10 Prog Bands Certified “Gold & Platinum” by RIAA

10 Prog Bands Certified Gold & Platinum by RIAA

Progressive Rock is not a commercial genre per se, and especially today, but back in its heyday the bands who started this new music style could definitely experience what is it like to release music they truly enjoyed, but also make money from it. And what’s better for an artist than to earn from what they like to do.

Below is a list of Prog Rock bands that were certified with gold & platinum certifications issued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).


  • 500,000 units: Gold album
  • 1,000,000 units: Platinum album
  • 2,000,000 or more units: Multi-Platinum album
  • 10,000,000 units: Diamond album

01. The Beatles (178 million units)

Although it cannot be said that the Beatles were a progressive rock band, their influence on the genre, as well as their enormous influence on music itself, is crucial. Since their inception in 1960 the band released numerous albums, compilations, singles, and EP’s, selling 178 million units. The band went “gold” 48 times, “platinum” 42 times, “multi-platinum” 26 times, and “diamond” 6 times. No band sold more albums than the Beatles.

02. Pink Floyd (75 million units)

Pink Floyd remains one of the highest-selling bands when it comes to recorded music. The band sold 75 million certified units; they went gold 19 times, platinum 15, multi-platinum 12, and diamond 2 times. Their highest awarded records are 1979′s The Wall (23x multi-platinum), 1973′s The Dark Side of the Moon (15x multi-platinum), and 1975′s Wish You Were Here (6x multi-platinum).

03. Boston (31 million units)

Boston-based Boston released “only” six studio albums, but the band sold 31 million certified units, and went gold 5 times, platinum 5 times, multi-platinum 4 times, and diamond “only” once. Their 1976 self-titled debut album was certified multi-platinum 17 times.

04. Rush (25 million units)

Canadian prog trio sold 25 million certified units; they went gold 24 times, platinum 14 times, multi-platinum 3 times, but they were not certified diamond still. Moving Pictures is highest-selling album (4x multi-platinum), and is followed by 2112 (3x multi-platinum), and double compilation album Chronicles (2x multi-platinum).

05. Genesis (21.5 million units)

With 21.5 million certified units sold, Genesis is one of the highest-selling progressive rock bands ever. It’s interesting though that their “really” Prog albums, Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, were certified “only” as gold. Their highest-selling record include Invisible Touch (6x multi-platinum), We Can’t Dance (4x multi-platinum), Genesis (2x multi-platinum), and Abacab (2x multi-platinum). In total, the band was certified gold 13 times, platinum 6 times, and multi-platinum 4 times.

06. The Who (21 million units)

The Who, who released two of most-known concept albums, sold 21 million certified units, and were awarded with 18 gold certificates, 12 platinum, and 5 multi-platinum. Tommy went multi-platinum two times, Quadrophenia went platinum, and their highest-awarded record is Who’s Next with three multi-platinum awards.

07. Kansas (15.5 million units)

Kansas were awarded with nine gold certifications, four platinum and three multi-platinum, selling 15.5 million units. Point of Know Return, Leftoverture and Best of Kansas were certified multi-platinum four times each.

08. Yes (13.5 million units)

13 Yes albums in total (including studio records and one Best Of compilation) were certified by RIAA. The band sold over 13.5 million units so far, and went gold 13 times, platinum 8 times, and multi-platinum 2 times. The highest-awarded albums are 90125 (3x multi-platinum) and Fragile (2x multi-platinum), followed by platinum-certified: Yessongs, Tormato, The Yes Album, Close to the Edge, Classic Yes, and Big Generator. Union, Tales from the Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Highlights: The Very Best of Yes, and Going for the One were certified gold.

09. Jethro Tull (11 million units)

Aqualung is Jethro Tull‘s highest-awarded record which went multi-platinum three times, and is followed by Original Masters (platinum) and M.U. – The Best of Jethro Tull. The band sold 11 million units, and they have 15 gold certifications, 3 platinum and 1 multi-platinum. Warchild, Thick as a Brick, Stormwatch, Stand Up, Songs from the Wood, Minstrel in the Gallery, Living in the Past, Heavy Horses, Crest of a Knave, Bursting Out, Benefit, and A Passion Play were certified gold.

10. Electric Light Orchestra (10 million units)

ELO sold 10 million units; the band was awarded eight times gold, four times platinum and two times multi-platinum. ELO’s Greatest Hits went multi-platinum four times, and is followed by Discovery (2x multi-platinum). Out of the Blue and A New World Record were certified platinum.


The Moody Blues (10 million units), David Bowie (9.5M), Tool (9M), Tears for Fears (8M), Deep Purple (7.5M), Toto (7.5M), Supertramp (7M), Queensryche (6.25M), Phish (5.5M), Asia (5.5M), Alan Parsons Project (5M), ELP (4.5M), Iron Butterfly (4.5M),…

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