Yesterday, the Official Charts Company in Britain issued a special report on the biggest selling albums of the CD era (October 1982 to today) to celebrate its thirtieth birthday.

ABBA is the big winner over the last three decades as their Gold: Greatest Hits has sold four-million copies in the U.K. but whether it will keep that crown much longer is in question. Adele’s 21 is now the second biggest selling CD, just 400,000 copies behind. Both continue to chart in the weekly top 100 so a horse race could soon be coming.

Coldplay is the biggest selling artist of the era, scoring three albums in the top 30 (A Rush of Blood to the Head (#13), X&Y (#19), Parachutes (#21)). Robbie Williams is the second biggest artist of the CD era, also with three albums (I’ve Been Expecting You (#25), Greatest Hits (#26), Swing When You’re Winning (#27)). Dido is the only other artist to have multiple albums on the list (No Angel (#6), Life For Rent (#11)).

The CD era in Britain hasn’t been that kind to veteran artists. Beyond ABBA, the only other ones to make it are the Beatles (1 (#12)) and George Michael (Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of (#30)).

The top thirty

Gold: Greatest Hits – ABBA
21 - Adele
What’s the Story Morning Glory? – Oasis
Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
Back to Bedlam - James Blunt
No Angel – Dido
Come On Over – Shania Twain
Spirit - Leona Lewis
Urban Hymns – Verve
White Ladder – David Gray
Life For Rent – Dido
1 – Beatles
A Rush of Blood to the Head – Coldplay
Beautiful World – Take That
Hopes and Fears – Keane
Crazy Love – Michael Buble
Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters
Talk on Corners – Coors
X&Y – Coldplay
The Man Who – Travis
Parachutes – Coldplay
The Fame – Lady Gaga
Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
Only By the Night – Kings of Leon
I’ve Been Expecting You – Robbie Williams
Greatest Hits – Robbie Williams
Swing While You’re Winning – Robbie Williams
The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem
Eyes Open – Snow Patrol
Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of - George Michael

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