The ground-breaking 1967 LP strides home with 5.34 million combined sales at the top of the all-time Official Studio Albums Chart, which has been compiled by the Official Charts Company to mark today’s National Album Day celebrations.
The confirmation further cements the position of Sir Paul McCartney as the most successful albums artist in UK chart history, racking up 22 Number 1 albums across his illustrious career (15 with The Beatles, 2 with Wings, 4 solo and 1 with Linda McCartney).
The honour will be confirmed when the brand new chart is counted down today (Saturday, October 13) during a special National Album Day edition of Pick Of The Pops hosted by Paul Gambaccini which will be broadcast by BBC Radio 2 from 1-3pm. The full Top 40 is available, with all key data, on OfficialCharts.com from today.
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 (to give it it’s full name) 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 act with most albums in the Top 40 list is Coldplay, with A Rush Of Blood To The Head at 27, X&Y at 32 and Parachutes at 40. Five acts claim two albums in the list – Adele, Dido, Ed Sheeran, Michael Bublé and Michael Jackson. In total 33 different acts are represented in the chart.
The 40 albums have, between them, notched 343 weeks at Number 1 in the Official Albums Chart, with Simon & Garfunkel’s 1970 classic Bridge Over Troubled Water claiming the longest spell, a total of 33 weeks. Sgt. Pepper’s follows just behind with 28 weeks, ahead of Adele’s 21 on 23 weeks.
The highest ranking album *not* to reach the number 1 spot is Pink Floyd’s 1973 titles Dark Side Of The Moon – it is one of three albums in the rundown which never claimed the top spot, along with Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell (which peaked at 9) and Jeff Wayne’s 1978 album War Of The Worlds (peaked at 5).
Some 25 of the Top 40 are accounted for by British acts, 8 are by US artists, 4 by Canadian acts and 2 by Irish acts; the remaining album is by the US/UK band Fleetwood Mac.
Across the list, 18 are credited to bands, 12 to male artists and 10 to females.
The Official Studio Albums Chart – All-time
SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
WHAT’S THE STORY MORNING GLORY
THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
BROTHERS IN ARMS
BACK TO BLACK