The 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
    • Pearl JamTen — 13 million
    • Prince & The RevolutionPurple Rain (Soundtrack) — 13 million
    • The ChicksWide Open Spaces — 13 million

 

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

    • Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston — 13 million
    • Bon JoviSlippery When Wet — 12 million
    • Boyz II MenII — 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
    • Linkin ParkHybrid Theory — 12 million
    • Matchbox TwentyYourself or Someone Like You — 12 million

 

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

    • 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
    • AerosmithAerosmith’s Greatest Hits — 11 million
    • Celine DionFalling Into You — 11 million

 

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

    • 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
    • SoundtrackTitanic — 11 million

 

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

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

 

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

    • Carole KingTapestry — 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 Chase — 10 million

 

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

    • Garth BrooksThe Ultimate Hits — 10 million
    • Garth BrooksThe Hits — 10 million
    • Garth BrooksGarth Brooks — 10 million
    • Garth BrooksIn Pieces — 10 million
    • Garth BrooksSevens — 10 million
    • George Michael — Faith — 10 million
    • Green DayDookie — 10 million
    • HammerPlease Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em — 10 million
    • Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin — 10 million
    • Lionel RichieCan’t Slow Down — 10 million

7 Responses

  1. Avatar
    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

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    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

    Reply

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