Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Best Selling Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of All Time

When it come to worldwide album sales, these are the hard rock and heavy metal heavyweights with the best-selling records. The numbers aren't exact as there's no body or association that tallies sales from around the world (the RIAA - Record Institution of America does only U.S. sales), but many sources agree on the following numbers for the most hard rock albums ever sold. As an aside, black is a good cover colour to go with if you want to sell tons of albums.

1. Back in Black - AC/DC (50+ million albums sold)

Released on July 25, 1980, Back in Black has attained a legendary status among AC/DC fans and rock fans in general. Produced by hard rock genius Mutt Lange, Back in Black was a tribute to former singer Bon Scott with it's all-black cover and dark subject matter like "Hells Bells" and the title track. The album brought the Australian rockers to the top of the rock and roll world with new vocalist Brian Johnson stepping in nicely for Scott. It's also the No. 2 selling album of all-time behind Michael Jackson's Thriller.

2. IV - Led Zeppelin (37+ million)

Led Zeppelin IV didn't have a title and no band name on the cover, and so became known as "Led Zeppelin IV". Released on Nov. 8, 1971 it was unnamed to avoid being put into any particular niche by the the media, who had been harsh on Zeppelin album reviews in the past. Backed by the epic "Stairway to Heaven", and classics like "Black Dog", "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Rock and Roll", IV is regarded by many as one of the greatest rock records of all-time and the sales certainly back that up.

3. Metallica - Metallica (30+ million)

When the "Black Album" came out on Aug. 12, 1991, many "original" Metallica fans quickly criticized the band for "selling out", but the album sure did sell and sell and sell. With Bob Rock at the production helm, the band wanted a bigger, leaner sound and they got it from the uber producer. With ample radio airplay for "Enter Sandman", mainstream music fans quickly picked up on Metallica and the band took off into the stratosphere to become one of the greatest bands of all time. "The Black Album" went to No. 1 in 10 countries - pretty amazing for a band that previously had no radio airplay and only one video. It's the heaviest record on this list.

4. Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses (29-30 million)

When Guns N Roses released Appetite for Destruction in July 1987, nobody really noticed (it went to No. 182 initially) save for a few metal fans who saw the band and heard the music as a welcome change from the endless glam/hair metal shlock coming out at the time. At first only bolstered by the video for "Welcome to the Jungle", the gunners kept touring, slowing building a fan base, and when "Sweet Child O' Mine hit the radio in 1988, the album took off and went to No. 1 a year after its release.

Nevermind - Nirvana (28-30 million)

Nirvana took the rock world by storm in September 1991 with the release of their second album, Nevermind, which took off thanks to the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single. But nobody knew how huge Nevermind was going to be -not the band, and not even Nirvana's label, Geffen, which anticipated sales of about 250,000 total. The album hit No. 1 in January, 1992, much to the chagrin of singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain, who didn't really want to become a famous rock star. The impact of the record spawned the grunge phenomenon and brought alternative rock to the forefront of the music industry.

1 comment:

  1. I bought absolutely all of those albums and listened to them all a surprising number of times cuz I really love all these bands. In addition, I was lucky to visit at least one time at the concerts of those bands. Prefer to buy the tickets right here