CSPC: Elton John Popularity Analysis

Your Song


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

1. 1970 – Your Song [Elton John]18,940,000
2. 1972 – Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time) [Honky Château]14,970,000
3. 1973 – Bennie and the Jets [Goodbye Yellow Brick Road]13,020,000
4. 1975 – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart [Rock of the Westies]10,100,000
5. 1989 – Sacrifice [Sleeping with the Past]8,160,000
6. 1973 – Candle in the Wind [Goodbye Yellow Brick Road]7,800,000
7. 1974 – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me [Caribou]7,430,000
8. 1972 – Crocodile Rock [Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player]6,860,000
9. 1973 – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [Goodbye Yellow Brick Road]6,090,000
10. 1983 – I’m Still Standing [Too Low for Zero]6,060,000
11. 1976 – Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word [Blue Moves]5,930,000
12. 1971 – Tiny Dancer [Madman Across the Water]5,440,000
13. 1973 – Daniel [Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player]4,720,000
14. 1992 – The One [The One]4,700,000
15. 1985 – Nikita [Ice on Fire]4,610,000
16. 1983 – I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues [Too Low for Zero]4,180,000
17. 1995 – Can You Feel the Love Tonight [Orphan]3,470,000
18. 1975 – Philadelphia Freedom [Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy]3,280,000
19. 1973 – Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting [Goodbye Yellow Brick Road]2,810,000
20. 1984 – Sad Songs (Say So Much) [Breaking Hearts]2,670,000
21. 1975 – Someone Saved My Life Tonight [Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy]2,640,000
22. 1997 – Something About the Way You Look Tonight [The Big Picture]2,620,000
23. 1978 – Song for Guy [A Single Man]2,190,000
24. 1974 – Step into Christmas [Caribou]2,100,000
25. 1988 – I Don’t Wanna Go On with You Like That [Reg Strikes Back]1,920,000
26. 1982 – Blue Eyes [Jump Up!]1,760,000
27. 1980 – Little Jeannie [21 at 33]1,750,000
28. 1995 – Believe [Made in England]1,690,000
29. 1993 – True Love [Duets]1,180,000
30. 2001 – I Want Love [Songs from the West Coast]1,140,000

If you feel inspired by this list, we just created this CSPC Elton John playlist on Spotify!

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


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.


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.


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 🙁


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 ;-).


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…


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 »


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


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 »


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


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.


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

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).