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Music

50 bestselling albums of all time in the US – and the bands you would never guess made the list

The Eagles’ Greatest Hits, released in 1976, beat Michael Jackson’s seminal 1982 Thriller album to take the top spot, but other favourites are hardly in the same league as The Beatles. Here’s your chance to find out who they are

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 August, 2018, 2:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 August, 2018, 2:02am

The Eagles have knocked the King of Pop off of his throne.

The band’s greatest hits album, released in 1976, has surpassed Michael Jackson’s seminal 1982 album Thriller to take the top spot on the RIAA’s list of the highest-selling albums of all time in the US.

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Here we compile the RIAA’s data for the bestselling albums in US history (measured in “certified units” sold), and some of the other names that appear in the top 50 are unexpected.

Here are the 50 bestselling albums of all time in the US.

50. Phil Collins – “No Jacket Required” (Atlantic)

Certified units: 12 million

49. Matchbox Twenty – “Yourself or Someone Like You” (Atlantic)

Certified units: 12 million

48. Led Zeppelin – “Led Zeppelin II” (Atlantic)

Certified units: 12 million

47. Kenny Rogers – “Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits” (Liberty)

Certified units: 12 million

46. Kenny G – “Breathless” (Arista)

Certified units: 12 million

45. Jewel – “Pieces of You” (Atlantic)

Certified units: 12 million

44. Dixie Chicks – “Wide Open Spaces” (Monument)

Certified units: 12 million

43. Def Leppard – “Hysteria” (Mercury)

Certified units: 12 million

42. Boyz II Men – “II” (Motown)

Certified units: 12 million

41. Bon Jovi – “Slippery When Wet” (Mercury)

Certified units: 12 million

40. Whitney Houston – “Whitney Houston” (Arista)

Certified units: 13 million

39. Prince & The Revolution – “Purple Rain” (Warner Bros.)

Certified units: 13 million

38. Pearl Jam – “Ten” (Epic)

Certified units: 13 million

37. Bruce Springsteen – “Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live/1975-85” (Columbia)

Certified units: 13 million

36. Backstreet Boys – “Millennium” (Jive)

Certified units: 13 million

35. Steve Miller Band – “Greatest Hits 1974-78” (Capitol)

Certified units: 14 million

34. Simon & Garfunkel – “Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits” (Sony)

Certified units: 14 million

33. Meat Loaf – “Bat Out of Hell” (Cleveland International)

Certified units: 14 million

32. Garth Brooks – “Ropin’ The Wind” (Capitol)

Certified units: 14 million

31. Britney Spears – “ … Baby One More Time” (Jive)

Certified units: 14 million

30. Backstreet Boys – “Backstreet Boys” (Jive)

Certified units: 14 million

29. Adele – “21” (Columbia Records)

Certified units: 14 million

28. The Beatles – “The Beatles 1962-1966” (Apple)

Certified units: 15 million

27. Santana – “Supernatural” (Arista)

Certified units: 15 million

26. Pink Floyd – “Dark Side of the Moon” (Harvest)

Certified units: 15 million

25. Journey – “Greatest Hits” (Columbia)

Certified units: 15 million

24. Bruce Springsteen – “Born In The U.S.A.” (Columbia)

Certified units: 15 million

23. Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Legend” (Island)

Certified units: 15 million

22. Metallica – “Metallica” (Atlantic/Elektra)

Certified units: 16 million

21. Led Zeppelin – “Physical Graffiti” (Swan Song)

Certified units: 16 million

20. The Bee Gees – “Saturday Night Fever” (RSO Records)

Certified units: 15 million

19. Alanis Morisette – “Jagged Little Pill” (Maverick)

Certified units: 16 million

18. The Beatles – “The Beatles 1967-1970” (EMI)

Certified units: 17 million

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17. Garth Brooks – “No Fences” (Capitol)

Certified units: 17 million

16. Elton John – “Greatest Hits”(Island)

Certified units: 17 million

15. Boston – “Boston” (Epic)

Certified units: 17 million

14. Whitney Houston – “The Bodyguard” (Arista)

Certified units: 18 million

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13. Guns N’ Roses – “Appetite for Destruction” (Geffen)

Certified units: 18 million

12. The Beatles – “The Beatles” (Apple)

Certified units: 19 million

11. Shania Twain – “Come On Over” (Mercury Nashville)

Certified units: 20 million

10. Fleetwood Mac – “Rumours” (Warner Bros.)

Certified units: 20 million

9. Hootie & The Blowfish – “Cracked Rear View” (Atlantic)

Certified units: 21 million

8. Garth Brooks – “Double Live” (Capitol Nashville)

Certified units: 21 million

7. AC/DC – “Back In Black” (Epic)

Certified units: 22 million

6. Pink Floyd – “The Wall” (Columbia)

Certified units: 23 million

5. Led Zeppelin – “Led Zeppelin IV” (Atlantic)

Certified units: 23 million

4. Billy Joel – “Greatest Hits Volume 1 & Volume 2”(Columbia)

Certified units: 23 million

3. Eagles – “Hotel California” (Asylum)

Certified units: 26 million

2. Michael Jackson – “Thriller” (Epic)

Certified units: 33 million

1. Eagles – “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)” (Elektra)

Certified units: 36 million