20 Best Selling Hard Rock + Metal Albums in the United States
In this list, we’re examining the Best Selling Hard Rock and Metal Albums in the U.S., taking a tour through the decades at the records that have been scooped up by millions and millions of fans. Using the RIAA as our guidebook, we combed through every hard rock and metal album that has earned at least a Diamond certification (10x Platinum, or 10 million copies shipped) to establish our baseline.
This landmark has not even been reached 100 times in the history of recorded music and only 20 times in our world of hard rock and metal. It’s an achievement that has become increasingly rare in the digital age in the wake of the fallout of traditional album sales. To accommodate the rising popularity of legal music streaming platforms, the metrics have been adjusted to build track equivalent streams into the ultimate album sales total.
Since this has been implemented, only one hard rock or metal record has reaped the benefit, but this new measurement is still new and will hopefully yield more Diamond (and Platinum) certifications for some of our favorite and most popular artists.
Prior to this colossal shift in consumer music consumption, a Diamond album was still a unicorn with the Platinum album awards being doled out seemingly to anyone with a chart-topping hit. Fans flocked to record stores on release day to be among the first to get their hands on a band’s new slab of music and to tirelessly listen to the single that roped them in in the first place.
With a smaller overall crop of bands populating the landscape, fans did not have as many options to weigh as to which band to spend their money on and the results were obvious: bands were collecting Platinum albums like trading cards.
In a sea of Platinum records, not even two dozen managed to distance themselves with the distinct honor of moving in excess of 10 million albums. So, as stated, this benchmark will be our starting point (and yours, too) when flipping through the gallery above of the Best Selling Hard Rock and Metal Albums in the U.S.!
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