METALLICA’S “BLACK ALBUM” HITS 16 MILLION IN SALES

metallicawithnewstead Metallica’s self-titled 1991 album has hit a new sales threshold. The album, which continues to be the best-selling release of the Nielsen SoundScan era, has become the first album to sell 16 million copies since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991, reports Keith Caulfield of Billboard.

Metallica — often referred to as The Black Album because of its stark cover art — sold another 3,000 copies in the week ending May 25th. That brings its cumulative total to 16,002,000.

SoundScan began tracking U.S. music sales in 1991. Its point-of-sale data was first used to compile the Billboard 200 albums chart on May 25th, 1991. Metallica marked the group’s first number one that year, when it debuted atop the list.

Metallica became the biggest-selling album of the SoundScan era in the week ending December 20th, 2009, when it overtook Shania Twain’s Come On Over. Twain’s album is currently in second place on the list, with 15.57 million.

Metallica and Come On Over are the only two albums that have sold more than 15 million copies in the SoundScan era. There have been 22 releases that have shifted at least 10 million. The most recently-released title to reach the 10 million plateau was Adele’s 2011 album 21. (Its sales now stand at 10.94 million.)

On the most current Billboard 200 chart, Metallica climbs from No. 155 to No. 144, marking its 307th week on the chart. That continues to be the longest chart run of any title since the tally began using SoundScan data.

Since the Billboard 200 became a regularly-published weekly chart in 1956, Metallica‘s run is the sixth-longest. (Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon has the most weeks on the chart, with 861.)

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source: billboard.com

Comments

  1. Thank you, Bob Rock.

    Dana from here :)

  2. Michael M says:

    Wasn’t my favorite. Sometimes I wonder if I would like it more if it wasn’t so over-played at the time.

    They redeemed themselves, in my opinion, with Death Magnetic…..audio compression issues aside.

    • I agree, Mike. I think it has some great tracks. But because it is so overplayed..commercialized, and repetitively shoved down our throats tarnishes the quality. I change the radio channel whenever a tune from this album is played.

      • Michael says:

        What?

        Holier than thou
        Through the Never
        Of Wolf and man
        The God that Failed
        My Friend of Misery
        The Struggle Within

        These are songs they rarely played on the radio, and still don’t.

        Fantastic album.

        • TOTALLY AGREE, GREAT POINT TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH – WHAT OVERPLAYING IS EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT THAT RUINS THE ALBUM??

          ALSO BLAME THE RADIO STATIONS!!! NOT THE ARTISTRY AND AESTHETICS OF THE SONGS AND ALBUM.

          WOW! METALLICA DETRACTORS CONTINUE TO BE MORONS FOR 23 YEARS STRONG

        • Chuck Rand says:

          What would be cool and funny is to release on of those songs as single today and see if it holds up. I’d bet it would. My choice would be “Misery.”

  3. I decided to play this album recently in the car on my way to and from work. I hadn’t listened to it at the time for about 5 years I’m guessing, I had forgotten what a fantastic album it is from start to finish.

    • MORE PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE THE APPROACH YOU HAVE TO MUSIC. I HAD THE SAME SITUATION HAPPEN TO THIS ALBUM AS WELL AS MANY OTHERS THAT FANS TARE APART FOR BEING “OVERPLAYED” OR OTHER STUPID REASONS

      • Tom, is the “caps lock” button stuck on your keyboard? If not, you should know that typing your opinions in all capital letters does not make them any more impressive.

  4. It never fails. If I love an album, it could be huge or it could bomb. If I hate an album, it could be huge or it could bomb. But if I think an album is just mediocre, it’s ALWAYS HUGE. Hysteria, Dr. Feelgood, The Black Album… I don’t think any of them suck, but none of them make me jump for joy, either. They’re all just kinda blah to me. As for Metallica specifically, I think Death Magnetic is the only truly great album they’ve done since And Justice For All.

  5. Metal Warrior says:

    Death Magnetic= Thrash Bombast period.

  6. Michael M says:

    To the point of the article: that’s quite an impressive achievement and they deserve high regards for it.

    I wonder what % Metallica negotiated on the deal..?

  7. Eric Heaton says:

    IMO, the black album was there last good album…I agree that its overplayed tho….radio does that to a lot of artists…theres a reason why it’s overplayed and death magnetic and load or reload isnt…

    • YES, BECAUSE ROCK IS NO LONGER THE FORCE IT WAS IN 91. RADIO WOULDN’T PLAY A GREAT ROCK SONG FROM ANYONE NOWADAYS.

      • Chuck Rand says:

        Debatable. Living in the Atlanta area where ther is a real dearth of rock radio outlets, KORN, Bullet for My Valentine, Godsmack, Buck Cherry, and Sabbath still receive intermittent attention. A little Crue slip in now and again, too.

  8. I think this album is fantastic but, because several songs have been way overplayed on radio, XM/Sirius, sports venues, etc. I rarely listen to it anymore, even though it’s probably their best album (my personal favorite Metallica album is ‘Ride the Lightning’). What I do find myself listening to the most over the past several years are the two albums most fans didn’t care for after the ‘Black’ album and that is ‘Load’ and ‘Re-Load’. These two albums have actually aged quite well and I believe both now are really fantastic. I find it interesting that when these two were initially released I didn’t care for either of them but, now I think it’s two of their better ones. It’s amazing, how over time an album(s) can actually improve.

    • I actually loved the Black Album and really liked Load and Reload from the day any of the records were released. Never had a problem with 90s Metallica unlike some who still rip them apart after delivering the awesome Death Magnetic , just because hating Metallica is fashionable to these “tough” guys

  9. Richman says:

    I bought the cassette, CD and I bought the digital version on my Kindle so I’ve done my part. THE MOB RULES by SABBATH is my biggest buy. I purchased the Vinyl, tape, CD and digital box. That is 4.

  10. Ryan B. says:

    When I saw them on the Death Magnetic Tour, I realized just how big this album was because outside of something like the song Master of Puppets, everything off this album was what was getting people all jacked up and crazy while me and the “older folks” were losing our shit when we realized we were hearing the first strains of Hit the Lights or Fight Fire With Fire, you could literally see the energy in the arena go down because no one in there seemed to know what it was. Just a much younger crowd than I was expecting, and apparently Mom or Dad never let them listen to the first two albums.

    • I WOULDN’T CONSIDER THOSE WHO WERE EXPOSED TO “JUSTICE” AND BLACK ALBUM AS YOUNGER ANYMORE – GOT TO SAY SAME FOR LOAD AND RELOAD TOO

  11. metalmania says:

    Black album isn’t my favorite, but I do like it. I was into them since around “Master of Puppets”, so the older stuff is my preference. Like a lot of bands that get massively popular world wide, how much you like these huge albums often depends on when you became a fan. The “big break” albums, especially for heavy rock bands, usually coincides with a mellowing out to some extent. The dreaded “going commercial”. Then the hardcore old school fans cry sellout, while the new somewhat tempered sound of the band suddenly appeals to 1000% more people. I can’t really blame the bands I guess, massive success sounds pretty appealing. I think Metallica struck a pretty good balance with the Black album, they were already on a trajectory to be pretty big and just released the perfect album for the time. Probably the only songs I’m kind of tired of from this album are “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters” – they’re overplayed because they’re the “safest” songs for radio to play. Production issues aside, I love “Death Magnetic” – I am one of the old school fans, and I think it’s a return to form. Another one like that and I’ll be pretty happy.

  12. Anthony says:

    Didn’t like it then. Still don’t care for it now. Sounds too ‘polished’ or ‘shiny’ to me. It sounds like they tried ‘too hard’ to make it simple. ( compared to Justice…, Puppets, etc…). I’m not one of the folks who thinks they ‘sold out’ either. I just don’t care for the songs. Too many people started forming opinions of metallica after that album. You got the, “they sold out!!!”, the, “bob rock turned them soft!!!”, the, “They cut their hair, now they suck!!!!!”, the ” They’re playing orchestra music, now they suck!!!!!” , the ” they’re making a movie, now they suck!!!!” You get it. ( and I didn’t even mention napster or Lou reed)
    Fact is, I think ‘Load’ is one of the best metallica albums ever. Although when someone says that, usually one of the above mentioned critiques comes out. That was a darker, gritty-er, rougher sounding record. There is no doubt that James’ voice had never sounded better, and has never sounded that good since. Most of all, I just think the songs are better. I think I saw Jerry Cantrell on tv recently. Wonder if anybody bitched at him for cutting his hair? Ha ha. Could you imagine if Lars never cut his hair? He would look like the drummer to ‘The Kentucky Headhunters’. Imagine the bitching people would have then. Even though I didn’t care for the black album, I still think its cool that it has reached this level of sales. It still says a lot for rock/metal fans through all these years of changing musical styles. I think someone once wrote something about following their instincts, not a trend. Hmmm. Who was that??

  13. I was a teenager when Metallica was at their best. Kill Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets and …And Justice For All were earth shaking, groundbreaking masterpieces. Metallica were heroes to a legion of metalheads. Then the “Black Album” came out and I felt so let down and I know I wasn’t alone. We’ve all heard how they wanted to writer more simple, straightforward songs. The fact is that the music was dull and uninspiring. But it got worse when the”Load of Shit” album came out. I admit I bought the Black Album the day it was released, listened to it two or three times and haven’t listened to it since. Most of the 16 million copies were bought by uninformed, bandwagon jumping posers who probably would have never gotten into those classic 1980’s albums. So who cares how many copies it sold. It doesn’t make it their greatest album. It’s one of the biggest commercial sellouts of all time.

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