CSPC: David Bowie Popularity Analysis

there life on Mars

Biggest tracks – David Bowie

The list of most successful songs is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each of them. It includes the song own physical singles sales with a 0,3 weighting, its download and streaming sales with appropriate weighting too plus its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

1 1983 – Let’s Dance [Let’s Dance] – 8,290,000
2 1977 – Heroes [Heroes] – 7,670,000
3 1969 – Space Oddity [David Bowie (1969)] – 7,270,000
4 1974 – Rebel Rebel [Diamond Dogs] – 5,310,000
5 1971 – Life On Mars? [Hunky Dory] – 4,870,000
6 1972 – Starman [The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars] – 4,720,000
7 1972 – Ziggy Stardust [The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars] – 3,740,000
8 1980 – Ashes To Ashes [Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)] – 3,620,000
9 1971 – Changes [Hunky Dory] – 3,600,000
10 1981 – Under Pressure [Orphan] – 3,440,000
11 1983 – Modern Love [Let’s Dance] – 2,970,000
12 1975 – Golden Years [Station to Station] – 2,640,000
13 1975 – Fame [Young Americans] – 2,610,000
14 1983 – China Girl [Let’s Dance] – 2,550,000
15 1971 – Moonage Daydream [The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars] – 2,390,000
16 1972 – The Jean Genie [Aladdin Sane] – 2,370,000
17 1975 – Young Americans [Young Americans] – 2,110,000
18 1984 – Blue Jean [Tonight] – 1,970,000
19 1977 – Sound And Vision [Low] – 1,870,000
20 1970 – The Man Who Sold The World [The Man Who Sold The World] – 1,730,000
21 1973 – Sorrow [Pin Ups] – 1,680,000
22 1972 – Suffragette City [The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars] – 1,420,000
23 1980 – Fashion [Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)] – 1,320,000
24 1984 – Loving The Alien [Tonight] – 1,140,000
25 1982 – Cat People (Putting Out Fire) [Let’s Dance] – 1,000,000

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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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