Adele's '25' is Already One of the U.K.'s Bestselling Records of All Time

Adele at Glastonbury
Adele performs on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, England, June 25. The singer's latest album '25' is among the highest-selling in the U.K. Ian Gavan/Getty

Just what are the biggest-selling albums in U.K. chart history? While many were recorded by the usual suspects—including Queen, The Beatles and ABBA—more impressive is the inclusion of Adele, whose last two albums, 21 and 25, are now among Britain's most treasured.

The Official Charts Company, which tracks music sales in the U.K., has announced its revised rankings of the top-selling sets in U.K. history to mark the 60th anniversary of the official albums chart.

Queen's Greatest Hits, first released in 1981, is still the nation's most popular album, selling 6.1 million copies in the U.K. "What a great bit of news to wake up to! The most popular album? Well, I always thought the band showed promise, but this is beyond our boyhood dreams. Thanks folks," said Queen's Brian May.

In second place is ABBA's Gold—Greatest Hits with sales of 5.2 million since 1992. The top five is rounded out by The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (5.1 million records sold since 1967), Adele's 21 (4.9 million sold since 2011) and Oasis' (What's the Story?) Morning Glory (4.7 million since 1995).

Adele's 21 is easily the most recent record to make the top ten amid older albums from Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd.

The 28-year-old singer's third studio album 25, released in November 2015, has already edged its way into the top 30 best-selling albums in the U.K. It ranks at No.27 on the list after just seven months on sale.

Another more recent act to crack the top 50 is Ed Sheeran with his second studio set, X , released in 2014. In total, it has sold 31 million records worldwide.

Official Charts chief executive Martin Talbot said: "In celebration of 60 years of the UK's official album chart, it is fantastic that we can crown Queen as the kings of the anniversary top 60. With seven albums by British acts in the all-time top ten, and Adele's 21 now challenging The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper to be the biggest-selling studio album of all time, it is a great list for homegrown talent.

"And the fact that Adele's latest album 25 is riding into the overall top 30, along with Ed Sheeran's X , underlines the power of the official album chart in championing great British talent, young and old."

Adele headlined Glastonbury Festival in June and saw sales of 25 skyrocket. The album reclaimed the No.1 spot on the albums chart last week following its initial release in 2015. At that time, it posted the highest-ever first week sales of an album in the U.K. with 800,000 copies sold. It also passed the one million sales mark in just ten days.

The Official Charts Company's first official U.K. albums chart was published on July 22, 1966, and was topped by Frank Sinatra's Songs for Swingin' Lovers.

The U.K.'s best-selling albums:

  1. Greatest Hits — Queen
  2. Gold—Greatest Hits — ABBA
  3. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band — The Beatles
  4. 21 — Adele
  5. (What's the Story?) Morning Glory — Oasis
  6. Thriller — Michael Jackson
  7. The Dark Side of the Moon — Pink Floyd
  8. Brothers in Arms — Dire Straits
  9. Bad — Michael Jackson
  10. Greatest Hits II — Queen.
Adele's '25' is Already One of the U.K.'s Bestselling Records of All Time | Culture