The Top 100 Best Selling Albums of All Time

best selling album of all time

Photo Credit: Clay Banks

What’s the best selling album of all time? The answer might surprise you, based on certified sales by the RIAA.

In 2018, The Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971—1975) surpassed Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the best selling album of all time in the United States. Since that point, the lead has only widened. The Eagles album has now sold more than 38 million copies according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), thanks in part to continued touring across the United States and sustained interest on streaming platforms like Spotify.

Their Greatest Hits (1971—1975) debuted in 1976 and included many of the group’s classics like “Take It Easy” and “Witchy Woman.” These sales figures compiled by the RIAA include disc and streaming sales.

Thriller briefly overtook the Eagles compilation as the best selling album of all time in 2009 after Jackson’s death caused a surge in sales. But recent accusations against Jackson involving sexual assault may have softened sales for the pop superstar.

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Best-Selling Albums of All-Time in the US

    1. EaglesTheir Greatest Hits 1971 — 1975 — 38 million
    2. Michael JacksonThriller — 33 million
    3. EaglesHotel California — 26 million
    4. AC/DCBack in Black — 25 million
    5. The BeatlesThe Beatles — 24 million
    6. Billy JoelGreatest Hits Volume I & Volume II — 23 million
    7. Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin IV — 23 million
    8. Pink FloydThe Wall — 23 million
    9. Garth BrooksDouble Live — 21 million
    10. Hootie & the BlowfishCracked Rear View — 21 million

 

Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (11—20)

    • Fleetwood MacRumours — 20 million
    • Shania TwainCome On Over — 20 million
    • Garth BrooksNo Fences — 18 million
    • Guns N’ RosesAppetite for Destruction — 18 million
    • Whitney Houston The Bodyguard (Soundtrack) — 18 million
    • BostonBoston — 17 million
    • Elton JohnGreatest Hits — 17 million
    • The BeatlesThe Beatles 1967 — 1970 — 17 million
    • Alanis MorissetteJagged Little Pill — 16 million
    • Bee GeesSaturday Night Fever (Soundtrack) — 16 million

 

Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (21—30)

    • Led ZeppelinPhysical Graffiti — 16 million
    • MetallicaMetallica — 16 million
    • Bob Marley & The WailersLegend — 15 million
    • Bruce SpringsteenBorn in the U.S.A. — 15 million
    • JourneyGreatest Hits — 15 million
    • Pink FloydDark Side of the Moon — 15 million
    • SantanaSupernatural — 15 million
    • The Beatles —  The Beatles 1962—1966 — 15 million
    • Adele21 — 14 million
    • Backstreet BoysBackstreet Boys — 14 million

 

Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (31—40)

    • Britney SpearsBaby One More Time — 14 million
    • Garth BrooksRopin’ in the Wind — 14 million
    • Meat LoafBat Out of Hell — 14 million
    • Simon & GarfunkelSimon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits — 14 million
    • Steve Miller BandGreatest Hits 1974 — 1978 — 14 million
    • Backstreet BoysMillennium — 13 million
    • Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen & E Street Band Live 1975 — ’85 — 13 million
    • Carole KingTapestry — 13 million
    • Pearl JamTen — 13 million
    • Prince & The RevolutionPurple Rain (Soundtrack) — 13 million

 

Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (41—50)

    • The ChicksWide Open Spaces — 13 million
    • Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston — 13 million
    • Bon JoviSlippery When Wet — 12 million
    • Boyz II MenII — 12 million
    • Celine DionFalling Into You — 12 million
    • Def LeppardHysteria — 12 million
    • JewelPieces of You — 12 million
    • Kenny GBreathless — 12 million
    • Kenny RogersKenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits — 12 million
    • Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin II — 12 million

 

Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (51—60)

    • Linkin ParkHybrid Theory — 12 million
    • Matchbox TwentyYourself or Someone Like You — 12 million
    • Phil CollinsNo Jacket Required — 12 million
    • Shania TwainThe Woman in Me — 12 million
    • SoundtrackForrest Gump — 12 million
    • The BeatlesAbbey Road — 12 million
    • The Rolling StonesHot Rocks — 12 million
    • TLCCrazySexyCool — 12 million
    • Tom Petty & the HeartbreakersGreatest Hits — 12 million
    • Adele25 — 11 million

 

Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (61—70)

    • AerosmithAerosmith’s Greatest Hits — 11 million
    • CreedHuman Clay — 11 million
    • EaglesEagles Greatest Hits Volume II — 11 million
    • James TaylorJames Taylor’s Greatest Hits — 11 million
    • Kid RockDevil Without A Cause — 11 million
    • Led ZeppelinHouses of the Holy — 11 million
    • N’SYNCNo Strings Attached — 11 million
    • Notorious B.I.G.Life After Death — 11 million
    • OutkastSpeakerboxxx/ The Love Below — 11 million
    • Shania TwainUp! — 11 million

 

Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (71—80)

    • SoundtrackDirty Dancing — 11 million
    • SoundtrackTitanic — 11 million
    • The Beatles1 — 11 million
    • The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — 11 million
    • The ChicksFly — 11 million
    • 2 PacGreatest Hits — 10 million
    • 2 PacAll Eyez On Me — 10 million
    • Beastie BoysLicensed To Ill — 10 million
    • Billy JoelThe Stranger — 10 million
    • Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet BandGreatest Hits — 10 million

 

Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (81—90)

    • Britney SpearsOops! ..I Did It Again — 10 million
    • Celine DionLet’s Talk About Love — 10 million
    • Creedence Clearwater RevivalChronicle: 20 Greatest Hits — 10 million
    • Def LeppardPyromania — 10 million
    • Doobie BrothersBest of the Doobies — 10 million
    • Elvis PresleyElvis’ Christmas Album — 10 million
    • EminemThe Marshall Mathers LP — 10 million
    • EminemThe Eminem Show — 10 million
    • Eric ClaptonUnplugged — 10 million
    • Garth BrooksThe Ultimate Hits — 10 million

 

Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (91—100)

    • Garth BrooksSevens — 10 million
    • Garth BrooksThe Chase — 10 million
    • Garth BrooksGarth Brooks — 10 million
    • Garth BrooksIn Pieces — 10 million
    • Garth BrooksThe Hits — 10 million
    • George Michael — Faith — 10 million
    • Green DayDookie — 10 million
    • HammerPlease Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em — 10 million
    • Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill — 10 million
    • Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin— 10 million

7 Responses

  1. Bunsen

    Nothing by U2, The Who or the Police… I thought that was surprising.

  2. Zebulon Raphael

    How could True Blue by Madonna (25M copies sold) not be on this list!?

  3. Jason

    I want to know what happened to Norah Jones’s album? That first one had to have made this list. But who knows I was just surprised it wasn’t there

  4. Jason

    I want to know what happened to Norah Jones’s album? That first one had to have made this list. But who knows I was just surprised it wasn’t there

  5. Chris

    Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ has 10 million plus in the U.S. alone.