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.
The first ever chart, which was published in Record Mirror on 22 July 1956, saw Frank Sinatra’s Songs For Swingin’ Lovers landing in the coveted Number 1 slot. Now, over half a century of vinyl, cassette, CD and download-purchasing later, nearly 1,100 albums have hit the top spot in the UK.
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.
Michael Jackson has two entries for Thriller and Bad which sit at #6 and #9 respectively. Acts with two albums apiece in the Top 60 include Michael Jackson, Queen, The Beatles, Adele, Dido, ABBA, Paul Simon (including Simon & Garfunkel) and Fleetwood Mac.
The top ten artist are listed below:
See the full listing here.