People across the world love pop music. The best songs can be listened to again and again and can endure for years being played on the radio and on television.
As implied by its name, pop music is music that produces the most popular — the most hit — songs. These songs tend to have catchy melodies, memorable lyrics, and energetic rhythms, often suited for dancing. And while pop music often focuses on single songs — reaching the No. 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 is a sure sign of a hit — artists have consistently released popular music albums throughout recent history.
24/7 Tempo has identified the 100 best pop albums of all time based on an album’s performance on the Billboard 200 chart, which ranks the weekly 200 most popular albums across all genres, and on the album’s lifetime sales as reported by the Recording Industry Association of America.
While new pop music is constantly being released, many of the best pop albums are older, dating back to the 1980s, ’70s, and ’60s. Numerous beloved artists active during these decades have stood the test of time and continue to win over new fans. Here is the most famous band formed each year since 1957.
Of course, some newer albums have joined the ranks of the best pop albums of all time as well, with artists such as Drake, Rihanna, and Adele selling millions of records and dominating the pop charts.
To determine the best pop albums of all time, 24/7 Tempo generated an index based on the album’s rankings on the Billboard 200 chart and lifetime album sales. Both components of the index were given equal weight.
A band’s total certified U.S. album sales came from the Recording Industry Association of America. The RIAA tracks album sales released in the American market with a threshold of 500,000 units sold. To be considered, an album must have at least 1 million certified sales. How well an album has performed on the Billboard 200 was determined by awarding points based on the number of weeks it was on the chart and its rank for each week.
The definition of pop music has no doubt changed over the years. Generally, pop albums consist of singles-based music engineered for wide appeal on pop radio and pop television. Today, pop music often incorporates elements of dance, as well as heavily produced electronic components. To be included on the list, an album must be classified as pop or pop-related genre (pop-rock, pop-rap, etc.) by music database AllMusic.