During a pub trivia game last night, we were asked what the top selling movie soundtrack of all time is. I guessed the right answer, but I was unsure about it, so we went with another guess that we felt more confident in. We were wrong. The answer we went with was number three.
So, to insure that none of you make the same mistake if ever asked what the top selling movie soundtrack of all time is (particularly when free beer is on the line), here’s the list of the top ten. I would note, also, that — if you were to broaden your definition of movie soundtrack — The Wall would be number one, with 23 million albums sold, but since the movie was based on the album, it doesn’t quite count.
Store this away in the “Good to know” section of your brain.
1. The Bodyguard (16 million).
2. Purple Rain (13 million)
3. Saturday Night Fever (11 million)
4. Dirty Dancing (11 million)
5. The Lion King (10 million)
6. Grease (8 million)
7. Footloose (8 million)
8. Titanic (8 million)
9. Top Gun (7 million)
10. Waiting to Exhale (7 million)
Note, too, that because of the fractured record industry, illegal downloading, and iTunes, that the top 10 will likely be sealed in its current state, as the biggest selling overall albums of the last two years — Fearless by Taylor Swift and Carter III by Lil Wayne — have only sold six million and 3.5 million respectively.