CSPC: Metallica Popularity Analysis



So, after checking all figures, what’s the most successful album by Metallica and how many overall albums sales equivalent have they achieved? Well, at this point we barely need to do the addition of all figures defined all over this article!

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales.


As expected, we have a clear winner here, and what a winner! Metallica‘s self-titled album is at 40,5 million CSPC’s sales worldwide, a figure it attained at some point in the past year.

All three pre-Metallica albums, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets and …And Justice For All generated each from 2 to 3 million album sales equivalent outside of the original albums, thus boosting their respective totals to 13,7 million, 15,3 million and 17,7 million.

Reload, whilst not massive catalogue seller like other titles, crosses the 10 million mark with its extra sales coming from the physical singles, digital downloads, streaming and other full length releases. Their last two albums, St. Anger and Death Magentic, only registered some marginal additional sales.

Overall, Metallica achieved 137,6 million CSPC’s sales, a truly massive total that let the band make it quite high on any all time list. But how high? You will have to keep reading Chartmasters, so stay tuned. For the time being, I hope you enjoyed this analysis.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, Chartmasters.org.

7 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.

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