CSPC: The Rolling Stones Popularity Analysis


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!

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Sorry – that is supposed to be page #37 in previous comment.


On page 35 there are some titles listed behind the ‘Now’ album that do not make any sense; not Stones tracks. Would’ve been great to see “Blue & Lonesome” included. Incredible research!!


The Rolling Stones released a brand new (compilation)album “On Air” on 1. December 2017. The album was quite successful on the charts (US Top Rock Albums (Billboard) 4, New Zealand Albums 4, Dutch Albums 8, UK Albums 27..). So, including both “Blue & Lonesome” and “On Air”, The Stones would have higher CSPC then Queen. And quite likely higher CSPC then Madonna too.

Nuclear dolphin

This is true, but by this time next year Queen would have over taken them again just through the streaming differences alone.


It would be nice with The Rolling Stones CSPC update. Including the latest album “Blue & Lonesome” The Stones would have passed QUEEN in the top, and that’s important IMHO.

Nuclear dolphin

I totally agree Daydreamer, although I think long term Queen would probably come out on top.

[…] copies worldwide, well shy of the 11 million units the band’s biggest hit, 1978’s “Some Girls,” moved. Furthermore, it’s considered one of their weaker efforts, and not just by […]


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.


I hope that you answer me dear friend !!!


Stop asking this shit, ad infinitum, FFS. Take what you get, when you get it. Every topic, the same boring bloody question.


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!


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… Read more »

Anthony Blanchard

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… Read more »