The UK Singles Chart is an interesting thing, evolving within the past couple of years as, from 2014, streaming has counted towards sales at the rate of 100 streams equalling a single download or physical purchase.
Today we're taking a look at the top 10 best-selling songs in the UK since the addition of combined sales to the chart's formula and, surprisingly, there isn't an Adele song in sight! Here are the top 10 songs, in descending order!
10) Ed Sheeran - 'Thinking Out Loud' - Released June 2014 - Combined sales of 2,003,000
Now known as one of the biggest British artists the world has ever seen, Sheeran released this track from second studio album 'x'. Written by Sheeran alongside Amy Wadge, the tune was produced by Jake Gosling and spent 19 weeks in the UK top 40 before hitting number one. The song went on to become the first to spend a full year in the UK Top 40, and in September 2015 it was named as the seventh single ever to achieve triple platinum in the UK during the 21st century. At the 58th Grammy Awards, 'Thinking Out Loud' received three nominations and took home the prizes for 'Song of the Year' and 'Best Pop Solo Performance'.
9) Boney M. - 'Rivers of Babylon'/'Brown Girl in the Ring' - Released April 1978 - Combined sales of 2,030,000
'Rivers of Babylon' did well in the UK charts, but when it slipped to number 20, radios decided to flip the single and start playing traditional Caribbean nursery rhyme, 'Brown Girl in the Ring', which went all the way to number two and became a huge hit and perhaps Boney M.'s most recognisable in its own right. 'Rivers of Babylon' was recorded by various other artists but perhaps the oddest was a parody by The Barron Knights in their 1978 comedy A Taste Of Aggro. The lyrics of the song were changed and it became the group's biggest hit, reaching number three in the charts.
8) Frankie Goes to Hollywood - 'Relax' - Released November 1984 - Combined sales of 2,030,000
'Relax' wasn't just one of the most successful records of the 80s, but a song that was very controversial. Despite soaring to the top of the charts, BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Read refused to play the song on-air because of the lyrics and suggestive artwork from the single. The BBC would then ban the single themselves from their radio shows two days later, extending to Top of the Pops, which would display a still picture of the group when the song hit Number One, rather than playing the track or having the group perform live as would be normal. This went on for the full five weeks 'Relax' remained at number one and the BBC were left very embarrassed. Later in 1984, the ban on the song was lifted and it featured on the Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops, as well as Radio 1's rundown of the year's best-selling singles. Mark O'Toole of the group said of the controversy in 'Welcome to the Pleasuredome' album liner notes: "Everything I say is complete lies. Like, when people ask you what 'Relax' was about, when it first came out we used to pretend it was about motivation, and really it was about shagging."
7) John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John - 'You're the One That I Want' - Released May 1978 - Combined sales of 2,050,000
Written by John Farrar for 1978 movie Grease, 'You're the One That I Want' has estimates of selling over 15 million copies around the world. Released in conjunction with the film, the song became a huge hit across the globe, topping the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks and cementing the legacy of Grease in popular culture. There have been many covers and the song even appeared on 'Bob the Builder: The Album'. Of course, nobody does or sings it better than Travolta and Newton-John.
6) Wings - 'Mull of Kintyre'/'Girls' School' - Released November 1977 - Combined sales of 2,080,000
Becoming the Christmas number one in 1977, 'Mull of Kintyre' will go down in history as Wings' biggest hit in Britain. Though it did have some big international success, it didn't really reach the heights that were expected in America and Canada, peaking at only 33 and 34 in those countries respectively. Despite that, Paul McCartney and co. had to be happy with how it did. Paul still performs the song to this day, and the 18-piece Balmoral Highlanders Pipe Band joined him on stage at London's O2 Arena in 2009 to take on the hypnotic piece.
5) Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars - 'Uptown Funk' - Released December 2014 - Combined sales of 2,400,000
There's no denying that Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are two men in the modern-day pop industry who know the exact formula for a perfect pop song. They'll create and collaborate with some huge names to put together a song that will blaze right to the top of the charts within hours of being released, and they've got to be commended for that, whether or not you like the material they're putting out there. 'Uptown Funk' is an infectious and exciting tune with a brilliant choreography that has huge fans in Lady Gaga, Beyonce and more. It's easy to see how it spent seven non-consecutive weeks at the top of the UK chart.
4) Pharrell Williams - 'Happy' - Released November 2013 - Combined sales of 2,400,000
Again, in Pharrell Williams we have a man who knows exactly what it takes to make music catered to the young modern day generation. Featuring in the hugely successful 'Minions' movie, the song was loved by people of all ages and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. It went on to become the most successful song of 2014, with 13.9 million units sold in combined sales worldwide. Those are some BIG numbers.
3) Queen - 'Bohemian Rhapsody'/'These Are the Days of Our Lives' - Released November 1991 - Combined sales of 2,440,000
No great music listicle is complete without the addition of a Queen song. 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was written by the group's frontman, Freddie Mercury, and stuck to the top of the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks, selling over a million copies within two months. Now it's known as one of Queen's most popular songs of all time, despite upon its release being critically hounded by many. The influence the song has had following the huge dedication and work the band put into it has earned it a spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame, and in 2012 the song topped an ITV nationwide poll in the UK to find the Nation's Favourite Number One, which included over 60 years of music releases. All hail Queen.
2) Band Aid - 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' - Released November 1984 - Combined sales of 3,780,000
Written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the famine in Ethiopia, 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' may seem a little condescending on reflection, but there's no denying the good it's done and the money it's raised for some incredible causes. Worldwide, the single raked in sales of 11.7 million by 1989 and it has been re-recorded on multiple occasions by different artists throughout the years in a bid to continue the success and raise awareness for those less fortunate. The song is also hailed for leading to the Comic Relief charity events we still see take place to this day, and the Live Aid concert which took place seven months after release.
1) Elton John - 'Candle in the Wind 1997'/'Something About the Way You Look Tonight' - Released September 1997 - Combined sales of 4,930,000
Released for the second time as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, the song peaked at number one in the UK and became Elton John's fourth single to do so. In 2007, the Guinness Book of World Records stated that 'Candle in the Wind' was the biggest-selling single 'since records began', despite Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' selling more copies. Produced by George Martin, the song was loved by all because of its dedication to the tragic Princess. We'll forever miss Princess Diana and what could have been, but this is a fitting send off and memory in her honour, and will certainly forever hold a place in the history books.
Despite streaming obviously making some big changes to the way this would have looked before it had an impact, with Pharrell Williams and Ed Sheeran making the list, it's the classics and iconic artists such as Queen and Elton John who sit further towards the top.