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11. The Beatles, '1967-1970' (1973)
17 Million copies

On the heels of the massive Beatles bootleg push, Apple/Capitol Records decided to spark their own compilation setting the stage for how all "best of", "definitive", "greatest hits" compilations were made. The Beatles '1962-1966' (1973) sold only 15 million copies.

10. Boston, 'Boston' (1976)
17 Million copies
Boston came out of the gate swinging, but took ten years to get into the game. This debut was on fire immediately as "More Than A Feeling" hit FM rock radio. The album spawned the seminal tracks, "Foreplay / Long Time", "Peace Of Mind", "Rock and Roll Band", "Smokin'" along with the rest of the album.

9. Guns N' Roses, 'Appetite for Destruction' (1987)
18 Million copies
When Appetite first hit the airwaves in July of 1987, it sucked and we hated it. NO JOKE! It impressed us none... until A YEAR LATER in June of 1988 when he got "Sweet Child O' Mine" and then it rocked. "Welcome To The Jungle", already a hit in the UK, came out next and it was all thunder from there. Why the album couldn't take off? Seriously, no one pushed it and we heard very little from it.

 

 

8. The Beatles, 'The Beatles (The White Album)' (1968)
19 Million copies
I was just born when this album came out, but my father said this was one of the greatest albums he'd heard his entire 25 years of life in June of 1968. I agree. When I was conditioned to love The Beatles as a band, The White Album was one of the most unique albums... still is. 

 

7. Fleetwood Mac, 'Rumours' (1977)
20 Million copies
At over 20 million copies, someone in the record business once said you could have added an addition 3 million to whatever Rumours sells, had "Silver Springs" been on the album. Rumours is amazing - even the dead tracks; "I Don't Wanna Know", "Oh Daddy", "Songbird" and "Never Going Back Again". The rest of the album are all A+ rockers, ballads and Stevie Nicks.

 

6. AC/DC, 'Back in Black' (1980)
22 Million copies
Boy did this album rock the speakers of my Sears Solid State turntable. Man! I blew cones with this album. Every song is a classic.  It has the spirit of Bon Scott writhing through each and every track and Brian becomes the voice a new generation of heavy metalers.

5. Pink Floyd, 'The Wall' (1979)
23 Million copies
To me and some others, this album is bloated. But when it's good, it's great. "Young Lust", "One Of My Turns", "Run Like Hell", "Comfortably Numb", "Hey You", "Mother", "Another Brick In The Wall, Part II" are all classics. 

4. Led Zeppelin, (Untitled) (Led Zeppelin IV) (1971)
23 Million copies
The songs; "Black Dog", "Rock and Roll", "When The Levee Breaks", "Going To California" and the separately early, and then latter halves of "Stairway To Heaven", are all stellar moments in both Rock music and Led Zeppelin's relatively short career. Led Zeppelin IV works like a greatest hits of sorts. Still solid. Still rock masterpiece.

3. Billy Joel, 'Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II' (1985)
23 Million copies
Billy Joel got a good run on that 1973 album, Piano Man. Title track, "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" and "Captain Jack" are all stand-outs and still played regularly on rock radio stations. But sadly, and highly unfortunately, the following records, Street Life Serenade and Turnstiles were dead early on. The Stranger followed in '77 and broke Billy out. How odd. Turnstiles is a fabulous record!!! But, it was smoother sailing from there

2. Eagles, 'Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)' (1976)
29 Million copies
The Eagles began kicking ass at the One Of These Night album by June of 1975. But the success was sparse. Honestly, it was their singles that cracked the band into success. But when compiled, those singles read like an immaculate album. So by February of 1976, Their Greatest Hits was destined to be a great release - and it was, followed by Hotel California and The Long Run. 

1. Michael Jackson, 'Thriller' (1982)
33 Million copies
No surprise when you consider how Thriller was all over the place in 1982, 1983, 1984 and it would be 3 years beyond that to conjure a follow-up in the form of Bad in 1987. Two #1 singles were pulled from this album; "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" and the radio and singles favorites; "Human Nature", "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)", "Wanna Be Startin' Something" and the title track, "Thriller".

OTHER SUCCESSFUL ALBUMS:

Def Leppard, 'Hysteria' (1987)
12 Million copies
Like Guns N' Roses Appetite, boy this album sure did nothing at first. "Women" came first and was a great track. "Animal" kind of slid by most of us, but "Pour Some Sugar On Me", and then "Rocket", "Love Bites" made this record a solid release. Other notables are "Gods Of War", "Armageddon It", "Hysteria".

Bon Jovi, 'Slippery When Wet' (1986)
12 million copies
"You Give Love A Bad Name" and "Livin' On A Prayer" are all you need to say to sell this album. "Wanted Dead or Alive" doesn't hurt either. The drums on this thing rock, and Richie established himself as a one of the best-sounding guitarist, later a more technical guitarist.

The Steve Miller Band, 'Greatest Hits 1974-78' (1978)
13 Million copies
Well, there is something to be said for placing short versions on your greatest hits - not once, but TWICE! But despite "Fly Like An Eagle" and "Jet Airliner" both chopped up like a Leatherface victim, the album has an amazing flow to it. "Serenade" really kicks in this list of "blues" music Steve Miller may, or may not be known for.

Bruce Springsteen & The E. Street Band, 'Live 1975-85' (1986)
13 Million copies
Imagine being able to sell 13 million copies of a 50-record set. 45 CDs. Jesus this thing is huge and rightfully had no business selling this many copies to be the single most successful box-set STILL. But the excitement of the crowd and the band within this set is just some of the greatest live music committed to tape. I remember how massive it was holding this 5-LP set. The CD version was just as marvelous.

Simon & Garfunkel, Simon & Garfunkel's Great Hits' (1972)
14 Million copies
With titles like, "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "The Boxer", "The Sound of Silence", "Cecilia" and "Mrs. Robinson", just to name a few, no wonder this record sold a solid 14+ million records. Much like The Eagles and Elton John's greatest hits collections, these are not just greatest hits but a solid album from start to finish. 

Meat Loaf, 'Bat Out Of Hell' (1977)
14 Million copies
A sleeper of an album that took Meat Loaf and composer, Jim Steinman, many months of sweating out the outcome of their debut collaboration. But man! When it finally broke by the Summer of 1978, it was monster and Meat Loaf became an instant star. This album is filled with operatic masterpieces from, "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth" to the over-blown, "Paradise By The Dashboard Light", this album is nearly perfect from beginning to end.

The Beatles, '1962-1966' (1973)
15 Million copies
I was a "Blue" fan (the companion piece record of The Beatles 1967-1970) but as I grew older I began to appreciate The Beatles being young guys with a line-up of masterful musicians and a class-A set of songs. But still, I'm a bigger fan of the Blue Album.

Pink Floyd, 'Dark Side Of The Moon' (1973)
15 Million copies
I was a late bloomer when it comes to the Floyd. I was introduced to them via The Wall in 1979 when I was 11 years old. But I caught up quickly with my beloved Animals album and Dark Side of the Moon. This is one of those perfect records from start to finish. Pink Floyd was always available to repeat such feats with surrounding albums, but Dark Side is the leader of that pack.

Journey, 'Greatest Hits' (1988)
15 Million copies
This, much like the other compilations have a slew of songs that read better as single album of great songs, but do miss the mark when you are up against the slick clean production of "Separate Ways" alongside the muddy and distorted mess of, "Lights" and "Wheel In The Sky". This is a great collection with the painful stab of bad sounding songs.

Bruce Springsteen, 'Born In The USA' (1984)
15 Million copies
When the title track is redundantly stabbing you bar after bar of that musical line that rings the chorus, it's enough to turn it off. In addition, "Dancing In The Dark" is somewhat of a throw-away painful slab of Bruce finding a new way that scared the living shit out of his fans. But "Cover Me", "Downbound Train", "My Hometown", "I'm On Fire" and all of the others, this is a solid Bruce album. Maybe not a Darkness on the Edge of Town or The River, but remains the sound of the 80s and one of Bruce's more finer moments.

Metallica, "Metallica" (1991)
16 Million copies
Metallica fans thought the band took a shit on them... but the rest of the world found themselves one of the greatest albums they ever heard. So screw the first ring of fans. We put Metallica on the map. And deservingly so. This album is literally one of the greatest albums ever made and perfect from note to the dead wax. Not a bad song. Not a bad solo and five million of Hetfield's, "Oooh!" ... How perfect.

Led Zeppelin, 'Physical Graffiti' (1975)
16 Million copies
Now for me personally, this album most shines most on Side 1, Side 2 and Side 4. "Kashmir" is just the type of song that it is 20 minutes too short. "Trampled Under Foot" makes you ask time and time again, "Why in the hell do you not know this fabulous song?" "The Rover" is just awesomeness abound and so on.

Elton John, "Greatest Hits" (1974)
16 Million copies
I remember my brother having all of the Elton John albums up to 1974 and even had that Greatest Hits. Why? For the cover, of course. Otherwise you had no reason to own this album. However, this is one of those hits compilations that has a flow to it that displays Elton John's greatness. Elton was hot that year and couldn't do no wrong. He'll follow this up with the amazing Captain Fantastic and Rock of the Westies.

Eagles, 'Hotel California' (1976)
This is, and will always be, the peak of the Eagles - hands down! The Long Run will have hits and be a good album, but this album is the Eagles. The hits; "Hotel California", "New Kid In Town" and "Life In The Fast Lane" were not enough. "Victim Of Love" and "Wasted Time" should have been hits, too. But by this time, the Eagles were breaking apart and it showed on The Long Run in 1979.

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Compiled by Billboard Magazine using sales worldwide