Greatest Hits Albums Dominate Billboard Top 200

Greatest Hits Albums Dominate Billboard Top 200

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Although I didn't realize it at the time, I was among the last of the teenagers to walk into a record shop before CDs were even a thought. I was also among the first teenagers to be introduced to the CD. Over the years and many visits to the music store, I've ended up with a sizable vinyl and compact disc collection, many of which are greatest hits albums. 

If there's one thing a band or artist can count on to bring in some royalties after they've reached the end of the road, it's a 'greatest hits' album or collection. For some acts, their 'best of' sets are their best selling records.

Having a quick look at Billboard's Top 200 best selling albums for the week (Nov. 16, '23) I was surprised to see that quite a few greatest hits packages were listed. Some that were released decades ago are suddenly re-appearing on the top 200, such as is the case of the Beatles and their greatest hits CD titled '1', as it contained all their 27 #1 songs. The '1' CD is presently #149 after suddenly charting again, likely due to the release of their new single, 'Now And Then' which went to #1 in the U.K.. The '1' CD has now spent a total of 540 weeks on the Top 200. That's more than 10 years on the charts and 30+ million copies sold!

Starting from the lowest charting to the best charting, here's the list of greatest hits albums presently in the top 200, according to Billboard.

#197 - Fleetwood Mac  'Greatest Hits'. Like the Beatles '1' album, Fleetwood Mac's 'best of' re-entered the chart this week. So far, it has enjoyed 267 weeks in the top 200, peaking at #14.

#196 - Elvis Presley 'Elvis: 30 #1 Hits'. This one's been charting for 175 weeks already and has climbed 4 spots since last week. No surprise, the album pealed at #1.

#193 - Creed 'Greatest Hits'. Another re-entry on the charts this week, Creed's album has spent a total of 88 weeks on the top 200, peaking at #15.

#192 - Bon Jovi ' Greatest Hits: The ultimate Collection'. Peaking at #5, this album has spent a total of 324 weeks on the charts and is at #192 for the second week in a row.

#184 - Whitney Houston 'I Will Always Love You: The Best Of. Whitney's greatest hits album climbs four spots this week, having spent 173 weeks in total in the top 200, peaking at #14. Speaking of Whitney Houston, did you know that the soundtrack album to the movie, 'The Bodyguard' in which she starred in and also sang the mega-hit "I Will Always Love You' is the fourth best selling album of all time? Sales have topped 45 million.

#177 - Abba 'Gold: Greatest Hits'. The best of from the most successful act of the 1970s fell 9 positions this week, originally peaking at #25. One more week to go and the album will celebrate 300 weeks in the top 200. 

#176 - The Eagles 'Their Greatest Hits: 1971 - 1975'. Last week, this album ranked #159. Originally peaking at #1, it has spent a total of 431 weeks on the charts and will probably chart for many, many more weeks to come as it ranks as the eighth best selling album of all time with an estimated 41,197,000 copies sold to date. Their Greatest Hits album is quickly catching up to the 7th best selling record of all time, The Eagles' 'Hotel California', which has sold an estimated 42 million units. They're the only band to have two albums list in the top 10 best selling of all time, although Michael Jackson has two albums in the top 10, 'Thriller' (66 million sold) at #1 and 'Bad' (45 million sold) at #5.

#163 - Bob Seger And The Silver Bullet Band 'Greatest Hits'. Having fallen just one position from last week, this album has spend a total of 498 weeks in the top 200, peaking at #8.

#159 - Blink-182 'Greatest Hits'. Having originally peaked at #6 and falling from #141 last week, this album has been on the charts for 111 weeks.

#157 - Lynyrd  Skynyrd 'All Time Greatest Hits'. Climbing one position on the charts over last week, this album has been on the charts for 239 weeks, peaking at #56.

#154 - Daryl Hall / John Oats 'The Very Best Of Daryl Hall John Oats'. One of the most successful acts of the 80s, this duo's best of album has dropped 20 positions from a week ago and so far, has been in the top 200 for 220 weeks, peaking at #34.

#149 - The Beatles '1'. As previously mentioned, this re-entry into the charts this week is the 18th best selling album of all time with 32 million in sales.

#148 - The Notorious B.I.G 'Greatest Hits'. Dropping from #125 last week, this album has been on the charts for 339 weeks and peaked at #1.

#142 - Aerosmith 'Greatest Hits'. This newcomer has been on the charts for just 12 weeks, dropping from #138 last week, having peaked at #36.

#141 - George Strait '50 Number Ones'. I must admit, having had 50 number one hits is more than impressive. Equally impressive is the album's run on the charts, 232 weeks, having peaked at number 1 in its own right and climbing three positions from last week.

#136 - Pitbull ' Greatest Hits'. This one's already been on the charts for 135 weeks, peaking at 107 but dropped 18 spots from last week.

#132 - Bob Marley And The Wailers 'Legend: The Best Of'. It's absolutely amazing that this album has been on the charts for a whopping 808 weeks! Released in 1984, it ranks as the 34th best selling album of all time with 28,000,000 copies sold to date. 'Legend' peaked at #5.

#128 - Michael Jackson 'The Essential Michael Jackson'. Dropping 25 positions from last week, this album has so far listed for 454 weeks in the top 200, peaking at #31.

#120 - Guns N' Roses 'Greatest Hits'. 649 weeks on the charts and climbing 4 positions from last week. Peaked at #3.

#110 - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers 'Greatest Hits'. 539 weeks on the charts, climbing three spots from last week. Peaked at #2.

#107 - Nickelback 'The Best Of Nickelback: Volume 1'. 161 weeks on the charts, climbing 5 spots from last week. Peaked at #21.

#101 - 2Pac 'Greatest Hits'. 500 weeks on the charts, down one position from last week. Peaked at #3.

#75 - Thomas Rhett '20 Number Ones'. 6 weeks on the charts, climbing 5 spots over last week. Peaking at #22.

#60 - Creedence Clearwater Revival 'Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits'. Whoa! I love Creedence!! Although this album dropped 9 positions from last week, it's enjoyed 667 weeks in the top 200. Back in the 80s, this 2 LP set became available through a TV ad and became legendary as the most successful selling record through a TV ad and the record holds to this day. Peaked at #18 in the top 200.

#47 - Queen 'Greatest Hits'. Climbing 5 positions over last week, this album has been on the charts for 568 weeks, peaking at #8.

And finally, the top listed greatest hits album in the Top 200 goes to...

#36 - Elton John 'Diamonds'. Climbing 4 positions over last week, this album has been on the charts for 313 weeks, peaking at #7.

There you have it. That's a total of 26 greatest hits packages from bands and solo artists or 13% of the total. It's clear that releasing a 'best of' package can be very, very lucrative. So much so that it can continue to rake in royalties for years and in some cases, decades after their initial release.

Although there aren't as many greatest hits albums making it onto the 200 best selling albums of all time, there are more than a dozen, including Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2 (#162) and Kenny Rogers' (#168) as well as Steve Miller's (#106) Greatest Hits. 


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Name's Joe and I live in Ontario, Canada. I like writing on a wide variety of topics. I enjoy keeping track of markets, investing and commodities and the crypto sector. Also do some coding for web browsers.

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