Celebrating International Women's Day with Patti Smith's album, Horses

Celebrating International Women’s Day: Top 10 Best Selling Female Artists on Discogs

In celebration of International Woman’s Day, we decided to do a top 10 list of most collected records from solo female musicians.

Digging through the most collected records on Discogs looking for female artists is quite a depressing exercise. With the exception of Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac and Nico with The Velvet Underground, the top 50 most collected albums is devoid of female artists, and features not a single solo female musician. Compiling this top 10 list took me deep into the top 500 most collected albums. 500!

Gender disparity in music has been historically problematic. When looking at the top 250 most collected albums on Discogs, male solo artists outnumber female solo artists 4:1. In what is reminiscent of the gender disparity in American politics and business, there are almost as many male solo acts with “John” in their name as there are total female solo artists represented. It’s disheartening, but trends point to a narrowing of this gap. Looking at the most collected albums released in the 2010’s, the ratio of male to female solo artists is closer to 2:1.

Despite being sparse among the most collected albums in general, The top 10 is a pretty decent list that spans eras and genres. And there’s a twist! Of course Madonna, Kate, Janis and Patti appear, but interestingly, Lana Del Rey nudges out Joni Mitchell out of the top 10. And why the hell are PJ Harvey and Grace Jones missing from this list? That’s a travesty.

When we pulled these numbers 2 years ago, Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black was in just 21,301 Collections. That has more than doubled to 46,794 Collections. In fact, an album that is in 21,000 Collections would not even break into the top-10 this year. Despite this increase, 9 of the 10 top female solo artists remain on the list.

Honorable mentions go out to all the other women in music who totally kill it: Kim Gordon, Kim Deal, Tina Weymouth, Bilinda Butcher and Deb Googe of My Bloody Valentine, Beth GibbonsPaz Lenchantin… the list goes on. We kept it focused on solo artists for this list for clarity, but all the women in music deserve a shout out.

Who have I missed here? Which records are you spinning in celebration of International Women’s Day?

Check out the top 10 best-selling solo female artists on Discogs:

Celebrating International Women's day with Amy Winehouse's album, Back To Black

1. Amy WinehouseBack To Black
Have: 46794, Want: 18622

Celebrating International Women's Day with Madonna's album, Like A Virgin

2. MadonnaLike A Virgin
Have: 41507, Want: 19398

Celebrating International Women's Day with Carole King's album, Tapestry

3. Carole KingTapestry
Have: 39361, Want: 25468

Celebrating International Women's Day with Sade's album, Diamond Life

4. SadeDiamond Life 
Have: 36127, Want: 21249


Celebrating International Women's Day with Janis Joplin's album, Pearl

5. Janis JoplinPearl 
Have: 33087, Want: 21906


Celebrating International Women's Day with Tracy Chapman's self-titled album

6. Tracy ChapmanTracy Chapman 
Have: 32258, Want: 15140


Celebrating International Women's Day with Kate Bush album, Hounds Of Love

7. Kate BushHounds Of Love
Have: 26685, Want: 23329
The Kick Inside also deserves a mention here as a top seller.


bjork-debut

8. BjörkDebut
Have: 25443, Want: 23293
Post and Homogenic also appear among the most collected albums


Celebrating International Women's Day with Tina Turner's album, Private Dancer

9. Tina TurnerPrivate Dancer
Have: 24064, Want: 3673


Celebrating International Women's Day with Patti Smith's album, Horses

10. Patti SmithHorses
Have: 23169, Want: 26345

Celebrate International Women’s Day the right way: buy more records, and support female musicians!

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13 Comments
  • Mar 16,2019 at 9:54 am

    …except that Sade is a band, not a female solo musician.

  • Mar 15,2019 at 9:31 pm

    I have none of these! I’m guessing the closest I have would be Laurie Anderson and PJ Harvey.

  • Mar 15,2019 at 2:19 pm

    For those who did not care reading the headline…:

    CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: TOP 10 BEST SELLING FEMALE ARTISTS ON DISCOGS

  • Mar 15,2019 at 7:48 am

    Mylene Farmer

  • Mar 14,2019 at 9:49 pm

    Should be some [a=Cher], [a=Shania Twain] and [a=Kylie MInogue]. All 3 are mega-sellers and hold female sales records outside Discogs. UK Single (Believe), Worldwide album and all time country album (Come On Over) and Australian in the UK respectively.
    Or even some [a=Spice Girls]. Most of my favourite collection is female led!

  • Mar 14,2019 at 7:23 pm

    Where’s the Queen Soul?

  • Mar 14,2019 at 4:40 am

    And Beth Orton! Certainly she belongs in the “pantheon” of the great singer-songwriters.

  • Mar 14,2019 at 12:35 am

    as to why PJ are not there, should be since her albums are pretty rare. i mean, none of the above is rare, the PJs are. But no Grace is a shame.

  • Mar 13,2019 at 10:14 pm

    Should Wendy and Lisa of the Revolution be included? Purple Rain is always in the top selling list.

  • Mar 13,2019 at 8:28 pm

    You forgot Juliana Hatfield

  • Mar 13,2019 at 8:12 pm

    + a couple of really big black soul artists.

  • Mar 11,2019 at 7:55 pm

    Siouxsie Sioux [a142235] is amazing and should be on everyone’s top list.

  • Mar 8,2019 at 8:11 pm

    I also can’t believe there’s no [a62391]!

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