Music Article

Staying Power

Pop Music's Longest Charters

Remember Pink Floyd's classic The Dark Side of the Moon? As well as encouraging the ingestion of hallucinogens, the 1973 album earned the distinction of residing on Billboard's Top 200 chart for a record 741 weeks (14 years!). During that period, album sales were calculated from a number of sources, including reports from record stores. And with offers of bribes, there was potential for fibbing. A little of that — and a lot of aggressive promotion — helped keep Moon chartbound until 1987.

Since the computer-tallying SoundScan was introduced in '91, the likelihood of a repeat performance is remote. Still, a number of records have lodged in the Top 200 for more than a year — some for more than four years. ''There are a variety of reasons, whether it be an extended marketing campaign, constant touring, or simply a great record,'' says Billboard's Michael Ellis. Here are the 15 longest-running albums currently on the chart.

ARTIST / ALBUM / WEEKS

ORIGINAL LONDON CAST / Phantom of the Opera / 240
VAN MORRISON / The Best of Van Morrison / 228
GARTH BROOKS / Garth Brooks / 222
GARTH BROOKS / No Fences / 212
ENIGMA / MCMXC A.D. / 189
METALLICA / Metallica / 163
NIRVANA / Nevermind / 151
ENYA / Shepherd Moons / 149
BROOKS & DUNN / Brand New Man / 147
PEARL JAM / Ten / 145
+ GARTH BROOKS / Ropin' The Wind / 132
MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER / Come On Come On / 117
ERIC CLAPTON / Unplugged / 109
GEORGE STRAIT / Pure Country (Soundtrack) / 106
QUEEN / Greatest Hits / 106

Originally posted Oct 14, 1994 Published in issue #244 Oct 14, 1994 Order article reprints
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