List of UK Albums Chart number ones of the 1950s

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UK Albums Chart number ones
UK Albums Chart
Official Charts Company
Christmas number one
Frank Sinatra spent 14 weeks at the top of the UK Album Chart during the 1950s, longer than any other artist.

The UK Albums Chart is a record chart based on weekly album sales; during the 1950s, a total of 17 different albums reached number one. The longest run at number one was the original soundtrack of the movie South Pacific, which held on to the top spot for 60 consecutive weeks in the 1950s, and went on to attain another 55 weeks in 1960 and 1961, totalling a record of 115 weeks at number-one in the UK. It was number-one for the entire year in 1959.

The UK Albums Chart canon was modified when chart fans Alan Smith and Keith Badman discovered that charts of albums in the UK dated back to 28 July 1956, not 8 November 1958 as previously thought.[1] The first album chart was a Top 5 published in Record Mirror.[2] The album at number one on this chart was Songs for Swingin' Lovers! by Frank Sinatra. From 8 November 1958, a Top 10 album chart was compiled by Melody Maker.[2] Although the Record Mirror chart continued to run after this date, Melody Maker is taken as the canonical source as it had a larger sample.[3] In 1959, from June to August a newspaper strike prevented the album chart from being published and the previous chart was duplicated in these weeks.[2] Nevertheless, the South Pacific soundtrack was number one for the entire duration of 1959.

Number ones[edit]

Key
No. nth album to top the UK Albums Chart
re Return of an album to number one
dagger Best-selling album of the year[3][4][5][6]
double-dagger The album spent a week at number one
where it shared the top spot with another album
Contents
1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960s →
No. Artist[nb 1] Album[nb 1] Record label[nb 2] Reached number one[nb 1] Weeks at
number one[nb 1]
1956
1 Sinatra, FrankFrank Sinatra Songs for Swingin' Lovers! Capitol 22 July 1956 2
2 Original soundtrack Carousel dagger Capitol 5 August 1956 2
re Sinatra, FrankFrank Sinatra Songs for Swingin' Lovers! Capitol 19 August 1956 1
re Original soundtrack Carousel dagger Capitol 26 August 1956 4
3 Original soundtrack Oklahoma! Capitol 23 September 1956 2
4 Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I Capitol 7 October 1956 2
5 Bill Haley & His Comets Rock 'n' Roll Stage Show Brunswick 21 October 1956 1
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I Capitol 28 October 1956 1
6 Presley, ElvisElvis Presley Rock 'N' Roll HMV 4 November 1956 1
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I Capitol 11 November 1956 14.5[nb 2]15 double-dagger[nb 3]
1957
7 Original soundtrack High Society Capitol 10 February 1957 1.0[nb 2]1 double-dagger[nb 3]
8 Sinatra, FrankFrank Sinatra This Is Sinatra! Capitol 24 February 1957 1
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I dagger Capitol 3 March 1957 1
re Sinatra, FrankFrank Sinatra This Is Sinatra! Capitol 10 March 1957 1
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I dagger Capitol 17 March 1957 1
re Sinatra, FrankFrank Sinatra This Is Sinatra! Capitol 24 March 1957 1
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I dagger Capitol 31 March 1957 3
re Sinatra, FrankFrank Sinatra This Is Sinatra! Capitol 21 April 1957 1
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I dagger Capitol 28 April 1957 5.5[nb 3]6 double-dagger[nb 4]
9 Cole, Nat 'King'Nat 'King' Cole Love Is the Thing Capitol 2 June 1957 1.0[nb 3]1 double-dagger[nb 4]
re Original soundtrack Oklahoma! Capitol 9 June 1957 1
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I dagger Capitol 16 June 1957 4
10 Steele, TommyTommy Steele Tommy Steele Story, TheThe Tommy Steele Story Decca 14 July 1957 3
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I dagger Capitol 4 August 1957 3
re Steele, TommyTommy Steele Tommy Steele Story, TheThe Tommy Steele Story Decca 25 August 1957 1
11 Presley, ElvisElvis Presley Loving You RCA 1 September 1957 2
12 Sinatra, FrankFrank Sinatra Swingin' Affair!, AA Swingin' Affair! Capitol 15 September 1957 7
re Presley, ElvisElvis Presley Loving You RCA 3 November 1957 1
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I dagger Capitol 10 November 1957 11
1958
13 Original soundtrack Pal Joey Capitol 25 January 1958 7
re Original soundtrack King and I, TheThe King and I Capitol 16 March 1958 1
re Original soundtrack Pal Joey Capitol 23 March 1958 4
14 Original soundtrack Duke Wore Jeans, TheThe Duke Wore Jeans Decca 20 April 1958 2
15 Original cast My Fair Lady dagger Philips 4 May 1958 19
16 Presley, ElvisElvis Presley King Creole RCA 14 September 1958 7
17 Original soundtrack South Pacific RCA Victor 2 November 1958 70
1959
No new number one – the original soundtrack to South Pacific remained at the top of the chart throughout 1959 dagger and into 1960 dagger
Contents
1956 • 1957 • 1958 • 1959 • 1960s →

By artist[edit]

Elvis Presley topped the UK Albums Chart for 11 weeks during the 1950s.

Five artists topped the album chart during the 1950s. Original soundtracks and cast recordings are omitted.

Artist Number ones Weeks at number one Albums
Sinatra, FrankFrank Sinatra 3 14

 • Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956, three weeks at number one)
 • This Is Sinatra! (1957, four weeks)
 • A Swingin' Affair! (1957, seven weeks)

Presley, ElvisElvis Presley 3 11

 • Rock 'N' Roll (1956, one week at number one)
 • Loving You (1957, three weeks)
 • King Creole (1958, seven weeks)

Steele, TommyTommy Steele 1 4

 • The Tommy Steele Story (1957, four weeks at number one)

Cole, Nat 'King'Nat 'King' Cole 1 1

 • Love Is the Thing (1957, one week at number one)

Bill Haley & His Comets 1 1

 • Rock 'n' Roll Stage Show (1957, one week at number one)

Christmas number ones[edit]

In the UK, Christmas number-one albums are those that are at the top of the UK Albums Chart on Christmas Day. Typically, this will refer to 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 considered by the OCC to be the one announced on that day's chart.[9] During the 1950s, the following albums were Christmas number ones.[10]

Year Artist Album Record label 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

Comparison to Record Mirror album chart[edit]

From 8 November 1958, Melody Maker is regarded as the canonical source. Record Mirror continued to compile an album chart with the following differences:[3]

Dates Melody Maker Record Mirror
8 November –
27 December 1958
Original soundtrack – South Pacific (8 weeks) Presley, ElvisElvis PresleyKing Creole (1 week)
Original cast – My Fair Lady (4 weeks)
Original soundtrack – South Pacific (3 weeks)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d The artist, album, date of reaching number one and number of weeks at number one are those given by Official Charts Company.[7]
  2. ^ The record labels are those given by the OCC.[8]
  3. ^ a b Both Original soundtracks for The King and I and High Society were classified jointly as number one on 16 February 1957. In the weeks before and after The King and I held the number-one spot outright.[7]
  4. ^ a b Both the Original soundtrack for The King and I and Nat 'King' Cole's Love Is the Thing were classified jointly as number one on 8 June 1957. The King and I was in the number-one spot the previous week, and the following week the Oklahoma! soundtrack took the top spot.[7]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Sharp, Johnny (29 July 2006). "Chart and soul". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Warwick, Kutner & Brown 2004, p. viii.
  3. ^ a b c Mawer, Sharon. "Album Chart History: 1958". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 22 June 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "Album Chart History: 1956". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "Album Chart History: 1957". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 22 June 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "Album Chart History: 1959". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 4 July 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "Number 1 Albums – 1950s". London: Official Charts Company. 2001. Archived from the original on 27 October 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Artist Chart History". London: Official Charts Company. 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Get Into The Festive Spirit With Music". Easier. 20 December 2006. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Christmas No.1s: Albums". The Official UK Charts Company. 2007. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
Sources
  • Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; Brown, Tony (2004). The Complete Book Of The British Charts: Singles and Albums (3rd ed.). London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-058-0. 

External links[edit]