Written by: Alex Green
For the past few years, Michael Jackson’s Thriller has been the putative best-selling album in America.
And while it has indeed garnered global sales of 47 million–which make it the best selling album of all time–it’s no longer the top seller in America.
The Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) is officially the best selling album in the United States, with 38 million copies sold.
Interestingly, the global sales for the album are markedly shy of those of Thriller.
Thriller has sold 33 million albums in the United States, with global sales of 13 million copies.
Adding to the Eagles’ dominance, the band’s Hotel California now officially holds the number three position, with 26 million albums sold.
As for how the new tallying of sales by the Recording Industry Association Of America is conducted, CNBC reported: “RIAA’s platinum status was once equivalent to selling one million albums or songs, but in 2013 the company began incorporating streaming from YouTube, Spotify and other digital music services to determine certification for albums and songs.”
They went on to report: “Now 1,500 streams of an album is equivalent to an album sale. Also, 10 song downloads = 1 album sale.”