CSPC: Guns N’ Roses Popularity Analysis

Guns N' Roses

Original Album Sales – Comments

1987 Appetite For Destruction – 30,770,000
1988 GNR Lies – 9,940,000
1991 Use Your Illusion I – 18,010,000
1991 Use Your Illusion II – 18,800,000
1993 The Spaghetti Incident? – 6,100,000
2008 Chinese Democracy – 2,740,000

A mere six albums released. One of them (GNR Lies) was an EP converted into a quickly made album. Two others (Use Your Illusion I&II) were released simultaneously making it hard to promote. A fourth set (The Spaghetti Incident?) was a cover album. A fifth release (Chinese Democracy) took 15 years and almost as many millions to be recorded featuring an all new band lineup compared to their debut album with only lead singer Axl Rose and keyboardist Dizzy Reed.

In spite of this quite short discography, and so few standard releases, the band amassed more than 87 million album sales, an outstanding average of 14,5 million copies sold.

The band’s sales are clearly not only restricted to the original album sales as they released a decent selling live album, as well as one of the biggest compilations of the last 15 years, the 2004 package Greatest Hits. While this release slowed down catalog results of original albums Appetite For Destruction is still achieving notable success year after year.

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The youtube stats for November Rain are just insane. 2 billion views? There are popular acts now that would kill for those kind of views. I wonder how many of them will still be getting these kind of stats in 30 years? I have always been curious though on why November Rain does even better than Sweet Child O Mine on youtube. Sweet Child was much bigger in it’s initial release and does much better than November Rain on Spotify.


I remember there being a bit of a furore about the track back in 91/92. I recall it being referred to as their Stairway to Heaven, due to it’s length, epic nature and extended guitar solo. The video was quite talked about too, which I think they spent a preposterous amount on. As to it’s Youtube popularity, maybe the actual video has it’s own popularity. While not exactly the same or on the same scale, I’d imagine a lot views for The Prodigys Smack My Bitch Up is to see the video, not so much to hear the song. Maybe… Read more »


That’s true, it’s still referred to in those terms to this day. But it’s popularity endures (just like Stairway).


There’s plenty of similar cases, Aerosmith’s Crazy being their most viewed video while it’s only their 5th most streamed song…etc., music videos aren’t just about music.


True, take The Beatles. At face value it seems crazy that Don’t Let Me Down, their 29th most popular track on Spotify, is their most viewed video/track on Youtube. IMO it’s clearly the event and the live footage of it, the legendary and iconic Apple Records roof top concert, by the band, that’s actually getting the views.


The song was featured in the Thor film. That soundtrack boost from Marvel is huge nowadays.


While I agree with you, that a song in a Marvel film helps give it a boost, November Rain has been one of the most streamed videos on YouTube for years, way prior to its inclusion in Thor.


AfD reaches 50 million EAS! What a timeless classic!