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The Bestselling Albums of All Time

Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images

Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images

Music defines certain time periods — but some albums live on longer than others. The bestselling albums of all time might’ve debuted 20, 30 or 40 years ago, but they’re still significant today.

No doubt, there are plenty of songs that immediately take you back in time at the first beat. Whether they elicit a special memory or offer a flashback to a bygone era, these songs remain special because so many people feel a connection to them.

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Some albums topped the bestseller lists upon their debut and continue to reign today. Decades of holding court at the top prove they will never be unseated.

Curious if any of your favorite albums are among the all-time bestsellers? Keep reading to find out which iconic records have the highest sales numbers, along with some interesting facts about the album.

Last updated: Sept. 23, 2021

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19. (tie) Led Zeppelin: ‘Physical Graffiti’

  • Release year: 1975
  • Units sold: 16 million
  • Label: Swan Song
Globe Photos/Mediapunch/Shutterstock / Globe Photos/Mediapunch/Shutterstock

19. (tie) Bee Gees: ‘Saturday Night Fever (Soundtrack)’

  • Release year: 1977
  • Units sold: 16 million
  • Label: Capitol

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19. (tie) Alanis Morissette: ‘Jagged Little Pill’

  • Release year: 1995
  • Units sold: 16 million
  • Label: Maverick

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16. (tie) The Beatles: ‘The Beatles 1967-1970’

  • Release year: 1973
  • Units sold: 17 million
  • Label: EMI

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16. (tie) Elton John: ‘Greatest Hits’

  • Release year: 1974
  • Units sold: 17 million
  • Label: Island

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16. (tie) Boston: ‘Boston’

  • Release year: 1976
  • Units sold: 17 million
  • Label: Epic Records

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13. (tie) Whitney Houston: ‘The Bodyguard (Soundtrack)’

  • Release year: 1992
  • Units sold: 18 million
  • Label: RCA Records

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13. (tie) Guns N’ Roses: ‘Appetite for Destruction’

  • Release year: 1987
  • Units sold: 18 million
  • Label: Geffen

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13. (tie) Garth Brooks: ‘No Fences’

  • Release year: 1990
  • Units sold: 18 million
  • Label: Pearl Records, Inc.

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11. (tie) Shania Twain: ‘Come on Over’

  • Release year: 1997
  • Units sold: 20 million
  • Label: Mercury Nashville

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Nancy Barr Brandon/Mediapunch/Sh / Nancy Barr Brandon/Mediapunch/Sh

11. (tie) Fleetwood Mac: ‘Rumours’

  • Release year: 1977
  • Units sold: 20 million
  • Label: Warner Bros.

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9. (tie) Hootie & the Blowfish: ‘Cracked Rear View’

  • Release year: 1994
  • Units sold: 21 million
  • Label: Rhino

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9. (tie) Garth Brooks: ‘Double Live’

  • Release year: 1998
  • Units sold: 21 million
  • Label: Capitol Nashville

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6. (tie) Pink Floyd: ‘The Wall’

  • Release year: 1979
  • Units sold: 23 million
  • Label: Columbia

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6. (tie) Led Zeppelin: ‘Led Zeppelin IV’

  • Release year: 1971
  • Units sold: 23 million
  • Label: Atlantic

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6. (tie) Billy Joel: ‘Greatest Hits Volume 1 & Volume II’

  • Release year: 1985
  • Units sold: 23 million
  • Label: Columbia

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5. The Beatles: ‘The Beatles (White Album)’

  • Release year: 1968
  • Units sold: 24 million
  • Label: Apple

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CHRIS CAPSTICK/REX/Shutterstock / CHRIS CAPSTICK/REX/Shutterstock

4. AC/DC: ‘Back in Black’

  • Release year: 1980
  • Units sold: 25 million
  • Label: Columbia

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3. Eagles: ‘Hotel California’

  • Release year: 1976
  • Units sold: 26 million
  • Label: Rhino

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2. Michael Jackson: ‘Thriller’

  • Release year: 1982
  • Units sold: 33 million
  • Label: Epic Records

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1. Eagles: ‘Eagles/Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975’

  • Release year: 1976
  • Units sold: 38 million
  • Label: Rhino

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    Photo Disclaimer: Photos are for representational purposes only.

    Methodology: GOBankingRates used RIAA certification data to find the 20 bestselling albums of all time, in terms of units (albums) sold. For each album, GOBankingRates found (1) the name of the artist; (2) album title; (3) year released; (4) label originally released on; and (5) units sold, which was cut off at 13 million. All data was collected on and up to date as of Jan. 6, 2021.