CSPC: Bon Jovi Popularity Analysis


In music culture, there is very few categories of artists that encapsulate them all. You have classical acts, vocal acts, teen acts, entertainers and then singer-songwriters. This act type category will dictate the way an artist sells way more than its music genre. Then you have Bon Jovi, a band which belongs to none of those categories, that can’t be compared at all with other popular rock bands.

Classical acts sell steady amounts over the curse of time. We can enlarge that definition to include for example Jazz acts a la Miles Davis. Vocal acts from Frank Sinatra to Celine Dion sell mainly to an Adult Contemporary audience. They are less impacted by the success of their current singles. They can be extremely and widely popular although their studio albums won’t be good catalog sellers with the general public just cherry-picking one best of. Teen acts, say One Direction, sell very well within’ a very short period of time but they get the ability to sell well of every format that comes out in the market. Entertainers a la Madonna or ABBA are mostly pop stars, they sell heavy amounts everywhere in the world when they come out with big hits but as soon as they lack airplay their sales will go downhill. They do not have that much of a strong fan base following. Their studio albums will be poor catalog sellers with compilations taking the largest part of the pie, their album tracks are also completely ignored on streaming platforms. Then you get singer-songwriters, first solo acts like Bob Dylan, it quickly became the ground of highly popular rock bands. Those artists do not have that many die-hard fans in the negative sense of it, but they do have very loyal buyers. Their records, including studio albums, keep selling well for decades. Someway they benefit from advantages of all groups selling well in the short-mid-long run, e.g. upon release, during the promotional campaign and as catalog items.

One may say Bon Jovi obviously fits into the last category. Well, no, they don’t. Their sales pattern is definitely closer to the one of entertainers like ABBA rather than Metallica. A pattern is just that yet, a pattern, it doesn’t tell you how big they got while fitting into that display. So, a few days after the release of their last album, the 13th in 32 years, how did Bon Jovi perform along the way? We will found out results just now. Just a small technicality for this group, as their greatest hits albums involve songs from both the band and the couple of albums lead singer Jon Bon Jovi issued under his own name, I’m adding those two albums into the study. Feel free to remove final sales figures for them from the overall total of the band.

As a reminder for users who are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea you do not need to worry, it is quite simple as it only consists in merging every format sales an artist has been getting and attributing them to respective studio albums. We will start by focusing on raw data, setting how much each Bon Jovi album sold. Then, we will check sales of each track from those albums on each format – physical, digital and streaming – and weight them to value those figures on a par with album sales. To complete the study, we will study sales of the all compilations, live albums and music videos they dropped. Once all the raw data is set, we will only need to apply appropriate weighting to get the overall picture of the American band career results.

Let’s go!

13 thoughts on “CSPC: Bon Jovi Popularity Analysis”

  1. Hi man thank’s for that fantastic job it’s really good
    so if u have to rank bon jovi among the biggest rock bands ever according to sales and popularity
    wich position would u gave them ? 😀
    PS: sorry for my english

    1. Hello Youssef!

      No worries, your English is at least as decent as mine! Thanks for your nice words 🙂

      Below is the list of rock bands that were previously studied:
      1 Led Zeppelin – 195,656,000
      2 U2 – 192,491,000
      3 Fleetwood Mac – 143,239,000
      4 Metallica – 137,628,000
      5 Guns N Roses – 115,171,000
      6 Nirvana – 87,573,000
      7 Coldplay – 83,237,000
      8 Linkin Park – 74,119,000

      On that ranking, Bon Jovi appears either at #4 or #5 depending on if you count Jon Bon Jovi albums. Then, below rock bands will safely be ahead of Bon Jovi when they will be worked on:

      The Beatles
      The Bee Gees – well, if you put them among “rock” bands
      The Eagles
      Pink Floyd
      The Rolling Stones

      That will put Bon Jovi at best just under the Top 10. Following bands are likely around the same total as them though but require additional researches before providing an absolute statement:

      The Beach Boys
      Dire Straits

      In other words, give or take a couple of positions, they are around #15 on such a list. One may then consider rock bands represent about half of the historical mega selling artists, which would put Bon Jovi around the Top 30 overall ranking.

      1. woow thank u man really appreciate it and i didn’t know U2 are that bigg really decent
        another question 🙂
        why some of their albums aren’t certified well like slippery when wet just 12xplatinium also their debut album only 1xplatinium
        do they need an update by riaa ?

        1. Yes! Those albums clearly need to be updated by the RIAA. The label must request the certification first yet. By experience, Polygram artists are always the most painful to work on as they never really care about certifying their deep catalog albums!

  2. Hi everyone!

    Here are the 15 Bon Jovi’s tracks that have generated the most sales:

    1 1986 Livin’ on a Prayer [Slippery When Wet] – 23,110,000
    2 1986 You Give Love a Bad Name [Slippery When Wet] – 16,360,000
    3 2000 It’s My Life [Crush] – 10,770,000
    4 1986 Wanted Dead or Alive [Slippery When Wet] – 8,720,000
    5 1992 Bed of Roses [Keep the Faith] – 8,460,000
    6 1988 I’ll Be There for You [New Jersey] – 5,670,000
    7 1988 Bad Medicine [New Jersey] – 5,410,000
    8 1990 Blaze Of Glory [Blaze of Glory] – 5,000,000
    9 1984 Runaway [Bon Jovi] – 4,790,000
    10 1995 Always [Orphan] – 4,420,000
    11 1995 This Ain’t a Love Song [These Days] – 3,010,000
    12 1988 Born to Be My Baby [New Jersey] – 2,970,000
    13 1988 Lay Your Hands on Me [New Jersey] – 2,420,000
    14 2005 Have a Nice Day [Have a Nice Day] – 2,140,000
    15 1995 These Days [These Days] – 1,960,000

    Fantastic result for “Livin’ on a Prayer”, which has generated as much sales as “Without or Without You” by U2 (23.14 m for this track)!

    Also note that “Slippery When Wet” is the first album studied on this website which have two tracks over 16m equivalent sales! Only gigantic albums can compete with (2 tracks over 14m for “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac).

    Very good result for “It’s My Life” with more than 10m equivalent sales. No track by Coldplay has ever reached this threshold for example.

    If you have any questions / remarks, do not hesitate to let a comment!

  3. Hi dear MJD !!!

    congratulations again for the website and also CSPC Bon Jovi analysis.
    Why do you also have also analyzed two solo albums by John Bon Jovi as studio album Bon Jovi and do you considered studio album Burning Bridges as compilation ?
    then after the rock band Bon Jovi which rock bands will you analyze those listed in the preceding message ?

    1. Hello Anthony!

      I added both Jon Bon Jovi albums as both acts are truly linked. The name of the artist / band certainly help, sales pattern per country also definitely show his solo albums were some kind of continuation of the band discography.
      The main reason yet is the fact Blaze Of Glory single (by Jon) appears on Cross Roads, which truly shows there is no real segregation between both discographies. I prefer putting data for all albums and let anyone decide to remove those albums if they consider it makes more sense that way.

      About Burning Bridges, I consider it as a bootleg, similar to those issued by Bob Dylan, which I put into Other full length records.

      I’m currently working on both Alicia Keys & the Rolling Stones.

      1. No indeed sorry dear MJD, mine was just curiosity, your analysis work is, truly magnificent.
        I’m glad that soon you analyze the Rolling Stones.
        Then as did you do for the compilation Cross Road of Bon Jovi and Gold of Abba that the sales have analyzed in detail for each country, could you do also for the compilation best of 1980- 1990 of U2 ?

    1. Hi Rich,

      It is of course not forgotten. Its sales have been distributed within’ the studio albums that contain its songs, which is the whole idea behind the concept. That distribution is explained and detailed in page 28.

  4. Hi MJD,
    Great work, as usual :).
    Can you update equivalent album sales generated by streaming, now that the album is on Spotify? Thanks in advance.

  5. In my early teens (late 80’s) I absolutely loved Bon Jovi. And to me Slippery and New Jersey were like 2 sides of the same story. Brilliant albums both of them. I might even have been slightly partial towards New Jersey. Loved it!
    So I never quite understood why New Jersey didn’t become the juggernaut catalog seller that it’s predecessor did.
    This streaming analysis shows why. Bad Medicine, Born To Be My Baby, Lay Your Hands and I’ll Be There (all massive hits in 88/89) is largely forgotten – at least compared to the big 3 from Slippery. Too bad imo. They even pale compared to Runanway, Blaze of Glory and Always…

    Thanks for the great work

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