TOOL's 'Fear Inoculum' Was Best-Selling Rock Album Of 2019

January 14, 2020

According to BuzzAngle Music's year-end report on American music consumption trends, METALLICA sold more albums in the U.S. over the past five years than any other rock group, QUEEN was the country's top-selling rock act of 2019 and TOOL's "Fear Inoculum" was its best-selling rock album of the past 12 months.

Since 2015, METALLICA has sold more than 2 million albums in the U.S., putting the group ahead of such legendary artists as THE BEATLES, Elvis Presley, PINK FLOYD and LED ZEPPELIN. That figure falls well short, however, of both Adele and Taylor Swift, who respectively sold 7.5 million and 5 million albums over the past five years.

In 2019, QUEEN — still riding the success of the 2018 feature film "Bohemian Rhapsody" — sold more albums than any other rock artist, with total sales of nearly 900,000. That put the group well ahead of THE BEATLES (615,000),TOOL (604,000),PINK FLOYD (306,000) and METALLICA (275,000).

QUEEN was also the highest-ranked rock artist "by total consumption," a metric which combines album sales, song sales and on-demand audio streams. In addition, the "Bohemian Rhapsody" soundtrack was the third-best-selling vinyl title of the year, with sales of nearly 80,000.

With sales of 344,000, TOOL's long-awaited "Fear Inoculum" was the best-selling rock album of 2019 and the year's eighth best-selling album overall. (Taylor Swift's "Lover" topped the 2019 sales chart, as it was the only album released last year to sell more than 1 million copies.) QUEEN, meanwhile, was responsible for three of rock's top five sellers of the year — the "Bohemian Rhapsody" soundtrack, 1981's "Greatest Hits" and the 2001 "Platinum Collection" compilation.

Overall, album sales were down 23.2 percent from 2018. Sales of digital albums dropped 26.6 percent; CD sales dropped 26 percent; and cassette sales dropped 11.5 percent. Vinyl sales, however, increased 10.5 percent year-to-year.

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