CSPC: Elton John Popularity Analysis

Physical Singles Sales – Part 9

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

Orphan – 3,842,000 equivalent albums

I’ve Been Loving You – 25,000
From Denver To L.A. – 50,000
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – 4,190,000
Are You Ready For Love – 30,000 (1979) + 220,000 (2003)
Mama Can’t Buy You Love – 890,000
Donner Pour Donner – 380,000
J’veux d’la Tendresse – 160,000
I Saw Her Standing There – 30,000
That’s What Friends Are For – 1,740,000
Flames of Paradise – 450,000
Through the Storm – 370,000
You Gotta Love Someone – 410,000
Easier to Walk Away – 140,000
Can You Feel the Love Tonight – 1,500,000
Circle of Life – 730,000
You Can Make History – 160,000
Written in the Stars – 430,000
A Step Too Far – 10,000
Ghetto Gospel – 590,000
Remaining Singles – 300,000

Although John issued plenty of albums he still issued various stand-alone singles. The Motown tribute Don’t Go Breaking My Heart was a terrific smash with more than 4 million sales. Mama Can’t Buy You Love sold close to 900,000 while at 380,000 comes Donner Pour Donner, a duet with the late France Gall aimed to confirm his breaking of the French market at last, a strategy which succeeded.

His contribution to Dionne Warwick‘s That’s What Friends Are For, as well as his theme song for the Lion King, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, are both well over one million. In various markets 2Pac‘s posthumous song Ghetto Gospel did wonders. In total, those songs bring his career tally to an outstanding 65,34 million physical singles sales. Of course, this doesn’t include the 1997 version of Candle in the Wind

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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 1 month 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).

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