The Best-Selling Albums in the World

With hundreds of millions of songs in the world, we wanted to discover which albums are the most popular in each country. To do this, we analysed sales figures from which looks at music certifications* to calculate the number of album sales worldwide. 

To showcase our findings, we’ve created a nifty map highlighting the best-selling albums in each country:

The King of Pop & Album Sales

It’s perhaps no surprise that Michael Jackson’s iconic album, Thriller, is the top-selling album of all time, with 72 million copies sold worldwide. After reaching global fame with his 1979 album, Off the Wall, the King of Pop quickly became the world’s most popular artist. Three years later, the legendary artist released Thriller in 1982, featuring huge hits like Billie Jean, Beat It, and of course, Thriller

Even today, this iconic album holds its title as the best-selling album in several countries including Latvia with 136,000 sales, Austria with 400,000 sales, The Netherlands with 1.4 million sales, Mexico with 2.6 million sales, and Canada with 2.75 million sales.

Mamma Mia, That’s A Lot of Sales

After winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 and releasing supreme hit after hit, ABBA quickly became a global sensation. The legendary pop supergroup lays claim to several best-selling albums in an array of different countries including Singapore with 165,000 sales, New Zealand with 360,000 sales, Switzerland with 500,000 sales, and Sweden with 753,420 sales. 

It’s perhaps no surprise that ABBA’s self-titled album, ABBA: The Album, is the best-selling album in Sweden considering the legendary group formed in the country’s capital. So, thank you for the music ABBA. Sincerely, the world!

Long Live Queen

Turning our attention to the UK, Queen’s Greatest Hits Volume 1 holds the most recorded sales in Britain at 6.9 million. The iconic British rock band was formed in 1970 by the legendary Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and shortly after, John Deacon. Since rising to international fame with the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 and A Night at the Opera the following year, Queen has remained in the hearts of Brits and beyond, and will undeniably do so for decades to come. 

Eagles Make Sales Soar in the USA

In the USA, the Eagles hold the record for the best-selling album with Their Greatest Hits which has sold a whopping 38 million copies. Released in 1976, this beautifully crafted compilation album features notable classics like Take It Easy, Tequila Sunrise, and Desperado

Germany’s Having the Time of Their Lives

German citizens seem to be big fans of the 1987 film Dirty Dancing given that the country’s best-selling album is the soundtrack at 3.25 million sales! After originally receiving mixed reviews, this low-budget film quickly transformed into the spicy cult classic we know and adore today. The soundtrack, featuring romantic classics like The Time Of My Life and Hungry Eyes became huge hits, especially with the likes of Germany! 


  • To find the best-selling albums, we used data from and then sense-checked with several sources including Wikipedia and ChatGPT-4. 
  • Sales data is not available in every country so we have had to exclude some countries in this research. 
  • *All record sales of albums have been taken by certifications. Music certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped, sold, or streamed a certain number of units.
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