10 timelines of albums by the top selling bands of all time

top selling bands

To celebrate a time when there was no greater musical aspiration than to join a rock band, we take a look at the albums of the top selling bands of all time.

We’ve listed the top 10 selling bands, each one with a link to view an interactive timeline of their albums. The timelines are combinations of studio, live and compilation albums.


hidden events

Hidden events are marked by small grey lines on the timeline.


Some of these timelines span several decades, so when you first open the timeline some of the events may be hidden.

Make sure you zoom in to different periods on the timeline to uncover all of the events.


Reading window related content:

For a truly complete experience open the reading window by double clicking on any of the events on the timeline. You can read the entire Wikipedia article, check what people are saying on twitter and explore related videos on YouTube!


The Beatles – 600 million records

• Years active: 1960 – 10 April 1970
• Origin: Liverpool, England
• Genre: Rock / Pop


Led Zeppelin – 200-300 million records

• Years active: 1968 – 25 September 1980
• Origin: London, England
• Genre: Hard Rock / blues rock / folk rock / heavy metal

Pink Floyd – 200-250 million records

• Years active: 1965 – 1994 / 2012 – 2014 (one-off reunion: 2005)
• Origin: London, England
• Genre: Progressive rock / psychedelic rock / art rock / blues tock

AC/DC – 150-200 million records

• Years active: 1973 – present
• Origin: Sydney, Australia
• Genre: Hard rock / blues rock / rock and roll

Queen – 150-200 million records

• Years active: 1970 – present
• Origin: London, England
• Genre: Rock

The Rolling Stones – 200 million records

• Years active: 1962 – present
• Origin: London, England
• Genre: Rock / blue / pop

ABBA – 100-200 million records

• Years active: 1972 – 1982
• Origin: Stockholm, Sweden
• Genre: Pop / pop rock / disco

Eagles – 150 million records

• Years active: 1971 – present
• Origin: Los Angeles, United States
• Genre: Rock

U2 – 150 million records

• Years active: 1976 – present
• Origin: Dublin, Ireland
• Genre: Rock / alternative rock / post-punk

Aerosmith – 150 million records

• Years active: 1970 – present
• Origin: Boston, Unites States
• Genre: Hard rock / rock and roll / blues rock / heavy metal / glam metal


Honourable mentions:

They didnt quite make the top 10, but these three bands we’re very close.

Genesis – 145 million records: Timeline of Genesis albums

Bee Gees – 120 million records: Timelines of Bee Gees albums

Dire Straits – 120 million records: Timeline of Dire Straits albums


Hungry for more timelines?

Histropedia has timelines of albums for almost every major band and solo artist in the world.

Just head to histropedia.com/timeline and search for your favourite musical artists.



What do you think of this list of top selling bands of all time? do the sales match the quality of the bands?
What do you think of the timelines? are there any events missing? would you prefer see only studio albums?
Let us know in the comments below!!


References and sources:

All sales figures taken from the Wikipedia article: List of best-selling music artists

Other band info and all images (including those used in the cover image) have been taken from the Wikipedia page of the band: The BeatlesLed ZeppelinPink FloydAC/DCQueenThe Rolling StonesABBA, Eagles,  U2Aerosmith



Sean McBirnie

Co-Founder at Histropedia

Latest posts by Sean McBirnie (see all)

One comment

  • “Viva La Vida top selling global album of 2008”. IFPI. February 16, 2009. Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2014 . “IFPI publishes Recording Industry in Numbers 2010”. IFPI. April 28, 2010. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2014 .

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