The best-selling albums of all time

Per independent research, the top 10 albums and millions of copies sold, worldwide:
1. Michael Jackson, “Thriller”: 66,200,000
2. Soundtrack, “Grease”: 44,700,000
3. Pink Floyd, “The Dark Side of the Moon”: 44,200,000
4. Whitney Houston et al., “The Bodyguard”: 38,600,000
5. The Bee Gees at al., “Saturday Night Fever”: 37,200,000
6. The Eagles, “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975”: 36,900,000
7. Bob Marley, “Legend”: 36,800,000
8. Led Zeppelin, “IV”: 35,700,000
9. AC/DC, “Back in Black”: 35,700,000
10. Shania Twain, “Come on Over”: 35,400,000
Domestically, the U.S. top-selling albums list isn’t all that different, but it’s somewhat cheesier.
1. Michael Jackson, Thriller, Epic, 29,000,000
2. Eagles, Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975), Asylum, est. 29,000,000
3. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, Atlantic, 23,000,000
4. Billy Joel, Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II, Columbia, 11,500,000
5. Pink Floyd, The Wall, Columbia/Capitol, 11,500,000
6. AC/DC, Back in Black, Atlantic, 22,000,000
7. Garth Brooks, Double Live, Capitol Nashville, 21,000,000
8. Shania Twain, Come On Over, Mercury Nashville, est. 21,000,000
9. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, Warner Bros., 19,000,000
10. The Beatles, The Beatles (White Album), Apple, 9,500,000
Just below the top 10 in the U.S. are several of the global top sellers, plus “Boston,” which apparently doesn’t scale on a worldwide level.

How industry consolidation affects you: rental cars

Renting a car? These are the major domestic options by brand name:

  • Enterprise
  • National
  • Hertz
  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Thrifty
  • Dollar
  • Zipcar

But this is the corporate landscape, pending FTC approval of two recent deals:

  • Hertz Global Holdings (Hertz, Thrifty, Dollar)
  • Avis Budget Group (Avis, Budget, Zipcar)
  • Enterprise Holdings (Enterprise, Alamo, National)

Nine brands, three car companies. Remember that next time you try threatening the guy at the airport that you’ll walk over to the next counter.

This is the first in a series of summaries of industries whose corporate consolidation has led to a small number of players controlling the majority of the market, creating oligopolies in the mass market.

The year in cities, 2012

Eighth edition: listed here are the places I visited over the past 12 months. Per the annual rules, only overnights are listed; repeat visits are denoted with an asterisk (even those that I last visited five or 10 years ago; previously, I used a dagger, but it’s gotten redundant).
New York *
Punta del Este, Uruguay
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Orlando, FL *
Washington, DC *
New City, NY *
Livingston, NJ *
Hong Kong *
Blue Bell, PA
Bellevue, WA
Montauk, NY
Gloucester, MA *
St. Thomas, USVI *
Short Hills, NJ
Hawley, PA *
Palm Beach Gardens, FL *
Lake Buena Vista, FL *
Lakewood, NJ