CSPC: David Bowie Popularity Analysis


Along with the busy release schedule of his albums and related singles, David Bowie also published various notable duets and soundtrack songs.

This includes Queen duet Under Pressure, Mick Jagger duet Dancing in the Street as well as Bing Crosby partnership Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy. Those 3 singles combined add for 5 million units sold.

Never considered as a real hit maker, by securing that average hits routine during several decades David Bowie concludes on a huge 43 million physical singles sales.

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Orphan – 2,640,000 equivalent albums

Knock on Wood – 150,000
Alabama Song – 150,000
Under Pressure – 1,900,000
Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy – 700,000
Without You I’m Nothing – 200,000
White Light/White Heat -100,000
This Is Not America – 1,200,000
Dancing in the Street – 2,400,000
Absolute Beginners – 1,100,000
Underground – 300,000
When the Wind Blows – 75,000
The Buddha of Suburbia – 75,000
Arnold Layne – 50,000
Remaining Singles – 400,000

4.3 6 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
El Jolito

The Greatest solo artist in history.


That will be Michael Jackson


Best selling solo artist of all time, but not most important or most influential solo artist of all time.


That’s just your opinion, mine is he is very overrated and his sales are poor considering he is supposed to be that good. Half a dozen very good songs doesn’t make you the greatest.


Yes, Jacksons sales and popularity are amazing and his influence immense but Bowie was way, way more diverse than Jackson.


It’s so irritating when people can’t wrap their heads around the fact that sales aren’t everything. Sales are great but they don’t indicate how inventive, creative, influential, etc. an artist was/is.


Who cares. Musical diversity and critical acclaim is so overrated.


Lots of people care, lots of people don’t want to listen to an artist who just releases the same sounding stuff over and over again.

As for critical acclaim, I couldn’t give a toss about it either.

Last edited 4 months ago by Martin

“That’s just your opinion”

It’s all about opinions, except if you believe that talent should be measured by success, which would be very dumb.

Speed of Life

Also the version of All The Young Dudes with Ian Hunter and Bowie on vocals on the Mott The Hoople page doesn’t show up on his features.

Speed of Life

Just noticed that a number of Bowie songs have recently been been greyed out on spotify and their totals no longer show on the spotify tool report.They’re all on the albums Platinum Collection and Sound + Vision.
Also for some reason the songs credited to Bowie and the Spider on the Bowie at the Beeb album have a separate artist id??