King's Sales Shot To Pieces -
King Has Lost His Crown!" (Elvis Lacks Credibility)
Nigel Patterson, March
Elvis has sold more than 1 billion records and CDs, then why
is Garth Brooks the biggest selling solo album artist in US
has spun its sugar coated rhetoric on Elvis' sales for almost
a decade yet has been unable to support its claims!
time Elvis fans woke up to the reality that Elvis is not and
never will be the best selling recording artist.
of contemporary releases by The Beatles easily surpass Elvis', with
Beatles albums making the top 10 if not the number one spot. When
was the last time Elvis cracked even the US Top 50?
counter this by claiming that Elvis accumulates greater sales due
to the much larger volume of Elvis titles released - however, this
argument fails serious analysis! Ernst Jorgensen's informative book
Elvis Day By Day reveals the true picture behind sales of Elvis
albums during his lifetime. Most only sold several hundred of thousand
fact that in only 10 years, Garth Brooks has achieved sales of 100
million albums in the US totally overshadows Elvis' achievements
(see Appendix). Even in death, a cursory look at the RIAA stats
reveals sales of many Beatles albums well over 10 million while
most Elvis albums come in at between 1 and 2 million.
RIAA stats are telling. Even after factoring in 'lost' certifications
and sales due to poor record keeping on the part of RCA (not BMG),
Elvis' sales at around 200 million are still substantially below
the 600 million sales claimed for North America. Updates in RIAA
certifications last month realised a staggering additional 40 million
units for The Beatles and almost 16 million units for Led Zeppelin.
Elvis trailed with an increase of less than 9 million units.
watchers of RIAA stats realise that with the exception of two occasions
when BMG made an effort to improve Elvis' certification level, other
artists have been increasing or gaining on his position. Elvis was
a big seller of singles at a time when singles were King.
the buying habits of subsequent generations dramatically changed
from the mid 60s on, and Elvis never had and probably never will
have a credibility to generate consistent 'critical mass' sales
with the general buying public beyond TV promoted greatest hits
packages. Exemplary releases such as the 2CD 'Suspicious Minds'
(1969 American Studios Sessions) and the Essential Elvis series
simply don't register with the general public!
harsh reality of this is that many more consumers are interested
in buying a Beatles album than an Elvis album. The same applies
to Garth versus Elvis. The King has lost his crown! And the burning
question is...did he ever really wear it or was it just in the minds
of 'his' zealous fans and a record company keen on fueling a money
spinning myth? Do Elvis' fans care? If they do they will lobby BMG
'en masse'. If they don't, they can no longer take the easy way
out and hide behind unsubstantiated, fallacious rhetoric!
the following official RIAA media release:
Platinum And Diamonds: Think you know your music? Who's the top
certified group of the 20th century?
Beatles are the most successful recording act with sales of more
than 106 million albums-and that's just in the U.S.!
about the top solo artist? Nope, not Elvis. Garth Brooks has sold
89 million albums and his sales are climbing. Elton John is second,
then Billy Joel, then Barbara Streisand, and then Elvis.
congratulates Garth Brooks as the Best Selling Solo Artist in American
History Nashville, October 26, 2000
Rosen, president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of
America (RIAA) issued the following statement to commemorate Garth
Brooks becoming the first solo artist to sell more than one hundred
Records and the RIAA held a ceremony this evening in Nashville to
officially recognize Brooks' achievements and celebrate his remarkable
July 31, 1990, Capitol Nashville called our offices to request that
an album by one of their artists, a newcomer named Garth Brooks,
be certified Gold. They were very excited. After all, selling 500,000
records is a remarkable achievement.
gold record or two caps off what should be considered a very successful
career for many artists. And the buzz surrounding Capitol's latest
face back in 1990 was that he may even have what it takes to go
platinum. He did them one hundred better. Over the next 10 years,
Garth Brooks would achieve milestones and set records that will
likely never be broken.
has quite literally set a new standard for the music industry. Garth
is the only solo artist with four RIAA Diamond awards which are
presented to artists who have sold 10 million copies or more of
an individual album. Of the top 10 best selling country albums in
history, five of them are his. His 'Double Live' album is tied with
Bruce Springsteen as the best selling live album in music history.
is the top-selling artist of the 90's and the fastest selling artist
in music history. "Garth has done what no solo artist has been able
to accomplish. It can be summarized easily.
artist. One decade. 100 million albums. And I see no end in sight
to this success. His music knows no boundaries, as it is enjoyed
by fans of all ages and backgrounds. I am proud to be part of this
evenings' events and am proud recognize Garth Brooks as the best
selling solo artist in music history."
Top Selling Artists (27 Oct 2000) Certified Units (in millions)
The Beatles, 151.50
Led Zeppelin, 100.5
Garth Brooks, 100.00
Elvis Presley, 86.5
Billy Joel, 75.50
6. Pink Floyd, 68.50
Barbra Streisand, 66.00
Elton John, 63.00
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