100 Best Pop Albums of All Time

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20. 1989 (2014)
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Copies sold: 9 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 223

With this album, her fifth studio recording, Taylor Swift abandoned her country roots, moving solidly into pop. The record won her the Album of the Year title at the 2015 Grammys and toted up first-week sales of 1.287 million copies. This was her third album to sell over 1 million in its first week of release. Of the seven singles that came out of “1989,” three — “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” and a remixed version of “Bad Blood” with guest star Kendrick Lamar — reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart.

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19. The Beatles: 1967-1970 (1973)
> Artist: The Beatles
> Copies sold: 17 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 182

The second of the two Beatles anthology albums, also released in 1973, covers the latter part of the group’s career that was marked by innovation, improvisation, and retrospection. Also called the “Blue Album,” it includes psychedelic favorites such as “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” as well as the gospel-inspired “Let it Be.” Songs on the album that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 included “Hey Jude” and “Get Back.”

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18. Nothing Was the Same (2013)
> Artist: Drake
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 277

With help from the likes of Jay-Z, Big Sean, and 2 Chainz, “Nothing Was the Same” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, yielding seven hit singles and becoming the seventh best selling album of 2013. Canadian artist Drake recorded “Nothing Was the Same” in Marvin Gaye’s famous studio, Marvin’s Room, and told the youth-oriented media platform Complex that the album was heavily influenced by Gaye’s 1978 album “Here, My Dear.”

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17. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
> Artist: The Beatles
> Copies sold: 11 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 224

Perhaps the most famous pop album, and album cover, of all time, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” seems to capture the 1960s zeitgeist. It was No. 1 in the United States for 15 weeks after its release in June of 1967. No singles were released in conjunction with the album, and none of the songs were banded, meaning there was no break in the music, compelling the listener to hear the songs uninterrupted. The complexity of the music is reflected in the final song, “A Day in the Life,” with its soaring orchestral arrangements completed by the famously elongated E-major piano chord.

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16. Come On Over (1997)
> Artist: Shania Twain
> Copies sold: 20 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 151

This smash-hit country album, Shania Twain’s third studio recording, has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide — twice the number shipped in the U.S. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and held that position for 50 nonconsecutive weeks. A dozen of the album’s 16 tracks were released as singles, and all were country hits, including three No. 1s.

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15. Recovery (2010)
> Artist: Eminem
> Copies sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 320

This follow-up to his 2009 “Relapse” was originally supposed to be released as “Relapse II,” but Eminem realized that the music was different from that on the earlier album, so he called it “Recovery” instead. Dr. Dre was the executive producer, and Pink, Rihanna, and Lil Wayne were among the guest stars appearing. Four singles from “Recovery” were released, two of which — “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie” — hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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14. Taylor Swift (2006)
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Copies sold: 7 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 275

Taylor Swift was only 16 years old when she recorded her debut album. Having either written or co-written every song on the album, Swift proved herself an exceptionally talented newcomer — a role she would use to develop her current standing as international pop superstar. The album produced five singles, including “Teardrops on My Guitar,” which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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13. Take Care (2011)
> Artist: Drake
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 316

This ubiquitous Canadian rapper’s second studio album, “Take Care” features guest appearances from Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, André 3000, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, and other notables. It debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200, spawned four top-20 singles, and won the 2013 Grammy for Best Rap Album.

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12. Night Visions (2012)
> Artist: Imagine Dragons
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 338

Dan Reynolds, lead singer for Imagine Dragons, has said that “Night Visions” was in the works for three years. Six of the original 10 tracks on the album had been previously released on EPs. One of these, “It’s Time,” reached the top 15 in the Billboard Hot 100 as an EP track and became the band’s first commercial success. “Night Visions” reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200 in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

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11. Abbey Road (1969)
> Artist: The Beatles
> Copies sold: 12 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 301

The Beatles album with the iconic album cover of the Fab Four crossing Abbey Road debuted in October of 1969. It includes the double-sided hit “Something”/”Come Together,” which peaked at No. 1 on Nov. 29, 1969. There are elements of the blues and progressive rock on the album that also featured Moog synthesizers. It would be the last studio album on which all four would collaborate.