72 Seasons becomes first Metallica studio album not to hit #1 on US chart since ...And Justice For All

Metallica, 2022
(Image credit: Tim Saccenti)

Just days after Metallica's new album 72 Seasons topped the UK chart, it has fallen  just short in The US. The metal giant's eleventh studio album earned 146,000 units during its first week of release, while Wallen earned 166,000.

The final numbers, or "earned units", are calculated using a combination of physical sales, individual tracks bought as downloads, and ad-supported plays or streams via paid-for subscription on digital platforms like Spotify, Tidal and YouTube. 

Metallica's sales – the biggest for any rock or hard rock album since Tool earned 270,000 units for Fear Innoculum in 2019 – failed to propel it to the top of the chart, a position reached by every Metallica studio album released after 1988's ...And Justice For All, which reached #6. 

In the intervening years, Metallica (1991), Load (1996), Reload (1997), St. Anger (2003), Death Magnetic (2006) and Hardwired...To Self-Destruct (2016) have all hit the top spot.    

Here are all 11 of Metallica's studio albums alongside their relative highest chart positions on the Billboard 200. 

1. Kill 'Em All (1983) 66
2. Ride the Lightning (1984) 48
3. Master of Puppets (1986) 29
4. ...And Justice for All (1988) 6
5. Metallica (1991) 1
6. Load (1996) 1
7. Reload (1997) 1
8. St. Anger (2003) 1
9. Death Magnetic (2008) 1
10. Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (2016) 1
11. 72 Seasons (2013) 2

Metallica have topped The UK chart with three albums: Metallica, Load and Death Magnetic.

The band are also on the cover of the new issue of Metal Hammer, and on the cover of the current issue of Classic Rock. Both can be ordered online, delivering worldwide. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.