I hope eventually to be able to publish a reasonably accurate list of the best selling albums in New Zealand.
I say reasonably accurate as there are quite a few albums for which complete sales figures are unknown.
The Best Of ABBA.
In 1976 this album sold 200,000+, this is fact. by the end of 1977 it had been awarded 18xPlatinum discs, this is facts. in 1977/78 Platinum was equal to 20,000 copies, this is fact. Therefore we know that this album sold over 360,000 copies by the end of 1977.
This album was still on general release until 1989, and released as a CD. It is quite possible that the sales figure for this album reached 400,000.
Arrival - ABBA
In 1976 this album sold 145,000+, this is fact. During 1977 it outsold The Best Of ABBA, which had sold around 160,000 (this included the Christmas periods of 1976 and 1977). This puts the sales figure over 300,000. It was on general release until 1983 when Universal (Polydor at the time) took over ABBA's catalogue, in those 6 years, it is quite possible the album sold another platinum (15,000) copies. It had also sold about Gold (7,500) with Universal. This could easily place the sales figure at about 325,000. But this is only an estimate.
Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
an Ex-employee of Warner informed me that this album had sold about 10xplatinum in the 70s, this is highly likely. The figure I have is for sales from the 80s, including CD. Altogether it is around 17xplatinum, therefore possible over 200,000.
Soundtrack - Grease
Soundtrack - Saturday Night Fever
These albums were released on RSO, then released through Polygram records, Polygram eventually became Polydor, which eventually became Universal. All vinyl sales for these albums have since been lost and therefore even an estimate on the sales figures of these albums is nigh impossible.
From 1990 onwards though, we do have figures.
Saturday Night Fever has sold about 1xPlatinum, and basically has not been a big seller since its release, which is quite normal for soundtracks.
Grease, on the other hand has sold about 9xPlatinum since the company became Polydor.
these two albums were #1 and #3 respectively for 1978.
The #2 album is: Bat Out Of Hell, which eventually sold over 17xplatinum, and is still going strong. But unlike the other two, it has continued to sell strongly throughout the years, it is one of the great classic albums of the 70s, and one of the biggest selling albums worldwide. therefore comparing sales figures of this classic album to the 2 soundtracks isn't plausible.
Don't Shoot Me, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Captain Fantastic, Greatest Hits.
unfortunately Festival records had no record for the sales of Elton John so anythign even resembling an estimated guess would be worthloess.
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was charting for over a year before our first album chart came into existance, and would have been at its peak when singles like: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road & Candle in The Wind were charting. Once the albums charts were up and running, this album spent over 100 weeks on the charts. Once Universal took over the rights to Elton John's DJM material, this album sold an additional 3xplatinum. But how much it sold on DJM is completely unknown.
his other major albums on DJM (Listed above) also have unknown sales figures, but each would be well over 3 or 4xPlatinum.
Greatest Hits, First Impressions
Like Elton John, this festival release was not found among the Festival sales figures, although unlike Elton, Olivia did have some figures found.
this album was one of the biggest sellers of 1975 and 1976, and continued to sell for years afterwards.
Hot August Night
MCA was originally its own label, then it was released through Warner, then it was released through BMG/Geffen, and now it is released through Universal.
This is another big selling album, which has sold copious amonts since its release in 1972, but what these sales figures are, no-one knows, or if they do, they haven't told me (As with the above figures). Although I have asked all companies for sales figure for what they have available.
I am sure there are many more albums with enough of a sales figure to place them among our top 100 albums of all time.