The Best-Selling Albums of All-Time (Plus #198)


I always thought Frampton Comes Alive was one of the all-time best-selling albums. And I'm not alone. Consider this quote, by Wayne Campbell in Wayne's World 2: "Everybody in the world has Frampton Comes Alive. If you lived in the suburbs you were issued it. It came in the mail with samples of Tide."

By "everybody," Wayne meant 6 million people in the U.S. (and 16 million worldwide). This is according to the Recording Industry Association of America's Top Albums, and good enough to be #198. From that list, here's some light trivia for a Monday morning:

The #1 album is from the Eagles -- Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 was released in 1976 and sold 29 million copies. Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 2 came out in 1982 and sold a paltry 11 million copies, landing all the way down at #55.

Here's the rest of the top ten: 2. Michael Jackson, Thriller (27 million, 1982); 3. Led Zeppelin, Untitled (a.k.a. Led Zeppelin IV, 23 million, 1971); 4. Pink Floyd, The Wall (23 million, 1979), 5. AC/DC, Back in Black (21 million, 1980); 6. Billy Joel, Greatest Hits, Vol. I & II (21 million, 1985); 7. Shania Twain, Come on Over (20 million, 1997); 8. Garth Brooks, Double Live (20 million, 1998); 9. The Beatles, The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album, 19 million, 1968); 10. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (19 million, 1977).

Frampton Comes Alive is no longer even the best-selling live album. Garth Brooks owns that distinction, for 1998's Double Live (20 million copies). Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's 1986 Live moved 13 million units. Throwing Copper, a studio album by Live, ranks 138th (8 million).