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Now! 70 scales new heights

Now! 70 scales new heights

And in a further twist, the number one compilation album recorded the highest ever sale for an album of its kind, while the number one artist album scored the lowest sale on that tally for more than six years.

In a close three-way tussle for chart supremacy at the top of the artist album chart, Basshunter's Now You're Gone, Abba's Gold: Greatest Hits and Coldplay's Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends all took turns at topping the chart at various stages of the week, with Coldplay's Viva La Vida eventually securing a return to number one on sales of 26,205, leading Abba by 363 sales, and Basshunter by 1,277.

Viva La Vida already holds the record for the best sale of the year by an artist number one, selling 302,074 copies on its debut at the summit some six weeks ago.

Now it narrowly takes the record for the year's lowest tally from Amy MacDonald's This Is The Life, number one 28 weeks ago on sales of 26,396.

Intriguing as the battle at the top of the artist album chart is, the week's two biggest sellers - for the first time in more than five years - are both to be found in the compilation chart.

Last week's number one, the Mamma Mia! soundtrack album, remains strong, increasing sales by 5% to 62,599, but is knocked off the top of the chart in emphatic style by Now That's What I Call Music! 70.

Now! 70 scorches to first week sales of 383,002, beating by just 243 sales the 382,759 copies that its immediate predecessor Now! 69 sold on its first week in the shops back in March to create a new record weekly sale, not just for the Now! series but for multi-artist compilations as a whole.

It has a positive effect on overall album sales which, after sliding for five weeks in a row, jump by 12.4% to 2,190,887. That's their highest level for four weeks but trails 5.5% behind same week 2007 sales of 2,317,600.

With the expected challenge from Kid Rock and The Ting Tings not materialising, Dizzee Rascal's Dance Wiv Me collaboration with Calvin Harris and Chrome extends its stay at number one on the singles chart to four weeks.

For more, see this week's Music Week.

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