To determine the best pop albums of all time, 24/7 Wall St. generated an index based on the album’s rankings on the Billboard 200 chart and lifetime album sales. Both components of the index were given equal weight.
A band’s total certified U.S. album sales came from the Recording Industry Association of America. The RIAA tracks album sales released in the American market with a threshold of 500,000 units sold. To be considered, an album must have at least 1 million certified sales. How well an album has performed on the Billboard 200 was determined by awarding points based on the number of weeks it was on the chart and its rank for each week.
Pop music has come to mean more than mere popularity. Generally, pop albums consist of singles-based music engineered for wide appeal on pop radio and pop television. Pop music often incorporates elements of dance, as well as heavily produced electronic components. Based on 24/7 Wall St.’s discretion, albums that did not meet these loose criteria were excluded from our analysis. As a result, a number of highly popular artists, including Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, and Garth Brooks, were culled from the final list.