Best-Selling Studio Albums in Selected Countries

Best-Selling Albums

We have compiled lists of the best-selling studio albums to date in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Japan, the United States, and Germany. We have not included greatest hits collections, soundtracks, and various artists compilations.

Canada

Ten studio albums have sold at least 2 million copies each in Canada. Four of them are from Canadian artists.

STUDIO ALBUM ARTIST ORIGIN UNITS
Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette Canada 2 million +
Rumours Fleetwood Mac US/UK 2 million +
Led Zeppelin IV Led Zeppelin UK 2 million +
Bat Out of Hell Meatloaf US 2 million +
Thriller Michael Jackson US 2 million +
Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd UK 2 million +
The Wall Pink Floyd UK 2 million +
Up! Shania Twain Canada 2 million +
Come on Over Shania Twain Canada 2 million +
The Woman in Me Shania Twain Canada 2 million +

The United Kingdom

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the best-selling album of all-time in the U.K., the only one to sell 5 million copies. The most successful Canadian album in Britain is Shania Twain’s Come On Over, ranked 11th.

RK STUDIO ALBUM ARTIST ORIGIN UNITS
1 Sgt. Pepper’s… The Beatles UK 5 million
2 What’s the Story… Oasis UK 4.5 million
3 Thriller Michael Jackson US 4.2 million
4 21 Adele UK 4.18 million
5 Brothers in Arms Dire Straits UK 4.15 million
6 Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd UK 4.11 million
7 Bad Michael Jackson US 3.9 million
8 Back to Black Amy Winehouse UK <3.9 million
9 Stars Simply Red UK <3.9 million
10 Rumours Fleedwood Mac US/UK <3.9 million
11 Come on Over Shania Twain Canada <3.9 million
12 Back to Bedlam James Blunt UK <3.9 million

France

At 4.4 million copies, Céline Dion’s D’eux is the all-time best-selling studio album in France with their own Francis Cabrel coming in 2nd place.

RK STUDIO ALBUM ARTIST ORIGIN UNITS
1 D’eux Celine Dion Canada 4,412,100
2 Samedi soir sur la terre Francis Cabrel France 3,963,400
3 Breakfast in America Supertramp UK 3,072,100
4 Alors Regarde Patrick Bruel France 2,736,200
5 Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd UK 2,555,400
6 Thriller Michael Jackson US 2,366,700
7 Entre gris clair et gris foncé Jean-Jacques Goldman France 2,194,200
8 Louise Attaque Louise Attaque France 2,186,600
9 Sarbacane Francis Cabrel France 2,129,800
10 The Joshua Tree U2 Ireland 2,072,100
11 Fredericks Goldman Jones Fredericks, Goldman and Jones France 2,044,400
12 Brothers in Arms Dire Straits UK 1,995,300
13 Dangerous Michael Jackson US 1,985,500
14 Gourmandises Alizée France 1,900,000

Australia

Australia’s own John Farnham is ranked No. 1 for Whispering Jack, tied with the United States’ Meat Loaf (Bat Out of Hell). Canadian albums have sold well with studio albums from Shania, Alanis, and Celine selling over 900,000 copies apiece.

STUDIO ALBUM ARTIST ORIGIN UNITS
Whispering Jack John Farnham Australia 1,680,000
Bat Out of Hell Meat Loaf US 1,680,000
Brothers in Arms Dire Straits UK 1,190,000
Thriller Michael Jackson US 1,120,000
Come On Over Shania Twain Canada 1,050,000
Innocent Eyes Delta Goodrem Australia 1,050,000
21 Adele UK 980,000
Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette Canada 980,000
Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd UK 980,000
Born in the U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen US 910,000
Falling into You Celine Dion Canada 910,000
Rumours Fleetwood Mac UK 910,000
Arrival ABBA Sweden 900,000

Japan

Twenty-three (too many to list) studio albums have sold at least 3 million copies each in Japan, all of them appear to be Japanese language releases. Albums from Celine and Avril have sold at least 1 million copies each. The best-selling album of all-time (by far) is First Love by Japanese American Utada Hikaru at 7.65 million copies.

RK STUDIO ALBUM ARTIST ORIGIN UNITS
1 First Love Utada Hikaru US 7,650,215
2 globe globe Japan 4,136,460
3 Distance Utada Hikaru US 3,604,588
4 Delicious Way Kuraki Mai Japan 3,530,420
5 Time to Destination Every Little Thing Japan 3,520,330

The United States

Selena’s Dreaming of You is the highest certified album in the U.S. at 35x platinum. In terms of actual sales figures, however, the title belongs to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Albums from Shania and Alanis are in their Top 10.

RK STUDIO ALBUM ARTIST ORIGIN UNITS
1 Thriller Michael Jackson US 29 million
2 Led Zeppelin IV Led Zeppelin UK 23 million
3 Back in Black AC/DC Australia 22 million
4 Rumours Fleetwood Mac US/UK 19 million
5 Appetite for Destruction Guns N’ Roses US 18 million
6 Come On Over Shania Twain Canada 17.5 million
7 Boston Boston US 17 million
8 Hotel California Eagles US 16 million
9 Metallica Metallica US 15.9 million
10 Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette Canada 15.2 million
11 Born in the U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen US 15 million
12 Bat Out of Hell Meat Loaf US 14 million

Germany

Their own Herbert Grönemeyer has the 1st and 3rd best-selling studio albums. No Canadian artist is among the 2 million plus club there. The most successful album from a non-German artist is Phil Collins for his …But Seriously ranked 2nd.

STUDIO ALBUM ARTIST ORIGIN UNITS
Mensch Herbert Grönemeyer Germany 3.15 million
…But Seriously Phil Collins UK 3 million
4630 Bochum Herbert Grönemeyer Germany 2.75 million
We Can’t Dance Genesis UK 2.5 million
Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman US 2.25 million
Over the Hump The Kelly Family US 2.25 million
Bocelli Andrea Bocelli Italy 2 million
Bad Michael Jackson US 2 million
Dangerous Michael Jackson US 2 million
Abenteuerland Pur Germany 2 million
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