It’s the mark of a classic album if it continues to sell over the years, especially if it spends a significant portion of its existence at the top of the chart.
The Top 100 will still contain a portion of legacy releases dating back decades that are still released or sold in significant quantities. Every artist hopes to release a set of songs that will resonate across generations, and the long stays of ABBA Gold (first released 1992), Queen’s Greatest Hits (1981) and Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Legend (1984) are testament to that. . Also, helpfully because of their catalogs, every time you go to stream Dancing Queen it counts towards ABBA Gold total rather than Arrival, Bohemian Rhapsody counts towards Queen’s Greatest Hits rather than A Night At The Opera and so on following.
This explains why these are the best selling albums in the UK, and also why Legend and Gold have racked up over 1000 weeks in the Top 100, and the Queen compilation will likely hit that milestone at some point in the next twelve month.
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Likewise, with truly iconic releases which have sold in large numbers and in some cases have greatly outsold the rest of an artist’s catalog, the best examples being Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors (first released in 1977) which continues to eclipse the other 17 studio albums. the group released, or Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon (first released in 1973) which fared slightly better than The Final Cut or Meddle. Bat Out Of Hell falls into this category – a defining album that defines Meat Loaf’s stand so perfectly and speaks to generations of fans outside of the genre, that every album he releases thereafter would struggle to even reach. only a fraction of its sales.
There are also the iconic albums that live on despite the passing of the key characters involved. This applies not only to Queen and Bob Marley, but also to Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black, which logged 457 weeks in the Top 100, although there was only one other official studio album. , his discography is unfortunately quite short. There’s also Nirvana’s Nevermind (375 weeks), as well as compilations like Michael Jackson’s Number Ones (531 weeks) and Whitney Houston’s Ultimate Collection (386 weeks).
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Much of the longevity can also be attributed to reissues and the rise of vinyl where people who had been raised on the format, then dropped their records in favor of CD, and have now been seduced by classics such than Rumors being readily available. again. It’s also a revelation in some ways, because in the Top 20 albums that have spent the most weeks in the Top 100, there’s no sign of, say, massive sellers by the Beatles or Adele.
And then there are the releases that were very punctual and one-time like movie soundtracks. Classic albums in their own right, but maybe no one is rushing to stream them or own them again, or they’ve just slipped slightly off the radar. Join us as we examine some of the less obvious albums that seemingly never made it to the Top 40, until they did.
Soundtrack – South Pacific (1958) 315 weeks
Well, that’s just plain cheating, because there wasn’t even a Top 40 in 1958. South Pacific first entered the Official Top 5 Albums, which at that time were ALL the soundtracks to The King And I, Pal Joey, Oklahoma and at Number 1 was The Duke Wore Jeans, which was a soundtrack to a movie starring then huge Tommy Steele. Rodgers & Hammerstein-penned issues such as There Is Nothing Like A Dame and Some Enchanted Evening helped South Pacific spend 115 weeks at number 1 between November 1958 and September 1961, often taking turns with Elvis and The Black & White Minstrels (which we won’t go into here).
Soundtrack – West Side Story (1962) 175 weeks
A similar story (West Side) here as for much of its chart life there was still only a Top 20. This movie soundtrack with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim spent 13 non-consecutive weeks at number 1. No wonder people were desperate for The Beatles to finally show up. In fact, it’s because the ‘pop’ album wasn’t really important in the early sixties, because many artists like Elvis and Cliff Richard never really focused on albums as a form of art as such, which is probably why soundtracks dominated. at the time. Sure, West Side Story has just been remade, and its soundtrack doesn’t have the chart-topping sway that the original had, but has done considerable business on the compilation chart.
Soundtrack – The Sound of Music (1965) 374 weeks
This was the third time a cast recording of The Sound Of Music had charted, with the original London theater cast reaching number 3 in 1961, which also charted alongside a Broadway cast recording which was number 4. The film, however, starring Julie Andrews as a nun turned governess-raiser of children to wander the hills against the backdrop of the Nazis, spent 70 non-consecutive weeks at number 1 between 1965 and 1968, by which time the album chart had expanded to a Top 40, and then it was a matter of so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye, etc.
Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970) 279 weeks
Selling over 25 million copies worldwide, it seemed, for a time at least, that there was not a household that didn’t own a copy of this fifth and final album. Art & Paul. The duo had been steadily racking up hits through the latter half of the 1960s, their only previous number 1 album being Bookends in 1968. Not universally critically acclaimed at the time, its title track was the duo’s only number 1 single in the UK. United, but both the album and the song won the Grammy Awards the following year.
Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (1973) 183 weeks
The debut album on Virgin that helped launch the label, Mike Oldfield’s epic solo track where he played all the instruments, was, again, very much of its time – a sort of progressive affair that surpassed the rest of the genre and passed to the general public. Many buyers were won over by the textures of the 49-minute track and it showed off their hi-fi, indeed it was often used as a test album alongside Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon to show off new stereos , much like nature docs being the ideal vehicle to demonstrate the definition of new televisions. It managed to become a truck-selling album at the time and broke a three-month tenure at number 2 by earning a lonely week at the top. The historical version was used in The Exorcist and excerpts were played as part of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.
So here is. The beauty of these lists is that they will be continuously updated, and with the return of Bat Out Of Hell to the album list – it appears from time to time in the lower section – should see it appeal to a new generation and his overall tally continues to grow. Let’s take a look at how things currently stand in the all-time rosters.
The Top 20 Albums That Spent The Longest Time In The Official Top 40 Albums
|TITLE||ARTIST||WEEKS IN THE TOP 40|
|1||GOLD – GREATEST HITS||ABBA||394|
|2||THE SOUND OF MUSIC||ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK||346|
|3||SOUTH PACIFIC||ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK||315|
|5||THE GREATEST HITS||QUEEN||301|
|6||LEGEND||BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS||279|
|seven||A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS||SIMON & GARFUNKEL||279|
|8||BEAT FROM HELL||MEATLOAF||249|
|9||TO DIVIDE||ED SHEERAN||248|
|11||CURTAIN CALL – THE HITS||EMINEM||227|
|12||THE GREATEST HITS||SIMON & GARFUNKEL||222|
|13||THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON||FLOYD ROSE||215|
|14||TIME PASSES – 1994-2009||OASIS||207|
|15||WHAT IS THE MORNING GLORY STORY||OASIS||190|
|16||TUBULAR BELLS||MIKE OLDFIELD||183|
|18||DUA LIPA||DUA LIPA||179|
|19||WEST SIDE STORY||ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK||175|
©2022 Official Map Company. All rights reserved.
The Top 20 Albums That Spent The Longest Time In The Top 100 Official Albums
WEEKS IN THE TOP 100
|1||GOLD – GREATEST HITS||ABBA||1029|
|2||LEGEND||BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS||1013|
|3||THE GREATEST HITS||QUEEN||981|
|5||THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON||FLOYD ROSE||544|
|6||NUMBER ONE||MICHAEL JACKSON||531|
|seven||WHAT IS THE MORNING GLORY STORY||OASIS||524|
|8||BEAT FROM HELL||MEATLOAF||522|
|9||CURTAIN CALL – THE HITS||EMINEM||four hundred ninety seven|
|ten||BACK TO BLACK||AMY WINEHOUSE||457|
|12||THE GREATEST HITS||FOO FIGHTERS||440|
|13||TIME PASSES – 1994-2009||OASIS||437|
|14||A M||ARCTIC MONKEYS||436|
|17||THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION||WHITNEY HOUSTON||386|
|18||IT DOES NOT MATTER||NIRVANA||375|
|19||WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM…||ARCTIC MONKEYS||375|
|20||THE SOUND OF MUSIC||ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK||374|
©2022 Official Map Company. All rights reserved.