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Biggest HR and Metal album sellers in 80s & 90s


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I found this data online and searched through to find all the hard music bands who sold 5 million or more worldwide units of albums during the 80s and 90s. Wanted to share it with you all in case you were interested.

80s
  1. ACDC - Back In Black (1980) 50 million (m)
  2. Guns N Roses - Appetite for Destruction (1987) 30m
  3. Def Leppard - Hysteria (1987) 25m
  4. REO Speedwagon - Hi-Infidelity (1980) 20m
  5. Bon Jovi - New Jersey (1988) 19m
  6. Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet (1986) 17m
  7. ZZ Top - Eliminator (1983) 14m
  8. Bryan Adams - Reckless (1984) 12m
  9. Def Leppard - Pyromania (1983) 12m
  10. Van Halen - 1984 (1984) 12m
  11. Metallica - And Justice for All (1988) 11m
  12. Journey - Escape (1980) 10m
  13. Metallica - Master of Puppets (1986) 10m
  14. Journey - Frontiers (1983) 10m
  15. Queen - The Miracle (1989) 10m
  16. Whitesnake - 1987 (1987) 9m
  17. Aerosmith - Pump (1989) 8m
  18. Poison - Open Up and Say Ahh (1988) 8m
  19. Foreigner - 4 (1981) 7m
  20. Van Halen - 5150 (1986) 7m
  21. Motley Crue - Dr Feelgood (1989) 7m
  22. Metallica - Ride the Lightning (1984) 7m
  23. ZZ Top - Afterburner (1985) 6m
  24. Quiet Riot - Metal Health (1983) 6m
  25. Europe - The Final Countdown (1986) 6m
  26. Whitesnake - Slide It In (1984) 6m
  27. Skid Row - Skid Row (1989) 6m
  28. Guns N Roses - Lies (1988) 6m
  29. Heart - Heart (1985) 6m
  30. ACDC - For Those About to Rock (1981) 6m
  31. Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz (1980) 5m
  32. Toto - IV (1982) 5m
  33. Asia - Asia (1982) 5m
  34. Queen - The Game (1980) 5m
90s
  1. Metallica - Black Album (1990) 33 million (m)
  2. Nirvana - Nevermind (1991) 30m
  3. Green Day - Dookie (1994) 20m
  4. Aerosmith - Get a Grip (1993) 20m
  5. Blink 182 - Enema of the State (1999) 16m
  6. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication (1999) 16m
  7. Pearl Jam - Ten (1991) 16m
  8. Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell II (1993) 15m
  9. Guns N Roses - Use Your Illusion I (1991) 15m
  10. Guns N Roses - Use Your Illusion II (1991) 15m
  11. Creed - Human Clay (1999) 13m
  12. The Offspring - Smash (1994) 12m
  13. Kid Rock - Devil Without a Cause (1998) 11m
  14. The Offspring - Americana (1998) 11m
  15. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991) 10m
  16. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) 10m
  17. Live - Throwing Copper (1994) 10m
  18. Limp Bizkit - Significant Other (1999) 10m
  19. Soundgarden - Superunknown (1994) 9m
  20. Stone Temple Pilots - Core (1992) 8m
  21. Bryan Adams - Waking Up the Neighbours (1991) 8m
  22. Pearl Jam - Vs (1993) 8m
  23. Metallica - Load (1996) 8m
  24. Nirvana - In Utero (1993) 8m
  25. ACDC - The Razors Edge (1990) 8m
  26. Bush - Sixteen Stone (1994) 7m
  27. Creed - My Own Prison (1997) 7m
  28. Metallica - ReLoad (1997) 7m
  29. Sublime - Sublime (1996) 7m
  30. Stone Temple Pilots - Purple (1994) 6m
  31. Pearl Jam - Vitalogy (1994) 6m
  32. Def Leppard - Adrenaline (1992) 6m
  33. Korn - Follow the Leader (1998) 6m
  34. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (1993) 6m
  35. Bon Jovi - Keep the Faith (1992) 6m
  36. The Black Crowes - Shake Your Money Maker (1990) 5m
  37. Bon Jovi - These Days (1995) 5m
  38. Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine (1992) 5m
  39. Poison - Flesh & Blood (1990) 5m

*Note - totals rounded up or down to closest million.

 
Edited by auslander
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As far as I know. I think only one artist (Adele) sold more than a million albums last year so I doubt any figures will be moving much ever again.

Edited by auslander
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Wow, some pretty staggering numbers there. A few random thoughts-

Would never have guessed those albums at the top of the 80's lists had sold anywhere near those amounts. That's mindblowing... especially the AC/DC one. By far the biggest surprise for me, though, is that REO Speedwagon one. I have absolutely zero idea they were such a huge band, lol. No idea whatsoever. That's amazing. 

Other thing I didn't expect was Def Leppard actually outselling Bon Jovi in both the 80's and 90's, in terms of their biggest album. Everyone knows 'Hysteria' was huge, but you'd never have been able to convince me that 'Adrenalize' outsold 'Keep The Faith,' though I assume it was not by much. 

Love seeing Poison up there twice too. For all the shit they cop, they certainly did okay for themselves. :)

Anyway, cool lists. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. 

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Yes AC/DC numbers are just mind-boggling. 'Hysteria' 25 million sales is the up to date figure which means 'Slippery when wet' with more than 28 million sales worldwide is now more than Hysteria. 

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52 minutes ago, Geoff said:

Wow, some pretty staggering numbers there. A few random thoughts-

Would never have guessed those albums at the top of the 80's lists had sold anywhere near those amounts. That's mindblowing... especially the AC/DC one. By far the biggest surprise for me, though, is that REO Speedwagon one. I have absolutely zero idea they were such a huge band, lol. No idea whatsoever. That's amazing. 

Other thing I didn't expect was Def Leppard actually outselling Bon Jovi in both the 80's and 90's, in terms of their biggest album. Everyone knows 'Hysteria' was huge, but you'd never have been able to convince me that 'Adrenalize' outsold 'Keep The Faith,' though I assume it was not by much. 

Love seeing Poison up there twice too. For all the shit they cop, they certainly did okay for themselves. :)

Anyway, cool lists. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. 

What blew me away was Aerosmith "Get a Grip" in 93. 20 million copies! I had no idea. I always thought Pump was a bigger album.

If "we" had a big 3 of pop metal they would definitely be Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Guns N Roses.

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44 minutes ago, Ponen said:

Yes AC/DC numbers are just mind-boggling. 'Hysteria' 25 million sales is the up to date figure which means 'Slippery when wet' with more than 28 million sales worldwide is now more than Hysteria. 

Whatnow? Did 'Slippery' really jump that much, and why so different to the number above?

 

9 minutes ago, auslander said:

What blew me away was Aerosmith "Get a Grip" in 93. 20 million copies! I had no idea. I always thought Pump was a bigger album.

If "we" had a big 3 of pop metal they would definitely be Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Guns N Roses.

Yeah, I missed that with Aerosmith and it is weird by comparison to 'Pump,' but those big bands will always sell albums whether it's 1989 or 1993, so I didn't notice it too much. 

Yep, that definitely seems to be the three. It makes sense, but I think I'm surprised Def Leppard is the third band as I might have thought it'd be someone like Van Halen, perhaps, if I didn't put a lot of brainpower into it? But thinking about it properly, Def Leppard does, of course, make sense. And I must admit, I think that's a pretty deserving top three. 

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49 minutes ago, Geoff said:

Whatnow? Did 'Slippery' really jump that much, and why so different to the number above?

 

Yeah, I missed that with Aerosmith and it is weird by comparison to 'Pump,' but those big bands will always sell albums whether it's 1989 or 1993, so I didn't notice it too much. 

Yep, that definitely seems to be the three. It makes sense, but I think I'm surprised Def Leppard is the third band as I might have thought it'd be someone like Van Halen, perhaps, if I didn't put a lot of brainpower into it? But thinking about it properly, Def Leppard does, of course, make sense. And I must admit, I think that's a pretty deserving top three. 

By end of 1995, Slippery had sold more than 12 million copies in the U.S alone, which means the sales outside America were not included. So in the last 34 years since it's release it has sold more than 28 million copies globally. 

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