CSPC: Elton John Popularity Analysis
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.
I had previously assumed the jump in EAS for Elton John from 206 million to 222 million was a glitch but the increase has seemingly been confirmed in the new/updated ASR list. Is this the case?
His physical singles total went from 65m to 81m… Seems like a glitch of some kind.
Elton has surpassed 10M in streaming EAS. Of the current top 50 best selling artists, he is the 14th best in streaming.
A lot of these artists are from the streaming era though (Drake, BTS…etc) so I wouldn’t compare their streams with Elton’s.
Top 10 pre-2000s acts :
Queen – 21.6m
The Beatles – 16m
Michael Jackson – 14.4m
Metallica – 11.9m
AC/DC – 10.2m
Elton John – 10m
Bob Marley – 9.1m
Guns N’ Roses – 8.8m
Nirvana – 8.6m
Pink Floyd – 8.3m
Not including Mariah Carey (8.8m) and 2Pac (8.4m) because they had a lot of success with their 21st century music.
Nice list! Great achievement also, although 2Pac has less streams (1.2m) with his 21st century music than Elton (1.7m), and also less than Metallica (1.4m) and MJ (1.3m). And as Mariah Carey has only slightly more (1.9m), I think it would be fair to let them both be part of the comparison.
Well, first off you can’t have both Mariah and 2Pac in the top 10 since the #10 would be Nirvana (8.6m). And what I meant is that they both have a bigger share of their success from the 21st century, if you remove that share they would be behind the others when it comes to pre-2000 songs.
Speaking of which, I hadn’t realized Elton had 1.7m streaming EAS from his recent stuff, I assume it’s mostly The Lockdown Sessions from last year ? I’ve no search credit left 🙁
Fair enough! It’s mostly The Lockdown Sessions indeed, you can also visit the artist pages and look at the auto update totals per album ;-).
Yeah but a lot of his songs would be in the “orphan” category (Ghetto Gospel…etc). His albums alone total 1.8m actually (1.6m for TLS), and with the orphan stuff it’d be well over 2m, maybe 2.4m ? A lot of features so it’s complicated…
I think it’s far more difficult to decide what counts as pre/post 2000. Take say the RHCP, is it fair to exclude them just because they have been very successful in the 00s. Metallica debuted in 83, the RHCPs in 84 and both released 7 studio albums in the 00s, but they’re penalised because they’ve managed to stay more relevant, for longer. Again, is it fair to exclude say Shakira, who released her first album in 91, just because her international success is prominently in the 2000s. On the other hand, should all be excluded because they are all still… Read more »
would it not just be easier to look at all acts that debut beofre 2000 and minus anything they released after 2000?
You can do, you can do what ever you want but there will always be caveats needed, context needed. Take say AC/DC, I’d say their 00s return Black Ice and subsequent World Tour, were responsible for a great upturn in their popularity, as was the Iron Man soundtrack. So, even though Black Ice, Rock or Bust and Power Up are excluded, the studio albums, World Tours and soundtracks, all significantly benefited the popularity of their pre 2000 work. Take Queen, you can exclude The Cosmos Rocks, but you can’t subtract the impact We Will Rock You, Bohemian Rhapsody or the… Read more »
Good idea 😉 Approximately :
Queen – 21.5m
The Beatles – 16m
Michael Jackson – 12.7m
Metallica – 10.6m
AC/DC – 9.1m
Bob Marley – 8.7m
Guns N’ Roses – 8.6m
Nirvana – 8.6m
Pink Floyd – 8.1m
Elton John – 7.6m
Sorry but I’m really not sure what you’re getting at… Shakira ? 😕 She has like 2m streaming EAS from the 90s, why would she be included in a pre-2000s list ?
There’s nothing “difficult” about this, it’s just a list of acts who had most of their success before 2000, that’s all.
The list is about acts that debuted pre 2000, Shakira debuted in 1991. The list was never how successful their pre 2000 work was. Strange you have problems understanding that, seems quite simple to me.
How can you seriously say an act that debuted in 1991 or even worse 1984, is from the streaming era. You’re just making up your own selective rules about this as you go along.
You realize I’m the one who made the list, right ? As I said it’s about acts who had most of their success before 2000, that’s why I didn’t include Eminem or Shakira or whatever…
And I never said acts who debuted in 1984 are from the streaming era, I specifically mentioned Drake and BTS, so you’re the one making things up (for some reason).