   #8
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Re: What timeframe does this include?

Quote:
Originally posted by beLIEve
Just curious, when did the official Soundscan era start? I thought it began before POP, meaning the sales since Pop would look like this (and may be the highest of any band in this 8.5 year timeframe):

POP 6M
B/O 1980's 10M
ATYCLB 12M
B/O 1990's 5M
HTDAAB 10M
Back catalogue 3M est

Total album sales since 1997 are roughly 47M, which is amazing in itself. Based on the totals of just under 30M, it looks like the list is referring to 2000-2005, where U2 probably has sold about 30M albums. If we are just talking about the last 5 years, then some of the sales listed for bands/artists who are basically inactive and relying on their back catalogue are simply amazing.

Again, just curious about what the official Soundscan era includes. Thanks.
Billboard began using Soundscan for its charts in June of 1991. Soundscan actually first started up a few months before that though. Back then, Soundscan only recorded about 40% of all sales at retail.
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Old 09-28-2005, 10:33 AM   #9
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Then achtung baby must be close to 10 million copies sold just in USA., no? 5.5 million soundscan sales and is an album from1991.
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Old 09-28-2005, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by mosquito
Then achtung baby must be close to 10 million copies sold just in USA., no? 5.5 million soundscan sales and is an album from1991.
Achtung Baby hit the 8 million mark in 1997. Sales since 2000 for all catalog albums have really dropped off though plus now there is a Best of 1990-2000 that is taking potential sales away from Achtung Baby. I'd say the album is getting closer to 9 million but its not there yet, in the USA.
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