Top Ten Best Selling Albums of All Time

The 1970’s were a great decade for music. In this list of the top best selling albums of all time, half of them were released in the 70’s. Of those five, three of them were released in 1977 alone.



Fleetwood Mac


Estimated sales: 40 million copies

Genre: Rock

Rumours is the 11th album put out by the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. Rumours received widespread critical acclaim immediately upon release. Critics praised Fleetwood Mac on their production quality, interesting lyrics, and complicated harmonies that featured interplay among three vocalists. Some of the top singles from this album include “Don’t Stop,” “Go Your Own Way,” and “Dreams.” Fleetwood Mac is definitely considered classic and has proven to be timeless.


Saturday Night Fever

Various Artists


Estimated sales: 40 million copies

Genre: Disco

Saturday Night Fever is the official soundtrack of the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever. The album epitomized the disco era and was a phenomenon both in the United States and in the UK. There are a number of artists who contributed to the huge success of the album with perhaps the most notable being the Bee Gees.


Dirty Dancing

Various Artists


Estimated sales: 42 million copies

Genre: Various

Dirty Dancing is the official soundtrack of the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing. Upon release it immediately climbed its way to the number one spot on the Billboard charts and stayed there for 18 consecutive weeks. As recently as 2007 this album has still found itself listed on the charts in Ireland.


Their Greatest Hits (1971 – 1975)



Estimated sales: 42 million copies

Genre: Rock

Nearly everyone can appreciate the Eagles. In the United States it is the second best selling album of all time. Their greatest hits album combines all the best songs from each of their previously released albums. With hits such as “Take It Easy,” “Desperado,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” Already Gone,” and “Tequila Sunrise” it is no wonder why this album was such a great success.


Bat Out of Hell

Meat Loaf


Estimated sales: 43 million copies

Genre: Hard Rock

Bat Out of Hell is a classic no matter how you cut it. Meat Loaf inspired to combine the styles of the likes of Richard Wagner, Bruce Springsteen, and The Who into one album and managed to outsell of of them.




Michael Jackson


Estimated sales: 45 million copies

Genre: Pop

Bad is the seventh studio album by Michael Jackson. Bad was released just under five years after his masterpiece Thriller album and was met with high expectations. He managed to deliver on these expectations in just about every way.


The Bodyguard

Whitney Houston


Estimated sales: 45 million copies

Genre: R&B

The Bodyguard is the official soundtrack to the movie The Bodyguard released in 1992. Although Whitney Houston is the primary artist on the album, there are a few tracks both others including Kenny G and Curtis Stigers. The Bodyguard was the first album in history to sell more than one million copies within the first week of release. The album also went on to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year and was certified 17x Platinum. It is also the only album on this list to be released more recently than 1990.


Back in Black



Estimated sales: 50 million copies

Genre: Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal

Back in Black is the seventh album released by the Australian rock band AC/DC. Over the years the tracks on this album have been ingrained into American culture. You will still hear their songs being blared as rallying anthems at sporting events and other gatherings across the country. The top singles of this album include “Hells Bells,” “Shoot to Thrill,” Back in Black,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.”


The Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd


Estimated sales: 50 million copies

Genre: Progressive Rock

The Dark Side of the Moon is the oldest album on this list. It is the eighth album released by English rock band Pink Floyd. It was also recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios where The Beatles produced and recorded several of their albums as well. The album is very though-provoking and asks deep philosophical questions throughout. It is regularly considered the best rock album in history.



Michael Jackson


Estimated sales: 110 million copies

Genre: Pop

The king of pop is also the king of this list. No album in history has came close to selling as many copies as Michael Jackon’s Thriller. This album has sold more than twice the amount of Pink Floyd’s second place album The Dark Side of the Moon. Part of the success of Thriller was due to the advent of MTV and its success in using music videos as a promotional and marketing tool. Without a doubt, Thriller is one of the most influential albums of all time.


Source: Wikipedia


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