60 years ago this month saw the birth of the Official Albums Chart – the UK’s official weekly snapshot of popularity dedicated to one of the most influential art forms of our time.
To mark the chart’s historic milestone and kick off July’s month-long anniversary celebrations, OfficialCharts.com can today unveil the 60 biggest selling albums of all time here in Britain, as compiled by the Official Charts Company.
The “60 at 60” list also forms the centrepiece of an in-store retail campaign, which sees Official Charts team up with the three major record labels and outlets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Amazon and Morrisons to promote and sell some of the UK’s biggest selling albums this summer.
Topping the all time best sellers list is Queen’s 1981 Greatest Hits, and stands alone as the first and only album to have sold over 6 million copies in the UK (6.1 million sales to date). Queen’s Greatest Hits II also makes it into the Top 10 at Number 10 with almost 4 million albums sold.
“What a great bit of news to wake up to!” Brian May told OfficialCharts.com. The most popular album? Well, I always thought the band showed promise, but this is beyond our boyhood dreams! Thanks folks!”
Meanwhile, ABBA – Gold: Greatest Hits is the UK’s second biggest-selling album of all-time – nearly 5.2 million units have been shifted since its release in 1992.
The best-selling studio album in Britain comes courtesy of The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (3) is also the only other release in history to break the five million UK sales barrier (5.1 million). Click here to look back at The Beatles’ full Official Chart history.
Adele’s 2011 phenomenon 21, featuring Someone Like You, remains unmoved at Number 4 while Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? rounds out the Top 5 approaching 4.7 million sales.
The rest of the Top 10 features two entries from Michael Jackson; Thriller and Bad sit at 6 and 9 respectively. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (7) is the only record in the Top 10 that has never topped the weekly chart, peaking at Number 2 instead, while Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms lands at Number 8.