Best Selling Albums Of All Time

Updated: 21/4/2012

Ever wondered what the highest selling albums of all time are? Look no further! If you like this post, explore my site or check out my others –

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Artist Album Year Released Sales (Millions)
Michael Jackson Thriller 1982 70-110
Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon 1973 50
AC/DC Back in Black 1980 49
Whitney Houston / Various artists The Bodyguard 1992 44
Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell 1977 43
Eagles Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) 1976 42
Various artists Dirty Dancing 1987 42
Backstreet Boys Millennium 1999 40
Bee Gees / Various artists Saturday Night Fever 1977 40
Fleetwood Mac Rumours 1977 40
Shania Twain Come On Over 1997 39
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV 1971 37
Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill 1995 33
The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967 32
Celine Dion Falling into You 1996 32
Mariah Carey Music Box 1993 32
Michael Jackson Dangerous 1991 32
The Beatles 1 2000 31
Celine Dion Let’s Talk About Love 1997 31
Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1973 31
Bee Gees Spirits Having Flown 1979 30
Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. 1984 30
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms 1985 30
James Horner Titanic 1997 30
Madonna The Immaculate Collection 1990 30
Michael Jackson Bad 1987 30
Pink Floyd The Wall 1979 30
Nirvana Nevermind 1991 26
ABBA ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits 1992 28
Backstreet Boys Backstreet’s Back 1997 28
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet 1986 28
Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction 1987 28
Various artists Grease 1978 28
Spice Girls Spice 1996 28
Santana Supernatural 1999 27
Britney Spears …Baby One More Time 1999 26
Carole King Tapestry 1971 25
Iron Butterfly In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida 1968 25
Mariah Carey Daydream 1995 25
Queen Greatest Hits 1981 25
Simon & Garfunkel Bridge over Troubled Water 1970 25
U2 The Joshua Tree 1987 25
Whitney Houston Whitney Houston 1985 25
Metallica Metallica 1991 25
Backstreet Boys Black & Blue 2000 24
Linkin Park Hybrid Theory 2000 24
Madonna True Blue 1986 24
Ace of Base Happy Nation/The Sign 1994 23
Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 1995 22
Dido No Angel 1999 21
Madonna Like a Virgin 1984 21
Adele 21 2011 20
Billy Ray Cyrus Some Gave All 1992 20
Bob Marley & The Wailers Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers 1984 20
Blondie Parallel Lines 1978 20
Bon Jovi Cross Road 1994 20
Britney Spears Oops!…I Did It Again 2000 20
Céline Dion The Colour of My Love 1993 20
Cher Believe 1999 20
Def Leppard Hysteria 1987 20
George Michael Faith 1987 20
Janet Jackson janet. 1993 20
Madonna Ray of Light 1998 20
Michael Jackson HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I 1995 20
Michael Jackson Off the Wall 1979 20
Norah Jones Come Away with Me 2002 20
Prince & The Revolution Purple Rain 1984 20
Spice Girls Spiceworld 1997 20
Tina Turner Private Dancer 1984 20
Usher Confessions 2004 20
Eminem The Eminem Show 2002 20
Shania Twain Up! 2002 20
Andrea Bocelli Romanza 1997 20
Shania Twain The Woman In Me 1995 20
Whitney Houston Whitney 1987 20
Barbra Streisand Guilty 1980 20
Boston Boston 1976 20

It’s interesting, there hasn’t been an album that has sold over 20 million copies since Usher in 2004. (Adele has finally broken the curse!) This I think can be down to two things:

1. There are many more bands that can infiltrate the music business now, as anyone can now upload their own tracks online, use recording software to record and burn to CD….the market is getting flooded. This means that radio stations have much, much more music to choose from, making songs have less of an impact as listeners will hear a much wider variety of songs (well, if they choose to play them) and so the fixation on a particular band/album is not as strong as it once was.

2. I think this is MUCH MUCH more likely to be the reason – illegal downloading. It’s gotten to the point where people are just downloading whatever they can get their hands on. Doesn’t matter that they will never listen to it, let alone take enough time to appreciate the effort that has gone into making the album. What I find very sad is that younger kids these days are beginning to believe that this is the only way to obtain music. Very odd, and if it keeps up, who knows what will happen to the music industry. Sure, if you want to find more music, you don’t want to buy it if you have no idea if you will like it, but if you do like it, and listen to it, you should support that artist. It would be like going to work, working all week then not being paid.

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Note: This list is from:
Posted by:submeg

Musician, Writer and Inspirer. I discuss the projects I am working on, the services I provide and my general thoughts.

2 replies on “Best Selling Albums Of All Time

  1. Album sales haven’t sold highly since ushers 2004 simply due to 1 fact, illegal downloading!!!!!!


    1. I hear you! It sucks that people think that just because it’s possible,that they should.The album wasn’t made for free and just because you can download it, that you should. Seriously, if you download an album and find you like it, go buy it! Support the people that make the music, if they aren’t paid eventually they won’t be around


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