Halloween this year was very, very good to Michael Jackson.
The late singer's album Thriller always has a resurgence in sales around the holiday due to the Boris Karloff narrated title track. For the last couple of years, it has been tied with the Eagles' Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 on the RIAA list of the biggest selling albums of all-time with sales of 29 million but, on Wednesday, the tie was broken.
Thriller has now been certified as thirty-times Platinum, indicating sales of over thirty-million records.
Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA, said "RIAA has awarded Gold & Platinum records on behalf of the music business for nearly 60 years, but this is the first time an artist has crossed the 30X multi-Platinum plateau. We are honored to celebrate the unique status of Thriller in Gold & Platinum history. What an exceptional achievement and testament to Thriller's enduring spot in our hearts and musical history."
Michael Jackson's masterpiece, produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, won a record setting eight Grammys, more than any album ever, and has been earning awards and setting new standards of success since its release on November 30, 1982. Thriller spent nearly 2-1/2 years on the Billboard album chart and holds a modern day record of 37 weeks at #1. Only the West Side Story soundtrack held it longer at 54 weeks.
It was the first album in history to spend each of its first 80 weeks in the album chart's Top 10, a feat only reached by one other album in the more than three decades since. During its 112th week on Billboard's album chart, it became the first title ever to be certified RIAA 20-times multi-Platinum (October 30, 1984). Worldwide, Thriller went to #1 in practically every country in the world, including the UK, France, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and apartheid South Africa.
The updated list of the top selling albums of all-time according to the RIAA:
- 01. Thriller - Michael Jackson (30x platinum)
- 02. Their Greatest Hits, 1971-1975 - Eagles (29x)
- 03. (tie) Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II - Billy Joel (23x)
- 03. (tie) Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin (23x)
- 03. (tie) The Wall - Pink Floyd (23x)
- 06. Back in Black - AC/DC (22x)
- 07. Double Live - Garth Brooks (21x)
- 08 (tie). Rumours - Fleetwood Mac (20x)
- 08 (tie). Come on Over - Shania Twain (20x)
- 10. The Beatles (White Album) - The Beatles (19x)
- 11. Appetite For Destruction - Guns N' Roses (18x)
- 12 (tie). The Bodyguard - Whitney Houston (17x)
- 12 (tie). Boston - Boston (17x)
- 12 (tie). The Beatles 1967-1970 - The Beatles (17x)
- 12 (tie). No Fences - Garth Brooks (17x)
- 16 (tie). Hotel California - The Eagles (16x)
- 16 (tie). Greatest Hits - Elton John (16x)
- 16 (tie). Physical Graffiti - Led Zeppelin (16x)
- 16 (tie). Jagged Little Pill - Alanis Morssitte (16x)
- 16 (tie). Cracked Rear View - Hootie & the Blowfish (16x)
- 16 (tie). Metallica - Metallica (16x)