The Info List - UK Albums Chart

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The Official Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales and (from March 2015) audio streaming[1] in the United Kingdom. It was published for the first time on 22 July 1956 and is compiled every week by the Official Charts Company
Official Charts Company
(OCC) on Fridays (previously Sundays). It is broadcast on BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
(top 5) and published in Music Week
Music Week
magazine (top 75), and on the OCC website (top 100). To qualify for the Official Albums Chart the album must be the correct length and price. It must be more than three tracks or 20 minutes long and not be classed as a budget album. A budget album costs between £0.50 and £3.75. 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 OCC website.[2] According to the canon of the OCC, the official British albums chart was the Melody Maker
Melody Maker
chart from 8 November 1958 to March 1960 (although the Record Mirror published charts from 22 July 1956[3]); the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969; and the Official Albums Chart from 1969 on. In the 1970s the new album chart was revealed at 12:45 pm on Thursdays on BBC Radio 1, and then moved to 6:05 pm (later 6:30 pm) on Wednesday evenings during the Peter Powell and Bruno Brookes shows. In October 1987 it moved to Monday lunchtimes, during the Gary Davies 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. Since October 1993 it has been included in The Official Chart
The Official Chart
show from 4:00 – 5:45 pm on Fridays (previously from 4:00 – 7:00 pm on Sundays). A weekly ' Album
Chart' show was licensed out to BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2
and presented by Simon Mayo, until it ended on 2 April 2007. 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, because overall sales of an album are more important than its peak position. 2005 saw a record number of artist album sales with 126.2 million sold in the UK.[4] In February 2015, it was announced that, due to the falling sales of albums and rise in popularity of audio streaming, the Official Albums Chart would begin including streaming data from March 2015.[1] Under the revised methodology, the Official Charts Company takes the 12 most streamed tracks from one album, with the top-two songs being down-weighted in line with the average of the rest. The total of these streams is divided by 1000 and added to the pure sales of the album. This calculation was designed to ensure that the chart rundown continues to reflect the popularity of the albums themselves, rather than just the performance of one or two smash hit singles. The final number one album on the UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
to be based purely on sales alone was Smoke + Mirrors
Smoke + Mirrors
by Imagine Dragons. On 1 March 2015, In the Lonely Hour
In the Lonely Hour
by Sam Smith became the first album to top the new streaming-incorporated Official Albums Chart.[5] The first number one album of the UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
was Songs for Swingin' Lovers! by Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
on 22 July 1956. The current number one album, as of 6 April 2018 is The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.[6]


1 Record holders

1.1 Debut albums

2 See also 3 References 4 External links

Record holders[edit] The most successful artists in the charts depends on the criteria used. As of February 2016, Queen albums have spent more time on the British album charts than any other musical act,[7] followed by the Beatles, Elvis Presley, U2 and ABBA. By most weeks at number one the Beatles lead with a total of 174 weeks, and the most number one albums of all with 15.[8] The male solo artist with the most weeks at number one is Presley with a total of 66 weeks. Presley also holds the record for the most number one albums by a solo artist (13) and most top ten albums by any artist (50).[9] Madonna has the most number one albums (12) by a female artist in the UK, though this includes the Evita film soundtrack which was a cast recording and not strictly a Madonna album.[10] Adele
is the female solo artist with the most weeks at number one, with a total of 37 weeks.[11] Queen's Greatest Hits is the best-selling album in UK chart history with 6 million copies sold as of February 2014.[12] Previous first-place holder The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is now in third-place after being supplanted by Queen and then by ABBA's Gold: Greatest Hits. Both albums have sold in excess of 5.1 million copies.[13] 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, and had further runs at the top in 1960 and 1961, making a non-consecutive total of 115 weeks. With eight consecutive UK number-one albums, Led Zeppelin, ABBA
and Eminem are tied for the most consecutive chart-topping UK albums.[14] The youngest artist to top the chart is Neil Reid, whose debut album topped the chart in 1972 when he was only 12 years old.[15] The oldest living artist to top the charts is Vera Lynn
Vera Lynn
at the age of 92 with We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn, released in 2009 (though the album only contains material she recorded between 1936 and 1959). Lynn also holds the record for the oldest living artist to have a chart album, with the 2017 release of Vera Lynn
Vera Lynn
100, released to mark her 100th birthday (though again, this only contains material she recorded decades earlier). The album peaked at number 3. The album which has spent the most weeks on the charts is Queen's Greatest Hits, which has spent over 1000 weeks on the chart by January 2018. See List of albums which have spent the most weeks on the UK Albums Chart for full details. In 1980, Kate Bush
Kate Bush
became the first British female artist to have a number-one album in the UK with Never for Ever, as well as being the first album by any female solo artist to enter the chart at number 1. In August 2014 she became the first female artist to have eight albums in the Official UK Top 40 Albums Chart simultaneously, (altogether she had eleven albums in the Top 50 in one week).[16] She is currently in fourth place for artists having the most simultaneous UK Top 40 albums, behind Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
and David Bowie
David Bowie
who both tie for the most simultaneous Top 40 albums (twelve each, both immediately following their deaths in 1977 and 2016 respectively),[17] and The Beatles
The Beatles
who had eleven in 2009 when remastered versions of their albums were released. The fastest selling album (first chart week sales) is 25 by Adele. Released in November 2015, it sold over 800,000 copies in its first week.[18] The X Factor's 2006 runner up, Ray Quinn, is the only solo artist to top the album chart without ever releasing a single, though Led Zeppelin achieved eight consecutive number-one albums from 1970 to 1979 without releasing a single in the UK until 1997. The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
have reached number one in the album chart with new studio albums during five different decades (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2010s). In the 2000s, they failed by the narrowest of margins to reach the top in 2005 with A Bigger Bang, which was the best-selling album of the week in Britain but was kept out by poor sales in Northern Ireland. ABBA
have reached the top spot in four consecutive decades, though this was with the same album (Gold) in the 1990s and the 2000s. For solo artists, Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
has scored UK number-one albums in five different decades (1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 2000s and 2010s). In 1993, Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard
became the first male solo artist to score UK number-one albums in four consecutive decades (1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s). In 2010, Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue
became the first female solo artist to have UK number-one albums in four consecutive decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s). The longest number one by a group is Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water which was no.1 for 33 weeks (13 of which were consecutive). The longest consecutive number one by a group was The Beatles' Please Please Me, which held the top spot for a straight 30 weeks. The longest number one by a male solo artist was Elvis Presley with G.I. Blues
which stayed at the top for 22 weeks (his Blue Hawaii album was also the longest consecutive number one album for a male artist with 17 weeks). Adele's album 21 has the most weeks at number one by a female solo artist (and by a solo artist of either gender) with 23 weeks, 11 of which were consecutive (which is also a record for a female artist). Blossoms' self-titled album holds the record for having the lowest one-week sales while at the top of the chart in the modern era, when it was number one the week of 19 August 2016 on sales of only 7,948 copies. Debut albums[edit] The fastest selling debut albums (first week sales):

All-time highest sales by a solo female artist is Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle
with I Dreamed a Dream , which sold 411,820 copies in November 2009

By a band is Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys
with Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, which sold 363,735 copies in 2006.[19] By a solo male act is Craig David
Craig David
with Born to Do It, which sold 225,320 copies in 2000.[20]

Sam Smith holds the record for most weeks spent in the Top 10 by a debut album with In the Lonely Hour, with 76, surpassing a record previously held by Emeli Sandé
Emeli Sandé
and The Beatles.[21] See also[edit]

UK Singles Chart List of UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
Christmas number ones List of UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
number ones List of artists by number of UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
number ones List of artists who have spent the most weeks on the UK music charts List of best-selling albums
List of best-selling albums
by year in the United Kingdom List of albums which have spent the most weeks on the UK Albums Chart List of singles which have spent the most weeks on the UK Singles Chart


^ a b "UK's Official Albums Chart to include streaming data for first time". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 February 2015.  ^ "Rules for Chart Eligibility: Albums" (PDF). Official Charts Company. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.  ^ Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; Brown, Tony (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums (3rd ed.). London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-058-0. ^ "Blunt boosts record labels' 2005". BBC. 6 January 2008.  ^ Jones, Alan (1 March 2015). "Sam Smith tops first streaming integrated UK Albums Chart". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 12 November 2015.  ^ " The Greatest Showman soundtrack returns to Number 1 for an encore performance on the Official Albums Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 March 2018.  ^ "Queen top UK album charts league". BBC. 4 July 2005. Retrieved 27 October 2008.  ^ "The Beatles". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-04-11.  ^ "Elvis Presley". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-04-11.  ^ "Madonna". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-04-11.  ^ "Adele". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-04-11.  ^ "Queen reach six million album sales in UK". BBC. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.  ^ " ABBA
overtake The Beatles
The Beatles
to score UK's second biggest selling album". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-04-11.  ^ "Eminem scores seventh consecutive UK Number 1 album". Official Charts Company. November 11, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.  ^ "Record Breakers and Trivia: Albums". everyhit.co.uk. Retrieved 5 January 2008.  ^ " Kate Bush
Kate Bush
sets new Official Chart record". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-04-11.  ^ " David Bowie
David Bowie
matches Elvis Presley's Official Albums Chart record". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-04-11.  ^ "Adele's '25' becomes UK's fastest selling album of all time with sales of over 800,000". NME.com.  ^ "Madonna breaks earnings record". BBC Online. 29 September 2006. Retrieved 19 March 2016.  ^ Morgan Britton, Luke (1 March 2016). " Craig David
Craig David
recreates iconic 'Born to Do It' album artwork with Instagram post". NME. Retrieved 19 March 2016.  ^ Myers, Justin (3 September 2015). "Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour breaks Official Charts record". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 

External links[edit]

Official website Top 100 Music Week
Music Week
Top 75 EveryHit.com – Archive of Top 40 albums The UK Top 40 Compilation Albums at BBC Online

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UK Albums

Number ones

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