AC/DC, the Thunder from Down Under, were formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1973 by Malcolm Young and his schoolboy uniform wearing little brother Angus. After finding international success in 1979 with the seminal Highway to Hell album, they were suddenly struck by mortality. However, when lead singer Bon Scott died aged 33 in February 1980 they replaced one legendary front man with another. With Brian Johnson at the microphone they soon released their landmark Back in Black album, which transformed them into superstars of the Hard Rock genre.
Today, the future of the band is uncertain. Brian Johnson almost lost his hearing, forcing AC/DC to finish their latest tour in 2016 with singer Axl Rose of Guns ‘N Roses stepping in. Add to this, sadly, in November 2017 Malcolm Young died following years of dementia, leaving Angus Young as the only member left from the classic line-up.
Many claims have been made about AC/DC‘s record sales. Supposedly they’re over 200 million. Back in Black has been heralded by some as the 2nd biggest album of all time behind Michael Jackson‘s Thriller. While this may not be the case, we do know AC/DC are one of the strongest catalog sellers in the business. But how do they stack up against other Hard Rock behemoths like Metallica and Led Zeppelin? It’s time to find out.
As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge their results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all AC/DC‘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.