Coldplay scores sixth successive UK number one album with Ghost Stories

The band achieved the fastest-selling album of 2014 shifting 168,000 copies

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Coldplay’s latest release Ghost Stories has scored the English band their sixth consecutive UK number one album, with Michael Jackson’s Xscape nudged into second place.

After shifting 168,000 copies since last Monday, Ghost Stories has become the fastest-selling album of 2014 so far, beating Paolo Nutini’s Caustic Love which sold 109,000 copies in its first week last month.

Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, is not surprised. “A new Coldplay album always makes a huge impact,” he said. “The boys have made it a perfect six number ones out of six albums – that is some achievement!”

To date, Coldplay’s previous five albums – Parachute, A Rush of Blood to the Head, X&Y, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, Mylo Xyloto – have sold more than 11.1 million copies in the UK.

Ghost Stories draws on frontman Chris Martin’s “conscious uncoupling” from Gwyneth Paltrow. It has received mixed reviews from critics, with The Independent calling it “the most dour, muted music of the band’s career”.

Completing the top five are Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, reunited from Beautiful South, with What Have We Become; Paloma Faith’s A Perfect Contradiction; and the 20th anniversary edition of Oasis’ debut Definitely Maybe.