London, U.K. (February 15, 2006)–New BPI figures show British music is on a seven-year high. U.K. record industry trade association the BPI says that the British share of U.K. album sales in 2005 was at its highest since 1998.
The figures, from the BPI’s Sales By Artist Nationality report, show that nearly half of CD albums sold in the U.K. in 2005 were by British acts. The record industry sold more U.K. albums than ever before, with six U.K. albums topping 1 million sales to break the top ten. 90 U.K. albums sold more than 100,000 copies.
U.K. acts claimed 49.4 percent of all artist (non-compilation) album sales in the U.K. in 2005, an increase of seven percentage points on 2004. At 62.4 million, this represents the greatest number of albums ever sold by U.K. musicians in a single year.
From a peak of 51 percent in 1998 the British share of U.K. album sales declined to a low of 42.3 percent in 2003. But a resurgence in British music, the return of the singer-songwriter and a new wave of guitar bands propelled the British share to 49.4 percent in 2005, versus 37.7 percent from the U.S. and 12.9 percent from other countries.
Six of the year’s Top 10 albums were by U.K. acts, double the number in 2004 and there were 14 U.K. debut acts in the top 100, including albums from Kaiser Chiefs, The Magic Numbers, Bloc Party and G4.
BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said, “We are privileged to be living through an exciting time for UK music. From Kaiser Chiefs to KT Tunstall, from Gorillaz to James Blunt, British music is succeeding across the board and UK music fans are responding in their droves.”
The Top Ten U.K. albums for 2005 were topped by Back To Bedlam by James Blunt, followed by Coldplay’s X & Y, Intensive Care by Robbie Williams, Employment by Kaiser Chiefs, Demon Days by Gorillaz, KT Tunstall’s Eye To The Telescope, Forever Faithless–The Greatest Hits by Faithless, Don’t Believe The Truth by Oasis, Keane’s Hopes & Fears, and Never Forget–The Ultimate Collection by Take That.