Top 10 Best-Selling Albums of the ’80s

When you think of the ten best-selling albums of the '80s, do you think of groups such as Duran Duran and the Police? If so, you're a bit off the mark. Neither of these bands had albums in the top ten of the eighties. However, Bruce Springsteen does have two entries into the list, which also features Michael Jackson, Guns N' Roses, and AC/DC. See how many of the ten best-selling albums of the '80s are in your collection.

  1. Michael Jackson: "Thriller." Michael Jackson's epic album from 1982 is not just the best-selling album of the '80s,  it's the best-selling album of all time. It is believed that "Thriller" has sold between 47 and 100 million copies worldwide. This album contains many hit singles, including "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "Human Nature," and "P.Y.T.,"all of which helped qualify this album as the best-selling album of the '80s.

  2. AC/DC: "Back in Black." AC/DC's classic 1980 album sold 22 million copies in the United States alone. Worldwide, it has sold 49 million copies, making it the second best-selling album of all time. It was the band's first album after the death of lead singer Bon Scott, and the first featuring new singer Brian Johnson. Singles on this album include "Hell's Bells," "You Shook Me All Night Long," and "Back in Black."

  3. Billy Joel: "Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2." Joel's greatest hits double-album included 25 of Joel's greatest hits, including "Uptown Girl" and "Piano Man." Its staggering sales lands it at number three in the ten best-selling albums of the '80s.

  4. Guns N' Roses: "Appetite for Destruction." The band's 1987 release was also their debut album and sold 33 million copies worldwide. Those numbers qualify it as the best-selling debut album of all time worldwide. Singles on this album include "Welcome to the Jungle," "Paradise City," and "Sweet Child of Mine."

  5. Bruce Springsteen: "Born in the USA.": The Boss' 1984 release was his best-selling album ever, selling fifteen million copies in the U.S. It marked the comeback of Springsteen as a popular music star, and features the songs "Born in the U.S.A.," "Glory Days," and "Dancing in the Dark." Springsteen's album sold enough to rank third among the ten best-selling albums of the '80s.

  6. Bruce Springsteen: "Live/1975-85." This box set released by Springsteen in 1986 is the second best-selling live album in history (Garth Brooks' "Double Live" is the first). Hits on this box set are numerous and include "Thunder Road," "My Hometown," and "Hungry Heart."

  7. Prince: "Music from the Motion Picture 'Purple Rain.'" Prince's 1984 soundtrack to the movie "Purple Rain" contains the singles "Let's Go Crazy," "When Doves Cry," and "Purple Rain." Prince was introduced to the general public with this album, which ranks seventh in the best-selling albums of the '80s.

  8. Whitney Houston: "Whitney Houston." Another successful debut album, Houston's came out in 1985 and contains the hits "How Will I Know," "The Greatest Love of All," and "You Give Good Love." Houston's first album was also her most popular, and ranks fifth in the ten best-selling albums of the '80s.

  9. Phil Collins: "No Jacket Required." Phil Collins' third and most successful solo album won the Grammy for Best Album of the Year that year. The album contains the hits "Sussudio," "Don't Lose My Number," and "One More Night."

  10. Def Leppard: "Hysteria." The British group's 1987 album sold enough records to earn it the distinction of the tenth best-selling album of the '80s. It contains the hits "Hysteria," "Women," and "Pour Some Sugar on Me." 



Reference: Dodd, Peter, et. al. "100 Best Selling Albums of the 80's". 2004: Barnes & Noble.

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