CSPC: The Rolling Stones Popularity Analysis

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Original Album Sales – Comments

1964 The Rolling Stones – 2,500,000
1964 12 X 5 – 1,700,000
1965 The Rolling Stones No. 2 – 1,000,000
1965 The Rolling Stones, Now! – 1,300,000
1965 Out of Our Heads – 2,850,000
1965 December’s Children (And Everybody’s) – 1,300,000
1966 Aftermath – 3,900,000
1967 Between the Buttons – 2,200,000
1967 Their Satanic Majesties Request – 2,450,000
1968 Beggars Banquet – 4,000,000
1969 Let It Bleed – 7,000,000
1971 Sticky Fingers – 9,350,000
1972 Exile on Main St – 8,100,000
1973 Goats Head Soup – 6,350,000
1974 It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll – 3,700,000
1976 Black and Blue – 4,100,000
1978 Some Girls – 11,300,000
1980 Emotional Rescue – 5,700,000
1981 Tattoo You – 8,500,000
1983 Undercover – 3,400,000
1986 Dirty Work – 3,850,000
1989 Steel Wheels – 5,600,000
1994 Voodoo Lounge – 6,400,000
1997 Bridges to Babylon – 4,700,000
2005 A Bigger Bang – 2,550,000

Some Girls is the band top selling studio album at 11,3 million copies sold. Nevertheless, the is barely one tenth of the massive 113,8 million units sold cumulatively by their studio albums.

At their beginning, just like the Beatles, the band issued similar but differently titled and packaged albums. I merged their debut US record The Rolling Stones (England’s Newest Hit Makers) with their UK debut The Rolling Stones due to their very similar track list and  identical role in the band discography. Several following albums got UK-axed or US-axed releases, which explain their lower sales as they weren’t available globally. In fact, the only four albums under 2 million units are very exactly the four albums that weren’t issued worldwide.

This concludes on an amazing fact. In spite of topping 10 million only one time during their career, the band sold well past 2 million units of each and every album they issued everywhere. This may not seem like that much but during the 60s the market was awfully low, each million copies sold was a miracle. As an example, 1965 effort Out Of Our Heads appears with a modest 2,85 million copies sold. In reality it was everything except modest. In the US, the album was a huge #2 set blocked only by the Beatles. In the UK, it was an impressive 8 weeks #1 album. It managed exactly the same performance in Germany and was huge everywhere.

If the market was so low at that point it was because the population was lower, that not everyone had record players but also because the main format of that era was the single. Let review within’ the next pages how the band performed on that category.

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Tom Riise

RIP Charlie Watts

Freek

Now that their reissued album reached number 1 in the UK, timing is perfect for an update of the Rolling Stones article, isn’t it?

Mika

The last surving giants of the rock Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan is still in business for a long time. An update on the boys result would be in place, right?

Dan

I’m pretty sure they’ll be closer to 250mill after the update.

Mika

They will pass the Queen, if any of them die. Mick? Keith? Ron?

Dan

They won’t pass Queen, but will pass Madonna.

Freek

It can only get closer now! First see if they can catch up with Madonna.

Jsak

From the two links I didn’t understand why in December 2006 the physical copies sold in the world are 169.100.000, while in December 2016 they become 201.100.000, it seems to me a huge difference.
https://www.ukmix.org/showthread.php?21240-Rolling-Stones-Charts-amp-Sales-History%2Fpage3&fbclid=IwAR3nTduY6QCN-6isM7kNYbxdYIMj0X6vBRhfISvqn4Hga_0tCAdctetplZU (at the bottom of the page at #73)
https://chartmasters.org/2017/10/best-selling-artists-albums-and-singles-of-all-time/17/

Matrix

As you say, 169.100.000(December 2006) is the number of all cumulative PHYSICAL copies sold. Including: Original Album Sales, Physical Singles Sales, Original Compilation Sales and Box Sets.

The rest of 32. 000.000 (201.100.000 – 169.100.000) – (December 2016) is the cumulative number of all DIGITAL copies sold. Including: Digital Singles Sales, Streaming Sales. Downloading).

Jsak

From the 169.100.000 are excluded ep, single and video as physical copies, in the same way in the 201.100.000.
The cumulative number of all physical and digital copies sold is instead at this link
https://chartmasters.org/2017/10/best-selling-artists-albums-and-singles-of-all-time/18/

Matrix

Ok.

You said, you didn’t understand why in December 2006 the physical copies sold in the world are 169.100.000, while in December 2016 they become 201.100.000. It seems a huge difference to you.
But, it’s a ten years timeframe. I read somewhere recently that it still sels 7.000 physical copies of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ every week in the world.

Classic rock ‘n roll bands still sell albums. So, The Rolling Stones. maybe they really sold that much physical copies from December 2006 – December 2016.

Matrix

Since 2016 (last update) the Rolling Stones released one new album “Blue & Lonesome” and two compilation albums “On Air” (2017) and “Honk” (2019). As well as, they released Studio albums Vinyl Collection 1971-2016 (20LP), year (2018). It’s time for a new update, isn’t it? The Stones have higher CSPC then Queen now. For sure.

Dan

As if Queen were standing still this whole time.
The soundtrack for BoRhap alone probably sold more than the 2 albums you mentioned.

Martin

It’s probably getting on for double the amount, of those two albums put together.

Martin

Stop asking for all these updates Matrix, they will come, when they come. I have to laugh at your last two sentences! Have you been living on Neptune or somewhere else without access to the news, the internet etc, for the past 9 or 10 months and perhaps missed the Bohemian Rhapsody film, soundtrack, DVD and Queens absolutely out of this world and insane streaming increases on all platforms? There is quite simply no way on earth The Rolling Stones now have a higher CSPC than Queen. I honestly would not be surprised if Queen were not around 10m ahead… Read more »

Matrix

You guys didn’t get it. I’m only compared one eventual new Rolling Stones update number, with the CURRENT Queens CSPC number – 238,637,000 (as of Oct 2017) ! It means, without including the soundtrack for the Bohemian Rhapsody film!

Btw, I watched the Bohemian Rhapsody film. The movie was great.

Btw nr. 2, I don’t live on Neptune, but on a planet called Earth. 😉

Martin

I certainly didn’t get it, I still don’t! I can’t get why anyone would care about that or even think about it from that perspective, knowing what we know. It’s futile.

I actually felt a few months after they’d released Lonesome and Blue, they briefly edged ahead of Queen. I’ll not go through it again, so read what I wrote back then https://chartmasters.org/2017/10/best-selling-artists-albums-and-singles-of-all-time/#comment-21565

Needless to say, I don’t think they stayed ahead for long, given Queens prowess on streaming platforms, not that the Stones are slouches and then the Bohemian Rhapsody film, which just blew them away from The Stones.

Michael

Matrix,

You would die if u live there

Roger Miller

What about Hot Rocks and other Decca releases…

Joe

Hi, same question as in Zeppelin, can you make a biggest tracks list for Stones also?

Anthony Blanchard

Hi Joe! Here is their top 20: 1. 1966 – The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black [Aftermath] – 15,590,000 2. 1965 – The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction [Out Of Our Heads] – 14,770,000 3. 1981 – The Rolling Stones – Start Me Up [Tattoo You] – 13,690,000 4. 1968 – The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil [Beggars Banquet] – 12,420,000 5. 1978 – The Rolling Stones – Beast Of Burden [Some Girls] – 11,870,000 6. 1973 – The Rolling Stones – Angie [Goats Head Soup] – 10,760,000 7. 1971 – The Rolling Stones… Read more »

Joe

Many thx! 🙂

ChelseaD

Real surprises on page 42 w/the late 70’s material: “Beast of Burden” with much higher numbers that ‘Miss You’. And the high showing of ‘Heaven’ on “Tattoo You” really is a surprise. Why is ‘Gunface’ by far the highest charter on ‘B2B”?

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