THE Greatest Showman soundtrack has equalled Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s record for weeks spent at number one – after spending 28 non-consecutive weeks in the top spot.
The cast recording of the box office hit needs just one more week to topple the Beatles’ eighth studio album, which logged 28 weeks at the top between its release in June 1967 and February 1968.
The Greatest Showman could also overtake the Beatles’ debut, Please Please Me, which was released in 1963 and spent 30 non-consecutive weeks at number one.
This week the soundtrack notched up more than double the combined sales of its closest competitor, George Ezra’s Staying At Tamara’s, according to the Official Charts Company.
The cast recording, which includes vocals from actors Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron, was the biggest-selling album of 2018, and was the first number one album of 2019.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is considered to be the Beatles’ most influential album and is credited with introducing psychedelia into mainstream British culture.
On present form, The Greatest Showman is likely to overtake Sgt. Pepper’s next week and could go on to outperform a string of other landmark recordings.
30 weeks: Please Please Me
The Beatles’ debut album hit number one in May 1963 and remained there without a break until November, when it was knocked off the top by the group’s second LP, With The Beatles.
33 weeks: Bridge Over Troubled Water
Simon & Garfunkel’s last studio album went straight to number one on its release in February 1970. It was still making return visits to the top of the chart in September 1971.
48 weeks: The King & I
The soundtrack album to the hugely successful musical film made several trips to number one between October 1956 and March 1958. The songs – written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein – included I Whistle a Happy Tune, Shall We Dance? and Getting to Know You.
70 weeks: The Sound Of Music
Another soundtrack written by Rodgers and Hammerstein. It first hit number one in June 1965 and made repeat visits to the top until November 1968.
115 weeks: South Pacific
A blockbuster of a hit, this soundtrack album ended up spending more than two years at the top of the UK album charts. It first went to number one in November 1958 and stayed there without a break until March 1960. It went on returning to the top spot until September 1961. Songs included There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame, Happy Talk and Some Enchanted Evening, and were once again written by Rodgers and Hammerstein.