Aerosmith Ignites “Global Warming Tour” June 16 In Minneapolis
Aerosmith’s “Global Warming Tour” heats up June 16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The bad boys from Boston have 18 dates on the docket with the last going down in Tacoma, Washington on Aug. 8. Tasked with the opening duties are “The Beatles” of supporting acts, Cheap Trick. Look for Aerosmith tickets to be sold in cities like Cleveland (June 19), Bristow (July 3), and Denver (Aug. 1).
Aerosmith is the number-one selling American band of all-time. During their career, they have allegedly sold 150 million albums worldwide. Now, albums sales are a tricky thing. Depending on when you started releasing records, you only need a small portion of your sales certified (15 percent if you began releasing albums before 1975, like Aerosmith, and up to 60 percent if you’re an act like Lady Gaga or Foster The People). The rest of an artist’s sales figures are determined their record company. If you think that sounds a bit shady, it’s only because it is. It’s like Albert Pujols deciding his own batting average or Adrian Peterson determining his rushing yards.
So we have two sales figures. The certified sales numbers and the sales numbers the record company pulls out of thin air. Well, they don’t really pull them out of thin air, they pick the highest number they possible can that makes their artists look good but won’t rustle feathers of industry insiders. If we stick with certified sales figures then America’s top selling rock band is not Aerosmith. Below, BSTLV looks at the top five selling American bands of all-time based only on certified sales. By the way, the band has to be from America, but their sales can be from anywhere.
Eagles, 127.5 million Total Certified Units
Most of the Eagles’ impressive 127.5 million albums sold are thanks to Hotel California and Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975). Both are two of the best-selling albums in rock and roll history. The Eagles were one of the most popular bands of the 1970s. While other acts of this period were experimenting in disco, dabbling in Glam Rock, or letting go of their frustrations by performing punk music, the Eagles made history with great songwriting and slick, laidback rock.
Metallica, 81.2 million Total Certified Units
Nearly a third of Metallica’s sales come from their 1991 self-titled masterpiece. For those unfamiliar with the speed metal pioneers that’s the record known as “The Black Album” (the one with “Enter Sandman”). It sold more than 25 million copies. Metallica’s other big sellers are …And Justice for All, Load, and Live Sh*t: Binge & Purge. Just about everything the Metal Gods release goes platinum.
Aerosmith, 79.2 million Total Certified Units
Consistency. As far as rock bands go Aerosmith has been a model of consistency. Minus Rock in a Hard Place (1982) and Done With Mirrors (1985), the band’s albums always go multi-platinum. Their 2006 offering, Honkin’ on Bobo, only went Gold but it’s primarily an album of covers and those don’t really count. Aerosmith sold 80 million units by playing a soulful blend of blues and hard rock that uses hints of heavy metal and pop.
Backstreet Boys, 65.8 million Total Certified Units
From 1996 through the end of 2000, the Backstreet Boys could have released an album of their bodily sounds and it would have sold a million copies. Their best-selling album, and one of the best-selling albums of all-time, was 1999’s Millennium. Anchor by the single “I Want It That Way,” Millennium sold 30 million copies worldwide. BSB maybe a boy band but no one sings those teeny boppers numbers better than A.J., Howie, Brian, Nick, and Kevin. They’re so dreamy.
Bon Jovi, 63.9 million Total Certified Units
Slippery When Wet dropped Aug. 18, 1986 and since then it’s sold more than 28 million copies. The band’s other top sellers are New Jersey, Keep the Faith, These Days, Crush, and the greatest hits compilation, Cross Roads. Bon Jovi isn’t the most sophisticated band in the world but their songs have touched a lot of people very deeply. Bon Jovi is sincere, perhaps the sincerest band on this list.
If we except claimed sales, Aerosmith jumps to the top of list with 150 million albums sold. They’re followed by The Backstreet Boys and Bon Jovi, both with sales of 130 million albums. When there’s a tie, the band with the most certified sales is listed first. In fourth place is Chicago with 122 million in claimed sales (only 47.6 in certified sales). Yeah, that doesn’t sound right to us either. Coming in fifth are the Eagles with 120 million. Yes, their claimed sales are lower than their certified sales. Apparently, Henley and Fry want to return a few. If it’s the Long Road Out of Eden we’ll gladly sell it back to them.