Worldwide album sales

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
Never mind, the methodology of gathering the figures is described elsewhere on the website.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
I don't believe this numbers.

I know that BYDTTS was the number 1 single with the fewest sales ever in the UK for a very long time (it may even still be), and the number quoted was 40,000.

So that's a big jump to the worldwide figure they mention, and you would imagine that the bulk of single sales would be in the UK.
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
I know that BYDTTS was the number 1 single with the fewest sales ever in the UK for a very long time (it may even still be), and the number quoted was 40,000.

So that's a big jump to the worldwide figure they mention, and you would imagine that the bulk of single sales would be in the UK.

It's pretty consistent with all the previous singles, though.
 

WildRanger

Trooper
Let's compare Iron Maiden, Metallica and Black Sabbath albums sales (three biggest metal bands):
https://chartmasters.org/2021/11/iron-maiden-albums-and-songs-sales/

https://chartmasters.org/2019/02/metallica-albums-and-songs-sales/

https://chartmasters.org/2020/03/black-sabbath-albums-and-songs-sales/

It seems that The Number of the Beast was a very big seller in the UK. It's interesting that the biggest Metallica album The Black album sold slightly more than 'Beast' in Britain.

Black Sabbath has sold significantly more of their classic albums in the US than Europe. Classic Maiden albums sold much better in Europe than classic BS albums. It seems that Black Sabbath is a bigger band than Maiden in America, while Maiden is a bigger band in Europe.
 

SirRobbins

Ancient Mariner
Let's compare Iron Maiden, Metallica and Black Sabbath albums sales (three biggest metal bands):
https://chartmasters.org/2021/11/iron-maiden-albums-and-songs-sales/

https://chartmasters.org/2019/02/metallica-albums-and-songs-sales/

https://chartmasters.org/2020/03/black-sabbath-albums-and-songs-sales/

It seems that The Number of the Beast was a very big seller in the UK. It's interesting that the biggest Metallica album The Black album sold slightly more than 'Beast' in Britain.

Black Sabbath has sold significantly more of their classic albums in the US than Europe. Classic Maiden albums sold much better in Europe than classic BS albums. It seems that Black Sabbath is a bigger band than Maiden in America, while Maiden is a bigger band in Europe.
Sabbath and Metallica had a load more of commercial success compared to Maiden... Metallica had a wider audience being stateside and with television on their side.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Killers was extremely popular back in the 80s, a kind of cornerstone in the history of Metal. And, with all the different formats, I can't even remember how many copies I bought. 5 at least, I guess.
Kind of late to this, but it is still very popular and definitely a more important album in the states than Seventh Son. The complaining about that album on here comes from a very vocal minority. The album cover is one of their most iconic and overall I would say it is in their top five most popular albums. Definitely more of an impact than Brave New World or Seventh Son.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Killers has hipster cred, always had even back in the day. I remember reading in the early 90's the likes of Hetfield, Anselmo and Paulo from Sepultura saying it was their favourite Maiden album.
 

WildRanger

Trooper
Sabbath and Metallica had a load more of commercial success compared to Maiden... Metallica had a wider audience being stateside and with television on their side.

Sabbath in America? Yes. In Europe? No way. Maiden is much more successful. Black Sabbath (Ozzy era) were never that big in Europe, unlike America. And I'm saying it as a Sabbath and Maiden fan from mainland Europe.

And it's interesting that Ozzy solo was commercially more successful than Black Sabbath in the US. Also Ozzy solo was way bigger in America than Europe:
https://chartmasters.org/2020/03/ozzy-osbourne-albums-and-songs-sales/
 
Last edited:

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
Keep in mind the sales figures are cumulative. e.g. all the sales for Paranoid between 1970 and today are lumped together and we can't read from these stats how well it did during its initial run in the 70's.

With that in mind, I think the higher of Ozzy-era Sabbath in America has a lot to do with the larger role classic rock radio plays in the States, but especially with Ozzy's larger media presence from the eighties down to his TV show, Ozzfest and all that. This is how the impression gets transmitted that Sabbath is Ozzy's band, when Iommi was always the band leader and the one to keep it alive.
Now, Ozzy had a pretty big media presence in Germany in the early 2000s as well, but I can't imagine it compares to what it was in the US. Likewise, the classic rock concept exists in Europe as well, but there is also a far more diverse metal scene here that, from my own anecdotal experience, tends (or tended) to rate Dio-era Sabbath higher.
So bottom line, I think the success of Ozzy-era Sabbath in America is more due to 90's and 2000s promotion, and I think (though I can't prove) that in the 70's, they weren't any more successful there than in Europe.
 

TheTalisman

Ancient Mariner
I think it's correct to say that the success of Ozzy's solo career in America in the 80's and 90's (Blizzard of Ozz from 1980 has sold 5x platinum and No More Tears from 1991 4x platinum for example) propably made a lot of younger americans get into older Black Sabbath as well.

Maiden has not had any exogenous factor pushing sales like that, no solo career of any past or former member has become massive and caught on outside the existing fanbase. Balls to Picasso by Bruce was aimed at a wider audience though (both the artwork and the Tears of the Dragon video was really mainstream friendly) but it didn't really break through, it had sold 65 000 copies in the U.S in 2005.

 
Last edited:

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
I think it's correct to say that the success of Ozzy's solo career in America in the 80's and 90's (Blizzard of Ozz from 1980 has sold 5x platinum and No More Tears from 1991 4x platinum for example) propably made a lot of younger americans get into older Black Sabbath as well.

Maiden has not had any exogenous factor pushing sales like that, no solo career of any past or former member has become massive and caught on outside the existing fanbase. Balls to Picasso by Bruce was aimed at a wider audience though (both the artwork and the Tears of the Dragon video was really mainstream friendly) but it didn't really break through, it had sold 65 000 copies in the U.S in 2005.

According with this Soundscan US album sales link… it's very difficult to believe that Fear of the Dark sold more than any other Maiden's studio album including The Number of the Beasts once more time I don't believe these numbers either. I don't know where I've read that Somewhere in Time was the most selling album in US being at least 3x platinum
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
According with this Soundscan US album sales link… it's very difficult to believe that Fear of the Dark sold more than any other Maiden's studio album including The Number of the Beasts once more time I don't believe these numbers either. I don't know where I've read that Somewhere in Time was the most selling album in US being at least 3x platinum

Uh... are you sure you read the numbers correctly? FOTD is far, far lower than any 80's album.

Shit... I think Priest is not featured on ChartMasters. I'd love to compare their albums with Maiden's this way.

Patience. This is a work in progress and the Maiden page was only published a week ago. They might work on Priest in the future.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
Uh... are you sure you read the numbers correctly? FOTD is far, far lower than any 80's album.
You're right but according with this data list is something wrong. As you can see Fear of the Dark sold 421,786. For that reason I don't believe these numbers and the chartmasters one.
soundscan.png
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
These are not the numbers found on Chartmasters. Why do you use them as an argument to not believe what Chartmasters says?
 

TheTalisman

Ancient Mariner
According with this Soundscan US album sales link… it's very difficult to believe that Fear of the Dark sold more than any other Maiden's studio album including The Number of the Beasts once more time I don't believe these numbers either. I don't know where I've read that Somewhere in Time was the most selling album in US being at least 3x platinum
Tracking is from 1992-2005 for the numbers featured in this article.

The 80's albums sold a lot more than Fear of the Dark, but sales before 1992 are not counted at all.
That's why Tattooed Millionarie from 1990 is so low as well, just 21 000. It did a lot more!
 
Last edited:
Top