Hey! Ho! Let's Go Find Sales Figures!

After 38 years, the Ramones' ground-breaking self-titled debut (CD 23275) has finally gone gold, with certified sales of 500,000 copies.

In addition to the commercial milestone for the band, this also means that the general public has free access to approximate sales figures for the album. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Gold & Platinum database documents single and album sales of at least 500,000.

Be aware that the search interface is finicky: keyword is overly broad, retrieving any release with any keyword, although it does provide tags as facets for limiting search results further. Advanced search is overly precise, requiring an exact match, such as “Beatles, The,” but not “Beatles” or "Exile on Main Street," but not "Exile on Main St." Check the release date against when the awards categories were instated; multiplatinum awards started in the mid-1980s, so something that sold 5 million copies before then may only be listed as platinum. In addition, record companies must pay for releases to be certified and may choose not to.

Where else can you find sales statistics? Usually only anecdotally, such as reports on Bruno Mars' sales jump after appearing on the Super Bowl or Adele's having the top album sales of 2011, or it may get mentioned in an article about a band.