The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company (OCC) and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 (Top 40), and published in Music 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 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.
According to the canon of The Official Charts Company, the official British albums chart is the Melody Maker chart from 8 November 1958 to March 1960 (although the Record Mirror published charts from 28 July 1956 ); the Record Retailer 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, 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.