UK Albums Chart
The UK Albums Chart is a list of album
An album is a collection of recordings, released as a single package on gramophone record, cassette, compact disc, or via digital distribution. The word derives from the Latin word for list .Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one half of the album...

s ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

 (Top 40), and published in Music Week
Music Week
Music Week is a trade paper for the UK record industry.Founded in 1959 as Record Retailer, it was relaunched on 18 March 1972 as Music Week . On 17 January 1981 the title was again changed, owing to the increasing importance of sell-through videos, to Music & Video Week...

 magazine (Top 75) and on the OCC website (Top 100).

To qualify for the UK albums chart the album must be the correct length and price. It must be more than 3 tracks or 20 minutes long and not be classed as a budget album. A budget album costs between £0.50 and £4.24. Additionally, various artist compilations - which until January 1989 were included in the main album listing - are now listed separately in a compilations chart. Full details of the rules can be found on the Official Charts Company website.

Though album sales tend to produce more revenue and, over time, act as a greater measure of an artist's success, this chart receives less media attention than the UK Singles Chart, due to overall sales of an album being more important than its peak position. Indeed, in recent years, the album chart has been in good health despite fears that music innovations such as MP3 players would threaten the traditional album. 2005 even saw a record number of artist album sales with 126.2 million sold in the UK.

According to the canon of The Official Charts Company, the official British albums chart is the Melody Maker
Melody Maker
Melody Maker, published in the United Kingdom, was, according to its publisher IPC Media, the world's oldest weekly music newspaper. It was founded in 1926 as a magazine targeted at musicians; in 2000 it was merged into "long-standing rival" New Musical Express.-1950s–1960s:Originally the Melody...

 chart from 8 November 1958 to March 1960 (although the Record Mirror
Record Mirror
Record Mirror was a British weekly pop music newspaper, founded by Isadore Green and featured, news articles, interviews, record charts, record reviews, concert reviews, letters from readers and photographs. The paper became respected by both mainstream pop music fans and serious record collectors...

 published charts from 28 July 1956 ); the Record Retailer
Record Retailer
Record Retailer was a trade newspaper for the UK record industry. It was founded in August 1959 as a monthly newspaper covering both labels and dealers. Its founding editor was Roy Parker...

 chart from 1960 to 1969; and the Official UK Albums Chart from 1969 on. In the 1970s the new album chart was revealed at 12.45pm on Thursdays on BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

, and then moved to 6.05 pm (later 6.30 pm) on Wednesday evenings during the Peter Powell
Peter Powell (disc jockey)
Peter Powell is a former disc jockey, popular on BBC Radio 1 in the late 1970s and 1980s, who has a second career in talent management.-Early career:...

 and Bruno Brookes
Bruno Brookes
Bruno Brookes is a British radio presenter who became prominent in the 1980s.-Early life and career:...

 shows. In October 1987 it moved to Monday lunchtimes, during the Gary Davies
Gary Davies
Gary Davies is a British broadcaster. During the 1980s and 1990s he was a BBC Radio 1 disc jockey and also a regular presenter of Top of the Pops.-Early career:...

 show, and from April to October 1993 it briefly had its own show from 7.00-8.00 pm on Sunday evenings, introduced by Lynn Parsons
Lynn Parsons
Lynn Margaret Parsons is a British disc jockey and currently presents Weekends 10am - 2pm on UK radio station Smooth Radio and various shows on for BBC Radio 2.-Career:...

. Since October 1993 it has been included in the UK Top 40 show from 4.00-7.00 pm on Sundays. A weekly 'Album Chart' show was licensed out to BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC's national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is best described as Adult Contemporary or AOR, although the station is also noted for its specialist broadcasting of other musical genres...

 and presented by Simon Mayo
Simon Mayo
Simon Mayo is an English radio presenter who has worked for BBC Radio since 1981. As of January 2010, Mayo is presenter of Simon Mayo Drivetime on BBC Radio 2 and, with Mark Kermode, presenter of Kermode and Mayo's Film Reviews on BBC Radio 5 Live.In 2008, Mayo was recognised as the "radio...

, until it ended on 2 April 2007.

Record holders

The most successful artists in the charts depends on the criteria used. As of 2005, Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

 albums have spent more time on the UK album charts than those of any other musical act, followed by The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

, Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 and U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

. By most weeks at number 1, however, The Beatles lead; by most top ten albums, it is Elvis Presley. Madonna
Madonna (entertainer)
Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...

 is the most successful female solo recording artist in the U.K. with 11 number 1 albums and most weeks at number 1 on the albums chart - 29 (though these tallies includes the Evita
Evita (soundtrack)
Evita is the third soundtrack album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on November 12, 1996 by Warner Bros. Records. It also includes performances by Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Pryce and Jimmy Nail. It was released to promote and accompany the 1996 motion picture, Evita. The soundtrack...

 film soundtrack which was a cast recording and not strictly a Madonna album). She is tied with Elvis Presley in second place for the artist having the most number 1 albums, though The Beatles are first with 15 albums.

Queen's Greatest Hits is the best-selling album in UK chart history, followed by The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released on 1 June 1967 on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin...

and Oasis
Oasis (band)
Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Originally known as The Rain, the group was formed by Liam Gallagher , Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs , Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan and Tony McCarroll , who were soon joined by Liam's older brother Noel Gallagher...

' (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
(What's the Story) Morning Glory?
Morning Glory? is the second studio album by the English rock band Oasis. It was released on 2 October 1995 through Creation Records. The album was Oasis' most enduring commercial success, charting at number one in the UK and number four in the U.S...

. The longest running number one album, both consecutively and non-consecutively, is the soundtrack of the film South Pacific. It had a consecutive run of seventy weeks from November 1958 to March 1960 (meaning it was number one for the entire year of 1959), and had further runs at the top in 1960 and 1961, making a non-consecutive total of 115 weeks.

The youngest person to top the charts is Scotland's Neil Reid
Neil Reid
Neil Reid is a Scottish former child singing star, winner of ITV's Opportunity Knocks, and the holder of the title youngest person to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart....

, who after winning Opportunity Knocks topped the charts in 1972 at the age of 12 years 9 months old. The youngest female artist to top the chart is Joss Stone
Joss Stone
Jocelyn Eve Stoker , better known by her stage name Joss Stone, is an English soul singer-songwriter and actress. Stone rose to fame in late 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, which made the 2004 Mercury Prize shortlist...

 at 17 years with Mind, Body & Soul
Mind, Body & Soul
Mind Body & Soul is the second studio album by English recording artist Joss Stone. Released in the United Kingdom on 27 September 2004 by Relentless Records, it is Stone's most successful album to date in the United Kingdom, where it debuted at number one and stayed atop for one week...

 in 2004, a record previously held by Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne
Avril Ramona Lavigne is a Canadian singer-songwriter. She was born in Belleville, Ontario, but spent most of her youth in the small town of Napanee. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more...

 with Let Go
Let Go (Avril Lavigne album)
Let Go is the debut album by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne, released on June 4, 2002. For a year after signing a record deal with Arista, Lavigne struggled due to conflicts in musical direction. Lavigne relocated to Los Angeles, California, and recorded there her earlier materials for...

 in 2003.

The oldest person to top the charts is Vera Lynn
Vera Lynn
Dame Vera Lynn, DBE is an English singer-songwriter and actress whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during World War II. During the war she toured Egypt, India and Burma, giving outdoor concerts for the troops...

 at the age of 92 with We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn
We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn
We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn is a compilation album by English singer Vera Lynn.The album is a selection of her recordings made for Decca Records, for whom Lynn recorded between 1936 and 1959. It reached number one on the UK Albums Chart on 13 September 2009, making her at age 92...

, released in 2009.

The album to spend the most weeks on the charts is ABBA
ABBA was a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1970 which consisted of Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog...

's Gold: Greatest Hits
ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits
Gold: Greatest Hits is a compilation album of recordings by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released on September 21, 1992 through PolyGram, the first compilation to be released after the company had acquired Polar Music and thus the rights to the ABBA back catalogue. In 1998, PolyGram was in turn...

 , which has spent 492 weeks on the charts. The rest of the top five albums are, in order, Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

's Greatest Hits (490 weeks), Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac are a British–American rock band formed in 1967 in London.The only original member present in the band is its eponymous drummer, Mick Fleetwood...

's Rumours
Rumours is the eleventh studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. Largely recorded in California during 1976, it was produced by the band with Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut and was released on 4 February 1977 by Warner Bros. Records. The record peaked at the top of both the...

 (478 weeks), Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf
Michael Lee Aday , better known by his stage name, Meat Loaf, is an American hard rock musician and actor...

's Bat Out of Hell
Bat out of Hell
Bat Out of Hell is the second album by American rock musician Meat Loaf, and his first collaboration with composer Jim Steinman, released in October 1977 on Cleveland International/Epic Records #PE-34974. Selling approximately 200,000 copies per year as of 2010, it is the fifth best-selling album...

 (474 weeks), and Bob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley & The Wailers were a Jamaican reggae, ska and rocksteady band formed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963. Additional members were Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, Cherry Smith and Aston and Carlton Barrett...

' Legend (424 weeks).

In 1980, Kate Bush
Kate Bush
Kate Bush is an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. Her eclectic musical style and idiosyncratic vocal style have made her one of the United Kingdom's most successful solo female performers of the past 30 years.In 1978, at the age of 19, Bush topped the UK Singles Chart...

 became the first British female to have a No. 1 album in the UK with Never for Ever
Never for Ever
- Personnel :* Ian Bairnson: Guitar, Bass vocals* Brian Bath: Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Background Vocals* Andrew Bryant: Vocals, Background Vocals* Kevin Burke: Violin...

, as well as being the first album by any female solo artist to enter the chart at number 1.

The fastest selling album (first week sales) is Oasis
Oasis (band)
Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Originally known as The Rain, the group was formed by Liam Gallagher , Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs , Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan and Tony McCarroll , who were soon joined by Liam's older brother Noel Gallagher...

' Be Here Now, selling 763,735 copies in its first week in the UK, 1997.

The fastest selling debut albums (first week sales):
  • All time highest is Susan Boyle
    Susan Boyle
    Susan Magdalane Boyle is a Scottish singer who came to international public attention when she appeared as a contestant on the TV programme Britain's Got Talent on 11 April 2009, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from ...

     with I Dreamed a Dream
    I Dreamed a Dream
    "I Dreamed a Dream" is a song from the musical Les Misérables. It is a solo that is sung by the character Fantine during the first act. The music is by Claude-Michel Schönberg, with orchestrations by John Cameron...

    , selling 411,820 in the UK, November 2009.
  • By a band is Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
    Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
    Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is the debut album by English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys, released on 23 January 2006. The album became the UK's fastest selling debut album, shifting over 360,000 copies in its first week, and remains the fastest selling debut album by a band. It...

     by Arctic Monkeys
    Arctic Monkeys
    Arctic Monkeys are an English indie rock band. Formed in 2002 in High Green, a suburb of Sheffield, the band currently consists of Alex Turner , Jamie Cook , Nick O'Malley and Matt Helders...

     selling 363,735 copies in 2006.
  • By a male solo act is Craig David
    Craig David
    Craig Ashley David is an English singer and songwriter. He has released five studio albums: Born to Do It, Slicker Than Your Average, The Story Goes..., Trust Me, Signed Sealed Delivered and a Greatest Hits album...

     with Born to Do It
    Born to Do It
    Born to Do It is the debut album by English singer Craig David, released in 2000 via Wildstar and 2001 via Atlantic Records. It is highly revered and acclaimed by R&B critics, and contains some of his highest charting singles. The album was a huge commercial success eventually selling over 8...

     selling 225,320 copies in 2000.

The X Factor
The X Factor (TV series)
The X Factor is a television talent show franchise originating in the United Kingdom, where it was devised as a replacement for Pop Idol. It is a singing competition, now held in various countries, which pits contestants against each other. These contestants are aspiring pop singers drawn from...

s 2006 runner up, Ray Quinn
Ray Quinn
Raymond Arthur "Ray" Quinn is an English actor, singer, and dancer. He finished second in talent show The X Factor in 2006, and won the 2009 series of Dancing on Ice. He also appeared as victimised teenager Anthony Murray in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside...

, became the only solo artist to top the album chart without ever releasing a single, though Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

 achieved eight consecutive number one albums from 1970 to 1979 without releasing a single in the UK until 1997.

The first artist to score five consecutive number one album chart debuts was Erasure
Erasure are an English synthpop duo, consisting of songwriter and keyboardist Vince Clarke and singer Andy Bell. Erasure entered the music scene in 1985 with their debut single "Who Needs Love Like That"...

, whose albums The Innocents
The Innocents (album)
After releasing The Two Ring Circus, a remix album in 1987, The Innocents was the third proper studio release from Erasure, released in 1988...

, Wild!
Wild! is the fourth studio album by British band Erasure. Released in 1989, it was the follow-up album to their 1988 breakthrough The Innocents...

, Chorus
Chorus (Erasure album)
Chorus, Erasure's fifth proper studio album, was released by Mute Records in the UK and Sire Records in the U.S. in 1991 . This album was the last to end Erasure's classic period.- History :...

, Pop! - the First 20 Hits
Pop! - the First 20 Hits
Pop! The First 20 Hits is a greatest hits collection from Erasure, released in 1992 by Mute Records in the UK and Elektra Records in the U.S...

 and I Say, I Say, I Say all reached the top of the charts over a six year period.

The first artist to reach Number One on the Singles Chart, Downloads Chart and Albums Chart simultaneously were the Sugababes
The Sugababes are an English pop girl group based in London, consisting of members Heidi Range, Amelle Berrabah and Jade Ewen. The Sugababes were formed in 1998 with founding members Siobhán Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan. Their debut album, One Touch, was released in 2000 under London...

 on two occasions, for "Push the Button" and "About You Now
About You Now
"About You Now" is a 2007 single by English girl group Sugababes, written by Cathy Dennis and producer Dr. Luke for the group's fifth studio album, Change...


Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera
Christina María Aguilera is an American recording artist and actress. Aguilera first appeared on national television in 1990 as a contestant on the Star Search program, and went on to star in Disney Channel's television series The Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994...

 made UK chart history with her fourth studio album, Bionic which on 20 June 2010 registered the largest weekly decline by a UK number one album by slipping 28 places to number 29.

In 2010, Take That
Take That
Take That are a British five-piece vocal pop group comprising Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams. Barlow acts as the lead singer and primary songwriter...

's sixth number 1 album Progress
Progress (Take That album)
Progress is the sixth studio album by British band Take That. It is the band's first album to feature Robbie Williams since 1995. The album was released in the United Kingdom on 15 November 2010. The album received positive reviews, with most critics commending the influence of electronic music and...

 became the fastest selling album of the century so far selling nearly 520,000 copies during it's first week of release. It became the second fastest selling album of all time in the UK.

Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue
Kylie Ann Minogue, OBE - often known simply as Kylie - is an Australian singer, recording artist, songwriter, and actress. After beginning her career as a child actress on Australian television, she achieved recognition through her role in the television soap opera Neighbours, before commencing...

 became the first female artist to have number-one albums in the UK in four consecutive decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s).

Adele (singer)
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins , known professionally as Adele, is an English singer-songwriter. She was the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics' Choice and was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008...

's album 21
21 (Adele album)
21 is the second studio album by English recording artist Adele. Released on 24 January 2011 in the United Kingdom and most of Europe, and on 22 February 2011 in North America, the album was named after the age of the singer at the time of its production...

 has the most (non-consecutive) weeks at number one by a female artist with eighteen weeks clocked up. The album slipped to number two for one week, only to ascend again to the top spot one week later. The album was then displaced by Lady Gaga
Lady GaGa
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta , better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer and songwriter. Born and raised in New York City, she primarily studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart and briefly attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to...

's Born This Way
Born This Way
Born This Way is the second studio album by American recording artist Lady Gaga that was released on May 23, 2011, by Interscope Records. The album is a follow-up to her internationally-successful albums The Fame and The Fame Monster...

 and Beyoncé
Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles , often known simply as Beyoncé, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child...

's 4
4 (Beyoncé Knowles album)
4 is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Beyoncé Knowles, released through Columbia Records on June 24, 2011. Three weeks before its scheduled release, 4 leaked in full. The twelve-song set marks the first release by Knowles since separating professionally with father and manager,...

 only to resume its reign on 17 July 2011 for its seventeenth (and then eighteenth) week at the top.

See also

  • List of best-selling albums by year (UK)
  • List of Christmas number one albums (UK)
  • List of number-one albums (UK)
  • UK Singles Chart
    UK Singles Chart
    The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

  • Most weeks on UK Albums Chart
  • Most weeks on UK Singles Chart

External links

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