Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' Bows At No. 1 in U.K.

Chris Martin, Coldplay
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Chris Martin of Coldplay performs as part of the iTunes Festival at the Moody Theater on March 11, 2014 in Austin, Texas.

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). 

Sam Smith’s first run at the top of the U.K. singles chart began exactly a year ago when he was the featured artist on Naughty Boy’s “La La La” (Virgin/Universal). He then repeated the feat at the end of February with his first solo single “Money On My Mind.”

Mr. Probz held at No. 2 on the new chart with the former chart-topper “Waves,” while British-Ghanaian artist Fuse ODG started at No. 3 with “Dangerous Love” (3 Beat/All Around The World/Universal). Last week’s bestseller, Rita Ora’s “I Will Never Let You Down” (Roc Nation/Universal), fell to No. 4, while Clean Bandit’s “Extraordinary” (Atlantic/Warner Music), the classically-influenced pop act’s follow-up to their major No. 1 “Rather Be” featuring Jess Glynne, debuted at No. 5. 

Several tracks from the Coldplay album are making their mark on the singles chart, with “A Sky Full Of Stars” new at No. 15, “Magic” down 21-24, “Midnight” in at No. 48 and “Another’s Arms” at No. 70.