Coldplay downloads have broken through significant sales milestones in the States to underline a new era of multi-million-selling singles.
According to Joseph Murrells - the late musicologist whose Book Of Golden Discs was the first volume to track worldwide million sellers - The Beatles’ I Want To Hold Your Hand is the biggest selling single by a UK act in America, with sales of more than 4.9m there. Viva La Vida by Coldplay is chasing hard, and races past the 2m mark, with sales last week of 86,000 taking its career tally to 2,027,000. By far the biggest seller of Coldplay’s career, Viva La Vida holds at number seven on downloads, airplay and the Hot 100.
Viva La Vida has, of course, been a major hit in the UK, but few here could recognise Paper Planes, the maiden US hit single by Londoner M.I.A.. The track climbs 4-3 on the download chart this week, with sales of 124,500 allowing it to pass the 1m sales mark at 1,011,500.
Meanwhile, Natasha Bedingfield’s Pocketful Of Sunshine is a week or so away from joining Viva La Vida in the 2m club. Although dipping 34-39 on the download chart, it sold 33,000 copies last week to take its sales to 1,978,000.
Estelle should by now be celebrating the millionth US sale of her American Boy single but it was withdrawn from sale as a stand-alone download last week, and consequently plummets 6-59 on the download chart (22,000 sales were made before it was pulled, taking its career tally to 934,500). It also tumbles 11-37 on the Hot 100. Deleting the song from iTunes and other virtual record stores was a move calculated to drive potential buyers to buy Estelle’s album, Shine, but in these credit crunch days punters need to know more than one song by an artist before handing over their cash, and the album actually dives 124-158, on sales of just 4,000 copies. To make matters worse, an opportunistic cover of American Boy by an anonymous studio act known as The Studio All Stars takes up the sales slack, shifting 30,500 copies to debut at number 43 on the download chart and number 85 on the Hot 100.
At the top of the Hot 100, incidentally, history is made by T.I., whose Whatever You Like single catapults 71-1, the biggest jump to the summit in chart history. The track’s previous chart placing was based entirely on airplay but last week it was released on download, with pent-up demand securing it a first week sale of 205,000. The 10 biggest moves to number one in chart history (all from outside the Top 40) have occurred since 2002, most of them in similar circumstances.
On the albums chart, The Jonas Brothers remain at number one with the aptly-titled A Little Bit Longer, though its sales dive 72% to 147,000.
Of a year’s best total of 33 debuts on the Top 200, two are by British acts. Amy MacDonald’s self-titled debut arrives at number 92, on sales of 6,000. And Stereolab chalk up their fifth chart entry, with Chemical Chords easing to number 170 on sales of 3,800.