We love a good list on NME.COM. You may have noticed. And today we’re looking at the fastest selling albums ever – kicking off with Westlife’s ‘Face To Face’ (2005), which sold 216,879 copies in its very first week of release. The figures that follow are all for first-week sales.
49. Madonna, ‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’ (2005). Sold: 217, 610. Madonna’s tenth studio album earned her a Grammy Award for “Best Dance/Electronic Album” in 2007, as well as the “International Female Solo Artist” award at the 2006 BRIT Awards.
48. Westlife, ‘The Love Album’ (2006). Sold: 219, 622. The boy band’s eighth album, and second cover album. All the songs were about love, and featured covers of artists including Bette Midler, Bonnie Tyler, O-Town and The Carpenters.
47. Kings Of Leon, ‘Only By The Night’ (2008). Sold: 220, 879. KOL’s fourth studio album impressively reached the the top ten in more than ten different countries, and it was nominated for a Grammy for “Best Rock Album”. Track ‘Sex On Fire’ received two nominations, as well.
46. Keane, ‘Under The Iron Sea’ (2006). Sold: 222, 297. Keane’s second studio album was an enhanced CD that came along with original demos, live recordings and video footage, a free ringtone, wallpaper and screensaver. It also came with a DVD of special video footage.
45. Craig David, ‘Born To Do It’ (2000). Sold: 225, 320. Craig David’s debut album was voted number two in MTV’s ‘Greatest Albums of All Time’ in April 2009.
44. Take That, ‘Greatest Hits’ (1996). Sold: 226, 107. As the title reveals, this was their greatest hits collection, released following the announcement of their split in 1996. It contained the band’s final single – their cover of The Bee Gees’ ‘How Deep Is Your Love’.
43. Arctic Monkeys, ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ (2007). Sold: 227, 922. This was their second studio album, and it has reached 2x platinum in the UK. The album was also nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize and it won “Best British Album” at the 2008 BRIT Awards.
42. Eminem, ‘The Eminem Show’ (2002). Sold: 228, 297. This was the rapper’s fourth album – and the first to be released through Shady Records. It was also his first album that was largely self-produced.
41. Oasis, ‘Heathen Chemistry’ (2002). Sold: 230, 551. The fifth studio album from the Gallagher bros was the last one to feature Alan White on drums. When he left the band in 2004, he was replaced by Ringo Starr’s son, Zak Starkey.
40. Westlife, ‘Coast To Coast’ (2000). Sold: 234, 767. The boyband’s second album was the third best-selling album of 2000 in the UK. It also serves as the sixth best-selling boyband record ever in the UK.
39. U2, ‘The Joshua Tree’ (1987). Sold: 235,000. The fifth album to come from U2, produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, topped the charts in over 20 different countries. It’s sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.
38. Norah Jones, ‘Feels Like Home’ (2004). Sold: 235, 890. The singer’s second album did well in the UK. But Stateside, it sold one million copies in its first week – the first album to do so since Eminem’s 2002 album, ‘The Eminem Show’. This became the second best-selling album of 2004.
37. Oasis, ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’ (2005). Sold: 237, 865. Album number six reached the top of the UK Albums Chart in its very first week of sales, and has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide.
36. Robbie Williams, ‘Reality Killed The Video Star’ (2009). Sold: 238, 125. Robbie Williams appears quite a few times on this list. His eighth album, despite being successful, was his first to not to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart.
35. JLS, ‘JLS’ (2009). Sold: 239, 644. Their first studio album debuted at number one in the UK and Ireland, and has been certified 4x platinum in the UK.
34. G4, ‘G4’ (2005). Sold: 244, 671. The X-Factor runners-up saw their debut album take the number one spot in the UK Album Chart upon its Mother’s Day weekend release. The album includes a cover of Queen’s hit song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
33. Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ (1984). Sold: 250,000. Another debut album to make this list, this one was originally issued as a vinyl double album only. It also peaked at number one in the New Zealand Albums Chart.
32. Phil Collins, ‘…But Seriously’ (1989). Sold: 250,000. His fourth album spent 15 non-consecutive weeks at at the top of the UK chart, including the entire Christmas season. It was the UK’s best-selling album of 1990.
31. The Verve, ‘Urban Hymns’ (1997). Sold: 250, 054. The Verve’s third studio album was their best-selling release. The album was nominated for “Best British Album of the Last 30 Years” at 2010 BRIT Awards, but it lost to Oasis’s ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’
30. Robbie Williams, ‘Escapology’ (2002). Sold: 264, 104. Album number five for Robbie was certified as 7x Platinum in the UK. It reached number one in the likes of the UK, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Austria (although it only peaked at 43 in America).
29. Robson And Jerome, ‘Robson And Jerome’ (1995). Sold: 268,000. Telly actors Robson Green and Jerome Flynn, of Soldier Soldier, put together this album after they performed ‘Unchained Melody’ in one episode. Fans went mad for it, so Simon Cowell produced it as a single. They went on to record two more studio albums and a greatest hits album.
28. The Killers, ‘Sam’s Town’ (2006). Sold: 268, 946. Their second offering has sold more than 4.5 million copies worldwide. Brandon Flowers told Entertainment Weekly that it would be “the album that keeps rock & roll afloat.”
27. Coldplay, ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’ (2002). Sold: 273, 924. Coldplay’s second studio album won a Grammy for “Best Alternative Album” in 2003, and it’s been certified 8x platinum in the UK.
26. George Michael, ‘Patience’ (2004). Sold: 274, 816. This one debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart, and has sold approximately ten million copies worldwide.
25. George Michael, ‘Older’ (1996). Sold: 281, 000. Here we have another George Michael album. His third studio LP was gis first release after 1990’s ‘Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1’. ‘Older’ set a record, producing six Top Three singles in two years.
24. Scissor Sisters, ‘Ta-Dah’ (2006). Sold: 288, 167. These guys collaborated with Elton John, Carlos Alomar and Paul Williams for their second studio album, which reached the top of the charts in the UK, Ireland and Australia.
23. Simply Red, ‘Life’ (1995). Sold: 290,000. Their fifth release was the last one made with band member Fritz McIntyre. This album also contained ‘We’re In This Together’, the official Euro 96 theme song.
22. Robbie Williams, ‘Swing When You’re Winning’ (2001). Sold: 295, 024. Robbie’s fifth solo album, which was certified 7x Platinum in the UK, was a swing album that featured guest vocals from the likes of Nicole Kidman, Frank Sinatra (a recording) and Rupert Everett.
21. Coldplay, ‘Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends’ (2008). Sold: 302, 074. Coldplay’s fourth album debuted at number one in 36 countries. In the UK, it sold 125,000 copies in its first day alone.
20. Hear’Say, ‘Popstars’ (2001). Sold: 306, 631. This pop group was created on the TV show Popstars – and their debut album cleverly shared the same title. It peaked at number one in the UK, and spent 27 weeks on the chart.
19. Oasis, ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’ (2000). Sold: 311, 265. Their fourth studio album was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. Despite being commercially successful, it was the band’s lowest-selling album.
18. Robbie Williams, ‘Sing When You’re Winning’ (2000). Sold: 313, 585. The album artwork for his third solo album shows a few pictures of the singer “winning” a trophy at Chelsea’s stadium Stamford Bridge. This one went on to be certified 8x Platinum in the UK
17. The Prodigy, ‘The Fat Of The Land’ (1997). Sold: 316, 951. The Prodigy’s third studio album made it into the Guinness World Records as the fastest-selling UK album in 1999, and it also earned a nomination for the 1997 Mercury Music Prize.
16. The Beatles, ‘1’ (2000). Sold: 319, 126. The fab four’s compilation album with almost every number one single of theirs (from ’62-’70) was released on the 30th anniversary of their break-up. It was their first compilation album to be released on one CD.
15. Robbie Williams, ‘Greatest Hits’ (2004). Sold: 320, 081. Although it was mostly filled with his greatest hits, this album also included two new tracks. This album debuted at number one and was the fastest-selling greatest hits album in the UK.
14. Boyzone, ‘By Request’ (1999). Sold: 329, 176. This was another greatest hits album, and it was the second best-selling album of 1999 in the UK, earning a certification of 6x Platinum. As if that’s not enough of an accomplishment, ‘By Request’ was the fifth best-selling boyband album in the UK.
13. Madonna, ‘The Immaculate Collection’ (1990). Sold: 340,000. Her very first greatest hits album featured 15 hits from ’82 to ’90, as well as two new tracks (‘Justify My Love’ and ‘Rescue Me’). It was the best-selling album from a female in the UK, and spent nine of consecutive weeks on the top of the chart in the UK – a record broken by Adele, who was at the top of the chart for ten weeks.
12. Oasis, ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ (1995). Sold: 347,000. Their second album stayed at the top of the UK chart for ten weeks and has sold nearly 14 million copies worldwide. In addition to being one of the UK’s fastest albums, it is the third biggest-selling album in the UK.
11. Michael Jackson, ‘Bad’ (1987). Sold: 350,000. The King Of Pop’s seventh studio album sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. It received six Grammy nominations and two wins. Stateside, it’s the only album to have five of its singles peak at number one on the Billboard 100 consecutively.
10. U2, ‘Rattle And Hum’ (1988). Sold: 360,000. Their sixth album came along with a companion documentary film, as well – both containing live recordings, covers and new songs. Upon its release, it had the highest first-week sales of any album to date.
9. Arctic Monkeys, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ (2006). Sold: 363, 735. The Sheffield band’s debut album has been certified 4x platinum in the UK. It was also voted NME‘s album of the year.
8. Robbie Williams, ‘Intensive Care’ (2005). Sold: 373, 832. It topped the charts in 20 countries and was the best-selling album in Europe by the end of 2005, with over 4 million copies sold.
7. Leona Lewis, ‘Spirit’ (2007). Sold: 375, 872. Leona’s debut album debuted at number one in nine countries (including the UK, USA and Germany) and reached the top five in eight other countries. The album also broke a record as the best-selling digital album in one week for a new artist.
6. Dido, ‘Life For Rent’ (2003). Sold: 400, 351. Dido’s second album was certified 7x platinum in the UK, and has sold more than 12 millions copies worldwide. It’s the fourth best-selling album worldwide of 2003, and the seventh of best-selling album of the noughties in the UK.
5. Susan Boyle, ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ (2009). Sold: 411, 820. Her debut album featured 11 covers and one original song (‘Who I Was Born to Be’). It was the biggest selling album of 2009, worldwide, and has sold nearly nine million copies across the globe.
4. Take That, ‘The Circus’ (2008). Sold: 432, 490. The boys’ fifth studio album was released at the same time as the Britney Spears, which also happened to be titled ‘Circus’. In the UK, it sold 133,000 copies on its first day alone. ‘The Circus’ was the fastest-selling album in the UK of 2008.
3. Coldplay, ‘X&Y’ (2005). Sold: 464, 471. Making it into third place is Coldplay’s third studio album, which gave the band their third consecutive number one debut in the UK. With an 8x platinum certification in the UK, it won “Best British Album” at the BRIT Awards, a Mercury Prize nomination and Grammy nominations for “Best Rock Album” (losing to U2).
2. Take That, ‘Progress’ (2010). Sold: 518, 601. In second place we have Take That’s ‘Progress’ – the band’s first album with Robbie Williams since 1995. It debuted the top of the UK Albums Chart, becoming the fastest-selling album of the century and the second fastest-selling album of all-time.
1. Oasis, ‘Be Here Now’ (1997). Sold: 763, 735. So Oasis’s third studio album was the fastest-selling album of all time. It sold more than 420,000 copies on its first day of release, and over one million within two weeks.