Britain’s Official Charts Company, which is celebrating its 60th birthday, announced it’s honoring Paul McCartney with its second Official Record Breaker Award as the most successful album act of all time in the U.K. The honor was given for McCartney hitting the No. 1 album spot 22 times beginning from his time with the Beatles and continuing into his solo career.
The lengthy roster of chart toppers starts with 15 U.K. No. 1 albums when he with the Beatles: Please Please Me and With the Beatles in 1963; A Hard Day’s Night and Beatles For Sale in 1964; Help! and Rubber Soul in 1965; Revolver in 1966; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, The Beatles (White Album) in 1968, Abbey Road in 1969 and Let It Be in 1970. After the group’s break up, they hit No. 1 with 1977’s The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, which was just announced for re-release, Live at the BBC in 1974, Anthology 2 in 1996, and, finally, 1 in 2000.
His U.K. solo No. 1 albums start in 1971 with Ram by Paul and Linda McCartney, followed by the McCartney-Wings albums Band on the Run in 1973 and Venus and Mars in 1975; and the solo albums McCartney II in 1980; Tug of War in 1982; Give My Regards to Broad Street in 1984 and Flowers in the Dirt in 1989. By comparison, John Lennon has had 18 U.K. No. 1 albums, with George Harrison right behind at 17 and Ringo Starr at 15.
“Okay, you know how it really feels? It feels unbelievable, because when you write your songs you don’t count how well they’re doing,” McCartney said in a statement. “I remember when Please, Please Me went to No. 1, that was our first No. 1 record, and it’s a beautiful feeling to suddenly get this [award], I mean it’s amazing.
“So thank you to the people for giving it to me, I love you. And thank you to everyone who made it possible by buying the records, we love you too!”
“It is a huge honour for the Official Charts to pay tribute to Paul McCartney’s incredible achievements with this special award,” said Martin Talbot, Official Charts Company’s chief executive officer. “Over more than 50 years, Paul has been a fixture on the British and world music scene — so to recognize his contribution as part of the U.K. Albums Chart’s 60th birthday feels absolutely appropriate. Congratulations Paul! Here’s to many more No. 1 albums to come!”
McCartney is only the second record breaker to be honored by the Official Charts Company. The first was Justin Bieber, who in January became the first artist to hold the top three spots in the U.K. singles chart at the same time.