France Album Sales: AC/DC

Black Ice (2008) Era

After years of huge catalog sales, AC/DC came back with their first new material album in eight years with Black Ice. It was also the return to superstar producer collaboration as this set was produced by legendary Brendan O’Brien, long time partner of Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen among others, responsible of the astonishing total of 14 US #1 albums.

One of those 14 #1 albums is very precisely Black Ice. This album took the world by storm in late 2008 when first released, rocketing at #1 virtually everywhere despite facing strong local albums in various markets. In France the result was the same with a #1 debut thanks to an impressive 80,000 units sold. Only a new Johnny Hallyday – I feel like I’m writing down his name in each and every article, I guess it’s what happens when you have been getting #1 records for 55 years – album one week later prevented AC/DC record to last longer at the top.

Remaining Top 10 during the complete Christmas season, the album amassed an impressive 406,000 physical sales during 2008 plus 77,000 in 2009. It was very close to 500,000 units once digital sales added.

Considering the band popularity at this point, their label benefited from this background to release several records to exploit their catalog. In 2009 fall, a 3CD/2DVD/1LP box set of rarities came out, Backtracks. Debuting at #6 in the Compilation chart, this package sold 20,000 units.

One year later in 2010, a new Soundtrack to be compilation got released, Iron Man 2. After If You Want Blood in 1978, Who Made Who in 1986 and Live in 1992 this release was the fourth package closest to a compilation but not yet a real compilation. In fact, in spite of containing 15 hits of the band, this record misses several AC/DC key tracks like Hells Bells or You Shook Me All Night Long. It went #2 in the compilation chart, standing 12 weeks Top 10 and selling 62,000 units for the year.

Some 20 years after Live release, a similar album Live At River Plate was issued. Ironically, it was one more near best of, but still not a proper one as versions of songs were obviously live versions rather than the originals. This album still contain 19 hits including the large majority of the band major songs. An entry at #13 in the main chart and a great hold close to Christmas gave this release a solid 45,000 units sold within’ 2012.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Rock N Roll Train – 4,646,000
  2. War Machine – 2,822,000
  3. Black Ice – 1,251,000

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