CSPC: Red Hot Chili Peppers Popularity Analysis


In terms of cultural impact, no region in the World comes close to California. From Hollywood to the Lakers to the Kardashian family to Compton rappers to Marilyn Monroe to Neverland to the Beach Boys, the state has been feeding the Pop Culture since more than a century. A band perfectly summarizes this established fact, the Red Hot Chili Peppers

The band’s first four albums were received with poor to moderate success. It took them a song about their love to Los Angeles to reach superstardom, Under The Bridge. Then, they recovered their A-League success with one more L.A.-tainted record, the classic LP Californication.

Obviously, their career and their success went much further than this area. Indeed, they got big in Latin America, Europe, Australasia and Asia, pretty much everywhere. While it is very easy to link them geographically, it is harder to identify clearly their spot inside the time segment. The band debuted years before the likes Guns N’ Roses and New Kids on the Block but their late peak make them look more recent than Oasis and the Cranberries. As they are still dropping new albums with the last example being 2016’s The Gateway the feeling is even stronger. In spite of both longevity and global success, the Red Hot Chili Peppers never appear among the top selling bands of all-time. Is it a faulty omission or a misconception of their real popularity?

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge their results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ 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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Hagai Tambayong

Hello MJD and Anthony, It’s great to finally see the analysis of Red Hot Chili Peppers. I knew that they sold a lot of records, but I was slightly surprised that they sold more records than Nirvana, who was probably the most popular band in the 90s. Nevertheless, Chili Peppers are a great band. I was wondering how would they compare to the other alternative bands. Do Pearl Jam and Beastie Boys sell slightly less than the Chili Peppers or more because I thought that they sold more than the Chili Peppers in both North and South America? In addition,… Read more »


I don’t think Pearl Jam sold much less than Red Hot, let’s talk about minimal differences. Clearly in the 2000s they sold less than in the 90s, but above all in Europe they continue to have their large audience, especially in Italy where they continue to sell a lot and in San Siro they collected 60,000 people live.


Red hot chili peppers never had the success they deserve in the United States, in 1999 Californication was BIG worlwide, but in US MTV and the media were too busy giving attention to Backstreets boys and N Sync, if they had released Californication in 1995, the same time of the Jagged little pill, this album would have been much bigger, I’ve always found Californication and Jagged Little pill similar albums


I didnt expect “under the bridge” was there biggest song. I even never heard it until the all saints cover.

Love this band.

Thomas Christiansen

Never really a fan, but allways loved Under the Bridge. Massive streaming figures! Highly impressive!

Nuclear dolphin

Just above Nirvana at number 33. Its funny you can draw a line right under Nirvana and seperate pre and post Millennial artists more or less.


Impressive sales. They did very well in digital sales. I didn’t know they started so many decades ago.


UAUUU!!! I love this band! Legends!

Thank you MDJ!


I was sure they’ll be well above 100m. Interesting read, nevertheless.


I thought it might be higher too. Especially Californication, being released in 1999, I expected higher sales in the US than 5.9M


Well they are in actual total records sold. I counted all the single sales and added them to the total album sales number and they make out to about 125M+ records. One of the best-selling/most popular modern bands for sure.


Yes! I’ve been hoping you’d do the RHCP soon. They’re one of my favourite bands but I really had no clue how well they did commercially. Great numbers. And they seem to be transitioning into the streaming era fairly well so 100M isn’t too far off.

Thanks team


Links on page 3 are wrong =P

Good work anyway, love RHCP ^^

Anthony Blanchard

Hi Lorrane!

Oops you are right! It is corrected now. Thank you for spotting this!


Definitely, Californication was a bigger comeback, that marked a before and after from the band.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x