Pop Facts From The 2012 Charts

The expletive-ridden underground rap hit 212 by Azealia Banks sold more copies (383,000) than Wings, the big comeback single from X Factor winners Little Mix (372,000).

Sweary Azealia sells more than Little Mix

Perhaps because only Azealia's song has the approval of both Jay-Z and 10 Downing Street.

Never knowingly outsold

John Lewis remained more influential in the charts than they had any right to be. Their interesting-song-by-boring-person campaigns helped sell 335,000 copies of The Power Of Love and Never Tear Us Apart. In next year's campaign, 212 will be sung by 16-year-old elfin warbler Birdy.

Who didn't win the midweeks battle?

Eight songs were No 1 in the Official Midweek Chart on Wednesday but had lost out by Sunday. They were by Bruno Mars, One Direction, Amelia Lily, P!nk, The Wanted, Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo and Alyssa Reid ft Jump Smokers. Bunch of losers.

More Malcolm Tucker, please

In 2012, more people bought The Thick Of It complete box set than Call The Midwife, Celebrity Juice Too Juicy For TV 2 or Top Gear The Worst Car In History. Please can Christmas TV be adjusted accordingly.

The video faithful

Last week 44 people bought films on VHS. Their purchases included: The Lion King, The Grinch, Peter Pan and The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Olly Murs is really flying high

Olly Murs sold more copies (353,000) of his new record than Rihanna sold of hers (317,000). That's Rihanna, who spent an estimated $5m flying journalists around the world in promotion of the record and Olly Murs, who looks like a spoon.

The return of the young British artists

The best selling album released this year was Emeli Sandé's Our Version Of Events, followed by Born To Die by Lana Del Rey, Babel by Mumford and Sons, Take Me Home by One Direction and Right Place Right Time by Olly Murs. None of these artists are over 30, and all except Lana are from the UK.

The X Factor means nothing

Tulisa sold fewer albums in 2012 (23,000) than Kendrick Lamar, First Aid Kit and Django Django. She was on the biggest TV show on the country every week, and even got up from behind the judges desk to perform her amorphous single but Tulisa still managed to sell less records than these Guardian favourites, as well as her cousin and former N-Dubz bandmate, Dappy.

You can give music away and still sell it

The Weeknd's album Trilogy sold 90,000 in the US in its first week. Despite that fact that it was almost entirely made up of songs that are available for free on his first three download-only EPs.

Data: The Official Charts Company

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Sam Wolfson, for The Guardian on Thursday 27th December 2012 07.00 Europe/London

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image: © Dan Moyle