CSPC: AC/DC Popularity Analysis

AC/DC

AC/DC CAREER CSPC RESULTS

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by AC/DC achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

*Pure sales figures updated on 02/20/18.
'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/6750 for Video stream)

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


And the winner is…? Well, Back in Black of course. The real question is rather where does AC/DC‘s landmark album land on our list of CSPC albums? With a massive 58.224 million it ranks 6th, just ahead of another Hard Rock masterpiece, Led Zeppelin‘s IV. Also ahead of Nirvana‘s Nevermind, Bon Jovi‘s Slippery When Wet, Guns ‘N RosesAppetite for Destruction and Metallica‘s Metallica. It ranks as the biggest Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album of all time!

The runner-up here is also no surprise. At 22.008 million Highway to Hell is a true smash. Followed by The Razor’s Edge at 17.665 million. With High Voltage, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Let There Be Rock and For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) in the 12-13 million region, AC/DC have a total of 7 albums above 11.5 million!

Overall AC/DC‘s sales total 191,030,000. They’re well ahead of the Eagles and just behind Celine Dion on the all time artist list.

The following pages list their most successful songs as well as their records and achievements. Do not forget to check our amazing cross-artists lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge their position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Chartmasters.org.

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Analord

T.N.T. just crossed 500m on Spotify, their fifth song to do so. There are only two other 20th century acts who can match that, Guns N’ Roses with also five songs (Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door is at 509m) and of course Queen who have… eleven songs over 500m 😆

Analord

Oh I missed Elton John :

Rocket Man 788m
Your Song 620m
Tiny Dancer 583m
I’m Still Standing 579m
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 536m

Martin

There’s also Fleetwood Mac;
Dreams 1113m
The Chain 774m
Go Your Own Way 712m
Everywhere 582m
Landslide 519m

The Rolling Stones are getting there
Paint It Black 792m
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 552m
Sympathy For The Devil 462m
Start Me Up 459m
Gimme Shelter 457m

and obviously the RHCP, who have 4 from the 90s and 3 from the 00s.

Analord

I’m not including live versions though, I don’t think it makes much sense personally… In any case, Landslide has 488m streams so it will reach 500m very soon indeed.

Nick

The Beatles are also getting there too:

Here Comes the Sun–893m
Come Together–552m
Let It Be–509m
Hey Jude–470m
Yesterday–451m

Analord

I just looked at his digital sales and there are some wild differences when it comes to what used to be his most popular songs : Tiny Dancer 4.2m Your Song 2.7m Rocket Man 2.6m Bennie & The Jets 2.1m (338m streams) Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1.1m (224) I’m Still Standing 1.1m ! Can You Feel The Love Tonight 0.9m (238) Candle In The Wind 0.9m (129) Step Into Christmas 0.8m (192) Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 0.7m !! AC/DC’s Highway To Hell is also an interesting case, only 50% of Back In Black’s sales but now they both have… Read more »

Nick

That movie Rocket Man changed things. I think Elton’s streams were way lower prior to the movie, in fact I think Madonna was outstreaming him prior to the movie (could be wrong about that one though).

Analord

February 2018 (15 months before the movie) : Like A Prayer 85m Material Girl 63m Like A Virgin 58m Vogue 52m La Isla Bonita 46m Holiday 28m Into The Groove 24m Frozen 23m Papa Don’t Preach 23m Ray Of Light 17m Your Song 132m Rocket Man 130m Tiny Dancer 111m Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 83m Can You Feel The Love Tonight 69m Bennie & The Jets 68m Step Into Christmas 45m I’m Still Standing 38m Candle In The Wind 36m Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 36m As you can see, it was already very different from his digital sales, just… Read more »

Nick

Thanks for backing up with data! Interesting that Madonna’s streams are way worse than her digital sales. She outsold The Beatles, (due to them releasing their catalogue very late on itunes), Elvis, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Elton (by a lot) and U2. But now she lags behind all of them.

Analord

But that’s largely because she was still very successful in the 2000s, a song like 4 Minutes sold 5m copies for example, but Material Girl or Like A Virgin only sold 1m… Compared with Elton :

Tiny Dancer 4.2m
Your Song 2.7m
Rocket Man 2.6m
Bennie & The Jets 2.1m
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1.1m

So her back catalog was already much less popular despite her being much more relevant during the 2000s… She also sold more than AC/DC :

Back In Black 5.9m
Thunderstruck 4.3m
You Shook Me All Night Long 3.7m
Highway To Hell 3.1m
Hells Bells 2.1m

Nick

Great data, thank you!

Martin

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 8 months ago by Martin
Thomas Christiansen

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

Martin

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

Analord

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 »

Analord

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 😆