Special Report

The 40 Most Popular Country Music Albums of All Time

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40. Wichita Lineman
> Artist: Glen Campbell
> Year: 1968
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 20
> Copies sold: 2 million

Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” includes the chart-topping title track that would later be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Other tracks include a cover of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” and “Words,” which was written by the Bee Gees’ Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb. The album stayed at No. 1 on the country albums chart for 20 weeks.

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39. Breathe
> Artist: Faith Hill
> Year: 1999
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 6
> Copies sold: 8 million

Country-pop diva Faith Hill’s 1999 album “Breathe” features two massive singles — “Breathe” and “The Way You Love Me” — both of which were No. 1 hits on the country singles chart and Top 10 hits on the Hot 100 list. The album “Breathe” is Hill’s domestic best seller, with 8 million copies sold as of 2003.

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38. Greatest Hits Volume II (And Some Other Stuff)
> Artist: Alan Jackson
> Year: 2003
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 11
> Copies sold: 6 million

This greatest hits compilation from Alan Jackson primarily covers material from the second half of the 1990s. The 18-track album features two previously unreleased songs — “Remember When” and Jimmy Buffett duet “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” — both of which hit No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

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37. The Ultimate Hits
> Artist: Garth Brooks
> Year: 2007
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 2
> Copies sold: 10 million

Garth Brooks’ double-disc greatest hits collection “The Ultimate Hits” includes all of the singles found on his 1994 album “The Hits” with 12 additional hits and four previously unreleased songs, including a cover of “Workin’ for a Livin’,” previously performed by Huey Lewis & the News. The album was certified diamond — meaning it sold at least 10 million copies — by the RIAA in 2016.

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36. In Pieces
> Artist: Garth Brooks
> Year: 1993
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 7
> Copies sold: 9 million

“In Pieces” is a higher-energy effort than Garth Brooks’s preceding effort “The Chase.” “In Pieces” gave long-time Garth fans what they wanted — a collection of rock-influenced honky tonk tunes and ballads. It was the musician’s third album in a row to debut at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Top Country Albums charts. Among the album’s tracklist are such popular songs as “Standing Outside The Fire” and “Callin’ Baton Rouge.”

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35. Johnny Cash at San Quentin
> Artist: Johnny Cash
> Year: 1969
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 20
> Copies sold: 3 million

“Johnny Cash at San Quentin” was the Man in Black’s second live prison album after 1968’s “At Folsom Prison.” The live recording is considered by many to benefit from Cash’s wild energy — a result of his tempestuous life at the time. The album spent 55 weeks on the Top Country Albums chart, 20 of which at No. 1.

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34. Speak Now
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Year: 2010
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 13
> Copies sold: 6 million

International superstar Taylor Swift was still producing catchy country-pop in 2010 when she released her third studio album “Speak Now.” In addition to spending 13 weeks in the top spot on the country albums chart, “Speak Now” features two No. 1 country singles — “Sparks Fly” and “Ours.”

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33. Greatest Hits
> Artist: Waylon Jennings
> Year: 1979
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 16
> Copies sold: 5 million

Waylon Jennings released this nine-track greatest hits compilation at the end of what many consider to be his most artistically accomplished decade — the 1970s. The album focuses on his outlaw years, featuring songs such as “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love),” “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys,” and “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.”

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32. Red
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Year: 2012
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 16
> Copies sold: 7 million

“Red” was the final album from Taylor Swift to appear on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. It remained on the chart for an exceptional 225 weeks. Though Swift’s transitioning out of the genre is apparent on the album, it was nominated for Best Country Album at the Grammy Awards as well as Album of the Year at the 2013 CMA Awards.

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31. The Closer You Get…
> Artist: Alabama
> Year: 1983
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 21
> Copies sold: 4 million

“The Closer You Get…” — one of 11 Alabama albums that led the country charts — has been certified 4x platinum. The venerable country music band had two No. 1 hits from the LP: “The Closer You Get” and “Lady Down on Love.”