35 Best-Selling Albums Of All Time

In the world of music, certain albums have achieved unparalleled success, captivating audiences and setting records that endure to this day. 

From timeless classics to chart-topping hits, these albums have resonated with millions of listeners, becoming the best-selling records of all time. 

In this article, we explore the top 35 albums that have shaped the musical landscape, showcasing the remarkable artistry and commercial achievements of these iconic records.

35 Best-Selling Albums Of All Time

1. Thriller – Michael Jackson

Total Sales: 70 Million

Released in 1982, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” remains an unrivaled masterpiece. With an impressive 70 million copies sold worldwide, it stands as a testament to Jackson’s extraordinary talent and innovation. 

From the infectious beats of “Billie Jean” to the iconic dance moves in the title track, “Thriller” continues to captivate audiences, making it a timeless classic that transcends generations.

Learn more: Michael Jackson: Thriller Album Review

2. Back in Black – AC/DC

Total Sales: 50 Million

AC/DC’s “Back in Black” is a timeless rock masterpiece that has garnered a massive fan following across genres. With its powerful anthems like “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Hells Bells,” this album has sold over 50 million copies worldwide. Its enduring appeal is a testament to the band’s raw energy and relentless rock ‘n’ roll spirit.

Learn more: AC/DC: Back in Black Album Review

3. The Bodyguard Soundtrack

Total Sales: 45 Million

The soundtrack to the 1992 film “The Bodyguard” became an instant sensation, largely due to the mesmerizing vocals of Whitney Houston. With her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” leading the charge, the soundtrack sold a staggering 45 million copies. Despite initial critical skepticism, the album’s success proved the power of a standout song to elevate an entire soundtrack.

Learn more: The Bodyguard Soundtrack Review

4. The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd

Total Sales: 45 Million

“Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” is a transcendent album that defies categorization. Released in 1973, it spent nearly 1,000 weeks on the Billboard charts and has sold over 45 million copies. Known for its atmospheric soundscapes and thought-provoking lyrics, tracks like “Money” and “Time” continue to resonate with listeners, offering a profound musical experience.

Learn more: Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon Review

5. Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) – Eagles

Total Sales: 45 Million

The Eagles soared to new heights with their compilation album, “Their Greatest Hits.” Released in 1976, this timeless collection of hits captured the essence of the band’s signature sound and sold 45 million copies. With classics like “Take It Easy” and “Desperado,” the Eagles solidified their status as one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

6. Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf

Total Sales: 43 Million

Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” remains a rock opera masterpiece that has captured the hearts of millions. Featuring epic tracks like “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and the sprawling “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” this album has sold over 43 million copies. Its theatricality and larger-than-life sound established Meat Loaf as a unique force in the music industry.

Learn more: Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell Review

7. Hotel California – Eagles

Total Sales: 42 Million

Released in 1976, the Eagles’ “Hotel California” is a timeless classic that showcases the band’s songwriting prowess. With hits like the title track, “New Kid in Town,” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” this album sold 42 million copies. It encapsulates the spirit of the ’70s and solidifies the Eagles’ status as musical legends.

Learn more: The Eagles: Hotel California Review

8. Come On Over – Shania Twain

Total Sales: 40 Million

Shania Twain’s “Come On Over” revolutionized country-pop and became a cultural phenomenon in the 1990s. With over 40 million copies sold, it was the best-selling album of the decade. Twain’s catchy melodies and empowering lyrics in songs like “You’re Still The One” and “From This Moment On” resonated with audiences worldwide.

Learn more: Shania Twain: Come On Over Review

9. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac

Total Sales: 40 Million

Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” is an iconic album that exemplifies the band’s blend of rock and pop sensibilities. Released in 1977, it has sold over 40 million copies. With emotionally charged tracks like “Go Your Own Way” and “Dreams,” the album explores themes of love, heartbreak, and personal growth, solidifying its place in music history.

Learn more: Fleetwood Mac: Rumours Review

10. Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack

Total Sales: 40 Million

The “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack defined the disco era and became a cultural touchstone upon its release in 1977. With the Bee Gees’ infectious tracks like “Stayin’ Alive” and “How Deep Is Your Love,” this album achieved massive success, selling 40 million copies. It continues to evoke nostalgia for an era defined by pulsating beats and disco fever.

Learn more: Saturday Night Fever Review

11. Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin

Total Sales: 37 Million

Led Zeppelin’s fourth studio album, aptly titled Led Zeppelin IV, kicks off our list with a bang. Released in 1971, this album served as a powerful comeback for the band, reaffirming their status as rock gods. Led Zeppelin IV is often hailed as their magnum opus, featuring iconic tracks like “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll,” and the legendary “Stairway to Heaven.” 

With a total of 37 million sales, this album showcases the band’s unmatched musical prowess and remains a cornerstone of classic rock.

Learn more: Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV Review

12. Bad – Michael Jackson

Total Sales: 35 Million

The King of Pop himself makes an appearance on our list with his album Bad. Released in 1987, this album solidified Michael Jackson’s reign over the music industry. 

Although the title track wasn’t the first single, hits like “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Dirty Diana,” and “Smooth Criminal” captivated audiences worldwide. 

With 35 million copies sold, Bad showcased Jackson’s unparalleled talent and brought his electrifying performances to the forefront. The subsequent Bad Tour became a record-breaking success, grossing a staggering $125 million.

13. Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette

Total Sales: 33 Million

In 1995, Alanis Morissette burst onto the scene with her groundbreaking album Jagged Little Pill. This Canadian singer-songwriter poured her raw emotions into every track, creating an album that resonated with listeners on a profound level. 

From the post-breakup angst of “You Oughta Know” to the uplifting vibes of “Hand In My Pocket,” Jagged Little Pill earned critical acclaim and went on to sell 33 million copies. Its immense success led to a musical adaptation, solidifying its status as a cultural phenomenon.

14. Legend – Bob Marley & The Wailers

Total Sales: 33 Million

Reggae music found its champion in Bob Marley, and his album Legend serves as a testament to his enduring legacy. 

Released in 1984, this compilation of his greatest hits became the best-selling reggae album of all time, with 33 million copies sold. From the uplifting melodies of “Three Little Birds” to the iconic “No Woman, No Cry,” Legend encapsulates the essence of Marley’s musical genius. It remains a timeless collection that introduces new generations to the soulful rhythms of reggae.

15. Dirty Dancing Soundtrack

Total Sales: 32 Million

Few soundtracks have achieved the level of success attained by the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Released in 1987, this compilation of songs accompanied the iconic film and became an instant sensation. 

Featuring a diverse range of artists and genres, from Patrick Swayze’s heartfelt “She’s Like The Wind” to Eric Carmen’s infectious “Hungry Eyes,” the Dirty Dancing soundtrack captured the essence of the film’s nostalgic romance. With 32 million sales, it continues to evoke fond memories and ignite the desire to dance.

16. Falling Into You – Céline Dion

Total Sales: 32 Million

Céline Dion’s Falling Into You showcased the power of her extraordinary vocals and established her as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. 

Released in 1996, this album captured hearts with ballads like “Because You Loved Me” and “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” Despite mixed critical reception, Falling Into You resonated with audiences worldwide and sold 32 million copies. Dion’s emotional delivery and undeniable talent shine through, solidifying her position as one of the greatest vocalists of our time.

17. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

Total Sales: 32 Million

No list of best-selling albums would be complete without a nod to the legendary Beatles. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released in 1967, stands as a testament to the band’s innovative spirit and groundbreaking musical experimentation. 

This psychedelic masterpiece includes unforgettable tracks such as “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and “A Day In The Life.” With its eclectic soundscape and imaginative lyrics, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band continues to captivate listeners and remains a cornerstone of the Beatles’ iconic discography.

18. Dangerous – Michael Jackson

Total Sales: 32 Million

Michael Jackson’s album Dangerous marked a departure from his earlier sound, showcasing his artistic growth and evolution. Released in 1991, it featured hits like “Black or White,” “Remember the Time,” and “In the Closet.” 

Despite the controversy surrounding the album’s release, Dangerous garnered commercial success, selling 32 million copies worldwide. Its fusion of R&B, pop, and rock elements solidified Jackson’s status as a musical innovator, earning him numerous accolades and nominations.

19. 21 – Adele

Total Sales: 31 Million

In a digital age dominated by streaming platforms, Adele’s 21 stands as a testament to the enduring power of physical album sales. Released in 2011, this soulful masterpiece captivated audiences with its raw emotion and powerful vocals. 

Hits like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Set Fire to the Rain,” and “Rumour Has It” propelled Adele to international stardom. With 31 million copies sold, 21 earned numerous awards and cemented Adele’s status as a modern-day vocal powerhouse.

20. 1 – The Beatles

Total Sales: 31 Million

This is another Beatles album, but this time, it’s a compilation of their chart-topping hits. 1, released in 2000, showcases the unparalleled success of the Fab Four, featuring all of their songs that reached number one in either the UK or the US. 

With 27 tracks spanning their entire career, from the early days of “Love Me Do” to the melancholic “The Long and Winding Road,” 1 provides a comprehensive journey through the Beatles’ musical evolution. This timeless collection has sold 31 million copies, solidifying the band’s status as cultural icons.

21. “Metallica” (The Black Album) – Metallica

Total Sales: 31 Million

Released in 1991, Metallica’s self-titled album, often referred to as “The Black Album,” signifies a shift in the band’s sound. 

Despite initial reservations from their original fanbase, the album’s mainstream success was undeniable. Hits like “Enter Sandman,” “Nothing Else Matters,” and “Sad But True” propelled Metallica’s popularity to new heights. With over 31 million copies sold, this album remains a true metal masterpiece.

22. “Let’s Talk About Love” – Céline Dion

Total Sales: 31 Million

Céline Dion’s album “Let’s Talk About Love” marked a significant milestone in her career. While the album contained several successful tracks such as “Tell Him” and “Be The Man,” it was the timeless ballad “My Heart Will Go On” from the Titanic soundtrack that became an international sensation. With a total of 31 million copies sold, this album solidified Céline Dion’s status as a powerhouse vocalist.

23. “Abbey Road” – The Beatles

Total Sales: 31 Million

The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” is a testament to the band’s musical genius. Released as one of their final albums, it showcases the diversity of the group’s individual talents. 

From the iconic “Come Together” to George Harrison’s melodic masterpiece “Here Comes The Sun,” this album is a must-listen for Beatles fans. With 31 million copies sold, “Abbey Road” holds a special place in music history.

24. “Appetite for Destruction” – Guns N’ Roses

Total Sales: 30 Million

“Guns N’ Roses’ “Appetite for Destruction” burst onto the music scene with its raw energy and rebellious spirit. The album’s opening track, “Welcome To The Jungle,” set the tone for the band’s explosive debut. 

With anthems like “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Guns N’ Roses solidified their place as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Selling 30 million copies, this album remains an essential part of any rock collection.

25. “Born in the U.S.A.” – Bruce Springsteen

Total Sales: 30 Million

Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” embodies the essence of American rock and storytelling. Released in 1984, this album propelled Springsteen to superstardom with hits like the title track, “Dancing In The Dark,” “I’m On Fire,” and “Glory Days.” With its relatable lyrics and infectious melodies, the album resonated with audiences worldwide, selling over 30 million copies.

26. “ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits” – ABBA

Total Sales: 30 Million

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of ABBA’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest, “ABBA Gold” features the band’s most beloved hits. From the infectious rhythms of “Dancing Queen” to the nostalgic charm of “Fernando” and the ever-catchy “Waterloo,” this album captures the essence of ABBA’s enduring appeal. With its remastered tracks, “ABBA Gold” has sold 30 million copies, captivating fans old and new.

27. “Brothers in Arms” – Dire Straits

Total Sales: 30 Million

British rock band Dire Straits made a significant impact with their album “Brothers in Arms.” With its blend of pop and rock, the album produced memorable tracks like “Money For Nothing” and “Walk Of Life.” Although it sparked debates among music critics about the direction of rock music, “Brothers in Arms” achieved remarkable success, selling 30 million copies worldwide.

28. “Supernatural” – Santana

Total Sales: 30 Million

Carlos Santana’s “Supernatural” marked a triumphant return for the legendary guitarist. Collaborating with various artists, Santana’s album featured the chart-topping hits “Smooth” with Rob Thomas and “Maria Maria” with the Product G&B. The album’s success was unparalleled, with “Smooth” ranking as one of the most popular songs in radio history. With 30 million copies sold, “Supernatural” became a musical phenomenon.

29. “The Immaculate Collection” – Madonna

Total Sales: 30 Million

Madonna, the Queen of Pop, added another milestone to her illustrious career with “The Immaculate Collection.” This greatest hits album includes timeless classics like “Material Girl,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” and “Like A Prayer.” Alongside these iconic hits, Madonna surprised fans with two brand new songs, “Justify My Love” and “Rescue Me.” With 30 million copies sold, this compilation showcases Madonna’s unmatched musical prowess.

30. “The Wall” – Pink Floyd

Total Sales: 30 Million

Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” stands as a masterpiece of progressive rock. Released in 1979, it features unforgettable tracks such as “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2,” “Run Like Hell,” and “Comfortably Numb.” 

The album’s conceptual narrative, combined with Pink Floyd’s mesmerizing soundscapes, continues to captivate listeners. With 30 million copies sold, “The Wall” remains an enduring testament to the band’s artistic vision.

31. Grease Soundtrack

Total Sales: 30 Million

From the magical realm of musicals, the Grease soundtrack takes us back to the nostalgic days of the 1950s. Accompanying the classic film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, this album features timeless hits like “You’re The One That I Want,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” and “Summer Nights.” With its infectious energy and catchy tunes, it’s no surprise that the Grease soundtrack remains a beloved favorite, selling a staggering 30 million copies worldwide.

32. Titanic Soundtrack

Total Sales: 30 Million

Transporting us to the grandeur of the ill-fated RMS Titanic, the Titanic soundtrack takes second place on our list. Released in 1997, the film and its accompanying music became a cultural phenomenon. Céline Dion’s iconic ballad, “My Heart Will Go On,” became an anthem for a generation. The haunting melodies and emotional depth of the soundtrack, composed by James Horner, struck a chord with listeners worldwide, resulting in an impressive 30 million copies sold.

33. Music Box – Mariah Carey

Total Sales: 28 Million

A true vocal powerhouse, Mariah Carey stole hearts with her album “Music Box.” Released as her third studio album, it showcased her incredible range and signature style. Songs like “Dreamlover,” “Hero,” and “Anytime You Need A Friend” soared to the top of the charts, cementing Mariah Carey’s status as a global superstar. 

With an astounding 28 million copies sold, “Music Box” remains an enduring testament to Carey’s talent and ability to connect with audiences.

34. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones

Total Sales: 27 Million

In 2002, a soulful voice emerged and took the world by storm. Norah Jones’s debut album, “Come Away With Me,” enchanted listeners with its jazzy undertones and heartfelt lyrics. The mesmerizing hit “Don’t Know Why” captured the essence of Jones’s artistry and resonated with audiences across different genres. Garnering critical acclaim and winning the Grammy for Album of the Year, “Come Away With Me” has sold over 27 million copies, solidifying Jones’s place as a remarkable talent in the music industry.

35. The Eminem Show – Eminem

Total Sales: 27 Million

Rap music has the power to express raw emotions and tell compelling stories, and Eminem’s “The Eminem Show” achieved just that. Released in 2002, this album showcased the Detroit rapper’s lyrical genius and unparalleled storytelling abilities. 

With chart-topping hits like “Without Me,” “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” and “Sing For The Moment,” Eminem captivated fans and critics alike. Selling 27 million copies, “The Eminem Show” not only established Eminem as a rap icon but also earned him a Grammy for Best Rap Album.


The 35 best-selling albums of all time represent more than just record-breaking sales figures; they embody a rich tapestry of musical brilliance, cultural influence, and the power to connect people across generations. These albums have not only topped the charts but have also left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of listeners worldwide.

From Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking “Thriller” to the timeless anthems of Queen’s “Greatest Hits,” and the emotional depth of Adele’s “21,” each album on this list stands as a testament to the artistry, creativity, and sheer talent of the artists who created them. They have defined genres, shaped trends, and provided the soundtrack to countless memories and experiences.

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