Find Out What the Best-Selling Album Was in the Year You Were Born

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Every year there’s one album that dominates the charts and everyone’s hearts.

Loved by over 40s

Billboard has been keeping a list of all the best-selling albums (in the US) dating back to 1956 so you can find out which band or artist was worming their way into the public’s ears the year you were born (unless you’re over 61).

For tiny tots last year, it was rapper Drake’s album Views, while in 1997 it was all about Spice Girls’ debut Spice.

Back in 1987, Bon Jovi’s was topping the charts with Slippery When Wet while Elton John ruled the airwaves in 1975 with Elton John’s Greatest Hits.

Pop stars like Adele and Justin Timberlake have been topping the charts in recent years but it was musical soundtracks and Broadway hits in the 1950s and 1960s.

Here’s the full list compiled by Business Insider, with the notable singles from each best-selling album.

2016: Drake – Views

Young Money

Copies sold: 4,140,000

Notable singles: ‘Hotline Bling’, ‘One Dance’

2015: Adele – 25

XL Recordings

Copies sold: 8,008,000

Notable singles: ‘Hello’, ‘When We Were Young’

2014: Taylor Swift – 1989

Big Machine Records

Copies sold: 3,661,000

Notable singles: ‘Shake It Off’, ‘Blank Space’, ‘Bad Blood’

2013: Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience

RCA Records

Copies sold: 2,430,000

Notable singles: ‘Suit & Tie’, ‘Mirrors’

2012: Adele – 21

Columbia Records

Copies sold: 4,410,000

Notable singles: ‘Someone Like You’, ‘Set Fire to the Rain’, ‘Rumour Has It’

2011: Adele – 21

Columbia Records

Copies sold: 5,824,000

Notable singles: ‘Rolling In The Deep’

2010: Eminem – Recovery

Aftermath Entertainment

Copies sold: 3,415,000

Notable singles: ‘Not Afraid’, ‘Love The Way You Lie’

2009: Taylor Swift – Fearless

Big Machine Records

Copies sold: 3,217,000

Notable singles: ‘Love Story’, ‘You Belong With Me’

2008: Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III

Cash Money/Universal Motown

Copies sold: 2,880,000

Notable singles: ‘Lollipop’, ‘A Milli’

2007: Josh Groban – Noël

Reprise Records

Copies sold: 3,699,000

Notable single: ‘The First Noel (feat. Faith Hill)’

2006: High School Musical (Soundtrack)

Walt Disney Records

Copies sold: 3,719,000

Notable single: ‘Breaking Free’

2005: Mariah Carey – The Emancipation of Mimi

Island Def Jam

Copies sold: 4,968,606

Notable singles: ‘We Belong Together’, ‘Shake It Off’

2004: Usher – Confessions

Arista Records

Copies sold: 7,979,000

Notable singles: ‘Burn’, ‘Confessions Pt. II’, ‘Yeah!’

2003: 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Shady Records/Aftermath Entertainment

Copies sold: 6,536,000

Notable singles: ‘In da Club’, ’21 Questions’

2002: Eminem – The Eminem Show

Aftermath Entertainment

Copies sold: 7,608,000

Notable singles: ‘Without Me’, ‘Sing For The Moment’

2001: Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory

Warner Bros. Records

Copies sold: 4,813,000

Notable single: ‘In The End’

2000: NSYNC – No Strings Attached

Jive Records

Copies sold: 9,936,000

Notable singles: ‘Bye Bye Bye’, ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’

1999: Backstreet Boys – Millennium


Copies sold: 9,446,000

Notable singles: ‘I Want It That Way’, ‘Larger Than Life’

1998: James Horner and Celine Dion – Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture

Sony Classical

Copies sold: 9,338,000

Notable single: ‘My Heart Will Go On’

1997: Spice Girls – Spice

Virgin Records

Copies sold: 5,302,000

Notable singles: ‘Wannabe’, ‘Say You’ll Be There’

1996: Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill


Copies sold: 7,380,000

Notable singles: ‘You Oughta Know’, ‘Hand In My Pocket’

1995: Hootie and the Blowfish – Cracked Rear View

Atlantic Records

Copies sold: 7,020,000

Notable singles: ‘Hold My Hand’, ‘Only Wanna Be With You’

1994: Elton John/Hans Zimmer – The Lion King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Walt Disney Records

Copies sold: 4,934,000

Notable singles: ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’, ‘Circle of Life’

1993: Whitney Houston/Various Artists – The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album


Copies sold: 5,460,000

Notable single: ‘I Will Always Love You’

1992: Billy Ray Cyrus – Some Gave All

Mercury Records

Copies sold: 4,700,000

Notable singles: ‘Achy Breaky Heart’

1991: Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey

Columbia Records

Notable singles: ‘Vision of Love’, ‘Love Takes Time’

1990: Janet Jackson – Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814

A&M Records

Notable singles: ‘Miss You Much’, ‘Rhythm Nation’

1989: Bobby Brown – Don’t Be Cruel

MCA Records

Notable single: ‘My Prerogative’

1988: George Michael – Faith


Notable singles: ‘One More Try’, ‘Father Figure’

1987: Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet


Notable singles: ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’, ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’

1986: Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston


Notable singles: ‘How Will I Know’, ‘Greatest Love Of All’

1985: Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A.


Notable singles: ‘Dancing In The Dark’, ‘Born In The U.S.A.’

1984: Michael Jackson – Thriller


Notable singles: ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Beat It’

1983: Michael Jackson – Thriller


Notable singles: ‘Thriller’, ‘P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)’

1982: Asia – Asia

Geffen Records

Notable single: ‘Heat of the Moment’

1981: REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity

Epic Records

Notable singles: ‘Keep on Loving You’, ‘Take It on the Run’

1980: Pink Floyd – The Wall


Notable singles: ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)’

1979: Billy Joel – 52nd Street

Family Productions

Notable single: ‘My Life’

1978: Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track

RSO Records

Notable singles: ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, ‘Stayin’ Alive’

1977: Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

Warner Bros.

Notable singles: ‘Go Your Own Way’, ‘Don’t Stop’

1976: Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive!

A&M Records

Notable single: ‘Show Me The Way’

1975: Elton John – Elton John’s Greatest Hits

DJM Records

Notable singles: ‘Your Song’, ‘Daniel’

1974: Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

MCA Records

Notable single: ‘Bennie and the Jets’

1973: War – The World Is a Ghetto

United Artists

Notable single: ‘The Cisco Kid’

1972: Neil Young – Harvest

Reprise Records

Notable single: ‘Heart of Gold’

1971: Jesus Christ Superstar


Notable single: ‘Superstar’

1970: Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge over Troubled Water


Notable singles: ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’, ‘The Boxer’

1969: Iron Butterfly – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida


Notable single: ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’

1968: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced

Track Records

Notable singles: ‘Purple Haze’, ‘Foxy Lady’

1967: The Monkees – More of The Monkees

Colgems Records

Notable single: ‘I’m A Believer’

1966: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Whipped Cream & Other Delights

A&M Records

Notable single: ‘A Taste of Honey’

1965: Mary Poppins (Original Soundtrack)

Walt Disney Records

Notable singles: ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’

1964: Hello, Dolly! (Original Broadway Cast)

20th Century Fox Records

Notable single: ‘Hello, Dolly!’

1963: West Side Story (Soundtrack)

Columbia Masterworks

Notable single: ‘I Feel Pretty’

1962: West Side Story (Soundtrack)

Columbia Masterworks

Notable single: ‘Maria’

1961: Camelot (Original Broadway Cast)

Columbia Records

Notable single: ‘If Ever I Would Leave You’

1960: The Sound of Music (Original Broadway Cast)

Columbia Masterworks

Notable single: ‘Do-Re-Mi’, ‘The Sound of Music’

1959: Henry Mancini – Music from Peter Gunn

RCA Victor Records

Notable single: ‘Peter Gunn Theme’

1958: My Fair Lady (Original Broadway Cast)

Columbia Records

Notable single: ‘With A Little Bit of Luck’

1957: My Fair Lady (Original Broadway Cast)

Columbia Records

Notable single: ‘The Rain in Spain’

1956: Harry Belafonte – Calypso

RCA Victor Records

Notable singles: ‘Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)’, ‘Jamaica Farewell’

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