Top 10 Greatest Best-Selling Albums of All Time

Without counting greatest hits packages, compilations and soundtracks, there aren't that many artists who can say they have the best-selling albums of all time. Add critical acclaim, musical quality, overall recognition and popularity to the mix and you have yourself some of the best works of art ever. Spanning multiple genres, each of the albums on our list also have at least 30 million copies in claimed sales. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the greatest top 10 best-selling albums of all-time.
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These albums made a lot of money, gained a lot of fans and impressed a lot of people. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the top 10 best-selling albums of all-time.

For this list, we’ve chosen some of the greatest and most critically acclaimed best-selling albums in history with at least 30 million copies in claimed sales. We’ve excluded greatest hits packages, compilations and soundtracks.

#10 – “Brothers in Arms” (1985), Dire Straits


Dire Straits didn’t get money for nothing: by successfully fusing jazz, blues and rock for a pop music audience, their album Brothers in Arms topped the UK and U.S. charts for weeks and won the band two Grammys. The record was also the first album to sell one million copies on CD and it spawned a controversial number one single that was accompanied by an innovative music video.

#9 – “Come On Over” (1997), Shania Twain


Shania Twain was only a country star until this disc earned her crossover success in the pop world. Though Come On Over didn’t top the Billboard charts, it did make history by staying in the top twenty for 99 weeks. That don’t impress you much? The Grammy-winning record eventually became the best-selling country album and the best-selling album by a female artist EVER.

#8 – “Nevermind” (1991), Nirvana


Alternative rock and music in general were never the same after Nirvana burst onto the scene with this anthem of adolescent indifference. Thanks to Nevermind, mainstream listeners were introduced to the Seattle sound and its blend of heavy music with pop tendencies. When all was said and done, no other musicians spoke to a generation quite like Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, and the album’s sales and musical legacy prove it.

#7 – “Born in the U.S.A.” (1984), Bruce Springsteen


It may not have been his first foray into pop, but Born in the U.S.A. was definitely The Boss’ biggest and most successful attempt to connect with a large audience. By adding synthesizer and a hopeful tone to his sound, Springsteen showed off his inner – and outer – sexy rock star, and had millions of people dancing in the dark to his hits.

#6 – “Rumours” (1977), Fleetwood Mac


Taking inspiration from their personal troubles, Fleetwood Mac crafted a poignant and emotional pop rock album that topped the charts of several nations. The Grammy-winning Rumours was praised for its acoustic and electric mix and for the vocal interaction between the group’s three singers. Its massive commercial success ensured that the British-American rockers had long and lasting careers.

#5 – “Back in Black” (1980), AC/DC


Even without Bon Scott, AC/DC shook us all night long with the Brian Johnson-led Back in Black. The effort catapulted the Aussies to superstardom when it topped British charts and spawned several hits. Proving that rock and roll ain’t noise pollution, the well-reviewed record became the group’s biggest album and sold approximately 50 million units worldwide.

#4 – Untitled (or “Led Zeppelin IV”) (1971), Led Zeppelin


No need for a title or any other text on this album’s cover; the music spoke for itself. With Robert Plant’s energetic vocals and Jimmy Page’s inimitable guitar skills, this tour-de-force was a perfect balance of ballads, folk music and rock and roll – with “Stairway to Heaven” as the epitome of it all. The record also made Led Zeppelin a household name around the globe.

#3 – “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973), Pink Floyd


Critically acclaimed for its artistic vision, this concept album featured less abstract lyrics than Pink Floyd’s previous material and therefore it attracted a wider audience. However, the LP was still seen as progressive due to its sonic experimentation and use of unconventional sounds. While The Dark Side of the Moon did make Pink Floyd loads of money, it is considered one of the best albums in rock history due to its enduring popularity and influence.

#2 – “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967), The Beatles


They were already the world’s biggest band, but the Fab Four further cemented their musical legacy and artistry with their original and experimental approach to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Things kept getting better when the chart-topper became the first rock LP to win a Grammy for Album of the Year. While it may have sold less than some entries on this list, its impact on psychedelic rock and on the history of pop music makes it merit this spot without question.

#1 – “Thriller” (1982), Michael Jackson


From funk to disco, and rock to ballads, Thriller was a musical masterpiece. With celebrity guests and a record-breaking eight Grammys, this opus showed the King of Pop was startin’ somethin’: its hits helped MJ crossover into different genres and solidify his staying power. Meanwhile, the album’s revolutionary music videos paved the way for future black artists. With estimates claiming as many as 110 million copies sold, Thriller is truly the best-selling album of all-time.

Do you agree with our list? Which is your favorite best-selling album of all-time? Be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com for more entertaining top 10s.
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