For the First Time, No New Rock or Metal Albums Made Billboard’s Year-End 200 Chart
Billboard just released their Year-End 200 list, which compiles the most purchased and streamed albums of the 2021. For the first time in the yearly list’s history, not one new rock or metal album secured a place in the Top 200.
The Billboard 200 (as we know it) dates back to 1992 when Billboard began using Nielsen SoundScan numbers to track album sales. Year-end charts are now calculated by a cumulative total of physical and digital sales, plus streaming numbers throughout the year.
On Billboard’s website, the Year-End 200 list dates back to 2002, when Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory, Creed’s Weathered and Nickelback’s Silver Side Up all made the Year-End Top 10. Plenty of rock and metal albums released in 2002 made the year-end list, but in 2021, the newest album included in the Year-End 200 is Machine Gun Kelly’s 2020 pop-punk debut, Tickets to My Downfall.
MGK made last year’s Year-End list, as did Ozzy Osbourne’s Ordinary Man, which barely made the Top 200 by coming in at 199. Tool’s long-awaited Fear Inoculum made Billboard’s 2019 list, Five Finger Death Punch’s And Justice for None made the 2018 list, Foo Fighters’ Concrete and Gold made the 2017, and so on.
But even with big releases from Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Greta Van Fleet, The Pretty Reckless, Mammoth WVH and Evanescence, rock is barely seen on the 2021 Year-End 200. Greatest Hits albums from Queen, Fleetwood Mac and Journey made the cut, while Nirvana’s Nevermind, Metallica’s Black Album and AC/DC’s Back in Black also found their way to the Top 200.
Pop and hip-hop dominated the Billboard’s 2021 Year-End albums list, with Morgan Wallen taking the No. 1 spot with his Dangerous double album following an “n-word” controversy early this year. The rest of the top five features, in order, Olivia Rodrigo, Pop Smoke, Taylor Swift and Drake.
In the UK, however, rock dominated the first couple months of 2021. You Me at Six, Bring Me the Horizon, Architects, Mogwai and Foo Fighters all hit the No. 1 spot on the UK albums chart.