[Photo Credit: Jeff Yeager]

For the sixth time in a row, Metallica have released a studio album that has found its way to the top of the Billboard charts. Their new project, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, which came out on November 18, finished the week of November 24 with 291,000 in equivalent album sales. These numbers make it the best selling record of the week, besting Bruno Mars and Miranda Lambert’s new albums.

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Hardwired…, which was released on Metallica’s own label, Blackened Records, also recorded the third highest sales of any album of 2016 in its first week, falling only to Drake’s Views and Beyonce’s Lemonade. Remember, Billboard now ranks their results on multi-metric consumption, and takes into account traditional album sales, track equivalent albums, and streaming equivalent albums.

Hardwired… To Self-Destruct garnered 282,000 in traditional album sales, while the remaining 9,000 units came from its new streaming and track equivalents. To put it into perspective, Drake’s leading opening-week sales were 1.04 million units, with 885,000 coming in traditional album sales. Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic, which finished second to Metallica’s new album, reached 231,000 units, with 194,000 coming traditionally, totalling his highest numbers to date.

This also made Hardwired… the first rock album to top the charts since Coldplay released Ghost Stories back in 2014. And that’s not all for the number ones, as Metallica also found themselves at the top of the Independent Albums chart, in addition to having already seen their album’s title track chart at number one on the Mainstream Rock Songs list back at the beginning of October.

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Hardwired… To Self-Destruct joins their previous releases, Metallica (1991), Load (1996), Reload (1997), St. Anger (2003), and Death Magnetic (2008) as consecutive albums to land at the top of the Billboard charts in the first week. Spanning a time frame of 25 years, the world famous group hasn’t missed a step yet.

Conversely, it’s also interesting to compare the difference in units between Death Magnetic in 2008 and Hardwired… in 2016. Even with the streaming and track equivalents, Metallica only posted 292,000 units with their latest release, while their previous album Death Magnetic registered 490,000 just eight years ago; a telling sign of the uncertain conditions in today’s music industry.

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