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> UK Million Sellers By Decade, NOT INCLUDING MADE-UP STREAMING SALES
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Popchartfreak
post Dec 29 2018, 07:47 PM
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So Here they are, for the 20th century first up, by decade, complete with speculations, opinions, and "5-years-ago" positions taken from the Official Charts Company data in 2013 (plus guesstimates) and 2018 (combined with 2017 sales/streaming data guesstimated for future consideration), but no actual sales data as there isn't any exactly up-to-date, and how could there be till Xmas/New Year is over and the Xmas songs totals are added in properly for all those oldies!

THE 40's/50's/60's


In the last 6 years, very little change in the list, The Seekers overhaul I Feel Fine, perennials Hey Jude and Unchained Melody overtake lesser records, Stranger On The Shore does surprisingly well as a steady seller, and new entries from White Christmas (the world’s biggest selling single – probably, give or take a Candle In The Wind – and also the oldest million seller by far), a British football and Merseyside anthem which reinvents itself with relevance over the years, Gerry & The Pacemakers’ version of the musical standard You’ll Never walk Alone, and that Sinatra signature tune which still does well in karaoke, My Way. Just missing the million, but closing, is The Beatles’ Help, though the decline in downloads means it might take quite some time to make it! No streaming “sales” included here but predictably the annual Christmas Spotify playlists etc mean Christmas songs do the best streaming business (Bing Crosby), followed by Hey Jude & Unchained Melody. The least streaming sales (and likely also digital)? Tears, even the beloved comedian’s recent death can’t boost Ken Dodd singing demand with a total of, ooh, not even 700 sales-equivalent plays. White Christmas is over 100 times that.



1 ( 1 ) SHE LOVES YOU THE BEATLES 1 1963
2 ( 2 ) I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND THE BEATLES 1 1963
3 ( 3 ) CAN’T BUY ME LOVE THE BEATLES 1 1964
4 ( 4 ) TEARS KEN DODD 1 1965
5 ( 5 ) (WE’RE GONNA) ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS 1 1955
6 ( 7 ) THE CARNIVAL IS OVER THE SEEKERS 1 1965
7 ( 6 ) I FEEL FINE THE BEATLES 1 1964
8 ( 8 ) WE CAN WORK IT OUT/DAY TRIPPER THE BEATLES 1 1964
9 ( 9 ) RELEASE ME ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK 1 1967
10 ( 10 ) IT’S NOW OR NEVER ELVIS PRESLEY 1 1960

11 ( 12 ) GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME TOM JONES 1 1966
12 ( 11 ) DIANA PAUL ANKA 1 1957
13 ( 15 ) STRANGER ON THE SHORE MR ACKER BILK AND HIS PARAMOUNT JAZZ BAND 2 1961
14 ( 13 ) MARY’S BOY CHILD HARRY BELAFONTE 1 1957
15 ( 14 ) THE LAST WALTZ ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK 1 1967
16 ( 17 ) HEY JUDE THE BEATLES 1 1968
17 ( 19 ) UNCHAINED MELODY THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS 1 1965
18 ( 16 ) I REMEMBER YOU FRANK IFIELD 1 1962
19 ( 18 ) THE YOUNG ONES CLIFF RICHARD & THE SHADOWS 1 1962
20 ( NEW ) WHITE CHRISTMAS BING CROSBY WITH THE KEN DARBY SINGERS AND JOHN SCOTT TROTTER ORCHESTRA 5 1942

21 ( 20 ) SUGAR SUGAR THE ARCHIES 1 1969
22 ( NEW ) YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS 1 1963
23 ( NEW ) MY WAY FRANK SINATRA 5 1969




THE 70'S

The updated Dec 2018 list, not including stream-based “sales”, just actual tracks people paid for. No changes in the top 10, Pink Floyd, Abba and Donna Summer are the top 20 tracks still selling well and going up over lesser tracks, while Elton & Kiki must have a karaoke appeal I guess, as they go up quite a few spots to 21. There are no new entries, but there are 4 70’s classics quite a way behind on sales, but doing well on streaming: How Deep Is Your Love (Bee Gees), My Sweet Lord (George Harrison), Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (John & Yoko making it 3 Beatles short of a Ringo Starr) and Maggie May (Rod Stewart). The Bee Gees are nearest in actual sales, but Maggie May is probably selling the fastest of the 4 – that said John & Yoko are back in the UK top 40 this week (the Christmas sales week) so trickle sales may get them over the line in a decade or so of downloads. The least streamed are Gary Glitter (no surprise!) and Eye Level, proving that once the TV show ends so does the interest in the theme tune – 187 sales-equivalent streams in total. Little Jimmy Osmond has over 10 times that, Dancing Queen over 10 times Little Jimmy Osmond totals, and Bohemian Rhapsody tops with 2.5 times those of Dancing Queen, with the others falling below 100,000 sales-equivalent bar Abba and Pink Floyd but more than the 1,000 miserable totals of Mull Of Kintyre. If ever a record was of it’s time….!

1 ( 1 ) BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY QUEEN 1 1975
2 ( 2 ) MULL OF KINTYRE/GIRLS’ SCHOOL WINGS 1 1977
3 ( 3 ) YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT JOHN TRAVOLTA & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN 1 1978
4 ( 4 ) RIVERS OF BABYLON/BROWN GIRL IN THE RING BONEY M 1 1978
5 ( 5 ) MARY’S BOY CHILD/OH MY LORD BONEY M 1 1978
6 ( 6 ) IMAGINE JOHN LENNON 1 1975
7 ( 7 ) SUMMER NIGHTS JOHN TRAVOLTA & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN 1 1978
8 ( 8 ) YMCA VILLAGE PEOPLE 1 1978
9 ( 9 ) (IS THIS THE WAY TO) AMARILLO TONY CHRISTIE 1 1971
10 ( 10 ) HEART OF GLASS BLONDIE 1 1979

11 ( 11 ) MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY SLADE 1 1973
12 ( 12 ) BRIGHT EYES ART GARFUNKEL 1 1979
13 ( 13 ) DON’T GIVE UP ON US DAVID SOUL 1 1976
14 ( 16 ) ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL (PART 2) PINK FLOYD 1 1979
15 ( 14 ) I LOVE YOU LOVE ME LOVE GARY GLITTER 1 1973
16 ( 17 ) DANCING QUEEN ABBA 1 1976
17 ( 18 ) I FEEL LOVE DONNA SUMMER 1 1977
18 ( 15 ) HIT ME WITH YOUR RHYTHM STICK IAN DURY AND THE BLOCKHEADS 1 1978
19 ( 19 ) I WILL SURVIVE GLORIA GAYNOR 1 1979
20 ( 20 ) SAILING ROD STEWART 1 1975

21 ( 28 ) DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART ELTON JOHN & KIKI DEE 1 1976
22 ( 23 ) DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA JULIE COVINGTON 1 1976
23 ( 21 ) SAVE YOUR KISSES FOR ME BROTHERHOOD OF MAN 1 1976
24 ( 22 ) I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING THE NEW SEEKERS 1 1971
25 ( 26 ) UNDER THE MOON OF LOVE SHOWADDYWADDY 1 1976
26 ( 27 ) TIE A YELLOW RIBBON ROUND THE OLE OAK TREE DAWN FEATURING TONY ORLANDO 1 1973
27 ( 24 ) EYE LEVEL THE SIMON PARK ORCHESTRA 1 1972
28 ( 25 ) LONG HAIRED LOVER FROM LIVERPOOL LITTLE JIMMY OSMOND 1 1972


THE 80'S

There are now 24 80’s million sellers, as many tracks remain popular on downloads and streaming – this chart is still based on paid-for sales though, not streaming “sales-equivalent”, so the likes of a quarter-of-a-million stream-equivalent sales for Billie-Jean don’t matter here as Jacko has still only sold around 850,000 in paid sales, with the nearest track to miss out being Lionel Ritchie’s Hello. It may be a few years before we get another 80’s million-seller though, as none are that close (970,000 at best).

There are, however, 4 new tracks since the last list 6 years ago, headed as expected by a Christmas perennial – The Pogues is once again in the UK top 5 this Christmas week 2018, and just sells every year regardless. Hence it is already the 14th best-seller. It may eventually overhaul the still-selling Blue Monday, but there’s a huge gap of 120,000 sales to overhaul Tainted Love, so it may be a while to go any higher!

The loss of George Michael and Christmas has boosted him and Wham!, while the Rocku movie popularity just keeps Survivor selling very well, now top 5 from not even a million-seller prior to downloads. Stevie Wonder is 120,000 ahead, so that’s a bit of an ask for a non-christmas track. Journey enter at 16 with a huge 21st century monster anthem – almost all it’s sales are from this century, as it was a minor UK hit that remained largely unknown until Glee, movies, and TV brought it into the mainstream. It was, of course, big in the USA in the 80’s, though. Red Red Wine is another steady seller for UB40, giving Neil Diamond a song if not an actual record in the million-sellers lists. Finally, Rick Astley has made a comeback as an artist, and a rick-rollin’ internet fame-driven kitsch-tinged boost in sales for Never Gonna Give You Up, and a well-deserved new entry for a great pop record.



1 ( 1 ) DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 1 1984
2 ( 2 ) RELAX FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD 1 1983
3 ( 4 ) LAST CHRISTMAS/EVERYTHING SHE WANTS WHAM! 2 1984
4 ( 3 ) I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU STEVIE WONDER 1 1984
5 ( 8 ) EYE OF THE TIGER SURVIVOR 1 1982
6 ( 6 ) DON’T YOU WANT ME? HUMAN LEAGUE 1 1981
7 ( 5 ) TWO TRIBES FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD 1 1984
8 ( 9 ) CARELESS WHISPER GEORGE MICHAEL 1 1984
9 ( 7 ) KARMA CHAMELEON CULTURE CLUB 1 1983
10 ( 10 ) THE POWER OF LOVE JENNIFER RUSH 1 1985

11 ( 11 ) COME ON EILEEN DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS 1 1982
12 ( 12 ) TAINTED LOVE SOFT CELL 1 1981
13 ( 13 ) BLUE MONDAY NEW ORDER 3 1983
14 ( NEW ) FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK POGUES FT KIRSTY MACCOLL 2 1987
15 ( 14 ) GHOSTBUSTERS RAY PARKER JR. 2 1984
16 ( NEW ) DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ JOURNEY 6 1982
17 ( 15 ) RIDE ON TIME BLACK BOX 1 1989
18 ( 16 ) FAME IRENE CARA 1 1982
19 ( NEW ) RED RED WINE UB40 1 1983
20 ( 18 ) UPTOWN GIRL BILLY JOEL 1 1983

21 ( 17 ) STAND & DELIVER! ADAM AND THE ANTS 1 1981
22 ( 19 ) THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT TIGHT FIT 1 1982
23 ( 20 ) ESPECIALLY FOR YOU KYLIE MINOGUE & JASON DONOVAN 1 1988
24 ( NEW ) NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP RICK ASTLEY 1 1987







THE 90'S

This is the latest list of sales-only million-sellers - that is to say not including streaming-based made-up "sales" or the number of times people play a track or playlist while picking their nose thinking about what's for tea. People actually paid for these specific tracks. In the 5 years since the last list there has been 3 more million sellers from the 90's with Goo Goo Dolls Iris not far off the mark now, being as it has over a quarter of a million stream-equivalent sales so the last 15 or 20 thousand downloads it needs can't be far off, even in greatly-reduced downloading sales of 2019/20. Shaggy has been moved into the right decade BTW (the Noughties) which is why number 16 from last time is missing! This time there are 37 million sellers with 4 new entries...

Almost double the numbers of million-sellers than previous decades, the 90's had the biggest of all on top - so far ahead that it is never going to be caught on sales unless you bung in made-up streaming plays "sales" - Elton John's Princess Diana tribute. The theme among a large number of climbers is "Movies" - if it's in a 90's movie soundtrack it'll have gone up relative to the bland pop that was huge during the decade, Wet Wet Wet now at 2, Bryan Adams up to 4, Coolio and Celine Dion both entering the top 10, Aerosmith leaping 8 spots into the 30. The other theme is Oasis, Wonderwall climbing and Don't Look Back In Anger entering, helped by the Manchester charity concert following the Ariana Grande concert bombing.

Then there's the other anthems: Angels is a huge record still, and climbs into the 20 for Robbie Williams. Huge in the UK that is, mystifyingly not so huge in North America, even if you account for Take That not being that big there. Mariah Carey takes over the world every Christmas, charting as high as she ever did first time round, and is the definitively most-popular Christmas record in the world. It just IS. So in at 23, and by the time this Christmas's sales of downloads are counted (which while not as bloated as streaming chart-positions are still healthy as she currently sits at 2 in the UK Christmas-week chart) no doubt she will have overtaken Steps and Earth Song by January, with Robbie overtaken next Christmas, and Run-DMC by New Year 2022. It's inevitable. 

Torn is a radio regular that stays popular, just cos it's sooo good, and still sells well, though is unlikely to climb much further for some time as Aerosmith will overtake soon. That leaves 2 1999 tracks which surprise me - OK, they were a bit unusual for the time, but still selling?! Eiffel 65 and Lou Bega? Go figure! I can only put it down to 10-year-olds in 1999 getting all nostalgic as they start to move into their 30's - the 2-decade nostalgia rule for revivals in pop music still obviously applies as much as it always has! That might also apply to No Doubt but that still sounds good, and Gwen Stefani has continued the great solo career and band career to maintain interest. 


1 ( 1 ) SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT/CANDLE IN THE WIND 97 ELTON JOHN 1 1997
2 ( 3 ) LOVE IS ALL AROUND WET WET WET 1 1994
3 ( 2 ) UNCHAINED MELODY/(THERE'LL BE BLUEBIRDS OVER) THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER ROBSON GREEN & JEROME FLYNN 1 1995
4 ( 6 ) (EVERYTHING I DO) I DO IT FOR YOU BRYAN ADAMS 1 1991
5 ( 4 ) BARBIE GIRL AQUA 1 1997
6 ( 5 ) BELIEVE CHER 1 1998
7 ( 7 ) I'LL BE MISSING YOU PUFF DADDY & FAITH EVANS 1 1997
8 ( 8 ) I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU WHITNEY HOUSTON 1 1992
9 ( 13 ) GANGSTA'S PARADISE COOLIO FEATURING L.V. 1 1995
10 ( 12 ) MY HEART WILL GO ON CELINE DION 1 1998

11 ( 10 ) THREE LIONS BADDIEL & SKINNER & LIGHTNING SEEDS 1 1996
12 ( 11 ) ...BABY ONE MORE TIME BRITNEY SPEARS 1 1999
13 ( 9 ) PERFECT DAY VARIOUS ARTISTS 1 1997
14 ( 17 ) WONDERWALL OASIS 2 1995
15 ( 14 ) KILLING ME SOFTLY FUGEES 1 1996
16 ( 15 ) WANNABE SPICE GIRLS 1 1996
17 ( 19 ) THINK TWICE CELINE DION 1 1994
18 ( 18 ) NEVER EVER ALL SAINTS 1 1997
19 ( 20 ) IT'S LIKE THAT RUN-D.M.C. VS JASON NEVINS 1 1997
20 ( 26 ) ANGELS ROBBIE WILLIAMS 4 1997


21 ( 21 ) HEARTBEAT/TRAGEDY STEPS 1 1998
22 ( 22 ) EARTH SONG MICHAEL JACKSON 1 1995
23 ( NEW ) ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU MARIAH CAREY 2 1994
24 ( 28 ) TORN NATALIE IMBRUGLIA 2 1997
25 ( 33 ) I DON'T WANT TO MISS A THING AEROSMITH 1 1998
26 ( 23 ) SATURDAY NIGHT WHIGFIELD 1 1994
27 ( 24 ) SPACEMAN BABYLON ZOO 1 1996
28 ( 27 ) NO MATTER WHAT BOYZONE 1 1998
29 ( 25 ) 2 BECOME 1 SPICE GIRLS 1 1996
30 ( 32 ) BLUE (DA BA DEE) EIFFEL 65 1 1999


31 ( 31 ) BACK FOR GOOD TAKE THAT 1 1995
32 ( 29 ) I BELIEVE/UP ON THE ROOF ROBSON & JEROME 1 1995
33 ( 30 ) "TELETUBBIES SAY ""EH-OH!"" TELETUBBIES 1 1997
34 ( 34 ) MYSTERIOUS GIRL PETER ANDRE FEATURING BUBBLER RANX 1 1995
35 ( NEW ) MAMBO NO.5 (A LITTLE BIT OF...) LOU BEGA 1 1999
36 ( NEW ) DON'T SPEAK NO DOUBT 1 1997
37 ( NEW ) DON'T LOOK BACK IN ANGER OASIS 1 1996
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Steve201
post Dec 30 2018, 03:16 AM
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Wow just seeing this now and haven't even read it but what a great article wub.gif
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Popchartfreak
post Feb 2 2019, 09:30 AM
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QUOTE(Christmasteve201 @ Dec 30 2018, 03:16 AM) *
Wow just seeing this now and haven't even read it but what a great article wub.gif


Thanks Steve, sorry I didn;t spot your comment, it's been a stressful january!
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Jester
post Feb 12 2019, 08:45 PM
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I ne we knew that Don’t Look Back In Anger was a million seller. Good to see!
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Popchartfreak
post Feb 13 2019, 08:15 PM
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QUOTE(Jester @ Feb 12 2019, 08:45 PM) *
I ne we knew that Don’t Look Back In Anger was a million seller. Good to see!


Yes great news, though maybe the reasons behind it's recent surge kept it a bit low-key. Certainly a classic that deserves it.

Have to say I'm pleasantly surprised with downloads sales so critically low these days that some are still nudging over the million mark.
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