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Looking Back at the Best-Selling Albums of 2023


cds and cassette tapes on a pink background, with Taylor Swift, The Weekend, Elton John and harry Styles

Now that 2024 is officially in full swing, and the official data is in, it’s time to take a look at the best-selling albums of 2023. 

Overview 

The Official Charts has unveiled the top 40 albums of 2023 in the UK, with The Weeknd's compilation, "The Highlights," claiming the top spot. Taylor Swift asserted her dominance with seven albums in the Top 40, while Fleetwood Mac's "50 Years – Don’t Stop," a compilation of their greatest hits, secured the sixth position. 


The title of the UK's Official biggest new album of 2023 went to Taylor Swift's "1989 (Taylor’s Version)," amassing over 299,000 chart units and earning the distinction of being the most physically-purchased album of the year with 185,000 chart units. Despite her achievements, Swift holds the second position for the most UK No. 1 albums by a female artist, trailing behind Madonna's 11 with 7. 


The Official Top 10 Albums of 2023


The Official Top 10 Albums of 2023 is an eclectic mix with compilations of greatest hits featuring heavily. Interestingly, the only album in the top 10 released in 2023 is Taylor Swift's 1989 (Taylor's Version), which was a re-recording of the version released in 2014. In the digital era, it has become commonplace for songs and albums from days gone by to resurface at the top of the charts, influenced by social media and the ease of digital downloads. However, it’s interesting that compilation albums are doing so well these days, given how easy it is to create a playlist of your favourite songs nowadays. 

Here are the top 10 albums of 2023: 


1 THE HIGHLIGHTS – THE WEEKND

2 MIDNIGHTS – TAYLOR SWIFT

3 1989 (TAYLOR'S VERSION) – TAYLOR SWIFT

4 DIAMONDS – ELTON JOHN

5 HARRY'S HOUSE – HARRY STYLES

6 50 YEARS – DON'T STOP – FLEETWOOD MAC

7 CURTAIN CALL – THE HITS – EMINEM

8 SOS – SZA

9 AM – ARCTIC MONKEYS

10 GOLD – GREATEST HITS – ABBA


The Highlights – The Weekend

The Highlights is Canadian singer The Weekend's second greatest hits album but the first that was globally released. It was released in 2021, the year after the singer's fourth studio album, After Hours (2020). The Highlights features songs from the artist's debut mixtape, House of Balloons (2011), his EP My Dear Melancholy (2018), songs from the chart-topping albums Beauty Behind the Madness (2015), Starboy (2016), and After Hours (2020) as well as collaborations with Ariana Grande and Kendrick Lamar. 


Midnights – Taylor Swift

Midnights is American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album, which was released in October 2022. The album concept is based on the artist's nocturnal ruminations and sleepless nights. With autobiographical songwriting, the album explores emotional themes of heartbreak, infatuation, regret, fantasies, and self-critique. 


1989 (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift

1989 (Taylor's Version) is Taylor Swift's fourth re-recorded album. Released in October 2023, the album is a re-recording of the artist's fifth studio album, 1989, which was released back in 2014 but has been subject to a dispute regarding the masters of her back catalogue. The synth-pop album is inspired by the 1980s and contains re-recorded versions of the tracks on the original deluxe edition as well as five previously unreleased tracks. 


Diamonds – Elton John

Released back in 2017, Diamonds is a greatest hits album by the iconic British artist Elton John. It features hits spanning four decades from 1970 – 2016. The album was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the artist’s work with lyricist Bernie Taupin. Diamonds is Elton John's fifth greatest hits album, following Greatest Hits (1970), The Very Best of Elton John (1990), Greatest Hits 1970 – 2002 (2002) and Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits (2007). 


Harry’s House – Harry Styles 

Harry's House is British singer-songwriter Harry Styles third studio album. and it was released in May 2022. Inspired by Japanese city pop from the 1970s, the album has been noted as the artist's most introspective work, and it includes influences from synth-pop, new wave, pop funk and pop rock. It debuted at number one on the UK album charts, became the biggest album of 2022, and has remained in the charts ever since. 


Conclusion

Well, that’s a wrap for 2023. In 2024, anticipate diverse album releases spanning genres, promising a musical journey that caters to all tastes. Established artists look set to venture into innovative realms while emerging talents redefine the boundaries of sound. With the much-anticipated comebacks of The Libertines and Green Day and fresh offerings from exciting acts such as The Last Dinner Party and Declan McKenna, the upcoming 12 months are poised to provide a captivating playlist for your 2024. What will be the soundtrack that shapes your year? 

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