Who’s at the Top of Billboard’s First All-Time Top 200 Chart? Nope. You’re Wrong.

If someone were to take all the albums ever released and weight them against each other, you should get a the ultimate Top 200 album chart. Or at least that’s the theory. Billboard has done just that–and the results are interesting to say the least.

For the first time, Billboard has ranked the top albums and artists ever on our signature Billboard 200 albums chart.

Adele‘s 21 is crowned as the top album, while The Beatles are celebrated as the top artist.

This unique recap of the chart begins with the Aug. 17, 1963-dated chart, whenBillboard combined our two leading pop album charts for stereo and mono releases into one all-encompassing weekly chart. The new chart, then-called Top LP’s, would later become known as the Billboard 200.

On this all-time list, albums are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at the lower reaches of the chart earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology through the years, eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates over various periods. Artists are ranked based on the combined point totals of their albums, as outlined above.


And what finishes at Number One? Hey, I was surprised. Go here for the answer.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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