To mark the first ever National Album Day (October 13), The Official Charts Company revealed the UK’s biggest studio albums of all time.
The chart – which ranks albums by combining physical sales, downloads and streams in the UK – reflects album sales of 135 million across more than 60 years.
It is topped by an eclectic Top 5 which accounts for approaching 25 million sales on its own, reflecting the music from five different decades. Snapping at The Beatles’ toes are Adele’s 2011 album 21 in second place (5.11m), followed by 1995’s (What’s The Story) Morning Glory by Oasis (4.94m). In fourth place comes Pink Floyd’s 1973 classic Dark Side Of The Moon (4.47m), just ahead of Michael Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller (4.47m).
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the only album from the Sixties to make the list, along with six albums from the Seventies, six from the Eighties and eight from the Nineties. The first decade of the new Millennium (2000s) claims most places, with 14 albums, while five albums from the current decade made the list.
The Top 20 list is:
- The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), British sales: 5.34 million
- Adele: 21 (2011) 5.11 million
- Oasis: What’s The Story Morning Glory (1995) 4.94 million
- Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) 4.47 million
- Michael Jackson: Thriller (1982) 4.47 million
- Dire Straits: Brothers In Arms (1985) 4.34 million
- Michael Jackson: Bad (1987) 4.14 million
- Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (1977) 4.09 million
- Amy Winehouse: Back To Black (2006) 3.93 million
- Adele: 25 (2015) 3.50 million
- Simply Red: Stars (1991) 3.45 million
- Shania Twain: Come On Over (1997) 3.43 million
- Ed Sheeran: X (2014) 3.38 million
- Meat Loaf: Bat Out Of Hell (1977) 3.37 million
- James Blunt: Back To Bedlam (2004) 3.36 million
- Verve: Urban Hymns (1997) 3,34 million
- Simon & Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Waters (1970) 3.26 million
- Leona Lewis: Spirit (2007) 3.17 million
- Michael Buble: Crazy Love (2009) 3.13 million
- Ed Sheeran: Divide (2017) 3.10 million