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  1. #1

    The Supremes - US Album Sales [1962-1976]


  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    The 60s Supremes album sales were impressive. The Diana Ross and Supremes album sales were not too bad either after Florence left. I didnít realize that the 70s Supremes album sales were so low. They really didnít have any hit albums after Diana Ross left.

  3. #3
    I wonder where those figures come from? Most of those Lp's were not and are not certified.
    When you compare to others on the charts at the same time, it's obvious that the Supremes enjoyed huge sales, but we don't know. Do we?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Albator View Post
    I wonder where those figures come from? Most of those Lp's were not and are not certified.
    When you compare to others on the charts at the same time, it's obvious that the Supremes enjoyed huge sales, but we don't know. Do we?

    Those look to me the figures from the Greasy Lake website but where they originated from I don't know - they say "Motown Data" but I have never heard there was any.

    I tried to contact the author at one stage for information but was unsuccessful.

    I don't believe some of these figures but that's my problem.

    There has always been a lack of information on Supremes/DR sales.

    Personally I believe that the figures J Randy Taraborrelli gave in his original Call Her Miss Ross book (subsequently withdrawn from later editions) may very well be authentic although I wouldn't like to put any money on it.

    Odd too that there would seem to be no figures or estimates for (apart from the GL site) for Diana's RCA output, singles and albums.

  5. #5
    As at least one other has commented "don't believe these figures" - and neither do I. But I'm not involved in marketing, sales or indeed have ever had any financial dealings with Motown, or any of the allied companies which may or may not have true figures.

    Over the years, when sales figures have been "announced" I've made a list (and to save people watching over 5 minutes of the You Tube material), I've listed the "sales" below. There are some similarities, but some huge discrepancies.

    I have absolutely no idea if any are accurate.

    The ones in parentheses are from you tube:

    ALBUMS SALES
    1 Greatest Hits 5,975,000 (6,200,000)
    2 Supremes A' Go-Go- 3,469,000 (3,500,000)
    3 Where Did Our Love Go- 3,225,000 (3,275,000)
    4 I Hear A Symphony- 1,894,000 (1,900,000)
    5 More Hits By....- 1,642,000 (1,675,000)
    6 Supremes Sing H-D-H- 1,518,000 (500,000)
    7 TCB 1,426,000 (500,000)
    8 Join The Temps 1,397,000 (500,000)
    9 Supremes At The Copa- 1,316,000 (1,350,000)
    10 Greatest Vol 3 1,216,000 (1,275,000)
    11 Anthology 982,000 (1,200,000)
    12 A Bit of Liverpool- 839,000 (825,000)
    13 Reflections 724,000 (750,000)
    14 Love Child 683,000 (700,000)
    15 Let The Sunshine In 602,000 (625,000)
    16 Merry Christmas (600,000)
    17 Cream Of The Crop 566,000 (575,000)
    18 Together 492,00 (no data available)
    19 Rogers & Hart 486,000
    20 25th Anniversary 429,000
    21 Live At Talk Of Town 382,000 (400,000)
    22 We Remember Sam Cooke 306,000 (325,000)
    23 Funny Girl 217,000 (255,000)
    24 Country, Western & Pop 178,000 (200,000)
    25 Meet The Supremes 146,000 (150,000)
    26 On Broadway (no data available)
    27 Farewell (275,000)
    28 Right On (225,000)
    29 The Magnificent 7 (no data available)
    30 New Ways But Love Stays (150,000)
    31 The Return Of The Magnificent 7 (no data available)
    32 Touch (100,000)
    33 Dynamite (no data available)
    34 Floy Joy (150,000)
    35 The Supremes Produced + Arranged by Jimmy Webb (100,000)
    36 In Japan (5,000)
    37 The Supremes (70,000)
    38 High Energy (125,000)
    39 Mary, Scherrie + Susaye (50,000)

    SINGLE SALES
    1 Baby Love 3,496,000
    2 Someday We'll Be... 3,077,000
    3 Love Child 2,899,000
    4 Where Did Our Love Go 2,720,000
    5 You Can't Hurry Love 2,424,000
    6 Stop! In The Name 2,154,000
    7 Come See About Me 1,870,000
    8 You Keep Me Hangin' 1,758,000
    9 I Hear A Symphony 1,604,000
    10 I'm Gonna Make You lo 1,557,000
    11 My World Is Empty 1,371,000
    12 Refelections 1,277,000
    13 Back In My Arms 1,029,000
    14 Love Is Here And Now 949,000
    15 The Happening 897,000
    16 In And Out Of Love 762,000
    17 Love Is Like An Itch 632,000
    18 Nothing But Heartaches 588,000
    19 I'm Livin In Shame 513,000
    20 Some Things You Never 317,000
    21 Forever Came Today 298,000
    22 I'll Try Something New 273,000
    23 The Composer 204,000

    DIANA ROSS solo singles
    1. 1 Touch Me In The Morning 1,504,909
    2. Ain't No Mountain High Enough 1,243,738
    3. Do You Know Where You're Going To? 882,272
    4. Last Time I Saw Him 643,740
    5. Remember Me 540,940
    6. Reach Out And Touch barely 500,000
    7. It's My Turn 434,794
    8. Reach Out (I'll Be There) 254,307
    9. The Boss close to 250,000
    10. Sleepin' 46,162

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by gordy_hunk View Post
    As at least one other has commented "don't believe these figures" - and neither do I. But I'm not involved in marketing, sales or indeed have ever had any financial dealings with Motown, or any of the allied companies which may or may not have true figures.

    Over the years, when sales figures have been "announced" I've made a list (and to save people watching over 5 minutes of the You Tube material), I've listed the "sales" below. There are some similarities, but some huge discrepancies.

    I have absolutely no idea if any are accurate.

    The ones in parentheses are from you tube:

    ALBUMS SALES
    1 Greatest Hits 5,975,000 (6,200,000)
    2 Supremes A' Go-Go- 3,469,000 (3,500,000)
    3 Where Did Our Love Go- 3,225,000 (3,275,000)
    4 I Hear A Symphony- 1,894,000 (1,900,000)
    5 More Hits By....- 1,642,000 (1,675,000)
    6 Supremes Sing H-D-H- 1,518,000 (500,000)
    7 TCB 1,426,000 (500,000)
    8 Join The Temps 1,397,000 (500,000)
    9 Supremes At The Copa- 1,316,000 (1,350,000)
    10 Greatest Vol 3 1,216,000 (1,275,000)
    11 Anthology 982,000 (1,200,000)
    12 A Bit of Liverpool- 839,000 (825,000)
    13 Reflections 724,000 (750,000)
    14 Love Child 683,000 (700,000)
    15 Let The Sunshine In 602,000 (625,000)
    16 Merry Christmas (600,000)
    17 Cream Of The Crop 566,000 (575,000)
    18 Together 492,00 (no data available)
    19 Rogers & Hart 486,000
    20 25th Anniversary 429,000
    21 Live At Talk Of Town 382,000 (400,000)
    22 We Remember Sam Cooke 306,000 (325,000)
    23 Funny Girl 217,000 (255,000)
    24 Country, Western & Pop 178,000 (200,000)
    25 Meet The Supremes 146,000 (150,000)
    26 On Broadway (no data available)
    27 Farewell (275,000)
    28 Right On (225,000)
    29 The Magnificent 7 (no data available)
    30 New Ways But Love Stays (150,000)
    31 The Return Of The Magnificent 7 (no data available)
    32 Touch (100,000)
    33 Dynamite (no data available)
    34 Floy Joy (150,000)
    35 The Supremes Produced + Arranged by Jimmy Webb (100,000)
    36 In Japan (5,000)
    37 The Supremes (70,000)
    38 High Energy (125,000)
    39 Mary, Scherrie + Susaye (50,000)

    SINGLE SALES
    1 Baby Love 3,496,000
    2 Someday We'll Be... 3,077,000
    3 Love Child 2,899,000
    4 Where Did Our Love Go 2,720,000
    5 You Can't Hurry Love 2,424,000
    6 Stop! In The Name 2,154,000
    7 Come See About Me 1,870,000
    8 You Keep Me Hangin' 1,758,000
    9 I Hear A Symphony 1,604,000
    10 I'm Gonna Make You lo 1,557,000
    11 My World Is Empty 1,371,000
    12 Refelections 1,277,000
    13 Back In My Arms 1,029,000
    14 Love Is Here And Now 949,000
    15 The Happening 897,000
    16 In And Out Of Love 762,000
    17 Love Is Like An Itch 632,000
    18 Nothing But Heartaches 588,000
    19 I'm Livin In Shame 513,000
    20 Some Things You Never 317,000
    21 Forever Came Today 298,000
    22 I'll Try Something New 273,000
    23 The Composer 204,000

    DIANA ROSS solo singles
    1. 1 Touch Me In The Morning 1,504,909
    2. Ain't No Mountain High Enough 1,243,738
    3. Do You Know Where You're Going To? 882,272
    4. Last Time I Saw Him 643,740
    5. Remember Me 540,940
    6. Reach Out And Touch barely 500,000
    7. It's My Turn 434,794
    8. Reach Out (I'll Be There) 254,307
    9. The Boss close to 250,000
    10. Sleepin' 46,162
    Where's "Stoned Love"? I've always heard it sold over 2 million.

  7. #7
    Upside Down?

  8. #8
    "Up the Ladder to the Roof"?

  9. #9
    Judging on just album sales, the Supremes sold over 31 million albums.

    By comparison, TLC just sold 17 million albums. Destiny's Child sold 16 million albums. Spice Girls sold 12 million albums.

    Judging on the numbers posted, The Supremes have definitely sold more albums (and singles) than any other female group EVER and probably more than any vocal group in the history of music.

    Quite impressive for an act that started out as Milton Jenkins' sister group to the Primes.

  10. #10
    The Andrews Sisters became the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century.[70]

    75–100 million records sold from a little over 600 recorded tunes
    113 charted Billboard hits, 46 reaching Top 10 status (more than Elvis Presley or The Beatles)
    17 Hollywood films (more than any other singing group in motion picture history)
    record-breaking theater and cabaret runs all across America and Europe;
    countless appearances on radio shows from 1935 to 1960 (including their own)
    guest spots on every major television show of the 1950s and 1960s, including those hosted by Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle,[71] Perry Como,[72] Frank Sinatra,[72] Dean Martin,[72] Sammy Davis, Jr.,[72] Johnny Carson,[72] Joey Bishop,[73] Art Linkletter[72] and Jimmy Dean.[72]

  11. #11
    ^ RECORDS, not albums. Records lol

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Judging on just album sales, the Supremes sold over 31 million albums.

    By comparison, TLC just sold 17 million albums. Destiny's Child sold 16 million albums. Spice Girls sold 12 million albums.

    Judging on the numbers posted, The Supremes have definitely sold more albums (and singles) than any other female group EVER and probably more than any vocal group in the history of music.

    Quite impressive for an act that started out as Milton Jenkins' sister group to the Primes.
    i don't know how one would but you need to also figure out some way of "adjusting for inflation" when comparing the Sup sales to current artists. The average 15 year old had a much different purchasing power in 1965 than 2005. their access to disposable funds was significantly less. not saying there were more poor people then. but it was just a completely different environment.

  13. #13
    I went on the volume of album releases, really. The other groups released far less albums so of course they would sell more off one album than the Supremes ever did.

  14. #14
    Good point midnightman!

  15. #15
    From that Greasy Lake Site

    DIANA ROSS - USA ALBUM SALES
    Note: Things that are not included below:
    * bootlegs and/or counterfeit releases
    * promotion-only and/or giveaway-only releases
    * interview-only and/or spoken word-only releases unless they've been released by DIANA ROSS's record company or specifically licensed by them
    * 'Various Artists' and Collaboration releases

    Yr.....Chart...Last Cert....Album Title...........................................RI AA Award.....Album Sales.....Comments/Notes
    Rel...Peak....by RIAA
    1970....019....none....Diana Ross/Ain't No Mountain High Enough.........................500,000.....5k-SScanOct98, M-711, 28w, inc both title variations
    1970....042....none....Everything Is Everything........................................ ................200,000.....M-724, 16w, deleted late 80's
    1971....046....none....Diana!: Original TV Soundtrack........................................ .....150,000.....M-719, 15w, deleted late 70's
    1971....056....none....Surrender.................. .................................................. ...........200,000.....312-SScanOct98, M-723, 14w
    1972....001....none....Lady Sings The Blues: Soundtrack.....................................2,1 00,000.....M-758, 2LP/1cd, 54w, 5th best-selling LP in 1973
    1972....-----....none....Doral Presents Diana Ross.............................................. ........10,000.....Doral/Showcase DLP-104, mail-order only
    1973....005....none....Touch Me In The Morning........................................... ...........650,000.....5k-SScanOct98, M-772, 28w
    1973....052....none....Last Time I Saw Him............................................... ...............200,000.....M-812, 17w, deleted late 80's
    1974....064....none....Live At Caesar's Palace............................................ .............200,000.....8k-SScanOct98, M-801, 17w
    1975....019....none....Mahogany: Soundtrack........................................ ..................275,000.....M-858, 26w, not released on US cd until 2000
    1976....005....none....Diana Ross.............................................. ..............................700,000.....6k-SScanOct98, M-876, 32w
    1976....013....none....Greatest Hits.............................................. ............................650,000.....83k-SScanOct98, M-869, 23w
    1977....029....none....An Evening With Diana Ross.............................................. ...250,000.....12k-SScanOct98, M-877, 2LP/1cd, 14
    1977....018....none....Baby It's Me................................................ ............................275,000.....346-SScanOct98, M-890, 19w
    1978....049....none....Ross....................... .................................................. ..............150,000.....M-907, 17w, deleted late 80's
    1979....014....1980....The Boss.............................................. .............Gold.............700,000.....6k-SScanOct98, M-923, 37w
    1980....002....1981....Diana...................... ...........................................Platinu m....1,200,000.....28k-SScanJan06 (8k-Oct98), M-936, 52w
    1981....032....none....To Love Again............................................. ...........................200,000.....M-951, 14w, deleted late 80's
    1981....037....1983....All The Great Hits.............................................. Gold..........1,000,000.....268k-SScanOct98, M-960, 2LP/1cd, 32w
    1981....015....1982....Why Do Fools Fall In Love................................Platinum....1, 125,000.....8k-SScanOct98, Rca, 33w
    1981....-----....none....Diana's Duets............................................. ............................175,000.....4k-SScanOct98, M-5214
    1982....027....1982....Silk Electric.......................................... ..............Gold.............550,000.....2k-SScanOct98, Rca, 23w
    1983....063....none....Anthology.................. .................................................. ...........350,000.....74k-SScanOct98, M-6049, 2LP/1cd, 12w
    1983....032....none....Ross....................... .................................................. ..............250,000.....242-SScanOct98, Rca, 17w
    1983....-----....none....Touch Me In Morning + Live Caesar's Palace...........................5,000.....M-6082, 2 for 1, tape-only, deleted late 80's
    1984....-----....none....14 Greatest Hits.............................................. .......................200,000.....17k-SScanOct98, M-6072
    1984....026....1984....Swept Away.............................................. .........Gold.............625,000.....9k-SScanOct98, Rca, 45w
    1984....-----....none....All The Great Love Songs............................................. ...........75,000.....6k-SScanOct98, M-6105
    1985....045....none....Eaten Alive............................................. ................................250,000.....2k-SScanOct98, Rca, 20w
    1986....-----....none....2 Classic Albums: Diana/The Boss..........................................20,0 00.....839-SScanOct98, M-8002, 1cd
    1986....-----....none....2 Classic Albums: Touch Me/Baby It's Me...............................20,000.....606-SScanOct98, M-8026, 1cd
    1986....-----....none....2 Classic Albums: Ain't No Mtn/Surrender...............................15,000.... .469-SScanOct98, M-8046, 1cd
    1987....-----....none....The Supreme Lady.............................................. .....................30,000.....Teledisc TD-9, 3LP, TV-marketed, deleted late 80's
    1987....073....none....Red Hot Rhythm & Blues............................................. ...........135,000.....685-SScanOct98, Rca, 14w
    1989....116....none....Workin' Overtime.......................................... ..........................125,000.....3k-SScanOct98, Motown-6274, 6w
    1990....-----....none....Greatest Hits Live.............................................. .......................10,000.....136-SScanOct98, Emi Import
    1991....102....none....The Force Behind The Power............................................. ....125,000.....99k-SScanOct98, Motown-6316, 3w
    1993....-----....none....Live - Sings Jazz & Blues: Stolen Moments...........................100,000.....79k-SScanOct98, Motown-6340
    1993....-----....none....Forever Diana: Musical Memoirs........................................... .100,000.....73k-SScanNov04, Motown-6357, 4cd Box
    1993....-----....none....Forever - Chain Reaction III............................................... ......15,000......Motown-6357-5, 1cd sampler of Box
    1994....-----....none....One Woman: The Ultimate Collection....................................275, 000.....196k-SScanOct98
    1994....-----....none....Diana Extended: The Remixes........................................... ......80,000.....70k-SScanJan06 (69k-Oct98)
    1995....114....none....Take Me Higher............................................ ..........................135,000.....102k-SScanOct98
    1997....-----....none....Greatest Hits: The RCA Years............................................. ....40,000.....11k-SScanOct98
    1999....108....none....Every Day Is A New Day............................................... .........115,000.....87k-SScanSep06
    2003....-----....none....To Love Again - Deluxe Edition........................................... .......5,000.....Motown Chronicles-44067043
    2003....-----....none....Diana - Deluxe Edition........................................... ...................15,000.....Motown Chronicles-791, 2cd
    2006....146....none....Blue....................... .................................................. ................100,000.....31k-SScanJun06, first 5 wks Starbucks-only (not SScaned)
    2006....-----....none....The Definitive Collection........................................ ...................15,000.....Hip-O Select-6088
    2007....032....none....I Love You............................................... ................................150,000.....69k-SScanApr07, Manhattan
    2007....-----....none....Last Time I Saw Him - Expanded Ed..........................................5,000. ....Hip-O Select-8095, 2cd
    2008....-----....none....Everything Is Everything - Expanded Ed....................................5,000.....Hi p-O Select-8093, 1cd
    2008....-----....none....Playlist Your Way............................................... ......................20,000.....
    2008....-----....none....Surrender - Expanded Edition........................................... .........5,000.....Hip-O Select-11850, 1cd
    2009....-----....none....Touch Me In The Morning - Expanded Ed..................................5,000.....Hip-O Select-13350, 2cd, limited to 7k
    2012....-----....none....Diana Ross - Expanded Ed................................................ .........5,000.....Hip-O Select-16209, 2cd, limited to 10k
    2012....-----....none....Icon.................................. .................................................. ........30,000.....21k-SScanAug13
    2013....-----....none....Playlist: Very Best Of Diana Ross.............................................1 0,000.....2k-SScanAug13
    + domestic US sales of foreign-pressed albums............................................ ...........250,000
    TOTAL US ALBUM SALES............................................. ....................................15,175,000
    Total Soundscan-registered album sales (1991 - Jan 2006) = 1,800,000
    RIAA album Certification data as of Apr 1, 2014
    4....Gold...................2,000,000 disc units...........2,000,000 albums
    2....Platinum.............2,000,000 disc units...........2,000,000 albums
    ------------
    6...............................4,000,000 disc units...........4,000,000 albums
    Note: For many, many years Motown was the only major Record Company that refused to become a member of the RIAA. Motown owner and Chairman Berry Gordy finally relented to industry pressure and joined the RIAA in 1977. However even after becoming a RIAA member Motown's pre-1977 albums were never submitted for RIAA sales certification audit.....and to this day (with only a few exceptions) still haven't.

  16. #16
    As for the Supremes, I'm doubtful about his given figures.
    Barbra Streisand Catalog was kept up to date until the 90's. She is by far, the most RIAA certified female singer of the sixties, yet she managed to get only 3 platinum and 7 gold albums in the decade. 3 of her albums were certified Gold in the 2000's

    Triple platinum in the sixties are a myth.

    I miss the weeks spent on the charts for Dionne, but simply with their rankin, the Supremes are very high, they compete with Streisand and do much better than Dionne Warwick. And of course they rank very high in the R&b charts.

    Barbra Streisand (studio, tv shows, 1 live, 1 greatest hits, Funny Girl broadway, Funny Girl soundtrack)
    #8 ,107w = G
    #2, 92w = G
    #5, 96w = G
    #2, 73w = G

    #1, 105w = P
    #2, 87 weeks= G
    #2, 68 weeks = P
    #3, 47 weeks = G
    #5, 34 weeks = G (2002)
    #12, 23 weeks = G (2002)
    #12, 101 weeks = P
    #108 (christmas album) = 6 x P (2012)
    #31, 17 weeks
    #30 (live) 20 weeks = G (1990)

    Dionne

    #68
    #107
    #45
    #18 = G
    #169
    #22
    #6 = G
    #18
    #11
    #76
    #10 = G
    #31
    #28

    Aretha

    # 69 The Tender, The Moving, The Swinging, 12 w
    # 84....none....Runnin' Out Of Fools, 13 w
    # 132....none....Soul Sister, 4 w
    # 2....I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, 79 w = G
    #94....none....Aretha Franklin's Greatest Hits, 14 w
    # 5....none....Aretha Arrives, 41 w
    # 173....none....Take A Look, 8 w
    # 2.....Lady Soul, 52 w = G
    # 3....Aretha Now, 35 w = G
    # 13....Aretha In Paris, 20 w
    # 15.....Soul '69, 32 w
    # 18....Aretha's Gold, 33 w


    Supremes

    #2, 110 weeks
    #21, 21 weeks
    #79, 8 weeks
    #75, 19 weeks
    #6, 41 weeks
    #6 (Holiday chart)
    #8, 61 w
    #1, 75 w
    #6, 24 w
    #20, 18 w
    #18, 27 w
    #150, 1 w
    #2, Diana & Temptations
    #14, 19 w
    #24, 18 w
    #28, Together
    #33, 19 w
    #11(live Copa), 54 weeks
    #57 (live), 18w
    #1, TCB
    #38, GIT
    #1 Greatest hits,110 w
    #31 Greatest hits , 24 w

    So what? To have a Gold record in the sixties (over 500.000) you have to rank high (top 10), you have to spend more or less 50 weeks on the charts, or you have to have
    length. It took 25 or 30 years to Streisand to have 3 of her 60's album certified.
    Maybe being high on the r&b chart is a bonus, since they are under estimated in the top 200.
    The Supremes had only 6 albums spending over 50 weeks on the charts... + the two albums with the Temptations (certified Gold and Platinum by RIAA)
    Last edited by Albator; 07-10-2019 at 04:10 PM.

  17. #17

    Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    "Up the Ladder to the Roof"?
    Marv and Luke

    I only have repeated information that I've seen. I agree that 'Upside down' was a huge seller, but perhaps the list ended before that particular release. I do find it hard to believe that "Last time I saw him" sold such a huge number.

    The singles sales I've seen do not include the Supremes post Jan 14 1970, because I'd assume Stoned love, Up the ladder to the roof, to be definitely higher than "last time I saw him"!

    I know we'll never know for sure what the sales were - because of course this information is commercially sensitive for Motown (pre 1988).

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by gordy_hunk View Post
    Marv and Luke

    I only have repeated information that I've seen. I agree that 'Upside down' was a huge seller, but perhaps the list ended before that particular release. I do find it hard to believe that "Last time I saw him" sold such a huge number.

    The singles sales I've seen do not include the Supremes post Jan 14 1970, because I'd assume Stoned love, Up the ladder to the roof, to be definitely higher than "last time I saw him"!

    I know we'll never know for sure what the sales were - because of course this information is commercially sensitive for Motown (pre 1988).
    Upside Down went gold, so it's over 1 million
    Endless Love went platinum, over 2 millions

  19. #19
    RIAA certifications don't mean much because Motown didn't belong; the details of the sales of Motown records during the 60's 70's are long gone. So there is a lot of speculation but I think there is a basis for these figures - but highly accurate, no.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by gordy_hunk View Post
    Marv and Luke

    I only have repeated information that I've seen. I agree that 'Upside down' was a huge seller, but perhaps the list ended before that particular release. I do find it hard to believe that "Last time I saw him" sold such a huge number.

    The singles sales I've seen do not include the Supremes post Jan 14 1970, because I'd assume Stoned love, Up the ladder to the roof, to be definitely higher than "last time I saw him"!

    I know we'll never know for sure what the sales were - because of course this information is commercially sensitive for Motown (pre 1988).
    You're right. We'll never know what the true sales were for most of all the Motown releases. Nice try though.

  21. #21
    The sales quoted for the Diana Ross solo singles by gordy_hunk is that of JRT in his first Call Her Miss Ross book - it is not a list of her biggest singles just those that he gave figures for.

    The reason why titles like Upside Down aren't in there is that he didn't give any figures for them.

    The Supremes figures could very well be those estimated by a guy mjdangerous - they seem wildly optimistic and I don't believe them but that's just a personal feeling.

    According to J Randy Taraborrelli only 4 Supremes records were instant million sellers:

    Wher Did Our Love Go
    You Can't Hurry Love
    Love Child
    Somedy We'll Be Together

    and another four eventually passed the 1m mark:

    Baby Love
    Come See About Me
    Stop! In The Name Of Love
    You Keep Me Hangin' On

    You pays your money and takes your choice!

    No reason to disbelieve him, in his book Berry Gordy says that at the time of release Love Child became the Supremes biggest selling single to date.

    Looking at chart positions in Cash Box (compiled at that time on sales only) in December - the biggest selling period of the year - 1968 it was obviously a massive seller.

    Last Time I Saw Him could easily have done 600k - it was top 20 and actually top 10 in Cash Box and Record World.

    Don't forget it was the #1 Adult Contemporary record of its year.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    RIAA certifications don't mean much because Motown didn't belong; the details of the sales of Motown records during the 60's 70's are long gone. So there is a lot of speculation but I think there is a basis for these figures - but highly accurate, no.
    Without question.

  23. #23

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    RIAA certifications don't mean much because Motown didn't belong; the details of the sales of Motown records during the 60's 70's are long gone. So there is a lot of speculation but I think there is a basis for these figures - but highly accurate, no.
    i think you have it backwards. if it is not RIAA certified, it doesn't mean much. Those early pictures of the Supremes holding fake uncertified gold issues by the company do not mean much except that they are a nice photo op. Sales were whatever Berry said they were



    The Supremes were already disbanded when they received their first RIAA certified gold record in 1984 or 1985 for the ANTHOLOGY Album. Motown finally opened its books and sale were certified that it sold over 500.000.

    In later years, they also had other earlier singles RIAA certified such as STOP and SOMEDAY.

    And at one time even being RIAA certified sales of 5000,000 or 1.000.000 was questionable.

    There is the time that they made a big deal about presenting Johnny Carson a gold record for his Casablanca compilation of artists just days after its release. The company sent out many free copies to many in the industry to help promote the album and they were counted as sales since at the time RIAA counted shipments of product. After Johnny was presented his gold record on the TONIGHT SHOW, tons of the free product was sent back to Casablanca as returns.

    The industry joke was that it was shipped gold and returned platinum.

    Since then, RIAA has changed its rules to make the count more accurate


  24. #24
    supposedly, the LP with the biggest returns on advance orders remains Sgt. Pepper...the RSO 2LP Movie Soundtrack …"shipped Gold, returned Platinum"

  25. #25
    Randy Tarraborelli deleted all the sales data from Call Her Miss Ross when he rewrote it and relabeled it her Autobiography.

    I always took that as an indication he felt his information was unreliable.

  26. #26
    first motown started in 1959 and i think the rock era began in 1956. that said even RCA wasnt on board with RIAA until later as many of Elvis first hits like Heartbreak Hotel were not certified by RIAA. but by RCA. i think this was the senario for many record companies.
    i rememeber reading that ,I think one of the Holland Brothers stated as to why they didnt sign on to RIAA ,much to the effect, we know what we sent out and what came back, why use someone else to tell us what we already know.
    i also have a theory, in most cases gold records are issued per region such as USA or UK etc, i think motown MAY have issued gold records based on total sales . for example ,it was rumoured Up The Ladder To The Roof sold 800,000 copies in usa but another 200,000 copis in international sales. motown issed a gold record. it may have eventually sold 1,000,000 in USA but not originally.
    I do find it interesting that Motown signed on to RIAA in 1976 but yet two of Dianas albums, Diana ross 76 and her greatest hits album 76 both were not certified??? yet both did well . wasn't Dianas lp the Boss her first certified RIAA album.
    also in 2000 both Baby Love and Stop were certified gold By RIAA and Im Gonna Make You Love Me and Someday Well Be Together certified platinum. both none of these certifications were based on original sales from the 60s , only sales from 1976 forward as they say, that info was lost.....yeah right (wink)….people were paid off those record sales, so they know what sold what.
    I do feel it kind of cheats the Supremes at of their rightful place as far as record sales go.
    also didn't 20 Golden Greats go platinum???
    originally only Where Did Our Love Go, Baby , Stop, Symphony, Hurry Love and Hangin On were gold, and later,....Love Child, Make You Love Me, Someday and Stoned Love sold over 2,300,000 for TOTAL OF 10. still not bad.
    over the years with reissues and soundtracks other such as Reflections and My World Is Empty were rumoured to have sold over Million copies each.
    either way, great music and a great legacy.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Where's "Stoned Love"? I've always heard it sold over 2 million.
    can t believe Let The Sunshine in sold that with 3 bombs,just funny to me.
    Bit Of Liverpool 800.000 wow

  28. #28
    Motown refusing to open their books to RIAA in the 60s was just Gordy's way of screwing over the artists out of money, in my honest opinion. Lie about how well a record sold by saying 1 million copies when it really sold 1.5 or 2 million, that's money the artists are not seeing.

    I think ever since Motown did open their books to RIAA, it's been estimated the Supremes sold 20 million records, but we all know the true sale numbers are much higher. It's been estimated they are between 80 to 100 million. I find that to be an accurate estimation. In all worldwide records sales since 1961 to current day, it's really ridiculous to think they sold anything less than 80 million.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    Randy Tarraborelli deleted all the sales data from Call Her Miss Ross when he rewrote it and relabeled it her Autobiography.

    I always took that as an indication he felt his information was unreliable.
    Or it was information he shouldn't have had faced court action if he repeated it.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    Motown refusing to open their books to RIAA in the 60s was just Gordy's way of screwing over the artists out of money, in my honest opinion. Lie about how well a record sold by saying 1 million copies when it really sold 1.5 or 2 million, that's money the artists are not seeing.

    I think ever since Motown did open their books to RIAA, it's been estimated the Supremes sold 20 million records, but we all know the true sale numbers are much higher. It's been estimated they are between 80 to 100 million. I find that to be an accurate estimation. In all worldwide records sales since 1961 to current day, it's really ridiculous to think they sold anything less than 80 million.
    I would agree, originally I think around 1970 they sold like 55 million est, but I think the records continued to sell well into the 80s.
    I was reading a book recently that counted down the top 40 albums of each year, and the only one Supremes album was mentioned TCB , not even the Greatest Hits album made the list due to Motown not joining RIAA. again I think it cheats the Supremes and other motown artist out of their props and $$$$.

  31. #31
    I still think its strange that A GO GO sold more than WDOLG which had 3 number ones on it, was You Cant Hurry Love that huge of a single? although I am sure the success of YKMHO helped the record sales.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by gordy_hunk View Post
    As at least one other has commented "don't believe these figures" - and neither do I. But I'm not involved in marketing, sales or indeed have ever had any financial dealings with Motown, or any of the allied companies which may or may not have true figures.

    Over the years, when sales figures have been "announced" I've made a list (and to save people watching over 5 minutes of the You Tube material), I've listed the "sales" below. There are some similarities, but some huge discrepancies.

    I have absolutely no idea if any are accurate.

    The ones in parentheses are from you tube:

    ALBUMS SALES
    1 Greatest Hits 5,975,000 (6,200,000)
    2 Supremes A' Go-Go- 3,469,000 (3,500,000)
    3 Where Did Our Love Go- 3,225,000 (3,275,000)
    4 I Hear A Symphony- 1,894,000 (1,900,000)
    5 More Hits By....- 1,642,000 (1,675,000)
    6 Supremes Sing H-D-H- 1,518,000 (500,000)
    7 TCB 1,426,000 (500,000)
    8 Join The Temps 1,397,000 (500,000)
    9 Supremes At The Copa- 1,316,000 (1,350,000)
    10 Greatest Vol 3 1,216,000 (1,275,000)
    11 Anthology 982,000 (1,200,000)
    12 A Bit of Liverpool- 839,000 (825,000)
    13 Reflections 724,000 (750,000)
    14 Love Child 683,000 (700,000)
    15 Let The Sunshine In 602,000 (625,000)
    16 Merry Christmas (600,000)
    17 Cream Of The Crop 566,000 (575,000)
    18 Together 492,00 (no data available)
    19 Rogers & Hart 486,000
    20 25th Anniversary 429,000
    21 Live At Talk Of Town 382,000 (400,000)
    22 We Remember Sam Cooke 306,000 (325,000)
    23 Funny Girl 217,000 (255,000)
    24 Country, Western & Pop 178,000 (200,000)
    25 Meet The Supremes 146,000 (150,000)
    26 On Broadway (no data available)
    27 Farewell (275,000)
    28 Right On (225,000)
    29 The Magnificent 7 (no data available)
    30 New Ways But Love Stays (150,000)
    31 The Return Of The Magnificent 7 (no data available)
    32 Touch (100,000)
    33 Dynamite (no data available)
    34 Floy Joy (150,000)
    35 The Supremes Produced + Arranged by Jimmy Webb (100,000)
    36 In Japan (5,000)
    37 The Supremes (70,000)
    38 High Energy (125,000)
    39 Mary, Scherrie + Susaye (50,000)

    SINGLE SALES
    1 Baby Love 3,496,000
    2 Someday We'll Be... 3,077,000
    3 Love Child 2,899,000
    4 Where Did Our Love Go 2,720,000
    5 You Can't Hurry Love 2,424,000
    6 Stop! In The Name 2,154,000
    7 Come See About Me 1,870,000
    8 You Keep Me Hangin' 1,758,000
    9 I Hear A Symphony 1,604,000
    10 I'm Gonna Make You lo 1,557,000
    11 My World Is Empty 1,371,000
    12 Refelections 1,277,000
    13 Back In My Arms 1,029,000
    14 Love Is Here And Now 949,000
    15 The Happening 897,000
    16 In And Out Of Love 762,000
    17 Love Is Like An Itch 632,000
    18 Nothing But Heartaches 588,000
    19 I'm Livin In Shame 513,000
    20 Some Things You Never 317,000
    21 Forever Came Today 298,000
    22 I'll Try Something New 273,000
    23 The Composer 204,000

    DIANA ROSS solo singles
    1. 1 Touch Me In The Morning 1,504,909
    2. Ain't No Mountain High Enough 1,243,738
    3. Do You Know Where You're Going To? 882,272
    4. Last Time I Saw Him 643,740
    5. Remember Me 540,940
    6. Reach Out And Touch barely 500,000
    7. It's My Turn 434,794
    8. Reach Out (I'll Be There) 254,307
    9. The Boss close to 250,000
    10. Sleepin' 46,162

    I think Stoned Love sold 2,300.000 copies, not bad at all . I think that would make it one of their biggest over all.
    I seem to recall a thread or discussion where there was a bet as to which lp would sell better, TCB or Join .I think it was BG that had a bet with the producers, I think Frank Wilson (maybe) as to which album would sell more. it seems to me , from my memory, the sales figures on the left are more accurate,.but then again my memory is not always correct lately ,but I think I may be correct.

    damn the Boss only sold 250
    Last edited by daviddh; 07-13-2019 at 09:47 AM.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    I think Stoned Love sold 2,300.000 copies, not bad at all . I think that would make it one of their biggest over all.
    I seem to recall a thread or discussion where there was a bet as to which lp would sell better, TCB or Join .I think it was BG that had a bet with the producers, I think Frank Wilson (maybe) as to which album would sell more. it seems to me , from my memory, the sales figures on the left are more accurate,.but then again my memory is not always correct lately ,but I think I may be correct.

    damn the Boss only sold 250
    I beiieve today, you can get a Billboard Number One with just 120,000 sold.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I beiieve today, you can get a Billboard Number One with just 120,000 sold.
    Even 30000 in the right month

  35. #35
    Maybe it's me but I would think Diana s first solo album 1970...would have sold more copies as good as it was.
    It seems it's sales have been stuck at 500.000 copies forever.
    Great album

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddh View Post
    I would agree, originally I think around 1970 they sold like 55 million est, but I think the records continued to sell well into the 80s.
    I was reading a book recently that counted down the top 40 albums of each year, and the only one Supremes album was mentioned TCB , not even the Greatest Hits album made the list due to Motown not joining RIAA. again I think it cheats the Supremes and other motown artist out of their props and $$$$.
    Well, as they say "What goes around, comes around". When Mr. Gordy sold Motown to MCA and Boston Ventures in 1988 it was for $61 million. Three years later in 1991, Motown was sold again to Polygram/Universal etc for $332 million! I am sure he was hardly very happy about that!

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