No New Rock Albums Cracked Billboard’s Year-End Top 200
The four-decade-old title appears at No. 23 in the Top 200. Only five other rock releases highlight the first 100: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (1977), Journey’s Greatest Hits (1988), AC/DC’s Back in Black (1980), Nirvana's Nevermind (1991) and Metallica’s Black Album (1991).
Meanwhile, Billboard lists the Foo Fighters as the top-selling Mainstream Rock Artist, followed by Ayron Jones, Mammoth WVH, Greta Van Fleet and Five Finger Death Punch. Maneskin leads the New Rock Artists category, followed by Surf Curse, Nessa Barrett, Sueco and Beach Bunny.
It’s been two decades since a rock album was the year's best-selling title, in the form of Linkin Park’s 2001 debut, Hybrid Theory. However, at that time, sales figures were calculated via the number of physical records sold across all physical formats. In the current era, a more complex accounting system is used. “Billboard’s year-end music recaps represent aggregated metrics for each artist, title, label and music contributor on the weekly charts dated Nov. 21, 2020, through Nov. 13, 2021,” the organization noted. “The rankings … reflect equivalent album units, airplay, sales or streaming.”
Billboard’s Top Selling Rock Albums of 2021
23. Queen - Greatest Hits
34. Fleetwood Mac - Rumors
66. Journey - Greatest Hits
68. AC/DC - Back in Black
97. Nirvana - Nevermind
99. Metallica - Black Album