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Monday, February 20, 2012

The World's Top 100 All-Time Best-Selling Albums








You’d think it would be simple to generate this list; you just count up how many sales each album has and the one with the most is the best-seller and so on, right? Well…

There’s a couple problems. First, on a global scale, there just isn’t any solid means in place for tracking albums. Second, even those official sales measurers (such as the RIAA in the United States) favor more recent albums because of improvements in tracking over the years and simple population growth. Third, albums that preceded official tracking measures don’t even typically show up on all-time best-selling lists.

As a result, the DMDB has compiled what lists it can find to try to generate a worldwide bestsellers list. Click here for a complete list of those sources. In the event of ties, the oldest album is listed first. Click on an album to go to its DMDB page.

Note: One should certainly regard this list with at least some skepticism. Remember, these aren’t official numbers, just estimates. Also, to boost an album’s reputation, even official websites or record companies may inflate numbers. (Iron Butterfly has sold 25 million copies worldwide of In-A-Gada-Da-Vida? Really?) However, it is my opinion that these estimates come much closer to reflecting all-times sales than the official records reflect.





1. 72.4 million: Thriller – Michael Jackson (1982)
2. 49 million: Back in Black – AC/DC (1980)
3. 45 million: Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd (1973)
4. 44.5 million: Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin (1971)
5. 43 million: Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf (1977)
6. 42.9 million: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 – Eagles (1976)
7. 40.4 million: Grease Soundtrack (1978)
8. 40 million: Rumours – Fleetwood Mac (1977)
9. 40 million: Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (1977)
10. 39 million: Come on Over – Shania Twain (1997)





11. 37.3 million: The Bodyguard Soundtrack (1992)
12. 34.4 million: Gold: Greatest Hits – Abba (1993)
13. 33.2 million: Bad – Michael Jackson (1987)
14. 33 million: Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette (1995)
15. 33 million: Falling into You – Celine Dion (1996)
16. 32.6 million: Brothers in Arms – Dire Straits (1985)
17. 32 million: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles (1967)
18. 32 million: Dirty Dancing Soundtrack (1987)
19. 32 million: Music Box – Mariah Carey (1993)
20. 31.5 million: The Immaculate Collection – Madonna (1990)






21. 31.5 million: 1 – The Beatles (2000)
22. 31.4 million: Hotel California – Eagles (1976)
23. 31.3 million: Legend – Bob Marley & The Wailers (1984)
24. 31 million: Let’s Talk about Love – Celine Dion (1997)
25. 30.7 million: The Wall – Pink Floyd (1979)
26. 30.4 million: Appetite for Destruction – Guns N’ Roses (1987)
27. 30 million: 1962-1966 – The Beatles (1973)
28. 30 million: Spirits Having Flown – Bee Gees (1979)
29. 30 million: Born in the U.S.A. – Bruce Springsteen (1984)
30. 30 million: The Joshua Tree – U2 (1987)





31. 30 million: Nevermind – Nirvana (1991)
32. 30 million: Titanic Soundtrack (1997)
33. 29.8 million: 1967-1970 – The Beatles (1973)
34. 29 million: Abbey Road – The Beatles (1969)
35. 28.5 million: Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel (1970)
36. 28.3 million: Baby…One More Time – Britney Spears (1999)
37. 28 million: Boston – Boston (1976)
38. 28 million: Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi (1986)
39. 28 million: Dangerous – Michael Jackson (1991)
40. 28 million: Backstreet Boys (U.S. version): Backstreet Boys (1997)





41. 27.6 million: Greatest Hits – Queen (1981)
42. 27.6 million: Spice – Spice Girls (1996)
43. 27 million: Greatest Hits – Elton John (1974)
44. 27 million: Supernatural – Santana (1999)
45. 26.45 million: Phil Collins – No Jacket Required (1985)
46. 26.3 million: True Blue – Madonna (1986)
47. 26 million: Purple Rain – Prince & the Revolution (1984)
48. 26 million: Like a Virgin – Madonna (1984)
49. 25.6 million: Metallica (aka 'The Black Album') – Metallica (1991)
50. 25.1 million: Greatest Hits – Simon & Garfunkel (1972)





51. 25 milion: Iron Butterfly – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)
52. 25 million: Tapestry – Carole King (1971)
53. 25 million: Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston (1985)
54. 25 million: Daydream – Mariah Carey (1995)
55. 25 million: Millenium – Backstreet Boys (1999)
56. 24.5 million: Led Zeppelin II – Led Zeppelin)
57. 24.4 million: But Seriously – Phil Collins (1989)
58. 24.3 million: Whitney – Whitney Houston (1987)
59. 24.3 million: Unplugged – Eric Clapton (1992)
60. 24 million: Hybrid Theory – Linkin Park (2000)





61. 24 million: Backstreet Boys – Black & Blue (2000)
62. 23.9 million: Cracked Rear View: Hootie & The Blowfish (1994)
63. 23.4 million: Eliminator – ZZ Top (1983)
64. 23.35 million: The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem (2000)
65. 23 million: No Fences – Garth Brooks (1990)
66. 23 million: Ace of Base – The Sign (1993)
67. 22.5 million: Come Away with Me – Norah Jones (2002)
68. 22.5 million: The Eminem Show – Eminem (2002)
69. 22.3 million: Greatest Hits 2 – Queen (1991)
70. 22 million: The Sound of Music Soundtrack (1965)





71. 22 million: Def Leppard: Hysteria (1987)
72. 22 million: What's the Story Morning Glory – Oasis (1995)
73. All the Way…A Decade of Song – Celine Dion (1999)
74. 21.5 million: The Beatles (aka ‘The White Album’) – The Beatles (1968)
75. 21.5 million: HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book1 – Michael Jackson (1995)
76. 21.4 million: Greatest Hits Volume I & II – Billy Joel (1985)
77. 21.3 million: Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd (1975)
78. 21 million: Can’t Slow Down – Lionel Richie (1983)
79. 21 million: II – Boyz II Men (1994)
80. 21 million: No Angel – Dido (1999)





81. 20.4 million: Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman (1988)
82. 20.4 million: Achtung Baby – U2 (1991)
83. 20.2 million: Cross Road – Bon Jovi (1994)
84. 20 million: Tommy – The Who (1969)
85. 20 million: Parallel Lines – Blondie (1978)
86. 20 million: Off the Wall – Michael Jackson (1979)
87. 20 million: Flashdance Soundtrack (1983)
88. 20 million: Private Dancer – Tina Turner (1984)
89. 20 million: Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em – MC Hammer (1990)
90. 20 million: Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell – Meat Loaf (1993)





91. 20 million: The Colour of My Love – Celine Dion (1993)
92. 20 million: Dookie – Green Day (1994)
93. 20 million: The Score: The Fugees (1996)
94. 20 million: Ricky Martin – Ricky Martin (1999)
95. 20 million: Oops!...I Did It Again – Britney Spears (2000)
96. 19.9 million: Top Gun Soundtrack (1986)
97. 19.6 million: Faith – George Michael (1987)
98. 19.1 million: Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin (1973)
99. 19 million: Christmas Album – Elvis Presley (1957)
100. 19 million: Ropin’ the Wind – Garth Brooks (1991)






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1 comment:

  1. 25 million copies of Inna Gada Davida might be a little high, but being a little older than you, and living in the same house with a bunch of hippies I can tell you this album was MASSIVE. It probably has sold more than either of us think.

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