CSPC: Elvis Presley Popularity Analysis

Elvis Presley record


So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Elvis Presley achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from Blue Hawaii released in digital format sold the equivalent of 420,000 album albums – 2,800,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/11750 for Video stream)

The career of Presley wasn’t always linear. Indeed, he had had various flops. Some of his albums like Harum Scarum and Elvis (from 1973) barely reach half a million units factoring in all formats. We are speaking about an artist that released 42 albums over 22 years and still issued well over half of his successful singles with orphan songs.

That’s why looking at one figure only for him is such an error. The volume of his sales speaks. Think about it that way: how many artists topped 1 million equivalent album sales with 31 LPs and still moved almost 150 million units with orphan songs?

Among his top albums there is Elvis, Loving You, G.I. Blues, That’s the Way It Is, Elvis sings The Wonderful World of Christmas, and Moody Blue, all of which fall into the 4 to 6 million ballpark. On his personal top 5 feature Elvis Presley, How Great Thou Art and From Elvis in Memphis at over 7 million a piece.

As successful as they have been these albums can’t compete with the top 2. Elvis’ Christmas Album and Blue Hawaii, each in a very different category, accumulated insane sales through the years and various releases. Their value has been strong enough to trigger sales of 35,5 million and 29,4 million equivalent album sales, respectively.

Then comes the orphan folder. It closes just a shy of 150 million. Basically, his orphan songs alone moved more equivalent album sales than entire discographies of artists as huge as Phil Collins and Billy Joel.

The final total for the King comes at 314,0 million EAS up to date. While the Beatles still quite a lot ahead at 405,7 million, a strong revival as the one from 2002 could possibly shot him ahead of Michael Jackson who’s on 323,7 million. These trio of artists are on a category of their own since the fourth highest ever, Madonna, is much lower at 241,1 million.

To go deeper…

Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that his sales represent 48,12 million times the purchase of her full catalog. It’s the equivalent of 48,12 million people buying an average of 6,53 albums from him. It falls perfectly in line with our article about the structure of his discography that pointed out that there are 6 different Elvis Presleys.

Both indicators of 48,12 million sales of his entire catalog spread over the equivalent of 314,0 million imply an ASR of 696. That makes him the fourth most successful artist of all-time behind aforementioned Michael Jackson (1000) and the Beatles (915), but also Queen (723). Hard fans and casual buyers of all these artists need less purchases to be satisfied than Presley‘s. That’s why their ASR is higher in comparison to their cumulative EAS.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Discogs, Chartmasters.org, RCA, Sony, Pickwick, Camden, Memphis Recording Service, Billboard, Elvisoncd, Biwa, elvisnews, worldwideelvis, elvispresleyftd, elvispresleyshop, EIN, BuzzAngle, Time-Life, Kworb, Hanboo, Earthslayer, Ernst Jorgensen, Michael Omansky, Agora SA, RIAA, Soundscan, OCC, BPI, Not Now Music, RPM, SNEP, Oricon, RIAJ, PROMUSICAE, AFP, FIMI, NVPI, IRMA, ARIA, RIANZ, Music Week, Amprofon, MercadoLivre, ABPD, CAPIF, CRIA, IFOP, GFK, IFPI (DE, DK, NO, AT, FI, SW), Sverigetopplistan, LA Times, Reuters, Le Monde, Nashville Post.

Special thanks to Anthony Blanchard and Hernan Lopez for their massive contribution.

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Colin Bratkovich

CHARTMASTER’s No.82 notes FOR LP FANS ONLY at 430,00 worldwide. Considering the contents of this LP contained ALL re-issued material (on single or EP release ) this initial sales figure seems right .Lower US charted figures in 1959 also back this up. It is surprising however, that after this LP was also converted into re-processed stereo in 1963,as well as mono, it still failed to make it to RCA’s MILLION DOLLAR status, even in RCA’s 1971 catalog. Someone at RCA just had to be asleep! Or if not, considering 8 track & cassettes sold ,just had to ADD sales well… Read more »

Colin Bratkovich

FLAMING STAR /CHARTMASTER’S no.77 / This (noted) post 1977 RIAA awarded LP is noted at 2,150,000 totaled by CHARTMASTERS. This has got to be too LOW, as it is based upon combined Camden-Pickwick figures, most of it from post 1977 successful marketing efforts, along with other ‘low priced’ budget product./As this LP was ALREADY noted as a MILLION DOLLAR LP seller by RCA (not RIAA) in it’s 1971 catalog. Yet these sales had to include a Billboard chart placing at 96.While this figure is considered low, the (then) rules made this LP have to sell more than the usual LP,… Read more »

Colin Bratkovich

CHARTMASTERS could look into (especially) the 1977 re-issued Presley LP sales of HAREM SCARUM no.23,SPINOUT no.26,DOUBLE TROUBLE no.28 & CLAMBAKE no.29.With these sales, each of these (deleted in 1971) US LPs, ADD to over 500,000 each, as WORLD entities./

Colin Bratkovich

Paradise Hawaiian Style 1966/Elvis Presley/CHARTMASTERS no 25./The 1971 RCA catalog notes this LP as a WORLDWIDE MILLION $ SELLER. This updates CHARTMASTERS WORLDWIDE figure of 430,000 before 1977.

Colin Bratkovich

It Happened At The World’s Fair-Elvis Presley.1963./CHARTMASTERS no.17.The CHARTMASTERS WORLD figure at 600,000.This LP DID reach top 10 chart status in 1963.It is NOT noted as a WORLDWIDE MILLION SELLER on the back of the Elvis For Everyone LP in 1965.It was put on stereo 8 ,as an 8 track (P8S-1140) in 1966.By 1971,it was DROPPED as a re-issued catalog item. Later in 1977,following Presley’s death, the LP was AGAIN released as (APL1-2568) in the (US)),featuring the original MONO cover, in STEREO form. Like all Elvis product release in 1977,however brief, this LP, as well on 8 track & cassette… Read more »

Colin Bratkovich

ELVIS IS BACK LP.CHARTMASTERS no.10 /CHARTMASTERS (US) at 675,000,has got to be low? As a WORLD total at 1,160,000,it seems that this LP has better stats to match? As Elvis’s first official ‘Living Stereo’ release (released in mono & stereo ,with mono sales selling more) in 1960-61.An another RCA mistake , it could have been a RIAA award in 1961,with RCA not getting around to it until 1999..This LP got to no.2 on BILLBOARD,& lasted on (LP) chart for 56 weeks. In March,2011,it actually charted as a re-issue in BILLBOARD, which then proclaimed it at 199,with an added week-a total… Read more »

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