Is Iron Maiden the biggest metal band in the world right now?

I'm from Argentina and here the Metal bands that any person would know at least their names even if they never listen to them are Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne.
Megadeth is also very popular but I wouldn't go as far as to say anyone knows their names as the other 4 artists I mentioned.

I would say it is more or less the same in the rest of South America and probably Latín America as a whole.
Iron Maiden is huge here, really huge.
It is the metal band I see more t shirts on a daily basis.
 
The thing is that there are different criteria to measure popularity.
If we just count people who know their names and that are casual listeners that maybe go to see them cause they're famous then of course Metallica is the most popular band.

But there are people who think that criteria doesn't mean much and that it is more meaningful to consider popularity inside a certain group which in this case would be the Metal community but could be other groups of people in other cases.
For example Vivaldi is very famous among people who don't listen to much Classical Music because his music is very melodic and because of the popularity of the 4 seasons.
But if you asked in the Classical Music community very few people include him in a top 10 of favourite composers.

Clearly evaluating popularity inside the Metal community is much more meaningful than counting a person who only knows Nothing Else Matters and has never seen a metal band live.

And inside the Metal community the popularity of Iron Maiden and Metallica is very even. Maybe Metallica wins by a small margin but it is very close and not at all the gap that exists counting all kinds of casual listeners.

I know in the US Metallica is still much bigger inside the Metal community also. But in the rest of the world not so much.
 
I'm sorry, but this segregating into casual and true fans comes down as last resort in trying to work around the absolute dominance of Metallica in overall numbers.
There's no doubt Metallica is more popular overall.
I haven't seen any Maiden fan denying it.

What I say is that it isn't anything meaningful. It's like saying to a Metal fan that Ariana Grande is more popular. Yeah sure, but no one cares and nobody thinks that it is an indicator of something.

Same with Maiden fans, most of them don't care at all if Metallica is more popular because for them it is more meaningful what the Metal community thinks and don't give a damn if Metallica has more casual listeners.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Same with Maiden fans, most of them don't care at all if Metallica is more popular because for them it is more meaningful what the Metal community thinks and don't give a damn if Metallica has more casual listeners.
20 pages of this thread says otherwise :p
 

WildRanger

Invader
Even then the sales numbers don’t lie. Metallica is the bigger band by any metric.
Is Metallica bigger than Maiden in Maiden's homeland? I doubt it. All the 80's and post-reunion Maiden albums have a big chart success in Britain. Also every post-reunion album is certified Gold there(unlike the US, where none of them went Gold). I really doubt that Metallica outsold Maiden in the UK.
 

Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
Is Metallica bigger than Maiden in Maiden's homeland? I doubt it. All the 80's and post-reunion Maiden albums have a big chart success in Britain. Also every post-reunion album is certified Gold there(unlike the US, where none of them went Gold). I really doubt that Metallica outsold Maiden in the UK.
Well, considering every single Metallica album has gone gold in the UK and four of them platinum (in the case of The Black Album, three times platinum), I'm going to say yes.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Is Metallica bigger than Maiden in Maiden's homeland? I doubt it. All the 80's and post-reunion Maiden albums have a big chart success in Britain. Also every post-reunion album is certified Gold there(unlike the US, where none of them went Gold). I really doubt that Metallica outsold Maiden in the UK.
Look at the title question. Even if Maiden were bigger in the UK (which they're not), the thread is about worldwide sales and coverage. Nothing will change the fact that (at least currently) Metallica have sold a lot more albums than Maiden worldwide, and that's all that matters for this thread. To claim that Maiden are bigger than Metallica in certain places, purposefully deviating from the thread's subject, is nothing more than a desperate attempt to defend Maiden from something that A. they don't need to be defended from, because whether they're the bigger ones or not means squat and won't change what us fans feel about them, and B. it's not even something they can control.
 
Worldwide there's no doubt that Metallica have sold more albums than Maiden.
But as I just said earlier, the difference really is the United States. Metallica have sold half their records in the US (125 million worldwide with 63 million of those being in the United States)

Iron Maiden have sold around 90 million worldwide and about 5 million in the UK and 9 million in the US.
That's about 76 million outside of US and UK markets.
Metallica outside US alone have sold around 62 million.

Even if we give Metallica a bit more than 130 million worldwide that some sources give them anyways have sold less albums worldwide than Maiden outside the US.
And some sources give Maiden more than 90 million and close to 100 million.


So yes, Metallica is the most popular band, no doubts, but there's no wonder why people from other places around the world don't see such a big distance in popularity.
Metallica are huuuge in their country and it is no wonder Americans live in a bubble when trying to judge popularity worldwide based on what they see in their country.
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
So yes, Metallica is the most popular band, no doubts, but there's no wonder why people from other places around the world don't see such a big distance in popularity.
Metallica are huuuge in their country and it is no wonder Americans live in a bubble when trying to judge popularity worldwide based on what they see in their country.
Talking about "hard rock" in general (more than about "metal"), your point would function well with the examples of Van Halen or Kiss, who are huge -but really HUGE- in the US only, and only "very popular" elsewhere.

Having said that, as Number 6 said, it doesn't change anything to our appreciation of these bands and of how "deserved" each band's success is, in terms of numbers.

have sold less albums worldwide than Maiden outside the US.
Fewer ;)
 
Talking about "hard rock" in general (more than about "metal"), your point would function well with the examples of Van Halen or Kiss, who are huge -but really HUGE- in the US only, and only "very popular" elsewhere.

Having said that, as Number 6 said, it doesn't change anything to our appreciation of these bands and of how "deserved" each band's success is, in terms of numbers.


Fewer ;)
Yeah and Motley Crüe as well, maybe not huge in the US but very popular whereas in other countries including here in Argentina they are seen as an old fashioned hair metal band stuck in the 80's and would play for 10 thousand people with luck.

Here in Argentina we also have bands that are only very popular here though.
Talking about Metal we have the band Hermética which is huge here (they don't exist anymore though) maybe only less popular than Metallica and Iron Maiden and maybe some other huge international metal bands but not many.
However outiside Argentina they could only play a few small gigs in South America maybe and that's it.

The difference is that the US is a huge market so a best selling artist there can make the difference and appear among the best selling worldwide whereas a best selling artist in Argentina will never make it worldwide only with local sales.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Here in Argentina we also have bands that are only very popular here though.
Talking about Metal we have the band Hermética which is huge here (they don't exist anymore though) maybe only less popular than Metallica and Iron Maiden and maybe some other huge international metal bands but not many.
Were Hermética bigger than Rata Blanca?

Rata Blanca rock!

 
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chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
Looking at the OP, I'm not sure how this can be quantified as opinion. Metallica is the largest metal band in the world, as far as radio play, ticket sales, album sales, etc. Maiden is my absolute favorite band and I adore them and think they are miles ahead of Metallica musically, as do a lot of fans. But general popularity and sales numbers aren't really opinions, it's all fact. More people on this planet like Metallica because Metallica rides that edge of "look, I'm listening to metal!" without really being very heavy or edgy. I've met loads of people whose knowledge of metal begins and ends with "the black album" and while that makes me sad inside a little, it is what it is.
 
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