Although this year is not over yet, it can already be concluded that it was exceptionally good for the artists who conquered radio stations several dozen years ago. Today, success is measured not only by the number of albums sold, but primarily by the number of plays on streaming services. The record result of Kate Bush, who is the oldest woman triumphing on the Billboard charts or in Spotify summaries, Abba’s first concert in 40 years or Metallica’s second life “Master of Puppets” are just the tip of the iceberg. Statistics from the end of September show a similar trend – more than half of the ten most popular bands this year have several dozen years of experience.
The number of albums sold was decisive
The timelessness of the achievements of The Beatles or Led Zeppelin is indisputable, but it does not always translate into contemporary sales or plays. According to the summary prepared by the Chart Data profile, analyzing the data, among others Listed by Billboard, Soundscan, Mediatraffic, Official Charts Company, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing (SNEP) and British Phonographic Industry (BPI), these two bands were among the top ten US bands in 2022. Only album sales were taken into account. The Beatles ranked highest among rock classics, taking second place.
Progressive rock band Pink Floyd was also on the list. This year, it’s been 50 years since their seventh album “Obscured By Clouds” was released; They also released a new, unique single dedicated to Ukraine. Under the lucky seven, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to which guitarist John Frusciante returned this year.
Metallica, whose “Master of Puppets” gained a second youth thanks to Netflix’s series “Stranger Things”, was also on the list. There were also Fleetwood Mac, revived in recent years thanks to “Guardians of the Galaxy”, EA game “It Takes Two” or the series “Big Little Lies”.
What about the new generation of artists?
It should not be forgotten that four of the ten bands that sold the most albums in 2022 are contemporary performers. They all come from Korea. It is not without significance that for K-pop fans, buying physical media, often issued as collector’s editions, is a very important form of supporting their favorite artists. The most successful members were Tommorow X Together, Stray Kids, Seventeen and BTS, who took first place by dethroning the Beatles. The band has not released an album with new material in two years. In 2022, only the “Proof” anthology was released, containing singles published from 2013 to 2021. However, it is difficult to consider artistic fertility as a criterion for being included in the Chart Data list. The Beatles, which ranked second on the list, ended their activities in the late 1960s, yet their re-releases and compilations are still one of the most common choices of music collectors.
The autumn Chart Data list proves that today’s music market still respects the classics, and at the same time promotes their successors who are able to achieve equally impressive results. Despite the popularity of streaming, buying records is not yet an extinct activity and, like the Beatles or Metallica, it attracts more and more generation Z. The official list of album sales in 2022, including soloists, will be known in a few months.