We Critique The UK's List of The Top 10 Best Selling Albums of All-Time (And The One Legendary Artist Glaringly Absent From Britain's Top 60)!

If you wanna have a best-selling album of all time in the UK, your best bet is to call it "greatest hits" or so it would appear by the appearance of two hits compilations atop the list of best-selling UK albums.

The list, compiled by the Official Charts Company, was announced to commemorate the company's 60th anniversary Britain's leading album sales chart and contains many of the "usual suspects", if you will - Queen, Abba, the Beatles, Floyd, but it also features at least two surprises most wouldn't expect to see appear on such a list.

1) Queen – ‘Greatest Hits’

Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor couldn't have had any idea that releasing this hastily-assembled stop-gap between studio albums The Game and Hot Space would lead to them topping the list of all-time best-selling albums, but seeing as how many of the tracks included herein (most notably "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the double-A-side single "We Will Rock You"/"We Are The Champions") have only increased in popularity over the years , it's no wonder this album has the legs to out-kick Abba and the Beatles.

2) Abba – ‘Gold: Greatest Hits’

Considering that the Swedish foursome has scored nine UK #1 albums since 1976, it should come as no surprise that Abba's first comprehensive hits collection remains a perennial UK best-seller. With the group's recent reunion and performance at a private celebration to celebrate the 50th anniversary of  Benny & Bjorn's first meeting once again fueling rumors of a reunion tour, sales of this compilation will not slow down any time soon.

3) The Beatles – ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

As the first studio album to appear on this list, it is only fitting that it be from the Beatles. Astonishingly, though, according to the OCC, the album has sold a mere 5.1 million albums to date in the UK. Doesn't that seem just a tad low?

4) Adele – ‘21’

Need any further proof of the selling-power of Adele's album, 25, which has already risen to #4 on the UK all-time sales chart despite only having been released eight months ago? No? Okay then.

5) Oasis – ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’

While it's impossible to argue with the band's UK success and continuing popularity - especially now that 90's nostalgia is kicking in and talk of an oasis reunion in 2017 - trying to comprehend the fact that this album has sold more in the UK than Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon is bound to induce brain cramping.

6) Michael Jackson – ‘Thriller’

Just as it did in the US, Thriller arrived on UK shores with the full power of MTV behind it and led all seven of the album's singles to hit the Top 10 in the UK, resulting in sales of over 4 million copies.

7) Pink Floyd – ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’

Considering that the album hit #1 in the US and was as immovable an object as has ever appeared on the Billboard albums chart, where it remained firmly lodged for 741 weeks, the album actually managed a peak chart position of #2 in the UK.

8) Dire Straits – ‘Brothers In Arms’


9) Michael Jackson – ‘Bad’

Not surprising that Jackson's dependably solid follow-up to Thriller, with six Top 10 UK singles of its own, would also find itself on this list.

10) Queen – ‘Greatest Hits II’

One good Queen compilation deserves another. Of course, while US fans might find this sequel a bit lacking in fire power, the appearance of songs such as "I Want It All", "I Want To Break Free" and "A Kind Of Magic" in key UK ad campaigns over the years has ensured their enduring popularity.

As for the remainder of the Top 60, recent albums by the likes of Ed Sheeran (X), Coldplay (Parachutes, A Rush of Blood To The Head, and X &Y), and Snow Patrol (Eyes Open) also managed to make an appearance, but notably absent are UK legacy acts like Status Quo, Slade and Cliff Richard. 

The most glaring no-show on the entire list, though, is David Bowie, who has nine, yes, nine UK #1 albums to his credit. A quick look at sales figures confirms that while The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars remains bowie's best-selling UK album, it has sold only 1.5 million copies to date.

Considering that the album appearing at #60 on this list, R.E.M.'s Automatic For The People, which has sold 2,100,000 copies to date in the UK, this would appear to explain why the Thin White Duek is absent from this list.

Click here to view the full list

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