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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Thomas Christiansen

New single “Shot in the Dark” out now, New album “Power Up” out Nov. 13th.
First day streaming on Spotify for “Shot in the Dark” was 688K plays. That day’s biggest by AC/DC, topping their classics “Back in Black” (669K), “Highway to Hell” (573K) and “Thunderstruck” (546K).

Last edited 9 months ago by Thomas Christiansen

But when they talk about Back in black as the second best-selling album ever with 52 million copies sold, did they also include the copies left in the warehouses and the download/streaming ?

Last edited 1 year ago by Jsak

I have compiled Back in Black sales in the barcode era in Brazil, it’s safe to say that it sold 200K in the last 15 years, I’d estimate sales to be around 350 K overall. AC/DC is extremely under certified in Brazil.

tom riise

Back In Black is now certified 25 times platinum in the US.


That seems to fit pretty well with the US sales estimate since the certification likely also include streams and downloads.


Don’ t you think that since the death of Malcolm Young the sales of physical copies have increased to 25 million ?

Thomas Christiansen

Friday is my birthday 🙂 So what are my birthday wishes? Well, a new car would be nice… but I guess less will do. Like my favourite band getting their first 500M+ track on Spotify. Lo and behold the top ten AC/DC tracks on Spotify: 1 BACK IN BLACK – 499,574,000 2 HIGHWAY TO HELL – 495,263,000 3 THUNDERSTRUCK – 471,457,000 4 YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG – 346,640,000 5 T.N.T. – 234,653,000 6 SHOOT TO THRILL – 132,645,000 7 HELLS BELLS – 130,395,000 8 DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP – 123,221,000 9 IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE… Read more »


Well done!

Thomas Christiansen

Back in Black was promoted on social medias last month in celebration of it’s 40th anniversary.
This has pushed “Shake a Leg” above 10M spins on Spotify. Here are the BIB tracks (with increases since primo dec 2019)

BIB 628.5M (128.9M)
YSMANL 441.6M (95.0M)
STT 168.7M (36.1M)
HB 163.6M (33.2M)
HADOM 35.4M (7.4M)
RNRANP 34.4M (7.6M)
WDYDFMH 15.2M (3.5M)
LMPMLIY 12.6M (2.5M)
GTDAB 12.5M (3.0M)
SAL 10.0M (2.3M)

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