EMI albums spent 24 weeks at the top in 2005.

The Rolling Stones' "A Bigger Bang" (Virgin) secures a second week at the top of European Top 100 Albums, after holding at No.1 in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Italy. It also vaults 17-2 in Poland.

The Stones' "Forty Licks" compilation spent only one week at the top of the composite chart in 2002; its last studio release, "Bridges To Babylon," was No.1 for three weeks in October and November 1997.

The success of "Bang" means that the EMI group of labels has now spent 24 weeks at the top of European Top 100 Albums during 2005, more than any other company, and 15 consecutively. The run also includes 13 weeks at No.1 for Coldplay's "X&Y" (Parlophone), five for Robbie Williams' "Greatest Hits" (Chrysalis), three for Moby's "Hotel" (Mute) and one for Gorillaz' "Demon Days" (Parlophone).

EMI's banner week on Top 100 Albums extends well beyond the Stones, with four titles in the top ten and six in the top 20. Paul McCartney's "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" (MPL/Parlophone) opens at No.3, after debuting at No.3 in Italy and France, No.4 in Germany, No.9 in Spain and No.10 in the United Kingdom. Sales in Britain exceed 22,000, more than double those of its studio predecessor ("Driving Rain" in 2001).

The company's other big arrival on the pan-European chart is "Takk" (EMI) by Icelandic act Sigur Ros, at No.8. The set arrives at No.4 in Italy and Norway, No.5 in Portugal and No.16 in the United Kingdom. It's easily a career-best best opening week across Europe for Sigur Ros, whose 2002 album "()" reached No.29 overall via the act's previous Fat Cat/PIAS deal.

Two other albums make a top ten composite start this week, with David Gray's "Life In Slow Motion" (Atlantic) new at No.5. It's in at No.1 in both the United Kingdom (selling114,000 units) and Ireland, and No.3 in Norway. It's Gray's second consecutive No.1 debut in the U.K., following 2002's "A New Day At Midnight." By contrast, his 2000 album "White Ladder" took well over a year to complete its climb to No.1 there.

Finnish rock act the Rasmus returns to Top 100 Albums at No.6 with "Hide From The Sun" (Playground/Universal). It's new at No.3 in Germany, No.4 in Austria and No.5 in Switzerland. It's already topped the chart in Finland, where this week it's down to No.2. "Sun" is the follow-up to the band's 2003 breakthrough album "Dead Letters."

Two long-running acts get new entries in the top 20 of the aggregate album chart. Tracy Chapman's "Where You Live" (Atlantic) is new at No.13, led by a No.4 start in Switzerland, followed by No.7 in France and No.9 in Italy. Simple Minds' "Black & White 050505" (Sanctuary) comes in at No.16, opening at No.6 in Germany, No.7 in Italy and a more modest No.37 in the United Kingdom.

"Don't Cha" (A&M/Universal) by Pussycat Dolls featuring Busta Rhymes tops Eurochart Hot 100 Singles for a second week, continuing at No.1 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with further top five placings in Germany, Austria, Holland, Norway, Italy, Switzerland and Flanders.

Sean Paul's "We Be Burnin'," (VP/Atlantic) is the Eurochart's highest new entry, at No.4 after arriving at No.2 in the United Kingdom, No.6 in Germany and No.8 in Italy. It's from his new album "The Trinity," released next Monday.