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Geezer

How many records has Led Zeppelin sold?

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I've come acroos many different numbers/ranges. Some sources claim that the band has sold only up to 200M records, while some of them claim the number to be as high as 300M or even more. What we know for sure is that Led Zeppelin has sold a minimum of 135.6M records (certifications).

By the way, Nielsen Soundscan, which is probably the most reliable source for album sales, claims that Zeppelin has sold over 25 million albums/records in the US since 1993. Source: http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/chart-watch/chart-watch-extra-led-zep-road-kennedy-center-205104385.html In 2012, the band sold approximately 840,000 records (http://www.spin.com/articles/led-zeppelin-streaming-music-service-spotify-rdio-rhapsody-deezer)

My question: how many records has Led Zeppelin sold overall?

Edited by Geezer

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I would love to know this too Geezer. Hopefully someone can drill down and get the answer. May need Steve Jones on this one?

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For a variety of reasons, worldwide record sales of any artist are hard to tally with precision.

Since the band's work is and was released by a US label, you can take the reasonably accurate RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) figures for US sales and expand from there. The numbers I have offered in LZ FAQ are between 250 and 300 million records, tapes, and discs sold around the planet.

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Upon announcing the ECHO award in late January, the press materials handed out to journalists cited a figure of 200 million copies. I must admit it's a question that has interested me, I just haven't had the time to sift through the available literature, I think an acceptable figure could be compiled with the existing materials. First resources that come to mind of course are wikipedia, I have in mind statistics of all time record sales and I do recall seeing Michael Jackson on top of those and Céline Dion, for some reason, not very far behind and I think also the Scorpions, I apologise for the innacuracy of this, I'm reconstructing everything from memory, but what I did want to say is that it'd be an interesting task to compile such data, a good approach could be aggregating the individual data for each of the albums.

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I read it's closer to 350-400 million worldwide. They sold ALOT. Biggest and best rock band ever. Jones said in Germany during Celebraton Day promo's that he still makes so much off Zep royalties to this day that he could never spend it all. Only time I heard Jones give some info on the Zep money legacy.

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For a variety of reasons, worldwide record sales of any artist are hard to tally with precision.

Since the band's work is and was released by a US label, you can take the reasonably accurate RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) figures for US sales and expand from there. The numbers I have offered in LZ FAQ are between 250 and 300 million records, tapes, and discs sold around the planet.

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Thanks for replying. I believe that the band has sold up to 250M records. I love that Page biography, by the way. Great work.

I read it's closer to 350-400 million worldwide.

I don't think so. 400M is a bit too stretched out. Edited by Geezer

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Some interesting stats I've come across with.

1- The Beatles: 480,000,000

Albums – 350,000,000

Physical Singles – 110,000,000

Digital downloads – 15,000,000

Music Videos – 4,000,000

2- The Rolling Stones: 285,000,000

Albums – 190,000,000

Physical Singles – 70,000,000

Digital downloads – 20,000,000

Music Videos – 5,000,0000

3- Queen: 260,000,000

Albums – 178,000,000

Physical Singles – 45,000,000

Digital downloads – 25,000,000

Music Videos – 12,000,000

4- Pink Floyd: 235,000,000

Albums – 205,000,000

Physical Singles – 8,000,000

Digital downloads – 12,000,000

Music Videos – 10,000,000

5- U2: 219,000,000

Albums – 168,000,000

Physical Singles – 25,000,000

Digital downloads – 15,000,000

Music Videos – 11,000,000

6- Bee Gees: 203,000,000

Albums – 125,000,000

Physical Singles – 70,000,000

Digital downloads – 5,000,000

Music Videos – 3,000,000

7- Led Zeppelin: 191,000,000

Albums – 172,000,000

Physical Singles – 5,000,000

Digital downloads – 10,000,000

Music Videos – 4,000,000

8- Eagles: 191,000,000

Albums – 154,000,000

Physical Singles – 20,000,000

Digital downloads – 10,000,000

Music Videos – 7,000,000

9- Abba: 190,000,000

Albums – 120,000,000

Physical Singles – 55,000,000

Digital downloads – 12,000,000

Music Videos – 3,000,000

10- AC/DC: 173,000,000

Albums – 158,000,000

Physical Singles – 6,000,000

Digital downloads – 0

Music Videos – 9,000,000

Fleetwood Mac: 147,000,000

Albums – 120,000,000

Physical Singles – 20,000,000

Digital downloads – 5,000,000

Music Videos – 2,000,000

Beach Boys: 147,000,000

Albums – 106,000,000

Physical Singles – 35,000,000

Digital downloads – 5,000,000

Music Videos – 1,000,000

Edited by Geezer

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Great question and great thread,Its interesting seeing the breakdown of how well each band did.

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Some interesting stats I've come across with.

1- The Beatles: 480,000,000

Albums – 350,000,000

Physical Singles – 110,000,000

Digital downloads – 15,000,000

Music Videos – 4,000,000

2- The Rolling Stones: 285,000,000

Albums – 190,000,000

Physical Singles – 70,000,000

Digital downloads – 20,000,000

Music Videos – 5,000,0000

3- Queen: 260,000,000

Albums – 178,000,000

Physical Singles – 45,000,000

Digital downloads – 25,000,000

Music Videos – 12,000,000

4- Pink Floyd: 235,000,000

Albums – 205,000,000

Physical Singles – 8,000,000

Digital downloads – 12,000,000

Music Videos – 10,000,000

5- U2: 219,000,000

Albums – 168,000,000

Physical Singles – 25,000,000

Digital downloads – 15,000,000

Music Videos – 11,000,000

6- Bee Gees: 203,000,000

Albums – 125,000,000

Physical Singles – 70,000,000

Digital downloads – 5,000,000

Music Videos – 3,000,000

7- Led Zeppelin: 191,000,000

Albums – 172,000,000

Physical Singles – 5,000,000

Digital downloads – 10,000,000

Music Videos – 4,000,000

8- Eagles: 191,000,000

Albums – 154,000,000

Physical Singles – 20,000,000

Digital downloads – 10,000,000

Music Videos – 7,000,000

9- Abba: 190,000,000

Albums – 120,000,000

Physical Singles – 55,000,000

Digital downloads – 12,000,000

Music Videos – 3,000,000

10- AC/DC: 173,000,000

Albums – 158,000,000

Physical Singles – 6,000,000

Digital downloads – 0

Music Videos – 9,000,000

Fleetwood Mac: 147,000,000

Albums – 120,000,000

Physical Singles – 20,000,000

Digital downloads – 5,000,000

Music Videos – 2,000,000

Beach Boys: 147,000,000

Albums – 106,000,000

Physical Singles – 35,000,000

Digital downloads – 5,000,000

Music Videos – 1,000,000

I find this hard to believe that Led Zep is number 7? And I'm not saying this as one of these forums deranged members. The Beatles are number one in sales, etc. true. But In the not to distant past, it was reported that Led Zep had just passed Elvis (who is not on the list here) in all time record sales, which puts Led Zep at number 2 of course. Where was this list from?

Jeff

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This list has them 5th....

Artist Country of origin Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
(from available markets)[Notes] Claimed sales The Beatles United Kingdom 1960–1974[4] 1962[4]Rock / Pop[4]
Total available certified units: 250 million[show]
600 million[26][27]Elvis Presley United States 1954–1977[28] 1954[28]Rock and roll / Pop /Country[28]
Total available certified units: 203.3 million[show]
600 million[31]
500 million[32]Michael Jackson[Note 2] United States 1964–2009[33] 1971[33] Pop / Rock / Dance /R&B[33]
Total available certified units: 157.5 million[show]
400 million[41][42]
350 million[43]
300 million[44][45]Madonna United States 1979–present[46] 1982[46] Pop / Rock / Dance[46]
Total available certified units: 160.1 million[show]
300 million[47][48]
275 million[49][50]Led Zeppelin United Kingdom 1968–1980[51] 1969[51] Hard rock / Heavy metal[51]
Total available certified units: 135.6 million[show]
300 million[52][53]
200 million[54][55]
  • The column for Certified Sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

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In America alone, Zep are (apparently) fourth:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_music_artists_in_the_United_States

Number Name Nationality Years Active Genre Certification
in millions 1 The Beatles UK 60s Rock / Pop 177 2 Elvis Presley U.S. 50s-70s Rock and roll / Pop / Country / Gospel 134.5 3 Garth Brooks U.S. 80s-10s Country 128 4 Led Zeppelin UK 60s-80s Hard rock / Heavy Metal / Blues rock / Folk rock 111.5 5 Eagles U.S. 70s-10s Rock / Country rock 100 6 Billy Joel U.S. 70s-00s Rock 81.5 7 Pink Floyd UK 60s-90s Progressive rock / Psychedelic rock / Space rock 74.5 8 Elton John UK 60s-10s Pop / Rock 72 9 Barbra Streisand U.S. 60s-10s Pop 71.5 AC/DC Australia/UK 70s-10s Hard rock 71.5 11 Michael Jackson U.S. 70s-00s Pop / R&B / Rock / Soul / Dance 70.5

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the celebration dvd says over 300 million records sold . that should be a good answer

Ditto, that must be from good source.

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It was reported on a radio station in FL.

Zeppelin hasn't surpassed Elvis in sales. Zeppelin has up to 140M certified sales and Elvis has up to 205M certified sales. Edited by Geezer

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The RIAA has certified 111.5 million in U.S. ranking them 4th, however this number hasn't moved in about 6 years , which i believe an inventory has not been taken in quite a while. How it's updated etc., i have no idea

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Led Zeppelin II has sold 2.45 million copies in the US since 1991.

Edited by Geezer

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You really should check out the Led Zeppelin thread on ukmix http://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=28054 It is not official, but a hell of a lot of work has gone into tracking down various information from Music Trade Magazines, Recording Associations etc and also using other artists known sales to determine ball park figures for Led Zeppelin.

I personally think they are in the range of 150m to 160m albums worldwide. USA is completely out on it's own for the band, they are not as big anywhere else as here. Breaking down each album to one unit, unlike the RIAA, I believe they are either just shy of 100m US sales or just over. I'd say the next biggest territory is either the UK or Canada, I don't know much about Canada, but in the UK they are around 10m, I used to work for the MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) and have seen shipment figures for all Led Zeppelin albums from 1997 onwards, they shipped around 4.5m between 1997-2013, LZIV shipped around 550k alone in this period. France is around 4.5m-5m Germany about the same maybe slightly more.

The 200m let alone 300m is just not possible if counting every album as 1 unit, 200m could maybe be achieved if you multiply multi disc sets, but there is just no way possible to get to 300m.

Edited by Tatty73

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I've done the research and I think they've sold 180-190 million records (albums, singles, DVDs).

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Led Zeppelin II has sold 2.45 million copies in the US since 1991.

They have actually Soundscanned over 25m since Soundscans inception in May 1991. http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/chart-watch/week-ending-dec-16-2012-albums-one-direction-160909600.html Although in it's early days Soundscan did not have 100% coverage, so some retailers were untracked and there are also things such as One Stops that (to this day) do not report sales to Soundscan, on top of this there would also be shipments from Music Club sales.

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SoundScan has always had more than 90% coverage, and Zep has never been a big seller in Music Club sales, so I think SoundScan's report that they've sold 25+ million albums from May 1991 to December 2012 is as accurate as it gets.

Edited by Geezer

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I know all of that stuff. I'm actually registered on UKMix.

SoundScan has always had more than 90% coverage, and Zep has never been a big seller in Music Club sales, so I think SoundScan report that they've sold 25+ million albums from May 1991 to December 2012 is as accurate as it gets.

Who are you on UKMIX, I am Jimmypages59?

Where are you getting your information from about Music Club sales? I believe they were a great seller through Music Clubs and Military Bases, and the allowance of Music Club Freebies and Military Base Sales by RIAA, to go towards certification, is the main reason for the Huge Certification rises in the 1990's.

Edited by Tatty73

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