Michael Jackson’s Best-Selling Albums and Greatest Hits

Michael Jackson performs with Slash
Michael Jackson performs with Slash | Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Jackson was, and still is, the King of Pop for a reason. Throughout his career, he put out 200+ tracks, ten studio albums, one live album, 34 compilation albums, and seven remix albums. There are even 180+ songs that were never released. 

Jackson didn’t just put out a ton of music; he made silver, gold, and platinum status time and time again. Many news outlets cap his sales at 750 million albums. That’s a lot of notoriety for a single singer. With such a successful career there are bound to be some favorites

Michael Jackson’s best-selling albums

Jackson’s 10 studio albums include Got to Be There and Ben which released in 1972, Music & Me which released 1973, Forever, Michael which released in 1975, Off the Wall which is released in 1979, Thriller which was released in 1982, Bad which was released in 1987, Dangerous which was released in 1991, HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book I which released in 1995, and Invincible which released in 2001. 

3. Bad

Bad is a fantastic album that resulted in a record high of five No. 1 singles on the Billboard charts. This was an unmatched title until Katy Perry tied with Jackson in 2011 with tracks from her album Teenage DreamBad was just another addition to his string of successful albums that further cemented Jackson as an icon in the 80s. 

2. Off The Wall

Off the Wall was known as a breakthrough in Jackson’s career. It was the first album he produced while working under Epic Records and marked his genre switch from the classic doo-wop style to the pop-rock his fans know and love. The record was so good; Jackson received his first solo Grammy award for the sensational album. While Jackson appreciated the recognition he felt he could do better and he did.

1. Thriller

Thriller is THE Jackson album. Not only is it his best selling, but it is the best selling album in the entire world with 47 million copies sold. It used to hold the top spot in America until it was dethroned in 2018 by The Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975. Even with its crown being taken nationally, it’s international status is extremely impressive considering the album came out over 30 years ago. 

Thriller spent just about 2 1/2 years on Billboard’s album chart and had a record-breaking 37 weeks in the No.1 spot. It was also the first album in history to spend its first 80 weeks chilling in the top 10 zone. The icing on the cake — the album broke more records when it took home eight Grammy’s, one of which was for Record of the Year. Oh, and let’s not forget the amazing video that went along with the titular song.

Michael Jackson’s greatest hits

One of the best ways to measure the success of a song is to check the Billboard charts. Any song worth its weight in gold sticks to the top of the charts for at least a few weeks. 

5. The Way You Make Me Feel

On January 23, 1988, The Way You Make Me Feel peaked on the Top 100 and remained there for one week. While its stint there may have been short it did manage to stay on the charts for about 4.5 months. This was the third track from Bad to make it to No.1 in January that year. 

4. Man In The Mirror

Man In The Mirror was on the chart for 17 weeks and spent two weeks in the top spot after peaking on March 26, 1988. When the track reached No. 1 Jackson became the first artist to have four songs from a single album reach such heights. While its success is undeniable, the song only took a few hours to write according to Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard. Once Jackson added his magic, their few hours of writing turned into an instant sensation.

3. Rock With You 

Rock With You was number one on the Hot 100 peak position for four weeks. At the time it was the longest any of his singles had clung to the number one spot. On top of that, the track managed to stay on the chart for 24 weeks! Jackson wrote many of his songs but in this case, British songwriter Rod Temperton was the one to thank for the memorable lyrics.

2. Beat It

Beat It wasn’t in the top spot for as long as Rock With You, coming in at only three weeks after peaking on April 30, 1983. The track did however last longer on the charts, 25 weeks to be exact. Beat It appeared on the amazingly popular Thriller album and is one of several from the album to be in the top 10. The song also managed to climb to No. 14 on the Mainstream Rock Song charts due to Eddie Van Halen ripping it on the guitar.

1. Billie Jean

Billie Jean is the track responsible for boosting the already successful singer to a global sensation. Billie Jean peaked on March 5, 1983, and remained in the top spot for a solid seven weeks. It stuck to the charts for almost half a year before being knocked off.