Who Has The Biggest Album Worldwide? The Eagles or Michael Jackson

With the recent hubbub over the Eagles' Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 passing Michael Jackson's Thriller to become best-selling album of all time in the U.S., Paste magazine took a more global perspective.

They revised the methodology used by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to calculate album sales -- for instance, they didn't count double-albums as two sales, as the RIAA does. They also ignored something called "claimed sales" from record labels.

What they came up with was the Top 25 albums worldwide, and Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 comes in a distant second to Thriller -- by six million copies. That said, the Eagles do have the world's second and third best-sellers, because Hotel California is number-three.

Here's the Paste worldwide sales list, from top to bottom (with U.S. sales also noted):

  1. Michael Jackson Thriller (47 million, 33 million in the U.S.)
  2. Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 (41 million, 38 million in the U.S.)
  3. Eagles Hotel California (32 million, 26 million in the U.S.)
  4. Shania Twain Come on Over (29 million, 20 million in the U.S.)
  5. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (29 million, 23 million in the U.S.)
  6. Whitney Houston (and others): The Bodyguard Soundtrack (28 million, 18 million in the U.S.)
  7. Fleetwood Mac Rumours (27 million, 20 million in the U.S.)
  8. AC/DC Back in Black (26 million, 22 million in the U.S.)
  9. Adele 21 (25 million, 14 million in the U.S.)
  10. Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill (24 million, 16 million in the U.S.)
  11. Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon (24 million, 15 million in the U.S.)
  12. The Beatles (23 million, 12 million in the U.S.)
  13. ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits (22 million, 6 million in the U.S.)
  14. Bob Marley and the Wailers Legend (22 million, 15 million in the U.S.)
  15. Guns n' Roses Appetite for Destruction (21 million, 18 million in the U.S.)
  16. Bee Gees (and others) Saturday Night Fever (21 million, 16 million in the U.S.)
  17. Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell (21 million, 14 million in the U.S.)
  18. Metallica Metallica (The Black Album) (10 million, 16 million in the U.S.)
  19. Santana Supernatural (20 million, 15 million in the U.S.)
  20. Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. (19 million, 15 million in the U.S.)
  21. Madonna The Immaculate Collection (19 million, 10 million in the U.S.)
  22. Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love (19 million, 10 million in the U.S.)
  23. Michael Jackson Bad (19 million, 10 million in the U.S.)
  24. Pink Floyd The Wall (18 million, 11 million in the U.S.)
  25. The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (18 million, 11 million in the U.S.)

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