Album Sales

This is a list of the number of Metallica albums sold. I got this information from the RIAA. They are the people that track album sales and award Gold and Platinum Records. If an album goes Gold, it has sold 500,000 copies. If it is Platinum, it has sold 1 million copies. Multi-Platinum means that it has sold that many million copies (example: Double-Platinum is 2 million copies). This is probably the best way of telling which are the fan's favorite albums. These numbers are for platinum certification only. Some sources will claim higher sales for these albums.

According to the RIAA, Metallica is the 16th highest selling artist of all time in the USA. They have sold over 57 million albums. By comparison, The Beatles are the top selling artist with 166.5 million albums while Britney Spears has sold 28 million. Rounding out the top three are Elvis Presley (117.5 million) and Led Zeppelin (106 million).

With 14 million copies sold, Metallica (The Black Album) is tied for the 26th highest selling album of all time in the USA. The top three albums are Eagle's Greatest Hits (28 million), Michael Jackson's Thriller (26 million), and Pink Floyd's The Wall (23 million).

After 14 years, The Black Album is still #11 on the Top Pop Catalog chart. It has been on the chart for 700 weeks! And Justice For All is also consistently towards the top of the chart (except during Christmas time b/c of all the Christmas albums) and has been so for over 460 weeks. They won an award for these feats at the 1999 Billboard Music Awards: they were named Top Catalog Artist of the Year.

This info is up-to-date as of April 10, 2005.

Album (Year Released)Millions soldMonth Certified
Metallica (1991)14December 2003
...And Justice For All (1988)8June 2003
Master of Puppets (1986)6June 2003
Garage Inc. (1998)5January 2000
Ride The Lightning (1984)5June 2003
Load (1996)5June 2003
S & M (1999)5June 2003
Kill 'Em All (1983)3March 1999
Reload (1997)3November 1998
St. Anger (2003)2July 2003
Garage Days Revisited(1987)1July 1990