Even if you’re not a fan of its mega-hit songs or its new approach to the band, you can’t deny that Metallica‘s 1991 self-titled record, casually known as the Black Album, is a winner due to its sales record alone. As of 2012, the record has been certified 16x platinum, and the massive roll-out surrounding its 30th anniversary this year has proved that it shows no sign of fading into obscurity. Exactly how massive is the Black Album? So massive that just this past week, the record broke into the Billboard 200’s Top 10 — 29 years after it left.
According to Billboard, the Black Album saw a huge leap in sales following the release of its 30th anniversary addition, vaulting from . No. 158 to No. 9 on the Sept. 25-dated chart, earning 37,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 16 (up 397%) according to MRC Data. Of the 37,000 units earned for the week, album sales comprise 29,000 (up 1,365%), SEA units comprise nearly 7,000 (up 34%, equaling 9.17 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks) and TEA units comprise 1,000 (up 101%). All versions of the album, old and new, are combined for tracking and charting purposes.
The record was last in the top 10 on the Aug. 22, 1992 chart (at No. 10) and was last higher on the April 11, 1992 tally (No. 6). But it should be noted that even though it only broke through the Top 10 again this week, the album was still in the Top 200!
Congratulations to the Four Horseman for this massive triumph. Of course, what makes Metallica so damn great isn’t just that they’re massive — it’s that they still give a shit about the fans. If you want proof of that, you only need to read about how last week, the dudes played a surprise gig at a 500-person venue in San Francisco with a first-come-first-serve ticket policy. Check out the full setlist and footage of the gig below:
Whiplash (first time as an opener)
Ride the Lightning
The Memory Remains
Now That We’re Dead
Holier Than Thou
No Leaf Clover
Sad but True
Moth Into Flame
Fade to Black
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Master of Puppets
Seek & Destroy
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Words by Chris Krovatin