As 2010 comes to a close, we’re taking a look at the 40 best-selling albums of the year (as of Dec 19th). Kicking off at 40 is Westlife’s ‘Gravity’. It made it to Number 3 in the UK charts upon its release in November. The title of the album was taken from a fan’s suggestion on Twitter, where she wrote “Maybe it’s a dedication to your partners and how they’ve kept you grounded…”
39. Paloma Faith – ‘Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?’. Her 2009 debut album continued to sell well in 2010 and remained in the top 100 songs of the UK chart for 62 consecutive weeks (peaking at Number 9).
38. Pink – ‘Greatest Hits…So Far!!!’. Reaching Number 5 in the UK charts, this album, released in November 2010, stretched from her debut 2000 single ‘There You Go’ to a few new tracks.
37. Gorillaz – ‘Plastic Beach’. The band’s third studio album debuted at Number Two in the UK, selling 74,000 copies in its first week. The name apparently came from a moment Damon Albarn was sitting on a beach near his home. “I was just looking for all the plastic within the sand”, he told The Guardian.
36. AC/DC – ‘Iron Man 2 Soundtrack’. 15 songs from the band’s back catalogue featured on the film’s soundtrack, including ‘Highway To Hell’, ‘The Razor’s Edge’ and ‘Shoot To Thrill’. It peaked at Number One on the UK chart (although it only stayed there for one week).
35. Oasis – ‘Time Flies – 1994-2009’. The cover of this compilation album with 26 of the band’s singles featured a photograph from their 1996 performance at Knebworth Park, where they played to a crowd of 250,000 people. A boxset featuring postcards of the sleeves of every UK Oasis single was released at the same time as the album.
34. André Rieu & His Johann Strauss Orchestra – ‘Moonlight Serenade’. This album is from Dutch violinist, conductor, and composer André Rieu, along with his 40-50 member orchestra. A double disc set, it came with 18 tracks of music and a DVD from a live performance in Australia.
33. The xx – ‘xx’. Not only did this album reach Number One in the UK charts in 2009, but it was certified Platinum in the UK and it won the trio the 2010 Barclaycard Mercury Prize, beating the likes of Paul Weller, Foals and Mumford and Sons.
32. Cheryl Cole – ‘3 Words’. Debuting in the UK at Number One in 2009, Cole’s first solo album stayed at the top of the chart for two weeks and has been certified 3× Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for having over 900,000 copies distributed.
31. Tinie Tempah – ‘Disc-Overy’. His debut album, featuring cameos from Kelly Rowland, Ellie Goulding, Labrinth, Emeli Sandé, Eric Turner, Swedish House Mafia and Range, debuted at Number One in the UK and sold 85,000 copies in its first week.
30. JLS – ‘JLS’. The first album from boyband JLS debuted at Number One in both the UK and Ireland, beating out Robbie Williams. It achieved 4x Platinum status and became the sixth best-selling album of 2009 in the UK – as well as the tenth best-selling boyband album ever in the UK.
29. Olly Murs – ‘Olly Murs’. The debut album from X-Factor‘s series six runner up Olly Murs peaked at Number Two in the UK charts, selling 108,000 copies in its first week. It was kept off the coveted Number One spot by Take That’s ‘Progress’.
28. Kings Of Leon – ‘Only By The Night’. It was released in 2008, yet still managed to rank in the top 30 best-selling albums of 2010. The band’s fourth studio album debuted at Number One and was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 51st Grammy Awards. Worldwide sales of the album exceed 6.2 million copies.
27. Ellie Goulding – ‘Lights’. Her Number One debut album has sold nearly 300,000 copies in the UK. In November, it was reissued as ‘Bright Lights’, and included six brand-new tracks.
26. Biffy Clyro – ‘Only Revolutions’. This 2009 album peaked at Number Three in the charts and was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Prize. The title comes from Mark Z. Danielewski’s 2006 novel of the same title.
25. Rihanna – ‘Rated R’. Her 2009 album reportedly sold nearly three million copies worldwide. Despite being rumoured to be about her ex Chris Brown, the singer confirmed with Radio 1 that going to the studio to record this album “was my peace and… my place to vent.”
24. Cheryl Cole – ‘Messy Little Raindrops’. Her second solo album debuted at Number One in the UK and the album’s lead single, ‘Promise This’, was the fastest-selling non-charity single of 2010 in the UK.
23. André Rieu – ‘Forever Vienna’. Another album from Mr. Rieu in the 40 best-selling albums of 2010, only this time it’s without the orchestra. This 2009 album also contained a DVD, recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall. In the UK, the album debuted at Number 22, and has peaked at Number Two.
22. Boyzone – ‘Brother’. Another album that entered the UK charts at Number One this year was Boyzone’s first studio album released in twelve years. The album was named in memory of member Stephen Gately, who died in October 2009.
21. JLS – ‘Outta This World’. This boyband’s second studio album debuted at Number Two in the UK and has sold more than 500,000 copies in the UK alone. Band member Oritsé Williams told Digital Spy that the album’s sound “is a progression from the last album…We’ve taken risks exploring house music and left-field R&B. We wanted to merge the sound and create something for everyone.”
20. Black Eyed Peas – ‘The E.N.D.’. AKA ‘The Energy Never Dies’, this 2009 album has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide. will.i.am told Billboard of the title, “It’s a diary…of music that at any given time, depending on the inspiration, you can add to it…I’m trying to break away from the concept of an album.”
19. Glee Cast – ‘Glee: The Music, Season One, Volume One’. This 2009 soundtrack to the American television phenomenon includes cover songs from the first nine episodes of the show. The album reached Number One in the UK in 2010 (and entered the charts in the top 75 before it was even officially released, due to import sales).
18. Script – ‘Science & Faith’. Script’s second studio album also entered the chart at Number One in both the UK and Ireland, and sold 70,816 copies in the UK in its first week. The album’s first single, ‘For the First Time’, debuted Number One in Ireland, becoming their first chart-topping single.
17. Bon Jovi – ‘Greatest Hits’. There were two different versions released – this one (which was a single disc of his greatest hits, along with two new songs), and an ‘Ultimate Collection’ version (which included a second disc of fan favourites and two additional new songs). The album peaked at Number Two in the UK and reached Platinum status.
16. Katy Perry – ‘Teenage Dream’. With the purchase of Perry’s third studio album, you didn’t just get music – you also got the sweet smell of candyfloss. The album debuted at Number One in the UK, and it earned her a Grammy nomination for Album Of the Year and Bet Pop Vocal Album.
15. Robbie Williams – ‘In And Out Of Consciousness: Greatest Hits 1990–2010’. His second greatest hits compilation and his last album under EMI, it debuted at Number One in the UK (becoming the singer’s ninth album to do so). With more than 41,000 sales on its first day of release, it was the second-fastest-selling album of the year in the UK.
14. Susan Boyle – ‘The Gift’. Susan Boyle shocked the world with her talent, and she managed to keep everyone’s attention long enough for her second album to debut at Number One in the UK and sell 102,000 copies in its first week. Boyle also held a competition called ‘Susan’s Search’, from which she selected an entrant via YouTube to duet with her on the album.
13. Pixie Lott – ‘Turn It Up’. Her 2009 debut album debuted in the UK charts at Number Six, earning Double Platinum certification in August 2010 for more than 600,000 sales. The album was re-released in October 2010 as ‘Turn It Up Louder’, along with nine bonus songs.
12. Rihanna – ‘Loud’. Rihanna collaborated with the likes of Taio Cruz, Alex da Kid, Sean Garrett, Ne-Yo, Rico Love, Timbaland, Shontelle, David Guetta, and Drake for her fifth studio album. It debuted at Number Two in the UK, selling 91,000 copies in its first week.
11. Justin Bieber – ‘My World’. The teenage sensation from Canada everyone loves to hate managed to score the 11th best-selling album of 2010. The first of a two-part EP was released in 2009, and it was certified Double Platinum in December 2010.
10. Kings Of Leon – ‘Come Around Sundown’. KoL’s fifth studio album racked up enough sales to become the tenth best-selling album of the year. Debuting in the UK at Number One and staying at the top of the chart for two weeks, it sold 183,000 copies in its first week and broke the record for biggest first week digital album sales by selling over 49,000 digital downloads.
9. Mumford & Sons – ‘Sigh No More’. The folk quartet’s 2009 debut album entered the UK chart at Number Eleven and peaked at Number Three one year later in October 2010. The album was shortlisted for the 2010 Mercury Prize and was certified Platinum in the UK. A deluxe edition was recently released, which comes with an extra live CD from the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire and a DVD tour documentary.
8. Eminem – ‘Recovery’. Spending two weeks at Number One in the UK charts upon its release, Eminem’s comeback record received ten Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and Best Rap Album. In its first week of sales, nearly 140,000 copies were purchased, which was, at the time, the biggest week one album sale of the year.
7. Florence & The Machine – ‘Lungs’. In the UK, the album debuted at Number Two in 2009 in the UK. However, it reached Number One in 2010 and stayed there for two weeks. ‘Lungs’ was the winner of the Mastercard British Album award at the 2010 BRIT Awards and a nominee for the 2009 Mercury Prize.
6. Plan B – ‘The Defamation Of Strickland Banks’. Another chart-topping album, Plan B’s second release tells a story from the perspective of fictional character Strickland Banks. He told NME, “it’s the story of this guy and the levels of addiction, rehab, rehab not working, robbing…The trials and tribulations of a fucking smackhead. It’s a big story.”
5. Paolo Nutini – ‘Sunny Side Up’. Topping the UK chart in both 2009 and 2010, Nutini’s second studio album was the third best selling album in the UK in 2009, and is ranking at Number Five in 2010. It’s been certificated four times Platinum in the UK.
4. Alicia Keys – ‘The Element Of Freedom’. After entering the UK chart at Number 17 in 2009, the album eventually peaked at Number One in 2010, becoming her first Number One album in the UK.
3. Lady Gaga – ‘The Fame’. Despite being released back in 2008, Gaga’s debut album continued to skyrocket in the UK chart. In 2009, the album spent four weeks at Number One in the UK, and another week at the top in 2010. She has also been crowned as the most-played artist on UK radio, with 275,000 plays in the last 12 months.
2. Michael Bublé – ‘Crazy Love. The first Number One album of 2010 in the UK, Bublé’s fourth studio album has sold more than 1.7 million copies and was certified 5x Platinum. He said of this album, “I dug way deeper and was more introspective on this one. Basically, I sang the truth – made each song autobiographical – and you can definitely hear the difference.”
1. Take That – ‘Progress’. Their first album to include Robbie Williams since 1995, it’s sold over one million copies. Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company, says they’ve “really made the Christmas albums market their own this year…and it’s all the more impressive given the competition.”