SOURCE: Metallica

May 29, 2014 09:00 ET

Metallica's "Black Album" Sets New Sales Record

Already the Best Selling Album in Nielsen SoundScan History, Landmark Album Passes 16 Million Mark; Metallica Continues Its Reign as the No. 1 Charting Album of the Nielsen SoundScan Era -- 307 Weeks and Counting

SAN RAFAEL, CA--(Marketwired - May 29, 2014) - Metallica's self-titled fifth studio album (commonly referred to as "The Black Album"), already the best-selling album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, has become the first album to scan over 16 million units in SoundScan's history.

In addition to this milestone, "The Black Album" continues to hold the record for the most weeks spent on the Billboard 200 chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era. At 307 weeks on the Billboard 200, it is also the third longest charting studio album (following the transcendent releases Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Carole King's Tapestry) and the sixth longest charting album of any kind in Billboard history. A notable portion of those 307 weeks is the current run of 20 consecutive weeks that "The Black Album" has spent on the Billboard 200 in 2014. This is due in large part to the band's performance on the 56th Annual Grammy Awards on January 26th, followed two days later by the release of Metallica Through the Never on all home video formats.

Produced by Bob Rock, Metallica was released on August 12, 1991, and debuted at No. 1 a week after its release marking the band's first chart-topping album. It has since been certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum in 34 countries, and received a Diamond certification in the United States in 1997 for 10 million albums sold. "The Black Album" also spawned five hit singles including "Enter Sandman," "The Unforgiven," "Nothing Else Matters," "Wherever I May Roam," and "Sad But True"; all of which have earned gold, platinum, or multi-platinum certification by the RIAA.

Metallica toured for three years in support of "The Black Album", playing over 300 shows around the world, including the infamous Monsters of Rock show in Moscow in the fall of 1991 at Tuschino Airfield. The concert, billed as the first free, outdoor Western rock concert in Soviet history drew an estimated crowd of 1.6 million.

"The Black Album" earned Metallica some of the best reviews of their career. Rolling Stone hailed the album as one of the "Essential Recordings of the '90's" and said that the songs "seemed destined to become hard-rock classics." England's Q Magazine included the album in its "Best Metal Albums of All Time" and declared that the album "Transformed them from cult metal heroes into global superstars." Spin Magazine proclaimed the album a "burnished black gem," and Entertainment Weekly asserted in its review that "Metallica may have invented a new genre: progressive thrash."

About Metallica
Formed in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, Metallica have become one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history. Having sold 110 million albums worldwide, Metallica is the third highest selling artist in the United States in SoundScan History, behind only Garth Brooks and The Beatles. They have scored several multi-platinum albums, including 1991's Metallica (commonly referred to as "The Black Album"), which is the best selling album in history of SoundScan scanning 16 million albums in the United States alone. Their last studio album, Death Magnetic, was certified platinum just six weeks after it debuted atop the Billboard Top 200 Album chart in October 2008. Death Magnetic charted at #1 in 32 countries. Metallica have also garnered numerous awards and accolades, including nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, and multiple MTV Video Music Awards, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009. The band celebrated its 30th-Anniversary in 2011 with a week's worth of fan club concerts at the Fillmore Theater in San Francisco, CA. In 2012, Metallica unveiled a brand new stage in Mexico City that featured iconic elements that spanned its 30-year career and is featured in the film Metallica Through the Never. They played eight shows to nearly 180,000 fans at the Sports Arena in Mexico City. Picturehouse released Metallica Through the Never in North America on September 27, 2013. The music-driven, 3D motion picture film immerses audiences in a bracing, raw and visceral cinematic experience with spectacular live performance footage of Metallica's most iconic songs -- created exclusively for film -- combined with a bold, narrative story featuring imagery drawn from the band's trailblazing iconography. In December 2013, Metallica performed a rare concert (headphones) in Antarctica and became the first band to play all seven continents in seven months. Metallica performed "One" with Chinese Pianist and Grammy Ambassador Lang Lang on the 56th Annual Grammy Awards on January 26th and two days later Metallica Through the Never was released on DVD and Blu-Ray. The band is about to embark on a tour across Europe including their first headline slot at the Glastonbury Music Festival on June 28, 2014.