In celebration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of their album charts this month, the Official Charts Company of the UK unveiled their list of the 60 Best Selling Albums of the Past 60 Years. The list appears below - click on album title to listen on Spotify. For the sake of comparison, I've listed the album's position on the U.S. Top 100 Best Selling Albums Of All Time.
|60||Automatic For The People||R.E.M.||1992|
|59||Never Forget - The Ultimate Collection||Take That||2005|
|58||Eyes Open||Snow Patrol||2006|
|56||Swing When You're Winning||Robbie Williams||2001|
|84||55||The Marshall Mathers LP||Eminem||2000|
It should be noted that EVERY album listed in the U.S. column has been certified with at least 10 million copies sold while only one album has sold more than 6 million copies in Britain and it's Number One on this chart. It was released in 1981 and to date has logged more than 729 weeks in the Top 100, where it sits at number 86 for the chart dated July 14, 2016. This marks the album's 55th consecutive week on the chart in this run as the perennial best-seller has logged an astounding 79 different chart runs over th epast thirty-five years, ranging from one brief week many times to 224 weeks straight from July 1983 to October 1987.
|54||Tango In The Night||Fleetwood Mac||1987|
|53||Ladies & Gentlemen... The Best Of||George Michael||1998|
|52||The Sound Of Music||Original Soundtrack||1965|
|50||Come Away With Me||Norah Jones||2002|
The albums ranked in Second and Third Place on the chart are the only other two albums in the first sixty years of British chart history to sell more than 5 million copies. Like the artist in First Place, each of those artists have a second album ranked in the Top 60 as well. All three of those second albums are "greatest hits" compilations.
|48||I've Been Expecting You||Robbie Williams||1998|
|44||Tracy Chapman||Tracy Chapman||1988|
|43||The Man Who||Travis||1999|
|42||Tubular Bells||Mike Oldfield||1973|
|17||41||Jagged Little Pill||Alanis Morrissette||1995|
|39||...But Seriously||Phil Collins||1989|
|38||Scissor Sisters||Scissor Sisters||2004|
|37||The War Of The Worlds||Jeff Wayne||1978|
The oldest album in the countdown is 1965's The Sound Of Music - one of only two albums from the Sixties lsited - and the most recently released album is last year's 25 by Adele, one of four listed albums released since 2010. Overall, the average release year for the Top 60 is 1994 with twenty-four albums being released since the Millenium.
|36||The Joshua Tree||U2||1987|
|35||Hopes and Fears||Keane||2004|
|34||Beautiful World||Take That||2006|
|33||Only By The Night||Kings Of Leon||2008|
|32||Life For Rent||Dido||2003|
|31||A Rush Of Blood To The Head||Coldplay||2002|
|30||The Fame||Lady Gaga||2008|
|28||Talk On Corners||The Corrs||1997|
|26||White Ladder||David Gray||1998|
All but five of the Top 60 albums topped the Albums Chart at Number One. One of those albums is in the Top 10 at Number Three. It peaked at Number Two but has spent 474 weeks on the UK Albums Chart and spent more than 700 consecutive weeks on Billboard's Top 200 album chart while selling over 15 million copies in the States. The same group has the third best selling album in the U.S. with a double album that has sold over 23 million yet failed to make the UK list at all.
|24||Crazy Love||Michael Bublé||2009|
|66||22||Dirty Dancing||Original Soundtrack||1987|
|21||Bridge Over Troubled Water||Simon & Garfunkel||1970|
|32||19||Bat Out Of Hell||Meat Loaf||1977|
|18||Urban Hymns||The Verve||1997|
|17||Back To Bedlam||James Blunt||2004|
|23||16||Legend||Bob Marley & the Wailers||1984|
|9||15||Come On Over||Shania Twain||1997|
|13||Back To Black||Amy Winehouse||2006|
|97||12||The Immaculate Collection||Madonna||1990|
|10||Greatest Hits II||Queen||1991|
|8||Brothers In Arms||Dire Straits||1985|
|26||7||The Dark Side Of The Moon||Pink Floyd||1973|
There are nine greatest hits compilations in the Top 60, including the two each by Queen and ABBA I alluded to earlier. The Number One album on the list has sold more than 8 million copies in the U.S. while the Number Two album has sold over 6 million copies - both albums are the U.S. best sellers of their respective artists and personal favorites of the soft rock kid.
|5||(What's the Story) Morning Glory?||Oasis||1995|
|68||3||Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band||The Beatles||1967|
|2||Gold - Greatest Hits||ABBA||1992|
One last thing: as of 2010, there were 65 million people in the UK, meaning there was one copy of Queen's Greatest Hits for every 10 people. The best selling album in the States - ranked at number 6 on this list - would work out to one copy of Thriller for every 10 Americans as well despite the fact that the US has five times the population of the U.K.