The Official Charts of the United Kingdom recently released lists of the all the number one albums in Britain, the top album each year, and the 60 best-selling albums of all time in the country. Three of the latter are from Canadian artists. We eyeballed through the lists and our findings are below. Only a baker’s dozen Canadian artists have placed an album at the summit of the British charts over the years.
The first number one album by a Canadian artist in the United Kingdom was Neil Young‘s Harvest in 1972. It took 19 years for another Canadian album to top the British charts, Bryan Adams‘ Waking Up the Neighbours in 1991. In 1994, his So Far So Good also reached the summit. Céline Dion was next thanks to The Colour of My Love in 1995 followed by Falling Into You in 1996. The same year Alanis Morissette‘s Jagged Little Pill hit #1 and is now the third best-selling Canadian album of all time in the UK (41st overall as of July 2016). It was the best-selling album of the year 1996. Bryan Adams returned to the zenith in 1996 via 18 Til I Die. Let’s Talk About Love from Céline Dion did the trick in 1997.
In 1999, Come on Over by Shania Twain was the best-selling album of the year and became the highest selling LP from a Canadian of all-time in the UK (15th overall), remarkable in a country not known for its zeal towards country music. Céline Dion’s All the Way a Decade of Song managed to squeak itself into the top spot that year as well. Nickelback did the honours in 2002 with Silver Side Up back to back weeks with Dion’s A New Day Has Come. In 2003, Avril Lavigne kicked off the year with her #1 Let Go. Her Under My Skin scaled the heights in 2004, and The Best Damn Thing in 2007.
It was Michael Bublé‘s turn in 2010; his Crazy Love is now the second best-selling Canuck LP in Britain (24th overall). Arcade Fire made an appearance on top the same year with The Suburbs. Bublé returned in 2011 thanks to Christmas. Justin Bieber‘s Believe was on top in 2012 and Bublé’s To Be Loved in 2013. AmeriCanadian Robin Thicke was #1 in 2013 as well thanks to album Blurred Lines. Arcade Fire returned to the summit in 2013 with Reflektor. 2015 saw a number one Canadian album from The Weeknd (Beauty Behind the Madness). Drake‘s Views went #1 in 2016.
The best-selling album of all-time in the United Kingdom was not Michael Jackson’s Thriller (6th), rather 1981’s Greatest Hits by Queen. In second spot is 1992’s Gold (Greatest Hits) by Sweden’s ABBA. The Beatles are in at #3 and biggest studio album with 1967’s Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Adele’s 21 is 4th and Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory 5th.