First-week sales of 168,000 made Coldplay’s “Ghost Stories” (Parlophone/Warner Music) both the U.K.’s fastest-selling album of the year and the new No. 1 title, in sales data published Sunday (May 25) by the Official Charts Company. British pop-dance star Sam Smith scored his third chart-topping single with “Stay With Me” (Capitol/Universal).
Coldplay’s achievement comfortably beats the previous best weekly artist tally of 2014, Paolo Nutini’s 109,000 with “Caustic Love” (Atlantic/Warner Music) as it debuted at No. 1 last month. It’s Coldplay’s sixth U.K. bestseller out of six studio releases, a run that began with “Parachutes” in 2000. “Ghost Stories” knocked Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” (MJJ/Epic/Sony Music), a new entry at the top last week, down to No. 2.
The new album also featured a No. 3 debut for “What Have We Become” (EMI/Universal) by former Beautiful South members Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott. Paloma Faith’s “A Perfect Contradiction” (RCA/Sony) fell 3-4, as the 20th anniversary reissue of Oasis’ “Definitely Maybe” (Big Brother) opened at No. 5. On the compilation chart, the Walt Disney/Universal soundtrack of “Frozen” regained the top spot, climbing 2-1 to end the six-week reign of “Now That’s What I Call Music! 87” (Sony Music CG/Virgin EMI/Universal).