It may not as highly regarded as a Christmas Number 1 single, but topping the Official Albums Chart at Christmas still carries a hefty amount of cachet.
While the UK Albums Chart has evolved over the years, one thing that has remained steadfast is that the festive period is the showcase season, typically when pop's top tier acts will be promoting their latest record.
Recent years have seen an eclectic but all hugely successful bunch of artists claim the festive albums top spot; including Rod Stewart's You're In My Heart in 2019, Eminem's surprised-released Revival in in 2017, and Adele's 25 in 2015.
The Beatles hold the record for the most Christmas Number 1 singles, with four, and they also have the most chart-topping albums, landing at the top of the tree on seven occasions - first with 1963's With The Beatles and most recently in 2000 with best-of collection 1, that year's best-selling record.
Meanwhile, two members of The Beatles have also scored solo Christmas Number 1 albums; with The John Lennon collection in 1982, and in 2020 with Paul McCartney's McCartney III, a continuation of his 1970 and 1980 records.
The most successful solo artist during the Christmas week is Robbie Williams, with four festive chart-toppers, most recently with 2013's Swings Both Ways, which also took the title as the UK's 1000th Number 1 album (his 2019 holiday album The Christmas Present topped the chart the week prior to Christmas itself). Robbie's former band Take That have landed three Christmas chart-toppers, the last of which - 2010's Progress - featured Robbie in the lineup.
As the Official Albums Chart has evolved over the years, so have the types of records that the public have flocked to during the busy festive period. Film soundtracks dominated the landscape in the 1950s, while the 1980s saw compilation albums rule the roost in December, including Now That's What I Call Music's ever-popular Christmas collection in 1985.
Soon after, the 1990s saw greatest hits collections become a staple of the Q4 season as record labels discovered they were a popular gift choice at Christmas for casual music fans. Madonna, Queen, Cher, The Beautiful South and George Michael all landed Christmas Number 1 albums with best-ofs during the decade.
Perhaps surprisingly, the list of every Christmas Number 1 album highlights how rare it is for an actual festive album to reach the top spot. Just one artist holiday collection has managed it, Michael Buble's Christmas in 2011 - the UK's biggest Christmas album of all-time and now a regular feature in the Top 10 every Christmas.
Every Official Christmas Number 1 album ever
|1956||THE KING AND I||ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK|
|1957||THE KING AND I||ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK|
|1958||SOUTH PACIFIC||ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK|
|1959||SOUTH PACIFIC||ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK|
|1960||SOUTH PACIFIC||ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK|
|1961||ANOTHER BLACK AND WHITE MINSTREL SHOW||GEORGE MITCHELL MINSTRELS|
|1962||OUT OF THE SHADOWS||SHADOWS|
|1963||WITH THE BEATLES||BEATLES|
|1964||BEATLES FOR SALE||BEATLES|
|1966||THE SOUND OF MUSIC||ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK|
|1967||SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND||BEATLES|
|1968||THE BEATLES (THE WHITE ALBUM)||BEATLES|
|1970||ANDY WILLIAMS GREATEST HITS||ANDY WILLIAMS|
|1971||ELECTRIC WARRIOR||T REX|
|1972||20 ALL TIME HITS OF THE 50'S||VARIOUS ARTISTS|
|1973||GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD||ELTON JOHN|
|1974||ELTON JOHN'S GREATEST HITS||ELTON JOHN|
|1975||A NIGHT AT THE OPERA||QUEEN|
|1976||20 GOLDEN GREATS||GLEN CAMPBELL|
|1977||DISCO FEVER||VARIOUS ARTISTS|
|1979||ROD STEWART - GREATEST HITS||ROD STEWART|
|1982||THE JOHN LENNON COLLECTION||JOHN LENNON|
|1983||NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC||VARIOUS ARTISTS|
|1984||THE HITS ALBUM/THE HITS TAPE - 32 ORIGINAL HITS||VARIOUS ARTISTS|
|1985||NOW - THE CHRISTMAS ALBUM||VARIOUS ARTISTS|
|1986||NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC 8||VARIOUS ARTISTS|
|1987||NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC 10||VARIOUS ARTISTS|
|1988||PRIVATE COLLECTION 1979-1988||CLIFF RICHARD|
|1989||... BUT SERIOUSLY||PHIL COLLINS|
|1990||THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION||MADONNA|
|1991||GREATEST HITS II||QUEEN|
|1992||CHER'S GREATEST HITS: 1965-1992||CHER|
|1993||BAT OUT OF HELL II - BACK INTO HELL||MEAT LOAF|
|1994||CARRY ON UP THE CHARTS - THE BEST OF THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH||BEAUTIFUL SOUTH|
|1995||ROBSON & JEROME||ROBSON & JEROME|
|1997||LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE||CELINE DION|
|1998||LADIES & GENTLEMEN - THE BEST OF GEORGE MICHAEL||GEORGE MICHAEL|
|1999||COME ON OVER||SHANIA TWAIN|
|2001||SWING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING||ROBBIE WILLIAMS|
|2003||LIFE FOR RENT||DIDO|
|2004||GREATEST HITS||ROBBIE WILLIAMS|
|2005||CURTAIN CALL - THE HITS||EMINEM|
|2006||BEAUTIFUL WORLD||TAKE THAT|
|2008||THE CIRCUS||TAKE THAT|
|2009||I DREAMED A DREAM||SUSAN BOYLE|
|2012||OUR VERSION OF EVENTS||EMELI SANDE|
|2013||SWINGS BOTH WAYS||ROBBIE WILLIAMS|
|2016||TOGETHER||MICHAEL BALL & ALFIE BOE|
|2018||THE GREATEST SHOWMAN||MOTION PICTURE CAST RECORDING|
|2019||YOU'RE IN MY HEART||ROD STEWART|
|2020||MCCARTNEY III||PAUL MCCARTNEY|
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