List of UK Albums Chart Christmas number ones

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Composite image of four black-and-white photographs showing the faces of The Beatles.
The Beatles have released seven Christmas number one albums, more than any other act.

The UK Albums Chart is a weekly record chart based on sales of albums in the United Kingdom; the term "Christmas number ones" refers to the records that are at the top of the chart on Christmas Day. Typically, the Christmas number one is the album that was announced as number one on the Sunday before 25 December. When Christmas Day falls on a Sunday itself, the official number one is the one announced on that day's chart.[1] As of December 2013, 55 different albums have become Christmas number ones.[2]

The UK Albums Chart is based on Sunday to Saturday sales of both physical and digital albums.[3] It is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the UK music industry,[4] and each week's new number one is first announced on Sunday evenings on The Radio 1 Chart Show.[5] The album chart was first published by Record Mirror in 1956.[6] The record at number one on 25 December that year was the original soundtrack to the 1956 film The King and I, making it the first ever UK Christmas number one album;[7] The King and I soundtrack was also Christmas number one in 1957, the following year. In 1958, the original soundtrack to South Pacific became the second Christmas number one album. Staying at the top of the album chart for a total of 115 weeks, it was also number one in 1959 and 1960.[8] Soundtracks to the movies The Sound of Music and Grease also became Christmas number ones.[2]

Record labels earn as much as forty per cent of their annual sales during the festive season.[9] Speaking in 2009, music retailer Geoff Bonouvrie remarked: "The whole psychology of buying changes around Christmas. ... People's buying habits change. They are buying gifts for other people."[10] As a result of this, topping the album chart for 25 December is considered prestigious among the industry, as Christmas number one albums often sell in high quantities. Between 1986 and 2012, 23 of the 27 Christmas number one albums were featured in the top three of their respective year-end bestsellers chart.[2]

Betting shops in the UK often run books regarding which albums will be at number one for Christmas. For example, in 2010, British bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes both issued odds of 2/5 on for Take That to top the album chart at Christmas.[11][12] At the time, these were the lowest odds William Hill had ever offered for a prediction on the Christmas number-one album.[11] In 2011, Christmas by Canadian singer Michael Bublé became the Christmas number one.[13] In a statement, Bublé announced that he was "thrilled" to have achieved the feat.[14] The following year, Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé topped the chart at Christmas.[15]

Following the December 1983 release of the first album in the Now That's What I Call Music series, compilation albums featuring various artists became very popular in the UK during the mid to late 1980s;[16] this is reflected in the albums that were Christmas number one during this time. From 1983 to 1987, every album at the top of the Christmas chart was a various artists compilation album, from either the Now That's What I Call Music or the Hits series.[7] The UK Albums Chart was then altered so that, from 14 January 1989, releases from various artists were no longer eligible for the main album chart.[17]

Number ones[edit]

Head and shoulders photograph of Marni Nixon.
Singer Marni Nixon provided vocals on the soundtrack album to The King and I,[18] which was the first album ever to top the UK Albums Chart at Christmas.
Black-and-white photograph of Elton John performing live in 1972.
Elton John has topped the albums chart twice at Christmas, in consecutive years.
Colour photograph of John Deacon, Brian May and Freddie Mercury of Queen performing live in 1978.
Queen have released two Christmas number one albums, in 1975 and 1991.
Colour photograph of John Lennon playing an acoustic guitar.
John Lennon posthumously achieved a solo Christmas number one in 1982 with The John Lennon Collection.
Colour photograph of Robbie Williams performing live on stage in 2006.
Robbie Williams has topped the UK Albums Chart four times at Christmas.

As of December 2013, there have been 55 different Christmas number one albums.[2] The most successful act is The Beatles, who have topped the Christmas chart with seven different albums.[7] With the exception of 1966, they reached number one on every Christmas chart from 1963 to 1969, and also topped the chart in 2000 with their singles collection, 1.[19] The only other act to release more than three Christmas number one albums is British singer Robbie Williams, who has topped the chart with four solo albums. Williams also featured as part of Take That on their 2010 album, Progress. Take That have had three Christmas number one albums.[20]

The most successful record label is Virgin Records, who have released eight Christmas number one albums. Benefitting from sales of the Now That's What I Call Music! compilation series, Virgin achieved four of the five Christmas number ones between 1983 and 1987.[21] From 14 January 1989, compilation albums featuring various artists were no longer included in the UK Albums Chart.[17]

Year Artist Album Record label[a] Total weeks at
number one
1956 Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I Capitol 48
1957 Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I Capitol 48
1958 Original soundtrack South Pacific RCA Victor 115
1959 Original soundtrack South Pacific RCA Victor 115
1960 Original soundtrack South Pacific RCA Victor 115
1961 George Mitchell Minstrels Another Black and White Minstrel Show HMV 8
1962 George Mitchell Minstrels Black and White Minstrel Show, TheThe Black and White Minstrel Show HMV 9
1963 Beatles, TheThe Beatles With The Beatles Parlophone 21
1964 Beatles, TheThe Beatles Beatles for Sale Parlophone 11
1965 Beatles, TheThe Beatles Rubber Soul Parlophone 8
1966 Original soundtrack Sound of Music, TheThe Sound of Music RCA Victor 70
1967 Beatles, TheThe Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Parlophone 27
1968 Beatles, TheThe Beatles Beatles, TheThe Beatles Apple 8
1969 Beatles, TheThe Beatles Abbey Road Apple 17
1970 Williams, AndyAndy Williams Andy Williams' Greatest Hits CBS 5
1971 T. Rex Electric Warrior Fly 8
1972 Various artists 20 All Time Hits of the 50s K-tel 11
1973 John, EltonElton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road DJM 2
1974 John, EltonElton John Elton John's Greatest Hits DJM 11
1975 Queen Night at the Opera, AA Night at the Opera EMI 4
1976 Campbell, GlenGlen Campbell Glen Campbell's Twenty Golden Greats Capitol 6
1977 Various artists Disco Fever K-tel 6
1978 Original soundtrack Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture RSO 13
1979 Stewart, RodRod Stewart Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 Riva 5
1980 ABBA Super Trouper Epic 9
1981 ABBA Visitors, TheThe Visitors Epic 3
1982 Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon John Lennon Collection, TheThe John Lennon Collection Parlophone 6
1983 Various artists Now That's What I Call Music Virgin/EMI 5
1984 Various artists Hits 1 CBS/WEA 7
1985 Various artists Now – The Christmas Album Virgin/EMI 2
1986 Various artists Now That's What I Call Music 8 Virgin/EMI/PolyGram 6
1987 Various artists Now That's What I Call Music 10 Virgin/EMI/PolyGram 6
1988 Richard, CliffCliff Richard Private Collection: 1979–1988[b] EMI 2
1989 Collins, PhilPhil Collins ...But Seriously Virgin 15
1990 Madonna Immaculate Collection, TheThe Immaculate Collection Sire 9
1991 Queen Greatest Hits II Parlophone 5
1992 Cher Greatest Hits: 1965–1992 Geffen 7
1993 Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell Virgin 11
1994 Beautiful South, TheThe Beautiful South Carry On up the Charts Go! Discs 7
1995 Robson & Jerome Robson & Jerome RCA 7
1996 Spice Girls Spice Virgin 15
1997 Dion, CélineCéline Dion Let's Talk About Love Epic 4
1998 Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael Epic 8
1999 Twain, ShaniaShania Twain Come On Over Mercury 11
2000 Beatles, TheThe Beatles 1 Apple 9
2001 Williams, RobbieRobbie Williams Swing When You're Winning Chrysalis 7
2002 Williams, RobbieRobbie Williams Escapology EMI 7
2003 Dido Life for Rent Cheeky 10
2004 Williams, RobbieRobbie Williams Greatest Hits Chrysalis 4
2005 Eminem Curtain Call: The Hits Interscope 5
2006 Take That Beautiful World Polydor 8
2007 Lewis, LeonaLeona Lewis Spirit Syco 7
2008 Take That Circus, TheThe Circus Polydor 5
2009 Boyle, SusanSusan Boyle I Dreamed a Dream Syco 4
2010 Take That Progress Polydor 6
2011 Bublé, MichaelMichael Bublé Christmas Reprise 3
2012 Sandé, EmeliEmeli Sandé Our Version of Events Virgin 6
2013 Williams, RobbieRobbie Williams Swings Both Ways Island 3
  1. ^ The record labels are those given by the OCC.[22]
  2. ^ Private Collection: 1979–1988 was announced as the 1988 Christmas number one a day later than usual, on Monday 26 December.[23]

References[edit]

General

The albums, artists and number of weeks at number one are those given by The Official UK Charts Company:

Specific
  1. ^ Masterton, James (27 December 2005). "Chart Commentary from James Masterton". London: LAUNCH. Archived from the original on 29 December 2005. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Get Into The Festive Spirit With Music". Easier. 20 December 2006. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "FAQs". Official Charts Company. 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2011. "... retailers representing more than 3,500 over the counter shops, home delivery retailers and a wide range of digital stores ..." 
  4. ^ "The Charts We Compile". Official Charts Company. 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Official UK Top 40 Albums Chart". BBC Radio 1. 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Mawer, Sharon (2008). "1956". The Official UK Charts Company. Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "Christmas No.1s: Albums". The Official UK Charts Company. 2007. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Gage, Simon (9 July 2010). "Original Soundtrack: South Pacific (Hallmark) Album Review". Daily Express (Northern & Shell). Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Fildes, Nic (13 January 2007). "EMI shares slide after dismal sales cost music boss his job". The Independent (Independent News & Media). ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Bootylicious Susan Boyle is the comfort queen". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney: News Limited). 19 December 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "The Race for the Christmas No. 1 Album". Dublin: Hot Press. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Take That: Christmas odds slashed after X Factor". London: BBC News. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Masterton, James (26 December 2011). "UK Pop Charts for Week Ending December 31, 2011". About.com. Archived from the original on 28 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  14. ^ Goodacre, Kate; Sperling, Daniel (25 December 2011). "Michael Bublé gets Christmas No.1 album". London: Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  15. ^ Younie, Chris (24 December 2012). "Emeli Sande bags Christmas No 1 album". 4Music. Archived from the original on 26 December 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Now 1 reissued for 25th birthday". BBC News. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  17. ^ a b "History of the Official Charts". Official Charts Company. 2010. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2011. "... January 1989: Artist and compilation albums are separated out to create two different charts, the Official Artist Albums Chart and the Official Compilations Chart. ..." 
  18. ^ Norris, Michele (5 January 2011). "Marni Nixon: Hollywood's Voice 'Ghost'". Washington, D.C.: NPR. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Evans, Rob (27 December 2000). "Charts: Beatles '1' rings up 1.25 million new sales". SoundSpike. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  20. ^ Gregory, Jason (26 December 2011). "X Factor's Matt Cardle, Take That Retain Christmas Number Ones". Gigwise.com. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  21. ^ Clutton, Matthew (3 November 2008). "Now That's What I Call Music – 25 Years Album Review". London: AllGigs. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  22. ^ "Artist Chart History". London: Official Charts Company. 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  23. ^ Masterton, James (20 December 2004). "Christmas Commentary from James Masterton". London: LAUNCH. Archived from the original on 31 December 2004. Retrieved 29 July 2011. "... This actually did happen back in 1988 when Christmas Day fell on a Sunday (the usual chart day). This resulted in the chart show being broadcast a day late on Monday 26th and with the industry agreeing that the crowning of Cliff Richard as that years Christmas Number One would take place then. ..." 

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