CSPC: David Bowie Popularity Analysis

Yellow David Bowie

Digital Singles Sales

Maybe surprisingly, just like in the physical format Space Oddity ends up quite easily as David Bowie best selling hit in download format, currently closing in the 2 million mark.

It had really no challenger as no song from the cult trio Hunky Dory – Ziggy Stardust – Aladdin Sane broke even the 1 million mark. Often combined together as the stand-out moment of the artist career, Aladdin Sane hits truly fails to attract as many buyers as songs from the other two albums.

The overall tally of 7 million downloads from all songs of following six albums appears to be someway disappointing considering how many well-known songs are featured.

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between one album and one digital single.

David Bowie (1967) – 15,000 equivalent albums

Remaining Tracks – 100,000

David Bowie (1969) – 308,000 equivalent albums

Space Oddity – 1,900,000
Remaining Tracks – 150,000

The Man Who Sold the World (1970) – 60,000 equivalent albums

The Man Who Sold The World – 300,000
Remaining Tracks – 100,000

Hunky Dory (1971) – 330,000 equivalent albums

Changes – 850,000
Life On Mars? – 850,000
Remaining Tracks – 500,000

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972) – 308,000 equivalent albums

Moonage Daydream – 400,000
Starman – 700,000
Ziggy Stardust – 400,000
Suffragette City – 150,000
Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide – 100,000
Remaining Tracks – 300,000

Aladdin Sane (1973) – 68,000 equivalent albums

The Jean Genie – 200,000
Remaining Tracks – 250,000

4.2 5 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 11 days 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??

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x