Metallica’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct dominating Active Rock chart with three Top 30 singles

Metallica’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct via Blackened Recordings/Q Prime/Rhino is the group’s tenth studio album and latest expected to top the Billboard 200, beating out LPs from superstar pop and country contenders Bruno Mars and Miranda Lambert. The two-CD release contains nearly 80 minutes of music co-produced Hetfield, Ulrich, and Greg Fidelman, whose stellar and varied credits include a diverse list of artists from Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Slipknot to Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond. The project was also recorded and mixed by Fidelman at HQ in San Rafael, California. Mastering was done by Dave Collins at Dave Collins Mastering in Los Angeles.

Three singles from Hardwired…To Self-Destruct are currently charting on the Mediabase Active Rock airplay chart including ‘Atlas, Rise!’ (No. 8); 'Moth Into Flame' (No. 14); and ‘Hardwired’ (No. 30). The latter topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart back in October, while ‘Moth Into Flame’ and ‘Atlas, Rise!’ are No. 5 and No. 10, respectively, on the Mainstream Rock chart. GQ magazine notes a recent album launch party in London demonstrated that the new material was written for “everyone who prayed we wouldn’t have to listen to our heroes slow down.”

BuzzAngle Music reports ‘Hardwired’ sold approximately 295,113 pure U.S. copies during the November 18-24 tracking week, ranking as the week’s best pure sales figure. In addition, the inclusion of digital and streaming sales puts the first-week consumption total at more than 305,000 units, which easily ranks as the week’s best consumption sum. While Billboard’s “more authoritative data” may slightly differ from the BuzzAngle stats, the discrepancy won’t be enough to change the projected result, according to the tracking service.

The incredible Metallica backstory began in Los Angeles during 1981. Drummer Lars Ulrich was looking to start a band, so he placed an innocuous ad in a local classifieds newspaper. Singer-guitarist James Hetfield was the first to respond, and was later joined by bassist Ron McGovney and lead guitarist Dave Mustaine. The band has since undergone a few lineup changes, but Ulrich and Hetfield remain the anchor in an outfit that now includes lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo.

Metallica is one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold 100 million albums worldwide including 1991's diamond-certified Metallica (often referred to as “The Black Album”), which is the best-selling album in the history of Soundscan with sales of 16 million albums in the U.S. alone, and more than 25 million worldwide.

The band has earned numerous awards and other accolades including nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, and multiple MTV Video Music Awards. Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, and the band celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011 by performing four exclusive fan club shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Metallica performs Dec. 17 in Oakland, Calif., before kicking off 2017 with shows in Seoul (Jan. 11); Beijing (Jan. 18); Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong (Jan. 20); and Singapore (Jan. 22). A three-night stand at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen (Feb. 3, 5, 7) is followed by a March 1 show in Mexico City, where tickets sold out in less than two hours and prompted a second show for March 3. A swing through South America follows in Sao Paulo (Mar. 25), Buenos Aires (Mar. 31), and Santiago, Chile (Apr. 1).

Watch Metallica in a live performance of ‘Moth Into Flame,’ recorded during a September 2016 concert at Webster Hall in New York City.

As A Matter of Fact…

* Metallica was formed in Los Angeles during October 1981 when drummer Lars Ulrich and singer-guitarist James Hetfield met through an ad Ulrich placed in a local newspaper. Hetfield’s friend and roommate, Ron McGovney, was recruited to play bass and Dave Mustaine joined as lead guitarist.

* The name Metallica was a suggestion from Bay Area metal scene friend Ron Quintana. The band’s quick ascent was driven by a relentless work ethic and “rare musical chemistry” that made Metallica a favorite on the L.A. club circuit.

* A demo of ‘No Life ‘Til Leather’ was a hit among the tape-trading crowd, and a number of well-received shows in San Francisco prompted Metallica to relocate to the Bay Area. Cliff Burton was also brought in replace McGovney on bass.

* The indie label Megaforce Records signed Metallica in 1983, and the group headed to New York City (replacing Mustaine with Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett) to record debut album, Kill ‘Em All. The album exploded onto the metal scene with “punk-encrusted, crunchy metal riffery” on tracks such as ‘The Four Horsemen,’ ‘Whiplash,’ and ‘Seek and Destroy.’

* Metallica’s immediate acceptance by the metal community convinced the band to quickly follow up with second album, Ride The Lightning, which was recorded in Copenhagen with producer Flemming Rassmussen. The album climbed into the Top 50 of the Billboard 200 and expanded Metellica’s fan base even more.

* Both Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning were re-released in 2016 for Record Store Day. The band also re-issued Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica! on CD. Sales from the live recording of the band's 2003 performance at Le Batalcan in Paris were donated to victims of the terrorist attacks that shook the city in 2015.

* In April 2009, Metallica was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. The band also performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary show, which was held later in the year at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The summer of 2010 featured a concert in Warsaw that became the first of several Big 4 shows with fellow “Big 4 of Thrash” pioneers Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax.

* Metallica collaborated with Lou Reed in 2011 on an album project based around author Frank Wedekind’s tales of a 19th century French prostitute named Lulu. The stories were reinterpreted by Reed and put to music on the resulting 2011 album titled, Lulu. The band then moved on to previously unchartered tours of the Middle East and India, followed by four nights at The Fillmore in December to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Metallica’s formation.

* A self-produced live music festival called Orion Music + More was launched in June 2012 in Atlantic City. The “visionary mixture of genres and the band member’s own cultural tastes” were reflected during the two-day event. The year also found Metallica announcing the start of its own label, Blackened Records.

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