CSPC: Elvis Presley Popularity Analysis


If you are lonesome tonight, you may have enough time to read the highly anticipated CSPC article of Elvis Presley… or you may not. His discography is so massive that at some point Chartmasters’ team though this work would never be completed. Now the challenge is on your side to go through all information available!

During the last few weeks, we already started to dig into his results. We used YouTube Insights to define his popularity all over the world, we understood the structure of his discography, we have put some order among all myths related to his sales, we clarified the RIAA coverage of his albums before setting up his album results in the US, we broke down both his global physical singles and EP sales, and we highlighted various strong sources of hidden sales. After doing all that, only one step remained: publish final results. Here they are. More than ever, I can only advice you to use the summary available on page 3.

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 Presley albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, 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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EP outsold MJ on total pure album sales with around 9 million difference. Wow!


With 42 albums released compared to 12 from MJ (2 of which were posthumous).


Which doesn’t say much since MJ released only 12 albums and Elvis’s 42. Also why should downloads and streaming be ignored? When you ass everything together MJ is ahead of Elvis.


Yeah MJ with 12 albums with 2 postmothous and 4 as a Motown kid ..not to take anything away from Legendary Elvis ..Let’s not forget MJ being a black artist crack opened the market with off the wall way back in 1979 when racial barriers were pretty strong in music industry… Don’t downplay the success other artist just because the other has been more successful with limited discography/input

Last edited 2 years ago by Harshit_383

Lots of work to get this one out. Much appreciated. Does this round out the top 10? I can’t imagine anyone else getting in there at this point, but maybe I’m not thinking of someone. 11 million box sets is a very impressive number. If you assume the content in these sets and the fact that each one probably was at least 3 discs, It would stand to reason that these box sets created a huge amount of retail value. I know you don’t weigh these that way, but it still seems to me that a box set that retails… Read more »


I agree with this 100%


Box sets usually come with a multiplier correlated to the number of CD’s inside.
So a box set of 3 CDs would count as 3 albums.


they only count the tracks for streaming, not for physical album sales.
For example, The Wall sold 33 million copies, but as a double disc, it should count as 66 million


I think what surprised me the most about this was the Orphan category. I had no idea so much of the value of Elvis’s catalog wasn’t tied to a studio release. I thought the Beatles Orphan total was high, but Elvis blew them away in this category. Any other method then the CSPC and it would be nearly impossible to compare Elvis and the Beatles and Micheal Jackson. Again great work on this. Your method brings perspective to these artists careers like no other I’ve ever seen. How did Elvis’s 154 million albums in the US compare to the Beatles?… Read more »


Hi MJD, When will that page be added?


Great work as usual!
So he’s the best selling solo artist of all time?
Also i don’t why but i always thought Bing crosby’s and Frank sinatra’s sales are pretty close is that true?


I think not. I also think Cliff Richard have sold more records than Frank Sinatra.


It is impressive for a music artist like him with limited technology during their time, yet people from different generations who continue to buy his music.

We need a list of best-selling holiday albums too

Looking at the last page, I guess Bing Crosby is the next classic music artist to be studied.

I hope the top-selling music artists – pure album sales will be included on the useful links columns.

Marcus André

Jesus Christ! This guy works a lot! I can’t believe that you did those amount of work so fast! Cangratulations, and thank you!

Stephon Jackson

Mariah’s Merry Christmas is still the biggest selling Christmas album ever?


Dont wanna be a sour pne but…
But anyways, Elvis has had a very impressive catalog. 312 million album equivalents is no joke.


Not just that MJ beat him but Queen did it too on ASR. I didn’t expect that.


Queen are the best selling artist of all time in Europe, so that’s not very surprising.


BTW, elvis did VERY poorly in some countries, especially argentina, italy and mexico. I expected him doing OK to good everywhere
on the other hand, his sales in the uk better than I imagined


Elvis is insane, i think he is the most successful recording artist in the history of the US (?)


Impressive. I didn’t expect Elvis behind Michael. Great Job, MJD.