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The Top Selling Albums Of The 1960's In The U.K.

Updated on September 20, 2012

Listening to music from the 1960’s it seems obvious that it was one of the most fertile periods for pop music. There were a lot of great bands and various musical styles. There was classic pop,rock,folk, and psychedelic music as well as great singles coming out of Motown. So surely looking at the albums that were in the top 10 biggest sellers in Britain over that decade surely there would be a bit of variety to show this. Maybe some Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Supremes. Well although they sold well none of them featured in this top 10 which surprisingly is made up of just 2 main parts. The Beatles and soundtrack albums. The Beatles taking 7 of the top 10 and soundtracks from major films accounting for the other 3.

This list only covers the top 10 albums for the decade in any detail but amazingly The Beatles also had numbers 11,12 and 13 with Revolver, Please Please Me and Help! for 10 out of the 13 biggest albums of the 60's. It's fair to say that decade owed them a big debt for their excellent and varied musical output.

10. Original Soundtrack from West Side Story

At number 10 is the soundtrack from the film West Side Story which was released in 1962 and the album reached number 1. The film starred Natalie Wood, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn.

This album was released on the Phillips record label and among its more famous songs were 'Maria', 'America' and 'I feel Pretty'.

9. The Beatles from The Beatles

The Beatles first entry to the top 10 is at number 9 for this 1968 album simply called 'The Beatles'. It is probably more commonly known as 'The White Album' due to its all white record cover. It was a number 1 album and was originally a double album when it came out on vinyl.

It was a number 1 record and was released on The 'Apple' record label.

Some of the songs from this album include 'Back in the U.S.S.R.', 'Dear Prudence', 'Blackbird' and 'Helter Skelter'.

8. Rubber Soul from The Beatles

Rubber Soul was a 1965 number 1 album on the Parlophone record label for The Beatles. It had some pop and also some folk rock type songs as they were influenced by Bob Dylan around about this time.

Some songs featured on this album are 'Norwegian Wood', 'Drive My Car', and 'Michelle'.

7. A Hard Days Night from The Beatles

This 1964 record was a number 1 album on the parlophone record label.

It was by The Beatles but it could also be included as a soundtrack. It was from the film of the same name and a few of the songs featured in it but some were just for the record. It still stands as a good pop record with a few really good Lennon/ McCartney songs.

Along with the title track some other songs included here are 'Can't Buy Me Love', 'If i Fell', 'And i love Her' and 'I'll Be Back'.

6. Beatles For Sale from The Beatles

This was a second album release from 1964 and again it was a number 1. Released on Parlophone at the end of that year it shows some more quality songs from Lennon and McCartney.

The standout songs here are 'Eight Days A Week' 'No Reply', 'I'm A Loser' and 'I'll Follow The Sun'.

5. Original Soundtrack from South Pacific

The soundtrack from the film South Pacific was a mega selling record and it shows how well it sold that it is in at number 5 despite being released the previous decade. It came out in 1958 and was number 1 over a total of 115 weeks including 70 consecutively. It spent the whole of 1959 at number 1 before also being a mega seller in the 60's and becoming a number 1 in 1960 and 1961. The film starred Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor.

It was released on 'RCA Victor' records and the songs included on the record were 'Happy Talk' and 'I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair'.

4. Abbey Road from The Beatles

Abbey Road was released in 1969 on 'Apple' and was another number 1.

With a more rock sound than just a year or two earlier it is a highly regarded album. It features some more classic songs from Lennon and McCartney as well as George Harrison who also shows what a good songwriter he was.

Harrisons song 'Something' was one of the major songs here along with 'Come Together' and 'Because'.

3. With The Beatles from The Beatles

'With The Beatles' was release in 1963 on Parlophone and was a number 1. In Britain it was released on the same day that JFK was assassinated and even now both he and The Beatles seem to always feature in every image about the 1960's. This was The Beatles second album and is full of quality happy pop songs and maybe subconciously at that time it was what the World needed as just after this time they took off totally in America.

Songs included on here are 'It Won't Be Long' 'All My Loving' and 'Not A Second Time'.

2. Original Soundtrack from The Sound Of Music

The soundtrack to the film 'A Sound Of Music ' was released on RCA Victor in 1965 and was a massive number 1 hit album spending a total of 70 weeks at number 1 on various spells.

The film starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and some of the songs heard on this were' Edelweiss', 'Sixteen Going On Seventeen' and 'Do-Re-Mi'.

1. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band From The Beatles

The top selling album in the UK in the 1960's was The Beatles with 'Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band'. It came out in June 1967 and it was seen as something totally new and daring in many ways. The psychedelic sounding,swirling arrangements included throughout here seemed to inspire most bands to try something similar,along with the bands new look and even the record cover was seen as something different. It was all seen as a blueprint for the music that summer of love as well as over the next few years. Many people tried to copy The Beatles throughout their career but this was probably the peak of that. Everybody wanted to sound, or dress in a similar way and even to try the same mind expanding drugs that could help others create their own masterpieces.

Some of the best songs on here are 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds', 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite' and 'A Day In The Life'.


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    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for commenting Faith. Yes there was certainly a lot of good music from that era.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Interesting hub. I am not surprised at all, especially being in the UK. I love the Beatles, as well as all of those you've mentioned who did not.

    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for commenting Alecia. Yes i think The Stones had a few further down the list,but i'm surprised they had nothing in here.

    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for commenting e-five. Yes i was a bit surprised myself how much The Beatles dominated it.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I'm not that surprised that the Beatles dominated but I would have at least thought the Stones would have had some entries. But I guess this might explain why they had such a heavy touring presence.

    • e-five profile image

      John C Thomas 

      6 years ago from Chicago, Illinois, USA

      I'm a bit surprised that The Beatles so thoroughly dominated album sales, even in the UK. I would have thought somebody else-- The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, Petula Clark, Cliff Richard-- might have cracked the Top 13.


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