Even though it’s the third best selling album in British history, the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has only just been certified platinum in the UK. For that, you can thank good old fashioned English beaurocracy.
Not only was the album released prior to when the British Phonographic Industry introduced recording certifications, but a rule that’s only just changed meant they were never actually eligible for platinum status because they hadn’t actually asked for it. The Guardian reports that the BPI only notified record labels if they requested it, meaning the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Marvin Gaye are only now seeing their old sales certificates come to light.
Platinum status in England requires 300,000 sales, which would mean Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has technically gone 17 times platinum, but for whatever reason the record’s sales are only being charted as of 1994. Since then, it’s sold just 900,000 copies in the U.K, meaning it’s officially certified triple platinum.
Not that it matters.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was already certified 11-times platinum in the U.S., one for every million copies sold and 8-times in Canada, one for every hundred thousand units sold. It is one of the best selling albums of all time and one of the most widely acclaimed. This is just an added footnote to one of the most highly regarded albums ever.