Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Queen, Taylor Swift, Michael Bublé and the Albums With the Most Weeks at No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums

By Michael May 29, 2024

Taylor Swift’s Lover logs its 45th week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Catalog Albums chart, extending its record for the longest run by a female solo artist in the chart’s history. Lover eclipsed Adele’s debut album, 19, four weeks ago.

Lover didn’t get all that much love (at least by Swift’s sky-high standards) when it was released. The album spent just one week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was passed over for a Grammy nod for album of the year (though it did receive a Grammy nod for best pop vocal album). But the belated success of “Cruel Summer,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks starting in October 2023, more than four years after the album’s release, has revived the album. The phenomenal success of the Eras Tour has also kept it high on the charts.

The Catalog Albums chart ranks the week’s most popular catalog albums in the U.S. Catalog albums are titles that are older than 18 months old and have fallen below No. 100 on the Billboard 200 — or holiday albums in their second holiday season. The chart was introduced in Billboard in the issue dated May 25, 1991.

For the first 18 years of Top Catalog Albums, catalog albums weren’t eligible to appear on the Billboard 200. That changed with the Dec. 5, 2009-dated chart, when catalog restrictions were lifted, turning the Billboard 200 into an all-inclusive list of the best-selling albums in the country, regardless of their age. (The adjustment came after Michael Jackson’s death in June 2009, which triggered a sales explosion for his catalog titles. Jackson’s catalog compilation Number Ones was the best-selling album in six of the first seven weeks following his death, yet was ineligible for Billboard’s flagship chart – marking the first time a catalog album had outsold the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.) Starting with the issue dated Dec. 13, 2014, Billboard shifted from pure sales to a multi-factor consumption formula that also includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales.

We’re going to count down the 17 albums with the longest runs at No. 1 on Catalog Albums from 1991 to the present. It’s an eclectic list, to say the least. It includes two Christmas albums, a film soundtrack and a remarkably wide range of music, including pop, traditional pop, rock, hard rock, R&B, rap, country and reggae.

Eight of the albums on the list were released prior to the 1991 inception of the chart. Impressively, they made the list even though activity prior to the chart’s inception doesn’t count.

Here are the albums with the longest runs at No. 1 on Catalog Albums from 1991 to the present. Each entry includes the album’s release date, the date the album first reached No. 1 on Catalog Albums and the album’s peak position on the Billboard 200.

By Michael

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