CSPC: Nirvana Popularity Analysis

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Festival Style - Soundwave

BIGGEST TRACKS – Nirvana

The list of most successful songs is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each of them. It includes the song’s own physical singles sales with a 0,3 weighting, its download and streaming sales, and with appropriate weighting too, plus its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

1 1991 – Smells Like Teen Spirit [Nevermind] – 17,330,000
2 1991 – Come As You Are [Nevermind] – 13,880,000
3 1993 – Heart-Shaped Box [In Utero] – 5,910,000
4 1991 – Lithium [Nevermind] – 5,830,000
5 1989 – About A Girl [Bleach] – 5,180,000
6 1991 – Polly [Nevermind] – 4,310,000
7 1993 – All Apologies [In Utero] – 3,440,000
8 1994 – The Man Who Sold The World [Orphan] – 2,710,000
9 1993 – Rape Me [In Utero] – 2,550,000
10 1991 – In Bloom [Nevermind] – 2,480,000
11 1993 – Dumb [In Utero] – 2,460,000
12 1991 – Something In The Way [Nevermind] – 2,010,000
13 1993 – Pennyroyal Tea [In Utero] – 1,680,000
14 1994 – Where Did You Sleep Last Night [Orphan] – 1,490,000
15 1991 – On A Plain [Nevermind] – 1,320,000

If you feel inspired by this list, we just created this CSPC Nirvana playlist on Spotify!

11 thoughts on “CSPC: Nirvana Popularity Analysis”

    1. Must agree it’s a little frustrating seeing Thriller in so many articles but still not having its CSPC! It must be over 80M, far and away the biggest ever!

  1. Well, I see that with the new update the Nirvana have increased by about 2 million albums sold equivalent, in fact last year were 87 million and today are 89 million.
    Then I would like to know if U2 with the new updates the sales of their albums will be increased or decreased.

  2. So, I think I understand most of the methods used here but there are two things that I require explaining. Firstly, on the Physical Singles Page (page 8) the song “About a Girl” has been listed under the Bleach studio album – there was no physical single of the Bleach version of this song. The physical single of the song “About a Girl” came from the Unplugged album. Secondly, on the same page physical sales are listed for the song “You Know You’re Right” and again there was never any physical retail single for the song “You Know You’re Right”, it was only available as a download commercially. So I am guessing it has something to do with the “equivalent albums” figures.

    1. Hi Michael!

      “About A Girl” being displayed under Bleach is due to the concept. We focus on albums that created the value, About A Girl was created at that time so independently on when it got promoted, its sales go under that album only!

      As for You Know You’re Right I need to go throughout my files as I can’t locate the source of that figure. Since my old template from 1 year ago had both physical and download sales on the same page, it looks like that song sales glitched from one section to an other when separating everything! I’ll fix that, thanks for noticing 😉

  3. Great job!

    With only 3 regular studio albums and a bunch of post mortem releases it must have been some task to figure out which songs were orphans 🙂

    Nevermind is a monster! I just finished my own update of Nirvana Spotify streaming figures and Nevermind is possibly the biggest pre-2000 Spotify album ever! It’s just a question of days before it crosses 1 billion plays ( 982.9 million on my count). Bigger than Metallica, Appetite for Destruction and even Thriller.

    1. The smallest figure for a Nevermind track (not counting bonus tracks) is Stay Away: 13,624,000! This is insane. All 3 albums mentioned above have tracks <10,000,000. In fact Metallica and GnR each has a track <7,000,000 plays – half of Stay Away!!!
      Back in Black looks pale with 4 tracks <6,000,000.
      One factor could be the short career of Nirvana. Listeners of MJ, Metallica and AC/DC has sooo many eras to dig into, unlike Nirvana (and GnR…)

      1. I think it’s depend on popularity. usually we would click our favorite things. Nirvana relese various albums with different songs.

  4. I have a question for volume of With The Light Out.

    I can remember some source with different soundscan Number of it. that number are 925,000(Wrong)-625,000 in Jan. 2007. 10 years have passed but still Soundscan may not collect whole box set format.

    MJD, would you tell me the reason you know please. thanks.

  5. Why was the fall between nevermind and in utero so big? More than 60 percent. And in utero he had a great sales boost with the death of Kurt Cobain …

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