Album sales may dip every year all around the world, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still those special records that millions of people can’t help but purchase. The list of the bestselling titles of 2018 has just been released, and it’s a healthy mix of typical chart-toppers, a surprising number of soundtracks and even a few internationally-adored acts that are new to these types of rankings.
Leading the way is the Greatest Showman soundtrack, which sold 3.5 million copies, making it the only entry to sell at least three million units. The release is one of four soundtracks on the list, with A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody and Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again also finding their way into the top 10. K-pop outfit BTS take the Nos. 2 and 3 spots, selling a combined five million copies of the two chart-dominating full-lengths they released in 2018.
While English-language releases dominate the list, both Korean (BTS) and French (the late, great Johnny Hallyday) find their way in as well. Their inclusion serves as a much-needed reminder to Western audiences that there are talents creating great art in many different languages all around the world, and artists based in the U.S. and U.K. aren’t the only ones who can make a significant sales impact.
Combined, the 10 bestselling albums in the world in 2018 sold 17.7 million copies, a relatively small sum when taking into account only the most popular releases of the year. While that low figure does make sense when considering the fact that sales have been dipping by huge sums for years now, streams continue to jump, and this list would look very different if it took into account plays on sites like Spotify and Apple Music.
The list, which was compiled and released by the IFPI (the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), a London-based organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, measured only the bestselling titles in the world in 2018, looking solely at pure sales (both physical and digital).