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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:41 pm 
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What was best selling Frank Zappa album released in his lifetime, & roughly how much did it sell?

I know he wasn't going for commercial success but just wondering.

Assume something like 'Shiek Yerbouti' or 'You Are What You Is' are amongst biggest sellers.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:28 pm 
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ZappalWapal wrote:
What was best selling Frank Zappa album released in his lifetime, & roughly how much did it sell?

I know he wasn't going for commercial success but just wondering.

Assume something like 'Shiek Yerbouti' or 'You Are What You Is' are amongst biggest sellers.


Sheik Yerbouti. To date, well over 2 million copies worldwide have been sold.

(This was copied and pasted from a post somewhere else here by Disco Boy, who is a expert in such things.)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:08 pm 
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Oh really? Wow I didn't know that. I was thinking it would be Apostrophe. Thanks Cal.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:34 pm 
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Tinsletown needs to sell more ..

Good album/s

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:00 am 
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on wikipedia it says he's sold more than 70 millions albums worldwide

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:32 am 
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manichispanic wrote:
on wikipedia it says he's sold more than 70 millions albums worldwide

Mostly to the 14,000 members on this forum.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:28 pm 
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He should have sold a kajillion billion!

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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 7:35 am 
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How much has "Hot Rats" sold? Seems like it's quite popular among the jazz fusion crowd and was released all over the world, so one would think it sold a fair amount...


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 8:34 am 
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calvin2hikers wrote:
ZappalWapal wrote:
What was best selling Frank Zappa album released in his lifetime, & roughly how much did it sell?

I know he wasn't going for commercial success but just wondering.

Assume something like 'Shiek Yerbouti' or 'You Are What You Is' are amongst biggest sellers.


Sheik Yerbouti. To date, well over 2 million copies worldwide have been sold.

(This was copied and pasted from a post somewhere else here by Disco Boy, who is a expert in such things.)


Frank was once asked this question and Sheik Yerbouti was his answer.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:40 pm 
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I cant understand how FZ is so underrated. All of his albums are amazing and should have sold triple what they did. There is a thread somewhere on this forum that asks What Albums Should Have Been Big But Weren't (or something to that effect) And I say ALL of FZ's work. my four month old son already has a very large Zappa collection that he already listens to (your welcome son). Can you imagine all the poor souls out there that will never be exposed to such wonderful Music? This reply is approaching 'monger type status, so I digress...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:47 pm 
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manichispanic wrote:
on wikipedia it says he's sold more than 70 millions albums worldwide


I think that's a major exaggeration. Apparently, according to Gail, FZ sold 4x as many albums worldwide than he did in the US. But to be honest, that total seems to be a bit high...however, it's definitely possible. Unfortunately, I've seen very little data regarding FZ's worldwide album sales. But I do know that from 1991 until at least December 2005, FZ's annual US album sales averaged nearly 250,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan (in operation since 1991) and that his US album sales total is currently in the neighborhood of 10-11 million copies. So if Gail is correct, this would obviously mean that FZ's current worldwide album sales total could be as high as 40-44 million copies.

I posted this before a few years ago, but here's a breakdown of a handful of FZ's top selling albums in the US, as of December 2005, since Nielsen Soundscan began (rounded to the nearest thousandth):

260,000 ~ Strictly Commercial
180,000 ~ Sheik Yerbouti
150,000 ~ Apostrophe (’)
146,000 ~ Cheap Thrills
144,000 ~ Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III
131,000 ~ Over-Nite Sensation
109,000 ~ Hot Rats
98,000 ~ Apostrophe (’) / Over-Nite Sensation
95,000 ~ Freak Out!
82,000 ~ We're Only In It For The Money
70,000 ~ One Size Fits All
56,000 ~ Absolutely Free


Nielsen Soundscan-era total (as of December 2005):

3,527,000


Btw, to my knowledge, these totals DO NOT include Barko-Swill sales. Also, today you could probably add over 25% on top of all the above totals...

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Last edited by Disco Boy on Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:47 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:25 pm 
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Bulerias wrote:
How much has "Hot Rats" sold? Seems like it's quite popular among the jazz fusion crowd and was released all over the world, so one would think it sold a fair amount...


In the US, well over 300,000 copies. Worldwide? I'm not sure...but I'd say at least double the US total...

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:22 am 
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Other tread same subject
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14477&hilit=million

I think kiwi got the 70 million off either the back cover of Zappa music in review(barf) or it maybe true :D

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:00 pm 
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To give a possible insight, here are some numbers of classic albums that I asked of the musician themselves.


Moving Waves - Focus. 1,000,000. I asked Thijs Van Leer in 2005. Only a Million, despite it hanging off the wall in Mindy's dad's music shop.

Folk Blues and Beyond - Davy Graham. 3,000. I asked in about 1991, before any re-releases were ever around.

Considering this LP kicked off a movement and influenced a breed of guitar players from Jimmy Page to Bert Jansch, these figures show how difficult it is to make a living selling records unless you were the Osmonds.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:35 am 
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diplomaticpermissiondeepi wrote:
To give a possible insight, here are some numbers of classic albums that I asked of the musician themselves.


Moving Waves - Focus. 1,000,000. I asked Thijs Van Leer in 2005. Only a Million, despite it hanging off the wall in Mindy's dad's music shop.

Folk Blues and Beyond - Davy Graham. 3,000. I asked in about 1991, before any re-releases were ever around.

Considering this LP kicked off a movement and influenced a breed of guitar players from Jimmy Page to Bert Jansch, these figures show how difficult it is to make a living selling records unless you were the Osmonds.
Moving Waves - Focus
Never reached a position in the Charts.Zappa had 29 Album chart,some both sides of the pond buy the year 1988.Another with Stricly Commercial 1995.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:06 am 
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Cleon! Are you crazy or am I. Moving Waves must have reached the Charts. Focus had 2 big hits in the UK during 1973 and I have seen Moving Waves many more times than FZ albums; selling second hand in 3 differing UK pressings alone.

Or am I ARF out of my fucking mind.

It was a huge hit in the US I'm sure of that as Seymour Stein behind Sire (label in the US) is a very clever man. I reckon my example cited above from Mork and Mindy is an early Product Placement.

Cleon spellcheck:

By not buy. Both are Homophones
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophone

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:16 am 
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I like spelling it like that :D

single sale Singles in 1973 don't give no answer too how meany LP' been sold of a 1971 album!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:51 am 
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It was first issued in UK in 1972. It may have been issued in 1971 in Holland as Focus 2. Then Blue Horizon went bust. Then it reissued on Polydor - but they used up all the old blank Blue Horizon labels (having reset the information as the publishing was amended) when Hocus Pocus became a hit and they could not press up enough LP's. Hocus Pocus was a hit as Old grey whistle test broadcast them during the period of the power cuts of the Miners strike. Focus had brought their own generator with them to play a gig at the University of London Union. Since this was the only gig in town a lot of people saw them and a great hullabaloo was created. They were invited to appear on the OGWT. You cannot buy publicity like this.

The photo at the back of the Moving Waves sleeve may be Leeds University. Is there anyone who went to Leeds gigs (The who Live at leeds etc who recognise this room as such?)

They had 2 big LP's, Moving Waves and Focus 3. I'm pretty sure they charted when you bear in mind the circumstances and the sheer statistical evidence I have seen.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:40 am 
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The guy from Focus told you it sold a million,that summed it up for me how much they sold thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:44 am 
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Yes, I'm sure it sold a Million, but it's good to check if it charted. I'm now curious about the chart positions.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:10 am 
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It did not chart :wink:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_Waves

will post a scanned Billboard score for focus when printer is working later with luck.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Moving Waves reached No 2 in 1973 UK charts. No 9 in the US. (1)


But just because it says so on Wikipaedia does not mean its accurate.




(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_Havermans

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:33 pm 
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A qoute from that last link


According to Melody Maker magazine, it reached #2 in the UK charts in 1973, and spawned "Hocus Pocus", a top ten hit single in the US, UK, and many other territories worldwide.

Total bullshit :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:49 pm 
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I dunno, that's what we are trying to establish. let us see.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:51 am 
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Sorry can you believe it bought two HP printer in 2005 now none work because didn't register them. :|


Chart enteries for UK week Chart/US billboard Chart

LP Oct 71 Moving Waves-Label Blue Horizion UK/Sire US= no chart position.

7" Oct 72 Hocus pocus-Label Polydor UK/Sire US=No 20 UK

d-lp Nov 72 Focus III-Label Polydor UK/Sire US=No 6 UK/No35 US

7" Dec 72 Sylvia./House of the king-Label Polydor UK/Sire US=No 9 US

7" Jul 73 Sylvia.Love Rememberd-Label Polydor UK/Sire US=No 98 US

LP Oct 73 Live at the Rainbow-Label Polydor UK/Sire=No 23 UK

LP May 74 Hamburger Concerto-Label Polydor UK/Atco US=No 20 UK/No 66 US

LP Jul 75 Focus(Compilation)-Label Polydor UK/Atco US=NO 23 UK

All the stuff that Charted Only

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