In one corner we have British band Queen with hits like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘We Are the Champions’; in the other Australian band AC/DC with hits like ‘Thunderstruck’ and ‘Highway to Hell.’ Which band comes out on top as the most popular?
Queen is more popular than AC/DC. While there is no arguing that these two bands are iconic legends, Queen has had more influence over the music industry as a whole. There are hundreds of artists who had credited Queen as influencing their musical stylings and the band has made a massive resurgence since the biopic film Bohemian Rhapsody was released.
Scroll down to read more about how we came up with this decision.
Comparing Queen vs. AC/DC Billboard Hot 100 Performance
One of the best ways to determine a band’s popularity is to compare their performance on the charts. So we had a look at Queen and AC/DC’s performance on the Billboard Hot 100.
With one band being from Australia and the other from the UK, we found that the Billboard charts were the best way to compare the bands because neither has the upper hand of the home country. The clear winner of the more popular artists on the Billboard Hot 100 is Queen.
Queen had a total of 24 songs make it onto the Billboard Hot 100. They also had two songs peak at number one; ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ in February 1980 and ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ in October of 1980.
They have four songs that also peaked within the top ten songs on the chart. Their lowest ranking song on the Hot 100 was ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ which peaked at number 86.
AC/DC can’t compete with these numbers. They have a total of 7 songs that have ever made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Of those 7 songs, the highest-ranking one was ‘Moneytalks’ which peaked at the number 23 position. Surprisingly enough, some of their more well-known songs like ‘Thunderstruck’ and ‘T.N.T’ never even ranked on the Hot 100.
One other huge title that Queen holds is that their song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is the most-streamed song of the 20th Century. It surpassed Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Guns N’ Roses ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine.’
You can watch Queen’s 1975 music video for their song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ here.
Comparing Album Sales
There is a joke in the book Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter by Neil Gaiman that says “Admittedly he was listening to a Best of Queen tape, but no conclusions should be drawn from this because all tapes left in a car for more than a fortnight metamorphose into Best of Queen albums.”
This line right here speaks volumes of the icon that the band has become. After the release of the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody in 2018, the band even had a massive resurgence that resulted in them having the highest album sales in 2019.
This was the same year that the TV show Good Omens came out on Amazon Prime featuring some of their greatest hits which also could have contributed to the resurgence. However, while Queen retains the title of the bestselling album in their home of England, that can’t be said for them in the US.
According to the RIAA, AC/DC’s album Back in Black is one of the all-time highest-selling albums in the US with over 25 million copies sold. It sits in the number 4 spot of the Top 100 Albums List.
Overall though, Queen has still sold more albums worldwide with 300 million total. AC/DC has sold 200 million albums worldwide.
Who Has More Influence? Queen or AC/DC
When looking at their overall influence throughout the years on other artists, both bands have made a huge impact. However, again, it looks like Queen comes out on top due to their widespread influence on more than just the rock genre.
While many say that AC/DC helped to change the face of rock forever, you’ll be hard-pressed to find artists who attribute the band as one of their main influencers. This is in stark contrast to Queen who has influenced rock icons like the Smashing Pumpkins and Kurt Cobain to pop sensations like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
Overall, we feel that Queen comes out ahead of AC/DC as the more popular band. Their potential to be more popular was also stunted due to the premature death of their frontman, Freddie Mercury, in 1991.