CSPC: Metallica Popularity Analysis

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Original Album Sales – Comments

1983 Kill ‘Em All – 7,300,000
1984 Ride The Lightning – 11,500,000
1986 Master Of Puppets – 12,300,000
1988 …And Justice For All – 15,500,000
1991 Metallica – 30,400,000
1996 Load – 11,700,000
1997 Reload – 8,500,000
1998 Garage Inc. – 6,500,000
2003 St. Anger – 5,400,000
2008 Death Magnetic – 5,600,000

With only 9 studio albums and 1 cover album, Metallica have sold nothing less than a massive 114,7 million studio albums worldwide, with the USA ranking naturally as their lead market. UK may not be their biggest one but, in the rest of Europe, they achieved a comparatively better success, especially in such places as Scandinavia and the German-speaking countries. Also interesting to note is the fact that they are absolutely huge in Latin America.

Their self-titled, now classic album from 1991 has reached 30 million in recent years, clearly leading this pack. Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, …And Justice For All and Load have all crossed the 10 million mark. Other two, Kill ‘Em All and Reload, aren’t all that far from that magic figure and will eventually get there at some point. Have they already reached 10 million equivalent sales via CSPC? Keep reading to find it out and also to see how more recent stuff has performed!

13 thoughts on “CSPC: Metallica Popularity Analysis”

  1. Great work again MJD! Kinda shocked how low their physical single sales are, but their digital sales makes that up. Impressive total as well!

    I hope MJD, that you can analysis on artists that dominated the early 2000s and had big albums like Shakira (Laundry Service), Usher (Confessions), Alicia Keys (Songs In A Minor) or Christina Aguilera (Stripped). Looking forward for the next one.

  2. Great article! However the Australian estimate for Metallica is too low given it was certified 12 x Platinum in june 2015 (840,000) units

    1. Hey Innocent Eyes,

      Good to see you here! Thanks for noticing that. I totally forgot. It has already been corrected.

  3. I just want to thank you for the great research and analysis.

    Metallica’s one of my favorite bands and i’m delighted that the younger generations continue to discover the fantastic material they released from 1983-1991.

    The Black Album is right on Appetite for Destruction’s heels…only 500,000 behind and considering the catalog sales, it’s going to surpass it sooner rather than later.

    1. Btw, in the analysis of the …And Justice For All album (page 5), the sales estimate is 15,000,000 but on the other pages in the article (page 12 and page 23) it’s 15,500,000 which probably means that page 5 is a typo.

  4. Great work again!

    “On the other hand, their debut Kill ‘Em All lacks a proper hit singles on its own, unlike the two other albums covered above.”

    I thought “Seek and Destroy” would be a huge streaming track. This early classic has been played at almost every concert of their entire career, and it’s quite big on youtube. One version has 27 mio views another has 25 mio. Easily the biggest from Kill ’em All and on par with (or bigger than) other early classics like “Creeping death”, “Ride the Lightning”, “Battery” and “Welcome Home Sanitarium”.

    I can’t believe “Seek and Destroy” only ranks 5th on Kill Em All in your streaming research!! Could spelling be an issue? Seek and Destroy, Seek n Destroy, Seek & Destroy…

    Thomas (Dane)

    1. Hi again Thomas!

      Yes, I was myself surprised when Hernan compiled this article at first. It seems the track was either unavailable / or had an incorrect count by then, since by now Seek & Destroy is indeed way ahead of the remaining songs from Kill ‘Em All! As of now, it has 23,2 million streams, The 4 Horsemen is on 14,5 million and both Hit the Lights and Whiplash are on 9,5/10 million.

      Their recent album / tour clearly boosted them as Enter Sandman is now almost on 200 million!

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