The Beatles were the first act to have three No. 1 albums in a calendar year three times. The Fab Four topped the chart in 1964 with Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles’ Second Album and the A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack; in 1965 with Beatles ’65, Beatles VI and the Help! soundtrack; and in 1966 with Rubber Soul, “Yesterday”…And Today and Revolver.
The Fine Print I: Simon & Garfunkel had a No. 1 album in 1968, Bookends. They had several songs on The Graduate soundtrack too, which also hit No.1 that year. (One album or the other was No. 1 for 16 consecutive weeks!) Billboard doesn’t count The Graduate as an S&G album. By the same token, Eminem had a No. 1 album in 2002, The Eminem Show. He also had several songs on the 8 Mile soundtrack, which hit No. 1 that year too. But 8 Mile isn’t counted as an Eminem album.
The Fine Print II: Paul McCartney had a No. 1 solo album in 1970 and also had two No. 1 albums that year with The Beatles. George Harrison had a No. 1 solo album in 1973 and McCartney had a No. 1 album as frontman of Paul McCartney & Wings, while both also had a No. 1 album that year with The Beatles. But that’s a little different.
The Fine Print III: Shout-out to the great Julie Andrews, who was the principal artist on two film soundtracks that hit No. 1 in 1965: Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. The albums weren’t credited to her personally, however.