The Top 100 All-Time World’s
Best-Selling Albums

You’d think it would be simple to generate this list; you just count up how many sales each album has and the one with the most is the best-seller and so on, right? Well…

There’s a couple problems. First, on a global scale, there just aren’t any solid means in place for tracking albums. Second, even those official sales measurers (such as the RIAA in the United States) favor more recent albums because of improvements in tracking over the years and simple population growth. Third, albums that preceded any sort of official tracking measure don’t even typically show up on all-time best-selling lists.

As a result, the DMDB has compiled what lists it can find to try to generate a worldwide bestsellers list. Albums are in rank order, with the #1 album being the top left corner, #2 to its immediate right, etc. Hover your mouse over an album for the name of the album, the recording act, its year of release, and the estimated number of albums sold. In the event of ties, the oldest album is listed first. Click on an album to go to its DMDB page.

Click here for a complete list of sources used to compile this list.

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This page last updated February 19, 2012.