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…”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”