The Corrs Talk On Corners is the biggest selling Irish album in the UK over the past 50 years.
It also ranks as the No.20 best selling album of all time in the UK, a remarkable achievement for the Dundalk band, which accurately reflects the scale of their impact across the water.
The figures have been released by Music Week, the UK music trade bible, which is currently celebrating 50 years of publication. Music Week first hit the streets – or rather the desks! – in 1959, in time for the great explosion of music in Britain that happened with the beat boom of the 1960s.
"The Corrs achievement is astonishing, really," one industry insider told Hot Press. ""The No.1 album is Queen's Greatest Hits – but when you strip out the hit collections, Talk On Corners ranks right up there with the really big records that everyone is familiar with."
Ahead of Talk on Corners are records that went down in the annals – The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (No.2); Oasis' What's The Story Morning Glory (No. 4); Michael Jackson's Thriller (No.5); Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (No.7); Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (No.13); Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell (No.19). But a huge number of celebrated records follow, including the biggest selling albums by The Spice Girls, Coldplay, Take That, Robbie Williams and U2.
There are albums by three Irish bands in the Top 50, with U2's The Joshua Tree at No.28 and Snow Patrol's Eyes Open at No.50.
Contacted by Hot Press, Corrs manager John Hughes reflected on the overall achievement of Irish artists.
"It does make you proud to see Irish names ranking up there among the biggest albums," he commented. "I think it is important for us to be aware of the scale of the impact that Irish artists have had internationally. We are looking for ways to address the current economic crisis and I think the arts have a real role to play in that.
"I was listening to Colm Toibin this morning on the radio talking about threatened cuts to the arts and it occurred to me that a lot of people may underestimate contribution that the arts have made to the hugely positive perception of Ireland throughout the world.
"The Irish are very artistic. We have an extraordinary tradition in music and in literature, which is vital to the country in so many ways. And seeing The Corrs, U2 and Snow Patrol in the top 50 is a reminder of just how important Irish artists are, in the grand scheme of things. We need to support and encourage that in every way."
There are 15 albums from the US – just five times as many as from Ireland, from a population base that is a multiple of approximately 50 times ours. The maths may be basic, but the chart results give us a 6% representation in the Top 50 records, against competition from all over the world. They say that Ireland punches above its weight in the arts: one need look no further for proof.
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