X&Y Debuts at #1

Originally posted on June 15, 2005 12:48 PM

British band Coldplay shot to the top of the pop-music charts Wednesday as its latest album, "X&Y," logged first-week U.S. sales of more than 737,000 copies and also hit No. 1 in 21 other countries.

The band's record label, EMI Group Plc, said the strong debut for Coldplay's highly-anticipated third studio set marked the biggest opening so far this year for a rock album, which should come as good news for the company.

Last month, EMI reported lower annual profits for its fiscal year ended March 31, citing the delayed release of "X&Y" and a record from another band, Gorillaz.

Nevertheless, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, who is married to Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, has made clear he had little concern about how the band's fortunes affect his label's bottom line.

"I don't really care about EMI," he told Reuters at a recent appearance in Manhattan. "I think shareholders are the great evil of this modern world."

"X&Y" tallied sales of 737,294 copies its first week in the United States. It also sold 464,000 units in Britain, making it the second-biggest album debut ever in that country and the biggest U.K. seller so far this year, EMI said.

Oasis holds the record for the highest first-week album sales in Britain, with 1997's "Be Here Now," which opened with U.K. sales of 696,000 units.

The record company said that in addition to the United States and Britain, "X&Y" has topped the charts in at least 20 other countries.

"X&Y" marks the band's first collection of new music since its breakout 2002 release, "A Rush of Blood to the Head," which sold about 3.7 million copies in the United States alone, according to EMI.

"Rush of Blood" and the band's 2000 debut LP, "Parachutes" both earned Coldplay Grammy Awards for best alternative-music album. Coldplay is due to open a two-month North American tour on August 2 in Toronto.

EMI shares ended 2 pence higher, or just under 1 percent, on the London stock exchange Wednesday at 259 pence.

Source: CNN

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