CSPC: AC/DC Popularity Analysis

Streaming Part 4

Commercially, the mid to late 80’s were meagre years for AC/DC. For the 1983 LP Flick of the Switch, the Young brothers decided to end their partnership with hit producer “Mutt” Lange and started producing themselves. As a result this multi-platinum band suddenly struggled to reach platinum in the US. Spotify reflects this too. With little more than 7 million total streams, this is easily AC/DC‘s weakest LP. For the first time we see tracks struggling to reach 300,000 plays. Only the semi-classic Guns for Hire tops 1 million.

Fly on the Wall followed the same path. Self-produced, barely making platinum, and tracks struggling to top 300,000 streams. Always more Rock than Metal, their heaviest of albums does perform better than Flick of the Switch  though. There are 4 tracks in the 2-3 million region led by the two album tracks First Blood and Back in Business. I wonder if the latter is helped by sharing its initials with a certain other AC/DC track? People searching for Back in Black could end up listening to Back in Business, no?

I recall Heatseeker getting a fair amount of airplay on MTV, the single pushed Blow Up Your Video to the Top 5  in some countries and #12 in the US, their best showing since For Those About to Rock. Heatseeker is indeed the strongest track from these three albums on Spotify with 6.5 million streams. And the 2nd single, That’s the Way I Wanna R’n’R, is close to 2 million, but the rest of Blow Up Your Video is forgotten by most.

Combined EAS for these three albums are just 36,000. The most memorable track from these years are not listed here though. Who Made Who, the title track of the soundtrack to the 1986 Stephen King movie Maximum Overdrive, tops all of these. It is listed in the Orphan section. 

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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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