Metallica, Imagine Dragons, Linkin Park among 2017’s top rock acts
Photo by David Wolff – Patrick/Redferns | Getty Images
Metallica was the top-selling rock act of 2017, according to Nielsen Music’s 2017 Year-End Music Report, while the band’s 10th studio LP, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, was the third best-selling rock record of the year. It was eclipsed only by albums from Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots on Nielsen’s Top Rock Albums chart. Metallica’s overall Number One status was based on physical album sales, downloads and streaming totals.
Drummer Lars Ulrich said a while back that Metallica owes its success to doing things on its own terms: “Metallica, over the years, we kind of float around in our own little bubble. We do things our way, and sometimes we take some chances, and sometimes we play it safe and sometimes we’re on the frontlines and sometimes, you know, we’re on the second wave or whatever. But we kind of do it, you know, in our own little bubble.”
- Hardwired…To Self-Destruct sold more than 585,000 copies in 2017, with the tally since it came out last November at 1.1 million units.
- The other artists on the chart measuring the year’s top rock acts were Imagine Dragons at Number Two, the Beatles at Number Three, Linkin Park in the fourth spot and Twenty One Pilots rounding out the Top Five.
- Despite strong showings from all five acts, however, rock music as a whole experienced a decline in 2017. R&B and hip-hop became the most dominant genre in the U.S. for the first time ever, with nine of the Top 10 songs across all platforms coming from the category.
- R&B and hip hop took a 24.5 percent total volume share as opposed to rock’s 20.8 percent share in physical and digital albums, digital track sales and on-demand audio streams. Physical sales and downloads decreased for all genres by nearly 20 percent last year, while streaming rocketed upwards by 58 percent from 2016.