Thursday, June 5, 2008

PUFFY Sales Numbers

Credit to TBB at the forum for this; he did the work of finding it and initially compiling it into a readable list (actually someone else - see the comments below). I just cleaned it up a little here. I've looked on Oricon's web site and I can't figure out how the hell to extract this, although it's gotta be in there somewhere. Anyway, I figured not all of you read the forums and this is definitely some interesting info.

Domestic Japan sales of all of PUFFY's music releases to date, at least according to Oricon:

96.05.13 1,188,820 Asia no Junshin
96.10.07 1,566,060 Kore ga watashi no ikiru michi
97.03.12 701,490 Circuit no musume
97.04.16 881,280 Electric Beach Fever
97.12.12 345,500 MOTHER
98.03.14 387,280 Ai No Shirushi
98.08.29 163,860 Tararan
98.12.12 117,670 Puffy de Rumba
99.04.01 46,470 Nichiyoubi no Musume
99.06.09 45,640 Yume no tameni
00.04.05 31,150 Umi Eto
00.09.27 29,760 Boogie Woogie No.5
01.04.25 24,250 Atarashii Hibi
01.12.05 11,690 Aoi Namida
02.02.06 12,580 Hurricane
02.11.20 6,657 Akai Buranko /Planet Tokyo
04.02.11 13,365 SUNRISE
05.07.13 6,679 Hajimari no Uta/ Nice Buddy
05.11.16 *,855 HiHi
06.04.12 2,608 Mogura Like *
06.05.24 *,*** Tokyo I'm On My Way
06.09.20 11,938 Hazumu Rizumu (with Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra)
06.11.22 3,426 Hataraku Otoko *
07.07.18 2,864 boom boom beat/Oedo Nagareboshi IV *
07.09.05 *,***Kuchibiru Motion/ Oriental Diamond **
08.05.21 4,694 All Because Of You

* First week sales, missing/unavailable data.
** Missing/unavailable data.

Onuki Ami
97.07.02 166,550 Honey

Yoshimura Yumi
97.07.09 281,360 V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N

96.07.22 892,000 amiyumi
98.04.01 1,223,000 JET CD
99.06.23 239,000 FEVER*FEVER
00.10.12 55,000 SPIKE
02.02.20 80,000 THE HIT PARADE
03.01.22 17,000 NICE.
04.03.31 7,000 59
05.05.11 8,000 Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi
06.06.28 19,000 Splurge
07.09.26 12,268 honeycreeper *

* 2 week total, 4 weeks unaccounted for.

Other Albums
00.07.05 369,000 The Very Best of Puffy/amiyumi jet fever
07.02.14 32,000 Hit&Fun

It's possible amiyumi actually sold 1,892,000, not 892,000, although I'd believe either number, really. But the way the data was originally formatted makes it look like there should be another number there. The lower figure matches up better with the single sales numbers, though.

At first glance, it's a pretty depressing drop-off over the years, although you can see that they've come back a bit since the ridiculous sales of 59. Talk about a future collector's item! And if Splurge - as great as it was - only managed to sell 19,000 copies, then honeycreeper's probably about where it should be. But both seem like they should be a lot higher.

Thing is, do people even really buy CD's anymore? First of all, as far as I know, this chart doesn't count downloads or ring tones or anything of that sort. Music has become such a multimedia business these days that, as CD sales have dropped across the board (not just for Puffy), a lot of artists have made up for it in other ways. And the music still finds its way out there and into public consciousness.

Second, Ami and Yumi have become sort of general celebrities over the years, known to a younger generation less for their music than for their modeling or their commercial endorsements or their TV appearances. So they've managed to keep themselves in the limelight in ways that don't rely on their musical talents.

Third, this is not a chart of worldwide sales, which would be no less interesting. Oh, I doubt their US or Chinese sales are going to amount to a whole lot, but the US is a big country - HiHi might have done quadruple its Japan sales here. Even Nice might have done double.

I think we'd all like to see PUFFY selling a million copies of their latest album again, but let's face it: probably not gonna happen. "Puffy mania" was a fad that ran its course from about 1996-1999, and now they've settled in to sales figures that are probably a bit more natural for the type of band that they are. And they're definitely out of that downright scary period of 03-04. No wonder they gave up the indie rock look!

Oh, by the way - little heads up. I'll be entertaining guests over the next few days, so you may not see another post for a little while. Or you may, you just never know.


  1. TBB here
    The credit actually goes to whoever posted this up:
    I got it from there, all I did was put the names into romanji/english.
    I think the reason 59's sales were so low are because it was only a mini album. I also think Honeycreeper would have sold better (at least first week sales) if there was more promotion for it.

  2. Thanks for posting these numbers. They're really quite surprising to me. I had no idea. The dropoff in the sales of singles from 1999 onwards is surprise enough, but what probably shocked me the most is the figure for Puffy's Nice album (a record I'm coming to believe is one of the finest pop-rock albums since Abbey Road).

    Of course, we're used to much higher sales figures for hit recordings here in the United States, and Japan is, admittedly, a smaller market. Still, I've always thought its music fans were more fanatic in their support for favorite artists (something my generation feels is sadly missing in the USA these days). This listing is a worthwhile reality check.

    Last month I helped an artist put together a CD to be sold at shows during his Japan tour (my very first 'real' CD!). I think about 500 copies were pressed, which didn't seem like a lot - that's 30 or so for each scheduled show. Now I'm not so sure.

  3. Japanese fans are pretty fickle, probably moreso than American ones. It's rare for a pop group (even a rock-based one) to stay so insanely popular for more than a couple years. It's rarer still for one to actually still be making music for so long. I can't honestly think of *any* other female-led bands that have been around for 12 years without having some success outside of Japan (e.g. Shonen Knife), and that's the template Puffy's tried to follow as well. It just seems to be really, really hard for any pop band to stay relevant for more than a decade there.

    I don't know how these numbers compare generally to other popular artists there these days. I do know that when Kimura Kaela hit #1 with her album Scratch last year, she only sold something like 330,000 copies total. So much higher than Puffy does these days, but much lower than when Puffy were at their peak and selling over a million copies of "Jet CD" - and that's with a #1 album. I know that, like here, CD sales in general are down - I just don't know how much. So not *all* of Puffy's decline is fans deserting them specifically. Some of it is just people not buying CD's like they used to.

    They do still regularly sell out some pretty large arenas, so they still have a lot of fans.

  4. I found a copy of 59 in my local Japanese bookstore (Kinokuniya), adjacent to Uwajimaya market. It was $35 - I bought it on the spot without any thought. I can't believe there were only 7,000 sold! I opened it (couldn't help it), and there are some really good songs, plus the Japanese version of Teen Titans. 7,000! Wow.

    I only need Hit Parade to complete my collection...

    Thanks for posting those numbers. Very interesting.