30 Of the Best-Selling Albums (How Much Did They Sell?)

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is the most-sold album of all time?” We can answer that question pretty quickly.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller has sold more copies than any album ever created.

Many creative masterminds have created multi-platinum compilations over the years, earning billions of dollars and fans.

But which musicians have blown their competition away?

You’re in the right place if you’re looking for inspiration on what to listen to between your radio-binging sessions.

Today, we’re listing the 30 best-selling albums of all time.

The Best-Selling Albums of All Time

We’re looking at the best-selling albums worldwide, not just the top contenders in the US or on the Billboard 200 chart.

We’re also looking specifically at album sales, so people downloading albums on Spotify or Apple Music don’t count.

With that precursor out of the way, let’s dive in.

1. The Wall (Pink Floyd)

Sales: 30 million+

The eleventh studio album by Pink Floyd was also one of the group’s most successful compilations.

If you’re familiar with singles like “Run Like Hell” or “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”, you’ll love this album.

Released in 1979, the collection is filled with over 80 minutes of incredible progressive rock and pop hits from one of the best-known musical groups in the UK.

It has sold over 30 million copies and is the best-selling double album ever.

2. The Immaculate Collection (Madonna)

Sales: 30 million+

You’ll find many of the greatest hit compilations on this list, including the Immaculate Collection by Madonna.

It contains 15 of her top hit singles and two never-before-heard tracks. The compilation received universal acclaim from critics, who called it a retrospective of the 1980s.

The piece earned an 11-times platinum certification from the RIAA. It became Madonna’s second diamond-certified album in the States.

Songs include memorable hits like “Holiday,” “Lucky Star,” and “Material Girl.”

3. Supernatural (Santana)

Sales: 30 million+

Another band known for their success in the rock genre, Santana, surged into the public eye in the 1990s with the release of Supernatural.

The compilation reached number one in 112 countries and stood at the top of the US charts for 12 non-consecutive weeks.

Tunes on the album include “Smooth” and “Put Your Lights Out,” and feature several guest stars from throughout the music industry.

Supernatural even won nine Grammy awards, breaking the record previously held by Thriller from Michael Jackson.

4. Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits)

Sales: 30 million+

Regarded as one of the best British Rock groups, Dire Straits released Brothers in Arms in 1985.

It was the first album to sell more than a million copies in the new CD format. The piece spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 charts.

Plus, it was the first album in the UK to be certified 10 times platinum. It is the eighth best-selling album ever produced in UK chart history.

5. ABBA Gold (ABBA)

Sales: 30 million+

Gold is the greatest hits album by Swedish pop group ABBA.

The collection was released in 1992, nearly 20 years after the group acquired fame for their European Song Contest victory.

With more than 30 million sales, Gold became the best-selling ABBA album ever.

It’s also packed with chart-topping hits, including “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo.” The tracks were remastered and rereleased in 1999 to attract even more audiophiles.

6. Born in the U.S.A. (Bruce Springsteen)

Sales: 30 million+

The seventh studio album by Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A., was released by Columbia Records in 1984.

It’s considered by critics to be one of the greatest albums of all time, and it was certified 17 times platinum in the US.

The album also topped the charts in nine countries, including the UK and the United States.

Aside from the title song, popular tunes on the collection include “Cover Me” and “Dancing in the Dark.”

7. Appetite for Destruction (Guns N’ Roses)

Sales: 30 million+

Clearly, you can’t beat some good ol’ fashioned rock and roll. Guns N’ Roses’s debut studio album didn’t receive much mainstream attention at first.

However, the following year, songs like “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine” started grabbing industry attention.

As well as achieving more than 30 million sales worldwide, this collection is the seventh best-selling album in the US. It even launched the success of numerous hit singles for the group.

8. Abbey Road (The Beatles)

Sales: 31 million+

It’s hard to find anyone unfamiliar with the iconic album cover for Abbey Road.

The eleventh studio album from the English rock group features a host of hit songs, including “Come Together” and “Her Majesty.”

Though it was an immediate success commercially, the album only received mixed reviews from critics.

Despite this, the collection sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

9. Let’s Talk About Love (Celine Dion)

Sales: 31 million+

Known for her iconic love songs, Canadian singer Celine Dion made history with her fifteenth studio album, Let’s Talk About Love.

Featuring songs like “My Heart Will Go On,” Dion’s biggest-ever hit, the collection won many awards worldwide.

The album also topped the charts globally in the US, Canada, the UK, and many other regions.

It was certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, and gold in various regions.

10. Self-Titled Album (Metallica)

Sales: 31 million+

Known to most as “The Black Album,” Metallica’s self-titled album is one of the few heavy metal collections on this list.

It was the fifth studio recording by the brand and includes songs like “Enter Sandman” and “The Unforgiven.”

The piece debuted at number one in 10 countries and became the best-selling compilation produced by the group.

It also earned a 16 times platinum certification in the US and spent four weeks at the top of the US Billboard 200 charts.

11. 1 (The Beatles)

Sales: 31 million+

Another popular compilation album, 1 by the Beatles, was initially released in 2000 and featured almost every number-one hit produced by the group in the UK or US.

It was issued on the 30th anniversary of the brand’s break-up and topped charts worldwide.

1 is the fourth best-selling album created in the US and was the highest-selling album of the decade worldwide.

It was even remixed and reissued in various editions over the years.

12. 21 (Adele)

Sales: 31 million+

Slightly more modern than some of the other albums on this list, 21 was the second studio album produced by Adele.

Released in 2011, the collection topped the charts in more than 30 countries and was the best-selling album of the year in 2011 and 2012.

Songs like “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You” also rose to the top of the charts internationally.

Today, this piece stands as the best-selling album of the 21st century, making the name even more poignant.

13. Dangerous (Michael Jackson)

Sales: 32 million+

The eighth studio album recorded by Michael Jackson, Dangerous, includes a host of fantastic songs, from “In the Closet” to “Black or White.”

It was considered an artistic change for the musician, highlighting a focus on socially conscious materials.

Dangerous sold more than 32 million copies worldwide and has been included on various publications lists for the greatest album of all time. It also received an impressive four Grammy nominations.

14. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (The Beatles)

Sales: 32 million+

Back to the Beatles again, the 1970 smash hit from the group included songs like “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

This psychedelic song collection was surprisingly short despite consisting of 13 tracks in total.

In the UK, this album spent 27 weeks at the top of the Record Retailer chart and 15 weeks at the top of the Billboard Top LP charts.

It also won four Grammy awards, including Album of the Year.

15. Falling into You (Celine Dion)

Sales: 32 million+

Another successful piece from Celine Dion, Falling into You, became a massive success thanks to hits like “Because You Loved Me” and “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.”

Although the album was a huge commercial success, critics were torn over its value.

Despite this, the album earned Celine numerous awards, including World’s Best Selling Pop Artist of the Year.

The album also achieved impressive gold, platinum, and multi-platinum certifications worldwide.

16. Dirty Dancing Soundtrack

Sales: 32 million+

Some of the best-selling albums don’t just feature a single artist. That’s certainly the case with the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, which includes pieces from various musicians.

Songs appear from The Ronettes, Patrick Swayze, and Bruce Channel.

This versatile piece spent 18 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 charts and was certified 14 times platinum by the RIAA.

It was also remastered in 2017 to accompany the movie’s Blu-Ray release.

17. Hotel California (Eagles)

Sales: 32 million+

Best known for its titular song, Hotel California was the fifth album produced by the Eagles and the first to feature guitarist Joe Walsh.

The piece topped the US Billboard charts and won Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

It also became one of the best-selling albums ever in the US. The piece is certified 26 times platinum in the United States, and a remastered version was released in 2017.

18. Legend (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

Sales: 33 million+

Another memorable greatest hits album, Legend by Bob Marley, changed how the world viewed urban music.

It was released only three years after the artist’s death. It surpassed Metallica for the title of the most time spent atop the Billboard 200 charts.

The collection includes 14 of the most popular hits from the singer, including “Buffalo Soldier” and “No Woman, No Cry.”

19. Jagged Little Pill (Alanis Morrisette)

Sales: 33 million+

Topping the charts in 13 countries, Jagged Little Pill was Alanis Morrisette’s most popular album. It also made the artist the first Canadian to achieve double diamond sales.

The artist, 21 years old at the time, was also the youngest to win Album of the Year.

Brimming with well-known classics like “Ironic,” this album received massive critical acclaim and was remastered twice in the following years.

20. Bad (Michael Jackson)

Sales: 35 million+

Jackson’s 7th studio album, Bad, hit the charts nearly five years after his previous record-breaking collection.

As one of the most anticipated albums of its time, Bad debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Pop album charts and reached number one in 24 other countries.

Six singles from the piece, including “Bad” and “Man in the Mirror,” also charted in the top 10 on the Billboard 100 list.

21. Led Zeppelin IV (Led Zeppelin)

Sales: 37 million+

Don’t let the uninspiring name fool you; Led Zeppelin’s fourth studio album was an iconic success.

Featuring songs like “Misty Mountain Hop,” the piece became one of the most popular albums ever. It’s also one of the best-selling items created in the US.

The collection was seen as a return to form for the musicians and was placed on many lists of the greatest albums of all time.

22. Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack

Sales: 40 million+


Another soundtrack featuring numerous artists, including the BeeGee’s with “Stayin’ Alive,” Saturday Night Fever was released in 1977.

The album was certified 16 times platinum in the US and stayed atop the charts for 24 weeks.

This impressive compilation epitomized the disco phenomenon of the time and was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress in 2014.

23. Rumours (Fleetwood Mac)

Sales: 40 million+

If you’ve only ever heard one Fleetwood Mac album, it’s probably this one.

Featuring songs like “Dreams” and “Go Your Own Way,” this unique album is characterized by various musical styles.

It topped the US and UK album charts and achieved various top 10 single placements, too.

Winning accolades like Album of the Year at the Grammies, Rumors was one of the best-selling albums of the 1970s and is considered the group’s magnum opus.

24. Come On Over (Shania Twain)

Sales: 40 million+

Released in 1997, Come On Over was the third studio album produced by Shania Twain, featuring songs like “Don’t Be Stupid” and “You’re Still the One”.

Though it received mixed reviews from music critics, it was still nominated for Album of the Year.

The collection topped the charts in regions worldwide but only hit number 2 on the Billboard 200 charts.

According to Guinness World Records, it was also one of the top-selling albums ever created by a solo female artist.

25. Bat Out of Hell – (Meat Loaf)

Sales: 43 million+

Easily one of the most successful rock albums of all time, Bat Out of Hell was the 1977 debut album of Meat Loaf, developed from a musical.

The collection includes some of the artist’s most profitable hits, including “Bat Out of Hell” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”.

The best-selling album ever created in Australia, this collection also spent 522 weeks on the UK album chart, the second-longest run of any studio album.

It was also named in Rolling Stone’s collection of the 500 Greatest Albums Ever.

26. Their Greatest Hits (Eagles)

Sales: 45 million+

A phenomenal compilation album, Their Greatest Hits, was released in 1976 and featured a selection of songs from the band’s first four albums.

The piece reached number one on the Billboard 200 charts and was the first collection ever to receive a Platinum certification.

In the US, this album sold more than 38 million copies and surpassed Thriller as the best-selling album in the country for a short time.

27. The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd)

Sales: 45 million+

Even if you’re unfamiliar with Pink Floyd, you’ve probably seen the iconic cover of this album.

Released in 1973, the eighth studio album by the band features songs like “Money” and “Us and Them.”

One of the most critically acclaimed albums in the year, it achieved amazing sales throughout the 1970s and topped the UK and Billboard charts.

The piece was even selected for preservation by the National Recording Registry.

28. The Bodyguard Soundtrack

Sales: 45 million+

While there have been a handful of soundtracks on this list, The Bodyguard leaves them all in the dust.

Released to accompany the 1992 film, the soundtrack features iconic songs like “I Will Always Love You” and “I’m Every Woman” by Whitney Houston.

In the States, the album gave Houston the honor of having the most weeks at number one ever achieved by a female artist before Adele surpassed her.

The piece was also the best-selling album of the ’90s.

29. Back in Black (AC/DC)

Sales: 50 million+

The seventh studio album by AC/DC, Back in Black, was the first piece to feature Brian Johnson as the lead singer.

It also has several of the group’s most popular hits, including “Back in Black” and “Hell’s Bells.”

The piece was an unprecedented commercial success, selling over 50 million copies worldwide.

It was also certified 25 times platinum by the RIAA. Interestingly, this is one of the best-selling albums in the US that never hit the top of the Billboard 200 charts.

30. Thriller (Michael Jackson)

Sales: 70 million+

With sales of over 70 million copies worldwide, it’s hard to imagine any album will ever beat the success of Michael Jackson and Thriller.

The album achieved massive critical acclaim upon its release, with songs like “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.”

It dominated the Grammy’s, winning more awards than any single album had in the past.

It’s included in the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.

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