With a little help from their friends, the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was just named the United Kingdom’s top studio album of all-time by the Official Charts Company, which ranks records from 1956 onward based on physical sales, downloads, and streams. The British company released its list of the nation’s 40 bestsellers on Saturday, October 13.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr’s iconic 1967 effort has sold more than 5.34 million copies in the U.K. alone. Produced by the legendary George Martin, who is often referred to as the “Fifth Beatle,” Sgt. Pepper featured classic tunes like “With a Little Help from My Friends,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “A Day in the Life,” and the title track.
Stateside, in 2009, Sgt. Pepper topped the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the most important rock and roll album ever made, an unsurpassed adventure in concept, sound, songwriting, cover art, and studio technology by the greatest rock and roll group of all time,” said the magazine.
“[The Beatles] were never more fearless and unified in their pursuit of magic and transcendence…. Sgt. Pepper defined the opulent revolutionary optimism of psychedelia and instantly spread the gospel of love, acid, Eastern spirituality, and electric guitars around the globe. No other pop record of that era, or since, has had such an immediate, titanic impact. This music documents the world’s biggest rock band at the very height of its influence and ambition.”
Sgt. Pepper is the only album on the Official Charts Company’s all-time greatest list from the 1960s. There are six albums from both the 1970s and 1980s on the chart, eight from the 1990s, 14 from the 2000s, and five from the 2010s.
Most of the albums on the list were recorded by British musicians, but the United States, Canada, and Ireland are also represented. Six of these artists have more than one album on the chart.
Rounding out the top 10 albums are Adele’s 21, Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms, Michael Jackson’s Bad, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, and Adele’s 25.
Records by Simply Red, Shania Twain, Ed Sheeran, Meat Loaf, James Blunt, Verve, Simon & Garfunkel, Leona Lewis, Michael Buble, Dido, David Gray, Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon, Corrs, Coldplay, Spice Girls, U2, Take That, Keane, Jeff Wayne, Alanis Morissette, Scissor Sisters, Mike Oldfield, Phil Collins, and Tracy Chapman are also on the list.