September 17, 2008

Metallica Sets New Record As Only Band With Five Albums Debuting at No. 1

Death Magnetic, the ninth studio album from multi-platinum hard-rock band Metallica, is the best-selling album in the country this week, debuting atop the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart at No. 1, making Metallica the only band in chart history to have five albums debut at No. 1.

Metallica breaks their tie with the Beatles, U2 and the Dave Matthews Band, all of who have four No. 1 album debuts. Death Magnetic is Metallica's fifth consecutive studio album to debut at No. 1, following 1991's Metallica (known as The Black Album), 1996's Load, 1997's ReLoad, and 2003's St. Anger. Death Magnetic also scored big around the world with No. 1 debuts in such diverse countries as Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Turkey (which doesn't have an official chart but the album was No. 1 on every retail chart). More No. 1 rankings are expected this weekend as remaining charts roll in.

Released by Warner Bros. Records in the United States and Canada and by Universal Music for the rest of the world, on Friday, September 12th, Death Magnetic debuted at No. 1 despite being in stores for only three days, rather than the traditional seven. In addition to its heavy sales at large-chain stores and digital retailers, Death Magnetic also did blockbuster business among independent retailers, such as the Boston-based Newbury Comics, the Phoenix-based Zia, and Maine's Bull Moose, selling more copies in its first day than many of this year's top releases did in one week, proving that Metallica is connecting with its fans wherever they may shop.

Months before Death Magnetic hit stores, Metallica and Warner Bros. Records launched a new website,, which offered users a unique, ground-breaking look-in on the making of the album with producer Rick Rubin via a treasure trove of exclusive content, including the low-down from the band members themselves about their progress in the studio via fly-on-the-wall video footage, audio of riffs and excerpts of new songs, and exclusive new and never-before-seen archival photos from the studio. In total, Metallica posted 350 minutes of exclusive footage that reached nearly 10 million people across 161 countries. They also streamed Death Magnetic for fan club and Mission Metallica members the day before its release, allowing hardcore fans to hear the album before anyone else and creating a frenzy of positive word-of-mouth among Metallica's fan community. The album also streamed on and Fan club and Mission Metallica members also got first crack at purchasing tickets for the band's North American tour, fueling even more excitement for the upcoming album.

In addition, Metallica interacted directly with fans who posted clips of themselves performing Metallica songs on YouTube. Drummer Lars Ulrich viewed fan-generated clips and posted a video that personally expressed his appreciation. Ulrich's clip, which was posted on September 4th, has already been viewed 1.2 million times.

Metallica also set a record for having the most radio stations in history sign up for an exclusive FMQB broadcast of "The World Premiere of Death Magnetic." The program, hosted by Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins and featuring all four members of Metallica, was heard on more than 175 stations across the U.S. and Canada. The first single from the album, "The Day That Never Comes," is currently hovering around the top of both Mediabase Mainstream and Active Rock Charts. Seven more tracks from Death Magnetic have charted across three radio formats, Alternative, Active Rock, and Rock -- a feat rarely, if ever accomplished by a rock band/artist.

Reviews have praised Death Magnetic for its "compositions that are nasty and complex" (New York Times), while Time magazine says that the "songs fly by with the force of the world's angriest amusement-park ride, and when they set you down, often after seven or eight dizzying but tuneful minutes, giddiness is the only appropriate response." British metal bible Kerrang! wrote that "Metallica once again sound like one of the most exciting bands in the world" and have "managed to harness their talent and instinct into a modern metal album that makes a mockery of the modern competition."

Tickets for Metallica's first proper tour of the United States and Canada in four years are currently on sale. The first leg of the tour begins on October 21st and will cross North America through fall and early winter before concluding on January 21st. Support bands are Down, The Sword, Lamb of God, and Machine Head.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, Metallica has become one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold 100 million albums worldwide and playing to millions of fans the world over. They have garnered numerous awards and accolades, including seven Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, and multiple MTV Video Music Awards.

Photos available for this release:

Photo Credit: Anton Corbijn

To view photos, go to and enter Release ID: 166280