CSPC: Bob Dylan Popularity Analysis

Bob Dylan Career CSPC Results

Bob Dylan Wallpaper

So, after checking all figures, how many overall equivalent album sales each Bob Dylan album achieved? Well, at this point we barely need to do the addition of all figures defined all over this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

*Pure sales figures updated on 12/14/21.
'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/6750 for Video stream)

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers

We got there! For most artists studied so far, the norm is that the top selling studio album in its original format is also the artist more popular album. The case of Bob Dylan is quite incredible in this aspect as his Top 3 best sellers in album form are all different from his three more popular records.

In fact, #1 seller Desire, #2 Blood On The Tracks and #3 Blonde On Blonde end up respectively #4, #7 and #5 in overall popularity after combining every sales generated by each album. The main reason for this situation is the Greatest Hits 1967 package, which quickly competed against the singer’s early albums, preventing them from accumulating larger catalog sales. In the other side, records like Blood On The Tracks and Desire got their hits covered on strong selling compilations many years after their release, themselves also featuring mostly Bob Dylan hits from the 60s.

The result is that both mid-70s smashes contributed into a relatively low 2 million equivalent album sales each outside of their original format. While this tally is respectable, it is nowhere near the 11 million sales generated in various forms by Highway 61 Revisited, which ultimately finishes as the easy winner in terms of popularity among the artist LPs. Its overall total is quite impressive, at 16,6 million this album is a fully valid challenger against many records perceived as much bigger sellers. That cumulative tally is indeed higher than albums like Metallica‘s Master Of Puppets, Coldplay‘s X&Y or Madonna‘s Music.

In the same way, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan at 10,9 million, The Times They Are A-Changin’ at 10,3 million, Blonde On Blonde at 9,5 million and Bringing It All Back Home at 9,2 million perform incredibly well.

If those albums were already considered successful in their original form, it is less the case for both Nashville Skyline and Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid. Those two records created more than 4 million equivalent album sales each in various forms, completely rewarding their undoubtable successes.

The comprehensive total of Bob Dylan climbs all the way up to 142,3 million equivalent album sales, a number many big pop stars will likely never reach.

I hope you enjoyed this article which was truly exhausting to write. Time to pick up one more cup of coffee for the road!

Do not forget to check our amazing lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge her position in the history of the music industry.As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question.

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, All Music, Rolling Stone, Chartmasters.org.

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“Bob Dylan” is most collected record of 1962 in whole world. (Discogs). (33801 copies
and( reissues 265 times). 1962-2022 year. It is 60 years. And Chartmasters say it is sold 1,2 million worldwide . It is staple record for many fans and it is very good record, of course. What Chartmasters say about that.


Hei. When this Dylan analysis was done in 2016, i think that Discogs wasn’t in use yet. Dylan first album “Bob Dylan” was released in 1962 and it is the 12th most collected of his albums with 33000 collected and 260 reissues, estimated sales was put 1,2 million copies pure sales. Probably sales can be near 3 millions. 1994-2013 (9 year period) it got silver award from UK, can assume 0,3-0,5 million sold in UK. — And Japan special editions. Since 1970 for Christmas every year, usually valuable double album with artwork exclusive to Japan made by Sony. These albums… Read more »


Interesting thing. Bob Dylan is only living person in world on whom his own museum been built. There are only 6 artists in Europe (no USA) with their own museum. El Salvador, Van Gogh, Picasso…. Dylan museum opened in May. 29000 m2, three stairs. It is located Tulsa town, Oklahoma, far from the roaring. Money is not saved. And let’s say, Dylan is glorious painter. Some say he is most important artist all time. Time magazine chose 100 most important person in last century. Bob Dylan was one and Beatles another. No other musicians. Einstein was most important. But Dylan… Read more »


Bob Dylan 81 year 24.5. By the way he is oldest (living) artist on this site.
Never ending tour ended because the corona 2019. 8.6. 1988-2019, 31 years, 3066 concerts, makes average 99 concerts every year. Total gross little over billion (with inflate about 1, 5 billion). Pollstar registered 1200 concerts, audience size average 5600, grossing 347000 per concert. 3066 x 347000 is over billion. I ordered from Pollstar information. It was low budget tour. 3 buses, persons, my estimate 20.
Last year started new world tour 2021-2014. Rough and Rowdy ways world tour.


Bob Dylan biggest track is now Like a rolling stone 16 815,000. Ten songs over 10 million EAS.

Anthony Blanchard

Oh that’s strange, in the previous message only 4 songs were over 10m EAS. Maybe some millions were sold in a few minutes?
I am very, VERY curious to see your methodoly, if you have one. Maybe it is the case, maybe not and you write random figures?

Last edited 11 months ago by Anthony Blanchard
Johnny be Good

What are Bob Dylan’s biggest tracks?

Anthony Blanchard

Hi Johnny be Good! Here are the 15 biggest tracks of Bob Dylan (in Equivalent Album Sales): 1. 1965 – Like a Rolling Stone [Highway 61 Revisited] – 14,220,000 2. 1964 – The Times They Are a-Changin’ [The Times They Are a-Changin’] – 9,210,000 3. 1975 – Hurricane [Desire] – 7,790,000 4. 1973 – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door [Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid] – 6,730,000 5. 1969 – Lay Lady Lay [Nashville Skyline] – 6,580,000 6. 1963 – Blowin’ in the Wind [The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan] – 4,530,000 7. 1965 – Mr. Tambourine Man [Bringing It All Back Home]… Read more »


Moi Anthony. Now Like a rolling stone is up 17, 815,000 and rest songs are differs…


Moi Anthony. New list. Like a rolling stone 16 815.000. Four songs was over ten million.

Anthony Blanchard

Hello Mikko! Our results are differents. How did you calculate yours? In my case, I took the values from the article and add the EAS gained since then. Then, I tried to put the new stream values instead the old one in my files in order to calculate the new share of each song in each album/compil/live/box and it seems. Results are a bit different compared to a simple addition of new streams since the article but: – “Like a Rolling Stone” is still under 14.5m EAS – It is the only Dylan track to reach the 10m EAS milestone.… Read more »


I don’t know, but it was MJD new all time, and every year forward 1965 like a rolling stone, 16.815.000 it was third from 1965 album EAS.

Anthony Blanchard

“Highway 61 Revisited” (the album) has cumulated 16.815m EAS since its release in 1965. “Like a Rolling Stone” (the song) has reached 14.220m EAS.


Ok. Thanks.


Ok. That’s it. One question yet. Original CSPC Dylan wasn’t at all in France so popular.


Hei, Dylan’s 1962 album is swept the way from all time
charts, raw sales and eas sales. Before album was best selling that year 1962.

I asked same thing before, but without answer.
I think it would be correct question.
Same thing is happened before.
Italian most popular singles 1970s foreign artist. And year 1976 “Hurricane” by Dylan was second collected single after Santana’s “Europe “.
And couple other things is without answer.


Hi MJD. Recently Bob sold his catalogue to Universal Music Group for 300 million dollars. My question is, is it a wise move by UMG. I mean Dylan is doing well streaming wise for a 60s act. But his streaming isnt record breaking either. I understand how some investors wanted to invest in somebody’s catalogue like Taylor Swift whose streaming are really record breaking. But for Bob Dylan is it even worth investing that much. Probably in the next few decades his streaming is going to shrink a lot as well after many of his fans died. No disrespect to… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Jazz

It was 400 m dollars, i mean that deal wìth Universal. You know Dylan is cultural person. He won most prestigious award Nobel prize literature. , all academic prizes. Oscar, Pulitzer and so on. Dylan music sales is good, most covered artist of all. And royalties per year $15-20 millions. 20 million x 20 year is 400 $ m. This is formula which it is calculated. Open business. And he still own his master recordings. Worth 300-400 $ million. And next year will open Bob Dylan Center. Oklahoma Tulsa. 4000 m2, three floors. No Wonderland. I thing MJD didn’t know… Read more »


I wrote in the wrong place again. Ok. That’s it. One question yet. Original CSPC Dylan was’t all in France so popular, maybe 1960s. Why change?


Bob Dylan turns today 80 year. Never-ending tour stopped cause Corona pandemic. Tour started 8.6.1988 and stopped or interrupted 11/2019, 31 years and 3062 concerts. In meanwhile Dylan made new record, Rough ways. Dylan is now focused on his art hobby and promoted his Heavens Door whiskey. Whiskey has recieved 25 global awards. It’s big business. Dylan is also businessman. Bob Dylan center (museum) opens 2022 in Oklahoma, Tulsa town. Dylan birthday is really well recieved around the world. Dylan himself no longer gets money for his songs, because they are sold to Universal company. It is known that bootleg… Read more »