UK's best-selling albums of the 21st Century

Absolute fucking state of that list :joy:

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Just seen this. Awful. Was always going to be though. 15% of under 25’s have never listened to a full album! What is the world coming to?

Weird the whole top 10 is solo artists. Or maybe it isn’t weird, I’m not sure.

Disgusted at the lack of Smashing Pumpkins


15%? That’s ok actually considering a lot of people couldn’t give a shit about music

  1. Adele - 21
  2. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
  3. Adele - 25
  4. Ed Sheeran - x
  5. Ed Sheeran - ÷
  6. James Blunt - Back To Bedlam
  7. Leona Lewis - Spirit
  8. Michael Buble - Crazy Love
  9. Dido - No Angel
  10. David Gray - White Ladder
  11. Lady Gaga - The Fame
  12. Kings of Leon - Only By The Night
  13. Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
  14. Michael Buble - Christmas
  15. Dido - Life For Rent
  16. Take That - Beautiful World
  17. Keane - Hopes and Fears
  18. Coldplay - X&Y
  19. Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
  20. Coldplay - Parachutes
  21. Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
  22. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
  23. Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour
  24. Ed Sheeran +
  25. Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
  26. Adele - 19
  27. Emeli Sande - Our Version Of Events
  28. Robbie Williams - Swing When You’re Winning
  29. Take That - Progress
  30. The Killers - Hot Fuss
  31. Green Day - American Idiot
  32. Take That - The Circus
  33. Duffy - Rockferry
  34. Robbie Williams - Sing When You’re Winning
  35. Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way
  36. Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane
  37. Robbie Williams - Escapology
  38. Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
  39. Motion Picture Cast Recording - The Greatest Showman
  40. Rihanna - Loud

How many of these have you ever owned?

  • None
  • One
  • Two
  • Three
  • Four
  • Five to ten
  • More than ten
  • More than twenty

0 voters

I still have Parachutes; used to have A Rush Of Blood… also bought the David Gray album when it came out :smiley:

American Idiot and By the Way. I didn’t realize By the Way was so big, it’s a great album.

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Reckon if we rounded up all the people who bought Swing When You’re Winning but not Sing When You’re Winning and chucked them in a gulag Remain would have won by a landslide.


I think it was the 5th biggest seller of 2002 in the UK or something, pretty crazy

Back To Black, White Ladder, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, Parachutes, Marshall Mathers LP, Hot Fuss, American Idiot, By The Way, Employment. Jfc.

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First two Coldplays, Eminem, Scissor Sisters and Kaiser Chiefs. No regerts…

I suppose it is. In a way.

Not the worst list. I guess a lot of people stopped buying and started pirating music in the mid to late 00s too. I grew up with people who had mega collections and it was all ripped online or swapped.

If all that pirated music was included in these lists, I dunno, it might look a little different. When I was a student, it was so so fucking easy to just Google an album’s title along with ‘mediafire’ or something like that and get an instant link.

Then Spotify came and saved the day I guess.

Also, I remember being dead snobby towards iTunes buyers as a teen. Hated how it encouraged individual track downloads and albums being 8 quid across the board when CDs could often be bought and ripped for so much less. I used to buy tons of 2nd hand CDs to rip to my iPod, then stick em on a shelf and never actually play them. Seems mad now, but it was exciting to get them, didn’t feel as naughty as piracy and I could share them with pals.

Still pirated a bunch too, tho.

Rambling now


Given the supposed demise of the album I’m always surprised at how many of the biggest selling albums are relatively recent - Adele, Sheeran, Amy W, Buble etc. I reckon it’s cheap CDs at supermarkets that drive the really massive sellers, although streaming does seem to have actually taken over now.

I think this list provides some support for that recent Guardian list that put Back in Black as the best album of the decade. I wouldn’t have been my choice but it’s a notably better record than any of the other that are remotely comparable to it in sales. If you are looking for a combination of enormous commercial appeal and decent critical reputation it is hard to argue against it.


I think streaming has actually helped the album as opposed to downloads. People who pirated and bought CDs liked albums I found, whereas those paying for downloads would often opt for a few tracks.

Spotify themselves even confirmed a huge majority of its streams aren’t singles.

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We deserve Brexit.

The only one of those I owned was the Kings of Leon album, which I had to buy to review for my student paper.

I will be buying Back To Black on LP for my GF and would pick up the Gaga album if I found it but fuck the rest of that list.