CSPC: Elton John Popularity Analysis

Elton John 2009

It’s not necessary to believe that the freshly announced Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is the last Elton John will ever do. After all, it’s a basic marketing trick. Michael Jackson, Cher and John himself announced on numerous occassions a final tour yet ended up going back on the road. What we can believe though is that the British pop star has enjoyed an incredibly successful career.

It all started in early 1971 with Your Song, a Top 10 hit in both the US and the UK. Soon Rocket Man, then Crocodile Rock, then Daniel confirmed the new status of John as a big pop star. This was only the beginning of a success story that was going to last for 30 years.

John wasn’t always an evergreen seller though. He had various flop albums, he struggled an awful lot to break several markets, and his studio albums are mostly ignored today. He may not have been one of the very top sellers throughout his career, but his ability to rebound again and again has been amazing concluding on impressive totals today.

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge his results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all John‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.

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Great work as usual, MJD. Frankly speaking, I’m not surprised at all with the Elton’s slightly lower CSPC numbers. Because he was outstanding in the 70’s, but in the later decades he was a quite average artist. Of course he achieved occasionally some success after the 70′ as well, but he was far from his earlier success.

Innocent Eyes

Congratulations on your massive work MJD!

His total sales are massive in Australia. How high would he rank on a list of top selling albums acts there?

I can only think of AC/DC, John Farnham, ABBA and perhaps The Beatles bring above.


Hi Innocent Eyes! Elton’s album sales in Australia are definitely extraordinary. Among Artists with comprehensive album sales figures, only 2 artists break the 5 million threshold in this country- Elton and Michael, with the latter falling behind the former by 80,000. I am not sure about The Beatles, but according to their article, their 13 studio albums and 15 compilations sold a collective 4,735m, so adding the others would probably break the 5m mark, though chances of surpassing Elton are rather slim. Abba’s 8 studio albums and Gold sold collectively 3,5m albums, while adding other albums might also break the… Read more »


Great work, Thank you for your wonderful stuied. It’s a surprise his figure below 200 M, but he really is the King of 70s, I can’t wait to read analysis of the empress of 70s-Barbra


Thank you! With streaming and catalogue sales he should eventually hit that 200 M mark, although it will still be a while.

Nuclear dolphin

Thanks MJD for all the hard work. I was expecting him to get a slightly higher total but great reading. 😊


Thanks for the analysis. As usual, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I think Elton is one of the very few artists ever, who can make “196 million albums” look like a disappointment.
Still an outstanding total.


Great work as usual, MJD. Waiting for Elvis Presley.


Vow 86 pages! Huge task! Well done!
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart pushing CSPC sales of Rock in the Westies does Seem a bit odd..

Anyway, amazing career, and I do love Your Song! (And Saturday Night’s Alright btw :-))


wow i am actually surprised about him being below 200 million. huge body of work and i can see why it took so long to get him out. still on the fence on whether CITW should be added to his total or not. It adds 10 million CSPC right?
amazing work as usual. One more artist above the 190 million mark: Elvis 🙂


Why not include it? It is his song, re-written for Diana, but his song regardless.

An amazing total. Glad he will be over 200M soon.


How about Bing Crosby?

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