Ranking The 10 Best-Selling Albums Of All-Time

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The Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits has become the top album of all-time in terms of copies sold. But which of the best-selling albums is actually the best?

This week it was announced that Michael Jackson’s Thriller is no longer the best-selling album of all-time having been unseated from the position by The Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits. While there’s some controversy to the news – is a “greatest hits” collection actually an album? – the numbers don’t lie. But what the numbers don’t tell you is which is the better album. Let’s take a look at the 10 best-selling albums of all-time by ignoring the sales and focusing on the music. Which is the best of the best-selling?

Be forwarned that these are just one person’s opinions and you’ll likely have your own top 10 list which you can share below.

Note: “Greatest hits” collections are not included (they’re not real albums).

10. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction

Released: 1987

Sold: 18 million copies

Best track: “Sweet Child o’ Mine”

There was a time when the heavy guitar rifts, bandanas and Axl Roses’ screaming might have been considered edgy and cool. That time has long since passed.

9. Garth Brooks – Double Live

Released: 1998

Sold: 21 million copies

Best track: “Friends in Low Places”

Something this list will show you is that country music has a following that might not necessarily be seen by the mainstream music lovers. Take for instance, Garth Brooks who is well-know, for sure, but among country music fans, he’s bigger than Elvis. Though it could be argued this is a greatest hits album of sorts, it gets a pass since it is newly recorded as a live version.

8. Hootie and the Blowfish – Cracked Rear View

Released: 1994

Sold: 22 million copies

Best track: “Only Wanna Be with You”

This is probably the biggest surprise of the whole list. Here I was thinking Hootie and the Blowfish were little more than a one-hit-wonder band, but stealthily they’ve got an all-time best-seller on their hands. A couple catchy tunes, but they are out of their league among some of the legends on this list.

7. The Eagles – Hotel California

Released: 1976

Sold: 26 million copies

Best track: “Hotel California”

While their Greatest Hits album got disqualified from this list, they managed to stay on with this, the now third best-selling album of all-time. But it’s still a ways away from being the best on the list. The Eagles are massively popular with the boomer generation, but I’ve always found their music too safe to be as interesting as some of their peers.

6. Shania Twain – Come On Over

Released: 1997

Sold: 20 million copies

Best track: “You’re Still the One”

Another country entry on this list – this time representing Canada. I knew full well that this album has extremely popular, even if I didn’t know it was to this extent. This thing is full of big hits that got ‘round-the-clock play on the radio. And while this genre is not my particular cup of tea, I can certainly recognize the cross-over appeal it had.

5. AC/DC – Back in Black

Released: 1980

Sold: 21 million copies

Best track: “You Shook Me All Night Long”

AC/DC certainly had their share of fans, and even those who don’t consider themselves in that category no doubt have sung along to some of their more popular tunes. Credit where credit is due, this album contains a lot of those hit songs. But my assessment of AC/DC has always been this; you’ve heard one of their songs, you’ve heard them all.

4. Pink Floyd – The Wall

Released: 1979

Sold: 23 million copies

Best track: “Comfortably Numb”

The concept album is a tricky thing to pull off in the music business. Even some of the most accomplished artists have failed miserably in this pursuit. Conceived by Roger Walters during a trying time in his career, it tells the life story of a disillusioned rock star from early childhood trauma to eventual withdraw from society. It didn’t work for everyone at the time, and still doesn’t, but if you can get onboard with the journey, it’s a hell of a ride.

3. Michael Jackson – Thriller

Released: 1982

Sold: 33 million copies

Best track: “Beat It”

The former #1 album from the King of Pop can’t manage to get to the top of this list either. Maybe a controversial decision as it’s considered to be the best album of all-time by many. I happen to think it’s one of the most overrated of all-time. That’s certainly not to say it’s a bad album by any means. But the project as a whole doesn’t quite match to the heaps of prize thrown on it. Maybe it’s too easy to forget what a game-changer it was at the time and it certainly is still a lot of fun. But stacked up against some of the other classics on this list, it falls short of that top spot.

2. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

Released: 1971

Sold: 23 million copies

Best track: “Stairway to Heaven”

One of the most influential bands who were responsible for bringing about the rock n’ roll era is deservedly included here. Out of their many musical achievements, this is Led Zeppelin’s greatest. A powerhouse album with perfectly placed and complimentary tracks. Their genius is on full display and it all comes together to make a rock n’ roll masterpiece. Go revisit it right now and be blown away all over again.

1. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

Released: 1977

Sold: 20 million copies

Best track: “The Chain”

It’s very nice to see that one of the best-selling albums of all-time is quite possibly the best album of all-time, period. Though not quite a concept album like The Wall, this classic is nonetheless shaped from one specific source. Due to various affairs and infighting among the band, they were on the cusp of tearing apart. Wisely, they put all that into their music.

Which of the best-selling albums of all time is your favourite? 


Thanks to Vocalone for this article-visit the link here to access the full article!

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