Best selling artists, albums and singles of all-time

It has been over 2 years since I introduced to you the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept, nicknamed CSPC, in March 2016. This revolutionary concept enables to define accurately the most successful artists ever. During this timeframe I, with the precious help of Hernan Lopez and Anthony Blanchard, studied nearly 100 artists, 1,000 albums plus countless singles and stand-alone tracks worth a gigantic 8,5 billion equivalent album sales combined!

Many of you praised the effort and the ongoing results which really makes us feel great about the website. One recurrent negative feedback though has been the difficulty to navigate the blog. One unique, cross-artist source of data was needed. While I can advise you to use the search function at the top-right, which works really well, an article grouping together the main data is definitely a positive improvement. So, here it is, please say hi to the Data Collector!

This article lists various rankings, with more added frequently, please see the summary on page 2. Top selling singles / albums / artists, per format, per year, per artist type, etc… everything is possible!

Thanks to this Data Collector it isn’t necessary anymore to repeat the comprehensive rankings at the end of each article. It will solve an issue by removing some pages and letting you reach always the same final pages for all acts – CSPC totals, the artist’s singles ranking and their records & achievements. This article will be kept updated which will also prevent us from having lists updated at different moments here and there.

Anthony will handle the updates of this thread from now on and try to answer your questions the best he can. We won’t be answering to lists requests on comments though as it will be impossible to maintain them. Instead, when you request something, and if it is relevant for many people, we will add a page to the article with the said list.

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Daydreamer

Guys, do you have any plans to do CSPC for Bing Crosby? He is considered to be the best-selling recording artist of the 20th century. He may be more successful then Elvis, Michael Jackson…etc in terms of overall CSPC units.

MJD

Hi Daydreamer!

Bing Crosby is possibly the highest selling artist ever in terms of physical singles, but in terms of CSPC units he will come nowhere near to the likes Elvis / MJ or even Elton John / Phil Collins!

RLAAMJR.

Sounds like you just conformed that Crosby’s “White Christmas” song is the biggest song of all time by a huge margin. 🙂

MJD

Why so? 😉

RLAAMJR.

Can we have top selling artists for pure album sales only.

Thomas

Thanks Martin & MJD! Knew some of those were close, but not all of them. About U2, they’re not even in the top 50 any longer! Here’s the “new” list, all figures updated one of the past three days. 1 Oasis – Wonderwall – 388m 2 Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ – 378m 3 Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody – 366m 4 Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit – 345m 5 Mariah Carey – All I Want for Xmas is You – 319m 6 Guns ‘N Roses – Sweet Child O Mine – 315m 7 Michael Jackson – Billie Jean –… Read more »

Martin

It’s just struck me, you’re Dane from UKMIX aren’t you?

Thomas

Updated complete list, included Sweet Home Alabama. 1 Oasis – Wonderwall – 388m 2 Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ – 378m 3 Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody – 366m 4 Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit – 345m 5 Guns ‘N Roses – Sweet Child O Mine – 315m 6 Michael Jackson – Billie Jean – 309m 7 Bob Marley – Is This Love – 297m 8 RHCP – Californication – 278m 9 RHCP – Under the Bridge -275m 10 Toto – Africa – 263m 11 AHA – Take On Me – 260m 12 Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now –… Read more »

Martin

Just main versions;
Mariah Carey – All I Want…: 317,129,221
The Police – Every Breath You Take: 198,680,065

Thomas

Thanks. How could I forget the Xmas classics!?

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Xmas is You – 319m
Wham – Last Christmas – 221m

Also

Survivor – Eye of the Tiger – 236m
R.E.M. – Losing My Religion – 212m
The Police – Every Breath You Take – 201m

Martin

A few more, all just main versions again

Earth Wind & Fire – September: 247,544,146
Smash Mouth – All Star: 229,815,866
Green Day – Basket Case: 203,617,271
TLC – No Scrubs: 199,703,756
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams: 207,441,478
Marvin Gaye – Ain’t No Mountain..: 218,444,936

Thomas

Great! Thanx!

Thomas

What are the odds! While checking out the Marvin Gaye figure I found his top two tacks both stand at 218,482,000! Mountain has one very big and one very small version. Healing has 8 versions.

Earth, Wind & Fire – September – 280m
Smash Mouth – All Star – 234m
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – 219m
Marvin Gaye – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – 218m
Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing – 218m
Green Day – Basket Case – 206m
TLC – No Scrubs – 200m (just under)

MJD

I compiled a similar list way back in July 2014 and U2’s With Or Without You was #8 at the time, only 10% behind of Wonderwall and Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s incredible to see it now fails to enter the top 35/40 (stands at 191m) in spite of the Joshua Tree Tour and two new albums since then. The iTunes trick backlashed them truly hard, they felt out of fashion in no time. Stevie Wonder’s Superstition is on 197m. Over 190m is also Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl at 192m and Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. Blackstreet’s No… Read more »

Martin

Also over 190m
Guns N Roses – Paradise City: 191,161,246

Thomas

Today AC/DC’s Back in Black (the song) topped 200m plays on Spotify! And at 193m Thunderstruck is not far behind! Anyone else in here been working on a list of top pre-2000 songs on Spotify? Here’s my list so far (as of jan18 unless otherwise noted): 1 Oasis – Wonderwall – 388m 2 Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ – 378m 3 Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody – 355m (dec17) 4 Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit – 335m (dec17) 5 Guns ‘N Roses – Sweet Child O Mine – 315m 6 Michael Jackson – Billie Jean – 309m 7 Bob Marley… Read more »

Lance

In terms of total albums, (all types) Sales, I see 4 currently who have topped 200 million. The Beatles, I’m sure, though that page was not added for them, Micheal Jackson, Pink Floyd and Madonna. I’m assuming Elvis will be near or above Micheal Jackson also. So that is 5 over 200 million. Can you see anyone else you would possibly study who would be break this threshold in this category, or would this be the extent of it? I thought maybe Elton would be the only other one, but on another site I saw he was at 178 million.… Read more »

Don

Hey there, Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt should definitely be there…probably around 17 million.

Nathan

Don Henley and Glen Frey kicked Don Felder out of the Eagles…………….and Felder wrote Hotel California…………….I love the Eagles, but BIG mistake (and slap in the face)

Thomas Christiansen

Hotel California topping the song list on page 5 made me notice that usually all of the artists biggest song is the one we expect. Eagles #1 – Hotel California, MJ #1 – Billie Jean, Celine #1 – My Heart Will Go On, Whitney – I will always love You, Bee Gees, Queen, Abba, Bon Jovi, U2 etc. all expected. As a AC/DC fan I can’t wait to see which is their #1. The default answer would be Back in Black of course. Their biggest spotify song on their best selling album. But is this really a no-brainer? BIB only… Read more »

Nathan

At some point you have to do more artists from the early 60’s………….cuz your best selling album for the year 1962 is Bob Dylans self titled album at 1.4 million copies. lol (Please do Rod Stewart, Phil Collins/Genesis, Elton John and………….oh wait, Elvis was around then………….yeah, him too. 😉 Oh, and Frank Sinatra. On a side note: Can you do an article on music outside of pop/rock? I know in the U.S. they weigh Latin music MUCH differently (Selena gets 49x platinum for selling 2.8 million albums or something like that) and maybe talk about Jazz and Classical and what… Read more »

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