CSPC: AC/DC Popularity Analysis

Original Album Sales – Comments

1976 High Voltage – 7,550,000
1976 Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – 10,970,000
1977 Let There Be Rock – 6,200,000
1978 Powerage – 5,220,000
1979 Highway to Hell – 15,150,000
1980 Back in Black – 35,810,000
1981 For Those About to Rock We Salute You – 10,040,000
1983 Flick of the Switch – 3,900,000
1985 Fly on the Wall – 3,510,000
1988 Blow Up Your Video – 3,860,000
1990 The Razors Edge – 10,670,000
1995 Ballbreaker – 5,420,000
2000 Stiff Upper Lip – 4,160,000
2008 Black Ice – 7,000,000
2014 Rock or Bust – 3,010,000

Unsurprisingly, Back in Black stands head and shoulders above the rest of their studio albums. At 35,81 million regular album sales it has almost equaled the combined sales of their 2nd, 3rd and 4th biggest albums!

Although they’ve had their share of ups and downs, there’s more to AC/DC than making one of the biggest selling albums ever. Highway to Hell sold an impressive 15,15 million and 3 other albums top the 10 million mark. In fact, over their 40 year long career ALL their full length studio albums, including so called flops and recent releases, have sold more than 3 million copies each! In total: 123,47m spread over 15 studio albums!

One of the reasons their entire catalog continues to sell so well is the absence of any Greatest Hits albums. They never released any.  Thus leaving consumers no choice but to dig into their vast catalog. That said, AC/DC have released a number of live albums and soundtracks, which over the years have somewhat filled the void left by the missing compilation. We’ll get on to those albums later though.

It should be noted that their international debut release High Voltage is a compilation album consisting of tracks from their first two Australian only albums High Voltage and T.N.T. Also Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was initially rejected by their American record company only to be released in the wake of Back in Black, causing it to hit #3 on Billboard.

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Not that Rumours is not insanely popular anyway, but Dreams has went crazy, since that Tik Tok guy on the skateboard.

I’ve not really been following the pre 2000 songs much of late, will AC/DC have 3 over 1B, before anybody else has 2?

Last edited 3 months ago by Martin
Thomas Christiansen

Yes they will. Besides Queen of course. They already have 4.


Yeah, that’s what I meant, excluding Queen.


Californication was released in the summer of 2000 though, the album is from 1999 but I think the most important thing is when did these songs became famous.

About AC/DC, let’s not forget that they arrived late on Spotify (2015), if not Highway To Hell would’ve probably reach 1B already, and Thunderstruck would be very close.

Thomas Christiansen

Californication was indeed released as the 4th single from the album in may 2000. But the album, and first 3 singles, were released in 1999. The album debuted and peaked at #3 in June 1999. Therefore I consider all it’s songs released pre-2000. However, it is possible the song benefitted from being fairly recent when Spotify began. I have a list of top pre-2000 songs dated feb. 2018 on which Californication rank as #10. 4 years later (jan. 2022) it’s down to #25. So it’s popularity is fading somewhat compared to the other oldies on the list. But the same… Read more »


Yeah it’s possible that Under The Bridge’s popularity is partly explained by the Chilis’ massive success during the 1999-2006 period, so even though the song is from 1991 its trajectory might be closer to a song from 2000 or so.

Btw I truly have no idea why my post got so many downvotes… I’m gonna assume there’s some weirdo out there with fake accounts who doesn’t like me 😆

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