CSPC: Phil Collins Popularity Analysis


From his debut on Genesis‘ line-up as a drummer in 1970 to the release of the smash hit Another Day In Paradise in 1989, Phil Collins‘ popularity increased steadily year after year up to the very top. A tremendous hit maker during the 80s, the artist has been more discreet lately.

Even before joining Genesis, Collins was already busy building his artistic career, even playing a few drums on George Harrison‘s legendary album All Things Must Pass. At first, it wasn’t easy for him nor for his band. They first made the UK album chart in 1972 after 3 years and 4 albums. The following year, they reached the Top 10 with a live set and #3 a couple of month later with Selling England by the Pound. In 1975, the departure of their singer Peter Gabriel concluded on Collins taking the mic. Then, they waited until 1980 to top the British sales ranking thanks to Duke.

The name of Collins was already quite popular at that point. It was going to grew even more in 1981 after with the release of his debut solo album Face Value. The LP contained the cult song In The Air Tonight. The singer and his band weren’t household names in the US yet, which explains why the song peaked only at #19 there. Its lasting appeal opened the door to playlists of the main radios for the singer though who amassed 7 solo #1 American hits by the end of the 80s.

Unlike Michael Jackson, Madonna or even U2, Collins is never mentioned among the top selling acts of all-time. Was his fame short-lived? Was his success axed around a few markets only? Or is he wrongly forgotten?

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 Collins‘ 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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Phil Collins IS much bigger than Genesis, when we speak about records sales, i think.


I’m really curious to see if Phil’s CSPC is bigger than Genesis? I would like to see Genesis CSPC, as well.


I had not really thought about it from that perspective but yes, that is an interesting comparison.

I’d personally go for Phils solo career being higher than Genesis but that is not really backed up by any kind of research on Genesis.


Yes, Phils solo career CSPC is probably higher then Genesis CSPC. Geneis weren’t to much commercially successful(relatively speaking ) at the time when they were a pure progressive rock band(Peter Gabriel era).

Besides that, I wonder if Phil is the only one star who was more successful than his parent group from which he originated? Obviously, Michael Jackson as well is/was more successful than The Jackson 5, from which he originated.

Are there any other same examples, aside from those two?


And also, would Sting have higher CSPC than The Police?


Three I thought of relatively quickly are George Michael, Robbie Williams & Eric Clapton (Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith & Derek & The Dominos)


Rod Stewart (The Small Faces, The Jeff Beck Group)


Dio, with Rainbow vs solo. Same goes for Ozzy.


I think both Ozzy and Sabbath needs to be studied before we can say that for sure.

Some others to throw in are Vangelis and Demis Roussos, both from Aphrodite’s Child as well as Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Dr. Dre and Gloria Estefan (NSYNC, Destiny’s Child, N.W.A, Miami Sound Machine) I’d also put a bet that Camila Cabello should be ahead of Fifth Harmony by now if not very soon.


PeterGabriel vs Genesis? Gabriel’s ”So” album was massive hit. ”Us” was big, as well. it would be interesting to compare CSPC’s for Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Gemesis, imo.


Why not just chuck in Mike and The Mechanics, Brand X, Steve Hacketts solo work, GTR and Tony Banks solo work etc, as well lol


Well, If we already have CSPC for Ihe Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon (”Wings” are missing?). Or CSPC forJackson 5, Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson – why then don’t have CSPC for Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Genesis 🙂

It cannot be denied Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Genesis was huge commercial stars. All of them.

On the other side, Mike and The Mechanics, Brand X, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks……wouldn’t all have a one million CSPC together,


Just to add……I know it’s impossible to do CSPC for every artist. And, ChartMasters team are allready doing a great work, really.


I obviously was not being serious about studying them all but Mike and the Mechanics have actually been reasonably successful. They would easily top 1m on their own, in fact, their first two studio albums would each pass 1m.

They’ve also a had quite a few decently selling singles, such as;
Silent Running: #6 US, #8 Canada & Germany
All I Need Is A Miracle: #5 US, #8 Australia, #10 Canada
The Living Years: #1 Australia, Canada, Ireland & US, #2 UK


justin timberlake nsyn
robbie williams take that
george michael wham!
enya clannad
beyonce destiny’s child
bobby brown new edition
dian ross potentially more than supremes but i dont know for sure

Nuclear dolphin

Hi Anthony, you are right! I thought of that afterwards although it’s very lop sided towards MJs solo material, did the Jackson 5 sell many albums?


Yes, about 40 million albums and more singles


Wow. Thank you so much. I love him when I was a kid, but somehow I forgot his music for quite sometimes already. I knew he was big, but I never thought he was that big. What is so extremely impressive, is his German total album sales. At 15 million albums that was an out of the world figure. He beat Michael Jackson and Madonna total there. Just simply amazing.


Hi MJD!! Congratulations on the CSPC article on Phil Collins. It’s incredible that he has sold 147 milion albums,if you also add his career with Genesis, his sales I think will be about 250 milion, really crazy, he could surpass Madonna. Then dear MJD I always look forward to a CSPC article on Sting & The Police, I remember that on your website Fan of Music, Sting has sold 65,700,000 albums while The Police has sold 75,600,000 albums. I would like to see if his total sales as a soloist and with The Police come to sell about 150-160 milion… Read more »


can you post a link to this other website “Fan of Music?

Go Phil……….with Genesis added he’ll be top ten of all time, (Unless you count all Beatles members and Queen members separately)

Nuclear dolphin

I think he’d probably beat Queen, if you combine his solo stuff with Genesis and the Mike Rutherford side projects. Queen members had little success as solo artists apart from Freddie Mercurys posthumous solo album. Genesis sold a huge amount of albums.

Nuclear dolphin

I forgot to mention Peter Gabriel, he did quite well also. Genesis would come in second only to The Beatles if you include everything that came out of it. If you look at the other big bands like The Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, U2 and obviously Queen.

Anthony Blanchard

Hi Nuclear dolphin!

Don’t forget the Jackson 5 🙂


Hi IRIS, We shouldn’t combined their totals. I feel like it would’ve been unfair. Because he started his solo career, already being well known, prior to his solo career and that definitely creates massive hype for his debut. Other artists, need to start from scratch. So it really isn’t a fair comparison. Plus, if adding totals of groups + solo career sales should be the case, then John Lennon is the best selling solo artists of all time. Because his total + the beatles would make everybody else’s career looks like nothing, when I doubted he would’ve sold half the… Read more »


guess we know thats wrong……….since pauls been studied


Isn’t this guy in jail for killing someone?

Good sales though.


i think you mean phil spector


so i am guessing Genesis is next up.

i am surprised at his solo career numbers. i did not expect them to top 110 million total!


He outsold Michael Jackson in Germany? Wowzers.


MJD, is he the best selling foreign acts in Germany? And is he among the top 10-20 of best selling foreign, local acts in Germany. Just curious.


He’s way higher than i anticipated him to be. Very interesting read.


I just read about about Phil Collins yesterday and he was described as “omnipresent” because he was everywhere and you couldn’t escape from hearing his songs. I’ve also read he was one of the most “hated” music artists. Probably because aside from being popular, I think for me, it’s because he was more popular as a pop solo artist than as part of Genesis and it’s the Genesis fans and rock fans who hate him because of his genre of music. In the Philippines, yes I’ve heard some of his songs when I was younger and like his voice and… Read more »

Nuclear dolphin

Thanks MJD, I remember back in the 80s he was everywhere, I hated his music but today I quite like him and appreciate how talented he is. It’ll be interesting to see how a Genesis do! 😊