Bastille’s Pompeii surpasses one million UK sales during 10th anniversary year

A rare feat in 2023, Pompeii becomes only the 180th song in Official Chart history to reach the milestone
Bastille Pompeii 1 Million Seller

“How am I gonna be an optimist about this?” sings Bastille’s Dan Smith in the chorus of the band’s booming Pompeii – but that lyric couldn’t be less applicable to today’s news, as the band’s 2013 breakthrough single crosses the one million sales threshold to officially become one of the UK’s greatest hits of all time, according to the Official Charts Company. 

The four-piece are the latest act to earn a place in the history books as Pompeii officially earns mega-hit status. The song has passed one million pure sales in the UK, with 1.002 million downloads and physical sales, according to Official Charts Company data.

Bastille Pompeii

Image: Joe Horridge

MORE: Where every Bastille song and album has charted in the UK

A rare feat in 2023, Pompeii is only the 180th song in history to reach the million-seller milestone, and with streaming now the dominant method of music consumption, it’s unlikely that number will rise much further.

For a band to earn a million-selling single in 2023 is no mean feat. The way we consume music has changed considerably over the last ten years, with streaming now making up 98.7% of singles consumption in the UK in 2022. Downloads and physical singles represent a tiny proportion of the UK singles consumption today, a testament, then, to the enduring allure of Pompeii’s sinister majesty.

Million-selling singles surged at the beginning of the 2010s as music downloads hit fever pitch and transformed the singles market, making the purchase of songs as easy as the click of a button. But the number of tracks joining the exclusive “million sellers club” has since slowed with the advent of streaming. In 2020, Iris by Goo Goo Dolls entered the bestsellers list, and in 2022 Taylor Swift’s perky Shake It Off became the UK’s 179th million-selling single.

Over the past decade 39 songs have crossed the million sales threshold; including 14 songs by 13 British artists including Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Coldplay, and two from Adele. Elton John’s Candle in the Wind ‘97/Something About the Way You Look Tonight still holds on as the best-selling single of all time in the UK, on 4.94 million sales.

Pompeii’s best-seller status is a kismet moment in the band’s success story; with both the song and Bastille’s debut album Bad Blood celebrating their tenth anniversary this year.

WATCH Bastille celebrate Pompeii surpassing one million UK sales below:

In summer 2014, when Official Charts announced that streams were to be incorporated into the Official Singles Chart for the first time ever, Pompeii was the most-streamed song of all time in the UK at that point. Bastille themselves helped announce the news - Watch it back here!

This latest million seller news signifies a full-circle moment for the group who continue to prove their staying power across formats. 

Pompeii has found itself back in the Official Singles Chart Top 40 in recent weeks – nine and a half years since its last stint in the Top 40 – boosted by a new orchestral version with acclaimed composer Hans Zimmer, recorded for the latest series of Planet Earth. The band will perform the new version of the track tonight (7 November) at the 2023 Earthshot Prize in Singapore. 

In total, Pompeii has spent 107 weeks in the Official Singles Chart, including its latest three-week stint in the Top 40. 

Speaking exclusively to Official Charts, Bastille say:

“We’re so excited to have found out that our song Pompeii is officially a one million seller in the UK. 

“It feels incredible. It’s surreal.

“We just want to say a huge thank you and send loads of love to our fans and the people that like our music. The people that even just like Pompeii. Thanks to everyone who’s been around with us since the beginning, and anyone new that’s come along the way!” 

Related artists

Related Singles and Albums

Join the conversation by joining the Official Charts community and dropping comment.

Already registered?

Log in

No account?