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.
Elsewhere on the UK albums chart nine releases debut in the top 40, with singer-songwriter Dodie’s Human EP at number five and electronic music troubadour James Blake’s Assume Form at number six.
On the singles chart Ariana Grande continues to dominate as 7 Rings, the second single from her upcoming album Thank U, Next, debuts at number one.
It garners her biggest opening week for a single in the UK, surpassing 2014’s Problem ft. Iggy Azalea, which saw 113,000 combined sales in its first week compared to 7 Rings’ 126,000. It makes Grande the first female artist to earn more than 100,000 combined sales in one week since Adele released Hello in 2015.
Sam Smith also returns with Normani collaboration Dancing With A Stranger and Scottish DJ Calvin Harris moves to number five with his track Giants ft. Rag’n’Bone Man.