CSPC: Guns N’ Roses Popularity Analysis

Guns N' Roses

Guns n’ Roses Career CSPC Results

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Guns N’ Roses 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.

#CoverAlbumTotal CSPCSales*StreamsTotal CSPC
Studio AlbumsOther LPsPhysical SinglesDigital SinglesLast verifiedAuto updateDaily Increase
1AppetiteAppetite For Destruction49,572,00030,770,00010,822,000840,000
Av.: 1,850
LD: 2,680
2GnrGnr Lies12,109,0009,940,0001,125,000273,000
Av.: 220
LD: 310
3UseUse Your Illusion I27,287,00018,010,0005,010,0001,197,000
Av.: 960
LD: 1,330
4UseUse Your Illusion II24,869,00018,800,0002,902,000990,000
Av.: 600
LD: 900
5TheThe Spaghetti Incident?6,775,0006,100,000269,000132,000
Av.: 80
LD: 130
6ChineseChinese Democraty3,110,0002,740,0003,0009,000
Av.: 80
LD: 130
*Pure sales figures updated on 03/01/18.
'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

This is it! Appetite For Destruction is a well known blockbuster, and while this result of 46,65 million equivalent sales may appear disappointing, it’s still incredibly high. The album is on par with the likes of U2‘s The Joshua Tree and Bruce Springsteen‘s Born In The U.S.A. while several millions ahead of the Beatles‘ Abbey Road and Metallica‘s eponymous album.

Both Use Your Illusion albums are up to almost 50 million combined. Of course, around 25 million a piece is less impressive, although still phenomenal, but one needs to note those records were released the same day. When we consider that radio playlists will only pick up one song from an artist at a time this performance is incredible. If we add to those constraints that this pair of albums are not as massive catalog sellers as Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, we realize the 18-months era of Use Your Illusion was one of the most profitable of all-time for the music industry.

GNR Lies did wonders for an EP made album that had only one single exploited. Then the specific nature of The Spaghetti Incident? make it harder to judge. Weighting its sales to the budget of its production and to expectations for it Chinese Democracy was a massive flop no matter how you look at it. Now that several key former members rejoined the band, including the cult guitarist Slash, will a possible new album be a success? Everyone is free to guess!

In the meantime, the cumulative tally of the Guns N’ Roses is up to 117,9 million album sales equivalent, a massive success considering the limited size of their catalog.

The following pages list her most successful songs as well as her 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 her 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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How does Appeticte for destruction sell in total less than the Metallica black album, given that in Canada and especially in the USA it has such superior numbers ?


I’d presume because Guns N’ Roses 2003 Greatest Hits album, takes sales away from Appetite, where as Metallica has no Greatest Hits to eat into its sales.


Appetict for destruction has higher numbers both in Canada and especially in the United States where it has well over 1,700,000 copies. The total copies of the two albums cannot be those if you add America + Europe + Australia + Asia.
The Greatest Hits counts relatively since it came out precisely because at that time catalog sales were down sharply, then it contains only 3 tracks, 5 covers and missing famous pieces like It’s so easy or Nightrain. The Greatest Hits can often be used to rediscover a band and increase not to decrease sales.


You’re average listener, consumer etc is more likely to go for an album that contains all of their hits. While It’s So Easy and Nighttrain are certainly still popular tracks, they are not that famous. Most general listeners, who are not really fans, I’d imagine, would not know these two tracks and I’d also imagine, they would probably pick an album with the three Appetite blockbusters and other more famous tracks such as November Rain, You Could Be Mine, Patience, Knocking On Heavens Door etc, things they are more likely to have heard, know or like. I agree though, I… Read more »


Maybe, but not necessarily, a greatest hits can also make an artist known and make the young man want to buy old albums, see the case of Queen, Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin. There are also albums that sell well in the early years and then drop dramatically in the long run. In the 80s, the average listener (or the occasional listener) used virgin cassette tapes to get to know an artist, perhaps because he liked only 3 or 4 pieces. With this theory Metallica with only one Greatest Hits would pass from 133 million albums sold to sell less… Read more »


Greatest Hits etc do eat into studio album sales, it’s a fact. Obviously some albums and artists, hold up better than others but even things like Pink Floyds Dark Side Of The Moon will have been affected by their compilation releases. If no compilation existed, a studio album would have to be bought, the fact they do, means a potential studio sale could be and probably is, in the case of most artists, replaced by a compilation sale. The point you make about GH, being a conduit to an artists studio albums, is valid and will be true in some… Read more »


If a potential studio sale is almost always replaced by a compilation sale then the artists are fools. Reasoning on a commercial level it is more profitable to sell more studio albums (having no other purchase option) than a single compilation. Metallica for the genre they make is not a single band regardless. I don’t understand why Metallica is not a very successful band at the moment: thanks to the lack of compilation catalog sales of their first 5 albums continue to increase, their last tour has grossed an enormity, with your reasoning if in the middle of the years… Read more »


Not really, look at the value Queens Greatest Hits, ABBAs Gold and Bob Marleys Legend have added to their respective careers. Even The Beatles, no slouches in the studio albums department, have a lot to thank 1 for. It’s not that straight forward. Sometimes the artist might have no say, as a Greatest Hits package might be part of a contract with their label. Some acts/genres quite clearly do not really shift studio albums beyond their initial release but a Greatest Hits can keep doing great business for them, because it conveniently compiles the tracks most people are likely to… Read more »


So for you Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers or Bon Jovi are a genre that does not move sales of studio albums beyond their initial release, despite the aforementioned collections ? Or with their label they put us back in the medium / long term? I have the impression that Metallica with a best of their first 5 albums would have been hugely penalized by the sales of the catalog in the studio (also because the first four albums more than 8/9 tracks do not have). The black album without Enter Sandman, The Unforgiven and Nothing else matters is enormously… Read more »


Most popular Guns or Nirvana for you?


September 17, 1991 Use Your Illusion Albums sold 500,000 copies in 2 hours. That was record at the time


thank you so much!!!


Can you please address the discrepancy between the amount of sales for Appetite for Destruction presented here which are 30,840,000 with the numbers presented in the ”CSPC: Top Selling Albums Ever (Pure)” page which are 30,770,000.

Thank you.


I think their albums are under-certified here in Brazil, they were giants here in the 90s, their clips were showing in prime time on the highest audience channel in the country(not to mention that MTV was an open TV channel in Brazil, which helped a lot the success of the band here), even though the Brazilian album certifications are wrong, the total number of sold albums remains the same, right?
If we count since the 90s, the only band that made more success here in Brazil than Guns n ‘roses was U2


Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection only 123k by 1992? Really? I’ts her best selling album in Brazil. I would think in too much more sales in the promotional period.


One of my favorites bands of all time, Too bad they didnt stay together, these guys these days could be as big as U2 and Rolling Stones, they’ve even succeeded in markets that AC/DC never got.


Wow, outstanding results with just 6 albums!

Thanks team.


Wow, they deubt was so massive

Thomas Christiansen

Incredible sales! I saw them on the Not in This Lifetime Tour, and they were surprisingly great! Played almost 3 hours! Hit after hit!

November Rain is astonishingly huge on youtube! Biggest pre-2000???

Oh, and I thought Nightrain would’ve been among their top 15 tracks.

Nuclear dolphin

I love these guys. Such a tragedy they couldn’t stay together for longer and make more albums. They were the greatest rock band of their time. Its great that kids today are still liking it. 🙂


İncredible report.But for chinese democracy ,they sold 1,3 million to best buy.And the album certificated platinium in US…so techinically they sold 1,3 million in US…

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