CSPC: David Bowie Popularity Analysis

Streaming Part 2 – The Golden Years

It is no news that each of those three albums are classic ones. One thing is absolutely unique there still. If one checks the tracklist of David Bowie early live albums – David Live / Stage / Ziggy Stardust the Motion Picture – or his first major best of Changesonebowie from 1976, they all left out both Life On Mars? and Starman. We are speaking about the two most remembered hits from those years. It is truly unique that near-unknown songs from that time ended up as absolute must-haves decades later, ultimately topping all legitimate hits from the 70s.

Streaming results are obviously much higher than those of previous albums. Hunky Dory two singles add for 94 million plays and two album tracks Oh! You Pretty Things and Queen Bitch have notable streams for non-singles too, although the former was a #11 song for Peter Noone in 1971. All its tracks are breaking the doors of the 2 million plays barrier.

Ziggy Stardust album is even stronger overall. Starman, Ziggy Stardust and Moonage Daydream are all on 30 million and more while everything else is on at least 3,3 million. In terms of equivalent album sales, those two albums total near half a million units.

Surprisingly, Aladdin Sane is much weaker. We can highlight its cult status by the fact all songs are at least on 1,7 million but its hits are truly lacking strength as even the stand-out track The Jean Genie is still under 10 million.

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A two-three solidly sold albums, and a lot of average ones, is quite surprising to me. Although David’s final CSPC figure is relatively large, it is mostly due to his long career, imo.


You have a point, MJD. Bowie’s career was long and pretty consistent. But still, David’s average CSPC percentage per album is 4.38 milion. 118.5 milion CSPC : 27 albums = 4.38milion (Orphan album excluded).

If we take for example Guns N’ Roses, their average CSPC percentage per album is huge 19.6 milion! 117.7 milion CSPC : 6 albums = 19.6 milion. (Orphan album excluded).

But not to be confused, I like David Bowie. I really do, It’s just, I personally thought his CSPC number was a little higher. : )


Both are impressive. Yet 27 multi-million sellers is more amazing and hard to get than 6 albums where 3 best seller albums on the peak of their fame are responsible for 82% of their sales in a 5 years period of release. In fact their 4 albums from their peak of fame represent 92% of their total CSPC points and 7 years release span. David Bowie 3 best sellers represent just 34% of his sales and are from a period over 13 years span with many other albums in between. His 4 best sellers would increase that span a bit… Read more »


Is there CSPC life on Mars? Yes, 125m in total.


David sales are at 175M records with all formats. Very impressive


He is at number 30 on Eas, 125m Total.


But Let’s dance has not sold over 15 million copies with republication?


I would love to see Jethto Tull popularity analysis

Speed of Life

Hi – thanks for a very comprehensively researched article.One question what about the sales of Under Pressure on Queen albums – Greatest hits and Platinum Collection?? Regards


David’s total is quite good, amazing considering he doesn’t have a hugely successful album but surpassed those who have one (Britney, Guns and Roses etc.) He is definitely up there among the most successful artists in history, despite going against the typical music industry rules and being highly risky and innovative. Anyway, i don’t know if you know this, but January 16 would mark Aaliyah’s 38th Birthday! I hope you would do a CSPC analysis on her as it would be quite fitting. I don’t expect her to have a huge result, but as an R&B artist who only released… Read more »


Bowie did well for the kind of act he was.

I really like this series. Can you do wholr popularity analyses for Red Hot Chili Peppers, Little Mix, Janet Jackson, Radiohead and Queen?

Thanks =)


What about CSPC for Leonard Cohen, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam?


Great articel! I know the legend because Barbra covered her classic Life on mars. I still waiting for articels abou France Sales and CSPC for Barbra

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