Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
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uao is also a contributor to Blogcritics.org, Rhapsody Radish. and FIQL.com.

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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005
 

Lists: Most Gold and Platinum Records, U.S.

The Beatles: paperback Writer [RIAA Gold Award]


One bauble the RIAA offers to its clients are its Gold and Platinum (and now Diamond) record awards. To become certified gold or platinum, the recording must be audited; for this a record company must pay a fee ($350 if the label is an RIAA member, $450 if it isn't; paid in advance), certification is not automatic.

The RIAA gold record award (now representing 500,000 sales-- it originally referred to $1 million in sales) was established in 1958; the first recipient was Perry Como for his single "Catch A Falling Star". The first gold album was awarded to the original cast recording of Oklahoma! As music sales grew in the 70's, going gold was no longer such a distinctive achievement, so a more hallowed "Platinum" award (1,000,000 sales) in 1976. A "Multi-Platinum" award (2,000,000 or more sales) was instituted in the mid 1980's. The first Platinum single was "Disco Lady" by Johnny Taylor; the first Platinum album was Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 by The Eagles (currently the best selling album of all time). The Diamond award was created in 1999 to acknowledge the rarified 10,000,000 sales mark.

In 2004, RIAA launched the Digital Gold award for 100,000 downloads, Digital Platinum for 200,000 downloads, and Digital Multi-Platinum awards for 400,000 downloads.

For the lists below, gold and platinum records are counted only once each, even if they qualified for both. Elvis Presley's achievement on both lists is fairly remarkable, nearly double his closest competitors. If one uses this measure (as opposed to most records sold), Barbra Streisand was bigger than the Beatles.

Most Gold & Platinum albums:

Elvis Presley: 80
Barbra Streisand: 46
The Beatles: 41
The Rolling Stones: 38
Neil Diamond: 37
Elton John: 32
Kenny Rogers/First Edition: 28
Bob Dylan: 28
Frank Sinatra: 26
Aerosmith: 24
Willie Nelson: 24
George Strait: 24
Kiss: 23
Rush: 22
Alabama: 22

Most Gold & Platinum singles:

Elvis Presley: 52
The Beatles: 25
Mariah Carey: 23
Madonna: 22
Whitney Houston: 20
Janet Jackson: 19
Elton John: 19
Michael Jackson: 16
The Temptations: 16
Billy Joel: 15
Aretha Franklin: 15


     

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