100 Best Pop Albums of All Time

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100. Hangin’ Tough (1988)
> Artist: New Kids On The Block
> Albums sold: 8 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 134

The Boston-based ensemble of singers, modeled on the successful boy band formula of New Edition, was formed in 1984 with members Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight, Jon Knight, Danny Wood, and Joe McIntyre. The 1988 album “Hangin’ Tough” went 8x platinum, one of four New Kids LPs to gain platinum status. The album features teen favorites such as the title tune and the ballad “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever).”

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99. The Joshua Tree (1987)
> Artist: U2
> Albums sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 121

The Irish rockers who became one of the world’s biggest bands in the late 1980s through relentless touring and critically acclaimed music, cemented their reputation with the release of “The Joshua Tree.” The album, named after the tree found in the Mojave Desert in the American West, focused on America and its various cultural and political influences. Released in 1987, “The Joshua Tree” became the group’s first No.1 album in the U.S. The album includes the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 songs “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

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98. Nick Of Time (1989)
> Artist: Bonnie Raitt
> Albums sold: 5 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 185

Pop-rocker and critics’ favorite Bonnie Raitt overcame personal adversity and a professional slump to release in 1989 her greatest commercial success at the time — her 10th album, “Nick Of Time.” The record was the first of her three platinum LPs. The album, whose title track was a hit, won three Grammy Awards, including Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and Album of the Year.

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97. ‘N Sync (1998)
> Artist: ‘N Sync
> Albums sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 109

“‘N Sync” was the self-titled album of the boy band formed in Orlando, Florida. The album climbed to 10 million in sales by January 2000, barely two years after its debut. Among the songs on the album was the single “I Want You Back,” which reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1998, and “Tearin’ Up My Heart.”

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96. Music Box (1993)
> Artist: Mariah Carey
> Albums sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 128

Mariah Carey was already a commercial success by the time she released her third album, “Music Box,” in 1993. The record was her best selling at the time and remains tied for her most successful album along with 1998’s “Daydream.” “Music Box” includes two No. 1 hits: “Dreamlover” and “Hero.”

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95. Anti (2016)
> Artist: Rihanna
> Albums sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 210

Barbadian diva Rhianna’s eighth studio album, originally released as a free digital download, represented a new direction for the singer — away from dance-oriented music and toward R&B and pop with hip hop accents. Four singles were released from “Anti,” most notably “Work,” a collaboration with Drake, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart — Rhianna’s 14th song to reach that spot.

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94. II (1994)
> Artist: Boyz II Men
> Albums sold: 12 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 99

This album by the Philadelphia R&B and soul quartet is actually their number III studio album — but because one was a Christmas album, they didn’t count it for album-numbering purposes. Two No. 1 singles came out of “II” — “I’ll Make Love to You” and “On Bended Knee.” The latter replaced the former for the top spot on the Hot 100. Only two other artists had ever achieved this feat — The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

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93. Sports (1983)
> Artist: Huey Lewis & The News
> Albums sold: 7 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 160

Certified 7x platinum, “Sports” was the source of four Top 10 hits: “Heart and Soul,” “I Want a New Drug,” “If This Is It,” and “The Heart of Rock and Roll.” The album itself reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. A two-disc 30th anniversary edition of the album was released in 2013.

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92. Like A Virgin (1984)
> Artist: Madonna
> Albums sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 109

The pop icon who defied convention and helped define 1980s pop and dance music released “Like a Virgin” in 1984. The album went 10x platinum after reaching 10 million in sales in 1998. The album featured the Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping title song “Like a Virgin,” as well as the singles “Dress You Up,” and “Material Girl.”

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91. Bat Out Of Hell (1977)
> Artist: Meat Loaf
> Albums sold: 14 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 82

Dallas native Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday) became known after appearing in the cult film “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975). He leveraged a campy, hard-rocking persona into musical success with “Bat Out Of Hell.” The album, called a teen rock opera by music critics, was one of three of his LPs to go platinum. It features FM favorites such as “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” and “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth.”