US

US Sales

 RIAA certifications 

RIAA certifications
Greatest Hits 1,000,000
Arrival  500,000
The Album * 1,000,000
Voulez Vous  500,000
Greatest Hits vol 2  500,000
Super Trouper  500,000
Gold - Greatest Hits 6,000,000
The Best Of - 20th Century Masters  500,000
   
Total 10,500,000

 RIAA database here

* The Album had sold 1.3 million by 26/08/78 (source: Billboard Magazine). It was ABBA's biggest selling album in the US during their career.

Dancing Queen and Take a Chance on Me certified gold - which was for 1,000,000 sales in the 1970s. Platinum then was 2,000,000. In the late 1980s they were downgraded with gold being 500,000 and platinum 1,000,000. If those rules existed when ABBA were around Take a Chance on Me and Dancing Queen would be platinum and Waterloo, The Winner Takes it All, Fernando, Knowing me, Knowing You would almost certianly be certified gold.
 

These figures don't tell the whole story

1) A 1980 compilation the Magic of ABBA is said to have sold 2, 000,000. However, it was on the K-Tel label which is not a member of the RIAA so not eligible for gold or platinum awards.

2) Gold and Best of are under-certified. Add another 3 million. See below.

3) The cerifications are for minimum sales eg gold certification for sales of 500,000 to 999,999. Add extra 2 million or so.

4) Albums that sold less than 500,000 eg Waterloo, ABBA, The Visitors, The Singles, More Gold, The Definitive Collection etc. Add another 2 million.

Likely sales nearer to 20m than 10m!



SOUNDSCAN SALES, selected albums

 

Soundscan Sales since 1991
Gold - Greatest Hits 5, 700,000 10/2016
Best Of ABBA 1, 246,000 02/2012
The Definitive Collection     342,000 01/2009
Number Ones     230,000  12/2009
More Gold     114,000   
Arrival       54,000 01/2006
Super Trouper       52,000  12/2012
The Album       37,000  01/2006
Voulez Vous       36,000  12/2012
The Visitors       31,000  01/2006
Oro: Grandes Exitos       16,000  01/2006
     


 

By 2013, GOLD had sold over 5m and at that point was the 132nd best seller since SoundScan began recording sales.It was the 18th best selling Greatest Hits seller

 Click on link Greatest Hits - GOLD on 5.2m sales

 

 ABBA Gold sales: RIAA v Soundscan

RIAA had Gold selling 6 million way back in 2002 but Soundscan has them now on still under 6 million? Why the discrepency?

RIAA - sales are shipments and include sales to Music Clubs which were significant in the 1990s. It is sales to retailers not customers.

Soundscan - only counts sales from 'regular' outlets (no music club sales), no concert or theatre venues etc. In the 1990s Soundscan only captured about half of the US market, now it's almost all of sales. Sales to customers.

1993-2002: 6 million shipments. of which about 3 million were scanned sales to 'regular' outlets

2003 onwards - about 3 million sales. Soundcsan now captures all types of retailers and Music Club sector has evaporated.

ABBA GOLD sales = regular retailers + music club =  around 8 - 9 million

NB the 6 million figure RIAA from 2002 would include some sales in shops that would later be sold to customers - so you can't just add the 2002 sales to Soundscan sales since then as you'd be 'double-counting' some sales. 

ABBA GOLD has sold 884,000 through Music Club BMG. These sales are counted for RIAA certifications - but NOT for Soundscan sales. 

 

 

ABBA's best-selling download tracks
Dancing Queen 597,000
Take a Chance On Me 234,000
Mamma Mia 193,000

As of 23/01/2009.....or as Americans say 01/23/2009!
 

09) 

From Billboard - Jan 2009 
week on askbillboard: 

"After "Mamma Mia!," the movie musical based on Abba's music, became a box office smash last summer, "Gold" captured the No. 1 spot on the Top Pop Catalog chart for the first time - in its mere 443rd combined week on the Billboard 200 and Catalog charts. It returns to the Catalog summit for a tenth non-consecutive week this week. 

Since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking album sales in 1991, here are Abba's best-selling sets: 

"Gold - Greatest Hits," 5,000,000 

"The Best of Abba: 20th Century Masters the Millenium Collection," 1,090,000 

"The Definitive Collection," 342,000 

As for individual songs, Abba's top-selling downloads to date are "Dancing Queen" (597,000), "Take a Chance on Me" (234,000) and, logically enough, "Mamma Mia" (193,000)."

ABBA SINGLES

 

ABBA Top 10 Singles in US
Position Single Peak
1 Dancing Queen #1
2 Take a Chance On Me #5
3 Fernando #10
4 Waterloo #10
5 The Winner Takes it All #11
6 Knowing Me Knowing You #11
7 SOS #12
8 The Name of The Game #16
9 Does Your Mother Know #16
10 I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do #19

 

Based on Cashbox charts which were more sales based

In terms of sales the top two were million sellers. The next six likely to have sold over half a million or more.

The Winner Takes it All was a Top 10 on the Billboard chart but Fernando was not. Both were #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart Lay All Your Love on Me was #1 on the Billboard Disco/Dance chart.

 

 Dancing Queen was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100

 Take a Chance on Me reached #3 on the Billboard chart

 Waterloo reached #6 in August 1974

 The Winner Takes it All peaked at #8 on Bilbord's Hot 100

 

 
ABBA could have sold even more singles in the US. In the first half eg 1978 they had huge success with The Name of the Game and Take a Chance on Me (and The Album selling a million). They had a major promotional campaign in the US in May 1978.  However, they did not take advantage of this momentum
 
- Eagle was released as  a single but then withdrawn...link
- Summer Night City wasn't released 
- Chiquitita, which was featured in the high profile multi-artist UNICEF gig wasn't released for almost  a year after that.