CSPC: AC/DC Popularity Analysis

Streaming Part 3

I don’t think any band ever replaced their singer with greater success than AC/DC. Back in Black not only became their biggest album, but one of the biggest albums of all time. These streaming figures will tell you why. Like the rest of the AC/DC catalog, Back in Black was not available on Spotify until June 30th 2015. Still, this 1980 album has well over 500 million streams, led by the iconic title track at 212 million. Even the smallest track, Shake A Leg, is close to 4 million. Four tracks are close to or above 60 million, an achievement only surpassed by 6 pre-2000 albums (Michael Jackson‘s Thriller & Bad, Dr. Dre‘s 2001, Pearl Jam‘s Ten, Nirvana‘s Nevermind and Metallica‘s Black Album) which are all younger than Back in Black and have also all  have been on Spotify a lot longer. This adds up to a massive 635,000 EAS.

For Those About to Rock was the 3rd album in a row produced by “Mutt” Lange, and their first US #1 (incredibly Back in Black stalled at #4). However, while it outdid its famous predecessor at first, it didn’t have the legs. The title track is a true classic, and has ended just about every AC/DC concert since, but at 22 million Spotify streams it would have ranked a distant 5th on Back in Black. The rest wouldn’t rank anywhere on it. As a consequence, the 40,000 EAS pales into insignificance compared to Back in Black. On a smaller note Evil Walks actually tops the single Let’s Get it Up for 2nd place on For Those About to Rock. Likely because the former was the only song from this album included on the Iron Man 2 soundtrack in 2010.

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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 6 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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