Top Selling Albums From 1991-2008
1. Come on Over / Shania Twain ~ 15,473,000
Come on Over is the third studio album recorded by country singer Shania Twain. It was released on November 4, 1997. The best-selling country music album of all time, it is certified 20× Platinum in the US (2x Diamond under new RIAA), 2× Diamond in Canada, 15× Platinum in Australia, and 10× Platinum in Great Britain. Twelve singles were released from the album, of which eleven were top five country hits in Canada.
2. Metallica / Metallica ~ 15,319,000
Metallica (also referred to as The Black Album) is the fifth album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released August 12, 1991 through Elektra Records. The album features songs that are considered today as Metallica’s most known tracks, with songs such as “Enter Sandman”, “The Unforgiven”, “Nothing Else Matters” , “Wherever I May Roam” and “Sad but True”. It spent four consecutive weeks at number one on Billboard 200. Metallica is the band’s best-selling album to date, with over 15 million copies sold in the United States and over 22 million copies worldwide.
Metallica will play in Barcelona in February 2018, how exciting!
3. Jagged Little Pill / Alanis Morissette ~ 14,607,000
Jagged Little Pill is the third studio album (and the first to be released internationally) by Canadian singer Alanis Morissette. The album made a sharp turn in genre and style for Morissette from her previous dance pop sound. As detailed in the article about the seventh track, “You Learn”, the title is a metaphor for lessons of life that are hard to accept. The album was Morrisette’s breakthrough album, and had five hits, “You Oughta Know”, “Ironic”, “You Learn”, “Hand in My Pocket”, and “Head over Feet”.
The album garnered great success, spending twelve non-consecutive weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart, and became one of three albums – along with Thriller by Michael Jackson and Falling into You by Céline Dion – to remain in the Top Ten for over a year.
The album had a slow rise up the charts, but four million copies were shipped in the U.S. during 1995, and in 1996 it became the best-selling album of the year, with ten million shipments. On July 29, 1998, the RIAA certified it 16× platinum.
It was the second-best-selling album of the 1990s, behind Shania Twain’s Come on Over, with twenty-eight million copies sold by 2000. By January 2005, the album had sold 33 million units worldwide.
In October 2002, Rolling Stone ranked it number 31 on its Women In Rock – The 50 Essential Albums list, and in 2003 the magazine ranked it number 327 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
4. Millennium / Backstreet Boys ~ 12,104,000
Millennium is an album by American pop music group Backstreet Boys. It broke numerous records, and is their biggest success to date. It was a highly anticipated follow-up to both their United States debut album, and their second internationally released CD. It was their first record to be released in both the U.S. and internationally in the same form, at the same time. In the United States, it holds the record for most shipments in one year, with 11 million in 1999. It was nominated for five Grammy Awards and spawned four Top 40 singles, including worldwide smash hit single “I Want It That Way.” Millennium set a record for most albums sold in its debut week. It also set the record for most albums sold internationally in one week with 2.2 million, and was certified at least platinum in 45 countries, and has sold 40 million copies worldwide.
Millennium entered the Billboard 200 at number one, where it remained for 10 non-consecutive weeks. It sold 1,134,000 copies in its first week of release, shattering the previous Nielsen SoundScan record held by Garth Brooks for single-week record sales. Millennium sold nearly 500,000 copies in the U.S. on its first day alone, setting a record for first-day sales. This record was subsequently overtaken in 2000 by Britney Spears with Oops!… I Did It Again, and then again by ‘N Sync with No Strings Attached.
Millennium became the best-selling album of 1999, selling 9,445,732 albums. Millennium remained on the Billboard chart for 93 weeks, eventually selling over 12 million copies in the United States and being certified 13 times platinum
5. The Bodyguard / Soundtrack ~ 11,805,000
The Bodyguard is the soundtrack from the movie of the same name, released on November 17, 1992, on Arista Records and features six songs by Whitney Houston, as well as songs from various other noted artists of the time. The album was co-executive produced by Whitney Houston and Clive Davis. Upon the sixth week after its release, the soundtrack became the first album to sell more than a million copies in a single week. The soundtrack later went on to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it 17x Platinum on November 1, 1999, denoting shipments of 17 million copies in the United States – which officially made it the best-selling soundtrack album of all-time in the U.S. It has sold over 42 million copies, and is the best-selling soundtrack of all time worldwide.
The album is most notable for Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You”, originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton. The song received wide airplay, appealing to the R&B, Adult Contemporary and Soul radio markets, and is also considered Houston’s signature song. The single spent 14 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The strength of the single helped the soundtrack album sustain the number-one spot on the Billboard 200 for 20 weeks.
6. Supernatural / Santana ~ 11,673,000
The album, conceived by Clive Davis and A&R’d by Pete Ganbarg, was phenomenally successful, eventually selling over 25 million copies worldwide; it is generally seen to have revived Santana’s dormant career.
“Supernatural” debuted at #19 on the Billboard Hot 200 on July 3, 1999 but topped (after 18 weeks) the chart on October 30, 1999 and stayed there for 12 non-consecutive weeks. It included the hit single “Smooth”, which featured Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas on vocals, and was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks. The follow-up single, “Maria Maria” (which featured The Product G&B), was #1 on the same chart for 10 weeks. Santana and Rob Thomas won 2 Grammys for their collaboration on the song “Smooth” while Santana and Everlast won another for the song “Put Your Lights On”.
Among the other guest artists: Eric Clapton, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, and Cee-Lo
7. Human Clay / Creed ~ 11,525,000
Human Clay is the second album by Creed released on September 28, 1999. It was certified 11x platinum and 1x(+) diamond by the RIAA, and is 54th on the top 100 selling albums of all time in the United States (as of February 2007). The album has sold 11,504,000 copies in the USA alone according to Soundscan numbers as of January 2008. It has also been certified 6 times platinum in Canada, 5 times in Australia and 7 times in New Zealand, among others. The fourth single “With Arms Wide Open” has won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. The album had three videos released from it: “Higher”, “What If,” and “With Arms Wide Open,” the last of which was voted the 92nd best music video of all-time by VH1, who also listed “Higher” one of the greatest hard rock songs of all time in 2009.
8. Beatles 1 / The Beatles ~ 11,345,000
1 is a compilation album by The Beatles, released on 13 November 2000. The album features virtually every #1 British and American hit single by the band released from 1962 to 1970. Despite being released on the 30th anniversary of the band’s breakup, it was their first compilation available on one Compact Disc. 1, as a project, was a critical success, and became a blockbuster phenomenon, becoming the biggest selling album of 2000 worldwide.
The reception of 1 surpassed all critical and commercial expectations. It broke a considerable number of sales and chart records. It sold 3.6 million units in its first week and more than 12 million in three weeks worldwide, reaching #1 in over 35 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. It became the fastest-selling album of all time and the highest-selling of 2000 and of the decade so far. This achievement made The Beatles the first and only artist to have the best-selling albums of two different decades (they had also the best-selling album of the 1960s, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band). It also became the second biggest selling compilation in history, after The Eagles’s Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975.
Each of the four sides of the vinyl represented appropriately different styles and phases of the Beatles’ career: in order, Beatlemania’s Mersey Beat, folk-rock/pre-psychedelic style, purely experimental/psychedelic style, back-to-basics/rock style. This was apparently a coincidence, considering that the songs are distributed on the sides following a balance-time rule. (The cassette edition comprises the first two vinyl sides on its side A and the last two vinyl sides on its side B, with a length of 38:32 and 40:35 respectively.)
Side one (1962–64)
1.”Love Me Do”
2.”From Me to You”
3.”She Loves You”
4.”I Want to Hold Your Hand”
5.”Can’t Buy Me Love”
6.”A Hard Day’s Night”
7.”I Feel Fine”
8.”Eight Days a Week”
Side two (1965–66)
9.”Ticket to Ride”
13.”We Can Work It Out”
Side three (1967–68)
18.”All You Need Is Love”
Side four (1969–70)
23.”The Ballad of John and Yoko”
26.”Let It Be”
27.”The Long and Winding Road”
9. No Strings Attached / ‘N Sync ~ 11,109,000
No Strings Attached is the fourth album by American boy band ‘N Sync, released on March 21, 2000. By selling more than 2.4 million copies in its debut week, the album set a U.S. one-week sales record.
No Strings Attached sold over 2.4 million units in its first week, debuting on the Billboard 200 at number one. It set the record for the first album to have sold more than two million copies in a single week, since the chart adopted Nielsen SoundScan data in May 1991. The figures also surpassed Celebrity’s, the album’s successor, debut sales of over 1.88 million units, becoming the band’s highest-debut in their career. The album topped the chart for eight straight weeks, becoming one of the longest-running albums of 2000.
The Recording Industry Association of America certified No Strings Attached seven-times platinum on April 19, 2000, becoming the highest-certified single disc album in the initial RIAA audit in this year. It broke the record previously set in 1993 by the soundtrack to the 1992 film The Bodyguard, which was certified six-times platinum in the RIAA’s first audit. The album was re-certified eleven-times platinum on May 10, 2001, denoting shipments of 11 million in the United States alone—making it their best-selling album. The album shipped 10 million copies domestically in 2000 alone, of which 9,936,104 were sold, according to Nielsen Soundscan, which is the most albums sold in a single year. Worldwide, No Strings Attached is the best selling ‘N Sync album, garnering 15 million copies sold.
10. Falling into You / Celine Dion ~ 10,768,000
Falling into You is Céline Dion’s fourth English album and twenty-first in total, released on March 11, 1996. The album was well received by critics and fans, winning two Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year in 1997, and becoming one of only three albums to remain in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for one full year, spending 59 consecutive weeks in the top 10. It remains one of the best-selling albums in history with over 32 million copies sold worldwide, including over 11 million in the U.S. alone.
In the U.S. it debuted at number 2 with 192,000 copies sold in its first week, and then remained at the top spot after reaching the number 1 position in its 31st week. The album’s achievements are notable as it is one of only three albums to remain in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for one full year (along with Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette), spending 59 consecutive weeks in the top 10. Due to its incredible staying power in the album charts, it was the third best-selling album of 1996 and of 1997 in the U.S.. In the UK the album spent a total of 43 weeks in the top 10, selling more than 2.1 million copies, and has received a 7x platinum certification.