Album sales of the most famous metal bands in America?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mountain Cowboy, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Mountain Cowboy

    Mountain Cowboy Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    These are RIAA certified album sales for most famous metal acts (worldwide):

    Metallica - 63 million
    Ozzy Osbourne - 27 million
    Black Sabbath - 15 million
    Megadeth - 9.5 million
    Judas Priest - 9.5 million
    Iron Maiden - 7 million
    Pantera - 7 million
    Dio - 3 million
    Motorhead - not even a Gold album

    How would you analyze presented album sales of these bands? In your opinion do these sales express their real popularity in the USA?
     
    Stephen J likes this.
  2. four sticks

    four sticks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Motley Crue should be in there with a couple million in sales. Slayer had a few Gold albums so I'd assume they are at a million atleast.
    Pantera you can chalk up to the bar being set super low in the 90's.
     
    Ivand, keefer1970 and mikedifr0923 like this.
  3. mikedifr0923

    mikedifr0923 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    That's sales in the US in total, right? Just wants to make sure because Maiden and Metallica definitely have more than that worldwide.

    The top 3 are right


    I would say Maiden is more popular than Megadeth despite album sales, probably priest and pantera as well. Megadeth could only fill bigger places on their own for a short period of time. Priest and Maiden still fill bigger places on their own, and pantera did until the end. I think 1 or 2 albums makes up those Megadeth sales
     
  4. Platterpus

    Platterpus Forum Resident

    Location:
    MPLS
    What about AC/DC - Back In Black?
     
  5. Mountain Cowboy

    Mountain Cowboy Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Canada
    I don't think it's metal.
     
    Galley likes this.
  6. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    The answer to your question about RIAA certs reflecting USA popularity is "yes and no". If we are comparing the popularity of a metal act with that of non-metal acts, then "no", because metal acts generally tended to be more popular overall than their record sales would indicate.

    E.g., Iron Maiden only sold about 8 million albums in the USA, but there's no doubt that over the years they have played hundreds of concerts in the USA where attendance exceeded 10,000, and sold a commensurate amount of t-shirts and other merchandise as well. They generated as much overall revenue - from record sales, concerts, and merchandise - as many pop acts that sold 2 or even 3 times as many records did. They were thus considerably more popular overall, in terms of the general pop music culture, than just their record sales would indicate. Ditto for Judas Priest and Black Sabbath.

    But if we are comparing the metal acts just among themselves, then "yes", the RIAA certifications accurately reflect the popularity of metal acts relative to each other in the USA. Metallica is way ahead of anyone, and the only one even close to their league is Ozzy, if you combine his sales as a solo act and with Black Sabbath, he's about 2/3 as popular as Metallica, with everyone else far behind him. There is no question that Metallica is far and away the most popular metal act ever in the USA, with Ozzy all alone in second, and the RIAA certs capture that.

    PS: I like your strict definition of 'metal', which IMO properly excludes "hard rock" bands like AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Van Halen, and the "Hair" acts of the 1980s, like Motley Crue and Poison.
     
  7. Harry Hood

    Harry Hood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    England
    Ozzy wasn't hair metal? I must have imagined all those videos then.
     
  8. four sticks

    four sticks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Motley Crue - 35 million in US sales
     
    Ivand likes this.
  9. DPK

    DPK Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lexington, SC
    Anthrax has had five gold albums. Their total album sales have gotta be in the multi-millions.
     
    The Hud likes this.
  10. tim185

    tim185 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Hang on, cant be right. No way known Maiden has only 7 million, even if its just in the US I would have thought. If it is world wide, its just flat out incorrect.
    Metallica worldwide would be pushing 90 million I reckon, but if it is just the US, its would be no where near 63 million. So overall, its confusing.
     
  11. Bathory

    Bathory Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    black sabbath is not metal. nor is ozzy osbourse solo. its rock.
    Motorhead is also rock, not metal.

    just saying
     
    BryanA-HTX likes this.
  12. Oakvale

    Oakvale Active Member

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Motorhead's popularity has always been pretty much the same within their core fanbase, which hasn't really grown much since the beginning, just stayed the same in number. Still, it is weird to see how little they actually sold stateside. Their concerts were always packed for sure though!

    And they are most definitely metal, Lemmy's contrarian classification aside. They did have a pretty large hand in creating Speed Metal as it stands today.
     
  13. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    According to Wikipedia Maiden has sold 90 million world wide.
     
    danielbravo likes this.
  14. Bathory

    Bathory Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    motorhead is rock. because lemmas voice is raspy, their m metal, loud guitars mean they are metal. nope. they are a rock band.
     
  15. Oakvale

    Oakvale Active Member

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    This is U.S. only from my understanding. Though their U.S. total does seem rather off.
     
  16. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Mr.Sean, gitters, eric777 and 4 others like this.
  17. Bathory

    Bathory Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    hahah some people say they are metal, so it must be definitive, right ? nope.

    they are not metal. they are a rock and roll band.

    this can argue for weeks. i know they are a rock band, and you "think" they are some crazy metal band. thats fine. agree to disagree.
     
  18. BryanA-HTX

    BryanA-HTX Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Depends on your definition of metal is. I don't consider Motorhead to be heavy metal (nor did Lemmy), and Black Sabbath is metal but with an asterisk, because IMO it wasn't until Judas Priest when heavy metal truly came into its own though they certainly got the ball rolling.
     
  19. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    I don't think it's off that much. Pretty sure Live After Death is the only Platinum seller. And since it's a double lp album, the count is half. So even if they went all other went gold, it seems reasonable to me. But, these guys do real world tours. The were in the Soviet Block before the wall fell.
     
  20. four sticks

    four sticks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thank you. Pretty soon revisionist history will dismiss all of the bands who defined and laid the foundations and 'metal' will be defined by third rate bands post 1990.
     
    ianuaditis, Mr.Sean, gitters and 3 others like this.
  21. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Dissenting opinions, of course, will be part of the public record.

    But the verdict stands.
     
  22. Pouchkine

    Pouchkine Forum Resident

    Mötley Crüe in the US

    TFFL 1X Platinum
    SATD 4X Platinum
    TOP 4X Platinum
    GGG 4X Platinum
    DF 6X Platinum
    DOD 2X Platinum
    MC Gold
    GS Gold
    GH Gold
    COS 1xPlatinum
    RWAC 1xPlatinum
    GH 1XPlatinum

    So that's over 25M not 35M
     
  23. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mt. Kisco, NY
    I would say that Maiden is much more popular than Priest and Megadeth in the US. Maiden plays sold out arena tours and Priest plays theaters while Megadeth opens for the Scorpions...
     
  24. congresstart

    congresstart Forum Resident

    Motley Crue, AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Van Halen are in no way metal. Motorhead were heavy rock.
     
  25. four sticks

    four sticks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the detail, I saw both numbers reported but 25 seems to be correct.
     
    Pouchkine likes this.

Share This Page