No New Rock Albums Cracked Billboard’s Year-End Top 200

Billboard’s year-end album chart features no new rock records for 2021, with Queen’s 1981 Greatest Hits compilation listed as the genre’s biggest-selling LP over the past 12 months.

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).

Last year, only Ozzy Osbourne cracked the top 200 with a new rock album — and barely, as his Ordinary Man landed at No. 199.

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.”

Michael Jackson’s Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, followed by Back in Black, Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard soundtrack, Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell and EaglesGreatest Hits.

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

Top 100 Classic Rock Artists

Click through to find out how they stack up, as we count down the Top 100 classic rock artists.

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