Compiled by the Official Charts Company, here are the 40 best-selling albums of 2011, so far, starting with JLS, ‘Jukebox’. X Factor losers JLS just scrape into the Top 40 with their third record. Despite the fact that the promised us collabs with the likes of Rihanna, Craig David and Bruno Mars, none of those appeared on the album.
39. Olly Murs, ‘Olly Murs’ Another X Factor reject at the bottom of the list? Looks like we don’t need any Facebook campaigns to drag down these lot after all…
38. David Guetta, ‘Nothing But The Beat’ You’d think with guest vocals from the likes of Lil Wayne, will.i.am, Akon, Nicki Minaj, Jessie J this album would’ve sold more copies. Maybe it’s his awkward pose on the cover that turned people off.
37. Alfie Boe, ‘Bring Him Home’ Never heard of him? Neither have we. But this tenor’s album peaked at No. 9 on the UK Albums Chart and became his first Top Ten hit.
36. Kasabian, ‘Velociraptor!’ Despite the fact that most critics (and the band themselves) called this their’s best album yet, it just barely made it into the Top 40.
35. James Morrison, ‘The Awakening’ James, on the other hand, debuted at No. One and sold twice as many copies as Kasabian did upon its release, earning it a Gold certification in the UK within just two weeks.
34. Pink, ‘Greatest Hits…So Far’ It’s a very ambitious title, no? We didn’t even know she had enough hits for one of these ‘best of’ compilations…
33. Noah And The Whale – ‘Last Night On Earth’ NME described this one as “a sincere, unironic record about how great life can be if you want it to be.” And with that, Charlie Fink and co’s third offering peaked at No. 8 on the UK Albums Chart.
32. Olly Murs, ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’ And here we find yet another X Factor runner-up (whose second studio album did surprisingly well in the numbers game…less so in the people-with-any-taste-in-music game).
31. Ellie Goulding, ‘Lights’ Even though her debut record was released nearly two years ago, it still managed to squeeze into this year’s Top 40 (albeit with the help of a re-release with six new tracks).
30. Rumer, ‘Seasons Of My Soul’ UK-based newcomer Rumer charted in 11 countries with her debut album, and successfully peaked at No. 3 on the UK Albums Chart.
29. Caro Emerald, ‘Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor’ Despite the fact that you’ve probably never heard of Dutch singer Caro Emerald, her debut album managed to peak at No. 4 (from No. 140) in the UK and achieve Platinum certification.
28. Ceremonials, ‘Florence And The Machine’ “Florence has made a near-great pop record that should afford her the creative freedom to do whatever the hell she wants next time around,” we wrote about this record, scoring it an 8/10. And apparently many of you agreed.
27. One Direction, ‘Up All Night’ Yep, boy bands still exist. And for some reason, new ones keep appearing. These guys somehow peaked at No. 2 in both the UK and their native Ireland.
26. The Overtones, ‘Good Ol’ Fashioned Love’ But if boy bands aren’t your thing (which we’re going to assume they’re not), brand new doo-wop gang The Overtones released their very first record this year. Yea, you might want to skip this one, too…
25. Will Young, ‘Echoes’ Looks like the Pop Idol man’s still doing rather well for himself. Now onto album number six, he even treated the UK with a TV special, A Night With Will Young to accompany the release. We probably could’ve done without that.
24. Lady Gaga, ‘The Fame’ Gaga released this back in 2008, but not-so-surprisingly, copies are still flying off the shelves. But that’s probably just because her new material’s so utterly awful in comparison.
23. Amy Winehouse, ‘Back To Black’ It comes as no surprise that the late singer’s 2006 album came storming back into the charts, with a resurgence of sales following her untimely death.
22. Elbow, ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’ Another recipient of an 8/10 from NME said that with this record, Elbow “have retained their crowns as everyman kings.”
21. Michael Buble, ‘Crazy Love’ Right now, all Buble fans have pulled out his crooning ‘Christmas’ album, but back in October, they couldn’t get enough of his fourth studio album, which topped the UK Albums Chart and ultimately went 8× Platinum.
20. Tinie Tempah, ‘Disc-Overy’ Another one that didn’t actually come out this year, Tinie’s 2010 Mercury-nominated debut record (on which he collaborated with the likes of Kelly Rowland, Ellie Goulding and Labrinth) saw continued success in 2011.
19. Katy Perry, ‘Teenage Dream’ Either people really love the smell of candyfloss (a limited number of these came with scent included), or they just like staring at KP sprawled out a cloud of it. Or maybe a few just actually like the music. Maybe.
18. Mumford And Sons, ‘Sigh No More’ Mumford and co. released this Mercury-shortlisted debut back in 2009, but it continued to sell, and sell again, well into 2011.
17. Rihanna, ‘Talk That Talk’ Soz, Ri-Ri, this one just didn’t do it for us. This record earned a mere 5/10 from NME. But despite what we thought, this record debuted at No. 1 in the UK and sold more than 163,000 units in its first week.
16. Foo Fighters, ‘Wasting Light’ You don’t really need us to tell you how great the Foos are, but here’s a reminder. NME said: “It’s both broad and focused enough to appeal to casuals and longhairs alike, and it’s doubtless their best record since ‘The Colour And The Shape’.”
15. Beyonce – ‘4’ According to Florence Welch, her latest album ‘Ceremonials’ was partly inspired by this record. So if it was good enough for Flo, then it’s good enough for us.
14. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ When the brothers Gallagher parted ways (again) and formed their own bands, we had high hopes, but didn’t know what to expect from either side. Well, considering Beady Eye didn’t even make this list, looks like we’ve found the winning side.
13. Plan B, ‘The Defamation Of Strickland Banks’ Here, Plan B moved from rapper to singer, shocking us all with this unexpected talent – and he did it quite well.
12. Chase And Status, ‘No More Idols’ After waiting three years to release a follow-up to their debut record ‘More Than Alot’, Chase And Status came back with this whomper of an album, earning it a near-top-ten spot on this list.
11. Take That, ‘Progress’ In 2010, Robbie Williams rejoined the band for a chart-topper of a record that, apparently, everyone’s still purchasing.
10. Cee Lo Green, ‘The Lady Killer’ This entire album could have been utter shite, but ‘Fuck You’ would’ve made up for it all.
9. Coldplay, ‘Mylo Xyloto’ No matter how much neon graffiti they threw at us, it couldn’t excuse a record of some of the band’s most disappointing songs to date. But it just broke into the top ten, so kudos.
8. Ed Sheeran, ‘+’ As much as we’d like to wish this one away, everyone seems to have fallen in love with this guy (even Ron Weasley).
7. Michael Buble, ‘Christmas’ His second appearance on this list, and a timely one, at that.
6. Jessie J, ‘Who You Are’ One of the biggest break-out stars of 2011, it’s no surprise to see her clocking in at No. 6.
5. Lady Gaga, ‘Born This Way’ Awful album artwork and Madonna rip-off aside, Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ sold one hell of a lot of copies this year.
4. Rihanna, ‘Loud’ This one sold quite a few more copies than Rihanna’s latest release – but still, she’s done well with two records in the Top 20.
3. Bruno Mars, ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’ And so we reach the final three, with the debut record from Bruno Mars having peaked at No. 1 in the UK and achieving 3× Platinum certification.
2. Adele, ’19’ Released in 2008, Adele’s debut record continued to be a massive commercial success in 2011, only to be outdone by her follow-up.
1. Adele, ’21’ Debuting at No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart, ’21’ has been certified 14x Platinum in the UK, has become the most downloaded album in the UK, and is the highest-selling album of the 21st century.