Mercury Prize: The best-selling winning albums

For some acts, the prize was a springboard to further success, while others never quite escaped its shadow.

Over the last 28 years, the Mercury Prize has thrust plenty of gems of albums into the spotlight that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

For acts such as The xx, Dizzee Rascal and Alt-J, the prize was a springboard to further success, often on a global scale, while others never quite managed to escape its shadow.

With this year's recipient announced tonight (Sept. 19), Official Charts has crunched the numbers to reveal which Mercury Prize-winning records have sold the most, based on a combined figure of physical, digital, and streaming equivalent sales.

MORE: See the shortlist for the 2019 Hyundai Mercury Music Prize

Finishing top of the pile are Arctic Monkeys, winners in 2006 with their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. The record was hugely popular before its Mercury nod - shifting 360,000 copies in its opening week alone - but its win no doubt spurred on sales, which currently stand at 1.86 million. Look at Arctic Monkey's Official UK Chart history in full here.


Artic Monkeys performing at the 2006 Mercury Prize (Shutterstock)

Three more prize winning albums have passed the million sales mark; Pulp's Different Class, which won in 1996, has sold 1.32m, and Franz Ferdinand's self-titled debut - released in 2004 at the height of the early '00s indie-pop wave - has shifted 1.3m. Meanwhile, Mercury shortlist regulars Elbow have sold 1.1m of The Seldom Seen Kid, which won the gong in 2008.

M People, winners of the Mercury Prize in 1994, have the sixth best-selling winners album with their second album Elegant Slumming (758,000), while Londoners The xx - an act who shot to worldwide fame thanks to their win - place eighth with healthy sales of 612,000 for their self-titled debut. Originally entering the Official Albums Chart at 36 in 2009, the record shot to Number 3 after their win the following year. 

First winners Primal Scream, who are still together, come in seventh with Screamadelica, on 707,000.


Wolf Alice at the 2018 Mercury Prize (Shutterstock)

PJ Harvey – the only artist to claim the Mercury twice – sees her 2001 winner Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea (298,000) place three spots higher than 2011's Let England Shake (177,000), while last year's winner, Vision Of A Life by Wolf Alice, places 23rd (80,000).

This year's Mercury Prize winner will be announced at an awards show held at London's Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Thursday, September 19. The event will feature live performances from the majority of the twelve shortlisted artists, broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music.

The Official biggest Mercury Prize-winning albums

POS TITLE ARTIST PEAK YEAR OF WIN CHART SALES
1 WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM THAT'S WHAT I'M NOT ARCTIC MONKEYS 1 2006 1.86M
2 DIFFERENT CLASS PULP 1 1996 1.32M
3 FRANZ FERDINAND FRANZ FERDINAND 3 2004 1.3M
4 THE SELDOM SEEN KID ELBOW 5 2008 1.1M
5 DUMMY PORTISHEAD 2 1995 907K
6 ELEGANT SLUMMING M PEOPLE 4 1994 758K
7 SCREAMADELICA PRIMAL SCREAM 8 1992 707k
8 XX THE XX 3 2010 612K
9 BRING IT ON GOMEZ 11 1998 499K
10 A LITTLE DEEPER MS DYNAMITE 10 2002 498K
11 THE HOUR OF BEWILDERBEAST BADLY DRAWN BOY 13 2000 460K
12 AN AWESOME WAVE ALT-J 13 2012 428K
13 MYTHS OF THE NEAR FUTURE KLAXONS 2 2007 350K
14 NEW FORMS RONI SIZE/REPRAZENT 8 1997 335K
15 BOY IN DA CORNER DIZZEE RASCAL 23 2003 306K
16 SUEDE SUEDE 1 1993 301K
17 STORIES FROM THE CITY, STORIES FROM THE SEA PJ HARVEY 23 2001 298K
18 I AM A BIRD NOW ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS 16 2005 232K
19 KONNICHIWA SKEPTA 2 2016 191K
20 LET ENGLAND SHAKE PJ HARVEY 8 2011 177K
21 OK TALVIN SINGH 41 1999 91K
22 OVERGROWN JAMES BLAKE 8 2013 81K
23 VISIONS OF A LIFE WOLF ALICE 2 2018 80K
24 PROCESS SAMPHA 7 2017 57K
25 AT LEAST FOR NOW BENJAMIN CLEMENTINE 37 2015 35K
26 DEAD YOUNG FATHERS 35 2014 19K
27 SPEECH THERAPY SPEECH DEBELLE 65 2009 15K

Copyright Official Charts Company 2019. 
*This chart is compiled taking in physical sales, downloads and streaming equivalent sales.

Look back over every Mercury Prize winner ever below: 

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Wolf Alice - Visions of A Life