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Madonna stays at the summit of the UK charts

Madonna is the oldest artist to simultaneously top the singles and albums chart with new material, and the 47 year old continues her reign on both charts this week, writes Alan Jones.
 
Hung Up commands a big lead on the singles chart, where the top three are unchanged, though all with greatly reduced sales. Last week, Hung Up sold 40,254 copies, while Westlife's You Raise Me Up sold 23,073 copies and Black Eyed Peas' My Humps sold 19,059 copies - reductions of 32.9%, 25.9% and 32.6% respectively, week-on-week.
 
Madonna had a much tougher time defending her album chart title, enjoying a slender lead all week but Confessions On A Dance Floor eventually prevailed with sales 3% higher than her nearest challenger but 49.2% down week-on-week at 110,527.
 
Her ability to hang on to her chart crowns was primarily due to a slightly disappointing release slate, which resulted in just two new entries to the Top 10 of both charts.
 
Confessions On A Dance Floor is the first album to top the list twice in a row since David Gray's Life In Slow Motion in September, and the first by a female solo artist to turn the trick since Anastacia's self-titled album in April 2004. Hung Up's three week singles chart superiority make it Madonna's longest-reigning number one since Vogue managed a four week shut-out in 1990.
 
Singles sales suffered badly from the lack of new blood, which saw top tier debuts only from Gorillaz and Tom Novy.
 
Physical singles sales dipped 20.6% to their lowest level for 15 weeks - 293,949 - but digital sales held up considerably better, falling 3.8% to 618,813. Overall singles sales, at 912,762, fell 10% to their lowest level for five weeks.
 
Gorillaz's self-titled debut album spawned t wo Top 10 hits but follow-up Demon Days goes one better this week, as third single Dirty Harry debuts at number six on sales of 14,883. Predecessors Feel Good Inc and Dare reached two and one respectively, and both are still in the chart, after 30 and 13 weeks respectively, with sales of 251,761 and 135,871. Demon Days itself leaps 20-10 this week, achieving its highest chart placing for 10 weeks. Sales of 44,373 lift its cume to 727,895. It should have eclipsed their self-titled debut album's 737,884 sales by close of business today (28th)
 
The Top 10's only other new entry is Your Body by German producer and MTV VJ Tom Novy. Featuring vocals from Michael Marshall, Your Body sold 10,372 copies last week to debut at number 10. Novy's only previous chart hits, I Rock and Now Or Never, peaked at 55 and 64 respectively in 2000 and 2001.
 
Novy's number 10 debut prevents 50 Cent from claiming the slot with Window Shopper, the first single from his soundtrack album Get Rich Or Die Tryin'.
 
Elvis Presley charted 17 reissues in as many weeks earlier this year but 'Fiddy' has most new hit singles in 2005 ,registering his SEVENTH with Window Shopper. Debuting at number 11, on sales of 8,737, it follows How We Do and Hate It Or Love It, collaborations with The Game, which peaked at five and four respectively, Candy Shop (number four), Just A Little Bit (number 10) and Outta Control (number seven) and So Seductive, credited to Tony Yayo and 50 Cent, which peaked at number 28.
 
The highest ranked of three climbers in the Top 10, former Blue star Simon Webbe's second solo single No Worries rebounds 7-4, to equal its debut position while reaching a new sales peak this week, taking advantage of both its own increasing exposure and the lack of hot new singles. While overall singles sales slipped last week, it registered a 20.1% hike in sales to 18,660. Its growing popularity also helped Webbe's debut solo album Sanctuary, which enjoys a 30.8% increase in sales to 24,799, though it slips a notch (28-29) from its debut position.

Every track on Stereophonics' current album Language. Sex. Violence. Other? has a one word title, and Rewind is the fourth to chart, debuting at number 17 on sales of 5,575. Previous singles Dakota, Superman and Devil peaked at one, 13 and 11 respectively. Rewind is Stereophonics' 22nd hit Top 40 hit but has had little support from radio - it currently ranks a lowly 62nd on audience - without which exposure the album remains absent from the Top 75 for the eighth week in a row, with sales of 1,723 earning it 162nd position, marginally increasing its cumulative sales since March to 432,664.

Debuting at number 22 on sales of 4,373, Jenny Wren is the fifth Paul McCartney single in a row to chart in the 20s, and the second single from his Chaos And Creation In The Back Yard album, following Fine Line , which sold 5,486 copies to debut at number 20 in September. Jenny Wren is the 54th Top 40 single of 63 year old Macca's post-Beatles career. Chaos And Creation dipped out of the Top 200 five weeks ago but its cumulative sales of 44,894 already exceed the 42,249 sales of its 2001 predecessor Driving Rain.
 
Despite the fact that Confessions On A Dance Floor turned in the lowest sales for a number one artist album for five weeks last week, overall album sales topped the 4m. mark for the first time this year.
 
Artist albums enjoyed a 10.1% increase in sales to 3,266,548, while the release of Now That's What I Call Music! 62 spurred compilations to a 52.9% increase at 1,032,688. Overall album sales were up 18% at 4,299,236.
 
The challenger to Madonna's album chart title alluded to above was Will Young. Tracking her Confessions On A Dance Floor all week but unable to overtake it, his Keep On album debuts at number two on sales of 107,318. It thus fails to emulate his first two albums, both of which debuted at number one. Young's 2002 debut album From Now On enjoyed first week sales of 187,350, following his success on the first series of Pop Idol, but follow-up Friday's Child got off to an even better start in 2003, with first week sales of 201,900.
 
The only other album capable of making a Top 10 debut this week is Enya's Amarantine.
 
On previous albums Enya has sung in English, Gaelic, Spanish, Welsh and Latin but on Amarantine her incantations are also in Japanese and Loxian - the latter a language made up by her lyricist Roma Ryan. The album sold 55,609 copies last week to debut at number eight, giving the new age legend her seventh straight Top 10 album spanning 17 years. Enya's two biggest sellers 1988's Watermark and 1991's Sh epherd Moons both sold over a million copies, while her last album, 2000's A Day Without Rain sold 566,844, after debuting at number six with first week sales of 55,584 - just 25 less than Amarantine.
 
On track for a Top 10 debut in midweek sales flashes but eventually falling just short, was heavy rock act System Of A Down's second album of 2005, Hypnotize.
Released just 27 weeks after Mesmerize, it debuts at number 11 this week. The two albums were recorded simultaneously and are regarded as two parts of the same project by the American/Armenian/Lebanese quartet. Their first week sales are closer than their chart positions would suggest. Mesmerize opened with sales of 54,332, second only to Forever Faithless while Hypnotize sold 42,052 copies last week, and would only have debuted at nine even if it had matched Mesmerize's sales.
 
Elsewhere in the Top 10, Robbie Williams' latest album checks its decline, wh ile Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway enjoys its best week yet.
 
After registering the highest weekly sales (373,886) of his career on its debut, Robbie Williams' Intensive Care album has slowed considerably. But after three weeks of declining sales it managed to register a 4.8% increase to 80,892 sales last week. Its five week sales tally of 735,461 means it's ahead of same stage sales of Life Thru A Lens (26,346, 1997), Live At Knebworth (242,910, 2003), I've Been Expecting You (407,256, 1998) and Sing When You're Winning (584,754, 2000) but behind Greatest Hits (738,752, 2004), Escapology (1,185,532, 2002) and Swing When You're Winning (1,312,188, 2001).
 
Meanwhile, Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway album enjoys a massive 52.2% increase in sales week-on-week but is rewarded by a fairly modest 9-7 improvement in its chart position. Helped by fast improving airplay for new single Because Of You, which is out today (28th), Breakaway's move brings it to within one place of the number six peak it scaled seven weeks ago, but that was with sales of 23,855 compared to its impressive tally of 57,723 last week. The album has thus far sold 470,499 copies and the next few days should see it both top the half million mark and increase the ratio of its sales to Clarkson's Thankful debut to more than 10 to one.
 
On the compilation chart, Now! 62 made an excellent first week impression, selling 284,254 copies, beating its nearest rival - Pop Party 3 - by a margin of nearly five to one, and far surpassing the first week sales of 197,098 and 244,437 of its 2004 and 2003 equivalents (Now! 59 and Now! 56). However, the last Now! Album (Now! 61) had higher first week sales of 310,236 when it was launched in July.

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