Elton John tops 60-year UK singles chart

2012-11-06 13:50
London - Elton John leads in the list of 123 songs that have sold a million copies in Britain, which was released on Monday by the Official Charts Company to mark 60 years of ranking the best-selling singles.

The biggest-selling single is John's double A-side Something About The Way You Look Tonight and Candle In The Wind 1997 - the latter being the version of the song he sang at the funeral of Diana, princess of Wales.

It spent five weeks at number one in Britain in 1997 and shifted 4.9 million copies.

Second place went to the 1984 Band Aid charity single Do They Know It's Christmas?, which sold 3.69 million copies, while Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, released in 1975, sold 2.36 million.

The Official Charts Company is publishing a book of all 123 million-selling singles in Britain, starting from 1952.

No million-sellers so far

"It is apt that, as we prepare to celebrate 60 years of the official singles chart in the UK, we do so at a time of unprecedented demand for the single, with this year set to be the biggest year on record for sales of this format," said managing director Martin Talbot.

"This demand is also translating in to the largest number of million-sellers we have seen - this is truly the era of the super hit."

Ten years ago when the chart celebrated its 50th birthday, only 76 singles had notched up a million sales.

Some 27 singles surpassed the mark in the 1970s, with 32 doing so in the 1990s.

But the current decade is on course to overtake both those decades, with 10 singles already having sold a million in less than three years.

Despite that, there have been no million-sellers so far this year.

Paul McCartney

There are six Beatles songs on the list, while John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, Boney M, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Celine Dion, Engelbert Humperdink and the Spice Girls have two each.

Paul McCartney has appeared on the most million-sellers: six with The Beatles, two with Band Aid and one with Wings.

Three hits from the 1950s sold a million - (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets; Diana by Paul Anka and Mary's Boy Child by Harry Belafonte, which was also a million-seller for Boney M.

However, Unchained Melody has sold more than a million in three different versions: by the Righteous Brothers (1965), Robson and Jerome (1995) and Gareth Gates (2002).

Novelty tunes and songs linked to television talent contests also feature throughout the list.

And just seven songs have sold two million copies or more.

The top 10 biggest-selling singles in British chart history (song, artist, year, sales in millions):

1. Something About The Way You Look Tonight by Elton John (1997, 4.90m)

2. Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid (1984, 3.69m)

3. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen (1975, 2.36m)

4. Mull of Kintyre/Girls' School by Wings (1977, 2.00m)

5. You're The One That I Want by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (1978, 2.00m)

6. Rivers Of Babylon/Brown Girl In The Ring by Boney M (1978, 2.00m)

7. Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1983, 2.00m)

8. She Loves You by The Beatles (1963, 1.90m)

9. Unchained Melody/(There'll Be Bluebirds Over The) White Cliffs Of Dover by Robson and Jerome (1995, 1.86m)

10. Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet (1994, 1.85m)


  • james.hurley.1401 - 2012-11-06 14:07

    At first, my mouth was open in disbelief at the words 'Elton John tops'

      mable.jacobs.90 - 2012-11-06 14:20

      lame post...stop with the 'he's gay' card, its tired.everybody knows this, u're probably the only 1 who still finds it funny

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