Twenty Years of #1 Albums

For twenty years, from 5 November 1983 to the end of 2003, I maintained a top ten albums chart. One can see how my listening tastes evolved in the later years, when there could be no English-language albums in the top ten whatsoever. The albums chart was prone to a higher level of volatility, where having an album bounce back and forth from the top spot was not uncommon. If an album fell from #1 and returned to the top spot, I have marked that occurrence with an asterisk. Albums are listed in chronological order when they hit #1, followed by album title, artist, and number of weeks spent at #1 in parentheses.

1983

001. Thriller–Michael Jackson (2) [a]
002. Say Say Say–Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson (1) [EP]
003. Pipes of Peace–Paul McCartney (11)

1984

004. Milk and Honey–John Lennon and Yoko Ono (26)
005. Victory–Jacksons (3)*
006. Purple Rain–Prince and the Revolution (10)*
007. Give My Regards to Broad Street–Paul McCartney (16)

1985

008. Valotte–Julian Lennon (15)
009. Songs from the Big Chair–Tears For Fears (12)*
010. The Power Station–The Power Station (5)
011. Reckless–Bryan Adams (4)*
012. Voices Carry–’til tuesday (2)
013. Once Upon a Time–Simple Minds (16)

1986

014. John Lennon Live in New York City–John Lennon (6) [L]
015. Love–The Cult (3)
016. The Secret Value of Daydreaming–Julian Lennon (7)
017. Heart–Heart (4)
018. True Blue–Madonna (10)*
019. Press to Play–Paul McCartney (6)
020. So–Peter Gabriel (5)*
021. Notorious–Duran Duran (9)*

1987

022. Hot Together–Pointer Sisters (9)*
023. Slippery When Wet–Bon Jovi (1)
024. The Joshua Tree–U2 (4)
025. Live/1975-85–Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (3) [L]
026. Live in the City of Light–Simple Minds (11) [L]
027. Bad–Michael Jackson (8)*
028. Tunnel of Love–Bruce Springsteen (7)
029. Cloud Nine–George Harrison (21)

1988

030. Serious Slammin’–Pointer Sisters (9)*
031. Whenever You Need Somebody–Rick Astley (3)
032. Lovesexy–Prince (1)
033. Faith–George Michael (8)
034. Hysteria–Def Leppard (4)
035. Rattle and Hum–U2 (3)
036. Big Thing–Duran Duran (3)
037. Volume One–Traveling Wilburys (16)

1989

038. Like a Prayer–Madonna (18)*
039. Street Fighting Years–Simple Minds (3)
040. Flowers in the Dirt–Paul McCartney (18)*
041. Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814–Janet Jackson (6)

1990

042. Forever Your Girl–Paula Abdul (1)
043. Cosmic Thing–The B-52’s (14)
044. I’m Breathless–Madonna (7)
045. Right Rhythm–The Pointer Sisters (12)
046. Affection–Lisa Stansfield (2)
047. Liberty–Duran Duran (1)
048. X–INXS (14)*
049. Vol. 3–Traveling Wilburys (1)
050. The Immaculate Collection–Madonna (7) [G]

1991

051. Out of Time–R.E.M. (16)*
052. Real Life–Simple Minds (8)
053. Gonna Make You Sweat–c + c music factory (1)
054. Waking Up the Neighbours–Bryan Adams (5)
055. Diamonds and Pearls–Prince And The N.P.G. (4)
056. Dangerous–Michael Jackson (15)

1992

057. Achtung Baby–U2 (10)
058. Adrenalize–Def Leppard (9)*
059. Nevermind–Nirvana (4)
060. Good Stuff–The B-52’s (10)*
061. Erotica–Madonna (10)*
062. Automatic for the People–R.E.M. (5)*

1993

063. Off the Ground–Paul McCartney (19)*
064. San Francisco Days–Chris Isaak (9)*
065. janet.–Janet Jackson (3)
066. Zooropa–U2 (2)
067. Republic–New Order (1)
068. The Beatles/1967-1970–The Beatles (3) [R]
069. Very–Pet Shop Boys (25)*

1994

070. Only Sisters Can Do That–Pointer Sisters (12)
071. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues–k.d. lang (6)
072. Zero Patience  A Musical About AIDS (12)* [S] 
073. Bedtime Stories–Madonna (3)
074. Monster–R.E.M. (3)*
075. ‘Live at the BBC’–The Beatles (7) [E]

1995

076. Endless Summer  Donna Summer’s Greatest Hits–Donna Summer (2) [G]
077. Good News from the Next World–Simple Minds (6)
078. Thank You–Duran Duran (7)
079. Forever Blue–Chris Isaak (3)
080. History  Past, Present and Future  Book 1–Michael Jackson (4) [G]
081. Bizarre Fruit–M People (8)
082. Alternative–Pet Shop Boys (5) [K]
083. Design of a Decade 1986/1996–Janet Jackson (5) [G]
084. The Beatles Anthology 1–The Beatles (12) [E]

1996

085. Jagged Little Pill–Alanis Morissette (6)*
086. The Beatles Anthology 2–The Beatles (10) [E]
087. Fire–The Very Best of the Pointer Sisters–Pointer Sisters (15) [G]
088. New Adventures in Hi-Fi–R.E.M. (3)
089. Bilingual–Pet Shop Boys (4)
090. Hits–Joni Mitchell (1) [G]
091. The Beatles Anthology 3–The Beatles (10) [E]

1997

092. Blue–LeAnn Rimes (15)
093. (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?–Oasis (3)
094. Flaming Pie–Paul McCartney (4)
095. Evita (18)* [S]
096. Be Here Now–Oasis (3)
097. The Velvet Rope–Janet (14)*
098. Jackpot! The Las Vegas Story–Various Artists (2) [K]
099. fresco–m people (4)
100. Diana Princess of Wales  Tribute–Various Artists (1) [K]

1998

101. ray of light–Madonna (30)
102. Time Capsule  Songs for a Future Generation–The B-52’s (2) [G]
103. Vihma–Värttinä (29)* [F]
104. The Best of 1980-1990  The B-Sides 1980-1990–U2 (3) [G][K]

1999

105. the best of m people–m people (9)* [G]
106. Karelia Visa–Hedningarna (6) [F]
107. emo–sari kaasinen (14)* [F]
108. Nightlife–Pet Shop Boys (3)*
109. Joko Joulun alkaa saa–Sari ja Mari Kaasinen (1) [F][X][C] 

2000

110. Aitara–Värttinä (3)* [F][C]
111. Live & More Encore!–Donna Summer (2)* [L]
112. Oi dai–Värttinä (3)* [F][C]
113. Standing on the Shoulder of Giants–Oasis (2)
114. Seleniko–Värttinä (19)* [F][C]
115. hits and assorted secrets 1984-1993–the northern pikes (1) [G]
116. Ilmatar–Värttinä (26)* [F]
117. “Music”–Madonna (8)*
118. 1–The Beatles (8)* [G]

2001

119. Before the Storm–Darude (1) [I]
120. All for You–Janet Jackson (6)*
121. Wingspan  Hits and History–Paul McCartney (5) [G]
122. Do You Miss New York?–Rosemary Clooney (3) [C]
123. 6.12.–Värttinä (11)* [F][L]
124. “Driving Rain”–Paul McCartney (5)*
125. All Things Must Pass–George Harrison (5) [C]

2002

126. Sinä päivänä kun synnyin–Ultra Bra (26)* [F][G]
127. Release–Pet Shop Boys (2)
128. Kroketti–Ultra Bra (11)* [F][C]
129. Heathen Chemistry–Oasis (2)
130. Elv1s  30 #1 Hits–Elvis Presley (5) [G]
131. Brainwashed–George Harrison (5)

2003

132. Vesireittejä–Ultra Bra (4) [F][C]
133. Vapaaherran elämää–Ultra Bra (2) [F][C]
134. Kalifornia— Ultra Bra (1) [F][C]
135. iki–Värttinä (11)* [F]
136. Onnelliset kohtaa–Scandinavian Music Group (6)* [F]
137. American Life–Madonna (7)*
138. Nousukausi (1) [F][S]
139. Elvis  2nd to None–Elvis Presley (4) [K]
140. Let it Be… Naked–The Beatles (3) [E]
141. Now That’s What I Call Christmas 2!  The Signature Collection–Various Artists (1) [X][K]
142. Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas–Ella Fitzgerald (1) [X][C] 

[a] My chart started after Thriller had been in release for close to one year already.

[C] = Catalogue title. Many older albums appeared on my chart if I took a particular interest in them. As I discovered Finnish music, some groups’ older titles reached #1 after their more current releases.  

[E] = Earlier or older “from the vault” recordings, previously unreleased.  

[EP] = A 12″ single. In the first months of my albums chart I would rank 12″ maxi-singles or 12″ extended plays in with my full-length long-playing albums. In a sense I was ranking discs based on their size, as opposed to their content.

[F] = An album recorded in a language other than English. Since the only foreign-language albums to hit #1 were sung in Finnish, the [F] seems appropriate.

[G] = Greatest hits collection.

[I] = Instrumental album with minimal vocals.

[K] = Compilation. This is a collection of songs that would not necessarily comprise a greatest hits collection. 

[L] = Live recording.

[R] = Rerelease or reissue of an older album. While also catalogue titles, these are albums released for the first time on CD which had an impact on my charts shortly after their digital release. When Apple Records started to release its vast non-Beatle catalogue on CD for the first time starting in 1991, almost every album made an appearance in my top ten.

[S] = Soundtrack.

[X] = Christmas album.

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