CSPC: The Rolling Stones Popularity Analysis

The Rolling Stones Career CSPC Results

Rolling_Stones_

So, after checking all figures, how many overall album sales equivalent each Rolling Stones 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.

#CoverAlbumTotal CSPCSales*StreamsTotal CSPC
Studio AlbumsOther LPsPhysical SinglesDigital SinglesLast verifiedAuto updateDaily Increase
1TheThe Rolling Stones4,246,0002,500,0001,004,000591,000
(1,970,000)
120,000
(800,000)
29,000
(12/03/16)
31,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 0
LD: 20
4,246,000
21212 X 53,787,0001,700,0001,153,000743,000
(2,477,000)
135,000
(900,000)
36,000
(12/03/16)
56,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 10
LD: 30
3,787,000
3TheThe Rolling Stones No. 22,244,0001,000,0001,093,0000
(0)
90,000
(600,000)
25,000
(12/03/16)
61,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 20
LD: 30
2,244,000
4TheThe Rolling Stones, Now!3,044,0001,300,0001,183,000450,000
(1,500,000)
75,000
(500,000)
20,000
(12/03/16)
36,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 10
LD: 10
3,044,000
5OutOut of Our Heads16,437,0002,850,00010,118,0002,385,000
(7,950,000)
540,000
(3,600,000)
167,000
(12/03/16)
544,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 220
LD: 330
16,437,000
6December?sDecember?s Children (And Everybody?s)4,343,0001,300,0001,488,0001,350,000
(4,500,000)
135,000
(900,000)
36,000
(12/03/16)
70,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 20
LD: 40
4,343,000
7AftermathAftermath20,195,0003,900,00013,333,0001,305,000
(4,350,000)
855,000
(5,700,000)
261,000
(12/03/16)
802,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 310
LD: 570
20,195,000
8BetweenBetween the Buttons6,227,0002,200,0003,361,000420,000
(1,400,000)
135,000
(900,000)
43,000
(12/03/16)
111,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 40
LD: 60
6,227,000
9TheirTheir Satanic Majesties Request4,121,0002,450,0001,240,000303,000
(1,010,000)
90,000
(600,000)
26,000
(12/03/16)
38,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 10
LD: 20
4,121,000
10BeggarsBeggars Banquet15,972,0004,000,00010,628,000240,000
(800,000)
630,000
(4,200,000)
185,000
(12/03/16)
474,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 170
LD: 270
15,972,000
11LetLet It Bleed21,620,0007,000,00012,987,00090,000
(300,000)
930,000
(6,200,000)
294,000
(12/03/16)
613,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 180
LD: 330
21,620,000
12StickySticky Fingers22,147,0009,350,00010,374,0001,140,000
(3,800,000)
690,000
(4,600,000)
213,000
(12/03/16)
593,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 220
LD: 350
22,147,000
13ExileExile on Main St11,124,0008,100,0001,922,000510,000
(1,700,000)
345,000
(2,300,000)
111,000
(12/03/16)
247,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 80
LD: 140
11,124,000
14GoatsGoats Head Soup12,316,0006,350,0004,071,0001,335,000
(4,450,000)
285,000
(1,900,000)
89,000
(12/03/16)
275,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 110
LD: 170
12,316,000
15It?sIt?s Only Rock ?n Roll4,693,0003,700,000496,000390,000
(1,300,000)
60,000
(400,000)
19,000
(12/03/16)
47,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 20
LD: 30
4,693,000
16BlackBlack and Blue4,864,0004,100,000364,000300,000
(1,000,000)
60,000
(400,000)
16,000
(12/03/16)
40,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 10
LD: 20
4,864,000
17SomeSome Girls18,669,00011,300,0005,051,0001,410,000
(4,700,000)
450,000
(3,000,000)
134,000
(12/03/16)
458,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 190
LD: 300
18,669,000
18EmotionalEmotional Rescue6,904,0005,700,000187,000915,000
(3,050,000)
45,000
(300,000)
16,000
(12/03/16)
57,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 20
LD: 40
6,904,000
19TattooTattoo You16,581,0008,500,0005,934,0001,185,000
(3,950,000)
480,000
(3,200,000)
144,000
(12/03/16)
482,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 190
LD: 300
16,581,000
20UndercoverUndercover3,935,0003,400,00073,000420,000
(1,400,000)
30,000
(200,000)
8,000
(12/03/16)
12,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 0
LD: 10
3,935,000
21DirtyDirty Work4,415,0003,850,00084,000435,000
(1,450,000)
30,000
(200,000)
7,000
(12/03/16)
16,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 10
LD: 10
4,415,000
22SteelSteel Wheels6,266,0005,600,000213,000383,000
(1,277,000)
45,000
(300,000)
14,000
(12/03/16)
25,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 10
LD: 20
6,266,000
23VoodooVoodoo Lounge6,785,0006,400,00072,000248,000
(827,000)
30,000
(200,000)
16,000
(12/03/16)
35,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 10
LD: 20
6,785,000
24BridgesBridges to Babylon5,069,0004,700,000103,000143,000
(477,000)
60,000
(400,000)
34,000
(12/03/16)
63,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 20
LD: 50
5,069,000
25AA Bigger Bang2,800,0002,550,0006,00060,000
(200,000)
150,000
(1,000,000)
22,000
(12/03/16)
34,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 10
LD: 10
2,800,000
26BlueBlue & Lonesome85,000000
(0)
0
(0)
0
(N/A)
85,000
(09/15/21)
Av.: 0
LD: 0
85,000
27Orphan11,586,00005,957,0005,081,000
(16,937,000)
435,000
(2,900,000)
113,000
(12/03/16)
N/AN/A11,586,000
*Pure sales figures updated on 12/03/16.
'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 1/11750 for Video stream)

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


Their number of 10 million sellers climbs from 1 in pure album sales to 9 when factoring in all formats and compilation sales generated. At 18,3 million, Some Girls is their fourth most successful album only in spite of being the highest seller on its own. Initially benefiting from better market environment in comparison to its predecessors, the album got matched by Sticky Fingers, Let It Bleed and Aftermath due to the immense number of compilations each one is responsible of. From 21,8 million to 19,7 million, that’s a ferocious fight for the top spot that those albums are engaged on.

In fact, the recent reissue of Sticky Fingers as late as in 2015 enabled it to be their top album but digital results are more favorable to Let It Bleed which may ultimately take over the lead, likely about 50 years after their releases.

The most surprising result is maybe Exile On Main St which ranks only 9th overall. Their only classic album that misses a truly iconic hit, this album was cannibalized way less by compilations than its contemporary albums. This explains why the 2010 reissue was so successful – it contributes in 1,3 million of the album 8,1 million pure album sales – as there was more room for sales than for other LPs which saw their singles used up to saturation point.

Studio album sales create the illusion that the band later albums have been as successful as their 1965-1981 classics. Let display the same results in graphical view to better understand what happened:

As you can see, blue bars representing studio album sales are fairly stable, including for later albums. From the album Undercover though bars are almost entirely blue. Those albums enjoyed an album market much, much healthier than their past records, which makes it look like they have been just as successful. When checking the global Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC) results, we are able to prove what happens to be obvious for the band followers – their 1965-1981 years are arguably much more popular than anything else.

While as many as 9 albums from that period top 10 million, 7 of which are well past 15 million, the remaining 16 albums are all under 7 million creating a true hole between the big ones and the rest of the band’s catalog.

The most striking conclusion though is the overall value of that catalog. Up to an unbelievable 237,1 million total equivalent album sales, the Rolling Stones position among the all-time greats of the music industry is legitimate as it can be.

Among all artists studied so far, only Madonna performed better. The gap of 9 million between both artists isn’t even impossible to fill though especially as the rock band ongoing catalog appeal is much bigger. Their new album Blue & Lonesome will try to add its share of sales as well to catch the original diva. Without that extra help, the Rolling Stones’ total is already some 40-ish million ahead of acts as massive as Led Zeppelin, U2 or Celine Dion.

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 their position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, Chartmasters.org.

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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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