38 Million Sold!

There are two albums which are far ahead of their nearest competition when it comes to the all-time best-selling album in the U.S., and the artist in first place incredibly also ranks third.

There is one act who has nine albums with sales of over 10 million each, and if you’re thinking it must be The Beatles, guess again.

The Eagles’ 1976 greatest hits collection (Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975), which chronicled the first four years of hits by the group, has now been certified 38-times platinum, meaning it has sold and streamed 38 million copies in the U.S. alone. In contrast, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, released in late 1982, has sold 34 million copies.

The Recording Industry Association of America began to consider streams, as well as sales, in 2013, with 1,500 streams (on online services such as Spotify, YouTube and Pandora) the equivalent of one album sale.

The all-time Top 11, as of February 2022, via the RIAA:

11. Come On Over – Shania Twain (20 million)
11. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac (20)
9. Cracked Rear View – Hootie & The Blowfish (21)
9. Double Live – Garth Brooks (21)
7. The Wall – Pink Floyd (23)
7. Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II – Billy Joel (23)
5. Led Zeppelin IV (24)
5. The Beatles (White Album) – Beatles (24)
4. Back In Black – AC/DC (25)
3. Hotel California – Eagles (26)
2. Thriller – Michael Jackson (34)
1. Their Greatest Hits – Eagles (38)

Among other high ranking recordings were Garth Brooks’ No Fences (18 million), The Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever (16 million), Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A. ( 15 million), Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon (15 million), Brooks again with Ropin’ The Wind (14 million), Adele’s 21 (14 million), Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell (14 million), The Beatles’ Abbey Road (12 million) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (11 million), and get this, Garth Brooks has SIX more albums on the list, The Hits, The Chase, The Ultimate Hits, Sevens, Garth Brooks, and In Pieces, all with certified sales of 10 million.

Comments (8)

  1. Donna Tillson-Bass

    Thank you, for the history lesson. The Eagles Greatest Hits album is on of my favorites. This is quite the list of talent, and amazing that Garth has so many on the list.

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Donna 🥰
      I was very surprised to see Garth had nine albums on that list. I knew he was popular but I had no idea he had sold so many albums!

  2. fred

    Another great History lesson! They were one of my all time favorities and there harmony was the best in my opinion of any band that ever played!! I had a great thrill last night the band we went to see asked me to sing with them what a thrill!! Almost got me thinking??? love ya!! Stay warm!!

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Fred. 🙂
      The Eagles did possess harmony skills that were out of this world, but I’ll never forgive them for firing Don Felder.
      As for thinking about singing again, don’t think … just do it!
      Love Ya!

  3. Hawthorne Mary Helen

    Thanks for this interesting history lesson
    The Eagles have always been a fave

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Mary Helen. There is only one original Eagle left and that’s the perpetually grumpy Don Henley.

  4. Sandy Gaither

    This was one beautiful and great history lesson. To learn from things that you might’ve thought you knew but you found out you didn’t it’s always a good thing! I do on both of the Eagles albums in full, on CD. I own rumors Fleetwood Mac, and Shania Twain. But I also have a lot of singles that fit all these artists. As for country, I have a ton of Garth lots of Alan Jackson which I don’t see on here is ever having been a competing artist to have placed. Loved the BeeGees and Springsteen, and have some of their songs. Thank you for pointing out all of this out as to the placement and millions of albums sold. This was fun! Thanks Ray

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Sandy 🥰
      I knew Garth was popular but I had no idea how prolific he really has been. 🙂

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