Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Friday, August 12, 2005
 

Lists: Top-Selling Albums of All Time

Lists, a new regular irregular feature, features music related lists of interest or enlightenment, with brief introductions.

Here's a list of the top-selling records of all time. Classic rock still dominates the list although great strides are being made on the pop, r&b/urban, and country fronts. Michael Jackson's Thriller has fallen from #1 to #2 in recent years. Shania Twain's pop-oriented juggernaut is now the best selling country album. The Beatles' "White Album" has surpassed Sgt. Pepper as the Beatles top seller, surprising since it is a double album, as are their "red" and "blue" album compilations which have finally surpassed all their other releases. Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" (penned by Dolly Parton) still powers The Bodyguard soundtrack. Highest among 90's rock performers are Alanis Morissette and Hootie & The Blowfish. While many of the 90's pop acts like Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys sold in bigger numbers upon release than the classic rock acts (back when there was no platinum record award), it will remain to be seen if their back catalog continues to sell as reliably. Smart money goes on Mariah Carey, her comeback in high gear, who has two on the chart, and a devoted multigenerational fanbase.

The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975   Michael Jackson: Thriller (1982)   Pink Floyd: The Wall (1979)   Led Zeppelin: IV (1971)


The Recording Industry Association of America's Top-Selling Albums of All Time (as of Spring, 2005)

28 Million
Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, Eagles (Elektra)

26 Million
Thriller, Michael Jackson (Epic)

23 Million
The Wall, Pink Floyd (Columbia)

22 Million
Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin (Swan Song)

21 Million
Greatest Hits Volumes I & II, Billy Joel (Columbia)

19 Million
Rumours, Fleetwood Mac (Warner Bros.)
Back in Black, AC/DC (Elektra)
The Beatles, The Beatles (Capitol)
Come On Over, Shania Twain (Mercury Nashville)

17 Million
Boston, Boston (Epic)
The Bodyguard (Soundtrack), Whitney Houston (Arista)

16 Million
Cracked Rear View, Hootie & the Blowfish (Atlantic)
Greatest Hits, Elton John (Rocket)
Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette (Maverick)
The Beatles 1967-1970, The Beatles (Capitol)
No Fences, Garth Brooks (Capitol Nashville)
Hotel California, Eagles (Elektra)

15 Million
Double Live, Garth Brooks (Capitol Nashville)
The Beatles 1962-1966, The Beatles (Capitol)
Saturday Night Fever (Soundtrack), Bee Gees (Polydor/Atlas)
Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd (Capitol)
Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin (Swan Song)
Appetite for Destruction, Guns 'N Roses (Geffen)
Supernatural, Santana (Arista)
Born in the U.S.A., Bruce Springsteen (Columbia)

14 Million
Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits, Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia)
Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf (Epic)
Metallica, Metallica (Elektra)
Ropin' the Wind, Garth Brooks (Capitol Nashville)
Backstreet Boys, Backstreet Boys (Jive)

13 Million
Millennium, Backstreet Boys (Jive)
Greatest Hits 1974-1978, Steve Miller Band (Capitol)
Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston (Arista)
Purple Rain (Soundtrack), Prince and the Revolution (Warner Bros.)
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live 1975-1985 (box set), Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (Columbia)
...Baby One More Time, Britney Spears (Jive)

12 Million
Forrest Gump (Soundtrack) (Epic)
Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits, Kenny Rogers (Capitol Nashville)
Hot Rocks, The Rolling Stones (abkco)
The Woman in Me, Shania Twain (Mercury Nashville)
Breathless, Kenny G (Arista)
Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin (Atlantic)
Ten, Pearl Jam (Epic)
Yourself or Someone Like You, Matchbox Twenty (Atlantic)
Abbey Road, The Beatles (Capitol)
II, Boyz II Men (Motown)
Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi (Mercury)
Wide Open Spaces, Dixie Chicks (Monument)
No Jacket Required, Phil Collins (Atlantic)
Hysteria, Def Leppard (Mercury)

11 Million
Human Clay, Creed (Wind-Up Records)
Falling into You, Celine Dion (550 Music)
Eagles Greatest Hits, Vol. II, Eagles (Elektra)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (Capitol)
No Strings Attached, 'N Sync (Jive)
Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin (Atlantic)
Devil Without a Cause, Kid Rock (Lava)
Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight (Single), Elton John (Rocket)
Pieces of You, Jewel (Atlantic)
CrazySexyCool, TLC (LaFace)
Dirty Dancing (Soundtrack) (RCA)
Titanic (Soundtrack) (Sony Classical)
James Taylor's Greatest Hits, James Taylor (Warner Bros.)

10 Million
Fly, Dixie Chicks (Monument)
'N Sync, 'N Sync (RCA)
Let's Talk About Love, Celine Dion (550 Music/Epic)
Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt (Trauma/Interscope)
Life After Death, Notorious B.I.G. (Bad Boy/Arista)
Best of the Doobies, Doobie Brothers (Warner Bros.)
Dookie, Green Day (Reprise)
The Stranger, Billy Joel (Columbia)
Aerosmith's Greatest Hits, Aerosmith (Columbia)
The Hits, Garth Brooks (Capitol Nashville)
Music Box, Mariah Carey (Columbia)
Unplugged, Eric Clapton (Reprise)
Tapestry, Carole King (Ode)
Greatest Hits, Journey (Capitol)
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin (Atlantic)
The Immaculate Collection, Madonna (Warner Bros.)
Like a Virgin, Madonna (Sire)
Legend, Bob Marley & the Wailers (Island)
Faith, George Michael (Columbia)
Greatest Hits, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (MCA)
Nevermind, Nirvana (DGC)
The Lion King (Soundtrack) (Walt Disney)
Can't Slow Down, Lionel Richie (Motown)
Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, Hammer (Capitol)
Daydream, Mariah Carey (Columbia)
Van Halen, Van Halen (Warner Bros.)
Eliminator, ZZ Top (Warner Bros.)
The Joshua Tree, U2 (Island)
1984 (MCMLXXXIV), Van Halen (Warner Bros.)



     

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Comments:
Looks like I own three of those albums. Several of them I've heard but not technically owned, and others I want to own someday. In my opinion, that list of albums is a good starting point for a great music collection.
 
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