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Monday, November 26, 2012

What Are the Best-Selling Bay Area Albums of the Last 25 Years?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 3:30 AM

click to enlarge Santana has Supernatural record sales. - FLICKR/LOBOMX
  • Flickr/lobomx
  • Santana has Supernatural record sales.
The Bay Area isn't home to the biggest-selling artists in the country, but it still has a fair share of musicians who've earned a place in the Recording Industry Association of America's multiplatinum club for selling two million or more records. In fact, local musicians are responsible for some of the music industry's greatest success stories over the past 25 years. Some are predictable; others not as much. Join us while we round them up -- and have your guesses at the ready.

See Also:
* The Top 21 Bay Area Metal Albums of All Time.
* The Top 20 Greatest San Francisco Musicians: The Complete List

click to enlarge Metallica has more best-selling albums than any other Bay Area artist in the past 25 years. - FLICKR/PESTFOTO
  • Flickr/pestfoto
  • Metallica has more best-selling albums than any other Bay Area artist in the past 25 years.
Five acts from the Bay Area have achieved the increasingly elusive Diamond certification from the RIAA for selling more than 10 million copies of an album. Santana's Supernatural (1999), Journey's Greatest Hits (1988), and Metallica's self-titled album (1991) are all certified to have sold at least 15 million copies, making for a powerful tie between what are arguably the region's best-known acts of all-time. Rounding out the Diamond club are MC Hammer with Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em (1990) and Green Day's Dookie; each have sold at least 10 million records.

Metallica's And Justice for All (1988) is potentially on the cusp of becoming a Diamond album, with eight million sold. Two bands with fleeting success immediately trail; Counting Crows' August & Everything After (1993) has sold 7 million, and Third Eye Blind's self-titled album (1997) has moved 6 million.

Metallica has earned more mutliplatinum plaques in the past 25 years than any other act from the Bay Area. The albums Load (1996), Garage Inc. (1998), and S&M (1999) have all been certified five times platinum. The only other locally-bred band to match this quintuple sales feat is Green Day for American Idiot (2004).

A trio of '90s hits -- Hammer's Too Legit to Quit (1991), En Vogue's Funky Divas (1992), and Smash Mouth's Astro Lounge (1999) have each earned triple platinum honors for selling more than three million copies.

An overall sales slump over the past decade has meant that local acts have not been able to sell more than two million copies. But, to borrow the mantra of one of the Bay Area's top sellers, don't stop believin' in the potential of local artists to soar to the highest highs of musical success.

-- @teemoney415

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Tamara Palmer


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