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Sunday, January 25, 1998 Published at 07:41 GMT


Beatles are still top of the pops
image: [ Pepper beats Spice ]
Pepper beats Spice

The Beatles still rule in Britain's record collections, according to the 36,000 voters who took part in Channel 4's Music Of The Millennium poll, voting Sergeant Pepper the best album ever.

Nearly three decades after they split, the Fab Four remain firm favourites with the British public with three albums in the top 10 of the 100 albums chosen while the comparative newcomers, the Spice Girls, languish at number 62.

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, often chosen by both pop pundits and punters alike as their number one silenced the Beatles' critics at the time according to Sir Paul McCartney.

"Just before Pepper, the newspapers weren't very nice to us. They were saying `The Beatles are finished, they've dried up'. But it was great, because we were making this album and thinking: `Ha! Wait until you hear this."

Sergeant Pepper has sold 15 million copies worldwide and 4.25 million in Britain alone, making it the UK's biggest selling album.

The 1990s

The 1990s are most successful with music lovers according to the poll of Channel 4 viewers, HMV customers and Guardian readers with 33 out of the top 100 albums coming from the present decade. The 1970s came next with 32, 19 from the 1960s, only 15 from the 1980s and just two oldies but goodies from the 1950s.

All three Oasis albums and two by Radiohead are in the 100. Classical albums do not score with those surveyed at all, and nor, surprisingly, does Elvis. "Although Elvis stamped his mark on many songs, there isn't really an album that is identified with him," an HMV spokesman suggested. The Smiths and Led Zeppelin are other popular artists with three albums in the top 100.

British artists dominate the poll; 53 of the 100 are by British artists, 38 American, four Irish and three Canadian. Only eight of the 100 are by female artists.

The Top Ten

1 Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band The Beatles
2 The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
3 Revolver The Beatles
4 The Bends Radiohead
5 (What's The Story) Morning Glory Oasis
6 Dark Side Of The Moon Pink Floyd
7 OK Computer Radiohead
8 Nevermind Nirvana
9 Astral Weeks Van Morrison
10 White Album The Beatles

Full 1-100 list

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24 Jan 98 | UK
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