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

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Legal purchases reflect more or less the actual situation. Before the downloads there were cassettes..
Do they? I mean it makes sense, but I wonder if there is evidence backing this up. Are there different habits based on demographics? At least 90 per cent of what my kids have on their iPods was either illegally downloaded, or copied from me. The majority of what I have was purchased.
 

______no5

The Angel Of The Odd
There is no way to monitor or prove it beyond doubt. It's based on pure logic and experience. Something which is much purchased is more likely to be cloned and distributed via ripping.
In the same way, when one enters a torrent site, usually finds more seeds for movies or albums that they have sold a lot in their time. Rare albums or unpopular movies are hard to even be downloaded. Exception here some cult classics, but as I said, it's a 'more or less' reflection ;)
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Take into account that North and South America have a comparable number of people. In South America far less people have the means or habit to purchase official stuff.
If everyone purchased an original copy of every album, from a traceable source, then sale figures could become relevant. Right now there's a varying percent of piracy inside regions, inside age groups, and inside music genres. It's not accountable for, it's not measured, and it screws the picture that sale figures are trying to depict. For some combinations that error might be marginal. For others, it's way off the scale. Just try to imagine difference between piracy ratio of jazz music in Canada, and metal music in Colombia.

So if this "biggest band" stuff is about who reached greater number of people, sales figures won't help you much.
 

425

Starblind
And they did exactly that. Like I said, don't think they did it on purpose, but they fell into influence of their managers and other people who gathered around them just for profit. In 1990, metal was a huge market, and after hair/glam baloon popped, industry had to capitalize on the next big thing; thrash metal.

I'm not talking about Black album. Black was a natural progression. I place that album with MOP, RTL and ...AJFA. Their best works.
This is an interesting perspective, you're saying that Metallica was in effect taken advantage of by the musical industry (via Bob Rock?). I'm glad we're in agreement that the Black Album is a good heavy metal album.

it's about the attitude. Repeating this for one last time : they fueled on anger against the industry and their glam metal "products" for a decade, and then embraced them.
I definitely get this while not entirely agreeing. I'm not a fan of Metallica's new "look" and attitude for the late 90s either, but I try to place music ahead of attitude, because ultimately it's the music that matters (if attitude was a factor, I wouldn't listen to any Metallica or to other bands like Megadeth due to them having obnoxious members; Lars in the former and Dave Mustaine in the latter). I don't have the late 90s 'tallica stuff, but they've pleased me enough on their other releases that I'm willing to take a chance on them again even if it's in a genre that I'm not usually a fan of, and when I do get around to buying Load, I'll judge it on its musical merits, not on what Kirk is wearing in the booklet pictures.
 

______no5

The Angel Of The Odd
I took everything in account, South America, Africa, SE Asia, of course. Whatever they do there is more likely to know Rolling Stones than Maiden. Sales are representative of popularity, period. And if you want to make it more specified the more the sales are distributed to various markets the more the sample is accurate /credible. Amr Diab has sold more albums in Egypt than Motorhead in all world, but Motorhead sales are distributed to more markets, so a person in Thailand is more likely to know Motorhead than Diab. Or Garth Brooks; 200 million of albums sold and I didn't even know him. Of course. It's all known, we are smart people, we shouldn't need to explain everything..
 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
I kinda see Metallica as the "McDonald's" of the music world. It's cheap and easily accessible. Because of that, OF COURSE they are the biggest band in metal. It's not even comparable. I work at a very large company that handles insurance, and one of Metallica's songs (Fuel) was played in the cafeteria as a part of the easy listening stuff they play so as to please everyone, and offend no one. I won't get into the debate on whether they are sellouts though. I find a little something to like on all of Metallica's albums, even though I hate their sound live, especially James's voice.

But if we talk proportionately biggest, as in what band does the biggest tours, most festivals, most record sales, etc, and take into consideration lack of main stream radio play, Iron Maiden is top dog, no questions asked. And i'm pretty sure that if you polled 100 metal fans from around the world about who the metal band is with the most integrity, 90% will say Maiden.
 

______no5

The Angel Of The Odd
Metallica's big thing was the sound of Black Album. Hell, 20 years later still sounds modern & fresh.
You can not say the same thing for Maiden. Sound wise, is still kind of 80s.
And it depends from where those 100 fans are from, if they are from States, forget about it
 

vomit

Invader
Metallica's big thing was the sound of Black Album. Hell, 20 years later still sounds modern & fresh.
You can not say the same thing for Maiden. Sound wise, is still kind of 80s.
And it depends from where those 100 fans are from, if they are from States, forget about it
Black album was pop mainstream. Period. Some Maiden can be dated, but I'll be doggoned if they ever took the cheap way out. Just my opinion. Like Metallica from 1982-88. After that, not so much.
 

______no5

The Angel Of The Odd
Having such a sound that Black Album has is not the cheap way out. Only Powerslave could compare to it sound-wise, for me. And it would probably loose.
Apart from that, songs are heavy, the album is heavier than a few Maiden albums, I don't get the disapproval.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
People tend to disregard musical qualities when it comes to financial change of directions of bands. I really don't get it either.
 

vomit

Invader
Having such a sound that Black Album has is not the cheap way out. Only Powerslave could compare to it sound-wise, for me. And it would probably loose.
Apart from that, songs are heavy, the album is heavier than a few Maiden albums, I don't get the disapproval.
Not really disapproval. I really felt AJFA was a step down from MoP. Especially as they diced on MTV prior to that, than succumbed to make a video. Bob rock, followed and a much more polished, commercial sound followed. That's fine. Just don't think Maiden ever went out of their way to change there sound to become more popular. No big woop.

Peace out.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
Just don't think Maiden ever went out of their way to change there sound to become more popular. No big woop.
Unless we postulate that Bruce's return in 1999 was a move in that direction.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
I never really considered GaR or Bon Jovi Metal. I know Metallica was big but they haven't really done anything since death magnetic. And other then Metallica who can really stand up to Maiden. I just saw Megadeth play a show with about 50 people. Priest with about 100. Maiden is touring the entire world. I guess if you consider GaR and Bon Jovi then no.

And I don't think Metallica sold out. I don't think Load and anything after it was that great but they didn't sell out.
A bit late, but anyway: Bull. Megadeth 50 people and Priest 100? Priest played some low profile gigs on epitath tour, but we are still looking at, the smallest show of the entire tour was 2500. They did play for just a few hundred during the Ripper years but come on...
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Just don't think Maiden ever went out of their way to change there sound to become more popular. No big woop.
That's not a positive nor a negative. And adding to Perun's suggestion, I do consider Bruce's return an attempt to regain popularity. Albums with Blaze are the worst selling Maiden records. Every band SHOULD want to be more popular because that'd mean bigger audiences, bigger joy of playing their music. And I'm comfortable with whichever way they choose to achieve just that.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Flash, I bet you're not comfortable when Maiden suddenly makes music like Bon Jovi or Oasis (if that way would work to reach a bigger audience).
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Any style of music would please you if it was good enough?

If that would go for all bands on the planet which could fit to these criteria, then they would end up sounding all the same because they would follow the road of making the most accessible music (= making the most money).
If that continues long enough, own identity would become irrelevant.

I rather stay critical when I see (or hear!) that dollar signs instead of other values start to appear in the eyes of members of my favourite band.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Yes it would. I have no boundaries when it comes to music, there's only good music and bad music, that's all.

Bands start because they want to do the music they like, or want to do. So it really wouldn't end up sounding all the same. You can always gather more fans and become more popular while keeping your sound. (like Maiden) But if you don't choose this way and still produce good material, I'm fine with it.

I'm not saying they should change their sound in order to be more popular. I'm just saying I'd be fine with it.
 
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