Data collector – Most Streamed Catalog Albums (pre-2000)


One week ago, the CSPC analysis of Oasis has been published. Their cult album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? has posted very strong results in streaming. The list added today in the Data Collector refers to this performance. How does it rank among deep catalog albums?

Please keep in mind some artists with strong results in this format hasn’t been studied so far, e.g. the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Journey or Dr. Dre. All figures reflect the value as collected at the time of the artist’s respective articles. All figures represent Worldwide streams.

Reminder of the formula

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = 212/132 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Albums Ranking – Streaming (EAS) – Catalog (before 2000)

1. 1991 – NirvanaNevermind1,007,000
2. 1982 – Michael JacksonThriller993,000
3. 1995 – Oasis(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?762,000
4. 1977 – Bob MarleyExodus695,000
5. 1987 – Guns N’ RosesAppetite For Destruction668,000
6. 1987 – Michael JacksonBad662,000
7. 1977 – Fleetwood MacRumours625,000
8. 1991 – MetallicaMetallica570,000
9. 1975 – QueenA Night at the Opera544,000
10. 1979 – Pink FloydThe Wall527,000
11. 1978 – Bob MarleyKaya512,000
12. 1986 – Bon JoviSlippery When Wet485,000
13. 1997 – Foo FightersThe Colour and the Shape424,000
14. 1987 – U2The Joshua Tree416,000
15. 1973 – Pink FloydThe Dark Side of the Moon392,000
16. 1980 – Bob MarleyUprising370,000
17. 1991 – Michael JacksonDangerous364,000
18. 1993 – NirvanaIn Utero360,000
19. 1978 – QueenJazz359,000
20. 1984 – Bruce SpringsteenBorn in the U.S.A.348,000
20. 1977 – QueenNews of the World348,000
22. 1980 – QueenThe Game342,000
23. 1999 – Backstreet BoysMillennium338,000
24. 1999 – Destiny’s ChildThe Writing’s on the Wall313,000
25. 1994 – Mariah CareyMerry Christmas312,000
26. 1994 – Green DayDookie309,000
27. 1992 – Whitney HoustonThe Bodyguard305,000
28. 1999 – EminemThe Slim Shady LP299,000
29. 1969 – Rolling StonesLet It Bleed294,000
30. 1971 – Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin IV291,000
31. 1995 – Michael JacksonHIStory: Past, Present and Future280,000
32. 1984 – Wham!Make It Big274,000
33. 1972 – David BowieThe Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars268,000
34. 1991 – Guns N’ RosesUse Your Illusion I267,000
35. 1997 – Backstreet BoysBackstreet’s Back265,000
36. 1966 – Rolling StonesAftermath261,000
37. 1977 – Bee Gees & Various ArtistsSaturday Night Fever259,000
38. 1975 – Pink FloydWish You Were Here255,000
38. 1997 – Shania TwainCome On Over255,000
40. 1979 – Michael JacksonOff the Wall241,000
41. 1978 – Various ArtistsGrease240,000
41. 1969 – BeatlesAbbey Road240,000
43. 1982 – QueenHot Space239,000
44. 1974 – Bob MarleyNatty Dread237,000
44. 1984 – QueenThe Works237,000
46. 1991 – Guns N’ RosesUse Your Illusion II232,000
47. 1969 – Jackson 5Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5227,000
48. 1999 – Britney Spears…Baby One More Time225,000
48. 1971 – David BowieHunky Dory225,000
50. 1983 – David BowieLet’s Dance217,000

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joan Toni

4 years later some things have change a lot. Even with the includs of Dr. Dre. and the Peppers, Abbey Road would happen to being 41 to almost in the top 10, winning 30 positions, and the white album would be also in this list very well positioned. Rumours also have gained much atraction, overtaking even Thriller and is close to Nevermind to the top. By other hand, Bob Marley albums seems now weakier, his albums would be been much lower with an update, or out.

Nuclear dolphin

MJD hi, yes there are quite a few I’m sure. I’d love you to do a top 100.

Thomas Christiansen

“16. Limp Bizkit – Chocolate starfish – 307,648,414”

Starfish is from October 2000, so not really before 2000.
Like Hybrid Theory btw. Released one week later that album would probably rank high on this list if valid!

Nuclear dolphin

Apologies, yes you’re right. I muddled it up with the previous album. 😕

Thomas Christiansen

Great list Nuclear Dolphin!

You should add Dr. Dre 2001 (1999) and Radiohead Pablo Honey (1992).

I’m sure you know, but using straight forward streams from albums has it’s limitations. A track like Nirvana’s All Apologies has about 18 mio plays from In Utero, but more than 48 mio plays in total. I’m sure there are many other examples.

Nuclear dolphin

TC hi, you’re right about Nirvana. Its funny I just did the streaming total for ‘Live unplugged’ and the streams just from that album are 299,934,867 and Sublimes self titled album from 1996 is at 456,905,344. So I guess those totals would actually be a lot higher. Dr Dre’s 2001 album which I didn’t put on the list because I thought it was released in 2001 is actually at 921,473,864, which is unbelievable. Pablo honey is at 247,450,382.

Thomas Christiansen

Thanks. A few weeks and 2001 will reach one billion!


Dre’s figures are outstanding. When I see results of 2001 or All Eyez on Me I always think about Beck’s Odelay. This is a very good album for sure, but it still always amazes me to see people that blindly repeat critics’ choices put this album as the absolute 90s classic behind OK Computer, when All Eyez On Me, released the same year, tops it in every possible point of view. Bigger upon release, much larger lasting appeal, better rated relatively to their respective genres, much stronger impact on the culture of its time, more relevant / influent for the… Read more »


I am more excited with post 2000 and i hope it’s next next week

Nuclear dolphin

True but it doesn’t feel like rock. 😕

Nuclear dolphin

MJD hi, yes those figures are straight forward streams from the albums. Lots of artists with just 1 album, like Blink 182 such a massive total, who would have thought? I guess then the numbers would be even higher then. I just find it interesting what people are listening to these days from decades ago, a lot of massive artists that are not on the list like Elton John, Prince, Madonna, Aerosmith and only 1 Beatles album. It’s predominately rock based that seems to be popular but there are no new rock bands pulling in the numbers which I find… Read more »


Yes it is a massive task, we can all thanks Anthony for this amazing work!

As for new rock bands, the Arctic Monkeys are fairly solid. Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, the XX and the Black Keys have some strong records too although they lack big hits. Then of course Imagine Dragons are insanely popular.

Nuclear dolphin

Here is the list I made. I’m sure there are albums that have been left out but I’d be happy for any others you may have to create a top 100. 🙂 1. Red hot chili peppers – Californication – 775,906,197 2. 2Pac – All Eyez on me – 557,921,997 3. Notorious B.I.G – Life after death – 468,778,805 4. AC/DC – Back in black – 436,947,038 5. Red hot chili peppers – Blood, sugar, sex, magik – 436,947,038 6. Journey – Escape- 430,941,277 7. Pearl jam – Ten – 378,884,225 8. Offspring – American – 362,726,117 9. Goo goo… Read more »

Nuclear dolphin

Hi, a couple of mistakes. AC/DC – Back in black is at 438,728,247, I’ve marked it down as the same as RHCP’s – BSSM. Also Dire straits – Brothers in arms is at 275,827,416, the total I’ve put up here is for their 1st album. Apologies. These numbers were all as off yesterday.

Nuclear dolphin

Ok, so I’ve redone the list. Its a total of 40 albums that would fit inside the top 50 already posted. Some surprises here for sure! 1. Red hot chili peppers – Californication – 775,906,197 2. 2Pac – All Eyez on me – 557,921,997 3. Blink 182 – Enema of the state – 520,974,385 4. Notorious B.I.G – Life after death – 468,778,805 5. AC/DC – Back in black – 438,728,247 6. Red hot chili peppers – Blood, sugar, sex, magik – 436,947,038 7. Journey – Escape- 430,941,277 8. Pearl jam – Ten – 378,884,225 9. Offspring – Americana –… Read more »


Wow thanks for that^^^

To look at these lists one has to understand that they will never be 100 percent accurate. The more artists that get added to the CSPC list will mean that there are always more and more acts with outdated numbers. Plus there are SO many acts to cover, especially the “one album wonder” acts that might not get covered for quite some time. Either was I found these lists interesting


Hi Nuclear Dolphin! A small comment on figures from the article: they refer to equivalent album sales rather than Spotify streams. A total of 217,5 million streams is worth 232,880 EAS. Then, the article also includes YouTube. Thanks for the list! A lot of expected albums here, and albums that would make a very good playlist for sure. I take it you used streams as listed inside the album only, not compiling also the additional versions of each song available? I would expect an album like Talking Book to be there elseway, United too. The list really shows streaming isn’t… Read more »

Nuclear dolphin

Yesterday I actually compiled a list of pre 2000 albums from various different artists that should all be on this list. The reality is that this list should look totally different. At the moment its dominated by Michael Jackson, Queen and Bob Marley but in reality these artists wouldn’t dominate the top 50 the way they have here. It is dominated by rock music but there are a few rap artists and a little pop music. To qualify the total streams needed to be over 220 million.


Can we get a pre-2010 list?