Metallica’s 1991 self-titled album, also known as The Black Album, is approaching 17 million sales in the United States while cresting over 31 million worldwide.
These sales aren’t mostly from days gone by either – people just keep buying the album on a week-to-week basis and confusing drummer Lars Ulrich in the process. Metallica has sold so well that it's now become one of the only four albums in history, of any genre, to be on the Billboard 220 for 550 non-consecutive weeks.
According to Forbes, Metallica joins Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon from 1973, Bob Marley And The Wailers’ Legend greatest hits from 1984, and Journey’s Journey’s Greatest Hits from 1988 in that upper echelon of sales. Which not only makes it the youngest album to hit that milestone, but also the second non-greatest hits album to do so.
I think Metallica's success really boils down to it being the record that makes metal accessible to people who aren't in the genre. It's a little heavy, it's very radio-friendly, and it's an excellent bridge into maybe getting into some harder thrash and beyond. It's also a masterclass in how to write a great, catchy metal song.
Metallica's accolades continue. They were named one of the top 10 earning bands of the year, one of the highest grossing touring artists of the decade and world's biggest touring act, the band ranked in the top 10 on Forbes' list of the highest earning artists of the year.
It remains to be seen if 2020 will be as fruitful for the band as 2019. So far, they have scheduled five major festival performances next summer, saying those are their only North American dates next year. They also have a South American tour scheduled for April and May. Get dates and ticket deals here.
- Epicenter (May 1-3) at its new location at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC [Tickets]
- Welcome To Rockville (May 8-10) at its new location at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL [Tickets]
- Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival (May 15-17) at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, OH [Tickets]
- Louder Than Life (September 18-20) at Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center in Louisville, KY [Tickets]
- Aftershock (October 9-11) at Discovery Park in Sacramento, CA [Tickets]