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Classics Du Jour


Top 10 Best-Selling Rock Bands of All Time in U.S. Sales

10 U2 – 52 million

Released in 1987, The Joshua Tree is U2’s highest selling album. It sold 10 million copies in the U.S. and 25 million worldwide. Recently, the band celebrated the album’s 30th anniversary with a worldwide sold out tour.

09 Van Halen – 56 million

Van Halen is one of the rare bands, let alone rock bands, that have had two albums reach “Diamond” status, selling over 10 million copies each. The first one was their debut release Van Halen, and the second was 1984. The band still holds the record for having the most #1 songs (13) on Billboards’ Mainstream Rock chart.

08 Metallica – 63 million

Metallica (commonly known as The Black Album) is Metallica’s fifth studio album and has sold over 16 million copies in the U.S., tripling sales of their next highest selling album. There were five singles released: “Enter Sandman,” “The Unforgiven,” “Nothing Else Matters,” “Wherever I May Roam” and “Sad but True.” The band has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Fun fact: Almost 6 million copies of the release were purchased on cassette.

07 Aerosmith – 66.3 million

The boys from Boston have released 12 albums that have reached multi-platinum status, which is a huge accomplishment in their over four decade career. Their Greatest Hits collection from 1980 tops the list at 11 million copies sold. Aside from a few years in the early 80’s, the band still includes its five members from 1971 – Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford.

06 Rolling Stones – 66.5 million

Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones

Once again, it’s a greatest hits release, Hot Rocks 1964–1971, which finds itself in the top sales position for The Rolling Stones, with 12 million copies sold in the U.S. Their highest selling studio album is Some Girls with 6 million sold. Incredibly, the Stones charted their 37th top 10 album on the Billboard 200 chart with Blue & Lonesome in 2016.

05 AC/DC – 72 million

AC/DC has sold over 72 million albums in the U.S. alone, making them one of the five top-selling bands in American music history. They have sold more than 200 million worldwide, with Back in Black (22 million) being their highest selling record in the U.S.

04 Pink Floyd – 75 million

Pink Floyd is one of the top-selling rock bands of all time
Pink Floyd

The Dark Side of The Moon, released in 1973, remained on the Billboard chart for a record-setting 741 weeks from 1973 -1988. Although it is Pink Floyd’s biggest selling album internationally, it takes the #2 position in the U.S. (17 million), behind the double album The Wall (23 million).

03 The Eagles – 101 million

The best-selling album ever in America is the Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, released in 1976. With 29 million copies sold it is also one of the highest-selling albums globally with 45 million copies sold worldwide. Including “Take It Easy,” “Desperado,” “One of These Nights,” “Take It To The Limit,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and four others, this album surpassed Michael Jackson’s Thriller. What makes this even more incredible is that the album was released prior to the band recording Hotel California.

02 Led Zeppelin – 111.5 million

Led Zeppelin is one of the top-selling rock bands of all time
Led Zeppelin in 1977

Led Zeppelin IV or Zoso, released in 1971, is Led Zeppelin’s best-selling album ever and the ninth best-selling album of all time. The album is certified 23x platinum the U.S. and is estimated to have sold over 37 million copies worldwide. The highlight of the album is the masterpiece “Stairway to Heaven,” which is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded.

01 The Beatles – 178 million

The Beatles
The Beatles

As of 2017, the Beatles have sold 600 million albums worldwide—with 178 million of those sold in the U.S. alone. The group held the top five spots on the Billboard 100 in April of 1964. That’s an achievement that’s likely to remain unmatched. They made $25 million in earnings that year, which equates to over $197 million today.

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