Make a comment

THE MILLION SELLERS - The UK’s Greatest Hits

04/11/2012

To celebrate the book’s launch, the Official Charts Company reveals below the 123 biggest selling singles of all time

The Million Sellers book coverNovember 2012 celebrates 60 glittering years of the British institution that is the Official Singles Chart.

The current UK singles market is booming with 2012 set to be the biggest year in history for singles, however, despite this, it still takes something special for a record to join the hallowed ‘Million Sellers Club’. An elite musical community of just over 120 songs, which, in their own unique way, crossed the border into legendary chart status on UK shores.

The Official Charts Company, the providers of the UK's only official music charts announces the publication of The Million Sellers. Available to pre-order now, this hardback book is the definitive collection of essays and artist Q&As on the123 million-selling singles, starting with the emergent white rock ’n’ roll of 1956 and running through to the contemporary big hits of artists like Adele and Rihanna.

From shellac 78s to digital downloads, for a single to sell a million copies usually means catching the public’s imagination fast. It reflects an unstoppable popular urge to buy into this artist or that craze… or signifies simply a song so good that you want to own it the first time you hear it.

Most importantly, in what other record collection in the world can Teletubbies and Bob The Builder sit so rightfully alongside The Beatles and Michael Jackson? Oh yes.

The new era of the super hit!

Martin Talbot, Managing Director of the Official Charts Company, says “It is apt that, as we prepare to celebrate 60 Years of the Official Singles Chart in the UK, we do so at a time of unprecedented demand for the single, with this year set to be the biggest year on record for sales of the format. This demand is also translating into the largest number of million- sellers we have seen - this truly is the era of the super hit.”

When the Official Singles Chart celebrated its 50th birthday back in 2002, only 76 singles had registered on the million-selling record books. Today, that number is 123. That’s a disproportionately huge 62% increase in just one decade. It is clear from the book that the ‘70s was an era of the monster single producing 27 million-sellers – until the ‘90s, when 32 tracks reached the million mark.

Right now, however, the current decade is on course to surpass both the ‘70s and ‘90s , with 10¬¬ more singles passing that significant landmark in less than three years. Artists such as the unstoppable Rihanna having racked up 3 million-sellers to her name by the age of 24, plus the mighty Adele, Jessie J, and Gotye – all of whom between them are creating a new era of the super-hit.

To celebrate the launch of The Million Sellers, the Official Charts Company unveils here the definitive list of those 123 singles, from Elvis to Lady Gaga, and yes, Whigfield, that made a million or more of us rush to make them members of the Million Sellers club.

Spokesperson available

Please note, the Official Charts Company has Managing Director, Martin Talbot available for interview on this story. Get in touch below.

The Million Sellers

  TITLE ARTIST YEAR OF RELEASE SALES (MILLION)
1 SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT/CANDLE IN THE WIND 97 ELTON JOHN 1997 4.90
2 DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 1984 3.69
3 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY QUEEN 1975 2.36
4 MULL OF KINTYRE/GIRLS' SCHOOL WINGS 1977 2.00
5 YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I WANT JOHN TRAVOLTA & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN 1978 2.00
6 RIVERS OF BABYLON/BROWN GIRL IN THE RING BONEY M 1978 2.00
7 RELAX FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD 1983 2.00
8 SHE LOVES YOU THE BEATLES 1963 1.90
9 UNCHAINED MELODY/(THERE'LL BE BLUEBIRDS OVER) THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER ROBSON GREEN & JEROME FLYNN 1995 1.86
10 LOVE IS ALL AROUND WET WET WET 1994 1.85
11 MARY'S BOY CHILD/OH MY LORD BONEY M 1978 1.85
12 I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU STEVIE WONDER 1984 1.83
13 BARBIE GIRL AQUA 1997 1.79
14 ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE/EVERGREEN WILL YOUNG 2002 1.79
15 I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND THE BEATLES 1963 1.77
16 BELIEVE CHER 1998 1.74
17 (EVERYTHING I DO) I DO IT FOR YOU BRYAN ADAMS 1991 1.72
18 LAST CHRISTMAS/EVERYTHING SHE WANTS WHAM! 1984 1.60
19 IMAGINE JOHN LENNON 1975 1.60
20 SUMMER NIGHTS JOHN TRAVOLTA & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN 1978 1.59
21 TWO TRIBES FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD 1984 1.58
22 I'LL BE MISSING YOU PUFF DADDY & FAITH EVANS 1997 1.56
23 PERFECT DAY VARIOUS ARTISTS 1997 1.55
24 DON'T YOU WANT ME? HUMAN LEAGUE 1981 1.54
25 CAN'T BUY ME LOVE THE BEATLES 1964 1.53
26 I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU WHITNEY HOUSTON 1992 1.53
27 THREE LIONS BADDIEL & SKINNER & LIGHTNING SEEDS 1996 1.53
28 TEARS KEN DODD 1965 1.52
29 ...BABY ONE MORE TIME BRITNEY SPEARS 1999 1.51
30 MY HEART WILL GO ON CELINE DION 1998 1.48
31 KARMA CHAMELEON CULTURE CLUB 1983 1.47
32 YMCA VILLAGE PEOPLE 1978 1.46
33 CARELESS WHISPER GEORGE MICHAEL 1984 1.45
34 (WE'RE GONNA) ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS 1955 1.42
35 I FEEL FINE THE BEATLES 1964 1.41
36 THE CARNIVAL IS OVER THE SEEKERS 1965 1.41
37 GANGSTA'S PARADISE COOLIO FEATURING L.V. 1995 1.41
38 EYE OF THE TIGER SURVIVOR 1982 1.41
39 THE POWER OF LOVE JENNIFER RUSH 1985 1.39
40 WE CAN WORK IT OUT/DAY TRIPPER THE BEATLES 1964 1.39
41 RELEASE ME ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK 1967 1.38
42 SOMEONE LIKE YOU ADELE 2011 1.36
43 KILLING ME SOFTLY FUGEES 1996 1.36
44 UNCHAINED MELODY GARETH GATES 2002 1.34
45 WANNABE SPICE GIRLS 1996 1.32
46 (IS THIS THE WAY TO) AMARILLO TONY CHRISTIE FT PETER KAY 2005 1.31
47 NEVER EVER ALL SAINTS 1997 1.31
48 COME ON EILEEN DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS 1982 1.31
49 THINK TWICE CELINE DION 1994 1.30
50 I GOTTA FEELING BLACK EYED PEAS 2009 1.30
51 IT WASN'T ME SHAGGY FEATURING RIKROK 2001 1.28
52 TAINTED LOVE SOFT CELL 1981 1.27
53 HEART OF GLASS BLONDIE 1979 1.27
54 MOVES LIKE JAGGER MAROON 5 FEATURING CHRISTINA AGUILERA 2011 1.27
55 WONDERWALL OASIS 1995 1.26
56 IT'S NOW OR NEVER ELVIS PRESLEY 1960 1.26
57 DIANA PAUL ANKA 1957 1.25
58 IT'S LIKE THAT RUN-D.M.C. VS JASON NEVINS 1997 1.25
59 HALLELUJAH ALEXANDRA BURKE 2008 1.24
60 GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME TOM JONES 1966 1.23
61 SEX ON FIRE KINGS OF LEON 2008 1.20
62 BRIGHT EYES ART GARFUNKEL 1979 1.20
63 MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY SLADE 1973 1.19
64 HEARTBEAT/TRAGEDY STEPS 1998 1.18
65 MARY'S BOY CHILD HARRY BELAFONTE 1957 1.18
66 THE LAST WALTZ ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK 1967 1.17
67 EARTH SONG MICHAEL JACKSON 1995 1.16
68 DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 20 2004 1.16
69 BLUE MONDAY NEW ORDER 1983 1.16
70 STRANGER ON THE SHORE MR ACKER BILK AND HIS PARAMOUNT JAZZ BAND 1961 1.16
71 DON'T GIVE UP ON US DAVID SOUL 1976 1.16
72 CAN'T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD KYLIE MINOGUE 2001 1.15
73 I LOVE YOU LOVE ME LOVE GARY GLITTER 1973 1.14
74 SPACEMAN BABYLON ZOO 1996 1.14
75 SATURDAY NIGHT WHIGFIELD 1994 1.14
76 WE FOUND LOVE RIHANNA FEATURING CALVIN HARRIS 2011 1.13
77 NO MATTER WHAT BOYZONE 1998 1.13
78 JUST THE WAY YOU ARE (AMAZING) BRUNO MARS 2010 1.12
79 PARTY ROCK ANTHEM LMFAO FEATURING LAUREN BENNETT AND GOONROCK 2011 1.12
80 I BELIEVE/UP ON THE ROOF ROBSON & JEROME 1995 1.11
81 ANGELS ROBBIE WILLIAMS 1997 1.11
82 HIT ME WITH YOUR RHYTHM STICK IAN DURY AND THE BLOCKHEADS 1978 1.11
83 TELETUBBIES SAY "EH-OH!" TELETUBBIES 1997 1.11
84 2 BECOME 1 SPICE GIRLS 1996 1.11
85 TORN NATALIE IMBRUGLIA 1997 1.11
86 POKER FACE LADY GAGA 2009 1.11
87 I REMEMBER YOU FRANK IFIELD 1962 1.10
88 THAT'S MY GOAL SHAYNE WARD 2005 1.10
89 GHOSTBUSTERS RAY PARKER JR. 1984 1.09
90 PURE AND SIMPLE HEAR'SAY 2001 1.09
91 ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PART 2) PINK FLOYD 1979 1.08
92 BACK FOR GOOD TAKE THAT 1995 1.07
93 BLUE (DA BA DEE) EIFFEL 65 1999 1.07
94 PRICE TAG JESSIE J FEATURING B.O.B 2011 1.07
95 HEY JUDE THE BEATLES 1968 1.06
96 THE YOUNG ONES CLIFF RICHARD & THE SHADOWS 1962 1.06
97 SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW GOTYE FEATURING KIMBRA 2011 1.06
98 DANCING QUEEN ABBA 1976 1.06
99 I FEEL LOVE DONNA SUMMER 1977 1.05
100 LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE EMINEM FEATURING RIHANNA 2010 1.05
101 FAME IRENE CARA 1982 1.05
102 RIDE ON TIME BLACK BOX 1989 1.05
103 ONLY GIRL (IN THE WORLD) RIHANNA 2010 1.04
104 UNCHAINED MELODY THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS 1965 1.04
105 BLEEDING LOVE LEONA LEWIS 2007 1.04
106 CRAZY GNARLS BARKLEY 2006 1.04
107 STAND & DELIVER ADAM AND THE ANTS 1981 1.03
108 I DON'T WANT TO MISS A THING AEROSMITH 1998 1.03
109 CAN WE FIX IT? BOB THE BUILDER 2000 1.02
110 UPTOWN GIRL BILLY JOEL 1983 1.02
111 I WILL SURVIVE GLORIA GAYNOR 1979 1.02
112 SAILING ROD STEWART 1975 1.02
113 SUGAR SUGAR THE ARCHIES 1969 1.02
114 SAVE YOUR KISSES FOR ME BROTHERHOOD OF MAN 1976 1.01
115 I'D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING THE NEW SEEKERS 1971 1.01
116 WHITE CHRISTMAS BING CROSBY WITH THE KEN DARBY SINGERS AND JOHN SCOTT TROTTER ORCHESTRA 1942 1.01
117 DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA JULIE COVINGTON 1976 1.01
118 THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT TIGHT FIT 1982 1.01
119 EYE LEVEL THE SIMON PARK ORCHESTRA 1972 1.01
120 LONG HAIRED LOVER FROM LIVERPOOL LITTLE JIMMY OSMOND 1972 1.00
121 UNDER THE MOON OF LOVE SHOWADDYWADDY 1976 1.00
122 TIE A YELLOW RIBBON ROUND THE OLE OAK TREE DAWN FEATURING TONY ORLANDO 1973 1.00
123 WHEN WE COLLIDE MATT CARDLE 2010 1.00

© 2012 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Further information:

Official Charts Company Managing Director, Martin Talbot, is available for interview. For this, and for additional information on 60 Years of the Official Singles Chart celebrations contact Lauren@officialcharts.com.

For Million Sellers media, promotional or extract enquiries please contact Charlie Harris at Omnibus Press, charlie.harris@musicsales.co.uk.

Back