Rock Lives On

The backlist sales of music from the 1980s and 1990s trend towards hard rock:

AC/DC’s “Back in Black” (1980) last year sold 440,000 copies and has thus far sold 156,000 this year, according to the Nielsen SoundScan catalog charts, which measure how well physical albums older than two years old are selling. (All figures for this article were provided by Nielsen SoundScan.)

Those “Back in Black” numbers would make most contemporary CDs a success. Metallica’s self-titled 1991 album is altogether the second-biggest selling album of the Nielsen SoundScan era, which began in 1991. “Metallica” sold 275,000 copies last year.

Bon Jovi’s greatest-hits collection “Cross Road” last year sold 324,000 copies, while Guns N’ Roses “Appetite for Destruction” (1987) sold 113,000.

Well, yeah.