Metallica Has a Billboard Top Five Record with “S and M2”

According to a published report from Billboard, Metallica’s new album, released on August 28th, 2020 – Metallica And San Francisco Symphony: S&M² has entered the Billboard 200 chart at position No. 4. The record racked up 56,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending September 3, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. This was aided by their “Encore Drive-In Nights” series “Jump in the Drive-In” event on August 29th in which every fan that bought a car-load package to their Drive-In concert event received four copies of the new album digitally. Many of their pre-order bundle options sold out early. The album ranked 4th behind Taylor Swift’s album Folklore, and slightly ahead of Katy Perry at number five.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album.

Of the 56,000 “S&M²” figure, album sales total 53,000, SEA units equal 3,000 (translating to 3.6 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks in the tracking week) and TEA units represent a negligible figure.


Metallica and San Francisco Symphony’s September 6 and September 8, 2019 “S&M²” concerts were historic on multiple levels: They served as the grand opening of San Francisco’s Chase Center, reunited the band and Symphony for the first time since the 1999 performances captured on the Grammy-winning “S&M” album, and featured the first-ever symphonic renditions of songs written and released since those original “S&M” shows. You can read our review of the actual live concert here.

The boxed set came with exclusive and limited edition merch bundles with all the typical merch, as well as special things, such as S&M2 performance-used music. S&M2 were two performances held in San Francisco in September of 2019, the second show was added after scalpers boxed out real fans from getting tickets. The band also world-premiered the concert footage in a series of exclusive global movie theater events via Trafalgar Releasing.