Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about the Cult, Stevie Nicks/Deep Dish and AC/DC.


Dear Keith,

I have been a fan of the Cult for a good long while now. I recently saw the band's singer Ian Astbury enjoying living his Jim Morrison fixation as singer for the Doors of the 21st Century. It got me to wondering what the U.S. sales figures were like for this great U.K. rock act.

I know the group's biggest sellers were pre-Nielsen SoundScan, but are there any RIAA figures for the 1980's hits "Love," "Electric" and "Sonic Temple?" Or SoundScan figures for the later albums, from "Ceremony" through to the fine 2001 comeback, "Beyond Good and Evil?"

Many thanks in advance!


Ed Tyler

Hi Ed,

I've rounded up the sales for the Cult's albums in a list below. The group's post-Nielsen SoundScan (established in 1991) albums are listed with their U.S. sales figures. Meanwhile, I've also listed whether or not the pre-SoundScan released have been certified Gold (500,000 units shipped to U.S. retailers) or Platinum (1 million units) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

"Dreamtime" (1984, not certified by the RIAA)
"Love" (1985, Gold)
"Electric" (1987, Platinum)
"Sonic Temple" (1989, Platinum)
"Ceremony" (1991; 293,000)
"Pure Cult" (1993; 194,000)
"The Cult" (1994; 106,000)
"High Octane Cult" (1996; 173,000)
"Pure Cult: The Singles 1984-1995" (2000, 194,000)
"Rare Cult" (2000; 8,000)
"Best of Rare Cult" (2000; 29,000)
"Beyond Good and Evil" (2001; 177,000)


Hi Keith,

I heard that Stevie Nicks recently worked with dance duo Deep Dish on their forthcoming cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams." What's the scoop?

Daniel Matsumoto

Hi Daniel,

It's true, Deep Dish's new album, "George Is On," will feature a cover of Fleetwood Mac's No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, "Dreams." Even more interesting is that the band's Stevie Nicks will be singing on the track. Evidently, she enjoyed the demo that Deep Dish sent her and volunteered to sing new vocals for the track.

The album will be released July 12 via the Thrive label.

Deep Dish last reached the Billboard charts with last year's single "Flashdance." A semi-cover of Shandi's "He's a Dream," which was included on the soundtrack of the film "Flashdance," it reached No. 36 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, and was also a top 10 hit on the U.K. singles chart.


Hi Keith,

I was wondering if you could tell me how successful the AC/DC remasters that were released. It's been about two years since Epic re-released most of the AC/DC catalog after signing the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers.

I know the band's double-diamond [20 million units shipped in the United States as certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)] album "Back in Black" is still going strong (including the recent DualDisc version), but how about the rest of the catalog? I would love to see totals for all 16 albums, which were re-released in three batches during the spring/summer of 2003.

Thank you very much! Take care.

Thomas Christiansen

Hi Thomas,

AC/DC has been on my mind lately, too. I'm still waiting for that new studio album that the band has been working on for years now. Hopefully it might see the light of day before the end of the year -- but I'm not holding my breath.

But back to your question: Epic was pretty successful with its reissues of 16 of AC/DC's catalog albums. Here is a roundup of the sales for each since their release in 2003. Remember, these totals are only for the Epic re-issues in 2003 -- they are not combined with the totals from the older original Elektra releases, hence the small unit totals.

Batch One (February 2003)
"Back in Black" (962,000)
"Live" (475,000)
"Live" (Special Collector's Edition) (320,000)
"Highway to Hell" (325,000)
"High Voltage" (255,000)
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (227,000)

Batch Two (April 2003)
"The Razor's Edge" (198,000)
"For Those About to Rock We Salute You" (108,000)
"Who Made Who" (71,000)
"Powerage" (69,000)
"Let There Be Rock" (48,000)

Batch Three (July, 2003)
"If You Want Blood You've Got It" (72,000)
"Flick of the Switch" (41,000)
"Fly on the Wall" (40,000)
"'74 Jailbreak" (32,000)
"Blow Up Your Video" (30,000)