Metallica's 'Black Album' Named Best-Selling Album of Past 23 Years, Sold Over 16 Million Copies

Meanwhile, band rocks "Frayed Ends of Sanity" live for first time ever, video footage inside.

Ultimate Guitar

Retaining the throne as the best-selling album of the SoundScan era, Metallica's "Black Album" has crossed yet another milestone last week by becoming the first record to sell over 16 million copies in the given period.

As Billboard reports, the "Black Album" sold another 3,000 units in the week ending May 25, rounding up the total sales figure to 16,002,000.

SoundScan began tracking US music sales on May 25, 1991, the year when the band's self-titled effort dominated the world as the No. 1 record. This basically makes "Black Album" the top-selling album of the past 23 years, not just in rock and metal, but music in general.

Metallica claimed the mentioned throne in December 2009, taking the title over from Shania Twain's "Come on Over," currently the second best-selling SoundScan era release with 15.57 million units shipped.

In other 'Tallica news, the group has officially performed "The Frayed Ends of Sanity" track live for the very first time. The special occasion took place last night (May 28) at Sonisphere Festival in Finland's capital, Helsinki.

The evening's setlist was entirely compiled by fans as a part of the band's "By Request" tour. Apart from "Orion" and perhaps a few other tunes, the rest of the setlist hardly featured any less-known, rarely-performed gems.

As announced by the group, 17 songs on the list were compiled through fan voting, while the spot No. 18 was reserved for the new track "The Lords of Summer."

As for "The Frayed Ends of Sanity," the song was briefly played in segments in the past, but never in its entirety. Bassist Rob Trujillo has recently dubbed it the most difficult Metallica song to learn on the bass. Check out the footage and the evening's setlist below.

Metallica Live at Sonisphere Helsinki, May 28, 2014

01. Battery
02. Master of Puppets
03. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
04. Ride the Lightning
05. The Unforgiven
06. Lords of Summer
07. ...And Justice for All
08. Sad But True
09. Fade to Black
10. Orion
11. One
12. For Whom the Bell Tolls
13. Blackened
14. Nothing Else Matters
15. Enter Sandman
16. The Frayed Ends of Sanity17. Whiskey in the Jar18. Seek & Destroy

YouTube preview picture

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nice to see Lars pulling it off without any mistake. Kirk's solo was poor though. The song should be played much more often.
    Yes, The Frayed Ends of Sanity is a great track--featuring unparalled rhythm guitar excellence--as are all tracks on that album of metal perfection known as AJFA. Rob's comment on the track's difficulty is most interesting. AJFA is known as M's most technical album. Also great to hear of the band playing yet another previously unplayed track, adding to reasonably recent performances of the excellent Escape, etc. \m/
    Solid performance. That song's arrangement is a lot more complex than I realized until now.
    Not saying Lars can'tdrum..... he's just not very good. Kirk on the other hand, though he might not be one of the most technical players, wrote some damn good solos.
    Bassist Rob Trujillo has recently dubbed it the most difficult Metallica song to learn on the bass. Jason Newstead... Nuff Said...
    Well it's difficult to learn something if you can't hear what's being played...
    Rob can play circles around Jason, just saying, go listen to Infectious Grooves.
    True, that doesn't take away any of Jason's merits, the guy's a brilliant composer who barely had any chance to show his skills with Metallica. With that said, Rob is the best musician Metallica ever had, and it's a shame that his talent's also not being taken to its fullest, although definitely not as flushed down the toilet as Jason's was. PS: After years of agonizing tease, can't belive they've actually played it!
    As much as i dislike Rob [his antics on stage infuriate me] he really is a great bassist.Jason had the stage presence no doubt but clearly Rob is the most talented.
    People who say Lars can't drum and Kirk can't solo are morons. Punks at heart. Can't compare Trujillo to Newstead either, it's unfair. I have seen Newstead do things on bass that are virtually unplayable fingerstyle. Fact.
    Pretty sure they have played every single song from their first 5 albums live now. Pretty good effort i must say!
    There isn't any song in their discography that they haven't played live now. 2 years ago, Escape and Frayed Ends were the only two still missing if I'm not mistaken, and they've played those two since then...
    You can pretty much look in anyones Cd/Vinyl/Cassette collection and find a copy of this.
    To anyone wondering why they hadn't played it before, or many other less-known tracks - they've stuck to certain songs in the setlist for many years now, and when they decided to make the "by request" tour... the exact same songs were chosen. It's not the band that dislikes the song or something, it's the boring fans who want to hear the same songs over and over again.
    When I was heavily into Metallica, I was immensely disappointed to discover that they had never performed Frayed Ends of Sanity, as it was my favorite song from them, and though I was most certainly deluding myself, when I saw them at Roskilde I was praying that they would perform it, and that I would be there to witness it - Now, seeing it performed for the first time ever live, and even performed so well (well alright, Hammett could have done better, but still) just ****s me up - I'm in a confused state of having an adrenaline surge, being aroused, and headbanging wildly while crying tears of joy...¨ I should probably consult a psychologist...
    Green Day's Dookie sold 20 million. Edit: Sorry, my mistake...Just read it's US sales only haha