If You Like Music, and You Like Data, You’ll Love This Web Site

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has released a treasure trove of music sales data that is sure to keep any music lover busy for a while.

As a little bit of background, the RIAA is the group that verifies albums and singles as gold (greater than 500,000 unit sales), platinum (greater than 1,00,000 unit sales), or diamond (greater than 10 million units sold).

There are different filters you can apply to the database, such as single or album, gold, platinum, or diamond awards, and genre.

The first list I looked at was of the best-selling artists of all time – here are the top 15. Why 15, you might ask – well look at who is number 15. I had to get him on my list somehow…

  1. The Beatles
  2. Garth Brooks
  3. Elvis Presley
  4. Led Zeppelin
  5. Eagles
  6. Billy Joel
  7. Michael Jackson
  8. Elton John
  9. Pink Floyd
  10. AC/DC
  11. George Strait
  12. Barbara Streisand
  13. Aerosmith
  14. Rolling Stone
  15. Bruce Springsteen

No doubt, an impressive list of artists. I was happy to see Bruce made the list 🙂

Here’s another list, this on featuring the top selling albums of all time:

  1. Michael Jackson, Thriller
  2. Eagles, Greatest Hits, 1971-75
  3. Billy Joel, Greatest Hits, Volumes 1 and 2
  4. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV
  5. Pink Floyd, The Wall
  6. AC/DC, Back in Black
  7. Garth Brooks, Doubles Live
  8. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours
  9. Shania Twain, Come on Over
  10. The Beatles, The Beatles

One final list I’ll share is for another popular category – the best selling singles of all time. Here you go:

  1. Justin Bieber, Baby
  2. Elton John, Candle in the Wind
  3. Eminem, Love the Way You Lie
  4. Lady Gaga, Bad Romance
  5. Mark Robson, Uptown Funk
  6. Carly Rae Jensen, Call Me Maybe
  7. Eminem, Not Afraid
  8. Florida Georgia Line, Cruise
  9. Imagine Dragons, Radioactive
  10. Katy Perry, Firework

The site also displays the estimated sales for each artist, album, and song. When exploring the data, certain questions may come to mind, such as “how is AC/DC ahead of Springsteen, or will Garth Brooks ever catch the Beatles, or why is there nothing by Meatloaf on the list.

So enjoy the we site, it’s like a trip down memory lane.

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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