The Recording Industry Association of America (EIAA) is celebrating 60 years of Gold & Platinum albums, representing sales of 500,000 and 1,000,000 units, respectively, in the United States.

The first Gold album certification was awarded to the cast album of “Oklahoma!”

In 1999, RIAA unveiled the Official Diamond Award, representing sales of 10,000,000 units. There are a lot of statistics and stories at the link. The LP or CD designation notes in what format, if any, I own that album. (I have none on cassette.) Sales in millions.

1. MICHAEL JACKSON- THRILLER, 33 (LP, CD with extras) – DECEMBER 30, 1982
33X Multi-Platinum | February 16, 2017
The extras involved producer Quincy Jones and the late songwriter Rod Temperton talking about putting the album together. Note the spike in sales after June 25, 2009.

2. EAGLES- THEIR GREATEST HITS 1971 – 1975, 29 (LP, CD) – FEBRUARY 1, 1976
29X Multi-Platinum | January 30, 2006
This became the RIAA’s first Platinum Album. For a time early in the 21st century, it was the #1 best seller again.

3. BILLY JOEL -GREATEST HITS VOLUME I & VOLUME II, 23 (CD) – JUNE 28, 1985
23X Multi-Platinum | October 26, 2011
The very first CDs I ever purchased, after SOMEONE gave me the first four Beatles CDs, KNOWING I had nothing to play them on

3. LED ZEPPELIN – IV, 23 (LP) – NOVEMBER 8, 1971
23X Multi-Platinum | January 30, 2006
This is the one with Stairway to Heaven

3. PINK FLOYD -THE WALL, 23 (LP) – NOVEMBER 28, 1979
23X Multi-Platinum | January 29, 1999
I had written bawdy lyrics to the title track.

6. AC/DC – BACK IN BLACK, 22 – JULY 21, 1980
22X Multi-Platinum | December 13, 2007
Never owned any AC/DC, though I have a country cover compilation.

7. GARTH BROOKS – DOUBLE LIVE, 21 – NOVEMBER 17, 1998
21X Multi-Platinum | November 1, 2006
Own some Garth, but not this.

7. HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH -CRACKED REAR VIEW, 21 (CD) – JULY 5, 1994
21x Multi-Platinum | May 21, 2018
How did this album go from 16 million to 21 million? Brian Cantor, the story’s writer, explains: . “RIAA certifications are not issued automatically – the label has to apply. Often (especially with older releases), they won’t apply until there’s a compelling milestone — such as double diamond.”

9. FLEETWOOD MAC – RUMOURS, 20 (LP) – FEBRUARY 4, 1977
20X Multi-Platinum | October 3, 2014

9. SHANIA TWAIN – COME ON OVER, 20 – NOVEMBER 4, 1997
20X Multi-Platinum | November 15, 2004

11. THE BEATLES – THE BEATLES, 19 (LP, CD) -NOVEMBER 25, 1968
19X Multi-Platinum | February 6, 2001
This is the white album, which wasn’t dubbed platinum until 1991

12. GUNS N’ ROSES – APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION, 18 – JULY 21, 1987
18X Multi-Platinum | September 23, 2008

12. WHITNEY HOUSTON – THE BODYGUARD (SOUNDTRACK), 18 – NOVEMBER 17, 1992
18X Multi-Platinum | November 17, 2017
I’ve never seen the movie, but I HAVE seen the musical based on the movie.

14. BOSTON – BOSTON 17 (LP) – AUGUST 25, 1976
17X Multi-Platinum | November 20, 2003

14. ELTON JOHN – GREATEST HITS, 17 (CD) – NOVEMBER 4, 1974
17X Multi-Platinum | April 28, 2016
Another one of my first CDs, since I owned so many of his albums on vinyl.

14. GARTH BROOKS – NO FENCES, 17 (CD) – AUGUST 27, 1990
17X Multi-Platinum | November 1, 2006
Bought a box set of Brooks at one point.

14. THE BEATLES – 1967 – 1970, 17 (CD) – APRIL 2, 1973
17X Multi-Platinum | August 27, 2010
A present I received for my birthday, or maybe Christmas.

ALANIS MORISSETTE -JAGGED LITTLE PILL, 16 (CD)
BEE GEES – SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (SOUNDTRACK), 16 (LP, CD)
EAGLES -HOTEL CALIFORNIA, 16 (LP)
LED ZEPPELIN – PHYSICAL GRAFFITI, 16 (CD)
METALLICA – METALLICA, 16

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS -LEGEND, 15 (CD)
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – BORN IN THE U.S.A., 15 (LP, CD)
PINK FLOYD – DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, 15 (LP)
SANTANA – SUPERNATURAL, 15 (CD) – achieved Diamond status in one year

ADELE -21, 14 (CD)
GARTH BROOKS -ROPIN’ THE WIND, 14 (CD)
SIMON & GARFUNKEL – GREATEST HITS, 14 (CD)
STEVE MILLER BAND – GREATEST HITS 1974-1978, 14 (CD)

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & E STREET BAND – LIVE 1975 – ’85 13 (LP)
PEARL JAM – TEN, 13 (CD)
PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION – PURPLE RAIN (SOUNDTRACK), 13 (LP, CD)

BOYZ II MEN -II, 12 (CD)
DIXIE CHICKS -WIDE OPEN SPACES, 12 (CD)
JEWEL -PIECES OF YOU, 12 (CD)
KENNY ROGERS -GREATEST HITS, 12 (CD)
LED ZEPPELIN -II, 12 (LP, CD)
MATCHBOX TWENTY – YOURSELF OR SOMEONE LIKE YOU, 12 (CD)
PHIL COLLINS – NO JACKET REQUIRED, 12 (LP)
SOUNDTRACK -FORREST GUMP, 12 (CD)
THE BEATLES -ABBEY ROAD, 12 (LP, CD)
THE ROLLING STONES -HOT ROCKS, 12 (LP)
TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS -GREATEST HITS, 12 (CD)

ADELE -25, 11 (CD)
AEROSMITH -GREATEST HITS, 11 (CD)
EAGLES -GREATEST HITS VOLUME II, 11 (LP)
JAMES TAYLOR -GREATEST HITS, 11 (CD)
LED ZEPPELIN -HOUSES OF THE HOLY, 11 (LP)
OUTKAST -SPEAKERBOXXX / THE LOVE BELOW, 11 (CD)
SOUNDTRACK -TITANIC, 11 (CD)
THE BEATLES -SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, 11 (LP, CD)

BILLY JOEL – THE STRANGER, 10 (LP)
CAROLE KING – TAPESTRY, 10 (LP, CD)
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL – CHRONICLE: 20 GREATEST HITS, 10 (LP, CD)
DIXIE CHICKS – FLY, 10 (CD)
DOOBIE BROTHERS -BEST OF THE DOOBIES, 10 (LP)
ERIC CLAPTON -UNPLUGGED, 10 (CD)
GARTH BROOKS -GARTH BROOKS, 10 (CD)
GREEN DAY -DOOKIE, 10 (CD)
HAMMER -PLEASE HAMMER DON’T HURT ‘EM, 10 (CD)
LED ZEPPELIN -LED ZEPPELIN, 10 (LP)
MADONNA -THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION, 10 (CD)
NIRVANA -NEVERMIND, 10 (CD)
NO DOUBT -TRAGIC KINGDOM, 10 (CD)
NORAH JONES -COME AWAY WITH ME, 10 (CD)
PATSY CLINE -GREATEST HITS, 10 (CD)
R.E.O. SPEEDWAGON -HI INFIDELITY, 10 (LP)
STEVIE WONDER -SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE, (LP, CD)
THE DOORS – THE BEST OF THE DOORS, 10 (CD)
U2 – THE JOSHUA TREE, 10 (CD)
VAN HALEN – 1984 (MCMLXXXIV), 10 (LP)
ZZ TOP – ELIMINATOR, 10 (LP)

If I counted correctly, there are 73 albums with at least 10 million sales in the United States, only 6 of which I’ve never owned. I have 16 on LP, 39 on CD and 12 on both, though there are probably a few LPs that I also have on CD through “alternative” means.

2 Responses to “RIAA going gold, platinum, diamond”

  • CGHill says:

    As it happens, I used to have that Oklahoma! original-cast album — on 78. Really. Six 10-inch discs in a binder that tells you why these are called “albums” in the first place. (This came out in 1943; the LP version appeared in 1949.)

  • Klara S says:

    The numbers are impressive.

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