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20 years ago today, the face of rock music officially changed. Metallica’s Metallica (also known as The Black Album) hit the retail shelves. Jacobs Media consultant and Metallica aficionado, Keith Cunningham, provides some perspective.
While the album debuted at #1 in ten countries, had six U.S. radio hits, went on to sell 22 million copies worldwide, and is reportedly the largest selling album of the SoundScan era, there’s no need to further chronicle the band’s history in this space. We know radio programmers and frequent readers of the JacoBLOG speak fluent Metallica.
Yes, the band started gaining momentum before The Black Album – thanks to a U.S. tour with Ozzy and an underground scene that was tired of spandex and hair. But as we look back two decades, what strikes us is not that Metallica helped re-shape the sound of rock, sold out stadiums or made a much harder sound of Rock more acceptable to the mainstream. Metallica is symbolic of the power of ‘90s Rock.
We can debate ad nauseam about whether it’s Metallica, Nirvana, Pearl Jam or even the Red Hot Chili Peppers that should be considered the Led Zeppelin of the ‘90s. But we thought on this Black Friday, we’d tip our hats to one of the biggest and best Rock bands of the 20th century. If not for them and a few of their friends from Seattle and L.A., who knows what Rock radio stations would be playing today and what would be blasting from the earbuds of iPods and smartphones?
This weekend, try not to worry about the stock market or that summer’s almost over. Just crank up some Metallica and we’ll see you back here Monday morning. And if you’d like to participate in a debate we’re having internally at Jacobs Media, feel free to comment about the question below.
Which band should be considered the Led Zeppelin of the ‘90s, and why?
- Pearl Jam
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Other _____________
- None of them