UK record companies released 31,291 albums in 2005 - more than double the number released 10 years previously, and almost 2,000 more than 2004.
According to figures published by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), online and digital music retailers are chiefly responsible for the rise. Seven of the UK's Top 10 best-selling albums of 2005 were by British acts. BPI chairman Peter Jamieson hailed last year as "predominantly a year of home-grown British rock bands".
The trade association has declared rock as the British music fan's favourite genre, accounting for a 36.2% share of the albums market. This is partly due to its classification of Coldplay and KT Tunstall under the heading "contemporary rock".James Blunt - whose Back to Bedlam album was 2005's biggest seller, despite being released in 2004 - is classified as one of the pop acts responsible for one in four albums sold in the UK. British artists in general accounted for 49.4% of all UK album sales in 2005, their highest share since 1998.
"Record companies support a hugely diverse range of genres," continued Mr Jamieson. "But ultimately it's the music fan who decides what's successful."
TOP UK SELLERS OF 2005:
1. James Blunt, Back to Bedlam
2. Coldplay, X&Y
3. Robbie Williams, Intensive Care
4. Kaiser Chiefs, Employment
5. Gorillaz, Demon Days
6. Westlife, Face to Face
7. KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope
8. Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway
9. Eminem, Curtain Call
10. Faithless, Forever Faithless
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