Meat Loaf tops chart of biggest-selling debut albums in UK historyon October 14, 2022 at 1:46 am

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The chart includes James Blunt, The Killers, Meat Loaf and Leona Lewis – but who’s at number one?

Meat LoafImage source, Getty Images

Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell is the biggest-selling debut album in UK chart history, it has been revealed.

The record, a campy blend of hard rock and Broadway pizzazz, has sold more than 3.5 million copies in the UK, spending 530 weeks in the top 100.

It beat James Blunt’s Back To Bedlam, which is the biggest debut by a British artist and second on the overall list, compiled to mark National Album Day.

Blunt is followed by Leona Lewis’s Spirit and Lady Gaga’s The Fame.

The top 10 also features hit debut albums by Dido, the Spice Girls, Alanis Morissette and Coldplay, while Ed Sheeran, Adele and Oasis are also on the full list.

UK's best-selling debut albums. .  .

The top 20 will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday, with an extended programme featuring the top 40 available on BBC Sounds.

“Bat Out Of Hell reaching number one might be a surprise to some,” said presenter Steve Wright. “But it is a truly brilliant debut album and one which reached a whole new audience following the sad passing of Meat Loaf earlier this year.”

Styled as an OTT rock opera, the album contains hits like You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, as well as the nine-minute title track.

Deeply unfashionable in the era of disco and punk, it was rejected by four record labels. But when it was finally released in 1977, it became an immediate success in the UK, thanks to an unforgettable performance on BBC TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test.

The special chart’s top 20 largely focuses on debut albums released in the late 1990s and early 2000s – coinciding with the peak in CD sales.

Albums from that era include Dido’s No Angel, Keane’s Hopes and Fears and The Killers’ Hot Fuss.

The most recent album on the list is Sam Smith’s 2014 debut In The Lonely Hour, while Mike Oldfield’s timeless Tubular Bells (1973) is the oldest.

James Blunt

Nothing from the 1960s has made it into the top 20, meaning albums like The Beatles’ Please Please Me and The Rolling Stones’ self-titled debut have missed out.

That’s a reflection of several factors – a lower UK population, with less access to home stereo equipment, at a time when singles were the dominant sales format.

It was only later in the decade that albums became seen as a valid artistic pursuit, thanks to innovative releases like the Beatles’ Revolver, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Bob Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde.

National Album Day is now in its fifth year. It will be marked by the release of 30 debut albums in a collectible format, including Lady Gaga’s The Fame on pale blue vinyl, and The Spice Girls’ Spice on white vinyl.

It is organised by British record industry association the BPI, which has also revealed the biggest-selling debut albums from every nation and region of the UK.

Oasis’s Definitely Maybe emerged victorious in the north-west, with Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys scoring a home victory in Yorkshire.

Duffy’s Rockferry is the top album by an artist from Wales, with Emeli Sande’s Our Version of Events representing Scotland, and Katie Melua’s Call Off The Search topping the charts for Northern Ireland.

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