Ask Billboard

Keith answers questions about Suede, Kid Rock, Green Day, Blink-182 and more!

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Keith Caulfield at Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Dear Keith,

I've just recently discovered the British rock group Suede (known as the London Suede here in the U.S. due to legal reasons). While the group never achieved great success here in the States, I've done research and found that the four studio albums by the group that were released here in the States all charted on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart, indicating that there was a small, but loyal fan base for the group here in the mid to late '90s.

I have been unable to locate information regarding actual U.S. sales numbers for the group however, and was wondering if you could provide information regarding SoundScan sales figures for their albums "The London Suede," "Dog Man Star," "Coming Up" and "Head Music."

Arthur Williams
Camarillo, Calif.

Hi Arthur,

Thanks for the question!

Suede, or the London Suede in the U.S., charted its first four studio albums on our Top Heatseekers chart from 1993 to 1999. (Top Heatseekers is our chart for new and developing artists, defined as those that have never had an album chart in the top 100 of the Billboard 200 chart.) None of the band's albums ever charted on the Billboard 200.

The band's fifth studio set, 2002's "A New Morning," was seemingly not issued in America and thus did not chart. The group disbanded in 2003.

Here is a recap of their charting albums on Top Heatseekers and how much they sold in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Title, Year of Release, Peak, Sales
"Suede;" 1993; No. 14; 105,000
"Dog Man Star;" 1994; No. 35; 36,000
"Coming Up;" 1997; No. 17; 40,000
"Head Music;" 1999; No. 25; 26,000

The band also released the compilation "Sci Fi Lullabies" in 1997, and while it never charted, it has sold 19,000 in the U.S.



My friends and I have a bet going on right now. We are trying to figure out who sold the most album copies between Kid Rock, Green Day and Blink-182. If you could either let me know of a Web site I can check that out with, or what the answer is that would be great. Thanks!

Sabrina O'Brien

Hello Sabrina,

This is an easy question, sort of.

Nielsen SoundScan, our sister company that tracks music sales, was established in 1991. While both Blink-182 and Green Day saw their careers start after that, Kid Rock released at least one album before 1991. So, we're missing a bit of his sales for that album ("Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast"). However, since Kid Rock didn't really gain widespread popularity until 1998 when "Devil Without a Cause" was released, it's safe to assume we're not missing a lot of sales for "Grits."

So, here we go.

Green Day has sold more albums in the U.S. than Kid Rock or Blink-182. Green Day has shifted 23 million while Kid Rock and Blink-182 have moved 20.7 million and 12.8 million, respectively.


Hi Keith,

Ok, you have to spill the beans here. There's still another month to the release of AC/DC's much anticipated "Black Ice" album, so how did they land seven albums on (last) week's Top Pop Catalog Albums chart including "Back In Black" at No. 1?

How many did each of these sell and is it true that the AC/DC catalog sold a staggering 100,000 copies (last) week!

Is Wal-Mart somehow behind all of this?

Finally if you could list each of their albums' sales since they were remastered a few years ago you've truly made my day!

Thanks a lot,
Thomas Christiansen
Copenhagen, Denmark

Hello Thomas,

Here is what I wrote in last week's Billboard magazine (dated Sept. 27, 2008):

"As the march towards the release of AC/DC's Wal-Mart-exclusive set 'Black Ice' nears, the retailer's sale pricing and promotion of the band's catalog places seven of the group's titles on Top Pop Catalog Albums this week.
'Back in Black' earns its third overall week at No. 1 (up 147%) while titles at Nos. 15, 19, 23, 26, 30 and 49 all increase in sales by more than 100%."

That was the second time AC/DC has charted seven titles simultaneously on Catalog. Only three other acts have matched or surpassed the feat: the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and the Grateful Dead.

The seven albums in question sold a combined 35,000 last week.

Combined, all of AC/DC's available albums sold 51,000 in the week ending Sept. 14. In the week ending Sept. 21, the band's albums moved another 48,000.

So far in 2008, AC/DC's catalog of albums have sold 752,000. In 2007, its catalog shifted 1.1 million.

"Black Ice" is the band's first studio album since 2000's "Stiff Upper Lip," which debuted and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. It has sold 937,000 in the U.S.