List of best-selling albums of the 1980s in the United Kingdom

Dire Straits had the #1 album of the 1980s with Brothers in Arms.
1980s in music in the UK
Number-one singles
Number-one albums
Best-selling singles
Best-selling albums
Summaries and charts
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
1979 1990
Top 10 singles
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
1979 1990

Albums are defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as being a type of music release that features more than four tracks and lasts longer than 25 minutes;[1] during the 1980s, sales of albums in the United Kingdom were compiled on behalf by of the British music industry by the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) until 4 January 1983, after which they were monitored by Gallup.[2]

The biggest-selling album of the 1980s was Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits, which was the first album to sell a million copies on CD.[3] Both Michael Jackson and Madonna had two of the best selling albums of the decade.


Best-selling albums of the 1980s in the UK
Position Album Artist Record label[1] Year[1] Peak on the
UK Albums Chart[1]
1 Brothers in Arms Dire Straits Vertigo 1985 1
2 Bad Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson Epic 1987 1
3 Thriller Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson Epic 1982 1
4 Greatest Hits Queen Parlophone 1981 1
5 Kylie Minogue, KylieKylie Minogue PWL 1988 1
6 Whitney Houston, WhitneyWhitney Houston Arista 1987 1
7 Tango in the Night Fleetwood Mac Warner Bros. 1987 1
8 No Jacket Required Collins, PhilPhil Collins Virgin 1985 1
9 True Blue Madonna Sire 1986 1
10 The Joshua Tree U2 Island 1987 1
11 Graceland Simon, PaulPaul Simon Warner Bros. 1986 1
12 Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby D'Arby, Terence TrentTerence Trent D'Arby CBS 1987 1
13 Popped In Souled Out Wet Wet Wet The Precious Organisation 1987 1
14 Ten Good Reasons Donovan, JasonJason Donovan PWL 1989 1
15 A New Flame Simply Red WEA 1989 1
16 Can't Slow Down Richie, LionelLionel Richie Motown 1983 1
17 Like a Virgin Madonna Sire 1984 1
18 Make It Big Wham! Epic 1984 1
19 Diamond Life Sade Epic 1984 2
20 Money for Nothing Dire Straits Vertigo 1988 1
  1. ^ a b c The record labels, years and chart peaks are those given by the OCC.[4]


  1. ^ "Rules For Chart Eligibility – Albums" (PDF). London: The Official UK Charts Company. January 2007. Archived from the original on 27 June 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Key Dates in the History of the Official UK Charts". The Official UK Charts Company. Archived from the original on 10 January 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Firth, Niall (17 August 2007). "25 years of the CD". Daily Mail (London: Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 9 September 2011. ... Dire Straits' classic album 'Brothers in Arms' was the first CD to sell one million copies ... 
  4. ^ "Artist Chart History". London: Official Charts Company. 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
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