In sixty years the single us Brits have bought the most is Elton John’s double A-side “Candle in the Wind”/“Something About the Way You Look Tonight” released soon after Princess Diana’s death in 1997, which shifted 4.9m copies.
It is Number 1 on the Official Single Chart’s ‘The Million Sellers’ which (as you might guess) is a list of singles that have sold over a million copies. Of the 32,000 tracks that have entered the chart since it began in 1952, only 123 have broken through the million copies sales barrier.
Elton John’s entry is followed by Band Aid’s 1984 “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (3.69m sold) and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (which sold 2.36m copies since 1975).
It isn’t all epic ballads and heart-wrenching melodies, however. At Number 5 is John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s Grease single “You’re The One That I Want”, a stalwart of cheesy club nights, karaoke and teenage girls. The duo make a second appearance at Number 20, with "Summer Nights".
The Beatles surprisingly fail to make the top five, their top entry “She Loves You” reaching eighth place with 1.90m sales - although Paul McCartney makes it with "Wings" at Number 4.
You might think that what with Spotify, Deezer and Napster, plus the launch of the first music-streaming charts earlier this year, the singles chart as we know it might soon be a thing of the past.
But on the 60th anniversary of the Official Singles Charts it says 2012 looks set to be the biggest ever year for singles sales in this country.