Saturday, 23 January 2010

Music: All-Time Best Selling Heavy Metal Bands

Also check out the 50 Best Heavy Metal Albums of All Time, as selected by heavy metal fans.

The list below is a summary of the all-time best selling heavy metal bands. The album sales data was mainly derived from RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) web-site, and therefore generally reflects US-based sales.

The sales total for each band is the sum of all studio albums (including the more noteworthy EPs) that have been certified by the RIAA as Platinum (1 million and over in sales). See this list of top selling metal albums for the source used to compile the band data. Compilations and live albums, which generally include little or no original material, are excluded from the band totals. Albums that did not achieve a Platinum certification are also excluded, as are partial sales (between the million landmarks), so the total sales values shown are approximations.

There is no end to the arguments about what constitutes heavy metal. This list is intended to broadly define the genre, and in addition to traditional metal bands, includes artists mainly active in the alt-metal, nu-metal, prog-metal and industrial metal genres, as well as artists who straddle the metal/hard rock and metal/grunge sounds.

The borderline between metal and non-metal needs to be drawn somewhere. To help define this line as far as this list is concerned, the following bands were not considered metal: Bad Company, The Black Crowes, Boston, Cheap Trick, Creed, Foreigner, Free, Heart, Journey, Meat Loaf, Nickelback, Pearl Jam, Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, REO Speedwagon, Rolling Stones, Santana, Sex Pistols, Status Quo.

Please let me know if any significant heavy metal bands have been missed, and I'll edit and update the list as needed.

The All-Time Best Selling Heavy Metal Bands:
1. Led Zeppelin: 88 Million
2. AC/DC: 62 Million
3. Metallica: 54 Million
4. Van Halen: 50 Million
5=. Aerosmith: 39 Million
5=. Guns N' Roses: 39 Million
7. Bon Jovi: 29 Million
8. Def Leppard: 28 Million
9. Ozzy Osbourne: 21 Million
10. Motley Crue: 19 Million

11. ZZ Top: 18 Million
12=. Limp Bizkit: 17 Million
12=. Nirvana: 17 Million
14=. Korn: 15 Million
14=. Rush: 15 Million
16. Whitesnake: 14 Million
17. Poison: 11 Million
18=. Alice In Chains: 10 Million
18=. Black Sabbath: 10 Million
18=. Linkin Park: 10 Million
18=. Nine Inch Nails: 10 Million

22. Rage Against The Machine: 9 Million
23=. The Jimi Hendrix Experience: 8 Million
23=. Soundgarden: 8 Million
23=. Scorpions: 8 Million
23=. Staind: 8 Million
23=. Ted Nugent: 8 Million
23=. Tool: 8 Million

29=. Cinderella: 7 Million
29=. Godsmack: 7 Million
29=. Kiss: 7 Million
29=. Lynyrd Skynyrd: 7 Million
29=. Quiet Riot: 7 Million
29=. Ratt: 7 Million
29=. Skid Row: 7 Million
29=. System Of A Down: 7 Million

37=. Alice Cooper: 6 Million
37=. Megadeth: 6 Million
39=. Judas Priest: 5 Million
39=. Pantera: 5 Million
39=. Queensryche: 5 Million