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Metallica Is First Act With Mainstream Rock Songs No. 1s in Four Different Decades

"All Within My Hands," with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, tops the chart.

Metallica becomes the first act to have notched No. 1s on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart in four distinct decades, as “All Within My Hands,” with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, rises 2-1 on the survey dated Sept. 5.

The band first reigned with eight-week leader “Until It Sleeps” in 1996 and had most recently ruled with “Atlas, Rise!” in 2017.

The James Hetfield-fronted band now has Mainstream Rock Songs No. 1s in the ’90s, ’00s, ’10s and ’20s. No other act has yet achieved that feat, nor did any in the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and ’10s, dating to the chart’s 1981 inception.


Now with 10 Mainstream Rock Songs No. 1s (three in the ’90s; four in the ’00s; two in the ’10s; and now its first of the ’20s), Metallica slots into a tie for the fifth-most leaders, alongside Disturbed and Tom Petty (solo and with the Heartbreakers). Shinedown (16), Three Days Grace (15), Van Halen (13) and Godsmack (11) are the only other acts with a double-digit No. 1 sum.

“Hands” is the Metallica’s second Mainstream Rock Songs No. 1 aided by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, following seven-week ruler “No Leaf Clover” in 2000. That song (credited solely to Metallica) was released from 1999’s S&M, Metallica’s first album with the orchestra, while S&M2, its follow-up which houses “Hands,” was released Aug. 28.

Concurrently, “Hands” ranks at No. 7 on the all-rock-format, audience-based Rock Airplay list with 4.5 million audience impressions, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

S&M2 was recorded live over two nights (Sept. 6 and 8, 2019) in San Francisco to commemorate the 20th anniversary of S&M. The original debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in December 1999.