CSPC: Elton John Popularity Analysis

Elton John

Physical Singles Sales – Part 2

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

Honky Château (1972) – 624,000 equivalent albums

Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time) – 1,380,000
Honky Cat – 700,000

Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player (1973) – 1,338,000 equivalent albums

Crocodile Rock – 2,970,000
Daniel -1,490,000

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) – 1,713,000 equivalent albums

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting – 640,000
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – 2,230,000
Bennie and the Jets – 1,600,000
Candle in the Wind (original) – 260,000
Candle in the Wind (1987, Live) – 980,000

Caribou (1974) – 1,314,000 equivalent albums

The Bitch Is Back – 830,000
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me – 1,060,000
Pinball Wizard – 160,000
Step into Christmas – 90,000
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (with George Michael) – 2,240,000

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975) – 1,323,000 equivalent albums

Someone Saved My Life Tonight – 980,000
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – 1,400,000
Philadelphia Freedom – 2,030,000

Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time). Yes, it’s going to be a long, long time of success for the new Rocket Man. This song cemented the status of the British star. The song reached #2 in the UK and #6 in the US en route to selling 1,38 million units Worldwide. Honky Cat retained the attention of the public by hitting the US Top 10.

In 1973 back to back releases of Crocodile Rock and Daniel were even stronger. The former became his first US #1 smash while the second came close at #2. Both songs were UK Top 5 hits too. They moved a combined 4,44 million units.

From that point there was no stopping the new pop icon. Singles from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road did wonders, selling more than 4,7 million units in their first form plus nearly 1 million for the live reissue of Candle In The Wind in 1987.

Singles from both Caribou and Captain Fantastic moved more than 4 million units each. The hit-making machine could do no wrong during these years.

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Kris

Elton has surpassed 10M in streaming EAS. Of the current top 50 best selling artists, he is the 14th best in streaming.

Analord

A lot of these artists are from the streaming era though (Drake, BTS…etc) so I wouldn’t compare their streams with Elton’s.

Top 10 pre-2000s acts :

Queen – 21.6m
The Beatles – 16m
Michael Jackson – 14.4m
Metallica – 11.9m
AC/DC – 10.2m
Elton John – 10m
Bob Marley – 9.1m
Guns N’ Roses – 8.8m
Nirvana – 8.6m
Pink Floyd – 8.3m

Not including Mariah Carey (8.8m) and 2Pac (8.4m) because they had a lot of success with their 21st century music.

Clockingbell

Nice list! Great achievement also, although 2Pac has less streams (1.2m) with his 21st century music than Elton (1.7m), and also less than Metallica (1.4m) and MJ (1.3m). And as Mariah Carey has only slightly more (1.9m), I think it would be fair to let them both be part of the comparison.

Analord

Well, first off you can’t have both Mariah and 2Pac in the top 10 since the #10 would be Nirvana (8.6m). And what I meant is that they both have a bigger share of their success from the 21st century, if you remove that share they would be behind the others when it comes to pre-2000 songs.

Speaking of which, I hadn’t realized Elton had 1.7m streaming EAS from his recent stuff, I assume it’s mostly The Lockdown Sessions from last year ? I’ve no search credit left 🙁

Clockingbell

Fair enough! It’s mostly The Lockdown Sessions indeed, you can also visit the artist pages and look at the auto update totals per album ;-).

Analord

Yeah but a lot of his songs would be in the “orphan” category (Ghetto Gospel…etc). His albums alone total 1.8m actually (1.6m for TLS), and with the orphan stuff it’d be well over 2m, maybe 2.4m ? A lot of features so it’s complicated…

Martin

I think it’s far more difficult to decide what counts as pre/post 2000. Take say the RHCP, is it fair to exclude them just because they have been very successful in the 00s. Metallica debuted in 83, the RHCPs in 84 and both released 7 studio albums in the 00s, but they’re penalised because they’ve managed to stay more relevant, for longer. Again, is it fair to exclude say Shakira, who released her first album in 91, just because her international success is prominently in the 2000s. On the other hand, should all be excluded because they are all still… Read more »

ojd

would it not just be easier to look at all acts that debut beofre 2000 and minus anything they released after 2000?

Martin

You can do, you can do what ever you want but there will always be caveats needed, context needed. Take say AC/DC, I’d say their 00s return Black Ice and subsequent World Tour, were responsible for a great upturn in their popularity, as was the Iron Man soundtrack. So, even though Black Ice, Rock or Bust and Power Up are excluded, the studio albums, World Tours and soundtracks, all significantly benefited the popularity of their pre 2000 work. Take Queen, you can exclude The Cosmos Rocks, but you can’t subtract the impact We Will Rock You, Bohemian Rhapsody or the… Read more »

Analord

Good idea 😉 Approximately :

Queen – 21.5m
The Beatles – 16m
Michael Jackson – 12.7m
Metallica – 10.6m
AC/DC – 9.1m
Bob Marley – 8.7m
Guns N’ Roses – 8.6m
Nirvana – 8.6m
Pink Floyd – 8.1m
Elton John – 7.6m

Analord

Sorry but I’m really not sure what you’re getting at… Shakira ? 😕 She has like 2m streaming EAS from the 90s, why would she be included in a pre-2000s list ?

There’s nothing “difficult” about this, it’s just a list of acts who had most of their success before 2000, that’s all.

Martin

The list is about acts that debuted pre 2000, Shakira debuted in 1991. The list was never how successful their pre 2000 work was. Strange you have problems understanding that, seems quite simple to me.

How can you seriously say an act that debuted in 1991 or even worse 1984, is from the streaming era. You’re just making up your own selective rules about this as you go along.

Last edited 3 months ago by Martin
Analord

You realize I’m the one who made the list, right ? As I said it’s about acts who had most of their success before 2000, that’s why I didn’t include Eminem or Shakira or whatever…

And I never said acts who debuted in 1984 are from the streaming era, I specifically mentioned Drake and BTS, so you’re the one making things up (for some reason).