Top 10 Best-selling Albums

Updated May 20, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

The World's Most Beloved Music

Ever since humans mastered the art of recording music performances, albums have become incredibly important. Out of the concert hall and the broadcast studio, people are able to acquire music to their taste at their convenience. Find out which albums people have picked above the rest. 

(Note: Certified music sales are especially unreliable for older artists, as certification standards have changed over time. Artists active especially before and during the 1970's likely have higher total sales figures. The biggest discrepancy between certified sales and claimed sales is AC/DC's 1980 album Back in Black, which has 26.1 million certified sales versus 50 million claimed sales. Infoplease has erred on the side of more conservative figures.)

Rank Title Artist Certified Sales1
1 Thriller Michael Jackson 47.3
2 Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) The Eagles 41.2
3 Hotel California The Eagles 31.5
4 Come On Over Shania Twain 29.6
5 Led Zeppelin IV Led Zeppelin 29.0
6 The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Whitney Houston/Various Artists 28.4
7 Rumours Fleetwood Mac 27.9
8 Back in Black AC/DC 26.1
9 21 Adele 25.3
10 Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd 24.2

Source: Certification-issuing agencies from 22 countries, including the U.S. (RIAA), U.K. (BPI), and Japan (RIAJ).

1. Figures given are in millions. 

 
 
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