Thursday, May 19, 2005

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN: The most successful artists of all time

Yep, it's time to decide if you can squeak another year out of the dog-eared British Hit Singles sat on your bookshelf, or if it's time to upgrade, as the 2005 Guiness World Records British Hit Singles & Albums lands with an ever-increasing thud onto the bookshop tables of the nation.



(Or you could click here to buy one, too)
. In keeping with the Guinness habit, they've slapped a gaudy cover onto it, and it's a "special collector's edition" to mark the 1,000th number one - although it's not very clear. Collectors of what? The Hit Singles books? But surely they'd keep every one anyway? And last year's innovation, which was to admit nobody much bought the separate albums edition, has been repeated, so you get all the charting records in one book.

Most importantly, of course, they've crunched some numbers for the press release. This time, they've added up all the weeks spent by bands on the albums and singles charts, and produced a top 100 acts:

1. Elvis Presley 2,463
2. Cliff Richard 1,972
3. The Beatles 1,749
4. Queen 1,725
5. Madonna 1,653
6. Elton John 1,615
7. The Shadows 1,578
8. Michael Jackson 1,477
9. David Bowie 1,459
10. U2 1,402
11. Rod Stewart 1,381
12. Frank Sinatra 1,332
13. Diana Ross 1,303
14. Dire Straits 1,255
15. Simon And Garfunkel 1,201
16. The Rolling Stones 1,173
17. Abba 1,137
18. Fleetwood Mac 1,103
19. Phil Collins 1,062
20. Paul McCartney 983
21. Pink Floyd 966
22. UB40 955
23. Meat Loaf 941
24. Tom Jones 915
25. Status Quo 890
26. Simply Red 849
27. The Beach Boys 845
28. Oasis 836
29. Stevie Wonder 807
30. The Carpenters 776
31. The Bee Gees 767
32. REM 761
33. Bob Dylan 755
34. Tina Turner 755
35. Prince 748
36. Jim Reeves 730
37. Neil Diamond 727
38. Bob Marley and The Wailers 713
39. Eric Clapton 705
40. Whitney Houston 698
41. Andy Williams 685
42. Eurythmics 684
43. Robbie Williams 682
44. Madness 682
45. Genesis 681
46. Barbra Streisand 678
47. Bruce Springsteen 670
48. Mike Oldfield 664
49. Celine Dion 661
50. Bon Jovi 660
51. Lionel Richie 655
52. Bryan Adams 652
53. Duran Duran 648
54. Electric Light Orchestra 648
55. Kylie Minogue 646
56. George Michael 627
57. Shirley Bassey 620
58. The Pet Shop Boys 596
59. Roy Orbison 593
60. Mariah Carey 588
61. Roxy Music 585
62. The Four Tops 574
63. Janet Jackson 567
64. The Police 558
65. Sting 553
66. John Lennon 544
67. Simple Minds 544
68. Cher 540
69. Erasure 535
70. The Supremes 535
71. Buddy Holly 529
72. The Eagles 528
73. Perry Como 526
74. Guns N’ Roses 525
75. Blondie 523
76. Engelbert Humperdinck 507
77. Donna Summer 503
78. Billy Joel 500
79. Led Zeppelin 497
80. Wet Wet Wet 496
81. Slade 491
82. Barry Manilow 491
83. The Who 480
84. Stereophonics 477
85. Chris Rea 477
86. The Everly Brothers 474
87. The Hollies 472
88. T.Rex 468
89. The Corrs 467
90. Bryan Ferry 46
91. Red Hot Chili Peppers 455
92. Blur 454
93. The Beautiful South 450
94. Luther Vandross 450
95. James Last 450
96. Kate Bush 449
97. The Moody Blues 449
98. George Benson 442
99. Hot Chocolate 436
100. Shakin’ Stevens 435


The conflation of singles and albums throws up some interesting little points - James Last making it into the chart almost entirely on the basis of albums, and his 450 week total must certainly have been helped by his habit of releasing two or three albums of his "party" re-imaginings of recent hits and standards every week around the start of the eighties; Oasis standing proud at 28 while Blur languish towards the bottom at 92 probably will soothe some of Noel's hurt at being beaten in that head-to-head chart battle. Shakin' Stevens' claims the other week that he was the most successful Welsh chart act ever is disproved (he's at 100; Tom Jones is at 24 - although, of course, Shaky's Best Of is still in the Top 10). Elvis might reign supreme, and Cliff pick up the biggest UK act (again, helped by a long career) - but Paul McCartney could legitmately add his 983 weeks to The Beatles' 1,749 weeks to crush all comers.

We think, though, the most frightening fact is UB40: 955 weeks on the chart; more than REM, Stevie Wonder, Prince...


4 comments:

Robin said...

Now if only all their records had been as good as the ones they made from 1980-82 they might actually deserve it ...

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