Top artists and albums of all time on UK and US album charts

In 1948, for Columbia, classical music was the main destination of new longplaying records. However, when first album charts started in 1955 in America and 1 year later in UK, it was clear that pop music will be dominant.

The first Number 1 albums in US and UK are, respectively:

28.05.1955 – US album chart – „Crazy Otto” [Decca, honky-tonk piano];

28.07.1956 – UK album chart – Frank Sinatra – „Songs For Swingin’ Lovers” [Capitol].

OK, at the end of 2019 year we can look at UK and US album charts from quite a long perspective. It is good to know the lists of longest rivers and highest mountains… And it could be also interesting to create all time lists of top artists and albums. I believe it is different with albums than with singles. I mean sales figures are the most important for singles. So, how many millions of records were sold.

However, in order to measure somehow the long term importance of albums and artists one has much better tool – WEEKS ON CHART. So, how long the respective albums find their buyers.

Taking into consideration the whole period from the 50s till 30.06.2023 and adding weeks on charts, totally, you will find below the 10 top artists and albums ever in UK and US, respectively:


  1. Queen
  2. The Beatles
  3. Michael Jakson
  4. Fleetwood Mac
  5. Elvis Presley
  6. David Bowie
  7. Abba
  8. U2
  9. Oasis
  10. Madonna


  1. Abba’s Gold – Greatest Hits
  2. Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Legend
  3. Queen’s Greatest Hits
  4. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours
  5. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon
  6. Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell
  7. Michael Jackson’s Number Ones
  8. Oasis’ [What’s The Story] Morning Glory?
  9. Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black
  10. Ed Sheeran’s +


  1. The Beatles
  2. Frank Sinatra
  3. Elvis Presley
  4. Johnny Mathis
  5. The Rolling Stones
  6. Barbra Streisand
  7. Eminem
  8. Elton John
  9. Michael Jackson
  10. Pink Floyd


  1. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon
  2. Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Legend
  3. Journey’s Greatest Hits
  4. Metallica
  5. Guns N’Roses’ Greatest Hits
  6. Johnny Mathis’ Johnny’s Greatest Hits
  7. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Chronicle
  8. My Fair Lady original cast
  9. Eminem’s Curtain Call: The Hits
  10. Nirvana’s Nevermind

British fans have their Official Charts and American ones – Billboard 200. And what about European non-British fans? We are closer to UK chart, however, Billboard 200 cannot be neglected, absolutely. And that’s my „invention” – total weeks on British chart are corrected with a half of weeks on Billboard 200. Why a half of weeks ex Billboard 200? In order to reduce dominance of Billboard 200. I mean US chart includes 200 albums, whereas UK chart – 100 albums only.

Results? Well, thanks to American Queen-scepticism […] Queen is landing on my list at Number 3 „only”. And Number 1 are The Beatles and Number 2 – Elvis Presley, which is for me illustrating with high fidelity their real highest importance in history of pop music. On the other hand, thanks to dominating British preferences, „Journey’s Greatest Hits” [nothing against…] are No. 45 „only” on my list… Again, an American Abba-scepticism makes their „Gold – Greatest Hits” No. 4 „only” on my list. These are just a few examples of advantages of those my „clever” lists…

So, top 10 artists and albums ever – from point of view of non-British European fan – are

  1. The Beatles
  2. Elvis Presley
  3. Queen
  4. Michael Jackson
  5. Fleetwood Mac
  6. Frank Sinatra
  7. Elton John
  8. U2
  9. Rod Stewart
  10. David Bowie


  1. Bob Marley’s Legend
  2. Queen’s Greatest Hits
  3. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon
  4. Abba’s Gold – Greatest Hits
  5. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours
  6. Eminem’ Curtain Call – Hits
  7. Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell
  8. Guns N’Roses’ Greatest Hits
  9. Nirvana’s Nevermind
  10. Michael Jackson’s Number Ones..

For more – see below! You will find there also exact number of weeks on UK and US chart, respectively, for each artist and album. OK, the US figures should be abviously multiplied by 2.

By the way, I think my lists of all time should be interesting for all worldwide fans located closer to UK than US. And, obviously, having no their own representative charts in their countries.