This was a mammoth job! Listed below are the Top 200 Highest Selling Albums in Australian music history. Sales are up to the present day. Sales for around 190 of the albums listed are correct (Aria accreditations), the others are calculated estimates. I've contacted several record companies/ARIA re the actual sales of these albums. Let's see if they get back to me.
Notable albums missing from this list include: The Sound of Music (76 weeks at No.1), Sgt Peppers (30 weeks), Abbey Road, The White Album and South Pacific. I suspect that record companies didn't keep accurate sales figures for albums pre 1970.
This is a cool list Kev! A lot to ponder on though (I've never really looked at album cert's unless it's post 2000). In particular:
*I'm so surprised to see Rattle & Hum as U2's biggest studio album. I would have thought The Joshua Tree for sure. *Great to see Brothers In Arms so high up - easily one of my favourite albums. *Surprised that DSOTM misses the top ten. Does anyone know when was the last time that cert was updated? *Only one Madonna studio album - sad that Like A Prayer or Ray Of Light didn't sell better. *Cocktail Soundtrack???? Really!!??? Haha
The list has been updated as more accurate information has come to hand.
* The Dark Side of the Moon charted recently so I suspect it'll be accredited as a platinum X 15 album within the next 3 months. It has been at platinum X 14 since June 2011.
* Rattle and Hum spent 5 weeks at number 1, where as The Joshua Tree only peaked at #3.
* I was surprised by how many Michael Bublé albums Australians have purchased over the years. All 5 of his studio albums are in the all time Top 200 and have sold almost 2.2 million copies. Now that's a worry!
Interesting list and great work! Just a few things I disagree with:
+ ABBA Gold must have sold much more than 830,000 copies. It was last certified in June 1999. In went to spend 33 more weeks in the Top 50 until 2000. Not to mention the fact that it re-entered the chart in 2008 when it was re-released. I wouldn't be surprised if sales stood close to the million mark.
Continuing with ABBA, The Best Of ABBA can't have sold 1,250,000 units. The album had sold 1.1 million units by 1979 according to Billboard. I've read on several ABBA forums that the album was no longer available in stores from the early 1980's. I doubt that it sold much more after 1979 then.
Your estimations for the ABBA album look a bit too high as well IMO. The album had sold 570,000 units according to an RCA ad placed in billboard magasine in 1977. Once again, I doubt it's sold a lot more. I'd put it at 600,000 sales. ABBA's studio albums tend to sell close to nothing on catalogue.
+ The Truth About Love can't have sold 420,000 units. It was certified 5 x Platinum two weeks ago but thhere must be some copies in the shelves out of the 350,000 units.
+ Talking about P!nk, I also doubt that Greatest Hits... So Far!!! sold 480,000 units given the 6 x Platinum cert. only happened a few weeks ago. Funhouse, on the other hand must have easily crossed the 840,000 mark, based on the figures supplied by AuspOp a few years ago.
+ Nirvana's self-titled set was certified 5 x Platinum in the middle of the 1990s. Given the huge catalogue sales it must have accumulated over the years, I wouldn't be surprised if actual sales were close to 600,000 units, if not more.
+ Shania's Come On Over must have sold 1.2 million units. The album was last certified in January 2000 (15 x Platinum), when the album was still Top 5. The album remained in the Top 50 until September that year. It was also the 5th best selling country album of 2001.
+ Your estimations for Evanescence's Fallen are a bit too low IMO. You put it at #146 with 430,000 units. It was sitting at #15 on the ARIA Decade chart, three spots above Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream, which had sold 450,000 units at that point. The ARIA decade chart also only included charted weeks within the Top 100. You have to add all the sales when the album wasn't Top 100. Given Fallen must be a good catalogue seller, sales must be close to 550,000 units at this point. An 8 x Platinum cert. wouldn't surprise me.
+ Same for The Eminem Show. With all the weeks it has racked up on the Urban Albums chart, sales must be close to 650,000 units.
+ Some of Michael Bublé's albums look a bit underestimated.
Based on the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Year End Chart, Crazy Love must have sold 450,000 units. Same for It's Time. His self-titled debut has probably sold 560,000 units.
+ You've forgotten to include Future Sex / Love Sounds. It must have sold 420,000 units by now.
+ Guns N Roses' Appetite For Destruction should also be in the list. Based on YEC positions, it probably sold 270,000 units between 1989 and 1990. With all the catalogue sales it must have accumulated, I wouldn't be surprised if total sales were around the 450-500,000 mark. Last edited:
Cheers Innocent_Eyes. Good to see you're focused on accuracy!
With the estimated sales figures, most are based on Aria accreditations that I have seen. You and I can speculate on the actual sales (and we'd probably be right) but I'd rather wait until Aria releases their certs.
* ABBA Gold most likely has sold more...waiting to see the next Aria cert though.
* I've read in various books and online that The Best of ABBA sold over 1.2 million copies. It was reported by Glenn A Baker that Arrival sold over 950,000 and ABBA's self titled album over 700,000.
* Michael Bublé;s Crazy Love is still at ▲5, his self titled album at ▲7.
* The Christmas, The Truth About Love and Greatest Hits... So Far!!! albums would've reached those sales figures mentioned above by XMAS. Greatest Hits... So Far!!! is presently charting at #50 so it's probably only 440,000. Will alter.
* Fallen is still at ▲6.
* Agree, Aria needs to release an update cert for Nevermind. They really should update them quarterly not yearly.
* Appetite For Destruction had a similar chart run to Rêveries which has sold over 450,000 copies (really can't see how that happened but anyway...). Last cert I saw was ▲2. It's probably higher now. Aria?
* Come on Over still sits at ▲15 when really it's most likely ▲16. Aria...
I'm also trying to dig out the accurate sales figures for Bridge Over Troubled Water, Dynasty, No Jacket Required, Can't Slow Down, Color by Numbers, An Innocent Man, Business as Usual among others.
Also, I can't see how the Blues Brothers soundtrack, Guilty, Memories and Tapestry albums sold so many copies. All have had accreds though,
G'day, i noticed whilst having another geez at your list a mistake with two Beatles albums....that being thier two compilation albums "1962-1966" & "1967-1970", you've stated them as being released in 1993...when in fact they where originally released in 1973....
In fact, it's up to the record company to apply ARIA for an accreditation.
Most of the time, Universal (and some other record companies) don't really re-certify their old albums, even their blockbusters, like Come On Over, ABBA Gold or Nevermind. Accreditations are a good indicator in regards to albums sales but they can be misleading in regards to old albums sometimes. Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits jumped directly from 4 x Platinum to 11 x Platinum in 2010 for instance. in 2009, a casual reader may have thought that it had only sold 280,000 units, when total sales were much higher.
Appetite For Destruction was certified 3 x Platinum in 1990. Time to update it Universal!
The Blues Brothers, Guilty, Memories and Tapestry may not have had big chart runs during their releases but they probably enjoyed big catalogue sales throughut the years.
Will be interesting to see how high Adeles 25 will end up. Also had no idea Rush Of Blood is now 7 Platinum. Also a bit surprised but glad that 21 didn't end up as the highest selling album of the 21st Century. Pink Floyd and Queen did really well for themselves to get over a million sales without ever going #1. I don't see anything ever stopping John Farnham and Meat Loaf, especially now days.
"Also a bit surprised but glad that 21 didn't end up as the highest selling album of the 21st Century"... even at 15xPlatinum, something tells "21" still has enough legs to beat "Innocent Eyes", which isn't currently selling anything like the numbers that "21" is still racking up (if it's still selling anything at all). Based on BigKev's original post, it's taken "Innocent Eyes" more than three years to have another 70k shipped or sold online, without any significant chart activity - meanwhile "21" has charted for 218 of the last 260 weeks. At any rate, even if Adele does catch up, there are still 83.9 years of the 21st century left, so plenty of time yet for someone else to steal the crown from her!
Innocent Eyes must have sold 1,080,000 copies between 2003-2004. Then, it charted for a mere 3 weeks in the Top 100 between 2005 and 2015. Hard sales must be slightly over 1.1 million copies.
Adele's 21 hard sales must range between 1.080-1.085 million. It is pretty much a given that 21 will end up catching sales of Innocent Eyes. May happen before the end of the year even though LP sales are collapsing.
BTW, you can add Bob Marley's Legend BigKev. It was last certified 4 x Platinum in 1991 and it must have accumulated huge catalogue sales within the past 25 years. Sales are probably over 600,000 units now.