CSPC: David Bowie Popularity Analysis
While retaining a solid position in the UK, topping charts in 1980 and in 1981 with singles Ashes to Ashes and Under Pressure, by 1982 it had been seven years since David Bowie last visited the US top 10 of the Hot 100.
In 1983 the album Let’s Dance fixed the situation. For the very first time of his career, the artist got one trans-Atlantic Top 5 single. A global #1, the title song of that album is one of the very best selling singles of the 80s at 5,5 million units sold. That massive hit also boosted following singles from the album which added 4,7 million sales. In terms of physical singles sales, this remains by very far the artist biggest era of his career. It also represents a large chunk of the 16 million singles he sold as a solo artist during the 80s since both follow up eras failed to replicate a similar success.
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1980) – 915,000 equivalent albums
Up The Hill Backwards – 150,000
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) – 150,000
Ashes To Ashes – 1,900,000
Fashion – 850,000
Let’s Dance (1983) – 3,060,000 equivalent albums
Let’s Dance – 5,500,000
China Girl – 2,300,000
Modern Love – 1,800,000
Without You – 200,000
Cat People (Putting Out Fire) – 400,000
Tonight (1984) – 600,000 equivalent albums
Loving The Alien – 300,000
Tonight – 500,000
Blue Jean – 1,200,000
Never Let Me Down (1987) – 315,000 equivalent albums
Day-In Day-Out – 550,000
Time Will Crawl – 100,000
Never Let Me Down – 400,000