The biggest album of 2022 so far is Ed Sheeran’s = (Equals), the Official Charts Company can reveal today.
Having claimed the title of the second-biggest album of 2021 overall, the 31-year-old’s fourth studio record leads the charge at this year’s halfway point. To date this year, = has racked up 256,000 combined UK chart units and counting.
A recently-released Tour Edition of = will also give the album a new lease of life as we enter the third quarter, with Ed having recently completed the UK leg of his +–=÷x (Mathematics) Tour. Since its release in October 2021, = has achieved 689,000 combined UK chart sales, and is also the most streamed and downloaded album of the year to date.
At Number 2 is 2022’s biggest new release album; Harry Styles’ Harry’s House. The One Direction star’s third solo LP, which saw him claim the rare Official Chart Double as he topped both the Official Albums Chart and Official Singles Chart with lead track As It Was, has already achieved 244,000 UK chart sales since its release in May. No other release this year has sold more copies on physical formats, the record has spent three non-consecutive weeks atop the Official Albums Chart this year.
Elsewhere in the year-to-date Top 5, Olivia Rodrigo’s debut SOUR is at 3, having spent over a year on the Official Albums Chart since its release in June 2021. Adele’s 30 is the fourth-biggest album of 2022 so far, accumulating over 120,000 chart sales this year.
A host of greatest hits collections also appear in the Top 10 of 2022 to date, with Little Mix’s Between Us (5), Fleetwood Mac’s 50 Years – Don’t Stop (6), The Weeknd’s The Highlights (7) and Eminem’s Curtain Call: The Hits (9) all proving popular at the midway mark. Other chart mainstays continuing to make an impact include Queen’s Greatest Hits (12), ABBA’s Gold – The Greatest Hits (13) and Oasis’s career-spanning compilation Time Flies – 1994-2009 (17).
It’s a big year for new releases, too, with many Number 1 albums amongst the year’s biggest records so far. At Number 10, The Weeknd’s Dawn FM has enjoyed over 101,000 combined chart sales since its January release. Liam Gallagher’s recent chart-topper C’Mon You Know also gets off to a strong start at Number 15 on the list.
The biggest new British release of the year so far comes courtesy of Shepherd’s Bush-born drill rapper Central Cee and his mixtape 23 (20). The inclusion of D-Block Europe’s Home Alone 2 mixtape (23) further proves the UK’s appetite for homegrown hip-hop.
Other new releases on the end-of-Q2 Official Albums Chart Top 40 include Years & Years’ glittering third release Night Call (27); a Number 1 record back in January. George Ezra’s Gold Rush Kid, the singer-songwriter’s June 2022 chart-topper, makes its mark on the year-to-date chart already (30), Kendrick Lamar’s latest release, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, also features on the list (32).
Finally, Wet Leg’s chart-topping self-titled debut album comes in at Number 39, while Brighton rapper ArrDee sees his debut mixtape Pier Pressure round off the list at Number 40.