From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The UK Independent Chart or Indie
Chart is a chart of the best-selling independent
record releases in the UK.
In the wake of punk,
small record labels began to spring up, as an outlet for artists
that were unwilling to sign contracts with major record companies,
or were not considered commercially attractive to those companies.
By 1978, labels like Cherry Red, Rough Trade, and Mute had started up,
and a support structure soon followed, including independent
pressing, distribution and promotion.
These labels got bigger and bigger, and by 1980 were having top 10
hits in the UK
Chart success was limited, however, since the official top 40 was
based on sales at large chains and ignored significant sales at the
scores of independent record shops that existed. Iain McNay of
Cherry Red suggested to the weekly trade paper Record Business the
idea of an independent record chart to address the problem, and the
first independent chart appeared in 1980, published in Record Week,
and later licenced to Sounds.
In 1981, compilation of the chart switched to research company
The chart served to give exposure to the independent labels and the
artists on those labels. In 1985, Music Week started compiling its own indie
chart, but failed to meet the authority of the original chart.
Other weekly music papers also published their own charts, often
compiled from single record shops. By 1990, the significance of the
chart had been diluted by major record companies forming their own
'indie' labels, with independent distribution, in order to break
new acts via exposure from the indie chart.
To be included in the indie chart, a record had to be
distributed independently of the corporate framework of the major
record companies; the genre of music was irrelevant. Large
independent distributors emerged such as Pinnacle and Spartan, and
there later emerged The Cartel, an association of regional
distributors including Rough Trade, Backs, and Red Rhino.
The first weekly independent chart was published on 19 January
1980, with Spizzenergi's "Where's Captain Kirk"
topping the singles chart, and Adam and the Ants' Dirk Wears
White Sox topping the album chart.
Although the independent chart has less relevance today, The
Official UK Charts Company still compiles a chart, consisting
of those singles from the main chart on independent labels.