UK’s biggest debut album revealed

Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf has been named the UK’s biggest debut album.

The 1977 record catapulted its flamboyant American creator, real name Michael Aday, to international fame and inspired sequel albums and a stage musical.

It tops a ranking compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) for National Album Day which has “Celebrating debut albums” as its theme for 2022.

Meat Loaf to tour UK
Rock veteran Meat Loaf (Zak Hussein/PA)

The singer, whose hits also include I’d Do Anything For Love and Paradise By The Dashboard Light, died on January 20 this year, aged 74, with his wife and daughters by his side.

For the chart, the OCC looked at UK sales and streams combined since records began in 1956.

Second place went to James Blunt’s 2004 debut Back To Bedlam – also the biggest debut by a British artist.

Featuring the hit You’re Beautiful, the album spent 10 weeks at number one in the UK and was the top album of the year and of the 2000s.

In third place was Leona Lewis with 2007’s Spirit, who also secured the biggest debut by a UK female artist.

Released the year after she won The X Factor, the album includes the number one singles A Moment Like This and Bleeding Love, as well as her chart-topping cover of Snow Patrol’s Run.

Lewis said: “I had the most incredible support from the UK when I released my debut album Spirit.

“I was overwhelmed with how much love it received and I just remember feeling the same then as I do now, endlessly thankful to everyone that listened and supported me. I felt like I was representing my county and that felt amazing.”

Graham Norton Show – London
James Blunt (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Number four went to Lady Gaga’s 2008 album The Fame, while Dido claimed number five with 1999’s No Angel.

At number six were the Spice Girls with their 1996 debut Spice – the highest-ranked album from a group.

Five of the record’s 10 tracks went to number including the enduring hits Wannabe, Say You’ll Be There and 2 Become 1.

Debuts by Keane, Alanis Morissette, Sam Smith and Coldplay complete the top 10.

Steve Wright will announce the top 20 during a special programme on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday October 15 between 1-3pm and available on BBC Sounds from Friday October 14.

He said: “Bat Out Of Hell reaching number one as the UK’s biggest debut album of all-time might be a surprise to some, but it is a truly brilliant debut album and one which reached a whole new audience following the sad passing of Meat Loaf earlier this year.

“You’re in for a treat with the full chart so do tune in for a fantastic nostalgia trip with some of the most brilliant songs you’ll ever hear.”

– The UK’s top 20 debut albums

1. Bat Out Of Hell – Meat Loaf
2. Back To Bedlam – James Blunt
3. Spirit – Leona Lewis
4. The Fame – Lady Gaga
5. No Angel – Dido
6. Spice – Spice Girls
7. Hopes And Fears – Keane
8. Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette
9. In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
10. Parachutes – Coldplay
11. Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
12. Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters
13. Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman
14. + – Ed Sheeran
15. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
16. 19 – Adele
17. Appetite for Destruction – Guns N’ Roses
18. Our Version of Events – Emeli Sande
19. Definitely Maybe – Oasis
20. Hot Fuss – The Killers