Metallica‘s “Master of Puppets” soars onto Billboard charts dated July 16, as do other tracks and albums from the metal legends’ lengthy discography, thanks to the song’s sync in the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
“Master,” originally released on Metallica’s 1986 studio album of the same name, makes its first appearance on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 at No. 40, marking the rockers’ first time on the chart since “The Day That Never Comes” wrapped its run in November 2008, after reaching No. 31 that September.
In the July 1-7 tracking week, “Master” earned 9.6 million official U.S. streams and sold 7,000 downloads, according to Luminate. Those sums reflect vaults of 603% and 3,722%, respectively, over the previous frame. The final two episodes of Stranger Things‘ fourth season premiered July 1, with the song helping shape a pivotal sequence involving the show’s metalhead Eddie Munson (played by Joseph Quinn).
“Master” concurrently becomes Metallica’s first No. 1 on the Hot Hard Rock Songs chart (which began in 2020), exceeding the No. 4 peak of the group’s “All Within My Hands,” with the San Francisco Symphony, in September 2020. “Master” also arrives at Nos. 4 and 6 on Hot Rock Songs and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs, respectively, also new peaks for the band on both surveys.
The stream count for “Master” sends Metallica onto the Streaming Songs chart, at No. 23, for the first time, dating to the tally’s 2013 inception. It also starts at No. 1 on Hard Rock Streaming Songs (which began in 2020), eclipsing Metallica’s previous No. 6 best last September with 1991’s “Enter Sandman,” and opens at No. 3 on Rock Streaming Songs.
The download sum for “Master,” meanwhile, places the track at No. 7 on Digital Song Sales, becoming Metallica’s first top 10 (surpassing its prior No. 18 best in 2008 with “Day”). “Master” enters Hard Rock Digital Song Sales at No. 1, Metallica’s fourth leader, following “Sandman,” “One” and “Hardwired,” and starts at No. 3 on Rock Digital Song Sales, tying the group’s personal best first achieved with “Sandman.”
In more “Master” news, following the song’s reservicing to radio by Blackened/Q Prime (the track did not reach a radio chart upon its original run in 1986), it bows at No. 33 on Mainstream Rock Airplay – especially notable given its eight-and-a-half-minute runtime. It’s Metallica’s 39th entry on the chart, a haul that includes 10 No. 1s and 24 top 10s. On the all-rock-format, audience-based Rock & Alternative Airplay chart, it starts at No. 48 with 631,000 audience impressions. “Master” becomes the first song from its parent album to make a Billboard radio chart, as Metallica first hit Mainstream Rock Airplay in 1989 with “One” from 1988’s Master follow-up …And Justice for All.
Speaking of Master, it returns to multiple Billboard album charts, led by its No. 3 re-entry on Top Hard Rock Albums, with 13,000 equivalent album units earned, a leap of 254%. The LP also lands at No. 14 on both Top Rock & Alternative Albums and Top Rock Albums, and its No. 55 re-entry on the all-genre Billboard 200 spurs the set’s first appearance on the chart since February 2021. Master peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 in May 1986 following its release that March.
As one might expect, the Metallica catalog as a whole sports residual gains thanks to the resurgence of “Master,” much like that of Kate Bush‘s music following her own Stranger Things sync for “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” earlier in the season. (“Hill” returns to its No. 4 Hot 100 high on the latest list.) According to Luminate, Metallica’s overall official U.S. on-demand streams tallied 36.6 million listens July 1-7 – a 64% boost from 22.3 million the week before; taking “Master” out of the equation, the total still shows a hefty 30% gain for the band’s catalog, from 20.9 million to 27.3 million.
The most-streamed Metallica song beyond “Master of Puppets” in the July 1-7 tracking week was “Enter Sandman,” which boasted 4 million streams, up 19%. “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (2.5 million, up 39%), “One” (2.1 million, up 34%) and “Nothing Else Matters” (2.1 million, up 14%) rounded out the group’s top five for the week. “Sandman” jumps 9-6 on Hard Rock Streaming Songs, while “Bell” debuts at No. 24.
Additionally, “Sandman” reaches Hard Rock Digital Song Sales (No. 4; 1,200 downloads sold), along with “Matters” (No. 7), “Bell” (No. 8), “One” (No. 19) and “The Unforgiven” (No. 25).
Finally, Master isn’t the only Metallica project on Top Hard Rock Albums, with the band’s 1991 self-titled LP rising 7-6 (10,000 units, up 25%, good for Greatest Gainer honors) and 1984’s Ride the Lightning re-entering at No. 12 (6,000, up 53%). The former also flies 173-109 on the Billboard 200.
As for potential further Stranger Things chart achievements, a premiere date for the series’ fifth and final season has not yet been announced.