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List of best-selling albums worldwide

Music Sound

List of best-selling albums worldwide

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The world's best-selling album cannot be listed officially, since there is no international body to count global record sales. Historical data before the 1980s and from developing countries are also incomplete. Information is also lacking for non-English language albums.

Albums are listed in alphabetical order, rather than albums sold. Groupings are based on different sales benchmarks. Entries marked with an asterisk (*) are double albums, but they are counted once for each sale. Mutiple entries from the same artist are listed in chronological order:

Albums claimed to have sold 40 million or more units

Artist Album Year of release Genre Source
AC/DC Back in Black 1980 Hard Rock [1]
The Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack)* 1977 Disco [2]
The Eagles Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) 1976 Rock [3]
Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon 1973 Rock [4]
Michael Jackson Thriller (This is the official greatest selling album of all time, according to guiness book of world records) 1982 Pop/R&B/Rock [5][6]

Albums claimed to have sold 30 million or more units

Artist Album Year of release Genre Source
Whitney Houston The Bodyguard 1992 Pop/R&B [7]
Backstreet Boys Millennium 1999 Pop [8]
The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967 Rock [9]
The Beatles 1 2000 Rock/Pop [10]
Céline Dion Falling Into You 1996 Pop [11]
Céline Dion Let's Talk About Love 1997 Pop [12]
Fleetwood Mac Rumours 1977 Rock [13]
James Horner Titanic (soundtrack) 1997 Classic [14]
Michael Jackson Dangerous 1991 Pop/R&B [15]

Albums claimed to have sold 25 million or more units

Artist Album Year of release Genre Source
Backstreet Boys Backstreet Boys 1997 Pop [16]
The Beatles Abbey Road 1969 Rock [17]
Céline Dion All the Way... A Decade of Song 1999 Pop [18]
Mariah Carey Music Box 1993 Pop/R&B [19]
Mariah Carey Daydream 1995 Pop/R&B [20]
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction 1987 Hard Rock [21]
Michael Jackson Bad 1987 Pop/R&B [22]
Queen Greatest Hits 1981 Rock  
Santana Supernatural 1999 Rock [23]
Simon & Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water 1970 Folk/Rock [24]
Various Artists Grease (soundtrack) 1978 Pop [25]
Britney Spears ...Baby One More Time 1999 Pop [26]

Albums claimed to have sold 20 million or more units

Artist Album Year of release Genre Source
ABBA Gold - Greatest Hits 1992 Pop [27]
Ace of Base Happy Nation/The Sign 1993 Pop [28]
The Beatles 1962-1966* 1973 Rock/Pop [29]
The Beatles 1967-1970* 1973 Rock/Pop [30]
The Bee Gees Spirits Having Flown 1979 Disco [31]
Blondie Parallel Lines 1977 Pop/Rock [32]
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet 1986 Rock [33]
Céline Dion The Colour of My Love 1993 Pop [34]
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms 1985 Rock [35]
The Eagles Hotel California 1976 Rock [36]
Michael Jackson Off The Wall 1979 R&B [37]
Norah Jones Come Away With Me 2002 Jazz [38]
Carole King Tapestry 1971 Pop [39]
Madonna Like a Virgin 1984 Pop [40]
Madonna True Blue 1986 Pop [41]
Madonna The Immaculate Collection 1990 Pop [42]
Ricky Martin Ricky Martin 1999 Pop (Latin) [43]
MC Hammer Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em 1990 Rap [44]
Metallica Metallica a.k.a. The Black Album 1991 Metal [45]
Pink Floyd The Wall 1979 Rock [46]
Lionel Richie Can't Slow Down 1983 R&B [47]
Simon & Garfunkel Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits 1972 Folk/Rock [48]
Britney Spears Oops!... I Did It Again 2000 Pop [49]
Spice Girls Spice 1997 Pop [50]
Bruce Springsteen Born In The U.S.A. 1984 Rock [51]
Tina Turner Private Dancer 1984 Rock/Pop [52]
U2 The Joshua Tree 1987 Rock [53]
various artists The Sound of Music (soundtrack) 1965 Pop [54]
Whitney Houston Whitney Houston 1985 Pop [55]

Albums claimed to have sold 15 million or more units

Artist Album Year of release Genre Source
Abrar-ul-Haq Billo De Ghar 1995 Bhangra [56]
Christina Aguilera Christina Aguilera 1999 Pop [57]
The Beatles The Beatles a.k.a. The White Album* 1968 Rock [58]
Andrea Bocelli Romanza 1997 Opera/Pop [59]
Bon Jovi Cross Road - The Best Of Bon Jovi 1994 Rock [60]
Backstreet Boys Black & Blue 2000 Pop [61]
Boston Boston 1976 Rock [62]
Garth Brooks No Fences 1990 Country [63]
Mariah Carey Mariah Carey 1990 Pop/R&B [64]
Mariah Carey Merry Christmas 1994 Pop/R&B [65]
Mariah Carey Butterfly 1997 Pop/R&B [66]
Mariah Carey #1's 1998 Pop/R&B [67]
Eric Clapton Unplugged 1992 Rock [68]
Phil Collins No Jacket Required 1985 Pop [69]
Phil Collins ...But Seriously 1989 Pop [70]
The Cranberries No Need to Argue 1994 Rock [71]
Bing Crosby Merry Christmas 1957 Pop (Traditional) [72]
Def Leppard Hysteria 1987 Rock [73]
Celine Dion These Are Special Times 1998 Pop [74]
The Eagles The Eagles Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 1982 Rock [75]
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2000 Rap [76]
Eminem The Eminem Show 2002 Rap [77]
Enya A Day Without Rain 2000 New Age [78]
Evanescence Fallen 2003 Hard Rock [79]
Peter Frampton Frampton Comes Alive* 1976 Rock [80]
The Fugees The Score 1996 Hip-Hop/R&B [81]
Genesis We Can't Dance 1991 Rock [82]
Green Day Dookie 1994 Rock (Alternative) [83]
Green Day American Idiot 2004 Rock (Alternative)  
Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion I 1991 Hard Rock [84]
Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion II 1991 Hard Rock [85]
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 1998 R&B/Hip-Hop [86]
Hootie & The Blowfish Cracked Rear View 1994 Rock [87]
Whitney Houston Whitney 1987 Pop/R&B [88]
Janet Jackson janet. 1993 Pop/R&B [89]
Billy Joel Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2* 1985 Pop/Rock [90]
Elton John Greatest Hits 1974 Pop/Rock [91]
Elton John & Hans Zimmer The Lion King (soundtrack) 1994 Pop [92]
Journey Greatest Hits 1988 Rock/Pop [93]
Kenny G. Breathless 1992 Jazz (Contemporary) [94]
Avril Lavigne Let Go 2002 Rock/Pop [95]
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II 1969 Hard Rock [96]
Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy 1973 Hard Rock [97]
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti* 1975 Hard Rock [98]
Linkin Park Hybrid Theory 2000 Hard Rock [99]
Madonna Like a Prayer 1989 Pop [100]
Madonna Ray of Light 1998 Pop/Dance [101]
Madonna Music 2000 Pop/Dance [102]
Bob Marley Legend 1984 Reggae [103]
Matchbox Twenty Yourself or Someone Like You 1996 Rock (Alternative) [104]
Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell 1993 Rock [105]
George Michael Faith 1987 Pop [106]
Nirvana Nevermind 1991 Rock (Grunge) [107]
No Doubt Tragic Kingdom 1995 Rock (Ska) [108]
'N Sync No Strings Attached 2000 Pop [109]
Oasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory? 1995 Rock [110]
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells 1973 Rock [111]
Pearl Jam Ten 1991 Rock (Grunge) [112]
Prince Purple Rain 1984 Pop/Rock [113]
Queen Greatest Hits II 1991 Rock  
R.E.M. Automatic for the People 1992 Rock [114]
Red Hot Chilli Peppers Californication 1999 Rock [115]
Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits 1980 Country [116]
Shakira Laundry Service 2001 Pop/Rock (Latin) [117]
Spice Girls Spice World 1997 Pop [118]
Supertramp Breakfast in America 1979 Rock [119]
TLC CrazySexyCool 1994 R&B [120]
Shania Twain The Woman in Me 1995 Country/Pop [121]
Usher Confessions 2004 R&B [122]
U2 Achtung Baby 1991 Rock [123]
Vanilla Ice To the Extreme 1990 Rap [124]

Home | Up | List of best-selling albums worldwide | List of album covers containing nudity | Pop albums that have consistently appeared in top lists

Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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