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.

Read More: 7 Most Expensive Grammy-Winning Albums Ever
Where Are They Now: How Much These One-Hit Wonders Are Worth

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

Make Your Money Work for You
Henry Harris/Featureflash Photo / Shutterstock.com

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

Find Out: The Richest Celebrity From Every State

Sonia Recchia / Getty Images

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

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

Did You Know: Businesses You Didn’t Know Your Favorite Celebrity Owns

David Magnus/REX/ / Shutterstock.com

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

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

Money Advice: Do You Invest Like These Millionaire Stars?

JStone / Shutterstock.com

16. (tie) Elton John: ‘Greatest Hits’

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

Did You Know: Celebrities Who Are Not as Rich as You Think

©Robb Cohen/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

16. (tie) Boston: ‘Boston’

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

Read: Celebrity Endorsement Deals With Insane Payouts

Make Your Money Work for You

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

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

Find Out: Ariana Grande, Drake and Other Child Actors Who Went on to Make Millions in Music


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

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

Did You Know: 8 of the Most Notorious Music Rights Battles of All Time

Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP / Shutterstock.com

13. (tie) Garth Brooks: ‘No Fences’

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

Read: 25 Singers Who Left Their Bands and Still Rake In Cash

lev radin / Shutterstock.com

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

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

Find Out: Taylor Swift and 24 More of the Richest Musicians

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.

Fun Facts: Who Knew These 15 Things Were Invented by Celebrities? 

Make Your Money Work for You
Reed Saxon/AP/Shutterstock / Reed Saxon/AP/Shutterstock

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

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

Star Power: Blue Ivy, North West and 58 More of the Richest Celebrity Children

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

9. (tie) Garth Brooks: ‘Double Live’

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

Read: Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish and Other Musicians Set To Lose Millions to COVID-19


6. (tie) Pink Floyd: ‘The Wall’

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

Looking Back: How the World’s Highest-Paid Celebs Made Their Millions in 2020

Barry Peake/Shutterstock / Barry Peake/Shutterstock

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

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

Fun Facts: Jessica Simpson and 25 More Celebs Who Got Richer From Their Second Jobs


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

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

Money Advice: ‘Shark Tank’ Stars Share 50 Business Tips

Kevin Wisniewski/REX/ / Shutterstock.com

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

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

Did You Know: How Much Is Paul McCartney Worth?


4. AC/DC: ‘Back in Black’

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

Read: Filthy Rich Celebs You’d Never Guess Are Their 50s


©Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

3. Eagles: ‘Hotel California’

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

Big Tippers: 20 Celebs Who’ve Left Generous Tips

Vince Bucci / Getty Images

2. Michael Jackson: ‘Thriller’

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

Read: 18 Celebrities Who Lost It All

©Picture Perfect/Shutterstock

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

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

More From GOBankingRates

    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.