CSPC: The Rolling Stones Popularity Analysis

stones

How many things will change in your life within’ a 52 years span? An awful lot for sure. Even if you keep the same job all along, you will be retired before doing it for so long. Some things last that much though. The Eiffel Tower is still in Paris. Soccer is still the most popular sport. European unions are still alive. The Rolling Stones are still releasing new albums.

Well, new, not completely. Blue & Lonesome is the first full album of covers from the cult band. It comes out more than a decade after their last record, A Bigger Bang in 2005.

In 1964, their first album was a massive smash with 12 weeks at #1 and 36 weeks Top 3 in the UK. Starting so strongly makes it harder to last but the success never really left Mick Jagger band. As successful as the road has been that doesn’t mean it was all pretty. Over their curse, the group knew more than 25 members, had various legal issues and even faced the death of their original founder in 1969, Brian Jones. The cult pair Mick JaggerKeith Richards proved to be incredibly consistent though, keeping the boat up and running.

Often presented as the main competitors of the Beatles, it is clear that ultimately the Liverpool band ended up as the winner as they are the most popular music act of all-time.  With no mega-selling album in their discography, some may question the legitimacy of the Rolling Stones among the elite group of biggest acts ever. We do know how much Medias love to use hyperboles, often inflating real achievements of music stars. It is now time to sort out what’s true and what isn’t over the extensive CSPC study that you are reading right now.

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 Rolling Stones 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 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 those rock legends career results.

Let’s go!

10 thoughts on “CSPC: The Rolling Stones Popularity Analysis”

  1. Hi everyone!

    Here are the 20 Rolling Stones’ tracks that have generated the most sales:
    1 1966 Paint It Black [Aftermath] – 15,370,000
    2 1965 (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction [Out Of Our Heads] – 14,630,000
    3 1981 Start Me Up [Tattoo You] – 13,570,000
    4 1968 Sympathy For The Devil [Beggars Banquet] – 12,260,000
    5 1978 Beast Of Burden [Some Girls] – 11,780,000
    6 1973 Angie [Goats Head Soup] – 10,680,000
    7 1971 Brown Sugar [Sticky Fingers] – 9,440,000
    8 1969 Gimme Shelter [Let It Bleed] – 9,350,000
    9 1971 Wild Horses [Sticky Fingers] – 8,150,000
    10 1969 Honky Tonk Women [Let It Bleed] – 6,520,000
    11 1969 Jumpin’ Jack Flash [Orphan] – 4,900,000
    12 1969 You Can’t Always Get What You Want [Let It Bleed] – 4,240,000
    13 1972 Tumbling Dice [Exile On Main St.] – 3,510,000
    14 1980 Emotional Rescue [Emotional Rescue] – 3,240,000
    15 1978 Miss You [Some Girls] – 3,140,000
    16 1967 Ruby Tuesday [Between The Buttons] – 3,070,000
    17 1967 She’s A Rainbow [Their Satanic Majesties Request] – 3,020,000
    18 1986 Harlem Shuffle [Dirty Work] – 2,870,000
    19 1974 It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It) [It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll] – 2,700,000
    20 1967 Let’s Spend The Night Together [Between The Buttons] – 2,560,000

    There is a lot of legendary tracks in the previous list! 6 of them are above the 10 millions equivalent sales threshold, that is the best total for all the artists studied. The previous record was held by Madonna and Guns N Roses, with 5.

    As said in the article, the most prosperous period of the band is 1965-1981. Only one song was released later, “Harlem Shuffle”, ranked #18.

    Here are the 10 biggest tracks of the 60’s:
    1 1966 Rolling Stones – Paint It Black [Aftermath] – 15,370,000
    2 1965 Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction [Out Of Our Heads] – 14,630,000
    3 1969 Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love [Led Zeppelin II] – 14,190,000
    4 1965 Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone [Highway 61 Revisited] – 13,910,000
    5 1968 Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil [Beggars Banquet] – 12,260,000
    6 1969 Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter [Let It Bleed] – 9,350,000
    7 1969 Led Zeppelin – Ramble On [Led Zeppelin II] – 9,240,000
    8 1969 Led Zeppelin – Good Times Bad Times [Led Zeppelin I] – 9,020,000
    9 1964 Bob Dylan – The Times They Are a-Changin’ [The Times They Are a-Changin’] – 9,000,000
    10 1969 Rolling Stones – Honky Tonk Women [Let It Bleed] – 6,520,000

    Admittedly, bands like The Beatles have not been studied yet, but it is still incredible that the 2 most successful tracks of this decade are Stones’ ones, And 3 other of their songs are part of the top10 too!

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

  2. Hi dear MJD !!!

    Congratulations again for the website and also for CSPC analysis The Rolling Stones.
    Your article about them is amazing, superb, wonderful, I really have great esteem and consideration for you, you are my hero, with this analysis you’ve outdone yourself.
    The experts of RIA in your comparison are little informat, you are more ‘wise, all-knowing them on actual sold data records sold many artists.
    Then I would be curious to know which group you will try to analyze after the “mythical and legendary” The Rolling Stones, I hope a group among the various The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen, Eagles, AC/DC and Bee Gees !!!

  3. another shocker for me is the fact that the stones have no huge album really, just a huge amount of releases. must have been difficult getting all the data about them!

    1. Hello Pat!

      It really doesn’t help either to get a massive album to have so many records out. The casual buyer doesn’t know where to start and ends up just picking up a compilation. Had they never released a complitation their cumulative sales as of today would be higher no doubt. Still, so many albums on 15-20 million overall is rather impressive!

  4. Hi dear MJD !!!

    Thanks for allowing me to publish new posts or messages.
    I have noticed that on global albums chart compiled by Mediatraffic it says Blue & Lonesome of the Rolling Stones debuted in first place with 477,000 copies.
    I would like to know from you if they are really copies sold or imaginary numbers.

    1. Hello Anthony,

      I don’t mind answering a couple of times a question but as soon as it disturbs other users navigation I can’t let it go. You need to think about a Shakira fan reading the Shakira analysis, seeing a new comment on it that he wanna know and then he reads about the Rolling Stones or U2, that’s annoying. It’s okay to request one artist at the end of a comment that relates to the article, but going off topic all the time with the same question that already got answered is not. I have no problem in answering all questions article-related but queries to know what comes next will be ignored to grant other users interaction won’t be disturbed.

      As for your question, Freddy who administrates Mediatraffic can only see the same information of anyone else – sales in the US, Canada, France, UK and Japan. Everything else are just random guesses, mostly poorly educated and often biased towards some specific artists. What’s safe to say is that the album surely shipped a million units already by now. We will likely have no official information before April report from IFPI yet.

      About U2 streams, in fact a couple of songs got cut involuntarily, I’ll adjust it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *