Highest placed albums chart act

Search this site with Google

As the site generation page explains the list of albums does not reflect the most popular albums of all time since there are variable levels of charts for different historical periods. There are a number of reasonable ways to compare artists of different periods, further down this page there is an analysis that examines the top albums for each year, but first we show what happens when you list the top artists of each year and tallying up the number of years each artist held the top slots.

# Artist Years as Number 1 Artist Years as Number 2 Artist Years as Number 3 Artist Years as Number 4 Artist Years as Number 5 Artist
1 The Beatles 1963 + 1964 + 1965 + 1966 + 1967 + 1968 + 1969 + 1973 1970 + 2000   1977  
2 Elvis Presley 1956 + 1957 + 1960 + 1961 1977 1958 + 1962 1969 1965
3 The Rolling Stones 1972 + 1981 1964 + 1971 1965 + 1966 + 1968 + 1969 1978  
4 Frank Sinatra 1955 + 1958 1956 + 1957 + 1961 1960    
5 U2 1987 1988 + 2004 2000 1983 + 1991 1984 + 1993 + 2009
6 Madonna 1989 + 1990 1984   1986 + 1998 2000 + 2005
7 Celine Dion 1996 + 1997 1994 + 1999     1998
8 Bruce Springsteen 1984 2009   1980 + 1992 + 1995 + 2002 + 2007  
9 Michael Jackson 1982 1987 + 2001   2009 1979 + 1995
10 Bob Dylan 1975 1965 1976 1974 1963 + 1966
11 Eminem 2000 + 2002     2010 2004
12 Miles Davis 1954 + 1959       1958
13 Pink Floyd 1979 1973 + 1975     1994
14 Elton John 1974   1973 + 1975 1971  
15 Linkin Park 2003 2007 2001    
16 Nirvana 1994 1991 1993    
17 Coldplay 2008   2002 + 2005    
18 Bee Gees 1978 1979      
19 John Lennon 1971 1980      
20 Whitney Houston 1993 1986      

Unlike the greatest song act chart there is a clear winner in the album acts. There are a number of surprises in the list.

The album didn't really arrive as a recognised format until the 1950s which is why the timespan covered starts in 1950.

Given The Beatles domination of this chart and the marginal lead that Elvis has over them in the singles version it is clear that any combined chart would put The Beatles as the world's greatest overall chart act of all time.

Here are the top five album chart acts for the years 1950 to 2011.

Year Number 1 Artist Number 2 Artist Number 3 Artist Number 4 Artist Number 5 Artist
2011 Adele Justin Bieber Foo Fighters Lady GaGa Glee Cast
2010 Glee Cast Arcade Fire Lady Antebellum Eminem Kanye West
2009 Taylor Swift Bruce Springsteen Susan Boyle Michael Jackson U2
2008 Coldplay Radiohead Metallica AC/DC Leona Lewis
2007 Amy Winehouse Linkin Park Michael Buble Bruce Springsteen Norah Jones
2006 Johnny Cash Red Hot Chili Peppers Justin Timberlake Christina Aguilera Nelly Furtado
2005 System of A Down Il Divo Coldplay James Blunt Madonna
2004 Green Day U2 Usher Norah Jones Eminem
2003 Linkin Park OutKast Metallica 50 Cent Evanescence
2002 Eminem Norah Jones Coldplay Bruce Springsteen Red Hot Chili Peppers
2001 Shaggy Michael Jackson Linkin Park Destiny's Child Alicia Keys
2000 Eminem The Beatles U2 Radiohead Madonna
1999 Santana Celine Dion The Backstreet Boys Red Hot Chili Peppers Britney Spears
1998 Shania Twain Celine Dion & James Horner Lauryn Hill Madonna Celine Dion
1997 Celine Dion Radiohead Andrea Bocelli The Prodigy The Verve
1996 Celine Dion Spice Girls The Fugees No Doubt Metallica
1995 Alanis Morissette Oasis Mariah Carey Bruce Springsteen Michael Jackson
1994 Nirvana Celine Dion Green Day Eagles Pink Floyd
1993 Whitney Houston Mariah Carey Nirvana Pearl Jam U2
1992 REM Garth Brooks Eric Clapton Bruce Springsteen Abba
1991 Guns n' Roses Nirvana Metallica U2 REM
1990 Madonna Sinead O'Connor New Kids On The Block MC Hammer Mariah Carey
1989 Madonna Phil Collins Fine Young Cannibals Roy Orbison The Cure
1988 Tracy Chapman U2 Rick Astley INXS Traveling Wilburys
1987 U2 Michael Jackson Guns n' Roses George Michael Def Leppard
1986 Paul Simon Whitney Houston Bon Jovi Madonna Peter Gabriel
1985 Dire Straits Phil Collins Tears For Fears Bryan Adams Sting
1984 Bruce Springsteen Madonna Prince Bob Marley U2
1983 The Police Culture Club Lionel Richie U2 David Bowie
1982 Michael Jackson Men At Work Paul McCartney Toto Roxy Music
1981 The Rolling Stones Queen The Police Phil Collins The Human League
1980 AC/DC John Lennon Barbra Streisand Bruce Springsteen Kenny Rogers
1979 Pink Floyd Bee Gees Supertramp Rod Stewart Michael Jackson
1978 Bee Gees Billy Joel Blondie The Rolling Stones Boney M
1977 Fleetwood Mac Elvis Presley Meatloaf The Beatles The Sex Pistols
1976 Eagles Abba Bob Dylan Stevie Wonder Donna Summer
1975 Bob Dylan Pink Floyd Elton John Queen Led Zeppelin
1974 Elton John Wings Deep Purple Bob Dylan Mike Oldfield
1973 The Beatles Pink Floyd Elton John Deep Purple Stevie Wonder
1972 The Rolling Stones Neil Young Jethro Tull Deep Purple Yes
1971 John Lennon The Rolling Stones Led Zeppelin Elton John Cat Stevens
1970 Simon & Garfunkel The Beatles Creedence Clearwater Revival Santana Black Sabbath
1969 The Beatles Led Zeppelin The Rolling Stones Elvis Presley Creedence Clearwater Revival
1968 The Beatles Jimi Hendrix The Rolling Stones Simon & Garfunkel Otis Redding
1967 The Beatles The Monkees Jimi Hendrix The Doors Cream
1966 The Beatles Herb Alpert The Rolling Stones The Beach Boys Bob Dylan
1965 The Beatles Bob Dylan The Rolling Stones Richard Rodgers Elvis Presley
1964 The Beatles The Rolling Stones Jim Reeves The Beach Boys John Coltrane
1963 The Beatles Peter, Paul & Mary The Beach Boys James Brown Bob Dylan
1962 Ray Charles Leonard Bernstein Elvis Presley The Shadows Henry Mancini
1961 Elvis Presley Frank Sinatra Judy Garland Cliff Richard Bill Evans
1960 Elvis Presley Bob Newhart Frank Sinatra The Kingston Trio Ella Fitzgerald
1959 Miles Davis The Kingston Trio Henry Mancini Dave Brubeck Johnny Mathis
1958 Frank Sinatra Johnny Mathis Elvis Presley Mitch Miller Miles Davis
1957 Elvis Presley Frank Sinatra Nat King Cole John Coltrane Frederick Loewe
1956 Elvis Presley Frank Sinatra Harry Belafonte Sonny Rollins Ella Fitzgerald
1955 Frank Sinatra Glenn Miller Mario Lanza Sarah Vaughan Jackie Gleason
1954 Miles Davis Chet Baker Art Blakey Dave Brubeck Louis Armstrong
1953 Jackie Gleason Peggy Lee Duke Ellington Bud Powell The Quintet
1952 Nat King Cole Fred Astaire Danny Kaye Jane Froman Benny Goodman
1951 Thelonious Monk George Gershwin Mario Lanza Bud Powell Paul Lingle
1950 Benny Goodman Charlie Parker Ella Fitzgerald Yma Sumac Doris Day & Harry James

This analysis was done with data version 2.1.044

Back to Introduction

An Alternate Similar Approach

Artists with top albums 1930-2010

The figure above shows the order that results from looking at the actual albums rather than artist's success. Each album has been scored based on the position it reached in the overall year chart, 1.0 for the number 1, 0.5 for number 2 and so on, and each artist has been rated based on the number of albums reaching the number one slot, or top 5, or top 10 etc.

This plot really illustrates the domination that The Beatles had over the album charts while they were active.

This analysis was done with data version 1.10.0014

Back to Introduction


Comment on the contents of the 'Highest placed albums chart act' page
Subject: Email to Reply To (optional):