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The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled by The Official UK Charts Company and published in Music Week magazine (Top 75) and on the OCC website (Top 100); the full Top 200 is published exclusively in ChartsPlus.

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 OCC 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.

In the 1970s the new album chart was revealed at 12.45pm 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 UK Top 40 show from 4.00-7.00 pm on Sundays. A weekly 'Album Chart' show was licensed out to BBC Radio 2 and presented by Simon Mayo, 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 albums have spent more time on the UK album charts than those of any other musical act, followed by The Beatles, Elvis Presley and U2. By most weeks at number 1, however, The Beatles lead; by most top ten albums, it is Elvis Presley. Madonna is the most successful female solo recording artist in the U.K.marker with 11 #1 albums and most weeks at #1 on the albums chart - 29. She is tied with Elvis Presley at the 2nd spot for having 11 #1 albums. The Beatles are 1st - with 15. Not counting 1950's & 1960's Film Soundtracks, the 2 females with the most weeks at #1 in the Album Chart, are Agnetha & Frida, who as part of ABBA have spent 57 weeks at #1, from 9 #1 albums.

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 one hundred and fifteen weeks.

The youngest person to top the charts is Scotland's Neil Reid, 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 Avril Lavigne at 17 years and 3 months with Let Go in 2003.

The album to spend the most weeks on the charts is Fleetwood Mac's Rumours which spent 478 weeks on the charts. In second place is Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf, (474 weeks) followed by Queen's Greatest Hits (472 weeks).

The fastest selling album is Be Here Now by Oasis which sold nearly one million copies on its first week. The fastest selling album by a female artist is Life for Rent by Dido. The fastest selling debut album is Spirit by Leona Lewis, released in November 2007 and selling almost half a million copies in its first week of release.X factor 2007 runner up, Ray Quinn became the only person 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 first artist to score five consecutive number one album chart debuts was Erasure, whose albums The Innocents, Wild!, Chorus, Pop! - the First 20 Hits and I Say, I Say, I Say all reached the top of the charts over a six year period.

All of Leona Lewis, Oasis, Coldplay and The Killers' studio albums have reached #1 on the UK Albums Chart.

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